Skating Lessons

High Reaches Weyr - Lake Shore
Extending all the way out to the bowl wall, this large, beautiful lake draws human, dragon and firelizard alike throughout the Turn. The crystal-clear waters are fed by mountain springs, remaining chilly even during the heat of summer. Winter's harsh touch encompasses the Weyr's lake, having turned the rippling waters into a solid sheet of ice. Even the lake shore seems frosted over, often covered in snow as the precipitation continues to freeze on its way to the ground. On the coldest days, this area of the bowl seems barren, although the occasional dragon or firelizard happens by to play in the snow.
Overhead, gray clouds choke out the afternoon sun, and swirls of snow fall all around. Winter's cruel hand can be felt on the Weyr; the snow and ice linger even on the nicest days, and the nights are dangerously cold.

Zi'on has convinced Rhysa to come skating with him! He's made arrangements beforehand with the staff at High Reaches. A guest weyr's been set aside for them, and the bronzer's made sure that the fire is going and that there would be plenty of blankets on the bed for Rhysa. Despite it being spring, it's still pretty frigid at High Reaches. The lake is still good and frozen. There's even a light snowfall today. Zi'on tells Rhysa to meet him at the lake. He's already got skates picked up for the both of them, and is sitting on a rock by the lake tying up his skates.

As unconvinced as she is by this whole 'ice and snow' business, Rhysa is willing to give new things a try… at least once. And so, having left her unusually ebullient dragon to her own devices, high above the rim (clearly, no one at High Reaches will be permitted to miss the fact that they have visitors), the goldrider picks her very careful way down towards the lake, shivering despite the layers (and layers, and layers) of warm clothing she's covered herself with. "This counts as spring?" she wonders, dubiously, as she approaches, though at least there's a warm note of amusement caught up in that particular remark.

Zi'on has assured Rhysa that with enough layers she'll be fine. Warm, even! Though that doesn't count the bits that can't be covered. Like her face. Suldith runs around catching snowflakes for a while, then eventually he'll wing up to join Taveh up above the bowl. Zi'on pokes Rhysa when she gets close. "Can you even feel that?" He asks, laughing. "I got your skates here. Take a seat." He brushes the snow off the rock next to him. "It's spring. Ish. They only really have winter and summer up here. And summer is pretty quick.

"Not even remotely," answers Rhysa, with a giggle. "I feel like a… marshmallow or something. But at least it means I'm unlikely to break anything if I fall. On the other hand, I don't know how much I can move." Certainly, there's something waddle-like and stiff about the way she eases herself onto that rock, mitten-covered hands awkwardly gripping her legs. "And I bet those summers barely count, by our standards. It is pretty, though. All white and smooth."

Zi'on laughs. "Well, thankfully you don't -look- too much like a marshmellow. You might want to take off a layer though, so you can actually move around. Otherwise skating is going to be incredibly difficult for you." Zi'on holds out her skates. "Can you manage, or do you want me to lace you up?" He chuckles. "By our standards, it's more like early spring." He smiles to Rhysa, looking around and then back to her. "I agree. Very pretty view."

Move around? What kind of madness is this? Rhysa gives the frozen lake a wary glance, but then laughs, nodding. "I suppose I'd better. Presumably I'll warm up a little, once I'm moving." First, though, she'll accept the skates, which is evidently intended to answer whether she can manage, since she says, instead, "I bet they spend all winter coming to visit Western and Ista and all the other warm places. That's what I'd do, anyway. Plenty of pretty views there, too, and fewer clothes required to boot."

The moving madness! It wouldn't be any fun if Rhysa just put on the skates and… just stood out on the ice. "You will. You'll be sweating in all of that." Zi'on tightens up his own laces while they talk. "Heh. Maybe. Some people like the cold weather. I am not one of them." And clearly neither is Rhysa. Zi'on reaches over run the backs of his fingers along Rhysa's cheeks. "I just bring my pretty view with me." Wink wink.

She might make a very pretty ice sculpture! Alas, ornamental only goes so far. Rhysa's cheeks, beneath Zi'on's fingers, are cold - and flushed pink, now, in a way that can be attributed to the cold as well as to that comment. "You're terrible," she tells him, though she's laughing as she does so. "And adorable." She is, at least, making steady progress on getting her skates on and laced up properly, though even this much seems to be helping her warm up: she pauses, partway, in order to remove her outermost layer.

She would make a pretty ice sculpture. But Zi'on wants a warm, living girlfriend. He grins to her and leans over to kiss her cheek. "You love it. Your cheeks are the colors of rose petals today, Rose Petal." Zi'on wobbles up to his feet once Rhysa's just about done getting her skates on. "Hopefully the ice isn't too bumpy. The hardest part is this first part. Actually getting out there onto the ice from here. So I'll go first a little ahead of you, and then help you on."

Conveniently, Rhysa probably prefers being warm and living. Presumably, anyway. She returns that grin, making no attempt to deny that particular comment. "A person needs to at least try to live up to their nickname," she tells him, tightening the laces on her skate just so. "I'd better watch closely and see how you do it," she adds, drawing her hands back from her skates and straightening. "Is it really possible to walk in these?"

Zi'on grins. "You do it pretty well already." Hopefully Rhysa never asks what other sorts of things about her remind Zi'on of rose petals. Zi'on wobbles over to the lake, carefully placing each step so his feet don't come out from under him. "Don't roll your ankles. And don't lock your knees. That's all you need to remember, basically. There's enough there for you to walk on, yep." Zi'on makes it out to the ice, then skates around to hold out a hand for Rhysa.

Rhysanna grins, pleased. Luckily, it's unlikely to over occur to her that there might be more things. She leans forward, hands pressed to her knees, studying Zi'on's progress thoughtfully. If her expression's a little dubious by the end of that - can she really manage to replicate it? - she's at least undaunted in the way she wobbles to her own feet, and takes a cautious step forward. "Oh, this feels strange," she says, on an exhale. "I feel tall, too." A few more careful steps, and then she's at the edge of the ice, able to grab for Zi'on's hand. "Now what?"

Maybe if Zi'on starts calling her by her nickname while they're getting busy she might suspect something. What's that look for? Zi'on made it out without incident! It's just been a few turns since he's been out skating, is all. He chuckles a bit. "Yep. It does. And you look tall. You got enough space to move?" He takes her hand firmly when she moves over to him. "Now slowly come out onto the ice. It's slippery, so be careful. Don't let your legs come out from under you. Keep your center of balance over your feet."

It's possible. And then… then she would never be able to hear that nickname without blushing. That look seems to mostly have been for the awkwardness of it all - hers, in anticipation, as much as his. It disappears pretty quickly, at least, replaced by teeth pressing in to her lower lip in concentration, and absolute seriousness. "It's even more awkward than high heels, though," she declares. "But I think I'm okay." Gripping his hand, she takes another step, out onto the ice, letting out an abortive little squeal as her foot threatens to slide away - stopped, just in time.

And Zi'on wouldn't be able to use it in public. Without thinking of… that. The bronzer chuckles. "Having never worn high heels, I'll take your word for it." He blinks and puts his foot in front of Rhysa's. Perpendicular, so it can't slide anymore. He chuckles. "Just relax now and find your balance. The hard part is over." He slides around so he's next to her, taking her hand gently as he start to glide, slowly. She's coming with him, whether she likes it or not! Even if he has to pull her along.

Which is, admittedly, not an unpleasant thing to think about, but… not always appropriate. "Well, you don't need high heels to make your legs look long," says Rhysa, breezily, and with a grateful smile for that rescuing foot. Her breath exhales in a hurry as the bronzerider begins to glide, though she manages not to squeak or squeal: instead, her expression turns abruptly serious all over again, as she attempts to follow his lead. So far… so good.

Definitely not an unpleasant thing to think about. But definitely not appropriate at all times. It's bad enough Zi'on thinks about that as often as he does. Zi'on laughs. "Because I'm tall, or because I'm a man? You don't need them either, you already have great legs. Just try to keep them under you." He says with a chuckle. "See? You're doing just fine. Nice and easy, right?" He picks up the pace so it's still nice and easy, but not quite… snail.

Poor Zi'on. Or… well. Something, anyway. "Both," is Rhysa's prompt answer. "You'd be a giant in heels. Even more than you are. But I… sometimes a girl likes to feel tall." Not, in Rhysa's case, all that often: it's pretty rare that she bothers with them. "But thank you. Keeping them under me, right." She may not have fallen on her face (yet), but she's still cautious, eyes on her feet at all times. "My guess is 'easy' is relative, and mostly related to the fact that I can hold on to you," she adds, though she's laughing as she says it. "But all right. Not so hard, for now."

Zi'on chuckles. "Fair enough. I'm sure you'd look good in heels." The bronzer can't recall her every wearing them. He found them generally to be impractical. "Eventually I'll let you give it a go on your own. Once you're feeling confident." As they near the end of the lake, Zi'on starts to turn slowly. It shouldn't be that much different than what they've been up to, but he is going a little bit faster. "It's fun, right? Different than just boring old walking."

"I'm pretty sure you think I look good in everything," counters Rhysa, with a laugh. "Not that I wear them often. I'd rather be able to move." The way she is now, even, even if she's still cautiously holding on— and paying more attention than she probably needs to to her feet. The added speed has her exhaling, but not, at least, in fear; her expression is exhilarated. "Eventually, you'll see me fall on my face, then," she says, though she's laughing again, and there's glee in her voice. "No, no, it is fun. Like— flying, sort of."

"Well, you do look good in just about everything! At least everything I've seen you in. You even look cute in my clothes." At least Zi'on's shirts. He laughs. "You won't fall on your face. Worst case you'll fall on your rump." He looks at her behind. "How many pairs of pants are you wearing?" He grins and nods. "It's smooth, like sailing over the water." Once they're turned, the bronzer gently lets go of Rhysa's hand, though he stays close for a bit. Just in case she panics.

Rhysanna does seem to enjoy wearing Zi'on's shirts. That she's cute in them… well, that's just a bonus. "Really, I should stop investing in more of them, then," she begins to say, cutting off the rest of her train of thought as they turn - and as she's released. She squeaks, hand flailing after Zi'on's, all progress halting as she attempts to regain the balance she hadn't actually lost. On the plus side, she doesn't actually fall. "Mean! Give me some warning, at least." Cautiously, she attempts to glide forward.

Every so often Zi'on is going to have to comb Rhysa's place for his shirts. Once he has none left. Though usually he just picks them up before he goes home. "Investing in what… clothes?" He chuckles. Then blinks as she's let go and flails around. He laughs, putting a hand at the small of her back. "You weren't even putting any weight on me." He gives her a gentle nudge forward, then skates out in front of her.

"Clothes." Clothes are very serious business… when you're Rhysa, anyway. And especially when you have disposable income for the first time in your life. More importantly: "Yes, but…" It was a surprise. The nudge, luckily, only gives her a little more momentum, and though she's relatively unsteady, she's still certainly upright. For… a couple of paces, anyway, before one foot slides, and down she goes, onto her ass. She squeaks, but manages to avoid putting her hands down to prevent her fall.

Zi'on deals with his wardrobe in a very systematic fashion. He just has his weaver come to visit every six months or so, size him up for some new things and take away some of his old things. "You should find a weaver you like, and stick with him or her. That's what I do." Zi'on is turning around to skate backwards in front of Rhysa, only to catch her fall backwards onto her behind. He chuckles a bit. "You alright? I guess I'll keep hold of you, then…" He heads over to offer her a hand up. Or to help hoist her back to her feet.

Oh no. Rhysa is determined, now. "I'm fine," she says quickly, as she takes Zi'on's hand, using it to help propel herself back to her feet. Afterwards, though, she's quick to release it, her expression taking on a focused, determined kind of look. "I'm going to get this. Even if I have to fall a dozen times. Anyway," just like that, she's changing the subject back again, moving forward slowly, and with experimental consideration, "to do that, I need to try different weavers out. Research. It's a good thing I have plenty of closet space."

Zi'on chuckles a bit as she tosses his hand away after she's upright again. He goes back to skating around then at his own pace. Though he doesn't stray too far. "Heh… you'll be bruised. If you're feeling wobbly, you can slow down by turning your skates to the side a bit." Zi'on skates backwards in front of her. "Er… if you say so. I just stuck with the first one that seemed to work well. I dunno. Do you think I should shop around for a new weaver?"

Rhysanna is plainly impressed by the backwards skating, though she's equally plainly unlikely to try that any time soon: it's enough that she manages to go a good few paces without wobbling, though she does try out that skate-turning thing, just to make sure. "I'd rather avoid the bruising," she acknowledges. "If I can help it. It'd look pretty awful. No, I don't think you should shop around for a new weaver. You always look fine. I'm just… picky. It's not like men's fashions change that much between one turn and the next." There's a gleam of amusement in her expression, now: "You've seen the way women shop."

Zi'on smiles to Rhysa. He glances behind him, just to make sure he's not going to skate off the end of the lake. "I would rather you do that, too. I don't want to have to explain to everyone why you're sitting on a seat ring after we get back from a date at High Reaches. They might assume things that aren't true." He grins. "Well, you're allowed to be picky, I suppose. I have. And it's rather awful. I'll gladly foot the bill, as long as I don't have to sit there while you try on everything in the shop."

Rhysanna blushes, though between the cold air and the exercise, it's rather less visible than it might usually be. "I'd prefer to avoid being the topic of people's gossip," she agrees, carefully slowing herself after one foot wobbles; this time, she manages not to fall. Clearly, she's pleased with this, and when she resumes skating, she picks up a little more speed. "Poor Zi'on," she teases. "Made to endure shopping. I promise, I won't drag you along with me. Anyway, there's no point, if you think I look good in everything."

Zi'on laughs. "Yes. Let's avoid that, where we can." Already there were enough eyes and ears looking to get a glimpse into their private lives. And tidbits of something like Rhysa on a seat ring would spread like wildfire. He grins. "Exactly. I'm a worthless shopping partner. Just useful as a walking wallet." The bronzer turns back around, skating around Rhysa and taking her hand again. "Ready for a trick?"

It's probably mere mention of being talked about that has Rhysa glancing over her shoulder, looking around as if to make sure they're not being watched now, even so far from home. She's evidently relatively comfortable with what she sees (or doesn't see), because as she glances back, she's smiling again. "Sadly, it does seem that your skills are not in the shopping arena. At least you seem to have other skills to make up for it. What kind of trick?" Her hand squeezes his, though: despite the question, she seems to be willing.

Zi'on has learned over the turns to just ignore the fishbowl. Otherwise he would go crazy. Though it never helped the girls he dated. Most of them always wanted to keep it secret as long as they could. He grins to Rhysa. "No.. they're not. Sorry. At least not for clothes. I've done pretty well with jewelry though." He laughs. "Like my ice skating skills?" Zi'on actually looks surprised when Rhysa agrees to the trick. "Really? Let's do this…" He skates around so he's in front of her, going backwards. His hands on her hips. "I'll lift you up for a bit. Ready? 1… 2…"

Rhysanna, at least, hasn't ever seem fussed about secrecy… though she's also never had much of an opportunity, there. The rest… she'll probably find it easier with time. "You're definitely better with jewelry," she confirms, with a smile. "Like your ice skating skills— what, was I supposed to say no to that? Perhaps I'm just feeling the daredevil urge." Or perhaps having managed to stay on two feet for five minutes means she feels confident. Even so, her expression takes on a frown of concentration as he counts down, teeth biting in to her lower lip; she nods, knees bending just slightly.

Rhysa didn't have much choice of people poking around into her business. As a goldrider it was bound to happen. But getting into bed with Zi'on… well that didn't help anything, but at least she wasn't pulling some other unsuspecting chap into the fray? He laughs. "I expected you to protest, yep. But if you want to try… I'm game." Then the countdown begins! And finally… "Three!" And Zi'on lifts Rhysa up, continuing to skate. Okay, so he's never done this before either! It lasts half a second, then he sets her back down. As gently as he can manage. Hopefully they can stay upright?

Basically, Rhysa is twice-cursed, as far as any possibility of privacy is concerned. Woe, etc. "I like to surprise you, occasionally," she tells him, with a grin. "And myself. And apparently I trust you." She smile is gone by the time he lifts her, but that's mostly because she's focusing so intently, and holding back the squeak that certainly threatens to escape. Her eyes, though? They gleam, even if her expression turns concerned again as she's set back down, feet scrambling for security despite the gentleness. "Okay," she says. "That was fun." And she's still upright!

Yes. Woe. Zi'on grins. "You're becoming a daredevil in your old age, Rhysa." Up she goes! And then back down. And she doesn't even wobble down! He retains a hold on her as she's set down. And he makes sure she's got her feet under her before he lets her go. "I've never done that before. It was fun! You're a natural at this skating thing." Zi'on takes her hand and starts to pull her along. Faster and faster!

Old age! Rhysa sticks out her tongue for that, but is prevented from answering by virtue of being up in the air, and thus busy. "I have a good teacher, more to the point," she answers, though she's clearly pleased. "One who—" Pulled along, her attention hurriedly goes back to making sure her feet stay beneath her, and move in the appropriate way. Faster and faster, and if her hand tightens around Zi'on's, for security, she also manages, after a few steps, to look at something other than her feet.

Zi'on doesn't answer Rhysa. He's having too much fun pulling her along this way and that. Suddenly he changes directions, and Rhysa gets pulled along this way! Then that way! Then he skates around her, pulling her in a circle! He is holding her hand though. So if she goes down, it's likely he's going with her!

Sadly, she is definitely going down. Oh, she starts off well enough, and her laughter is certainly a good sign, but somewhere amidst the direction changing, one of her feet gets tangled in the other, and there's no recovering after that. Down she goes, and though she does half-release Zi'on's hand in the process, he'll definitely get a good, hard tug first.

Down she goes! And down Zi'on goes with her! After the tug, Zi'on wobbles around a bit, even once Rhysa's on the ice. "Whooaaaa~" He's moving too fast and can't get his balance to stop though, and so he flops back onto his own rump and goes sliding across the ice on it. Whee! "Oof. Maybe not quite ready for that much fun!"

Rhysanna, at least, manages not to go sliding too far… but she's also wincing as she sticks one hand beneath herself to rub the bruises that are no doubt already falling. Her eyes widen as Zi'on falls and then slides; she winces, biting her lip in a way that suggests fervent, if unspoken, apology. "Maybe not," is serious, or at least starts that way: by the end of the second word she's started to giggle, and after that, she can't seem to stop herself.

Zi'on now has his own bruises! Yay! He grunts a bit, trying to get up. Only to have his hands slide out from under him and go back down onto the ice in an awkward fashion. Which causes him to cry out in pain, and… well, grab between his legs. "Aaaa… I sat on my boys…" Though thankfully it was only the second fall which he sat on them. Not the first. After adjusting himself, tenderly, he manages to wobble up to his feet. There's further adjustment as he heads over to help Rhysa up. "Ow… You alright, Rhysa?"

Covering her giggles with her hand, Rhysa simply stares at Zi'on after his second fall, expression caught between that continued laughter and definite sympathy. "I'm okay," she manages, as he approaches. "But are you? Do we need to gather up some snow for your, uh…" Bruises aside, she manages to stand up okay, especially with Zi'on's assistance. "Maybe that's enough fun for one day."

Zi'on gives Rhysa a sort-of smile. "Heh… no. I think they're okay. I didn't sit on them that bad. They'll still work, don't worry." Once Rhysa is back on her skates, Zi'on dusts her off and gives her a hug. "I think that's a good idea. I can't feel my face anymore anyways. And I could go for some hot klah and a bit bowl of stew in front of the fire." Which means he'll have some brought to the weyr they're staying in before they get there. For now though, it's a slow skate back to shore and a careful move back to the rock to untie skates.

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