Condolences Over Wine


Jaya.jpg L'han.jpg Randi.jpg Rocio.jpg

Date: August 24, 2010
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: Jaya runs into L'han, whom she hasn't seen since Telgar, along with Randi and Rocio. Things get a bit intense between the three involving current events and rumors among dragons.
Rating: PG
Logger: Jaya

It's the prime of the evening, which means the bar is decently populated and in the swing of things with card games and drinking a-foot. Suli is bustling about the tables in one of her rare good moods while the bar's owner has laid claim to the counter. There's still a few stools left free there along with one table that's open to a patron or two if they don't mind being involved in the raucous gossip currently happening amongst the three ladies there.

L'han comes in, having found one of his rare opportunities to visit Eastern while someone from Landing conducts business. While the traveler takes care of things, he comes down into the bar, having heard a former acquaintence now set up shop here in Eastern. So he heads right for an open table, the only one with chairs free that is.

Tapping the sand from her boots at the entrance, Randi - looking too warm even in her sleeveless, faded green cropped top and raggedy cut-off trousers - tosses her hair back from her face and steps inside. L'han and the other patrons get a once over and any who catch her eye get a nod, but it's clear that the weyrwoman is not in one of her more social moods tonight. Moving to lean against the counter near one of the empty stools, she flashes Jaya a tired smile. "You got any of that Benden white left?" Her own personal stock has run dry.

Since the bar has opened, and without even OSHA's regulations, Rocio has decided that she is allowed a break, each evening, and a glass of wine. This night is different only in that Rocio seems to be taking her break earlier than usual, rather in the thin-night of late evening before it turns to midnight, nearer when the bar closes. The woman pads in and leaves her trademark basket of glows near the door, out of the range of any awkward foot or disjointed customer who might have problems finding his way out, or who might be escorted out. Then she pads, as always, toward Jaya. But she sees L'han on the way there, and pauses by his table. A split second's hesitation ensues, before Rocio's voice comes from behind L'han's left side, quiet: "Sir. Your dragon was sure about me?"

With one of the trader men getting rowdy at the card table, Suli's sweeping by the counter with hands full of empty mugs to deposit right next to the arriving Weyrwoman to send a wry "We got a live one here!" towards Jaya before she's off with a nod of her head towards Randi. Jaya, her eyes finding the arrivals with ease despite all the bustle around her, lets her gaze fall on L'han at the table first as she watches Suli approach him at the same time Rocio does. "That I do, shuga," the bar owner's answering Randi with a firm nod, noticing the tired smile and returning it in like before she turns to retrieve a clean glass. Once she sets the glass down before her, a decanter gets taken up and she starts to pour. "Hope the candidates aren't running you to the ground?" she asks her as she pours, while at the same time Suli approaches Rocio and L'han with, "What can I get the both of you from the bar?"

L'han settles at the table not a moment before Rocio reaches him, so he turns to her with a puzzled expression before he recognizes the girl as the one his dragon searched. "Yes. She was sure. I know F'min's Voldrath has something up his tail about you, but she wouldn't have tapped you for one of the candidates if she thought something was truely wrong. When the time comes for the Hatching, go down to the sands. It's in the dragonets talons from there." He tries to give Rocio a reassuring smile before he looks to Suli and glances to the Weyrwoman before he says, "Anything that is a wine will do." He's not much a drinker to learn the names of what he's drinking.

Smirking just a little at Suli's term for the rowdy patron, Randi leans forward to stretch her calves and watches the barmaid pour her drink. "I'd be a much happier person if they were, Jaya." She raises her now-full glass in a silent toast to the woman across the bar and drinks deeply. "I don't do well with all this sitting and waiting business. And what with the attacks, I'm lucky to be allowed off the Sands for a drink, nevermind running." And running is one of her all-time favorite things, especially when she and Kaseth can't go flying. "All this hidework's for the wherries, really. I'm glad Rauzath took the initiative and went up first. I'd tear my hair out doing La's job."

"Just a glass of wine, Suli. Thank you." Her usual. Rocio drinks red. She will address the waitress with her near-black regard, before turning back to look at L'han, for his answer. When he speaks, Rocio attends every word with the sobriety of a Harper sitting judge on a paternity case between a Lord Holder's wife and a wayward seacrafter. "Thank you, sir. Yes… His… Antipathy has been disturbing." With that, Rocio will manage a salute, mixed with a bow, before she steps back to leave the rider to his drinking.

Since Jaya has no glass to toast with, she raises the decanter briefly before laughing. "Now see. You should have came around here," she notes, tsking. "I would have hooked you up and kept you busy during all that waiting business." But then, the attacks are mentioned and some of the bravado and banter leaves her expression for something a little more subdued. "I got a bottle with your name on it, shuga," she notes low, sending a pointed look her way at it. "Been meaning to send it to you through Max, but since he hasn't been by….well, I'll get it to you before you leave here." It's the closest thing to condolences the Weyrwoman's probably going to get from the scarred-faced woman. Suli, on the other hand, is nodding towards L'han and his request. "I'll keep it red, then," she says once Rocio makes her own, seeming to know her usual indeed. "Two reds, coming up." Then she turns and approaches Jaya and Randi with the order.

A nod is given then to Rocio. L'han's expression hardens though when the word attack is mentioned at the bar and he looks that way. A moment passes and then he looks back to Rocio. "You can sit if you want to, this isen't my table." He waits for the wine to be brought to the table, his gaze mostly at the bar as he listens to the talk around him.

And that bottle's all the condolences Randi could handle. A grateful smile and a respectful nod follow the bartender to her other duties and Randi turns to lean her back against the bar while she drinks. If only everyone else could show their 'condolences' like Jaya. Life would go so much smoother. As Rocio stands to leave L'han at his table, Randi does her level best to catch the woman's eye and then beckons her over. "I got a few things I'm supposed to be asking you about, when you've got a spare moment, Rocio." Nothing harsh or overly demanding. Just mild and patient. If there's one thing Randi's got plenty of right now, it's time. She doesn't look toward L'han until just then, but when she sees the hardness of his gaze, she smacks her glass down on the bar with enough force to slosh a bit of what's left out onto her hand. "For Faranth's sake, L'han. What did I do to you this time?"

"Technically, in a place like this, I think temporary ownership is conferred on the current occupant. But. Thank you." Rocio will move to sit, exactly opposite the greenrider, just when Randi's voice, her name and words permeate her own considerations about hostile dragons and Search dragons. Then the Randi comment to L'han, which seems like the first move of a war game… Rocio murmurs, "Or perhaps another time, sir. Thank you." To Randi, a nod. "Of course, ma'am." Rocio then takes several steps clear of any part of that, evidently going to inspect a glow over near where Jaya stands.

The grateful smile and respectful nod is all Jaya needs on that front - no words. As she sets to fulfilling L'han and Rocio's order for wine, she looks over to see the ladies that occupy the table with L'han burst out into sudden laughter over something one of them says and then they all get up to leave at once. Suli's there to collect their marks, the older barmaid looking to engage L'han in some sort of pleasantries when Randi's outburst gets both her and Jaya's attentions. The bar owner flicks a glance at the Weyrwoman, then at L'han, then over at Rocio when she approaches the counter. "Hey, Rocio," she begins, her gaze wandering back to where drama was about to unfold in her presence. One glass filled, she passes that one over to the candidate before she gestures with her chin for Suli to claim the second one for the greenrider. "You alright?" this is given to Rocio in a lower voice, the woman passing the second wine over once Suli arrives.

L'han does nod in some agreement with Rocio, except… oh snap. The Weyrwoman's outburst regains L'han's full attention and there is a moment of some silence. The greenrider simply meets the eyes of the goldrider before he gets to his feet, walking on over to where Randi is standing. No hostility or hardness is in his gaze now as he looks at her and he says, "A green was killed in that attack… ever time it's mentioned I envision my Escaeth like that. I remember exactly what she was like when she broke shell." Hopefully that should be enough to convey to the goldrider how he feels about it.

Blink. Blink blink. Stare. Blink. "Honestly, L'han, I doubt I'll ever understand you." And that seems to conclude the conversation, at least from her point of view. Raising her hand towards Jaya to signal her desire for a refill, Randi turns to Rocio, sucking that spilled wine off the side of her palm. "You do know that one of the riders has got a grievance against you, don't you, Rocio?" She takes a moment to give the glowtender a chance to speak. "Do you know what it's about?"

"Of course. Thank you. But no need to be… In the middle of…" A considered mute speculation takes in both weyrwoman and greenrider. "You?" In so far as concern might be revealed by only the eyes above the veil, Rocio looks at Jaya. A nod of thanks for the wine, and she'll lift the veil enough to drink, under it. Another step moves her back, to clear space between Randi and L'han. Mind, Rocio watches, but she's wary. Near the wall. Then it's diffused, and Rocio takes another sip of wine, relaxing for the moment.

Then the goldrider's next words have Rocio's full attention again. She'll tense, slightly, before straightening to study Randi. "No. I did not. I know one of the dragons has a grievance against me. But his rider said he did not."

With L'han coming towards them, Suli closes the distance and quickly passes over his wine before she removes herself from the situation and onto other patrons. Jaya, for the most part, is nosy enough to stand right there and look between the greenrider and the goldrider as if she herself were involved. Nosy barkeeps. "Still got my neck," is her easy muttered response to Rocio's words despite the words themselves, the barkeep reaching over with the decanter to refill Randi's glass. Now that things turned towards the candidate, a long look steals out towards Rocio at the questions asked her. For a brief moment Suli gets her attention by returning to the counter again, this time with more mugs to clean and orders to fill.

"Thats because we've never really had a chance to talk because we don't trust each other. You for your own reasons. I for mine. Once the hatching's done, if you'd care to talk about that, I'll buy you whatever drink you want, Randi. My dragon is practically insisting on it." L'han steps out of Randi's way politely if she needs to walk towards Rocio, taking his drink from Suli as he does so. Although when the matter of a grievance is mentioned, his full attention is gathered once more.

"I'll think about it, L'han." Not a promise, then, but a possibility. Aren't possibilities amazing? Randi frowns, her eyes going out of focus for a moment as she checks facts with the voice she hears in her head. "I must have been misinformed." She doesn't seem overly concerned. "But a dragon, by nature, tends to be more forgiving than his rider, if only by virtue of a much-shortened memory." In most cases, anyway. She doesn't say anything about her dragon's own rather long memory - mostly because she's fairly sure she'd get zapped for it. "So if Voldrath," and she's pretty sure that fact came through straight, "is upset with you, I'd like to hear the story." She pats the barstool next to her. "Would you come and talk to me a bit?"

A glance goes from Randi to, unwillingly, Jaya. And Rocio stares at her for a long, long moment, her own eyes a little wider than usual, before Rocio then eyes L'han. Finally, back to Randi. "Not here. Please. Not now." The wineglass is tipped back, under the veil, and then returned to the counter, in front of Jaya. "I should go."

Fulfilling drink orders may keep Jaya's hands busy, but not her ears as she regards L'han for his response to Randi for a long moment. Then that look transfers over to Randi, it dipping to eye the Weyrwoman's glass to make sure it was filled before meeting the back of her head again. Talk sounds serious, especially involving Rocio, her friend, so the bar owner finds herself meeting Rocio's long gaze with a stoic one of her own. When the candidate mentions her going, she frowns a bit at that and steals a look towards Randi for her reaction as she starts passing drinks over the counter to a waiting Suli.

L'han can only nod to that as he drinks his wine, meeting Rocio's gaze with what he hopes is a reassuring one of his own before he looks over to Jaya and asks, "So Jaya, when did you have the bar built? I remember you from when me and Atsya ran that errand out your way."

With L'han speaking to Jaya, Randi takes her wine in hand and steps closer to Rocio. It's not like she's going to physically tackle the girl with wine in her hand. "Please don't run. This all gets so much more complicated if you run." It would be a waste! "Look," she begins, lowering her voice. "I've heard some of it and I've heard versions that paint you a hero and versions that paint you a cold-hearted woman with nothing but evil in your soul." She lets that sink in a little. "More of the bad than the good has reached my ears, but my own experience with you has been … pleasant." She shifts her weight and takes a sip of her drink. "If F'min has no complaint against you, that makes this easier, but Voldrath has a mind of his own and gossip travels fast among dragons. There's going to be trouble, but I can't fight for you if I don't have the whole story." She sighs and runs one hand down her face. "I don't believe you've done anything wrong, Rocio, but the gossip's already spread among the dragons here and the lower folk are starting to talk. There's even been suggestion that you had something to do with the dead hatchlings, so I need to know what I'm working with so I can settle these things once and for all."

The glass set down, allows Rocio to tuck her hands up under her veil, so she can appear entirely still. Her eyes half-lid, and Randi may find that Rocio no longer really focuses on her. The woman's head dips forward just slightly, before she'll call herself together and shake her head slightly, "I did not hurt any eggs." That's spoken with absolute conviction. "I am terribly sorry they were harmed, Randi." Rocio adds. "And what I did… Was wrong. There were better ways I could handle it, but I was young… And I made bad decisions." She breathes, this even vague admission costing her. Rocio inhales breath again and murmurs, "I was imprisoned. I was made holdless. I was released. Now I am here."

With Randi pulling Rocio to the side, and still there being drinks to deliver over to her barmaid, Jaya wanders closer to L'han with a lingering look stealing over their way. "Been quite awhile now, actually," she answers L'han with a little smile once her gaze returns to him. Nodding over towards the Weyrwoman, "Randi there made me an offer I just couldn't refuse," she explains wryly. "So I pulled up my roots and came down to see what trouble I could cause." She -could- be joking, but who knows with her keeping such a straight face. Eyes narrow a bit at him then before recognition finally colors her face as she nods once. "Ahh, yes. You and Atsya. I ran into Atsya again a while back, I think. Pulled a knife on her. Didn't mean to." Another drink gets passed over to Suli and she turns back to the greenrider. "So where have you been all this time, shuga?" she asks, looking him over with mild interest.

L'han gives a nod to Randi as though agreeing with her on something as he looks back to Jaya and says, "Ah, poor girl. Hope Atsya was alright?" He finishes off the wine and hands the glass back across the bar for a refill. "I'm the watchrider for Landing. Get to deal with Masters when they need a ride and making sure no one gets it into their heads to attack the AIVAS building." He shrugs and says, "Escaeth doesn't mind it though. Big open spaces, plenty to fly in, and new smells galore."

Using her free arm, Randi slides it around the worried woman's shoulders and squeezes gently once. "Alright now, shhh, you're safe. Let's get you out of here." As Suli passes on her duties, Randi slips the marks into her palm for her drinks and a few extra on top. "Find one of the kitchen drudges and have them send hot tea and buttered toast to Kaseth's sands, please." And with that, and a nod to L'han in return, Randi gently steers the glowtender from the noisy, crowded bar and towards the Sands, where it's quiet and peaceful, and undisturbed.

"Atsya was fine, if not a little shaken," Jaya answers, delivering a smirk his way as she starts in on cleaning the mugs. She refills his mug quickly then, listening to the words on where he's been and nodding a few times. "Watchrider, huh? They decided to let you breathe and come back for a little then?" Her eyes shift over to where Rocio and Randi are, watching them leave with an incline of her head, and another for Suli when the barmaid turns to her. Then other patrons start to crowd in beside L'han, equally demanding her attention and has the bar owner momentarily distracted.

L'han nods to Jaya and says, "Yeah. Although thats mostly when I find someone to bring back here and can hang around for a little bit." When the people press in though, the greenrider moves out. He waves over the crowd to her. "Tough crowd tonight. I'll stop by again. Good night, Jaya!" The greenrider passes a few marks to pay for the drink to Suli, but before he leaves, he downs the mug that was last poured and sets it on a table as he steps on out the door. Never waste good drinks.

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