The dirt became softer and sandier underneath Raaiz's careful footsteps. The morning was still grey from the previous evening, but the warmth already creeping into the day promised that soon the hot sun would evaporate the thin clinging mist within the hour. The day would be warm and sunny, and Raaiz would likely be busy with his candidate duties, so he had gotten up early before most the other candidates to enjoy a swim. It was a simple pleasure, but one Raaiz would hate to do without and so he would suffer the tiredness he would no doubt feel later in the day for this chance. He hadn't slept well, which was part of the reason for the early rise, but for now he was brimming with energy, a slight bounce in his step.
In Raaiz's arms he held a bundled up set of extra clothes in case his current ones got wet or dirty, and a soft cloth to dry off with. He was smiling gently as he plodded along the path to the beach, and completely lost in thought, hardly paying attention to the forest around him. It was nice to get out of the cramped Candidate barracks and explore around the Weyr a bit, though the silence was a bit eerie this early in the morning, Raaiz hummed to fill the noise void, eyes wandering up to the sky.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 19, 2011 17:53:58 GMT -8
Kalitar darted around yet another corner and seeing the path in front of him, added speed. Who’d have thought balancing a bucket of water above one of the doors leading out of the kitchen would have caused such a problem. He didn’t dare glance over his shoulder, on the off chance that whoever it had been (the person was currently chasing him, but he hadn’t even gotten a good enough glimpse to see the shoulder knots) was close enough to see his face, or worse, had a flitt around to report what he looked like. Hearing the heavy footsteps getting closer, he darted into the jungle and raced towards the beach.
The jungle closed off sight of the Weyr Bowl behind Kalitar. He swung around a corner, his feet nearly sliding out from under him in his haste, and nearly ran down the boy who was walking down the path in front of him. His abrupt halt sent up a small could of dust, and before the blond-brown haired boy could speak, he held up a hand, trying to signal silence while sucking in air through his flared nostrils.
“Shards,” Kalitar muttered when something, likely a branch, cracked. Grabbing for the other boy’s hand, he started towards the beach. “Come on,” he said, urgently, “You don’t want to be here when that person catches up.”
The silence filled only with Raaiz's humming was soon filled with the the sound of faint but quick footsteps. Raaiz stopped in his tracks and ceased his small tune, listening. He came to the conclusion that they were definitely coming closer to him, and just as he turned to look behind him, another boy came racing around the corner of the path Raaiz had been taking. Raaiz jumped back with quick reflexes and a small yelp, instinctively pulling the clothes in his arms close to his chest protectively.
Raaiz opened his mouth to speak but the other boy motioned for silence, and Raaiz's voice obediently died in his throat as he froze in place...
The stillness didn't last long however as Kalitar cursed under his breath and grabbed Raaiz's hand, tugging him forward and leading the blond boy into a run. "Wait! What's wrong why are we running!?" Raaiz said tensely, concern crossing his face, not only for himself but concerned for this boy he didn't know and why he was running. With only one hand clutching his clothes, one article fell out on the path behind them. Raaiz hardly noticed, far more focused on the other boy and the path ahead of them that he was dragging them through towards the beach.
Soon the forest began to thin, the swaying water of the ocean came into view and dirt became sand beneath the two boys. Of course the beach meant there wouldn't be much room ahead of them to run soon.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 19, 2011 19:10:27 GMT -8
“Someone got water all over themselves, and they’re overreacting just a bit,” Kalitar answered. He kept his eyes on the path, though he glanced back once. They had run only a few strides after emerging onto the beach, when Kalitar came to a halt, his eyes flashing around as he attempted to identify an escape route.
Kalitar muttered another curse at the sound of branches being snapped back. Whoever it was, they were still giving chase. “Is there anywhere to hide?” he asked the blond boy, quite as though he were asking directions to the Great Hall of a Hold, instead of trying to avoid getting in trouble. His eyes widened when they landed on the towel in the boy’s hand. “Can we swim around to somewhere hidden?”
The second question, so soon after the first, was a symptom of nervousness, but it was impossible to tell by Kalitar’s tone. He sounded as though he were discussing an everyday occurrence, though, perhaps that was because things like this had been a sort of once-weekly or so occurrence back at Stormy Plains.
"Uh uh uh!" Raaiz stammered as his mind whirled, "I don't know of any places to hide. I mean. I do know of places to hide just not here I'm kind of new to the weyr and I don't know places to hide here I haven't been to the beach much though I've really been wanting to go to the beach lately but I've been busy and I haven't. If this were the Cliff-side Seahold I could tell you where we might hide but it's not and so I can't and I'm really sorry maybewecanjusthideinthewater..." The words came out in a quick jumbled heap but Raiz finally took a deep breath and stopped talking looking at the water. Raaiz knew that he certainly might be able to hold his breath long enough to hide, but he wasn't sure about the other boy. He wanted to help him, but he didn't know where he could hide.
"I could stay out here and tell you when whoever's chasing you has left," he offered a second later, blue eyes wide with anxiety and worry for himself and Kalitar...
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 19, 2011 19:59:52 GMT -8
Kalitar involuntarily leaned backwards at the sudden onslaught of words, but arrested the motion before he’d moved further than an inch. His eyes landed on the pathway, then he caught Raaiz’s wide eyed glance, his own grey eyed gaze almost sharp by comparison.
“Water it is, then,” he said, suddenly glad for all the illicit trips to the closest lake that he, Jatheiron, and their friends had managed to pull off, he’d never swam in the ocean before, but it couldn’t be that much different. The other boy’s last suggestion was tempting, but Kalitar shied away from the possibility of someone else getting in trouble for what he’d done. “For both of us,” he continued. “That way you don’t get in trouble on accident.”
As he spoke, Kalitar was already burying his shoes in the sand and without a backwards glance he quickly waded out into the water and slid under the surface, holding to the closest rock to prevent himself from drifting. He held his eyes shut, he’d never liked getting water in them, and besides, he thought his ears would likely be more use in detecting the release from danger than his eyes would be.
Raaiz looked back at the path. Maybe he should hang back and try to work things out with whoever was following Kalitar. He couldn't be that mad could he? As Kalitar took off his shoes and buried them, Raaiz decided to follow suit. He took off his own shoes, burying them as the other boy had. He couldn't exactly dive in with his arms full of his extra clothes and towels, so he quickly looked about the beach, seeking out a small pile of rocks. He ran over and quickly hid the clothes behind the rocks, taking his shirt off while he was at it. Just in case he sprinkled some sand over the small pile; if one didn't look too closely it would look like a rock.
There was a sudden yell from the forest and Raaiz's heart leaped in his chest. Raaiz ran towards the ocean and splashed loudly into the the shallows, leaping forward and diving under the ocean in a smooth movement.
The world suddenly disappeared as cold water consumed him and all sounds beside the deep thrum of the ocean. He felt free as his blond hair was plastered back briefly before going weightless and floating freely through the water. The feeling of peaceful suspension only lasted seconds before the next wave washed over him. He was well practiced and swam against the wave. He, of course, drifted a bit but he didn't mind enjoying the rush of the water swirling about his form, his mere presence cutting and moving the water. He felt so at home in the water, his usual fears evaporated. He was strong and confident in the water, a side of him that rarely showed otherwise.
His mind was blank for a good minute, simply enjoying the water, before remembering why he had hastily dove in in the first place. He worked, blind and deaf with his eyes closed and the loud waves pulsing over him. Slowly, very slowly, he rose out of the water, slowly poking his nose out of the waves and taking a breath or two before sneaking his eyes out.
The figure of a husky, angry man was pacing angrily down the beach and into the distance. Raaiz poked his head further out, making sure they were safe before diving back under and finding Kalitar, tapping him underwater to signal it was okay...
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 20, 2011 15:22:51 GMT -8
Kalitar sank lower willing himself not to breathe as he heard a splashing that signaled Raaiz’s entrance into the water. The waves were an unexpected addition, and he clung tightly to his rocky handhold every time one washed over and then retreated, tugging at him. He couldn’t hear a thing with the sound of the waves striking at the rocks.
Kalitar’s lungs burned, but he forced himself not to surface, letting go of his rock with his right hand in order to hold his nose shut. Something tapped his shoulder, and he tensed, spinning partway around to face the source before he recalled that his eyes were still shut.
Cautiously, Kalitar swam up towards the surface, but as soon as his head was clear of the water he started sucking in giant gulps of air. He brushed the water clear of both eyes with a single swipe of his hands from the bridge of his nose outward and stood up, blinking to further drive away the water. Standing in the ocean made the blue-tint to his grey eyes more apparent, so that they were almost seemed a very pale blue, rather than grey.
He scanned the beach, and seeing that no one was there, breathed a sigh of relief. Turning to the other boy, he realized with a startled double-take that, while he’d certainly seen the younger boy before, they’d never met. Well, he could certainly remedy that.
“My name is Kalitar,” he said, holding his hand out to the other boy, in the formal greeting that had been one of the few things his mother had insisted he know, “my father is adviser to Lord Holder Famoran of Stormy Plains.” His tone was casual, the connection certainly didn’t mean much here at the Weyr, but his mother and father had both insisted that a formal introduction was a matter of politeness and he didn’t want to be impolite to the boy, who had volunteered to risk confronting whoever it was that had been hit by the water.
Raaiz surfaced a second after Kalitar. He blew hard and caused a small spray of water mist from his lips and nose, clearing them of clinging water droplets. His blond hair was plastered down by the water, his bangs hanging into his eyes, and he flicked the hair to get it out of the way. He blinked open his own eyes, his blue irises reflecting back the dark green-blue of the water and bright white of the foam. He wasn't panting at all, despite having been swimming against the waves while he was under before.
Raaiz bobbed up and down with the waves as he watched the man continue to disappear down the beach, swirling around when Kalitar spoke up and introduced himself.
"Oh... I'm Raaiz... from Clif-Side Seahold..." Raaiz said, his own hand coming out of the water to take Kalitar's. He felt like his introduction was rather underwhelming compared to Kalitar's, but he added, "I'm a new candidate at the Weyr..." It was true that positions in the holds didn't matter so much here at the Weyr, but Raaiz still respected the position. After all, the Weyrs would be nothing without the holds and craftsmen. Raaiz smiled at Kalitar shaking his hand. When he released it he said, "You should go back to the beach and dry off your clothes..."
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 20, 2011 19:04:24 GMT -8
“That explains why you’re so good at swimming,” Kalitar said, half-teasing and half serious, smiling back at Raaiz. He stood still for a second when Raaiz released his hand, but then glanced down at his clothes in response to Raaiz’s last statement. He groaned. His clothes were, naturally, soaked, though at least the sun was already providing enough heat that, maybe, he wouldn’t have to stay out half the day in order to get back up to the Candidate Barracks without leaving a tell-tale water trail up from the beach.
He waded as quickly as he could to the beach, though his feet were tender so he wasn’t moving very fast. Once there, he pulled off his shirt and, sighing, laid it flat on the sand, some distance from the incoming waves. He flopped down on the sand next to it, with his head pillowed on the mound of sand where he’d buried his shoes. He’d managed to force the grin from his face, but it still danced in his eyes.
He lay there for a second, then decided that, if he was going to get in trouble anyway for coming back soaking wet, he might as well swim around some, and walked back out to the ocean that he’d so shortly left.
The small smile on Raaiz's face broadened to a grin of genuine happiness as Kalitar complimented his swimming. "Thank you!" he said quickly before Kalitar swam off to the beach. Raaiz followed, ducking his head under as each wave washed over him, and dolphin kicking up into the shallows where he propped himself up on his elbows, letting his lower half stretch out behind his and the waves wash over his body and bare shoulders.
"I brought a spare change of clothes if you need to use them..." Raiz offered. Since he had taken off his shirt that would at least be dry for himself and only his pants would be wet if Kalitar took his spares. The other boy was a bit taller than him but the clothes should fit him just fine...
It surprised Raaiz when Kalitar went back into the water, and the smaller boy eagerly followed after him, swimming along beside him. He had never really been swimming... with someone, and he wondered if he should involve Kalitar somehow, or talk to him. He bobbed beside him and after a second he asked, "What did you do to make that other guy so angry? You're another candidate right I saw you at the barravks not that I was spying on you or anything it's just that the barracks are kinda cramped right now and it's kinda hard not to see everyone else at some point or another..." Raaiz, though talking quite a bit wasn't as panicked or nervous as usual, the water was his world, and it made him feel at ease, even around this stranger of a boy.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 20, 2011 21:59:02 GMT -8
“They are, at that,” Kalitar said. He shrugged, but there was a wicked humor in the way his lips curved upward. “Oh, I just filled a bucket full of water from the lake and set it on one of the kitchen doors,” he said, “you know, the ones that lead off to storage. Well, I guess he came through it, a lot sooner than I’d expected someone to, and took exception to getting wet.” Kalitar swam a little, getting used to the feel of the waves. “You’d think he wouldn’t have minded. It’s not like it was that cold outside, the water should have felt good.” Though he managed to keep a slightly indignant tone, it was obvious that Kalitar knew full well that most anyone would find an unplanned soaking objectionable.
Flipping over onto his back, Kalitar focused on unclenching his muscles so that he could float easier. “I was hoping to soak that undercook whose always chasing me out when I go there after a snack, but…” his voice trailed off into a sigh. “perhaps next time.”
"Oh uhm..." Raaiz wasn't sure what to say to that, his immediate mental reaction was a desire to scold Kalitar for stealing anything, but Raaiz did not think the boy would appreciate it and sunk down into the water until the urge passed. He kicked idly at the waves, treading water enough to keep even with Kalitar, diving under the water every once in a while as a wave washed over the pair. Finally Raaiz popped up next to Kalistar, and said, "Well I suppose he had a reason to be mad then... not that I think it's a very good reason I mean I wouldn't be upset if I got a little wet, okay maybe a little upset but I wouldn't try to kill you or anything over it... Everything will probably be just fine." He tried to reassure the boy, though his voice wavered a bit at the final note. His mind whirred through the possibilities of why things might not be okay.
Raaiz furrowed his young brow momentarily before diving underwater. He was obviously at ease in the waves and surf, his bare back flashing over the waves like a dolphin's quick surfaces for air before diving again. The young candidate was stronger than his small frame would suggest, and his comfort in the ocean let him move with confidence he hadn't yet grown into. A few minutes later he popped up and shouted over the surf, "When are you planning to go back to the barracks?!" Inwardly he hoped Kalitar would stay and swim a while... Raaiz had never taken the time to swim with anyone but his brother...
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 25, 2011 17:55:40 GMT -8
Kalitar knew he’d be exhausted by the end of this unplanned swimming excursion. In fact, he was already tired from the constant twisting and rolling to keep the scars on his shoulders out of Raaiz’s sight. On the other hand, he felt nothing pressing about returning to chores that would be the same regardless of when he started them, and he was rather enjoying hanging out.
“Yeah, after all, the guy didn’t get a good look at me, so it’s not like he’ll be able to do anything,” Kalitar said. The left side of his lips twitched into a one-sided smile. He felt both comforted by Raaiz’s attempted reassurance and a bit… well, indignant, almost. With practiced skill though, he kept the indignation off his face, though his eyes still flattened and narrowed by small amounts.
‘Surely I didn’t seem that scared,’ Kalitar thought as Raaiz dived under the water. A few moments later, Raaiz surfaced and asked him when he was planning on returning to the barracks.
“Not yet!” Kalitar shouted back. He paused for a second, assessing the slight tiredness of his legs and arms, then continued: “Maybe in a half-hour or so. What about you?”
Raaiz flipped over onto his back, floating and looking up at the sky which was beginning to turn a light blue, the clouds having disappeared as the morning progressed. He reflected on what he was doing. Here he was, talking to another boy his age, being friendly and sharing his swimming time with, which he usually did alone. He was really integrating into the Weyr! He couldn't help but smile, rolling over to say something when he spotted the very slight irritation on Kalitar's face. It was subtle and quick, but Raaiz was desperately aware of others' discontent, and his nervous awareness picked up on it.
His smile faded a bit, but he forced it back on, brows slightly upturned as he said, "Uh well, I was just planning on swimming until I had to go back for chores and lessons..." He realized he looked worried, and he put on a smile again, flashing his teeth anxiously at Kalitar.