Unfounded Rumors

Participants:

Alara.jpg Ahnika.jpg

Date: July 25, 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr: Infirmary
Synopsis: Alara comes to find out the truth of the rumors. She assumes something, and is proven wrong.
Rating: PG-13, I think.
Logger: Alara

It's around the dinner hour of the same day of Ahnika's "accident" and the redhead is still in the same bed, not having been allowed to go anywhere yet, and not likely to be allowed for the next two days if the Healer's initial assessment is any indication. The lump on her head is bandaged, though slightly askew, as if Ahnika worried at it some at some point to put it off, and some bruising is starting to show. A basket of simple darning work is nestled in the crook behind her knees as she is turned a little in the bed, and Ahnika concentrates more than someone without a knot on the head would need to in order to darn a little hole in someone's leggings.

The Weyrwoman has heard some of the rumors, or more likely, her gossipy gold has. And, knowing this pair, the news got embellished between giver, gold and rider. So, Alara, tired and hungry as she is, steps into the infirmary to check on one of the candidates. She steps in, looks around for the healer, and frowns. "Hmm. Must have stepped out." She doesn't remember this candidate's name, so she nods. "Candidate. How are you?" She gives her a small smile, and moves to sit near the young woman, watching her darn the leggings.

Concentrating as she is, Ahnika's tongue is sticking out a bit, pressed against her upper lip, and blinking furiously at the needle and hole. She's tired and looks it, but isn't willing to just lie there, still and … useless. And so it isn't until she hears the title that she looks up, taking a moment to refocus her gaze from the close-up work to a little bit more distance, and Ahni blinks, shoving the needle and thread unceremoniously into the material and setting down the darning work back into the basket quickly to free her hands in order to shift herself in the bed into a more proper posture. That done, Ahnika folds her hands in her lap, a feat for her, and tries not to twiddle her thumbs. With a respectful, if slow and careful, dip of her head toward the senior weyrwoman, Ahnika clears her throat, "Weyrwoman, ma'am. Very kind of you to come and visit." And unexpected, perhaps even surprising, if Ahni's tone is any indication. "I'm just shy of fit as a fiddle ma'am. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I'll be back to my duties before you can blink," she vows softly, earnestly, "Promise."

"Oh, well, not before the Healers say. I wouldn't want you endangering yourself further. After all…" Alara purses her lips, and then decides to plunge on ahead. "Can you tell me what happened? I have heard some very strange rumors about you, and I rather need to hear your story." She tries to be judicious about this. She does notice the head wounds. Her hand reaches out, and moves to still the movement. "If that is uncomfortable to do, please don't feel the need to complete more while you're recuperating." She leans back in her seat, but shifts a little as though nervous, waiting silently until Ahnika has told her side of the story.

Nodding agreeably as Alara begins to speak, Ahnika continues to give the senior weyrwoman her attention, that is until she asks what happened. And then Ahni is looking at her hands, too scared at what might be visible in her grey eyes to actually look at Alara further. At the show of generosity and compassion, Ahnika closes her eyes a moment, and then reopens them, but keeps them focused on her lap. "Yes, ma'am," the redhead murmurs, biting her lip a moment at the comment on the rumors, and then saying, "Sorry, ma'am. I … sort of fell into the edge of a table at breakfast. It, uh, looks worse than it really is," she tries bravely. "I was an idiot and wasn't properly watching where I was going and got tripped up by a chair and fell into the table, you see." All of this is true, of course, and so would not exactly appear like she was lying, but of course it's not really the whole story, either. She takes in a slow breath, trying to still her own nerves, which probably doesn't look well for her case, "And that's when they called the healer, though I blacked out at first so can only go by Ciara's reckoning." She tilts her head a little, chewing her lip nervously again before asking, "There're rumors, ma'am? No one'll tell me a thing … here."

<Weyr> Escaeth chimes the Weyr. « Another day, another sweep. How fares things at home? »

Well. This is a bit unexpected. "Do …" Alara sighs, and leans forward. "I'm sorry to have to ask this… but the rumors…" She places a hand softly on the girl's arm, hoping to convey her comfort. "Do you need to go between, dear?" She bites her lip. "I'm sure I could get Rauz — Oh, no. Pardon me. She says she won't leave the eggs. Maybe Ockath could. I could have Rauzath ask him and he could do it without mentioning it to T'ryn if you'd ranther no one else know. I understand how…" She gives a small shrug, expressing the understanding she feels.

Ahnika certainly doesn't shy away from the comforting hand on her arm, but she looks more perplexed than appreciative as she listens to the goldrider speak. Some of the nervousness fades, replaced with genuine confusion, and she looks at Alara now. "Between what, ma'am?" she asks this first, and then a pause as the woman talks of dragons, and Ahnika at least understand which Between she was referring to, now, even if she doesn't understand the why of it, "Uh, oh, no ma'am. I don't have anywhere else to be … unless the Healers think I need more help than they can give me here, I s'pose, or," she swallows visibly and licks her lips, "Or I'm bein' put out?" There's conflicting emotions in her expression at the thought of that, one part frightened and worried, one part relieved, and one part actually slightly upset and angry. After all, all she did was stumble into a table. Surely there were worse crimes in a weyr, right? She takes a moment to regain some of her composure, smoothing her expression to general interest and uncertainty as she looks back at Alara.

"Ohhh, no! I wouldn't think of putting you out. No, this happens quite often, actually. Had it happen three times in my candidate class. Not myself, but …." Alara is blithely pressing on, unaware of the misunderstanding. "No. No, just a few seconds between. I mean, it wouldn't take that long, and then you can remain a candidate." She leans back in her seat. "Well, it'd be your choice. I don't know how you were reared. Some of the holder-bred ladies sometimes decide that they'd rather keep — well, I would hate to lose you, but it would be your choice, of course." She gives a quick nod. It's the Weyr; women have a lot more say in things than in a lot of holds. "I might caution you on having this happen again, though. Maybe just more careful about timing, and such?" She gives a conspiratorial wink.

Ahnika nods a little, but keeping it short and slow so as not to make her head hurt any more than it already is. She affects an appearance of interest and complete understanding, not wanting to look like a complete moron to the senior weyrwoman, so she nods along, listening attentively, only blinking a little at the statement about timing, and just inwardly wondering when knocking yourself out on a table's edge ever has good timing. Ci is right. Weyr people are weird. After Alara speaks, and winks at her, there is a lengthy pause as Ahnika tries to think of what she is supposed to say here. So, even though nothing has been said, she buys a few more seconds by nodding again and probably looking more than a little daft, or simply overwhelmed. And then she shifts a bit, clearing her throat as she goes about trying to put it all together. "So, in order to remain a Candidate … " Ahnika begins slowly, latching onto that bit right off, "I have to … go Between." She has been Between before, though just the one time to get here. It was cold, but nothing utterly terrifying. "I … didn't know weyrs had this kind of um initiation ritual. Or is this a mission, ma'am?" the latter actually sparks some excitement in her grey eyes.

Now, it's Alara who is completely confused. "Oh, dear." She tilts her head a bit, and then inhales. "Oh, dear. Where were you raised, Candidate? And… um, if you like, you may call me Alara." She prompts, hoping to get the girl's name. "It isn't a mission, nor really an initiation ritual…" She chews on her lip. "Well, the rumors were saying you were in the infirmary for something entirely different than a head wound…" She winces a bit as Rauzath laughs with glee at her misunderstanding. "Rauzath. It's not that funny." She shakes her head, and a blush covers her face.

<Weyr> Rauzath dies of glee. « Mine is sooooo funny. You would not believe what she just did. » The now-proud Momma chortles with glee. « Oh, you lot. » She has to take a breath. « It's hilarious. »

<Weyr> Escaeth mindpeers in Rau's direction. « Eh? What did she do? »

<Weyr> Rauzath chortles, and sends Escaeth a dinging bell, just because she knows she likes them. « She… she … she … asked that candidate, the one in the infirmary, if she needed a ride between. She believed the rumors, and … they aren't true! It looks like she just has a sore head, instead of a clutch … » Rauzath draws back for a moment. « No, they don't call them that. Egg. No. Baby. That's the word. » She snickers again. « She offered to have Ocky take her between, cuz I said I wasn't leaving the eggs. » Yes, she does have a new nickname for T'ryn's brown.

"I uh eh … an itty-bitty rural cothold along Fort's sweep, ma'am," Ahnika answers first, and then nods once, emphatically, "Alara, then, ma'am." Before wincing with the motion. Then she looks at her again, following the prompting easily enough despite the fresh throbbing in her head, "Ahnika, here, if that pleases you." She frowns a little at the mention of the rumors again, and swallows, starting to fear the worst. So, she looks at her lap as Alara continues and lapses into speaking aloud to her dragon, and finally Ahnika says in an extremely soft voice, "These rumors. They … wouldn't happen to be … about what Ciara thought at first, before the Healer came … would they, ma'am, I mean, Alara?" She worries her lip again.

<Weyr> Escaeth giggles and replies « Thats all good fun, queen. Ours need a little bit of humor now and again. »

"I can't be sure, but I would imagine, Ahnika." Alara says, looking down. "Forgive me for believing the worst." She gives a soft snort. "You are not with child, then?" Chewing on her lip again, she considers the other things the woman has said. "It is common practice in the Weyr, when a woman conceives a child that she cannot provide for, or cannot bear, that a rider will take her Between shortly after conception. Especially with candidates. We cannot have pregnant weyrlings. It disturbs the little ones too much." Much is said between the lines there, but the injunction is clear. "My apologies again."

<Weyr> Rauzath projects, « Oh, she doesn't find it funny at all. But me, I think it's bloody hilarious! » And the sounds of loud, raucous laughter, such as might be heard in Jaya's establishment, pour through the links.

Shoulders slump a bit and Ahnika squeezes her eyes shut as the worst of her fears is confirmed. Oh well, it's not like she was saving it for anyone, really. Just highly embarrassing for the teen. She soaks all that in, filing the information away for later chewing on, before shaking her head, but being more careful about it this time, "No ma'am. If the Healer were here he'd tell you, too. I'm not…" her cheeks flush, "I've not even, ever … you know … done … " she gestures vaguely to insert the word 'it' at the end there. But feeling the need to explain she takes a breath and continues, "See, that's just what I wanted to know, ma'am," unable to remember the permission given to use her name for the moment, "I was asking Ciara if she knew that was, that girls weren't allowed to, and Ciara misunderstood and I got a bit upset and … " she sighs again, and then straightens where she sits and in an extremely sober voice says, "I promise you, while I am a Candidate, I'll never do anything to put me in that kind of position." And she is pretty darn sure of it, considering the only man she really wants to put her in that kind of position is out of her life now.

Alara nods. "Well, then, it would be a first, now, wouldn't it." She gives a small chuckle, and pats Ahnika's shoulder. Without the religious background, there is no precedent for such things. "Well, I do hope you're up on your feet soon, and … for my misunderstanding, if you like, you may come help me wash Rauzath one day. Or bring my food and drinks to the sands, if you'd prefer that instead." She shrugs. "I would enjoy it either way." She stands, and starts to head out. "I shall have to talk to you later. I need to get a few things done before I return to my girlie. Clear skies, Ahnika." She gives a bright smile, and heads toward the door.


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