A Chance Meeting - A Friendly Chat

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Tidal Pools

Up a path from the lagoon sits a plateau of tidal pools. The shallowness of the pools combined with the dark stone they're made up of means that Rukbat beating on the pools in the daytime keeps them warm. The rock has been hewn gently on most of the pools to allow for ledges to sit on while still in the water. The pools allow for a more private, relaxed atmosphere than the beach below. When they are occupied, it is not uncommon to see a waitress or waiter come up from the Tiki Lounge to serve drinks to the occupants.

The sun is up, shining down upon the Weyr and its occupants. It's mid-morning, a time when most people are up and the really early birds are probably taking a mid-morning break. Which is why Sevran finds himself at the Tidal Pools. He's picking his way along the path, paying less attention to the beautiful scenery and more attention to where his feet are going. Or maybe he's just lost in his thoughts. Either way, he seems to be meandering with no particular direction in mind.

Old habits are hard to break. Elixyvette was nowhere to be seen at breakfast and hardly sighted thereafter, gone to seek out those she's been assigned to for the day. In the hours since, she's been doing not too well at fishing and has retreated from her post to spend her break perched on one of the ledges at the tidal pools, where surely there are only little fish to mock her, if any at all. She sits with her legs folded beneath her, staring into one of the pools, her gaze distant, yet when she hears footsteps she looks up immediately and acknowledges Sevran with the smallest bob of her head.

Sevran doesn't see her. Not at first at least. And the headbob is probably completely missed. But something draws his gaze up, a heavy sigh of resignation and then he straightens. Whatever inner issue he toiled with in his head are resolved. Eyes up, expression relaxing, he finally spots the other candidate. A half-smile of greeting is given, a little lift of his hand, and he alters his steps to bring himself over to her. "Hey," once he's a bit closer. "Mind if I join you?"

"Not at all," Elixyvette replies, tucking her feet a little more securely beneath her, as if she could needlessly create more room. Gesturing to the bucket that sits nearby, she utters a wry, "I'd apologise for the smell of fish, but since I managed to secure a grand total of zero, we don't really have to worry about that." Some measure of bitterness must have crept in somewhere for she promptly adds, "Sorry," in a quieter voice. "I'm not so good at the physical tasks. It looks like spending my life with books is combing back to bite me."

Sevran happily drops down to the ledge, immediately adopting a stretched-out, relaxed position, not seeming to mind the rocky edges in the least. "Meh, I'm useless for fishing too," he admits. "It's why I went for butchery and not fishing." He settles a little more, draping an arm over a rocky ledge beside him. "I suppose I have an advantage in that, though. They do tend to give candidates the manual labor rather than the cognitive tasks." Beat. "You were a Harper before." It's a statement, though he does cast a quick look her direction, seeking confirmation.

"I suppose they need to know we're physically capable of keeping up with a growing dragon," Elixyvette sighs out. "Though I am going to stubbornly comfort myself with the thought that, if I can raise and keep up with two children, then not being able to fish isn't a complete destruction of my capabilities." Adjusting her posture, she draws her knees to her chest and wraps her arms around them, resting her head atop her knee-arm bundle. "I am a Harper," she insists, not unkindly, but with a certain emphasis that sounds as if she is willing to make it fact. "Why?"

"Oh, I didn't mean anything by it," insists the butcher. Sevran flashes what he hopes is an apologetic smile. "Just saying. You're a Harper," and he quickly adopts the present tense as soon as Elixyvette does. "But I think you have the right of it. They want to make sure we can handle the physical parts of dragonriding. 'Course, I also think it's just cheap labor." He's not sarcastic or sullen at all when he says it. It's merely a fact. "You know. We gotta earn our keep somehow if they're gonna feed, and clothe, and house us." Shrug. And then her previous comment piques his interest. "You have children?" Girls or boys? Or both?"

"At least it makes economic sense," Elixyvette can agree. "If not quite as much as it might have back when the queens were producing more eggs and there would have been even more of us to set to work." Likewise, she doesn't seem particularly affronted by the situation she's found herself in, her considerations taking on a practical bent, if any. Perhaps no-one in the barracks has seen her actually smile yet, though there's the tiniest trace of one as she nods her head against her knees and confirms, "A boy and a girl. Neither of them too far off apprenticing or being able to Stand. Now that would embarrassing for them: being in the same Candidate class as their mother." Turning the question of profession back on Sevran, she enquires, "Why did you choose butchery?

"Hm. Well, it's kind of a long answer," he warns. Sevran clears his throat, looking thoughtful as he thinks back. "I have seven sisters," he begins. "Six older, one younger. After a while, it gets old." Smirk. "So I looked for anything to do where they wouldn't follow. And you know what? Found out a lotta girls don't care much for tending to herdbeasts and such. So, I made myself useful in the corrals at Ista and Igen, and eventually someone asked me if I wanted to try butcher and I said yes." Maybe not that long of a story, though it's likely the glossed-over various. "But it's useful. I enjoy being useful. There's a lot more artistry than people think," and that last bit is said just a touch defensively.

"It's how divides appear. People believing that what others do is simple or beneath them." Elixyvette peers up and across the pools, then slides a longer, more assessing look back to Sevran, apparently content to ally herself with him against what criticism might have been made in the past to draw forth that defensive tone. "Until we all get to walk in each other's shoes…" She twitches a shoulder, accepting or resigned; it's difficult to tell. "There's nothing wrong with being useful or wanting to be useful," she declares more firmly. "For any of us." One corner of her lips twitches in what could be a smirk of her own. "Though perhaps you're to be commended most of all for surviving so long with so many sisters."

Whatever tension Sevran may be holding in reserve, ready to defend himself and his career, is released in a rush and a chuff of laughter. "Yeah, I thought it was quite an accomplishment too," of surviving his sisters. "But in a lot of ways, I'm lucky. I mean, I've got first-hand experience with the inner workings of a woman's mind right? Or at least, they let me think so." A grin, and he's back to the relaxed creature that he usually is. "So. Are you the kind of Harper that likes to be front and center, or do you prefer to be behind the scenes?" It's said lightly and conversationally, and not at all meant to offend or demean.

"It might be a trap. Be careful there." Of the inner workings of women's minds and all. Elixyvette's version of teasing is perhaps a measure too dry and deadpan to be terribly obvious at first, yet in this instance there's a rare glimmer of amusement in her amber eyes to go with it and hopefully eliminate any too serious edge. "I don't sing if I can help it," she has to confess. "I work behind the scenes. Law. I'm well-versed enough in the rest to instruct my apprentices, but some of them will turn out more flashy than I'll ever be." On the subject of those apprentices, she adds: "I tend to work with the ones who need more help with their reading and writing. Different strategies. They shouldn't be barred from their desired paths just because it might take them a little longer."

Sevran grins good-naturedly. "Yeah, probably is," he agrees. "They certainly seem to find it funny when I can't figure out what they're saying." Those wily females. His eyebrows arch in appreciation of her specialty. "Law?" and he whistles a little bit. "Way out of my league." But the mention of reading and writing has his attention again. "Do you have any kinds of worksheets for that sort of thing?" he wonders. A little sheepishly, "Weird question, I know. But I wasn't a great student at the best of times, and I'm kinda regretting it now." Beat. "I can read," he adds hastily. "But butchers don't have much call for writing, usually. Unless it's the ear or haunch tags."

Elixyvette bobs her head again, both watching and trying not to watch Sevran too closely as she replies, "Yes, I have worksheets, and no, it's not weird." She's matter of fact about that too. "If you'd really like to work on your writing, I'd be happy to teach you. Worksheets are… an aid. A guide. But if you don't grasp everything written there or want to know the hows and whys of things, they're not particularly good. To have instruction would be better and mean easier and faster progress." She gives another one of those quirks of her lips; not quite a smile. "It's not compulsory. I'm happy to give you the materials, but equally willing to go through them with you."

Sevran gives serious consideration to her offer. "Well," he starts, pausing to rub a finger across his chin. "It's not so much the actual forming of the letters or words on paper themselves. It's the handwriting part," he confesses. "Kinda not great. And I figure I ought to practice so I can at least send a legible letter if necessary." Beat. "Does that make sense? I just don't want to look like I'm ten turns old when I write something down."

"How about I give you the worksheets and then you try and write me a letter?" Elixyvette proposes. "And I'll write one back and so on, and so on. Just to practise. Write about chores or dragons or the colour of the sky - just something? It wouldn't have to be anything deep and meaningful, but just to get used to forming the letters and putting them together in different orders. The shapes change sometimes, depending on where they are in a word." She makes a huff of sound that could be laughter. "If you think it's a silly idea, I won't be offended."

"No," he says quickly. "That actually sounds like a great idea." There's a growing grin on Sevran's face as he thinks it over more deeply. "And I wouldn't feel as guilty about occupying your time, either. I'm definitely not gonna be writing any long, elaborate letters, but practice is practice, right? Just be forewarned, you might get some boring list of chores." Speaking of, "You're supposed to be fishing, right? Do you want me to help?" even if he already admitted to being useless at it.

"I can deal with boring lists of chores," Elixyvette answers, tone shading wry once more as she hazards, "especially as you might well end up hearing 'I hate fish' four hundred times from me." But, speaking of, and given that reminder, she pushes herself to her feet with a weariness that's plainly affected. "Thank you for the offer, but I'll survive. Best that only one of us has to suffer the indignity of being outsmarted by what's meant to be on the table at dinner." She stretches her arms high over her head, then moves to gather up the very empty bucket. "I'll get you the sheets with all the letters by tonight," she promises.

Although his offer was genuine, Sevran gives a nod of his head and looks mildly relieved at her releasing him from his proposal. "Thanks. I appreciate it." For the sheets or for the release from fishing, it's not clear. Maybe both. "Should probably get back to work myself. But it was nice to get to talk to you outside of just the passing 'hi' and 'bye'." Grin. "Good luck."

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