Makeover Friends

Xanadu Weyr - Nursery
Large and spacious, this room is just perfect for families with young ones too little for the playgrounds to gather together. Situated just off the resident halls near the main caverns, it is easy to for parents to drop off or visit with their children throughout the day. Just outside the door, is a small set of shelves with nooks for shoes and boots to be placed in with hooks above for sweaters and jackets. Scattered throughout the room in both adult-sized and child-sized are several plush couches where parents and nannies can cuddle the little ones.

In the center of the room is a miniature 'playground' area for toddlers to climb on with pint-sized slides, ladders and crawling tubes. The floor there is well padded for protection from falls. In one corner are cushions and pillows along with shelve full of books to read, several tiny table provide space for coloring and crafts while a stack of pallets is available for naptime. Cubbies and baskets are filled to the brim with colorful toys in a variety of shapes to help stimulate the imagination. Foot-powered riding toys are also available for the active child.

In one corner, on a rug with bright colors and a variety of shapes, there's an area for storytelling with comfortably upholstered chairs and pillows available for sitting on the floor. A projector is available for visual aid, with a white screen that pulls down should anyone need it.

For some candidates, drawing nursery duty is the worst of all possible nightmares. For Stefyr, it's practically the opposite. His smile since the day's duties began has been practically incandescent and he has had no lack of patience for repeatedly getting down on the floor to play with kids from every age from zero to the top most represented in today's group. Right now, he is looking fabulous where he sits on the brightly colored rug, having his hair done by two little girls who're only barely tall enough to even reach the big man's short blond hair. They have a brush and bows of all colors and sizes. They're mostly in consultation with one another, although occasionally the man is permitted an opinion. Most of the man's attention is absorbed though, by the infant in his arms. He's giving the baby a gentle jiggle, this one somewhere around six months and presently awake. This, obviously, is requiring the man to make some very silly faces and pitch his baritone high to coo nonsense at the baby whose look changes from bored to entertained by turns. While that child has its big eyes on the man, the man is courtesy returning the attention.

They may have been paired together for the day's duties, but so far they haven't been required to interact too much with each other, the children taking most of their collective attention. There's been no shortage of up and down and around for either of them, though somehow Katailea has not had her hair appointment as of yet. Picking up a few of those loose, and currently unplayed with, toys to toss them back into a bin while keeping a watchful, if intermittent, eye on a group playing with building blocks its then that one of those toddlers tugging at her skirt simpering over some minor bump that he wouldn't have even noticed if he wasn't overtired. There's a kiss for that invisible injury as the blonde picks him and he curls in with his head on her shoulder and she provides a gentle sway to calm those sniffles.

"Fyyyyr," is fierce complaint from one of the expert stylists as a ribbon fails to catch in his short locks because he moved his head the wrong way in entertaining the babe. "Stop moooving." The demand is quite clear, but the babe starts to fuss just then, maybe in response to the sharpness in the little girl's voice. "Ohh oh ohh, now now, no need for that." That might to be to baby or to girl or both. And now is the moment when Stefyr needs to do some of his best problem solving to satisfy two children with different needs. Cue the search for answers that ends when his blue gaze falls on Katailea where she soothes another child in need. "Hey, girls. Have you met Katailea yet? Do you see what pretty hair she has? I bet if you asked her very nicely, she might let you put some of your ribbons in it." It isn't that the big man is an unwilling target, it's just that he's rising to his feet to more effectively bounce the hiccupping sobs of the infant. "When she's done with Micho there. Alright there, mate?" is for the boy with the little bump. "No blood and you're good." That's Stefyr's rule of thumb for injuries. The girls will, in their turn, give a speculative look to the female candidate and her famed hair before approaching with sweet smiles to make their shy request.

"Do you…?" Katailea begins when the baby starts crying. But no, he seems to have that sorted - by trading places with her. Thanks. No blood is a good rule of thumb for those sorts of things. It doesn't take much comforting anyway for Micho to be ready to be back on his feet and running. It's a sharp look that the man earns at volunteering her and only a second after Stefyr's diagnosis that Katailea is setting the toddler down and he's back to playing. The girls are met with a far sweeter smile and a drawn out "I suuupose" while she's at their level. How can anyone say no to those innocent faces? She straightens for a moment to move off a few steps to seat herself cross-legged on the carpet where the tools of their trade remain.

Does he want to give Katailea the baby? No. Stefyr doesn't look the least daunted by baby tears, nor does he look like he's about to give up even a crying baby when he's been gifted with the first opportunity since the farm to coddle one. At least Stefyr doesn't abandon the woman with the pretty hair to the tender attentions of the young ladies eager to start brushing out her tresses. He moves until he's standing far enough back that he and Katailea converse while he does an expert full body bounce with small squats to distract the babe who quiets in fairly short order… as long as Stefyr doesn't stop. While he bounces, he watches his fellow candidate's face and the process of her hair appointment. He looks to the conversing hairdressers who have no need of the adults beyond being lifesize dolls for their delight, and asks in a voice soft and in tones that might further soothe the child against his chest, "How are you?" The question isn't for the baby, even if it might first sound that way, but for the woman.

She was offering assistance. Don't worry Stefyr, Katailea is not going to steal the baby. She does, however, take a second to pull the tie that keeps her hair out of her face on a regular basis loose and into her lap so those little stylists have full access. It's a different look for her, and longer than it appears once unbound. Really? He has to stand there? And it's so hard not to laugh, but if it works it works and the trader might just struggle to keep her her lips from twitching. Oh, wait, he was talking to her? That's the look she sends him first before her answer, "Fine." Beat. "How are you?"

"It's a good day when you get to play," or so seems to be his position because now Katailea is the recipient of that glowing smile of his. It does look funny, but it is working and really a few moments later, the baby is asleep against his chest. He really should, at this point, go put the baby down and take up another charge, one in need of his special baby bouncing skills, but… nope. He cannot do it. He does settle down cross legged in front of her, carefully shifting the baby so it can sleep along one strong forearm, cradled against his chest. "I haven't gotten to hold a baby this long since my niece was born." He confides, expression soft as he looks down at the child. "Were there any children on your boat? With your family, I mean?"

Katailea lifts a hand to hold the brush until it's needed again as instructed from behind her. Sea green eyes glancing from the baby to the man as he takes a seat across from her, leaning forward to get a better peek at the infant which results in a scolding from one of the girls. "Sorry," for the hairdressers and then "Five," she replies to the question of children. "Nephews," the one word serving to provide both gender and relation for all, and something in the way it's said that they can be exhausting.

Exhausting? Stefyr's, "Sounds fun," is obviously oblivious to that implication. "Do they live on … a boat? Did you? I don't really know anything about growing up as a trader." And he does seem to be sort of, kind of asking, in a clumsy sort of way. In the meantime he's got that bundle of happy that's keeping his expression tender. He glances away from the baby to look up to find sea green eyes and then to her hair, his smile widening as he takes in the progress of bows and ribbons. He still has more than a few of his own, so they're starting to match no doubt. "Little girls are something else. Fun. Boys too, of course. But… different kinds of fun." Not that there hasn't been more than a few boys who've taken their turn playing hairdresser or fashion consultant for their adult sized dolls, because there surely has.

"That too," is Katailea's somewhat dry counter to his sounds fun. That might not have been her first thought, but it is among them somewhere. "Yeah, we all do," did? "Not all traders," she clarifies. "But my family does." She wasn't exaggerating when she said she'd never been on dry land this long before. His smile is met with one of her own when he looks up only for the briefest moment before her eyes are darting away - to keep one on those children over there of course, not to avoid him. "Please tell me I don't look as ridiculous as you?" it's a good natured question given the tone in which its said and the smile that still touches her lips, more teasing the man across from her than a question of the progress on her own hairdo.

In the moment after Katailea's question, Stefyr stills his unconscious little rock of the sleeping child. His eyes which had, of course, been drawn like a magnet back to the baby, flick back up to Katailea and if she's watching closely she can probably see the moment when he goes from amused to mischievous. His expression changes to that of one who is deeply affronted. AFFRONTED, Katailea. He tuts at her. Yes, tuts. "Now, now," them's fighting words, "I happen to think this is the loveliest either of us have ever looked." And the big, cheesy smile he flashes to the hairdressers is hammed up but no less meant. "And look, they haven't even given you earrings yet," he models his little pieces of paper stuck on his ears— somehow. "So hold all your judgments to the end, please. It's a process." He defends with faux gravity. Then he flashes her an impish smile that does terrible things in the way of making him look a rogue rather than the more wholesome man he doubtless is given the care he has with that child in his arms. "Maybe they'll help us with wardrobe next," he suggests to the other candidate, only to have one little girl chime, "You need help," to which there is further astonished affrontation. "What is wrong with my clothes?" He looks from little girl to Katailea, genuinely baffled. They're clothes. They cover his body parts in all the appropriate ways and have an excess of pockets. All in incredibly boring colors that do NOTHING to enhance his figure or face. The little girl rolls her eyes and goes back to the business at hand, leaving Katailea holding the bag for answers.

Katailea lifts a hand to her chest in mock insult, how dare he tut her. If would be more convincing but for the smirk that plays upon her lips. "I didn't say you don't look adorable." She did just say he does, round about like. "I'm holding." So there. And there he opens it up and she's assisted by that little girl. She giggles! Not at Stefyr, not at the girl (okay maybe mostly at Stefyr) but at the fact that the child called him on it. "Hmmm… well for a farmer," she may be teasing the man but affection is evident in her use of his prior profession, "but a little drab for a renegade and far too plain for a Lord Holder.

Stefyr's blue eyes might sparkle a little with mirth of his own when Katailea giggles at him; but maybe he's just enjoying the game. "Well. I'm not aiming to be a farmer, a renegade or a Lord Holder. How about for a dragonrider?" It sounds like such a simple question, but within it there are so many implications and the fact that his expression slips just for the briefest moment into something downright sober is a pretty good clue that this might actually be a real question. He is actually looking down to consider the dirt-stained shorts and worn brown tunic he wears. "Maybe I should go through the stores and see if they have something more… colorful? Orange, maybe?" He's squinting at his shirt, so he misses the aghast look from both little girls. "You cannot let him go alone," one of them tells Katailea in a whisper too loud for real privacy. It draws the man's gaze back to his fellow candidate, lips pressed together, hiding a smile. "So, will you be my fashion consultant, then? I mean… there was that whole box of hats we found…" And he flashes her a grin before looking back down to the baby in a wistful way that means he knows he's going to have to give up the baby soon, anyway, since the work shift is nearly over.

Katailea considers that thought for a moment, head tilted just slightly to one side as she examines the would be rider and his current state of dress. “Maybe…” the blonde begins to voice an idea only to shift directions when Stefyr offers his own. “I don’t know that orange is your color, buttercup, but I”m sure the stores will have something that’s suitable.” If he’s that set on changing up his wardrobe that is. Her own wardrobe could perhaps use with a bit of sprucing up, given she’s likely only been seen in two dresses. Just don’t go looking for her to mention that. “Don’t worry, I won’t,” is an aside to the girls, a not quite whisper to match their own, and even though she’s turned towards them for that her gaze is set askew as she watches the man. “Hmm?” That question was for her? “Sure,” the trader offers with a simple nod. “But only to make sure you don’t make some terrible fashion mistake.” This shift of work may be nearly over, but those girls - they’re already planning the next one. “Maybe next time you can sing again.”

Stefyr's lips quirk into a bemused smile at the offered nickname, but his eyes slant at his fellow candidate when they speak of her singing. His brows lift just slightly in inquiry, but he doesn't actually follow that up with words. What he does say is, "How about after our shift here?" Which really is nearly done. "I'm going to go surrender this little guy," though he really doesn't want to, "And help pick up and I'll meet you at the door?" He'll leave her to her negotiations with the children about her next duty shift in the nursery and make good on all he promised, arriving at the door with fewer ribbons (though still one or two) and his earrings still in place though he's divested himself (sigh) of the tiny cute and has his ridiculously small daypack with its attached canteen slung over his shoulder, to greet the other candidate anew with, "So how did the bartering with those silver tongued tricksters go?" How does he know? How else did he end up their first hairdressing beneficiary?

Agreement comes easily enough from the trader. With this particular shift of chores all but complete she has nothing terribly pressing to get to next. While he goes to settle the infant somewhere other than his arm, Katailea is left to haggle the price of a song with the two girls. When she meets Stefyr at the door she too has managed to divest several bows, though the two must have insist that she keep at least one. “Negotiations were reasonably successful,” as much as the can be in such situations, “Lessons with no complaints, the get a song.” Knowing those two, chances are high that there will be at least one - complaint that is. Fingers lightly brush against his hand on the way past through the door, she tosses one of those flirtatious smiles of hers over her shoulder. “You coming?”

"Bribery," Stefyr re-names the terms of the agreement with brows lifting. "Interesting choice." Whatever he means by that he doesn't explain nor comment further, his hand turning as her fingers brush past it as though he might, for half a moment, have thought of capturing those fingers and linking hands as they did on the beach, but the movement doesn't complete itself, or perhaps just not in time. He falls into step, his long strides catching up to her a moment later. He doesn't look as flustered as someone receiving one of those looks from someone as attractive as Katailea ought to look, but then, he had the same lack of reaction when she showed him a thing about flirting over the hats, too. So maybe he's just that dense. "So you sing?" He inquires after he clears his throat. "That wasn't on your list of likes," his accusation sounds more of a thoughtful observation, but in narrative at least… J'ACCUSE.

Kataelia shrugs in reply to his suggestion that it was bribery. “What would you have offered?” she inquires curiously, a glance sent in his direction before she looks back to the hall only to add. “Traded Keruthien answers.” Nevermind that she tricked him into using one of those allocated questions. It may or may not have been on purpose. She’s not telling and neither is she reaching for his hand as he falls into step beside her. “I know a few songs,” her reply comes with a shrug as if to say that doesn’t mean, per say, that she sings. It might not have made it to her list of things that day, but “most of them aren’t appropriate for the nursery,” she adds tossing a lock of hair over her shoulder, given its been left loose after the girl’s styling.

Stefyr slants a glance down at the trader, his lips pulling into a wry smile. "I would have offered to sing." Because where other people barter, this man gives. For free. Maybe he just hasn't learned that some things have more value than others. Or maybe he just doesn't know how to not simply give of himself given the provocation. "What answers did Ruthien want?" That's curious and a brow lifts along with his words. "Bawdy ones, then? My mother would wave her spoon when one of my brothers would start up any of the ones not appropriate for a nursery. But we learned them later. Where she couldn't hear us." That prompts a nostalgic grin from the young man. He reaches up then to scratch his ear and oops, there goes one of his pretty red-and-purple earrings, fluttering away to the floor of the passage.

Katailea could give, would give, under the right circumstances perhaps, but she grew up learning to barter. "I could have, I probably will anyway," if she's honest. "But it gives them motivation." In her world, very little comes for free. What Keruthien wanted, "Something about his granddad. How I knew him, if we're related." A suggestive grin is turned is his way, yes bawdy ones. It's a look that does earn a reaction from the pair of riders, not long out of weyrlinghood, that they pass along the way when it's turned in their direction. “Not all of them.” She does know some that are nursery appropriate, else she likely wouldn’t have been assigned there again today after the last time. Family, this time, remains uncommented upon.

"Maybe," Stefyr allows but with a tone of nonchalant noncommitment. "Nothing like that ever worked for me. I think sometimes it has to come from in here," a tap of a fist to his heart before his hand is falling way again. "But maybe it will work for them," he shrugs his lack of real concern on the topic. His brows lift higher and he looks at her, more closely now, to see if she does, indeed, resemble his non-blood bro in any way. "And are you? Related?" Keruthien's not the only one apparently interested to find that out. The weyrings may react to that suggestive grin, but Stefyr just smiles his blithe misunderstanding of the obviously friendly look. "We should trade, sometime. I'd be interested to learn more songs. Trade songs that is. That sounds like a safe first barter for me." As though he's never haggled in his life (spoiler alert: he really hasn't beyond agreeing to a first offer).

"Maybe," Katailea replies, her agreement just as non-committal to the idea of whether or not bribery as he put it will work for the girls they left back in the nursery. "To his granddad?" The question to confirm the answer he's looking for, but she doesn't wait for an answer to that before she adds hers, "No. Not as far as I know anyway." She turns, skirt twisting about her legs as she does, watching the pair walk on, a slight cringe on her part when one walks into the other. Sorry boys! an unapologetic smile is paired with a flutter of fingers even as she turns back to the path they're taking towards the stores. "Song for a song? Seems fair enough to me."

With his question answered, although he might have said 'to Keruthien' since Stefyr's personal investment in his bro's extensive family tree is exactly none, he doesn't correct or seek further answers on the topic. He glances, only glances, in the direction of the riders catching that moment of collision, but he only turns a briefly baffled look on Katailea before he's focusing on the most important thing here: "Not going to negotiate for a better deal? I mean, I'll give you that I haven't got much worth having. Song for song is probably as rich a price as I can afford." This is all phrased in a tone of wry humor, his expression turning a touch bland, though his blue eyes are bright.

Since that was Keruthien’s question, that’s what Katailea was going with. That was what she was asked afterall. The look Stefyr sends her is met with feigned innocence, “What?” The question could just as easily serve as a response to the question of negotiation that follows. “You say that like I have so much. If you were talking to Evangeline I’d believe it. I swear she has a different dress for every day.”As for him, “I’m sure you have more worth having than you think.” Some of those those things might not be worth as much in trade negotiations, but the fact remains. Lesson number one, “Sometimes the first offer is the best. Besides since when do friends negotiate over songs,” she adds her gaze remain fixed down the hall where they’re nearly at the storerooms.

"I don't know," Stefyr's cheeks color just slightly. "I'm not very experienced with friends. Or traders. Or friends who are traders." His eyes track a turn up ahead before they get to it as he relates, "We had traders that came to the farm, but none near our age. Just older ones. One of my brothers tried to convince one of the girls to stay on, but she wouldn't have it." He shrugs; his brother's problem, not his, plainly. "Evangeline does seem to have quite a lot in the way of fabric and things for her projects. I'm not sure she realizes what that says about how well she's loved." He looks briefly introspective before shaking his head and looking down to Katailea. "So, do friends normally negotiate over things or not so much?" There might be a little edge of humor to the question, only his expression is painfully earnest.

Katailea doesn't comment further on Evangeline except to shrug, she certainly can't speak for the girl on that. She does laugh just bit for the brother who's offer wasn't accepted. "Apparently he asked the wrong girl," but they've already had that discussion. When it comes to friends and traders and friends who are traders, "…" That she needs to think about, or at least which words to use. "I.. don't.. know. I don't think so, I mean, I think it depends on the 'things'?" How does one answer that question? "What would you do with your brothers? I mean, you're related sure, but it sounds to me from what I've heard that they're your friends too."

"Well, you wouldn't want that one anyway," is out of Stefyr's mouth before he can censor himself. His eyes pinch briefly shut in the next moment and he lets a wry, self-deprecating smile come onto his face. "I just mean that it wasn't a wonder to anyone that she'd told him to go jump in the pond." This really leads right into the next and his hands are finding his pockets in a nervous tell. "Friends… some. There's sixteen turns between me and my oldest brother, so friendship is… well, it can be harder with such a gap. I'm sure Aro sees the baby he bounced for Mum when he looks at me. But the ones closer in age…" He purses his lips slightly as he tries to sum so many experiences into some solidified idea of their interactions, "With some, everything was this for that and others not usually. I guess there was a lot more giving without expectation of return with some of my sisters. And cousins. But that's… I mean, that all seems like a different kind of friendship, really…" He trails off, that blush kicking up a notch before he clears his throat and looks down at her, "How do you and your friends usually do things?"

Those sea green eyes blink up at Stefyr at that unexpected remark about that particular brother of his. "Okay…" There's a story there for sure, but while the look she sends him might be asking for more details on that she's not prying today. Instead she nods for the range in age of his siblings and how they interacted, gaze turning away again. And then he goes and turns it back on her and she's quiet. Katailea, quiet. It doesn't last terribly long, but perhaps long enough. "I suppose it was a lot of this for that," to use his words. "So what kind of wardrobe change are you looking for?" Because really, that's what this whole walk was about - the fact that a six-turn-old made a comment on his lack of fashion.

If her look is asking, he's either unaware or unwilling and hiding it well. His eyes do fall on her as she's quiet, and quiet. Not terribly long, but significant and his hand seeks hers in silent support of whatever that moment holds for her, seeking to interlace fingers comfortably, if she'll have his hand at all. He doesn't press; Stefyr rarely presses or at least he rarely means to when he does. "We don't have to be this-for-that friends," he offers quietly, but the topic of the wardrobe is a safer refuge from what might become fraught. "Not sure. I feel like… I might like… color?" He does tend toward the terribly drab. Khakis, browns and undyed fibers. Not that he doesn't wear what he has well, because the model is what it is, but there leaves a lot to be imagined about colors. "We never had much clothing of color to choose from. Here, there's so many boxes of people's old things that I don't know where to start. Did your family ever trade in garments?" Does she have expertise in the area? One glance casts down her outfit, perhaps making a quick assessment (not that he's really qualified to judge beyond: look, clothes - they cover things).

Surprised perhaps by his offer of a hand, not startled but unexpecting, she almost pulls away from it. Almost. Half a second of hesitation before she allows her fingers to relax into his. Unwilling to agree or not wanting to dwell on the topic of friends, "Blue," is Katailea's response to color said with quick certainty when it comes to the suggestion of adding more to Stefyr's wardrobe. "Or something else if you like." Beat. "Just no orange." Just don't Stefyr. To trading, "Sometimes. Really depended on what we could get for a good price." Her own dress is relatively simple in a pale green. The neckline cut low, sleeves rolled up and the skirt reaching just past her knees. (Evangeline would never wear such a thing.) "Maybe a shirt?" she offers as the article of clothing to start with.

A smile plays around the edge of Stefyr's mouth as he queries, "What's wrong with orange?" It's a little playful, perhaps trying to lighten the overall mood. "I don't really know what I like. I've never had the chance to wear anything but hand me downs." It gives him pause because of course, "I mean, these are hand me downs, but I didn't see someone else wear them for turns and turns before I got them." So it's different. "This feels… I mean, it's luxury to me. It's a lot of choices I never thought would be once I could have. I feel… awkward every time I sign something out from the stores even though I know that's what they're there for." He looks a little sheepish as he glances down at her but a shrug later and the look is receding. "A shirt sounds like a good place to start. I keep losing shirts. Since I got here. Boots, too." These things weren't a problem before the insanity of Xanadu, but neither was it an option to have more shirts than strictly needed.

"There's nothing wrong with orange," Katailea says carefully lest he take that to mean go all out and bedeck yourself in the color. "In moderation. And I suppose it could depend on the shade, but it just wouldn't look as good on you as some other colors." Like blue, Stefyr, just go with that one. The comment of not seeing them worn brings a giggle of amused understanding. "Hand me downs I get, I've had plenty of those too. Now just imagine having all the choices laying in front of you and not being able to pick any of them." A slender brow arches as she looks over to the man, "How do you lose your boots that many times?" She gets loosing them, really, but that he keeps losing? There's a question in there about shirts too for sure.

Stefyr cocks his head just slightly as Katailea offers her color advice. "Huh. Moderation." It might actually be as new an idea to him as it appears. Certainly, he doesn't moderate his use of the bland colors his clothes almost always are. There's a smile of sympathy for not being able to pick, a small squeeze going through his fingers to her hand. The boots prompts a smile that verges on self-consciousness but doesn't quite get there. "The first time, I decided to try to break up a mud fight between Leirith and Risali. The boots were.. I mean, they're fine for really dirty jobs now, but not for everyday. Stiffened the leather over much. Similar problem with the second set which got ruined when some jackass bronzerider had Sam and I get a boat into the water for him. I'm just glad Sam knew how to sail us back to where we started." He glances down at Katailea, the smile definitely going sheepish, "First time on a boat for me. Rafts on a pond… that's different. But I'd never been on a boat before." But he had fine, strapping back muscles to lift that boat and get it in the water.

Katailea doesn't seem at all upset by the idea of not being able to pick from that inventory her family's ship carried. Such is life. Right? That squeeze is felt, and maybe it's just a coincidence of timing, but it's then that she slips her hand free to move off towards one of those boxes now that they've reached their destination. The blonde pauses to turn a quizzical look back towards Stefyr at those explanations of lost boots. "So I shouldn't ride Leirith with Risali, but you should break up a mud fight." MUD FIGHT?!? She's not asking. "Between them." That's almost logical. No, no it's not at all. The second sees her turning back towards the box to check on the contents. "Well at least you weren't lost at sea." That would have been a shame!

If Stefyr notices anything suspicious about the timing of her loosing her hand from his, there's no showing in his expression or body language. He doesn't seek to keep her hand, just lets go and follows her toward the boxes. "Well, I've rethought flying on Leirith. I'm going to ask to do it again. And since you liked the cliff jumping, maybe you'd like flying on her. It's like that but— I mean, a lot more intense." Or it was for him, the first time. As for the mud fight, he uses the excuse of starting to look at the label on that first box before he moves to find the more familiar boxes labeled for people of his relative size to pull down and open. "Have you broken up many mud fights?" The inquiry is innocent. "It is within the farmer experience, you know. Mud fights. I set out to just cheer for Leirith." So it wasn't exactly his fault. "Risali took exception." As she should.

"Oh?" Katailea remarks on the change of his mind. "Second chances never hurt," except when they do, both that is neither here nor there. "I don't know that I need to ask." Need, want, she's not planning on asking. "But thanks for the warning." Just in case the experience comes up. As to mud fights, that's a solid "No." There's the briefest pause before she adds, "I might have started a few," but the thought is brushed away with a shrug as she joins him to check into the contents of that box. "But what I'm hearing is you weren't breaking it up, you got dragged into it," she says with a smirk.

"Well," Stefyr starts, but he has no leg to stand on, so he just flashes a 'caught' grin at the other candidate. "If it helps, Risali targeting me did break up the fight she was having with Leirith." So that much was true, even if saying he was intentionally breaking it up would be painting it in the best light. "And I wouldn't say I was an unwilling participant. Especially after she shoved mud in my face." Who could resist fighting back even with someone as small and fierce as Risali after such insult? A better man than Stefyr, maybe. "What do you think of this one?" He pulls out a blue shirt, holding it up against his torso to check rough fit.

"I'll give you that," the young woman replies. Starting a new one with one party is one way to break up the original. Katailea can only shake her head at the comment of being a willing participant, "You would," she laughs. Just wait until there's some good mud Stefyr, you might yet come to regret admitting that. Green eyes lift at the suggestion that he's found something and she considers, tapping a finger across her lips in thought for a moment for effect. "I like it," she concludes, settling one of her smiles on the man. "Brings out your eyes."

REGRET? WHAT IS THIS REGRET YOU SPEAK OF? There is not even a little apparent in Stefyr's manner and if only he knew what Katailea was thinking, he might even dare to say BRING IT ON. That helpless smile is as close as he gets to excusing himself. What else was he to do? He flashes a smile for her guidance before he's tugging his shirt off to try on the proposed new one to be sure it fits before moving on to the next that they identify as a possibility and the next. It might be something of a slow process, but at least the view is great?

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