09.02.2013: Going Spelunking
Summary: Antaeus and Viannea go into the lower caves to look at a pool and have a picnic.
Date: 03 Sep 2013
Related: None
Antaeus Viannea 

Lower Caves
Deep in the dark zone of the caves of Khar-Mordune, tunnels twist and turn like a maze. Natural bioluminescent lights have been fashioned along the cave walls to help provide some illumination this far in the dark. Here, flora life is completely nonexistant, and fauna has developed sightlessness and adapted to the chill. Various antechambers dot the lower caves, and they are decorated in flowstone, columns of rock, and other cave formations. Toward the bottom of the caves is the grand Pool of the Fearless — a smooth, flat, mirrorlike body of water that is pure and clear. It is highly recommended that one transverse these caves with a guide, as it is not uncommon for the unsuspecting to become lost in its depths.
02 Sep 3013

Finally. After entirely too long Viannea is able to make good on her promise to show Antaeus the Pool of the Fearless and the hotsprings after the tour and there is even the picnic she had recommended as a way for the two of them to share lunch while getting to know each other better. The trip down is quiet save for the times they talk, the path illuminated by the glowsticks she has provided for them, the hike uneventful and peaceful. "And… here we are…" she announces before rounding a corner. The pool is beautiful, a wonderful monument. "Go ahead and spread out the blanket and I'll get the food out of the basket."

Antaeus is dressed rather casually today, wearing good leather hiking boots, a pair of black trousers, and a rather mundane white shirt. The hike through the caverns has been rather interesting so far, his eyes taking in sights that he's never seen before. As they reach the pool, he steps up beside Vi and takes in the pool before them. "You weren't kidding when you said it was something to behold." He turns and smiles at her before doing as she says. Finding a flat spot that still provides a nice view of the pool, he spreads out the blanket, and then takes his seat.
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Rock doesn't give like grass does so it probably won't be as comfortable as it would be if the setting was different but Vi doesn't even seem to care. She sits down after setting everything up for them - bread and various meats, cheese and little bits of fruit and sweets. And of course there's wine, the same kind of vintage and type they had when they shared some time together last night. "I sometimes come down here to think," she whispers once she gets the bottle open and the wine poured for them. "It's very easy to get lost in your head here. I have lost track of time and spent almost an entire day here."

Antaeus doesn't seem to mind the hard surface either. "Oh?" His voice is quiet as he speaks to her. "What do you come down here to think about, Vi?" He glances around once again, and is forced to admit that if one wanted quiet contemplation, that it would be the perfect place for it. Returning his attention to her, he offers a smile as he takes his glass of wine, offering her a salute with his glass before taking a sip.

The salute is given in return and then Viannea also sips, her eyes closing as she enjoys the drink as well as Antaeus. "Hmm. Sometimes I would daydream about what it would be like to be a knight," that being when she was very young and before she became a squire, "and then I'd sit here and think, wondering about the man I'd be with." Leaning in, she kisses him softly, placing it at the corner of his mouth before she adds, "The so-called man of my young dreams pales in comparison to you." Blushing, she laughs, the sound loud enough to echo throughout the large cavern. "Shall we eat?"

He smiles at her admission of her childhood dreams. "Nothing wrong with that, I used to have dreams of following my own father's footsteps and taking command of my very own ship. Who knows, your dream came true, perhaps mine will as well." He laughs, reaching out to give her shoulder a squeeze after she kisses him. "Yes, well I try to be as dashing as I can, hopefully it's working." He winks and takes another sip of the wine. "Eating sounds nice, what shall we have first?"

"Let me make you a plate and you can pick what you would like to eat first." The bread is broken into a fairly good-sized chunk and then some cheese is cut off of the small log she brought with them, Vi talking as she does. "I know you'll get your own ship to command, Antaeus. You're a natural leader and someone who a lot of people undoubtedly look up to. Gods know I do." Meat and fruit is then set on the plate next to everything else and it's handed to him. "Speaking of your ship, I'd love to see it someday, if you're allowed to give tours."

Shifting slightly, Antaeus watches her fashion up a plate of food for him. "You are too kind, Vi. I still have a long ways to go though, command requires a good deal of experience, and I still need to get a bit of experience under my belt." Leaning over he kisses her cheek softly. "It is good to know you have such faith in me though." He takes the plate from her, and gazes down at it for a moment before taking a chunk of bread and a bit of cheese in hand and tossing it in his mouth. Once it's down he offers, "You know, I'm not sure if they are allowed or not, but I wouldn't see why not. It's not like you are some sort of devious HOstile spy." His face grows serious and his eyes narrow. "Wait, you're not, are you?"

Viannea makes a similar plate for herself, her head angled just to the side so she can press into the peck he gives her. "As sad as it is for me to point this out, I believe that you will have ample chance to get the experience you'll need for such a position in the military." That being because of the war. "Combat is the best way to gain such, after all." A slice of cured meat is folded in half and eaten, it giving her time to think. "Hmmm? No, of course not," she eventually answers once she can speak. "Although now I got to wonder if I'd know if I were…." Darting a look at Antaeus, she raises a brow and grins. "But no. Seriously. I am not a spy."

Antaeus next samples a small bit of meat followed by a piece of fruit, giving Vi a sad nod as he chews. "You are right, Vi. I think this war will go on for quite some time. I think all of us who were hoping for it to end quickly were… misguided." He lets out a sigh and with such a cheerful thought in his head, lifts his glass of wine and takes a sip. After putting his glass down he gives her a grin, "Yes, well, how could we know any of us were. I guess I'll just have to trust you then!"

It isn't pleasant to think about and could very easily ruin their mood which Vi is by no means wanting to have happen. But instead of seeking to change the subject she reaches over to play with his hair, her fingers slid through those blond curls of his that she find so very attention-grabbing. "I am just grateful that I can face it all with the people I care for standing beside me. My family and you, my friends…" Her head is given a shake then, one that is hard enough to loosen some of her hair from the ponytail it has been held in. "I am glad that you do. Trust me. I mean. And I trust you too, Antaeus. Very much."

A grin quirks his lips as she ruffles his hair, not seeming to mind it. Shifting slightly to be nearer to her, he wraps up a piece of cheese with some bread and then tosses it into his mouth to give him some time to think. Finally he says, "Of course I trust you, and I'm glad to have your trust as well, Vi. This wouldn't be so nice if we didn't trust one another, you know? But yes, we will all be standing together. After we kill a large number of the bastards for being a pain in our asses though."

"Do you believe in destiny, Antaeus?" The question is one of the kind that comes out of nowhere, suddenly poised with no real connection to what they've discussed so far. "I mean the kind of destiny that guides you through life, directing you into doing, or not doing, certain things, allowing for you to meet people and all that?" A berry is gotten off of her plate and offered to him, the little fruit held delicately in her fingers as she waits for him to take it or refuse it as he wishes. "I ask because I feel like that is what has happened with us. I feel like the Six has allowed for us to meet and fall for each other…" The span of her lower lip is suddenly tucked in between her teeth, Viannea quiet, praying like mad that he doesn't think she's silly or simple minded now.

"Destiny?" Antaeus raises an eyebrow, shaking his head slightly. "No, I don't think I do. I've always been of the opinion that we forge our own way through life, our decisions impacting who we meet, who we love, who we hate, that sort of thing." He pauses to sip his wine and crunch down a few fruits before continuing. "Now, that's not to say that I'm wrong and you're right, or you're wrong and I'm right. I just don't know." Giving her a rather apologetic shrug, he sighs, "What I do know is how we feel about each other, and I'm not sure that it really matters how it came about, but that it is so. Does that make sense?"

Leave it to a military man to be so practical. But even though Antaeus' thoughts on the subject differ from her own Viannea finds herself willing to accept his words as a possibility while at the same time not dismissing her own feelings on that. "It does make a lot of sense. I see what you are saying. And there's no need to sigh or apologize, my dearest. We are allowed to have different points of view. I will never feel any different for you just because we don't agree on something." Her body twists, allowing for her to sit closer to him while facing him, her head tilting just to the side. "But perhaps it's time for lighter topics of conversation to be discussed. Something more befitting an afternoon away."

Antaeus smiles, then leans over for the bottle of wine. Taking it in hand he tops off her glass first before seeing to his own. Putting it back down, he picks his glass up and takes a sip. "You're right, we can differ on opinion and I won't think differently of you either. I would prefer it if you had your own thoughts and opinions, you know? We shouldn't be echo chambers for one another. It will make us both stronger in the end." He reaches for a piece of cheese and then tosses it into his mouth, then asks, "Lighter conversation? How about the weather, dearest?"

Her glass is allowed to be filled but she sets it down when she goes to open the little box of candies and cakes she pilfered from the kitchen, much like she did when she was little. "I promise there are no candied bugs like Aidan seems to enjoy so much." It is placed within easy reach of them both for whenever they desire something sweet. "I have seen women who have allowed themselves to become an empty shell once they get a man in their life. They kowtow and kiss their husband's feet and allow for them to lord over them in all ways. I am not like that," Vi shrugs with a quick arching of her brows, "and I am very glad you do not want a woman who is like that." Antaeus' shifting of the conversation has her chuckling, her eyes now lifted towards the cavern ceiling. "It has been nice although I can tell cooler weather will soon be upon us."

Antaeus tosses Vi a quick grin, "I'm not going to judge anyone for eating those things, but I have to ask… what kind of bugs were they?" He gives a playful little shudder, the effect ruined by his little shudder. "Yeah, I have to be honest Vi, I don't think I could handle a woman who did nothing but try to kiss my feet all the time, it would get a little… stifling. I prefer to have a bit of give and take." He pauses and looks up as she does, "Yeah, season is changing soon, no?"

"I am glad that's not the kind of woman you want because you'd be sorely disappointed in me." Anyone who knows Viannea any kind of well at might desribe her as independant and strong-willed, the definate opposite of the women they're discussing. "But I can tell you like me just the way I am so that is not an issue." And as if on cue, a cool breeze kicks up, blowing across Vianna who shivers. "Hmmm… yes, fall is almost upon us." And then she back tracks, touching upon the subject of the candies Aidan had the other night. "I am not sure. It might've been a beetle of some kind but do not quote me on that."

"Of course, Vi. I think things would be rather boring if you were like that anyway. Being a little fiesty can make things… interesting." Winking at her, he reaches down and grabs another bit of meat and casually tosses it into his mouth. A slight frown creases his lips as she shivers, "Hrm, maybe we should have brought slightly warmer clothing, although it would make things take longer once we get to the hotsprings."

Vi is not boring as her beau has already been made to see more than once. "I promise you that you will never have to say 'I am bored' when we're together, Antaeus. I vow to make life as fun and entertaining for you as possible." And as if to give an example of how she might, Vi begins to pack up the picnic items, not even bothering to make sure it's all neatly put back into the basket. "I think that lunch can be postponed until we get to the hot springs. Will be sure to warm us up nicely."

Antaeus raises his eyebrows at Vi, "Oh, I'll never be bored, hrm? I take it that you have lots of activities in store for us to do together that go beyond picnics in a cave… unless…" His eyes narrow and he gives her a suspicious look, "You wouldn't be trying to drag me down here out of sight and sound of everyone else to have your way with me?" A laugh as he helps her start to pck up, attempting to put things in some order at least. "Yes, they should be rather relaxing."

Okay. Seems like Antaeus is a little bit neater than she is. Vi grins sheepishly and makes what she put into the picnic container a little more orderly before it's closed. "There's much more in life than dragging the man I adore into caves for ravishing," she points out, her tone playfully lofty. A hand is held out, offered to him as they once again prepare to head to the second location. "I hope that going skinny dipping is not too lowbrow for you, Lord Antaeus. Because if it is, I think we're SOL as I did not pack a suit to wear in the water."

He leans over and pecks her on the cheek to show that he's not worried about her being a little more hurried to get to the hotsprings. He takes her offered hand, squeezing it slightly as he moves along the path towards the hotsprings. "Lowbrow? No, no. I doubt I could think of it as lowbrow, not when I'm about to engage in the activity myself. What will people say of us? We are so very scandalous today."

The hotsprings Viannea knows about are not so much in the public eye that anyone not looking for them will just up and happen upon them although they just might have company if someone decides they too want a soak in the pools. The walking takes about twenty minutes that is filled with either comfortable silence or casual conversation, both something she enjoys taking part in with Antaeus.

Once they reach the edge of one of the smaller pools Vi stops and gives one quick glance around before shrugging. Now is as good of a time as any to get undressed and so she does once her hands are free. Lamenting wearing a blouse, breeches and boots today, the process of removing every garment taking longer than she'd like.

Taking in the view of the hotsprings with an appraising eye, Antaeus turns and spots Vi beginning to undress. He raises an appreciative eyebrow as he watches her endress entirely. "Well, well, well. I guess since you gave me something of a little show, I should do the same then?" He grins at her, and removes his own clothing, but instead of taking it slow, he does it in a rather hurried pace. Once the clothes are off, he steps past her, slapping her on the rear playfully as he slips into the hotsprings with an appreciative grunt.

Viannea squeaks a little in surprise only to then grunt, the latter being at her reaction. That should have been expected but she somehow did not expect Antaeus to go as far as to smack her on the backside and she finds that she's now slightly disgruntled at herself for having been caught unsuspecting. "Smartass," gets groused after him before she finally gets those damnable boots off and she's able to get her pants and shirt off, leaving her as nude as he is. He gets followed and then she steps in, the water hot enough to feel good without being so hot that it'd scald skin. "Hmmm… this I could get used to," Vi purrs languidly as she sinks down to her chin, her hair fanning out behind her. "We should make this a weekly ritual for us, Antaeus."

Antaeus soaks for a moment, before lowering himself deeper into the water to cover his face and head for a few moments. Resurfacing, he finds her in the water now. Lying back he closes his eyes for a moment and sighs rather contentedly. "A weekly ritual? I think I could live with that. You, me. These hotsprings. What more could we ask for?" This gets him thinking for a moment and he opens an eye to look at her, "I've been meaning to ask, what changed your mind about the two of us being more physical before any wedding takes place?"

Finding a sore spot from sitting on the rocky ground earlier, Vi reaches down to rub at the small of her back. "Ow… hmm? Oh. I think a lot of it is because of how comfortable I feel with you and how right it felt. Feels. And I got swept up in the moment, admittedly. The question is do you want to keep that promise we made from now on until we're married or did last night open a flood gate we won't be able to close?" She brushes a curl from Antaeus' forehead, her features held in a soft, happy expression.

Lifting a hand to rub his chin in a contemplative manner, Antaeus pretends to give this question serious thought. "I don't know Vi… I don't know if I can go back after having had such a wonderful time, but it's not really up to me, it's up to how you feel about things. I will respect your decision no matter what, I want you to know that. At least now you know how I feel about you." He grins slightly at her, the grin far more impish than normal.

Ha. So Antaeus is in the same position Vi is which is a relief as it'd be awkward as hell if she were to want to continue and he didn't feel the same way on the subject. "I think that as long as we're careful there's no reason why we can't enjoy ourselves like we have been." It is scandalous for her to suggest that thanks to all the noble protocol that gets shoved down their throats but she doesn't care. She loves having that way to show Antaeus that she cares for him along with every other way. That smile of his gets her to pause and for a moment she has to wonder just what can of worms she opened up. "What is on your mind?"

"Well then, I guess that settles things, doesn't it?" Antaeus seems quite pleased by that, although perhaps that shouldn't come as any sort of surprise. Lifting himself off of his perch within the spring, he makes his way over to her and then wraps his arms around her. "What do I have on my mind? Nothing good, I assure you." Laughing mischievously, he then takes a breath and dunks them both underwater for only a moment before lifting them both back up. "See, I'm just trouble aren't I?"

"Yes, I do believe that it is settled." The embrace is completed once Viannea's arms are drawn about Anateus' shoulders, her chin lifted as she's just about to offer him a kiss. That entire plan is shot the hell, however, when he tugs them under the surface. All ideas of lavishing him with affection fly out the window, her lips used to sputter and try to blow the water out of her eyes instead of kissing him. "Ohhh…." Peeking an eye open, she gains a grin much like his just before she tries to tackle him. Two can play at that game.

Antaeus starts laughing at Vi's reaction, but is suddenly silenced as Vi tackles him, causing him to go under for a brief moment before surfacing and sputtering. "Oh hells, I knew I should've taken the time to enroll in aquatic combat lessons on Mare Maris." He laughs at that and presses his hands to his eyes to get some of the water out. "Do you forgive me Vi? I'm really very sorry."

The woman raises her hands and arms over her head, the former held in loose fists while she assumes a pose of victory. It isn't spoken but the way she does it just screams 'I win'. It is held for a few seconds before, with a laugh, she throw herself at him again, this time to hug him to her. "Of course I forgive you. Now, how about that kiss I've been dying to give you before you played dirty and pulled me under, hmmm?" The same position from before is assumed, complete with the lifting of her chin, lips offered.

Shrugging and giving in, after all he had no chance, Antaeus wraps his arms around her and does as commanded, pressing his lips to hers in a kiss that expresses his love and his desire for her both, perhaps one of those toe curling kisses he's read about. Drawing it out for as long as he might dare, he pulls back slightly and whispers, "I love you, Vi."

Viannea has experienced many things that she can lable as being truly awe-inspiring but this kiss is easily one of the most awesome things she has ever felt before in her life. It gets her heart to race and her breath to catch in her throat, reactions she hopes to invoke in him as she returns the affection with equal passion, if not more. By the time he pulls away to speak she is breathless, her face now flushed and not just from the heat of the water they soak in. What he says is a pleasant surprise and she finds herself unable to keep from beaming, her smile so wide it's almost ear-to-ear. "I love you too, Antaeus. Gods, I wanted to say that to you before now but was afraid you'd find me too forward. It feel so good to be able to…"

Smiling at her, Antaeus reaches up to brush a few strands of hair from the front of her face. "Indeed, I figured now would be the best time to say it, so many pardons if I should've done it before. Sometimes there's a right time for certain things, you know?" He leans in and kisses her forehead. He leans back and presses her against him, his head leaning back on the edge of the pool, a sigh of contentment escaping his lips. "See, this is nice."

Viannea huffs a soft, amused snort, her finger lifted to press to his lips before he kisses her brow. "No need to ask for my pardon. Like you said, there is such a thing as a right time. This was very much the right time." Now reclined against him, she pauses for just a second to make sure they're comfortable before growing still. "Nice doesn't really do what we're sharing justice but I think we can leave it at that until the time someone invents the perfect word for this."

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