Candi-dancy and Cavern Diving

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks

A long, low ceiling room opens off the entrance hall to the arena, one wall slightly curved as it is set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set evenly the length of the room, in two rows, 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.

Morlanol is collapse on his bunk, the hastily hemmed candidate's robe lying partially beneath him. Agate and Bloodstone are curled up near his head while tiny Tourmaline lays on his stomach. He's awake, but not very active. On Cen's cot sits a plush golden flit with a note attached.

Cenlia wanders into the barracks, still looking a bit dazed from the hatching, or perhaps just disappointed. She waves a tired-sounding, "Hey," at those already in the barracks as she heads for her cot, flits trailing in the air behind her. The girl goes to flop down on her bed, only to be stopped short by the sight of a… plushie dragon? Cen blinks, peering at it with a suddenly-wary look. Her four firelizards swoop past her to land on the cot. Little goldeny-bronze Charmer chirps curiously to the thing on the bed, stretching his neck out and nosing it while the other flits eye it with much the same wariness as Cenlia. Entirely too many odd things have been showing up in her cot lately. The gardener girl leans down to snatch the note while mumbling, "This ain't mine…"

Morlanol groans softly and begins to stir as Cen enters. Tourmaline lifts her goldeny-green head and chirps softly at Charmer, admonishing him and his fair for disturbing her person. Bloodstone, on the other hand, wings over to them, trilling a happy hellllooooooo. Morl groans again, "Cen?"

Charmer is too busy nosing that plushie dragon to notice the other flits, though Rogue gives a soft 'gwrr' sound at Bloodstone's approach. Cen ads the note and raises a brow briefly before glancing over to Morlanol, "Y' found this in the caverns?" She sounds rather curious, rather than grumpy, which is good, right?

Morlanol slowly rises to a sitting position, cradling the slowly-waking Tourmaline as she tumbles down his chest. He looks slightly confused at first, then notices the plushy and remembers where he is. Bloodstone cirrups back at Rogue while Agate stays on the cot, too tired and full to care at the moment. Morl nods slowly, "Yeah, in th' cavern where I foun' m' can'date's robe. There was a whole box o' 'em." He grins a little, she didn't seem upset… that was good… right?

Cenlia hunhs, reaching down to pick up the plushie dragon, making Charmer croon at her and then fly up to perch on her shoulder so he can continue to examine the thing. Cenlia turns the plushie dragon over in her hands, still peering at it curiously, saying, "Thanks. 'S cute. Gonna hafta get another color if I impress, though." And the girl grins, "Though…" and she rummages briefly under her cot until she finds the plushie ovine. Holding both up, the girl laughs, "Shards, just need a little sewn-up runner now." Rogue flits up to Cen's other shoulder, eyeing the plushies while Cen's other two flits, Mizzle and Trouble, curl up on opposite ends of her pillow to snooze. Glancing back at Morlanol, Cen asks, "Couldja show me where ya found it?"

Morlanol stands, his cot creaking somewhat at the change in weighting, and slips little Tourmaline into his front pocket. He gets closer to her, giggling as he admires the ovine as well. Agate, perched on his shoulder gives an odd little grumble, as if he thinks she's being mean. Morl, on the other hand, gives a stout nod, "Yeah, I coul' prolly ge' down there 'gain." He goes silent for a moment, then, more softly, "C'n I ask ya a question?"

Cen stows both plushies by her pillow, saying, "Been meanin' to looks around more in the storage cavern," and grinning lopsidedly. She gives Charmer a little scritch as he nuzzles her ear. Tilting her head at Morlanol, the gardener girl raises an eyebrow and says, "Yeah?"

Morlanol strokes Agate absently as Bloodstone lands on his other shoulder. He's silent for a moment, then Agate nudges him gently with an imperious little chirp. Morl does his best to grin, but his nervousness is obvious, "Well… I was wonderin'… Y'see Thea sai'…" There's a pause, then he takes a deep breath and blurts out his questions, running the words together in his haste, "Woul'yabemypar'nerferth'danceclass?"

Cenlia eyes Morlanol curiously, those silences possibly unnerving the girl. Or perhaps she's wondering if he's about to jump her or something. She look positively baffled as he finally gets the question out, looking him like he was some type of odd shrubbery and saying, "Would I what?" She might have heard the word 'dance' in there somewhere, though, as she shrugs and adds, "Oh, yeah, heard about that. Figure Thea must be goin' crazy with all the work she's gotta do." A quick glance back at the golden dragon plushie and Cenlia wrinkles her nose, "Sure glad I ain't gotta do all that stuff. I'd go crazy too staying inside all the time."

Morlanol's mouth spreads to something between a grin and a grimmace, his face blushing somewhat, "Yeah… Thea's really busy…" He gulps again, his blush deepening, "She sai' 'twas 'portan' t' ask someone t' be yer par'ner fer th' class… an' I was wond'rin' if y'd… If y'd be willin'… t' be m' parn'er…." He trails off, looking somewhat like a puppy who's afraid he's about to get hit.

Cenlia rolls her eyes as she finally gets what he's asking. The gardener girl shrugs again, giving Morlanol's blush another curious look before replying, "Yeah, sure. Dunno how to dance, though, so y' better wear some good boots." At least she's nice enough to worry about stomping his toes. However, Cen smirks a bit, tacking on, "So who'd ya lose a bet with this time?" The piercing look she gives him isn't entirely hostile. And are her cheeks just slightly pink? Hmm.

Morlanol blushes a bit, but his grin is more genuine now, "Thanks… didn' lose a be'… Sigam threatened t' make me dance with him if I didn' ask someone… an' y've been g'rally nice t' me… An' I don' min' if'n y' can' dance… I haven' danced 'fore either." Agate pats Morl's ear in a 'there, there, that wasn't so bad' way while Bloodstone gives a soft little trill himself.

Cenlia's only response to Morlanol's explanation is a half-amused, "Hunh. Guess Sigam might like ya, then." She grins a bit, "Dunno if I should get between ya," but her tone is joking, "'Specially since he's so cute." She snickers, and is either somewhat oblivious or being purposefully so, but either way, she's still grinning as she turns toward the doorway, "If ya got time now, we could go check the storage caverns."

Morlanol blushes deeply at the suggestion that Sigam might have a crush on him and, still grinning at her acceptance of his offer. Agate gives a soft trill, but it's Tourmaline's musical cadence that draws his attention for a moment, then he follows, nodding, "Yeah, I shoul' show ya th' cavern where I foun' th' toy 'fore it gets too late. It's kinda far back there."


Xanadu Weyr - Store Room

This large storeroom is lit with a series of electric lights, illuminating the smooth cut walls. Rows of shelving contain all sorts of items, while large trunks contain all sorts of clothing, and a mix-matched variety of furniture is stacked up in one corner.

The searchers have hit the point where the only light is that of poorly covered glows as they delve deeper and deeper into the storage caverns,
Bloodstone flying ahead, certain of where his discovery lies. Morl follows a few steps behind. Finally, they reach another well-lit point and Morl opens a door to a store room where the boxes all look recently rifled. One about half-way back is labelled for removal and is emitting a somewhat unpleasant smell, but it seems to have dissipated since his first visit. Bloodstone alights on a box towards the back with a triumphant chirp, and Morl grins at his companions, "Tha's it. There's gotta be more down here somewhere, bu' those're th' ones I foun' earlier."

Cenlia accompanies Morlanol into the storage caverns, the gardener girl looking around curiously and grinning as goldeny-bronze Charmer and midnight-blue Rogue both perch on her shoulders, chirping softly and occasionally nuzzling her ears. She nods to Morlanol, holding her own glowbasket up to see the bearest shelves and boxes.

Keziah has actually been in here before the others, figuring it a good place to get out and away from people. That and perhaps she was hopin' to find more clues or another map. In either case, she's way in the back behind boxes that hide her away from direct sight. Course, there's a slight rummaging sound and all that goes completely silent upon hearing the other noises. Is it a tunnelsnake? Worse? Something else?

"Green. Green. Shells…" Grumbles a girl who stumbles into the caverns and promptly heads over to a stack of newish boxes, prying one open and then setting to work. "I just want a green shawl!" She laments when it doesn't promptly spit out her sought-after item. "Stupid boxes." Grumble.

"You should have come with a disclaimer! And a leash!" Sigam, half-dressed in breeches and sandles, arms laden with his towel and shirt, is sprinting through the storage caverns after a small blue dot. He is winded, and wet, and traces of sweet sand hint at the fact that he's recently bathed. Oh, and he's furious. The recipient of the Dragonhealer's rage? A teeny blue firelizard, barely big enough to be considererd significant, is clearly fleeing from the man, chittering happily. "This is not a game! I said come here! You're gonna get lost down here and then you're gonna be sorry and hungry and-" He jerks to a halt, sandals slipping on the dusty floor, eyes flicking around the room. "Candidates," he mutters, gaze still dark. "You would run to them." Calelir, for his part, flits over to the girl nearest him, who is muttering something about the color green. Sigam stays in the entry way to the room, torn between storming in and stealing his firelizard or running away.

Morlanol grins to Cen, not noticing the others right away, walking over to the box and prying the lid open, "There's gotta be abou' a dozen in here. An' all in diff'ren' colors." Then he notices the girl searching for a shall and says quietly, "I think there's some clothes in tha' box" he indicates one of the boxes that spilled forth cloth on his previous visit. It's Sigam's yelping shout, however, that breaks his 'she's lettin' be take her to the dance' revere. Tourmaline begins to stir, and offers a 'quiet down, I'm sleepin' here!' stern chirrup to Calelir as Morl turns to see the tiny blue enter the room.

Cenlia wrinkles her nose, looking around as she follows Morlanol's lead. Charmer stretches his neck over in the Keziah's direction, giving a little warble. Cenlia makes a face, muttering, "Bet there's tunnelsnakes down here. Shoulda brought m' shovel." Rogue utters a gruff little 'gwerr' in response. /He's/ not afraid of any tunnelsnake! Charmer, though, is too busy crooning at the shawl-girl over there to worry about tunnelsnakes. Sigam's voice has Cenlia glancing back toward him, grinning at that little firelizard and perhaps stifling a snicker. But she now spots the girl and waves a, "Hey," to both her and Sigam. The man gets a longer look, and then a brief glance back at Morlanol, before Cenlia is moving over to peer in the box the miner opened.

Keziah is looking up at the firelizard and shoo's him off even as she tries to extricate herself a bit, course she did work herself into there fairly tightly and then there's a few oomphs and urphs and then a yelp as she loses her balance and manages to fall half way out. "Blasted all to the Red Star and back." she mutters grumpily.

"You're not Oddity." Mutters the girl, who eventually resolves herself into the familiar candidate, Riyontali. Then, Sigam is noted, and a grin /very/ close to controlled flits across her features. "I'm not gonna save you, little guy. Never piss off the one who gives you — or any dragon you might be Impressin' in the near future, eh? — pain meds, my friend." Calelir gets a bland grin, then the healer a wink. Then she's smiling towards Morl and Cen. "Oh. Thanks." Blink, pause — "Keziah? That you? Where are ya?"

If Cal could stick out his tongue and raspberry over at Tourmaline, he would! But as it is, the little blue chirrups in a grumpy manner and pointedly turns his back on the green. The nerve! She's smaller than /he/ is! He tries to convey this to Riyontali, soulful whirling eyes tilted up at her. Life was so unfair! Lipwibble! "You ham." Sigam shifts the load in his arms, unfolding the towel and using it to dry off. It's too late for his pants, which are soaked around the edges, but the rest of him he can take care of. "Hi," he returns, glancing up once to meet Cenlia's strange glance. He frowns heavily at the gardener, but says nothing as he flicks the cloth over his hair. "I wish he'd take to reason like that, Tali. Least you're smart," the 'healer mutters after a long moment, eyeing the vague shape of Keziah in the corner before looking to Morlanol. "What're you looking for?"

In the box is about 12-15 stuffed fire lizards in various colors, all made of a patchwork of fabric shades, a bronze on near the top seems to stare up, begging to be held. Tourmaline gives a sharp cheep at Cal, which is echoed more softly by Agate. Bloodstone seems generally disinterested in their spat. Morl starts to grin at Sigam, but stops partway, not wanting to seem *too* glad to see the dragon healer, "I foun' some stuffed flits down here an' Cen wanted t' see."

There's a head-tilt from Cenlia as she hears and possibly spots what might be Keziah. The gardener girl calls out a "Y'alright?" as she takes a step in that direction. But bronze Charmer has spotted that plushie-bronze in the box, and he lunges down to tackle it with a gleeful croon. /His!/ Cenlia blinks at her flit, bending down retrieve the little bronze and his fabric counterpart. "Bet Sir Kinseth would like this," the gardener girl muses. "Make a good turnday gift for X'hil," and she does grin at this, and then grins at Tali, adding, "There's always K'vin." Sigam gets another look, though this time the gardener is looking even more mischievous.

Keziah extracates herself from the boxes and brushes herself off as sorta glares at people. "All right" she says simply and doesn't really elaborate on it. Course the stuffed flits are eyed a moment but then she pulls herself away from them and skirts around everyone as much as she can manage and then heads on out muttering something about finding a quieter spot

Calelir does deign to give Agate a quick glance, but Tourmaline he seems to have shunned for the moment. Finnicky little fellow, isn't he? Cheep? Sigam, however, can feel the weird sort of tension flickering in the air - years of perceiving where dragons and humans alike are hurting serves him well, even when he doesn't want it to. His dark eyes travel from Morlanol's toned-down grin to Cenlia's cheeky look, eyebrows slightly knitted. "What?," he asks a bit petulantly, finally hauling his shirt over his head. "I know I'm not dressed my best, but I swear you guys are looking at me weirder than usual." He does glance at the box of plushies, lip twitching as he considers taking one for his puppy to chew on, but he doesn't move out of the doorway. Standoffish much? "K'vin, yes. Go bother K'vin with your troubles," he snorts, arms folding. They're putting me on egg duty since the hatching's coming up." He watches Keziah go, silent, but with an eyebrow raised. "Friendly lass."

Morlanol grins genuinely as Charmer claims the little stuffed bronze. Tourmaline gives Calelir an equally disdainful ignoring, choosing instead to pull her head into Morl's pocket and sleep. Morl gives Sigam a lop-sided smile, "'Snothin'… 's ju's tha'… well…" He gestures sheepishly to where Sigam's developing an embarassing water-mark. He too watches Keziah leave with a quick eyebrow quirk, "Wonder wha' she was lookin' fer…"

Cenlia glances briefly as Keziah goes by, but since the woman doesn't appear to be dying or particularly sociable, Cen turns back to rummage in that box of plushie dragons while Rogue and Charmer look on from her shoulders. She attempts to give Sigam an innocent look, and might almost pull it off, except Morl's comment has Cen turning back to eye the dragonhealed, crooked grin on her face. "Dun suppose you're goin' to the dance class?" Cenlia asks, all innocent-like.

Calelir has no problem with this, reaching up to curl himself around Tali's ear comfortably, eyelids slowly sliding shut. What? He's just led Sigam through half the weyr. He's sleepy too. Sigam merely rolls his eyes at his pants, mildly annoyed. "It'll dry," he grumbles, brown gaze shifting to Cenlia as she addresses him. Glance to Morlanol. Glance to Cenlia. Eyebrows raise. "Do I have to, now?" The question seems to be more for the former miner as Sigam finally seems to cheer up. Maybe. A little bit.

Morlanol blushes lightly, absently stroking Agate, "She said she'd go with me, if tha's wha' yer askin'…" Bloodstone gives Sigam an oddlook, then flies over to perch on his head, absently tickling him in his right ear as he does so. Morl turns back to Cen, "I didn' look too close th' other day… wha' all's in there?"

"Just a lotta these," Cenlia pulls out another dragon plushie, tucking it under one arm along with the bronze one. Seeing Sigam possibly cheering up, an eyebrow rises, and she says perhaps a little too casually, "Well, if ya did, y' could dance with anyone you wanted." She gives Morlanol a brief grin and asks Sigam lightly, "So how about it. He gets to dance with me, an' if he can still walk afterwards, y' get a dance with him." Clearly she's enjoying this, "Or whichever one of us is still standing." Payback for that kissing-bet? Posssibly…

"Good!" Sigam looks rather pleased with himself, as if the whole idea of Morlanol asking Cenlia to the dance-y thing had been /his/ idea in the first place. It's only Cenlia's look that keeps him from striding over and giving Morlanol a manly clap on the back in congratulations. "I get to dance wi-" And there's the frown, back again with a vengence. The man's mouth promptly flatlines, a brisk look darting between the candidates again. "I think you've got the wrong idea, lady. Cenlia," he amends, arms, folding across his chest. "I only threatened to dance with him so that he'd be frightened enough to ask you out to that shindig. Don't go gettin' any bright ideas." He's tempted to tack a 'I'm straighter than a board' on the end of that, but there was that one time at Seminole… No. He'll keep that statement to himself, for fear that it'll come back to bite him in the ass. Again. With a mental tirade like this, it's no wonder Sigam's face has turned sour all of a sudden.

Riyontali glances up from her meticulous search of the boxes, occasionally reaching up to stroke the poor abused little blue. Finally, "Aha!" Cried triumphantly, as she emerges with a foresty-green shawl, warm but still knitted loosely. She triumphs over the stores just in time to catch the conversation, at which point she glances up and /snerks/. That's the only word that can describe it. "Oh — my." A hand claps over her mouth as she directs the grin at Sigam, eyes sparkling. "Awww, c'mon, Siggy," Utter innocence while using a nickname she likely shouldn't — and knows it. "Lighten up!"

Morlanol's expression goes through a series of rapid changes. Horror. Fear. Confusion. Horror. Then, inexplicably, a flash of hurt. Luckily, Tali's cheerful demeanor interrupts whatever he'd been about to say, giving him a few more minutes to frame a proper response. He sighs, softly, "Y' don' hafta… Cen jus' though' y' migh' have a crush on me an' wan'ed t' make us both uncomferble."

Cenlia's eyebrow rises at being called 'lady', though she can't keep the amusement off her face as she teases, "Yer that scary, huh? Shards, and you don't even have a shovel." She seems about to say more, but Tali's interruption has the gardener girl glancing her way and grinning. She chuckles, then, and says to Morlanol, "So he frightened ya into asking me?" The look she gives the miner it thoroughly suspicious, and perhaps a little accusatory, but she turns back to Sigam, hands on hips as she asks, "So who'd ya bet that I'd agree to be his dance partner? Yontal?" Aha, so that's what all the dance questions are about, though the girl seems more annoyed than truly angry.

Riyontali gets the brunt of Sigam's glare, but her use of his pet name does earn a bit of a quirky grin. "Don't call me that," he says, but there's a playful rumble there, along with the chiding tone one uses on a younger sibling. "You know better." He doesn't miss Morlanol's flurry of facial gestures, and with a sigh, the Dragonhealer raises two fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Yes, well, Cenlia should know that assuming makes an ass out of you and me, kid," he finally says, a lopsided smile jerking up half his face. "And yes, I am that scary. Grrrr," he frowns, lips lifting away from his teeth and nose scrunching 'ferociously.' "See. Downright terrifying." Nod, nod. "We didn't /bet/ anything. Least I didn't." Sigam flicks a quick glance towards the miner before shrugging at Cenlia. "Yontal?," he parrots, though he's obviously confused.

Riyontali shakes her head in Morlanol's direction, making little 'ixnay' noises. "No, no, Morl —" The girl gives up after a moment though at trying to figure out a way to phrase any potential cheering-up and shakes her head, grunting. "Sigam's a Wher." Is settled on instead, with a wink for Cen, then teeth-baring grin at the dragonhealer. "Why, Siggy," She beams with utter innocence. "I know no such thing." Then he's given a bland, assessing look, with a lifted eyebrow for her fellows. "Dunno," Drawled, teasing. "He doesn't look too scary to /me/." Snicker. "Try again, healer."

Morlanol just looks confused at this point. Agate and Bloodstone give odd, unidentifiable little sounds, each patting Morl gently on the head. Morl looks between the two girls and Sigam, then sighs, "I don' know wha's goin' on no more… 'Sthere anythin' else we need down here?"

Cenlia can't help chuckling at the frowling dragonhealer, and nodding in agreemnt with Tali's response, though Cen does give Morlanol another slightly suspicious look before saying to Sigam, "I seen trundlebugs that're scarier." But the amusement doesn't leave her eyes as she shifts her hold on the two plushie dragons and then tells Morlanol, "If you're gettin' scared by /him/, y' got less backbone than Eledri." There's a pause, though, and then she adds more seriously, "I seen you stand up to that other guy, what's his name. The one who wants a bronze. You shouldn't let people push ya around. If you didn't wanna ask me and had to get all scared to do it, I guess you still ain't learned." Though what he's supposed to have learned is anyone's guess, and Cenlia heads out, Charmer and Rogue chittering curiously on her shoulders.

Morlanol waves his arms furiously, "Nonononono, it's no' like tha', Cen. I was 'frai' y'd say no, so I was jus' gonna wai' 'til th' actual class…" Agate and Bloodstone make affirmative sounds and there might even be a tiny chirp from his pocket, it's hard to be certain. He blushes fit to light the room, "I wanted t' ask ya, but I was afrai' y'd hit me again… then he threatened me an'… an' I had ta…"

"And what does that make you, half-pint? A wherry?" Sigam laughs wearily, pushing off the doorjamb. "Sure you don't, /Riy/," he says, careful to draw the nickname out. "I'd not worry about it, Morl. They're being girls." This seems like a satisfying answer to him, as he stoops to retrieve the towel he discarded a few minutes ago. "Calelir, come." The little blue peeks up from his perch, yawning great big before flapping over obediently. His small body is dominated by Sig's large hands as it cradles the flit to his chest. "Well, I'd like to see you do better," he replies to the girls before shaking his head. "Yeah, what he said. Besides, I wasn't really bullying him into it. I was teasing. Jeez, settle down, harpy-head." Sigam seems to have finally run out of patience for the youngsters, his voice trickling o'er with ire. "Just… Get over yourselves and get used to being pally with the other sex, alright? Shards." He isn't quite rude enough to leave off without waving goodbye, but he doesn't say another word as he stomps off, carefully going in the opposite direction of Cenlia.

Riyontali just kind of stares as the situation goes from teasing to serious in a matter of moments. The girl blinks once or twice, then shakes her head, blinking blearily. "I…shells, I've no idea what you're all on about." The girl giggles faintly. "I'm going to go calm th' silly Dragonhealer down before he snaps at somebody who'll make him regret it." The pair get a crooked grin, then she's off. Her voice, entirely too loud for use inside tunnels, can be heard even as she's trotting out of what should be hearing range. "OI! SIGAM!"

Cenlia doesn't pauses on her way out, thought she does glance back at Morlanol with raised eyebrows, "I see." The chirping flits and that blush get a look, but she keeps going. Heading back to the barracks, and ignoring Sigam altogether, though Tali gets a wave.

Morlanol follows the others, dragging his feet a touch. He just knew he'd ruined it this time… he never should've said anything.

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