The New Kid

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.

The funniest thing happened to Mathis just the other day. There he was, sitting by the lakeside in Fort minding his own business (totally not playing with Zanda, his wood-carved swan, because that would be weird), when the Senior Weyrwoman from Xanadu showed up and gave him this little white knot. Then she had him pack up his stuff so she could drop him off into a room packed with cots and strangers, all of whom (thus far) appear to have anywhere from a couple to at least ten turns on him. He'd slunk off and selected a place for him as instructed, put his clothing and personal hygiene items away into the press provided, then slid a small crate and leather tool roll beneath the cot itself. Since, he's been rather quiet, keeping his head down and to himself while definitely staying out of trouble. When he'd checked the choreboard this morning, he'd found he already had a free day. Was that normal? Was someone trying to tell him something? Who could he ask? The result of these questions and more: Mathis said nothing to no one, spending the majority of the day sitting on his cot and whittling away on a fist-sized piece of wood. Alone, and certainly not peeking up whenever someone came in, left, or walked by. No, that would never happen.

Maybe there's something to be said for being raised in a home full of siblings, firelizards and dragons, for moving into the Candidate barracks appears to have fazed Elayne very little, at least in terms of living in close quarters and putting up with unwanted noise at any given hour of the day. This said, she's also chosen a corner cot to avoid being penned in by fellow Candidates on either side of her, and it's this corner and this cot that she wanders towards, moving down the row with a satchel that was full when she left and now lies empty. She shrugs it off, letting it fall to the foot of her cot, and flops down onto her front, peering over at Mathis following a few moments of closed eyes. "Have you moved at all today?" she enquires, her words half smothered by her pillow.

It just so happened that Mathis had ended up a cot or two away from Elayne, he'd seen her as she passed either from or to her cot, noting her to be probably a couple turns or so older than he was and a girl. That was about it. Age (always a guess) and gender, that's about as far as he'd gotten with anyone he'd been packed into the barracks with. Admittedly, there with nothing wrong with the amount of people or the plethora of noise that they brought with them, because Mathis had lived the majority of his thirteen turns in a home stuffed to bursting with boisterous foster-siblings, pets, and so forth. There was comfort in the ambient sound of chattering, laughter, grumping, breathing and even the saw-like snoring coming from across the way from the seventeen turn old from Telgar. Tiny woman, big noise. Looking up as Elayne meanders past, he notes that was once was full was now empty, dropping his attention back to the figure of a dragon he was almost finished with and gets back to the finer details. At the question though, he stops, turning large hazel eyes upon the asker before looking around and then back towards her, "Me?" he asks, indicating himself with a point of that bevel towards his chest. Always safe. "Um, yes? I went to eat several times?" Another round of looking, as if he still believed Elayne was asking someone else.

"And why did you keep coming back here?" It's an even enough question, Elayne's voice steady and measured in a manner that does not suggest she means to Mathis for what assumptions she's thus far been able to make about his day. "We're allowed out. We're not prisoners. At least, not as far as I'm aware. Perhaps, when it gets closer to a time when the eggs might hatch, they'll decide we need watching and herding every hour of the day." She rolls onto her back, doing her best to straighten shirt and jacket as she does so, attempting to keep them from rolling up. "What's your name?" she asks, keeping her head lolled to one side in a fashion that allows her to keep him in her line of vision. "I'm Elayne. I used to live at Ierne until I was posted here. And I'm still a Harper, no matter what other knots I've ended up with." When her gaze falls to Mathis' work, she remarks, "He's cute. Or she's cute. Whichever they're meant to be."

That was an excellent question, for which Mathis did have an answer, though he does fidget minutely before he does, "I don't want to get lost." This is muttered and mostly under his breath, as if saying it aloud meant some sort of perilous repercussion. "Never been to Xanadu before a couple days ago, I don't know where anything is and the few people I've asked looked annoyed to be bothered." Falling back into silence after that, the boy just turns the dragon figurine over in his hand, potentially looking for places he needs to refine, but perhaps just for something to do in place of looking any more awkward. "I know." Not a prisoner, can leave whenever he wants. Sure. That information however does little to relieve how out of place he felt. As Elayne rolls over onto her back, Mathis does glance back over there, watching her rearrange her clothing briefly. Eyes drop back down with a roll of his shoulders backwards the moment that she looks his way, "Mathis," he replies quietly, fingering the bevel in his hand and bobbing his head a few times while stealing a peek back her way, "Nice to meet you. Woodcraft, born in Benden Weyr, posted to Fort until a couple days ago." As the topic shifts towards the wood carving he was so diligently dedicated, he lifts it up a bit so that she can see it better. That there, stylizing aside, had to be Leirith. It had her essence somehow, it was weird. "It's for the Ris…the Senior Weyrwoman…for being so nice…"

"Well, that's not very nice," Elayne murmurs, unable to keep from being so judgemental this time, her brows momentarily drawing together in a frown. "Being annoyed for no good reason, I mean," she hastens to add, reaching back behind her to adjust her pillow, propping it against the wall so that she can sit up and plant her shoulders against it. "I can show you around sometime, if you like." It's an offer made with a faint twitch of her lips - shoulders too - put out there without any expectation that she absolutely must be taken up on her offer. "If your Journeyman doesn't get there first or think I'd be interfering. I know they can be funny about things." When her gaze drifts back to the little wooden dragon, she takes in the sight of it with a slight tilt of her head, a smile briefly touching one corner of her mouth. "I'm sure she'll love it. She seems sweet. Risali, that is. I've not really encountered Leirith all that much. Either of them, really, but Risali more than her queen."

Rinian makes her way into the barracks, covering a yawn. She doesn't pay much mind as to who is about as she makes her way to her cot, but she makes sure to be quiet in case anyone has retired early or might be studying. In an absent habit she tucks a strand of her long hair behind her ear and then just has to pause to give a good stretch. Sitting at lessons all day is hard on a body that wants to move.

What could Mathis say to that? No, it wasn't nice and it had made him feel bad, reducing the likelihood that he would be asking much of anything if that was going to be the reaction. "I don't know, maybe a lot of people asked and I was the last straw or something…" Shoulders lift and drop, turning the figurine over and bringing it close to his face, scrutinizing. The trace of a frown appears, bevel put to work in fine strokes, finishing with a soft puff of air expelled past puckered lips. A glance towards Elayne comes when she offers to show him around Xanadu, already soft and unassuming features softening further, a metaphorical light in the dark. "That'd be nice. Thank you." Because being lost is the worst, okay? At mention of his Journeyman, his eyes fall and he sighs with the heaviness of youth. "I don't think that's going to be a problem, she hates me." His Journeyman aside, things brighten in degrees when it becomes all about that figurine, seeing to the upturn of lips that soon splits to show teeth. "You think so? She was really nice to me and she didn't think I was crazy at all." Clearly, there was a story there, but before he can get to it Rinian arrives and garners a moment of his attention. A moment that quickly develops into more, as he sits up straight and stares quite openly. Should she notice, he's got a free hand up and is waving rather awkwardly with a stiff back and forth motion on the joint of his wrist. Yo.

Elayne tracks Rinian's progress through the barracks, her focus fixed on her as she makes her way to her cot, but that's when she looks away, as if she'd give her a moment and some privacy, her attention shifting back to Mathis. "Your Journeyman hates you?" is most definitely a more troubled reaction than people being rude and annoyed garnered, legs swung over the side of cot and satchel reached for, quite like she's going to go and hunt down said Journeyman and give them a piece of her mind. "Maybe we can find some time to look around tomorrow and you can tell me about that too. See what we can do about it." Small mercies: it doesn't seem that she's about to leap into action and go making accusations. "My Journeyman wants me playing in the caverns this evening, so I'd better get to it. Ten minutes rest is better than none!" That's what she'll tell herself, getting to her feet and stretching her arms high over her head. "I'll see you both later. Promise I'll try not to wake anyone." She offers a wave of her own to Rinian, then weaves her way out into the main aisle and heads back the way she came, dragging her fingers through her hair to convince it to behave as she goes.

Rinian should really remember to thank Elayne later, because she was just about to do something rude! She was about to be loud in her happiness to see her fellow Woodcrafter. She quickly bites back the /loud/ that was about to happen, but it doesn't keep her usual serious expression to shift into a smile. She moves quickly to his cot and speaks more quietly. "Matty!" Not loud, just..excited. "When did you get here? I thought you were posted at Fort?"

Mathis nods his head once in confirmation, yes - in his opinion, his Journeyman hated his guts. Sure, she'd been nice to start, but as soon as she found out who he was and what he could do she'd changed her tune right quick. It generally went that way or the other, so he wasn't going to making out to be this big life changing thing, because it wasn't. In a way, it was good that he was used to it. Adaptation was good. Brows aloft when Elayne chooses then to swing those legs over and reach for her bag, panic setting in for all of a second before he reminds himself that she didn't know who his Journeyman was. There were lots, and so he relaxes with only a slight edge, just in case. "Oh, okay," he says for looking around the following day, appreciation easily discerned, but as for doing something about his Journeyman? Panic! "No, no, no. That's okay. Really." Yes, let's not make things worse shall we? Utter relief comes when she indicates that she would be busy in the caverns playing, offering some sympathy for the lack of rest, even though he'd spent most of his day today doing nothing but. "Good luck," he calls gently after her, after which Rinian becomes the focus of his attention. "Rin!" Dropping the figure and bevel, Mathis is quick to his feet, closing the space between them and throwing his arms around the girl's middle. SQUEEZE. "Been here a couple days, I was playing and then there was this big gold dragon and she picked up Zanda from the water in her MOUTH. Her MOUTH RIN. I was freaking out but I did really good, I plucked her right out of there. I saved her. But then Risali, she told me that I could make friends at Xanadu and gave me this white knot and your here! You're really here!" Rinian might be trying to keep it down, but the excited thirteen turn old certainly wasn't.

Rinian wraps her arms around the younger boy in a warm hug, but she does shhh him softly as a reminder to be polite of those around them. She draws back to give him a good look, not really surprised to find out the dragon culpret was Leirith. "Sounds like something she would do." She smiles at him looking him over to see if she can judge how he's really doing. "I really am. I was posted down here, but then this green thought I'd make a good gift to the same gold that snagged you." Personally she think's a mistake, but it does give her a good opportunity for her project. "I can't believe I haven't seen you..well wait..I guess I can. Between candidate chores and my Journeyman I guess I'm kept pretty busy." She asks, "How are you doing? This place can be…interesting. But.." She remembers, "You're weyrbred so perhaps not so much for you?"

The boy shushes pretty quick with that gentle reminder, leveling all the apologies and glancing about to see if he had inadvertently disturbed anyone, but the excitement visibly bubbles just beneath the surface, "Wait, what, really?" All of the questions. Mathis though? Still scrawny, still puny, even though he'd gained a couple of inches of height since the last time that Rinian had seen him. "No way, that is so weird! Who would of thought this is how we'd meet up again?" There he was getting a wee touch on the loud side again, but he self regulates this time, murmuring out more soft sorries and ducking his head for anyone that should slanty-eye his direction or tell him to keep it down. "Yeah I guess, it's been busy for me too. Chores and stuff." Pointedly he doesn't mention his own Journeyman, because she's the devil basically. When his well-being is inquired after, boney shoulders are lifted and dropped, nodding to confirm his weyrbredness. "New place is all, everything else is pretty much the same. I keep getting lost." Out pops his bottom lip, making it more pronounced than the top. "How are you though? Any new projects? Anything I can help with?" Excited. Excited. Catching himself, he takes a breath and holds it, but it does nothing to stop all that open and unrestrained anticipation written all over his face.

Rinian smiles at him warmly, an expression the others here have yet to meet. But maybe in time. "No kidding about getting lost. Oh wait…" she digs in her pocket and pulls out a scrap paper with a rough map on it. "Maybe this will help? I had to make it for myself when I got here, but I think I'm ok now. And of course I'll take you arou…" She breaks off. Speaking of Journeyman that that. A little blue firelizard pops in and starts chittering at her urgently. "I am so sorry! I have to go. But yes..I certainly need your help. I will be back as soon as I can!" She looks regretful and..still short. It doesnt seem she's gained any height since the last time they had seen each other. She gives a wave and then runs out the door.

Mathis begins to nod, but this action ceases to be when Rinian reaches inside her pocket, wide hazel eyes flickering that direction with curiosity. The second she offers up that map though he's making grabby hands for it, polite enough at least not to just yank it out of her grasp before its actually offered over. "Yes please!" Polite, but loud. Much too loud. Suffice to say the people around the pair probably liked it better when the woodcrafters hadn't known the other existed in the same place. "Sorry. Sorry." But what's an apology when the reason for its being continues to occur? The appearance of the blue firelizard ends the reunion abruptly, yes it does, and Mathis can only offer soft assurances that they would reconnect at a later time. Waving in return to the girl's back, all alone again, he returns to his cot and the solitude of which it provides. Picking up the carving of Leirith he was almost finished with, he gets down the final touches without any further indications that he intended to continue disturbing the peace.

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