Dinner Date... and a Discovery

Western Weyr - Tiki Lounge Patio
As one walks onto the wood panelled flooring, they are greeted with the scent of burning oil, the likely source the various torches burning along the perimeter of the flooring. The flooring is littered with tables shaded with umbrellas, matching chairs tucked beneath when not in use. People of all sorts gather in clusters to talk or people watch. One can easily see into the tavern, its large windows usually open to the outside. Music flows in from inside, carried by the sea breeze, encouraging some people to dance, or even sing along.

Evening. At Western of course the air remains warm, so sitting outdoors is quite comfortable. Which is likely why Tahli can be found there. He's settled himself at one of the patio tables though, sipping from a drink that he's only partially started into. No, he hasn't been there very long at all.

He's stil there before Fynnigan is though. The lad looks well-groomed, as if he's put in the extra effort to make himself smart: his curls are tamed into a ponytail, his tunic looks freshly-pressed and tidy, and he even smells of a faint… something. Something woodsy! When he sees Tahlia already sitting he drops his gaze and blushes, hiding his grin. "Hi." Up onto the patio he comes, pausing by the table. "May I have a seat?"

Tahli lets go of his drink, damp fingers lightly rubbing together for a moment. He brightens though at Fynn, stifling a laugh as he waves toward the other seat. "Please do." Really, the other teen is far too polite. Still, he goes back to holding his drink, occasionally giving the wedge of lemon in it a slight poke. "How are you?"

Fynnigan sits, drawing his chair up towards the table and settling his hands in his lap. He leans slightly towards Tahli, giving him a warm, if slightly coy smile. "I'm very good, thank you. How are you? You look lovely." He catches the attention of a passing waitress, and orders himself a drink, then turns to the pretty blonde sat opposite. "Can I get you anything else to drink? Would you like anything?"

Tahli colors immediately, but shakes his head. "Oh, no. I'm fine with this, thank you." He lets out another breath though, finally lifting his eyes again to peer right back at Fynn, smiling softly. "I'm fine. And chore-free, so there's no worry of anyone being upset at the time I return to the dorm."

"Oh, that's good! So… so we can eat dinner… slowly?" Fynn's answer is awkward, with grin that causes his dimple to appear. "Do you know what you'd like to eat? I'm not sure what's on the menu here. Could, um… maybe… maybe you could order for us, if you'd like?"

Tahli tilts his head a bit, though his smile is indulgent. "We can eat, maybe even take a walk?" Just not by the water that Fynn dislikes so much. The mention of menus and ordering has the teen looking sheepish though. "I'm not exactly one of very..refined..tastes.." Which is why he ends up ordering baskets of fried wherry meat, as well as tuber slices. It was a safe enough meal that most anyone could like!

It does it for Fynn! "I'd like to take a walk. It'd be nice to see a little more of the Weyr, maybe? I've not, um, explored much yet, I've not had the ti— well, I /have/ had the time, but I've not had the… I mean, I'm not sure —" He trails off, looking awkwardly down into his lap for a long moment. Then his gaze raises, and he gives Tahli a lopsided smile. "I'd like to see some of the forest, if you'd like to show me."

Tahli smiles all the more for Fynn's floundering, but nods. "I'd be happy to. I go out there fairly often so I know the way." Even in the dark. Which would be good given the after dinner excursion. He does shift though, extending his legs just enough to make light contact with Fynn's own boot, innocently looking at his drink. "You've been here for days and you haven't looked around at all?"

Fynnigan :'s eyes open wide for a few seconds, before he blinks furiously and picks up his drink to sip. There's /contact/! He clears his throat, smiling at Tahli. "I'm not sure where I can go, where I can't go, where I might get in the way… I've been trying not to make a nuisance of myself, truth be told. Though I've also been doing a little work in the lower caverns, just little bits that I can help with here and there, but I've never really gone any further than where I saw you yesterday."

Tahli shakes his head, laughing softly. "I doubt there's anyplace you'll be told to get out." Though he pauses, and grins, leaning forward on an arm. "Though I wouldn't recommend waltzing into the weyrwoman's weyr. That could get you eaten, I hear." And if that foot happens to lightly rub Fynn's? Pure coincidence!

/Rubbing/? That makes Fynn sit up straight as a rod, pushing that sweet smile even wider so that his dimple grows deeper. "I-I… I'd like… like to explore with you, Tahli." More juice is sipped, there's silence for a moment, and then… he brushes his foot back against the Healer's… only to blush crimson from his cheeks to his ears.

Tahli blinks, but smiles again. Fynn does get that reaction a lot from him! "I'd love to explore a lot of things with you, Fynn," He offers sweetly, lashes lowering just a little. The reciprocated contact earns a faint sigh of breath though, that hint of worry abating that he had been doing the wrong thing. But look! Food! The healer is all too happy to start in on it…if slowly.

Fynnigan follows his date's lead, reaching out for some chicken. It may have been intentional that he reaches for the same basket that Tahli's gone for… or it may be completely accidental. As accidental, perhaps, as the brush of hand against hand. When it happens the curly-haired teen stops dead, biting his lower lip and looking unsure as to what he's going to do about it.

What else is there to do but distract Fynn with the soft side of his boot gently treading up on the side of his leg a moment? Tahli pats Fynn's hand though, foot returned innocently to the floor as he tugs the food over, biting in. He laughs a bit though, waving one of the tuber pieces at the older teen. "Relax a little…"

How can Fynn relax, when he's being /touched/? He exhales long and slow, calming himself before taking a bite of a sliced tuber. "I'm sorry. You make me…" His hand is waved abstractly in the air as he thinks of how to end that sentence - then gives up with a hopeless shrug of his shoulders. "I can't help it. You're very distracting — in the good sort of way!"

"That's…nice to hear." It is! And Tahli continues to outright beam as he eats, foot remaining in and out of contact every so often. The poor guy needs help acclimating himself to touch, after all. "Is the food alright for you?"

"It's very good." To prove it, Fynnigan picks up another piece of chicken to nom on. "Are you enjoying yourself? Is everything ok for you? Can I do anything - would you like another drink?" His own glass is nearly empty, as he's just realised, so he waves a waitress over for refills. Once the girl's gone from their table, he reaches out with his foot to just gently bump his toes against the blonde's.

Laughter bubbles up again. "One thing at a time! Heh, you don't have to do everything..and don't worry. Really. Besides, I eat here all the time, I love what they have." Though Fynn's willingness to join in the play of contact earns him another light brush up the side of his leg..though the inside of it. Tahli simply ignores what his foot might be up to, instead smiling when a refill is brought to him. "Thank you."

This time the gasp is audible enough to be heard by someone at the next table, and Fynn gives them an embarrassed, apologetic look while turning beetroot red from top to bottom. When he finally gets it together enough to look up from his plate and at Tahli, he has to bite back an amused laugh. "Would you like to finish these drinks, then go for a walk? Perhaps we can watch the sunset from somewhere…" More alone? "Peaceful."

Tahli even manages to look a little embarrassed at the rather audible noise, jerking his foot back. A bit pinkish, he nods at the suggestion that involves /leaving/, taking the time to down quite a bit of his drink. "That idea sounds marvelous."

Fynnigan laughs again when he sees Tahli drinking up so quickly - but he matches him, looking both nervous and excited. When they're done he hands over marks to pay for what they've had, then gets to his feet and walks to Tahli's side of the table, offering his hand for the blonde to use when standing. "Would you like to lead the way, Tahli? You know it so much better than I do."

Tahli does use Fynn's hand, getting to his feet…although he doesn't let go either. He simply holds right on, letting the joined hands fall between them as he tugs on Fynn, smiling all the more. "I know a good place, I think."

Wilderness – Ridge

The path from the jungle finally peaks at the ridge, and with enough vegitation cleared a panoramic view spreads out of the land below. A wooden bench sits patiently for passers-by to stop and sit and rest.

Fynnigan doesn't mind the not letting go of his hand at all, though he does blush and grin stupidly. Isn't that the normal reaction, though? Still, he allows Tahli to lead the way, and when they finally reach their destination, the brunette trader-type-thing whistles in appreciation. "Faranth," he gushes, giving Tahli's hand a little squeeze. "This is so beautiful."

Tahli turns almost gold eyes back onto Fynn for a moment, smiling. "It's wonderful up here in the middle of the day, when it's hot and there's a breeze. If you look, there's a path down the cliff to the beach, even."

Fynnigan does look, leaning a little around Tahli to be able to see it properly. "I think it's perfect right now. The night sky is stunning, don't you just love the stars? And they look so different here to how they did in Ista, too… see that constellation, all the way over there?" He points it out, a cluster of stars off to the far right. "That would normally be overhead. I used to call it the Dragon growing, because if you squinted closely enough… it looked like one."

Tahli moves a little close while peering at the stars, trying to get Fynn's point of view. His eyes are a bit wide though, enjoying the view before looking to the other teen again fondly. "You know at lot about the stars?"

"I know a little." Fynn has noticed the closeness, but doesn't seem to be stuttering for once, nor is he jumping away. "My father and grandfather are Seacrafters. Grandad taught me how to navigate with them. I just think they're beautiful, though. Would you like to sit, so we can look at them for a while longer? Or would you like to keep going?"

"We can sit. They /are/ beautiful." Tahli squeezes Fynn's hand a bit then, before moving over to sit on the bench. He lets go of Fynn's hand though to do so, absently tucking hair behind his ear afterward.

Looking at the stars gives Fynn a reason to calm down a little, because he's not looking directly at Tahli. He does, however, sneak a sideways glance on more than one occasion when he thinks he's being sneaky enough to risk it. The silence that falls between them is comfortable, for him at least, and he reaches ever-so-slowly to rest his hand over Tahli's. "The starlight makes you look beautiful."

Tahli blushes, hiding his face a bit by resting his head on Fynn's shoulder. "You really don't need to say things like that.." Embarrassing, it is! Though a moment later he rises up a bit to press his lips against Fynn's cheek.

Fynnigan frowns, pursing his lips. After the kiss to his cheek he curls a finger gently under Tahli's cheek, tilting his face upward slightly. "But I want to tell you that. You're beautiful. You should know it." Perhaps there was something in his drink to make him a little bolder? "Don't you like me saying that to you?"

Tahli does look up. "It's just strange to hear, I suppose." And sounds like something girls want to hear! He does smile though, fingers lifting a bit onto Fynn's arm. Hey, the older teen does seem a little less afraid of the contact.

"I meant to bring you some flowers," Fynn admits, looking a little bashful at the fact that he forgot them. "Would you mind if I got them for you later? If you'd like them? It's normal to bring something to the first date, isn't it?" He hesitantly reaches to tuck back a strand of Tahli's hair, smiling awkwardly at him. "I'd like to give you something."

"I didn't bring anything either. Should I?" Tahli's eyes widen just a little bit. He was supposed to bring a present? "I do like flowers.. The the one you gave me before."

"Um, no, no Tahli, you didn't have to bring anything. I-I asked for the date, so… so it would be up to me to bring /you/ something. Perhaps… wait. Just a moment. Wait /right/ here." Fynnigan gets to his feet and tracks back along the path they arrived on, disappearing into the dark. When he comes back 10 minutes or so later, he's carrying a small bunch of just-picked flowers - including the same light purple ones he picked for Tahli the day before. "It's not very much, but… would you like these?"

Tahli waits! And patiently too, although worry does start to set in when Fynn is gone a little while. In the dark. He perks when he does return though, eyes faintly widening. "Oh! You really didn't have to…"

Fynnigan sets the flowers down in Tahli's lap, giving him a dimpled smile. "But I wanted to." He sits back on the bench, a little closer to the Healer this time. The way he blinks so rapidly and so often suggests he's thinking very hard about something - pondering whether to continue with the slow, slow lean towards the blonde, or whether to pull back.

Tahli stares at the flowers in his lap for a moment. They really were beautiful. Though after a bit he looks at Fynn again, smiling faintly at that bit of leaning. He simply closes the gap, brushing his lips lightly to the older teen's.

And there isn't a freak-out from Fynn! Not this time. The kiss is light, hesitant yet still somehow full of promise, sweet and soft and accompanied by a gentle hand being placed on Tahli's thigh, just above his knee.

Tahli slides a hand up and under Fynn's jaw, gently clutching at him to bring him that much closer. If Fynn isn't pulling back, Tahli will darn well enjoy what he can get!

Fynnigan's fingers gently squeeze where they're curled around Tahli's slender thigh, and eventually, with a somewhat disappointed little sigh, he pulls back and looks thoroughly sheepish… and absolutely pleased with himself, from his flushed pink cheeks to his dimple-causing smile. "I hope that was alright?" Though, given how Tahli reacted, he's pretty sure he already knows what the blonde's answer will be.

Tahli lets out a slow breath, although he promptly leans right into Fynn. Arms going around the older teen, he hugs him a bit, laughing. "What I'm alright with would make your ears bleed. But it was wonderful."

Not sure whether to laugh or look terrified at that answer, Fynn opts for a crooked smile instead. "Oh. Um…" He returns the hug with one arm looped lightly around Tahli's back, resting more on the backrest of the bench than actually against the Healer. "I-I think…. I think kissing is good, for me, for now. It wouldn't be, um, good, to, er… you know. Not until we know each other a little more? If you want to do that, of course."

Tahli smiles softly. "No, I don't think it would be a very good idea either." A quick way to end things, though. He pulls back then, sitting on his own with a quiet tilt of his head. "You're welcome to kiss me whenever you want though."

"Oh." Fynn can't quite hide his smile, even when he averts his gaze to watch as he takes Tahli's hand, knitting their fingers together. "I think I'd like that." When he looks up, his hazel eyes are dark in the moonlight, but that doesn't dim their sparkle any. "I think you're very special, Tahli. I don't know you very well yet, but I can't wait to know more."

Tahli leans on Fynn again for a moment. Really, there's nothing he can think of to say! Although he does squeeze the older teen's arm a little. "You want to know more about me.." He gets up, puffing out a faint breath…and then turns right around, one knee landing on either side of Fynn as he drops right into his lap. And then? He kisses him, of course.

Fynnigan's automatic reaction is to curl his arms around Tahli's back so he doesn't fall, but any words of protest quickly devolve into plain sound as they're swallowed by the kiss. If those sounds /were/ protesting though, Fynn does a very good show of not acting on them as he returns the kiss with full passion… and even with a groan or two, as well.

Tahli does at least remain situated back a bit on Fynn's thighs. Too close may cause/problems/. But his tongue does dart forward a bit, gently brushing the older teen's bottom lip. Fingers take hold of his curls as well, cradling his head as he kisses him.

But too close is exactly what Fynn wants. His hands run down either side of the blonde's spine as he continues their kiss, until they're curling around his pert arse and starting to drag him forward to pull their torsos even closer together.

Any and all brief sound of near-dismay at being dragged forward is overridden by the urge to cling. Tahli is pulled forward, his hold tightening a bit on Fynn as he settles right against him. With decidedly unfeminine anatomy.

It takes Fynn a moment to realise…. but when he does he stops. First it's just a frozen kiss, but then his lips pull away and he looks at Tahli with a very, /very/ confused expression. His lips, still moist from their kiss, are parted, and he simply stares like a rabbit in headlights.

Tahli freezes when Fynn does, his own realization a bit more abrupt..and a lot less confused. He looks at Fynn though for a moment, awkward silence quite..deafening. He does move then, however, pulling loose to climb off Fynn's lap. "Sorry…"

Fynnigan stands up as soon as Tahli does, rubbing at the back of his neck and pacing away to stand, back to the Healer, facing out at the ocean. "I don't… I-I don't understand, Tahli? I-I… thought… but… this is… what? You're… a…?

"Man? The same as you." Tahli curls his arms around himself just a bit, looking at the flowers left on the bench. "You didn't ask.. And I didn't… I should have said something, I know.."

Still with his back to the blonde, Fynnigan keeps rubbing at the back of his neck, fidgeting as he does so. "But I thought… I mean… you're a /guy/?" It's as much a question as it is a shocked statement, and the brunette finally turns around to eye Thali. "I don't understand," he repeats, looking desperate for an answer.

Tahli bites his lower lip faintly, but turns away himself. "What don't you understand? I know how I look. You assumed I was a girl. I'm not."

"No. No. /No/." Fynnigan shakes his head, rubbing his palm across his forehead. He closes the distance between him and Tahli, turning the younger teen around with one hand on his shoulder. "I don't understand," he says slowly, thickly, as if it's difficult for him to voice the words, "why…" His gaze drops down to his toes, and he spends the next few moments with his fingers curled around the blonde's shoulder while frowning down at them. "Why… I still… still want to…" Finally looking up, he lifts his finger to the underside of Tahli's chin, tilting it up so that he can lean in for a cautious kiss.

The 'no's have Tahli tensing a little, although his eyes widen as he's turned abruptly around. He avoids Fynn's eyes though, or at least until the older teen starts making a bit more sense. He jerks his head up again, tentative fingers gripping at Fynn's tunic as he's kissed.

It's not a kiss that lasts long. Fynn pulls back gently but firmly, curling his fingers around Tahli's to loosen his grip. "I'm not sure yet," he says softly, guiltily. "This is…" He starts to form the word 'wrong', but thinks better of it. "I'm just not sure," he chooses to say in the end, giving the Healer's hands a gentle squeeze.

Tahli blinks when he pulls back again. Disappointment is evident, of course, but he does offer Fynn a faintly sad smile. "I'm sorry I didn't say anything. You were just..too nice and I didn't want to ruin it." He shakes his head though, taking in a slow breath. "And..I know. Look, I'm going to take a walk.. You can find your way back, right?"

"I… um… yeah. I do, I guess. Just… down the path, right?" How wrong can he go? Fynn shifts his weight awkwardly, digging his hands deep into his pockets. "I'm sorry, Tahli. It's just… I'm… surprised. I've not… it's not something… I'm… used to? I… I don't know. I'm sorry."

"Please stop apologizing. I really can't…" Tahli shakes his head quickly, then simply turns around, heading off down the dark path to the beach. Escape. That was so much more important. Removing himself from the awkward and hurtful situation.

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