Who: Cayri, I'neph, Soriane
When: Day 8, Month 1, Turn 443
Where: Residential Hallway, Fort Weyr
What: I'neph knows a secret.
This long, straight tunnel branches off from the main corridor of the lower caverns, heading due east. It's generally warmer than the rest of the lower caverns, somehow being nearer to the Weyr's natural inner heat source. Doors are spaced at irregular intervals, some marked by small placards and others left bare. Many of them are simply locked and appear to have been that way for a number of turns to judge the rust of the locks themselves.
At the end of the corridor is a large dormitory with cots for weyrfolk who don't have their own rooms. The only tunnel-like entrance, no door or placard marking it, branches off about halfway down the hall, leading to the public baths.
I'neph.........6', athletic; olive skin, dark brown eyes & hair; early 20s.
Bathing Room..................[N] Dormitory.....................[S]
Inner Caverns.................[W] Rooms.........................[R]
It's during one of those lulls in the evening that Soriane can be found walking slowly down the hallway toward the resident dorms. She's doing that thing where she walks and reads at the same time; all that practice must have paid off because she's also /eating/ while she walks and reads. Her hair is damp as well, and her skin just slightly flushed. A basket of toiletries hangs from the crook of one elbow, likely evidence of where she's coming from.
Loitering near the entrance to the dorms is I'neph, in light conversation with a friend of his, another handyman. However, when they both glance toward the approacher, Soriane, I'neph offers a good-bye and sends the other man inside with a clap on his back. Then, turning, he stuffs his hands in his pockets and sets off down the hallway, toward the girl. When he brushes past her, he remarks casually, "Hey, Sarei," and keeps right on walking.
Soriane, without thinking, looks up with a smile and the beginnings of a chipper hello when she spots someone who /isn't/ the someone she expected. Glaring fit to kill, she stalks after I'neph. All matter of earlier distraction forgotten, she swipes at the bronzerider's head with the rolled up end of her hide, "How dare you!"
I'neph, turning at the sound of footsteps behind him, wipes his easy grin off his face at the first blow of that hide. Ducking and throwing his hands up to ward off further blows, he skitters away from Soriane. "Hey, no--stop that--what's your /problem/, woman?" he demands in innocence.
Soriane doesn't relent, not immediately. She seeks to land at least two more swats before coming almost nose to nose with him, "How dare you! I knew I didn't like you when I first met you and now... now that!" Waving the rolled up hide out to her side, Soriane quickly says, "How did you find out? You tell me this instant or I'll-" Threats are always best left to the imagination!
I'neph winces, ducking again at the continued swatting. He doesn't even straighten when Soriane stops, eyeing her--rather, her hide--warily. "Faranth, woman. What is it about this Weyr that brings out the crazy in women? All I say is 'hey' and you go chasing me around, swatting like I'm a trundlebug!" Because it's never his fault. He certainly isn't answering her question.
"You said my name. Don't you dare act innocent," Soriane says with a huff of air and a very, very undignified pout, "What is it you want then, hm? Money? You're just the type that would go and do that, you know." Soriane doesn't spare I'neph the threat of that hide and does keep it well within view.
I'neph takes a step back from Soriane, brown eyes still innocently wide as he stares at her. "I thought girls /liked/ it when you knew their name? Faranth, now you're trying to bribe me to forget it? I'll never understand you people. "Too bad you're not a rider after all--except, well. Us guys are still the only ones that've been shortening them, right?" He offers her his most charming smile, one somewhat undermined by the wary way he backs up again, watching the hide. "You know, I'm sure if you'll just put that away we can sort this out like reasonable people," he suggests helpfully.
"I already offered you money. If you think you're getting anything else you'd better just stop it right now." Soriane, still huffy, all but demands of I'neph. The hide, however, does get pulled away and down to her side. Whispering quietly, she asks, "Who told you that was my real name?"
I'neph glances around the hallway, up and down it, before scooting out of the middle of the road and gesturing for Soriane to follow. This time, at least, he has the decency to lower his voice slightly. "J'tei, of course. I mean, he's the only one who knew you from then, right? So he had to be the one to let it slip," he replies evenly, shrugging now that the hide's been put away.
Following I'neph to the side of the hallway, Soriane listens to his response before she says, "J'tei would never tell. He wants me to be here as much as I want to be here, and he knows that if he did tell then I'd have to go back home." She doesn't stick her tongue out, but the inflection is definitely there. "It had to be R'mi. He's the only other person who knew." Soriane looks away, takes a second to think, then looks back at I'neph, "Either you keep this quiet or I'll make it look like you were the one who made all this happen. My father will believe me. He always does."
"J'tei says a lot of things, actually, when you're not around," I'neph says blithely. "Said you'd never done anything with him, for one thing. Seemed most disappointed about that. Said he had with other girls before, but I'm divided over whether to believe /that/ or not. He just doesn't seem the type to really know what to do with a girl, you know what I mean? Course, maybe that explains why none of the others are still hanging around, fawning on him. Hmm." He taps a finger to his lips, as though pondering this deep thought. Then, lowering his hand, he glances back at Soriane and just grins. "What, really? He'd believe some no-account handyman, even one with a shiny dragon, kidnapped his daughter from halfway around the world and held her here without her consent? Uh-huh, sure. Daddy's not /that/ blind."
"After J'tei heard I ran away to here, he came without telling my father so as not to worry him any more then he already was. He finds out that some /commoner/ had somehow managed to lure me into this place. Really, daddy does say I'm flighty and easily attracted by the bad elements-" She pauses for effect, "J'tei couldn't convince me to leave you so he stays and tries to keep me as safe as he can even though I'm hopelessly in love with you." She narrows her eyes for yet /more/ effect, "It's why you're doing this, isn't it? You can't win me over so you start saying all those horrible things about 'thein... he'd /never/ say anything bad about me. Never."
I'neph eyes Soriane, brows arching. "Now see, I kind of like that story. Bet you tell Daddy a lot of them, don't you, every time you get yourself into a little spot of trouble? Must be nice, having him there, ready to step in and save you when things get over your head. For your information, I'm not doing this for--for anything, really. I don't want you and I don't want your money. Don't need either one of them," he tells her flatly, frowning. "Believe what you want about him, I guess--like you said, you women never see sense about the guys you fall in love with. S'not my problem." He lifts his shoulders vaguely, glancing away, as though bored already with this conversation.
"I only tell daddy stories when I have to," Soriane says with a lift of her chin. Her confidence in J'tei? Can't be swayed! She does, however, question I'neph's motives. Crossing her arms over her chest and once more bringing that hide into view, she asks, "If you're not doing it for money or spite or anything like that, then why? Why even say anything? You can't stand it when other people are happy or do you just hate 'thein that much?"
"Curiousity?" suggests I'neph with another shrug, lifting both hands in an 'why not?' gesture. "Something like that. I wasn't sure whether or not to believe what I heard. Obviously, you've only confirmed, so..." He arches his brows, studying her with a faint hint of another smirk. "You people always expect the worst of me. J'tei's the same way about me. You hardly know me, but here you are accusing me of all sorts of things," he says with a sigh.
"Because you act like you are." Soriane says firmly, "'thein always gives people the benefit of the doubt. He's a good man and... I wish you two would get along better then you do. It'd make things so much easier." Relenting, she drops her hands back to her sides, the basket she'd set down earlier now stared at, "I still won't believe he told you about me. He knows we can't risk it. Will you tell me who really told you? I need to know, it's important." A pause, and then she looks up, "Please?"
I'neph won't look at Soriane now that's she's pleading, eyes focuses firmly somewhere over her left shoulder. "Make what easier?" he asks. "I don't have anything against J'tei, nothing at all. Faranth, I was pretty much his first friend here--yours, too, in fact. I'm hurt, really, the two of you don't trust me more than that." He shakes his head, frowns, and finally glances down at his hands. "Fine. It was Cayri," he admits heavily, as though it really pained him to give up the new weyrling. "But she got it straight from him, no lies."
"Cayri?" Questioned as much as the name is spat, Soriane now looks back at that basket like she wants to kick it. "He wouldn't tell though. He wouldn't." That faith is starting to crack just a bit, but not completely. "I don't understand." After a deep breath, she repeats herself before finally stooping to retrieve the basket. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I didn't mean to. It's just hard... trying to keep everything a secret so I don't have to go back home. If what they're saying is true then, well, never mind. Please just don't tell anyone else, I'neph?"
"Never was going to," I'neph says, frowning. He sighs, though, and waves off the apology. "Don't worry about it. I understand. S'no worse than anybody else does me, I guess." He pauses a moment, then adds, "And I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, honest. Cayri told me the other night at the gather--apparently, he told her all that stuff earlier in the day. About not having done stuff with you, but with other girls... All that was just stuff he told her, and then she told me." He grimaces. "I guess she just charmed it out of him--you know a man can't keep a secret when a cute girl starts working on him. He told me himself he thought she was cute, so. Sorry."
Cayri enters the corridor from the lower caverns.
Cayri has arrived.
"Now, now," I'neph says soothingly. "It's not her fault, now is it? She can't help she's cute, right? Or that he just can't resist her. He must like, um, skinny girls. Right." He nods decisively, leaning back slightly to study Soriane. Awkwardly, he lifts a hand to offer her a comforting pat on the shoulder. "Don't fault her for just relaying what she hears, all right? I told her not to talk about it to anyone else, if that makes you feel any better."
What a time for Cayri to walk in. Her plans for a bath are evident, clothes stuffed uner her arm and a towel thrown over her shoulder. She's luckily too far to actually hear what's being said, but the innate gift of all humans to recognize the sound of their own names alerts her attention toward Soriane with a blank, "Huh?" She doesn't cut in their direction, but the look makes it clear that now she's knows people're talking about her.
"I can't believe it." Soriane says nothing more. Mostly because Cayri's entered and has been spotted. That look she's greeted with is anything but friendly, too, which really isn't going to help matters any. She cuts a look toward I'neph that is remarkably friendlier, "Thank you for telling me. Do me a favor and don't tell J'tei I know or anything? She'll probably tell him anyways, but I'd just as soon have him not hear it from you." For whatever reasons. Back to Cayri, Soriane says, "Do you have a moment to spare, Cayri?"
A flash of movement nearby draws I'neph's eyes for just a moment, the bronzerider's gaze fixing on Cayri for a second. Quickly, he turns back to Soriane, smile brighter than ever. "Don't worry. I won't say a word, promise," he tells Soriane, while making shooing motions at Cayri behind his back.
[DTU] To Aydeth, Dioscuth offers a quick suggestion, passed on from his rider: a picture of Cayri, walking right on into the bathing cavern, leaving I'neph and Soriane to their talk.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Aydeth oohhhs, pictures! She sends one back, one of Cayri and I'neph and Soriane all having a lovely picnic somewhere very pretty and completely imaginary. << This is good. Let's do another one. >>
[DTU] To Aydeth, Dioscuth's response to this is several seconds of shocked blankness. He repeats the image again, as though this will make Aydeth understand, before he gives up and says, << That's what your rider should do: go away! >>
Cayri looks caught, but she bucks up her pluck and smiles right square at Soriane. "Sure. Anything for you." She answers I'neph's shooing motions with a brief but wholly accusing stare, the perfectly perfect smile going away long enough to pack the glance full of painful intentions. "What's up?" She walks right on over to the two of them, all sunshine and smiles.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Aydeth projects, << Oh no no no. She's not going to do that. >>
[DTU] To Aydeth, Dioscuth's answer is a palpable sulkiness, following by the quick withdrawal of his mental touch.
I'neph, for the moment, is cut out of the small picture. Being unpurposefully vague, she says, "I don't like you. I won't even pretend I do. You're strange and... what you did was wrong. Anyone who was normal would know that. Even /if/ you do know something you shouldn't know, it doesn't matter. I think you should know that."
"Cayri, hi!" I'neph says expansively, just beaming at the greenrider. "How are you? How's Aydeth? She telling you anything at the moment?" Saccharine smile. He glances from Cayri to Soriane and back again, smile freezing further in place. "Well. Now that that's out of the way, what do you say for a nice warm soak? Doesn't that sound nice, Cayri." Edging a step backward, out of Soriane's direct line of sight, he fixes the greenrider with a pointed look and another round of shooing.
Cayri answers I'neph with a stern but friendly-seeming, "Why don't you shut up for a little while." No question-mark. She answers Soriane with a very simple, accepting nod. "That's all right. I pretty much knew already that you didn't like me. But I wouldn't say I know something I shouldn't, just something you don't want me to know. There's a difference. Do you need to call me some names or anything to get it all out of your system?"
"I'm better then that." Soriane says in that tone she first used with I'neph. "Besides, I'm sure once J'tei really sees who you are, things will be settled for themselves." She smiles, but it's not a real smile or really even convincing. Finding her basket and sliding back onto her arm, she looks back toward I'neph, "You really should take my advice too, I'neph, before it's too late."
Cayri sticks right in the middle, "I'm not the one hiding who I am."
I'neph just claps a hand across his face, sighing slightly. Lowering hand, he peers between the two woman warily, but at least he's quiet now, shaking his head. The silence is all too brief. "Uh, if I might...?" he begins, stepping forward again, between the pair. "We're all doing to keep our mouths shut, don't worry. It'll stay just between us friends, right." Stepping closer to Soriane, he murmurs to her.
I'neph mutters to Soriane, "I really am... know,... tell you this,... thought... leaked,... But don't worry--I'm... going... a... to anybody,... /is/,... why... had... Keep you... getting... all... stuff.... you're... me.... the... saw..."
You whisper "I really am sorry, you know, to have to tell you this, but I thought you ought to know that, well, things got leaked, see? But don't worry--I'm not going to say a word to anybody, right? Wouldn't do that to you--that /is/, after all, why I had to tell /you/. Keep you from getting hurt, and all that stuff. You're a real nice girl, when you're not swatting me. Faranth, if the archivist saw that!" to Soriane.
Cayri explains to I'neph, "No. I'm going to tell J'tei that I told you and you told Soriane and caused a big mess." With another sunny smile and a skinny shrug, she ends that thought.
"It's not something I expect someone like you to understand," Soriane shoots right back, before once more listening to I'neph. After a thankful murmur back to I'neph and one of those 'I really, really hate you' looks at Cayri, she says, "I should leave you to it then, because I'm sure J'tei's going to love hearing how you spilled his secret. Just think of what'll happen to him if anyone else finds out about it... it'll all be your fault." Bluffing and leveling the guilt on Cayri, or at least trying to, Soriane spins on her heel and walks away.
Soriane mutters to I'neph, "... telling me,... really..."
Soriane whispers "Thank you for telling me, I'neph. You really /aren't/ all that bad."
"Damn," mutters I'neph, frowning at Cayri. He glances around at Soriane again, nodding in assent to her mutter, offering her a small smile. He waits, watching her while she runs away. Only when she's well and truly gone does he turn back to Cayri. "You just can't play along, can you?" he asks her in exasperation.
Cayri doesn't argue her guilt with Soriane, accepting it without question, with a calm nod. Once she's gone, it's I'neph who gets a stern look. "No. But I'm totally sleeping with her boyfriend /now/. What the shells is wrong with you, I'neph?" Somehow, though she's the one who spilled the beans, it's all his fault.
Soriane has disconnected.
"You weren't before?" I'neph notes, brows arching. "Huh. Anyway. S'not my fault. She's a nice girl--deserved to know the truth. I was going to keep you out of it, too, until she /looked/ at me like that. You know. All misty-eyed and pleading. It was awful." He shakes his head, managing a wince at the very memory. "And if you had played along and just got out of here, I almost had her convinced to blame /him/, not you. She likes me now, though." Smirk.
Cayri says matter of factly, "I'm going to tell him that too. When he beats you senseless, at least all four of us will know why." She's got one hand busy minding her bundle of clothes, but the other one is free to pull her hair hard across her forehead, looking perturbed. "You know how this is all going to play out, don't you? I'll be forgiven because what /I/ did was just stupid, not malicious. She'll be forgiven because he's all in love with her. /You/'ll be the only one who looks bad. Shards, you're stupid."
"Oh, no, no, no," I'neph says, shaking a finger to emphasize the words. "She's going to have it out with him, because he likes you and told you, and then you told me--which trust me, she'll never forgive you for--and then, because I told her, she'll like me and not him. I'm going to win. The best thing you can do is blame it all on him and apologize profusely to her," advises the bronzerider, smugly, folding his arms across his chest.
"No stupid." Cayri tosses it out there candidly. "I'm coming out of this clean, either because I'm just a kid who didn't know any better or because J'tei's attracted to me and too nice of a guy to do anything about it. Either way, /I/ am going to win, and /you/ are going to get the crap beaten out of you. Soriane? She's just a blip, just some girl who may just get shipped back home if the wrong people get wind of this. J'tei would be sad, but believe-you-me he'd blame you for it. Not me."
I'neph snorts, rolling his eyes. "Right. And if he dares lay a hand on me, M'vari and X'drian will ship him off to your island, guarantee it. M'vari already hates him--he's just itching for a good excuse. And she'll feel so bad I got hurt taking care of her, she really /will/ be all over me." His smirk is definitely triumphant, and he adds, "Anyway, she's a Lord's daughter, and she's on my side. That means Daddy? Won't come after me--he'll be after J'tei for what he's done to her, and to the poor, well-meaning man who was just looking out for his baby girl."
Cayri pauses, a confused look playing across her face. "You think J'tei /cares/ about getting shipped off? The cat went *between* withouth permission. Beating you senseless isn't going to phase him." Another confused look overlays the first, her head leaning farther and farther to the side. "All this just to get at J'tei? Or is it Soriane? I'm confused."
"He will if he gets stuck on some deserted island to starve to death," notes I'neph blithely. "You did, right? Maybe you can give him some tips, if you care about him so much?" He offers her a quick, too-sweet smile and reaches out to offer a comforting pat on the shoulder. "Don't worry your pretty little head about it," he advises, turning to go.
"I don't care about him so much. I just wanted friends. I thought /we/ were friends and you, you..." Cayri's chin wobbles dangerously and she swallows a lump in her throat, reaching to swipe a quickly spawning tear out from under her eye. By the time she gets to the barracks, the water works should be in full force, and she ought to be absolutely maudlin. "I am so getting forgiven. Nighty, I'neph." She sniffles and hiccoughs.
"Oh, hell," says I'neph, wincing. He glances downward, sideways--every way but at Cayri. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to drag you into it, okay? We are friends. That's why I tried to send her after him, not you. She just looked at me like--well, that," he notes wryly, with a gesture to Cayri's own face. "Had to tell her. She didn't believe me when I said he told me himself, which is just as well because she thinks it's even worse he told another girl."
Cayri's go twice as wide, forcing her to rub the back of her hands across them. "Whoa there. Calm down, I'neph. It's not hard for girls to turn on the water works when they need to, believe me." A little hoarse in the throat for whipping up tears that quick, she smiles as flawlessly as ever, sure not the maudlin look she had a second ago. "I'm not worried about you and me being friends. I like you too much to pull a weepy girl move on /you/. But J'tei's going to take work."
I'neph just rolls his eyes, turning back away again. "Worse than my little sisters, you are," he grumps. "Could've fooled me, going all--that way. Faranth. I don't even know why I bother with you sometimes. Guess it's some sense of duty, since M'vari said."
"This way, it looks like I've been crying for a while before I get there." So Cayri wobbles her lip again and gets to looking pitiful, trying to make a sort of stiff upper lip. "It's because you like me. Now go away and work on how you're going to play up to Soriane's sympathy while I work on playing up to J'tei's. If /you/ fell for it, he's going to take it hook, line, and s-s-sinker." She hiccoughs again tragically.
"You better just work on keeping him from hurting me," advises I'neph over his shoulder as he starts to walk away. "Tell 'em it's his own fault for telling you in the first place or something." With that, he turns and stalks away.
Cayri hangs back so as not to be seen leaving the scene of the crime with I'neph, making no promises to defend I'neph's personal safety.
[Log] Looking Out for Soriane
Who: Cayri, I'neph, Soriane