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 afternoon. The air seems to be getting colder as the sun creeps back down the western sky. A light breeze picks up, making it seem even colder.
Niall comes into shelter from bowl's wide open spaces.
Reiko steps out of the infirmary, shivering as a breeze catches the flap of her parka and chills her right through her woolen tunic. Pulling it more tightly around herself, she makes her way to the back cabinets, muttering dark curses under her breath for whoever it was who decided things ought to be stored out here.
Niall walks through the ground weyr, oblivious to his surroundings, for he's trying to get to the meadows. At sometime he raided the kitchen, and now has a full supply of klah, two in fact, and plenty of food. Now he just needs time to create a new piece of music.
Reiko reaches the back cabinet and grabs the latch. Skreak, clatter, BANG - it's locked. "Shardit!" Fully annoyed, she hits the offending - and defenseless - cabinet with the heel of her hand. Hard. Ouch. Shaking her hand now, she turns to the cabinet next to it. Maybe she remembered wrong, after all. Should have kept that sharding inventory sheet.
Niall stops in his tracts, and turns around. His breath came out quickly, and somewhat loudly. "Need some help?" he asks calmly, hoping that it would stop part of her snapping. Dropping both of his bags of klah he watches her and waits.
Reiko spins around at the voice, raw surprise evident on her face for the briefest of moments before she scowls. "No." Absently massaging her throbbing hand, she affects an indolent posture. "I'll just look somewhere else." And she does, turning away from him to the next set of cabinets - not locked - and rummaging through the shelves. Shells, it's cold..
Niall nods, and watches Reiko some more, before choosing one of the bags, and picking it up. "Reiko," he called, trying to gain her attention. "This will help with the cold," he said, tossing the bag over to her. If she caught it great, if not, it would hit the ground by her, unaffected.
Taken by surprise as her name is called, Reiko turns quickly, one hand almost automatically reaching out to catch the bag. She looks down at it stupidly for a moment, then seems to hear his words... and slowly looks up again, the mask gone. "Thanks." Before letting him see too much, though, she drops her gaze to the bag again, busying herself with opening it. Her hands, cold and one still sore, don't seem to be cooperating.
Niall nods, and smiles. Different this smile was from most, produced from the drop in Reiko's mask. "Don't drink to much to fast." He said quickly, hoping she heard him. If she hadn't, he was quickly going to find out, how she reacts to spiked klah.
Reiko finally gets the bag open, and takes a long drink. Whether she didn't hear or just didn't heed isn't clear, but she's cold and that klah is warm. By the time she lowers the bag, it's lighter by half, and she closes her eyes with a little sigh.
Niall closes his eyes as he suppresses a large grin. His head shook, and he decided to open on eye to look at Reiko. Then the other opened, and the bag was examined first, then her. "How do you fell?" As if he shouldn't know. After she just drank half a bag of spiked klah. And he had added a powerful addition to the klah, one that would work soon and hard.
Reiko half opens her eyes to regard Niall warily. "What do you mean, how do I feel?" Her brow furrows lightly as she considers. "Warmer.."
Niall looks quizzically at Reiko, and takes a few cautious steps towards her. "If you didn't feel warmer, I'd be concerned..." he quietly said. "But I meant just that, How do you feel?"
Reiko looks back up at him, a little worried now and having trouble hiding it for some reason. "Why?" Her arms are limp at her sides, the bag forgotten in her hand.
Niall shakes his head, and gently reaches for the bag. "Um... Just wondering," he said, quickly. Now he doesn't have to worry it seems. Later, if she can remember, he will.
Reiko lets the bag slip from numb fingers, taking a step or two back from Niall. Somewhere in her brain she thinks she should leave, or snap at him, or... something. That part of her brain isn't working too well. "That wasn't just klah." And she can handle wine. Mostly.
Niall quickly takes the bag, as he shakes his head. "It wasn't just klah... that's why I said, not to fast or to much..." Bag in hand; he snaps several steps back, out of hitting range.
Reiko's eyes narrow, but she doesn't raise a hand. Mostly because she can't really feel her hands. After that bang, this is not entirely a Bad Thing, but it's still.. troublesome. "What, then?" She's trying to snap, really. It's just... slower.
Niall shrugs, half-smiling to hide the fear he has. He thinks for a moment, and can't come up with the name. "I'm not sure of the name, at the moment... But it's powerful, that's all I remember..."
Reiko blinks, slowly, her expression childlike when her eyes return to him. "Why..?" She shakes her head to clear it, which seems to help a little, then a slow smile spreads across her face. "Much stronger than wine," she murmurs, reaching for the shelf and missing. At least she's not cold anymore.
Niall did know, the drink would warm her up, but he didn't think this would happen. Seeing her miss the shelf, he slips in to try and help support Reiko, if she needs it. "/Much/ stronger than wine," he quietly says.
Reiko doesn't object as Niall takes the place of the missed shelf.. much. "That was a nasty trick," she murmurs, straightening herself as well as she can. He surely knew well enough that she'd drink /all/ the klah in the bag if she could, and must have planned this. Somehow. She's pretty sure of that. She thinks.
"I didn't mean for this to happen. I thought you would have had it slowly enough to taste the difference. I should have realized, you drink it so fast, you can't taste it." Niall quickly says, looking Reiko over. Thank Pern, she may not remember this.
And truthfully speaking, she didn’t… but the next day finds her madly hung over, and just a little worried…
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.
Niall slips in from the little door.
Reiko is sprawled on one of the couches in the quietest corner she could crawl away to, having found the main living cavern too unbearable. A pitcher of klah sits on the floor beside her, mostly empty and stone cold, an empty mug lying on its side nearby.
Niall quietly, cautiously enters. Reiko he knew was in here, and because of last night, he entered in the shadows, hidden, using the best of his abilities. If she was her normal self, he would almost be guaranteed an unseen entrance, but he was guaranteed one with her now. "I'm sorry Reiko," he softly said, as he walked cautiously over to her.
Reiko doesn't move... doesn't even bother to open her eyes all the way, emerald slits regarding Niall sidelong with dull suspicion. "Sorry for what?" Sorry for something he /did/? Or for something he didn't do? She's not even completely sure what happened, just that she was cold, and then she wasn't, and he was there.
"Sorry for what you probably don't remember, for what I should have done, and what did happen." That's a lot for Niall, or all people, to be sorry about. But for some reason, she deserved that and more, more but he's not sure what else to say. For that more than he's said to most.
Reiko doesn't move, and her expression doesn't change, except for her eyes, which find something else to look at. Or through. "What... did happen?" Inwardly steeling herself for whatever answer he might give.
Niall takes a deep breath, and nods slowly. "Plain and simple, I gave you klah, that I had spiked, and you got drunk. The longer version is; that you were cold, so I gave you that version over the normal klah, to help warm you up quicker. I warned you not to drink to much or to fast, but /I/ should have realized with klah, you drink till it's all gone."
Reiko scowls vaguely, annoyed to find that even that little effort increases the throbbing in her skull about tenfold. She doesn't bother to argue about the klah - of course she'd drink it until it was gone - and she'd been pretty sure this was a hangover headache. What dismayed her was the complete lapse in memory. "Then..?"
Another deep breath, and Niall started again. "And... You just about fell once. Before you did, I stepped in and supported you. From there I took you back to your quarters, safe and sound. I stayed long enough to make sure you were going to be safe in you quarters, and then I left."
Reiko's eyes return to him, still only half open, her expression disbelieving. "You brought me back to my quarters? Through the /infirmary/?" She'd sit up, really, but it hurts too much to move.
Niall nods slowly, and shrugs some. "You needed me to. You're... Your well being is a little more important than my dislike of the infirmary," he quickly said, slightly upset with his slip of the tongue.
Reiko manages a smirk, her eyes slipping shut again. "And this is why you give me spiked klah?" When she opens them again, her eyes are glittering. "You nearly killed me." An exaggeration, to be sure, or she'd be on an infirmary cot instead of hiding in the inner caverns. The words may have reached her, but she's not ready to admit it. One hand lifts slowly, to brush her hair away from her face and massage her temple as she closes her eyes again.
Niall smiled over Reiko's exaggeration, and shook his head. "If it nearly killed you, then you wouldn't be out of the infirmary, and I would be in there to make sure of that." He softly said, as he brought one hand down to his waists, and the couple bags there, and came up close to Reiko. He stopped before he touched her, not sure how her reaction would be if he did.
Reiko feels, rather than sees, Niall approaching, her brow furrowing lightly at his words. He'd be in the infirmary? This doesn't make sense. But he's very close now. Slowly she opens her eyes. She doesn't have enough energy to react, it seems... or maybe she's not sure /how/ to react.
Niall decided to take the chance, and gently laid one hand on Reiko, as the other unhooked a bag. "Do you want something to help you with the handover. It will help clear it up faster, and help aleave the pain."
Reiko still lies motionless, even as Niall touches her. Emerald eyes glance first at his hand, then at the bag, then return to his face at last, narrowed thoughtfully. "Not more spiked klah." It's not a question... more of a plea. She left an infirmary full of healers, to end up with a former trader of dubious trustworthyness offering to make her pain go away?
Niall shook his head, and uplifted a small bag, far to small and light to be holding klah. "No more. I just have a couple of things, that all you'd need to do is take a small amount to help." He softly said, as he set the bag down close to her, to show that it can't be full of liquid of any kind.
Reiko closes her eyes again. "It'll go away. Eventually." Why should she trust him, after all? He only /said/ he'd taken care of her. He could have done anything - how would she know? But one eye opens to regard the small bag suspiciously. "What is it?" Dull curiosity colors her mumbled tone.
Niall put his free hand into the bag, to pull out a piece of dried root, one that looked like it was soaked in some liquid. "What I have would clear it faster..." He shook his head, seeming to read her thoughts with his next statement. "I did nothing more than take you to your quarters. To tell the truth, I was scared of doing something that would upset you later."
Reiko blinks. Once. Slowly. Being scared is not something she would ever admit to, so it surprises her to hear another admit it so freely. Especially this other. But she veils her surprise as well as she can, regarding him narrowly. "Because I'm such nice company?" she drawls, knowing it's a lie. Emerald gaze glances off the object in his hand before returning to his face.
"I'll wait for my chances while you're sober. I my have been a trader, but I still do have some morels," Niall slowly said, trying to uplift the situation some with his last comment, and that was for his benefit. Reiko had always been less forthcoming, so between that and the situation, Niall was quiet sure of himself.
The smirk slowly fades as the words sink into Reiko's throbbing head. "Sorry." Her gaze doesn't meet his face, and her voice is barely above a whisper. Too tired to snap, too drained to fight, she lets herself believe him and actually retracts the implied insult, the light furrowing of her brow the only outward sign of the upheaval inside her, wrought by the single word.
Niall shakes his head, and places the root back in the bag, till she says she wants it. "You don't need to be sorry, I've been insulted worse. I'm use to it, I was a trader, remember." He smiled some to cover his surprise at her single word. A quick yawn came, and he looked over at Reiko.
"Mmmmm." It's too much trouble to form actual words, apparently, as Reiko's features soften and her breathing begins to even out. Sleep is what she needs. She'll feel better when she wakes up. And then maybe she'll be able to sort out just exactly what happened.
Niall either knows Reiko wants to sleep, or he just hopes it for his own sake, he asks, "Do want me to help you back to your quarters to sleep, or just keep you here?" If she says here, he's not going to move, just find his own place to sleep in here, her quarters, he'll walk back to the dorms to sleep.
Really, it's too much trouble to move. Reiko settles deeper into her couch, shifting a bit to make herself more comfortable. If she heard Niall's words, there's no outward indication, just the steady rhythm of her breathing.
Niall just figures she'll stay here, and if he doesn't have to move he's not going to. He finds his places to sleep, and settles down to sleep. If she wants him, and he doesn't think she will, he'll be here.
Niall has disconnected.
Niall falls asleep.
Some Time Later...
Kinecha slips in from the little door.
Kinecha comes in, obviously looking for something, or someone. Not seeing what she's looking for, she turns to leave and spots Reiko in the corner, giving the woman a somewhat hard stare as if it would make her notice the guard standing there.
A wasted effort, it would seem, since Reiko is obviously sound asleep. Sprawled rather haphazardly on her couch, a blanket somewhat carelessly wrapped around herself, her features relaxed, her breathing even.
Kinecha snorts, making pretend that she's taking just one more round of the place to see if she'd missed what she's looking for. Coming closer to Reiko's couch, the guard 'accidentally' pounds her toe into the side of it, moving on to find her lost item. Whether it's her or not.
Reiko slumbers on, to all outward appearances dead to the world. The movement of the couch as it's kicked causes her head to loll a bit, then she shifts, just a little, and settles in deeper.
Kinecha shrugs. Well, since she wouldn't wake up, she wouldn't need her klah either. So bending down, the guard picks up the near empty pitcher and the mug, filling it with the cold liquid downing it in two larger gulps. Cold klah was something you'd get used to when travelling 'round on roads and backroads.
Deep in blissful oblivion, Reiko lies practically motionless except for an occasional light furrowing of her brow. Her breathing is deep and even.
Kinecha slumbs into a chair across from Reiko's couch, just sitting there staring at her before she discovers 'that musician' lying on another couch. Emptying the pitcher completely, she sets it down on the floor with a loud bang, holding the mug 'tween her hands, staring from Reiko to Niall and back again.
Reiko's face contorts in a sleepy scowl as a loud bang cuts its way into her consciousness. "Go 'way," she mumbles, rolling onto her stomach and covering her head with her arms.. a posture which, incidentally, does nothing to improve her screaming headache. Only sleep had dulled that. Sleeeeep...
It's alive! Kinecha lifts an eyebrow as Reiko actually utters words, and continues her noise tactics emptying the mug, then setting /that/ down with a bang, faking a cough at the same time.
Reiko groans as the assault of noise continues, clutching her head more tightly. It's going to fly apart, she's sure of it. "Nooooooo..." She curls herself into a fetal position, her back to whoever is torturing her.
"No what?" Finally speaking up, Kinecha voice sounds rather angry and spiteful as she glances at the sleeping form of Niall again. Crossing her arms in front of her chest as she stretches her legs out in front of her, heels dragging across the floor.
Reiko curls in tighter as a spiteful voice attacks her next. A jagged whisper barely escapes her throat. "No... more... noise..." Now smaller, more childlike. "Please? It huuuuuurts..." This presumably being her head, from the way she's still clutching it.
"Want me to go get, Ele?" is said, voice thick with sarcasm a hand waving in the general direction of the infirmary. "Or maybe I could carry you there?" Pulling her legs back, heels dragging across floor again, Kinecha leans forward, elbows leaning on knees. "Maybe he'd like to come," she continues, head nodding toward Niall, whether Reiko sees it or not.
"Who?" Poor Reiko doesn't even know where she is just now, much less that someone else is in the room. "Leave me alone.." Her mumbled words are barely intelligible, and she draws further in on herself. Kinecha's voice cuts ribbons into her brain, sharp bursts of crimson, shards of ice.
"Him!!" Pointing to the form of Niall, Necha does nothing to keep her voice down as she speaks. "I mean, you do seem to spend a lot of time with him?" She shrugs, leaning back in her chair again, pulling one leg up under the other. Been spending more time with him, than with the her; is the guard's unspoken words.
Him. Him... Ohhhhh. With a groan, Reiko sinks deeper into the couch. Maybe he wouldn't leave her alone, but at least he'd been helpful, and not.... shrill! Suddenly furious, she sits up quickly, the palms of her hands pressed tightly against her throbbing temples. "Shut /UP/. I'll do as I please!" When her eyes find Kinecha, they're flashing emerald daggers - a posture she manages to sustain for quite a long moment despite the empty spinning sensation in her head. "You don't /own/ me."
Kinecha blinks. Slowly, frowning as she shakes her head staring at the other. She wasn't even going to respond to such an accusation, but just sits there staring, as her temper boils within her, eyes beginning to burn as she realizes what the other just said. "Fine," she says, after a long pause, her voice kept low and thick with anger and dissapointment.
Fine? Reiko collapses on the couch again, completely spent from the effort of that last tirade. Somewhere in her brain, she registers the word 'fine'... Necha said fine. Must be fine. Fine is good. With a little whimper, she curls up in a tight little ball, her arms wrapped tightly around her throbbing head.
"If that's what you want... Fine," Necha repeats, glancing at Niall, grimacing at the thought alone. Yuck! Shrugging, she gets out of the chair, making her way back to the exit, giving Reiko one last look over her shoulder. If that was what she wanted... Well, then fine!
Reiko cringes involuntarily at the tone of Kinecha's voice, but as she hears retreating bootheels she begins to relax a bit. Finally. Quiet. Sleep...
And Reiko promptly forgot everything that happened.... The next day...
The rough-hewn majesty of this cavern far outpaces any delight in the multitudes of curves that form its enclosure. The glabrous grey granite is shot through with translucent obsidian, lending subtly-veined sparkle to the walls and the foot-trodden smoothness of the floor that shows centuries-old placements of the scarred trestle tables; carven hollows give homes for the glow baskets and the coat-pegs that line the walls. No mosaics, no painting, no tiles: just a few well-done tapestries mark the pathway that lead to the kitchen to the north and the inner caverns to the west, and frame the nighthearth's stew and snacks, while a heavier strip of oiled canvas shields the unwary from the wind in the bowl.
Scattered about in various perches and niches are fifty-two firelizards.
You see OOC NOTICE (look sign), Generic Sign-Up Sheet, Look at Me Postcard to Tatia, White Clay Egg Pot, Jaeshri, and Large Picnic Rug here.
Khory is here.
And where else would Khory be but somewhere near the sideboard, klah in one hand, and run list in the other... Sitting by himself at an overlarge table, which is oddly bare at this time, considering the early hour. However, the lack of company doesn't seem to bother him. In fact, he's actually whistling, leaned back in his chair and look rather comfortable.
Reiko stumbles out from the inner caverns, muttering darkly about early shifts and cold drafts. Somehow she manages to navigate her way to hearth and klah despite the fact that her eyes don't appear to actually be open. She pours off a large mug and lifts it to drink, then stops abruptly to sniff the beverage suspiciously. That's when a whistle reaches her ears, and her head snaps around to find the source, eyes suddenly wide open. On recognizing Khory, however, she relaxes a good bit and returns to her mug, which apparently has passed her previous inspection since one long sip half-drains it. She tops it off, picks up the pitcher, and heads for a hearthside table to slump into a chair. "Morning." This mumbled greeting for Khory.
Khory immediatly halts his whistling as the greeting is heard, and body automatically tenses up. However, after realizing that it's only Reiko, and not another crazed female begging for his attentions, the messenger also relaxes. "Oh. Hi there," he says, raising a hand to wave at the infirmary assistant. "You're up early," he exclaims, peering curiously at the woman. "I mean.. Early shift, or something?" Blond man points to his runlist, and adds, "I know that's why I'm awake.. If it weren't for this, I'd still be snug in bed.." Sigh.
Kinecha saunters quietly in from the Central Bowl.
Reiko eyes Khory over the rim of her mug. "Mmmhmmm." The murmured affirmative will have to pass for conversation until at least the third mug of klah. Emerald gaze flickers to the list in his hands with dull curiosity before resuming their previous sightless stare. Setting the mug down with a soft thud, she pours still more klah for herself, keeping the pitcher where she can see it, only occasionally casting suspicious glances into the shadows.
Kinecha stops just inside the cavern entrance, knocking the snow off her boots, while letting her eyes sweep across the place, identifying faces. "Hey, Khory," she says, crossing the floor, making her way to the hearth for a mug of klah and a few meatrolls from the sidetable. Reiko is pointedly ignored as she finds a table to sit at.
And here they are, three people all trying to communicate, and yet each sitting far away from the next. Makes no sense to him, but then again, Khory's not always willing to try and /make/ sense of things... He'd rather just sit it out, and let the tide flow by. But not this time. Pushing back his hair, and gathering cup and list, the messenger backs away from his table and wanders over towards ... hmm.. Reiko's table. "Mind if I sit?" he asks, turning back before reply is given to wave to the guard, and motioning for her to join them. "Heya Kinecha. How goes it? You have early shift too, huh?"
Neon blinks in from ::between::!
Reiko blinks once, slowly, as Khory moves into her field of vision and.. stays there. Setting her mug down on the table, she peers narrowly up at him for a moment before shrugging. "Be my guest." It's a public room. Sure, there are a lot of tables, but she hasn't got the energy to argue yet. More klah is definitely indicated, and more klah is poured. His greeting to Kinecha makes her aware of the guard's presence, and she turns to look dully at her. "Morning."
Shifting Deynor on her hip, Syan slides into the cavern. Hard to believe S'nor would ever run out of klah, but somehow.. he did. And she is deperate for some this morning. Grabbing a mug and a small glass of redfruit juice and bread for Deyn, she grabs a chair and settles down, balancing baby boy on her knee.
Kinecha's eyes narrow, watching Khory make a move for Reiko's table. "Night shift, actually," she mumbles, "just getting off." Lifting the mug to her lips, she drinks slowly, tilting her head to Khory as she replaces the mug with a meatroll, chewing slowly as she lets her eyes wander across the cavern again. Seeing Desyana, she gives the woman a slight nod, then returns to her mug, washing down the roll with a swig of klah.
Desyana smiles at the guard, and nods to the other two as well... "No no, Deynor.. not Mommie's klah.. " and hands the babe some of the bread to keep him occupied. Little graping hands garb hold and smile.. he won something anyway.. And who says babies aren't intelligent?
Khory shrugs as the offer to join them is subtly turned down, and then goes to grab a chair at Reiko's table anyway. "Thanks," he states, thumping mug and list onto the tabletop. Sitting down, he leans casually back in his chair, wincing as sore muscles adjust themselves to the wooden seat. To Kinecha, he says, "Ouch. Well, hope you didn't have too busy of a night, and hope that you get a good day's sleep..." To Desyana and her child, he simply smiles and nods. It's gonna be a long day.
Reiko doesn't even notice that the offer is turned down, as she hadn't noticed Khory offering. Noticing things is not a strong point of Reiko's, even when she's had enough klah. So if Kinecha is ignoring her, she doesn't really notice that, either. By now, she's on her fourth mug, however, so she's almost ready for civil conversation. "Sure." This to Khory, by way of a grudging welcome. Syan and her babe are eyed with a vague curiosity. Has it been that long since the birth?
Desyana chuckles at the baby's antics, and takes a long draw off her mug. As he seems to be finished with the bread, she helps him drink from the small juice cup.
Kinecha hmms at Khory's statement, eating her next meatroll rather slowly as she stares into the air in front of her. Not in a conversational mood, is she? Leaning back in her chair, she stretches her legs out in front of her, letting the heels drag across the floor, not bothering to lift them.
Desyana rises from her seat, surprisingly graceful, considering her hands are full of bouncing baby boy and heads back to her weyr.
Desyana goes home.
Neon suddenly disappears ::between::!
Khory shrugs again. He can understand not being in a conversational mood... Especially after working a long shift. However,for him, it's only the start of the day, and he'd better get going. Finishing the last dregs of klah from his mug, and folding his run list up and placing it in his pocket, the blond man pushes himself yet again away from the table. "Well Reiko, you have a good day too..." Leaving his chair behind, the blond man passes Kinecha's table, and offers her the same farewell. "You all take care now.." And with that, the messenger if off and ready to begin his runs.
Khory goes home.
Reiko starts in on mug number five, mumbling a vague farewell after Khory's retreating figure. Whatever. Random noises around the caverns are basically ignored, and her eyes drop out of focus again.
Hand on table, Kinecha's fingers start drumming on the wooden surface as she changes tactics, and stares at Reiko, managing to sip klah every now and then. "So... Feeling any better," she finally says, after a long pause, in which she's been trying to decide just what to say.
Reiko eyes Kinecha sidelong. "Better than what?" Trying to remember the last time she saw the guard, actually. She drains her mug and refills it again, then slouches back in her chair.
"Than the other night," the guard says, tilting her head, looking at Reiko with a questioning/mocking look in her eyes. "Don't tell me you don't remember?" Kinecha lifts her eyebrows, popping another meatroll in her mouth, chewing it slowly while waiting for an answer.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Reiko snaps, annoyed with Kinecha for antagonizing her. The guard of all people should know how Reiko is before she's had enough klah.
"Fine," Kinecha says, moving out of her chair to get more klah, and some wherrymeat, taking her place again. Several tables away from Reiko, mind you. "If you don't remember...." Shrug. No point in telling Reiko what had happened the other night, was there?
Reiko scowls into her mug, doubly annoyed now that her curiosity has been piqued. With a bang, she returns her mug to the table. "What." She glares over at Kinecha, sure the guard is deliberately being difficult. Just not sure why.
"Nothing.. Forget it." Narrowing her eyes again, Kinecha eyeballs Reiko shaking her head. "If you don't wanna remember, then..." Shrug.
Reiko pushes her chair back from the table with a loud clatter of wood on stone, accompanied by a biting snarl and a glare in Kinecha's general direction. "Fine. I will." Leaving mug and half-full pitcher where they sit, she stalks off in the direction of the infirmary.
"Well..." Lifting her shoulders, Kinecha watches Reiko make her exit and empties her mug, then gets out of her chair to leave herself. Sleep was needed, after all..
Kinecha exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.
And the next time she saw Niall, Reiko had a few questions for him..
Niall shifts in his nice little corner, not wanting to move more than he had to. He had already been off and done his disappearing for the day, now it was time for him to stay in his nice little dark corner. The only thing he could ask for is klah and food, both he has with him.
Reiko slips in from the caverns with a steaming mug of klah, having barely escaped the bustle and noise. Seems she's found a new favorite haunt... everyone needs to hide sometimes. She curls into a couch with a little sigh.
Niall sticks his hand in his bag, pulling out a piece of travel ration. Not much in the way of selection or choice is he? Almost aimlessly he eats his food, while his attention seems to be here and else where. Reiko he did notice, but he made no attempt to reveal himself to her, nor did he smirk. Off somewhere he was, but where was unknown.
Either Reiko has already had her klah quota for the day, or she's easing off a bit - sipping from her mug almost absently, as if it were of no importance at all. At length she sets the -still half-full- mug on the floor and stretches out on the couch to stare up at the ceiling, enjoying the peace and quiet and solitude.
Peace and quiet and solitude, was what Niall was hoping for, but who knows if he's going to get it. Absentmindedly he reaches in for another piece of food. His mind wander, so does his eyes, but both fall on his present company. "Allo Reiko," he finally says.
Reiko catches her breath - a quick, sharp intake of air - as a familiar voice speaks her name, slowly turning her head to look into the shadows. "Niall." That'll have to pass for a greeting. If her tone is a little wary, maybe she believes there's good reason to feel so..
Niall shrugs, and sticks to his shadows at the moment. So much more comforting than, being in the laight, and being distracted by thoughts of his company. Well, until he leaves or she speaks, it looks as if no more words are being spoken.
Reiko swallows, suddenly feeling the silence as a great weight. With a casualness that can't help being a little forced, she swings her legs to the floor and sits up, crossing one leg over the other and leaning back into the couch. "Too cold for you?" But something across the room has her eyes now, not the shadows where he hides.
Niall shakes his head, even though Reiko probably couldn't see him do so. His shadows engulfed him; hid him, which is what he wanted at the moment. "Never to cold for me, I just decided to come here."
Reiko arches an eyebrow, turning now to peer narrowly into the shadows, not that she can see much of anything but shadow there. "That so?" Both to the cold and the decision; both seem rather unbelievable to her given what she knows about Niall. Besides which, some random, dreamlike memories are tickling at the corners of her consciousness in disturbing ways. Bits and pieces of things that happened... or things she thinks happened. And he's all too present in them.
Niall may want to stay in the shadows, but some better part of his judgment forces out of his hiding. To the nearest chair, out in plain view he went. "It is." He said, not trying to be talkative. His thoughts on another day in this room.
Emerald eyes lock on Niall as he slips out of the shadows, narrowing slightly as his answer is less than forthcoming. But Reiko isn't in a mood to play games. "I see." She reaches down to retrieve her klah mug, settling back again to drum her long fingers on it, not lifting it to drink right away.
Niall settles down in the chair, his eyes and attention become distance like it was in the shadows. He may have been distance, but he can see and realize what's happening around him. Reiko not drinking her klah, there's something else she wants. "Is there something you'd like me to say, or answer maybe?"
Reiko eyes Niall narrowly, warily. "I have this idea," she says slowly, "that you know a lot more about what's gone on the last few days than I do." She keeps her face carefully expressionless, but the thought is definitely disturbing.
"I always know more about what happens than most. But I do know a lot more about what's gone on in the last few days. I know all of what's gone on, while you probably only have bits and pieces. And those probably seem more like a dream than a memory." Niall said, his eyes floating over to Reiko as he did. A lot for him to say at this moment, and at the same time all of it is the truth.
Reiko says nothing, waiting for him to make himself more clear. The only sound is the light tapping of her fingernails, drumming on the sides of her mug. Her own eyes are locked defiantly on his.
Niall leans back some, and watches Reiko, allowing the silence to fall over them. "If you want to know more, you'll have to ask. I'll answer any question you have."
Reiko arches an eyebrow, emerald eyes narrowing as they regard him with vague suspicion. "All right." She takes a deep breath, and lets it out, and her fingers stop their tapping. "Exactly what did you do?" It's a question, and a fair one, even if it's not terribly specific. And now that she's neither sleepy nor hung over, she's going to remember every detail she hears.
Niall allows the silence to fall again, as he waited on answer her question. "Before or after I took you to your quarters?" He asked, answering her question with a question.
Reiko carefully schools her reaction, but not before a quick intake of breath betrays her surprise at his question, and the tantalizing flood of memories it somehow evokes. Her eyes lower thoughtfully as she considers the ramifications, then return to his face unblinking. "After." She's beginning to remember before, and from the look on her face, she's none too happy about it.
Niall nods slowly and shifts some, taking up more of a position you would have a night's fire. "After I took you to your quarters, and left. I found you here, as he was going thought weyr. You were experiencing the effects of a powerful hangover. I apologized for the klah, and you asked me about what happened. Much like now. I told you about what happened, like I'm telling you now." His words bland, lacking definition in his tone. He change only one part, for he went to Reiko, because he knew she was there, not that he found her.
Reiko eyes Niall narrowly. "That's it?" She scowls into her mug for a long moment, still not drinking... not sure whether to believe him or not, trying to remember for herself. She glances around the room quickly, then back at him. Here. She almost remembers being here. And him being here. And then... someone yelling at her. As the pieces begin to fall into place, she glares back up at him again. "And here you are again. Why?"
"To be here? To make sure you're all right? For reasons of my own knowing, and ones I don't plan to share. For I have no one to share them with." Niall answers of Reiko's second question; a straight answer never comes from him, unless it must. Like retelling of what happened. His puzzles are just another piece of the puzzle; the puzzle that he is.
"I see." Reiko doesn't see what he means, but she gets the hint. Or thinks she does. Abandoning her mug on a nearby table, she gets to her feet. "Well. It must surely be apparent that I'm fine now." And a lot more wary. "So you can go back to wherever it is you go." Emerald gaze flickers over him appraisingly, then she shrugs with deliberate indolence. "Since you don't like to share." Not that she cares.
Niall smirks, something that he needed to do more often. A quick shrug and he changed his smirk to a smile. "I share if I'm asked to, or feel a need to. But since the answer is right in front of your eyes, so I see no reason to tell you." Vague again, just like him. He couldn't be Niall with his puzzles, and games. But all of them were to tell someone something.
"Suit yourself." With an indignant toss of her head, Reiko starts for the door... then turns to glare at Niall again. "If you want to say something, say it. I'm not in the mood to try and figure it out." She folds her arms across her chest and waits, stubbornly refusing to play his game. "If not, I've got better things to do."
Niall leans back, quiet arrogantly at that. He's not about to end his fun, and let Reiko get away from his attention that easily. "The answer is the only thing to say. The answer you see everyday. One that can be found if you look in a mirror." He left his words float in the air, his tone enticing. Trying to keep Reiko in the room a little longer, by giving her something tangible to answer her question. And then he was going to give her something to argue about to keep her. "But better things to do? What inventory the supplies? Or maybe stand around in the infirmary. Or drink klah in the living caverns?" Has he forgotten anything in Reiko's normal routine?
Emerald gaze narrows at the teasing, only to fly open as Niall begins to goad her on her habits. "Any of those things would be preferable to spending another minute with /you/," she snaps, completely forgetting the compliment - if it /was/ a compliment.
Niall smiles calmly, not spark of anything but calmness is evident on him. "So you prefer to be bored. You prefer to cold and snappish like you always have been. I think I've only seen you not be cold twice. Once in the ground weyrs, when I told you that you are what holds my attention, and the second time after you were drunk."
"Leave. Me. Alone." Reiko's voice is very quiet, the trembling barely controlled as she takes a step back, away from Niall. Still refusing to admit his words have any effect, even to herself. And why should they? "I'll do as I please." But her voice has dropped to a whisper now, and sounds a trifle less certain than before.
"And you have been. But I also do as I please, and I've been doing that myself." Niall calmly said, not playing games this time, not hiding what he doesn't want seen. This time he's being open, and hiding behind his words like he normally does. He may not be hiding, but he's still watching, and by the sound of Reiko's voice and his actions, he can guess quite accurately what effect his words have.
Reiko has actually noticed that. And she's also noticed that what Niall pleases seems to have a lot to do her. "What do you want from me?" Emerald gaze narrows dangerously, and her voice is low and controlled. Her fingers are white where she's gripping her arms.
"What I want, I will allow time to give to me. What I want from you is, nothing. If I do want something from you, I will also allow time to hand that to me." Niall regarded Reiko, his words quick, and his tone meant to leave a lasting impression. "Time gives me all I'll want."
Reiko continues looking at Niall for a long moment, brows furrowing as she considers his words. "I wouldn't be so sure," she snaps at last, dropping her arms to her side and lifting her chin defiantly. Without another word, she turns on her heel and stalks toward the exit.
"I would be," Niall calls to Reiko before she could remove herself from hearing range. His smirk was clear in his tone, and so was his confidence, that all he needed to do was wait.
Back down into the caverns you go...