Chicken Shit

Participants:

Max.jpg Jonavan.jpg Hope.jpg

Date: 2011.05.29
Location: EW - Max's Quarters
Synopsis: Jonavan drops by to say goodbye and Hope ends up with her first pet
Rating: PG18 - Language
Logger: Max

Early evening finds the beast caverns emptying of stablehands and beastherders alike with just a few still lingering about here and there as they make plans to pay the Weyr’s bar a visit. Friendly banter goes back and forth with a lanky man bragging on his talent at the card tables while another disputes it with a snort. The beast manager isn’t however a part of any of it, and in fact, is nowhere to be seen. His bulky second leaning up against the doorway that leads into his office from where childish chatter interspersed with a deeper male voice drifts out onto the air, might lend hint as to where he can be found. “No, bad Chuckles,” Hope can be heard to be saying and then demanding firmly, “Share cookie!”

Jonavan comes striding down the passage while others are leaving, heading straight for where he expects the beast manager to be. "Wayne," Jonavan he greets with a friendly clap to the big man's shoulder whether he likes it or not. It suits the healer's mood to at least pretend that they're better friends than they are. He doesn't ask permission, just strides right in with a call, "Where are you, you little bugger?" He means Hope but it could apply to both.

Being as how Waine is currently engaged in teasing the two turn old with a napkin full of fresh baked cookies, he misses Jonavan’s approach and so whirls with a start for that clap to shoulder, spilling the cookies all over the floor of the office. “Now she’s going to get them all,” the big second laments, heaving a deep sigh for added effect. Hope of course has fallen on those dropped cookies like they’re gold being dropped from the skies. That is until she hears Jonavan’s voice and with a squeal of delight darts passed Waine’s legs and wraps herself about the healer’s, cookies clutched to her little chest, “Bastard!!” Beeeam. As for Max? There’s little more than a snort of laughter that sounds from somewhere deeper in his office, “Told ya she’d get ‘em out of you one way or the other.” That’s for Waine. “Less of the little,” he quips in return to Jonavan even although he’s quite aware the healer’s last had been intended for his daughter.

"That's my girl," Jonavan says with complete satisfaction as he causes Waine to drop to cookies and Hope goes for them faster than a Southern feline after its prey. When she attacks his legs with her cookie-crumbed hands, the healer tries to disentangle her small arms only so he can pick her up and dangle over her shoulder, slinging her about. "Oh, I've got other words for you," he calls back to Max, grinning as he steps further in. "Ones you don't want me teaching the kid here."

Hope is easily pried from about Jonavan’s legs however, she still manages to hold onto those cookies, giggling and squeaking as she’s tossed about like a little boat in a rough storm. And then one of her precious treasures slips free and bounces to the ground and she’s struggling and pummelling at the healer’s back with one fist to be set free to go after it, “Coookie run awaaay!” Waine of course, the big child he can be at times, darts after the cookie rolling its way to freedom. From where he’s seated on his mattress involved in the completely ‘domestic’ task of putting a high shine to dress boots, Max glances up and sends a grin back to Jonavan, “Handsome, charming, reliable, best mate…shall I go on?” Those apparently the words relating to himself that the healer was going to use right? Mmhm.

"You still got some, haven't you?" Still, Jonavan sets the toddler down, giving her the gentlest of smacks on her bum as he sics her on Waine. "Go get 'im. Bite him round the ankles." The grin he turns first on Waine and then on Max is mischievous, wicked in its good humour. The healer has noticeably cleaned himself up in recent days, with his head of curling hair practically shaved clean off. No stubble darkens his jaw, either. Everything about the man is crisp, sharp. "Yeah, you really don't want me to be teaching Hope words like those," Jonavan agrees with an open smirk. "Who knows who she'll use 'em on."

Swaying a little as she’s set on her feet, Hope solemnly holds outs her bundle of cookies to Jonavan, “Bastard have one. Jus’ one,” she adds with all the firmness a toddler can muster and then if he takes her crumbly burden off her she’s after Waine as fast as her little legs can carry her. “Hope bitechoooo,” she calls out merrily, apparently taking the healer at his word as she toddles off down the aisle. A dark brow lifts as Max takes his usually snarky friend’s appearance and demeanour in, “There a Gather somewhere abouts I don’t know of?” And then the man’s latter comment drops in and his gaze narrows as he growls, “Not if I can shardin’ help it.” Uh oh, potential future suitors beware.

Just as solemnly, Jonavan selects one of the less crumbled cookies that Hope offers, not caring in the slightest that it's been on the floor. He pops it in his mouth while watching the little girl take off after Waine, then turns back to Max and pulls up a chair. "Don't you like? I'm beating the caverns girls off with a stick." It might've been true if Jonavan wasn't notorious for his nastiness. He just smirks further at Max's reaction, though his words are in another vein. "You'n me both, bud."

Amusement deepens when Jonavan goes so far as to take Hope up on her offer to have a cookie. “Brave man,” the boot Max is busy with is given a final sweep of cloth and then set down. Taking the other up and lathering it with polish a snort is uttered. “More like beatin’ ‘em with a stick,” Max counters twisting Jonavan’s words about on him, “Hear there’s those that even like it,” a wicked edge cast into the smirk. Hands still in their task of brushing the polish into the boot and the young crimelord casts a long look in the direction where Waine’s yelp of pain followed by Hope’s squeal of delight can be heard. Dark eyes swing back to Jonavan, Max’s expression cast about a sober line, “Been thinkin’…if anythin’ should happen to me,” given his line of work, “she’s gonna need a stand-in Pa….” the question is there though he’s unsure of how to ask it of his friend.

"Can't be anything worse that what comes through the infirmary every day. I'm not dead yet." Though Jonavan's hands aren't disinfected like they would be when dealing with anyone ill. "That's what I said, wasn't it?" His grin shows that he heard the difference alright, though, and then the grin turns to a dark chuckle as Waine's yelp reaches his ears. He sobers up quickly, though. "Nothing's going to happen to you," Jonavan says firmly, rocking forward in his chair to fit Max with a hard stare. "Nothing. You get yourself in a stupid scrape and I'm there, you hear? Don't tell me first and I'll kill you myself." He rests his elbows on his knees, not immediately leaning back. "Don't you worry about Hope, neither." The question doesn't have to be asked.

“You eat stuff that comes through the infirmary?” Max quips back, laughter in his tone, “You’re some kinda sick freak, you are.” Of course he knows what Jonavan had meant but this is more fun. To his mind anyway. Low laughter then spills with Waine’s yelp and he calls encouragement, “That’s it love, you show Waine who the boss is.” In reply to which comes a colourful curse from his second damning certain parts of his anatomy to Between and back.

All jest and humour falls off in light of the more serious topic he’d brought up and Max studiously applies his attention to the boot he’s polishing rather than meet his friend’s gaze. “You don’t know that,” he counters gruffly to something befalling him, “Ain’t exactly a weaver now am I?” It not being often that he’ll touch on his more nefarious role in the south, let alone the risks involved and then he slowly lifts his gaze, meeting the healer’s dead on and a faint smirk fits into place, “Gotta catch me first,” he remarks to Jonavan killing him himself. Long, searching the look turns and then a nod of head is given with a small smile twitching one corner of his mouth, “Thanks, mate.” Genuine gratitude cast into his tone.

Jonavan doesn't bother setting Max straight, just rolls his eyes instead. "That'a girl!" He joins in Max in cheering Hope on, sharing a smirk with Max for Waine's response. "She's a terror," he says approvingly. No wonder he's fond of the child. The healer picks at his short, trimmed nails, tearing an edge that had caught earlier. It keeps him from meeting Max's gaze fully, though his gaze briefly travels up to meet Max's. "Don't worry about it," he says again, gruff.

“That she is,” Max gives with a completely unapologetic grin and then back to polishing that boot he goes an awkward silence forming for the answer given to the unasked question. The only sound in his quarters the soft sound of bristles moving back and forth across black leather. The brush is set aside and the polishing rag taken up. “You’ll be sure she don’t hook up with the likes of us, aye?” trying to inject humour into the situation.

"Anyone she hooks up with has to pass my inspection and I don't like anyone, so she's safe. Don't worry your pretty little head about it." Jonavan sits back with his tease, relaxing out of the more serious moment just past. "So, you gonna drink with me or what?"

Laughter, laced with a slightly tense edge spills briefly. “Aye, s’why I chose you,” Max returns an odd note of warmth slipping into his tone and then gone just as quickly for it wouldn’t do to show just how much Jonavan’s agreement means to him. Drinking, now that’s a far easier topic, “Does a dragon shit Between?” grin. “Above ya head,” he directs the healer to where a bottle of whiskey can be located. From the aisle, the sound of a chicken clucking madly can be heard along with Hope’s high pitched voice crooning, “Hope not hurchoooo. Heeere, liddle avyan. Come to Hooope.” A squawk is followed by the thud of a small body that might suggest the toddler had launched herself at the avian and…missed. “Bad, avyan!! Come here!” cue the muted stamp of foot to go with that.

"I hope so," Jonavan says dryly. "I'm sure not going to shovel any of that shit." He stands to retrieve the whisky as directed, not bothering with glasses since he doesn't see any. Or perhaps he's just not in the mood to drink like civilised people do. Either way, looks like they're going to be drinking from the bottle; the plug comes out with a satisfying pop. He takes the first slug from it, then glances towards the door, eyebrows quirking upwards. "Chicken for dinner?"

Jonavan’s return draws a smirk into place, “Then you can thank Faranth you’re likely too old to impress.” For hatchling dragons indeed do not defecate Between and therefore its up to their bonded to quite literally, do the dirty work. The antics going on just outside of his quarters have Max putting a crooked grin onto the healer, “Waine told her that if she caught a chicken she could have them cookies.” The one’s that Jonavan has now been put in care of. “Should keep her busy a while.” He has glasses, somewhere, though its clearly not important enough to him to have told Jonavan where to find them, he being equally at ease with drinking straight from the bottle. The second boot done with its set aside and the polishing rag is used to wipe any excess from his hands, “So you gonna tell me why you’re all gussied up? Surely its not just to visit me, is it?” teasing.

"Get me to Stand? I'd like to see them try." Jonavan snorts his derision. "Thank fuck no one ever tried when I was still a kid, I mighta been stupid enough to give it a go." He passes the bottle over. "How come you never..?" Not having discussed riding before with Max but knowing his origins, the question comes out casually. "All for you," he answers with an open, easy smirk. "Don't act so surprised."

With Jonavan looking set to continue the conversation about dragons and being searched, Max goes still, his expression smoothing into a carefully bland mask and then a brow lifts, “How come I never what?” Deliberately acting dumb. As the bottle is offered in his direction, Max pushes to his feet and crosses the distance, a hand placed dramatically to his chest for the healer’s last, “Be still my beatin’ heart.”

"You know." Jonavan isn't going to allow Max to wriggle off the hook that easily. "Got yourself a dragon and ordered everyone around from above rather than from here down below." He takes the bottle back, and just in case he still isn't clear enough, adds, "Below being your crime underbelly." Max may not have ever directly announced his rise in the crime world, but Jonavan's no fool. He puts the lip of the bottle to his mouth.

“And how’s that better’n down here on the ground, huh? It ain’t all about dragons,” Max returns a little more heatedly than intended and then pauses fitting Jonavan with a narrowed look as he speaks to his title in the crime world. “So you figured it out.” Not a question, a statement. “Reckoned it were only a matter of time before you did.” And now his hand reaches for that bottle the healer sets to his lips. “You plannin’ on sharin’ or do I have to get Hope in here to do some ‘splainin’?” And still, he’s dodged the question put to him.

"Hey," Jonavan says, putting up his hands, "preaching to the crowd, here. I just didn't come from a Weyr like you did where I assume that's not the majority opinion." He stares back at Max with that infuriating smile of his. "And you're still choosing to live in one." He takes another pull from the bottle, easy manner unchanged. He's dismissive when responding to the question put to him about his big mouth flapping. "Nah, I know you." Or at least he thinks he does. "You're alright." He gives this to Max, along with the drink.

Max gives a frustrated shake of head when Jonavan concedes his point, “Sorry mate, like you say, growin’ up in a Weyr,” not to mention the son of a weyrsecond, “it was…the expected thing. Then again, I ain’t never really been one for livin’ up to the expectations of others. Gives ‘em the upper hand, don’t it?” heavily cynical. The bottle handed into his care, the young crimelord knocks a healthy swallow back and then can’t help the chuckle that rises, “You ain’t so bad yourself, healer. Which reminds me, we got a fight planned in two sevens time and I was wonderin’ if you wouldn’t maybe mind to take a look at Nikro’s Pa. His leg ain’t healin’ up the way it should be by now.”

Atypically for Jonavan, who needs to know everything, the healer doesn't pry any further, just nods a quick comprehension for the difficulties of stepping outside the mold. He kicks out his legs, falling further into his slump. The healer doesn't immediately answer Max's request, glancing away and towards the door. "Can't. I got somewhere to be." He looks back to Max, expression tightening towards closure. "Better if you get someone else to start looking at your guys, actually."

Gratitude makes a brief appearance when Jonavan leaves him to his dark secrets and failures with Max rounding the desk and settling into his own chair. The healer turning down his request draws a brow upward but the crimelord first takes another swig from the bottle and he holds it back out to the man before giving any type of verbal response. Frowning: “They startin’ to ask questions up at the infirmary?” This his guess as to why the man is suggesting he find someone else to help patch up his fighters.

"Naw, it's alright there. I'm smarter than them all anyway." Jonavan assures Max that there's no trouble with his unfailing arrogance. "Just, like I said, I got somewhere else to be. If you really need me, emergency or something, your Ma knows how to reach me. And," He lifts a finger to make a point, shaking it at Max. "Wild whers couldn't keep me away from Tillek." He settles into the bottle, taking several swigs before passing it back.

Max’s expression starts to lose some of the tight concern that had started winding into place but tightens right back up again as the significance of Jonavan’s words sink in. Silent as the other man drinks and then hands the bottle over again. “You’re leavin’?” he guesses, “What the fuck for?” surprised, confounded even, merely giving a nod of head to the healer’s promise to be present at the upcoming fights in Tillek for the answer to his questions is of more importance to him right now.

In between the shuttling of the bottle back and forth, Jonavan gets in his response in a laid-back manner. "Gotta take my exams." A gesture indicates the haircut, the shave. "They'll decide what happens next." He doesn't say that requests carry weight within his Hall, and that he has no intention of requesting to return to Eastern.

Exams? Doesn’t Max feel like quite the prize fool now. Exhibited in the faintly sheepish look he sends to Jonavan. “To make Master, aye?” expression relaxing and casting an idle glance of amusement out to where it sounds like Waine has now relented and joined in the chase to help Hope catch a chicken, muttering under his breath, “Big softie.” Back to Jonavan, “So how long they gonna keep you chained up in there?” Because to him being cooped up all day pouring over musty old hides would be tantamount to sending him to the mines.

Max receives affirmation via a short nod. "She'll sleep well tonight," the healer remarks of Hope, expression clearing of all but amusement. Then he shrugs, seemingly unconcerned. "Eh, dunno," Jonavan answers Max, deliberately vague. Jonavan's excellent with his poker face, so it's no surprise that he's able to carry off the lie without much sign to give suspicion. "There's a practical element, and a written element, and orals. Different for everyone."

“Ma’ll be pleased,” Max returns the fond smile of a parent in place, “She’s gonna miss you somethin’ fierce you know.” Hope that is but he doesn’t make it clear to whom it is he’s referring. Seeming to have lost interest in the bottle he leaves it now in Jonavan’s care, “You got no idea when you’ll be comin’ back then?” An element of melancholy touching into tone and expression both, at the thought of the man he’d come to call friend and entrust his daughter into his care, no longer being a daily part of his life. “Eh, I give you a few sevens and you’ll be itchin’ to put punch drunk eejits back together again. ‘Sides, you’ll miss me too much.” Grin.

Max's remark isn't hard to interpret. "I know." The way Jonavan says it speaks volumes for his own affection for the little girl though he doesn't put it to words. He does, however, stake a claim. "Your Ma already said I get her summers, though." A shrug is all the answer Jonavan gives for the question on coming back, and for the moment he's glad to have the whisky bottle. The way he hits it is indication enough of his own melancholy. "You're probably right," he admits, his own grin not as full as his friend's.

A brow goes up, “Ma said that?” This clearly being the first Max was hearing of the arrangement. “Wait…you said summers. That’s more’n one,” the man’s a genius! Another small silence develops in which the young crimelord contemplates his friend, though he doesn’t push on the matter but rather comments quietly, “Don’t be a stranger, aye?”

Just then Hope with feathers stuck in her hair, comes careening into the office, small hands clasped about the struggling body of the indignant chicken. “Got it, got it!” she announces triumphantly. “No you didn’t, I did,” Waine interjects as he lumbers in on her heels. “Did not!” the toddler scowls back at the man and then dumps the chicken in Jonavan’s lap, “P’esent for Bastard.” Bestowing the chicken upon the poor healer as she then scoops up the cookies and sets Waine with a threatening glare, “Mine!”

Jonavan briefly looks stricken to get caught out in his half-truths, but it gives way to knowing guilt. "Won't," he promises when Max resumes, not needing to verify what the other man has worked out for himself. Leave it to Hope to break the mood. He bolts upright when she dumps the chicken, practically putting the situation back to the start as it squawks and starts running again. Hopefully Waine will be quick enough to get the door. "Don't eat those kiddo, you've got chicken-shit all over your hands." Not entirely true, but a more descriptive word than germs.

When Jonavan doesn’t dispute having been caught out, the next question is simply put, “Why?” There is genuine concern and interest in that. Whatever else he might have had to add is tossed aside when Hope comes barging in and presents the healer with her chicken, laughter rolling out as the man jumps to his feet. “Aw go on, mate. You shoulda held on to it. Taken it back with you and made a pet out of it.” With Jonavan addressing Hope, Max settles back in his chair and reaches for the bottle, showing amusement for the episode externally while internally he gnaws on the unexpected announcement of his friend’s imminent departure.

As for the two turn old she scowls up at the healer for having released her ‘prize’ and then her lower lip quivers and dark eyes swim threateningly with liquid when she realizes she’s about to be denied her reward of cookies. “Hope catch Chicken Shit,” apparently the fowl now has a name, “Hope want cookies,” forlornly and somewhat stubbornly stated. Waine in the meantime was quick enough to shut the office door before said chicken could escape, effectively trapping the creature in the office with them all, except that in a panicked leap and a flurry of feathers, its now perching atop the beast manager’s wardrobe.

Jonavan doesn't have to answer thanks to one panicked chicken. He dusts off the few downy feathers that have landed on his clothes, standing but not making a move to go after the fowl. "Thought this was dinner," he shoots back dryly to Max, out of all the things he could say. Even Jonavan's hard heart doesn't make him immune to the little girl, particularly on the eve of his departure, and he moves to swoop her up before the threat of tears can be realised. Hope's reward is delayed rather than denied as the healer amends, "After you wash your hands."

“Meals on the run?” Max quips right back, amusement high, “I could always bag it for you,” eyeing the ruffled chicken perched on his wardrobe, “You know, a sort of do-it-yourself take-away?” So helpful isn’t he? Swept up into Jonavan’s arms, Hope’s lip quivering ceases and still a little watery-eyed the healer is put under solemn study when he amends his earlier statement. “P’omise?” Waine in the meantime, is trying to sneak up on the chicken, a discarded shirt of his boss’ in hand to throw over the fowl if possible.

"Cheers," Jonavan throws back sarcastically. "Would I lie?" he asks the child with big eyes and a serious expression. A subtle change occurs when he glances towards Max, anticipating another wry comment, and he soon changes it to, "Would I lie to you?" With the kid at his shoulder, Jonavan heads for Max's wash basin and water pitcher. There, he helps Hope wash her hands with soap and water, and under the healer's shrewd eye she does a very thorough job of it indeed.

Max’s mouth opens, wry comment at the ready and then Jonavan takes the wind out of his sails by amending his question. Hands thoroughly washed Hope holds them up and wriggling her fingers in a complete turnaround, beams, “Hope have cookies now.” She then suddenly lunges toward the healer little arms wrapping about his neck if he allows and plants a kiss on his clean-shaven cheek. “Fank ku, Bastard,” is lisped out softly and then she’s wriggling to be let down and be allowed at those cookies. Cookies which are likely to spoil her appetite for dinner but then…that would be Indira’s problem, now wouldn’t it? In the meantime, amidst much squawking and a few more feathers lost, Waine has managed to capture Chicken Shit with the bird firmly wrapped in his boss’ shirt and tucked under one arm heads out the office to set it free. Or so we would all like to believe.

"All yours," Jonavan agrees as he sets Hope down to go attack the cookies and whatever else she can get her hands on. The child's hug and kiss bring a smile to the man's face, softening his stern features. "Anytime, you little monster." He ruffles the hair on Hope's head before she darts off. Returning to the chair facing Max, he sits back down a bit heavily. "She's too cute for her own good," he voices a complaint.

At the edge of the table where the cookies had been deposited, Hope is busily sorting them into four piles. In childish singsong tomes: “One for Bastard, one for S’hole, one for Chuckles, one for…” the dark head of curls whips round and she pins Jonavan with a brilliant grin, “Li’l Monster.” Yeah, she knows that was aimed at her and happily bears the title.

Leaned back in his chair, elbow propped to the wooden arm and stubbled chin resting against knuckles Max watches hard pressed to disguise the adoration that worms its way onto his expression. His gaze then flicks to Jonavan as he plonks back into his chair and a wry smile appears, “Which little finger do you reckon she’s got you wrapped around, hmm?” Openly admitting his daughter quite clearly has himself wrapped around one of them and by inference agreeing with the healer’s comment. Quiet as Hope finishes up sorting the cookies into piles, the crimelord’s next is low spoken, “You’ll do good by her.” Open acceptance that somewhere down the line he might well meet his fate. “So,” changing the subject as he straightens in his chair, “When do you leave?”

From somewhere down the aisle of the beast caverns comes Waine’s voice raised in a gruff curse, followed by a surprised SQUAWK, a loud BLAM and then…total silence broken only by the heavy bootfalls of the big second heading back in the direction of Max’s quarters.

"That's you," Jonavan confirms, grinning back at the child as he settles down again. He stacks one booted foot on top of the other, falling into a posture of repose that isn't even broken by the squawks outside and, later, the noise of what he suspects is the chicken meeting its maker. His grin is still in place as he eyes the beast manager. "The middle one," he wryly answers and lifts the finger in question for Max. His gaze goes to Hope again as he makes light of Max's further comment. "You so sure? She shares better than I do, sure didn't get that from me. I'd stuff all those cookies in my mouth and then steal yours."

He doesn't move when Max brings up his leaving date, but somehow loses a bit of his relaxation. "Tomorrow," the healer replies. "Better not to stretch it out. Don't want to turn it into a…thing." His hand waves in the air as if that describes it better.

Eyeing that middle finger that Jonavan lifts up, Max lets loose a laugh, “She’s likely to teach you a thing or two ‘bout sharin’, mate. Ain’t nothin’ like that soul eatin’ whore of a mother of…” And then his mouth snaps shut behind a tight expression one that is forced into a bland mask when Hope glances up, dark eyes wide with what looks to be fear. “Shit,” the expletive falling low and flat from his lips followed by a heavy sigh as he palms a hand over his face and then stands to try and scoop his daughter up.

He’s luckily saved from further sticking his boot in his mouth when Waine comes lumbering in with a small wooden crate with holes punched into the sides and plonks it on the desk before the healer. And there’s no denying the scratching sounds coming from inside either. “Goin’ away gift,” he states a sly grin in place, “From Hope there.” Yeah blame the kid why don’t you. “Tomorrow?” Max queries with a lift of brow as he takes a step toward his daughter, “That’s…” mighty sudden, but he doesn’t say it and instead goes for, “That gives you this evenin’ to find me another healer what I can trust for the warm-up fights down Landin’ way.”

Hope meanwhile, gathering a stack of the cookies up backs away from Max as he approaches, eyeing him with big solemn eyes, before whispering quietly, “Mama bad.” – “She ain’t here, love. Ain’t never comin’ back,” the catch in the young crimelord’s voice not hard to miss.

Jonavan's eyebrows raise as the beast manager starts to let loose about Hope's mother. To his credit, he doesn't ask. The tension released into the room dissipates thanks to the beast manager's second entering with the cooped-up chicken. The healer, it must be said, is not amused - or if he is, he doesn't show anything beyond a dark look at the large man. "Ain't taking your damn bird." Jonavan is under no illusion that it's from Waine thanks to Max's brilliant idea. And lest Max be left out, he gets a dirty look too.

"Why doesn't Hope take care of it for me, and then I can see it when I visit?" And so, like all terrible godfathers, Jonavan bequeaths the little girl her first pet. He smirks across at Max. "Me?" Him? Work? Effort? "Got you covered," he tacks on smoothly, watching Max reach for his daughter and the small exchange between them without another comment.

Waine merely laughs at the dirty look, moreso when Jonavan in turn bequeaths the fowl to Hope, knowing full well that either way, none of it was going to fall back on him. He hopes. Her godfather’s offer however has the two turn old coming to life and struggling to get out of her father’s arms a smile once again lighting her face. “Hope wuv Chicken Shit for Bastard,” she states with all the solemnity a toddler can muster and then proceeds to gift him with a stack of cookies.

Deed done, Waine reaches for one of the stacks of cookies only to have the action halted by Hope slapping his hand and stating with imperious tone, “No! Chuckles say p’ease.” She then proceeds to stare the big man down until he does as bidden.

As to Max in all this? He lifts a hand and rubs at the back of his neck chuckling wryly for the fowl he’s now going to have to try and make sure doesn’t end up in the Weyr’s kitchens, “You’re a right mate, you are.” He might have had something more colourful to add but given those radar scanners his daughter has for ears, he refrains from doing so. As to the matter of having another healer on hand at the fights he narrows a look onto his friend, “Don’t want Che involved in this. Already got enough trouble with that tanner husband of hers to be lookin’ for more.”

"You better. I will be seriously disappointed if when I come to visit she's…" Jonavan pauses for effect, then draws a line with his fingers across his throat. Then he reaches out for his cookie gift and, better behaved that Waine for once, says thank you without needing to be prompted first. It might be the first thank you to have left his mouth since coming to Eastern.

"You have to be sure to let Chicken Shit out to run around at least twice a day," he instructs Hope. Nothing's innocent with Jonavan, and this is no different because the next thing out of his mouth is, "And better do it in here, otherwise she might run away. Wouldn't want that." He munches his first cookie with gusto. "Wasn't thinking of her," he tells Max, a bit more serious. "She'd either have a fit or try to give them all sweets and you can't go soft on your guys. No, I know a guy at Landing."

Despite not fully understanding it, Hope is bright enough to figure out that the gesture coming from Jonavan does not bode well for Chicken Shit and as a result dark eyes flare wide as she looks between her father and the healer, momentarily forgetting that she’d put Waine under the ‘death stare’. He who quickly makes off with the cookies and is out the door before a certain little ankle biter discovers the theft. Solemnly the toddler nods to the instruction given on the care of the fowl and affording it exercise, “Hope let Chicken Shit wun,” pausing to glance up at Max who in turn is smothering a groan as he unfurls a middle finger for Jonavan’s benefit, “in here.” – “And,” Max adds on to Fowl Care 101, “When you go up to visit with Bastard, you can take Chicken Shit with you. That way Bastard gets to say ‘Howdy’ and Chicken Shit won’t miss you, aye?” Oh yeah, two can play that game.

On the matter of a healer for the fights and handing out candies, there comes a snicker, “She might not like the kinda candy the boys are after,” smirk. More seriously though, “Thanks mate, I’ll owe you one. So you’re hikin’ off tomorrow then? No big farewell party? Just…snap and you’re outta here?” snorting softly, “Always knew you was a spoilsport.” Jest used to cover the fact that he was going to miss the acerbic man.

Max's middle finger meets Jonavan's smirk as the healer certainly anticipated no less. He lets the matter of the chicken drop besides the light remark, "Maybe it'll meet a tragic end before that." He conceals the word 'death' behind ones that Hope shouldn't pick up. Jonavan leans forward and collects the whisky bottle again, raising it for the mention of a farewell party. This, apparently is it. "No big things," he reminds Max then, bringing the bottle to his lips. "Besides, who'd I invite? Besides your mum."

“Uhh…” that comment of Jonavan’s stalls Max who dropping a look onto Hope who is now trying to feed the chicken bits of cookie through the holes in the crate while she croons unintelligible words at it, then shakes his head with a lopsided smile in place, “Naw, figure its end should be more natural like, aye?” Especially if it’s end is going to mean tears and heartache for the toddler.

On the matter of farewells, shoulders lift and fall in a shrug, “There’s me an’ Hope here, Ma, Waine, Jaya, I bet even Che would attend if only to make sure you’re really goin’,” grinning and adding, “Plus the boys down Landin’ way.”

"Naw, I've already got my private party with your mum scheduled for later." Since Max didn't react to the quip the first time round, Jonavan digs in and makes it explicit. He shrugs off the rest and repeats an earlier statement. "Don't make a thing of it." He gives what's left in the whisky bottle a shake to see if Max wants any.

Aaand there’s that middle finger again along with a mouthed ‘fuck you’ while Hope is otherwise engaged with Chicken Shit. Max does however let the matter go, having only been teasing to begin with. With a shake of head for wanting me of the whiskey, “Ain’t much for writin’ but…” the offer is there in what doesn’t get said.

"Cat got your tongue?" Jonavan replies aloud with a wide smirk, goading his friend towards cursing in front of his child. It's only a matter of time before she can curse hard enough to make a sailor blush. He drinks when Max doesn't, but if he's looking to get hammered by himself tonight, he's not going to do it in front of another, so after that last swallow he sets the bottle down on the table and stoppers it. As for the offer, the healer replies, "And miss the opportunity to insult me colourfully?"

A smirk in mirror of the one sent him is all that greets Jonavan’s goading query. “Naw, figured I’d let you win this one. Call it a partin’ gift,” grin. Low laughter falls, “Don’t tempt me, mate. I got business up that way in a few sevens.” Suggesting Max is likely to darken his friend’s doorway while in the area.

While Hope might well have had her attention set to poking bits of cookie through the holes to Chicken Shit, she’s picked up enough of the conversation between the two men to realize something’s going on. Without invitation, she’ll try climbing up into the healer’s lap, and then settled on her knees facing him so as to insert herself square into his line of vision queries softly with large solemn eyes lifted to his face, “Bastard go ‘way?”

Jonavan gives a nod shortly followed by, "Well, I'll be seeing you then. Show your heathen ass a bit of civilisation, then take you on a bender and make you lose your shirt." He makes the proposal with a grin that softens into a smile as Hope leaves her new pet alone and comes over. "Just for a little bit, love." His tone is deliberately light as he helps Hope up, but his rare use of the affectionate term springs up as a red flag, though the girl will likely miss it. In the end, he does lie to the child.

Max sets his friend with an amused look, “Mighty sure of yourself about that aren’t you? Best you start savin’,” for the bender. “Hope go benner too?” says the toddler looking quite, well, hopeful and then she sets a long and intent look on Jonavan before slowly nodding. “Jussa li’l bit,” little hand closing palms toward each other with just the smallest gap of air left between them in indication thereof, the lie bough with all the trust of a child. Then if possible, she’ll fling her arms about the healer’s neck and plant a kiss to his shaven cheek, “Bye Bastard,” before scrambling off his lap to try and open the lid of the crate to get at Chicken Shit, “Bastard say bye Chicken Shit.” Yeah, she wants him to kiss the bird.

"Don't worry - I'm about to win a bet that's been a long time coming." And though Jonavan's notoriously tightfisted regardless of whether he has marks to his name or not, for today at least he offers them freely. "All sorts of benders," he then tells Hope with a spot of glee to cover the trace of guilt when she buys his lie, dipping the child backwards till her head dangles towards the floor. It's when he pulls her back up that he gets his kiss; Jonavan studiously doesn't look at Hope's father as he gives her small back a pat. "Bye, Chicken Shit!" The healer gets to his feet after her, falsely cheerful as he follows the letter of her instructions but not the law - no way he's kissing a bird. Jonavan glances at Max, hand closing around the whisky bottle that he's apparently going to casually steal as he walks out. "See you round."

Curiosity enters Max’s dark regard on a bet about to pay off but rather than pry as he normally would, he simply sends out a chuckle, “I’ll be sure to wear my drinkin’ hat.” As for Hope there’s a delighted squeal when she’s tipped backward followed by a rich round of giggling. Once she’s down on her own two and trying to pry that lid open she sends Jonavan a slightly narrowed look as he avoids the action but pulls through on the instruction. It doesn’t last long however for soon he’s getting to his feet and looking to be leaving.

As the healer stands so does the beast manager, hands shoving into pockets and a slight frown at play when he meets his friend’s glance, sensing that there’s a whole lot more to the man leaving than what he’s telling. But again, he’s not about to pry. Catching sight of his whisky bottle in Jonavan’s hand, there appears a lopsided though melancholy smile and a genuinely spoken, “Take care, mate.”

And then father and daughter watch the man leave. Hope, who has already said goodbye to so many in her young life already stands with her arms dangling at her sides and silent tears tracking down rosy cheeks as she whispers, “Bye Bastard,” to his retreating back. Max swallows hard, watches Jonavan’s departing form for a further moment or two longer and then brushes the tears from his daughter’s cheeks with a thumb and a reassuring smile, “C’mon love, let’s go show Amma your new friend, aye?” Chicken Shit meet Indira.


Theme Song: Three Days Grace - Never Too Late


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