Ephrem, Nasrin


Nasrin's about to make a break for it and Ephrem knows why.


It is evening of the sixteenth day of the fourth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.


Family Compound

OOC Date 08 Mar 2016 05:00


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"I don't know why you would want to touch their eggs. They came out of dragon butts."

Family Compound

Without the opulence of the Azkhan houses, or even the elder Steens, this nevertheless is a place of prosperity and excess.

Oh, it's home sweet home for the teen Steens. Ephrem comes in later that evening then usual. No doubt, he had gone to pick up Nasrin from her job, only to find out that she wasn't there. From that point on..well.. The boy spent dinner in silence. He hadn't even complained about the different pallet cleansing concoctions that were typically a loathsome tradition within the household. Post dinner..well..there is a knock on Nasrin's door, and a moment later, Ephrem pokes his head in. "Nasrin?"

It's a frantic mad house, or it was, clothes and belongings look picked up by the fine hand of a cyclone and dropped with Nasrin at the eye of the storm. She's packing things and Euskal, on her slightly crooked perch (she's gained weight) is catching onto the peal of her girl's unlikely movements and mental buzz. When there's a knocl on the door, all limbs freeze as if struck with liquid nitrogen. One word and she just might shatter. But it's Ephrem, which is no worse, but still not good. "Uhhhh…" with no means to hide the clothes carnage, she sits at a right angle on the bed and braids her hair to the left. "Come in, Eph." Here goes nothing.

It takes next to nothing to put two and two together, and whatever hope Ephrem'd had that the Weyrleader's words had been folly, gets blown away by that self same cyclone that surrounds her. Lips thin and a look of confused pain crosses the boy's lips before he looks behind him, back out into the hallway, and then quickly pushes his way into the door, shutting the door quietly behind him. "/Nasrin./". That word is now heavily loaded with accusation and wonder. How could this be true? "No.. You can't do this, Nas." The boy isn't above pleading.

Nasrin's fingers weave through the matted curls without needing to look, but she does so because it means not having to look at her brother. "What, braid my hair?" Euskal greets Ephrem with a low-pitched 'reeeeeeaa'.

Ephrem 's eyes flick to the firelizard at its call, and then back to his sister, narrowing a little at the edges. He approaches the bed, reaching out to touch some of the clothes thrown askew and look at her pointedly. "Don't 'what my braid' me, Nasrin. You know what I'm talking about." And she was planning on hiding it from her brother! Not cool, big sis, not cool at all. "Women don't ride dragons. They shouldn't!" He hisses this more lowly then he actually wants to, perhaps because of fear that someone beyond the room might hear.

Nasrin went this far and doesn't have a ribbon within arm's reach. Pinning the braid's end between her fingers, she's off the bed to round one up but Ephrem catches her. Point blank. She's quicker turning around than she normally is, a flow of water increased when the incline, and stakes, get higher. Her eyes, glowlight shining off their wet smoothness, do not blink at her brother. How easy it would be to crumple. "How did you find out?" Her voice is the only strong thing she can wield, and comes cool and relaxed with drops of disappointment. For her errors or Ephrem's?

Ephrem rubs a hand across his mouth, taking a moment because.. his sister's words are the final confirmation, the last nail in the board. "N'tael. The Weyrleader. He was at the Tea room when I came to get you after your shift." And she hadn't been there. "So.. I told him he was lying." Well, Ephrem hadn't been quite /that/ cross. But telling the Weyrleader he was wrong as tantamount to the same thing. "And he..after his dragon almost smashed me in some game he wanted to play.. He took me to the barracks to confirm it. But you weren't there." So he'd gotten his hopes up that N'tael had really been wrong.

Nasrin gives up on her braid, letting the stiff style gradually unwind behind her as it's dropped over a shoulder. She's changed into somewhat sleeker clothing, something more apropos to Weyrlife, and goes back to her bed rife with hills and valleys of clothing and shadowplay. She sinks onto the mattress and pillows. "I didn't know if I should at first— tell you. I didn't want you to be punished. But I was going to tell you the truth, Eph. I thought you could handle it." She tells him the story of Diem's arrival to the Tea Room, the apology, the bell, the brief mention of dragons. She packs more, but it's less insistent, just a careful flow of repetative motions, the tide of her hands. "I don't think of dragons, I think of accepting the Weyr better into the bazaar." For a handsome price.

Ephrem watches her sort through clothes. All the clothes that spell of the richness and wonder of her life right where it is. Why couldn't she be contented with that? The boy's shoulders visibly sag as he pushes aside a blouse and sits on the bed. "The Weyr already takes too many from the bazaar. It robs from the merchant families, all to impress their stupid dragons." Ephrem doesn't hold the highest opinion of dragonrider kind, no doubt a sentiment gained growing up right where he is. "It's dangerous, Nas. And father..he'll be furious. You know he wants to betroth you to a proper man." A merchant, or something similar, that will suit her and the family! What's not to love about that? "Girls and boys share a giant cavern!" How scandalous.

"Avert your eyes." Quick, she's not giving hardly any forewarning, holding up a pair of undergarments, baggy things that go under the layers of robes, and rolls them up as tight as she can muster. "Then why not take some of it back?" The face looking at her brother is too innocent to be manipulative. Right? Brows are thrust up, offset by a winsome grin. "There are fewer cutthroats in the Weyr than our dear bazaar and I'm going to act like the ideal candidate," whatever the heck that criteria is, having no baseline, at yet, to work from. "I'm leaving a note to mother and father on the table just under the gemstone display, phrasing it as 'an opportunity for enterprise'. But in more words," more garments are rolled, scarves and stockings, a hairbrush, lotions and sticks of kohl.

Ephrem quickly looks away as he sees where she's reaching, but a blush doesn't come to his cheeks. She's his sister, after all! He frowns thinly as he looks back to her post-underwear-rolling. "What do you mean, take some of it back?" He asks, and there is indeed a note of curious it's in his tone, subduing the upset.

Nasrin periodically falls silent to train her ears for approaching parental figures. "I don't know, Eph, I haven't been brought up for that sort of question, but I know it's possible, if not me then by others with intelligence." This tete-a-tete isn't going where she's confident, and her restlessness is bringing out baser qualities. But reluctant to part from her brother, the one she'll truly miss most, she queries, "so, tell me about your conversation with the Weyrleader," rummaging through a column of drawers for something particular.

Ephrem looks down, his dark eyes shadowed by more prominent eyebrows. He seems uncomfortable, maybe even at a loss. There were only so many times that he could repeat the rhetoric that this was Bad, and that she really shouldn't be doing it, that it would get her into far too much trouble for its worth. He uneasily rubs skinny, long fingers against the opposite arm. The idea of a woman on a dragon was still abhorrent. But the idea of his sister on a dragon? With her life endangered on a regular basis? That was terrifying.. Whatever low respect he might often carry about dragons..everyone knew the men and women risked, and often lost, their lives to the cause. "Do you.." He swallows, Adam's apple bobbing as he forces his gaze back up to her. "Do you really want to do this, Nas? Do you want to ride one of those..them?" Was that what drove her, rather then some distant idea of Bazaar and Weyr relations?

If Ephrem doesn't leave soon, he's going to have to help his sister carry a teenager's trove of travel items. She's standing, sometimes twirling as the thought occurs to look elsewhere for an item(s) she might've forgotten. "I can't tell you no, and I can't tell you yes. A dragon did not immediately factor when I told weyrwoman Diem I would honor her request. But Eph," she steps closer, wisps of fuzzy hair well past her temples, "we get to touch their eggs." And maybe sacrifice some sanity in the process, but she's yet blissfully ignorant. "Nothing to say huh, was he really that forgettable?"

Ephrem 's nose and brow scrunches up. "Did you really not.." A breath is sucked in through his nose and released out his mouth, before the boy is standing. "I don't know why you would want to touch their eggs. They came out of dragon butts." And nothing good comes out of butts. Shaking his head, the boy moves towards the door. "I will tell father that we're leaving. You will not go through all of this alone, unescorted, and unprotected. N'tael has already given me a cot next to yours in the candidate barracks."

Nasrin is on the disheveled mattress fitting house shoes over her feet, the only thing she owns more durable than slippers in shades of fuchsia to ecru. "I thought, a little." Completing Ephrem's dead statement with a short side-long look. "But I really didn't have the time." Coupled with her brother's cross demeanor, at 'dragon butts' she loses it, an arm quickly brought up to choke down her laughter. But the next disclosure promptly has Nasrin sobering. "WHAT?" She vehemently shakes her head. "He'd never let us leave and punish us for even considering it."

Ephrem hesitates by the door, looking back to her. "I don't want to just leave, Nas. How bad would it be for him and mother for us to suddenly vanish? To not even ask their permission?" He scratches a hand through his hair, that seems in a perpetual 'bed head' state tonight. It needs to be cut, desperately so, and the sand embedded in it is extra itchy. "He won't be happy, and..he'll probably scream a lot, but he'll let us go." Pause. "If he doesn't, I know you've found a way out of the house at night." Just because he'd been sick didn't mean he hadn't been wary and later kept an eye on her! "We won't push the issue with him, if he says no, that way he won't set up guards." Ephrem was the good boy, after all. The obedient, loving son. "I'll talk to him. Cause if we just disappear, he'll think someone took us. He'll be worried. If he thought to look for us in the Weyr, then he'd probably go straight to the Weyrleader and demand we be brought home. Let me at least try it this way."

Nasrin hangs her head, but angrily, the motion quick and grudging. "I had a note all prepared." Which rebuts some of what Ephrem's insisted, but not all of it. A foot of hers twitches within the house shoe, the outlet for her agitation at being backed into a corner. "I already know what his answer will be for me," her voice like dark water, a pit of unseen things. "But if it will soothe your conscience, then I will go with you in the morning." She looks over the white knot warm from her body heat. She dared not leave it anywhere off her person.

Ephrem hadn't noticed the note in the hurricane that is her room, and her obvious hustle and bustle. Now, in her sullenness, he can take heed, but it doesn't diminish his resolve. "That will probably be the screaming part." Her going, that is. "It would be no worse then when he'd come to the Weyr and make demands to the Weyrleader himself." There's hesitance once more before he says, "He loves you, Nas. He loves both of us. He just wants what's best for us. You know that. I don't understand why you want this, but since you do, I'll stand beside you." He would support her..and get himself into trouble as well. "Besides, you said a weyrwoman asked you. Maybe that'll give him ideas of how he can use this to his advantage. Weyrwomen are powerful, aren't they?"

So now that the plan's changed, Nasrin looks down at the wrecked bed she'll now have to sleep in for one more night. "You're right." and it pains her to admit, not that fact, but that she's wrong. Of their father's commitment of love, she is less willing to give up ground and so fills her lungs with a good, deep, breath and lets it out with the unruly hiss of a loose balloon. "Yes. Thank you, brother, I truly hope some good comes from all this." Or else they'll both be sunk. "…There's always the Zingari." Staging a coy look, she peeks over.

Ephrem relaxes, if just a bit. Because, see, he did still have to speak to their father about something he would find somewhat less then pleasing news. He looks about her room when she looks back to her messy bed, and his brows tighten in thought. "Are they really going to let you have all of that in the barracks?" Then his expression turns chagrined at the last of what she says, and he opens his mouth to offer a rebuttal, before he seems to realize she's joking. "That's not very funny. He may very well throw both of us to the Zingari before this is over. Next time you wanna touch eggs, just tell the cook to poach some for breakfast." He smirks a little, then turns to head out of the room.

The remnants of Nasrin's braid is in a half-undone tuft that means she'd better condition again soon. "Honestly," assessing her total belongings, "I have no idea. But I picked the most practical pieces." The scented oils, fuchsia slippers, books, firelizard accouterments, and cosmetics not withstanding. "And since you're coming, you can help carry it since I bet all you have is alternating underwear and a belt." Of eggs and the Zingari, "oh, and a luscious sense of humor."

"Practical. Right." Ephrem says as he takes note of some of her 'necessities'. As for his own, he grins and offers the old adage, "Nah, I just need one pair. That should get me through a seven day at a time at least." Sadly, though Ephrem doesn't dress to his sister's extravagance, he does indeed clothe himself nicely. It's only appropriate to properly represent his family name, after all! "You don't think they'll make us clean chamber pots, do you?" Not likely! There were latrines to scrub instead! He looks uncomfortable, and then visibly shudders, one hand on the threshold of the door.

Euskal has given up on both parties promising any sort of titillating excitement and slumbers at her last known origins. "Then make certain your cot is far from mine!" Then a show of regret for the strength of her voice. "I don't know, but you'd better get to work planning your speech to father. Use more than two mentions of 'commerce' and make sure to tell them it was the Weyrleader and goldrider's idea, but we come at a high price." Likely not to be nearly as high as her dowry, but those be lesser details.

Really, their father should have known something like this was coming! It always starts with an innocent move, such as getting a firelizard. It ends in the real deal, with giant dragons and complete abandoning of familial roots! Ephrem actually grins mischievously for the bits about making sure his cot is as far from her's as possible, though that grin wilts at mention of his upcoming business proposal with father. "This would be a lot easier if there were a gold egg on the sands." Both in acceptability of Nasrin's place on the sands, and in future business potential. "We just have to hope he doesn't try to collect on our potential before all of those is over and we're back home." Because the Weyrleader and Weyrwomen were not likely to be keen on the idea of 'buying' their candidates. "Good night, sister."


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