A Beachside Interlude (or: Nerds And The Nerds That Like Them)

Monaco Bay Weyr - Cove Beach
Sparkling black sands are gently washed over with crystal blue waters, creating a playful blend of colors that twist and meld under the alternating rays of sun and moon. The cove stretches out from the mouth of the river towards the ocean, mixing saltwater with fresh for an invigorating rush that teems with life.

The coast curves eastward, the waters growing more quiet along the broad expanse of beach before finally meeting a large cove. Here there are few waves, the ocean's movement reduced to little more than slight swells. What might have been an idyllic and peaceful area however, is interrupted by a brilliantly gleaming structure that stands on the edge of the sands.

Large steel poles soar upwards, supporting a staircase that leads to a pair of water slides. The height of the structure is remarkable, standing at a height comparable to that of a small gold dragon. Pipes pump water upward, creating small pools at the entrance of both plastic blue slides. The rush of water moves with the slides, following their twisting course downwards while easing their passenger's journey. Parts of the slides are open and others covered, creating a thrill for each voyager before unceremoniously dumping them into the still waters below. For the safety of all patrons, a large net has been drawn across the mouth of the cove to prevent any accidental drifting away.

Not far from the slides is a small stand that also seems to have been built just recently. A menu is posted on its side and displays a variety of drinks and snacks for beach goers.

One might think that after sevendays of being on the Sands, more sand is the last place one would find Wendyn - However this beautiful Monaco evening finds Wendyn on the beach, the goldrider lingering as Rukbat begins to set and many of the others who spent the afternoon enjoying the beach and water filter back to their homes. Of course, she is not completely alone, given the bottle settled in the sand next to her blanket - and a knapsack that has an odd lumpy shape to it that is within easy reach. Sprawled out lazily, one arm draped across her face, she hums softly - and offkey - feet wiggling - This is definitely the life.

The salt sands life is not ideal for most, but I'aija's made his peace with it; at least he had the luxury of being at the beach when he wasn't keeping Wendyn company out there on the sands. Granted, it wasn't so much luxury as doing his due diligence and duties, but still. With Elsvruth off doing Faranth knows what, he's free to make his own meandering way to the beach with its siren song of sloshing water and soft sand. A towel is slung over his shoulder and he's brought his own bag of mysteriousness. And while he's angling for a spot nearer the water, Wendyn's spotted and his course adjusts after a soft, "Hey. Didn't expect to see you out here." Earnest and friendly, paired with a tilted grin. "Feel like company, or…?"

There's a voice? Wendyn's arm shifts away from her face and instead is used to prop herself up on one elbow, blinking a few times before a crooked grin appears on her face. "Isa.." She offers cheerfully. "I would have thought you were well and truly sick of me by now." She teases, even as she shifts to motion at the sand next to her in invitation. "Better be careful, or I'm sure my brother will tell you that you'll never be able to get rid of me." Shuffling to sit the rest of the way up, she reaches for the bottle, lifting it for a long swig. "Kiyaszaeth wanted a swim, earlier, and even though she was done for the day, I wasn't ready to give up yet."

"Sick of you?" Brows lift in genuine surprise and he laughs, "And here I thought you'd be sick of me." I'aija's grin widens just a little, somehow softening as it goes; shaded with something thoughtful that passes quickly. The indicated space is just where he goes, every bit as dutiful as Elsvruth was on the sands. His towel is spread out, his bag dropped neatly nearby, and he settles in to strip off his boots and socks and flop right onto his back with a stretch. "Why would he say that?" is the first question that rises, a sidelong look angled her way. "And why would he make it sound like a bad thing?" A thoughtful noise follows on matters of Kiyaszaeth, his grin lingering and tilted. "She's earned all the swimming she can stomach. She did well. You did well."

As I'aija sets about getting comfortable, Wendyn is rummaging through her bag, pulling out first an empty bottle - which receives a frown - before finding a full one which is offered towards the bronzerider once he is ready, the bottles looking suspiciously as if they are the product of none other than said brother. "Brothers, man, I don't know. I am not sure if he thinks *every* man ever should be as annoyed by me as he is, or what." Perhaps she should be nicer, as she is sitting drinking his beer, but well, Wendyn. A sidelong grin at him, and she tilts her head. "I mean, *I* feel bad for anyone who gets stuck with *him*." So its probably all fair. As he mentions how well Kiya did, she blushes a bit, hurriedly glancing up the beach the other direction. "I mean, I am surprised she was as good as she was, really."

That bottle is accepted - and reciprocated, though his is a ginger-cider offering from somewhere in Lemos. I'aija sits up to open the bottle, though he doesn't yet drink. "I wouldn't know what it's like. Having brothers, I mean. Or sisters, really." He shrugs a shoulder and draws his knees up, settling in accordingly. "He's probably just worried, that's all. I would be, if my hypothetical sister was in a position to be drinking with strange bronzeriders and all." There's a laugh for her next, though, and he takes a swig from the bottle, grin lingering in his eyes all the while. "Mm." His gaze tracks after hers, then goes just a bit further to eye her askance. "Really? How so?"

The awkward, down beach stare vanishes as a new drink appears, and the reciprocated bottle is eyed for a moment, before she is grinning, and the first bottle is tipped back to finish it off - thankfully it was mostly gone already. The new bottle is lifted in thanks as she pops it open. "Wait, you don't have any brothers or sisters?" A pause and she tilts her head, narrowing her eyes slightly. "For some reason, I always pictured you as one of a giant brood, a dozen boys or something." She shrugs with a grin, "I wasn't sure if she was going to let Elsvruth on the sands. Or leave him on the sands. Or try and chase off the others or.. I don't even know. I *am* thankful she was at least first." RIP you other goldriders.

Another swig follows, small but purposeful; I'aija savors it, his attention sliding right back to the water a short time later. "Nope," he replies with a throaty sound; not quite a chuckle, but close. "But, I had a lot of friends when I was growing up. My parents- I don't think they could have tolerated two of me, let alone a full brood." The bottle is studied for a few moments, gaze lingering there. "Heh. Well, Elsvruth would have listened, no matter what she wanted. If she wanted him to sit there and watch the eggs while she flew off, he would have." His grin tips a bit, amused. "And maybe she figured because she was there first, that she didn't need to run anyone off, hey? Her babies- their babies, they got first pick."

Shifting to drape an arm over her knees, the bottle is held up and she stares through it at the water beyond, chewing on her lip as she considers I'aija's words about his parents. "How bad could you have been?" She asks, absently, even as she continues to stare. "I mean, I guess we were lucky, our da's chose us, both. I mean, we weren't a surprise or an accient or.." She continues to chew on her lip, before shaking her head a little and lifting the bottle to her lips. "Sorry.." She murmurs after a moment, before waving the bottle around. "For what it is worth, I appreciate it though. Him staying, and you being around and.." She peeks at him, tilting her head. "And I am thankful it was you, and not.. who knows who."

"Well, archivists and lawyers aren't exactly well-known for their love of rambunctiousness and chaos," I'aija muses, but the grin is good-natured. A sidelong look follows, a thoughtful sound tagging along. "That's better than some, for sure. And it's good to have parents like that. Not that mine didn't want me, but-" he waggles the bottle, so-so. "Eh. Nothing to be sorry for, Wendyn. Unless you're out of beer already. S'good." There's a slow suck of teeth and a nod, firm. "I'm glad- ah. I'm glad that you're glad. And that we could make it easy for you. Or- easier, at least. I know it wasn't easy out there." Especially not when the other golds came to crash the party, but hey. It happens.

There is a distinctly unladylike snort as I'aija describes his parents, and she gives him a sharp look. "Shards, its shocking you are any fun at all, then, isn't it? Could have been almost as likely that you'd turn like a boring old stick in the mud." Leaning, she moves to click her bottle against his with a smirk. "Shards, though, I am still grateful though. I mean.. not just for the time on the Sands. But, I was terried I was going to wake up next to someone I didn't know at all." Or worse - someone she definitely knows, "And then be stuck with them awkwardly for sevendays." A sip of her drink. "I mean, at least normally -me- doing the choosing."

There's a laugh for that, bright and genuine. "Probably. They really wanted me to follow them for a long time, but they came around after I made them dinner for the first time." Not that they could have stopped him, honestly. I'aija's just that kind of personality. He lifts his bottle for that little bit of a toast-slash-clink-of-commisseration(kind of?) and his grin lingers for a moment before turning into a sympathetic look. It's mostly a wince. "Jays, yeah, that sounds like it would have been awful. I remember some of the others there," vaguely, admittedly, "I- on some level, I don't think Els would have allowed it, if he could. That just makes me even more glad I could be there for you." A long swig follows. The beer is swished a bit, then swallowed. "She was his first, you know."

"Shards, really?" She asks, surprised at the comment about Kiya being Elsvruths' first win. "Well, then, uh, I hope it wasn't too terrible for you, then, to be in the same situation as me.. and to wake up next to me." She rambles a little bit, clearly not entirely sure what she is going to say, suddenly finding her bottle once again quite interesting. Finally after a long, awkward moment of quiet, she tilts her head back at him. "I mean, please don't like, tell me if it was. I like to think I am not *that* terrible, and I don't know if I could deal with hearing the truth." She winks, offering a crooked grin at him.

"Oh. More than that," I'aija finishes off his bottle, shakes it a little to make sure, then sets it aside. He turns a bit, enough to properly look at her. "First flight. I was pretty sure he didn't have it in him." Shoulders rise and fall. "Who knew?" That rambling, though, that seems to catch him funny and he scoots over, bridging the gap between towel and blanket, with an arm extended to wrap around her shoulders - or try to, anyway. "Hey, hey. Hey. Whoa there, Wendyn. First of all, I'm not the lying type." His grin emerges again, bright and perpetually lopsided at this rate. "Second of all, it was better than not terrible." He holds that for a second before adding, "It was pretty great, actually. And I- ah. Well, I'll just say that I'll be pretty happy if it happens again. Next time, maybe." That's not quite the thought that was poised, but blame Elsvruth for some internal interjection.

"Oh, double shards." She adds as he mentions it was the bronze's first flight *at all*. And then he is scooting closer, and she is laughing but making no move to duck away or avoid that arm that is moving around her shoulders. Lifting her chin to peer at him, she narrows her eyes slightly. "I mean, we'll just have to see how that bronze of yours does. Kiyaszaeth is a hard taskmaster after all." A long sip of her cider, and she shifts to scoot a little closer, stretching to try and whisper in his ear. "Do you want to know a secret, though? Pretty sure you wouldn't have to wait to find out if he manages it, if you really wanted to." Perhaps the sun and the beer and the freedom from the sands has gone to Wendyn's head - or perhaps it was a long time coming after all the time spent together. Either way, the words are said, and she is smirking as she settles back to sit more comfortably.

On the upside, once I'aija's arm settles around Wendyn's shoulders, it rests easily there. Comfortable. His chuckle is low and soft and richly amused, "I guess we will, hey? He's a hard worker, though. Hopefully she keeps that in mind for his next review." She scoots and he scoots, closing the distance between by sandy smidgens. But his ear's in position for that whispering - if not immediately, then soon enough, and the tilt of his smile takes on a different angle. Softer and thoughtful. And maybe it is the sun and the beer, but he takes just a moment to dust off his free hand before reaching to caress her cheek. "Just pretty sure?" he teases, low. "Maybe if I…" is trailed, transitioned easily into a kiss attempt that (with any luck!) will land just as easily as Elsvruth's catch oh-so-long ago.

"Pretty sure.." She teases him, tilting her cheek into his hand, but anything else she might have said is silenced as the kiss lands, and after a moment of what is likely surprise, she leans into it, lifting a hand to his cheek in turn. After a long moment, she backs off enough to smirk up at him. "Ok, definitely sure." She amends her previous statement. "I mean, unless you have somewhere else to be." She adds, "Of course, its also an open offer.. I mean.." A hint of a blush, and the normally confident goldrider shrugs a little under his arm.

His touch is a gentle one and the kiss is warm and sweet, though it doesn't overstay its welcome. She backs off and I'aija pulls back a little, one brow playfully quirked. "Good." Lips draw into a goofy kind of grin, boyish and dimpled and delighted. His fingers rub at her shoulder, even as he momentarily glances out at the beach and the water. It's right back to her a moment later, though, that blush prompting a widening of his smile and a soft laugh. "I'm here and this is precisely where I want to be. Though, between you and me? Sand is kind of the worst." His tone pitches conspiratorial for that last.

A soft giggle, and Wendyn shakes her head, shifting away from him, but only because she is moving to stand up, a bit awkward with the bottle still in one hand. A hand is offered to him with a grin, tilting her head invitingly. "-Well-, I just so happen to know a place that has a giant gold dragon out front to scare off any visitors. Though, between you and me.." She repeats his words back at him, "I can't vouch for what's there for breakfast, should you want to linger." Glancing down at the sand that clings to her legs, "However, there is no sand. I think." Which at least has to mean its a partial upgrade.

He follows suit, accepting that hand with a light brush of fingers before reaching a little further to grip her forearm instead. "Do you, now?" I'aija feigns thoughtfulness, a slight bob of his head playfully weighing the pros and cons of such a location. "I'll take my chances - low risk of sand and questionable breakfast options? I'm on board," he decides, tracking her glance down, but only for a moment. The arm around her shoulders squeezes, pulling her close for a lingering moment. "And, besides, I happen to know a really great breakfast spot that will deliver for free."

"Do you now? I mean, if it is good, we can always talk about making it a habit." She teases, as she leans into him, tilting her chin up to watch him. Reluctantly, she steps back long enough to gather up her pack - the thing clinking as she does so - and her towel and his - before she is slipping back to his side, trying to casually slip an arm around his waist. "Right this way - I'll make sure Kiya doesn't.. I don't know, eat you or anything." It would be awful for it to go wrong now, afterall.

"Mmmhm," I'aija hums his agreement and, when she breaks away to collect the towels and her pack, he bends to collect his pack as well, settling it high on his shoulder with a muffled glass-on-glass sound. "I'll be happy to talk with you about anything. Not just potential breakfasting habits, you know." Though he will talk her ear off about food if given half a chance. That casual slide of an arm around his waist earns her an arm about the shoulders again; a gentle squeeze and then a careful lean to press a kiss to her temple follows. "If she does," he muses, following her lead to this mysterious, gold dragon-guarded locale that might lead to his certain doom, "rest assured that Elsvruth will laugh about it. I trust you." Faranth (and Kiya) willing, he won't end up in a dragon's belly before the night is through.

"I mean, if she does, its probably worth laughing about, at least until it really sinks in." She agrees, before giving him a little nudge and beginning the wander home. Funny out things work out.

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