How to Chill Out

Fort Weyr - Galleries

The galleries are carved right out of the rock face, the rows and rows of benches rising high up into the air on a slight slant. Stone and wood benches that used to be known for offering little in the way of comfort, are now padded with cushions in Fort Weyr's colors. Placed along the railing at regular intervals are antique looking baskets filled with cheery fabric flowers. The curving walls sport tapestries in warm vibrant colors that seem to add a dash of color to the otherwise dreary stone. Where the galleries curve slightly at the ends, affording those attending hatchings or clutchings a decent view of the sands, shaded laterns offer warm lighting along the rows of benches.


The baking sands, perfect for hardening eggs and perhaps the dragon queen lounging upon them, are not so for their human counterparts. With that end in mind comes D'ani, his jacket shed as soon as he enters the cavern, one hand raked through his helmet hair and a shift to the leather backpack he's got slung over one shoulder. It's been a few hours since his project began - items collected and arranged before the actual assembly began. He's just finished the last bit not long ago and now seeks the one for whom his work has been for. "Inri?" He calls quietly, looking about in the dimmed light, for it is well past midnight now and the Weyr sleeps. Perhaps she's over by Kouzevelth, in which case, he's loathe to cross the sands lest he disturb the dragon.

Technically, that's accurate — Inri is over on Kouzevelth, using sleepy gold's foot as a chair. She is awake, because her sleep schedule is strange and it's hot — otherwise she'd be asleep in the nook, and not actually on her dragon. Kouzevelth is sleeping, and doesn't act as if she's remotely disturbed when Inri, hearing her name, stands up. "Hm? Hi," she calls, placing whose voice she heard and heading off the sands up the steps. "I'm up."

D'ani silently beckons Inri over to the side of the sands with a grin. He'd prefer Kouzevelth to continue slumbering, thanks, though she's never been irate with him, there's no sense risking it. When Inri's within earshot, he offers her the arm without his backpack and jacket. "I've got something for you," he says with brown eyes a-twinkle and a chinlift to the shadowy galleries above, "up there." He's having a hard time keeping his enthusiasm in check, but manages to be quiet - for now. "Can you leave her for awhile?"

"She probably won't even notice," Inri says with an affectionate glance at her dragon and a little bit of a laugh in her voice. "Sleeps like a rock so long as she knows the eggs are okay. With her wings over 'em half the time I can't imagine how they wouldn't be." The answer would be if something actually disrupted her, but Inri's stepping mere feet away, still in visible distance, isn't going to be one of those things. Accepting the proffered arm, she grins. "You've got something for me this late? Must be quite a something."

D'ani sends a look towards Kouzevelth, a bemused curiosity in the flickering half-smile about his mouth as he murmurs, "Mothers." It's been a long time since he's been the object of his mother's over-protection, and yet… heh, how well he remembers! His attention returns to Inri and his smile grows as he looks down at her. "I hope you think so. C'mon!" And off he goes, and while leading her up the stairs he's curbing the impulse to run up them, dragging her with him, he still ascends them quickly. He leads her towards the front railing, over to the other side where the far isle meets to make a large T space. It's a huge… plywood box, or it appears so. "It's inside there," he gestures, again with his chin. A…giant gift? Moreover, as he leads her to the far side and sets his jacket and the backpack down on a nearby seat, "You'll need to go inside to see it properly." Now that he has a hand free, he slides a door that is on the end of a short crawl tunnel in.

That is DEFINITELY a giant gift, especially if that's just the box. Thankfully it isn't, but it's not like Inri knows that; she looks extremely confused, raising first one eyebrow and then both at the bronzerider, then shrugs and obeys. There's a door in the box. Inri has a sense of adventure. She will crawl into the box, why not? (If Kouzevelth were awake, she would be judging. She isn't.)

It's a giant Inri-trap! Only no, not really. To those raised brows, D'ani says nothing to explain, simply grins back at her in a dare-ya way, knowing full well Inri will rise to the challenge. When Inri begins crawling, she'll see the cold shine of ice - handcarved blocks that form a curved tunnel leading deeper inside. As she proceeds further, the tunnel opens into a shimmering dome, lit by glows placed above the blocks of the clear crystalline structure to shine through the ice and shed a diffused, watery bluish light inside. There's padding on the floor, covered by a pretty round carpet, a few large overstuffed pillows for sitting and reclining upon and a small, short table with a delicate china tea set, plates and a cookie tin. The atmosphere is chilly after the sands, though surprisingly not freezing. It might, however, require wearing a sweater or light jacket if one were to remain in here for a long period of time. All of this inside of… a box. While outside, D'ani, holding his breath, listens for Inri's reaction.

Which is essentially: "Okay, this is awesome." It's not a word Inri uses a lot, but it's definitely the right one here. In its original meaning. It is actually awe-inspiring, in a way. He actually made an igloo out of a box in the galleries. "Are you going to stay out there," she calls, "or join me in my nice cold break?" Where she may or may not actually end up falling asleep, because this is a lot nicer than down there, even if there is no bed.

Outside, D'ani breathes again, drops to his hands and knees and starts to crawl in before backing out, stretching to reach that discarded backpack. He snags it and pushes it up the tunnel before him, pulls the sliding door down over the entrance and enters the igloo a moment later. "As long as you keep that door shut, the ice ought to last inside here until the eggs hatch," he tells her. And then snaps his fingers, digs in his pocket and pulls out an object. "When you're away, might want to keep it locked so the weyrbrats don't get in and let the hot air inside." He offers her a padlock and key before smiling at her quietly, "Couldn't have you crying from the heat, could I."

"You're too sweet," Inri says, taking them and situating them in that bag she's still practically always got on her; the one that was a weyrling graduation gift. So it's well-worn by now. But sturdy and solid. "Or, maybe, just sweet enough. And it's cozy but not so small as to be suffocating." D'ani wins a kiss: it is just a kiss on the cheek, she'd hate to be pushy, but it's something. "I could clearly just — live in here, if Kouzevelth wouldn't complain about not being able to see me eventually."

D'ani, without missing a beat, "I'll bring you a hand mirror? So Kouzevelth may see you through your eyes?" He's smiling though, indulgently so. Dragons. What can you do? The prize is well worth his efforts - he and his cheek are pleased with the kiss. "Oh - I almost forgot!" He pulls that backpack to the fore and opens it. From it comes a few containers, steam rising from them. "Dinner," D'ani says with a rueful half-smile. "Though in rather than out. I hope you don't mind." Since they never got to Ierne.

"How could I refuse being able to eat in an igloo." Inri will probably be doing a lot of it, actually, but there's nothing wrong with sharing the first time. It might actually be the time that's the issue, if there is one at all: "Though it is something like midnight. I'll never sleep." Which is said with a smile; she doesn't mind, it's merely a statement of fact. She can sleep later, it isn't like the sands aren't immensely soporific. "We'll get to do out. Later. When those eggs hatch."

"By saying no?" One twinkling brown eye winks right after; he's in a light-hearted mood. Those covered containers are set upon the little end table that they may sit at easily because the legs have been sawn off short. The food is hot, but it's light, crispy-fried finger food. That's likely because the only place open where he could get something this late was from the Gemstone. So it's barfood in an igloo, somewhat unorthodox for a first date, if you could call it that. Added to that a couple of icy bottles of ale and lastly, from that backpack, "Not that you don't have plenty of paperwork to keep you busy while stuck here, but I thought you might enjoy this." Beside her plate he places a small volume. It's a book of poetry. Perhaps it'll put her to sleep?

Unorthodox, but somehow so them that it really suits, doesn't it? Inri seems completely satisfied, even pleased to see food from what is essentially her old home popping up. "Fitting a table in here was pretty clever, I have to admit," she says, letting that perfected manicure go to waste by eating something messy and apparently not caring. She has time to redo that manicure. "Oh, no, it's nice to have something else to read! That isn't just records work or helping plan candidate chores. I actually thought about making the candidates write me stories. I think this is better."

It does. They're both fairly casual. D'ani shifts to sit cross-legged, regarding Inri with a half-smile tugging at his mouth for a few moments before opening those bottles and sliding one over to her. "I figured it would come in handy for doing paperwork." Ah the unescapable paperwork! At least she can now do it where it's cool. It's a low-tech solution, but that fits Fort well. "Stories from candidates. What an interesting idea! You should totally do that!" He means it, really. He's hungry, hauling blocks of ice from the Barrier Range has given him an appetite, so he too eats, content to listen to Inri's chatter. "It's better now that she's risen," he observes casually. "You've a couple of turns to enjoy some peace…" Yeah, he's seen what she goes through for her lifemate.

"And not standing outside wanting to claw my skin off getting rained on. I hope she takes longer than two." Inri looks in her lifemate's direction, for all that there's wall between them — Kouzevelth is still sleeping, clueless to the insult. "At least this time it was short. She was proddy for what, a day? But everyone knew to go when the rain started, so I actually appreciate the signal for that much. I might reconsider the candidates writing me stories." She actually really enjoys having minions. Who would be surprised to find fewer people agree to stand for Kouzevelth's clutches for that exact reason?

D'ani chuckles even though the image she creates is vaguely horrifying. "Yes, please, let's keep your hide intact and on you where it belongs." He nods solemnly about the swiftness of Kouzevelth's rising. "I couldn't think of anything but-" He stops right there, then laughs and says quickly, "Well, nevermind, I'm sure you can imagine!" He coughs, lifts that bottle to his lips and drains half of it. Speaking of minions, he's going to have to help find her some. Preferably ones with mad writing skills. With that end in mind, he reaches for her hand, and if she'll permit, kisses the back of it. "If I'm to ride Search tomorrow, I'd best go sleep. I'm sure I'll see you tomorrow." He'll have something icy, despite she now has an igloo and doesn't need him. He'll linger to hear her reply and then take his leave, exhausted but pleased.

"Oh," Inri actually yawns, because yes, she's tired too — and now she's eaten, which tends to make one more sated-feeling, and thus able to actually sleep slightly after midnight — but also smiling in a slightly stupid way at the hand-kiss. She certainly won't refuse those; for all that she's a social flirt, she's also something of a quiet, soft romantic. Given the opportunity. "Are you? All right. If you have time, I'm sure you have enough to do between Weyrseconding," that is totally a word, "and craft duties. And visiting me more." That last one, it's a requirement. But he did say he'd see her tomorrow — and hopefully he does. Once he goes, she's reluctantly moving back to the sands' nook to nap, wishing Kouzevelth would let her stay in the igloo, but the pull back when she's tired is too strong to resist.


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