Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level
Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separated from the multicolored red and white sands by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher than the previous, and they are broken up into sections by three sets of staircases. Between the first and second section, a glass wall descends to separate the observers from the heat of the sands. Air is kept in motion through a set of fans, and so these seats are quieter and cooler than the rest… though the noise and heat of the sands is still present.

Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony overhead connects to the glass wall. Vents for cooling run along the bottom of it, and the ledge provides a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.

The sand below is variegated in hue, individual grains of red and white that have a pinkish hue when seen from across the circle of the hatching grounds but - up close over that railing - are clearly two varieties mingled.

If there was a schedule for the Weyrleadership today, Stefyr wasn't on it. Between his three jobs, it's less of a trick than one might think to get a rest day, given that one office's schedule has a tendency to occasionally get lost or mixed up or just not exist to begin with (SHH, TRADE SECRETS), one has routine days off Weyrbrats' lesson schedule and one is a role with unending opportunities for chores, lessons and more chores. If anyone has been paying attention to how Stefyr spends his free time, though, finding him stepping into the seating on the observation level of the Hatching Arena is no great surprise. He comes dressed for a comfortable stay here, shorts and a tank top in a knit style that's more suited to sleeping or working out than any kind of labor (like gardening) that would require more protective layers. He comes with a book, a handful of papers tucked within it and a pen stuck behind his ear as well as a ridiculously small daypack with a canteen attached, his blue gaze sweeping the bluer seats to sort what vantage most appeals to him today.

Vantage? What vantage. There are no eggs here. Only bronze. Bronze whose nose is pressed flat up against the glass, pressure pushing nostrils higher than they ought to be, baring front teeth that are small in comparison to flesh-rendering fangs, but somehow ridiculous when displayed like this, clunked up against the glass wall separating sands from stands, points dipping gently into the flesh of the spit-riddled tongue that's gone and slapped itself up against the divide, hot breath forming wide swaths of condensation on either side of his nose. It's two pairs of eyes that wheel to mark Stefyr's entrance, one blue-grey, one whirling with mingled blues and greens, one flat and tired and devoid of emotion, the other somehow sheepish and delinquent at the same time, despite the physical lack of ability to display such a concept in anything other than a colorful whirl that whips faster through facets. SccccccchhhhreeEEEeeeEEeeekkkooooooooooo. That is the sound a dragon nose makes as it scoooots across the glass, an ugly squeaky sound that pauses only to continue as the big bronze draaaags his snout back in the opposite direction, tongue sliding slick along with as Xermiltoth returns his attention to his rider. R'hyn doesn't look away. He fixes the incoming candidate with the most deadpan of looks, the sheer dearth of mirth somehow emphasized by the raccoonish sprawl of bruising over nose, beneath eyes, the color somehow worse with the passage of time. ScrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooooooooooEEoeoooeeeEEEEeeeeeoooooooo— "Enough, Xermiltoth." R'hyn finally frees Stefyr from his 'DO YOU SEE WHAT I DEAL WITH' face, bloodshot eyes focusing on the mouth that's parted to fog the glass up even more. "Someone has to clean that, and it isn't you." « PARTY POOPER. » The words wash hot and golden into the minds of both men (and probably everyone in a three block radius), head pulling back if only so he can boop two circles and smudge a straight line into the rapidly-fading condensation on the divider. « IT IS YOU, » the dragon bespeaks of the :| face he's wrought, laughing loud as he moves to nudge to the dark lumps of eggs on the sands one by one. R'hyn flips the dragon a colorful salute indeed before flicking Stefyr a much more appropriate greeting of a wave, a singular lift of one hand before he returns to whatever he was doing to a heaping stack of papers before his dragon decided to make a fool of himself in an attempt to cheer his rider up.

If R'hyn needed an ego boost to buoy him up today, he could imagine that Stefyr's sudden, "Oh shit!" and the fumble of his book as he visibly startles is because of the blue-grey stare and not the FESTIVE WINDOW CLING THAT IS XERMILTOTH. The candidate's fast reflexes manage to keep hold of the book but a couple of pages leap out as though the book is puking in its sudden fright. The pen that had been behind his ear also goes clattering down and rolls— who the fuck even knows or cares in this moment, there's an enormous face-tongue-bronze-thing on the glass. "Hoo." The former farmer exhales (just shy of a hoo-whee, because it's really more of hoo and less of a whee situation right now), and he does, in fact ask R'hyn, "Is this an all the time kind of thing for him?" Because, shit. Stefyr will feel for you, bro. He gives a little shake and eyes the … residue… left behind on the glass and starts to move to try to track down his lost items. Only, then there's the face… and, SORRY R'HYN, Stefyr busts out laughing right along with the bronze. He gets it under control quickly, probably because he's afraid that when he looks at R'hyn again he might be facing the MASTER OF HIS DOOM (death, firing, death by firing, these are probably all options that run through the candidate's mind). He does not possess a sense of self-preservation enough not to chirp, "I think he captured your likeness well, sir." And that's probably Stefyr's attempt to cheer R'hyn, too, since it comes off with the look of a puppy who's tail wants to wag, but isn't quite sure if it's adorable attempts at whatever it was doing will be well received or not. He probably won't leap on R'hyn in joy if he's praised, and licking is definitely out especially after Xermiltoth's very effective demonstration of his vastly superior abilities in this area, but he might come over and keep R'hyn company, for emotional support.

EGO, WHO? NOT IN MY R'HYN. The man has exactly one graceful bone in his body, and it devotes itself entirely to wincing for that comical hurpclatter of paper and pen that fly from the candidate's person, watching the latter bounce out of sight, lingering in the direction of that wherever-it-went before lifting his gaze back to Stefyr. He doesn't try to talk because there's no point, not when Xermiltoth is chugging his thoughts back towards them with all the radiant subtlety of a locomotive. « THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE, » comes riddled with laughter, a mental image rendered in gold sand beaming Stefyr's 'oh shit!' expression back towards them. « PRICELESS. R'HYN, ADD THAT ONE TO THE VAULT. » He wants to remember it. Further whipcrack amusement drifts its way for Stefyr's question, but Xermiltoth busies himself with the oh-so-delicate process of ruining Ilyscaeth's entire egg shui one mouth-mlem toy-crane lift at a time. "Yes," is said with the heaviest of emphasis, voice as flat as the gaze the bronzerider points over at the candidate. "He thinks he's absolutely hilarious. Indulge him once and he'll never stop trying again." Yet maybe, just maybe that's a twitch at the corner of his lips when dragon antics elicit a laugh from the former farmboy. I MEAN WHAT. NOPE. THIS ISN'T THE ATTEMPTED SMILE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. MOVE ALONG. It fades under the adoption of a serious moue, gaze narrowing, lips pressing flatter than ever before, eyes swinging from smudges to Stefyr and back as though he just might not find that funny and then: "I think he got you one better." Lids tilt upwards to take the threat out of keeping the memory, allowing himself a single, whisp-thin huff of amusement as he gestures the puppy in human form closer. C'mon, Stefthoven. He'll even make space, plucking stray papers up to… questionably reorganize them somewhere else, balance sheets precariously on seat-backs as he notes, "I thought you were off today." YET HERE HE IS, in possession of something that looks an awful lot like work, accused with the dagger of blue-greys in the direction of the book formerly known as paper-filled.

It's probably just the smear of dragon spit on the glass that makes it look like Stefyr grinned at the dragon even as R'hyn warns the young man of the dangers of indulgence. And there's no accounting for why R'hyn might share the same obvious delusion when his return about expressions earns a second fleeting grin (dignity, pah, what's that?). The candidate takes the time to snatch up the papers he can see though he only makes a token effort to find his own again before abandoning to the den of the dust bunnies (WHICH PROBABLY DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT FOR SPECIES WHEN PERN WAS SETTLED ANYWAY) under the seats and saunters over to drop into a seat and even wiggling a little in it to get comfortable before leaning back. His blue gaze ranges over the organization system (maybe R'hyn will find his papers draped on chairs at the office from now on, could it really be a worse organizational scheme?), and then his attention is drawn back to the man in danger of imminent paper drowning. A glance goes down to his book where it had been tucked into his lap without any though. "Oh, it is. My day off. But I have exams this seven. The harpers agreed that if I pass these, they'll turn me over to Risali-" and hurriedly, "-and you full time." Imagine how much more helpful he can be to Rhodelia's already impressive level of scape goating. Or imagine, horror of horrors, if he starts doing the job well. The smile that briefly tilts the edges of his lips is gone again in the clearing of his throat, as though he's not sure that he's allowed to smile in his new boss' presence. Stefyr would know better than many just how many positions have been changing hands from the amounts of new paperwork that might pass through his hands (that he might not admit to handling; Rhody would be proud) and maybe smiling when he shouldn't will lose him his not yet secured and possibly extraneous position. "How is all this going?" It's a personal as well as professional inquiry, given that he gestures at the paper, but also the sands and eggs and probably means the gesture to include the greater Weyr, really whatever question R'hyn wants to answer, if any.

Probably. Just like it's probably only Stefyr's imagination that said grin was met with a wink, one draconic eye shuttering closed while the other whirls in a mirthful riot. Definitely just a trick of the light. R'hyn's expression, at least, stays the same, lips faintly up-quirked, but otherwise adopting a steady regard. Papers set up in a fashion Stefyr should only copy if he definitely wants to lose his job (by which I mean DO IT), the new weyrleader is free to shift in his seat, turning to watching as the former farmer makes himself good and comfortable before speaking again. "I see. Perhaps that's why she threatened to end my life if I so much as looked at you funny." BUT HERE HE IS. DEFYING DEATH so he can extend his hands, asking without asking to see what it is they have Stefyr studying for, if he wishes to share. "Feeling confident?" It's a polite question, not quite probing, not yet - not until Stefyr's smile fades, and instead of wincing and fluffing hair as he usually might, R'hyn just considers the candidate in silence that is as weary as it is calculating, as though weighing exactly how much he wants to say and exactly how he wants to say it before he leans way way forwards in his seat, so far his knee is almost to his chest, elbows on armrest as he says, in a voice pitched just loud enough to carry between them, "Relax." He laughs then, low and amused as though at a joke only he's privy to, gaze cutting away as he leans back, one shoulder curved against the back of the seat as the other rolls in a noncommittal gesture. "How do you think it's going?" It's a serious question, one he's actually invested in the answer of, judging by the gravitas held in blue-grey eyes that lift to catch on Stefyr's and hold, asking for an honest assessment of all the selfsame options Stef left open for interpretation. His opinion is coming, but perhaps he wants Stefyr's, pure and undiluted by his own thoughts, first.

Would the death take on a bloodier form of revenge if R'hyn made Stefyr blush when he looked? Time to find out. Here's that faint tinge of pink to his cheeks, his abashed look down at his book. Probably, it's about Risali's hithertofore unknown protectiveness, but maybe it's about the book which he hesitates in handing over for a fraction of a second. He does, though, and while he's at it, he takes care of the hair fluffing, his hands running through the short blond locks and assembling them into a new form of disarray once his hands are empty. "It's just the things Weyr children get tested on when they're leaving the program. My education at home was-" Oooh, careful, Stefyr, don't want to badmouth your mum, "-inconsistent and I wasn't the most motivated student." What he means, R'hyn, is that he's the youngest of twelve and his mother was too. shelling. tired. to. care. THUS, Harper lessons. "I couldn't read and write very well when Risali asked me if I'd like to learn to be an assistant, but since I was already working with the Harpers to brush up on reading and writing, and to learn to sign to talk with N'on," there's a little hiccup of air there in which he's not saying something, and moving on quickly, "and wanted more time to catch up, so I asked if I could split my time while I was training up," AND HOW MUCH AWESOME HAS HE LEARNED IN HIS TIME AT THE OFFICE? SO MUCH. "If I pass, all the subjects," reading, writing, sums, history, etc. "they'll consider me ready. Even if I still have vocabulary to…" rather than finish, he trails off, the blush deepening a touch because he's rambling. At his boss. His boss who asked him a question. The color changes again, going from rosy toward red. He lets his eyes settle— well, not on the sands and eggs but on the smear on the glass that makes it harder to admire them through. He could talk about the clutch, about the Weyr, about something else that might answer the broader question, but maybe he thinks he knows the question R'hyn is really asking and quietly, candidly, he replies, "I think she's hurting. I think you're in a tough position. I think you both are trying." Is it enough? Their trying? His answer? He'll leave it there, for now. He lets his eyes go to the bronzerider to examine his face, his expression, then his body language.

If there's a reaction to be had for Stefyr's blushing, it does not come from R'hyn. Maybe he's talked to Risali already, maybe he knows, maybe he just isn't the kind of man to call another person out on their physical reactions to external stimuli - either way, it's a patient gaze that settles on the his face, a hand that lacks expectation, despite its extension, muscles already tensing to draw back and away when Stefyr drops the book into his palm. R'hyn settles his weight against his seatback, tipping the book open to page through its contents, skimming words, considering notes tucked in, if any, perusal coming to a halt when Stefyr pauses. Though his face does not raise, his eyes do, considering the big blonde from beneath his brows, listening in a patently attentive way. Hands settle against pages as he watches Stefyr talk, marks expressions, tones, that hiccup in a manner that could be described as calculating, if it weren't some measure of gentle, too. "My experience was… similar," he says following a pause long enough to be poignant, the immediate drop of blue-grey eyes back to text telling, as though it's something R'hyn doesn't speak of often. "Turbulent, over inconsistent. But similar. It takes a lot to seek to make yourself better. More to succeed." He approves, for whatever that matters, sentiment echoed by the sudden warm wash of gold from Xermiltoth's direction, the dragon's touch similar to that of a particularly strong sunbeam, heated and abstract in its encouragement. "What about your vocabulary?" Because it's the easiest of those minute, telling beats to seize upon, the one least likely to pry into things Stefyr might not want him to know. Because boss. Because relative stranger. Because of a whole host of skeletons, relative and figurative, that best remain in his own closet, that could, for all he knows, lie in Stefyr's, too. Instead talks turn to Risali, to himself, to the rollercoaster that is their current life and though he doesn't physically move, R'hyn shrinks, personality dimming down into himself until he's just a man turning pages in a candidate's book, looking without seeing. Page. Section. Another. End cover. He passes it back. "Thank you. For the honesty." A beat passes. Two. Then: "My relationship with Risali is… complicated. She is, by circumstance, my daughter, as well as my peer, and it's weird, and awful, and beautiful, and strange. She and I have never been easy," he says, lifting blue-greys to fixate on blue, heavy with sincerity, "and I don't expect that to change. I don't want it to. The weyr-" and everyone, including Stefyr, with it "-will have to change for us. And I don't know if it will be for the better, yet." It's Heryn's turn to execute that fluff of hair, breath leaving on an exhale as his gaze drifts sandswards. "At least he's happy. He's always happy when this happens." Leadership? Eggs? Maybe the latter, or maybe R'hyn is seeking for a topic change, any topic change as he asks, "You've touched them by now, I assume? What do you think?"

The thing Stefyr probably appreciates most, more than the approval, is that R'hyn is listening. There's listening, and there's listening and Stefyr, youngest of twelve has probably suffered a dearth of being listened to. It's probably both unnerving (hence the hard swallow when he takes the book back) and wonderful at once. His eyes linger on the book as he holds it loosely between his hands and then sets it in his lap. A slow breath is grounding, and then a nod. "I had reason to learn recently that I don't like to lie if I can help it." He taps his fingers on the book. "This sort of thing isn't worth it." His eyes flick to his boss whom he is just now, in these moments, starting to get a real sense of (beyond the obvious heroics of his forest rescue and the equally heroic act of sharing the Sandwich which will never be forgotten). "I know most of the usual words you'd hear or need to write, even most of the specialized ones for Weyrs and the kinds of duties I'm supposed to be doing," if he had any idea how to do them. "But there's a lot more that it will just take time to learn. I read some things from the archives now and the books in the Craft Complex and track words I don't know, and sometimes get new words from the Harpers." He looks at the book, and that blush touches again, "I still feel dumb every time I try to read a word and can't make it out. I mean, I can sound them out, but…" It doesn't work with every word, as R'hyn probably knows. He glances toward the man, expression unreadable. "I didn't know that, about you." It's 'thank you for sharing' without having to say the words and make it weird. His teeth graze his lower lip in nervous tell. "I want to help. To help her. To help you. To help the Weyr. To do my job well." Nevermind that Rhodelia's been training him. Risali's helped… some… And even though R'hyn might not want to talk about Risali anymore, Stefyr murmurs, "I like her as she is. She's a friend. An important friend. I can be your assistant. Or your friend. Or both. Or neither. Whatever helps." Then he'll let it be. "The eggs are something else. I wasn't expecting… any of it." He looks down at — the smear, and since he can't see the eggs well, he looks back at the man. It's a more comfortable topic now; it's safe. "One is…" He can't even put it into words but the lovestruck look flashes across his face and is gone again, and he takes a breath. "Some of the others… One of them made it feel like there was no air." One hand rises to unconsciously rub at his chest. "I thought after the first time touching them that I didn't want to do it again, that maybe I'd made a mistake here, in spite of the one… Anyway. I think I do want to touch them again, sometime. See if maybe it was just shock that made some things so hard. I know more of what to expect now. It's strange to have your mind touched like that when you're used to being all alone." He doesn't need to tell the Weyrleader, does he? He seems to realize this and the words dry up.

From dearth to wealth. One hopes it is more wonderful than unnerving, considering its persistence, R'hyn's regard even, steady, as though words were meant to be received visually as well as audibly, as though maybe half the conversation can be found in the fragments of actions, rather than relying only upon what is spoken. Something Stefyr has said or done amuses R'hyn, an attempt to tamp it down coming far too late - lips quirk just-so and stay there, lower lids lifting, gaze warm before he flicks it away to stare towards that dark, smudged figure on the sands. "I understand. Xermiltoth made me carry a dictionary around my entire weyrlinghood," he confesses, "said his mind was only as good as mine, and there was definite room for improvement." RUDE. "But it helped, in its own way. That, and practice," agreed with a faint nod and a look of open consideration. "Once your exams are over, maybe we can talk." It's almost a question, certainly an offer, a potential-future that might have been expounded upon if not for that inscrutable glance, one that R'hyn meets with a look that heads towards guarded, features reflecting a visible effort to keep walls down, down, down, to not close up. "Not very many do. Overcoming a bastard, orphan upbringing is only really interesting in the stories." Ah. Well. Half-down it is then. At least the humor is self-deprecating without being bitter, a flashfire grin dulling reality's cutting edge before he settles into semi-seriousness, gaze dropping to watch the lip-bite in progress before drifting up to Stefyr's eyes again. The offer to help he can handle, can appreciate, chin already dipping in a nod of acknowledgment, but the rest… The rest gives him pause, something a little less assured and a little more vulnerable crossing his features. It's the look of someone that doesn't get gifted things like selflessness and friendship much, and thus, doesn't know what to do with it other than offer another, much more quiet, "Thank you." Which isn't an answer but is, perhaps, as much as he can give in this moment. A beat, in which he tries to recover, words forcibly more confident as he says, "And likewise. She's a good person, even if she'd probably kill me for saying so." Maybe Stefyr will keep to the unspoken Brocode by not telling her, maybe he won't. That decision is his burden to make, as R'hyn seems eager to move on, or perhaps eager to hear perspectives, gaze eventually following Stefyr's out towards where maybe - just maybe - Xermiltoth is crane-lifting that beloved egg in question. "Tell me about it?" His favorite, if he wants, no pressure offered, already continuing with a low, "It is strange, though, and it's not like a dragon where even if they're loud, you can prepare for the consistency. Every egg is different; some of them take things, others give, and there's no telling until…" Handwave. Stefyr knows as well as he, at least on this front, and so he doesn't overexplain it, instead saying, "But I'm glad you're willing to try again. They're children, if it helps - they know exactly as much as you do about what they're doing." Just enough, but also nothing at all.

Stefyr doesn't laugh. A snicker that definitely doesn't get to have the full life it could have had for the forcible choking off that the young man does doesn't count, right? That dictionary thing, tho', and Xermiltoth. When he swallows down the mirth, from everything but his momentarily bright eyes, he manages to say, deadpan, "Very helpful." The offer then receives a moment of more serious consideration before a slow nod agrees to the ambiguous future when of some conversation. It might be why the mirth has sobered enough that the words about R'hyn's history elicits a little rumble of noise in the young man's chest before he observes, "The stories get a lot of things wrong. They say farms are boring." It's so dry though, so it might actually be a joke. Maybe farms really are boring? Or maybe Stefyr knows more than he's telling. He doesn't ask more about the bronzerider's history, not here, not now. Sometimes, a little is enough to go on with, and that's what the blond does: go on. Maybe later, they'll talk more, in glimpses and glances of individual stories that might be wrong, right, or simply viewed through the wrong lens, but that is later. This is now. Now, Stefyr just nods to the words of thanks, not forcing more there, either. Instead, the subject of Risali is safer. (SAFER???) One hand reaches up scratch his chin before he says with deliberately slow pacing, "I think… if we start to get into the list of reasons Risali would kill you… we'll be here until the eggs hatch. When I need to be down there." And not making a bullet point list and possibly organizing it by greatest likelihood of imminent demise for each offense. But if a man has to learn to organize well, he should at least do it while organizing something fun, right? He even will dare a quick flash of a grin that verges on mischievous at his boss and possible future friend, before he looks at the— smear. Alway that smear. "It was like the moment before you hit the water at the swimming hole. After you let go of the rope and feel like you're flying all on your own, knowing that you're about to hit the water and your whole world will change in a breath, to something better." Something cooler, presumably, but he doesn't get into the details that might muck up the metaphor. "Everything it did… said… seemed… it was… I never even imagined perfection like that." But is anything in this world really perfect? He might just be a starry eyed boy in love with an egg, which says everything anyone needs to know about his common sense. The words R'hyn offers about the eggs must be taken in - but maybe not enough? - though they aren't immediately responded to.

DON'T LAUGH, STEFYR. It's your happy ass that's going to find a modestly-sized one perched on your cot some sevendays down the line, wrapped in innocuous brown paper and twine, though contents - and a note written just inside the cover reading 'Keep Learning' in gold lettering - should make the sender obvious enough. For now, R'hyn laughs with him, low, huffed, swift enough to pass that rumbled sounds earn a sharp sideways glance, observations a wan smile, dry deliveries a quirk of one brow that says 'we'll visit what you mean by that later.' He lets it go with a droll, "If anyone could make that life interesting, it would be you," that perhaps hearkens back to the mutual enjoyment of something as gloriously simple as a mountain of meat, cheese, and gravy. Maybe the remembering of his one true love (The Sandwich) softens him up a little, maybe he just finds Risali's disdain for him funny, but R'hyn works hard to keep a grin off his face, dimples digging deep in his efforts to snort but not laugh for Stefyr's delivery. His tone probably pitches up and down, wobbly, as he says, "Welp, just go ahead and add 'keeping you here doing a pointless task' and 'making you miss the hatching' and 'failing your exams' and also 'breathing' and 'existing in general' and—" On and on and on, marked with spinning gestures of his hands, matching that mischievous glance with one of his own, sharing in that moment of mixed mirth with a chuckle that can't help but bust through attempted restraint, painting the potential possibility of that future friendship before Ryn allows Stefyr to take them somewhere gentler with his descriptions of the egg's influence on him. "Xermiltoth's egg felt like that. Exhilaration, in a field of gentler, well-meaning minds. He wasn't my favorite, but he was what I needed." Further food for thought, perhaps, if Stefyr is even listening. R'hyn allows words to trail off after that, enjoying a moment of reminiscence - of eggs, hatchings, or perhaps even the mirrored, decade-gone experience of candidacy - until finally he sighs and unfolds arms, legs, reaches for the papers he's arranged. "Alright. I suppose I should actually read these, before you're made to add 'doesn't file his paperwork' to your list. If you need anything-" help, quizzed, intimated in a gesture of one hand towards the book in the candidate's lap "-feel free to interrupt me." Otherwise he's going to sink down in his seat, paperwork on his lap, feet kicked up against the seat in front of him, glasses pulled from the seat next to him to perch on the bridge of his nose as he sighs the sigh of a person settling themselves to while away a great amount of time doing an unwanted task. Even Xermiltoth settles, curling up to guard eggs in Ilyscaeth's absence, but should Stefyr look, upon his eventual exit, down towards the sands, he will note that eggs have been shifted to form a ridiculous, mocking :O face on the sands. Just for him.

The number of gifts Stefyr has received in his life that are personal and helpful as opposed to someone's second hand shirt (or worse, drawers) probably can be counted on his hands (or maybe even just one hand). So if R'hyn thought the young man wouldn't be laughing when he finds that book some sevendays hence, he'd be ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. And y'all, he just happens to have dust in his eyes when he picks it up and looks at the inscription and then tucks it under his pillow. SAFELY, under his pillow. Where nothing could possibly hurt it. The matter of farm life prompts a faux look of mystery to settle on Stefyr's face. Maybe he's trying as much as Xermiltoth is to cheer R'hyn up, but even more than that, he seems to be genuinely enjoying the exchange with the bronzerider. The offer of friendship was genuine, but the ongoing exchange is proof positive that it could work, more than a simple want for it to work. He does have to school his features so he can nod to each of R'hyn's suggestions for the list with due solemnity, but his smile breaks before R'hyn's does, about the time that those dimples are fighting for control on the bronzerider's face, which probably doesn't help the other man keep his serious face on. The words about Xermiltoth's egg and what R'hyn needed do prompt a thoughtful look but then there's something quickly taking his attention as the man mentions the last addition to the Risali-will-kill-R'hyn-if/when list and before he has time to censor it he says, "Just blame it on me, or Rhody, if the filing doesn't…happen…" He trails off blushing because maybe he wasn't suppose to share this trick of the trade. "It's what Risali does." His voice has dwindled to a mutter by then an embarrassed one, and he shoots R'hyn one of those apologetic puppy looks. Then he shrinks down in his seat a little more. "I'll just-" He lifts his book to account for his use of time, while R'hyn does paperwork and … hopefully forgets the insider insight to the inner workings of the office that is now also his.

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