Many Answers - Few Questions

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrsecond and Jr Weyrwomans' Office

Office or study? Perhaps this room is a little of both. It is spacious and airy with the big windows opposite the door looking northwards, a perfect aspect when one is this far south. Those windows are framed by dark forest green drapes, soft ribbons and braid in dark, rich gold sewn along the edges to give them a sumptuous look. The back wall is covered by shelves that hold a variety of things - mostly records and reference material as well as writing tools and sheets of hide and paper. Tapestries, including several lovely scenes of the terrain around Xanadu Weyr, cover the rest of the wall-space while a soft, plain off-white rug hides the stone floor. A small, low table sits by the door and usually has some refreshment set out on it.

Several broad desks are arranged around the room, each one set so someone sitting at it doesn't look directly at any of the others. Small screens can be set up on each desk to give a little more privacy and each has one comfortable chair that goes with it. So far, it looks like one desk has a permanent claimant. There are also several other chairs, which can be used by visitors.

Dinner is finished, the evening is well under way but for some reason the Weyrsecond and Junior's office is still occupied. Or at least it appears to be. Light floods the darkened hallway from the open doorway and inside the room the sound of a soft singing in a tongue not spoken in Xanadu can be heard. The smell of klah and cinnamon adds a fragrance to the air, mingles with the notes. Someone is in a good mood.

Well, we can't have that, now, can we… The song Thea is singing? Think of the worst possible counter beat for it. That's the sound of the footsteps that are approaching, accented by the heavy thump of a staff. Ask and ye shall receive. The steps, that horrible thumping, it stops just outside of the door to the Junior Weyrwoman's office. Rather than a knock, the holder of the staff merely raps it on the ground, three times and once. And then nothing.

The singing falters, then changes to another altogether to use that thumping beat as a strong counterpoint, that goes perfectly with the battle song the voice now sings. Alas. The beat ends with the those three raps, and thus all are put out of their misery. "Good evening Master Fraille. You've come." Thea is courtesy itself, as the junior stands aside to allow her to pass, "Will you come in?" She gestures to the different seats in front of the collection of desks. "Sit wherever you are comfortable."

Master fraille offers a rumbling chuckle. "That'd be nowhere, and not for your courtesy, Weyrwoman. Sitting is something that takes preparation and time when you're old." Instead, she finds a place out of the way, and in a manner that suggests seriously familiarity, leans forward on her staff. "How nice do you want to be, young woman?"

Thea merely inclines her head answering gravely,"As you wish." She gestures to the low table, "Care for some klah or a sweet roll?" Polite, but not really expecting her to accept either. "Why Master Fraille, I am always nice. You know that." She's been sitting all day, standing won't hurt her one bit, so she half-stands, half-leans on the front of the vacant Weyrsecond’s desk. "I won't keep you long then." Her voice may be pleasant, but her face remains unsmiling. "It's about Fetch." Green eyes have a shadowed hue as she says the name.

The answer to that name is another wide, knowing smile. It's just an unfortunate side effect that it looks so unpleasant. But she says nothing.

Thea gets straight to the point, "The lad is petrified of me." Her eyes sharpen, "Would you happen to know why?" Her lips form a flat, unhappy line. This ought to really cheer the poor old soul. She says nothing more, simply waits.

The smile gets even wider, if that's possible. "Oh, you darling little thing…of course I do, and you know that. But that's not why you called me here." Fraille's smile abruptly vanishes, her eyes hooding under suddenly dark brows. "Be careful which question you ask next, young weyrwoman. Be absolutely sure you want the answer to it."

"Oh, but it -is- why I called you here, Master Fraille," Thea demurs evenly. "After I spoke with Fetch yesterday I intended to speak to you about it." She considers the old woman's words, eyes flickering over the master's face before giving a small headshake. "I don't like when someone’s told not to bother me, that I'm important. I'm no more important that anyone else here and you know it." Want answers, hmm? "The real question is whether you're even going to answer." Not a question, that. "Why did you tell him to stay away from me? He's not bothering me at all." But something is bothering her, it's written all over her face and in the depths of her wide pained eyes. She doesn't try to hide it.

Master Fraille shakes her head. "You were only five," she says after a moment. Her head hangs a little and she closes her eyes. "You had no idea, back then." She laughs a little, her voice very quiet, very tired. "I'll do you a favor, Weyrwoman. Call it my one good deed for this turn." She opens her eyes then, looking at Thea's face. "It's not about you. What the Fetch is, what he has become, is not about you. Don't try and change that."

Thea shakes her head, not understanding the first of her comments, she leaves them. "Not trying to." Her voice becomes rough, "Learned the hard way I cannot fix people." Her voice softens, "I only want to be his friend, is all and it makes me very sad to see someone so afraid of me."

Master Fraille straightens a little, grimacing at the rearranging of her spine. "My egg-lovin' glutton of a fire lizard has better ears." She shifts her grip on her staff before moving over into a walking position. "It's not. About. You. Understand that, young miss. You're very sad, and I'm sorry about that, though not by more than a hair or so." She opens her mouth to say something more, her eyes suddenly angry, but she closes it with an audible click of teeth. "Your world hasn't been very good to him. So he lives in his. If you want to be friends, ask him to fetch something for you."

"I understand it is not about me, Master Fraille," Thea answers quietly, patiently. "And if I choose to be kind to him, what does that hurt?" She holds her hand up in a ‘don't bother’ sort of way. That angry comment of hers has Thea agreeing, "And it shouldn't be so." The world not being good to him. She turns and moves over to her desk, lowers herself into her chair, her face is set, resolute. "Just… call him what you want in private, but please don't ever call him crazy in front of other people again. Please."

Master Fraille smiles slightly. "And if he is? Would that bother you, if I was right?"

Thea shakes her head answering without hesitation, "No Master Fraille, not any more than you being old does. If he is, he is. But see, people shouldn't be unkind to folks like him." She appeals to the woman, "You call him that and others may act upon it. Surely you don't want that?" She looks troubled as she continues, "Why not comfort where comfort can be given?" Her eyes are earnest as she says that, adding humbly, "It's the way I was raised Ma'am" She slips into that manner of address unconsciously. "That's all I wanted to do, really."

Because it's been so nice up until now, when Fraille finally goes off, it's a bit of a shift. "Most of the bloody weyr already acts upon it," she roars, dark eyes blazing. "You don't hear them, girl? I do! He does! He hears all of them!" Then, over even the anger, frustration can be heard in her words, seen on her face. "He was FOUR! He was FOUR, and they just…" She gesticulates wildly for a moment, searching for the right words, and then turns away. "You think I care about two people he's only known for a few weeks? I don't care about a papercut, girl. Not when the leg is missing." She turns back to face Thea then, if only from the side. "Was there anything else?"

Thea rises to her feet at that roar, her eyes narrow. "Master Frialle!" Her tone is crisp, "Why do you think I'm talking to you about it? I'm not around enough where he is to deal with it, but I won't have him treated this way." The junior is angry herself, but manages not to loose control and roar back. "I'll speak to the Weyrwoman." The rest of Fraille’s comments make no sense to her, but the question does and she remains standing while she asks it, "Yes, I want to know what you meant earlier today when you said 'it was you'."

Master Fraille looks at you for another long moment, obviously getting a grip, in more ways than one. The staff's wood beneath her hand protests quietly at the pressure being put upon it. "He left a list in the infirmary." She closes her eyes. "I had send him on an errand, to fetch something for me. Supplies to help mend a wound on his arm, and several other places. He ignores things sometimes…doesn't bother with himself." She shakes her head. "He was making a list of things that they didn't have in the Infirmary when you found him. At least I'm assuming it was you. He wouldn't tell me who it was. Didn't want to cause trouble."

Thea isn't one to lie. But she's not been asked a direct question, has she? She merely shrugs about the list, "You made out this list? Re-write it." As if indifferent to it. "How was Fetch wounded?" It's casually asked as she stands waiting.

Master Fraille sighs. "This is one of those things that you don't get to fully understand just yet, but it's not about the list. It's about the fact that he lost it." A pause. "He got them the way he gets all of his wounds. Fetching something. He's a runner, but he doesn't traffick information. He trafficks…" she falls quiet, looking for the right word. "Plants," she finishes. "Some of them are very hard to get. And he always gets them. It's what he does…it's what he is. He comes through, all the time, every time, in that one single way. You want to be nice to the boy? Make sure it finds its way back to him. Copy the damn thing if you want. I'm not exactly sure what's on it anyway."

Thea merely blinks at all that. "I see." It is all she says before she adds carefully, "I have no interest in any list, but I can assure you I do not have it, either." Still admitting to nothing. She adds, "If I see any list I will get it back to him." She sounds doubtful that she will see it at all. Her eyes remain on the woman with an assessing gaze before adding firmly, "Meant what I said about calling him crazy. Don't do it in front of people." He jaw sets.

Master Fraille snorts once. "Hope he finds that list…" There's a silent nod of assent to your final statement. "Mind a piece of advise, Weyrwoman?"

Thea's stare pinning Master Fraille relaxes with that nod of hers. She draws a long breath answering crsiply, "If it makes sense, I don't mind at all." She stands there behind her desk, her chin lifts ever so slightly as she waits - an unconscious gesture, that.

Master Fraille murmurs, "Long ago, someone suggested that when you go digging up the past, all you do is get dirty. I meant every word I said earlier. Be very sure you know what you're doing when you talk to your superiors. This is bigger than you."

Thea sighs. She knew it. Striving for patience, "I do not care about the past. It's the present that concerns me, Master Fraille. I won't stand by and see that young man harassed by the folks here at the Weyr." She lifts both hands, rubs at her temples, closing her eyes for a moment. When they open, they are simply weary, drained of emotion, "I've said all I wanted to." She inclines her head adding politely, "You have a good evening."

Master Fraille grumbles. "If only. Good night, Weyrwoman." Staff in hand, she slips out.

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