The Repercussions of Responsibility

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the southern wall, quite close to the western end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the western wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis.
The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The eastern wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the west side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

It might have been a few days. It might have been a week. What is time, anyways?! Regardless, no matter how much has passed between The Incident on The Beach at Monaco and today, the present finds S'van in Xanadu to make good on his promise to 'have words' with Risali. TO BE FAIR… Aedeluth is not the best at conveying messages. His manners leave a bit to desired. His repetition of requests and invitations typically lacks the 'please' and 'thank you' and general suggestion of being a request that is often inherent in the initial offer made by S'van. But the human half knows this. And has declined to announce his presence (though undoubtedly, Leirith is aware. Because it's LEIRITH), and has simply slipped away into the administrative wing. Using that shiny knot on his shoulder to his advantage when it behooves him, Sev has "snuck" into the Weyrleader's office, helped himself to a chair (Risali's chair, of course) and made himself quite at home. He did not come empty handed; beside those besocked feet (because he was at least nice enough to take off his BOOTS before he threw his feet on her desk) is a bag. An insulated bag. MYSTERY PRESENTS?!

TO BE FAIR, Risali's desk has already seen its fair share of besocked/booted/bare feet and things that are better left unmentioned. It might be why there's not much thought spared the location of S'van's butt or his wayward toes when the Weyrwoman walks through the door - even if she does pause to stare at him, even if she does lean over to shove his feet off of her desk, and even if she does pick up a piece of paper on her way back up that she turns away with and hobbles back out of the room in possession of. It takes another several moments for her to return, and make no mistake that there is pain on Risali's face even if she is doing her absolute best not to show it. But it is there: it's there in her gait, it's there in the tension running through jaw to shoulders, it's even in the furrow of her brows, in the way her lips pull into an almost grimace when, without trying to move S'van around, she sits down in the little chair opposite the one that is usually hers and then turns those grey eyes onto that insulated bag. She doesn't say anything, not initially, not until she's leaning forward to put her elbows on her desk, to interdigitate her fingers and lean forward as her gaze rips away from potential goodies to take in the face of Monaco Bay's Weyrsecond. "That better be food, S'van, or you can get out." She's mostly teasing, but she keeps a straight face because FIGHT HER, THAT'S WHY.

S'fine. Sev'll just wait, looking for all the world like he has every right to be here, like he owns the place, while Risali shoves his feet and takes her paper and marches herself right back out. But while that smuggy smirk of his is definitely in place, while there is undoubtedly a gleam in those grey eyes, there is also assessment and appraisal; a taking in of that pain, and a worry that is reflected back at the comprehension of it. But he won't ask. Not yet anyways. Instead, there's a grin of a more friendly sort, and the leaning forward to match her posture — laced fingers and all — and a smugly delivered, "Why yes. Yes it is food." And then a pause. A moment. Two. Three. Before he straightens and turns to pull out that food from the bag that kept it contained, and hot, through the trip Between. "I asked J'en to cook you something." Because if anyone would know what Risali's favorite food is (that Sev is on speaking terms with) it would be J'en right? And if not her favorite, then he at least knows what she likes. "And yes," he declares as he sets a wrapped plate in front of her and goes back for the utensils, "It's for you." No strings attached. "Enjoy." And so will he, because of course there is also a plate for him.

Risali looks torn between crying, and laughing, and hugging S'van within an inch of his life, so she settles for a half-laughed smile instead as she pulls that wrapped plate forward. "Thank you," she says honestly, and she means it because ABSOLUTELY YES. She's already unwrapping it, using her fingers to pick up a small piece to pop in her mouth, closing her eyes and letting herself just absorb the taste before those grey eyes blink open and focus on grey. "Jae made this, didn't he? It's delicious" And there's another smile, a scrunching of her nose in humor as she picks up another piece and admits, quietly, "I missed his his cooking." A beat. "And him too, I suppose." The last is A JOKE, and it shows in that raising of brows and slow smile even as she eats a little more food before taking those utensils once they're produced. And for just a moment, Risali tucks into that, making little sounds every now and again that are appreciative in nature and end only once she's halfway through her meal, only once she's shifting in her seat, and wincing, and looking back up again. "You know this doesn't get you out of trouble, right? You fell from a cliff, and you didn't think to tell me? What the hell, S'van." BECAUSE REALLY BRO. WHAT THE HELL.

"I'm sure he misses you, too," issues S'van in reply, amusement in his voice even if it's definitely not a joke. He's tucking into his own plate with… well. Perhaps not a voracious appetite, but at least enough gusto to suggest he hasn't had a meal yet today. "Me?" scoffs S'van. "In trouble? I'm not the one who let my dragon set a dance floor on fire in a foreign Weyr!" But there's mischief in those eyes, and a curl at the side of his mouth that hints at a little bit of dry amusement because, while S'van might not approve of Leirith's actions, he darn well knows that there is no stopping that queen when she wants something. But yeah. That cliff thing. That at least has him looking a touch (But just a touch!) contrite. A little shrug of his shoulders, and he dismisses it with, "Nothing happened. I dislocated my shoulder, got a few bruises. That's it." Because he was damn lucky! "Was a long time ago. And what was I gonna do, Risa? Write you a letter that said, 'Almost died, fine now. Send cookies'?" It was scary. S'van does not want to linger on scary things. "You're not pregnant anymore," he observes. "When Aede saw you on the beach…" she was fit to burst, is what he recalls.

Risali meets that mischief with her own mischief - with a curl up her lips, and a raise of her brows, and the kind of look that colludes and commiserates even as one utensil goes up in order to add a touch of the emphatic to her next words. "Your junior said it was okay." SO SEE? She didn't break ANY OF THE RULES. She does take another utensil's worth of food an pop it into her mouth without breaking eye contact, because THIS IS A CHALLENGE. And then she deflates, rolling her shoulder as her gaze drops back to her food and she pushes it around on her plate without any follow through on scooping up more. "Yes." Though she's not sure she would have done the same for him, and maybe that's her hesitation: she wouldn't want to bother him with something she'd deem trivial in the long run; can she really hold it against him if he might be of the same mind? So she doesn't dwell on it, she drops her utensil instead to look down at her stomach, to look back up to S'van with the kind of look that says she's VERY UNIMPRESSED WITH HER LACK OF PREGNANCY. "That is correct, and I had him after I came back from Monaco Bay. Right on the beach, where a techcrafting journeyman that hates my dragon and a man who owns a ship that I have a lot of questions about helped to deliver him." A beat. "Kind of. They were so busy squabbling over who was going to get down there and catch that he just came out and the blanket-covered sand caught him." SEE? INSTANT KARMA, S'VAN. But then there's a huff of laughter, something that dissolves into a knitting of brows and the kind of sadness that lingers for seconds before she shakes it away and hides it by tucking into her food again. Give her a moment, maybe two, but then those grey eyes rise again. "So is that why you're here? For compensation for your fallen dance floor?" IS SHE GLANCING SIDEWAYS AT D'LEI'S DESK. She is. She totally is. Rude. She is probably going to tell him to take it up with the Weyrleader.

"That," declares S'van, who will just adopt Risa's flourishing of flatware for his own emphasis, "is not fair. Reya is not a good example of how to behave as a weyrwoman. And you," he notes, "Are a Senior who was representing not just herself, but her entire Weyr. Plus," he adds with a sigh and a sardonic sort of smirk, "Reya is allowed to burn her own Weyr. But I think you'd be kinda pissed if she started burning up Xanadu, hm?" IT'S A TRAP RISA! (IF YOU SAY NO, SEV IS GONNA SEND WEYRLINGS TO BURN YOUR WEYR! IF YOU SAY YES, HE'S STILL GONNA SEND WEYRLINGS TO BURN YOUR WEYR. MWAHAHAHAHA? ahem.). It's the explanation of how Risali got from super-preggo to not-at-all preggo that has him pausing in his own meal consumption, fork poised over the plate as though hesitant to take another bite until the conclusion is given. Not that S'van doesn't know — it's pretty obvious that she survived it. But of course, there's another in this equation, too. "Is he alright? Are you?" Because he saw that wincing! Saw that painful posturing as she walked in to her office and took the seat across from his own. A beat, two, and he stabs that fork into his food, lifts up a bite, and shoves it in his mouth. So that he can think long and hard (or at least think a *little* bit) about his answer. "Yes. And no. Because I think we both know it wouldn't do any good, would it?" Another smirk, though it's more strained, more weary, more forced than it usually is. "But yeah. Cause I promised someone I'd do something about it." Not that he's like, gonna make demands or anything. Because he's Sev. And he can't. "Could you at least say you're sorry?"

"So what you're saying," Risali says slowly, carefully, each word enunciated with precision as if to make herself clear in her desire for clarity, "is that I am likewise not a good example for how a Senior Weyrwoman is to behave?" And those grey eyes lock on grey, humor lost amid those hints of fire Risali always carries with her, that perseverance of spirit and will that comes innate to the tiny woman. "How, exactly, is a Weyrwoman supposed to behave? Within the confines and expectations of other people and their little boxes?" And then Risali is shifting back, to bring hands to her brows, to rub them as she shakes her head because she knows she is being unfair, and so she tries to collect her thoughts, to find the right words and - exhale. Softly comes, "No. You must have missed the memo about this being a party weyr with a dragon who insists on chronic bonfire nights. As long as nobody is getting hurt and no buildings are being destroyed… but I guess you're right. Soriana tried to tell me that." That she wasn't ready. What does it matter? Ready or not, she's in possession of that knot, and so shoulders roll as questions of Zyriden come. "He's okay. He's… a little premature, but not so much that he's sick. But he isn't mine to keep." And that's probably the part that hurts, the part she sweeps under the rug by studying S'van's face and dropping her gaze again, by shaking her head and - "And what was this someone hoping you would come and do about it? Would you like us to set up a dance floor for you to burn in recompense? Do you want us to build you a new one?" BUT NOTICE SHE HASN'T SAID SHE'S SORRY - not yet, anyway. This is why D'lei handles a majority of the diplomatic happenings. Risali just isn't as good at people as the Weyrleader is.

S'van is not gonna fight. He's not going to rise to the bait and argue back. He's definitely not going to try and tell Risali how Weyrwoman (or any woman) is supposed to behave, because he does have some sanity, and a teeny-tiny bit of self-preservation somewhere in there. So he just waits, meets those no-longer-amused grey eyes with placid, not-longer-amused grey eyes of his own. A sigh, and he sets fork to plate and pushes it away in a clear sign of being finished with the meal. It's not dismissal, simply a matter of showing that he's not interested in diverting his attention to food when he'd rather listen to her. "I'm glad he's alright," comes for the baby, S'van just skipping right over that ready or not conversation for the time being. "He's not…" but no, wait. They're on a different subject right now, so Sev will have to circle back to that question later as well. Because there's definitely curiosity as to why she's not keeping her own baby. Or, rather, what makes her say that he's not hers to keep. A purse of his lips, then a sigh, then a slumping into his (her) chair. Despite himself, the idea of retribution via dancefloor-destruction gets a bit of a grin, a little of that humor coming back even as he shakes his head and decides, "no, nothing like that. He's not hoping for anything. It wasn't that kind of conversation," he decides. "Suffice it to say that… seeing the dancefloor on fire scared some people, and my goal in promising that I'd do something about it was to reassure them that it wasn't… that their fear wasn't being ignored. They, and I for that matter," he adds with a snort, "Don't care about getting even. It's nothing like that. It's about… about making sure that safety is something we take seriously." And no, he hasn't missed that lack of an apology, but he's not gonna push for one.

COWARD. JKJKJK. Risali grimaces in preparation of that question that… doesn't come, the tension leaving her somewhat despite the fact that they're back on the topic of dance floors and retribution. Risali rubs her brows, and shakes her head, and then shifts forward in her seat as hands come open. "I am not excusing anybody's behavior, S'van, but it was a dance floor. We didn't set your barracks or your residents, or even your weyr at large on fire. Reya gave her permission and while I might be a Senior Weyrwoman in my weyr, I do not outrank your junior in her own weyr." A beat, as grey eyes find grey to hold, as if Risali is trying to wait to see if S'van understands what she is saying or simply doesn't care to try. But it's only a moment before she's settling back in her chair, before she's pulling her plate towards her, and pulling S'van's with it, and emptying what's left of his onto her plate. WHAT. HE DID THE UNIVERSAL SIGN OF BEING DONE. FIGHT HER. "I'm sorry that people were scared, but I feel like this is being blown out of proportion. Nobody was in danger and, unless they were stupid enough to run into the flames, there was no chance of anybody being hurt. So I am sorry; I am sorry that people got scared, I am sorry that people think we didn't take their safety into consideration because we expect them to comprehend enough to know that Fire Bad, No Touch, and I'm sorry that you're here having to have this conversation because that isn't fair." A beat, and Risali moves food around on her plate again, contemplates it before… dropping her utensil. "But it won't happen again." … Which probably has another implication behind it, but one that isn't voiced because the Senior Weyrwoman is busy putting food into her mouth. Again.

"And so, what? That makes it OK? Because Reya said it was alright, and because you don't outrank her… what? That absolves you of responsibility? Takes away your ability to think critically and make your own decisions? Did she order you to set the dance floor on fire?" wonders S'van, who is half sarcastic (because he just can't help himself, despite really, really NOT wanting to fight) and half serious. "And even so, weren't we just talking about how you don't behave according to anyone's expectations but your own? I don't get it," he decides at last, a shake of his head sending his gaze away, grey eyes affixing to the wall rather than the weyrwoman he sits across from, frustration and disappointment and weariness wrapped up in that glower toward inanimate objects. "You wanted to be a Search and Rescue rider, but you're willing to put people in danger for a stupid bit of fun? Yeah, it was a dancefloor. Not a bonfire. Not a pyre. A dancefloor. Where people probably wanted to dance…" A huff, and he eyes that plate theft with a slide of his eyes. But no; she's welcome to take it. "Right. It was a party on the beach. To celebrate the weyrlings. Naturally, no one was drinking or anything, right? Stumbling around. Doing stupid shit. Oh, and of course there wouldn't be kids, right? Seeing as it was a weyrwide celebration; surely it was only sober adults who know better than to walk into danger. Except those adults thought it was OK to just… set random things on fire?" No, they're not going to agree on this one. So they'll have to settle on agreeing to disagree. He's not angry. He isn't yelling or even particularly heated. He's exhausted, and defeated, and just altogether done with this whole weyrleading-thing. A sigh. A lift of fingers that find his forehead first, press into his skin and then drop to pinch at the bridge of his nose as he fights off headaches while Risali noms his food. "It's fine. I came here to say what I've said, and I'm not going to say any more on it. I'm glad you're alright. I'm glad the baby is alright. And I'm sorry I didn't tell you that I fell off a cliff and almost died."

Risali stares, honest to Faranth stares at S'van in a way that just might suggest he's sprouted another head or learned how to speak a Terran language long lost to Pern. She listens to every word, watches every shake, meets every gaze, and when he's done Risali is looking down at her plate of food and then pushing it away. "No," Risali answers, though where exactly she's choosing to start in that minefield of accusation is a mystery - at first, anyway. "No, S'van, I'm not saying it absolves me of responsibility. What I am saying is that in your Weyr, under your rules, it is the responsibility of your leadership to judge whether or not a request made is appropriate in any capacity. Leirith asked, I said no, and Reya told her yes, and so I didn't stop her. I accept my role in this, but the responsibility does not rest solely on my shoulders. Whatever you want me to do to make it right, I will do to the best of my ability. You want an apology? Then I am sorry, S'van. I am. I really, truly am. But I am not responsible for your juniors, and Leirith was close enough to the fire that she would have stopped any stumbling drunks or overly-curious children from making nice with the fire." Agitation comes, expands and… dims. "D'lei is better at this," Risali whispers - not in self-deprecation, but because he is. Because where Risali is bad with words and even worst at explaining herself, D'lei does it well. "S'van, I am not skirting that we did something you don't approve of in Monaco Bay weyr, but neither is Leirith solely responsible for that debacle. I am not saying I am not at fault, I am saying that you are treating me like we went in and set a blaze without your leadership knowing, and without their permission. I don't outrank Reya in her own weyr; I am not going to question her judgement when she knows better than I do in that environment." And then she's shaking her head. "So what? That's it? 'Risali, you're terrible at your job and worse at being a human, congrats on the baby, and here's an apology for not telling you something. Bye.'?"

"I'm not saying you, or Leirith, are solely to blame. Of course not. But what I am saying is that you are in control of your own actions. And whether Reya said yes or no… you're Leirith's rider, not her. And you still have a choice. And I love you Risa, and I know you'd never let anyone get hurt… but not everyone knows that." But it's a moot point, because what's done is done, and S'van isn't really here to fight about it. He's here to talk about it, to say that he didn't just let it go. And he's done that. And that's where his authority kinda ends. "S'not like what I think even matters. Let's be real here, I'm not the Weyrleader. So whether I approve or disapprove of what Reya did, it doesn't matter." Because he's got zero say on it. "But you're wrong when you say you can't question her judgement, Risa. That's the basic right of every human being: to think for themselves. To make their own decisions. To decide how they feel about a situation. It's fine," he decides, and he kinda means it, too. It's not a frustrated dismissal to the conversation. He's fine. Because she's got some damn good points, and he knows it (and knew it to begin with), and he's got nothing else to say except, "I'm not saying you're bad at your job. And you know you're not a bad person. And I'm not exactly getting up." Because that chair is comfy, and Sev is tired.

"I am probably not exactly the Weyrwoman you're looking for in regards to whether or not I think a little bit of fire is a good idea," Risali whispers, but there's humor behind it - there's a hint of a smile, something that borders on self-deprecation without crossing the line. "I'm the one who jumps from cliffs, and dances until the sun rises, and sings on the tables, and betweens when she's pregnant, remember?" She's the one that won't be tamed, the wildcat that thrives on the thrill. She's also the one who is shaking her head and shifting to push her chair back. "You don't have to get up, S'van, you can stay. And I'm sorry, I mean it. I know what you're saying, and what I said… it wasn't exactly fair." But here she comes, moving slow to get around the table, leaning down to wrap arms around the Weyrsecond's shoulders and lean into him, to press a kiss to his temple and SQUEEZE because he can FIGHT HER IF HE DOESN'T WANT HER AFFECTION. "But I have to go take care of something for my junior, since she's… not here." And there's a pat on his shoulders, a shift as she leans forward to grab plates and utensils and starts for the door. She does pause at them, to turn around, to take in S'van and smile lop-sided with affection at him. "Jae was right though. You're very good at your job. Weyrsecond." It's said as much in respect as it is in goodbye - for now - because there she goes, shouldering open the doors and moving out, to go take those plates to the kitchen for a quick rinse so she can return them clean, and then to do whatever it is that she needs to do in order to ensure Bethari's work is taken care of.

Yeah, he's not gonna fight her. She is SMOL and FIERCE and she just had a BABY ON THE BEACH. Plus, S'van likes hugs. Which means there's a hook of an arm around her no-longer-preggo belly and an affectionate squeeze that is firm but gentle as she issues explanations and steals plates (and utensils). "I'll be around," comes in dry amusement, that rub of his forehead returning as he considers, "Aede caught your junior's gold so, you know…" he'll be lurking and stuff. Pretending he's supposed to BE here (cause he is, sorta). It's the parting words that draw the last little grin, though Sev has no words for his job, or how he does at it. But there's a bit of a 'thank you' in that look, in the way his expression softens to something genuine rather than that oft-presented amusement. He lingers, using the pretense of awaiting the return of his dishes to buy him a bit more time in that comfy chair and (more importantly) in silken and solitude where he can freakin' think without people knocking on the door. And then he's gone, whooshing back to Monaco to go do that job he's apparently good at.

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