Taking Stock

Ground Weyrs
Once a mere overhang in the bowl wall, this arched stone enclave was deepened in aeons past by who-knows-what to provide shelter for injured dragons and their mates. Craggy walls loom high to dwarf rider and dragon alike, sloping back from the weather-open entrance to a low opening into the infirmary itself. Stacked under rock-shaded cover are low supply chests of sturdy timber, flanked with long tables. Other openings are shaded by wherhide curtains, leading to smaller, private caverns for the dragonhealers' patients.
It is a winter before dawn. It is hard to tell what time of day it is, as the blizzard has been raging outside for hours, making it impossible to see the stars. It is still dark, it seems, and the wind which has been blowing through the night seems to have a little less force to it. The snow falls thick and heavy again, with occasional swirls tossed by the wind.
Settled on rough-hewn ledge are Bansi, Ghede, Bow-Wow, and Izyndyl.
Niall is here.

Shivering and muttering darkly, Reiko is banging around in the cabinets and supply chests, ticking off inventory on a scrap of hide, squinting in the rather less-than-sufficient light from the glowbasket on the wall nearby.

Walking in the shadows, Niall looks for a place to settle and some music. Outside would have been his first choice, if not for the snow. But the snow he held attached had been left at his entrance point, the only sign of his entrance.

Reiko finishes the first cabinet, shutting the door with an irritated bang, and moves on to the next, pausing to rub her temples. Now irritated with the lack of light, she takes the basket from its niche and sets it on the floor where she's currently working. Great. Early, dark, cold, and working. And no klah to temper this sharding headache.

Niall looks around the ground weyr for a moment, looking for an exit to some place quiet, and unknown. But in his search, Reiko catches his attention. Fate must be saying something, something about Reiko maybe. Irritable she is, but is she not. Now would not be a time to play games, but he might have something she could use. Out of the shadows Niall stepped, dropping a bag off his shoulder as he did. "There's klah in there," he said, tossing the bag over to Reiko, while he kept his distance.

Reiko stops her muttering, swinging her head around with a scowl already in place to hide her surprise. Still kneeling in front of the cabinet, she looks first at the bag, then up at Niall, then back at the bag. Klah? She reaches for it... then stops herself to peer almost suspiciously up at him again... but the need for klah wins out, and her fingers close tightly around the bag. "Thanks," she mutters grudgingly, waiting no longer to get some of the steaming beverage into her system.

Niall chuckles, grudgingly is about the only thanks he'll get so he'll take it. "Welcome. I'll just have to raid the kitchen sooner than expected now." Well the truth's out, he raids the kitchens, well what else is new. AT least he's never been caught doing it. "Want anything besides klah? I probably have it with me."

Eyes closed, Reiko just keeps swallowing klah until it's basically gone, sitting back and leaning against the cabinet with a soft grumbling sigh. Her brow furrows, though, as even that quantity of klah fails to quiet her throbbing head. Mrrr. "Fellis?" Emerald eyes open just a slit to regard Niall, then she shrugs. "Nevermind. I can get that myself." If she's at all hungry, she hasn't realized it yet.

Niall shakes his had anyways. "I leave that stuff to healers." He leaves anything medical to healers. He never has a use for them, or at least one that he'd admit to. But if she's hungry, food he has, and food is what he grabs next. He eats some, watching Reiko, knowing if she wants some, she'll let it known.

Reiko pushes the bag back in his direction, both hands coming up to massage her temples again before she pushes herself off the floor and returns her attention to her inventory. "Whatever," she mutters. "What are you doing here, anyway?" Of course, she ought to be grateful, but that would mean opening herself up to someone - something she assiduously avoids whenever possible. Even hung over.

Niall laughs lightly, moving to grab his bag back. Lighter his bag had become, much lighter. All that means is he will need to be going to the kitchens sooner. "I'm here looking for a place, without snow, that has as little people as possible." Well being grateful would be nice, but Niall doesn't expect anything like that from Reiko. Predictable she was, and anything besides what would be predicted, could throw him for a loop.

Reiko snorts. "Sorry to disappoint," she mutters. "But I'm nearly done here." And then she'll hole up in the warm caverns. Or a hot bath. And he can have the ground weyrs to himself. She gets quickly to her feet - too quickly, to judge from the empty spinning sensation that accompanies the action. One hand reaches for the cabinet to steady herself, but she only scowls more deeply. Yes, a hot bath is definitely indicated. And a lot more sleep.

"Disappoint? You haven't disappointed me, haven't come close." Niall says, playing a game of words again. Letting the true meaning of his words be known only to him. Nothing was said about, her need to steady herself after standing, for something are best left unsaid.

The meaning may be veiled, but something in his tone makes Reiko snap her head around to glare at Niall narrowly, ignoring the pounding in her head long enough to snap, "And just what is /that/ supposed to mean?" By now, she's completely forgotten his kindness, perversely becoming determined to somehow disappoint this young man who seems as perversely determined to get to her. Yes, she's noticed.

Rough features, long dark hair, and steady eyes are what you notice about this youth first. If you continue to look at him, you notice that he stands about 5' 10. His rough features were caused by the elements over the turns. His dark hair has been kept long, and is normally tied back at the base of his skull. Light eyes; make up the rest of his facial features. His light eyes are always steady, no matter what happens. They are also the opposite contrast to his hair. One set dark, and the other light. His muscles are tone, and he's not overly muscular, but that does detract from his strength.
A dark forest green tunic covers his upper body. Brown designs swirl and curve along the edges and form patters that over lap, looking mysterious. Black pants cover his lower body. Thick material makes these perfect for cold weather, but awful for anything but. Full-length boots cover his feet. At first glace they're just normal, black boots. But on further looks, mysterious forms find themselves on the boots, just like on his tunic.
Niall is 16 Turns, 1 month, and 7 days old.

Niall smirks, that long missing smirk of his. Well it was long missing to him. A step back he takes, pulling himself half into the shadows. "That has a meaning all it's own, one I see no reason to share, nor do I have an inclination to share it." Another step back he takes, pulling himself fully into the shadows. Another section of the weyr he walked to, waiting for a response.

Reiko meets smirk with scowl, turning almost violently to continue her inventory, her back to him as he slinks into the shadows. "Suit yourself." This after a long pause, in the most diffident tone she can manage. Retrieving the glowbasket from the floor, she returns it to its niche and moves on to the next cabinet with a bang.

"Suit myself. I thought that's what I've been doing." Another game of words by Niall, one Reiko won't play, but it still serves its purpose. Well is she answers or not, he's determined to play at some point, and now would be as good a time as any. Still in the shadows, he starts to play quietly. Clipping his first count, holding his third out longer, he plays, waiting to see what happens next.

Reiko studiously ignores Niall, concentrating on her task with unusual care, the only sound from her direction being the occasional scratch of writing implement on hide as she moves quietly from shelf to shelf. But the music worms its way into her consciousness, becoming more difficult to disregard, and her scowl deepens.

Niall slides down the wall he's chosen to occupy. His music is light and warm, a contradiction to the outside. Keeping with his choice of style, he builds upon it, letting the music choose his next notes. No words were spoken, as he played, for none were needed.

Reiko's fingers begin to twitch in time with the rhythm, until she becomes aware of it and stops herself. At last she finishes the cabinet she's working on, and shuts the door with a bang, turning to peer into the shadows for a moment before moving on to the storage chests.

Niall chuckles some, keeping his noise below that of the music. He sees everything that's going on in this weyr. And the twitching of Reiko's fingers in time with his music, bring about a smile. At lease she can enjoy his music, even if she forces herself not to. And he continues to play, hoping that persistence will pay off, here.

Kneeling now, Reiko rummages through the storage chests, ticking off each bandage and numbweed pot with a scratch on the hide. Her work slows, though, as the music continues to tickle the edges of her consciousness, despite her efforts to ignore it. For a moment she considers storming out, but that seems too much like giving in, so she steels herself and moves on to the next set of shelves, closing the storage chest with a vehement slam.

Persistence, that's what it takes to deal with Reiko, with anyone for that matter, but her especially. While she works, he plays, and watches. So much is told when watching, and Niall's not about to stop. A little more work and persistence, is what's needed.

Reiko checks off the items on each shelf with a stubborn deliberateness and a thoroughness that would certainly surprise her superiors if they could see. She's almost forgotten the chilly draft and her throbbing head. And, with typical perverseness, she refuses to alter the course of her work, even though it leads her inexorably nearer to the shadows and the music.

Time and his past life, before 'Reaches, has taught how persistence pays off. Reiko, can work diligently, but all he has to do is sit and wait. Wait and play his music, for time conquers everything, and this would be no different.

Reiko scowls as the music grows louder. Louder because it's nearer. Nearer because she's moving towards it. Just what does he expect to happen, anyway, sitting there so smugly, playing his music to nobody (she's ignoring it, after all)? But Reiko and her glowbasket reach his corner eventually, and the last set of cabinets. And she tries... /tries/ to ignore... "Don't you have some sort of duties?" she snaps finally, covering exasperation with an irritated mask.

Niall shakes his head, and shrugs. "Only to myself. And a couple outside of 'Reaches." Sitting there smugly, playing his music with no cares in the world. Niall won't let Reiko just ignore, for nothing would come if he did. But as he sits there, he expects what no one else does. He expects another piece of the puzzle to come, and it'll come, all he has to do is wait.

Reiko glowers at him, one hand poised above the stacks of supplies. For a moment she looks like she's about to say something, then she turns again to her task. Tick. Tick. Taptaptap -scowl- she stops her fingers from keeping the rhythm again and whirls back to face him. "I have. A headache." She speaks slowly, as if to a small child. Not outright asking him - or telling him - to stop, but implying it strongly with the dangerous narrowing of emerald gaze in the halflight.

Niall smiles and nods some, not really caring about what Reiko just said, but why. Adjusting his music, making it softer and slower, he smiled some. "If you would like me to stop, ask. Don't imply, or threaten, or order, just ask me." He calmly said, speaking to her as he would anyone, but interlaced in his tone, was a tone he used when trying to teach someone.

Reiko blinks, caught off guard by the mildness of his response. "Who /are/ you?" she asks finally, her tone soft and wondering. In a heartbeat her cool demeanor is restored. "And why don't you have anything better to do with your time?" This last question drips with sarcasm, and if she's aware of the double meaning it could have, she gives no outward sign.

"Who am I? I'm anything I want to be. I'm anything that can be. I am who I am, and am who I will be." Cryptic and vague no? Just like Niall to be just like, to force more questions out, if the answers are wanted. More questions Reiko will have to ask if she wants more of an answer to her question. "And I may find that there is nothing better to do with my time. For I find this to be a good use of my time." Hints and more vagueness from him, nothing else is new.

"You're crazy." Reiko's voice is flat as she turns away from him, and back to her chore. Tick. Tick. Slam. "Sitting in a freezing groundweyr." Tick. Tick. "Playing." Tick. With a faint huff, she turns to glare at him again. "Exactly what is it, that makes this" - she waves one hand in an impatient gesture meant to include everything she just mentioned - "such a sharding good use of your time?"

Niall laughs, enjoying the reaction, but hiding that enjoyment from Reiko. "Crazy? That's a fine line, one the borders genius." He leans forward some, enjoying this, and smiling his enjoyment. "You don't see what my time is being used for. You're blind to what you don't want to see." Leaning back, his smile grows, his hints are there, but so are more questions.

Reiko arches a brow and folds her arms across her chest. "All right." With a smirk of her own, she meets his gaze and lays the Big Question out on the proverbial table. "What is it about /me/ that's so sharding interesting?" Blind? Not entirely. Stubborn and cynical? Definitely.

Persistence does pay off, or it seems so now. The question has been laid out, and Niall wouldn't be vague about it's answer. "You want to know what's so interesting about you? The answer is simple... Everything. Everything about you is interesting, everything catches my attention." He says, leaning forward as he speaks. So blind, she may not fully be, but there's still answers and questions she's blind to.

Reiko's expression doesn't change, only the slightest twitch of her long fingers betraying any reaction at all to his statement.. but her next words are out before she thinks to censor them, slipping through the chink his words found in her armor. "That's only because you don't know me." Her tone is chilly and flat, her eyes suddenly dull as she turns back to her task.

"Know you. I know you and I don't. I'm learning and I want to learn. But what I see, only interest me more. Only captures my attention even more." Niall slowly says, explaining, and waiting. No vagueness is meant, only answers, only what should be told.

Tick. Tick. Reiko makes her way along the shelf more slowly now than before, finding it more difficult to concentrate on the job she's trying to do. "Why?" She doesn't turn, doesn't look, and very little interest is allowed to color the tone of her voice. Tick.

Niall shrugs some, taking a deep breath. He didn't have an answer for everything, for some things he just knows. "Because you're different? Because you're unique? Because you're you?" He can't give a better answer than that, not at the moment.

"Different?" Reiko stops, her back still towards him, carefully schooling her reaction to that statement. Different can mean a lot of things, and in Reiko's experience, it hasn't always been good. She flips the cabinet shut with a soft click and rolls up the hide she's been writing on, and when she finally turns toward him again, her expression is inscrutable. "Don't waste your time." Her gaze drops to the floor briefly, then she turns back toward the infirmary, becoming aware once again of the pounding in her head.

"Different, yes." Niall says slowly, watching Reiko as she works. "My time, is mine to waste, and I'm not wasting it." His words were sincere, showing that he meant what he said. No overshadowing, no vagueness, nothing like that clouds his words, or hides there meaning.

Reiko stops, her fingers clenching reflexively around the rolled up hide she carries, and turns back to face him. "That's a matter of opinion," she snaps. An opinion which she apparently doesn't share. She's only a few steps away from leaving now, and from the look on her face, she sees no reason to stay.

Niall stands slowly, keeping his eyes on Reiko as moved. "You're right, it is an opinion. But my opinion is that I'm not wasting my time, that I couldn't be using it better." He calmly says, watching her, while he waited.

"Well you're wrong." Reiko's voice is flat and emotionless as she turns to go. Who knows herself better than she, after all? And no words will convince her otherwise.

"Wrong is a matter of opinion," Niall calls to Reiko. He won't allow this to end, without trying. He won't let it end now or later. Persistence is what he has, and what he'll use.

Reiko keeps walking. She's cold. Her head hurts. And for once she's tired of arguing.

She can leave if she wants it's her choice. But Niall will wait, that's his choice.