No Fireworks

Western Weyr -Candidate Dorm
Carved from a natural bubble in the volcanic stone, this small dorm room has room enough to hold around two dozen occupants comfortably. Along the walls are stationed sets of cots and clothes presses, each made up to the standards of the weyrwoman. Above, the soft white light from electric lamps cast down during waking hours.


It just so happens that Naris isn't very tangled up in the rumor loop. Sure, she was able to pick up on some that involved her before she was a candidate and spent most of her time in the lower caverns, but since being searched she just hasn't had the time to dive into gossip. Not that she's ever really been one to do that anyway. Because of this she is yet to find out about a certain… situation involving a girl she has come to have some /very/ negative feeling for and the Weyrleader. Perhaps it's good that she doesn't know about it yet, but all good things must come to an end. Naris has recently finished off a round of chores and is rummaging around for something under her bed. Eventually she comes out with a small vat of firelizard oil and sets in the the small side-table beside her cot, letting out a whistle that prompts Crawlie to pop out of /between/. A smile crosses her face as the blue lands on her shoulder. "Hey there," she murmurs. There is a light, playfully singing tone to her voice as she strokes him and trills, "firelizard are better than people, oh don't you agree…" Naris doesn't exactly have much faith in humanity though, so it might make sense that /she'd/ be singing that.

The Rhysanna who steps in from the corridor outside has the pink and scrubbed look of a girl who has recently been in the baths, a fact confirmed by the towel she's still using to try and squeeze the water from her long dark hair. She's done a good job of avoiding Naris, these past few days, despite their shared living quarters; that her gaze immediately slides towards the other girl's cot as she enters suggests this is deliberate. There is, however, no hitch in her step: she lifts her chin, turns her gaze away, and crosses directly to her own cot. What was a contented, even dreamy, expression has turned more determined.

Instant tenstion, just add an enemy! No, Naris doesn't notice the girl at first as she continues, "but people smell better than firelizards… which is why we're going to fix that. Immediately." It is as she stops singing, although the singing turns to a deadpan as she finishes, and begins to reach for the oil pot that she hears the sound of footsteps on the floor. Her head whips around to her Rhysanna and her eyes narrow at the sight of her. A wave of the anger from her pervious encounter with the girl that she had been supressing but has not yet managed to eliminate begins to rear up. But as she heads over to her own cot Naris turns her own gaze away and slowly dips her fingers into the oil. As she begins to rub it across Crawlie's hide the blue begins to growl, picking up on him bonded's emotions. Although she tries to shush him it does little to effect the creature, who proceeds to sit up and hiss loudly in Rhysanna's direction.

"It's good to know that my mere presence is enough to make you lose your cool," says Rhysanna, conversational rather than confrontational. "Or do you just have a problem with people who bathe? Or have wet hair? Or…" She turns her head, focusing her gaze on Naris in a way that suggests she's trying to work something out - her expression is searching. Evidently she comes to the wrong conclusion because, softer then, she says, "It wasn't intended to hurt you. I don't make that kind of decision for anyone except myself. So be mad at me if you like, but honestly, it had nothing to do with you."

There is a snort as Naris rolls her eyes at her words before asking in a dry voice, "do I look like a firelizard to you? Because last I recall humans don't hiss, my… I believe the word you used was 'cool', is perfectly maintained." She casts a glance down at Crawlie, who is continuing to growl at the candidate. "Firelizards can pick up on the emotions of their bonded," she continues, "and sometimes when their owner isn't too fond of someone or has an unpleasant memory involving them they'll get… uppity." Did she just admit that she either isn't fond of Rhysanna or has an unpleasant memory involving her? Yes, yes she did. Chances are the other girl doesn't really see it as a secret anyway though. Her softer words make Naris tense up and look a tad defensive. This isn't because she hit a button though, it's because she honesstly doesn't know what she means by that. But if she's talking about it she can't help but think that it /probably/ involves her. Her tone is neutral as she asks, "may I ask what you are talking about?"

Uh oh. It probably doesn't surprise Rhysanna that Naris has continued negative emotions towards her - her own are very unlikely to be warm and fuzzy - but her expression at that last question? It's positively stricken. "Oh," she says, looking rather as though she'd like to start swearing now. Her gaze drops towards her bare feet, and really, honestly, she looks like she'd like to sink straight through the ground and bury herself there forever. "I thought you knew."

Naris can feel a mixture of nervousness and dread growing inside her with each passing moment. The firelizard in her lap stops growling at the confusing feelings coming from his bonded but she doesn't pay him any attention at the moment. Normally she might take pleasure in having made Rhysanna look uncomfortable. On another day she may have smirked at seeing her look like she wants the ground to swallow her whole. But right now… right now she imagines that she looks quite the same really. It is true that Naris is quite good at hiding her emotions a good portion of the time but now she fears that it may be all too easy to see the worry, confusion, dread, and perhaps tiniest drop of pain her feels. Her voice is strained as she says, "Rhysanna… please tell me, whatever it is."

It's likely awkwardness and nerves rather than anything deliberately malicious that has Rhysanna squaring her shoulders, lifting her chin and announcing, simply but with a hint of satisfaction that she cannot quite manage to banish: "Zi'on and I are dating." Her hands have stilled on the towel she's still holding, and droplets of water are sliding down her face— though not, very clearly, from her eyes. She waits.

Therynn has managed to uproot that nasty runner stench that lingered for days after stables, entering the Candidate Dorms looking very much unlike her usual self on this day. Hairs are actually placed neatly in what the androgynous gal has been told is 'styled', weird shades of face paint have been put on lids cheeks and lips, what she thinks is called 'make-on' or something, and what can't be seen is that the hairy gal is hairy no more. Someone's been up to transformation trouble lately. Therynn seems less than stoked about this, tromping in in the frilly dress that makes her feel like a floozy, tiny green hatchling Tarth in tow cupped gently in the nook of one arm. "You and half the other women on Pern sweety.. welcome t'the Shipton list.." she says to Rhysanna rather gruffly. Not fair to take her make-over woes out on a stranger, but it happened.

Do you know what heartbreak feels like? Naris is pretty sure she doesn't… or at least she /was/ pretty sure that she didn't. Yet as Rhysanna says those five words with that satisfaction, just a hint but sounding like it's being screamed out to her, she feels something, If it's heartbreak she has no idea but it feels like pain, betrayal, like something happened but it's your fault in at least some way and somewhere deep down you think you /deserve/ to hurt. For a moment she can't help but wonder if that was what was going on that day in the gallaries. If he took her side because they were together, if that is why what happened happened, if it was Rhysanna all along. In a way it also makes a bitter sort of sense to Naris. She's a fool for letting herself get attatched, really, for letting herself care. Everyone knows that when you let yourself care you only hurt. For a moment it shows. It is brief, the sheer amount of hurt that crosses across her face, how she looks like someone that for all their bravado is truly broken in several ways. But within a matter of second Naris does what Naris does best. she tries to push all those feelings away and puts her mask of coldness and uncaring back on. "Oh," she says. "That… I don't care." Yet even as she speaks her hands and shoulders shake slightly. It's stupid, it's ridiculous, it's her own fault that she allowed herself to feel this. "Shouldn't have talked to him in the first place," she mutters, although it's to herself and makes no sense in the conversation. That is when Therynn's words hit her ears and make her immediately tense up. Naris stiffens and turns to glare at the girl in the dress as she hisses, "shut up. You don't know what's going on, you probably know /her/ even less that I do and have /no right/ to be making remarks. Just… shut up."

Rhysanna doesn't like Naris, not before this conversation and not now, but her expression nonetheless holds something akin to sympathy as she watches for that reaction. It's those physical hints, the shoulders and the hands, coupled with the reaction to Therynn's words that really clues her in; she looks positively wretched, except for the hint of relief that's relaxing her shoulders and letting her exhale. She's belated in answering Therynn, her words calmer than Naris', but still dismissive. "''Exclusively'' dating," she says, coolly. "And for once I agree with Naris: butt out."

Therynn lets out a chiding laughter that could even be a bit condescending, considering Therynn knows nothing of these crazy matters of the heart. "Hah you crazy women.. don't get mad at me because you two are in some crazy love triangle with the Weyrleader." She wonders if there even is a word for the web of naughty madness the bronzer has woven across Pern. A snarky twist of her face has head shaking as she adds "Have you forgotten you're both /Candidates!?/" There's a scoff while approaching her cot to gather a few things, and Tarth has a fair amount of chittering, sassy squawks to add to this sentiment. "And yes, you.." she looks to Naris who's obviously distraught over this news ".. I know nothing of either of you, except that you're both absolutely wherry-brained to think that Zi'on.. /THE ZI'ON/ would be exclusive with either one of ya. He's the Weyrleader of Western Weyr with a reputation that precedes him and a savior faire that is unmatched across the lands. He could have ANY woman he wants.. and he does.. regularly. Plus there's no naughty business allowed.. Don't you two know the rules?" A notepad is pulled from beneath her cot and shoved in to a small bag before she heads for the door. "Y'both better just get over it.. Candidacy is a long enough journey as is and if either of you are lucky enough to Impress it'll be turns before y'get t'lay yer hands on yer beloved bronzer.. how many other women d'ya think he'll woo between now and then?" This is very matter of fact as she heads for the door. Another squawk from the green peanut gallery and she departs without looking back or another word.

She doesn't say anything as the the two talk. Oh, Naris does hear the words, how they're dating exclusively, how Therynn talks about Zi'on's reputation, the 'love triangle'. Listens and doesn't say a word, which for Naris is /quite/ odd. It is not until Therynn has left that she makes any sound. A bitter, thin-lipped smile crosses her face as she remarks, "I'd known him for over… two turns? Two turns or so before I allowed myself to start to care about him or anyone really. I was smarter then, I think." A pause before she muses, "he lied to me then. Something about not being able to do serious relationships or just 'hurting me', something along those lines. Couldn't just say that he doesn't like me." Or that she's not good enough, too stiff, not pretty enough. The words dance across the tip of her tongue yet remain unspoken. Naris gives a small shake of her head before muttering in her normal business voice, although an undertone of coldness that had been fading over time as returned, "I should find something to be work on, there's to much to do for me to be sitting around thinking about things that don't matter."

Rhysanna's cheeks flush and her chin lifts, a sure sign that she's inclined to argue, but Therynn departs before she has the opportunity to, and besides, there's Naris to worry herself over. She gives the other girl a guilty glance, biting her lip uncomfortably. "I'm sorry," she says, which does seem to be genuine enough, despite feelings that clearly haven't changed as regards Naris herself. "I can't tell you what's in his head. I don't imagine I can tell you anything you want to hear. I'll— leave you alone."

The apology comes as a surprise to Naris, not that she lets it show on the outside. Instead she just shrugs before responding in the same voice, "it's not your fault. I'll go, you probably have stuff to do in here anyway." With that she stands up despite having been in the middle of oiling Crawlie. There is no looking back from her as she strides out of the candidate barracks. Head held high, good posture, looking every inch the composed, strict, and cold assistant headwoman that many probably see her as. Only time we'll tell if that's good or bad.

Rhysanna opens her mouth to say something, perhaps anything, but the words don't come out. With a great sigh, she throws herself onto her bed: the perfect teenager.


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