==== September 26, 2013
==== Aaron, Aleile, Sytin
==== Sytin gets called into Aaron's office for reasons unknown and many revelations ensue …

Who Aaron, Aleile, Sytin
What Sytin gets called into Aaron's office for reasons unknown and many revelations ensue …
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr - Aaron's Office

Aleile-Young_Icon.png Sytin-Young_Icon.jpg

Aaron's Office
Warm tones of polished, lovingly tended wood dominate this room. There's a large desk with an oversized chair behind it, assorted stacks of papers and hides arranged on it, along with a host of writing tools. Three normal-sized chairs sit in front of the desk, made of wood with attached leather cushions. A large drawing desk is centered in front of the room's single window, an assortment of drafting tools organized in a tray hanging from one side. A large set of shelving occupies the back wall behind the desk and chair, most of it cubbies for scrolls. One section is prominently labeled 'Craft Secrets, please only take one at a time'. A door off to one side leads to a sleeping area, with a large pallet for the mattress and, of course, hooks for hanging a hammock on those hot summer nights.

Aaron had sent a flit to one of the assistant headmen, who in turn had sent a runner, who in turn had fetched him the target of his… Well, not wrath, but the giant Smith certainly doesn't look happy when Sytin enters his office. "Shut the door, boy, and sit down," he says, pointing to one of the three chairs in front of his desk. Once Sytin complies, Aaron stares at him for a moment, then sighs and reaches into a desk drawer. A single large glass is pulled out, then a bottle of dark whiskey, a generous portion of which is splashed into the glass. "Now, acknowledging that you're not my apprentice at this moment, and that I have no real control over you, and acknowledging that I'm sure you had your reasons…. Why the FUCK didn't you tell me about Vorick, and about your sister?" Oh yes, somebody's been asking all the right questions of all the wrong people.

As the former Apprentice appears in the doorway, his expression goes from curious to consternation in about a half a second as Sytin sees the look on Aaron's face. Throat tightens and flexes with a nervous swallow as the boy dutifully takes a seat. The Weyrsmith's every motion is watched, the boy griping at the edges of his seat quietly as tension roils through the large man's shoulders as he pours the whisky into the glass. Words roll over him, and then shock and surprise rock the youth backwards, chair even tilting as he starts at the sudden swear directed at him, the wood clacking as it falls back into place. He swallows, mouth suddenly dry and thoughts racing through his head. And the words just won't come, despite his best efforts. He's actually been rendered speechless.

Aaron takes a long drink from his glass, eyes never leaving Sytin's. There's something different about the Smith, a cold, distant look in those emerald orbs. He finally sets the glass down, sighing softly. "Tell me, Sytin. I'm angry, but I'm not angry at you." Yet, that is. "I just…. Do you need anything? Is your sister alright?" The tone of voice is much softer now, Aaron regaining some control over his emotions.

"I…" Sytin swallows convulsively as he tries to get the fear in check and find his voice. "I didn't want anyone else getting hurt." Memories of Kultir flicker painfully to mind, bringing a pained look to the boy's eyes. "I just wanted to protect her." Another swallow, throat impossibly dry. "And everyone else." Knees curl to his chest and his arms wrap around them, somehow managing to pull his lanky frame into a fetal curl. "Aleile's okay, sir." Lower lip is licked and chewed and the boys eyes lower as he finds himself unable to meet the elder Smith's gaze. "It's my burden to shoulder, I'm sorry."

Aaron eyes Sytin for a long, long moment, then stands up without a word and disappears into his bedroom. He comes out a moment later with a pitcher of redfruit juice, pouring a glassful and offering it to the boy, while he half leans/half sits on the front edge of the desk. "Here, drink. If you were a little older I'd offer you some booze, rules be damned." He's quiet again for a moment, leaning over and taking up his glass again, draining it this time. "Boy… You were /my/ apprentice, and now you're the Weyr's candidate. After the hatching, you'll either be one of the Weyr's riders, or you'll be my apprentice again. Either way… You're not alone anymore. You don't have to shoulder any burden by yourself." He reaches out, engulfing the kid's shoulder with one massive hand. "I promise you, if you had told me, the only getting hurt would've been Vorick." There're… THINGS in his voice. Promises of violence and pain.

The glass is spied from the corner of his eyes as Aaron pours it, the youth looking up and taking the glass. Sips are slow at first, but as his throat slowly unbinds he swallows it more easily, finally polishing it before holding the cup out with a hopeful expression in askance. Please sir, may I have some more? his amber eyes beg. Whether or not Sytin gets more, he does manage to find something like his voice, though he holds it in to let the Weyrsmith finish, looking up in surprise as their is suddenly a huge hand on his shoulder. His first instinctive reaction to the touch is to flinch, a single, solid jerk rocking him and the chair briefly. The Candidate looks up at Aaron, uncertainty swimming in his amber eyes as he clearly wants to believe this man, this… mentor. Lower lip is bitten and a breath comes shuddering out in a sigh from him. "I— Thank you. Sir." Doubt clouds his voice, despite the terrible violence promised in Aaron's own.

Aaron does indeed refill that glass, but at the flinch, he takes his hand away and goes back behind his desk, perhaps creating an illusion of a boundary between the two of them. "Sytin… I told you the other night. When we're not out there," he jerks his head towards the forge, "we're friends. At least, so much as we can be, what with the age difference and all," he says with a wink. "But, above and beyond that, your wellbeing is my responsibility, either directly as your journeyman, or indirectly as one of the support staff for the Weyr here. No Hall or Hold should tolerate violence against any of it's members, but I know it happens sometimes, especially in the more… far flung places. The Weyr, this Weyr, isn't like that. Hell, I'm not even allowed to get into a good brawl at the parties anymore! You bring Aleile by here the next time you're able, understand? And if /either/ of you have any problems, you'd best come and tell me. If I can't take care of it, I'll put a word in an ear that can."

Sytin takes a slow sip from the glass as the Weyrsmith removes his hand and puts some distance in between them. His shoulders relax a little, the fight or flight response dying down to a mere buzz instead of a blaring claxon. Eyes flick up as the Smith addresses him, even earning a lopsided half smile from the boy at the mention of age difference. He hides other expressions behind the cup, taking a slow sip but absorbing the words, mental cogs slowly turning. Fingers twitch at the mention of the Hold, some past memory clearly coming to surface, but he smooths is under like all the other smothered fears. He even manages a little 'heh' at Aaron's joke about brawling and parties, but it falls flat at the mention of Aleile. He opens his mouth to respond, but is suddenly interrupted by the sound of a knock at the door.

Rat-tat-tat-tat. The four beat knock bespeaks of a Harper's rhythm, like the sounding of a drum. It doesn't wait for an answer, however, the door creeping open as if those four beats were all the announcement required for the guest's grand entrance. Fingers curl around the wood, sunlit gold strands appearing next and blue eyes follow, peering around the door to spy the meeting in progress. Upon spying the room's inhabitants the door is pushed further open, a girl caught somewhere between bud and flower sliding in and shutting it thoughtfully behind her before she runs to Sytin, throwing her arms around him, a look of worry etched on her fair features. "Oh, Faranth's First Egg…. are you okay, Sy?" The Smith isn't exactly ignored, but he isn't exactly the Harper girl's priority right now.

Aaron has his mouth open to be /very/ impolite to whoever's knocking on his door, but when the little blonde waif slips in and then runs to the dark-haired candidate, he just arches an eyebrow. He gives them a moment, guessing the relation (or rather, lack thereof), and pours himself another glass of whiskey. A third glass is produced, and set next to the juice pitcher. "Apprentice Harper," he finally says, slightly less dangerous then it was, "I assume that you're Aleile?"

Whatever pain Sytin's feeling, he seems comforted by Aleile's presence as she suddenly hugs him. A one armed hug is returned, the juice still held in the other and he holds her for a long moment before letting her go. "It's fine, Ali. Aaron just wanted to hear it from the runner's mouth." The Candidate seems bolstered by her, even offering her a smile, small though it may be. "You shouldn't go chasing after every rumor you hear about me." It's a loving admonishment, fingers reaching out to smooth back her hair. He turns back to Aaron and looks apologetic. "Aaron, meet Aleile, as you've already surmise." There is a gesture toward the Apprentice Harper and then Sytin actually uncurls, setting his own glass down on the desk and filling the empty one to offer to her.

Aleile holds onto her foster-brother for a long moment as they hug, though she does let go once he does. The Weyrsmith is given a little curtsy, though the girl is actually wearing a tunic and trous, rather than a more traditional dress. "Weyrsmith Aaron," she begins in luting tones. "I apologize for my interruption. I did not meet to interrupt." Well, technically she probably did but she meant it in the most loving way possible! Sytin gets a smile as he offers her a glass, which she takes and sips from. "Thank you for the refreshment." Never let it be said that she doesn't have manners!

The girl is given an Eye for a long moment, then Aaron nods. "A pleasure Aleile. The next time you come through that door, though, you'd best wait to be invited, for decorum's sake," he says with a wink. "I was just telling your brother that I expect one of you to inform me if there is /anything/ that either of you need, or if Vorick shows back up here." Gaze flicks between Sytin and the girl, and the big man sighs. "I'm going to expect both of you to talk to the mindhealers here, too. I hope you understand that this is, at this point, a suggestion. I'd rather not have to go through the proper channels and make it an order, okay?"

Sytin tops his own glass off and sinks back into his chair, though not before pushing one out for Aleile, should she choose. He takes a sip, letting the Weyrsmith say his fill on the matter at hand. "I doubt he will," the Candidate muses, though it doesn't sound terribly confident. Gaze flicks up to Aaron's own, brow quirking. "Are you fostering us now?" It's a question that is almost forcedly flat, as if he's torn between wanting that and not wanting to seem to want it. Then he bristles at the mention of mindhealers. "With all due respect, sir, I don't see the need for us to visit a mindhealer. I mean, it's over and done with." Isn't it? His eyes express doubt in their amber depths, but his tone attempts confidence none-the-less.

The Eye is taken with nary a flinch from the girl, who offers a warm smile to Aaron. "Most assuredly, sir. I wouldn't want to disrupt your finely tuned chaos." It's a Harper's humor, perhaps a veil to hide her inner self from prying eyes. "And we most certainly appreciate your kindness and offers of assistance. As Sytin says, it is unlikely that Vorick would be foolish enough to attempt a return." Aleile's voice has more conviction to it that her sibling's, chin lifted and eyes proud. "For what reason would you like us to visit the mindhealers, sir?" Her challenge is not quite as boldfaced as the Candidate's, instead taking the more circuitous and compromising route.

Aaron chuckles softly, at Sytin's first question, shaking his head. "Not fostering you, no. I'm going to be watching out for you, though, and if you need a hand, a shoulder, or an ear, I'll be here to lend 'em." Maybe not what the boy wants, but it's really the best Aaron can do right now. At the remarks about the mindhealers, he leans back in his chair, the wood creaking as he shifts his weight. "I don't know about Aleile," he says, inclining his head towards her, "but Sytin… I know you have the nightmares. They can help with those. Aside from which, you flinched like a beaten dog when I put my hand on your shoulder. Me, who's never hurt you and never /would/ hurt you. I know if seems stupid, but trust me, they can help. I've spent my fair share of time with them, I should know." Let's see if either of them are brave enough to probe /that/ further. ;)

A slow nod from Sytin at the clarification. "Your offer is appreciated." Will he take the Weyrsmith up? Time will tell. He takes another sip from his juice, perhaps stalling for time as he thinks about the explanations, staring at his reflection in the liquid as it flutters beneath his breath. Another sip and finally a response: "I'm sorry, Aaron." He seems a little hesitant at the informality but tries it out anyway, rushing on. "I didn't mean to flinch, you just caught me by surprise was all." He makes himself look up and meet the Journeyman's gaze, curiosity piqued. "How did they help you?" The boy is willing to open that can of burrowers, wondering what could possibly scar the Smith enough to seek professional help. Perhaps it will help him to admit his own weaknesses.

Aleile puts a gentle hand on Sytin's shoulder as he turns introspective into his cup, looking first at him and then the Weyrsmith. "Perhaps we could go together," she suggests gently, being as supportive to him as he has been to her. Finely boned fingers gently squeeze and then drop back onto her laps as she settles into the seat properly, taking another mouthful of the redfruit juice. It gives a nice little break for Sytin to say his fill and then looks troubled. "They've gotten worse?" she asks Sytin quietly, looking pained. Blue eyes flick to the Smith and she nods encouragement, hoping he'll share some of his story them them, recognizing her sibling's mental and emotional state perhaps all too well.

Aaron looks over at his empty glass, and the bottle of whiskey, then reaches out and very carefully tucks the bottle back into the drawer that it came from. "I grew up a Seacrafter. It's what my family's done for as long as any can remember. Of course, growing up on the water, everyone falls in, and sometimes, when you're a kid, you panic. I /know/ what it feels like to drown…" There's a pause, and he leans forwards, resting his arms on the desk and lacing his fingers together. "I walked the tables in Telgar when I was 19. When I was 21, I got married to a wonderful woman, Lana, who had walked the tables a few months after me. Two Turns later, she gave birth to our son, Corbin." There's a pause, a long one, and he take a deep, shuddering breath. "They died about two and a half turns after he was born. She was taking him to Nerat, to meet her parents, and the ship they were on got caught in a bad blow. No one on board survived." He looks between the two of them, shrugging. "You can only wake up from dreaming that you're drowning so many times before someone notices."

Sytin puts his hand over Aleile's as she lays it on his shoulder, giving hers a little squeeze before they separate. "I… think I'd like that, Ali." He seems to be relinquishing his resistance to the idea, at least slowly. At her question he grimaces, looking down and nodding. "Especially after the touchings," he admits in a low voice. Crazy dragonet minds! Silence falls over him as Aaron begins to elucidate his life's story to them, drawing the amber eyes upwards to watch, a fascinated horror and sorrow mingling in his gut. Lower lip is bit again in am unconscious gesture of nerves. "I… I guess you couldn't stomach the sea after that…" Even the boy is hushed at the tragedy of the tale.

Aleile gives her brother a little smile as he seems to at least agree to try going together, but then frowns as he mentions the nightmares getting worse. She doesn't comment on it yet, however, as Aaron is divulging his sad tale and she's rapt with fascination, like any good Harper should be. She looks sad, genuinely sympathetic to the man as he weaves his story of woe. There might even be the faint glistening of tears in her eyes, quickly blinked away. "Faranth…" she breathes. "I can see why you might need someone to talk it out with." A beat. "I am so sorry for your loss." It's sincere empathy. Perhaps she can relate on some level?

Aaron gives Aleile a soft smile, bowing his head to her. "Thank you, Aleile. And that's why I want you both to see the mindhealers, alright? If you'd rather talk to me, that's fine too, but I don't know how much you two want me to know." There's a pause, then he chuckles. "No, Sytin… I still go sailing sometimes. I started sailing again about a year after they died. If anything… It makes me feel a little closer to them."

Sytin looks surprised when Aaron admits that he still returns to the sea. "I imagine you had to spend a lot of time with them." The mindhealers, that is. The boy does seem to be considering the idea carefully as he mulls over the tale of the Smith and his own hectic existence. "I suppose it can't hurt." A beat and he frowns. "Not sure how many marks I've got for that sort of thing, though." He looks a little chagrined at this admission, but is clearly uncertain how these things work. He takes a quick sip from his cup, which turns into thirsty gulping as the boy discovers a surprising thirst, finishing the cup and reaching for more, pouring himself half a glass and offering it to Aleile.

The Harper's blue eyes seem a little wistful as Aaron mentions how he still goes sailing, clearly romanticizing the idea of being closer just a little bit in her young head. At Sytin's offer of juice she takes a glance at her own cup, quickly polishing it and accepting a half glass herself, guiding the pitcher back to the desk. "I'm afraid I'm just as clueless about the mindhealers as Sytin." A sidelong glance at her brother. "Perhaps something that Vorick wanted us to stay away from." Trust her to be the more practical seeming one, analyzing it with a sort of Harper's detachment. "I'm certain we can inquire on our own, Aaron. I feel we've already imposed on your good graces enough as is." She takes a pull from her cup, standing. "But thank you again for your care and consideration. I doubt many others would." Jaded? Perhaps. She finishes the cup, and motions to Sytin, sliding out of the office.

The former Smith Apprentice stands, offering a faint smile for Aaron as he rises, gulping down the redfruit juice he just poured and setting the cup down on the desk. "Thanks," is offered as he turns to depart, laden with multiple layers of meaning as he follows his sibling out, shutting the office door behind them.

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