Who

Quentin, Qielle

What

Aunt and nephew have a reunion and a bit of heart to heart. Quinn misses the obvious - as usual.

When

It is afternoon on the seventh day of the first month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Archive Library

OOC Date

 

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Archive Library

Where once books reigned supreme, this open space is now dominated by a stalwart skybroom reaching to the sky through a broken ceiling. What was once evidence of collapse is now ornately carved with engraved ivy, matched by a clever contraption of stone that allows the gap to be closed in inclement weather. A small garden occupies the space around the tree-trunk, all manicured bushes and flowering shrubbery enclosed by a grated gutter. The walls are lined with bookcases, while a spiral staircase leans on the western wall to wind upwards to the second level. Tucked in the corners and scattered in the main areas are tables and chairs, cafe-style, and comfortably worn overstuffed armchairs. It is the perfect place for individuals to gather, to enjoy the offerings of the food-cart or a spirited conversation.


It's super hot outside. Like. SUPER hot. What does that mean? A particular Herder senior journeyman has taken over the non-klah-serving part of the Archive Library with a short-haired, hyper-alert dog, fawn with dark points, slim and middling-sized. The bitch, trembling with ill-contained impatience, stares at the treat displayed in one hand. Qielle stands and patiently stares down at the dog. The dog stares back.

It is totally hot outside, yep, and Quentin is avoiding the outdoors like a plague. Anyway, he heard something about a canine in the Weyr, and well.. Quinn and canines go hand in hand. Is he expecting who he sees working the pup as he enters the room? "Aunt Qielle?" Shock vibrates in the boy's voice as he halts in the doorway, blue eyes fixed on the other herder. "Uh - did I know you were here?" And if he didn't, why not? It's not like it's been a secret. Cautiously, he approaches her and the canine, keeping one eye on the latter to make sure he doesn't disrupt the training.

"Quinn, is that you?" Qielle doesn't move her eyes from the canine, who is beginning to get restless at the lack of activity and her partner's attention else-her. "Hope," Elle warns lightly. "Down." The canine clambers over herself in quickness to get her brisket to the floor, and the Herder leans down to give her the treat, petting her once on the head and murmuring an, "At ease," before turning to Quentin. The last word is only partway out of her mouth before she is joyfully LEAPING at Quentin, apparently having every faith in the world that the boy will catch her. She's not THAT big. Really. Qielle's sigh can be heard in the living caverns. Then: "Oh, yes, I've been here… a bit," she gestures absently.

Of course, Quentin's not that big either, but at least he manages to brace himself against the wall before Qielle ends up in his arms. One brief, strong-armed squeeze of a hug, then he lowers his aunt the fraction of an inch it takes for her feet to hit the ground. "Clearly, I need to pay attention more," he says ruefully, grinning down at his diminutive relative. Eyes slide, as expected, towards the canine, and he chirps lightly to see if he can gain her attention. "What are you doing here? Surely…" He trails off, brow furrowing. "Did they make you come here?" No, that's not a hint of chill in his voice. Surely he wouldn't dare.

Every person is allowed idiosyncracies. Don't judge Qielle. She is little. She grins up at Quentin with unadulterated amusement. "Clearly," the Herder dryly comments. She snaps her fingers at the canine, who wanders up closer to nose at Quentin inquisitively. It's a two-part query: a) do you have any treats? b) if no, can you purloin treats? "Behave," Qielle chides the dog before fussing over Quinn's mop. "Have you been eating? You look skinnier." Her voice is critical. "Nobody made me come here but me."

Kneeling down, Quentin offers his hand to Hope. And, if it just happens to have a piece of the dried jerky and self-respecting canine trainer keeps on him in it, well, that's between the boy and the pup, right? Tilting his head back with a jerk to clear his curls from his eyes, the boy grins cheekily up at his aunt. "I've been stuffing myself. You know me, all skin and bones and growing boy, right? Is the whole clan planning to relocate, then?" he asks teasingly. "I'm sure my father will just loooove that."

Quentin is now Hope's new BFF. "I saw that," Qielle points out, because this is not her first rodeo. But she tolerates it with a quick smile. "Oh no. Just me. I need to go find Fex, come to think." What? She's been here and HASN'T seen her brother? She's obviously a weird lady. "They refused to clear my master's project, so I… how do the oldtimers say it? I gave them the finger." Her brow furrows, momentarily dark. Then her whole expression turns sunny. "But it is so nice for you to be here, and it is so nice here."

Quentin's jaw clenches, though his hand remains gentle as he continues to stroke Hope's head. "I wasn't trying to hide it," he says lightly, though there's a definite edge to his voice. "And you should make time to see him. Make him treat you to a sandwich," he adds, with a little more of his natural humor, though that fades quickly as he continues to contemplate her last words. "I'm glad you're here, Aunt Qielle. I think you're better off here than anywhere else." It's the closest he'll come to overt criticism, at least until he has a chance to size up her mood and attitude. "It's a great place, I'm… hoping to get to stay." Involuntarily, his eyes slide to his shoulder.

Qielle just quirks a brow at Quentin: it must be a family thing, because it's an expression Q'fex has MASTERED. "I've kept an eye out for him. He's seemed busy with his," Qielle gestures off abstractly. His dragon things. She holds her commentary regarding where she would best fit, but it is about then that her eyes track his to his shoulder, and that is when her eyebrows skyrocket and she completely ignores the dog to compulsively reach out towards it, stilling her fingures before getting too close. "Is that … are you …" There is astonishment in those eyes as she turns her expression onto her nephew, eyebrows skyrocketed up.

Unaccountably, Quentin blushes, ducking his head as her hand stretches towards his knot. "I am," he confirms quietly, his voice just a touch on the shy side. "My father.. asked me to Stand. He seemed t' think it was a good idea, and, uhm…" He trails off, shifting uncomfortably, "I have to admit, the idea has really grown on me. I mean, you know how I feel about…" It's hardly a secret in the family how Quentin views the job of dragonrider, for all his respect for the breed in general. His fingers trail under the canine's jaw, scratching her chin, and he shrugs his shoulders uncomfortably. "Maybe I was wrong?" There's far more question than conviction in his voice.

"It is an honor," Qielle muses, the only thing that she can say in this moment, apparently. "It's a surprise, that's all." Her face has returned to her normal pre-astonishment expression, and she tilts her head to the side to really consider him, all anew. "There are worse types out there for the dragonriding," she declares, eventually; that's probably as close to an actual benediction as poor Quinn is going to get.

"It is." That Quentin can agree with his aunt on, nodding firmly. "I mean, I love being a herder… and I kind of miss it. I really miss the canines," he admits slowly, as his fingers continue to work their way up to Hope's ears, scritching firmly. "I miss Cassie. But. I like the other Candidates - most of them - and, well…" He trails off, dropping his head so his curls cover his eyes. "I could have a dragon," he says softly. "And maybe once I'm done Weyrlinghood, I could get a canine, right?"

"Well, you can borrow Hope whenever you have a hankering to," Qielle comments, gesturing towards the hyperkinetic animal still trembling in place with excitement over Quinn's attention. If he doesn't look out he may get LICKED ON THE FACE. "But I think," her face softens, "A dragon would be quite a bit better than a canine, on the whole." A shadow of an expression passes; she doesn't comment until she's once again grinning brightly at her nephew.

With his eyes still shadowed by curls, Quentin can't be certain that he saw that shadow cross his aunt's face, so declines to comment on it. Instead, he rubs Hope's head, then withdraws his hand, levering himself slowly to his feet. "I might, if you don't mind. At least to take for walks or get some training practice in. I use a pair of terriers one of the herders here keeps for tunnelsnake hunting, but…" He trails off, knowing his aunt would understand. It's never the same as your own canine. "Well," he says, brightening a bit, "at least a dragon can talk back to me. I think that's a good thing."

"She's in the kennels more often than not. They've been making me spend more time with the herds and not as much time with her as I wish I could," Qielle regretfully comments. "So really, you'd be doing me a favor. I can't take her out with the herdbeasts, they'd trample her in a heartbeat." That may not necessarily be accurate, but it sure helps Qielle from getting a headful of grey hairs to not have Hope trying to herd ALL THE THINGS. "I hear they are good at that," she half-teases Quentin about dragons. "I've never heard a dragonrider displeased about being a dragonrider," she muses.

"The only good herdbeast is the one on my plate at dinner." Quentin is, to put it bluntly, a snob. Canines and felines, they make him happy. Runners and ferrets, he'll tolerate. Herdbeasts? Porcines? Useless but for food and hide. Dusting his hands off on his pants, he nods firmly. "When I'm not busy with chores or whatever they have us doing, I'll try to take her out and make sure she gets some exercise. Maybe I'll even take her with the terriers for some socialization, would that be okay?" Her quip about dragons earns a quirking smile. "Certainly, all the riders here seem very happy - about being riders, anyway," he adds with a smirk.

"You aren't hearing any complaints about that from me. I keep trying to tell them that I only spent one season with the herds, the rest of the time with the caprines, but they still don't believe me." Qielle's voice is exasperated. "There are some interesting wild caprines down at the hold, though." And there's that look — that DYING OF CURIOSITY, possibly planning something completely untoward, hey-ya'll-watch-this look. "Sure. You know what you are doing," is her quiet confidence in Quentin's ability with canines. "Maybe about riding ass." Her voice is sassy and shameless.

"Caprines." Quinn is too wise to give his opinion on caprines - but likely it ranks right up there with herdbeasts and porcines. Still, he offers his aunt a sunny smile, blue eyes sparkling. "Gonna catch yourself some new stock? You know," he adds, in a musing tone, "the Hold's an interesting place. All that snow. All that ice. I've been thinking of sending a letter to that Journeyman at High Reaches - Zahriel? Remember him? The one who works with his father to train search and rescue canines for snow rescues?" He trails off, shrugging, and raises his eyebrows to invite her opinion. Alas, her riding ass comment goes right over his head - the boy really is too oblivious for his own good, sometimes.

That's because he's a good boy and knows that Qielle IS NOT ABOVE throwing shit at his head for talking poorly about her goats. "I think so," she replies with a quick, irreverent grin for Quinn. "They are surprisingly massive. Up in the hills, you know. Quick and wily. Perfect for crossbreeding." Her voice is a little dreamy. A new breed? That would be a badass merit for her name. "Zahriel? Oh yes," her smirk twitches up at a corner, "I recollect his face. You're thinking about asking him to come down here?" She's propped up now on a nearby table, because she is lazy and it is convenient.

"Well, technically, to the Hold," Quentin replies, sinking to the ground and patting his lap for Hope to join him. "It might be good for 'em to have a search and rescue set around, 'specially someone as experienced as Zahriel. His family's got the 'Reaches pretty covered, after all. It wouldn't hurt them for him t' come down here and set up his own kennel, y'know? And maybe if I don't Impress, he'll take me as an apprentice." That last sentence comes out very rushed, words bleeding together to form one long string of syllables.

"Here, there." Qielle's long fingers elegantly gesture about. "Same difference isn't it? What with the Headman," and here her lips twitch SEVERELY, "Running things over there. It is frankly unnatural." And it's funny, because she just parroted a well-known master from the Hall and doesn't even realize it. Oblivious, she keeps going. "Zahriel would be a good addition," the woman muses after a minute. The skin about her eyes crinkles as she smiles at the bled-together statement. "I think you wouldn't have any problems finding a good journeyman to apprentice to, if that comes about." Her voice is certain.

Although Quentin forebears to mention her unintenional mimicry, he does bend his head to hide the smirk that comes to his face. "I couldn't say," he replies honestly. "Weyr politics aren't for the likes of me." He's got enough on his plate with his Crusade, for all it's been put on hold by his Search. "I hope he'll come," the boy adds earnestly, as he coaxes Hope onto her back with the promise of belly scratches. "Even if he won't take me as an apprentice, or if I… Impress…," dubious, "I think he'll probably earn his keep." Such confidence he has in the Hold. Not. "But what happens, happens." Such fatalism in one so young.

"Yet," Qielle placidly replies. "Aren't for the likes of you yet. Give it time." It's just a natural part of growing up, or so Qi would say. Probably another reason why her real father is Keroon's worst-kept-secret. Who would EXPECT to be good at politics? "Well, if you need any help convincing him, do let me know. I'm sure we can levy… something." She gestures. It is, unsurprisingly, vague. "Oh, Quinn. I think you will do just fine." The fingers of her left hand reach out and then knit themselves back together and down resting in her lap. The impetus to arrange Quentin's hair is STRONG, see. "Just fine indeed. No matter if the dragons are dumb enough to overlook you." Arrogance thy name is this bloodline.

"Politics," Quentin replies with ruffled dignity, "are for grownups. I am not grown up." And if he has his way, he never will be. Of course, that's not something he really gets to decide. The boy gives his aunt a dubious eye. "Do you know Zahriel all that well? I had a few classes with him when he came back to the Hall to teach - hopefully he remembers me well enough." It's not like the boy's all that forgettable (some evidence to the contrary *cough*). His fingers skim along Hope's belly and he stares musingly at the canine, then gives a shake of his head, tossing those tempting, tangled twirls. "Don't think anyone knows what makes dragons pick who they do."

"Really. Tell that to the girls of your class." Qielle's grin is lopsided and terribly amused. They do politic, and bitch, and backstab in the way of teenaged girls, right? "I. Ah." She clears her throat. "I'm acquainted with Zahr..iel. Yes. He's a very… competant man. With his hands. You know," faster talking, "Training. And all that. Have to be skilled to be a search and rescuer!" MAN she's talking fast. And now she's on her feet. "Well I think it's time for me and Hope here to leave, isn't that right Hope? You're such a good girl. It was good seeing you Quinn, behave and listen to your Mast… er… headmen. Whatever. See you later!" She's talking (fast) over her shoulder and then she's hustling away. Nothing to see here. Nothing suspicious at all. CARRY ON.

"Uh." Quentin has no idea what girls have to do with politics. In his world, girls are creatures only slightly less annoying than boys, if only because they're less likely to tease him mercilessly. "O-kay?" Qielle's behavior serves to confuse the boy further, and he watches helplessly as she gathers up Hope and sets out with indecent haste. "G'bye, Aunt Qielle," he calls after her, still looking terribly baffled. To the empty room, he asks, in a confused voice, "What'd I say this time?" Oh well. One of those adult mysteries. The kind he's determined not to unravel. Pushing to his feet, the boy follows in his aunt's wake, feet shuffling as he tries - and fails - to interpret her odd behavior. Maybe Zahriel can enlighten him. If the Journeyman will come.

Thank FARANTH for oblivious nephews.

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