Erissa, R'xim


Banter gets awkward as R'xim assists Erissa in the archives.


It is evening of the nineteenth day of the sixth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass. It is the nineteenth day of Summer and 96 degrees.


Archives, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 25 Mar 2016 04:00


erissa.jpg, r-xim_Suspicious.jpg



A grand room, lost to more pressing concerns, the Archives hold many treasures well past their prime, from instruments to examples of older flying gear and agenothree tanks. Faded and disused Records lean tiredly against their shelves, their bindings peeling and creating layers of dust on surfaces long left without maintenance. The floors are dirty, various footprints creating crisscrossing paths between rickety wooden chairs and drunkenly off-kilter tables. Columns rise upward to the ceiling, hung with glow-baskets scarcely tended and fast losing their strength. The hum of activity is duller, here in this forgotten space — few visit in search of historical facts.



R’xim is on a mission to somewhere as his boots ring with purpose on the stone flooring of the living cavern. He makes his way toward the klah mugs and helps himself to a hearty dose of the much needed energy drink before turning around to resume his beeline. It appears that he’s making his way toward the exit when one of his wingriders approaches him with a hide in one hand and writing utensil in the other. The Weyrsecond pauses to read the hide when it’s handed to him and then shoves it back into the brownrider’s chest. “Revise that second part. I want it on my desk before the evening meal.” The wingrider nods, ticks a salute, and then hustles out of the living cavern. Now maybe Rix can get out of here without further interruption.

Erissa doesn’t visit the archives often but today happens to be one of those rare instances. Having arrived with a satchel stuffed with scrolls she pulls them out and sets them out on a table, looking them over and separating them by content. Bracing one arm on the table she leans over the documents, the other hand rising to tuck short white-blond hair behind an ear. After several reshufflings she is finally satisfied. Selecting two in particular she picks them up, turning on her heel and eye-balling a nearby wall of shelving.

“Now where do you two go, hm?” she mumbles to herself. Strolling forward slowly her gaze skims over the various labels and tags until, spying something that looks promising, she kneels down and takes a closer look at the scrolls in one specific nook.

It just so happens that R’xim is that library patron who seemingly thinks the rules do not apply to him when he brings a mug of klah into the room. He has a looong history in this library and every time he enters, his chest tightens at the thought of one person in particular. One very beautiful blonde archivist who used to manage this archive Turns ago. As he steps further into the main area, the mug is lifted for another sip and he catches sight of… blonde hair. Rix blinks and wavers for a moment before he finds himself walking toward the crouched woman.

As he draws near, he notes that the blonde hair isn’t the right shade. Nor is the woman wearing the right clothing. R’xim wilts ever slightly when he realizes that it’s not said archivist, but rather another familiar face instead. “Erissa.” he drawls before taking another sip of klah. Blue eyes remain fixed on her efforts to look at something. “You’ll find a lot of dust and sand at that level.” Dry humor, that.

Erissa only registers the footfall of a new arrival in some back part of her brain, her focus too bent on finding the location for which she’s searching. But then she actually hears her name in a distinctive drawl and her head snaps around toward it.

“R’xim,” she returns in similar greeting. A wary caution automatically seeps through her bones being around the bronzerider, more a holdover from their mutually spent youth than anything he’s done since they crossed paths again here at Igen. F’dan had always been a catalyst of negative interaction between them so now that he’s gone there is an awkward space that simmers with drastically different emotions for each of them. For her - relief that he’s gone. For him - sadness at the loss of a dear friend. It was a gulf they had never tried to breach, instead skimming the edges of it whenever they ran into each other. Mutually assured avoidance.

As for his observation she merely pulls a wry tug of full lips and looks back to the niche she had identified. “So I see.” Sliding the two scrolls she’s carrying into it she then stands and sets palms to slender hips a moment as if some alarm system might start blaring complaint that she dared the heresy of misfiling.

Nope. Apparently she’s safe. Turning back to her table she touches a few more hides, deciding which to attempt next. Dark blue hues slide sidelong to R’xim briefly. “Doing some research yourself or just here for some casual reading?”

R’xim notes the bluerider’s body language after his arrival and that sense of timidity he’s rather familiar with. F’dan was a bastard to practically everyone he met. He never had pleasant remarks for female dragonriders and was rather vocal about his distaste on an almost daily basis, which quelled ever slightly when he became Weyrleader at Igen. The only time when he actually had to work with the female populace rather than berate them for their efforts. And R’xim was always witness to such verbal abuse, never one to tell F’dan that he couldn’t say what was on his mind.

While F’dan was a natural born leader, R’xim was always his ‘second. He was always the support that his best friend needed and was better suited for a position that didn’t require heavy diplomacy or formal communication. He hated hidework. He got into fights. And F’dan always smoothed things over for him. Now Rix is on his own to fend for himself without the protection of his departed brother.

All this is not lost on the bronzerider. R’xim siiips more of his klah while studying Erissa, a snort following after he lowers the mug. “I enjoy popping into the archives at random times. Keeps the Harpers on their toes.” Leathers creak when he shifts his weight. “What’s with all the scrolls?”

Erissa snorts lightly for that excuse, pretty features cast in blase detachment. So typical of someone who condoned F’dan’s level of actions. “Just bringing them back,” she replies without looking at him. “G’tan was doing some research and I… was looking for some light reading.” The last is said hesitantly as if she’s reluctant to admit what had caught her interest for ‘light’ reading. Leaning forward slightly and tilting her head as she examines a scroll in particular causes white-blond layers to shift and partially hide her profile. Convenient, that.

Selecting three scrolls that she knows are of similar content she raises silver-threaded blues to the surrounding walls and scans the labels again. With a short exhale she realizes where they go is well over her head. Not that she’s going to admit defeat in front of R’xim! Stepping close to the wall of shelves she takes one of the scrolls from where they’re cradled in her arms and holds it by one end. Lifting it as high as she can she gives it a little toss to cross the remaining distance. The effort works…. although the scroll is still hanging out of the niche by several fingerwidths.

She meant to do that! Yep!

“Light reading.” R’xim says as he folds an arm over his middle while the other keeps the mug near his lips. He studies the bluerider for a bit, a hint of incredulity nipping at his tone as his eyes scan over the scrolls that were retrieved from the shelf. Erissa’s efforts at putting them back inspire a hint of a smirk that he keeps hidden behind said mug for a bit. “You know the archivists frown upon patrons re-shelving material. It messes with their browsing statistics.” He actually learned a few things while dating a Harper-Archivist — one was to never screw with their record keeping.

Still, Rix isn’t in favor of having a scroll teeter over the edge and thwack the poor wingrider on the forehead. Nor does he want to explain to G’tan why his weyrmate is bleeding profusely from a head injury caused by an avalanche of scrolls and books in the archives. “Hold on. You’re going to get dust everywhere.” The mug is set upon the table and he reaches over Erissa to push the scroll safely back into its spot on the shelf. “At least you’re not climbing up on the damn shelf.” Like a certain Weyrwoman attempted to do in the past.

He’s worried about the dust?? “There’s already dust everywhere,” Erissa protests, casting a look over her shoulder. As if she would hurt herself! That never happens. But then he’s reaching over her and pushing the scroll safely into its niche and she can’t fault that it’s better that way. With a slight sigh of forced patience she screws up her pride and holds out the other two.

“Would you mind tossing these up there too since its apparently so easy for you to reach?” Ok, so she didn’t have to tack on that last bit but she couldn’t help herself. Watching him a moment her mind automatically makes some comparative notes. His previous comments about the preferences of archivists come back and she muses in question, “You seem to know a lot about this place. Spend much time in here?”

“Doesn’t mean you need to get more of it into my mug.” R’xim grumbles underneath his breath when he practically shoves the scrolls into their rightful places. His mind drifts to a time when a certain blonde haired archivist used to manage this library and he lifts his shoulders into a shrug when he steps back to collect his klah from the tabletop. He takes another sip and then promptly clears his throat afterward. “Not anymore. I used to come in here daily when I had reason to.” Blue eyes lift toward Erissa like he expects her to know what (or who) he’s talking about.

But that moment soon fades and the Weyrsecond finds himself wandering closer to the stacks to get a better look at one particular aisle. “The library at High Reaches is the best I’ve ever seen.” Probably because it’s his home Weyr and it’ll always be better than Igen’s. “You remember it, I’m sure.”

Erissa should say thank you. She really should. But something about the man just grinds her in the wrong direction. So instead she turns back to the table when he does and starts rifling through the remaining scrolls. She has no idea who he’s referring to when it comes to former archivists so misses the reference. His tone, however, is clearly expectant and does catch her attention. Dark blue hues flicker upward, catch and hold on the look he’s giving her. When her blank look continues he seems to dismiss the connection and wanders off instead, picking up the conversation on a different thread. Mention of High Reaches causes a subtle stiffening in the bluerider’s spine, her hands pausing for a second on the scrolls. “I didn’t spend a lot of time in the library there.” She was too busy with endless chores and hiding from the likes of R’xim and his buddies. “Aha!” Interrupting herself she picks up an especially thick scroll. Glancing about she realizes R’xim is standing in the section where it goes. “Are the star charts over there?” She asks.

R’xim does remember life at High Reaches when he was in the prime of his dragonriding career. Some can argue and say that now is his peak, but, to him, it was life with F’dan that made him feel alive. The best. Now he simply exists. While Erissa might struggle with the memory of the militaristic Weyr, R’xim has a fondness that tightens his chest whenever he thinks about the good ol’ days.

He sips more klah and motions to the star charts. “Right here.” There’s no indication that he’s going to be leaving just yet, so he steps to the side to make room for Erissa. If she wants to browse said star charts, she’ll have to draw near again. It’s not like he’s actively trying to make her feel uncomfortable but her body language is rather obvious. In another time and place, he’d have seized the opportunity. Perhaps he’s getting older, or perhaps it’s because the woman is attached to a man he works very closely with on a daily basis — and has grown to respect since F’dan’s death. “Where’s your boy?” A random change in subject, hopefully one that won’t make her flinch.

When R’xim doesn’t move out of the star chart area the line of Erissa’s lips tightens and she sighs lightly through her nose. So be it. It’s not that she’s physically adverse to the bronzerider. It’s a mental reflex ingrained at an impressionable age that has had no reason to dim. Perhaps if she knew him better - as well as G’tan does - then her reaction might have a chance to change.

Gathering up the thick scroll and two smaller ones she walks over to the shelves without the slightest hitch in her movements, demeanor stiffly controlled. Dark blue hues scan the notations on the niches.

“My…boy? Seskan?” His question is so unexpected she blurts the first thing that comes to mind. Pale brows furrow slightly. Not that R’xim would know but Erissa had had a hard time letting anyone else care for the toddler so his innocent question is met with more skepticism than normal. “He’s with his nanny. Why?”

R’xim siiips the last of his klah while peering over the rim at Erissa again, only this time one brow quirks upward when he lowers the empty mug. “Yeeaah. That’d be him.” Either Rix really sucks at small talk, or the woman standing in front of him is repulsed by his inquiry. There’s a definite icy air between the two of them and the Weyrsecond decides that perhaps he should be getting back to the council chamber. Or living caverns. A place that isn’t the library where he obvious offends women without even trying. “Liam is in the creche on the days I work. I was just curious if they might be together.” And it’s not like he’s going to ask anything else. Both boys are about the same age, but he doesn’t know anything beyond that — like whether or not G’tan and Erissa have a nanny.

Shoulders roll to loosen tighten muscles and Rix lifts the empty mug in a half-hearted ‘cheers’. “Tell G’tan I’ll see him bright and early tomorrow.” A nod follows before the Weyrsecond strides toward the doorway with ringing boot heels against the stone flooring. He’s got someplace else he’s got to be.

Erissa hmms softly as R’xim mentions his own son, just a shimmer of chagrin wisping across her emotions for having been so touchy about the subject. Feeling protective of her son around a man who had caused her so much grief in the past isn’t something she can control, however both having a similar child could be noteworthy. Common ground, perhaps?

Whether it might’ve been or not doesn’t matter as the bronzerider takes his leave. Erissa nods in return concerning G’tan. Her weyrmate hasn’t had anything negative to say about his fellow Weyrsecond, something which Erissa had noted. Watching R’xim’s back as he leaves she wonders briefly if age might have changed the man from the boy she knew. F’dan had certainly made his negative feelings toward her clear so expecting the same from his best friend was a logical self-defense mechanism.

If anyone can attest to the changes wrought by both adversity and happiness though, it’s Erissa. As she places the remaining scrolls a part of her mind stews on the possibilities.

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