"Internet says a lot of stuff."
<XAV> Lake - Xs Grounds
Bright, bright, bright; the lake glitters wide and expansive here, stretching off into the distance. Sunlight, moonlight, starlight, it catches them all. Lapping at the rocky shore, its deep waters are frigid in winter and cool even in summer. A stone pier stretches out a ways into the water, wide and smooth, though often icy in winter.
The water teems with life nevertheless, home to myriad species of fish that provide for ample fishing or just lazy watching on a slow summer day, for those who want to take a boat from the boathouse out to the center of the lake, or perhaps lounge on the pier and try their luck.
It has been frigid all week and the linger snow shows no sign of leaving anytime soon. Though this day dawned clear and cloudless, even the brightness of the sun feels brittle somehow, lost in the immensity of the unflinchingly blue sky. It is the perfect Sunday morning for sleeping in, or lazing around the rec room, or curling up with a good book. Kelawini is doing none of these things, and is in fact heading down to the lake shore bundled in a pale pink anorak, black snow pants, and heavy gray insulated boots. Her long hair spills unbound from beneath a white-purple-blue knitted cap, rows of stitches raised in long wavy patterns to suggest water. She comes to the end of the pier and studies the ice critically for not nearly as long as she really should before she starts to climb down onto it.
Avi is a bit less bundled this morning, in jeans and sturdy leather boots and a warm grey woolen coat, blue wool scarf wound around his neck and one hand shoved in his pockets. His other is curled around his phone, breath puffing out in a cloud in the air in front of him as he talks brightly into it. He's shutting off his call as he approaches the pier, stopping to check both the time and his message notifications before squinting out at Kelawini. His brows hike, and he tucks his hand and the phone both back into his other coat pocket. "Huh. Uh --" He hesitates a moment, chewing on his lip before asking curiously, "You do that a lot?"
Probably the uncertainty of Kelawini's footing answers the question for her, but she does look up. "Dis?" She looks down at the cloudy ice beneath her boots, then back up at Avi. "Nah. Last year dat lake never freeze solid--the big one, by Chicago." Her eyebrows disappear up beneath the edge of her cap, but when she speaks again she sounds more excited than skeptical. "You do this kine thing a lot? Ice skating, ice fishing, ice--" She lets go of the pier to flail both arms out at the frozen lake and frozen landscape beyond. "--sledding?"
"Uh -- no, not a lot. Few times. Did go to an ice fishing festival once in Korea. I mean, sledding, yeah, sledding's great," Avi agrees with this with an animated bounce, following Kelawini -- but only out to the edge of the pier, stopping there to look down at the ice warily. "Skating too but haven't been on lakes so much. I didn't think this one froze thick enough to be safe? It, uh -- usually takes a while. Most places I lived we just went to rinks. Never been to Chicago but I can imagine that lake's huge-huge." He's pulled his hand back out of his pocket, fingers flexing slowly as he looks at the lake.
"Huh!" Kelawini looks down again, eyes narrowed critically. "The internet says--" But she cuts herself off, rolling her eyes. "Internet says a lot of stuff." She taps at the ice experimentally with the heel of one boot. It does not crack, but her other foot starts to slide out from under her and she grabs the pier again. "You wen do all that, I should probably trust you!" She seems oddly unfazed by the end (or hiatus?) of her ice-related adventure as she hops back up to sit on the pier beside Avi. "I like fo--I thought it would be so cool, walking on top the water, no boat no board no nothing. Well." She looks down at her dangling feet. "Boots. But yah, that big lake it's like one small ocean, get tides and waves lidat!" She twists around to look up at her schoolmate, squinting against the thin winter sunlight. "You from Korea?" Heavy skepticism in her tone.
"It freezes slower in the snow." Avi idly taps his foot at some of the snow that's piled on the stone; though he touches it only lightly, a good deal of the snow seems to creep up around the toe of his boot, crusting up over it far higher than his foot actually sank in. "Me? What? Nah, come on you kidding we doubled the Black population of Korea while we lived there. Do you surf? That would be cool, I never learned how right. Just fell over a lot."
Kelawini's eyes go wider. "Ohhh, I thought the snow wen make it freeze faster." She looks down at the movement of the snow, starting and then laughing. "You can mebbe make it freeze faster." Her eyes light, and she's nodding before Avi has quite finished. "'Do you surf' to me is like, 'do you--'" She hesitates, then resumes cheerfully enough, "I don't know, but it used to just be such a big part of my life and now. It isn't." The dimming of her expression is quick, and she suddenly smiles fierce. "Chee, you want fo' learn to surf? I teach you when the world thaws out."
"I think it's kinda like a blanket? Why it makes good houses." Avi looks down at his boots, his eyes and smile both growing wider. "Oh snap! I mean I can try but I don't really know how, this kind of just does its own thing, still." The ice is still creeping up his boots and he crackles one foot and then another away from the stone before he's cemented to it, though the ground beneath them feet is growing slicker. "Woah! You serious? I'd love to learn how to surf. Proper this time." He looks Kelawini over with a small sideways tip of his head. "It real big where you're from?"
"Not one blanket you want right on you though." Kelawini tilts her head thoughtfully, wiggling her cap down farther over her ears before shoving her hands into the pockets of her coat. "Does the cold bother you, anyway?" Her dark, dark eyes widen at the question. "Big fo' sho! Me and Nanami, we wen come from Hawai'i, us guys invented surfing." After a moment's consideration, she reluctantly adds, "Had ok waves in Chicago, too." Again, she does not deflate for long, though she does cast a longing glance at the frozen (but not frozen enough) surface of the lake. Her good cheer returns quickly as she watches ice slick the pier in real time. "Try fo' make it do your thing, yah? Like it wen start freeze already, you say 'freeze dat way'. Give'um!"
"Yeah! The cold's still cold, how unfair is that? You'd think this stuff would come with immunity but nawwwp." Avi's fingers snap exaggeratedly on this, head giving a heavy shake, but his grin is still bright. "Oh! Hawai'i! That's where I -- uh, failed at learning. Yeah you all do it with style there. Guess I'll have a bomb-ass teacher if you help me." His face scrunches up hard at Kelawini's suggestion, and he studies the ice on his boots first, then the water. Then his boots again. "What, just -- tell it? You make it sound so easy. Like, freeze that way --" His hands shove out towards the water as he says this and, in fact, a thick slab of ice crackles along the surface of the lake roughly in the direction he's gesticulated. His eyes open wider, breath puffing out in a thick cloud. His echo comes kind of reverently: "Give 'um."