Valuable Lesson

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level

Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.

When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

It's early, and by early, it's ungodly early. If Pern had some omnipotent all powerful being, she would still be asleep. There was something to be said though about getting up before the crack of dawn. It meant a relatively empty bathing cavern, the freshest pick of breakfast foods, and a completely empty observation floor. Here, Pyriel can be found, slightly damp and leaned over the railing farthest from the entrance. It was warm enough in here, thanks to the sands and it's occupants, that the harper candidate wasn't shivering. With next to no body fat to speak of, even a slight chill left his teeth chattering. Peering down at the eggs he had yet had a chance to touch, he casually observes them from this safe distance. The look on his face was a mishmash of apprehension, wonder, and perhaps the smallest dab of nervousness. He was alone after all, so it was perfectly all right to not play the grumpy card.

These early hours come and go for Kiley and today is most certainly an early day, the woman having woken up earlier than normal for her chores for the day. She's been bathed and fed and has been hurrying to and fro from the Observation Level as those on the Sands require. And this is how she enters: with a plate and mug in hand, making her way down to the lower levels of the galleries and settling the plate and mug where they won't spill. "Ma'am," she calls, "I brought breakfast." And once she does that, she turns a look about the galleries to see if anyone else was present. Her brow lifts at the sight of him and a hand lifts in greeting before her gaze is drifting out towards the sands.

Pern… doesn't have an all powerful being? But then… Thea is awake, so it can't be her. With the eggs hard and Seryth more settled these days, the mattress she'd been using to sleep on up here has been removed, but her 'camp' remains in the form of a small table and cooler for drinks left in the row nearest the railing. The Weyrwoman is just now making her way up to the level with a stack of paperwork in one hand, awkwardly shedding her jacket like she can't wait to be rid of it with the use of her other as she ascends the stairs. From the still-sleepy-eyed look of her, she's come straight from the Weyrbarn without passing go or stopping for breakfast. Light-footed enough that her tread is silent and catching sight of the Candidate as she steps to her table, the greeting she'd almost called dies on her lips. Hmm. Maybe best to wait. She slides into a seat and is settling the stack on the table when Kiley's voice has her turning to smile at the approaching girl. "Oh, thanks. Is that… klah? Because I could really use some."

Suddenly there is activity, and Pyriel is snapped out of his reverie as a result. His expression shifts, pulling the veil of discontent effortlessly down over his features even before his head can turn to take in those that had disturbed his solitude. Kiley's voice is recognized before he has visual confirmation, golden hues scanning the immediate area for longer than most might before he finally make her out. He'd been staring at those eggs for far too long. As the woman lifts a hand to greet, Py straightens all at once, fidgets, and awkwardly returns the gesture. Yeah hi. Um. The blond is then further distracted when Thea comes into view, which sad to say, does still result in the boy's instant redfruit coloring. "Shard it." he grumbles to himself, gaze narrowing as he steps away from the railing and drops bonelessly into a seat. You would think he would be over it after all this time. With a soft groan, he slaps a hand over his face, perhaps harder than he expected because he startles himself. Another groan and a whimper. "Owwww." The morning was rapidly losing his favor.

Kiley smiles at Thea and nods, "yes, ma'am. Klah in the morning is always a good way to start the morning." Think the Folger's commercial, here. The computer crafter turned candidate takes the plate and mug and settles them both upon the table for Thea and her lips form an even wider smile. "Just.. Let me know if you need anything else." And instead of turning to flee to some bench and wait to be called on, she is making her way over to Pyriel. There's a jump from surprise as the harper turned candidate slaps himself in the face, her expression quickly flickering from thoughtful to worried. Sympathy takes over as her expression a moment later with brows furrowed and her lips pulled into the slightest of frowns. "Are you okay, Pyriel? Do you want me to get anything for you?" The woman does, normally, try to avoid offering the young man anything in fear of kicking his ego but from the looks of it, he is having a rough morning.

Red-faces could so easily be the result of the heat rising from the Sands, warm even in the Level. The Weyrwoman's cheeks are slightly flushed from it, so Pyriel's complexion is overlooked. Strange behavior from Candidates is nothing new either, for that face-slapping and owwwing draws no more than an infinitesimal uptick to one of Thea's dark brows. She murmurs appreciation to Kiley, lifting the mug and inhaling the steam with eyes closed. "I will, thanks. But…" Opening her eyes to find the girl stepping away already towards Pyriel, she tsks softly. Instead of recalling the girl she merely sips, allowing the pair a private moment or two. Then while her eyes drop to the paper on the top of her stack, eyes already skimming the first line, she calls casually "Pyriel?" She waits for his response. "Come here please. You too Kiley." Uh oh.

Pyriel is fine really, just scrapping together the frayed shreds of his dignity. No big deal. There is a slight shake of his head, the fluffiness of his hair quickly returning with the humidity to be found here in this place. The hand falls away however, as Kiley addresses him directly, attention drifting her way even as he pointedly avoids seeking a peak at Thea. "Hmm?" he asks, brows lifting to disappear under his bangs, followed by a few blinks at the emotion he sees displayed on his fellow candidate's face. Worry? Concern? His eyebrows sink down to furrow deep for it, lips twitching into a ghost of a frown. "Naw, had my morning rations." Normally what people are fed was enough to satisfy the rumblings of most stomachs, but Py was used to eating three times the amount of normal portions. Hence, calling his 'meager' breakfast rations. Even if he felt he was starving to death, he wasn't going to bellyache about it. Everyone had to eat, and despite being Mr. Grumpy, he wasn't going to take the food out of someone else's mouth. "Thanks though." he tacts on, with a twitch. Hey, being polite was hard! Eyes flicker to Thea as he hears his name, glad to see that the woman's cheeks were slightly flushed. He could blame the reaction of his own on whatever was going on with her. "Yeah?" he says back, flinching soon after. "Yes, ma'am?" See, he corrected himself. He glances to Kiley as she is also called over, "Uh…kay." he says after this, frown becoming more prenominate, even as he pops out of his chair and wanders over, remaining at conversational distance, but not getting any closer than he has to. "Whatever it was, I didn't do nothing." Yeeeeeeah, like that sounds at all convincing.

Kiley is missing that final 'but' from the Weyrwoman, completely oblivious for the fact that she remains concerned about Pyriel. Her gaze seeks his once he finally looks to her, tilting her head slightly as she watches him before she nods once. Her concern, though it lingers still, is pushed aside as she straightens and offers a smile for his thanks. "You're welcome." There's more, however, but it is just as quickly stuffed back into her mouth and tossed aside as she tenses up. She turns, not slowly, but not so fast as to look guilty at the Weyrwoman as she calls her over as well. There's a nod, "yes, ma'am" And she makes her way down, stepping behind Pyriel and stopping just a little before him. There's no statement like Pyriel's towards the woman as she remains in silence, waiting to hear whatever it is that they were called forward for while the gears in her brain work to think of a time where she could have gotten herself into some trouble.

Thea's eyes remain on that paper, lips moving slightly as she reads to herself. Pyriel speaks, then corrects himself. Seconds tick by and still she reads on, even after that denial he makes. After Kiley steps up beside the boy she lifts her gaze to the pair, giving both a steady, long look. Finally, crisply, "Have a seat, please." And she points to the two seats on either side of her, leaving no doubt she expects them to sit in…yes…/those/ seats and nowhere else. She's the picture of patience, lifting her mug and sipping while giving them time to drag their feet if they will - she's in no hurry.

At this point, Pyriel was rapidly trying to assess what exactly he and Kiley had done wrong. It's a sort of momentary flash of panic on his face before his eyes quickly dart to Kiley. "What we do?" he mouths to her silently, eyes widening a touch before he gives Thea a look of absolute perplexity. There is but that moment of hesitation before the boy slinks off to drop into the seat indicated, shoulders slumped and preparing for the worst. He was still drumming his brain for what on Pern he could of done, and every once in a while he winces as he recalls some silly thing or another that could possibly be worth punishment. Funnily enough, it makes him appear to have some peculiar facial tick or something of the kind with all the twitching he was doing up till he catches up to the now of events. A quiet groan just under his breath is made, and he slumps further down into his seat. He was doomed. That had to be it. And he had tried so hard to avoid trouble, really he had. In the end, he can't even look at Thea. What has this kid been up to?

Kiley nods once to Thea in response, turning a quick glance to Pyriel and giving him a look that reads confusion. Her shoulders shrug in response to the mouthed question, while she can certainly think of a list for the other candidate, she can also find some for herself. But, she doesn't attempt to run, making to settle into the seat indicated while her hands fold upon her lap. Fingers twist together and grip tightly as she avoids looking up and remaining in a silent reflection of past deeds.

Over the rim of that mug the Weyrwoman's eyes take note of the signs of nervous worry and guilty expressions. She meets Pyriel's perplexity with a bland look. Indeed what's he been up to? She'll let the boy squirm a bit. Setting her mug down on the table, she tilts Kiley a sidelong look, then reaches over to tap those twisting fingers lightly, in a gentle reproof. "Relax, I'm not going to bite you." Sands-crazed quips and crossbow rumors aside, Thea looks quite sane. Instead of beginning a recital of all she likely knows from the eyes and ears that watch and overhear their doings more than they're aware, she says kindly, "You're both looking rather troubled. Is there anything you'd like to tell me?"

Pyriel is fidgeting quite noticeably, but at least he's quiet. He does peek at Thea once or twice, though his eyes quickly return to his lap once he sees the serene calm she was torturing them with. It was almost better to be yelled at, really. The boy tosses his head in a vehement fashion, in a resounding no. He did not have anything to say or add, just in case this was a repeat of his first meeting with the Weyrwoman. He got himself all freaked out for nothing, and regardless of the way he was sitting there beside her, he was just going to wait until either the bomb dropped or the woman's demeanor changes. "No, ma'am." he replies, almost in a squeak, but coughs immediately afterward. Nope, uh uh, nothing to report here. Eyes shift off elsewhere though. Again, not the most convincing argument.

Kiley blinks as Thea taps her fingers, slowly easing her hands apart and glancing up at the Weyrwoman. "O-Of course, ma'am." The biting comment certainly has the woman taken aback and she merely watches the Weyrwoman with sort of a lost look crossing her face for a moment. It takes another moment for her to come out of this stupor, her head shaking in response to the question. "No, ma'am. There's nothing." She doesn't even look to Pyriel as she says this, and she doesn't visibly relax, either as the possibility of getting in trouble ebbs away slowly.

"I see." Thea sounds genuinely disappointed in Pyriel, flickering Kiley a half-wink and a nod of approval as the girl shifts her hands. She tucks her chin, eyes lifting over the rail and down to those eggs while allowing the silence to stretch. "So you want to become Riders, the both of you. And yet…" There's a wealth of doubt in her tone, a sidelong look given to each in turn, "you're both in turmoil, troubled. Seryth has picked up on it." She lifts a hand, as if forestalling argument. "You don't have to tell me about it. But you've both a lot to sort out before you deal with another mind inside your head. Those eggs are not easy to face. I'm not sure you are ready."

Pyriel sinks lower at the tone that Thea gives him, really looking like he felt terrible for disappointing her, jaw setting and keeping his golden eyes cast elsewhere. They wanders back in time, though only when the Weyrwoman has started speaking again, his leg having started jiggling in the stretched silence between the three. He opens his mouth to protest, but no sound comes out with the raising of her hand, the dubious nature of his expression narrowing down to one of sulking. What, now he can't touch the eggs just cause he had stuff on his mind? Gaze jets to Thea and away again, doing his best not to be too annoyed at the woman's assessment. She'd know better than he would right? Py had never been a candidate before, and even as his attention does indeed drift to the eggs with a measure of desire. He wanted to touch them. "Whatever," he starts, and then tacts on in the next heartbeat, "…ya think is best." What? He was trying here!

Kiley smiles at Thea for the wink and the nod of approval, relaxing visibly and nodding slightly as she settles into a more relaxed position in her seat. Her gaze remains focused on the Weyrwoman, however, listening to her words and reflecting silently upon them as she speaks. Her brows draw into a slight frown and she considers, her fingers subconsciously begin to twist at the bracelet upon her wrist with her thoughts. A slight look is given to Pyriel as he answers and then she carefully turns her gaze back to the woman before them. "Ma'am… I think that many of us are troubled by something or another. Something that keeps in the back of our mind until we can solve it later. And.. The fact that you have the potential for your life to be changed on the Sands is troubling."

Pyriel's comment draws the Weyrwoman's eyes back to the boy with a quizzical lift to her brows. "Whatever? That's it?" She shakes her head ever so slightly. "Tsk. Giving up that easily?" She disengages one hand from her mug, reaching out towards his white-knotted shoulder, brushing the cord with light fingers while purring, perhaps almost purposely prodding for an honest response, "Apparently you don't know what you want." Kiley's words have her nodding agreement while she withdraws her hand to her own space. "That is, true. Many people come with some sort of baggage. And the thought of impression is troubling enough without creating more while waiting." The pair get a significant look, but it is on Pyriel that it lingers. No, she hasn't dropped the bomb yet. But her offer is sincere when she states, "If I didn't care I would say nothing."

Pyriel's brows knit when Thea responds, to be found shortly there after chewing on the flesh of his bottom lip. "I ain't givin' up, jus' what am I supposed to do? Yer saying I ain't ready and that yer dragon is picking up stuff. Ya would know better than I would about who's ready and who ain't. Right?" he asks, still unable to look at her properly. It wasn't the guilt of the stupidity of his youth plaguing him, but rather the woman herself at present. To make matters worse, her hand appears in his field of vision and he stiffens with wide eyes as her fingers idly brush over his knot, and she purrs. Lightly flushed to bright red in one point two seconds, just add Thea. He's having trouble collecting his thoughts now, stammering a bit. He growls faintly after a few false starts, frustration focused on the railing. A deep breath taken, let out softly, and he closes his eyes for a time. Mostly while Thea talks to Kiley. He draws a leg up to his chest though, even as the Weyrwoman's attention is returned to him, lashes lowered as he picks a point on the toe of his boot. "Maybe," he attempts, chin tucking in, "Maybe I said something about a …rider being kinda hot." What rider? Pyriel doesn't elaborate further. "And yeah, I know." Fidget.

Kiley glances between Pyriel and Thea, obviously missing something more as the woman prods him for a better answer. This continues until the Weyrwoman addresses her and the computer crafter turned candidate only nods once. "Yes.. I don't think I am making trouble for myself, though, ma'am." Kiley admits after a moment, "I have just been trying to figure out how.." Her fingers free themselves from the bracelet on her wrist and waves for the lack of wording and it takes a moment longer for her to finally put a word to it. "To be myself." While that is explanation enough for Kiley, it likely explains nothing at all as she drops back into silence to cast a curious glance at Pyriel for his confession. There's a blink, then another that follows and then slowly her gaze is turn back to the Weyrwoman as the whole thing goes right over her head.

Thea watches that boot-toe picking, silent for a spell on the heels of Pyriel's growl. "You are /supposed/ say you'll prove yourself ready, not simply give up. And I didn't say you weren't ready, only that I wasn't sure you were. /You/ need to be the one that is certain." It's said quietly enough and with a gentle smile. "Seryth's not the only one to notice either. It's easily read by others in your expressions and body language." She tilts her head to Kiley, a brow quirks skeptically, lips twitching with some inner amusement. "If you say so." There's a brief, pause after Pyriel's 'hot rider' comment before she says dryly, "Did you now." Not a question, so no surprise there. Hmm. She must know something, right?

Pyriel side-glances to Thea, but his gaze darts away just as quickly back to the toe of his boot. "I really dun think that anything going on is gunna affect touchin' the eggs, and I really want to touch them." he says quietly and honestly. And he did, really want to touch them. It was miles away from being a meek submission, that sort of thing just wasn't in the harper slash candidate's nature. "I can't be no one else but me, ma'am." He was /NOT/ about to put on falsehoods and fake compliance just for the sake of everyone else. "Ya gutta be true to yerself, above all else. And I am tryin' to be more….polite." Always a touch on the grumpy side around other people, but yes, someone had surely noticed that the boy had matured to some degree from his rough and tumble delinquency. No fights reported since he was knotted as a candidate, and that was saying something. He twitches for Thea's dry comment, lips pursing. No question in that tone, so maybe she knew. He still wasn't going to elaborate. He might be dense, but he was not going to be stupid. If she knew, she knew, if she didn't then that was even better.

Kiley remains in silence as she listens to Thea speak to Pyriel, considering these words as well and not ignoring them despite the fact that they are not expressly directed towards herself. There's a thoughtful frown that pulls on her brows, lingering even as Thea gives her that skeptical look. Cheeks flush a light shade as the woman flusters at the look and the words that follow. She doesn't drop her gaze, merely considering the words spoken and what the woman could possibly find amusing. Fingers resume their twisting of the chain as her brain works around to try and solve this puzzle. Pyriel's words draw her attention away from her thoughts and her gaze fixates on him as he speaks, but she most certainly does not jump in for his defense. The mention of the egs has her gaze drifting out there and truly considering them for the first time since accepting the knot; her thoughts drift from trying to understand to considering that her fate may lay inside one of these eggs. Eyes widen, slightly, and then her gaze slowly returns to the Weyrwoman while her thoughts don't entirely play in her expression, there's certainly a new light lingering in her eyes.

"It's not the eggs I'm worried about." Thea is earnest in both tone and expression as she tries to get Pyriel to meet her eyes. "Touching those eggs is like nothing you've ever done. Yesterday L-" She changes to, "I've seen grown men cry. It's- It can shake you." She stops, at a loss to put the experience to words. Addressing his other, she assures, "Oh you have been polite, Pyriel, no worries there. Not what this is about." Both hands reach out to each Candidate, an attempt to lightly pat each knee nearest her. Carefully she notes, "Things get back to me. All of you" she includes Kiley in this, "just… /really/ need to take this time to focus on what having a lifemate will do to you, what a single-minded commitment to a dragon will be rather than focus on… other relationships." Does she know what hot rider? Probably her dry comment is merely meant to make him think so. She meets Kiley's gaze with a clear-eyed one of her own, approval for the light she sees in the girl. "You get it, don't you Kiley?" She ponders something, then offers, "Would you both come down to the eggs with me now?"

Golden eyes trail back to Thea as she speaks again, head carefully following some. His expression blends seamlessly from one emotion to the next as the woman talks. First it's curiosity, then a blink into surprise, and then finally acceptance. He seemed to understand much better now that things had been spelled out for him, and so that tenseness he'd had since sitting down beside the Weyrwoman lets go as he starts to relax. He nods his head in a bob for the fact that people have noticed he's attempts at being polite. Kiley knew first hand how rude and obnoxious the boy could be if he wanted. He twitches first at the pat to his knee (she touched me!) and once more at mention of, other relationships, but that is all. Does he blush again? Yes, yes he does. He takes a breath and tries to get his skin under control as Thea gifts her attention to Kiley. Leaning forward shortly there after, looks past the goldrider to the computer crafter. He blinks a few times, obviously confused on what change had taken place and why this was such a big deal. Pfft. Boys. He certainly perks up at mention of eggs and the following of Thea to them, lighting up himself. "Really?" he chimes, a childlike excitement slipping into his melodically infused tenor. "Yes please!"

It does come as a surprise to Kiley that a grown man actually cried because of the eggs, but she does not cast a skeptical gaze to Thea in response to this. Her eyes remain upon the eggs, considering and trying to understand what could bring someone to the point of tears. But she's drawn back from these thoughts quickly as her attention returns to the Weyrwoman as she speaks to both of them. The mention of the relationships is met with a slow nod, perhaps lacking in what exactly she is hinting at; she considers Pyriel for this, but only for the briefest of moments as everything just seems to fall into place. When this is acknowledged by the Weyrwoman a smile easily comes to her lips, a full smile that lacks any sort of reservation that was shown before. "Yes, ma'am. I understand." And the offer for the eggs is met with an even larger smile (who knew her lips could stretch so much!) while she gives a nod. "Yes, ma'am. I'd be honored to see the eggs." Her voice certainly doesn't betray the excitement that shows on her face.

The Weyrwoman nods, satisfied for the time being that maybe she's gotten some sense into them. Teenagers! But really poor, disillusioned Thea maybe. Sense. They've got another five turns before they start employing that skill. She rises, gesturing for Kiley to precede them down the stairs, patpats the brown firelizard lounging on her shoulders and sends him off with a silent message on some errand. The brown chrips, takes to the air and disappears. Thea pauses, turn to face Pyriel and in an 'oh-by-the-way' tone murmurs quietly, "The next kiss you give out while still a Candidate will require your knot. And there's to be no more cuddling girls — or boys in your cot." She adds, "The Barracks have ears, Pyriel. Be glad V'dim hasn't caught wind of that, hmm?" Things get back to her indeed! And payload dropped, she turns to lead them to those eggs. Nothing like an object lesson to get a message across.

Pyriel glances between both women, nearly on the edge of his seat and ready to go. He peers at Kiley as she is given the go ahead to move down the stairs, brows twitching downwards as gold tinted eyes flutter to Thea. Weren't they both going. He awkwardly climbs to his feet, yanking down his shirt in the process. He can take only one step to try and follow the computer crafter before the weyrwoman drops the bomb he'd been dreading. He really should of expected this one to blast him in the face long ago, and maybe he thought he got away with it, but clearly this was not the case. The harper candidate winces and instantly averts his eyes. Guilty? Yep, completely. "Yes ma'am." he mutters, low but considering their distance from one another, easily heard. Py had been doing his best NOT to get booted out of candidacy. He doesn't however argue that no kissing and cuddling hadn't been in the rules he was told about, even if there is twinge in the back of his brain that said so. He lets it go with a sheepish committed nod. No more cuddling, sigh. No more kissing. Deeper sigh.

Kiley is definitely at that age where sense should be working, but, apparently the woman is stuck in the mentality of her teenage years and doesn't even realize it. She rises from her seat and nods as Thea gestures her down the stairs, making her way easily down and not entirely glancing behind her to watch their progress. She even misses the conversation behind her as it has nothing to do with her.

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