====October 6th, 2013
====Cerise, Maosa
====Candidates, in the Nighthearth, with sewing needles.

Who Cerise, Maosa
What Candidates, in the Nighthearth, with sewing needles.
When There is 1 turn 0 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

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Nighthearth
A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.


-- On Pern --
It is evening
It is 6:35 PM where you are.
There is 1 turn 0 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
It is Summer and 84 degrees. It is cloudy.


The Nighthearth! Except it isn't night, and the weather's gone warm enough that the hearth isn't lit except for one tiny fire kept burning to maintain the even temperature of the klah left simmering. It makes for a pretty perfume in the air, an excellent place in which to quietly enjoy an after-dinner cuppa while engaged in equally quiet pursuits. In Cerise's case, the candidate is sewing. She's claimed a loveseat, allowing her to sprawl sideways over the cushions with a puddle of white linen in her lap. Beside her, a basket filled with other robes and makeshift ropes of fabric rests, close at hand for grabbing. For the moment, however, she's focused on the one hatching robe, embroidering something other than the standard quick stitch along its hem in white on white decoration. Perched on the armrest of the loveseat behind her head, a pair of firelizards- one gold and one brown- are watching and occasionally providing helpful critique by means of chirping.

Maosa's is a presence seen but not heard, even with the shoes she's been (for once) coaxed into keeping on. It seems the inevitable has finally happened: like a pet feline circumnavigating the bell on its collar, she has simply learnt to accommodate for civilization's noisy inconveniences. Her "Hello," is the first sound out of her, accompanied by an affable nod and a lifted hand of greeting, the moment she's caught Cerise's eye. (She nods at the firelizards, too.) The wild girl's opposite arm is taken up with a small pile of white, rather neatly folded, with a glimpse of sewing tools visible in her fist. Impromptu sewing circle time, it seems.

The firelizards respond first, the gold with a shy cheep and the brown with a long, thorough study. When Cerise finally acts, by tilting her head back, the pair is scattered and slap at the air with their wings to take refuge on the ledge above the unlit fires. "Hello there," she offers after she's marked Maosa's identity. Her grin is quick to follow, and the implication of an invitation to share the loveseat when she swings her feet to the floor. "Robes, aye? You do much sewing up in the mountains? My brothers always had me doing the mending on the wagon, the lazy shits," she goes on, tone too good-natured for proper annoyance.

"Yeah." Maosa takes the offered seat without qualm, settling herself down with absentminded grace, half tilted towards Cerise with her back braced on the armrest: after a moment, one foot slips carefully free of its caging and slides up under her, a process then repeated with its mate. Thus comfortably ensconced, she lays the bundle of cloth on her lap, and sets to threading the needle. "Always made my own clothes. Made the cloth, too, when it wasn't skins." After a bit of fiddling, she's finally managed to join needle and thread together. A comfortable silence sets in for a few moments, as she properly situates herself to start, and then she asks: "You doing your brother's robe, then?"

"Never did any weaving," Cerise admits, "just spinning and knitting when we didn't go south for the winters." She too is comfortable in the quiet, in the pauses between call and response. Some of that is concentration for the embroidery so carefully (sneakily) positioned on the inside of the hem. With Maosa's latest question, she turns it over to show the flowing weave of stars and moons caught in wave-like currents, all done in white. "Aye, for luck. If it weren't for bad luck, he'd have none at all, so I do what I can. He's gonna need it, I'm thinking, and if I left it to him he'd go out there naked." That's likely no idle threat. So it's back to picking up the stitches, tucking a loose end under here and starting a new one there, needle pinched between her lips between threadings. "Must be getting close now, the hatching. How're your nerves holding up?"

"Spinning. I miss my old spindle," says the wild girl, a little plaintive. Her own stitches are considerably more utilitarian — but certainly quick, and neat — but she's more than willing to ogle Cerise's fancier stitches with obvious admiration. She chuffs a light amused breath at the explanation for sewing Dimitri's robe, but nods her placid agreement with the other girl's rationale. Eyes turning back to her sewing, Maosa gives a light shrug at the question. "Not really thinking 'bout it," she says, a trifle absently. "Can't change it. Don't think about what I can't change."

Cerise's lips are tugged by a small, amused smile. "Makes for a small world, keeping your mind off of everything that can't be changed, doesn't it? 'Specially for someone like you. Not much gets by you, aye?" The robe is given a shake and spread neat over her knees again, needle repositioned to begin again. "I think I still have mine, in the wagon. You can have it if you want, not much cause for spinning here and I can just get Dimi to make me a new one, if it comes to that. Most of that's done by Weavers here though."

Maosa's eyes widen a pinch, a light line forming between her brows. "Well, no use in it, is there?" she observes, before her frown shifts to her stitching. "Small world's fine with me. Enough to do as it is." After a moment's thought, her mouth twitches at some inner amusement, though she fails to provide helpful disclosure. The thought of the spindle makes her eyebrows lift again — but in thought, not bemusement. "Wouldn't mind having one, for when I don't have things to do. But," her needle stills, brow furrowing, "what can I give you for it?"

"Dunno about that." Cerise is friendly enough, but there's no doubt she's arguing this point. Stubborn! She does pause a moment, lifting the robe up to snip through the thread with her teeth after knotting it off. "But I guess lots of folk think that way," she goes on to say, "else we wouldn't have made the marks we did, wandering around putting on our shows. Small world folk seemed to like big world shows best now and then, no matter whatever else they might say." There, look, did Maosa see? That was a glance, lightning-quick, full of mischief. Could be she's teasing. "What's a spindle worth? You could owe me a favor. Or…what sort've things do your folk usually trade?"

"Still getting used to the idea," replies Maosa, dryly, "that you can live off doing 'shows'. Those holders," she, of course, is not a holder, at least in the usual sense of the word, "must be bored." This is almost certainly not the first time she's tried, and not entirely succeeded, to grasp the notion of what Cerise's family actually does. Her thread has gotten tangled: she pauses to deal with it, though not before raising an eyebrow. She saw that look! And, ah, there it is — just the slightest hint of a return grin. "Um. Food, skins, tools, daughters, 'lizard eggs… mostly food. And there's more'n enough of that, here. Could owe you a favor."

"Not bored so much as…" Cerise hesitates here. Just as Maosa is struggling to comprehend, the ex-performer is stumbling a little over finding a way to explain the difficulties of cothold life- not least because it touches too close. So when she speaks again, it's with a brightness meant to skip around the ugly. "It's a grey life, aye?" she explains, folding the robe neatly against her stomach. "We brought color into it, with songs and plays and dancing. Shows, where we'd put on costumes and become other people, aye? Make them laugh. Make them forget." Her grin is sudden, and blinding. "Daughters? Truly? I've no need of a girl of my own, nor 'lizards, nor food. A favor it is, then."

"I guess," says Maosa, in that 'how would I know' sort of way. Thread untangled, she carefully rethreads her needle, then curls around her work and stitches industriously. "I understand songs and dancing, honest. It's just the rest that's very…" After a moment's careful consideration, she evidently decides her vocabulary isn't up to the job, settling for a simple shrug. And, after a solemn pause of consideration, a faint grin. "I've no daughter to give. And a spindle'd be a bad real bride price." She nods, once, firmly. "Favor, alright."

"Just as well," Cereise says breezily, "for I've no desire to wed a wife." The set up to that was simply too perfect, she couldn't help herself- just as she can't help herself from making a soft, amused sound afterwards. It's in the poorest of taste to laugh at one's joke though, so she does try to keep it quiet. With Dimitri's robe finished, she bends forward to drop the folded item on top of the other items in the basket. The needle is woven through, so she doesn't lose it. "I suppose we could put on a show, so you could see," she muses while sitting back again. "Maybe just for the candidates. Haul out some of the old costumes. Ellen loves dressing up."

A soft huff of laughter greets the other girl's joke. "Suppose not. If you believe the menfolk, wives aren't anything but trouble." It's (not at all) subtle, the note of sarcasm underlying her quiet voice. Considerably less far along in her sewing project, she's in no great hurry about it, either, if the way her needle slows is any indication. "Um. Could be fun?" Maosa looks uncertain, but faintly intrigued. "How much work are they? The setting up of it."

Cerise treats Maosa to another grin, this one deep and dimpled with amusement. That sarcasm? So very appreciated. "See there? You stole my line, you'd have been a fine player. It's talk like that we use up on stage and it'd be no trouble at all to set it up. The costumes are in the wagon, we'd just have to brush off our scripts and clear a space in the barracks. Make it an exclusive show, aye? Just us white knots. I'll talk it over with Dimi, maybe Ellen, see what they say." Until then, however, she pushes herself to her feet and hefts the basket up onto her hip. "I'll get that spindle out too, come by my bunk later."

"Alright," says Maosa, in much the same tone she's used for 'try this unfamiliar food' and 'try writing your name' and 'try this weird rule of etiquette about queuing instead of shoving': uncertain, but willing to try it. A nod is evidently the last of the available contributions she's got on the subject: she shifts enough to give Cerise a little more room to maneuver herself upwards, then bends over her sewing again. "I will." And then a hand lifted in good-natured farewell, before the wild girl resumes her work in earnest.

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