Fort Weyr - Flower Gardens
This fairly small portion of garden has been dedicated to the art of flower-growing, with everything seeming to radiate outward from the small fountain that's been erected in the very center. Flowing outward, like the rays of Rukbat, are paved paths that are lined with various things — from bulb-grown flowers to flowering shrubs. Any rhyme or reason is for the gardeners to discern; it is, to the most casual observer, a place where flowers appear to randomly erupt in vivid bursts of color through the year.
Carnation pinks, daisy whites, and rose reds typically dominate … but, from time to time, seemingly exotic flares of daffodil yellow and iris blue and orchid purple may make a memorable appearance. Pansies and other such flowers also peek their heads out from time to time, if only to add unexpected glimpses of color where green and brown dominate. The air is thick with the perfumes of flowers as they bloom, the commingling of scents being potent but not overwhelmingly so.
Around the stone fountain in the middle are a few low benches, with everything appearing to have been made with an eye for the abstract. The fountain itself is a thing made of stone and overlaid with broken bits of tile and glass to make an eyecatching mosaic in a rainbow of hues; the benches are sturdy, made of well-treated wood that's been carved with stylized floral patterns and stained a rainbow of hues to reflect as much.

Winter has come at last to Fort Weyr and the morning brings a sky that is a mix of blues and grays, the winds high and cold. Snow covers the ground, a thin covering for now but certainly the start of far more to come. Most weyrfolk are avoiding going outdoors, while others bundle warmly against the elements but it makes for some crowding in most of the inner caverns. So those who wish to find some solace have to be creative and Rayathess for that reason has slunk his way to the flower gardens, where the worst of winter's chill is kept at bay by a more modern greenhouse. He has seated himself by the fountain on one of the many empty benches and while he still wears a heavy fabric jacket, it's opened and his scarf hangs loosely around his neck. The young man is lost to his thoughts, staring off distantly at the sluggish water of the fountain and the myriad of hues of glass and tile that make up the mosaic. At his side is a small container of food, also forgotten and likely pilfered from the kitchens on his way up to the gardens.

Restdays are hard for a certain guard: She normally ends up spending her restdays trying to do more work, until someone literally shoos her away and tells her to take a break. Even her PT is interrupted and she's scolded for pushing too hard. And after all of that and finally being completely kicked from the guard area until the day is over: Taegan is making her way into the garden. Boots scuff the ground as she walks, chewing on a sweetroll that's been forced on her. Clearly, her day is not going well, especially of the frown on her face is any indication. More scuffing, and an idle rock comes into her path. With a swift kick, the rock is sent flying. She does not look up to see the results of her work, which is unfortunate as she would see that Rayathess is currently in her path and thus: in the path of the rock.

Is this karma come back to haunt Rayathess for the time he kicked a rock at some unsuspecting sunbather on the lake shore? He may think so, somewhere deep in his thoughts as Taegan's unintentional aim remains true. The rock flies and then pings off of one of the young man's shins, which brings a startled yelp and a string of curses as he's jolted from his brooding. "Shard it all!" he hisses, leaning forwards to rub at his leg and grimacing. Looking up beneath heavily furrowed brows, green eyes spot the young Guard and seeing as she is the only other soul in the gardens, blame instantly falls to her. "So what'd I do this time to earn that?" he says with just a slight sarcastic edge to his tone and a smirk to follow swift. He's probably assumed that she's been sent to fetch him or something has occurred that requires her presence. Never in his mind does it cross that she has been chased from her work and forced here for her restday.

Karma does have mysterious ways of working, even if the intentions of Taegan were entirely innocent. The yelp in response has the brown eyes of the young woman lifting, landing on the young man and then steadily widening. Mouth opens, then closes. There's a brief look to her sweetroll as if she's considering stuffing /that/ into her mouth, as if it would get her out of this situation. But no, she quickly straightens while cheeks flush a faint shade of pink. "Sir, nothing, sir. I'm sure that you've done absolutely nothing to earn a rock to your shin, which was unintentionally sent in your direction as I wasn't paying attention, sir. If I had looked up, sir, I would have not kicked it in my attempt at trying to find something, sir."

Sir? This has Rayathess frowning in suspicion instantly, given that no one has ever addressed him as such and if he is usually given a title, it is his old one (which he brushes aside) or it's intentionally meant to barb him (which he brushes aside but inwardly allows it to barb and stick). He stiffens a bit where he sits on the bench, eyeing her now with a long and searching look as if to sense out if she's in fact mocking him or actually serious. Thankfully for both, he is leaning towards the latter and so only snorts to her response and smirks. "Drop the sir, will you? We both know I am no 'sir' and you outrank me." Pause. "Ma'am." He says it respectfully but under his tone there is just a hint of mockery there. "Don't worry about the rock." he mutters then, leaning back against the bench again and shrugs his shoulders. "Accidents happen."

Rayathess hasn't exactly been given a /good/ looking at, but when he dismisses it and tells her to drop it there's a skeptical look given to him. A few more steps and she's brought in closer to really get a look at him. There is no sound, but her eyes do take a different light. "Sir is still polite, regardless of ranking, just as one would address a woman by 'ma'am' when trying to get her attention, especially if their name is not known." A simple statement, though said with more conviction that her babbled quasi-apology from before. Brown eyes focus on the man, chin lifting slightly. "Accidents may happen, however, I should have been more aware of myself and my actions. I should not act without regard to what may happen around me. I apologize."

Rayathess only peers at Taegen further as she approaches and now his suspicion wars with baffled confusion. Who is this woman? Or rather, is she a new breed of Guard? He isn't certain and so keeps himself aloof from her for now and offers only the barest of smiles for her apology and spoken explanation. "Perhaps," he mutters, "But I still think it is odd to be addressed as 'Sir'. I'd address you as ma'am because you are a Guard and it is respectful." And he is nothing? Is that what he's getting at? He shakes his head then and after a slight snort that is more a sniff, he goes on to add. "Apology accepted, then." Even if not needed. Rayathess flicks one of his hands then in a sweeping gesture. "So, up here for the quiet too? I suppose if you were distracted, you weren't sent to fetch me," Haughty of him to presume! He smirks, gaze fixing on her as though he is gauging her reaction to that jab.

"Then, what do you wish to be addressed as? I will consider changing it." Taegan states simply, but that also hints that if she is not pleased with his answer then she won't change at all. "Regardless, it is polite. It is better than saying 'you there'." Her stance does not change, remaining almost at attention (except for the fact that one hand is still holding her pastry). Though, it takes a moment for her finally to take another bite of said pastry to finish it off. Hands then fold behind her back as her apology is accepted, a nod of acceptance given. But, as to his question, there's a slight frown. "I wasn't sent to fetch you. Nor am I here for quiet. I was kicked from the guard area."

"Nothing. I have no title and no rank beyond resident. So my name suffices," Rayathess says curtly but it's honest. Would that be good enough for her? He snorts again but now there is a hint of dry amusement to his tone. "I would actually be used to 'you there' as a greeting," he points out but at last tires of the game and takes the first step to introductions as it seems Taegan will not oblige. "But if you must use something, my name is Rayathess." He intentionally leaves the last half of his name unspoken, either figuring she knows of him or doesn't need to know. As she finishes her pastry, he recalls his own neglected food but he does not touch it, save to cover it again and push it to a safe distance. Rayathess starts a little then as neither reason explains her arrival and instead she offers one that intrigues him despite his wary and suspicious nature. "What'd you do to get yourself booted from there? You don't seem the rule breaking type." Another smirk, another implied jab.

"I could call you Nothing if that pleases you, sir." Is that a joke? Taegan's face remains exceedingly neutral, and the same as the rest of their conversation. "'You there' is incredibly general, and can be any person in a room full of multiples." And then, his name is given and a curt nod is given in response. "Rayathess, then." Whether or not she really knows his name is given no indication, either. The woman, so young, is already so stiff. His question is met with a slight frown, more towards herself and reflection than the man asking. "I work too much, they said. And they have told me to leave, otherwise I will be given another restday tomorrow." Poor Rayathess, those jabs are going /right/ over her head.

Poor Rayathess? More like poor Taegan. The young man has already begun to form his own opinion of the stiff young Guard and already deemed her little threat (which may be a huge mistake on his part) to him. Especially when she goes on to admit she is so devoted to her work. One of those types and so far oblivious to his taunting and so his smirk only grows and so does his haughty attitude. A Guard he can push? Perfect. A bit of unwarranted payback for all the other Guards he had the "pleasure" of meeting. "If that is your choice to name me 'Nothing', then so be it. Could be worse and at least you are semi-correct," he fires back to her "joke", if it ever was one. He then blinks at her blunt and logical statement and only gives her a narrowed look. She's… not serious? Yep, she is. Shaking his head, he almost rolls his eyes but controls himself. "What a pity, to be punished with a restday." he drawls and this time the sarcasm in his voice is unmistakable.

That growing smirk? She sees it, she'd be blind if she didn't. And she wouldn't be good at her job if she couldn't see. Taegan simply doesn't respond, arms remaining behind her back. "I will not call you Nothing, now that you've provided me with a name." There's likely a bitten back 'sir' there. "And, as you say that… That means you do nothing around the Weyr? You use their supplies and give nothing in return?" Her chin lifts again, this time, the frown is directed towards him. "Restday as a punishment is awful. There is nothing to do and it is not productive at all."

Well played, well played. Rayathess bristles at Taegan's implied remark, chin lifting and posture growing tense. "I never said that I do nothing," he replies curtly. "Only that I hold no title validating a 'Sir', at least in my mind. I think 'Sir', I think the Weyrleader or Weyrsecond or even your esteemed Captain. Not myself." Does that make more sense? He narrows his eyes again, "I do my share of work around here. Whatever they deem to trust me with and I do not complain. I owe the Weyr much for what they have done for me," And his remaining surviving family but he's not about to go into the sordid details of his past now and certainly not with her. He ignores her frown and only stares at her openly, brows raised in disbelief. "Then you need a hobby." he declares flatly. "If you're so determined not to rest."

"Good. Doing nothing is entirely different than having nothing." Taegan relaxes, only slightly, as shoulders drop slightly but still remain rather squared. "I am pleased to hear that you are working." She'll not press into him for more information, either not caring or simply not wishing to overstep. Her chin lifts again slightly, "and, what would be a hobby?"

Rayathess has to bite his tongue as the urge to snap 'No, really?' in a snarky tone almost overwhelms him. But he reigns that behavior in (she IS a Guard, after all) and instead only exhales heavily. "Exactly. I'm no lagabout. I do my share when it is needed and it would seem today I am not needed so…" He spreads his hand to sweep the air. "Here I am." Doing nothing. At her next statement though, he stares again but in clear incredulousness. "Shards and… you're not toying with me are you?" he asks, giving her a long and questioning look and coming to his own decision that she is serious. Sweet Faranth! "A hobby is something you do for fu" Wait, might not be in her vocabulary. " You do as an alternate sort of work. Like… I'd do wood carving as a hobby even though that isn't my Craft or main job. See?"

"Then, you are a fine man, and sir would not be far off for something to call you." Taegan's gaze briefly shifts away from the man, scanning the area. There are no changes, so she turns attention back to him and offers a slight smile. "I did not mean to offend, I was curious as to what you did. You said you were nothing." She repeats. His question of her sincerity is given a lift of her brow. "What purpose would there be for me to toy with you? Or anyone?" A blank look comes at his attempt at an explanation and as he halts mid sentence to readjust. "Oh. Huh…" This has the woman thinking, finally breaking her gaze on him for something other than checking the perimeter. "What would I do?"

Rayathess blinks and then blinks again. Him? A fine man? Laughable and that's exactly what he does as he tilts his head back and laughs, gruff and sharp. "You are too kind," he drawls with another smirk as he disregards her comment and dismisses it with his snarky retort. He leaves the misunderstanding over 'nothing' to finally lie, but at her blank look he only shakes his head and rolls his eyes to look up for a moment. Faranth, someone save him from his woman! It's becoming harder for him to hold his tongue and his head is beginning to ache. "Plenty of reasons! There are folk out there who manipulate and lie and cheat and take pleasure in toying with those weaker than them. You may not be one of those, but one can never be too sure." Ouch? "How should I know? It's personal preference. So you have to choose. What else do you like aside from… whatever it is you do as a Guard?"

His 'compliment' is met with a shake of her head. Taegan dismissed the topic as well after that, not pushing for anymore on the subject. In her head, Rayathess is now filed as a 'fine man'. "Of course there are people who lie and cheat and take advantage of the weak. And, I fully intend on stopping anyone who feels that they need to take advantage of the weak and those who cheat. It is a little harder to stop liars, though." Everyone lies at some point in their life, even innocent lies. As for his response for her question, there's a frown. "I like to workout." That's not much different from what she does as a guard. "I don't really do anything else."

Good thing Rayathess will never know of how Taegan has 'filed' him or he'd never be able to look her straight in the eye again. Not that he can now, unless he means to challenge her or stare at her in utter disbelief, which he'll do again as her reply only floors him. Now he's beginning to wonder if the woman took too many blows to the head in her duties or training. How can she function like this? "So you have a goal then." he says, only to smile faintly and crookedly. "And you are right, liars are the hardest to stop or even find." But that is a whole different conversation and one he is not in the mood to discuss. Rayathess almost facepalms right then and there in front of her, but he resists and only pushes to his feet instead and brushes off his clothing. "I'm not wholly surprised but maybe that there is your problem…" Pause. Wait, did he ever get her name? "Ma'am." He finishes a touch awkwardly. "Now if you'll excuse me? Pleasant to chat and all, but I should be going." To do what? He said he was doing nothing. Was he a liar then? Unless Taegan stops him, he'll then try to step past her, flipping her a half-waved salute before turning his back to her and striding towards the kitchens with hardly a backwards glance. He's a headache he needs to go nurse!

Taegan nods, "certainly. Everyone should have a goal." It is a simple statement. Though, his reply has her frowning again in concern. "That's my problem?" That utterly confuses the woman, and she's left blinking after as he steps past. Clearly, she has something to think on.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.