Facing the Paperwork

** Council Chambers**
Effort has obviously been spent on this room and the result is understated luxury. The elongated room, situated between the Weyrleaders' and Weyrsecond's office, faces the clearing. Two large windows are flanked by heavy antique bronze jacquard drapes and further shielded by ivory-colored sheers that allow a diffuse light inside. The walls and recessed ceiling are of a polished granite that gleams a pale cream flecked with gold in the soft overhead lighting.
Much of the tapestry-carpeted floor is occupied by a long, heavy table of Lemos hardwood, stained dark and then polished to a brilliant shine. Hanging in the space above the head and foot of the table are heavy frames of that same dark hue with a finely painted landscape in each. They're signed by the artist, a scrawl that begins with M.
Each place at that table is made ready with an elegant blotter made of leather, along with a fine pen and a pad of paper. The cushioned chairs are fashioned from the same dark hardwood, the backs and seats upholstered with softly-tanned leather. The room seats perhaps twenty or so, but can be used for more informal meetings as well, and a potted palm in the corner reminds those meeting here of the world outside these walls.

Death by paperwork would be a horrible way to go and with the way the day is shaping up… it's looking like that might be in Rhodelia's future. Either that or the equally awful death by meetings. At least there's a brief break in whatever the day's agenda had been and the assistant takes advantage of it by plonking her head down on her arms as if she can possibly nap among all those stacks of reports. She gives a groan without even cracking open her eyes. "Why did I ever think this would be a good idea?" Spoiler: She didn't think. She just said 'sure'.

Stefyr would attend Rhodelia's funeral. He would weep. He would mourn. Left with the mountain of paperwork and/or meeting related responsibilities she would thusly will to him as a rich inheritance, he might even jump into the grave with her just to get out of it. (Why did he take this job anyway?). At least today he is expected to lend the living Rhodelia a hand with her duties and learn as he goes. His reading and writing is steadily improving and at an admirable pace, given his assisting of the Harper teaching the Weyrbrats, but he's not quite there yet, and he's been avoiding here (passively, he wasn't due to be in anyway) for the last three days. It's quite obvious why given the fact that his left eye and a sizable amount of his left temple and cheek are a beautifully bloomed bruise that ranges from purple-blue-black to green-yellow on the edges. It's only improved by the shiny sheen of numbweed spread liberally across as much of the bruise that is safe to have it. He usually saunters, but today's entrance is a circumspect, very casual stroll into the room, his clipboard hugged to his chest (IT'S NOT A SHIELD, I SWEAR). "What's on the agenda today?" And also hi. Maybe if he skips all the usual pleasantries and small talk, they just won't notice the ENORMOUS UGLY BRUISE THAT IS EATING HIS FACE.

Good thing there's no windows in the council room. Both so Rhodelia can't track just how much time she might have missed out on while stuck dealing with this torture work, but also because a strong breeze might end up having her entombed in a papery grave, deceased or not! The sound of the door creaking open (there may be a note somewhere at the bottom of the pile to have a handyman oil it, but that's long forgotten), has the woman bolting upright, eyes wide and eager for whatever new thing is coming in. The smile on her face when she first spots Stefyr is quickly replaced by a frown as Rhody stares down the bruise that is now Stefyr's face. "What happened to you? Was it one of the kids???" She might sound a little too hopeful at the idea of a mini-someone decking out that level of a shiner.

"Mm," is an almost noncommittal noise, but it's without hesitation. Anyone who's been tracking Stefyr should probably be a little worried that he says just as nonchalantly, "Accident at the Firelizard Theater. The kids are all fine," with a little shrug, as though to immediately and forever dismiss the issue and the smooth delivery. He pads right up to his sensei and leans to look at her table-flood of paperwork, leaning over her as though to see from her vantage (and handily deprive her of closer examination all at once), "What are we doing today? What can I help with?" Then he tilts his head to offer a winning smile. He's just every day, helpful Stefyr. Nothing to see here, people. Just the bruise. Move along~

Sorry, Stefyr. That monstrosity of a bruise is the most interesting thing Rhodelia's scene all day and she's not going to let herself be deprived of valuable gawking-distractions. While he's leaning in, she decides to get mobile and duck under to pop up on the other side. Rhody isn't going so far as to actually poke the face-consuming bruise, but her hands are definitely twitching as if it's a thought. "All of them?" She gives the former gardener a head to toe glance over. "Just how many does it take to take on a giant?" These are important questions and definitely needed for work reasons. She'll dance away from the paper and actual work just as much as Stefyr is trying to dance away from discussing that bruise.

Stefyr helps Rhodelia. He helps her because that's his job. He slides into her seat and looks studiously over all the assembled papers. "Hm?" He makes the sound absently. "Yeah," might be an answer to how many of the kids there were - all of them, however many that was, or he might just be engrossed in trying to read the documents in front of him. It goes more quickly than times passed. See? He's helping Rhodelia stay on topic with assistant work. "Do we have meetings this afternoon or just a lot of this?" He brings his blue gaze up to seek Rhody, his look all the attentive assistant and student, as though he's not even aware that she's trying to talk about the bruise more.

So helpful as Rhodelia no longer has to crane her neck up. Now she can just hover right inside what would probably be a normal person's personal bubble. "I didn't know bruises could come in so many colors!" And considering how accident prone Rhody can be, that's saying something. The documents on the top of the stack might not be too helpful without context. Clearly a ledger of something as it's all neatly ordered columns and rows and tidy little numbers. Probably something to do with the headwoman or steward but the sheet with the labeling has been moved into one of the other piles. As Stefyr brings the talk back to actual work, Rhody sinks into the seat next to him with a sigh. "The meetings will never end." Send help. Send dinner. Get out while you still can, even!

If having even in part accepted Risali's offer of employment in this postion wasn't enough indication that Stefyr is not a normal person and doesn't enjoy normal people things like the luxury of personal bubbles, the fact that he's been exposed to Risali should thoroughly explain his complete lack of bother about Rhodelia now being in his non-existent personal space. "I live to surprise," he will offer so damn dryly with a bland smile for his professional partner in crime. He taps a finger on the ledger, "What is this even? Did you file the labels somewhere else?" He may not have been training at this long, but he is definitely getting the swing of how Rhodelia conducts matters of business. "Are we working through dinner, again?" Again? Stefyr is working on buttering up the cooks, or so he claims, so as to ensure that even if they miss dinner, they get dinner anyway.

Rhodelia has tried to be good and resist the temptation, but will power is not one of her strengths, especially not after being cooped up in boring meetings all day. She reaches out one of her skinny, bony, excellent for poking things fingers to nudge right at the purple spot right on his cheekbone. Boop. And promptly draw her hand back and place it behind her back like she did nothing. She shrugs when asked about the location of the labels. "They're in there. Somewhere." There's a bit of a handwave to the mess of reports that is her very loose filing system that probably gives harpers anxiety attacks just thinking about it. "I think that was the latest tithe ledger." Without a label, who can really be 100% sure about anything? When he mentions dinner, she grins a rather horrible grin. "That depends. How quickly are you reading now?"

"Wipe your finger off before it goes numb," Stefyr advises, deadpan, "you know Risali won't let you off the hook just because you can't write." Not that he's giving Rhodelia ideas. And not that Risali wouldn't actually because— well. Rhodelia has met her more often than Stefyr. She knows. He reaches up a hand and resists scratching at the spot she touched. It doesn't hurt now, with the numbweed, but it will later. And he smells like numbweed from this close, so that's extra sexy-sauce. He looks from the papers and ledgers to Rhodelia and then back, probably estimating his likelihood of a peaceful, un-paper-populated dinner. He siiiiighs. "What do you want me to ask the kitchens for tonight? Fish? Wherry? Salads?" A pause, and so, so blandly (HE'S NOT JUDGING HER), "Cucumber sandwiches?"

"A numb finger would just be an interesting challenge," Rhodelia will wiggle the possibly threatened digit at his face. "Maybe I'll try writing with my left hand cause I gotta do something." Stir crazy has definitely hit, especially since somewhere outside is probably another wonderful summer day. Or night. The thought of dinner gets a shrug as she leans back in the chair, living dangerously as she balances it back on two legs. "Order whatever you want. Probably not salad for Risali. Do you think they might have any of that mac 'n cheese casserole left?" The one not with any green stuff in it. Instead it's loaded with all the good things like bacon and breadcrumbs.

"Rhody, no." Given how biddable Stefyr frequently is, the fact that he can even use a firm tone might come as a surprise to some. "I am not trying to interpret your left-handed attempts when I have enough trouble reading regular script as is." The young man favors his trainer with one of his puppy looks, which might take away from his momentary ability to have backbone. Please? says the look, For meeee? "I bet the casserole is eaten, but I think they had something with white sauce that could be put on noodles instead of the porcine it was with this afternoon. I can find out, if you want?" There's a pause, a longing so distinct as to be heartache, "That casserole was so good." And he may or may not be personally responsible for the current dearth of said dish. He contemplates longer for Risali, "She must have liked that sandwich of R'hyn's," he casts a who wouldn't look at Rhodelia and then remembers the insanity of her reaction and shakes his head. "I could probably see if they have something with gravy and goodness for her." Because that's healthy. Super healthy.

Rhodelia wasn't really that attached to the idea anyway so when Stefyr is objecting, she'll just pout for a moment. "Think of it as challenge mode? Because really… when it comes to reading anything that the Weyrhealer has to send…" Good luck. Healercraft seems to purposefully pride themselves on having wherryscratch even a wherry might not claim. She does eventually right her chair with a solid thunk before she falls back and cracks her skull. There's a twinkle in her baby blue eyes as if she's got a secret that he doesn't. "You know… the last meeting was with the headwoman." She pauses to look over to see if that's getting any recognition before continuing. "Sometimes, if we're really lucky, she might have some pity on us and tuck away something extra tasty." Perks of the job. Or maybe just cause sometimes the weyrwomen need to be coerced into eating something.

"As if every day isn't challenge mode. I am a badass. You can tell Leirith." So he doesn't have to face her. This is all in some sort of sotto voce mutter but totally audible in the otherwise empty room. Stefyr has a habit of muttering or grumbling his own rejoinders to things and is perpetually fine with being ignored when he does. Poor, beleaguered Stefyr does perk up at the mention of "something extra tasty," and in reflex, he licks his lips. "Oh yeah?" Just like a puppy dog when the word, "treat" is said. He squints down at the ledger and then lifts it and carefully leans to set it over to the side so he can see what else is in this duty day's stack.

"Maybe I will. And maybe she'll just come up with challengier challenges." Rhodelia is totally making up words now. It's fine, it's all good. The empty council room also tends to echo so thank the acoustics for making sure those mumbles are heard even better. Rhody bobbles her head in confirmation of the extra tasty treats. "Yeeeep. Sometimes dessert too. Although… she might not remember that you were also working with Risali now." She frowns a bit as it probably was her own job to inform the headwoman. oooops? As he goes for that stack she reaches out to move it away from him with a few uhhh-uhhh-uhhhs. "Look at this one instead." She'll just push the new stack over with her elbow. It's a better stack. The bestest stack. (it's totally the food related stack).

"No, don't," Stefyr pleads his abrupt change of heart. "She will and then I'll have to read things standing on my hands or something. On one hand. Then no hands. Do you know how hard it is to stand on no hands? You will if you tell her because you know she won't just make me do it." As if Leirith can really make either of them do anything. He keeps right on into equally important matters. "It's okay. You'll share," that's hopeful, and he smiles at her, sunnily, a totally different kind of pleading in his eyes, one set off that ridiculous bruise. After he's looked at her that way for a moment, he'll dutifully look to the stack in question and his smile reappears and then widens to a grin. "This is a better kind of reading," he agrees, affirming it extra with a nod before he bends his head to read in earnest. Who wouldn't want to read about food related things?

"Or write while having ice water thrown at you…" Rhodelia could definitely come up with some more crazy suggestions but she'll stop with a grin as he has questions of his own. "That's why you got a head. For headstands, no hands required!" That solution is coupled with a wink. Sharing is met with a skeptical eyebrow raise. "Not if it's the mac 'n cheese casserole." She might like Stefyr, but there are LIMITS. The reading she handed him does get drier, literally. Once past the page of what all meats are in the cold storage it soon gets to how many dozens of barrels of flour and beans and rice are on hand. Rhody just yawns. "That was all what we talked about this afternoon. We do have another meeting this afternoon… I thought it was with the Steward, but he's out visiting somewhere or other…" So it's apparently not him. She doesn't seem to concerned about the mystery meeting though.

Stefyr narrows his eyes at Rhodelia. That's right, bro, it's on. "You first," he challenges in a dangerously quiet tone. Maybe this is the new and improved way to say yes to the Weyr. Say you first to the Weyr. It will only backfire half as often as straight yes. Then he has to basically ruin his attempt to be worthy of any kind of street cred by making the biggest, exaggeratedly sad face he can. "I thought we were friends, Rhody. Friends share. I offered you a bite of the Sandwich." There were witnesses. "So who is it with?" The trainee will allow himself to be led back to the topic of work. He probably doesn't expect an answer, though, since he's already thumbing down through the stack to see if there's anything more interesting, like a recipe for mac 'n cheese casserole, for example. Finding nothing that strikes his fancy, he sighs and starts looking around Rhodelia's other stacks. "Are we going to put these into the files?" This really means 'are you Rhody?' because Stefyr can do many things, but he cannot track her arguably existent system(s) for filing these sorts of notes. "Do I need to copy any before we do?" He eyes the stack with a single adversarial, arched brow.

Rhodelia raises an eyebrow and crosses her arms at that challenge. "What makes you think I haven't already done it?" She's got a turn or two of this whole assistantship thing under her belt. There's no telling what all crazy requests have come up! She rolls her eyes at the sad face. "And I offered you my sandwiches!" Because cucumber sandwiches are totally in the same league as The Sandwich, right? There was also the more impressive star stone sandwich. As for who the upcoming meeting is with, she gives a totally not reassuring shrug. "I'm just hoping it's in the council room. If it's anywhere else, I'm screwed. There's a calendar somewhere…." She flips through the stack she currently has in her lap. "Not here. And yes. WE'LL need to file them." Because the earlier he starts on learning her lack of system, the quicker he can actually help make it into something that works. Finally, she gives a head shake for the copying. "Nah. That would just be even more stuff to file." And who wants to do that? Certainly not Rhody.

"Proof or it didn't happen," Stefyr replies so quickly that it has to be a long-standing habit. He drums his fingers across one of the stack. "I will make you a deal," this is also some practiced phrase. "You file tonight, I'll watch, but if there's mac 'n cheese casserole, I will only take one bite." Where she can see him. In the meantime, he can help look for that calendar, carefully disturbing all the lack of organization trying to well, improve the organization as he goes (nevermind that his method plus her method might make it worse at this stage of training). "Hey, what are the chances that we can convince Risali that we can do our work just as well from the Kitchen, or the Caverns if not the kitchens." There are better smells in the kitchen.

Rhodelia snaps her fingers in disappointment. "Dang. If only it didn't happen months ago. You know how dragon memories are." She ponders the proposed deal, pen tapping against the table before finally nodding. "Deal. Although you'll need to do the filing for the next seven to make sure that you actually learned it." Practice makes perfect after all, that's totally not just a high cost she places on the value of the casserole. "Depends on who that meeting was with… if it exists or if it's actually tomorrow night. There aren't any filing cabinets in the kitchen," Trust her, she's looked. Cooks really don't appreciate random papers tucked in with the pots and pans. "But we could eat in the office as long as you don't get any grease marks or drink circles on the paper." There are definitely a few that have some klah rings already.

Stefyr gives Rhodelia a look that speaks volumes about his confidence in her words. "No, how are they?" He doesn't know how dragon memories are. Poor, ignorant farm boy. "You know I'm just going to do what I always do. I'll try to file things. I'll try to put things where they make sense and then I'll get hopelessly lost because that's not where you have them, and then I'll ask you where they go, and it will be like you're doing the filing, just on a delayed schedule because you let me try to figure it out first." He starts to open his mouth, freer as it has become in the more familiar presence of Rhodelia, but whatever he was about to say gets bitten back in, tongue probably nipped in the process. He gives up on the search for the calendar and rises, "Okay, you find the calendar," she has a better chance at success having seen it last, theoretically, "and I'll go to the kitchen and arrange for dinner to get sent up here at the right time. I'll make sure they put something alcoholic with the drinks." Because goodness knows no one wants to file sober. Maybe that explains some of the not-organization that pervades this post. And without waiting for permission, he strolls out of the room to attend to his task, abandoning Rhodelia to her papery grave. He'll be back. If she's lucky!

Tipsy filing is best filing, except for when you want to actually find something. That certainly contributes to some of the problem. Rhodelia doesn't seem to think that the delayed schedule of filing is any worse, just shrugging. "DEAL. And dragons forget things super quick. It's why they need riders. That and hands." She wiggles her fingers and more importantly thumbs. There might be other reasons, but those are certainly the highlights as far as she knows them. She'll also just BELIEVE that Stefyr will return like he says he will because he hasn't really lied to her yet. There's time for that to change, but right now, she'll dive into the mess of paper, eventually to find that missing calendar and figure out just how much she's been missing and how much trouble she might be in tomorrow.

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