The Laundry Incident

Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Sparse trees are scattered through this field on the western edge of the forest, not far north of the clearing. The pen extends partly up the hills to the southwest, and the trees grow sparser the further west one goes. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - free to roam and graze. The appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.

Just at the forest's edge, set under the tree line, is a guest weyr for use in mating flights, a simple cottage made of weathered planking and grey stones.

Morning is dawning bright and clear, with the summer air comfortable and not yet too heated to be miserable for work. The pens are calm at the moment, with the herds grazing in the distance and not yet anyone's snack. One particular section, a smaller paddock, is suspiciously empty but the reason is easy enough to see why: the occupants have been moved to another enclosure, so that a large portion of the fence can be repaired. That's where Keruthien is, currently, with some of the other labourers and workers. He's inspecting what looks to be an important piece to the whole affair (metal, of course) and scratching his head in clear perplexed manner. "… damned if I know? Never, ever seen damage like this on something that you're claiming is 'new'…" His voice can be heard, filtering in and out over the mixed voices of those surrounding him.

Another day has started, and candidate chores seem to be underway. Wandering around the forest, aimlessly Evangeline arrives at the feeding grounds carrying an entire basket of laundry. Her eyes widen as she scans the grounds, head swiveling for a moment before she trundles towards the fence fixing crew. Easy enough to spot, she's in a floor-length skirt of bright magenta, and her t-shirt covers her arms past the elbow. Before fully reaching the fence she yells out to the crew, "Excuse me, um, excuse me! I am looking for. Well, not here." Each step taken with the basket looks more laborious because the young woman is not the peak of physical prowess. Placing the basket down, she gathers her skirt in her hand and takes up an awkward nonproductive jog that has more flapping of arms then the movement of legs.

If attention was sought, Evangeline is successful! Conversation grinds to a halt, as all heads turn in her direction, though most of the men seem to eye Keruthien in silent question. “What? She’s not one of mine!” he mutters at them with an easygoing smirk for their assumption that she’s an Apprentice. Shaking his head, he’ll toss the faulty piece of metal bracket to his other hand and tip his fingers in a farewell gesture-salute. “I’ll leave you guys to it though and pass this along to those who need to know about it! Know that’s not the answer you wanted but…” Such is the life. The other workers grumble but do not press him, turning back to their repair work. Freed from one task, he moves on to the next! Which is apparently Evangeline~ “What were you looking for, anyhow?” he asks, a lopsided grin at play as he closes the distance between them. It’s currently a bright and clear summer morning, with the pens quiet for the time being, as no one has been turned into a snack. One paddock is empty, but there are workers fixing the fence and whom Keruthien has just recently abandoned in favour of meeting a fellow (and lost) Candidate.

The closer she gets to the gathering of men, the more uncertain her face becomes, slowing down to a walk and then halting. Watching the men her lips purse and her eyes narrow with a small amount of worry, and then Keruthien is meeting her, and a small, polite smile plays on her face for a fraction of a moment. "I am so sorry; I know you're busy. I. Well, I was supposed to be taking the wash to someones Weyr and-." One hand pulls from her skirt, and she makes an arc in front of her, indicating where she is and sighing. Her eyes drop in a moment of shame. Meanwhile, you know how some dragons want to watch the world burn? Entering the feeding grounds from the forest is a giant dark blue dragon, the dragon does not enter the feeding grounds but instead goes directly to the basket of laundry. In a flash, the laundry basket has been picked up, and it's raining underwear, socks, and shirts. The workers are pelted with underthings, a red thong landing right on top of one man's head. Evangeline stares in horror, her head sucking back towards her shoulders in shock.

Bright, clear and most of all summer may be all the things Tejra wanted out of today, if one judged by her choice of garb - a burnt orange shirt that has slid off one shoulder but has caught on the other providing a lop-sided slant to the wide neck of the flowy garment that hugs no other curve except that of her wrists, and the cerulean pantaloons that cinch at her waist and booted ankles. The fabric is so breezy that it must not provide much warmth, but on a morning like this, who needs warmth? Not Tejra whose graceful steps bring her to an unusually motionless stop not far from the two candidates when the rain of laundry begins not far off. Her pale gaze is steady on the dragon, the people and then on the red thong that decorates someone's head. Hers might be the first voice to break that strange moment of pause before reaction, breaking into bright bell-like laughter.

“Who gets their laundry delivered?” Keruthien wants to know! For a friend. A dragon entering the feeding grounds doesn’t even register on his focus, but a blue approaching them specifically certainly does! He doesn’t back away, though he looks as perplexed as before over the issue with the metal bracket (still held in one hand). Then it’s raining undergarments and after a few explicit curses from the initial surprise, the aftermath? Has Ruthien laughing and more so for the poor man who ends up with the red thong as a hat. “Oy!” he calls out, barely recovered from his laughter. “Color looks great on you!” He calls out, much to the man’s growing embarrassment as his fellow workers get on board with the teasing. It’s then that he hears another voice of laughter and realizes the source coming from Tejra, who instantly earns a beaming grin from Ruthien. “Hope this wasn’t yours?” he asks, while flashing Evangeline a look that is both sympathetic and reassuring. Kind of.

For a full ten seconds Evangeline is utterly broken, her eyes wide and lips parting in shock and HORROR. Swallowing hard, her arms are stiff out at her side, fingers splayed out. "I… I know that dragon." Is gasped out, shaking her head. "NEFARIATH" For one so meek she sure can shout, the dragon for his part ignores her as he drops the basket on a tree and flies off, eyes whirling fast and happy. The beast at least, had his fun. For a fraction of a moment, the meek woman looks like she might follow the dragon, pivoting to follow him and then slowly turning back to face Keruthien. The defeat in her face is evident, the man with the thong gets a long stare. "I… Laundry delivery is for people who have been injured, it's… a courtesy." The small mousey voice is quiet enough that she could almost be speaking to herself. Turning towards Tejra, her head flops back on her shoulders, the most exasperated sign of full defeat before saying. "Do… you want to help me?" Her head is still leaned all the way back and the words droll out, the request sounding part plea.

"No, but I admire their taste. I'll have to get their name," Tejra's laughter lights her eyes as she meets Keruthien's gaze, even if it's not spilling from her lips anymore. She, helpfully, steps over to the man with the thong-hat, gives him a pretty smile and hooks a finger through one side of a strap and letting it dangle there as she brings it over toward the candidates. "I believe this is in your charge." Her smile close-lipped smile is still lighting her blue eyes as she looks from one to the other of them just letting the item hang between them all. "What do you need help with?" The redhead inquires of Evangeline, as if the mess of laundry gave nothing away. The lift of her brows indicates plausible deniability but not stupidity.

Keruthien visibly jumps a bit on spot when Evangeline uses those lungs of hers again to belt out the blue’s name. “You know that one?” he asks bluntly of the young woman, peering at her incredulously but with intrigue mixed in. There’s a shallow nod and a crooked smirk for the nature of the laundry delivery. “Makes sense! I’d always thought that the injured stick to the Infirmaries but I guess not in all cases…” Goes to show how much he pays attention! That man with the thong hat probably goes as red as the fabric itself when Tejra approaches him, spluttering some sort of half-baked excuse mixed with a rambling account of what happened and dragons doing weird things. His companions just snicker and guffaw over his blundering but they’ve got work to do and once the article of clothing is taken away, they go back to mending fences. Keruthien, however, is lingering to witness the aftermath a little longer and while Tejra answers the pleas for help, he seems focused elsewhere. “Well, if you’re both gonna gather everything… you’re gonna need that first?” He points to the basket in the tree.

Relaxing her chin back into its natural position, body slumping forward with exhausted defeat, whatever motivation Evangeline had for the day has departed her body. As Tejra gathers the red thong her face crumples in on itself, horror and disgust her lips a tight knot of displeasure. The offered undies might as well be a snake the way she recoils from it, before reaching into her pocket and pulling out two pencils. Neither pencil is longer than 3 inches, and they have teeth marks all over them signs of heavy use. With one pencil in each hand, she reaches out to grab the garment with them, using the pencils to suspend the shameful article like it was radioactive. "Thank you." Eyes are nearly crossed as she concentrates on holding up to the thong, "Would, could, maybe you help me pick all this up? I—You don't have to; I mean no one ever has to do anything just." An expressive shrug that is all shoulders, since the undies are being chopsticked in front of her. "YES. That's- he's my cousin Ony's, she thinks she's so funny and so cute. I.. I AM TELLING NANA" Evangeline belts this towards the forest behind her where the dragon flew off as if the beast could hear her. "The.. OH. SHARDS." Jaw-dropping at the site of the basket on top of the tree. "Do. Weyrs have ladders?" The sound difference between her yelling and whispering is extreme; the last question barely audible.

"Has anyone ever told you what they say about assumptions, Candidate?" The innocence of Tej's serene expression is at odds with the implications implied by the inflections in her tone as she arches a single inquisitive brow at Keruthien. Her eyes are distracted from pinning the older candidate with that look by the pencils making a pincerlike snatch of the thong off her finger. She moves her hand to rub it on the thigh of her pantaloon and the question must be asked, "Is this clean laundry?" Since the redhead with no knot showing at present wasn't hear for explanations and Evangeline did just act like it was not just dirty but infested by something unpleasant. Pale blue eyes follow to the concern in the tree and then to the surrounding laundry. Perhaps weighing her options swiftly, Tej replies, "I think that's climbable. Don't you?" This to both candidates before she's turning to stride toward the tree with purpose. Is it somewhere safe, this tree? Tejra doesn't seem much mindful about that, but is more focused on the goal of the basket.

“What’d I assume this time?” Keruthien asks, rather cheekily, of Tejra and with a sickly sweet, falsely innocent smile to go with it. DO TELL! There’s no concern on his part when Evangeline uses pencils to pick up the clothing, only curiosity and amusement. “You afraid it’s gonna burn ya if you touch it? It’s just underwear.” What was that about assuming? He doesn’t jump this time when she belts out another threat, only wincing mildly for his proximity to the sound. “Eh, I feel ya. I got riders in my family too, some here and elsewhere! Don’t know if any of their dragons like laundry though.” Or general mischief! Ladders? That earns a snickered breath, “Well, yeah? Why wouldn’t ladders exist in Weyrs?” he teases Evangeline, while giving the biggest, BRIGHTEST, grin yet to Tejra. “I like how you think!” CLIMBING TREES? He’s game and off like a shot, likely overtaking the other woman in the process and in his excitement. “It’s been forever since I climbed one! But this one looks old and sturdy…” Backing up a bit, he shields his eyes to squint up at the tree itself. “Basket’s not to high, neither.” And that metal piece he’d been forgetting about and lugging along in one hand? Is (gently!) dropped to the ground as his hands are dusted. Hmm. “Wanna make it a race?” That last, to Tejra, with a fox-like smirk.

The panties are slid partially down one pencil so that the other can be placed back in its pocket. Evangeline looks baffled by Tejra's comments as if her actions were normal. A long blink of confusion, "No, they are clean." No other explanation is given, and she holds the pencil out like she's carrying a bug on a stick. "You- do not just touch other peoples underthings." A sound of baffled disgust in her quiet voice, doesn't Tejra know these rules? Switching her attention back to Keruthien, she shakes her head, "Somethings are private, and shouldn't be handled, especially in public." All of this is said while she vigorously shakes her head, hair flopping in her face with the vigor in her assertion. "Well, with all the dragons maybe-" The explanation of why Weyrs may not have ladders is lost, as common sense has her shutting her mouth and following the pair towards the tree. Evangeline is not fast y'all. Her outfit alone slows her down, and the underwear held out on the pencil means she is gathering her skirt with one hand. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL MMK. "Wait, Climbing. I. I do not climb." Protesting while she follows along, she looks like a fish being asked to tap dance as she scurries.

"Hey!" is protest of Keruthien's overtaking Tejra on the way to the tree and it prompts a pursuit of the longer limbed man. She's tall for a girl but has nothing on men. Pah. Men. She's not too far behind him though when he arrives at the trunk of the tree, and her not-nearly-breathless-enough-yet, "Yes!" is accompanied by laughter as she doesn't even pause at the base of the tree before she's using her running start to fairly leap onto the tree, her arms catching at low branches to begin pulling herself up. If his long legs could get him to the tree faster, surely her unwillingness to wait for a fair "ready, set, go!" is also fine. She's nimble and her body contorts without apparent effort or thought into some interestingly sinuous ways to fit between the branches and pull herself up and up and up. "Last one to the basket helps clean up the mess," she declares since she never actually committed herself to doing so. She might lose her head start because she pauses to seek Evangeline through the branches beneath her, grinning wildly, "Learn! But don't fall. Or just stay there and catch the basket." It's an alternative, but then the teenager is focusing all her energy on the contest at hand.

“Dragon’s make terrible ladders! Trust me, I speak from experience!” Keruthien might actually shout that over his shoulder to Evangeline, since he’s so busy racing to the tree by that point. Tejra’s got the right of it and he practically cackles with delighted laughter when she goes right into it. “Awesome!“ Time not to act his age OR his rank and after a quick on the fly assessment, he picks a branch and hauls himself up. There’s only the barest of pauses when Evangeline catches up and a quick glance. “You don’t or have you never tried it? You should, if that’s the case!” They’re making it look so EASY after all! And his suggestion comes on the heels of the one offered by Tejra. “Or that! Didn’t think about needing someone to catch the basket! Good one.” Grunting, he’s hauled himself up to the next branch when there’s a call from those men. “Keruthien! What’re you doing!?” Oh right. “Oops. Guess I swapped priorities. Sorry, ladies! Another time, maybe? Or not. Please don’t keep stranding baskets and laundry in weird places.” OR DO IT, so he has something to make his day interesting! Jumping down once he’s got to a safe distance, he’ll stoop to pick up that faulty bracket and tip his hand in a farewell. “Enjoy your day! Good luck!” There’s a wink and a grin and then the strange Candidate-Smith is off and away.

Reaching the base of the tree Evangeline stares up in it, underwear still on the pencil and face overly stern for someone turns younger than the two climbing acrobatic adventurers. "I- no." A full shake of her head, but she gets closer, and her free hand reaches out and presses against the trunk. Testing for sturdiness? Who knows, with all of Evangeline's odd gestures? This might not rank that high. Craning her neck back to stare up at Tejra and Keruthien, her head shakes rapidly from side to side, "What if I fall? Break my neck? Who would feed my cats?" The practical girl has never been one for risk, and yet she raises up a foot like she might find purchase on the tree. NOPE. The foot is back solidly on the ground. A resounding sigh is given, and she waves to Keruthien. "But, you were.." The words lost, the last portion being said quietly. "You were going to help." Glum silence for a moment, eyes downcast as if somehow Keruthien has disappointed her. Her eyes go back up to Tejra, and she HUMPHS, her face set in a hard line of determination. The panties are slid off the pencil onto the ground, the pencil is placed in her pocket. With a small hop she reaches up and grabs a branch, it takes several attempts for her foot to gain purchase and she struggles her skirt creating an additional obstacle as it gets caught underfoot. Suddenly she is up, and in a branch about 4 feet off the ground. "Wait. HOW do you get down?" The teen stares down at the ground, then up at Tejra. "Kind of… neat." The small swing in her feet shows obvious pleasure.

"That should be a forfeit, Dragon-bait!" Tejra complains to the man who has responsibilities. Ugh, what is that about?! But she's laughing as she makes the accusation so she can't be too put out that he has to abandon the race. She doesn't appear to give him even a second's thought as she continues hitching herself up, branch after branch until she's reached the approximate height of that stuck basket. Nimble toes are made less so by boots and so she pauses with one arm wrapped around the trunk at a time to keep her balance to pull her boots and socks with them, one at a time off and to shout, "Look out below!" before she drops them, carefully, down through holes in the web of branches. Then she's using her toes to grip the branch, walking, barely touching the branches that might lend her support, such is her confidence in her balance. She makes it look supremely easy, really. The basket is plucked out of the tree with little more effort than a reach that might as well be a step in some dance. Then Tejra's carefully pivoting on the branch and walking back the way she came to reverse the process. It's a bit more of a process to climb with the basket since the redhead has to wedge the basket so it won't fall while she proceeds down and then pick the basket up only to wedge it again and so on. Still, it doesn't take over-long for her to reach the younger girl. She pauses long enough to let the basket thump down the last 4 feet before she warns, "Hold the trunk for balance," and then in swift motions she's doing something almost as intimate as holding a stranger's underwear. Tejra's swift motions are kilting Evangeline's longer skirt into its own waistband (or belt, if she has one), "Better to climb kilted," she explains. "Modesty and practicality dictate it." She glances down and then back to the brunette, "Down is only more dangerous in that there's gravity to worry about, but if you're careful and get good hand holds before you reach with your feet, it's no trouble. Want to try going up a little higher before we go down?" This woman seems like she could live in a tree with all the concern she seems to bear for gravity and balance.

The movements by Tejra are met with amazement by the awkward, slightly plump shape of Evangeline. She might as well be doing magic as she moves through the branches. "You- You need to be." The protest dies in her mouth, her eyes going back to the ground and then back up. "So… is this your first tree?" The playful lilt in her voice is something rarely heard, a soft smile on her face as she admires the other woman from her low lying branch. As if she has somehow erred, she looks down again and shivers. SHE IS SO HIGH OFF THE GROUND. Not really but high is an opinion. As the basket is moved down branches she ducks to one side, ducking her head a little "Careful, be careful! Faranath, use your hands! Be-." As the basket hits the ground and the woman is next to her, she does as asked. Grabbing onto the trunk with both hands, as hands go to her waist, she protests "NO, what are you NO. NO, I will NO. I. You're very nice, and." Before she can get the rest of her sentence out, her face is bright red, and her skirt is tucked up into itself. Evangeline's legs are extremely pale, possibly like they may have never seen the sun at all. Never. The garment pulled up to her knees and squeaks down at herself. "I.. this is not how a lady acts." A sharp intake of breath, and she stares up at the tree. "Could you show me?" Pointing up to the next branch, her eyes dart to her exposed ankles multiple times. What has come of you Evangeline, you total hussy?

"Darling," Tejra practically purrs to the younger girl, amusement brightening her pale features and putting a lively flush in her cheeks, "I've climbed all over more trees than any person ought to admit to." It's a joke. She's JOKING. That's why she quirks a grin at Evangeline, her tone changing to something more businesslike, "Still, it does give a person a certain confidence about not breaking a bone. It is always a concern, but you take care and you'll be fine." She really means it and there's a sincere smile to reassure the younger girl. Tej's hands may or may not have ended up casually perched on her hips like they're conversing in a hall or in a cavern, or really anywhere where the ground isn't made of just branches. (Okay, yes, they're definitely so casually on her hips. This is child's play for Tej.) "If you wanted to be a lady," the redhead observes, not unkindly, "you should have married a Lord and probably already be rounded with child." She squints at Evangeline as if gauging her age. Fifteen or more? She must estimate so, since that's the age of majority here, and nods. "This is much better. Can't climb trees heavy with child, or so the Healers told my friend when she found herself in a predicament." Not that Tej would be found in a predicament, she seems far too worldly wise for that nonsense. "I don't think ladies have much fun, being perfectly honest. I'm Tej, by the way," that's Tej, where the j sounds like the "ge" in beige, like a purr. "With trees, the trick is to test the branch a little as you go, before you put all your weight on it." And so she demonstrates, shifting to where she can climb basically alongside Evangeline if she braves herself up to it, showing how to find a handhold, a foothold, and pointing out any pitfalls she notices as she goes.

"I… I was supposed to be married by, well half a turn from now if it had worked." The quiet omission of the girl's fate is stated with a degree of disappointment. Evangeline stands up shakily, her body wracked with nervous energy as she reaches out to hold onto the tree trunk like she is rose in titanic. Staring hard at the ground, then back at Tejra. "WHY is it that Weyr people, who get pregnant with children more than feral felines… seem so opposed to commitment? If you're sleeping with three different people, you have no hold at all." For her part, Evangeline sounds baffled and not overly aggressive. "At least when you are a Lady, or even in a Craft, you can marry." The young woman has been hiding her feelings on this for a while, and it seems this sudden act of bravery has prompted her to speak her mind. "Weyrfolk do not have fewer babies then holder folk, they have them with anyone who looks at them twice. Plenty of greenriders are my age, sometimes younger." Maybe she senses the older woman's harper roots, and her secrets and frustrations feel safe with her. NOPE. Probably the tree. Setting her face in a hard line, her mouth so tightly closed that it might as well be glued. Hands run up the bark of the trunk to the branch above, testing it for a moment and placing her foot on the trunk. Anyone else watching will be getting a show, the lack of arm strength in the holder girl mixed with the lack of overall grace means she struggles legs kicking up and body having to be HOISTED up on the branch so that she ends up on her stomach with her limbs hanging off of it like a possum playing dead. Sitting up, she straightens herself, finding some dignity. "I am Evangeline; it's nice to meet you, Tej… Sorry about what I said." The sorry comes as a matter of course, something she is obviously trained to say whenever she speaks her mind. True doesn't make it appropriate.

Evangeline's first admission has Tejra's eyebrows climbing. She listens though as the girl goes on, expression calm as though the little word waves and opinions have no chance to upset her balance - internal or external. She also doesn't move to help the candidate in the least as she struggles to climb and a little amusement does play across her lips and softens her eyes. She either doesn't have enough investment in whether or not the girl makes it or she has enough confidence that she will that she doesn't interfere. Maybe she's just naturally unhelpful, though. She steps down, as if it were a stair and not a tree from the branch slightly higher so that she's able to settle on a branch near the girl. "No apologies necessary, Evangeline. Though I think you may be misinformed on a point or two." Tej pauses as though she's considering not enlightening the younger woman. "My experience with Weyrs is largely limited to what's in books and reports, so far, but I do have experience with Holders and Crafters. It happens that marriage is not a cure all for those without aspirations for monogamy. Many a marriage is fraught with infidelity or ends up being a something loveless that's more complicated to get out of than the way I'm told riders arrange themselves. Did you know the man you were to wed, darling?" The casual use of the term of endearment seems natural rolling of the Harper's lips. There is likely more but she pauses here to await an answer.

Settling herself on her new branch, her legs back to swinging gently and hands firmly clawed into the bark beneath her. Neck and shoulders are kept stiff as if to lend extra support as her head turns to look at the woman next to her and listen to her. The height seems to be clearing her head, and she tilts her head towards her shoulder in a relaxed but alert manner. The stiffness often in the teen's face, the mask is gone, and her eyes are inquisitive as she listens to Tejra. "Well, no." Answering with a little shame, lips making and O and then a pop. "Arali said he was kind, and that he would take care of me." The confidence in her tone wavers a little, feet moving slowly left and then right a sway that helps distract her. "Riders seem to arrange themselves however they please, and then rearrange whenever it's inconvenient." Tucking her chin in a little, she stage whispers as if anyone could hear them up here. "You know, my grandfather had like 50 children, I am probably related to half these people." A small blush on her face and then a giggle, as if the idea is ABSURD. Who fathers 50 kids! "You.. do have a point, I had heard about problems in marriages but. I thought I could be different. My ma loves Arali, and my Da loves Kima. They always seemed happy." A slight shrug, hair resting against her shoulder, it's almost a pose of exhaustion really. Head suddenly too heavy and needs to be rested on her shoulder, face full of hair. "Maybe, Weyrfolk can live… with one person too? I have read books, I know some people did it." Silence overtakes the girl as she surveys the feeding grounds covered in laundry still. "We can't stay here." Daringly one hand comes off the branch to point out at the panty littered grounds.

The natural serenity to Tejra's pale face might make it easier for a person to talk to her, to tell secrets, especially when enclosed by the protective bower created by the limbs of the tree around them. She's quiet and attentive to the younger girl, but when she's finished the Harper lets out a slow, controlled breath. "I can't fault you for regretting the loss of a sure future. Of one where there was someone kind who would take care of you. It's been my experience, though, that those who are supposed to care for another aren't always as reliable as they're supposed to be." She grimaces slightly before shaking her head. "Maybe it would have been wonderful, but maybe you dodged something you'd have hated. Either way, now you've the chance to learn to care for yourself, or so says your knot. Maybe even to care for another that needs you, and I don't mean a rider." She means a dragon. One of those potentials on the sands. "I've heard of happy marriages, heard of happy arrangements without marriage. I'm not sure how many women choose to become pregnant and how many just can't help being so, without a happy arrangement of some kind. It happens, rider or not. I've heard riders have more control over the like." There's something a little wistful, a little envious in her tone for that. She doesn't linger, though. "Seeing as how weyrfolk do seem to arrange themselves as they wish, if you're one of them, which you are, however temporarily, it seems to me that if you wished to arrange yourself as a one with one, the only problem you face is finding the one who wants to be a one with you. But then, I'd be of the mind to say that you've time yet, if you don't have to go and get married right away. Seems you've a better chance now." And that being delivered, she glances down toward the ground. "Can you not stay here?" She wonders, a little hint of something mischievous touching the outer edge of her lips and drawing them into a little Cheshire curve. "I can live here, if I like. I don't have laundry waiting on me." She says it breezily, but there's a teasing something in her melodic voice, so she mightn't be wholly serious.

Evangeline is comfortable where she is, staring out at the grounds from her perch. The quiet alone is a welcome relief from the constant noise that has been candidacy, the serenity of the position seems to be cleansing her a little. Tejra's company is like a balm, soothing the girl and letting her speak with no fear and a candidness that is lacking. "Ma took care of me, then she didn't… she left." The lightness of her tone nearly covers the hurt in the words, how they sting when they leave her mouth, and the pain abandonment will leave anyone with. "Maybe, just maybe, a dragon will pick me. Then I can stay here. Without a dragon, as soon as they find a new place, I won't have a choice." Sweetness purveys, with a touch of melancholy for the opportunity that might be lost in either case. "OH, I was not hoping to find someone right NOW. No." A huge shake of her head, one hand runs along the tree, and a piece of bark is picked off as she absorbs the words. "Citayla told me to take it one day at a time, one day. Then another day. No one is dragging me off to get married today." At the mischief in Tejra's face, the moment is over, and the young girl scoots herself to the trunk. Slowly she scrambles to the lower branch, stopping to catch her breath and saying. "I am sorry, Tej, you can stay but. I have cats and a firelizard who needs me every few hours. I am sure they are looking for me in the washroom." Grabbing on with both hands, she scuttles down the trunk, nearly hitting the ground and falling backward but saving herself. "Thank you." With that the girl is taking out her two pencils, the basket under her arm she is preparing to chopstick up the clothes.

Tejra doesn't pretend to have any grand answers for the younger girl, nor does she have much in the way of parting remarks. She does offer a smile as Evangeline takes her leave. The candidate might just hear, though, the groan of, "Firelizards. Shards," from that melodic voice (a little rougher with the swear), before the Harper can be seen gracefully snaking out of the tree, dropping to the ground to reclaim her boots and socks before running off (without donning them). It seems she may just have forgotten something(s) important. Oops.

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