Main Beach - Monaco Weyr

This long black sand beach extends as far as the eye can see in the west, but is broken to the east by the mouth of Monaco River. The sand sprawls in different formations; flat here near the Weyr buildings, with a slight fordune and then a broken basalt flat leading back up to the buildings. Wavy, rolling dunes rise across the river farther east. Occasional gusts of wind laden with sharp salt and mustier river scents riffle lighter sand over the flat beach, and from the quay at the western bank of the rivermouth comes the faint ring of clapper against bell.

X'dros corrects, "Cedeth is too busy cuddling next to Taliath to want to come out into the dark." He and the shadowy shape of Valenti are sitting on the beach, apparently oblivious to the late hour and lack of light. "X'dros," he adds, half-twisting in the direction of Valenti's wave. "Cedeth's lifemate, if you hadn't guessed."

Elfarran walks down from the terrace, and towards the water, looking as if she were intending to take a swim. "Oh, good evening. I didn't expect to find anyone here so late." There is a lingering scent of firestone about her, and she sounds a bit tired.

Valenti chuckles. "My duty to your Cedeth. Cuddling is certainly a viable way to spend the night." As an afterthought she offers, "I'm Val. How about you two? Pardon me, three." Brown eyes turn inquisitively to S'rian and Elfarran, and she notes cheerfully, "Turning into a downright mini-Gather out here."

Hearing the murmer of voices above the call of the waves, Shad turns and looks in the direction of X'dros and Valenti. He was obviously thinking of taking a dip in the water as he's dressed only in sandals and long swimming shorts. As he's addressed by the girl on the ground, he makes a quick trot toward the pair. "I'm Shad," he says without thinking and then quickly corrects, "S'rian. Kejeth here's my lifemate." The bronze is equally distracted by those speaking and turns toward them. "Well met, Val, but you must not get out much if you think 4 people are anything close to a gather," he adds with a chuckle.

"S'rian?" X'dros echoes, lifting an arm toward the other bronzerider. "Compared to what this beach is usually like this late at night, this /is/ a Gather." He chuckles at his own wit before leaning back, arms propping him away from the sand. "Well met to you, Val - that's not a name I'm familiar with. What brings you to Monaco?"

Elfarran pauses on her way to the water, and smiles a bit, "I'm Elfarran, well met." She shrugs a little and flops down on the sands for a moment, at least, "Well, I wasn't planning on doing more then try to wash the dust from my hair.

S'rian returns the wave to X'dros and grins at the other man's humor, "I suppose that's true. I was hoping to have it all to myself, but I don't mind sharing." He turns to consider Elfarran, not recognizing her, "What're you so messy from?" he asks her, but then when the wind blows her 'perfume' in his direction, he coughs. "Ahh, firestone."

Valenti's quiet laugh echoes over the water. "That's more or less precisely what I was going to say. You're right though, Shad- I get out, but not too often to a Gather-worthy location." There's almost no pause before she deadpans, "Trade caravan brought me." With a wink for X'dros, she gives Elfarren a pleasant nod. "Well met and all that. Hey, nothing like bathing under the moonlight. The boys /love/ it," she adds in a conspiratorial whisper toward the girl.

Elfarran nods wryly, then looks at the other girl, her skin looking suspiciously darker as she laughs, "I can imagine." Then she looks at S'rian, "Well, that's what my group was doing for chores today, and its good practice, though not exactly easy."

S'rian nods his own admission, "I like swimming at night, but then, I like swimming anytime." As for Elfarran's comment about chores, he raises a brown eyebrow at her. "Candidate chores?" he asks, trying to make out the color of her shoulder knot, if she's got one on, "Or has Murione decided to put the Weyrbrats to work on firestone at last?" He makes it sound like a prime idea and raises a hand to rub his chin, "In case she hasn't I may just mention that to her."

Elfarran giggles merrily, "Oh, I'm a candidate, sir. And before that, I was a healer apprentice." She stretches out her legs, tiredly, "I've never been a weyrbrat, and I'm too old, anyways."

X'dros says "Oh, have you been Searched again, Elfarran? Congratulations! But isn't there a curfew? Shouldn't you be in bed?"

Valenti peers throught the darkness at Elfarran, curious. "What were you doing with enough firestone to cover yourself in dust?"

Elfarran nods wryly, "But I couldn't sleep, not with the smell, and it just doesn't seem to want to come out." She smiles at X'dros, "Thank you, though, sir." She nods to Valenti, "And I had to bag up firestone and keep it neat."

S'rian laughs at the young girl and shakes his head, "Too old? Hardly!" As the quartet have been trading banter, Kejeth has continued to creep up behind them until his large head is hanging only a finger's bredth above his lifemate's. Shad reaches up to thunk his dragon in the chin. "Watch it, you," he warns, but the bronze rumbles disagreement. "You know what works on that, candidate," he addresses Elfarran already having forgotten her name if she said it, "A few ripe tomatoes mixed with pungent prickleberry blossoms clear it right out."

Valenti covers her mouth to smother a laugh, eyes dancing. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, Elfarran, you don't smell /that/ bad." Of course, Val's upwind. "And just what do you do with that, Sh- S'rian? You'd have all your bunkmates hungry smelling that!"

Elfarran giggles softly and nods to S'rian, "I just want to get a good swim, sir, and I'm older then I look." She gets back to her feet and pads into the waves, "I suppose I should get my swim now, though, so I can get back and get my sleep."

"If you've just arrived," X'dros offers to Valenti, "You probably don't have a place to stay yet? I could walk you to the cotholds, if you like. Are you heading back to where ever it is you came from?"

Valenti chuckles, glancing round toward X'dros. "I thought you were too drunk to walk," she teases. "Actually, I found the cotholds and have been bedding down there. Well, sort of. If you need help getting back to your weyr, though, I suppose I could lend a shoulder to lean on," she offers politely.

X'dros waggles a finger at Val. "Too drunk to navigate the steps, I said," he corrects playfully. "I certainly haven't had enough that I can't walk. How long have you been at Monaco, then? When /did/ the last tithe train arrive?" He cranes around to look first at S'rian, then Elf, as if expecting them to know.

Valenti shakes her head, bending forward to draw idle patterns in the sand with a finger. "I don't do tithe trains unless I'm desperate for marks. Came with traders. As for how long ago..." She thinks back, cocking her head. "Four Falls now? Or five. Usually," she waves a hand in the vague direction of the nearest forestry, "I'm out there."

"I'm sorry, I didn't know." Elfarran says softly, looking towards X'dros, before stepping a bit further into the waves.

S'rian shrugs his shoulders at X'dros, having no clue when things like tithe trains come around. "I should pay more attention to that. I need to get some furniture for my cot." The idea is muttered more to himself than X'dros, but it gets the point across. Kejeth suddenly interjects with a grunt at X'dros and juts his chin at Valenti, as if to say you can't take that with you.

"Not safe," X'dros intones with a shake of his head as he idly watches Elf-in-the-waves. "Neither is that, come to think of it. Sure you wouldn't rather be doing that in the waterfall pools, Elf?" he calls toward the girl. "Undertow can be a bit tricky sometimes."

Elfarran looks up and grins, "I suppose, but I like swimming in the ocean, its what I grew up with." A wave rushes up and gets her in the belly, "And I'm not too deep." She crouches a little and starts working the sea water through her hair.

Valenti's lips quirk in a crooked smile. "What's not safe? Being out there or hunting down furniture? It's all a matter of perspective." A quick glance of concern is sent after Elfarran, who starts to be watched a bit more closely. Not that Val's silly enough to dive into an undertow herself should the girl get sucked under. Half an eye settles on Kejeth. "It wasn't me smelling, if that's what he's commenting on. Or does he think it's unsafe out there too?"

The midnight beach is full, it seems - Elfarran's out in the waves, bathing, while X'dros and Valenti are sitting together on the sand. S'rian and Kejeth are to one side of X and Val.

Kasmira kicks up some sand as she walks down from the terrace, not really looking where she is going. She has a towel slung over one shoulder, and a small bucket in her hand. "It's always unsafe at night," X'dros says seriously. "Mostly because of the rocks and things waiting to trip you." More rocks, of course, cluster about the feet of the tipsy. "But I meant being away from the Weyr. You're welcome to stay in the cotholds."

Elfarran is crouched in the water, scrubbing at her hair. Its obvious she's crouched, because she stands back up and nods to Kasmira, "Good evening." before returning to trying to wash firestone smell from her.

Valenti inclines her head. "I appreciate that. And it's nice to have a base of operations for a while. Oh, you're right, of course. It's not particularly a good thing to go wandering the jungle if you don't know what you're doing." Her tone implies she does- a simple statement of fact. She flashes a sudden grin. "Just call me the adventurous type, I guess."

S'rian shrugs as he looks up at the bottom of the jaw that lingers above his head. "Couldn't say, really, sometimes he just likes to get into the middle of things." That gets a resounding grump from Kejeth, who still keeps his nose trained on Valenti. He's not sniffing, so it must not be due to her scent. Instead, it seems he's interested in something else. S'rian frowns and looks over to X'dros, but with no help from that quarter, he reaches a hand back up to commune with his lifemate. Large whirling cerulean orbs dispel the darkenss as Kejeth finds something decidedly interesting about the girl. "Nope, you don't stink," Shad replies, "In fact, Kejeth thinks you'd be a great addition to the candidate class." That said, the bare-chested bronzerider straightens up and declares formally, "Val, would you do Monaco Weyr the honor of standing for Rievoth and Rugarth's latest clutch?"

Kasmira answers, "Evening. Not interrupting anything, am I?" She sits on her heels, beginning to scoop dry sand into the bucket. But with S'rian's words, she looks over and grins. "Oh, I'm sorry for you now!"

There's a bit of a pause on Val's part, then her voice fills with wry humor. "Y'know, Mum always said if I made statements like that, I'd be called upon to prove it one of these days." She tips back a little to get a better look at the bronze and his rider, somewhat stunned. Kids always dream about how they'd strike a pose and the bold words they'd come up with in a situation like this; funny how she can't remember a single one. "Do Monaco the honor? Heh. Wait'll you get to know me. /I'd/ be honored, of course!" A laugh meets Kasmira's words. "Yeah. Firestone dust..."

Kasmira is still filling her bucket with sand, laughs back to Valenti, "And burning feet. Angry queens... Chores."

Elfarran looks up from the waves and blinks, then smiles wryly, "I still wouldn't trade it for the world." She ducks down under the water completely, closing her eyes first.

"Now then, ...Kasmira, right?" X'dros corrects with a chuckle, still leaning back on his arms and still apparently at peace with the world, "Rievoth's not the angry type. She's nothing like Leyrith." He adds to Val with an approving nod, "That'll keep you out of trouble. Congratulations."

S'rian points a grin in Valenti's direction and steps forward to offer her a hand up from the sand. "Not that I'd really say congratulations seeing as how you'll soon be bagging firestone with Elfarran here, but we are indeed honored to have you." The formality finally peters out as X'dros mentions the L-word. "Not nice, X'dros. True, but still."

Elfarran's head pokes back out of the water as she stands, then pads back out of the waves, squeezing her hair out.

Kasmira nods to X'dros. "It's Kasmira, yes. And Candidacy never kept S'renn out of trouble, if I remember aright!" Or Kas, either - but she doesn't mention that. Just picks up her pail and does to wetten the sand she's heaped inside.

Valenti drops a handful of small stone and dusts her hands off before accepting the hand up. "Thanks..." She glances toward Kasmira a touch apprehensively. "I think." X'dros gets an utterly innocent look. "Why, X'dros, I /always/ stay out of trouble. Really." The girl starts to chuckle. "So much for the cotholds, eh?"

X'dros gazes up at the other bronzerider, unperturbed. "Why is it not nice to point out that Rievoth is nothing like Leyrith? Leyrith's not much like Zabrenevath, for that matter, if you accept Ana's decision that Cedeth sired both of them."

S'rian assist the girl with a pull to get her on her feet before dropping her hand once more. No fraternizing with candidates, you know. "No cothold for you, Val, you're off to the far more noisy and uncomfortable barracks," so Shad says with a twinkle in his eye and a laugh in his voice. "Leyrith's not like any dragon I know, thankfully," adds as fact, "But she's not intolerable by far." Maybe it's just because of his own personal relationship with the gold's rider.

Valenti gives the riders a curious look for this discussion of female dragon personalities, shakes her head at herself, then glances around. "Ah, if you could just point me in the direction of the barracks, I'll get my stuff and stow it."

"Faranth, no!" X'dros laughs right along with the other man. "She just has a mind of her own." He shakes his head and finally rises, spending some moments dusting the sand off his hands and breeches. "Like all of them, really. Congratulations again, Val - I'll let S'rian get you settled into the barracks." Which means he's wandering over toward Kasmira and her wet sand.

Speaking of settling Val in the barracks, S'rian seems ready to do just that. "If you're ready, we can go get you placed there now." Kejeth bugles as his good deed done for the day. Actually, knowing Kej, that's probably his good deed for the week. "Would you like to follow me?"

Elfarran blinks slowly, standing and still squeezing the water from her hair and brushing it off of her now soaked clothes.

Kasmira drops herself unceremoniously onto the sand, spilling her wetter sand out. She reaches out, heaping it up. "Anyone else good at making sandholds?"

Valenti grins at the bugle. "Yes, you've got wonderful taste, Kejeth. Ah, lemme grab my stuff, S'rian? Er, 'sir', I suppose it is now." Moving off toward the cotholds, she calls back, "Thanks again, X'dros. Oh, it's officially 'Valenti'. I just like Val better." The darkness swallows her up.

X'dros wonders as he crouches down next to Kirano's sister, "What in Faranth's name are you doing making Sandholds after midnight?"

Kasmira hesitates, hands covered with sand. "You know - that is actually a very good question." She glares at the sand accusingly - maybe it knows? "I just had an urge to wander - and I found this bucket and... well. Are you any good at them, Rider?"

X'dros only shakes his head with a thin smirk. "Not this late. You sure you're feeling well? ...For that matter, are you feeling well enough to try and help me navigate up the cliff? Cedeth's snuggling with Taliath and is pretending not to hear me."

Kasmira brushes her hands off, rising to her full, beanpole height. "Sure. I'll try, at least. If you go over the cliff... will they blame me?"

Elfarran finds a more or less damp place to sit down and looks out over the water thoughtfully, damp hair hanging in locks about her face.

X'dros gets to his feet as well, knees popping. "Most likely," he cheerfully agrees, turning to find S'rian again. "Well, S'rian? Will you blame Kasmira if I go over the cliff?"

S'rian laughs at her question and shakes his head at Kasmira's question, "Not in the least! In fact, they'll probably give you an award or something."

Elfarran looks over and up, "Everyone going on to sleep? Good night then." She looks back out over the water, seeming either tired or uncharacteristically moody. Kasmira reaches over to offer the unsteady rider a hand. "I like awards. Maybe another firelizard egg!" Wait a sec - is she /volunteering/ to toss him over the cliff?

X'dros isn't /that/ unsteady - but he lays his hand in Kasmira's anyway, fluttering his eyelashes at her like a bad-acting Harper apprentice. "You can have the next clutch of Maddy's that I find..." Dramatic pause, "Providing that you answer me but one question."

Matiaal ambles in from the western landing field, through the basalt flats.

Kasmira's eyes widen noticeably, and she glances at S'rian, stagewhispers, "No one told me there would be a test? All right, rider - what question?"

Elfarran is staring out at the dark ocean water, though, because of the darkness, no one can see her expression. She looks as if she's just gotten done with a swim, though.

X'dros waits another moment - dramatic pause, right? before leaning in to murmur loudly, "Will you do Monaco the honor of Standing again? Val's going to need someone to watch so she knows what to do." Of course, he might mean Val's supposed to watch Kas so she knows what /not/ to do, but he's too polite to say that. Really.

Matiaal comes strolling out, pushing a tanned hand through his golden locks, a whistling tune upon his crimson lips. Two firelizards are crooning along with him in tune, perched upon both of Matiaal's shoulders. The crafter walks over to the waterline, watching it.

Kasmira suddenly looks like /she/ might be in need of support, herself, for a second. "You can't really mean that - you want me to Stand again, after I..." After she what? Who knows? She's not going to finish that. "I mean... if you want me to /teach/ Val... I can do that, easily." Her eyes are bright with mischief by the end.

X'dros waggles a finger of his free hand. "Ah-ah. I want you to Stand again. You were Searched before, no reason for you not to be again." He pauses before adding, "Unless you're pregnant?"

Kasmira pats her stomach with her free hand, shakes her head. "Nobody home here but me. If you are certain, I'd be glad to stand."

X'dros doesn't honor the silly question with an answer, only turns to head up the beach, Kasmira's hand still in his. "Come along - you need to get settled into the barracks. I'll leave a note for S'renn saying when you were Searched, so you probably won't be woken up for early morning chores."

Elfarran actually sighs softly as she looks out over the water, before getting to her feet and wandering up and down the shore.

Kasmira makes a quick dive/bend to retrieve her bucket. "Maybe he'll even let me sleep late. Okay."

Matiaal blinks once Elfarran wanders his way, sapphire eyes peering out at her through the darkness, glittering. "Hello there." calls out Matiaal.

S'rian snorts as Kejeth trumpets at a second Searching, as if he did it or something. "I doubt it, but it's worth a shot. X'dros, you think you're gonna make it, or should I walk her over there?"

Elfarran stops and turns, regarding Matiaal for a moment, "Good evening." Before she turns back to her pacing.

Matiaal blinks at Elfarran, giving a small shrug as she turns away from him, eyes going back to the ocean.

X'dros snorts a laugh of 'Hah!', but stops playing X'dros-the-tugboat. "If you and Kejeth - shells, Kejeth, can you bugle any louder? - want to take Kasmira to the barracks, that'd be great. I'll give the cliffs a go on my own. Seems like I've finally waited long enough that I'm tired."

Elfarran pauses and regards X'dros, "Do you need help getting there? I know I'm a little short, but I'm strong enough. Be better than you falling over a cliff, certainly."

Kejeth doesn't have the temerity to look chagrined, but just half-prances in the sand. "Sure, I can take them both at the same time," he says, seeing Valenti wander about like a lost puppy. "You two girls want to follow me?"

Kasmira looks regretful. "I don't get a medal - just firestone dust, hot feet and chores..."

Close, but not quite. "Two?" Val inquires, hefting the pack on her back that carries just about everything she owns. "Oh, yeah, sure." She grins. "Still not sober, eh, X'dros."

X'dros waves off offers of help, dropping Kasmira's hand and moving away from the girl. "I should be fine, thank you. Thank you," he adds pointedly, looking about at the others. "I'll see you in drills tomorrow, S'rian?" Without waiting for a reply he heads toward the landing field, his path not at all wobbly.

S'rian's head bobs in reply to Val's question and he pokes a finger in Kasmira's direction. "Seems X'dros decided all the girls on the beach need to be candidates tonight." He waits for Kas to dust herself off, "Want to follow me?"

Kasmira nods. "Sure. Lead the way?"

Elfarran stops and stares off after the departing bronzerider, then with a glance at the others, suddenly seems to realize the time and drifts off towards the terrace and probably the barracks beyond.

Candidate Barracks - Monaco Weyr

These two structures feature open central rooms with triple tiers of bunks lining the walls. They are joined by a small tiled deck that bridges a narrow canal. They are filling with small numbers of candidates. The men are taking the structure on the east, females are settling into the bunks in the building nearest the commons.

S'rian ambles in from the wide green commons outside.

Valenti ambles in from the wide green commons outside.

Kasmira ambles in from the wide green commons outside.

S'rian escorts the girls into the candidate barracks, where all eyes suddenly turn upon the newest members of the troupe. "Here we are. I'll turn you over to those in charge." No names are named as the bronzerider is pretty much clueless about who has that honor. He's got other things to be worried about, like threadfall, yeah.

Starset has curled up ever so closely against himself upon one of the unoccupied cots, his chest rising and falling with every slow, sleepy breath, yet he doesn't awake as others enter.

Valenti cocks her head, glancing around. "Aw, can't watch the boys getting dressed. What a pity, what a pity." Grinning, she tosses S'rian a half-wave, half-salute. "That works. Thanks for... heh, well, everything."

Kasmira looks around, studying the room, then sets her sandbucket under one cot, effectively claiming it. "There's ways... Thanks from me, too."

Elfarran is sitting on her cot, drying her hair off with a towel. Taking up most of her cot is a large canine, who is asleep, "That would S'renn, sir." This is said quietly.

S'rian doesn't leave just yet, knowing he's supposed to do something else, "Oh yeah, pick out a cot. Make sure you keep it neat and clean. You'll have to work on making your robes for the hatching. Sometimes you can alter old ones, which I recommend highly." He scuffs a foot against the floor and adds, "Greet everyone according to the rank of their knot, unless they tell you otherwise. You'll be assigned chores. Those are listed on the chore board over there," he points for emphasis. "You're not allowed to leave the Weyr without a rider escort, and then only on rare occassions that are pre-approved. No drinking, no sex, no foul language." That last part he added of his own accord. "Oh yeah, and you're not allowed to take orders from anybody other than the people directly in charge of you, the Weyrwoman, and the Weyrleader. You don't have to listen to one word I say after I step foot out this door." There seems to be a certain irritated expression in his voice, but hard to place why. "But if you don't, be sure you might get reprimanded and/or punished for it."

"Any questions?" Shad asks, almost as an afterthought.

Valenti's eyebrows rise further and further at the listing. "Punished?" she murmurs warily.

Kasmira shakes her head. "No questions, here."

S'rian nods at Valenti, "That's right, Val. I can't speak for other riders, but they'll likely be offended if you ignore any reasonable request." He shrugs and raises a hand to scratch behind one ear, "You might get extra chores, a stern talking-to, or the right just might box your ears on the spot. Depends."

Valenti's eyes widen. "Ow. Note to self: play along with reasonable requests. Gotcha. Thanks for the tip."

S'rian looks from one girl to the next and then seems reasonably satisfied with what he sees. "Not a problem. Keep stuff clean, do your work, and get plenty of rest. You'll need it. Any of you complain about the work now, you better hope you don't Impress." That said, Shad's got places to be.

- Sometime Later -

Teague, idly munching on a redfruit, wanders back into the barracks and seats himself on the edge of a cot. "Hey," he calls, light-toned as he drifts a lazy gaze around the place.

Kasmira looks up from where she's seated, answers, "Hello... and good morning - is it morning, yet?"

Elfarran looks up and smiles almost wistfully, "Hello." She is sitting on the edge of her bunk, working on fixing a pulled seam in one of her tunics.

A glance back outside, and Teague supposes, "Give it a few more hours, Kasmira," to the gloaming before dancing his eyes, a flashing smile, back toward the two other Candidates. "How're things, both of you?" he then wonders.

Kasmira flops back on her bed, voice moree muffled. "I've got to sleep at some point - but I'm all right. What about you?"

Elfarran shrugs slightly, "I'm fine." She doesn't really sound fine, but it might be because its still really early, really.

That flashing grin of Teague's turns more contemplative as he strays his attention toward Elfarran, but as he stretches out on his own bunk, as he laces his fingers behind his head, he muses, "Oh, I'm alright; no real complaints, and I've managed to avoid most of the riders 'cept for S'renn. Shards does *he* like the sound of his own voice. Wonder if he was a Harper, once upon a time."

Kasmira rolls her eyes. "No joke. We were Candidates with him last clutch - by the end of it..."

Teague gathers his weight up onto his elbows, the better to peer over toward Kasmira. "You've done this before?" he prompts.

Kasmira nods. "This is the second time I have been Searched. Maybe this time..." She sounds wistful, for a moment. "But that's up to the dragons."

Elfarran looks up and speaks, "Actually, he wanted to be a harper, before he got searched and impressed."

"That," Teague decides, more in answer to Elfarran now, "figures. I've never met people who weren't Harpers or wannabe-Harpers who weren't in love with the sound of their own voice." He lifts his shoulders in a lazy shrug at that, punctuation to the statement, and though he continues to watc Elfarran with a measure of contemplation, he does eventually shift his attention back toward Kasmira. "So you must know all the best ways to dodge work, hm?"

Kasmira laughs. "Yes, but you have to come up with your own. S'renn might know all of mine.

"You shouldn't try to dodge your work. You get to do it for a reason, so that if you impress, you're ready." Elfarran shakes her head a little, still perched on her cot, "Young dragons take alot of work, because they can't do alot of it for themselves, and you have to do it."

Duncan wanders in, a very distinct smell wafting after him. His face is still into a grimace and he's wiping at his hands with a towel at something that doesn't seem to be there anymore. He's also muttering to himself quite a bit, but not very loudly. He heads toward his bunk and sits down on it.

Amusement strikes into Teague's expression there, and he echoes those few words: "I 'get' to do it, hm? Like it's a priviledge to be a drudge." Once more he lifts his shoulders in a shrug, and, "Suppose I don't really want to Impress, Elfarran? What if I'd be happier as a Healer?" he wonders.

Elfarran regards Teague and actually smiles a little, "As if that isn't hard work, too? And its not going to be less when you pass a turn or two."

"Yeah," Teague can agree, but nonetheless argues, "At least that's work I *want* to be doing." Still, he puts back on that jovial smile, and tips a wordless nod of greeting to Duncan, Willow, and Virikes all.

Duncan picks up his beanbags and doesn't even flip them around. He just puts them back in the pouch at his waist, then lays back to listen to the conversation.

Willow flits to the perch and promptly curls up to sleep.

With a polite nod to people as they wake up, Elfarran stretches out on her cot, looking alot quieter then usual. The canine moves over, woofing softly.

Starset emits a light sigh, and sprawls out upon the unoccupied bunk which he has clamed as his own, yet remains asleep.

With Elfarran withdrawing from their conversation, Teague draws a breath and lets his attention stray over toward Duncan -- Duncan and those beanbags, just now put away. "Hey," he greets.

Duncan looks around. "Anyone know how to get the smell of baby poop to go away? "Baby... poop?" Teague echoes, uncomprehending. "What, did you fall in some?"

Duncan shakes his head. "I'm working in the nursery. It reeks of it in there. I'd rather be working on numbweed. No, I'd rather be staked in the middle of a thousand numbweed rendering pots with the wind blowing directly at me. This is foul and it's all sticky and stinky. And I swear, I'm gonna start juggling small children pretty soon. All this crying is a bad nasty thing." Ooh, not a good day in the nursery, it sounds...

Elfarran looks as if she is falling asleep, "Children aren't so bad."

Duncan scowls at Elfarran. "Spoken like a girl. Children are okay when they're of the age to help out. But when they're this young, all they are is eating and pooping machines."

More mirth slips into Teague's expression, and, "I've been on kitchen duty," he confides. "The trick to getting out of the hard work is to be a total fumble-fingers. Burn something, drop crockery, whatever -- they'll put you to work peeling tubers, and leave you alone."

Elfarran actually sits up, looking -annoyed?- "And what do you think you'll do when you impress? Leave your life mate to become constipated, or let his or her wallow become nasty because you don't want to mess with it?"

Duncan just boggles at Teague. "These are babies. If you drop one, they --" He breaks off. "Well, if I dropped one, they'd probably NEVER let me near another one..." He looks thoughtful. Wuh-oh.

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