Stabilizing After A Rocky Start


Fiala.jpg Warin.jpg

Date: 27 Jan 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Warin brings the peace offering recommended by Indira to Fiala in the stables.
Rating: G
Logger: Warin

Sweeping upwards from the tunnel's entrance at the easternmost end, this cavern arches well over the heads of its inhabitants; both two- and four-legged. Wooden stalls and pens have been built in rows. Two rows are built into the north and south walls and two are back-to-back down the center, leaving two aisles up and down. Each animal enclosure is spacious, well-built and solid; the whole place smells of new timber and sawdust, with the subtle undertones of leather, animal and hay. The western end opens out into the feeding pens and from there into the upper bowl. The opening is large enough to allow a decent amount of sunlight to enter the cavern, but not quite big enough to allow the adult dragons inside.

The day was warm and clear, and the evening has shaped up to be the same. In the light of the moons can be seen a figure heading toward the beast caverns, carrying something — a lot of somethings, in fact. Warin, for that is who the figure is, ducks into the cavern and glances around, as if looking for someone.

"Hang on, Flick, hang on. Almost to you. Bren, lift up. Yes." Fiala is tucked away with her own ponies, grooming them from nose to tail. She seems heedless of the time, but it working with a steady doggedness. "And then you'll have dinner and then I'll have mine."

Warin zones in on the voice, then heads over toward it. Just before he hails her, though, he pauses, taking a deep breath. Finally, he says softly, so as not to spook the runners, "Fiala?"

That voice brings a tension to Fiala's shoulders, and she stiffens briefly, then lets out a long, slow breath. "Just a moment, if you please, sir," she says after a moment of hesitation. She finishes with the one pony, patting her flank. "Good girl, Bren." She offers one of the other ponies an apologetic nod, then turns to Warin. "Yes sir?"

Warin steps closer into the light, which reveals that he's carrying a blanket over his arm, a pillow in one hand, and two cookies in the other. Directly to the point he says, "I brought these for you. Well, the cookies to share."

"Fiala blinks, tilting her head, surprised. "For… for me?" she asks softly. "I…" She nudges away the nose of a questing pony, and she takes a couple of steps towards Warin, shy. "Thank you, sir. To what…" SHe pauses, as if trying to recall words or a phrase to mind. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" The tone of her voice suggests she might add a 'dubious' before 'pleasure' if she dared.

Warin stands silently for a few minutes, his honesty warring with what he figures he probably should say. Finally, he manages a compromise. "Someone thought you might want a friend here, instead of a a constant nag."

"A friend?" Fiala bites at her lip, then rubs at the back of her neck. "I'd appreciate not being nagged, that is certain," she murmurs. "But… friends? If you want, but… *do* you want? Or is it just a suggestion?"

Warin admits, "It was a suggestion. But I'm willing to give it a go." Then he gives an apologetic smile and asks, "Mind if I put the stuff down? Except the cookies, of course."

"Oh!" Fiala smiles. "Please, please do. I can't rest just yet; I have Flick to groom. It shouldn't take that long. You're welcome to put them in the stall next over, if that works. It's clean and not used right now."

Warin nods and sets the blanket and pillow down where indicated, then sits down carefully. He displays his ignorance of runners by asking, "Are those the babies you've been feeding at night?"

"Wh—" Fiala coughs softly. "No, these are adults. Though it looks like Bren is in foal. That's good. They are a small type of runnerbeast. No, the ones I was feeding are with one of the mares. They need less now, but I will get up a couple of times at least to feed them. I've taught them buckets, so they can drink as they need. I just have to make certain they haven't tipped it over…" She stretches. "And they've been fed."

Warin ahs the "ah" of someone for whom most of the words have gone right over his head. As if to cover for his embarassment he begins nibbling on one of the cookies and holds out the other as a peace offering to the beast worker.

"Just a moment," murmurs Fiala. She finishes up with the grooming, then lugs heavy water-buckets over to fill the ponies' troughs. Then she lifts up heavy pails of feed, and places them where the ponies can eat. Then she dunks her hands into a bucket, rubs them, then dries them until they're red. She walks over. "Thanks."

Warin says, "Sure." Then he lapses into silence, as if he's exhausted all of the conversation topics he had planned. Finally, though, he asks, "I think I heard you say that some of these runners were your own?"

Finally Fiala takes the cookie, and she sinks down into the bed of straw. "Yes. The three ponies you saw me with. Flick, Bren, and Swish. Bren is the mare; Flick is her stallion, and Swish is Bren's colt. Well, he's close to grown. And she was bred afore I left; so there'll be another baby in not-too-long." She nibbles, then nods. "This is good. Works for dinner."

Warin opens his mouth, then closes it, mindful of the not nagging bit. He eventually tries a different tack, though, asking rhetorically, "Life is short, eat dessert first?"

"Life s short; the day is shorter," answers Fiala. "I've been too busy to get supper. Now it's a bit late. I could go get something… but I don't want to waste glows and I…" She blushes. "I'm afraid of the dark."

Warin doesn't give himself time to think, instead saying immediately, "I could always walk you to the Weyr proper."

"I… ermm… but then I'd be a bother to you or whoever walked me back. I suppose I could get myself back all right, I just… I haven't gotten over being afraid of it." She hangs her head a little, embarrassed. "But the cookie should be fine. And I can make a mash from some of the pony grain. It's like porridge, really.

Warin ohs, uncertainly, then says, "I should be going myself. Headwoman Indira likes to have us meet early in the morning."

"I know the feeling. I'm going to gobble this down myself and then catch what sleep I can. Thank you… the pillows and blankets will be welcome." Fiala smiles shyly, then ducks her head and turns away.

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