Truths and Lies

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barraks
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.

It's been a long day. Bedtime is coming on in the barracks and that means some of the candidates are working their way through pre-sleep routines. Not Stefyr. He's sitting on the edge of Keruthien's cot, and has been for not an insignificant amount of time. The conversation has been largely quiet, semi-private, let's say, but the former farmer's expression has been largely confused, occasionally dipping into deeper befuddlement, and general perplexity. There's been at least one moment where his head has ended up dropping onto Keruthien's shoulder in an almost defeated kind of way, and a groan when he picks it back up again a moment later. "I'll figure it out," are words that carry, the tone of the conversation becoming a little louder as Stefyr uncrosses his long legs (previously crossed at the ankle) and moves to stand up. "What doesn't kill me, makes me crazier, is how that saying goes, I think."

"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger," Keruthien is all-too happy to correct, where he's sitting rather close to Stefyr, in an obvious show of support. He's been there all along, often giving a few comforting gestures amidst their little heart-to-heart (supposedly — rumours, what rumours?). Though when he seems a little more steady, he'll recline a bit on the cot in a way that should be criminal. NO SHAME, this man and he doesn't even seem to care that they're in the barracks or that said barracks are far from empty. Personal space? NO SUCH THING. "Could make you crazier too. Actually," he adds now with a low, throaty chuckle. "Both of those probably work. So," he peers sidelong up at Stefyr. "Yeah, you'll figure it out. Don't gotta rush it, neither!"

Speaking of crazy, that probably goes for whoever scheduled Rhodelia to help with weyr maintenance. You would have thought they might have learned from past candidacies but noooooo… that was on the schedule again. Luckily, she does manage to make it back with all limbs still in tact and apparently she's keeping that hammer too as she walks right past Stefyr and Keruthien to face plop right on her own cot. Thunk as the hammer drops right beside it. She'll add her own groan to the former farmer's, without even looking. Maybe she really should have looked. "You're both crazy. And once you figure it out, the rules will all change again." WOE. SUCH WOE.

Stefyr reaches out to shove-ruffle Keruthien's hair, because curls, and he probably deserves it. Still, then the blond is standing up and stretching looking down at Rhodelia. "I hope not. I mean, I feel like I'd take just being able to figure it out once." As if Rhody has any idea of what they're talking about. But before more can be said about that, he's furrowing his brows and looking at his trainer. "Rhody. I have questions." So many, but specifically: "There were…" He casts a glance askance to Keruthien to assess, perhaps, if he's trustworthy on this matter. Evidently he's deemed so because the big man goes on, "… pillows and blankets in Risali's office today. She was… in them. And…" What is it he wants to ask? "Does that happen a lot? Is she okay? What do we do when it happens? Will it happen again?" SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

Keruthien takes that ruffling of his hair with a snickered breath and a good playful bat at Stefyr's hand, grin firmly in place. "Hey!" And on the surface? This definitely looks like flirting or just some very casual affection between friends. WHO KNOWS! "Aww, thanks for thinking I'm crazy too!" he quips teasingly back to Rhodelia where she's flopped on the cot. "That bad, huh?" He's just going to assume there, while Stefyr prepares to ask ALL THE QUESTIONS! That look is given an encouraging broader grin and nod. He may even make a little 'go on' flick of his hand! Otherwise? Ruthien is going to fall back on his cot, legs dangling over the edge at the knee. "Was it like a fort or a nest? Remind me again?" Never mind that the topic was put to Rhodelia, don't mind him just interjecting himself in there.

Rhodelia cracks open an eye at the question and contorts her neck so she can kinda sorta see the question-asker without actually leaving her own pillow. "Did she… ask you to join her?" There's definitely some serious emphasis in that question. Whatever other answers she might or might not will just have to wait until she has answers of her own because things could get real interesting depending. But since they are talking to her she'll actually flop over so she can prop herself up on her elbows, facing them. No more exorcist-like contortions needed. She gives a grin at the hair ruffling. "Although she'll probably leave off for a bit if you remind her you're taken." And then for Keruthien as welll… "You're a smith. Of course you're crazy."

"Uh, nest-fort," is his clarifying response for Keruthien. Given that this looks like it will take more than just one minute, Stefyr sinks back onto his previously abandoned perch on the side of the Smith's bed, right about where Ruthien's hips are so that he can totally snuggle to Stefyr even if Stefyr's focus is on Rhodelia. "No. I made sure there was food and," he glances at Keruthien another time because he may be a bro, but he's not one of Risali's assistants and there's a whole other brotherhood there. He doesn't finish the sentence but rather clips it off there and bites his lower lip. "She told me to take the day off." He twiddles his fingers between his knees. He totally didn't take the day off, at all. Good luck with your filing non-system, Rhody, Stefyr spent his day trying to make it into a system (and failing). Is it something he could make worse? Maybe not, but he did his level best. (Not on purpose.) The remark about being taken doesn't even penetrate. Not even at all. He's too focused on the concern at hand. "Is she okay, though? She seemed… off." And he's visibly worried for her. Aw.

Snuggling? OH, you bet that Keruthien's all for that or at least… the illusion of it (nah, who're we kidding? he's touchy feely). Eventually though, he grows tired of just hearing voices and, with a stifled yawn, will sit more upright and more than likely attempt to lean against Stefyr. HIS TURN FOR SUPPORT (in a different way)! What're bros for, anyhow? "If she invites you to join her, isn't it rude to say no? I gotta say though… if it was a blanket nest? She's on to something." Is he hinting on wanting to make one? Maybe! He's certainly eyeing a pile of folded blankets waaaaaayyy over there! His concern for Risali does not nearly match the level of which Stefyr may voice, though his brows furrow in thought. "Being a Weyrwoman isn't easy. Might be something's plaguing her? She was awfully jumpy when she cornered me in the workshops." NOT HELPING, RUTHIEN! There's a scoff and a fox-grin to Rhodelia. "Hey, I'll have you know that I do NOT huff the chemicals, okay? I'm the least crazy of the crazy Smiths~"

"Ohhh, I think something is plaguing her alright," Rhodelia gives a wag of some eyebrows. "This has pretty much been how she acted before the last few weyrleader flights. Has anybody seen Leirith lately?" That question actually has her bolting up. "Really. Has anybody seen Leirith? Or heard from her?" It's been pretty quiet on the whole rumbly bass and BADASSERY, but that might be because she was too busy snatching up candidates to create more mischief. Should they be worried? Rhody might be a little bit worried about the QUIET at least. While the boys and their blankets might be all the way over there, Rhodelia grabs her own fuzzy blanket to wrap up in. Snug as a trundlebug in a rug. "If your blanket nest gets too rowdy, I'm totally going to toss some ice water on you. Fair warning." There's a bit of a glance at their matching set of bruises.

Stefyr doesn't seem to register Keruthien's touchy feely-ness beyond an absent smile cast over his shoulder at the Smith. He's totally helping appearances here. He leans forward with elbows going to knees in time to have Keruthien-now-sitting lean on him. There's no objections to that, either. He's a pretty supportive guy, really. That's probably why his face is still worried. "Weyrleader flights? I mean, I know that mating flights determine Weyrleadership, but what does that have to do with— do you think she's worried D'lei won't be confirmed or something?" Why would behavior change just because a flight might be impending, he means, poor, innocent farm-bred boy. "I heard from Leirith through Risali when she gave me my knot, but not otherwise." Now he'll frown. If his assistant-trainer is worried, the trainee surely should be too. The bruise on his face is faded nicely down to a lovely yellow that colors his left eye, temple and part of his cheek. It's not nearly as grotesque as it was before. "I didn't think there was a blanket nest to get rowdy in," the confusion will at least erase the worry for a few moments. He turns his head and looks up at the Smith in a very weird twist of his own. "Is there? I mean, other than Risali's. That one seems… private." His blue gaze scans the pre-bedtime barracks (on the same day of the pre-dawn wake up, it might be added) from his perch on the edge of Keruthien's cot where he's been chatting with the other young man for a while now and now Rhody on her cot, perhaps looking for a blanket nest to manifest somewhere nearby.

"No?" Keruthien's answer to Rhodelia is immediate, only to be followed by a huffed breath. "Oh. OH! She's proddy? That's what's got her acting all out of sorts? And here I was just thinking she didn't like me touching her." Wait. What? WHAT'D HE DO? Leave it to him not to give the full story and only half, with plenty to be assumed! Just like the way he's leaning-snuggling against Stefyr. "Hey, don't be like that!" he mock pouts to Rhoddy, before flashing a quick wink. "You could always join?" Someone hit him with a pillow! He shrugs his one shoulder not currently used to prop himself up against his fellow Candidate, switching conversation tracks with ease. "Maybe? Wouldn't know half of it, honestly, but I've always heard that generally if the Weyr likes their Weyrleader, the guy tends to keep the spot. Something about influence? Faranth if I know the details…" Ruthien's interest probably waned at that point in the original discussion. He blinks back to Stefyr and then begins to laugh heartily. "We can always make one! That was the whole reason I brought it up." Was it though? WAS IT?

Rhodelia simple shrugs under her blanket cape. "Probably? Or maybe she just really wants to have a blanket fort and not see anybody at all." EITHER IS A PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWER. Her eyes narrow as Stefyr goes on about his clueless, farm-boy stumblings. "You've been at the weyr how long and you haven't come across any proddy riders?" Or maybe he has and poor Stefyr just thought that was NORMAL. "But you got sisters, right? They ever get a bit testy around a particular time of the month?" She tilts her head as if she expects the answer to be yes before immediately continuing. "Supposedly it's kinda like that, but like… a hundred times worst and dragon hormones make their riders act all wonky leading right up to the flight too." She'll nod in agreement with Keruthien's explanation of the whole weyrleader-transfership. If anybody in this room should know, he's certainly got the most Fancy Knots in his family. "We could probably make a pretty big blanket fort with all the empty beds." Screw the candidates that haven't been searched yet. They'll need to know the password to get in.

Keruthien gets a little jostle for his invitation to Rhodelia to join. Stefyr also rolls his eyes, pointedly, and looks at the ceiling. Oh, Ruthien. But really, Rhody, do you even need to ask? Obviously Stefyr accepted as face value the normality of all riders he's met, including the proddy ones, especially since it's very likely that none of them bothered to stop and explain to him that that was the case. In fact, "What's proddy?" And that should answer every one of Rhodelia's questions regarding Stefyr's complete lack of knowledge on this topic. His asking probably doesn't interrupt anything, even the forthcoming explanations. To his credit (and thank his sisters, almost certainly), the big blond doesn't blush at the mention of a particular time of month. He does bump Keruthien off so he can sit up straight and tilt his head while he looks at Rhodelia, considering. "P-roh-dy." The former farmer over-enunciates the word while he tests out the paired meaning in his brain. He glances at the beds and blankets and… it's obviously not the focus of his attention, even if it is of theirs. "So," he puzzles this together, "Leirith is going to rise, but it should be fine because everyone likes D'lei," near as he's heard anyway, "and Risali's just… moody and cramping?" Did he get all that right? "So I should bring her sweet things and give her space and not bother her when she's in her blanket-pillow-fort-nest?" It all comes slowly, but he gets there and lifts his brows, looking from Rhodelia to Keruthien as if one or both of them can confirm his interpretations.

Keruthien is as close as one gets to having a "pedigree" when it comes to rider lineage but even THAT is debatable! And not widely known; he's a chatty guy and yet strangely he doesn't go gloating about his lineage! But that's besides the point. Stefyr's showing his innocence and naive side, which even has Keruthien staring sidelong at him with his mouth slightly open. Seriously? Seriously!? Oh, this is to good! "Don't tell him!" His finger points to Rhodelia in urgent command, while his other hand clasps on to Stefyr's shoulder, regardless of previously being shoved off. When does that deter him (it doesn't)? "Stefyr, my man… you'll find out soon enough. At least, a very mild taste of the one side." Ahh, but then Rhody does go ahead with explaining and Keruthien visibly pouts this time. NO FUN! "Eh, that's the gist of it, anyhow?" Then there's a misunderstanding and Ruthien can't help but start snickering in an attempt to keep from bursting out laughing when two different things are melded into one not-quite right scenario. "— you're not wrong but—-" Nope, he can't be of help here! He's just going to continue -giggling- snickering to himself. All talk of blanket forts has been forgotten for the time being!

Rhodelia has a big mouth. What can she say? She's completely unrepetant about spoiling the Smith's fun and just gives a shrug as she dangles her feet of the side of her cot. "I don't know what exactly you were planning…" That finger is totally pointing right at Ruthien. "But he deserves the right to know. Especially with gold flights… they say that it can get start to affect some of the Weyr as a whole and not just the riders." Another shrug. "Or that might just be wishful thinking and how folks go about explaining some 'flight' babies when they weren't actually riders." Yes, finger quotes and all. There's a nod for Stefyr's summary. "Close enough. Keep your distance, provide snacks and you should live to assistant another day."

Now Stefyr does hit Keruthien with his pillow. It's not hard and it's a little belated, but there you have it. "Ass." He grumbles, but not with any feeling really, at the Smith. Rhodelia gets a respectful look and head bob to acknowledge his acceptance of this Life Lesson. "Okay. I'll— do that." He frowns a little and then angles to rise. "I'm exhausted. Up before dawn," that has him casting a meaningful look down at Keruthien like he should know what Stefyr is talking about (and he does, a kiss to be specific). "I should get ready for bed." But first, he points a finger at Keruthien and then one at Rhodelia, "If either of you touch my blankets or pillow or so much as wrinkle my sheets, you'll live to regret it." It's absolutely empty threats, but surprisingly Stefyr-of-Stefyr-with-Seven-Brothers has a really good fierce look that he levels on each of them in turn.

Keruthien probably had A LOT to add but is mercifully thrown off that trail once he's hit with that pillow. "Hey!" he quips instead, laughter still underlying his tone and said pillow thus claimed and clutched to his chest. There's a knowing smirk for Stefyr's glance and hint, along with a little tilt of his head. Yeah, he gets it! As for those empty threats? "… but you hit me with it first!" Which promptly has him throwing the pillow back at him. FINE! Have it back. He'll find something else to cuddle! Never mind that that pillow was… probably his, wasn't it? He rolls his eyes to Rhodelia next, smirking. "Did you have to go take all the fun out of it by explaining it all?" he mumbles again and then exhales. "At least they lifted the rules here and not just for THAT but for drinking! Always thought the strictness was a bit cruel. I mean, I get it but y'just down throw everybody in and don't expect any shenanigans…" What's he rambling on about this time? Who knows. It doesn't seem like he's the least bit exhausted or tired, either, despite stifling another yawn mid-ramble of utter nonsense.

Being the mature one, Rhodelia sticks her tongue out at Keruthien. "It's not ruining. It's enlightening!" There's a difference. While Stefyr is giving kissy-face looks to the other candidate, Rhody will pick up the closest thing she has on hand. Luckily it's not the hammer. That's forgotten until she'll stub her toe on it tomorrow morning. A pile of CLEAN socks goes flying towards the farmer-gardener-assistant-candidate (although probably not landing near him unless the stars aligned). "Where do you think you're going? I think you both got some questions to answer." She glares between the smith and him. "I mean… bruises, sure. But sexy times AND kids? That's wrong. All kinds of wrong. We may be loose with rules, but not that loose!" Does she really believe both lies? Probably not, but she'll imply away.

It was totally Keruthien's pillow, which is why, now that Stefyr has hugged it to his chest upon it arriving there, he places it back where he got it from at the top of the Smith's cot. He even fluffs it. He might rethink that as socks thwap into his chest (look at them stars). "Hey," is a complaint that only verges on whiny, but is accompanied by the look of a chastised puppy who isn't sure why. "To bed?" It doesn't matter that he answered the rhetorical question, or that he yawned not in intentional demonstration of his need for it. "What are you talking about?" The blond looks pretty confused (which isn't his look ALL the time, just most of it), and he casts a glance down to Keruthien. "I got this bruise tripping into a tree in the gardens." And with that he nods to his bruise buddy and does stroll off toward his cot. Not that it's that far away.

"No, enlightening would be to SHOW them!" Keruthien doesn't skip a beat in delivering that with a mock-seriousness that is instantly broken by a fox-like grin. Instinctively, he'll hunch his shoulders and brace for something to be thrown at him, since a pair of rolled socks was just lobbed (at Stefyr, but still)! When it's obvious there's an interrogation to be had, he'll straighten again, only to blink owlishly at Rhodelia. "Whaaaaat? Wait. What?" Incredulous, scoffed and looking oh-so fakery affronted, which he ditches soon enough to start laughing. "Oh my… Rhodelia, you make it out like we're monsters!" he crows, once he can catch his breath. We all know who the monster is (and he wouldn't deny it)! "… see? You heard him. It was a tree. I only JOKED on the sexy times! I'm a Smithcrafter. Accidents happen all the time, y'know?" So much for answers or ALIGNING STORIES.

"A tree? In the gardens? Or was it the firelizard theater?" Rhodelia doesn't really have much more ammo at the moment so this time it's her pillow that goes sailing over in Keruthien's general direction. Take care of it, 'cause she'll definitely want it back. "What in sharding Farnath's name is so bad that you both are lying to EVERYBODY?" She'll huff and she'll cross her arms so she can appropriately glare at them and their lying liar faces. "Most people can forgive a lot of things." She won't rule out forgiving everything, "But liars might be monsters."

Stefyr is really too far away to hear anything, obviously. (He's totally not. He can hear it all. "Sexy times" as a concept probably goes right over his head since he just got his first kiss today, and didn't even get to participate. Poor Stefyr.) He's studiously gathering up his pajamas (tank top and comfy sleep shorts), his toothbrush and other before sleep necessities. "I'll be back." He has to, he sleeps here. But he'll probably stall a little in the bathroom until he sees one or the other of them occupied similarly.

That pillow will be cared for for a whole five minutes before Keruthien is throwing it back at Rhodelia. "Hey, calm down, alright? Maybe it's not so much a lie and just that the truth isn't really THAT interesting, eh?" he winks at her again, in ever classic Ruthien fashion as he stretches out his back, arms up and folded behind his head. Once satisfied, he'll push to his feet. "Dunno about you, but I think Stefyr's right. Time to unwind and get ready for bed." See? He's shuffling to the chest where he keeps his clothing and is digging out his own sleepwear which is proper, thank you very much! If he runs into Stefyr along the way, he'll just grin and wish him a good night (and sweet dreams) because why not?

Rhodelia grabs her pillow when it's returned and clutches it to her chest. She can cuddle her pillow and glare at the same time. "When in the history of women… has any woman ever calmed down when being told to calm down?" She wasn't even that mad but the fact that he just told her to calm down on principle makes it like ten times worse! While they might be getting ready for bedtime routines, she flops back down. "Make sure you don't run into any trees on your way to the bath!" She'll get ready for bed herself… eventually.

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