Admonition, Advice, and an Acting Assistant


Indira.jpg Warin.jpg

Date: 24 Jan 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Headwoman's Office
Synopsis: Indira summons Warin to her office, but not for the scolding the assistant steward was expecting.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Warin

With a woven rug beneath it, the huge desk situated slap bang in the middle of this room is pretty hard to ignore. Although aged, the deep mahogany wood has been well cared for and polished to a high shine. The high backed chair placed behind it has been upholstered to match the deep jewel tones that grace the Headwoman's domain. On the opposite side of the desk, and of lesser design, is a chair that offers not nearly the same kind of comfort as that of the 'throne'. This possibly chosen with deliberate intent in mind.

To the right of the doorway stand several crates, upended on their sides and neatly stacked one upon the other, serving as makeshift shelving. To the left, a door that leads into the Headwoman's private quarters which remains firmly locked.

Early morning after a day where no one saw hide nor hair of the workaholic Headwoman until early evening, and then only when she slipped into the kitchens, secured two covered dishes of food and disappeared again, the door to her office had remained firmly closed with Doran telling those that arrived for the usual morning meeting that…it had been cancelled. Once they'd finally dispersed sending a few long looks at the closed door as they left, Doran, under orders from Indira, then went in search of Warin.

Warin is easily found, since he had been one of those awaiting the meeting. He had gotten as far as the store rooms before Doran found him, and he immediately acquiesces to the call, though someone paying attention might notice his steps dragging, as if he's been dreading this summons.

Shepherding the assistant steward ahead of him, Doran knocks once and steps back to his post to one side of the door. "Come," the Headwoman's distinctive husky tones call from the other side of the closed door, clearly not about to open it herself. Poor Warin. Should he brave it and open the door for himself, he'll find Indira behind that imposing desk of hers as usual. And that's where the normality of the situation ends for the long mane of tumbling curls has been left loose to run riot about her, rather than being severely scraped back into a bun, she's not dressed for work, in fact, she's not dressed at all but rather has a soft sisal robe wrapped about her frame. And while she'll lift a short smile onto her steward when he steps into her office, he might notice the flush of colour touching across her cheeks that might suggest the presence of a fever.

Warin braves the door and enters, knowing better than to keep Indira waiting. Upon seeing her, he double-takes. This is far more how he expects women to comport themselves at Crom, as opposed to the self-sufficient and businesslike women at the Weyr. He quickly recovers, however, and stands at attention in front of her desk. "You sent for me, ma'am?" he inquires politely.

If Indira notices the double-take, she doesn't exhibit as much and in fact, takes her time about tucking her legs up under her as she motions that Warin should take a load off and take up seating in the opposite chair, while she pretends that there's nothing abnormal about the situation at all. Mmhmm. That would be why she just darted a surreptitious glance to the closed door that leads to her quarters, huh? Ahem. To business. "Thank you for coming so quickly," she starts out, leaning forward and drawing forth a sheaf of papers, setting them to a clipboard and holding it out her assistant steward, whether he's taken up a seat or not. Nothing more said just yet. If Warin takes a look at the papers, he'll find a good few blank but signed requisition forms as well as lists of duties for the rest of the staff under the Headwoman to keep them busy for the next few days.

Warin does sit down, and nods in reply to her thanks. He glances at the sheaf of papers and this time, if he's surprised, disguises it much better. "Are these for me or am I to give them to the various people in charge of the areas in question?" he asks. Then, almost as if in afterthought, he adds, "Are you feeling well? Should I send a Healer?" Just not Cheusia.

Smirking a little, "Last I looked, you were my assistant steward?" a brow arching delicately, "Or did I miss your resignation letter somewhere?" Indira makes a show of searching a desk that is anything but in its usual state of almost obsessive-compulsive order. In fact, it looks like everything's just been dumped higgledy-piggeldy on top of it. Her tease drops right off when he mentions bringing in a Healer and she clears her throat looking away, colour deepening on her cheeks, "Oh no, no need. I uuhh…" Darn, he had to mention a healer! And so she pretends that particular line of conversation just never happened and drops instead onto the clipboard he holds, "Those are for you, assistant steward. I wouldn't recommend giving them out to those that will be reporting to you for the next day or so." A faint sound from her room has the woman's eyes flicking quickly that way and then back onto Warin as if nothing had happened, "Unless of course…you're not feeling up to the task?"

Warin says smoothly, "I just wanted to be sure. Jumping to conclusions can be dangerous. I am certainly up to the job." He does look slightly concerned, though over what is anyone's guess. Possibly what he speaks of next, "Ma'am, I have a question unrelated to this. Should I ask now or save it until later?"

Up goes a brow and Indira fits the young man with a warning look and then it fades off into a chuckle that ends on a smirk, "Very cleverly answered, Warin." Alert the authorities! Someone's stolen the hardass Headwoman and replaced her withwell whoever that is that's currently sitting in her chair. "I'll be keeping an eye on you," though quite how she's going to achieve that is for her to know and hopefully for Warin never to find out. Another glance goes to that closed door from under lowered lashes but she's graciousness enough to set aside whatever that's about to give him a short nod of head, "If you make it quick."

Warin says carefully, "I've followed your orders and made sure the resident Fiala has appropriate clothing as befits a Weyr resident. Am I absolved of responsibility for her at this point?"

Brows fit together and Indira puts a puzzled look onto Warin, "She was never your responsibility as such. She is responsible for herself, as are we all." Drawing the robe a little tighter about herself she tips a head of tousled blonde hair to one side and sets him with a long look as if by that alone she could divine quite what's going on. "Would you care to elaborate?"

Warin takes a deep breath. "I've noticed, on a few occasions, that she still didn't seem to realize the resources at her disposa, and noted them to her. Unfortunately she seems to take everything I say in exactly the wrong way. For another example, I complimented the necklace Journeyman Nenienne made for Fiala, and she took my note of the detail-orientation of it as a personal slur against her having nice things, when all along I've been trying to tell her she can have nice things." Perhaps he's talking too much, but he seems genuinely distressed.

If anything, Indira looks more confused than ever before. Slowly, as if her brain is muddied from having slept too much or not slept at all, she manages to piece it together. A sigh exhales and she puts on her best 'patient' tone, "Fiala's very young, Warin. She's still finding her feet here. Besides, the girl works in the beast caverns. Have you seen Max after a long day rounding up herdbeast? He makes a drudge look good. People work in a Weyr and not all that work allows for them to be dressed as those of us whose jobs are perhaps not as physically demanding or dirty, hmm?" However something in what he's said has her setting a curious look onto the younger man, "Have you tried just, inviting her for a walk and asking her about herself? Trying to find out what she likes, what makes her happy, that kind of thing?"

Warin wisely does not mention the real problem; namely that Fiala is an inferior female. Instead he nods thoughtfully at what the Headwoman says, up until that last part. "No, I haven't," he admits. With a rueful smile he continues, "I'm afraid she would somehow take it the wrong way if I did." After a pause, he says, "I think the best bet may be to leave her alone for a while." Or avoid her outright.

Just as well Warin didn't put voice to such thoughts or he would have found himself on the receiving end of one exceedingly angry 'inferior female' well capable of taking him apart at the seams. A sceptical look is his to own and then Indira states dryly, "Avoiding your problems won't make them just," fingers lift and flicker, "turn to dust and blow away." Says she that up until just twenty four hours ago had been doing a very good job of avoiding certain things. "Look, my advice to you? Give her some space. Some space, and then be a man, straighten your spine and be the one to take the initiative and cut the girl a break by trying to get to know her, aye?" And if he's offended by that last bit, the Headwoman could clearly care less or then again, the cunning cast to dark eyes could well be her having laid out bait for him to rise to.

"Give her space, check," is his calm reply. "Perhaps in a few sevendays I can try to talk to her again. For now, I have some duties to perform. Thank you for the advice, Headwoman."

Indira's eyes narrow lightly onto Warin, silence spreading out after he's finished speaking. Inhaling a breath, legs untuck from under her and she makes as if to stand, "I mean it, Warin. The girl needs a friend around here. You've already taken an interest in her. Just…give her a chance, aye?" And for some reason she's decided that should be her assistant steward. Go figure.

Warin nods, his expression neutral. He can't help but add, "Though she has some people on her side — at the very least, a Journeyman Healer and a Journeyman Smith." He clams up after saying that, though.

Having indeed stood to her feet, Indira halts in her path about her desk and sets a querying look onto Warin for his odd choice of words and abrupt silence thereafter. "Warin…?" heading in his direction now rather than toward her private quarters as she'd looked set to. Tone turning softer, kinder, "What aren't you telling me?" and then adding with genuine concern for the young man in her tone, "If you don't tell me, I can't help you, aye?"

Warin says, "I had noticed that her clothing was rumpled, as if she had slept in it, and I let her know that nightshifts were something she could requisition as well. She told me she already had one, and that I should not jump to conclusions," he pauses, then adds "Which, in retrospect, might be the case. At any rate, I told her it was my job to make sure Weyrfolk were taken care of," neatly leaving out the part about being worrid that Indira would blame him if Fiala appeared anything less than Holder-clothed, "And she choked on something she was eating. We got that sorted out, but she felt dizzy, so I helped her to the infirmary. Journeyman Cheusia was there and had her lie down. Fiala said she choked because I was hounding her and calling her a disgrace," here he sounds indignant, "Something which I've never said. I joked that I probably couldn't say anything to defend myself, and the Journeyman agreed, but invited me to try anyway. I complimented Fiala on her dedication to the motherless runners but suggested she might want to sleep somewhere other than the stables. That set her off, and that's when the Journeywoman told me to leave. Of course I complied immediately."

For some or another reason, rather then get annoyed or angry as Warin might have expected she would, Indira starts chuckling so that by the times he's done talking, she's actually laughing, albeit softly. And then stops, clears her throat and comments with humour still high in the twinkle of her eyes, "You, dear Warin, have a stick up your arse. That having been said, your dedication to ensuring the population of the Weyr is adequately clothed and taken care of, is admirable. Your delivery of concern howeverneeds a little fine tuning." And no, she doesn't appear to be mocking him, in fact, quite the opposite, "Young girls, such as Fiala who come from the hard life and drudgery of a cothold, tend to be overly sensitive to criticism, especially when its perceived to be levelled at their person." Her tone of voice suggesting she speaks from experience, "So perhaps a slightly different approach is warranted on a case by case basis, hmm? Also," the amusement lessening though kindness still lingers in her tone as she tries to help the young man achieve a better reception next time, "Nursing any youngling is exhausting work and one tends to snatch sleep whenever and however, possible. When my son was still nursing," perhaps a case of TMI for the poor young man, "I didn't know what day of the seven it was, let alone when last I'd eaten a decent meal or thought to drag a brush through my hair." Tipping her head to one side, "Do you…understand what I'm trying to explain here?"

Warin looks relieved at the reaction, not even minding the bit about being uptight. Though hearing her phrase it that way does elicit a brief look of surprise. He nods as she finishes, saying, "I believe so, ma'am. I should be careful not to say things which might be misinterpreted, and I need to remember that caring for the very young doesn't allow many of the liberties I might take for granted."

Warin has clearly never been on the receiving end of the Headwoman's temper in full tilt or else such a phrasing would have been considered mild in comparison. A warm smile paints across Indira's face and she inclines her head, "You put it well. Yes, that's what I was trying to get across." And then something occurs to her and moving toward the door to her office which due to it standing slightly ajar, has her pulling her robe tighter about herself and standing just out of line of sight of any that might pass by, she offers a last few words of advice. "Try swinging passed the beast caverns late one night and taking her a late night snack and perhaps a nice soft pillow, hmm? A sort of…peace offering that says you understand her level of devotion to her work and support her in it." And with that having been said she drops a nod of head down to the clipboard she'd handed over to him, "I know I can trust you not to let me down, aye?" For should this be so, it will allow her opportunity to make a few…clandestine trips up north every here and there to visit a certain Telgari barkeep.

Warin's expression is one of dawning comprehension, though he doesn't actually say "I never thought of that" aloud. "Thank you — I'll try that. After giving her some breathing room, of course." When she returns to the business, he nods quickly. "I will do my best not to disappoint you, ma'am." He gances down at the clipboard as if to memorize the contents.

Indira's smile turns up a notch as Warin under goes that 'unlidding the glowbasket' moment, "Now you're getting it," a wink following her words. A curt nod is given the duties handed him and a quick smile, "Thank you, Warin. I appreciate it." Turning toward her room now assuming he'll simply see himself out, she halts hand to the doorknob of her private quarters and turns a sly look onto the young man, "And if anyone asks? I'm simply not feeling myself right." Wicked the smile that turns out and then she's gone through the door and closing it firmly behind her.

Warin nods, but the Headwoman has already looked away. He opens the office door and heads out, his stride far more confident than the one he arrived on, and gives a polite smile and nod to the guard as he lets himself out.

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