A Busy Afternoon

Koi Pond
The dirt path worn smooth by the passage of many feet weaves in and out of tall, shady trees before coming to an abrupt halt at the edge of a sheer cliff. The steep rock face falls nearly a dragonslength before disappearing below the surface of the small pond tucked at its base where it continues down, making it safe for the daring of heart to attempt the jump. Trees line the cliff top, which dips and rises to offer views from various heights, and several ropeshave been tied to high branches for any who want to swing out over the sparkling water. A narrow path leads down one side of the cliff to a small rocky beach, and the opposite hillside boasts what could be a smooth, steep path, save that it leads directly to a drop-off several feet above the water. Above the path is a bucket attached to a convenient tree by a pulley - all the necessary ingredients of a mud-slide. The wind often whistles through the small valley formed by the hillside and cliff-face to join the laughter of the pond's visitors in ringing across the water's surface.

Orpheus pads softly in from the StarCraft Courtyard.
Kezzra walks with a light step, in from the StarCraft Field.

Brightness of gleaming sapphire eyes stands out against dusky skin; the darkness of lashes matches curled hair of darkest brown verging on black. Aquiline nose and high cheekbones set off his classic countenance, continued through by lean muscle that makes up his frame. Delicate, strong fingers are supple, long and elegant to match the rest of him: tall and dark, he stands with unconscious grace in his demeanor.
He is awake, but has been staring off into space for a minute.
Orpheus is 22 Turns, 1 month, and 25 days old.

Large and curious hazel eyes, usually greenish in colour, change depending on Kezzra's surroundings, reaching new depths of blues, browns, and greens to match her clothing or the weather as they flit around the room, picking up every detail. An indistinct nose then leads to thin, tender lips that break clear of Kezzra's lightly tanned skin with their pink tinge. Falling straight about her face, hair then tumbles into curls, eventually ending over her shoulders. The sort of brown that catches shining red highlights from any source of light, and can never be replicated by dye, the silky mass is enough to catch the attention of many. All together a radiant glow seems to diffuse from Kezzra's face, something in-descript that adds an extra sense glow to her visage. Petite in shape and height by nature, Kezzra is a slender girl, standing just over five feet tall, with soft curves flowing throughout her body.
Pale blue with white accents would describe this dress in simple perfection, except for the fact that it's not all that plain and simple. The bodice of the dress is tight, sleeves start as they are just about to slip off the shoulders and the square neck line dips down, but not far enough so there's anything to be seen. Sleeves too are tight until reaching just above the elbow where they become gradually looser, the fabric folding softly across the arm till reaching the wrist. Tiny, white, rounded shell buttons secure the back, shimmering with an iridescent glow. Skirt cascades down from a white sash that encircles the waist, like a crystalline waterfall, ending just before it brushes the ground. Small white flowers twine along a pale green vine embroidered around the hem of the skirt.
Kezzra is 21 Turns, 8 months, and 13 days old.

Linora is sitting on a rock. Again. Staring at the koi. Again. She's been doing this more or less all afternoon... sometimes alone, sometimes folks show up. Sometimes she even pays attention. Her knees are tucked up to her chest, and her arms are wrapped around them.

The end of a loaf of bread rapidly dissapears into the great pit known as Orph, the apprentice apparently deciding to take his lunch outside. The shore of the pond is eyed, the perfect place to sit found and claimed as he folds himself down onto the ground. There's other people? He's oblivious; it's him and his food.

Kezzra shakes her head slightly at her daughter as said girl toddles along ahead of her, falling every so often but getting up and continuing on. Orpheus catches the small girl's eyes, well he does have food even if it is almost gone, and it's towards him that she heads. Kezzra on the other hand is nearly oblivious to anything, or one, except maybe Rasha.

Linora can't really miss that many approaching feet, can she? Well... maybe she can. Looks like she might have a bit on her mind. In any case, she doesn't react at all to the sounds around her, if she hears them at all. Which is unlikely.

Orpheus, cruel type that his is, finishes the bread before the young girl can near him. Brushing the crumbs from his palm he cocks his head at the sound of tiny footsteps, turning to see Kezzra & company as well as Linora. Mouthfull, he can only wave at first; a cheerful, "'lo there!" following not long after.

Kezzra blinks. Oh.. people. "Hi Orpheus..." And Orph at that. Been a long time since she's seen him, no. Rasha doesn't seem to care that the food is gone, she'll still climb into the apprentice's lap and see if he might per chance have anything else that he'll give her.

Voices /will/ attract Linora's attention, drawing her out of her thoughts and back to Pern. She looks over her shoulder first, smiling to see little Rasha headed for the human chair. They start young, don't they? "Hey, Kezz... Orph." She can't really remember when she's seen the koi pond such a popular destination. Can't be her...

The human chair blinks at Rasha, allowing her to clamber into his lap but holding out his hands, palm up, to show he isn't hiding any candy or other goodies. "Nice day, eh?" Cheerful as ever, he tilts his smile at the two younger women, shifting to put a hand down behind him. "What brought you two out here?"

Shirt buttons are first to attrack Rasha's attention now, so she'll just keep busy pulling on them and of course trying to eat them. No you try spending the first year of your life with Diane, Etain and Carise as your babysitters and see what you don't learn. Human chairs are good. She's still a baby. She gets human chairs all the time. Grin. "Hi Lin." Kezzra greets the other apprentice with a smile. "How are you today?"

Linora turns around fully now. Staring at koi when people are talking to her would just be /rude/. "I like it here," she says to Orph, shrugging lightly. So there's something relaxing about watching koi swim and she never really noticed it before. Maybe she's making up for lost time. Kezz's question is a little harder to answer somehow, but she manages. "I'm okay." And before she has to elaborate... "How're you? An' Rasha?" She glances over at Rasha - what, undressing Orph? Who are her babysitters? - and smiles.

Rasha's babysitters? Can't you guess that? "Rasha's into everything lately. Few more days and she'll be a whole turn old already." Kezz replies as skirts fold around the journywoman's legs as she seats herself beside Linora. Notice nothing about herself is said.

Orpheus' poor buttons are grasped, but he reaches out and gently pulls them out of the childs grasp, holding on to the girl's hands and helping Rasha to stand when he sits up. "You like buttons, eh?" Ignored by the other girls, Orpheus just cocks his head and listens in unabashedly, standing and scooping Rasha up with a soft 'uph' then wandering towards the other two. "A whole turn, eh?"

Linora takes another look at Rasha herself. Was it really a whole turn ago that she first saw Kezz in the infirmary? She swallows, trying not to think about all the stuff that's changed in the past turn, and looks back at Kezz. "Doin' anything for her turnday?" That'd be fun.

Kezzra shrugs. "I'm not sure. If it's up to Etain and Diane I'm sure there'll be something, but I haven't had the time to think about it at all." Yeah... a whole turn. Lots has happend in that time. "So how about you Orphy dear. How's life been for you?"

"Fairly boring," Orpheus says cheerfully, kneeling to the ground opposite the two women and setting Rasha on his lap. "You'll have to have a wild party for Rasha here, with cookies 'n all that good stuff." Yeah, a real wild time. "Up to Etain and Diane, eh? Are you sure that's a good thing?" He teases, evident in his near ever-present smile.

Linora grins, finding Orph's good mood to be just a bit contagious. Wild party, for a baby. "Etain likes t'throw parties," she observes, thinking of the one she just missed and only heard of. She leans back on her hands and watches Rasha.

Kezzra rolls her eyes. "I said if it was up to them. Not that it was." she clarifies for Orpheus. "So what did bring the two of you here?" The pond has never seemed the popular place, atleast to her. Buttons are so interesting. As is hair but Orph has buttons so of course Rasha has to have them.

Orpheus gives in to button theif and pulls off his outer shirt, the one beneath serving well enough to warm him. He drapes the fabric across Rasha's lap, winking over her at Kezzra. "If she rips this, you'll buy me a new one, right? Or if she tears a button, you'll make some other apprentice sew it for me, right?" He couldn't sew to save his life, after all. With a wave of his right hand, he makes some airy gesture apparently to signify whatever brought him here. "I always go outside and wander when I can; nicer out here, even if it's raining, than in among the hides."

Linora giggles at the whole shirt thing, silently resolving to /not/ be the apprentice asked to do the repairs. Not that she /can't/ sew, but she definitely hasn't got the patience to sit still for it. She can always say she's too busy working for Keris, right? "I like it here," she says again, this time for Kezz's benefit. "I can't stay in the archives too long anyhow, on accounta I can't breathe and stuff." She shrugs, realizing she hasn't actually had trouble breathing in quite a while... and then remembering that she hasn't exactly been around the archives quite as much as she maybe should be.

Kezzra nods. "Seems like I haven't been out her for ages." Then again she was hiding up at Reaches for the last month or so. As far as the shirt, dear, if she at all harms it I'll take care of it." Now come on here. Buttons aren't any fun if they aren't on anyone, so the shirt is taken as a blanky and dragged along the ground under Rasha as she crawls over to curl up on Linora's lap. There. That's better. She's not so wiggly as the boy.

"Harms it at all, eh?" The shirt turned blanky vanishes, and with it Orpheus' lap is freed. Elbows propped on his knees, he rests his chin on folded hands and wrinkles his nose at Linora. "I know what you mean. I can't stand it in the archives -- which is why that'll always be the last place anyone would look for me," he adds with a grin. To Kezz he offers a smile as well, "Poor you. Busy, hmm?"

Linora isn't wiggly. When did that happen? As she puts her arms around Rasha it occurs to her that she has in fact been sitting quite still. For quite a long time. So it takes her a minute to process what Orph is saying... but when she gets it, she gives him a little smile. "I know /I/ never saw ya in there," she observes. And she used to be in there /all/ the time. "Course you're prolly too busy propping up girls in the vault." Teasing? Oh, she must be feeling better. She doesn't even bother to censor her comment for Kezz's benefit. Why should she be any different from all the other apprentices in the craft?

Kezzra nods. "Between Rasha and craftwork," and putting up with Cavan, "seems I'm always busy." Though you do know most of that work she has she makes for herself so she doesn't have anytime which is why she was banned from working at Reaches. And censoring comments for Kezz? Since when has anyone ever done that?

Orpheus does his best to look innocent in Linora's direction, widening blue eyes and grinning. He does shake his head at the propping comment, instead waving vaguely again at their surroundings. "Not I. Someone else can prop up the girls if they want, I suppose I'm tired of the job. I'm quite fine out here." A firm nod, grin ever in place, is given before his eyes slide in Kezzra's direction. "You should take more time for yourself, to be lazy and all." Orph speaks as the master of the craft of being lazy, a'course.

Linora doesn't buy the innocent bit. Please. This is Orph we're talking about. Does he think she's stupid? Well, now that Kal and Nao are at the Weyr, maybe Orph's not doing quite as much propping as he maybe used to. She grins and shifts Rasha on her lap a bit, giving the little girl a squeeze. "Kezz? Lazy?" He doesn't know her too well, does he?

Kezzra giggles. "I wish I could Orph." she says, and maybe she'll just move over and use Orpheus' shoulder as a pillow. Yep. That works nicely. Rasha meanwhile is content to sit on Linora's lap tangled in Orph's shirt.

Orpheus is no longer a chair, but a pillow it would seem. "Aw, c'mon, Kezzra. Push off work on some annoying new apprentice." He winks lazily, canting his head at Linora for back up, "Don't you think she should do that? Enpec's a newer one and he snores like ya wouldn't believe. How about 'im?"

Linora grins. And there's Orph, propping up Kezz. Just can't get away from the girls, it seems. One hand absently stroking Rasha's soft baby-hair, she only shrugs at Orph's suggestion. "I'd pick Jerrik, myself," she muses, clueless as to who Enpec is. Not that snoring carries through the walls to the girls' dorm... she only has to deal with the occasional pillowfight.

Kezzra sighs. "A journeyman's work can't always be done by an apprentice dear." she says, sounding maybe a bit sleepy,by way of attempting to explain to Orpheus.

"Oh, Jerrik. I ran into him, I think, giving another apprentice a tour. No sense of humor, the two of 'em." Orpheus shakes his head sadly, the two males lacking in that most basic -- to Orph -- of all traits. Kezzra gets another wrinkled nose over his grin, "But can't at least some of be done by one? Give them all the details and such, leaving you to the actual work."

"Maybe, but I really prefer to do it myself." Kezzra says. Even if it does keep her from her daughter.

Two of 'em? Linora assumes he means the aforementioned Enpec in addition to Jerrik... and can't speak to their sense of humor. So she doesn't. "You're not lookin' for more work, are ya, Orph?" He hasn't forgotten Kezz could just as easily assign the tasks to him?

Orpheus? Look for more work? Surely the sun will stop shining first. "Not I," the apprentice reassures Linora with a cheery grin. "Just trying to help out those who have nothing else to do with their time, like the newer apprentices." Really, he does it all for their own benefit. Kezz is nudged lightly with his elbow, Orph shaking his head. "Prefer to do it yourself? Tch, if ya say so. I still say you oughta make Enpec do it."

Kezzra will just snuggle up closer to Orph. Maybe she's forgeting who it is but what's the difference? A guy is a guy, right. "I guess maybe I'll try it sometime, dear."

Linora just ... looks. For a long moment. At Kezz snuggled up against Orph. An odd look crosses her face, and she quickly looks down at Rasha in her arms, concentrating on the whorling patterns of the baby fine hair on the little head. If she wasn't holding Rasha, she might've left already.

"Right then, try tommorrow," Orpheus insists with a smile, turning to bestow that grin on Kezzra. "Don't you think, Linora?" Again he lifts his eyes to the other apprentice, looking for back-up: "But not on us, of course, since we help you so much." Yeah, propping Kezzra up and amusing the kid -- so helpful.

"Huh?" Linora looks up, hearing her name, mentally playing back the conversation to figure out what to say next. "Oh... yeah." Or something. Was that the right thing to say?

Kezzra nods slightly since Orph's shoulder is still her pillow. "I'll have to remeber that then. Thanks Orph." Cuddle. She's just in one of her moods isn't she.

"Am I the only one awake?" Head tilting back, Orpheus asks the question of the skies above before lowering blue eyes to the two females. Kezz is nudged via a lift of his shoulder, Linora grinned at over the journeywoman. "You two both sound so out of it." His tone is teasing as he singsongs, "Didn't ya get 'nuff sleep last night?"

Does Kezz ever get enough sleep? She has lots of work and a baby. What do you think? "I could have had less.." she teases.

Sleep is certainly the least of Linora's problems. But she's not one to talk about her problems usually, so she only shrugs. "Sorry." Still looking at Rasha.

Orpheus, widely known to be clueless and dense, totally misses on the teasing and instead asks an honest, "You could have? How?" With a blink of his eyes he turns his head to Linora, lips still curved in a grin. "So why /are/ you so quiet now, eh?"

Orph is always clueless. Kezz knows that, but she'll just curl up. Orph's lap makes as good a pillow as his shoulder, no.

Linora gets to her feet, settling Rasha on one hip to make her way over to where Kezz is lounging on Orph, kneeling down to return baby to mother. "I dunno," she mumbles, feeling distinctly like it would be better if she left. "Guess I got a lot on my mind and stuff." She stands up, brushing off her hands and taking a couple steps back. "I prolly oughtta get back t'the archives 'fore Keris notices I'm gone." Like it hasn't been more than a sevenday since she's set foot in the place. And like Keris is the most observant mentor she could've picked.

"Er, tired or something, Kezzra?" Orpheus is back to the human chair, it would seem, and looks up at Linora entreatingly. "Maybe we ought to get her inside before she falls asleep out here, eh? How bout it, Kezzra?" Again he nudges lightly, making to stand and help Kezzra to her feet as well.

Kezzra nods slightly. "Yeah... bed might be a good idea."

Kezzra goes home.

Linora blinks at Kezzra's abrupt departure, then shrugs. "Yeah... well. Um. Seeya 'round, Orph." Not likely where she'll be, but what else can she say? She gives him a quick smile and trots off down the path toward the hall.