The Last Midnight

Clock Tower - Dragon's Ledge
// This is a simple ledge, built of the same stone that comprises the clock tower itself. It's large enough for one dragon to stretch out on, and has railings along two sides—the sides perpendicular to the tower. The farthest edge is left railingless for ease in takeoff and landing, and the tower frames the other edge. Underneath the ledge, a pair of shelf supports that protrude from the clock tower wall itself supports the ledge, so it's quite safe for dragon and human alike. Where weight is concerned, it could probably hold a pair of queens. Of course, the ledge isn't nearly big enough.
There's a human-sized door on the tower's wall where a human can venture out onto the ledge if he or she so chooses. Seems this ledge isn't just for dragons. There's only two ways off this ledge, the door in the wall…or straight down. The door would be a far less dangerous way to leave, however…since this ledge is three and a half stories up!//

At the top of the clock tower, there's a small door that opens onto a balcony. During the day, it provides a nice view of the weyr below. Too bad it's the middle of the night! It's a weird time to be hanging out in a place where the view is the primary attraction, but nevertheless, here's N'on. He's staked out a spot on the little balcony (more of a ledge, really), and there's a small basket with evidence of perhaps a snack earlier in the day, though there's nothing edible left at the moment. The greenrider sits with his back against the wall, arms wrapped around his knees as he just sort of watches the starlight. Maybe he's secretly a gargoyle!

Now, in general, Evangeline is NOT a risk-taker ok? She does not enjoy risks, and she's not a fan of heights, or stairs, or anything with more teeth than cute parts. But Evi has had a lot on her mind, and she's spent a lot of energy making ridiculous cards. Plus, baking cookies in the shape of sad kittens saying they are sorry. All of this to be said, the barracks are LOUD. Between singing dragon parents, snoring, and dreaded sleep talkers, Evi needs a beautiful quiet place. Sneaking up the stairs to the clocktower, avoiding the ones still labeled BROKEN from when she and Katailea repaired them, she opens the small door VERY slowly and quietly. Spotting N'on she nearly ducks back down the stairs, her face apprehensive for a moment, but then she takes a deep breath and flounces towards him. No smile, her face is blank and nearly too stern with lips set. DETERMINED EVI. Plopping herself down next to him, she reaches out a hand to grab one of his and hold it if he allows. No speaking, the night chirping to life around them almost feels TOO LOUD for the moment, her head making to lean on his shoulder.

N'on is pretty deep in thought when Evangeline comes up the stairs. So deep that he doesn't even really notice she's there. Until, of course, she grabs his hand and he gives a startled jump and gasping inhale of breath. Which he subsequently holds because he has an Evangeline head on his shoulder. He wouldn't look this round-eyed if a bird suddenly decided to land on his head and sing a lullaby… He remains frozen for a very long few moments, and then awkwardly tries to pat her on the head with his non-grasped hand.

After a few moments like this, Evangeline, the champion of NOT STAYING STILL EVER, allows her body to slide to the ground while keeping N'on's hand in hers. Slowly turning to her liquid form, all skirt and hair she will attempt to lean her head in the crevice where N'on's knee joint is. Relaxing completely, Evi sighs and stares up at the sky. For a solid moment, it almost feels as if she will speak, but nothing comes out except loud sighing. Nope. Instead, her other hand grabs his knee, both hands holding onto him firmly and squeezing occasionally.

N'on watches Evangeline as she takes up residence on his knee, still round-eyed and oh-so-cautious. He pats her hair again, more because he's not sure what to do than anything. After letting this go on far longer than he normally would, he finally taps her forehead to make sure he's got her attention. Then, he taps her, taps himself, and then holds up a thumbs-up sign while wearing a distinctly quizzical look that makes it clear he's asking a question.

Once N'on taps Evangeline she wrinkles her nose and sits up to stare at him, twisting back into her solid form with a small amount of huff. As he puts his thumbs up she nods several times, putting her thumbs up as well. "Yes, yes. Um. Here." Reaching into her pocket she pulls out a cat card, inside it says. -The last Card to N'on. Dear N'on, I am sorry for all the cards, and for Ila'den, and for saying lots of sorries, and for Stefyr getting involved, and for you having to get him involved, and for my part in all of it. And for not going with you. And for being the reason you went. And for all the things, and all the stuffs, and such. Please know this is the last card, as I am running out of them and I might need them later. Yours, Evangeline, Curtains, Coatrack, Lightbulb, Edgestitch, Topstitch, and Selvage.- SHE IS A HARPER NO DOUBT. "Ok, so we are going to do a thing. Where I tell a story, and you sit here and listen." There's no telling her otherwise right now, she's being slightly sassy and a bit bossy. SHe also sounds much younger then her nearing 16 turns, her vocal tone is that of a smaller girl. Evi moves to lean back down on him. "I am going to tell a story, you are going to listen. Ok? Those eggs down there, they aren't going to wait. Any day now. SO, let us consider this your LAST chance at being my favorite creature that can talk in the Weyr."

N'on takes the card with only the slightest trepidation, opens it up, and starts to read. Yes, about halfway through all that, the corners of his lips start to twitch, and there's a flash of very slight humor in his eyes… but it's tempered by a bit of mist, too, which he manfully blinks back before it can become a /serious/ problem. With a look to Evi to be sure she is watching, he tucks the card into his inner tunic pocket, then pats his chest. "Thank you," he signs. Then, "Sorry." And another apology for good measure. He doesn't bother trying to add to it, though, because she's demanding to talk more. He doesn't seem to have any objection to all that. If anything, he makes a show of hunkering down, folding his arms in a classic-N'on 'Not gonna talk' pose, and looks at her with the most intense listening-face that he's capable of. And that's pretty intense.

Standing up in front of him, she twirls, shaking her head. "Done now, ok." Then settling herself down on her back looking up, hair in messy spirals around her and splayed out similar to a bug that has hit the windshield in utter silliness. Evangeline is the picture of GRACE. Exhaling, she says, "Ok, so I am not great at this, because well, I recently learned a bunch of useless things. Like, you know they have an archive that is full of old Terran myths? Well, I read ALL of them one morning because my firelizards wake me up every two hours to eat." The complaint is more mention than grievance, maternal tenderness smoothing out any rough edges. "People use to believe A LOT of strange things, though some of it hints that maybe they didn't believe ALL of it. Sort of like we use to think Thread came from the red star itself, or that dragons were just here randomly, and firelizards didn't exist. People believe all sorts of things, and try and call it history. But alright, I am off-topic. All the stars use to have names and tales about how they became that. One of them said there was a powerful hunter, and he wanted to date a bunch of ladies." Bleck ew, head shake of disgust. Obviously not Evi's thing. "Ew, right? But ok, so he wanted to date them, but like, their dad said NO. He didn't want this other guys son near his daughters, so he banished them to the stars, but then he trapped the hunter guy too. They have a picture of the stars, and really it looks nothing like a hunter, or ladies, but. What can you do? The thing is, as the sky changed with the seasons, they believed this man followed the ladies forever. FOrever unable to get where he was going. Even when none of it is real, I still feel bad. What if I never get where I am going? Like the hunter, man? " It's all said in the sing-song voice of a girl who still has her sparkle, even after the world has done its DAMNDEST to snuff her out. The story speaks more to the indomitable spirit of Evangeline then to Terran mythology, and she tells it the best she can. "They believed so many silly things, they also thought that maybe you could not control your future. Like, no matter what, if I were supposed to jump off that ledge, I'd do it. That nothing you do matters. Sometimes, that feels right on. You know?"

N'on listens patiently to all of this, because that's the sort of thing he does. If he gets a little amused tilt to his lips, it's also tempered by a very brotherly affection. Does he get the point of all this? Maybe, maybe not. He's not talking, so it's hard to say. He nods slowly, and as she winds her way to a conclusion, he takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. He nods a little. He reaches for his pocket, but then frowns a little. He produces a pencil glances around, then picks a random piece of stone to scratch out a sentence: "Partly true. Things happen. You only control you." Almost as an afterthought, he adds, "Sorry I happened to you. I'm not very smart."

Evangeline finishes and lets the stillness of the night take over, there's a big yawn, and it seems she might fall asleep. Before she hears N'on scratching away on stone and pushes herself up to a seated position. Scootching her butt cheeks around and facing the brown-haired, blue-eyed greenrider that has chosen to be her brother, she shakes her head hard. "NO. Don't you see." Pointing up to the stars, as if somehow they might explain it. "You were supposed to happen, what if tomorrow my lifemate is SOMEHOW miraculously sitting out there? What if he or she would have died without you, what if.. what if I would have? What if in some TINY way, you like, saved the world. Like the person that searched Moreta, no one ever gives that guy any credit but, what if her queen had chosen another? Then she wouldn't have saved ANY of us." The idea is far fetched, and precisely the kind of thing that is keeping this teenage girl going. Her liquid state returning, rising to her knees and folding forward onto her abdomen, elbows bent fingers under her chin but fully facing N'on. "You don't only control you, though." Big brown-green eyes stare at N'on, feet gently kicking behind her and hair a total mess. "What if I don't impress? But you got me here, and it's um- well, it's keeping my mother from marrying me off. She sent a message, first one this turn. My turn day is in a few days, I thought it was that. No. She's found someone, for me. He's agreed to help them—." There's no sign of how she feels about this, her voice is only a touch sad. "This might have been my grand adventure in life. I can tell my kids how I got to stand in Xanadu Weyr for Ilyscaeth's and Xermiltoth's clutch. How I met you, Stefyr, the Weyrwoman Risali, and the Weyrleader R'hyn." Looking down at the stone below, her one hand stays under her chin, while the other draws random figure 8's in the rock.

N'on's upbringing may have primed him to treat 15-year-olds as practically adults, but there are definite moments where Evangeline reminds him forcefully that she is still very much in transition from childhood. Casting herself as Moreta is one of those moments. Slowly, his lips curl up into a goopy smile, affection in his gaze that can only be interpreted as brotherly. It isn't until she mentions a potential suitor that a shadow passes over his expression. He grows deeply thoughtful, and then in an uncharacteristically impulsive move, he gives her a quick, tight hug. When he pulls away, he scratches out another message on the stone. "You don't have to go back if you don't want. Even if you don't Impress."

Evangeline’s upbringing primed her to believe that her life would be well controlled by others for its entirety. The idea of being smart but not showing it, of having enough knowledge to be attractive to Lord holders. Raising a potential young lady holder meant raising someone who could take directions, run a household, sew, cook, and have babies. That was all. All of the things she would need to be the perfect wife are there, everything else is a bit sideways. Also the more juvenile and cute she was the more likely some older man would find her malleable enough to train up. From the Weyrs perspective, it’s disturbing, but Evi is that family’s golden ticket. Possibly still is. The dreamer side of the young weaver girl has only shined in the Weyr, her dreams use to be tightly controlled. The person lying in front of N’on has more open doors and windows then she has ever had before, a plethora of options but nothing seems right. The sudden hugging surprises her and one hand squeezes him back, her grip tight. More stone scratching and she nods but her face remains serious. “They need me though. I. I guess I thought when I did not hear from her- MAYBE she had forgotten about me.” A preposterous notion, the weakness in her voice not hidden one iota. The idea is presented with overwhelming sadness and the smallest tinges of what COULD be hope. “N’on, what if they can’t feed my siblings? What will happen if me getting married is the only way everyone lives? How could I say no?” Every word that comes without tears is a victory, voice breaking, and fracturing. Closing her eyes for a long moment, then she looks at him. “If I impress, maybe I can make enough marks eventually to help. If I don’t.” Both shoulders rise to her ears, bobbing her messy hair up and then relaxing down. Heavy subject matter aside, there’s deep silence and then a smile, “I have um, never even BEEN to a hatching. Guess I will have the best seat.” The attempt at happy humor to cover up her inevitable doom is half-hearted and the night presses in on them.

N'on sacrifices some of his attention to clean off the stones he's been writing on. That's the benefit of pencil! Still, a frown tugs at his face as she talks, the gears turning in his head. With a blank slate, he pauses a moment to squeeze her hand, then goes back to his improvised slate. "If they're hungry, send them to my family. There's plenty of work to go around, but no one ever goes hungry." He then offers her an encouraging smile and adds a note at the bottom. "Hatching: Find a big person and stick close. You'll be fine."

“I am the eldest, Acarod would be um- 14? He could probably go with your family. They don’t talk to me though, Ma is the only one with a firelizard and they forbid anyone else from having one.” Evangeline says, staring at the words on the stone. It might occur to N’on how toxic that idea is, that one person controls all of the communication in the family. As if somehow she is only now remembering that N’on’s notebook is sitting in Ila’den’s office. “Um, do you want me to try and get it back, your book?” Slowly melting down so her head is laying on the rock beneath her. “I was hoping to stand with Stefyr, but I’m not like his favorite.” A big yawn, she’s probably not far from being completely asleep right there.

The moment Evangeline starts talking about forbidden firelizards and not talking to anyone but her mom, N'on's expression crystallizes into something sightly determined. If N'on came with subtitles, this one would read 'Challenge Accepted,' but alas he doesn't. Instead, he's quickly distracted by her offer, which he quickly waves off. Then, just to be clear, he signs 'no.' Then, to the question of Stefyr, "Why say that?" At least he's /trying/ to keep it simple, testing the waters to see what she'll be able to understand.

Signing is a slowly learned process for Evangeline; she is not a road scholar and does not have the time to study that Stefyr has been granted. Watching N'on’s signs her eyes focus in, everything in her mind attempting to figure out the gestures. "Ok- Why… Um… Say? " The pinky finger and thumb of her hand extended while the other fingers are closed in at her palm is imitated, her hand flexing at the wrist. The sign for That. She does it several times, before going, "That? oh." The whole sign is mirrored back to him, it becomes evident that the sugary sweetness comes with a mind as well. Quickly her semi concave hand, palm flat comes to her head and drops until her fingertips are shoulder level, fingers curled in pinky and thumb extended. WHY. The same hand is used, and her index finger is pointed horizontally and goes from above upper lip to below lower lip. SAY. After the mimicry is finished, she sits up on her toosh, legs crossed up her. "Stefyr spends a lot of time with the older boys, and with Rhodelia. I'm too young for them to want to hang out with me." Whether this is entirely true or not, it's obvious it brings sadness to her life.

N'on grins a little and gives her a thumbs up for the mimicry. Correct! She did it! He waves his hands in silent applause, then winks at her and goes back to being /mostly/ solemn. He shrugs a little when she describes the issue, but he makes a face to suggest that he does not in any way think this is true. He resorts to the pencil again, since he needs a few more words to respond to it. "Stefyr is busy becoming himself. And learning who he wants to become himself with. It's not about favorites."

"Well, that's alright, pretty soon this will be over, and he can go back to whatever it was he did. Odi is coming to the hatching. She's my cousin, from my Da's side." Evangeline casually changes the subject, Stefyr's oddities, and hangups not being the top of her priorities. Not with eggs that could break shell this very night, or any time within the next two sevenday. "When, um. When you met ZHelinath, what did it feel like? Were you still you?" This kind of questioning NEVER comes from miss sunshine, not once has she asked more than a handful of questions about riding. Her tone is casual and soft, maybe a bit too sweet.

Evangeline waits patiently for the response, head bobbing from one side to the other in metronomic style. Tick, tock, tick tock, whatever world Evi hides away in it must be a comfortable place for how sanguine she is. That may offer some comfort, that in moments of quiet stillness, the world she inhabits appears pleasant if not pleasurable. "That's…" Hard for her to grasp, furrowing her brows and staring at the words on the stone. "We will see." Rolling onto her back she stares up at the stars again, "All be over soon." With that, she pushes herself from her back to standing, "I forgive you for what happened." Shyly tucking her ear into her shoulder, unable to maintain eye contact through her apology. "Do you forgive me?"

A little start is given at that sudden change. He looks… weirdly unhappy about it for some reason. But he slaps a smile on his face and reaches over to squeeze her hand. Back to the pencil and improvised slate! "Don't need to. I never blamed you." And that's that, apparently.

With that being that Evangeline squeezes his hand back grimaces, lips all straight and the wrinkle between her eyebrows might be permanent any day now. "Okay." Is squeaked out, the small voice of a girl who might be fast-tracked into being much more soon. Tick, tock. "If I'm late for bed, check Ila'den might wake Nana, she's old. If- um, I don't see you before the hatching then you'll see me out there. I'll be the one in white." The smile that lights her face at her own joke is a gift to her weyrbrother. All of the joy in her eyes, humor splashes in a partially ajar mouth and the embarrassed tuck and wiggle of the ear to shoulder. Walking to the door, she slowly pulls it open and skitters down the stairs, Cinderella trying to get home before midnight.

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