No One Plans This

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
// A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

A crisp autumn evening finds Xanadu Weyr, peaceful and busy as usual. New Weyrlings always keep a Weyr busy, adding that extra dose of chaos a place like Xanadu totally needs. The cavern's main dinner rush is over, leaving multiple openings for anyone who would like to sit and eat. The new dragons have been set loose on the populous in the last few days, at nearing a month old, and the Weyr at large can now view the new residents. Reviews are mixed on the mostly green clutch, all of the new babies seem to be the height of personality. With all of the excitement of being allowed to at least SEE other people, it should come as no surprise that Evi is exhausted. From the last time, she was seen she's lost weight, and all of her clothes seem to sport bloodstains. Today finds her with a skirt in her lap, a needle, and thread lying on the table while a bowl of herdbeast stew sits untouched in front of her. It's clear she's using her free moment to repair her clothing, although there are three empty mugs. Obviously drinking klah as if a shortage was coming, with her current usage in mind, it's not out of the realm of possibility. Today she is in a bright pink skirt that has been pinned in back to accommodate her shrinking.

Katailea has been keeping herself busy since returning to the weyr, having been absent for several sevendays following the hatching. She at least seems none the worse on the outside for it all and it's with a smile that she greets the younger girl. "Can I help?" she offers. She might not be a weaver, but she can manage a needle well enough. "You should eat too." Because obviously the weyrling was intending to with that stew there growing cold. "Suppose congratulations are in order too."

The concentration on her task is the height of hyperfocus, exhaustion demanding she makes every stitch carefully. For this reason, she does not notice Katailea; even after the offer for help, her head stays bent to trying to make her stitches machine straight while half awake. Only the mention of food brings her chin up, eyes locking onto the blonde woman, a bright smile dances onto her lips, shes never been subtle. "Sit, sit.. um, if you can eat for me, that would be best." A squeaking nasally laugh escaping tightly closed lips, head tilting into her shoulder "I need to take two inches off all of my clothes, snug might be best. Can you sew?" The question asked while the girl scoots her mugs further into the table, an older bluerider with short black hair dropping the fourth mug off but waggling her fingers and saying 'Evangeline this is your last one, klah isn't sleep'. To the bluerider Evi snorts, taking one small bite of soup and a large swig. Klah is totally sleep. "I um, thanks. She's magnificent and rude. I think I have something of yours." The eating hand wiggles into her pocket and produces the letter, "it um, wound up with me… I was tired." The note is placed on the table, and Evi looks anywhere but at her friend. They're friends, right? Right.

Its a laugh that meets Evi's suggestion of eating for her, but Katailea does sit, sliding into the seat beside the weyrling. "I don't know that it works that way," she offers, "But I can," sew that is. "Well enough anyway." A glance is sent the bluerider as she drops in but soon enough the blonde is reaching a hand to take the skirt and needle off the other girl's hands or at least keep her from jumping back onto those stitches too quickly. "And right," she notes of woman's comments. "Klah's not sleep." When the letter is produced it causes her to pause. "Of mine?" and at first she just looks at it but really it doesn't take more than a second for her to realize what's meant - that the letter is for her. Its at that point that she reaches to take it from the table and tuck it into her own pocket without looking at it further. "Thanks," for getting it to her. She can read it later.

"Worth a try." Evi says with a deep sigh, one borne of way too much to do and no time to do anything at all. Hesitating a great deal, the skirt is relinquished to Katailea, lips turning in and puckering out with a thought left unsaid. After a second look at her skirt, a garment never sewn on by anyone else before she dives into the stew, two big bites taken. "Have you met any of the others?" The klah is gone, swallowed down with a speed that escapes politeness and is straight survival. "I was hoping to get Nei on a schedule if I'm up until she eats at 10? Then bath, maybe we can get four hours before the morning." After half the stew is safely inside the new greenrider she says, "I um, I have something.. for you. It's not a lot." Searching in her pocket, ten marks appear in her hand. The marks are pressed towards Katailea, "I.. the letter I read it. This is all I have, but maybe it will help." Evi suddenly finds the table grain fascinating.

Katailea inspects the section of the garment that Evi was working on briefly to see what's been done and what's remaining before looking to do any actual work. A smile flashed towards the girl beside her when she at least starts to eat. "Others?" the trader questions, it takes a second until the young dragon is mentioned for her to put the two together. She did meet the other candidates, but the dragons makes much more sense. "Just Glorioth," she notes, her attention on the skirt in her lap as she carefully tucks the needle through the fabric to work at taking it in. A nod here and there but its when those marks are offered that she looks up, searching Evi's face even as she asks, "Why?" For her? "I don't need your marks, Evangeline," she says, leaving needle tucked into the fabric so it's not lost as she reaches to place a hand over the younger girl's and push the offered pieces back.

"I read the letter, and it.. seemed to imply you might need help." Evi's voice is meek, quiet, and searching in a way that is childlike in pitch. "Well, ok." The marks are poked back into her pocket, "I um." Now it's awkward and eyes open wide and then close. "Can I do anything?" The request carries earnest hope, tired eyes going to her empty mug. The same bluerider from earlier places a giant glass of water in front of her, the smug short-haired rider wiggling her fingers and leaving the cavern. It's obvious Evi is being well cared for by the Weyr at large, it takes a village. "Do you want to get married?" There are barely words behind her request, her hand creeping its way towards Katailea's. There's hesitation, Evi rarely touching anyone around her, so even the thought of it is a grand gesture. A deep breath and Evi snakes her hand, so if allowed, it will be over Katailea's, a silent show of unity. Two stories that somehow converge in one sad place.

Katailea shakes her head. "I sent those a month ago." Or there abouts. Where she managed to get them is another story. "You can take care of yourself and your dragon," the young woman replies to that question of what she can do. She's managing just fine, thank you. About to set back to the task of taking in that skirt and then there's another question, though its the hand that's offered that gets a look first, sea green eyes lifting then back to the weyrling beside her, questioning. Okay, so it might help if she'd read that letter herself, but she hasn't. "Someday, to the right man, I'd be happy to I think."

"I didn't expect this, you know." Evi suddenly looking sad, swirling her stew around, "I was ready to move on. I, before you stand again, make sure you really think about it. Nei is… amazing, she's also forever." Kids grow up, husbands can be poisoned, but dragons are indeed forever. The hand remains for a few moments and is then retracted back into her lap. "If you do get married, I'll make your dress." The very tiniest upturn to pink chapped lips, murky brown-green eyes tracing her skirt and the lines of Katailea's hands, "They won't come get you, will they?" Out of the mouths of babes. Slowly her knees lift, and her feet find there way underneath her rump, body curling in on itself with the tone of the conversation. "Do you want to meet Nei someday? She's… She can be a bit much, but she's fabulous." The description of Evi's lifemate by EVI seems to be hinting at something that might require closer examination.

"I wasn't expecting it either," Katailea offers, but then for her it didn't happen either. She can relate in part, but not all the way. She gives an assuring squeeze of Evi's hand before its pulled back, "I don't," she starts and then begins again, "I will," assurance that if she decides to take her chances on the sands again she will think about it first. The offer of the dress sees the trader's gaze shifting back to her hands as well, moving back to that tasks even as she speaks. "Thank you, but I'm sure I couldn't afford it." Its a rueful smile that touches her lips at that thought, but it's brushed away with a shake of her head for the question that follows. "Maybe, if they every 'finalize negotiations'," she says in a way that is doubtful of that ever occurring and if her hands weren't busy might have included air quotes. "I'd love to," the answer comes without the need to think of it as she turns a smile on back towards Evi.
"Read the letter." Evi's whole body freezing, no more thoughts of dragons or dresses. Suddenly something makes sense, a lot of the time the gerbils that run her mental processes seem to be on holiday. Often the young woman appears acutely unaware of the goings-on around her, caught up in her own world. Staring at Katailea, you'd think the blonde had grown gills, Evi actually looks like she might be sick her brows furrowed mouth slightly ajar. Another bowl of stew is placed in front of Evi, the Weyrlingmaster making a pass-through and feeding the thinning girl. Instead, the water is sipped, eyes unfocusing and refocusing with rapid succession, but they never leave Katailea. "I'm.. sorry, Katailea." The stew is stirred, vegetables poked at gently with the spoon. "Maybe, you should meet her tonight?" Somehow Evi now seems to feel rushed; the sudden change in 'any day now' appears to be a 'right now.'

Katailea doesn't need to read it to know what it says. The push to do so, the look on Evi's face, her body language. Any one of those things could tell her what it says and the combination screams it. Her own smile falters at the sudden realization that what she thought would never happen already has. A full count of three passing before she takes a breath and lets it out, eyes closing for a moment as she tucks it all away. "No," its defiant if nothing else, "I'm not." Just not, and not saying the words. "Eat first," she suggests setting back to finish the skirt. She needs time to think. "Please tell me you didn't show it to anyone else." Does she need to put out any other fires, Evi?

The stew is eaten fast, gulped in under two minutes by the now anxious weyrling, weaver, girl, woman maybe someday. "I didn't show anyone else.. I told F'yr, and he.. sort of lost it. " The mildest interpretation possible for F'yr's instantaneous rage. "You should um, here. Let's go." A hand goes out to take the skirt from Katailea; the project no longer important in lieu of all the new information. "Here, I want to show you .. Um, well, let's just let you come see." There's a desperation in her eyes focusing and unfocusing further in attempts to silently commune with Neifeth. "He didn't read it; we were… I was, bathing." The lack of decency she's been allowed in weyrlinghood is rarely focused on, but a blush comes to her cheeks. Fully standing, toes tapping her whole upper body wiggling side to side with anxiety. «COme out here already.» There is, the loud, rude, snarky commentary by one green dragon outside of the extremely tart tone of voice. A tone you should never use to speak to anyone, there's a flush of green skies and silver trees grow inexplicably along with bright pink grass. There's a floral smell to this mind, the imagery is nowhere as powerful as the flowery rush that could be compared to ylang ylang, or jasmine pern equivalents. «What are you waiting for, mine said you were smart.» Such sass, it's disconcerting, aren't baby dragons supposed to be nice? All of this in the minds of anyone in the caverns, causing a few people to sigh and grumble because they let two loud dragons make loud babies. Now they have no mental peace.

"What do you mean?" Katailea asks, moving quickly to her feet after the weyrling as that project is taken from her. She'll be annoyed about the fact that she said anything later, she doesn't take any notice in the mention of when it happened. The blonde cringes at the sudden invasion of that outside demand, its a tone she's all too familiar with and may just be enough of a distraction to let Evi off the hook (for now). "Okay," is an easy enough agreement to heading out with the younger girl to meet that oh so sassy, little green.

Xanadu Weyr - Main Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.
The cliff looms imposingly on two sides. Toward the southwest, a spire stretches up to high above where the everpresent watchdragon sits on a lonely peak with Xanadu's Starstones. A massive rocky spur extends to the north, curved slightly to hold the clearing and pocked with doors and windows.
The hatching arena and Dragonhealers' Annex sit to the southeast, built together into a single complex that takes up a large portion of the perimeter beneath its domed roof. To the southwest, wide steps lead up to the caverns, and almost directly south is the entrance to the Infirmary. Nestled between the infirmary and the main caverns there's a human-sized archway with frequent traffic - it leads to the Wanderin' Wherry Tavern.
Tucked near the arch, just off to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Wildflower Boutique'. Windows have been cut along the cliff in various places along the cliff. Those of the administrative offices are placed to have the best view of Xanadu's airspace - to the southwest, over the entrance to the caverns and the infirmary. Others mark the dormitories and those of lucky residents, while toward the northern edge of that spur cluster the windows and entrances to the crafters' complex.
The rest of the Weyr lies to the north and east - a broad road that leads through the meadow and the trees of the forest beyond. At the far northern edge of the clearing, just inside the perimeter kept clear of trees, a clocktower sits and proudly displays the hour.

Katailea wanders into the main clearing, from the caverns.
Katailea has arrived.

The skirt in her hands Evi is moving at a fast walk that breaks into a jog, something making her desperate to get to the cyan and darkness hatchling. At this point in growing, her wings are HUGE, much too large for the rest of her body, and another growth spurt should even her up soon enough. At only a month old, she is about 4 meters long with enough height on her to have her a head above both girls. Stretched out in the clearing, she slithers towards them and stops short, eyes whirling orange and blue. «MINE asked me to do this, or we wouldn't even be DISCUSSING it. » There's the sudden idea that this encounter is probably going to mean Evi needs those marks to buy fancy oils. She's gonna need those marks because no one ever does anything nice for Nei. No one. Nei is the victim in this story. YEP. All of this isn't spoken, it's more of a feeling, and Evi giggles. Suddenly there's the feeling of a forest, the forest from her egg, the forest her mind has always been but it's silver, the grass is crimson, and nothing is the right color. There's an otherworldly feel, this place that's OBVIOUSLY not real smells real, you can smell the trees, a small river, and the place is safe. "She.. doesn't really share." The mental space being shared with the blonde trader is fantastical, breathtaking, and confusing. Avians fly through, but they have three heads, and the wings are made of clouds, they're golden and trailed by gold dust like a comet. Don't ask; it is what it is. Somehow. "Here." Neifeth settles to the side of the clearing, Evi slides down next to her lifemate and pats the ground. "Be with.. us for a moment? I'm not sure how long she will agree but.. maybe.. you can feel free?" Tears stream down her cheeks; it's obvious the fate of the older girl feels too close to home, too much like her fate if luck had not seen to give her the world's most grandiose escape route.

"Evi, I-" she's trying to sort through what's real and what's mentally shared all while still trying to make sense of what she's just found out and make a coherent sentence. It finds Katailea all too willing to sink down beside the pair, if only to regain a sense of balance closer to the ground. "Its beautiful.." and if she were expecting it she might be able to enjoy it that much more. "Stop." "Don't cry," that much at least gets through, more a demand than a request. The older girl leaning to rest hands against the younger's cheeks, one on each side as she aims to wipe at least some of those tears away. "She found you. No one is making you get married." They did have that conversation once. "And I'm not either." Not today anyway.

"Yeah but, I didn't PLAN on her. You can't plan something like this." Like giant golden avians, and brightly colored trees. You can't plan a total separation from the reality you usually live in. "I- I know helplessness, I wish I could fix it." Evi at her very base, her sweet voice trembling and Nei croons and allows both of them to mentally escape if they want too. "I want to help." Neifeth's toothy snouty is a handsbreadth from the girls, voice light «IF mine wishes this then, I'm IN.» There's probably nothing more dangerous than this dragon with a plan, her mind continuing to wash the two in bright colors, a place you have to experience to believe, and even then it has a dream-like quality. Evi places her hands over Katailea's and whispers, "Nei and I are in agreement, we are going to stop this." The tearful brown-green eyes have a spark behind them, something determined and fierce. Lips settle in a line, and her hands squeeze Katailea's, "It's going to be ok, no ones marrying anyone."

Katailea shakes her head. "Stop." She can't think and while in another time she might be able to share the moment for what it's intended to be, now is not that time. "Not your fault," obviously Katailea's current situation is anything but Evi's fault. "No," her response to the idea of the weyrling pair getting involved. The young woman shakes hear head again at the idea, "No." She's not asking for their help.

That look in Evi's eyes is something new, something that comes directly from being connected to the BIGGEST BITCH she has ever encountered. Someone who unapologetically will push you in the mud and then laugh at you for being dirty. Nothing inside Nei gives half a shake about Katailea, but Evi cares, and a problem shared is a problem halved. "Ok, I won't." The smile that has appeared on her lips screams LIAR, lying is something new for her. Lying like this, the fun lying, the straightening of her shoulders, and wrinkle in her impish nose say 'stop me.' Yep. Trouble, this little bird has grown wings and is slowly becoming a force. Before anything else, C'con walks out of the caverns and begins shooing them back to the barracks with a grumble about exhaustion and the dirt drying out hide. Neifeth stands and jiggles her wings into place, the excess hide not sitting quite right yet, like a big pair of boots. Slinking around Katailea, she lowers her head until they're nearly nose to nose; in other dragons, this could be endearing, but Nei's too much a predator. The teeth sticking out, white and sharp as any knife, the bump in her face and the darkness. Everything about her, from stripes down, is intense, loud and liable to give pause and thought to one's safety. Other dragons are beautiful and poetic, this dragon is fierce. After a beat, she turns and follows after Evi, a small sparkle of lights as her trees fade away.

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