Dust Bunnies, Bubblies, and Scary Things!

Western Weyr - Candidate Dorm
Carved from a natural bubble in the volcanic stone, this small dorm room has room enough to hold around two dozen occupants comfortably. Along the walls are stationed sets of cots and clothes presses, each made up to the standards of the weyrwoman. Above, the soft white light from electric lamps cast down during waking hours.

Patori is totally hiding under a bed. It's late afternoon, and the barracks are mostly empty. Except for that one guy with the moustache, who's snoring like he's trying to drill holes in the wall with his FACE. Oh, and some firelizard is chomping on crumbs off in a corner, from someone's leftover breakfast bun. Either the former weyrbrat has no chores, or he's shirking them, because he's, as has been mentioned, lurking under a bed. The cot is, at least, his own, green eyes peeking out, darting left and right, before he shuffles back under again. And shifts about. And then veeery slowly, his head peeks out the other side. Caution, thy name be Patori. That. And maybe paranoia.

Patori might be hiding under his bed from the rest of the world, but Kilarden is defending it, one dust bunny at a time! He emerges into the candidate barracks sporting an apron about his front, a white bandana (which contrasts brilliantly with all that dark hair and grey eyes) on the top of his head, and his ever trusty sidekick: a feather duster. He concentrates with the tip of his tongue peeking out of the corner of his mouth, brows furrowed as he dusts any surface that is available for dusting, and succeeds in doing a rather terrible job of it all. It's a rather frustrating (and tedious) process, you see. So then is it any wonder why Kilarden suddenly lets out a great sigh, brings one forearm across his forehead, and drops his eyes to the ground? "Patori?" he inquires, at first confused when he first catches sight of the aforementioned's position. "What are you doing?" The older candidate moves to the younger's cot, hunkering down into a crouch as he tilts his head to one side and allows an easy smile to replace any puzzlement that was there before.

That reddish-topped head quickly disappears at the sound of somebody moving around, and dusting. Though the soft -clonk- sound might be the poor boy knocking the back of his head on the bedframe in his haste. There's a muffled 'mrph' noise, and some vague head-rubbing, as Pat scoots further underneath that cot, though it's not as if the things are all that big to begin with, even if he is a miniature-sized candie. Curling up riight close to the wall, he'll just pretend he's not here, eyeing with trepidation the approach of Kilarden's feets. 'Ah' comes a tiny muffled sound, 'ah- aheh-' more muffledness, 'Achoo!' Alas, the dustbunnies! Snifflesnorfles happen, and then quickly quiet at the sound of his name. When the other candidate hunkers down, green eyes peek back at him from the semi-darkness under the bed. There's a 'hssst' kind of sound as the boy gestures for quiet, with more eye-darting, and a soft, "They still out there?" eyes going wide and then squeaking out, "They'll /know/," with shooing motions at the other guy, "Don't stop cleaning!" All this is whispered paranoidly from his ..dusty under-the-bed corner.

Of all the people on Pern to express paranoia to, Kilarden would probably land in the category of 'Least Desirable'. The smile that was friendly on his lips only moments ago is replaced with a caricature of the former emotion, displaying amusement instead as he shifts his weight from a crouch and brings himself down to sit comfortably on the floor. Legs come together indian-style as one elbow finds a knee, his chin finds the heel of his hand and the tips of curled fingers, and those eyes seek out the rest of the occupants crowding the nearly deserted room. "Which one?" he inquires, dropping his voice to a whisper just for the added affect. "The sleeping maniac, or the blood-thirsty firelizard?" Even with as obvious as Kilarden's teasing is, the look he turns back onto Patori is solemn and serious, albeit marred by the wicked curl of his lips that simply refuses to go away. "Or are we looking for somebody else entirely?"

Patori, of course, looks totally unamused and all serious-faced. He eyes Kilarden's bandanna, too. Like it's done something wrong. When the other candidate actually sits down beside the bed, Patori hunches further down, drawing his knees up and peering out from behind them, nose wrinkling slightly. Littlehuff, "They'll /see/." Yup, paranoid. Eyes dart again to the sides of the bed, the weyrbrat shaking his head slowly, as if the questions had been asked solemnly, "Not /them/." Cue the poutyface. "/Gort/," is spat out, sulkily, with a glare at the floor just byons the safety of his cot, "Him and his jerks were going to throw me off the docks." A bit of a face is made, "Hilard took my bubblies. They were for /Keely/." Is that a lip-wibble? Faranth forbid. He just grumblemutters something incoherent and hunches down further, returning to his eyeing of Kilarden. Suspicious eyeing. Like that guy might be after his bubblies too. Though given Patori's usual demeanor, it's probably a fear that the whole world is after his bubblies.

Kilarden doesn't quite understand Patori's fear at being found curled up in the sanctuary his cot clearly offers, but he's not so cruel as to keep from humoring the cowering candie. Here is where he begins to pretend he's dusting the side of the bed. "There," he murmurs, still looking more amused than anything else, "nobody will suspect anything now. I'm good at looking convincing." Kil misses the pouting lips when grey eyes shift to feign interest in his 'work', but his ears catch every single word that comes tumbling from Patori's lips afterward. Names that have no familiarity (aside from just one) are given, and when the older candidate is stilling his hand long enough to duck down and peer at the younger again, he looks relatively concerned. "What do you mean Gort and his jerks were going to throw you from the docks?" Nevermind the theif of Keely's bubblies; his offense seems relatively minor to the blatant bullying of this Gort and his goonies. "How did you get away from them?"

Possibly, one of the lot might be candidates, though who knows, with all the people coming and going in the weyr. Nobody really notices the antics of weyrbrats. Patori, at least, looks marginally satisfied when Kilarden starts dusting again, hunches shoulders relaxing slightly as he peeks out from behind his knees. He doesn't look like he believes the other candidate, about looking convncing, but he doesn't argue, just peering sideways out the bottom of the cot and chewing on the inside of his lower lip. "It's what they do," the question about Gort and his jerks earns vague lift of shoulders and another quiet huff, "Stuff like that." Apparently, this sort of thing is commonplace. At least for Patori. As for how he got away, the weyrbrat lifts his chin, with a marginally proud, "I ran away," and an eyedart to one side, mumbling softer, "I can still run faster than them." There's a shifty quality though, as he sits there, scooting back against the wall beneath the bed, "They can't run when I knock stuff over in front of them either." Oh yes, this is one 'brat who knows how to use his environment.

Kilarden is well-versed in the art of listening, having been blessed with a sister who takes offense to any sleight of attention when she's talking. It's for this reason that Kilarden manages to look so engaged in what Patori is saying right up until he's finishing off his tale with the rather amusing mental image of item-tossing-escapes. Kil actually laughs when his mind conjures up the picture so vividly, but wills it away with a shake of his head and a genuine smile. "You're quite clever, aren't you?" he asks, suddenly amused again. He moves to lay flat on his belly as one hand goes beneath the confines of the bed, palm up, fingers splayed. "You can't stay under here forever, Patori, and Keely seems as if she's in desperate need of some replacement bubblies. Come on. I'll walk with you to the kitchens, and if this Gort or any of his friends think to try and make a game out of throwing you from the docks, we'll make a sport of throwing them in first." Kilarden is a big guy, after all, and a big brother! He has the art of protecting other people down.

Patori actually seems to relax some more, at the apparent listening of the older boy, though a trace of tension remains, in the slant of his shoulders and back, not entirly hunched over anymore but still steering clear of the wooden bedframe above him. The laugh gets a blink, and a slicker of a glance at Kilarden before Pat looks away, back to some dustbunny or other on the floor under the bed, shoulders lifting slightly with a shrugged, "I guess." There's more of a grimace to his expression though, mumbling, "If I were smarter, I'd have seen them coming." Another littlehuff. This time clearly frustrated. Thin fingers fidget with the fabric at his knees, pants almost threadbare, and so very clearly secondhand (and now also terribly dusty). Eyes suddenly widen, though, when Kilarden reaches out under the bed, that hand eyed like it might bite hih. He'd totally be shrinking back, too, if it weren't for the fact that Pat's already up against the wall there. "I can try," he mumbles under his breath, the wariness warring with the suggestion of more bubblies. Bottom lip is nibbled briefly before Patori asks, with still-lingering paranoia, "What if they gang up on you?" because let's face it, in a scuffle, Pat's pretty much the about as useful as a wet noodle. On the other hand, Kilarden is one of those tall people. And probably less scary. "Okay.." and he scoots out from under the cot, exiting from the opposite side, his last remaining shred of dignity at least keeping him from taking the offered hand. Or maybe he's just embarrassed, the boy mumbling, "..but you're not as scary as Nikolas is."

"Maybe," Kilarden muses, regarding the question of Patori's intelligence with a softer tone, "but the outcome would have been the same either way, I think, and running was probably the best choice you could have made." He doesn't budge from his spot, patient as if coaxing a wounded animal back out into the open. The smile on his lips never once falters, even when Patori is eyeing him as if he may be some kind of social pariah, diseased and untrustworthy. He wisely chooses to make no comment to the younger candidate's response of staying hidden forever, but he does offer up more laughter when his masculinity is being brought into question. "If they gang up on me, I promise to be a good enough distraction long enough for you to be able to run back here and hide again." It's not until after Patori has withdrawn from his hiding space completely that Kilarden pulls his arm back to his side and uses it as leverage to push himself up and onto his feet. Pause. More laughter. "Good, then," Kilarden suddenly says, seeming not in the least insulted, but rather thoroughly amused by the thought of somebody in the weyr being even scarier than he is, "Velrich has some competition. We'll see if one can out-brood the other." With that, one hand motions towards the exit with a flourish of feather-duster at the end. "I'll be right behind you, unless you'd rather I went first, of course."

Patori isn't about to argue with that - if there's one thing he can do, it's curl up and hide somewhere. Dusting off somewhat, Pat doesn't spare too much effort for brushing away clinging dustbunnys, not really looking at Kilarden even after he has managed to crawl out from under the bed. Instead, a sleeve is fiddled with, and a semi-wary glance is given the rest of the mostly-empty barracks. As fopr the promise? Patori merely bobs his head. And while his lower lip might be nibbled, he seems okay with having the other guy act as distraction. Pat doesn't look amused; then again, he looks like sombody just ran over his pet feline, so possibly it's just not something that comes too naturally to the paranoid weyrbrat. Or maybe he's just had one of those days, who knows. Nose wrinkling slightly, there's a mumbled, "That guy is scary," though maybe it's all them scars. As for going first, there's some hesitation, and the weyrbrat hangs back, tucking hands into pockets as he mumbles, at the floor, "You go first, in case they're still out there." Luckily, Gort and company have totally buggered of somewhere else, and will likely not be a problem in the quest for bubblies!

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