Ahnika.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 10/7/10
Location: EW: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Ahnika comes to make her farewell to Max before he leaves with Randi. They discuss affairs at the weyr, which leads him into revealing the prisoner in the stables and a heated argument ensues with the couple parting not on good terms.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

Not the middle of the night this time, but still it is well into the darkness of evening when Ahnika makes her way with Jhath as escort to the Beast Cavern. The tall and stocky green dragonet remains outside near the feeding pens but not right up near the fence, either so as not to spook the stock or runners inside the cavern itself, or simply because she is too big now to reasonably fit inside the stable area. One can imagine Ahnika had to leave Jhath with some riddle or problem or another to chew on before she left, however, else the dragonet would undoubtedly grow bored and who knows what would come of that. Something not good, for certain. The redhead meanders through the beast cavern from the direction of the pens, as a result, and heads first for the beast manager’s stall/office. However, should there be anyone standing guard outside the tackroom or anything else that looks out of place, you can be sure she gives them an odd look on the way.

With Ahnika entering from the feeding pen side of things rather than through the beast tunnel, Waine who finds it his turn to stand guard at the tack room door, sends her a slightly amused look in return for the odd one she sends his way. He doesn't however make any move either from his post, or to stay her progress, sending merely a nod of head toward the beast manager's office in indication of where she can find him. The beast manager being currently occupied with moving between press and mattress upon which lie two thick overcoats, and two scarves. A hand brushes through his hair as he sends a perplexed look back toward the press.

Ahnika knocks first, but pushes the door opened as she does, and speaking at the same time, “Max.” Her greeting comes in a soft statement of a sighing tone, not angry and not panicked, but there is an edge of concern as her gaze lands on those coats and scarves, and then more softly she asks, “When are you leaving?” Her grey eyes slide from the clothes to him. And then, “I really wish I could go with you,” her timbre earnest if nothing else, but not pleading with him to stay or to send someone else. She knows he needs to do this and for more than just looking for a weyrlingmaster.

The knock to the door and his name falling from Ahnika's lips has Max turning, hand stilled at the back of his head, and a small crooked smile appearing, "Hey, baby." The beanie he'd had scrunched up in the other hand is dropped to the mattress and he quickly closes the gap. "Soon as Alara gives the go ahead," he states the smile gone now as he reaches for her waist, "Aye, I…" casting a glance back to the heavy winter clothing laid out as a small frown forms. Dark eyes cast with shadows seek the grey of hers out, "I wish you could come with me too," pausing and then adding quietly, "Not sure I'm ready to go back there yet."

Ahnika takes a few steps forward to meet him part way and closes her eyes briefly as his arms go around her waist and she hugs him in turn, resting her face against his neck and shoulder. Lifting her head then to meet that gaze of his, she leans up to brush her lips lightly across his before settling on her feet once more and saying, “You’re more ready than you think.” And then more softly, “I believe in you. I’ll never let go of that. Of you.” She moves in against him once more, wanting to hold him as long as she can, “Whoever you and Randi pick, I’ll do my best to get along with. I’ll try not to mouth off so much.”

Arms tighten about Ahnika's waist as she leans her head in against his neck and shoulder, Max's expression solemn, even in the wake of that light kiss. Quiet for a long while, his eyes eventually break away from hers and find a point in the distance over her shoulder. With a short sigh he finally returns his gaze back to her and nods faintly, "Aye." The barest flicker of a smile being given for the belief she has in him before dropping his head to the crook between her neck and shoulder for a moment, just enjoying the closeness. Sliding his arms from about her, a hand trails down her arm and reaches for one of her hands, tugging her gently with him as he steps back toward his mattress, no other intent in mind other than to simply spend what time he can with her. Although he does hesitate briefly and ask, "Jhath?" The last thing he wants or needs right now, being to piss the green dragonet off. It's the redhead's last that draws a short smile from the troubled beast manager, "It's thanks to that beautiful mouth of yours that you and your fellow weyrlings will be getting what you need." Approval and no small amount of pride in his tone.

Ahnika is momentarily bereft as he steps back and out of her arms, but only until he takes her hand and pulls her along with him. The question of her dragon only gets a flicker of a loss of focus before Ahnika smirks, “Thanks to your fretting over me last time, she insisted on escorting me.” The redhead jerks her head out toward the feeding pens, “So, she’s just outside, trying to figure out if there are any patterns to nervous bovines in the pens. She’s back far enough though so as not to be in the way of any dragon coming to feed. And …” she pauses, “she wants me to tell you that she needs a better view, but it looks like they moo less if allowed to move in circles. They must like that. Moving in circles,” and then Ahni is shaking her head a little, though appearing amused. “She also wanted me to wish you a safe journey and to remind you not to do anything without a plan, preferably one she’s vetted for you,” and with a sigh, Ahnika steps closer and lifts a finger to tug gently on an earlobe if allowed as if I warning of the twisting that ear will get if he isn’t careful, “In other words, don’t rush into anything boldly and get yourself hurt or … worse.” To his last statement, her gaze drops from his eyes to his own mouth briefly and then she chuckles, “Well, I guess that’s one good thing that’s come of this whole mess at least.” And her loud mouth. Still, there’s tension in her eyes as she looks away, a bit uncertain if she didn’t take things too far, even if for the good of the weyrling class. Depending on the lighting, it might even go unnoticed here, but Jhath sounds off one of her louder-than-life trumpets from outside, which reaches the stables only because of how loud and outrageous her physical voice can be without much effort, and so by the time it reaches Ahnika’s ears, and presumably Max’s, it’s slightly muffled, and hopefully not disturbing too many of the runners there.

An approving smile greets news that Ahnika had had escort in the form of her bonded and then a short chuckle given to the dragonet's assessment of the bovine out in the feeding pens. "They're too stupid to do something separate from one another. Much like ovine are." touching on herd logic there, "But you can tell her that if she sees one in particular that's to her liking, I'll be sure to keep it aside for her." Rather than pull away from that tug to his ear, a crooked smile appears and the beast manager leans his head in against her hand, turning it briefly to brush lips against her wrist, "Just fetching to find us," the Weyr, "someone with their head screwed on right, baby." This time. Next time he heads up North, it could be a different story entirely, but not one he's about to touch on right now. Jhath sending that trumpet has Max automatically putting closer study onto Ahnika, first a light frown and then what is meant to be a reassuring smile following thereafter as he lifts his free hand to try and capture her chin with it, "You did good, baby." Dark eyes setting an intent look into her grey. And then he's leading them to his mattress. Using a booted foot, the small pile of winter clothing is swept to one side and he drops down onto the space made shifting backward until his back is leaned up against the wall and if their hands haven't parted in the meantime, he'll gently tug her down next to him.

Smirking at his comments on bovines and ovines, Ahnika nods, “I’ll tell her to pick one out for herself, but I’ll hold off from passing along the comments on how livestock move and think, else it will only encourage her to start an endless discussion with you through me,” (read: boring for Ahnika) “and I’d rather just save it for when you’re not about to leave the sharding continent.” She smiles at the kiss to her wrist and turns the ear tugging into a brush of her hand against his cheek, and then more softly, “I just want to spend as much time with you tonight before you go as possible.” As his free hand lifts her chin and offers his support, she smiles up into his face, but doesn’t speak and then is being led to his mattress. She trusts him, of course, and there’s no hesitation and she does her best to keep their hands connected as he settles down on the mattress with his back to the wall. She follows the tugging down and turns so her back is to his chest, but not without a little glance for the clothes he had nudged aside with his boot, and once settled in comfortably against him, and this close probably smelling of oil and a little dried sweat from working out earlier in the day, she closes her eyes and murmurs, “I can help you pack before I go, if you like,” conflicted with wanting to do her part and contribute in some small way and at the same time not wanting to for what it means of him being gone.

Waiting until Ahnika's settled with her back in against his chest; Max wraps one arm loosely about her, while the hand of the other toys with the end of her braid seeming to rather find the scents of an honest day's work appealing, rather than off putting. He himself not yet having made it down to the bathing caverns either. It's probably a good thing though that he's well passed his days of mucking stables. A chuckle rumbles in his chest for Jhath's propensity to carry out long and lengthy discussion on the habits of bovine, "Tell you what, next time we want some time alone, I'll get Suizen," a beastcrafter working under him that specializes in bovine, "to keep her distracted with holding that particular discussion." A crafty grin fitting briefly into place and then his expression is turning more somber with just a small smile left in place, "Won't be gone long, baby. A day or two at most. 'Sides, once you're flying and Betweening, I reckon you'll be leaving more than I will be, aye?" there's no rancor in that, simply statement of fact. His gaze drops from where it had been roaming over the redhead's face and grazes over the clothes to his side, silent for a long while and then nodding slowly in acceptance of her offer made to help him pack. His next words quiet, grim even, "Going to be needing to head back North again after we get back," pausing in his hesitance as to whether to reveal the next to her or not, "Got some business in Bitra."

With one bent arm sort of pillowing her head a little, her other hand moves to the back of her head as she feels him playing with her braid and starts to pull out the pins securing it at the nape of her neck. It’s still bound at the tail end with a little leather thong, though and she stops short of completely undoing the braid knowing how her loosened hair could really end up with them in trouble here on his mattress. Leaning over a little, she shoves her pins into the ground in front of the mattress so as they don’t end up sticking anyone while they cuddle and all the while speaking, sounding more tired than skeptical, “Well, I’m not going to flame it down outright or anything,” the suggestion on Suizen, “but I’m not sure if Jhath will be able to contain herself and we may end up with the same problem unless Suizen has a firelizard or something to communicate through without too much attention from me.” Then a pause and she leans back in against him, snuggling her shoulders against his chest without any dangerous wiggling of her hips or bum, “Mmm. I don’t know. Will I? I suppose all the weyrlings will be making trips to and from Landing for ferry duties at first, I guess? I just always assumed once we graduated that we’ll be more or less here in the area, only heading out for … Thread.” Again, she yields to his weyrbred wisdom of such matters over her country bumpkin of a cothold. She turns her head briefly to try and brush her lips against his lightly for the support he’s giving her and her duties, and after catching the nod for her offer she turns her head back around to face the rest of his abode. She slides her hand over his arm around her waist, fingers stroking the skin there a moment in comforting affection before stopping and just resting her hand on top of his arm, “Bitra?”

Dark eyes fasten to the pins being pulled from her hair, hooding slightly as she leans forward to set them down somewhere safe. Just as well Ahnika has the good sense to keep the long fall of her hair trapped within that rope of a braid. Once she leans back in against him, his arm wraps back in about her waist the thumb of his hand brushing in idle movement over her clothed stomach as a short chuckle erupts, "Was just teasing, baby. Suizen would likely prefer to run a mile in the opposite direction than face a frustrated and cranky dragon due to communication problems." Making assumptions on how the beastcrafter might handle such a thing. Winding her braid through the fingers of his other hand, a smile is sent down to the redhead, "All riders need to know the jump points on both continents. Just think of all the places you'll get to see, hmm?" Not seeming too perturbed about her going off and discovering such things on her own. Perhaps safe in the knowledge that she'll always return back to him? Dipping his head, he meets that light brush of lips and for the barest fraction of a moment almost forgets himself as his own start to deepen the kiss without conscious thought attached. Catching himself in time the beast manager breaks away quickly and clearing his throat lends focus to the topic at hand. "Aye, got a delivery to make up there," the edges of a cold smile fleeting in its appearance before being firmly tucked away again.

“Oh,” Ahnika says at first, laughing at the realization she misunderstood and picturing some poor woman who she’s never met running to get away from a cranky Jhath lobbing sand pouches at her in frustration. Her laughter subsides and she closes her eyes again, relishing the feeling of just being held by him, and her braid slightly moving with his playing with it, “Mm. I see. Well, we won’t be gone long in that case. I’ve only gone Between once,” that would be the trip with Indira’s group being brought to the southern continent, “but it doesn’t seem to take that long getting places.” She doesn’t seem all that frightened about it, considering she’s not had that much experience with it, and after a moment of remembering something she adds, “You know, I remember Nenienne and I were talking about Between back before the Hatching. I was wondering if anyone had ever actually tried to make a study of it. It’d be something interesting to try and figure out, you know? Why is it there? Where did it come from?” says she who enjoys learning new things, “Of course, if someone did, they’d have to be real careful, but I bet it could be done.” Her tone is one of musing consideration that drifts off. Warmth has spread to her cheeks as the result of that kiss, but she is dutifully facing forward now, and so misses the cold smile. She does, however, have some bit of a calculating mind even if her math skills aren’t the best, “Must be important,” she says, contemplating, “I’m guessing that’s what you have Waine on guard for since those runner thieves tried to make off with Renegade?” Her hand over his arm at her waist strokes his skin there occasionally, but she is careful to keep it infrequent and short, not wanting to stir any passions that could lead to problems.

Her laughter is infectious and has Max joining in for a short bit before his shoulders move against in her shrug, "It ain't so bad," Betweening. As he's about to add something more in that contemplative silence that develops it gets cut off and he's putting a brow lifted look of amusement onto Ahnika, "You wantto know why its there?" stopping short from actually laughing at her as then he too gives the matter some thought, "Maybe its there because the dragons are?" He has no idea, having simply always taken it for granted that … it just was. His tone however shifts into something that carries a lick of worry to it as he warns, "You stay too long Between, you may be lost forever." His arm tightening about her waist in a subconscious bid to hold onto her and keep her safe from such dangers, the muscles in his forearm relaxing a little under the sporadic stroke of her fingers. A wary and likely unseen look flickers to the back of her head and then drops to where his hand toys with her braid, "Aye, important," he states in a somewhat flat tone before adding after a long pause, "Renegade was a warning." Much as he'd rather she not know all the sordid details, he also wants her to have some idea of what she and Jhath should be listening out for.

“Maybe,” Ahnika states simply on Between being there because the dragons are, eyes remaining closed as she keeps her head facing forward with her back against his chest, but she seems to think better of voicing anything else about it considering how Max lost his father while Threadfighting and, she presumes, ended up with his dragon taking him between. His arm tightening around her waist, though she has no idea of the thoughts that brought him to the movement, is given a soft, contented sigh and a smile and her hand squeezes that arm affectionately once before relaxing. It is his final words that have her eyes cracking open, though she doesn’t tense or shift her position any, so her gaze is cast about ahead of her across the floor of the stall and the bottom of the opposite wall, or desk, if it happens to be in her line of sight. “A warning?” she asks, and there is no alarm in her voice as much as confusion. How could an attempt to steal Renegade be a warning for anything? “A warning for what? Did he bite somebody he shouldn’t have?” Not that Renegade biting anyone is really good, but still, she is genuinely perplexed. She knows just enough to know that there are people out there who will use deception and intrigue and things like, oh, ambushing certain weyrlings with attempts at entrapment for mere revenge over bruised egos, of all the nonsense, but she’s still a novice at it all. There are still many things she will need to learn about the underbelly of society and their various machinations, means, and messages.

Max is quiet a long time after she queries the kind of warning he was speaking about, searching for the best possible way of trying to couch an answer. So much so, that she might be forgiven for thinking he'd fallen asleep, except that his hand drops away from her braid and that arm joins the other about her waist, his frame stiffening slightly and his head going back against the siding behind him, dark eyes staring off into the distance. A muffled sound from the tack room and the somewhat jarring sound of Waine banging his fist against the locked door in response is eventually what has the beast manager starting to pull out words. His voice comes low in the ensuing quiet of the caverns. "That idiot we have locked up in the tack room…" pausing to try and compose his next words, "…was sent here after someone," not naming names and still unsure as to why it was his personal runner that was targeted, "The man at the top of the food chain, the one he claims to work for…is dangerous." Arms lock a little tighter around Ahnika as if he now fears she may bolt. "I need to know who else is with him here in Eastern. Aside from his mate that got away that night." And then once again, the beast manager slips into silence. Every nerve and muscle where her body is pressed against his, alert to any shift in body language that might tell him how she's likely to react to what has just been said.

Ahnika’s body does tense and she even gasps a little out of startlement, but it’s not for Max’s arms about her person and neither is it for his words, it’s for the sudden sound in the direction of the tack room and Waine’s banging fist in the relatively otherwise quiet beast cavern. She goes still then, but remains a little tense distracted with a soothing thought sent Jhath’s way while still listening to Max at the same time. She doesn’t try to leave. Finally, though she is facing out and away from him, there comes a thoughtful frown and she says, “There are alternative plans to you taking him up there yourself. He won’t talk?” She asks, then turns her head to the side so that she can see him and his face behind her better, “The idiot in the tack room?”

Waine banging a fist against the tack room door must have become some kind of ritual, for Max barely flinches at the sudden sound. Ahnika tenses and as a result he goes very still against her, even the rise and fall of his chest limited to the point that it might seem like he's holding his breath. There is a lot physically and mentally that he can take, and has, what would probably push the man to breaking point, is the thought of losing his flame haired beauty due to her learning of his darker past or necessary actions while unsavory, that need to be taken at times. The beast manager's jaw tightens as he shakes his head, "No baby, there ain't. I stand the best chance of getting in there and striking a deal with this Bitran," not about to go so far as to drop the crime boss' name. A rough snort greets her next, "The man's said as much as he knows about. He's bottom of the rung stuff. A lackey. It's his handler down here I'm interested in, that'll have what I need." Only now do dark eyes drift away from that distant point and back onto her, a dozen different things at play in the shadows that lurk within them.

If Ahni bore witness to how Max has been trying to extract information, she’d likely be horrified, really. But suspecting little more than perhaps a seven or two in uncomfortable sleeping quarters, Ahnika’s not about to go running off into the night and away from Max. His past is another matter, but considering her forgiving nature over his promiscuous behavior, she might not abandon him with that knowledge either. With his words, the redhead turns more on her back, but situates herself so that the arm that is under her is under the small of her back so as not to be crushing it so much. She keeps her attention on his face, “Perhaps you are the best chance,” thinking he means his bargaining skills and sheer fighting prowess if he needs to, “but that doesn’t mean someone should go up there at all with that idiot. You said this Bitran sent a warning. Don’t you think it might not be a lure to a trap? Right into the feline’s den?” She lifts a hand to try to cup one side of his face and hopefully bring his attention back to her, “Listen … You’re brave, extremely brave, and I know you’re clever, and if anyone can do it, you can, I believe that, my Heart, but what I’m saying is I’m not so sure there isn’t some other way in the first place. Talk to me. Tell me everything you’ve done so far to try and get this information and where you’ve met roadblocks. We can riddle out a solution together.”

Max shifts so as to better accommodate Ahnika's turn in his arms, his expression giving little away save for the dry smirk that filters out on walking right into the feline's den. "Exactly," he agrees, "the only way to get a feline to trust you is to lead it believe you're friend and not foe by returning it's errant cub," the thief, "after which one then convinces it of other errant cubs within it's litter that seek to do it harm, thus deepening the trust," a cunning light enters dark eyes, "And then…just to sweeten the deal, you make vow to return that which was lost to it in the first place." There he stops and sends a heavily wary look to the redhead when she asks what methods he's tried using and where he seems to be coming unstuck. Eventually he utters grimly, "He's a dead man already and he knows it." And dead men (even in the metaphorical sense) don't talk. That having been said he leans out sideways a little more so that he can better see her face, his expression grave, "Ahni, Jhath can't talk about any of this with the other dragons. I don't know how far this goes yet. Possibly even into the ranks of riders. So she needs to maintain her silence on what I'm telling you," quite well aware that the green has likely been listening in the whole time, "He won't stop, even once he has his target. Our best chance of getting close enough to shut this thug down is the element of surprise. I'm trusting the both of you to understand how serious the need for discretion is in this here."

While Max smirks and talks of returning cubs, Ahnika frowns a little, thinking it through, and then replying, “That plan works great,” in an earnest voice, “As long as what you’re returning is a cherished cub and not a wounded messenger bird whose usefulness is at an end,” to play on the fact that Max said the attempt on Renegade was intended as a warning. She may not know the intricacies of the underbelly of society, but she has the mind for logistics like any aspiring decent headwoman would have and so it obviously doesn’t play out right in her head, “More than likely, the Bitran wasn’t expecting his messenger to live through it in the first place.” Well so much for her presumed innocence. That comment about him being a dead man already only confirms her belief and she sets her jaw, “All the more reason for no one, including yourself, to be taking the bastard back. It’s a trap. Let’s turn it to our advantage and set one of our own. Down here. Where we have more resources and can better protect ourselves,” better than a single person going up there alone anyway. And what is this ‘we’ business anyway? She stops short of saying anything like, ‘it’s more practical than your foolish suicide plan’ because well, that would turn this farewell meeting very sour very quickly, and she does believe in him, even if she thinks his logic may not have considered other alternatives before settling on his plan. As he looks at her so serious like and talks of discretion, she nods soberly and looks back at him, “Not to worry, Love. I’ve already talked with her about that sort of thing earlier when Randi was talking about eyes and ears and she understands, though she cannot and will never tell an outright lie, so if ever asked directly, she will just simply defer to me or tell them she can’t talk about it.” Earlier when Jhath was first hatched, that might not have been the case, being able to rely on her discretion and Ahni knows Max knows this, but now that she’s had a few months of growing and maturing in, it’s another story. “It’s fine. Don’t worry,” Ahnika says softly, then smiles reassuringly before leaning up to kiss him chastely, briefly, and then it is back to business, “So, you’ve used the stick, I presume? Have you tried the carrot yet? On the idiot,” since she doesn’t know his name.

He goes quiet, hand moving to toy with that braid of hers once again as he listens to what she has to say. A short smile that looks to more a grimace flickers out and is gone again. Dropping the analogies now, "The man dropped his name and the reason he was sent down here, baby. That alone is reason enough for the one taking him back to be viewed in a reasonable enough light." He hopes. Because if Jinnet and Passan's mission was two-fold and he was the other intended target, he'll be walking into a whole world of trouble he's not likely to get out of. Brows press toward each other briefly, the look he sends Ahni, almost melancholy at just how quickly she's starting to cotton onto the way the seedier side of Pern operates. A twist of a wry smile, "He didn't expect him to get caught," Max points out quite aware that by this time the news may well have reached Vaputero's ears. When she suggests drawing the Bitran down to Southern, he stiffens, his jaw tightening and his resulting answer likely a little more forceful than he'd intended, "No! Definitely not. We keep him as far away from here as possible. I ain't inviting the feline to an all you can eat buffet." And then a dark smirk flirts out once again, "Indira and I have enough people we can round up if it comes down to it, baby." Not to mention probably having the entire Weyr at their backs too if it means maintaining the safety of its residents and riders. He's just hoping to put a stop to it before things get that far. Her reassurances of discretion on both her and Jhath's part draws a nod along with a heavy sigh as arms move to pull her in close against him when she leans up to kiss him. After which his head drops into the crook of her neck and shoulder as he murmurs in a voice rough with regret, "Fuck. I didn't you want to be a part of any of this, baby." Lifting his head once again, a darkly amused look is sent to her, "Men like that don't eat their vegetables, love. Just the rotting carcasses of their prey." So no, he hasn't bothered trying to go that route. And then in attempt to push aside such dark conversation and enjoy what little time they have together before he leaves, "But this trip ain't got nothing to do with any of that, aye? Just gonna see who we can find to bring down here for you and your clutchmates." And hopefully find someone to deliver a letter to a certain laundress down at Tillek Hold at the same time.

On the idiot doing the name-dropping, “That alone is enough to get both of you killed, the way I figure it,” Ahnika says, stubbornly disagreeing with him on this point, “You said yourself you don’t know who his handler is, so you have no bargaining chip,” says the would-be headwoman, “to give this Bitran, and whoever goes,” because she’ll be damned if it will be Max, “will be surrounded by enemies in this feline’s den, not friends they can count on to come to their defense. No, I don’t like it. I think it was a good idea, but I think we can come up with something that isn’t putting anyone in such an indefensible position,” the latter was probably Jhath’s input, considering the more militantly strategic lingo. “It’s not an all-you-can-eat-buffet,” Ahnika protests next, “Fuck, but men can be so egocentric. Quit trying to save all of us with your own bare hands all alone.” Then she sighs, “You’re not the only person in this Faranth-forsaken,” yes, she went there. She’s getting jaded to be sure, “sharding weyr who has any skills in such matters, Max. In fact, considering how it seems like we’re a weyr made up of people seeking a new life from darker pasts, I’d wager that we are precisely the weyr to be able to do something about him, more than any other weyr on all of Pern.” To his vegetable comment, she rolls her eyes at the beast manager’s attempt, in her mind, to deflect or distract her, “You know what I meant, Beast Manager,” but it is his final comments that has her going stock still and she narrows her eyes at him, jaw sets. From a distance, an angry Jhath bugles several times, seeming to be getting closer with each one. Uh oh. And finally it stops and some of the tension in Ahnika’s shoulders relaxes as she exhales, but the narrowed-eyed look remains on him, “You really are trying to get me to forget about this. You don’t want my help.” She makes a disgusted sound and rolls to get away from him and into a standing position, “Just like everyone else, except the weyrlings. They at least believe in me. You know, Max, for someone who so desires to be believed in, you sure as shells no how to dismiss other people out of turn. Well, forget it. I’m through trying to prove myself to you. The weyrlingmasters are one thing, but you, you should know better.” She shakes her head, bending to grab up her pins from the floor, “When you’re ready to stop belittling me and treating me like the girl before she gave you her virtue, and you’re ready to believe in me and let me help you, let me know. Have a safe trip.” She turns to go.

Initially, Max's expression is an impassive mask, however, slowly but surely as Ahnika not only dismisses his plan but then further goes on to insinuate he's an arrogant idiot (to his mind anyway), his jaw sets into a stubborn line. He'd probably even pout if it wouldn't look so ludicrously out of place. And so he slips into a state of 'proudly brooding', only glancing once or twice at the redhead as she speaks. He does however break silence to growl out quietly, "No, I'm not the only person in this Faranth-forsaken Weyr. But I'm the only one with nothing to lose," except her but meaning rank or title such as the Weyrleaders or a rider might have to lose. As she rolls away from him and stands, the beast manager does a double blink, looking totally baffled over how his simple intent to set darker subjects aside for another time had obviously come out so entirely wrong. Scrambling to his feet with just a fleeting glance flicked in the direction of the approaching bugles. "Hey! What the fuck is your problem!?" confusion fuelling anger and reaching to grab at her wrist as she bends to retrieve her pins and missing, "If I didn't believe in you, I wouldn't have told you any of this in the first place!" Dark eyes glittering with indignation pin onto the irate redhead and he stalks toward his office door, planting himself firmly in it, "It's because I know that I can trust you. Because I know you've got a good head on your shoulders and that if there's anyone I want at my side in this fardling fuck up, it's you!" Chest heaving as frustration crackles about his frame like static electricity as hands plant to his hips and he jerks his head in the direction of the feeding pens, "Best you get out there before she comes in here ripping everything to shreds in her path." Yes, he did just go there, but his limit of patience with having to put the green first, especially in situations like this, is stretched paper thin.

“Really, Max?” Ahnika snaps back at him, “Really? Nothing to lose? What about my respect? What about my love? I can’t come out of weyrlinghood to put my arms around a cold, dead body up in Bitra, now can I? Just because you want to go play hero when there are plenty of other plans to go with that won’t get you killed. I guess that goes to show what little you think of me being in your life after all!” She merely snorts derisively as he demands what her problem is, and then when he stands in her way from leaving, she glares up at him, mirrored by the angry bellow of a dragon’s trumpet from outside, likely starting some of the bovine in the feeding pen into mooing and moving, even if the green is carefully giving the fence a wide berth, barely restraining herself from clawing her way in. “At your side? The only way you’ve ever let me be at your side is in bed, Max. Is that all I am to you? A fucking good tumble? Bugger off!!” She was already moving to try and push past his blocking the door, but as he says his last, she growls, “At least she doesn’t have to rip my heart to shreds. You’ve done that for her! Get out of my fucking way!” And will try to shove him out of her path so she can leave.

High ire is instantly drenched as if he'd just had an icy cold bucket of water at thrown at him leaving Max unable to do anything but stare back at Ahnika from out of a visage that has visibly blanched. That initial shock is soon replaced by a stony mask that gets thrown up and then he's nodding slowly as lips press into a thin line and he steps aside, hands pocketing. Only his eyes give any hint to just how deeply that verbal knife has stabbed before they too are quickly shielding and his chin lifts as he states quietly in an emotionless tone, "Aye, because I'm just that kind of bastard." Taking another step away from the doorway to allow her easy departure, his jaw working tightly against the second barrage of words, he eventually just shakes his head, at a loss as to exactly how it got to this point and helpless to know what to do or how to fix it. Other than to swallow hard before sending so softly she may not hear it, "I'll never give up." And then he's turning quickly away from her and heading back to his mattress and the bundle of clothing lest he lose the fierce internal battle currently being raged to keep his emotions under control.

Unfortunately, Ahnika needs more time and response than just that to cool off, and so as he gets out of her way, she stomps past, “Yes you are,” in reply to his first. Not running, but she’s definitely on a quick departure. She doesn’t hear the second statement, soft as it is and drowned out by her angry steps, and perhaps if she did it would actually give her pause, but she continues moving instead, in the direction of the feeding pens as she had arrived, giving Waine a hard glare that reads, ‘don’t you dare laugh’ as she passes him, and then out into the night and her Jhath.

Max flinches at her reply and hears her departure more than sees it being as how his back is turned to her. After she goes storming passed him, Waine having heard most of what was said, (raised voices do carry) waits until there's no chance of the fiery redhead returning and then pokes his head in round the office door, "Boss?" The beast manager having slumped to his mattress bowed head in hands, simply gives an oddly strangled, "Fuck off, Waine." The rest of the evening more than likely to be spent at the end of whiskey bottle.

Due to the nature of this scene, we felt it was appropriate to have two songs for theme music. One for Max's perspective and the other for Ahnika's perspective:

Max's Scene Theme Music: Slipknot - "Snuff"
Ahnika's Scene Theme Music: Jennifer Love Hewitt "Can I Go Now?"

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