Merci's mercy

OOC Time: Tuesday, November 9th, 2010.
Season (North Continent): Late winter.
Weather: The vault of sky is still, empty, freezing cold.
Current Location: Center of Fort Weyr's Bowl (#971J) - Zone: Fort Weyr
Room Occupants:
Merci and Cabrien


Center of Fort Weyr's Bowl (#971J)
Grey volcanic cliffs tower neckbreakingly steep to all sides of this gigantic ovoid that is Fort's Bowl, creating a vast haven— stretching over three thousand feet to the northeast and to the southwest— from the full impact of the cutting mountain winds. To the northeast, dominating the rest of the mountain range, looms the immensity of Tooth Crag; to the southwest, beyond the lake, the crumpled rim reminds of a catastrophe from ages past.

The airspace above is comparatively crowded, whether by wings or singletons; likewise, the packed earth and rock that grounds the Bowl sees virtually constant activity, particularly just to the east where the living caverns lie. Along the northern curve yawns the hatching grounds, and the lingering reek of blood on the western breeze is a tell-tale pointer to the feeding pens.

It is a winter afternoon. The vault of sky is still, empty, freezing cold.

Mid-afternoon brings an often anticipated, much needed break for most of the Weyr's Candidates. Cabrien is no exception to this rule. Though his lunch isn't taken inside so much as outside as he sets off toward the garden area. He looks as he always looks: deep in thought and dead-set on doing whatever it is that he's decided to do. A heavy jacket is worn to ward off some of the days chill, though the Candidate's ears and nose are still a bright shade of red.

Merci is without her lifemate today, a rarity that leaves the woman with a sour aura. Her stride is quick, hands curled into lazy fists as the woman lumbers to a far point of the bowl. There's a well sized structure that seems to be her destination, a decently sized pelt stretched out to catch what pathetic rays of sun are possible in such chilly conditions. The candidate crosses her vision, and she gives a firm grunt of greeting but not much else. The weyr is shardin' full of white knots now. Nevermind that some of that was her doing.

Oh if it were any other day, Cabrien might just return that nod and keep on walking. But it is not. And the Candidate has an agenda. An ongoing agenda that is something out of his nature, but enjoyed for just that very reason. So he alters his path to move toward the woman and that stretched-out pelt, the last of his meal finished off mere moments before he joins the woman. "Ma'am. Congratulations. Late as they are." His gaze switches to the pelt, his assessment rather droll. "Hope the cold doesn't hurt it any. Looks like a nice one."

"Thank you." As distracted as she seems, Merci's murmur is genuine in it's gratitude. Bent over the stretched out pelt, she smooths a gloved hand over the long, mottled fur. Faintly exotic, certainly not from around Fort. A grunt is given, and Merci straightens up to inspect Cabrien with half-lidded eyes. "Don't much care… S'feline. Just didn't wanna waste such big game." There's a pause as the rider allows the candidate to look over her handywork, dark eyes continuing to watch him with a fairly dull expression.

Cabrien knows enough to appreciate the exotic pelt, though having never really been his particular brew… it's a passing appreciation. "Wouldn't ever wanna cross paths with anythin' that big. Kinda like pickin' a fight you know you're gonna lose." He looks over to Merci, the beginnings of a smirk in place, but as with anything else the expression never quite seems to make it all the way to his face. "It's yours?" Not asked by way of technical ownership, so much as with an implied 'did you stake the beast'.

"N' yeah. Me n' Talimoth." Though hunting with a dragon hardly seems fair, surely the deceased creatures agree. "This'n is mine, yeah. Y'can tell 'cause it ain't ripped t'shreds like when Tali takes one down." There's the first variation in her tone since beginning to speak, fondness creeping in at the mention of her dragon. Still, the brownrider inspects Cabrien, a phantom of a smirk appearing on her own scarred lips. "What's your name, boy?"

The faintest shadow of doubt creeps over Cabrien's expression. "You got three of 'em?" You as in girl you and not singular 'you'. He is not veiled when it comes to /some/ things. He none the less accepts it because, quite frankly, Merci was a dragonrider and who was he to question it? "Cabrien," Offered on the heels of that headshake, his gaze slipping back to Merci, "Grew up here, mostly. Sort of remember you too."

Merci keeps her gaze steady, though those dark brows lower considerably. Stony gaze just got stonier. "Three." She grunts, head tilting to look up at the slightly taller lad. "I been huntin' bigger things since before yer 'glows' dropped, boy." His name is taken into consideration, another once-over given to the candidate before she gives a grunt. "Can't say th'same. All you runts look alike." Though he's not much of a child now, this doesn't seem to change her opinion. "S'pose th'white knot helps."

Cabrien again /nearly/ looks amused. Not surprised so much as amused. "Didn't know you were interested in my glows, ma'am." A skip-beat later, "T'gul's— the one that looked after me. Been a while since I been back." He looks back to the hide, reaching out to run his fingers over the surface before noting, "Think everyone knows you, though, ma'am. If not from the flight, then from… reputation."

"You wish, Runt." Merci rumbles, not so easily coaxed into mirth, though quick to respond. "T'gul." She sounds the name out, clearly trying to poke and prod at the seemingly hundreds of riders she has come across. When she's unable to produce a face, her shoulders jerk up in a careless shrug. The flight causes her lips to finally curl up into a triumphant smirk, scar made thinner by the stretching skin. "There are worse things t'be known for." Though a snort quickly follows, "Reputation?"

There's a soft note of amusement that /might/ be a snort. But that'd be rude so it can't be a snort, can it? "You're… ballsy. Ain't afraid to push boundaries. That sort of thing." Which when delivered with that certain lack of awe behind it, makes it seem more of a bad thing to be than a good thing. But it's again not intended to be purposefully rude, so much as a slip of Cabrien's mind that it might come off as such. "The type of girl that can take down three fairly large felines…" A shrug almost identical to Merci's surfaces.

Merci arches a brow, crossed arms tensing some, though staying tightly wrapped, one over the other. "S'far as I can tell, ain't no boundaries I've been pushin'." There's the pitiful squeak of leather as her grip on the fabric of her jacket tightens ever so slightly. "Girl." This time, the rider does laugh, low and gutteral as it may sound. There has to have been some throat damage for the woman to gain a perpetual husk. "Y'still got milk on yer breath, n' you're callin' me a girl." With an inhale, that smirk grows, "I'm a dragonrider first, n' a /woman/ second, Runt."

Nonplussed, Cabrien says, "Had milk for lunch, ma'am." He steps back a little respectfully, as though of making a point that he was being respectful. "Point understood, though. Won't be disrespecting a dragonrider." Too solemn, too serious is he about that. He regards her evenly thereafter, as though waiting to either be dismissed, condemned or welcomed back into conversation.

What bristling Merci has begun is slow to smooth out, and while that smirk remains it doesn't quite make it to her eyes. They're still forged from hard obsidian, though her brows are no longer casting the shadow of displeasure over them. She makes no comment about Cabrien's respectful retreat, instead turning away to inspect the feline fur. When the tension around the stocky woman finally eases, she grunts, "Y'want this?" A thumb is jerked towards the pelt, lips once again flat, neutral expression returning.

"Ma'am. It's a beautiful pelt. I'd be a fool to say no." Cabrien glances back at it, then says, "Couldn't ever afford something like it, though." There's no shame there, only up front truthfulness. But the temptation is present enough for Cabrien to say, "I'd be glad to do chores for it though. If you're willing to barter."

Merci dismisses his words with a snort, clearly not giving a damn if she's rude or not. "I don't want, 'r need nothin' for it. Was gonna give it to someone, but don't even know if they like furs." Another shrug, clearly not caring enough to do any research on the person in question. Turning to face him once again, she murmurs, "Consider it a reminder of what a woman c'n do." A sloppy 'lesson' wrapped up in a conveniant way to get the sharding thing out of her hands.

"Ma'am." Cabrien accepts the offer with a ready nod, and a fading smile. "I'm well reminded." If still stuck in his ways. He shoves his hands in the pockets of his jacket, kicking at the ground in a brief, rare display of unease. "Be obliged if you'd allow me to at least do something," He says at last, "Say it's candidate chores if it makes you feel any better. Maybe you'll let me do your laundry." He poses it as something of a joke. Because he's a man and men didn't do laundry, see.

"Stubborn." Merci growls under her breath, reaching up to begin unfastening the pelt from being stretched out. The fur is felt once more, and still she seems genuinely unimpressed with it. So she'll offer it to the boy, upper lip curling in mild annoyance. "Fine. Laundry. I'll drop my things off next mornin', along with what I wore when I skinned the feline." Hope Cabrien isn't squeemish. Then again, something tells the rider that if he is, it likely won't effect his sense of duty.

Cabrien takes the fur, "Done deal, ma'am. I'll get it to you by evening." He steps back, "Oughta be getting back to chores now. Appreciate the fur… " A moderately respectful tip of his head follows, before he turns a slow circle and starts back toward the weyr proper.

Merci is unable to shoo him off, as the candidate is quick to get back to his chores. Another huff leaves the woman, before she takes the rest of the structure down. "Runts're gettin' mouthier with every shardin' clutch." That'll be the brownrider's crotchety mutter, heard by none as the temperature begins to drop. Soon, she is venturing for the warmth of the weyr.

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