Dear Max Be My Friend


Max.jpg Jonavan.jpg

Date: 2010.11.19
Location: EW - Max's Quarters
Synopsis: Jonavan drops by with a bottle of 'poison' to share with Max and once again the two trade barbs with the beast manager being rewarded with a 'Dax'.
Rating: PG18 - for adult innuendo
Logger: Max

Jonavan has never stepped foot in Max's realm but he knows where to find him, so he sets out one evening after he's finished his work (and Cheusia's, and a hoard of incompetent apprentices, if you ask him) in search of the beast master. He's got the bottle of rum in hand, and the stick-figure drawing has graduated from being tied around the neck to the place of a label, with the help of a little glue. Jonavan has too much time on his hands.

Waine, the beast manager’s second in command in the beast caverns, narrows eyes onto the Healer as he enters the caverns, eyes dropping almost immediately to the bottle he bears and then brows lift upward, his expression turning challenging. Perhaps the man thinks the stick figure drawing somehow designates the bottle to contain poison? Either way, “State your business.” No ‘Hi, how are you. May I take your hat, shoes, your bottle of poison?’ Just that.

Jonavan was hardly expecting to be stopped, and as Waine materializes in front of him the healer's surprise is evident; he walks like he owns the place. Paused now in front of Waine, he sizes up the other man for a minute. He's of a height that he can look Waine squarely in the eye as he replies with impertinence. "Taking out a runner for a spin. I heard you have those here." He then hoists the bottle up to chest-height and points at the dead stick figure. "Max's drawing skills suck."

“Runners don’t go out after dark,” Waine gives without hesitation, not buying Jonavan’s story at all. The lifted bottle and the comment made over the ‘label’ stuck on it’s front, that draws a rough snort from the burly stablehand but he still doesn’t seem prepared to let the Healer by. In fact, he steps across the man’s path, and then still keeping an eye on him, turns his head fractionally and bellows, “Boss!!” From much further down the aisle, in fact, the stall right at its end nearest the feeding pens, comes Max’s voice in bellowed return, “Don’t care if she’s wearing nothing but stars stuck on her tits, you already bailed on three shifts this seven. You ain’t going nowhere, Chuckles!” Waine’s eyes roll and then he bellows back, “Not here for me, boss!” – “Oh for the love of Faranth, can a man not get any peace around here…” the beast manager’s mini tirade ending the minute he steps out of his quarters and claps eyes on Jonavan. Sauntering down the aisle, hands shoved into pockets a smirk forms as he puts a considering look onto the Healer, “You ain’t wearing stars…” No, really?

"What if there was an emergency?" Jonavan asks hypothetically, playing devil's advocate. "Down in a valley where a dragon couldn't get to? Then do runners go out?" Throughout Waine and Max's yelled exchange the healer wears an amused expression, but he is once again straight-faced by the time that Max emerges and approaches. "Also don't have tits," Jonavan points out dryly. "Do you drink better than you draw?"

"Yeah," Waine drawls blandly, "With me to keep you company under the starry sky. We could even hold hands when you get scared." When not if. "Maybe even smooch." A snort negates any sincerity in those words. Dry amusement from Max is sent Jonavan's way, "More's the pity," he quips on the Healer not being better endowed in the chest area, "You mighta been prettier." As to his drawing skills versus his drinking skills, a grin appears, "Didn't have a red pencil for blood." Yes, because that addition would have made all the difference to the sad little stick figure.

Jonavan looks back to Waine and affects admiration with a wide-eyed stare. "My hero." The healer doesn't directly respond to the continuing discussion of his looks. Instead, Jonavan tilts the bottle of rum towards himself for another look at the label. "I have named him Dax," he declares. "Like Max, except dead."

Waine simply lends Jonavan a smirk before wandering off to check the latches on stalls and then presumably, head to his post for the night. Withdrawing a hand from a pocket Max lays it over his chest and in a fashion a harper would be proud of states, "I'm touched." Even affording the label the idea of a fond look, "Always wanted a namesake." Yeah right. Rocking back on his heels, dark eyes go from bottle to Healer, a brow lifting upward, "We going to stand here talking shit all night or are we going to drink?" He doesn't wait for a reply, simply turns and heads back to his quarters, giving out over his shoulder as he does so, "Figured you'd be wher-arsed by now." With the other man having finished the bottle on his own. Still continuing on to the stall at the end of the aisle a hand lifts and makes a lazy beckoning gesture, "C'mon then, let's go slaughter the little man." Presumably the one on the label.

"I'll miss you," Jonavan calls after Waine, pretending to pout as he is left with the beast manager. "Talking shit is one of my favourite past-times," he remarks in mild protest but follows Max down the aisle, glancing to the side to check out the stalls as he goes. "Some people consider it poor form to drink by yourself," he adds, though doesn't necessarily include himself in that category. "Talking to yourself gets boring. Good thing you haven't got better things to do." Because Max has just been elevated to the person Jonavan wants to drunkenly harass.

“So I’ve noticed,” Max quips sardonically in return. All Jonavan is likely to see in those stalls are runners with sleep drooped heads, porcine, ovine and the odd stable feline. The stall at the end of the aisle is larger than most, suggesting that two had been converted into one larger area, with his personal sleeping area set to off to the left of the doorway and his ‘work’ area, bearing an old battered desk with a chair on either side, directly as one crosses the threshold. Rolling up a map that had been spread out on the desk, laying out the northern continent if the Healer had been quick enough to catch a glimpse, the beast manager sets it back to its tube and that to a shelf behind the desk, proving that he had indeed had something better to do. Pausing in taking up the now empty pie tin laying on his desk, he sends a snort but makes no comment about drinking alone. Moving to his personal area, the tin (or tins as the slight chink of metal against metal will attest to.) is set atop a chest. Sauntering back over to his desk, a dry look goes Jonavan’s way, “Start answering yourself back, and you got a problem, mate.” And then he summarily plonks into the seating behind the desk, boots set to its top crossed at the ankles as he rocks the chair onto its back legs.

Jonavan, nosy about other people's living arrangements, stands just inside the doorway for a moment as Max tidies up, then wanders towards the desk as he looks around. His gaze does catch the outline of the northern continent but he doesn't draw attention to it with a comment, assuming this has something to do with the body he agreed to procure. "If that's the only indication that I got problems…" He trails off, amused, and lets Max fill in as he pleases. "You sleep with the animals?" he then asks, sounding mildly surprised. "Surely you could have a room like everyone else if you wanted it." Jonavan swings the chair on the other side of the desk out and sits without waiting for invitation, then eases off the top of the bottle. "You got glasses, or are we swigging out the bottle?"

The chair rocks back onto all four legs and Max drops his boots from the desk. Bending sideways he opens a drawer and extracts two glasses. Clean fortunately. Nudging them with a finger toward Jonavan, his mouth twists into a wry line, “Might sleep with the animals. Don’t mean I’m uncivilised.” Much. Glancing about his quarters, shoulders lift and fall in a shrug, “Need to be on hand if an animal has trouble birthing. Soothe a flighty runner…keep an eye on things.” And be enough away from the main comings and goings of the Weyr to afford him the kind of privacy his second line of work requires. That however doesn’t get said. Leaning back in his chair, boots firmly on the ground this time, the Healer is set with curious regard. Silent for a moment and then interested query comes, “Why here?” Which is a vague way of asking after the other man’s reasons for choosing Eastern to practice his craft.

"Makes sense," Jonavan allows as he tips out rum in healthy measures into the two glasses. He pours with a steady hand, even when his regard flicks up to Max for his question. "Cause my last post was rubbish?" he answerst first, the uplift at the end giving out that there's more to come, that even Jonavan doesn't pretend that it's the real answer. "I wanted to be posted to Landing directly, but compromised for here. You?" Returning the question, he sets the bottle on the desk in easy reach of both men, takes up his own glass, and waits for Max to do the same. "Cheers."

Taking up the remaining glass once Jonavan has taken his up, a chuckle echoes behind the vessel not lifted to his lips, “Define rubbish.” However when the Healer goes on to explain he’d rather have found himself at Landing than the Weyr, Max tips a smirk out, “Landing’s full of button pushers.” Letting that be taken anyway the other man chooses but managing to make it sound like a particularly boring place to be. As to himself, another sampling of the rum is swallowed and he takes his time exhaling his appreciation before making reply, “Seemed like the best option left open at the time.” Which is true. For while he could have done the disappearing act, say somewhere like Ista, the Southern continent was…well…an entire continent away.

Jonavan swirls the liquid in his glass and takes a sip before anything else. "Thanks again," he says with a nod towards the bottle, although he had never exactly said thank you to begin with, just criticised Max's stick figure. "Well the post itself wasn't bad — Crom," he cares to define. "But the people there…" He doesn't try to contain his disparagement. Max's take on Landing gets a grunt of agreement, the healer having visited enough to go through the waits and the paperwork and the approvals and the timetabling that goes on as soon as the word 'AIVAS' leaves one's mouth. "At least Eastern doesn't seem to have that problem," which is as close as Jonavan comes to actually saying that he likes the Weyr. More voluble than usual in the spirit of sharing drinks, he inquires further after Max's past. "Where were you before?"

Staring down into the glass as if the contents were speaking to him, Max might at first appear a little distracted, “Hmm? Oh aye. No need for thanks.” And while they’re on the subject, he takes a sip and then leans his head back against the chair, “Found a believable Dax yet?” Yup, from now on, that’s the name he’ll be using when referencing the dead. Whatever happened to so and so? Uhhh…he upped and did a Dax. One corner of his mouth curls upward as he nods, “Aye, Eastern’s proving to be more’n I expected.” Approval set in his tone. “Crom ain’t bad. Hardworking folk the mining community,” at least the ones who you know, actually get paid to do it and aren’t serving out a sentence. “Bit dismal when the rains set in though. Black sludge everywhere.” So yes, he’s familiar with the area. His reply to the question asked of him likely explaining how. “High Reaches Weyr,” the beast manager gives without missing a beat as he smoothly leaves out the turns spent in Tillek.

Jonavan nods, a small smirk at his lips as Max uses the name he'd christened the dead. He nods, but holds Dax (the lifesize one, not his portrait) to ransom. "Can't have him until we're at least halfway through the bottle. Still got a-ways to go - drink up." He follows his own advice. As for Crom, the man shrugs and expands on his source of irritation. "Sure, but as conservative as hell. Man ruptures something and would rather die than let you cut him open." He leans back into a slouch. "Ain't been there." That's for High Reaches. "Never spent much time in a Weyr before, outside of a rotation through Fort. Hall tries to get you through if you can so you don't end up too freaked out if you end up posted to one. Along with training in treatment for Threadscore."

With a long suffering sigh, as if he were doing all of mankind a kindess by doing so, Max upends the glass and throws the rest of the contents down his throat. Eyes watering a little for having done so and then he bangs the glass down on his desk, “Next.” Yup, he’s taking that challenge seriously. Either that, or he just wants his ‘Dax’ that badly. A low chuckle forms, a grin going Jonavan’s way, “Did you try to win them over with whiskey?” Comment for Healers getting freaked out by threadscore injuries draws a faint look of discomfort from the beast manager other than to note, surprisingly enough perhaps, “Never did make it down Fort way.” Reaching for the bottle he refills his glass, asking as he does so, “Where is it that your people are situated?” Meaning the other’s family.

With a quick, smirking grin, Jonavan picks up the bottle and pours for both of them. "There." He picks up his own glass without intention of nursing his drink this time around, apparently up for the hard-drinking session that he shouldn't do by himself. He snorts at Max's suggestion, shaking his head slightly, and answers the later question. "No, Telgar. But my parents thought it would be better for us to apprentice in the hall. More opportunities, less bias." The 'us' is a slip he doesn't correct or, for the moment, explain. "Fort's lively. All sorts of stuff going on. Good place to be." He tips his chair back a bit, testing the limits. "So what's the deal with you and - Ahnika, isn't it?" With one drink in, he feels he can ask.

Dryly given, “Healer’s gotta have something to offer, mate.” Because not dying isn’t enough on its own? Who knows considering this is the man that manages to wangle candies out of Jonavan’s female counterpart. Max catches onto the ‘us’ part given and a brow goes up, “Your sister’s a Healer too?” Knocking back another mouthful of liquor, the rum going down smoother and quicker as each bout slides down his throat. The beast manager looks set to make comment about the goings on down at Fort, even tilting his glass slightly his drinking partner’s way, and then comes that query after Ahnika. His expression closes somewhat, eyes tightening lightly at the corners considering that what he and the green weyrling have going is considered somewhat bad form. Remaining silent for a while, a light frown fitting unbidden into place he eventually states a little tightly, “It’s…complicated.” No kidding! But he’ll try to turn the focus off of him and his illicit love affair and back onto the other man, “So Jaya, huh?”

"No more stabbing pains isn't enough?" Jonavan, on the other hand, does not give out sweets. Or whisky. If his patients are lucky, he might spare them his sarcasm, and that is treat enough. "Yeah, Evie. Runs in the family." Max's comment - or lack thereof - about his relationship gets a long look from Jonavan, who says flippantly, "No doubt you'll end up in weyrmated bliss and gaze into each other's eyes even when you've got cataracts." He sounds slightly mocking on that point. When the beast manager turns the tables, Jonavan knocks back a long swallow of the rum in his glass before answering. "Complicated," he parrots Max's words back at him. He's silent for a second, then adds with almost calculated lack of perturbation, "Or maybe not - said she'd break my nose if I kept pissing her off. Said you'd know how to set it."

A smirk greets the Healer’s comment on what should be reward enough when making use of the talents of his trade. “Your Ma and Pa must be real proud,” Max states in much the same tone as Jonavan had delivered his flippant comment with regards to he and Ahnika’s relationship. However after a healthy swallow of his rum he does add with a taunting tip of brow, “Jealous?” The last is met with a rough snort, “She was casing the caverns first day she got here. I cornered her. She decked me.” Simple as that. Sort of. Leaning back in his chair the beast manager’s eyes close a moment and then one cracks open to regard the other man, “Why d’ya keep pissing her off?” Not that he hasn’t done his fair share of pissing the bar owner off but hey, it’s a fair question is it not?

Jonavan has a shrug for the remark about his parents, not looking too bothered one way or the other. He gives Max a rather pointed look for the question on jealousy. "No. Not in the slightest. Not into gingers," the healer returns, facetious with his deliberate misinterpretation. The point deserves more rum; he lifts his glass in mocking salute to the beast crafter. A moment later Jonavan is answering with a ten Turn-old's defensive logic, "She started it." And, since he's on the subject of pissing people off, Jonavan decides it is high time to stick his booted feet on Max's desk much as the other man did when they first sat down.

The pointed look is met with yet another smirk, though whether in reaction to the words themselves, or the tone in which they are delivered, is unclear. This would likely be the point where another man might have made some comment about redheads being hotter than a dragon’s flame but Max is disinclined to follow such convention and so keeps that thought to himself, that smirk simply deepening as his mouth disappears behind the glass yet again. Swallowing and then giving a short exhale of breath with a slight smacking of lips in appreciation of the rum, he utters a light snort and puts words to the defensive logic of the Healer, “What are you? Eight?” Being as how that’s a position often taken up by himself, Jonavan’s boots going up on his desk have little effect. Reaching for the bottle for yet another refill, dark eyes send an unreadable look over to the other man. “She uses the hiss and spit to hide behind,” he offers forward on the oft times taciturn barkeep. Although this is something the Healer has likely already figured out for himself.

Maybe the question would have more of an effect if Jonavan was actually inclined to act like an adult. But he isn't. Instead, he lets the comment pass in favour of a refill, which he could use too. Jonavan extends his arm so Max can top up his glass while he's got the bottle. "Thanks," he says sarcastically. "I really need advice from you. Do you even know if your girlfriend's a natural redhead?"

Once he’s topped Jonavan’s glass up, the bottle get set back down with Max looking to make some or other comment on the topic of the Bitran bar owner. That is until the Healer says what he does. Oh yeah, he knows alright but he’s not about to say as much. As such dark eyes narrow onto the man opposite him and the beast manager leans forward in his seating, “Keep it up, Healer and you’ll wind up like him,” a jerk of chin to the stick figure on the bottle’s label - Knocked out, not dead. Yeah, the man crossed a line there.

Jonavan didn't expect anything different. He retrieves his glass with a tight-lipped smile for the threat, purpose achieved when there's nothing more forthcoming on Jaya. "Come on," he directs, swinging his boots off the desk. There's a muffled thud as they connect with the floor, and the healer sits up. "Drink up and we'll go get your Dax."

Chances are Max is starting to think twice about any notions he might have had in helping the Healer with regards to what he’s fast coming to view as his ‘adopted’ younger sister now that the two seem to be sorting themselves out. Besides which, he’s not about to share any details that might lead to yet another man coming after him for having intimate knowledge of the girl he appears to have interest in. Yeah no, one is enough. Knocking back whatever was left in his tumbler; he sets it back down to the desk with a faint clunk of glass to wood and stands to his feet. “That mouth of yours must make for a lot of friends,” he gives sardonically and then gestures for Jonavan to lead the way.

As for the healer, he has a grim sort of satisfaction for having nipped any further conversation surrounding his personal life (or lack thereof) in the bud. As he's never breathed a word of anything to do with Jaya to anyone, it doesn't take huge leaps of logic to figure out how Max may have heard whatever there is to hear. Jonavan finishes off the rum in his own glass and collects the bottle - sure enough, it's about halfway empty. The look he gives Max borders on amused as he too stands. "You have no idea." A grin then. "Acquired taste?" Needing no further invitation, Jonavan heads for the door.

He’d figured out a while ago by Jaya’s reaction to a retort thrown at her that something was going on. Though he’s not had firm confirmation thereof, so call what had passed somewhat of a fishing expedition. Either way, the matter has been laid to rest. For now. A rough snort greets Jonavan’s quip on acquired taste and a muttered ‘More like sour wine’, but maybe it doesn’t meet the Healer’s ears. Following on his heels, Max turns and locks the door to his office, slipping the key to a pocket and then continues on. With him still needing to collar the Weyrlingmaster and wangle the use of an Agonethree tank from him, he asks the following as they go, “You got somewhere to keep Dax on ice for a few days?”

Jonavan does hear the remark but it only makes him smirk a little, and the reaction could be wholly lost as he precedes the beast manager. He pauses to wait for Max to lock up, then affirms as they walk on, "Yeah, there's a cavern set up with ice brought in." Jonavan refers to a morgue of sorts. He'll lead the way, with any further conversation restrained to practical details surrounding the dead man destined for the north.

Chances are good Max could care less whether the Healer heard that comment or not. Lengthening his stride, he gives an approving nod of head for there being somewhere to keep the body, hands setting to pockets and giving a nod here and there to details given out while putting forth a question or two of his own along the way.

Closing Credits Music: Garth Brooks - I've Got Friends In Low Places

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