Quiet Mornings and Conversations

Characters Alexa, Katailea
Synopsis Alexa and Katailea meet up one morning at the lake. Dragon washing and conversation ensues.
Out-of-Character Date February 12, 2020

Igen Weyr - Lake Shore
It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.

Summer - Month 6 of Turn 2724

Morning — dawn and just after —is one of the few acceptable times to be outside in Igen. Particularly in the summer. It's still a quiet sort of time, with the sun just rising and the sky colored in pretty pastel hues. The sort of ethereal moment in which one might forget they live in an oven masquerading as a Weyr, and perhaps even enjoy themselves. It's also, apparently, prime dragon-bathing time. Raaneth, presumably having entrusted care of her clutch to Nymionth, is crouched in the water as low as she can go, neck stretched out and eyes already lidded, while Alexa reeeeeeeaches up with a long-handled brush to scrub-scrub-scrub at the place between each ridge. "Well, if you didn't wait so long you wouldn't be so itchy. You're the one who demands to stay with the eggs until you're more sand than dragon," grumps the girl. The dragon, for her part, declines a rebuttal.

Not everyone is an early riser, even if the best time of day those hours as the Rukbat just beings its rise into the sky. Katailea is one such who is an early riser however and there are some periods of the day where even candidates have some time for themselves. So it is that the blonde finds herself at the lakeshore, shoes somewhere out of the shallow water's reach but not on her feet which are instead in the water as she walks the edge of where water meets sand. Sea green eyes take in the scenery for the moment, though she's at least somewhat aware of her soundings too. "Morning," she greets, the words sent towards Alexa and her lifemate. She's been here long enough to know some people at least, Alexa of course among them, and lets face it Raaneth is hard to miss.

At least Raaneth is not glaring! Where there are no eggs to guard, the queen seems perfectly happy to let Katailea (and other candidates) go about their business uncontested. She'll take a quick peek, maybe rumble a polite-ish greeting, but then it's right back to closed eyes and happy scrubbings. Or happily receiving scrubbings. Alexa maybe isn't as pleased to be doing the scrubbing, and the candidate provides a rather convenient excuse to take a break! Long-brush down, she slants a grin toward the shoe-less Katailea. "Hey," comes in pleasant return, the goldrider trying to shove a lock of her hair back into the messy bun atop her head (futile. Three more fall to replace it). "Enjoying the morning?"

Katailea nods in response, coming to pause her walk when she nears the pair though a reasonable distance from the gold. "I am," she replies with a content smile. "The weather's beautiful," if only until it gets hotter, "And so is the water." What's not to enjoy? "You?" she turns the question back.

"It is," agrees Alexa, pausing to appreciate the pink-pastel sky and — perhaps more importantly — the lovely cool breeze coming off the water. A lovely morning, before the heat of the day bakes them to a crisp. A rumble from Raaneth has her turning back, at least getting on with the scrubbing even if she declines all the stretching. "I wasn't always into mornings," she admits. "I'm usually more of a night owl. But, well… There are only so many hours in the day that it's acceptable to be outside without a hat, and I kind of hate hats." This is a lie. She does not hate hats. She hates what hats do to her hair. "It's also one of the better times to wash Raaneth. Evenings tend to get busy." And she's a rather big dragon. Takes up a lot of valuable beach space.

There's a laugh for the commentary on hats for which she gives a singular nod. "Not so fond of them either, hats." she adds the last as clarification. Nothing against them, they have their time and place, but just not her thing. "Mornings, well they tend to be quieter," than the rest of the day and that she apparently likes. "Not so many people around," she adds, gaze shifting from the scenery back towards the pair before offering, "I you wanted and she, a nod towards Raanath, "doesn't mind I could help."

"There is definitely that," agrees Alexa. A lack of people. Something she also appreciates rather a lot, even if she won't say it. "I like quiet," she adds, scrubbing away at Raaneth's shoulder. "Do you have a busy job, then? I mean, outside of being a candidate. Before you were a candidate. Whatever you did… before." Her nose crinkles in annoyance at her own questions, but it's a little laugh that comes on its heels. "Not trying to be nosy, just curious." AKA nosy. "And sure. Come on in. Raaneth doesn't mind, and I'm certainly not going to turn down the help! She's only grouchy when she's on the sands," she adds, as if to explain her dragon's behavior. "Most of the time she's pretty nice to people."

Katailea steps closer at the confirmation, setting in to help the washing. She at least knows what to do, if not exactly what the queen might like or prefer, being as such assistance is one of the many chores candidates take part in. "Some times are busier than others," the blonde offers in answer, continuing on to give a little more explanation as to what. "Spent the last while since I was a candidate at Xanadu working at their docks though."

Thankfully, Raaneth is pretty easy to please — and Alexa is happy to murmur instructions if necessary. She's quick to translate anything the queen might need or want Katailea to know, about the business of washing her. Overall, it's a chore that might be tedious but, at least with Raaneth, relatively easy. "Oh, really?" asks Alexa at the last, surprise and delight in her tone. A little laugh, not unkindly given, follows soon after. "I imagine that's not a very transferable talent when it comes to Igen! We might have a lake, but sadly no docks." And no boats. At least not in the Weyr. "Did you like it? Like… is it something you'd want to do? Or was it just… a thing to do?" she wonders. "And… did it smell a lot like fish?"

"No," Katailea replies with a shake of her head, adjusting where needed in her efforts as she might be directed. "Not exactly," she agrees with a laugh of her own. "Most of what I know doesn't really," the candidate admits. "Igen is about the exact opposite." As to her liking it the question is answered with a shrug, "I didn't hate it," but neither would she say she loved the work either. "I didn't mind it though it did smell some like fish," she agrees with another laugh before a more serious expression settles across her features. "What's it like? I mean there were dragons at Xanadu," obviously, "but before I was there I wasn't ever around them much and…" Candidates always have questions, don't they.

"I like the ocean," declares Alexa. "Finally got to spend some time near it when I went to Ierne for a little break a couple Turns ago. It was so… big. And beautiful. And kind of magical," she decides, a wistful tone invading her voice. "I couldn't imagine living close enough to see it every day, forever." She just gets to look at a sea of sand every day, forever. But she doesn't seem very stressed about that, at least. A grin is cast Katailea-ward, green eyes glittering in the early light. "Smelling like fish seems like a pretty big 'con' of the job," she decides. "Good thing I rescued you from that sad, sad fate and instead, sentenced you to a couple months in the desert. You can thank me later," she teases. More seriously she wonders, "What's what like? Being a dragonrider?"

A melancholy sigh finds its place along side those words of Alexa's, a longing sort of look. "I miss it," Katailea notes in the moment that follows though laughter soon finds it ways through for the fish. "Some days," some days it was a bigger con than others, but one she could put up with apparently. "Mmhmm," the trader replies nodding. That, exactly, to be a dragonrider.

"I can see how you might," says Alexa with a smile. "I miss the trees, sometimes. I grew up in Fort and Telgar region. Tallest trees you ever saw in Fort. Tallest mountains, too." Course, she's never been South, really. "I miss them. But I kind love the desert now, too." Something she will admit when the morning is crisp and cool and pleasant, even if there's an awful lot of complaining during the hotter part of the day. Dragonriding, though? "I don't know how to describe it," she admits with a laugh. "And I might not be the best to ask. I don't do a lot of /riding/. I do a lot of… filing. Copywriting. Taking inventory. Alphabetizing. I do a lot of indoor things." But maybe Katailea was wondering more about the dragon, than the job. "Having Raaneth is… indescribable," she sighs, pausing in the scrubbing to drift her fingers over sooty dapples. "Like having your best friend with you at all times. Only they're closer than any best friend you've ever had before." Way to put it super mildly, Alexa.

Katailea nods. "It does have it's good points," she can agree there partway at least. "The desert. And Fort does have some tall ones," she says of the trees. "Grew up on the ocean though so…" But then she's listening to what Alexa has to say on the prospect of riding. "I suppose, but you've been around them longer than me," and any insights are appreciated. Perhaps she meant more about the dragon than the job, but then perhaps she's just not sure what questions exactly she wants to ask. "Inventory I know," she comments, pausing in her work to turn her attention towards the weyrwoman. "Something that's hard to imagine." Or so it sounds.

Alexa considers this, a little smile on her face. "I suppose it's the places we grew up that will always feel the most comfortable. Like home, even if it's not home." Because she might never claim Fort or Telgar as home the way she does Igen. "I've only been around them… Mm. Maybe five turns? I came to Igen about a turn before I Stood and Impressed Raaneth." Still, even Alexa has to admit that there's an experience there that others might not have. "It is," she agrees, for being hard to imagine. "I couldn't have imagined what being a dragonrider was like, even if N'sir and the Weyrlingmaster tried to explain it. There are some things that just have to be experienced," she declares, a little amusement in her grin. "Dragonriding is apparently one of them. Are you nervous?" she wonders suddenly. "For the Hatching?"

"I suppose," the blonde agrees with that idea of home. "More than my one. They were around some places, but.." a shrug as she turns back to continue the task at hand. That seems to be the one same to anyone asked that question - experienced. "Yes, and no," Katailea's answer comes a moment later for the question of nerves. "I've done it before, there are things to expect," and some one can't anticipate. "There are some who are just so certain and I… I just don't know like they do. If that makes sense?"

"Certain that they will Impress?" wonders Alexa with a frown, curiosity clear. She spends a few moments scrubbing at Raaneth's side, getting the gritty black sand out from beneath a wing joint. "I wasn't certain at all. Well, no. That's not really true. I was pretty darn certain I wouldn't Impress," she admits with a laugh. "But that was… different," she decides, waving off what she might have said with a literal wave of her hand. "But if you mean certain about other things…" A shrug and she admits, "I've never really been certain of anything, ever. Except that I love books. And now, of course, that I love Raaneth." Because it's kind of a given that she loves her dragon. "But life? And how I'm supposed to like… fit in it? Not so much."

Katailea nods, "That and other things," she confirms. "Like one of the friends I made the first time I stood, he was going to be a rider if he had to stand a hundred times. I knew he'd impress and he did. He seems convinced that I will, but I haven't. Twice. Really?" the question of the weyrwoman's uncertainty. "That's more how I feel. About everything I mean," not just her chances on the sands come hatching day. "I always knew where I was suppose to fit, but…" Supposed to and do are sometimes different.

"Wow," admits Alexa, unapologetically surprised. "That's a lot of confidence! Although I've read some studies that suggest confidence could be a contributing factor to Impression. Then again, there are plenty of people who probably swear they will Impress and don't. And just as many that likely swear they won't but do. So…" A shrug seems to sum up that study nicely: results indeterminate. "I only stood the once," she admits, though she won't apologize for it. "But I've known others who have stood multiple times. And I don't know people personally but I do know there are some who can stand for five, six, seven times or more before they Impress. It's all very… unknown." Mystery! And one that won't be solved by her, that's for sure. "I think it's okay to be uncertain," she decides. "I think it's okay to be confused and just… I dunno. A little lost? I definitely don't know what I'm doing half the time," she admits, somewhat awkwardly. "But I think that's okay, because… I dunno. It just feels alright." A philosopher, she is not.

Katailea laughs, "I don't know it was so much confidence as determination," she provides her own thought on the matter. "But I have met some of those who stood a number of times before they found their match." Definitely a mystery that they're not going to solve today, or anytime soon. Studies will likely continue to be inconclusive. "Thank you ma'am," even if she's still uncertain of what's to come. "I'm glad I'm not the only one."

"Sounds an awful lot like arrogance." But it's at least said teasingly and with the knowledge that she has absolutely no room to talk about someone she's never met. Even if she will anyways. "I'm glad it worked out for him," decides Alexa. "Could have gone the other way just as easily." Or who knows; maybe it was that determination that saw him through. Dropping her arms to her sight with a huff, she rinses her hands and rolls her shoulders, acknowledging the protesting of muscles. "Ugh. Too much hide," she declares dryly. As for the 'ma'am'? There's a little wince and a wrinkle of her nose and, if Katailea is in the vicinity, a little splash aimed at the other blond. "None of that now. Ma'am makes me feel old. You can call me Alexa, or just 'weyrwoman' if that's too informal. Or miss, but that sounds… like I'm five." And she'd rather not feel like a child, thanks. "I think she's ready to rinse," she declares of the gold.

"If I didn't know him I might agree," with the idea of arrogance, but if the touch of fondness in her smile is anything that's not it. "Sorry," Katailea replies, not so much apology as understanding for the correction of address. Coming from a household where such things were expected isn't always an easy habit to change. "Well thank you Alexa," since that's what she seems to prefer she'll go with it, stepping back as the rider declares the job done (or done enough).

"You're welcome, Katailea," comes with a grin. As Raaneth moves off to rinse, the weyrwoman will head for the shore, rinsing her hands along the way for good measure. "Enjoy the rest of your morning!" is added as she scoops up the long handled brush and scouts out her discarded boots, taking both in hand (because she will NOT put her wet, sandy feet into footwear). And while Raaneth rinses, Alexa will get a head start on heading back toward the Sands. She might even have time to grab breakfast!

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