Criminally Inclined


Indira.jpg P'sec.jpg

Date: 2011.06.02
Location: EW - Storeroom Nine
Synopsis: Indira is sorting through the last of the raid supplies to come in and almost ends up sending P'sec to the infirmary.
Rating: PG18 - Adult innuendo
Logger: Indira

There are certain paths P'sec's familiar with. This one, reaching from Bowl into the heart of the Weyr down less-used hallways, takes the bronzerider past the main stores right to store room 9 all the way at the end. His boots ring against the stone, marking out an even tread until he stops, pauses, and looks back the way he came. The glowlight is dim down here, even though up above it's the full light of afternoon.

Store room nine, the one that had remained under lock and key for the past turn with no one but the headwoman in possession of said key, is still being kept off limits to most. Glowlight spills from the door that stands ajar, casting a pool of light out into the dim passageway. The sound of someone approaching has Indira freezing in her task of unpacking a crate, eyes darting quickly to the glowbasket which is just beyond her reach. When the boot-falls halt, she lets out a soft breath of air and takes a quiet step toward the door, seeking to close it before she’s discovered.

Maybe this is P'sec's idea of a joke - making his way with enough noise to alert whoever's inside, pausing just outside to build adrenaline, then suddenly pushing the door open and appearing in the doorway. All that's missing is a big 'surprise!'.

With one hand to the doorknob and the knife from her boot in the other, Indira stealthily makes to shut the door only to find it suddenly filled by a man’s large frame. A sharp gasp is all that points to the tousled blonde indeed being surprised though there’s not a moment’s hesitation before P’sec might feel the press of sharp blade to his nether regions. With the light behind her, the headwoman can’t see to whom it is she’s speaking but she’s taking no chances, “Move and I’ll ensure you’re singing falsetto.” Warning hissed low. “Name and business,” this next snapped out with all the authority of a military commander.

The wince crossing the man's face is for the anticipation of pain as he stands stock-still, moving neither forward or back. "Indira, I take it?" Even with a knife at his balls the bronzerider sounds wry. "D'lan said he's bringing a shipment in tonight. Yaron said I'd find you here. I said I'd like to meet you. I'm considering taking that last one back." He looks at Indira rather than at the knife, the glowlight behind her haloing her hair an eerie shade of yellow-green. "P'sec. Would you mind moving that?"

The woman neither confirms nor denies the name spoken as a possible identity for herself, simply putting a tad more pressure on that wickedly honed hunting knife. D’lan? Oh crap. Now that’s a name she does know! As evidenced in the curse that falls that would set a sailor to blushing. And her knife hand instantly drops away as does her hard gaze which now bears nothing but high embarrassment. “Faranth’s arse, man! I coulda had you castrated faster’n it takes you to swallow. What the shards are you doing sneaking up on a woman like that?” Yes, because its aaaall P’sec’s fault. Taking a half step back, Indira clears her throat, “Abydoth’s,” yes she knows who P’sec is, “Indira.” Her name finally given and then a wicked grin appears, “Welcome to Eastern.” Weyr of criminals and women bearing knives.

"Yeah, I'd noticed." P'sec pointedly looks down where the knife once was and resists the urge to check and make sure everything's still there. "Sneaking?" he repeats a little incredulously, without moving further into the storeroom given residual vigilance against the knife's sudden reappearance. Not likely, now that names have been named, but the heed hasn't left him. "I was walking. With boots on. They make loud noises. Do you greet everyone like this?" he answers her 'welcome.'

Lips twitch toward a smirk but Indira holds them under firm control, a little disappointed that P’sec doesn’t follow instinct and check ‘the goods’ so to speak. Ah well, better luck next time. Okay, so maybe sneaking was a bad word to use but she’s not about to concede to the point and so merely glosses over it as she steps aside and with a sweeping gesture of knife-bearing arm, invites the bronzerider in further. “Only the special ones,” the tousled blonde quips to his last as she finally allows amusement to display itself.

"Special ones." Humour enters P'sec's tone as he picks up the phrase. At least he's not taking this badly. "I'm not sure I want to be a special one. Feel bad for the guy who really does sneak up on you." The man no longer fills the entrance as he follows Indira's gesture and steps in. "Though I can't help but wonder, what would've happened if I were some poor guy who got lost down here. No wonder they all call you a lot of criminals."

Sheathing her knife in the bootstrap it came from, Indira moves back to the crate she’d been unpacking an odd assortment of mismatched clothing and shoes from. “I’m going to guess these came off of someone’s laundry line?” Lips curling around deeper amusement for the items before a rich chuckle spills, “Don’t, the Harper Hall always has a place for…stalkers.” Reference made to her falsetto comment of earlier and then dark eyes sling back to P’sec. “Shattered eggs, a dead body, a young woman almost sexually abused, harbouring another that was,” never mind having a crimelord for a son and the dangers that in itself brings with it, “I’d call those fair enough reasons for a woman to take the necessary precautions, wouldn’t you?”

P'sec didn't include himself in the criminal comment but perhaps he should have, since he's had a hand in bringing in the goods harboured here, if not the particular crate Indira is going through. He comes to have a look, pulling out a shirt on top. "Probably." Is that a twinge of regret to his tone? It's gone by the time he asks, "Anything in my size?" He's all seriousness by the time the Headwoman goes through her reasons for pulling a knife, glancing up at her from the shirt as he lets it slip through his fingers and fall back into the box. "Yeah, I'd say you have your reasons."

Indira might have pointed out that his very transfer to the Weyr of misfits and criminals cast P’sec in the same light but then it goes without saying, and so she doesn’t but instead casts a wry look up to the bronzerider. “This should fit?” pulling out a blue shirt with a chequered weave to it. So helpful isn’t she? Rocking back on her heels a soft sigh parts lips and the headwoman is silent a moment before stating quietly, almost regretfully, “I’m going to assume that this is the first time you’ve stepped over to the dark side, hmm?” By participating in the raids as he had and going on to add, “It gets easier with time.” Which doesn’t say much for her scruples now does it?

P'sec takes the shirt with a quick "Thanks." He shakes the shirt out to have a look at it, then starts re-folding. "If by first time you mean most of the Turn just past, then yes." The shirt makes a neatly folded square in his hands. "Wouldn't have to if they'd just tithe like they said they would." The undertone has turned from regret towards bitterness, disillusionment echoed in the expression his face takes in the glowlight. "Easier - maybe. Doesn't mean I have to like it."

Still down on her haunches Indira sets the bronzerider with a long and assessing look before turning her gaze away and going back to unpacking and neatly folding the items. “Feel free to help,” with the folding, given the precise manner in which he’d just folded the shirt handed to him. Attention still cast to the task at hand for that’s easier than having to meet P’sec’s eyes, her tone is hollow, “Don’t have to like it, no. But then as my father always used to say, when life shows you the finger, cut it off. Most of us here are displaced from our homes because we stood up against what we believed to be wrong, P’sec. Things are not always as they seem.” Gentle reminder and understanding on his sentiment toward the necessary evils of life.

"You think I don't know?" P'sec raises his eyebrows at Indira for what sounds like a lecture. The man comes to join her, setting his shirt to one side and needing no further invitation to give the headwoman a hand. He sits on the edge of another crate, one that still has its lid on, and reaches into the open box of clothes. "I like your father's statement, though. Sounds like my type of guy. So tell me," he continues, taking a neighbourly turn, "how are you not what you seem? Never heard the full story out of the Reaches." But he knows of it, that much he gives away.

A frown presses a crease across Indira’s forehead, “I didn’t mean it like that.” An apology sits somewhere amongst her words and lowers her tone. A pair of trousers, socks and a belt, all neatly folded, rolled and set into a pile that looks to be for men’s clothing. A soft sound of amusement is uttered for his comment over her father, “He was a hard man to please.” And there her gaze lifts, the silent question sitting in her eyes, ‘Are you such a man?’ Back to folding a long woollen skirt entirely wrong for southern climes. “D’lan,” the former Reachian brownrider’s name spoken flatly, “should know better than to spread gossip.” The silence that spreads making it seem like the headwoman won’t be filling P’sec in on what happened. But then hands still and she casts a cold and hollow smile over to him, “Ever been through a Reachian winter with children and old people sick and half the Weyr going to bed hungry because the man you trust to take care of you and see right by you, is too full of pride to ask for help?” not waiting for a reply there comes a frustrated shake of head, “I did what I had to do and got caught. He didn’t like what I had to say. They threw me out. End of story.”

P'sec ends up with a dress between his hands, something light and flowery and soft. The sort of thing a woman would wear just for the sheer pleasure of looking pretty, even if it meant a dress covered in flour. It's clean now, still smelling sweet from its last wash. The man holding it folds it carefully and puts it onto the appropriate pile before it can remind him too much of other dresses, other women, other days. He's swifter when handling the next pieces. "Many men are," he allows, not apologising for it but also not excusing it. And rather than have his wingmate's name besmirched, he puts it to right. "Wasn't just him. Headwoman's dismissal from one of the Weyrs, that's news." He stops folding when Indira chooses to speak, settling back a moment to listen to her tell her story. It takes him a minute to form a response - for what do you say? What P'sec says is this: "Their loss. Hope they know that." The smile that follows has a hard edge to it. "Eastern's gain."

Indira notices the way the dress is handled with slow care while the next item P’sec takes up is not given the same kind of due. She says nothing, leaving the man to his own secrets as she keeps hers. “Assistant…headwoman,” she corrects with a slightly bitter cast to her tone but doesn’t explain it as lips press tightly together. “Bad news travel fast, so they say,” sardonic return given that’s aimed at herself as a tiny pair of dungarees are folded and set into the children’s pile. Then it’s a wry though appreciative smile that edges out in response to his last, “Some might not agree.” Not looking for sympathy with that but rather stating a fact. “So what was it that had you coming to the aid of another Weyr, hmm?” turning conversation onto the bronzerider, “Just the tithes thing or…?” open curiosity at play.

"Either way," says P'sec, not fussed with the specificity of the title. "Yes, everyone likes a good rumour," he agrees with a jaundiced touch that can't be only for Indira's situation and the rumours it spawned. "The worse it is for the people in question, the better." The next few things he pulls out to fold are all men's wear, rough work trousers that some soul will appreciate. "Me?" he says with a glance, tone made lighter. "It was time for a change. Randi's a good woman, got a good head on her shoulders. She's shaping up into a good Weyrwoman too. Though the Senior at Igen probably wouldn't agree."

“Time for a change,” Indira echoes and then utters a soft laugh, “Nice sidestep, bronzerider.” Dark eyes flirt over to P’sec and then drop back down to the battered boot she’s just pulled out. “You came without family,” she notes the obvious, unspoken query in the words as she removes the laces from the boot about all that is salvageable of it. “You don’t strike me as being typical of your knot colour,” quiet statement spoken to realizing there was likely more to the man than he was letting on.

P'sec doesn't try to hide it, sending Indira a quick grin as she calls him on the deflection. "Good one, isn't it?" Another pair of trousers join the first though he notes, "I'd cut these off at the knee, they're about worn through." His answers on the non-question of family are burdened and truncated as if the shortness eases the weight. "No. They're gone." He doesn't look at Indira now, folding job a useful distraction. "And what do you think is typical?"

"Aye, that it is," Indira agrees with a wry chuckle as she gestures toward a separate pile. "Put them with that lot and I'll have the seamstresses modify them." Hands still in there careful folding of a pleated skirt and the headwoman sets P'sec with a long look while he's looking away before stating quietly, "I'm sorry." Though whether the apology goes to the man's obvious loss or for her having asked the question, is left undefined. "Of bronzeriders?" humour filtering back in, "Hmm, tough one that," and then she tilts her head as if giving the question serious thought, "How about…cocky, arrogant, skirt chasing, philandering pricks?" Despite the mischief that dances in her eyes, one might think she's had personal bad experience with those of said ilk. Except that she qualifies it with a faked snap of fingers, "Oh no wait. That's brownriders," smirk.

P'sec re-sorts the trousers into the correct pile and gets on with the lot he's pulled into his lap. "It's alright," he says, brisker, although it isn't. No use in making Indira feel bad for him. Her description of bronzeriders-no-brownriders prompts a short chuckle. "Know some of both colours. It's really blueriders who are the saints."

Again there’s a contemplative look sent to P’sec, laced together with the compassion of one who has been there themselves. “No, its not,” Indira says low, “It never is.” And then leaves the topic there as one corner of her mouth turns upward, “You’ve met L’ron then,” making an assumption on the matter of blueriders. “I swear, as much mischief as that boy can stir up he still somehow manages to remain…innocent.”

P'sec doesn't deny it again, appearing to have moved on from that thread of conversation or at least determined to try. "L'ron?" he repeats. "No, at least I don't think so. Lots of new names. But I know a bluerider or two who sounds much the same." He sorts out the clothing remaining on his lap. "There. That should do it."

“Oh you’d remember him if you’d met him,” Indira says through a laugh, “He has this crazy blue that won’t budge without a turnip hidden away somewhere.” With the last of the clothing sorted and folded, she rocks back onto her heels and stands, “That’s right, Maura. She’s one of your lot right?” A nod sent to the clothing P’sec finishes up with and a warm smile appears, “You’re alright for a bronzerider. Thank you. But next time, knock or you might just end up having to pay the infirmary a rather embarrassing visit”, wink.

P'sec's eyebrows climb as Indira describes the blue but all he says is, "Right." He stands too, pushing up off the crate and reaching round to collect his new shirt. "Yeah. One of my lot." For some reason the phrase makes him sound wry. "I'll keep it in mind. You're alright yourself, for a woman with a knife."

If there was a reason why Indira seems to be putting P’sec in possession of the expected twelve pairs, she’s not giving one. Stooping, the glowbasket is taken up and she crosses the threshold and steps back out into the passageway. Waiting for the bronzerider to join her so that she can lock the door she puts forth with a sly smile, “It would be a shame to ruin what I can only imagine, are quality goods.” And then with a laugh and twist of the key in the lock she’ll be on her way leaving the poor man to mull over that for a while.

P'sec follows Indira out, wadding his shirt up in one hand and wrecking the folding job. For the Headwoman's comment, a look crosses the bronzerider's face that mingles embarrassment and amusement - he can take a tease - though the one in question prompts a crack in the bronzerider's poise, a bit of discomposure. "Wouldn't you like to know," he says, teasing back to aid recovery. Then the man gestures for Indira to lead the way, intending to fall in step beside her. "So, going to teach me how to get out of here other than by the back way?" he says, voice drifting down the passage as they go.

Indira doesn’t bother to hide the wicked glint of amusement that rises up as she watches P’sec process her comment, even going so far as to drop a pointed look down to his crotch and then back up again with a brow lifting. “The bathing caverns are public,” is all she’ll give in return through a low laugh and then she’s all businesslike once again as they head back the way he’d come save for taking a left where the bronzerider had likely taken a right, “Only if you promise not to tell D’lan. It amuses me to watch him sneaking about.” The rest of the conversation as they walk and emerge in the lower caverns before going their separate ways, likely to be little more than banter that bats back and forth.

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