Sugar for Friendship

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

In the post-dinner lull, the living caverns are just beginning to empty out and, therefore, quiet down. One brownrider is taking advantage of the quiet to sit at an unoccupied table, chin propped up in her hand, elbow resting just to the side of a parchment she's trying to study. From the way Rou'x keeps looking up, huffing, puffing, fiddling with her hair and so on, though, it's pretty clear she's in no mood to be tied down to paperwork, whatever it might be.

Post-dinner lull means Elsia is finally off-duty, and just coming out with her own dinner. The tired baker comes past the tables and glances curiously at the brownrider at the table making no headway in her work. Her eyes narrow for a moment, searching, and then light up. "You were at the graduation ceremony, right?" she says, approaching the table.

Rou'x's honey-hued eyes flick up eagerly enough at the distraction, and she's got a big, toothy grin for Elsia. "Yup! Indy n' I were up there, doin' the whole graduatin' thing." She taps the knot on her shoulder with one ink-smudged fingertip, her grin turning proud. "Got tapped into Archipelago, only know there's even /more/ shit t' learn n' my mind just don't wanna do it, y'know?" Back goes her chin into her hand, though her gaze never once leaves Elsia. "Y'can sit wi' me, if y'want?"

"Rou'x, right?" begins Elsia with a grin. "I've heard a lot about you. It's nice to finally meet you, well, officially." She glances at the paper work, at the offered chair. "I wouldn't want to keep you if you're busy…" she begins, reluctantly, as if she'd really like to sit.

"Yeah, tha's right. Rou'x, n' my brown's Indianath. Whatcha been hearin' about me? Didn't reckon I'd done all that much t'be talked about!" She chuckles, dropping her attention to her near-enough abandoned hide before her grin turns cheeky. "Well… I mean, I reckon I might've mebbe done one 'r /two/ things… butcha can't say sleepin' with Zi'on's girl's all that much've a crime, right? Don't reckon there's anything else that could get folks talkin' - n' you sit y' arse down, y' ain't botherin' me one /bit/. Can't stand bloody hides… what'd you say you're called?"

"Two things, or two people?" teases Elsia in good spirit. "You know, you'd think for all that she gets around, she'd give Zi'on a pass… but well. I didn't come to gossip about Kiena." The blond smiles pleasantly and finally takes the seat with a giggle. "Arse, sitting," she says obediantly and offers the other girl her hand. "Elsia. My name is Elsia."

"Nice t' meetcha, Elsia. Does Kiena get around? We only got t'gether cos've the boys all goin' up, n' the greens' riders decided they'd rather get it on wi' each other." Rou'x shrugs one shoulder, squinting at the journeywoman. "Kinda sorta wish in a perverted sorta way that I could've gotten in between 'em a bit, but I can't complain. I got Keely, 's'well as Kiena - was their blues who caught, anyway. Indy's still not got himself a proper shag, even if he's chasin' /anythin'/ that flies right now."

Elsia tilts her head as Rou'x chats on for a good bit of time, her face polite but obviously, well, surprised at just how much the brownrider talks. "Well, um…I'm sure he'll catch eventually, right? He's just young…and quite large. He could even catch a gold some day I suppose, as large as he is. Er, not that I know much about dragons, or flights or…want to know anything, precisely." Her eyebrows draw down and she turns a little pink.

Rou'x laughs at the bashfulness. "I were all like that, shy n' shit, when I first got t' Ista Weyr, like… eh, six or summat turns ago. Lost it quick enough, though!" As her current attitude would suggest! "Indy's a proper big boy, right? Bigger'n Suldith, even, but yeah, he's young. Everyone's gotta learn how t'do stuff like that, yeah?" She leans across the table to snag a pitcher of juice left out by whoever sat there before, and pilfers a glass, too. "Y'want some? What d'you do here, Elsia? That knot's…" She squints at it, then looks thoughtful for a moment. "BeastCraft?"

Elsia looks at Rou'x and looks…less than enthusiastic, clearing her throat and bunching her fists in her lap. "Well, er… I probably won't be here that long anyway. They, uh…don't usually send Journeymen on assignment for more than a couple Turns. Like to keep us rotating so we gain all sorts of experience." She glances down at her knot and supplies, "BakerCraft. I make the candies…sometimes the other desserts if the other pasty chef is off for the day."

"/BakerCraft/." The way Rou'x says it is almost reverent. "Never did get so good at recognisin' knots - d'you not think there's too many've them t' learn 'em all proper? Never mattered none back home." Her half-hearted shrug turns into an eager learn across the table, eye brow tweaked up over her eye to indicate her piqued interest. "Y' got anythin' interestin' that y'made today? Dessert's my favourite. Reckon I could live on dessert n' bacon f' the rest've my life."

Elsia smiles shyly. "I was always a good girl, I memorized them all. I can't keep all of the goldriders and their weyrleaders straight, though… I was always a little bit poor at history lessons, I'm afraid." She chews her lip. "I gave Keely a block of klah fudge, did she share that with you?" Leaning back in her chair, she digs her fingernails up under her curls to scratch self-conciously at an itch that might not actually be there. "Bacon and dessert…what if I combined the two?" now she's just teasing the girl…maybe.

"She didn't!" Rou'x looks surprised - and as if she might be going straight to a certain someone's weyr to find a piece of said fudge. "D'you got any fudge wi' fruit n' nuts in it? Mebbe y'could make a bacon fudge. Candied bacon? Bacon sweets. Bacon /pudding/. That's /gotta/ be good." She rubs the back of her hand roughly over her mouth, then bites down on her bottom lip. "Meebe we can trade or summat, if y'want t' make me summat sweet? Indy n' I'll give y' rides for a bit."

Elsia laughs, head tipping back. "Oh my! Slow down. Candied bacon, how about bacon cupcakes? Or sure, bacon fudge…Well. I could do just about anything, I suppose." She smiles sheepishly. "I'd be happy to make you something, I do take commissions. Er, I'm not sure where you'd give me rides to, though. The only time I really want to get out of the weyr is when a flight happens, and that seems to be the least likely time to get one."

"Oh. Yeah - wi' how Indy's all randy n' stuff…. yeah. That prob'ly wouldn't work s' well. /Balls/. What've we got that we can mebbe trade f' sweets?" Rou'x leans back, her fingers curled around the edge of the table and a thoughtful pout pursing her plump lips. "I don't got many marks, but I can mebbe see if I can get whatever y'want?"

Elsia laughs and holds her hands up. "You don't have to trade," she says, starting to blush furiously. "You could…think of it as a gift? Um… good will towards friendship? I need all the friends I can get… Even if I have to bribe them with sugar."

That works for Rou'x! "Yeah, I reckon that'll work pretty good!" She holds out her inky-spotted hand to the Baker for a shake. "One friendship f' summat sugary. Doll, y'can buy me wi' sweet stuff /whenever/ y' want, whether it's for friendship or summat else. We /all/ gotta have a lot've friends, right?"

Elsia reaches out and clasps hands with the brownrider. Hers are soft, and very strong. She laughs, just a little. "Yeah, lots of friends…" She trails off, bites her lip. "Never actually had any at the Hall. I was always too busy working on my projects to walk the tables and get ahead. So, uh, I guess it's a good thing I picked something useful?" A grin is given the brownrider. "Baker for sale. Friends wanted."

"Anyone who can tickle my sweetspot's got a place in my friends," Rou'x confirms with a nod of her head and a bright, lopsided grin. "There were another girl here sellin' sweets when I were a candidate, but I've never seen her since. She's a trader though, gotta wagon n' all that shit. She tried gettin' frisky wi' me a bit… d'you know they'll give ya free drinks in the Tiki Lounge, if y' naked and snoggin' a girl?"

Elsia's eyes might bulge a little. "They let you… get naked in the Tiki Lounge?" Mind…blown. "Er. I've never actually been in there…" And probably never will be, thanks to Rou'x's new information.

"We were sunbathin' in the buff outside… she sorta persuaded me t' do it. Despite whatcha might've heard, I ain't all that keen on parading m'self around bare-arsed… though I don't mind lettin' the girls out f' the right person." There's a rosy blush on Rou'x's cheeks as she looks down at the table, and she then quickly changes the subject. "Didja tell me what it is you've been hearin' about me? I can't remember."

Elsia looks away shyly while Rou'x's talking, and so doesn't notice the blush. She's too busy putting on one of her own. "Oh… Just the incident you already mentioned..with Keely and Kiena. I…uh… hang around with Zi'on a lot."

"/Dooo/ y' now." That seems to interest Rou'x, and she twines her fingers together, leaning forward on her elbows. "He's alright, Zi'on is. He were wi' me when Indy tried t' fly before he shoulda done - it sorta made it better that he were helpin', and stuff. Can't fault him one bit." The juice she poured and pretty much forgot about it picked up and sipped, then set down quietly. "I don't reckon you're half bad, either."

Elsia nods her head and ducks her chin, perhaps a little nervous to be under such close scrutiny. "He's okay," she agrees timidly. "In his way, he's nice. Just.. dumb about some things." She smiles though, for the compliment. "Thanks. You're very pleasant yourself."

Rou'x wrinkles her nose. "He's a boy, Els. 'Course he's dumb about some things… half the time they ain't as switched on as we are." She shakes her head, then runs a hand over one of her long, dark brown braids. "D'you reckon y'could maybe show me how t' make summat in th' kitchens sometime? I wanta surprise someon— /two/ someones."

Elsia grins a littlle more enthusiastically now that they're into territory she's comfortable with. "I sure could," she agrees. "I take some of the little ones once a week for fun little classes. Decorate cookies, pull taffy, make rolls… don't see why I couldn't teach a big person too."

"S'long's I don't gotta sit in wi' the tots, I'll be happy t' come in n' learn whenever I don't got drills." The brunette looks down at the parchment she's all but forgotten about, rolling up up and securing it up a little piece of string. "I don't got a drill now, but I do have a Keely waitin' f' me in her weyr. Wi' klah fudge, I hope." Rou'x winks at Elsia as she stands, tapping the rolled-up parchment against her wide hips - all those sweet things she likes have to go /somewhere/, right? "D'you wanna catch up some time, talk about teachin' me bakin' n' stuff?"

Elsia laughs. "I won't make you sit with the tots," she promises. "Stop in any time you like, I'm in the kitchens just about all day, and after dinner I like to eat my meal somewhere with a good view. Ask around and I'm sure you'll find me." She bites her lower lip and smiles up at the rider, rising to her feet. "Speaking of which, I'm going to go stargaze with my leftovers."

At the mention of stargazing, Rou'x's expression drops just a little. "I used t'go stargazin' wi' my Starboy, 'cept he ain't /mine/ no more - never really /was/, t' be honest, but he maybe-mighta-coulda been. Might still be mebbe sometime in a turn or summat, when his Haneutath grows up a bit." She shrugs, forcing a lopsided smile. "Not like I don't have plenty t' keep me occupied until then, o' course. D'you want me t' walk you out, Els?"

Elsia smiles at Rou'x and nods. "Yah, I'll walk you out," she agrees and even offers the rider her arm, perhaps a bit silly.

Rou'x takes the offered arm, even giving Elsia a quick squeeze as she pulls the Baker close to her side. She's all for that sorta thing!

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