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.

One may presume that Kairhys does eat at some point during the day, but sneaking out through the kitchens to be surrounded by dead flowers? Not so much. Admittedly it's only a plate of meatrolls and a thermos of klah but still. Dinner, outside in the cold dark night of winter, amongst a lifeless flower garden. Some might consider this rather morose, but in the young apprentice weaver's case it seems to be a place of sanctuary. Leaning back some on one of the benches surrounding the empty fountain, one leg swings back and forth much like a child's would, in one gloved hand a meatroll and in the other the steaming cap off his thermos. As for his mood, well, he seems to be enjoying his meal. The soft smile on his lips, doesn't however, reach his eyes.

As morose at it may seem the apprentice weaver isn't the only one seeking a bit of solace or sanctuary from the undoubtedly crowded caverns within the Weyr. Th'ero is among the dead flowers and snow, dressed in his usual casual, but somber all black riding gear, shoulders hunched against the snow and gloved hands tucked into his pockets. He's not here to eat in peace, but rather is simply aimlessly wandering. Why he does this at night is really only known to him. And though the Weyrleader is lost in his thoughts, his gaze still picks up the movement from Kairhys and when recognition settles in, he changes paths. "Evening." Comes the simple greeting, as Th'ero promptly takes a seat on a nearby bench, welcomed or not. He gives the food and the apprentice a curious, somewhat puzzled look. "Found it too crowded indoors?"

Kairhys startles at the sound of another's voice, nearly dropping his late dinner in the process, but at least seems to recover quickly as brown eyes flick towards the source of this unexpected interruption. His own form of recognition shifts the features of his visage, and tensed shoulders instantly relax. "Ah, evening sir." he replies wryly, already that smile was becoming more genuine and smirk like. Just there around the edge. Perhaps clinging to Th'ero as a welcomed distraction from his own thoughts, the weaver lifts and drops his shoulders in an absent shrug. "You could say that. Last couple of times I took my meal in the caverns I was quickly over run with nearly a half dozen women, and the most recent of these I was witness to a rather tense verbal tongue lashing amongst them. You could say I'm hiding." he muses, finishing the meat roll in a few bites and washing it down with a sip or two of klah. "Yourself?"

Th'ero gives a faint, barely noticeable wince when the apprentice nearly drops his dinner, only realizing now that his arrival was a touch abrupt. But that's all hidden by the light smile he in turn gives Kairhys, head tilting a little in a polite nod to the greeting. The Weyrleader quirks a brow up as he gives the apprentice another quizzical look, settling a little more comfortably on his bench. "Then I don't blame you at all for wanting to hide." He replies while sounding amused though his expression remains neutral. "A witness to a tongue lashing between the women or was it directed towards you?" he asks, then hastily adds, "If you don't mind me asking." Th'ero still hasn't relaxed enough; it seems, to drop the awkwardness and formal politeness quite yet. When Kairhys asks, it's the Weyrleader's turn to lift his shoulders up in a slight shrug. "Wandering." He replies, slowly, as if weighing his answer carefully. "Seems I only have the time to explore Fort at night or before the crack of dawn."

There is an amused sort of quirk to one of Kairhys' brows, though whether it is from the Weyrleader's lingering formal politeness or where he decided to sit is debatable. Though at the mere thought of him being responsible for being tongue lashed, the boy waves it off with a laugh and shake of his head. "Uh, no. Not me. One thought the other was being rude to a third and it just went downhill from there." he sighs, and picks up the plate, offering some of the many meatrolls there to the man. "And no, if I minded conversation I'd crawl into a hole somewhere, not park myself in a perfectly public location." A wink for this, and he pauses to pour some more klah into the top of his thermos. At mention of wandering, brown eyes once again dart the bronzerider's way, whatever he might be thinking cleverly hidden behind a mask of polite interest. "Keeping you busy are they?"

does look clearly amused this time, his smile broadening to something more genuine then simply one of awkward politeness. "Ahh, I see. I've witnessed a few of those myself and it does go downhill pretty fast. A wise man knows when to leave, unless you wish to be caught up in the fight." He muses, gaze having wandered to idly glance at a bed of dead, snow covered flowers before movement catches his eye and he's side glancing back to Kairhys in time to see the offer. The Weyrleader gives a dismissive wave of his gloved hand though and a shake of his head. "Thanks, though." He murmurs, still ever the polite one. A chuckle soon follows in response to the apprentice's wink and remark on conversations. "This is true. I used to be the opposite. I'm not fond of crowds, so I'd often find somewhere quiet. Can't do that now, mind you." And here, Th'ero's smile turns to a smirk and a slight frown creases his brow. Kairhys' question to follow only deepens the frown on the bronzerider and he gives a bit of a sigh, before his smile returns tentatively. "In a way, yes." Th'ero begins to reply, pausing a heartbeat or two and letting silence settle between them before he speaks up again, slow and cautious. "I've a lot to learn. About Fort, I mean. Her past, her present, the folk who live in it, run it, and so on… Doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to track everyone down."

Kairhys shrugs lightly at the dismissal if his food offering, setting the plate back down and helping himself to another meatroll. It's plucked up, and chewed upon, steam rising still from the filling. "I wouldn't use the word wise to describe how I handled it. I just abruptly changed the topic of conversation. It seemed to work at least. Though, I did leave shortly there after as did several of them." Ah well, says his expression before lifting the cup-like lid of his thermos to his lips and taking several measured sips. Brows lift at mention of solitude and crowds, and the weaver cocks his head off to one side, licking his lips before speaking. "And why can't you?" he asks, his curiosity peaked if his expression was anything to go by, suddenly mild interest replaced with rapt attention. "It's not like any of those people or Fort is going anywhere. If you push yourself too hard you're going to burn out. You're young and from what I heard barely graduated from weyrlinghood. You need to learn to balance what is expected of someone like yourself and where to exceed those expectations." he says quietly, even conspiringly as if this was the secret to life, the universe and everything. "No one is born a Weyrleader, Th'ero." Wise beyond his turns, or full of wherry dung? You decide. As for Kairhys, he just goes back to nibbling on his meatroll there and sipping at some klah. Ah, sweet sweet klah.

Th'ero shakes his head a little, one corner of his mouth curving up in a half-grin to Kairhy's admission before letting that topic slide, unable to come up with any reply as his awkwardness in idle conversation ties his tongue. Instead, while the apprentice enjoys his meal, the Weyrleader simply lets his gaze drift idly over the gardens, though never truly fixing to one detail. It's Kairhys' sudden rapt attention that draws him from his thoughts and his brown eyes settle on him as he turns his head, giving him just as curious a look and glance over. "I can't because it seems rude?" Th'ero begins only to fall silent shortly afterwards. The Weyrleader then frowns, mouth drawn into a thin line as he listens. In the end he snorts slightly, making a soft 'tsk' like sound. "That little fact traveled fast, didn't it?" he points out, a touch sarcastically before he smirks to take some of the edge off. Eventually the bronzerider must agree with Kairhys, wise council or not, because his shoulders drop and he relaxes more into his seat on the bench. "You've got some good points there, Kairhys." Th'ero admits reluctantly, before fixing the apprentice with a narrowed, questioning look. "Are weaver apprentices always this wise to the world?" he asks, though from the lopsided smile that suddenly appears, it can be assumed the Weyrleader is teasing, to a degree.

Continuing just eating quietly as Th'ero takes his time admiring the snowy landscape, Kairhys himself chewing and sipping gaze settling some on the young Weyrleader. It might even be thought of as impolite, the way that he considers him, studying him right down to even the smallest detail all without moving from his spot there on the stone bench. When Th'ero's attention once more returns to him, the weaver easily redirects his eyes without the least bit of guilt, showing at least. "Who cares what it seems like? If someone is going to naturally assume that's the case, that's their problem. Not yours." he explains, not appearing at all surprised when the rumor he heard turns out to be true. Nor does it look like he's at all worried about it. "Something like that isn't going to stay secret very long, and it's not like you worked some deceptive skills on our weyrwoman to get you the position. It's all about the dragons. You're merely the human extension of your lifemate. If there is any blame to be done, it should be put on the people who made the rules. Not those that follow them." He merely smiles when the bronzerider conceeds to his points, not smugly either, as if he expected his words to be taken with a grain of salt. That questioning look met with complete and utter calm. "Probably not. I was raised to look at how the world works as if I was just observing, it helps to be completely detached in such things. Helps you to better look at situations from all angles and then come to conclusion rather than assuming this or that."

Impolite or simply curious, Th'ero is oblivious (or so he seems) to the studious gaze by the weavercrafter. With his thoughts and gaze focused elsewhere, even if he did notice he'd most likely brush it off for now. There's another snort from the Weyrleader and he shakes his head, a gloved hand coming up to smooth back his hair from his face though the gesture is futile, as it just springs back in a mess of curls. "I suppose so. But I've a reputation to form, don't I? So I can't go ignoring public conversation all the time. I know I have to find a balance though. Or like you said, I face burnout." He leans back against the bench now, folding his arms across his chest and bringing one leg up to cross over the other. Th'ero doesn't seem to be denying and rumors so far, so long as they're true. It's the false ones, if any, that will bring out the bronzerider's temper. "No, I suppose it wouldn't, would it? First lesson anyone learns: no secret is safe in a Weyr. Even one that's not technically your home." He muses, before chuckling and giving a nod of agreement to Karihys. "Couldn't have said it better myself. Though it's more then just a rule." He adds, yet doesn't clarify any further. Instead, the Weyrleader gives the apprentice a long, searching look, keenly interested by his reply. Not expected, perhaps? "Well said again." Th'ero points out with a wry smile. "And a good way to live by." There's another lingering silence, as the bronzerider seems to drift into thought before awkwardly continuing with the conversation. "Never asked, but how're you this evening?" Asked, perhaps only because the Weyrleader is looking to divert the attention from him, for a bit.

"I don't know, I think I'd rather have the reputation of someone relaxed and calm then the guy who attacks all his responsibilities like a feral feline like he's got something to prove." Kairhys suggests with a shrug, apparently done with staring at the poor man for now. Instead his attention returns to his food, working his way through a few more meatrolls, and half the thermos of klah before he's done. This leaves a single meatroll left which he breaks it open, leaving it there. For what? The slinky and grumpy looking blue firelizard that soon wriggles out from beneath his clothing and drops down to the bench. Th'ero is eyed, and then the creature starts to devour his pet's leftovers. "Mhm." is all he says about burning out, looking at the bronzerider over the rim of his cup before he swallows the steaming mouthful of klah down and sighs contentedly. "I can't really say. I'm not a rider, and not a single member of my family is. What little I know about riders and politics comes from the Harper lessons I had as a kid. Not much use for those things in the weaver craft, not that I would of remembered half of that stuff anyway. Letter and numbers, sure. Use those everyday more or less." Another shrug and then his eyebrows shoot up in unison for that long searching look, his head tilting off to the side again before he grins and wiggles them a bit, his smirk disappearing behind his thermos top cup. Is that mischievousness there sparkling in those brown eyes. Oh yes, very much. The weaver laughs at the suddenly innocuous inquiry as to the state of his well being. "Are you asking because you'd like to know or because you'd rather not talk about you for a while?" he asks, perhaps gleaning the hidden truth of the adbrupt subject change. Now he was smirking, dropping to one gloved palm flush against the stone bench and leaning upon it. Brows remain upwardly thrust. Waiting. Patiently and expectantly.

"I'd hope to be the one who's calm and relaxed." Th'ero suddenly laughs, "But I can assure you, I'm not the rabid type." None of the Weyrleader's firelizards seem to be about, but the movement does catch his attention and a slight bemused smile spreading across his features as he watches the blue before glancing back to Kairhys. There's another amused chuckle as Th'ero nods his head in agreement to the apprentice, but again lapses into a strange silence where his words fail him. There's another awkward pause, not even broken when Kairhys wiggles his brows at him. That only earns a puzzled frown that soon vanishes into something of a sheepish look when he's so obviously caught. Coughing slightly, he shifts his weight slightly on the bench. "A little of both." The Weyrleader admits. "I'd like to know, but I also don't want to just go on all night about my own issues. Doesn't seem fair, does it?"

Kairhys chuckles along with Th'ero as he laughs, leaving the response there at the start alone for now. There there is the slightest bi of smirk that clings to his grin. Brown eyes drop to the firelizard devouring the meatroll he left out, shaking his head at him before he uses some snow to rinse scrub out the lid to his thermos and twist it back on afterwards. He's kind enough not to tease the poor man about his sheepish look when he accurately discerns why the sudden interest in his well being all of a sudden. Though there is a single 'aha' moment that only lasts a second or two before he gently lifts his shoulders upwards and lets them drop of their own power. "I don't think you really have any issues as of yet. People can hardly hold your youth against you, even if they try. They wouldn't have a leg to stand on at least there. For anything else, you've hardly been here long enough for anyone to draw any conclusion. You should take a breath, relax, and shells maybe even find the highest place in Fort you can find and let out a whoop." he replies, brushing the snow off his gloved hands once the thermos is set back down and blatantly ignores the firelizard as it climbs back up his arm and wriggles back into hiding between his clothing and his skin. Of course this brings a shiver immediately as well as a wince or two for sharp little talons. "You're Weyrleader. That's got to be a little bit exciting." Yes, he was still talking about Th'ero, perhaps purposely avoids himself and how he is doing as a topic.

"No, it is a thin argument to hold my age and my lack of experience as a rider against me. But some may still try." Th'ero replies in turn, the slightest of smirks echoing that of the apprentice seated across from him. The Weyrleader then takes a slow inhale of breath, letting it out just as slow as his gaze travels upwards, thoughtful as the arms folded across his chest tighten. The bronzerider laughs a little all the same, even if he isn't quite as relaxed. "So many are telling me that. To relax, at least, and I'm trying. I mean I wouldn't be outside here, wandering, otherwise. But I think I'll skip on letting out a whoop over Fort. Next thing I know, they'll be hounding me with mindhealers." Th'ero muses before his gaze goes from skywards and back over to Kairhys. A brow quirk up and he fixes the weavercrafter with a slight incredulous look, which seems to be done more to tease then to be taken seriously. "It… has its perks." The Weyrleader hints cryptically, before tiling his head a little to the side, his smirk broadening a little. "You never did answer my question." He points out, though gently, in his last ditch attempt to pry something from Kairhys, even if it turns to be the simplest of canned responses.

"Of that I have little doubt." Kairhys muses, "I was back, couldn't be more than a day or two, and already had more than a handful of rumors fluttering about. They work quick here." He lets Th'ero have his arm crossing deep breathing moment over there, his own attention wandering around some to the meager drifts of snow and the muddled browns of the sleeping plants. It's only when the bronzerider chimes back in about relaxing that the boy glances his way, only then to laugh shortly. "I think you're a bundle of nervous energy thinking far too much on ways you're going to mess 'this' up." He finger quotes in the air for emphasis, and then stretches his arms up over his head and yawns, pulling a bent knee up towards his chest, the foot perched on the edge of the stone bench. "Society puts way too much stress on the young. Some kids in a craft as early as ten." he says with a sigh, eyes hooding. "Life is meant to be enjoyed - experienced. Holding it all in just to look proper or worrying about what other people might think is pretty sharding silly in my opinion. Though I suppose that's why you're riding bronze and Weyrleader and why I'm just a weaver apprentice." A wink for this, "Personally, I plan on enjoying my childhood." A pause, "Did you know that the ancients didn't considering their children grown until they were eighteen?" Brows lift and then drift back down afterwards, giving the man a sly grin for his mention of perks. "Oh I bet half the female population was ready to fall at your feet, sir." Smirk. Big old, unrestrained and totally amused smirk. "And no, no I didn't. I'm trying to keep the mood light, if you hadn't noticed."

"That they do, but gossip works fast in any Weyr, I find. Same can be said for some Holds, though I'm not sure with Halls." Th'ero admits with a dismissive shrug of his shoulders, before giving Kairhys a thoughtful side glance to his next comment. The Weyrleader chuckles dryly, shaking his head in an almost sad manner. "Maybe I am. But old habits die hard." He remarks in a softer tone, distracted, before his attention refocuses on the apprentice as he speaks. There's a blink and a brief flicker of surprise at the age mentioned, but Th'ero doesn't comment on that particular part of the subject. Instead, the bronzerider is nodding his head in agreement to the younger man, to a certain degree. He snorts at the comparison, almost rolling his eyes a little. "Maybe it is a little silly. But it's just part of who I am. And I suppose that's why…" his smirk vanishes here, replaced by a thin smile. "… though I was nothing but a Holdbred, low rank guard before that. Go figure, hmm?" His mood seems to lighten though and soon the Weyrleader is chuckling again. "Good plan and one that I can agree with. At least you still have time." He pauses here to give a quick darting glance over Kairhys, having no doubt assumed his age by the conversation alone. Th'ero knows little of the ancients, so the apprentice's comment comes as a surprise that obviously has the Weyrleader curious. "Really? That seems so…" Old? "…late in life." Suddenly, he's shifting his weight a little in his seat and there's a bit more color to his cheeks, though the cold is not entirely to blame. Clearing his throat slightly, Th'ero gives a crooked smile. "That's /not/ what I meant." He explains, yet doesn't deny it either. The Weyrleader doesn't seem to want to tread too far into that sort of topic. Kairhys' reply does visibly take him aback though, Th'ero's mood shifting to something both serious and apologetic. "Ah… sorry then. I hadn't noticed."

Kairhys nods in absolute agreement, though whether it is with himself or with Th'ero is left completely up in the air. "Same all around. I was born in Fort Hold, lived for a few turns in Weaver Hall, and now I'm more or less living here. In a weyr. Though they tend to be more discreet in holds, at least in my experience." He taps a finger then to his chin, as if considering something. "Though, in a Hall…I think it depends on the craft and the craftmaster. Mine was fairly lax, in that he didn't mind who was doing what as long as it didn't interfere with craft work." He gives Th'ero a gentle smile for his distracted, softer tone in reply about old habits. "It's endearing, really. I wonder how many people even notice." he mutters, perhaps more to himself than to the poor bronzerider, but rather than elaborate on his thoughts aloud, he lets the conversation move on. He has to laugh apparently for the tale of humble beginnings coming from the bronzerider, not mockingly but rather trying to make the man's thinner smile more genuine. "I'm not blooded either. My father tends to the Hold's stables and my mother fixes shoes. At least you had a job that meant something to someone. I design clothing, and right now it's designing clothing for people who don't exist." Another pause and some more finger quotes. "Practice." A sigh. "Being an apprentice is…not exactly my dream job, and just between you and me and half of the hold I wouldn't even have this apprenticeship if my father hadn't made me decide on one when I was fourteen." He goes quiet about then, a flicker of something beneath the mask of carefree that the weaver might always wear but he shakes it off and beams a grin at Th'ero. "You make it sound like you're fifty or something. You couldn't be more than twenty four or so. You have plenty of time to enjoy yourself too. Wouldn't want to give these weyrbred the idea we're a bunch of stuck up prudes now would we?" Winking at the bronzerider, Kai shakes his head at the age thing. "Eighteen just seems so very very young to me." Again the mask slips, further this time and his smile disappears completely and something that weights on the boy heavily shows all too clearly on his smooth features. It only lasts a few heartbeats and then the boy distractedly meets that crooked grin from the Weyrleader with a lopsided one of his own and a rolling of his eyes. "Maybe not what you meant, but I don't hear you denying it either. Lucky bastard." Seemingly grasping for any kind of distraction, the weaver waves off the seriousness and apologetic tones. "Let's just say that I'll definitely take your worries over my own."

If Th'ero seems surprised by Kairhys' history, he's schooling it well and instead keeping his expression one as polite interest. "Depends on the Hold, really, in the end." He gives a chuckle towards the mention of the Hall and the apprentice's Craftmaster. "Sounds like his a decent person." The Weyrleader remarks casually, almost as if he had simply spoken a thought out loud by mistake. Either way, he doesn't seem to backtrack from the tangent comment, instead continuing on the conversation between them. There's a brief puzzled look when Kairhys doesn't elaborate either, Th'ero giving his head a little shake before he speaks up again. "And mine was a family of fishermen and common hold folk." He shares, before laughing and doing so unrestricted. "Meant something to someone?" he echoes, once his laughter subsides enough. Th'ero says nothing more on that though, taking his turn on lack of elaboration before changing subjects. "Designing clothes though, even if practice, as a purpose." He points out, before falling silent and giving Kairhys a long, questioning look before his gaze turns sympathetic. "Why not change Crafts then? You're old enough, I think, to choose for yourself." The Weyrleader is obvious to the flicker of change in the apprentice, focused as he is on a similarity between the younger man's past and that of his own. Again, there's laughter, "Close enough. But you've got a point. I guess I can try - can't hurt, can it?" Th'ero finally agrees, smirking a little in response to the wink. When Kairhys' mask slips again, the bronzerider notices, though he's careful to keep his expression neutral. He's about say something, but lingers too long in choosing his words and the apprentice's mask returns. So Th'ero lets it slide, instead smiling a little slyly, though it doesn't last. "There are no hoards of women. So, sadly, I am an unlucky bastard." He muses, though soon his gaze is turning skywards for the second time. "As it is, the one that /did/ have, before all this, isn't even talking to me." The Weyrleader admits, mouth drawn into a thin line as he broods over that fact for a heartbeat of two, before side glancing back to Kairhys, curiosity written clearly on his features. "That bad?" he simply asks, not fishing for more information this time.

Kairhys shrugs helplessly, "Only ever lived at one, and I should be actually heading that way." he says, already pushing himself to his feet. Once more he's stretching though, upwards towards the sky and maybe for a spell he just leaves his face upturned towards the stars even as his arms fall to his sides. At some point he does shove his hands into the pockets of his jacket and smiles softly at the man. Most of what the bronzerider has to say in response is answered with that same drawing upwards of his lips, sometimes wider and sometimes thinner. He does at one point chuckle and pluck up his plate and thermos, more than making his intention to leave final rather than lingering out of some sense of duty to the man and his position. "Give her time, if she loves you, that's all she needs." he offers quietly, and as if to take the edge off of the seriousness he tacks on shamelessly, "And if not, I'm always available." Yes, he was flirting, again. Poor Th'ero. That last bit though, gets a lowering of lashes and much sadder smile. "It was nice seeing you again. I hope it becomes on of those habits you can't break." A incline of his head, a bow of sorts perhaps, before he excuses himself and makes for the kitchens.

As Kairhys pushes himself to his feet, so does Th'ero, though his stretching is a little subtler and his hands, though gloved, go immediately into his pockets. The smile is returned, while the Weyrleader simply observes as the apprentice gathers his plate and thermos, making no move to lend a hand and choosing to instead stand still and awkward once again. "Thanks." He begins to reply honestly, before being startled by Kairhys' sudden flirting. So whatever more the Weyrleader was going to say ends up garbling into nonsense in his throat before he clears it. "I'll give her time." Th'ero says, a little uncomfortable but still polite as ever. So while the sad smile from the apprentice puzzles him further, the bronzerider smiles all the same, if only to take the sting out of his words and reaction. "Nice seeing you." Th'ero replies back with an incline of his own head, though there's a bit of a grimace at the bow. With Kairhys moving off though, the Weyrleader makes no comment on it, instead turning on his heel and wandering back the way he came. Despite the cold and the hour, it seems he'll be finding a bit more time to wander and perhaps relax enough to enjoy it.

'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.