Havin' A Bad Day


Ahnika.jpg E'ro.jpg Merendezen.jpg

Date: 7/24/10 (IC: Day #: 26 Month #: 07 Turn #: 1 Time : 11:02:00 PM
Location: Lower Caverns
Synopsis: At the end of a long, hard day for two Candidates and one bronzerider, tension puts everyone in a bad mood
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Lower Caverns

Set up for use as both a massive storage area and an everyday workspace, the Lower Caverns is a single, high-ceiling room that has been blocked off into several smaller 'rooms' for different work that needs to be done. Over on the northernmost end is a larger section almost completely blocked off from the rest of the cavern where cots are set up for the non-rider folk to sleep until proper dormitories can be carved out of the rock.

A little late in the evening sees much of the crafter and non-rider folk in the Lower Caverns already abed or at least getting ready to, more than likely. Whatever the case, it is a little quieter and less crowded in the forward part of this space with the back part reserved for that massive area of cots for the non-rider/non-candidate residents of the weyr for the time being. Yet, as people are settling down for the night, Ahnika is in fact, still roaming around. At present, she is in the storage crate section, systematically going through the items of one of the crates. She looks no worse for wear, save perhaps for a bit of fatigue.

What would bring Zen into the Lower Caverns? Who's to say. His chores were in the stables, but it's perhaps because the baths aren't too horribly far away that his wanderings have brought him down. Either way, drying blonde hair is slicked back as he makes his way to the storage area and spots one Ahni. "Hey." Pause, "Ahni." He approaches her with a nonchalant stride, hands tucked into his pockets. "Was looking for you and heard that you may be down here… Someone said something about you not needing to search for whatever it was that you needed to find."

Late night and even the beleaguered dragonriders are awake. With all the fast-paced training, drills, and wing formation practices, there's not been time for E'ro to bother Ahnika or anyone else for that matter. It's been calm on the lower cavern forefront, as the pranks have stopped and the antics have all but disappeared. But here he is, dirty, dusty, and sweaty looking, still wearing his riding leathers as he makes purposeful strides through the lower caverns. He's headed out, whereas others are headed in, with his goggles in one hand and his helmet in the other. Surprisingly, he doesn't spot the redheaded candidate right away, it is Merendezen's voice, speaking her name, that brings his attention upon the two. There's a moment of indecision, a pause, as he considers his current state and the opportunities to be had. Whatever war his mind wages, his troublesome wins out, and he makes a curvy beeline for the candidates. "Ahnika.. Zen, is it?" he greets, much more gruff and tired sounding than he usually does. "I hope, neither of you are getting up to trouble?" His blonde brows skyrocket, as he takes in the crate coupled with how late it is. Who is he, though, to be chastising anyone for getting into anything?

Engrossed in what she is doing, Ahni doesn’t immediately look up at the voice, but it is only a heartbeat’s pause of distraction. Upon seeing a freshly bathed Zen, Ahni smiles appreciatively, whether she means to or not. The man’s a looker, what can she say? She blinks a moment later, though, snapping out of it, which is a lot shorter time than last time, which could be an indication that she is getting used to his good looks. Perhaps. “Someone said I don’t need to track that hide down anymore?” She furrows her brows a moment, brushing her hands together to get some of the dust off them and adds with a slightly suspicious expression, “It wasn’t the bronzerider E’ro, was it? Because if so it’s likely just him trying to trick me again and get me in trouble.” And as if on cue, she hears said bronzerider’s voice heralding his approach. Ahnika doesn’t even try to hide her opinion, sighing and rubbing the back of her neck as she tries to look busy by poking her head in another crate, whether she needs to or not. Instead, she really just looks tired, hot, dusty, dirty and distracted. “No sir, not us,” comes a somewhat sing-song voice in answer to E’ro’s query as Ahnika continues to sift through the crate, now unnecessarily.

Merendezen tilts a look towards E'ro, thoughtful but he shrugs in response to the question of his name. "Perhaps." A lazy smile tugs at his lips, quite indifferent for a moment. "Zen." Because he feels like indulging the rider. Though he doesn't forget to salute, for formality's sake. "No trouble, sir… But you're the one to talk, commenting on how you were going to oil the stairs." His shoulders roll, thoughtful before he turns attention to Ahni, shaking his head. "It wasn't him. They said they found it somewhere else when they weren't even looking for it down in that area. You won't get into trouble, sweetcake, so I suggest we head back soon. Ish."

Keen ears would pick up on her words, but then, so would inattentive ears, because it's kind of a bald statement that she makes. "When will you realize," E'ro says laconically, "that I'm not set on getting you into trouble. I have better things to do, like-" in comes Zen with the answer, which he repeats, "oil the stairs." He settles his goggle-holding hand on his waist as he looks between the two candidates, blue eyes lacking their usual merriment. "What, are you trying to track down some kind of record, /in a crate/?" It's a bit of incredulousness that colors his baritone. "They've got to get you kids something better to do, like polishing boots. Southern's riders, no doubt, need help with that and other things." His thoughts are not clouded with judgment or bitterness; they needed the help, Southern provided it, end of story. "But if you're digging around in there, you might as well do something useful, like loosen the nails so whoever moves it or opens it next will be surprised when the crate falls apart." Spilling its contents everywhere. Delightful.

With a small exhale of breath, Ahnika nods to Zen’s words and steps back from the crate, picking up the lid from the floor and heaving it up back into place. “Thanks, Zen,” she says conversationally, and then stepping to the side to do the same thing on the next opened crate, bending to pick up the lid and heave it up into place. But she stops part way when she hears both men’s comments about oiling the stairs and nearly drops the crate lid on her foot, just barely pulling it out of the way in time. She leaves that where it is and looks incredulously at the bronzerider, “Oil on the stairs? Really?” No sir. No proper address. But either the lack of merriment in his eyes or the conversation with Indira the other day has her checking that ‘tude just a little. She shifts on her feet, her cheeks actually flushing at his own incredulousness of her looking for a hide in the crate, that hand going back to rub her neck again a moment and she manages to forgive or forget, with some effort, the next suggestion about pulling the nails out of the crate, and she simply looks from E’ro back to Zen and then back to E’ro, asking, “What’s happened?” in reference to the slightly less jocular manner of E’ro. Her face is lined with worry as her grey eyes settle once more on the bronzerider. It could be she cares. It could be her penchant for problem-solving. It could just be that she thinks that anything that seems like a problem to E’ro must be pretty damn dire straits for the rest of the weyr.

Merendezen lifts a brow at E'ro, shrugging. "It's late and I already assisted them before I cleaned the stables." The suggestion of loosening the nails has the second brow following the first. "Right… Well, it would be painfully obvious who went and loosened the nails as not everyone is looking into the storage, lately." Shoulders roll before he nods welcome to Ahni. "He said he did it before. I had nothing to do with it." Because he's innocent. Check out that innocent smile he puts on for the redhead before he gives her a look over, rolling his shoulders once more as he turns attention to the crates.

"Dragons and riders never stop, neither should candidates. Eggs aren't popping today, so I don't see why there should be a need to get a whole ten hours of beauty sleep." E'ro gives Zen a look, one which is hard to read, but it's got tinges of sarcasm and derision; that answer was not the likes of which he wanted to hear, apparently. "Oil on the stairs isn't the worst one I could think of, and you're right, he didn't have anything to do with it. It was a while back, at Igen. Haven't tried that one yet." Yet being the operative word. "Are you stationed at the crates, hm? Do you see who comes and goes through here? No one would know someone like /Ahnika/," because who wouldn't know her goody-two-shoes reputation, "had done it." He snorts and shakes his head, as if trying to dispel his foul mood. "Nothing's happened," is said, at the same time he realizes how he must look to the candidates who've only ever seen him a jovial mess, "Long hours of drills. J'cobi's trying to get us in shape to fly Thread. Terrible lot, if I say so myself." It's not an amused expression he wears, but a long face that bears exhaustion. Blue eyes flick back to Merendezen, "Something wrong with your shoulders?"

Even if she promised Indira she would give E’ro a second chance, Ahnika purses her lips as the talk on oiling the stairs continues, and she picks up the lid she dropped a moment ago and heaves it up into place again. She seems ready to launch into reasons why the prank shouldn’t be done here, but thinks better of the lecture and tries a different angle, saying instead, “Hope no one got hurt,” a little above a murmur really, like it was meant to be a casual thought, “falling down stairs.” She dusts off her hands again, getting more of it on her tunic than the floor in the process and lapses quiet. She nods a bit at Zen and his denial of any wrong-doing, responding to that smile with one of her own. They appear to be contagious, except hers just doesn’t seem to reach her grey eyes tonight. It could be her own fatigue. Or it could be she is still sort of nursing a broken heart. Whatever the case, the smile fades as she begins to sense some kind of tension between the two men. She remains where she is standing, perhaps waiting to see this play out to determine if it needs some kind of intervention on her part—because she so loves to try and fix everything, especially men, apparently—but because she rarely is able to just stand idle, she bushes her tunic down, trying to get all the dust and dirt off as she listens, seemingly satisfied that the bronzerider’s mood is stemming from a general fatigue of his own hard day pushing harder and later than most. However, in her infinite 16-year-old idealistic wisdom, Ahnika volunteers, “I’m told Zen is good at massaging, sir.” She leaves it at that, not going so far as to offer Zen up to E’ro for massage duty. That would be crossing the line, even for her. She looks up from finishing her dusting off, and leans a little with one hand casually resting on her hip.

Merendezen turns his attention to E'ro, "because, as much as we would love to keep working until we collapse, it's not good to run the mind to it's limits." He shrugs, thoughtful and continues to examine the crates. "No, I'm not. But I believe people are doing more than just going through crates when there's plenty to be built in the Weyr, still." He steps two steps away, more towards the crates and turning his back towards the rider. "Not a thing has happened to my shoulders." He looks to Ahni over his shoulder and rolls his eyes. "I don't massage men." And then, he turns, facing the two again and he starts for the stairs that lead out.

People, falling down the oiled stairs? No way! That never occurred to E'ro before. He tries to hide his impatience with Ahnika by focusing his carefully crafted, painfully obvious annoyed face at Merendezen. "I think I'll pass." That in reference to the man-on-man massage. "I just need a good night's rest, a few hours of my eyes being shut, and I'll be my old self again." Not one to be cut off, he'll take a few steps in the direction of the stairs too; bedtime awaits. "Try not to get into too much trouble, will you? And remember, hides are best kept in an archive, not a crate. If anything, the scribes and harpers are holding onto them for now." Duh, Ahnika. "Goodnight." It's an address to both, whether they want it or not, with no hard feelings mixed in. Simply, goodnight, and he's gone, striding away without a glance back.

Ahnika looks momentarily confused at the by-play between Zen and E’ro and feeling much like she’s missed something somewhere. As she tries to riddle it out, she lifts a hand to her head, rubbing at a little itch from the dust there before getting frustrated and simply undoing the bun entirely so that a single red braid rests on her shoulder. Then she gives her head a good scratch. A look of genuine apology is shot Zen as he looks back at her and rolls his eyes, explaining the conditions of his massage therapy. “Oh, sorry,” she mumbles, watching him head toward the stairs. E’ro’s entire manner has Ahnika genuinely stumped and so all she seems able to do is just sort of listen and watch the bronzerider walk off, not even bothering to defend her choice of where she is looking because someone had said they saw someone else in the storage area holding it. It’s not that important to her and he’s leaving anyway. “Goodnight,” she says, almost an afterthought as stunned as she was by E’ro and his demeanor, and therefore likely goes unheard.

Merendezen pauses on his way to the stairs, watching E'ro take off, and the expression on his face looks mildly as if he's tempted to trip the man. But no, he doesn't. Because that would be Bad. The looks to Ahnika, searching her face and then, there's a moment where he look like he may offer her a caring shoulder. Just a brief moment when he actually acts like a compassionate person. But no, he lifts his hand in farewell. "Don't stay out too much longer, Ahni. People'll get worried." And then, up the stairs he goes, after the bronzerider without a second glance back.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Blue Flannel "Having A Bad Day"

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