Sandwich and Story Sharing at Sunset on the Star Stones

Xanadu Weyr - Star Stones
Here, atop the exposed dome of the geologic monolith that houses the caverns, infirmary, crafters and administration complexes, the view offers a splendid panorama of Xanadu Weyr. To the immediate east is a narrow metallic walkway leading to a column of stone - the natural spire that forms the starstones.

Just beyond, parts of the meadow and ridge can be seen. Directly in front and below is the clearing, flanked by the forest, hatching arena, tavern, clock tower and garden shop. Beyond the trees, glimmers the waters of Caspian Lake and the Sea of Azov, while almost lost to the distance is the coastline of the opposite shore and Black Rock Hold.

Just a few steps to the west looms the tower that is responsible for Xanadu Weyr's shortwave radio communications. Reaching for the skies and lit by blinking red warning lights at night, this area is off limits to dragons landing due to the danger of fouling a wing on the guy wires that support it.

The view from the Star Stones is undeniably dramatic and though the view is quite fine throughout any day with cooperative weather, few times of day are as dramatic as sunrise and sunset, when the sheer scope of the horizon ablaze with colors against clouds might render a man wordless in awe. It's almost certainly that very reason the finds Stefyr, only steps onto the exposed dome in the midst of a phenomenal sunset, stilled in his tracks, silent and jaw slackened, if not quite so far as to call it agape. It takes a moment before he even draws another breath, but when he does it's long and slow and comes out equally so, the sigh of it speaking without words his appreciation for the panorama before him.

Sunset is definitely much preferable to sunrise, at least as far as Rhodelia is concerned. She might not even believe in the mythical topic of 'dawn'. She's much less appreciative of the view as she comes up the steps with a sandwich in one hand and a wine skin tucked in her elbow. She blinks as she spots the gardener but doesn't let the fact that the area is already occupied stop her as she settles down with her back against the wall. "Be careful. If you look over the edge, there might be a swan or two."

Stefyr's riveted attention is drawn away from the scene before him to the scene behind-near him. His blue eyes fall on Rhodelia, taking in her sandwich and her wineskin. "As long as they're not led by your firelizard, I'd take my chances." He glances back toward the skyline and leans a little forward like he might just go look over the edge, to check for swans or firelizards or just rebellions in general, just in case, but instead he rocks back on his heels and turns to walk toward the Weyrwoman's assistant. "Mind some company? I was told I hadn't lived until I'd seen the sunset from up here. I can see why." But one glance is probably not enough to satisfy when there's beauty of this caliber to be seen. He definitely doesn't glance again at Rhodie's sandwich or wineskin or look a little hopeful that company might also equal sharing.

"Who said they weren't?" Rhodelia's grin is partially obscurred as she chomps into that giant sandwich. She must have raided a bit of everything the kitchens had and slapped between two pieces of bread. This is clearly not the most structurally sound way to make a sandwich as two tiny cherry tomatoes pop out of the creation and roll away. She shrugs and just finagles her hand to try and get a better grip. Some sacrifices must be made in the name of glory. She'll nod in between bites for permission to sit and speak again once her mouth is finally cleared. "So how's it feel now that you're alive? Feel like you could do a hundred jumping jacks? Run around the Weyr three times? Swim to Nerat and back?"

It would be nice to say that Stefyr merely watches the tiny tomatoes go, but no, he's quick as any firelizard to sweep into a bend, snag them up and pop them in his mouth. Five second rule! Evidently he's not as meticulous about dirt inside his body as he endeavors to be outside. He's freshly washed after his day's duties, so though there's stains of dirt on his clothes, there's nothing actively dirty about the gardener, except whatever he just put in his mouth with the tomatoes. Given the nod, Stefyr comes to join her and settles himself so that he can, chivalrously with no ulterior, self-serving motives whatsoever, extend his hands to create a safety net for that enormous sandwich of hers some ten or twelve inches below where she holds it to take bites. The permission was for this, too, right? He's only a little in her space after all. Just his hands. "Battle an army of swans under firelizard lead," he adds to her list of brave undertakings. "It feels good," he replies with more candor than he probably attempted. "I'm not sure the sunset is what's done it, reanimated me that is, but I'm feeling better today than yesterday and the yesterday before that." He glances out to the sunset before turning the question back on her, "What about you? Did you come here to live? Enliven? Re-live? Revive?" He finally settles on that last turn. "Or just eat?" Although it might be one and the same.

There will be just a little side eye from Rhodelia as she watches the gardener scoop up those tomatoes and just pop them in. Although she won't straight up call him out on that whole five second rule thing, there is some eyebrow raising wordlessly questioning if he really just did that. And then all judgement is cast aside as she takes another bite into that not-so-perfect sandwich and some spinach slips out. Or maybe that's just a really large piece of basil. Definitely a green leafy thing right into that safety net of hands. As for why she's up here, she shrugs and the sandwich also loses a tiny blob of some sort of goat cheese. "Mostly just to eat. I thought they wouldn't think to find me up the stairs." There may be some reports not quite finished that should probably be finished.

Stefyr must miss the silent inquiry or else the friendly smile spread on his lips is as much answer as he's going to give. There's really no question that he really did do that. Just like there's no question he quickly pops the leaf into his mouth when it seems a safe moment to leave the sandwich without the broad expanse of palms to catch any strays. "I'd eat here every meal, if it weren't such hike from where I normally work," he observes. "I'm surprised not to see more people here for this. Do you suppose people take it for granted when they've been here long enough? Or are there just enough good views that we're all spread out to see it?" He looks away from the horizon back to the woman, to inquire almost sympathetically (now that he's known Risali a little longer), "Demanding job? I'm surprised anyone can survive in those rooms below with so much paperwork." Paperwork is made to sound like dirty, dirty word.

It might never be truly safe to leave the sandwich, but at least Rhodelia doesn't drop anything noticeable while the leaf is getting consumed. She looks to the sky as she ponders the question before giving yet another shrug. "We're in a Weyr. Most folks got access to a dragon and so avian's eye view isn't really an uncommon thing and not really that hard to get to any of the prettiest places on Pern. For the rest of us though…" She tilts her head towards the view they both have. "And the job probably isn't really that bad. The weyrwomen definitely got it worse. Plus, Risali's pretty nice." And hasn't killed her yet when a report may or may not have gone missing and meetings have definitely missed being scheduled.

"True," Stefyr allows as the other hand vanishes from under the sandwich to get that goat cheese or whatever it is licked off efficiently and returned with hopefully nothing going to waste in the meantime. "I was thinking about distances the other day and how dragons sort of change everything. The world looks different, thinking about it from the point of view of someone who can fly. Do you ever wish you could? Fly, that is." He looks out at the sky and actually does look a little wistful for a moment. "I wonder what the sunset would look like from higher up." He probably could get a ride to see just that sometime, only he probably doesn't realize it's his for the asking with the right person. He lacks perspective. "Have you always been someone's assistant? I don't know how someone becomes a Weyrwoman's assistant." At least he'll admit his ignorance right off the bat, and he does it with no self-consciousness whatsoever. "The Weyrwoman told me the other day how there are some things she can't delegate. You probably get a lot of the things she can." He tries not to wrinkle his nose at the idea of (you guessed it) paperwork, or whatever else that might entail, but doesn't quite succeed and so looks for a moment like he might sneeze, but doesn't. Thank Faranth, for the sandwich's sake.

Rhodelia watches as Stefyr licks of the goat cheese and looks down to the sandwich she's barely made a dent in, even with the occassional filling drop. "Do you want some?" She holds out the sandwich, bitten end first. She probably doesn't have any cooties. At least not serious ones. "I've had dreams I could fly before. Mostly when I was a candidate. Those eggs can get into your head." But she doesn't really seem to upset about them having gotten under her skin. The question of her past gets a head shake. "No, I was a bartender." Strange choice for pre-assistant work, but it's the truth! "Right. Any angry Holder that wants to yell at someone in charge isn't usually going to listen to anything I have to say. Sometimes I am able to delegate some problems away for her though." And that might be the redeeming quality that keeps Rhodelia actually on despite the sometimes vanishing meeting or paperwork.

Given that Stefyr doesn't hesitate to bite the sandwich when it's offered, he either is unconcerned by contracting her cooties or is already completely cootie-ridden from all the sandwiches (or other vittles) that have been shared with him before. "Thanks," comes through the mouthful, but then at least he thankfully closes his mouth to chew. His bite, by the by, does put a dent in the sandwich. "You were a candidate?" It might have been the only thing that could fully reclaim his attention from the sandwich. "What do you mean the eggs can get into your head?" His blank look explains his total lack of experience well enough, but the curiosity in his tone is as real as it gets. He isn't so distracted by this topic that his brows don't dip down, perplexed, as he considers before inviting slowly, "A bar-ten-der?" It's not that he doesn't know the word. It's just… well, "How does one go from bartending to Weyrwoman assisting? Was she into the bar one night and-" he cuts himself off before he suggests something like Risali being drunk when she hired Rhodelia. He wouldn't mean the idiocy anyway, but better just not to taste foot if he catches it far enough away from his mouth to prevent its' entrance, as he does now.

"Technically…" Rhodelia drawls that word out. "Once a candidate, you're a candidate until you either Impress, get too old, or do something to completely fuck up." And the woman is still zero for three on all counts. "All the eggs seem different, but they just… do. It's hard to explain. If Ilyscaeth ever gets around to it and finally lays her eggs, you might see. You're the right age for it after all. Unless you got a secret wife stashed away some where or a well disguised limp?" Crazier things have happened, at least in some of those harper's stories she's so fond of reading lately. She gives a laugh at the confusion. "Pretty much just like that. I was working, she came in and she asked. I don't think I had even given her or D'lei any drinks before she asked for that matter…" At least not that night.

Stefyr's expression is blank a moment and then dawning horror plays across his face. "How could you know?" He whispers, then louder, "How?" And then of course he grins. "I'm boring. Just me. No hangers on or injuries or deformities," yet. He's not smart enough to back out of range of any comeuppance that might come his way, though. "Unless you count that I have a secret twin who sometimes appears in my life, only to impersonate me, woo fair maidens out of their virtue, do dastardly deeds," he probably doesn't even know what would qualify, "and vanish again to leave me holding the bag. Have I mentioned he's an evil twin?" The blond's brows go up in inquiry. "With my luck, any dragon that came my way would skip right past me to my brother," he probably meant this as a continuation of his evil twin joke, only he flinches when the word brother comes out of his mouth and the pacing of his words dwindles to an awkwardly slow end. He clears his throat. Obvious subject change incoming: "Sounds like the job change would've been an interesting change of pace. How long have you been doing it now?" And then, "Will you be on the sands when there are eggs next?"

Rhodelia does her best to give a rather solemn nod as she considers the twin situation. "That could work. That could work. He might even possibly appear just in time to steal a hatchling from you come hatching. Don't worry, that blue wasn't meant for you anyways because a rather dashing bronze was waiting right behind you all along." As he continues about his luck and she doesn't miss the wince at the word brother. "Your family sucks too, huh?" She's well familiar with that desire to skirt around tender topics of family and so she'll quickly move on to answering those questions. "This will be my uhhh… sixth I think?" She kind of lost track despite working closely enough with the weyrwomen that she should know that type of thing. "And probably. Although you never know. Maybe I'll run away with a pirate between now and then."

Stefyr grins at Rhodelia's word picture. "I'm not sure I'd make a very good dragonrider, come to that. I'm sure my evil twin would do much better. He probably has a strong stomach from all the death and debauchery he's participated in over the turns. Evil starts at a young age, you know. Ages a person fast, I hear." This much he can pretend now. Now that they're definitely talking about a fictitious brother and not accidentally talking about possibly a real one. "My family is a mix. Good and bad. There's a lot of them, so the odds are pretty good to get a good one if you have to deal with them. I'm the youngest of twelve. And that doesn't even count the cousins on the farm." The gardener's head tilts to the side, "What variety of suck is your family?" since it was implied, it has to be asked, even if she might like to sidestep the answer. Then, "I'm amazed you're still so grounded after six turns. Do you know many pirates?" Those sentences definitely go together.

Rhodelia gives a theatrical sigh. "Guess you're just not badass enough to be one of Xanadu's riders. We'll have to settle for the evil twin." Cause clearly they can't have any non-badasses running around. Leirith wouldn't allow it. As for family talk, now's when she breaks out the wine skin and takes a mighty chug before handy it over to Stefyr to go with the sandwich. "I'm the black sheep in my family. My sister's a harper and my brother's a vintner." And there she was just a lowly bartender turned weyrwoman's assistant and not a single craft knot to her name. As for pirates, she shrugs. "I was a bartender. I probably know a few though none that would walk in the door and yell 'I'm a pirate!'."

"Why? Would that be bad?" Yelling 'I'm a pirate'. Stefyr manages to make the look that accompanies this guileless, which just means his innocence, though often real, may not always be as genuine as it seems because surely this answer can be guessed if the question is in earnest. "Being a bartender is probably more interesting than being a vintner or a harper. Think of all that stuff they have to learn. I mean, some of it's bound to interest them or they wouldn't've pursued it, but some has to be dead dry and dull, right? You probably got the better deal. Working for Risali," and Leirith, "has to be interesting more days than it's dull, right?" He imagines, anyway. He does take a swallow of wine, but doesn't linger over it, handing it back to the former bartender.

"Depends on if the guards were drinking in the Wherry that night or not," Rhodelia says with a grin. Although the mention of crafts and thinking about them has her picking idly at one of the pebbles nearby. "Or some of them are just doing it cause that's what there father always said they would do…" It's more a mutter than anything else, but she shakes it off and then stands up, shaking off some of the dirt from her pebble playing. "Well, it looks like that sandwich is going to find a good home with you? Need to keep the wine skin too?" Or should she take that off his hands. Wouldn't want him to be too drunk to make it back down the stairs.

"That sounds like a terrible reason to do something. Although I guess I'm not one to speak. I was going to be a farmer like my father and his father and back and back." Stefyr shrugs off the hypocrisy. He rises when she does, taking the sandwich in hand. "I'll see to the sandwich," he agrees seriously, but there's a hint of a smile when he says, "Thanks. You can take the wine. I'll find some water if I need it." He glances out at the now nearly done sunset. "I wouldn't want to trip in the dark." Out here or down below, "And I prefer ale anyway." He grins at her then. "Best of luck with your taskmasters," he indicates the stairs and whatever awaits her.

Terrible reasons and Rhody go together like birds of a feather. She'll happily take the wineskin back and leave the sandwich. "Just make sure you don't trip regardless. At least with the wineskin, folks would have understood why." She gives a wink before turning towards those stairs. "And just wait until it's actually true dark. The stars are bright up here too." And with that hint, she's going to vanish down the stairs. Maybe to finish up those reports. More likely to finish the wineskin. If it's a good night, maybe even both!

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