Who

Zhaine, Veresch

What

Zhaine ducks into a hideaway only to find it already occupied by Veresch.

When

It is late night of the seventh day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass. It is the thirty-seventh day of Spring and 84 degrees.

Where

Study, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 12 Mar 2016 05:00

 

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Study

The small room is a study in homely decoration, with its odd shape indicating that it's tucked between other rooms and got shorted on shapely space. The half-circular, half-triangular wall is encircled with a curvy bench stuffed high with pillows, and a tiny table allows drinks and books to rest comfortably. Off on a corner table a small plant rests, with a glow-basket and a folded blanket on the shelf above.


Zhaine
Ruggedly handsome and well aware of it, Zhaine is all brawn and bullshit, a mountain of muscle that's only equaled by his bad temper. At six feet, broad shoulders are solidly cut, his chest and limbs thickly toned to delineated perfection thanks to a life of hard physical labor. Messy mop of ebony locks typically fall a shade too long around his face, though he'll often wear them slicked back or tucked into a stocking cap, emphasizing a high widow's peak. Light scruff underscores a strong chin and arches over full lips that tend to scowl more than smile. Eyes are narrow and hued a rich brown that matches his hair, amber-lit depths capable of a fiery blaze when his ire is raised. A faint scar is visible at the back of his jaw on the right side, shadowed by perpetual stubble, but on the rare occasion that he's more closely shaven its jagged path hints at a violent history. He bears a strong resemblance both in looks and demeanor to his twin, Zarrah.
Dark and durable describe Zhane's clothing, made for hard work and ease of movement rather than something as silly as fashion or esthetics. Trousers are of thick tanned cloth and his light gray shirt close-fitting without sleeves. Sturdy boots are laced and worn but still good protection. He often wears a slightly tattered black jacket.
A white candidate's knot sits atop one broad shoulder. He is a young adult of about 23.

Veresch
She has a thin, delicate facial structure, with dark brown hair surrounding it in a somewhat ragged bob. Her eyes are light hazel and not particularly large; her cheekbones are high and her mouth somewhat full, with a rather stubborn chin making her merely somewhat attractive instead of pretty. Currently she has a scrawny look to her body, all hands-and-elbows in the aftermath of the last growth spurt, and an awkward sort of grace to go with it.
She's currently clad in a tunic of a faded sage green and brown pants, with brown sandals to protect her feet. The clothes, whilst serviceable, have little in the way of decoration: a few lines of stitching around the neck in blue, and a few beads on the belt cinching her pants around her hips. A gold firelizard is perched on her shoulder. She is a teenager of about 19.


It's late, late enough to be only a bit away from curfew, and most of the barracks is already a chorus of snores and other less salutory noises. Veresch has escaped from that odd chorus and crept away to the small study that is tucked away in an odd corner of the weyr. The room is nigh triangular, with enough space for three perhaps, and most of it taken up by her long legs at the moment. Given the warm nature of the night she's not cuddled up in blankets. Instead, book balanced on her lap, she's reading by the light of a purloined glowbasket, toes twitching from time to time in beat with whatever song is in her mind.

Without warning the door opens and someone BIG backs into the room, closing the door quickly but with suspicious caution to do so quietly. Expecting to have the ability to back up several more steps he - for yes, it is none other than Zhaine - grunts in surprise when his heels smack into the side of a bench and momentum pushes his large frame onward without his legs. "Wh-who-whoa!" he hitches, arms windmilling as he twists in a belated effort to manage his fall. No such luck. Watch out, Veresch - incoming!

Oh hey. Large man with muscles falling her way. Veresch blinks, feeling the moment stretch out slo-mo, and her first panicked reaction is to lift one foot and brace it against his back so that he doesn't crush her. It's a nice leg, really, bared because she's wearing shorts (which she would not have had she known traders were going to fall on her), and for a moment there's true resistance. Then, with a tumble and a grunt and a flying book, Zhaine's momentum just continues, and she attempts to catch him, and finally there's a puddle of pretzel limbs and people and silence. At least he didn't crash on a bench. Veresch, on the other hand, lets out a tiny grunt near his hair as she tries to get over two solid silkweights of muscle crashing into her. "…help?"

Zhaine is still in a state of confusion over many things when the room finally rights itself again and he has control of his state of balance. Hearing a squeak for help he immediately pushes himself upright, grimacing at the throb of a potential bruise behind his heel and on his wrist where it whacked the small table. "Oh shards!!" he curses, quickly turning and scrubbing a hand through slightly overlong ebony hair. "Are you ok?" Dark eyes fix on her face and inexplicably he looks relieved. "Oh, it's you Veresch."

Veresch doesn't often do pouty and sulking, but she can, and there's a prime example of it on her face now. She untangles herself from the mess of pillows and leans forward to dust herself off. "Yeah, don't look that relieved, you still crushed me. And now you're crushing my ego." It takes some time before she can tuck her legs in underneath herself again, but she points to the seat on the other side of the room with a wiggly index finger. "Sit." Pause. "If you want. Are you running away from something." There's another pause. "Faranth, Onari must really have something for muscles, you weigh a ton."

Zhaine can't help it. He didn't mean to insult the girl but her reaction makes him realize he did and it amuses him. A tug he tries to manage still makes it's way to the corner of his lips, twitching the curve of trim moustache. Holding up both palms in apology he backs away to the indicated seat across from her. Once seated he finally takes a good look around. "Hm." The single-syllable grunt is his usual response to most anything but in this case it denotes a belated understanding tinged with surprise. "I didn't expect this to be such a small space. Figured it was a normal room." As for her question he pauses before responding, dark eyes darting briefly toward the closed door. Something akin to chagrin slips across rugged features. "Not running. Just avoiding. I saw the Head Cook coming down the tunnel and for some reason that woman has it in for me! Every time I see her she has me doing something for her." As for his weight or the status of Onari's muscles he comments on neither, dark brows simply arching slightly and leaving it at that.

"It's my favourite room," Veresch mutters, looking around the small space with night-darkened eyes. "Not many people know it's here anymore, or want to come here, so it's nice and quiet." Before, it is implied, Herdbeast Zhaine crashed into it. Her legs curl even more, and she drags one of the blankets up and over her in a loose throw. "Almost like the stores, though people still blunder in there at times." Her gaze enlivens, becomes amused. "What did you do to her, or is it something that she wants to do to you? Not that I can blame her, I'm guessing the younger candidates are making her life a living hell at the moment, mucking about in the kitchen."

Zhaine turns his head to gauge the room from one side to the other…. and finds it doesn't take much. It's small. In fact, he's starting to feel a little cramped, his broad shoulders unconsciously hunching slightly forward. He leans forward bracing forearms on his spread knees. That helps. 'i can see why," he muses. "It's like a hideaway." Brandy hues scan the blanket and pillows. "Cushy." His perpetual frown reappears in full force as she asks about the cook. Giving his head a shake he starts out defensive, "I didn't do anything!" Sighing he glances at the book Veresch was reading. "She always wants me to do heavy stuff. Moving things. Cleaning hard to reach places. I got so dirty the first time when she had me stick a broom up the hearth flume that I just took my shirt off - not that you could tell within minutes anyway with how coated in dirt and ash I was."

Veresch twitches her toes beneath the blanket, hands wrapping around her ankles as she wiggles back to give him a tad more room. It's not much. She listens quietly as he speaks, but then there's a drifty expression as she imagines the poor man without his shirt, covered in ash and sweat and stuff. "…well, either she likes looking at you when you're covered in a ton of ash, or you're one of the tallest in the Candidate class and she's taking advantage of the fact and making you get all the corners the servants normally can't get."It's All His Fault. Somehow. "But I'll tell you a secret, she normally doesn't go outside as much, so if you put your name down first to help the Herders and such every day, you'll practically never have to see her again."

Zhaine appreciates the effort no matter how small. Her assessment of the cook's intentions earns a rough snort, his eyes sliding to one side. They come back beneath a hitched rise to thick brows as the hint of accusation is heard. NOT his fault. Not a bit. He can't help it if he's a walking epitome to muscled manliness and women swoon in his wake. But then the other candidate is offering some good advice and all joking aside he gives her a nod and what actually looks like a grateful upward curve of lip. "I'll remember that." But enough about him. Flicking a finger at what's in her lap he asks. "What're you reading?"

"I… oh." Veresch digs the book out from the fold of cloth over her lap and holds it up to face him spine-on. 'Historical Accounts in Third Fall: Volume 3.' Despite the ancient subject, the book itself looks fairly new, as if it were a re-copy of a much, much older work. She lets it fall open to the bookmark, clearing her throat. "'…then the came unto the cliff at the base of that caldera, they saw that the old entrance was still there, and heard the fluttering of wings inside. The young dragons' calls echoed into the desolated sky, and the desert knew them not.' It's an account of the great plague that hit in the third pass, and how the dragons returned to Igen after it had been deserted." Her fingertips tighten over the edges of the new leather, and she gives the book a shamefaced smile. "Couldn't sleep."

Zhaine's expression goes dead-pan when he sees the title. After hearing the excerpt he whistles softly and tilts a lopsided half-grin at her. "That's some serious stuff. You trying to keep awake or trying to put yourself into a coma?" Humor suddenly fades though as a new thought strikes him. The glowbasket's light throws handsome features into sharper relief as he asks, "Do we all have to learn that?" His question seems tighter than necessary, tone underscored by something deeper than mere learning.

His expressions intrigue Veresch, and she watches him to see them shift and play. Finally though, she shook her head. "No. You have to know the teaching songs and a little history, but this is way beyond the line a Candidate has to follow. I'm just reading it because it's interesting, you know? To learn how people did it all those years and years back… I was too young to read this book before we came forward to join you here at Igen, but I guess I feel a kinship with them. They were just people struggling to survive." Her hand caresses over the leather of the book again before she focuses on him. "Something's not quite right, is it? What's wrong?"

Zhaine's torso twists slightly as one brawny shoulder drops lower and his arm rises so he can sift fingers through his hair, chin tucking downward as he does. Something hovers in his demeanor but the fight to let it out is obvious. "Ok, good," he replies aloud, which seems somewhat contrary to his appearance. When she speaks of reading those detailed histories just because she is curious he grunts softly. Her questions just earn a dismissive shake of his head but he does go on to ask, "Are you good at reading then?"

Curiouser and curiouser. The student of faces and mannerisms inside Veresch sees her observing him quiet narrowly, and she sets her book aside to focus on him to the exclusion of all else. So different, not just physically, from trader girls her age, if the fearless dead-on of her gaze is to be believed. "I love reading, and I'm good at it, yes, but then I grew up in a time when it was part of all our lessons, and the Weyr had never been so stinting with their learning as some other pockets of the planet." Her fingers link together on her lap. "It's lovely to forget about all around you and read stories and historical accounts. Teaching songs might vary over the turns, and even the way we say things change, but words… they have the ability to last longer." She pauses thoughtfully. "Forgive me for the impertinent question, but… did you want reading lessons or something?"

Zhaine's dark eyes search the other candidate's face as she answers. It seems to surprise him that she is so genuinely serious about what she says, though why that is he couldn't say. When she suddenly asks about his intentions the big man rears back too quickly, shaking his head. "No, of course not!" Palms flatten on his thighs. "I can read." A loaded pause follows, the shadows deepening across his high brow. After a moment he sits forward again, this time bringing his big hands together as they drape between his knees. "Maybe, uh… maybe just a bit of practice wouldn't be a bad idea?"

There's a flicker of true enjoyment on Veresch's face as she considers the man across from her. Finally one hand looses itself from the clutch around her ankle and she reaches out to gently touch the back of one of his hands where it drapes. "Of course. I'll see you here tomorrow night? Unless you want to find a place where your shoulders fit in better." There's a quick glance sideways at the slowly dimming glow. "And perhaps we should be getting to bed tonight in any case, it must be very close to the curfew, and I can always stuff some material into my ears."

Zhaine is relieved when she takes his suggestion so easily and without further questioning, though it only shows in the edges of his expression. It was like pulling teeth to admit that much. She'll find out the rest soon enough if she truly means to assist him. Sitting up again he nods once and grunts. "Hm." Agreement there. "This'll do." It might be tight but it's also private and that's what he wants more than anything. Mention of getting to bed earns a glance toward the door and the tall candidate unfolds from the bench. "Coast is probably clear by now." As for her last there's the hint of a grin as he tosses one last comment over his shoulder before leading the way out. "If not you've always got that good aim of yours."

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