Unwanted Presents = Midnight Chaos

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, 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. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.

At this time of night, most cots are full of sleeping candidates as the barracks are slowly getting more full. There's minimal light, with gentle blanket-rustlings and soft snores providing the backdrop to the sounds of frustration and annoyance from one cot close to the barracks' exit. Those sounds come from Quillan, who rolls out of bed and opens the window closest to him, sucking in a deep breath of air before going back to his bed and trying, as quietly as possible, to start stripping the sheets off.

Janaya is among those asleep. Or at least… she was among those asleep. The stir from Quillan's cot draws the attention of Kori, up in the rafters, who tilts his head curiously and then flutters to Janaya, whom he nudges awake. Chirp. Chirp. Nudge. "…whazza?" …nudge. "Huh?" she says finally, brushing his poking muzzle aside and sitting up. What's going on? …Quillan, apparently. "Huh?" she says, squinting across the barracks at him.

Kori's the one who manages to wake up little green Cos from the nest Quill's made for her on top of his press, and she chirps sleepily and questioningly as she stretches herself out and yawns. "Smell," Quillan answers Janaya in a hissed whisper, finally managing to tug the sheet viciously off his bed and dumping it unceremoniously on the floor. Then he leans down, sniffing at the mattress from top to bottom. "Shardin' stinks."

Kori, once brushed aside by Janaya, flutters his way back over to perch on the frame of Quillan's bed. He chirps back to Cos, looking to her and then curiously to her candidate. Janaya follows, somewhat less aerially, and looks at Quillan before sniffing herself to see if she can catch a whiff. Not up close, mind you. She's not that invested in learning more about this stink, she's just curious! Sniff, sniff. "…eww."

"Stinks like fish." And rotten fish, at that… it's not a pleasant odour at all. Unable to smell anything in the mattress, Quillan stands up and runs a hand through his hair in frustration. He's not at all bothered that he's standing there in his undies in front of Janaya… yay, Weyrbredness. Cos, by this time, has crept down to the floor and is sniffing enthusiastically at Quill's pillow, which fell down there when he yanked the bed sheet off. "Where's Fishboy sleeping? Maybe it's his cot stink seeping into mine…"

Maybe it's pleasant to a firelizard. Kori certainly seems intrigued enough by it, his wings flaring slightly with little flutters, and there's Cos being so intrigued by that pillow… but to a human, well… "It does," Janaya admits, then rolls her eyes. "Or maybe a wher came in and forgot his lunch after rolling around with you." She frowns, and that's when Kori chitters and dives down to join Cos at that pillow, hitting it with his paws so it starts to slide under the bed.

Quillan snorts. "I said I'd kiss a wher if I had one, not that I'd roll around with one." There's a commotion going on under his bed, and it's hard to ignore. "Cos, whatcha got? He yours?" The blue, he means, as he sinks down to his knees and reaches to tug the pillow away from the firelizards. Cos, newhatched-tiny, is scooped up and settled on his bare shoulder, where she nestles into his curls as Quill lifts the pillow to his nose… and gags. "Oh, that's it. That's the smell." Here, Janaya, you have it - he shoves it at her, holding it as far from himself as he can.

"Small differences," Janaya declares, but they've other small trouble at the moment, there beneath the bed. Kori outscales Cos easily, half-grown blue that he is, but he's relatively careful of the baby as he scuffles about for that nice-smelling thing on… with… in?… the pillowcase. He creels as Quillan takes the pillow away, launching himself into the air to go to Janaya's shoulder. Chirp! "Yeah, he's- wait what?" Now she has a pillow of stink! "Ugh." She turns it, trying to hold it open and peer into it while keeping it at arm's length. Kori wiggles his haunches, seeing… an opportunity!

It's a stink that's closer to her level now that Quillan stands back up, and so Cos makes a leap for it. The little green lands with claws dug into the pillowcase, scurrying up the side and into the gap Janaya makes as she looks in. Quill, meanwhile, looks like he might throw up if he gets any closer, but he takes a deep breath, cheeks puffed out as far as they'll extend, and steps in to peer hesitantly into the pillowcase… then freaks out as Cos pops her head out with half a rotten, very dead fish in her jaws. "Eurgh!"

What? No! The little green got to the prize before Kori could! He creels, wiggling in place on Janaya's shoulder. Look at that delicious, smelly, smooth fish! That disgusting, stinky, rotting fish. "…blgh," says Janaya, then glares up at Quillan. "Go open the door!" she says, not even waiting for him to answer before she starts marching in that direction… while Kori leans in from her shoulder, chirping to Cos hopefully and batting a paw toward her. Share the fishy treat? Shaaare?

Cos happily rides along in the pillowcase as Janaya marches it to the door, holding her prize proudly in her jaws and glaring at Kori with red-flashed eyes. Mine! But one jolt catches her off-guard and the fishy head drops from her mouth to the floor, leaving her creeling in disappointment until she dives back into the pillowcase. Quillan, following, manages to step on the dropped stinkiness with his bare feet, and the disgusted noise he makes is hard to quash as he hop-dances about to get away from it. "Get it get it get it!" But… who? Firelizard? Janaya? He hops past her to get out of the door first, flicking his fishy foot out into the night air.

Ha! Opportunity strikes, and so does Kori, diving for that fishy treat with a veering dodge as Quillan stomps it. Still, there it is, and he snatches the rotten thing by its head and launches himself into the air with… half of it. The corpse hardly had any structural integrity to begin with, and after being stomped on it has even less. It doesn't so much break as just fall apart, Kori flying off with the head as the midsection sits there. Stinking. "….ewwwwwww…." Janaya says, staring at it. "Ew ew ew…" But… "Ew." And with that she holds her breath, crouching down and trying to pick up the fish by the edge of the pillowcase. Come on… come ooon… she's running out of breath to hold… ugh! She touches the stinky thing WITH HER FINGERS to shove it into the pillowcase, then stomps off toward the door again with only a glistening spot of fish-goop left behind on the floor.

The remainders dropped into the pillowcase are nabbed by Cos, who gleefully erupts from the fabric to hoist her prize aloft. Not that she gets far on her young wings, but it's far enough to allow her to enjoy her stinky snack in peace at the end of someone's cot. Not that Quillan sees any of this, as he's too busy trying to wipe his fish-stinking sole on anything he can to get the smell off. When Janaya gets through the door with the pillow he grabs it from her, does a really quick, breath-held check to make sure Cos isn't still in there, then he chucks the thing out as far as he can manage to throw it. "Oh flaming Faranth's dodgy bits," he hisses, sinking against the side of the barracks as he draws in a deep breath of not-so-stinky-fish-filled air. "Oh Faranth. How did a stinkin' fish get into my pillow?!"

By morning, there may be tiny shreds of rotting fish spread across a dozen cots from the firelizards eager eating. Their only hope is that the little creatures' greed will mean they lick up every single particle. Otherwise? "Ugh." Janaya leans back against the wall of the barracks, nose wrinkled, then turns her head to look at Quillan. "You stink." Does he actually? Or is it just that right now she still can't smell anything besides rotting fish? "I don't know, maybe someone put it there?" she asks in a 'duh' tone. "Or your firelizard was saving a snack." Her nose wrinkles, and she groans. "Kori's going to need such a bath…"

"I stink?" That makes Quill pull a face of unhappiness. He lifts an arm to his nose to smell himself, but since everything's tainted with fish stink it's hard to distinguish where his scent and the reek begins. "You probably stink, too." He leans over to theatrically take a whiff of her, before Janaya is given a big, somewhat shy smile. "Thanks, though. For helping." Wiping his foot once more, this time on the side of the barracks, he looks out into the night and then back to his fellow fish-finder. "Want to sneak over to the baths with me?"

Janaya wrinkles her nose, but she can't exactly argue with her stench. Or, well, the fish's stench but it's on her, so… "Ugh. I smell horrible." Also, she smells horribleness! Janaya eyes Quillan a moment for his gratitude, almost suspicious looking. "Yeah, well, you needed it," she mutters, looking out toward where he flung that pillow. "…but you're welcome." Yeah. She leans back against the wall - but not the part being used as a fish-scraper - as if exhausted, then perks upright at Quillan's suggestion. "Oh Faranth yes. I'll soak all night if that's what it takes to get this out." And even better - this way, the firelizards enjoying their snacks don't have to be her problem right now! By the time they get back, the fish will probably have vanished utterly, and that's an awful lot like victory.

"C'mon, then." And, proving that he's not always a dolt, Quillan half-bows and sweeps his arm for Janaya to lead the way - you know, like a polite guy should do. "Let's be quiet about it though, yeah? I don't want to get caught and kicked out…" And he walks right past that abandoned fishy pillow. Who wants to touch that?!

Janaya hahs at the gesture, then starts off toward those baths, nodding to his request for quiet. "Rotten fish are bad enough, Being kicked out for it? Shards, no." That pillow is ignored by her as well. Selective attention! Surely if they don't pay any attention to it, it'll go away? Well… they can hope, anyhow, and they can be quiet as they slip off to the baths to scrub and scrub and hope they'll eventually feel clean.

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