One Smart Cookie

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office

Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the eastern wall, quite close to the southern end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the eastern wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis. The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The western wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the south side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

Winter grinds on, not even at the halfway point yet. The skies this morning are leaden-grey with spitting snow that drifts down intermittently. It's not enough to cover the dreary brown of dead grass or soften the harsh lines of the bare trees, no. While most of the snowflakes seem to evaporate midair or melt on the muddy ground, some are annoying enough to find their way down collars and into eyes. By now winter is beginning to affect the mood of the weyrfolk, which is not helped by the concern for their recovering retired Weyrwoman. But work must go on and thus the caverns are bustling. The office offers but a brief sanctuary from this, but every quiet moment snatched these days is to be savored and so Thea is doing just that, entering the room with a sigh, her relief palpable.

It's entirely possible that D'son is hiding from the weather by burying himself in work. There's folders and files piled high on his desk, the computer is on and he's going back and forth between it and some handwritten notes, lips moving as he tracks through things. As Thea enters, hazel eyes lift and he offers a smile to the Weyrwoman. "Hey. Miserable out there, huh?" And he lifts one folder. "I'm halfway through the minor complaints."

Thea has taken a moment to lean against the door she's shut with the back of her foot - as if she could keep it so and thus bar the office from a stream of visitors asking for this and that all morning. "How… did she do it?" The Weyrwoman's at a loss, that much is clear. She's got a huge pitcher of klah in one hand, two mugs dangling from the fingers curled 'round the handle, balancing a platter of fancy cookies in the other. "Trying to get out of there was…" Well it was a challenge if her expression is anything to go by. "And Cook tried to send these with two assistants who peppered me with questions all the way up the hall. I-" She laughs shortly, "I finally just took the stuff and dismissed them."

"Delegation," D'son says with a laugh and leans up in his chair a little, eyeing those cookies with keen interest. "Share?" he suggests with a batting of his eyelashes and puts the folder down again, then leans his head in his hand to massage at one eyesocket. "I think I should probably give the computer a rest for a bit. I've been staring at it for a while. Do you want me to start walking around being scary so the staff leaves you alone a bit more?" he adds teasingly.

Plaintively, "Can I delegate a target person to walk through the Weyr for all the folks with questions?" Thea's hardly serious, a sheepish grin follows that turns sly as she steps towards his desk, drawling, "Oh these are allllll yours. One of the bakers made that obvious, see that?" On the tops of the cookies on that tray 'D'son' is curliqued in fancy writing on nearly every one. When she sets the heavy klah pitcher down carefully on the surface, taking pains to avoid his folder, it's only to find that her fingers have cramped around the handle. With a look of disbelief at her hand she mutters, "See, this is a hazard of letting people waylay me in the hall."

"Actually … sort of yeah, I mean, you can share with the juniors, right?" D'son says, brows lifting a little. "Remember the things you used to do for Niva?" Craning his neck to see, D'son blinks a couple of times, then starts laughing. "Um … wow." He starts to reach for a cookie, but steers his hand toward Thea's instead, meaning to massage the kinks out of her fingers. "Shells, Thea. And it hasn't even been that long since the flight. What're we going to do with you if you're letting klah pitchers cramp your fingers already?" he teases a little.

Thea's slightly incredulous. With a little head-jerk in the general direction of the Junior's office, "Do you know how weird it is to tell the others what to do after all these turns of being the gopher in there?" With D'son's help, she's able to let go of the handle after a moment, having slid that tray onto the desk and catches the cups with her other hand, snickering at his tease. She comes back with, "Yes, well before they knew I was the gopher and didn't try to stop me!" Hands free, she pours two cups, sinks into a chair by his desk and ponders those cookies. With a smirk, "I'll have to find out her name."

"You'll get there," D'son says quietly, hand sliding away from Thea's as her fingers unkink to reach for a cookie. He eyes the sweet treat with his name written on it in frosting with a slightly sheepish and amused expression, then shrugs and takes a bite, his other hand sneaking out to catch up his mug of klah. "The cook?" Dels mumbles around a mouthful of cookie.

While pouring cream and adding sweetner Thea appears to give delegating some thought, a half-smile flickers on her mouth, "Guess I'm going to have to, huh?" Not like she has a choice in the matter. After stirring her klah, she sips, pleased with the mixture and finally settles back against the chair. "No, the baker's. She has a good hand." Obviously, if she could write icing letters that nicely. "Oh. Forgot." She's up and trotting over to her desk with mug in hand, snags a slip of paper off of it and returns to sit once more while extending the note to him. On it are the names of their three Assistant Weyrlingmasters.

"Yeah," D'son answers, grinning back at Thea. "You will. Probably should you know, start drawing that line," he adds mildly. "So they get used to the idea of you in charge sooner rather than later." He leans back as well, pops the rest of the cookie into his mouth and draws his mug in close to his chest, fingers seemingly eager for the warmth. "Right," Dels says about the cook/baker issue. "Duty never sleeps," he jokes as he's handed that slip of paper and takes it to peruse. "Thinking about staff changes?" he asks, looking back up at Thea.

Thea releases that slip of paper and leans back into her chair lost in the cloudy swirl of her klah for a few seconds before she muses aloud, "Think Holder's Daughter again, hmm? Shells it's been so long!" Blinking back up to D'son, she shakes her head. "Changes? Nooo, but you might want to." With a nod towards that paper slip she asks, "They'd fall under your authority, right?" She blows on her klah, sips and notes in a 'you-already-know-this right?' sort of way, "N'shen is V'dim's assistant." She waits for him to respond, then continues, "He says he saw very little of them with the Weyrlings last cycle. He thinks they just…" She shrugs because she really doesn't know.

"Pretty much," D'son says with a little nod. "Though more Weyr ideas than Hold ones," he notes with a little grin that slowly fades as Thea mentions the traditional division of authority. "This is a partnership, isn't it Thea?" The rest of what he says though sobers his expression. "Hm. Something to look into at least."

Thea smiles around her cup as she's sipping, lowers it a bit to say, "I'll have to get creative then, though. Much of what I do around here could apply to a hold." Is that a tinge of rebellion that colors that observation? It is! But surprise chases it away after that question and she's trying not to look confused. Absently she lowers that mug to her lap blinking at him, "Yes? It is. I thought…" She trails off, drops her head to focus on her klah. Slowly, "I… don't ever want to disrespect my Weyrleader by… " Flashing him a look, she shrugs finishes miserably, "You know, never letting you do anything."

Briefly, humor quirks D'son's mouth, then he sighs softly and takes another long drink from his mug before putting it down. One hand lifts absently to push his hair out of his eyes and he looks up and across at Thea steadily. "It's not disrespect to have an opinion and share it. And I guess …well I just don't really see things being divided /that/ sharply. You're not just the Weyrwoman, you're a rider too and the decisions I make about some things affect you. It's all intertwined," D'son says earnestly and his hands lift, fingers threading together in demonstration.

Thea nods steadily through the explanation, though there's a sparkle that flares in her ice green eyes towards the end there. "I have an opinion," she assures him. "But I thought you were assuming I'd just made up my mind to take care of it my way-" She bites this off with a guilty look, shakes her head quickly. Don't ask her to finish that. Leaning forward, her manner brisk, "V'dim is old and has AWLMs for a reason. If they're not pulling their weight, then absolutely I'd re-assign them! And find some younger riders who are interested in the chance to shape our young riders."

Looking a bit puzzled, D'son shakes his head. "I'm not sure I followed that, but no, I wasn't assuming. I mean, it's the kind of thing I'd expect to talk over with you." Deep breath. "So you wouldn't agree that maybe a blend of experienced and less experienced would be a good idea?" D'son asks thoughtfully, head tilting to the side a little, arms dropping down to the chair's arms.

Thea looks like she's trying not to be frustrated. Finally she just blurts out her concern, "Stepping into someone else's shoes is not easy. I'm just… finding my way. It's a big change from 'yes ma'am' to where I am. The idea of being asked an opinion is-" Well it's new to her. She too takes a deep breath, considers the question. "V'dim is experienced. But most of our Weyrlings are in their teens. The AWLMs are almost all in their forties. I've seen how they relax around N'shen. They can relate to his struggles to adjust. They listen to him."

Startling a little as Thea blurts out so, D'son blinks at her a few times. "Okay … well um, something else to get used to?" he says and his hand lifts to rub across his chin, then around to the back of his neck. "Sure, but I think kids that age need adults around too. And not just the Weyrlingmaster. So if we want to change things up, maybe it'd be a better idea to mix up the ages a bit. It'd also depend on who's interested."

For Startling D'son, "Sorry." Thea smiles a bit sheepishly, relaxing back into the chair. "I guess I just don't want to mess up, but I may as well accept that I'm going to from time to time." Sipping as he talks, she finally nods reluctantly. "A mix then. And I understand interest is key. How about…" she hesitates, then suggests, "we get to the bottom of just why they've not been around? We could talk to V'dim and find out what's going on. There may be some things N'shen isn't privy to. The slackers we deal with, the rest stay."

"It's okay. Just didn't expect that to get under your skin!" Dels says and picks up his klah mug, has some more of the hot beverage, seizes another cookie for good measure. "That sounds like a good way to go. I mean, V'dim's been Weyrlingmaster for a long time, his opinion counts too."

Thea grins wryly, "I didn't either. I've been a wee bit frustrated for some time now, D'son. Now I can do things differently… and it'll be okay if I do." As if she's just realizing this, the look she's giving him is rather dazed. Refocusing on the topic on hand, "He'll at least be able to tell us whether they've been off doing one on one lessons or something." It's inevitable that the quiet is interrupted by knocking on that door. It's been all of 20 minutes? Why, that's an eternity.

"Yeah, it will be," D'son agrees. "I mean, there's never just one way to do things, right?" He takes another deep breath, then applies himself to dunking cookie into klah and munches with good appetite. The knock on the door earns a sidelong look and Dels hastens to finish off his snack, brushes crumbs from his fingers and strives to look 'Weyrleaderly'.

Thea's smile back is one of her radiant ones, the rare ones that emerge when her troubled thoughts get sorted out. "Right," she says, rising from that chair and heading for her desk before calling out, "Come in!" The rest of the day is certain to be a whirlwind of problems to sort, questions to answer, papers to sign, appointments to meet… things the weyr seems to have been saving for a day like this when they can't be out and about. Spring… where are you?

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