Avians Of A Feather

Participants:

Jaya.jpg Indira.jpg Hope.jpg Shijan.jpg Suli.jpg Hayli.jpg S'las (NPC)

Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Bar, EW
Synopsis: Jaya gets a little visitor and a deal is brokered by the afternoon.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya


Since the patrons and crowd doesn't fully until a few hours later, Jaya and her staff were putting in the finishing touches in preparation for them. Hayli and Suli were setting up the card tables while Shijan was manning his usual post in silence. As for its owner, Jaya was behind the counter, checking through shipment lists while her wily bronzeriding friend, S'las was taking every opportunity to distract her. As he drains his glass of the Istan Wave, "Not a bad drink," he declares with a sigh setting the glass down to which Jaya looks up from her lists and remarks, "You seem to like it well enough since you've just finished a whole bottle. Don't you have 'dragonrider' things to do other than harassing your only friend?" - "I'm wounded," and S'las makes a show of slapping a hand to chest, shaking his head. "Only friend? I'll have you know I get along fine with more folks here than I ever did up in Igen! In fact I had one just the other day praising me for my flight skills!" - "Praising that dragon, more like," is Jaya's quip, it being hard to hold back the smirk that threatens as she shakes her head and continues her work.

Heading toward her third turnday in a couple of months time, a certain little dark-haired girl has decided to try out her skills as an escape artist. Several times she’d asked to see S’uga and each time she’d been told later. And now Hope was tired of waiting.

With the door to the Headwoman’s office left slightly ajar to allow for the circulation of air, Hope had waited until her grandmother got that particular look on her face - The one where finely shaped eyebrows quirked toward each other in crease of deep concentration. It was then that she made her move for with Doran having been sent on an errand earlier, there was no one to see her slipping out the door and scurrying off down the passage as fast as she could with her rag-doll tucked securely under one arm. Down one corridor, around a corner and down the next, the little girl moved with a sense of purpose and direction, smart enough to stick to the shadows where she would remain unnoticed by any adults that passed her.

Thus it is that having been there a good few times before with the Headwoman, that Hope finds her own way to Jaya’s bar and marches across the threshold. Cool as the proverbial cucumber she heads straight for the counter, though being as how she’s shorter than the stool next to S’las that she stops at, she might initially go unnoticed. Save that is for Shijan whose hawk-eyed gaze tracks the toddler with a surprised lift of brows. There she stands for a moment or two waiting to be noticed before shifting her rag-doll to the other arm and lifting her free hand to tug at the end of the bronzerider’s shirt to get his attention, “ Hope wan’ sit.”

Shijan may have noticed the arrival of the toddler, but the rest of the group hadn’t. S’las was enjoying a good belly laugh as he nudges his empty just a tad closer to Jaya, silently pleading for another refill as he addresses her words on praise. “Oh-ho! Don’t you know that what praise he gets, I get? We’re a solid pair, Alzy and I!” he continues to boast, seeing that none of his words were stirring the barkeep. She just knows him too well. She sighs when she sees that glass moving close to her lists and turns to grab a new bottle and give him that refill. “I sure as blood hope you’re paying for drinking me out of my wares, shuga,” she dryly warns with that hint of amusement underneathe, to which S’las is laughing again at. He was about to counter, wanting to keep the banter up in the hopes of steering his ‘only’ friend from charging him after all when he feels that tug on his shirt. He immediately looks down and finds Hope there, wanting to sit, and the bronzerider’s brows raise high. “Well, well! Look-at what we have here!” he cries, turning a look onto his barkeep as she pours him that drink. “It would seem like your youngest patron has just showed up.” When Jaya gives him a odd look for the words, he twists to pick the girl up and sets her carefully down on the stool next to him, Hope now being seen above the counter. “Sure hope you’re not here to drink me under the table, little lady,” is his greeting to her, his smile cunning and his tone cavalier. Jaya, for her part, is passing the drink over and flicking an eye over Hope in her shock before drawling out, “Hey shuga. Looks like you found me, hm? Who did’ja sneak away from this time, hm?”

As strong hands lift her and deposit her gently on the stool next to him, Hope rather than be intimidated by the stranger gives him a very solemnly spoken, “Fanku,” and then arranging her rag-doll into her lap turns a megawatt smile onto Jaya. “Hope find S’uga!” she declares and then leaning aaaall the way forward, almost climbing up onto the bar counter, she puts a finger to her lips. “Ssshhh…Hope hidin’” as if this were some game of Hide and Seek between her and the Headwoman. A Headwoman that is likely to have the entire Weyr on full alert the moment she discovers the little girl is missing.

S’las looks intrigued at the toddler now seated among them, along with Suli. Having noticed who had drew her barkeep’s attention, she was drifting close to the counter now to listen in. Jaya has a fond smile for the girl alone, leaning forward to address her as she moves her hide lists to under the counter. “And found me you did!” she cries, pleased that Hope had wanted to seek her out in the first place. When Hope then leans forward and puts a finger to her lips, both Jaya and S’las leans forward too. “So who’re ya hiding from this time?” the Bitran teases her, sending an amused look to the bronzerider. “Someone I know?” – “You seem to know her pretty well,” S’las comments with a nod towards Hope, to which the barkeep states, “We got to know each other months ago. So, do you want something to drink? I think I do have something appropriate for a little girl that tastes like sweet redfruit…”

Bright eyes that don’t miss much, take in those around her. Even Suli as she approaches is afforded a shy smile and then she turns her attention back onto Jaya, though she does flick curious sidelong glances to S’las every now and then. “’Amma,” she replies in a solemn stage-whisper as to who it is she’s broken free from. When the bronzerider speaks up, Hope sets him with a long and studying look and without letting him out of her sight turns her head slightly toward Jaya, “Who man?” She wants a name it seems. When she’s being offered something to drink, little shoulders straighten and sending S’las a last careful eyeing, puts on her best ‘big girl’ voice, “Joos p’ease.” Then she’s fishing around in the bib pocket of the mauve dungarees she’s wearing, “Hope pay.” And out comes a mark bit. One can only imagine how she got a hold of that.

With Suli arriving at the counter to pin a piercing look onto the girl, the shy smile isn’t returned from her as she listens to the exchange. “Amma?” Jaya echoes the answer Hope gives, sending S’las a confused look. “What does ‘Amma’ look like?” S’las is amused through the exchange as he nurses his drink, and when Hope asks after him, a brow lifts towards Jaya and answers before the barkeep does. Setting his glass down and turning towards her with a flourish, “S’las of bronze Alzienenth, at your service,” is his introduction, executing a little bow. “ And might I be addressing?” he asks, looking from toddler to barkeep. When Hope answers on a drink to be had, Jaya make short work of getting her a small mug filled with the sweet and natural redfruit blend. Passing it towards her, dark eyes light on the mark Hope fishes out – and it causes S’las to erupt into laughter. “I do believe she has already learned the etiquette of shabby taverns!” he cries, highly approving. “That’s good, child. Always pay first in more proper establishments, but,” and he leans toward her, lowering his voice, “in those more dingier establishments, it is much wiser to receive the drink first before paying. Faranth knows what foulness the drink would be and would be unable to get your precious mark back.” Snorting at her friend, Jaya then nods toward Hope and asks, “Where did you get that, hm? Been exploring again?” Or in her translation, stealing into people’s things.

Hope doesn’t seem at all fazed by the look coming at her from Suli and soon dismisses her from her attention, a frown crinkling her smooth brow when Jaya doesn’t seem to understand who she’s talking about. “Aaaam maaa,” she tries stretching out the bastardisation of Gran’ma to see if that helps any. Dark eyes widen and then the little girl emits a giggle for the bronzerider’s elaborate introduction. Not that she understands much of it but it seems the bow certainly was amusing to her. “Silly Ass,” Hope gets the wrong end of the poor man’s name “ And ‘Nenf? Where ‘Nenf?’ and she twists about on her stool as if the bronze should be somewhere in the bar. For where there’s a rider, there’s a dragon right? Apparently. But then her mug of redfruit juice is being poured and passed over and so she turns back and wraps both hands about it, passing a big smile up to Jaya, “Fanku.”

The laughter coming from S’las when she fishes out the mark first earns him first a scowl and then she’s tipping her head to one side, trying to understand all that he says. “Hope take back?” the mark that is. When Jaya questions where she’d gotten it from, the toddler lowers her eyes to her drink and her reply is a little mumbled as she tries to be vague, “Hope find.” Found - In the little pot of mark bits in the bottom drawer of Indira’s dresser no doubt. And then she quickly takes up the mug and drains its contents just in case Jaya doesn’t buy her story and decides to take her juice away from her.

Aaaam maa? Jaya is clearly drawing a blank on that one, and it must be the same for S’las since he sports an equally dubious expression. Jaya then leans her elbows on the counter before her and regards the little girl, head slightly tilted to one side. “Hmm,” she drawls, considering the dilemma. “Well, since I don’t know who this….person is, you can stay here until the patrons come, alright?” for she didn’t want the toddler mingling with some of the sorts that came into her bar at night. Hope’s pronunciation of the bronzerider’s name draws sharp laughter from the man in question along with a Jaya. “She does call Max ‘Asshole’,” she lets him know, highly amused. “Be careful! She just might start calling you ‘Silly Ass’ from now on,” which was probably too late. They both watch her drink her juice before S’las notices Suli watching. Nodding in her direction, “Come to join? Perhaps this astute little girl will give you a name, too.” – “The patrons call me names enough,” Suli returns coolly, one brow twitching as she looks from him to Hope. She also notices the fond smile Jaya gives the child, and it only makes her frown further. When Hope offers to take back the mark, Jaya’s pocketing it in an instant. She lifts a finger and waves it from side to side before her before answering, “This will be my payment, thank you very much. Paying well is a good thing, shuga. Good way to build loyalty. Best learn that early,” and she tosses a wink at her in return. When Hope answers as to how he got the mark, the thief in Jaya barks her laughter and shakes her head. “A crimelord’s going to love her,” S’las comments through Jaya’s laughter, shaking his head. To Hope in particular, he adds with a nod, “You, little lady, may have the same talent as our dear Jaya here in…..acquiring things?” Rhetorical to the last.

Told that she can stay, the little girl produces a wide smile, and announces, “Hope help S’uga.” Setting her rag doll onto the counter, Hope pauses in her scramble to get down when she hears her father’s name and darts a look toward the entrance as if expecting him to be standing there. It should be noted at this point however, that Shijan is missing from his post, the chances being good that he’s taken it upon himself to alert Indira as to her granddaughter’s whereabouts.

Lying on her belly with her legs dangling over the edge of the stool as she wriggles off, Hope puts Suli under long observation and then quick as a wink she’s on the ground and making a beeline for the Telgari woman. Suli has around five seconds to avoid the incoming toddler before she’ll find her legs wrapped in a hug because…a hug fixes everything, right? A small gesture and one that doesn’t linger for right after releasing the woman the little girl turns a smile up to the frowny barmaid and then heads to Jaya. Arms are then lifted as a signal that she wants to be picked up so that she can see over the bar counter from the serving side of things. “Pappa wuv Hope,” she states with a big smile and a firm nod on being loved by a crimelord. Not that she knows to make the connection between her father and his more nefarious title.

If she’s been picked up, S’las will once again find himself under curious study, though this time a shy smile flirts about the toddler’s rosy mouth even although she doesn’t quite understand all that he says. “Hope got fings,” she declares and from that bib pocket of her dungarees she extracts a bracelet that has several small silver charms dangling off it and holds it up for the bronzerider to see. Uh oh?

Hope help? Jaya presents a dubious smile to that, the barkeep quipping, “I don’t think you helping would be a good idea, although,” and she considers, “I might be able to swing something for the mornings. Would you like that? I would just need to speak to your people first,” that being Max and his mother. When Hope looks toward the exit for her father, Jaya does as well and notes that Shijan is missing from his post. “He stepped out moments ago,” Suli provides on Shijan’s account, and Jaya sends down to Hope, “Max is likely back in his stables. You been there today?” But then, all attention shifts when the toddler takes it upon herself to launch after the towering barmaid. Suli’s eyes widen as Hope takes a sudden interest in her, turning too late in trying to flee. Large legs get trapped by toddler arms as the girl hugs, and it effectively roots her to the spot. Suli gives a scowl to the first laughter she hears – that being from the bronzerider watching. “You’ve made a friend of her already without having ever opened your mouth,” he drawls, to which the barmaid counters back, “You want poison in your drink next time?” S’las keeps laughing a waves a hand to that, and Suli sends a dark glare down at the girl in response to the smile sent. If Jaya was a breached castle, then Suli was certainly an impregnable fortress.

When Hope lets her go, Suli retreats to the safety of the card table while Jaya moves around the counter to pick the toddler up. Her response on her papa gets a wry, “He sure does, shuga,” and carries Hope back to her side of the counter. By then, S’las had drained his glass again. She bounces the girl a little as she settles her more comfortably in her arms, freeing one so that she could reach for the empty glass. S’las studies the girl as much as she does him, arms coming to fold across his lean chest as he watches her retrieve something from her pockets. Brought to the light, “Where did you get that?” he asks, leaning forward along with Jaya leaning to see it closer. One corner of her mouth lifts up as she tells him, “I think she’s making a better path in light fingers than even I was at that age.”

A toddler’s definitions tend to be structured more around immediate timing than long term. Thus it is that when her offer of then-and-there help is turned down, a pout starts to form, a pout that soon turns around into a tentative smile when Jaya then speaks of Hope possibly spending a few mornings with her, “Hope wisit S’uga inna morning?” The next question on whether or not she’d seen her father that day has the little girl shaking her dark head of curls with no verbal answer given for by then she has Suli’s legs wrapped in her arms. The scowl the Telgari woman continues to send her seems to have little to no effect on Hope though the laughter coming from S’las does have her turning an accomplished grin up to him. If not for her age, one might even assume she was purposefully trying to rattle Suli’s cage.

Caught up in Jaya’s arms, Hope turns her head and plants a quick kiss on the barkeep’s cheek. Next, as the barkeep reaches for the bronzerider’s empty glass, so the toddler deposits the charm bracelet on the counter and reaches for a nearby bottle, stating in a determined tone, “I do it.” Apparently, she’s of a mind to pour the man’s next drink. When both Jaya and S’las then lean forward to take a better look at the trinket she’d produced, the little one sends them both a narrowed look, “Mine. I find.” She states with a little lift of chin for this was something she had indeed legitimately found misplaced under a bench in the bathing caverns. She’d simply not shown it to anyone before now.

Hope starts pouting and there’s a tentative, reassuring smile from Jaya until the girl realizes what she had said. To the question, there’s a nod and wry, “Every morning, if you like,” she offers, which earns a thin-lipped look from Suli. “You could help me count bottles and get the bar ready for the nights. Would you like that?” It would also act as a way to keep the girl from running about the Weyr too, especially with her staff present to help look after her. Once Hope is in her arms with the girl giving her a quick peck to the cheek, she’s about to pour S’las another drink until Hope offers to. S’las is easy to laugh in response before he scoots his glass closer and in Hope’s direction, stating, “Willful, isn’t she? She sounds like a Dicori. Got something you need to tell me?” Jaya throws a dirty look his way and states as she carefully hands over the bottle to the toddler, “As opposed to the children you have around Pern, even if you don’t know?” Beat. “Hold it steady, now,” she advises Hope in the pause, tipping the bottle alittle as she keeps a hand on it. “Nice and easy. You don’t want to spill it on the counter, shuga.” Hope’s trinket and her possessive response earn lifted hands in supplication from the bronzerider as he waits for his drink. “I steal women’s’ hearts, not their jewels,” is his excuse, tossing a wink in their direction. “Far more challenge to it. Think our Jaya here may something about that, too.” Jaya scowls.

Hope can’t count much passed five yet but the offer made draws a wide smile into place and has the toddler nodding enthusiastically. “Hope come evwy mornin’. Help S’uga,” she states importantly. And indeed, Indira is likely to be more than a little relieved for it’s not often that Max is able to take his daughter off of her hands. S’las earns himself a beam of approval when he sends his glass Hope’s way and then she turns a quick look up to Jaya for the instructions given and nods. Carefully she wraps both hands about the middle of the bottle and with tongue poking out to one side in concentration she clinks the mouth of it against the lip of the glass, (Hopefully not hard enough to chip it) and then utters a little giggle of glee as Jaya tips the bottle and liquid rushes into the glass. She’s not quick enough or co-ordinated enough to stop the flow and soon there comes a low ‘Uh oh’, as the glass fills all the way up and leaks a little over the sides. Sheepish the grin that gets sent to the bronzerider, “Hope make Silly Ass biiiig dwink.” Her trinket for the time being, forgotten as she bats lashes at Jaya and does her best ‘You can’t be cross at me because I’m cute’ act.

“Then it’s settled,” Jaya states on the little girl stopping by to help every morning, ignoring the droll look being sent her way from the towering barmaid. “I’ll just have to clear with your pa, okay? Or Indira.” She was indeed sure that neither would mind, knowing that the both of them are as busy during the mornings as she is during the nights. She continues to help Hope pour the drink for the bronzerider, and spill gets a chuckle from him. Waving his hand to it as he reaches for it with the other, “The spill is on the house, I’m sure,” S’las drawls his quip, his teeth gleaming in his smile as he nods to them both. “And yes, I do enjoy my big drinks, thanks. Hope, was it? You’re a pretty good drink pourer. Might be I’m in the need for a dragon washer, myself.” – “Like you need anymore distractions from Weyr duty,” Jaya counters on that one, sending him a pointed look that he ignores. He takes a sip and smacks his lips before answering with “Aww, I do plenty of duty! So much so, in fact, that I need a dragon washer sometimes. I used to have Elshi do it until she found out about Janne.” There’s a shrug for that. “Such a loss.” Jaya snorts to both dragonrider for his words and Hope for her cute act at that moment.

The bronzerider is quite the ladykiller it seems for even little Hope is falling for his charms, flashing him a shy though proud smile for the compliments paid her pouring skills. “Hope,” she reiterates jerking her little thumb back toward her narrow chest and then soft dark eyes widen when he mentions needing someone to help him wash his dragon. “Hope barf ‘Nenf?” Fairly beaming with glee she goes back to something Jaya had said earlier and darts a look up to the barkeep, “Indiwa….Am’ma. The connection between the two names stitched together before her attention falls back onto S’las and she claps her hands together with glee for the lip-smacking satisfaction he displays for his drink.

It’s right at that moment that the sharp staccato ring of heels against rock herald Indira’s approach just moments before she sweeps into the bar, sloe eyes blazing with a blend of anger and relief. And its enough to have Hope shrinking in against Jaya and uttering a soft, ‘Uh oh’, from around the thumb she’s shoved into her mouth.

S’las is charming when he wants to be, one can surely say, and the bronzerider a.k.a ladykiller was engaging with the girl while an amused Jaya looks on. Pointing at her, “Hope,” he repeats in confirmation before he reverses the pointer towards himself and adds, “S’las. Soledas.” Beat. “And sure, you can help bathe Alzy. He’ll hardly mind.” Then Hope is making a connection – a connection that suddenly has the Headwoman appearing on the threshold. With Hope shrinking in against her, Jaya looks toward the entrance and finds Indira present. “Ahhh, Indira was it?” she sends Hope’s way, watching her. “Looks like our visit is over, then, shuga.” S’las looks behind him then as well, one corner of his mouth lifting in the Headwoman’s direction before saying, “Oh I’m sure she’ll understand a girl stopping by and needing a drink. Civillized behavior and all.” He leans back and drains his glass quickly before getting off of the stool, Indira’s arrival also being a signal to his departure.

“Solid Ass,” Hope repeats solemnly as she tries to get his name right but fails as usual and then tries again with the first name he’d given her, “Sssss’as?” lisping the ‘s’ a little at the end. But then Indira’s stalking into the bar and the little girl is trying very hard to pretend like she’s invisible, even going so far as to burrow her face into Jaya’s neck for if she can’t see Indira, Indira can’t see her, right? Apparently.

Hope is given a look, Jaya a slightly less miffed one and S’las earns himself a lifted brow for his comment. “How amusing,” she states setting the rider with a deadly smile, her tone carrying warning flecks of icy sarcasm to it, “A bronzerider with views on being civilized. Careful, rider you wouldn’t want word to get out about that.” A flutter of genuine amusement displays as the younger man makes to take his leave and then her focus settles to her granddaughter, “I told you, later. Later is when I say it is, not when you think it is, madam.” – “Hope firsty. Wanna see S’uga,” the little immediately shoots back defensively, her father’s fiery nature coming to the fore. Oh yes, this one’s going to be a handful alright and the Headwoman realizes as much as with a brief roll of eyes she lends Jaya a slightly despairing look, “Thanks for holding onto her.” With that she moves forward as if to relieve the barkeep of her little burden of humanity which simply has Hope scowling and wrapping her arms tightly about Jaya’s neck and uttering a firm, “No!”

S'las is easy to laugh when Hope tries to say either name of his, no offense taken as he leans over and drawls, "'Solid Ass'? I think I've had a few ladies call me that one." Nodding to her, "Like most of these folks, you can call me whatever you like, Hope. I never mind." A wink is given to Jaya, and when Indira talks there's an easy, "There's certain charm to being 'civillized'," back to the Headwoman with a little bow. "Lots of women like a gentleman outside of his weyr, and a renegade within those confines." He lets that sink in with ease before slapping down a full mark piece for Jaya along with a nod to them all in his departure. "Until next time, old friend." When Hope tightens her hold around Jaya's neck now that they're being faced with the Headwoman, "Don't worry about it," the barkeep gives to Indira's thanks, the woman shaking her head with a sheepish grin in place. "Didn't think she even knew where this bar was. She seems taken with wanting to come here every morning?" she broaches, right when Indira reaches for the little girl and the toddler shrinks further against her. When Hope does that, "Hey now," she chides, twisting her head so that she could look over at her. "You had Indira here looking all over the Weyr for you, shuga. It's with grace that you should go back to her with pride, eh?" It's something her father would have said, and the words come without even thinking. "You'll see me tomorrow if Indira agrees to you coming by here in the mornings, okay? If that's alright," she adds with a look towards the Headwoman, reaching up to work those tight hands from her neck. "She seems taken with this place, though I can't blame her. She wants to help out in the mornings, and I don't really mind."

Amusement wells and then bubbles over into a rich and husky sound at the bronzerider’s response. “Does that line actually work for you?” Indira asks of S’las with a brow still arched. Her gaze follows the rider out of the bar and then draws back to Jaya, sloe eyes narrowing slightly. It’s a few moments before she responds, studying the dark-haired barkeep in that time as if trying to determine the younger woman’s purposes behind having the little girl in the mornings. She and her son have clearly not had that ‘talk’ yet. Having reached some or other decision, the Headwoman gives a small dip of head, “If Max clears it, then I guess its fine. Is that what you want, Hope? You want to come visit with Jaya in the mornings?” Hope lifts her face from Jaya’s neck and gives an earnest little nod of head, “Hope help S’uga.”

The toddler then sets her stubborn attention to Jaya for the chiding given and for a heartbeat a mutinous expression hovers about baby features. It’s only when she’s reminded that she can come back again the next day that she allows Jaya to loosen the tight wrap she’d had about her neck. “Hope come see evwy mornin’,” she reminds and then once her terms are met, she reaches for Indira.

“Don’t see me complainin’, do you?” is the words being tossed over one shoulder as S’las heads out sending the women a backhanded wave. Jaya, in the meantime, could tell that she was being put under scrutiny by the Headwoman. She stares boldly back as Indira comes to some sort of decision, nodding evenly when she finally speaks to her. “If Max agrees,” she agrees on that easily. “I can bring her back to your place in the early afternoons if you want. This place doesn’t get much busy until the evenings.” When Hope confirms wanting to be there in the mornings, she gives the toddler a fond little smile and shifts to pass over Hope once the girl lets her neck go. Dark eyes linger on the Headwoman while doing so, studying her just as much as she was doing her. It has been a good while since she’s seen Indira, and since the proposal from her son, she wasn’t even sure if the older woman knew. With it being that she hadn’t brought it up, the barkeep was making the assumption that she didn’t. So it’s with easy grace that she asks, “You’ve been well, Indira?”

Once Hope is in her arms, Indira shifts her to one hip and nods again though this time there’s a genuine smile of gratitude attached, “That would really help me out, especially now that someone,” a pointed look going the toddler’s way, “is starting to get restless feet now and mornings tend to be my busiest times.” And for all her worry of earlier, there’s a fond note to her tone. Setting Hope down onto a nearby stool that bold look coming from Jaya is met with a faintly shrewd one from Indira.

“Well enough,” she finally gives in offhanded response to the query after her wellbeing. “Things going well with you and Max?” her question couched in just the right easygoing tone so as to take away any suspicion that she’s digging for informatio and could simply be asking after their working relationship.

Once her arms are free of a little girl, Jaya shifts her attention to cleaning up the counter spill while Indira answers her first. With a wry crooked grin and a look going her way, “I figured,” she states on the Headwoman’s mornings being busy. “We get backed up here, too, but nowhere near as bad as we do in the evenings. She’ll be fine here.” She notes the shrewd look from Indira as she wipes down the last of the spill and straightens up, seeming to have expected the evasive answer to her question. The one being sent her way gets the barest of pauses before the bar owner shrugs and slaps the towel over one shoulder. “He’s a good boss,” she’s easy to gives, moving to set the bottle away now that S’las was gone. “Different from my last crimelord one. You met him?” by the way, she seems to add, sending a raised brow her way. Her tone doesn’t betray anything on her relations with Indira’s son, the bar owner seeming remain vague and non-chalant for now.

Set down on the stool Hope waits until Indira and Jaya are in conversation before she stretches forward, her little hand closing over the charm bracelet she’d deposited on the counter earlier and quickly slipping it back into the bib pocket of her dungarees. “Not that I don’t appreciate the offer,” for Indira had made it clear that she does, “but why would you offer to saddle yourself with the Weyr’s smallest renegade, hmm?” There’s no accusation in her tone as the older blonde slips onto a stool. There is however a slightly calculating cast to sloe eyes for she has a good idea that she knows why that might be.

A short sound of amusement follows next when Jaya skilfully evades her probing question. “He’s also hotheaded and flaunts his mortality,” she states in pointed notation of the young crimelord’s recent injuries. There’s a small pause in which lips purse around a discomforted line. “One day he’s going to find himself man down without a knife in his hand,” the worst fears of a mother’s heart stated quietly for she’s all too aware of the dangers her son’s position puts him in, “Are you prepared to take that risk?” Her last words telling of the suspicions she harbours since Max had dropped by her office when Hope and Jaya had returned.

Indira’s expression then closes about a tight, cold line at mention of Jaya’s former boss. “I did,” she confirms having met Vaputero and her spine straightens into an unyielding line, “This matter with his son isn’t done yet. But mark my words, he so much as thinks of touching anyone under our protection, I’ll personally hunt him down and feed his balls to the first hungry canine I come across.” The slightly cruel twist to the Headwoman’s mouth suggests that to be no idle threat.

Watching Hope slip away the charm bracelet like a little seasoned thief, “Weyr’s smallest renegade?” Jaya echoes that one with amusement, her dark gaze flicking from the toddler to the Headwoman before she executes an easy shrug. “Why not? We get along since the trip up north, and she is the daughter of my boss.” Once the counter is cleared, she reaches down to reclaim her inventory lists and deposits them before her. She adds then, “I’ve taken care of children before with my sister, back when I was with the trader clan. I suppose it brings back nostalgia for me. ‘Good days’ and whatnot. Besides,” and she fits Indira with a brief look as she rifles through the sheets, “She’ll keep coming back regardless, now that she knows where I am. Better to keep her in place than in having her run around with no one knowing, hm?” Amusement meets Indira’s words on Hope’s father then – on him being hotheaded and all – but it’s the question that she addresses. Arms folding across her chest, “Life is risk, shuga,” she drawls, brazen in her tone. “I pose as much risk as he does. At least, the next time, I’ll be around. I’m making sure of that.” Dropping the brazen tone, she adds then, “Don’t worry. He has Waine and me. He won’t fall.” She doesn’t look surprised to hear that her former boss has rankled the Headwoman while being there, so it’s wry that she answers with, “Good to see he got along well with the lot of you, shuga.”

Jaya’s answer serves yet again to draw a spark of amusement to Indira’s watchful gaze as once more she replies without giving anything away. She does however accept what the younger woman says and turns out a smile. “She’s very fond of you,” the Headwoman states dropping a look down onto her granddaughter who is now in the process of unpacking her side pockets of shiny pebbles and lining them up on the counter. “She mentions you and Jonavan often since getting back from the Healer Hall.”

Indira meets Jaya’s folding of arms across her chest and ensuing reply on Max with a level expression before finally nodding. “Good, because the last thing he needs now are people bailing on him when he needs them most,” tone turned slightly pointed as she makes silent reference to the one that had done just that. Only then does she offer forward a warm smile of acknowledgement for Jaya’s reassurance before a flash of the earlier unforgiving frostiness shows itself. “Like oil and water,” the Headwoman states sardonically on how Vaputero had gotten along with those he’d come into contact with during his stay at the Weyr.

Jaya was good at being evasive, at giving much information without giving out the pivotal ones. Indira’s words her budding relationship with the toddler earns a wry smirk and a “Dunno how that happened. Even back home I was the sister most kids were afraid of. Guess me and Hope came to an understanding up there,” she adds with a fond look to the girl. Indira’s approval of her response on her son gets a long look from her, the woman considering her words in the silence that ensues before she speaks again with a nod. There’s hesitance before she states, “I love him,” in a lower voice so that those in the bar wouldn’t hear. “I’d be gone from here if not for that. I’ll keep him safe, shuga.” Or at least alive, as the case may be. There’s a snort on the account of Vaput, the barkeep shaking her head before saying, “That’s how he does business now. It’s a shame. Hard to believe, but he was decent sort of man, once.”

“Avians of a feather?” Indira suggest with an amused lift of brow on why it is that Hope seems so taken with the barkeep. “There is however,” she cautions with a stern look to the little girl playing with her shiny pebbles, “no reason for her to be anything less than civilised in her dealings with people.” For no one can deny that a good front oft times makes all the difference in certain situations. Or so the older blonde is hoping her granddaughter will grow up to realize. When Jaya finally makes the confession that she does, the Headwoman is quiet a moment her expression registering neither surprise nor disapproval. Then she gives a short nod of head in acceptance thereof before exhaling a sigh. “Just…love him for what he is, not what you think he should be, aye?” the request is heartfelt and quietly spoken and then Indira is leaning away from the counter and sending a glance to where Shijan is, “And don’t, let the two of them get into it.”

On Vaputero having not been the way he is now, Indira utters a soft snort and then another line of advice, “All men need a good woman to keep them on track and remind them of what really matters in life.” That having been said, she sends a quick smile down to Hope when the little girl shifts a querying look between the two women, “Come on love, get your things together, we need to go and let Jaya get back to her work.”

Considering that the little girl was stealing already, Indira’s remark on them being avians of a feather is enough to have Jaya answering back wryly, “Perhaps.” Beat. “Of course,” she agrees to the next. “She is that Lady Holder’s daughter. I’m sure some of her, ah, intricacies will start to show the older Hope gets, hm?” Brow lifts to that, for she would know. As much of a brat she was growing up, she did have some of her deceased mother’s personality within her – at least in small doses. She was too much her father’s side of the family otherwise. When the Headwoman then responds to her confession – she was expecting something more of disapproval, being how little they don’t know of the other – “It’s a wonder he’s loving me for all that I am,” she responds back on that matter. “We both have our quirks. Who am I to judge him, when I have much to myself as well?” As to Max and Shijan, that gets some of the amusement to ebb with a look flicking towards the man at the entrance. Frowning and nodding, “I know,” she says quietly, that being one of the situations she will have to face soon. That contemplation lingers when Indira speaks on her former boss, the smirk short-lived and sour as she states, “Try saying that in his presence next time.” Beat. “Thanks for stopping by, shuga,” she sends now to Hope, the crooked smile back in place before she nods towards Indira. “Don’t give her too much trouble.” To Indira, “We should get a drink sometime,” she offers her, her chin lifting as she looks the Headwoman over. “It’s been awhile.”

Indira greets mention of Hope’s birth mother with a snort, “The less she inherited from that woman, the better.” Then again, Garnalla had known how to work a room and have men eating out of her hand with just the bat of ebony lashes. Not that Indira would know that, mind. It’s what Jaya says next that has dark blonde brows peaking along with the edge of a smirk emerging. “Ah, I thought that’s what I’d heard,” she says more to herself than as response to the younger woman. There is however an approving look that measures to Jaya when she notes that she herself is not without flaws, “There’s not a one of us that are perfect, Jaya.”

With Hope scooping her pebbles up and pocketing them, Indira then sets Jaya with a darkly amused look, “That man wouldn’t know a good woman if she up and kneed him in the nuts.” And then she’s sweeping the dark-haired toddler up into her arms. “Deal,” she states on the two of them meeting for drinks.

Tilting her little head of dark curls to one side, Hope rewards Jaya with a beatific smile, “Hope wuv S’uga, an’ Am’ma, an’ Papa an’ Bastard…” she pauses and takes a deep breath then before lifting a pudgey baby hand and wiggling her fingers, “Bye S’uga.”

“She’s that bad, huh?” Jaya puts in on the former Lady Tillek, not having met the woman herself. “Hope has good influence here,” she does note, leaning against the counter as she takes a sweeping gaze over her bar. “Decent folks in this Weyr. Whatever she inherited….” There’s a crooked grin to Indira’s words on none of them being perfect, seeming to be in complete agreement of that. While she does catch the statement before that that wasn’t aimed at her, there is a slight frown on it but doesn’t say anything. Amusement collects in the corners of her eyes on the topic of her former boss, snorting on those words before she straightens up and returns to her work. “If he knows what’s good for him, he won’t be coming back,” is what she says to that, planning to be present the next time he dares to drop by. She looks up and nods her farewell to them as they prepare to leave, though Hope’s confession openly takes her back with her blinking a few times. Her smile is slow but genuine as her stylus pauses above the hide, it being the first time she had heard the little girl make a declaration in regards to her. She flicks a glance towards Indira briefly before finally saying, “Shuga loves you too. Be good to Indira, hm? See you around.” A hand lifts in a little wave before she shifts her attention towards the Headwoman and adds, “Talk to you soon, then, Indira,” before she’s returning back to her morning work.



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