Basket Cases

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrsecond and Jr Weyrwomans' Office
Office or study? Perhaps this room is a little of both. It is spacious and airy with the big windows opposite the door looking northwards, a perfect aspect when one is this far south. Those windows are framed by dark forest green drapes, soft ribbons and braid in dark, rich gold sewn along the edges to give them a sumptuous look. The back wall is covered by shelves that hold a variety of things - mostly records and reference material as well as writing tools and sheets of hide and paper. Tapestries, including several lovely scenes of the terrain around Xanadu Weyr, cover the rest of the wall-space while a soft, plain off-white rug hides the stone floor. A small, low table sits by the door and usually has some refreshment set out on it.
Several broad desks are arranged around the room, each one set so someone sitting at it doesn't look directly at any of the others. Small screens can be set up on each desk to give a little more privacy and each has one comfortable chair that goes with it. So far, it looks like one desk has a permanent claimant. There are also several other chairs, which can be used by visitors.//

It's not terribly often that the Weyrleader is seen in the Jr. Weyrwoman's offices because … well .. he's the Weyrleader. Not a Jr. Weyrwoman. Even his meetings with the Weyrsecond, who also has a desk here, don't happen too often in this space. So, why is he here now, in the middle of a workday? Why else? Soriana's here! And lately it's been's common to see him near wherever she may be while at work, as long as he's not holded up in a meeting or something. He'll randomly check in, like he's doing now. Sometimes he'll bring something, like the bowl of mixed fruit he snagged from the kitchens he's brought with him now and left on her desk (whether she wants it or not). He'll also try to bring something to Sorrin (To get on her good side?) even if the more senior Junior is often busy with something outside of the office. It's a lovely day outside! It's somewhere between chilly and warm. That inbetween springtime temperature that may be cause for a light jacket in the shade that can be ditched when in the sunlight. Ka'el stands by the windows that look out to an early spring scene that is Xanadu, peering thoughtfully at its frame. "Do these open?" he asks Sori, leaning closer to the glass. "These ought to open. You should have these windows open a bit. Get some air circulating in here." Uh, circulating? Who has he been talking to?

Soriana has fruit! See? SEE? She's eating! She's had an entire… half-strawberry. And two grapes. Two of them! Part of this balanced diet. To go with it, she's got her usual mug of… … …tea. Not klah. Tea. This one smells of cinnamon and nutmeg! …it's not bad, admittedly. Sort of warm and snuggly, even though it's not klah. Still, it's eminently drinkable, and Soriana takes another sip before looking to Ka'el as he inspects her windows. Well, her office's windows. Close enough. "…the bottoms do," she says. "But there's plenty of air in here." Oh, but is it circulating? That's the question, and one that… the Steward could probably answer in at least three paragraphs. "It'll be fine." She glances down to the paperwork in front of her, sighs, then looks back up to Ka'el to see what he's done to her windows and if the paperwork's going to blow away as a result.

A girl on a mission! That's Kera right now. Spring is exploding outside, her dragonmate is well tended and currently draped across a portion of the grassy meadow. Since the delivery she has been waiting for arrived a couple candlemarks ago, the weyrling has been in search of her two friends. Not finding them, she heads to the first place she probably should have checked. The BIG offices. Pleasant nods and greetings are offered to those she passes on her way though the caverns and up to the admin hallway with her present clutched securely to her with one arm. A nice sized picnic basket with a eye-catching pink and blue bow fluttering on top of the handle. "Phhftfft." might be heard from her as she blows the twitching ends of the ribbon from her face. Eyeing the Stewards door, she unconciously lightens her step and seems to try sneaking by unseen. Looking ahead, the door she wants comes into view. Muffled voices get a smile from the greenling as she hitches the picnic basket higher on her hip and knocks on the cracked door, it swings open a little with each knock. Peeking in a bit she sees both her targets and smiles "G'evening you two, may I come in a moment?"

Ooh, so they do open! Ka'el 'hehs' triumphantly at the news, giving those windows the evil eye. Soooo, you thought you could deceive him, did you windows? Well! You've been thwarted! Your evil plan to keep the stale air inside is no more! "You need fresh air," says he, because he's apparently a learned expert on air and its freshness. The air in here has obviously failed his test, thus he bends to yank on the window, getting it to crack open just a bit. The breeze that filters in is crisp and cool (and indeed…fresh). And he takes a step back from the window and continues to eye it, waiting and feeling the breeze. Too much? Too little? "The air in here is old," he says in a knowing sort of way, glancing over at her. "It's getting warmer now. It'd probably be good to open these once in a while. The admin wing smells like old uncles. And old books." See? It's not just .. er, it's not //for/ her benefit at all. It's spring cleaning! ..Or so he says. He's stepping forward to make another window adjustment when Kera's knock turns his attention. He looks that way and smiles when the greenling's face is seen through the cracked door. "Good day, Kera," he greets, not answering her question. This isn't his office, after all!

"Do I," Soriana says. Fresh air. Is that the latest thing she needs? Because there's so many. At least - when Ka'el is the one listing them - her tone is a bemused more than annoyed. Or maybe she's just gotten some extra patience because it was part of her mixed fruit bowl. There's none left in the bowl, because (clearly) she ate all the patience-fruit already, so it's a part of her. Which is why she smirks to Ka'el as he fiddles with those windows. At least the other weyrwomen (junior editions) aren't here to also complain. "There's vents, you know." She waves a hand vaguely to one. "HVAC and… stuff." That's what it said on the doc about upgrading it that other time! And what it gets called when the heat or AC breaks. "Of course it smells like old books, what do you think we work with here?" Old books and new paperwork! The old uncles… uh… no comment. So very no comment. Oh hey look it's a distraction! Soriana turns to Kera, and gives her a wave. "Heya!" she says to the greenrider, then does an inviting gesture. "Sure, come on in." It is her office. So she can take guests! "What's up?"

Kera dips her head politely to Ka'el's greeting "Sir…ma'am." It wouldn't do to have other other big knots hear her not using respectful titles, particualrly in these hallways. Stepping inside once Soriana gestures her to do so, Kera nudges the door closed behind her with a foot and grins to both her friends. Her gaze darts around the office, taking everything in since she's never been in this office before. The picnic basket she carries is rather obvious as her feet shuffle closer to the Jr. Weyrwoman's desk. "I'm glad I caught you both, neither of you were in the places I already looked ya know." Well of coarse not, there are both here. A hint of a smirk is tossed to her friends as she focuses on the desk "Congratulations to both of you by the way." Setting the basket down on a spot clear enough to do so on Soriana's desk, she reaches up to untangle a few of the longers ribbon strands. "I put together a little basket of goodies for both of you."

A woven picnic basket, the reeds now cured to a pale tan color and reflective glints show that a clear varnish covers the outside. The gently curved top is fastened by oiled hide strips at a couple of points along one side. A sturdy wooden handle, stained a medium brown and vanished to protect the wood, is designed to pivot up and down to the left side of the basket. When the handle is up, little tabs near the hinge points gently pinch the basket closed securely. Perched on top of the handle is a frilly display of thin pale pink and blue ribbons are tied into a eye-catching bow, the curly ends fluttering in a breeze or jarring of the basket.

Inside a small cream colored blanket makes a soft and cozy little nest for the furry mass wiggling around inside. At first glance, it's hard to tell what the creature may be. A tiny paw sticking out here, a little pink nose and tongue sticking out there. Closer inspection shows not one, but two furry little tunnelcat kits. The smallest looks to be around three sevendays old while the larger of the pair is around four and a half sevendays old, a sure sign they are from two differant litters of kits. The pads of their back paws have been ink-stained that will wear off. One red and the other blue. The older kit is alert and starting to investigate while the smaller of the pair seems bleary eyed and just waking up.

There are vents, sure….vents filled with bacteria and dust and dirt and grime! So many hazards everywhere! Hazards that Ka'el is just starting to learn about. Why hasn't anyone ever told him about this before now? Don't worry, Sori. He's aware now, and he's going to keep the air from…uh…attacking you? >.> Hmmm. He'll have to work on that heroic tagline another time, though he does give a scrupulous look to those air vents before his attention is turned to the entering Kera. And her basket. Has she come bearing a picnic to go with that nibbled on fruit bowl? Meandering away from the windows (Thank goodness), he heads closer to Soriana's desk. They were being looked for? He smirks a little. "Sounds important if you went through all that trouble," he notes, giving Soriana a questioning look. What'd you do, huh? The congratulatory remark sweeps his attention back to her, and he lifts his brows. What'd /he/ do to be congratulated for? He can take a wild guess thought, and he grins. "Thank you.." he says, trying not to sound unsure but only half succeeding at that. Regardless, the basket is regarded with a curious look. Is it a basket of cakes? Cookies? … Cookies and cake? "I think we've unofficially started a basket collection," he says to Soriana, laughing a little and gesturing to the basket. Open it! Present time!

And Soriana thought Ka'el's protective tendencies were bad when he just defended her from winter chills and wandering bandit! But have no fear, now he… knows more to fear? And will do his very best to defend her from all of it. She eyes him as suspicion and bemusement dance across her face, but then - fortunately for them both - there's a distraction! A Kera, who came looking for them in many places. "Of course not," Soriana says with a crooked smile. "We were here." Or, well, she's probably been here the whole time Kera's been looking. Ka'el may have been off on other errands, like getting her that fruit and hearing about the horrors of dust and bacteria. Oh, and maybe some amount of weyrleading - somewhere in there - possibly. Soriana's eyes settle on that basket as it looms closer, carried by Kera. It certainly is full of… basket. "Uh," she says, then glances to Ka'el and hehs. "…better make it an official one?" she suggests to him, then looks back to Kera. "You didn't have to," she assures the weyrling before she even opens it and sees what's there. Also said before she opens it, "But thank you." Soriana gives one of those coils of ribbon a little tug. Hi ribbon. You're bouncy, aren't you? Okay, enough distractions. Time to see what's inside! So she opens it. There's no cake. There's… uh… fluff? Lots of fluff. Different colors of fluff? Fluff that… moves. Fluff that… *squeak!*

Kera nudges the basket a little closer to the center of the desk then gives the offices another once over before settling her attention on the fruit bearing plate and nodding approvingly at it. Ka'el's mention of importance is met with a grin "I thought it was important enough to hunt you down sooner rather than later in this case." Eyeing the paperwork scattered among Soriana's desk she amends her statement "A differant level of importance compared to duties no doubt, but I still thought this may be up there on the list somewhere." A little grin is flashed from Ka'el to Sori when an abundance of baskets is brought up. "Oh? People bringing you lunches to remind you to eat Sori?" Doubtful anyone brought the proud parents a basket 'quite' likes this one. Waving off the thanks and giving a self concious shrug, Kera quickly works to stifle a giggle when the basket squeaks at Soriana. Clearing her throat and leaning forward to peek in, she assumes a mock frown "Those are the fluffiest bubblies I've ever seen. I must speak with that baker about the freshness of their goods…"

"Basket collecting officially begins … now," says Ka'el who grins as he deems basket gathering season open! And just in time, too. They've already collected basket number two! And what a fine looking basket it is, actually. He notes that now that he really gets a good look at it, ribbon and all. And now Soriana is doing the honors of untying and opening, and Ka'el is watching and probably hoping for snacks. But .. snacks usually aren't fluffy, and that's all he'sseeing. A whole bunch of .. fluffy fluff! Hmmm. Maybe the chefs are trying something new? His eyes bounce to Kera at her quip, brow quirking and expression looking amused. "A little less flour, a little more…bubbly?" he says before peeking back at that basket, moving closer. Hhmmmm, bubblies don't squeak! Or have…random little furry legs sticking out of them. And bubblies definitely don't have eyes! Those aren't pies! Those are animals! (You can't fool him, see) Those are…miniature versions of an animal he's seen before, and his brows gently lift. Baby Inkfeet. .. Inkfoots? Little tunnelcats! "Hey, where did you find these little guys at?" he says, reaching out to touch a finger to the fluff, glancing to Soriana.

Lunch-baskets? "Not usually." Which is not to say they don't bring her lunch, sometimes, where they is… uh… clearly totally unrelated to the fact that Soriana eyes Ka'el for a moment. Also unrelated to the fact that she eats a piece of apple from that bowl of fruit. "Trays work better, anyway." If someone were to happen to bring her a lunch. Which, mind you, she doesn't need because she's eating just fine! But never mind that, there's a basket of… fluffy… fresh enough to squeak… baked go- nowait. Not actually pastries! Soriana peeks into the basket. It (or, rather, its contents) peek back. Eye to eye! Squeaker to squeakee! …yeah how about that. Bubbling and ready to… "Huh." That's right. Inkfeet! Inkblue and Inkpink. They're not only fluffy, they're warm, and little eyes blink as they try to focus on … the haaaand! Squeak! The kit scrabbles against the fluffy blanket, trying to turn and give chase… but falls down instead, and makes an indignant noise before attacking the blanket. Because… clearly it's the blanket's fault, not stumbly baby-paws. Soriana snickers, and reaches out to trail her fingers along the critter's back, safely away from baby-fierce jaws.

Kera chuckles, nodding agreeably to Ka'el. "You're probably right, too much flour." Her gaze goes back to the basket when the little kits starts doin those cute little antics. Not even trying to contain her amusement, she laughs frequently. "Oh well, short answer would be, my dad." The nerve of that blanket, attacking when a kit's back is turned, the nerve! "A longer one would be that thankfully Spring is in the air and my dad knew of a few litters." She looks between both Sori and Ka'el as she goes on, trying not to watch the toooo cute escapades of the tiny tunnelcats. "Dad said for me to tell you the littlest one was still being weaned but should have no trouble. And he'ld be glad see to any health issues they have even though his specialties are runners and herdbeasts." After a few seconds of giggling at the fluffy little squeakers, Kera turns her attention to watching Ka'el and Soriana. Nodding as the young weyrwoman pulls her fingers back quickly from tiny baby teeth. "Aye, that one nearly got me earlier."

Baby tunnelcats! … Ka'el is just as clueless as to the care of them as he is for baby humans. But… well, they're cute! Not that he'd say as much but… they are. And they're tunnelcats! Like Inkfoot was a tunnelcat, and thus he knows that Soriana at least know how to care for baby ones. Ka'el…will most definitely help! And hopefully not get bitten…too much. And so with lunch trays lingering in the back of his mind, he investigates the little bodies with a half grin and amused look as one of them seeks vengeance on the blanket. Gnar gnar! Gnash! He snickers, head faintly tipping to one side. "Sori's right, you didn't have to do this," he says with a small smirk. "But, thank you, and tell your da the same. It's what our weyr needs. The sound of claws running about in the middle of the night. Far better than the sound of ghosts," he says, lightly teasing. "..One is male and the other female?" he guesses, eyeing those ink stains on their paws. Red for girl, blue for boy right?

At least it's not twins! …uh, because they're different sizes. It's still two babies. But, tunnelcat babies! They're smaller than the human ones. So obviously they're easier. This is like… training wheels for babies. "I'm surprised her eyes are open," she says of the little tunnelcat, watching the sleepy kit a moment to make sure that they actually are. But yep, they do seem to be! And presumably Kera's Da knows more about tunnelcats than Sori-what-raised-one, and so these two are reasonably selected to be not too much trouble. Though Soriana does know enough to not get her fingers bit. It's a start! "If you've a female you've got to have a male," she says absently to Ka'el, then looks back up to Kera as her fingers linger amidst fluff. Squirmyfluff! The pitter-patter of little feet! Because… uh… "I wonder what Tor-" *pop!* "-al…" Soriana asked? The brown wings his way to the rim of the basket, perching on it as he peers in at the MiniInkfeet! Chirpchitter? They look like tunnelcat! But… these are not his tunnelcat! His tunnelcat was bigger than him. (Er… when he hatched, at least.) These are little. Chi…rp?

Kera shrugs to the insistance that she didn't 'have' to do anything. "I wanted to." She can't keep the smirk from her face "And I've always been able to get my way with dad." Another nod tips her head over the stained paws. "Yep, cute little male and female to start chittering and scuttering about your place. Figured ya may need the practice. You can even put tiny little diapers on them to start practicing for diaper duty when your little daughter comes along." This last bit to the Weyrleader of coarse. Oh yea, she's convinced a mini Sori will be giving the bronzer some greys hairs in a few turns. Leaning against the edge of the edge, her hand reaches to steady the basket when Toral arrives to inspect the make shift nest. "'ello there big guy." big compared to the little kits at least. Looking back to her friends, she goes on to tell them both. "He sent me a couple of documents about them. I'll bring them by later, didn't want the little ones to decide they were hungry too soon." she chuckles and continues "One was from one of his fellow crafters females, the other from a holder he knows."

"..You do?" questions Ka'el, sounding ..well, as if he didn't know that information about the female/male tunnelcat thing. "But Inkfoot.." Was a male. And she didn't say that if you have a male, you have to have a female! He quirks a brow, peering at the two little balls of fluff. The newest members of their household? It'd seem like it. Two tunnelcats. Three firelizards. And a baby. .. Yeah, they won't need any more anythings after this! Heh. Ka'el smirks, eyeing the little fuzzballs just as a firelizard makes his appearance. And pop! goes Toral. He laughs, shaking his head. "Of course.." he smirks, watching the brown's interaction with obvious interest. Will he like them? More importantly, will they not bite him?? "Hopefully, havin' tunnelcats isn't quite the same as havin'…er, children," he says with an amused look to Kera. But.. wait. What's that about diapers? He..hasn't thought about those. They stink, don't they? And… "Daughter?" Oh yes, he caught that, and he's not quite sure qhy his face slightlyflushes. Meh. It's hot in here! Good thing he opened that window, right? "Heh. I…what?" Yeah. Smooth Ka'el! "..So do these things have names?" Way to change the subject, Weyrleader.

Grey hairs are probably coming either way. If it's not his (and Soriana's) baby, it'll be the Weyr. Or maybe Kanekith, the bronze is sure to do something sooner or later that'll make his rider cringe. But for the moment, all is happy. Even the little fierce-tunnelcat seems kinda happy again, peering up at the brown firelizard with fearless curiosity. Is he going to bite Toral? …maybe. He's leaving that option open. Don't cross him, lizardbutt! You'll regret it if you do! Rawr! … Soriana grins a bit as she watches the interaction. It's… (take notes, she does know the word) …cute. Tunnelcat babies are, at least. Don't… ask her to generalize. Okay, so maybe she'll… sort of have to try, but… oh, not yet. First she has the fluffy version to pet. And… "We're not putting them in diapers." Because no. Scooping a litterbox, she can do. Changing diapers she… will… also have to try. But not for tunnelcats. She's not going that far. No way, no how. Also, the bit about daughter? Studiously ignoring that part. Ignore the part where her other hand - the one not petting tunnelcat babies - shifts a bit and rests against her stomach. Babies and… names? "…oh right." Babies - whether tunnelcat or human - need names.

Kera is quiet a few moments, listening to the bantering of the couple while they interact with their new little friends. Ka'el actually manages to spit out a whole sentance in all his little sputterings. Giving a mock disappointed look to Soriana. "Awww, but doesn't he need to practice changing diapers before the your little one comes?" An amused wink is given to her friends before shaking her head "Not til you both give them names. Eyeing the little feisty kit when it seems to be sizing up the lizard, "Watch out Toral, that one looks scrappy." With a sigh, she pushes off from the desk "Congratulations again to both of you. I'll get out of your hair before I'm late reporting for duties." Fluttering her fingers to her friends and cracking open the door. "I hope the both of you enjoy the rest of your day." Another wave and the weyrling hurries out before she's late.

Well that's a relief! Ka'el isn't sure just how they'd get tunnelcats into diapers, much less get them iut of them without being scratched and bitten. Human babies must be easier in that regard, yes? One….would hope so. While Toral makes friends with the squirmy blue-footed one, Ka'el has his eye on the red-footed female. Aw isn't she nice and quiet! … Maybe theirs will be too? Maybe these little tunnelcats are omens. Their future child will have the personality of one of these two! He scoffs at the mentioning of needing practice, "I…" Hm…wait.He doesn't know anything, so maybe he does need practice! "I'll manage without gettin' my fingers gnawed by tunnelcats, thank you," he retorts, an amused look sent to Kera. But the fact that the fuzzy ones don't have names returns his attention to them. "Easy," he says, pointing to the male. "Squirmer," he points to the female, "and Quiet. Tunnelcats, named." He said it was going to be easy! … Noone said anything about the names being good ones. As the Weyrling departs, Ka'el waves at her, giving her another word of thanks as she goes. He shakes his head in her wake and leans against her desk. "New tunnelcats… heh. I think I'll pass the word along that if anyone else is thinking of giving us gifts, we'd be happy with gift baskets of food." He smirks, gently nudging a finger against the little male's side. No nipping! "Wonder how Haruhi and Alloy will get along.." he muses before giving her a sidelong grin. "Come on. Let's take a long lunch and bring these guys home." Might as well get the entire family together, right? Let the chaos begin!

Making friends is an optimistic description of what Toral is doing with that little tunnelcat. The firelizard is chirping and looking at the tunnelcat. The tunnelcat is eyeing the firelizard and deciding whether he should chirp or hiss. The girl is definitely quieter, but that might just be because she's younger. Maybe she just hasn't started to rampage… yet. Something to look forward to? …oh, but these two are sure to get up to various adventures. The weyr (that is, Soriana and Ka'el's weyr) will never be the same again! Just in time for a human-type baby… but, hey. At least they'll have practice in… uh… something. Not in diapering, because Soriana shakes her head at Kera's suggestion in support of Ka'el's denial there. None of that, but there'll still be practice in… uh… keeping babies in pens and dangling shiny things at them? Sure, let's go with that! Also in naming. They get to practice giving babies names! …Ka'el seems to need it, and Soriana arches a dubious eyebrow at his attempt. "Really?" she says, smirking. "I named tunnelcats-" well, tunnelcat, singular "-better than that when I was nine." And now she's… over twice that. How time flies? Soon enough it's time for… duties, right. Soriana waves to Kera as she heads off. "Have a good day!" she tells the weyrling, watching her go before looking back to Ka'el. "New tunnelcats." Because they have… so much free time and energy lately? But, well… they're cute. And they're on her desk. (Fortunately, still contained in the basket.) Soriana has this problem, see, where when work shows up on her desk she has a hard time not doing it. This leads to many late nights, and… she hehs. "Food is good." Easier to take care of than tunnelcats! "I hear fruit's traditional." She hasn't forgotten she's supposed to eat! In fact, she has another grape, just because. Haruhi and Alloy. The rest of the fair! "…maybe Haruhi won't notice she's a girl." That's said as she gives a pet to the smaller tunnelcat's neck, followed by a sidewise look at Ka'el. "Yeah, okay." Sometimes things showing up on her desk mean long nights! Today, they're going to mean… a long lunch, while introductions are made and babies are settled. Luraoth's Menagerie is growing!

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