Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests
Somewhere in Fort's vast forest and wilderness…


It's mid-day, and Kimmila has sent word through the appropriate channels that she needs Solan's assistance for the afternoon. No other information is given - at least not to the Apprentice - only that he should grab a lunch and his flight jacket and meet her in the bowl. She and Varmiroth are waiting, the blue wearing his straps and eager to be off.

And when Kimmila calls, the woodcrafter hustles. With his jacket slung over his left arm and a rather full backpack full of who-knows-what between his shoulders, Solan is quickly making his way across the bowl. Nearing the blue and his rider, the young man dips his head in deference to the dragon before smiling at Kimmila. "Well hello," Solan grins, "I heard you needed me? Getelle's given me leave to help out with whatever it is." Removing the pack, he dons his flight jacket and stands ready to climb aboard.

Vamiroth rumbles, pleased when he spots the apprentice, extending his muzzle for a pat if Solan would so oblige. "Excellent," Kimmila says, grinning and offering to take his bag. "I do, so glad he let you be at my beck and call for the afternoon. How're you?"

Such an invitation is never to be declined. Reaching forward, the young crafter affectionately pats Varmiroth's head and says, "Good to see you, Varmiroth. Thanks for ferrying us around today." Solan nods to Kimmila and hands the bag over; she'll of course notice that as with the last time they took a trip together, it's quite heavy. "I'm doing well, thanks! Getting busier as it gets colder out. Keeps me out of trouble. Well," he smirks, "mostly. And you?" He'll happily get up onto Varmiroth when its time, aiding Kimmila with the straps if he can.

Kimmila grunts playfully when she takes the bag, but she winks at him just the same, easily hefting it and securing it in the blue's straps. Then she's climbing up after him, and when they're both buckled in she gives Varmiroth a thump to the shoulder. Wings extend, and the blue surges upwards. "Mostly?" Kimmila calls over the whipping wind, glancing over her shoulder to grin at the woodcrafter. Soaring low over the bowl rim, Varmiroth sets off strong and swift over the forests.

Stomach lurching just a little - it always does when Solan flies - the young man laughs back over the noise. "Afraid I rather upset Polana the other day. A misunderstanding," he offers in the way of explanation. "Thought for sure she was going to drown me in the lake. We worked it out though," he says, sounding happy about it. "So where're we headed?" Looking down, he sees the bowl speeding away as the rugged greens and browns of the forest take root beneath them.

Kimmila frowns a bit. "What did you do?" Of course she's going to ask, as Varmiroth settles into a more steady rhythm. "You can swim, right?" And…she doesn't answer his question about where they're going. Nope! Not yet.

"Well, she and I both sort of—" Wait. Did Kimmila just ask if he could swim? The woodcrafter suddenly isn't so excited about their journey any more. "I can, yes," Solan answers back, the Polana discussion all but forgotten now. "Not as well as most, but yes," he's nodding. Not that Kimmila can really see that from upfront. "Are we heading back to Lester's?" he laughs nervously.

"What happened with Polana?" Kimmila presses, as Varmiroth tilts a bit to slightly change course. Nope. She's still not answering his question.

Solan's starting to find this all a bit worrying but it seems all he can do is wait and see. "I thought Polana and I were both interested in the same person. There was a dance the other night and the two of them spent a lot of time together," the woodcrafter explains, his shrug mirrored in his tone. "I got a little bit jealous of them and was a bit cool with her. I didn't mean to be," he roars over the wind, "but she stormed out of the hall and we didn't talk for a few days."

Kimmila glances over her shoulder to him with a thoughtful look. "Who might that be?" she asks, as Varmiroth drops a bit lower. Seems they are already approaching their destination, but so far it's impossible to tell where they're actually headed. It's not Lester's place though, that much is clear.

"Xavier," Solan admits. Though such preferences aren't out of place in a weyr, it's still not the easiest of admissions. "Though if you could keep that between us, I'd be appreciative. Xavier doesn't know and since we work together," he explains, "I don't want to make him uncomfortable. I'm moving on," he laughs. "Besides, as you and Abigail so adeptly pointed out, there's a new healer I'm kind of fond of, too." The blush creeping into his face is just from the wind. Right? Right. Peering down, Solan is still trying to parse out where they're going.

Kimmila looks a bit surprised. "Oh." She totally had him pegged…wrong. "Don't worry about it," she reassures him a moment later, with a thoughtful expression. Then she grins. "Lots of interests, Solan?" she teases. Winging over another strand of trees, Varmiroth circles to land on the sandy shores of a slow moving river. Broad and only deep in the middle, it's a beautiful, picturesque stream of clear water - except in that middle bit, where the ground drops off and is just deep enough to not see the bottom. Dismounting, Kimmila shrugs out of her jacket. "We're going for a swim."

"You know what they say," Solan replies, "spicy lives have varietyor something like that." He would normally chuckle but as Varmiroth comes in for a landing, the river has stolen his attention firmly away from that particular bit of conversation. And when Kimmila hops down and proclaims their upcoming swim, Solan is looking a little panicked. It's one thing to ride a raft; it's another to brave the waters yourself, especially where rivers are concerned (even if they are slow moving). "A swim," Solan says with a hint of confusion. "I take it I won't be needing my pack, then?" And why on Pern would they be going for a swim here?

Maybe she's trying to seduce him. Grinning, she's swiftly stripping down to her swimsuit underneath - a very functional, black one piece. "Variety is the spice of life," she corrects with a grin. "And no, you won't." Walking towards the river, she sticks a toe in with a small nod. "It's not too cold." Not freezing, is what she means.

"Ah, right," the woodcrafter is nodding at the correction when suddenly Kimmila starts stripping down. "I didn't exactly come prepared for this," Solan notes, leaving the pack strapped on Varmiroth. Prepared or not, it seems they are doing this and he'd better get a hustle. Removing his jacket, the woodcrafter drapes it up on Varmiroth and pats the dragon in thanks. "She always this mysterious?" he's whispering to the blue, laughing in the back of his head if not out loud. It isn't long before he's disrobed, too - stripped down to his undershorts and nothing else. Making his way towards the water, he's already shivering a little just looking at it. Like Kimmila, he dips his foot in and then nods, "You're right. It's just cold enough." There's a smirk in his eyes at least. "So are we swimming across? Downstream?"

Varmiroth is no actual help, but his rumble of amusement is pretty much a 'yeah, she is'. In the river, Kimmila points towards the center. "Neither," she answers. "There's a tool down there that I need you to retrieve." Is she serious? Seems like she is, even though she's grinning a bit wickedly at him. "Seems only fair, right?"

"A…tool," Solan says, his eyes flicking back to Varmiroth and the pack /full of tools/ strapped to him. "I mean, if you need a hammer or something, I have several?" But as Kimmila wades into the water, the woodworking is following. Obviously, she needs this tool, whatever it is. "You're right," Solan nods slowly, the coldness of the water not as bad as it could have been. If the tool had been lost in the weyr's lake - which was starting to freeze over in spots - it'd have been /really/ frigid. "You got my pack and I owe you," he admits. Eyeing the center - where it's just dark enough that you can't see bottom - he moves away, feeling the current push him lazily. "Is it a big tool? Small one?" After all, it is dark down there.

Kimmila moves further down stream, just in case he needs a rescue. And Varmiroth of course is at the ready. "It's a metal wood plane." Specific! Gesture. "About this big," she offers, holding her hands apart.

"Metal wood plane," Solan nods, the proper image springing to mind. Looking down into the darkness, the young woodworker does his best to quell the rising anxiety. He has to dive down into that? Recalling all that Kimmila and Th'ero have done for him the last few months - most notably what their friendship has meant to him — Solan resolves to do this without complaint. "One tool coming up," he half-smiles, noting the woman's position farther down the stream. With a final nod, he takes a deep breath and plunges into the cool, cool waters completely. Swimming down, he makes for the dark center as best he can.

It's not that difficult to locate really, the metal wood plane nestled darkly against the pale sand of the bottom. But…there's something else attached to it as well. Something white and braided, drifting along with the current.

Except Solan isn't that great of a swimmer and soon resurfaces for air. "I see it," he calls out, breathing deeply a couple of times. He's a little embarrassed that his swimming skills aren't as good as they probably should be. But then again, two brushes with drowning haven't made the woodworker excitable about the water, that's for sure. "I'll try again. I almost had it," Solan says, taking another deep breath and swimming down again. The plane is reached, the crafter's right hand clenching about its wooden knob and pulling only…what's this? A rope of some kind? With his left hand, Solan is now tugging on that, too. Is something attached to the other end? Or is it just drifting freely in the current?

Nope, it's just the planer with the short, white rope attached to it. Not attached to anything, it's just drifting freely in the current. Kimmila watches carefully, a little grin on her lips as he makes his next attempt.

As the end of the rope is reached, so, too, is Solan's oxygen supply. Planer in hand, the burly woodcrafter attempts to kick his way back to the top, knowing that crisp, fresh air awaits him at the break of surface. As the river pushes him gently, he uses his free hand in the effort as well.

Kimmila keeps herself downstream, just far enough on the edge of the bank that she can still touch the bottom as she waits for him to surface.

And surface he does, finally. Solan gasps for breath instinctively even as he keeps thrashing and kicking, his brain apparently not yet catching up to the fact that he's breeched the surface. As cool air rushes into his lungs, though, the woodcrafter begins to calm and looks around for Kimmila. Once she's spotted, he makes his way towards her until he's able to stand on two legs again. "One metal wood plane, as promised," he smiles, handing it over. "And no need for a rescue this time, it seems," follows a nervous chuckle.

Kimmila laughs as she takes the wood plane, hefting it in her hand. "No, no need for a rescue. Thank you. This is special to me." She says as she untangles the white rope and…tosses the wood plane up on the bank. Not that special? "Solan," she says, holding out the white rope - it's a knot, surprise? - "Varmiroth has been bugging me since the flight to Search you for this clutch. Will you accept?" On the bank, the blue wiggles, almost humming with eager anticipation.

As the wood plane is tossed - special indeed! - the knot itself is given attention and - wait, what?! "SSearched?" Solan is suddenly very, very confused. "For the clutch of eggs?" Eyes shift then the Varmiroth - that magnificent blue - and something inside the young woodcrafter suddenly explodes, the only evidence an inner mirth and gratitude that Solan a) doesn't entirely understand yet and b) can't even come close to hiding. A huge grin - damn near showing every tooth in the man's head - rends his face, the woodcrafter's gaze falling back on Kimmila. "I don't even know what to say. I mean, YES!" comes his reply, enthusiasm bursting from him like a broken dam. "Butwow. Thank you both," Solan beams. Obviously being a Candidate is no guarantee but it's the promise of possibility; a possibility the young man has secretly dreamed over since the first time he nearly drowned.

Kimmila is just grinning, looking all sorts of coy and satisfied and smug. "Yes," she answers his first stammered questions, moving towards the edge of the river because it's still cold. "Excellent!" she says happily, while Varmiroth bugles his own joy towards the sky, wings fanning. Kimmila laughs. "He doesn't Search that often, so he gets rather…proud of the ones he does find."

"Well," Solan can't stop smiling, "I am so incredibly honored to be Searched by him! And you!" he grins, still not sure what to even say or do. And so he'll just follow Kimmila towards the bank,looking towards the bugling Varmiroth and waving wildly at the dragon. "Thank you, Varmiroth! You have no idea what this means to me. Well," he considers, "maybe you do. In some way?" He still doesn't understand the nuances of dragons and their ways. "So what do I do?" Solan asks, suddenly very, very nervous as he climbs out of the river and offers a hand if needed.

Kimmila grins, stopping to scoop up the wood plane. That'll just go back to the store caverns, unless he wants it as a momento. "You're welcome," she chuckles, as Varmiroth extends his muzzle to wuffle warmly over his Candidate. His. "He knows that you're happy. And do? Dry off, fly home, and move into the barracks. Angelique will already be there, she was Searched by Th'ero this morning, so you already know someone in there. I think she's bringing her playset too."

With a shudder that's all bliss, Varmiroth's warm shuffle is happily received by the woodworker. One, he's cold from the water and two, Solan feels so incredibly honored to not just be a Candidate, but to be Varmiroth's Candidate. Grinning again, he places a hand on the dragon's hide and thanks him again. And then? Then it's time to dry off and put some clothes back on, just as Kimmila instructs. "Angelique? Oh, that's fantastic! She's one hell of a woman," he nods, pulling his shirt over his head. "We'll have to get some more mileage out of that playset, then," he snickers. As for moving into the barracks, well…variety IS the spice of life, after all. "Can't wait," he positively shines.

Kimmila dries off and gets dressed too - really, she was in her swimsuit just in case, and to add to the confusion. Because searching is best when it's a surprise. And you have time to plan. Then she laughs, with a grin. "Yes she is. We're off to a great start this Candidacy, I think." Then she's climbing up into the straps and helping him up as well. "Back to the weyr we go." That was a long way for a Search!

"Can't wait to see who else is chosen," Solan grins, climbing up onto Varmiroth with Kimmila's help. As the straps go on, he suddenly can't wait to fly. "Well then, I think life could potentially get a lot more interesting from here on out," he chuckles.

Kimmila laughs. "It could indeed. Though I think either way you've got a home in Fort," she says, looking back to smile at him. "At least I hope so," she says as she urges Varmiroth into the air. The blue springs up eagerly and swiftly, soaring higher and then starting the flight back to the weyr. Taking his time, letting them enjoy the sights.

"Whether I Impress or not, Fort is my home. Thanks to you, Th'ero, Angelique, and a few others I could name." Grinning, Solan is definitely looking around, soaking in all that can be seen from this high up. He doesn't fly often and so it's a treat he'll definitely take advantage of!

Kimmila smiles warmly and nods, knowing and understanding. Varmiroth takes his time to fly, and by the time they return to Fort they might have had their fill of the view. Settling down, the blue croons happily, satisfied in his afternoon's work. "You know the way to the barracks?" Kimmila asks when they're both down and she's returned his pack to him. "I need to go report the Search. Have to keep good records of our Candidates."

"Indeed I do!" Solan is nodding, sliding down after he's unstrapped. Taking a long look at both Varmiroth AND Kimmila, he says again, "Thank you for this. I'll do my best to make you proud to have Searched me," Solan promises. "And nowI'd better go have a talk with Getelle. Let him know what's going on and all," he nods, smiling as he takes back his pack. "Plus, I want to get a good /cot/," he snarks and waves. "I will definitely see you both again soon."