A Tale of Two Flights

Western Weyr - Suldith's Playhouse
This king sized weyr has plenty of space for humans and dragons alike. The floors have been worn smooth and mostly level while the walls remain more rough and uneven all in mottled shades of gray. The roomy dragon couch has been covered in a layer of padding and then furs.The arched opening from the ledge lets in light and when the tropical sun is at rest or hidden in the clouds baskets of glows chase away the darkness from their perches in sconce-like baskets around the weyr interior. A long bar provides a place to eat and is set with four tall barstools, set in front of a wall of cabinetry and a long counter for storage and simple meal preparation. A hewn firepit inhabits one wall and a plaid sofa and chair are set before it on a brick red rug, centered for conversation with a low coffee table and side tables. The living area is kept fairly neat.
The exception to the clean living area is the table in the living room. Zi'on apparently is using it as a work table for some sort of electronics project. It looks like it might be a computer monitor or some other viewing display. There are wires and nuts and bolts laying around, also a soldering gun and a voltmeter.
A smaller arch leads to a short hallway with a bedroom on one end and a washroom on the other. The bedroom is complete with a dresser, bedside tables and a large bed with a mirrored wardrobe reflecting light from glow baskets set around the room. It's very lived-in, there is clothing and random junk all over the place. The washroom is spacious and one corner is taken up by a deep tub and opposite that a shower large enough for at least two.

Zi'on figures this afternoon at Western is as good as any to take Kali out for a fly. It's overcast a bit, but not raining (at least not yet) and little cool but not cold. He's sent Kaliena a message via Sylvanas to meet him at his weyr though. First there's some business to attend to, it would seem. By now Kaliena has surely heard that Bennueth rose only to be caught by Suldith, which explains why Zi'on was unfindable an earlier night this week. It also means that Suldith is in an extra good mood, since he'll be on the sands with eggs again soon enough. Though Zi'on isn't much looking forward to that bit. Zi'on is putting on his nice leathers while another pair lay draped nicely over the back of the couch.

Gossip and Weyrs go hand in hand, so the news likely reached Kaliena's ears soon enough. It's not likely the girl or any of the weyrfolk could ignore another goldflight either. There is no reply to Sylvanas message and if she were the spiteful sort or the incredibly jealous type, Zi'on would be left waiting in his weyr. As annoyed and upset as Kaliena may be at the turn of events, she does eventually show up. Dressed for the cooler temperatures, she's wearing a light blue sweater that laces up the front of the v-shaped neckline and a pair of slim-cut dark grey pants. One her feet are a pair of thick soled, lined black boots. She's attempted to tie back her hair again, this time into a loose braid, but already pieces of it are beginning to slip free. And unlike previous visits, she'll knock on the door and wait to be called in by Zi'on before entering. Once she slips through and into the weyr, she lets the door click shut behind her. "Afternoon," Kaliena's blue eyes scan the weyr as she drawls her greeting in a tone that is as cool as the weather outside. It's not long before she spots the extra pair of leathers. Her mood brightens just a little at this, but as she takes a step or two forwards, she suddenly becomes hesitant and apprehensive.

Zi'on thinks that Kali might be the spiteful jealous type, actually. But he figures there might be some sort of chance that she'd want to at least come over to yell at him. For being.. a rider. Or winning flights. Or just in general for sleeping with someone that wasn't her. Maybe he's putting on his leathers for his own protection. In case she comes over to stab him with the knife he bought her. Zi'on moves to open up the door when she knocks, smiling at her. "Thought you might not come." Though her cool tone leads Zi'on to believe that he wasn't totally wrong. She is mad. And the smile quickly fades into a more sad look. "I'm glad you did though. Hi." He picks up the coat piece of the leathers and holds it out so she can try it on. "My ma's old pair. They're still in pretty good shape. They might be a little big on you though. You still want to go riding, right?" Maybe after a good yell at him though, first.

Kaliena could be spiteful and jealous to some, but evidently not towards Zi'on. Not yet, anyways. Maybe the relationship was too new? Or perhaps the girl suspected this would happen. Who knows what she's been told about riders. He'll be safe from any knife stabbing, since her dagger is safely clipped to her belt and still sheathed. "I was tempted not to." She admits gruffly and without hesitation and followed with a narrowed look that doesn't let up even when the bronzerider looks saddened by her tone. She may not be yelling at him, but she won't be letting him off so easily. "So you're done entertaining your new…" Kaliena scowls only because she falters at choosing some witty name to call the other woman by. Instead she just gives an impatient dismissive wave of her hand and snorts. "Doesn't matter." But it does, to judge from her behavior and less then cheery mood around Zi'on. When he holds up the coat, she gives it a long look, eyes darting up to him in a questioning manner before reaching for it. Slipping on, it's immediately noticeable that it's a little too large in some places, but it'll serve. Kaliena rolls her shoulders and moves her arms to test her mobilitiy and for a moment her mind is distracted from the awkwardness and tension concerning Zi'on's recent flight wins. "Comfortable," she murmurs in what must be her agreement to the leathers. Then she's glancing back to the bronzerider and she smirks. "Would I be here if I didn't want to? You sent Sylvanas for me. And here I am."

Still, Kali doesn't sound too happy. And Zi'on would rather her be yelling than being… like she is. With the comments and the… being how girls are and all. "Why?" He asks, playing innocent for a second. Then his brow furrows. "My new what? Rea -ain't- my new girl. It was a flight." But that does mean certain things. Certain things that holder girls probably didn't have much of a handle on. He slides the coat up onto Kali. It probably is a bit big in some places. But it's workable at least. "Looks good. If you want to between you'll have to put the rest of them on though. It's cold, after all. But I thought we'd start just by looping around the weyr." He grins to her and shrugs. "I dunno. Maybe you just wanted to see my handsome face. Or maybe you came over for something else." He gooses her to illustrate what he means by 'something else'.

Kaliena isn't happy at all, but for once she's mastering at holding her temper. Though to judge from her constant heavy frown, that fuse may shortly be burning out and especially when Zi'on pulls the innocent look. She gives him a long and level look. "I know the difference." She grumbles. So she was just being snarky at him, but it still has her upset. That much is noticeable in her tone. "Figured it'd happen. And it'll happen again, won't it?" Maybe Zi'on better not answer that one. Glancing down at the jacket just to avoid looking at him or seeing his reaction, Kaliena plucks idly at the leather coat. "I won't be warm enough just in this?" she murmurs, distracted again by the possibility of flight or even Between. Zi'on's comment and his goosing her as an illustration ruin it all and she doesn't shriek or laugh, so much as she makes some sort of angry sound and the bronzerider may find his arm or side whacked for his efforts as she takes a swipe at him with her arm. "Shards, Zi'on!" Now Kaliena is yelling or cursing rather in a raised voice. Her cheeks have taken on a flushed look as she turns to glare up at the bronzerider. In the heat of her temper flaring and before she realizes it, the words, "Don't touch me!" escape her lips in a near growl and instantly she goes wide eyed for her mistake. Silent too and her flush only darkens as she backs away and where the rest of the riding gear remains. Kaliena ducks her head then, pointedly not looking in Zi'on's direction and down at her hands instead as she pretends to examine the leather.

Zi'on tries to read her face when she says she knows the difference. But he's not sure what she means really. There's a nod from the bronzer and his voice goes soft. "It will. I could say that it won't, but I'm a rider. There will be flights. I'm sorry, Kali. They don't mean anything on an emotional level, if that helps any. Probably not…" He looks at her for a while when she asks him about being warm enough in just the coat. And he shakes his head. "No, likely not. Maybe if we were just popping across the bowl or something, but even then you'd come out cold." When Kali smacks him away he jerks his hand back. Then when she tells him not to touch her, the bronzer looks like he might burst out into tears. His head drops and he nods, then sits down on the couch looking away from her. "I'm sorry…" He manages to eek out, though it's barely audible. "I guess maybe riding today wasn't such a good idea…"

"How can they mean nothing? They mean something… enough that the winners obviously bed each other. The loosers too. That's emotion." Kaliena points out, her tone taking on a sharper edge to it as her temper begins to fray. The girl doesn't understand. She has a vague idea, but the gaps obviously leave her frustrated and confused. She grimaces when Zi'on confirms that she'll in fact get chilled if she's not wearing the full gear, but reluctantly nods her head in agreement, saying nothing more on the matter. By then, he'd gone and startled her and now the situation tilts into awkwardness and tension, with the bronzerider hurt and Kaliena equally so, though she's not close to tears. Does the girl even cry? Scowling, her jaw clenches a little and the girl is likely silently cursing herself seven different ways. If she where cruel or truly looking to hurt Zi'on, she'd walk away then or just continue to stand there and watch him suffer. Instead, there's the rustling sound of her moving, as the borrowed coat she wears doesn't fit her quite right. She comes around to the other side of the couch and stops right in front of Zi'on. "Riding is a good idea." Kaliena points out firmly, her tone still annoyed and upset. "Startling me like that isn't." Then the girl does something that's likely to confuse both of them, but likely the bronzerider more then her. Whether by impulse or something else, she leans forwards and as she does, brings her knees up to the couch. By doing so, she ends up slowly straddling him, should Zi'on not push her away or move. But it's not meant to be what it seems to be, as the moment she's close enough, she lifts a hand up and gives him a firm smack upside the head, unless he dodges her. Not enough to really hurt, but enough to emphasize her point. And really, she's pushing her luck being so rough and one day that may come back to bite her. "Jays, will you stop sulking? Look at me." Demanding little thing, isn't she?

Zi'on wrinkles his nose at her. "What? Is that what you think? That the riders… I dunno, fall in love or something and sleep together? It's not like that. You become a totally different person during a flight. You lose yourself. You basically become your dragon. I don't even remember the sex, to tell you the truth. I… sorry… I don't mean to lecture you, Kaliena…" Zi'on is left sitting on the couch, hurt and with his tail between his legs while Kali tries to figure herself out. Even as she moves over to straddle him he doesn't look at her, or move, his head turned to the side so that she can't look him in the face either. He jumps at the smack, taking it in full force, but still doesn't move. He takes a few deep breaths, then finally turns to look at her. His eyebrows are furrowed and his eyes are red and wet. "I'm a rider, Kaliena. This is part of the package. If you can't handle it… then maybe this won't work between us."

Kaliena blushes furiously when Zi'on lectures her, but it's exactly what she needed to hear, even if some of his words have her bristling and shooting him a narrowed look. "I never said /love/," she snaps at him, drawling the one word with obvious sarcasm. Her temper cools just enough for her curiosity to gain control and her scowl eases back into a heavy frown and a dubious side-glance directed to the bronzerider. "You remember nothing…?" So it's clear she knew nothing of what a rider goes through. All she had to fuel her response was probably all those age old rumors and gossip and likely whatever horrific tales some of the more close-minded holders dredge up. Kaliena's mood turns south though again when Zi'on doesn't look at her and then she places both her hands on his chest, fingers curling and tugging at the fabric of his shirt. She'll duck and tilt her head then, trying to get his attention until he finally turns to face her. When she sees the state he's in, guilt crumbles the angry scowl she had prepared for him. It would seem that tears sway her. Dismayed, she leans back until she's sitting more on his knees then in his lap. "I can handle it." Kaliena states firmly, stubbornly. "I don't understand it. " His last words have her flinching and it's her turn to look a little hurt and she lowers her head and her eyes as well to glance at where her hands now nervously pluck at the hemline of the borrowed coat. "I didn't mean it." She'll murmur again.

Zi'on shrugs. "It's sort of like a dream, I guess. You remember you had it. You sort of remember some of it, but it's really hazy like. You can't remember faces or details or anything, I dunno. It's hard to explain I guess." He looks off to the side then. "It's not like when we do it. Where there's… emotion. And I can remember how you feel and… how you taste.." The bronzer isn't exactly crying, but it wouldn't take much at this point to push the tears out of him. He watches her pluck at her coat. "It's okay if you can't, Kali. You shouldn't do what you don't want to do. I'm not asking you to change the way you feel. I know you can't help it. You'll get used to it maybe, over time. Because even though it happens I'll keep coming back. I'll keep loving you, if you let me. If I can do something to help it… hurt less… then you should let me know." He shrugs a bit, then pokes at her coat a little. "If you want me to not come around after… or maybe come around right after. You want flowers… sweets.. anything. I dunno…"

Kaliena listens and as she listens, her anger dissolves and it's replaced by embarrassment. In one single moment, she feels completely embarrassed and more then a little foolish. "Oh…" is all she has to say, but her lack of questions show just how little she knew and how she understands now and enough to begin piecing together the gaps. "So you have no choice, if your dragon chases. You're stuck." That might explain a little more as to why Kaliena was annoyed with Zi'on. Maybe she figures he had more say in the matter. She continues to pluck at her jacket, eyes cast down at her hands as she chews at her lower lip. His next words have her closing her eyes for a moment and shaking her head. "I can, I can." She murmurs again and then her arms wrap around herself. "It just… took me by surprise. I forgot. I forgot about the flights." Kaliena opens her eyes then when he pokes her coat and slowly raises her eyes to meet Zi'on's or at least look up at him. Her nose wrinkles. "You know I don't like sweets. Or flowers." Well, he may not have known that last one. "You can come around after. Not right after but… after." As if that makes sense, but Kaliena doesn't linger on it, moving on before her courage deserts her. "You'd come find me if Suldith lost, right…?"

Zi'on seems to be calming down. His eyes are no longer at critical mass with tears, though he is still a little sniffly. He shakes his head. "No choice. Not in a win. Sometimes you can get a stand in sort of arrangement. But it's difficult, and things have to be pre-arranged beforehand. Even then.. it could still happen. There's nothing saying your stand-ins don't leave you during the thick of things, either." He looks into her eyes as she looks up at him. He reaches up to stroke her cheek gently with his thumb. "I know. I'll come by after. As soon as I can." After a shower at least and fresh clothes. He smiles then and nods. "Of course I will. I should warn you… it might be a little rough after a flight. There's still a lot of… primal energy, I guess." One of his forefingers pulls at Kali's arms, trying to get them uncrossed and maybe even get a hug out of her. "You still trust me… right?"

As Zi'on calms down, so does Kaliena. "That… that sounds awful. That you can't choose. What if the rider isn't one you want? Can you… not let your dragon chase?" Her curiosity seems a good way to foil her temper too and the last of it dies away to be replaced by her need to add more to the puzzle in her head. She really should be in a Craft, the girl is probably going nuts being in the caverns day in and day out. This time when Zi'on touches her, she doesn't pull away or push him away. She stays put and leans a little to his touch. "Deal?" Kaliena murmurs with a hint of a smile. His warning only has it widening. "That rumor I've heard. But thanks. I'm not worried." So really, Zi'on has his answer there, but for the sake of keeping any more misunderstandings from happening, she uncrosses her arms and leans forwards again. This time she loops her arms around Zi'on's neck and she rests her head just below his chin and against him. He gets his hug after all. "Yes. I do."

Zi'on shrugs. "You can't do anything. I could get stuck in bed with some old Aunty." His eyebrows furrow a bit then. "Enka used to laugh at me. My first few flight wins were not pleasant. Raev threw things at me the next morning. I ended up with my da's old weyrmate…" He grunts. "You can sometimes convince your dragon not to chase, yeah. Well, I can sometimes convince Suldith to cool his jets for green flights. But not for golds. It's too strong an urge." Perhaps Zi'on will between Kali someplace craft related? The smith complex at Xanadu, perhaps? He smiles then and nods. "Deal. Heh. I promise I won't hurt you or anything. I've never done anything like that." Zi'on relaxes as she leans in to hug him. He wraps his arms around her and gives her a squeeze. "Good." He kisses the top of her head. "Let's go flying. I'm sweating like a porcine in these leathers. Some cool air will be nice, and then Suldith will stop pestering me. He's excited. We don't often fly other people around."

There's a grimace given when Zi'on details some of the unpleasant experiences he's dealt with, before the girl speaks up again. "I don't see why it'd be funny… It sounds awful." Kaliena frowns as she wraps her mind around the concept of having no choice when it comes to flights. Her mouth draws downwards and she chews again at her bottom lip. "So I'm guessing it's the same for the green and goldriders? No choice." That seems to both stir more curiosity in her but also trouble her. She stops plucking at the borrowed coat now. "It still doesn't seem fair. Not knowing who'll end up with you until the end. And then not even remembering…" Kaliena drops it then with a shake of her head and a soft snort. "I trust you." She murmurs again and this time with a hint of a smile tugging one corner of her mouth up. When he returns the hug, she relaxes too and her arms pull back to her sides. "Can't say I'm not feeling the same," she mutters, wrinkling her nose. Then with a low chuckle, she's sliding off of Zi'on and briskly shuffling back to where the riding pants still lay. She's quick to slide into them and again, the fit is a little off in places but they will serve. Once she's certain she can actually move with little trouble, Kaliena turns her attention back to the bronzerider, head tilting a bit to the side. "So Suldith won't mind this?"

Zi'on grumbles more. "My first flight win was… with a man." Zi'on furrows his brow and pouts about that. Not that he remembers it enough to be traumatic. "It's the same for everyone. The dragons choose, and you just kind of have to suffer with it." That coat isn't borrowed, Zi'on was giving it to her! Perhaps he didn't explain himself well enough due to all the emotions. He shrugs. "I dunno. It's for the dragons. Suldith carts me around everywhere. It's the least I can do for him. Some people enjoy it and all. It's the only way they get laid." He chuckles a bit. Zi'on pokes her nose and then lets her get up, getting up himself. He stretches and zips himself up, then heads over to put Suldith's straps on. The bronze gives a warble to Kali in response. "Mind? He's more excited than we are. You want frontsies or backsises?"

Kaliena doesn't laugh or point when Zi'on admits the outcome of his first ever flight. Neither is there any sympathy or a look of disgust. In fact, from the long, searching look she gives the bronzerider, it's just another tidbit to the larger picture. "Shards. Didn't even think of that." She almost mumbles the reply, frowning heavily. "No choice in the matter and you can wind up with either gender. As a chaser or the one who's dragon is proddy." There's only another headshake at that and a bit of a grimace for Zi'on's chuckle and further explination. It makes sense now, but she's still having troubles grasping it all. So rather then brood on it now, Kaliena turns to other topics. It's possible she misunderstood the Weyrleader, thinking she only has the riding gear as a temporary thing. She'll be expecting to hand them back after their little adventure and that will lead to more awkwardness. At his question, Kaliena gives him a blank look. "What?" she asks, just as she clues in. "Oh. Front." Suldith's warble catches her by surprise and the girl starts a little, then smiles sheepishly. "So we're going now? Where? Or is that still a surprise?"

Zi'on shrugs a bit to Kali. "It don't happen to goldriders. And it's less likely to happen to greenriders that are female. And the male ones usually like other boys anyways." Zi'on looks at Kali for a long while, but doesn't say anything. Though he's clearly thinking about something in particular. Kali will have plenty of time to process things, and Zi'on certainly isn't shy about answering questions, even if Kali is about asking them. " heh, front is better. Better view. Anyways, I figured around the bowl first. Then if you're feeling up to it we'll go. I got a place in mind you might like. C'mere I'll give you a leg up." Zi'on pats Suldith's side, the bronze hunkering down so it'll be easier to climb aboard. He'll cup his hands so Kali can step into them, and he can lift her up onto the bronze. Then he'll climb up himself.

Kaliena gives Zi'on a puzzled look. "Girls ride brown sometimes though. Browns can catch a gold, can't they?" At the mention of male greenriders, the girl only smirks. "I thought you said choice had no place in flights? Don't matter if they want a boy. They could get a girl." She tilts her head up a little at this, not exactly smug but simply stating her point - even if she still can't quite grasp everything. Thanks to him though, she's got a better picture. Still a rough one, since she's not a rider, but it's enough. Noticing Zi'on's look, she fidgets a little and glances away, but not before shooting him a slightly narrowed look. "What?" Kaliena is assuming it was something she said to earn that look from him, crossing some imaginary line. So it's back to the topic of flying and as she approaches Suldith with Zi'on, her blue eyes focus on the straps. The girl doesn't seem too nervous. At least she isn't trembling. "Alright." And she must agree to his plan, since she then steps into his cupped hands for the boost up she'll need. Kaliena is clumsy at best getting up the straps, mumbling apologies all the way. Hard to tell if she's directing them to Zi'on or Suldith or both rider and dragon but once she's up, she's up and settling in. "That was the hardest part, right?" she grumps once Zi'on climbs up behind her, but it's a lighthearted joke and mostly directed to herself.

Zi'on nods. "They can. It's less common though. Generally the larger browns impress to men anyways, but it can happen. Seniors don't let themselves be caught by browns though. Golds are… different. Greens just fall and get caught. Golds though… they always got some dragon in mind. Not that their rider gets a say. So if you impress you could end up in bed with a girl." He grins to her. "How would you like that?" He shrugs then at her questioning of his look. "I was just thinking about what kind of dragon you might impress. You still don't seem like a greenrider to me." Zi'on makes sure Kali isn't going to flop back down off Suldith before climbing up himself. Suldith gives her encouraging warbles. He doesn't seem to mind her climbing all over him. Once Zi'on is up, he straps Kaliena in nice and tight, then himself. "You can hold the straps there. I'll hold you." Suldith starts to meander out into the open, so he has room for take off. Zi'on wraps his arms around Kali. "You ready?" Even if she's not, it's too late. The bronze bounds out a bit, then takes off.

"Why not? What's wrong with a brown for sire?" Kaliena asks, puzzled all over again. She knows the basics, but Zi'on's replies are just opening a multitude of doors that the girl never had access to before. So if the bronzerider isn't careful, he'll be questioned all afternoon long. The girl can be exhausting that way. She huffs and rolls her eyes a little when he grins, "I wouldn't know. I've not been with a girl." She drawls with a smirk that fades into another narrowed look. "And you don't seem like a typical bronzerider to me. Yet you are." Kaliena seems stubborn on that front, before giving a dismissive shake of her head. "Nothing says I'll Impress. I have to accept, don't I? Even then, not guaranteed." Reassured by Suldith's encouragement, Kaliena can actually relax once she's settled in the straps. She even leans forwards to give the bronze a light pat to the neck, though it's brief and she withdraws her hand soon afterwards. By this time, Zi'on is buckling her in and she's turning her attention to him. "Got it." She murmurs and glances down as her hands grip the straps right where he told her to and tightly. "I'm rea…" But the rest is cut off as Kaliena chokes on the words, caught completely by surprise as Suldith suddenly bounds out and takes off. But to her credit, she doesn't scream. She does close her eyes though and grits her teeth. Clearly, she does not like the take off part.

Zi'on shrugs. "They're small? Smaller clutches usually. Less likely for bronze or gold, so I've heard. I mean, Suldith is a small bronze, but he's still bigger than any brown." The bronzer doesn't mind. It makes him feel useful and important, answering all these questions. Though eventually he might start to get a little tired. "I'm not a typical bronzer? Why not?" He was young yet, didn't have the ego that usually accompanied such things. Though that may just be the affect Kali has on him. She has a way of keeping him in line. "True, you do. No pressure. Just something to think about. Maybe you'll like flying." The take off is a bit bouncy, sure. But Zi'on has a hold on her, and as soon as they're in the air it's nice and smooth. Suldith gains plenty of altitude, taking them over the rim of the bowl, then settles in to a nice lazy flight around. Zi'on leans over to look at Kali, tapping her arm. "Open your eyes up, silly!"

"I didn't think size mattered." Kaliena drawls with a bit of a huff. What Zi'on has just shared has her frowning all the more as her thoughts race to absorb all the new information. Good thing she's so easily distracted by her insatiable curiosity. The girl has all but forgotten why she was upset with the bronzerider to start. "We already went over this once, didn't we?" Kaliena grumbles when Zi'on presses her for more. Then her mind is too absorbed with having to mount up and towards the flight. Once Suldith has gained altitude, the girl begins to relax. She only opens her eyes though when Zi'on taps her on the arm and even then it's only to shoot him a glaring look. Then her eyes widen, not in fear but more in awed fascination as she stares down. "Woah…" she exhales and the words are likely lost over the wind. Her grip still remains tight on the straps, but slowly even that begins to relax.

"Size, color. Whatever it is." Zi'on had always blamed it on size, since small browns never caught golds. The bronzer is just glad that Kali isn't mad anymore, and that they can go out and still have a good time. "Yeah, and you didn't have an answer for me then, either. At least answer me this: who is more like a typical bronzer… me or your brother?" Because in Zi'on's mind, Th'ero was atypical. A typical bronzer was his father, but that was maybe because that was the closest bronzer he knew all his life. Zi'on smiles when she glares at him, chuckling at her reaction. His arms are still around her and he rests his chin on her shoulder. "You can see all the islands from up here, and the whole lagoon almost. There's the cliffside where the pirate ship was! And the rocks where we had our bet." The bronzer points out Western's landscape from the sky as the cool air races past them. "Out over there is the market, see it? Even the dragons look small when you're this high up."

"I can't answer that either. My brother is not the same brother from the one I knew." Kaliena replies with a smug little smile for her roundabout and cryptic response. But even in what she assumes is her being witty, the remark has her eyes looking a little sad. It's gone in a heartbeat though, replaced and forgotten in favor of the emotions used for her reaction to her first ever lengthy flight on a dragon. "I see it." Kaliena confirms, too wrapped up in the moment to say anything more to Zi'on, though her head turns to subtly follow each landmark he points out. She doesn't even protest to his hold on her, or him resting his chin on her shoulder. He may soon be without her to lean on though, as the girl forgets her apprehension or caution and leans forwards, pressing both against his grip on her and the buckles that keep her strapped in. "No wonder some love to fly!" Kaliena calls from over her shoulder and grins from ear to ear. And she's only flying straight!

"Mm. I guess I know Th'ero, and you know Kelthero." Though Zi'on knew Th'ero for a little while before he impressed. She does get a kiss under her ear for the cryptic answer though, followed by some scratchy beard-rubbing. For a couple of seconds at least. Then she's leaning forwards, and so is Zi'on. "Whoa there, careful. Too much movement and you'll undo the buckles." He chuckles a bit, leaning back and letting go of her. "Yeah… it's nice." Of course Kaliena can't see the smirk on Zi'on's face. As they get out over the water, Suldith leans heavily and they start to plummet down towards the water. Faster and faster! Then the bronze pulls up at the last second so they level out about ten feet from the water or so. As they gain altitude, the bronze changes directions and it's clear to see why. He's chasing after a pod of dolphins.

Kaliena only nods and a brief chuckle escapes her for his kisses and the scratchy feel of his beard. Because of her reluctance to speak with Th'ero, she knows nothing of him now, beyond what others tell her. "Liar." She says but doesn't test out her theory that the buckles are far stronger and able to withstand a bit of straining from an overly curious young girl. "They have to be stronger…Woah!" Kaliena didn't catch Zi'on's smirk or otherwise she'd ask why. She doesn't even seem to notice his grip is no longer on her. At least until Suldith is suddenly plummeting downwards and throws the girl off her guard as she scrambles to grip the straps as her body leans back from force and perhaps a little by instinct. Not accustomed to such changes in altitude and directions, Kaliena is jarred a little and disorientated. And she even kept her eyes open this time, for what good it did!

Zi'on thinks that part of Kali wants to stay mad at Th'ero, for whatever reason. That's why she won't talk to him. Zi'on has trouble imagining anyone hating the Fortian weyrleader like that. He chuckles at her as they dip. When she sits back his arms return to her waist. "You alright up there? Didn't lose your lunch, did you?" He pats her belly as they level out. There's probably nothing new to Kaliena about dolphins, since she comes from a seahold and all. But Suldith seems excited, giving the pod a nice loud trumpet. They linger there with them for a while, until the pod disappears below the water, then Suldith starts gaining altitude again. "You had enough? Or you want to make a quick jump between to go visiting?" She might be mad from that little swoop.

If Zi'on were to tell Kaliena that, he'd likely be very close to the mark. But he'd also have an infuriated Kaliena on his hands, because she'd become instantly defensive when he finds her flaw and weakness. But for now, she's only too happy to have his arms around her. "Ugh. No, I'm fine." She reassures, even if it's not quite the truth. She didn't loose her lunch, but she's queasy. The dolphins are not a new sight, but her vantage point of them are and still she gives them a curious look from over Suldith's neck. There's even a bit of a laugh when the bronze trumpets. "All that to chase after 'em?" Kaliena calls out over the wind, queasiness forgotten. She's anything but mad it seems, too overwhelmed by the experience to hold onto any emotion or thought for too long. "Hardly. If you and Suldith are up for it, let's visit?" Nope, she's not mad at all. She's excited and enough to push her luck in extending their little flight.

Zi'on is aware that telling Kali something like that would turn her into a firey rage. And he's been burnt enough lately. Also it wouldn't help any. Zi'on hopes to just chip away at her until she becomes more accepting of the idea of letting her brother back into her life. The bronzer goes back to resting his chin on her shoulder. "Nah, the dip was my idea. He saw them as we were dropping." Zi'on gives Kali a kiss on her cheek and a gentle squeeze. Once they get where they're going, he won't be able to cuddle with her, most likely. "Alright. Just take a deep breath and try to relax. You can shut your eyes for this part, if you want." Once Kali seems relaxed, Suldith pops between. Oh the coldness and the blackness! And the silence. A few moments later, they pop into the sky over Landing. "Okay. We're here." He pats Kali, in case she's got her eyes closed.

Landing - Bonfire Square
This large square is a common place for the residents of Landing to come together for informal gatherings. Several large logs used for sitting on surround a pile of timber ready to be set ablaze. All vegetation has been cleared from this area to prevent any fires getting started by stray sparks from the bonfire during the dry season. Many people, several with apprentice knots on their shoulders, wander in and out of the buildings on either side of this square or head back towards the north. The building directly to the east of this square, known as the Administration building, is different from the others in this part of landing. It has solar panels in place of the regular roofing materials.

"You could have warned me!" Kaliena exclaims in mock anger and if she weren't buckled in and in an awkward spot, would have elbowed Zi'on. Instead her hands remain death-gripped to the straps. When he begins to warn her for Between (which she's secretly very grateful for), the girl takes a deep and steadying breath, exhaling slowly and letting her body relax with it. Before she can even get the words out, Suldith has gone Between. Cold, black and silence like nothing she's ever experienced and when they reappear over Landing, Kaliena looks a little pale. Realizing she's held her breath, she lets it out, followed by a long-winded curse that no young girl really should know. Then she shivers, despite her riding gear. "Where's here?" she'll ask, once her thoughts clear themselves and blinking her eyes, she looks down at Landing below. Now she looks apprehensive.

Zi'on chuckles. "I could have, but you were too busy leaning off Suldith." Though he's glad he doesn't get an elbow to the gut. Zi'on's arms are still wrapped around her as they come out of Between. There's a blink at that curse, and he gives her a squeeze. "You get used to it. And it's quick. Also you have a toilet mouth." He chuckles a bit. "Where did you even learn that? You been hanging out with the sailors down by the docks? Anyways, welcome to Landing." Suldith glides down to land in a clearing, and Zi'on rubs at her back a bit. "You can see the solar paneling on the buildings. The craft hall is over there. I thought you might like to look around maybe. I think there's some smithing rooms, but I might be wrong. We might have to go to Xanadu for that." He unbuckles himself and slides off Suldith, then reaches up to help Kali down. "Or we can just hang out in front of the bonfire."

"I was safe!" Kaliena protests and then seems to reconsider it, frowning up at Zi'on as she twists a little in the straps. "Wasn't I?" Doubt settles in and suddenly she's sitting just a little straighter and calmer on the bronze. No more leaning, until the bronzerider reassures her. "How can you get used to that? It's… disturbing. Unsettling." At his chiding remark on her habit of swearing, Kaliena only snorts. Toilet mouth? "Feh. I don't hear you complaining about it before." And it's true. No one has yet really reprimanded her on it. So the young girl has just let her habit slip further and further. Unchecked now, she often forgets just /who/ she's currently with. Eventually it'll lead to trouble. "Landing!" Kaliena exclaims and this time it's in renewed awe. Landing! She handles Suldith's landing far better then the take off, following Zi'on's description again as her blue eyes scan the area. Wide eyed and briefly silenced, she dismounts with his help and then shakes her head. "Can we check the rooms first? Then the bonfire." Strangely, despite her earlier protests that they stay platonic in public outings, Kaliena is lingering close to Zi'on's side. Maybe the flying and Between did take more out of her?

Zi'on chuckles. "Yeah, you were safe. The straps aren't going to give out that easy. One of the first things you learn when you're a weyrling is how to recognize bad straps and mend them. You spend a lot of time mending them." Now Zi'on doesn't spend any of his time doing that. He farms that out to people. He chuckles, and his voice goes low for a moment. "Who said I was complaining? You should use some of that naughty mouth in bed." Zi'on nods to her and lays his arms around her shoulder in what he's trying to make as a friendly sort of gesture. Really he's a little worried she might collapse. "You sure? The fire is warm, might do you good to get a little bit warmed up or something? But I don't mind, let's head into the rooms if you want. Maybe we can grab a cup of klah or something." To put the color back into Kali's cheeks.

"Make sense." Kaliena agrees with only the hint of a grimace. Leatherwork in Weyrlinghood? But she doesn't linger on that, instead she almost pouts at Zi'on. "So why'd you call me back from leaning? I felt safe, but you made it seem like they'd snap easily." Then it's back to some playful joking and the young girl grins a little, snickering. "You're awful. You'd actually get off on that?" she teases with a playful nudge to the arm he drapes over her shoulder. Clearly, she's taking it as friendly or her previous comments on hiding their relationship aren't as set in stone. But the truth may be that she /is/ unsteady from the flying and her first experience Between and is trying to hide it. "Well… now that you mentioned fire. I could warm up and I am hungry." And then she's gesturing for Zi'on to lead the way, though she hasn't pulled from his hold on her. So the bronzerider could easily guide her along.

"I dunno. It's still not a great idea to pull on them all the time. Plus I bet if you lean a certain way a buckle could get undone." Zi'on grins to her then. "Yeah. I would, probably." Then he leans over. "Would you be naked? That's about all I need." The bronzer will go ahead and assume she's taking it as friendly. He pulls at his beard with his free hand. "Well, we could warm up near the fire. Or…" He leads her around a bit. "There's the tavern over there. We could get some hot cider maybe, or klah. And something to eat before we look around." He didn't want Kali getting hungry. She seems like one of those people that get cranky when their blood sugar is low. "Or we can take a quick look around and then head home to Western for some food." He'll head tavern-wards, unless she tells him otherwise.

"I doubt it," Kaliena drawls with a bit of a smug-looking grin. "You just said that strap work is pretty important. What's the chance of a buckle snapping loose too from just some harmless leaning? I ain't that heavy. Or… is /that/ what you're implying?" She purposely pitches her tone to one of mock anger by the end. "Maybe?" This time the girl does drawl and in an obvious teasing way. "I think you've won me over with the food." Kaliena murmurs with a lopsided grin and it would seem Zi'on gets his way, as she is easily lead along side him to the tavern. She's not done yet conversation wise though. "Food first, but weren't we to check on the Crafts? Or is that another trip?"

Zi'on wrinkles his nose at Kali. "Well, do what you want then. But if you fall to your death it won't be on my shoulders." Actually it will, but Zi'on is trying to make a point. "No. If anything you're too skinny and libel to slip out the straps." He sounds a little annoyed at the conversation, if only because he knows that if Kaliena screws around and ends up hurt he'll never forgive himself if it was on his watch. "I'd like to check on Crafts, yes. I'm not sure what sorts of forges they have here, but we can check them out. Then if you're serious about things, we can get the paperwork started so that you can join up. We can also visit some of the other crafts as well, if you want to check them out." But first, food! And perhaps some drink. Zi'on heads to the tavern, eventually removing his arm from Kali so he can hold the door open for her.

Landing - Ancient's Inn
Pushing open the dark stained wooden doors, you walk into Landing's Tavern. A place that never sleeps: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are all served here (at a price). Situated in the middle of the room is the stage a slightly lowered dance floor with a place against the far wall for harpers should they happen in. The bar and grill are set off to the side of the room, leaving the grill open to the room so that people can watch as trained chefs prepare thier meals. For those who prefer a quieter more intimate atmosphere, there are tables opposite the bar. Invariably there is some shady character lurking at one of the tables, but no matter, the bartender knows how to handle him.

Kaliena doesn't take the bait entirely and snorts, "I won't be falling to my death," she scoffs. "I ain't that stupid. Plus I'm not liable to be riding any other dragon then Suldith and I /hardly/ doubt you'd let me fall." She then rolls her eyes a bit when Zi'on points out her build and doesn't seem to catch on to his annoyance. But there's no witty retort for his comment on her weight. Instead her focus goes back to her possibility of her being an apprentice within the near future. "That fast, huh?" Kaliena asks, frowning and worrying her lower lip slightly. "All it takes is some paperwork and it's done? No turning back?" She couldn't possibly be getting cold feet now, could she? Doesn't seem like it. But it's hard to read the girl, really. Her attention seems divided and scattered, as her blue eyes scan the unfamiliar area. If they happen across any group of people, Kaliena's demeanor changes completely. She walks with a little less confidence and with each step she seems to grow wary and cautious. So Zi'on is in luck, in a sense, that she doesn't drift far from him. Even when she steps through the door to the cavern, she doesn't go far before she's waiting for the Weyrleader to rejoin her.

Zi'on frowns at Kali. "Good to know. I…" He grumbles a bit. "Nevermind. Just be careful." Zi'on can't find much cause to argue when Kali is telling him she'll only be riding with him, and that she trust him not to let her fall off. The bronzer can't really complain about Kali's weight, either. He was still pretty skinny himself. "Eh? I'm sure it takes more than that, but there is paperwork that's got to be done before you can join. It's the first step. Also you can always quit. There are other people who never get past apprentice. It's not like they come and lock you up if you stop doing your work." It's technically past dinnertime at Landing, and so the tavern is full. There's a group of harpers playing instruments and singing, and the dance area has already got people on it dancing away. Zi'on heads to an empty table with only one chair at it, and steals a chair from a neighboring table so they can sit down. He peels out of his coat at least. It's already pretty warm. "Lively night." A waitress comes over to hand then some menus.

Nevermind seems to mean "please, do pester me further" to Kaliena, because she's not about to let Zi'on off the hook so easily. "You what? And of course I'll be careful." For all her boasting and joking around, the girl does have common sense. She'll push and test the limits, but her head is on straight enough to know when to stop. Put her with the wrong types though… and then that's when things may get dangerous. "Oh. I thought with the paperwork… it was like a signed deal. You know?" But she seems reassured by Zi'on's explanation of the inner workings of the Crafts. Knowing she could quit and leave probably soothes her the most. Kaliena follows Zi'on along to the table he chooses, her blue eyes darting over the crowded cavern. Curious but cautious, she doesn't seem too off put by the crowds and the noise. But neither does she seem wholly relaxed. Grateful to be off her feet, she settles less then gracefully into her chair and begins to shrug off the baggy riding jacket. "Is it always like this?" she asks.

"Eh? Nothing. I forgot what I was going to say." Zi'on at least doesn't seem too worried that Kaliena is going to do something crazy and stupid. "I'll just have Suldith go into a roll next time you decide to lean over that far." The bronzer though is just as likely to do something ridiculous, so they could end up being a dangerous pair. Zi'on shrugs a bit about the paperwork. "I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's just so they can keep track of who is where. And boast about their numbers when they're asking for tributes and whatnot. Or doing recruitment." Zi'on looks over his menu, not really even noticing the crowd. He looks around when she asks him about the tavern. "I dunno. Probably. There are a lot of harpers around, and craftsmen that work all day and want to relax at night. Hm, maybe I'll try the beast burger and tuber straws. The stew sounds good, but it might be too much." When the waitress comes back, he orders a pitcher of ale and the burger with tuber straws, then lets Kali order whatever she wants.

"Feh. That's what they all say." Kaliena scoffs, sounding a touch disappointed when Zi'on claims his forgetfulness. She pales a little though, at his "threat". "You wouldn't… would you?" Suddenly, leaning out over the straps doesn't seem like such a great idea. Dives, dips and turns she can handle. Loops and spirals? Just the thought seems to have her a little queasy. "You know a lot about the Crafts." She murmurs, grateful for the change in subjects and even more so for the distraction of the menus. She frowns over the selections and when it comes time to order, the girl copies Zi'on's order. "It's… nice. Even with the crowd." Kaliena admits after a lengthy pause, where her blue eyes go back to scanning the crowds. Gone is the cautious looking girl and her confidence returns. Enough that she slouches a bit in her chair and takes on a more relaxed posture. "I also didn't expect Landing to be so… big."

Zi'on laughs at her reaction to his threat, but he doesn't say he would or he wouldn't, leaving her to make her own assumptions. He might do something like that! It was always easier dealing with the loops and spirals if you were the one sort of controlling them. Zi'on shrugs a bit. "Not really… I just know what the paperwork looks like. The weyr gets some of it as well, since you're living there. And we need to keep track of you." Hopefully Kali isn't ordering her own pitcher, the beer was for them to share. Also it comes out first, and Zi'on pours a mug for each of them. "Mm. Nice and lively. Good music, at least until the harpers get too drunk. Eh, it's about as big as any other hold or weyr or whatever I guess. Lots of stuff goes on here, but I don't think too many people stay put here except some of the craft masters. Most people shift in and out I think."

Kaliena will make her own assumptions then and plenty of them. So when it comes time for them to fly again, the girl is going to be conflicted on whether or not to test her various assumptions and see what Zi'on does about it. "How can paper track me?" the girl asks, nose wrinkling a bit at the idea that something so easily destroyed could be used to trace her whereabouts. At least she isn't flipping out on the Weyrleader over the idea. This time, when the ale is poured and she reaches for her glass, the girl paces herself. Taking the smallest of sips, she sets the drink aside and her gaze fixes onto Zi'on once more. "Come to learn and then move on?" Kaliena murmurs and then shakes her head. "This place might be larger then Torince Hold ever was. And the cothold could probably fit ten times over and still have room to spare." She snorts then and probably because she knows she's over exaggerating.

Zi'on will probably be keeping a tighter grip around Kali when they travel back. And probably for a few more flights after that. But eventually he'll forget. Or she'll choose to ride in back where he wouldn't be able to watch her as easily. He takes a long pull from his mug, leaving foam in his beard which he wipes off with his sleeve. "It can't really. But at least we can have some idea of where you might be if we need to find you. We can say 'oh she's off at Landing maybe, doing craft stuff.' Or something." He nods. "Generally I think so, yeah. Or if they're between assignments or something. Well, yeah it's probably bigger than a cothold. Though ten times might be a bit much. We can fly over your hold if you want. So you can get a perspective." Zi'on isn't about to get plastered, but he is thirsty, it would seem. "You like flying then, hm?"

Riding behind Zi'on has probably not occurred to Kaliena. Give her time though and she may try the trick on him. But for now, she's still too uncertain and respectful of the fact that her getting to ride on Suldith and with Zi'on is not something to take lightly or abuse. "Ah. So it still leaves only a guess as to where I can be. Good." She says with a twisted smile. So the girl still doesn't wish to be followed, even if for actual legit reasons. Reaching for her mug again, Kaliena sets it back awkwardly and with a resounding clatter against the table. Some of it spills over the edge, which has her hissing a curse under her breath for her clumbsiness. Then she's shooting Zi'on a narrowed look, "Now why would I want to fly over the cothold." She grumbles. "I'm done with Irondell. I don't need perspective on it." Grabbing a napkin to wipe her hand clean, her mood calms again from Zi'on's next question. "I could grow to like it a lot more. Still unsettles me. But… I'm not afraid, at least." That would be a yes.

Eventually it will occur to her, once she's bored with seeing Western from on high, or wherever. Or if they end up flying someplace cold in the middle of winter, she might want some shielding. Zi'on peers at her. "You better not go running off without telling me. I got enough to worry about without worrying that you've been kidnapped or something. At least leave a note saying where you're going and not to bother you if you want to leave." Zi'on blinks at Kaliena as her mug slams down on the table. "Huh? To see how small it looks from the air." He takes a swig from his mug and nods. "Fair enough…" Change of subject! "Well, that's good at least. That it doesn't scare you anymore." The waitress comes out with their burgers, and Zi'on peels back the bun to examine his, before deeming it okay to eat. "You want to dance a little after this? Or just go back to looking around?" When in Rome, right? At least that's how Zi'on was looking at it. Kali might think he's got some ploy to get her to dance though.

"I'm done with running." Kaliena mutters and it's possible it's the truth. But she could be just admitting she's done running /far/. "I'd leave you a note. But only because I know if I didn't, Th'ero would get on your back about it." And she would feel guilty for causing strife between them again. A change in subjects would be a good idea at this point, since the girl's temper almost flared there. But she's being on her good behavior and instead sips at her ale. "Between does though. Don't know how you get used to that. It doesn't… scare you at all now?" Then their food is arriving and Kaliena brightens, eager and looking a lot hungrier then she let on. She doesn't examine her food like Zi'on does and instead tucks right into it. Glancing up, she'll answer him between bites and mouthfuls, at least remembering some of her manners. "Looking around and exploring." Kaliena doesn't hesitate in showing where her preferences lie. She doesn't bother pointing out to Zi'on, again, that she is reluctant to dance.

Zi'on nods to her about the running bit. "Okay." He says about the note. Faranth forbid she ever does something like that though. Even having a note, Zi'on would be devastated. Enough so that he wouldn't care what Th'ero thought, probably. Though it would be nice to have the support of his best friend, even if it was just to endure the misery together. Zi'on shrugs about betweening. "Not really. I guess it does a little, when I'm going someplace I don't know. But not when I'm going to someplace I've been a whole bunch of times before." Apparently Landing is someplace he's been a whole bunch of times before. Likely carting people back and forth. He nods when she rejects his idea of dancing. "Okay. Guess I'll go easy on the beer then. I doubt you want to be dragging me around." He's about halfway through his burger when he abandons it for the tuber straws.

"But… wouldn't you want to be wary all the time?" Kaliena asks, seeming a little awed by Zi'on's casualness over Betweening. It's puzzled her, her frown shows that much and she turns her focus back on her meal. She snorts when he mentions dragging him around and shrugs. "Why? Were you planning on getting drunk after all?" the girl drawls, glancing up at him with a smirk. "You know I don't dance and can't dance. It wouldn't be fun." Kaliena mumbles, poking at her fries and abandoning them in favor of more of her ale. Maybe he'll have to end up dragging her? "Does exploring sound to… dull?" she asks, giving Zi'on a long and curious look now. It's probably the first moment in a long while she's realized that so far they've done everything she wanted to and not so much what he wants.

Zi'on peers at Kali. "If you're asking me if I'm careful, I promise you that I am careful. I've been a rider for six turns Kali, and even in candidacy you do imaging exercises. But it gets a lot easier over time, I guess." He grins then and shrugs. "I dunno. Not super drunk, but maybe a little tipsy." He pouts at her then. "Aw. You'd be fine with a slow song. One slow song before we go exploring, then I'll get off your back about it." He chuckles at her and shakes his head about the exploring bit. "No. That's why we came here. But since there's music and all I thought maybe a quick dance or two to see if you like it or not." The bronzer shrugs then, picking at his food. "We don't have to, though. We can just go exploring. It's getting late here anyways. There probably won't be any craftmasters around to talk to so we'll have to come back maybe. Time difference and all." Zi'on of course is pretty familiar with Landing, so the exploring would be for Kaliena's benefit. He was just tagging along for the fun of it.

Kaliena looks a little sheepish under Zi'on's peering glance at her, "I didn't mean… I know you're not reckless." She murmurs and picks at her food a little more. Her gaze drops to her plate too and her frown only deepens. So she likely misses his pout, since that would have her snorting at him again. "Fine. One slow song but you can't gripe about how often I step on your toes. Fair?" Reaching for her mug, she lifts it in a silent toast to their agreement and then knocks back a generous amount. Too generous, because she has to pull a face and grimace before swallowing it, the after taste coming on a bit too strong for the girl to handle without showing it. "Eh, if it turns out we're too late, we're too late." Kaliena drawls once she's recovered and with one final pick over her food, she pushes the plate aside. Most of the meal remains uneaten - or the fries anyways - and the young girl seems curious and eager about her surroundings again, though she's eying the dance floor and the dancers occupying it with an apprehensive look.

"You can relax when you between with me, is all I'm saying, Kali. I'm an experienced rider." Hopefully Zi'on doesn't sound too cocky in his statement. He was just showing confidence and lack of fear for accidents while betweening. He grins as she relents on the dance. "Next slow song then. After you're all done eating." The bronzer finishes off his own beer, then looks at Kali's plate. "What's the matter? You almost never leave food on your plate." Zi'on's even out-eaten her, which is strange. He follows her eyes to the dance floor, then looks at her with a raised eyebrow. "What… are you nervous? I don't think I've ever seen you nervous like this before. You want something stronger to help you relax?" The bronzer chuckles a bit. "Maybe we ought to get it over with, so you can eat."

"I never said I was nervous with you either. Did I?" Kaliena points out with a slight huff. Her frustration flares for a brief moment as the girl figures she's muddling things again thanks to her lack of proper explanation. "I'm fine," the girl drawls stubbornly, blue eyes dropping back to her unfinished plate. She's nervous, but not about to let it be so obvious and perhaps just to prove Zi'on (and herself) wrong, she reaches to grab a handful of fries. Devouring them, Kaliena washes it all down with more ale. "Just figured less food would be best… And I'm not /that/ nervous. I just filled up fast." She says with another one of her snorts and smirks, trying to brush off her nerves as nothing. When Zi'on mentions something stronger, she gives him a long, curious look and her smirk becomes a faint grin. "Stronger?" Well that has her interest. "Like what?"

"No. But you got that look on your face. The one you get before you yell at me about something." Zi'on frowns in a Kaliena sort of way, trying to move his eyebrows like she does without looking like he's constipated. "I was just trying to reassure you." Zi'on chuckles. "We're not going to swim across the isles or anything. I doubt a burger is gonna weigh you down." He watches her stuff fries into her mouth with a grin plastered on his face. There's a shrug about something stronger. "Whiskey, maybe? That's what I like. Or rum or something, I dunno." That's about the time when the harpers switch into a slow-paced song, so that people can get a rest who have been dancing for a while. Zi'on gets up and takes Kaliena's hand, trying to coax her to her feet. "Oop! Too late! Slow song already. Let's go, stop crying Kali it'll be over soon." Tug tug towards the dance floor.

Kaliena watches with a narrowed stare as Zi'on tries to mimic her expression. "I do not look like that," she grumbles, not impressed but still finding something amusing enough that she at least chuckles. "I get it, I get it. Fine. I'll relax." Which apparently included stuffing her face and washing it down with more alcohol. There's no comment for the bronzerider's grin, but her attention does seem to be drawn to his offer of more alcohol. "Never tried either." Kaliena admits and then sits up straighter when the music changes tempo. The girl knows the cues and as Zi'on gets up and offers her his hand, she stares at it for a few seconds. Then she tilts her head up, squares her shoulders and takes his hand in hers, letting herself be tugged towards the dance floor with minimal reluctance. "I ain't crying!" she hisses at him and if they weren't out in the thick of public, she'd jab him good for that in the ribs.

Zi'on chuckles at her. "No, you're much cuter than I am. Not hairy and gangly." He reaches over to poke at her nose. Like he usually does after he calls her cute. "We'll get some afterwards. To help you calm down maybe." He says as he leads her out to the dance floor. He chuckles at her insistence that she's not crying. "I was kidding." He's never seen Kali cry, has he? Not that he can remember. Maybe she's not capable. Once they're out on the dance floor Zi'on turns her around and takes one hand in his while putting the other at her hip. "Put your other hand up on my shoulder. Yeah. Just try to relax, let me do the moving. You just follow along." It's a simple sort of swaying motion really. And the way they're standing makes them look more like brother and sister rather than girlfriend and boyfriend. "See? It's not so bad.

"Thankfully. Faranth, I've enough hair to deal with." Kaliena grumbles but this time grins along with it. She wrinkles her nose and pulls her head back a bit when Zi'on pokes her. One day, he's going to get bit for that. Okay, maybe not for real but thankfully the girl is in a good mood when he does it. "I am calm." She states again, stubborn not to admit it verbally even though it's obvious she is anything but calm. When he claims he was kidding, Kaliena only shoots him a disbelieving look before letting that slide. Zi'on hasn't seen her cry since she doesn't cry or tries her best not too. If he ever does see her cry, that's when he'll know for certain something is /wrong/ or that he's definitely, one hundred-percent, screwed up. Following his lead, Kaliena is stiff but allows Zi'on to move her hands into position, blue eyes following and then darting up to him. "Right. You sure you want me as your partner?" she murmurs, keeping her attention focused on him at first and following along with his movements. Despite her protests, she manages well enough, though when she starts to over think her steps, she stumbles. Kaliena only grumbles, "No. No it's not." Pretending to be annoyed, but truthfully enjoying it.

Zi'on chuckles. "If you don't like your hair maybe you should cut it. A little. Not like… short or anything. But maybe so it's more manageable or something. I dunno. My hair is… a disaster when it gets longer." Hopefully she doesn't bite his finger off. But he can't help poking her, so if he's got to take a bite now and then he'll deal with it. Zi'on generally isn't a crier either, but certain things can obviously set him off. He's more likely just to hide his face until he can fight back the tears. "What? You want me to dance with some other girl in here?" After the whole issue with the flight winning and all of that, Zi'on is expecting Kaliena to give him a dark look in response. As she stumbles he gives her a sympathetic smile. "Here…" He lets go of her hand to move in a bit closer, this time wrapping both arms around her back so he has a little more control She's welcome to put her hands wherever she feels comfortable, though their platonic posture has changed a bit. And the way Zi'on is looking down at her wouldn't leave many people guessing, either. Though no one is likely paying much attention.

"Shards, no!" Kaliena exclaims loud enough that it earns them a few startled glances from nearby pairs and maybe even a disapproving one. That has her flushing and tucking her head down and away in an embarrassed way. "I mean… no. Maybe. I've never really touched my hair. It's a mess but… I like it." Even if she complains about it and when Zi'on mentions his hair, the girl's eyes study him for a moment with an amused look. "Why is that?" He does get a dark look from Kaliena for his little jesting remark and her lips press into a less then pleased line. "No. But I won't stop you if you want to do a faster song with another partner." She mumbles and it's the truth. Though she'd hover on the sidelines and glare the entire time. Jealous? Oh yes, she would be. When he moves their position again, Kaliena looks mildly surprised but doesn't protest and once her awkwardness over the shift lifts, her arms relax and her hands come to rest at the small of his back. She's pointedly trying not too look at him too, having caught a glimpse of that look he gives her and shying away from it.

Zi'on blinks, then chuckles at her lowly. "Alright alright, keep your pants on. I like your hair long, too." He shrugs a bit. "There are some greenriders around that like to do hair and whatnot, too. If you want to do it up a certain way. I dunno." Talk about floundering in the dark. Zi'on talking about hair is like a whale flossing. "Eh. I dunno. It just grows.. out. And is curly and.. whatever. My ma has nice hair and so does da, I dunno why mine is so dry and cruddy looking." Probably because he has no clue how to take care of it. "I don't want another partner. If I wanted to dance with someone else I go by myself someplace. But I want to be here with you." The bronzer says the last bit nice and low, so no one else can hear it. Eventually he realizes that she's not going to look at him, so rather than stare at her he lets his eyes wander about. At least she's okay with being close to him, and pick his battles where he can. Soon enough though the song is over and Kali is free of the torture. Zi'on nods to their table. "Come on, let's go get a stiff drink before we head out."

The idea of greenriders messing with her hair or anyone for that matter, have Kaliena pulling another face and her tone is both amused and annoyed. "I'll just stick to what I have," she mutters, stubborn until the very end. She's likely going to forever sport her wild mess of hair until forced to change. Even then, she'll make the change by her own hands before she goes to another. "Got the short end of the stick," she muses to Zi'on's unfortunate luck. "Guess I could see why you'd keep it short then. Suits you, anyways." It's not like Kaliena is any more knowledgeable in the realm of hair. She's only clinging to the subject because she's feeling awkward and exposed on the dance floor. Idle ramblings keep her from noticing things or looking around and her thoughts begin to wander and assume. "I know," she murmurs quietly to Zi'on's reassurance and there's a small smile for it. As the music comes to a close, she finally glances up at him and though the dance is done, she lingers by his side and maybe to make up for dodging his earlier attentions. "Mhm. A good drink sounds good." Kaliena agrees and allows the bronzerider to lead her back. "That wasn't half bad." She'll eventually admit in a soft voice as they walk.

Zi'on nods to Kali. "I guess you'll have it that way until you're a weyrling, then, hm?" Even if they let people get away with slightly long hair in weyrlinghood, there was no way anyone was going to allow Kali's wild mess to participate in weyrling activities. Zi'on shrugs a bit about his hair. "I guess. Though I'd look really funny with tan skin and blonde hair." He smiles a bit to Kali. His eyes finally fall back to her as the song is over, and he leads her back to their table, ordering two shots of whiskey on the way back. "Technically you've had rum before. Saucy Wench is rum, since it's made from sweetener." He grins and chuckles to her. "You think you could stand another dance then? Not now, but maybe some other time? Of course… if we uh… go public you'd have to accompany me to gathers and such. Or you could leave that duty up to Enka." Maybe he's poking at that jealousy sore?

That'll be the day. Because Kaliena won't part with her hair without a huge fight but right now her argument sticks firmly to the present. "Why are you so convinced I'll Impress?" she asks, sounding a touch frustrated as she glances up to Zi'on again, frowning heavily. "I dunno if you're teasing half the time." Shaking her head, she then gives the bronzerider an odd look. "Why would that be funny looking?" But it must seem weird to her too, since she smiles vaguely. Once they're back at their table, Kaliena settles herself back into her chair. "So you ordered whiskey then?" She must not have been paying attention when Zi'on ordered the shots and her attention is about to shift again. Taking a moment to glance down at the tabletop, the girl chews her lower lip as she considers the offer to dance again. "Not this time. Maybe… maybe another time. Quiet, like this." At the mention of going public and Gathers, Kaliena quits worrying her lower lip and her blue eyes widen a little as she looks up again to Zi'on. That jealously sore spot? Has been poked and the girl is discovering she doesn't like it. "She's the Weyrwoman, of course she has to be with you." She points out with a smirk.

Zi'on grins to her. "I dunno. I guess I don't really. But I bet if you wanted to impress you would." He doesn't want to keep teasing her about it, because then she might get stubborn and refuse to stand. "I'm not teasing most of the time. I really think you would." He shrugs then. "You don't think it would look weird with my complexion? I do. Anyways, I look like my ma, not my da. Not much I can do about it. Not really complaining too much either." He settles back into his seat as well. There's still a bit of beer left, so he splits it between their glasses. He nods to her. "We can stick to the slow dances and all. Maybe next time the Tiki Lounge has harpers going or whatnot. Then if we want to drink there's no worry about getting home." He nods about ordering the whiskey, too. Zi'on chuckles. "Well, true. But that doesn't mean we have to be -together- together. Though I think most people still assume we are. I guess that might work out in our favor. Maybe. If people assume you're a friend or a relative or something."

Kaliena tries really hard not to roll her eyes to Zi'on's grin and his reply and wins. But she does give him a level look to show that she doesn't believe a word he says. "I don't see why," she mumbles as she settles herself comfortably on the edge of her seat. Maybe she doesn't expect to linger long? "The Tiki Lounge…?" She frowns at that, uncertain at first before agreeing to it with a shrug of her shoulders. "I suppose it couldn't hurt." Then she's shaking her head and giving Zi'on a curious look. "So is it even worth the bother of hiding it? If what you said is true… if folk are already assuming."

The waitress comes over with their drinks and Zi'on lifts his to Kali before downing it. He uses the beer to chase. He doesn't seem like he's eager to linger around either. It was getting crowded now and stuffy. Plus Kali wasn't like to dance anymore. "Yeah. That place at Western. Where we had our date?" He raises a brow to her then. "You mean between us? People are assuming what? I don't think people assume anything." He shrugs. "But you're the one that wanted to hide it. To me it doesn't matter so much either way. But you might not like being in the spotlight about some things. I don't know how the people in the caverns would react or how they'd treat you really. So… whatever you want to do." He gets up then and grins to her. "Let's take a look around, shall we?" And with that, they're off!

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