Jainika is Searched

Ista Weyr - Living Caverns(#9756RJ)
Large enough to house the entirity of the weyr's population at one time, the cavern set aside to house the very heart of the weyr's life is a grandoise, somewhat circular affair, filled with rows of long tables. Bustling and busy, it is a rare moment indeed when there is not someone at work or leisure in here; the long trestle table by the kitchens is perpetually filled with plates and trays of food, a pot of something always bubbling upon the mahogany hearth, ready to fill the belly of any hungry resident or rider. Although a high table is set aside for seating respected dignitaries on formal occasions, most of the tables here are not designated to any particular group— rather, all levels of Ista's population eat together, intermingled across the broad cavern.
Great tapestries have been flung down the walls, orange and black borders remarking upon Ista's heritage, the age-faded hangings depicting scenes of importance to the Weyr— the erruption of the volcano; the first clutch; the view from the star stones, over forest, dark beach, and glistening waves of blue. Propellor-like fans have been affixed to the ceiling in more modern times, cooling the cavern on the hottest of days. Passageways lead up the stairs to the kitchens, down a second flight of stairs to the lower caverns, and out into the expanse of the broad weyr bowl.

With the afternoon slowly passing along, many of the Weyr residents have flung themselves to the far reaches of the Weyr, in an attempt to finish their duties and chores before the overcast sky turns to something worse. A few people still linger in the caverns - some cleaning, some enjoying a late meal. And then there's L'ton, who's carefully pondering through a long list in front of him, every now and then running a hand through his hair as he mutters to himself.

Jainika seems to have escaped from the resort for the day - she's waiting in a short line for an early dinner, still dressed up in what constitutes her work clothes - a stiff black shirt and fitted black skirt with a pair of comfortable shoes to spend the day on her feet in. She's in the middle of pulling her hair out of its dignified (and well-contained) bun, migrating in and out of line (and in and out of any passers-bys' way) as she tries to decide what, if anything, she wants to eat.

L'ton starts the page he's reading from the top once more, before shaking his head, and flopping the list on the table with a dull *thwack* as he sighs loudly. The chair is scrapped against the floor as he stretches and gets up, moving to find something to drink, and perhaps renew his interest in the work. Passing by Jainika, he absently pats her on the shoulder as he moves around her as she steps in and out of line. "Careful sweets." He offers, heading on for some klah, skipping the line.

"What?" Jainika doesn't seem to take the hint - she almost walks into L'ton before moving back out of his way, looking a little bewildered as she realizes the line has dwindled and she's still emptyhanded. "Thanks for the warning, sugarplum," she retorts wryly, moving in to get a plate of steamed vegetables and seared fish. "Sorry, it's been a long day."

"Nah problem, mah dear." L'ton reassures the young woman as he returns that direction, pausing to watch her get her plate together. Her clothing is eyed carefully, and he tilts his head. "Ya work at the resort, nah? Ah think Ah've seen ya over there a few times, when Ah've been giving people the tour." Oh, the horrible aspects of diplomacy. "Enjoying the job, hm?" L'ton seems to fall easily into the small talk.

Jainika coyly makes a grab for a pastry, sweet-talking another enterprising young man into distraction and taking herself out of the line and back in L'ton's direction before the boy realizes he's missed out on the last sweet. "I do indeed," Jaine replies, not looking too terribly guilty. "That easy to tell?" She chuckles. "You might've! Particularly when you're touring, I'm supposed to make sure everyone's finding things well and enjoying themselves and that sort of thing." She shrugs, biting her bottom lip idly as she tries to decide where to sit. "It's not bad, yeah. Couldn't tell you how good I am, but it's fun work."

"Well, Ah haven't heard any complaints 'bout any of the staff there, and usually people are more than happy 'nuff ta talk my ear off about it, so Ah'd have ta say ya're probably doing a fine job." As she sweettalks the young man out of the last pastry, the bronzerider tilts his head, watching her curiously, before shaking his head again. "Ah dun think Ah ever caught yer name though, darlin'." And, to encourage an introduction, he grins and lifts his klah mug up a tad, "Ah'm L'ton, if'n ya didn't know."

"Well then!" Jainika grins broadly, her expression mischievous. "As long as you haven't heard anyone complain I guess I've got nothing to worry about." She finally settles in a seat, sliding into it carefully and giving her skirt a subtle little tug back down. "I'm Jainika, call me Jaine if you'd like." She grins in return. "Fabulous to meet you, sir."

"What's that look fer, lil'bit, been plotting some trouble, and seeing if'n ya can get away with it?" He winks at her, with a shake of his head. "Ah dun care, as long as ya dun send anyone running out in terror, cause then Ah gotta deal with 'em, and Ah get lil'nuff time ta myself as it is." Leaning back in his chair, he glances briefly over his shoulder at some unknown point, before back at her. "Didja grow up here, or?"

Jainika nibbles a bit on the coveted pastry - a little ball of fried dough dipped in sugar - and doing her best to look innocent when she replies. "Maybe, maybe not. I think troublesome is my default, sometimes." She grabs a small napkin and wipes a bit of stray sugar from her fingers before pushing her hair back behind her ears. "I've never had anyone run screaming, thankfully. But I'll make sure to keep playing nice to save you the trouble." She takes a small bite of fish, shaking her head before she swallows to answer. "Not at the Weyr, but down at the Hold. My parents are harpers there. But they thought I should do something productive with my life, so I figured I might see how the resort treated me."

"Ah, uh, dun suppose ya'd already be thinking about a new job, hm? Maybe standing as a candidate for Umniyath's clutch? Ah mean, if'n ya want to, it might keep ya out of trouble, and ya could end up doing something productive with yer life, though Ah can tell you, it ain't always as much fun as it seems." L'ton rambles a bit more, wrinkling up his nose as it seems that Dhonzayth has his own running commentary on the matter. "Might make yer parents proud ta, if'n they have any sense."

Jainika doesn't quite seem to catch his drift, shrugging off his question as a hypothetical. "I'm settling pretty well into this job, but I don't know, I'm always up for new things. I've always wondered about all that candidacy business - you know, I've got such a big family but we've only got one rider that I know of, he's some cousin on my dad's side at Telgar." she twirls a thick curl around one finger, looking thoughtful. "I imagine my parents would take to it a little better than they took to the thought of living off poker winnings." She pauses, and then adds as if she feels the need to reassure him, "But I could make a great living off my poker winnings."

"Well, how about ya give it a try, then? Ah bet ya'd probably end up spending most of yer time in the resort working, anyway, and who knows, ya might end up with a dragon. Dhonzayth and Ah'd be thrilled ta support ya on the Sands." L'ton rambles a bit as she seems to not quite get it. "Of course, if ya want ta stick ta yer poker winnings, Ah suppose that's fine too." He teases.

"What's that?" Jainika pauses thoughtfully, furrowing her eyebrows and eyeing L'ton suspiciously. "What, are you really asking?" She chuckles as if he's trying to tease. "Maybe it'd help me grow up a little," she adds jocularly.

"Ah wouldn't joke, cause if'n yer a Candidate, there's no chance of getting ta know ya… better." L'ton teases her with a wink. "Though, sometimes Ah think Dhonzayth does it on purpose, but he says ya seem interesting, and that's 'nuff." Oh, the spying of dragons through their rider's eyes. "If'n ya want ta think about it, that's fine too, really."

"Oh." A slow grin spreads across Jainika's face, and her tone turns wry. "Is he trying to keep me out of the way, then? That's hardly fair." She pretends to pout and sigh. "I never like to keep anyone from getting to know me, but I'm a smart enough to know a good chance when I'm offered it. Can't hurt to say yes, can it? Nothing to lose, plenty to gain."

"Ah'll just have ta look forward ta getting ta know ya after the eggs hatch, or maybe after the new lifemate ya find is all grown up. But, they do say that good things are worth the wait, hm?" L'ton's gaze hovers on the young woman for a moment, before grinning more widely. "That's the right answer. When ya get done eating, we can move all yer stuff over, though Ah dun think it'll be too much different. But ya can't spend all them poker winnings on drinks, ya know."

Jainika straightens her posture a bit, trying not to preen too much as she returns his grin. "They certainly do. I'm sure we'll get along just fine til then." She returns her attention to her fish, trying to finish up without eating too quickly. "Mm, I'm a smart girl. That sounds like a plan …" She chuckles. "I'll save up my marks like a good girl." She continues with a wink, "Maybe I'll buy something nice to either celebrate or cheer myself up after the hatching."

"Good ta hear that it won't be ta much of a problem. Ah hate it when them boys cry cause they can't have their beer no more. It ain't fer /that/ long." L'ton comments, settling back in his chair, watching Jainika with a tilt of his head and then a smirk. "Aye, Ah have a good feeling 'bout ya. One way er the other though, Ah'll get ya a drink after the hatching, deal?"

Jainika gives a dismissively little wave of her hand, making a face at the talk of disappointed boys. "I like a good time, but I'm sure I'll find some proper ways to keep myself entertained without the alcohol. Can't always get what you want, mm?" Not that Jaine sounds entirely pleased about the prospect. She spears a steamed carrot, grinning and waggling her fork just slightly at L'ton at his offer. "Don't think I won't hold you to that, sir."

"Ain't no problem by me. Ah ain't got any qualms with sharing a drink with a cute girl, no matter what the circumstance is." One might say he even looks for stupid excuses to do so. "It'll be worth it in the end, ya know. Ah mean, its something lil fer the chance at a lot." His almost forgotten klah is sipped at for a long moment, before he's leaning back in his chair, rocking it slightly.

"And I'm usually very happy to accept drinks from handsome men." Jainika winks, then takes another bite of her vegetables and hums thoughtfully as she chews. She takes a quick swig of her juice after swallowing. "That's true …" She hums a little. "I suppose it'll be quite the experience either way." Jaine twirls at a curl again, mulling it over. "I've never really considered the prospect before."

L'ton beams some, as she winks, more than willing to accept whatever attention he can get, continuing to slowly rock his chair back and forth. "Ah never had, 'fer Ah was Searched either. Shards, Ah never really thought Ah'd see the Weyr til Ah was here. But, Ah'm real glad that Ah said yes, cause Ah dunno where Ah'd be without Dhonzayth." He shrugs a bit. "But, ya dun have ta think about it, cause now ya are a candidate." Convenient, that!

Jainika grins as his face brightens and seems pleased to keep piling on the attention; she nudges her plate out of the way as she finishes, leaning in a little as she does so. "I guess that's true, not a lot of consideration left for me to give it. I suppose we'll have to see what happens, mm?" The concept of Impression and what it might mean seems a little beyond her at this point. "I guess I'll have to be on my best behavior 'til after the hatching, eh? I had a couple of friends from the hold Searched once, they said it was a bit like apprenticing." She wrinkles hr nose a little. "Hopefully I'm better at it than I was at apprenticing."

L'ton drops the chair back to the ground with a dull thud, leaning to rest elbows on the table even as she does, fingers tapping on the tabletop absently. "Well, best behavior, as long as ya aren't getting caught. Ah mean, a slip up here or there ain't bad, as long as no one sees ya that's gonna tattle on ya." Bad Weyrsecond, encouraging trouble from the candidates? "Ah'm sure y'all be fine. There ain't nothing ta it, really."

Jainika rests her chin in her hands, trying her best not to look devious. "Oh, well then, that sounds quite a bit more manageable. My mother always said I was incorrigible," she muses. "I don't think I have it in me to be corrigible /all/ the time. But I'll do my best to be as interesting a candidate as your Dhonzayth thinks I can be." She winks, teasing. "It'll make that drink taste all the much better, I suppose."

L'ton looks left and right, before leaning more so that he's less than an arm's length from Jainika, voice dropping practically to a whisper. "If'n ya need a drink before that, Ah think Ah can manage ta find one fer ya. Though, we may have ta go visit someone else, so there ain't no questions asked about a candidate drinking. But, might be good fer a candidate ta see stuff, ta." Oh, the excuses that L'ton can make. "Ah look forward ta seeing what ya have up yer sleeves."

Jainika can't suppress a wicked grin as L'ton leans in, her voice low and sultry as she responds. "I can't imagine I'd say no to that … I'm sure you could show me some fabulous things." She tucks her hair back behind her ears again. "I'll try to be as interesting as /you/ find me too, then."

"Only if'n ya want ta be, mah dear. Ah dun wanna make ya risk ta much, but Ah think there's some places ya'd enjoy, especially if'n ya've not gotten ta see much besides the Hold and here yet. Ah know how surprised the first time Ah got ta see stuff, and now visiting's more fun than anything else." Reaching out to absently pat at the young woman's hand, he gives her a wide smile before settling back in his chair. "One evening, when ya dun have chores then - well go someplace good. But, if'n yer done, we'll get ya settled now?"

"It would be nice to get away from the Island for once," Jainika replies agreeably, leaning back in her seat again. "You can tour me around some of your favorite places." She twists her hair back into a tight bun, then finishes her juice before nodding in agreement. "I think I'm all set. Lead the way!"

L'ton leaves his half-finished klah with his papers, quickly getting to his feet to head towards the lower caverns, motioning her along with him. "This way, mah dear. Get ya all settled. And think of places ya wanna see, and Ah'll see what Ah can do hm? And then its down towards the barracks.

Ista Weyr - Candidate Barracks(#1737RAJ$)

Jainika trails after L'ton as he leads her into the barracks; she smooths her shirt down idly, noting the curtain with a mild smile. "I'll start making a list, then."

"Ah look forward ta it. Just dun be short with it, deal?" And then he's motioning to one side of the barracks with a grin, pausing inside the door. "Take yer pick, and settle down. And remember what Ah told ya, and ya'll be fine." A duck of his head, and he arches an eyebrow. "Ah should get back ta work, though, if'n ya dun mind, missy."

Jainika grins and nods, looking decidedly pleased. "I promise I won't." She goes to pick through the cots to find one that's to her liking, biting back a pout as he excuses himself. "If I did," she retorts, winking, "I'm polite enough not to say. Thank y'kindly for the opportunity, L'ton … don't work too hard. And if you ever need a hand with those tours, let me know."

"Ah'll have ta take ya up on that, Ah think, if'n they keep up the way they are." And then with a glance at the other there, and a waggle of the fingers at Jainika, he's sneaking out, with a final 'Good Luck' tossed over his shoulder.

Jainika grins, tempering her mischievous smile as she takes note of the others. After another little wave she finally settles on a cot, and as the reality of her decision settles in, she looks a bit bewildered. "Well then."

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