Half Moon Bay Weyr - Large Storage Cavern
A huge cavern that serves as a warehouse for the Weyr. There is a loading dock for wagons and supplies of all sorts are stacked neatly on huge shelves. Several smaller passages lead to various rooms used for storage. Sometimes one will see one of the smaller dragons helping lift things to and from the shelves with the rider directing the operation.

There’s a secret about Taline that the Search riders didn’t know they were getting a huge advantage out of: she likes cleaning, and when tasked with cleaning takes to it with gusto. Not organizing, exactly, but physical cleaning. That’s why three of the stores shelves have been completely cleared of items, and Taline is polishing dust off them. She’s softly humming to herself as she does so, though one eye is intermittently closing and the tune occasionally stops and skips a few beats. The shelf that’s already been cleaned, though? Amazing.

Elixyvette has yet to demonstrate that she has much interest or ability as far as some of the more expected and stereotypical elements of being a Harper go, yet when she wanders into the stores hefting a box of gardening equipment with her and catches those missed beats, she waits for the tune to come back around again before providing those missing notes without seeming to consciously realise that she’s doing so. It’s a few moments later that she clocks that she’s not been as silent as she believes and puts the box down at her feet just as she reaches the appropriate shelf, offering a rueful, “Sorry,” to Taline as she straightens.

“Hm? Oh,” Taline is a little slower than some might be to put pieces together after that ‘hm,’ but she’s smiling. It may be slightly off-center, and shy, but it’s there, “no, don’t be. I appreciate it, I’m — it sounded better, with the addition. I’m not much of a singer, really,” shrug. Dust, dust, dust. “Just comes out when in here by myself. That looks uncomfortably heavy,” she tacks on, both because: it does, and candidate sympathy, and: it is talking about the other party in the room and not herself.

“Me either,” Elixyvette admits, pressing curled fists into the small of her back. “Unless coerced and put on the spot.” She glances down at the offending box and flexes her shoulders back in an awkward and somewhat uncomfortable manner, grabbing one elbow in an attempt to get muscles to behave as she wishes them to. “I’ve mended a fence, weeded some flowerbeds and retrieved foreign objects from along the shore so far today. The only one I think I can say I actually successfully achieved is the last. I really hope they don’t put anything behind that fence that really wants to escape.” Turning, she leans back against the nearest shelf to try and apply pressure across her shoulders that way. “Have they set you to work in here all day?”

“Which, sudden irritating perfect pitch counts as one of those spots,” Taline is not self-deprecating exactly, she’s laughing as she says it. The dustrag gets set aside for a second, as does the wood polish; may as well use conversation as a chance for a break. “At least until someone tells me otherwise. A shame, I’m actually good at weeding. Fences … no, I don’t think I’d be able to help with that either. Not intended to hold in an angry bull, I hope.” Beach cleanup, that is something Taline could do nearly by instinct, which is assuredly why she was not assigned to the task Elixyvette was most successful at.

“If it ever turns up on my list again, I’d be happy to swap,” Elixyvette sighs, knotting her arms across the base of her ribcage. “Maybe it’s lack of experience, or maybe I’m just not made for it, but I’m beginning to think there’s a reason I’ve spent my life with books and words and not much that requires much manual labour.” She twitches one of those sore shoulders. “The best I can do is keep going and keep embarrassing myself, I suppose. I’ve no real complaints, aside from hurt pride.” One corner of her mouth ticks up in what could be a very small smile. “Just promise me you will deny all about that fence,” she drawls. Angling a glance down to the box, she asks, “Is there anywhere you’d like me to put these? Or not put them?”

Taline considers the boxes, then considers the shelves. Her face droops a little when she determines the best possible answer,a nd she says weakly, “Well, the best place would be the top shelf I just cleaned off … ” Neither of them are big, tall, muscly people. “The best place that isn’t getting either of us injured would just be anywhere that isn’t this shelf or the one underneath it. I might still have to move things off other shelves to clean later, but — hopefully not that stuff. I know nothing about the fence, of course. Can I ask why you accepted Search if — I know that’s a loaded question, by the way, feel free to not answer it.”

Elixyvette lifts her gaze to eye that top shelf and likewise concludes, “Unless we want to be found immobile on the floor, I think we’d best go for the other options, yes.” Despite any pain that it may cause her, she crouches down to rummage needlessly through the gardening tools, a little too obviously evasive or attempting to buy time, especially when she asks, “Why does anyone?” with a philosophical bent designed to conceal and deflect. Only, a few moments later, she straights and lets out another soft sigh. “My husband died,” she confesses, unable to look Taline in the eye. “And I don’t know. It’s selfish to want anything for myself, but maybe I want… something.” She tilts her head, directing the question back at her with, “And you?”

“I feel like it’s a popular question,” Taline says, first, before addressing her reason or her companion’s. She dusts for a couple of moments, before saying in a more cautiously distant tone, “I’m sorry that happened to you. Really, not just a platitude, I bet you’re tired of ‘I’m sorry to hear that.’ Didn’t know him, but I’m definitely sad on your behalf, especially if having something for yourself is … not something you’re used to.” She chews at the end of her lip for a second, and then blurts, “My reason’s stupid, in comparison. I’m kind of a follow the winds where they go sort, if I get an opportunity to do something, I just — say yes to it. Leaving things behind to start again has been most of my life, no reason to stop now.”

The murmured, “Don’t be,” that Elixyvette supplies in response does not sound offhand or like a rejection of Taline’s sentiments, for there’s something a little too genuine there, tainted with a darker flicker of guilt. “He was a good man. I miss him. Sometimes.” And perhaps that ‘sometimes’ says it all, though she’s unwilling to linger too long on that admittance despite embracing its honesty. “No reasons are stupid, in comparison or otherwise,” she insists. “Opportunity is opportunity. Even if a lot of the people in the barracks don’t know exactly what they want or why they said yes… saying no would surely lead to worse regrets and a lack of closure, no matter what happens now.”

‘Sometimes’ is probably enough for Taline to catch the gist, and she’s certainly had no innocent past herself; she remarks no more upon it and doesn’t seem to react either way. “I don’t know if I’d do it a second time,” Taline divulges more personal opinion than she usually does: sharing a living space with people is having an impact on her comfort levels, “since I doubt I’m one of the more likely to Impress the first time, but …” Shrug. “It just seemed wrong to decline.”

“Me either,” Elixyvette says for a second time, a touch more sober in her agreement now. “Well… unless another one of the golds here gets ideas about rising pretty soon, I’ll be too old for it, anyway. So… all or nothing, I suppose.” She sounds perfectly accepting of either eventuality, no longing or pining for some distant dream colouring her words. “It’s one big game of chance for all of us.” Sliding a look towards the door, she recalls, “I’ve another box to bring in, I’m afraid. I’ll be back shortly and get it all stashed away so it doesn’t ruin your work.” And off she goes – to return, as promised.

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