====September 29, 2013
====Cerise, V'dean
====V'dean is stinking up the retreat Cerise hoped to find. Offers are given of dubious helpfulness.

Who Cerise, V'dean
What V'dean is stinking up the retreat Cerise hoped to find. Offers are given of dubious helpfulness.
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 12 days until the 12th pass.
Where Archive Library, Southern Weyr

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


The clear heat of a bright spring day has given way to the inky black of a cloud-free night. While there may be plans to recover the once-library, for now it's a rent ceilinged space cast in shadow and moonlight. Between the reaching branches of the skybroom, an arcing dome sprinkled with winking stars may be seen. At its foot is where V'dean may be found, the bluerider making use of the stage started and then fallen into disuse as it's intended occupants were swept away into candidacy. He sits at the edge, legs dangling loosely and some sad scrap of found book spread across his knees. He has little hope of deciphering it by moonlight. Then again, there was probably little hope of deciphering it anyway. Still, he holds in his fingers a tight roll of paper with an ember at its end, the wan light held up to molded text while silky smoke curls fragrantly into the darkness overhead.

One of those candidates has found herself restless and looking for…something. Cerise hasn't yet put a name to it but since the events of earlier today, in which she found herself covered in spinnerwebs and bone dust, she's been prowling in search of it. First through the baths, then through her lessons, and dinner, and then through the unstructured quiet hours before bed. If she weren't a candidate, she'd have likely slipped from the Weyr to run beside the river, or swim against the currents off the beach. But with stars out, the moons up, and the call for lights out in the barracks soon, she's come here instead. To her stage, where she prowls into the room dressed in ragged shorts and a loose top, barefoot, meaning to dance- only to find the place occupied by fire and a bluerider. "What are you doing here," she blurts.

Absorbed in his hopeless squinting at that paper, V'dean is slow to realize that the sanctity of his solitary space has been broached. Cerise's blurt is quite effective, however, pulling his attention up sharply and setting his posture into a loose sway. The twisted joint dips dangerously towards the age-brittle paper before he pulls it away, held between the pinch of thumb and forefinger as he bridges his hand onto the stage and props his weight into a lean. "Nothing," is his reflexive answer while he's distracted by scanning a slow look over the dressed-down girl. The curve of his smile widens slowly as his eyes make their way back up. "Hello." His head lolls into a tip as he angles smirking curiosity upon her. "What are you doing?"

If the scan bothers, Cerise gives no sign. With a hand on her hip, she returns that look with attention stubbornly fixed to being confrontational rather than pervy. Excepting, of course, for the outfit. "I'm wondering why you couldn't be doing nothing elsewhere. There are other places, better lit places to read." Her eyes cut towards that twist of paper and plant matter. "And to smoke. Nora would probably have your head if she knew," she points out, not without some satisfaction- though whether at the name-dropping or the thought of V'dean headless is not clarified. Instead she pads forward on a course that leaves her arcing towards the side of the stage opposite the rider.

"You're wondering." It flashes teeth into his smile. "Nora," he also considers — while he shifts his weight and narrows his eyes and brings the joint up to his lips. It perhaps makes the coil of smoke emitted from the edge of his mouth all the more satisfying. "Are you going to tell her?" he wonders with a curious, careless lilt. As Cerise moves towards the other side of the stage, he eases the cracked and crumbling records from his thighs. One dangling foot, still booted as if he were in Fort instead of Southern, draws up to drag a heel onto the stage. The upward kink of his knee gives him armrest and fulcrum from which to twist and watch the entertainer.

"Do you want me to? Something tells me you're the sort who'd find it entertaining to be on the business end of an unhappy woman's authority." Calm, crisp and to the point, but for the bit of jostling in the middle as Cerise hops up from stone floor to wooden. Her stage, remember? Bare heels thump against the boards as she rounds the tree. It's far too large to serve as a pole, but she keeps a hand against its trunk while circling about to eye V'dean from the other side. Possibly she's trying to give him a kink in his neck. "Or not? Arianne said as much. You being uncomfortable with female authority. You know that stuff makes you stink." She waves a hand through the air to demonstrate, trying to dissipate the smell.

"A woman's authority," V'dean mulls over the words. As Cerise circles the tree, the ember gets cupped again into the hollow of the hand set against the boards of the stage as he lets the lean of his weight shove his shoulder up towards his ear. There may be a kink in his neck, but the turn of his head definitely spills hair across his forehead as he tracks the candidate's appearance at the far side of the tree. "Arianne." There's almost a studiousness to the tension in his forehead as he recognizes the name. "Nika's wingsecond. Stitched up Ekerth. Cute redhead." His twisted smile has taken over by the end. "I wouldn't think you'd care if I'd stink. Are you so concerned about my prospects?" Impishness crinkling at his eyes, he ducks his chin rather coyly into the loft of his shoulder.

Oh! Oh oh! He did it! He just delivered her the perfect set up. With no warning whatsoever, Cerise's expression snaps from stark disapproval to dimpled grin, with no transition between them. "Of course. With all of that simpering," and here she demonstrates, mimicking chin to shoulder and impish eyes to a T, "you need every bit of help that you can get." Really, she should be thanking him after that but seeing as he's still occupying her stage, she settles instead of ambling nearer. Once close enough for conversational purposes, she drops and arranges herself cross-legged- apparently in a better mood now! "Ekerth. What's he like?"

V'dean scoffs. Full on snortiness with an upward turn of eyes. But still the smirking turn of his lips lingers, turned up to Cerise as she pads nearer across her stage. "Oh, please," he bids dark and satiny. "Help me." Up ticks an eyebrow, too playful to be fully suggestive, as she comes to settle beside him. His lofted knee falls, opening his lap and stretching out his back-tipped lean braced by that propped hand. His gaze had already dropped to the fold of her bared legs, but her question sets a subtle flicker to dark gold lashes in the moonlight. The smile that tucks his dimple deep is more private. "Constant. Loyal. He's my partner." Like there couldn't be anything more. His eyes lift to find hers. "You haven't known many dragons," he thinks he recalls.

Help comes in the form of a tip: "You've burned your bridges with the cute redhead, unless you work double time to make it up to her, the slur on her abilities." There, see? Never say that she hasn't given him anything. Cerise tucks her heels in and leans forward, arms resting comfortable on her knees, hands dangling loose over top. More shadows created, while she politely overlooks the slide from lascivious to intimate internal moment. Such a good candidate, she is. "The one who ferried us through the long jump forward, the one that brought us to Southern and those seen from a distance since. I helped rasp Kraakenath's talons once. Atmanth spoke to me once. The eggs knocked me on my ass. Before the comets, they were just stories. What of you, before brave, loyal Ekerth chose you for his own?"

"Alas," V'dean allows himself a gusty sigh. "Luckily, there are other routes to travel." He makes a fine characiture of charm: hair sweeping into one eye, smile skewed, and lashes brushing a slow blink. It dissolves somewhat as she speaks, his weight shifting over the tighter tuck of his leg to free his hand. Straightening, he runs one neatening hand back through his hair as the other transfers the twist of paper to his lips. His eyebrow twitches upward somewhere in there, but it's relaxed again by the time he's puffing out a breath and turning his wrist in offer of the joint to Cerise. "Just the ferrying type of dragons. It wasn't something in the family. Atmanth spoke to you?" There's whimsy to the lift at one edge of his mouth. "We don't know him well. He doesn't seem as flighty as his rider?"

"You really are trying to get me out of that knot, aren't you?" Cerise's smile skews decidedly crooked as she puts a hand up towards the joint…then turns it palm out to refuse the little piece of paper-wrapped whimsy. "For shame, rider. You're just going to have to wait," she informs him with a glint in her own eyes. Amusement? Encouragement? A verbal pay on the back for playing along with the less teasing conversation? The ex-performer isn't telling…again. "He did, aye. There's music in her head all the live long day, small wonder she's so flighty. He let me hear it too, that's no small thing."

V'dean lets her refusal roll off with a shrug. He'll just have to lick another mouthful of smoke in with an open curl of tongue, then, watching Cerise from the slanting smile of cool green eyes. "I won't hold my breath," is said slyly as his breath holds in his lungs. A hum follows the escaping coiled streamer of white. "He sensed a connoisseur," he rather teasingly supposes with a point of the diminishing ember towards Cerise before slouching back into a lean upon the heel of his hand. "Perhaps that does explain it. Serval's wingleader sure is… something." His low lidded gaze searches over the candidate. "What happened with the eggs?" he's curious.

Oh so sly. For that, Cerise will raise her hands and offer up a few slow claps. "As clever as he is pretty," she observes, the bridge of her nose rumpled. Though that might be due to the smoke, which she waves away again once she's finished fake-applauding. "She's lovely, really." Nika, that is. "Sort of a breath of fresh air around here…mm? Oh. They've been chewing up and spitting out the candidates since we were allowed to touch them. Could be our nerves, we're told, but I don't see those improving any time soon. Found a room full of bones earlier. I think if you said boo in the barracks, you'd be peeling some of us off the ceiling." Herself included? Likely. She's fidgeting, picking at a nonexistent nick in one of the stage boards.

If she'll applaud, he'll dip his head into a bow that dislodges his forelock again. "It's all rather fresh, around here," V'dean notes afterward with a discord that's not quite complaint. Though the rambunctious eggs earn a fixed slant of interest, this newly discovered room sends his gaze bouncing away to the darkness surrounding them. His other leg pulls up to fold with the first on the stage as he takes another long puff, shifting eyes shadowed by the loose fall of hair. "Full of bones," he tries to make light, disbelieving. "Where was this?"

"Not so fresh in that room," Cerise remarks. "There were enough of them that when the wall came down, they sort of…slid over everything like a wave." This time it's her turn for a private, inward moment. Sadly it doesn't quite elicit the same smile that the bluerider's communion with his dragon had. Instead, there are goosebumps and a shiver strong enough to drive her to her feet! Someone won't be sleeping well tonight. "Down caverns. Not sure of the turns to get there and I think I'll be off before they count me missing at bunk call. Enjoy your stinkweed, V'dean." And finally, finally she remembers a salute, though it's offered as she makes to leave.

There's a strangled little noise that escapes his throat at this image. Part ugh, mostly dismay. Her sudden rising snaps his gaze back to the girl with a jumpiness that's only a little sluggish for the stink curling about him. "I'll keep in mind to avoid all turns," he remarks dryly. Salutes? V'dean doesn't even bother offering one in return. "Not going to dance for me?" He's mostly managed to put a curve back to his mouth as his head tips back to better follow her departure. "Sleep well, Cerise. Any time you want to be late for bed call," he adds in kind offer with a smoke trailing sweep of his hand, syrupy assurance recovered in at least his voice. "Give yourself a reason to avoid those eggs? I know you'll be free enough to tell them why."

"Dance for you? Maybe when I can take a full breath around you without coughing," Cerise tosses back over her shoulder. If there's a little extra sass in her walk, surely that can be chalked up to walking with bare feet, or spending too much time in the haze that surrounds the man. "Or rolling my eyes," she goes on as she reaches the doorway and hangs a left. Her voice begins to fade. "…or wanting to smack you up side the head…"

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