Who

Veresch, Alecsei

What

Veresch has a question for Alec and he has an answer. But it's not one either is exactly happy with.

When

It is evening of the 9th day of the fifth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Kitchen Courtyard

OOC Date

 

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Kitchen Courtyard

The domestic space of the kitchen courtyard is small, dusty, slightly over-grown, and practical. The focal point of the stone courtyard is a large well found directly in the middle. Turns have worn the once angled bricks to soft, crumbling curves about the lip, and a bucket always slightly damp is tied, secure, and ready to use at the side. Though a broom has swept here since last you passed through, it would appear the wind-borne dust has merely been heaped under the cobble-cracking shrubs of a stubborn environment that grow ever upward. A few benches are scattered around, but the feel is not comfort, for this small slice of sky and wind are saved for a kitchen staff always on the move.


With only a few sevens to go before the Hatching, everyone's subtly on edge, as if the Weyr is buzzing very faintly, expectation in the air. It's not that there's much laxity allowed at the moment; everyone's engaged in getting in provisions for the party that's sure to follow, along with a concerted effort by the lower caverns staff to make sure that everything is clean enough to eat off of. Igen doesn't make that easy, given the heat and ample mud puddles that dry only hours before another storm sweeps through, thus making sure that everyone's well-occupied. It makes the kitchen courtyard a little haven for those that know about it - there's so much flurry going on inside the caverns that there are long moments of freedom in the small, dusty space, and the occasional weary traveller. Cue Veresch, who comes trundling in juuuust before the first dinner rush, stripped down to thin tunic and drawn expression, with cloak and jacket tossed over her shoulder. A rare sight in the Weyr these days, and almost always on the run.

With storm clouds threatening on the horizon once again, some people are escaping the inner caverns to get some fresh air before the next storm hits. Alecsei comes slinking out of the kitchens, likely inside for some chore or another. He crosses the courtyard to the well in the center, pulling the bucket up and splashing his face with the cool water from inside. Refreshed now, if a little damp, he blinks his eyes and wipes his face, casting a look around the immediate area. He notices Veresch as she enters and he lifts an arm to give her a lazy wave as he leans into the stone wall of the well, resting against it.

"Alecsei." The young woman's voice is low with fatigue, and she doesn't manifest more than a wave herself before dipping enough water to scrub at her face and smooth her hair back, turning it from a dusty bob into a tousled, damp mess. Hunger prompts her to apply at the door he just exited and, rewarded with a piece of fruit to carry her over until actual dinner, she wanders his way. Her backside is firmly settled on the little bench, in the shadows of the little shed there, and she takes a large bite before she looks up at him through wet lashes. "Got your sheet together then? Polished knees, just in case?"

Alecsei doesn't look tired himself, yet he doesn't look entirely energized either. With a stretch he moves to her bench and sits, stretching long legs out in front of himself. "You look exhausted. You're allowed to take naps and breaks sometimes." Just in case she's forgotten. He reaches for his jacket pocket, only to remember that he's not actually wearing it right now. A dissapointed expression flashes across his face before he drops his hands across his lap, folding them together and linking fingers. "I do. It only has one or two very dubious stains."

Veresch casts him a sideways look as he sits before her gaze settles on the well. One hand moves to her off-cast jacket and, with a fumble inside one pocket, she gets out a crooked, somewhat-squashed smoke, handing it over without comment. It looks like the one she abducted weeks ago, and forgotten about until now. She takes another bite, chews thoughtfully, swallows. "No time for naps. I've got almost a dragonlength of messages to go through for everyone. You wouldn't believe how many invitations there are, and the crazy amount of organization behind things." There's a pause, a thoughtful look down at the half-eaten apple, a frown. "I wanted to ask you something. I don't know if I'm going to get chances to chat before the Hatching, so I hope you don't mind that I ask now."

"There's always time for a nap." Which is one difference that makes him Alec and her Veresch. And also why he lives his life and is generally unproductive. Say, what is he supposed to be doing right now? Nevermind, that's not important. He tips his chin down and eyeballs that crooked smoke, his mouth twisting into an amused grin. "You're supposed to actually use it. Not just carry it forever." He puts his hand to hers and pushes it away gently. "I don't have any matches anyway." So for now he'll just have to wait. At the pause, he glances back up again and looks at her curiously. "Go ahead."

"I'll smoke it after you Impress." A tacit promise, a small deal. Another bite of redfruit, another thoughtful look. Then: "I was in Southern some time back," she says in explanation. "I met a guy there that explained a few things to me - Trader fellow, very nice. He explained about firestone, and flames and stuff." So far so good. "And how… you know. How different people like different kinds of firestone, and other kinds don't produce any kind of flame at all." Eyes, large and hazel, flick a glance his way before she studiously concentrates on her hands. "I … um. I wanted to know if you're at least passingly interested in girl firestone." Definitely awkwardly asked, that one. "You know, Weyr and all that. Thought I'd ask." Almost unnoticed in the wake of the huge, awkward question, she stows the smoke back safely in a pocket.

"Or after I don't impress." Alecsei helpfully offers up. "There are some kinds of firestone that don't produce any flame at all? What fucking good are they then? That doesn't sound very helpful." He makes a face, eyebrows scrunching and lip curling at the thought of something being called firestone that doesn't make any flames. How ridiculous! It takes him a few (probably very long seeming) seconds before the actual intent of what she's explaining begins to sink in. But not before he repeats, "Girl firestone?" in an exceptionally puzzled voice. "I like girls. I'm not interested in other guys." Which is tacked on very swiftly, because it's apparently important to have that fact known too. Aiming a vaguely suspicious look in her direction, "Who wants to know? It's not that… guy who works down in stores, is it?"

Veresch's insides sing a paean of praise at the answer, or it could be the rough, uneasy churning of anxiousness, or even just a grim, growly reminder that just a redfruit isn't going to do, kthx. The moment's too weirdly stretched to be able to identify which of the abovementioned it is. "There's a guy in Stores that's interested in you?" she asks curiously, eyeing him as if there's an entirely new bird setting beside her with exceedingly odd plumage. Then. Then, "No. I wanted to know. Shells, you don't think I'd ask for anyone else, do you?" Her gaze jerks away, settles over yonder. "Betting pool's in your favour right now," she states, unwilling, unable to take another bite. "Got some marks on you and your sister Impressing."

"I don't know. Maybe. I think. He kind of weirds me out, there's a lot of staring." The kind that he demonstrates by turning on Veresch and giving her the 'creeper' stare. Only for a little while! Then he resumes the languid, legs stretched out approach. "Oh, you wanted to know." Pause. "You wanted to know. Why?" And then he's shooting her a more genuine look, filled vaguely with concern and a lot of surprise. "I mean, I don't know. Maybe, don't girls do that? Ask for other people? And just- no. I'm a waste of your time. You should find someone that at least, I don't know, has a job or something." Shaking his head, he furrows his brow. "Well, you could have picked worse people to bet on probably."

Veresch nips off a firm piece of redfruit. "All my girl friends are Candidates," she mutters sulkily around the bite of apple, crunching into it. "Except Chel, and I haven't talked to her recently. So no. I'm asking for myself. For the normal reasons, I guess?" She refuses to speak for moments after that, polishing off the core of the fruit before licking her fingers clean of the last traces of juice. "Dunno why you'd think that I'd waste my time — my time, right?" Surely she could spare at least a few moments for girly thoughts here and there. "But perhaps Creepy Guy in the stores is more to your liking? You know, stare and all." There, at least, a thin slashing of humour.

"You could still be asking for them. I mean, it's not like you don't see them. You see me." Alecsei points at himself there on the bench next to her. He's an absolutely perfect specimen of a clueless teenage guy. "Well, then. Don't waste your time. Because it would be a waste of time. For you." He looks confused there for a second, but he never clears what that confusion might be by actually articulating anything. Instead he sits there rather awkwardly and taps his fingers against his arm. "He is not. I'm not interested in other guys. Men are disgusting. You've seen us, right?" Men that is. That there's a thin slash of humor in her words doesn't go missed, he hazards a crooked smile in her direction.

Given her tentative exploits in the field of romance so far, this is rather normal, and Veresch is lulled by that seeming normality, all until he speaks. There's a groan then."I'm not asking for anyone, 'kay? I wanted to know. Me. Veresch." She gives a little wave of the hand; it limps a little at being told it'd be a waste of time for her, likely taken up entirely the wrong way. "Didn't know you had someone already." Her eyes roll; were she in the habit of rolling her own smokes she'd be licking one shut now, slightly piqued. "I had this conversation with K'ane. He prefers boobs. I just think they're … not that interesting most of the time." Another look. "Weyr, right? Can't escape seeing people in baths around here. Not that bad. Girls? No thanks." There's a light, artless shudder. "No." It's one part of the argument K'ane isn't going to win.

"I wasn't saying you were. Just saying that you could be." Because making sure that point is clarified beyond all else is the most important thing. Which is maybe a hint that his priorities aren't all that well aligned. "…Had someone already?" Alecsei looks at her puzzled again and then shakes his head. "No. I don't. I just think you could probably do much better, that's all. You should be looking for someone better than me." His voice drops into one that's a lot quieter at that. He swallows and opens his mouth, then shuts it. Gaze focusing intently on the ground before quite suddenly he's bringing himself to his feet. "I need to get back inside. I'll see you around." It's not short with her necessarily, just short in general perhaps.

Yup, it's time to wish rather desperately that the earth would swallow her up. "Okay," Veresch mentions tiredly. "If I don't see you before the Hatching, good luck. I'll be the really loud one yelling at all of you." She's likely to be lost in a sea of voices, but her eyes are intent at least. "Bye, Alecsei. Tell Delaney and the others I said hi, please."

If it's any consolation, he has just about the same look to him as he makes his escape back to chores. He pauses at the door to the kitchens, mustering up something of a smile. "I will. Promise. I'll catch you around." That also has the ring of 'promise' to it, even if he's not saying it. There's a moments hesitation where he stands on the edge of saying something more. But instead he's a coward about whatever it was and ducks away instead.

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