Xanadu Weyr - Calisiya's Quarters
The door to Calisiya’s quarters has been propped open about a foot by a rock acquired from somewhere, the gap between door and wall allowing air to flow while work is carried out inside. A fine layer of soil now graces the foot of the wall that’s been chosen for the garden project, grains having been shed from various pots and root systems during their relocation, a broom nearby that must be destined for sweeping up that minor mess. Marel is situated halfway up a ladder, her gold and bronze firelizards perched on rungs higher than she is, and she’s in the process of gently prying a trailing plant with pale orange flowers from its pot.
Calisiya slips in the gap without opening the door. Almost. She’d like to think she’s going to fit in that but it’s just not going to happen and so there is a little creak from the wood. But for her? It’s down right sneaky. She waits just inside the door with her hands behind her back and a very wide smile from ear to ear. This is looking like it’s going to be amazing. “Not blinded by all of the colors, then?” She asks a little loudly so the one up the ladders can hear her. “It’s coming along well. I’m sorry, I had to come by to see some people and your shop was locked so thought I’d try here.”
Marel doesn’t immediately look to the door, too engrossed in her task, but once she’s managed to get the plant from the pot and into the little soil-filled nook in the wall that’s waiting for it, she looks down to find Calisiya there and give a shallow nod of welcome. “It is a little… eclectic. But to each their own.” She waggles the lightweight pot and asks, “Catch?” though she waits for conformation before she thinks to drop it. “This is your room. Why are you apologising? Technically, I’m the intruder.”
“I can’t stand empty rock walls, and I can’t stand normal. There’s nothing that makes me feel uncomfortable like a bare wall and the less I have to look at it, the better.” There’s no smile in Calisiya’s mouth or eyes as she says that. “Catch.” She nods, and she’ll do it once it’s dropped. “Got it.” To the rest of it, she finds she has to think. “I’m … apologizing because that’s what seemed right to do?” She looks a little chagrinned. She has no idea why she’s apologizing. A little flustered for it, color building across her face. “Are you having fun with the job?”
The pot is let go and left to fall straight down, rather than aimed at Calisiya and thrown. Once she’s released it, Marel begins to descend the ladder, watching her footing on the way down, though her firelizards remain at their posts. “I am,” she states, doing to her best to ignore the younger woman’s chagrin. “The colours will be bright, but not grouped in a manner that will have them clashing too much. Some of them might flower in different shades over the turn, so don’t be too concerned if you see the same plant produce a slightly different colour.” She glances between the work in progress and Calisiya. “And the Smith who did the carving was quite reasonable.”
Calisiya nods here and there, looking at the little spots for where the plants are supposed to sit. She’s not thought to put the pot down anywhere and kind of dumbly holds it to her chest. She’s forgotten about it. And she’s holding it. “I can’t wait to see it all finished. Are you going to put lights up too? The funny colored ones?” She saw them once in a hold, in another place in another time. “I’m really glad that you are having fun with this. It’s a special gift, isn’t it? I mean, not me having you do this. But to work doing something you love. It makes it not work.”
“If that is what you’d like, I can do that,” Marel replies, automatically holding a hand out for the pot. “Though someone from the tech craft might need to assist.” She wrinkles her nose. “It’s a shame that my brother-in-law has moved to Ierne; he would have known how to do it in a blink, I imagine.” Slow steps back carry her to lean against one of the other walls. “I was never trained in a craft, so it’s… pleasing that I have something of my own to support myself. Something that I chose. You must enjoy your craft?”
Calisiya blinks without understanding a moment, then finally gets it and hands her the pot. “Who’s your brother-in-law? I spend most of my time at Ierne when I’m not here. Kind of dumb, really. It costs me a fortune to rent a room for so long there but it’s where everyone that seems to be my friend is.” She smiles a smile again and there is once again the feeling that she only looks at it as money. “I’m amazed. The vinter craft could take lessons on growing things from you, you have a very special gift. I can’t grow anything, I was sort of hoping to pay you a retainer to look after this stuff for me.” She smiles, then sort of doesn’t smile. “I’ve a craft, yes. I’m a harper that can’t sing. I’m a historian, actually. I love old stories. I specialize in music and novella from the archives. Old Earth stuff.”
“He was the Steward here. Jethaniel.” Unconsciously, she glances down at her feet, where a slim loop of cable forms an anklet meant to look decorative. “If you’d like me to tend to things, I can, but it would be on nothing shorter than a weekly basis. To be perfectly honest, I fell into this when I decided that I needed a job – before I Impressed. The passing of Coldstone Hold’s then-Holder allowed me the funds to buy the business, eventually. By then, I knew it was what I wanted – that and Isyriath.” Marel looks Calisiya up and down for a moment, then hazards, “You might end up teaching my daughter in some capacity, I’d think.”
“Monthly works for me.” Calisiya corrects. “I’m easy, I really am. I’m not hard to please and I don’t get upset easily. I’ll be moving around alot if I can help it? You know, time at the archives, trips to Ierne. So I’d really like someone to look after this while I’m gone.” She has no idea that Marel is looking her up and down because she’s still staring at the plants. “Maybe? I’m only a junior journeyman. How old is your daughter?” She undistracts herself to turn her smiling eyes to Marel’s face once again. “Well. *I* think some crafts lost out on something really rare. Who does that kind of thing? Most people with no education end up laborers, and serving girls, and … you’re doing something you love. That takes paitence, skill, and grit.”
“Don’t credit me with too much,” Marel answers a touch wryly. “I can’t say that I’ve ever wanted for anything, or been hard done by. I had a good education. There are some who probably still see me as some entitled Weyrwoman’s daughter.” That that’s not how she perceives herself is conveyed only in the proud line of her shoulders. “My daughter is seven. She’s down in the records as Thea-Nerys, but she goes by Nerri. If you find yourself teaching her and she gives you any trouble, please let me know.” She eyes the wall that she’s working on, then tilts her head a little. “…If you’ve any favourite passages from the archives, I could probably work some things into the design…”
“Unless you’d call yourself entitled, then I’m going to credit you with all of it.” Calisiya says, in a chipper voice. “You still did the work. I . . I don’t.” She stops to think about how she should say this. It’s a hard one for her. “I don’t think I have many achievements. So, I notice them in others? There’s nothing wrong with smiling and saying you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. No need for false modesty with me.” The wide smile is back as she builds to a laugh. “I’m sure we’ll get along well.” They can hope, anyway. “Most of my interests are music from a certain time period. Not much about flowers there, though it’s a wonderful offer?”
“You have a Journeyman knot. I wouldn’t say that’s any small achievement.” Marel states that as if it’s a fact, perhaps even a touch too harshly. “We just have different skill sets. It isn’t as if I could do all that you do, any more than you claim you couldn’t do what I do.” As regards the wall, she clarifies, “I mean that any particular lyrics that you like could be lightly etched into the wall and highlighted with one colour or another. They’d not need to be to do with flowers, but I can see that it might be a step too far.”
Calisiya widens her eyes a little because she never thought of that. Marel’s insistence that she has value goes in her left ear, wanders around inside space reserved for denial and then exits the other without passing through the centers reserved for acceptance. “That would actually be really pretty. It’s a wonderful idea. Let me think about it for a week and I’ll tell you, and you can let the smithcraft know?” There’s a change in her demeanor, even her posture. “Music is everything to me. Songs. Songs that tell stories, that give lessons… the stuff from that time period was so much more …. we don’t even have the insturments they did anymore.” She is a little in awe of the idea. It’s a great one.
Marel nods a single time, then reaches for the broom and begins to sweep the floor at the foot of the wall. “The carving has been done in a way that means it can be refilled and evened out, should a new occupant wish for it to be restored,” she promises. “But it might as well be as you wish it while it’s yours, right?” It’s subtle, the way that she watches Calisiya as she speaks about music, little looks stolen in the course of sweeping that make it look like she’s just adjusting her path slightly. “You should talk like that to the children, if they give you classes,” she murmurs.
Calisiya keeps talking, maybe to Marel’s enjoyment? It will be a minute or two before she gets back to answering her questions. “What I’d really like to do? I can’t sing well enough, but I’m hoping as we muddle through the archives we’ll find more than pictures of some of the insturments they used. Alot of them . . they were simple enough? Stringed insturments like ours, but they used electronics somehow. We’re not really sure what they did or how they work. But the sound!” She’s smiling, eyes a little distant while a hundred different songs run through her head. “With more variance, too? Most of our music sounds kind of the same. Everything they had was different.” She finally realizes she’s being rude and going on and on. “I will. But it’ll be awhile before anyone trusts me to be in charge of a child.” She looks at the wall again, and her hands come togeather in front of her chest in excitement. “I almost bought a house. But seeing this, I’m glad I kept it. This hole in the wall is going to work out just fine.” She’s completely oblivious to the little glances, she’s deep in talking about her passions.
She’s swept all of the soil up into a neat little pile by the time that Calisiya has finished speaking, words taken in and accepted without a pressing need for her to provide her own commentary, beyond those silent glances. Marel only allows herself to suppose, “Perhaps you’ll find ways of mimicking the sound without using the exact same design?” It’s not her area of expertise, and while she plainly seems interested, she hesitates to provide her own views. “I’m glad this will make it more liveable for you,” she remarks of the work and room. “And this is probably cheaper than a house, too.” It might be a joke, but she’s rather dry with it.
Calisiya is thinking for a minute or two, nodding distractedly. If Marel is looking really close? Her head is twitching. It looks at first like a seizure or something. But it isn’t, it’s moving to music in her head. “Right there.” She says, abruptly. “Close your eyes.” And right there, beside it. “Clear your heart.” Abruptly again, as defines Calisiya she attempts to hug Marel. Just a little one. “Thanks for making this amazing? It’s worth every mark. I’ve got to grab my things and run, though. I’ve had a dragon waiting for me this entire time to get back to Ierne. I have to go get fitted for a dress.”
For a split-second, it looks like Marel believes that she’s been given literal instructions, for a very complicated look passes across her features, and the realisation that she’s let such a thing happen settles a moment’s chilled embarrassment into the depths of her icy-green eyes. She doesn’t reject Calisiya’s hug, though she tenses and doesn’t react in time to return it, her only answer for the whole lot of it a shallow nod that she must mean to serve as confirmation that she’s understood. “Safe trip,” she says a little tightly, swallowing hard as she takes a step back.
Calisiya gives Marel one of her I-don’t-understand looks, but she isn’t going to pick. Instead, she smiles a little. “There’s a music player under my bed. It’s the first song on it.” Then she hurries off to the dragon and leaves the confused woman behind.