Lower Alpine Meadows
The hills are alive, with the sound of water: water gurgles merrily down through the scrub-forest and continues west, towards the weyr. And the spit and bubble of thermal-pools beckons with a coy flicker of steam and the promise of hot-water. A small waterfall splashes off to the east, where the trail rises higher towards the distant glacier.
It is an autumn afternoon.
On the perch is Pix.
Niall is here.
Meadows - Volcanic Pool - Back to the Weyr
Niall sits a hill or two away from the entrance, back turned to all who enter. Guitar in hand and song filling the air, his attention is driven into his song. All notes and words comes at the moment he sings them, and the song happens not to be half bad, for improve.
Reiko makes her way out of the catacombs, blinking as her eyes adjust to the afternoon sunlight. As she heads up the path into the hills, she begins to notice a distinctly unnatural sound, her eyes narrowing until she identifies it as music. From... a guitar. She continues up the path to a spot where she can see the source, one eyebrow arching as she identifies Niall. Almost unconsciously, she turns her hand palm-up to look at it - no longer pink, of course - her fingers curling as her lips twist in a smirk. Lesson, indeed.
Niall plucks this string then that one. Each note appears before the last can leave, merging together is what these notes do. Mimicking the cry of the wind through the mountains, or as close as possible with a guitar. If you can hear his words, they talk about trading and the open roads, and dragons and weyrs. His distraction from life is here, and here is another piece of the puzzle that makes up Niall.
Reiko isn't close enough to make out the words. Yet. But she's getting there. Coming over the hill from behind Niall, she steps quietly - not as if bootheels on grass could be heard over the notes he plays - and none too quickly, feeling the spell of the music in spite of herself. Still she says nothing. If he knows she's there, he's likely to begin smirking again, and she's as likely to slap him again. So she'll just listen.. for now.
Faster, slower, and somewhere in-between Niall sets the tempo. Whatever he feels at the moment, or whatever fits his words. A trace is what his music has him in, one that doesn't seem to be able to be broken. But it is, for a short while, long enough to look up skywards, expecting to see something. Ending one song, he shakes his head, looking back across the meadow. "Not like Crom's, not like it at all."
Reiko stops in her tracks as the music stops, near enough now to hear the words. Her eyes narrow, and she just can't stop herself from remarking. "I should think not." Not like Nabol's either, and a sharding good thing. She flumps down onto the grass as if she hadn't a care in the world, eyeing Niall coolly.
Niall shrugs, and plucks a string every so often. His mind is busy else where, in the past, the present, and future. "Not like the places I use to live. It's the same, ever constant. I don't like that... but the dragons are here." No smirk comes to Reiko, even though he knows she's here, for he's far to busy just thinking.
Reiko's eyes narrow further, mere emerald slits now, as Niall continues his musings as if she hadn't spoken at all. Very well, then. Stretching indolently, she lies back on the grass to watch the clouds go by. Not change, indeed. The cold winds are already beginning to whip up across the mountains with their promise of snow, and lots of it, signaling to Reiko that it's time to hole up in the caverns with her klah once again, waiting for spring. The comment about the dragons is pointedly ignored as being too obvious to dignify with a response.
"Enjoy just watching the skies, with the cold air starting to come?" Niall ask with a slight chuckle. He's starting to think our 'what has' less and this moment more. His smirk should be coming soon if this keeps up. The cold air seems welcomed by him, and in all fact it is.
Reiko doesn't bother looking over at Niall, keeping her gaze fixed on the sky. "I'll do as I please," she snaps, not bothering to inform him - as if anyone might not be aware - that there won't be that many more nice days to do just that. And he can smirk if he likes; as long as she's not looking at him, it makes no difference at all.
Niall shakes his head with a smile. Her snapping is back, and that just happens to remind him, and show him, of one of the reasons Reiko's caught his attention; and not many do that, not for any length of time, like she has. "I've noticed that, and you're not the only one."
Reiko does look, now, dropping her head to one side to regard him narrowly, his smile met squarely with her scowl. "And just what is /that/ supposed to mean?" she demands, deliberately failing to understand his implication.
"I do as I please, when I please, for whatever reason I please. You're not the only one." Niall says, his smiles turning blank, but the interest that's been the cause of it is still there.
Reiko turns her gaze back to the sky with a faint huff. "Congratulations," she snarls, her expression black as she remembers just exactly what it pleased him to do the last time they met. Her own twisted halfsmile returns, however, when she remembers the reward it earned him, but her eyes remain fixed on the sky above as she idly laces her fingers behind her neck. Another wintry breeze stirs the grass around her, but she ignores it, finding her woolen tunic more than sufficient protection against the late autumn chill. Besides, her demeanor is colder than the weather.
Niall stands up, guitar in hand as he straps it to his back. Time for him to go back in, with notes to write, and information to gather. "Congratulations? Well, I don't think that's in order, not since I know you enjoyed your reaction to our last meeting." Too much Niall seems to know, or at least hints to in his words and tone. Now it was time to leave, and anything Reiko wanted to say, she needed to say it quickly.
Reiko bites back whatever retort might have come to her mind, although her eyes flash angrily as she stubbornly does /not/ look at him. She does, however, register that he has stood up and is preparing to leave, and she manages to convince herself this is good enough for her. "Don't twist anything, patting yourself on the back," she snaps at last, managing to affect an indolent posture.
Niall goes home.