Profit Margin

Spring - Month 4 of Turn 2717
Igen Weyr - Living Caverns
Second only to the Hatching Sands in size — although its walls are not so nearly circular — the living cavern is filled with numerous rectangular tables, almost too many to count. The Weyrleaders have the table farthest from the kitchen and hearths at one end of the cavern. The hearths are kept as low-burning as possible during the day when folk come inside to escape the heat outside. They burn brighter at night to keep away the deserts chill. No matter the level of flame, there is always a stew pot that hangs for nibblers at a good temperature. Favored drinks, particularly iced klah and juice, are kept on ice and interspersed at various food tables scattered about, along with baskets of rolls and fruit. There are, of course, scheduled mealtimes, and at certain points of the day the available fare slides into the menu for the nearest meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snackings, but the staff has long since acknowledged that people will sit to talk and nibble here at all hours. In the cooler parts of the evening in particular, the cavern hosts games of chess, checkers, dragonpoker, and others. Several degrees are knocked off thanks to the Technician Craft's cooling system.


"I told you I'd finish it." Nassir's tone holds a hint of amusement as he passes a parcel to the cook, his lips twitching in a wry smile. "Even used the last of my new lace on the trim. Ah!" The sound is uttered as the SIZABLE woman wraps him in a hug that actually pops his spine before tucking the package under her arm and waddling back to the kitchen. Once she is gone, Nassir exhales, coughing a few times before snorting under his breath. "That poor brown rider…" Despite the words, he's grinning, a low chuckle sounding in his throat as he grabs a bowl and fills it with stew. Really? He's not the least bit sorry for the rider who has been having a grand time flirting with the cook. His only regret? Not getting to see it when she appears in the man's weyr in the little bit of lace and sisal enclosed in the packet. "Whelp, reap what you sew,"is murmured as he scoops up a kettle of klah and mug and heads for a table.

"And what exactly did you sew?" How the hell R'sner managed to make it through the living caverns and right on over to Nassir, to stand behind him close enough to overhear murmurs and give his own in return is probably nothing short of a miracle. Let's call it distraction on the part of Nassir, and really good sneaking-skills on the part of R'sner. But regardless of the how, the result is that he is /here/, standing close enough to peek over Nassir's shoulder at the stew with brief curiosity before those cobalt-blues are back on the tailor in expectation.

Nassir jumps at the whisper, stew sloshing over the edge of the bowl, the mug hooked over one finger rattling against the side of the kettle. "Good….You scared me!" Sucking in a sharp breath, Nassir exhales a laugh, a rush of color rising to his cheeks. "Ah… Well, you know…" Clearing his throat, his brows rise and fall on a quick twitch. "We'll call it a nightie, although that is being generous." Craning his neck, he brushes a kiss over R'sner's lips, a little purr humming in the back of his throat. "Hi."

It is the sloshing stew that has R'sner moving, hands reaching for the bowl as if he could somehow prevent such a thing by will alone. Which, of course, he cannot. A flicker of apology for that, because while surprise had been the point, spilled meals and potential burns was not. That it seems the floor is the only victim has that apology remaining in expression alone, rather than voiced aloud, and it's soon enough replaced with a bit of a smile for the colored cheeks and cleared throat that precedes the explanation. "Ah…" and with that, he needs no more explanation. Especially not when he is getting a kiss, brief though it might be. Hands settle at the tailor's sides; a brief squeeze given in return greeting before he's letting them slide free once again. "Hello," returned with just a touch of amusement, a little bit of a grin, that comes before he's glancing toward where Nassir was headed. "Sit?"

There is something about the fact that R'sner immediately moves for the bowl that stirs Nassir's expression to warming, his weight shifting to lean into the hands on his sides. "Yes," he agrees. "Grab another mug? Something to eat?" As he says it, he steps over and settles the bowl and mug on the table, pouring a healthy measure of steaming klah. "She," he adds with a tilt of his head toward the kitchen. "Is sweet on one of the riders. Had it made as a surprise." That is going to be a massive surprise, every way imaginable, is clear from the impish delight twinkling in Nassir's gaze as he slips into a chair and takes a sip of his klah.

There is only a moment of hesitation before R'sner does as suggested, turning back to the serving tables to acquire his own bowl of stew, a few rolls and a mug. Quick enough, he's sliding into a seat beside Nassir, scooting forward and eyeing the kettle with brief contemplation before he gives in and pours a bit of Klah for himself. "Oh?" and a quick glance toward the kitchens before his gaze comes back to the tailor. "And is the, ah, intended recipient aware of her affection?"

Nassir exhales a snort at the question, one hand raising to wave in a so-so gesture. "Kind of," he provides. In the wake of the words, he scoots his chair closer, ducking under R'sner's arm and nestling in against his side. "He teases her mercilessly," Nassir provides. Drawing his own mug closer, he takes a long swallow, holding it nestled between his fingers. "I think he likes her more then he lets on," he admits. "But who knows, really?"

Tailor's tucked beneath his arm? This is allowed. Provided that tailor is Nassir. And so R'sner pauses in the lifting of his spoon to accommodate the shift and sudden appearance of a person against his side and beneath his arm, a ghost of a smile twisting the corners of his mouth upward as he glances toward him. "Ah," for the explanation, spoon dipped into his stew to pick out the best bits first. "I hope, for her sake, that you are right," about his affections being greater than appearances. And then, somewhat curious and a little bit teasing, "I didn't know you made such things."

"I'm right," Nassir states emphatically. "How could he not adore her? Cookie is the best." Content to remain comfortably cuddled against R'sner's side, he reaches out, snags one of the Weyrlingmaster's rolls and tears off a chunk. "I usually don't," he admits as he dunks the bread in his stew and pops it in his mouth. After a moment of chewing, he twists his wrist in an absent gesture. "But, it came out really nice. If I do say so, myself. I might have to what kind of market there is for such things. Once," he asides in low tones. "I made straps for a rider. They were not," he assures. "For a dragon."

"Thief," murmurs R'sner for the stealing of his roll. It is playful enough that it is likely safe to assume that he holds no /actual/ irritation for the gesture. It might even be why he brought more than one in the first place. "In a Weyr?" questions R'sner with a snort and an eyebrow lifted. "There's a market," he assures. He's got the spoon just about to his mouth when the 'straps' comment comes, and it's probably a good thing or he might just have choked on it. For a moment, he looks as though he's going to inquire further, a weird range of expressions passing over his face from surprise to curiosity to mild discomfort and awkward embarrassment. In the end he settles for just finishing what he started; spoon shoved in his mouth before words can be uttered, though there's a guttural "mm," to at least acknowledge that he heard him.

Nassir exhales a merry laugh at the expressions chasing each other across R'sner's face, his brows rising and falling in a playful twitch. "I don't know," he admits as he tears off another chunk of bread and pops it in his mouth. "It was.. interesting. Apparently, he had a woodworker making a frame to go with it." He's not really certain how that would work, but he has a few ideas on the matter. "But, that is what I am thinking, as well," he admits as he takes another swallow of klah. "That the skimpy little nighties would sell pretty well."

Now R'sner might actually choke. A small coughing fit, and quick enough picking up his mug of Klah for a hasty swallow. At least it wasn't so hot as to burn his tongue (or at least he's doing a good job pretending like it didn't). "He…" but Res will just stop /right/ there, because nothing good can come of this conversation happening in the living caverns, and he's looking progressively uncomfortable as it is. Imagination! He's definitely got one. "You're what?" because R'sner's mind is still on straps and wood and /not/ on lace and nighties, and it takes him just a moment to realize that Nassir is thinking of making the latter, rather than the former. "Ah." Because nighties, yes. That is apparently a much safer subject. "It would depend," he decides, having found his voice again (though he is pointedly avoiding any attempt at eating something for the moment). "On the cost of materials, time… how quickly and efficiently you could produce them, in contrast with how much you could get for them."

"Naturally," Nassir agrees. Assuming a perfectly benign look, he takes another sip of klah before adding. "And, of course, how large a cut the woodworker might want. You /have/ to sell things like that as a package." Blinking once, he flashes an oh so innocent smile before tearing another chunk off the roll. Tilting his chin down as he chews and swallows, his brows rise and fall in a merrily suggestive lilt before he winks. "Want to model for me?" Oh, yes, he is most assuredly having fun with this.

For a moment, maybe two, maybe even three, R'sner seems to be weighing the possibilities on whether or not Nassir is serious before he decides he's teasing. Which is what prompts the disgruntled noise in the back of his throat, a sound that is vaguely reprimanding in nature. "You're dangerous," he decides, not for the first time. "But luckily, I'm on to you." Which is why he's lifting his free hand to move the bowl of soup and second roll away from him with a push of his fingers, as though to put an end to potential choking hazards. Yup, nope. No more stew for R'sner until the topic has changed. At least the words are teasing enough, playful in their feigned irritation and half-growling nature. Fake-grumping.

"I'll have to try harder," Nassir laughs. Reaching forward, he snags the soup and roll and draws them back before the Weyrlingmaster. "I'll behave," he promises. Twisting in his chair, he drapes his legs over the top of R'sner's thighs, his elbow resting on the table. "How are the Werylings? Oh! When is their first flight?" He'd be so devastated to miss that. In the wake of the question, he gathers up his mug, holding it loosely in his hands.

"Oh will you?" and given his voice, R'sner doesn't seem convinced of Nassir's ability to do such a thing. And so he is regarded with a bit of a sideways glance, watching the tailor as he twists, and certainly feeling the drape of that leg even if he doesn't see it beneath the top of the table. "Hm," because that's not behaving, but Res will allow it nonetheless. He'll even pick up his spoon once again and get back to the task of actually eating his meal. "Soon," for the weyrlings first flight. "Dragons only. Rider's won't be aboard for a while longer…" he continues as means of explanation. A hesitation before the second bite, and he decides, "If you are going to come watch, please have Decameth warn Toith in advance… the weyrling field is going to get progressively less… safe once they are practicing take-offs and landings."

Nassir dips his chin in a quick nod at the last, one hand leaving the mug to tuck a curl behind his ear. "I will," he assures. "Would it be safer if I watched that from the patio of your office? You know, if it would be too great a distraction, I can avoid coming when they are flying. I don't want you, or them, to be worried about me." That would hardly be fair. Taking a sip of his klah, he shifts in his seat, his shoulders giving a little roll to work out some lingering kinks. "Are you excited for it?" He's fairly certain the weyrlings and thier dragons are chomping at the bit at the thought of flying.

"The patio," Res is quick to agree, pausing in his stew-consumption. "It would be safe to be near Toith as well, but she will be somewhat occupied with demonstrating, at least for the first few lessons," and he will be rather distracted as well, though he does not say as much. "But the patio will be safe enough," he decides. A few bites more, and he 'mms' thoughtfully. "You will not be a distraction to the weyrlings. They will be more interested in the chance to actually fly, than bother to be worried about a spectator. So long as you are safe, you can stay."

"Thank you." The words are uttered with a smile and punctuated by a light nuzzle at R'sner's cheek. "I'll be very careful to stay well out of the way." He has no desire to get injured, or to inadvertantly cause another to be injured. Twisting in the chair, he lets his legs slip off R'sner's lap, setting the mug down in favor of eating some of his stew. "So I started working on a hat for Leirith. Took me a bit to get the dimensions worked out and to adjust the pattern, but I think I have it down, now. It's going to have a thick fall of feathers." Leirith just strikes him as the sort to fancy feathers.

A longer, lingering look is given to Nassir, though R'sner says nothing as to what is on his mind in that moment. But it is not a weighty look; it is not the look of a man who is sinking into his head and allowing the doubts to creep in. Rather, it is contemplative and quiet; a general assessment of the tailor as his leg slides free of the weyrlingmaster's, and he turns to eat his own meal. A bit of a smile, and Res is once more falling into the easy habits of food consumption. "Feathers?" and a bit of a frown. "Where are you going to find feathers… bit enough?" is the concern, rather than the actual items themselves. "She's a big dragon," or so he assumes, as she is gold. He's never met her (thank Faranth!). A pause he grins just a bit at whatever whisper of thought has crossed his brain.

"I'm going to make them," Nassir states between mouthfuls of stew. "I have a technique I use on fabric that gives it that wispy feathery look," he explains with a wave of his spoon. "Add in a few real feathers for texture and contrast and we'll have people searching far and wide for the gigantic bird they came from." Which tickles him to no end, or so one can assume from the cheeky smile on his face. "Really, I /have/ to do it. How can I possibly resist making a hat for a dragon?" It's impossible, clearly. At the look, he tilts his head, dark eyes crinkling at the corners as he watches R'sner's face. "What?"

A moment of pause. A look that is perhaps unreadable, though certainly it tends toward positive rather than worrisome. Especially given that R'sner's next course of action is to carefully put down his spoon and then reach for Nassir's chin, to tip it toward him so that he can kiss him. It is a kiss that lingers, but does not progress past the tender, affectionate way in which it began. "You," he decides, murmuring against his lips, "are ridiculously talented, and ridiculously adorable." A second kiss, fleeting this time, and R'sner lets his hand drop once again. "That's all."

When his chin is taken, Nassir's smile grows, the happiness in his gaze radiating through the entirety of his being at the press of warm lips. Meeting the kiss, he returns it with a quiet passion, the second more brief brush, inspiring a content sigh. "I like that," he admits as he licks the taste of the Weyrlingmaster off his lips. Pushing the food away, he slips close enough to wind his arms around R'sner's waist, his head tilting enough to rest his temple on his shoulder. "So I was thinking. What if you showed off your bartending skills at your weyrling's graduation? I'd love to see it and I'm /sure/ they'd be tickled."

Pleased, either at the admittance or the winding of arms and the lean against him, R'sner offers a fleeting smile before picking up his mug. But it does not require both hands, and so one is draped around Nassir to hold him close. But the suggestion is met with hesitation and uncertainty. "Ah… perhaps I ought not to have mentioned that," he muses aloud. "You seem to be under the assumption that I am… practiced. And I am not." And while a bit of it is modesty, there is a heavy dose of self-consciousness attached to it. "I have not mixed a drink since Impressing Toith. It has been turns since I have lifted anything more interesting than a bottle of wine." Excuses, excuses. "I am surprised you're not plotting what you'll be dressing me in," which is his idea of a clever attempt to switch the subject.

"Oh, I am," Nassir assures with a pleased laugh. "There is no way I could resist /that/." Tilting his chin up, he brushes a kiss along the line of the Weyrlingmaster's jaw, a murmur of appreciation sounding in his throat as he inhales his scent. He has not, however, forgotten his suggestion and follows it with, "You could practice? The bar at the lake is well stocked. Or," he provides. "You could make a point to dance, instead. I'd like to see that, as well." So much so that his lashes sweep down to a half lidded expression that makes it clear he's momentarily lost to a little fantasy. "Mmmm. We definately have to dance."

While a measure of discomfort may have come for the suggestion that R'sner tend a bar, no doubt inspired by lack of confidence in old abilities, there is a veritable mountain of it that drops at the suggestion he dance. An almost reflexive wince; a ripple of tension down his form that is obvious enough given how very /close/ Nassir is at the moment. A hard swallow and a shallow shake of his head that is an immediate and unconscious rejection of the notion, the low "no," whispered before he's even aware that he's said it at all. A glance, and he's hesitating; caught somewhere between old habits and the look on Nassir's face that makes him want to say /yes/ even when everything else in him is screaming /no/. And so, after a rather tense and probably too-long of a pause, he settles for a somewhat cautious, "… Maybe."

"Hey," Nassir whispers as he reaches up and touches R'sner's cheek. "It's okay to say you prefer not to." Tilting his head, he does his level best to catch and hold the Weyrlingmaster's gaze, his own serious despite the fact that he is still smiling. "I'm never going to push you to do something that would make you unhappy, Res. Never." In the wake of the words, he lightly taps his nose against R'sner's chin, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "I am going to make your outfit, though," he states as he drops his head back on R'sner's shoulder.

"I want to," and maybe it is this realization that startles R'sner the most, though he recovers well enough. Nonetheless, the admittance brings a press of his lips and a characteristic bout of silence as he simply watches Nassir. A little shake of his head serves to reject the notion that he would be unhappy with such a thing. "No, that… I think it would make me happy," and perhaps that is the problem, or at least the cause of this moment of angst. A flicker of his eyebrows and he wonders, "Res?" because that is not a nickname he is accustomed to hearing from people, though hearing it from Nassir has him smiling just a bit; a tentative acceptance and delight for it. "No aqua," he decides, murmured but probably meant to be playful even if his voice falls a little short of the emotion necessary.

"Well, then we'll do it." Or not, as R'sner prefers. Still, Nassir is smiling, one hand moving to capture R'sner's in a lace of fingers. "And yeah, I like it. Res. It sounds warm." Shifting in his chair, he pushes to his feet, drawing the weyrlingmaster along with him. "Come on, I'll show you the hat I'm working on." That being said, he's doing his level best to tug R'sner toward his room to spend a pleasant evening showing off a dragon hat and how he is making the feathers. And, other things. Always, other things.


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