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Ladies who Lunch

Time: Lunchtime, day 18, month 1, turn 23.
Place: The Glass Fountain.
Players: Ebeny, Jantha.
Scene: Jantha tells Ebeny something about her new situation.




It's lunchtime, though early in that period - so early that the staff are still finishing their preparations and the Fountain has only a handful of guests as yet. Jantha is one of them, the brownrider seated at a table but with no food or drink in front of her as yet, and murmurs a few words to dissuade one of the staff who wants her to order. Then she looks around curiously, her gaze drawn to the eponymous water feature.

Yes, she's late, though not by much. Even so, from the slightly dishevelled look of her, it seems that Ebeny's way of remedying being behind schedule has involved a dash through unfamiliar, foreign, caverns and quite possibly a detour or two before the greenrider slows her pace as she finds where she's looking for and thankfully doesn't make a scene by running across the room. Cautiously, she wanders through, peering around booths and across at tables until she locates who she's kept waiting. "I'm so sorry," she says earnestly, finally approaching Jantha's table. "I know I'm late... Am I very late?"

Jantha smiles as she stands to greet her visitor. "Not at all - I think I'm a little early, in fact. Are you well?" She gestures, open-palmed, towards a seat, then settles herself neatly back into her own chair. "How are you and Laurienth keeping? It's been a while since we last met." They've seen each other a few times since the awkward encounter in a High Reaches guest weyr.

Sliding into the offered seat, Ebeny settles down opposite the brownrider and smiles ruefully. "Yes, thank you. It's a little unsettling when you find that your daughter is of an age where she can communicate that, no, you may not go on sweeps and leave her in the nursery much better than when she was younger, but otherwise..." She shrugs and smiles again, continuing, "Laurienth is enjoying the winter skies /far/ too much. I expect to have to peel her off the floor of the bowl every other day." The greenrider catches her elbows up against the edge of the table and leans a little. "Yourself and Imoth?"

Jantha's lips are pressed together for a moment before she answers that inevitable question. "Imoth is flourishing. We have a new weyr, and he's really appreciating having his own ledge rather than having to sit in the Bowl all the time. Personally, I'm not so happy about it, but the move was inevitable, and getting the place sorted out is keeping me occupied. I suspect I'm going to find that I have far too much time on my hands."

After the briefest of glances, green eyes resting only momentarily at Jantha's shoulder and an altered knot, Ebeny's gaze turns a little troubled. "I heard that you had a new Weyrleader... I'm not sure that I could appreciate someone who... started throwing their weight around so quickly," she murmurs, voice kept deliberately quiet, given surroundings. "But I'm glad Imoth finds it all decent enough, at least. Did you get a nice weyr in the end? Good view, that sort of thing?"

"It's quite high up," Jantha replies with a brief nod. "The view is actually rather splendid, but the place is very chilly. Being a southerner, I don't really appreciate that. I'm forever making up the fire. The accommodation is smaller than I'm used to, but not bad. At least, the part that I occupy is smaller - it's actually got two reasonably-sized rooms, but Imoth's wallow more or less fills the outer one, and besides, it's too cold to spend any time in that at this time of year. Still, having more space seems to be a privilege of rank here, so...." She gives a twitch of her shoulders that isn't quite a shrug, then goes on with a dry chuckle, "At Southern I had quite a large cottage from straight after weyrlinghood, but actually having a roof on it came later."

"I guess you'll be needing a lot of rugs and walls coverings and things..." Ebeny muses quietly. "Or partitions to try and stop the heat from escaping? I'll quite happily sit out on our ledge in a blizzard, so I'm probably not great with logical thought when it comes to keeping heat in." Her eyes narrow slightly, gaze going distant for a while, and she laughs suddenly, explaining, "I'm sorry - I must have this all wrong - but now I'm wondering what you did when it rained. With the no roof. The picture I've painted here," she lifts a hand and taps one finger to her temple, "is quite odd." Her head tilts a little and she adds, "Or did it just not rain?"

Jantha chuckles at that. "Oh, it rained. One thing Southern has in abundance, is rain. I camped out on Stasha's floor for a couple of months while the group of us that were helping each other got round to doing my roof. She had a roof but no windows, which was a bit easier to manage. T'mel had a roof and windows, but holes in the floor, and J'orel had a roof too, but it was turf and the beams had rotted, so it sagged." She waves a forefinger in the air to indicate the shape of the ridge. "That one was interesting. We left his and mine until last, so that we got the experience, and roped in one of the greenriders who'd been a joiner to show us what to do. When do new riders get their own weyrs at Reaches?" She looks up at the waiter who has appeared by her elbow to take their orders.

With more laughter threatening to bubble over, Ebeny takes a breath to respond and almost ends up giggling at the poor waiter, who eventually gets an order for a fried vegetable dish out of her when she's asked. When it's safe and she might not inadvertently insult anyone, she says, "That sounds so stressful that I might have hidden from rain thereafter for the rest of my life," in a teasing tone. "We got ours about halfway through weyrlinghood, actually. Mine wasn't in a great state of disrepair, but there was lots left behind by a previous occupant. Wallow was filled with stuffed animals. And Laurienth was determined to /keep/ them."

Jantha orders a grain-based vegetable dish that she's fond of, and some redfruit juice. The waiter quietly vanishes, while Jantha looks at Ebeny with the first genuine smile that's been seen on her face for quite a few days. "Stuffed animals! Dear me! You do mean children's toys, I take it, rather than taxidermy? I've really never seen the point in that, and it would be very ghoulish." Still smiling, she nods. "Yes, part-way through weyrlinghood is how they've always done it here."

"Faranth, yes, children's toys," Ebeny assures, nodding a good few times. "If they'd been real animals, I'd have been camping down in the bowl for a long while before I found the heart to look at them or throw them out. I might never have taken to the place at all." It takes her a little while longer to suppress laughter completely, it leaving only a bright smile to be seen. "There were dolls too. I managed to sneak most of them to stores eventually, when I thought Laurienth wasn't 'looking'." Just how well that all went might be understood from how her smile takes on a wry edge. "So, you'll be doing more dragonhealing? Or did they put you with a heavy-duty wing?"

"I'm actually doing exactly the same as I was doing for the last couple of months - I'd just started getting set up for the new clutch when T'kyn called me in," Jantha explains, then looks up with a word of thanks as the waiter delivers her drink to the table. "I'm flying with Malachite, which is a search and rescue wing, but they don't drill that intensively, and I've a lighter duty by way of sweeps and the like to make space for the dragonhealing. I'm spending about half my time on that and half on wing duties. In comparison with running a weyrling class, it's quite relaxing." She adds with a slightly bemused expression, "I don't really know what to make of life being relaxing for the whole of the foreseeable future."

"I suppose... it must be odd... I mean, wanting something to do, but something to do meaning that sometimes someone has to get hurt and that's /never/ really a good thing, but then these things have to happen for... things to happen." And Ebeny finally remembers that breathing is required and breaths should be taken between sentences. "Laurienth could show up and make a scene every now and then. She's good at that," she jokes, shaking her head a little. "...Do you get to teach? That could be fun. Less relaxing. Kind of like having weyrlings, but... not. Grown-up dragons might be ready to listen with their riders though."

Jantha chuckles. "I haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing one of Laurienth's scenes, unless you count the flight. That certainly changed my afternoon's plans," She's smiling, though, clearly not put out. "And I think I shall get to teach, yes. There's a girl who's interested in studying with me, and one of the weyrwomen has expressed an interest in learning more, too - though that was a while ago, and I don't know whether she's still wanting to do it. T'zhar, who's the senior dragonhealer, doesn't mind having trainees around, but he no longer wants to teach himself, so I think that's going to work out. And there's always the garden. I haven't shown you my patch of herb-garden yet - but this really isn't the weather to see it at its best."

"Unless you're willing to risk re-enacting that particular scene, I'd stay away from the 'Reaches for a few days past the end of this seven," Ebeny warns, voice dry, but then there's that laughter again, only very faintly embarrassed, and she dips her head. Sober again when she looks back up, she nods. "If word gets around, you might find yourself with more students interested in dragonhealing. It's a skill that more people should have, really. I don't know; maybe in an ideal world you'd want a handful of people per wing to know what they're doing in that respect. Just in case. That sort of thing." She lifts a shoulder, adding, "We could always look at the garden today and then I could randomly appear in the spring and be impressed with progress. ...Plants do their growing in the spring, right...?" She really does seem rather clueless about that much; her question quite genuine. She's prevented from asking any others by the arrival of food since, well, it'd be rude to talk on and ignore the waiter.

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