Adventures In Mind Healing


Jaya.jpg Evie.jpg NPC'd by Jonavan

Date: Nov. 20, 2010
Location: Lake shore, EW
Synopsis: Jaya meets Jonavan's visiting sister, who just happens to be a mind healer. The two touch on various things - that being Evie's annoying brother, randy drunks, and they even speculate over Jaya's bodyguard, Shijan.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

As Eastern spins out of night and into morning, Evie finds herself with time on her hands. Her brother still has to work, but this is her vacation, and she doesn’t plan to spend it in the infirmary. The young woman yawns as she strolls through the bowl towards the lake she’d spotted yesterday, gathering up her long brown hair with both hands and twisting it into a bun that falls out as soon as she takes her hands away.

The morning finds both Jaya and Shijan out for breakfast on the shore - while they have the time for it, that is. She has a cup of klah in one hand and a roll in the other while her lap has been occupied with bound sheets of some writing she’s reading. Shijan, as usual, is not intruding upon her breakfast - choosing to sit a couple of benches away and keeps his gaze leveled towards the view of the lake and towards any that should come close to his charge. There’s a peaceful silence between the two, though on Jaya’s part, it seems to be a far more unsettled quiet as she absently eats her breakfast without any breaking to look away to see the view before her.

As Evie draws near to the pair she spots along the shore, she starts to hum an old harper’s ballad that’s come back to recent popularity. It provides ample warning of her approach. “Morning,” she tosses out with a smile for both, sociable as she comes to a halt nearby. “Nice out here, isn’t it?” She tilts her face towards the sun and holds out her bare arms, palms up so the sun will hit the pale skin of the underside. The young woman, in her early to mid twenties, is too pale to have been in Southern long.

Shijan’s keen gaze lights on Evie the moment he hears her voice - with him being a former harper, it’s likely a song he recognizes easily, and so there’s the bare look of curiosity from him that has him watching her like a hawk. Jaya, on the other hand, was in the process of trying to use her wrists to do something with the bound stack of hides on her lap that the moment Evie’s voice hits her, she upsets the whole thing and goes tumbling from her lap to the ground. “Aww shit!” she raises up her klah and roll, looking around to find a spot to place them down on so she could retrieve the hide stack when she suddenly shoots a glance up towards the woman. Blinking as she takes the other in, “Hey,” is the Bitran’s greeting, her boots coming together with the stack falling between them. Shifting, “It is. Nice.” Eyes note how pale she is for sure, then it goes to her hair, then her face, finding her gesture of holding out her bare arms to be of mild interest. “Take it you’re new around these parts?” she ventures to ask, the barkeep always liking to be the one to catch those coming into and out of the Weyr for her own personal knowledge.

Evie hums another line and gives Shijan a smile that crinkles her eyes at the corners. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she says a second later, genuinely contrite to have disturbed Jaya. “Need a hand?” She takes a step closer, willing to put words to action. “I’m just visiting,” she explains a second later, another smile at the ready. She’s friendly without being intrusive, keeping enough distance between herself and the other two unless more explicitly made welcome to join them. “Escaping the winter for a sevenday or so. Looks like it’s coming along down here.”

With Shijan continuing to watch her in his silence, “Thanks,” Jaya accepts the help easily, the woman moving her legs out and dropping the stack of hides closer to Evie so she could pick them up. “That’s what I get for trying to multi-task, right?” she remarks wryly, fitting a crooked smile her way in her gesture of being friendly. At the answer of her just visiting, “Oh?” she puts forth, biting into her roll at that with her studying gaze on Evie. “Where are you visiting from?” While Evie is polite enough not to intrude, Jaya on the other hand… The question is her welcome enough for the other woman to join if she wishes - especially since she wasn’t going to get anywhere with reading and eating at once. Eyes flicking over Evie’s attire as she puts together more assumptions, “Where up north?” she tailors her previous question as she continues to eat.

Evie needs no other invitation and crosses the remaining distance in a few short strides. She squats alongside Jaya and reaches out to help, tossing her hair over one shoulder and out of the way with a quick flick of her hand. “Fort,” she replies, glancing up to meet Jaya’s gaze rather than looking down as she speaks. “Thereabouts, between here and there - not really settled in one place at the moment.” Evie is open and easy in her manner, including Shijan in her regard in order not to exclude him from the conversation, even if he doesn’t choose to speak. “Name’s Evie,” she adds with a smile.

Offering Evie both her cup of klah and half-eaten roll to hold, “Thanks,” Jaya flashes her that grin before she turns and goes to retrieve the stack of hides. Once that’s set aside, “Fort, huh?” she repeats conversationally, eyes going towards that flicked hair - really, towards any movement Evie should make. When the name is given, there’s a pause from the barkeep before she reaches out to reclaim her food and drink. “Evie?” she echoes, frowning somewhat, though the expression is fleeting towards something neutral. “As in, Jonavan’s Evie?” She can remember the name given, so now the Bitran is studying her face closely, looking for any resemblances between her and the healer. It’s enough to cause her pause from eating, though her guardedness has yet to abate as well.

Evie rises from her crouch, holding Jaya’s breakfast until the other woman reaches out to take it back. She looks surprised to hear herself identified, eyebrows lifting along with the corner of her mouth. “Well, yes. He’s been talking about me?” She thinks about this for a minute, mostly amused. “You know him, then.” She sounds wry with that comment. “Did you also know that he’s been annoying me on a daily basis? Only way to make him stop was to actually come down - which of course was exactly what he wanted. If you’ve got any ideas on how to make his life miserable in return, I’m all ears.” She gestures to the bench that Jaya’s sitting on. “May I?”

Having it confirmed, Jaya puts the hides together with cup and roll in hand and while doing so, “He mentioned you once,” she notes, moving the stacks out of the way once she plugs her mouth with the roll. It almost means she can’t speak for a moment, so once she moves the hides to the other side of her, she bites into the last of the roll and drops the rest into a now-freed up hand. “I know him.” Understatement, perhaps. “Maybe.” There’s the slightest form of sarcasm here, though it’s fleeting when she turns back to face Evie with a more genial demeanor. And then there’s the question of what could be done to annoy him to no end. Ohoho, Jaya’s probably the worse to be asking that, and that little smile she gives can only be counted for something ominous. “He’s been annoying you like that?” she returns, gesturing with a nod for Jonavan’s sister to join her on the bench. “Huh. Well, pushing his buttons seem to do the trick, I’ve learned,” she notes dryly. “Maybe tell him you give a shit and that will have him stopping.” Bitter much? Naw… But there’s a flash of another smile, and the Bitran woman’s holding out her hand for Evie to shake on. “Jaya. Eastern’s resident barkeep. Well met, Evie.”

Evie bears resemblance to her brother in the colour of her eyes and hair, and the curving close-mouthed smile she gives Jaya now is the same as the one he wears when inclined to smile. Jonavan’s got all the height in the family though; Evie is petite, with more delicate features and higher cheekbones. “Thanks,” she says, taking up the other portion of Jaya’s bench once she’s granted permission, tucking her knees over to one side so she’s half-facing Jaya, half-facing the lake. There’s a flash of concern passing her expression for what the other woman has to say of her brother, and the smile turns into a more thoughtful frown. “That sounds like him,” she says lightly, then takes Jaya’s hand with a firm grip. “Well met.” Then, releasing Jaya’s hand, she settles her arm along the back of the bench. “Mind if I ask —?” The question sounds genuine rather than nosy, and there’s no flash of recognition to signal that her brother’s told her anything about his history with Jaya.

Jaya regards the resemblance between brother and sister with open interest. She couldn’t help the smile touching her lips at the one Evie gives - it being so similar to Jonavan’s own, after all. Once the other is seated and their hands shake, “So you’re the mind healer,” she says, trying to recall all that Jonavan has said on his sister that time she was being nosy in reading his letter. One corner of her mouth curling upwards as she leans back with her breakfast, “You ever try that mind-healing stuff on your brother? Or, I’ve got a few patrons at the bar that could use some of that healing stuff if you don’t mind hanging around randy drunks all night,” because, clearly, she doesn’t. Once her hand drops away, the question in regards to her brother gets a long guarded look from the scarred faced woman before she shrugs one shoulder at her. “It’s nothing, I guess,” she hedges to say for only a moment, looking away from her towards the lake as she finishes her roll. “Just your brother being…an ass.” Dark eyes meet Evie then, she adds sardonically, “I’m learning that, shuga.”

“That’s me,” Evie affirms, smile still in place. Jaya’s following question garners a laugh, and she shakes her head in sudden, vigorous denial. “Oh, no. I’m not touching his mess with a ten foot pole. Randy drunks, sure, I’m up for that, but I try to keep personal life separate from work.” She won’t pry into whatever it is that has Jaya angry with her brother, but does turn a long, considering look on the other woman before deciding to at least drop one note of information on her brother. “He’s convinced he doesn’t need anyone,” Evie says with a hint of seriousness now in her tone and expression. “Which is, of course, ridiculous. But you try and tell him that.”

“How do you?” Jaya oddly enough asks in amusement, then tacks on, “Keep your personal life separate from work?” for clarification. Already she was starting to warm up the woman, finding her to be non-threatening and not one to stir up her temper like it is with many. And then, Evie drops that bit on Jonavan, and that has the barkeep settling a long look bordering a frown onto the mind healer. “I see.” Nodding once to that after the long pause, “So something did happen,” she surmises, her brows furrowing a bit before she takes a drink of the cooling klah. “It is. Ridiculous. But who am I to argue that?” Who was she indeed, with the last 6 or so turns she’s been living her life? “So, he’s resigned himself,” she doesn’t make it as a question, shaking her head a bit at that. “Talk about dramatic.” Deadpan to the last as she raises her cup of klah as if in a toast before taking a drink.

“Helps when you don’t live in the same place,” Evie points out with a trace of humour in her voice. “And of course, nothing’s ever fully separate, is it? Still…” Her shrug is a quick, birdlike movement. “Something happens to everyone,” she says next, warm and sympathetic but without being patronizing. It’s easy to see how suited she is for her chosen profession; she speaks quite naturally, but allows the space and silence to listen too, with an intent regard that doesn’t miss much. “I could say more, but it’s his life and he’s the one who has to live it - I’m not about to do it for him.” She twists to stretch, with an audible popping sound from her back as a result.

“Ah,” Jaya regards that answer with a sardonic smile in place. “Then I’ve lost that race, huh?” The bar was both home and business for her, she indicates. On Jonavan. however, there’s a shallow nod to Evie’s words before she puts her intense gaze on her. She’s silent for a moment, perhaps merely enjoying the outside and peaceful company before the havoc that is the bar. Evie was right of course, and Jaya didn’t want to bring Jonavan’s own sister into the fray with her only just arriving at the Weyr. She wasn’t exactly sure what to say to that, her emotions warring within, so she looks away and casually remarks, “That is the way of things, shuga. We all have our own lives to live.” Draining her cup then, “So then. I do believe this is the first time I’ve had the chance to sit with a mind healer,” she notes, letting the smirk pierce her features as she regards the other again. “Do you get pretty bad cases? Worse than randy bar drunks?” she adds, amusement coloring her tone.

“Oh, you never know. Sometimes all it takes is saying, ‘this is work,’ and ‘this is not’ and being strict with yourself about it until it gets easier to switch off.” Evie twists back round the other way, and this time the pop is quieter. She exhales a long, relaxed sigh. “Ah, the rumours aren’t half as bad as the reality,” she answers in a gentle tease, letting Jaya have the final word on her brother and instead turning to the subject of mindhealing. “Sometimes. People are scared, I think, everyone’s at each other’s throats. The changes in the last several years aren’t minor, and they aren’t going away. So that’s where I come in.” Evie is both serious and reflective as she gives her answer. “It’s good to have a break, actually. It does get to you.”

“Between slinging drinks all night and dealing with dramas all day?” Jaya relates wryly, waving her hand at the idea. “Yeah, it’s getting hard to distinguish work from life these days.” She wipes her hands together once she bends to set the cup down, then straightens to prop herself back on her hands. The tease gets a soft snort from the barkeep before she shakes her head. “Don’t know how you do it,” she notes with some semblance of seriously, darting a look towards Evie before she studies the lake. “I usually have to delve into what they’re thinking when they order the worst possible whiskey that I own. You hear some crazy stories when you’re behind a bar.” So maybe there’s not much difference between mind healer and barkeep? One like Jaya would think so. “Why mind healing? Not into, you know, sealing cuts or bedside manners?”

“Well - it’s easier if they’re not your dramas,” Evie admits, assuming that that’s what Jaya means. “Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.” She means it as a compliment, implying that Jaya’s job holds a degree of challenge. As for the question, Evie has an answer at the ready; it’s one she’s given before. “If you stitch up a cut, that doesn’t necessarily heal the wound. For example, if you’re going round and come across a woman with a black eye who says a runner kicked her, giving her something for the pain only treats what’s on the surface. You know?” She’s noticed Jaya’s scar of course but her gaze hasn’t lingered there once. “I’m paired with a harper a lot of the time. They deal with the…justice element, but that in itself doesn’t solve all situations.”

Yeah, she wishes some of it wasn’t hers. “It can be a challenge,” Jaya says instead, letting some amusement into her voice in her matter-of-fact tone. “I’m just trying to keep the riff raff from destroying my bar. A brawl’s fun when you’re not the one owning all the glasses and tables. If that means me having to delve into their pasts a little to calm them…” It could be fun when you are the one owning such things, but then, you’re still the one having to pay for it later. Evie’s answer gets a considering look from the barkeep, the example getting a wry lopsided grin. “You’re more interested in how the black eye got there, and how she feels about it,” she answers, feeling the heaviness of her own scar running down the side of her face. “Makes sense.” She quiets then, seeming as if hesitating. There was someone recently arrived that could probably use a mind healer… “So you go around, trying to right wrongs in their heads?” she asks then, her tone thoughtful as she thinks of the woman she had helped bring down from Telgar. “It must get…challenging. Overwhelming. You must be made of tough stuff, Evie,” and tough stuff is something she could understand.

Evie grins for Jaya’s remark that a brawl can be fun, then confirms the barkeep’s summation with a nod. She goes further though, saying, “Not to mention her children, if she has any, or why the neighbours didn’t say anything. The longer you look at it, the more it becomes a social issue.” Evie begins playing with her hair again, gathering together separate strands and working out a loose braid; her hands are in need of occupation. “Not quite that simple,” she remarks, unaffectedly modest. “People have to want help - and in the end, they’re the ones helping themselves.” She does nod for Jaya’s assessment, momentarily sober. “You see things you wish you hadn’t.” Then Evie, seeming not to want to dwell, shrugs it off and adds, “Maybe it was the way we were raised. I think we saw more than most kids because our parents didn’t try to shelter us. My brother, he goes for open confrontation - this is my way.” Evie has a soft smile as she looks out at the lake, gaze resting there and then passing back to Jaya by way of Shijan who still sits beyond. “What’s with him?” she wonders in a low tone that won’t reach the man. “Most people that quiet look like they’re brooding, you know, either angry or depressed. He doesn’t look like that.” It is a point of open curiosity.

Isn’t that the truth? “Most don’t want to look at my scar,” Jaya relates, self-consciously brushing a hand over that side of her face. “Hasn’t really been an issue, and some seem to think I wear it proudly or something, because I won’t cover it up.” There’s one other that chooses to cover her scars, anyway. Shrugging, “But I get it. Wanting the help. You ever run into those that don’t? You let them just… go?” and fingers flick towards the lake in a moving gesture. But then, it seems like Jaya understands - especially when Evie mentions how her brother goes for. There’s a wry look being sent her way at that, “Open confrontation, I get,” she quips almost dryly, that being an understatement in her eyes. “Then again, I can’t talk. Prefer the ‘open confrontation’ bit, too. Come from a family that teaches that the minute you’re done sucking your ma’s tit.” Smirking at the memories, “I don’t even think my father knows the word ‘shelter’,” she adds, passing Evie a musing look before her gaze shifts to Shijan when she brings him up. Some of that amusement fades when she does, Evie’s observation on the man drawing a brief reflection for the Bitran as she straightens up a bit and answers, “Not sure,” rather quietly herself. “I don’t think he’s…angry or depressed or anything like that. Haven’t really figured him out yet. Working on it.” Seems to be a thing Jaya fixates on - figuring out the people in her life. Dark eyes falling on the mind healer then, “I’m his job,” she states openly, the smile bland to his reason of being there. “Don’t mind him.”

“The problem’s with them, not with you.” On an impulse, Evie leans forward to try to smooth a strand of hair behind Jaya’s ear on the scar-side, gesture accompanied by another of her smiles. And if Jaya makes even the slightest motion away, indicating something she’s not comfortable with, Evie will settle for giving Jaya’s shoulder a squeeze. “People don’t like to face what makes them uncomfortable. And I do think that being open about it is something to be proud of - for yourself, that you don’t have to hide.” She rocks back, not attempting to conceal a shadow of regret for Jaya’s question. “Sometimes there isn’t anything else you can do.” It doesn’t last as the comments on family have Evie beginning to laugh, evidently not bothered by the rather colourful picture Jaya paints. “Something tells me it would be best to stay out of your bar if you ever have a row.” No doubt she imagines the glasses and bottles flying. Another glancing look to Shijan as she quiets, the curiosity furthered as Jaya calls herself the man’s job. “Oh, I don’t. Just interested. Nosiness is a professional habit.” It suits her to name it thus, with a slightly guilty smile.

Jaya doesn’t flinch away when Evie smooths back a strand of her dark hair, the Bitran not finding the gesture nor the mind healer of any threat. Sending a small but genuine grin her way, “Never really bothered me whether they look or not,” she says, her husky tone staying wry. “I come from a family that wears their scars and deeds without shame. Gutsy. Plus, it keeps men from thinking they can just take advantage of me by thinking I’m some sort of weak lily.” She’s teasing, right? Leaning back against her propped arms, “I make it a mission not to cause rows in my bar,” she says then as if she’s confiding such a secret to the mind healer with a wink. “The rest of the Weyr is good ground for that. Ever punched someone real good before?” It’s a good enough bonding question to her, which probably would say a whole lot about Jaya to any mind healer. On the topic of Shijan though, “You and me both,” she answers on nosiness, her eyes finding the teak skinned man easily enough as he continues to gaze out at the lake. “He seems to have me figured out though,” she tacks on after a pause, her tone dropping to something more flat, even though it’s fleeting before she meets Evie’s eyes. “Maybe he used to be a mind healer himself.”

Evie listens without comment until Jaya gets to the part about men taking advantage of her, and there the petite woman grins wide. “You should see some of the looks I get. I can see the benefit.” Her amusement grows to the point where she responds mischievously, “Does Jonavan count? I used to take advantage of the fact that he wasn’t allowed to hit back. Still comes in handy sometimes.” Almost regretfully, she adds, “Not supposed to outside of that. Might lose credibility. Some people could use it though.” She wrinkles her nose in a comic look of disgruntlement. Looking at Shijan again, Evie is quite open in staring and trying to puzzle out if, indeed, he was a mind healer in his past life. “Don’t think I’ve seen him before,” she says dubiously, taking the suggestion seriously, “though that doesn’t mean he didn’t train elsewhere.” She drops it for now, clapping her hands against her knees. “Well. I suppose I should be off. But maybe I’ll come by your bar while I’m here. Have a look at those drunks of yours.”

“They want to bother a little pretty thing like you up there?” Jaya openly teases before tacking on, “Does Jonavan know? He seems to be pretty protective of you, the way he talks. Wish my own would speak of me the same way.” Or, maybe not. Nacor was definitely not over-protective. Laughter punctuates Evie’s quip on her brother though. “I think it’s an eldest sibling duty to take advantage of the younger ones, although I’ve seen vice versa on that account plenty of times,” she says with laughter in her voice. “I was a terror to my sister and brother. Would still be if we kept in touch. I imagine my brother has taken my place over the turns in harassing our sweet-as-nails sister.” Beat. “Is it just the two of you?” she asks on their being more siblings of them, her barkeep curiosity kicking in once more. When Evie answers her question, however, she waves a hand and leans over with a lowered voice to say, “You can in my bar, so long’s you aren’t hitting any of my glasses, deal? I’ll even give you a discount on brandy if it helps any.” Because every girl should have her first punch, the way Jaya sees it. Eyes to Shijan then, the woman literally answering her question gets some semblance of a smile along with a wry, “Something tells me I don’t think anyone would recognize that one, mind healer or not,” she mutters for Evie’s ears alone, her gaze shifting to the mind healer with a more crooked smile in place. When she announces her departure, the barkeep straightens up and bends to retrieve her own cup. “Guess I should be back to work, getting the bar ready for later,” she says, the Bitran getting to her feet with a stretch. Looking back over her shoulder at her as Shijan seems to have risen at the same time Jaya does, “It was really nice meeting you, Evie,” she says then, the scarred faced woman having decided that she liked the mind healer already. “You’re…not what I expected.” Whatever that means. “Definitely come by the bar, shuga. You’ll find enough to occupy your time there to make it worth your while. Or, at least have a few drinks.”

“Well, the men who beat their wives often have a few choice words,” Evie says wryly without going into detail. The comment on her brother’s protectiveness has her suddenly a bit cautious. “No, and he doesn’t need to. He can be enough of a pain in my ass without that.” Continuing, she grins for Jaya’s comments on her siblings, though sharp ears pick up the past tense and the conditional. As for her family: “Just us. And he might be older, but he does not have the advantage as far as I’m concerned. He’s enough of a terror without it; he’d be completely irredeemable if he did.” She laughs out a “Deal,” for Jaya’s offer and rises as well, a step behind the others. The remark on Jaya’s expectations for her has the mindhealer offering another quirky smile. “People rarely are.” Evie waits to see what direction Jaya and her escort are heading, more than happy to accompany if their paths take them the same direction. As she stands by, Evie lets drop almost as an afterthought, “Oh, a word of warning. Jonavan’s in one of his moods and probably will be for at least a couple days. So if you see him and he starts being…” She gestures expansively, wordless. “…don’t take it personally.” With that said, the young woman quite genuinely says, “It was nice to meet you too.”

“I imagine they do,” Jaya answers on men that beat their wives, her distaste in such lot evident. she does catch that cautiousness coming from the mind healer on her comment, but she doesn’t point it out and chooses to file that away in her memory. She files away the bits on Jonavan too, though she does respond with an amused, “I don’t envy you, shuga.” Since Evie confirms the deal, the barkeep looks pleased before she turns towards the direction of the Weyr proper where her bar is at, throwing a smirk over her shoulder at the remark on expectations and was willing to leave it at that - until Evie’s warning on her brother lends her steps a pause and another sudden look over her shoulder. At hearing that Jonavan’s in a mood, there’s hardly a change in her bland expression as she returns with, “He isn’t the only one, shuga.” Warning heard and accepted, however, and the brief incline of her head is confirmation of that before she smiles again and starts to walk off with Shijan coming up to her side.

Evie looks sorely tempted to say more. Only a muttered reminder to herself - “Not my life” - has the young woman keeping her lips shut. That goes for questions, too, and any further chatter Evie has to offer as she skips up to tag alongside the other two on the way back is touristy curiosity about the Weyr, its people, and its surroundings.

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