Fort Weyr - Flower Gardens

This fairly small portion of garden has been dedicated to the art of flower-growing, with everything seeming to radiate outward from the small fountain that's been erected in the very center. Flowing outward, like the rays of Rukbat, are paved paths that are lined with various things — from bulb-grown flowers to flowering shrubs. Any rhyme or reason is for the gardeners to discern; it is, to the most casual observer, a place where flowers appear to randomly erupt in vivid bursts of color through the year.

Carnation pinks, daisy whites, and rose reds typically dominate … but, from time to time, seemingly exotic flares of daffodil yellow and iris blue and orchid purple may make a memorable appearance. Pansies and other such flowers also peek their heads out from time to time, if only to add unexpected glimpses of color where green and brown dominate. The air is thick with the perfumes of flowers as they bloom, the commingling of scents being potent but not overwhelmingly so.

Around the stone fountain in the middle are a few low benches, with everything appearing to have been made with an eye for the abstract. The fountain itself is a thing made of stone and overlaid with broken bits of tile and glass to make an eyecatching mosaic in a rainbow of hues; the benches are sturdy, made of well-treated wood that's been carved with stylized floral patterns and stained a rainbow of hues to reflect as much.

Midmorning in Fort's garden is apparently a quiet time; perhaps the majority of the gardening staff are at a late breakfast, or it's just a rather quiet day in general. Not deviating from the theme of 'quiet,' but definitely commanding a presence on one of the benches by the fountain is Hanild, wrapped in a shawl, hair pinned up to her head. She's got a sketchbook on one knee and is alternating between focusing intently on a climbing orchid and looking down to what her hand has been drawing without her eyes on it and correcting something, biting at the corner of her lip and occasionally crinkling her nose.

Certainly more quiet than less, X'dis at least isn't disrupting the peace and quiet of the gardens too badly as the brown rider makes his way into the flower garden from the herbs, pausing now and then to peer curiously at a plant, pushing the flowers out of the way to peer at the base, before straightening up and offering a little sigh and a mutter and moving on.

Miki isn't quiet at all, she's humming a children's song under her breathe, sometimes singing and sometimes whistling along as she makes her way through the gardens. There's a glance at the unfamiliar girl trying to sketch, curious as to the new face. There is once face she /does/ know however, and the green rider walk up to X'dis. "Hey you. Off-duty? And do you know her?" A thumb is jerked in the drawer's direction.

Mharen hardly seems to be the flower-loving sort; in fact, she's eyeing the perennial blossoms rather dubiously as she approaches the multicolored garden. Posture held stiffly, she cautiously roves from one row to the next, expression less than pleased. There's a quick glance spared for artsy Hanild before she abruptly heads in her direction, ignoring any others nearby. "Hate to bother you, " she begins in a brisk alto, "but I could use some assistance. I — need an opinion, " and a hand makes a sharp motion toward the flowers still in bloom, expectant.

"Hm?" Head up from her drawing almost immediately, Hanild is — slightly wary, perhaps, but sociable enough as she is suddenly approached and spoken to. "Sure, of course. On the flowers?" Her head tilts a little bit to the side, and Hanild glances at where Mharen is gesturing thoughtfully, as if awaiting an epiphany.

A large yellow petal is idly rubbed between his fingers as X'dis ponders, and then Miki's there, asking the question, and he's lifting his chin, blinking a few times. "Sorry, was distracted…" He offers with a little clearing of his throat, before he's glancing n the direction she's indicating, shaking his head even as he offers the green rider an arm. "Ain't seen her before, sorry Mik.."

Miki looks over at the yellow flowers, tilting her head a bit and then raising a brow at X'dis. "You always seem to be distracted Xan. This time you're playing with flowers though, it certainly is a step up." A tiny grin forms on her face before she turns to glance back at the girl. Of which there are now two. "I haven't seen eitherof them before….hm, the garden's a popular spot today I guess."

"No, the air, " Mharen replies impatiently. "Of course, on the flowers. Look, there's a guy I work with who asked me to help him pick out a pretty one to give to some girl he's seeing tomorrow." Her mouth twists a little. "I really don't think I'm the best person to make that kind of selection, soI'd like you to do it. I already told him I'd probably just as well choose a pretty weed as an actual blossom he'd want to give." Her foot taps for a minute before she remembers to add, "That is, you look like you'd be better at this sort of thing. I'dappreciate it. The help, I mean."

"I could argue the air, if you were wondering about something like the pollen levels in the air, but then again I'd just as soon say that I had absolutely no idea," is Hanild's response, and she sets the sketchbook down, moving to stand. "Men. Always asking other people to do the work so they can take the credit — I'm happy to." Onto the flowers: Hanild paces in front of the nearby brighter-colored ones, looking very serious on the whole manner, before remembering to ask, "Are these actually for picking? Because I've not been here long and I don't actually know. But I think this pink one here should do nicely for the task."

"You just catch me at awkward times.." X'dis tries to defend himself with a little, crooked smile, glancing at the flower petal in his hand and quickly dropping his hand away and then shoving it in his pocket. "Trying to think of what to get Blondie… And some old auntie said not flowers, cause flowers die, but a plant. But.. I don't know what." He makes a face, and then follows her gaze towards the pair of girls, tilting his head curiously. And then as Mharen gives an explanation of her problem, the brown rider's eyebrow arches, and he's giving Miki a nudge, grinning widely. "Hey, this might be what I need…" He murmurs under his breath.

Miki grins and shakes her head. "You're /always/ awkward as far as I can tell. Hmm…maybe you can get her a fruit plant? I don't know. All I know is that kids like flower jewelry." At the nudge, her attention is drawn back to the girls, listening to their conversation and soon a small giggle escapes the tiny woman. "Heh. Way to show a girl you like her, get the idea for her gift from someone else." There's a teasing tone to her voice, but the assistant seems quite keen on listening as well.

Mharen's arms cross. "I doubt they'll miss one flower, " the guard opines dismissively, peering over at the indicated pink blossom for a fraction of a second. "Let's hope she likes pink, " she decides with finality. If the mystery girl can't stand the hue, her suitor will clearly have to fix the oversight himself. "Unless you think there's something better. He said she's shy, if that makes a difference." A glance cuts back over her shoulder toward the nearby voices, but returns to Hanild and the flowers soon enough—the selection business is far more pressing.

Hanild processes this, but seems pretty solid in her decision at the end, with a firm nod. "Hence the pink, as opposed to red — at first, I was thinking red, but red's awfully forward for a new relationship, and pink tends to be gently romantic without being pushy." Evidently, Mharen made a good choice in Hanild for her flower-picker! The two of them are standing and contemplating a pink flowering plant, and are being eavesdropped upon by a nearby Miki and X'dis. "Maybe one of the little blue ones, as well, for a miniature bouquet sort of thing. That shows effort. Unfortunately it's your effort and not his, but she won't know that, will she? I'm not sure if, in the end, that's doing her a disservice."

"Would you rather have the *right* thing picked out by someone else as a gift, or the wrong thing picked out by me?" X'dis teases Miki as she picks on him, tilting his head as he eyes the various flowers around the garden, eyes coming to rest one the various pink specimens that are currently in bloom. "The old lady said something about… bulbs or.. something." He thinks, shrugging and looking hopelessly at Miki as he continues to eavesdrop on the others discussing flowers, a smirk on his face.

"The wrong thing! Well at least in my opinon. Cause that means you put thought into it. That's how I think about the stuff the littles sometimes make for me. The work's hideous and it isn't done right, but they put in the effort for me, y'know? Hmmm, what about a pretty blue one? What's her favorite color?" Miki grins, crouching down to look at a few more flowers. "Bulbs? Those are….well I don't really know. When I think bulbs I think of onions. You should give her a bagful of onions." The suggestion seems to be a joke, especially considering the way Miki's degenerated into giggling. "Or grass. I let the littles raise grass all the time!"

One would think that Deitra would not be the sort of girl to visit flower gardens, but, here she is entering with her hands in her pocket and her bottom lip held between her teeth as she visibly chews upon that poor lip of hers. Her gaze scans the area, settles on Miki for a brief moment before the woman instantly changes her course to head over besides Mharen and Hanild by the flowers, inserting herself in there. "Colors mean different things? I thought they were just colors. I don't think some guys would like the pink flowers, just cause it seems feminine." Then, she's tilting a look over towards Miki and X'dis, to wave a quick greeting before attention shifts. "What's yellow mean? Or orange? Blue? Purple?"

"Right, " says Mharen briskly, giving the pink bloom a longer stare. "I'll tell him to collect this one for his interest." Finding the entire affair to be to her distaste, the tall woman twitches her shoulder in a careless shrug. "I suppose he'd be the one asking you all of these things if he could make the time for some effort, " she remarks dryly. The poor blue bouquet candidates aren't even spared a mention while she closes in on her objective. "Thanks for your help—?" And while an expectant brow lifts for Hanild's name, she sends Deitra a side-glance at her insertion. "Ask her, I know nothing about flower colors."

"Hanild," the flower-artist supplies her name politely and promptly, with an awkward flash of smile. "And he should have been. Tell him to stuff it next time he makes you do something, since odds are there will be someone able to help, not that *I* work here, but those who do should know — something." Because if they don't, her expression says, they are failing at their purpose in life. To Deitra, she responds as if quoting an encyclopedia, though it's just as clearly cited straight from memory: "Friendship, happiness, good cheer. New beginnings, like a birth or a marriage. That's yellow. Blue is for peace, purple's about success and pride, and — orange. Hm. I'm not entirely sure about orange, though I'd be willing to bet it has something to do with energy."

"Onions!?" X'dis says quite loudly, ruining the fact that he was "secretly" eavesdropping on the conversation, staring at Miki with his mouth agape, shaking his head with a roll of his eyes. "Remind me of that later, when you're asking me for romantic gift ideas." He teases her, and then, there's a swear, and he shakes his head. "Shards, Mneo… Don't move…" And then he's patting Miki's shoulder. "Gotta go, Mneo's… umm, stuck." He offers, glancing at the trio of girls curiously once more as Hanild explains the flowers, and then he's off at a brisk pace.

"Course, onions." Miki grins at X'dis, the expression fades at his sudden panic, only to come back full force with a fit of giggles. "Ohhh. Go get him unstuck! Let Sohnyu and I know if you need help." There's further snickering before she's wandering over to the gaggle of girls now left. "Hey Deitra. And you two….new faces. What're your names?"

Huh. Deitra then looks to Hanild, expectant of her answer with grey eyes considering the other woman, head tilting just so. Shells. That's quite a lot of different meanings. So, red is love and pink is… New love? The young woman reconsiders the flowers with another look, at least until she's turning back to consider X'dis for his outburst. Brows lift and then she chuckles softly, sending an amused smile in his direction before redirecting her attention once more towards the flowers. "Hey Miki. How're you doin'?" She turns then to the greenrider with a smile of greeting, "yer lookin' cheerful."

"Hanild, " repeats the guard with a quick tip of her head. "Well, thanks. I'll just tell him to find you if his first date with this girl is successful." There's a bit of an eyeroll in there, no doubt; her expression briefly starts to glaze over as the other unloads her wealth of knowledge about the varied and subtle meanings behind flowers, but quickly snaps back to alertness as Miki approaches. There's no escaping without giving her name now, alas. "Mharen, " the owner of that name says at last, flatly. "Good afternoon." Three long strides later, she's off, presumably to relay the choice flower selection to her well-intentioned colleague.

"That's my name," Hanild adds as Mharen departs, assuming that Miki had overheard it. Though it is possible that the greenrider -didn't,- and so in case of that possibility she repeats, "It's Hanild. A pleasure, I'm sure …?" She inclines her head up toward Miki, thoughtful, curious — knot-assessing, for that matter, and once she's placed it adds, "Ma'am."

"Hanild, Mharenm nice to meet you…uh see ya later." Miki looks after Mharen, shrugging. "Deitra! I am in a good mood. Did you hear? Meno got stuck!" There's further giggling before the green rider burshes some hair out of her face. "Ma'am?" Eyebrows are raised at that and Miki shakes her head. "Miki, not ma'am. Really, don't call me ma'am again, heh."

"Mharen and Hanild." Deitra repeats idly, clicking her tongue after a moment and leaning in to smell one of the flowers. "So, what's pink /exactly/? I ain't fond of it, but, if it means somethin' interesting then I may reconsider pink." Without much expression or humor, she turns a look towards Hanild before looking to Miki once more. "I heard. And why's that got you in a good mood?" The hunter laughs breaking the previous look, a grin settling upon her lips. "Anythin' else? Glad ta see yer doing better, though, really. Seem much more brighter than when we first met. Not that you weren't happy or nothin', just not as happy as you are now."

Hanild repeats, "Miki," with a nod to herself more than anything, committing the name to memory. "And you are Deitra. Oh, and I was recommending pink more because that flower was as pretty as the red and you would -not- want to give red on an early date than anything — red flowers are signs of passion and desire and even people who don't know that might pick it up, because it's just something about red roses, you know?" Maybe they don't. "Though I was taught pink flowers are about innocence and joy, and that's a nice way to start a relationship, I suppose."

Miki grins, "Well, last time I didn't have Xan over to giggle over and tease. I suggest you guys give onions and grass to the people you like too." Once again, the woman is obviously joking. "Onions and grass are about accepting people for who they are." All of this of course made up on the spot. Because Miki's in a happy mood.

"Right, that's it." Hanild earns a grin from Deitra, "or Dei if you're feeling lazy, or if you like it better." Her bottom lip is again taken between her teeth and worked idly as she listens to the other woman explain about flower colors and their meanings while grey eyes scan the flowers as if accusing them all of something or another, or maybe she's just looking. "Hmm." Bottom lip is released and she nods, "I reconsider pink." Directed towards no one in particular, she nods as if pleased before looking towards Miki. "Onions taste good at least. And grass smells like grass, if you like the smell of grass."

"Onions," Hanild proclaims, "are lovely. So little you can't put them in and it still tastes good! I assume there are also a million ways you can cook them, but I'm an absolutely wretched cook so I would not, personally, know." She watches along with Deitra's thought process and eventual proclamation, and her smile seems to widen: evidently, Hanild is pleased at having had some effect on someone's thought process, even if the defense of the color pink would not be on her most important activities list. "And I think 'Deitra' is quite pretty. Not a fan of Tra?" The smile broadens into a quick flash of grin that just as quickly fades back again.

Miki looks back and forth between the two girls, shaking her head and grinning a bit. "Yeah, exactly. Onions and grass. That's the way to a man's heart. Onions are deep. They have layers. So it shows you have layers. And grass grow anywhere, so it shows that you're willing to go with them where ever." Stretching a bit, she sits down on the grass. "Understand?"

"You sound like you think a lot of things are lovely." The hunter notes idly, though her tone does not indicate any sort of distaste for this. Deitra merely considers Hanild again, "cookin' is easy, depending on what yer doin'. Sometimes you've got ta cook for yourself when yer out hunting. Always tastes better ta eat somethin' you killed yerself. But, we supply the Weyr's meat, so it is like we're always eatin' what we killed." Her head tilts at the suggestion of a nickname and her brows lift in surprise. "Well, ain't ever had it suggested, but if yer wantin', yer certainly free ta." Miki earns another look and she considers the greenrider's words with a bit of a laugh before she's moving to sit down beside her. "What would yer brother say if we got him onions and grass?"

Shrugging, Hanild responds, first, to Deitra's — well, though it is not an accusation, perhaps Hanild is responding to it as if it were. If her present company knew she responded to accusations by largely showing no emotion at all. "I can. I also think a lot of things are wretched, or unpleasant, or obnoxious, or useless — but onions are none of those. And that is, in fact, quite deep," she adds, as far as Miki's interpretation of the onions and grass goes. It's logical, so much as Hanild is concerned! "Hunting. You hunt? I write. Generally in exchange for my writing I'm fed."

Miki snickers, "If you gave onions and grass to Aniki he'd deem you an unworthy being and increase efforts to attempt a makeover on you." There's a shake of her head before she stops, listening a bit more as the girls converse. "Hunting. That sounds pretty one."

Deitra crosses her legs carefully and leans back onto the palm of her hands. "Guess that's the general perception of things. Likin' something, hatin' something else, and not carin' so much for something else, but not ta the level of hate." The hunter chuckles softly, "'least yer honest and not saying you don't hate nothin'." Double negative, and yet she keeps on going but not on that subject at all. "Yep. My sister and myself are animal experts. And hunters. When we ain't huntin', we're observing and taking notes, tracking patterns." She clicks her tongue once then tilts a look to Hanild, considering the other woman before patting a spot on the grass beside them. "Writin' sounds boring, but, I guess it'd depend on what. Ever thought 'bout writing one of your own stories like the Harpers sometimes do?" Miki's declaration of her brother's reaction earns a swear before she's flopping backwards to lay completely spread out on the grass. "I'll get him a purple flower. That's ego, right? Maybe he'll leave me alone if I give him a peace offering?" Her head tilts, grey eyes considering the greenrider. "You want ta come with us sometime? You, and Lyn, my sister, and myself. It'll be fun."

"A makeover?" Hanild echoes, finding her way to her own benchseat again. "That sounds — rather like torture, especially if it's from someone's brother — how old is your brother?" Not, of course, that Miki gets a chance to -answer- this question, for Hanild has other things to respond to. "I haven't ever really created my own material, no. When I draw, sometimes I just draw from my head, but the writing's proper scribing, for official archives. Rewriting and sometimes rephrasing things to be attractive, effective and lasting. It can be dreadfully boring. Sometimes it's interesting. And of course I get to read everyone's business."

Miki grins, "Yeah, that sounds cool, hunting would be nice. Anyways. I'm going to go see if Xan and Mneo need help or anything. See you guys later." With a small wave, the greenie stands, striding off back to the Weyr.

"He is set on makin' me his definition of pretty. You're pretty as you are, so I'm guessing he'll leave you be, maybe. I can't figure him out." Grey eyes follow Miki out, her head tilting to follow her path before resettling on Hanild once more. "You're awfully droll. No. Droll isn't right. You speak very straight, ta the point, don't really tend ta be a little loose on yer wording. You say every word, and that's quite interestin'." Says the woman laying out on the grass with her legs still oddly crossed. "Just makes you who you are."

While meanwhile, her companion is perched primly on the edge of a bench. Hanild is clearly not paying any attention to the dynamics at present, or else she pays it no heed. "Thank you," at first, is what comes from her mouth, though it seems rather as if Hanild is responding to being called pretty, and is more stuck on how to handle the rest of Deitra's commentary. "And I can be — perfectly diplomatic and obfuscatory when need be, but I have yet to find an opportunity that requires it here. I do my best not to hold back, otherwise, because why should people not know what I truly think if they are, in fact, speaking to me?"

The thanks is met with a soft grunt from Deitra, closing her eyes while her hands lift to idly play through her hair. "I think you should relax, mainly. I guess that's my point in all this, yer all… Talkin' like yer afraid yer going ta say something that'll mess you up, and, I don't think you should worry too much." One eye opens to consider the other woman. "What do you do for fun, hm? Betcha never put a dead animal in a vent. Or went and put salt in the Klah. Though, those are more of the childish pranks."

"It comes naturally, now," Hanild admits, running an awkward fingertip or two through strands of hair that have fallen from her bun. "Precision in speech and sitting up straight, and whatnot. I'm not, though, afraid of anything. Not at present. I haven't found anything yet to be afraid of, and as the last thing I was afraid of was my brother cutting off my hair in my sleep because he found the idea amusing — I think I'm okay." She smiles, and turns to a new page in her sketchbook before saying, "I draw, mostly. And I've not yet found much else of what there is to do, I'm completely new to the whole Weyr routine. But no, I admit I have never put a dead animal in a vent," though she does not seem too disdainful of the idea, really, as a childish prank if nothing else, or perhaps she is just entirely nonjudgmental, "though I have put -pepper- in klah. Other people's, of course."

"Naturally, hm." Deitra sits up, stray blades of grass clinging to her hair and clothing as appropriate before she's shifting to face Hanild full on from where she sits on the bench. "I suppose if you've learned ta be that way, then it is certainly hard ta break the habit." As for fears, her brows are lifting before chuckling. "Well, if you weren't that afraid of it, I'm sure the idea would lose the appeal and he wouldn't have actually got ta doing it. But, not that it matters any now, being that it is past and all." The woman is placing an elbow upon her knee so to rest her chin upon it, enthralled in the story that is Hanild that rests before her. "I could show you 'round, there's plenty ta do. Lots of places ta get lost in. The Weyr can run pretty deep." When she admits to putting pepper in the klah, the young woman laughs loudly. "Pepper is worse'n salt! I love it. Perhaps you can help me ta think of something more elaborate to do rather'n silly childish things. Could always use a second mind ta work these things through."

Hanild laughs, then, at such a proposal — but it isn't a haughty laugh, just an amused one. A hint of mirthfulness. "He was a little boy, after all, so I'm sure it would have. Actually, he still *is*, only being thirteen, but he has grown some. And grown a little bit of maturity, I suppose. Not very much." She's thoughtful, then, if a tad mirthful still, and when she speaks again it's to warn, "I have been known to be behind a cruel trick or two, but sometimes cruel isn't really the best move, either. I did definitely come here to have — experiences. Most of my life has been depressingly void in proper experiences."

"Little boys are easier ta figure out than they are when older. Boys don't seem ta mature much at all then they grow, but, I don't blame 'em." She drops one shoulder in a bit of a shrug as the other is occupied with holding her head up in the proper position. "Thirteen is still pretty young an' all." Lashes partially lower, considering the other woman through them and trying to gauge her reaction at the same time. "Cruel depends on the person. A Weyr-wide prank needs ta be tasteful, well thought out, and untraceable. Best ta include yerself in them so they're less likely ta cast blame. Experiences come best by doin'. You should come huntin' too, even if you're just watchin'."

"Well, I'd probably be rubbish at doing anything *else*," is Hanild's first take on the hunting, "but watching I should be able to manage. Despite the prim hold girl look, I don't have a weak stomach." She apparently has no further wisdom on boys; that, or her commentary is just too long to bother saying it out loud. "Pranking was always seen as a terribly poor move back at home, but if it's considered more commonplace here — which I suppose it must be, as people of rank do seem to be okay with you and I have a feeling they wouldn't be or you wouldn't discuss it if it weren't — then I suppose I may be willing to put the unused parts of my brain to better use."

"Never too late ta learn. Could learn the bow, less personal. Could teach you ta skin." Deitra offers idly, then smirking idly. "I hear lotsa things 'bout holdbred people, but, don't always mean they're like how everyone says they're supposed ta be. People're all different. If you want ta come along, yer certainly free ta." She chews once more upon her bottom lip as she listens to the other speak, grey eyes wandering elsewhere despite the fact that the other woman does hold her attention. "Mm. Well, can't say that it's /accepted/. As long as you don't get /caught/, I don't see the issue? S'far as everyone else knows, I'm just a hunter who's never done a thing wrong."

"And I'm a sweet girl who likes everyone," Hanild mutters, though she's grinning as she says that. Reasonable assessment: this is not, in fact, the truth. "While I admit I do like a fair number of people I've also been called 'catty,' and I would be willing to bet that's more accurate, except here I don't have much of a reputation at all. Except for being prim and a bit out of place. Which at least I am working on. And I'm not sure I have the proper shoes, since these old boots are — well, old, and I'd hate to be in the middle of a forest or something and have my shoes fall apart. Archery does sound exciting, though." It sounds like it would, in fact, be an experience.

Deitra grins widely at that, grey eyes focusing entirely on the other woman. "If you were ta like everyone, then I'm really a firelizard that mutated funny and learned ta talk." The younger woman winks at the other. "Shells, don't matter what they call you. Yer in a new place and no one really knows you. You got a chance ta be someone different, y'know? Have some fun. And do what you want." Grey eyes drop to consider the boots and the hunter shakes her head. "No problem. Could get some new ones from the stores. Ain't going to be new, new.. But they ain't likely ta fall 'part on you while we're out in the forest. I'll teach you how ta kill an animal with it, if yer wanting."

"What I would really like to be most called," Hanild muses, blinking innocently, "is 'Hanild,' seeing as how it's my name. Anything else is just as incidental as — well, any other gossip I can't find myself caring about, really." Her boots are not exactly in what might be called good condition. The rest of her clothes are new and decorative, the boots look a bit like they're dying. Hanild scrinches her nose a little. "And any *solid* item of footwear will, I'm sure, suit me fine. Doesn't need to be properly new. And that might be — interesting, not likely 'fun,' but interesting — so long as I didn't have to interact with its corpse. I may have a strong stomach but I still might cry. Just because I'm not too fond of death in any form."

"Well, I ain't going ta call you anything else. Unless yer wanting me ta call you Hani. Otherwise, yer just going ta be Hanild." Deitra decides without much of a second thought. "Gossip is to be taken for laughs, really. It's either true, or not, either way you can laugh at it." The other's outfitting is met with a simple look but not much is considered considering most of hers happens to be for men. "Then, we'll find you some in the stores." With that decided, she pushes to her feet. "You don't have ta touch it. Just shoot it dead and I can take care of the rest. People cry at dead things often, long as it ain't something considered cute then they don't generally care. Depends on the person."

"Crying and caring usually go hand in hand for me — wanting to be *seen* crying, not so much. You're quite right, though, about the gossip. I've always found it terribly amusing." Hanild rolls her shoulders back, pinning them there for a moment just to stretch, and then relaxes. "You can shorten Hanild however you like. Most people think it's a boy's name, so I don't mind Hani. Or 'hey you.' And I was commonly nicknamed 'Sparkly' by several agemates." Which she, again, seems to find amusing.

"Can go hide a tent and cry. Ain't no one going ta see you, and if you're quiet, no one'll know. I know some people that make the loudest noises when they cry and I can't help but wonder if something's broken when the tears are coming out. That shit sounds painful." Deitra again muses, likely stating her first thought without much of a care for her words. "Gossip is meant ta hurt, but, I find it funny. Not sure that you'll have ta worry about it too much." She wanders over towards some of the flowers, plucking a pink one and then settling it behind her ear before wandering back over. "Nah, 'hey you' is reserved for those I don't like. 'Crazy werido' is for the crazy weirdos. I'll call you Hani. Don't see why you'd get the name 'sparkly', unless you used ta bathe so much you got shiny. Which, as far as I know, ain't possible."

"Jewelry. I usually wear quite a bit of it, but right now it's just the one necklace and a set of earrings covered by my hair; none of the bracelets or rings while drawing." And thus, Hanild was Sparkly forever. At least in the eyes of those who knew her at the Hold. Once she registers the flower Deitra is holding, though, she laughs yet again. "Pink, hm? Definitely reconsidering it."

"Shells. I don't even own a single piece of anything shiny, unless you consider knives shiny. Got plenty of those. For hunting." Deitra laughs with amusement, "don't see the point of 'em. Well, I've got holds in my ears, if that's somethin'." The small gauges are indicated, and they're certainly not as big as some of the other people do, and when she takes them out it is likely that they wouldn't take too long to heal. The flower is considered and she shrugs, "least it doesn't mean: 'I'm a girly girl that always wears dresses'. So, I like it."

Hanild shrugs again, concluding, "Oh, knives are shiny. If you polish them and clean them, which I'm sure you do — my mother's a jeweler, see, and I grew up helping her come up with ideas. And got to liking wearing pieces made for me, or the ones people might not have wanted. Now I've gotten pretty used to the jewelry and I think I'd be sad if I weren't wearing at least a little every day." Some people never change. Some people never want to. Hanild, it seems, is both. "And pink and being girly have nothing to do with each other except for those who consider innocence girly. Personally I see myself as fairly girly but not even *remotely* innocent."

"Mhm. I take good care of 'em, being that I need ta use 'em a lot." Deitra does quiet to listen to what the other has to say, clicking her tongue again and shaking her head. "Musta been nice ta have it specially made for you. But, I think it is a little sad ta be sad 'bout not wearing something every day. Even for sentimental things, I still don't understand it." A hand lifts to pinch the bridge of her nose, rubbing there a bit and then shrugging. "Would depend on yer definition of 'innocent'."

"It probably is," another stretch from Hanild, whose arms are getting a bit stiff after quite a long time drawing, as she splays her fingers open to relieve stress, "quite sad, but it's just what it's always been and it's me and I'm not going to be ashamed of something that's me, really. That would just be a waste of time and effort. Innocence, however," she continues, "is not in the eye of the beholder but of the relevant party. If you don't find yourself innocent, you're not, and if you think you are, then you are. That's not something other people can really judge — unless you're *so* innocent you can't even imagine what a lack of innocence is like. Ouch, that sentence had enough word re-use to give me a headache." She pinches the bridge of her nose.

"Yep." Deitra agrees, but, with what is not entirely specified. A soft chuckle and the hunter nods her agreement, "exactly. And, sometimes it happens if there ain't much of another word to use. Anyway, I'll go find the boots and tell you where ta find them. It was nice meeting you, Hani. Lookin' forward ta getting' some work done with you. Bow and everythin' else." A wink is given, whether or not the other is paying attention, before she's making her way out of the garden with that pink flower still tucked behind her ear.

Grinning, Hanild gives Deitra a quick salute, as far as 'everything else' and archery both are concerned. "Thanks so much for the help — with the boots, that is, as well as the invitation to make me less likely to get lost. Sure I'll see you soon," she calls back, and opens a new page to start sketching: Deitra's ear from behind, bedecked with pink flower.

'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.