Who: Ixia and Kironen
When: Month 6, 201 AT
Where: Nighthearth, Honshu Weyrhold
What: The returning (and returning) of a jacket and sleeping on floors.

It’s the first day of winter, and the season opens with chilly temperatures that drives Kironen indoors as much as possible all day. His work takes him all through the Weyrhold; anyone looking for him would be on a wild goose chase from the infirmary to the kitchens, the stables, the stores. Countless small jobs pieced together, and still finding him sleepless at night and curled up so close to the nighthearth in a blanket that he can arrange the yet-burned logs carefully with his hands.

There comes a point when Ixia gets tired of carting about the jacket she was left as a pillow and stashes her own somewhere in favour of wearing the one that so plainly /isn’t/ hers if only because it’s several sizes too long for her frame. But still, at least it looks marginally better, in that it seems to have claimed her rather than to be making efforts to escape from her arms as she brings it from place to place, and by the time she actually locates Kironen she looks so comfortable in it that she might have forgotten that it doesn’t belong to her. “There you are,” serves as a greeting, around a smothered yawn. “Don’t tell me you’ve not had a bed these past months?”

Dark curls jostle with surprise as Kironen’s head swivels in the direction of a familiar voice. He /looks/ at her, searching for some sign of her wellbeing in her face — for better or worse. “Nice jacket.” A smile flickers, and his gaze drags down to the floor and back to the fire. “I don’t sleep good at night,” he admits. “Too many people. And the bed’s funny. ‘Used to sleeping on the floor. And just… stuff keeps you up at night, you know?” His shoes and socks are off and set to the side as though the nighthearth is a campsite, a few finger-foods spread out on the rug next to him. He avoids looking back over his shoulder, nudging one of the logs in the fire. “You said you been lookin’ for me or something?”

Ixia at least looks like one who has had a decent night’s sleep, whether she ever bothered to move from the floor or not. “Thanks,” she says through a bright smile, making much of holding out her arms to examine her too-long sleeves, searching for hands that don’t quite poke out where they should. “Someone left it on my floor, see, so…” Ceasing to tease, she slips Kironen’s jacket from her shoulders with only the tiniest flash of reluctance and holds it out towards him. “Here,” she says more gently. “Been looking for you to get this back where it belongs.” Opting not for the floor, but for a chair, she goes and curls herself up in it. “Could sleep with Zerujath,” she offers. “But you’d have to be careful – she might hug you real tight.”

“Someone didn’t leave it on your floor,” Kironen insists, his voice becoming somewhat playful. “Someone left it under your head.” He takes the jacket with a murmured thanks, rolling it up into a ball but not quite able to bring himself to toss it aside. He emits a huff of amusement, smile hitching the corner of his lips. “What, you tryin’ to get me to move in?” He pokes at the fire again. “Hey, I never did say thanks for the food. ‘Haven’t really eaten like that since I was a little kid. You’re pretty good cook. Where’d you learn?”

“True. Same difference.” Ixia gives a content shrug and shuffles herself about in a rather feline fashion until she’s half-draped over one armrest and can peer across at Kironen. “My floor is your floor, if you’d prefer a floor where you aren’t going to get strange greenriders accosting you in the middle of the night,” she jokes, propping her chin on the arm of the chair. “Could even stretch to a bed, if you wanted to be all experimental about it.” It seems a genuine enough offer, despite the underlying humour. “My family’re traders. Kind of had to try and make whatever we had taste good with whatever we had on-hand. Everything here’s kind of like a paradise.” Easing the smile from her lips, she asks, “Anyone giving you trouble? Zerujath’d be happy to roar at them.”

“I’m not sure what ‘accosting’ is so I don’t know if I’d rather get that than sleep on your floor,” Kironen chuckles quietly. A brow is artfully raised in her direction, a playful smirk on his face. “You wanna show me?” He definitely doesn’t know what ‘accosting’ is. Kironen trades his blanket for his jacket, collecting his snacks and putting them into the deep pockets. “Beds are comfy, I get it. But just too comfy sometimes, I guess. Tossing and turning on a cloud and never get a wink of sleep.” He gets to his feet as he listens to her, his voice casual as he searches the remaining pockets. “Your cousin’s a trader then too?” Dark eyes lift to her lips and then the rest of her expression at that question. “Me? Nah. No trouble yet, not really. What makes you ask? You worried about me?” Gaze slips to her shoulders and he shrugs out of his only-just returned jacket, holding it open for her as invitation. “Come on, I’ll walk you home. You got nothing on; you’ll freeze out there.” His grin flourishes. “Plus, you said your floor’s my floor. Think I’m gonna’ pass on something like that?”

Ixia narrows her eyes a little, as if she might be about to argue about the jacket, yet she uncurls from her seat and snuggles back into it, pretending to get it fitting just right before she pounces on Kironen and clamps her arms around his middle, holding on like a tiny limpet. “This is one form of accosting,” she explains, trying to keep from laughing as she smooshes the words against his chest, continuing to hold on until she has to relent and step back, beaming up at him. “Trading’s too easy for Ione. Sounds arrogant of her, but it’s true.” There’s nothing but affection there, even if she does sound a touch resigned about the whole thing. “Anyway, if you’re allowed to worry about me, then I’m allowed to worry about you. All’s fair that way.” Shuffling back towards the entryway, she tilts her head and asks, “Will you be wanting a pillow, or is that a step too far?” unable to keep from smirking.

Kironen emits a sound of surprise and laughs, frozen in place until the little greenrider relinquishes her hold. “Not bad, but not as much fun as as thought it’d be,” he smirks, thoroughly dishevelled. He grabs her by the jacket, pulling her towards him and watching her as he reaches with his other hand to dive into one of the pockets for a roll. He bites into the roll, mostly to hold it in his mouth as he fishes around for the belt around the jacket’s waist to secure it around her little body. Finished (or thwarted, if she protests), he lets go of the jacket and completes his bite of the roll, chewing it down as he bends to collect his blanket off the floor and sling it around him like a cape. “Fine. Worry then. Maybe I’ll get myself into trouble just to give you something worth worrying over.” Kironen falls into step after her, hugging his cape tighter around as the chill hits him from outside. “You got pillows? You might be too fancy for me. I like to use a good, big rock. Got any of those?” A tease, surely.

“It could be more fun, but I did also kind of promise not to,” Ixia answers chirpily, submitting to the rummaging through of pockets with no response but a faintly startled note of sound from low in her throat, eyes narrowed playfully while she stays as still as possible, pretending to swat at Kironen only when he suitably attires her and sorts out the belt, though she lets him get on with it with no more protest than that. “You get into trouble and I’ll give you some trouble myself to go with it,” she warns, walking backwards just so she can face him and make her tiny threats seem all the more ridiculous solely because she has to look up at him to deliver them. “Not got any rocks, but I’ve got an elbow I could lodge under your head. That’d probably do it. Or a knee.” Gesturing to his cape, she says, “If Sir requires additional bedding, that’ll be extra.”

“Extra?” Kironen banters back, dimples lured to life in the pits of his cheeks as he smiles and hugs his blanket tighter. “Can I pay in ‘accosts’?” Ignorance of the word doesn’t distract from his intention, Kironen sweeping his arms up and out, the blanket sagging off his arms like wingsails as he chases after Ixia with a growling battle cry that hopefully doesn’t carry too far across the courtyard as they burst out into the cool night air. Whatever her offer, sleep will eventually claim Kironen as he’s sprawled out on the rug in front of her fire, his blanket strewn haphazardly across his body while his arm is folded under his head — no additional bedding needed.

If Kironen’s battle cry doesn’t carry, Ixia’s shrieking response certainly will, and though she pelts her way across stone in her heavy boots there isn’t really enough of her to make a thundering of her overplayed escape. Once home, she makes little of the fact that she just happens to leave pillows and a heavier blanket on the couch before retreating to her bedroom to curl up beneath patchwork, snuggled so deeply beneath blankets that only the very top of her head is visible. She wakes early, owing to Zerujath or habit, and pauses in her bedroom doorway to lean against the frame and let her gaze linger on Kironen for a moment or two, idly nibbling on the nail of one thumb. Closing her eyes, she gives a shake of her head and moves on, animating enough to swat at him on her way past asking, “Breakfast?” in a manner too chipper for the time. Breakfast, baths, then it’s to work for both.

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