Dark Fears and Dark Masks

Month 3 of Turn 2715
Half Moon Bay Weyr - West Bowl

The western end of the great bowl of the Weyr. You can see the steep walls of the crater to the south and south, with small openings and ledges in the cliffside. These are the individual weyrs of dragons and their riders. To the west you can see the great natural arch, and the lagoon, to the east, the center of the bowl. To the south you see a large natural cave opening that has been made into a tunnel. It is the main entrance to the Weyr from the road to Half Moon Bay Hold.

Kelani was quiet as they loaded up on Toith, though her arms were a little tighter than normal around R'sner's waist once she was buckled in. Perhaps not fully recovered from her little panic attack. Though at least it didn't fell her so bad she wasn't able to do her duty when the lights came back on. When they return to the weyr it is late at night, a couple more dragons might be seen to be bringing back other revelers and some taking some up. No doubt partying will go on through the night. Once landed Kelani finally seems to release her breath and release him to unbuckle herself, "Thank you for the lift down R'sner." She says politely even if she waits for him to dismount for the assist down from the green.

R'sner and Toith have been doing this transport thing for some time. They are pro's, to be sure. And on more than one occasion, it is likely that R'sner has found himself tightly grasped by a frightened passenger, either for the fear of flight, the fear of dragons, or the fear of Between. And so he weathers that grip without comment; he won't even tease her about it because that would be cruel. The trip Between lasts longer than normal; perhaps the span of six heartbeats before they appear in the air over Half Moon Bay, bathed in shadows but hit with the warmth of the tropical air; the twinkling lights of glows below and stars above. Toith spirals down to a gentle landing, foregoing antics because she knows they are unwelcome when she is 'working'. Touched down in the bowl near the Living Caverns, R'sner unbuckles himself first before twisting around to unbuckle Kelani. "Mm," is the response to her 'thank you', gaze cast toward the working of his hands as he frees her from the restraints that kept them secure for the flight. "You're welcome," comes a few seconds later, as he swings a leg over his dragon's neck and expertly climbs down from Toith, pausing to assist if necessary, until they're both on solid ground again. "Are you alright?" he asks after a pause, eyes narrowed against the dim light as he attempts to assess her expression. "Up there," on the ship, "when the lights came back…" a press of his lips into a thin line, and then a quick, "Nevermind."

The long trip between no doubt accounted for some of the gripping as it was likely just as long going up. She takes the offered hands to assist to the ground and giving the green's shoulder a soft pat once on solid ground again. "Thank you Toith." Well she is not usually this rattled by flights, so it was probably the whole package. At the question of how she is she gives a quick nod, "Yeah, I am ok." She responds at first and then he continues and she looks down to the ground for a moment, seemingly embaressed, "Its silly really…" She says trying to dismiss it. "Someone my age scared of the dark." She says as she voices at least the reason for her panic attack. "I wasn't prepared for it like I am when I go between."

Toith swings her head around to consider Kelani with brightly whirling eyes. "She says you're welcome," provides R'sner, bland but not annoyed at acting as translator. The green seems to appreciate the pat, even if she does nothing more than stare at the Healer, most certainly able to see in the dark better than either of the two-legged humans. As for Res… he's content to leave the question unanswered, the mystery unsolved if you will, but does not dismiss her when she provides an explanation anyways. A pause, without expression, as he considers a response. He does not provide reassurance or ridicule for her fear of the dark, but rather continues with another question. "Why are you scared of the dark?" At least he is moving toward the light as he says it, walking with slow but purposeful steps toward the entrance to the living cavern, glancing at Kelani to see if she is going to follow. If she is, great. If not, then he will stop wherever he may be so that he can continue the conversation he has started.

There is another stroke of the green before she starts to follow R'sner to the caverns. She looks tired from all the excitement but not quite ready for bed either. The question is met with a soft sigh and she looks up to the starry sky for a moment towards the brighter star that is the station. "Not like this dark, where I can see stuff. Starlight and moonlight at least feel like something. Just absolute dark where there is nothing." She explains and even so doesn't rush into the cavern, perhaps for now glad of the semidark to hide her features. "There are a lot of caves around Harper hall and us kids would sneak off to explore them. I was pretty young then and …well one time I got seperated from the group and I didn't have a light of my own." Her hands clench at her sides as she tells the story, her gaze turned up to the sky. "I was around eight.."

Toith does not croon (oh no. She does not make such noises), but there is a deep sort of rumble in the back of her throat for the stroke of her hide that just might be affectionate. It at least makes R'sner pause and consider his dragon before murmuring to Kelani, "I think she likes you," with very little insight into whether this is unusual or not. He heads for the caverns, slowing his pace so that he falls into step beside her, letting her dictate whether or not they are going into the cavern or remaining outside. There is silence from the greenrider, narrowed eyes and thoughtful expression that does not look upon the healer but rather puts his focus on the path ahead of them. Or perhaps nothing at all. Her explanation gets no real reaction, save for a brief tip of his head at the mention of Harper Hall. In the end, he considers her explanation and, after a pause and a few seconds of silence, he offers, "That doesn't sound so silly, to me. And you recovered," he notes. "You did not fall prey to your fear."

There is a pensive moment waiting for the laugh, the mockery to her 'childhood' fear. The rumble of the dragon soothing to her wired up mind. At his words she looks up to him finally and nods, "Yeah, I had a job to do." As if conquering her panic was no big deal in the face of her 'job'. "It wasn't always so easy." She says letting out a breath as she looks back to the sky, "It took a couple of days before I was found and I got real sick… the healers helped me a lot." And perhaps a bit more insight into why someone Harper raised became a healer. There is a silence for a time before she looks up at him again. "Thank you."

"Yes. I suppose you did," answers R'sner, voice a low murmur that is both confirmation and… perhaps admiration. But that is all he says on the subject, allowing the moment to pass in silence. A subtle incline of his head, a little tilt in her direction, is all the indication he gives that he is still listening about the ease with which she has adjusted to the dark. The revelation that she was lost for days is met with a soft 'hm' of understanding, or acknowledgement, or perhaps surprise, but he spares no more questions for that time. Her 'thank you' gets a glance, if just because it surprises him, eyebrows furrowed into a frown as he asks, "What for?" in a tone that clearly says he really doesn't understand what he did. His gaze does not linger for more than that split second it takes to ask his question, moving forward once again as he stares toward the glow of the caverns. "Are you going in?" as if to change the subject, shoulders tense as he shoves his hands into his pockets. It's this movement that seems to remind him he's dressed unusually, and a second later he yanks a hand out of his pocket and up to his face, tearing the mask from his head with a quick and violent movement.

A moment's silence before she answers again, "For listening and being there. It meant more than you know that I knew I had a way off the station when my time was up and…well for caring enough to ask and not laughing." At the question about the cavern she finally nods, wipes at her face and turns back to the light of the cavern to head in, "You looked fancy tonight. The mask suits you." She says with a half smile as she finally walks with him into the caverns.

The answer to his question gets little response. Certainly there is understanding of the words, but perhaps there is brief confusion over how his actions should garner such a response. In the end R'sner speaks simply, a quick and dismissive sort of "Don't mention it," even though she already has. Into the cavern he steps, moving from shadows to light, with very little pause to consider the change. A glance down for the comment on his appearance, and a harder expression than the formal attire likely warrants. "The mask?" because he clearly does not agree, having torn it from his person. "I don't like masks," cryptic-like. "I prefer honesty." Another one of those pauses, another press of his mouth into a thin line as he avoids looking at Kelani, before he mutters a quick, "Thanks," for the compliment. "I'm getting Klah." The question 'do you want any' is left unasked, though he will get two mugs from the hearth regardless of whether or not she wanted it. There is a hesitation upon his return however, a glance toward the bowl, as if he's undecided on whether he ought to rejoin the healer or take his leave. In the end, he has two mugs in his hand so he closes the distance once more and offers her one of them.

"Sometimes masks are useful, lets you hide a part of your self so you can feel safer to express other parts of yourself." Kelani says with a shrug, "But I meant more literally, if I am allowed to pay an old man a compliment." She says with a half smile. For her part she grabs a plate of some late night snacks having not eaten while she was up there no doubt. Clearly she has gotten used to his brusque manner and is not surprised when he returns with the pair of Klahs and she takes one with a nod of thanks.

Cobalt blue eyes fix on Kelani in a way that may be considered rude; R'sner is staring at her in a very concentrated manner, as if analyzing the words she's spoken for some sort of double meaning. He seems about to ask a question, the muscles along his jaw working as if he's about to open his mouth and give his thoughts voice, when she offers a further explanation. It's that 'old man' that gets the most reaction from him so far, eyebrows shooting upwards in a way that is not insult but maybe just surprise. As if no one has labeled him as such, at least not to his face. Silence descends, and the greenrider does not even attempt to fill it with a sip of his Klah. He just lets it settle like an uncomfortable cloak, until he's abruptly putting his mug on a table (ditching it, all rude-like) and offering a brusque, "I must be going. Good night," to his Healer companion. There is no further explanation, just a turn on his heels and a long-strided, purposeful walk to the door and back out into the night, no doubt to find Toith waiting for him in the bowl.

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