My What Interesting Hands You Have (Hierax is Searched)

Xanadu Weyr - Store Room
The storerooms here are carved into the stone, stretching back deep underground beneath the upper hallways that serve for residences and work areas. There is, after all, little need for natural light here; a series of electric lights are more than sufficient to illuminate smoothly cut walls and the assortment of supplies kept until they are needed once more.
For some of the things here, that time will be long in coming. Broken furniture and torn clothing awaits the opportunity for someone to repair it - or else the kindling and rag piles. Other items are more immediately useful; gently worn clothing and boots are neatly arranged in rows and on racks, especially in the quickly outgrown children's sizes, and an assortment of furniture and small appliances in functional condition await new homes.
A series of side rooms connected to the kitchen are the larder which feeds the Weyr through the winter. Sacks of grain lean against barrels of salted meat and wheels of hard cheeses stacked high. Refrigeration and dragonflight make for a more flexible winter diet, but it still takes a great deal of food to provide for this many people. The food is a tempting target for tunnelsnakes, and the occasional scuttle can be heard in the otherwise quiet depths of these caves.
Toward the southern edge, near the path leading down to the hot springs, there's the laundry rooms, a set of steam-filled chambers where water and soap are scrubbed into fabric of various sorts and the dirt and grime is scrubbed right back out.
Much of the stores are easily accessed, requiring only the appropriate permissions to be borrowed from. These supplies are, after all, here for the good of the Weyr and the people living here. A few rooms - those containing particularly valuable or dangerous items - are kept locked.

Storerooms are never as organized as you want them to be, and that's why it sucks when you're an inventor looking for the correct part of something and no matter what you do, you can't find it. That's Hierax's present predicament; he's been at Xanadu for nearly a month and can't keep track of where things he doesn't normally need anyway are stored, how strange. His workroom is also a disorganized mess to the external eye, but he knows where everything is, and this … well, he's irritably talking to himself. Or, rather, to the shelves. "Oh, come on," he complains without considering that someone else might have started to listen, "you have to be in here somewhere, you stupid overvalued piece of metal!"

HIDE HER! No, really, hide her. The haggard weyrwoman looks like she's about to fall over just about anywhere and go to sleep, damned what propriety and everybody else in the weyr says. And maybe that's why Risali is here now, slipping her way into the storage rooms, closing the door with the quiet patience of one aiming to not be caught, and then turning to rest her back against it with eyes closed. One, two, three - a slow exhale, a slow blink to open her eyes and - EEK! There's an honest-to-faranth startled sound out of Risali because voices, and not expecting them, and Faranth help her, she just might murder a kitten. So she moves around until she can loom over Hierax (HA, a feat in and of itself, because she is five-feet-nothing), and an almost exasperated, "What are you doing?" Because CLEARLY he is intruding on her sanctuary and places-to-sleep-and-not-get-caught, and despite it being a very public place, this is somehow very much his fault. Okay, and maybe there's a little honest curiosity in that expression as well.

Hierax has a kitten, though not actually with him at the time — would that have helped him find whatever he was looking for? Who knows. The lack of Helpful the feline is not helping him not stagger backward with a very abrupt ohmywhatwasthat yelp as Risali wins the startle battle here. Once he's recovered from being super flustered, which takes an embarrassing few seconds, he manages a very uncertain, "Looking … for … a metal plate … to stabilize a lamp grid?" like he might be giving the wrong answer about what he's doing or something.

Risali's hands find her hips, grey eyes narrowing as she studies Hierax's face and - deflates. "Well do it quietly, please." Because SHE HAS COMMANDEERED THIS SPACE AND, "Some of us are trying to sleep." But there's good humor there, a subtle curl at the corner of her lips to curb the barbed edges of words - a curl that pulls too far outward and becomes a grimace as her tone changes and the goldrider bites out, "Leirith, no. No. I said no." Okay, so there's no escape. Not from motherhood, not from dragonriderhood, not from being the lifemate of a dam turning over eggs on hot sands. No, Risali draws her bottom lip between her teeth, closes her eyes, inhales like she's attempting to begin some kind of meditative zen ritual… and then she exhales. "I'm sorry," comes softly, Risali moving forward into that space relinquished when the Journeyman staggered backwards. AND THE TINY WOMAN DOES WHAT SHE'S GOTTA DO, gathering something to stand up on if she's got to so that she can GET ON HIS LEVEL. HI! Tiny, dark-haired, grey eyed weyrwoman up in your business. And indeed, she's reaching out with small hands to grab Hierax's face, touch gentle as fingers move along his jawline, thumbs over the rise of cheekbones. And she studies him, leaning in maybe a little too close, holding her breath as if it might somehow make the moment less awkward as she studies his face. Another soft exhale, but she doesn't back up. "What's your name?"

There are boxes everywhere enough that it's probably easy to find one to stand on, at least in the area where Hierax was looking through things and likely making WAY more noise than would be manageable for someone trying to sleep. He doesn't actually get any further than opening his mouth and thinking about asking why someone would choose a storeroom to sleep in when there have to be zillions of more comfortable places throughout the entire Weyr before he is getting an even more unexpected apology (wasn't it HIS turn to do that for making noise in a place no one should be sleeping in anyway?) and even more unexpected … face … analysis. "Er," he says, and then, "That's not my name. My name is Hierax. Two syllables, not three, most people get it wrong," since this is otherwise a totally normal situation he has to include that part.

Risali pauses in her studious attentions, grey eyes finding Hierax's as he answers and she gives him a smile that's sympathetic in nature. She knows. "Well met, Hierax. I'm Risali. It's pronounced Rih-suh-lee, but most people call me Ree-Sah-lee. I don't care which one is easier for you; they're both fine." And she gives him some space, hands dropping away from his face so that she can gather one of his hands up between her own. Fingers trace fingers and the lines of palms, brows furrowed as she inspects and - "What do you do, Hierax with two syllables?"

"My sympathies," Hierax probably was going to append 'weyrwoman' to that too, now that he's placed name and face and the fact that she definitely said 'Leirith' earlier, but he only gets that far — along with a sympathetic smile — before he's getting another question, and also palm reading. Another very unexpected turn of events for someone who came in here to fix a lamp. "Electrical engineering," he says proudly, because hey! that one is something he's proud of. "Hence the burns and callouses and I'm sure my hands are not the most boring hands around …" Even if this is super weird.

Risali laughs - soft, hushed, distracted because most of her attention is on the inspection she's directing towards his hands. "One of my weyrmates is a techcrafter as well. The other one was a guard before he became a dragonrider, so I'm used to rough, interesting hands." … IN A COMPLETELY INNOCENT WAY HIERAX, GEEZ. Get your mind outta that gutter. Risali's exhaling again, finally letting go of Hierax's hand so that she can bring her hands behind her and shove them into the back pockets of her leathers. There's another almost-clinical once over of the man, a slow crawling assessment with the eyes that starts at his boots and ends on his face, finding his eyes again. "How do you feel about dragons, mister Electrical Engineer Hierax. Do you like them?"

Having two weyrmates is scandal enough that even being a young adult male, Hierax probably stopped thinking right there and then put his mind through a quick wash cycle. He's spent so much time in wholesome Holds since his childhood, after all. "Setting one's hands on fire briefly and frequently is a badge of honor," he points out, as if this is also a normal thing that one says every day (for him it might be) just like getting a very firm once-over by a goldrider in the stores. This is a completely normal day. "As a general class, yes, though sometimes I think my mother's dragon is evil. That would just be her specifically."

That's Risali, scandalous to a fault - from her personal life, to her manners; she's just the kind of human being that the rumor mill lives for. "Well, he was a techcrafter, I should say. He's a dragonrider now too." A distant after thought, eyes going to the side before finding Hierax again for another soft laugh, another brief smile that turns into another grimace as her brows draw in. "Honestly, I question if every dragon isn't somewhat evil sometimes." Even her own giddy, bombastic queen. HENCE WHY RISALI IS HERE NOW, touching people in store rooms like this is every day and everything is fine and NOTHING TO SEE HERE. "If you are willing to put up with another possibly-evil dragon who's very loud and just might rattle your brain from time to time because she has no manners and likes to speak to everybody," a pause, as Risali's eyes roll up towards the ceiling, as if she can physically see her dragon through it to accuse with more than just words, "and if you promise to go away so that it's quiet in here for at least an hour…" A JOKE, okay. The curl of her lips says so. "Then Leirith seems to think she fancies you. So…" A sharp inhale, a slow exhale. "Would you stand for us?"

Totally, completely normal! This happens every day in these storerooms, it's Hierax's own fault he isn't always watching out for it. "… Can you not still be a techcrafter, if you're also a dragonrider?" This might be the culminating factor behind Hierax's answer to the question that comes later, because now he's stuck thinking about that, which at least means Leirith's ominousness mostly passed him by in the concern. "Because, I mean, if you can," because of course you can, if you have a cool enough dragon, "Then I would also be pleased to sit and lie down for you both, though not simultaneously, and not actually on hot sand."

"You can," Risali says slowly, amusement curling her lips and giving a slight lilt to their pronunciation. "We have craftriders. It slows your advancement in your craft, from what I understand, but you can certainly still pursue it. My weyrmate chose to be Search and Rescue. I'm not sure if it's him who like the thrill more, or his dragon." Who Hierax will likely get to meet, since this is clearly a yes. Risali assumes it is anyway, because she's digging in pockets for a white knot that she produces with a soft, "Ah-ha!" and a quiet smile. And then she's leaning forward, to pin it RIGHT IN HIERAX'S HAIR. This is fine. Don't question it, just let it happen. "No take-backsies, no refunds. And while Leirith might ask you to sit and lie down for her, I have enough men sitting and lying down for me." The last is on dry tones, another stab at humor because she's aware what he meant and making it awkward is funnier. But still, Risali draws back to look at the knot, amusement in grey eyes as they fixate on white and then shift back to Hierax's. "Welcome aboard. You should probably let your masters or whoever you need to inform know that we've kidnapped you for the next however-long until the eggs hatch and possibly longer — if you're lucky. Get some things, and our weyrlingmaster or an assistant will help you get settled." A beat, and then almost hesitantly: "Do you need help finding the candidate barracks?"

It's also totally staying in his hair; Hierax is going to rock that look as long as he can carry it off. And once he can figure out how to get it to stay like that maybe he'll wear it that way every day. This won't likely last with other knots; it could get heavy or awkward. "They'll all be thrilled," he says, and this is sarcasm but he at least seems — if not actually thrilled, because this is a weird surreal dream and he must have been the one who fell asleep in the stores, "… Probably." A glance over his shoulder and Hierax is at least pointing in the right direction when he says, "I mean, I know they're that way." IT'S A START.

AND HERE SHE WAS, hoping to get in a nap. Risali stands there a moment, hands on hips, blowing a stray strand of hair out of her face as she stares at Hierax accusingly and then feigns a sigh. "Right. Well, come on then candidate. I'll fill you in on the rules along the way." And she does! The list is short and pretty easy to remember: no fighting, no getting drunk, and no getting pregnant (or getting anybody else that way). Simple! He even gets to keep focus on his craft here instead of pouring every waking moment into the exhausting task of assigned chores. THIS WILL WORK OUT FOR EVERYBODY. TO THE BARRACKS!

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