A First For Everything!

Western Weyr - Roof Garden

This roof garden is being planted with medicinal herbs. Even in its current, unfinished state, patients are often brought up here to get some fresh air and sun.


While more northernly climes likely boast a blanket of snow, Western only supports a miserable and cold drizzle. Sure, it's not as cold as it could be — like candidates from places such as Reaches boast — but it's still setting people on edge. You can't seem to go anywhere without ending up in poor shape. However, today has offered a respite from the dreary weather. The sun pokes through the clouds in spots, setting a pleasing warmth to the skin. Everything is still damp, but people are out and about enjoying it as much as they can. Being on general kitchen duties, Keelyra is in the rooftop garden checking on plants. Weeds are being pulled and dead leaves pinched off. She's crouched — in old trous due to the state of the ground — in a bed, tugging out some of the less-desirable plants.

The dreary weather and long hours of strange jobs have certainly gotten to Idris, who is very pleased to be somewhere familiar and doing a job she's done all her life- managing weeds and checking plants with Keelyra. The toll of the candidacy has found Idris letting go of her normal fastidiousness- her hair is unbraided and frizzy, loosely tied in pigtails for management. She hasn't let go of her skirts yet, but the ones she has on are old and already stained, torn and repaired, and no longer near as vividly green as she tends to wear. Kneeling beside a bed nearby Keelyra, she's doing much the same job- tugging weeds and removing dead leaves.

Velrich is not required to be in the dirt today. Which is…a shame, really. The man certainly doesn't seem to mind the dirt at all. Nor does he seem to mind the way the wet earth clings to his boots as he makes his way in from the maze. Sunshine or no, there's plenty to get stuck in treads as he meanders about. Hands have been shoved in pockets though, and he pauses to peer at th girls digging in the garden, brows raised ever so slightly. Interested? Well, old dirty trousers and torn, dirty skirts are interesting.

Keelyra was never a girl for skirts. Or many girly things, really. Likely due to all the hand-me-downs and never getting to have girly things. She grew up wishing for enough; adding more to the pile might have driven her crazy! She's tossing the dead leaves and weeds into a pile between her and Idris. Similar piles litter the other beds. The girl leans a bit further in, one hand braced in the dirt while the other checks some leaves on one of the plants. "Oughta talk to the Farmer 'bout some pest control. They're eating it up good. Must be all th'rain bringin' 'em out."

"I'm bout this close to moving to the desert, I'm so done with rain," Idris grumbles in reply. "Bet they don't have this many pests in Igen." She tugs out a particularly tough weed and leans back on her heels, holding it up to examine. "The bugs are even eating up the weeds! Can't they just leave our veggies and herbs alone?" The baker-candidate tosses the weed onto the pile and leans down again, hands sifting the weedy dirt around some desirable plants. "Least there's plenty of good bugs, too," she lifts up a worm, makes a face at it, and sets it back into dirt that has already had its weeds removed.

"They also don't have a whole hell of a lot of plants." Velrich smirks a bit to himself, finding something solid to lean on as he watches the girls work. No! These pants are not getting dirty! He tilts his head though to look at the sun for a moment or two, taking in the warmth with a bit of a face made. "I'd prefer it if it weren't just either..hot or rainy here, really."

"Y'haven't been here long enough, then" Keelyra says to Velrich, getting to her feet. She meanders to a spot with a few tools nearby and grabs a rake. She moves about the beds and begins to deftly rake the pulled up plant bits into a back corner of the garden where there's a larger, vaguely smelly pile. Yay compost! "It's actually quite nice after th'rainy month's an' before th'hot ones." A brief smirk, "Guess y'can't have it nice year 'round."

Idris makes a moue at Velrich. "Why do you have to go pointing out the logic? who cares if they don't have many plants, at least they don't have so much rain!" Mustering her energy, she rises to her feet and kicks a small clod of earth and weeds over to the pile of plant bits Keelyra is raking. "Anyway I say the same thing every year. Everyone here does. There's a bit of perfect weather on the in-betweens. I just wish it stuck around longer."

Velrich just shakes his head a little bit, lips remaining curled in a vague half-smile. "Maybe I haven't been around here long enough. But I prefer snow to…all of this." At least what he's seen so far. Arms fold over his chest as he watches the two though. "No place has perfect weather for everyone though, I guess." Some people hate heat, some hate cold. "This place is still..achingly hot to me."

Kilarden's head is the first thing that emerges through the door from the stairs, smile alive with just as much mirth as is living in his eyes. The three candidates are taken in, their tedious tasks noted, but it's Velrich who is the victim of a sneak attack. Yes, quiet as he can possibly be, he tip-toes into the gardens, making slow movements forward, forward until… PUSH! "It's raining!" Kilarden exclaims, leaning down to catch up Keelyra around her middle and hoist her up and off of her feet while she works. He gives her a little bit of a spin before setting her down and then hunkers into a crouch next to Idris, leaning toward the girl as if they may have just been the best of friends. Shoulder nudge! "It's raining," he says again, with a smile, and then he's rising to his full height, shuffling away from both girls with his arms stretched out as if to welcome every single drop into his arms.

"What's snow like?" Keelyra inquires of Velrich, continuing her raking. It leaves a lot of dirt and bits scattered about the walkways between vegetable and herb garden beds, but there's a broom by those various implements of gardening doom for just that purpose. She's about to trade out rake for broom and her hand has just left the former when Kilarden scoops her up. She squeaks somewhat, staggering once put down. Her eyes glint, but she grins, "Kil!"

"I did like the snow in Nabol, back in the day," Idris muses at Velrich and Keelyra. "So cold and fluffy and not exactly wet like rain. You can't pick up rain. We had some snowball fights…" she trails off into a giggle, expression nostalgic. She kneels back down in the next garden bed over and begins pulling weeds and dead leaves from that one. Sneak-attacking Kilarden earns a withering glance from Idris, who had /just/ settled back down to her weeding. "Why, your powers of observation are utter genius," is said with the best blandness she can muster. But really, she's not bothered and her expression gives away the amusement at his antics.

Velrich is /pushed/! How rude. But he jerks slightly as the contact is made, having to catch himself from losing his balance entirely. HAH! He will not be falling into the squishy ground today. No he won't. Though there's an abrupt bit of /glare/ for Kilarden for that, straightening up once more. "What's gotten into you?" He even reaches out a bit, promptly /punching/ the other candidate in the shoulder. Acceptable man-fashion retaliation. He settles once again though, /leaning/ as he had been before. "Snow is..cold. And wet." So descriptive.

Velrich can have all the acceptable man-fashioned retaliation that he wants! Kilarden rolls with the kiddies, and he retaliates to the retaliation in much the same fashion as his little sister would. When he's punched, he staggers back, but pounces by catching the younger man's cheek's betwixt fingers and /pinching/. "What's gotten into me? Half the time I can hardly breathe because this place doesn't know the /meaning/ of proper weather, and now look," release! Arms up, smile wide, "It's raining." He's rather like a broken record, but he does swoop Keely in under his arm, leaning his weight on her as grey eyes go for Idris. "My powers of observation are uncanny, as you can tell. I don't know if you caught it the first three times I said it, but it's /raining." Is that sarcasm? You bet you! But it's a rather friendly form of banter. "You're also picking weeds, or did you know?"

"It's hard t'imagine somethin' cold an wet that.." Keelyra just shakes her head a bit, apparently not even willing to try. "Mebbe I'll Impress an' I can get my dragon to take me somewhere like Telgar or High Reaches." She has snagged the broom and begun to clear the walkways somewhat. Mud and damp do not clear very well, but it's making a minor difference. Then she's tugged in against Kilarden and a slight flush rises on her cheeks. "I take it y'like the rain?" she asks of the other candidate, smirking somewhat.

Idris can't help but shakes her head in amusement at the young men tussling. When Keelyra is once again nabbed, there are chuckles, perhaps of sympathy for the other girl's plight. Idris is happy to stay on the ground, in the dirt. "Well thank Faranth I had you to point it out to me! Maybe I thought I was about to walk off a cliff but you made sure I know I'm just picking weeds! How can I /ever/ repay you?"

Not only is there pushing, but now poor Velrich's face is being manhandled? What nerve! The candidate rolls his eyes though, snorting. "Your sister is cute when she acts like that. /You/ aren't." There's that whole age difference. And the fact that Kilarden is male. He does at least move forward to try and shake the other male off of Keelyra, giving a bit of a huffing growl. "You're going to /crush/ the poor girl." Then she'll never get to see snow! She'll be smushed.

"No, not really," Kilarden responds to Keelyra, laughing, "but anything is better than that insufferable heat. Don't you agree?" The hair atop her head is tousled, but he's releasing her in favor of moving back when Velrich takes to treating Keely like porcelain. "Crush her?" he inquires, incredulous. "I wouldn't worry, Vel. I don't think Keely here is going to be crumbling any time soon." There's a deviant gleam when he pats the younger man on his arm, and then removes himself from the quarrel to hunker right back down into a crouch next to Idris. He looks solemn as he reaches out to place a gentle hand on her shoulder, "I would be repaid in kisses for my inarguably invaluable observation, Idris. But not for me." Yes, he points slowly towards Velrich, leveling him with a look that might suggest feigned… pity. "For him."

There's the expression of befuddlement mixed with mild embarassment painted upon Keelyra's features. Almost painted sloppily, for how much a mess her hair is now. Dirt, rain, and tousseling. She will need quite the soaking in the baths this evening! The young woman swallows a bit as she's left to wobble there, clutching broom tightly in both hands. "Well." She goes back to sweeping, casting furtive glances at the trio now.

"She /is/ the resilient sort," Idris points out of Keelyra. "Though I dunno, being squished by such a, uhm, tall man out here in the dirt is not the most pleasant of ways to be crushed." Was that innuendo? Maaaybe. And then Kilarden is hunkered down by her again and she is instantly flushing because now the joke's on her. Sort of. But she'll play along, because if anything she can save face like a trooper. She looks long at Velrich, pondering the young man carefully. "Well, I /suppose/ that is a fair," she nods slowly. "That is, if he can handle me, I mean I am kind of an expert." Not.

Velrich briefly rubs the back of his neck. Things are damp, sure, but it does feel..nice not to have the humidity bearing down on him. He shakes his head though at the mention of payment in /kisses/, eyes giving a faint roll. "Of course you do.." Wait, not for Kilarden? There's a blink then as he looks to find a finger pointed at../him/ of all people, straightening up again with a bit of a flustered look. "Wait, /what/?" This was not in the forecast for the day!

There's a conspirator's smile spared for Idris as she rolls with the punches. It takes Kilarden a moment or two to refrain from bursting at the seams with laughter, but he manages the bits that do come spilling uninvited with faux coughs. Cough. Cough, cough, cough. "I do think you might give him a run for his money, Idris. I mean, I don't think that Velrich has /ever/ been kissed before." He leans forward, maybe just a little too close, and gently bonks his forehead on hers. "Give him everything you've got." Kilarden stands, giving Velrich two opposable thumbs in a thumbs-up fashion while eyes go right back to Keelyra. He will just /innocently/ pursue the previous topic of rain and snow, thank you very much. "Don't you like the rain, Keely? I thought all girls liked dancing in it."

The reaction from poor, manly Velrich earns a snicker from Keelyra's corner. She finishes the sweeping — as best she can — and starts going through a wooden box, surfacing with a small bag. The label on the side speaks of tasty plant foods. Well, one must assume they are tasty. Who knows! She blinks at Kilarden and her cheeks burn once again. "T'be honest," she draws, scuffing toe at the ground, "'m kinda tired of it. I'd much rather be on th'beach an' swimmin'."

Idris continues to once-over Velrich, brown eyes carefully set in a considering gaze. Maybe there's a hint of amusement, and when Kilarden knocks her forehead she glances to him. She flushes just a tad but smirks at his question. "Come on now, your powers of observation need a /little/ work there. Dancing is nice and all, but girls like /kissing/ in the rain- haven't you heard there's nothing more romantic?" Yes, she went there. And that said, she returns her gaze to Velrich and grins wolfishly. "Now then," she murmurs, making an attempt at seduction that undoubtedly falls short of the mark. "There's a first time for everything…"

Velrich remains standing there for a minute, still looking completely baffled. Maybe even slightly horrified. A hand comes up though, slowly dragging down his face before he finally peers at the other three again…and then promptly stalks over, one hand pushing Kilarden /out/ of the way. That's right. SHOVE. He sinks down then next to Idris instead, poor knees of his clean pants pushed right into the damp dirt. "Kilarden doesn't know as much about me as he'd like to think he does." Sure, they can talk and joke about it all /they/ want. But it's Velrich that promptly leans just as Kilarden had been doing, invading space…to kiss Idris right on the…cheek.

"Beaches and swimming?" The thought of swimming seems to draw a disconcerted look from Kilarden, as if the thought of wading water just /might/ seem a subject that he simply cannot fathom. "I'd rather be standing in it while it drops on my head than drowning in it." Would that imply that the man can't swim? Probably, but then he's getting /pushed/ out of the way by a bulldozer named Velrich. No, he definitely wasn't expect that one. The words of irritation that the younger male candidate spews are taken, but they seem lost as his brows shoot up toward his hairline, mouth agape in momentary shock. Grey eyes seek out Keelyra then, finger pointing towards the spectacle before he finally manages to /laugh/. Yes, and he laughs, and laughs, and laughs, leaning forward as he clutches at his sides 'round the middle. "Don't worry, Velrich," Huff, huff, /laugh/. "Just take off your shirt and show her your scars; I'm sure she'll be much too awed to notice whether or not you're a bad kisser." What, you thought that just because Velrich managed to shock him, his wit would go scurrying away? Impossible!

How do you even take this kind of situation? Keelyra isn't sure. At all. There's a mixture of confusion, embarassment, and amusement all across her features. It causes a humorous juxtaposition. She inches behind Kilarden towards an innocuous garden box with a few plants sprouting up. She starts sprinkling the plant food on it and finally, perhaps waiting for Kilarden to finish his laughter, she offers: "Wha's so wrong with not havin' kissed before?" Ah-ha! We come to the heart of the matter. Maybe. Kind of. Hopefully.

Idris is suitably surprised by Velrich's forwardness, and flushes well and pink when he's suddenly THERE and kissing her cheek. But it is, after all, merely the cheek, and she's one to bounce back quickly, especially when the laughter registers and she realizes she might've just been had. Kilarden and Keelyra don't get a glance, though, she's staring at Velrich and trying to muster up some kind of witty parry. "Hey! I'm sposed to be doing the kissing, not you! No pre-emptive stealing of kisses, specially something as lame as a /cheek/!" Come on now! She reaches a hand out to grab at Velrich's arm in case he tries to rush away. He's down on the ground now, he'd better stay till she gets her satisfaction.

Velrich isn't in the practice of giving /satisfaction!/ And really, he might have definitely made a break for it…but for the arm holding onto him. Erk…being captured was not a part of the plan either. Kilarden's continuing to laugh earns a scathing glare from the candidate though. "I don't care if /you/ want to see me half naked or not, Kil. ..And for the sake of every little broken /shell/ that ever got hatched. Why don't you just kiss /Keelyra/ there if you're so fond of the subject? I'm sure /she's/ keen on the idea." Oh yes, that might be an evil sort of grin that works across the man's lips. He has /observed/ blushing behaviors! He has! Though there's a blink after a moment or two, before eyeing Idris. "…It isn't 'lame'. It's..respectful." See, /that/ was the lame part.

Kilarden is many, many things, but cruel has never been one of them. It's Keely that has him reeling in, containing laughter in a smile as the youngest candidate standing in the gardens manages her inquiry. He abandons his post of delighting in Velrich's misery long enough to bring his arm around her shoulders again, giving her a gentle squeeze as he says, "Nothing," and promptly leans to brush his lips against her cheek. It's chaste, nothing worth finding any glee in, and he's gone from her almost as quickly as he's come, eyes still dancing with laughter. They settle on Velrich, "Satisfied?" he asks, and he's hunkering down then to catch Idris. That's a kiss on /her/ cheek as well, and for the grand finale…? He's leaning down to kiss Velrich right smack-dab on his forehead. "There's no reason for you to be jealous, Velrich. Every time you kiss Kiltara and vice versa, you're kissing me too." And then he's leaning down to whisper something into the younger man's ear, a look of mild irritation on his features before it's wiped away almost instantaneously. He plops down on his butt right there, leaning back on his arms as he extends his legs out in front of him and wiggles his feet. "Go on, then. I'm enjoying the show."

When Velrich taunts Kilarden about Keelyra… or maybe he's taunting Keelyra about Kilarden? Either way, the girl freezes in place for a moment. Ample time and space for Kilarden to sweep in and place his kiss upon her cheek. Now it's a new kind of embarassment. Not the blushing of a girl with a crush, but the darker red high on cheeks of someone who feels she may have been made the center of a joke. The whispering doesn't help; certainly a small part of her brain advises her that they're not making fun, but… it is hard to remove all insecurities. So she twists and places her back to them, focusing on her work upon the garden proper.

"It's only respectful if it's your sister or your mom or your grandma!" Idris mumbles awkwardly, but she knows it's not that clever and she's back to blushing, her hand is dropped from Velrich and her expression is a struggle of trying to come up with something better to get some sort of upper hand in this conversation. And then she gets /another/ kiss on the cheek and Kilarden is down there in the dirt with them and her bravado is fast fading. She sputters and ums for a moment but really, she can't think of anything witty and suddenly the plants she had been weeding are /very/ interesting and wouldn't you know, the boys are in her way! She looks rather plaintively at Keelyra's back and calls, "Hey, um, need some help raking?" as she starts to sidle away from them.

"I don't kiss any of those people." Velrich isn't into a lot of familial affection. Does he /have/ family? If he does, he doesn't mention them. Still, he looks a bit harried by the entire experience, shifting on his knees and /leaning/ back when Kilarden comes back over. WARY. …And then there are manlips on his forehead. There's a bit of a blinking..floundering reaction from the man at that, followed by his own mild look of irritation at..whatever might be said to him. He remains sitting there, though, even when Idris gets up, rubbing the back of his neck.

Kilarden is definitely not out to hurt any feelings! Or induce grump, for that matter. He doesn't even attempt to still Idris when she flees for her female companion, instead focusing on the closest person to him: Velrich. He leans forward, shoulder going into the candidate's as he reaches one hand up and settles it in all that mess of hair. While he looks apologetic, he certainly doesn't vocally /offer/ any apologies, and after a moment of some silent man-to-man communication, he's abandoning that course of action to push himself to his feet. "Is there anything we can do to help, Idris and Keely?" See? He might not be flat out saying that he's sorry, but he's always been a strong believer in actions speaking louder than words - even if sometimes apologies /are/ the best course of action. "I'll finish up here if you two want to take a little break or something."

"Ah, uh. No thanks," Keelyra says, shifting a bit uncomfortably now. Her ears still burn, but that's fortunately hidden beneath hair. Otherwise she looks back to normal. "This is… kinda… uh… like meditation or somethin' t'me. I'm actually supposedta be peeling tubers, but I convinced them to let me do this."

Idris is still flushing by the time she reaches Keelyra, expression thoroughly flustered. "Yep, yep, meditation. I've got this, we can handle it." She's going to help rake or sweep or /something/, at least until she gets her sense of balance back. She scurries to find a broom and returns to the younger girl's side, facing away from the boys, and starts sweeping industriously. At least, as industriously as one can when the ground is wet. "So. Faranth. Those boys. Dangerous much, you think?" she murmurs, shaking her head all wide eyes, not exactly trying to be quiet. "Seem like they could just go and steal the virtue right out from under you." Not that finely weyrbred girls like these two have the same worries as that one Holder's daughter who joined their class.

Velrich is still a bit keyed up when Kilarden starts his leaning, although he does relax quite a bit after a moment or two. Silent, telepathic apologies are the best. That's man-communication, for you. They don't /need/ to have heart-to-heart talks! He remains seated as well when Kilarden also gets up. He doesn't argue with the offer to help..although when it's declined there's a bit of a shrug, even as he stands and brushes his pants off..the best he can. Alas, there are now dirt stains to be had. "If you're fine, then.."

"I can hear you~" Kilarden says, voice sing-song as his offer of help is denied, female meditation is put into place, and jabs are taken for all of man-kind. Still, the entire garden is saved from the suddenness of deadly awkward silences when there's a pitta-pat, pitta-pat, and a tiny dark head comes hauling tail from the stairs. Kiltara beelines straight for her brother, throwing herself against him before scooting away and hugging Velrich. The men are thus, in her opinion, taken well care of, and she's moving to Keely to catch at the bottom of the girl's shirt while grey eyes go to Idris. Stare. /Stare/. "Hello!" she chimes after a moment, lighting up as she emits one giggle and wiggles her fingers.

"I dunno if I'd mind that," Keelyra admits, flush rising again. This in response to virtue being stolen out from under her. "I'm tired of feeling like younger sister to the whole shardin' weyr." This is mumbled under her breath somewhat. Then, lo and behold! An actual younger sister! Well, not that Keely isn't, but Kiltara is very much so. The teen stops in her feeding of the plantses and smiles at the girl, "Hey there. Havin' fun?"

"I'm /pretty/ sure they don't all think you're the younger sister," Idris responds, more quietly than before, throwing a furtive glance back towards the boys and leaning on her broom. "You know they tease you and touch you a lot when they like you /that way/ and I know I've noticed that one is /very/ attentive to you," she gestures towards Kilarden, and suddenly there is a girl throwing herself on the boys and rushing over to Keely. Kiltara gets an amused smile. "Hey there sweet stuff. How's the day going?"

Velrich is attacked with a hug! One that doesn't bother him at all. There's a faint smile even for Kiltara, gently ruffling the little girl's hair before she dashes off again for 'girl talk'. ..And what girl talk it is! Thankfully, it's all…low. And Velrich certainly isn't hovering over their shoulders. Instead he shakes his head somewhat, fingers rifling through his own hair.. Damp! Instead he heads to Kilarden, situating himself there next to the other candidate. They have been locked out of helping! "They're gossiping."

"They're women, that's what women do best, and that's why we have Kiltara. She tells me everything." It's /not/ true, but Kilarden is feigning a smug look as he not-so-quietly relays this fact to Velrich none-the-less. The small, effeminate version of the renegade candidate is much too preoccupied with being asked about her day to care about the banter and teasing of brothers. "Oh, oh, oh! Today we saw a /dragon/. And I got to touch it!" The child seems all too delighted, bringing both arms up at her sides as if to make wings out of them, looking from girl, to girl, and then her brother. She's making a flight-path straight for Kilarden. He leans down to heft the child up, running fingers through her hair with a rather gentle smile as his lips find the corner of her brow. "So you had a good day today, then? Not another bad one?" Do you see that affection there? It's a mirror to exactly how he treats Keelyra! Silly girls and their silly reading between the lines. Kiltara only nods at that, leaning backward so that Kilarden has to place a hand on her lower back to keep himself from dropping her at the sudden shift of weight. It's okay, though - she knows Kil will always catch her. "Vely-Vel," Kiltara smiles, reaching out one grubby hand towards the man before she looks back to Keely. "I'm hungry." Pout! Eyes go to Idris… Upside down smile! It's Kilarden who's interjecting with, "Well, let's go get some food then. I haven't had anything to eat today." Pause. "Do you all care to join us? This one might be a little rowdy, but I promise to keep her under control." Sibling conspiracy! Look at those smiles, "Well, kind of."

And they ate happily ever after!

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