Uncivilized Behavior

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to 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, leveled carefully 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, however, 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. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, 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, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs.

With Isyriath slumbering deeply and not likely to wake of his own volition any time soon, Marel has slipped out of the barracks while many of her fellow weyrlings are in the same state as her young brown. Clad in the familiar trousers and shirt combination she's adopted since Impression, she's presently to be found in the caverns, trying to get a head-start on breakfast before her lifemate can summon her or other Weyr residents can beat her to the fresh stuff. She's early enough that she's managed to snag a table to herself, a plate heaped with much more than she used to eat sat in-front of her, a sweet pastry already well on its way to vanishing completely.

Kanekith is full. Full from freshly chopped meat that felt oh so grand sliding down his gullet. But he isn't too full. He's satisfied enough that the bronze became sleepy and he's nestled within his bronze-sized couch, dreaming dreams of smoky colors that play a soft song in a minor key in Ka'el's mind. Ka'el is unfortunately awake. The bronze's snack came hours before sunrise, and now he can't find sleep again. Sigh! Might as well get out and eat while he has the time to do so. He's already filled his plate with a variety of things and balances a mug of klah upon his tray as he looks for a table. There are plenty of empty ones, but he instead makes his way to one that's occupied by a familiar face. Without asking permission, (as shared weyrlinghood gives him a free pass, doesn't it?) he sets his tray down opposite of Marel and slides into the chair. His hair is shorter than it was a month ago, apparently having gotten a haircut at some point recently. "Good morning," he offers. "I heard we're takin' "etiquette" classes soon…" he gives her a shifty-eyed look. "You know what that means?"

Marel has to make the oh-so-difficult choice between being polite and returning Ka'el's greeting, or the vitally important task of ensuring the pastry completes its vanishing act. In the end, she opts to try for both, despite her usual adherence to common manners. "Morning," she says around a mouthful of pastry, though at least she covers her mouth with one hand. Mouthful gone, she drops her hand back to the table and declares, "Not doing that in the company of dignitaries or higher-ups," around a faintly embarrassed, rueful smile. "Being a lady, or, in your case, a gentleman. We represent Xanadu now, wherever we go."

Ka'el grins while picking up his own breakfast roll, a pastry stuffed with breakfast meat inside. Warm and delicious and just waiting to be chomped! "I thought so," he says in reply to her explanation, eyeing his pastry a moment longer before blue eyes flit to hers. "Meaning," he continues with a faint smirk and devious look beginning to glint, "while we are still untrained, mannerless miscreants, our lack of table manners would be excused due to a lack've training, yes? We definitely couldn't be held accountable. So, we must seize the opportunity while the window is open! To shards with forks and spoons and utensils!" he declares theatrically. "To shell with napkins!" He lifts his roll up with his next proclamation, "Fingers are all we need!"

Though she's certainly not been using cutlery for the odd range of small rolls and pastries on her plate (maybe she's on a carbohydrate kick), a napkin does grace Marel's lap and doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon. "I'd say not so much a lack of training, but of social awareness…" she utters dryly, amusement writ large in her green eyes. "If you'd like to be potentially labeled as the boy who was raised in the wild, be my guest," the weyrling brownrider invites, pulling off a segment of buttered roll to pop in her mouth. "Though I have to say that I've rarely seen riders on their best behaviour all the time, no matter what they tell us in those classes. Some turn up and make total idiots of themselves."

The raised roll is raised and, while not exactly stuffed into his mouth, he takes an incredibly huge bite of it to chew on happily while listening to her. Social awareness huh? "Like," he begins after a swallow, "who is who from where and how to properly address them as to not do something like … call the daughter of a weyrleader the daughter of a holder and be the catalyst of some interweyr war of hurt feelings?" he says with lifted brows, drawing that scenario out in his head. And … the sad truth is, he'd be the likeliest one of them all to put his foot in his mouth! "Mm. Maybe if I'm known as the wildchild, then I won't be put in those situations at all and would be the one most likely hidden away in a back room when…dignitaries visit. Conflict avoided." He grins humoredly, eyes glittering with mirth. "Sounds like a noteworthy plan, don't you think?" Then, in a more genuine tone of voice, "How've you been?"

"As in it's considered bad manners to go over and interrupt conversations or make rude remarks," Marel supplies with the shrug of one shoulder. "Or talk with your mouth full." She keeps nibbling at her own breakfast, speaking between bites. "If the daughter of a Weyrleader expects everyone to know who she is, then she's got an over-inflated opinion of herself," is her opinion as far as that goes, shared over the rim of the mug of fruit juice that she lifts to her lips. "I think it'd be embarrassingly rude of me to go around announcing 'Hi, I'm brown Isyriath's Marel, you know, daughter of Xanadu's Weyrwoman?' and all that." She even grimaces as speaks the words in mere jest. "And if we have to be well-behaved, so do you. I'm not doing this on my own!" Mock-sternness there, with ample humour. "I've been… okay. Isyriath isn't too much of a handful, so far. He's almost… considerate." Twisting the same question back at Ka'el, she asks, "You?"

Ka'el takes a swallow of his klah, savoring the taste as if he hasn't had it in sevens. "Hey, you should do that," he nods with a nod. "Call it a .. social experiment. When we're through with all of this, take a trip to somewhere where no one knows you and go around introducing yourself as that. See what happens. You could probably write a book about the experience," he jests, pausing long enough to take another swallow of warm klah. "And, aw, c'mooon. Let me be the untamed beast of us lot! Besides, you already have all this learned already. This is how I hold a fork." He grabs one, holding it in his fist like a savage. … It really isn't the way he usually holds one, but for comedy's sake, he keeps up the act, even as shse speaks of her dragon and questions about his own. "Kanekith should spend more time with yours, then. He's .. tiring. And very…" he trails off to think of the word, "Independent? I think that's it. He doesn't get along well with others. Especially Mur'dah's."

"You just want me to come home and tell you all the ridiculous things that happened to me after I introduced myself like that, don't you?" Marel accuses, reaching across the table like she'd shove at his shoulder, not that the touch ever connects, for she seems satisfied with the threat of it alone. "I'll only do it if you come with me and I get to introduce you as 'my friend Ka'el, the barbarian who only speaks in one syllable words'." She arches a single brow. Deal? "Isyriath might think it's his duty to make sure Kanekith and Kalsuoth get along," she supposes, studying her fellow weyrling with a measure more intensity than she was only moments ago. "He doesn't seem terribly fond of conflict. Or big groups of people. But… if he," Kanekith, "doesn't get on well with others, are you okay?"

Ka'el leans back and away from the what would be shove, a look of innocence plastering on his face. "What? Of course I've no ulterior motives! This would solely be for … uh, investigative reasons. Totally not to embarrass you.." He coughs a little, doing a horrible job of concealing a grin as his hand lowers down. "You think I jest, but we've a deal. I shall be Ka'el, the Barbarian." He hunches his back a little and brings down the fist that holds his fork onto the table. "Ungh. Eat. *grunt* … *grunt-snort* Food. …. Ooog." His expression takes on a blank, unintelligent look, and in-between his grunted words he leaves his jaw slack, mouth hanging open. "In fact," he says, quirking a brow. "Ka'el may not be a fitting name. You may call me .. Grunt." Much better! His grin is crooked and playful, though it begins to slip as dragon talk continues. He pauses for a moment, listening. The barely there melody still plays in the back of his mind, marking Kanekith as still asleep. "Isyriath sounds like Xeosoth," he notes. "Kanekith and Kalsuoth argued a sevenday ago. Kanekith was angry, but Xeosoth got between the two of them. I think he tried to calm them down." Calm Kanekith down, more correctly. He glances to his food at her latter question, brows furrowing in thought. "Yeah… I think I'm alright. It's difficult with Mur'dah, mostly. I feel angry with him, or annoyed, or whatever for no reason. I know it's Kane, but I'm handling it."

"Okay, Ka'el the Barbarian," Marel agrees, making over the top, mock 'calm down' gestures in his direction. "Otherwise known as Grunt. I know it'll be a while before we civilise you, but do try to control yourself," she pleads, unable to suppress the smirk that breaks through any chance she had of delivering her words deadpan. "Well… Mur'dah is my brother and I love him, don't get me wrong," she begins, "but… he often leaps before looking, you know? It can be easy to get irritated with him sometimes, so maybe don't put it all on Kanekith? Because it sounds like that could make things worse." When she reaches across the table this time, she means to gently touch fingertips to the back of Ka'el's hand, there and gone in a moment. "We - me and Isyriath - would be happy to hang out with you guys more. It's not like I'm going to stop being your friend because Kanekith argues or something, you know that?"

And like that, Ka'el's alter ego is born. It likely won't be surprising for Marel to get a random grunt or other random prehistoric sound in passing from henceforth during weyrling duties! But for now, his caveman self is set aside to make room for intelligent conversation and contemplation over breakfast. "I'm findin' that to be the hardest thing sometimes," he admits. "Figuring which feelings are mine, which are his, and which are both. When he's angry, I'm angry, and I wonder if I'm angry because he is, or if it's just easier for me to admit to feeling certain ways now with him." He smirks a little. "I wonder if there's a lesson on that, or if that's something we're supposed to figure out on our own. Mur'dah is my friend, that much I know. How much he'll want to be after a while…" His eyes lower at that graze to his hand, the edges of his mouth curving up slightly after. "I worry about that. Kanekith pushes them away so much I worry that I'll do the same with you all. I don't want to," he assures. "A dragon like Isyriath might be helpful. And I need you to hang out with us more anyway, if I'm ever to learn civilized behavior, after all," said with a grin.

"You might… want to explain that to Mur'dah, maybe?" Marel suggests, none too sure of whether it really is the right thing to do. "Or do boys not really do that? It might… just be better for him - and anyone else - to know now rather than wonder what they did wrong? And for you not to wonder if you did something wrong." She's managed to make her way through most of her plate by now and sits mopping up pastry flakes little by little. "I don't know that I'm going to make it through all this without falling all over myself, but I don't want to carry any regrets around with me. Not anymore," she quietly admits. "I want to be able to look everyone in the eye when our dragons are grown-up, whether we've all broken down and yelled at each other or not. We're all… learning. I don't know that any of us have the right to judge anyone else right now."

"Do what? Talk with one another about emotions and what they feel deep down inside?" Ka'el asks as he fists a hand over his chest, clutching at the fabric of his shirt. "Not particularly, no," he answers, sounding amused. "Not that isn't a grand concept I suppose. But normally, we tend to let things sit and fester and eventually it'll work itself out. And if it doesn't, then it's never spoken of again and we can pretend it has worked itself out. A foolproof plan, centuries in the making." The rest of his klah is drained and his mug is set down and slightly pushed away from himself. "I believe that in the end, you'll be the most ready of all of us. I don't know why," he admits with a vague tilt of his head, "so don't ask me, but I've…a feeling. A feeling that all've what you set to accomplish for yourself, you'll achieve. That, or you'll be pretty damn close." His grin returns now. "I'm happy we've Impressed in the same class."

"Oh, to be a boy," Marel sighs in a sing-song voice, shaking her head a little, though her gaze still harbours that touch of affection for those involved. "I'll expect a massive, all-out brawl when you're about thirty, okay? I'm sure you'll get it out of your systems them. I'll make a note in my diary," she teases dryly. "Now that I know that's the manly way to do it." She shrugs a tiny bit awkwardly in a manner faintly reminiscent of Isyriath lingering hesitantly at the edge of a group of his peers. "I don't know that I'd say that," is her only protest. "Maybe it's that I found the dragon who's easiest to get along with? For me, anyway. Who knows what we'd all be like, if, say, I'd Impressed Kalsuoth and Tahryth had found you?" But she can grin, as he does, and express the same: "Me too. We're stuck with each other now, huh?"

"Nah. It'll be closer to thirty-five, I think," muses Ka'el. "And now that I know that you keep a diary, I'll make it a point to search for it whenever you're off doing chores. I hear they're interesting reads." A playfully devious look claims his face now as he slightly leans forward across the table to properly give her an 'I'm going to find that diary!' look. But that expression is replaced by another at the mentioning of impressing a green. His eyes squint and face twists in dislike. "No thank you," he says with a shudder. "If that was the case you'd never see me again, for I'd find the deepest, darkest cave to bury myself in!" he laughs, gradually leaning back. "Stuck with each other, huh? Nah, I'd say 'Now you have the utmost pleasure to spend the next turn and a half to two turns in my presence'. By graduation, we'll all know more about one another than we ever wished to know. Already I've learned that you've a tendency to snore when you sleep," he teases. "Never would've known that otherwise."

"Who said I that I keep it in the barracks?" Marel fires back, likewise leaning across the table to meet him, brows lifting in challenge. "Maybe you have one. Maybe it's got little hearts and Mur'dah's name written all over it." She has to laugh at his reaction to the thought of Impressing a green, though she tries to inject a edge of chastisement to it. "Come on! Greens are adorable," she argues. "Not that I guess I thought I was meant for one either. I have brown and blue firelizards and a brown dragon; it's just me and the boys now." The pleased smile she sports for a fraction of a second soon fades in the wake of accusations of snoring, over-the-top outrage taking its place as she draws herself up. "I do not snore! You take that back!" she demands through another burst of laughter, about to launch further into that when she stops all of a sudden and stares off at the wall. "Oops. I woke Isyriath…" she utters. Marel pauses only to collect her plate and mug to stack them up for cleaning, oh, and of course to pass by Ka'el and murmur, in mock-threatening tones, "This is not over…" before she's headed back to the barracks to sort out her lifemate's breakfast.

"My diary is not littered with he-…" No, wait a second, what is he saying? Ka'el gives his head a brisk little shake. "I mean, I don't have a diary!" He has a notebook. Totally different! With important notes and such, not girly thoughts of who is the most handsome in the weyr, which he's sure is what her diary is filled with. Mission: Diary Find … is a go! He grins as she so quickly rises to her feet to defend herself and the claims of snoring, which he doesn't seem to be in any hurry to take back at all! But before he can protest…Isyriath's up! He nods knowingly, using the time that she's away cleaning up to check on his own lifemate. Nope. Still dreams of swirling dark colors and background music. He still has a few moments left to himself. A grin curves his lips as Marel returns, and her murmur is met with a look of challenge. "Oooga *grunt*" is all she gets in reply! He watches her go with a mirthful look, and still holding that grin, he settles to finish his breakfast.

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