Like A Fine Wine

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that 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. The stone is carefully leveled 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 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. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, 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, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

It's like the kitchen knows that people might be hungry between set meal times and so there's a basic spread available even right at dawn as it is now. Sure, there's isn't a whole lot to select from, but plenty enough to fill the bellies of those that rise earlier than most or swing by when they can. M'ti is no different, having dragged himself out of bed to bathe and dress and slump his weary self the way of the caverns. He's not the only klah-less zombie seeking that which is required for normal functioning, but the space is relatively unoccupied at this hour, at least in comparison to how it is at peak times. Shlupping his way to the serving table, a mug of liquid energy is procured as is some bready breakfast pastry that was still relatively fresh and then he kerflopples over to seat somewhere to stare off into space and occasionally sip. Eating, apparently, took more awakedness than he currently possessed.

At least one of the faces currently in the caverns is familiar at this hour - V'ayn. The pastry chef has long since been at work in the kitchen but finally finds some time to focus on feeding himself instead of others. Immediately he moves towards the klah, though it seems even this won't be enough to help with the dark circles underneath his eyes. Still, a mug is procured before he helps himself to a few breadrolls. A quick glance is cast towards the rest of the area and eventually come to settle on M'ti. Not long after, V'ayn is moving in the other rider's direction and settles across from him. "You're a morning type?" An easy grin appears on V'ayn's face with the question.

There are all types of people— from half-dead to cheerfully chattering away— scattered about in seats here and there, either on their own or clustered in very small groups of two or three about, but it was a big place and so it doesn't seem like all that many. M'ti certainly looked to be entirely on his own with a wide stretch of empty chairs all around him and plenty more beyond that, and so he's surprised when the place directly across from him is filled. Hazel eyes lift and for a moment, yeah, he has no idea who he's looking at. In the next after some blinking to focus his gaze, "Mhmm?" he says and then sighs softly with a faint smile for V'ayn in return, "Not particularly, but I'm here to work…so…"

V'ayn pauses with a roll halfway to his mouth and then proceeds to wave it in the air in front of M'ti. "Seems that way!" The man lets out a quiet chuckle before finally taking a bite out of the food. "V'ayn…in case you forgot. Though I'm told I shouldn't be calling you Mathis anymore." Likely courtesy of Varequoth. V'ayn leans back in his chair to briefly glance over the wood crafter before nodding several times, "It's been turns, hm? Much taller now!"

M'ti shrugs his shoulders lightly in a helpless sort of way, burying his face inside his mug and taking a long slow sip of the contents. Ah, that was some seriously good stuff that. "I know," he breathes out once he's come up for air, "I didn't forget." Quietly he takes a moment to look over the man across from him, maybe to update internal records, hands wrapped around the mug that he sets on the table before him, "Cherith calls me M'ti now, or…I guess she has been for the last three turns…" The first sign of waking up, the ability to summon up details. So, yay? "Yeah, it's been a while." The greenrider flushes a bit though as he's scrutinized, hazel eyes cast off elsewhere, "I grew up. I'm nearly twenty."

"You certainly did!" V'ayn lets out a quiet laugh and takes a sip from his own claw. "Well, M'ti, it's nice to see you again - and under better circumstances." A pause. "If older can be considered better." Though appearance wise the baker hasn't changed much he's grown just a tad bit more mature. Not /that/ much, but a bit. "Have you moved back here then?" He casts a curious glance towards the greenrider, brows raised slightly.

Glancing back the bronzerider's way, M'ti nods once, the coloring of his cheeks unhelped by the jovial chortling and his shoulders scrunch up a bit for it. He's quiet again, looking down into the contents of his mug and only Faranth knows what he finds there. "It's nice to see you again, too." Klah, cause that's who he seems to be speaking to, lifting the mug up and sipping away and probably for longer than he really needs to. Gulp. Away from his face, M'ti shakes his head, "No, I'm here on commission. I was asked to design and oversee the building of a new home for one of the recently graduated weyrlings…" Sure enough, sat on the greenrider's shoulder, is a Fortian rider's knot. Green thread for his lifemate and all the right twists and flips to indicate his Journeyman status within the woodcraft.

V'ayn shifts his gaze from face to know before letting out a quiet 'ah'. One more klah sip later before he's nodding, "That makes sense. Clearly I'm not awake as I thought I was either." He swirls around his drink for a moment before continuing on, "So how are things at Fort then? I haven't been back in quite some time." Though it's where he grew up, the crafter only makes a trip there every 6 months or so - much to his family's disappointment. Excuses are easy to come up with however!

The greenrider offers the ghosted trace of a smile, wholly based in the awkwardness of a conversation he was not expecting to be having in the first place, at least not half-asleep, "It's fine, no harm done." It seems as if they both had matured, for M'ti was certainly not the bouncy little upstart he once was, but then again a lot can change and happen in seven turns. "I don't really know, I'm sorry. I Impressed at Fort, but since I'm no longer an apprentice and have been here in Xanadu on commission, I don't have much reason to check in over there if I'm honest." Fingers caressed over the texture provided by the outside of his mug a little, daring a sip, "How about you?"

"Ah, I just assumed that you'd come here recently." V'ayn finishes off one roll and considers the other one more a moment. for now he leaves it aside to instead sip once more from his mug of klah. It's almost finished now but he doesn't seem inclined to get up for another at the moment. "Me?" A slight shrug comes from the baker's shoulders before he tilts his head towards the kitchen, "Not much different honestly. Still baking though Vare would prefer I try other things." From somewhere outside the bronze lets out a rumble that's just barely audible from the caverns.

M'ti hums softly into his klah, setting the mug back down before he shakes his head, "No, been here quite a while now at this point, and I'm not exactly sure when everything will be wrapping up. I thought it'd be sooner than this, but…" Another shrug is offered V'ayn, steeped in a bit of an apology for the things beyond his control, "…I'm learning a lot, and that's never a bad thing." A small piece of the poor neglected breakfast pastry on the small plate beside M'ti is broken off and escorted by a few fingers into his mouth, chewing on it thoughtfully. A soft amused sound escapes the greenrider, "I'll spare you the horrors of what Cherith would prefer I do, but lets just say the world is a safer place with me as a buffer between it and her." To say the least. Flickering his attention towards the sound of the bronze outside, Matty looks back to V'ayn, "He seems to feel strongly on that. Is there something specific, or just a general sense he'd like you to do something other than baking?"

"There are a lot of things he'd prefer I do, changing careers is just one on a much longer list," not that V'ayn seems to take all of it to heart. There's a found look towards the exit followed by a shake of the man's head before he turns his attention back to M'ti. "Personally I am a bit biased towards Xanadu, are you sure you even want to head back at this point?" After a few more minutes his klah is finally finished off and he pushes the mug aside. Mild curiosity is displayed on his features when M'ti talks about Cherith, but he doesn't touch on the topic of the green quiiite yet.

M'ti ah's and nods his head, seeming much more awake now, though that might only be because he too has polished off the last of his klah and was now focusing in on eating his breakfast, "I know that feeling," he confesses, popping another bite into his mouth and shaking his head as he masticates it into a form easier to get down, "Cherith gets all sorts of ideas, none of them particularly good either, but over the turns I've gotten better at redirecting her." This time, Matty picks up his pastry and takes a sizable bite, letting out a soft sigh of contentment. Ready for a second, the greenrider pauses, choosing to take the time to finish with the food before answering V'ayn. Wiping the crumbs off his face and the front of his summer tunic, "That's…" A loaded question it is, at least from the looks of it. This time the sigh is heavier and M'ti smiles quick and brief, laced with plenty more apology there as well as in his tone, "…I don't…not like it here? It's just…" The greenrider presses his lips together a moment, seeming to be choosing his words very carefully now, "…while there are some good memories I associate with this place…there are others that aren't. I may be able, in time, to set those aside, there's been some…personal developments…that make a move from Fort to Xanadu…complicated."

As loaded as the question may have sounded, V'ayn certainly didn't intend it to come off that way. The result is that his eyebrows raise with faint surprise at the greenrider's answer. "Well…." He trails off for a moment, studying the other man, "Hopefully it works out one way or the other." There's a hint of sympathy to his tone but the baker doesn't seem intent on prying. Instead he moves on to a safer topic - Cherith. "What kind of ideas does she have?" Or at least he /hopes/ it's a safe topic!

It certainly doesn't appear as if M'ti was holding anything against V'ayn, from before or now, and he'd done his best to reply as honestly as he could. Again, there is apology in the greenrider's expression, but as seem par for the course— lacks verbalization, "It will," he confirms with another of his thin smiles, "…one way or another." Likely, as all things tended to resolve themselves eventually. With neither food nor drink now to occupy his hands, Matty's disappear beneath the table to be folded in his lap for the time being, his shoulders lifting and dropping gently. He wasn't so much shrugging off the bronzerider's sympathy as relaying silently that there wasn't much to be done nor was there an easy solution and so he soldier's on. M'ti almost laughs, almost, as the conversation circles back around to Cherith, "Ahhhhh…that…" Inhaling unevenly and letting it out nice and slow in a measured way, "…she'd really like it if I spent my time helping her to build elaborate spaces in which a human test subject would be placed and would have to figure out how to escape." That didn't sound too bad, right? "Except the closer they'd get to the end, the more dangerous and elaborate the puzzle traps would get." Riiiiight. "So uh…yeah…" he says with a clearing of his throat, rubbing at the back of his neck somewhat, "…distracting her seems…better?"

V'ayn can't help the ripple of laughter that erupts when M'ti explain's Cherith's ambitions. In fact, his reaction might even be considered rude - maybe some things never change? The baker has to clutch his sides tightly, but honestly…this is the most he's laughed in a few months now. Other things have been weighing heavily on him. After a while the man does reign himself back in and shoots a grin in the greenrider's direction, "That's pretty incredible! I don't think Vare's ambitions can even compare." Not in the slightest, "Mostly he just wants to play hero…maybe if she makes her experiment lab we'll swoop in and save your poor test subjects."

And with that M'ti deeply blushes, waving a hand at V'ayn with a bit of chuckle himself that's there and gone far sooner than the bronzerider stops laughing, "Oh, I know…I know…it's awful isn't it?" Heaving out a sigh, the younger man places his palms against his burning cheeks, shaking his head back and forth slowly. Whatever the green herself thinks of the conversation is unknown, less visible at the moment and perhaps snoozing away somewhere none the wiser. "Faranth," he groans, "Don't tell me that…and please don't let her know that. She's almost insufferable as it is…" That no one else had dreamed up such plans, not even one of her own kind? Cherith might take it upon herself to outright demand that things be done with immediate swiftness, as to keep it that way. "….Faranth…no. V'ayn, do not encourage her! If she so much as catches wind of even the slightest support, she'll try and rationalize away why all her incredibly bad ideas are suddenly good ones…"

"Wouldn't it kill two avians with one stone though?" V'ayn grins, a slightly devlish glint in his eyes - it's the same one he gets when tricking people into trying horrible dessert recipes. "Toss a couple of the weyr brats in, they're resilient enough and would anyone /really/ miss one or two?" He's joking - probably. "Besides Varequoth will save them before there's any permanent damage - he stops nagging me and Cherith stops trying to ply you." finally he reaches for his second roll and tears off a piece. "There have been worse plans." Have there though?

It doesn't even matter that V'ayn is (probably) joking, M'ti looks practically on the cusp of horrified, staring at the baker as if he'd just suggested sacrificing small children for the greater good. And really, he kind of was? "V'ayn!" he exclaims, chuckling his way through being half-appalled, the slightest upturn to the greenrider's lips. "No! Just…oh Faranth no…" Just no, you horrible terrible man! The badness of such a thing aside, M'ti is now laughing and appears to be much more relaxed than he'd once was, perhaps having forgotten the reason why he was being so minimalist and quiet to begin with. For the time being, anyway. "I'm not sure there have been worse plans, but thank you all the same." Wiping a bit of moisture that had collected at the corner of his eyes, his laughter dies down, "I take it he wants you to give up crafting for search and rescue or something like that?" comes on a more serious note, but not especially somber.

V'ayn seems to be quite pleased when M'ti starts laughing and while the other man is talking he spends his time finishing off a roll. There's a shorter laugh from the baker before he gives a nod, "Mhm - it's the ideal occupation in Varequoth's mind but…" His gaze switches briefly towards the kitchen, "I've spent turns on this, and I'm proud of it. There isn't any way I'll just give it up. Maybe down the line but not now." He /is/ very proud of his desserts, almost to a fault.

"I know what you mean," M'ti agrees, looking down at the hands he'd placed on the table, his skin there scarred with the little nicks and cuts he's gained over the turns he's been woodcrafting. "I couldn't imagine doing anything else and Cherith is supportive, in her own way." Like repeatedly trying to convince him to put his skills to more worthy tasks, such as her escape lab. "You could try telling him that you are, in essence, saving people. A good dessert can be cathartic in it's own way."

V'ayn grins before snapping his fingers once, "That is true!" Though Varequoth doesn't agree with this, it seems that the bronze isn't about to push the matter. "Though, speaking of desserts, I should probably get back to those soon." The baker glances back towards the kitchen doors and lets out a nearly imperceptible sigh. Why? entirely unclear. "I guess I'll be seeing you around more though? At least until your work's done?"

Really, it was difficult to argue, disagreement aside. "See, redirection. I could teach you…" After nearly four turns of having to do so with Cherith, the greeenrider might have a trick or two up his sleeve. However, with the conversation winding down, M'ti seems to remember that he wasn't here to socialize, "Oh shit," he mutters beneath his breath, eyes flicking towards the time, and with that thrusts himself to his feet. "I got to go, but yes…I'm around. You should come out to the construction site if you get a chance, I'll show you around….though really it's more show you around the house as it's nearly done." Setbacks, hiccups, etc. "I want to keep catching up…" With that he gives his profuse apologies and practically flies out of the caverns.

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