==== November 15 & 16, 2013
==== Jithan, Nathanael, Nevelyn
==== Lots of questions are asked and answered.

Who Jithan, Nathanael, Nevelyn
What Questions..questions..
When There are 0 turns, 8 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Harper Wing, Southern Weyr

jithan.jpg teennathanael.jpg nevelyn.jpg


Harper Wing
It is predestined: the walls are blue, and the floors black with mysterious grime that doesn't match any of the others.


Dismal, isn't it? The former greatness of the Harper's Wing is reduced to an empty, grimy room. Muttering to himself, Jithan is attacking the grime with a long-handled stiff brush. The smell of redwort is heavy in the room, though the fact that about half of the floor is clean shows either that it's working or that Jithan has been at it for a long while. A large bucket full or redwort sits nearby on a cleaned patch of floor, obviously what the Harper is dipping his scrubbing brush in.

The soft shush of slippered feet is the only indication that someone has ventured into this part of the Weyr. Though the sound may well blend in with the steady shush of the scrub brush she isn’t attempting to sneak about. Honest. The scent of redwort reaches her nose as she stops in the entryway to have a look around. She’d expected to find an office of some kind, but from the looks of it she’s amazed it’s occupied at all. “Wow,” she pipes up after spending a little time watching Jithan work. “Have you done all this yourself?” Her hand sweeps the clean floor even as her slippered feet carry her toward the Harper.

Jithan spins at the sudden presence of a voice in the large-ish hall, jumping a little as his mind snaps back into the present from wherever it was wandering. A smile quickly replaces the shock on his face, though, when he see who it is that's come to visit him. "Well, someone had to do it, and I haven't noticed an overabundance of volunteers," he says with a slight chuckle. Leaning against the brush for a moment, he pulls a small towel from a pocket and wipes his brow with it. "This heat is /murderous/. What brings you this far from your caverns, Nevelyn?" The question isn't at all unfriendly, just curious.

Nevelyn hadn’t meant to sneak up on Jithan. Apology flashes in her expression and her head drops a bit, “Sorry to startle you.” At least he hadn’t cursed and thrown the brush at her. Everyone here is so darn nice she isn’t sure what to do with herself. “I’d say you’re doing a mighty fine job.” She chuckles and shrugs her shoulders, “Volunteers.. Probably not. But I’m sure the Headman could scare up someone to help you if you asked.” The hall resonates with her soft laughter when Jithan complains about the heat. “It hasn’t been too bad of late,” she tells him with a shrug. “I was wondering if perhaps I might approach you with a question. The Harper who handles the children’s lessons doesn’t seem overly concerned about the little girl who’s falling behind. But I am, and I don’t know how to help her..”

Jithan waves the need for an apology away, chuckling. "I was lost in my own little world, just daydreaming. He smiles at the woman thinking that he's doing a good job at scrubbing the floor, and, in fact, starts doing just that again, while still listening to her. "I wouldn't bother the headman for something like this. Besides, I trust my own work more then I trust a sullen drudge's." At the problem she presents him, he thinks silently for a moment, dipping the brush into the bucket for a fresh load of redwort solution and then getting back to scrubbing. "Well, the first thing you need to figure out is /why/ she's falling behind. Is she a bit dim, or is she just bored, or is she not quite understanding the lessons?"

Evening brings a young sea crafter trotting upwards into the Harper area. Carefully held under one arm is a roll-up parchment, and he trots in blue eyes scanning the whole area to find… well, anyone really. Too old now for lessons, Nathanael has had very little to do with the Harpers. Before he sees the man however, he spies the woman. "'lo ma'am!" 'ow's Nevech?"

“I’d be happy to help if you have another brush,“ Nevelyn offers with a smile. It’s not like she hasn’t scrubbed decks before so scrubbing a floor isn’t out of her realm. In fact it might just prove easier. Since he’s already on the floor, she arranges her skirt and kneels on a clean swath. Near enough the dirt to reach if she’s offered a brush. “I don’t think Dana is dim at all. She’s a very bright child actually. I can’t understand why she isn’t picking up her letters easily.” Nathanael’s greeting brings her head ‘round and she smiles up at the young man. “He’s doing fairly well, thank you. And thank you again for getting him home safely from the docks that once.” At least she hopes it was once that Nevach had up and disappeared.

Jithan grins and heads for a supply closet, bringing out not one, but /two/ extra brushes, since he hears Thanael's voice out there too. One is passed to Nevelyn with a grateful look, and the other…. is still held in the Harper's hand as he finally sees the Seacrafter, and the parchment that he carries. "I assume you were looking for me, young man?" he asks, eyeing Nathanael for a moment.

Nevelyn keeps Nathanael's bright smile for a bit longer, "Was 'appy t' be 'ere. If'n 'e do no' mind, m' pa said 'e'd be alright if'n Nevech came on 'e boat w' us." There is pure hope that the woman would say yes there. But then the Harper is there and so Nathanael quickly turns his attention to him. "Yessir, was wonderin' if'n ye 'ight know which 'arper's in charge of 'e copyin?"

Nevelyn reaches up to accept the brush with a quirky smile. She is free for the evening of chasing children about the Weyr as one of the other nannies has duty. So she’s decided to spend her free time in the Harper Hall scrubbing floors. She reaches toward the bucket laced with redwort and dunks the brush before slapping it against the dirty floor and leaning into the scrubbing. The muscles in her arm flexing with the circular motion of the brush. Obviously this is a task she’s well used to. Nathanael’s question brings her head up sharply and the brush freezes mid circle. “Out on a boat? With your father by himself?” She shakes her head, “I’m sorry Nathanael but he’s too young to venture out on his own.” Let alone on a ship or boat housing a crew she’s unfamiliar with. Nope. She’s all too aware of how dangerous it can be to be amongst folk you’re born around. Let alone strangers.

Jithan thinks for a moment, then shakes his head. "Honestly, lad, I don't have a clue. What've you got to copy, though? I might be able to dust off my inkpot if it's nothing horridly complicated." Because, well, he's a vocalist, and that notation just gets annoying sometime. At Neve's refusal to let Nevach go for a sail, Jithan arches his eyebrow, but doesn't say anything. He doesn't know nearly enough about those involved to insert himself into that mess.

Nathanael's smile fades just a bit as Nevelyn abruptly turns down his offer, but he nods respectfully anyway. "Mayhap ye 'ould come with 's 'n see me pa's sailin. Ain't no'un as good." Obvious pride color's Nathanael's words, and he squares his smallish shoulders to accent his faith in his father's skill. To the harper his blue eyes turn, and he carfully runrolls the parchment. Thereon rests a detailed chart of the Southern skies as seen from the ocean. "'s wonderin' if'n there'd be some'un who'd be able t' copy 'is for one of 'e traders who was askin' for it."

Nevelyn had gone back to scrubbing the floor as Harper business is none of hers. But she glances up at Nathanael with a kind smile. “I suppose I /might/,” emphasis on the word, “bring Nevach down to see you and your pa on a rest day. I’m simply not comfortable with the idea of him sailing off to parts unknown with folks unknown.” She is rather firm on that front but willing to give her son and his new friend a chance to hang out with proper supervision. When the boy unrolls his scroll for Jithan to see she dips her brush to rinse it and scoots from the freshly scrubbed spot to more dirt and grime.

Jithan gently takes the parchment from Thanael, examining it in detail for a moment. "I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem, lad. How is your Trader friend planning on paying for the copying, though? This is pretty detailed, and it would take a good while to duplicate, I'm afraid." He's quiet again for a bit, then turns to look at Nevelyn. "Do you know if their teacher has tried singing them to her? The child, that is?"

Nathanael nods once more to Nevelyn, filing the idea away for later. It just wasn't right to not be allowed on the ocean! "Seacrafter's be doin' 'e barginin' for 'e." His eyes travel across the area. "'course, I'd 'ave t' be takin' any deal to me Master, but… are e' needin' 'elp 'round 'ere? 'e got some 'pprentices what got time t' 'e helpin' 'n return…"

Nevelyn is only about half listening to Nathanael and Jithan discuss the parchment. She scoots the bucket toward her as she works her way across the floor toward the opposite wall. When she hears something about singing and a child she looks up from her work to stare at Jithan blankly. “Did you say something to me?” Her eyes flicker between Thanael and Jithan as she sits back on her heels to rest her arm a moment.

Jithan hmmmms softly, nodding. "Let me keep it here, and come back tomorrow morning. I'll be able to let you know exactly how much time it'll take by then, and we can work something out. Did I hear you say that your father is also your Master, then, lad? What's your name, anyways?" Because he obviously missed it when Nevelyn used it. At Neve's question, he nods, chuckling. "I did, madam. Has the Harper tried teaching her the letter song? Dana, that is?"

Nathanael nods. "'m Nathanael sir, m' pa's Journeyman Dorrono, tho if'n 's more 'n jus' me 'ed have t' talk to 'e others what're in charge've us 'pprentices. Thanke much sir, for lookin. Be back on 'e 'morrow 't see. Gotta be back t' m' work." Nathanael smiles brightly one last time, nodding again, and then spins to run back out the door leaving the star chart behind.

Nevelyn feels the heat of a blush move across her cheeks because she’s been caught not paying attention. She sits there gazing up at Jithan for a moment before shaking her head. “I haven’t heard them sing anything no.” She looks a bit baffled at the idea of singing a letter song. Now she’s sitting here hoping he doesn’t suggest that /she/ do so. That might be awkward. “And yes, the child’s name is Dana. She’s about the same age as Nevach. And he knows all of his letters and then some. So I’m just confused how she fell behind.” Her attention flickers to Nathanael when the boy chatters unintelligibly and then darts off for parts unknown. “He’s a very pleasant lad,” she says watching Thanael’s back disappear before dipping her brush in the bucket once more.

Jithan goes over to a door, opens it, and sets the chart down somewhere inside what is presumably his office, then shuts the door again before going back to his own brush. Getting a fresh load of redwort on the bristles, he too resumes scrubbing. "Some children take to song more easily then just recitation, it's why we have the teaching ballads in the first place." He pauses a moment, then shrugs, his voice a deep, full tenor when he starts to sing the song. After all, no one's here to hear it but the Nanny, right? It's just a regular recitation of the alphabet, but in a singsong voice and cadence.

Nevelyn swipes moisture from her brow with her forearm when she stops to rinse her brush again. She takes a moment longer than necessary and steals a chance to watch Jithan work. “Really?” She huh’s softly and shrugs her shoulder, “I learned fine by recitation and so did Nevach.” As she hadn’t know any other way to teach her son she’s very thankful for that small fact. It isn’t like Harper’s abound on some trade ships. At least not her home anyhow. She switches the brush to the opposite hand to give her arm a break. But doesn’t resume scrubbing right away. Instead she stares at Jithan while he sings the sweet little melody. Attempting to commit it to memory herself.

Jithan finishes up the little song, then, noticing Nevelyn following along, repeats it once more for her benefit, not losing the pitch or pace as he rinses his brush and starts scrubbing again. Three decades of training, so that he can sing his ABC's! "Well, like I said, some kids learn fine by recitation," he says once he finishes. "Others learn better by singing. You're welcome to bring her by here if you'd rather I sang it to her the first couple times." He grins then, shaking his head. "You come down here looking for help, and I put you to work scrubbing my floor. I'm sorry, Nevelyn."

Nevelyn simply enjoys listening to the sound of his voice. Though her lips move without sound following the pretty tune. Her smile is sweet and filled with delight when the song ends and he resumes scrubbing. “I might just do that,” she bends forward to start scrubbing herself, “bring her to you I mean. I’m not sure I’d sound as good as that.” Her laugh once again lilts through the room when he apologizes to her, “Don’t be sorry Jithan. I’m rather enjoying scrubbing the floor with you.” She flicks a sideways glance at him. “It’s the first stone floor I’ve scrubbed besides cleaning spills in the children’s area. But it certainly isn’t something new to me.” Which is evident in the amount of clean floor she’s managed to do in the short time she’s been working.

Jithan laughs a little, actually managing to blush a little at the compliment, though he shakes his head a little. "Thirty turns of training, and that's what I get to first sing for an audience here," he says with a depreciating chuckle, turning to grin at her. He's scrubbing away too, having cleared off a goodly portion of the floor. "So, you lived on a ship, then? And they just dumped you here? Why in the world would they leave you /here/?"

“Well I didn’t see you singing ballads in the Living Caverns,” Nevelyn comments blithely in response to his lamentations. “And it may not be special to you. But I certainly enjoyed listening to you sing.” Bonus she discovered a new way to go about teaching the children their alphabet. She’d never dreamed of singing to them. At least not that in particular. Between the two of them they’re making steady work of the dirty floor. “Aye I did live on a ship before I came here. I was born on the Sailing Mercantile actually.” Her smile fades to be replaced by a glimmer of hurt. “This was the first port we came to after I’d angered the Captain. So this is where the crew put Nevach and I off.”

Jithan pauses in his scrubbing a moment, sitting back on his heels and tilting his head at her. "I'm not to familiar with the Seacraft, being from Fort, but I was under the impression that you had to do something pretty bloody serious to get kicked off of a ship when you're part of the crew. If you don't mind me asking, what exactly did you do?" He's blatantly unfamiliar with Neve's backstory, of course, and the woman has intrigued him in more ways then one. "At any rate, I suppose that there are worse places you could've been dropped off. For a Weyr, Southern seems downright pleasant."

Nevelyn’s soft laughter is laced with a hint of bitterness. “Oh I never apprenticed to the Seacraft, Jithan.” She said she’d lived on the ship not that she’d been part of the crew. “I was born a girl and not likely to be apprenticed much of anywhere.” She moves to dip her brush in the bucket, but rests her wrist on the rim. Brush dangling above the water and steadily dripping. “My mama is a consort on the Mercantile. An’ so was I from the age of twelve on.” She pushes her hair back over her shoulder and looks up at Jithan with a small smile. “Least ways til I found myself here. Nevach’s daddy was a crew member on the ship. A journeyman if I recollect correctly.”

Jithan is still watching her, and as the details of her life emerge, the disgust on his face grows. "Shards, I had no idea such things were done," he says, under his breath. "I mean, I'm /aware/ that there are… ladies of negotiable affection everywhere, but I never thought that a ship would just… keep a couple on board. And… 12? Wow." He shakes his head, then pauses a moment. "Well, if I may let my prudishness run rampant here for a moment, I'm glad that you're out of that situation."

Nevelyn watches the disgust transform Jithan’s face and feels her own flush red. “Well it’s cleaner and safer than having the crew cavort with the women who troll the docks a lot of the time.” She shrugs her shoulders, “I became a woman when I was 12 and so my mama decided it was time for me to earn my keep. Else I’d have found myself homeless a whole lot sooner than I did I wager.” She dips the brush, shakes it out, and goes back to work on the floors. “I stopped entertaining in my bunk because Nevach is old enough now to ask questions. So they put me off in the nearest port. I imagine they’ll pick up another girl to fill the bunk soon enough.” She glances up at Jithan with a soft snort. “There are women in existence who would rather that than live cooped up and cloistered all their life.”

Jithan thinks about the explanation for a moment, then nods his understanding. At the /further/ explanation, any hint of disgust that was on his face is long gone. Leaning over to dunk his brush in the bucket, he's still quiet for a moment before speaking. "So… You basically left the only home that you've ever known, so that your son could have a better life. That's rather admirable, Nevelyn," he says with a smile on his voice as he starts scrubbing again. "One of my few regrets in life is never having children."

Nevelyn chose to stay on at the Weyr for a few reasons. She hadn’t wanted to foster her son away if she could avoid it. And with Thread coming soon it had seemed a safer venture for them both to stay here. “I did what I did because it’s all I’d ever known.” She seems to shrug her shoulders but it might be difficult to tell the way she’s attacking the floor with the brush. “I took up a ‘suitable’ position when I made my way here from the docks.” She is after all a Nanny now. She glances up at Jithan and watches him scrub for a moment. “My son is all I have of worth in this World. I want him to grow into a fine man one day. Hopefully not /too/ soon.” She chuckles and looks down at her work again. “You’re not too old to father a child Jithan. You say that like it won’t ever happen.”

Jithan nods softly, chuckling. "Nevelyn, I want you to understand, I was /not/ judging you, but more the captain of that vessel. I know it was all you had known, and that's what you were given to work with. I might not be as… openminded as some of the oldtimers, I do understand that life happens all around us," he says, turning to give her a wink. "As to me having children… No, I don't think it'll ever happen. I'm 43 Turns old, and while there have been a few women in my life, I've just never found the right one. Besides, most women my age are getting to where they can't bear children anymore."

Nevelyn’s lips quirk with a hint of a smile when he admits to judging the Captain. “Well I’m not sure Papa didn’t have a mite to do with my growing up on the ship. He was the First Mate after all.” She pauses and realizes she’s swirling dirt around again. Looking up at Jithan while she rinses the brush, “I wouldn’t have pegged you for 43.” She taps the brush on the edge of the bucket and slops it against the floor once more. “Perhaps you haven’t found the right one because you’re too busy chasing a perfection that ain’t ever gonna be caught.” After all love the one you’re with and all that. She glances up at him with a teasing smile, “If the women your own age are past child bearing might I suggest you seek out a younger one then? Sure enough women are everywhere.”

Jithan sees the grin, and then widens his eyes again. "Your own father kicked you and your son…. Never mind. Not my business." He's quiet again, scrubbing away, even after she stops talking. "It was a search for perfection, I suppose, in a way. The honest truth of it is that I was too busy with the Craft to spend proper time with anyone that I was attracted to. And now… I'm not really thinking I'm going to find anyone here that's not wanting to latch onto one of the handsome young riders." ;)

Nevelyn pauses to look up at him and nod her head. “He was out voted by the crew. And it was decided that Nevach and I were creating too much strife aboard the ship.” So they were deposited on the docks with nothing more than a pack of belongings. She listens quietly while he explains why he’d never settled down. Or rather that he hadn’t had a chance to from the sound of it. The last sentence brings forth a twisting of her lips and a grunt. “I’ll never understand why folks fall all over themselves on account of them honestly. Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful they do what they do. But I’ve not come across a one of ‘em that I’d take to bed.” She gives a short shake of her head and goes back to scrubbing.

Jithan laughs aloud at that last bit, preferring for now to gloss over her painful past. "I think the dragon might have something to do with it. Because, while I obviously think that being a Harper is equally important, it just isn't as… glamorous, if you will. I think I'm one of the very few people on Pern that grew up dreaming about working in the Hall like my parents, and not flying through the sky a-dragonback." Brush is dipped into the bucket, shaken off, and then reapplied to the floor. The dirty area is getting dangerously small, bringing them closer and closer together.

Nevelyn smiles at the sound of his laugh and scoots across the floor a bit to continue scrubbing. Not seeming to notice that the workspace is shrinking. Or perhaps she doesn’t mind. “Nevach is fascinated with the dragons. As a boy of his age will be given where we live.” She shakes her head, “I am quite happy to live my life without one.” She glances up at Jithan with a grin, “Children make more than enough demands on a person’s time. And while I sometimes wish Nevach would be little forever.. there are also times I can’t wait until he’s big enough to venture out on his own. A dragon never does that. I don’t think I’d handle that all too well. I need a little ‘me’ time once in a while.”

Jithan hmmmmmms and nods. "Well, that's one of the reasons I'm here. In addition to asking me to report on the… conditions down here, it was thought that I needed a bit of a vacation. The Hall was a bit more demanding then I'm finding this Weyr to be. The other part, I think, and hope, is that an outside posting is required prior to promotion to Master, so…. We'll see what this brings me."

Nevelyn scrubs and scoots her way across the floor until her knee bumps into Jithan’s. She blinks in surprise and looks up at him. “I certainly hope that you make your promotion soon then. Or however that’s supposed to work.” She chuckles and tilts her head, “This is a rather nice spot for a vacation. But mixing work with pleasure must be a bit of a drag.” With visible effort she pulls her gaze from Jithan’s face and turns to survey the floor. “I’ve been enjoying your company so much I hadn’t realized we’re nearly finished already.”

Jithan looks up at the bump into his knee, and smiles at her closeness. He certainly /has/ noticed it, and obviously isn't minding it. "Oh, I'll be here a couple turns, at least. Who knows, maybe it'll grow on me and I'll just stay." He shrugs a little at the possibility, and then, when she mentions enjoying his company he smiles. "Well then, let's finish up this last bit, and maybe you'll come and sit with me at dinner? Nevach's welcome too, of course."

The fact that Nevelyn hasn’t bothered to move her leg where it rests next to his is testament to her comfort. “This place has grown on me rather quickly. And from what I’ve heard I don’t think I’d be accepted too many other places the way I have been here.” She nods her head and begins to finish up the floor, “I’d love to sit with you at dinner. Thanks for asking me.” The smile on her lips isn’t for the floor as she scrubs away til the two of them clean up the last bits.

Jithan finishes scrubbing the last bit that Nevelyn's not attacking, drops his brush into the bucket, and straightens up with a sigh. Still on his knees, he arches his back, popping it multiple times as he stretches and letting out a soft sigh of relief. "Shards, that looks so much better," he says, surveying their handiwork. "I can't thank you enough for your help, Nevelyn. A children's song just doesn't seem to be enough." He's got a grin on his face as he climbs to his feet, and if she were to look up after finishing and putting her own brush in the bucket, she'd see him offering her a hand to help her up, too.

Nevelyn hears the popping and cracking of his back and winces because it sounds painful. “That’s /got/ to hurt,” she informs him as she rocks back on her legs. She heaves a sigh and drops her brush in the bucket with his. “I was happy to help,” she tells him and watches him rise to his feet. “And you don’t owe me a thing Jithan. It was a nice way to spend my evening off.” The extended hand is stared at with a look of surprise for a moment. As though she’s entirely unprepared for the gesture, mainly because well she is. With a smile of delight she slips her hand into his and rises to her feet with his help. “Thank you.” Once on her feet she glances at the floor and then at Jithan with a happy expression. “Now if it can just be kept clean is the challenge.”

Jithan holds onto her hand longer then is strictly necessary, the calluses on his hand the oddly placed ones of a string musician and a scribe. "No, no pain now. It's a relief to pop it, though. Feels great. Well, at any rate, I greatly appreciate the help. I'll find a way to keep it clean, I can promise you that." He grins, finally making to let go of her hand, having realized that he's been holding onto it.

Nevelyn makes no rash moves to pull her hand away from his. Content to enjoy the moment of closeness for what it’s worth. “Well it certainly sounds painful,” she informs him and looks at him in slight disbelief that such a thing could possibly feel good. “It’s not often that I get to take an evening off, or even an entire day for that matter. So I won’t be able to sign on as cleaning service I’m afraid.” She’s got a handful of weyrbrats to chase down on a daily basis. One of which is her own. “I could always send Nevach to you on occasion. He’s at the age where he really gets a kick out of being helpful.” When he finally lets go of her hand she sighs softly and steps back out of his personal space.

Jithan notices the lack of pulling away, and is seemingly surprised by it for a moment, then tilts his head at the sigh. "Something wrong, Nevelyn?" he asks, blinking just once at her.

Nevelyn shakes her head and smiles at him when he asks if something is wrong. “No nothing,” that she wants to say aloud. “I was just lost in thought for a second there, sorry.” Careful to slip out of his personal zone she moves to heft the bucket from the newly clean floor. “It’ll be a rather lovely room once it’s shown some real care.” She glances up at the ceiling and then back at Jithan, “I’ve often wondered what became of the folks who were here once. I’ve heard some things that frighten the children. But I wonder what actually happened sometimes.” She realizes she’s rambling to cover her sudden unease and words dry up while she blushes.

Jithan looks at her for a moment, as if he wants to press her, but he /does/ know better then that, so he doesn't. He reaches out, though, to take the bucket from her. "Let me carry that, please? I'm sure we'll eventually find out what happened to them, one way or another. But, before that, shall we go and get some dinner?" he asks, offering her his arm.

Nevelyn’s fingers slip gently against his when he reaches for the bucket. She lets it go without protest and shoots him a smile. Once last look around is given of the Hall because well who knows when she’ll have the courage to venture this direction again? She chuckles softly when he offers her his arm and slips her fingers into the crook of his elbow. “I think dinner first would be wonderful. Though one of these days I want to venture off and explore the Weyr some.” She prepares to fall into step when he moves and turns her mind to food and good company.

Jithan takes the bucket in hand, grins when she lays her fingers back on his arm, and starts off towards the living caverns. "Well, maybe the next time you get a few candlemarks off, we can sneak away and do some exploring. Honestly, though, I'd rather take you back to the beach, if you'll wearing that bathing suit again…"

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