Morlanol's Got the Blues

Xanadu Weyr – Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to 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, leveled carefully 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, however, 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. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, 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, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

There's a lull in the cavern's hustle-bustle for dinner is over and the Weyr is winding down. Most of the traffic has cleared from the room, save for small groups of Candidates that drift by the area right near the fireplace. Several boxes of used gather clothes have been set on the floor there, some of the contents spread upon a few of the tables. Thea enters the room with another carton in her arms and crosses the area to place the last box with the others, pausing to rub the small of her back.

Morlanol sits across the caverns from the boxes of gather clothers, feeding his creeling Tourmaline and waiting for the crowd to clear. His eyes are unfocused for all that he's keeping up with Tourmaline's rapid appetite. Agate and Bloodstone sit on the fireplace mantle, watching the gather clothes being divvyed out, occasionally cheeping at eachother as if conferring on options.

While some of the older Candidates rummage through the boxes, Thea assists one of the younger girls, a thin blonde girl from Telgar, holding up first one dress, then another. A glance flickers towards Morlanol and she asks the miner, "Did you find something to wear yet?" Her lips quirk in amusement at the chirping his firelizards are doing before her attention is back to the girl.

Morlanol starts, his mind coming back down to earth, "Uh… no… I was jus'…" Whatever he was about to say is drowned out by Agate crowing triumphantly as he dives head-first into the newest box and comes out holding a slick, well-tailored black shirt with delicate silver stitching on it in a generally flamey-craggy shape. Bloodstone joins him and the two carry the shirt to Morl, Bloodstone cheeping as if asking, 'this work?'

Thea's brows lift as Morlanol's firelizards snag a shirt from the box, her lips purse for a small whistle. "They have taste. Did they pick the right size for you?" Back to the girl, she lifts a pale, sea-green dress, holding it to the girl's thin frame. There's a shy nod from the girl, who glances at Morlanol, blushes then looks away. "The color suits you," Thea nods her own approval to the girl, "Hold it now, and I'll check the hems." As she's kneeling to pin the hem, she casually comments to Morlanol, "So Cenlia will be partnering you, I've heard."

Morlanol blushes lightly, taking the shirt from his flits as a distraction. He slips his current shirt off, setting it to the side where Tourmaline immediately curls up in it and begins to snooze. He carefully pulls it on and smiles at Thea, "Yeah, it fits… li'tle tight 'roun' th' shoulders, bu' it'll do nicely." His blush hasn't vanished, however, even as Agate and Bloodstone perch on the table, preening happily at their success. "Yeah… Cen sai' she'd parn'er me…" He grins, but there's a lack of confidence behind it.

"You want some room to move your arms when you dance," Thea points out practically, eyeing the shoulders of the boy's shirt as he moves. "Ripping shirts aren't fun while lifting." She pushes the last few pins into the hem, rises and pats the girl's head, "I'll have this brought to the Barracks for ya." The garment is draped over one arm while she steps to her sewing kit to rummage for matching thread. The girl skips on out as Thea glances at Morlanol, "Hmm. And you're still able to walk after asking her. That's a very good sign." Sage nod.

Morlanol slowly rotates his arms, managing to have sufficient range of motion. He mumbles to himself, "Arms are a li'tle long… makes up fer it a bit…" He blushes more deeply, Agate reaching out with his head to nuzzle him comfortingly. He does finally nod, "Yeah… guess so… bu' she 'ssumed 'twas a bet 'gain… like th' kiss…" He looks thoroughly humiliated, his head down, his face a deep red.

The thread selected, Thea steps to one of the chairs at the table nearby Morlanol. She busies herself threading it, allowing the lad some time. While she concentrates on getting the thread through the eye, she observes, "Hmm, but she didn't smack you in spite of that." She lifts her head, pulling the thread through, "And you set her straight on that, right?" She keeps her voice light, serious now as she considers the miner for a moment before beginning to stitch that hem.

Morlanol is still downtrodden, but nods slowly, "Yeah, I tol' her 'bou' Sigam threat'nin' me… then she though' 'twas jus' 'cause he made me… so I had t' tell her I wanted ta an' Sigam pushed me inta it… an' then I think she go' all uncomferble… then we walked back t' the barracks an' th' floor was overwaxed an' y' know wha' happen' from there…" He trails off, if anything more defeated than before. Bloodstone drapes himself around the boy's dejected shoulders. Tourmaline continues her oblivious sleep… lucky flit…

Thea stitches in silence for a few minutes, flickering a glance now and then at Morlanol and the behavior of the firelizard trying to comfort the boy, "So she said yes to the dance…" Her tone encouraging as she trails off, "Not happy with that?" She adds with a small laugh, "Look on the bright side, you don't have to dance with Sigam." Her needle slides in and out a few times before she asks, "Why the long face?"

Morlanol sighs, trying to cheer up a tidge, just for her. There's a soft sniffle, but he seems to be managing to avoid crying, "Yeah, she di' say yes… an' tha's good 'n' all…" He goes quiet for a moment, thinking, "Bu' I think I made her mad when she foun' ou' I act'lly liked her 'staid o' bein' forced to… think it mad her uncomferble…" He sighs again, but sits up straighter, "But she did say yes, an' tha's a start."

Thea lowers her needle and tilts her head at the boy, "Morlanol, it's better than having her laugh at you, perhaps?" She considers something, then adds, "I don't think there's anyone else she likes, although she and X'hil spent a lot of time together awhile back." She knots off the thread, clipping it with her sissors. "Didja find some trous to go with that?" She gestures at the shirt.

Morlanol nods, some of his characteristic smile returning, "Yeah, an' she liked th' flit I gave her an' asked where she coul' ge' more…" He trails off again, "She does talk 'bout X'hil a lot, bu' she doesn' really seem innerested in anyone… leastwise she hasn' given anyone gifts or nothin'." He grins a little and gestures to Agate and Bloodstone, who both take wing back to the mantle, "They'll fin' summat, they always do."

Thea rises, draping the dress over one arm. "Nice you can trust them to find you something…wearable." And if he shows up in pink trous, she'll know why. "I wish I could reassure you on that Morlanol, but the only thing I've ever known her to adore is booze." There's a dry chuckle on the tail of those words, "I need to get this down to the young lady in the Barracks. Don't forget shoes." She waves a hand towards one of the boxes, then turns, heading out into the night.

Agate swoops down through the thinning crowd, coming up with a stark black pair of trous only a little nicer than the pair he's currently wearing. He nods anyway, accepting the little flit's offering. Bloodstone comes up with a pair of black slippers. Morl shakes his head and makes his way to the boxes to find a pair of men's shoes. He waves to Thea as she goes and nods, "Yeah… I'd noticed tha…"

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