Unthinkable Lack of Discretion

Characters Eresai, Vivka
Synopsis An expert tries to help a damsel in distress.
Out-of-Character Date December 18, 2014

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.

Being a candidate is hard work when one would really rather be doing what one is used to doing in the kitchens. But apparently, Vivka can't just hide in the kitchens from her other chores for some reason. Fortunately chores aren't an unending black hole of work (not entirely, anyway). Right now she's sitting in the lapping water of the lake, inspecting the bottom of one of her bare feet with a concerned furrow in her thin, expressive eyebrows.

Eresai's wandering path along the shallows of the lake hasn't been one of much note. His pants are rolled up to the knee and secured there with the thin straps that loop over the buttons on the outside thighs, his bucket hat shields most of his face from the worst of the sun. He's not exactly aimless, but nor is his aim apparent, though he's been stopping to bend and fish in the water every now and again. His path brings him toward the blonde, "Hi Vivka," he calls as he approaches nearer. She must remember him now, mustn't she? They share a barracks and everything! His look is touched at the edges with just a bit of boyish hope that goes beyond the usual warmth of his shy smile.

The blonde lifts her squinting eyes away from her foot to look at the boy who knows her name. There's a brief hesitation before she's smiling at him. But it might not be personal. "Hey! You." There's a possibility that Vivka actually does recognize him this time, but his name seems to have evaded her instead. "Looking for something? You didn't lose anything, did you?" is a curious and slightly concerned question as she takes in the whole of him, her foot still propped up on a bent knee where she's sitting in the shallows.

"What?" Eresai asks, expression confused. "Oh, oh, no." His head his shaken hurriedly, puzzlement clearing. "No, I was just.." Not important, "Are you okay?" More important. "Your foot..?" He didn't miss, then, the look of concern that she wore before he got closer.

Vivka waits for a few moments like he might actually tell her what he was doing even after he asks about her foot. But since he doesn't, she sighs at said foot, spreading her toes and then rubbing her thumb along the arch. "I thought I had a blister, maybe. Now I think I have a splinter or something. But I can't find it." So now she's just sitting here in the water, proving that she can totally actually frown.

Eresai spends those expectant moments looking expectantly at Vivka. Maybe he's avoiding telling her on purpose, or perhaps he's just mentally moved on and doesn't even realize what she's waiting for. "Splinters are the worst," the teen says with inappropriate enthusiasm and a big smile before he's hunkering down next to her. "Mind if I look? I'm a bit of a splinter expert." That he can be of service to her might explain the weird level of excitement at his fellow candidate's discomfort.

"I… guess so," says Vivka, perhaps more uncertain about his enthusiasm over her injury than his willingness to help. "I think it might be between my toes. Or maybe further back. It's hard to pinpoint it." Which is frustrating, obviously. The blonde turns onto her hands and knees, skirt pulled up with one hand, to awkwardly crawl a little further from the shallows so Eresai won't have to sit in the water, too. Then she's sitting again, the leg of her non-splintered foot tucking under the leg of the other so it's easier to hold up for him, and she leans back on her palms. "Are splinter experts really a thing?"

"Yeah," Eresai nods, his expression turning placid. "The whole of the WoodCraft Hall is filled with them." His close-lipped smile pulls his face to a warm look that can't help but look a little cheeky for all that his humor wasn't very much so. He follows her to where he can better squat and look, "Erm, mind turning just a bit? The light.." He means so he's not casting his own shadow on where he ought to be splinter-hunting. He makes a gesture in the direction he's asking her to. "How are you settling into the barracks?" The question is posed conversationally as he resettles himself to start looking for the splinter with a tentative but gentle touch.

She shifts around unquestioningly, careful not to put her foot down in any way that might actually hurt. "That's right. You do the wood stuff. I was thinking mining for some reason. But that was.. the other boy." Whoever that means! "It's not as easy as I thought it would be." Why she would ever think being a candidate was easy is anyone's guess. "If you ever get chores in the caverns, by the way, I'd be happy to trade if mine are something you'd like more." Outside, presumably, where things are heavy or smell like herdbeasts. "Ah," she squeaks, jerking slightly and wincing when his searching must brush over whatever's hurting her.

"Yeah!" There's that inappropriate enthusiasm again. See? She does remember him. It's Eresai's turn for a beaming smile; it apparently doesn't matter that she had confused him with someone else before she remembered that tidbit about him. "Sure, I'm.. I'll do whatever," probably for herself and select other blonde candidates with sunny dispositions. "I don't mind. It's a lot like home, actually, for me, but with less trees and lemons." His fingers travel lightly across her foot, his hazel eyes squinted in their focus to catch sign of the splinter, pausing and going back more carefully when she squeaks. "Sorry, I must've.." touched it. Oops.

Vivka glances between Eresai's face and his fingers on her foot, her lower lip caught between her teeth and her brows furrowed in anticipation of it hurting again. When it doesn't for the next few moments, she chances saying with a still slightly worried but trying not to be smile, "Thanks." Then, "Have you always wanted to be a candidate?" Or, in other words, why did he agree to it?

"Ha," that's funny, "No." The young man's eyes don't leave the search. "I wanted.. want," he corrects himself, "to be a woodcrafter, maybe learn some smithing or some techcraft someday, too." Eresai's fingers stop and he looks up at the blonde, "Weyrwoman Janja was quite adamant that riding doesn't preclude the possibility of crafting, and they asked, so.." So here he is. He stares at her or a moment longer than is strictly polite and then clears his throat. "Found it." He adds, touching a finger near but not on the splinter. "It doesn't look bad. I think I could get it out for you, if you wanted." He's no healer, but if he's a splinter expert… getting them out should be part of that job description, no?

Big blue eyes watch him watching her, maybe oblivious to the 'too long' ness of it. "I'd never really thought about it that much," she admits. "I mean, not more than any girl, I guess. But I'm here and it seems like I should take the opportunity while I can, right?" She might actually be asking him if he thinks that sounds like solid logic. Her attention shifts back to her foot, though, and she twitches like she expects him to actually touch it again even though he doesn't. Then she nods quickly, while not looking entirely sure.

"Yeah," Eresai will too-eagerly agree. "I sort of figured the same thing, really. Not that my journeywoman is exactly completely pleased." This comes out a little distractedly and perhaps too quickly as the young man shifts to kneel, water or no, fingers fishing into one of the pockets on his pants to find a pair of tweezers. He produces, too, a slender metallic box that proves to be a small bit of tech that produces a small flame for Eresai to briefly pass over the tips of the tweezers (to cleanse, not to heat) before he's ducking his head. "Will the people back at your home.. your brothers, or whoever, be happy you're standing?"

Vivka watches him fish out the box, starts to look a little worried about the flame, but manages to make herself not, like, leave. "I don't… I'm not even sure they know where I am yet. I sort of just left. I wrote a letter so they aren't worried or anything." That's the idea, anyway. "But I don't want them to take me home. I think they'd have already tried if they did know where I was." The way she eyes Eresai now is a little uncertain for different reasons, like she's only just realizing that maybe she shouldn't have told him that much.

It's a good thing Eresai hasn't started the delicate splinter removal process yet. Jerking his head up to look startled at Vivka probably wouldn't feel very good for the work he's yet to begun and almost certainly would not be healthy for any budding friendship. "You just.. left?" The way he says it conveys plainly that such a thing would be unthinkable in Eresai's world.

That Vivka looks guilty about the fact might suggest that it's not exactly commonplace in her world, either. "I couldn't stay," she tells him like he should just believe her and not make her explain more than that. "And I met this handsome, wonderful rider from here. So I came here to be with him. And I thought maybe if I could be a rider, too, that would be good for us and we could be together."

Well, at least he doesn't look at her like she has a second head. Eresai abruptly ducks his head and gets to work. It's quiet a moment until he clears his throat. "You should talk. So you're distracted." About what? Who knows, but he suddenly doesn't have any questions. Maybe she should just be glad he's focused (if he is).

The hesitation is probably just to try figuring out what she's ought to be talking about. And since it's already on her mind, Vivka will just keep babbling about things she shouldn't be telling him in the first place. Discretion is probably not one of her best qualities. "They want to marry me off to some old man and they don't even care about how I feel about it. I want to be with someone I love, you know? I don't want to be some… commodity. And I should have a say, shouldn't I? None of them would want to marry some old, gross man, either."

It might be the focus Eresai is expending while he deftly maneuvers the tweezers with an experienced hand (splinter expert, indeed!) to remove the tiny trespasser that causes him to grimace. But once it's out and he's swishing the tweezers in the water he can reach with a far lean, he says, "My younger sister has that problem. Not that our parents don't care, just that there's more to it than that." It makes him chew his lower lip and frown a little more. "It seems.. like it'd be hard.. on them, that you just vanished.. but I mean.. I get it." He looks up at Vivka. He's not going to judge her.

She winces when the splinter is finally removed, but she doesn't jerk away. Maybe Vivka is distracted enough by her thoughts about all this that it helps. But once it's over, she's looking at Eresai with her big blue eyes on the verge of tears and no poker face to hide behind. "Thank you," she manages to say for the splinter getting, but her gaze, a little hurt, shifts away from his and she starts to shift to get onto her feet, wet skirt clinging to her in ways she probably isn't aware. "I should go. I'm sorry." Her first step is a little tentative on the just de-splintered foot as she starts to turn away.

Reaching a hand to offer it in assistance to her feet is an unconscious expression of good manners. Eresai probably doesn't realize until she's saying she should go that that's where this is going. "Vivka, wait," he tries, but it's ineffectual pleading not commanding.

Vivka pauses in her turn away, sort of glancing back but not entirely at him. "I'm fine," she says, in case that's the problem. She even smiles, though it's not her most genuine ever. "Thanks for helping me," she repeats more earnestly with another flicker of a smile, waiting this time for some acknowledgement or dismissal instead of just turning away despite eyes that are still a little too bright.

"I didn't mean.." Eresai tries, but he just can't find the words and is left looking disappointed, though it would be hard to say, not knowing him, that it's in himself. "See you," is all he manages in the end, a little miserably before turning to tuck the tweezers and lighter back away in his pocket before continuing on with.. whatever he was doing before he came upon the damsel in distress.

Vivka looks at him for just a few moments before her gaze shifts away again. She nods and turns to make her way, most likely, back to the barracks, slightly favoring her one foot. This strange moment would probably be a lot easier if they weren't going to eventually end up in the same place anyway. But she's not going to worry about that right now. She's just going to leave. And maybe try to ask someone else what his name actually is.

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