Of Liars and Hypocrites

Western Weyr - Roof Garden
This roof garden is being planted with medicinal herbs. Even in its current, unfinished state, patients are often brought up here to get some fresh air and sun.


Rhabel is growing more and more in hate with the fact that being a candidate means that he has to do an unhealthy amount of chores. In his life before, time had been crammed full of bubbling baby girls and testy weyrmates, sure! But Rhab had always found enough down time to sneak away, read a book, or (when he'd still /had/ a violin) compose a song. Or three. Since accepting that white knot, he's done laundry, run around for wingleaders, and now finds himself glaring daggers at weeds in the rooftop garden. The man is quite the sight, honestly, with a white apron tied around his middle to protect his clothes (the man is a /neat freak/), and he's even got a bandanna tied around the top of his head to gather sweat. He's filthy, but that's to be expected: he's been at this for at least half an hour, and there's plenty more /weeds/ waiting to be uprooted from their cozy nesting places.

A neat freak Rhabel might be, but the younger Rhadan is certainly not that. We he steps out onto the rooftop one would be able to see the sweat stains on his shirt - around the collar, and his arm pits. His upper back is quite damp, too. Not only that, but the young man's hair is damp and there are even dirt streaks on the side of his face. On his arms, too, dirt can be seen. One might actually think that he was working today from the look of him. The fact is, though, that he is not. Nope. The teen has a free day for the first time since beginning as a candidate - all of the sweat and dirt is from his own, personal /choice/ to do things. This morning he has been running and climbing and running… and now, he is stepping onto the rooftop with bottles of water in hand. One is half-full and the other is unopened. The teen swipes hair from his forhead with the half-full bottle as he makes for Rhabel. "Here. I thought you might be thirsty." Lookit there! Rhadan is holding a bottle of water out to the apron-wearing weeder as he approaches the man. Rhadan has a slight pant to his voice when he speaks.

It's been a few days since Yiska went and searched Rhadan and then buried a dagger quite deep into his rider's back. After Rhabel accepted the white knot, the blue proceeded to intercept Ir'e's weyrmate and bring him to his weyr and refuse to let any dragon (who happened to be carrying Ir'e) anywhere near the ledge while Rhabel packed his stuff. To say that Ir'e was pissed would probably be an understatement and to add insult to injury he had sense been sent off by S'rorn to take care of some wing duties that needed attention all the way in another weyr. So the bluerider's been rather MIA as of late and it's only now that he's made it back to Western (as is clear by still wearing his riding leathers regardless of the heat that presses down on the weyr). He managed to get ahold of the candidate chore list and thus that's what brings him to the gardens, irritating, dirty, and generally not happy. When he arrives his chocolate brown eyes swing over the area, first picking out Rhadan and then near him, Rhabel. A solitary eyebrow ticks before he marches up to the pair, arms crossed. "You're not a candidate." He states in a tight voice before he's reaching over to Rhadan's water that he was offering Rhabel, snags it, and proceeds to start drinking it. Cad! His gaze then focuses upon Rhad and a frown creases those rather unhappy lips, "But you are. So maybe you should finish up these chores for him."

If looks could kill, Rhadan would be dead - twice. Except not, because Rhabel doesn't emote anything aside from that unpleasant blankness, even when he's cringing inside at the other candidate's state of dress. Sweat stains? Eugh. He looks up from his weeding, wipes one grimy forearm across his forehead, and gives himself a dirty streak to go along with all the others covering un-aproned sections. "Why are you so dirty?" Rhab inquires in a manner lacking interest, reaching up to take the proffered water except that it's /intercepted/ by somebody's infuriating weyrmate. Rhab stares at empty air for a moment, unfazed, and then turns those green eyes up and onto his angry thief. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four. "You're an idiot," the candidate says, clearly not of a mind to have /this/ conversation ever. "Ignore him, Rhadan. He'll get bored and go away." Which is why Rhab is turning right back to his weeds, as if Ir'e never even graced them with his temperamental presence in the first place.

There is a kind look in Rhadan's eyes as that water bottle is held out to Rhabel, and the look does not faulter when he recieves that stare from Rhabel. If anything, one might say it /encourages/ Rhadan's expression - the tired smile on his face widening slightly. "I was working out…" That kind look is gone moments after Rhadan looks over his shoulder at the sound of approaching footsteps. The look didn't change when his eyes caught sight of Ir'e. No - in fact, he began to give to bluerider a small smile. That smile disappeared when Rhadan, in the middle of answering Rhabel, had the water bottle snatched from his hand by the bluerider. The look that replaces it is doleful - sad, and then slight anger comes. His lips pull, and it is obvious he is getting ready to say something - likely something not smart, when Rhabel speaks again, telling him to ignore Ir'e. Rhadan, though, is not Rhabel. And one might note the lowered eyebrows and the slight stomp of a foot. "You… you owe him a water." So what if Ir'e was thirsty and tired too? He took it! "… I can help you, if you want?" Rhadan says these words directed at Rhabel, even as he is turning and beginning to crouch, the second bottle he had - his own, apparently, being set down on the ground to one side.

"I won't go away." Ir'e grinds the words out from between clenched teeth as he stands there, towering over his weyrmate. "Have you gone completely insane, Rhab? You hate dragons, why in the name of the first egg would you accept search?" Why indeed! Mister oblivious bluerider has no idea that he inadvertently pushed him towards the decision. And then the rather angry face he's been sporting falls away and all that's left is a look of raw pain. "Keely brought Lyrabel over the other night and she was asking where you were, why you weren't living in my weyr anymore. They're too young to really understand candidacy." And he doesn't mention that /he/ is lonely and his bed is cold and he doesn't like that one bit at all either. A sigh falls away before he's looking back at Rhadan and shaking his head, "I don't owe him anything. He should go home, get out of those clothes I'll make sure he gets all the water he needs. He doesn't need-" Some child like you. He's cutting himself off before finishing that thought before he gives Rhadan the once and then twice over. Because obviously the teen is a threat to him, obviously Rhadan is gunna steal Rhab away from him. Mhmm. How much more unreasonable can one get? Who knows! Let's keep going and see shall we?

Did you know that instead of guilt, every word out of Ir'e's mouth only gives further rise to Rhabel's inner agitation? He's being towered over, children are being used as /threats/, and Rhadan is coming so valiantly to his defense. There's a muted acknowledgement that Ir'e doesn't realize the cage he's trying to build when Rhab is stuck with a sudden thought. If Ir'e won't go away because he's being ignored, maybe he'll go away if Rhab makes him /just/ as angry. "I never stopped you when you stood, or when you needed to figure out how you felt about Rou'x, or when you wanted to have children." It's there in the air for Ir'e, the man only needs to be smart enough to catch on. 'Don't cage me, I don't belong to you,' Rhabel doesn't say, but his /eyes/ do. And then? Those /rare/ smiles? Rhabel is turning one onto Rhadan, and it meets his eyes, and there's a change to his tone so that it comes out almost shy? "I would appreciate that," he says, and when Rhadan crouches, Rhab is closing the distance between them so that his shoulder is /very/ lightly brushing up against the teenager's, working on in companionable silence. Evil weyrmates. Evil guilt they try to BRING WITH THEM.

The conversation between the weyrmates has gone beyond Rhadan and his ability to comment. That is not his place or… really, ability. His unease with the conversation is obvious - and his only defense against it is to take himself out of it and focus on something else. That something else? Weed! You have been bad, trying to grow inbetween two very good herbs! There is nothing - nothing good about you, you ugly little thing! And now? Well, now you are uprooted and set to the side! Try endangering plants /now/! Muhaha! Of course, Rhadan doesn't realize that the weed he just pulled as actually a young herb plant - it did /look/ like a weed. It isn't like they gave people pictures of weed vs herbs or anything! And then there is a brush of a shoulder on his - and that brush, light as it was, brings a start from the teen. His hands jerk briefly as they work, and there is a sudden breath sucked in. The sudden tensing last only a moment, though, and Rhadan turns his head briefly to Rhabel, giving him a small nod before he looks back down to the ground. There is a moment before he points to an herb that looks an awful lot like a weed, "Is this a weed, you think?" Ir'e is not nessecarily ignored. Rhadan /did/ just give a brief, nervous glance over his shoulder to the bluerider.

Oh boy, Rhabel is most definitely building a fire with them words. And that fire is not going to be a good thing when it starts to burn. "And none of that even matters when you.. don't.. like dragons. You have absolutely no interest in impressing one. So what is it you're doing?" Torturing him? Yah, sounds about right! It's about then that he's doing his little sidle of sorts over to Rhadan and brushing his shoulder against him and saying words that Rhab never says that pretty much breaks Ir'e in two. The bluerider stands there a moment, watching the scene before his fingers curl into a tight fist and he whirls around on his heel and leaves. Yes, ignoring him wouldn't have driven him off, but this most definitely did. "Fine. Have fun, Rhab." The words are anything but calm as underlying fury burns beneath each one before he disappears back down into the weyr and most definitely back to his own home. Well Rhadan, welcome to Ir'e's shit list.

Yep, Rhabel watches Rhadan tear up an herb and, when he doesn't think the teenager is paying any mind, replants the thing. Hopefully it will outlive its shock of being rooted. "No," Rhabel answers monotone to the next plant in question. "Leave it alone, Rhad. It's an herb." Just like that, Ir'e has Rhabel's full attention again, staring after his werymate as the bluerider's temper flares and comes out in a tone that sets the candidate's teeth on edge. He makes a forward motion, as if he's going to chase Ir'e down, but then thinks better of it, staying rooted to the spot instead. For a moment there's a flicker of annoyance and something akin to sadness in Rhabel's eyes, but the slate is wiped clean in seconds, and he's turning that expressionless face back onto Rhadan. "How are you a hunter and this useless with identifying what's an herb and what's not? Maybe you should be studying the difference, instead of picking one and hoping for the best." Just like nothing happened! Back to his usual (un)pleasantries! He did, for the record, notice Rhadan tensing up, and so after a moment, he's saying, "Ir'e wouldn't hurt you. You don't have to worry about being close to me. He's more bark than bite." Though stupid enough to be more bite than bark sometimes. Anyway, it's a half-apology, because that's why Rhabel thinks the teen reacted.

Rhadan was not trying to get on any lists that involved fecal matter. Truly, he didn't like the idea of it - of course, he doesn't /know/ he is on Ir'e fecal-matter list. He does know, though, that Ir'e is angry for some reason. And the sound of Ir'e turning and marching off causes the young candidate to turn and stare after the man, and a bleak, absent look crosses Rhadan's face for a moment. The expression changes, though, once Rhabel is speaking and there is embarrasment dancing over his face as he looks at the plants. His mouth opens to reply, but he is stopped short at Rhabel's next statement, his face adopting confusion. Wait. What? Afriad? There is a blank, confused look on Rhadan's face as his mind works out why Rhabel would assume he was afraid of—ohhhh! Right. The confusion dissapates and it takes Rhadan a few moments to reply, his eyes turning again to the plants and weeds. His head is tilted down to hide the brief, dark expression that dances over his face "I… I know. I mean… I not afraid. Promise." And pull. That one was a weed! Yes! That last word was coupled with a smile that was turned to Rhabel, and he speaks again once he sets the newly picked weed down. Change of subject! "And I'm an apprentice. I wasn't suppose to be learning herbs and stuff for another turn or two. I've had my first aid courses, but that's all… I know poisonous plants, though!" Beam, followed by a small, brief waver, "Are you and Ir'e… okay? I didn't mean to… did I do something?"

Rhabel catches that dark look from the candidate beside him, but the man doesn't care enough about the business of others to pry. If Rhadan wanted to let him know what the look was for, he'd have told him, and frankly, Rhab is glad that he's keeping his woes to himself. Idiots have the most insufferably stupid problems most of the time. He doesn't even comment on Rhad not being afraid of Ir'e because, well… he doesn't /care/ enough to comment. Vicious cycle, really. Still, the teenager talks, and it's only after his inquiry to relationship statuses that Rhabel turns green eyes onto him at all. "You talk a lot," he says, monotone, and then returns to weeding plants. "My relationship with Ir'e is none of your business, just like I didn't ask where you got this," and he pauses long enough to tug at Rhadan's collar, to thumb a dirty finger over a fading mark there, "because it's none of mine." SEE WHAT HE DID THERE? Yep, right back to weeding. In silence. Mostly. "Idiot."

Rhadan's guard is most definately down at the moment. Well, why does one need a guard up when he is on the roof of the Weyr with a 'friend'? Friend is a loose term, for Rhadan doesn't even /know/ what Rhabel considers others. Does anyone? Of course, that doesn't deter Rhadan from his attempts at friendship… regaurdless, back to the guard thing - Rhadan's head had turned to Rhabel while the man was admonishing him, and when a hand comes to Rhadan's collar - well, that guard is almost instantly /up/. Rhadan's body stiffens, and a hand is swung up - as if it is going to sweep at Rhabel's - but it stops before making impact with the man's wrist. The look of shock on Rhadan's face is brief, and is taken over by a shameful expression as two fingers brush over the same mark that Rhabel touched. There is a moment of complete silence from Rhadan before his head shakes and turns back to the weeds. His shoulders and body are both turned a little further - while still facing those weeds, his body is now turned slightly further from Rhabel. "Sorry." And pull weed. And scoot. Rhadan's knees scoot himself away from the older male, as he continues to speak, "Wasn't any of my business. Sorry. I just… nevermind." His voice was lower, almost sad. Then, after a moment of silence he is speaking again, and this time his voice is brighter, "You know, the chores aren't /too/ bad. And it is cool dorming with people nearer our age. I like it."

What is it with all the men in Rhabel's immediate vicinity wearing /sad/ expressions today? Rhabel would look alarmed if he was capable of doing such, but instead he just /stares/ at Rhadan in that unnerving way. He doesn't know what to say (or really what to think) in regards to the teenager's reaction, and so he says nothing. Nothing aside from, "If somebody hurt you, you should let one of the leaders know." He doesn't understand what's going on all that well, but he understands shame and all the defensive mechanisms that come with it. You don't get abused and miss all the obvious signs in /others/ - at least, not /all/ of the time. "And if you're sorry in the first place, stop doing things you have to apologize for." All said as if he's bored, all said as if he cares little for the teenager being so diligent and helping him weed a stupid herb garden on his day off. What he doesn't do is respond to the chipper tone, at least not in the way Rhadan would have probably hoped. "Stop pretending," he says, "it's annoying. If you're angry, be angry, if you're sad, be sad. Idiot." NOBODY LIKES BEING IN CONFINED QUARTERS WITH OTHERS. Rhab simply refuses to believe it.

Describing Rhadan's facial expression at this point, when Rhabel speaks again, is easy - blank. Rhabel might do it well, but the blank that appears on Rhadan's face is a rather good one, too. Of course, his face is turned away from the man. There is a brief but obvious pause in Rhadan's movements though. His back and shoulders tense and the movements of his arms and hands still. Rhabel would be able to see that stiffening, and hear a slightly louder instake of breath. Then he'd see Rhadan's arm raise and pass over the teen's turned face (eye level). After this, Rhadan's head turns and there is a smile there, coupled with a slightly confused look, "What are you talking about? Nothing is wrong." There is a shrug and a slightly, forced laugh, "I wouldn't be me if I didn't do things I needed to apologize for. I can't help it. Comes naturally." And then an arm is planted on the ground and he is pushing himself up, "I'm going to go get some more water. I'll get you one?" Yeah. More water despite the half-filled bottle on the ground next to where he had been sitting. Fleeing, anyone?

Poor Rhadan, and Rhabel is lacking in the sympathy department. He watches the teenager struggle with which emotion to wear, and stares on expressionlessly when the teenager chooses wrong. Again. The forced laughter grates, the rubbing at eyes is noted, and when Rhadan is getting got his feet asking if Rhabel needs water, the man is rising himself. "Don't bother," he says after a moment. "I hate liars." Perhaps this is why he and Ir'e are weyrmates! The bluerider wears his every emotion on his sleeve! Rhabel's pulling the ties keeping his apron on loose, catching the material before it falls and slinging it over the crook of one arm. Just like that he's stepping around Rhadan and making his way for that rickety set of stairs. He has every intention of getting cleaned up and disappearing for an hour or two. He has to find his weyrmate, anyway. There is talking that needs to be had.

There is a falter in the smile on Rhad's face. That is the first sign of how deep Rhabel's words cut. The smile faltering is followed by a shift in Rhadan's eyes and there is something dark in those eyes. Rhadan's body is stiff once more - how many times is that? - and his is left looking down at the ground as Rhabel removes his apron. If one were to look, they would see a singular tear slide down Rhadan's right cheek just before Rhabel passes him. Once that tear falls just below his nose, Rhadan's lips turn up. His eyes narrow. His brow furrows. All of these things in… well, anger. Anger is shown as he turns and kicks! Yup, that is a water bottle flying past Rhabel and coliding with a wall, the impact not strong enough to explode the bottle, but surely making a good impact sound. Rhadan was practically running after Rhabel - and when he reaches the man, one of his hands reach forward to grab the man's arm, pulling him to a stop as Rhadan moves in front of him, the look on his face displaying anger - anger not for just Rhabel… but directed at the violin player now, "Where the /fuck/ do you come off telling me that?" Rhadan's voice holds anger, sadness… "Is it any better to put on a blank fucking mask all the time and repress anything and /everyone/? How is smiling any worse?" And there! Another tear, "You have done /nothing/ to earn truth from me. So fuck /you/." Only then, after that last statement, does Rhadan's hand release Rhabel's arm. The anger has left Rhadan's voice and face, being replaced by an utterly… well, sad one. There is a slightly tremble in his lower lip before he bites it. There is a moment where he looks like he wants to say more - but he doesn't, instead turning before he begins to walk away. Was that a sniff? Yup.

Well, to say that it was unexpected would be a lie, but Rhabel did not expect a reaction of such degrees. Suddenly there's a water bottle smacking into the wall, and the bookworm is being stopped in his tracks by a teenager who has no business being able to stop him in the first place. Those green eyes watch Rhadan's every facial nuance without a flicker of emotion as the hunter-turned-candidate cries and unleashes a fury of anger directed towards him, bearing the brunt of so much emotion without so much as a sound. He doesn't react, not to the accusations slung in his face, nor to the onslaught of words that would probably give rise to reciprocating feelings in others. /This/ reaction Rhabel understands, because this is what Rhabel is used to. When Rhadan lets him go, the older man doesn't try to stop his retreat. Instead, he asks a very quietly spoken, "Feel better?" Maybe he was starting fires to help Rhadan burn out some of his own, but regardless of whether or not that's the case, Rhabel doesn't wait around to hear the answer. There's a bluerider somewhere in Western who has a lot of explaining to do, and tunics that are in desperate need of stealing. If he can manage to get away from Rhadan this time without possibly being the next item to go flying into the wall, he tries it. Teenagers and their hormones are the /worst/.

There is nothing to stop Rhabel. Nope. Rhadan's retreat is full. There is no indication given as to whether or not he even heard the 'feel better' from Rhabel. Rhadan's stops are quick and his face downcast. He, himself, will soon be doing something to distract him. To take his mind off of situations and people. Free days suck. At least when doing chores one can, mostly, focus on those things. Rhadan /will/ find something to do. Of course, if he wasn't barred from getting drunk…


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