Elehu comes down the stairs.
Stores and Wine Cellar
Redolent with the smells of oak and spirits, fresh linens and drying stores, these caverns offer a certain cool serenity. Swept clean and kept neat, the stores area is well-lit and carefully arranged to offer efficient access to the weyr-tithe. A few small stools and narrow wooden tables offer a quiet moments peace.
Deeper into the weyr, the cool dampness of the cellars stores large casks of wine and spirits. A large stone table and some worn rock-benches fill one branch of the caves, while the Storemaster's office is angled such that any unauthorized visitors might be apprehended.
Most of the hallways are barred and locked.. most of them. But perhaps a few are open?
Perched on the benches is Eiri.
Elehu is here.
Elehu walks down the steps slowly, humming a soft tune while she waits for her eyes to adjust to the light. "Something white I think," she murmurs to herself, eyes peering deeper into the cellars at the barely visible casks and bottles of wine.
Light footsteps and a murmured voice carry well in the otherwise silent cellars. Reiko shrinks further back in her shadowy corner where she's chosen to hide, tired of chores, tired of being tired... only a scrape of her boots betraying her location, if it can be heard.
Elehu brightens up at the sound of someone's boots. "Oh good, maybe there's a Vintner here after all." She quickly heads towards the sound, eyes staring helplessly at the rows and rows of wine. "I didn't know the Weyr /had/ this much. No wonder they never run out," she muses, voice quite amused. "Is anyone in here?" she calls out.
Recognizing the voice as more words are spoken, Reiko lifts her head to fix an expressionless gaze on the Healer. "Wine everywhere, and not a drop to drink," she says sardonically, not bothering to get up off the floor.
Elehu smiles suddenly as she spots her former assistant. "Ah, so that's who I heard," she comments quietly, leaning against the wall opposite the Candidate. "Getting away from the heat?" she asks, referring to just about anything at this point.
From the look on Reiko's face, Elehu must have hit pretty close to the mark. But it's gone so quickly one might question if it was ever there to begin with. "I'm fine," she says quietly. "I just needed a break." Someplace quiet to hide, is more like it.
Elehu smiles softly as she slides down the wall to sit opposite the Candidate. "Is everything going all right?" she asks quietly, hands folded in her lap though they twitch at her skirt from time to time. "I know it can be a stressful time.. Gideon used to send me letters almost once a sevenday about each time he was asked to stand. A lot of weight for those shoulders."
"Sure." Reiko's tone is light, if a little forced. She even manages a twisted smile. Her own hands, clasped on her lap, speak volumes about the work she's done in the past sevenday or so. More work than she's ever done in her life. Work-roughened, scratched and blistered. "I'm fine." Now she's repeating herself.
Elehu frowns worriedly at Reiko, her head tilting just a tad. She leans forward slowly, eyes studying the other woman's hands for a moment, then her face. "Are you sure?" she asks softly, offering a warm smile. "I mean, you don't have to talk if you don't want to, I'll just leave you be if you'd prefer that. You just don't seem like your normal self..."
Reiko's eyes narrow slightly at Ele's words. "I'm sure your interest is strictly professional," she says coolly, not yet making the effort to actually snap. She hasn't forgotten being walked out on, rules or no, without so much as a word spoken. She hasn't felt much like her normal self either, what with being so sharding bone-tired all the time, but there's still a bit left.
Elehu colors faintly as she sits up straight once more. "It's not like that," she says a bit too quietly, sounding icy and offended all at the same time. "It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time," she adds after a long moment, loosing a bit of the edge to her voice.
Reiko stares down at her own hands, uncharacteristically subdued. At length she looks up at Ele again, her face little more than a mask. Another hurt, another brick in her wall. "Forget about it," she says quietly. A bit stiffly, she pushes herself up to her feet. "I need to get back."
Elehu stands a little more slowly, her look a little sad and hurt. She doesn't often bother with hiding her emotions unless it's business. "If you'd rather just forget about it... that's okay." She winces a little and glances down the row towards the door to the kitchens. "I won't keep you from your other duties, Reiko. But... I'm happy to see you're fine with everything." Her hands wrap around herself a little as she looks away. "If you ever do want to talk though, please come see me."
Reiko goes out of her way to hide her emotions, always. Unless she's drunk, which Candidacy is neatly preventing for her. Among other things. "Sure," she murmurs, brushing past Ele to the stairs. "See you around."
Elehu nods quickly, back thudding against the stone wall again as she leans back. "Yeah... I'll be seeing you, Reiko." She lifts a hand to wave, but the woman is already quite past her. Instead, she just watches for a moment, shakes her head once, and turns to move farther down the rows of wine and other spirits.