About N'on...

Xanadu Weyr - Craft Complex
This large area has been painted a soft cream with dark orange trim used as an accent. It's separated into a variety of smaller sitting areas, couches and chairs organized into rings and squares, tables set where they can be used easily. Recessed electric lights in the ceiling provide a warm glow, and a row of angled skylights on the eastern wall above the entrance give some natural light when bleary crafters first emerge. There's often a cart with klah parked off to one side to help with waking up or finishing that important project - or simply to be enjoyed with comfortable seating and good company.

Along the southern edge, an open archway leads to a library of books and records. There's something for every craft, it seems, from tomes of caprine diseases, to Pernese history and law, to gemstone identification, to sheet music, to sea charts and herbal manuals. There's even a few works of fiction, though none of it seems very well organized. Whatever is sought, it's probably here… somewhere. A few desks for studying are tucked in amongst the shelves, each with a lamp to illuminate the reading material. Near that archway, a long table holds a row of computers. They're connected to databases all over Pern, and are available for general use except when the computercraft requires them.

To the north, a pair of double doors open onto a grand hall, the vaulted ceiling designed with acoustics in mind. This space is used for lectures and concerts, rows of benches set up to face the front. Along one wall, instruments hang free or on shelves for anyone with the appropriate skills to use. There are often harpers here, practicing their craft.

A pair of hallways lead back from the western wall, one going to the apprentice dorms and the the private quarters for the ranking crafters posted at the weyr. The other provides access to the various workshops.

It isn't unusual to see Stefyr hanging around in the Craft Complex, not when there's a ready source of reading material and tables with good lighting aplenty. It is unusual, however, to see the big blond lingering near the Weavers' workroom at about the lunch hour. He's got a bag slung over his shoulders, not that silly looking daypack this time, but a messenger style bag that looks to hold a few of his belongings. His hands are curled around the strap where it rests on his chest while he leans on a wall, his eyes trained largely on the door to the workplace where Evangeline can be found most mornings, waiting patiently to— well, not pounce her, but to fall into step with her when she appears, if she appears, with a friendly smile.

Unfortunately for Evangeline, Stefyr knows her routine and knows the one place she can’t avoid. The day finds her obliviously moving about the craft room until finally a voice from the Journeywoman overseeing the group beckons her to go “Take a break, get some air, eat something for shell’s sake.” Yep, Evi’s newfound love of jogging with her aversions to eating more than one meal a day has been noticed. The young weaver emerges from the workroom, one brown firelizard nestled on her shoulder, a blue and a green newly hatched in her arms. Does this woman need more pets? No. That never stopped anyone. Behind her is the red and green harnessed form of Curtains, the siamese Nekkid catte. Spotting Stefyr, she gives a casual wave, continuing towards the door without a second thought. She has lunch to get to, and her mind seems occupied as her eyes are glazed over and detached. Living in her head a bit today.

And into step Stefyr comes, using the cheater's advantage his long legs give him, but on the way, he scoops up Curtains in a rare show of affection to the little beast. It's not that Stefyr dislikes the cats - not at all, actually. Despite the fact that he has recently changed bunks due to his last bunk being rendered unusable (however briefly) by Rhodelia's gold Maitai laying her eggs on his neat bunk and her mate, Molotov, bringing entrails as sustenance in his fatherly pride (OR INSANITY), even his new bunk has been a resting place for some of Evangeline's cats without complaint from the big blond. Now he gives the cat the kind of scratching that proves he does actually know what he's doing when it comes to felines, even if the naked variety are new to his experience since arriving at the Weyr. "Hey Evi. Can you give me a minute?" He gestures toward the common area in the craft complex where there are seats and snacks and everything anyone could want for a friendly chat, although, if the other candidate will allow herself to be directed with one hand touched lightly to her back while the other cuddles her cat to his chest, he'll lead them to a little alcove with two comfortable chairs that afford relative privacy.

The sleeping green form in Evangeline’s arms wakes with a small chirp. Without thinking, Evi’s hand goes to one pocket, and a piece of dried meat is provided for the petite green lady. Stefyr catches her attention, turning with a look of surprise, and both her eyebrows go up. “Um- Can you tell me what about?” She’s not immediately moved to go with Stefyr, moving slower today than typical. Possibly from emotional, physical exhaustion, owning to many young firelizards, and trying to avoid EVERYONE. All of this to say, she is not so quickly pushed into the small alcove. “Stefyr, um. I’m tired.” At some point int this relationship, possibly yelling the F word loudly while naked, she has stopped lying. There’s an exhausted sheen over her that indicates she might not be as open as needed for this conversation. Nevertheless, she allows herself to be lead after a few heavy sighs. Curtains is perfectly happy to be a captive, mewing, and rubbing the big blonde’s hand to indicate MOAR PWEASE THX. Moving into the alcove, there’s no sitting, she stands and waits for a response with lips rolled into her mouth, forming worry lines. This place is aging her in canine years.

"I don't think it will take long." Stefyr's words are an attempt at reassurance, but might end up sounding ominous. He sets Curtains down on the table and then turns to face the smaller girl. "Are you okay? Other than tired." And it's at this juncture that he reaches to his back pocket and withdraws by the pinch of the corner method, two glittery cards that she should recognize, but that are fresher than the droves of them she sent his way. "He thinks you're in danger." And so, he repeats quietly, with a little more demand than usual, "Are- you- okay-?" If she happens to notice, he's positioned himself to block her, not her from leaving but her reaction from anyone anyone out there, anyone not invited to this private tete-a-tete.

Why is it, in such a big damn place NOTHING is private. She had more secrets living in a damn 8 person cothold then in this huge ass Weyr. Evangeline does not react, but she does not need to as the eyes on the little green flizzard sharing all of her emotions whirl fast orange and red. The green form of Selvage is cheeping rather loudly, the noise seems to trigger the mother in Evi, and she shushes her, cooing softly and shaking her head. The cards are GLARED at, now ok, if one didn't' want them shared, one might send fewer of them but listen. Reaching out, if Stefyr allows her, she will take them back. FOR REUSE I AM CERTAIN. Exhaling sharply, she shakes her head, "He um- well." Evi can't find the words, she has no clue where they went, but she might need them back. "He um- well." Settling herself down in a chair, she runs her fingers along the lizard's head, thinking. "He got in a fight with Ila' den, and it's my fault." Closing her eyes, she settles back into the chair, at least she has an excuse to miss lunch. "He um.. Ila' den." With the suddenness of a meteor, it strikes the youngster that, this might not be any of Stefyr's business. "I am ok. I. You remember when um, you didn't want me telling him things? Because they weren't his to know? Um. Maybe this thing is not yours." There's an attempt at diplomacy, her eyes trying to catch Stefyr's. No malice, but maybe a girl has secrets. "Talking got me into this mess." There's a small huff, and her eyes are on her toes. YOU KNOW SHE HAD NOT DONE THAT IN A WHILE.

It's not awkward at all that Stefyr settles onto his knees in front of Evangeline's seat, his neck moving so that he can try to catch her eyes. He'll touch her knee for her attention if she doesn't look to him on her own. "I didn't ask you to tell me anything about what happened," he really didn't; she volunteered what she volunteered, he never asked. "I don't need to know more than I already do." He does have those glittery cards after all, the ones that yes, she can have back. "I'm only asking if you are okay. Do you feel like you're in any danger? From Ila'den. Or from anything other than the usual hazards of life at a Weyr with the eggs hardening up?" There's more, there must be more, but he's not going to get into anything until this much has been addressed.

As Stefyr kneels down Evangeline remains silent for a few moments, scrunching her nose and furrowing her brows together in thought. “No, no, Ila’den. Ila’den is nice sorta. It’s, almost a secret ok? I don’t think he wants it spoken of at all EVER.” Closing her eyes and shaking her head to press in the point. “But, he’s not always nice? He’s- um. He’s nice to me, but he doesn’t always seem nice. Like. He wasn’t always nice? Sorta.” Attempting to explain this is a lot for someone who is sleeping like she has two small infants, why she impressed them so close to hatching might double down on the idea that Evi does not think in her heart she is impressing anything on hatching day. Sighing and turning her head so she can stare at the wall she reaches a hand out, so she might touch Stefyr’s shoulder, if he lets her she will hold onto it tightly. “N’on was trying to be nice, I think.- too. Just. He went to try and solve something that might not have been a problem. Stefyr. I am weak, Ila’den. He wasn’t wrong.” Admitting this takes something from Evi, and she settles into the chair and closes her eyes tightly, her hand if it’s still on Stefyr digging in hard. “I am okay, sure.” I mean physically beyond tired she looks great, clothes a bit loose but hell. She’s exercising.

"Ila is Ila." Stefyr's words might be ambiguous or they might be the most solid truth that can be spoken about a complex cactus like Ila'den. He dismisses the need to really examine Evangeline's relationship with the assistant weyrlingmaster, or his own for that matter, for given the sparring lessons, he must have one, tenuous or not. It's not important. That's not why he's here. He reaches to try to take one of Evi's hands, even with her various petly burdens and their needs for her attention. "I'm glad you're okay. If you need help, you can come to me and I'll do what I can." That needs to be stated very clearly. Then there's a drawn in breath that says the next thing isn't going to be as nice to hear. "N'on is worried about you. The cards aren't helping, Evi. They're making him feel worse because he feels responsible and it sounds like you feel a little responsible too. So I think you need to call it a draw and move on, if you can. With N'on. I know you're very close and don't want to hurt him. He's hurting, but it's not your fault." He sounds like he knows, and maybe he does? He did have the glitter cards in his possession after all. "This isn't any of my business except that N'on asked me to help you if I could. And I would, if there were something. Is there something?" That he can help with. He looks up earnestly into the face of the younger girl, and for all that he's younger than the other two males involved, he's behaving quite stoically about the whole thing, but not unfeelingly.

“I don’t need protection from Ila’den.” Evangeline sighs, allowing Stefyr to have her hand and curling the fingers up tightly, her knuckles red and then white. After several moments she whines, one of her go-to noises that is more canine than human. The sound is nasally and half-sigh, and then there’s a deep groan. “My fault, should have never told him. He didn’t have to defend me.” Another whine, her eyes darting around for a distraction and finding nothing she picks a spot on the ceiling her eyes rolled up and to the left. Silence, the gerbils doing their best inside her skull to figure this all out. The disconnected look in her stare, that slackening of her mouth into a frown. “How do I talk to N’on? I feel horrible. He was scared Stefyr. That’s my fault.” Glum, her eyes finally moving back to the large blonde in front of her. “Um— outside of like. MAYBE moving far away and like, changing my name. What would you suggest?” There’s the smallest smile that turns into a grimace. If she thought she could run from her problems she would ALREADY be gone. BAI. SEE YA. That heaviness that had lifted off of her is back in spades.

Stefyr's thumb brushes lightly across the back of Evangeline's fist. It's not an intimate gesture, but one of comfort. He watches that hand for a moment and then looks up at the younger girl to watch her face while she speaks. "I don't think it was that he was trying to defend so much as trying to help. It's only after things went… the way they did," SIDEWAYS, UPSIDE DOWN, ANY WAY BUT A HELPFUL WAY, "that he feels like you might need defending." He's silent a moment before saying, "What N'on is going through isn't because of you. It's a… reaction to what happened. But it's not your fault." He meets her eyes intently now, even going so far as to move his head to keep her line of sight if she's getting finicky about that. "Everyone has experiences that are hard, and sometimes new hard ones brush against old wounds. I think you can talk to N'on however you usually talk to N'on, but… give him space, if space is what he needs, to not have to explain himself or his reactions. You can ask, if you have to," it doesn't sound like Stefyr really did, "but some things are too hard to put into words." That is definitely the voice of experience, the voice that says Stefyr, like everyone, has things of his own. "I'm not sure there's an easy answer. But we muddle through. It seems to be how life works," that comes out both wry and a little sad. "Do you feel like you need to understand what N'on is going through to be a good friend and support him?"

“I am the reason all of it happened though.” Evangeline insists, hair hitting her face as she shakes her head. There’s a full moment of listening to the big man, her body still in what he might recognize as her HATE ALL OF THIS AND EVERYTHING body language. The stillness, her eyes locked onto a portion of his shirt instead of making any meaningful eye contact. “Stefyr, by space do you mean, like, not talk to N’on?” The words coming out of her mouth cause a physical ache, chest curling in and elbows pulling towards her core. Every word is breathy, squeaky and sadness laces itself in near the end. “I could do it, I guess. If that’s what he needs.” Well bitten chapped pink lips pout out, the saddest most unfortunate looking puppy dog. “I don’t want to crowd him, tell him I will not send another card.” In a show of that, she takes the two on her lap and takes her hand back from Stefyr. The first attempt to tear the cards in half fail, heavy paper, and good design preventing her from tearing them. The second attempt with just one succeeds and a shower of glitter falls EVERYWHERE. Pink glitter, teal glitter, blue glitter is now all over her skirt, her firelizard and possibly Stefyr. “I don’t need to know anything, I’m sorry I cause him so much grief.” The last phrase has a touch of bitterness to it, this place is eating away at some of her happy facade. “It was nice, you know. Having a friend.” So much pouting. Sheesh. Why did Stefyr sign up for this?

The big blond notices the glitter as it settles on his forearm and showers down his front. He really does. But he's been on and off sparkly for months now. WHAT'S ONE MORE DAY? "Being the trigger doesn't make it your responsibility," Stefyr murmurs softly with one more swipe of thumb across knuckles. "We're each of us responsible for ourselves that way, for better or worse." He looks a little rueful at that, bringing his eyes up from her hand to her face as he lets go of her hands and sits back on his heels. "I don't mean not talk to N'on, unless you can't help yourself pressing him. I just mean to let him talk or not talk about whatever it is. You can still be with him and give him space. I told him about how Rhody's vile gold," VILE GOLD, "laid eggs all over my cot and how her villainous," VILLAINOUS, "bronze brought entrails to dump on my pillow. Didn't talk about what was bothering him, but I was with him and I hope that helped, somehow. Sometimes people want to be alone with their dark memories. Sometimes distraction helps. Ask him what helps? Sometimes people know. Sometimes they don't." He shrugs. "I figure trying is better than not trying, but being pushy doesn't usually help anyone." EXCEPT THAT TIME HE MADE HER SWEAR IN AN EMPTY CAVERN. Hypocrite. "I think you should talk with him yourself. Maybe just don't mention the cards at all." It's just a suggestion. "Friends are still friends, even when there's been a… a hiccup. We're still friends, right? After Leirith's flight?" And now he can say that without blushing. It's water under the bridge.

Evangeline notices the glitter too, and she moves to brush it off Stefyr but stops herself and folds her hands in her lap, little flizzard settled on her skirt for the moment. “PRESSING HIM for.. WHAT.” The frusturation breaks through, both hands flapping several times as she looks about ready to scream, mouth fully open, eyes bulging a bit. “I do not know what to press. I um, I was called to Ila’s office… N’on he was in pain? Or? Like maybe he’d been punched, but Ila was BEHIND the desk, nowhere near him.” Evi’s face is absolutely wrought with confusion, eyes going up to the ceiling and down as she attempts to tell this story. “Then, like, Ila told me we were LOVERS.” BLECK GROSS, fake gagging commences. EW. “Um..” There’s something left unsaid, the quiet overcoming Evangelin but she reaches into her pocket and procures the note, the note that is mostly N’on’s but has some of Ila’den’s handwriting as well. The note that says, -Did you Tell candidate Evangeline she would not impress?
-She comes to me for guidance she isn't getting from leadership. Hard to know if I'm working at cross purposes to you unless I understand your reasoning.
-You clearly are far too busy for this. You'd be rid of me much faster if you simply cleared the air."
-Then I can assume what she told me was accurate. I just want to know why."
Then beneath that in Ila’den’s handwriting is, “Come to my office- Ila’den.”.
Evi hands the note to Stefyr, and if she looked guilty before now she looks mortified. The entire premise of the note itself makes her hang her head shamefully, “Stefyr. Everyone knows I won’t impress. They can stop arguing publicly about it.” A small whine and she tucks her feet up underneath her butt, one finger stroking down her new green baby. The Rhody comment gets a small giggle, but her face quickly turns to false sternness and a solid nod. Yeah. You tell that Rhody. The small distraction of the mental image of Stefyr yelling at Rhodelia wears out its interest and her eyes cast down once more. “I know he was… Um attacked as a child. By renegades, but. That’s never been part of us getting along. Before we just, got along. You know? It used to be so easy.” The kindness in her voice does not mask the longing she has, for something to be easy once more. Anything really. “Well, and it took… 45 cards to get you and I settled, I have only sent N’on like. Ten.” Yep, apologizing is all in card count. “That flight was not my fault, this is. So. Maybe more cards? Does he really not like my cards?” Holding up the partially ripped card with a small upturn of one lip, no one appreciates Evi’s cards as much as Evi herself. It’s very likely that the way to apologize to Evi begins and ends at 100 cat cards.

The first burst of frustration is met with calm from the big blond, who stays there on his knees while the younger girl starts. And then as she starts to go on, Stefyr opens his mouth to interrupt only then he closes it again without a word. It's with a bracing shift of shoulders and a deeply drawn breath that he settles in to listen. He hears her. Really, it's one trait however individualized, that Stefyr has some overlap with Ila'den when one stops to think about it. His expression is intent, hearing her. His lips press together to hold back any words that might want to interrupt the outpouring. He looks a little like he doesn't want to take the note, but he does. He doesn't immediately look at it. He looks at her. "Do you need to know what not to press about to not press?" is the first question from Stefyr when she's finally finished and he has a moment to gather his thoughts for a response. He still doesn't look at the note. What he does do is possibly break Evi's heart: "It wasn't any of your cards or cookies that set things straight with us, Evi. It was a talk, time, and letting it go." But this will be countered with, "No one knows what will happen when the eggs hatch. Sometimes the most likely people simply don't find a lifemate there and the most unlikely do. It's not anything people can know. That's why dragons do the searching. I trust Zhelinath, do you?" That's really more important than Stefyr's trust. Then he folds the note and puts it into one of the pockets of his pants, perhaps kept in the way the glitter cards were. "I think you'll find that if you don't make a big deal about what happened, you and N'on will still just get along. If you make a thing of it, it will be a thing. If you have questions or need to talk to him, then ask what you need to ask to be able to let whatever else there is go." He shrugs, more advice by Stefyr. "I think it can still be easy. He cares about you, Evi. That doesn't just vanish when there's a rough patch." Even if some people's experiences couldn't prove it.

“Yes, I do. How do I avoid something when I do not know what the something is, what if it’s cats.” Evangeline is being difficult, her tone of voice a tinge bratty and betraying her tired and hangry self. Crossing her arms over her chest and staring up, she looks exactly as old as she is and has the most smackable face right now. Bratty. Not normally her thing but, circumstances have been a bit much recently and she should probably be sent to bed with a sandwich if anyone wanted to be honest. Instead, she sighs, unable to maintain her grumpiness for more than a few passing moments, “But that was MESSY, N’on is not messy. Can’t we not do messy? Please? I need not messy. “ This is the first time she has ever stated that she needed ANYTHING, her voice pitiful and whiney but, she is making her needs met with a shrug of her shoulders. “Search dragons can be wrong, though. What if, one of those eggs is mine but when it meets me I am— just me.” The idea Stefyr presents about people not disappearing after a rough patch seems to hit her hard her face tilting and all the way to her shoulder and chin tucking into her collar bone. “Stefyr, can I have my note back?” The request is simple, but there’s an edge to her voice watching the man pocket proof of her inadequacy. One hand extends, “Um-please? Sir?” Her mind remembering that Stefyr is full-grown, a man, and bigger than her.

Evangeline earns a sigh from Stefyr, his eyes closing briefly, "If you don't know how, then you'll figure it out one painful mistake at a time, like the rest of us." It's not exactly unkind, but it's the kind of firm that comes from having a variety of younger people in one's life who ask questions with unhappy but inflexible answers. He straightens up, getting to his feet with some measure of exhaustion in his frame betrayed by those slow movements. "Life gets messy. It also has really neat moments, but you get both whether you like them or not." His hands scrub across his face, halting abruptly, and too late as he remembers the glitter. His face sparkles now. It's the only upbeat thing about his expression that looks old. "I don't think search dragons are ever wrong, there are just times when your lifemate isn't in a particular clutch. If they were wrong, there wouldn't be candidates who get stand more than once and eventually come out of it with a lifemate. Every dragon pairing is some kind of success story. Maybe your story won't be there yet at this hatching, maybe mine won't be either. But if we stand again for Leirith's eggs, the answer might change." He shrugs. He doesn't know, but he can imagine, dream and hope. Maybe he didn't hear her request about the note. Maybe his herdbeast mind wandered as it appears to be doing now. Either way, he turns to head off into the complex, note still in his pocket.

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