Making Friends

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.

It’s day — early morning, to be exact — and Risali is stumbling into the barracks with so much loosely curling black hair askew. There’s dark circles under her eyes that elude to a night without rest, and she’s pushing at somebody by the entrance with a hiss of, “I’m fine. I said I’m fine. Go,” before she turns with what few possessions she’s brought to nest with in the barracks. There’s a tentativeness to her step that gives her a slightly awkward gait — though it’s nothing terrible, more a stiffness to her walk — as grey eyes peer through the early-morning gloom to make sense of warm bodies occupying otherwise relatively bare cots in hunt for a vacant one. There. The harper weaves her way to it, depositing clothing and books with a small huff of relief for having rid herself of her burden, and then she’s flopping backwards onto her chosen cot with a — “Faranth!” — exclamation of surprise. That’s no mattress. The tiny woman scrambles to find her footing once she realizes what she thought was an empty cot very much has a body already claiming it (Hello, Brynnjan!), leaving her to make some hasty room for Faranth right onto the floor in a heap of angry, chest-heavingly embarrassed harper. One, two, three, and those grey eyes are staring in accusation at the person who CLAIMED THE COT LONG BEFORE SHE DID (for SHAME), contradicted by a faltering in ire that indicates maybe she’s making a very concentrated effort to reign in her temper. Breathe, Risali. Breathe. “I’m sorry,” comes tightly, breathily, tone sharpened to an edge by what might be a hint of pain in Risa’s voice. “I didn’t realize that there was…” A hand gesture, to encompass cot, and man in cot, and possibly her dignity (which was definitely left behind) when words fail her. “Already somebody there,” she finishes, lamely. And then there’s a hiss of an exhale as grey eyes squint closed and then blink open, daring to see if anybody else has witnessed her folly. At least most people are still sleeping. Thank Faranth for small mercies.

The roly-poly bronze firelizard resting on Brynnjan's back perks up as its rest is disturbed. It gives a brief cry of alarm, waking Brynnjan, before ducking beneath the cot in search of shelter. Brynn bolts upright in alarm, blinking and trying to source the threat before settling on Risali. "What-who-huh—Oh. Please tell me I'm not late getting to the tasks. I apologize if so; it won't be a habit." He blinks again, trying to clear the sleep-cobwebs from his head. The firelizard reappears and seeks shelter in Brynn's lap as he sits up.

A lump on a nearby cot stirs at all the noise. One hand reaches out from under the covers, and then a second one, then finally pulling on the blanket to reveal some wicked bed-head and the blinking hazel eyes of Zaria as she slowly emerges, "Are the eggs hatching?" she asks in a voice that is thick with sleep and then she yawns loudly, stretching and arching her back off the cot.

Late to tasks? Risali makes a strangle noise that might be half laughter, half disbelief, snuffed when Zaria joins the fray and earns a wince from the harper on the floor. ‘Nice bed-head,’ grey eyes seem to say as they settle on her, mutual bedraggled indignity giving rise to a fleeting sense of camaraderie. “Uh… no,” she offers, wincing as she looks around to make sure she hasn’t gone and woken up the whole of the candidate class. “Just…” And now Risali is looking at Brynnjan with confusion and a shake of her head “No, no. No eggs, no tasks — I just… It was a mistake.” And slowly Risali gains her feet around another wince, dusting at her backside before taking a hesitant step forward to gather her things once more. “I was just surprised. Sorry to have woken you both.” And if the floor could just open right up and swallow her whole, that’d be the best possible outcome to right now. “Good… uh. Good morning, by the way. But I think you can both… keep sleeping?"

Brynnjan stretches luxuriously, and moves to a standing position. The firelizard settles onto one of his (big, strong, broad) shoulders. He shrugs, and offers a smile. "Good morning. And no worries, I was about to wake up anyway. I'm ready to learn all there is to learn as a candidate." He assumes a relaxed attentive position. "What's on the agenda for today?" He slicks back his hair (insofar as is possible).

Zaria wrestles with her blanket that seems to have wound it's way between her gangly limbs and knotted somehow. At Risali's comment she raises a hand to her head and tries to assess the damage. Her eyes go wide as she pats down the nest that has replaced her usual coif. With a bit of a groan of effort, Zaria puts her feet on the hard floor and just sits on the side of her cot for a moment. "Good, I don't wanna miss the Hatching." Zaria's cluelessness of the situation seems to match Brynnjan's. She gets to her feet and reaches into her clothes press and pulls out a bristled brush, which she runs through her hair to try and tame it. Looking at Risali, she asks the obvious question, "Just got here?"

Risali looks between the two candidates with the kind of expression that says maaaaybe she doesn’t know what to say after all. So, under the pretense of finding a new cot (when really she’s gathering her thought), she turns her back to them and locates a vacant one. Risali pulls the blanket back this time, to ensure questionable lumps aren’t actually (big, strong, broad) men in disguise, and then she slowly sinks into it with her belongings settled on her lap. “I did,” she say softly for Zaria, attention back on Brynnjan as he slicks back his hair and she watches the movement of his hands before dropping her eyes. “Ah— that I’m not sure of. I’m Risali, by the way. Well met, both of you."

"Well met, indeed." Brynn pauses a moment before introducing himself. "Brynnjan. Dad's a blacksmith/miner from Telgar, and Mom's a healer from Lemos." The roly-poly bronze firelizard from earlier hops up onto Brynnjan's shoulder. "And this is Canthus. We've gone everywhere together. We're inseperable." Canthus gives Brynn a playful headbutt/nudge. "You're hungry, are you? Well, then, I suppose we'll have to find something to munch on." Brynn rolls his eyes, and chuckles. "Bottomless pit, you are.."

Zaria continues to brush her head, wincing every now and then when she hits a big knot. "Nice to meet you both, I'm Zaria from Black Rock Hold." She says jovially. "You all ever been to a Weyr before? This is my first time, and not a sevenday after I get here, I get Searched, it's been a whirlwind." She watches Brynn with his little bronze and can feel the little pang of longing in her chest for one of the darling creatures. "He's so precious! How old is he?" she asks curiously.
"Five months, eleven days. Gotta be on your toes with this one… He sees food, and he goes for it; so either be prepared to share, or guard your food well." Brynnjan responds with a quiet laugh. "My first time being Searched as well. So far, so good.. had some good experiences here. Hoping for more." He gives his bronze companion a scritching on the top of his head. "Any idea where the food is kept?" He inquires, curiously.

“Brynnjan and Zaria,” Risali repeats, trying the names on her tongue as grey eyes study each individual respectively: the seemingly suave and handsome Brynnjan, the full-of-life Zaria with punctuated cheer. “Things do tend to happen quick in a weyr,” she says, fishing for the pillow behind her and hugging it to her chest, as if it might offer a BARRIER between the world and her thoughts. “Congratulations — both of you. I’m from Half Moon Bay Weyr, originally. My Dad is a bronzerider and my Mom is a goldrider. I came to Xanadu to be closer to —“ Inexplicably, a blush. Risali chokes on her words and, after a moment of trying, gives up the ghost and buries her face in her pillow. “— to be closer to people,” comes the muffled reply, that sounds considerably more like ‘nbfffnosertppmmm’. And then she’s back, looking simultaneously furious and far away as she shoves hair from her face and clears her throat, eyes on the bronze devil looking for food. “He’s very handsome,” she inputs, and then attempts to regain some of her flagging composure by steering the topic in other directions. Apparently bronzes and Xanadu have an impact on her mental well-being (ha!). “So what brought you both to Xanadu?"

"Dad's a miner, smith.. works with metal. Mother's a healer. Fixes things, tries to improve them." Brynnjan 'talks' with his hands, bringing two distinct "things" together and fiddling with them. "I'm a techcraft. I take broken metal things, and try to fix them. Best of both worlds." A beat. "Heard Xanadu's good for that sort. And being near to people. I love being with people. Not much into being by myself." He shrugs. "I lucked out; arriving this close to the Searching, being searched. Being surrounded by people for periods of time, that's good.."

Zaria's eyes go wide as she hears that Risali has riders for parents. "Wow, growing up in the Weyr must be so exciting! Hold life is so boring." Her face falls just a little bit when Risali mentions coming here for someone and with an uncomfortable hunch of her shoulders, she drops her voice, "I'm the opposite, I'm trying to get away from someone." With a sigh, she shakes herself out of it. Listening to Brynnjan explain his life story, she nods with interest.

Risali squints her eyes at Brynnjan as if seeing him for the first time, grey eyes straying to his hands when he speaks before she whispers an incredulous, “Did you just marry smithing with healing and make a techcraft baby?” And despite the incredulous quality of her tone, every single word is hindered by the almost-laughter of amusement. “No, that’s brilliant. Welcome to Xanadu.” And then Risa's attention is stolen by Zaria when the candidate mentions the difference between weyrlife and hold life. She doesn’t answer; if Zaria is watching closely enough Risali won’t have to; brows furrow in disagreement, lips pull down in unspoken emotion, and the woman goes curiously blank when Zaria’s face crumbles. One, two, three, and Risali waits for Zaria to look back at her, at which point she will shift her chin in a ‘Come hither,’ motion while holding out her pillow in invitation. ‘Come sit with me,’ she doesn’t say, but her eyes do — because this is what women do, right? They hide behind pillows and they pretend like the world outside of their pajama-party cocoon doesn’t exist. “I ah — I didn’t mean to be misleading. I was invited to work here by somebody that means very much to me, and somebody who means the world followed after so. Xanadu is my home, but I do hope you find people to make the stay more welcoming.” A pause, another look for Zaria. “Or that they never find you at all.” But she doesn’t pry, because Risali’s just not that kind of girl. Coming from a renegade, turned dragonrider, turned Weyrleader, she’s learned from a very early age that people will tell you what they want to know, and keep to themselves what they don’t. “If you don’t impress, what do you think you’re going to do after?"

"If I don't impress, I guess I'll just go back to focusing solely on techcrafting, and spoil my friend here absolutely rotten." Brynn gives his bronze companion a grin. "If I do impress, I'm still going to work on my techcrafting. I just might end up spoiling this one a smidge less. But I won't stop spoiling him." He turns to bring his full attention down on the firelizard, with a conspiratorial grin. "We do need to work on that weight, though, Pudgy.." He rolls his eyes, turns his attention back to the group, and stretches luxuriously.

Zaria gets up from her cot and goes over to sit next to Risali, not sure why exatly, something about the way Risa had looked at her compelled her to her feet. She looks a little bit confused as she sits down and suddenly doesn't know what to do with her arms. She crosses them, then uncrosses them, and then she leans back on them and that seems uncomfortable, so she just sits with her hands in her lap, fingers fidgiting with the hem of the long shirt she wears to sleep in. "I don't know. I am probably going to just head back to the Hold, I was only coming here temporarily anyway. Hopefully the dust will have settled back home enough by then."

Zaria joins Risali in the cot, and the harper holds out her pillow for the woman to take should she wish; either way, Risali is wiggling the thin sheet about until she can pull it over both of them and gives Zaria one of those certainly uncertain smiles that you see people project when they’re not entirely sure what they are doing. “You looked like you needed friend,” she admits only then, softly, shifting in a manner that causes Risali to wince and look momentarily uncomfortable. It’s fleetingly brief, attention back on Brynnjan without so much of an acknowledgement to her own mysterious pain — though there’s definitely another blush on her cheeks contradicting the determination to not be bothered by it on her face. “Be nice, he’s handsome. You’re going to give him a complex,” but despite the chastisement, Risali’s tone is anything but; it’s amusement, adoration for cute things, and something else just out of reach. “Though I’m sure he’ll appreciate your attention.” And then she’s tilting her head back towards Zaria, thick hair falling forward over her shoulders as she nods. “If it hasn’t, I’ll bet you can find something that will keep you here. Have you tried speaking to your leaders?” Ugh. BLUSHING. AGAIN. If Zaria took her pillow, Risa is snagging it back to hide her face and then shoving it between the both of them, arms over her chest. Faranth.

Okay. Girl-on-girl action. Yowza. … Brynnjan proceeds to focus on his own things, figuring Zar and Ris need some time to themselves. Canthus provides a proper distraction, chasing after his own shadow.. pounce, glance around, ooh shadow, buttwiggle, pounce! "Who're you calling 'handsome'? Surely not me. I'm not handsome at all. I'm just who I am. I am me." Brynnjan shrugs, pondering going for a walk, or something.

If one was looking closely, they would actually see the blush rise in her cheeks as she blinks owlishly at Ris. "Um-um.." she stutters at the offered pillow and then shakes her head a little bit. She briefly has a look of a trapped animal, but when Risali turns her attention to Brynn, she gets to her feet, "You know, these cots are a little small for two people." she mutters before going back to her own cot which is fairly close. She doesn't sit down though, she starts rummaging through her clothes press. She giggles at Brynn's comment, "No silly, I think she meant your firelizard."

FISH OUT OF WATER! FISH ON LAND! It’s exactly how Risali looks when Zaria reads the mood a moment before Risali does, retreating back to her own cot as Risa looks from Zaria, to Brynnjan, and gapes for just a moment at what life has done to her — or her own ridiculous inability to not project her personal thoughts on her face. “No! I!” And that pillow is jerked up and tossed haphazardly at Brynnjan while that blush only seems to deepen. “Faranth. You can come sit over here too. I wasn’t —“ A helpless look at Zaria as she splays her hands in the universal gesture for ‘please understand’. “I don’t —“ How is she supposed to explain this one? Hands go to her face, then run through her hair, pushing it back behind her shoulders as she breathes out an almost-hysterical, “I’m going to kill him.” And then she tries again, blush complementing the way the harper turns, fingers picking at her sheet as she refuses to meet either’s eyes. “I have an idiotic bronzerider in my life that means the world to me. I’m not… I really wasn’t… I’m sure you’re a fantastic person, Zaria, but I don’t like women. And Brynnjan, you are a… but I was talking about the firelizard.” Which is to say: YOU ARE SAFE FROM ME. Still, she grabs her pillow and her blanket both, and tries to smother herself with them.

"Oh, well, yeah, I guess you could call him 'handsome'." Brynnjan admits, nodding. Canthus, meanwhile, having heard someone gushing over him, slinks over, and preens like the cute little bugger he is. He even tries to rest his chin in Risali's lap. Or Zaria's. Or maybe both. The firelizard seems to want to be in two places at once, just begging for attention. Brynn facepalms, and chuckles to himself. "Oh boy. Here he goes." Brynn returns to his cot, and stretches out, gazing skyward.

Zaria giggles a little bit at Risa, her look softening, "Maybe just saying it in the future might be a better idea. I'm sure he's a great guy." another quick guffaw as she reaches into her clothes press and pulls out some clean clothes. "It's ok. I didn't think you were." She heads to the door leading to the lavatory, her clothes in hand. She pauses at the door way and turns back with an exagerated wink tossed in Risa's direction. "Oh and by the way, I do." she fails to mention what exactly she does and with a little giggle she disapears through the door.

Risali’s arms drop to her sides in defeat, seconds before she pushes pillow and blanket away from her face and watches Zaria retreat with her clothes. If the information that comes at the door is meant to shock her, Risali is anything but — in fact, she laughs, nods her head and then looks at Brynnjan. Her best friend? Totally a girl that's into girls, and she may or may not spend half of their time together groping Risali to get a rise out of her. The bronze flit gets a gentle scratching of fingers between his little, adorable head knobs, and then Risali sighs. “I have three firelizards of my own. Faranth knows what they’re up to or where they are.” And then she’s dropping her eyes to the little pudgy guy wherever he may go before her attention is back on Brynnjan. One, two, three, and she’s clearing her throat. “Do you have a lot of experience? With girls, I mean.” That’s out of left field for you.

"I have.. enough." Brynn responds, shrugging. Nothing carnal, of course. He's waiting for the right woman. "I don't go throwing myself at every woman who crosses my path, nor do I much like the idea of a woman throwing herself at me. Besides.. she throws herself at me, I sidestep, she goes sailing off into the distance, and I'm left there wondering why a woman just tried to throw herself at me out of the blue." He moves his hand in a slow, dramatic arc. "Besides.. this one gives me more than enough companionship." He nods to Canthus.

Zaria comes back into the room, her hair finally tamed with the help of some water, it hangs wetly but at least is no longer sticking out in all directions. Her face looks freshly washed and she's now wearing her usual knee length breeches and oversized sleeveless tunic. In her hands she carries her night clothes and she catches the question Ris asked just as she came back in. "I have none. First time I kissed a girl she literally slapped me." she mentions off hand as she makes her way back to her cot to find her boots.

Hey! You aren’t going to find judgement from Risali — though he’ll have to let her know how that works out for him, you know, if he impresses a dragon. Regardless, the mental image Brynnjan paints has Risali furrowing her brows in confusion and then laughing. “I’d think a gentleman would at least catch her and then ignore her.” Cue Zaria, whom gets Risali’s attention when she emerges and offers her two cents as well. The smile falters then fades, replaced with a softly spoken, “I’m sorry.” And then maybe some encouragement. “For what it’s worth, I slapped Kyzen the first time he kissed me — well, did a lot more than slap him, actually — and now he’s…” But that blush comes back, with a vengeance, and Risali feigns clearing her throat as she scrambles for another topic to hide her apparent inability to speak about her love life. “He’s an idiot, is what he is.” Okay, so no new topics from this one. She just… lapses into silence.

"Oh, sure, maybe if she's pretty I'd catch her.. and then send her right on her way." Brynn responds, lips curled in a wry grin. He glances over to Zaria, and offers a nod of acknowledgement. "If I may say so, you look nice, wet head or no." He pairs his words with a smile. "And while we're on the subject of kissing.. outside of my family, not once. Always been curious.. but not until I find the right woman." He streeetches luxuriously, and gives his bronze companion a firm squeeze. Bestest buddies in the whoooole wide world.

Zaria shrugs at Risali, "It's ok, I got my signals crossed, I know that now." She turns a bit towards Brynn, "Well thank you for that I think." She listens to him and nods, "That's really noble, trying to wait for the right person. Just make sure they feel the same way.

One, two, three, and Risali’s eyes are narrowing at Brynnjan. “If she’s pretty?” Noooow she’s judging you. Without comment, the harper gathers her hair up in the messiest sort of bun and ties it off, glancing at Zaria as that woman speaks and inclining her head with acknowledgement. “I’m sorry, then. I would say we could drink until we can’t feel our faces and dance until we can’t feel our legs either, but candidacy puts a damper in that.” And then Risali softens, looking at Brynn once more before she inquires, “But what happens if you don’t find that girl, and you impress a dragon, and there’s a flight? Wouldn’t you rather have a choice as to who all of that happens with, instead of…” A hand gesture, to wordlessly say, ‘Comply with your dragon?’

"Drinking would be enjoyable, but yes, candidacy forbids drinking." Brynn nods, and pauses while Risa speaks. "If I don't find a girl myself, I will trust my dragon, as I trust my friend here." Canthus perks up as he's mentioned, and curls up at Brynn's feet.
You paged Brynnjan with ‘ALL THE UNDERSTANDING.’

Zaria's eyes go wide, "Wait a second? We're not allowed to drink?" she says in shock. "Why was I not told?" she looks just like a pup who has been kicked kicking the floor with the toe of her boot. After a second she shrugs, "I guess it's worth it if it means a chance at Impression, but still." She raises one eyebrow at Brynn, "From what I have heard from my limited time here, when the dragons mate, it's not exactly about choice, more like need." She waggles her eyebrows in a very suggestive way.

“Indeed it does,” Risali concedes, almost mournful in tone before furrowing her brows at his trust in a possible lifemate. She opens her mouth to speak, then shuts it again when Zaria comments. Risali nods her agreement, adding, “My parents are dragonriders, and they’ve said it isn’t always pleasant.” The tell-tale *pop* of a firelizard winking in from between heralds the arrive of one, then two, then three flits in brown and blue and green, all twittering at Risali and picking at her hair until she wrestles a note away from the largest one. “Faranth. The three of you stop it.” And grey eyes scan the letter before she gives a soft groan. “Speaking of parents…” and Risali rises to her feet, looking at both Brynnjan and Zaria both before smiling with a brief wave of her hand. “Duty calls.” And off the harper goes, to deal with overprotective bronzerider fathers that’ve just found out their baby girl has agreed to stand.

"Well, I'll be.. here.. if anyone has need of me." Brynnjan shrugs, gently, as he pats his bed. "'Duty calls'.. Perhaps, soon it shall call for me." He stretches, yawns, and enjoys a quick nap. Canthus curls up on his chest, and joins the candidate in sleep.

Zaria grins as she watches Risa gets bombarded by three firelizards, and then abruptly leaves. She shrugs at Brynn and nods, "I'm gonna get started on chores, I'm in the Laundry today I think. I will catch you around." she waves as she heads out.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License