It's That Simple

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered, in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.

WHERE IS ALL THAT CONFIDENCE, ALL THAT, 'DON'T EFF WITH ME,' SWAGGER RISALI USUALLY HAS? Okay, so maybe she's not that hard, but there's definitely an attitude she generally presents with, with her eyes forward, and her chin up, and her face set in a way that says she's probably thinking about ways to get away with murder. Not today though; today, Risali is utilizing the fact that she is a smol human to her advantage, hiding behind D'lei with both hands curled into his shirt and eyes that ONLY OCCASIONALLY peek out from under him. Yep. D'lei is the sacrifice. D'lei is the one who has to exude the confidence as they walk in because Risali is here to do something she's, honestly, not very good at doing. She will get there though. Maybe. Eventually. For now? For now she's just peeking out occasionally and then whispering, "Do you see her?" Because important things. IMPORTANT THINGS.

See who? Certainly not Rhodelia who most definitely is not napping with her head down on the bar top since the Wherry is unnaturally dead tonight. Sure there's a few regulars that have been nursing their current drinks for forever but otherwise… quiet. And so it's the perfect time to rest her eyes and use her head to test the structural stability of the bar. This is very, very important science and as she turns and lets out a massive yawn, apparently it's passing. Nothing's fallen down yet.

As human shields go, D'lei is… well, he definitely is one! At least at the moment. He's seeming amused by the reticent Risali behind him, with a smile that it's probably a good thing she can't see, because shy (WHO IS SHE) or not, she'd still tell him to shut up. "Well," he says, as he surveys the bar. "…Leirith is definitely not here." Sagenod, because that's absolutely who it was that they were coming here to see. Because if it were Leirith, well… … …better just be glad it's not. "Come on." And there's D'lei, crossing that bar like a self-mobile shield, and heading right over to Rhodelia and her important scientific endeavours. He comes right up, leans his elbow down on the bar by her head, and, "Pop quiz!" RUDE, D'lei. So loud, so disruptive, and he doesn't even stop there. "Some drunkard just fell and hurt his arse, and he's claiming it's your fault." This is a lie, of course. "What you gonna do?"

« INCORRECT. I AM EVERYWHERE AHAHAHAHA. » SO MUCH FOR THAT THEORY, D'LEI. OMNILEIRITHTENT. Also: SHE'S NOT SHY, YOU'RE SHY. SHUT UP ANYWAY. BUT IN META. Still, Risali says nothing in lieu of weyrmate and lifemate quasi-conversations - Leirith hearing D'lei's end through, of course, Risali. UNIMPORTANT. Important is Risali moving along with D'lei towards sleeping Rhodelia, and when D'lei RUDELY INTERRUPTS SCIENCE with RUDE POP QUIZZES, Risali pokes her head out from behind the weyrleader again to watch. And maybe bite down on her bottom lip to stifle laughter. Did she just give D'lei a gentle punch in his side for being so RUDE? She did, but she isn't stopping him either. Instead, she watches, and she waits!

That yawning turned into some muttering but when D'lei calls out Pop Quiz, Rhodelia bolts right up and yells out "Keep the yeast below fifty five degrees!!!" There's some disoriented blinking as she quickly realizes she's not actually at Vintner hall and that wasn't even the question. "Uhh, ask if he wants another beer? Normally they're trying to get a free drink." Then there's a blink at both those weyrleadery-types in front of her. Even the mostly hidden Risali. "Sooo, were you both wanting drinks?" Because who comes to the Wherry for anything besides alcohol?

Yo Leirith's so big, she's… everywhere. Or at least everywhere Risali is, in her mind. D'lei grins at the booming golden retort. "I stand corrected." And then he leans in at the bar, and asks a question that - "Mmh, I see…" would be very relevant if there was anything about the brewing process of beer being asked, or indeed, any proto-beer in the room instead of just the already-made kind. But wait, there's more! D'lei grins for that second, actual answer, and turns his head to Risali with an arch of his brows like this PROVES HIS POINT that he was a jerk to ask in that way and also hasn't informed Rhodelia about. But, meaningful look achieved, he looks back to the barkeep again, and nods. "I certainly would. Some of the cherry brandy, if it hasn't disappeared." He grins, then glances back to Risali. "What do you think?"

Did Risali just bite D'lei to stifle her laughter? She did. Okay, so it was mostly shirt and she didn't bite hard, but this is where we are at today, people. Then, then, she is getting looks that require her to lift JUST HER EYES (because she's still biting) to meet D'lei's Meaningful Glance and… Risali clears her throat and pulls away, smoothing down the Weyrleader's shirt as if she might brush away the evidence of her temporary faux pas. "I…" There's another glance towards D'lei as Risali, with some hesitation, abandons her post behind him but allows one hand to linger, dragging across his lowerback as she moves as if the contact just might lend her some of his ability to be really good at people. "I'll just have a juice…?" Because of course Risali comes to the Wandering Wherry and doesn't get alcohol (actually, that's really odd, but shhhh). Instead, Risali waits a moment as she settles herself into a seat at the bar, glances towards D'lei again, and gives Rhodelia enough time to work as she drums her fingers on the bartop before - "Rhodelia, do you… do you enjoy tending the bar?"

Rhodelia mostly just raises an eyebrow as Risali is apparently biting shirts or something. Nothing to see here and probably not signs of impending zombie-ness. Any judgy-eyeraising is put aside as people actually order things and so Rhody has to do her actual job that she presumably gets paid to do. D'lei quickly gets poured some of that cordial in the appropriately fancy cordial glass and Risali gets some non-fun grape juice served in a wine glass so she can at least pretend. The last question has her shrug. "I don't know. I guess I do? I like it better than shoveling the stables or trying to hem pants." Really, her sewing skills are atrocious. Although that guess doesn't sound too sure.

D'lei is very versatile. He's not just a shield, he's also a chew-toy! Which … okay, yes, could be mistaken as Risali about to develop a deep desire for brains and a lack of bodily coherency, but 'juice' is even less zombie-like thant 'beerains', so the world is probably at least partially safe. For now. D'lei manifests a suitably sized mark from a pocket as Rhodelia obtains those drinks, but he lets Risali do the talking, simply listening and nodding. Oh, and lifting up that brandy for a sip! Because it's tasty.

How dare you D'lei. At least, that's what that accusatory GLANCE she sends in the Weyrleader's direction seems to say. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE HER PEOPLE-CRUTCH? She glares even longer than what might be appropriate, and maybe even makes a temporary nuisance of herself by swatting at - but never really hitting - his drink before she focuses back on Rhodelia. There's the hints of a smile there - half for terrorizing her weyrmate, half out of polite interest for Rhody's answer, and then an uncomfortable shift as, instead of drinking, Risali spins her wine-glassed, no-fun juice around with a slight pull of her lips. "I…" A beat, two, three, four. "I need help." STRAIGHT AND TO THE POINT, and also the reason why Risa is struggling. She takes a moment to sip that drink as a request she might not usually make sinks in, and then she elaborates. "I… have Citayla and Nessalyn, and even Soriana to help with some things, but I… I need help with…" An exhale. "Anyway, D'lei thought that you might be a good candidate to help me. It would… honestly probably be pretty boring work, not as interesting as tending a bar, and a lot more paper." AND CHAOS. "But, if you wanted to try something new, I… was wondering if you would be my assistant." At least, after Risali has finished her offer and half-plea, she looks up to find Rhodelia's gaze and hold it. There's some of that confidence returned, but just a hint of embarrassment at having to shed some of her burden onto somebody else. "I'll pay you well."

"Help with what?" Rhodelia asks in the moment Risali is drinking her drink, but then the weyrwoman is continuing and Rhody holds her questions, although her eyes grow a bit wide as the train continues. There's a bit of a suspicious glance to D'lei as his name is mentioned but after the question is actually asked, it gets a very, very prompt response. "Sure." Just that simple because that's how much thought Rhody puts into major life changes. "I mean, I have no idea what I'd be doing as an assistant. I've only been an apprentice and a bartender." What's the worst that can happen aside from EVERYTHING?

Sometimes, you just gotta walk right up to that challenge and… PUNCH IT IN THE FACE. Which, let's be honest, Risali can manage. It's more this part of things, when she wants to have a non-punched face make wibbly wobbly meat noises with tongue and lips, and have those heard by cartiligenous ear-things and then responded to with other meat-noise wobbles that she… well… MANAGES. EVENTUALLY. (and will murder D'lei later for his betrayal, buuut that's life death and unlife for you!) He smiles as she does it, though, with a shift of his hand to brush her side in encouragement. She's doing this! She's admitting she can't actually do all the things! And… who, him? He smiles to Rhodelia's suspicion, like he's perfectly innocent and definitely didn't do all those things, then ducks his chin slightly, a tilt of his head to Risali before looking back to Rhodelia. "She was a harper," he says, a small gesture to indicate Risali. "So… really, the ones who know what they're doing are more likely to be the ones telling us that we're doing it all wrong."

Blink. Sure? That's it? IT'S THAT SIMPLE? Risali opens her mouth to say something - probably to try and sell it harder - and then closes it again, turning her eyes onto D'lei when that contact draws her attention, when she brings her glass up again to drink from it and STARE AT D'LEI AT THE SAME TIME while she listens to Rhody, and to Dash, and - laughs. "And to clarify," Risali offers, "I wasn't the studious kind of harper." You know, the ones who draft and defend laws, nor the ones who spend hours in books, learning history. She was the kind that gravitated towards music. "And to be honest, Rhodelia…" That glass is set back down, those eyes rise again to meet the younger woman's and hold. "I don't actually think that anybody knows what they're doing. Some people are just really, really good at keeping it together so that you never, ever know, but there's not really… a black and white." There's a lift of her shoulders in a shrug, a pull of her lips towards the side that's half self-deprecation as her eyes drop back to her drink. "People can tell you what to do, but there's never one thing you can do that applies to every situation. So, we will stumble our way through it together, and we'll just blame everything on D'lei if we fail." GRIN. SHOULDER-BUMP TO HER WEYRMATE. "Isn't that right, Sparklybutt?" BUT OKAY. It's… time to be more serious. Risali's smile falters and her attention shifts back to her… assistant. "Can you start tomorrow? I mostly am going to need help with drafting letters and cataloging requests and… it's going to be pretty menial work." She's giving her one last out if she wants it.

IT'S THAT SIMPLE. Some things are all easy peasy lemon squeezy. At least until it actually gets to the work part and she probably somehow switches all of Risali's meetings with D'lei's for three quarters of a day. Rhody grins as Risali clarifies that she wasn't the studious type. "I didn't think you were. Leirith doesn't seem like she'd tolerate the kind to shush someone in the archives." Because really, who needs those harpers unless you really want them to look up information for you? She does at least nod along as there's more about the stumbling along bit although another curious glance to D'lei at the Sparklebutt. As for her availability, another nod. "Sure. And it can't really get much more menial than pouring drinks and sweeping floors." Menial has been her life!

ALL THAT, FOR THIS? D'lei does not say anything that could even be construed as having told anyone so… but he does grin at the clarifications of what kind of harper Risa was. "More the kind who was shushed for loud singing." Someone's gotta help keep the librarian types busy! There's a wry smile for the lack of anybody knowing anything - "Except Leirith, of course." - and then a flash of grint before a haughty lift of his chin in mock offense that still doesn't completely hide the grin. "'Scuse you, my butt is one single sparkle. I'm not one of the butt-glimmers that goes sequining around all over the place. I have integrity of shiny." Also, ridiculousness. He has that in plenty, but he also hushes up to let the serious part of the conversation happen, taking the opportunity for another sip of drink as he does… then nodding, then having another one of those sips, because it's a good drink. "…really, there's only one thing you can do in any situation, and that's to blame someone else. I mean, it doesn't solve anything, and may even make them worse, but… you sure can do it." SAGE PROBLEM-NOT-SOLVING ADVICE. This is what you get when you give Weyrleader Sparklebutt D'lei III Esquire a drink, apparently.

"What, I don't strike you as highly intelligent and superior?" Risali inquires of Rhodelia around the rise of one VERY FULL OF ACCUSATIONS eyebrow. But then she's smiling - laughing, even, when D'lei further elaborates and Risali gives a slight shake of her head. "To be fair, my specialty was musical theory. So, believe it or not, I was somewhat studious. But… mostly I just thought it would help me to compose music better." She did get to senior apprentice, at least, before Leirith turned her entire world upside down, but… D'LEI. His feigned haughtiness, all of which Risali takes in with a wrinkled nose and a smile and then a laugh that seems to propel her hand ONTO HIS FACE so she can push at it (gently). "Shut up, D'lei," she tells the Weyrleader, full of integrity herself. But… "That's true," Risali answers. "Maybe. It's a different kind of menial - making appointments, reminding us of when that appointment was. Sometimes having you help sign off our approval for things, or sorting through papers to make sure that they're going to the right places." Following her to meetings, taking notes… you know. THE BORING STUFF. "You'll kind of be an assistant for the entire administrative wing, not just me, but you'll probably work most closely with me." A beat. "And D'lei." Because they do share an office.

"Now I didn't say that…" Rhodelia at least doesn't back up, probably because she has the safety of the bar between her and any possibly offended folks. "But I've met your dragon." There is a bit of a wink at that. Who hasn't met Leirith? She's Omnileiriethent after all. And then as D'lei goes on and on about his shiny, in a stage whisper to Risali, "Has anyone put a meeting with a healer for that shinieness on his calendar?" Because after tomorrow, SHE MIGHT. And then more serious nodding as actual work stuff is talked about. "Duly noted." And when it comes time to blame someone else, she can always blame D'lei because clearly he told her to RIGHT NOW. Her face does sink a little bit at the mention of all the writing. "Crap. I probably need to practice my handwriting." It is at least a step up from wherry scratch. But the shorthand gets creative.

D'lei grins, and then shuts up for an entire moment as Risali shoves her hand into his face and informs him of what he should do. He has a sip of his drink, the better to remain shut up while Risali explains things, then gives another nod - a serious one, for the duties, but it's followed by a grin. "It gets much harder to blame me if I'm not involved, after all," D'lei explains with an ever-so-earnest (only-not) expression on his face. "That's why she makes sure to keep me close." And now Rhodelia can do the same! "If you want to type things, we can set up a terminal." Printed pages tend to have very neat handwriting, after all! "Not that it'll work for everything, but…" He shrugs, and gives a crooked, boyish grin. "I like computers." Because of course he does.

That stage whisper gets a bite of Risali's lip to stifle her own laughter and then, with a DIRE EXPRESSION OF WOE, "Consider it your first duty as of tomorrow morning." Operation: Intervention Sparklebutt, GO! But then, "It's true, you know. He's very distracting." So half of the time, it is D'lei's fault, even if his only crime is to simply exist in the same space. HAVE YOU MET HIM? HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? The struggle is REAL, Rhody. As for the computers, Risali nods, and then wrinkles her nose as grey eyes flicker from Dash, back to Rhodelia. "He was a techcrafter." AS IF THIS IS THE GRAVEST OF ALL INSULTS. Still… Risali's attention drifts inward, sees her going still and then… reaching out to grab her drink and down the rest of it in a very unlady-like, very quick manner before she sets it back on the table. "Leirith said somebody just got taxied in from Hannista." THAT'S A LOOK. But Risali's forcing a smile for Rhodelia regardless. "Tomorrow, then. We'll find where to put you, just make me a list of what you need and I'll make sure the Headwoman gets it." And Risali is pressing a kiss to D'lei's cheek before she heads out the door. Ah. There it is. Now she looks like she's about ready to fight somebody instead of cowering behind the Weyrleader.

Rhodelia gives a salute as Operation: Intervention Sparklebutt is acknowledged. Woe to the poor healer that gets that memo. He'll probably think it's a not so elaborate joke. As for the blaming, she shrugs. "I'm sure eventually I'll have a whole list of folks to blame for any occasion." She could fill a rolladex. As for the computeres she winces a little bit. "Maybe? I used a computer like… once." When she had to. For a class. Finding the power button was a struggle. And then Risali is running away like a little fighting hurricane. "I guess random emergencies are going to be all too common now, huh?" It's like she can see the future. Sometimes.

Maybe they'll find a cure for these excessive sparkles, and D'lei will be … only as sparkly as he deserves. Or maybe, he'll get a healer who decides that it's some kind of awkward euphemism for a rectally lodged object requiring extraction, and Dashiel will have a FUN TIME with a healer who isn't even going to buy him dinner afterward, let alone before! WHO KNOWS. That lies in the future, while in the past…. "I was," he admits. OWNS UP TO THAT TECH… then laughs at Rhodelia's … lack of enthuse. "It's okay," he says. "Dealing with the physical is enough." At least for a start. If she starts getting too comfortable… that's when they hit her with the cyberspace! ZWOM. It's like the computer-y version of a dragon from between, while the physical one is… bringing someone for Risali to FITE. There's an arch of D'lei's brows, and then a frown. He starts to put his glass down, as if he intends to go too, then stops at that cheek-kiss and its SILENT WORDS. There's a moment's glance, like, is she sure?, and then D'lei settles back seatward again with only an admonishment of, "Don't murder anyone with witnesses," for Risali as she heads off. He sighs, a slow exhale, then tilts his head to Rhodelia and hehs. "Not even. Someone thinks they can get a free drink from us." A wry smile. "People always think their complaints are the most important and urgent ones."

Rhodelia nods and at least looks a little bit more comfortable that she's not going to be thrust at a computer right away (although new assistant might be the perfect excuse for D'lei to add a new computer anyways). There may be a lot of jibberish written down on bar napkins tonight to practice though. She sighs at the thought of free drinks. "Don't they always? But that's why you gotta do what's it the healers call it…" There's a bit of finger snapping before she conjures the word. "Triage."

That computer will be there! Watching. Waiting. Dreaming of electric sheep. D'lei wry smiles, and nods. "Yeah. This one… well. They could make things pretty inconvenient for us. We've got a fair bit of trade with Hannista… and they have decent pull with the other holds. We're hardly going to give them the keg they're likely to ask for… but we can't exactly tell them to screw off, either." D'lei shrugs, and tosses back the rest of his drink, then shifts upright. "We could use more triage," he says to the person newly recruited to help. "So we take care of the important things, not just the loud ones." …and is that a raised voice from outside? SURE SOUNDS LIKE IT. Right on cue, angry Hannistan!

And one day, eventually, Rhodelia might actually use the computer. But not tomorrow. Or even the next day. Someday. For now, she's wincing as D'lei explains the possible free drink brawl outside. "Yeah… just gotta figure out the right amount to serve." Both beer and diplomacy have some similarities there. "Well, it sounds like you might need some more of the cherry cordial." She'll leave that half full bottle right on the bar in case D'lei needs to distribute some actual drinks with that angry emergency developing. "And I think I have some refills to give." Because for tonight at least, she's still a bartender after all.

"Yeah," D'lei says, with an expression that isn't sure if it's a grimace or a smile… though it's definitely more pleased than not by that bottle remaining where it is. He nods. "Sounds like a good idea," he says of her intent to circulate on to the non-metaphorical drinks, and… snags that bottle, and - while he's at it - an extra pair of glasses. "Wish me luck, and sleepy drunks instead of angry ones." Metaphorically speaking. Probably. Either way… he's off!

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