Hiding Under Tables

Western Weyr - Lower Caverns

An oddly shaped cavern. Almost kidney shaped, with tunnels leading off to various parts of this side of the Weyr. Residential, craft and storage caverns mostly. Though one exit leads to the Candidate quarters, since with all their chores, it was thought to be a good idea to have them close to the Living Cavern and the Bowl, just to keep them from disturbing the rest of the Weyr in the mornings.


It's a nice warm summer evening here at Western, and the staff has whipped up and laid out quite the spread. A little bit of something for everyone. Nikolas can be found here, among the dinner crowd, tucked off in a small table in a nookish like space. He's got a refreshing fruity drink of some sort, and a plate with a few cold meatrolls sitting upon it. Before him though, is a lap top computer that has definitely seen it;s hay day and then some. The case is battered and repaired, but still lovingly polished despite it's nicks and scratches. Sure, some of the keys don't match here and there and the screen looks almost brand new, but there was something about the way the journeyman computer crafter leaned in close to read what fingers caressingly stroke to the display. This was a beloved item.

There's a midgety lad darting through the lower caverns, a gaggle of older, or maybe just beefier 'brats hot on his heels. Dodging first one way and then another, there's a continuous "Shit/shit/shitshitshit.." uttered under his breath as he ducks beneath a crate carried by two handymen, and then barely misses an old auntie with her knitting. Eyes going wide, the boy manages to sidestep at the last second, and then promptly makes a run past before he gets yelled at. He does, at least, manage to lose the chasers as they scowl and end up running into the crate-carriers. Once out into the caverns proper, Patori lets out his breath, hand brushing back through unruly hair as he slows first to a jog and then a walk, but the relief is short-lived. A commotion behind him indicates he's been spotted, and he totally dives under a table. Coincidentally, the one Nikolas is at, with his loptop o' loove. Coughcough.

The warm summer only seems to brighten spirits, or Kiley's spirits, even as the day begins to fade and hardwork is tiring, she is not without a pleasant smile. But rather than taking her dinner in the living caverns or outside, she goes for the more quiet lower caverns. At least, expecting the lower caverns to be quieter than the busy living caverns. So it is then she scans for a place to sit and attention focuses entirely upon Nikolas. Instantly cheeks color and the woman flusters just so, a slight little smile settling upon her lips. She begins to head on over when Patori is making his way through, the commotion becoming quiet obvious by the noise it creates. Her movement pauses to watch and she stares as he dives under the table in which Patori goes. Mouth opens then close and then she makes her way over as intended, settling at the table neatly as if nothing had happened and then she notes in a soft whisper to the other computer crafter, "there is a boy under the table."

Really, Nikolas isn't pay any attention to the goings on around him, not even little boys curing like sailors are in absolute ninja mode. No, the man is far too busy with the typing going on and all those delightful ones and zeros. Absently, he reaches out, taking up a meatroll from his plate and distractedly takes a bite almost instantly making a face before it's gone again. At least the face is. The cold food is scowled at for about a second before it's absently tossed back onto it's plate with it's brothers and his hand is wiped without thought against one pant leg. It's about then that, with fingers poised to type, that Patori dives beneath the computer crafter's table and the man goes completely rigid, blinking several times. He shuffles his feet backwards, away from the underneath of the space there, before he leans over and peeks below. "What are you doing?" he asks the kid, loud enough to be heard over the comings and goings of people milling about for certain. After all, it wouldn't make sense to whisper with the racket all of a sudden. had it always been this noisy? Brown eyes narrow somewhat. Did this boy bring the noise? It's Kiley's whisper that brings Nikolas back up again, and there is the slightest of frowns in place. "I noticed, do you have any idea why this is?" Cause he's baffled and certainly making no secret about the hidden boy, crouching mischief.

Patori is scooting as far under the table as he can, knees drawn close as he cruls up and preers past legs at the commotion back there, where the bigger boys are totally yelling and waving their arms, and probably trying to get him blamed for their running into a crateful of.. cutlery. Which has not spilled all over the floor at the entrance to one of those tunnels. Pat groans, and then totally squeaks when Nikolas leans over and questions him. He hisses a slightly panicked, "Shhh!" at the man, finger pressing to his lips as he hunches down, adding a hasty, "/I'm not here/!" as loud as he dares, barely above whispering. There's some further eye-widening when Kiley comes over, and a soft bit of gibbering for the woman's question, though at least she's speaking softly. Eyes dart left and right, but he totally isn't moving, ignoring all the dirt and likely fallen food he's probably getting on his clothes.

Kiley is distracted instantly by the laptop, staring and considering with a tilt of her head. It is this that distracts her from all reactions from the computer crafter until he's speaking to her. There's a blink and she leans back to consider under the table before she shakes her head. "I'm not quite sure. He may be on the run." So logical the two of them are. There's a hum of consideration that only lasts until she's putting food in her mouth and chewing in silence. Another glance under the table to consider the younger boy with a furrow of brows before again considering the situation and the hall that they are in. "He appears to have angered someone. Or various someones." But, she makes no attempt to shoo him from the table, simply returning to her meal as she watches. Perhaps she feels bad for him, or something. At least she'll wait until it passes before looking under again.

Nikolas leans back in his chair, and cranes his neck over towards the larger boys that are temporarily waylaid by spilling cutlery. There is a deep, suffering, sigh that rolls off the male computer crafter. "If you'll excuse me a moment." he says to Kiley, and pushes his chair back, climbing to his feet. Soft and unhurried footsteps carry the six foot tall man across the cavern, heading to a point where they may be further intercepted. Without much ceremony, the seemingly clean cut twenty turn old simply grabs the bullies by the back of their shirts and hoists them right on out of the cavern. Whatever is said or done, is unknown, but when Nikolas returns the boys are not following and he's brushing his hands against one another before he slips back into his seat. "If you wouldn't mind getting out from beneath the table now, I would appreciate it. I have work to do, and delays such as these set me back even further. I simply can not concentrate with you under there." he says, insistently. Though his eyes were already being drawn back to the complex code that was scrolling up the screen of the beat up laptop. Distracted. Yes. A pause and his gaze darts to Kiley, "I'm not good with children. Perhaps you could…?" he asks, and points downwards. "Please?"

Patori just kind of stares at Kiley, or, well, at Kiley's knees, when the woman goes on about him, several times making an incomprehensible, gibbery noise that might be an attempted explanation, or otherwise some kind of protest. Maybe there's some hasty nodding too. And a worried look past her ankles, at the rest of the caverns, but the boy stays put. Eyes go saucer-wide, though, when Nikolas pushes a chair back and gets up, heading toward the cutlery spill and the bigger boys, Patpri actuall whimpering a little and scooting slowly to a gap between seats, possibly contemplating making a run for it. On his knees now, he totally peeks up over the table edge to peer across at whatever Nikolas is doing, brow creasing in first apprehension, and then puzzlement as the computercrafter returns. The request to get out from under the table? Gets a squeak. And then a quick headshake, Patori totally darting back underneath with a mumbled, "What if they come back?" Apparently, the crafters are less scary than the bullies. "I'm not bothering anyone," he dies protest, almost sulkily, lower lip jutting out in a little bit of a pout. He's just chillin' nice and /safe/ under the table. Yup.

Kiley tilts her head at Nikolas as he asks to be excused, brows lifting and then she watches him as she continues to place food in her mouth. Curious and unable to look away, she watches him grab the bullies and carries them away. Jaw drops and then cheeks color a little more. Is that a dreamy sigh that comes next? Yes it is. A dreamy little smile settles upon her lips as he returns and she can't help but watch him with all attention focused on him. At least until he speaks again, startling her out of her trance. "What? Me? I'm not good with children. Just because I'm a woman.." She trails off, giving him a look and then looking under the table at the boy with a frown settling into her brows. "They're gone and they'll probably stay gone for as long as Nikolas is here. And.." She trails off before adding, "you're disturbing us by being under the table. I am not comfortable with anyone being under my table."

"They will not." Nikolas confirms with stressing of his words, as if he somehow knew that the bullies wouldn't return. There was a certain confidence in the way he says those three words. "If you do not come out i can not work through my lunch break, and if I can not work through my lunch break I will not finish coding this subroutine before the morning. If that happens, I would of gone against my word and I can not have that. Extricate your self from beneath the table and sit in a chair like a normal person. As long as I am here, no one will bother you. On this you may have certainty." As if he wasn't going to simply sit there, he thrusts a hand beneath the table and starts to grope around for some an arm or a scruff of clothing with which to haul the boy out himself. "Bullies only have power if you let them. Stick up for yourself enough, and they will eventually get bored and find some other scared child to torture." Not that this was necessarily a good thing, especially for whatever kid the older boys went after next but there it was anyway. Looking to Kiley then, the man's eyebrows twitch at her defensive posture. "I wasn't insinuating that you may be good with children because of your gender. That would be ridiculous. I was merely hopeful that where I lack, you would flourish. It seems we are both at a loss." he says, sighing heavily. Alas. Still grabbing thin air this entire time, he manages a handful of fabric at last and gives a hard yank. "Sit, in a chair."

Patori pouts at Kiley! Just look at that lower lip wibble. "I'm not a children," he protests softly, though when Nikolas gets back there's some flailing and some quick scurrying oyut from under the table, the weyrbrat totally huffing a the guy. "Sure as shellshards didn't /let/ them beat me to a pulp the last time," he mutters, lips twisting into a kind of half-frown, half-glare, but it's probably not that effective given his less than angryness. And then /plop/. He's in a chair. And totally folding his arms across his chest and warily saulking. But, where there is a Nikolas, there is not someone wanting to pummel him, so he stays put. For now. Maybe he sticks his tongue out though, briefly.

Kiley just seems to grow even more enthralled with Nikolas. Forget that she was supposed to be angry with him. "Ah. Yes.. I see. That makes more sense, then. I'm better with computers than I am with people or children." There's a glance under the table once more as he reaches for Patori before straightening and again placing food in her mouth, She watches, curious and when finally he leaves from under the table she relaxes and continues eating. "You should tell someone." A sympathetic look is given to the younger boy, "they'll leave you alone for now, at least." And with that, she's happy to sit in silence and watch Nikolas work.

Nikolas pushes his glasses up the bridge with one finger, relieved and visibly so when Patori appears, scooting his chair in and starts typing almost immediately. "I did not say that you should let them beat you up, but you should assure them that should anything unfortunately befall you, that your…big brother…will make certain that the same happens to them." he says, all without looking up from the now rapidly scrolling scream as fingers move over the keyboard at a blurring speed. The man peeks over the top rim of his spectacles at the boy, and then he goes back to the screen again. He says nothing of the tongue sticking outing. Ahem. He falls into silence for a time, offering Kiley a smile but little else as his concentration focuses on that which is before him. Well, other than that agreeing hmmhmm and nod, as if he knew what it was like to be better with machines than people. In the end, he slaps the laptop closed at some point and slips it back into it's case, slinging the thing across his chest before downing his juice and plucking up his dishes. "If you will excuse me. I have a previous engagement that I can not afford to miss." A pause and smile for Kiley, and a ruffling of hair for Patori and the computer crafter is off, and soon gone.

The silence continues until they part ways.

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