Mostly Silent Treatment

Fort Weyr - Stables
While the stables aren't elaborate or very big, the Fort Weyr runnerbeast stable is well-cared for. With five stalls down each side of the aisle, a small office makes up one end, with a tack room beside it. On the other end is a storage room, a feed room on the other side. The stalls are box variety, with the walls between stalls thick wood built two-thirds up from the ground. Stalls along the near side are a bit wider than on the far side, to accomadate Fort's ride runners, as well as hold guests' runners overnight when needed. Feeders and waterers are set into each stall, with also a hay net set against the far side of each stall, near the mesh framed doors. Lighting is dim, but there is enough light to see by. The air is nearly always the crisp scent of runners, even just outside and nearby the stable.


No one has actually hired Anrila as a Fort Weyr stablehand, but that hasn't stopped her frequent presence; she's not actually officially on anyone or anywhere's payroll, and while she belongs to Stonehaven, like her brothers there's a bit of a niche for her there at the Weyr. She's not quite as connected as Ezra, but she has enough people familiar with her — and just about all of them are people working with runners. She has therefore gotten their permission to hang about, and since she's been there anyway, is currently serving as a groom for some guardsman's mare. The runner is in the crossties, and Anrila is combing her down and humming a little bit; whether it's to the runner or herself is unclear, but the mare seems happy to listen.

Hazelon too is in a rather… not quite 100 position in the weyr. While Th'ero had made it clear that he was free to do as he wished, the total freedom had made the recent jail bird more than a bit uneasy. Thus, even though his place in the established order of the lower caverns is well and truly BUSTED work has been found for the teen while he figures things out. Someone, unthinking, has sent him out to the stables today, perhaps not thinking about how easy it would for the teen to steal a runner and make his way off. Entering the stables Hazelon sends a gaze drifting around. So different. Here is where Rayathess had first spotted him and turned his life upside down. This time though, it is Hazelon's turn to spot a Stonehaven, and his eyes widen slightly upon seeing Anrila. What is she doing here?

Working! Clearly. At first Anrila doesn't register Hazelon, in the way where Anrila doesn't register the fact that someone else has come in at all. When she does register the sound of footsteps, it's initially a glance over her shoulder — dark eyes looking through short hair that's begun to redden, just as the rest of her has started to fill out and look more teenager than little girl. (At long last: she's fifteen, but she probably looks more like thirteen.) A blink before she entirely processes who she's looking at, and then she just watches Hazelon for a few seconds before returning to her charge. Looking for instructions? Not getting them from her. Looking for socializing? Probably not getting it from a Stonehaven.

Seeing Rayathess had been a shock. (Mostly because Hazelon had thought him DEAD.) Seeing Ezra agaain had roused anger at the accusation the teen had laid upon his head. Seeing Anrila… Simple and utter confusion. There in the doorway Hazelon hesitates. Does he speak to her? Should he not? Dark eyes move away from the teen to search around the stables for something else to distract himself. She doesn't seem to want to speak… which is probably just for the best. All of the guilt Hazelon feels comes roaring back past the pent up anger at her brothers. No. It would be best to just stay away. He moves deeper into the stables, keeping his eyes away from her as he walks. He'll find someone else to tell him what needed to be done.

Anrila remains close-lipped, but while Hazelon is right in that she doesn't want to speak — which is also not really personal, as it's rare she talks to anyone not family unless there's some reason she has to — it doesn't stop her from repeatedly looking at him. If asked, she'd say she didn't want to, just couldn't help herself. Curiosity killed cats and confused Anrila, as it's not as if she has any good reasons to be curious. Just mountains of bad ones. She goes between the grooming of the mare, clucking softly to her, and watching Hazelon. Maybe she's worried he'll steal a runner and take off, though she doesn't seem to be all that concerned.

Hazelon disappears into the office in the far corner of the stable, and when he comes back out it is with a clearer set of directions then those which he was sent down here for. He heads towards where the runner's feed is kept and begins the process of moving food from where it is, to where it needs to be. His gaze is kept very busy-bee like down…. except for when he looks up at the Stonehaven and then down again. Perhaps their eyes will even meet once.

Indeed they do, and then Anrila pales slightly — it's a strange combination between the flush of fear and the blush of being caught, though nothing else about her posture really seems afraid — before looking down and smiling awkwardly at her feet. Then trying to pretend it didn't happen, starting to braid the mare's tail like it is the most interesting thing in the world. (Though as soon as it seems he won't be looking at her anymore Anrila does give another quick over-shoulder glance to be sure Hazelon's still where he was when she last checked.)

Hazelon jerks his gaze away too, and jabs the sharp prongs of the pitchfork harder down into the hay. See how hard he's working? Not at all staring at the girl. When she does look up again though, he won't be there. With one runner fed he has moved across the way to another stall, disappearing around the barrier and into the area proper. All silent like.

That is the kind of hard working that is physically hard on the tools, but it's not Anrila's problem — actually, she almost smiles a little bit over the focus. It's the mare who breaks the silence, suddenly letting out a loud whicker and nosing at Anrila's pockets; that results in her actually speaking, but it's not to Hazelon. It is, however, audible: "No, I haven't got treats. Shh. Put you back in your stall in a minute and you can eat." Fate would have it that they'll probably collide and hit the same stall at the same time — but not yet.

Hazelon's head pokes above the divider in the stall when Anrila's voice breaks out. He even almost smiles at the content of her words, but it is short lived. Down his head goes again as he gets back to work. The only sign of his still being there is the scratch of the pitchfork.

Lo and behold, there it is: the coincidence. For the stall Hazelon is in at the time Anrila finishes with the grooming is exactly the stall that she is pulling the mare into — she didn't make the connection, apparently, and so it's only once she has the door open and the runner a couple steps in that she stops to apologize. And apologize she does, with words, even! "Sorry - she's starving - we can wait a moment."

Hazelon is more than a little startled when the stall door opens and the area is suddenly FILLED with GIRL and RUNNER. He freezes for just a moment, then forces himself to relax. He's not sure what the girl would have heard (other then, hey, this person attacked your brother, haha, just kidding, he's innocent) so he's not quite sure what face to slip into. So he defaults to the fort norm- passive. "Sorry ma'am," not that Anrila has much call for the ma'am, but Hazelon will tack it on anway. "I'll be gettin' done in just a sec." Turning his back on the girl seems wrong, but he does it and goes back to forking the hay into the feeder as quickly as he can.

"You haven't —" Is that entirely true? Anrila rephrases, softly and politely, "You aren't doing anything wrong." That's better. Leaves no judgment on whether he has previously done anything wrong, and therefore avoids the topic. She doesn't say anything further, because while it may be polite to say something along the lines of 'it's no trouble,' the runner is a bit eager and so it also kind of is. The pair of females have at least taken a couple of steps backward.

Hazelon works quick, and in short enough order the bin is full and ready for both runner and her. He'll look up again, through the sharp prongs of the pitch form at the girl. Words once again curl on the edge ofthe tongue and then die again. No. He isn't doing anything wrong hasn't. Anger stirs but he forces it down.

Anrila's own emotional state is completely unreadable; she only comes off as a little bit tense, no more and no less. The runner is the picture of calm, though, as the girl walks her into her stall and around to be able to smell and enjoy tasty food goodness. "Thank you," she says, all politeness but not actually ingenuine — she may not be sure what to think of him, but the mare she was working with has been fed, so it's a soft-spoken but genuine thanks. Whether or not she's also thanking him for trying to save Raya … good question.

Hazelon edges around the girl, and moves himself out of the stall completly. His eyes meet hers for just the briefest of moments before he's gluing them back to the floor. There are so many words that could be said, but Hazelon drags a majority of them back and stuffs them under a rock. "Sorry 'bout your brother. I… tried to be tellin' him it doesn't do no good to be huntin' up the past." With the most words spoken since the last time Th'ero had let him out of his cell he moves on past the girl. Job to be done. Then he can go try to shake off his confusion.

"I —" Anrila starts, and then finds herself pausing again; she certainly doesn't like thinking about the past, but that's been her coping mechanism all along. Cling to what you've got, don't mourn what you've lost, move forward. Also, get close to as little as possible. Find safety in nothing. It's really not a good coping mechanism. "Thank you," she repeats, hesitant again, and, "He doesn't blame you," provided Hazelon meant Rayathess. That much, she knows. That's all she can confidently say, and so it's all she will say.

Hazelon knows a little bit about very poor coping mechanisms. Hasn't he spent the last three years hiding his real self and being willing to do drudge work that is more than a little beneath his ability level? But her words, rather then being reassuring, feed the seed of anger that Hazelon does hold towards Rayathess at the moment. "He shouldn't be." The words are snapped off abruptly, before he takes hold of the anger with both hands and shoves it back into a corner. No. Focus on work. The sound of his pitchfork scraping upon the ground sounds from the next stall over, working vigorously.

"He did defend you," Anrila points out, as if somehow Hazelon didn't know that. Far cry from accurate. She no longer has any reason to be there, but she's remaining in the runner's stall simply because she can. Her voice remains even and quiet, no actual true emotion or any sort of anger or fervor to it. Simply observant. It's just an observation Anrila felt was required, even if it was also stating the obvious.

Hazelon does know this. He does. It doesn't help. The scrap of his fork echos more, stone meeting metal in a cross between uncomfortable and comforting screech. Anrila's observation is not one for which Hazelon has an answer for. Only too soon that stall is done also and Hazelon exits that stall to enter the final one, which stands across from where Anrila stands with the runner. No looking at her this time, just work.

Anrila should leave. There is no sense in continuing to stay and pet the runner, even if the mare appreciates it, and letting herself get into debate with Hazelon. Who she barely remembers. Because she doesn't let herself remember things. And yet — she doesn't, not yet. She'll stay until a few minutes after he goes, most likely, and then go on her own way. "You do like runners, though," she clarifies carefully: he shouldn't be in here if he doesn't! It seems like an important thing to bring up. To her. Like maybe it's some kind of resolution.

Anrila may not remember Hazelon, but he remembers her. They were so similar in age- at least, the age Hazelon has best been able to reckon himself to be. There might be a year or so lost therein. "I like to be busy, and doin' somethin' to be earnin' the food they be lettin' me eat." It's an answer of sorts, perhaps more neutral then she had expected. "Can't be doin' nothin' till I'm leavin'."

It's about that; she never talked much before, though, so it's no surprise that Anrila doesn't talk now. Setha's sister was the strong and silent type. Very strong, very silent. "Are you?" Leaving, is implied, but not outright spoken: she probably knows discussion of moving to Stonehaven happened, but isn't willing to bet that Ezra is presently interested in following through.

"Less I figure out somethin' to be doin' here, there ain't no reason to be stayin." Hazelon says this quietly as he forks the food into the final feeding bin. His back is to the girl. "Weyrleader be a food to be thinkin' what he's thinkin'." Vague is fun.

As much as Anrila tries to keep to herself, there is also the part of her that is still a fifteen turn old girl who has been through a lot of very hard things in a very short time, and turns later is still recovering. "What's that?" she dares ask, though it's not particularly demanding and would be easy to ignore.

When Anrilla asks her question Hazelon finally pauses in his work to twist around and fix the girl with a look. It is not her place to protect her, and yet, he hesitates in answering her oh-so-simple question. "There's some people what ain't lookin' to be doin' any good."

"Not surprising." What is also unsurprising is that Anrila has become a pessimist about most of the world, though the mild-mannered way in which she takes the topic at hand is completely obscuring her actual inner discomfort. Though, shockingly, it is not actually with Hazelon. Just — in general. "People are kind of terrible."

"Aye." Hazelon doesn't try to defend any part of Anrila's assessment. Rather he turns back to his work and forks the last of the hay into the feeder. "Mayhap… I'll be seein' you?" A weird question/statement combonation, which suprises the very careful Hazelon himself when it falls from his lips. Maybe he's just happy to have finally found someone who agrees with him?

That very likely has a lot to do with being similar-aged in the same place at the same time, considering which place it was. "I am — usually here, right now," Anrila admits very hesitantly: it's not an invitation, but it's not a 'leave me alone,' either. If Rayathess cared enough to defend him, maybe he's trustworthy. There are things he'll understand that others won't. And so it is tacit permission more than anything else — if he does want to see her, this is where he can.

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