Veresch, Alecsei


Alec is down in stores to help mitigate chaos, Veresch is down there to poke through the piles of clothes.


It is morning of the tenth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Stores, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Boxes, everywhere: some are buried beneath the fugue of dust and spinner-webs, thrust unceremoniously into unseen corners, full of mysterious contents, their solid lids as yet unbroached. Still others line the dirt-smeared walls, damage evident in the caved-in sides or lids set askew. Littering the floor, debris has been left piled in disorganization, left untouched by inattentive drudges and administrative staff. Dull glows splutter feebly in their worn baskets, and the air is fusty and moist, shrouded in the humidity that is Igen. Moisture collects, languid, in the corners of the cavern, lending their own fragrance of mildew and green, growing things,while the occasional dry scratch of scales suggests inhabitants one might not want to inspect too closely.

It's early, perhaps unhealthily so. The point is moot in the caverns though, where light is a matter of glows being uncovered. Still, the stores are on the rotation today, and they seem to be looking much messier than normal. Off in the back of the large room, there's a single source of glow-light already active, silhouetting a teenager against the bright yellow glow, and tosses long shadows behind her. She appears to be digging around on one of the shelves of clothes, setting aside small piles of cloth.

This is the time of day that Alecsei would probably be going to bed. Instead, he's been forced into working down in the stores. Something about 'chores', whatever those are. A group of newly minted candidates are ushered into the area and set to task. He looks grumpy and a little tired as he drifts down the aisle in Veresch's direction, hovering by a pile of unorganized clothes. Casting a furtive glance towards the woman supervising his cluster, he picks up a shirt and tries to fold it. Tries to fold it. What do you do with the sleeves on these things?

It's not an unmitigated disaster… well, perhaps it is. Veresch, warned by the sound of many booted feet heading in, turns with a light frown on her face. It doesn't quite pass, though her eyebrows arch at the number of candidates grabbed in the last few days. Scanning up and down the lines of white-knotted wonders, she blinks as Alecsei is spotted close by. Her glance drop to the poor shirt he's trying to fold; clearing her throat lightly, she turns slightly and ostensibly starts to fold one as well. Smooth-down first, then sleeves, then strange little wiggle that, somehow, makes it all fall into shape. She's even folding slowly; he'll have plenty of time to see what's what.

He's tired enough to not be startled by the sudden clearing of a throat he didn't realize was there. Turning his head just enough to try and get a glimpse of the person making all that noise, he spies Veresch and her shirt folding. His brow knits together and his mouth turns into a line as he stares down at the one in his own hand. He pulls sleeves to the corner, tries to fold over, wiggle and… he gets a pile of fabric that's definitely not neatly folded. Alec makes a discouraged noise in his throat before sidestepping it over. No one seems to really be paying attention to what he's doing, the woman with them is enjoying a cup of klah and book over in the corner. "Does everyone in the weyr get up this early?"

Veresch's lips twitch. "No," she whispers back. "Just the people they want to torture, so of course the candidates. Whtie knot, I see. Congratulations." There's a twitch, a half-aborted pat of congratulations, and she's the one that leaves for a second. When she returns, with the pile of shirts, she dumps them on the shelf. "Congratulations, Alecsei. I'm happy for you; but I can't imagine your sister is so thrilled." There was definitely the feeling of an overprotective sibling, and she can't see that meshing with Threadfall. "This is how you do it," she coaxes patiently, and demonstrates on a man's shirt, long-sleeved and wide. Pinch, flip, twitch and fold. "My mother taught me to do it. She's… it's painful how neat she is. If you ever see an assistant headwoman named Rellana, flee."

"Thanks." Alec answers somewhat woodenly, glancing down at the not-so-pristine knot on his shoulder. He takes this opportunity to pick a fleck of something of it, flicking it to the ground. Mention of Delaney registers with another firm pressing of his lips, line twisted downward this time. "She wasn't thrilled, no." He exhales slowly and glances around, fiddling with the ends of the shirt. "It was an accident." The teenager confides, hazarding a look over to the klah woman. When Veresch begins to demonstrate, he does at least attempt to try. Not that it's going well, but it's something to do with his hands in the meanwhile. "Do you flee from her?" He wonders quietly, eyes jumping from well-folded shirt to her face.

"Yes," Veresch says quietly, expression a little less ebullient. "As often as possible. I love her, but I don't like her very much. It's why I became a messenger. I imagine she feels the same. I'm her daughter, but also a slovenly, lazy wretch." Though she's still looking down, her lips quirk in the next second. "You're looking at me again," she predicts, taking another shirt. "And Delaney… well. Perhaps she'll get Searched as well? She's still young enough, I think, and she's got a strong personality. That helps, sometimes, if that's what the dragonets might be looking for. I hope it works out for the two of you. Perhaps you'll find a real home here."

Casting a look down onto Veresch, his eyesbrows pop up. "You don't look, uh, slovenly." This Alecsei character, he's the smooothest guy in this entire cavern right now. He clears his throat awkwardly before giving the shirt in his hands a wiggle. It actually falls into place correctly. Quite suddenly he laughs, totally delighted (and sure, proud of himself too) that he finally got it. Smiling, he presents the item to her for inspection. "It happens." Looking at people, that is. "And- maybe. If we're lucky. We can't afford to turn down any opportunities to stay on here longer." Which may explain why he didn't turn down being searched. Beggers can't be choosers.

It explains quite a few things, none of which makes Veresch any more cheerful. "There are…" She swallows, awkward. "There are places to get jobs, y'know?" Her hands fold shirts on automatic by now, though she blinks as he gets it, and favours the folded shirt with a broad grin. "That took me a day to master!" she calls softly, taking the neatly-folded pile to admire it. "You must be a natural at this shirt-folding thing, huh?" If the woman with the klah looks over, hopefully she'll just think them two candidates working conscientiously. "It's a long story," she finally explains. "She's just tough on everyone. And I predict you'll get lucky." Pause. Blink. Wait. "Luckier?" she attempts. "Not /lucky/. I guess you'll get that too…" Blech, she's just going to shut up now.

"Yeah, there are." Not that they're great places or places that would want someone like him or his stand-offish sister. But Alec can't deny that they exist. It doesn't take away from his excitement over folding the shirt properly, like a little kid. "Shhh, don't let them know." He covertly glances back at his supervisor for the morning and shakes his head. "I don't want to be down here everyday." Taking up another shirt he begins the process anew, "At least you get away from her." At her predictions, he just smiles crookedly and shakes his head. "Haven't been lucky a day in my life. But thanks."

Veresch's hands still on the shirt she's folding, and for a moment she's so sad tears start lurking. They're swallowed down, away, and she turns to check out the supervisor. With a clear moment, she reaches out to Alecsei and gives him a squeezing hug. No words yet, and it doesn't last long; when she returns to the shirts there's a long silence that follows. "They'll likely have you peeling vegetables next, or cleaning the kitchens, or.. or. You know. There's always work to be found around a place like this." Her fingers cramp, turning the shirt into a mess, and she exhales slowly as she tries to smooth it down again. "They always need more messengers," she finally gets out. "Don't worry. You're home. You'll see."

Yes, the smoothest character in this whole area. Veresch hugs him and stiffens up from the contact, before awkwardly sort of patting her shoulders. His chin drops and he avoids looking at her face and the lurking dampness there. "I figured. Free labor and everything." Of course there's also free food and a reliable place to sleep for awhile, so he's not exactly complaining. Darting his eyes towards her and then back to his own little growing pile of shirts, "We'll see. Hey- don't feel bad. Not about us or me or anything. It's just…" He shrugs his shoulders, that crooked little smile pulling on his mouth again. "How life is, sometimes. For some people."

The teenager's chin lifts just a little. "I don't feel sorry. Just sad. Second chance," she claims quietly, resolutely. "This is a second chance, right? You'll get it, and then I can totally dance and laugh and tell you I told you so, and you and Delaney will be happy forever." A trifle idealistic. She finishes with the last shirt of the pile, sneaking it onto his before looking at what she came for originally. Girls' clothes, likely about her size, and she slowly starts folding through the heap. Bright colours go one side, duller to another. "So… how did it happen? Did they come up to you in the bazaar and whip out the knot right there? I'm told they do that."

"Maybe." Alecsei will allow, a tiny little shake of his head. He doesn't sound entirely optimistic, but then maybe that's not his go-to mode. Having transitioned to automatic folding, he mechanically picks up one shirt after the other and neatens it up. "Uh…" He blanches a little and clears his throat. "It's honestly kind of a blur. Some big ugly rider with a scar down his face," He draws a line across his own just to demonstrate where K'ane's is. "Made me get something out of his dragon's mouth. Things happened. And they gave me knot." That's the extremely short hand version of it. "Then they made me take a bath." Which sounds… odd. "And his bronze ruined my smokes."

Veresch's face contorts into a wordless 'bleaaaach' at the explanation, and a nose-wrinkle at the mention of the packet of smokes. "You can always get more smokes," she finally says with a grin. "How many more opportunities are you going to have to stick your head in a dragon's mouth? You only get that lucky once." Unlucky? Perhaps. "What's on the list after the stores? Or are they expecting you guys to spend the whole day in here?"

Alecsei doesn't mention anything about the being drunk or having the dragon vomit on him. And if he's lucky, Veresch won't hear about it through the rumor mill! "Hopefully zero. Their mouthes are disgusting." He shudders at the memory, shaking his head. "Lunch. I can't wait to eat." He sighs slowly, folding over another shirt and patting it into place on the pile. "Then I don't know. I'm kind of hoping I can take a nap after that." He's eyeballing the woman with the book, probably calculating whether he can go take a nap right now.

The woman was not Born Yesterday, as the saying goes. Whilst she might miss a little conversation, there's little chance that she won't see one of the candidates disappearing. Better luck next time, when not in an enclosed room! "I think it's like pets," she says eventually, distantly. "You tire them out so much that by the time night comes around, there's not much chance of them doing anything but fall into their beds. I think that's what they hope in any case." One shirt is shook out, turned and held against her, with thin fingers measuring the length of sleeves against her arm, and the width of the body against her hips. Sighing, she puts it back. "Just three months, I think. Besides, there'll be … I dunno. Pranks and stuff. There always are. Promise not to dye me some weird colour though?"

Alecsei is clearly still Thinking About It. The nap and how he's going to achieve it while under the semi-watchful eye of the klah drinking woman in an enclosed space. But that's for later. There's something in what Veresch says, maybe it's the distance. "Do you feel like a worn out pet, after you're done running back and forth all day?" While he may be doing alright at this shirt thing, he's getting restless and so begins to mostly pat the pile as if he's smoothing it out. "Pranks? The activities of people with nothing better to do with their time." He remarks with a sigh, stretching long arms up over his head.

Veresch has to think about that one. She's staring at the shelf as she thinks, as if there're answers in the dust. "You know… sometimes. Small, likely to get my hair ruffled off, cute. Sometimes I wish I was two turns older, with all the curves and stuff, y'know?" She shoots him a quick look. "Sometimes I wonder if there's an age at which they begin to treat you seriously. Do you know? You're a bit older than I am, right?" Her fingers stroke the rich red shirt before she tries one of the duller ones. "You should go and get another pile," she mentions prosaically. "That klah's not going to last forever. Perhaps if you do a lot, you get time off for good behaviour."

"Being a girl is hard." Alecsei decides finally, after her answer. That comes then with a nod, confirming it definitely to himself at least. His mouth is pressed into a thoughtful line again, one that's broken up by a quiet laugh as he cuts his gaze back to her. "I don't think anyone's ever taken me seriously. Except Delaney." He appears doubtful on that doing a lot of folding thing, "Hm. I don't think I want do any more of these though." Back to watching the klah and book woman, he inches around to the other side of Veresch as if that'll hide him from her eyes when she looks over eventually.

There's a problem with that one, bub, and it's called nine inches difference. Still, Veresch obediently scoots to provide him with a little nook and access to a series of finicky little boxes, which likely contains buttons, buckles and the like. More interesting to poke through at least. "Perhaps I'll go and ask Delaney for her opinion," she prods very drily. There's a pause, then a long, doubtful look before she looks away, clearly burning with questions, but just as clearly … not quite willing to ask them. Instead, "You'll have to start thinking about a white robe. You might get lucky if you poke around in here - dunno if they've told you yet. I bet Sacci would help you sew it if you asked her nicely. She's the perfume-lady."

Still, small as she may be in comparison she's a better shield than none at all. The boxes are enough to catch his attention for now and he begins to sort through one of them, with no particular purpose in mind. He's just touching things and picking them up at this point. "Hmm. I wouldn't unless you just wanted all the gory awful details." And that's Alec's take on what his sister's level of help might be. "Yeah, the white robe. I'm just going to put anything on. What does it matter? Dragons aren't going to care if it's an inch or two too short." Basically he's going to be the worst dressed person at this hatching. "The perfume lady works on clothes?"

Veresch actually has to stand back at that last, eyes measuring his lanky frame. "The perfume lady is a lady, as in she'll know how to sew and so on. Besides, she's Tlatoani. They're all self-sufficient, or enough so to sew a neat hem. But… hm. Here's what I mean." She turns to the shelf, sorts busily through the shirts they just tidied up, and finally pulls out one long enough to shield her from neck to knee. It looks almost like a doll-shirt, really. "Here," she mutters, and hands it over. "When she's not looking, try that on for size." This is going to be funny.

"Tlatoani?" The name doesn't ring a bell to the teenager right away. It's a moment or two of careful brain searching before it clicks into place. "Oh. Like the… traders?" The shirt is handed over to him and he arches his eyebrows at her. "Should I take the rest of my clothes off first? Because I think maybe it's shorter than the inch or two that I was talking about." He dangles it off one of his fingers, looking distinctly skeptical at the idea of voluntarily becoming the butt of another joke.

The younger girl clicks her tongue, and one hand plants on her hip. "Yes, the traders. No, of course you shouldn't take off your other clothes," she points out. "I'm trying to prove a point, not get you naked, but fine." She takes the shirt back from him and seeks to hold it against his shoulders instead, directing his hands up with little eyeflicks to hold it there. "Okay. Look. It barely covers … you know. The bits that need covering." She might be a weyrbrat, raised to frankness, but there's no indication he shares similar views. "Still, there's not much seam to be let out, see, and the waist is really too high up your chest." She pauses to take a deep breath. "My point is you're tall enough that it'd be best to actually make something. You do not want to get bowled over by a dragonet and flash everyone just 'cause you didn't want to go to any effort. Don't just sew a sheet in two, ok? Look…" She bites her lip. "Look like someone that belongs, and you'll belong. It works. It's worked for me in the bazaar before."

"You sure?" Alec asks in a rare display of teasing as he reaches for the hem of the shirt he has on. But it's all for play, since he doesn't actually lift it even a fraction of an inch to expose any skin. "I figured I'd wear shorts under the robe. I'm positive I wouldn't flash anyone even if I did fall over." He suppresses an impish grin back by pushing his lips down into that all too familiar line. "Actually, great idea. I'll just snip a few holes into an oversized sheet and call it a day. You're a genius." At her suggestion he lets out a huff of air. "There's a difference between wanting to survive and caring about belonging. At some point you stop worrying about being like everyone else and you just do… what you have to." He tugs at the robe in her hands. Change of subject, "It might fit you."

veresch would have blushed if she hadn't grown up in a weyr. Instead, she ogles his hands and the flirt of hem, and rolls her eyes theatrically when no skin eventuates. "Tease," she points out idly; still, there's a much brighter smile on her face now. "If you go out there in a robe made of a sheet, I swear I'll trip you down somehow and put something else on you instead! Honestly, you boys." There's even a small foot-stamp. Still, she looks down as he tugs on the material, and carefully rests it against her shoulders to look at the length. "My kneecaps are probably a great deal prettier than yours, so I'm guessing it'd fit at that." There's an impish grin. "But then, no dragon has ever asked me to fish something from their mouth either, so I think you'll be out of luck seeing me in something like this. Look at Sacci instead. Much prettier."

"Girls, you don't fight fair at all. Can't take us down the traditional way so you're going to… I don't know. Trip us with your feet or a banana peel or something." Alec laughs quietly at her foot-stomp, eyes dropping down to her possibly prettier-than-his-kneecaps. "I don't know about that, we'll have to compare later. I've got some long legs. I've been told my knees are very shapely." By who exactly is probably better left up to the imagination if there's any truth to it. He turns back to his box of trinkets, fishing around in the buttons. He scoffs then when she remarks on Sacci, "You're biased against yourself."

First, there's a cough. Then a snicker, and finally a soft laugh. "Legs like a girl," she teases right back. "And…oh. There's something over here." Her time searching for a mattress for Erissa was definitely well-spent. "C'mere, I'll show you." Tugging on his sleeve, she casts a glance over her shoulder before leading the way into one of the other corners, one with a few candidates desultorily combing through a veritable pyramid of stacked trunks. "Here," she whispers, and sinks down on her haunches just a little around the stack, one hand moving to rest on an old, well-loved wooden trunk. "This is some old Lady Holder's stuff, I think, or… I don't know, but it's pretty interesting to see. Everything from top to bottom, and bits of old jewelry and stuff." Plus there's a nook there for him to slide into shadows, if he so wishes. "And yeah, I am, but I'm learning not to be. Watch out in a Turn or so, I might have better legs than either of you."

"Like a girl?" Alec repeats, allowing for the tugging to go down even as he shoots a look over his shoulder at the klah woman. Who's still drinking after all this time. "No, no. I'm extremely manly, even with my pretty, shapely kneecaps." Of course he is. Skinny and unfilled out as he is too. He drops down into a crouch, all bent up legs and elbows as she shows him her find in the stores. Like some sort of awkward, human spider. Stretching out an arm he picks up a dusty old brooch, blowing on it gently. His laughter interrupts his observation of the jewelery when she makes her proclamation. "I'll take that bet." He rubs his thumb over the trinket, "Do you come down here a lot?"

Veresch leans closer to eye the brooch, gently touching the scalloped rim. "Promise you won't tell?" she murmurs before giving a shrug. "I don't have much time for it lately, but I used to come in here a lot, and I still do. It's fun to be the only one here with all the forgotten things here, and imagine where they might have come from, or who wore them before they landed in Igen's stores. I guess sometimes people tithe really strange things." One thumb hikes over her shoulder. "There are a few mattresses over in the other corner." Dark nook, mattress, perfect napping spot for lazy days. Problem solved!

He flips the brooch over in his long fingers, handing it off to her. "Promise." It sounds like he's quite serious about it, even as he reaches out to run his hands along the top of some frilly thing. "Maybe they just tithe stuff so that its not taking up space at their Holds anymore. Holders are strange." Alecsei angles his body around to look over his shoulder at the mattresses filed away in the corner. His mouth twists up into an amused smile. "I think I know where I'm going to be spending some of my free time." Asleep. Because, naps.

The girl takes the brooch, twirling it between her fingers. "Mhm, don't say I don't do things for you," she teases as she stands, leaving him beside the trunk. Down goes the brooch, tucked between layers of frilly nothings, and she reaches to gently poke a fingertip against one temple. "And remember, my knees'll be much better." With that lasy sally, she turns to wander out with an idle I-can-get-out strut past all the other Candidates, humming as she goes, and having the nerve to wave at Klah-sipping Woman.

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