Questions and Answers

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.

There aren't so many candidates yet for the ten eggs that all the beds are occupied and nor are there so many that lunchtime creates too much of a bustle in the barracks. There are a few, here and there, changing or talking or writing home; there's even one napping on her bunk. Stefyr falls into the changing crowd, having managed to get his tunic sodden with… something. It's brown and kind of crusty. It's not really the kind of thing a sane person would want to ask about given that the young man maintains his assistantship position to both the Harper and the in-training-assistantship to the Weyrleaders in addition to the more pressing need-to-do candidate chores. "Yuck," is commentary that only affirms one shouldn't ask, as Stefyr pulls the tunic off over his broad shoulders and balls it up before dropping to his knees in front of his press to dig for a spare.

He showed up soon after the eggs graced the sands, but Khavro has a tendency to only spend as much time in the barracks as necessary. And evidently right now it's necessary to be sprawled across his cot, head propped up on a crooked arm behind his head on a folded up pillow so he has a nice view. As such, he watches Stefyr, the newest addition to his barrack-y vista, long enough to have to comment, "You look like you're going about ass-kissing entirely the wrong way, my friend."

"Are you an expert?" Stefyr inquires, his blue gaze pulling away from the contents of his press and finding the speaker. Khavro is offered a lop-sided smile. From some, his first question might have been a challenge or a little light mocking, but from this blond, the question seems quite genuine. "What gave me away?" He asks, hands starting to move items in the press again, and then pausing, brows furrowing down as he thinks. "Khavril, right?" He's probably heard most of the candidates' names so far, somewhere. He may even have seen them on documents that Rhodelia hasn't managed to lose. Yet.

"I'll try anything twice," he offers up, unhelpfully. "Just a hunch. And you're close. Good on you." Khavro doesn't offer up the correction, though. People knowing who he is must not be that important to him. "I'd love to know what you were doing. Give me a chance to trade it away when it comes around for me." The chore, that is.

Stefyr's brows climb a little higher as it takes him a moment to work out what level of expertise Khavril possesses from his statement and that makes his brows swoop right back down when he does work it out a moment later. "Well, the good news for you is that you can completely avoid this," the gesture is to his muscled torso, but he probably meant it to be to the shirt he was wearing before, "if you just say, 'No, thank you, Risa,' and then don't go on to think you have an even better idea than the one she had when she offered a not quite illiterate a job as one of her-their assistants." He pauses in his search to let one hand rub across his face. "Although, this was actually helping the Harper with the kids during lessons. Not something all candidates have to do, just lucky me. I'm Stefyr by the way." He seems to finally find a shirt and pulls the undyed thing out of the press into his lap.

"Well thank Faranth for that. I'd hate to have to help the Harper." Khavro considers the rest of it for a moment, then, "That can't be all of it. Does she not like you? She seemed nice enough to me when I met her." And his experience is all that means anything, obviously. There's a sigh at the bigger guy's introduction, then. Fine, he'll do the polite thing, or whatever. "It's Khavro. But if you'd rather call me Khavril, I'm not going to stop you. Pleasure to meet you, Stefyr." Really.

"I don't think she would have offered me the job if she didn't like me. Or agreed to teach me piano." Stefyr seems to need to reason this aloud because seeing potential in him and liking him may not be the same thing. "But I… She's also shoved mud in my face and tried to drown me, twice." He might be exaggerating. "I've only been here about two months," so that's something to consider, too. Consider yourself warned, Khavro. "Sorry for the mix-up. Is there a Cavril or an Irvril? I swear someone in here was a 'ril,'" but he shrugs because whoever the -ril is isn't here right now, so it doesn't matter in the immediate. "Nice to meet you, too, Khavro." He learns, see? His shirt gets pulled on over his head and he sets about putting the things back in whatever organization he had them in, in his trunk. "So Risali found you? Where?"

"I can only imagine why," Khavro muses, more to himself, but not silently, about the alleged drowning attempts. "Could be that's the case. Names aren't really my thing." Everyone has flaws, after all. But he did just remember Risa's name just fine. "It's her fault I'm here. Met her at the park the other day while I was teaching the tiny people important life skills." There's a flicker of a fond grin. Kids are great.

"Me, too." Stefyr replies to the not-to-him comment. He might have known why at the time, or had a better idea than he does now. The blond probably wouldn't blame Khavro if Risa's were the only name he remembered; she has a way of making an impression on a person. "Which life skills were you teaching them?" This makes the young man's blue eyes narrow slightly. It's not full-blown suspicion, but someone was responsible for teaching some kinds (maybe not those kids) whatever it was that resulted in the ruination of his shirt. "What happened after that? After meeting her, I mean."

The curly-haired candidate starts sitting up, affecting a mildly offended expression. "What I teach my students is confidential information, friend." And Khavro is a man of discretion, who will not implicate himself in any of their childish misdeeds. "She gave me this," he flicks the knot attached to him still, "And then she ran off." A simplified version, perhaps, but entirely factual.

Stefyr's expression turns from animated to bland to dry. "I can see you take your work very seriously, my friend." And that's just how the blond rolls: from stranger to friend in ten minutes of casual conversation or less. It probably says something about Risali (or maybe just Stefyr's opinion of her) that her assistant-in-training doesn't bat an eye at the curly-haired candidate's story, nor does he question if there's more to it, and not because he's too polite to pry, as he proves with his next questions. "Did you grow up here? Is this your first time Standing?"

"I do," is assured, genuine. "I did not, and yes. I'm not convinced that the woman isn't just interested in getting to know me better, because I've been around plenty of dragons and clutches before." But Khavro couldn't say no, so here he is now. "Is this your first time? You seem… comfortable."

Lunch hour chit chat is the name of the game and the game finds Stefyr kneeling by the press at the end of his cot and Khavro sprawled on his own cot. And the topic? In part, Risali. In part, the general get-to-know-you stuff. They've done names. Now they're doing places and experience. It's Stefyr's turn and the blond finishes packing his press back up and pressing one hand onto its lid to lift himself up and settle his rear onto the smooth top. "If you told me that was why, I would believe you. And not just because you're obviously a good friend and completely trustworthy fellow." The blond's delivery is so damn dry. "It is my first time. I look comfortable because I've learned that if you look uncomfortable, they make you do whatever they were going to make you do when you looked comfortable about it, only you'll look constipated while you do it. There's really no advantage to trying to resist. Discomfort simply doesn't do anything for me, so why not be comfortable?" He raises his arms for an expansive gesture like he's about to sprawl back on the Weyr as a whole. "Or pretend to be. I came from a farm in the region, but had never had much in the way of interaction with dragonmen til I got here."

"If it's any consolation, Stef, I think you'll fit right in with them." Khavro leans back the way he was before the offense, arm tucked behind his head and propped up on a pillow. "I am trustworthy, I'll have you know. I almost always keep my word when I can." And who could possibly ask for more than that? "I suppose I could see you on a farm. Why are you here now?" He's been here two months, after all, so it's not for the eggs.

"I said you are." Just because Stefyr was dry doesn't mean he didn't also mean it. "Are you used to people doubting you or am I just special today?" Maybe Khavro's not the first to misinterpret the blond's humor in the last day. "Had to leave home. Personal reasons." He shrugs. "Did you leave anything you love behind when you ended up in the park?" His arms move to rest on his knees and his hands end up loosely clasped. "I'm not sure I'll fit. And I'm going to make a space every time you call be Stef. Fyr, if you must shorten, please." It's a plea, even if it only becomes a little bit pleading. "I have seven brothers and I'm sure you are capable of imagining at least half the delightful ways they used 'Stef' to get under my skin."

Dry and genuineness aren't compatible in Khav's head, and the narrowing of his pale green eyes at the former-farmer suggests as much. "Doubt just means you're smart enough to think for yourself," he says. "I don't have a problem with people doubting me." Just people suggesting he's things he's not, whether perceived wrong by him or not. "I can't see anything wrong with Stef. What did your brothers do with it?" He's either very good at playing dumb, or he's being genuine. It's difficult to tell. "What about Stefo? Can I call you Stefo?"

"Oh, well then," Stefyr can clear this right up. "You're giving me too much credit. Nothing goes on up here," he indicates his head. Obviously something does. But if people think he's stupid, then the bar is set at the right height to really impress them seldomly. He looks briefly uncomfortable (but then probably remembers what he just said about comfort and discomfort in this place and sighs, one hand rubbing his face again. "It probably would illuminate things for you if I also tell you that I also have four sister and I'm the youngest. I was caught and made to play live doll too many times." He shudders, appropriately before rising from the press and sets about re-making his already immaculate bed, probably just to do something with his hands while they discuss his painful past. Do you have any family? I really would prefer Fyr." His tone is firm but not reactive - tricks of the youngest child trade.

"I'm sure I'm not," giving too much credit for anything. But he's not going to make a fuss over whatever acting or insecurities Stefyr is up to. "Well, your brothers are idiots if they think calling you a name that sounds vaguely like a girl's is anything but a compliment." Just in case anyone wanted to know how Khavro felt about it. "I have family. A whole caravan of them, you might say." See, he's not above giving out very personal details of his life. Now the other man knows he might have trader family, unless he really was giving him too much credit.

Stefyr's candor goes unrewarded by belief, but he gives a little shrug of his shoulders as though to give his blessing for the other candidate to believe what he likes. In time, the blond's brainpower (or lack thereof) will prove itself. "My brothers can be a bunch of idiotic putzes." The former farmer will not defend them in this, but there's another shrug too, since they're not here and he is. "A caravan? Like…" It does seem to take him a minute, "-traders?" His brows go up and there's interest there. If Khavro was hoping to not have to give out any more personal details, he may need to walk away from Stefyr, or hope lunchtime will be over soon. "Do you know your way around yet? I got lost all the time, at first. Don't go into the forest near dark." That's experience speaking.

"Aye, traders." He'll confirm it, at least, so as not to leave the other wondering whether he was right or not. "I wouldn't say I know my way around, but getting lost is just a short adventure." Khavro might think differently when he's on a time crunch with chores and food and whatever, but, "I'm used to finding my way. What's in the forest?" He can't not ask. He probably also can't not go, but fortunately it's still midday.

"Well, if you're ever in the mood for a guided adventure, I'm glad to lend whatever time I've got." Stefyr replies to the curly-haired candidate lounging on his cot while Stefyr goes about re-making his cot (IT WAS ALREADY TOTALLY NEAT, STEFYR, STOP, YOU'RE WASTING YOUR LUNCH HOUR). "Wait." The blond arrests in motion to think over what he just said and gives a sheepish grin toward Khavro, "What I mean is that if you need someone to show you around to anywhere and I have time, I'd be glad to help." Is that what he said the first time? He seems unsure, but also not overly concerned since he's moving on. "Trees. Lots and lots of trees. Sometimes lost Weyrwomen. Sometimes angry bronzeriders. It's a terrifying place," this he turns to level a look at the other young man, expression full of appropriate gravity for this not at all exaggerated description. "What's it like being a trader? You've seen a lot of places, I guess. Anywhere you like best?"

The first offer makes Khavro quirk a grin at the other candidate, and it's only faded a smidge when Stefyr reworks what he'd said. "I appreciate it, my friend." As for the scariness of the forest, the trader seems unconvinced, but it's surely interesting to know what the other man prefers to avoid. "It's nice," is maybe a weird answer to that sort of question. "I've been almost everywhere at least once. But no matter where I go, I like home best." Aw.

Khavro has to know that his questions will force sweet, simple Stefyr to ask next, "Where's home?" The blond finishes fluffing his pillow and sets it down, only to pick it back up, dissatisfied and do it again. "If you were recommending me a top three places to see before I die, where would they be? I've been in this region my whole life. I've only flown on a dragon the once, and that felt more like a mistake than not." It might beg the question as to why he's wearing that simple white knot at all, but he doesn't jump into any kind of explanation.

"Home is wherever family is," Khavro says with a quick dismissiveness, and then right into, "I can't say I know you well enough to tell you where you should visit before you die. But I'll give it a think, and then when you've wrestled one of those hatchlings to be yours, you can fly wherever you like." The curly-haired trader is getting to his feet now, "I think I'm hungry, after all. And maybe you should go find yourself a drink so you stop bothering your poor bedding, relax."

Stefyr's arms fold across his chest (not that he's defending his need to make his bed over and over) and casts a critical eye down the length of his cot. "I'm not planning on wrestling any hatchlings if I can help it. Claws and teeth and all that." He shakes his head. "I'll see you around, Khavro. If I can be a help, just shout." He probably doesn't mean that literally, but it's a nice offer all the same. The assistant-to-so-many-people glances toward the exit and sighs, "It's probably time to report somewhere anyway." And with a mutter under his breath, he'll take his leave, too, sauntering off in a direction that (SADLY) doesn't take him to food, but probably to paperwork. It's the worst day. Poor Stefyr.

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