Weyrwoman, In the Garden, With a Crossbow

Xanadu Weyr - Garden


An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place. On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also eluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic. The two paths leading away from the entrance have come full circle, wrapping around to meet each other on the other side, yet still continue on to the far left and right. One path leads off deeper into the surrounding woods, while the other wider; cheerily decorated with brightly colored slabs of painted stones.

It's a clear, cool morning and the gardens are relatively empty this time of day. One solitary figure is visible amongst the flowers, stooped over and grumbling, and occasionally pulling up a weed, which she tosses aside on the path where a small pile has been forming. Despite the early hour, Cenlia is already at work, her clothing as dirt-smeared as ever, with four lazy firelizards sprawled on a nearby bench.

X'hil is out early this morning, out for a jog. He's actually fairly content at the moment, having finally found some balance between his job that largely revolves around a desk and paperwork and his need to be /active/. He detours from the meadow towards the gardens, pausing momentarily for a breather, when he spots Cenlia. He wanders over towards the weeding gardener, kneeling beside her. "Need a hand?" he offers, by way of greeting.

Thea enters the garden, her face of late has been rather sober, her manner withdrawn, today however she is wearing a look that can only be described as irritation. Why she's in the garden on this mild winter day and not in the office, is anyone's guess. In one hand she carries her crossbow, it's a good thing she's got it pointed at the ground because the way she's holding it can only be considered careless. She doesn't appear to be looking for anyone, in face, her eyes are searching the mostly bare tree branches. Voices draw her attention only when she is nearly on top of them, but she doesn't speak to Cenlia and X'hil, really other than to growl, "You!" An accusing finger is pointed in the pair's direction. Just which 'you' she means is unclear - at least to those present, and she doesn't define it, rather ice green eyes blaze from under her dark brows, lowered in a frown as she glares.

"No! Come!" In all of the nose and firelizard hassel, it's easy to forget that Sigam has a canine. It isn't all that surprising - she's usually a self-efficient, quiet thing - but on occasion, she chooses to make nuisance of herself. "STAY!" This would be one of those occasions, the young pup shooting around the corner, a pair of her owner's pants flapping in the breeze. "Sabhrilline!" A thankfully clothed Sigam attempts to keep to the path, but Sab has no such restrictions. She scampers along through the flowers until she spies other humans. Body waggling, she darts up to X'hil, then leaps away, trying to get him to play chase. Look, she has Sigam trained to do it! "Shards." Breathing the word in time with Thea's 'you!' (which has him cringing, by the way), the Dragonhealer finally manages to catch up to his dog. Stomping on his pants leg from behind, he pries the article away before heaving pup and pants into his arms. "Er. Weyrwoman, weyrsecond… Cenlia." The man seems poised on the edge of flight, and it's obvious from his concerned gaze for her that, were Thea not here, he would have gotten out of dodge already.

Cenlia looks up when X'hil speaks, the girl wearing an expression that might indicate she's swallowed something sour recently, but at the sight of man, she blinks and blurts out a surprised, "You!" At least she doesn't point at him this time. There's a pause, her flits looking up curiously at the man, and then the gardener grins sheepishly, the smile likely the first genuine one on her face since the hatching, "Er, hey. Yeah, could use a hand." She waves vaguely at the flower bed, where a number of long-leafed weeds have sprouted amongst the flowers. "Ain't seen you in forever," she adds, still grinning, though perhaps the grin her eyes might reflect a tinge of worry. "Got somethin' for ya, by the way," and Cen peers over at Charmer, who perks up and chirps, sparing a croon for the bronzer before he takes wing and disappears *between* a moment later. "Finally got 'em trained up, mostly," Cenlia says, bending down to tug jerkily at another weed while opening her mouth to say something when Thea's 'You!' startles her. Cenlia looks around for a place to hide, perhaps trying to edge behind X'hil a bit. Cen blinks, eyeing that crossbow warily, and then her smile disappears completely at the sight of Sigam and his canine.

X'hil blinks at the growled 'You!' from behind him, and turns around to get a look at the accuser. Being that he's kneeling on the ground, his gaze travels upwards, so he spots the crossbow first, and instinctively cringes, before looking properly up at Thea. "Ah. What seems to be the problem?" he asks, attempting neutrality. It could be either of them after all, though, if it's him he's probably just made things worse. The dog's antics actually elicit a small smile from the man, and he reaches out to give her a brief scritch on the head when she gets close, but she bolts before he can. He's not about to give chase, though. Weyrwoman with a crossbow. He doesn't want to be a moving target! At Cenlia's 'You!', his face falls, and he looks guilty and confused, as though he's not even sure what he should be feeling guilty /about/. "Ah… Been busy… Work…" Right. He does kneel back to help weed, though he shifts a little, so that he can keep the crossbow in sight. "Something for … me?" he seems surprised.

"-I- have something for you!" Thea mutters between clenched teeth to X'hil, although she does give Cenlia a look as well, before returning her gaze to the unfortunate X'hil. She's still not defining which of the 'you's her finger is pointing at. The voice behind her is either ignored or unheard, but the canine skipping through and wriggling around X'hil does distract her. That crossbow she's holding in her hand is still pointed at the ground, although the Weyrsecond's lack of his usual (in her mind) cowardly fear, his scritching of the canine, that little smile has her momentarily confused. She stands there for a moment, scratching irritably at her neck in uncertainty as Sigam rescues his trousers. Her pale eyes travel slowly up the dragonhealer's legs almost as if she was expecting to see a kilt or something. "Don't tell me. He found those in the bushes?" This is asked of Sigam, her tone a little less irritable, but slightly sarcastic nonetheless.

Sigam is no happier to see Cenlia, even if way deep down he is amused by her attempts to hide behind X'hil. In fact, he looks… frightened, maybe a little guilty, with a dash of leftover anger. "Yick, stop," he mutters to the red and white canine in his arms, pushing her licking face away from his. "You be good." The Dragonhealer drops the pup, who, lacking a game now, simply trots back to X'hil to hopefully collect the pets she missed earlier. "She," Sigam corrects Thea as he dusts his shirt free of dog hair and meets her gaze evenly. Fearless in the face of death! A grin slowly curls up the corner of his mouth as he realizes her meaning. "And no, she found them in my laundry basket. That was a one-time event." The crossbow is eyed, and he is the first to make a comment. "Going hunting?," he asks hesitantly, mood knocked off-kilter by everyone's sheepish reaction to the goldrider's ire.

Cenlia wrinkles her nose at the mention of work, telling X'hil, "You should get a clipboard and come work outside," and she indicates a nearby tree, "'S what the weyrleader does." and there's a brief lopsided grin there, though it fades quickly at Thea's words. Right, irate weyrwoman with a crossbow. Eep. Although it /could/ be worse. It could have been /Eledri/. Cenlia just eyes Thea, still looking wary, and perhaps trying not to look at Sigam's nose. Or the rest of him, for that matter, though she at least doesn't look too guilty.

X'hil is scared, yes, he's just getting better at not showing it. Plus, if he makes any kind of sudden movements, say, as if to run, Thea may shoot him on reflex. Or at least, that's /his/ reasoning. And if not Thea, that canine, while seeming harmless - just energetic - might give chase. And… Well, there's a million things that could go wrong, and X'hil is getting /very/ good at not showing his fear. "Er." Thea has something for him? He can't help it, his gaze snaps back to the crossbow, and he flinches. "You … do?" He forces himself to look away, only to find that canine trotting back over. He reaches out to coax the pup closer, and give her scritches. "Aw yeah, you like that, don't you?" he murmurs softly, almost affectionately. "Just like ol' Besha." he shakes his head, and glances briefly up at Thea, a little warily. "Might do me good to get out of the office once in a while." he murmurs, at Cenlia's suggestion.

"She, then." Thea self-corrects still sarcastically, but Sigam's grin is hard to resist and she smiles in spite of her mood. Until he asks about hunting, then the glower returns and she turns back to the pair on the ground. Now what was she doing here? She scrubs a hand over her face, running a finger around the collar of her jacket, shifting while she tries to remember. Cenlia's wariness and flickered looks from her to X'hil to Sigam's legs draws an irate, "Not after you. Relax." As if a command would work. Then a growled question for the gardener, "Why're ya always so scared've me? Thought we were friends." Suddenly the weyrwoman is blinking and wiping angrily at her eyes. Then X'hil speaks and her attention snaps back on him. "Yes I do!" Her eyes narrow at him and up comes that crossbow, aimed right for him.

"Uh." Sigam, while briefly heartened by a grin that is much more like the Thea he knows, is suddenly shifting from foot to foot, eyes flicking from X'hil to Thea to Cenlia and back. "This… doesn't seem like a good time." Thank you, Captain Obvious. "Maybe I should go? I have that thingy with the… thingy. Very important business, that," he chatters in a nervous fashion, feet sliding backwards as if he doesn't trust any of them not to stone him if he were to turn around and high-tail it. Sabhrilline, oblivious, leans heavily into the bronzerider's scratching, eyes closing with pleasure. Sigam is about to pop the canine's happy bubble when a crossbow is leveled right at X'hil. The Dragonhealer's eyes widen almost comically and, denying his instinct's sudden desire to scream 'hit the deck!' and dive to the ground, he moves forward in an attempt to distract the confused weyrwoman… Or at least, he hopes she's confused. "Hey now, hold on. That can't be safe. Lower the crossbow. Thea? Please?"

Cenlia looks from X'hil to Thea, blinking a little at the woman's mention of friendship. The girl opens her mouth, looking somewhere between confused and sheepish, but as that crossbow comes up, Cenlia's eyes are widening, and she immediately steps back, and then frowns, stepping up beside X'hil instead of retreating. The girl is answering Thea's question with an accusation, "'Cause I ain't ever /see/ you unless something bad happens!" Which is true lately, what with the cot incident and all. Though perhaps there's more the girl isn't saying. But she's a little more distracted by the weapon being pointed at X'hil. "What the shards are you doing?" Cenlia asks, the wariness increasing, if anything, though X'hil gets a suspicious look too. After all, he's got to have done something to warrant Thea coming after him with a crossbow, right..? The brief glance she gives Sigam is certainly not a friendly one, though she's not looking as hostile when the man moves forward instead of running off.

X'hil yelps! And then instantly regrets it. Sudden noises are probably not helping. "I, er," he begins, in a higher pitch than he might like. He forces himself to calm down, or at least give the /appearance/ of calm. "er, that's a very /nice/ crossbow…" he says, rubbing his rear absently, about where he got shot before. His eyes are darting around, as if hoping to find some escape or something to block the arrow with. Not even Kinseth can save him now. "Hey, over there, behind you, is that a sheep?" It's a frantic effort, but distraction might be key? Sigam's moving over is noted with a relieved expression, just briefly. Help! Yes! He needs some of that! It's just now occuring to him that he hasn't been properly introduced to his attempted saviour, because, if there's one thing X'hil's good at, it's definitely not timing. But he just offers a generic "Thanks…" for now. There's a glance to Cenlia, and he frowns. "There's a point!" about not seeing Thea unless something bad happens. Though he swiftly rethinks his poorly chosen move of antagonising the woman with the crossbow. "Er… Maybe. To be discussed when there are no crossbows around." His eyes snap back to the crossbow in question and he just sort of stares at it.

Thea's head turns to Sigam and she blinks at him as one does when told the sky is blue on a sunny day, "It's not meant to be safe." Rather obvious herself now. Cenlia's answer almost takes the wind out of her sails. She visibly deflates muttering, "You've got a point there. I'm sorry." It is truly humbly spoken before she adds, "It's a two-way street ya know. Could come lookin' for me once in awhile instead of complicating my life all the time." Grumpy, yes. The unfortunate choice X'hil makes to jump into the discussion returns her attention his way. "Seryth says…" She flounders, a look of total confusion plays across her face for a moment. Apparently, the gold so helpfully reminds her just then, for her face clears with a muttered, "Thanks." There is ice in the pale green of her eyes as she raises the crossbow and sights down the length. "Seryth says…" For a moment she shuts her eyes tightly and turns her head away, clenching her jaws tightly before returning that glare the poor Weyrsecond's way, "…that she wants Kinseth and no other to fly her!" She waits a beat, then, "But -I- say you'll have business elsewhere." Either she's too far gone to remember, or simply intended to leave it so, her crossbow isn't even loaded.

"No, really?" Sigam growls in response to Thea's brilliant observation, his patience and timid behavior having finally run out. Towards X'hil, the man aims a nod, recognizing the thanks without drawing his eyes away from the weyrwoman… or towards Cenlia, when conversation turns towards the gardener. "Thea…" The name is spoken in a chiding tone, eyes narrowing as if he can imply this isn't a good time through mere facial gestures. "I don'-" Whatever the Dragonhealer was going to say, it's forgotten when the goldrider reveals her intentions for levelling a /crossbow/ at the poor bronzer. "You… what?" Narrowed eyes flick from X'hil to Thea and back, long moments passing as his frantic brain finally puts two and two together. "Oh shards." He's not quite observant enough to notice that the 'bow is unloaded, so he keeps his body firmly planted in front of the weapon, but an ounce of tension seems to leave his shoulders in understanding.

Cenlia opens her mouth to protest Thea's words about coming to see her, but hesitates. The talk of Seryth and Kinseth… well. Cenlia snerks. She can't help it. She looks at X'hil. She looks at Thea. She doesn't outright start laughing, but the snickerfit is hard to contain. It also helps that she's noticed the crossbow isn't loaded. "Shards," she doesn't seem to have anymore to add. What does she know about flights, after all? Just shaking her head and trying to stifle the obvious amusement at Thea's predicament. If she were older, or perhaps more mature, she might not find it funny at all. Or as funny, anyway.

X'hil just blinks at Thea, and then stares. "Seryth…" Oh. Ohhh. Well. That makes everything so much clearer, and yet so much more complicated. He closes his eyes for a moment, nodding at something only he can hear, then looks back up at Thea and stands up, rising very slowly, no sudden moves. "I… If you would prefer… I don't have to be there, not even if Kinseth… catches." His talking is part genuine, part an attempt to distract from his moving carefully closer. "It's not /pleasant/, but, I've spent flights alone before." There's a grimace, but he pushes on, moving in a slow arc around Sigam. "But if you really want, we, Kinseth and I, can visit some other Weyr for a while, and," now's his chance. He makes a grab for the crossbow, clearly not noticing that it isn't loaded. There's a momentary pause as he hears Cenlia's snickering, and something in the back of his mind is saying 'hang on, that's not right', but, shard it, he can't take the chance.

"Get out of my way!" Thea growls this at Sigam, but then X'hil is talking, and she is stepping to one side to see around the dragonhealer as the Weyrsecond talks. She's listening, up until the part where he says something about spending a flight alone. "No!" It's a vehement denial, but she quiets her voice enough to grit, "I wouldn't put my worst enemy through that. I would never." As she's shaking her head, she starts to tremble, likely adrenalin let-down. "Yes, you can go-" Then the crossbow is yanked from her hands and all she can do is blink at X'hil, then at her empty hands. She doesn't ask for the weapon back, she doesn't ask why Cenlia is laughing, she doesn't say anything but, "I need a drink." And she stalks off in the direction of the Tavern.

"I don't think I will," is Sigam's riposte, but his tone isn't as hard anymore. Instead it's… pleading? "Thea, please put it down." The Dragonhealer can hear X'hil moving behind him, and a little warning light goes off in the back of his mind. Approaching an obviously proddy-addled woman with a crossbow aimed at you didn't seem like the brightest idea at the moment but… maybe the bronzerider knew something he didn't. Needless to say, Sigam did nothing for the moment but hold his ground until - finally! - X'hil had the weapon in his own hands. "Thank Faranth," he breathes, but seems almost started when, instead of really reacting, the goldrider stomps away. "That… went well." The moment's reprieve doesn't last long before Sigam realizes just who this leaves him with. Lips pursing, he turns to eye X'hil and offers him one last nod before saying, "Might wanna keep ahold of that for a while. And… nice meeting you. I think." There's an implied 'I wish it'd been under better terms' before he, too, turns on his heel and marches off without a second look at Cenlia. Whether he's off to his own destination or out to follow the weyrwoman is up to anyone's guess.

Cenlia finally manages to stop snickering when she notices X'hil's crossbow-snatching, the girl watching Thea go with a not entirely unsympathetic expression. "Shards," she shakes her head again, glancing at Sigam as he too departs, the girl frowning slightly and chewing her lip. But after a moment, she turns back to X'hil, eyeing that crossbow and saying, "Don't let Eledri see ya with that thing," and the girl grins, "He'd be up a tree." Wait, hadn't Eledri shipped off to Ista? What's he still doing in Xanadu after the hatching? Regardless, Cenlia kneels back down to tug the weed she'd been pulling, finally getting it free from the soil. She walks over to the weed-pile on the path, tossing the plant aside and flopping downonthe grown, giving the weyrsecond another grin, "Guess you're gonna hafta find someplace else to be for a while?"

X'hil steps backwards a little, and glances down at the crossbow. "Wouldn't be the first time, nor the last." It would be the first time since he quit drinking, but he isn't going to mention that part. "W-wait. Are you … oh." Too slow, Thea's gone before he can really gather his thoughts enough to speak. He blinks a little as Sigam leaves as well. "Uh. Nice meeting you too." he says, still looking a little shocked. His reaction times are just awful today. "Shards, I don't even /know/." There's honesty, as the man moves back to kneel beside Cenlia, laying the crossbow to one side and half-heartedly tugging on weeds. "Do I take Kinseth away, do I stay and keep to myself, or… /Shards/." Too complicated. "Wait. Back up. Eledri?" Apparently he'd heard that the man was at Ista, possibly dealt with, or at least glanced at, the paperwork himself.

"You could ask Sir Kinseth if he could help me get back to South Boll for awhile," she suggests, grinning at X'hil with mischief written all too clearly in her eyes, "Harvest's over long-since, and nobody's in the orchards, and I heard my cousin Evi's got anew stash." But there's a bit of doubt as she speaks, eyes searching X'hil's face as if unsure he'd still be willing to go on a booze heist. But at the question about Eledri, she shrugs, "Yeah, he came to the hatching," and an uhappy expression flickers overher face before it's replaced by a frown, "Figures I still need watching or something." And she looks away. She might have said more. However, it's at this moment that Charmer returns from his errand, popping out of *between* and letting out a croon as he flaps above the humans, just barely holding aloft a plushie dragon, the color close to bronze. The firelizard is a decent distraction, Cenlia looking upand promptly getting a faceful of plushie dragon as Charmer lets go. The girl acks, shooting the flit an annoyed look as he swoops down, all nuzzles and croons.

X'hil raises an eyebrow at Cenlia. "South Boll." He repeats the name flatly, and then the mention of Evi's new stash comes up. "I see." It's … not a no? That's something? He is Weyrsecond now though, and he doesn't really drink any more. There's a pause, and he shakes his head. "You okay? Kinseth… was surprised. We both were." By the hatching outcome? Probably. "I… We could probably fit a trip in." Get away from Seryth's flight and Eledri at the same time, bonus. Though convincing Kinseth to leave might be considerably more difficult. As the plush dragon falls, he blinks. "Huh. Cute. Like a little Kinseth." There's a pause, and a wince, followed by a snicker. "Okay, not /cute/." he concedes the point to the bronze.

Cenlia shrugs off X'hil's question about the hatching with a muttered, "'M fine," though she notably doesn't look his way, instead giving Charmer some scritches before turning back. "Here," she grins a bit, tossing the plushie dragon in X'hil's direction, "Early turnday present. Or late, whtever's closer." She smirks a bit, "Figured I still owe ya after saving me from that runner." And a possible chomping by Seryth. Normally, Cen would be breaking out the booze, but another look at X'hil has her frowning slightly again as she reaches down to absently tug up another weed.

X'hil catches the plushie dragon, and blinks, then frowns, and furrows his brow. "What's the date… Ah. Right." Either he remembered or Kinseth filled him in. "Er. Late. Shards. Been so busy… Near three months ago." And no-one mentioned anything? Well, he probably had a quiet day with his foster mother, it's unlikely /he/ would have missed it entirely, especially with it being the day before Kinseth's. "But, er, don't worry about it, would've done that for anyone." Right. "Search and rescue, hard habit to break." And with the recent turmoils across Pern, that's been on his mind a lot lately. "You … sure? You see a little frowny for someone who's fine." he asks then, concerned.

"Huh, three months?" Cenlia tilts her head, "Shoulda thrown a party," though that has her frowning too. After all, parties contain booze, and a glance back at the weyrsecond has her looking unsure all over again. Apparently, Izzy's words about him working and drinking to death have Cenlia worried too, but it's not like she's got anything useful to suggest. Instead, she weeds. His question has her hunching her shoulders somewhat. "Said 'm fine," she mutters, scowling slightly and looking perhaps a bit embarrassed. "What about you? Shards, this's the first time I seen you since-" and her she breaks off, blinking an awful lot at the weeds, and tugging rather more viciously than perhaps is needed. "Since Eled flipped out over me bein' searched," she grumbles after a moment, tossing yet another weed in the pile. "Guess he was right," she adds almost sulkily, though Cenlia really isn't one to sulk for long, taking out any unhappiness on the poor weeds.

X'hil blinks, and turns to look at Cenlia. "Hey. Hey. Don't give up. Kinseth thinks you'd make a good rider some day." And Kinseth has actually spoken to her, though X'hil doesn't seem to be aware of that. "It was just, not the right clutch. You'll see. Xyala didn't impress either, and even A'li stood a few times…" he says, not quite realising that her frowning might have something to do with him, and his working and drinking habits. Still, he does seem a little more grounded today. He's finally finding some sort of balance between working and not working, at least. At the party suggestion, he grimaces. "Not really a party sort. Had a quiet night in… It was … nice." he shrugs, and pats the little plush dragon on the head before setting it beside the crossbow, and tugging at weeds.

Cenlia snorts, and doesn't look his way, nor does she answer about possibly standing again, though her expression remains fixedly frowny. But she does turn to eye him eventually, "Not the party sort." She repeats the words, the girl's expression dubious. But again, she shrugs it off, turning back quickly to glare at the plants, and muttering under her breath, "Shards, all that paperwork's really made ya stuffy." Though it's perhaps a little selfish, she does lament the loss of a drinking buddy, especially one with as much a penchant for trouble. The girl is silent for a while, giving the weeds something to fear.

X'hil frowns, and has to admit, "I never /was/ the party sort, never really drank either, not until I got … brought back here." Okay, that last part there is a little defensive. "Had a celebratory drink, and Xanadu didn't seem so bad, so I had another, and another…" he grimaces. It's not something he's proud of. "Don't recall /why/ now, it's not so bad here, but it made sense at the time." There is an indignant, "I am /not/ stuffy!" though. "I, I'll prove it to you. South Boll. Let's go." He's serious, deadly serious. He may still be slightly rattled from the /crossbow/ pointed at him, he does seem to be acting a little erratically.

Of course, Cen knows prefectly well how he ended up back in Xanadu, and the girl makes a face, briefly. She does have a tendency to spread the booze around. Cenlia's eyebrows rise as she glances sideways at X'hil, and she mutters, "Huh, and Morl- M'nol was accusing me of drinkin' too much. Wasn't even drunk when I broke Sigam's face." And she can't help but smirk at that. But then she's blinking at him in surprise, "What, right now?" Clearly, she hadn't expected that, though she certainly doesn't look unhappy.

X'hil blinks a little as Cenlia mentions breaking Sigam's face. "That was you? Shards, what'd he do?" And up until now X'hil was actually quite, well, not overly friendly, but he hadn't formed much of an opinion one way or the other, yet. Never seems to have much luck meeting new people, does he? "Right now… If you want? Get out of the Weyr, for a bit." For several reasons. Though, again, he's yet to run this by /Kinseth/.

Cenlia really is a terrible influence sometimes. "Sure, ain't really busy now," she might sound entirely too cheerful for the frown that was on her face a few moments ago. But the girl does wrinkle her nose and shrug, "Sigam's a turd. Got a shardin' mouth too big fer his head. And sticks his nose where it don't belong," of course, she /broke/ his nose, so. But the girl's expression is decidedly sour as she grumbles, "Practically asked me to do it. Dared me to shut him up," another shrug, "So I did." Though there's a rather less smug grumble, "And shardin' M'nol, deserves wrosen' that. He's lucky Eled showed up." Though what on Pern the weyrling's done to earn her ire… Cenlia kicks at the dirt, frowning all over again. Sheeh, if she gets any more frowny, she'll actually look like an angsty teenager. The horror.

X'hil frowns. "M'nol? Isn't he just a kid?" He's really only a couple of turns younger than Cenlia, but apparently that's young enough for young X'hil to call 'just a kid'. He does actually look a bit frowny now himself. "Shards, I'm a rotten influence." Well, she saw him punch Eledri, that /must/ be it, right? Right? Anyway, moving on… "Wait, wait. What did /Eledri/ do?" Because now he's curious. It's a curiousity born of both concern and his official responsibilities.

"M'nol's a shardin' /wherry/!" comes Cenlia heartfelt exclamation, the gardener girl… blushing? And very pinkly too. But she snorts, "Yeah, he's a shardin' /kid/, an' he ain't got no business with /me/. Ever!" And that, it seems, is final. She continues to frown, "Eled? He-" her voice actually breaks, and she glares off at the shrubbery, "He didn't do /nothin'/," and… is she the one sounding defensive now? But the girl shrugs it off, instead changing the subject, "Shards, thought Thea was comin' after /me/ when I saw her," and she smirks just slightly, "'Specially after I broke Sigam's face with an ale bottle." She doesn't seem too sorry about that. After all, he'd asked for it. "Lucky that ain't loaded," she indicates the crossbow with what might almost be a smile. Almost.

X'hil winces, and glances down at the weeds. "An /ale/ bottle? Shards." Apparently the man draws the line somewhere between fists and bottles, though where is a bit of a mystery. He's not exactly fond of fists, either. "Shards, don't remind me. If Kinseth finds out… I hope Kinseth doesn't find out." About Seryth only wanting /him/. The bronze's ego is bad enough as it is. And then he looks at the crossbow, the unloaded crossbow, and it's his turn to blush. "Oh, shards. I went and took it and I didn't even realise…" Brave man. And he doesn't even seem to realise. "D'you think I should… return it?" Yeah, probably not just yet, but still.

Cenlia shrugs, smiling almost crookedly, "He's lucky I didn't have 'm shovel." Sigam might never know how lucky he actually is, at that. The girl doesn't comment on Kinseth finding out, though she does look rather amused. About the crossbow, she manages a crooked grin, "Not unless you want her to actually use it. Figure you better keep ahold of it for awhile." She pauses, tacking on, "'Least till after Seryth flies," and there's another pause, realization perhaps dawning on the holdbred girl. She's been here long enough to know, but still might be a tad slow, finally saying, "Seryth's glowing, ain't she?" It's less of a question, really, as Thea's behavior seems explained.

X'hil just nods, frowning a little at the crossbow. "If she's not glowing now, she soon will be. And it seems Kinseth is her preferred suitor." Oh, joy. X'hil has mixed feelings about such a flight, but his first instinct is still to flee. He picks up the crossbow idly, and turns it over in his hands, staring absently at it. "Yeah. Might be safer to hang on to this." There's a pause, and a careful admission, "Kinseth hasn't chased since Kilaueth's flight." Which was very shortly before the man stopped drinking. "He… He won't want to leave Xanadu. Not if she might rise. Sharding dragon." So, South Boll is out? At least until /after/ the flight.

Cenlia tilts her head at X'hil, "How come?" about Kinseth not having chased since, although it's debatable how much the holdbred girl really knows about flights. Then Cenlia makes a face, telling X'hil, "Better not tell Thea that. Dunno if /she/ knew that thing wasn't loaded," and the girl shakes her head, less amused. Though she tilts her head and eyes him the way she often eyes the shrubbery, analytical. After a moment's consideration, she says, "Dunno why she's so mad about it though. Not like you're /that/ bad lookin' anyways, and you ain't a jerk neither." Though some of the amusement returns, "Shards, think Shellie looked more upset the last time Seryth went up than Thea."

X'hil is 'not /that/ bad looking'? "There's nothing wrong with the way I look!" Not that he even considers the possibility that anyone might be interested in him at all, outside of flights. But Kinseth not chasing does give him pause, now that he's actually taken a moment to think about it. "I… don't know. Hope it's not because of me. He's never been flight-shy before. Picked some /really/ awful times to chase, too." he snorts, and puts the crossbow back down. "Some riders," he doesn't presume to know about Thea, and in fact the 'some riders' may in fact include himself, "can be resentful of the loss of control. In a strong flight… It's exhilarating and terrifying and … but then there's the morning after. Where you wake up next to someone that you might not otherwise have chosen." He grimaces. A memory behind that grimace? Possibly. Is he going to talk about it? Probably not.

Cenlia really does grin at him now, "Was joking," and she even chuckles, "Ya look fine, shards." But the rest of what he says gets a raised eyebrow, the girl seeming somewhat surprised. "Hunh," she tilts her head again, thoughtful this time. "Am almost glad I didn't impress. Shards," and more head shaking, "sounds awful. Was bad enough when M'nol kissed me, can't imagine waking up…" and there goes another dawning realization there. And what 'otherwise would have chosen' for those who might really have chosen otherwise really means. The girl looks rather horrified, muttering another, much softer, "Shards," and then looks anywhere but at X'hil. Oh hey, weeds. She doesn't ask about the grimace, her own thoughts likely disturbing enough.

X'hil looks very guilty when he catches Cenlia's reaction, quite forgetting sometimes that most are not forced to know these things as young as he was, when he found out the hard way. "Hey, it's, it's not /that/ bad." Yeah, he can't actually find a /reason/ to back that up, though. "Just one of those things… Dragons rise, dragons chase, no-one minds in the slightest at the time." That 'at the time' though, that's the killer. He blinks then. "M'nol did what?" Well, it gets him off of the subject of flights, but now he's into protective brother-type mode. It may not actually be an improvement from where Cenlia is sitting.

Cenlia seems to accept what X'hil says without any questions, though perhaps she just doesn't want to think about it anymore. The change in subject may not be any better, but Cenlia says anyways, "He shardin' snuck up on me and kissed me," and she scowls, going pink again. "'Cause he lost a /bet/ - a sharding bet!" She sounds either angry or indignant, or perhaps both. Blushing a deeper pink, the girl scowls and rips up another weed, "Shardin' /kid/," and she makes a face, "An' then Sigam threatened him into asking me the the sharding dance class," and right about now, she doesn't look as if she minds protective brother-type mode much, taking the opportunity to rant, "He's lucky I didn't take a shovel too him. 'Specially after the tavern-" but the girl falls silent, taking her irritation out on the weeds instead. "Good thing Eled showed up," she mumbles, and oddly enough, that part doesn't sound grumpy at all. Relieved maybe? Possibly, she's forgiven the computercrafter for his short tempered bouts of yelling at her. The fact that she was bawling into his shoulder post-hatching-boozery had nooothing to do with it, nope. Sometimes big brothers are useful. Sometimes. However, the girl is still pulling up weeds like they were some personal enemy. They might be, who knows.

X'hil blinks a little, and frowns. "Should I … have a talk with him?" Would that help? He can assign extra work, maybe? Hard getting that one past the weyrling staff though, probably. "The… tavern?" He doesn't mean to pry, he just … can't help it. He no doubt feels a little guilty about not being there, or at the least only hearing of this now. "Shards. Is… Is there anything I can do?" By the sounds of things, Eledri actually helped, which is a little surprising to X'hil, but then, he doesn't really /like/ Eledri much, so his opinion was not too high to begin with, any nice act would surprise him. He tries, for the most part, to be nice to Eledri, because he /is/ Cenlia's brother, but it's difficult and sometimes awkward.

/Now/ Cenlia looks like she regrets the subject change, her face going all the way to a bright redfruit-shade as she shakes her head, the embarrassed expression battling the scowl. "Can handle it m'self," and she gives X'hil a glare, though really, he hasn't done anything to warrant that. Tugging at more weeds, she grumbles, "Sharding /kid/, thinks I drink too much or something. Wasn't even /drunk/," though she has to smirk as she says, "He could barely walk after I learned about the bet. He tries anything again, I'm using m' shovel instead of my knee." Ouch. Her blushing fades a bit, though she's still grumbling, "Shardin' /glad/ I didn't impress. Would be stuck with him all over again." But the girl seems to realize she's now ranting at the poor bronzer, which is both unusual and embarrassing, so she quickly changes the subject, standing and dusting off her hands. "How come Izzy didn't stand this time?" way to transition there, Cenlia. Though it might have been the first thing that popped into her mind.

X'hil has been sitting there rather dumbstruck during the ranting, though he probably thinks he's seeming to listen. He is actually listening, but it appears to be a lot to take in all at once, and there are gaps. Like why could M'nol barely walk, and does he really want to know? He wants to be supportive, and he /is/ concerned, but the subject change is leapt upon anyway. Until he realises what it is. "Ah. I'm … not sure. She won't say. I think she missed the kids, though she'd probably never admit it." She's not really the caring maternal type, not /outwardly/. "Or she missed drinking." He seems to think that most likely. "Or she just didn't want to be left standing again. I don't know." he finishes, with a shrug.

Cenlia quirks an eyebrow, "Shards, I missed the drinkin'," though she can't comment on kids - kidlet duty was more than enough, as far as she's concerned. The gardener girl purses her lips, nodding at the 'left standing' part. After all, the disappointment of two hatchings is still relatively fresh in her mind. She's silent for a moment, apparently unable to think of anything more to say, and likely unwilling to go back to talking about either flights or her recent tavern troubles. So instead, she weeds, though there seem to be fewer and fewer to rip up. With a sigh, the girl rocks back on her heels, "Missed the garden too. All them chores gettin' in the way," though if she was completely honest, she'd have to admit that even chores never stopped her from getting up at the crack of dawn to work in the greenhouse.

X'hil actually smiles, a little. "Figured you might. Weyrlings can't drink either, it freaks the young dragons out." Look on the bright side, maybe? "Heh. Izzy missed the kitchens, and her brewing, well, actually, her latest batch should be nice, aged longer." Temptation. Argh. Quick, change the subject. …to what? He instead busies himself tugging weeds, though there aren't too many left now. "Know anyone who'll take a few firelizard eggs off my hands?" It's all he could think of! "Don't have any /yet/, but I figure Elizabeth's getting close to rising."

Cenlia makes a face at the mention of weyrlings not drinking, muttering another, "Shards, sounds awful," though there's a lack of sincerity there. What kid has never dreamed of impressing a dragon, really? Lack of booze be damned. Though the girl snorts, saying, "Shards, almost forgot about the brewing - been makin' something specialfor Ro's turnday. Was gonna throw a party when mine rolls around-" and then she's back to frowning. Considering all her friends impressed, and those that aren't weyrlings are either sobering up, proddy, or busy sneaking around Ista… the girl makes a face, grumbling, "Shardit all." Cenlia grimaces at the mention of firelizard eggs, "Not /me/! I got enough of the sharding things," her words causing Charmer to chitter at her unhappily. She ignores him, though the girl looks suspiciously amused as she says, "Bet Eled could use one. His new cell-thing dun't work so when he's inside. Been having to send messages to Landing with B'miel," and she snickers. Imagining her brother with a shrieking baby flit couldn't have anything to do with her suddenly lightened mood, could it?

X'hil shrugs a little, and glances to the meadow idly. There's not much he can really say about hatchings and weyrlinghood, actually. "I… What /now/?" No, that wasn't at Cenlia. There's a pause, and then a heavy sigh. "Look, I've got work to do, I'll see you around, though." he says, gathering up the crossbow and the dragon plushie, and glancing to the exit. "I'll keep Eledri in mind when Elizabeth clutches, though." Oh, yes, he will. Mwa ha ha ha. Cough. "Um. Good luck with that party thing. Send me an invite." So he's asking to go to a place where he knows booze will also be? Well, okay. Seems he's relatively confident in his sobriety now. And then he's gone, slipping out to the meadow.

Cenlia makes a face at the mention of work, though she raises a hand to wave, saying, "Should surprise him with it." But it seems the thought of Eledri with a firelizard is quickly replaced by something less amusing, as Cenlia quickly starts to frown, grumbling, "Shards, he'd deserve it after telling 'm folks I got-" the frown deepens, "…got searched. Not I get to tell 'em I didn't-" and the girl actually finally manages to look really upset. "Shardit all," she practically growls, suddenly taking off into the garden. Andthe wayshe knows this place, likely no one would be able to find her without major rsearching. Ever her flits seem a little surprised, the creatures chirping and eyeing X'hil before all four of them pop off *between* and are gone.

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