Barracks and Bed-legs

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate and Weyrling Barracks
Xanadu's barracks are a massive, L-shaped amalgamation of caverns and construction, squared on one end, rough-hewn and oblong on the other, with weyrlings and candidates separated from one another by a large communal area. Wood and stone floors meet in a clever spiral pattern that interlaces and spreads, creating harmony in a space meant for completion of chores, classes, and storage of both dragon supplies and bedding for humans. A singular wooden door leads into an office for the weyrlingstaff.

Windows stretch the length of the candidate barracks, a long, low-ceilinged room that opens off the training grounds. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the hatching arena, with a locked door closing off a tunnel that leads onto the sands. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands; candidates seldom need more than a light blanket, but a diminutive hearth is available for the warming of beverages or the occasional firelizard-surprise.

The weyrling half of the barracks have been burrowed back into stone. Close and dark when shutters to the outside world are drawn, the ample paths between dragon couches have been lit with dim strips of light. Smaller couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings, while the largest ones at the back are for those close to graduation. A second small hearth abuts a massive cavern opening that slopes gently down to the training grounds outside.

It's been days since Averil was searched long enough that he had time to realize that he has not actually seen the barracks, ever. It is that that brings him out this way, his expression curious as he steps inside and pauses to take in the rows of cots and the communal area seperating the space from the weyrling end. "Well…" Not really certain what to think, he smooths his hands over the strands of golden hair twisted into a neat knot at the back of his skull and smooths his skirts (Yes, he is wearing a skirt) before walking slowly down the rows of cots. His expression is wary, though, the sort of wariness that comes with exploring unfamiliar territory.

There is always work to be done, even in the barracks. Today's project: fixing up a bed that's certainly seen much better days. This might be the last repair that it can endure, in truth; after a certain point, the whole thing will just become a new bed with all the bits that have been replaced on it. For now, this is the third leg that's had to be replaced, with signs that the rest of the frame is fairly worn out. But, it's good enough for one more cycle and Lyubomir is hard at work at ensuring it makes it through. Fortunately, the barracks are largely empty, the sounds of his hammering echoing through the space without disrupting sleep or other chores.

It's the sound that has Avi stepping that way, his expression curious as he finally spies one of his saviors working on the bed. And, while it takes him a moment, he eventually remembers the name and ventures a tenative, "Lyubomir? How.. how did you break your bed? Is it your bed?" The last is asked curiously as he glances around the space, not entirely sure how many candidates are actually staying in here at this point. It is in the wake of the glance around the room that he steps closer, smoothing his skirts as he settles down to perch on the edge of the bed next to the one being worked on.

He's hard at work and somewhat oblivious; it's only when a certain, sleepy Kludge (located on the remains of the old bed leg) lifts her head in a questioning chirrup that he pauses in his labors to cut a glance to Avi. "This? Oh, it's not mine, no," he explains with a slight shake of his head. He lifts his chin, indicating the bed Averil's seated on. "That one's mine. I just got tired of hearing this one creak and squeak is all." He tests the leg of it with a visible flexing of muscle, then, satisfied, looks back to the other young man. "How are you and the kitten doing?"

Averil 'ahs' and stands up, his skirt swirling around his ankles as he turns around to smooth the bedding. "I'm sorry, I should assumed someone might be using this." Straightening, he steps to the side as he watches, his expression more then a little curious at the repair being done. It is only the last that has him blinking once, is lips twitching in a faint smile as he holds up bandaged hands. "I'm fine, the healers assure me nothing is infected. The kitten is doing very well, the apprentices in the stables adopted him. He has a lovely little bed in the office with toys and food more doting then I suspect he knows what to do with. We haven't named him, yet," he admits. After a pause, he slants another glance around the barracks, his expression curious. "Are many people staying in here already?"

"You can stay there. It's not like I'm using it at the moment," Lyu points out, a tilted grin offered to Averil. "You're just lucky Patch isn't there to demand a treat tax." The bulk of the work seems to be done - shiny hardware, fresh wood, all of it appears to be securely in place. The handyman-turned-candidate pushes to his feet, then starts the process of carefully flipping the bed over so the mattress can be replaced. "That's good," says he, after a look to the other lad's bandaged hands. "And good that the kitten has a good home, too. I'm sure he'll have plenty of fun chasing vermin out at the stables." He sucks his teeth in consideration of the last question; in the end, he shrugs. "Can't say for sure. Doesn't seem like it, really. Most people seem to have somewhere else to stay."

Averil considers a moment before sinking back down to perch on the edge of the bed, his hands folding in his lap as he turns a curious look back on Lyubomir's face. "You don't? Have somewhere else to stay?" Clearly, he's surprised at that thought, having assumed that, since Lyubomir is a resident, he would have his own place. "Course, I imagine that it could be fun, staying here, under the right circumstances. I'm kind of dreading the point when that is required, though." He loves having his own space and he's not entirely certain what will become of his studio. "Patch is one of your firelizards?"

It's a difficult question, one that briefly hardens Lyubomir's face and prompts a slight pull to the corner of his mouth. In the end, there's just a slight shake of his head. "Not unless I want to stay with my parents." And, frankly, they've earned their space. The bed is righted with a creak and clatter; he tests the legs again, just to be sure nothing's jostled. "It's fairly quiet right now. I'm sure when the time comes closer, it won't be too bad." It's relative, of course; it's better than the resident caverns, but not as good as having one's own space! "Mm. Patch is the blue one. That," the green on the old bed leg who is, somehow, napping on it, "is Kludge. Do you have firelizards?"

"Me?" Grinning, Avi shakes his head, one hand raising to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear. "No, I don't have one. My partner has a little brown, though. Nope is his name. The firelizard," he provides. "Not my partner." Glancing between the two firelizards, his smile softens, grey eyes crinkling at the corners. "They're very pretty," he assures. It is the barracks, though, that has the majority of his attention. "Does it get very full? I'm not overly comfortable with the thought of sleeping in a room full of strangers." Adventerous is just not something Avi is.

There's a soft, thoughtful noise for that, then a nod, a ghost of a smile forming and dissipating. Lyu muses, "It's a fitting name for a firelizard, Nope." The mattresses are wrestled over and dropped into place on the frame. This, too, is tested; largely, by Lyubomir sitting on each side and eventually around to the middle. No squeaks! "Thanks. Guess I got lucky with the pair of them. They're quite. Well-trained. Easy, all in all." He looks to the barracks again, silent for a few moments. "There probably won't be more than- oh, forty people in here. Fortunately, you won't have to be in here long before the hatching." Which might be a saving grace for the whole, uncomfortable process.

"Oh it is," Avi assures with a quiet laugh. "Nope is adorable, although he hisses like a tunnelsnake and looks a lot like coiled rope." Watching the testing of the bed curiously, he nods when it is clearly deemed 'fixed' and slants a glance around the room, again. "I was surprised about that," he admits. "That we're not required to be here for the whole process. It's not that way in Ista. Not," he adds. "That I've stood before, but I know people who have. They had to go right into the barracks and were not allowed to work in their crafts. Well, unless it was their day to do so." This system? This is much better then that, in his opinion. "Have you stood before?"

Eventually, he works his way around the bed to the point where he's sitting opposite of Avi. Elbows on thighs, his hands hang between his knees and he adopts a relaxed posture, the better to look at the other candidate. Lyubomir intones, "It's a sign of the times, I suppose. I tried to imagine what it must have been like, turns ago, with a hundred candidates or more being in the same room the whole time, forced to live an artificial life-" He gestures vaguely and his hand drops. "I think it's better that they let them live a life that's closer to what they'll actually have if they're a rider." He sniffs once and looks away, movement catching his eye - but it's just another firelizard, flitting past to claim a roost somewhere. "Every time since I've been able to, yeah. Have you wanted to? Before?"

Averil is quiet while he listens, pale eyes sweeping the cavern and trying to imagine a hundred, or more, people forced to live together for an extended amount of time. It is not an imagining he is comfortable with, that much is clear from the mild wrinkling of his nose. The question, though, has him glancing back at Lyubomir, his head giving a firm shake. "No. Or rather, it is not something I ever put much thought in to. My art has always been my focus." Falling silent a beat, he considers the whole situation for a long moment before admitting. "I'm glad I was asked. It means a lot to me that Ru'ien and Kihatsuth thought I should. I'm just not particularly comfortable around large groups of people."

There's a soft sound for that, a nod, and Lyu casts about for where he'd put the sheets and blanket and pillow for this particular bed. "So, why did you accept?" It's an honest, earnest question without any particular weight, really. He scoots along the bed to get to where the old leg is, then slowly lifts it purely for the purposes of dislodging the firelizard on it. Kludge squawks, flutters, and quickly flits to Lyu's HER pillow on his bed. "It'll only really be difficult- hm. The last few days before the hatching and the day of. It's loud and chaotic and messy- have you ever seen a hatching?"

"Kihatsuth would have been upset had I declined," Avi admits. Pausing a beat, he purses his lips, his hands folding in his lap. "Who would say no to something like that," he asks frankly. "The experience alone will be worth it." Which, really, all sounds very rote, answer-wise. That he is aware of that is clear in the faint frown that dances on his lips, his expression pensive as he gives another slow shake of his head. "If I said no, I'd never know if it might have happened. This way, I'll know." Its the last, though that has him wrinkling his nose, a hint of worry in his eyes. "I've seen them," he admits. "I'm not sure how I'll fare. But, I'm pretty small, hopefully the dragons go for the larger targets. You?"

"Dragons choose the one that's right for them - and dragons are as varied as people, or so I'm told." Lyubomir is finally forced to stand up and go on a proper hunt now, one shoulder rolling with a soft crack of sound. "Since my brother Impressed, I've always wanted it. To have a dragon, to fly- all of that." There's a funny strain on that 'always', though. "Though- ah. I might not have done it this time. But, life is funny." He shakes his head after and looks at Avi with a faint smile. "It's not rude at all. Ask anything you want; the worst thing you'll get is information."

Averil listens, his brows furrowing faintly as he nods slowly. "There has to be more to it then just flying? I mean, if you want to fly, I am sure any number of riders here would be happy to take you up with them. Or," he adds. "Do you mean you want to fly entirely on your own?" It is the rest, though, that has him even more curious, his head tilting as he twists around to tuck his feet up under his skirt. "Why might you not have done it?"

"There's more to it than just the flying, but it's-" Lyu's face scrunches a little, the mask of stoicism cracking a bit. "It's just seeing how happy he is with his blue. That's all. Like he's always home, no matter what." He's no Harper, though, and that's as good as it gets from his end. He finally finds the bedding he was looking for and starts to dress the bed accordingly - he's gone through the trouble of fixing it, might as well make it nice for the soul that sleeps in it! It also gives him something else to look at when he replies with a bleak and flat, "Life is a messy thing, Avi. That's all. It doesn't always make sense. I'm standing, though, so- I suppose that's how it ought to be."

Averil is confused. Very confused, but he's quick enough to realize that the line of inquiry might be unwelcome. "Well, I think dragons like heroic figures, so.. You are a good choice. Cat thinks so, too." And everyone knows that cats are secretly in charge of the world. "If," he adds as he glances around the barracks. "You are going to stay here the whole time? We should get some paint and paint the walls in cheerful colors. It's kind of drab over all. And with those windows? It could look pretty outstanding."

There's a mild shake of his head after a moment, his palms pressing the sheet flat before he looks at Averil again. "Dragons can be pretty fickle, but- I appreciate your words. And you were fairly heroic yourself, going up a tree after a kitten in distress." Never mind how it turned out; even taking those steps is a big deal. Lyubomir flicks the blanket over the bed and adds the pillow, taking his time to neaten it up. "Mmhm. That's the plan, anyway. Staying here, that is. I'm not sure if we're allowed to paint, but- it might be worth asking about. If it's just painting, I can help."

There's a mild shake of his head after a moment, his palms pressing the sheet flat before he looks at Averil again. "Dragons can be pretty fickle, but- I appreciate your words. And you were fairly heroic yourself, going up a tree after a kitten in distress." Never mind how it turned out; even taking those steps is a big deal. Lyubomir flicks the blanket over the bed and adds the pillow, taking his time to neaten it up. "Mmhm. That's the plan, anyway. Staying here, that is. I'm not sure if we're allowed to paint, but- it might be worth asking about. If it's just painting, I can help."

Averil exhales a quiet snort at the suggestion he was anything close to heroic. "I remind you, I got trapped in the tree along with the kitten. There is no such thing as /just/ painting, though." Twisting on the bed, he regards the windows and then twists around to look at the walls. "We could do a mural, or paint the room in banded colors.. Something bright and hopeful and cheery." And not quiet so militaristic. It's the mention of /asking/ that has him looking back at Lyubomir, his head tilting to the side. "Who do we ask? It should be someone who likes color, though."

"Oh, there is just painting. That's how you get, well, this." Lyu gestures demonstratively at the walls and the bland. "You tried to save the kitten. That's the important thing. Sometimes, being a hero doesn't always work out." It's a thought that pinches his features briefly and he looks at his work. All done - and done to his satisfaction, which is the important part. "Maybe the weyrlingmasters? If not them, then- I suppose Weywoman Risali would know." He sucks his teeth in thought. "I can ask around- but it might be better if you do. So you can pitch the ideas, I mean."

Averil dips his chin in a slow nod as he gets to his feet, his back arching in a slow stretch. "I'll do that." Maybe. He might chicken out on asking about it and he knows it. "I should be heading out, though, I have a painting to finish before turning in." Flashing a smile, he raises one hand in a finger waggling wave before turning to head toward the door. "It was good seeing you, again, Lyubomir, sleep well when you go."

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