Bully For You, Too

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrsecond and Jr Weyrwomans' Office

Office or study? Perhaps this room is a little of both. It is spacious and airy with the big windows opposite the door looking northwards, a perfect aspect when one is this far south. Those windows are framed by dark forest green drapes, soft ribbons and braid in dark, rich gold sewn along the edges to give them a sumptuous look. The back wall is covered by shelves that hold a variety of things - mostly records and reference material as well as writing tools and sheets of hide and paper. Tapestries, including several lovely scenes of the terrain around Xanadu Weyr, cover the rest of the wall-space while a soft, plain off-white rug hides the stone floor. A small, low table sits by the door and usually has some refreshment set out on it.

Several broad desks are arranged around the room, each one set so someone sitting at it doesn't look directly at any of the others. Small screens can be set up on each desk to give a little more privacy and each has one comfortable chair that goes with it. So far, it looks like one desk has a permanent claimant. There are also several other chairs, which can be used by visitors.

It's lunchtime at Xanadu and the juniors are not in the office - probably off in the caverns eating. There's the sound of a feminine voice talking out in the hall, drawing nearer to that half-open door. "Let's see if he'll like this, shall we?" And it's Thea bumping that door wider with a hip, carrying a tray loaded with lunch enough for three people, accompanied by Natishen. That they've been back into the kitchens and had the cook make something other than the standard fare is evident when she sets the tray on the Weyrsecond's desk. Three plates with tender steaks, the garlic-roasted tubers that everyone else is getting and some tender green sprouts steamed until just-cooked. A pitcher of ale and a few glasses of juice, napkins, silverware and a plate piled high with some of cook's special redfruit bubblies. Cheerfully, "Heya, Donn, we brought you some lunch."

Hmm.. lunch. Yes, that's one of those things that D'had forgets about on occasion. Not tht he doesn't eat, he's just usually late on it. He is in the office when Thea makes her entrance, bent over paperwork. His favorite thing… not! There's a glance up at the door being opened, a smile for Thea and then a sniff of the air. Mmmm. Food. "Smells good," he comments, adding a nod of silent greeting for the candidate.

Natishen trails in behind Thea, looking not quite as excited about the lunchtime treat - even the bubblies - as he probably should be. He cranes his neck, peering around Thea's shoulder, and shoots a quick, slightly shy smile at the Weyrsecond. "H'llo, sir," he greets softly, before wandering over to plant himself inconspicuously against the wall, hands pressed behind his back as he leans against it and tries to blend. It just… doesn't work. Even this subdued, he's too vibrant a presense to blend in - especially in here, in such official surroundings.

"You're welcome." Thea replies, both pointed and breezy at the same time (how -does- she manage that?). She hops up on the corner of that huge desk beside the tray. She can do that dressed in the lightweight tunic and trous she's wearing while on the sands and hey! There are no other juniors here to raise eyebrows at her. She swings her feet, smirks at first D'had then winks at Natishen. "As soon as he finishes his paperwork we can eat." She pauses then adds with a merry twinkle, "Of course it'll be all cold and maybe rotten by then." Hint. Move your papers, buddy!

D'had chuckles. "Papers can wait," he notes turning that smirk of his on Thea as he shuffles said papers into a pile and off to the side. "Come on," he notes to the boy, giving an idle wave towards one of the chairs on the opposite side of the desk from him. "Plenty here, and nona that 'sir' crap, everyone does that might forget my own name." Teasing that.

Someday, Nash may obey that particular command - to not call D'had sir - but not right now. "Yes, sir," he replies softly, pushing away from the wall and slinking to the indicated seat, settling down on the edge. He folds his hands into his lap and stares at them for a moment, then, with a visible effort, he lifts his head and offers some semblance of a smile to the bluerider. Nope - nothing bothering him here, and never mind that his own demeanor is a marked difference from Thea's cheerfulness, or his own natural rapscallion ways.

Thea rolls her eyes, at D'had while handing over silverware and napkins to him, followed by his plate. Teasingly, "What's he supposed to call you? Mr D'had?" She smirks as she lifts a plate and sets it on the desk in front of Natishen, following up with his fork and knife. "Natishen and I were talking," she says causally as she lifts her own plate and rests it in her lap, "and we thought you might have two words to say." She reaches, lifts that pitcher of ale and sets it beside D'had's plate, then the mug of juice by Natishen's. Everyone served, Thea digs in. Cheerful, yes. Perhaps hoping to set the boy at ease, vain as that attempt might be.

Give him time, D'had will notice that difference in demeanor eventually. It just.. well it might take a bit for it to sink in enough to comment. "What'd I.." he just shakes his head. Nevermind arguing about that for now, there's food. And good food from the looks of it. There's a not quite roll of eyes for Theat at that. "No, just D'had's fine," he assures. No Mr. neccessary for him either. Food served he sets to eating, that first bite in his mouth before the junior is finished with her commentary. Swallowing, "So then the food's just a bribe, huh?" he questions, reaching to pour that ale. At least he's not drinking straight from the pitcher even if he is the only one drinking it.

Natishen studies his plate thoughtfully, clearly trying to decide if it's worth trying to eat if his stomach is as full of knots as his demeanor indicates. Finally, however, he picks up the silverware and begins slowly cutting at his food. He might have been amenable to Thea's attempts to put him at ease, if sight of D'had again hadn't reminded the boy how futile his question was. After all, the difference between his physique and the bluerider's is quite marked. Of course, so is the difference in their ages. "I was hoping for three," he finally adds, trying for a touch of levity, though his contribution to the conversation is rather breathy and bland.

"Not a thing," Thea assures the Weyrsecond soothingly, dropping her teasing - at least for now. "Just they get in trouble, you know." She spears a bite-sized cube of her steak, slides a look at Natishen, "Maybe only 'Sir' him in front of those pesky AWLMs and the other Candidates?" She's trying for compromise, here. She points with her loaded fork at D'had, "And you could conspire to tolerate a Sir in public so things don't go harder for him, hmm? That's all he needs right now is a claim of favoritism." She reminds the boy, "Remember, when you leave here, you're starving having to help carry lunch to the Weyrsecond, you missed your own." Into her mouth goes her fork then and while chewing, she chuckles at his wish for three words from D'had. Good luck with that one!

D'had shrugs, filling his mouth with a bite of those tubers and nodding once before he swallows and is free to speak again. "Yeah, well don't want that from none of 'em," he replies, "But suppose that crazy old woman will have a fit if don't." Woman being Niva. So he'll just have to deal with it. "But words?" he questions that topic again setting back to his meal to leave the other two to speak.

Natishen nibbles at his steak, eyes widening slightly at D'had's words. "I can try, Miss Thea," he finally responds once he's swallowed his bite of food. "I mean, callin' him D'had in private. But don' get mad if I slip sometimes." Fortunately, he's not yet too old to learn a few new tricks. "What lunch?" he asks ingeniously, with a sly smile for the woman, though that fades all too soon to an expression of pensiveness. He falls silent again, leaving it to the weyrwoman to respond to her 'mate.

Thea nearly chokes on that bite she's swallowing. Not that she's never heard the Senior Weyrwoman referred to as… that …by the Weyrsecond, but not in front of the Candidates. She shoots him a 'hello, children present' sort of look as she lunges for her mug, lifts and forces that bite down with some juice. It takes a few swallows before she mutters, "Can't have that, now, can we?" Even if the Candidates might find it highly amusing to witness. From behind her napkin, she answers the Weyrsecond's 2-word question, "Hmm, words." Her eyes widen fractionally at Natishen for his. How does she get so lucky as to be stuck with people so reluctant to use them? Her grin fades just behind his and she's all business as she turns back to D'had. "The bullies are at it… again."

D'had has often been accused of not thinking before he speaks. This would just be another of those times. Besides, that's how he usually refers to the senior despite the fact that he shouldn't. He uses words… when he needs to. Now just happens to be one of those times where he's eating while the food is still hot. This was Thea's grand scheme, she should have thought of that too. Really woman. He raises a brow for that reaction, not to mention look, from the woman present. Right… As to mention of the bullies, he snorts. "One a these days they're gonna pick on the wrong person an' then they ain't gonna be a problem no more." That's his two cents on the matter. Then again, he's likely still oblivious as to why its being brought up. A finger points towards his plate, the others of the hand still holding his fork as he reaches for that mug of ale beside it. "Can tell 'em this is what I wanted the other night."

"I wish," Nash mutters in response to D'had's comment, but he puts down his silverware and stares at his plate, any semblence of an appitite fled as soon as Thea broached the subject weighing on his mind. Picking up his fork again, he begins to shove the food on his plate around, not really creating any interesting edible sculptures - just pushing and mixing.

Red-faced, she's still breathing, no need to panic there, thanks for not, D'had. Or so says the handwave Thea sends in his direction when she manages to get that bite down. She blinks at his plate, then tilts him a bit of a hurt look, "You… didn't enjoy having smallish-food fed to you, hmm? I thought it was fun." Then listlessly, "Sure, I'll tell them." She too stops eating, staring at her plate for a moment. Pushing her own feelings aside, she lifts her gaze to Natishen watching him play with his food. "I think they already have." She says abruptly, her chin tilting as she turns to look the Weyrsecond straight in the eye, "I don't like ignoring the problem."

D'had shakes his head, nearly choking himself for that question of hers. "Did. Wasn't what was expected." That's all! There's even a smirk for her. Yes, they'll do that again. It got him good points with her. "Well good then," he replies, going back to his plate. "Black eye, bloody nose?" asked around a bite of lunch. Details woman. They clearly have different observation skills. While Donn can spot a good many things on sweeps and rescues, feelings are that dark grey area that go completely unnoticed. Well, for the most part. "Not hungry?" he asks, turning a glance towards Natishen.

Natishen winces - while D'had may simply be lacking in simple observation skills, to the boy, it seems more callousness than blindness. "N- no, sir," he replies, now completely demoralized. Tilting his head, he sends a pleading glance at Thea, along with a jerk of his head towards the door. The message is simple: Can we go now? "I- I must be coming down with something, I just don't feel like eating. Maybe…" He trails off, glancing towards the exit again, as though gaguing the distance.

Thea catches that smirk out of the corner of her eyes. Ah ha! Understanding, she moves on. "Nono. I meant… there's been no fighting. They're not allowed." Trying to put it more clearly, she frowns in concentration, "It's continual harassment and I don't like it. I'm upset because they're hurting my friend." She sends Natishen a sympathetic glance, unsure how to elaborate without further embarrassing him. She hasn't mentioned any names, not even his? She goes for the hypothetical route. "What would you do, D'had, if you were younger and too small to fight back?" She raises a forefinger to forestall Natishen from dashing off and to qualify her statement, "And you couldn't tell anyone because it would make it worse?"

"Oh." D'had at a loss for words. He's a guy, bullying to him is synonymous with fighting and now that she's made it clear that's not the case he's lost for a moment. "Well then why don't you do something?" he suggests, "You're a weyrwoman." Just as much right as him to step in, and since there's not fists flying he's okay with it too. Perpelxed, he nod to Natishen. "Alright.." Confused. Yes. "Would.." he pauses in trying to answer Thea's question. "No.." Beat. "Got nothin'.."

At Thea's negation of his escape plan, Natishen pulls his feet up on the edge of the chair, wrapping his arms around his legs and making himself as small as possible. He's not really here, he's totally not the one under discussion. Nope. Though when she calls him her friend, he does pink up a little - yes, he spends a lot of time in their company, but clearly, he didn't consider himself a 'friend'. Probably a nuisance, to be honest.

Thea manages, just barely, not to scrub both hands over her face in frustration. Sure. A twenty-three turn old bit of a girl talking sense into teen boys! "Those boys aren't going to listen to me. I go in there and give them a talking to and you know it'll make it all worse for him." Her glance at poor Natishen over there turns faintly alarmed. Back to D'had she tries again, "If you were a bully, what would it take to stop you?" Yes, that's a pleading note in her voice. Give her something! Under her breath she sing-songs just loud enough for the Weyrsecond to catch, "I told him you had some good common sense." Dark brows twitch upward slightly. Please?

D'had hmms, brows furrowing in thought for a second. No. No. Still not right. "Yeah, well.." he mutters back to Thea. "Give me a second." Common sense he might have, but not always on call. Dark eyes flick towards the candidate opposite him and then back to his weyrmate. Yes, things are falling into place here in his head now. "Stops bein' fun if it don't bother no one. Depends on the kinda bullin' I guess."

At this point, Nash doesn't seem to care much about his dignity any more. "Hitting," comes the muffled reply, as his face is currently buried in his knees. "Pinching. Makin' others do their chores. Mocking. Telling tales. The usual," he adds bitterly, lifting his face just enough to gaze at D'had from beneath his lashes. "If y' say no, they hit you. If'n y' try to ignore them, they hit you. If you hide, they go after someone smaller."

Thea slides Natishen an 'I told you so' look that the lad completely misses with his face hidden in his knees like that, while nodding encouragement to the Weyrsecond at the same time. "I'd mentioned trying to 'sour their milk' as it were by some subtle resistance like doing their bidding slowly or maddeningly wrong." She has a small dissatisfied headshake for her own advice and a growl, "Should see if Niva will boot the lot of them."

D'had ahhs, nodding a bit more for what Natishen brings to the table. "Sometimes just gotta hit 'em back." Okay, so not his best advice ever. "They realize a body's willin ta stand up, ain't no fun." Beat. "Might get a body in trouble or end up with a brok nose too but…" Speaking from experience are we Donn?

It always seems to come back to that - hit them, and they'll go away. At this point, Nash looks just frustrated enough to try that advice, and never mind the fact that with his current scrawny, gawky form, he'd probably just end up on the floor. "Maybe that's the only answer," he finally sighs. "Maybe if you wanna beat a bully, you gotta be like 'em. All angry and stuff." He pulls one hand away from his knee and flexes it in front of him, experimentally balling it into a fist. Well, at least it's big enough to give some pause - he's still growing into those paws of his.

Thea winces. This is guy stuff. She'll leave them to it. She rises and begins gathering the lunch stuff starting with her own uneaten meal. "Maybe it does take some getting angry," she says to the boy into the silence left after Natishen finishes. "But not too angry. Just… angry over the injustice being done to you. I know I am." Clank! The plate is set down on that tray hard. Green ice flashes fire as she looks at the Weyrsecond. "There's some taking advantage of that 'no fighting rule'. I think there ought to be a new one. They can defend themselves and they can fight to defend others!" Someone's riled. She tilts her chin indicating Natishen while lifting a brow questioningly, "Someone's gonna have to teach him."

D'had shakes his head, "No, no," he tries to correct. "Don't take bein' like them. Just takes standin' up for yourself. Ain't there for them ta boss around. Hmm…" But then there's Thea's reminder to him about that little rule of no fighting. "Right, well.. mayb should get someone in there talk to 'em all. No names 'er nothing, just let 'em know we know what's goin' on." He pauses again watching Thea's clean up. … "Got that survival thing comin' up don't they?"

Natishen abruptly releases his legs and lets his feet fall back to the floor. He stands up and reaches out to help Thea stack the tray, his mouth set in a firm, frustrated line. "Doubt we have much longer to worry 'bout it anyway. Hatching'll be soon enough, then I can just run and hide and let 'em pick on someone else. Better than fighting - or getting someone else to do it for me." Despite the annoyance in his tone and his sharp gestures, not a single dish is bobbled, each one stacked lightly and neatly upon the tray. Pausing as he rests one plate on another, he lifts his head, staring D'had clear in the face. "I'm sorry," he says, quite sincerely. "Neither of you should have been bothered with this. I'll take the tray back t' the kitchens, Miss Thea. You stay with yer 'mate. An' don't worry about me. I've lived with it this long, it's just circumstances make it easier for them to catch me these days."

Thea pauses, hand on that pitcher of ale. "Yeeeees." Not sure where he's going with it. She glances at Natishen, worry etching her brow at the mention of Candidates far from the supervision of the weyr in the woods with bullies. That bitterness coming from the boy distresses her and she doesn't try to hide it. Aggrieved, "Natishen." Her voice gentles, "You're not a bother and I'll worry if I want to." Her smile returns, warm and wide for the boy, as her head tilts towards D'had, "He's learned he can't stop me. You're unlikely to either." Back to D'had, thoughtfully, "Look," crisply, "there's nothing wrong with teaching him some defensive moves is there? How to block a punch? How to do a hip-lock throw?"

D'had reaches for that pitcher. She can leave that is the silent remark as his hand rests on hers. "Might be a place for 'em ta learn a lesson," he notes of the trip to the wilderness. "Ain't no bother," he echoes Thea's sentiments on the matter. "Better someone knows they're up ta something. But.." he stops, turning a look to the junior once again. "No, it ain't, but I got things ta do 'sides teachin' some kid ta fight." A look to the boy and he continues, "Ain't you got someone else ta ask bout all this?"

"You're right, sir," Natishen replies tonelessly. "As I said before - I'm sorry to bother you with this. You both have far more important things than to worry about some weyrbrat." There is absolutely no sarcasm in his voice, or in his expression. He sincerely believes evey word. "It was wrong of me to burden you with this, and I apologize." He places the last plate on the tray and stares at it for a moment, then abruptly turns on heel and strides towards the exit. Without the tray, but given his hands have balled themselves into his pockets, that's probably for the best.

Thea smiles knowingly at the Weyrsecond for that, acknowledging her absentmindedness with a quiet snicker as she withdraws her hand from under his. Okay, he can keep his ale. That plate now, she'll ask first, "You done with this?" She's left open-mouthed at the boy ignoring her avowal of concern, but it is towards the Weyrsecond she narrows her eyes and hisses, "Nice going." Mouthing so the boy doesn't hear, 'No da.' while jerking her head to indicate the departing Natishen. How she knew, well, working around the caverns you hear things. "Dooo something," she singsongs again lowly.

"Told ya, ain't no bother," D'had replies, tone relaying that he's a touch irritated by the additional applogy. "Yeah," he nods idle to Thea as to the plate, only to blink. Eyes narrow at the woman and he stares for a second with that 'what'd I do?' sort of look. "Suppose ta know that?" he mutters back towards her before lifting his gaze towards the retreating boy. "Tell ya what candidate," he offers, "Got some free time tomorrow afternoon. We'll see what we can do. Hmm?" So he's a sucker for making Thea happy.

Natishen halts at the door, back stiffening slightly. But though his first impulse may be to decline the help, signs of his increasing maturity show through as he glances over his shoulder, eyeing D'had appraisingly. "That would be most appreciated." A skip of hesitation, then, in the spirit of compromise, "Mr. D'had." Well. At least it's not sir. And Thea herself did suggest it, even if it was meant in jest. "If you two will excuse me, however, I have chores to see to, and I'm afraid I've been gone longer than antic- anticip- I expected." Okay, so that occasional stutter ruins his attempt at dignity, but he merely turns away again and opens the door, slipping from the office.

Thea asides an apologetic "You're… not really," to D'had. Eyes still on the boy from where she's still sitting on the corner of the Weyrsecond's desk, she edges that plate blindly towards the tray, her hand tap-taps with it until if feels like it's where it ought to be and her fingers release it. When he accepts D'had's offer she blows out a breath of relief and a smirk for that title given to the Weyrsecond. "See ya Natishen!" She sends a cheery wave after the boy and turns back to D'had with a saucy, "Thanks, Mr. D'had."

"Welcome," D'had replies with visible dislike for the 'title' inserted there, but he doesn't protest it further for now. Once the boy is gone there's a snort for Thea's repetition for it. "I've had enough from you today," he replies, though there's a grin for her all the same. Mr. D'had indeed. "Still don't see why this is any of my problem."

Thea hops down from the desk since, well, the other juniors coming back from lunch don't need to find her there and D'had - he has his pitcher of ale to keep him company. Patiently, "Because. He wanted -you- that's why." She leans to brush a kiss across his cheek, then turns to heft that tray and stride towards the door. Just before she steps out the door, she gives him a sweet smile over her shoulder, "Can't say as I blame him."

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