Wise Beyond Her Turns

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.

Rinian is sitting crosslegged on her cot, turning an odd little item around and around her her hands, studying it. Poor little duck decoy being forced..badly..into pretending to be a swan. Though her gaze is on it, it is hard to say if her thoughts are on it, or on something else.

Having been gathered up and pushed out onto the hatching sands again, Mathis returns to the barracks after hiding away for several hours, but he doesn't look any less pale or shaken. Being alone had not given him the insight he'd been seeking. Spotting a friendly and familiar face, the boy says not a word as makes his way over to Rinian, dropping his overstuffed bag beside her cot. There appeared to be a sock hanging out of it, perhaps he was packed up and ready to call it quits? Whatever the case may be, he was making for her lap as if he intended to fill it with all of himself regardless of whether or not he would fit or if she wanted him there. The look on his face said it all though, he needed a cuddle and Rin was on a very short list of acceptable participants.

Rinian looks up as the bag goes thunk on the floor. One look at her friend's face and Mr Duck is set aside so her lap can accomdate Matty. Or at least as best she can considering their size similarity. At least there is cot there to make up the difference. She holds him gently for a little bit before asking softly, "Want to talk about it?" She must have been busy shadowing her rider and missed another round on the sands.

Mr. Duck could probably be sanded down and repainted to look like a proper example of his species, but it's a passing thought as Mathis gives the wood carving a passing glance before being set aside. It might look strange having someone nearly the size of one person all curled and snuggled up with another like that in the candidate barracks but what this looked like was the least of the boy's worries. "No," he breathes outwardly, despite that being exactly what he wanted to do. He would have much rather have been tending to littles in the creche as had been his chore today or toddling after Rinian while she shadowed a dragonrider than touching eggs. "They're all so scary." This comes after a long and pregnant silence in which the part of Mathis that wanted to just exist in silence and stew battled the other part of him that wanted to talk about it; make sense of it all. "Why are they so scary?"

Don't have to worry about Mr. Duck as Rinian already has PLANS. Actually, there are two PLANS, so its more a matter of which she'll choose. She can only think of one thing right now that fits what he is talking about, but she doesn't want to make assumptions so asks, "The eggs?"
Makes perfect sense that Rinian wouldn't know what Mathis was talking about, he hadn't exactly been clear. Any number of things could be scary to a thirteen turn old, and it wasn't as if he hadn't stumbled upon more than his fair share lately. Timidly, there is a single bob of his head before the volume with which he spoke dropped to conspiring, as if he feared they might know he was talking about them. "Some of them seemed so nice at first and then…" There was no mistaking that shudder or the way that boy practically tries to burrow himself into her. It was hard to remember that they were babies and just exploring what they could of the outside world through them, that this was their attempt to get to know the candidates before that fateful day when eggs rocked and shells fell away to reveal their masterful works, when you were being ripped apart from the inside.

Rinian tightens her grip around him, but not too much, just enough for comforting. "That's a good question." She has some thoughts about that, but she's no expert. "Have you thought about asking a rider?" Nor does she deny that the whole experience was scary in ways.

The increased physical compression around his body was welcomed, doing well to suppress his overactive nervous system, Mathis's every nerve ending feeling a little raw still from all the overuse. Her question to him is answered with a shake of his head, "Aside from my foster-brother and foster-sister, the only other riders I know are Risali and D'lei." Supplying this, he contemplates what the latter would say if he asked them about it and shakes his head again in rejection of the idea. "If they didn't laugh at me, they'd probably kick me out for saying mean things about their eggs." Well, it was Leirith and Garouth's eggs, but still. What were dragons but part of their riders.
Rinian mms softly. "You might just have to ask another rider around here. I can only give you my own guesses, and you know more about dragons and such than I do." She rests her cheek against his head, her gaze drops to his bag, "Are you planning on going somewhere?"

"I'd still like to hear what you think," Mathis replies, picking absently at a loosed thread he'd discovered somewhere on the blanket beneath them. As much as he would have liked to uncurl himself enough to look up and show her the seriousness of his expression and how highly he valued her opinion, he needed more cuddles. "I probably don't know much more than you do. I might have grown up in a weyr, but I didn't get to interact much with the riders. T'om and Sera didn't come back to visit before I left for the Hall, and what they wrote home about was mostly how they were feeling and how great their lifemates were. Never got to actually meet them." A sigh of grand proportions slips free of him, giving what's been said a great deal of thought as Rinian rests her cheek atop his head, feeling better and better with each passing moment. It's the question of his possible departure that startles him, "What? No. Why?" With that comes a turn of his head, just enough to allow him to peer upwards and see what might have prompted such a question. Eyeline towards his bag, he glances over that way, blinking once. "Oh!" is breathed with realization and relief, "No, that's just Mr. Flibble. He's a sock monster that Leirith wants me to keep alive."

Rinian blinks a couple of times about the sock. "Oh.. I got a duck." Yay her. She is quiet for a few moments to try and organize her thoughts before speaking, and when she does it is slowly as if still sounding out the ideas herself. "The eggs.. Well…there was something common among them. Did you notice?" She adds, "Besides the scary." Though she didn't find all of them scary, startleing perhaps, but not scary.

Nodding, Mathis confirms that he had seen duck trying to pass itself off as a swan. No fault of it's own really, it wasn't as if it could help looking so strange. Someone else had made that ill-fated decision for it. "Something…common…?" He takes the time to think about what Rinian has said, brows deepening into a furrow of concentration, "You mean that that they were digging around inside our memories and stuff?" It was difficult for him to get past the scariness, working his bottom lip with the edge of his teeth, this distraction having seen to the loss of rigidity along his body, more or less resting comfortably up against his fellow woodcrafter candidate rather than particularly curled up in a Ball O' Matty.

Rinian nods slightly, though he may more feel the motion than see it depending on how he's snuggled. "Exactly. Now imagine you are all alone in a dark warm place, and maybe you can feel the presence of your mom and dad. Then suddenly there is a strange new connection. The alien thoughts of someone..something..you don't know." She still talks slowly, sounding her thoughts outloud, almost weighing them to see if there is any validity to them. "You're young..just a baby. Acting on instinct you have to find out about this new thing, and maybe you're kind of scared about it too. You don't know that maybe your fear is being shared and you're being too rough. Just a baby that doesn't know better, and can't control." She lets out her breath softly at her own memory of the experience. "This mind is very different. It has seen things you haven't. Some of those things are really scary. Very strong memories and thoughts that stand out, but you just need to know…" She trails off, feeling she's rambled a bit, but hoping something of it made sense.

It was more likely that Mathis felt Rinian nod rather than saw it, having returned to leaning into her even if he's stretched out his legs a bit by now so that neither of them was cramped anymore. At least he wasn't trying to crawl inside of her skin anymore? The discussion was doing a good job of making him feel better, complimented by the closeness of someone he loved and trusted. Quietly the boy listens, no longer plagued by the drive to fidget or feel as if something was bound to happen at any moment, to the sound of Rinian's voice and the way she breathed. Every now and again there is a nod, but he doesn't interrupt her as she paints for him a picture that sheds new light on the why's of embryonic dragon thoughts. When she is finished, that's when he speaks again, his voice sounding much more settled than it had been previously. "That actually makes a lot of sense, Rin…" Pausing to get in touch with how he felt about it all, there's a nod of his own, slow and contemplative. "I guess you sorta have to put yourself in their…shell…" Cough, eye dart. "…so to speak." Dragons didn't wear shoes. Although, at mention at how different a dragon's mind was from their own, there is nothing but absolute agreement, legs brought inwards towards himself as he has a few flashback moments there. "Where do you think that their memories and things come from?"

Rinian usually smells of wood, which isn't such a bad thing. She actually blushes a bit when he says her ramblings seem to make sense. She hadn't been brave enough to mention them to anyone else. After all, what would she know? Hold and craft bred, with no riders so far as she knows anywhere in her family line. She considers his question, as always taking her time. "Well…maybe shared memories? Like the firelizards have about..certain things. And some of it they have gotten from our minds as well. We were all touching the eggs."

There was nothing wrong with smelling like wood, not to Mathis anyway, there was a kind of comfort in it that seems to give his muscles the permission they need to let go and let him lay there as he recharges his emotional batteries. He couldn't see or feel the color change of her face, hazel eyes drifting out over the barracks he could see from his cuddled up position against Rinian, completely ignorant that something he had said had caused it. Mathis knew his parents were riders only because he'd been told he came as a result of a flight, and he'd been fostered almost immediately after his birth. Without anything else to go on, he could only trust that his foster-parents were telling him the truth. "Ohhhh…you're right. You might be onto something there, Rin." It wasn't that he'd forgotten that dragons had been created from firelizards, but he hadn't made that connection. Mathis had been rather focused on himself and what he was feeling (beat up and abused at this point, what the heck eggs), but when Rinian suggests that some of what he'd experienced were residual thoughts and feelings from the other candidates he stiffens and is suddenly gripped by the urge to hug every single one of the candidates. Oh yeah, Nessalyn would have just loved that. "Faranth, you're smart." So, he settles for hugging Rinian in their stead.

Rinian is more than a little surprised at his last comment, going red all the way to her ears. She stammers out softly, "Just.,.just..a few guesses. I don't know that it's right. Just…seemed to make sense." She recovers her composure and adds, "We should probably ask a rider, or weyrlingmaster or someone like that."

What was so surprising? Rinian had provided to Mathis insight, comfort, and snuggles. All the things that he needed and wanted, which made her the best of the best in his book. To him, the other woodcrafter was wise beyond her turns in many aspects of many things, and their conversation just now was a perfect example of why it was he counted her as his most bestest friend on all of Pern. Maybe, even the universe. And THAT was BIG place. "No way, you're amazing!" With that he puts real effort into wriggling free of her and plants a soft warm kiss against the heat of her cheek. "I love you, Rin. Thank you so much." It's a gentle whisper, but entirely heart felt, and with that he's off, grabbing his bag and escaping the barracks without even stopping to consider the hue he'd been responsible for setting into the woodcrafter girl's skin. Hadn't even noticed it, but that's a boy for you.

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