Changing For The Future

Participants:

Jaya.jpg L'ron.jpg

Date: April 27, 2011
Location: Lake Shore, EW
Synopsis: Jaya seeks out an old friend. The two catch up on their lives and their bond strengthens through business contracts and a promised mission.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya


It's a nice, cool early evening. The denizens of the Weyr are moving to and fro, preparing for night activities. It's here that normally Jaya would not be seen, but she's here strolling the bowl like she doesn't have a bar to manage. Suli and Hayli was running things for her, anyway - the barmaid pair was proving to be a good substitute in her absence, which was starting to prove common between obligations to the southern crimelord and her own personal dramas. Deep thoughts draw her towards the weyrling barracks, checking on Olira despite her knowing that the Tillekian moved out after she had her baby. She still worked for the weyrlingmaster though, so she briefly exchanged a few words with the redhead before Jaya seeks out her true purpose - that purpose being a 'he' and that 'he' belonging to a blue dragon.

From above, a dark shadow in the night sky silently tracks Jaya’s path, the moonlight blocking and unblocking as something big scuds to and fro across it. And then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, first one and then another turnip will fall directly in front of the dark-haired woman, the sound of muffled laughter coming from above and before her. A rush of air accompanied by the sound of wings back-beating, follows next followed by the sand being stirred in eddies and where before there was none, an almost fully grown blue drops to the ground, effectively blocking her path, his great eyes glowing in the dark and then he gives a cough and a turnip shoots out of his maw. Balkrith, has arrived!

First one, then two turnips fall from the sky, signaling the arrival one familiar blue dragon. Jaya pauses in her stroll, her eyes going upwards until Balkrith lands suddenlyy before her. Time spent in the Weyr has worn off the skiddishness of being around dragons, so the barkeep doesn't appear too startled. With Shijan missing - the bodyguard keeping an eye on the bar along with the barmaids - she takes a step closer to the growing shadows as she watches. With a small smirk, "So I see you can fly now," she notes aloud, peering to the side to see if her friend was astride the dragon. "This is good! I can steal rides off of you now!" If L'ron wasn't present on the dragon, then she was speaking to Balkrith himself, though she knows full well that she wouldn't pick up any answer from the dragon without his rider to relay it.

While L’ron had been astride his blue a short while ago, upon spying Jaya down on the ground he’d had the dragon drop him off, he having been ghosting along behind the dark-haired woman for a few paces now. When she speaks, he remains silent, a mischievous grin casting across night shadowed features. Balkrith however, takes a step closer and then cocks his head to one side as if listening very carefully to what it is the barkeep is saying. With a proud chuff of sound he gives the draconic equivalent of a nod of head and then snaps his wings out to the sides as if in agreement with her words on now flying and perhaps even offering transport. From right up close behind her, L’ron’s voice comes deep, settled into the smooth baritone that his voice has developed into, “He says that for you, it will only cost two turnips.” Cheap at the price considering that the blue has been offering lifts for two bags of turnips to others, not…that the young dragon is capable of carrying two people just yet.

Now Jaya jumps. She was so engrossed with the dragon she's watched grow up that she didn't realize too much that L'ron was so close behind. Dark eyes fly over the wings Balkrith displays, almost about to reach out and touch them like a thief looking to nab a shiny object when L'ron's voice has her turning abruptly about. Blinking before realizing who it was, "You sneak up on friends now?" she seems to tease in order to cover the fact that he did, and literally, get the jump on her. She moves then to offer him a hug, her smile turning warm as she states, "It's been too long! When are you going to come by my bar, hmmm? Are you afraid of my barmaids or something?" she teases, moving to try and lightly smack his arm as she studies any new changes in him. "And what's this about two turnips per ride?" she asks, looking over towards the blue. "Driving a hard bargain, isn't he? He forgets that I'm holdless and will have to steal for a ride." She says this with a long suffering sight, too, as if the Bitran woman would have no other choice.

Just the desired effect he’d hoped for as evidenced in the wide grin that flashes teeth. “Only those I really like,” L’ron gives without apology and enfolds the smaller woman in a bear hug that hopefully doesn’t end up crushing her. “Too long,” he agrees releasing Jaya enough to pass a look over her, “You’re looking…” dare he say it, “cheerful?” The changes wrought in the weyrling recently are more subtle, the softness associated with a teenage boy starting to melt from his features, lending his jaw a stronger look. A jaw lightly dappled with stubble. Shoulders have broadened and filled in with hard muscle, as has the rest of his tall frame. A soft snort is offered for being afraid of her barmaids, “I’m not scared of them.” More like he’s not about to get up the Weyrlingmaster’s nose for being drunk and disorderly. A laugh sounds out next as he finally releases Jaya from the hug, “You’re still pleading holdless, huh?” Balkrith, privy to the conversation via his rider, nudges the two turnips toward her that he’d dropped from the sky and with amusement in his voice, L’ron relays the message, “Bal says you can use those to pay him with.” Talk about getting your own back! “So, how has my favourite writer of letters been?” sincere interest held in brown eyes.

"Uh-huh," Jaya states in mock dryness, though the woman can't keep it up for long. It's when L'ron notices a change in her - her hair is still as loose as ever along with her clothes, maintaining that 'carefree gypsey' look that she had coming into Eastern - but her demeanor isn't as tetchy as it used to be. She knows it, hence the minor blush that appears for his noticing. "'Cheerful's' pushing it, shuga," she mutters, stepping to walk to the side of him as she looks away. The last time she has seen the blue weyrling was before she left for her retreat. "I'm…I'm in a better place than I was," she chooses to say, nudging him. Eyes flow over him then, "You don't look the same yourself," she adds then more soberly. "I see dragonriding still agrees with you." She gives a snort on his not being afraid of her barmaids, "You should at least come by and remind Suli that you're still alive. She's been downright onery without you." Riiight. She takes that hug in gratefully, squeezing before letting him go when he does before laughing with him on her pleading holdless. She shrugs galliantly, "Still trying to make a Weyr resident out of me?" she answers his question with another one. Dark eyes go towards his dragon then when the turnips get nudged, and the Bitran bends to pick them up. Pocketting them with a nod of thanks to Balkrith, "Still alive," she drawls, the smile more genuine for his last question. "Bar's been doing good. Been on my good behavior, for now." Head tilting some, "Speaking of writing letters," she adds with a pointed look, "have you written home since then, or will I have to draw you back to my lair again?" It's playful despite the seriousness of her words, nodding for him to join her on her stroll.

The blush seems to please L’ron for whatever reason and a grin appears the nudge to his side taken with good grace. “A better place, huh?” the blue weyrling echoes, and then a chuckle spills, “Aaand what place would that be, hmm?” gentle tease in his voice. A glance down at himself when Jaya makes note of the physical changes wrought by weyrlinghood and then that self-same grin appears as he deliberately misinterprets her meaning. “Oh you mean the hair?” one hand lifting to brush over his head, “Decided it was easier to just keep it real short what with the flying helmet and all.” Amusement lingers and even seems to take on a fond edge, “Aaah Suli. How I do miss her wit and charm.” Are they talking about the same woman? “Trying to make a Weyr resident out of you?” he once again echoes and then lets out a laugh, “You’re still here aren’t you?” Brown eyes sending her a pointed look and then a snort is sent for Jaya apparently being on good behaviour, “So what you’re trying to say is, no mud fights lately. Guess we’ll have to fix that.” And the bluerider gives her a bump toward where the water of the lake laps the shoreline as if to remedy the situation then and there. Playful her words might have been but L’ron stops in the slow stroll he’d taken to next to her and gives a short shake of head. “Still haven’t heard back from home yet,” worry weighs his tone down and is mirrored in his expression.

Eyes narrowing despite the smile, "What place you think it to be?" Jaya answers with the question, regarding L'ron's smile. Eyes lift to settle briefly on his hair then. "Hardly, though it suits you. I mean you," and she gestures a wave up and down his frame in indication. She laughs on his response on Suli, but his next gets a wry look along with an equally wry "Still here? It's only because there's things….people….here that still keep my interest." Perhaps it lends to the suggestion that once the interest wanders, she would too, but somehow one can detect that the words are not to be taken seriously. "Besides," she adds as she walks along, her gaze moving to the lake. "Figure for now, I'm safer here. Maybe if I wait it out, my old boss would have moved on to his next fugitive." Mud fights? That gets a light push and mock glare. "I haven't forgotten that I owe both you and Shijan for that," she lets him know with thin lips. "Took all night to get that mud off of me. Too bad we're not up north. I do believe a good snow fight's better," she confides with a shallow wink until he bumps her towards the shore. At the end, when L'ron demeanor changes for her innocent-seeming question of his family, she looks at him and stops her pace a step or two ahead of him. "What do you think it is?" she asks, some concern coloring her features. "You think they're mad at you or something?"

Broad shoulders lift up and down in a shrug, “Dunno. Maybe you’ve finally managed to get all your stock at half price and are now making twice the profit?” For such a thing would surely translate as being a better place for the woman? “Oooor, you got whisked away by a dashing pirate during your retreat, fell in love with him and are now planning your wedding?” He definitely missed his calling to the Harper Hall. Jaya’s reasons on why she’s still at the Weyr are something L’ron understands, though he responds in sombre tone and with pointed look, “But if you do decide to leave, it will be because you want to and not because you have, hmm?” Thus giving reply to both statements she’d made. And then there is no apology whatsoever in the grin that curls onto the bluerider’s mouth, “I’ve heard talk about mud being good for the skin.” On the matter of snowball fights, the spreads his hands away from himself in a ‘bring it on’ type gesture, “Soon as we’re cleared to leave the Weyr on our own…you’re on!” Uh oh. The playfulness of course falls away on the matter of not having heard from his family yet, and warm brown eyes draw troubled, “Dunno. Maybe?” Silent a heartbeat and then L’ron adds quietly, “Our cothold is way out the back of beyond,” his gaze lifts to the dark night sky, “and with the way Thread’s been falling…” words trail and his mouth twitches toward a frown.

“Do you know a way to get me my stock at half-price?” Jaya’s interest peaks at that one, though it’s also due to his trying to figure the source of her mood out. L’ron’s more blatant guesses has her raising brow his way, falling silent long enough to suggest she was going to torture him. Of course, bringing up the long ago retreat has the reaction of her looking away with hands in her trouser pockets. “You can change your ‘dashing pirate’ and a plan for weddings with one who speaks a lot like you,” she drawls, not torturing him any longer. L’ron probably knew who went on the retreat with her, so the faint blush is founded. His words on her leaving the Weyr gets a more sober “You’re right. I’m not leaving. I, uh, work with Max now.” She wasn’t sure how much the weyrling knew about Indira and Max’s business, but she was figuring that L’ron knew something about the pair by being on the road with them. Idle even, especially considering the words he uses on mudfights, “Have you talked to Shijan lately?” she asks, one corner of her mouth lifts in a lopsided grin. She looks pleased about flying with him as well, nodding to agree even if it means she’ll become victim to a snowball fight in the future. That amusement ebbs on talk of his family, frowning a bit before her gaze is drawn towards the lake. “Want me to send someone out?” she asks quietly without looking at him, concerned for her friend. Now that she was working with a crimelord again, she had the ability to now offer such a thing. Looking his way then, “I’m sure they’re alright,” she adds to reassure him regardless.

“Go to the source and cut out your middle man,” L’ron gives with a faint quirk of lips before adding in a low tone as if imparting a secret or little known fact, “I might know of a blue dragon willing to help with transporting your stock.” Apparently he’s not just a pretty face. And then a brow goes up, brown gaze taking in that faint blush and coupling it with her words and then slowly but surely a wide grin breaks free. “He may be more pirate than you might think,” the bluerider comments with a wink, “stealing the beautiful damsel as his booty, yeah?” With warm sincerity, “Good, it’s about time you started blushing.” Brat. Jaya’s words on now working for Max have a brow hovering upward once again. “Could do worse,” conservative reply given. “Shijan? Nope, not since we uh…showed you how to have fun,” grin, “Should I?” Make a point of seeking her bodyguard out. On the matter of his family there’s a moment’s silence with L’ron’s gaze flicking over Balkrith who slouches along nearby. “I’d go myself but…” the blue pair isn’t yet cleared for leaving the Weyr on their own. The offer is considered, “How much?” He asks realizing that everything, including having someone check up on his family, has a price.

"And here I thought you were more into fun than business," Jaya drawls with mirth, head tilting to the side. "If you're serious, I just might take you up on that offer. Dragonriders usually are hard to come by without a high price." Of course the blush always gets her in trouble - she is still a girl at heart despite her upbringing. "I'm more the pirate than he," she returns wryly in a low tone, "but I see your meaning. I'm not exactly a 'damsel', either. Always saw myself as more of a 'dashing thief with a blazing past', myself." His sincerity is noticed though, and after a pause a more sober tone is given: "It was….unexpected. Such happenings don't really correlate with my line of work. I dunno how, but he got to me." Does she really need to say who it was she was talking about? She was certain L'ron knew by the look on her face, though she tries to poke him in the side for his brat behavior. "You should," is all she says on him seeking Shijan out, then turning to address her working with Max with a wry "He made an offer I couldn't refuse. You're right - I could do much worse. I have done much worse. I'm sure," and she looks towards the barracks while saying so, "that Vaput will come by soon enough when hearing that his son was born in a Weyr. I don't think this will be kept a secret long." Vaput coming here would mean he would run into her as well, which could cause a whole wealth of problems. She then turns to face the weyrling on the topic of his family, frowning a bit before nodding decisively. "A friend of mine, Ralik, is due to stop by here anytime now," she tells him evenly, working out the details in her mind. "Max has a mission for him too, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind stopping by your family's cothold since he'll be in Nabol. He has a way of slipping in and out of territories." Meeting his gaze then on price, she shakes her head and states, "You owe me a ride out of the Weyr when you can. That's good enough for me," she says with a smile.

“Business can be fun.” L’ron is quick to comment and then gives a nod of head, “I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t serious. It’ll be fun to get back to exploring again.” Of course there’s that small duty to the Weyr and fighting Thread thing but one can be sure he’ll find a way to work around that. Laughter is quick to fall from the bluerider’s lips though it holds no mockery, “Dashing thief with a blazing past, eh? Yeah, I can see that.” And while the laughter drops off, a warm smile remains behind as Jaya speaks of the man that has taken her heart. “Shijan has a way of doing that, I’ve noticed,” he says having seen the bodyguard at work during his time on the road with Indira and her group. “I also noticed that while a few of the women threw themselves at him, you seem to be the only one that’s stuck.” The poke to his side has L’ron tossing a grin her way and then his expression turns more sombre as he listens to her speak on the deal she has with the Weyr’s beast manager. Following her glance back to the barracks, the bluerider sets a troubled look onto the barkeep, “You think he’ll be so bold as to actually step foot in the Weyr?” And then, “Ralik? That the chap that comes to your bar sometimes?” Seems he’s more aware of what goes on around him than most people give him credit for. A nod and a grateful smile forms for the offer made, “Then it’s a deal.” L’ron states to making payment for word on his family in exchange for giving Jaya a lift out of Weyr. “So where would you want to go?” And there’s no denying the curiosity that sparks in brown eyes.

Jaya is silent a moment, considering the offer made by the blue weyrling. She has yet, for all the months she’s been at the Weyr, established any business contacts herself. It meant, should things go sour with Vaputero, she could always pack herself up and leave without any ties or obligations. Of course, she has ties with Max now, working for him, and not to mention his mother and Shijan. Having come to a decision with a firm nod, “Alright. I’ll take you up on that. I might be getting some lucrative cargo soon that will need the strength of a dragon to carry it. Maybe some adventuring will come from it, hmm?” She could sympathize with L’ron there. Other than the missions she’s been doing, which were few and far between what she’s used to, the Bitran’s been feeling a bit locked up in the confines of the Weyr herself lately. When L’ron’s past, something she enjoys hearing about openly being that the man is a private one when it comes to such things, “I didn’t throw myself at him,” she drawls wryly with amusement in her tone. “Call it having one moment of weakness, shuga, but it was unexpected. Not something I was seeking, considering.” Considering the whole ‘fugitive’ thing. That amusement ebbs in light of the topic of Vaputero, the woman sending L’ron a serious look. “He’ll come if his son’s here,” she says with certainty. “He has no love for dragonriders, and even worse, I’m here. If I was him, that what I would do – come down here and snatch my son away from dragonriding do-gooders.” Looking away, “But don’t worry,” she adds, her chin lifting. “I can deal with him now. Got my daring back.” On Ralik, she nods, “You don’t miss much, do you?” she notes openly with a lopsided grin, looking his way briefly. “Ralik helps out my old barkeep boss up in Telgar. He’s the best one I know that could check your family out without causing any trouble.” Once the deal is made she returns his easy smile, pleased that she could be in a position to offer in the first place. His question is expected, having remembered him to be the curious sort back before he Impressed to Balkrith. Continuing to pace, it’s a moment before she responds with “Home.”

It’s Balkrith that responds to Jaya’s words, puffing his blue chest out and doing a bit of a strut as if to prove he was just exactly the right dragon for the job. As to L’ron, a wide grin captures his features and he gives an eager nod to potential adventures, “And if none comes of it, we’ll make our own.” He having been locked down and pretty much Weyrbound save for the occasional fishing trip with Ciara, for over two turns now. A low chuckle sounds out next and he lifts a brow in amusement when Jaya speaks of not having thrown herself at her bodyguard, thought he doesn’t put words to the fact that that was likely what had made all the difference. “Sometimes good things happen when we least expect them, Jaya. Ours is not to question them but simply to enjoy them, right?” Yet another example of the simple take on life that he has. A frown then forms when she responds on Vaputero coming to the Weyr to claim his son and then he straightens from the slight slouch he’d taken to and broad shoulders square in a show of determination. “And you got me and Bal at your back too,” allegiance given instantly with the blue dragon adding his rumbling agreement. “Ralik?” the name echoed and committed to memory, “Yeah, he didn’t seem to be from around here.” Brown eyes hold a watchful gaze on the dark-haired woman as she paces, and then he queries further, “Home? You mean like back to Bitra?” concern shadows his features, “Is that safe?”

Jaya laughs at Balkrith’s antics, nodding to both dragon and rider on making up adventures of their own. “I think we will do fine there, you and I,” she answers with laughter still in her voice. His more serious words in regards to relationships get a faint flush to skin, though she turns the tables on him just as easily by asking, “Am I to assume you speak of yourself as well when it comes to good things happening?” She pauses then, giving in on her side by adding a wry “I’m not sure Shijan knows what he’s getting into by being with a Dicori, L’ron. Not even my mother did back then, even though she died early. My clan….we’re such a dark lot.” ‘Dark’ being the only way she could describe what kind of reputation her family has in the lands. When L’ron offers his and Balkrith allegiance as it was to being there if the Bitran crimelord shows up at the Weyr, Jaya reaches out to try and clap a firm hand on his shoulder and squeeze should it succeed. Nodding, “I don’t want to get you and Bal hurt,” she states, that being a concern of hers. “It’s bad enough we’ve gotten the Weyr involved by beinghere, shuga.” On Ralik she adds with her shaking her head once, “Not entirely sure where Ralik is from. He moves from one place to another so much…” she pauses, finding it actually difficult to describe Ralik. It was something she hasn’t done before. “He makes so many stories,” she explains again, one corner of her mouth lifting. “Stories of his life and the places he’s been. It’s difficult, even for me, to sift the truth from the lies with him.” Her pacing takes her ahead of him in silence when he asks about her going home, and when she turns to face him, “Bitra,” she agrees, nodding once. “And don’t worry. I doubt we’ll be there long enough for me to cause any notice, or trouble. My father will likely throw insults at me, along with knives, while my brother pretends I’m no kin to him and my twin sister both tries and fails at bringing us all to a reconciliation.” Snorting, “But it’s been too long. It’s high-time I visit there. As much as I hate my family, they are my family.”

The tables may be turned but Jaya will find no blush on the bluerider’s cheeks merely a goofy grin that captures his lips, “You could say so.” His answer carefully phrased, what he says next possibly likely explaining why, “She’s…a goldrider.” An impossible pairing some might say. And then he’s responding to her words on her coming from dark stock, sincerity shading brown eyes to sombre, “You don’t have to be like them, Jaya. You can be the difference. The one that breaks free.” Pausing and then adding with a wry smile, “Do you know what it is you’re getting into?” Of course, he doesn’t flinch away from the clap to shoulder but instead lifts one of his hands and lays it briefly over hers, “Me and Bal can take care of ourselves.” For while he might be one to try reason before physical action, let it not be said that he’s a coward. “If the Weyr didn’t want to be involved in the protection of its own, the Weyrleaders would have had you escorted out a long time ago,” he reminds with a smile. The gleam of the adventurer sparks in his expression as she speaks of Ralik, “He tells you stories? Do you think maybe…he’d tell me some?” When Jaya expands on her family and a potential visit home, brows touch toward each other in a light frown, “Perhaps if Ciara and Suosith came with us, they’d be more…willing to make nice for a bit?” For surely the presence of a rather big gold dragon would make all the difference? More likely exacerbate the situation, but then that’s L’ron, ever optimistic.

“Ciara,” Jaya mentions the name he had given her long before, watching the weyrling closely. “So she’s a goldrider, huh?” Clearly, she’s missing the significance of that, but then, she never gave thought to dragonrider customs and politics. So the shrug is an easy one, “Is it a serious thing, you and her? Is it that you’re not allowed to have relationships at this stage?” On the talk of her family and inheritance, the Bitran resumes her pacing. “Be the difference?” She shakes her head to that. “I’m the only of my siblings that seems to have inherited the Dicori curse, shuga. I and my father are only too much alike. As much as I try to be…decent,” she trails that off, turning to look at him evenly. “And perhaps you’re right,” she adds then wryly on Shijan. “I can admit that I don’t know what I’m getting into with him. This…all of this,” and she gestures broadly to indicate the whole of the Weyr, “..this is uncommon for folks like me. I know that. I even expect sometimes that all of this is a dream, and that I’m really still up north, running. Evading the inevitable.” She smiles more warmly when he covers her hand with his, and his response on her still being there gets short laughter. “They seem nice enough,” she admits on the Weyrleaders, “but they don’t know my story for a reason, shuga. Kindness and generosity only goes so far, I can imagine.” On Ralik, and easier topic, she watches L’ron perk up at the talk of stories and she grins his way before nodding. “I think he would tell you stories whether you asked him or not,” she answers easily. “I think he would find it to be an odd request for him though. You must have a lot of stories yourself before coming here?” There’s the idea of Ciara joining them on the trip – something she never thought of. Imagine that: a big gold dragon showing up at the sneaky Dicori trader campsite. Jaya could just see the more ‘colorful’ of her kin running to the hills at the sight. Her lips twitching at the drawn-up mental image, “The gold dragon’s the ultimate symbol of the Weyr law,” she states aloud, moving to stand beside him as she looks over the lake. “Would likely cause more trouble than help, though I admit to finding it highly amusing to see some of my kind scrambling away from the sight of a weyrwoman bearing down on them.” Yeah, she can be cruel. A sudden thought hitting her then, “Did you meet my sister when she visited here?” she asks.

“Don’t know,” L’ron states honestly about his relationship with Ciara, though there is a warm smile attached and then he gives a small shrug, “we’re just taking it one day at a time, see where it goes.” He goes quiet then, listening as Jaya speaks of her family and then, if she’s near enough and will allow, the bluerider will reach for her hands and set a sombre look onto her. “You are decent, Jaya. And you deserve to be happy and, loved. And this?” his brown-eyed gaze sweeping about where they stand, “is your home and where you belong…for now.” A wry smile appears at the end for he realizes that the woman is likely unable to stay in one place for too long. That smile grows into a grin on the subject of Ralik and L’ron chuckles, “I’m sure mine aren’t nearly as interesting as what he’d have to tell.” Having released her hands if he’d been able to capture them in the first place arms now fold across his chest and amused look is cast down onto Jaya for her response to the reaction that Ciara and Suosith’s presence would cause at the Dicori camp. “Your twin? Beddie, right?” and he shakes his head, “Sadly not. Is she here again?” he casting a glance about as if half expecting to see the barkeep’s sibling come strolling along.

“That’s how I look at Shijan and I,” Jaya agrees with L’ron’s philosophy, nodding. “One day at a time. I think I’ve been growing on him. In the beginning he seemed so afraid to tell me anything, or to trust me, but now?” Clearly now things were different. She grows thoughtful when he speaks on her and her family, regarding his lips as they moved before drawling back, “You make it hard for a thief to steal, shuga, by words alone. How is it you can trust me so and believe?” She smiles at their friendship, seeming to remember from the first time she had met him to now. There’s laughter on the talk of Ralik, returning wryly, “I’m sure you’re wrong. It’s not everyday that a young man from a far away cothold ends up traveling with the likes of Max and his mother. They’re definitely unorthodox in every way, for weyrfolk! So your stories are bound to draw interest. We should talk of them sometime – I can tell you my travels, and you can tell me of yours.” She doesn’t look surprised to hear that he didn’t run into her sister when she visited, so she shakes her head to his question and answers, “She’s been gone for months, but I’m hoping to drop by on her this time. She has sent me a letter recently, though. Says she’s planning on coming back. I think it’s probably more to harass me than anything, as siblings do.” Nudging him lightly, “You should meet her this time,” she tells him, amusement evident. “I’m actually wondering what you think of her. Beddie’s usually…off.”

A small appears from out of a contemplative expression on the matter of Jaya’s bodyguard, “Seems to me he has reason to be careful who he lets in, Jaya. Much like a certain barkeep, yeah?” He himself not knowing very much about the man under discussion. On the matter of trust L’ron’s smile warms and one shoulder lifts and falls in a shrug, “I try to trust everyone until they show me reason not to,” he answers simply, “and believe that anyone can change…if they want to.” His laughter joins with hers and the bluerider gives a shake of head, “It was more luck than good judgement on my part,” he notes wryly of having ended up with the Headwoman and her son, “but any stories to be told would be theirs to tell and not mine.” A wide smile breaks free and brown eyes spark with anticipation at talk of the other Dicori twin potentially making another visit to the Weyr, “Nah, she can’t be that bad. Not if she’s your twin.” Trusting much?

“Make me want to protect him from whoever it is he has trouble with,” Jaya says soberly, frowning a bit on the matter. “I know he’s being protected here. I just wish he would tell who,” for one can be sure she would want to deal with whoever it is that has haunted Shijan so. She grins on his trust, inclining her head before returning, “Well I am glad you find me good enough to trust, L’ron. I hope to never give you reason to doubt me.” Talk of her twin gets some laughter, the Bitran woman shaking her head and answering, “Oh, she’s pretty bad! Have you talked to Max recently? I think he could give you a more accurate take on my Beddie!” She reaches for his hand and tries to pull him along into a stroll almost playfully, adding over her shoulder, “So long as she doesn’t see you as a potential bedmate, she’s actually decent. I’ve forgotten how close she and I used to be, but that’s pretty common for twins, I suppose. I can feel her thoughts sometimes, she can feel mine….” After a moment of silence then, “When Ralik comes by and I ask him about your folks, did you want to be there? I could send Shijan after you when he shows up?”

Quizzical the look L’ron sets Jaya with, “Protect him?” That’s given thought and then L’ron nods as once again a smile presents, “Yeah, I get that. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to keep Ci safe even though I know her Suosith is about all the protection she needs.” It’s the thought that counts right? When she speaks of not giving him reason to doubt the trust he’s put in her, his smile lingers, begins to deepen into a grin for the ways of her twin and then slips off and a long and careful look is put to Jaya. “Max…he’s into some pretty serious stuff these days, yeah?” His hand is easily captured by hers and folds about her smaller one in the way of siblings as he gives a short chuckle, “I don’t think Ci would be too pleased if your Beddie tried that one on me. I’d still like to meet her though.” Strolling along beside the dark-haired woman in companionable silence for a moment or two he then muses out loud, “If you can sometimes feel her thoughts and she can feel yours,” pausing and then adding, “I wonder what would happen if one of the two of you impressed? Would the dragon be able to speak to the both of you?” The idea so intriguing to him that he almost misses her last. “Ah yeah, I think maybe it would be good if I met this Ralik first? Maybe send a letter with him so’s my folks don’t tuck tail and run.”

Nodding once, Jaya explains the first with “I feel like…he’s in serious trouble. Something serious like what I’m dealing with, but…he seems too afraid to tell me the details, or even the name of the trouble.” She was finding it hard to explain, but she was feeling more at ease in relaying her thoughts to L’ron more than anyone. The young man knew of Shijan, first of all, and then second of all he knew of her. The fact that he knows as much as he does about her and had kept her confidence speaks well of the weyrling. She grins when he relays words on Ciara, putting in warmly, “It sounds really serious between the two of you.” It was clearly more than just infatuation like the way he initially was describing. She catches the long careful look, and his question involving Max seems to have her momentarily taken aback. Blinking, “He does what he had to, to protect those like me and Olira,” she words it carefully, though she adds wryly, “I gather it’s been that long since you’ve seen him, shuga. Might be good to stop by the stables. I think Max would appreciate a familiar face.” Of course, she doesn’t know anything about recent developments with Max, having been a long while since she’s spoken to him before the last mission. Jaya laughs outright on L’ron’s words on her sister, seemingt o agree, but it’s his next in being able to read each other’s feelings and thoughts that have her more thoughtful. Shrugging a bit, “Still certain there’s a dragon out there for me?” Snorting a little, “If that sort of thing is in the cards, which I doubt, I would wonder if either of us would feel the other’s feelings with their dragon. I doubt she would mind all that much – Beddie claims she felt the same sharp pain I did when I got cut to the face – but I really don’t think I would want to have her dragon in my head. Can you block such intrusions?” she asks then, looking towards Balkrith with some curiosity. And intriguing idea indeed! To the last bit, she squeezes his hand in agreement as they walk and she nods to his words. “Whatever you want to do, shuga. I do give warning though – Ralik can be a bit….abrupt,” she drops the word dryly, though it’s short-lived. “His life has only been business, and so he speaks as such. In fact, I don’t think the man can even smile.”

L’ron lifts a brow, “Have you thought that perhaps it’s you he wishes to protect by not naming his trouble?” And then a shy smile warms his features and he gives a nod to the relationship between himself and the goldrider, “I hope so but I also know that once we graduate things might change.” Given that the jump from weyrlinghood to full fledged rider is likely to put a whole lot of new challenges their way not the least of which is dealing with the issue of flights. On the matter of paying the beast manager a visit, the bluerider puts a sidelong glance onto Jaya, as if trying to divine if there’s hidden meaning to her words, “I tried once or twice but he always seems to be out. Maybe I’ll swing by his office the next time Bal hits the feeding pens.”

A short laugh greets comment of there potentially being a dragon in the cards for the barkeep, “You never know, Jaya. A dragon was the last thing I ever expected. I’m starting to realize that just about everyone stands a chance to impress.” Having tired of just lumbering on ahead of them, Balkrith suddenly launches from the ground and takes to the air. Moments later, far out in the lake a loud splash echoes back across the waters as the blue all but bellyflops into it. This must be a fairly regular occurrence for the bluerider barely pays it any attention and continues on his conversation with his friend with a nod, “Some things you can block from them, things that aren’t good for them to know while they’re young but I find that Balkrith just tends to feel left out and sulks when I do it, so I try to find ways to explain things to him in a manner that he can understand.” Such as equating Ciara to a turnip for the blue’s sake. The squeeze to his hand is returned and then a sunny grin turns out, “Everyone can smile, even Ralik. He just hasn’t heard the right joke yet.”

Flapping a hand, “I’ll find out one way or another,” Jaya tells the blue weyrling with not much worry in her tone. Shijan must know by now that the Bitran barkeep was one that would be hard to keep under thumb. “He shouldn’t worry so about me if that’s the case! We practically ride into danger together now.” His talk of graduating draws a curious look from her, for she asks, “When are you to graduate anyway? And why—? Ahh,” and she shakes her head, coming to her own answer. “She’s a weyrwoman, right? But should that really make a difference? I don’t see why Ciara can’t choose whoever she wants to be with – flights aside.” She was coming from a place of independence, her views. She nods firmly on him checking on Max again, “I need to catch him myself. Let me know if you do, hmm?” There’s joint laughter on talk of dragons, Jaya’s own boisterous. “What will I do as a dragonrider, shuga?” she puts out there, eyes falling on his dragon. “I can barely follow my own orders, let alone someone else’s! I see how S’las struggles! He’s a childhood friend of mine,” she turns to explain conversationally, easy. “Trader-turned-bronzerider, though like me, he never wanted to be a rider. Got kicked out of Igen and ended up down here, but, I think lately the title seems to fit on him.” Shaking her head, “I dunno though…Impressing seems like a whole lot of trouble I don’t need, shuga, though I must say,” and she turns to regard L’ron, “it wears well on you. It’s changed you, but not in a bad way.” She watches Balkrith bellyflop himself into the lake – something she doesn’t see a dragon do all that often – listening to L’ron explain how he can explain things to his dragon. It makes sense to her, so she nods, though she does ask, “What about more….delicate matters? I hear dragons are present for such things from the riders that come to the bar.” His last gets a wry “Right joke, eh? Not unless it involves getting paid – something he only seems to care about. But sure, I’ll call you over when he arrives, so you two can properly meet. Better he speaks to you on your family than me, shuga.”

A smirk greets Jaya’s airy return on finding out the whys and wherefores of whatever troubles plague her bodyguard for he well knows she’s likely to do just that. Shoulders lift and fall in a shrug on the matter of graduation, “Not sure really. There’s talk of some of us getting weyrs in the next few months but you know how rumours are.” Nodding now, “Yeah, she’s a weyrwoman. I just don’t want to make things complicated for her, you know? It’s supposed to be goldriders and bronzeriders. Or even brownriders not…blueriders.” As to letting her know if and when he meets up with the beast manager, L’ron gives another nod and then a grin fits into place, “Think of all the marks you could save yourself by being able to move your own stock about, hmm?” He very conveniently glosses over the hours and hours of training and fighting Thread there, not to mention being stuck in weyrlinghood for two turns. “S’las…” the name turned over as if he were trying to place whether or not he’d come across the bronzerider about the Weyr. “Who a dragon wants, a dragon gets,” he finally gives on the matter. “Changed me?” amusement flickers about his expression, “Yeah, I guess it did.” His gaze casts out over the lake where Balkrith is idly paddling about, “Can’t say I’m sorry though.” Fond warmth sits in his baritone. But then L’ron gives a strangled little cough and looks away when Jaya brings up matters of a more intimate nature, “Uh we…uh…we haven’t…you know…” blush! And he tries to cover up the awkwardness with a crooked grin, “Then maybe that’s your answer right there. You should try paying Ralik to make him smile.” The jesting falls away and the bluerider nods slowly and then sets the barkeep with a small smile, “Thanks, Jaya. Balkrith thanks you too.” For now maybe the blue will get a full night’s sleep instead of being woken up by the nightmarish imaginings of his rider.

“Must be itching to get your own place though,” Jaya notes, her gaze streaming over the lake absently. It’s his next that immediately draws her gaze, the woman sending a pointed look at L’ron before stating, “What? Complicated? Whatever for! If she likes you, and wants to be with you, then who gives a runner’s shit what everybody else thinks? You know,” and she plants one hand on her hips, looking like some old aunt about to get up on her makeshift soapbox, “I’ve about had it with all these pompous, suffocating, rules! First it’s all this rider-non-rider business, and now this? You and Ci should tell the lot of them that they can eat sand if they’ve got a problem with it!” Such is a Dicori to snub any tradition that isn’t hers. “Look, you should be with whomever, and if she wants you, then it never matters what anyone thinks, shuga. It doesn’t matter whether you’re riding blue or bronze! Who’s to really say? Who’s to really care?” Clearly she’s had this sort of conversation before for her to speak passionately about it. She does snort her amusement about the rides for her cargo though, scuffing up the lake sand as she answers, “I’ll pay you, of course. I’m no freeloader, now.” Beat. “He frequents my bar, S’las,” she explains on her friend, “but not often lately. Stop by more often yourself and you’ll run into him. Good man, though some may see him as a bit misguided.” She doesn’t. She grins at him when he speaks on his dragon, though both brows lift at the sudden blush of her particular questioning. “Ohhh, I see!” she playfully tries to elbow L’ron, her laugh sultry. “Is it that you still can’t yet? I hear of those restrictions.” She nods firmly to his thanks, and speaks on Ralik with a wry “Pay him to smile, hm? Yeah, I can just imagine what he would say to that!”

L’ron gives another easygoing shrug on the matter of getting his own weyr, “It doesn’t really bother me, though I know some of the others are really starting to chafe at the bit to get theirs.” This might have something to do with the ever present odour of turnips in the barracks. Amusement sparks brown eyes and deepens as Jaya gets all indignant about the whys and wherefores of traditions upheld in the past until eventually the blue weyrling is chuckling. “Ci and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks but its not unreasonable to think that she may come up against the more hidebound and that…I won’t stand for,” a fiercely protective note entering his tone. Brows then twitch toward each other in a look of dismay, “Pay me? Whatever for? I offered, you didn’t ask.” So therefore, in his mind, there is no payment to change hands. The elbow to his ribs has L’ron sending Jaya a slightly bashful look as he answers, “The restrictions now only apply to those with dragons still not able to handle such things and Ci’s worried that Suo might not be quite so…understanding.” Yeah, blame the dragon why don’t you. His mouth then drops into lopsided grin, “Would it have him smiling?” the mischief dancing in his expression lending thought to his perhaps attempting to pay this Ralik person to smile.

A brow lifting, “You’d rather live in those stuffy-looking barracks forever?” Jaya seems to tease, arms coming to a fold across her chest. She looks pleased to see the protective streak in L’ron, however, when he answers on his goldrider and traditions. “Usually can’t change their minds,” she states on those with hidebound views, “but you can defy them. Don’t let them control who you can and cannot be with, hm?” Her arms unfold to pat his back when he speaks on payment, the gesture one of thanks and gratitude even though she adds in, “It’s still a business arrangement of sorts. I can pay a little something, shuga. You can use it to buy Ci something really nice when you two graduate.” She eyes that bashful look even, as he speak on restrictions, and there’s a light in her eyes at his explaining before she inclines her head and lets the matte drop with “Well. If ever you need advice on the matter, shuga.” On Ralik there’s laughter, shaking her head and answering back wryly, “If anyone could make the coldest person smile, I’d think it would be you, L’ron. Even I owe my smiles to you.” She nods in emphasis on that before turning towards the lake, then her eyes cut in the direction of her bar as she states, “I better be heading back to prepare the bar.”

“Uh…well no…that’s not what I meant,” L’ron starts to protest her having misunderstood his words and then he gets that she’d been teasing to begin with and he sticks his tongue out at Jaya uttering a quiet though fondly toned, “Brat.” Defiance? The bluerider’s more of the harmless fun mischief maker type but when it comes to Ciara, that could change in an instant and so he gives a sharp nod of agreement. “I won’t,” he promises with a determined edge to his voice. “Yeah?” his interest peaked when Jaya suggests buying Ciara something as a graduation gift and then a hesitant cast captures his features, “Not sure what I’d get her though.” As to the other matter lips part as if to make comment but he says nothing merely flashing a grateful smile. He joins in her laughter, shaking his head in denial of her words, “Nah, everyone knows how to smile, it’s just their faces that need reminding on how it goes, is all.” Following the direction of Jaya’s gaze a warm smile appears and then he moves with arms opened to give her a hug, “Send Shijan to find me when Ralik gets in, yeah? And…thanks, Jaya.”

When L’ron gets flustered, then sticks his tongue out at her once he realizes she was joking, Jaya laughs and smile sweetly to his name-calling. “I aim to be so, shuga.” Beat. “Get her something….sweet,” she states on the matter of buying Ciara something nice, thinking it over briefly. “Practical. Something she can use, or even, reminds her of you. I don’t know her enough to say, but, I think she would respond well to something like that.” She draws herself into that big hug, slapping his back a few times before stepping back some and telling the blue weyrling for his last, “I will. I think he will like talking with you. Look forward to seeing you again, shuga.” Once he would let her go, she will start heading off with a wave over her shoulder, the look sent his way both fond and warm. For his last, wryly, “Anytime, shuga. Anything for a good friend of mine.”

L’ron listens carefully to what Jaya suggests in terms of a graduation gift for Ciara, his brow crinkling in concentration and though he still looks none the wiser he gives a nod. “Maybe I can find something interesting down at Landing.” Releasing Jaya from the hug and stepping back a warm smile appears, “I’m real glad you and Shijan finally saw each other.” Perhaps an odd way to put it and then the bluerider goes quiet, his hand lifting in farewell and for a short while he watches as his friend leaves to start with her preparations for the evening and then he turns and starts stripping off his clothing. A few moments later there’s a loud splash followed by the sound of strong overarm strokes as L’ron swims out to his blue.



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