====September 24, 2013
====Cerise, Donner, Yulena
====Yulena stumbles on Cerise and Donner doing something they really shouldn't be doing…or so it seems.

Who Cerise, Donner, Yulena
What Yulena stumbles on Cerise and Donner doing something they really shouldn't be doing…or so it seems.
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 24 days until the 12th pass.
Where Archive Library, Southern Weyr

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Archive Library
There's a skybroom tree in here. It's surprising. There is also a stage, and this room has been cleaned and tidied; it's an interesting space to be sure.


-- On Pern --
It is sunset
It is 5:26 PM where you are.
There is 1 turn 1 month and 24 days until the 12th pass.
It is Spring and 91 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.


Donner and libraries usually don't mix. It's common knowledge to most that know the Southern Boll reject that he's actually pretty intelligent, but his discipline tolerance for hide work and reading is as short as his attention span. And yet, here his is, perched on the edge of the stage flipping through a package of dusty old hides, humming to himself as he waits. For something? Someone? Perhaps this is his evening reprieve from the rest of the candidates. Or perhaps, the rest of the Weyr, but it seems unlikely. From time to time he pauses from his reading to lean forward in his seat and check the doorway, but then goes back to rummaging through the hides absentmindedly. What is he dooooing here?

It isn't that Cerise is late, exactly. It's just that she's caused despair in the heart of the Weyr's harpers, with her inability to capably grasp the art of reading and writing, which means that her afternoon lessons tend to…drag on a little. So really, she's just been postponed! But finally there's the sound of light footsteps in the hall outside of the library and a few seconds later, the ex-performer swings into view. She doesn't look aggrieved to have summoned here, or impatient, or annoyed. Mostly, she just seems tired, crossing the floor to take a seat on the stage's edge beside Donner. In her arms is her own stack of hides, which are dropped into her lap as she settles.

"Oh, hi." Donner's own idle review of the hides in his lap are pushed to one side, and he's unraveling his long legs to hang over the stage's edge. "Long afternoon filled with lessons, hm?" There's a teasing tone in the teen's tenor. "They let me pass those lessons; at least the reading part." Just hope Donner doesn't have to perform any math though. "Anyhow, I wanted your help… with something." Donner's voice draws out the last word timidly, and he's looking everywhere, from bookcase to bookcase, up the sky broom tree, and down to the slates of the stage, but not Cerise. "You know how to dance right?" He finally moves his gaze to Cerise, face ruddied and scrunched with embarrassment. "I was just wondering if you could teach me." Sniff. "You know, so I'm more fun to be around."

"I don't think they'll ever let me pass. Every time I look at these, the letters start dancing," Cerise says, her own tone of voice one of disgust as she plucks at the hides in her lap. "If they let me just recite the lessons…" Wait. She trails off, studying this new awkward and timid Donner. Where is the obnoxiousness? The surly is missing! And the swooning, come to think of it. She tilts her head. "I could teach you," she finally answers, measuring each word out almost cautiously, "if you really wanted to learn. Do you mean partner dancing, or solos, or acrobatics…?"

"Acrobatics?! Come on. Look at me." Maybe Cerise is being ironic here, but the face Donner makes is perplexed at best, offended at his worst. "I just want to learn how to dance with another person without either breaking their foot or tripping into the drink table. And I'll tell you, I've done both." Ah, that's why he's so timid. He pauses, tapping the palms of his hands against his thighs, and then he's scooting closer to Cerise with a SERIOUS look. "Justdon'ttellanyoneokay? I'm already disliked enough in that barracks, and if your brother gets ahold of that information…" He doesn't even NEED to finish that sentence. "I'll even help you with your writing lessons if you want. I'll even do any of the homework they assign you." Do the harpers assign homework? Who knows! But let's hope so, because Donner needs a bargaining chip here.

Hey, it was an honest question! Plain partner dancing is for newbs and Cerise is a dance snob. She's also something of a businesswoman, which means she addresses the bargaining chips first. "They'd only recognize your handwriting." Chip, dismissed! But that wasn't an outright refusal either. She's still looking at him, still looking thoughtful. "It wouldn't take too long to teach you how to dance that way. There are a few dances that even idiots can learn and you aren't that dumb." A compliment? Maybe? "But," she goes on, "you'd owe me. I can teach you, and I won't tell anyone, on my honor, but you'll owe a favor. A big favor. Deal?" She extends her ink-stained hand towards him for bargain sealing.

Well, that bargaining chip was short lived. The eager look on Donner's face falls flat, and he's pulling back to reassess the situation tentatively. "A big favor? Like… what does that entail?" He eyes Cerise's hand, then up to her face, brows furrowed. But desperation must win out, because he reaches out to shake her hand. "Fine… Deal. But nothing too dangerous, okay?" He gives her ink-stained hand a firm squeeze, and in one swift movement, not even letting go, he's pulling himself and the entertainer up with him. "Well, I am a bit of an idiot, so lets start at the beginning, okay? Dancing 101." Cerise's hand? Oh, he hasn't let go yet; sneaky sneaky.

"It means whoa!" No, it big favor does not equal whoa, that's just the sound Cerise makes as she's hauled unceremoniously to her feet. The hides all spill to the floor but the ex-performer ignores them; bah, letters! She smiles faintly- if nothing else, she has to give him points for enthusiasm. Not to mention the sneaky. "It means," she tries again, "that one day I'll need help and I'll come to you for it because you'll be the best person." Doesn't that make Donner feel big and strong and special? It should! Except she's also squirming her hand out of his in order to go into teacher mode. "Rule number one is standing properly. So." He is suddenly on the receiving end of a most critical gaze. "Shoulders back, back straight, chest out, hips forward, chin up."

The door might creak a little as Yulena makes her way in, but she is stopped dumb by the sight of Cerise's hand in Donner's, a slight 'harrumph' escaping her, but she doesn't make any move to stop this, no no. Instead, she stands there in the doorway, sipping at her klah, one eyebrow cocked in amusement. Hrm, indeed.

Shoulders back, back straight, etc. etc. Donner is at the very least, a good pupil, at least for the simple stuff. He follows orders quickly, straightening out his normally slumped shoulders to full height. "Okay, am I doing this right?" Donner's hands hang limply at his sides, and he cocks his chin upwards, eyes trained at the crown of Cerise's head. "And the best person— you're so kind. Don't get your hopes up. I hope you have a backup plan when you need my help, in the end." There's a wry, teasing smirk leveled, but Donner is back to standing at attention, fingers twitching with nervous energy. Yulena? Oh, he doesn't notice her. THIS ISN'T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

"You can't be hopeless your entire life," Cerise reasons, showing off a little of the vicious practicality that's gotten her (and Dimitri!) this far. Then she reaches towards him- only to freeze completely when the door is heard shifting. Her eyes cut in that direction. Oh hi Yulena! Arriving in the nick of time, JUST before she was going to place Donner's hand on her waist! So, staying true to her word that she'd tell no one about Donner's desire to learn dancing, instead she balls her hand into a fist and lets it travel the rest of the way to thump him in the shoulder. No dancing here, just brutality. "Did you bring enough for everyone?" Klah, that is.

At least Yulena hasn't caught anyone playing with their little dolls ag… anyway. "Nope," she tells Cerise solemnly - if only she'd known there would be company… she would have brought a bigger pot for herself. "You shouldn't hit him," though Yulena's voice is more teasing than condemning, "He's nicer than he seems." Oh hello backhanded compliment. An eye cuts to Donner, Yulena's only observation being, "You're taller than you look. You should keep doing that. Looks good on you." Siiiiip.

Yulena. Yulena. WHY ARE YOU HERE. "Uh, um. Thanks." Donner doesn't relax, and his stance doesn't change, even when Cerise cuffs him on the shoulder. He's frozen at attention, jaw working as he tries to figure out what to do next. He's got to think up something. Anything— dammit, everything might be for naught! "We were just. Cerise was just teaching me some moves. Fight moves. Were you just passing through?" His eyes jerk between the two women, panic stricken all over his face. But ah, Donner can't keep his composure for much longer, and he's exhaling laboriously. "We were were sorta doing a thing." Yeah, a thing Yulena. They were doing a thing.

No they weren't! No things! NO things! Cerise's eyes widen in horror as Donner sputters out this explanation. If it were anyone but Yulena standing there, there would be a good chance of him being punched for real. Fortunately, she knows the ex-cook and the ex-cook knows her, so hopefully Yulena takes it at face value when Cerise spreads her hands, sighs and rolls her eyes towards the ceiling. "He's hopeless," she declares, before flop, down she sits on the edge of the stage. Those hides aren't going to pick themselves up yet, so she begins gathering them from the floor.

Yulena pulls her mug away from hiding her smile long enough to scratch her nose thoughtfully, "Fighting, huh. Seems kind of silly. Learning to dance sounds more useful." Probably better than doing 'a thing' too, especially with these white knots. "It'd come in handy with the ladies." And no, Yulena totally didn't look at Cerise until the ex-entertainer moves to pick thing up from the floor. In any case, "I was just kind of… wandering. Thinking. And not thinking." It all makes sense to her, ergo it makes sense to Donner and Cerise. "How are you two… sleeping?" Not together, she means. … right?

"Yeah, learning to dance totally would be more useful than fighting, wouldn't it Cerise?" Donner grits this between clenched teeth, leaning down to assist in the hide cleanup. "See, the thing is that I can't dance Yulena. Maybe I should ask Cerise some time, huh? Don't you think that'd be a good idea?!" Hopeless? Him? Not at all! The teen flashes Cerise as sincere of a look as he can, but even in the dimmed light of the library, both women should be able to see how red the guy's face is right now, a ruddy flush that extends from his hairline all the way down into the collar of his shirt. He looks up from his crouch on the stage, giving Yulena the most accusatory of looks. "Sleeping? We're sleeping fine. Alone in our own cots." Yep, not digging this grave deeper. Not onnnne bit.

"How about we don't discuss dancing, mm?" Just for Donner, Cerise puts an annoyed spin on this and gives him a look of pure distaste. "Because that's the last thing I'd do with someone who's as likely to lead me right into a wall." There, plausible deniability! She's such a wonderful actress, isn't she? Hopefully not so good that it stings like whoa. With a sigh she deposits all of those hides back in her lap and turns her eyes to Yulena. That pause? She can't quite decide if it's hesitant or suggestive. So she- damn it, Donner! HE gets another dirty look before she goes for the straight answer. So to speak. "I've slept better," she admits. "But I spoke to Th'seus about the eggs. He says it's mostly normal, what they're doing."

If Pern had Shakespeare, Yulena would have a clever, round little quote for this reason her eyebrow is arching at Cerise, but Donner gets his response first: "Yeah, I do." Wait… was that rhetorical? "Or Nora, or some Harper apprentice. Surely they know, right?" And then to Cerise, "Yeah, but if you taught him, he wouldn't dance you right into a wall. Well, not accidently." At least she stops before pointing out Donner's red like a sunset during haying season. Since talk of dancing is apparently a much hotter topic than expected, Yulena switches to a safer one, "Well, at least you're sleeping well, Donner." NOW the cook decides to the 'face-value' thing. "Maybe we should talk to some of the Weyrlings - Daycen and I were thinking they might remember more, and since they Impressed last time… Maybe it was like this, for them."

Well, if this was the guise Donner and Cerise were trying to pull, it must be working. Because Cerise's comment gives the teen an excuse to glare daggers her way. "Well, then I won't be asking you to dance at the Hatching party. You can be my partner, eh Yulena?" He flashes the ex-cook a teasing smile, straightening his piles of hides neatly at the edge of the stage. "That is, if we all survive. They'll have to drag me onto the sands to get me to touch those eggs another time." He drops down from the stage, giving a languid stretch before collecting his pile of hides in one arm. "Well, I guess I'll go sleep. Well that is. I promise not to snore. Yulena. Cerise." He gives a salute to both of them, but there's a look, suggestive even, lingering on the entertainer. "I'll see you later, eh?" WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. And there he goes. Zoom.

Oh no he din't. Except he did, and Cerise is left to glower at the door through which Donner has made his escape. "How can one person be so annoying?" But he isn't there to answer her, and Yulena just made an excellent suggestion, so she sighs and stands to turn and face the cook. "That isn't a bad idea at all, really. Th'seus swears up and down it's normal. He said it might be our own nerves playing into it or something like that, making it worse, but it's likely been ages since he touched an egg. The weyrlings are in a better position to be able to say, and they had eggs on these sands, aye?" Yes, yes, she likes this idea. "Maybe Safra, she's helpful…I should go, get something to eat before lights out."

Was it something Yulena said? Donner's offer of dance-partner gets a quick, very negative, headshake, "I don't know if I want to meet any walls," she replies gravely. Soooo, not unless Donner gets dance lessons from Cerise. Hah! Well, if it was Yulie's fault that Donner's storming away, she's still got her klah. "…" But maybe Yulena's a quick study on this 'rhetorical' thing because she doesn't answer Cerise with the obvious response of 'Dimitri'. Yulena's so nice. That her idea has validity earns a grin, "We were thinking that mountain guy - C'rin? C'ran? Anyways, we figured he'd be newer and less prepared to say that all was fine and lah-dee-dah." Anyways, now Cerise hasn't eaten? "You should go and eat - it helps keep your strength up for all that… fighting." Yup, Yulena's totally convinced.

"Don't make me find out where you've been hiding your klah pots, Yulie," is all Cerise has to say on that. Yes, she is absolutely comfortable with leaving her friend in the library with only a threat as parting words.

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