NOTE: This scene takes place two days after Legendary Rum Hunt!

Fort Weyr - Weyrleaders Offices
Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort just as its counterparts have. But unlike the Weyrsecond and Junior Weyrwomen offices, this cavern is spacious and formed in a rough semicircle of three conjoined caves that were carved and modified Turns ago. The middle portion acts as a waiting room of sorts, holding only a few modest chairs and a simple tapestry to otherwise brighten up the plain stone walls. There are no windows here and the only light comes from well placed glow baskets.
To the right, the smaller of the two adjoining caverns has been set aside for the Weyrwoman, a large desk situated in the middle and a bookshelf pressed against the wall. A small hearth allows for some warmth in the colder months and another cabinet rests across the room to hold various supplies, as well as several books, reports and records. More tapestries have been hung there, lending some color to room.
On the left, the larger cavern belongs to the Weyrleader's office and the walls here are littered with a vast array of maps, as well as a tapestry hung behind where he would sit. The desk is large and the wood aged, looking old and a bit worn, but well tended too. Shelves and a bookshelf line one wall, crammed with rolled hides, other maps, books, reports and records and all arranged in an organized chaos. A small hearth has been built in here as well and various well placed glow baskets are hung to offer just the right amount of light in this windowless office.
Both offices have stout wooden doors that have been carefully worked into the stone. They can be closed and locked if privacy is needed but are often left open.

It's two days after the Istan opening ceremonies. Nyalle returned home that night, waited the whole next day for Th'ero to show himself. He didn't. It's now the /next/ day and Nyalle is working in her office, waiting to see if he'll show up today.

Does he ever have a lot to answer for and he's not even through the door yet! Th'ero knows better than to keep Nyalle waiting too long this morning and his boot steps will sound in the hall as he approaches her office door. A knock and then he is gently nudging the door open. "Weyrwoman? Don't mean to disturb you, if now is not a good time, but could we talk?" He doesn't step all the way through the door quite yet and just from the way his body is held against the door, he's carrying something. Presents? Peace offering?

Nyalle sits up, and when she sees Th'ero her expression flickers through a couple emotions at the same time. Relief and irritation are prominent. "Now is a fine time, Weyrleader Th'ero, if a day late." Did she just…burn him? A bit. She pushes to her feet fine boned hands against her desk. "Please, do come in," she says, moving around her desk towards the door in case he needs help getting through it.

Th'ero will be happy with relief and irritation for now. He was half expecting things to be thrown at him or… something equally as bad. Yet she greets him in her usual formal way and he even has the sense to flinch and grimace at her jab. "I do sincerely apologize for that but neither Kimmila and I were well enough to fly and we arrived back to Fort towards evening." And he had some things to catch up on. Stepping inside, he will shake his head when she goes to move around her desk. "It's alright, Nyalle, but thank you." Because all he's carrying is a tray and on it is a little tea pot steeping some tea, a teacup, sweetener and cream (or milk) if she prefers either for it and some light breakfast foods. Sweet breads and fresh cut fruit. Lots of it. He sets it down on her desk, well away from her paperwork and gestures to it as he steps back. "I wasn't sure if you ate already… but I was going through the kitchens and thought I'd pick something up."

Nyalle continues to move past her desk, so she can close the door behind him. At least she doesn't lock it. Then she's back to her desk, surveying what he brought as she sits down. "This looks lovely, Weyrleader Th'ero, thank you. Please join me?" she offers, gesturing to the chair. Then she watches him for a moment, studying. "A hangover?" she guesses, with a slight wrinkle of her nose.

Th'ero would have been worried if the door was locked but as it is, he relaxes and now he looks a little relieved when Nyalle seems to accept the little peace offering he brought. "Of course," he murmurs to her offer and promptly seats himself in the chair. One would never guess that he had been hungover. Just a slight tiredness to his eyes, but he's very neatly groomed this morning and dressed in his good clothes. "Ah, yes. A particularly bad one and rightfully deserved for my overindulgence. Now I know why they warn not to drink much of that rum." Or mix it with other alcohols. Ugh. He grimaces and then shakes off that memory. "So I paid a heavy price and suffered. But enough about that…" Pause. "… how're you, Nyalle?"

Nyalle nods as she prepares her tea and takes a sip, listening and watching him. But…enough about that? "No, not enough about that," she says quietly, gently setting the cup down. Uh-oh? "I don't think it's right," here we go, "for Fort's Weyrleader to be drinking his way around Ista."
Th'ero sighs and scrubs his hand along his chin. No, it couldn't be so simple, could it? Here we go! "No, I'll agree with you. It wasn't entirely proper of me. But Weyrwoman Cenlia had offered and I figured… it couldn't hurt to agree? Just a few of her favourite places among Ista and a drink or two." Or several and shots included. "She's very… persuasive and charismatic. We had some discussions concerning traditions and both similarities and differences between our Weyrs and how some of her riders were of Fort. I know it's not much of an excuse, Nyalle… But it is just how the night progressed. I got swept up into the atmosphere of the festivities and I unwisely did not keep as firm a grip on my indulgence." He's only human?

Nyalle frowns. Really? He's using the 'it just happened' excuse? "I am aware of Cenlia's…" be polite, "persuasiveness. Be that as it may. I hope you do not find yourself in such a situation again."

He is playing that card because to Th'ero that IS what happened. There was no pre-planning this. Conversation went as it did and he went with it and it just snowballed from there. "No, I do not plan for it to get quite so out of hand again, I can assure you." He's getting to old, for one thing, to get that drunk on a regular basis. "Honestly though, Nyalle… no harm was done? Weyrwoman Cenlia seemed to be enjoying herself and we brought no shame on Fort, or Ista for that matter, in our conversations." What little they remember of it! Th'ero can even bring up that it'd likely cement some sort of good relationship between the two Weyrs, as he's doubting just how much Cenlia remembers. His memory is certainly fragmented!

Nyalle continues to frown, even as she takes another sip of her tea. "How can you be so sure no shame was brought upon Fort? You were in public, were you not? People saw you, and your weyrmate and Weyrwoman Cenlia stumbling around drunk. I had someone come up to me later that evening to say he'd seen you stumbling out of…" cough… "The Crusty Barnacle, and Kimmila being sick over the pier." FROWN.

Th’ero frowns right back at Nyalle and his mouth draws into a thin line. Well… damn. Of course they’d be seen! He knew that… somewhere in his head, buried among all the other thoughts clamoring for attention. “Ah, yes. We didn’t know the names of the locations Weyrwoman Cenlia was leading us too. She said they were her favorite or at least where to find the best in local drink that Ista had to offer. Kimmila was ill, unfortunately, yes. I apologize again that you had to find out about this from other sources. Though I’m sure we weren’t the only ones stumbling about drunk…” And he holds up a hand at this, to delay any protest she may have. “… and I’m aware that given my rank and Weyrwoman Cenlia’s it may look inappropriate to some but…” He pauses to think for a moment and then sighs. No, there’s no digging himself out from this one is there? “We were just trying to enjoy the evening.” he mutters.

Nyalle shakes her head with a continued frown and then a sigh. “I don’t care about everyone else, Weyrleader. I care about you and about Fort’s reputation.” She’s going to protest anyway. “It was vastly inappropriate.” As for enjoying the evening…she looks a bit startled. “Getting drunk is enjoyable?” She sounds like she’s honestly not sure.

Th’ero’s frown deepens when Nyalle insists on using his title, rather than his name. He’s starting to feel like a weyrbrat earning a scolding for stealing sweets from the kitchens and he’s bristling at it. He’ll rein in his temper though, gripping it firmly and setting his jaw to keep from snapping something at her that’d just make things so much worse. “And I do not fault you for that, Nyalle. I don’t feel as though I have tarnished Fort’s reputation and I’ll be as bold to say that you’re overreacting by just a little bit.” He even makes the gesture with his hand, holding his index finger and thumb out to a small length. See? He sighs then, shaking his head and she may notice that his voice is regaining some of his original accent, usually when he speaks lower or on certain inflections. When she startles, his brows lift in surprise. “Well… not to that extent usually, no. Fun the night of, but the morning is… regretful.” Hangovers suck. “Drinking in moderation, however? It can certainly help relax a social gathering. Not all the time and usually I only drink among those I am comfortable around. Or — if the company I’m with happens to have an extreme fondness for it.” He means the Istan Weyrwoman. He grimaces, “It won’t be something I’ll do again.”

Nyalle shakes her head. “I do not think I am overreacting.” Of course she doesn’t think she is! “I understand drinking in moderation. I had a bit too much to drink that night as well, but I removed myself from the situation before I had chance to embarrass myself or Fort.” Then there’s a nod. “Excellent. That’s what I wanted to hear, thank you. Is there anything else?”

Th’ero’s frown remains and part of him is whispering urgently to just leave it alone. That part may have the name ‘Velokraeth’ attached to it but of course he doesn’t heed it. He’s stung and annoyed by Nyalle’s behavior towards him. “You are overreacting,” he counters, but keeps his voice as level and gentle as possible. “I did not embarrass myself or Fort. You do not hear them gossiping about it, do you? Save for the one individual who felt it necessary to come to you and tattle and curry favor to the Weyrwoman.” Ouch. So much for being gentle? “We removed ourselves from the situation as well. Which is is why we were in the ground weyr.” He just gives her a look then, when she’s all but ready to dismiss him. That’s all she wanted? For him to admit a wrong he doesn’t fully believe in? His temper flares again, but he bites it back. “Yes, there is. If you’ve a few minutes to spare I’d like to just… talk.” Casually. Awkward? Yes, it is.

Nyalle’s expression sets stubbornly. “I can not keep track of all the gossip in the weyr,” she counters back. “It was wrong.” The end? She flushes a bit at his talk of someone tattling to curry favor, and that has her hesitating. Thinking back. Really? Did that person…was he just seeking her favor? She frowns deeply and takes another sip of her tea. Then…”About what?” Color her confused. Talk? Just…talk?

“No, no one can keep track of all the gossip.” Th’ero agrees and then leans back in his chair, still frowning. He’s stubborn too and he’s trying to make her see that yes, what he did wasn’t exactly proper but that no damage was done. “But therein is the issue. If I had done so poorly by you and Fort by way of reputation and images, do you not think that there’d be a lot more heated whispering by now? Instead there is nothing. Not in Ista, not in Fort. No cries of scandal or debauchery. Should I have done it? Perhaps not. But it happened. Should I be scolded about it like an errant child? Because of one’s person’s report on something that was not their business to run to you about? No.” Yeah, he’s a bit peeved now. As for what to talk about, Th’ero just shrugs his shoulders and lifts his hands up to spread them out before folding them back into his lap. “About anything? You said you had some drinks too that night, but aside from that… did you enjoy the ceremonies? Ista?” That’s a place to start with, right?

Nyalle opens her mouth and then closes it, sinking a bit into her chair. “Of course, sir,” she murmurs, “you’re right. My apologies.” She sips her tea, staring at her desk for a moment. “It was fine, I suppose. Very busy. I am…not a fan of large gatherings, but I did my duty. I danced a lot, and that was somewhat enjoyable, depending on the partner. I met lots of people. It was nice.” Just nice.

An apology! Only Th’ero takes no relief or pleasure from it, cursing himself when Nyalle shut down and closes herself off. Damn it! Maybe he should have gone to Inri first… Nothing he ever seems to say or do is quite enough. That and he keeps screwing up. “Please, Nyalle. I’ve a name,” he says but his voice is gentle again and without edge or anger. He’ll even try a small smile, to see if that settles her a bit. “And I’m not entirely right. You were within your right to have your concerns and you’ve expressed them to me, which I appreciate. I just did not… approve of being accused or feeling like I am for something I didn’t do. Could it have happened? Certainly. But it didn’t. And I’ve promised you already that I’ll be cautious in future situations of that nature. I’m a man of my word.” Almost to a fault. Her elaboration into her evening may not be the most colorful or open, but Th’ero views it as a start and he gently begins to pry with a few soft spoken but innocent enough questions. “The Weyr Games will no doubt be busier than any Gather. Large gatherings are not something I enjoy either, but you’ll find in time that it is almost like a routine that you can, more or less, control.” Depending, of course but he doesn’t get into that quite yet. “So you did get a chance to dance? Heh, well. Suppose not all partners can be well matched?” He smirks a little. Nice? That’s it? “Have you had a chance to explore much of the Weyr?”

Nyalle continues to sip her tea, watching him and listening. All she does is dip her head to the first part of his talk. “Well, yes,” she agrees, “but it will be /here/. In Fort.” Where she can excuse herself and escape to her room if necessary, for a little while. “I danced quite a bit. I was well trained in that art at High Reaches.” At least one good thing came of her training there? “The dancing got progressively…” Hmm. “Sloppy, as the night went on, as people drank more I suppose.” There’s a pause, and a curious look. “Explore much of…this weyr? Of course, it is mine.” Then she flushes. “I mean, I live here now. It’s not, I didn’t mean to imply I /own/ it.”

Th’ero tries not to look too disappointed or frustrated when Nyalle allows most of their previous conversation to slip away with nothing more than a nod. He almost brings it up again but quickly ends that thought and allows things to progress. “Does it make you a little more comfortable to host events here?” he asks curiously, only to lapse into silence as she opens up a little more. Okay, this is good, right? They’re talking! Not really connecting but… talking! “It’s one thing to be trained,” he muses, “And I do not doubt for a second that you’re anything but a good dancing partner, but do you enjoy it?” There’s a difference, apparently? “Ahh, that’s a pity. Perhaps drink or perhaps some tiredness.” Th’ero blinks, confused by her curious look and then her reply. He chuckles softly, “Nyalle, it’s alright. It’s good that you consider Fort “yours”. It technically is. You are Senior and you are the Weyrwoman to her people. It is your home.” For now, anyways, but it does not seem like Kayeth will be unfit anytime soon — or Nyalle, despite her struggles. “And I would hope you’ve explored Fort! I was speaking of Ista… sorry, I wasn’t so clear.”

Nyalle considers that, before nodding. “I believe so, yes. As you said, it’s more in our control.” She pauses once again. “I enjoy it with some partners, yes. But not everyone.” She clears her throat softly, brushing dark hair away from her face from where it’s fallen free of her braid. “Ista? No, I did not explore Ista. It didn’t seem proper to go wandering off. I stayed at the party for the most part.”

Th’ero can’t argue with that and now he nods his head too. “It would be. We will have to start putting in thought to the preparation for our hosting of the Weyr Games. To be sure we’re not overwhelmed when the time comes,” he murmurs, only to smile faint and crookedly. “Isn’t that usually the case?” he muses on the topic of dancing and dance partners. Again, he cannot entirely fault her for not wandering Ista either. “Well, perhaps while the Games continue, you may? Would you like it if I escorted you? I’ve been to Ista now a few times… sober, on these occasions…” Did he just try to joke? Yes he did! And he’s trying to offer her a… date? No, nothing quite like that. But has he ever offered to take her anywhere before? Even if as Weyrleader and Weyrwoman. “And I’d be happy to show you around. Properly.” Meaning no bars named The Crusty Barnacle.

Nyalle nods, reaching for a stack of hides on her desk, shifting them over towards him. “I have begun making lists of required supplies and looking into their costs and where we might best get them. We are doing well but there are still things we need. I have a meeting tomorrow with two Woodcrafters that were recommended to me, to see about building what needs to be built, as per Cenlia’s notes. We’re doing well in our preparations.” When he offers to be her escort, she looks up, surprised. And…eager? Pleased? It’s hard to tell. “I would enjoy that very much, Th’ero, thank you for offering. His joke goes right over her head.

Th’ero reaches for the stack of hides, not at all surprised that she already has one prepared. “Excellent. That certainly cuts back on a lot of time right off.” he murmurs, already flipping through a few and nodding his head a bit as he scans the lists, so far in agreement with all that is written. “Should I have some of these lists brought to Wingleader Yhri’s attention? See which transport riders can be available and if there are any Craftriders willing to add in some extra hours,” he suggests, finger tapping the appropriate hide. For the rest he smiles softly. “Seems as though we’re right on track then.” Which is a relief to him to hear and when she reacts in surprise to his offer, he hardly looks phased by it. Was it expected? Probably and of course his joke would go right over her head. “Perfect. Was there any particular day you would like to go? I could always check the event schedule and see if there is any particular competition we may wish to be present for as well?” Minus the mudwrestling and sparring. Somehow… he does not think Nyalle will approve of either of those.

Nyalle nods with a small smile. "Thank you, I would appreciate if you would." Then she considers. "Are there any events where Fort is heavily represented? Perhaps mock threadfall would be a good one for us to be at…" No, mudwrestling would not be her first - or tenth - choice of events to see.

"Consider it done," Th'ero murmurs with a small smile in return as he tucks the hides away safely. "For Mock Threadfall, I've signed my name into it." he explains, a touch sheepishly. "Since… I thought traditionally a Weyrleader should lead his riders." She can forgive him that, right? "Though there would be a Queen's Wing?" he suggests with a vague smile. Little does he know, she'll have that accident with that flamethrower… "We could be present for some of the Wing specific events? Like S&R and transport. As spectators. Or do you think that'd make our Wingriders nervous?" Bad enough hundreds are watching you and your Wingleader and fellow Wingmates, but your Leaders too? Hmm.
Nyalle smiles, and she looks /pleased/. "Excellent. I was hoping you would sign up for that. Yes, a Weyrleader should lead his riders. Good." /Good/. "Perhaps…" Though she is struggling with the flamethrower. "I think that is a fine idea. If it makes them more nervous…" Too bad? "We should be there in support."

Th'ero did something right for a change? He relaxes a bit when she seems so pleased and he smiles gently. "I'd not miss a chance to lead our Wingriders into a mock Threadfall for the world. That is one tradition that needs proper respect and honour," he says. He'd have made a good Weyrleader in Threadfall-times. Not that he isn't one now! But to him it won't be so much a competition as an experience and some way of honouring their past. Then there's the other half of him that hopes they kick all the other Weyr's butts at it. He can strut a bit, right, if Fort wins? "We should be, yes. If it doesn't make them nervous, it will perhaps work in our favour and encourage them to perform to their best. So it's settled then? We will go to one of the Wing competitions?"

Nyalle smiles all the more, nodding her head in a display of pleasure. Yes, he would have been. "Yes. I think that is a delightful idea and I'm looking forward to it." Another smile. A record!

A small victory! Th'ero nods his head and then pushes to his feet, making sure the hides are still safely tucked at his side. "Wonderful and so am I. I won't take anymore of your time for this morning, Nyalle. Thank you, though, for speaking with me. I'll keep in touch and inform you with an appropriate amount of time as to when we'll be due in Ista. I'll be within Fort today, so if you need anything, have Kayeth bespeak Velokraeth. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go see Wingleader Yhri and then I am due to see the twins and Kyzen for lunch." Work and family. A delicate balance, but he's trying to fit it all into one day!

Nyalle nods as she rises to her feet as he does. She looks a touch…wistful? "Sounds like a lovely day. Thank you, Th'ero. Clear skies." And after he's gone she'll settle back to her desk, staring at it for a moment before she pulls out a fresh hide and begins to write.