Safety In Numbers

Quiet Corners
Thick woolen tapestries dull the noise from the rest of the caverns, turning this well-lit little room into a welcome escape. The stairs up place it against the bowl wall somewhere above the living caverns, carpeted against the winters chill or left as cool stone floor in summer. Some high and narrow windows can be opened to the world outside, or secured with their heavy metal-sided shutters and blue-threaded curtains.
Glowlight gleams, brightening the well-cushioned stone couches and lighting the weyr residents half-finished projects: knitting undone, sewing only started, leathers being worked soft, and even a hide of sketches or half-finished Thread-chart spread out across one of the tables.
Curled up amongst the baskets of wool is Kalfu.

Niall slips in from the little door.

Reiko is curled in the corner of one of the couches, an expanse of white fabric surrounding her, a needle in one hand, klah untouched in a mug on a nearby table. Her expression is one of intense concentration.

Niall crosses through the door from the bowl, happy to be finally someplace quite, and without anyone or anything. He looked across the room, and immediately could scratch the anyone part out, but Reiko, Niall didn't mind in the least. So with taking a seat, and nothing else to do, he watches her.

Engrossed in her task, Reiko neither hears nor sees Niall entering. The needle slips in and out of the fabric, slowly... slowly. At length she pauses to examine her work with a critical eye. And sighs. Jabbing the needle into the arm of the couch, she begins picking out a length of crooked stitching. This is going to take /forever/.

Marianne slips in from the little door.

"It might be easier to flip the material inside out and sit it down on something, so it's more stable." Niall pipes up with, speaking to Reiko, actually knowing what he's talking about. He's done enough of the chore she has to do, that's what you get for once being a trader.

Reiko jumps at the unexpected voice, swinging her head around to face Niall, surprise evident in her eyes before the veil drops again and a scowl crosses her features. "I'll manage just fine, thank you," she says coolly, although the picking of her fingers on the offending threads can only be described as irritated. She curls deeper into the couch, just because he said she shouldn't.

Niall nods slowly smiles at Reiko, sitting back some to relax. He just waits and watches, seeing what Reiko's reaction will be when her chore becomes harder, because she's doing the wrong thing. "You may manage, but I know who to make your chore shorter. I was a trader once, and knowing how to do that, is part of the job description."

"Sewing are we?" Marianne ducks into the corner with a pile of leathers along with her, weighing her down as she balances things all over the place.. including her head and her waist. "Well, you don't mind if I join the club, do you?" She sits down unceremoniously upon a couch and drops everything in front of her. Plop. And the bucket on her head is still there until she places it down and smiles at the pair of them. "Reiko... and.. I'm sorry, I'm afraid we've not been introduced," she gives a friendly smile to Niall. "I'm Marianne.."

Niall nods slightly to Marianne, and smiles too. "Niall," he introduces himself.

Reiko glares up at Niall for a moment before Marianne's voice interrupts. Oh, someone else to glare at. For stating the obvious. Which Reiko does not dignify with a response. "Feel free," she says, a vague, irritated wave indicating the large number of empty places to sit. Niall can introduce himself. She's busy trying to prove that her way is just as good as whatever Niall thinks is right.

"Oh, hello there Niall," Marianne says in usual cultivated voice, watching the pair of them, especially Reiko, with some amusement. "Why thank you.... I'll just get right to work on this lovely obliging pile of leathers I received from yet another rider this morning... You know, if I /ever/ see that brownrider again, I'm going to be tempted to /deliberately/ shove some innards on him this time... I'll even be happy to clean them in the end just to see his face.." She cackles gleefully as she begins to repair the stitching in the side of a set of blue leathers.

Niall sits back in the chair some more, content on watching Reiko, and waiting till she gives up her way. Until then he'll just wait in silence, or talk with Marianne.

Reiko looks up from her work to regard the pile of leathers and the sickeningly cheerful Marianne through narrowed eyes. But the Harper-girl's words do elicit a bit of a smirk at the memory. "And see what /other/ chores he can find for you? Latrines, perhaps?" Finally, the last of the crooked stitches are picked out, and the needle retrieved to begin again. Slowly. Doing her best to ignore Niall's staring.

Waiting for Reiko to give in, and Marianne to talk, bores Niall quite quickly; seems he gets bored easily, and only a few things hold his attention. Two of which are in this same room, and one of them is his guitar. He needs something to do, so he starts to play, providing music.

"Well. True. But whatever he gives me wouldn't be as bad as to make the memory of doing it pale," Marianne remarks with a gleam in her eye. "Latrines.. you know, at least there aren't eyeballs in latrines for us to clean out... unless there's something very odd going around..." She appears to almost attack the leather, mending a tiny rip on the side of a set of the leathers, muttering something under her breath about 'arrogant riders'.

Reiko stops the motion of the needle to arch an eyebrow at Marianne. It's too early in the morning for multitasking. "I would have thought eyeballs were edible," she remarks with a smirk. Emerald gaze flickers over the Harper appraisingly before sliding sidelong to eye Niall and the everpresent guitar. Slouching further into her seat and drawing her knees up to rest the fabric on, she resumes her task, studiously ignoring both the music and the musician.

Marianne has disconnected.
Marianne suddenly swoons as if into a dream...

Niall keeps a slow beat to his music, with staccato, high octave notes. Each beat is slow, but filled with complicated, quick notes. He has something to keep him busy as he waits, and also to fulfill the 'next time,' he spook of yesterday.

It takes a few moments, but Reiko eventually realizes that Marianne's not being perky anymore. She looks up from her sewing to eye the sleeping HarperCandie with amusement, but the expression changes immediately to a scowl as a poorly-placed needle jabs her finger. Cursing under her breath, she jerks her hand away from the fabric and presses the bleeding finger against her lips.

"Still refusing to listen?" Niall asks, know quite well what just happened to her. "If you try it my way, less likely to do that," he continues with, never missing a beat of his playing. He waits for a response, before adding to his music. Pauses, and during those, tapping on his guitar to the rhythm he had set. It'd be better if he had a drum.

Reiko glares at Niall, removing the injured finger from her mouth to snap, "Why do you care?" Emerald gaze sweeps over him once, sizing him up - as if he might have changed - before coolly meeting his eyes.

Niall stops his music, and shakes his head some. "You want to know why I care?" he asks, sitting up right. "I care because I'm not as bad as you've made me out to be. I care because you hurt yourself. I care, because it was you of all people who hurt themselves. Their are other reasons, shall I go on?" He asks, keeping in tune with the rest of his words, calm. Calm his words were, not in the bit vague, or playful.

Murrough comes up the stairs.

Mechelle comes up the stairs.

Reiko scowls, her eyes still on Niall's. "No." Drawing the fabric around herself until she finds the seam again, she stabs the needle into it viciously.

Niall nods slowly, keeping his eyes on Reiko's, not looking away. He starts his music back up, still waiting and watching he is, and an end does not look in sight.

And so the crowd of candidates gathers -- escaping xh chores, perhaps? Or come to find them. Murrough being on of those assinged to sewing -- yet he doesn't sem too be in a hurry to do so. Instead, he eyes Niall and Reiko with bemusement.

Mechelle makes her way up the steps, mainly just exploring some more. You never know what you might find around here. Spotting more candidates, she walks closer, smiling slightly. "Morning..." Yes, morning, it is.

Reiko's eyes are firmly fixed on her sewing now. Or on the expanse of white fabric that she's trying sew. With little success. In any case, she manages to be oblivious to the room's other occupants until Mechelle speaks. At which point she jumps again, and eyes the queasyCandie sharply. "Morning," she says, carefully schooling her tone to something almost approaching civil. Give that woman a cookie.

Niall's music continues, as new people enter. A slight nod in greeting to all who have entered, but nothing more it going to come from him. For his attention is to much wrapped up in Reiko.

Murrough fixes his gaze with a sardonic twist of lip on NIall. Poor, poor Niall -- doesn't kinow when to stop. "So, Reiko, working on your robe?"

Ohh, she speaks! Mechelle gives Reiko a slight smile. Reiko makes her a bit nervous for some reason. Her hands are empty, chores don't start for her until daylight! She just finds a place to sit, watching the rest of them. She's not here to bother anybody.

Of course Reiko speaks. Sometimes civilly even, but usually not. Emerald gaze sweeps over Mechelle briefly before sliding over to Murrough, who apparently has a stunning grasp of the obvious. She eyes him narrowly for a moment before smiling sweetly. Watch out. "No. It's curtains for the brat cave." Suure, it is. At least snapping at Murrough makes it easier to ignore Niall.

Well this poor poor Niall, just happens to be determined to a fault, and has seen things that Murrough has not, that gives him reasons to continue on. But for the moment he just continues on as he has been, and seemingly will be for a long while.

Murrough is actually trying to drown him out, wonder of wonders. "I'm sure tykes will like tiny curtains." Murrough without klah is a Murrough who makes wierd statements. Bizarre man that he is, Murrough plunges on. "Make it in really horrendous coulors. Children love that." His smile is equaly saccharine.

Nearly occluded by long, feathery lashes, a rudimentary softness lingers within moss-agate eyes, sparring with the dry wit that lurks, green-hued, beneath. Eschewing the usual glimmers of summer sun, his hair is mainly dark, surely mellow: here and there, however, contrasts of ruddy earth and honey flash briefly among the ebon. A certain and ill-defined expression, eluding easy interpretation, plays along wryly amused lips' genteel twist. Muscles wind in sensual cohesion skirls about a body long drawn in zoetic grace to sheath him in deceptive fragility.
As smooth as buttercream, as darkly rich in chocolate's distinctive flavor, a sleeveless tunic graces his torso, framing his thin hips with summer's ending. Beneath is a high necked black shirt, fitting closely to his body and trailing to cover long hands to the first knuckle of his fingers. Loose breeches flow about his long legs, their slightly shaggy ends flopping over heavy boots. Perched on Murrough's shoulder is Julep.
Ista Hold Tithe captain['s knot is an intricate blend of black and orange, yet on the opposing shoulder is the innocent loop of a High reaches Candidate.
Murrough is 21 Turns, 5 months, and 7 days old.

Mechelle heard that, Reiko, yes she did! "They're not /brats/! Children are sweet, if you know how to treat them.." Ohhh, watch out, Mechelle, the Nanny is loose! "Brat is a very negative word, and you shouldn't use it." Murrough is given a slight smile, "They don't like 'horrendous' colors..They just like /lots/ of colors." before stony stare is turned to Reiko. Dare she argue with the nanny?

"hah." Is murrough's answer to that statement. "You should see my little 'dahlings' rooms. Not pretty. Ornage and yellow? Horrendous."

Xaner comes up the stairs.

Reiko arches an eyebrow at Murrough and his suggestion. "It's white," she points out coolly, as if that weren't obvious. "It's staying white." Because Reiko and dye don't mix. Or rather, they do, but only when large quantities of wine are involved. Which *cough* isn't likely to happen during candidacy. But, oh! QueasyCandie has found her voice. Emerald gaze slides Mechelle-wards yet again, and a twisted smirk curls her lips. "Nice try," she says, her tone even. "Have you /met/ the brats here?"

Mechelle raises an eyebrow at Murrough, shaking her head, "Orange and yellow go quite good together for children. You know, if they're around bright colors, it can cause creativity to be enforced, and they have much better imaginations..." Okay, so she may have some wierd ideas...Turning again to Reiko, she shrugs, "Nice try for what? I've met a couple, and like I said before, they're not /brats/...If they act horrible, then it's the nannies faults. They should be better trained! That word is horrible! ANd to even call the nursery a...a..." See, she can't even hardly say the word, "a /brat/ cave..." she shudders. "So repulsive!"

Murrough guffaws at the intensitity of Mechelle's defense. "I think I will send to my parents that Mechelle wants to keep our little darling boys for a bit. Shje will revise her opinion right quickly." Downewards. After all, Murrough did spawn 'em. "creativity. Hah. More like desrt destructivity." He eyes Reiko. "But white is dull, Reiko. Colors bring out your beauty." As if Reiko cares what he thinks.

Oh look! Ner found a quiet little hideaway all for himse...ok..maybe not! Pout. What are all these people doing in the neon candie's new hiding place? Wah! Blink. What are they talking about. Dye? Hm? "What's all this?" Blinkyblink.

Reiko shrugs lightly, perversely calm in the face of Mechelle's fury. "Everyone calls it the brat cave." But the smirk fades as Murrough tosses his quartermark in to the conversation, and her head snaps around to regard him narrowly. "I didn't choose white," she reminds him, knowing he knows perfectly well that it's not curtains at all that she's sewing... okay, so she's not exactly sewing now. That needle hasn't moved in quite a little while. But a new voice draws her attention, and she gives Xaner a quick once-over but doesn't answer. He can figure it out for himself. Or one of the observant-types can fill him in. Back to the needle.

Mechelle blinks, startled by Murrough's laugh. She's not trying to be /funny/ here. "It doesn't matter /who/ they are or..or...who their parents are. It all depends on how they're raised!" That's her story and she's sticking to it! "Send them to Ista Weyr after I get back there, and I can guarantee you that the next time you see them, they'll be just wonderful!" You wonder what she does to make them that way...Torture, perhaps? Xaner is ignored for now. He's not talking about children as if they're horrible..yet, anyway. "Not /everyone/." she mutters to Reiko. After all, Mechelle is part of 'everyone', isn't she?

Niall gets bored of his own playing, and stops as Xaner enters. The topic of choice has been boring him too, and he shrugs at Xaner question because of that. He's not about to recite what little he's listened to, he's more interested in finding something to do.

Murrough snorts. "Uh-huh. Their mother and I tried that theory by fostering them with my prents. It hasn't worked. Face it, Mechelle. Children are brats." Especially his. "Aww, Reiko...why not choose somethig else, then. Orange and yellow, perhaps." Brows wavv waggle. "Pastel orang eand yellow." Talk abotu poking your nose where it doesn't belong. Xaner is given a grin. "Why, we're trying to convince Mechelle that children aren't wonderful little kittens."

Xaner eyes, fingers running into neon colored hair for a moment in his confusion. Well, nobody ever said he was quick. Oh! Yay! Murrough has saved him! Bat those eyelashes you cute candie you! "/Thank you/ for filling me in." Annoyed look is given the others. Gwah. They aren't helpful. Murrough is. He likes Murrough now. Be his friend! "I havn't known many kids...the stablemistresses fosterlings at Paradise were pretty well behaved..though they had a good few Turns on them.." Blink.

Reiko arches an eyebrow in Xaner's direction. "The /children/ here are legendary." Slight emphasis on the c-word for Mechelle's benefit. Cough. Murrough gets another once-over. "Orange is nice," she purrs, remembering a certain drunken dye-fest. "But this stays white." Back to sewing. But suddenly the music stops, and emerald gaze slides over to Niall again, almost involuntarily, quickly snapping back to her task.

Mechelle is outnumbered, but she has to give it one last shot, "Maybe because your parents don't know how to raise them right." Oops..perhaps she should have thought that one through before she spat it out. But, bravely on... "Children are /not/ brats unless they're raised to /believe/ they are!" She turns her stare to Xaner, just /daring/ him to go along with the others. When he doesn't /exactly/ she actually smiles slightly. She rolls her eyes at Reiko, "/Thank/ you." she murmers sarcastically. Color schemes are ignored.

Murrough gives Reiko a wicked grin. "Peach is better.": Really, it is. "However, Xaner, those children...perhaps they were just better at covering their brattiness. One learns, after a certain fashion." Murrough should know.

This conversation about children has gone on long enough to Niall, and has past being boring and become irritating. One nice piercing whistle is emitted from him, just to grab everyone's undivided attention. "This conversation about brat, children, or whatever you want to call them, has gone on long enough, and is now irritating. You all have your view points, now pick something new to talk about." Niall's last words came with a snap. They're starting to push on his temper, and that's not a good thing.

Murrough /eyes/ Niall. "Is that an order. Sir?" His brows raise. "Too bad, because we will continue to discuss...children...until we've exhausted it any way we like.": A sniff. "One could say the constant music-playing is irritating ands shouldn't be repeated. "

Xaner has disconnected.
Xaner drifts quietly into slumber.

Reiko has been largely ignoring whatever doesn't interest her. Brats, peach-colored whatever... but the whistle and the snapped comment bring her head quickly up from her task and she glares coldly at Niall. "If you're bored, you might try leaving," she says, voice dripping saccharine. Murrough actually gets a twisted smile for his contribution, and the bundle of white fabric is pushed aside.

Ah, 'learns'..Murrough has given Mechelle an opening, and she takes it, "See there? /All/ children learn. They learn everything from those who they're around, so if they're around proper people, they'll grow up with manners and lovely attitudes, if not..." Niall's whistle breaks up her train of thought and she turns on him with a glare, "If it's irritating, you certainly don't have to listen to it, you know!" Okay, so she's in a huffy mood now, and you're not likely to get her out of it. She changes sides, however, nodding her agreement to Murrough and Reiko "There's nothing saying we can't discuss what we want to."

The housekeeper arrives to cart Xaner off to bed.

Niall smiles an apology at Mechelle, and smirks over at Reiko. The conversation is not so much irritating as Murrough is, and having him quiet for 5 minutes is he wants. "That's an order for you," he starts at Murrough, cold and venomously. "All the other's here I don't care what they talk about." A mock kindness had entered his voice, overshadowing the coldness, but assisting the venom. "And my playing will stop if you want it to. A simple action of asking works." Now Reiko's turn, but his words are now calm and kind. "How can I be bored, when you hold my attention so well?"

Murrough snorts. "Too bad I don't obey orders, eh, Niall, my boy?" He yawns. "I'd try asking, but you being such q dull-witted sort, it wouldn't work."Lashe sbat, thoughtfully. "I wonder if you realize how much of a young, stupid puppy you really are?"

Reiko pushes herself off the couch and gathers her fabric into a careless bundle. A twisted smirk curls her lips as Murrough lashes out at Niall, then she shakes her head, glittering eyes fixed on her fellow Candidate. "Aren't there rules against brawling, too?" she intones sweetly. They've covered just about everything else of any interest. But now she turns to Niall. "I hold your attention? Wait until you get to know me." Because he doesn't. No one does. A few long strides bring her to his chair, and she reaches out in a swift movement to catch the collar of his tunic. Bringing her face to within inches of his, she murmurs, "Just try it." And abruptly releases him and walks away without a word of farewell... to anyone.

Murrough snorts. "Sure there are. Only reason the pest is still standing." Boy oh boy is Murrough a bold one today.

Mechelle raises an eyebrow slightly at Niall, not so easily appeased. Bad moods tend to last with her. "How can you order /anyone/ around? Who's given you that authority?" Well, it's a viable question. She eyes Reiko with a frown, "Brawling? Who's brawling?" Surely she wasn't talking about /her/.. She watches the rest of the scene with interest, finally catching on to what else is going on here. She shrugs it off and sits, still fuming slightly.

Back down into the caverns you go...