A Good Neighbor

Ista Weyr - Southern Bowl
Compared to that of other weyrs, Ista's bowl is small, and incomplete - northwards, one wall was blown clear away several millenia ago, leaving the view clear towards the plateau, the jungles, and the ocean beyond that. Somewhat elliptical, the breadth of the bowl seems to run Northwest to Southeast, the bustling epicentre of the weyr being here, towards the southwest. Several large entrances have been dug into the great bowl walls here - north east are the hatching grounds, south the Living Caverns, these being the two largest caverns in the weyr.
To the east, a small entrance leads in to the ground weyrs - the ledges of these line the bowl wall above, often filled with dragons of gold or bronze; westwards is another ledge, but with a staircase built into the wall, allowing access to the Sable Sands. The infirmary is located towards the southwest.

(OOC NOTE: There were several other people here RPing a Firestone Gathering competition. Most of their posing has been edited out, but I have little doubt that you could find the complete log on Ista's portion of the Wiki.)

Hasha is still looking for someone else entirely in the crowd, paying cursory attention to the goings on being presented and resolutely avoiding some of the more volatile involvements of the crowd. As she passes, Sakai lets out a companionable creel toward his fellow bronze hatching brother, but his human-pet doesn't linger.

From further north along the bowl's line, Tenebrous ambles into view. Still clearly getting a bead on the place, he's got a simple tablet in one hand and is making little notations onto it as he approaches the southern bowl itself, and a potential 'jumping off' point of sorts.

Tenebrous peers around a little for a decent drop-off point for dragon transports before he finally spots Hasha. With a slight detour of his course, he angles himself over towards her, raising his voice just a little. "Hasha," he calls, trying to get her attention with a hand. He frowns a little when his luck doesn't pan out, and lowers that hand. "Cila," he murmurs to himself. A moment later, a delicate gold firelizard appears in front of him, trilling happily. Tenebrous merely looks at the beautiful creature in the eye for a moment before she soars off, making for Hasha's shoulder, if she'll let her.

Still no luck. Hasha's about to give up and go back to the living caverns when suddenly a gold firelizard lands on her shoulder opposite Sakai. The bronze, for all that he's barely out of the egg, gives the little queen a 'Why hellooooo there!' look, and Hasha blinks in surprise. "Hello, pretty." she says to her new adornment. "Where did you come from, then?"

Reconciliation merely looks at Hasha in the eye for a moment before she sniffs her gently and then jerks her head a little. She lifts off of Hasha's shoulder then before slowly floating up above the crowd, and back in Tenebrous' direction. The gold's owner smiles over at the cook if she looks back. Then he holds one of his hands up, allowing the gold to land there. He covers her gently with the other hand, whispering, and when those hands open, there is only air. A magician with a far-too intelligent helper.

Hasha follows the flapping of the little gold's wings, and when Recon lands on Tenebrous, Hasha's expression turns from solemn to a smile. She begins to thread her way toward the dark haired man, and once she's close enough, for a moment it looks like she's going to put her arms around his neck. But she just stands there, grinning. "Hello. Didn't realize you could be lured back."

[Two Ista men, the Twins Xhaine and Khaine, make a comment about joking taking someone's virginity, willingly or otherwise on a bet…]

Tenebrous smiles slightly. "I don't necessarily think I'd call it lured back." He looks around. "The environment here is…different, but the crowd is a bit more than I'm used to." He glances back to the smaller woman. "And you? I was on my way to see about a dragon transport. I don't know many people up here, so I was about to head back to Xanadu. I didn't expect to find you here…" He glances over in the direction of the twins' departure. "To say nothing of the local jackass crop," he finishes with a snort.

"Why wouldn't you find me here?" asks Hasha with a grin. "Candidate for Ista, remember? I'd be poor showing if I didn't show my support." Her gaze travels briefly to the bagging and tossing, and she is unable to keep from laughing at his touch of sarcasm. "Eh. They're good boys…just over-excitable."

Tenebrous snorts again. "There's nothing good about making young women cry or even joking about taking advantage of one. If…Boys like that ever came to Xanadu, I would report them myself, to say nothing of their fates should one of our riders overhear." He shakes his head before looking back at Hasha. "They say that candidates are busy people. I'm new here. I certainly didn't want to step on the Masters' toes. TO say nothing of yours."

Hasha makes a little dismissive gesture with her hand. "Baileigh often seems like she lets folk walk all over her, but the girl has spine. She won't let either of them do anything she's not inclined to let 'em." She notes, "Aye, Candidates are busy, but we've days off and the like. I'm pleased to see you."

Tenebrous smiles. "And I, you. With the exception of a few healers that I know from the hall, you're the only person I think I know here." That smile fades a little, and he looks back to the north side of the bowl, and beyond. "Even the trees here are different. The smells, the sounds…" He glances back. "So yes. It's…good to see a familiar face. Especially a smiling one."

Well, that just makes Hasha smile more. "I can see if I can make some time." she offers. "Show you about a bit. There's the beach, if you've not seen it, and some trees…we've a cliff to dive off of. I think there'll be a bit of a festive time after the bag and toss. Will you stay? Dance maybe?"

Tenebrous chuckles. "I've walked on them. Beaches, that is. But I don't know that I've ever gone to a beach for the sake of going to one before." His eyebrow raises at the mention of cliff-diving. "I uh…" He laughs a little. "I've got a bit of a cliff at home that I dive off of. Only once, mind you, but…the landing was a bit rough." He eyes the smaller cook. "Are you skilled?"

"P'haps not as much as her," Hasha indicates Baileigh, "But I've jumped off a cliff now and again at home." She then blinks, as her bronze suddenly lets out a loud cry. "Oh, are we winning?" she asks delightedly.

Tenebrous blinks as Hasha's bronze cries out and glances over at the game. "Honestly, I haven't been paying much attention. I was…a candidate once, many turns ago. Those days have come and gone." His eyes track over to Baileigh. "I wonder, at what point does experience take the thrill from a thing?" He smiles down at Hasha. "I'll stick with you, if it's all the same. She seems to be popular enough."

Hasha blinks in surprise "At the risk of sounding rude, how old are you? Because you don't seem to terribly much older than me." She flushes faintly. "I ain't meaning to sound rude, neither."

Tenebrous looks at Hasha's face as she blushes. "Curious," he murmurs. "You blush evenly. Most of the women from where I… come from don't. Blush like that, that is." He waves a vague hand at her cheeks. "It suits your skin." Then his eyes are moving up to meet hers, his gaze strangely observant. "As for my age…" he laughs a little. "I honestly don't know. It's not something I keep track of. Not something important to me." He squinches his eyes closed for a moment. "Twenty…two turns? Twenty one, maybe."

"So only old in the eyes, then." Hasha can't help but look pleased at the compliment. There's really no equivalent to 'soul' on Pern, but 'old soul' would be what she meant. Then, stepping closer so she can talk more quietly, "How's Truth? Situating well?"

"Old in the eyes," Tenebrous murmurs, his face thoughtful. "I don't know that I've ever heard that expression before…but I think I like it quite a bit." He smiles again. "Truth? She does well, for all a young firelizard can. She eats, she sleeps, and submits to Reconciliation's influence without complaint. Such influence that it is. Cila is a mother and she's not even half old enough to clutch." A look of pride ghosts across his face. "She is among the best…of companions."

"Sakai is my first." Hasha admits, a hand reaching up to stroke the little reptile on her shoulder. "Don't know if he'll be my only, but for now, he'll certainly do." A sudden smile, "He's already got personality. I mean, with babies, it's all eat and dump and cry and sleep, but he's…a lot better than some twee little." A blink. Oh, shells. "I mean, not that little ones are a bad thing, of course." Even though she actually kind of despises toddlers. She doesn't want Tenebrous to think she does! It's likely less than attractive. Every now and then she claps for Ista, especially since she's mindful that the host weyr is winning.

Tenebrous raises a hand. "It's alright, Hasha. There's a certain age that most creatures are awkward, and I can understand that well enough. You don't have to defend your words." He glances at the firestone game, shaking his head. "It was a nervous time for me…in the barracks. I do not envy you. Envy any of you as candidates."

"Well," Hasha admits, "Some of it ain't what I'm used to, but I reckon I'll either have had an adventure, or gain meself a rather wonderful friend." She takes a moment to applaud for the Ista team, though still, the bulk of her attention is on Tenebrous.

Tenebrous frowns a little, observing the festivities. "I often wonder why things like this are done. My former mentor once told me that competition never hurt anyone, that it was good for the blood." He gestures limply to a few different people, obviously not happy with the outcome. "Surely, they know feelings will be hurt…egos will be bruised, and yet such things are pursued anyway. Is it the man who plays that's to be pities, or he who baits him? Surely…this stopped being a game for some before the final whistle blew." He's not upset or bitter or disturbed. Merely observing. Analyzing. Then he shrugs again. "Perhaps I'll understand one day." Then he's glancing back down at Hasha. "The day wears on. I had actually planned on a dragon ride home, for my next meal, but it appears I've been delayed by pleasant company."

"Aye, competition can become serious, but that doesn't mean it ain't good." puts forth Hasha. "You can't go through life not gettin' hurt, and understandin' how t'lose is as important as winnin'." She holds out her hand. "Don't suppose you'd care to eat here, then? There's always plenty of riders on transport duty, no matter what time of e'en or morn you're wanting to go back."

[The contest is over at this point, and among the winners is a VERY excited Baileigh, who hops up on top of a firestone pile and promptly bares her breasts to everyone within eyesight.]

Tenebrous looks back over to the crowd just in time to witness Baileigh in all of her glory. "Oh yes," he murmurs. "It appears that there are several lessons to be learned here." That same, oddly unfocused, clinical eye takes in the briefly bared girl before turning back to Hasha. "And they always talk about teh scenery here," he says blandly. Very slowly, he slips one of his hands into hers, and for a moment, he simply holds it, his face curious. "I thought it would be different," he says blankly. Then he gives that hand a little squeeze and looks at its owner. "You're the cook. I will be guided by you."

Hasha looks a little faintly mortified, but opts to do the smartest thing: pretend it didn't happen. "Come to the kitchen with me." she urges Tenebrous, and if he doesn't object, she'll tug him in that direction, trying to get ahead of the crowd.

Tenebrous doesn't hesitate at all. "There's a joke about breasts and chickens here somewhere, but levity isn't one of my strong suites," he mumbles to Hasha. "Lead on…"

Ista Weyr - Kitchens
//A huge, vaulted cavern houses the kitchen. Set well withing the Weyr, the kitchen uses the natural coolness of its size and position to keep the room from turning into an oven itself. Along the eastern, innermost wall sits a curve of stoves and ovens so that any number of things may be cooked at one time. Cast iron pots hang from over head hooks mounted to the wall by brackets. A long row table is just a few steps away, useful in the preperation of the food. Along the western wall is the dish washing station, at the north and south around the exits are the cabinets and a small cold room for the storage of what'll be needed for the day. There are a few smaller tables with chairs set up between the work table and the sinks, where a few aunties sit and help with the preperations. //

Hasha must of course, dodge everyone who's prepping for feeding the mad masses, but she manages to find a quiet corner for the pair of them and their fire lizards.

Tenebrous is more or less oblidged to follow, weaving along as Hasha makes her way. ONly when she stops does he look around. "How long have you been here, that you know your way around so well?" He glances about the kitchen. "Charmed the cooks here, as you did in Xanadu so quickly, I wonder?"

"Some weeks." she confesses. "Me fellow Candidates, they're wise in trading shifts with me for chores when possible, so I get a good bit of kitchen time. Tis sad though, that most the cooking is for many. I don't get to cook for a small amount of folk anymore, or just one, save rarely." She moves to take a seat at one of the kitchen islands and invites Tenebrous to pull up a stool as well.

Tenebrous follows her down to the table, chuckling. "With a personality like yours, I can't imagine you've been eating alone much, Hasha. You were outgoing when I met you weeks ago. You are outgoing now." One of his eyebrows raises slowly. "Or is it that your clothing stays on at games of skill, and are thus the last girl picked for the Fallabout hunt?" His smile is one of approval though, if that's the case.

Hasha lets out a little laugh. "I ain't a prude." she says. "And weyr-life don't shock me or bother me none. Men with men, womens with womens, whatever, ye ken? But that don't mean I ain't gonna have standards and tastes of me own, nor lack for self-respect. Some folk seem to translate that to prude 'round here." She shrugs. "I kinda caught meself carin' what people thought for a bit, but more of late, I've been thinking, why bother? Only person I always gotta wake up to is meself, and others don't like it, they can go between."

Tenebrous arches that brow again, a smile spreading on his lips. "So I can count on you freshening the air at the next gala as long as you're on the winning team?" That smile fades a little. "One…one person you have to wake up to…" He shakes his head. "Makes for…a cold cave in the morning. Or whevever you sleep." He raises a brow. "Not a lot of modesty in the candidate's barracks, is there?"

"I'm the only person I have to wake up to." Hasha repeats slyly, "Didn't say nothing 'bout want, did I?" With a shrug, "Aye, but that's a different sort of thing. It's not like folk share beds. Tisn't like they can. 'Cept for the twins, but there ain't nothing untoward going on there. That'd be…" she wrinkles her nose. "Just because something's fine for dragons and fire lizards don't make it right for people."

Tenebrous chuckles. "Well spoken, and touche." He snorts a little at the mention of the twins. "Your tolerance for things like those two is impressive, Hasha. Perhaps I haven't spent enough time abroad…" Then he shakes his head. "Weren't you baiting me with food earlier, out in that…what do they call it? The Bowl?"

"Xanadu had a bowl too, didn't it?" Hasha notes, and laughs. "Well…I think for even that I didn't have a lot of folk about me as a child, you've had even less. Which nowadays, is all right, but I reckon community was essential back when Thread was falling." She slides off her stool. "What sort of tastes d'you like, then?" Note she didn't ask about his favorite food, but rather, his favorite taste.

"One," Tenebrous calls quietly. "Not 'even less'. One." He blinks a little when she mentions taste. "I like…water. Cold, fresh…from my pond, or a mountain stream, but not the supply inside of the Weyrs." He looks down at his hands for a moment. "The…water's clean there," he mumbles. "But it's not the same." Then he glances back at the cook. "I eat a bit of eggs, a bit of dried herdbeast, some wild onion and spice, from time to time. Bread. A bit of cheese. It's what I require."

Hasha cocks her head to the side. "Do you…not like other things? Or nought had opportunity to try something different?" She blinks a moment, and then nods. "I can't say as I was so alone, but me da is away a lot, and once me brother joined Seacraft, it was just me and me ma. But we'd see folk, and there was always going up to the big hold, and gathers and the like. Who'd you keep to then, just you and themselves?"

One side of Tenebrous' mouth twitches as Hasha's head tilts. "How curious," he murmurs to no one in particular. Then, "It is not a matter of like or opportunity. I do not require much beyond what I feed myself. My day is full of other things, of sights and smells and the taste of the wind. My meals are a means to an end, much to my apprentice's chagrin, I think. I don't believe that she looks kindly upon my cullinary skills, or lack thereof." Then it's time for him to tilt his head in return. "Why do you ask?"

"Because…" Hasha can't help herself, this is her passion. "A meal need not be just the means to an end, ye ken? Food can be - it can be like music. It has notes, and impressions and if it's done right, it can be so much more than what you fill your gullet with. It can mean something, not just to them that cooks it, but them that eats it, too. You eat a lot of fish, I reckon? Mostly plain - baked, maybe grilled over the fire?"

Tenebrous frowns. "No, actually. There are fish in my pond, but they were there long before I was, and I imagine they'll be there after I leave. They don't do anything to me other than keep moss from growing on some of the rocks. I sort of…thought it would be rude to eat them." He holds up a hand. "Don't…get me wrong, I'm not a vegetarian or anything. Mankind sits at the top of the food chain because he hunts things, not because he enjoys spinache." He makes a face. "As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that if we only ate spinache, some form of cosmic divinity would strike us down and give the planet to the felines as punishment." Someone…doesn't like spinache.

Hasha lets out a little laugh. "Well, if I were to make you something…flavorful, using fish, or some other meat, would it be a problem? I really think you're missing out, I mean, to not really have had a flavor ever…explode on your tongue."

Tenebrous works his tongue around for a moment inside of his mouth at the mention of the word 'explode'. One could almost see the visual he's thinking about in his eyes. "Ah…no, Hasha, I don't think that would be a problem. Again, I don't ahve anything against eating a particular food over another. I just like being a good room-mate to the fish, is all."

"Fair enough." she says amicably, and considers. "I'm surprised though, with all your herb collecting, you've never bothered to use them in your food." She moves to one of the storage units, disappearing momentarily, only to return moments later with fishsteaks that have been wrapped and kept chilled to be ready to cook. Then she sets about seeking a skillet. "So was it a parent who raised you by yourself?"

Tenebrous shakes his head. "My parents are dead," he says evenly. "Long ago. I was…raised, if you will, by a master of the Healers' Hall, called Fraille. Say her name quietly near the Infirmary if you ever find yourself near Xanadu again. I'm afraid she is not a well-loved woman."

Hasha doesn't see fit to apologize for her query - dead is dead, by her reckoning, and as such part of life. "Why?" she asks, unabashed. She splashes a bit of oil into the skillet, sets it to heating as she seeks out other ingredients. A lush red vine fruit, a bit of cooking wine, a bit of mustardseed…

"Why? Why are my parents dead?" Tenebrous shrugs. "They tell me that the felines took my mother down, when she was working in the countryside not far from Xanadu's boundaries. I'm not exactly…sure what happened to my father." He absently scents the air, his eyes working to identify the smells. "Curious," he murmurs to himself. "Those things smell remarkably good together." He leans out of his chair a little to watch Hasha's work a bit more closely. "As for Master Fraille…" He shrugs again. "As a healer, she believed that it was her job to heal the body first, and then worry about the mind. She never thought that it was a good idea to patronize or otherwise coddle someone that had come to her for care. That they wanted her expertise, and her skill. Not a pat on the head."

"The healer…" she clarifies, as she begins to slice up the vine fruit. They get tossed into the pan, to start cooking in the oil, and soon after, two fish steaks, which are accompanied by the wine and the mustard seed, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. "What I've heard called a bedside manner?"

Tenebrous mms once. By now, he's creeped out of his chair and is slowly approaching the cooking surface that Hasha works off of, his face genuinely curious about what she's doing. After all, whatever it is, it smells WAY better than what he normally eats.. "Yes," he murmurs absently. "A … bedside manner. Or a lack thereof one. She was never cruel to me, nor was she to any child that didn't deserve it…but she took no quarter at all from adults, offering little sympathy. All business was she…"

"Did she take joy in her work? For that matter, do you? Careful, there…the oil tends to spit." She gives him a smile, and grabbing a utensil, presses the flat end against the steaks to make them in turn press deeper against the pan. The smell that rises up has the sweetness of wine, but without the headiness of the alcohol as it starts to cook out.

Tenebrous sniffs the air for a momenet before wrinkling his nose. Alcohol. A bitter little look flickers across his features before he concentrates on the cooking again. "I do not know if she took joy in her work," he murmurs. "I never asked, and she never mentioend. She was quite skilled at what she did, and her knowledge and abilities were always in demand as I grew. They still are, when last I checked." And he? "I…do what I was trained to do." He tilts his head. "Is that not why we were trained? You, in this craft, and I in mine, so that we could perform our tasks?"

Hasha seems puzzled at that. "There's no denying that what we do is necessary, but no one should go through life set to a task that gives them no satisfaction or joy." The alcoholic content of the wine won't be left by the time she finishes cooking…just the flavor, intermixed with all of the others. Deftly, she flips the two steaks, and the skillet lets out a little hiss. "I love cooking. If it didn't make me happy, I'd find what did, and do that instead." She turns to face him, thoughtful and right in the eye. "How can you live, day to day, with seeming nothing you're passionate about?"

"Because the alternative is unacceptable," Tenebrous offers immediately. "I take … pride is perhaps the word, in what I do. When I'm asked to bring things from the forest, things only I can find. Joy?" He shakes his head, watching Hasha flip the steaks. "I … enjoy watching Truth and Reconciliation play. I enjoy spending time with my friend, Janelle, and watching her experience love for the first time with her companion, Hyrlon."

"Joy is good." Hasha says. "But passion…" she lets it trail off, only to turn and reach for some plates, which she slides a steak each on, surrounded by some of the vine fruit. Presenting him with one of the plates and a utensil, she suggests, "Take a bite. Don't just chew and swallow, but think about the flavors on your tongue. Let yourself enjoy what you're experiencing." She takes a bite of her own - flaky, tender, a mix of sweet from the wine, savory from the salt and pepper, which just a touch of acidic juiceness from the vine fruit and the sharpness that the mustard seed adds. Layers of flavor, that was the goal.

Tenebrous accepts the plate with a nod, lifting it a little in a salute to the woman and her craft. He adjourns back to the little table they've been sharing, seating himself. "Passion," he murmurs, his voice dipping a little, "is a lot like levity, I've found." His utentile makes quick, efficient work on the steak, carving off a managable piece. "Something I'm out of practice at." He lowers his head over the steak, close enough to possibly be publically impolite. Still, he inhales deeply, not garishly, before sitting back up. For a moment, his eyes are closed and his face is blank. Then his mouth opens just a little, and he exhales. "That," he offers softly, a smile on his lips. "is delightful." He casually pops a piece into his mouth, chews once and then turns a little red. Chewchew…tongue…chew…tongue…"'S…a liuhl…hoth…" Either the heat or his own embarassment has a flush rising on his cheeks.

"Ah," Hasha says teasingly, "And it's not only me who can blush, then." She makes a point of blowing on her food before eating it. After swallowing she offers, "Here, let me get you some cool water to drink it down with." She starts to rise from her seat.

Tenebrous nods fervently to the offer of water, and once it's proffered, he mumbles, "Hanku…" The first gulp is taken eagerly, and he coughs once after swallowing. "Good fish," he rasps, and then coughs again, clearing his throat with a smile. Still, the pain aside, he spears another piece and blows on it judiciously. "While some humans may be predisposed to a flushing of the skin, we're all technically capable of it." Then he takes his bite, chews once, and for a moment, simply concentrates. For several moments, those strange eyes of his unfocus, and his face goes slack in thought before he finally swallows and chuckles, gesturing to the steak. "That's…really quite good," he offers, popping another bite into his mouth.

Hasha grins. "See, a little bit of care and seasoning makes eating something a bit more than a necessity, aye? Rather, a pleasure? It's how every meal should be, truly told."

Tenebrous mms through another bite, shaking his head. "I don't always have time to cook like this, Hasha, and I certainly can't bring food like this with me all of the time to the place I call home. Thread knows that if I did, I'd never get out of said home until an hour after I intended because of my meals." He takes another bite and his eyes roll a little. "But what an hour," he mumbles. He glances at the small woman over his next forkful. "How long did it take you to learn this kind of…thing?" He gestures to the fish.

Hasha considers. "Well, me ma and me da both have a way with cookery. I suppose you could say I learned the basics from me da, seeing as he cooks on ships, but it's me ma who taught me how to make a refined sense of things. Me da also taught me things like how to properly handle a cutting knife and such. So since I was a twee thing."

Tenebrous ahhs quietly. "It is not so different with my craft. A broad knowledge of the basics is required, without which the finer details are meaningless. And just as readily, the finer details of the forest are often useless without a knowledge of the bigger picture. It's a welcome comfort to understand that other things work in such ways."

Hasha forks some more food into her mouth, smiling at the flavor. "You're very…what's the word? Analytical. I think that's it." she says. "But aye…there are basic skills, principles to be understood, but beyond those, it becomes an issue of creativity and instinct. Knowing what will come together in just the right way."

Tenebrous ahhs quietly. "I'm afraid precision is part of my work. The difference between many medicines and poisons is a few pinches of an herb or milligrams of a powder. One cures, the other kills. There's certainly an art to portioning, but creativity isn't something that's generally encouraged unless it's under very protected circumstances." He takes another sip of water. "Hasha," he asks quietly, "What…will you do if you do not impress a dragon a few months from now?"

"Keep traveling, I think." Hasha says honestly. "I'd thought perhaps I'd explore things other than cooking - perhaps have an eye toward the Dolphineer Halls, but…" she shrugs. "Either way, being near the water suits me." She can't help but smile. "Why?"

Tenebrous's eyes brighten a little. "Ahh. The Dolphineer halls. They're an incredible thing to behold. Xanadu has an infant pod of the things to swim in the Azov, but the river hold at Rubicon is host to a much more established facility, a more mature pod." He takes another bite of his fish before gently pushing his plate away and sipping from his water. "I know the Lady Holder there, a woman by the name of Ryeira. I go there frequently on medical business. Perhaps I could take you?"

"Perhaps you could. I'd appreciate an introduction, if it turns out that I've the occaision." Hasha says forthrightly and notes, "You didn't answer my question, though."

Tenebrous shifts a little. "It…seemed a thing that one should ask," he says, fidgeting a little. "I've been a candidate before. Alone, on the sands, after the eggs have gone their way. I had no thought of where I would go at that point, and I think my way would have been easier, if I had." He gestures at her with a fork. "You're the only candidate that I know. And you seem a decent person. I felt I should…pass along the thought."

"Did you want to be on the Sands?" she asks him curiously. "Would you do it again, if you were Searched?"

"At…the time, I think I was more concerned with what the little ones were saying than wondering why I was there," Tenebrous says quietly. "Impressing one of them wasn't something that I considered until it was…" Too late. "…done." He leans back a little, his eyes going veiled. "I used to just…sit there, among them, that great, brooding queen watching over me, and listen. The little ones would talk sometimes, little…fleeting thoughts. Snippets of truth." He sighs. "Kind truth." His head gets another small shake. "I just…sat and absorbed it all. I never talked to them…I just listened…" FInally, he glances back at Hasha. "Would I do it again? I don't know, Hasha. I don't know if I would be right for a dragon…for that kind of contact." For a moment, a smile creeps back into his eyes. "I might…do it if Seryth asked me, but…I doubt she ever would."

Hasha blinks a moment. "Wait." she says, "Wait. You…you talk to dragons? No, you don't talk, you said - you hear them?"

Tenebrous looks back to Hasha's face. "Both," he says quietly. "Of a certainty, that is. I listen whenever one speaks to me, and as you will most likely find, if you sit amongst the eggs, sometimes, the little ones will cry out, and you can hear them. As for dragons…" He shifts again, and bittersweet emotions flicker across his face. "Yes. NOt all dragons, but … one. When she speaks to me, I hear her. And when I speak to her, if she chooses to listen, she hears…" He takes a drink of water. "It's been…awhile since that happened, however." Then he straightens. "Hasha…I wonder if there's a place where I might sit for awhile, maybe take a brief rest? You've promised me beaches and cliffs and dancing, and I suddenly find myself tired… I shouldn't like to collapse on you while we explore."

"You could even sleep if you like." Hasha slips off her stool and holds out her hand. "We've the visitor's barracks, or iffen you like, we could track you a spot outside so you could sleep outdoors." She seems to think that might be what he prefers.

Tenebrous exhales a little when she mentions the out of doors. "That," he offers quietly, slipping his hand into hers, "Would be…perfect." He stands slowly and lets himself be led from the room again.

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