====January 24, 2014
==== Th'seus, Nora, Yules, Q'fex, and Hannah
====Over the course of an evening, several stop in the Living Caverns to chat and dispense with advice.

Who Th'seus, Nora, Yules, Q'fex, and Hannah
What Over the course of an evening, several stop in the Living Caverns to chat and dispense with advice.
When One month and 18 days to the 12th Pass
Where Living Caverns

Yules1.jpg Th%27seus18.jpg hannah_default.jpg Nora5.png qfex_6.jpg


Living Caverns
Grand and spacious, the cavern curves high aloft in naturally-vaulted ceiling that soothes any sense of claustrophobia. Rich woods line the cavern floor, varnished and stained a rich mahogany, while round tables scatter about candlelit and intimate. The largest table lies southerly next the sideboard, long trestles that seem oriented to providing for the weyr's youngest. The rich blue of Azov can be seen from a distance in good weather, when the heavy stone doors covering the entrance are allowed to stand open.

The only nice thing about it being overcast out is that the sun didn't beat down all day long. So now that night has fallen, the caverns are cool rather than warm. Dinner is going off however there were some groans and complaints coming from the kitchen, so perhaps it wasn't happening without some behind-the-scenes drama. Thankfully this is all information that Th'seus himself is unaware of, having just grabbed a plate of food and taken a seat at one relatively empty looking table. He forks up a mouthful of vegetables and bites down, chewing around it carefully. Then he pokes at what's in front of him. "Tastes different." He can be heard muttering if one were close enough to overhear such a thing. It must not be a bad kind of different, because he goes on to eat several more mouthfuls without complaint.

Apparently Nora is close enough to overhear such things. "There have been a few changes," she says to Th'seus as she takes a seat beside him, a plate with soup and a roll in one hand, a glass in her other. "We're trying this very novel and exciting thing: you might actually be tasting the food. Instead of butter." Because finally, after so many many months, that battle is over and the butter-loving chef has apparently lost. Now, pleased with herself, Nora gets her place setting just the way she wants it, her seat as well, and she wonders of the wingleader with an easy smile, "How are you?"

Overcast or not, Ocelot practices to the brink of winning the party. So Yules is pulling herself into the Living Caverns, stomach growling and an expression to match, grabbing a plate only to pile it with veggies and meat. Time to find a seat - Th'seus' seat is spotted and since the rest of Ocelot has yet to descend for dinner, Yules moves over to stand before his table. "Permission to sit and eat, sir?" Since it's looking like she might fall into the seat if she doesn't, Yules braces one hand on the seat she's standing behind, even as her plate is hitting the table. A look over: "Oh. Hi, Headwoman." Almost didn't see you there. Yules blinks a little, "Where were you a moment ago?"

"No, stand and starve." Th'seus answers immediately, turning his head to regard the assistant headwoman when she arrives next to him. "People put butter on their vegetables? Is that what taste has been?" He stabs another piece of string bean and chews slowly, as if trying to identify the missing taste. Glancing up again, seeing Yules with her hand bracing on the chair. "Oh, come on, girl. Just sit down and have dinner. You don't have to ask my permission to feed yourself. I don't own the living cavern or this table." The bronzerider continues to poke at the rest of his meal, taking bites here and there. "I'm good. Hungry. Tired. Yourself?"

Nora lifts her hand to wiggle fingers in the air, to widen her eyes in dramatic spookiness. "I just appear," she singsongs. Ooooh. And then she starts to tuck into her soup. "How are you, Yules? Or…" Th'seus is sir and she is headwoman and so… "Are we having a formal dinner tonight?" It stretches the veneer of her smile just a little, her eye flicking over the new wingsecond as Th'seus hastens her to have a seat. And anyway, "Yes, apparently she put butter on everything, in everything. Yules spotted it right away, I think. Early on. Anyway, we have someone else leading the charge in the kitchens now so perhaps we'll be exposed to all kinds of new flavors."

How do these chair-things work? Yules frowns at the back, pushing it gently, then pulling at it - ahah! Success. The chair slides out with a bit of a screech and Yules manages to move around it before she slumps down onto it. "Thanks, sir." Thanks indeed, as Yules picks up a mini-tree and chews on it reflexively, "So much damn butter," she says, her voice strangely hollow. Perhaps Yules is succumbing to the new (always new) Head Cook's way of cooking - or maybe she's saving her outrage for a more energetic time. As for how she is, "Exhausted. Was a long day." Nora's singing gets a stunned-herdbeast look as something new moves into her mouth - a fingerroot by the look of it. "It'll be nice to taste real vegetables again," is her addition.

"In everything?" Th'seus leans away from the table and pulls his shirt forward, staring down the neckhole. "That explains a lot." He mutters gruffily. Again to himself. Of course this time it's accompanied by a self-conscious glance towards both of the women before he clears his throat uncomfortably. "Well, good. I'm glad you've replaced that person with someone who cares more about the food. Absolutely." Not one to go on about the nutritional benefits of food, he shovels some more of it into his mouth. That's more his thing. "I don't think so? Seems were just the recipients of very polite title usage tonight." His grin is crooked as he chows down.

"Well, you'll have to take a taste and see if things are improved," Nora says with a gesture of her spoon toward Yules and her own meal — not that the brownrider seems to be paying much attention. "I mean, she is still a cook, she's just not leading things up and… well. I gave her the night off." Yeah, that's probably exactly how that went down. You know, if anyone heard any hubbub in the kitchens. "When Hannah mentioned it again, it was just… the last straw. I've asked for less butter a number of times. Anyway." That's the end of her rambling on and she's noticed that hollow tone from the wingsecond. "Are you okay?" she asks Yules.

Yules's ears perk a little at Nora's words: "The night off?" It comes out a little breathless; Yules continues, a bit stunned, "The kitchen must be in an uproar…" Anyways. That's not her forte anymore. "This fingerroot does taste more finger-rootey than usual," she allows. The slump of Yules' shoulders mean her formal is going to be a little tatty tonight, "I, ahh, hope no one's needing a solid saluting tonight," Yules confesses ever so briefly, though the stem of a cooked fingerroot waves as she gives it a shot. "Some riders like change-ups better than others."

"She mentioned it again?" Is that another covert glance down his shirt? Anyway. The bronzerider drops it and smoothes the front out against his chest again before pulling back up to the table with haste. Yules' remark on change-ups gets an uptick of his eyebrows and a glance that's slid in Nora's direction. However, Th'seus doesn't seem to intend to make any comment on it himself as he continues to sample the non-buttery wares available to him on his plate.

"'A solid saluting'," Nora repeats, a wry humor in her voice. "Sounds like some kind of punishment. 'If you kids don't behave, I'm going to give you a solid saluting'." She might look aside to see if Th'seus agrees, taking advantage of his glance, but then he does seem a little more preoccupied with whatever is on his plate. But there is a touch of sympathy in her smile when she says to Yules, "Can you blame them?" before she shovels a little more soup into her mouth.

Yules snorts softly, chewing around a bit of wherry, "I'm gonna take a solid saluting to some of…" but a look shot at Th'seus and his shirt-front makes Yules pausee in the midst of that. Instead, she tells Nora seriously, after swallowing a quick bite of tuber mash, "I'd like to think they'd give it a shot before refusing to try it, at least." Naive Yules isn't actually so naive, as she sighs and leans back in her chair from the previous slump; a fork is employed to push food around to look more delicious, "but I should know better. Some just like their regular patterns." Whining and dining, Yules-style.

"Sounds more like a dirty bedroom game to me." Th'seus comments now from his silence, bringing his full mug closer to his mouth. He gives the two girls a playful smirk before taking a long swallow of the contents. It's at some point during that action that his expression shifts to something thoughtful, maybe concerned. "Speaking frankly and without bullshitting too much? If we're talking in shadows about your promotion to wingsecond and not just drills in the bowl?" He doesn't jump straight into a monologue here, there's a break, a pause for Yules to correct him on the subject if that's the case.

It's hard not to feel a bit sorry for the slumpy, food-pushing rider. It pinches at Nora's lips, which makes it rather hard to fit her spoon in her mouth. "I don't think it's your patterns they object to." Sadly, whatever amusement she might have found in Th'seus' bedroom comment, it's rather wiped away by the decision to be frank. But there's the air of a voice of reason coming and so she lifts an interested brow as she tears her roll in half.

A mildly cranky look gets cast at Th'seus, tempered with trying to look duly respectful. But Th'seus' attempt to open gets a half 'huh?', half 'here we go again, DAD,' look from Yules, and she tries to patiently interject, "I mean, some just don't seem to want to try something new." Like butter? Who said that? Nora gets a nearly grateful look, but the brownrider huffs in slight frustration, "I'm… getting that feeling." Another slice of wherry makes its way Yules' mouth, chewed on and swallowed roughly, "I mean, hellooo, 12th Pass here." A guilty look is shot at Th'seus, "Though, ahh, it's not everyone. Jedi, for example." Yules totally isn't blushing. Salmon-colour isn't blushing, it's healthy.

"If you want to think that the problem is straight up sexism then I'll be very disappointed. Because you've always seemed a more insightful sort of rider than that." Th'seus makes an inference there, an assumption from the stare and the teenager-esque comment on the 12th Pass. "You're Q'fex's pet. For whatever reason. You're going to have to work twice as hard for half the respect. And- if you don't like the comments or the rumors or the reactions, too bad. If you want that knot, suck it up and learn to act like you didn't hear it." He takes a swallow from his mug. "Hopeful news is, he wouldn't have promoted you if he didn't think you could deal with the shitty reactions of other people." The grin he shoots her is crooked and sympathetic. "And no, they're not going to like your news patterns. But that's just because they're a bunch of lazy fucks. Wouldn't have liked them anyway."

Nora is watching Yules as she attempts to explain, though it doesn't seem to be clarifying anything for the assistant headwoman, whose brow has furrowed in curious thought as she continues her meal at a slower pace. "You're not actually surprised, are you?" She seems uncertain that she's reading the brownrider correctly. "I mean, you must know how it looks." But Th'seus says it better, or at least, more frankly, as promised. While Nora might give a shallow nod of agreement for most of what the wingleader says, there is a little twist on her mouth at the end, perhaps not so quick to write off reactions as belonging only to the lazy. But she turns it into an apologetic smile for Yules, or at least mostly apologetic.

If there's one reason why Yules is liking what Th'seus is throwing down, it's because, "Exactly!" If she had more energy, Yules might just stomp her foot in this evening of letting go. She is listening though, though adversely, her expression is getting stonier by the moment. Nora gets a surprised look, "How it looks?" Huff. "It looks like a new brownrider is getting promoted above everyone else," though Yules' voice quiets a little for just the three of them, "By the guy that Searched her." Meanwhile, "Except I know," the stressing of the last word meaning that Yules is pretty damn sure, "that the Weyrleader doesn't just give out knots for breathing pretty." A weird example, maybe, but it gets the point across. As for Nora's question, Yules grumps, "No. I'm not surprised. It would be nice to be, though." Wistful? Yules isn't wistful. She's annoyed.

"Breathing pretty?" That would be Q'fex. What, y'all didn't expect him to show up in the most inexplicable manner? He was somewhere else a minute before, but now he is right behind Nora's shoulder, eating a redfruit (noisy crunching) and looking at this little gathering with some little interest.

"Promoted over riders that have probably spent turns trying to just get to wingsecond. To build those alliances, to make the connections and gain the influence to get that knot. To see you get it so 'easily'-?" Which does come with little quotation marks. "They're pissed. They're going to be pissed. And you can't do anything about it. There's people who think I'm with Hannah because it makes my life easier, more luxurious. They're not right. And they're probably not right about you either. Q'fex wouldn't risk the lives of the people in his wing if he didn't think you were capable. But- could there be other motivations to his promotion of you as well? Maybe. And I don't think you should ignore them entirely. Digest it, get what you can. And be smart." He drains his mug and sets it down. "Things settle with time. So will this."

"Yules," Nora starts, leaning in with her voice pitched softly. But then there's a not-soft voice and some noisy crunching over her shoulder and that's enough evidence that their conversation is no longer private, even before she casts a look back to find the Weyrleader standing there. She smiles sweetly, "Evening, sir." She returns her attention to her dinner, tipping her little bowl to get the last of her soup into her spoon. And if she shoots a meaningful look across at Yules, if there's a tiny warning shake of her head, well, she doesn't linger on it.

Yes, yes: Yules has that glassy expression of listening-to-Th'seus, though she's mming at appropriate intervals. The story about Hannah gets a bit more interest, until it turns back to her own situation, and then Yules picks out what she thinks she needs, "So, don't ignore them, until they settle down." RIGHT. Easy as pie. Nora's announcing of her name gets a quick look but HAI Q'fex, rising from the deep behind her. "Sir." Yules does manage a salute more adroit than she was confessing earlier - whether Nora's shake of the head is understood or the sheer SURPRISE WEYRLEADER does Yuules in never gets decided, but oh my doesn't this wherry taste delicious, with butter or without?

Q'fex doesn't seem to be at all concerned about the thoughts of his riders. If anything, it just makes him grin — boyish, lopsided, crooked and careless. He takes a seat Riker-style next to Nora, flipping it out and around and swinging a leg over to settle down. "They're all pissed as fireants, aren't they? Serves the lazy fuckers right." He sprawls untidily — Br'er wouldn't approve — and gives a shrug. "What about Hannah?" to Th'seus; he has selective hearing. And then, as an aside to Nora: "You look very nice, today." But doesn't she always?

Hannah in a power suit: her black leather, seven inch heels with the little golden tassels and the braided leather with black, shiny pants tucked into them and a navy top that clings like velvet to a torso adorned with a simple gold necklace. Here, there, before she disappears into the kitchens. She'll be back, yo; the upsweep of pale, moonlight hair gives only further evidence to the formality of attire. But then? She's gone. For TACOS.

Yules gets the glassy expression and Th'seus shakes his head. There's a sidelong glance to Nora and a quietly mouthed, "Kids" before he stabs at his plate again. The sudden appearance of the Weyrleader now over his shoulder doesn't seem to unnerve him, exactly. Though there is some smidgen of surprise when he materializes. With Q'fex's question he points over at the goldrider that strolls right into the living caverns. "She's right over there. In those shoes that are going to break her ankles one day. Also, I think she told Nora that I was getting fat and that's why they're cutting all the butter out of the food."

Nora might be rather happy to leave Yules to her carrots and her salutes, and as the Weyrleader takes his chair-swinging seat beside her, she flashes him that sweet smile, just a little wry around the edges. "You could have had my seat," she tells him, the glint of humor in her eyes making the bland comment rather flirtatious. "I'm all done." It's not exactly true, she still has half her roll, but as she stands, she sticks it in her mouth so that her hands are free to gather her dishes, just a wad of bread held between her teeth. It doesn't help, though, because she ends up needing her mouth just as much and it all get rearranged as she nudges her chair in with her hip. "She sounded more worried about those ankles, actually," is remarks to Th'seus, as far as Hannah and the concerns about the butter. The goldrider herself gets a smiling once-over. "Aren't you tall tonight." Maybe for very short people, it's suitable as a compliment. Nora certainly seems to mean it that way, and she lifts her glass in a general farewell.

Whaaaat? Yules looks totally innocent of most accusations. Hannah's in-and-out gets a startled look, but Q'fex is still there, close by. Even so, Yules tries, "They're not as pleased. But," more sotto voce, "For the same reasons." Ahem. As for the goldrider, Yules remarks idly, "I hope those boots are oka y on her knees." Nora's departure gets a nod, mainly for the similarity of concerns: "Ankles can be hard to heal, if you slip." Yules, the big rain on a parade. Still, the brownrider waves to Nora's back while stuffing some more veg into her mouth. Healthy 'n shit.

Q'fex has all eyes for Nora, because what sane red-blooded man wouldn't, a smile like that levered in his direction? His own return smile is rather indulgent. "Don't burn the weyr down," he half-chides the assistant headwoman, a smirk twisting his lips as he glances past her to decked-out Hannah. His eyes go a little shaded before they return to the table-at-large, lifting a brow at Th'seus. "I don't think Ardstelle would allow all of the butter to get cut, even if you turned out as big as Vossuth." Just his opinion. He waves his redfruit core at Yules: "Leave the bronzeriders alone and you'll be fine." Because who cares about the opinions of chromatic riders, right? … Ri — oh wait.

As quickly as she passed through, Hannah is sweeping out of the kitchens looking more than a bit harried. Nora's tall comment did earn the brilliance of a smile before her disappearance but now she's returned. In just enough time to see Nora make her exits, spot the Weyrleader, Th'seus and Yules. Food is not on her mind, instead the people are. Winsome is the smile given, "Evenin'." Just why is Hannah so happy? She looks like the cat with a canary still stuffed in one cheek. "Yules. Congratulations." You know, promotion. Wait: "Who is as big as Vossuth?" This is what happens when you get part of a conversation.

"You calling my dragon fat, sir?" Th'seus puts to the Weyrleader as he pushes his chair back, casting a look towards the other man complete with raised eyebrows and rakish grin. There's a careless wave given to Nora as she leaves and he's distracted by his own exit by Hannah's arrival. "My ankles are as big as Vossuth. Go figure, I need a diet." He leans over to drop a kiss onto the top of the goldrider's head as he gathers his plate and mug off of the table. It's a careful balancing act. "Late meeting with my wingsecond. Don't wait up." Who knows how long he could yammer at Jedi for. The brownrider probably has eyes painted on her eyelids. And then he trots out of the cavern.

Trying not to snort at the idea of not bothering bronzeriders is like trying not to yawn: it's going to happen, but you can pretend it's something else. Yules tries to look like she's coughing on an overly large piece of tuber. Clearing it up, Yules replies, "As always, sir." It's almost like saying yes, right? Oh WAIT, here's Hannah to ease the tension: "Thank you, Miss Hannah." Yules nods and makes a little extra room for her, except then Th'seus is leaving. Since she's definitely not the one calling him fat, Yules stays quiet until he's fore sure leaving: "Good night, sir." Which isn't the other sir - meaning an almost guilty look in Q'fex's direction. "Maybe we should have, like, Wingsecond meetings," the newest one of them ponders.

Q'fex watches after Th'seus with a grin, mostly to himself; he scans those eyes of his towards Hannah after he leaves. "Late meetings, huh? He take those often?" Oh Q'fex. Stop trying to incite brushfires. To Yules: "I wouldn't bore you with those. Works well enough just catching time when we both have it." Q'fex is an organic kind of person. And he knows if he had to budget in another timeslot for yet another daily meeting Br'er may kill him. (Speaking of wingseconds.)

"Oh, Q'fex," Hannah slips up closer to the now table of two to tilt a smile upwards to Q'fex: a sharp thing full of teeth, "You should know. They only strive to be good enough for you." Barbed sweetness that sweeps from Q'fex to Yules, though the saccharine sweetness douses those brushfires. "Besides, I have plans with Bailey tonight, anyway." Nevermind the hitch to that statement. Q'fex has not succeeded in those brushfires, no. Never. "Trust me, you don't want more meetings." This is to Yules, echoing Q'fex.

Immune to all grins following other WingLeaders, Yules just shrugs uncertainly, "If you think so." Still, there's a hint of stalwartness in her tone. Meetings might happen, even if they're during latrine-breaks. That kind of organic? "I'll catch you when we're both available," Yules will commit herself to. Hannah gets dragonpoker-face though, perhaps hitting closer to the mark re: strivings, but she honestly wonders, "Bailey… seemed a bit withdrawn, the last time I spoke with her." Pause. "At the Tipsy Kitten. But she had the whole table to herself." Yules evidently likes that in a woman, her voice full of sororitarian satisfaction.

"Say, Hannah," Q'fex mildly comments. "You want a sandwich?" There's a dark glint in dark eyes for the goldrider's antics. Jokes? Q'fex has jokes. "Bailey," he states dismissively, a flick of fingers. "Kraaken isn't allowed to go up after Khalyssrielth. Per Talicanitath." There's a satisfied sound to that, as if he's particularly fond of the senior gold's possessiveness of his lifemate. Keeps Kraaken out of trouble, most nights. It's a good thing, really.

Hannah's brows draw in when Yules mentions Bailey holding a table on her own, but this junior is quick to mask these thoughts with the misdirection easily laid at her feet by Q'fex: "I would love a sandwich. I have a particular fondness for the sticky sweetness slathered between two bits of," see, two can play at this game, "bread." Brows lift, before her attention swings to Yules, eyes narrowing slightly. "Desmeth is of age." It's a statement, given with a newfound little discovery. This singular discover sweeps away the sharp biting shared between junior and Weyrleader long enough to turn a nostalgic half-smile upwards to Q'fex, "They grow up so fast, don't they." Despite the words, it's not really a question.

Hey waaaait - Yules looks back and forth between Q'fex and Hannah for a moment, wondering aloud, "Yes but, isn't it a bit late for a sna…" Oh. Yules shuts her mouth quickly which makes it difficult to get a fingerroot in - still, Yules does the best she can, the fingerroot disappearing between pursed lips. No regard for what that might look like. And when the conversation comes back to her brown lifemate, Yules blinks owlishly - "He… ahh, he is." That's diplomatic enough, right? "He's certainly having a lot of fun chasing green about." Just in case that's where the conversation was going in the first place.

Q'fex lifts himself from his seat, shaking his head. "Oh, I've got some sticky sweetness for you," he half-threatens the goldrider, that selfsame crooked grin surfacing for a moment of haplessly charming .. threat? Promise? Both? "Back at my weyr." Where he keeps only the best … peanut butter. Is that what they're calling it these days? Q'fex's smile softens towards Yules at mention of Desmeth's antics in green flights, and he mock-salutes the two women. "Evening, ladies. I think it's time for me to give Kraaken a good rubdown." Heh heh heh.

"You just keep that sticky sweetness for you and Br'er, Weyrleader," Hannah admonishes lightly, though not without some weight in those words. "You'll get to experience a gold flight first hand." Or so Hannah assumes. "I, of course, will be escaping with Lendai, but for now I need to go find Bailey. We're going to get drink and paint our toenails and do our hair." Total girls night out. Wiggling her fingers in the brownrider's direction, the goldrider turns on those heels with only a little wobble and starts off, hunting for Bailey. Tossed over her shoulders by way of farewell, "Is that what you're calling Br'er these days, Q'fex?" Br'er the KRAAKEN. And with that. She's GONE.

People are getting up, but Yules looks at her plate - there're things left on it. Edible things! Must eat! And she's looking a little flame-shy of the presumably-sandwich talk now. Q'fex gets a decent salute, and a "I'll talk to you later, then, Weyrleader." Br'er may be annoyed but still. And Hannah's comment just gets a pensive look, though, "Desmeth is coming to terms with the idea." Which is the Yulesian way to say he's chomping (politely) at the bit. And with everyone suddenly out the door, Yules only has the rest of her plate to chow down on. "Huh. You really can taste the finger-root now."

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