Foolish In Love

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg Indira.jpg

Date: 7/28/10
Location: EW - Headwoman's Office
Synopsis: Ahni reports for Candidate duty assisting the Headwoman and the conversation turns to Indira's son as well as the Clutching Gather
Rating: PG-13 for adult chit-chat
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Headwoman's Office
With a woven rug beneath it, the huge desk situated slap bang in the middle of this room is pretty hard to ignore. Although aged, the deep mahogany wood has been well cared for and polished to a high shine. The high backed chair placed behind it has been upholstered to match the deep jewel tones that grace the Headwoman's domain. On the opposite side of the desk, and of lesser design, is a chair that offers not nearly the same kind of comfort as that of the 'throne'. This possibly chosen with deliberate intent in mind.
To the right of the doorway stand several crates, upended on their sides and neatly stacked one upon the other, serving as makeshift shelving. To the left, a door that leads into the Headwoman's private quarters which remains firmly locked.


Early morning finds the office of the Headwoman crowded with the various representatives of the services she oversees - Laundresses, kitchen staff, seamstresses, nannies and the likes thereof standing in half circle about Indira's desk. "Alright ladies, and gentleman," putting a smile to the steward in charge of the Weyr's wine cellar, "you've got your assignments and the candidates assigned to assist you. I'll see you back here again tomorrow morning." Murmuring amongst themselves they start to file out with Indira leaning back in her chair to finally enjoy what has become a cold mug of klah.

Ahni had started down the short tunnel to Indira’s office when the group started filing out, so she backs up a couple paces and steps aside. Once they have all moved past her with various looks, some neutral, some indifferent and some disapproving, the now unbandaged Ahni sighs a little and makes her way down the short hall to the headwoman’s office, two tankards of fresh, hot klah in her hands (to prevent spillage). With her hands full, she uses the toe of her boot to tap on the door, and then follows it with, “Your assigned Candidate is ready to assist, ma’am,” her tone rueful and teasing, “aiming to please.” Starting with the fact that she brought more klah, apparently.

The day just begun and already Indira's wishing it was the end of it. This demonstrated in the weary stretch against her chairback and brush of hands over hair meticulously groomed into a neat bun at the back of her head. Ahnika's arrival draws a warm smile, for both candidate and the hot treasure she bears, "Ahnika, you come as if sent by Faranth herself. Come, sit." The opposite chair gesture towards. "I gather you're feeling better now after your little mishap?" Yes, she'd heard about it and obviously gotten enough facts together to have discarded any and all rumours.

There is just the faint yellowing of that old bruise now to give any indication something happened, and that’s really only visible due to the fact that the redhead has been cursed with such fair skin. She looks, otherwise, no worse for wear. At the inquiry, Ahnika gives a little good-natured chuckle. Were it anyone else, she is liable to snap at them as she had Max, but this is Indira and so she endures it with the belief that her mentor (yes she still sees her so) truly cares and isn’t just interested in the gossip. “Much better, yes, and before you ask,” Ahni says, setting one mug carefully beside Indira’s current mug, “no, I’m not with child.” She moves then to settle in the chair on the other side of the desk, sipping her klah and swallowing before saying, “It was an unfortunately timed conversation that was overheard and people … drew the wrong conclusions.” She wrinkles her nose and then smoothes her expression out, apparently either having gotten over the embarrassment of her reputation in tatters, or just hiding it better than she has been.

Indira meets that chuckle of Ahinka's with one of her own, "That's Weyr life for you, Ahni. The gossip mongers will take one thing and twist it about a hundred different ways before you know it. Pay them no mind." Taking up the mug of fresh klah she takes a sip of it while the candidate seats herself, blowing out a sigh of pleasure for the brew before sitting the mug back down and pulling a sheet of paper toward her. Scanning through its contents the headwoman asks with bland nonchalance, "So what was this conversation they'd overhead and mangled so badly?" keeping her attention to the document rather than pin the teen with a look that might add further to her discomfort.

The redhead pauses mid-sip of her mug as Indira puts that question forth and then Ahnika finishes the swallow of beverage before lowering it back to rest on her lap. She gives Indira a considering look and then says, “I’ve never been one to lie or hide things from you and you know this, and I’ll not start now though you might not like it … “ secrets, deception, lies of omission, these things are not for Ahni – perhaps part of why she struggles with accepting E’ro’s offer of friendship so – She is much more of a direct and to the point kind of girl. Nevertheless, one can still be direct and gentle in the telling of it, and so her tone does take on a softer tone, saying, “Ciara and I were talking about why it might be that girls aren’t allowed to Stand if they are with child.” A frown touches her lips and she looks down at her mug, “It seemed unfair to me, and I wanted to know the origin and reason for that particular tradition.” With this, Ahnika lifts her grey eyes back up again to look at Indira. “It was a vague discussion, mind you, no names were mentioned, which was part of the reason why it was assumed that I was asking for my own case.” Another wrinkle of her nose and then smoothing of her expression, she eyes the paperwork on Indira’s desk and asks, “What is on the agenda for today? I take it we will be working on the Clutching Gather preparations soon?” Perhaps not very deftly trying to change the subject.

Still appearing to be concentrating on the document which looks to be a requisition of supplies needed for the bathing caverns, Indira nods and offers an encouraging, 'Mmmm' as Ahnika starts explaining. Towards the end however, when she mentions the tone the conversation had taken the headwoman's head lifts and she fits the candidate with a dry smile, "You said you used to help take care of your foster siblings, yes? Well, imagine spending all day with a very large five turn old stuck in your head asking all kinds of questions non-stop, and they will want to know -everything-, and then still needing to bathed, oiled and fed by hand until its old enough to feed itself. Then, put that together with the physical training and classes that weyrlings have to attend and burden yourself with a physical human child of your own. Sound like fun to you?" a brow lifting in query at the end. As to the upcoming clutching Gather, the older woman nods, "Just waiting on Randi and Alara to confirm their guest lists and what it is they'd like to do for it."

“Right,” Ahni says to all that about babies and weyrlinghood at one time, “Well,” she lapses quiet a moment, not really what to say. She’d never really understood the connection between dragon and rider, though she is learning more and more every day, this morning included, it seems. She crosses one of her legs over the knee of the other. An unconscious statement? “That’d certainly be a handful,” she finally says, understating it to the Nth degree. She nods mutely to the comment about Randi and Alara’s guest list, and after a moment states, “I can at least get things started with the Bakers on making sure we have a suitable menu, and the quantity of foodstuffs can detailed out once we have the guest list.” Another pause, and she leans forward, “Was he … terrible to you?” the question is asked a little above a whisper, “Max’s father, I mean.”

Having interpreted that leg crossing action as an unconscious statement, Indira is hard pressed to bury the chuckle that wells up, "A handful indeed. Believe me, one human kid running rampant is work enough," this in obvious indication of the little hellion her son must have been. The document set aside, the headwoman reaches for the mug of klah and nods over the top of it as she takes a sip, "If you could take care of that, it would be appreciated. Put something together that you feel would be suitable and then bring it to me and we can discuss it." Slowly a dark brow lifts upward, the older woman's lips pressing together into a discomforted line as if to suggest the candidate to be crossing a line. With a visible straightening of shoulders and lift of chin, she sets an intent look on the teen, "It wasn't so much that he was…terrible to me. It was that he found excuse to be friendlier with others aside from myself," a frown daring to cross her features and then she utters quietly, "Foolish in love, they say." This last in likely indication of why the women might have put up with such behaviour.

Ahnika leaves off the talk of the Clutching Gather and instead hangs on Indira’s every word, and every word of it sinks home with herself and both her desire to believe in Max conflicting with her rational side to run away, as far away, as possible. She sighs a bit, biting her lip to the pursed lips from the Headwoman, and Ahnika leans back against the chair, “I’m sorry,” and she sounds like she truly is. “I just … “ had to know what sort of man Max came from … ? She leaves it off, deciding discretion is the better part of valor for now, and simply completes the statement with a helpless shrug of her shoulders. Another breath marks the turn of a page in the conversation, at least in her mind, and Ahnika nods once, “Consider it done,” another pause, “ma’am. What about Harpers? Do we have enough? Should I send for more?” Her tone has turned entirely too light, an effort to be distracting and disarming.

Having gone back to her paperwork in order to hide the emotional scars her weyrmate had left behind as inheritance, Indira shoots a look upward at Ahnika's comment. Slowly her head follows and she fits the candidate with a cautionary look, "Ahni, Max isn't…" consternation colors her features lightly in the downward draw of brows, "the lad he used to be," a sharp sigh spills out, the frustration of a mother, "not since he got back from Tillek." And then with a quick inhale of breath and toss of head to set that aside, she goes back down to those oh so, convenient papers sending out in closing, "You would do well to steer clear of him." That looking to be all she's going to say on the matter she turns rather to the one of Gather planning, "The Weyrharper is bringing in some colleagues to help out but perhaps you could go and see if there's anything he might need help with?"

The Candidate looks up from her klah with Indira’s words on Max, and Ahnika nods softly, “No need to worry,” a small smirk to her features that fades a little too quickly, “I already drew stable duty yesterday and managed to convince another Candidate to swap chores with me.”And perhaps admitting a bit of rule-breaking to the Headwoman isn’t the way to go, here, but Ahnika does it nevertheless. She looks down again, somber without being tearful, “I think he’s … I think there is something he’s meant to do. I think … he has potential to be a great man and can and likely will be one day.” She stops short of saying she believes in him. “I just … “ She sighs a bit looking back up to her mentor, “Everyone seems to think I’m a little unreasonable in my demands for a relationship in a weyr … promiscuity seems to be the flavor of things here.” The redhead purses her lips a bit and then continues, seeming a little flustered, but forging on, “It’s not that I am an entire prude. I’m actually eager to finally get the business over with.” Business? Yeah, she definitely needs to loosen up. “But I’ll wait of course … not while Candidacy. The only reason why I am still with my virtue is because I’ve lived on the pokey end of Fort’s sweep for as long as I can remember and … . it just never … came up.” She sighs a bit, then adds, “Anyway, I’ll be glad to have that all done and behind me, eventually, but I’ll be a sharding dimglow if I allow a man to disrespect me or hurt me.”

Ahnika more than likely doesn't expect the approving look, her confession of breaking that particular rule gets her, in fact so much so, that the headwoman is soon rifling through her set of papers, drawing one out, crossing something off and writing the candidate's name down in it's place, "There you go. Now you never have to worry about going back to the stables again." A big fat smirk of her own in place. Foil her son's plans much? Tough luck. However, as the candidate continues to speak scepticism starts to draw deep across Indira's features. At one point, an almost melancholy look appears and then is replaced by a regretful one. Leaning back in her chair, the mug once again in her hands, she points a long considering look onto the redhead and then slowly starts to respond to all that had been said. "First of all, I have no doubt that Max could become something exceptional," forgive the bias there, "but not until he's gotten his head out of his ass and dealt with whatever's crawled up there and gotten him so screwed up." Taking a sip and then continuing on, "Secondly, you hold out for fidelity, love. Just because this is a Weyr doesn't mean that people shouldn't maintain certain standards," pottle moment much? "As to losing your virginity," blunt and practical as ever, "it's not something you should 'get rid'," the air quotes audible, "but rather something you give to someone that means at least something to you in part. Because believe me when I say this," and here she leans forward a little to make her point, "it's something you're not going to forget for as long as you live." Phew, quite the mouthful and in need of a good few swallows of klah before adding in a gentler though fiercer tone, "That's the way, Ahni. You stand your ground right from the get go with whomever you end up with. Let him know who's boss."

Ahnika remains quiet through Indira’s lecture, giving a rare conspiratorial grin when Indira ‘fixes’ it so that Ahnika never draws stable duty again. It’s good to have friends in high places. Murmuring, “Thank you,” she sips her klah, the grin fading as Indira talks of Max and his head out of his butt and her expression somber once more, her mind’s eye going back to the conversation she had with him outside the Infirmary and trying to figure out if that was him doing exactly what his mother is talking about or if that was just more smoke and mirrors. Finally, she nods, sips again, and nods again, and her eyes study the surface of the desk a moment and exhaling. She sinks a little back in against the chair, chewing on everything said and finally says, “He came to see me as I was leaving the Infirmary.” Her jaw sets just a little, “He believed the rumors.” Or she thinks he did. Then she exhales some more and shifts, looking at Indira, “Anyway, that conversation didn’t end well, and I didn’t see him at the stables obviously, so I think you’ve nothing to worry on between us, ma’am.” Despite the intimacy of the conversation, Ahnika finds comfort in the address just the same. And yet, the words themselves bring a somber look to her face, sad for the uncertainty, and the loss. She frowns more deeply then, suddenly thoughtful, “I should find out which Candidate has stable duty tomorrow. I accidentally left a satchel there last time, though I’m not really of a mind to go get it in person unless I know he is out on a ride.”

Indira's eyes slide closed in warding gesture, as if not wanting to hear what the candidate has just said or perhaps simply to cool the rising annoyance that shows in the tightening of her jaw. Finally after she's calmed down enough, she sets a level look onto Ahnika, "You went back didn't you?" her tone deadly quiet in referring to the time after her son had kissed the girl. A hand slaps a palm down onto the desk, "Dammit Ahni, I told you to -stay away- from him" frustration leaking out for having lost a handle on the situation, "This is what he does. Don't you remember what he did to Asera before he left to take the runners down to the dockyards?" referencing the coalminer's daughter that had travelled with them on the road to Nerat. Fingers lifting to pinch thumb and forefinger to her nose, the older blonde drops them away and then waves a hand in the air as if in defeat, "Fine, do what you must. Just…make sure that you only see him when there other people around." Veiled warning to the possibility of the candidate ending up ensuring passed rumours becoming truth.

That brings Ahni out of her pensive moment of trying to figure out how to get that satchel back without physically being there. Oh just shells. The teenager blinks a few times and then turns away, a bit of heat surfacing at that memory, and tears at how it ended, but she doesn’t shed them. They just moisten her eyes. She licks her lips, recalling Asera, and feeling even more stupid now. “I … just … “ then she scowls a bit, sitting up a little more. Hey, she was trying to help someone else. How was she to know he would be there to weave such a spell upon her? Some of her backbone returns and she says, “This weyr isn’t so big as some, ma’am,” her tone remarkably soft despite the irritation in her expression – mostly at her self – “I can’t live the rest of my life trying to duck and hide from him. I went back to the stables to help a drudge who was in a bit of a pickle.” Leaving off that it was ultimately for the kittens, really, “I … was hoping he wouldn’t be there, but then I saw him and he was such a sharding mess,” she’s really starting to warm to this weyr language now, “with at least a broken nose, possibly some ribs, and bruising all over the place. I … just couldn’t leave him like that.” Ahni shrugs then, and says, “But nothing … “ she stops short of saying nothing happened, after all, that would be a lie. Instead, she exhales, “He made it clear that he has no desire for exclusivity and was rather kind to do so. He could have led me along, ma’am, a play toy among many, but he didn’t. We didn’t want the same thing, so I left,” another shrug, “and haven’t seen him since until … he came to see me at the Infirmary. We argued. He … said … he said he … wanted me. But … “ another shrug, and then she rubs the back of her neck and the tension there. “It wouldn’t work … he wants something I can’t give him, and I want something he can’t give me.” Here she exhales, and looks up at Indira, imploring her for understanding, “I’m sorry, so very sorry that I can’t seem to stop thinking about him, but I do know I need to be careful about him, at least. Believe me, I have no intention of being his next Asera.”

Expression stern, Indira listens to all that the candidate has to say interjecting at one point with a heavy frown when it comes to light that her son had taken some or other kind of beating. Glossing over the language Ahnika had used (lets face it, the woman can swear like a sailor herself) to ensure she'd heard correctly, "He's been fighting again?" Again? Clearly the woman hasn't seen the beast manager in a while. That information filed away with sharp sound of anger she lapses back into silence. Of course, she could have had a comeback of Max only wanting Ahnika because he always wanted what he couldn't have. But what would be the point to adding to the girl's distress further. Silence envelops with the sound of voices and foot traffic passing out in the passage way the only thing filling it. Forcing a gentler tone and expression onto her face the older blonde shakes her head a little, "Aaah Ahni, welcome to life and all that it brings with it to trip us up." No, she's not going to further berate the girl either, just send her a rueful smile when she believes what she says to be true about there being nothing between her and that unruly creature she whelped. "Now, are you going to be okay?" this to the girl's wobbly emotional state.

Ahnika nods and shrugs in the same moment to Indira’s question, commenting, “Claimed he fell off his runner, but … I’d say someone gave him beating, ma’am, yes. Though,” she’s quick to add, “he did look a lot better the next time I saw him at the Infirmary, so perhaps he is on the mend.” Then lapses quiet as the silence reigns for those excruciating moments and Ahni keeps her hands busy by sipping more of her klah. When Indira speaks again, a mirroring rueful smile is drawn from the ever-practical Ahni and she sighs a bit, nodding in agreement, but saying nothing, at least not until the headwoman’s final question. “Yes, of course,” Ahnika intones business-like, “Sorry for taking up so much time with the matter. I’m … just fine.” There is a hint of uncertainty, but the girl bravely makes a go at it. “I’ll be fine.” A beat pause, “So, Harpers. I’ll speak with them. Make sure they have everything they need.” She manages a smile that seems much less distracted now, “What’s next?” All fired up and ready to go back to work, it seems. Ready to be useful.

Indira takes this added information with a nod but makes no further comment on the matter. Once Ahnika is confirming her wellbeing, or at least making a good show of doing so, the headwoman affords her a smile to indicate she was buying it, "You know my door is always open, Ahni. Even if I may not like what I'm hearing sometimes." And back to the practicalities of Gather planning. What's next? A wider smile appears and the older woman chuckles at her mini-me, "Next, is the fun part. Getting the weavers in here to get us all gussied up ready to dance the night away." See? She does have a playful side to her after all.

At the offer, Ahnika’s smile is less uncertain and warmer now, and she inclines her head. Considering how much this potential significant other of Indira’s son shares with Max’s mother, it’s clear Ahnika already feels very comfortable doing so. Perhaps much to Max’s dismay, or future dismay should he ever actually find how just how loose Ahni’s tongue is around his own mother. “Weavers,” Ahni says after a moment, nodding at the mental note. Then she ponders that a moment, “The weavers charge their services to the weyr as a whole or just take individual commissions?” Now her expression is a bit lit up, and she is leaning forward. Learning about the administrative side of running a weyr is definitely something she finds fascinating. Some people juggle geese. Ahni likes to juggle weyrs, when she’s not juggling men.

"I'm not too sure how the Weavers down here like to handle things, but I'm hoping to convince them of the same deal we used back up at the Reaches," Indira starts to explain to Ahnika, "They take individual commissions but at a lowered rate because of the deal as a whole that they get in having access to more clients than they might otherwise have had for such occasions." Bit of a mouthful that, but there you have it, the headwoman and her wheeling and dealing on behalf of the Weyr and its residents. Klah finished and the day marching on, the woman stands and takes up her ever present clipboard as if signalling the time for talk was now done, and the time for action begun.

Ahnika nods, listening attentively to the headwoman, and finishes her own mug of klah in the process. When Indira stands, so does Ahni, and seems ready and happy to resume some of her old responsibilities once more, even if under the knot of Candidacy, and prepares to assist Indira and her active day ahead of her.


Closing Credits Theme Music: Seether & Amy Lee "Broken"


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