The Questionable Cost of Free Advice

Xanadu Weyr - Store Room
The storerooms here are carved into the stone, stretching back deep underground beneath the upper hallways that serve for residences and work areas. There is, after all, little need for natural light here; a series of electric lights are more than sufficient to illuminate smoothly cut walls and the assortment of supplies kept until they are needed once more.

For some of the things here, that time will be long in coming. Broken furniture and torn clothing awaits the opportunity for someone to repair it - or else the kindling and rag piles. Other items are more immediately useful; gently worn clothing and boots are neatly arranged in rows and on racks, especially in the quickly outgrown children's sizes, and an assortment of furniture and small appliances in functional condition await new homes.

A series of side rooms connected to the kitchen are the larder which feeds the Weyr through the winter. Sacks of grain lean against barrels of salted meat and wheels of hard cheeses stacked high. Refrigeration and dragonflight make for a more flexible winter diet, but it still takes a great deal of food to provide for this many people. The food is a tempting target for tunnelsnakes, and the occasional scuttle can be heard in the otherwise quiet depths of these caves.

Toward the southern edge, near the path leading down to the hot springs, there's the laundry rooms, a set of steam-filled chambers where water and soap are scrubbed into fabric of various sorts and the dirt and grime is scrubbed right back out.

Much of the stores are easily accessed, requiring only the appropriate permissions to be borrowed from. These supplies are, after all, here for the good of the Weyr and the people living here. A few rooms - those containing particularly valuable or dangerous items - are kept locked.

Summer in Xanadu~ A time for fun, sun and apparently eggs! Doubtless many a person is even now taking full advantage of one or more of those things, but none of these people are the willowy redhead slapping sliding one rejected garment after the next along the bar on one of the racks upon which such gently used are stowed, and with not more than a cursory glance. Arguably, such an activity could fit with the only adjective there that can be accomplished in the illumination of the electric lights in these caverns of carved stone, but judging by the occasional pinch of her mouth that looks uncannily like lips on a lemon without a sugar dip or boozy chaser, woe!, Tejra is would not characterize the experience as exactly fun. Amidst the usual mid-morning activity of the store rooms with various workers or other denizens coming in and out or lingering to peruse, the woman with no shoulderknot presently worn on loose fitting mauve top because there's nowhere for one to go on a halter cut~ and brown trousers, cropped at mid-calf might be easy to overlook, even if she allows herself a moment of the dramatic as she comes to the end of the rack and gives the last garment a shove with extra oomph so the hangers clack together loudly, the better to disguise her siiIIiiigh as she pauses to level an accusatory look at the next rack in the row as if to judge it as deficient, sight-unseen.

In the awkward manner of someone who is also rack-shopping and trying not to get in the redhead's way, Andalise quietly steps over to begin flipping through the rejected pieces after Tejra's so emphatically finished with that particular row, lingering a little longer on this one or that with a contemplative look. An off-shoulder, peasant-sleeved, pale blue top, if crafted with a plain and serviceable fabric, even gets carefully lifted off of the rack for better inspection. It's unfortunate that she manages to catch one hanger onto another in the same moment, and the too-audible clatter of an extra item falling to the stone floor elicits an embarrassed flush while she ducks to retrieve the fallen hanger and gingerly replace it. "Didn't there use to be a mirror propped up over there?" she ventures after a moment. Perhaps she's talking to herself aloud, as she's still focused on the material in her hands rather than the woman nearby.

It's possible that Tej's arguably limited benevolence might have extended to ignoring the younger woman's 'unfortunate moment,' what with her considerate attempt at well-intentioned unobtrusiveness in the wake of one who had hitherto seemed either oblivious of or utterly unconcerned by or about another so relatively near at hand, engaged in the same d e l i g h t f u l pastime of wardrobe bolstering and/or restoration. Truly, they might well have gone almost but not entirely ignoring one another, even with Andalise's questionably directed question, except that something about the slant of dark derision in Tej's, "It probably got reappropriated," directed not at the brunette, but at the clearly SUSPECT population of the Weyr that her pale gaze sweeps out to encompass in a slightly narrowed look that might be seeking the culprit(s) even now might speak of Andalise verbally testing waters with a toe only to find the waters deep enough to drown in. "Mirrors have a way of doing that in this place." The piqued words don't really make things any clearer than mud, but the sniff that follows seems to dismiss the matter. Blue eyes are redirected to take in the speaker, the look perhaps uncomfortably less cursory than any of the clothes on the rack were given, but with a similar attitude of evaluation. She must also take in the fabric although the direction of her gaze doesn't seem to leave the woman to do so, for her next words are, "The color suits. You'll want a belt. Dark, preferably. Charcoal or brown. Just watch that it doesn't have extra cloth under the arms or it will balloon on you when the belt rides up." Presumably, she means for the belt to go over the garment if it has a chance of doing that. She doesn't explain as much, but she speaks with the same authority a mirror might, could it speak. Whether or not the looker would agree with this mirror's portents is another matter entirely~

"Oh, " nods Andalise, as if something just made perfect sense. "So they really do grow legs, huh. In a manner of speaking." The girl's head gives a thoughtful tilt to the left, even as dark, doe-eyes stare back at Tejra during her assessment. "I guess I could have someone take it in a little, if needed, " to avoid the potential for a ballooning effect. The blouse is held up to herself for a moment, then pulled away in favor of draping it lightly over an arm. "It would suit you too, I think." It's a genuine sort of pronouncement, rather than one another might offer out of some sense of obligation or social exchange. Without further elaboration, she's shuffling past to get a better look at the next-next rack, perhaps in search of a bottom piece to accompany what could be her new top. Her hand pauses more often over the available skirts than trousers, hesitating the longest over something airy in white. Hopefully, "Do you think it should be a wide or narrow belt?" Maybe she'll even get two rounds of fashion advice, if she's lucky!

The snort of disdain as Tej turns back toward the racks is kept soft enough to be the equivalent of under her breath and might not be directed at Andalise so much as whichever evolving mirrors Tej might be referring to when she says, "Plump purses, more like." The crisp flap of a hand in the air might be meant to shove off the topic that didn't go when it was previously dismissed. Rude, topic, RUDE! That hand doesn't simply return to her side but rather reaches out to tug the shirt just draped over Andalise's arm as her feet bring her into closer proximity. Maybe since the younger woman's suggested the color would suit the elder, she'll simply be having that for her own~~ But no, the next move is for her other hand to come up and grasp the brunette's shoulder - gently, but with intention not easily shaken off to rotate her enough that Tej can drape the garment as though it were being worn, fingers deftly tucking the upper edges of the neckline just enough into the younger woman's current attire that it will stay unless/until jostled loose or intentionally removed. Is it overly familiar with an actual stranger? Likely~ Does the redhead seem even a little aware? Not at all. She moves with the ease and confidence of one used to repositioning bodies not-her-own, dispensing with propriety or introductions in favor of immediate efficacy. "Wide, but not more than a handspan," she answers, almost distractedly as she stretches the fabric to Andy's sides and shifts her own body back a touch so she can look from a different perspective. "No eye sores for the buckle." That comes with a flick of her gaze upward, brows lifting as if to seek confirmation that information's been received. One hand remains on the fabric gathered against Andy's side, just above the hip, while the other reaches out to push hangers along the rack. She pauses long enough to look back at Andalise and ask, "Do you prefer darks or brights for the bottom?" If an answer is not immediately forthcoming, she'll add, "The color of this top can work both ways," so it's just a matter of preference.

Andalise might mouth 'plump purses' with a puzzled look, then: "That's some purse. I've never actually seen one large enough for a whole mirror of that size." This is probably not the conversation droid you are looking for, Tej~. A biddable sort of look supplants fleeting surprise as she's rotated enough to temporarily become something of a living mannequin to model the top in question. "Wide without eyesores, " repeats the dark-haired girl dutifully, doing her best to also help hold the material in place while Tejra continues in the role of personal stylist. "Um, bright? I think. At least for now, while it's so warm. What are you looking for? For yourself, I mean."

"You obviously need to talk your way into more weyrs around here. Dragons of unusual tastes often need collections of unusual variety." Ever seen a dragon-sized purse? It probably wouldn't be too hard to find if the riders of Xanadu were to throw open their weyrs for a scavenger hunt. Likely, these aren't the purses Tej was speaking of, but dragons are always a distracting topic, right? One pair of capris seem to briefly be under consideration but a pinch of the redhead's lips later they're rejected. "Most would probably opt for white with this shade, as brights go, if you want something solid. Prints might be better for bright. How are you with stains?" That's asked offhandedly as she shunts a few more hangers along. If she neglected to answer Andalise's inquiry, it's probably just the intense focus she's giving the task at hand. Or not. Either way, an answer doesn't seem forthcoming.

Is that what they call it these days? Andy's mouth opens, closes, opens again. "Can't you just ask to see their collections without having to go through all of that?" She drifts a step or two closer to watch Tejra work, chin ducking a little with a sheepish, small grin. "I seem to make more of them than I'm supposed to, " she says of stains, grin fading after a moment. "Maybe not the white?" she guesses. "They seem to be the hardest to get to stay clean."

"You can ask, sure." Tej acknowledges, leaving the reply long enough to almost make it seem all that's forthcoming. "Of course, anyone who has something worth seeing takes a measure of earned trust or common interest. You don't go around showing your treasures to just anyone who asks, do you?" The way that pale gaze slants at Andalise hints that there might be more than one way to take that question though there's nothing overt in the redhead's tone. "Seems like that would be a quick way to trip yourself into a tight spot." These words hardly help but might be kindly meant. "Yes, stay away from whites and creams," is decisive, "unless you plan to spend your free time learning how to get out every variety of stain." The tone here indicates that is not the crafter's idea of a fun time. "You might want to stick with darks that aren't too dark - tans, greys, that sort of thing - to mask anything you can't get out. They'd make that light blue pop, at least." This is said offhandedly in a tone that implies everyone knows what she means by the color popping. If Andy doesn't… well, theoretically this woman could tell her?

"Of course not, " Andalise replies a little hotly, giving the other woman a look that easily enough broadcasts, 'are you crazy?' The baker who's far too easily provoked does seem eager to continue taking good advice, however, nodding agreeably through Tejra's pros and cons of light vs. darker clothing. "Right, um. Maybe a — soft gray?" Did she guess correctly? "And a belt, like you said. I won't forget to look for that, too, " even as she mumbles under her breath, "Gray-and-belt. Gray-and-belt."

The amused smile that quirks on the redhead's lips at that touch of temper is in no way reassuring that the answer to the unspoken question wouldn't prompt a series of others, but rather than dig deeper into the temper she's managed to prick, Tej rolls her shoulders in what is a graceful cousin to the standard shrug. "Then surely you can appreciate why a dragon might wish to know you before letting you see such treasures as a purse big enough to capture a looking glass." This even as she moves to shove a few hangers along with one hand, while the other reaches to flick a finger beneath the tuck of fabric that's held the shirt in place for as long as it has and with a quick grab and snap of wrist see the blue shirt seated over one of Andy's shoulders so she has two free hands to pull free a pair of soft grey shorts that might cut off somewhere near the knee, inspecting them before proffering them to Andalise as though to offer her a chance to weigh in on the garment now draped across both of the older woman's arm's, on elegant display. The shape of her brows now articulate, 'Well?' without the word ever passing her lips.

"I didn't even know dragons had purses." And Andy sounds like she might just be willing to believe that for at least a few minutes. She has a less graceful shrug for the gray shorts that are extended in contrast to the splayed-out, blue top, but gives an enthusiastic bob of her head once she sees them together. "I think I like it!" she proclaims, for all that such a preference is surely already legible to Tej. "Thanks for your help!" While she reaches to pluck her new shorts up and roll both articles together, she adds an eager, "Is there anything I could help you with, though?"

"Not all dragons do." Tej, for her part, sounds like she's committed to believing it, so perhaps Andalise's faith is not misplaced, despite the stretch it might be to hold onto it beyond the next few moments. "Try them on together, then," is the casual recommendation or instruction from the redhead as she surrenders the shorts. "They look about your size." There's only so much a person can guess, even with a good eye (and who is to say, really, how good - or not - Tejra's is~). One more look sizes up all— well, all of Andalise, eagerness included. "Perhaps," is an ambiguous if amused answer, touched with the purr that weaves its way through the woman's lilting words as a matter of habit. "See you around." There's a touch of sing-song rhythm to this farewell as the Harper strides away, fingers wiggling a little wave over her shoulder as she goes. Evidently, if Tej does have something Andalise can do to return the favor of a little help, it's nothing for here and now. An IOU is probably not what the younger woman had in mind, but can a canny older one be blamed for accepting an unintended one? One never knows when that kind of thing will come in handy~

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