R'ku, Xanthee


R'ku enlists Xanthee's help in picking out a gift


It is midmorning of the thirteenth day of the seventh month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Central Bazaar, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 23 Mar 2018 04:00


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"No touch unless you want to buy!"


Central Bazaar

All roads in the weyr ultimately lead here, to this center of commerce. Canvas awnings jut out over time worn, sandy cobblestone, sheltering customers and wares alike from the majority of Igen's elements, and funnel scents both mouthwatering and vomit inducing through the thin streets. Almost all store fronts are open air, delineated by sandstone arches with intricately carved facades. The insides of these stone-shingled buildings act as an amplifier for the salesmens' bawled enticements, and are held up by the chipped swirls of marble pillars.

It is the seventy-third day of Summer and 104 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.

Despite the fact the sun is literally baking the streets, the Bazaar is pretty bustling this morning. People mill around, small children dart around trying to pickpocket unwary shoppers and there's an added scent of sweaty body added to the general lingering smell of the various shops and stalls. R'ku is sensibly standing underneath the paltry shade offered by a ratty awning, looking absolutely baffled as he peruses some of the tea-related wares for sale. He's at least /not/ wearing any of his stuffy rider attire beyond wherhide pants in this heat - he has a loose linen shirt on and his shaggy jet black hair is tied back into a braid to keep it off his neck. Every so often the bronzerider glances up, scanning the crowd for someone familiar - he likely would have asked Xanthee to meet him here, despite the baking heat of the day.

Good thing Xanthee is a child of the desert and being out in the baking sun doesn't bother her that much. She's dressed for the wearther, in a short-sleeved tunic dress that falls just above her knees, cinched at the waist with a narrow belt. She also has a light shawl over her head to keep the worst of the sun from beating down directly onto her. There's a look of curiosity on her face as she winds her way through the stalls, looking for R'ku who asked for her specifically to meet her here. She's only met the man a couple of times, but quickly recognizes him and picks up the pace to join him under that awning before offering a smart salute and a polite, "Hello Wingleader. I hope you weren't waiting for too long." she offers with a smile as her emerald eyes flicker over the tea-related wares being offered here and she begins to get an idea of what this may be about.

R'ku can't really hide the look of relief that washes over him when Xanthee arrives. He waves off the salute and flashes a quick grin, all teeth and warmth, "Thanks for coming in such wonderful weather." He snorts a quick laugh, eyeing the glaring sun from the refuge underneath the pitiful awning, before looking back to Xanthee, "I suppose you probably have some idea now why I've asked you here?" He glances at the array of tea-related wares for sale, once again looking baffled, "I hate to pull you from your legitimate candidate chores but … I have /no/ sharding idea what would be best to purchase. And I wanted to keep it a surprise for Beris." A glance back to Xanthee and he waves back at the tea-related items, "I want to get something good quality, but I have no clue." He picks up a tea infuser ball and shakes it with a sigh, "What in Faranth is this even for? Is it needed?" Poor man, he's completely out of his element here.

Xanthee tries not to giggle at the relief evident on the bronzerider's face as she moves closer to the wares being offered with a quick glance as she listens to his explanation as to why he asked for her specifically. It's all making sense now. At the idea that this is a surprise for Beris though, her eyes brighten and she sighs a soft "Awwwwwwwww…", her smile widening as well. "Oh I love surprises! Both giving them and receiving them. And nothing better when it comes from someone you love." Briefly her thoughts flitter to her Miner-love but with it, the deep longing also comes and she decides it best just to focus on the task at hand. At the infuser ball, she smiles warmly, "Those are usually for when you make individual cups." Turning so she can get a thorough look at what is on offer, she hums softly to herself, "Do you know what kinds of teas she prefers?"

R'ku places the infuser back very carefully, because the stooped old woman shopkeeper is giving him an evil glare. Despite her bony appearance, said shopkeeper might be a bit more fiery than she might appear. "Well," he begins, blinking several times as he tries to think of the exact tea that Beris usually gets on their jaunts to the Tea Room, "Black?" He is so hopeless at this and his shoulders sag just a little as he sighs, "Shard it all. I have memory for all the different types of booze and alcohol on Pern, but I can't remember a sharding tea name." He furrows his brow thoughtfully and looks back to Xanthee for help, "Might have been a special Zingari tea? Maybe?" His roving gaze looks back to the wares on offer, "Do they have a special sort of chest to put all this tea into? I have a similar one for spices." He rubs at his neck, looking a bit forlorn, "I'll have to figure out how best to surprise Beris with all this, too - may have to wait for her to be on shift and set it up in the Weyr for her to see when she gets home."

Looking like she's traying really hard not to squee out loud at a flustered R'ku, Xanthee just holds up her hands, "Woah. It's ok. It was just a question. It doesn't really matter, and I do think it was the black tea she gets at the Tea Room at least." With one look towards the stooped old woman, Xan gives her a bright smile before perusing the shelves in front of her, lifting the lids on several pots as she examines them. "They do have tea chests actually, that might be a nice addition to the gift. And that sounds like a wonderful way to surprise her. Just make sure you have some tea on hand as well so she can try it out as soon as she gets it." Cause Xanthee things of these kinds of things. Still perusing, she comments idly, "Does she have a favorite color or colors? Does she like fancy and girly things or does she prefer things that are a little more plain and utilitarian?" All very important questions.

The stooped old woman shopkeeper switches her gimlet-eyed stare to Xanthee now, her frog-like wide lips pressed into a disapproving line. She doesn't say anything, though. She just /stares/ with a whole lot of judgement. Like 'why aren't you buying anything?' R'ku eyes the woman with a frown before dragging his attention back to Xanthee, his words sounding somewhat distracted. That woman is weird, after all. "Not overly girly, but not overly plain," he manages after a moment's consideration, "I think something with a nice sort of elegant shape to it might be nice but … but without too much to the color. If that makes sense." He flashes one of his wide grins, his teeth flashing white against the copper of his skin, "No bows, frills or anything that looks too .. uh .. stupid." He taps a rather gaudy teapot with a giant bow shape for a handle that's colored a lurid shade of pastel pink, "/Definitely/ not." He makes a comical face as though he's gagging. "As to the color - maybe something in more desert tones? Like a desert sunset?" He pers up at this idea, as though surprised by his own thought, "That actually sounds pretty - a sunset teapot." He gives the old crone manning the stall a wary look, though - dare he ask if she has such a thing?

Xanthee replies to the old woman's staring with a radiant smile in her direction before turning back and nodding along with everything that R'ku is saying. When he points out the gaudy pink thing even Xan makes a face at that. Quickly scanning the shelves, the candidate drawls, "Well… what about…something like…" finally her eyes spot a clay teapot that has been simply glazed showing it's natural orange color, with a simple geometric band carved around the lid. "..This?" she finishes. Picking it up, she lifts the lid and shows him the infuser basket inside, "These are the best because you don't have to strain the tea leaves out as you pour. The spout is high enough, you want it to be level with the rim of the pot but far enough away so the steam doesn't scald you when you pour it. And the handle looks sturdy, you want that because those are the first to break on a pot." Xan nods knowingly at that as she offers the pot for him to examine.

R'ku reaches out to take the offered tea pot under the baleful stare of the stooped old woman. Despite the silently foreboding audience, R'ku brightens as he runs his hands over the pot, "Oh! I think this is nice. Look!" He runs a thumb over the knob on the lid, which has been given an interesting sort of design to offset the geometric pattern. "I like the glaze —" Suddenl the stooped old woman barks, "No touch unless you want to buy!" R'ku clatters the tea pot in his hands in surprise and gives a sidelong glance to Xanthee before placating the old woman, "Here's some marks as collateral. I'll definitely be buying this one, though." He places some marks on the woman's counter to distract her. "Cups!" comes R'ku's next word, as though he just remembered such a thing is needed, "Anything kind of cute in cups?" Because apparently he doesn't mind if the cups have funny shapes to them. "And I don't know how you remember all of thus," he notes as an aside to Xanthee, looking baffled down at the tea pot and the basket inside, "This is perfect, though."

Xanthee shoots another unwavering smile at the woman, "Nothing to worry about Ma'am. I'm a professional." Which is technically accurate, tea had been her profession for over two turns now. "It's a very nice piece, I think Beris will really like it." When he seems baffled she brushes it off, "Well how do you remember all you need to when thread-fighting? It's all about repetition. I could probably make tea in my sleep at this point." A little giggle accompanies that as she moves over to the shelves that display the tea cups. "In the tea room, we usually try to match cups with the teapot, but anything will do. If she likes more tea at once, a mug would do nicely, but a cup and saucer is the traditional way it's done."

R'ku can't help but snort a laugh at Xanthee's words, "Probably not the best idea to make tea in your sleep - handling boiling water while drowsy is probably not the best idea." He flashes another quick grin before adding, "But fighting Thread in my sleep is probably not adviseable either." He does nod his head in agreement at her words and very, very carefully places the tea pot he had chosen on the woman's counter. He's not going to risk damaging it while carrying it around. Then he turns into a deer in the headlights briefly at the mention of mugs vs. cups and saucers. "Um - maybe to be safe we can get 2 mugs and a set of cups and saucers? To cover all bases?" He stops in front of an absolutely huge display of mugs and cups, completely stunned, "I do hope you weren't expected somewhere for chores? Noting too important I'm keeping you from?"

"Probably not. Tea making and thread-fighting, two things best done when awake." Xanthee agrees with a soft chuckle as she peruses the shelves of mugs and cups, nodding at his idea of getting two of each. "That's probably a good idea. And don't worry about me, all I had to do was say I was helping a Wingleader and my chores were handed off to someone else. I should probably be thanking you actually, I was on laundry duty…again." The way she wrinkles her nose shows that she's not too fond of that activity. Tilting her head to one side, Xan fixes the bronzerider with a curious look, "Is this gift for any particular occasion?" she wonders out loud.

R'ku makes a face at the mention of laundry duty, "Shards. You're welcome for that. I remember laundry duty as a candidate." He gives a visible shudder and a firm shake of his head, "Definitely would prefer anything /but/!" He gives a lopsided grin at Xanthee, "Sounds like you had more than your fair share of it this candidacy? Though it seems the wait is nearly over - I hear from the rumor mill that the eggs are nearly ready to hatch." He considers the nearly endless wall of mugs and cups, completely at a loss for which to pick. He does find a cup that has a similar glaze like a desert sunset that matches the pot, though with an interesting looping design on the handle. He holds this up for inspection. "Oh - Beris' turnday is in a few sevendays. I figured I'd get a headstart on a gift. I figure no woman can turn down an early present." He flashes a quick grin again, "I can give her something extra on her /actual/ turnday."

"Awwwwww, an early present and one on her actual Turnday? That is soooooo sweet!" Xanthee can't help but squee just a little bit as R'ku explains what it is for, another soft pang to her heart as she remembers the surprises Mal and her would do fo each other. The cup he is holding up is inspected and approved of with a nod of her head, "That's a good one." Back to the subject of the eggs, the dark haired girl shrugs her shoulders slightly, "I am hearing the same thing, the barracks are a-buzz with talk of when it is going to be. The last few days are really the worst." she says with a long, knowing sigh. "But no use worrying about it, they hatch when they do, not before." she adds wisely, obviously it's something she has been told a lot growing up.

"And sometimes in the middle of the night," is R'ku's sage addition to the comment on eggs and their hatching. "Here's hoping this clutch decides to hatch when you are all well rested," he notes with a wry sort of grin. He nods his head in a pleased sort of approval at the cup and, with extra care due to the stooped old woman shopkeeper's vigilant gaze, selects another cup and 2 matching saucers. These he places next to the chosen tea pot. Then it's on to try to figure out which mugs to pick. He immediately spots one that looks sort of like a bulbous cactus type plant often found in the desert. He seems a bit unsure on this one, though, but he holds it up with a questioning look at Xanthee. He seems to be getting the hang of this, perhaps? "You sound like an old pro at the hatching thing by now. How many times have you stood so far?" R'ku keeps the conversation going, his words friendly and jovial. He obviously doesn't mean it as disrespectful, "I suppose I was lucky to impress on the first shot. Because if I hadn't, I think my parents would have forbade me from trying again."

Xanthee ponders the cactus looking mug and shrugs her shoulders, a small smile on her face, "It's definitely original, and it goes with the desert theme." she adds, offering encouragement rather than making choices since he looks to be getting the hang of it now. When asked how many times she's stood so far, Xan answers with a very practiced, carefully worded response, "This is my third time being a Candidate. Second time standing here at Igen. So I guess I am kind of used to it." At his comment about his parents, the dark haired girl's smile falters for the barest moment before she pipes back up, "Well, one of the perks of being a weyrbrat, no one questions one standing multiple times. And you were lucky. I'm hoping for my third time to be a charm for me." she tries to rein in her hopefullness though, "But if it's not, I'll just do it again until I finally Impress or I get too old to stand. I have some time left before that happens thankfully."

R'ku considers the cactus mug for a moment and then, with a shrug, he grabs one of the same kind and adds it to his 'to buy' pile that's under the watchful gaze of the haggard shopkeeper. "I like the green color," he notes with a grin, "And it does fit the theme. Now for … a tea chest?" He spins around in a circle, mismatched eyes roving the entire stock until his eyes alight on a cramped corner full of stacked wooden chests of varying shapes and sizes. Brightening, R'ku moves over towards them and starts to fiddle with them, opening drawers and seeing how they work. The shopkeeper's eye begins to twitch with annoyance and with the struggle at /not/ yelling out. "Oh! This one's rather nice," he notes, pointing to one made of a sort of balsawood material. It's lacquer is smooth and shiny and there are only a few adornments, but it has a very interesting way that the drawers open and close, as well as a hidden compartment in the middle to store the tea pot and mugs. "I suppose after this the only thing left would be the tea," he notes with pleasure, "I think I'll trust /you/ to pick a good assortment." Because he's totally clueless at that, to be sure. "Well - good luck whenever the hatching comes around, anyhow," R'ku adds with a grin, "I'll be watching, for sure, when the eggs hatch. And I am sure Beris will be cheering you on."

Following after R'ku as he moves onto the tea chests, Xanthee can't help a bright smile at the bronzerider's enthusiasm for his choices. At his choice of chests, she looks it over and approves heartily, "That is perfect." When he mentions the tea, she winks slyly and nods her head, "Oh, we'll get the tea. But not here." A covert look is shot in the shopkeeper's direction as she lowers her voice and turns her back slightly to the old woman, "The quality of the teas we serve in the Tea Room, is much higher. And lucky for you, I sitll get my employee discount." So once he has settled up with the crone, she leads them down the sidestreet to pick out a few varieties from the Tea Room. Once done, the Candidate will be put into service to help the bronzeriding wingleader with his bundles back to his weyr.

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