First Day Jitters

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the eastern wall, quite close to the southern end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the eastern wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis. The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The western wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the south side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

It has finally arrived. The day Ka'el isn't sure if he's been dreading or half looking forward to. Ever since his talk with Mur'dah last night, he's been having mixed feelings. 'Kid bronzerider' his ass. He'll show him and everyone! He can do this. For Xanadu. For Thea. But then, who is he kidding? What in the world is he doing here? 'Here' is the entrance to the administration hallway. It's early, yet not so bright as the clouds that are slowly beginning to roll in hint at a storm coming, another to follow the storm of the flight. The smell of rain hangs heavily in the air. Breakfast is ready for the early-risers, but there aren't too many of those to be seen. He's glad for that. Staring at the corridor while hovering at its entrance is weird enough. He needn't an audience to witness him battle with himself. He's dressed…well, normally. Taking given advice, he's abandoned his suit for something far more Ka'el-like. Boots, dark jeanlike trousers, and a white long-sleeved shirt. No knot (yet). Not too fancy. Not overly casual? He hopes. Ok Ka'el, breathe! He combs his fingers through his hair in preparation, then starts down the hallway. He passes doors both closed and open, though looks at not a one til he reaches the weyrleader's office. His office? Maybe, but he knocks anyway. Knock-knock!

The Weyrwoman isn't usually in the office until after breakfast, choosing instead lose herself in the breakfast crowd traffic through the caverns to slip into her office, though really that strategy to avoid running into the mindhealer is only going to work until he figures out he can lurk outside her office door like Ka'el is doing right now. Perhaps that's why she's early this morning? Though, if she stops short upon entering the hallway herself and seeing a figure down the hall it might be an impulse to turn and run. But no, she seems to realize the person isn't who she's dreading. And so she resumes her approach, walking up behind Ka'el and reaching a finger to try and tap him impishly on the shoulder. "Boo!" She… probably can't scare a v'tol, riiiiiiiight? There's a smirky-grin to greet him along with a droll, "Good morning Weyrleader, Ka'el." And then she offers him… a cupcake.

Luraoth landed out by Soriana's weyr, not in the clearing. She left Ierne in the middle of the night - local time - which meant she arrived here just about at dawn. Bright and early! Sort of, only for Soriana, it means she's already been awake for an entire day. But if she goes to bed now, she'll never manage to get back on Xanadu time again! No, she'd better try and push through. She's taking today off either way, mind you, but she can take it off and be awake until at least, oh, mid-afternoon or so. Which means she needs klah! Unfortunately, her creamer's gone bad and something's gotten into the sweetener while she's been gone, which means, after throwing on a clean set of clothes, she's made her way out through the mud and the scent of rain, coming to… the caverns. Ahhh, the familiar not-yet-bustle. Actually, it's… kinda quiet today. Like, really quiet. Not desolate quiet, but… quiet. She'd ask Luraoth, but the gold doesn't have her rider's compunctions about sleep schedules, and so is already happily dozing. No matter. Soriana picks up a mug of klah and fixes it to her liking, then eyes the administration hallway. She's not working today, but… why not drop by? She can see if anything's exploded and check in on what time she'd better come in for work tomorrow. Because maybe she can sleep in then! Oh, sleeping in. She hasn't done that for a month! Though with the time difference, it may take her another month to remember what it's like. Besides, if her eyes don't deceive her, that's Thea who just slipped down the hallway, which means she can catch the senior and give the (short, unofficial) report before Thea gets busy with whatever it is she's busy with today! So - mug in hand - she follows. Thea's sort of in the way for her to see who's being greeted but, oh, it's just the Weyrlead-uh. What. No. WeyrleKa'el? WeyrKaleader. Weyr. Le. Ka. El. Dur? To her credit (or the fact that she needs it) she doesn't drop the klah. She does maybe sputter, though. Just a little. Also, she stares. Just a lot.

Ka'el probably would not have been startled if today was three days ago. Or maybe even a week from today. But today being today and Ka'el holding onto a bundle of the first day jitters, the tap to his shoulder and the attached 'boo' does jolt him into jumping! But thankfully, as he turns around it's not with a swinging fist. What a first day that would've made, eh? Weyrleader on Weyrwoman violence! "Hey!" he greets with a nervous grin. "Er, good morning…Weyrwoman Thea." Weyrleader Ka'el? Yeesh. That sounds weird, especially coming from her! He combs his fingers through his hair again (he probably shouldnt've spent as much time as he did this morning actually combing it with a comb if this is what he's going to do all day!) and gives her a sheepish grin that turns quizzical at the offered gift. Cupcake! Aw, any day that begins with a cupcake is bound to be a good day, right? "For me?" he says, questioning the obvious as he owlishly blinks at her. Is this some tradition that he missed? The customary Trading of the Cupcakes between the weyrleadership?? He reaches for it, taking it in a hand. "Woah, thanks. You didn't make this, did you? …. Not meanin' that you can't bake. I bet you can, an' very well! I meant you didn't have to go through the trouble if you did." He grins cheekily, eyes on her and not noticing the return of the Sori just yet because.. he's still trying to breathe without making it seem like he's hyperventilating.

It's possible the half of the Weyr that had to pry themselves out of bed yesterday after the late-night…er, activities (or those of their neighbors) kept them awake, are sleeping in today. That might account for the less-than-busy of the caverns this morning. Thea says nothing to Ka'el about his choice of clothing. She herself is in a grey mid-calf skirt, silky pale green blouse with shoes on her feet rather than boots. Her dark hair is coiled up in a coronet. She's office-appropriate without being formal, so it's likely she doesn't plan on going off on hold visitation today. No, today is a settling the new Weyrleader into his routine (that thankfully doesn't begin with him giving her a black eye), introducing him to Quasar Wing and the weyrstaff (oh, can it get any better than this?) But! One hurdle at a time. The cupcake has letters in the icing that reads, 'Happy Weyrlead…ing' in a very childish scrawl. The thing is kinda messy too, but the Weyrwoman has thought to put it on a plate and thus, it is extended to Ka'el without the danger of getting frosting in his hair (via nervous finger-combing). "I caaaaan, but I didn't," she answers lightly. "Cook says she supervised a group of children decorating these and one of them decided you'd need it." Oh joy? She does catch the faint sputter from behind, peers over her shoulder and…oh the day can get better! Calmly, "Oh, Soriana, you're back. Good." Her key is in hand, it clicks into her office door and she's slipping inside, fully expecting that report… and abandoning Ka'el to explain things to Soriana. Since y'know, he chose to handle this his way.

So this is a joke, right? Bring your bronzer to work day. Or… oh! N'shen finally decided to do things all the way, and let Quasar rotate through wingleader, i.e. weyrleader (and Ka'el has decided to join Quasar because… uh… why not?) and… that means… that. Uh. Her eyes turn to Thea at her name, and she nods to her senior. "Uh. Yeah. I am." Obviously. Because she's standing right here - but under the circumstances, Thea can probably excuse any weirdness in Soriana's tone of voice, because guess who's also here? Three guesses, and the first two don't count, because Soriana's eyes are going right back to Ka'el. Who has… a very serious cupcake, she sees as she takes a few steps closer. Thea's disappearance into the office is barely even noticed, let alone acknowledged, because Soriana is staring at her boyfrie- Weyrlead- "Ka-" Guh. This. What. She. Does. Not. Even. She is not awake enough for this. There is not enough klah in the universe for this. And Luraoth is sleeping ever so peacefully and being no help at all.

Oh wait, a kid made this for him? Aw. At least the kids have some faith in him! Ka'el grins as he peers at the scrawling penmanship on the icing, tilting his head a bit as the letters start to run down the side. Someone ran out of space! "I'll have to ask her which one it was," he remarks. "Thank him…er, or her myself. He might make one kid's day! The plate, lifted so that he could inspect the treat, is lowered down after, and the Weyrwoman is given a crooked smile. "You mean, you didn't have any desire to bake me a cake or somethin'?" he jokes, because joking makes him less nervous, and joking has always been the thing he's been best at doing. His eyes flit from hers to very briefly glance at one of her shoulders, even though the fabric of clothing shields what he's looking for from view, and before he can ask her anything, her attention jumps from him to someone else. Soriana. He blinks, looking past her and to the familiar young woman that isn't too far off. Sori's back? Sori's back! ^^ Hooray! He grins, broad and genuinely happy to see her, and he glances to her shoulder now, though for an entirely different reason. Is there a grade two knot there? What does a grade two knot even look like? He doesn't know, but…uh oh. Sori's back. It's sinking in now, and that grin sort of freezes…then melts away. Thea's leaving, and he sends a look to her back. She's abandoning him! Should he follow her? And .. uh.. gulp. He lingers by that open door. "Hey," he says to Soriana, his smile returning, though far, far more muted that that former grin of his. He could just be visiting. Reporting something to N'shen. Needing to talk to the Weyrwoman. He doesn't even have his knot yet! Too bad the cupcake says otherwise. "..I was gonna…. I didn't want you to worry about this during your studies," he (tries to) explain, smile slipping.

Noooot a joke. Thea is not unaware of the potential for tension here, not unsympathetic to the plight of either Weyrleader or Junior but they'll learn the fast way that while she'll give advice when asked, she leaves people to make their own decisions and then live with them. She smiles briefly at both of them, Soriana sympathetically (and a touch nervously) and Ka'el reassuringly (?) and slips into her office. The door is left ajar. Just, Cyrus had better NOT sneak past them, meantime.

Soriana glances down to that cupcake. It's a very cheerful one. Enough to bring a smile to her face, but then she looks back up to Ka'el and, well, the smile doesn't go away, but it gets weird. This whole thing is weird, so the weird smile just fits right. "…hey." She does smile back to Thea, but it's a brief one. Kind of… distracted. Sorry, boss, you're… really not her focus right now. Ka'el, though… "So," she says, and then he explains, a why if not a what, and she takes a sip of klah. Why did she not put alcohol in this klah? Oh yeah, because she didn't know she'd want it. Now she knows. Now it's too late. And Ka'el… "Oh," she says. Her knot? Nope, she's not wearing one, because she isn't working today and she was just coming by for klah. "Well." She has another sip. "I'm done with those. Took the last test this morning." Ierne morning. How'd she do? Yeah, she doesn't say, because first… "So. You can tell me now?" This would be the sort of can that might mean should. Or had better or else. She doesn't sound angry, exactly. Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet, or maybe she's just… waiting and giving him rope. It's a weyrwoman thing.

Um. Ka'el doesn't know what to do. Really. And Thea is largely of no help to him right now, though this really isn't her problem (well .. kinda yes but no) and so he can't really blame her for leaving him high and dry! He glances to Soriana's shoulder again, really wanting to turn the subject to her tests and her know and just how she did on that test she apparently had this morning. But.. gauging from the question/statement she proposed, it'd seem as if .. other topics…might be more pressing. He rubs the back of his neck, a tell-tale habit of awkwardness that he probably should break. You know. Now that he's expected to be some sort of role model or important figure or … something. "I, uh…" He, uh, doesn't really know what exactly she wants to hear! It's a … sort of open and shut case, isn't it? "..Seryth rose." Duh. "And uh…Kanekith caught her… And…we.. you know." Sweatdrop? "But it wasn't like how it is…was..when we…It was a flight." Someone hand the guy a shovel. Help him dig himself just a little deeper. He coughs a little, eyes skirting to that cupcake to eye the frosted words written by some innocent hand. Deep breath, Ka'el. He looks at her. "So, today's my first day with the whole Weyrleader thing. Haven't gotten a knot or anything yet," he says, gesturing with a nod to his bare shoulder, daring a mild grin. "Maybe Thea's going to make it a special thing. Already got a cupcake. Dunno how she's gonna top that." Heh…

The Weyrwoman has better not be the focus! This would be why Thea has slipped back into her office. Not liiiiiiiiiiiistening to the convo out there! Just y'know, if she hears crying or threshing of flesh, then she might re-emerge. She triiiiiied to warn you, Ka'el!! Now what's in her inbox this morning? If she could only concentrate on that instead of holding her breath and chanting in her head, 'tell her you love her - tell her you love her - tell her you love her' over and over again. Nope! Can't bail him out of this one. Top the cupcake? How about with his first test as Weyrleader?

Yeah, see, there's plenty of dragonhealers around the Weyr. Whether Soriana passed or failed those tests… doesn't make all that much immediate difference to how things go. There's only one Weyrleader, though. …and… she's… looking at him? (And his cupcake.) So yeah, the bit where… "Mmmh." Yeah, Seryth rising would have to be a part of it, now wouldn't it? Okay, so it would't have to be (N'shen), but it was likely to be. And given that Seryth rose, Kanekith must have… Soriana's lips twitch sideways and in and down in a complicated motion that ends with a swallow, and her hands drift to her hips, sort of resting there for a moment, then slipping back behind her, then being dragged back to her sides with a sigh that stops halfway along as she hears that it wasn't like, but… eyebrow: arched. It stays arched, until the end, because… yeah. It was a flight. A leadership flight. While she was gone, not that she'd have been here anyway, because (while golds aren't competitive as long as they're not near proddy, nobody wants to risk it and so) the rest of them would have fled. But she would have known it was happening! And known to have Luraoth ask - not directly, of course, but with gentle inquiries among the greens and blues least affected by the flight that would have yielded the answer as soon as it was there to be had. Not… however many… days later! "So you just…" Wait. Does not like their flight mean it… was good? Was bad but he didn't care? Was bad but Thea didn't care? Was - okay. The furrow of brows is put on hold as she's reminded of the Weyrleader part. Deal with the Leadership first and the Flight later. It's his first day, so 'however many' can't be all that large. "Well," she says, and takes in a deep breath. A special thing? Is Thea going to make it one of those? (Was it good?) And there's duties and Ka'el without a knot (yet) and his first day of - "Let's find out." Yes, she just invited herself along. Judging from the set of her jaw, she's quite aware she did it and is entirely unrepentant about it. She's not going to leave, oh no. If he heads into that office, she'll be following him unless he slams the door in her face.

Ka'el is the king of awkward standing. He isn't sure where he should be looking. Where he should put his hands. He ends up deciding that at his sides is the best place for them, cupcake still held, and his eyes are looking at her. At her nose. At the area between her eyes. At her eyes, finally. So he just…what? He can't fathom what the end of that statement might've been, but he probably wouldn't've had a very good answer to it anyway. He's glad she doesn't complete her thought, sparing his brain the dizzying process of trying to figure out what the right answer might be. Thea's mental brainwaves aren't quite making it through to Ka'el. Is it true? Does he love her? Pft, do avians fly? Do dragons rise? Of course he does, but saying it now doesn't quite make it to his brain as a good idea. This is only his second flight. His first with a win that was not Luraoth. He's stumbling blindly folks! His hands slide into the pockets of his trousers, then seconds later, are gradually pulled out and placed back at his sides. Let's find out? .. Let's? So there will be no angry words and yelling and tearing of flesh, as Thea is listening out for? That's … good, yes? Or she's just saving all that for more private quarters. Early Quasar riders are bound to start trickling in sooner or later. "Yeah," he agrees, nodding once, eyeing her while trying to gauge her mood. Stormy, much like the weather outside? He doesn't try to hold her hand, the reasons varying. 1. She may break his fingers. 2. A Weyrleader hand-holding a Weyrwoman while on duty may be taboo. He has so much to learn, and not all of it is official business! And so, attempting a smile at the young goldrider, he steps into the…his…shared office, not slamming any doors behind him. But, he does remember.. "We'll lock it," he says, words directed towards their Senior, smile vague.

Thea could have half the Weyr stuffed in her office ready to yell, "SURPRISE!" and a big sheet cake decorated with an icing hangman's noose to make the awkward all the more…special? Only, no, she doesn't. She's sitting quietly at her desk eyeing her calendar, which has, apparently, been updated in the one day she's taken to rest after the flight…which no one is talking about. Oh the awkward! As the pair enter, the Weyrwoman's eyes lift and follow their progress silently. She doesn't seem at all surprised that Soriana has followed him in and she's not fool enough to think they've remotely approached working through…things. To that she makes no remark, though she does nod at Ka'el regarding the locking of that door. Instead she rises and moves from behind her desk. It's nice, made of cherrywood, footed and carved in vine motif with a leather upholstered seat behind it. But it's towards the other that she heads. "So this is your desk, Ka'el," she says and forgive her for sounding brightly chipper about it. The Weyrleader's desk is larger than hers, heavy wood, but paneled in a masculine style with a black leather upholstered chair behind it. It's been polished and cleaned, all personal effects removed from the previous occupant. She waves at the chair, indicating he should try it out.

Instead of figuring out the answer, Ka'el's brain gets to try to figure out what the question might have been, and then decide if he should give an answer to it anyhow. But hey, at least he has the option of all the various questions it could have been. There probably aren't any actual good ones, but variety is… something. It's good to keep options open. Sobbing and/or rending flesh? Yeah, that's an option! Soriana is keeping it open. Fortunately (for him), Ka'el doesn't argue with the fact that she's coming along. The fact that he doesn't offer her his hand? …might, if she's being entirely honest, also be fortunate for him. She doesn't plan/ to break his fingers. She would not, however, want to guarantee that it wouldn't happen, because… it might. Her fingers do a thing where they curl up and then she forces them to uncurl again. She could make Ka'el having a black eye after flights traditional? Two for two? …but no, because it's been too long, because someone didn't decide to tell her until she got back. Soriana's mood is not so much the storm as that big, looming cloud, the one that's a sickly gray-green shade - but there's no bolts of lightning streaking through the air or rain slicing down to the ground. It's not a storm, yet. It might blow by - there's a brisk wind - or it might… not. Soriana, as she follows Ka'el in, isn't smiling, because she's thinking. She's thinking at the questions she didn't ask and the answers Ka'el didn't give - and, oh yeah, the ones that did get said, too. She glances to Thea. What does 'not like' mean? There's a troubled look to Soriana's eyes, a curve down of her lips as she takes in Thea with a look that's too wrapped up in the question she's not asking to worry about being polite. She's not going anywhere, but… she can recede to the background. She can lock the door behind them, and try to work through things in her own head to figure out where she's even standing (besides in the weyrleader's office) and how to work things out with Ka'el from there. (Not that he even told her.)

Ka'el has been in here before. Not very long ago, either. But now… now he's looking at the place through new eyes. He's glad Soriana took care of the locking of the door, (and he's also glad half the weyr hasn't jumped out from behind every bookcase and office desk because he'd likely have a heart attack), as he's forgotten about the door the moment Thea introduces him to his brand new, official looking, manly desk. He doesn't mean to say it because it sounds extremely juvenile, but it slips anyway: "Woah…" The awed sounding word uttered when something is utterly fantastic, unfeasible, above and beyond, or in this case, intimidating. It's just a desk. But … it's a desk. He doesn't get desks. People like him do grunt work! They toil and forge and run errands and work hard and hope for minor promotions in the future if they've worked hard enough. This desk is for a seasoned someone who knows what the shell he's doing. Someone like N'shen. Xe'ter. There go his fingers, running backwards through his hair again as brows knit and his expression, for a momentary split second, looks panicked. Is running away an option? His eyes sweep over it, noting the lack of things on it. Things that were there before. Items made by a child's hand set on proud display. His arm drops and attention turns to Thea. "He's not upset, is he? Feels like, I'm pushin' him out. Like he's been kicked aside." Soriana has not been forgotten, but his brain may actually explode if he tries to settle feelings with her and settle feelings with Weyrleading at the same time.

Oh he's going to be toiling! Just wait until he sees how hard he will be toiling! No, he can't run away, but he can put his head down on that manly desk and cry mantears? When…no one is looking? There's even a box of tissues on it just in case. "Mmmn," is Thea's non-committal answer about N'shen. Instead of shrugging her shoulders though, she shakes her head. She crosses the carpet with a careful tread and her free hand rests on the corner of that empty desk. "So let's see if the chair fits or you'll need it adjusted, hmm?" she says with an ease she may or may not be feeling. After a couple of breaths, she removes her hand, swaps the thin case from hand to hand with as little move of her other arm as she can manage and slides the case across the desk to Ka'el. "That's your knot," she says, "express-ordered from Ierne yesterday." So, uh, neither D'son, Xe'ter, A'dmar nor N'shen wore it. Brand-shiny-spankin' new and all his. This is where Soriana comes in and the Weyrwoman turns to her, either not noticing or overlooking whether her Junior is being polite or not. She meets the young woman's eyes without hesitating, both empathy and appeal in her green eyes. "Can you do the honors and pin it on him please? I need two hands to do it." Apparently she only has the use of one? Sort of? Why? She isn't saying.

Maybe that's another reason to lock the door - it makes it harder for Ka'el to run away. Not that he tries, but… Soriana does have some clue what it's like to be thrust into a leadership role. She had more time to get used to it, herself, but then again… oh, she doesn't even know what she's thinking, but there's a sympathetic tug of her lips as she listens to Ka'el's response, one that turns back into a frown and… she looks up to Thea, brown eyes meeting green. There's concern in hers, and while there's unhappiness, it doesn't seem to be directed at Thea. Or… anywhere, really. (Okay sometimes Ka'el, but sometimes… it's just unhappy, in that stomach-churning way that doesn't have any good answers. Or even good questions.) The request, though, that's a reasonable one, and so she finds an answer for it. Soriana nods. "Yeah." She can do that. One of the jobs of a Junior is to do whatever the Senior delegates to her, right? And also… well. Ka'el is her… there's a flick of frown as Soriana crosses to the desk, and she lets Ka'el have a chance to get used to seeing the knot before it's on him as she looks up to Thea and adds, "I'm done at Ierne." So… Junior Weyrwoman, ready to assist the Senior. Reporting for duty. All that. (Didn't she claim she wasn't working today? …that was before.) After that moment, she reaches into the case, taking out the knot and looking to Ka'el. Oh, Ka'el. She… meets his eyes. Hers still have some of that troubled look, but she meets his, and she even sort of smiles as she lifts his knot. And she doesn't even stab him with the pin! …not on purpose, anyhow.

Not a no. Not quite a yes. Thea's vague, less than specific answer has Ka'el frowning a little, but he doesn't press for any further information. Kanekith beat out the former Weyrleader's bronze fair and square, right? So…he has no reason to feel guilty about suddenly taking his spot. That doesn't mean that he doesn't feel that way anyway. He moves closer to his new desk, touching fingers to the handsome and polished wood, glancing over the bare surface, and finally moving around to seat himself upon the chair. Mm. Leather. Somehow, he thought the seat would swallow him up, indeed like a child sitting in a place far too large for him. Meant for someone grander. But instead .. well. Ka'el's man-sized, and this is a man-sized seat in which he fits rather well. He rests his arms upon the arm of the chair, feeling overwhelmingly official though hoping he doesn't look that way. He can do this. He can… whoa. That's a fancy looking knot there. Lots of twists and loops and some tassels and…whoa. He rises from his seat as Soriana is given the .. uh, honor? of placing the knot on his shoulder. His eyes are on Thea first, somewhat tense around the edges as he watches her with attention drifting from face to shoulder, then back to face, expression unchanged. "Thea…" Brows furrow fractionally as the unasked question manifests in his eyes. Are you alright? loud, it's a thank you that's voiced. For ordering the knot…or something. And then, Soriana is approaching and he looks at her, meeting her eyes, his own showing apology. And a smile? He sees that smile on her face! The kind of ..awkward upturn of her lips that's mirrored by him as he turns his body just slightly for ease of knotting. "Just like Candidacy," he says with a faint grin, recalling some distant memory. "We're always knotting one another."

That's because Thea doesn't know. "I haven't seen N'shen, but he knows how it works," she elaborates when she sees that frown of Ka'el's. Fancy knot indeed with triple loops of braid, blue, orange and bronze with two tassels that will dangle smartly from the point of his shoulder. She'd have to be blind not to see half-frowned unhappiness, the apologetic smiles between her Weyrleader and her Junior, but for now the Weyrwoman doesn't address them. "Thank you," she says of Soriana's willingness to do the honors (yes, it is one). She takes- starts to take- a step back, instead turns and takes two steps towards that heavy bookcase behind the Weyrleader's desk. To that half-asked question of Ka'el's, she just gives a slight shake of her head, and a pressing of lips. It's her left arm that she isn't using. So as the knot is pinned on, she is able to snap off a proper salute to her Weyrleader. At last she can ask Soriana, "So how did the exams go? Did you make Grade Two?"

And Thea'd have to be clueless to not expect some of those frowns and awkward smiles between these two, so Soriana fully expects her choice not to address it is a deliberate one. Just like Soriana isn't saying anything about the Senior's selective use of her arm and the fact that she's passed on the honor of knot-pinning. She just nods to that thanks, turning her attention to Ka'el. "Yeah," she says to that mention of candidacy. "Only golds don't search." Not for candidates, anyhow. They… well, they do rise, and some lucky (or not) bronzerider gets selected by that to be the Weyrleader and get the fancy knot that Soriana now pins to Ka'el's shoulder. There's a downturn of Soriana's lips, and then she forces them up again. "Congratulations, Weyrleader Ka'el." She takes a step back, and gives a salute. Because there are ranks and authorities and traditions to be dealt with, here. This is the office. Personal lives… don't enter into it. (Hah! Of course they do, but they're not supposed to.) And… then she looks back to Thea, and the growth of her smile for the question might answer it before her words can. Even with the troubled thoughts lurking, "Yes." It's nearly a grin. "Exams passed, practicals finished, I'm grade two. The forms won't be here for a couple days, though." Paperwork. It's like that, but Soriana didn't wait around for it.

She's not okay, and that's .. not okay. The newly knotted Weyrleader turns concerned eyes upon the Weyrwoman senior just before she salutes him. He salutes her back automatically because … well, he's used to saluting her. Her saluting him is weird. And as for her not being ok, he wants to ask. Boy does he want to! And press and hound her and bother til she does what he wants her to do. And apologize (some more). But, even though this is his first day here, even he feels that that would be inappropriate. Even if it is just himself, Thea, and Soriana in attendance. This is work time, not concern time. There's probably some sort of separation. And now even Soriana's saluting him and calling him Weyrleader, which is even weirder. He grins, faintly, having missed that frown but he neednt've seen it anyway to know that things aren't quite right. How could they be? He … well. Everyone knows what he did. He's glad when the conversation turns less Weyrleadery and more Grade Twoish, and a genuine grin curves his lips at the news. "Yeah? Hey, congratulations! I knew you could do it. I told you, didn't I?" His grin remains. "Will your weyrwoman duties change any?" he asks, the question directed towards both women. "To give time for hands-on practice?"

Oh, Thea fully expected the frowns and guilty smiles between these two. She isn't expecting anything less than awkward before they've had a chance to go have a heart to heart in private. And no, she's not addressing what she feels is a private issue between the two of them (i.e. why Ka'el didn't tell her sooner). While sympathetic to Soriana's feelings (she'd be upset too if it were her), she also respects Ka'el's reason for not doing so. The…other? Well, it's…yeaaah. She's never dealt with the winner's significant other before because… D'son's weyrmate avoided her, Xe'ter didn't have one and A'dmar's was in Eastern Weyr. So to that she can only hope the awkwardness fades, Sorrin's hopefully prepared Soriana for this. Poor Ka'el though? Her congratulations to Soriana is genuine, a brightening of her gentle smile. "Well done, then!" There's a nod and an, "Of course! Dragons are more important than paperwork," in response to Ka'el's question of Soriana's annex duties. "Now Ka'el, your duties…" Is he ready for this? She takes a few steps to one of the chairs in front of his desk, Soriana is welcome to stay, says the nod to the other seat, "You're in charge of all the wings."

It was a flight. And if those words are kind of on infinite repeat in a part of Soriana's head, well, that doesn't make them any less true. So. Yeah. Soriana knew in a vague way that 'seeing the people whose dragons' flights were won by Kanekith' was coming. She wasn't expecting this, but… it was a flight. See? Infinite repeat. It means that this is just… it happened. The thing to do now it get over it and move on - so, no, she's not prepared enough, but she's going to try anyhow. She's a Junior Weyrwoman. Thea is her Senior Weyrwoman. The salutes going around are kind of helpful, in that they establish that this is a professional relationship, even if it started with - it was a flight. In a dragonhealing sense, that means… a great many things. Does Seryth want a checkup? What about Kanekith? Because, here's Soriana, grade two. She nods to Ka'el, then glances to Thea - returning that smile - and back to Ka'el again. "Thanks," she says to both of them, with a sideways tug of her lips for what Ka'el said. "Something like." His question makes her glance to Thea, because that's who has the final say on her schedule, and then a pleased smile and nod. "I'd probably better check on things before changing them around, though." And see just what Esiae and Sorrin have done in her absence! …not that she makes any move to actually leave just yet, instead stepping to that second seat and settling herself down into it, going quiet again to listen.

Poor Ka'el indeed! Soriana's been gone for a month and he hasn't even touched her now that she's returned. And he's not sure if he should touch her. If she wants him to or not. And now he's not positive if it's appropriate to touch her given the fact that he wears a fancy knot and she wears a fancy knot and there may or may not be some rule that certain fancy knots are not to fraternize. But Thea would've told him, right? Two days ago. Wrapped in a blanket and sipping klah. Or maybe that's coming now, with formalities of his duties and dos/do nots, cans and cannots. He's glad for Soriana through, gladder still upon hearing that she will in fact spend more time with dragons! His smile is tentatively warm to her, softly grateful to Thea, and then he sits down in his official feeling chair as business gets started. Protest begins to rise in his throat as it sounds as if Soriana may be leaving, but it drifts away as she sits. Good. Awkward or not, he wants her here. Now, to his duties. All the wings. He's glad to know that he knew that much about Weyrleading, and he nods in confirmation. See? He's .. a little prepared (kinda but NOT really). Deep inhale. Slow exhale. "Wingleaders and Wingseconds. Will they still be rotating?" Is now the time for questions, or should he shut up, listen, and be bombarded with info first?

It… never crossed Soriana's mind that Kanekith might win one of Seryth's flights? Would it be any less awkward for Soriana if it were Esiae? Or, Faranth forbid, Sorrin? Heh. Probably not? It's… there no way to prepare for the awkwaaaard, really, when it comes down to it. Thea is holdbred, so this adds to the awkward for her. She deals with this sort of thing by… not thiiiinking about it and focusing on her work. Hah! And people wonder why she buries herself in it! The chair, she lowers herself into carefully, leans back and manages a small, pained smile to both of them in turn then blinks at Ka'el's question, "You're the boss now, however you want to manage the wings is up to you. If you want to rotate them, you may continue; you do not have to. You can just… knot people as you see fit and feel comfortable working with." She considers. "Oh. And you'll need to choose a Weyrsecond. Because N'shen never got around to doing that after I fired D'had." Well, she forced the aging rider into retirement, but.

…no. No it would not be less awkward, but Soriana was kind of hoping she'd get to ease into this with a few greenriders first. People she doesn't have to see all the time, but could just encounter, vaguely, from across the caverns. Yeah, sure, she realized - in the vague sense - that it was possible, but she figured Seryth'd find herself an older, cannier mate for, oh, at least the first couple flights! But no. Not so much. Besides, it's not like she wanted to spend much time thinking about it. Or wants to think about it now. Not thinking about it? Oh, yes. She's all about that. (It was a flight.) Soriana returns Thea's smile, despite the awkward, and Ka'el's too - even if they're definitely going to have to talk, because with him she can't just not think about it. Well, she can, sort of, temporarily, but not… for good. Especially not when there are lurking questions like what she wants to do with him. Ka'el's question - and Thea's answer - brings real amusement to that smile. What did he think it meant to be in charge of the wings? Weyrleader word is law, except when the Weyrwoman does something like fire the Weyrsecond, but… eh, it gets complicated sometimes. Ka'el's still in charge. So says tradition.

It's up to him … entirely? Ka'el can just change the way the wings work entirely if he wanted to, right now? He can toss out knots to whoever the shell he feels like it without having to tell anyone in advance what he's going to do or why? … Really? Apparently he hadn't entirely wrapped his mind around the idea of being 'in charge' quite fully enough. But.. "Conferring with you about the wings … isn't necessary?" No need for his first fledgling steps to be bumbling ones. Not that he has any thought-out plans of what he wants to do with the wings. To continue rotating, or appoint leadership as he sees fit? He's only had a day to let all of this sink in! Making decisions? Pffft. Not today. He lightly rubs the tips of a few fingers upon the smooth wood of the polished desk, brows vaguely furrowing at the mentioning of Weyrsecond. "Do I have a time limit on that?" Cuz really … uh, he has no clue! "Weyrseconds are…typically men?" Hell, he's only known once since he's lived here! "And must they be?" Doesn't hurt to ask, right? And no one here will laugh at him, right? Hopefully not. Eyes dance momentarily to Soriana before settling on Thea, a light smirk vaguely curving his lips. "I think everyone here knows you're the boss, Weyrwoman."

See, Thea gets to go home to her empty cottage at night and not face the jealous weyrmate these days. L..u..cky her? Actually it's somewhat of a blessing in disguise because D'had used to get drunk and growl at her over each and every flight until she took her babies and left him. He shaped up and got a grip pretty quickly after that and for many turns it worked. They'd learned to compartmentalize: Flights over here, outside of their relationship. And yep, Weyrleading gets complicated, especially when Thea fires…heh…the Weyrleader as well. She coughs at Ka'el's question of conferring with her. "It isn't; I'd appreciate it if you do - or at least keep me apprised of what you're doing. And no, there's no rush to change anything right away. I'd suggest taking your time, get to know your riders." Uh, men? She blinks at him and then smirks. "Potentially Marel could be Weyrleader." Yeah, see she can joke about that in her ignorance of what went down during the flight. She shifts to find a more comfortable position on her chair, frowns at his last comment, ice green eyes earnest upon his. "I'd prefer to run the Weyr together, Ka'el. With D'son, Xe'ter and then N'shen it was more like a partnership. A'dmar…" Dark brows knit over a muted displeasure, not directed at him by any means, "was secretive, abrasive and proud. He did not communicate. But that's not why I- I only fired him because he committed a crime." Her expression eases somewhat, not quite a smile, but close as she says firmly, "I'm sure you won't make that mistake."

Soriana nods slightly at Ka'el's comment that conferring isn't necessary - not that he's asking her. She's just here listening. There's… really not that much excuse for her to be here; it's not like the other juniors are here, and they've actually been around for long enough to have a clue. Soriana is just… well, she's got a relationship with Ka'el, but this isn't about that. She's just here because… she is. Because she's invited herself here. There's enough time for her to get a little awkward - though not enough so that she doesn't keep listening - before the idea of Weyrseconds being men makes her snort slightly. So much for listening in silence, but really! Okay, she'll laugh at Ka'el, but only in that, 'no, really?' way. She nods to what Thea says - because she doesn't know what went on either - and when Ka'el glances to her again, she's smiling back to him a bit more easily, and keeps her gaze on him as Thea starts explaining how weyrleadership can work. Collaboration. Working together. And - wait. A crime? That draws Soriana's gaze to Thea, her curiosity obvious.

Not with the way Isyriath was flying that night she won't! Though the mystery behind that foggy memory has been revealed to Ka'el, and as far aas he knows, Ka'el alone. Marel's mentioning has his expression shifting just fractionally. Has she spoken with her mother? Likely not, considering the comment. Is it his place to bring it up? As Weyrleader, Marel is under his domain. He's talked to her. He's (hopefully) taken care of it. But … Thea's her mother… Sigh! What a fine line he must walk. For now, he leaves it alone. Weyrseconds can apparently be female. Good to know. Weyrleaders too… though he's not known one to be one! Soriana's snorted sound attracts his attention, giving her a narrow-eyed look that's not at all angry, then looks back to Thea. He nods a little as she speaks of a partnership. Hell if he thinks he can do this on his own! "I'd like that. I mean, I wouldn't want to change too much've anything without telling you about it first. Askin' what you think." He values her opinion, obviously. He nods in second agreement about A'mar, though the gesture freezes at the mentioning of a crime. "Not a murder, was it?" is his immediate question before he can wrestle it back. D'oh! Everyone would've heard about a murder. Unless .. it was covered up!

The other Juniors are not in here, no. But Soriana was here to give report and then waved to have a seat in front of Ka'el's desk for a reason perhaps? It might be obscure, and unrevealed as yet, but that's often how Thea works. Thea has never heard of a female Weyrleader, but if girls are riding browns, it stands to reason. It's been nearly two turns ago, the mess with A'dmar, and she hasn't had to think about it since then but the question from Ka'el draws a bright laugh from the Weyrwoman. "Not murder, no. That would require more than a simple firing, most likely the Weyr Council's involvement." Oh joy, politics! "No, he was more subtle. He engaged in subversion and sabotage - petty revenge because he took a dislike to my steward." She snorts. Clearly her opinion of the man is not a high one. "He falsified reports and documents to confuse and delay his work." So. Ka'el hardly needs to worry about being fired. There are other responsibilities to his position and these she ticks off on her fingers, "Much of your work will be diplomatic. You'll be available to ranking visitors, accompany me - and the juniors - on some of the hold visitation to our coverage area, assist with crafthall visits, attend gathers and hatchings elseWeyr and hall, assign sweeps, receive wingleader reports, collaborate with Jethaniel on management of the outer Weyr." Is she forgetting anything? "Oh yes, and attending inter and extra Weyr meetings." The very many meetings! Why is Soriana here? Maybe to know firsthand what Ka'el will be so busy doing? He will need her support!

Walking fine lines is… kind of a fundamental part of the job. It's pretty definitional, along with obscure reasons. Soriana is, at least, sure Thea would kick her out, if she wasn't supposed to be here, or at the very least, wouldn't have waved her to a chair, so it must be good. She just… keeps listening, to the parts she knows (or thinks she does) and even more to the parts she doesn't. Ka'el's suggestion makes her eyes dart to him, with lifted brows of 'really?' - because everyone would have heard, and A'dmar wouldn't have just gone back to Ierne after that. But… the brows still stay lifted until Thea confirms that it wasn't. Soriana keeps her gaze on the Weyrwoman while she explains, then gives a nod. She occasionally wants to roll her eyes at Jethaniel, but that's usually because he's the one prolonging a meeting with some speculation or other (that she only half understands). But, she can see how A'dmar might have been more… uh… tempermental. Or petty, if you want to call it that way. Soriana settles back in her chair again, curiosity sated, and listens to Thea's list of Ka'el's new responsibilities. She already knows some of them, what with having seen N'shen coming along on them, but… her gaze goes to Ka'el, watching him with a rueful twist of her lips. See? This is why she never seemed to have time to come do things with him. Only, it's worse, because she's just a Junior. Maybe she can come to the office at the end of the day and distrac- er, help him. And visitations will be a little better if they can do them together? Maybe?

No one had better murder anyone while his stint as Weyrleader is going on. Weyr Council involvement? That sounds like … work. And debate. And decisions made. And paperwork drawn up. And a lot of things that require lots of knowledge about important things and .. stuff. So. Murders are officially banned from happening! It has been said. He's the boss! Everyone's gotta listen. And Ka'el must remember not to sabotage anyone. No revenge? … Aww, but that takes the fun out of everything! Not that he’d go about getting his revenge in a paperwork sort of way. Buuut, what he would do doesn't matter, because he's not going to do it. Right? Right! He leans back in his chair a bit, not saying anything as he listens both to her and the rain that pelts the window that's in perfect view from his desk. The list goes on. And on. Til it reaches the end. Oh, is that all? Oh look at that, it isn't! There are meetings of all kinds to be had. -.-; He's given his opinion of the Steward once before and sees no reason to repeat himself. There's so much work. So much work to be done! He'll live in this office before long. Might as well sell the weyr. Where's that cupcake he had? He set it down somewhere. On that table near the door. Now'd be a perfect time to bite into it and lose himself in sweet innocent goodness. "I understand … I think," he answers, mind spinning. He should've written all of what she said down or something.

Ah yes, the Steward can be complicated in his approach and delivery, but the part people understand is enlightening. The other half? Just trust Jethaniel. Thea does. Thus far it's saved her braincells? The Weyrwoman will likely nudge this pair off together to do the rounds of gathers and hatchings, so this is a perk, right? After that list is Ka'el overwhelmed? "It'll sort out. And there's a manual in one of your drawers." Of all the things she just ticked off in not-very-detailed manner. As for now, the Weyrwoman rises, aided by the flat-palmed push up from Ka'el's desk. "I need to go for awhile. I'll be back after lunch probably. You two should… ah, talk." About what? She doesn't say. "If you need anything I'll be in my cottage." Please. Don't need anything. She's going to take a half-dose of fellis and lie down.

Or at least no revenge inside the office - does it count if it's done outside of business hours? …probably. The curse of responsibility! That, and getting called sir. Ka'el will soon discover that particular weirdness, if he hasn't already. Along with meetings. Oh, meetings. Why are meetings so… meetings? …because they are, and that's the best answer Soriana has come up with so far, and then that's the end of Ka'el's whirlwind introduction to Weyrleadering, and Soriana glances to Thea as she rises, then eyes Ka'el at the suggestion. Oh. Uh. … yeah. Talking. About those things she's been trying not to think about. (It was a flight.) And… yeah. She looks back to Thea, and gives a salute, because even when you're not sure what to say, you can still salute. And then - if you're Soriana - you can slowly turn your head back to Ka'el and take a look at him as you try, once again, to figure out what to say. Uhm.

Ooh, there's a manual? Well … Ka'el actually finds that very comforting. Something concrete and written that will tell him the ins and outs of his new and intimidating position? It's a welcomed bit of news, though he doesn't go as far as to grin about it. As Thea begins to rise, he's quick to get on his feet, brows furrowing as he starts to move out from around his desk. Does she need help? She's probably very capable of standing up. Hell, she stood up and got all the way over to the caverns without his help this overcast morning! But still, even though he keeps himself from fully moving to the front of his desk, he keeps himself…at the ready, watching her closely for signs of distress that'd take him to her side immediately. They should talk? Eh. Do they…haaaave tooo? He glances to Soriana just as she eyes him. A quirked half smile lasts only seconds on his face before he's looking back to Thea. "I'll be here." Probably. He's not sure just where else he would be when she does come back. "If you need anything…" He lets that trail, figuring she knows how it'd end. They both have dragons. Communication is easy. Which…brings us back to Soriana. And communication. And the lack of it. And.. He looks at her. "…Want to try out the chair?" Heh.

(To be continued….sometime!)

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