Flowers for Lorena

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

Notice the radius around N'kor? Notice how the other riders of the Weyr are ensuring they don't get close just incase the illness /can/ spread via human contact? Well, the red-head that has recently secluded himself outside of Weyrlingmaster duties has done so for this reason as he sits at a table, slurping up the remains of a bowl of soup. The living cavern is some what busy, but enough to create that radius, or make it at least apparent that folks are avoiding him for the fact that they know of his current mood. Having a dragon sick is probably the worst thing that could happen to a dragonrider, because dragons just don't get /sick/ … At any rate, he's not paying attention, he merely gnaws on the bun he's got left while scooping any soup onto his spoon.

Radii can be made with things other than myserious illnesses. Indeed anger can create a wave enough to keep folks clear, and that's exactly what is happening as a lean female brownrider stalks in. It's almost as if Lorena bears some sort of bubble force field as she moves through the crowd. And with the expression on her face, it's no wonder. Her head darts this way and that looking for -someone-. A foolish greenrider tries to approach her, recognizing T'eo's younger sister and assuming it is for him she has come, but she glares at him with such ferocity, he backtracks and infact vacates the premises with a mutter of "somethin'… outside… yeah" At last… she spots him. "You!" Comes her cry and she brandishes a rather bedraggled looking bouquet of what were likely once very lovely flowers at him. These, naturally, had gone unnoticed in the wake of her anger. She marches towards N'kor at once and slaps the flowers down on the table, fire in her eyes. "You think one bouquet of FLOWERS will make up for all you put me through???" She bellows. If someone wasn't noticing her entrance originally, they would now.

The nonchalant easy going business of the red-head continues as his back is pretty much turned to the entrance of the living cavern, not that he would be paying attention if he had sat the other direction. It's mostly because of the reports he's reading on the status of dragons at Ista. A man whose fearful of losing his dragon would in fact go to certain lengths to find out how much time he's got left, or at least see if any dragons have in fact betweened due to the sickness. Either way, the papers on his lap shuffle a bit as he spoons another mouthful of wherry-soup into his mouth. Quietly aware of the noise following the wake of the furious brownrider, he keeps his eyes down, assuming he wouldn't be seen - as first instincts tell him it was that horrid goldrider about to mock him again. And then, soup splashes up into his face and shirt as part of the beraggled flowers flops directly into the bowl. The man regards this for a minute, takes a second to
absorb the information thrust his way and sits calmly back in his chair, wiping the soup clean of his face. "Obviously it didn't work?" He scoffs at her, picking out the withered flowers from his bowl of soup with pinched fingers.

Lorena looks wrongfooted for half a moment before folding her arms over her chest and glaring. The problem with Lorena trying to act like any other woman in Pern is that she, well, isn't. Too tomboyish, she has a hard time with the manipulative capabilities more feminine women have mastered. "Clearly." She says acidly, but casts the flowers a sidelong look, her brow creasing ever so slightly. She hadn't known for certain he'd sent them, and now that she did… did she feel bad? They certainly looked sad, held limp and dripping with soup. "What did you expect?" She tries again with a harder tone, looking him square in the eye once more. "Does it work for all your gold-flings?"

The man leans forward to look into the soup bowl, prying out leaves and petals that have detached from the remains of the flowers, shaking his fingers dry after fishing out all the foreign bodies. It's then, after he shakes the last bit of soup from his fingertips that his eyes crawl upward, actually looking at the woman. How long has it been, since he had seen the woman in which he abandoned for another? How long has it been since he'd actually seen her this close and was forced to remember the first day that he saw her? Well, the fact was he was staring at her, viewing her furious allure as his mind tried to answer these, carrying his familiar studious gaze as he watches her. Lips thin as he contemplates the woman, having to turn his eyes away from him moments later, finding his eyes on the pathetic looking flowers again. Keeping his eyes there, he shuffles his papers aside so they don't get damaged, especially if she decides to throw something in his
face - like his soup. "Gold-flings?" he reiterates, sighing, "honestly, flowers don't work. But stripping on a table seems too…" he cants his head, flickering his eyes up at her again, muscles tensing as he prepares to move if he has to, "I'd expect them to work by ensuring you'd be mad enough to hunt me down " he lifts his brows, "that's if, I did send them." Letting that sink in, he murmurs, "Though I thank the bloke who did send them to you… Lorena…" he starts, "I …" he shakes his head with a sigh and drops his chin, unable to keep his gaze on her.

Lorena might be getting a little self conscious now as her anger, far too short and firey as her brothers, begins to ebb. He's staring at her… so is everyone else… But as he shuffles the papers, his comment about stripping gets a nostril flare. "Oh real-" But he continues, and she finds her face flushing with some strange mix of emotion she just can't peg. Her mouth opens a moment but no sensicle words come to her. Loyauth tries to help, but it only adds to her confusion. She makes a few frustrated noises looking from him to the souped flowers, the papers, the ceiling… then back to him "Www…wait… you… you didn't send them… then?" But confusion has killed most of her anger. "You… but… wha-" And without thinking, possibly with her brown's mental nudge: "Well, why not!?" But as soon as she says it she flushes scarlet and claps a hand over her mouth. She's afraid to say anymore, however. Her bright eyes well with fear and frustration that pulls at her brows as she fights the urge not to turn and run.

The bronzerider watches her reactions to everything, noticing the confusion and showing a little twinge of regret on his own expression for this. The outburst from her has him lowering his chin, apparently torn by words, whether or not they are in fact hers or Loyauth's. Abruptly, he finds an answer, his eyes shooting back up toward her, "Because I knew you'd react this way and come charging in throwing things. What I did, what I didn't do… what I should've done…" she shakes his head, pushing his chair so it slides and scrapes against the floor proper, creeking as he stands up, "It would all cause this reaction…" he intones carefully, "I thought it best that I do nothing, that… you forget me because I never deserved you in the first place…" He begins, "You didn't know me.. You still don't really know me. You see someone you want me to be.. A man that maybe I'm not." She did find him after all, alone on some High Reachian road, scowering the
landscapes - how much did she truly know and understand about the man beyond the charm and wit? Taking a steadying breath, he frowns at her, "And I never knew you well enough… Candidacy.. Weyrlinghood… these got in the way.. Then that harper came along and distracted me from …" he doesn't say it, muttering, "and by then, it was too late. I'd already fancied off with Farris and you'd already caught wind of it.." He shrugs, "There wasn't any reason to believe I could fix what I had broken."

Lorena is again torn. Admittedly the truth in his words was now an oozing mess on the table much to her chagrin. But, no, he's right. Forget him. She'd been doing that right? She sets her jaw, lifting her gaze which had subconsciously gone to the flowers, and staring him in the eye once more. As he enlightens her she finds herself back in another storm of battling emotion which might very clearly show on her face- glistening eyes, the occasional furrowed brow, and at 'harper'… she looks down at the soupy flowers almost viciously. There's a long pause where she musters up the courage to ask what has been bothering her for turns now. She raises her eyes, tears starting to leak to her lashes which she bats furiously. "Was it worth it, Nalk?" Her voice cracks a little and she looks furious with herself. As if to make up for the weakness: "I dare say she probably -sounded- better in bed."

Feeling the eyes on his back, he does not remove his eyes to check if in fact the attention of those in the living cavern are still on them, because he most certainly knows that it is. Standing straight with his hands limp at his sides, he watches her face, noticing her glistening eyes and the way she reacts to the news of him calling Farris 'the harper' … as if to seperate himself from her as well. Yet, as she looks down, he looks up, closing his eyes as if to help him forget the reason that he cared for Lorena in the first place. Fingers tremble just slightly and he hides it in his pocket as he abruptly stuffs the one hand inside, turning his gaze back down on her… watching her tears filling her eyes, his own face scrunching with the indecision of leaping over the table to comfort her and tell her everything was alright and the fact that some where in the Weyr was a weyrwoman who looked for his loyalty. Such a hard concept for a bronzerider, perhaps even for a man. Her question is answered with a head shake and a croaky voice, "Probably not… but I have at least found an ounce of purpose here in Western being their Weyrlingmaster…" He closes his eyes as he shoots his gaze away from her at her last, avoiding that answer with all his might.

Lorena isn't without her perception, even as a more rough around the edges. She watches him, face still painted with defiance. "Well, it's true you wouldn't know, would you. Silly of me for asking." But there's not as much callousness to it. But about being Weyrlingmaster… she had no words. Well, that wasn't entirely true, she had words and they were stupid and sappy and sympathized with by Loyauth, but unspoken. Infact the idea makes her eyes burn with tears again… but frustrated ones. "I suppose that's all we're fit for. Be an example of what -not- to do." She mutters, and then… as if she's given up, she pulls out a chair and sits down, lacing her fingers through her hair with her elbows on the table. "Like me…. coming here without thinking… when I'm putting our weyr in danger by going back." Naturally she didn't even know N'kor's bronze was 'infected' but Xanadu's Pern-wide ban was heard of enough.

N'kor remains standing, watching her reactions quietly with perhaps the rest of Western, fully intending to have a bowl of soup flung at him, or end up being attacked physically like the 'harper' had done.. Either way, women were vicious when it came to them being cheated out of something they believed in and loved. Shoulders slump a little as he runs a hand through his hair, scrubbing the back of his head as he rolls his neck from side to side, trying to work free the tension. Until she sits down and mutters her last, he flinches, "You shouldn't even be near me. Nasrinth is sick…" the worry in his tone is evident, but the focus was on her and the reason why she was tearing up, "Look… I'm.. really bad with … with all this. Relationships… women…It's so complicated all the time and it just makes me wish it were some how more simple.. more basic.. More.. open…" He spreads his one hand in a hapless gesture, "I'm dating.. but it's still complicated…"

Lorena looks up at him at the mention of Nasrinth. "Well, that's the end of my job." She mutters, leaning back to better look up at him. Her eyes are still overbright and her lashes glisten, but she narrows her eyes at him as he continues. "You know, Nalk, if -you- were more open maybe it would have been- ah… could be." She corrects. She folds her arms over her chest once more and looks back at the flowers on the table. "Tell me the worst, she some greenrider-no… you'd have a hard time with them. Lets see, blue and brown are beneath your care… maybe a non-rider then? I guess not having another mind in the mix would help." Mur? -No Loy, I wouldn't trade you for his love. You know that.- But as her eyes refocus she looks up at him with a grimace, bracing herself.

N'kor seems to cringe as he pulls his face away from her immediate gaze, open… Hah. Him? He's never worn his heart on his sleeve. The closest he's come to instances such are times like these, but even then, his body language is closed, as arms cross and his face turns away. "I can't help what happened…" he does mutters, "perhaps I could've handled it better, but, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision that lead me to distraction." He sighs loudly through his nostrils, eyes flicking back to her to catch a look in her face, "Your brother is right… I'd let him throw me to the ground and punch the snot out of me if that would make you feel any better about this. But what you brother says is right. I'm just another bronze-rider." Closed sleeve - placing blame on what tradition thinks of bronzeriders. And at her last, he heaves quietly, "Rea."

Lorena raises her brows at what he says about T'eo, but suddenly her face goes ridgid. "You're kidding?" But it's actually a question, almost a pleading question at that. A silly bluerider she could compare to but… "the Weyrwoman!?" She squeaks, and all defeated brooding falls apart. Tears come quickly, too quickly for her to hold back. But she just stares at him, as if he'd done it all over again. Somewhere in the back of her mind the slight satisfaction that T'eo might now actually beat the snot out of him for this glimmers and then fades with the rest of her self control. So much, too much, was going through her mind right now. So she wasn't good enough then. Really truely wasn't. Wasn't worth the flowers, wasn't worth coming after, wasn't worth fixing anything, or even ever trying. And this? Well, how could she compare to that? Outside the loud sad croon of Loyauth wakes a few napping in the bowl. Oh Lory, come outside with me. But she really at
this point is transfixed, as if wanting him to correct her and tell her she'd heard wrong… like with the flowers.

The reaction… it wasn't what he was expecting. He was some how hoping that if she heard he was just another gold-chasing bronze-rider that she'd some how be alright with that and get over it. He some how thought that as soon as she'd found out, she'd be angry but chalk it down to being typical… This reaction, it makes him jolt. Glares are sent his way from people who've been listening and watching, as if he was the bad-guy… and in this, he was. Some how, when he was a vintner, travelling from Hold to Hold, playing with the 'skirts' was a lot easier. He never felt bad. But now. He felt bad. In this, some of his heart shows on his sleeve - the regret, mostly. He flinches forward, a hand outstretched before he pulls it back, glancing away from her streaming tears. Abruptly a decision is made. He makes to her side of the table, snatching up the ragged flowers… pulling from it the one that seems the least undamaged and without any soup on it. Tossing
the rest back on the table, he reaches out for Lorena, kneeling down beside her, silently putting the flower on her lap…. The silence carries for what seems like an eternity, "What would you have me do?" he'll even attempt to brush away some of her tears if she doesn't punch him in the face first.

Lorena actually is so far gone she doesn't notice anything but the immediate vicinity. She looks at his hand in the instant it starts towards him before flickering back to him. Then… the flowers. Her flowers. Someone gave her those flowers and it wasn't him. She watches in a daze, following the flower with her eyes like a canine would a treat before it lands in her lap. She just stares at it… through the silence. When he speaks she shivers a little, as if yelled at. At last she reached down and picks up the flower, giving a mighty a well needed sniff as she gazes at it. "I don't know." She whimpers, sounding childlike. Beyond them the distress of the small brown is starting to become more apparent. Riders of dragons in the bowl are clearly sensing this, casting irritated glances at the pair. "I don't… I don't know, Nalkor, I…." She sniffs again and twists the flower in her fingers. "I wanted you to come after me… come back and apologize and stay with me… even just for a while and then we'd… we'd go somewhere else maybe but you… didn't. You didn't even want me back and now you want something… someone… I can't ever be that. I can't be that, Nalk, I'm Loyauth's. I can't be a… a… I didn't know you would want… that." She looks at the flower a long time and then, carefully as if scared, at him.

His hand slides away from her and he looks totally ridiculous on the floor. T'eo was right… Maybe one day he'd realize what kind of fool he was and it'd be too late. It was already too late. Stiffly, he gathers himself up, pushing one hand down against the ground to hoist himself back up. He reaches over to finger the flowers… There was someone who was trying to catch her attention. There was hope. Then, for him, he shakes his head, "I can't look at myself … and feel proud of what I've done…" He murmurs, "I have regrets Lor…" There is more silence from him as his face appears to be as close to cracking as it has ever been before. He has avoided her because of this. Avoided her because … well, at her words, he knows it's done with. "I'm sorry… I'm just, lost." A grimace as his heart beats loudly on his wrist and it's then that he starts to walk away, steeling himself once again with an emotionless mask as he means to abandon her again.

Lorena loses herself a moment, "Nalk!" It's a very pleading cry echoed by Loyauth's trumpet, as if trying to appeal to Nasrinth. But Lorena shakes her head at her dragon and doesn't try again to repeat it. She stares brokenly after him. "I forgave you… you stupid lug." She sighs. "Just wanted to hear you were sorry." but not enough, apparently. She stands, holding the flower limply but firmly, and heads for the bowl. Xanadu won't see her back that evening, or the next, or the next.

The man pauses, looking back over his shoulder as the crowds watch. Though that was the most he could do, for he couldn't watch her cry anymore. Yet, as he passed by some of the tables, he quickly lost his temper (which never happened before) and struck out at something - which happened to be someone's glass. He sort of back hands it hard enough to send it flying and smashing against the floor….before he disappears at a job up the stairs.

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