A tough nut to crack


Indira.jpg Dubose.jpg

Date: 2010.07.20
Location: Beast Tunnel
Synopsis: Dubose and his wagon finally arrive at the Weyr. Indira pulls out almost (almost) every card up her sleeve and comes up empty when the trader continues to ignore her attempts to capture his full attention in the way she's gotten used to getting from men.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Indira

A team of oxen is being driven into the stables along with the main trade wagon and several other small carts that represent a decent sized traveling band. the group of men running the operation is rather rough around the edges, perhaps more travel-worn than anything, but it's hard to tell with those trader-types. Dubose is there with the gang, but he's not doing the same amount of work as the rest of the men fighting with beasts and what-not. He's standing to one side, squinting at a thick bundle of hides and slowly going over them as items are unloaded and checked.

Word must have gotten to the Headwoman of the wagon’s arrival, for there she comes, clipboard in hand, striding her way down toward where Dubose stands. Dark eyes flicking over wagon, men, and cargo as she goes. Calling to the big trader as soon as she’s close enough not to be yelling, “Dubose! You made it and all in one piece I see.” And yes, she’s seeing, taking in every last inch of the man mountain before her. “I trust you had no further problems along the way?”

Several men look up from their tasks to give the Headwoman a serious looking over. They're men afterall and who knows how long they've been on the road. A couple pause in their tasks of unloading but the headman, an older whipcord thin man with a grizzled beard, snarls at them to get working so they can be done with things. Dubose offers a nod to Indira, his expression distant, "Yup. Made it all. We'll see how much got broken with that sharding mess. Going to cost me my shirt to get the wagon fixed up too." His eyes return quickly to his reading, his lips thinning slightly. Another crate is hauled out and he makes a small check mark on his ledger.

A woman that is used to being noticed has the uncanny habit of being aware of such while at the same time appearing not to be. As such Indira’s sweep down the line of man, beast and cargo leaves little but the faint scent of sandalwood in her wake. There’s the barest narrowing of eyes as Dubose doesn’t give her the attention she’s gotten used to getting and then she’s on to business. Drawing the clipboard out from under her arm, silence forms around the woman as she goes through the pages attached to it, lips moving as she does a mental check over the items needed. “Well then, let’s see what we can do to keep a shirt on that back of yours,” tone suggesting she’d rather it were removed but…moving on. Several pages are detached and held out to the trader, “This is a list of what we currently need with what we’re going to need in the future listed at the bottom so that we can get some kind of rotation of supply going.”

The big man seems oblivious to her disapproval of his dismissal of her, or at least the physical allure of her. His crew meanwhile don't have a problem at all filling in where the boss is lacking. It’s the remark she makes about his shirt that makes his bright gaze lift from the hide he's mulling over. "Huh…" He watches her a moment longer, as though waiting for her to make another remark, or perhaps a request and licks the pad of his finger to moisten it enough to flip another page of his stack. When she moves on, he continues to watch her, curious. "A list hhmmm?" Keeping his place on the stack with one big mitt, he reaches with the other to take up the pages offered out to him.

“Your shirt?” Indira clarifies with a lift of brows, “You’re worried about keeping both it and getting your wagon sorted out?” Cue the brief eyeroll that speaks a silent ‘Men!’ “Then again, if you’re not that concerned about keeping your shirt, I’m sure something could be arranged along those lines too.” So accommodating isn’t she? With Dubose taking the list, the Headwoman takes up a perch on a nearby crate, one tightly fitted trouser leg lifting and crossing over another as she puts a skeptical look up to the trader, “I’m not some green stripling just planted in the position yesterday. Yes, a list. Is that a problem?” Balancing the clipboard in her lap, the tousle haired blonde places a hand behind her on the crate and leans back onto it. Vogue!

The list is plucked up and snapped towards the Headwoman as he curls his nose slightly at her, "I thought you were meaning something else." Disdain then, thickly dished out over her flirting. He watches her and then gives an eyeroll of his own before settling his attention on the list she's given him. All her posing going to waste for him, but that doesn't stop several of the wagoneers from hooting. It's like a free show. Heck, it is a free show. "It's not a problem for me." He says to the list, not bothering to look up. His hides are set aside on a crate so he can run a finger down her list. There's no change of expression, just a mask of cold thoughtfulness.

Dubose's reaction has the remarkable effect of having Indira blinking several times before her eyes narrow into dangerous slits of dissatisfaction. And of course, she'll feign ignorance, her expression pulling into a perplexed line, "What else by Faranth's great golden ass could I have meant? A shirt, dear man, is a fucking shirt." Irritation replacing politeness briefly with her deciding that the trader has -got- to be gay! The blonde head turns away from him, those that can see her expression probably treated to a scowl of impressive proportions. With the ice of her birth place sliding into her tone, she swings her head back, "Do you have what I want, or don't you?" Which could be a two edged question. All efforts to impress fallen by the wayside, leaving a somewhat confounded woman behind.

"Oh please. You said shirt as in, 'oh please, take it off'." The big man portrays a higher pitched tone as he says it, twirling one hand in the air in an impression of a fluttery-eyelashed vixen. Maybe he /is/ gay with that sort of wrist action. There's a snicker from one of the men behind him but a snarl from the head-man gets the boys back to work unloading. Now Dubose fans himself with the pages, watching the Headwoman, the side of his mouth curling up in a little smirk, "Oh, I've got what you want alright." Confident that, even if he's just as cold now than ever. "You want to see it for yourself?"

That earns Dubose a dead eyed –stare- and then Indira’s mouth is curling around a deep smirk, “You,” taking deliberate pause, “should be so lucky.” There, take that. The snickering men behind him are flashed a look equivalent to a feline sizing up its next meal. And not, of the lip-smacking-finger-licking-good variety but rather that of the bone-crunching-spit-your-heart-out type. The page fanning trader is given an unimpressed lift of brow at first, and then Indira’s expression starts to settle back into those playful and flirtatious lines again. That is until his tone strips it right back off again. With an inhale of breath, roll of head and squaring of shoulders, the woman slowly stands, all emotion and expression zipped tightly behind a wall of bland, “Show me.” The words delivered with clipped and well practiced indifference.

Dubose's smile is just as cool and he chuckles at the threat from the Headwoman. The problem, of course, is that he's not really under her thumb or control as his whole world is in the little caravan that just rolled in with all the goodies boxed up and ready to sell. "huh." He utters the sound like a cough when she claims he should be lucky and doesn't move when he's ordered to show her anything. There's a moment when it looks like he might just round up his broken gear and take off but something changes his mind. Turning he motions for her to follow him closer to where the main wagon is sitting. It's out of the way and looks no worse for wear despite what issues it might have run into on the road. "So, some of this stuff I don't have much of…you didn't list just how much of some of these items…" he slows for her to keep pace with him of course, "Or how much you wanna spend."

Just because she’s zipped herself away behind the mask, doesn’t mean that Indira’s oblivious to that moment when it appears that Dubose might just pack up and leave. The only tell of the idea not having sat right with the woman, comes in the breath of air she exhales when he turns and gestures for her to follow. And follow she does. Not alongside, keeping up with the big man (she’s still pissed with him) but rather just a pace or two back where dirty looks flashed at his broad back war with something else in her eyes. She nods to what he says and then realizes that he quite likely does not have eyes in the back of his head and so keeping her tone businesslike, puts voice to her thoughts, “I’ll take whatever you’ve got with you now and place the rest on back order.” As to cost, this is where her steps slow, “Actually, I’ve got a proposal as far as that goes. A bit of you scratch my back, I scratch yours?” At any other time those last words would have been heavily laced with innuendo. Now however, they are delivered as simple analogy.

Dubose utters a small, rumbling, "MMm-hhhmmm," in response to the back-scratching deal and he turns to look at the Headwoman. There's puzzlement on his face, his lips curling up just slightly at some joke that must have come to mind. "Just what sort of scratching do you think I might require?" He hands off the paper to one of the men, but waits until she speaks to give the orders for the goods to be selected out of the various crates and packs.

Still a little off balance, Indira gives the slight curl of lips coming from Dubose a short frown before tossing her head in a gesture meant to pull that shroud of battered pride back about herself. One shoulder shifts as if to shrug at the question put to her but by force of iron will, the action never gets much further than a bare twitch of movement. “A trade of sorts. The Weyr is soon to be overrun by hopeful dragonrider wannabes, and the last thing either I or my cavern staff wants, is a whole slew of giggling, moon-eyed teenagers under our feet. So I was thinking, what if we were to loan some of them out to you to help with harvesting and in return, you cut us a deal on what it is we’re in need of?”

Dubose's eyebrows lift slowly at the suggestion. He watches her adjust her pride back in place and does nothing to ruffle her anymore. "Really? You trust me with a bunch of your little wet-behind-the-ears kids?" He looks over his shoulder at the rough-neck crew he has and then slowly turns to regard Indira as though she might have grown a second head. "I think that would be a great deal for me. So long as I can send anyone back to you who won't work or who I think might cause trouble. Too much work to be your baby-sitter and still get a rip for the pricing."

Dark blonde brows creep upward in mirror of Dubose’s, “You plan on chopping them up and using them for fish bait?” Oh look, she’s gotten over her mood and some of the humor is returning. Indira’s eyes follow his to where the crew are hard at work and then flit back onto the trader, mouth twisting into a dry line that could perhaps pass as a tightly controlled smile, “Any that are sent back for not putting their backs to it, will have me to deal with. I’ll speak to weyrwoman Randi tomorrow and let her know you’re willing to consider the option. We’ll have them sent over a dragonback. Quicker that way.” Bartering, territory where the ground beneath the Headwoman’s feet is solid rock, “We got a deal?”

Dubose's head tips forward, "I might." Turn them into bait that is. Seriously. From the look of him, he just might too if the situation called for it. After a nod to the headwoman's words of sending the 'kids' packing he turns to his man, "Get these items packed up. I think these here are in the far carts and these I'll get out of my gear." Some things you just don't leave with the rest of the cargo. "So," back to the blonde now, all his smoldering attention on her, "Sounds like a fairly good deal to me. We'll have to work out just how far you're going to let the brats run with us but….seems like a dragon-rider could just come get them if we're boiling numbweed out a ways."

That shoulder is finally able to break free of the ironclad bond it had been held under, and shrugs. It’s not like they’re –her- kids, right? Either that, or she’s calling the big trader’s bluff. As he gives orders to his men, she chips in to remind, “Don’t forget the Hemlock, we’ve a tunnelsnake problem like you won’t believe! Every time they start up with digging further the damn things…” Indira’s words trail away in the face of that smoldering look coming from Dubose. What-the-hell!? Dark eyes fix to jungle hued as the Headwoman tries to figure out exactly what the man-mountain’s game might be. Eventually she gives up and turns back to the subject at hand with a soft snort, “Let ‘em boil the numbweed. Best they learn now the hard work that goes into making it rather than thinking it a marvelous device for pranks.”

"Tunnelsnakes huh?" Dubose looks interested at the topic of poisons of all things. "I've some mixtures of a few choice herbs that does a real good job on them. Lures them in from the smell and then they can't help but sample a bite of it. Better than just hemlock as it doesn't stink up the place too." He can't help but add a grim smile at the end of that. "I'll see what other chores I have around too. Grinding up nutmeg isn't much fun nor is mixing up redwort. In case you need….extra work for some."

“So long as they go –outside- to do the dying, I’ll take whatever works the fastest,” seemingly Indira’s finally found a comfort zone she can work with, the grim smile met with a crooked one of her own. “Fun?” brows hike upward, “They’re not supposed to be there to have fun, they’re supposed to be there to be knocked into shape and get a bit of a taste of what lies ahead of them if they impress.” Taking a step backward as if readying to make her departure, “Being a dragonrider is hard work. Its early mornings and late nights. Drills, oiling, making and re-making straps, staying in peak physical condition and then laying your life on the line when the call comes to fight Thread.” Her jaw a fraction too tight at the end. For someone who isn’t actually a dragonrider themselves, the Headwoman seems to have a pretty intimate knowledge of the life of one.

There's an easy roll of those broad shoulders and a dark chuckle for Indira's grim remark about 'fun'. "Then the tasks I have in mind will be perfect for a bunch of little candidates running amuck over all your stuff." He doesn't seem all that impressed about the litany about dragon riding but does listen to it without making a comment. At the end is when he drawls, "I have been at a weyr before. I know what it's like. " He watches her expression change but doesn't pry, just files that recognition of a pain away for another day, another conversation. "I'll have one of the men bring you the goods when they're gathered. Unless you'd like to come back and get them personally."

There’s the barest twitch of a brow when the trader mentions having been at a Weyr before, but she lets it go. Oh Indira would –very- much like to come back and pick up the goods personally, but she’s done with letting Dubose know that. At least for now. Instead, in a near prim tone that really doesn’t sit well on such a woman, “I’ll send some of the lower caverns boys up to get it. Just make sure you make them sign for it. I don’t have time to go running around trying to tag a thief if some of it goes missing.” With that, the Headwoman turns on her heel and heads back toward the inner workings of the Weyr, any sway of hips, for once, unintentional.

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