Fort Weyr - Glacier Lake
Wind and water washed stones of harsh gray and black scatter the area surrounding a large bright greenish-blue body of water. As if carved out with a spoon the land abruptly dips down into a deep and pure crystal lake, where the bottom is visible because of how clear the lake actually is. The water is a strikingly contrast with the cold harsh landscape that surrounds it. The shore is rugged with large boulders and chunks of rock prevent easy access to the shore line, making it less than ideal for swimming. Of course, the water is also freezing to the touch as its source is the glacier nestled between the higher peaks of the mountainsides surrounding it. Marks exist higher along the walls of the gully, a washed out white water mark showing the variability of the water level, scarring the stone as a permanent reminder of what once was.
To the west of the lake, hidden in the grove of rock, is a foundation built up with matching stones. Its very indistinguishable against the background, often hidden from view as it so easily blends in. It spreads out away from the lake and towards more forgiving and friendlier grounds where some soil holds dominance over rock and ice. Once in disrepair, the entire structure has been rebuilt and expanded and in this rugged terrain it looks so inviting and welcoming despite it's odd location.
Still, to the north, the mountain peak towers into the clouds, often covered with snow and ice. This is where the glacier roosts, some hundreds of feet further up. Scaling it requires a skilful climber with ice and rock climbing gear. Its also treacherous and known for unforeseen fissures and the odd avalanche. Caution is aired when heading up that route.


Hazelon has, well, Hazelon has run away for a bit. When he had accepted the candidate knot he hadn't expected the level of conversation the other candidates would wish to engage in. Thus, when the morning break came, Hazelon had grabbed up a coat, his knife and a sturdy pair of boots and headed outwards with a promise that he would return before the afternoon shift had begun. Quiet is relished as he rests by the edge of the lake, idly tossing stones out onto the ice as he thinks, though he keeps thoughts thoughts to himself and does not speak aloud as some would.

Laurali hasn't run away from the Hall, but she has made an escape. Having been scheduled at the Weyr the last few days to help with the Infirmary work while the Weyr Games continue, the Sr. Apprentice has finally allotted some "free time" and rather than spend another minute of it cooped up, she heads out. Cold weather won't stop her! She's dressed warmly enough and she has her hair loose today under her hood and she's not alone either. Oh no, she got her favourite partner in crime—-err, her only friend to come along. Over her one shoulder are a pair of skates, the blades protected by cloth. "…never done this before…" she can be heard saying to the one joining her. She spots Hazelon sitting there and goes to wave, then hesitates mid-gesture when he seems so lost in thought.

Ezra trudges along with Laurali, up towards the frozen lake where the skating contests will be held in a few days. "It's fun, you'll pick it up pretty quickly," the young Holder assures her with a grin. The sight of Hazelon has his steps hesitating, but then he moves forward with another smile. "Hey, Hazelon. Mind if we use the lake for a bit?" Better to startle him now than to just start skating, right?

Smiles, smiles, all around? Except Hazelon doesn't join it. He is startled by being suddenly addressed, he had been so sure of his quiet here with the cold and distance. Annoyance kicks in for his inattention, and a slight frown spreads across his lips. Swiftly he will stand, pulling on the bottom of the coat to right it. "Ain't usin' it."

"That's what they all say," Laurali sighs but her smile to Ezra is easy going and almost playful. She'll stop by the edge of the frozen lake and lower the skates while she peers sidelong to Hazelon when the Holder greets him. "You don't have to go… Didn't mean to disturb you," she murmurs softly. Then she just stares at the skates and then her boots before looking up to Ezra. "How do I get them on?" There's no benches here!

Ezra glances at Laurali, and then back to Hazelon. "Congratulations on Search," he says quietly. Genuinely. "I hope you do well out there. It's…a great opportunity. So. Congrats. Good luck." There's another pause. "You want to join us?" he offers. "Don't have another pair of skates but we can take turns." As for Laurali, he grins. "Here, I'll help," and he kneels down in front of her. "Put your hands on my shoulders to keep your balance, we'll do one at a time."

Hazelon wavers between leaving the pair to their sport and staying. Leaving means returning to the chatter of the candidates, and he isn't quiet ready for that. Perhaps the Stonehaven holder and the healer will at least allow him to remain silent. Thus decided he shakes his head at Ezra's offer to join them, and sits back down on his rock, just a few paces away. He'll just watch.

Laurali blinks when Hazelon remains silent and almost goes to engage him until she remembers how well that worked the first time. So she only offers him a shy, reassuring smile. At least, that is, until Ezra is kneeling down in front of her and she fidgets, looking a bit sheepish. "I could've done it myself… just… had to be shown how?" she protests and yet her hands will go to his shoulders, even if hesitantly. This is not entirely proper.

What's so improper about it? He undoes the laces on her boot and helps her tug it off, then puts the skate down for her to put her foot into it. "You want them tied snug," he says, "especially around the ankle. But not so tight your toes can't wiggle. Is that good?" He glances over at Hazelon, feeling a bit odd not engaging him in conversation. But if the Candidate wants to stay quiet, Ezra won't push him.

Hazelon will actually smile at Laurali, rather reassuring. Yes. It is okay to just ignore him. Better that way. He allows his thoughts to drift off again, though not completly, as he keeps a less than covert watch on the pair. Ezra's gaze is met just briefly, so Hazelon drops his gaze, allowing it to fall naturally onto the skate which Ezra is strapping to the woman's feet. Maybe he's just learning to tie a skate properly.

Laurali can be strange sometimes but she'll settle once she's focused on watching Ezra slip on the skate and how he ties it. Testing the skate, she'll nod her head. "It's good," she murmurs, her hands still gripping his shoulders. "Guess if they're too loose it'll be like a bad pair of boots?" she assumes quietly. She won't push Hazelon either, his smile noticed and acknowledged. It won't keep her from idly rambling though. Nervous? Maybe. Not so much for the Candidate's silence but for what she's about to attempt. "Beautiful out here. Quiet. Surprised more haven't come here though I was told in a previous winter Festival they had this whole area transformed. Something about a tunnel of lanterns…"

Ezra nods, "Yeah, and your ankle can roll, and that's bad." Obviously. "Okay, balance on your skate while we do the other one…" He nods as she speaks. "Yeah, this is a neat area up here. They've done festivals and even one of the weyrling graduations. That cabin is for rent too," he says, tipping his head towards it. "Usually used more in the summer months though…but it looks cozy enough."

"Is that safe?" Hazelon's voice finally calls out, his eyes still on Laruili's skates. He is a bit dubious about the whole idea of heading out onto a sheet of ice with what amount to knives strapped to one's feet.

Laurali wrinkles her nose, "Don't have to tell me that twice! Not about to twist my ankle, thank you. I'd never hear the end of it." But at least she could diagnose and treat herself? Bonus. Kind of. Nodding, she'll balance as Ezra's asked, chewing at her lower lip as she wobbles a bit before steadying. Cough. Looking over to the cottage, her eyes widen a bit in surprise. "The whole cottage? Who'd rent a whole cottage? It'd be… the marks…" She can't even fathom splurging like that. It was difficult enough for her to purchase the jewelry she did from Amethyst's exhibition. Hazelon's remark has her snorting in amusement and her smile to him is a touch wry. "Probably not, but we'll find out? Folk do it regularly enough. Can't be… that bad…?" She just jinxed herself, didn't she?

Ezra grins, "Yeah, the whole cottage. Not terribly expensive in the winter months, but. Yeah. Folks use it for parties mostly. I was looking at the records, thinking we might build a few cottages in Stonehaven to rent out…" Of course. When her skates are on he waits until she's steady - or holding onto something else - before he sits down to start putting on his own skates. "It's safe. That ice is at least three feet thick now," he reassures Hazelon with a little smile.

Hazelon isn't about to speak again. Not when he can instead dubiously eye those skates and then peer out onto the ice. His experience with the Stonehaven's has yet to be anything but safe, and he really does doubt that this venture will be any different.

Laurali levels Ezra with a long look, brows knit together in quiet thought. "Is that wise?" she asks and promptly blushes. "… not that I mean to question you, but… do you have the land to spare?" Her skates are on and she was comfortable with them when she had Ezra's shoulders to brace on. Only now he's gone to put his pair of skates on and she sort of wobbles and takes a tentative step forwards. Step. Wobble. Grimace. "This is awkward." she sighs. She's so going to make a fool of herself. "No cracking your skull, Ezra or so help me! I'll leave you to your brother…!" Hey, it's a frightening threat!

Ezra glances up at Laurali, and smiles a bit. "Maybe? I've just been looking into it. We might have some land further up the valley, that's more difficult for grazing. If it's not being used for that, why not make little vacation spots? It's just an idea though. Few turns away at the earliest." He nods. "It's very awkward. Easier on the ice." Then he pushes himself up to wobble on his own skates, taking a second to get used to the way they feel. He laughs. "I'm more worried about you. You're new. I'm good." Relatively speaking. He reaches out towards her for her hand. "Come on, I'll help you get onto the ice and get used to it."

Hazelon actually snorts faintly at the Stonehaven's boasting. Back on that rock he settles firmly, keeping a weather gaze on the pair as they venture out onto the ice. You wouldn't see him out there. He might actually have fun.

"An idea to consider," Laurali agrees and leaves it at that. She's not about to debate what to do with Stonehaven with Ezra. That's not her place. She'll take a few more awkward fumbling steps and narrow her eyes at him of his laughter. "So you think I'm just going to be useless on the ice because I'm new?" she says dryly but her eyes betray her teasing nature. Glancing sidelong to Hazelon, she smirks. "Here goes nothing?" And she'll take Ezra's hand, gripping firm as she looks ahead again and allows herself to be led lout on the ice. The first skate glides, the other catches, causing Laurali to utter a startled sound as she struggles to compensate. "…woah…"

Ezra nods. "Yes," he says, amused. "Everyone is, until they get the hang of it." Holding her hand firmly, he helps her out onto the ice while he stays on the bank for now, letting her get a feel for it. "There you go. Just relax." He glances at Hazelon as well, smirking at the Candidate's snort. Just you wait. Ezra doesn't have many skills but…he's a pretty good skater.

A slight lift of his eyebrow is all the response Hazelon gives to the glances which both skaters cast in his direction. Reaching downwards he pulls his knife out of his boot and collects a stick. His sticky thoughts are returned to as he slowly turns that stick into a pile of kindling.
"Relax!" Laurali scoffs but her voice holds a hint of laughter to it. "How can I relax when I feel like I'm drunk?" She's been drunk before? "This is… so strange…" She tries to walk normal like and succeeds in only making a series of awkward half-steps that likely make her look as ridiculous as she feels. Ezra may find that his hand is freed, but she'll clutch at his arms instead and when she's not entirely focused on not falling flat on her butt, she'll look again to Hazelon.

Ezra glances at Hazelon again, but only briefly before he looks back to Laurali, grinning. "Glide. Like you're in socks on wood floors."

Hazelon however, isn't looking at the pair on the ice any more. His moody thoughts have returned in full force, and that stick is soon sharpened to a point. Pausing in his kindling-making, he'll lean down and use that point to scratch something in the snow, before reaching out to brush it away with a small shake of his head.

Laurali sighs, "I don't know how that feels either." she mutters under her breath to Ezra, giving him a look. Thanks a lot? She'll give the gliding a try though and after a few tentative and nervous tries and some success she begins to gain some confidence. "Okay…" This isn't so bad? Look! She's even letting go of Ezra's arms! She'll push away, taking slow, gliding steps that still turn to awkward clomping at times until she picks up a rhythm. "This isn't so bad!" Laurali admits and eventually tries a little more speed… only to realize she hasn't quite mastered how to stop. In fact, she doesn't know HOW to stop at all! Pinwheeling her arms, she stumbles and goes right for the snow covered shoreline and right for Hazelon. Hi, Candidate! Have a girl on her knees and practically in your lap. At least she missed the sharpened sticks and kindling?

Ezra looks back at Hazelon, frowning a little bit. "You okay?" he calls, stepping onto the ice to follow after Laurali…and follow a bit more quickly when she takes off to fall in front of Hazelon.

Hazelon's knife is thankfully off to one side when Laurali decides to fall for him. Or on him. Whichever. The stick is abruptly dropped to the ground and he actually reaches out to grab her, and maybe stabilize her enough so that she doesn't continue to fall onto that knife. It's sharp. Hazelon has made sure of that. "Not so bad?" A question. Delivered in a dry, dry, dry voice.

Laurali will only grab at Hazelon for the same reason, to stabilize herself before she winds up even more embarrassed by the situation — or impaled on that knife. "Sorry, sorry… shards, I'm sorry… You alright? Shells and shards…" she mutters under her breath, apologies and curses mixed evenly. That dry, dry spoken question has her peering up at Hazelon with a frown, her cheeks already darkened by a mortified blush. Her lower jaw firms though and she snorts with equally dry humour. "Stuff it." she grumbles and quickly pushes back from the Candidate, scooting back on her knees and then looking over her shoulder to Ezra. "Sorry." He gets an apology too! At least she seems okay?

Ezra glides to a stop and steps off the ice, reaching down to help Laurali to her feet. "You both okay?" See? Both. He cares. "Don't apologize, everyone falls," he reassures Laurali with an easy smile. "C'mon, back onto the ice and we'll take it slower this time."

Hazelon doesn't help the woman stand up, instead crossing his arms across his chest. Mute he will sit, maybe he didn't accept her appology. Then he shakes his head and goes to pick up that sharp stick of his, a quiet tail end of a mutter, "….sharding safe…" the only words which can be heard.

Laurali accepts Ezra's help and once she's reasonably steady she'll try to brush the snow from the front of her skirt… and almost end up face planting again. Luckily she'll grip Ezra's shoulder and mutter another whispered oath. "Yeah, I'm fine. And I said I was sorry…" That last is to Hazelon, for his muttering. "… I didn't mean it." She'll let Ezra lead her back onto the ice and she's reluctant to go off on her own now. This time though, she asks. "How do I stop…?"

Ezra glances over his shoulder at Hazelon, frowning a bit, but he says nothing. After all, /they/ intruded on his quiet time. Then Laurali almost fell on him. Ezra looks back at Laurali. "You turn one foot to slide the skate sideways. Like this," and he demonstrates, turning one foot to the side. "It drags, and you stop."

Hazelon lifts an eyebrow up at Laurali's statement, perhaps implying that he seriously doubts it. The steady click of his knife rubbing against the stick echos out again, as he begins to sharpen the other end of it sliver by sliver. Maybe he's going to start a fire out here after all. A glance upwards at the sun checks the time. He should probably be getting back to the weyr and afternoon chores soon.

Laurali would have likely protested again to Hazelon's implied doubts but she can only frown heavily at him before focusing on her skating. Well… more like a lesson at this point. She's keeping one hand on Ezra's arm or at least sticking very close to his side. "Oh." Now she feels stupid. It's so simple! "Thanks…" And she'll try it. First few times are shakey, but she'll manage in time. No master of skating, but gaining enough that she can move a little more freely. When she comes around by Hazelon again, she'll promptly stop this time. See?

Ezra skates alongside Laurali, slow and steady. "There you go, you're getting it," he praises quietly. When she stops in front of Hazelon, Ezra nudges her a bit. "I think he wants some quiet…"

A flick of his gaze upwards again. Was she looking for applause? Hazelon has none to give, but instead will stand up from his rock. Reaching backwards he wipes snow from his butt and kicks at the pile of kindling he had produced. He's not leaving yet, but it is almost that time.
Laurali is nudged forwards but she'll stop again, peering at Ezra from over her shoulder and then back to Hazelon. Her frown deepens and she starts to turn to skate away, only to change her mind. "If I offended you, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to or ruin your… your quiet." she murmurs, her eyes lingering on him for a few heartbeats and then she will skate forwards again. Not very fast or far (or graceful), but she's moving again.

Ezra glances back at Hazelon, and then he skates after Laurali. "There you go. Want to learn how to turn?"

Hazelon shrugs. "Should know better by now to not be goin' where people are lookin' to have fun." Hazelon's way of saying 'no offence taken', before he's off. Boots crunch heavily in the snow as a very visible tail of his passing is left behind him. Back to the weyr. Back to work.

Laurali bristles at first, stiffening beside Ezra as she takes what Hazelon's says as an insult until her more logical mind kicks into gear. No, no, silly! Her posture relaxes and she sighs, both in relief and utter confusion. "I don't get him. He never talks and I feel like I've done nothing but… but insult him just with my presence." she admits and then yelps softly when she wobbles again and has to clutch at Ezra to keep from wiping out. Grumbling and regaining her footing, she'll nod. "Please tell me turning is easy?"

Ezra watches Hazelon go, before he shakes his head at Laurali. "I don't think you insulted him? I mean…he was out here for quiet and we showed up, but. He said we could skate. Don't worry about him, just relax and enjoy yourself. He'll be fine." As for turning, he smiles. "No." He moves, shifting to skate backwards in front of her, reaching to take her hands. "We'll start to the right. Turn both feet out at an angle, like this," and he demonstrates. "I'll keep yous teady."

"I understand the need for quiet but not talking or answering us? I just… Fine, alright." Laurali will desist, though her eyes do glance briefly to where Hazelon's tracks in the snow lead back to the Weyr. Poor girl. She was once quiet and withdrawn too and she should know better. "I am enjoying myself," she assures Ezra, only to pout when he bursts her hope for the next lesson being easy. "Okay… here goes…" Laurali murmurs, taking his hands in hers and doing her best to follow his example. She wobbles and fumbles her way through, but she doesn't fall! Grinning, she'll skate forwards and try again, then to the left (because how hard can it be?). All done slow, so very, very slow.

Ezra gives her hands a gentle squeeze. "Sometimes people just need quiet." She of all people… He holds her hands firm and steady, turning with her as he continues to skate backwards. "See? You're getting it!"

Laurali lowers her head a bit and sighs again, "You're right. I should've just left him alone…" she murmurs and only seems to realize now how Ezra is skating… Backwards!? "How are you doing that?" she asks, almost missing his praise to which she blushes faintly to. "Don't jinx…" Her. Next breath and suddenly she's lurching forwards when the point of her skate catches a rut in the ice. Her hands grip Ezra's hard, but it doesn't stop her from hitting the ice knees first after she wrenches her body to keep her legs from splaying at odd angles. Not a graceful fall and hopefully Ezra can brace himself else he may end up pulled down with her.

Ezra does brace himself, bending to try very hard to catch her. "Oh! I'm so sorry." He shouldn't have let her fall, and he crouches in front of her, very mindful of where his skates are. Wouldn't be good to clip a finger.

Laurali won't fall entirely to the ice, landing on her knees and sliding forwards a bit until they stop. Her hands grip fiercely to Ezra's arms when he braces himself and turns into a safety net for her but they'll drop when he crouches down. Setting her skirts to right, she'll sit on the ice for a moment, her features almost hidden by her hair and hood. "Not your fault," she mumbles. Her pride? Is bruised. So are certain parts of her, judging by the way she rubs her gloved hand against her left knee. Ow? "My skate caught the ice and I wasn't ready for it. That's all."

Ezra tilts his head a bit, peering at her and reaching out to try and move her hair and hood aside. "Are you okay?" he asks gently. More than physically okay. "If this isn't fun we can do something else. Hike, or just relax. Maybe check out the cabin?"

Laurali doesn't pull away when he moves her hair aside and her hood. She looks up at him from under her brows and she smiles softly. "I'm fine, Ezra. Just my pride, that's all." To prove it, she'll begin the awkward fumbling attempt to get back to her feet and she'll probably have to use him to brace herself. Once she's upright, she'll let him go and then peer towards the cabin. Her eyes widen a bit and it's obvious she wants to go. "Can we skate a little more? I am enjoying it, honest! But the cabin… I am curious about it."

Ezra smiles warmly at her, helping her up and then linking his arm with hers. "Yeah, let's skate some more," he says, gently leading her forward across the ice. "Then we'll see the cabin."

Laurali links her arm with his and smiles back, "Thank you for showing me how to skate and putting up with my clumsiness." she murmurs as they skate along. Her movements aren't quite graceful yet and she seems to favour one side over the other. Beginner's awkwardness? Not quite. "… Ezra, can we go to the cabin?" Now. She sounds and looks guilty, loathe to stop their skating but it's becoming obvious that she's not entirely comfortable.

Ezra chuckles. "It was my pleasure! I ahven't skated in turns, so…thank you for coming out with me." Only then does he notice her 'limping'. "Are you sure you're okay?" he asks, steering her towards the cabin. "We can walk in our skates, and once we're inside I'll get our boots," he suggests.

"Really? Not in Turns?" Laurali seems surprised by that, given how many winters Ezra has seen here in Fort Weyr and during how many festivals? She chuckles, "How could I pass up the chance to try? I'd never have done it alone or with anyone else. At least with you I can fall and though I've bruised my pride," And probably her knee. "I know you won't laugh. I'm fine…" She assures him again and after a brief pause she will add in a quiet whisper. "… it has a bathroom, I hope?" Ignore her blushing. His suggestion earns a nod and a small smile. Lead on?

Ezra shakes his head. "Who would I skate with?" he reminds her. "Oh yeah, there's a bathroom." Silly girls and their need to sit down. "This way," he says, helping her towards the cabin and up the stairs, wobbly though she might be on her skates. "Down the hall, first door on the right. I'll go get our boots and things."

Laurali blinks and then chews at her lower lip as she looks down again as they skate to the shore. "Oh." Right. Duh! Relief flickers in her eyes when he confirms that there's a bathroom. Yes, she's a girl! And a good thing he didn't say that out loud or she'd have elbowed him in the kidneys (no, she wouldn't). Following his lead, she'll be grateful for his support when she does prove wobbly and ungainly. "Thank you," she murmurs and steps inside the cabin. She'll take the skates off once inside though, to save cutting up those nice wood floors. Finding the bathroom is no problem and by the time Ezra returns, she'll be waiting at the front door and foyer for him. Maybe she feels strange being in the cabin alone?