Truth in Sleeplessness

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.

About 2 weeks after the hatching…

It's late for anyone to be about in the Craft Complex. It's not so late that everyone is abed, but late enough that most of the work spaces have emptied of their usual crush of apprentices and workmen who occupy this space for work and leisure. It's late enough that the lights being turned on in the library is something of an oddity. It's not forbidden to do late work, of course, but power is conserved when and where it could be if those that mind the books also remember to mind their other equipment. It might be this light that would draw a person to where he could see a large, blond crouched figure poking through a low shelf in the section of the library reserved for charts and maps. F'yr's low mutter carries in the general silence of the space, "There has to be something…" though just what exactly he's looking for is lost to the sound of paper rustling as another rolled sheaf is carefully laid aside in a growing pile on the floor at his feet.

It may be late, but sometimes you need to return a book and you just suck it up. Thus, this evening finds N’on making his way to the library with a book cradled under his arm, still windblown from his last patrol of the day and keeping his footsteps silent to avoid disturbing anyone who might be studying so late. There may not be much organization to speak of here, but he seems to know exactly where he’s going, since he takes the book straight to a shelf without much straying. It’s the sound of muttering that draws his attention… With a curious glance that direction, he pushes the book into place on the shelf, then wanders down the aisle until he finds his quarry. There’s a distinctly canine headtilt as he takes in this scene. He could probably make some sort of noise to announce himself… but he doesn’t. Nope, he just stands there watching, looking puzzled.

He could if he weren't an ass. (WE SEE YOU, N'ON, even if F'yr is clueless.) The young man sighs heavily and shifts from crouch onto his rump, evidently passing that invisible line between a task that should have been able to be accomplished still on one's feet becomes just too much. It might be a sort of defeat, or resignation, or it might just be exhaustion. At about 2 sevens after the hatching, if F'yr is here, it almost certainly means Glorioth is in the barracks asleep, which probably also means F'yr should be asleep too, and yet. He reaches for another sheaf and another. "Ahhh," is a sigh of pleasure, something with so much relief in it that maybe the weyrling is going to lay down right there and go to sleep with the way the tension leaves his shoulders. He doesn't, though, after a collecting moment, he struggles to shift to his knees, wheezing and wincing, one hand going to his still injured ribs as he reaches for all those rejects to start to re-shelve them, even checking the tags that make sure they get back in the right place.

N’on is clearly just a bit too used to being the weyr creeper. He watches all of this with some concern slowly mixing into the confusion. He keeps waiting… and waiting… until the point where it becomes kind of ridiculous that the weyrling hasn’t spotted him yet. He shifts his weight, awkwardly considering the potential options. Eventually, he settles on rapping a knuckle twice against the nearest wooden shelf. KNOCK KNOCK, F’YR.

Listen, N'on. This is a man who has not slept. This is a man who wakes at every hour of the night to feed, oil and protect the Weyr from the grandiose ideas of a bronze with far more brawn than brains. This is a man who's giving you a silly sort of smile that might mean he's not sure if the greenrider in front of him is some kind of dream. "Hey," he looks up at the other rider, completely oblivious about the length of time it took him to announce himself. He pushes the sheafs in hand back onto the shelf and slowly— so slowly, uses the shelves to help leaver himself up, only to look back down at the floor and realize he left the one he wanted down there while he's all the way up here and he starts to guffaw quietly, one gasp of laughing-so-he-doesn't-cry sound after another. For the moment, he leaves the thing down there and turns his so tired eyes on the greenrider. That he's really out of it should be made more obvious that he seems to entirely miss N'on's books since he asks, "What brings you here?"

N’on goes distinctly round-eyed at all of this, before sympathy bleeds in. Okay, also a smile because there’s a certain part of him that remembers that phase. Schadenfreude is a thing, ok. Still, the greenrider scoops up the wayward scroll, with only a brief glance at what it might be, and offers it over to F’yr. He points to the shelves as though it ought to be obvious what he’s here for, then winks. “You need sleep,” he signs, oh so helpfully. “What brings you here?”

"Thank you," the big man breathes when the greenrider rescues the scroll. "I don't think I could've squatted again and bending hurts." That whole cracked rib issue. "Glori runs everywhere. Never a stroll, never a walk. Never a whisper. A shout and a run." He laughs tiredly at something that's really only funny to him and only because he's soooooo tired. He looks to the shelves and blinks at N'on. IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS, N'ON, IT SHOULD. Is it though? He doesn't pursue it at any rate. This might be that stream-of-consciousness phase where he can't hold the thread of the conversation and has no idea why N'on is pointing at the shelves or winking. "I needed to get a map for Glori. He keeps taking pages out of my bag and I think he's going to go after my dictionary next, because he wants real maps so he can put them places for the others to find so they'll want to go on adventures with him. I'm trying to explain directions to him. And distances. And he just…" There's a helpless shrug in the air and gesture with the map. "I was hoping that he might calm down if I show him a real one. And stop putting blood all over my papers." A fool's hope, F'yr, but you can keep it a little while longer.

N’on nods sympathetically, happy to hear out F’yr’s complaints. When it’s finished, he signs a repeated “Sleep.” He emphasizes the order by putting an arm to the younger man’s upper back and shooing him toward the entrance. And yeeeep, N’on is most definitely going to follow him to make sure he actually goes to bed. Apparently he’s deciding to pull rank for the first time since the whole fighting incident.

"But, N'on," it's not a whine. It's more of a quiet plea, and the blond head lists toward the greenrider as though he might lay his head on the man's shoulder if only F'yr, himself, weren't the taller of them. "It's so quiet," he whispers. "I can hear myself think. Sort of." And there's a little wheezy giggle for that. "Ow," his hand touches those bandaged ribs that do not appreciate the laughter. "And it's so beautiful right now. There's this forest," he closes his eyes, stumbling a little but not falling, as he allows himself to be herded along now that he has that sought after map in hand, "and then there are doors. And you step through the door, and it's not like anything you've ever seen. It's the kind of thing you hear in the ballads or in bedtime stories for the young, only you get to live it. You're the hero. Or he is." His eyes open and he swings his head as though he were a little drunk on the sleep deprivation. "The forest is there when we're awake, but only for me. He seems like he doesn't care a lot, but he does. He just cares about himself more." Blue eyes try to search N'on's face even as he continues to move in the direction the greenrider wishes.

N’on’s smile has an indulgent quality to it as F’yr shares his experiences. Whoever said that sleep deprivation was equivalent to drunkenness definitely was on to something. Toward the end, he does take the chance to interject something. “Baby,” he signs, keeping things clipped to avoid tying up his hands when they’re needed for shooing F’yr out of the library and back to his bed. “Supposed to be selfish.” Then he’s back to steering sleep-deprived F’yr once again.

"Someone else said that, but I'm not sure that's… well, I guess I'll find out." One thought blurs into the next and comes right out of his mouth. "I miss my friends, N'on," that's sad, and F'yr does look down at N'on. "I didn't know it was going to be like this. Why does he run everywhere?" He sounds bewildered and seems to expect N'on should have the answer to this. "He liked Zhelinath's story. We had pirate adventures for days afterward." There's a wry smile for that. "He is disappointed that we haven't found a single real pirate or renegade. He's pretty upset that he hasn't even been allowed to go near a live herdbeast yet. I keep trying to explain to him, but he doesn't understand. He just keeps telling me killing equals honor. I'm not even sure what that means." OH, BUT F'YR WILL FIND OUT, surely so. As soon as Glorioth is allowed to RAMPAGE and SLAUGHTER in the feeding grounds. FEAR HE, YE HERDBEASTIES.

N’on allows F’yr to continue on, apparently content without interrupting. Which is probably good, because his hands are only a little bit full with making sure F’yr doesn’t… walk into a wall or go wandering off into the forest or whatever. Not that he would, but WHO KNOWS. He does grin at the news that Glorioth enjoyed Zhe’s story. Once they are outside and N’on is reasonably sure that he’ll continue a straight(ish) path without guidance, N’on offers a suggestion: “Small animals. Bird. Mouse. Squirrel. Chase them.” That’s not going to go wrong at all.

To F'yr's credit, he does maintain a fairly straight path in the generally right direction, as though perhaps there is some string being slowly reeled back in to keep him on track back to his lifemate. The blond stares at N'on's hands a beat too long, like the words are read but don't register immediately. "Oh, oh no." He shakes his head, but the objection isn't a matter of safety - nono, nothing so mundane and UNIMPORTANT. "He caught a spiderclaw. I didn't think he could do it, but he did, dug it out, and after that he said things that small were beneath him. Wanted me to bring him a herdbeast." He rubs his face with both hands and groans. "I think he's going to be the death of me." Not literally, but he gives N'on a pathetic puppy face anyway as they move along.

A slow grin crosses N’on’s face at the image of the baby dragon digging spiderclaws out of the beach. “You will live,” he signs, and gives F’yr an encouraging pat between the shoulder blades. After a few paces, he glances aside at F’yr, thoughtfully, then smirks and apparently decides to share. STORYTIME. “As a weyrling, Zhelinath told a bronzerider his butt was cute. I hid in the barracks for three days.” At least he seems to think it’s funny now.

"Are you sure?" F'yr asks, plaintive, casting an even more forlorn look toward the greenrider. His eyes follow the story, and a bemused smile steals onto those tired lips, lightens those tired eyes. The question must, of course, be asked by the sleepy bronzerider. "Was it? Cute?"

N’on looks toward the sky, all innocence in the face of that question. But eventually, inevitably, his gaze wanders back to F’yr, and he gives a crooked grin and a little nod. “Don’t tell V’ayn,” he signs. Is that really a fair request, when there are baby dragons involved? PROBABLY NOT, but he makes it anyhow!

The smile cracks into a grin, though it's a short-lived one. F'yr sighs wistfully, "He won't hear it from me. I'm not allowed to think about the attractiveness of butts or any other body parts. Glorioth doesn't like it when I touch anyone," which is obviously hurting the very touch-happy young man who had only just discovered the delights of platonic touch before he impressed. "Maybe it'll get better when he gets older. I think he just doesn't like me thinking about anyone but him. It's pretty much all he does. Think about himself." There's a little squint as though he's trying to wrap his head around that, but he gives up. It's too much effort in these moments. What isn't is babbling on without a filter, "He'll have to get over it sometime or I'll still be a virgin when he chases in his first flight." That prompts a laugh that nearly qualifies as a giggle, before a much more quiet, more serious, "I don't want to injure anyone."

N’on raises his eyebrows a little. Was the ‘virgin’ thing news to him? MAYBE. That’s what he gets for making assumptions. But he lets it fly by without offering a comment other than that brief flicker of surprise, and steers the conversation to safer ground. “He will learn.” At first, it seems like he’ll leave it at that, but that’s only because he takes a brief moment to steer F’yr around a dip in the pathway. “To help yourself, help others. Teach him that.”

"You have a lot more faith in him than I do," is actually funny, so it makes F'yr giggle. "No, I mean, I have a lot of faith in him, to be him. I'm just not sure learning is really in his skillset. Unless we're talking about hunting, in which case, he's ready." He's not, he's not ready. He's a baby, but a determined baby. "I'm keeping him quie— quai… " QUIESCENT. "That word that means calm and uh," WORDS. What are they even, "Happy?" Placated, F'yr, you mean placated. "By letting him poke his talons into the meat I'm butchering for him. He says it's not that satisfying, but I know he's lying." That comes with a brilliant grin. Secrets don't stay secrets very long when there's this sleep-drunk combined with baby dragons. RIP anything F'yr didn't want people to know. "He wants to help, sort of. It's strange. The rules… I'm still learning the rules. I'm going to have to learn them so I can use them," against Glorioth, to get him to cooperate.

N’on lifts a shoulder with some amusement at the whole thing. He doesn’t seem to have a whole lot more to add, content to allow F’yr to continue babbling incoherently into the giant metaphorical ear that is N’on. As they come to a turn in the path, he makes sure that the weyrling turns in the right direction, headed down to the training grounds and the barracks (and bed) beyond.

Stefyr's smile spreads in the silence that stretches when he's finished his last ramble, wider and wider until the thought that spurs it on can't not just pop out and be shared. He looks at N'on, "Sometimes you're really quiet, did you know?" It's not a joke, actually, although it really sounds like it could be one. "Quiet can be nice." That's it for a few moments before another thought bubbles out. "Sometimes I wish you'd talk more. I like knowing things about you." And then, "But I'm learning anyway, even when you don't talk." Did you know you speak in silences N'on? F'yr does, and he has a gleeful, boyish smile for whatever he thinks he's piecing together about the greenrider.

More silent amusement. Probably a touch of confusion, but mostly just amusement. Harhar yes, very funny joke. Yet, true to the accusation, he doesn’t ‘say’ anything as he continues along the path. Eventually, he does finally sign a response. “Awkward. Walking.” Does Pern have bubble gum? Because if so, N’on is probably in trouble. In any case, he does go on: “Learning what?”

"That's not when I mean," F'yr objects but there's a yawn to interrupt his words. Sleepy weyrling is getting sleepier, but at least he's still on his feet. "Sometimes you're quiet because you like to be quiet sometimes, and sometimes you're quiet when you could say something because you're you." WHATEVER THAT MEANS. There's another yawn. "Your quiet is sometimes like a rest in music. Risa was teaching me about notes and rests during my piano lessons. The silences sometimes mean things, make the notes more significant." He sighs a little, "I miss piano lessons, I miss the office. I miss the forest. I miss sleep." BUT THEY'RE ALMOST TO THE BARRACKS, so maybe F'yr can sneak a little of that before his glory-obsessed lifemate awakens to begin his questing anew (now plus one real map which may or may not survive the journey).

N’on gives F’yr an odd look. Does he agree that his silences mean something? No… But he looks to the path with a suddenly pensive expression, mindlessly continuing to usher F’yr to the barracks, though the hamsters are scurrying their little brains out in those wheels. The gears are a’turnin! After a number of paces, far too late to reasonably be responding to anything F’yr said, he gives a sudden, very short sideways hug. Then it’s back to walking, with only a faint embarrassment.

Normally, F'yr is all about hugs, sideways or otherwise. Even this one, the big man is swift and automatic in the way his arm comes up to return the gesture to his friend, only even as the gesture is finishing, and even as brief as it was, there's that flicker of distance in his face that is no longer just his own wandering herdbeast brain. Now there really is a reason for it, "Shells. He'll wake the barracks," HE FREQUENTLY DOES. That loud, loud, loud lifemate of F'yr's who must have awoken. "See you," is all the man has time for before he's sprinting the rest of the distance to the barracks, grimacing with every jarring step that cannot be good for still healing ribs.

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