Tommin, Ginger


Newly-arrived healer apprentice Tommin discovers some surprises about Weyr life when he meets Ginger.


It is afternoon of the seventh day of the third month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 11 Oct 2017 23:00



"Don't they, like, marry you off?"



A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.

A skinny figure cuts into the Nighthearth, pulling off a damp hat and waving it around, to the disgust of the other patrons. Tommin hasn't noticed their annoyance, a clueless teenage boy; instead, he just walks over to get a mug of klah and and a small bowl of stew. The search for a seat takes a little longer, Tommin wandering back and forth like a lost puppy, hat tucked under one arm as he switches the bowl back and forth between hands, muttering about, "Hot, hot, hot, owie!"

Ginger is not far from the hearths; she's actually kneeling by the cavern wall with a bucket beside her and a cloth in her hand, washing the bottom of the rocky wall. When she notices Tommin's predicament, though, she stands and points to a nearby chair, which happens to be unoccupied. She calls, "There's space over here!" Then she bends to rub a few flecks of dust from the knees of her trousers.

It takes a moment for Tommin to turn, looking at Ginger in confusion. Then his expression clears and he trots over. "Thanks, miss," he says, dropping into the seat and slopping some stew over the edge of the bowl. Hissing in annoyance, Tomm looks up at Ginger again from his hands. "That was really nice of you." An awkward pause and Tommin adds, "Tommin." Another pause, "Me. I'm Tommin. Uh, well met." Very smooth.

Ginger watches Tommin safely into his chair, then grins as he introduces himself. "I'm Ginger. For obvious reasons." Yes, that's a name as well as a description. "Don't think I've seen you before, so I'm guessing you're new." Apparently Ginger knows everybody - or thinks she does, though there's a lift of the eyebrows that seeks confirmation. "Well met and welcome!"

Tommin stays quiet for a few moments after Ginger introduces her name before shrugging. "New healer here." Then, because honesty, "Apprentice. Thanks." Twisting his neck a little because looking up at people is hard on growing joints (or so goes the excuse), Tomm asks, "So… What do you do in the Weyr?" Just in case she's a goldrider in disguise or something.

Ginger drops her cloth into the bucket, the better to flap her hands. "Whatever they give me. I haven't settled to anything yet. Today I'm cleaning mildew off the walls, and really hoping I don't end up making a career of it." With characteristic honesty, she adds, "I'm bored out of my skull, but it needed doing. Stuff gets everywhere when the weather's this muggy."

Tommin pulls a face at the word 'mildew', agreeing, "Gross. The Journeyman Healer used to make me do it whenever he was punishing me for things. So, you're like a weyrbrat?" he asks, his voice dropping a little as he looks around a little for anyone listening in. "Don't they, like, marry you off?" Oh, sweet summer child, the first Weyr visit.

"What?" Ginger seems genuinely aghast. "Of course not! This is a Weyr. Weyrfolk do not marry off their kids!" Her appalled tone reinforces her words. "Don't really marry much, full-stop," she adds with less force. "Marrying's kind of complicated for dragonriders, and everyone of marrying age either is one or wants to be." And life stops when you're no longer of Impression age. The world according to Ginger. "And even if we did, I wouldn't do it yet." She peers curiously at the healer. "You're not any older than me. How long have you been doing the healering?"

Definitely not the reaction Tommin was expecting. He reels back in the face of Ginger's vehemence, more stew slopping about. He'll never make it in surgery. "Wha… wai… Sorry!" he replies, a blush starting at his cheeks and then flowing down his neck quickly. "I just… S'all my little sister talks about. And she's 14 turns!" Girls, amirite? When the conversation moves back to something a little more comfortable, Tommin's visibly relieved. "Um. I started about four Turns ago?" Even he's not certain per his tone. "But I just arrived here." That much he's aware of.

Ginger's lips press together at Tommin's answer to her question and there's a hint of disappointment in her eyes, but she gives a little shrug and returns to the earlier topic. "I guess she's not here. I suppose marrying's useful if you're a holder and there's land to worry about, or you're afraid he might turn you out and leave you holdless." A flicker of amusement returns to her eyes. "Doesn't mean Weyr girls don't talk about boys. Well, most of 'em do."

Tommin takes a bite of stew and ruminates on it, now that it's cooled some. "Naw. She wants to marry some Holder. She's pretty enough," though after that statement, Tomm's face twists strangely, "I mean, for my sister." Wait, what? "Like, as a girl." Nope, not better. That girls talk about boys doesn't seem to surprise Tommin much but instead of interested, he seems a bit worried: "They do here? Do they expect things? Like flowers and going out walking?"

Ginger has to think about that. "Depends on the girl," she concludes. "Some would. Some would rather stay inside and keep cool. If you like a girl, you need to find out what she likes. Do all boys like the same things?" A moment's additional consideration, and she elaborates. "I mean, I don't suppose many people wouldn't like it if you went out and picked flowers for them. As long as they didn't hate you, of course. And they were someone who wanted boys to be interested in them."

For all that Tommin looks uncomfortable listening to Ginger's recitation of what girls would like, when she asks about boys' interests, he looks even more uncertain. "I… don't know? I mean, I think guys like ale and darts and games and stuff. That's what men like back home." He's not touching that last one with a dragonlength pole. "I'm just an apprentice!" he says suddenly, as if that excuses him from having an opinion about things, "I'm not, not even supposed to think about things like this!"

"They don't let you- oh, I suppose that does make sense," Ginger concedes, interrupting herself. "It's the same for weyrlings, though that's mostly because little dragons get upset if their riders have, 'strong and unfamiliar emotions'." The last words are said in an altered voice; she's clearly quoting something that's been drummed into her. "And Faranth aid any weyrling girl who gets preggers! But it's a distraction for the human half, too, which I guess is the same for you. All that studying!"

Now the whites of Tommin's eyes are showing, partly in listening to Ginger and partly because he was so uncomfortable that he's gone and spilled a good dose of his stew in his lap. "Really interesting!" he squeaks, standing up and using the bowl to hide his lap where stew is starting to stain his trousers. "If you'll excuse me!" That's not his voice cracking! Tommin manages to skirt around Ginger as he heads swiftly for the door, echoing an awkwardly over-the-shoulder, "Thank you for the chair, miss!"

Ginger has a distinctly bemused expression on her face as she watches him go. She mutters, "Boys!" under her breath, then hauls the cloth out of the bucket again with a grimace and gets back down to her cleaning.

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