Who Sephany, Z'ki
What Sephany and Z'ki chat about late nights, early mornings, and gold flights.
When Winter - Month 3 of Turn 2715
Where Living Caverns, Igen Weyr


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.

Early morning in Igen sees a cold start to the day — not surprising for winter. Morning is not Z'ki's favorite time — that's the middle of the night — and the bronzerider looks a bit out-of-sorts as he stomps off his boots at the entrance to the caverns, before striding in. He's wearing full leathers, though his jacket is only half-way zipped up, and there's no helmet or goggles to speak of. He's making a beeline for the hearth, rubbing glove-less fingers together.

Morning is definitely Sephany's favorite time, whether in Fort or in Igen, and the very pregnant weaver looks simply delighted to be awake at such an hour. Her nose is in a book, a mug of hot cocoa (because Klah has been forbidden to her, now) and plate of fruit placed on the table in front of her, cloak draped over the back of her chair to provide cushion. The warmth of it is not necessary, as she has purposefully selected a table near the hearth. One of the benefits of being an early riser is getting first-dibs on table location. The beelining bronzerider gets a glance of grey eyes, because swift movement is worthy of attention, gaze lifting from the page of her book to discern the identity of the leathers-clad figure. "Good morning, Z'ki," she offers cheerfully, smiling brightly. "Were you on duty?"

Klah is claimed, first, and then — mostly as an afterthought — a plate of pastries. Z'ki's attention is drawn by Sephany's greeting, and he angles towards her table after he's collected his goodies, unsuccessful at stifling a yawn. "Morning, Seph," he greets, as he settles down into one of the free chairs at her table. "More like, 'will be on duty shortly'. The benefit of being one of the newest in the wing, I suspect — the shifts no one else wants." He gulps fully half the contents of his mug, before he exhales and fixes attention on the table's other occupant. "How are you?"

This early, the table is likely to be almost if not completely empty; and certainly Sephany has selected a spot with a nice little bubble of empty chairs around her (the better for reading without distraction). But her book is put away, ribbon slid between the pages as she closes the item and sets it aside, attention turned to Z'ki. "And apparently, the morning shifts are those no one likes?" concludes the weaver, turning the statement into a question with the gentle upward inflection on the last word. A bit of sympathy, for that, though clearly Sephany is the exception to the rule; give her the morning shifts, says that bright-eyed look. "I am well," she concedes, speaking honestly enough. "I feel huge, and my back aches, but I am told both of those things are normal." A reach for her cocoa, a little sip taken, before she asks, "How are you? Anything exciting happen on your last shift?"

"Especially not when it's been a late night the night before," Z'ki says, with a brief grimace — although there's no regret in his expression. Surely he's used to the hard, party-hard, work-hungover life from his time as a guard, one might guess. He takes one of the pastries, and after a moment's debate with himself, pushes the plate towards Sephany in offer. "You look good," he counters to Sephany's words, with a genuine smile. "Are they… do you know how long?" he asks, brow furrowed briefly, though it might be as much for her latter question as the response. "Not my last shift, no. Ji, though, uh, had us at Monaco Bay Weyr again the other seven. Seems the senior there was due to rise." He has the grace to look a shade uncomfortable. He obviously didn't win, given he's here.

"They do that?" asks Sephany with some surprise, "Schedule you late one night, and then early the next morning?" There's disapproval in her tone, perhaps misinterpreting his meaning. The pastry offer is accepted, and nimble fingers reach out to gather it up, cocoa set aside as she works to tear little bite-sized pieces to pop into her mouth. Grey eyes roll at his counter argument, but what she says is, "Thank you, that's nice of you to say," in a tone that says she does not believe him, but won't push the subject. Another bite vanishes, chewed and swallowed quickly before she answers. "They estimate that I am about eight months now, and so I ought to have another month to go…" and here she hesitates some, a brief twitch to her eyebrows as they debate whether or not to furrow. "The healers think I may go into labor early," she continues, in a voice that attempts to be confident, "But that I ought not to worry about it." But that is all she will say on it, moving quickly to a new subject. Which… is a good excuse to ignore her own condition. "Oh?" brief curiosity, mild confusion, and then "Oh," in dawning understanding as she takes in the state of discomfort. "Jizunoth chased?" And bless her, but she's too weyrbred for her own good sometimes. "Was it his first? How did you handle it?"

"No, uh," Z'ki clears his throat. "It was a bit of a, I guess, celebration? Someone's Turnday." And apparently in Bay there's an expectation of all-for-one, when it comes to celebrations. Fortunately, the klah is helping — and the bronzerider is downing the other half of it in quick succession. His brows draw down at the news that she might go into labor early, frowning as well. "That's… you should be resting then, shouldn't you?" he asks, dumbly. He doesn't know much at all about pregnancy, truth be told. And then, with an ongoing awkwardness: "His first," he confirms, with a shift of his weight. "It was, uh. I handled it." he doesn't seem inclined to give too much details. But then, when does he ever?

Blink-blink. "Oh." And now Seph understands the late-night, early-morning conundrum. As well as why Z'ki is guzzling Klah. There's a rueful look as she says, "I know all about that," because she does. She really does. Or she did, at least. But now there is cocoa and early breakfasts, books and conversations that are decidedly happening in Igen and not Fort. Another chunk of pastry vanishes, the weaver working through it at a swift rate, perhaps hungrier than she first appeared. "I am resting," she points out with a grin. "I'm sitting at a table, having breakfast. Although I am told that exercise can help speed things along." Does she want to speed things along? Unknown, and not revealed through tone or expression. The last bite vanishes into her mouth as Z'ki explains the handling of Jizunoth's first flight. Or… does not explain at all. For her part, Sephany suddenly looks a bit uncomfortable herself, clearing her throat and avoiding his gaze as her cheeks color just a touch as her question and his answer catches up to her. She knows all about handling it; and wound up pregnant as a result. "Well. At least you know what to expect. And he didn't win," which is worthy of relief, to be sure.

There's a brief flicker of surprise, perhaps, at the woman's admission, Z'ki lowering his mug. He reaches for one of the pastries left on the plate, though there's still another to be had, leaving it sitting between them like bait. "If I catch you making laps around the lake I'll be kicking up a fuss," he warns, with a not-so-threatening wiggle of finger. Clearly, he's wishing to change the subject off Jizunoth's failed attempt to catch a senior gold, since he says, "I was at Fort some days back. Got to catch up with R'hra and I'am. He says hi, by the way — I'am, that is. And to take care of yourself. And he wanted me to give you a hug, but…" he squints, briefly. "Not sure I can get my arms around you anymore," he speculates, the light grin that appears clearly teasing.

Why deny anything? Seph was very clearly drunk at Igen's hatching feast, and perhaps the memory of such remains. There is, however, no elaboration on either past or present shenanigans, just the drop of grey eyes to that tempting pastry as she seems to debate whether or not to go for it. Hm. "Don't you worry," she assures him, "I have never wished to run, for any reason. Though the site of you kicking up a fuss might just tempt me to try…" she teases, grinning. Apparently, she decides to go for that lone pastry there, a dart of her hands that she needlessly tries to draw attention away from by engaging in the conversation."Did you?" for catching up with old friends. "I miss them…" which comes to a stuttering stop (as does her hand, poised over that piece of breakfast-deliciousness) at his final words. "Ze-vu-ki," and the way she draws that out has 'mom-in-training' written all over it. "Did you just call me fat?!" Nevermind that she LITERALLY just called herself fat not three minutes ago. But really, she's not mad; despite the scowl she tries to make fierce, there is a gleam of mischief in those grey eyes that betray her. Indeed, a moment later she burst into a grin and a few giggles, rolling her eyes.

Z'ki has no such hesitations; he practically wolfs down the pastry in his hand, dusting the crumbs off soon after. His gaze mock-narrows, an attempt at a warning look after her threat of running. He's not serious enough to mean it, though, even if he's exceptionally practiced at doing so in his former — and current — line of work. "Won't be long before you're back there," he starts to assure her, before she uses his name in that drawn out way, earning a wince. "I mean… you're two people," he says, kind of awkwardly, before he exhales a breath when she bursts into giggles. "More pastries?" he offers, instead.

Perhaps Sephany just knows him too well, for her to take threatening looks seriously. Undoubtedly, as a former (and current) guard, Z'ki would have an intimidating look should he choose to, right? But Seph just smiles at the warning of retribution, defiantly relaxed in the face of dangerous threats. The theft of that pastry says it all really. 'Not scared of you!' says the snag of fingers around treats, and the bite that soon follows. "Hm," hummed around her mouthful, though she's polite enough to swallow before she speaks. "No, not too long," she agrees. "Though it will be… difficult going back. I'm torn. Both Igen and Fort feel like home, but it's physically impossible to live in both." Another bite of her pastry, and then a nod of her head at his offer to get more. "Sure," she agrees, once more finished with her bite before she opens her mouth. "I am eating for two, so why not? Might as well use the excuse, while it remains."

"Difficult to live at both," Z'ki agrees, "But easy enough to visit between them, either way." He hesitates a moment. "It's been nice having you here. But the way you talked about Fort… I think that's where you belong." He pushes to his feet, collecting his mug, and heads off to refill his klah, and collect more pastries. It doesn't take him long — there's not much competition this time of morning — and then he's setting the plate-ful of pastries down in front of her, before gulping down more klah.

"It has been nice being here," she agrees, smile softening some. "And Igen is where I grew up but… I think Fort is where I would like to belong," Sephany decides, hopeful. "But you are right; it is not so difficult to visit. Just a three-second skip Between, really," though maybe she is reassuring herself, more than anything else. Her filched pastry is finished by the time he returns, and she doesn't question the slide of that plate in front of her; simply selects the first one she sees to consume with small, delicate bites. She is quiet, contemplative, a little wrinkle formed between pale eyebrows as she considers things unspoken. Eventually, as her pastry is finished, she shifts and gathers up her things. "I ought to get going, before the morning gets away from me," she murmurs, book tucked under her arm, cloak quickly slung over her shoulders. That plate of pastries though… that is definitely coming with her. "I hope your shift is swift, but uneventful," she decides, flashing him a brief smile. "I will see you later, Z'ki."

Z'ki doesn't even try to claim one of the pastries, just chuckles as he downs the remainder of his klah, pushing to his feet. "And I ought to get onto sweeps. I'll try and catch you for dinner later?" he suggests, lifting a hand to Sephany by way of farewell, while he takes a detour to deposit his dirty mug before heading for the bowl and the day's duties, himself.

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