Techniques for Waking Up

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.

The existence of late meetings does not entirely obviate the need for early ones. While some can be rescheduled, for others, that is less feasible due to constraints present. For instance: a meeting whose purpose is to receive an overview of the current status of the dairy herd is most effectively conducted during the milking, when direct observations can be gained in addition to a report. Jethaniel has, as such, already been effective this morning as he arrives in the caverns with a clipboard under one arm and mud on his boots. His intent to continue to be effective is why he heads for the klah-pot.

Darsce's mornings - the word actually being applied to the period between dawn and noon since she's been knotted as Headwoman, continue to be challenging, but not as rough as her first few weeks. Routine is being established - and followed for the most part with a few glitches here and there as new things crop up. She's up an hour before breakfast is served to be sure there's klah in the caverns and at least the modicum of rolls, pastries, biscuits and hot cereal on the table for the early rises. She readies the klahpots and covered trays, delivers them to the various offices in the admin hall. Other than that she has little else to do until the chaos of breakfast begins but wake up or address minor cavern-type emergencies as they arise. This she does with numerous cups of klah - she's on her third presently - while seated where she can survey the entire room while prodding her brain to join her in the effort of functioning over by the fireplace. Jethaniel's entrance is noted and instantly her day has improved. Should she stalk him and refill her mug? Or hope he spots her?

Waking up is an important task, made challenging by how the techniques required to do so sometimes change without notification. It's not very well documented at all - someone should get on that. Perhaps one of the healers? Jethaniel is, however, aware of some techniques that are often effective. Getting klah - and, usually, drinking it - is one, so he fills a mug while Darsce engages in decision-making with a partial brain. He also takes a sip. The psychosomatic effects of klah can now begin. The actual physiological ones will take somewhat longer. He could, at this point, go copy his notes into the form of a report. That is, in fact, his intention as he turns from the klah. Serendipitously, he turns in the direction toward the fire, and thus his gaze encounters Darsce. He smiles, and determines he'll have breakfast first. Here's a roll. That's breakfast, at least under these circumstances. The klah is moved to the hand with the clipboard, the roll is picked up, and, his hands thus occupied, he approaches.

Yes, lets put the healers in charge of things like that - they may recommend early-morning aerobics to get blood pumping, which Darsce will not only endorse, put participate in with great enthusiasm – with a certain someone. She might, however, not be prompt to report to work on time afterwards. Her decision-making comes slowly with half a brain, but her eyes follow Jethaniel to those klahpots with a dreamy focus, a half-smile on her lips. He turns, their eyes meet and a little zap of happy sparks though her, increasing that smile. She's lifting the hand not holding the mug to wavel her fingers at him - a quiet greeting as most folks are still asleep. Or asleep on their feet enough not to want to hear her carol across the huge room. "Missed you last night," she says by way of greeting.

They may indeed, at least when their recommendations are interpreted suitably. The inherent tradeoffs of any such regimen would require consideration, but surely something could be arranged… given sufficient motivation. Jethaniel nods to Darsce's greeting. "I am sorry." He is, grey eyes earnest, but his smile doesn't go anywhere. After all, he continues to be in her presence. "There tends to be an increase in work during seasonal changes." Finishing the old, starting the new… the management of the physical facilities of the Weyr means that, while not directly involved, Jethaniel gets busy during planting and harvest time. Just like a farmer… as with the muck in his boots, though it's not nearly so consistent for the Steward.

"Don't be," is Darsce's reply taking on a purr, "You can make it up to me later." Her smile is a mix of minx and honest pleasure in seeing him. Note: she doesn't say tonight. She has no idea whether he has meetings scheduled or not. "Can you sit?" she asks, mostly because he may be headed for his office, partially because she's seen those muddy boots, her glance back the way he came to check for prints is actually becoming automatic. Of course, if he prefers his office, she won't mind accompanying him - to check his hotness… of the klahpot of course. There might have been a time when mud made her take a wide birth - well, it still does when it's on other folks. But this is Jethaniel. "What have you done to get that on you?" Curious, rather than aghast, is Darsce. It could be she's completed step 2 in that 12-step program?

Jethaniel may be incapable of not being sorry. He does, however, nod to the second of those. "I will." His smile widens, because while he is cognizant of the missed opportunity last night, he is not inclined to think it his only one. There will be other chances. For instance - "When is your next restday?" That question asked, he answers hers by settling into a seat - carefully, in order to not spill his klah. "For the moment, yes. The report is not urgent." Besides, he can review his notes out here as easily in his office. There's probably a few bits of mud left from his boots, though he did wipe them at the entrance - a necessary, though not sufficient, part of making them clean. "Reaching the bovine complex." The mud was present by the time he got there, given how the ground in that area gets churned by hooves; his actual actions, once there, were mostly irrelevant - at least so far as acquiring dirt was concerned. "I was obtaining information about the herds, including headcounts and recommendations for disposition."

He might be, he's so sweet like that. It's part of why Darsce loves him so, even if it pains her to cause even the mildest regret in him. Is this what love does to a person? If so, Darsce may yet learn to generalize some of this to be more considerate of others. Her next restday? "Tomorrow," answers Darsce pertly without missing a beat. Is this so? Her quiet snicker is a dead giveaway. It's not. And her teasing is only half-lie and half-veiled message that her nights are free, even if late. "Actually not for another three days," she admits, contrite. Any mud prints, or clods left in his wake, she can worry about later. When the housekeepers report for duty after breakfast. Because that's what they do - sweep and wash the floors. Darsce merely calls their attention to it and makes sure the floors have been attended to. She ahhs about the bovine complex. "They should pave the road in," says she who knows how to keep her nice shoes clean. Because his boots matter to her? Or because if she's looking for him there she doesn't want hers ruined, it's hard to say. "What kinds of dispositions do herdbeasts have?" is her next question. Yep, she knows nothing at all about them. Or how to manage them.

Jethaniel lets his clipboard drift down to lean against the arm of his chair, lifting the mug of klah for a sip. His brows lift slightly at her mention of tomorrow. So soon! And he - "Ah." Jethaniel lowers the mug, and smiles. "Mine is not tomorrow." He's teasing back, just a little. It's there in the quirk of his lips and the slight evasion of his eyes. "I could, however, find time for dinner." That part isn't teasing in the least, and Jethaniel sets down that roll he brought to reach over with a brush of his fingers for the back of Darsce's hand. "It might, however, be in three days time." The 'might' is because it's currently not, but if he doesn't have any important meetings, it can become so. The primary oversight on restdays in his schedule is ensuring that he takes them. "Perhaps we could take advantage of that fact." If it turns out to be true, at least. He'll have to check his calendar, once he actually gets back to his office to write an official report instead of making this informal one to Darsce. "It is partially so. The bovines themselves are, however, not terribly fond of paving." Jethaniel is not an expert, however… "I believe they prefer grass." He smiles slightly, then tilts his head. "Ah. Primarily placid. Occasionally aggressive. I was, however, concerned with where they should be sent for the winter and utilized, not their temperaments."

"I'd like that," Darsce says of dinner with her typical honesty, "but if you can't manage it, then I would be happy to-" A sigh. She changes it to, "wait three days." Regardless of whether he caught her implication of sleeping arrangements, she'll be happy to spend time with him when that time comes. She turns her hand over at that brush of his fingers, lacing hers with his. He doesn't need that hand to eat - she'd be happy to assist with popping bits of his roll into his mouth. That might make an interesting tableau for the folks entering the caverns for breakfast? Decorum? What? Ocelara's notes mentioned nothing of that. Shuttles as effective weapons against horny riders drawn in by flights, yes, but how to exercise discretion? Nope! She allows her comment on paved roads leading to the Bovine complex pass. They must not have a lane leading to the place outside of the pens. She is glad she doesn't do their deliveries of hay! "Where do they send them?" she asks with mild curiosity.

Jethaniel's fingers twine with Darsce's, and he smiles. "I will manage something." Maybe they'll skip straight to dessert? Or… he's certainly making no attempt to regain his hand, and his breakfast thus far has focused primarily on klah and Darsce. Perhaps they'll just omit the food entirely. Dinner is, however, a rather decorous form of invitation, as seemly as a conversation about… herdbeasts, for instance. "There are several outlying pastures, as well as the paddocks for those being retained here. Some will be circulated with local farms; others are destined for the feeding pens or the kitchen." And, with the approach of autumn, now is the time for assessing what portions of the herd should be retained through the winter months. Jethaniel takes another sip of klah - no portion of his roll has, of yet, actually been eaten - and trails his thumb along the side of Darsce's hand, his eyes drifting down to watch before glancing up again to accompany a soft curve of his mouth, the expression a hopeful one. "For that restday… would you like to go somewhere? With me?"

It's early - before breakfast. Meeting reviewing the current status of the dairy herd has been accomplished by Xanadu's Steward during observation of the pre-dawn milking. Already having been effective this morning, Jethaniel has arrived in the caverns with a clipboard under one arm and mud on his boots. His intent is to continue to be effective, which is why he's currently seated on one of the couches over by the hearth with Darsce, right? Hey at least he's drinking klah, if he needs a reason. Darsce's been in here for awhile now as her new position requires her to be in the caverns an hour before breakfast is served. There's a modicum of rolls, pastries, biscuits and hot cereal on the table for the early risers. There's little else for her to do until the chaos of breakfast begins, so here she sits with Jethaniel, fingers of one hand twined with his, iceblue eyes laughing into grey ones as he speaks. As an aside, she totally has a sweet tooth! Her assent to something he's asked her is a beaming smile and a nod. "With you? Anywhere!" She might flail in those beastpens, but she'd go! Her free hand nips a bit of his roll and she leans close to offer it to his mouth. Y'know, since she's kidnapped his hand. And as she is striving for at least a little decorm, that's all she offers his mouth, but she envies that roll.

Mur'dah is here early. Because being the newbie in a wing sucks. Yawning, the brownrider has already been up for candlemarks, after an emergency delivery of some random crate or another to that one cothold whose between image is already fading from his memory. His focus now? Klah. And then maybe more sleep. Mug in hand, he scans the cavern just to see if anyone interesting is around, and that's when he spots his sister being all lovey dovey with the Steward. So what does he do? He's a little brother. He walks up behind the couch and crouches down, putting his head right between the two of theirs and giving a bright, "Morning!"

Jethaniel's smile widens at Darsce's answer. "Excellent." He does not, however, have the beastpens in mind as their destination. His fingers squeeze hers lightly - which is intended as a prelude to releasing them and actually eating some of his breakfast, but then Darsce conveniently obviates that need by offering him a piece herself. Jethaniel's hand remains where it is, and he leans toward Darsce, his intention now to accept that bit of roll. Inconveniently, Mur'dah makes an appearance. Jethaniel pauses, mid-motion, and blinks at the brownrider. "Ah." His smile fades somewhat, and though he still does not disentangle his fingers from Darsce's, he does begin to slowly lean back. "Good morning."

Darsce is supposed to be watching the caverns. But Darsce is obviously failing because she missed Mur'dah's entrance entirely. Even though she's seated on one of the couches that faces the entrance and she can survey the entire room from. Oh well. His greeting would, if her nerves were awake, cause a shriek and maybe cause her mug of klah to splatter the ceiling. It does neither, though her hand pauses in midair - somewhere right in front of her little brother's face. She's tempted, but no, it doesn't get shoved up his left nostril. Instead, noting that backwards lean, she lowers the morsel to Jethaniel's plate and releases his hand, leaving a little tickle to his palm as a silent promise to… something. Later. He can eat now. "Hi Squirt," she greets Mur’dah casually. "Your timing needs a little work." And then of course she asks, because she's a big sister and is SO good at being one, "Just getting back from a date, are you?"

Mur'dah is often making inconvenient appearances. Flashing them each a grin, at least he doesn't climb over the couch, instead choosing to walk around it and sprawl next to his sister. "The way I see it, I had perfect timing," he says, grin crooked. "A date? Sure, why not?" he says, amused, sipping his klah. "You two not been to bed yet?" Double meaning? Hard to tell.

Given the circumstances, it would be appropriate for Jethaniel to eat his breakfast, yes. He does not, however, appear overjoyed at the prospect, though his hand does retract from Darsce's with only a small brush of fingertips along the way. Those same fingers are then used to pick up the morsel of food, which, for a moment, he simply holds. "That depends on the nature of the adjustment," he notes mildly, a small quirk of his lips covering disappointment. After all - he could have been leaning in for a kiss, instead of the piece of roll which he now places in his mouth, thereby achieving at least one of his goals. Jethaniel makes no comment on Mur'dah's date - probably because he's watching Darsce instead - but the comment about going to bed draws his gaze to Mur'dah. "I am sufficiently rested." Which, given the variety of his schedule lately, may or may not actually be true.

"As a matter of fact we have," drawls Darsce sounding utterly pleased. Double meaning? With Darsce that is entirely possible. Poor Jethaniel. But at least she uses enough restraint not to move his plate from his lap and seat herself there to make room for Mur'dah's sprawl. She does, however, shift over and in the process nudge herself to snuggle under the Steward's arm. Now she's… in the way of his breakfast again, oh darn. She takes the moment to ask him, "Where are we going, anyway?" and then a quick aside to Mur'dah, "Who's the lucky girl Baby Brother?"

Mur'dah glances at Jethaniel with a grin, before he's looking back at his sister, nose wrinkling when she snuggles with the Steward. So he kicks her foot. Gently! But…he's the baby brother, yes. And he ignores the possible double meaning, because contemplating it is just icky. "Kid," he corrects. "Some lady's goat needed medicine." He shrugs, sipping at his klah and grinning crookedly. "Where are you two going?" Because surely they want /him/ to come, right?

Whether or not Darsce intends a double meaning, Jethaniel seems to - for once - perceive one, for he looks to her with a slight widening of his eyes before lowering his gaze. He does not, however, protest her arrival against his side. In fact, he drapes his arm around her lightly and lowers his head somewhat further to touch his lips to her shoulder. This has the added advantage of concealing his expression for a moment, such that he appears relatively composed when he lifts his head once more. "We… can discuss that later," he tells Darsce, then glances over to Mur'dah. Goats, is it? Those seem a highly suitable topic, at least when compared to the other possibilities. Goats and deliveries. "That is one of the purposes for which logistical efficiency is developed, yes."

Oops! Sorry? That's the expression in Darsce's eyes when she sees Jethaniel's widened ones. She is cool though, saying nothing further, just nodding about further discussion later. Not in front of the kids, right? She amuses herself by snickering at Mur'dah and kicking his foot back none too gently, but not anything that would hurt, either. When is she going to grow up? Apparently not anytime soon! "You're dating a goat lady?" she asks her brother with a note of feigned incredulity in her tone.

Mur'dah gives Jethaniel a curious look, as it always takes a few moments for the man's meaning to filter through his words, and sink in to the brownrider's brain. "Ah, well. Yes. It was…very…purposeful. And efficiently…developed." Look at him try. And he kicks Darsce back. Then he stares at her. "Yes." Sarcasm. "She lets me punish her when she's been baaaaaad." Okay, that was kind of a sheep, but kind of a goat too. Eyeroll. "My 'date' was delivering medicine to a goat lady. C'mon, Darsce, I've got better taste than that."

Jethaniel's arm remains around Darsce. Any discomfort appears to have been relegated to unimportance, along with eating his breakfast. He does, however, have another sip of klah. Mur'dah's attempt to communicate back makes Jethaniel blink. "Ah. I… expect it would be. That is, however, not my domain of expertise." Neither are goats, and while he listens to the teasing, he makes no attempt to contribute. In fact, after another sip of klah, he carefully balances the mug for a moment to withdraw his clipboard. He can just review his notes. Doing so with the clipboard leaned against the arm of the couch and his own arm around Darsce is, evidently, not significantly less efficient than doing so in his office to dissuade him.

The communicating between Mur'dah and Jethaniel goes over Darsce's head. Are… they talking delivery of medicine to goats or… sex? Double-meanings she can get, but she's not awake enough to try to access her inner dictionary this early in the morning. So instead she smirks at Mur'dah and says, "Do tell?" Sarcasm right back atcha lil bro. But you may elaborate if you'd like her to believe you! Reduced to saying not much, she sips her own klah, idly peeks over at Jethaniel's clipboard and after a moment asks him, "What's silage?"

Mur'dah glances over at the two of them, snuggling together, and the brownrider is suddenly abruptly standing with a smile. "Well, I'm off to take a nap. You kids have fun." Nope, he's not telling, apparently. With a little wave he's striding back out into the pre dawn air, klah in hand.

In fact, Jethaniel himself is not entirely sure what the conversation is about. Technical language, imprecisely used, can still have a low ratio of semantics to syntax. The informational density of language can be calculated… but that would be a task for a theoretically-inclined harper. Aforesaid harper not being present, it goes unanswered. His eyes drift over the page before him, his fingers drifting ever so slightly against Darsce's arm in an absent sort of motion. "A type of feed for cattle," he answers without looking up, continuing his survey of his notes. He did intend to continue to be effective today; that does not, however, require optimum efficiency in doing so. Mur'dah's comment on rising is what makes Jethaniel's eyes lift from the page, and he blinks at the brownrider for a moment. "Ah. Have a nice nap?" he says, and watches Mur'dah go before turning his gaze to Darsce, expression somewhat questioning. "Was…" He trails off. His knowledge of social scenarios is insufficient to even formulate the question.

Yes, this would be why innuendo works so well also. Darsce could believe it of her brother, but Jethaniel, probably not. "Oh," she says about the silage, then sighs contentment, leans her head back against the shoulder behind her, sipping her klah and simply enjoys the touch of his fingers and the quiet moment - it will not last - as the minutes tick by towards breakfast. When Mur'dah departs she salutes him with her klah mug, calling after him, "Seeya Squirt!" Because she’s being the annoying big sister right to the end. Jethaniel's question pulls her attention back. That's a very ambiguous question, he's asked her. She guesses, "Upset?" She shakes her head. "He's just lonely. Our cuddling made it worse." Poor Mur'dah!

Context can often be effective for resolving ambiguity, and Jethaniel nods a confirmation to Darsce's intuition. "Ah," he says to her explanation, and his gaze lowers to the page of notes once again, resting there while he considers. His arm still doesn't move from around Darsce - though, at present, Mur'dah is already departed, so it makes little difference from that perspective. Besides, he enjoys her presence there, his fingers continuing their gentle motions. Jethaniel is quiet for a time, regarding his notes, then abruptly looks up from them to turn grey eyes on Darsce. "I love you."

Darsce didn't used to be one to sit quietly without getting bored. But she's doing it this morning. She looks awake enough, so it can't be that she's nodding off. Content with her location and the company, not minding he's reading, her lips are moving slightly, soundlessly, reciting something to herself. There's a half-smile on her face, so it's probably not her to-do list. Jethaniel speaks, her iceblue eyes blink and turn to him and she smiles. Her answer is immediate, "I love you too." Her curiosity is awake too, for right after, she asks, "Was…" Her eyes drop to his report then lift back to him, impish. Maybe just to see how he'll interpret the context of her unfinished question.

Jethaniel smiles warmly at that answer, his eyes lingering on Darsce. Her question brings an inquisitive tilt to his head, considering on it. There are many possible completions. Some are more plausible than others. None seem entirely suitable, but that uncertainty is not incompatible with his smile. "I had not said it," he explains - though whether that's in answer to a question or merely as an observation is left open to interpretation. "And I wished to."

Her eyes dance with merriment, "Oh so 'Jethaniel loves Darsce' wasn't doodled in your report? Well, damn." Darsce laughs quietly. "I wished to hear it, so we’re good," says she afterwards, leaning closer to brush a kiss to his jaw, since it's reachable. Leaning back to a publicly-acceptable space, she asks, "So, where are we going?" Okay so she doesn't handle suspense all that well, but if he says to, she will wait to find out, maybe not so patiently, but willingly. Because he said to.

"It was not," Jethaniel says, his smile an amused one. "I do not think the context would be suitable. I could, however, arrange to write it elsewhere. If you wished." The kiss makes his smile widen, and his head remains leaned slightly toward hers as she settles back. "That," he says as his smile grows a little lopsided, "-depends. If there is someplace you wished to go, we could. However, if not…" He hesitates for a moment. "We could visit Cove Hold."

"Can you write across the sky with techcrafter magic?" Darsce teases playfully with a tickle to the side she's snuggled up against. It might be more than the Headwoman ought to do with the Steward as random people begin straggling in for an early breakfast, but it is far less than the Headwoman wants to do to him! She can sort of halfway behave? She's watching his mouth when it goes lopsided, shakes her head about anywhere in particular she wants to go. And when he finishes she is silent, watching him with interest. "Your family?" she asks. Well, he did tell her was from there, but he might mean the place rather than the people.

Jethaniel's lips twitch at the suggestion - or maybe the motion of those fingers - but then he actually considers it. "In theory. It might not actually be feasible." Jethaniel leans in further to brush his lips to Darsce's cheek, regardless of how appropriate that may be for the Steward to the Headwoman in the public view. He's not paying much attention to anyone but Darsce. Surely those breakfast-goers will reciprocate and not pay attention to the two of them? Jethaniel nods to the mention of his family. "Only if you wish. I would not…" He trails off and lowers his head slightly, eyes rising to watch Darsce with an abashed look as he reaches into his pocket to obtain a paper, folded for mailing and now crumpled from being carried around because he's intended for sevendays to reply whenever he gets a free moment. "I… mentioned you. I am not, however, capable of defining you."

"Surprise me then," Darsce says with a wink flickered as he leans in and she accepts his kiss gladly, offering her cheek when she sees where he's going. Her merriment fades, appropriately with his serious topic and she doesn't hesitate at all. "I would love to go," she says firmly, eyes growing slightly questioning when he starts and then trails off. "You would not?" A gentle prompt. Her eyes follow the movement, curiously fixing upon that crumpled paper, lifting back to his face with comprehension. "Ahh, so show and tell eh?" Her smile accompanies the question; she's fine with that.

That acceptance makes Jethaniel smile, and he nods with some measure of relief. "It is a pleasant place. It would, however, not be a suitable use of your rest day if you did not enjoy it." Jethaniel ducks his head at her description. "Something of the sort, yes." He unfolds the letter with one hand, offering it to her. "This may provide some context."

Despite Jethaniel's delays in replying to it, there's a hurried look to this letter in everything from the scrawly hand to the complete lack of any salutation. It simply begins:

What's her name? Where's she from? What is she like?

Is she a rider? Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, I know you've been at the Weyr for a while, but I never would have thought - well, we just always thought you'd find a nice crafter girl, that's all.

Is she a crafter? What craft? She must be a journeyman, if she's posted there - or did you meet somewhere else?

I still don't think all those hours poring over books are good for you, you need to get out sometimes -

Well, I suppose you must have, if you met this girl - unless - does she work administration with you? Or is she with your techcraft thing? How did you meet? How long have you known her?

When are you coming to visit?


He's given a thoughtful look for that elaboration. How kind he is! "If you're there it will be," assures Darsce, not meaning to be flippant, but honest. "Besides, I'd like to see the place you grew up." She takes the letter, reads it, a smile growing as her eyes move down the page until they reach the bottom. Then they lift back to him, a touch apprehensive, but the smile is still there. "So many questions! Your mother or your sister?" she guesses. And then she re-reads the entire thing, more slowly. "I hope she won't be too disappointed, Jethaniel."

"I will be there," Jethaniel replies firmly, then smiles. "I may yet remember parts of the official tour." He probably heard it a hundred times as a child. "It is a pleasant place." As well it should be, given its reputation as a tourist spot. Jethaniel watches Darsce's reactions as she reads the letter, then nods, his head ducking slightly. "My mother. She is a good person," he assures as his head lifts again. "I suppose she simply… wishes to know." He shrugs slightly, then tilts his head to Darsce, grey eyes warm. "I do not see why." He smiles slightly. "It will save her the trouble of researching the statuses of women and informing me."

He will be there. Of course he wouldn't loose Darsce upon his family unsupervised, now would he? Anything might happen. Well, she might say anything. Or would she? She's been learning some… decorum. Or is it that the consequences of action bears some consideration beforehand? She's never really cared for history and even knowing the significance of Cove Hold hasn't perked her interest in it - until she's learned it was Jethaniel's home hold. There is where the draw lies for her. "Your mother," Darsce says, again eyeing that letter. "Most parents are good people," she supposes aloud. Though the glaring fact is, she hasn't so much as mentioned hers to him and one of them lives right here in Xanadu. If… you call that living. She doesn't go into that now. However, it's gotten her to thinking, but that is put on a back burner for now. Instead, that warmth in Jethaneil's eyes buoys her. Her eyes flick downward from his to that slight smile then back with a faintly sympathetic grimace. "She's… trying to fix you up? But… I'm not… really a crafter. Or anyone important. Will she care about that?"

Or is that his family on Darsce? Regardless, Jethaniel intends to be there. He nods, his fingers curling around Darsce's shoulder to hold her, even as the caverns slowly fill up with more people coming to get their breakfast. They're ignored by Jethaniel, even with the growing clatter of plates and forks. His attention is on Darsce, watching her expression as she thinks - though whatever he gleans from it is surely not the full story. Perhaps the time will come when he hears more of it, but for now, his lips twitch in a further smile. "She has been doing so for turns. I have not been interested." His smile shifts from one of humor to a more earnest expression. "You are important to me." But there's a hint of concern in his gaze - perhaps he's remembering his mother's incomprehension of his 'techcraft thing'. Not that she wasn't proud of him, of course she was, but… was he really truly sure he wanted to spend his life on little fiddly things that sparked? Jethaniel frowns for a moment, and answers honestly. "I do not know."

Darsce has never been one to worry about what others thought of her. And so if those families and riders coming in to breakfast get a few glances, it's out of concern she'll tarnish the Steward's reputation, not hers as Headwoman. That thought fades though as Jethaniel's fingers curl around her shoulder and they are forgotten. She's important to him. Sure, he's told her he loves her, but the words make her smile grow. A warmth touches her inside where an ache that began over a decade ago has grown. "I would love to go meet your family," she says, her gaze never leaving his grey eyes, trust meeting his earnest expression. She'll try not to be… outspoken and brash and embarrass him too. It's something she won't do for anyone else. And she'll remain there, cuddled by his side until one of them is called away, quite indifferent to whether others see her wrapped up in the Steward to the exclusion of all else.

Insofar as Jethaniel understands the social dynamics of his position as Steward, there are very few people with whose opinion he needs to concern himself. This is likely due to a fragmentary knowledge of social dynamics, perpetuated - if not caused - by his tendency to focus on what interests him to the exclusion of externalities. In this case, his focus is on Darsce, and as she, further informed about the situation, once more gives her assent to the meeting, he nods. "Then, I will arrange it." He smiles, and when that meeting comes, he'll be there when his mother asks prying questions and his father grunts with crossed arms and his sister talks about her mastery exams and his niece comes in with muddy hands and all the rest of it. Darsce will likely find her attempts quite challenging - but Jethaniel will be there. As he is now, until he has a meeting and must turn his focus for the day to his job as performing the job of Steward instead of giving people gossip about the Steward.

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