Elle, Il'ian, Mayte


A bronzerider, a goldrider, and a starcrafter share a table… no really, this time isn't a joke either.


It is evening of the twenty-second day of the sixth month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Living Caverns, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Living Caverns

Dim light from hanging glow-globes cannot fully camouflage the ravages of time and neglect on Igen's busy living caverns, though hints of its former glory peek through in the decorative cuts to the cave's natural limestone and the high quality of dusty, tatty-ended tapestries. Here and there, skybroom tables — stained dark by wood finish and a decade of grime — sit in loose groups, flanked by wicker chairs with pointy, broken rattan that pokes out to invariably find unprotected skin. The seemingly randomly placed furniture, however, at closer inspection, forms a sort of cross-shape of negative space. At the northernmost walls and nooks of the caverns, a long buffet table with tarnished lazy susans hosts an array of finger-foods and pitchers for the interested, refilled occasionally by drudges that shuffle in from the curtained entrance to the south, beyond which lies the kitchens. To the east is a large arch leading outside and, across from that, to the west, a set of rattling doors that open to reveal the tunnels and stairs of the inner caverns themselves.

Oh, Igen. Why must you be so silly and hot in summer? Elle certainly thinks this is complete and utter nonsense, the way she has stacked three icy beverages in front of her modest dinnerplate — a full-sized meatroll with a side of roasted vegetables — and can be observed listlessly poking through for the broccoli. Pern has broccoli, right? The dinner rush is slowing down, and there are spots opening up at tables everywhere… but none as free as the table she sits at, this newfangled starcrafter, alone but for her trio of drinks and that forlorn meatroll.

Yeah, Igen, why you gotta be like that? Mayte is coming in from the Inner Caverns, down to pants, boots and a light, short-sleeve jacket. All dark greys and blacks. She's collecting a platter of cheese and apples and a glass of water before turning on her heel and scowling around the place. Walking right past the tables where she usually sits, she plunks her plate down in front of a young Journeyman and addresses: "Hi. Anyone sitting here?" Because you never know, right? Maybe Elle has invisible friends. "Can I sit?"

There comes the almost-belated lift of Elle's head as Mayte addresses her; the jounrneywoman tilts her gaze upwards to Mayte and gives a reflexive smile, as if not quite present in the moment. Only after a cursory glance to the other woman's shoulder does the starcraft straighten with a certain amount of alacrity. "Of course, weyrwoman. I mean to say, no one is sitting there — by all means." She gestures with a roasted spear of broccoli to the seat indicated. "Would you like a beverage?" She has three, you see: iced juice, iced klah, iced water.

No invisible friends. Good, Elle is sane. Mayte seats herself and eyes the selection Elle offers. "No, thanks. I'm good." Her own water is raised and wiggled a little before she takes a sip from it. A little pause while Mayte studies the journeywoman and then huffs: "New here?" A nod to the cold drinks, "I promise, you get used to it after a while." An apple is brought to her mouth so Mayte can take an absolutely miniscule bite of it. Then, perhaps a touch more adroitly, "What do you think of it?" The apple is waved around the living caverns.

As the day eclipses into the evening rush the swells with the rush of dinner to ebb into the tide of night, Il'ian's broach of the living caverns comes with easy grace, the lope of predatory muscles 'neath the much more casual wear of thin, white shirt opened at the throat that hangs untucked outside dark trousers. A silver'd necklace of some sort hangs around his throat, the pendant disappearing behind the thin material, barely teasing into the eye's view, but forever a mystery. The cropped blond hair is shiny for being so freshly cleaned, the blue eyes brighter for their attention to the line that awaits the beckoning tables. Quicksilver the smile leveled to a wing mate, the hard clap of hand to the shoulder blade of a fellow Whirlwind wing rider before dinner's taken in hand to be wrangled onto a massive pile onto his plate. Then, and only then, does he turn to find a seat. Eyes zero in one in particular, their true-blue depths holding to some air of humor. The plate is dropped on the table first, then he does that boy-thing with the way he swings one leg over to straddle the seat before plopping down. Does he utter a word? Nawp. Merely gives Mayte and Elle a look. They're girls. Food trumps girls.

Elle doesn't deign to look at Il'ian, in that peculiar manner of hers where her attention is wholly taken by Mayte for the moment that the goldrider is speaking to her. The only reason one would even think she's noticed is that the crafter re-orients herself slightly, the better to keep the bronzerider in her periphial vision. "Yes, a bit," she admits regarding the topic of hew newness, the slight starcrafter leaning back in her chair with iced water in hand. She's still considering the juice and the klah, as if they may eat her should she try to take a sip of them. "It is as I remember it," Elle comments, voice sliding distracted, "But I think the crime is worse, now. Luckily, my work shouldn't take me beyond the boundaries of the weyr proper, so hopefully that will not be something I wander into." She flashes a mercurial smile at Mayte, rueful.

See, they're just a couple of girls chatting: "It has its moments," Mayte will admit, not looking over at Il'ian as the man takes the other seat - think of Elle's invisible friends! "The Bazaar's its own… mystique, but it's worse if you're afraid of it." A pause and Mayte nibbles more cheese - bronzerider? What bronzerider? "You were here at Igen before?" Eyes are traaaaained on the Starcrafter until some slight move of Il'ian's has Mayte staring at him and asking like he appeared from nowhere, "Who are you? And why are you here?" Like his mere presence is a mere nuisance.

It's a good thing that Elle's table had more than just one extra seat, given how much more open it was than the others! Otherwise, Il'ian might be in danger of feeling unwanted. Over the empty seats between him and the girls, he pauses with a fork halted midway between plate and mouth. Those blue eyes of his blink slowly, eyebrows tilting upwards in apparent surprise. "Il'ian." Gaze flicks down to the fork that barely holds onto a thick juicy bite of steak, "Eating, ma'am." Yes. That's totally the obvious, but he's a boy of few words. And confusion.

"I doubt I'll have reason to be afraid of much, here." You can't get bad grades at a weyr, right? Elle smiles briefly at Mayte before turning her regard to her food; she only looks up out the corner of her eye at the goldrider's snappish greeting to the bronzerider. She absorbs the man's name — didn't catch it before, of course — and tilts a small smile, self-composed, upwards. "He's with me," she assures Mayte. "Trust me, he'll be the quietest stableboy you've ever met." There is something teasing to that, lips curving and eyes cast downward to her plate again. There has to be more broccoli for the eating, here.

Dark eyes narrow at Il'ian's response as Mayte examines his response and then recalls something with crossed eyes: "Sargaeroth's." Well. Hmph. "Well. I hope you enjoy the steak." Grump. To Elle, Mayte turns a slightly less cranky eye, nodding, "Oh good. Quiet is very good." For a moment, Mayte even casts a grin. To Elle. And then curiosity will do as it always does: "How long have you been…" one finger waves between them, "Together?" Since Il'ian's absorbed with his dinner, Mayte is asking the journeywoman as she reaches for a slice of cheese to nibble on speculatively.

"Thanks." Droll is the tone that slips from his lips before attention resumes to the MOUNTAIN of food on his plate. If Il'ian is listening to their conversation — okay a few chairs is not a continent way — he gives no indication but for the few glances from beneath the thick, sandy fringe of 'lashes. For the tease, though he doesn't raise his eyes to look at Elle, there quirks another ready smile. However, this bronzerider deals in silence. Once again, he's arrested in movement with the fork poised almost to his lips when Mayte makes an assumption. Slowly, he cants his head to cast a look from the corner of his eye. Even he seems curious to see what Elle just might say. Slowly, slowly, he slips the fork between his lips, bites, and then chews slowly.

Here there is a head cocked; here there is a consideration that must be made. And not just from the fact that Elle has officially (sorrowfully) run out of tiny veggie trees to eat. She picks at a piece of squash and glances up just in time to catch Mayte's question. For what it's worth, the starcrafter doesn't miss a beat. "Oh," she replies, the lilting tones of her cultured voice casual, "It's been so long I can hardly remember. Isn't that right, stableboy?" Her brown eyes shade darker with amusement, the curve of her lips hid behind the rim of her glass. She laughs without outward sound, self-composed as ever.

Mayte looks back and forth between the crafter and the rider curiously, leaving her food to dangle between fingers so the young woman can rest her chin in the en-cheesed hand - the rest of what she hasn't eaten sticking out like a tasty, strangely-smeling cigar. "You already can't remember?" A look over at Il'ian for confirmation. "How, ah, did you two meet?" Maybe it's the glows or maybe there's something starry in Mayte's eyes tonight; a little sniff and then the goldrider huffs: "And is it just me or is it warm in here?" Cheese cigar gets nibbled on absently.

"Mmmph," Il'ian's response is more of a noncommittal grunt than any true yes or no, but he's content to continue eating. Explanations, see, are not his forte and since Elle's sweeping inclusion into her entourage allowed his ass to continue to hold his seat, he doesn't gainsay her. Swallowing the piece of meat, he reaches for a glass and offers, "So fresh seems like just today." Those brows of his tilt in almost adorable confusion, before he drops his eyes back to his plate. He's no dummy, keeping his thoughts to himself. He, however, is content to add. "Long enough." Elle can protect him from goldriders, right? A shuttered look is given to both girls. Girls are a scary bunch, and food is not so much. Stab, stab goes the fork into the meat.

"Someday I dream he'll speak in more than just monosyllabic words," Elle confides in Mayte. "It does seem like just today, doesn't it?" She leans back, seems to consider the situation, and then frankly addresses the goldrider: "That's because it was today. I've never seen his face before earlier, when I was measuring the starstones. He was doing this thing with a toothpick I've never seen before." She makes it sound FAR, FAR dirtier than it could have ever POSSIBLY been.

A long sigh and understanding nod to Elle, but the reference to 'just today' has Mayte frowning in confusion: "Just like tod… ohhhhhhh." To Il'ian: "I thought you meant the steak. Cuz yeah, that's possible." She's content to listen to Elle for a second before turning to give Il'ian the stink eye, "Things with toothpicks?" So Mayte totally picked up on the naughty possibilities: "Are you seducing young new Crafters, young man?" She doesn't care that Il'ian's older and taller (since when did height mean anything, anyhow). "You haven't shown her your… dragon, have you?" Speaking of naughty. Also? To heck with romance.

"Aye, just today." Il'ian is now purposefully speaking in monosyllabic words to be an ass, because that's apparently what he does. With his head down, he focuses on food and not on the women so much as they natter on about his head. Finally, however, the goldrider is turning to ply him with questions. Heaving a sigh, he pushes the now empty plate (!!!) away from him and he has to turn those pretty blue eyes towards both women. "My dragon spit on her." For all that sigh heaving, that is what he chooses to say.

Elle is not so gauche as to follow along with Mayte's impolite assertions. She simply raises a single eyebrow, first at the goldrider, then at the bronzerider, in a way that feels vaguely disapproving: as if one has graduated, but an old teacher doesn't quite approve of the tact your life has taken. She doesn't say anything, though. In silence she is capable of a layered expression, and that she issues forth for both riders, in maladapted judgment, before lowering her eyes to her meatroll. Maybe there's something edible inside the flaky crust…

Pretty blue eyes, pah! Or, maybe a quiet 'pah', but whatever. She sits in dumbfounded silence for a moment and then blusters out, "Well, did you apologize for it?" Clearly, this is why their romance has only started today. Somehow. One hand waves to Elle while Mayte's staring at Il'ian, "Well?" There could be some part of Mayte that feels the disapproval stewing within the journeywoman because she turns to tell poor Elle, "I'm so sorry. We don't normally allow dragons," one eye pokes at the bronzerider, "to spit up on people." Because dragon spit-up would be even worse. Oh hello new level. And then in the brief second of silence that follows, Mayte looks at Elle's meatroll and asks, "… are you gonna finish that?"

Elle's disapproval is met with the quiet intensity of a man caught between two women. Il'ian, is a careful boy, however, especially when turning a shuttered look to Mayte. He waits until Mayte's done with her twenty questions so that he can sift through them and pick the one he wants to answer versus answering all of them. "Sargaeroth didn't like being called an ugly runner." A sentence. Imagine that! Brows lift towards Elle, that disdain bringing that sparkle of mirth to those ocean blue eyes. "You surprise me, journeyman." For what? He doesn't elaborate. Also what he doesn't bother to correct is that the dragon did no spitting up on anyone.

"I do hope you don't take offense," comes Elle's words, issued in as confident of tones as always marks the brown-haired starcrafter, "But you are the strangest goldrider I've ever met, ma'am." There is a hint of canny interest there, a certain muted fascination to her inquisitive gaze. She pushes her plate wordlessly out towards Mayte. Only then do her eyes turn towards Il'ian: her smile spreads, slowly, but she keeps her silence, content enough with the challenge of a dispassionate expression and plenty of unrelenting eye contact. Her lips tug once, upwards, at the corner: did you say something, bronzerider?

Okay, okay, s'a good point. "They generally don't," Mayte snickers in commiseration with the bronzer and then leans in to take some of the meatroll Elle is putting forward, "None taken. Wait… How many other goldriders is that ranking against?" A corner of meatroll is taken for Mayte to pop into her mouth and chew on a little, and she has to hurry up and swallow so said strangest goldrider can eagle-eye Il'ian: "Surprise you? How?" If only Mayte had a pen and hide, she'd be putting out the Igen Weyr Times: 'the Truth Shall Make Ye Fret'. Elle gets another look and a little more of her meatroll absconded with before Mayte's willing to push the plate back to her.

Il'ian has exhausted his ability to suffer the fripperies of womenfolk. Pushing to his feet, he grabs his plate and mutters, "Never mind," with the utmost respect. The laziest, two-fingered salute is given to both women, though somehow Elle's is a bit more teasingly mocking than Mayte's, and with that the young man slings a leg outward to get up exactly as he sat: with a brief moment where he's straddling the chair with long legs. A rueful shake of his head is all that's outwardly expressed, before he lopes through the living caverns to catch up with a wingrider. Dumping his plate off, the bronzerider disappears into the relative anonymity of living in a weyr.

Elle watches Il'ian leave. Rather than answer any of Mayte's questions, she instead gestures with her ice-water. "He's got such a nice ass, doesn't he?" What. She is a PERSON. A possessor of ovaries. We know what Il'ian does to those things. She shifts those innocent brown eyes back to Mayte and flashes a quickly-vanishing smile before getting to her feet. "By your leave, goldrider," she murmurs respectively before disappearing as only a slim, small woman can, deftly into the crowds. AND THEN THERE WAS ONE. Just Mayte, poor, lonely, crazy Mayte.

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