====September 20, 2013
====Arianne, Cerise, Maosa
====Ladies discuss men; Maosa wins the conversation by dropping a bomb.

Who Arianne, Cerise, Maosa
What Ladies discuss men; Maosa wins the conversation by dropping a bomb.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
Where Cove, Southern Weyr



A saber's curl along the coast of the Azov Sea, the cove is a clash of green and black; where deeply forested jungles encroach upon the curving expanse of this tiny cove, found only past the rocky barrier that serves as demarcation between cove and beach. Lacking the softly ground sand of the beach, the cove is made up of dark, volcanic pebbles, making it trickier to navigate than the beach itself. Yet, what a surprise is given if one braves the less comfortable path that curves around a long-forgotten cinder cone to find the quiet tranquility of seclusion. Brilliant against the black pebbled beach, greenery is only enhanced by the purest of turquoise waters, warmed by a deep volcanic vent and churned by hidden currents that further feeds into the relative calm of the sea itself. The rainbow fish and yellowfish is plentiful beneath the waves.

With the short amount of time avalable to feed oneself and then rush back to the weyr to report for duty again, Arianne decided that lunch was going to be spent with some peaceful surroundings. Thus, she arrives from the beach with portable foodstuffs while Caelth is lazing in the beach's water. Like most of the riders right now, she looks tired. And maybe she's moving a bit stiffly at the moment too. But, move she does, as eyes scan the cove to see if anyone else happens to have the same idea (or similar) as she did.

A certain candidate appears to have been of a similar mind! Cerise, ever one for keeping in shape, has found the physical exertions of candidacy no problem at all. The same cannot be said for the lessons set for those with subpar schooling in their past. Functionally illiterate and dyslexic to boot, she'd managed to keep these things a strict secret- until a canny Weyr harper winnowed the truth out of her and assigned so much homework, you have no idea. Being vain as she is, the performer has opted to dive into hidework in relative privacy but the day was too nice to pass up on and so here she is! A blanket's been spread, a basket holds the remains of lunch, and there she sits with unrolled hides in her lap and a piece of charcoal in her hand. Note the look of surprise when Arianne invades! Her salute, a few seconds too late, smudges her brow. "…ma'am. Did you take a tumble?"

Arianne espies a Cerise! And this being someone Arianne is not wary of, the brownrider ambles ever closer so that she can perhaps have a seat beside the candidate. "They put the knot on you again, huh?" She's eyeballing the candidate knot with a bit of a smile, and she returns the salute with a nod of acknowledgement. "Can I ask what you're working on?" She sets down her sack that has lunch in it. Meatrolls and fruit. Easy to scarf down, really. That she's been asked a question takes a moment to sink in though, and a vaguely startled look appears. "A tumble? Oh, right. Not really. I was so tired the other night I knocked right into my klah table as I stumbled towards the bed. Which made me lose my balance of course, and then … well, you get the idea." That is, perhaps, a flush of embarassment showing.

Make that embarrassment for two. Cerise asked about the stiffness, and Arianne's curious about the hides. It is the perfect storm of awkwardness. For once, the entertainer doesn't have a glib remark for her study materials. She spreads a hand over the hides as if intent on hiding the subject matter- remedial writing exercises on a level for children, in fact- but with the brownrider's confession, she sighs and moves the hand away. "They did and this is the price. I'm, ah…not the best. With words. Letters. Any of it. Fortunate there's no chance of my becoming a goldrider this go'round, aye?" That's more like it, cracking a joke. She grins. "Rumor has it they're working all of you triple time? Small wonder you stumbled."

Arianne tilts her head a bit at Cerise' confession, and then looks over at the writing exercises. "You've nothing to be embarassed about. I'm no Harper, so I don't know that I can teach a whole lot. But I had to learn to read and write to be a dragonhealer. So I can offer some pointers. Maybe help you out if you get stuck." she offers, lips quirking up at the reference to a lack of glowing egg this time around. But then, the mention of triple time. That makes her sigh a little. "Indeed we are. I couldnt' stand to be around a large group of people for a single second longer. So I come here to regroup between drills or whatever."

"I've a great deal to be embarrassed about, but I'll figure it out. Have to learn it all sometime, don't I?" Cerise gives the hide a bit of a distasteful prod before rolling them all up to set them aside. Arianne is on break and so too then is Cerise. "I wouldn't subject you to having to help me, working as hard as you are," she says grandly, graciously, though there's a sparkle in her eyes. "What you need isn't musty old hides and children's lessons, but a good swim, and an hour lying in the sun while some handsome young thing works you over with oil, and another fans you with a palm frond."

"Need to have something to do with my free time, spare as it may be." Ari quips, keeping the offer open in case Cerise ever decides to take her up on it. The recital of what she apparently needs has her lifting a hand and fanning herself though, before giving a bit of a laugh. "Who -couldn't- use some pampering like that one in awhile." is declared. "Maybe one of them can peel grapes and feed them to me too. You think?" The thought of it makes her giggle, and what unappetizing food she's brought with is offered to share with the other woman. "Remember when I had you help me out with picking out that dress and working on my hair for the wing banquet we had?"

Food! Well, fruit. Having already eaten, Cerise reaches for the smaller, less filling sort of food on offer. "I think if ever there was a job that Southern needed," she says solemnly, "it would be grab-peeler and -feeder. We should put up a posting, make inquiries. See if there's anyone interested." Because if the brownrider is going to get pampered, the woman who suggested it is not at all shy to get in on some of that action. "…mmm? Oh! That night, yes. Do you know how long it's been since I've been able to do anything with pretty? It's so sad."

"I wonder how long it would take before the posting got ripped down. Maybe we should do it just for the giggles." Hey, they have to get their entertainment somehow with all this hard work going on, right?? The idea alone will bring a smile to Arianne's lips for days. DAYS. "Well, since I found you here.. maybe I can ask. I was dressing to impress, that time. Got any suggestions for… not trying to impress anyone? I mean, not trying to scare people away. Just, uhm. Something casual." is decided, a glance slid over towards Cerise.

Cerise had been on the verge of laughing at the though of actually posting that job- imagine Renalde's face, upon finding it!- but the request that Arianne follows up with…it is odd. Odd enough that the amusement cuts off abruptly and she's left studying the other woman's expression. "Casual," she echoes, "as in…modest? You want to blend into the scenery?" Ever so slowly the bridge of her nose begins to rumple. "But why? You've got the hair, you've got the eyes and the lips, you've got the figure…" It would be a crime, her tone implies: a little bit of horror, a little bit of shock.

Arianne fumbles with what to say for a minute, looking rather more embarassed then she did even at the question of whether she stumbled. "Oh, no. Not like that really." Her nose wrinkles too, now. And she starts to speak, then stops. Looks about to say something again, and pauses. "I just mean… well, I… I have a date. But, I don't -want- to play up my looks. I did that before, and it didn't work out so well. So I'm going to not do that this time." It makes perfect sense in her head. Cerise' compliments do have her tugging on the end of a lock of hair though, pulling it forward so she can look at it as though it were some alien thing.

"Oh. Oh! Really? A date?" The idea is novel, and therefore delightful to Cerise. Dating? What is this strange concept! She claps her hands together and regards Arianne in a new light. "You want a natural look, then. Something to enhance what you already have! When it is? And with whom? You have to let me do your hair and makeup," she commands, "and I've only about a thousand and one possible outfits for you to wear that you'd look incredible in."

Arianne wide-eyes at Cerise's enthusiasm here; a flash of panic crossing her face for a second. "But wait, waaaaaaait." She reaches out to rest her hands on the entertainer's clapping ones. "I'm trying to be careful this time." she reasons. "It's just dinner, and then maybe coming out here for awhile if the weather's nice. Since it's my favorite spot. I suppose it won't hurt anything to dress up a little. I'm just, you know - I'm horrible at this whole thing. I couldn't even keep someone's attention for more then a couple months last time." Nerves make her babble, and her shoulders slump. "Ugh, you don't want to hear about all that. Just tell me what you suggest. And what I can do for you in return. I'm not really sure when, yet. Not with how busy they have us."

Cerise finds herself and her enthusiasm brought to an abrupt halt. Puzzled, she looks from the hands halting her own to Arianne's eyes. "You're bringing someone to your favorite spot, of course it's important," she reasons, "but if you want careful and casual, I can certainly do careful and casual. But you have to tell me who this is with, so I've a better idea of what might help." See? She's all about the helping. Well, that and… "I don't really need anything at the moment but maybe sometime in the future, aye?" Because her favorite payment is owed favors, yes it is. "For dinner and a stroll on the beach, you want something light, and breezy. Something comfortable. Think gauzy skirts, a light top…white, maybe with embroidery, so you'll glow in the moonlight…"

"Oh, well. He's only been here a month or so; but we sort of knew each other back in High Reaches. I was a weyrling. His name's K'nan." Ari supplies. "He'a also a brownrider." is noted, as if that's in any way significant. Naively perhaps, she also agrees to the promise of a future favor as her repayment. "Light, breezy, and comfortable. A white top? I don't have any of those. They get dirty so easily." She's WAY too practical, this one. "I'm guessing I should go with hair down, shouldn't I."

"I don't think I know him," is all Cerise has to say for the subject of her speculation. Which is sad. She'll have to remedy that. But she quickly moves on to being horrified anew when Arianne tries to decide things for herself. "No! Never wear your hair down," says the woman who has her hair down at this very moment. "I've tops you can try on, and some shawls that should match. Skirts too. Your hair need to be up but loosely. That way when the breeze catches it, you'll have wisps around your face and if he's feeling friendly, he can touch those. Tuck them behind your ears, aye? You need to invite that."

Arianne makes this vague gesture with her hand, towards Cerise's hair that is down!!! "But…" she stutters, her protest dying away when the reasoning behind this edict it explained. "Ohhhhhhh I never thought of that. Like, half up?" She grabs some of her hair and sort of holds it loosely like it would be in a clip of some sort. "And you're sure this is casual, right? How exactly does one invite someone to tuck their hair behind their ears without actually saying it." Cue the brow furrow. "Is that an oldtimer type of thing? Or, is this just my sheltered upbringing showing"

"Yes, exactly like that. Don't worry, I'll do it up properly for you before the date," Cerise decides. This is now, apparently, a thing that will be happening. As for the question, the performer flashes a grin at that. "I couldn't tell you which it is, I've no idea how courtships happen here. But look, I'll show you." She scootches in closer to settle beside the brownrider. Quick work is made of knotting her curls back, leaving a few to flutter and bounce around her face when she gives her head a shake. "Pretend we've just been walking down the beach, and now we're sitting. I turn my head to look at you like this…" And she does, tilting her head just so to look up at the other woman- and let the wind catch a curl, to tumble it across her cheek. Acting!

Well it's a good thing someone will know how to do her hair up like that, because Arianne would be lost without the candidate's expertise. Lost!!! And she watches in fascination as a quick updo is magically created and then there is acting. "Oh, Oh! I get it. Oh you're good. I wanted to reach out and tuck the curl just like you said. It's in the expression, right?" There's no real reason this should be so exciting. But somehow, now she too is also animated and bouncy over the prospect. "Okay, what else. I'm taking mental notes here."

"Right!" Who knew that Cerise would blossom so as a teacher? First Hannah, with her fire-dancing, and now Arianne in the art of wooing. Heretofore undiscovered talents, rising to the fore! "And if he's being dense and not going for it, you do this." This appears to be reaching up to tuck that piece of hair behind her own ear…then tilting her head just so again, so it springs free. More eye contact follows, lightly intense given the smile playing over her lips- and an oh so subtle leaning towards the brownrider that she doesn't mention in the instructions. Pop quiz!

Arianne appears thoughtful this time, nodding along with this new demonstration. Though, being who she is… she leans away when Cerise leans forward. She FAILS the quiz. "Habit." It's the only explanation given when she rights herself properly. "I don't get the impression he'll be dense about any signals. Truthfully, I made it sound like I didn't want to be involved with anyone. But he was kind of persistent; and charming." she admits. Sheepish.

FAIL! Cerise sighs and shakes her head at Arianne. "Don't do that, you look like you don't want to be anywhere near me and you'll chance your chance with him." Strict! She's so very strict. But she's also no longer invading the brownrider's personal space, righting herself and reaching back to loosen her hair. "Persistent and charming can be a difficult combination to resist, if you're not of a mind to do so. Honestly, with men these days, it seems all you need to do is flash an ankle and look them in the eye, and they're ready for it. I doubt you'll have any trouble landing him, if you want to."

So many rules to this wooing and dating! But, chastened, Ari nods her head curtly. "Yes'm." is replied promptly, as if they were in a classroom for a real live lesson of some kind. "That's true enough. It's why I try to be careful. Usually. And I'm back to being careful. Yes. Careful. That's not bad, is it? I just want to be sure someone's actually interested in me before I … you know, hop into bed with them." As much fun as hopping into bed is. I mean, hello! "That seems like men from anytime though. Show some skin, flutter your eyelashes, and they're ready."

"Of course you want to be certain he's interested in you. They're all so…so…" So adjective. Words are failing the performer, who seems to have better luck with gestures. And Cerise is moving her hands to try to conjure up the proper descriptor but still nothing happens. Alas. Maybe she'll have better luck with examples. "The only men who've put moves to me here are those I know are only interested in the sex. Not that I'm looking for anything at the moment but if I were, as you are…careful is excellent. Don't hesitate to knee him in the balls if your gut is telling you to do so," she cautions.

"So single-mindedly woman-hating that they think we're only good for a tumble?" Arianne supplies, sounding surprisingly bitter despite the sweet lilt of her voice. "I won't sleep with any of -those-." she assures. "And Caelth; well, you don't want to know how he reacts if someone won't take no for an answer. I'm perfectly safe in that regard at least." Also assured, as if she speaks from past experience. "Are you not looking for anything because the men of this time are so sexist? Or you're focused on you right now? It can be nice just to focus on yourself sometimes, I think."

"Aye," Cerise agrees in a matching tone. "There's one bluerider, he thought nuzzling at my neck would get me to do his laundry. V'dean? Stay well away from that one. Nice to look at but a total prat." Check it out! It being a gorgeous day and all, Arianne and Cerise are doing as any two ladies in their position would: hiding from work and kicking back on a tropical beach. There's a blanket spread, the remnants of a meal scattered about, a brown dragon lolling in the water and a dishy conversation in the works about modern dating advice and what to avoid when luring menfolk to their emotional doom. Could this day get any better?

Cerise proves that it can by unveiling one of the many facets of mystery that lurk in her background. "Back home," she confesses, "we, ah…we were quite popular, aye? My company was greatly sought after. It was nice being chased but after awhile it just…it all gets so boring. No one surprises you anymore."

Arianne gapes, both hands coming up so that she can rest one on each cheek. "V'dean. He… I know that one, alright. He likes boobs." Well, to be fair all men seem to like boobs, but.. "And he had the gall to suggest I needed to clear a treatment for his dragon with my supervisor. I WAS the supervisor on duty!" she squeaks, still indignant after the many weeks she's spent getting the hell over it. Cerise' confession earns an empathetic expression turned in her direction though. "So do you prefer to do the chasing now? Or are you just fed up with men entirely. I cant say I would blame you if you were, really."

Maosa's approach is measured not in noise but in silence: a bubble of stillness lurking along the jungle's edge, as stealthy footsteps drive insects and avians into mute hiding. The hush pauses, directly north of where the two women rest of the beach: there's a moment of that hair-raising sensation of Being Watched, before the wild girl herself emerges from the trees and pads in their direction. She is no disappointment to her budding reputation, being undoubtably wild looking — nice borrowed frock mud- and leaf-stained, hair undone from civilized plaits, feet bare. The armful of flowers is picturesque, at least. Without a word, the girl pads in the direction of the picnic blanket. Maybe she wants to scavenge food?

That would be the same bluerider, then! Cerise snorts softly, not appearing surprised in the least to hear of these dragonhealing antics. "If there were anyone worth my time, I'd consider it," she says, ever so casually leaning back on her hands and turning her eyes towards the water. "But they've all either been hopeless or annoying or both, so why bother?" In short, she's enjoying the single life- and small wonder, with so much upheaval in her life in a short period of time. Perhaps it's for the best? It isn't a topic she's inclined to linger on, anyway. Maosa, bless her heart, provides the very best of distractions with her arrival and her appearance. Thick eyebrows are cranked up as she sizes up the other candidate. "It looks as if you've found every flower in the jungle, there."
Arianne can't argue with that! Not at all, so she offers no rejoinder save for a snort that could be seen as agreement. She hasn't met this candidate yet (but has heard of her!), and watches her approach with a fair amount of curiousity. "Hi there." Her tone is light and friendly; perhaps she thinks the mountain girl will be skittish otherwise. Even Caelth, usually unhappy with new arrivals, keeps his counsel by simply watching from the water. Only a vague stirring of orange in his eyes. "That is a lot of flowers." the brownrider agrees, eyebrow raised in query.

"Only some of them," is the mountain girl's solemn reply, watching the two with cautious and thoughtful interest. She's come to a standstill, now, a motionless presence on the edge of the blanket. She eyes them. She eyes Caelth, too (for a solid several seconds, wherein she shifts, subtle, onto the balls of her feet, like even the relative distance of the dragon is making her weigh thoughts of fight or flight). And then back to the other women. Without explanation, Maosa reaches into her flower stockpile and hands down two, one to each. A present! "You were talking about men here," comes the observation, accompanied by a furrowed brow. "How do they work?" Why are men?

"Oh, darlin'." The brogue is thick in that simple reply- only the Bitran best for such a weighty question. Cerise reaches up to receive her present, a twinkle in her eyes at odds with the solemn presentation. "Have a seat, this could take awhile," she adds, patting the blanket after she's tucked a flower over each ear. Now they are proper tropical bathing beauties, minus the bathing. "First, introductions. Word has it your name is Maosa, the weyrwomen brought you in, didn't they? I'm Cerise, and this is Arianne." The brownrider is left to introduce- or not- Caelth as she so chooses. It is possible that the performer is dawdling. Such an immense question, after all.

Arianne is delighted at the gift of a flower, tucking it behind her ear promptly and giving the full dimpled-smile treatment to Maosa for being so thoughtful. She scoots over enough for the girl to join them comfortable, while gesturing out at the water. "That's Caelth. He won't hurt you." is promised, her eyes settled on the brown as if to emphasize that statement as much for him as for the candidate. "It's nice to meet you Maosa. I hope you're settling in alright." Yep, she's tooootally avoiding the question of how men work for as long as possible. "I often ask myself that question."

"I understood them back home," says the wildling, frowning. After a solemn nod of confirmation at her name, she settles gracefully down onto an empty corner of the blanket, dumping her floral bounty before her. Half distractedly, she begins plucking flowers free, beginning the process of braiding their stems together with what is obviously some degree of expertise. The Weyr boys keep getting Maosa thieving, or dumping klah on them: Weyr ladies get to watch her make a freaking daisy chain. SEXIST. "They don't make sense here." FROWN. "I don't like it." Her tousled head motions vigorous disapproval.

Truly this is the best sort of sexism. But Maosa also clearly understands how to get what she wants. Entertainment for answers? Cerise is familiar with this bargain! She settles back on her hands again to watch the show. And? She speaks! "They don't make sense here," she confirms, "and no one likes it except for the men themselves. They have this strange idea that because they were born with an extra digit, they're somehow superior. Anyone who has met Dimitri and myself will know that this is a ridiculous idea."

Arianne has her waterskin in hand now, looking nearly as curious as Maosa does to hear what answer Cerise will come up with. Teach us, oh wise one! "Hah! Now that is definitely the perfect example. Oh Cerise. How do you handle him?" she wonders, looking pained on the other woman's behalf. But then she is compelled to add. "The worst part is - they obviously want us. But then, if they get us… they suddenly think we're worthless. It's really altogether strange." she decides, referring to those who call any woman whore. Even and especially when they're not.

"Dimitri?" Maosa's brow furrows: she's heard that name before, but WHERE? And then, enlightenment. "Oh. I was told to avoid him." This was probably not for HER sake. Maosa's not likely the one who would come out of that encounter limping for a sevenday. At Arianne's words, she nods in sad agreement, her fingers still busy on their flower weaving. Maybe it's not a daisy chain she's making: maybe it's a flower crown. "Mama Thura always says that." Sigh. A pause, before a remarkable torrent of words follows: "That you'll think a man wants you 'cause he went through the trouble of paying a bride price or kidnapping you -" wait what " - but then he forgets you're there." SIGH.

Wait what indeed. Cerise might well have gone on to elaborate- about men, or her brother, or who knows what- but Maosa holds the conversational trump card. "Kidnapping you?!" One can hear the stressed punctuation in the question. Exclamation POINT.

"Mama Thura sounds like a smart wo…" There's Arianne, all set to agree with the wise words of a mountain whoman when… "What? They kidnap you?" She's a bit more mild in response then Cerise. Maybe it's because she's used to 'bride price', just not the kidnapping, so it's less of a shock? Who knows! "I… but… wow." It totally figures that the men will forget they're there though. Note how neither of the non-mountain ladies seem to find anything weird about that part.

"… Yeah?" Now EVERYONE is weirded out, because Maosa cocks her head to the side at their responses, like a confused spaniel. There's a long, awkward pause as she weighs these reactions, and the wealth of information they provide her. Finally, tentatively, she puts forth a hypothesis: "Don't they do that here?" Her busy fingers complete their labor, a section of her floral bounty reformed into a cheery wreath. "That's what happened before the goldriders took me. I got kidnapped, only I got loose before he got me to his home. Would have married him if he managed it." Cool as a cucumber, Maosa adds, "Hogtied him to a tree. He wasn't good enough." And that, she appears to feel, is explanation enough. Without a word, she offers her wreath to Arianne. Present!

Cerise looks dubious. And, after a brief glance at Arianne, she is perhaps reassured to discover that kidnapping is not usually what happens around here. Although, as Maosa goes on, she appears to be warming to the idea. Why? "You left him hogtied to a tree in the middle of the jungle? This jungle? With the wherries and the felines and who knows what else?" For a moment, she simply stares- and then the performer cracks up. How long has it been since she's laughed this way? A long, long time; she's losing it enough to rock onto her back and cover her face with loosely balled fists, where she commences to shake and make wheezing noises.

"I bet they would, if they could get away with it." Arianne is compelled to admit, with reference to marriage-nappings. "But no, generally they don't. It would be considered like stealing someone else's property." Her tone, dry, suggests that indeed most women are considered chattel. Maosa's explanation of hog-tying her kidnapper to a tree earns a broad smile and a genuine squeak of laughter though. "Oh, I do so very much hope you impress. I'll be in the stands rooting for you, Maosa. Southern Weyr needs you." she decides whole-heartedly, continuing to giggle right up until she's offered a wreath of flowers. One which she promptly places on her head. "It's -beautiful-. Thank you. Caelth tells me it's time for us to report back for drills though. So I have to go. But I will definitely see you around." Tied him to a -tree-. Another squeak of laughter escapes her even as she jogs over to meet the brown and climb up to leave.

"He probably got loose." Probably. Maosa is INCREDIBLY blase about the whole affair. Don't people hobble other people in the jungle all the time? That's been her experience! What's interesting to her is the opposite side: after Arianne has left (with Maosa waving, politely, the gesture obviously practiced), the girl returns her attention to her fellow candidate. "How do they do it here, then?" Her brow furrows. "I don't understand the rules here. Why are there boys sleeping in the same place we are? Why do they come up and talk to me? We're not related, but they're not… courting me? I think?" Her fingers dart down into her flower pile again, snagging up additional blossoms. Flower crowns for EVERYONE!

Cerise eventually gets her amusement in hand, if only so she can take a full breath and try to relax the knots in her stomach. The hurt, it is a happy thing. Still hiccuping and wiping at her eyes, she rolls onto her side and braces herself on an elbow. Maosa is regarded with warm camaraderie. Cultural ignorance is the best, all around! With Arianne lazy-saluted away, she returns to the conversation. "Frankly, I'd rather they did let us sleep elsewhere, the place smells like the beast pens come every morning. And the snoring…" Cue a delicate little shudder; yes, her sleep has been suffering. "No one's courting you by just talking to you. If they want you, they're going to invade your personal space. Thus far, they've tried arms around my waist and laying their head on my knee. Neither of which worked, but I'm sure they felt charming."

"Huh." Maosa tilts her head to the side again, taking this information in. Exactly how accurately she's processing it is another matter entirely. But she's trying! She even smiles, finally (the first time since she emerged from the jungle), a crooked affair with deep crinkles forming at the edges of her hazel eyes. "They don't do that." So handy, her reputation for theft and violence! "Good." Her nose wrinkles at the thought of Cerise's own suffering, and she asks, tentatively: "Do you smack them?"

"Someone will eventually, mark my words, but if you smack them, you're liable to get in more trouble than it's worth," Cerise counsels, her own smile skewing lopsided. "If you were a goldrider you might be able to get away with it. But anything ranked beneath that and you can be exiled. Though…" Here she hesitates. The story of Maosa's being Searched? It's meandering through the Weyr in various incarnations, and Cerise has probably heard all of them. "Maybe you'd like to be exiled and be able to go back home?"

"But why?" Again the bettled brow, the faint frown. "Fastest way to settle it. Teach 'em you're not soft." Says the girl who is industriously weaving a girly flower crown, of course. Maosa pauses in that activity, incidentally, holding it up for Cerise to see, a brow cocked - do you like it? - before hesitating at the last question. Finally: "I don't know. It'd be real… awkward, going home now." She hesitates again, and then mutely, expressively shrugs: as if to say, hey, that's life, she can cope.

"Believe me, I would love to be able to hit them. I hit my brother all the time." Oh, about that… "Dimitri's really all right, most of the time. He has the strangest sense of humor but if you like being surprised…" Cerise pushes herself up and admires the flower crowd. "That's lovely," she remarks, "you're quite good at it. I…should probably get back to studying, the harper's going to test me on this and it still makes no sense. But…tell you what, if you want to sit together at dinner, I can try to explain the insanity here some more, if you'd like. It's all strange to me too."

Maosa takes this compliment with a smile, eyes lowered, that is remarkably girly for a hardened mountain wildcat. Or perhaps entirely in line with the sort of girl who evidently spends her free time collecting pretty blossoms. At the mention of lessons, she WINCES: her fellow candidates have surely, by now, noticed that the wildling is getting pulled in for LONG private lessons of her own. The thought is surely a mood killer. Though she nods at the mention of sitting together at dinner, and even smiles, she has nothing else to say for herself, merely waving Cerise away. She waits a few minutes, after. But eventually the performer girl will gain a distant second shadow, following her back to the Weyr… and to studying. No one told Maosa she'd have to learn to read for this :(

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