Pre-Hatching Jitters
Who Sephany, Kassala, Zevuki, Neyuni
What Sephany visits with Zevuki and Kassala and discuss pre-Hatching woes.
When Summer - Day 12 of Month 8 of Turn 2714
Where Igen Weyr - Living Caverns

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Igen Weyr - Living Caverns

Second only to the Hatching Sands in size — although its walls are not so nearly circular — the living cavern is filled with numerous rectangular tables, almost too many to count. The Weyrleaders have the table farthest from the kitchen and hearths at one end of the cavern. The hearths are kept as low-burning as possible during the day when folk come inside to escape the heat outside. They burn brighter at night to keep away the deserts chill. No matter hte level of flame, there is always a stew pot that hangs for nibblers at a good temperature. Favored drinks, particularly iced klah and juice, are kept on ice and interspersed at various food tables scattered about, along with baskets of rolls and fruit. There are, of course, scheduled mealtimes, and at certain points of the day the available fare slides into the menu for the nearest meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snackings, but the staff has long since acknowledged that people will sit to talk and nibble here at all hours. In the cooler parts of the evening in particular, the cavern hosts games of chess, checkers, dragonpoker, and others. Several degrees are knocked off thanks to the Technician Craft's cooling system.


Given the discussions within the line of those seeking food and in the caverns more broadly is all about the hatching and exactly when it will be — ranging from 'any minute now', to 'tomorrow at dawn', it's not surprising they're keeping the candidates busy to try and keep their minds off things. Rather than the usual lunch break time, they're helping with serving and clearing tables, something probably needed just for the extra number of visitors pouring in for the expected hatching. Sephany won't catch sight of Zevuki until she glances to the front of the line, where he's manning the drinks table — which consists of pouring glasses and generally looking convivial — something the serious guard probably struggles with.

Sephany's own hunger seems to be the motivating factor, moving the lithe weaver from crowd-scanning to lunch-getting rather quickly. Mysteriously, she manages to find herself rather close to the head of that line, flashing eyes and subtle smiles working as intended to allow more than one person to pardon her little "skip" toward the front. So it is not long at all before she has a tray in hand and lunch selected; desert specialties that she cannot acquire at Fort dominate her plate, taking precedence over her normal preference for fruit and raw vegetables. That she finds Zevuki serving drinks is both a surprise and a source of amusement, and she can't help but to tease him just a little with a quick, "Considering a change in vocation? You would make a rather remarkable bartender, I'm certain."

"It's my backup profession," Zevuki admits, smiling as he sees Sephany, "As long as I'm only expected to lean on the bar and listen and grunt now and then — not actually contribute." He regards the various glasses, and selects one — white wine — and holds it towards her. "I'm going to try and sneak away for a break in a few. I'll come find you."

"Mmm," says Sephany, the corners of her mouth twitching upward in a barely contained smile. "I am fairly certain you would be required to mix a drink or two as well. At least on some occasions." The wine is accepted, delicate fingers wrapped around the bowl of the glass rather than the stem, a gracious incline of her head following soon after. "I will see you soon, then. Good luck with the drink serving. Just smile and nod — that's the trick to success." And so, with a smile and nod of her own, and a fair amount of amusement in her gaze, she will slip away to find a table with at least a few empty seats.

"How hard could that be?" says Zevuki, with clearly no idea — all he's doing is pouring from the bottles right now. It takes him a bit of time to extricate himself — probably most of it filling sufficient glasses to cover himself and maybe a favor exchanged with another candidate to watch over it. He finally slips away, coming up to Sephany's table and sliding in. He hasn't any food or drink with him, unlike others, giving him a strange look from others at the table, though that doesn't seem to bother him. What does bother him is the speculation, at the other end, of when the hatching will be. "Are you staying until the hatching, then?" he finally asks Sephany, in an effort at small talk.

Not much has been eaten by Sephany, despite the time that may have lapsed since locating her table and Zevuki joining in. His lack of food is noted by the weaver as well, a pale eyebrow lifted in silent question before she subtly nudges her plate into the space between them. An offer to share. A piece of redfruit is selected, lifted, and bitten as she glances toward the other end of the table and the conversation thereat. "Yes," is her quick answer, having swallowed her bite of fruit. "I have secured a day or two from my Journeyman, which should be ample time given…" though she does not continue that line of thought, frowning at the reaction the topic seems to be having. "Are you alright?"

After a moment, Zevuki shakes his head to the offer of food. "Maybe later," he says, easily enough. It's possible he ate before being put to work, but who knows. "Right… right," is his distracted response to her answer as his gaze flickers across the many unknown faces in the caverns. His brows go upwards at her question, however, gaze swinging back towards her. "Me? I'm fine." He seems just as stiff-backed as usual, really, but maybe there's more tension than normal.

Grey eyes study Zevuki; not at all shy about the way she is currently staring at him. It's the sort of look that conveys concern and disbelief for the spoken words. Clearly, Sephany is not buying it. But rather than respond immediately, she will simply settle into her chair and finish her piece of redfruit. And so silence stretches out as she watches him watching the room, a little twitch to the corner of her mouth at some sort of private amusement or thought. And then a shift in position, a lean forward as she lifts her hand and reaches across the short distance between them to try and place her fingers on his arm. To get his attention. To offer comfort. "It will be alright."

If Zevuki's uncomfortable with Sephany staring at him, well… he bears up under it well. He and Sephany are seated at a table with a handful of other empty spots. Zevuki was until recently manning the drinks table, but he's snuck away for a bit — the drinks seem to be well covered for now at least. He doesn't move when Sephany rests a hand on his arm, but he does exhale, slowly, then finally gives her a nod. "It's the… the waiting," he finally admits, in a low voice.

If there's one thing that Kassala has to be grateful for, is that she'd been held up in the dragon infirmary instead of having to deal with food. Slipping inside, the redhead looks like she's been up for a while today, and heads immediately for the klah before grabbing a few meatpies to take with her. Looking around she spies people she knows, including one she hasn't seen in a while. Heading to Zevuki and Sephnay, she smiles, "Hey guys.. mind another?"

As her touch is accepted, Sephany will let it remain there, a little squeeze of her fingers into his arm the only movement it offers. A small nod of her head, understanding in the gesture even as her gaze moves away from focus on him and back toward her meal. "I understand," though perhaps she doesn't. Not in the same way. It is an attempt at understanding, at least. "You are a man of action. Waiting must be rather difficult. Another squeeze of her fingers, and then she is withdrawing her touch, reaching for her wine glass instead. "I would help, if I could. But I am not so sure there is anything I can say or do that would provide relief. I cannot make the eggs hatch any faster than they will." A sip taken, the glass poised at her mouth as she thoughtfully considers her options. " I suppose I could…" but her words die off as Kassala joins them, a welcoming smile offered to the redheaded candidate. "Please," and she motions to an empty chair with a small bob of her head.

Silently, Zevuki nods to Sephany's words, not able to voice it but agreeing all the same. His head tips as the weaver keeps talking, for once his attention remaining on her rather than straying around the caverns as is his habit. His eyebrows go upwards, curious about her speculation, when she trails off. Straightening oh-so-casually, the guard lifts a hand to welcome his fellow candidate, gesturing towards and empty seat in invitation. "Not at all," he says, exhaling. "How are you holding up? They keeping you busy, too?" He has no food or drink, so he rests hands lightly on the table, clasped together.

"Thanks.." Kassala is quick to say as she takes a seat, looking between the two for a moment, "All well?" She wonders before laughing a little, "Very busy. There was that green flight last evening, and a couple of the males got into it, so we had some injuries to repair." Nothing too out of the ordinary for her. "I'm doing okay. Riohra came in last night. He's likely around somewhere's waiting for me to hang out with him in the evening." During their usual free time. To Zevuki, she asks, "How about you? This is your first time standing, yes?" She's honestly trying to remember which of the various candidates had stood before, and which ones hadn't.

There is a little shift to Sephany's position, a subtle straightening of her back and rolling of her shoulders. It may mean nothing. It may mean everything. It is followed with another sip of her wine and the casting of her gaze toward the end of the table before she looks between Zevuki and Kassala. "I am surprised he has not come to eat lunch," she notes with mild amusement. But as she has no practical experience with candidacy, she slides into comfortable silence as the questions are posed between the two actual candidates, happy enough to listen as she sets about nibbling on the various items she's selected for her lunch.

"Yes, my first," Zevuki says, with a well-hidden tension, allayed by an effort to make a small smile. "I figured Riohra would be here. It's… good to feel that we have people supporting us," he says, with a brief, if notable glance towards Sephany. "I'd imagine he's staking out the best possible position in the galleries, if I had to guess," he adds, with a sudden grin at the talk of their mutual friend.

Kassala nibbles on the meatpie, then nods at Zevuki's comment about the hunter of hers, gesturing to him while her mouth is full as if to say he's got the gist of it. Once the food is swallowed, she grins, "That's exactly what he's doing. My family will hopefully be here. One of my brothers is a rider at Ierne Weyrhold, and he's going to bring them up.. soon.." If they hadn't already gotten there with rumors of how close the eggs might be to hatching. "This is my second, and I think I'm just as nervous as I was the first time at Half Moon Bay…" The admission is made easily enough, klah soon to be sipped upon.

Neyuni slips in with the hungry masses migrating for lunch and considers her options unhurriedly as she gets to the food tables. A random assortment of small bites make her plate nad she takes a galss of something to drink before making her way to the cavern in general. Seats are a bit more limited and although most anyone woudl give way she shakes her head and takes the seat of one who steps away happening to end up near a couple candidates.

Sephany spares a glance between the pair, listening to the conversation even as she remains quietly nibbling on her food. The look cast in her direction sees a softer smile in reply, an affirmation of her support that does not require a verbal response. Another slice of fruit vanishes before she pushes the plate away with two of her fingers. But the wine is kept, sipped at slowly as her focus shifts between dragonhealer and guard. "Really?" she wonders, speaking up finally as Kassala admits to her nerves. "You don't feel that experience has prepared you for this one?" It's true curiosity in her voice, a seeking to understand something that she has not participated in. A glance for Zevuki, and then grey eyes settle briefly on Neyuni. She may have slipped over quietly, but Sephany is attentive enough to the table to notice they have been joined by the Weyrwoman, which demands a greeting from the foreign weaver for the sake of politeness. "Fort's duties to you and your Queen, Weyrwoman."

Zevuki seems entirely unsurprised about being right about Riohra, chuckling briefly under his breath. His posture is still stiff-baked, but that's normal — less so of the tension he had earlier. "I haven't heard if my family's arrived yet, though they'd planned to come up by dragon, I'd heard." His gaze flickers to Kassala, a hint of surprise in the guard's expression as he adds onto Sephany's observation,. "I'd thought you'd be less so as well, knowing what to expect." He can't help but miss the arrival of the Weyrwoman, straightening further. "Good afternoon, ma'am," he greets her, with a shift of glance.

Kassala blinks a few times, only to laugh a little more as she shakes her head, pony tail swinging behind her head. Before she might offer an explanation, thier greetings to Neyuni has her turning to offer her own to the weyrwoman, "Good afternoon, ma'am. " Cheerful and friendly as always. Waiting any answer first, she soon turns back to speak up to the other two, pulling Sephany in, "When you have a project due for your craft, don't you get nervous as to how it might be received by your Master? Even if you've done other projects before? You're still not sure how the new one will go over? It's like that… and yet more. " She considers words for a moment before she says, "I was left on the sands last night, so there's that mixed in as well." And then perhaps for Neyuni, she smiles a little, "I was happy for all my friends that impressed, but there's always that little bit of disappointment to be felt as well?"

Frowning briefly in thought, Zevuki nods after he passes a hand over short-shaven hair. "I… see," he says, slowly, regarding Kassala with a nod. "Perhaps you wouldn't mind me standing near you, Kassala. You can keep me out of trouble," he says, with a brief smile. Undoubtedly he's less worried about his own safety than concerned for his friend's girl, but that doesn't much matter. With another glance towards Neyuni, he clears his throat. "I should, uh, get back to it," he waves vaguely towards the drinks table, as he starts to rise, glancing Sephany's way but not saying anything.

Neyuni doesn't get but a bite in before she's greeted so formally. Seems one can't just slip into the crowd unawares, to many sharp eyes. "Thank you. I hope Igen's hospitality is being extended appropraitely. We've got quite a few extra visitors if you can imagine with the shells to crack at any time." though she hardly has any particular schedule of conveyances memorized and she simply nods to Zevuki and Kassala as another bite makes it to her mouth. If she was lookign forward to a break, to hearing the latest of candidates worries and speculations she'll be left out for hte thrum which slowly builds within igen's walls. "Well that just figures." she mutters and gets up, leaving her plate and striding back out without explanation.

Sephany knows that sound. She's grown up with that sound. There's a glance for the Weyrwoman, a glance for the door, and then grey eyes fix themselves on Zevuki with a sort of intensity that speaks volumes without actually divulging any information. "That… you have to go," she says pointedly, standing even as there caverns breaks out into a flurry of activity. "That is the dragon's hum. You have to go now," but even as she's saying it, she's not moving away but toward with a very determined sort of expression. "Good luck," is offered right before she's moving into him, to wrap her arms around his waist and press herself against his chest, forehead to his breastbone. It's a fierce sort of hold, but lasts no more than a few heartbeats before she's releasing her grasp and stepping away, pointedly looking anywhere at him. "Good luck, Kassala…" and then she's heading for the weyrbowl.

Kassala smiles, "Sure. I'll even let you hold my hand if you need too." Nervousness aside, she offers a quick wink to show she's teasing, though she could be quite honest as well if that's what he needs! With Neyuni speaking, only to hear the first thrums that begins, her eyes widen a little, "Oh shells!" Even as Zevuki attempts to go back to work, she rises and leaves her things, "Zevuki.. to the barracks.. they're going to hatch.. NOW!" She knows the drill. Time to get that robe on. A quick wave is given to Sephany before she'll look around to see if any other candidates are nearby, giving them a wave to alert them to head off to the barracks.

Zevuki hasn't done much more than stand before the hum of the dragons has him tensing up. He's pretty sure what it is, but he glances to Kassala all the same — being that she's both a dragonhealer and has stood before. Sephany's response draws his gaze towards her instead, though, and he opens his mouth to reply — when she's hugging him. He doesn't get a much more than a chance to pat her back awkwardly, before she steps away, leaving him blinking after her. "Uh… yes. Good," and he's hurrying after Kassala.


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