====September 21, 2013
====Hannah, Q'fex
====A moonlit night holds nothing but pain.

Who Hannah, Q'fex
What A moonlit night holds nothing but pain.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Leadership Courtyard, Southern Weyr



Leadership Courtyard
Nigh palatial, this gorgeous sweep of cultivated bowl: a courtyard proper, a fountain bubbles in the middle of a grove of orange-trees, next to a stone bench that has weathered many a turn. Rare metal stands out at the sweep of steps upwards to the landings of queens'-weyrs and other administrative personnel; handrails to prevent… mishaps, and sparse doors of spiraled cast-iron to lock out any vagrants.
It is Spring and 73 degrees. It is slightly overcast.
To the southwest, you see one runner.
Q'fex is here.
Obvious exits:
Small Door Upper Bowl Ledges

-- On Pern --
It is evening
It is 8:56 PM where you are.
There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
It is Spring and 73 degrees. It is slightly overcast.

A spring evening with mist in the air and fog on the ground — it's chilly, for Southern, dropping into the upper sixties and holding. A damp chill. A pervasive one, to inspire melancholy and influence moods in subtle and overt ways alike. Q'fex walks through the obscuring fog, hands in his pockets, head down, watching his feet rather than his surroundings… not that he could see much, regardless.

What faint moonlight breaks through the clouds brightens Hannah's hair until it nearly glows, shining where light hits it direct. The fair skin that's exposed is also faintly luminescent by trick of the moon's light, which only means the junior is easy to see, and looks as delicately fragile as the weak, pale light that comes from Belior and Timor. The darkness that gathers 'round Q'fex catches Hannah's eye — or perhaps, she's looking for him. Regardless, a quiet moment elapses before: "Q'fex."

Light-Hannah versus Dark-Q'fex; it is as it was in the beginning, and somehow that is … just fitting. The Weyrleader's gaze is shadowed as he gazes down at her. There is a weighty moment of weighing opinion, of measuring gaze, and then, "Hannah."

So much remains unsaid between them, though Hannah hesitantly reaches out to touch just below Q'fex's elbow, biting the corner of her lip. Her expression, bathed in moonlight, is easy to read and it's a mingle of regret and pain. "I'm sorry." She takes a deep breath, which further accentuates the dark blue of her dress as the only marring of her natural coloring's feylightness. Shadows that creep and devour. "I didn't want to hurt anyone."

It's deft, the shifting of weight. Q'fex's elbow looms suddenly out of Hannah's reach, in a swift-reflex honed by turns of dragonriding, and recent sevens of hard drilling. He has no words in response, but the unusual tenseness of his shoulders and the spring-ready tension of his legs seems to indicate he is more than ready to simply walk away.

Pulling her arm back, Hannah stumbles a few steps away, folding her arms across her middle. "Fine." Never mind the hitch to her voice, or the fact that now she's cast herself to shadow effectively hiding her expression beyond the closing of her lashes. And she does walk away, albeit not very far, but rather to one of the trees that stand in the mini-grove and sits upon the weathered bench.

Q'fex watches Hannah's retreat. If not for the fog, if not for the darkness, one could see the conflict evident on his face… but there is the fog, and there is the darkness. He pauses a very long moment, then — with a fortifying sigh — he moves after her, to stand not far from the bench. "I don't think anyone is hurt." Yet. YET.

Curled in on herself, Hannah stares into the night, not looking at Q'fex. Not looking at anything except the moons that hang like ghostly galleons high upon the foggy night skies. It's a trick to be looking upwards, to keep any unshed tears from falling, though that her eyes glitter more than would be usual might be a clue. "Aren't they?"

Ye old looking-up trick. Q'fex wouldn't be terribly familiar with it, thankfully; and perhaps it's obscuring enough that he doesn't notice the glittering eyes. "Which 'they'?" The man's Keroon accent touches those two words perhaps a bit more aggressively than typical.

It works and Hannah employs it now. "Lendai. Sleeping with you hurt Lendai. Breaking it off hurt everyone, you, me, everyong. And — " She shrugs, and yet still doesn't shift to look to Q'fex. "It's a mess, Q'fex, and you're the heart." Finally, she turns to settle a carefully crafted neutral look up at the Weyrleader. Luckily being so SHORT as she is and so TALL that he is when she's sitting down, he effectively allows the continuation of the 'looking up' trick.

He's a man. So he acts as a man would. "Oh," sarcastic, "I'm so sorry." Frustration is louder than his words, which are generally quiet. "Should I take myself back to Igen, make it easier on everyone?" And then, afterwards, he reiterates a previous point: "Lendai is not in love with me. She is infatuated." There is a DIFFERENCE.

And Hannah acts as a woman would, tears slipping down rounded cheeks. "That's great, Q'fex. I didn't say you were the cause I said you were the heart of the problem. There's more here than Lendai, more here than you." Pushing to her feet, acid in the hiss of husky voice. "You wouldn't know, would you? You don't choose who you love, Q'fex, and forgive me if I didn't want to hurt my friends." Only in contrast to Q'fex's sarcasm, real pain lingers beneath the surface.

"Yes," Q'fex returns, blunt. "You don't fall in love with someone you hardly know, Hannah." His voice is hard. "You fall in lust. You fall… into infatuation. That isn't love." And perhaps his voice is bitter. Perhaps it is sharp. "And if she loved me, she wouldn't act like a fucking moron." He bats aside the topic, hand swiping through the fog. "I don't… I mean to say…" He doesn't apparently have the words, because his hands fly up and he turns about, cursing under his breath.

Now Hannah wipes the tears from her cheeks and gathers a steadying breath. Quietly - so quiet that it's more whisper than anything else, she states slowly, "You can't change your nature for someone you love," a hand goes up to forestall any correction, "or think you love. They'll love you or they won't." This statement has even lapsed tinto more of a pained thought, which is easily batted away when he swipes his hand through the fog. When he turns about, she watches him. A stillness settles in the fog ridden night. Eddies of the grey stuff swirls about as the moon's shining silver light is lost. Hannah could be more ghost herself, tethered less to this world than not. "What do you mean to say?"

It comes down to basic elements easily: Q'fex is, after all, a simple man. Layered, perhaps, but simple underneath it all. "I'm tired. I didn't mean to make you cry." It's more matter-of-fact than not. "I don't like being all-but-ambushed. I don't like to be made to feel guilt for something that, ultimately, isn't my choice or my responsibility." His shoulders square. "If anyone hurts you, I will kill them." It's quietly stated. And that evidently passes as a farewell, because after he says that last, the weyrleader moves into the damp dark, soon hidden by the whirls and eddies of fog.

Silence is Q'fex's gift once the words are given, delivered to the night's fog with simple practicality. When he's gone, Hannah returns to the bench and pulls up her knees and clasps her hands around her bent legs. In the darkness, with the moon's light hidden, the goldrider tucks her face into the small valley made by her knees and closes her eyes. Small shoulders quiver, but otherwise, it is silent. With only the fog to bear witness to a night soaked in all sorts of awkwardness. Eventually, Hannah will uncurl from her spot and make her own way into the shrouded night, expression unreadable.
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