A Bumpy Start

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

Early morning hours tend to leave places…quiet. A nice thing for those who do get up with the sun. It’s easier to find a nice space to get a bit of work done without too many people jostling about, interrupting. Questioning. Vallen himself, while not needing to be on duty yet, is still managing to be one of those quite intent on work. A look of concentration has etched itself over his expression, hair falling just a tad into his eyes. His hands however are busy at work, fussing over a long stretch of wood and..a feather? Indeed, there are a number of the same materials laid about on the table surface, with the young guard quite intent on making fully fledged arrows out of them. It’s slow work, with rather meticulous measuring going on before the bits and pieces are sealed together. There are two arrows already finished on the table, as well as a nearby mug of klah for breaktime moments. Thankfully, he does at least have those as he pauses now and then to snag it and sip. Fingers absently trail the soft edge of one of the feathers being used, giving it a little twirl as he takes a glance up and around. Eyeballs need something else to focus on every so often!

You know who gets up at the crack of freaking dawn lately? Woodcrafters, or at least this one woodcrafter in particular. Not because sleep was for the weak, but because M’ti was bound and determined to compete the house he’d been commissioned to build before winter set in and froze everything (including himself) solid. The greenrider is, however, running a little late this morning and thank Faranth that it was a few hours yet before the living caverns would be crowded as it made his scurrying possible without having to apologize for bumping into someone every couple of seconds. Feet moving like they were on fire, M’ti carries various rolled hides and a few awkwardly shaped items he was trying to balance while the overstuffed satchel he wore slung across his chest clinked and clanking against his hip. Remember that whole thing about not having to apologize to people? “Oh, I’m sorry…” he says quickly, cheeks flushing with his embarrassment as he accidentally bumps into Vallen’s chair with enough force to possibly shift it an inch or two across the floor, a few of the things in his overburdened arms falling to be scattered about here and there. “Sorry…sorry…” he mutters, trying to pick something up and just dropping more in the process. Yeah, it could be a while before the guard gets his quiet back.

It can only be a good thing that Vallen has taken one of those minute breaks. All that close-up concentration needs a far away focus break before his eyeballs start protesting. Thus he watches M'ti's rather hurried progress with his hands curled around his mug. Knowing that the greenrider is there however, doesn't actually stop the undignified squawk that comes out of him when his chair lurches. The chair shall be blamed for any such noise if anyone asks. Vallen's posture takes an abrupt change however to one of protection, curled over and cradling the poor, innocent victim that is his drink. It's not quite saved, some of the liquid contents spilling out over his fingers, though blessedly it isn't exactly hot anymore. Not with how slowly he's been sipping. Careful fingers reach to set it on the table afterwards, pants doing their pantsly duty of absorption as the wetness is then wiped away upon them. "Whoa, whoa!" Finally, finally, the guard moves from his chair, giving a quick kneel-down to at least offer some help now that his hands are klah free. "There a fire that needs putting out? …Cuz you're not gonna help it with scrolls and…whatnot, lemme just say." This thing that he just picked up? No idea what it is, and that's quite obvious by the way Vallen gives it a bewildered look then offers it to M'ti. "You didn't hurt yourself or nothing, did ya?"

Breaks are important! Not only for the eyeballs but for the mind as well, so really Vallen should thank M’ti for coming along and helping to distract him, right? The sound that the guard makes startles him though, sending a few more hides and one of those big rolls of paper to drop down and roll away a bit, hazel eyes wide and blinking as he pauses in his stooped position, “Shells, are you okay?” Had he poked him somewhere with something inadvertently? Apparently, Matty wasn’t buying the whole ‘that was the chair’ redirect, pausing just a few seconds more before he slowly returns to picking up things if only to sacrifice his hold of others. It was a losing battle honestly, but he continues to apologize as he scoops and scrambles, steadily turning darker pink straight up to the tips of his ears as Vallen settles his precious cup of klah to the table. Shoulders stiffen a bit at mention of a fire, one rolled back just dislodge a small wooden box from the stack to have it thunk to the cavern floor, also clinking and clacking its contents, “No no, just running a little behind is all…” the greenrider says and might have waved a hand dismissively but that would have meant abandoning what he’d managed to retain in his arms. Finally figuring out that resistance to the inevitable was futile, M’ti sighs heavily and plunks himself down to sit right there, yep on the floor. This is where he gives up the ghost and sets down everything in favor of taking the item that the guard offers, “It’s a jig,” he explains, “It makes accurate and repeated cuts possible without having to remeasure…” Fort Weyr and Journeyman of the woodcraft says that knot on his shoulder, more readily in view now that they’re face to face. “Mhmm, no…” comes with a shake of his head and a soft smile, tucking hair behind his ear, then starts making a pile of his possessions. “…I’m sorry for interrupting, I’ll be out of your way as soon as I can…”

It was the chair! The question of his alrightness has Vallen pausing for a moment, giving a glance back at the offending piece of furniture, before offering a shake of his head and a laugh. "Me? All my pieces are quite in their right places, no worries there. Nothing's broken on your end?" He stands again right after however, moving along to start scooping the items that have rolled a bit further than arms can reach. "Here. We. Go!" Words are punctuated by grabs for scrolls, tucking things under an arm as he collects. "I might be wrong here, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest like..two trips next time? Or a wheelbarrow. Just..wheel that on through here quick and easy as you please." Alright, so that last part was probably a joke, given the way the teen grins when he crouches down again by the rider. "Here ya go." More scrolls for the recovery pile! One, however, is used to wave at M'ti as he speaks. Sometimes, one's inner conductor takes hold and cannot be denied the chance to wave around objects. "Oh, stop all the apologizin'. One's plenty good enough to cover a little mishap." If anything, it's genuine, given the soft smile allowed in reassurance. Arms simply fold over his bent knees, keeping still in that crouched pose as he watches the greenrider recover. "Can spare an arm or two, by the way. You look like you need it, being all..sans wheelbarrow and all. Got a while yet before I gotta be on duty."

Suuuuuure, whatever you say man. It’s all good. Vallen’s secret is safe with M’ti. The greenrider looks between guard, chair and back again before he slowly cants his head to one side, blinking a few times. There might be a golden hue to his light brown hair, but rest assured he wasn’t having a blonde moment or anything, his brows lifting as if to suggest he didn’t see anyone else. It’s at least followed by a friendly enough smile and then a nod of his head, “Mhmmhmmm.” Yes, him. There is considerable relief that washes over Matty’s expression to hear that he hasn’t hurt Vallen in the process of carrying to much too quickly, “That’s good…” he breathes out, blinking again as the question is turned back on him, “Oh! I’m fine.” Cheeks flushing, he might have added he was embarrassed with himself but it was as plain as the nose on his face. Then it becomes a matter of collecting what things Vallen doesn’t, if only to blush all the darker as the obvious is pointed out. “I know, it’s just such a long way back to the work site and it takes too long to make two trips.” Sound reason, right? Well, it makes sense in Matty’s head anyway, or at least it did. “I didn’t want to waste the time.” Or leave the workers unsupervised. Cough. As for the wheelbarrow comment, there’s a blink of course and for just a moment it looks as if he believes that the guard was serious, “O-oh! Uh…funny….” The laugh that follows is totally fake and completely awkward, dying quickly for both their benefit. More things collected into a pile, quiet thanks given for every piece returned to him, if just to duck his head and go quite red as he goes silent and just nods his head. Okay, so M'it might be apologizing with his face, but he keeps his lips sealed. Faranth, that’s a very guilty peeking thing he’s doing past the hair that’s escaped out from behind his ear, and then he’ll just go back to getting the last few things he’d dropped. Looking back over, sweeping his hair back into place, his brows slowly lift in unison, “Really? You’d do that?” comes in surprise at first and then slams the poor man with a smile that was beyond blinding, “That’d be great.” After that and an equal amount of thank yous as he had given apologies, the pile he’d attempted to carry on his own is split in equal measure between them, and with a toss of his head the greenrider begins to lead the way. “I’m M’ti by the way, green Cherith’s…” he tosses out there, an expectant look directed over to the guard, likely in the hopes of a proper introduction.

There's a nod now and then while M'ti talks, even if Vallen's mouth is quirked in a slightly amused expression. That fake laughter? Well the guard is having a hard time not returning it with a bit of real snickering of his own. Yes, yes, Vallen is a comedic genius. Indeed though, the guard is quite likely to be blind for a few seconds from the smile he's given, blinking just a few times before nodding his affirmative. "'Course I will. You're likely to take another spill if I don't and I don't want that sort of thing on my conscience!" However, he does get up to leave M'ti for a moment, turning back to his own work at the table. It's thankfully not too much to clean up, and he has his own case to put things away in. Once done, he settles the bag over a shoulder and bends to pick up his share of the load, arranging things as necessary to ensure nothing is dropped. Belated introductions receive a hint of laughter though. Those usually do happen first! He nods along though as he goes to follow the greenrider, head tilting ever so slightly. "Vallen. Pleasure to meetcha."

Cheeks red as if he’d invented blushing, M’ti avoids taking in the full measure of Vallen’s amusement, the color spreads to the tips of his ears as the man snickers and makes himself busy with rearranging the pile uselessly. Beyond, there is smiling and agreement, as well as a cornucopia of gratitude through which the awkwardness of their meeting falls away, “I’m not that clumsy…” M’ti protests, giving his nose a crinkle, ashen lashes lowering as hazel eyes glide back towards the guard. Sure, carrying everything again as he had would probably result in another mishap, but perhaps if he’d tried another way? Neither here or there now, the greenrider is rising back to his feet with his share of the items to be carried, waiting then for Vallen to settle his own as well as take what remained. A smile, less dazzling than the last, is offered over as the guard muses, “It’s nice to meet you as well, Vallen,” he says, bobbing his head as his hands were full and thus there can be no hand shaking. It was all polite enough regardless, falling into step beside his new acquaintance to make the conversation he hoped to share along the way easier, “Are you new to Xanadu, Vallen?” Curiosity might have killed the feline, but thankfully Matty was just a friendly greenrider happy to have the help and company, leading them both to the path that would lead them to the forest trails well trodden and beyond.

Vallen does not believe one word of that, and it shows, offering M'ti a skeptical eyeballing for his protest. Suuuuuure he isn't. Greenrider that runs into chairs. He manages to release his fingers from their grip enough to give a bit of a wiggle at M'ti in lieu of a handshake, and thankfully doesn't drop anything in the process. "New? Well, yes and no. Been here some months now, so it's not like I'm FROM here or anything. My da helped with getting me in with the guard over here, so I moved on over from Half Moon. Bit of leaving the nest and all, you know?" His feet stay moving, simply following along where the greenrider is leading. He surely has no idea where they're going, after all. But a brow is raised after a moment or so, picking up that same conversation. "What about you? I mean, I'm not the best with all the different ones, but that's not a Xanadu knot there, right? What's a rider from..uhm..another place, workin' on over here?"

There are just things that a man does not discuss and will deny even if the world stops turning, and one of those is the propensity to overburden oneself and sometimes collide with stationary objects. The finger wiggle gets a chuckle from the greenrider, bobbing his head again, hair slipping out from behind his ear again. Damn it. It’s only because it’s not obscuring his view nor trying to get into his mouth that M’ti doesn’t fret over it much, flicking it back and then returning his attention between the direction of their destination and the guard at his side, “Ah, well, that explains why I’ve never seen you before. I’ve only been in Xanadu myself for the last couple of months and quite busy at that…” There’s that smile again, so readily given in that magnitude that it certainly can imply that M’ti isn’t aware at all of its impact, “That sounds very exciting, though. I like going to new places, exploring…” A drumbeat of pause, “How’re you liking it so far?” With that they turn a corner and start moving off the more travelled of pathways onto one that was less so, the forest around them growing denser and more wild, “Ha, you’re right…” M’ti laughs warmly, “I’m on loan, so to speak, from Fort. I was commissioned to design and oversee the building of a house for one of the senior weyrlings.” Speaking of houses, as they move past a thick copse of trees, the place starts to come into view. It’s two stories and being built into the scenery, as few trees as possible were cut down to make way for the construction. There were no windows as of yet, but the first floor was complete, as was the curved stairs and wrap around deck, the whole structure elevated (a full bronze dragon’s resting size) off the ground and supported beneath with big wooden struts. The second floor was getting there, half the walls up, and someone had started to build a small structure off to the side that looks as if it was to be a smithy’s forge.

"Ah.." Vallen gives a steady nod, as if that explains it all. He's seen his fair share of riders go to and from Weyrs after all, spending time for all sorts of reasons. The side of his mouth lifts up again in a half-grin, laughing. "Less exploring and more…figuring out where everything is so I don't get lost. Had a bit of worry going into things, like..I was gonna be on patrol and just, lose my way. Doubt I'd ever hear the end of it if that happened." Gigantic embarrassments in the workplace? No thanks. He sticks to the path though, moving to walk along behind M'ti as things grow a bit more dense, when just shoving through with an armload of things would be downright asking for trouble. Once they're through though, the guard gives an appreciative whistle for what's already been completed, giving the building a once-over. "Well now, that's sure something. I'll grant you, you crafters really are something else." Vallen is good for hitting stuff, mostly. Creating things? Quite a bit outside of his wheelhouse.

It is what it is? At least, that’s where M’ti was leaving it, his next smile however thinner before he presses his lips together and forges ahead. He’s certainly not saying something, and it appears as if he was intent on keeping it that way. Easier is when the center of the discussion shifts off him and returns to Vallen, the greenrider back to as relaxed as can be expected of two people who’d just met, “That is key, yes. I had the…benefit…of having been a candidate here when I was younger so when I came back I knew my way around more or less.” A lot more freedom was awarded to riders than candidates, that’s for sure. A soft round of laughter escapes the greenrider, “They don’t offer any training or shadowing to learn patrol routes?” Hardcore Xanadu! Maybe right into the deep end probably weeded out the wannabes from those who were levelheaded and serious about protecting the area from unsavory types. Little did Matty know, he was descended from exactly those sorts of people, and it certainly didn’t show. As they get closer to where they’re going, a genuine grin along with a notable swell of pride overtakes M’ti, “There’s been some setbacks, but it’s still coming along. The goal is to have it livable before winter, but I’ll settle for a working fireplace and a roof prior to the first snow…” is exhaled as he takes a turn, leading Vallen to the makeshift contractor’s station nestled just beneath the house itself. It’s HUGE under there, room enough for a small brown and a large green to snuggle up together comfortably beneath it. Then again the whole project was an enormous undertaking and seeing as M’ti didn’t look a day into his twenties, he couldn’t have too many like this under his belt, regardless of that Journeyman woodcrafter’s knot on his shoulder.

If Vallen notices that M'ti is a bit more on the quiet side when it comes to his work, he doesn't say anything. Although there's a curious look given for that thin-lipped smile. Not that it's any of his business, after all. "Well, it's not like they threw me in completely without knowing anything, and yeah, I had to follow someone around. Still, newbies are the ones that run all the errands so there's that hazard. Thankfully, I've never ended up camping out in some out of the way storage room after hours of getting turned around." There's a grave look given…or an attempt at one, as the guard nods. "It's happened. They told me." And they were LYING. And he knows it. Still, Vallen follows along into the shadow of the construction project, humming just a little to himself. "Where do you want this stuff? Just..anywhere? Except the ground, I'd imagine. I'll definitely root for getting a roof going before snowfall.. Yikes, that'd be..well that wouldn't be good not to have cover for that. Snow's pretty and all, but not when it's inside."

As they’d only just been introduced? It’s a benefit and a tribute to Vallen’s character that M’ti isn’t pressed for information, a factor that will pay heavily into whether or not their acquaintance develops into a friendship and who didn’t need friends to pal around with? Curious looks missed, intentionally or otherwise, the greenrider returns to a relative state of ease and so offers the him a smile and nod, “That’s the best way to learn your way around a place,” he points out, setting his armful down and starting to arrange each item meticulously where he wants them, “Given errands to run.” Or chores. A perplexed expression betrays that— at least for a moment— M’ti seems to believe the whole camping story and then he pouts ever so slightly, “Ah, you’re teasing me…” he tsks, finally starting to understand that not everything everyone says is the truth, but only after considerable exposure to probably one of the most difficult to read men on all of Pern. Though, in that particular case, the teasing was more often focused on garnering a reaction rather than added for playful flavor. Having cleared a space, M’ti gestures towards it with a sweep of his hand when asked where he wanted the rest of his stuff, “Here is fine, and again thank you so much for helping me. I think next time I’ll make sure to utilize a bag or something.” Yep, he got what he’d deserved for being in such a hurry. “D-did…you want a tour while you're here? I haven’t really shown it off to anyone not related or directly involved…”

"I am, yeah." It's a soft, but readily given admission. Vallen enjoys teasing, however, and at least he doesn't do it in a way to be mean. At least not so far. After finally clearing out his arms of all of the things he's been carrying, he also sets down his own bag on the ground for a moment, stretching both arms above his head with his back giving a faint arch in the process. Easily enough, he shifts one hip against the work table, rather relaxed himself. But then, strangers aren't something he seems to worry about a whole lot. His arms fold, crossing over his chest as he watches M'ti with his tools, each one being arranged just so. "I can try not to, if you'd rather. Seemed a good idea to keep a smile on you after all that..earlier stuff." So much apologizing happened. So much. Fingers take a moment to comb through the side of his head with longer hair, shoving it back so that it stays that way, at least for the time being. The offer of a tour gets a raised brow, however, mouth having just opened to say…something or another. "You're welcome, yeah? Couldn't just sit there and watch ya flounder." Well he could have, but that would've seemed a bit..mean. But the easy smile slides right back over him again, head bobbing ever so slightly. "Well if you're offering, I might have a go of it. Things are done pretty different here than Half Moon, I'm used to bunking in a cave weyr with my da. So long as I'm not in the way or anything. You were in somethin' of a hurry before and all."

With that sees to the return of Matty’s thinner smile, but he has nothing to add beyond that, designating himself to sorting through the pile that Vallen sets down, “It’s fine,” he says of the offer to stop, “I’m used to it.” And man, is he ever. Talk about being tossed into the deep end and being expected not to drown. Hazel eyes skim over all that stretching, although very quickly they’re yanked away and hands get very busy with the sliding of things from point a to b. The whole ‘keeping a smile’ on his face sees to the return of a light flush of color to the greenrider’s otherwise pale cheeks, which could just as easily be blamed on the chill starting to hang in the air now that Autumn was well on it’s way. All too soo sweater weather would turn into jacket weather and then winter coats, but Matty really did have his fingers crossed to be done completely with the shell of the house so he could be warm and toasty for the sussing of the interior. “You’re, very kind Vallen…” is said quieter, the box that made such clammer when it had dropped now tucked away inside a drawer, slid shut after the fact. All things where he felt they needed to be, the greenrider rights himself and tugs the knit material of his autumn garb back into its proper place, smiling softly and nods only once, “I am,” Offering that is, “It’s the least I can do after you’ve taken the time to help me.” Lips drawn upwards lightly, “That’s the sort of place I live in at Fort, so I understand. I grew up in a house myself over at Benden Hold until I entered the woodcraft.” Gesturing that they were to move, M’ti waits until it looks like Vallen was about to follow, and only then leads the way. It’s to a rise of very sturdy and well constructed stairs they go, everything rounded and smoothed for style rather than function, with rough bark accents that make the set really fit in with the surrounding forest.

For the first time, Vallen frowns slightly. His head cocked faintly to the side, the guard's brows furrow downwards to give M'ti a rather serious look. "You don't need to 'be used to it'. If it makes you uncomfortable or something, you don't have to put up with it. I'll keep my tongue in check, kay?" After all, making M'ti unhappy wasn't what the guard was going for in the first place! He relaxes again though, gaze softening once more at being told he's kind. "Me? Nah.." Denial! Although it's not terribly insistent. There's no accepting from him anything about being 'kind'. His attention is briefly derailed by the box that made all the noise, smiling as it's hidden away in the safety of a drawer. He pushes away from the table then, nodding ever so slightly. "Can't promise I'll know what I'm looking at. I'm used to walls and such already being present. But lead on, sir, and I shall peruse your grand work." For it is! This thing is a monstrosity of a building, and certainly well beyond a simple guard's knowledge in the way of putting anything together. Vallen could probably handle Legos. He takes to following M'ti again, letting his hand catch on the rail of the stairs they head over to. "Damn." His head tips back a bit to look up those steps, taking in the height afforded to the structure that just makes it appear larger to his own eye.

M’ti has nothing to say to that apparently, considering that he just smiles softly and idly slides the final scroll into place. There was a reason why there was four sets of items spaced out, though he doesn’t elaborate on that, merely stepping away from the table, “As you wish,” he says softly in passing, not about to push or demand that Vallen be anything less than himself, nor about to argue over self-censorship, “…but it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It just…” It reminded him of Ru’ien, whose absence was felt especially— given that he was proddy and spending more time away than with him, “…nevermind.” Waving a hand as to imply that it wasn’t important, despite how much it was, “Take the compliment, Vallen…” is said gently, reaching out in an attempt to cup his palm against the guard’s elbow briefly before it drops away and he’s moving off with an inclination of his head to ascend the stairs to the treehouse’s deck, “I think you’ll find it’s easier than you thought to grasp the concept, if not the structure. The one that commissioned all this was very specific in keeping things simple, though he’s been very gracious in allowing me artistic license.” The stairs? Carved out of the single massive trunk of an ancient tree still living, given a clear sealant to maintain integrity as well as offer a natural feel. In fact, it was all very rustic like that, right up to where the deck flowed out from the top, so well constructed that there was no give beneath their feet as they step out onto it. “As I’ll take that as one,” he muses with a warm laugh, a grin tossed back over his shoulder at the guard. The deck itself was rather plain, but the railings surrounding it and the wrap around walkway give the illusion that those thick branches had grown of their own volition into an interlacing pattern the whole way, which of course was hardly the case. It lends functionality without sacrificing the beauty of design. “The walkway extends all around to the back with another small deck similar to this one, I’m going to leave it up to the man who’ll be living here as to what he’d like to put out up here.” Then, progressing onwards through the open doorway, the first level with a fireplace of stone only half complete while the floor had been laid and sealed. Walls were missing from the bathroom across the way, but all the fixtures were in place and functioning. A good sized clawfoot tub, double sink, and a toilet in white, set against varied shades of light gray ceramic tile. There’s another staircase incorporating another of those big trees, while the rest starts and rises up beyond in seamless infallibly. The banisters are in the process of being carved with an ornate design which would undoubtedly prove to make the stairway itself the centerpiece of the home, even if it was set off in right hand corner. Two more trees, younger and considerably less broad, extend up as well through the floor to provide stability to the second floor loft, their upper branches seeming to snake out across the ceiling of the living space. the interior walls were starting to be spackled in white plaster from the looks of it, the rest at least already insulated and sealed off. “The walls on the second floor go up today, the windows down here too, except the bathroom as I’ve been informed recently that there’s been a change in plans with those.” Twitch. Twitch. Don’t mind that eyebrow, it’s totally not because M’ti was a monsterous control freak when it came to his work.

Vallen gives a slow blink at M'ti not being uncomfortable. Misunderstandings are bound to happen when one is trying not to be nosy in other people's business! But the guard does look a little more relaxed at that. Trying to make sure his mouth doesn't run away from him would be a hard thing to accomplish. He would try though! If it meant making someone else more comfortable. "It just?" That curiosity is there of course, though Vallen doesn't press the issue once M'ti moves on from it. Instead there's a quick glance over for the hand on his arm, lips twisting upward in a smile again. "Yessir." There's even a mild salute given before the guard takes to the stairs. Fingers don't leave the railing as he ascends, taking in the deck as he hits the landing. "Damn right it was, this is seriously impressive. I mean, that is a tree. Still connected." Yes, there is even some hand waving at the thing to prove his point. As M'ti guides, Vallen follows, fingers trailing along with him. It seems he feels the need to touch and feel, desiring a more tactile approach than merely observing. The tub that he can see earns a whistle. "What's there to change? That looks great. I tell you what, if I ever need some place of my own I'm calling you up. Can make me a little hovel out of a tree stump and it'd still be awesome." It's not like the guard currently needs more than a bedroom. But then, he also lives inside the main Weyr proper in one of the many available rooms.

M’ti shrugs his shoulders lightly, offering Vallen little more than another of those soft thin smiles rather than a verbal response, but his body language there does a fair approximation of telling the guard not to worry about it. Skirting all things personal, the greenrider retracts his hand from Vallen’s arm and does in fact lead on, with some amusement over the saluting. He catches on quick, this time, that he was being teased and just goes with it. Up, up, and up they go, with no chiding from M’ti over the need to touch this or that considering it was all solid craftsmanship meant to be interacted with. It was when people started messing with tools, obstructing or distracting the workers, or putting their hands all over the things the greenrider needed to further progress with the project that his feathers got ruffled. Hazel eyes are cast back towards the stairs and M’ti nods with a fraction of a grin, “That it is. There were some really big trees out here and it seemed a waste to cut them down and pull up a root system like that when it could be used to help stabilize the whole thing. I did the same inside too, I just hope it doesn’t end up biting me in the rump.” A sigh for that, because he’d taken a chance and while beautiful now, he had no idea what the future would bring. Striding within the main entry, M’ti presses his lips together, then smoothes them back into place with a swipe of his tongue, “The owner’s uncle gifted stained glass windows, and said owner wants them incorporated…” Did Matty like last minute changes that only added to his stress? No, he did not. “It’s difficult though, when you invest so much of yourself in something as massive as this job’s been, you can’t help but get attached.” With that another shrug, but it’s barely that. “I just have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t my house and I don’t really have a say…” he adds with a laugh, though there is remarkably little humor to it. Thankfully, that’s quickly replaced by a genuine one, “Sorry, I just pictured you living in a tree stump…” Yeah, that image and the amusement that it inspires sticks with the greenrider for a while yet, and seems to have improved a mood that just might have been hovering precariously close to melancholy there for a moment. “Upstairs?” he offers, already moving toward the second set of stairs, “Oh, and to answer your earlier question, yes I was in a hurry to get here. The workers and crafters will be here in the next hour or so, and I like being prepared with their instructions for the day…so no one’s standing around wasting even a little of their time.” Time crunch and all that.

Vallen continues on his campaign of touching things as he moves around the first floor. He does at least manage to leave the half-built fireplace alone, but the curiosity about the bathroom has him peeking into the unwalled area. Yep, he touches that tub alright, hand gliding over the edge of it and feeling the shape before snorting. "You need stained glass in the bathroom? Why not..like..upstairs to get the real good light coming through? None of my business I guess, sure isn't my home, but…eh. Don't think I need to look at anything pretty while taking a bath." There's too much else to be done. Like bathing! Shoulders lift and fall, a shrug given before he meanders his way back to M'ti again. He listens though. He definitely listens as the greenrider talks about what he's doing, sending a sideways glance at him as he passes alongside the other man. There's a flash of a grin, head tilting. "There's big enough trees to make it happen, I'd bet." He could be the guard that lives in a tree stump, guarding the forest or..some such thing. "Only so much free reign in a commission piece, definitely. Should just make one for yourself and make everything just how you want it. Or steal this one and tell your client to find another location." The mischievous smile would of course suggest the guard is joking. The wink too would probably give it away. "Oh, we can go on up there? Nice." There's a hurried motion to take the first couple of steps quickly, poking his head up to the second floor to take a peek around before his attention shifts back to M'ti. "Well don't let me keep you too long, yeah? I don't wanna keep you from work or anything."

“Apparently,” comes a snort from behind Vallen, M’ti keeping an eye on what falls beneath curious fingers and what doesn’t. So far, so good? Well, at least in the fact that the greenrider isn’t looking like he’s about to crawl out from beneath his own skin. “It’s going upstairs too, there was already a plan for a big window up there, guess it’s going to be a big stained glass one instead…” Grumble. Grumble. Oh, he’d get on board with it eventually, but it was a fairly new decision and so he hadn’t quite had the time for it to settle within his head yet. The question remained though as to what to do with the regular windows that had already been delivered. Yeah, real heavy sigh there from M’ti on that one, though without context all Vallen is going to hear is just that. A sigh. However, as the guard returns to the main living area, anxieties and whatnot have been pushed off to the side in favor of good humor, “Oh, there are, but it wouldn’t make for much space for living very comfortably, and it’d get cold out there.” Matty certainly can’t disagree when it comes to the room lacking for absolute creativity in commission pieces, so he doesn’t even try, but he does chortle rather merrily at the idea of stealing it away for himself, “Somehow I don’t think my client or the woodcraft would be too happy if I did that,” he muses at the very idea, and might even be picturing their reactions to such a bold action. He says nothing of the unrealistic prospect of heading out into the forests of Fort to build a little something for himself on his own, the cost far and beyond anything he would be able to afford. Dragonriders were paid in room and board after all, and it wasn’t exactly very lucrative that way. A nod is given in confirmation, yes they could go up there, following Vallen as he takes the stairs leading to the loft. It overlooked the entryway, had an opening that leads off to a good sized balcony with a stunning view of the forest. The flooring down up there, but covered with a tarp as to protect it from scuffing boots and anything that might be dropped on it while the walls were being placed. Sure enough there was an enormous hole straight across the way that was distinctly window shaped, the exact place no doubt where that previously mentioned stained glass would go. “You’re not keeping me from anything right now, trust me on that. No one is even here yet. Once they arrive and they have their assignments though, I’ll have to get back to the banisters, they aren’t going to carve themselves.” A chuckle for that, leaning against the still smooth surface of one, hands sliding into the pockets of his pants, “I like to get out here early, set up, and kinda just breathe the space in before getting to work in it. It helps keep me grounded.”

"That's..a lot of stained glass." Not that Vallen is judging or anything. Oh, no. It's just that the guard rather obviously….isn't thrilled about the idea at all. Perhaps having a view of the landscape is more his thing. He makes no further comment about it though. It's not his house. There's a sympathetic look for the change in plan though. Even if this isn't his forte, surely changing something being built when it's already started is..difficult, at the very least. Therefore the only noise made is a slight tsk sound as he finishes climbing those stairs. The tarp on the floor has him being a little careful where he steps, though he makes his way over to the giant hole that would be a window. Or rather, a large glass picture. Hands settle on the frame, leaning just a tad to get a good view of the area around. "Damn..that's somethin'.." Even while the air is getting more chilly, Vallen takes a moment to enjoy the air that flows through the unfinished building, flashing a grin back at M'ti. "Got used to being high up at Half Moon. Nice to get some of that back sometimes. That deck is definitely gonna need some chairs." Good ol' relaxing chairs. Rockers. He moves away then, doing a bit less touching without too many actual walls to play with. Quite a bit more construction means he's less inclined to go poking about. "Mm, guard might not look highly on it either, if he's done paid for it." He relents with that, sizing up the greenrider a moment like he might just be considering an arrest. It's a hard sale, considering the grin that just doesn't want to go away now. "Makes sense, getting yourself ready. I usually show up a bit early for my own shift so I'm not running around like crazy. Hang on—YOU did all that carving? All those little bits?" There's something akin to genuine awe there, brows lifting as he stares at M'ti. "That is some seriously fine work."

You don’t have to tell M’ti that it was a lot of stained glass, he knows, and so says his expression before he shrugs his shoulders helplessly. The client, whoever he was, had insisted. The greenrider didn’t have ground to stand on in that regard and so it was happening, but who knows perhaps it’ll work and all his worries would be all for nothing. It wasn’t a huge structural change or anything, purely aesthetic, which would be easier to get behind once the initial shock had worn off. “Yes, it’ll be a shame to lose the view out that window, but at least there’s the balcony and so far I haven’t been told to make them all stained glass.” Oh ho ho, fingers crossed yet again! M’ti was stubborn in that way, once he had a vision in his head, he liked to stick with it rather than let the wind blow him in whichever direction. The grin thrown back his way is returned with a soft smile and then a nod, “My weyr at Fort is high up, so I can certainly appreciate that. Though, it’s considerably more so than all this.” A lot more. As for the balcony, M’ti nods again, although he isn’t nearly as excited or willing to plan out furniture as Vallen is, “I have no idea what the client has in mind,” he breathes out, his features shifting into an expression that clearly suggests that he was trying very hard not to get more attached than he already probably was. Noting the look that Vallen levels on him, Matty holds up his hands in a defensive fashion, “Easy…” is said with no less than his amusement, “…I’d be pretty stupid to try and lay claim to something that doesn’t belong to me.” Though, as he speaks that last part, his statement just might carry a double meaning that he wasn’t even aware of until the words had left his mouth. Man, whatever it was, it’d hit the greenrider hard and it takes him minute to cobble himself back together again. That moment comes with a sharp inhale through his nostrils and the flash of a thin smile towards Vallen, then moving back down the stairs again unhurriedly in the quiet of self-reflection. There is a pause though where M’ti stops moving and in distraction he looks to the railing beneath his hand, “Mhmm? Oh, yes. I did all of the carving work myself.” While the smile that follows is authentic, it’s soft and a little on the sadder side of gratitude, “Thank you, though, there’s plenty more to do.” He’s back to descending the stairs then, dusting his hands off once he’s reached the bottom, giving a good look around, “I wager another month or two, then I’ll be heading back to Fort Weyr…” From the sounds of it? M’ti just might have mixed emotions about that.

Vallen may not be terribly inquisitive with strangers, but he's observant. Part of the job, after all! That expression that moves across the greenrider's face? It's noted, and tucked into the guard's pocket for safe keeping. For now, at least. There's a soft sniff given, and a last look around the upper floor. "Can't say I'd much care for not being able to properly see out at all." It's safer than starting to try and prod at the greenrider for information into his private life. Once M'ti starts descending, the guard makes to follow, mapping each step out carefully until he reaches the first floor again. Fingers touch again, feeling over banisters as he goes before lifting a brow at the greenrider. "Not too much enthusiasm about going back home? Love the work that much or just getting used to all of us here? Not that I'd blame you, mind. It's easier and easier to call this place 'home' the longer I'm here." Though technically it IS now home, no matter what his brain might want to say about the matter. Vallen's shoulders lift, shrugging. "You do good work though, M'ti. We're lucky to have you, for however long you've got." Finally though, the guard puffs out a bit of air with a bit of finality to it, twisting his fingers together to give his knuckles a few good cracks. "Speaking of it though, I should let you get back to the whole set up business. I need to change and get ready for patrols anyway. Listen though," And Vallen pauses there, reaching to give M'ti's arm a gentle pat just above the elbow, just to make sure he's gotten the greenrider's attention. "You need an extra pair of hands for carrying when you're in a rush, you find me, yeah? Got no problems lending mine out." Or maybe if M'ti needs to talk. About all those faces he kept making. Vallen SAW THOSE.

See, M’ti was not the sort of person who would share the personal details of his life with a stranger, no matter what he might think of them initially. Unfortunately, there was that little problem he had with hiding what he was thinking or feeling, everything there and out in the open to be read by everyone. It made him a terrible liar for one, and it put him out there regardless if he wanted to be. The greenrider was at least aware of it, though at a loss as to what to do to change it, was beyond him. Youth, sometimes had a cost too. “It’s not for me to say, but I can suggest that he put his bed in front of it, get the light with none of the privacy issues…” Save on curtains too, perhaps. How expensive WAS this place anyway, with all its handmade everything? Feet firmly planted on the first floor’s landing, M’ti steps out of the way so Vallen so he can join him, ashen lashes lowering as his gaze slides his way for that very loaded question. “I like staying busy,” he replies after a very pregnant pause in which a myriad of emotion flickers across his features, thankfully for him too quickly to be properly read. “I stood once at Xanadu and stayed for a time after I left standing. It was…” Lips moistened, “…very lonely.” That said, the greenrider looks away and towards the gaps in the walls of the bathroom, “If I stayed, I have a feeling it’ll end up that way again.” Inhaling short and quick, he lets out a rough sound, “No, it’s better that I return to Fort as soon as I’m done here.” Still, a soft gentle smile is offered to Vallen, “Thank you for saying that.” From the looks of it, he needed to hear something along those line, getting marginally misty-eyed but blinking it away, “Mhmm, yes. Sorry to have kept you so long…” The rest fades off, brows lifting as the guard approaches and gives his arm a pat, slowly nodding his head in confirmation, even of a grin twitches at the corners of his mouth, “Let’s hope you're easy to find, my being in a rush and all…” See, he can totally tease back! He’ll see Vallen out after that, walking him back down the stairs in time to see the first of the workers arriving, no short of curious who the new face is. M’ti ignores it in favor of looking to Vallen, “Thank you for your help. That path there should see you safely back to the weyr.” Gesture completed, one last warm soft smile is offered before the greenrider turns and walks away, heading back towards the drafting table.

Vallen isn't about to even consider the cost of everything here. Nothing he can afford, most definitely. He waits while M'ti has that pause, head canting ever so slightly toward him. "Idle hands.." He echoes the sentiment. Having things to do tends to keep the mind occupied. That mention of loneliness hooks his attention though, and the guard takes a step forward so that he can wheel around and face M'ti. "Shame, that. We'll have to get you down for a drink after all of this carving one day and make a night of it. Not about to let a new friend sit about with nobody to talk to." The label of friend has promptly been stuck to the greenrider's forehead. Too late, can't go back now. "When you go back, you can still say you've got friends over in Xanadu, yeah?" That lopsided grin returns, muted slightly by that look being given to him as thanks, and the guard simply ducks his head just a bit in a nod. "Hey, it's true though. This whole place? Wow." Fingers indicate the building around them, digits giving a few circular twirls for emphasis. Once Vallen moves to head down the steps there's a bark of laughter, nodding. "Oh, I'm not too hard to track down usually. Stuck my name on my door and everything." Well, he did! No point in hiding himself away beyond a sea of doors in the resident's hall. Back on solid ground, he promptly offers a careless wave to those workers giving curious looks. Yes, he sees you. He can stare too! It's M'ti that gets a warmer look in farewell though, and a nod. "More interesting morning than I'd have had otherwise. Catch you 'round, rider!" Vallen's already turning though, offering a wave over his shoulder as he starts back down the path again. He's thankfully been at the Weyr long enough to know how to get back where he belongs.

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