Nachton On Ice... (Rules Within)
Here on the lake, the ice is thick enough for you to have fun skating, no matter how many spills you take. Lace up your own pair, or borrow one from the little stand next to the lake, and try it out! There's plenty of room for all!
((ooc: Feel free to RP at your leisure here; however, every post you make must quote a bit of a Christmas carol. Whether the title, a line or two, or what have you, don't forget to mention one, and place it in bold for all to see. Be creative!))
Glancing over at Aishe earned him a mischievous little grin and an innocent shrug that nearly turned into another fall. He looked back at Pak, unaware that his expression was something reminiscent of a deer in headlights, and tugged on her hand so she wobbled a bit.
"Easy now! Kind of tough to figure out how to skate for the first time. It took Aishe hours to get as far as she has."
When in doubt, change the subject.
"Hey look. Is that Elvis?"
In retrospect, Pak was nowhere near solid enough on the ice to put a skate blade through his eyeball, but it never hurt to be sure.
"No... way too fat for Elvis. More... jolly old Saint Nicholas - ish."
Kem pointed off vaguely into the distance and gave Pak his most charming smile.
"It's a big fat ice-steamroller that makes everything smooth and pretty for skaters and hockey players and the like," she offered helpfully, ignoring Kem's increasingly frantic looks.
Smiling prettily she beamed at her boyfriend instead. "Say, do you smell that?" She made exaggerated motions as she stuck her nose in the air and wiggled it. "Like chestnuts... over an open fire."
"I suppose we could try skating sedately around in circles like everyone else," he said as he found his feet again. "Just to say we did."
The idea of careening around corners was a good one though. So what if some of the snowbanks were well-hidden rocks? He was resilient. He didn't imagine he'd ever be so reckless with any other Kadzait except Nikhila, who had known him well enough at one point to know he did let loose on occasion... She was right though, appearances should be maintained.
Taking off at a much slower pace he pointed out, "We're going to have to figure out how to stop and everything."
He had faith in their ability to manage that part though. Already he was eyeing some of the other skaters to see how it was done; he was perfectly comfortable on the straight line thing... now he just needed to make his skates make nice neat patterns on the ice as well.
"Well then. Time to bend our joyful footsteps," he quoted after he figured he'd seen enough for now. He held his arm out to Nikhila in a far more gentlemanly way and wiggled his eyebrows at her as if daring her to trust him.
"Thank you, my gallant knight! This is perfect."
The entire date was so wonderful, almost magical and despite the fact that they had not spoken excessively Livia felt closer to Nic than before. Clutching his hand tightly she enjoyed the cold air and the closeness of his body wrapped protectively around her. Their skates made quiet swishing sounds as they glided about under the star-filled sky.
While he hadn't been on skates in too many years to count, Nic picked up the ability quickly, and well. So well in fact that he released his hold on her side, and moved to face her, and continue skating backwards. It wasn't like he was doing any fancy foot work, but rather just simply skating backwards, with an occasional glance over his shoulder, when he wasn't grinning like a loon, as he gazed at her pretty face.
"I can probably keep this up for a while, but if I appear to be headed for a tree, or another skater, and unaware, please feel free to yell, or give my arm a yank..."
The biting cold looked to be giving Livia's face a slight pinkness, that while Nic thought looked adorable, was afraid it might possibly be painful.
"I see Jack Frost's nipping at your nose...would you like to go somewhere warmer?" Pulling her forward into his arms, Nic used the side of his neck to press Livia's face into, hoping to transfer some of his own body heat to her.
“I’m going to let you dwell on that and the fact I’m not finding it too flattering.”
If she’d been able to balance better there would have been immediate retaliation, but just now, she was far too vulnerable, and Pak knew it. Her skating was still more stumble and cling than frolic and play. Hell there were five year olds that could skate rings around her.
“Where is this open fire, I’m freezing.”
“I’m sure everyone else will be pleased they don’t have to jump out of the way. At least for a few minutes.”
She still hadn’t sorted out where they stood with each other. One minute it seemed like old times and the next they could barley speak to each other. For now though she didn’t try to analyze it
They’d gotten about three quarters of the way around the lake before she said anything.
“I might like your way better.”
Taking his hand firmly she did her best to pull him along and build up speed before anchoring herself in an attempt to play ‘crack the whip’. With any luck at all she’d send him flying.
Had her hands not been held securely she surely would have buried her face in them at her own thoughts. At his snuggling to warm her she tried to calm herself. Flirting was good but lewd overtures were not as she reminded herself. Still his scent filled her head and the warmth of his skin pinked her cheeks more. Resisting the urge to simply stay in his embrace all night she pulled back to smile at him.
"Hopefully no one will mistake me for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Though the evening was young she would not have minded going home. Either his place or hers. For her body tingled in anticipation like it hadn't in decades. Patience was a difficult thing to have but she wrestled it into her fist as the skating through the chilly night. People went by them, some faster, some slower, but she thought that they were going at just the right speed.
"I would hate for this to end. It has been such a magical night, Nic."
He had admitted to himself that having a partner was something he wanted to try again, but really hadn't expected to find someone so soon. As a result, part of him kept telling the other part of him, that he was reading way too much into her, and the situation. But the other part of him kept countering with the fact that he could just take things as they came, and not dive head first into anything more serious yet.
"No...a cold, little red button nose, or not...even a blind man wouldn't mistake you for old Rudolph."
Grinning, Nic pulled Livia towards him a bit quickly, but caught her, with both arms firmly around her waist, and gave her two spins on the ice, before letting her slide out of his arms. He took a good hold on her hands, as she moved away from him, and stopped her from going far. The momentum of their spin continued, but much more slowly, and with both of their feet planted well on the ice.
"I'm glad you feel that way...I didn't want to think about the evening ending either. At the very least, once we get back to the towers, I hope we can have a cup of cheer...and see what develops from there." And with that the tone of the night ended up turning more serious anyway. He hoped he wasn't misreading her, and that once they left the park, there would be more in store for each of them.
Looking over his shoulder again, Nic planned a path that would take them back to where they had started, and where there shoes were safely tucked. Looking back at Livia, he winked, and began skating a little faster than he had been, now in somewhat of a hurry.
What he hadn't planned, as he skated backwards, was for someone else to skate into his path. Unfortunately, no one told any of the other skaters what direction Nic was taking, and bump into someone he did, nearly falling over the person and taking Livia with him.
Luckily, though Nic wasn't even really an amateur skater, he had a good sense of center, and balance, and was able to keep both he and Livia upright.
Pulling her close, so she didn't stumble, Nic turned the two of them towards whoever it was he had bounced off of.
"Addison! Son of a gun! Fancy bumping into you here...how have you been, and where have you been, old man?"
Nic's expression changed from one of worry to one of delight, when he saw his old acquaintance. Remembering his manners, he clapped the shorter man on the shoulder, and introduced his lady friend.
"Livia? This is Addison...the first person I met, upon landing on the shores of Nachton."
Would she remember the story of his first encounter that night, Nic wondered?
(ooc - bumping into Addison done with permission.)
"Since when do you ever like my way better when my way... hey!"
He didn't get to finish the thought before Nikhila tugged him slong once again. He barked out a laugh and followed along enthusiastically until she suddenly disappeared. His mind raced to unravel the mystery of Nikhila, then no Nikhila, very quickly but it was inadequate. Maybe his brain had been frozen... or bashed out of whack on that last crash. Either way he fell for her gambit and found himself yanked backwards. While normally that wouldn't have fazed him (he could give as good as he got), he also wasn't normally on skates.
Those went flying out from under him and he fell ass over end to hit the unforgiving ice of the lake with a 'whuf' as every bit of oxygen in his lungs vanished as if by magic.
He lay there for the second time that night until he finally got enough air to speak.
"Oh, holy..." A little girl skated by, holding her father's hand and giggling at him. "...night," he finished lamely, unwilling to curse in front of her. Besides, he was about out of air anyway.
"Good one," he croaked at Nikhila's upside-down face.
He quickly transferred Pak's clutching hands over to Aishe's wrists and skated backwards a few feet, crossing his arms, prepared to watch the spectacle. Aishe's immediate reaction was to come after him, but with Pak clinging much like a baby possum to her new anchor, it wasn't going to happen.
A smirk on his features he began to skate circles around them, literally, backwards then forwards, keeping his eye on them so they came to no real harm but more than content to let them throw each other off-balance for the time being.
At Pak's wistful comment about an open fire he simply shook his head at her and pointed down the lake, holding up three fingers. Three laps, he clearly said without words or sending. Three laps until he allowed her to get off the ice, out of her skates, and someplace warm. It was rare that Pak's muse spoke up and said, "Wake up, it's time to come out!" When it did, he encouraged it. It was only fair; she did the same to him.
"Come on... backwards too?"
Aishe looked at Pak. "You'd think with four skates between us we'd manage to skate better than him. But nooooo."
Looking down the lake with resignation she glanced at Pak and shrugged. "We'd better start. He's not going to let us hear the end of it if we don't at least give it a shot."
In the meantime Kem had gone around them at least four or five more times, flipping effortlessly back and forth between forwards and backwards. Aishe was impressed; apparently even the most diehard of warmth-loving vampires could learn a winter sport when boredom pressed.
"Really, where did you learn?"
There now... not exactly gliding along with a song, but she and Pak had managed to propel themselves in a vaguely forward direction.
The red head was almost through with his first free-standing circle when the luck ran out.
"Aiee!" The ice was cold on the knee of his jeans as Addison was bumped forward and landed hard onto one...but luckily not sprawled out on the surface entirely. Shit...he knew he should have stayed on the fringes... He pushed red bangs out of his eyes and looked up into an entirely familiar face.
"Addison! Son of a gun! Fancy bumping into you here...how have you been, and where have you been, old man?"
Of all the people he thought he might bump into, Nic was not at the top of the list. "Nic...so...good to see you too." The fumbling accountant eyed where Nic had touching him briefly before focusing on the young woman he was introducing. "A pleasure to meet you Livia, such a lovely name." In fact, he didn't believe he knew any other Livia's.
"Sorry for getting in your way there...Brian Boytano I am not."
[You are a masochist and will regret this for the rest of your life. Or mine… probably both.]
As far as Pak was concerned this was well beyond their usual teasing and tormenting, this was equivalent to about the fourth circle of hell. In fact she was sure Dante had written something about ice-skating.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. In a pig’s eye.”
She hissed as Kem continued his easy gliding and she tried not to topple Aishe.
Getting her nerve up a bit Pak let go of her guide and tried to move on her own. It was an odd look though as she refused to pick her feet up off the ice to push, much more shuffling than gliding and gravity again was threatening to claim her.
Propriety and all, it had seemed like he was headed a completely different direction with his wording and she was prepared to keep things civil. But he caught himself as she stopped next to him. Offering her hands as she braced herself Nikhila intended to help him up.
“That went a little bit better than I had planed.”
It wasn’t quite an apology, but it would have to do for now.
It was a lie, of course. If there had been a single cut or bruise involved in that whole thing, it had closed up before he'd even regained enough air to talk.
"I definitely like my way better."
Xeph's eyes caught onto a skater moving backwards though, and for a moment his attention was on the person's skates. Finally he winked back up at Nikhila, righted himself with her help, and then stood facing her with his palms out.
"Let's try that! Push!"
He wasn't above being foolish tonight. If, for the sake of fun, he took a few more spills, he was more than prepared for it.
It seemed safe enough - and perhaps even the best idea to keep a careful distance from Pak - to venture out a bit. It had been years since Kem had skated and he had to admit he enjoyed it. No pro, he could at least work his way through switching from forwards to backwards and a series of small circles and footsteps. Hands in his pockets, he made sure to stay on a circle, always looping around Pak and Aishe, ranging out wide and picking up speed.
The stars in the bright sky looked down, the wind was blowing gently, and someone somewhere off to one side had begun singing carols. It was enough to bring a faint smile to his face as he looked over his shoulder and headed backwards, leaning in just a bit to make sure he didn't get too far away from his charges.
"That sounds like a lovely plan."
Watching him get mischievous like a happy boy was fun as well. The cheeky wink, the speedy show off skating all filled her with a sense of fun and joy. It was tangible, this feeling she was developing for him. Spurned on by everything he said and did. The collision was unexpected. She had been wrapped up in his eyes rather than watching out for others.
The stumble was kept manageable by Nic's skill alone, because Livia stumbled about quite a bit as she clutched at her date. Finally he settled them both upright and she regained her balance enough to look at the poor person they had run into. She was happy to see he had not gotten injured by the collision but felt just the opposite when Nic introduced him. Her estimation of Nic grew as he jovially greeted the person who had helped cause so much trouble upon his arrival to Nachton. Whereas she was feeling as as charming as an eel to the familiar. Still she summoned up a smile and tried to be nice.
"Pleasure to meet you Addison." At his compliment she felt like a heel and resolved to be nicer to him. "Thank you."
Looking around the ice it was clear to see that while the majority of people were on their feet very few were Olympic class skaters.
"I don't think there is anyone quite in that caliber here so its understandable. Unfortunately I forgot to watch were we were going, so my apologies for that."
She skated along, satisfied with her slow pace, which matched Pak's well enough. Kem sent a smile her way and skated out wider around them, and she watched with slight envy as he circled them. It wasn't often at all that one caught Kem's artistic side; he was quiet and shy enough most times that the things that appealed to him stayed well-hidden. Aishe had heard him sing, however, and couldn't remember hearing a nicer sound. She'd also danced with him at her parents' anniversary party two years prior, and knew he was graceful on his feet as well. It didn't really come as a surprise to her that skating came easily to him.
Aishe did her best to follow his example; not necessarily in the smoothness of his footwork; that was well beyond her, but she did notice he was relaxed and loose, much like she knew she had to be to fence or to spar. She'd let the skates and her uncertain balance tighten her up, so mentally she told herself she'd have to learn a bit faster if she wanted to join in any reindeer games tonight.
Watching Pak distracted her however, and reindeer games of any form fell onto the back-burner as she focused on the end of the lake and joined the Thai in her efforts to simply get across the ice.
"You do realize we're going to have to turn around to go back the other way, right?" She ventured to ask Pak as they neared the opposite side. Aishe figured she could make it, but she couldn't imagine for a moment that Pak would have anything nice to say about it.
She hadn’t had this much fun in quite a while. Too often, Nikhila didn’t let herself be silly and her playtime was limited or was also educational. Nothing like this, pure silliness; it was quite refreshing.
“Your way is a bit dangerous. Do you think there is a middle ground?”
He righted himself and that confirmed she hadn’t done any permanent damage. Not that she could have but Nikhila worried about him some times. The wink, however simple a gesture, caused her to smile somewhat shyly and look away, at least it did until she saw what Xeph had in mind. Then she gaped and shook her head. He was mad, but that didn’t seem to stop him, or her.
Placing her hands against his she did as requested and pushed. There was more to this trick than met the eye, making sure one arm didn’t press too hard and that she didn’t skate too fast. They did seem to be getting the hang of it, but they also had a turn coming up.
“You’d better watch out, we don’t want a repeat of the snow banks.” There was a heavy pause before she asked with genuine curiosity, “Do we?”