No Boys Allowed!

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.

MURDER. Somehow thinking about murder this early in the morning doesn't seem particularly healthy, but this is Risali we are talking about; it's Risali who, despite the fact that most candidates probably got themselves dressed and groomed proper before emerging from their Barracks Of Candidate Status, did not. She didn't bother with her unruly curls (which are making impressive angles to taunt gravity, a genetic trait that can only be described as 'unfortunate' at best), her clothes are wrinkled (she probably slept in them), and so far she hasn't bothered with her manners either. She's snapped at some poor unfortunate soul who dared to ask for a seat beside her, she's glared down another approaching whos-it, and now she's fixing grey eyes on a tiny (beautiful) gold firelizard that's prowling around on the food-hunt with an eerie kind of grace for a new-ling. The mini-queen on wings trills a pretty bit of nonsense, and Risali's exhaling, " - going to kill him," under her breath as if this is some kind of Kill Him: An Honest Meditation meant to bring the harper back to her normal (HAAAAhahahaha) place of zen. Hoooooom Death Hooooom.

Cara was one of the ones up bright and early - in fact she seems almost too chipper for this time of day, especially for someone that is Working! But there she is with her cleaning cloth and a little basket for clearing away used dishes that have been left behind by people in too much of a rush to tidy up after themselves. Even such a sucky chore doesn't seem able to dent her mood this morning, though as someone scurries away from the direction of Risali having been growled it there's a momentary frown that passes over her face - and all directed at the person scurrying away from her friend. "Risa?" At least she has the sense to annouce her presence as she hover-cleans in that direction , her cloth never actually making contact with the tables on the way. "What's wrong?"

Even sweet, amazing Cara is on the receiving end of the harper's ire - though thankfully the muted fury ends with a cutting glance of grey eyes that melts as soon as she seems to realize the Woman with Basket and Cloth are indeed well Cara. Risali's shoulders seem to slump in defeat, she pulls an interesting face, and then one delicate finger extends towards the gold flit as she makes to pounce an abandoned piece of something-or-other a mere few inches away from Risa. "That. That is what is the matter, Cara. 'I'm going to kiss you until you can't make sense of up or down and then give you this pretty egg that -' HE KNEW WAS A GOLD FIRELIZARD. Stupid, idiotic bronzerider." 'She's going to kill him,' is the subtext, in case you missed it. And how could K'vir have possibly known? Risali seems to recognize the hole in her story, and she straightens her spine just enough to hiss, "He did," at Cara, as if the woman questioned her logic. The gold is picked up then, handled with notably gentle hands so that she can plop the mini-queen into Cara's basket. The flit makes a curious noise and then pops her head right over the top, twittering in MERRIMENT AT THIS FUN GAME before she climbs back out and makes her dainty (for now) way back onto Risa's shoulders. This is Risa's unamused face (


), exaggerated as she decides to ignore the new addition to her litter as an ear gets nibbled and instead squints at her friend as if seeing Cara for the very first time. Harder squint, and Risali leans in before sitting back abruptly with a blink. "Cara," she says softly, almost suspiciously. "It is too early to even think about being awake, and you seem happy. Did something happen?" And while Risali seems genuinely interested in the answer, there is no mistaking the exhaustion that laces its way into her voice. WE CAN'T ALL BE CARA-LEVELS OF BRILLIANCE WHEN IT COMES TO GREETING RUKBAT.

Cara blinks, then blinks again, perhaps signalling for help from a passerby simply by means of morse code - though if she is then she fails because nobody comes. "Okay, wait, what? Start again. Your man gave you an egg?" She got that bit, but pauses a moment to check that what sheunderstood had indeed ben understood. "Onlyit was a gold and you're… mad at that? That's a huge special present. Some people would kill for that. Well maybe not kill exactly, but they'd be thrilled. And she is really cute." The basket is plopped on the table, in perfect flitter jumping range though that part is most likely coincidence, and Cara just sinks down into the seat beside Risali and pretends to mop at a particularly difficult (and utterly imaginary) stain). "You're not really mad about an egg are you?" But then there's that squinting and Cara finds herself leaning back juuuust a little, "Nothing happened. I swear! I'm completely over him." Until the next time. "I just like mornings." FREAK!

Definitely a freak. When Cara sits, Risali leans until her shoulder is pressing into the other candidate's, grey eyes once more squinting as if in disbelief. WHO ARE YOU? WHERE IS MY CARA? Potato (THAT IS HER FLIT'S NAME, FIGHT ME) takes advantage of the proximity to scramble from Risa's shoulders onto Cara's, twittering in the woman's ear before taking a (gentle) nibble at a lobe and wiggling her wings to get more comfortable on this new back. "Nobody likes mornings," Risali punctuates with proper conviction, as if this is a place of People Who Can't Even in the light of day, and Cara is a heretic among them (she is). And then? Then Risali seems to deflate again, bringing both of her arms around one of Cara's and leaning her cheek on the younger candidate's shoulder as grey eyes finally close. One grand exhale, and Risali is leaning sideways in a quasi-nudge. "What about when she gets all in a way?" But the accusation has fled in the wake of something much-more quietly tired. "He did it on purpose, Cara, because men are stupid." One, two, three, and Risali is lifting her head, blinking her attention back to Cara as Risali leans her own weight towards the table and relinquishes Cara's arm back to possibly cleaning up more imaginary messes. "So he hasn't written you again?" The subtext here is, 'I will kill him,' also. Just in case you missed that.

"Lots of people like mornings." Cara counters, leaning oddly so that she can balance tiny claws and clinging friend all at once. "Greatness doesn't happen on its own." The way she says it it's definitely a quote. The fact that she almost breaks off the thought halfway through should be a very good clue as to who it's a quote from. As Risali leans, Cara's head drop for a fraction of a second to gently touch against Risa's. "You've already got a green don't you? You know what it's like. I mean… it'll be fine. She's just a bit bigger than usual. I bet he thought he was being sweet. I mean… he could have kept it for himself." As for letters, that gets a quick shake of her head, and a poorly masked look of disappointment. Because she is SOOOOO over him.

Quasi-nudge, and Risali gives her friend a look because she definitely caught the hesitation in the middle of that quote. But Risali doesn't argue that Cara is great without mornings, or that the woman is definitely alone in her aforementioned Rise-With-Rukbat kind of Great Responsibility (THOUGH SHE KNOWS IT TO DEFINITELY BE TRUE); instead, Risali makes a non-committal noise in her throat about green firelizards and then pushes a hand under her chin, watching Cara for a long moment. "My green has never been in the mood and that is the problem. He probably did, but he definitely did it on purpose." She doesn't OUST her idiotic bronzerider for his history of WOMEN AND FLITS, but Risali's conviction probably does enough finger pointing without her having to say it. Unfortunately, Risali's not so caught up in her K'vir-induced ire that she misses Cara's disappointment, her own expression falling in response to the younger woman's. "Okay," Risali breathes then, and she's sitting up to sweep grey eyes around suspiciously. She may be looking for Enforcers Of Chores, or just ensuring that K'vir hasn't snuck in to get breakfast only to be SURPRISED WITH MURDER, but her eyes end up back on Cara with mischief. "Come on," and out of Risali's chair she rises, extending her hand for Cara in invitation for her to follow. "Chores can wait, I got a couple of things from Half Moon Bay and we are going to try them out together." Probably meaning clothes, and GIRLY MAKE UP (do they even have make up on Pern? Because AIVAS SAYS MAYBE THEY DO NOW), and HAIR DOING to make both women feel like a pair of honest-to-Faranth Goddesses. "Let's make our idiot men regret everything." THIS IS REASONABLE RIGHT? AT THIS HOUR? "And then we'll build a fort out of pillows, and steal some snacks, and neither Brynnjan or Metan are allowed."

Cara laughs, "Well mine hasn't either, but I think she's too young, but that's not the point. You'll cope. My grandma managed and she's…" Lie, quickly. LIE! "…got about a million. And a dragon." Smooth, now quickly cover it up. "You know, if you really want to annoy him you should just agree with him if he compliments you.. You're looking pretty today. Thanks I know." Cloth does another quick quick figure of eight over an imaginary stain, while her brain does all sorts of gymnastics over just how she completely blew this conversation, but then comes that offer. Order? "What? Risa I can't! I'm supposed to be on caverns duty today, I can't just… can I? I mean I can't. What if we got caught?"

Blown it?! Risali is laughing too - but she means it when she says COME. "Kyzen and I don't really have that kind of a relationship." Truly. Her affection usually consists of calling him names (ie: Idiot Bronzerider), and his affection usually consists of much-sweeter-but-no-less-meant-to-make-her-blush things that maybe he means, but often ends with her telling him to shut up. This is not the romantic, affection-oozing couple that you are looking for. He's young and male, and they're both young and inexperienced. THIS IS NOT IMPORTANT. What is important is Cara's hesitation that moves Risali to place one hand on her hip. "Yes, you are. And pretty much everybody in this weyr, visiting or not, is going to come here while you are working, and we're going to make them wish here was the stores with you in a completely different state of dress. And maybe word will make its way back to he-who-must-not-be-named, and he'll come too." A pause, and then Risa is catching Cara's face between tiny hands, causing Potato to squeak protest and shuffle about on Cara's shoulders to find a more comfortable perch - the top of her head. "The fort is for after the chores. There's no point in looking amazing if we aren't going to show ourselves off. Now come on." She lets go, extending her hand again with fingers waggling in wait. See? They are only kind of breaking the rules. Getting ready for your day isn't entirely against them - right?

Cara's mental gymastics are quite something, so perhaps it's a good thing nobody can read her mind. So many ASSumptions, so many worries, so much… TEMPTATION! "Risa I'm really not… I mean… people just don't… you see…." Apparently the idea has robbed her of the ability to actually end a sentence, though it has brought about a rather impressive blush, though perhaps that is understandable considering the suggestion. "He wouldn't care." Quiet, but honest, though it doesn't stop her reaching for Risali's hand. Cloth's coming with them, like it or not.

"Cara, shut up. You are beautiful." Risali matches honesty with honesty, taking Cara's hand in hers to give a gentle tug before looping her arm through the younger woman's and shrugging when she mentions her idiot bluerider not caring. "Then we'll make him, and if he still doesn't care, then maybe we will find you somebody who does." WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? And Risali leads, though not back to the candidate barracks. This time Risali leads Cara to the room that she shares with a certain obnoxiously tall bronzerider (who may or may not be awake, but probably is awake and is ASSIGNED DUTIES TO HELP THE WOMEN GET READY like HOLDING HAIR and RETRIEVING CLOTHES if he hasn't left to go tend his own business or FLEE at the arrival of Risali and Cara), to get all dolled up and make the boys who PROBABLY ALREADY WANT HER want her just a little more. If that's possible. Which maybe it is. Who knows. WOO GIRL TIME.

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