Beach Bath

Autumn in the South - Month 4 of Turn 2717
(technically this scene is slightly back-dated)
Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.


The party to celebrate Xanadu's recent batch of weyrling's graduating to become riders had lasted well into the night, and it was late even when the foreign weyrlingmaster (and guest) had ducked out "early" in an effort (for R'sner at least) to escape the crowd and find a bit of breathing room. The plan, from the beginning, was to spend a few days in Xanadu after Lani's graduation. With Valeska and Pieta caring for Half Moon Bay's weyrlings, R'sner is comfortable enough spending a day or two in the southern Weyr taking what just might be a well-earned vacation. Even with guest accommodations being what they are (crowded), Res somehow manages to get himself and Nassir (and Toith) into a small weyr on the beach, which might still be tiny for two people, but is definitely better than the crowded resident hall in the Weyr proper. And so now, come late morning, it is where they are.

Or, at least, it is where R'sner is. And Toith, too. And while vacations are meant to be relaxing affairs, there is nothing relaxed about the weyrlingmaster in this moment. It might have (everything) to do with Toith, being more brown than green and covered nose to tail in something gross, refusing to do as requested. Dressed as though to swim (that is, in nothing but a pair of old trousers cut off at the knees), fingers to the bridge of his nose, Res takes deep, measured breaths and once again attempts to reason with his dragon. "You have to get in the water, Toith. There is no other option. Just… get into the damn water!" Yes. The Half Moon Bay Weyr weyrlingmaster is arguing with and swearing at his dragon. And is probably darn glad none of his weyrlings can see him right about now.

Nassir had slept in. It's been a long time since he has had the luxury to actually do that. Eventually, though, the argueing outside and the lack of a pointedly warm body lured him from bed. For once, he's dressed in shorts and what amounts to a tank top. Pausing at the entrance of the weyr, he finishes weaving his hair into a tight plait and chuckles as he steps barefoot onto the sand. "Apparently, she disagrees with you about her options," he points out as he moves toward Weyrlingmaster and dragon. "Morning, Toith," is offered as he flashes the 'brown' a wink. "Morning," is offered in warmer tones as he smooths a hand over R'sner's back. "Breath." The word, however, is chuckled, his fingers dipping down to whisper along the edge of R'sner's thigh where the shorts cut-off. The gesture, while teasing, is quick, coupled with a wink as he dances away to step toward the water. "You know," is murmured to Toith. "Getting clear is the best way to clear the path for getting dirty again."

While R'sner's gaze remains resolutely on Toith as Nassir joins them, it is only because he can feel the heat in his expression and would rather not turn it on the tailor. Tense, tense /tense/ beneath that hand on his back, though he does breathe as instructed. A deep breath drawn in. An audible exhale through clenched teeth and flared nostrils, that holds just a hint of a growl in frustration. The flash of his gaze comes with the touch to his leg; a side-eye given to Nassir because he's rather too tense to actually move his head. Or shoulders. Or anything, really. "/She/," and oh, but it's hissed through his teeth, "is of the opinion that simply piling more muck on top is better than 'starting over'." An opinion that R'sner very clearly disagrees with. "It is not /pampering/ Toith, it's a bath! I can feel you itching under there, and I refuse to scratch you through that filth." But still, there is a lash of tail through sand, the twisting of her muzzle to regard both tailor and lifemate with something akin to annoyance. "Yes, fine. Deal. Just get in the water," and, with a bargain apparently struck, she turns to mince her way into the shallows with the look of a cat made to walk through a puddle.

Nassir laughs. Despite the fact that it is probably unwise to laugh with R'sner's current mood, the sound bubbles from his lips with an obvious delight. "She's certainly stubborn," he affords in wry tones. Fortunately, he's smart enough not to point out that she shares that particular trait with her rider. It is as he dips his toes in the cool water that he glances over at Toith's mincing before turning his gaze to R'sner. "Coming?" In the wake of the word, he wades in a bit deeper, letting the water swirl around his knees. Indulging in a stretch, the tailor dips his hands in the water, sloushing it up his arms before straightening into a spine popping stretch that ends on a gusty sigh.

R'sner's ire is for his dragon so, while the laugh may not be appreciated, it goes uncontested. And wise, indeed, not to point out that particular commonality between man and beast at this particular juncture. Another time, another place, and R'sner would agree. But right here and right now? He does not need to be reminded that his dragon is a reflection of himself. It is a grunt. And honest to Faranth grunt that answers Nassir, though Res is moving toward the water quick enough as Toith sloshes her way a bit deeper. "All the way," is muttered as he enters the water. But it is to Nassir that Res heads for first; inelegant in his pursuit because he simply can't be bothered to mind his steps in his current mood. And so there is a fair bit of noise, of splashing and sloshing, to announce him well in advance of the hand that reaches for him. Toith begrudgingly complies and wades herself into the deeper water. A little sloshing around to rid her of the majority, and then she's crawling her way back over to sulk in the shallows. "You said you would help," murmurs R'sner. Which is not entirely true. But this is him asking, without actually… asking.

Watching the grumping pair it is all Nassir can do not to burst out in laughter. "I did," he agrees as he steps over and takes R'sner's hand. "And I will." Pausing a beat, he sinks down in the water, coming up with a gasp before slipping in against R'sner's side. "It'll be fun," he assures as he traces his fingers over the flat of the Weyrlingmaster's stomach. Messy, but fun, he decides as he watches Toith slinking off to sulk in the shallows. The decision made, he bestows a light pat to R'sner's stomach before hipping bumping him in Toith's direction. "Buck up, you've won the battle." Definately not the 'war', but for the time being, the battle.

"You," huffs R'sner as his stomach caves against the touch, "have a strange idea of what is fun." Because bathing Toith? Not on his list of favorite pastimes. With the grump and the persistent scowl, it is clear enough that the weyrlingmaster is not ready to let go of his irritation, even as he is moving off from that hip-bump and toward his sulking beast. Toith, having staked out her spot, is doing a fairly good impression of a dragon-shaped rock. The only part of her that denotes life are the whirling colors of her eyes and the shallow rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. She might have lost this battle, but that doesn't mean she has to like it! She won't even look at them, because how DARE they make her take bath! The indignity! The affront to her person! The— "Stop it," chides R'sner, having reached her side. "Scrub gently," he explains, sparing a glance for Nassir that at least does not look as though it is attempting to set anything ablaze. "Dragonhide is deceptively delicate. Tough, but… fragile." Because that makes so much sense. But he demonstrates, working his fingers diligently at the bits of gunk that have stubbornly lingered after Toith's initial rinse.

Nassir winks at R'sner, making no attempt to hide his amusement over the rider's irritation. Of course, he is having a good time, he's in Xanadu, on the beach, with the rider and dragon he adores. Granted, they both grumpy and irrated for dramatically different reasons, but that only serves to make it more entertaining for the tailor. At the chiding directed to Toith, his smile broadens, a swallowed laugh escaping as a cough as he does his level best to assume a serious expression and nod at the instruction. "Understood," he assures as he takes a moment to watch what R'sner is doing with his hands. Drawing closer to Toith's side, he reaches out and smooths his palms over her hide, being careful to use only the pads of his fingers on the caked on grim. "What did she get into," he asks curiously. Granted, it's probably better not to know, but that has never stopped Nassir before.

Truly, it is a little bit ridiculous for a grown man to be so pissed off over such a minor thing as his dragon not wanting to take a bath. And it is equally ridiculous for a grown dragon to be throwing a tantrum at having to take said bath. But well. This is their life. A frequent clashing of opinions and wills around the necessity of a bath (or, in Toith's opinion, the total unnecessary-ness of it). That Nassir is privy to the argument and the irritation, that R'sner is not schooling his expression into something proper and controlled, is actually something of an accomplishment. He is unguarded in this moment; even if that 'unguardedness' is revealed in a display of irritation. "I don't know," he grumps. "And I didn't ask," because he doesn't want to know. "But it stunk, and it's itching the hell out of her, though she won't admit it," he hisses towards the great big head that is refusing to look at him. But his irritation is starting to wane now that the task is being accomplished. "A combination of things, likely," is his guess, fingers picking at a stubborn bit of mud and gravel clinging to her shoulder. And even if Toith won't admit it, the slide of lids over faceted eyes says well enough that the scratch-scratch-scratching of fingers at work is at least pleasant.

"Well, at least it's coming off," Nassir offers in soothing tones. Moving in the opposite direction, he work his thumbs over a particularly stubborn spot before stooping to cup water in hands and rinse away the grime. In the wake of the rinse, he darts a splash of water toward R'sner before turning back to the dragon's hide with an innocent expression. Really, all things being equal, he has to hand it to Toith, this is a fantastic way to get a massage without actually having to ask for it. "Do you feel it," he asks curiously. "The itching I mean." He assumes so, given the grumpiness. "For that matter, do you feel the same satisfaction she feels when getting herself dirty?" As ridiculous as it may be, Nassir finds it oddly charming that R'sner is being so emotional. It's a rare thing with the normally stoic Weyrlingmaster.

"There is that," admits R'sner, pausing to rinse his own hand off before he works on the next patch of hide. It's as he is leaning in to peer at a particular bit of… whatever Toith got into this time that the splash hits him. And that innocent of expressions does not fool him one lick, blue eyes narrowed in assessment of the tailor. Squint. "My earlier warning still stands," he warns before turning back to the task at hand. "Yes," he acknowledges. "The itching, I feel. Not the satisfaction. I probably could, if I wanted too," he admits, rubbing his palm over the side of Toith's to find the next bit of stubborn mud. And while Toith might be tense and bitter and acting as though her life is over… yeah. Getting a free massage ain't so bad.

"I don't know what you are talking about," Nassir notes in sing-songy tones. The moment that R'sner turns back to Toith's hide, Nassir sends another splash his way. "Perhaps," he suggests as he dances back and returns to kneading a particularly large patch of grime. "You should consider sharing that satisfaction with her? Who knows, maybe if you make the effort, she'll make the effort of allowing herself to be bathed without fuss?" It makes sense to him. "On the same token," he teases. "I'm happy to scrub you down or scratch your back as necessary."

"… It's not… quite that simple," argues R'sner, who is going to try and ignore that second splash, though there's a glint in his eyes and a somewhat stubborn set to his chin and the look of a man who might just be plotting revenge as he rubs rather diligently at a patch of Toith's hide. "It would be… weird. I don't enjoy the sensation of rolling around in the mud. I would feel it, feel her satisfaction, but at the same time… it would just be uncomfortable…" a strange duality of sensations that has him grimacing briefly. "And no," he decides with a bit of a smirk for the tailor (even if he's still too irritated at Toith to show her the same expression). "Trust me. I have tried everything to get her to be more reasonable baths, and it does not work." A slant of his eyes toward the tailor at the tease, but it seems that Res just does not have a worthy comeback with which to reply.

"Have you ever tried a mud bath," Nassir asks pointedly. He's pretty sure that R'sner hasn't and it shows in the twinkle in his eye. "They can be very soothing if done correctly." Pausing a beat, he scrubs the back of his hand over his nose before sending his braid over his shoulders with a toss of his head. Glancing between rider and dragon, he snorts quietly, his head giving a slow shake as he turns back to the green's side. "I think you /both/ secretly enjoy being difficult." And speaking of difficult, he frowns faintly as he applies the heel of his hand to a particularly rough patch. "I thought the sand in my hair was troublesome," he murmurs in bemused tones.

"I don't need to try a mud bath," huffs R'sner. "And it is not just mud that she gets into. I doubt rolling around on a dead herdbeast is anyone's idea of fun." Except Toith. Toith thinks it's fun. And there might just be a bit of dead creature in whatever she got herself into this time; though Res isn't going to be thinking too hard about what might be under his nails as he scratches the next patch. Of course there's no comment about being difficult, though he will murmur, "Imagine doing this every other day, for the rest of your life," as he steps back to consider Toith's side as a whole. Whatever he sees has him moving as though to go around her as he continues, "And you wonder why I am so /difficult/," he murmurs, the inflection teasing in nature, "about her getting filthy." It is as he passes behind Nassir that there is a hook of his arm around the tailor's middle, a sweep of his leg meant to knock his feet out from under him, and the twist of his body meant to send them both crashing into the waist-high water.

"For a dragon, a dead herd beast is probably fu-" Nassir's response ends on a yelp of outrage and a gurgle of water as he's picked up and carried into the water. Instinctively, his arms shoot out in a flailing grab for R'sner's shoulders, a laugh punctuated by gasping coughs exhaled as he surfaces. "You're horrid," he laughs. Without so much as a pause, he sweeps his arm back, sending a wave of water toward the Weyrlingmaster's face. Nassir, however, is hot on the water's heels, his arms circling R'sner's shoulders as he catches his lips in a kiss. "Trying to drown me already," he purrs. "And here I thought I gave a decent massage."

It is a wicked grin, wide and full of smug delight, that answers the declaration of his horridness. "The worst," agrees R'sner, managing to reply before he's turning his face away from the onslaught headed for him. A rebuttal is necessary but, before he can launch a counter-attack, there are arms around his shoulders, and his own are going around Nassir automatically in return; to pull him against him as the kiss comes. "I would not have let you die," he assures. "I need you to finish washing Toith." And yet, he is in no particular hurry to get back to that task.

Nassir exhales a husky laugh at the response, his arms locking around R'sner's shoulders. "Good to know," he whispers as he tilts his chin up to press his teeth against the rider's lower lip. Biting gently, a low sound humms in his throat, long legs winding around the Weyrlingmaster's waist in a snug embrace. It is as he leans back from the bite, his hands smoothing over R'sner's shoulders that he both twists and pushes away, the motion intended to send his unwary companion ass over tea kettle into the water. Succeed, or fail, Nassir's laughter rings out, his arms flailing at the surface of the water as he attempts to regain Toith's side. "No runnerplay near the dragon!" It's a rule! Surely it is a rule!

Cruel, cruel distraction technique! R'sner? Not prepared. Not for such sabotage! The betrayal! And so he goes crashing into the water below while Nassir flees from his certain doom that will definitely catch up to him at some point. The weyrlingmaster is up soon enough, slinging water away from his eyes and pushing his hair back with a hand, cobalt-blue eyes fixed immediately upon the escaping tailor as he procrlaims rules that definitely do not exist and heads for… Toith. And that? That has R'sner laughing, because if there was a safe place to go in a water fight? Toith is not it! And so he's just laughing and half choking on the water still in his nose, sloshing unhurriedly in Nassir's wake, while Toith swings her head around to briefly regard the tailor before she's slicing her tail through the water to add her own wave to the game, a rumbling sound of amusement and glee emitted as she does so. Toith hates baths. But she loves games, and this has become the latter rather than the former. RIP Nassir! RIP R'sner! Because when Toith plays, she plays to WIN.

Nassir was NOT expecting the wave that comes from the traitorous dragon's tail swipe. Yelping, he is thrown off balance, his arms windmilling wildly as he goes under the water only to come up spluttering. "Cheater!" The word is exhaled on a laugh, one arm striking the water to send a human sized wave toward the gleefully rumbling dragon. Turning, he takes a moment to attempt to scrub water and wet hair from his eyes, his free hand sweeping out to point in what he /thinks/ is R'sner's direction— Given the wave and the dunking and the hair in his eyes, he's not entirely sure. "Don't you even think it."

"You," yells R'sner against the splashing and sputtering, "should have known better than to run to /her/ for safety!" But it's full of mirth, and glee, and a smile that's wide enough to be seen even from a distance. Nothing so subtle or slight about that particular expression. He's closing the distance now, twisting slightly to avoid dragon-sized waves and human-sized waves both, and finding Nassir's attempt to point at him (in the wrong direction) highly amusing. "Think about what?" he answers, feigning innocence despite the impish grin that still pulls at his mouth and the glint of mischief that shines in in his eyes. "You started it," he reminds him, but when he catches him (for surely he'll catch him, right?) it's to pull him close once more. One hand around the tailor, the other lifts to assist with the tucking of hair and general righting of that disheveled appearance. "Are you alright?"

There is no doubt in the tailor that he's going to be caught, the delighted laugh that escapes his lips as it becomes reality making that abundantly clear. Drawn in, his arms wind around R'sner's hips, long fingers tracing up the length of the Weyrlingmaster's spine as he leans in against his chest. "It is not possible to be better," he assures with a warm smile. Sweeping dark eyes up to cobalt, his expression softens, his finger tips whispering along R'sner's shoulder blades. He did start it and clearly he is not the least bit sorry for that. Still, he spends a few moments just watching R'sner's face before whispering. "I'll happily spend as many turns as I have helping you wash her back."

No one is watching Toith! But rather than launch an attack, she seems to decide that this is the perfect distraction to get her out of the rest of her bath. And so she'll just… shuffle herself over this way until she's far enough to turn and flee into the deeper water for a swim. And R'sner is perfectly OK with that, focused on Nassir rather than the retreat of his dragon. Fingertips to forehead; the gentle pinch wet hair to remove it, or the gentle brush of his thumb to clear stubborn drops of water. Until he's tracing the line of his scar, and then the side of his cheek. The wandering of his gaze turns purposeful, a meeting of eyes that lingers through the whisper of contact along his shoulders, and then the whisper of words. A search of the tailor's expression but rather than speak, he answers him with a kiss; gentle and affectionate, and full of the sentiment that he has not spoken but feels all the same: love.

Nassir remains very still, clinging contently to R'sner's form as warm fingers caress his face. There was a time when he'd been determined to hide his scar, but now? Now, he simply doesn't care that it is there for the world to see. Toith's escape goes unnoticed by the tailor, the entirety of his attention focused on R'sner as he yearns up into that kiss. Drinking in the taste of him, letting the unspoken feelings wash over him, it is only with the greatest reluctance that he draws back enough to whisper. "We could go take a nap?" Toith is happily swimming, having escaped bathtime, and the thought of curling back up in bed is entirely to tempting.

"That," murmurs R'sner, voice appropriately low and whisper-quiet, "Is a fantastic idea." A second, fleeting kiss is pressed to Nassir's lips before Res is letting his grasp lessen, releasing him from the embrace so that he can catch his hand instead. There is no thought, or glance, spared for Toith. She will swim, and frolic, and clean herself well enough. Rather, there is the threading of fingers through the tailor's own, an unhurried walk out of the water and toward the little weyr set not too far from away, and eventually enough, the curling up and taking of naps.


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