A Man S Treasure


Jaya.jpg Jonavan.jpg Zaferian.jpg

Date: Dec. 20, 2010
Location: Weyr gardens, EW
Synopsis: Jaya comes across Jonavan while looking for Lo. They both come across a strange trader who's only pretending to be drunk as he learns his way around the Weyr. He also appears to be dealing in black market trade. In the end, the barkeep and the healer learn just a bit more about each other while drinking.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

It is a decent night in the gardens, with a few stragglers passing through on their way to some other destination. Jaya must have gotten the barmaids to cover for her while she takes a stroll through the gardens herself, though she looks to be on a mission. Hair tied back so that the sharp scar running down the side of her face is seen against the moonlight, she has a bottle of some booze in hand while she picks her way through the peaceful rows of flowers and herbs planted by the Weyr's gardener. She's close to the flat rock jutting out of the ground by the time her search has proven fruitless, and the barkeep chooses to lean against this rock rather than take the leisurely stroll back to her busy bar. What a slacker.

Kneeling in the garden beyond the rock Jaya's paused against, Jonavan bends further still until he's at eye-level with a bed of herbs destined for the healers' use. The moons are high, providing enough light for inspection - or so Jonavan seems to think. He pinches a leaf off one of the plants and crushes it between his nails to release the aroma. His back to the path and without inclination to turn around, the man undoubtedly hears Jaya's approach but doesn't glance back.

In the pit of the hacked away rock, somewhere down that slope of trail that allows wagoneers drive their loads in, is a shadow the moves with a slow gait, not necessarily hiding per say but by the way he stops to examine the width of the span between rocks, perhaps measuring. Such motions are eventually forgotten about as he drifts in through the passage, lack of coming and goings now since the trails are exceptionally dangerous to venture in the night. It would be through his casual saunter in that movement in the gardens, off to the side of his initial entrance, that garners a further peek. He's new to the area, so it would go without saying that his curiosity is peeked.

Jaya manages to uncork the bottle and bring it to her lips when she hears movement beyond the rock. Assuming it to be the gardener, she straightens up and moves to find Jonavan's back to her. And well, she can recognize a person from any side, really, so she knows it's not Lorayit. Not yet detecting that another has entered the area, "He likes to experiment with different plants," is her chosen greeting, the barkeep stepping forward with that open bottle of something strong in one hand. Dark eyes seek out the healer's face in the light, seeming to regard him in the pause before adding, "Stealing?"

"Smells good," is Jonavan's comment as he sniffs the crushed leaf again. He rocks back to sit on his heels, looking over his shoulder to fit her face to the voice he recognizes. The healer's had a recent haircut that makes him look more youthful than usual and is, for once, clean-shaven. "Stealing?" he repeats with the slight lift that signals amusement. "No. Checking - these are mine, anyway." He means the infirmary's, but makes no distinction. "Besides, I'm sure I would think of better things to steal." A glance to the bottle, then back to Jaya. "Not on the job?"

It may be that the night has brought a certain silence to the area, in which allows sound to travel over greater distances, or it could be that he was simply down wind from them that their voices carried. Either way, the voices, not particularly each word, causes further interest in the area of the gardens. Zaferian uses caution though when one trigger word springs up loud enough for him to catch it - 'stealing.' If one could see him his eyebrows would have lifted in an opportunistic way. Shifting a step back and shoulder closer to some of the more elaborate and 'taller' plants, a moment is taken to hear out the rest of the words spoken, hushing his own noises made by shuffling or smaller movements to a minimum. Yet, nothing comes of it with the denial of the other. Such is. And so he makes his presence known by pretending to stumble around the corner, nearly doing a nose dive as if he caught his foot upon a rock or maybe the ledge that leads up to the gardens. In a flurry of arms and cloak, he regains his balance and makes a show of dusting himself off in irritation and looking back at the object that tripped him. "Rock jumped out at me…." a mutter as his face comes around to the pair, eye darting to the bottle and the lass holding it.

In the space of her studying the physical change in the healer, Jaya had chosen whether to lie to him or not. Eyes dart towards the crushed leaf held then, "Like?" she puts to him on better things to steal, not helping that slight peak in interest on that topic. After a pause, however, when he asks after her bar, her gaze drops off of him and she takes a half-step away to examine something near. "Thought I'd run into Lo out here," she goes for honestly, hitching one shoulder up into a shrug. "You know. Solak," and she turns a look onto Jonavan pointedly. "He's not here, clearly. Guess that means I've got me a free bottle here." The bottle gets raised for him to see clearly when she turns to face him, her skirt rustling in the soft breeze that comes before she adds, "Gonna be heading out soon, so I thought-" Stop. Eyes immediately fall to Zaferian's stumbling arrival, the barkeep brought up short at the heard mutter. She turns slightly towards him now, a wary eye apparent at the look he sends both to her and her bottle. He now getting her sharp study, "What are you doing there?" comes to her lips before she even realizes it, eyes narrowing as she takes a step towards him in order to see him better.

"Anything of Indira's," Jonavan responds brazenly, mischief in his smile. He rolls the bit of leaf between forefinger and thumb one more time then drops it. "Ah. Solak," he says, a pause between the first sound and the name. His smile diminishes to a faint frown, though eyebrows edge up when Jaya lifts the bottle. "Is that an invitation?" He brushes off his knees, still in a crouch, and rises to standing as Zaferian stumbles around the rock and makes himself known. The question on his lips for Jaya's 'heading out' is kept to an inquiring look that is then turned on the intruder for different purposes altogether. He lets Jaya's question stand for both of them and instead remarks, "They do that, when you walk around in the dark."

Zaferian makes himself out to be a little tipsy, though he is not, the act of wobbling along on a foot helps matters in unison with the rubbing of his eyes, as a drunkard would do when his eyes were too blurry with drink. Though the sharp focus on the bottle may have added to the additional affect, alongside the half corked smile he lets slip into place. "Trying not to fall over me own face I reckon." He moves toward a broad leaf near the one that Jonavan was examining, eyes switching toward it to make a quick mental note of it for future reference. The man though makes an exasperated sigh, pulling his cloak around him as his shoulders rise, "Attempting to find a good place to drink. I ought to think I fell into some bout of luck, since a woman with a bottle ought to know where more can be had." His eyes languidly trail over to Jonavan when the fellow speaks, giving a 'chuff' like sound, something close to a contained chuckle, if that is what it could be called, "Better stumbling 'round in the dark in a Weyr than spend another night out thar," he thumbs back to the road out, "Heard voices is all. Thought someone could help me get my bearings straight round." A tilt of his head as his attention swings between them both, eyebrows lifted as if expecting some assistance from the two he just came upon.

Jaya did not expect such an answer to involve the Headwoman, so the woman appears a little taken aback before she blinks that away with a sudden forced look of indifference to it. The smile quick and easy along with the brief raise of her bottle as if in a toast, "Good luck with that if you dare," is all she says to that, taking a healthy swallow of the strong liquid before grimacing a little at its taste. Jonavan's question on invitations, not to mention the inquiring look he gives her is set aside with a 'drunk' Zaferian stumbling about, however. The answer on what he's doing, along with his reasons of stumbling about, gets a raised brow from the barkeep. "My bar's just inside," she does choose to note with her chin sharply gesturing behind her while her gaze falls on his clothing. "Looks to me like you've had just enough, though, if you're thinking rocks are jumping at you, shuga." Zaferian's words for the healer draws a veiled look of interest however, the woman's eyes narrowing slightly as she puts forth, "The lands are always better, stranger." Strange words, perhaps? Unless it's some sort of code, the barkeep delivers it with far too much non-chalance. "Sounds to me like you've just arrived here. Mind if I asked you from where?" Or well, she's nosy enough to ask anyway, and there's no trace of apology nor awkwardness in her tone.

The herbs Jonavan was inspecting likely only have value to healers, though there is always a price for everything, if you have the right buyer. At the edge of the bed, the healer takes care not to crush anything underfoot when he stands. The indifferent reaction and the one coming before it, now hidden, was not what Jonavan expected either. The slight smile takes on a quizzical note as he says further, "Well if you're going to steal something, might as well do it from someone who'd get the most pissed off." And with little to no contact with the dragonriding figureheads, Indira makes a logical target. Jonavan really is twelve. "Well," he directs after listening to Zaferian, "Living caverns are that way." He gestures in approximately the right direction, which is not overly helpful in the dark for a stranger.

Zaferian shuffles his feet to the side to glance beyond the woman toward where her sharp chin points, noting the direction in an aloof manner that lasts as long as her chin point does. "Your bar?" he picks up on her proclaiming it as her own, certainly with a higher tone of voice as if he just aligned himself with the right person. He gives his shoulders a shrug at the mention of having had enough, "They always do that, don't you think?" He says of the rocks juping out. A wink as he shuffles a ways over, looking as if he's about to collect his feet underneath him and head toward the direction of the bar, stopping only to glance up at Jaya when she uses a phrase that earns a quick response, "Worth getting to know so not to be a stranger." His eyes carry back to Jonavan, for an instance, until he returns his attention to Jaya, "Har, would the me wanting to not stay out thar be an indication to you or the near face plant I took?" He makes that strange 'chuff' sound again, thumbing back behind him, "Came from out thar. Be trading over the water, to this new land." Maybe more code talk if she's clever enough to recognize it. Jonavan gets another side look, more so to inspect him closer this time, "Long as ya ain't got no other rocks jumping out at me over thar."

Jonavan's answer in regards to the Headwoman has Jaya meeting his gaze and saying far too blithely, "She has nothing of worth stealing. I should know. You ought to aim higher, Journeyman." Beat. "Hypothetically." Cuz we're talking hypothetically, right? Eyes falling back on Zaferian then as she holds the bottle close to herself in a possessive manner, "My bar," she says it again, a slight note of pride in her slight Bitran accent. "Jaya." Well, that's close to pleasantries that he's going to get from her, especially since the man could easily have found her name if he were to look for her bar. Zaferian's quick response to her words on the lands gets silence at first - she studies him openly now before she puts in rather coolly, "Is that so?" Yes, she notes his quick look towards Jonavan, masking her curiosity of it in her gambler's mask. "Is there a name to be attached to this …one that has been over the water, shuga? Not many would brave the seas from the north unless they have reason to do so." It's a reason that would get her interest, too, picking up his words with little to no expression in place.

"How disappointing." Jonavan bends briefly to slap the rest of the dirt off his trousers. Straightening, he has one of those contained half-smiles not allowed full expression as he echoes, "Hypothetically." The good humour disappears entirely when the healer glances again to the man wishing to be taken as a stumbling drunk. Jonavan would probably prefer the newcomer to remain a stranger if his expression is anything to go by. "'Out thar?'" the man repeats, straight-faced in his mimicry as he gives Zaferian a cursory once-over. "Terribly specific." He shrugs, unconcerned. "Better than dragons jumping out at you."

The conversation of stealing from the headwoman has not eluded the man, but he has not seemed to have overhead it or given it any mind - since by all happenstance, he just stumbled in on their words. Yet Zaferian does follow it, masking his attention to it by an assorting of his belt or a readjustment of his cloak. It is Jaya however that continues to stall him from moving on. Had it been that he stumbled upon two lovers in the gardens, he wouldn't have wasted a moment in stumbling off toward the bar. Though to have the owner of the bar so near now was worth lingering. So he does, making himself detached from any words but those directed at him. "Tis rightly so," casually moving himself so that a shoulder of his cloak swings back enough so that either could glance at a trader's knot stashed underneath, covered in the next motion he takes - a sway of his torso. Just then he raises a finger into the air as if to make a point, feigning forgetfulness though as he waggles it without words supporting such a gesture, leaving it to drop as if he lost his train of thought. A snap of his finger has him mourning the loss of his train of thought as does a shake of his head and a hand poised on a hip. Finally, he picks his chin up and makes a soft 'hrmm' toward Jaya, as if remember she was there, "Great many reasons sar. Great many. Trade be one, I reckon. S'good here. Hidden treasures." A stamp of his foot has him pivoting to regard Jonavan again, a smugness residing there for the show of Jonavan, "High'un Reachin's got more dragons." A beat, tossing his head back over to Jaya, as if adding since he forgot it earlier, "Zaff…"

Jaya sends a look over to Jonavan for his own hypothetical statement, but she doesn't hide much of the faint amusement that crops up from it. Anything crass in response to that is not being said with someone present among them, so the barkeep regards the healer's words for the stranger with amused interest and catches that trader knot in the brief moment that it shows. When Zaferian loses his train of thought, "What are you trading?" she asks then, showing that veil of interest with a pointed look to his now-hidden shoulderknot. "Maybe you have something there that I would be interested in." Beat. "Zaff," she tacks on his given name, filing it away in her memory for later. "You should go see the Headwoman about finding a good cot to lay your head down on, Zaff," she offers, her intense gaze lingering upon him with guarded demeanor. "Indira's her name. I'm sure she'd be happy to oblige a trader." Well, considering how the older woman was treated by the last trader? Maybe not, but Jaya's being helpful, right? The fact that she used to be one herself, she leaves out for now, the man's shiftiness at this time of night having her guard firmly up and on alert considering recent events.

There is little sign of the healer's brief smugness when his regard passes away from Jaya and onto Zaferian. Jonavan doesn't ask questions himself, though he too notes the knot and observes in a pause, "People trying to sell treasures often haven't got anything more than junk." He meets the self-styled trader of treasures' regard straight on, cool and faintly mocking. "Maybe so," he allows for mention of the High Reaches dragons, "but the dragons here are mental." The healer has no reason to make such a claim, but cheerfully gives that opinion nonetheless. Jonavan never gives his name; relative anonymity lets him avoid people.

Awareness of the woman's keen eye has him straighten his shoulders a little underneath his cloak, as if to signal he was put on alert now that he's gotten a good judge of her aptitude. His answer comes slow, as if dim witted by the aid of drink, though suave all the same as his eyes slide across to Jaya again, "That which makes a man wealth… It depends on the market." For the offer of being interested in the wares that he sells, his hand pulls back his cloak again, this time boasting the knot with a puffed out chest, so that Jonavan can see his knot as well, "My wares have yet to follow me completely. Tis not often I be without them, but I be the one to get what ever it tis that you desire. Good prices too." There is a 'chuff' again, this time to acknowledge the name of the headwoman, "Aye. Thanks. I reckon you ought to know where she be then too?" There is a slight sway in him again, eyes far too focused though now as he lets them stray back to Jonavan, "Ta one man tis junk, to another a treasure. Depends on your taste thar." Another 'chuff' like noise from him sounds his further shuffling onward, "Tis a drink in me I need." A pause for the dragons but otherwise he's making his way further, pausing once more to murmur, "Jaya. Tis been a swell. I shall hope to prove my trade to you soon."

"Don't try telling that to some of the self-styled traders up north," Jaya directs this comment towards Jonavan on his own words to Zaferian, though her amusement on the matter still lingers. To the stranger himself, "Black market?" there's a slight intonation there when he mentions that he could get whatever she desires. Yeah, she's jumping to her own conclusions, there. "As to the Headwoman's office, it's not that far from the kitchens, shuga. You're bound to run into it. And my bar, if you're looking for further drink." Once he looks to be leaving then, the man gets a slight incline of her head but she's keeping her guarded eye on him. "Look forward to seeing you and your wares again, trader," she returns, watching him start off with narrowing eyes. "Until next time."

"Like your sister?" the healer gives back, gaze going to Jaya with the riposte. The openness with which she then defines Zaferian's potential market gets a longer look from Jonavan before he then assesses the tipsy trader further, with sharper consideration this time. "Whatever it is that I desire?" repeats Jonavan, openly skeptical of such a claim. "Perhaps if you limit it to tangible things." He watches the rest of the exchange between trader and bartender without comment, adding no farewell of his own.

The mention of the black market only has him lift his finger to his nose, tapping it slightly before he feigns a sneeze, shaking out his head afterward. There is no other acknowledgment of her words than that, letting her draw from that what he means, although he adds quietly in a grunted mutter, "Always looking for more places to establish trade…" Whether Jonavan or Jaya hear it isn't clear. For Jonavan, there is certainly an added comment, "Everything has a price, tangible or not-" some clue to the fact that he had heard them earlier, perhaps? Either way he lifts his arm as if to gesture a wave back to them for their help, yet gets it tangled in his cloak, as if further eluding to his masquerade of being drunk or if not, being well on his way to that point. There's no telling which way he will end up, but he does bark back, "Till then bar Lady…!" he goes on rambling to himself in tones they wouldn't be able to distinguish, the whole time keeping aware of where they were, masking his intentions as he wanders off, disappearing into the Weyr proper.

Well that caught her off-guard. "My sis-?" Jaya throws a look Jonavan's way at that, but Zaferian gets the brunt of her attention (which may not be a good thing) when he avoid answering her query. Even his words for the healer keeps her attention long enough that by the time he's gone out of earshot, the barkeep is left frowning. Once they're alone, her eyes still on what she could see of the man, "You mean, she didn't sell you her wares while she was here?" she asks on that now without meeting his gaze. Some could easily take that to have double meaning, too, in which Jaya probably meant it as.

Jonavan watches Zaferian take himself off, attention considering. When he then turns to face Jaya more fully, the man's regard remains one of assessment. "She makes a hard sell," he remarks, assuming that the reference is layered. A trace of humour begins to wind its way through the gravelliness of his low baritone. "But somehow I managed to keep my marks in my pocket." The double entendre is definitely at play. Jonavan looks at Jaya for a minute, face shadowed in the moonlight as he inclines his face down to look at her. "Just because she looks like you…" He lets the phrase hang in the air, unfulfilled.

When she could see Zaferian any longer, or perhaps at his double-meaningful words, Jaya finally turns back towards Jonavan with that bottle in her hands. Silence meets all that he says, regarding the older man steadily with that same guardedness that the strange trader had been met with. Then, in a matter-of-fact tone of voice, "She always makes a hard sell," she notes with a slight Bitran accent coming forth. "Far better than I ever could, but that is her specialty." His last draws breath, eyes flicking away from him towards the plants seen that had his own attentions when she came upon him earlier. Quiet, "Some men would see that as more the reason, shuga," she answers that one without awkwardness, eyes meeting his once more. "I don't blame them. She is as much of a good time as I am. Differently so, even." She's stating facts, after all, the little shrug perhaps barely noted. "Anyway," and she turns from him then, "it's my hope that she's not coming back anytime soon. I think the Weyr can only handle one of us, not both." Amusement is there at that along with a quiet snort as she keeps her back to him. "Haven't seen your own sister in a while, either. Has she gone back?" and the bottle gets lifted to her lips.

Jonavan's own expression isn't exactly forthcoming, but despite the composure a trace of ruefulness lifts the corner of his mouth when met with Jaya's guardedness. "So I'd gathered," he says, still on the subject of Jaya's sister and her so-called specialty. For the way she finishes his statement, the healer gives a short phrase she's undoubtedly heard him utter before. "Most men are idiots. Most people are idiots." He doesn't follow on with this further when Jaya seems to switch tacks, perhaps taking a hint. "Evie? She had to get back, but she's got an arrangement with that ugly-ass rider you so kindly introduced her to," the sarcasm is laid on thick here, but without heat behind it, "and he's bringing her in once a week; she's got someone she's seeing." Jonavan doesn't give details, even if he had the details to give. "Said she'd stop in and try to see you next time she swings through. Something about bartending, drunks, I don't know." He's vague about it but assumes it's something Jaya will know about. "Seems you hit it off," he observes, a tad sharper, and watches the barkeep drink.

"Most men are," Jaya agrees with that, "but it's been my experience that they usually do not know that they are." Perhaps something said initially sparks her to ask with a slight sudden interest now, "Gotten any closer to making Master?" the barkeep asks him, intense eyes regarding Jonavan's face when she does so. On the topic of his sister, some of that guardedness melts when he mentions the rider that she's taken on and shows a faint trace of amusement. "Good for her," she notes cheekily, one corner of her mouth lifting. "I did offer for her try out the bar sometime. Might be good for her work. I tell her about all the head cases I get to see on a daily basis. She's interesting," she tacks on for his last without no apology in her voice before she finally hands the bottle over once she turns to face him. "So are you, but you already know that."

"I didn't say all." An arrogant sort of tease. Jonavan doesn't place himself in either category in so many words, though, or perhaps the verdict's out. The question about his Craft surprises him. "Working away." After the airy answer, he looks at Jaya a moment, more serious for something the query recalls and considers saying more. He does, after the pause, but not what he had thought to say. "It's not that easy - I've got to write up, and have things to write about, and then go to Hall and meet, and whatever else they feel appropriate before they let me walk. So, working on it." It's true that he's taken off from Eastern whenever feasible; his long absences from Jaya's bar are not only to do with her. Speaking about his sister brings back the sarcasm. "Yeah, good for her." He can't help but grin at Jaya's description of how Evie might fit into the bar. "She is," he affirms, affection creeping into the tone so frequently kept devoid of it. "Interesting is a lot nicer than what she calls me." An oblique thank you.

Jaya merely snorts and rolls her eyes at that arrogance on display, but it does help some in melting some of the guardedness away. On the topic of his work, meeting his serious gaze without flinching, "Good," she says when he finishes, nodding firmly to that. "It's important to you, so I do hope you get it." She pauses, considering her words for a linger moment before she offers the bottle to him again as she steps closer. "She tells me you don't need anyone," the barkeep says low, not needing to elaborate on who that 'she' is. There's a rueful little smile on her face that appears at that, noting wryly, "I know the feeling, shuga. Some days….most days…I feel the same. Drink with me." The bottle is lifted for him to take, a brow lifting in askance. It's her way of calling a truce - of being willing to back off her intrusions into his life unless he ever welcomed it. After a pause, she sends a crooked grin on the account of his sister and adds, "We never call our siblings any decent names, right? Still, be good to see her around here more. Too many crazy folks about." Herself included, maybe.

"I will." Jonavan's low reply isn't arrogant this time, though still certain. He softens ever so slightly into a smile. "Thanks." He starts to reach out for the lifted bottle, but pauses when the remark his sister gave slips out. He regards Jaya at length, surprise giving way to something that isn't altogether pleased. Rather than respond immediately, the healer takes the bottle this time, tilting it to catch what little light there is. He's looking for a label, or barring that, how much is left. Jonavan leaves off his scrutiny to drink. The harshness of the alcohol hits him and extracts a grimace. "Whew. Is this what gardeners drink?" He doesn't give it back immediately, though, just takes a more judicious swallow the second time around. "She's good to have around," he admits at last, trying not to begrudge the fact that he has to admit that at all. He holds the bottle back out to Jaya in case she wants more, bringing himself to look at her. Jonavan doesn't speak for a minute, indecisive as he looks for something undefined. At last, "I could've gotten married," he says, all too casual. "Could've settled down in a little hold in a warm climate. And had a really boring life. Evie's right. I did need something else more than — that."

Jonavan's slight smile gets returned by one of Jaya's for his thanks, a slight inclined of her head apparent until she could see some of that slipping due to what she reveals. She watches him as he handles the bottle, that quip on gardeners getting a blithe "He's been going something lately." Haven't they all? She doesn't reach for the bottle back right away, more drawn to his words and his demeanor than the strong drink. Once their eyes meet and he reveals the last, there's exhalation from the barkeep and she slowly reaches for the bottle back. Peering into it with a frown, "Don't really see you settling down like that," she openly admits, not looking his way. "I was to be married, too. Before I turned to my family's favorite known vice." Meeting his eyes then, "She is right though. You do need more than that. Whatever 'that' ends up being, shuga. Won't find that if all you need is up there-" and a hand lift to try and touch his temple, "-rather than also, here-" and fingers slide from there to try and press to where his heart is before letting it off." Then she takes a swallow from the bottle, wincing a little at the taste. Wiping what escapes from her mouth with the back of her hand, "Not that I know," she adds, sending him a proud shrug. "My life's only been in the shadows. Starting to miss it." The bottle gets passed over again, then.

Some tension slips away when Jaya meets his regard, though Jonavan can't hold it for long either and soon looks up, star-gazing as she relieves him of the bottle. "Neither did I," he says presently, fixating on a particularly bright star with a bluish hue. "Monika didn't exactly feel the same way about it though." His tone remains steady, even over the name given. He looks back down when Jaya mentions a betrothal, incredulous when he asks, "You would have been, what, twelve?" Of course the healer knows early engagements are often arranged, but he had the luxury of a Craft education where such things are usually put off. Then discomposure sets in, takes over; Jonavan doesn't move when touched despite his discomfort, not contradicting Jaya at the point she makes but neither yielding a concession. "Miss it?" he asks instead, passing to the remarks given for herself. With the bottle in hand, Jonavan takes several swallows despite the burn. Then he says, rough-voiced, "I should go. If I keep drinking this, I'll end up on my ass out here."

"I see," Jaya answers on the marriage that didn't happen, studying him when he looks away. She says nothing else to that, letting the comfortable silence settle until she hears the incredulous tone in his voice on her betrothal. Snorting to that, "Long story," she says dryly on that one. Perhaps she could sense his discomfort, his echo getting a blink and a considering, "Perhaps when I get back, I'll tell you." Jonavan says the last, the barkeep regarding him for a long moment before she lifts her hand out for the bottle. "Appreciate the drinking buddy, even briefly," she says then, her voice hoarse with that faint smile that touches her dark features in the night. "I should probably stop myself. A drunk barkeep doesn't bring in as many profits by the end of the night." Even as she says it, one can tell that this night? The last thing she's thinking about is profit. The sky must be falling.

There is likely much more Jonavan could say on the subject, but the healer isn't given to long heart-to-hearts - or heart-to-hearts of any sort. "It was a long time ago," is all he does say, before the silence comes between them. He makes a noise of assent to the idea of stories shared at a later date. Then, "Gone long?" He takes one last swig while the bottle's in his possession before passing it back for Jaya to keep. "If you'd had it all to yourself I wouldn't bet on you even crawling back. Let alone counting your profits."

A long time ago. Jaya can understand that, that sole phrase bringing back such ill-timed betrothals and the like for herself. "They always are." To his question of her going away, that she answers more briskly. "A sevenday or so, give or take," she says with a single nod. "Don't I can take off any more time than that. Might come back and find my bar burned down with all the brawls that are to take place in my absence." She takes the bottle back and takes a long drink from it then, a slight wince given before she continues. Smirking at his last, "Yeah well, what can I say?" she drawls, raising the glass to him as she starts to take a few steps back in the direction of her bar. "If only, shuga. Guess I'll see you around, Jonavan," she says, her steps laced with the drink. Oh yeah, she's going to be right fun tonite in the state she's in! There's a leveled look of gratitude in her gaze though for what he did reveal to her this night, though it's something she's not going to voice. It's only there in the slight incline of her head, the tentative smile that's there and gone under the influence, before it's all covered up in her usual bravado.

"Does that mean I get to flirt with Suli while you're off?" Jonavan resurrects the standing banter on Jaya's help in the bar, recovering a bit of his humour. "Face like a rock, nothing like it." Staying stationary, it's hard to tell if Jonavan is similarly affected by the alcohol consumed though it's hard to believe he wouldn't be. His gaze as he watches Jaya take her leave is clear enough, though sliding off-focus for an instant; but then, it may have nothing to do with the drink and more to do with what he glimpses in the younger woman's gaze. "See you when you get back," he returns, and leaves it at that. Despite the spoken intention to leave, the healer stays standing in the garden, more inclined to take up a position against the rock Jaya favoured earlier and watch the stars spinning overhead in time to his unvoiced thoughts.

"Suli would deck you into the next Pass and have you coming back with your own dragon if you cause her grief," Jaya seems to warn, though in her state, she's not really worried about it. Little does she know that the towering barmaid has plans of her own while Jaya's away. That light banter is returned either way, and she's turning around with a backhanded lift of her hand as she starts to head off at Jonavan's farewell. There's a brief look behind her at him and then she's gone - her and that horridly strong bottle - returning to her bar a bit more intoxicated than she intended, but well, she was planning on calling it an early night anyway. Suli and Hayli certainly got her covered for the evening otherwise.

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