Brooding Proudly


Merendezen.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 2010.08.05
Location: Beast Manager's Office
Synopsis: Zen seeks Max out late one night and the two end up commiserating over women and their wily ways.
Rating: PG18 - for adult conversation
Logger: Max

It's rather late and another sleepless night plaques the Candidate, hands are tucked into his pockets in a familiar pose as he walks into the Caverns. There's no hesitation as he approaches the office, there's a knock on the door whether or not the door is closed or not. Zen makes no attempt to call out to the man either, lingering in the silence of his thoughts.

Max, it seems, has finally taken to closing his door at night. Could have been the suspected theft of earlier or…thanks to a bumbling idiot known as Waine. Either way, its mere moments after Zen has knocked that the door is opened to reveal one beast manager with a smile set on his face that one wouldn’t term appropriate for the general greetings. “Hey ba…oh, its you, ” Ahhh ahem. The grin sliding off into something a little sheepish and then tucked right away behind an easygoing mask as he steps aside, “Zen, come on in.”

Merendezen laughs at that greeting, inclining his head. "Sorry. Ahni's asleep, I think." Zen knows all… Or, Ahni told him that they made up. He offers a salute as the beastmaster steps aside, taking a step in. "Thanks… Not interrupting on your plans to sleep, I hope?"

For words over where Ahnika might be there comes an eyeroll and a sardonic, “Funny,” as shields to hiding a margin of awkwardness for having been caught out by Zen. Chuckling, “Sleep…how does that go again?” ushering the other man toward his desk and the spare chair, Max takes up the other while setting what looks to be reports from breeders, to one side. “Do that again,” the salute, “And we’re going to have ourselves a problem. Drink?”

"I won't tell." Zen states simply before chuckling. "I hear you. Depriving myself of it frequently." A brow lifts and there's a questioning look to Max before he gives an apologetic shrug. "A habit lately… How I've been greeting everyone." He chuckles, "a drink would be nice. Would be wonderful to get things off my mind."

There comes a short grin and a dip of head in thanks as Max pulls the bottle already standing open on his desk closer. Snagging another glass from a drawer an assessing glance is put to Zen, “Too excited about the eggs cracking,” jesting as brandy goes into each glass and one is pushed over to the other man. Leaning back in his chair and taking up his own, a rueful chuckle appears, “Tried drowning myself in booze, it don’t work,” not to say that he won’t try that again, “Wanna talk?”

Merendezen shakes his head, "not even close. Thoughts about the eggs, yeah. We touched them… Those little buggers get in your head. You can hear them. One spoke… Was freaky shit." The man grumbles, moving to take a seat and he leans back in it, raising the front feet off the ground. "Well, shit. Too bad… Sure. We can talk. Do you understand women?"

Brows go up as Max takes a drink, “They speak to you while they’re still in there?” Another sip and then adding, “Reckon I’m glad to stay far away from the sands in that case. Got enough trouble keeping my own head together.” Easy admission. Zen’s last draws low laughter from the beast manager, rueful to say the least, “Understand women? Don’t think even mindhealer’s have gotten that one right yet.” And then with curiosity tipping his tone, “You got women trouble?”

"Yeah. I thought I was going crazy…" Zen lets out a soft snort, "they only talk to you when you're touching them… It's… Interesting. Never touched eggs before then." A slow breath is drawn before he moves to take a drink. "Shit…" A nod, slow, reluctant to admit. "Got a girl… I've been an awful shit to her. And then she's attracted to me and I can't get her out of my head. Kissing her made it better, temporarily."

Max produces a grimace, “Lived in a Weyr near my whole life and avoided touching the things, ain’t about to change that now,” with interest, “You into that?” The whole dragon in your head thing. Dark eyes regard Zen from over the rim of the glass as he speaks. Swallowing and clearing his throat, trying to quell the rising amusement, “You kissed her?” setting a look onto the other as if he’d just written his own death warrant, “You are so screwed, mate!” Now the amusement spills into badly swallowed down laughter, shrugging, “So, scratch the itch and see if that helps any.” Simple right?

"Seems like only Candidates do it. You're safe." Zen gives him a look, shrugging. "No idea. I don't know what a dragon would want from me… Though one of those eggs… Felt like sex." No joke there, he's keeping a very serious face as he takes a drink. "Yeah… Didn't know what else to do. She was just sitting there, being confusing." There's a grumble as he shoots the other a look. "Can't. Not with her… Shardin' Lord Holder's daughter."

A crooked grin appears for that, “Exactly why I ain’t never said yes,” Max returns. Oh hang on a minute. That gets the beast manager’s attention, “Like sex?” thinking on that for a moment before, “You’re shitting me, aye?” Because now maybe he’ll figure a way to go touch that particular egg. It comes first from his chest, translating next to his expression and then finally spills out in open rueful laughter despite Zen’s obvious discomfiture for the whole situation. Tipping his glass the other’s way, “And that, my friend, is how it all starts.” An expression of well understood sympathy tags on the candidate’s last words, “Shit. Lord Holder’s daughter?” something darker coloring his features now, “You watch your ass on that one, Zen.”

Merendezen snorts, "they give no warning on that. Oh well… Might as well see it through now that I've spend so much time as a Candidate already…" He trails off, shaking his head. "Was straight up sex. Almost made a mess right there on the Sands… It was Kaseth's clutch. A blue colored one. Very very blue…" The laughter is given a frown, "it's not a funny thing. Women just… Argh. It's like they know how to mess with you when you're trying hard not to be messed with. Girl goes spouting at me about loyalty and how I'll never be loyal to anyone and I told her she was right about that. Next thing I know she's getting jealous because of rumors and I tease her about being attracted to me and she starts blushing like there's no tomorrow." Grumble grumble goes the Zen, his calm mask lost with the lack of sleep and the drink in his hand. "Yeah. I know, right? She made me promise not to tell anyone so I don't think she'll tell, either. Her family's in Boll or some place like that… Anyway, they're not around to come after my ass right away, at least. I'm playing it safe. Oh, and Lady Isilna who's to get married… Apparently really likes me too. I've got a charm for Lady Holders or something by being a total shit to them… I don't get women."

Mouthful of brandy, Max almost chokes on it for the comment about the egg under discussion. Swallowing quickly, rough edged laughter snorting out, “Randi’s gold, eh?” Amusement still in place, he slips into silence as the other speaks and then with a pretence of a beleaguered sigh, “They’re tricky like that,” women, “Did what I could, warned I was no good, even tried scratching the itch elsewhere,” something he’s not too proud of, “and then blam,” hand to desk, “next thing I know the little vixen has me wrapped around her finger.” Yup, he understands entirely where Zen is coming from. It’s talk of Lady Holders that draws the amusement right off and has the beast manager setting an intent look onto his drinking companion. Quietly spoken and in such a tone as to suggest he knows what he’s talking about, “The worse you are to them, the more they like it,” Lady Holders, “it’s all some kind of twisted game for them.” Jaded much? Shoulders twisting in a discomfited shrug as the last of the brandy gets drained and he’s reaching to top his glass up.

"Yeah. If it were Randi that had me worked up… I don't think I'd be doing too bad. Was easy enough to make her blush… Nice woman." Zen grunts softly, but doesn't elaborate more about why the goldrider would be better. "Shit, Max. I did the same. Told her I wasn't good… I don't want to be wrapped around her damn finger though…" He gives the other man a careful look, then snorts. "I guess so. So deprived of actual affection for their husbands they find it in the crude men…" A grunt, "don't think she's like that, though. It's more like… She's blind by whatever her father tells her. Do this, do that and she does it. Pisses me off… Normally don't like the women who don't stand up for themselves or make their own decisions… And yet she compels me to try and fix it. What kind've shit is that? What would I benefit from that?"

Max’s mouth twists around something, but it’s more the vague edge of a frown rather than a smile, “Aye, she’s good people.” This to Randi. And he’s more than happy to leave that topic behind in favor of the situation Zen currently finds himself in. With a snort, “Do I look like a man easily whipped?” Don’t answer that. “She just has a way of …” a helpless shrug filling the gap that words can’t seem to. Heavily sardonic now, “Or just bored and looking to fuck with a man’s mind,” and life. Dark eyes and expression shift once again to the semblance of knowing amusement, “Want to protect her, help her to find her feet in this life, eh?” Quieter and with more truth than most would normally steal from the beast manager, “The benefit is in the idea that someone would believe in you. Fucked up and full of shit, as you are.” Turning his own self realization out onto the other man.

Merendezen nns, "from the way Alara and T'ryn were acting… They seemed surprised she even gave me the time of day…" But he leaves it at that, giving the other a look. "No, you don't. But shit…" He trails off, nodding his understanding for the helpless shrug. "I don't think she's out to fuck with any man's mind. She's too damn innocent. Shit, I don't even want to touch her for fear of just… Breaking her. Or corrupting her. Something like that." One more shit word and we'll have a shitfest going on. "Yeah… That's what it is. I don't understand why I even consider it…." He trails off, looking to the other as he seems to understand. "That's… True."

Of course he’s heard the names but hasn’t personally had the pleasure of meeting either of the two mentioned. With another slight frown for the goldrider, “Be surprised if she ever speaks to me again.” Max shakes his head slightly, “Wasn’t meaning her,” Zen’s junior Lady Holder but he doesn’t expand. Low knowing laughter as the other reveals more, “How do we get ourselves into these messes? Shit all I wanted to do was come here and start over and then she turns those big shiny grey eyes onto me and I’m finding myself with more cold swims in a stream then I’ve had hot baths lately. Sharding women!” the grumble is light however. Yup, he –totally- gets Zen’s frustration and hesitation. Rolling his head, eyes catching to the ceiling, he muses out loud, “Got told recently to fuck the uncertainty and just go with it but…” attention back down and onto the other man, “I dunno, man. Couldn’t really stop it now if I wanted to. What you going to do?”

Merendezen grunts softly, "I see… Well, good luck with that. If you want to try and talk to her or something… Hope you know a good Healer." The knowing laughter is finally joined, finally finding some humor in the situation. "No idea, man… No idea. Came here for the same reason… Next thing I know I'm arguing with this little woman and… Shit. I've not jumped in any cold streams, my friend… Not yet, anyway. Work it out with running. Lots of running. Women are… Stressful." To put it simply. And politely. His head drops back and he snorts, "I don't think I should dedicate myself to one woman. To be loyal… I don't think I could handle it. And with her… She deserves better." Shoulders roll briefly before he finishes off his drink. "I don't know what I'm going to do. You seem to be working out fine… She's a Lord Holder's daughter… I'm certain one he finds out a sliver of information about me she'll be gone before I can blink."

First the flicker of something darker and then a crooked grin appears at mention of healers, tone fond, “Real cute one actually. Has candy and everything.” A guffaw of laughter greets Zen’s words, “Riding’s more my style,” rather than running but that could come out badly if viewed under the wrong light. To women being stressful, “You’re telling me. Going to make drunks out of the lot of us,” with a pointed look toward the half empty brandy bottle. Leaning back once again, hands toy with the glass held in his lap a wry look sent the other man’s way to words of not being able to maintain a certain level of loyalty to one woman, “Good luck with that. When you land ass in the runner dung, you know where to find me.” Yeah, he’s tried that angle too. Snorting softly, “If only it were that easy,” bad information turning their respective women away, “then again…don’t rightly know that I want to her leave.” He’s still pretty much groping about in the dark in terms of trying to understand what he has going on.

Merendezen lifts a brow, "a cute Healer with candy? And she's nice?" There's a tone of skepticism there but he chuckles. "Isn't riding a little uncomfortable with a stiff one?" Cough. Not that he's tried or anything. "Hopefully there's enough booze to to sustain all of us men." Eyes roll before the mug is set down. "What? You don't think I'll make it?" Though, the look on his face says that he likely won't make it either, he's too scared of hurrting the little woman. "It is that easy… If her father finds out. I don't… I don't want her to leave. But she'll be better off away from me. Even though I'm not going to touch her or ruin her."

Chuckling low he lifts a hand and tilts it side to side, "She'll have you on your knees crying in pain but she's nice, aye." Max throws back his head and gives into hearty laughter for the ribald comment, after it's subsided enough to be able to put words together he tips his glass Zen's way, "Quite the comedian you are." Skeptical amusement settles onto the other, "You get that right without feeling like a total bastard afterwards, and the drinks are on me down the new bar." Gravity returns for the man's last, a light frown playing about the beast manager's features, "You want her that bad, I'll do what I can to help." To stifle rumors and news getting back to the girl's father. It's a simple offer of loyalty not often given. Quietly spoken, " Don't back down because of her bloodline, Zen. Stand up to it."

Merendezen gives him a look, "shit. What kind've healer brings you to your knees and makes you cry." He stares at the other long and hard, as if assessing if the other is drunk. He gives the other another look, snorting. "Just curious. It seems like it'd be painful." He snorts softly and then shakes his head. "I'll feel like a total bastard no matter what I do. I'm screwed." A slow breath is drawn and the offer is met with a nod, "would appreciate the help… I'm not one who's past will work in my favor…." He considers his words, thoughtful. "Stand up to the bloodline, huh…? I just don't want to ruin her life."

“The kind that resets your nose and then gives you candy afterward,” Max returns with a grin. Dark eyes take on a devilish glint, “Well, usually I’d say that a stiffie is kind of a pre-requisite to…riding,” smiiirk, “but in the case of working off frustrations…cold swim is less…painful.” Wink. Swallowing down the last mouthful of brandy, an unapologetic grin appears on Zen being screwed, “Didn’t I just call it? Welcome to the club, mate.” As to any possible conflicts between the other man and the girl’s father, there comes a soft sound of self derision, “Not a saint myself, but I got a mother that can charm a tunnelsnake into becoming a pet, so…” shrugging lightly. Setting an intent look on the candidate, “You’re not giving her any credit here, Zen. Chances are, she might be just as willing to fight for what she wants. Just sayin’.”

"Aah. Broken nose… Never a fun experience getting it set after waiting a few days. Always got mine set right on the spot, At least she gave you candy after. Painful stuff, that." Zen cracks a wider grin at the other. "That sort of riding. I see. Hopefully you haven't been riding too much, lately. Swimming is much… Much better." A laugh follows and he inclines his head. "Sad club we are. Such a sad, sad club…" Cough. "Your mother? Who's your mother?" Then, he gives the other man a look, expression set. "The girl doesn't even know what she wants half the time unless I pry it out of her and it takes work. Do you know how many insults I had to toss at her before she called me a fool? A fool of all things… She won't stand up against her father."

"It was fine until that sharding bronzerider and his mates…" it's an old gripe. One which Max leaves off in favor of tucking a chuckle back for candy received from the healer. His expression says it all, mental head desk on the matter of riding. With a short humor filled groan of self imposed celibacy, "None. Whatsover. Not taking the chance of fucking up her chances at standing." Wry laughter next, "What is it they say…misery loves company, aye?" This to the club of two. Snorting softly, "Surprised she hasn't gotten her claws into you yet. You're quite her style I'd imagine," given almost indifferently, "Indira, the headwoman?" As to whom his mother is. "And you called Ahni, weak?" short amusement there, "If the girl's never had to stand up for herself before, it's going to take some time and patience for her to learn to do so. The question is how far are you prepared to take the fight, if you're even prepared to fight at all, hmm?"

Merendezen gives a sympathetic nod of understanding, not speaking anymore of the bronzerider and his pals. "Good. Good on you… Wondering what makes a dragon decide on someone… Harper girl, Teallan, she's got it in her head she can do something that'll make them more attracted to her. Wondering how that'll go for her." He chuckles before he nods. "It loves company, I'm sure there are many more men in the Weyr feeling the woe that women induce." Brows lift at the mention of his mother and her claws and there's a soft choke. "Your mother would…? Shit, I think I'm younger than you and she'd have no problem with that…? Shit. We've met… Briefly. She put me to work on other things… Away from her, at least." Another cough to clear his throat at the mention of Ahni. "I was just trying to get her ass in gear instead of watching her and you mope around like silly fools." Hypocrite! "I don't know… Guess I'm just as bad. Not knowing what I want. I wouldn't be afraid of a fight… Probably wouldn't win any hearts by hurting her family, though." Cause his idea of a fight includes blood and death, apparently.

Dark eyes roll, “If there was a way they’d have figured it out by now,” the harpers, “attended too many hatchings to count and if you ask me, it all just seems pretty random.” Chuckling again as he sets his glass down, “Wicked creatures they are,” women that is. Dark amusement as the topic of his mother demonstrates just that point. Hands spreading away from himself, Max shrugs, “So long as I don’t get it thrown in my face, what does it have to do with me? She keeps to her life, I keep to mine, and we’re all happy,” or something like that. A snort of laughter at Zen’s reaction, “And you reckon that’s going to keep you safe?” the age difference. Setting that aside in favor of, “But I’ll give her this much. The woman has connections and I can guarantee you she’s already building up a network of them here.” Hence the offer to get his dam involved if need be. Pointed the brow lifted look that settles onto the other man next, “Aye, and you’re not moping, not one little bit,” light sarcascm, “the boot is always easier to fit to a foot not yours,” smirk. “Hold guards would probably come down on you like a ton of rocks,” mutual understanding on the topic of fighting. Shaking his head, “You got to fight smart. Can’t say I envy you. All I have contend with is Ahni getting stuck with a dragon. And another turn or so of off-limits.” All he has to contend with. Right.

Merendezen snorts softly, "I know. I told her there was no way and she insisted… They're pretty random from what I've seen and the people they pick are random." Eyes close and he nods his agreement to the comment of women. "Shells. Well… Good agreement, at least…" A green eye opens to peer at the other, "since she's your mother, I'm not touching her." Unless she straps him down, but that's a whole 'nother story, there. "Connections are good… We could use them." We being him and his little Lady. "I'm not moping. I am… Brooding proudly." Though this is said with a laugh as both eyes open and he watches the other. "It's easier to point things out when the shit ain't happening to you. Then it's happening to me and I'm quite… Lost with the whole thing." A snort, "yeah. Hold guards, when trained right, aren't the best to fight." Experience, there. "I don't even envy me… Shit. You've got it simple at least… Though that celibacy might kill you. I'll have to talk with my little woman." Once he can get her to talk without stuttering.

“If it keeps the girl’s head busy then I don’t suppose it will do any harm to let her think she can make it happen the way she wants it to,” Max returns. Amusement once again in the form of a chuckle greets the other’s decision on his mother, “Uh thanks. I think.” Just to even the score or perhaps to push buttons and see what happens, “Your mom a looker then?” Which considering his earlier words on celibacy, probably falls flat. Snickering, “Brooding proudly…that’s a new one,” easy camaraderie in his tone and then rueful agreement given on the whys and wherefores of advice, “Aye, you ain’t wrong there.” A grimace and an expression as if he’d just tasted something bad, the beast manager remarks through a light scowl, “Sharding guards cheat. Jumping a body out of nowhere and not even giving them the chance to arm themselves.” Painful experience in those words. Pushing that aside both brows lift up for the apparent simplicity of celibacy, “Try doing the ‘right’ thing,” air quotes audible in his tone, “And somehow ending up the bad guy for it.” Shrugging that off to post a contemplative look onto Zen, “You could try taking her out somewhere. Some place nice, have a picnic. Get her to relax enough to talk to you and tell you what she wants?”

"That's what I'm figuring. Let her try what she can to try and Impress a dragon, and it'll keep her from making havoc. Or bugging Weyrwomen." Zen chuckles and shrugs, "no offense… I don't think I'd take lightly to someone I respect or consider a friend sleeping with my mother." The mention of his mother earns a shrug, "couldn't tell you. She could be a crazy bitch for all I know. Actually… I'm pretty sure my father was a crazy bitch, too. Son of the crazy bitch." He's tired, yep. He's spewing out random information. "It works. Brooding proudly sounds so much more than moping." There's a grunt of agreement. "Shardin' guards… Have been taken down by far too many who were looking to kick someone when they were down." He shakes his head once and leans it back, thoughtful. "Might work, that… Will have to talk to someone 'bout that…" And then, he's inspired, sitting up. "Probably best. A picnic, all nice and keeping my hands to myself. And being… Gentle."

Max's grin turns wide and then fades a little at the information Zen provides, muttering a quiet, "Shit, sorry Zen. Sometimes my mouth runs away from my brain." Chuckling as he stretches and stifles a yawn, "Think I'll be borrowing the brooding proudly thing then." Arms drop and cross in over his chest as yet another speculative look settles on the other man for talk of being kicked when down, but he doesn't comment on it at this stage, simply filing the information away. His head drops forward and the beast manager's chuckling wryly again and echoing earlier words of, "Good luck with that," to the other's words on keeping his hands to himself. It's the last that he puts words to expression turned warmer for a like understanding, "Gentle, aye. Only way to coax a nervous filly in. Patience, aye? Screwed we are. The both of us." Him and Zen.

Merendezen waves a hand, "nah. Don't worry about it. Better off not knowing them anyway…" The yawn is repeated by Zen and he nods. "Go ahead. It should be a phrase for men." He insists, considering the other briefly, green eyes searching but then nodding his thanks. "Gentle… Patience. Things I'm not used to doing. But, it'll be for the best to exercise these things." He laughs freely, pushing from his seat. "Thoroughly screwed. And yet, we seem to be enjoying it."

Standing as Zen does, the beast manager chuckles in agreement with the phrase coined. Hands in pockets he’ll trail the other to the door adding wryrly, “Sadistic bastards.” As to why either of them are even putting themselves through it at all. Clapping a hand to the other’s back, Max sends in greeting, “Door’s always open aye?” Unless it’s not. Then knock!

Merendezen laughs, "we are. We are." There's a shake of his head to their foolishness before he grins in response. "Thanks, Max. For listening to this man go insane." A wave is offered instead of a salute and he wanders his way to bed, finally.

Closing song - Bruce Springsteen - The Boys Are Back In Town.

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