In Search of...

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Rooftop Garden
Soft grasses form a lawn central to this open air garden, producing a pleasant picnic space. Surrounding this greenery is a sanded and bordered path that wends around it and continues toward the front of the roof, where the pleasant aromas of cultivated herbs waft on the breeze. Rock gardens and low-hanging tropical trees form shelter from the elements, combined with an overhanging jut of the caldera wall, underneath which benches and sun chairs have been arrayed, rather like a natural gazebo.

The transport wing keeps J'en far from Half Moon Bay most of the time, exactly as the young bronzerider likes it. He always returns though, bound by duty and commitment not only to the weyr but to his weyrmate. Taeski is no where to be found though as Rukbat prepares to yield to the encroaching evening, splashing the sky with vibrant colors impossible to accurately describe to give them justice. The heat of the day has given way to the kind of coolness that invites the weyr's occupants to wander when otherwise they might be more inclined to remain indoors and below ground. Jae has dropped himself amongst the roots the very same tree he used to frequent as a candidate, eyes closed and head resting against a pillow of rough bark. One long leg is drawn up towards his chest where he rests an arm upon its knee, the other is stretched out to bare the weight of his other arm. Eighteen now, J'en was no longer a child, but rather a full grown man at height that surpassed even his father. Little else had changed about him, still sporting short black hair that spikes at the top of his head straight upwards, piercing on his lip and in both ears, and wearing dark somber riding leathers.

And then there's Ila'den, dressed head-to-toe in his usual leathers regardless of how cool or balmy the weather in Half Moon Bay gets. The bronzerider is taking slow steps, making soft, indecipherable noise as his remaining grey eye shifts in a manner that speaks to a man looking for something he's lost. Closer. "Come on now," comes delivered on a whispered brogue, Ila'den lowering to a crouch as he moves along as if trying not to spook something - not quite as agile as he may have been before, but far, far from being decrepit and immobile in his increasing age. And bam, he's crouching over J'en from behind, brow drawn up in what might be inquisition but is surely not surprise. "J'en," Ila says by way of greeting. "You wouldn't happen to have seen any kittens around here, would you?"

Fortunately for all involved and respectability, J'en is not easily snuck up on, at least not anymore. One used to be able to startle the bronzerider without much effort, having often let his thoughts wander with no mind given to his surroundings. The sound of boots scuffing on stone rouses the teen, dark lashes parting to reveal the golden hued eyes. He doesn't move otherwise, lids sliding partially closed as he waits, utterly relaxed by the looks of it. As whomever was approaching grows closer, the bronzerider's tongue slides over the piercing present on the left hand corner of his bottom lip, gaze eventually sliding towards Ila'den as he appears behind him over one shoulder. "No." The youth's expression is utterly neutral; his reply short, soft and equally even.

To be fair, Ila'den wasn't really trying to sneak in that respect; more like the man was doing his damnedest to prevent any skittish kittens fleeing with too sudden a movement. Disappointed with the answer or no, that grey eyes trails up the relaxed form of J'en until it's once more settled on the bronzerider's face and, without comment, Ila'den rises back to his full height. "I heard you found a kitten who wasn't of the feline persuasion." And he's talking about Kielric, of course, but there's no censure in his tone; in fact, the only thing to suggest Ila'den might be remotely angry behind that ever-present smile is the fact that his voice gets softer. Soft means dangerous where Ila'den is concerned - if you know the man well enough to clue in on his tales. Still, that grey eye swivels upwards towards the sky as if he's already lost interest in the topic, arms crossing over his chest as he presses one yet-to-be-as-bulky shoulder into the tree J'en is lounging beneath. "Which, of course, isn't any of my business except to remind you that the kitten's mother has claws." The smile that comes then is fleeting, diminishing as Ila'den exhales. "And I'm not sure if I should be telling you or Taeski first, but you're here so I'll tell you. Vauril is alive." And has been missing for well over a turn now. Idiot.

There is absolutely no change in demeanor as that very familiarly colored grey eye moves over him, other than letting his own golden variant to drift off now that he knows who the hell was wandering around back behind the tree. Information is power. Jae doesn't seem quite ready to leave, for all anyone knows, he'd just settled down before Ila'den arrived and so he remains rather motionless. Kielric might be eluded to with mention of a nonfeline kitten, but there is no suggestion that J'en knows at all what the older man is speaking off until perhaps said nonfeline kitten's mother is mentioned. If the boy is at all concerned about Ila'den or Iris, it certainly doesn't show, then again…little to nothing does anyway. "I'll keep that in mind," he says in an even tone to the empty garden before him, eyes drifting closed once again. Mention of Vauril doesn't earn any reaction, his chest gently rising and falling in silence. Eventually though, lashes part once again, and J'en stares off disinterestedly off across the relatively empty garden space. "I'll let Taeski know."

Maybe it's less the mother's claws and more the sister's claws Ila'den should be warning J'en about; Faranth knows that Risali would undoubtedly show up to defend her kid-brother's honor, just like everybody probably acknowledges that J'en would be more than capable of holding his own against her particular brand of fury. Regardless, that's not what's important. What's important is now, when Ila'den watches J'en for his responses and then finally, finally, he pushes away from the tree and gives the bronzerider his space. "You do that," he says softly, adding, "keep an eye out for kittens? Teimyrth swears he saw one and won't take me to Xanadu until we find it. Risali's standing." What his body language says is 'FUCKING K'VIR', but the man's already gone, stalking further into the garden with soft, patient sounds for a feline that may not even be here.

At six foot two in height these days, it's entirely possible that J'en could very well hold his own against Risali, depending on how much guilt the woman may or may not be able to milk out of him. For the most part though, the younger bronzerider sits there statue-like and keeps his gaze locked forward, not even bothering to glance the former weyrleader's direction when he hears clothing slide against bark to indicate movement. Lashes lower further to all but closed as Ila'den continues on his search for kittens, having given no reply to his parting thoughts. Only when there is no indication the former Weyrleader lingered, does Jae finally climb to his feet. He pauses beside the thick aged trunk, staring long at the very spot that the one-eyed man had occupied. Time passes slowly and quietly, then seemingly out of nowhere his left arm suddenly comes up as his fist is thrust swiftly towards the now vacant space. However, a single hair's width away from making contact he stops, breathing deeply a few times in and out before merely brushing his fingers over his target, soon dropping his arm back to his side. A moment or two more of stillness before his boots are the ones scuffing against stone, heralding his departure.

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