Who

H'rik, Naneska

What

Naneska is watching the sunset, and H'rik and Wendy drop by. Naneska gives good advice.

When

It is sunset of the nineteenth day of the fifth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Standing Stones, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 06 Nov 2017 00:00

 

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Standing Stones

It is perhaps a pity that the Standing Stones lie in quiet isolation, half-forgotten in the Weyr's easternmost corner. Or perhaps it is inevitable: the grandiose beauty of these red rocks is ill-suited to Igen's coarse grit, and maybe only their loneliness allows them to survive unmarred. Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that the Standing Stones, a lonely jumble of ancient boulders, have a glory about them. The tumbled field of pillars and arches has been shaped by eons of wind and water into strange shapes, twisted and rutted. The going is treacherous: only the Weyr's half-feral herd of caprines navigates the terrain with any ease. To the northwest, the lakeshore glimmers; to the east, rough-carved steps lead towards another ancient pile of rocks - though the Star Stones are less haphazardly placed than their Standing cousins.


Another sweltering spring day in Igen comes to a dramatic close, with the sky stained with the crimson and gold of sunset. The lengthening shadows of the encroaching evening make the forgotten glory of the Standing Stones even more glorious… and treacherous than usual, the ancient rocks glowing with the warm light of the westering sun, even as the darkness behind them grows. The goats have all gone, perhaps looking for supper a little more substantial than the scraggily weeds that poke up at the base of the stones, so Naneska is all alone, seated upon one of the fallen uprights with a lapful of sun all of her own. Her clothes have that baked in wrinkle look that suggests that when she first sat down they were wet. But otherwise, it's just a trader girl, her firelizard and a pot full of oil enjoying the last of a spectacular spring day.

Look out Naneska - you're not going to be alone for much longer. Not with Wendryth winging down for a clunky sort of landing, a hunk of metal settling down onto the ground feet first, then belly, as he lowers himself down to reduce the distance H'rik has to cover to dismount. Naneska gets a rumble of happy greeting from the blue-eyed bronze, while H'rik, now on his feet beside the bronze, and a few metres away from the woman and her fire-lizard, looks partly surprised to find someone here (really? With this view to admire he thought he'd be the only one?), and also hesitant. "Oh - sorry Naneska. I'm not disturbing you, am I?" The rider's jacket is fully open, and though he wears his riding trousers, there's no sign of a helmet or any other accessorises, hinting that he's not come from far away to be here.

When it becomes apparent that she is about to be joined by someone who doesn't take the effort to trudge hike all the way from the lake, she shields her eyes with her hands to watch the descent. This hand is then used to wave in response to that rumbled greeting. "Wendryth." She bobs her head almost like a proper lady. And then her attention is returned to the rider, and that versitile hand does a so-so motion. "Yay 'n nay." She answers honestly. "Nay for this particular moment. I don't own these…" She slaps her rock seat affectionately. "And Aye, because of what ye beastie jist did." Naneska gotta a LOT of mileage out of the line: 'Me cousin's t' Weyrleader.' But judging from the twinkle of mischief that gilds her face along with the last light of the sun she's teasing. "Congratulations… Weyrleader." Teaseteasetease.

Wendryth is allll over being greeted by a lady, especially the way Naneska does it this evening, and with his rider off of him he can rise and puff his chest out. His ego might deflate, eventually. For now, H'rik just has to suffer through it - and the reactions of others around him. He's accepted that Naneska isn't adverse to some company, stepping towards that bit of rock she's slapped with the intention of taking a seat. Then he pauses at what she says next, brain taking a moment to work out what she means. It's the congratulations that make it all fall into place, and he turns his head slightly to give Wendy a good bit of sideeye. "Thanks," comes his reply, and he finally sits down. Up closer, the beginnings of the grey bags under his eyes are probably noticeable, especially as H'rik looks at Naneska, shaking his head a bit. "He's really thrown me in at the deep end with this." He doesn't sound angry, just…tiredly accepting of what's happened.

Naneska gives a sympathetic sigh, even she she smoothes the last of the oil on to She-Ra's hide. A final caress sees the gold off and away, and her attention returns to the bronzerider of her 'aqccuaintance'. "I'm not goin' t' claim any great wisdom. But if it help's ye… I think F'in felt t' same." That whole drowning in responsibility business. "Ye'll find a rhythm." Her lips twitch slightly. "I kin help ye wit' that later if ye like." There is a barest flicker of a wink, even as she draws her knee's up to rest her head upon. She's quite good at helping riders find their rhythm.

H'rik watches She-Ra's departure, as does Wendryth, the bronze giving a gentle croon as the gold goes on her way. H'rik is more interested in watching Naneska though, especially as she imparts some information about the outgoing Weyrleader. That gets H'rik's forehead wrinkling as he tries to imagine F'in feeling the way he does. "Funny, I suppose I just assumed whatever rider ended up in the role knew what he was doing. But…." He shrugs, but gives Naneska a broad smile, a laugh not quite coming out but very nearly there, his eyes bright and amused by her offer. "Oh yeah? Are you angling for me to hire you as an assistant, or something?" He can tease right back!

Naneska snorts, "Oh, aye, kin ye imagine it?" IT WOULD BE CHAOS! Mostly because she'd wander off when she got bored… or spotted a rider of interest. The teasing stops for a moment, her hand reaching out and almost touching those bags under his eyes. "Ye look tired, that's all. Figured I could offer a lil… respite if ye need." Somethings, Naneska offers generously and freely. As she considers the rest of his words she snorts again. "As near as I kin tell as an outsider, life as a rider is full of doin' stuff ye may not have t' greatest handle upon."

H'rik can't help but laugh now at Naneska's reaction to his joking suggestion. He's perfectly still as she reaches towards him, wondering what she's going for. Oh. His face. Yeah. He looks a touch guilty now, turning away just enough to look out at the sunset that's splashing such vibrant colours across the expanse of the sky. "It's been a busy week. More than a week?" He's lost track, and sounds confused even as he says it. "There's so much to get up to speed on, and I still don't think I've even got a fraction of it yet." He takes a long, steadying breath, before offering up a genuine, warm smile for her offer. "I may take you up on that. Just don't tell Wendy. He's got all his romantic notions about Zsaviranth and Diem." Though he says it with an implied wink, and loud enough for the bronze to hear, getting a snort from Wendryth.

Naneska nibbles on her lip. "Aye, 'N it's not goin' nowhere." All that very important stuff that he must master yesterday. "I might." She admits, she is a trader after all. "But ye know which wagon is mine yeah? Don't want to start any rumors o' ye bedding me aunt Gladys instead." The serious moment is gone, even as she follows the direction of his focus to the snorting Wendryth. "Well. Ye kin skip t' romance if ye like." Naneska doesn't really mind. "That'll help right?" Although in the side of her face that is hidden from the bronze, she doesn't imply a wink, she actually gives one.

"True." H'rik can't argue that point. Maybe he does need to calm down a bit with the researching and meetings and poring over tiny crabbed handwriting by glowlight until his eyes ache. "That I do," he grins as Naneska talks wagons. "Hey, it could become one of the less scandalous rumours around me. I'm sure they'll be coming soon enough." He's finding the humour in it, anyway, rather than sounding on edge about the potential for the Weyr to start gossip about him. He laughs at her wink, this getting a definite feeling of huh? what's funny?? from Wendryth that reaches not just to him, but to Naneska too. Ignoring his bronze's bemusement, H'rik looks out at the glorious sky, the sun dipping below the horizon. "How're you doing, anyway?" Since so far the talk has mostly focused around him, and H'rik fancies a change of topic.

To be fair, H'rik really did just experience one of the more life-changing events that can happen in a Weyr, so of course people are going to check up on him. "Ye know me, not much changes…" So there are a few more adventures under her belt, and a couple more notches in her bed-post. Covering her mouth, she responds to the confusion from the bronze with silent laughter and dancing eyes. "'N not much stays t' same." She concludes. "I'm doin' fine. More than fine." Even if she STILL can't shoe a runner.

What was H'rik hoping for? Some big news in Naneska's life to focus on, to take his mind off his current predicament? Wendryth settles himself down, laying his head on a forelimb and watching both people, alert but not interrupting the conversation. H'rik is still watching the sunset, the dimming light casting all manner of interesting shadows over his relaxed features. "Glad to hear it. I should try to keep up with people better." A little bit of verbal self-flagellation, though it's unclear if he means keeping up on the personal level, or the official level. "I heard the caravans had some big event recently - you go to that?" He finally looks at Naneska again, curious to hear what she might know of the caravans' goings-on.

"Sometimes I think t' Zingari would have a party iffn one o' them dropped a hat." It isn't criticism that prompts those words, just you know, observation. "T' costumes were interestin' but I didn't stick around very long." Because Naneska's gunna Naneska, and there's always someone new to meet! "Didn't yer lot poison a whole heap of folks?" Yeah, that's been garbled somewhere before it reached Naneska's ears. Shifting slightly her hazel eyes take in the splash of color still staining the desert sky, and the way the light gilds all that is before her. "Ye still need help decoratin' yer weyr? Or are t' pair o' ye movin'?" Why that came to mind and mouth, I CANNOT GUESS, but it does, even as her eyes return to H'rik to see what effects sunset have wrought upon his face.

H'rik's laugh at that observation is soft. "So I hear. There always seems to be some celebration or another with them. Still, it's what they do best, I s'ppose." He seems interested to hear even what small information she has about the last fiesta, before Naneska blindsides him with the poisoning thing and he stares at her, baffled. "Well, it's all still being looked into," he says, more awkwardly than he would've liked. This is one wonderful thing that's fallen into his lap, along with the new knot. "We haven't got to the bottom of it…uh, but might be best not to tell anyone I told you that." He cringes as he possibly says too much, and the topic of his weyr is a welcome one, his gaze drifting to look in the direction of said living place. "I don't know yet. I've sort of got attached to it, y'know? Was starting to make it my own. Got a feline pelt at Southern, that was making it look nicer." Talk about avoiding the questions. H'rik pulls himself back on track. "It'd be convenient to be closer to the council rooms and that, I guess, if I moved closer to ground level." As his eyes turn back to the sunset, they meet Naneska's where she's staring at him, and he gives her a quizzical look.

Naneska gives a sigh. "Sure, a girl gits herself a feline pelt, n' next thing everyone's copyin' her…" Naneska, the trend-setter teases. "They make fine rugs but…" She concedes, tilting her head with magnanimous mischief. "Who listens t' a trader lass who is no better than she ought t' be?" Comes her response when he asks for her silence. "'Sides, most are either tellin' me off or turnin' me on. Not much need t' discuss such things." But here she is, discussing it with him. "I'd take freedom over convienence any day." But that's essentially Naneska's whole life philosophy, so he can make of that as he will, even as her hazel eyes continue to challenge his returned stare, the faint light of the sinking sun giving an additional glimmer beyond the words she is saying.

H'rik tries to hide his grin when Naneska sighs. "I'm sure yours is much better looking than mine," he notes. About the feline pelts, because that's what they're talking about, and not anything else! He does a mock roll of his eyes for her response to his request, but he's smiling, clearly good-natured about it. Her honesty is refreshing. "Freedom over convenience," he mulls that phrase over, breaking the stare between the two of them to look out at what remains of the sun, the blue of his eyes getting darker as the light fades. "I think I can kiss goodbye to freedom for the time being," he decides, but he doesn't sound too morose about it. Indeed, he even flashes a grin at Naneska. "But maybe there are other priviledges that come with this position. There's gotta be or nobody would want to do it, right?"

"Freedom always." Naneska declares with a nod of her head. "'N don't let 'em tell ye, it kin only be done their way." While she may have only escaped marriage and a life of a smallholders wife, it has had an impact on the way she sees the world. "I don't know about ye priviledges, but I'm not going t' get half the discounts I used t' git." Sigh, again it was handy being related to someone with a bigger knot than everyone else. "Don't think as many people would be impressed t' hear I shared t' weyrleaders bed…" Her grin grows. "Or he shared mine. 'Tis a matter o' perspective yeah?"

H'rik's laugh is soft, genuine, amused. This is what he loves about Naneska - that determined independence. "I will. Not sure they'll like a presumptuous young Weyrleader standing up to them but…I will." Promise! He looks bemused by her mention of discounts, before remembering he ousted her cousin from the position, and a quiet 'ah' escapes his lips. "Well…I rpobably shouldn't be seen to be pulling too many strings, 'specially at the beginning but, if I can try to help…." The offer is put out there with a little shrug. Then he chuckles at her next, his eyes bright as he grins at her. "Probably not, I'm afraid. Though it would certainly make for some scandalous rumours, I'm sure." He sounds and looks deeply amused by the idea of that talk going around the Weyr.

Naneska is just going to bump his shoulder companionably with her own. "Don't be daft. Iffn I can't git a discount on me own merits, ye're not obligated t' do it fer me." In otherwords, she may have a few more tricks up her sleeve that she hasn't used yet. "It was t' easy option." She admits. "What're they goin' t' do? Kick ye out?" Yeah, they don't have to like it, but they may have to live with it. Scandalous rumors like NANESKA is the real Weyrleader? "There's somethin' me gran used t' say… something about people who care don't matter, and people who matter don't care." And that's another lesson she keeps close to her heart. "I don't think yer Wendryth will steer ye wrong."

H'rik's manages to get a handle on his laughter, subduing it until he's just grinning. "I should've known you'd have your own ways to do things," he teases, but there's respect in his tone, too. Her advice is well-received, and she gets a quirked eyebrow. "You sure you don't want to be my assistant?" The teasing note is in his voice of course, but he is taking what she says seriously. "Yeah. I think I'm gonna have to have a tough hide to deal with what gets thrown my way." He seems to be expecting plenty of that to happen. As for Wendryth - the bronze, his eyes half-lidded where he rests, gets a long look and that soft smile only a rider can have for their dragon. "Yeah. He wants this I think, more than I did." Not that that's saying a lot, given he got thrown into this role unexpectedly. "He wants to do the right thing, all the time."

Naneska was introduced to the chivilrous bronze when he was still young. "Aye. Trust his instincts, even if ye don't trust ye own." H'rik may be laughing, but Naneska is not as she watches the sunset across the the misty armor of the bronze. "Ye'll git there." There is a firm nod of her head at the last, satisfied that her thoughts on the matter are supported by her gut instincts. "He didn't choose ye jist t' piss off yer da…" Although that was a bonus right? "'N t' offer of somewhere t' shed that armor stands. Jist…" And now the sunchild falters, this is a little more formal than most of her arrangements. "I won't…" There is a frown. "T' offer stands." She concludes.

Wendryth can sense when someone is watching him, especially a fair lady. So he'll unlid those eyes and look back at Naneska, the whirl of their soothing blue-green facets sedate. "Yeah. I'll muddle through. Wendy'll be fine." Of that, H'rik is sure. There's a wry twist of his lips when Vitus is brought up. "I thought I'd escaped responsibility, Impressing." That whole pesky heir to the Steens thing. H'rik'ss igh is short and sharp. "Still, this is the better alternative. I think." Eh. He looks at Naneska with her attempts to get out what she wants to say, and an arm will go round her shoulders, if she allows. "Thanks." It's just one word, but it's really, truly grateful. He'll turn his attention back to the last remnants of the sun's rays, happy to watch silently as twilight turns to night.

Naneska will allow it, but she'll also cross her eyes as her usually glib tongue fails her (possibly for the first time ever!) "Okay, ye are daft!" She declares, taking an abrupt conversational turn. "Can't think of anyone wit' more responsibility than a rider." She points out. "Not that I'm not grateful." And she does demonstrate that gratitude often, and without prejudice. "But it's a hard thing ye've been called t' do." For that she is not a rider herself, she's learned the ways of the Weyr since leaving Bitra all those turns ago.

"Shush!" H'rik jokingly chides her, though he's smiling as he continues to watch the skies. "I'm trying not to think about that twenty-four hours a day, every day." Wendryth gives a rumble of his own, a feeling of amusement emitting from him. His rider's in better spirits, and he's in as high spirits as always, so everything's good. "Eh. Diem seems to be good at what she does, and she's been Weyrwoman for a while now. At least we're not both new and fumbling through it all." Small comforts!

Naneska nods. "I don't have much t' do with t' more…illustrious members o' t' weyr." It is entirely probable that Naneska avoids most people with a fancy knot, or blooded connections. "But she is spoken o' kindly. I don't think ye'd do wrong t' listen t' her either." She's helping! Although with her lack of friends in high places, she may not have a very good idea of how the Weyr heirachy works. After all, she didn't assist her cousin, just dropped his name at every possible opportunity. "I bet I could make ye forget." She twitches her brows bawdily. "But after t' sun is done." Her affinity for the bright warm ball of Rukbat meaning that watching it set is almost a nightly ritual.

H'rik is listening, nodding here and there, though his eyes remain on the shifting colours that signify the last of the sun's light. "I don't think I have any choice but to listen to her," he notes, smiling. "Oh yeah?" H'rik gives Naneska a look with a raised eyebrow. Is that a challenge?! He's loving it. "Mm. I think this counts as romantic, watching the sunset. Right?" He's half-joking, but he is also entranced by the beauty of the sight.

"Romantic?" Naneska pronounces (lol mangles with her Bitran accent) that word as if she has never encountered it before. Which in all likelyhood, she probably hasn't, being much more inclined to skip to the more interesting methods of interaction. "It's pretty." Although it isn't clear if she is agreeing or disagreeing with the bronzerider, despite the clarity of her falling into his tease. "But…" There is a shrug, even as she gives up. "Aye." She finally accedes to the romance of the location and time. "But don't git used to it." She grumbles, even as she leans that little bit closer under his arm.

H'rik manages to keep his smile from getting too big as Naneska seems to struggle with that thought. "I won't," he promises, under no illusion that he's Naneska's one and only - because hell, H'rik isn't exactly virtuous himself. "It's…relaxing," he comments, looking at the last vestiges of the sunset, so presumably talking about the sight. Or is he talking about his present company?

"Aye." Naneska's intrinsic honestly forces her to admit after more silence. This sitting and talking is kind of new to her. But sooner or later in the silence she's going to start to fidget, because her feet weren't really made to stay still (literally or figuratively). "They probably won't think t' look fer ye in my wagon." The offer rears it's head yet again. "N' now that t' light is fading, yer ugly mug won't be as conspicuous." There is a sigh as the last little sliver disappears beyond the horizon. "At the very least, let me git ye dinner."

H'rik can't not smile at that. "Oh yeah? I'll take you up on that dinner. So long as I don't have to wear a disguise so people don't realise you're dining with the Weyrleader." He's back to teasing, even as Naneska seems to be being quite serious. What's going on here?? "C'mon then." He'll stand, and move over to Wendy, a hand held out if she wants to accept the gentleman's offer of help up onto the bronze. They're taking the fancy way down, no scaling all the steps tonight!

Just the steps to Naneska's wagon later, once she's fed him some of her cooking. At least that's what she's got planned in her serious little head at the moment. But for now she accepts the hand and the lift with an appreciative 'Thank you sir' for Wendryth, and a small smile for his rider. At some point around her campfire she'll regain her usual charming humor, and perhaps for a little while she can help him forget that he has an old persons job.

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