Who

Veresch, El'ai

What

Upon finding a rather naughty book in the Southern Weyr library, Veresch makes it El'ai's problem. Directly before The First Bottle of Wine

When

It is evening of the twenty-third day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Library, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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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.


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With the living caverns full of folks eating dinner, the glow lights lead those few who would venture further into the weyr into the direction of the library. It's a huge affair, large enough that the sky broom tree reaches skeletal branches towards a star-splattered night. Rain falls in fits, but never quite reaches the interior of the library due to the renovations made. El'ai is sprawled in a chair at one of the tables, looking intently at stacks of hides: notably, they seem to be Threadfall patterns.

With most of the Weyr at dinner, it's the perfect opportunity for a spy from Igen to slip in and steal state secrets. If only Hannah and Renalde didn't already know she was here, she could have made a killing. Or something. Still, Veresch loiters into the room with little of her normal active walk; when she spots the skybroom in the middle of the library there's a giggle that turns into a cackle, and a pinching of her eyes. Only in Southern would they have trees even in the room. With the shock of that, El'ai is missed for the moment as she wanders over to the shelves, trying to discern the organization of topics.

Luckily, Igen spies will only find recreational material in this library. Anything of value has been moved to the actual archives; this is a place to meet-and-greet, evidenced by the little food cart and the fact that klah and other things are served practically around the candlemark. The laughter, however, draws the bronzerider from his reading material. Squinting at Veresch, the ambient lighting obscuring who she is for a moment when he queries, somewhat testily, "Something funny?"

"Mhm," Veresch replies lazily, and shoots him a look of pure enjoyment over her shoulder. "Up North we have to be scrupulous about every little bit of green we allow, and fight to preserve the rest, and here you have trees in your library. I find that amusing." Paying little attention, she pulls a book at random off the shelf - some sort of treatise on the currents between North and South, it appears. Looking back, she eyes the binding, shrugs and opens it … and goes utterly still. A rough second later, there's a shuffle as she curiously turns the book upside-down. Then sideways, and even though she's weyrbred, there's a blush.

"We are crawling with greenery down here," El'ai comments dryly, watching as Veresch makes her way to one of the floor-to-ceiling shelves, adding, "But that doesn't mean that we don't also guard against excessive greenery." He leans back, not really paying attention to whatever book draws her eye, instead his eyes drift to the tree. "That tree was here when we got here. We didn't exactly plant it — what are you doing?" The boy's attention finally finds the girl as she's holding the book sideways. "That's not how you read a book," so helpfully does he point this out!

Veresch, normally the type to look one straight in the eye, actually jumps as he speaks, and the book drops out of her hands. For a moment there's a confused tangle of pages and hands, and a sizzler of a curse as it flops on the floor before she can catch it. "Sorry!" she calls, reaching for it instantly to smooth the pages back. "I'm so sorry!" But then her hands still again, trembling on the pages, and once again she's locked in one of those weird upside-down stares at whatever's on the page. Then, timidly, "This isn't a book." A book has words, right?

Veresch is confusing, but she's a girl so El'ai takes this in stride. "It looks like a book," the boy calls out to her, screwing his face up into an expression of curiosity that's tainted with a kind of half-formed dread. Far, far too lazy to get up from where he's seated, the bronzerider beckons her to him. "What's wrong with it?" Because there's something either wrong with her or wrong with the book and while the Igenite might be acting a bit weird, his first guess is with the book. "Don't tell me you found a bone in there."

Oh, there's a bone … ahem. Redcheeked, hovering between hideously embarrassed and hideously curious, Veresch wanders over. With one finger keeping her place, she shows him the innocuous cover of the book, then opens it to her current page, and the sizzler of a sketch. It's no wonder she had to turn it around and around to get it to make sense — there's a multitude of limbs, and clearly a lot of naked enjoyment going on there, if one can manage to tear one's eyes off the main, er, focus of the double-page spread. Looking left and right, she leans in to mutter something to him.

Oh, there's a bone … ahem. Redcheeked, hovering between hideously embarrassed and hideously curious, Veresch wanders over. With one finger keeping her place, she shows him the innocuous cover of the book, then opens it to her current page, and the sizzler of a sketch. It's no wonder she had to turn it around and around to get it to make sense — there's a multitude of limbs, and clearly a lot of naked enjoyment going on there, if one can manage to tear one's eyes off the main, er, focus of the double-page spread. Looking left and right, she leans in to mutter something to him.

You overhear Veresch mutter, "… guys … … … this … What … kids?" to El'ai.
(mutter elai=You guys have books like this here? What about kids?)

Oh hey. Jackpot! At the girl's mutter he gives her a strange look — and oh boy is he taking that book — as El'ai answers normally. "Why are you looking at me? I just fly Thread, but clearly — clearly — I've been reading the wrong books. Faranth, how does that even work?" The book is examined by rotating it, to get the full effect of course in the fullest enjoyment of study possible. "Huh." Veresch? There's a girl? Standing next to him? He seems to have forgotten this as he explores the next page. "Daaaaaaaaaaaaay-yum." That one causes a whistle.

The girl tries to poke him against the side of the head. Hello. Hi. Pay attention over here. "I don't know!" she says, making herself at home on the arm of his chair to peek at the next page, which makes her eyes round wide and her lips pinch. "There is no way that's possible, right?" Right? "Of course I'm looking at you. Didn't you… you know, with Tuli? And with the Rosie's girls?" Clearly he's the subject matter expert over here, or at least that's what her stare at him says. She tilts her head sideways to peek at the page below the one he's looking at — ah, text! — and "…hips rolled, making her pant and claw… what the shards?"

"How should I know? I've never tried to pretzel myself with a girl," El'ai mutters, ducking out of the way of poking fingers. "Yeah, with Tuli, I had sex," he gives her a look, "but it was more like… suddenly finding yourself rutting with someone else because your dragons want it. I mean you want it to but it's not exactly an artful session of…" He flicks the page — right in the dangly bits of some drawn dude — with this middle finger, "… of whatever the shards this thing is." Flipping the page to the one under to find her text, he snorts. "Faranth. This must have been written by a girl. No guy would write that." He conveniently left out the choicer bits of his encounters at Rosie's. Because he's a boy and because there's a girl and a dirty book, he naturally regresses into behavior more suited to a 13-turn-old, "That is one funky drawn schlong."

Veresch is so engrossed in reading what, yes, sounds like some kind of strange alien encounter, that she doesn't even listen to the first bits beyond a "That's right, blame it on the dragon. But that.." See, there would have been more questions, but he interrupted her train of thought and now he'll answer for that. "What's a schlong?" she asks curiously, clearly never having heard that term even from her father's apprentices. Slim fingers reach out to try and coax another page up. "First a tree, and now you have dirty books. This is a lot more exciting than Igen's archives, unless you find dust racy." At least she hopes so.

Brows raise. Mirth centers squarely in those too-blue eyes. "A penis. And that is not really shaped right. I mean it's good art, but it's clearly been exaggerated." Again, he flicks the book with his thumb, El'ai's attention drifting from that page to the next. "I didn't even know this was here or that this could be here or that this would ever be here." Again, his attention drifts as well, muttering mostly during this discovery phase. "Dust isn't really racy, no." He squints at her after tearing his eyes from the drawings, "You don't know what's in your archives. This was apparently disguised as a treatise." Or something. Something boring, anyway!

"Oh." There's a little shrug, as if it's the most natural thing in the WORLD to discuss male anatomy with him. Which it's not, but she's covering like a pro. A PRO. Those lessons with A'lory really came in handy. "Well, I don't think that we have this kind of thing hiding in the History of Knitting, no, so you're still ahead there." She adjusts on the arm of the chair, too lazy to find her own, and tries to shoo his hand away to get to the next set of illustrations. Then, curiously, half-scandalised, "Is that yogurt?" Actual yogurt, in this case, not something else.

El'ai is mischievous at best in situations like this, given the crooked grin and the wicked expression that colors his features. "You can't be too sure unless you've searched all the books. I'd be surprised if you didn't. Although this is clearly written by someone with a wild imagination." Now he's looking all over the book, turning the thing over and flipping some pages, "What's yogurt? You think someone was eating while looking at this? Now that's just wrong." Such a scandal! Snapping the book shut he hands it back to the girl. "Why ruin a perfectly good dessert to look at not even realistic penises?" And boobs, too, but El'ai's is the consummate male, obsessed with penises in the way that most straight guys are. "That is a weird thing to find." Because that just needed to be stated.

There's a tccch from Veresch as he hands her the book. "In the picture. Like, you know, they had food whilst they were… busy." Let's go for diplomatic. Stuffing the book underneath her arm, she makes to return the book, slipping it neatly into its section. "It wasn't that I was looking!" she gets out over her shoulder, jaw twitching. "I was just looking for the section on north continent water sources and rivers!" Giving a narrow-eyed look at the books, she moves on a little bit, encouraged to find one that seems to have no dirty pictures whatsoever.

"Even worse. Why on earth would you eat while you screw? That's like… counterproductive. You're there to get a job done, not linger and eat in the middle." El'ai, clearly, is not a man bent on making these experiences meaningful. When she moves off to replace the book, he cants his head in her direction, studying her before shrugging. "You really curious about stuff like that, Rosie's is a good place to learn." Cue the wicked, sly smile, "They got boys too. A partner for all types!" Or he assumes, anyway. "Well, I still say if you look in your library, you'll find something like that. That's a girl's book. A guy's book would just have naked women and a rag. No words, weird positions or food involved." He can't get over the food!

Veresch turns on one heel, ignoring the book on sail structures to look at El'ai. "You're there to get a job done? What are you, one of Rosie's boys yourself?" Her brows furl. "Sex should be … should be more than just going through the motions, right?" Boy-thought vs. girl-thought: fight! "I know she has boys! I live there, right?" The book is gently put down on a nearby table as she drifts to another section to eye the titles there, patently afraid to pull another one off the shelf. "I guess you get what you pay for. Job, hell. You should get a real girlfriend."

El'ai looks at Veresch strangely, one brow lifting up, "No, I pay them good marks to get me off. I'm not there for anything fancy. I'm there for sex and that's about it." Horribly honest, horribly up front, the boy can't help but snort. "No, no. I don't want a girlfriend. I want sex. There's a big difference." He shrugs, and adds, "I dunno, those motions are what feels good. Oh psh," the sudden switch in topic comes with the wave of his hand. "They're not going to bite. I'm sure there's not more dirty books in there. They are utterly and inescapably boring."

Resisting the urge to chuck a book at him - it's the guy's library, after all - Veresch observes him intently. "I wouldn't know," she admits blandly. "But I'm pretty sure there's more to it then just getting off. You're … not bad-looking, I suppose, so why can't you get it without paying girls?" Her head tilts. "Are you that bad at it?" Another thought crosses her mind. "Does Southern even have a place like Rosie's? You know, willing girls and boys, or d'you have to go to the hillfolk for that sort of thing?"

"I do not have sex with mountain girls," El'ai states almost primly, haughtily. "And no, we don't have a whorehouse down here, it's not that kind of place." You know, it' snot sleazy, he says. "Why wouldn't I pay for it? Yeah, I could get girls but I'm not interested in feelings. I'm not interested in having a girl attached to me. If you pay for it, it's undeniably honest in what it is. Which is sex. And it feels good. I like it." Who doesn't?! "You should try it out. It's grand!" The rakish grin is oh-so-encouraging for Veresch to hit up the whorehouse.

Veresch shoots him a narrow-eyed glare - she doesn't trust those smiles - but the logic, the logic is nothing she can argue with, and the longer she can give Tuli some time to snoop around the better. "Fair deal," she says finally, giving a jerky nod. "I'll go and have a look around at Rosie's. Officially." She wanders closer, eyeing him thoughtfully, top to bottom, as if measuring him for some task, or some memory. "You know," she finally says, "I'm wondering what's going to happen if feelings get interested in you one day. Or are you going to turn out like K'ane? He's nice and all, but really… yeah. Busy sampling variety."

El'ai holds her perusal beneath a steady gaze, exhibiting more humor than affront at her examination. "Why worry about that? That's doing too much thinking. It's not that complicated." According to the bronzerider this is something very, very simple. "Sex and alcohol taste and feel good. That's all there is to it." At the mention of K'ane, the cast of his features shifts to a rakish half-smile that seems to hold some secret only he knows. Despite the devil-may-care and fun-loving attitude, a sharp-eyed intelligence lurks beneath his smiles. "When you go to Rosie's, try not to overthink it."

The girl's nose wrinkles. "Silly," she accuses, and reaches out to touch his forehead. There's little pressure, just a small fingertip. "Girls always overthink it, don't you know that by now?" Straightening, the hand drops away. "I'll come back in the morning to look for the maps, I want to get a nice visitor's bunk. 'Night, El'ai. Don't underthink."

"About the important things," El'ai states after she pulls away, flicking the stacks of Threadfall maps, "I never under think." A gravid seriousness enters his tone, though he offers the girl a wiggle of his fingers in parting wave before bending back over his maps. As the brief humorous encounter fades away, the man's threading his fingers through his hair and turning his attention back to his work. For this, it's treated with way more intensity of attention than anything else. Thread is srs business.

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