Staff 'Splosion

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.

Maybe this won't be so bad. Ka'el's morning has been a whirlwind of activity and facts and information and manuals and … He thinks the brain can actually explode, for his feels on the verge! But maybe this is doable. He's not the first Weyrleader in the history of Pern that's ever been thrust into the position, young and totally unprepared. No one's .. died from it, right? And plus, one of his bigger fears has been pacified already, which eases some of that stress from his shoulders. For now, anyway. It'll likely be replaced with a different sort of stress altogether before long! But for now, Weyrleader Ka'el's spirits have been lifted since this morning. The cloudy sky remains so, but the heavy rains don't fall, leaving things merely overcast and gloomy. The lunchtime rush has ebbed and eventually stopped now that lunchtime is officiall over. Ka'el spent the time out amongst the dining people, deciding against hiding himself in his new office to avoid curious looks and questions and outright stares. Get it all over and done with in one heavy shot! Now, with his belly filled with bread and stew and mind filled with the buzz that was cavern talk peppered with congratulations here and there, he heads back into the office, ready to tackle the second half of that hefty manual he found in his desk.

Lunch was had. The Weyrwoman probably ate lunch once. Or twice. Today? Who knows. She's been absent throughout the morning and now returns, wearing the same skirt and blouse she'd worn this morning, only her dark thick hair is no longer bound up in a neat coronet. She's left it down after her rest but really she's not looking… rested. Oh well. There are things to do and so after seeking a few key administrative-types, she enters the office green eyes scanning the room before stopping at the Weyrleader's desk. "Bored yet, Ka'el?" That's her greeting and no, it's not the question she really wants to ask. She doesn't because… she isn't alone.

Darsce …sidles in after the Weyrwoman. Unlike Thea, she's not dressed in a neat skirt and blouse, but in a tube-top mini skirt dress of some clingy material that while draping gracefully, fits her form nonetheless. On her bare feet are high heeled sandals, a-glitter with rhinestones, not outdone by the sparkle of toering on her right foot. She may not be dressed the part of one attending an office meeting but she's come with a clipboard and pen. Does she get points for that? She flicks a wary look towards the Weyrleader's desk but is otherwise silent. Since she's not a rider, well… she doesn't salute. Which… is just as well because while four fingers is the norm…heh…this is Darsce we're talking about.

If Ka'el has become bored, there are means available to remedy that situation. In fact, Thea may have pre-emptively arranged for such mitigations. This proactive concern for her Weyr and the administrative team thereof may be one of the reasons for Xanadu's success. The hiring practices through which that administrative team has been created… could be the subject of a review. Perhaps Thea has also arranged for that, as another manifestation of her proactivity. There are a wide variety of interpretations present. Also present is Jethaniel, following after Thea. He's in a sage green shirt, neatly buttoned, and a pair of dark brown slacks. He's also in a pair of braces on wrist and ankle and leaning on a cane as he limps along. This is, nevertheless, an improvement in mobility. He does not have a clipboard. He does not salute. He does, as he follows Thea toward the Weyrleader's desk, incline his head in a nod to the designated occupant thereof. Brain explosion is possible, but is more likely to be metaphorical.

Ka'el has gotten to his desk. Has just settled into the leather seat. He's reaching for that manual when Thea comes in. He grins upon hearing her, eyes flicking up to meet hers. "No-.." Oh. She isn't quite as alone as he had thought, or hoped, she'd be. And, oh, time may help him fine-tune the art of hiding one's emotions, but the sudden arrival of Darsce not far behind the Weyrwoman is enough to have his grin faltering on his face. In truth, it may not even be Darsce herself, but the essence of her. Where he stressed over professionalism, trolling his closet for clothes that were just right the night before (granted, his crisp white shirt now looks slightly rumpled in places, though that's likely due to the better part of an hour spent on the sofa pouring over that manual, right?) here she is in … that. They do say 'dress to impress' don't they? He tends to wonder just who she's trying to impress with that particular … dress. There's a rift of dislike (or is that distaste?) that has the grin melting from his face fully now, eyes flicking over her once, and as Jethaniel enters, he rises from his chair. This is seeming formal (sans Darsce-wear). "Good afternoon," kind of a blanket greeting, that. "I've not quite yet finished," he says, words directed to Thea as he gestures to the manual.

Review? Hah, no, please, Jethaniel. Don't give the Weyrleader any fun ideas like that. While procedure and precedent is there to provide a framework, Thea like to leave herself wriggle-room for the unexpected…er…situation. The Weyrwoman doesn't quite breeze in, but her interaction with the door is certainly more relaxed: she leave it unlocked. In fact, she leaves Darsce to either shut it or not as she sees fit. Why's that? No reason. None at all, really. Though she's carrying a crossbow in one hand. It's not loaded though. And not aimed at Ka'el. This is an excellent start to the meeting yes? If Darse's clothing bothers her, there's no indication of it. She continues to one of the chairs in front of the Weyrleader's desk and lowers herself into it while her attention remains on Ka'el. Nuances, yes she catches them, but for now she'll just allow things to simmer quietly. Hopefully they'll work out. She does, however look impressed that he's made the progress he's made on the manual. "Take your time," she advises with a kind smile, then waits for the others to seat themselves. "So I thought we could meet informally with the main weyrstaff this afternoon and then with Quasar tomorrow morning." She looks to Jethaniel and asks easily, "Would you outline your responsibilities for Ka'el?"

Darsce steps to one side after entering the office, allowing Jethaniel to go ahead of her. She pushes the door nearly-to with a backwards four-fingered push. She flicks the new Weyrleader another look, one corner of her mouth curling cynically at his reaction to her presence. Dress to impress? Hardly. Darsce dresses to please herself. If others are impressed… or not, it's happenstance as far as she's concerned. Dislike? Distaste? She expects both, apparently and well used to being judged by appearance - especially by this young man. She says nothing, but if he's expecting respect in her expression, he's going to have to work very hard at earning it. She moves forward and takes a seat only after Thea and Jethaniel do so.

There are many ideas; the subset of them which may be considered fun depends on both the situation and who is conducting the assessment. Jethaniel tends to both construct and propagate ideas, some of which may be considered fun. That will be left as an exercise for the recipient of those ideas. "It will, I expect, be an ongoing process," he says to the incompleteness of Ka'el's research. There is a faint smile for that, but as he observes the expressions present on Ka'el and Darsce's faces, his smile fades to leave his expression quite neutral. Ka'el could, if he wished, take notes on how to hide emotions from the blank professionalism Jethaniel presents. It is almost sufficient to hide the slight wince as Jethaniel settles himself into the chair, and his expression returns swiftly to neutrality after he has done so. He leans his cane against the chair, then glances to Thea at her request. "Certainly." His gaze returns to Ka'el. "As Steward, I am responsible for managing the resources of the Weyr. This includes natural resources such as forestry and agriculture, physical resources such as buildings and equipment, and monetary resources in the form of budgeting income and expenditures. My management is subject to the directives of the Weyrleadership; if there are things you wish to have happen, it is my goal to make them possible."

Ka'el settles back into his chair when it is appropriate for him to do so. The manual is set aside, as it's apparent he won't be doing much reading at this moment, and eyes focus on the Weyrwoman as she speaks to him. This is what they call an 'informal' meeting? Shards, he'd hate to know what a formal one is like. Oh wait .. he will know first-hand what a formal one is like! Probably held in some stuffy meeting room with a long table and official chairs and no windows. And probably with no crossbow weilding Weyrwoman involved. And that cane of Jethaniel's? Likely with a button that'd launch projectiles from the end. It wouldn't be allowed in official meetings. Totally disinteresting! As it is, the unofficial meeting has all of the above and more! This is surely to be a thrill ride. He sits back a bit and pulls open a random drawer on his desk. Then another. Ah-ha! He pulls out a notebook, grabs a pen, and gets ready to do what he's gotten pretty good at doing thanks to apprenticeship: Notetaking! Paying little mind to the headwoman (she's not talking anyway), he watches Jethaniel, jots down a few things, nods here and there. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Though there's something that he says that has him pause, considering. His eyes jump from paper to man. "What is my income?" He has one of those, right?

Thea presents a relaxed, unperturbed air to the undercurrents around her. Maybe she's planning to shoot first and ask questions later? Oh the formal meetings will certainly come, though the council room is quite formal, it is nicely-appointed and has windows. There are occasions where formal meeting take place in informal settings, but for now she doesn't mention those. Her attention remains on her steward while he's speaking, green eyes drifting to Ka'el to see if he- ah. He does. Have questions, that is. Though the salary one isn't exactly what she'd thought would be the first, it is a valid one and she smiles encouragingly. He has one and it's a significant raise from wingrider to Weyrleader. She'll defer to Jethaniel on that. She waits for him to answer Ka'el, then gently nudges things back to weyr management, "So if there are improvements you would like to see, Jethaniel is your man. If the carpenters want to build, techcrafters want to lay lines or dig to lay pipe, they'll want their requisitions to build signed by us. The schematics are his deal." She doesn't understand them! "So he pre-approves those." Her gaze shifts to Darsce. "Headwoman?" You're up!

Darsce is here to help with that informality! See? There's an upside to her casual choice of dress! From her periphery, she notes the formal expression on Jethaniel's face and lifts her chin slightly while her near-smirk at Ka'el fades. There's no warming to the iceblue eyes upon the Weyrleader, however. She makes no comment, puts on no show, merely sits there, quietly attentive, even if not obviously overjoyed to be here. Professionalism? Perhaps her clothing reflects that of her prior training but her behavior here, in this office thus far is no less professional than the Weyrleader's. The twitch of one shapely brow is all the reaction she shows for the salary question, a firming of shimmered pink lips denies the smile she's tempted to make. Yeah, she'd want to know that first too! Perhaps there's /some/ common ground between them, after all. She's called on an so she coolly summarizes her duties, "I see to the smooth running of the main inbuildings of the Weyr - the caverns, which includes the crafters complex, the tavern, the resident's hall, the kitchens, the nursery, the hot springs, the administration hall and the offices. As such, I supervise the janitors, the laundry staff, the cooks, bartenders, nannies. I assure their work is done and done correctly and that they are supplied to do their work adequately. There are some matters that I work closely with the steward with. And if there are problems in those areas, please refer them to me." As she maintains eye contact with him, her expression borders on defensiveness, clearly expecting either some sort of derisive dismissal of her capability or objection to her responsibilities.

"Your salary is whatever you and the Weyrwoman agree it is." Jethaniel smiles, ever so faintly, for a moment. Having stated the factual but unhelpful version, his smile disappears and he continues. "However, as currently defined, it is-" a not insignificant number, and one that is unlikely to be changed, despite the theoretical possibility of doing so. "You may also, if desired, request a weyr you find more suitable to your rank." Ka'el may also request a weapon suitable to his rank, if he considers that a part of administrative informality. Jethaniel is certainly keeping his cane in reach; that would be reasonable, if it were designed for combat purposes. It would also be reasonable if he will need it in order to stand again. He does not actively disambiguate between these hypotheses. He does return to questions of Weyr management. "I am willing to provide explanations as requested." He is also quite familiar with Thea's blank look. This is why he pre-approves the requisitions and tells her where to sign. The Weyr has not burnt, fallen down, or sunk into the swamp as a result of this procedure; as such, it may be considered a success. As there are hot meals and clean sheets, Darsce's work as headwoman may also be considered a success. Jethaniel's head tilts slightly toward her, watching as she explains that work. He nods acknowledgment to the fact that there are occasions during which their job functions interact. He nearly resists the urge to smile, but there is a slight twitch of his lips, quieted to professionalism by the time he turns his gaze to Ka'el once more. "The Weyr functions via a system of delegation; the chain of command is not limited to the wings, and is established according to a variety of means, traditional and otherwise."

It is an important question to Ka'el for many reasons, which is probably why it's the first that made it out of his mouth. Salary. How much is he really going to be making? Quite a bit, probably, and quite a bit is the answer he's given, after that bizzare bit that he can just .. choose his own, with Thea's agreement. His brows raise fractionally. Here he is, from an apprentice paid nothing but room, board, food, and a skill (which is plenty!) to a rider with wages. And now he's risen to the peak of upper class on the pyramid of income! His eyes take on a vaguely distracted look. His mind wandering, possibly onto the things that money can buy. But this is Ka'el. Materialistic isn't a word oft (or ever) used to describe him. Whatever it may be, something has the wheels of his mind churning, and he's not sharing. Eyes re-focus, and he jots down a few more notes before glancing to Thea, then Jethaniel. "I'm happy with my weyr," he assures. It's one of those few unchanging things in his life! No way is he trading it in for some grand thing … as cool as that would be to do. Nope. His little forge in the forest suits him just fine. He continues to go over things internally. Requisitions to be looked over and signed, pre-approved by the Steward, but able to be denied by either him or Thea for whatever reason. He's following so far and nods to show he is. He jots down a few more things as Darsce speaks, more interested in watching his notes form under the motions of his pen than her. It's only towards the tail end of what she's saying that he does look at her, a brief thing to merely acknowledge that he heard her, nodding slightly at the mentioning of refering to her, then visually dismissing her glittery self in favor of the other two. Does he have questions? None that present themselves in his info-filled mind.

There’s a flick of ‘what?’ Jethaniel-wards for that almost-smile of his from Darsce. Their intertwining and overlapping areas are mutually beneficial… to the Weyr. Back to the Weyrleader, omitting any title, "Excuse me," Darsce says calmly as Ka'el dismisses her - glittery or otherwise. She'll wait until he makes eye contact with her before she says with a downtilt of her chin and icefire (there's glittery for him!) in her blue eyes, "I am part of your staff whether you like it or not. And you may not dismiss me as unimportant to the team. I wasn't finished." She may not be smiling, but she’s not shouting or huffy, either. She simply objects firmly to his manner of dealing with her. She'd rather not have him sneering or goading her, and doesn't want his attention in any other way than the professional she's tried to be since being knotted headwoman. If she disgusts him so much and he wants to judge her by appearance, fine! He just needs to learn to disguise it better. Evenly she continues, "I was going to say that you are also entitled to regular laundry service and I will assign someone to pick up your dirty laundry at your weyr, returning it washed, pressed and mended if you wish. And I provide the klah pot and refreshment tray to your office each morning. Do you have any preferences for that?" And no, she’s not asking him about how he wants to spend his paycheck. She’ll just make assumptions about him like he does about her.

As the steward knows, Ka’el’s salary – hah – may be subject to upward adjustment if the Weyrleader tries to overwork himself. Or well, Thea may try. Jethaniel actually balances the Weyr budget and disperses the monies. And she doesn’t ask Ka’el what he’s going to do with it either, merely chuckles quietly at the expression on his face. Tradition notwithstanding, a Weyrleader is not made by the knot. But then, neither is a Headwoman – or Weyrwoman for that matter. Those shoes are grown into by experience and diplomacy is a useful thing. Those needing to use it are only able to if willing to learn how. Save for a gentle cough of warning to both, Thea remains silent during the exchange (such that it is) between Ka’el and Darsce. “If there are no further questions, the meeting may be adjourned.” That’s directed to Ka’el, mostly, but in general to the other two present. She can sympathize with his information overload. Let’s save the Ka’el-brains, please?

Jethaniel nods an acknowledgment to Ka'el's satisfaction with his weyr. He has no particular inclination to go house hunting on the Weyrleader's behalf. As for his salary… it may be subject to adjustment, yes. The complexities of the situation are, as is so often true, greater in practice than in theory. If Ka'el considers his paycheck to come entirely from Thea's approval, that seems likely to create desirable behavior. Jethaniel will simply continue to - when he sees fit - tell Thea no, despite her knot. As for Darsce's explanation… the surface reading is both entirely sensical and quite professional. As such, Jethaniel has no cause to comment, verbally or otherwise. The fact that he did so, even to that limited degree, is merely due to a private amusement of his, and not relevant to the upkeep of the Weyr in regards internal or external. As such, it may be considered a lapse of professionalism. He does not apologize for it, but neither does he compound it by making any further comment in the current context. Weyr administration consists, in part, of not saying things, and the things which are not to be said are both verbal and nonverbal. Ka'el's dismissal of Darsce, despite the fact that he does not say anything, is something that it was inadvisable to say, but - given the professional context - Jethaniel says nothing about it, nor does he smile. He simply sits there. Is the meeting adjourned yet? Jethaniel has no questions…that he wishes to share at present.

"Are you finished?" asks Ka'el evenly, fixing Darsce with a look accompanied with a vaguely elevated now. "I only ask because apparently, you feel as if my every gesture needs an explanatory announcement with it. I never said you were finished. I'm sorry you took me looking to my Weyrwoman or writing notes of what you said as me thinking you were finished." And indeed, his notes do summarize her duties. "To prevent you feeling 'unimportant' again, I'll tell you now that I believe you're finished. Am I incorrect?" The expletive name tacked on at the end is merely implied. He hears Thea's cough, most definitely, and he knows what is means. But since they're all here, and he can't imagine himself being let go for being honest… "I don't like you," is said to the Headwoman, then to the Weyrwoman so there is no misunderstanding amongst anyone present. "I don't like her. I apologize as I know she's your family and she has been appointed to where she is by you, but I don't like the thought of working with anyone I don't trust, and I don't trust her. I don't trust her not to spit in any sort've drink I wish to have in the morning. I don't trust her not to twist my words or the way I sit, stand, slouch, look, or blink into something it isn't. I don't trust anyone she may trust in my weyr handling any of my things. So no," he says, looking back to the Headwoman, his voice level and unabrasive, merely stating facts. See, he can do that too, Darsce. "I will not be requiring your personal services at this time, Headwoman. And yes, so there's no confusion or feelings of inferiority, I am finished speaking." Seriously finished. His face is quietly stony. A storm behind usually kind eyes. Meeting adjourned, right? Can he kick them out now? Or at least, out of his side of the officespace? That zen feeling he had just moments ago seems far away.

Darsce keeps her eyes leveled on Ka'el, makes no reply to his question, but she does snort at his hypocrisy. There isn't a trace of emotion on her face as he shreds her (once again), this time in front of her colleagues - and, for lack of a better term, family. When Ka'el finishes, she tries, oh, she tries to keep her face expressionless but the anger and hurt show around the attempt. "I've never done anything to you to make you dislike me. I'll be honest right back. You think you're better than I am, that you're so perfect, but you're hateful, mean and condescending. I don't much like you either and I'm not going to kiss your ass, but I wouldn't… do the things you say." The look she shares with first the Weyrwoman, then Steward, glitters, this time with unshed tears. "I wouldn't," she insists. Back to Ka'el, "Fine you don't have to trust me, then fire me. But I won't sit here and take this shit from you. It's degrading." Zen? Hah. "I didn't ask for this job, but I've been trying, dammit! You might do the same, Weyrleader." The title given at last is more of an epithet than anything else. Meeting adjourned? Fine with her! She rises and stalks out without a backwards look.

The Weyrwoman's pale green gaze flickers between her Weyrleader and Headwoman, her mouth opens, her hand lifts to forestall both of them - and the flood of words exchanged between them. Poor peaceful Jethaniel, so forgotten in the heated exchange. After a few moments, her hand waves in a semi-defeated 'go-ahead' sort of gesture. Might as well, neither one of them are going to shut up until they've spewed their venom for all to see and hear. She's grim by the time the Headwoman leaves, eyes shift to Ka'el. There's not a trace of accusation, judgment or ire in her eyes. She just looks very, very tired and disappointed - with both of them. "You're going to meet a great many people you don't like or trust when we visit the holds and weyrs of Pern," she notes in an informational tone. Does he realize this is not the…best way to handle this? She hopes so. After a long pause, "I won't have this," she says about what just went down in her office, still sounding very tired, "I'll ask for her knot."

Ka'el's dislike of Darsce is at no point expressed specifically to him, but Jethaniel frowns nevertheless. He nods slightly to Darsce's avowal, and his eyes hold a sympathy for her that he does not express verbally. Nor does he rise as she departs - not that he can do so efficiently, at present, but he does not even begin the process. He does return his gaze to Ka'el, remaining there, and he inclines his head slightly to agree with Thea as she speaks. When she pauses, he clears his throat. "Weyrleader Ka'el." Jethaniel does not move from where he is seated. He does not even lean forward. "I do not believe your personal opinions are relevant. If you have grounds for mistrust concerning the handling of Weyr matters, I encourage you to file that complaint. If, however, you merely dislike the experience, I must unfortunately inform you that your preferences are not the priority of anyone in this administration except yourself." There will be a great many people Ka'el does not like and trust. Some of them may be inclined to duels instead of merely verbal exchanges. "You are, of course, free to disclaim the privileges of rank as you see fit. Shall I arrange for you to interview an external chef?" He pauses a half-moment, then explains, "The Headwoman does supervise the cooks in the kitchens." His gaze shifts to Thea as she proposes a solution, and he frowns once again. "Weyrwoman. May I ask why? This is not the first time a Weyrleader has disputed your staffing decisions. Is this situation substantively different?" He still does not stand. A new agenda item has been added to the meeting.

People he'll dislike in other Weyrs? At least they're on other Weyrs, which he'll eventually leave behind for home. The Headwoman is…well, Headwoman here. Fire her? Sounds wonderful! Firing Jethaniel sounds wonderful too. Hell, how about Ka'el fire everyone and start his own new staff all around! This is his reign now, isn't it? Everybody's FIRED!
Luckily, that internal tantrum was just that: Internal. Traces of discontent do show on his face. He's only human, besides, and a young one at that. He leans back in his chair, eyes going to that manual he's yet to finish reading, pondering just what power revealed in those next chapters. Eyes flit to Thea, apology both felt and seen in his eyes. Not for what he said or because of Darsce's retreat, but because of how Thea now looks. And sounds. And he wants to talk to her, but .. here's another fact that's a hindrance to being without everyone except Thea. Jethaniel is still here. His eyes flit to him. "How can they not be relevant? Of course my opinions are relevant when it comes to her servin' me and working with me. My opinion matters." He says nothing else. Other than to that chef thing. "Get back to me with how much that'd cost."

Thea has half-risen to go do as she said she would do and sack her headwoman when Jethaniel speaks. Still slow to move, her upward movement stiff, she hasn't gotten far. Apparently the meeting isn't adjourned. She sits. The steward is calmer than she is at the moment - her annoyance and stress are clearly writ upon her face. The logic should not surprise her, but the man gets a long stare for the question about the chef. She's unable to tell whether he's serious or not and if she weren't so upset, she'd be biting back the sudden urge to laugh. There's not a trace of levity in her expression, however, as she listens intently and respectfully to the rest. To Jethaniel's question, she nods. Yes, this is different. "This Weyrleader hasn't alienated me with arrogance, pride, stubbornness and a refusal to respect my opinion (Yet!) So I would like to accommodate him where I can." His opinion matters to her, moreover, she doesn't want office staff infighting! She's still sore, she's tired, her nerves are frayed from the flight repercussions and she has no idea yet if her Junior Weyrwoman is upset with the whole awkward…happenstance of it and it's impossible to keep everyone happy. She's so tired of trying. She didn't answer the why-question, though so when Ka'el speaks flippantly about the chef, she miles faintly, 'I'd be drinking from the same klah pot and nibbling from the same cookie plate as you would, Ka'el." There is irony here as she admits, "Darsce's job performance had a rough beginning but she's applied herself to learn diligently, a fact I'll admit surprises me no end. She's doing her job adequately. I have no complaints." She'd like to talk to him too, they haven't had any time alone since yesterday morning, but the words, the appeal to him in her green eyes remains unspoken. She can't ask.

"Ah," Jethaniel says to Ka'el. "If you choose to make them so, yes. You may apply your opinions as you see fit." His face is a nearly expressionless one. "However, I believe you have made it quite clear she will not be serving you." To the other request, he nods. "Certainly. I can inform you what portion of your salary it would require." Because it will not be coming out of Weyr funds - but Jethaniel will provide a neat and informative document explaining it. If it is a joke, he certainly does not laugh, nor show any sign of noticing Thea's stare. Her answer to his question makes him nod. "Very well, then. I will speak with the Headwoman; please inform me when you have reached your final decision as to whether she will continue to serve the Weyr." With that, Jethaniel pushes himself carefully to his feet, glancing to Ka'el for long enough to incline his head. "Weyrleader." The word is monotone. He looks to Thea next, and his voice is trivially more tonal as he says, "Weyrwoman." He does not ask permission to depart from either of them - simply does so, slowly hobbling his way to the door and shutting it behind him. He'll be searching for Darsce, whether in her office or… elsewhere.

"Clearly," confirms Ka'el to Jethaniel as he voices understanding that the Weyrwoman's duties to him are not wanted. And as for that chef form, he doesn't discourage him, even with Thea's insistance that if he's to be poisoned, so shall she. (And who's risk that?) The Steward's departure is not contested. In his mind, he's already been dismissed to leave, so a lack of permission doesn't stir any animosity. Gradually, he presses his palms against the tabletop and rises slowly from his seat. He stays behind his desk for now, eyes on the smooth, rich wood, and lingering there as if trying to seek the answer to some unasked question. Eventually, hands are slid away and his eyes lift to the Weyrwoman. He heard her, though the words were directed to Jethaniel. All the things a former Weyrleader was are things he has never striven to be. Arrogant. Prideful. Stubborn. He is in ways, but is he in the ways that matter in the long run? Ways that'd get him fired? He moves now, departing from around his desk to approach the Weyrwoman in her chair. "I'm sorry," he says, voice more a murmur than anything else, hand reaching to touch at her shoulder. It's only a slight graze. Barely a weight on her, but there. He knows …remembers to be gentle, and thus he is gentle in touch and voice. "I don't mean to cause you trouble, but I think it's only fair and right for you to know how I feel. If I'm to run this Weyr with you, I don't wish to keep secrets." An exhale. "I want nothin' to do with her, but that doesn't mean the Weyr shouldn't keep her, if.." doubtful sounding if… "she has had no complaints."

Thea’s head dips respectfully back to Jethaniel, eyes that follow his progress concerned as he makes his way out, then flick to Ka'el. Stubborn? Oh yes he is, since he's ignoring her reassurance. But she'd be the pot calling the kettle black if she called him on that. Today has been wrought with tension for her, first early morning and now this and she has a headache. She closes her eyes, drops her head forward to massage her temples. The touch to her shoulder is unexpected, but who else could it be? She doesn't startle, lifts her head to meet Ka'el's eyes, hers troubled. "I know you don't." He's the one who'll have to decide whether he's behaving like A'dmar did. One thing she'll make clear to him, "I didn't like the way A'dmar treated my weyrfolk Ka'el. He walked over them, ground them into the dirt. And that factored in to why I wasn't inclined to look the other way with his other… misdeeds. Why you don't like Darsce I have no idea; she's never said anything to me about it. But she is your weyrfolk now, not just part of the staff you administer." She just shakes her head, lips firming at his stated aversion to her headwoman. "If you can't attempt to set aside personal dislike to work with someone, how are you ready to lead the wings?" Then, more gently, "Can you at least… try to have a professional attitude towards her?" Because having nothing to do with the Headwoman is not going to work!

"Because I don't believe my personal dislike for one person is going to spell doom for me, Thea," is Ka'el's easy reply to one of her latter questions, hand pulling from her shoulder now. The Headwoman isn't that sharding important. As replaceable as anyone else, including himself. "She is not my downfall. If I'm destined to fail at this, it's not goin' be because of Darsce." He snorts. "And I don't plan on failing." He gives her a determined look before he does retire back behind his desk. Sigh. And the day started out … so well. Nerve-wracking, yes. But still not horrible. And good, in parts. Until now. "I will towards her as long as she does towards me. I won't have her play victim and belittle me because she thinks I've looked at her funny." He pulls that manual closer to him, apparently more than ready to have his mind immersed in anything else other than the current glittery topic. "….I have a request for you as well," he says, looking at the book a while before lifting his eyes to her. "I'm not A'dmar, but I won't pretend to be a saint. I don't like every single person, and you can't expect me to, as I don't expect you or anyone else to. But just because I don't like someone doesn't mean I'm going to mistreat them. Grind anyone into dirt or abuse them. I'm sorry you worked with him and he was so bad, but you can't compare me to him just because I don't want to crack a smile at someone… Please.."

Uhhh, incorrect. The Headwoman is, in the larger scheme of things, important. "Duties overlap, we interact. That's how the Weyr works. Cooperation is key." She wants to explain more succinctly how important this is, but it will take time. Her new Weyrleader is on information overload. She listens to him patiently. "You were both… defensive, but given your history - whatever that is - probably understandable." She will give credit where credit is due, "I thought you were…civil with her at first and she made a reasonable request not be dismissed." She frowns confusion at Ka'el as he goes on about liking people and she shakes her head. "This is not about you liking her, Ka'el. I'm not asking that of you. I'm asking you to give her the chance to do her work and prove to you she means well. You totally shut her out of that." She's…at an impasse here and so goes silent, considering. Glittery? What is with that? "I'll tell you what," she says finally. "I will talk to her, but for what it's worth, I thought she was professional up until… the last bit." As for A'dmar, she levels a long look at him. Really? "Don't act like him then and I won't," she says and then allows the topic to drop. Seryth? What have you done?

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