Xanadu Weyr - Steward's Office
The office of the Steward is a place for things to pass through. On the side of the wooden desk nearest the door are a pair of boxes labeled In and Out. The center of the desk provides a place to process those papers, with a set of draftsman's tools - pens, pencils, rulers and compasses - tucked in a small wooden box. The computer, as it receives fewer messages, is set off to the side of the desk.
One thing that stays in the office is the Steward himself - at least, so long as he holds that office - and so there's a comfortable chair behind that desk, as well as a pair of plain wooden ones in front of it for those passing through.
Bookshelves line the walls, crammed with tomes ranging in topic from weather patterns of the southern continent to crop output for the last one hundred turns. They are some the many things of which a Steward must have a passing knowledge - one sufficient to let him delegate the rest. To record the events so delegated, there are a pair of file cabinets full of paperwork not yet so historical as to merit relocation to the archives.
A pair of documents sit atop Jethaniel's desk. They seem to be lists of some sort - inventories, perhaps? Whatever they are, he's spending his afternoon in scrutinizing them closely, occasionally making small notations. On one of the documents, he uses a pencil to make his notes. On the other, he uses a red pen. This requires changing out writing instruments periodically, and when he does so, his fingers often pause to pet the small green firelizard dozing on a pillow on his desk. Occasionally, she even makes a sleepy chirrup in reply. The door to his office is partially open, looking as though it drifted there by accident. He pays it no heed. "…received as of…"
Muir taps the toe of his boot against the bottom of the door frame, his face peeking in to peer inside. "Steward?" he asks, voice quiet just in case the man has company and shouldn't be interrupted. The reason for the toe tapping is obvious a moment later, when the door is nudged open further and reveals that he's carrying a tray with an odd assortment of goodies on top. Some bread, butter, cookies, and some fruit. Afternoon snack?
The tap of toe on wood registers with Jethaniel's subconscious the possibility of another presence here, but it is not until Muir speaks that the matter rises in probability sufficiently for a conscious response. "…report will be- ah." Having actually looked up from his work, he suspects that Muir is not here to ask about the latest paperwork. He regards the young man for a moment, attempting to produce coherent thoughts that are not 'meter lengths of copper piping' and cost analyses. There are procedures for situations like this. What are they, again? Ah, yes, there's one of them. "Hello."
Muir quirks a crooked grin as he walks inside and looks for a place to set the tray that won't disrupt the paperwork or the firelizard. "Had some extra food in the kitchens and someone suggested you might need to be reminded to eat," he says smoothly, and maybe it's a lie or maybe it isn't. It's hard to tell as he flashes another smile.
"Ah," Jethaniel says to the explanation. A brief moment later, once he's finished processing it, he adds, "Thank you." He assists in finding a spot for the tray by moving one of the papers and adjusting the position of his outbox. The firelizard remains unmoved, but she does lift her head slightly, looking at Muir with a curious expression.
Muir glances back at the firelizard, his look equally curious, and distant for a moment before it snaps back to the present. "Are you dating my sister?" he asks, ever blunt and without the luxury of beating around the proverbial bush. Straight to the heart of the matter it seems, and his theft of a cookie might add to the idea that the tray is no more than a veiled excuse.
Straight to the heart of a matter of the heart; there is perhaps a certain suitability there, but the question nevertheless seems to take Jethaniel by surprise. His mind was still occupied by assessing the likelihood of malfeasance in the inaccuracies present in this plumbing record! It's rather a jump of topic to go to dating and sisters. For a moment, he simply stares at Muir, until Stardust lifts her head further and turns it to him, chirping. As if by reflex, Jethaniel's hand lifts and strokes along her back. "Ah." There's a syllable, at least, and it's followed by him straightening himself, sitting back in his desk as he collects his physical posture as a proxy for doing so with his thoughts. "I… believe I may be, yes."
Muir hooks a foot around the leg of one of the plain wooden chairs meant for guests, pulling it forward with a soft scrape before he drops his thin, lanky frame into it. "Is it just because she's hot?" he asks, brown eyes fixing closely on the older man's face. Older. Man. "Or do you feel for her?" His nose wrinkles ever so slightly at the mere suggestion of feelings, but the teen pushes on nonetheless.
Jethaniel sits back in his chair, and the papers still spread across his desk are rapidly becoming forgotten, his attention and grey eyes focused on Muir now. His fingers have stopped petting, but they remain resting against the small green, who leans into the touch. "Darsce is very physically attractive," Jethaniel acknowledges, and his gaze stays on Muir. "However… yes. I feel for her."
Muir nods his head subtly, though it's difficult to tell how he feels about this conversation. Except for the slight jiggling of one of his feet, still hooked behind the chair leg. He is quiet for a long, long few moments, stretching into the awkward before he clears his throat and finally takes a bite of his cookie. The 'good' he says comes with a faint spray of crumbs, and he wipes his mouth hastily with the back of his hand and a muttered 'sorry'.
The poor paperwork. Jethaniel glances down to his desk, and frowns at the crumbs now scattered there. He may need another copy. This is why triplicate was invented. His gaze lifts once more to Muir. "If I did not feel for her, I would not be dating her, attractive or not."
Muir looks up at the man, his expression momentarily piercing, before it softens slightly. "I'm… Good. That's good to hear. Because. You know. She /is/ so hot. I mean, she can take care of herself, but." The boy fumbles a bit, leg jerking a bit more. "Don't want someone takin' advantage of her," he says, muttered and in a bit of a rush, but then he jerks up his chin as if he realizes that his words aren't something to be ashamed of. He loves his sister, half or not, and wants to see her happy!
Yes, Jethaniel knows that Darsce is hot. He nods slightly when Muir mentions that part, his expression a faint smile. Her physical attractiveness is assuredly something of which he is aware. The smile vanishes as Muir continues, and his expression is entirely serious by the time the young man lifts his head. "She is a very strong woman," he says, his tone matching in seriousness to that expression. "I do not wish to act against her desires."
Muir inclines his head slightly, clearing his throat. "And I don't think you would. I just. I've never even really met you for real so I wanted to." How fumbling can a kid get? It seemed like such a great idea in the hallway. Swoop in, talk to the Steward, get a feel for him and see if he's worthy of his sister. Alas, he feels it's fallen rather flat and he has to force himself not to squirm.
"Ah," Jethaniel says, and smiles slightly. The expression is an amused one, but not mockingly so, and there's something of understanding as well as he leans forward. "In that case…" He extends his hand across the desk to Muir, offering a shake. "I am Jethaniel. It is nice to meet you."
Muir blinks, as if surprised, and then he reaches out to grasp his hand in a firm, manly shake. The boy's hand is already lightly calloused with the work he's put into his Candidacy, especially his time on the island. "Muireadhach Coldstone," he says, using his full name because…who knows why. "But folks call me Muir. Pleasure."
Jethaniel gives Muir the same handshake he'd give under professional circumstances, his own hand roughened by turns of work with electricity, chemicals, and machinery. "A pleasure," he repeats, inclining his head. There's no condescension to either expression or tone of voice, just a man introducing himself to another man.
Muir takes his hand back and then takes a slow bite of his cookie, looking at the man thoughtfully for a moment. "You always been in Xanadu?" No doubt the distant look to his expression is him casting about in his memory.
Jethaniel reaches for a cookie of his own, bringing it back to his side of the table but not yet raising it to his mouth. He might have been about to, but then Muir asks his question. "I have not," he says. "I am originally from Cove Hold, and was posted here as a techcrafter approximately three turns ago." And now he's Steward. "Prior to that, I had a variety of postings, but spent the majority of my time at Landing." No doubt because that's the location of the TechCraft Hall.
Muir's brows furrow in thought. "Cove Hold," he muses to himself. "I think I know someone else from there…" But clearly he can't bring the other person's name to mind. "You're a tech?" he asks next, showing his cluelesness as to Xanadu's staff. Mom's the boss, that's all this boy knows.
Jethaniel tilts his head in polite inquiry as Muir attempts to recall the other person. He doesn't say anything, in part because he's lifting the cookie to take a bite - a very small bite, since he will likely have to speak again soon and he has no desire to increase the number of crumbs on his desk. Ah, there it is; the next question. "I am a journeyman-" He pauses, and smiles bemusedly before correcting himself. "A senior journeyman of the Tech Craft." He leans back slightly. "At present, however, my primary duties lie in being Steward of Xanadu. It is largely administrative work; I report directly to Thea." Muir's mom's the boss!
Muir can't help but grin swiftly at that, nodding his head. "Yeah. Well, you must be good at it otherwise she wouldn't've picked you." Finishing the rest of his cookie, the boy's agitation is directed upwardly as he pushes to his feet. "Was good to meet you, Jethaniel. I'd better get back to chores. Anything you need delivered as long as I'm going?"
"Thus far, she has not exercised her capability to fire me; therefore, I must assume I suffice." Jethaniel's expression is amused, as if that's somehow a joke, and there's a touch of ruefulness that implies the joke may be, at least partially, at his own expense. "Ah, yes. Good to meet you," he says, and sets down his cookie to reach over to his outbox and come up with a couple pieces of paper. "If you would pass these to Ocelara on your way, I would appreciate it."
Muir laughs, reaching out to accept the papers. "My pleasure," he says, the boy happily lifting a hand to wave as he slips out the door, pulling it as far closed as it was when he arrived.