Warning: Adult Themes

The hail strewn on the ground is melting under the steady plop-plop-plop of raindrops, but there's still enough of hailstones to rattle as Borodin makes his way across the bowl. His hands are shoved deep in his pockets, his shoulders hunched up, and he's staring at the ground ahead of him. Really, glaring would be more precise. He's heading for the tunnel at a very deliberate sort of walk, and he's completely soaked.

Caught first by the hail storm and now by the rain, Zapallie is coming up the tunnel soaking wet and looking absolutely foul of mood. Wouldn't you be if you were drenched and pummeled in a freak storm? Ah well. Crunch crunch along go her short boots on the melting hail, and luckily she sees the determinedly walking Cook-Candidate before he can plow into her. "Borodin?"

Borodin stops at the sound of his name. He looks up at Zapallie. He stands there, for a long moment, still with his jaw set and his shoulders hunched, still getting spattered by the rain. His jaw shifts, then settles back again, and he looks down to Zap's feet as he lets out a breath. "…hey." he says, on the end of that breath.

Well, really only one of them can be in a foul mood and sustain a conversation, so Zapallie lets hers go, tipping her head sideways. "What's wrong?" she asks, stepping in to try to draw him under the overhang and out of the rain.

Foul grumpings, the conversation. It'd be fabulous. Maybe not. Borodin seems to be arguing with himself, standing out in the rain for several moments before he finally steps underneath the ledge, facing the stone as his head leans forward, forward, thump. "It's just stupid," he mutters. "I shouldn't even… it's stupid."

Zapallie now looks very confused, and slightly concerned for Borodin's brain. "Didn't we discuss the head thumping thing?" she chides him gently. "It's not stupid if it's making you feel bad. What's wrong?"

Only one thump, this time, after which Borodin leaves his head resting against the stone. He doesn't reply about the head-thumpy, nor does he answer the other immediately. He just closes his eyes, and after a moment, speaks without opening them. "I didn't say anything. I didn't, but… and that wasn't even what I was thinking. She just…" His jaw sets again, and he opens his eyes as he lifts his head to turn to Zapallie… and the set jaw disappears as he actually looks at her. "I… it was about Fellan. Only, not really, I guess, it was just… just me and Abbey."

Zapallie arches one eyebrow. "Okay, okay… only a mental person could follow that. You are mad about Fellan? And Abigail?" That's what she got out of that. She hopes.

Borodin twists up his mouth a bit and shrugs one shoulder in a sort of yes-and-no. "I'm not mad about Fellan. If Abbey wants to… whatever with him, that's up to her. It's just… She mentioned him. And, so… I asked if she'd seen him. And she said no, and then… I didn't say anything, and she was all, "I know you don't like him," all smug, and…" He glances to the wall. It's so thumpable. "I told you it was stupid." He does not, however, thump his head. Instead, he looks back to Zapallie. "I'm mad at Abbey. Because… she thinks she knows me so perfectly, but she doesn't."

Zapallie ahs quietly. "Family is good for that," she says knowingly. "Always think they know you, what's best for you, what you should do…and it's rarely what is actually what you want or should do, as much as just…what they want for you." Huffing out a breath, the teenage girl leans against the wall beside him and looks him in the face unless he's going to bury his face in the wall again. "Do you think she's seeing him just to irritate you?"

Family. Borodin nods slowly for that part, and some of the tension in his shoulders is relaxing out. "Yeah…" he says. His eyes can't seem to decide if they're willing to meet Zapallie's or will just look at her lips or out past her shoulder, but his face, at least, stays turned toward hers. "No," he answers promptly. "I think she likes him. And she doesn't see why I… don't." He sighs.

Zapallie has nice lips, much less strange than her eyes, so it's perfectly fine if he wants to look at those. "I see why you don't," answers Zapallie with a shrug. "He's downright monsterous towards me every time he sees me, and I've never done a thing to him." Aside from insulting Borodin in front of him, but obviously they're all past that well enough.

Right, which is why Borodin's talking to Zapallie about how he dislikes Fellan and not the other way around. Makes perfect sense. His eyes go up to hers, mismatched as they are, and he smiles for a moment. Just a moment. "Yeah. Well. It's not up to me what she does. Or he does." Ah, but he's got a frown about it.

"You're right, it's not, and like as not your sister is not always going to do things you like. Best to not let it ruin your day." Zapallie looks out into the gloomy sky and says, "You're probably going to catch a cold standing out here soaking wet -" never mind that she is also soaking wet. "Ought to get somewhere to dry off and warm up."

"That's not the point," says Borodin, but his tone is more petulant than angry. He pushes himself away from the wall, standing up, and snorts a little. "Well, so had you. Go on, then." And he'll follow? Presumably.

Zapallie thinks about it for a second and then admits, "I was hoping you'd have a place in mind."

Ahhh, so there's the rub. Borodin nods once, and bites at his lower lip as he considers on it. Caverns are where he left Abbey. Candidate barracks are right out, given the company. What are other warm spots? Guard barracks are to laugh. Tavern's in the wrong direction. "Shardit," he mutters, then resumes a more normal voice. "Okay. We'll go to the caverns. They've got hot klah. Or there's the baths." Nothing like being hot and wet to fix being cold and wet!

Zapallie can't help it. She has to, she just has to. A little look is given sidelong at Borodin, a sly little smirk. "Are you saying you want to see me naked, Borodin?" silly boy!

Similarly, Borodin can't help the blush. "Uhm, well…" Cough, deep breath. Steady, boy. "I've been told that's just how it is in weyrs," he says with what he probably means to be an air of quiet dignity. After which, the blush brightens. "Also, yes. But I'm a Candidate."

"I won't hold it against you," Zap informs him cheekily. "It's only for… um…" frown, sigh. "Two more months, give or take a few seven." With the resignation of someone who'd much rather be naked in a pool with a certain boy, she says, "Well, we'd best go to the caverns then."

Apparently the cheeky is rubbing off, because, blush and all, Borodin answers, "I'd rather you did." Hold it against him, that is. Not the Candidacy, mind you, but… Ahem. The blush proves to be too much for him to sustain, and he simply nods to the prospect of the caverns and starts off that way. His walking pace is a little brisker than it used to be… and he's less out of breath. Apparently all that training is good for something besides making him late for dates.

Zapallie grins and calls him naughty, having no such problem with innuendo. She keeps up with him easily, being a rather athletic girl. "Soon you'll be all muscley and meat-headed," she teases him as they head out. "I can already tell you're losing a bit of weight."

Borodin glances down at his stomach dubiously. Is it really? Day over day… he's still the last one to finish every time they run around the track. "Well. Maybe." Aww, now he's all self-conscious and trying to stand up straight. He casts a glance sideways at her. "I still think you could beat me."

"I could," agrees Zapallie without apology, grinning at him. "And then I'd come back just to beat you again." Slyly she reaches over to brush at a wet lock of hair across his forehead and then puts her hands back at her sides, grinning like the cat who caught the canary.

Borodin, to be beaten not once but twice, laughs. "Maybe you could even make a habit of it," he says. The touch makes the grin turn into more of a smile, one that's hopeful and pleased all out of proportion with the degree of contact. His mouth moves, almost silently. "Two months."

Zapallie hears that soft movement of lips, guessing at his thoughts. "Or two turns. Either way." She rubs the back of her neck and comes away with a wet hand.

Right, that. Borodin frowns. If he impresses… real genuine dragonrider! And two months become two years. If he doesn't… well, that's not so bad. He has plans for that. He'll just be a cook. Or maybe a vintner, but probably a cook. "Either way," he repeats. "Well. I'll know in two months, if it's two years or what." The frown lingers, thoughtful.

Zapallie bumps him gently with her shoulder. "If it's two turns…I expect you'll have much more interesting ideas of what you'd like to do with me than you'll have in two months. And you'd better be able to kick my ass in a race, in case I make you chase me."

"…and just where am I supposed to find those ideas?" asks Borodin, leaning in and bumping back with his hip. He's just a poor innocent holder boy! He knows not of such things. Okay, yes, admittedly, he's been starting to have certain concepts, but who knows if they're even feasible, let alone, well, practical. Or do they need to be practical? He doesn't even know that!

"Books," replies Zapallie, deadpan. "Other men. Your girlfriend." All acceptable options!

That's it, Borodin will start reading Cosmo! …maybe not. He nods at the prospect of books. Also at the prospect of other men, though he blushes a bit at that one. As for the last, he holds his breath a moment. "Are you? I mean, are we… uhm, together?"

Zapallie glances at him. "I thought we were," she begins. "But if you don't want to be, that's cool too."

"No, uhm, I mean…" He ducks his head. "I do want to be," Borodin says softly. "I just… I don't know much about dating. Okay, so, really, I don't know anything. I mean, at the Hold, nobody would have wanted to. Er." He shakes his head. "I'm making a mess of this. Sorry. But, yeah. If you want it… I want it too."

Zapallie shrugs to that. "I don't either," she admits. "I don't exactly get close to people, you know." His awkwardness draws a laugh. "Borodin. Shh. I think you're perfectly wonderful. We can figure it out together as we go."

"Uhm. Yeah." Wonderful? Him? Borodin is somewhere between bemused and embarassed… but it definitely has a smile to it. He pauses, his hand reaching out for Zapallie's elbow. "Uhm. Before we go in…" The cavern entrance is looming close, and he's blushing a little. "Can I kiss you?"

To her credit, Zapallie doesn't flinch away from the unexpected touch so much as just freeze momentarily. And then she regains her smile. "Sorry. I don't…handle people touching me well. Not if I don't know it's coming. Yes. You can kiss me."

Borodin notices that freeze, yes… and he goes still for a moment in response. "Oh," he says softly, but he doesn't look away. "I'll try to remember. And… if you punch me… I'll know why." He smiles a little, a quirk in one corner of his mouth, and he steps around to in front of her. Borodin's still going for that kiss. His other hand approaches, moving at a careful speed for her waist, and he leans in with his head tilting and his eyes half-closing.

Now that she knows it's coming, Zapallie is perfectly fine with being manhandled. "I promise to try very hard not to punch you, Borodin." Isn't that sweet! Then she wraps her arms around his neck and leans in to meet him half-way and kiss him. Hopefully this one is better than the first one. Awkward nose-bonking, no bueno.

The noses, they do not bonk! Borodin is still many leagues away from being the sort of charmer that could make half of Pern have names beginning with Z, but he's definitely improving. His arm is around her waist in a hug, his lips are pressed to hers, and it is most certainly a kiss. Out in public, even, though at least the rain has kept the bowl relatively empty. Still, the news will no doubt get around. Probably fortunately, Borodin hasn't thought that far.

Zapallie will have to secretly hope there's no rule against kissing. She'll feel bad if one relatively tame kiss gets him in trouble. She pulls away after a moment, catching her lip in her teeth and grinning at him. It's a good thing he's not a charmer who can father half of pern. Zap's got enough of /those/ types in her life already. They did her no favors. Instead, he's out here kissing her in the rain! That's sort of romantic. And cute. And a wee bit charming.

Borodin grins back, with a look in his eyes that says 'more please!' and a hand that lingers on her waist for a long moment before he takes a breath. "Uhm." His hand draws away, fidgeting around to behind his back. About that rain. It is rather cold and wet, isn't it? "We… should head in." Such is the triumph of better judgement over urges! Two months. Or else two years. He'd better get to thinking. It's not all that long, for all the thinking he needs to do! "C'mon." He turns for the caverns… though his hand does reach out, hoping for hers. With luck, there's not a rule against that, either… but if there is, well, he'll just shovel dragon dung or whatever else it takes. Worst case? Two months turns into two days, and he learns how to ride pillion on a cow.

Two days! Gosh, he'd /better/ start thinking hard then. Or not. That way only leads to madness. (And blue balls…) She takes his hand and smiles over at him, letting him lead the way into the warm caverns.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.