Fort Weyr - Weyrsecond's and Jr. Weyrwomen's Office

Aged by time, just like the other offices carved into the stone, these ones have lived through the ages of Fort with the only change given to time being subtle ones to the decor as new staff come to fill the space. Situated next to the Weyrleader's Office, the small cavern leads into a spacious alcove of sorts before branching into two separate directions. On the right it leads to the Weyrsecond's personal office, a modest sized room complete with all the necessary furnishings required, along with a few shelves, a book shelf and storage for records and reports. On the left, it leads to the Junior Weyrwomen's offices and this larger room is set with three desks rather than one, along with all the other necessities needed. Both offices have small hearths built in to offer some warmth in the colder months and as there are no windows, several glow baskets have been installed to offer enough light and a few tapestries hung to offer a touch of color. Doors have also been painstakingly worked in, allowing some privacy if needed, though often they are left open.

Reports, gotta love 'em! It's been another long day out at the holdless camp, yet before there's dinner to be enjoyed, those cryptic notes the Weyrsecond has jotted down throughout the day must be converted into decipherable paragraphs for the Weyrleaders. With the weather being damp and drizzly, the walk back has been an uncomfortable slog through slippery mud, making it seem longer still. Even with the collar of his leather jacket turned up to ward off the chill, the occasional trickle of icy rain made it down the beck of D'ani's neck. Thankfully there's been a fire made up in the hearth of the office he shares with Inri; the coals banked only need the addition of a few logs to bring it back to life. Dripping jacket hung over the back of his chair, leather satchel opened to retrieve his notes, it's not long before the scratching of pen on paper mingles with the snap-crackle and hiss of flames - a peaceful sound.

Ezra was just in Dtirae's office, so it doesn't take him long at all to dart down to the Weyrsecond's office with Zoi. Who is, mercifully, clean and dry. For the moment. Rapping on the door, Ezra does not wait for an invitation like he did at Dtirae's office. He just pokes his head in and then slips in the rest of the way, as Zoi bounds around to try and greet D'ani with a beg for head rubs. She is /so/ neglected! "Hey."

"Com- Oh! Hi Ezra. What's up?" Surprise colors the question, probably because Ezra was the last person D'ani expects to see in here. He's pleased to see his friend, though because the quick smile he directs the teen's way chases the fatigue from his face before his attention is commandeered by Zoi. He's happy to give her the ear rubs she craves, setting aside his pen, shoving both it and the paper off to the side, swiveling his chair for better access to the canine.

Ezra steps up to D'ani's desk and then skirts around the side of it, standing a bit awkwardly by Zoi. Then he licks his lips, digging into his pocket. "Dtirae said yes," he says, holding out the note. Which the weyrwoman has also circled 'yes'. And the boy just waits to see his friend's reaction.

One dark brow lifts at the awkwardness he catches in Ezra's stance, but D'ani says nothing about that just yet. RubrubRUBScritch- His friend speaks and his hands pause in place. He doesn't seem surprised by the answer, nevertheless he reaches to take the note, eyeing it for a moment it while his other hand remains on Zoi's poor neglected ear. With a small smile of satisfaction, the note is flicked to re-fold it, then slipped into his breast pocket. "So, how'd it go?" he asks almost too nonchalantly.

Ezra shrugs a shoulder with a little jerk, glancing at him and then away, turning to wander around the little office. "It was…hard?" he says, crouching down to poke at the fire with the poker. Boys and fire. "It was awkward. I didn't know what to say. She didn't either. She blushed. I think she liked it."

D'ani chuckles at the news, hastily turning it into a cough. "Sorry. Wasn't laugh…ing…at-" he makes a handwaved gesture to indicate his friend. He resumes Zoi's ear rubs, but absently now because he's watching Ezra. After a moment, he rises and takes the few steps towards the hearth, reaches for a basket of long, skinny pine shards and places it within Ezra's reach. Taking one himself, brown eyes merry, he joins in the poking. Boys and fire indeed! Cos if you're going to play with it, might as well use something that will catch. And risk singing fingers. "I thought she might," he says at length, appearing to give the fire his full attention. All the while he's eyeing Ezra side-long. "It's supposed to be awkward," he explains belatedly. But… he didn't warn him beforehand. Oops?

Ezra grins at the addition of the pine shards, grabbing a handful and darting one into the flames. Waving it back and forth, daring it to catch until it does, and he holds it until the last possible second, watching it shrivel and vanish as the greedy fire consumes it. "It is?" he asks with a frown, glancing briefly at D'ani, then back to the fire. "She said - I said we still needed guy time. She agreed with me." That's kind of what happened.

D'ani just flicks little embers from the edges of the hearth back into the fire with the tip of his pine-shard stick but nods in decisive answer to the question. "Yep. It is." Then he reaches out a hand to squeeze Ezra's shoulder reassuringly. "I didn't think she'd expect I neglect anything, least of all you, Ezra. But I'm glad she reassured you on that account." The crackling flames fill the pause before he says (very sincerely and humbly), "Thank you for doing that for me."

Ezra shifts a bit beneath D'ani's touch, but turns to give him a fleeting smile. Then he looks guilty, shifting again and gazing back into the flames. "I told her to be nice to you," he mutters, fast and quiet. "I told her we was family. And she said she was sorry for making me angry. I wasn't /really/ angry," he says, glancing guilty at his friend. Best tell D'ani this now, instead of him hearing it from Dtirae, right? "It was just so awkward and I didn't know what to do, so I hope I did good."

Ohhhh that guilty look! D'ani has seen that before. He opens his mouth to ask what's causing it but the rush of words from Ezra forestalls him. He…almost guffaws at the admission, but manages to swallow the impulse. He's genuinely touched by it, really. Being so protective of Ezra these past few turns, he's more than pleased that the troubled boy has taken the step to allow himself to be vulnerable enough to feel protective of another. "Aye, we are family," he agrees through a tight throat, whether he defines family as such or no. He's honored. At the second guilty look, a squeeze of the hand that rests upon Ezra's shoulder meant to reassure the boy, he says, "You did good. Perfect in fact." Then he drops his hand to resume flicking embers into the flames, chuckles and asks, "You got the Weyrwoman to apologize to you? Heh, that's an accomplishment."

Ezra is definitely protective of D'ani. And fiercely protective (and clingy) of their friendship. He just hasn't had need to show it before now. Reaching up, he grips D'ani's elbow and squeezes him back before the hand is retracted. "Perfect?" His shoulders sag in visible relief. And then he blushes. "It is?"

D'ani tries not to seem amused, but it's there around the edges, even if he's totally sincere that Ezra has indeed performed a feat. He nods, "Mmhm. She's the Boss, the Top Dog, the Big Cheese. She's the power that runs the Weyr, yeah?" He flicks another ember; it tinks against the back wall of the fireplace and explodes into a burst of red sparks. Glancing at Ezra for agreement, he continues, "So she… technically doesn't have to apologize to anyone… in theory." He chuckles, adding, "At least that's what the harpers and my craft masters drilled into us about those who wear the biggest knots. You have the courage of a scrappy wild feline, my friend."

Ezra blushes a bit, ducking his head and shrugging as he catches another bit of pine on fire and lets it burn. "I guess," he mutters. "I just…" And he hesitates, lapsing into silence as he tries to work out his tumbling thoughts and emotions. "Just wanted her to know what's what and that we're close and all and that she can't take away our time and that I don't want her to hurt you or make you sad."

D'ani gives Ezra the time he needs, not minding the silence while the teen sorts through his feelings. He reaches over to the small stack of split logs selects one and places it on the fire, the hiss of heating sap within it along with the crackle of renewed flames fills the span of time until he speaks again. D'ani nods thoughtfully to Ezra’s sentiment, but allows silence to fall once more, taking his own time to gather his own thoughts. He says finally, "I get that. But you need to know that I wouldn't allow anyone to take all of my time. I doubt she expects anything like that anyway." He turns to look directly at his young friend. "Ezra, it means a great deal to me that you don't want anyone to hurt me or make me sad, really it does," seeking the teen's eyes, he continues earnestly, "but I take my chances just like anyone else when it comes to relationships; you can't protect me. That's… pretty much how it works for everyone. Nothing's guaranteed." Welcome to the grown up world?

Ezra laughs, short and low, and with a heavy tone to it that brings Zoi back to his side. She flops down and turns, lifting massive paws into the air and begging for a belly rub, which Ezra slowly gives. "I know nothing's guaranteed. Just…I just wanted her to know that you're my family. It's…I wasn't…I don't know." He exhales heavily, shaking his head and staring at his fingers caressing through Zoi's soft fur.

"I know, Ezra," D'ani says quietly. "That's understandable. It can be confusing sorting though all the changes. It'll sort itself out eventually. You did fine." He watches the boy and canine for a few moments before tossing his pine shard into the flames and rising slowly, stiffly. Long day, cold wet walk; he needs dinner and a long, hot soak in his bath. "I need to finish this report and get it to the Weyrleaders. You wanna stay and we'll go get dinner? I'm almost finished."

Ezra smiles a bit. "Did I? I hope I did. I wanted to do good. It was important." Watching D'ani get to his feet, Ezra does the same, brightening eagerly at the suggestion. "Yeah! That'd be great." Walking over to a chair, he flops into it to wait. Quiet but eager.

And so the scratching of pen resumes, the crackle of flame, the soft hiss and pop of embers falling from charred logs once more fills the room. Thanks to the fire, the room is warm and snug, keeping the damp chill of Fort's winter evening at bay while the orange-gold light flickers and dances across the walls and ceiling. It's soothing enough that it might put the Weyrsecond to sleep if it weren't for that intermittent growl of his stomach and the ache of empty belly. When the report is finished, it's delivered to the appropriate desk, afterwards D'ani will share a comradely supper with Ezra before heading to his weyr for that soak.

'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.