'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.

Fort Weyr - Storage Room
This room is filled with shelves, crates and boxes of dried goods, material, and other necessities of weyr life. The shelves are kept neat and tidy at all times and the floor has been swept clean recently. Occasionally a candidate or fosterling can be found in here cleaning and tidying, or checking for signs of tunnel snake or other pest infestations.

The main stores of Fort are usually a place of ordered chaos. Things are kept neat and tidy in their crates and boxes, some even on carefully labeled shelves for those unfamiliar with the Headwoman's organizational system. There's almost always activity - people passing through the main storage cavern to the small alcoves of more specific materials for crafts, or bustling in and out from the kitchens to get the supplies for the next meal - which seems to be an ever-in-progress task. Today, as lunch preparations are getting underway, there is more chaos than order - mostly focused in the clothing section of the stores - which, thankfully, is somewhere deeper than the food stores, so at least the kitchen aids don't have to worry about breaking their necks. The clothing stores are a mess. R'oo stands amidst opened boxes, crates, and baskets, bits of fabric strewn everywhere. His expression is perplexed, hands settled on his hips. A grey and white checked fedora sits at a jaunty angle on his blonde-haired head, and he's wearing, of all things, a pair of trousers, red suspenders, and no shirt. It's not much of a mental leap to tell what he's here for.
*grey trousers…

A day of optional chores, and Xandis was snagged as he emerged from the deeper tunnels of the weyr - accused of dillydallying - and sent into the Stores to help with the various boxes and baskets brought back from the southern expedition - it really precisely is how he wanted to spend his day, honest. As the lunch time bustle picks up, the candidate is taking advantage of everyone's distraction to slip away, hopefully unnoticed, deeper into stores. Ducking behind a box, something is pulled from his pocket, before he takes note of his surroundings - and the shirtless Weyrlingmaster that lingers there. "Good.. Good morning, sir." Xandis replies, hurriedly shoving his hand back in his pocket.

"Elari, put that /down/!" A sharp command issues forth from one harried-looking Candidate on a mission. Alzanbri gives his shadow a long look of exasperation as the little girl's lip wibbles and she holds up a bright red oilskin coat. "But —" The curly-headed child whines, and Zan presses a hand to his forehead, wincing. "C'mon, kiddo, let's just…get the tarp and I'll find a cook and see if they'll let you test dessert? Okay?" The lad wheedles, and eventually gets the child to obey. Then it's down another row, and while Elari peers curiously at the Candidate and Weyrlingmaster, Alzanbri doesn't really notice them until he's almost run into Xandis. He does a funny hop-skip backwards to avoid that, squeaking (in a manly fashion) and extending an automatic arm to keep the little girl from…danger? Right. Because that's all that can ensue from…"What are you /wearing/?" A beat. "Sir." And he slants his fellow a look. Does /he/ see that? Elari gapes. Then giggles.

R'oo's moments of macho brooding (no, really! He's swoon-worthy!) over shirt choice are interrupted by the appearances of a candidate. Brows furrow even more deeply, but grey-blue gaze seems to light up a bit. "What color?" He demands of Xandis, sweeping up a handful of tunics as he does - there's pretty much one of every color, from plum to puce to pink. "I have a da" It's easy to see the screech of one set of gears and the desperate attempt to make a smooth shift of gears (that doesn't work) as his voice carries into, "meeting. An important meeting. With — er. A… someone. Someone important." Not that they asked, but perhaps volunteering such obviously truthful information (ha) will allay any curiosities. The shirts are shook in a wiggly rainbow towards the older candidate, a very childishly demanding gesture. Then there's a squeak and a question, and his eyes are drawn to Alzanbri and his young charge, eyes flaring wider, concern wrinkling his brow. "What? You don't like it? Is there a wrinkle?" And then he's comically turning about like a canine chasing his own tail searching for whatever error Alzanbri found with his sense of style - which couldn't possibly the sense of style itself. No, no.

Xandis is sure to let Melze know. Actually, scratch that. He'll be sure to -not- let Melze know, or else he might lose the opportunity to ever get a(nother) kiss. As R'oo questions the candidates about his stylistic choices, and starts to explain, the young man's face falls briefly, before its replaced with pursed lips and a rather unamused expression as his hand balls into a fist in his pocket. "Purple. Always, always purple. Preferably sueded." The candidate's answer is short and quick, but somehow he does it with a straight face - and an unamused glare.

Alzanbri /peers/ between Xandis and R'oo, eyes half-narrowed, curiosity evident as he backs away. One step. Two. Maybe safer from this distance — "/My/ daddy doesn't wear funny hats to meetings." Volunteers Elari innocently, eyes wide. She does not in a sagely fashion Xandis-wards, though, little lips pursing. "Purple's pretty. Like a flower." She beams. Zan actually facepalms. He clears his throat a few times and glances around maybe slightly wildly — escape will have to be put off, though. To be fair, he does at least eye the poor rider's outfit to make sure it isn't wrinkled. Finally, "Nope. Not wrinkled." he concedes. "Uh…oh. Right. Shirts there." Cue a nosewrinkle; whether at his own expense or not is unclear. "…the hat is nice? I dunno about purple. What one matches your dragon?" Well, he /does/ have a lot of female relatives. Blame it on that.

"Purple, purple, purple," R'oo mutters as he hunts amongst the handful of shirts, tossing shirts this direction and that - one or two almost certainly being discarded haplessly on a trajectory that might end up with one, two, or all three of them being smacked by or catching shirts of spring green, lemon yellow, and citrus orange. Why the weavers bother to make some shirts is anyone's guess. Why they're still in boxes in the stores needs no guess. "Purple!" The plum one is withdrawn and draped over his shoulder. Actually, Xandis might be disappointed as the color goes closer to R'oo's skin, that the bronzerider is one of the few men anywhere who can pull off purple, and rather dashingly too. "Bronze. Reddish bronze. They don't really make shirts shiny enough." The Weyrlingmaster responds to Alzanbri. Though he does hang onto a reddish-brownish-purpleish shirt that might just be closer to the color of his dragon on the lad's advice, and the others are tossed back in a crate. He hunkers down to get on level with Elari, "Oh yeah? Well, that's cause your da doesn't have any fashion sense. Hats are the best thing ever. Weyrwoman Kessa knew that. Made this one for me herself." He points to the thing - and it is, actually, done with remarkable craftsmanship. Plus, R'oo's always wearing one hat or another. "Who is your da anyway?"

"That's not purple.. I mean.. -purple-." Xandis mutters as he catches a shirt before it catches him, turning up his nose as he peers at the bright yellow hue of it. "Shards.." He adds softly, shaking his head and tossing it back the way it came. "Pink goes with red. And girls love pink, especially on guys. Blo-" And then its the candidate's turn to shut up hurriedly, clearing this throat as he slowly extracts his hand from his pocket, smoothing the fabric out as he does so - which unfortunately only emphasizes the fact that there is something small and round there.

Alzanbri watches with absent fascination as the articles of clothing go flying about in a dancing flurry of bright colors. Xandis' near-miss gets a rueful grin from Zan, before he's back to eyeing the Weyrlingmaster warily. "…what meeting are you going to, anyways, wearing that?" Curiosity is foremost, but Zan's totally a skeptic, and not hesitant to offer forth proof of that. "Doesn't seem too formal." Bless his oblivious heart. Well — not entirely oblivious. Xandis' fidgeting has him peering curiously at his fellow Candidate, head tilting, eyes catching on whatever is in his pockets. Still; the boy has been a Weyrbrat for long enough that he /knows/ better than to say anything. Not if he wants to sleep at night, at least. He does not approvingly for the more muted-color shirt, while his charge meets the rider's eyes stubbornly. "Weyrwoman Kessa made you a hat?" Her lips pull into a little frown. "Daddy says that Weyrwomen don't do an —" "Elari! Shells, you're talkative today." "…T'lasi? That's him. Do you think Weyrwoman Galina would make me a hat? I'd ask real nice." And rather than bother with trying to shut the kid up any more, Zan is shooting Xandis covetous looks; HE doesn't seem to have to have a little following him around.

"Nay, child. Weyrwoman Galina won't make you a hat. She would help you if you got sick, though, or if you wanted a special tea to drink. She's a healer you know. Weyrwoman Kessa was the hat-maker." R'oo grins to Elari and straightens back up. "Pink?" He contemplates a moment over Xandis' suggestion and starts hunting through the box. And there it is: -the- shirt. Powder pink and oh-so-pretty. It is, it would seem, of a somewhat tighter fit, not loose or flowy, and has silver buttons up the front. "Like this one?" He queries of Xandis. Then to Alzanbri, "You know, for a candidate who has so many other concerns, you seem awfully concerned about the business of the weyrlingmaster." That's right, when in need of an excuse: pull rank, it ought to be good for something other than headaches and insomnia.

"Exactly like that one." Xandis replies quickly - perhaps too quickly - as the pink shirt is pulled out and offered up. "I'm sure Dani still has some of her ribbons left too, if you want. I got compliments on mine, the other day.." He offers oh-so-innocently, whistling idly, finger brushing once more over his pocket to reassure himself that the contents are still there. Elari's comments result in laughter - and the perfect excuse for it - the candidate unable to stop once he starts.

Alzanbri smiles. "Weyrwoman Galina is a really good healer." Agrees he. "It didn't hurt at all when she drew my blood, once!" The boy bubbles as the younger girl looks thoughtful for a long moment. "Okay." She finally agrees, nodding, still tossing a covetous look at R'oo's hat every now and then. Zan steps forward to keep an arm on the girl's shoulder, though and /keeps/ his mouth firmly closed at the pink shirt. He's got /nothing/. Nope. And — at the rank-pulling, the boy smirks languidly, snapping what could almost pass for a proper salute. "You're right." He agrees lazily. Then goes back to eyeing Xandis warily. "Are you blind?" The boy huffs a laugh. "It's —" A beat. "You know, you're probably better off asking a girl." Sexist comment so delivered, Zan eyes the two, then shakes his head and waves a hand. "I've got to find a tarp to cover something in the gardens." Sounds something like a goodbye, as he salute-waves vaguely and drags a reluctant Elari off, leaving R'oo to deal with Xandis' mirth and fashion advice. Hoo boy.

R'oo frowns slightly at Alzanbri's reaction to the pink shirt and examines it for a long moment, then looks to Xandis, expression turning thoughtful. "Candidate," He begins slowly, tone measured, "Have you given any thought to the fact that should you find a lifemate on the sands when the dragonets shell from their eggs, that you will live or die by my instructions?" Sort of a dark threat to be making. But powder pink shirts are no laughing matter - not for so important a da—er, meeting. "And that it would serve your best interests for me not to have any reason to distrust or dislike you from the start?" A single brow raises, challengingly.

Xandis gives Alzanbri a long glare as his reaction completely undermines Xandis's oh-so-hard work at getting R'oo in a pink (or purple!) shirt. As the other candidate vanishes and leaves him alone with the Weyrlingmaster, Xandis is quickly sobering at the veiled threat. "Of course, sir.." He says quickly, shaking his head a little, flicking his finger at the pink shirt. "Girls really do like pink, though. And it goes well with grey. Shows you're, uh… Confident." He takes a moment to settle on that word, even as he subconsciously straightens.

"One thing you might yet learn, Candidate, is that once you share your brain with a burstingly masculine bronze dragon, you have no fear of seeming anything other than confident." In fact, over-confidence seems to be a common trait. And so the pink shirt is donned - and lo' and behold, Xandis speaks truth - it does suit the light grey of the trousers and compliment the red suspenders and checkered hat. R'oo pulls it off quite nicely - though of course there is always the thing about pink giving whatever male dares wear it a look of the feminine. And it probably isn't helped by R'oo's impeccable grooming habits. As he buttons the sleeves, he asks in a casual conversational tone, "Looking forward to the hatching?"

"Of course, sir." Xandis isn't going to argue confidence with a man donning a pink shirt, and with a flourish of his hand and a little bow, the candidate is grinning. "Look quite nice, sir. Told you pink was the right choice." His attention begins to wander for a moment, and then, the question from the Weyrlingmaster has his attention hurriedly snapping back. "Ye-Yes sir. Of course."

Well. Now the primary concern is taken care of: R'oo's dressed. Except now there's the secondary concern: the mess he's left behind. He sets about starting to pick things up, and then a thought seems to don on him: there's a perfectly unoccupied candidate standing right there. "Well, make yourself useful." He flicks his fingers towards the fabrics and the crates, boxes, and baskets. "No of course about it. I didn't look forward to mine. You're allowed to not, you know. So why'd you accept standing after all? You want to impress? Or just duty or…?" He trails off, "What's your name anyway?" He continues to move about, tossing fabrics into crates - woe to the person who comes to look for clothes after him.

Xandis hesitates for a moment, opening his mouth to say something about optional chores, before the weyrlingmaster's earlier warning repeats itself in his mind, and he's moving to start cleaning up after the bronzerider without complaining - aloud at least. "I am, would… rather its over and I know one way or the other." He admits. He pauses as the 'why' is asked, straightening, hand resting over his pocket once more, before hurriedly returning to his straightening. "Xandis.. And.. my g-… A friend." He hastily amends.

"Girlfriend?" Brow quirks, as though not aware that Xandis had avoided the term and amended quickly. R'oo shakes his head, "Well, at least your guaranteed to get laid if you don't impress. I stood just to get a date with the Weyrlingmaster. That I never got, I might add. Gotta watch those women - making promises that they don't hold up their end on." He throws his hands up in the air in an exasperated gesture, throwing, at the same time, the fabric he was holding, "Oops." And he catches it readily enough, tossing it into a basket, flipping the lid closed and hefting it back onto a shelf. "Of course, if you impress, everything can change. I mean, I've never wanted someone to stick around in my life to begin with, so having a dragon was something of an upset to that plan, but there was one girl a couple turns back who only stood because there was this boy she was sort of involved with, and just the presence of the dragons made them casual as could be after they impressed," Grin from him, "Luckily enough for me. And imagine if only one impressed? I think it was hard enough for those we stood with who'd wanted a dragon to see people like Galina and I - who didn't really want one, get one, let alone what it would've been like if we'd been — *bound* to one of them." Bound might as well have been a sing-song of ball-and-chain.

"Uhm. Maybe. I.. I think. I'm not sure." He admits after a moment, trying to explain his sudden change of word choice. He tosses the last shirt back into the box, moving to close it, leaning against the lid as he pauses to think, before shifting to settle down on the top of the box, sparing a look at the older man with a wrinkle of his nose. "I'm not sure -that- will happen. I'm, uh.. Not sure she didn't accept just to…" And he shakes his head, flicking a hand. "Nevermind."

R'oo lets out a bark of laughter as the candidate, not many turns his junior, attempts to explain and simultaneously cloud the matter. "Well, sound like you're about as confused about the magic these women weave as I always am. That's something you might think about clearing up - better to understand what's happening than to make assumptions. After all, you might miss out on getting laid by another fine looking female. The women in the lower caverns here—" And he trails off, simply making a suggestive eyebrow wiggle, then- "I could introduce you around, if you like. How old are you?" He is apparently not overly concerned whether Xandis has a girlfriend or doesn't, but is, apparently, offering to play wingman, should the candidate want it.

"They're all like this?" Xandis asks with a frown, then, listening to the Weyrlingmaster's comments on women, coloring almost immediately as R'oo mentions the lower caverns women. "Maybe I should.. uh… take care of that." He says slowly, looking quite ready to escape, standing and inching towards the exit slowly. "Eighteen, but.. I'm good.. fine… honest. I mean, I'm a candidate." He tries to play the safe card, sparing a look over his shoulder to make sure the path is clear.

"Every last one. They want you, they don't want you. They want your friendship, but nothing more. Then!" And this is said with a note similar to the one common to Harpers in telling a story of epic proportion, "You're friends with them, and boom, all of a sudden they want you again. I think some of them have this kooky waiting period or something, where if you prove you're not just a lay'n'leave kind of guy, you can get laid. Of course, then if you leave, there's a lot of drama, but depending on the lay, that's sometimes worth it." He pauses as though to think back on some former conquests. His grin is renewed by some memory or another, "But really, best to straighten it out. What they don't want you to know is that they want us as badly as we want them, they just like making us jump through hoops before they let us have it. That's the real difference between men and women - women just have more self control. I suspect it's because they're the ones to suffer the consequences if you don't have enough sense to be careful. You've been talked to about being careful, right?" Suddenly his grey-blue gaze is heavy on Xandis. "'Cause that's how I ended up with a kid at sixteen. And once there's a kid involved, women go all kinds of nuts." He flutters a hand to his outfit, "She makes me dress up for his turnday dinner every year. He's only turning eight for Faranth's sake. And it's not even like I'm going to get laid anyway. That's really the only good reason to dress up." Of course, if you looked it up in R'oo's rulebook, the only good reason for most things is to get laid. "And you won't be a candidate forever. And if you might as well start with the ones who have the weird waiting periods. Might get laid by the time you're done - candidacy or weyrlinghood. Whichever really." That doesn't matter - the getting laid part is clearly the important part.

As R'oo talks about the problem with girls, Xandis is taking advantage of the monologue to slowly inch further and further away, towards the door, replying with nods and 'uh-huhs' whenever appropriate, sparing quick looks now and then to make sure he's still not going to run into anything, before he's almost free of the back portion of stores. "Well, thanks for the, uh, advice, sir. And good luck with your meeting.." And that's all he offers as a good bye, before he's turning to try and make his escape through the lunch crowd.

That is one downside of babbling. Especially babbling paired with making someone feel uncomfortable. Lose a lot of conversation partners that way. And the candidate is gone before R'oo has a chance to protest. Not that he would. If the lad doesn't want to get laid, then the lad doesn't want to get laid. More for R'oo. He shrugs and goes back to the task at hand, making quick work of packing away the crates and boxes and putting them back into a similar pattern to the one he found them in… probably.