Snow, Sand, and Stuff
stables.jpg


Xanadu Weyr - Stables
The Stables of Xanadu Weyr are composed of one long building, lined with box and standing stalls that are kept thoroughly clean by the resident grooms and stablehands. Runners nicker and neigh at everyone who enters, save for the obstinate ones that just flicker their ears in indignant curiousity that they dare not make visible. The foremost stalls near the door to the Barn Yard are the grand box stalls which are home to the prized runners of Xanadu, as well as the most pregnant, those which are so far along that they require constant observation by the Herders, so as to ensure easy foaling.
However, the primary design of stall which lines the broad pathway that is covered in saw dust which is the main avenue of the Stables, is that of the Standing Stall. Many runners are in the standing stalls, with ropes strung across the front so as to keep the runners from leaving their designated containers. A few hay bales sit here and there along the avenue, some of which act as seats for the stablehands and grooms on their breaks, others as snacks for those runners who can reach out their necks far enough. Buckets and baskets of grooming supplies, brushes and combs, and the like also sit here and there, occassionally knocked over by a wayward hoof or inquiring muzzle.


Snow is found all over Xanadu, and the stables are no exception. Many of the stable hands and apprentices have been busy making sure the snow is shoveled out of the way, and there is plenty of salt and so forth to make sure no ice will form across the ground. Idrissa is sitting upon a hay bale at the moment; she is just pulling her gloves off and sticking them into her coat pocket. A thermos is picked up and she unscrews the top and goes about pouring out some hot cider. Ripley is settled upon her shoulder, a faint croon escapes the blue firelizard, his head tilting and soon lowers to peer at what his person is up to, and ones the cup is lowered the lizard dunks his head into it slurping at the cider eagerly.

So much salt and sand… so much! The sacks of it at the stables have run out. Fortunately, more is on the way - here it comes now, a pair of sacks in a wheelbarrow inching its way along the ice and snow. It's being pushed by a bundle of coat and scarf and hat. There's someone in there, really, but who it is remains mysterious as he wrestles the door open (hello, gust of cold wind!) and pushes his wheelbarrow inside. Ahh, warmth. The door swings shut again, and he lets the wheelbarrow rest as he unwinds his scarf to reveal the squarish face of a farmer-boy. It's a vaguely familiar one, even. J'o casts his brown-eyed gaze around the stables as he takes the hat off his brown hair.

Idrissa wasn't expecting anyone to just come wandering in, most people are off someplace warm after all now down near the stables unless there is plenty of reason. She glances up to catches sight of the person coming, the squeaking of wheelbarrow is picked up before the door opens. It takes her a few moments before she figures out who it is and she stands up brushing her hands off. "Ah, hi." Is offered with a soft tone. She peers at the wheelbarrow. "Sand an stuff?" Oh ya she is all talktive today isn't she?

J'o smiles gratefully as Idrissa greets him. Saves him from having to figure out who to talk to! He nods his head in a greeting back, then says, "Aye. Sand, salt…" he points to each of the sacks in turn. "I'm doing deliveries today. Where you want them?"

Where to put it? Idrissa ponders this and then points to where the sacks had been sitting before they was all used. "I think just over there would be fine." She scratches at her neck a moment in thought. "You want some help?" Well she might as well be helpful! Ripley stays perched upon her shoulder, a faint hiss escaping him while he eyes this new person.

J'o glances over where Idrissa indicates, then nods. "Looks good," he says, and drapes hat and scarf over the handles of the wheelbarrow before shaking off the offer of help. "Nah, don't you worry about it," he says, and hoists up the first of the sacks onto his shoulder, carrying it over to the wall and setting it down. As he straightens up again, he glances down along the stables. "How's the runners?"

Idrissa feels a bit strange not helping, but she doesn't push the matter. She shifts and moves back to where she was sitting. "Well, if you change your mind just let me know." Ripley seems a bit more at ease now that they are sitting back down it seems. "Ah, well.. There all doing fine. They don't really like having to stay inside though so some of them are grumpy over there."

The sacks are heavy, after all, and J'o's mother raised him right. He just smiles and nods to Idrissa's renewed offer, and heads back for the next sack. At her word about the runners, he chuckles. "Aye, that sounds right. They'd like it less to go and break their legs, though." He bends down and hoists the next sack. "Just can't please some runners." Halfway to the wall, he pauses for a moment, then resumes as if nothing had happened and goes and puts the sack down.

"True, a runner with a broken leg wouldn't be a good thing to have." Idrissa offers, making a face at the thought actually, she lets her gaze follow after J'o while he works, seeming a bit strange not getting to help him at the moment. "You alright?" Well he may have went about like nothing happened but she still picked it up.

J'o pats the sack once it's in place, then looks back to Idrissa. He hehs. "Oh, fine. Kaidoth just wanted to make sure I hadn't forgotten about dinner." J'o sighs. "Really, he wants to hunt, but with the ice we're not supposed to, and he's still growing too fast to miss meals waiting for it to melt."

Idrissa wasn't sure who this was, not until he brought up stuff about his dragon. She watches him a few moments, a faint smile seen and she nods. "How's he doing?" It's not like she spoke with J'o since they was candidates, and even then they most likely didn't speak a lot. Which is all her doing as she is not a talkative person.

"Oh, he's good," says J'o, and his smile is a fond one now. "Bigger'n ever… and he's flying good. Well, up until the ice grounded everyone, but soon's it melts, the weyrlingmasters say I can try flying with him." Terrifying yet awesome, if his expression at the prospect is to be believed.

Idrissa nods at this, an still smiles. "Well I'm glad everything is going well. An I hope you two can get to flying again soon." She scratches at her neck a moment while she glances around the stables, still no one else around it seems. "Have you figured out what wing you might wan to be with. Or.. Well do they ask you all that or just put you wherever you may belong?"

"Aye, well, don't go asking the weather for favors and you won't be disappointed," says J'o in the tones of one quoting a proverb, then smiles and adds, "Soon enough, I hope." He follows her gaze around the stables, though his eyes are more lingering on a few of the runners. "Hmm?" he says, then looks back to her. "Oh, ah… not yet. Later on, we're supposed to take turns helping with all the wings. See which ones we like."

Idrissa peers at him curiously at the proverb, a soft oh escapes her and she doesn't question it, a slight smile seen though. She catches the look he gives the runners and glances towards them. "Do you want to meet one?" This questioned while she stands up, brushing her hands off. "Well that's good to know. I'd always wondered how they went about doing that."

J'o chuckles, and shakes his head. "Ah, no. For if I met one, I'd want to ride, and I can't hardly do that now if I don't want broken legs." He smiles. "It's been a while since I've been in a stable, that's all." His attention returns to her, and he nods. "Aye, it seems a sensible enough way."

Idrissa ahs and seems amused at that. "Well, I an't a bad teacher if you want some lessons? An I can do my best to make sure you don't even fall." She points at the red looking runner that has a white mane and feathering across his hooves. "That one is mine. His a good runner, gentle an everything."

J'o's grin widens slightly. "It's not my own riding I'm worried about, m'lady," he says with a little bob of his head. "It's the ice." He takes a look at the runner Idrissa indicates. "Yours, huh?" he says, sounding a little surprised, then smiles and steps over to offer a hand of greeting to the runner. "He looks a good one."

Idrissa ahs a moment and shrugs slightly. "Well.. ya.. Point taken." not like she ment right now! A slight nod is seen as she peers in at the runner. The runner snorts out slightly and leans his head forward to snuffle at that offered hand. "Yup, his mine. I got lucky to get him." Very lucky after everything that happened that lead up to her getting that runner.

J'o holds his hand steady for inspection, then pats at the side of the runner's muzzle. "Well, a pleasure to meet you," he tells the animal, and smiles as he turns back to Idrissa again. Still no signs of anyone else in the stables. "Have they left you on your own here?" he asks with a raised eyebrow.

Idrissa smiles and chuckles softly. "I bet he'd say thanks if he could." To bad runners can't talk! A soft ah escapes her and she shrugs. "Ya, there a few around in the office but most of the work is done so there off at the cavern or something I suppose. This is sorta normal." Only because she doesn't tend to leave very often.

That brow remains lifted. "So how come you're still here? The caverns are colder than usual, but they're still warmer than this," J'o says with a wave of a still-gloved hand, and then his expression turns apologetic. "Am I keeping you from finishing something?"

Idrissa ponders how to answer that that, is quiet for a moment and shrugs while glancing around and soon goes back to where she is sitting. "I just didn't feel like being around a few people I guess." Yes she is totally hiding from her friends at the moment. In a place they know where to find her even. A shake of her head is seen. "No, your fine. Not keeping me from nothing at the moment."

J'o looks curious as Idrissa mentions not wanting to be around people, and he starts to take a step like to get himself out of here before he catches on to the part of it being a few specific people. He frowns, and the frown lingers even as he nods to how he's not interrupting anything. J'o hesitates for a moment, then says, "Well, it's not rightly any of my business…" A phrase like that is just waiting for a 'but', and here it comes. "But, if there's something you'd want to talk about, I can listen near as good as a runner, only I do admit to talking back sometimes."

Idrissa catches that movement from the other an is about to say something before he stays after hearing the rest of what she had to say. She sits back down, chewing on her lip from the looks from it. "Its alright, I'd bet you'd find it silly, or boring, or.. something along those lines."

J'o shrugs a little. "Might be," he says, and smiles. "Course, it can't be all that silly if it's got you hidining away. As for boring, well… my pa grew tubers. I got what you might call a tolerance for boring."

"Actually, this is sort of normal for me." Idrissa says with a soft tone after thinking about it for a moment. "When I first came to Xanadu I just mostly stayed here, working an all." A faint glance is sent towards J'o. "He grew tubers? Bet that was sort of boring."

When she first came, and now she is again. Seems there might be something there, but J'o doesn't press on it. Instead, he nods. "Oh, aye, aye. See, the thing about tubers is, they grow under the ground. You already knew that, most like, but think about it now. You got a whole field of plants, and every day you water them, and weed them, and for all that, you don't even know if you got anything worth tending."

Idrissa is a strange person, as for hiding out in the stables it just seems like a safe place for her. People tend to go to where they feel is safe after all. A faint smile is seen and she nods. "Ya, lot of work and you're not even fully sure what might come from it." She kicks at the ground a few times with a boot. "I'm just having a misunderstanding with a friend. I don't deal with confrontation to well." So she instead hides perfectly understandable, right?

"Aye. It's the mystery of the tubers. Most boring mystery ever." J'o grins slightly, then the expression changes to one of concern. Misunderstanding..? He's not sure what to make of that. Sounds like girl stuff, but… Confrontation?! That's different. He leans forward a little. "If somebody's causing you trouble…" he says with the start of a scowl. "I don't see as how you should have to go hiding away. There's things as can be done."

Idrissa blinks and peers at him, a slight wave of her hand seen. "No.. Nothing bad, just.. Stuff." She's quiet for a moment before a sigh escapes her and she eyes the ground. "I have two friends, boy and girl. The girl an I like the boy and we all know this. Just I sometimes feel like I'm out of the loop, and left out of things that I should know about. Everything the other night with the goldflight caused some issues." Yes issues is one way to go about saying it. "I got mad at him for some stuff he said, an I don't feel like talking to either of them now." Crazy kids.

It's not like J'o is any older! He nods slightly at the answer of 'stuff', relaxing a little in his posture, then tilts his head to listen as he gets a more detailed explanation of what that stuff in particular is. "Ah," he says, and it's his turn to be quiet for a moment. "The flight was… something." Yeah, like Idrissa's problem is stuff. "I'm glad Kaidoth's still too young to be interested in that." He frowns a little, and nibbles at his lip. "Well. I can't say I know much about these… weyr relationships," he says after some thought. "Don't quite make sense to me. But, seems like… if there's things you don't want, or, uh, do," Tiny blush there, "You oughta tell him, and if he don't do it then, it's not a good relationship, weyr or hold."

Idrissa peers at J'o curiously, she blinks an soon blushes herself. "No no.. Nothing like that. He wouldn't do that." If Kale did try she is rather sure a blue firelizard would try and maul him. "He and I are from holds." Maybe that is the problem, not that she has a problem to start with everything. She lowers her head a bit while eyeing the ground. I've just starting to wonder if we'd be better off just staying friends."

Aherm, cough, no blush here, nope. "Uh, good," says J'o. There's a moment of awkward, as he tries to look everywhere but at her face - oh, look! There's a blue firelizard! Who knew? - and then his gaze wanders back as she starts talking about the rest of it. "Can't rightly say, myself," he says. "Not knowing the land and all." He glances away, and adds, "But, uh, if you pardon my saying so, you're pretty and nice, and I don't see as how you shouldn't have a relationship you're plenty happy with." No blush here. Nope. His ears are just pink with cold.

Idrissa looks just a tad amused as she catches how the other is all blushy and coughing, a faint smile is seen for a few moments before she goes about hiding it. "It's alright. Something I'll have to figure out for myself." Along with talking to Kale about it, which is something she really doesn't want to do. She blinks, and is now blushing a bit more. "Ah… Thanks." This is said softly. "That's nice of you to say." There is a slight pause. "Maybe it'll work itself out." She isn't sure if it will though. Relationships are such strange things, even more so with teens that have no clue about them.

"Only true," says J'o. Not that it makes his ears turn any less pink (totally not blushing, though), or gives him anything useful to say into this moment. He stands there a moment trying to decide what to do with his hands, then aherms and turns back to the wheelbarrow to pick up his hat. He pauses again, hat in hand. "Aye, maybe it will."

Idrissa nods slightly before shifting, seeming a bit nervous now it seems, she clears her throat and glances after him curiously. "Still, thank you." This said softly once more, a faint smile seen again. "You sure I can't help you with the ones that are left?" Time to change the conversation it seems, so much so that she keeps at it. "Did you live at a hold before coming to stand?"

J'o bobs his head at the thanks, and smiles. It's only a little awkward, and he shakes his head at the offer of help. "After all the training, feels good to be doing something useful," he says with a small chuckle, and then nods to the change in topic gratefully. How about that new topic. "Aye. Sagel Hold. Kenid and I were both searched from there."

Idrissa smiles and nods while she tilts her head. "How do you like living at the Weyr?" She questions curiously. "It was really different when I got here." There is a pause. "I'm still getting use to some things."

"Aye, it's different all right," says J'o. "To tell you honest, I sort of miss the Hold, some days… but I wouldn't trade Kaidoth for anything." He smiles fondly at the thought of his brown, then hmms. "Now, wait. I'm pretty sure you been here longer than me, haven't you?"

Idrissa nods, see this was a good subject change! "Ya I've been told that before by riders. It must be a great feeling." Maybe she'll get lucky an get to know that feeling someday. A soft ah escapes her and she glances over towards him. "Close to four turns actually. So a bit longer."

J'o smiles warmly. "I don't rightly know what else to compare it to," he says. "Even when we aren't quite agreeing, I know he's there with me." He laughs, a little awkwardly. "I sound sappy. Sorry." He gives his head a little shake, then nods. "Aye, that is a bit longer. Where are you from?"

Idrissa shakes her head. "I don't think you sound sappy at all. Your just happy, an nothing at all wrong with that." She offers softly. "I'm from a colthold near Irene Weyr." A slight point is offered towards the runners. "Worked with and raised runners while I was there."

J'o smiles again, just a little, then shrugs. "Ah, I suppose," he says, but nothing more. Time for origin stories, and he nods to Idrissa's. "More interesting than tubers, that," he says. "I suppose you'd know more than me. All I did was ride my pa's runner on the way back to the fields."

Idrissa smiles a moment. "Well yes, more interesting. Though I bet we both had plenty of hard work to do. Before I lived there I lived down on the beach. My father was a fisherman, an then we had to come to the colthold." She nods towards the runners. "Well, if you ever want to go for a ride. When it isn't winter, just let me know."

"Aye, there's always something to be done around a farm," agrees J'o. "Runners or tubers." He pauses a moment, then adds, "Well, save in winter. That's about the only time you get free, after the harvest and before the planting. It's the chance to catch up on things." He smiles a little with memory, then nods. "Ah? Seacraft's not something I know much about," he admits, then smiles. "Aye, a ride'd be nice." He pauses a moment. "Once we're allowed… if you'd like a ride on Kaidoth… well, I wouldn't mind."

"I don't remember to much about the Seacraft bit, just that I went with my father at times near shore for fishing." Idrissa nods with a smile. "As for winter, yes can't do to much during then. Though there are some special shoes one can put on a runner so they have beter traction on the snow." At the offer to go for a ride on a dragon she looks to J'o. "Really?… I'd like that." For a moment she even has a warm smile at the idea.

"Sure," says J'o. "I mean, why not?" The reason for his sudden brusqueness is obvious if you just look at his ears, pink again. Whoops, there they go as he pulls the hat on over them. No way to see his not-a-blush now! "We're supposed to learn how to carry riders anyhow." Yeah, that's toooootally why he offered. Yep. "Anyway. I should get Kaidoth's dinner," he says, then hesitates.

Idrissa isn't sure on the 'why not' bit. As for him turning all pink, she sort of perhaps catches it just for a moment before his hat is pulled down. A soft smile is seen and she is blushes a moment herself. "Sure, just let mw know when how's that?" There is a pause and she clears her throat before nodding. "Sure, ah good luck with that. Thanks for talking with me. Was nice to see you agian." A wave is offered.

"Yeah," says J'o. "It was nice." He smiles for a moment before he looks away and picks up his scarf, tossing it around his neck with quick motions. "I'll let you know, and I'll see you around, okay?" There's another quick flash of a smile, and then he's opening the door again and dragging his wheelbarrow out into the cold. "Bye," he says, and then hurries off just a bit faster than is probably safe on this ice.

Idrissa follows on over towards the door, she has to close is after all! "Sure, stay warm an all." An don't flal on the ice… Not that she says that with him running off on it. She watches him for a few moments, curiously before she closes the door and leans against it. Ripley croons out slightly and gets a faint glower from Rissa at what image he may be giving her. "Don't even start with me."


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