Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

Cassandrel is sitting staring into the hearth, especially odd since the warm weather means it's not lit. Staring off into place with a sewing basket beside her. She's ignoring the mending needed to one of her shirts, seemingly lost deep in thought.

Nae has precious few moments to venture into dragon-free areas on the weyr these days. Now, while Kaiath is deep asleep, is one of those times. She enters the cavern looking rather tired, making a beeline for the serving tables to get herself some klah. It's there that she spots Cassandrel, a look of surprise appearing on her face immediately. That expression morphs into a smile as she approaches the hearth, klah in hand. "Cas?"

Cassandrel twitches like she might jump out of her skin. Looking up, she looks at you as if you're a ghost for a moment, her eyes focusing on your features. There's really no words, just her standing up, the movement dumping her sewing on the floor, and moving to you to hug you.. khal in hand be damned. "I'm so pissed at you," she breaths into your ear.

It's from the lower caverns, rather than the bowl, that Rhysanna makes her entrance, her clothes and hair surprisingly tidy, though she's still got those dark shadows beneath her eyes. Initially, she seems destined for the bowl, but she seems to change her mind halfway there, altering her path until she's headed for the hearth instead. If she's noticed Nae (and, by extension, Cassandrel), she's yet to show any sign of it.

Nae blinks in surprise and confusion. The hug has her comforted for a moment, and she returns the gesture. But the words that follow just have her further confused. "Wh… what? Why?" She blinks, catching Rhysanna's entrance and giving her fellow weyrling a little nervous smile before she looks back to Cassandrel, expression one of mild worry.

Cassandrel pulls back from the hug and sighs, eyes flickering over her, having expected to seen you shorn by now. "Because I'm going to miss you, damnit.. and I didn't want to." With that explained she gives her a waning smile. "I'm so proud of you though, happy for you. Dad's lingering, waiting for his new ship to come out of the crafters, and I've been avoiding him and helping, hoping to see you before I leave. How are things going?" she asks, trying not to bubble over with questions.

Having caught Nae's nervous smile, Rhysanna finishes doctoring her klah with sweetener then crosses towards the bare hearth, arriving in time to hear the last of Cassandrel's words. She pauses, as if abruptly conscious of not interrupting, and perhaps, too, uncertain about context; nervous smiles no longer seem appropriate.

Nae seems to have avoided the barber's wrath thus far. One wonders how long that may last. "It's… it's wonderful." She answers. "Difficult, but wonderful. It's… almost impossible to describe. I… I'm glad I got to see you, though." She says with a little smile. "And that you're staying a little longer. How long will the new ship be?" She gives Rhysanna another little smile. "Have… have you met Rhysa? She's another weyrling." She asks, still oddly nervous.

Cassandrel looks over at Rhysa and shakes her head, looking the girl over, "No, but it's a pleasure. Congradulations to you too," she adds with a little nod. Her eyes flick back to Nae and she shrugs. "A week or two, depending on how the carvings go. If a beam splits, it sets them back, and the eggs or ..draons.. were ready sooner than uncle guessed," she explains almost dismissively. Running a hand through her mass of unrulely hair, both eyes flash their missmatched hues over the other girls for a second before she turns and swoops her basket up off the floor. "What so they have you doing besided feeding the little things? I haven't even seen Jord.. err.. J'in now I guess.. since," she says of her cousin that was in the (npc) crowd with you.

Rhysanna's expression is neutral, leaning towards 'friendly', but she does keep casting glances towards Nae; something about her fellow weyrling's manner seems to leave her hesitant. "Thank you," she says to Cassandrel, with an apparently genuine smile, though she leaves answering the rest of the other girl's comments to Nae.

"… That short?" Nae answers Cassandrel, her disappointment obvious. "Oh… well… you'll be visiting Western again, right? I mean, it's such a lovely place. It'd… be a real shame if you didn't." She glances towards Rhysanna, smiling as she answers. "Feeding them, bathing them, oiling them, playing with them. Teaching them about… everything, really. You'll have to meet Kaiath, I'm sure she'd really like that…"

Cassandrel smiles and nods, basket on the table again, she turns back to the pair. "It's a long way between here and the Ista isle, Nae .. but I'll try, if I can. I don't think I'll make the sail any time soon again, but maybe I can talk my father into letting me run supplies or merchandise here via dragon once we go back. I'd use poor J'in as an excuse," she chuckles a little. Seeing Rhysa's hesitance, she gives her a relaxed smile. "And what lucky color is bound to you now?" she asks warmly enough.

Rhysanna gestures towards Nae with her chin, saying, "If she wants you to stay, you should at least consider it. Or visit, as often as you can. Nae doesn't take no for an answer." She's teasing, trying to push a smile across her expression, though she's still giving the other weyrling that… hesitant look. Cassandrel's question, however, has her hesitating for a different reason. "Gold," she says, finally, pressing her lips together afterwards in an awkward kind of way.

Nae laughs a little more nervously than she usually would at that teasing from Rhysanna, smiling back at her. "You make me sound like a kidnapper or something." She attempts to tease back. Her gaze then returns to the sailor, a little glimmer of worry in her eye. "Oh. Well. I hope you manage to visit often, despite it all… and at least write when you can't."

Cassandrel laughs and gives Nae a crooked grin that's more than a little on the impish side. "She's very persuasive when she wants to be, yes. And hooo.. a gold! I'm so sorry!" she giggles a bit, "A life of duties and weyr running for you, you lucky girl! And big publick mating flights and clutches," she teases, fully meaning to be light hearted about the girls luck. "But no, truly," she says, still half laughing, "Congradulations, that's quite an honor the dragon gave you," she smiles. Eyes back to Nae, she frowns a little and flicks a finger between the both of you, gesturing from one to the other. "Old lovers.. fought over a common love.. somone here jilted or dumped? If there was more tension between the two of you I could cut the air with a spoon!"

Rhysanna flushes, dark and furious, in answer to Cassandrel's teasing, and it is not exactly improved by the rest of what the other girl has to say. "No," is probably sharper and more fervent than she intended it to be. "No, no. We're friends. I'm just… it's nothing. Right, Nae? Everything's fine?" Only that last sentence? It's a question.

"No, no!" Nae answers Cassandrel reflexively. Then she ponders for a moment. "… Wait. Yes. Actually, no, probably. 'Fought' is too strong a word, but… there's no tension." She looks at Rhysanna, then looks sheepish. "I'm sorry, I'm… probably being confusing, huh?" She sighs a bit. "Cas, Rhysa is my best friend. Rhysa, Cas is… someone I like very much. It's just been… you know. Candidacy and weyrlinghood." She seems to expect that phrase to explain all the awkward.

Cassandrel aaah's softly, looking between you two. "Yes.. I'm Cassandrel, of Sea Cove. My cousin was on the sands with you two, so my father and I came for the hatching. I'm going to be one of the 'when I was a candidate' stories Nae tells when she recounts lovers who's names she's forgotten, years down the road from now." Is that a touch of bitter in her voice? "Well, whatever transpired between the two of you, I hope you can shelve it. True friends are few and far between, don't let miscommunication or other fluff to get in the way," she councils, even if unneccessary. With that, she picks her own cup up from where it's been for shards knows how long, cold as the day is long by now. Still, she knocks it back, and then sighs and smiles at you both. "I take it your little squakers are sleeping? I bet they're growing fast, already?" she muses, trying to change the topic.

Rhysanna lowers her face towards her mug, breathing in the steam as she attempts to cool her flush. "Sort-of yes," she confirms, sounding wry and still embarrassed for it. "But right. No tension. Seriously. No tension." This much, at least, she's certain of. Her abrupt understanding of the situation has her shoulders sinking back, and her head nodding, just once, in a slow, deep motion. "Oh, I see. It's nice to meet you, Cassandrel, and… I don't think Nae's like that. Yes, they're sleeping. Tavehtiath is, at least." She doesn't seem all that eager to move the conversation in that direction, though.

Nae practically buries her face in her mug for a moment, a little bit of a blush appearing on her own face, uncharacteristically enough. That comment from Cas has her blinking, surprised. "Cas! I… I didn't think it would be like that." Those nerves aren't disappearing for the time being, though Rhysanna gets a grateful look for her support. "… Kaiath is also napping. She wears herself out, running around all day…"

Cassandrel shakes her head. "I did, but I did it anyway. It's ok, Nae.. I'm not mad at you, or at the situation as a whole even. It is what it is and I have no regrets," she promises, taking the steps needed to lay her scarred and calloused hand on her shoulder, thumb touching her jawline. "It's ok," she says again and then turns, plunking down on the bench heavily and lookig at Rhysa, "The weight of the crown got you down?" she asks, the girl's long face when talk turns to dragons getting her attention now.

Rhysanna has genuine, and very obvious, sympathy for Nae's present predicament, letting her gaze linger upon the younger girl for a long time. "In a bit over a turn," she offers, quietly, "Nae will be able to travel anywhere she likes." As Cassandrel moves closer to the other girl, she glances away, as if to give them privacy. Her question, therefore, comes as something of a surprise. "Oh, no. No, it's fine. I'm just tired. And it's nice… to have a conversation about something else, every once in a while."

Nae gives Cassandrel a little worried smile. "I… I meant what I said. I want to keep in touch. I know things are… weird. But… it's like Rhysa said." She gives the goldrider a very grateful little smile. "… Things won't be like they are forever." There's a quick flash of sympathy in return at her fellow weyrling's exhaustion. Nae takes her own seat, pondering for a moment. "… Maybe another topic would be better." She agrees.

Cassandrel nods softly and ponders for a minute. "Sorry, for those of us not of a weyr or without, it's a bit fascinating, but I can understand you being tired.. emotionally and mentally as well as physically." She turns a sympathetic smile on both the girls and then ponders a moment. "Well .. There's not much going on with me, since the boat's being worked on. You guys can't drink, that I know of?" she looks at you in turn again, hoping she's wrong. "so I won't offer to take you to the Tiki for celebration. What would you like to talk about? How about seweing? Either of you know someone better at it than my clumbsy hands who can mend a split seam?" she wonders, ruefully waving at the basket on the tabel in disgust.

"I guess it is," agrees Rhysanna, neutrally. "I suppose I was always interested, before. And it's not that I'm not interested now, it's just…" Tired. She gives Nae another smile, glancing down at her mug thoughtfully. "No drinking," she confirms. "And no sewing. I think… I'm sorry, I just had dinner with Mother, and I think I need to decompress. Anyway, perhaps you two should talk." Without her.

"Alas, no. Not until graduation." Nae confirms the no-drinking rule with a little bit of a pout. So many unfortunate things about weyrlinghood, even if it has lifted her spirits on the whole. The topic of sewing earns a little thought. "Not that I know of. But…" Suddenly, she's distracted by Rhysanna. "… Your mother? Did it… go okay?" She asks, worried.

Cassandrel is glad for another topic to arise, she's no good at this. As she's told Nae before, she's no good at PEOPLE in general, used to spending so much time alone on the water or quietly bustling with her duties on the ship amongst crew she doesn't talk to much… being the only teenaged girl in a small swarm of men has a way of turning you inward. Seeing Nae's concern though, she hushes and crosses her legs, sinking back into the bench a little more and going quiet to let the two of them have their moment.

Rhysanna exhales before answering, letting the air escape her lungs in a way that hints at a sigh. "It… went," is all she says, though her mouth purses at the end, as though she's sucking on a lemon. "But I think I need to go kick something before Taveh wakes up and gets upset at me for having feelings. So." She turns her head, letting her gaze encapsulate both of them. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Cass. Nae, I'm sure I'll see you later. Have a… good night?"

Nae looks at Rhysanna with obvious concern, but slowly nods her head. "… Okay, Rhysa. If you want to talk about it later, you know where to find me. We never have to go through this stuff alone, yeah?" She gives a little hopeful smile before turning that look on Cassandrel, hopefully reassuring her a little. She scoots a touch closer.

Cassandrel gives the girl a nod, knowing full well what it's like to have emotions bottled up. "Try and have a good evening and get good rest. A pleasure meeting you," she says, oddly well mannered for a sailor girl. Then, seeing Nae scoot over, she turns and smiles at her. "Listen, I'm .. sorry. I didn't mean my comment to have so much bite earlier. Just feeling sorry for myself about having to go home," she admits. "But I will come back for father's business when I can, and I will definately write, at the very least," she vows for not the first time.

Rhysanna's expression is obviously meant to be reassuring, though it's also appreciative. "Promise," she agrees. "Never alone. That's what best friends are for." If her gaze lingers on Nae for a moment, meaningfully, and then slides towards Cass, well… It's only for a moment. Then she's off, turning to replace her mug in the appropriate place, and then head for the bowl. Rocks will be kicked. Yells may even be yelled.

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