Can't Help Everyone, Can't Help Anyone

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.

It's early, really early, like dawn early. (SORRY RISALI.) Some people start early in a Weyr and some of those people include two candidates - one big and blond, the other decidedly smaller and brunette. Food has been secured without too much chit chat and they've even secured some of the more comfortable seating. This availability is one of the perks of eating early while slugabeds are still- well, abed. Stefyr, between bites, seems to be trying to teach Evangeline some of the basics of the sign language that N'on uses to communicate. "So what all do you want to say to N'on, anyway?" He inquires before biting into a coiled roll slathered in icing and smelling of cinnamon.

It's early morning? You would never guess by how Evangeline looks, she is skipping slightly and the pep in her step is the kind of pep that should be banned from mornings. Step, step, Skip, step, step, skip. The fewer people in the Caverns suit her well, and she moves with an ease that is usually lost. Meandering towards the food, eggs are procured and some form of breakfast meat. Settling in her seat, a small smile is offered to Stefyr before she starts to pick at the food slowly. "I want to know… well, firstly." A hand goes up. One finger pointed at Stefyr, but not in an aggressive manner. "FIRSTLY why he didn't bring someone to explain…Also, if he will take me back when I fail because I know this is not where I belong." The pointed finger is used to point all around them. "So I need to secure my ride early." A sharp nod of her head, all of this is a matter of factly stated, like the weather. Before continuing in what might be her first-ever tirade, she blinks, and her lips bunch to one side of her face. Eyes scour Stefyrs face, and slowly she asks, "Did.. something happen?" The finger is making small circles to indicate his yellowing bruise.

And some people (like Risali) were probably up all night in their office, pouring over work and documents that didn't solely belong to them because Xanadu's Weyrleader seems to have gone on a trip. An extended one. SUFFICE TO SAY THAT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN SKIPPING ALL THREE MEALS and probably catching an hour or two of sleep (in a really uncomfortable office chair on an even more uncomfortable office desk), Risali required A LOT OF THINGS. Food, for one. Klah, for another. She just looks like she's liable to fall over in a heap of sleeping goldrider at any minute, from the tired eyes to that obtrusively long hair sitting askew. Her clothes are comfortable and loose, but no less rumpled AND SHE'S BAREFOOT. She's also probably not fully awake yet — or, is that fully conscious anymore — because it takes her bumping into several objects (and one incident of burning herself with klah because she was trying to drink it when she got jostled) to join Evangeline and Stefyr. It takes her even longer (like halfway through a slow, savoring-sip of klah, and one tiredly-distracted slow bite into a bit of food) to realize that she's NOT BY HERSELF. NOPE. Those grey eyes rise, blinking at Stefyr as if she's not quite sure what she's seeing, then shifting to Evangeline For just a moment, it looks as though Risali might bolt. But then she just… sinks a little lower into her seat and does what ANY GOOD WEYRWOMAN MIGHT DO: she forces a smile (feeble though it is, guttering out nearly as quickly because she's tired). "Morning." A tilt of her head, a gesture to her own face and, "This looks better." Ignore the sleepy-breaking-husky quality. "And congratulations." This for Evangeline. "On the knot." But then she's ducking her chin and slowly picking tiny pieces of her food apart without really putting any of it into her mouth. GIVE THE KLAH A CHANCE, Y'ALL.

Is Risali close enough or awake enough to hear Stefyr as he lifts a brow and explains through a bite, "Nah, just slipped climbing out of the pool at the hot spring. It's fine. Almost gone." And so will this nightmare soon be, Stefyr can dream, hope, pine! That's before Risali is noticed because as soon as she is, he's half out of his seat, trying to reach for her, to steady her, to help somehow, but she's there and she's a big girl doing it all herself so he sits himself back down. He gives Risali a covert glance, worry in his features only briefly, like maybe he's concerned she can't take care of herself, but he directs his attention back to Evangeline. "If you thought you don't belong here, why would you accept?" That's not an awkward question to ask in front of the Senior Weyrwoman, is it? If it is, the blond man is entirely oblivious. The rest of what the other candidate wants to say to her searchrider is let go for the moment (or digested, or nested upon for later). "It's almost gone," he reiterates of the bruise for Risali, and asks, "How are you this morning?" It's as much casual inquiry as sort of a status-report. What does her assistant-in-training need to do for her this moment, even if he's not technically on duty yet? Maybe it's her friend asking more than her employee.

Eggs are placed in her mouth; her head tilted to one side as she awaits Stefyr's explanation. Risali is looked over, eyes going from the top of her tired face to the floor where her bare feet do not go unseen. For Evangeline's sake, her face does not look judgemental but more perplexed. The silence from the girl is heavy, her eyes locked on her breakfast as Risali sits down. Super perky morning people can spot a non-believer miles away, the respectful quiet is a gift she gives to the frazzled WeyrWoman. As Stefyr asks a question, she whispers, her voice low as if maybe Risa is not RIGHT THERE. "I. Do not. Know." The words cut through, breathy, and they take ALL the strength she has to come out. "This happened TO me, I did not happen to it." Both palms are splayed out, arms at shoulder level. "I was not thinking." Food is pushed from one side of the plate to another and then counterclockwise. The explanation by Stefyr is taken in, her head bobbing acceptance of it without any further thought to the matter. As Risali is congratulating her, her head comes up from the pool of feelings she is drowning in. "Thank you, good morning, Weyrwoman." Her tone is lost, as if suddenly this weird dream she has fallen into has turned into one of those scary, running from an invisible monster experiences. Reality is checking her hard.

DON'T DO IT, STEFYR! GOOD BOY. That probably would have ended up in a lot more spilled Klah than remotely necessary. Probably also a tumble of food everywhere. And another black mark against the pristine, pure-white of Evangeline's HOLDBRED INNOCENCE. ONE DOES NOT BESMIRCH THE INNOCENCE OF HOLDBRED GIRLS WITH CASUAL TOUCHES TO THE WEYRWOMAN. But Risali does hear that story, and for a moment, she kind of just squints at Stefyr as she slowwwwwwly pulls apart a roll, as if she might divine secrets from his bruised face or will him to be one person instead of two, but then she just sighs. She doesn't pursue it. SHE'S TOO TIRED. So she tries to drown herself in Klah instead, and listens to the conversation with a polite kind of detachment because she was interrupting anyway and — "Didn't think you belong? Did something happen?" And she will wait, watching Evangeline for a long moment bordering on uncomfortable before those eyes flick back to Stefyr and she offers him another guttering smile — this time lacking amusement, harboring something more emotionally wry. "How are you this morning?" she asks instead, as she gives up on her food and leans forward to rest her elbow on the table, cheek sinking against the palm of her hand so that she can watch him while she waits. And then softly, for Evangeline, "Just Risali, please. And you're very welcome."

LET THE RECORD REFLECT THAT STEFYR DID NOT LIE TO RISALI. Just near her. "I'm told," he replies to Evangeline diplomatically, "that a hatchling can happen to you nearly the same way, so if you actively don't want to belong here, you probably should find that ride before the hatching. Not that I think you should go." He clarifies this and gives the younger girl a sincere expression. "Surely your Nana is glad you're here and Standing?" He cants his head to one side, an encouraging smile playing across his lips a moment. He doesn't move his head but casts his blue gaze toward Risali and his expression goes to something bland, something that pairs well with the oh-so-casual and dry delivery of, "Oh, fine. Slept well. Woke up. Got kissed by a boy. Now I have breakfast. And it's delicious. You should have more," HINT HINT. He eyes her plate. "Have you tried these? Maybe V'ayn made them. He said something about icing." Nevermind that cinnamon bun icing is a whole other class than the kinds V'ayn was talking about to Stefyr. He lifts his pre-sampled coiled, iced roll and extends it toward Risali in case the goldrider wants a bite.

HOLDBRED INNOCENCE AROUND HERE IS A COMMODITY OK. A COMMODITY. Risali's squinting is not going unnoticed, oh no her squinting leads to Evangeline looking up at Stefyr again. Eyes narrow and lips curl in, then with a shrug, she goes back to staring into the abyss of her breakfast. There's a stillness that overtakes someone in deep thought, where even blinking seems to happen less. Stefyr's words hit her like she has been slapped. POW. Someone has finally challenged an idea that she has been challenging for days, one hand goes up as if she could slow or stop him before all of his words spill out. "I came because…" WHY Evi, WHY did you agree to this? Silence, turning back to Risali with a quick frantic shake to her head, "No, no Weyr- Risali. Adjusting fine, everything is good, thank you. " LIAR LIAR SKIRT ON FIRE. Somehow she is maintaining the facade that she is talking to Stefyr and Risali in separate places, mostly by focusing all her attention on one speaker and then the other. Another long stretch of quiet, or maybe it just seems so because of how time works when you have so many things to think about. Evangeline says slowly, methodically choosing each word. "I have nothing; my home is gone. My mother left me in a Weyr, and they haven't seen me or tried to in months. Maybe I thought I could get a new family. Ma always said Nana was addled because of her Weyr ways. But Nana is here, an' she isn't." A touch of rebellion and more bitterness then anyone would think possible in the sweet girl. OOF.

Those occassional bobs of Risali's head are definitely the weyrwoman agreeing to what Stefyr is saying, and definitely not attempts at staying awake. But then Stefyr's attention is back on her, and Risali keeps watching him until — kissed by a boy. There's a twitch at the corner of Risali's lips, something that looks suspiciously like the beginnings of a smile and the hints of canines except that Risali schools it back into a careful kind of neutrality. She can't quite manage to keep the almost-laughter out of her voice, though. Shame. She tries. "And did you like it?" Because of course this is the direction Risali goes with it; because of course she always has to zig where it'd probably be more appropriate for her to zag. SHE HEARS YOUR HINTS, STEFYR. It's why she momentarily narrows her eyes at him — or maybe she's just focusing in on that cinnamon bun, iced with goodness tempting her somewhere between them. Give her a beat, and then Risali brings her knees up onto her chair, pushes herself up with one hand on the table, and curls her fingers around Stefyr's wrist to keep her balances as she leans into that space and takes a bite instead of taking the damn pastry. And there. There's a whimper, a shiver, an unsteady jerk backward that finds her lungs laboring a little harder than they should be as she AVERTS HER GAZE and CHEWS REALLY SLOW SO SHE HAS AN EXCUSE NOT TO TALK. What? THE FOOD IS GOOD, OKAY. IT'S REALLY GOOD. "Thank you," comes once she manages to school her voice, and then EVANGELINE TO THE RESCUE. Risali focuses on her as she drags klah closer to sip, brows knitting in concern, or confusion, or both before she parts with an exhale. "Okay," she finally says, as if she will accept the answer Evangeline wants to give her, even if she doesn't actually believe it (STEFYR). It's that last bit that has Risali hesitating a moment and then scooting closer. "But you have us, right? Family isn't always… it doesn't always have to people you're tied to by blood. Sometimes the most important family you can have are the ones that you choose for yourself." And then, softer, "But I'm sorry. Let me know if there's… anything I can do." LIKE KICK YA MAMA'S ASS. BECAUSE SHE WILL.

It's so good Stefyr had sisters. So good. He's really terrible about a lot of subtleties and nuance, but comforting uncertain-or-distressed girls is something he has done before. He can do it again. Or he can try anyway. But only after he NEARLY CHOKES TO DEATH ON NOTHING AT ALL. AIR. It's Risali's fault. Did he like it? He turns bright red, and reaches his free hand for his cup to cure the coughing with water, while he MEANWHILE, holds the bun steady for her. "You can have the rest," he deposits the rest of the cinnamon bun onto Risali's plate. It may be the distraction he's hoping will make her forget he hasn't answered her. The blond's eyes shift from Evi to Risali and he leans toward his fellow candidate, just a little, enough to imply some level of conspiracy. "I didn't sleep in the barracks the first night." There's a sidelong glance to Risa, brief, but there, then back to the younger girl. "Then while I was awake with a lot of questions about accepting this knot - like why I did it or what I thought would come of it and if it was something I even wanted, I thought the rest of the people in the barracks might have some of the same questions and if we pooled our answers, we might actually make some headway. Wanna know why I'm standing?" Evidently, he wrestled with that one enough to have something to offer on the matter. He doesn't actually wait for her to say yes, he just offers, "Rhodelia told me, and I'd heard before, that sometimes a hatchling doesn't find its mate because they just aren't there. And they die." He speaks the truth without the varnish of kinder terms. "I'm Standing because I don't want something like that on my conscience, and it would be, if I didn't Stand and a dragon was lost from the start just because I didn't want to turn my life upside down." There's his lop-sided grin playing across his lips then, "Besides, it's already turned upside down or inside out so many times in the last few months, what's one more? And this one might be something that turns out to tell me- or you- just where we do belong." The grin softens to a smile that says he gets Evangeline. Or at least some. A lot of common ground there.

The Sleepy Weyrwoman almost gets a small poke from Evangeline, her hand moving forward then back as she suddenly thinks better of it. Talk of the kiss makes her face BRIGHT red, shoulders come right up to her ears, and she is tucking down like an erring child. As if somehow the more it's spoken of, the more she shrinks, the shrinking would make Alice proud. Smaller and smaller, her body is slipping forward for a moment looking like she could get UNDER the table. Legs are tucked up, her breakfast has been ruined and her knees are now at her chest. GOOD JOB, STEFYR. From her safe, fetal perch and layers of skirt, her chin is on her knees and hands wrapped around herself. SHE IS COMFORTABLE. SHE IS FINE. YES. The eating of the roll is enough to cause a fit; she watches in horror and tucks her face into her skirt. Recovering from all this finoodling takes a solid minute before she can find her train of thought and climb back on. Her head is popping out of her skirt she nods several times to Risali, "I, the Weyr's view on a family is new. But I guess, this could be a family. " The words drop from her lips, and a small rock punctuates her discomfort with the whole idea. Stefyr is listened to very carefully, and the longer he talks, the bigger her eyes get. Tightly pressed lips slowly open, until her mouth is hanging open and eyes are welling up with tears, "NO, NO way. I do not want a dragon to DIE. I don't think one wants me. Nothing needs to DIE over me. I." Suddenly lost, a small sniff as if to contain all the snot that comes with near crying. ALL of this information sits with her, "At least I am not the only one with doubts." One hand leaving her protective egg position to punctuate the thought. "Thank you, Stefyr." Sincerity coats every word, and the young lady nearly smiles, but it fails, and she relaxes enough to place her plate on her knees. YES, she is knees to chest and plate on knees, slowly shoving small bits of egg in her face. SHE IS BEAUTY AND GRACE y'all.

Risali watches that cinnamon-y goodness get passed to her, she studies it for a long moment, and then she pushes her ENTIRE PLATE ACROSS TO STEFYR. "I'm not hungry." LITERALLY HOW, EVEN. And no. NO YOU DID NOT DISTRACT HER FROM YOUR NON-ANSWER. But Risali doesn't pursue it; instead, she turns in her chair so that she can lean against the lip of the table and keep sipping at that klah, grey eyes jumping between Stefyr and Evangeline as that story unfolds and… Risa winces, but tries to hide it by ducking her face towards her mug and taking another sip of delicious, hot, caffeinated beverage. "That's why we search so many," Risali's quick to add, another glance at Stefyr before her focus is back on Evangeline. Who… is shrrrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnking. "And it hasn't happened in… well, I've never seen it happen. It's… it's going to be fine." So she gives Evi a smile that's fleeting, not quite filled with humor, not quite hitting the mark, still managing to err on the side of awkward despite the reassurance intended. She starts to reach out, like maybe she means to brush back Evangeline's hair, or pat her shoulder, but she catches herself right before making actual contact, curls her hand into a fist that translates into momentary frustration in her face, and then drops her hand back into her lap. SHE ALREADY SLIPPED UP ONCE THIS MORNING. DON'T MAKE IT WEIRD FOR THE POOR HOLDER GIRL. It will be weird enough, once Risali is more tightly under Leirith's influence and not the very beginning throes of a gold's demands. "We don't have to be your family," she whispers. "You are going to meet a lot of people. Maybe somebody else can be it." Because… because Risali wouldn't want herself for family either. But then she scoots just slightly away, grey eyes jumping up to Stefyr and then away, down to her mug of klah before she makes a subtle kind of tilt of her chin towards Evangeline. The kind that says, 'She probably needs a hug, but I can't give it to her.'

"Fine," Stefyr's word is a quip at Risali and he pulls her plate to him. "More for me." He's super smooth while he acts like he's not at all concerned that she's not eating. He has two plates and, let's face it, that many muscles on a man can probably make short work of the contents of both. "But you're missing out." He adds as though it's a total afterthought. He will even go so far as to focus his attention back on Evangeline, after giving her that moment to collect herself. "I think most of us have doubts. I've even heard that some riders end up riders and didn't really expect or want to be." He doesn't even look toward the goldrider even so much as a flicker of a glance. "But it seems to work out alright for them. And maybe a dragon can be family." He chews while he considers his own remark. "In any case, I've never been an older brother before, but I've been an older cousin, and I can fill that role, if needs be." That's for Evangeline with another of his lop-sided grins. "I really am up to the demands of being obnoxious, over-protective and a blockhead. My sisters seemed to think that was all that was required of my older brothers and cousins. I've even been known to provide the occasional supportive hug, when it's wanted." The former farmer may not be sold on it's being warranted here, so he doesn't move to get up, yet. What he does do is wave the cinnamon bun as he talks and then pauses when it's almost to his lips, and asks with brows lifted over the top of it. "You're sure you don't want this, Risa?"

Food is pressed into her mouth, her chin barely above the plate and eyes on the duo in front of her. Exaggeratingly slow chewing motion, 100 chews per swallow, because of SAFETY. Sure. Risali's every word is being listened to with intense scrutiny, brown eyes finding the woman's face and locking onto it. "Alright." Chirps out, her head is bobbing on her knees and her chin making contact with the corner of her plate several times. Weirdo. The roll handed to Stefyr gets a small longing look, consideration on her face before she goes back to shoveling her breakfast into her mouth. "No, no, ma'am it's not. Just." Words fail, her forehead makes slight contact with her plate in the /bang head on table/ sort of way. Why must her words fail her so. Come on, Evi. An extremely sudden motion, her hand reaches out to touch Risa's, as if a decision has been made and possibly the urge to comfort the older woman has overtaken her. "Risali, thank you for trying. Really. It's all going to be alright. You are right. Yes." She is convincing herself as much as anything, Then Stefyr is speaking, and the plate is put back on the table, and her knees are being crossed underneath her butt in the criss-cross position that makes her slightly taller. "I never had older brothers; I have an older cousin… Ony, she lives here, but she's crazy." A knowing nod and a touch of fear in her eyes, along with something else. Mischief. "I can introduce you to her, and she's well… She's a Weyr person." A knowing nod as if she is implying something dirty. LOOSE. The word you're looking for is LOOSE. "You can meet Nana too; she's the best… Maybe this can be my family. You, Risali, Citayla… Nana has always been good to me. " A crack in her voice as she suggests this, glancing around the room for a moment as if she might get in trouble or be overheard. "Stefyr, we still haven't done the fitting." Ahh, oh no, she has remembered. "I just remembered." The sweetness in her smile and the sudden burst of giddy. Her shoulders wiggling and hands tap on the table should be a warning to anyone.

Risali's answering smile to Stefyr's words is a little lackluster — not dismissive, not even sad. Just. Distracted, lost in her own thoughts, clearly pulled somewhere far away from the table and its happenings (or cohabitants) JUST ENOUGH for delicious morning breakfast pastries to be incapable of pulling her attention back in. "More for you," she concedes around that smile, hushed and muted, words hardly spoken at all. And then she flushes, then she buries herself more into her klah and keeps her eyes NOT ON THE TWO CANDIDATES AT THE TABLE because she knows that Stefyr is talking about her, and she is chosing not to elaborate on that fact. Or share it. Or do anything other than — inhale. But it's too late. She's not fast enough to pull her hand away from Evangeline's before it makes contact and the Weyrwoman is immediately in a predicament. She parts with a whimper, fingers flexing beneath Evi's in a way that sends a shiver down Risali's spine and gives rise to gooseflesh. But if she pulls away too quickly, it's seems weird. Instead, Risali's lips tremble as she tries to remain still, as she swallows another sound and her lungs suddenly can't seem to draw in enough breath and — "Yes. I think… Maybe Evi." MAYBE EVI WANTS IT. That's all she can manage on a desperate whisper of sound, before she withdraws her hand and tucks into herself and tries to remember how to breathe. That's why she's closing her eyes and pressing the heels of her palms to them while she listens without hearing. And maybe — MAYBE THAT PASTRY IS ENOUGH. Because those grey eyes blink open and Risali looks stricken, something hedonistic despite the fact that she looks like she's on the verge of tears herself in the way she's watching CINNAMON-ICED GOODNESS AND STEFYR'S MOUTH WHILE IT TAUNTS HER ABOUT FOOD SHE ALREADY DECLINED. "I…" she what. Another shiver. "I have to go." Sorry, Evangeline. It's safer this way. And just like that, Risali is scrambling to her feet, hunched in on herself with arms wrapped around her middle as if she's trying to hold herself together as she desperately dodges making contact with anybody else on her way out of the caverns.

Stefyr holds up a single finger as though to forestall Evangeline's happy family picture, "Just because I can be your family doesn't necessarily mean I need to be their family. I'll be glad to meet them, but non-blood family is as complicated as blood family, I'm finding. If not more so. But at least it means you get to make up your own rules." That has him casting a look toward Risali, and it would've been a smile, but she's leaving and so there's a faint frown instead. "Risa…?" It's all that follows her, FOR NOW. The frown deepens as she vanishes into the caverns. "What…?" That's a mutter to himself, but he shakes his head and brings his attention back to Evangeline, or tries to. He must still be a little distracted because his voice is distant when he agrees, "Uh huh. The fitting." His eyes were on Evangeline but now he seems to see her as he sits up and starts eating again. "I still have my duties to work around. Risali's the one that gave me my knot, so they still have me working with the Harper and with Rhodelia to learn what I'm doing assisting Risali and D'lei, and then just a few of the chores and lessons on top of that." He's in and out, you see. "But we live in the same place now, so that's bound to make it easier to fit in sometime. "Are you going to be working with the weavers while you're Standing?"

The momentary rush of bravery by Evangeline seems to do the exact opposite. Risali's leaving leaves the girl's mouth agape before she sucks in a breath and pushes her half-finished breakfast away. Both her hands go into her skirt pockets, her body stiffening and elbows tucking into her body. A moment passes where she is still, her eyes finding Stefyrs and all she can manage is small nods. "I understand." She doesn't; her voice is small and light, the false happiness she places in her words is entirely contrived. "Family is funny, isn't it?" A forced smile momentarily passes over her lips, her attitude suddenly so blase and airy. Before Stefyr even fully answers her she finds her feet, still nodding along with him but "Mhm, yes, no, I do understand. I know you're busy, you know. Thank you for breakfast, I should go see the Weavers and as you said you are very busy. " Evi is not above crying in public; crying takes a level of vulnerability and trust in those around her. What is wrong with all of these people. Her eyes go to the door, her plate is collected, and she says, "Well, you know where to find me, I am not going anywhere for a while. Have a good day, Stefyr." Fake, all of it, she is faking it hard her eyes giant brown pools, the niceness to anyone but the very dense a coping mechanism. Retreating to the clearing her feet carry her with a touch to much haste, a getaway.

Stefyr has sisters. They exist. They're not here to prove it, nor does the young man's behavior really help prove it in this moment because Evangeline's departure leaves him looking a little bewildered. "I'm not busy now," he says, but it doesn't matter. It's too late. He starts to move as if he might go after Evangeline. Or he might go after Risali. Or he might— Shell. He sits back down and finishes his breakfast looking like someone who has too many sisters.

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