COT INVASION

Characters Tejra, Yaromil
Synopsis New candidates find they have new neighbors. Some are less than thrilled.
Out-of-Character Date February 2, 2020 (Backdated a smidge!)

Candidate Quarters
While the barracks are little different from the dorms in layout and appearance, a little time makes it apparent that they house younger people, for the most part. There's also more order; the cots are lined with precision - almost as if laid out on a sleeping chart. The room is kept tidy, and the presses are closed and not leaking belongings. Though not segregated by sex, one side of the room appears to belong primarily to the female candidates, the other to the males, though there does happen to be some over-lapping. In general, the barracks are open, perhaps as an introduction to the more public, collective life of a rider. To one side of the door, a large chore board lists the duties of each Candidate for the day.


Lunchtime brings a break from candidate chores and a chance, in some cases, to dart back to the barracks for this or that or a change of clothes, depending on the needs of the day. Some days are better than others in bringing good fortune to candidates with their wildly varied lives doing all manner of things to obtain a well-rounded experience before the hatching. Today may mark a distinct downturn in Yaromil's luck (if he has any to begin with) because lounging on his cot is a very familiar redhead, reading his book. Tejra looks perfectly at home here in the Igen barracks even though she certainly wasn't here earlier in the day, nor yesterday, nor even the day before. It's a long shot at best, but maybe the Harper thought this cot was up for grabs?

Yaromil didn't think his luck was particularly bad this morning. Even if the stables were a bit ripe in the spring heat, he's done worse charges and has practiced that ever important skill of breathing without smelling much. He even managed to get into the barracks and grab a fresh clothes and dash to the baths without being interrupted. Maybe this spree of luck was just too good to be true because as he heads back to his own cot (and maybe the possibility of a nap!), the act of toweling off his freshly washed hair keeps him from seeing that his cot is actually OCCUPIED until the very last minute. The towel is dropped around his shoulders as he stares and shakes his head slowly. "Making barracks calls now? Should I feel honored?" Maybe wounded honored of the insulted.

"But of course," comes the melodic purr of Tej's trained voice, infused with not seduction but a serenity that borders on boredom. "I was concerned you might find the many meanings of so many dragonrider relevant words too difficult to grasp and felt it was my duty, nay, my mandate as a harper to ensure you were led like a lamb to the flock of the wholly literate." This is where she looks up from his enormous book where it rests on her ribs to finally look up at him, squinting, "Are you really reading this for fun?" Even the bookworm looks substantially dubious. Apparently, not even a lover of many kinds of books can condone this one. "It may be more serious than I thought. I might have to teach you how to have fun too and that…" She sighs dramatically, "That could take all cycle." With a snap of the book closed she sits right up and gives him a well-feigned, brief look of thought then a decisive nod. "Yes, it's settled. I'll stay. For you."

"I can read," Yaromil doth protest, but not too much yet. Too much would be if her wrote out a book report on the first twenty-six chapters he's already read. If Tejra didn't lose his bookmark she might have even seen how much progress he has made towards the end! He snatches towards his book, ready to reclaim it and draw it towards his chest (his preciousss) unless the harper's going to fight him for it. "What's it matter to you?" What he reads or how he has fun? For one so focused on the literal he's leaving his own questions rather open ended. "You can go." He doesn't actually shoo her but he does glance at the door as if that can will her out that way.

As long as Tej has gotten to use the snap of it as dramatic punctuation, she has no further use for anything that might be precious to Yaromil (except perhaps his sanity). She lets concern enter her expression. One of the worst (best) things about Tej is that her feigned expressions are very like the real thing; she could have had a specialty in other kinds of performance than dance. Her actual specialty is evident in the way her body moves so swiftly and gracefully to stand in front of Yaromil (too close in front of Yaromil; maybe she's coming for his book!) with that air of gravity and worry. "This is quite serious, Puss." She even lets one booted foot stomp lightly, making the heel of her boot tap just so. The redhead never did learn the candidate's name, so she's gone ahead and made him up one. RIP Yaromil Puss. "Did you know that one out of ever two people afflicted with an abundance of seriousness go grey early in life? Not only that, but they suffer from heart palpitations and rapid pulse." She reaches for his wrist as if she were a healer, "Do you feel it?" It might be building rage, but who's to say?

Such a heavy book does give a rather dramatic snap as Yaromil manages to reclaim it. There's barely enough room for one person to walk between the cots and even as Tejra rises, the lad's not the sort to cede any ground and walk around or otherwise make room. This cot is his after all so the only concession he'll make is to turn sideways as he tries to slide past the occupying force harper. The name gets an eyebrow raise along with her concern. "I'm sure the healers will love to tell me all about that." When he goes to see THEM for his physical and not take her inexpert advice. As for the building rage, at least he's still got his absolutely not gray yet mass of hair hiding any throbbing forehead veins as she grabs for his pulse. To make matter worse, fresh from the baths as he is, his skin is still a bit red and clammy as he found a tub where he could nearly boil alive. "I do but you shouldn't." He'll try to pull his own wrist back and overhead as if that will put it out of reach.

The harper clicks her tongue in show of very serious concern as she allows him to step past her, her head tilting very slightly, pale eyes speaking quite clearly in his favored language of gestures that he's making himself look entirely ridiculous even without her esteemed help at the task with his arm up in the air like that. "Well, as long as you understand the peril you're in and why I really must insist on staying." Tej's surrender is a trap. With a fluttery sigh she twists and drops onto the next cot over, lounging back on her arms. "Now, the question is where to begin." She purses her lips, looking him up and down, considering. "Do you do anything for fun? Anything at all?" She leans onto one hand so she can point at the book and qualify darkly, "That doesn't count, unless there's sex in it."

Yaromil's arm doesn't remain above his head for too long, only just long enough for him to get past the harper and put his back to the wall. Prime location if there is an actual fight and not just the verbal jousting matches at least one of them seems to love. "Stay over there. That's where all the other girls have gone." He nods his head towards the other side of the barracks, while the gender lines aren't rigidly enforced for the moment it seems like fate has worked out mostly so that one side looks decidedly more feminine and it's not the one with Yaro's cot on it. As she continues questioning, he gives a snort. "Why should I tell you? Why do you care?" He's all but thiiiiiiis close from surly muttering how the harper doesn't KNOW HIM!!!

"Puss!" Tejra's voice takes on notes of mock hurt. "I already told you. I'm here for you. Just because you don't believe me…" That's not really the harper's problem. Though, fairly: he really shouldn't believe her; Tej is, in no way, here for Yaromil. NoOneIsSorry,NotSorry. "And besides, I can't go over there." She gestures to the girls' side, and stops, regarding her nails as though they were abruptly fascinating.

"Not my problem," Yaromil thunks down on his cot, taking the time to slip of his boots so he won't be a Puss in Boots as he stretches out on the bed. Maybe he hopes that would actually stop her. He tilts his head as she gestures back towards the girl side and shrugs. "Sure, you can. Just put one foot in front of the other…" He'll even demonstrate as his fingers mime a walk.

"Oh, but I think it is." Tejra says that very slowly, with a Cheshire smile that grows… and grows… It is, Yaro, because Tej is making it your problem. That's when she stretches out across her cot and fishes a white knot out from under her pillow. "I'm already unpacked, you see," the redhead explains with (still false) apology. "I couldn't possibly unsettle myself now. But it you'd like to move…?" She doesn't actually say she'll allow him to go unmolested by her proximity in yet a new part of the barracks, but she at least implies it's possible. (Spoiler alert: she won't. Where he goes, she goes, unless it really starts to be more problematic outside of just their stubborn selves.)

The signs are subtle, but clearly present. Breath held, eyes widening and the stare at the knot as Yaromil slowly realizes this harper-plague might be MUCH more serious than he initially thought. He has at least one last hope for his potential sanity. Picking such a close bunk after all means that it's not too hard for Yaromil to reach over and hook the white knot with a single finger and fling it over towards a cot that looks unclaimed. "There. I helped you." He's so selfless like that. One of them may need to learn to become rubber cause two glue-selves constantly colliding bodes no well at all.

BAM! Or, rather, POP! Not one but two firelizards bring the tiniest breaths of between's cold with them as they appear, blue and green to dive for the knot as it flies. Really, they have more trouble chittering between the two of them about who gets to return it to Tej than in actually catching the thing just before it hits its target. After some chittering and a hiss, the green wins out and glides serenely over to the Harper, now sitting up eyes narrowed and trained on just where that knot was going, while the blue wings back toward the pair of candidates to land on Tej's shoulder and snuggle up as salve to his wounded pride. The green, meanwhile glides to the redhead's now outstretched arm to be welcomed with soft words of praise and headscritches. The blue gets some too. If nothing else, this kerfuffle reveals that Tejra, for whatever reason, has a vested interest in that white knot, even if she's rarely seen wearing her Harper's one. She flicks her pale gaze toward Yaromil, her cheeks ever so slightly flushed. "So pleasant we'll all be neighbors, don't you think?" Her eyes are slightly narrowed and knowingly or not, Yaromil may have just upped the stakes in this particular game.

The arrival of the firelizards gets a tiny spurt of noise that might be a groan coming from Yaromil. With the harper summoning minions to do her fetching, the task just got infinitely harder. Since that pretty much expandes his current crop of ideas of how to rid himself of Tej, time for an old favorite. He turns on his side so his back faces her bunk and over-exaggerates opening that very large book. As she talks, he just responds with a shhhh and holds the book up just a bit higher. Can't she see he's reading here?

"Now, my darlings," Tej coos to her pair. "Why don't you stay here and… settle in," and if 'settling in' is imprinted with simple commands of guard and her bunk in a way that might get a fool bitten for trying to relocate her things without permission, well… some words have more than one meaning, right? It goes for phrases as well. "I'm going to go meet the Harpers and find out what extra studies poor Puss needs help with." See? She's not even talking to him, just near him and about him. Then she's off, heading for the door, and the firelizard pair are, for at least the moment, making good on their exhaustive training.

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