Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.
Getting a good spot when you're not among the first wave of candidates isn't always easy, but Jonteim - having arrived sometime late yesterday afternoon - has finagled his way into a cot just under a window. There, with the morning drowsing its way toward afternoon, he lounges in a lull between whatever it is that he's meant to do on this, his first day of Candidacy. Spread on his cot, one arm tucked behind his head with a square of sunlight adding a little extra toastiness to the already warm room, he listens to the relative quiet of the cavern at this time of day. It's not the most exciting start, true, but sometimes a person just needs to feel grounded to something.
Having woken up early in the morning and headed out for her sun-up workout, Briari is just now making her way back into the barracks. Her blonde hair is pulled up behind her in a rough pony tail and she is wearing a pair of shorts and a simple shirt. Covered in sweat, she is breathing heavily as it appears she is coming down from a rush. With a quick flex of her body to pop a few joints, she rubs at an eye with the back of her hand, then starts down the rows of bunks. Glancing over to the sight of Jon sprawled out under the window, she creeps a bit closer to spy the new candidate. ".. Jon?" Recognition fills her face and a smile tugs upon the corners of his mouth. "Hey." She whispers to him. "So you're the new guy they brought in last night. Small world."
Jonteim squints through the sunshine at this sweating vision, eventually closing one eye completely so he can block out just a little extra glare and place the face. Jon? "Blondie?" There's a pause, one just long enough to betray that he's wracking his brains, and he comes up with, "Briari." He shifts from flat on his back to one side, propping the side of his head on the heel of his hand, leaning on one elbow for now so he can face said blonde without being flat-out. "Innit though," he muses for the smallness of the world, pale eyes sweeping the even-smaller smallness of the barracks. "You've looked better."
"You really know how to charm a girl." Briari says with a laugh as she setles down on the cot next to him. "I just got done working out. I try and get one in before everyone wakes up so I can get to my chores on time. If I don't get it out of the way in the morning I won't get to it until later at night." Reaching behind her to tug her ponytail out, her curly long blonde hair flops against her shoulders. "But, you remembered my name. That's cool. Most guys just stick with blondie.. or bikini girl, or.. something uncouth. I'm about to hit the hot springs up for a quick bath in a few minutes. You want to get breakfast with me?"
Jonteim knows how to charm a girl: "Lots of practice." 'Cause it's there, he watches the flop of hair with detached interest, the way a person might watch a brightly colored bird that happened to flit into their view, not looking for it but not looking away, either. The smile he drums up for having remembered her name is charming if no one notices the way it melts into wryness shortly after its appearance, and he answers Briari's invitation by clarifying, "You asking me to take a bath with you and then go eat some toast? Or did I miss a segue somewhere?"
"I'm asking you to get breakfast with me after I take a bath. Whether or not you want to take a bath is up to you." Briari says with a smirk on her face as she reaches out to gently tap his nose. "You're not -that- charming, but I can't stop you from using a public bath. Besides, I need one, and I don't eat breakfast covered in sweat and dirt." Hopping up to her feet, she ambles over to her cot, in which she has one in prime real-estate of the barracks being that she was the second candidate searched. Plucking up a fresh change of clothes and a towel, she starts for the entrance with a grin. You can always meet me over at the caverns. Grab us a good seat.
A swipe at the end of his tapped nose leaves Jonteim time to essay a doubtful look after Briari; not that charming, psh. "Toast it is," he decides, peeling himself off his cot with a few pops of his own joints when he tilts his neck from side to side. Apparently, he's been there a while. Once Briari's off to de-funk herself, he finds some shoes, changes his shirt (on account of the one he'd been wearing had a slept-in look to it), and heads off to 'grab us a good seat,' as suggested. Sorry, no Naked Time with Jon this morning.
Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.
Once she got a quick bath in, Briari makes her way back down to the living caverns where the residents are chowing down. She is wearing a pair of simple brown pants and a light blue top. Her well worn boots thump upon the floor upon her arrival. Her hair has been neatly brushed and tucked back behind her ears with only a hint of bangs sweeping across blue eyes. When she spies Jon, she heads over to join him with a grin. "So, how excited are you that not only you are a candidate, but you also get to hang out with me?" She teases with a playful wink. "You just missed the snow, lucky you."
Jonteim wasn't lying about the toast. He's got a stack of it, five or six pieces, and a pot of jam to go with it. There's absolutely no indication that this is meant to be shared, since the lot of it is on a single plate in front of him, and he's slathering his way through the first slice when a sparkly clean Briari makes her return. She speaks, he goes ahead and takes a bite anyway, crunching away with a completely voided expression to answer his measure of excitement. "Don't mind snow, actually," he's willing to offer, though he has to shove his bite in his cheek to get that much out.
"I don't mind the snow either, in real small doses. But, Xanadu is goregous in the Spring! That much has me fairly excited." Briari heads over to grab her own breakfast. Oatmeal, toast and a large cup of water. No klah for her. Once she returns, she slips in next to him. "You hear that R'en is now the new Weyrleader of Igen?" She lets out a soft snort under her breath. "He's an interesting one. Acts real tough and tries to pretend he has no emotions. I guess he'll be good for leadership. He seems to look at life objectively." Her shoulders shrug upwards. "But, that's all the gossip I got. You meet any of the other candidates yet?"
It's a lot of toast, Jonteim's, and it's going to take some real doing to get through it all. So, while she talks, he lets her. And he eats toast. With jam on it. It's only after that last question, one that seems to expect an answer, that he finishes chewing his current bite and swallows it, washing it down with an insanely delicate sip from a prissy little teacup sitting close at hand (with milk and sugar in his tea, yes). "Sorry, I stopped listening somewhere around 'Igen.' What was it you asked?" He puts on an act about it, true, and the act is just realistic enough to lack conviction: he didn't really stop listening, but he'd like to make a point about something by pretending to have done so.
Squinting her eyes at him, Briari lets out a sigh. "If I'm bothering you, I can just leave. I'll just get to my chores early. Geez." Taking a quick gulp of her water, she plucks up her plate of food and rises from the table. "Take care, Jon. Have a nice day." Her posture seems to almost droop as she starts off from the table to head to a new one without so much of a glance over her shoulder back to him.
Like she's the one that was pricky and not him, which he totally was, it's true, Jonteim calls after her, "You just need to slow down, blondie. Can't talk about snow and spring and some bloke I've never heard of at Igen and then ask some inane prattle about the other candidates. It's too much before a man's even had his breakfast." What's not in there is an 'oh please come back,' though it should be noted that he stopped eating long enough to say, all in one go, three sentences. Considering his previous tendency to say nearly nothing, maybe this counts as an improvement? Anyway. Toast.
Settling herself down at another table, Briari props her chin up in one hand as she digs her spoon into the oatmeal in the other. If she heard him, she's either pretending she didn't, or too frustrated to respond. Squinting her eyes hard at her oatmeal, her hand holdnig the spoon trembles lightly here and there as she jams it into her mouth with each bite.
Jonteim lets this go on for a good while before, around a mouthful, "You're not gonna cry, are you?"
"No, I'm not going to cry, Jon." Briari replies back with obvious emotion in her voice as she takes another bite of oatmeal. She is moving through the bowl quickly, as if the last bite will give her a chance to escape as soon as it comes.
"Good." And he sounds like he means it, really, which might be the worst bit of all. Or, well, so far. Anyway, Jonteim's doing pretty well on his toast, all things considered, though now he's down to scraping the jam out of the pot with an irritating click-click of the butter knife against the pottery, and the occasional ear-pestering scrape of it, too. "Good," he agrees with himself, polishing off the last slice of his toast and following it up with another girlish sip of tea.
Once she finishes the last bite, Briari rises upwards and takes her dishes to the counter so the staff can wash them off. She is not rude and leaves them behind, like some of the other residents. Wiping at her face slightly, she uses her knuckles to work in against her eyesocket for a moment before she smooths down her shirt and pants, flicks a few crumbs off the fabric, then starts for the cavern opening. "See you at chores, Jon." She says rather stiffly to him as she straightens up her posture, smoothing out her features to be rather stoic.
Jonteim's got a plate full of toast-crumbs and an empty pot of jelly in front of him, and is just now sipping daintily at a pretty teacup, one that he holds slightly away from his mouth to look over the rim of it at Briari - at the next table over, she is. Or was, seeing as now she's moving on. "If that's all the more thick your skin is," he begins, shaking his head as if disappointedly, "better hope not. You're actually crying because I said you talk to fast about too much?" Color him mystified.
Kyra was just on her way to get something to eat after a day of chores and/or possibly running around the woods like a wild person. She's got a knit cap on, so the latter is entirely likely, and she's got her bow strapped onto her back as well so it's probably just mounting in evidence. She starts to raise her hand in a wave to Briari when she sees the girl stand and start in her direction, blinking curiously and offering a half, unsure smile, "Hey, Bri…" She won't try to make her friend stay, if only because that screams 'increased discomfort for Briari,' but she does give her a quizzical look. She doesn't even hear Jonteim right away, mostly because she's not paying him any attention just yet.
"I am -not- crying." Briari finally whirls around on him, her voice ticking upwards ever so slightly. "You are infuriating, Jon. I was trying to be nice to you, have a simple conversation, and instead, you're rude. Then you ridicule me for having emotions, and you have the audacity to tell me to grow thicker skin?" She slams a fist down hard on the table, causing his dishes to rattle. "Oh, I'm sorry, poor baby, I talk too fast about stuff you don't care about. Boo freaking hoo. Your life is -so- terrible." She snarks to him sarcastically. "You're lucky I already got my work out in this morning, or else I'd be working your face over with my foot." Sneering, she turns around to spy Kyra, her cheeks flushed, anger flashing through her eyes. Yes, she's crying. At least now she is as she chomps down on her bottom lip, then starts past her. "Good morning, Kyra. I'm off to do mucking duty or something. The toast is delicious."
Air-quotes. "'Simple conversation.' How're you? I'm fine. Great." And then thumbs-up. "Simple." Jonteim's had to put down his teacup to do his little pantomime, but he's back to it in time to snicker into the remaining tea, which sums up his opinion on the possibility of having his face worked over by Briari's foot. Also, there's Kyra, whom he acknowledges with a glance, and then he's shut up and polished off his tea, somewhere between amused and bemused by the whole encounter.
Kyra just looks a little shell-shocked in the face of all this, her big hazel eyes left startled open and flicking between Briari and Jonteim. Uuuhhh. Kyra offers Briari another mild half-smile and nods a little bit, brow furrowed in continued uncertainty, "Um. Thanks. I'll… have to get some?" Poor Kyra's really just caught in the updraft of the fire, breathing in ash with no idea where the heck it's coming from. She'll step aside so that Briari can storm past her as much as she'd like, looking after her for a moment in concerned and confused silence. Eventually, she'll turn back to the caverns, giving Jonteim a thoughtful look as she meanders over to the food tables. If she's going to have to ask hard-hitting questions, she'd rather do it with a face full of food.
Jonteim's a nice enough fellow (????) to offer, having noticed the exchange between Kyra and Briari, "You might go after her. Apparently, being told you talk too much is cause for tears." He has his own dishes to worry about now, and starts collecting them into a tidy pile in preparation for dumping them off wherever, presumably soon to be headed out to spread more cheer and sunshine to the masses.
Kyra looks towards the entryway only to shake his head a little bit, "I don't think that'd be a good idea. I'm not sure why she's angry, but unless I agree a hundred percent, I'll just be annoying." She knows how anger works. Either on board or go away forever. She adjusts her bow on her back and looks down at the plate she's already started picking up before looking to Jonteim again, "Um. Could you hang around a little bit? I would like to find out what happened… And I have jerky." That last is a bribe. It's her primary bribing tool, you see, so she has to use it.
Jonteim could hang around. He hasn't got anything pressing to do on this, his first day of Candidacy, but he visibly waffles about the idea, hesitating in his steps to dump off his dishes. Just before leaning into finishing that chore, taking the last few steps, he says with more regret than his simple declining of the offer should merit, "Don't think so." To answer if he could hang around a little bit. "Trying to cut back," on jerky. Apparently.
Kyra huffs a sigh and makes a small flippant gesture with her hand, "I'm going to start thinking I smell. Or direct negative vibes before I enter rooms. Something." She turns towards him, mostly empty plate in hand, and frowns a little bit as she asks, "Well… can I ask what you said to her? Was it really just that she was talking too much?" There's a minor pause before she digs in her pocket and takes out something wrapped in plastic wrap, stepping over to offer it to him, "Here. It's sweet and spicy. Um. Welcome to candidacy. I'm Kyra. If you don't remember." They did sort of meet once before, after all, even if it didn't happen all that noticably.
Accepting the something wrapped in plastic with a dubious glance (strange girls handing him strange articles is always a little alarming), but Jonteim turns it over in his hands once or twice, gives it a tentative sniff, then nods his thanks. Also, he confesses without even a trace of regret or embarrassment, "Told her I'd stopped listening halfway through some blather she was on about." With a shrug, he turns toward clearing, continuing to examine this new thing he's been given as he passes out of sight and earshot. Off to share sparkles and rainbows with the rest of the Weyr, no doubt.
Kyra blinks to hear it stated so bluntly, only to frown a little bit as she watches Jonteim head for the door as well. Okay, then. Shaking her head, Kyra turns her attention back to the food table, filling up her plate and finding some klah and taking a seat so she can eat, alone, in the giant cavern. Sigh.