Heading Home With A Stowaway


Bowen.jpg Cheusia.jpg and Paerin (NPC'd by Cheusia)

Date: 11/26/10
Location: Southern Hold: Cothold of Kayne and Zeime, Bo's parents
Synopsis: Bowen and Cheusia make their departure and head home to Eastern but not before Bowen's sister, Paerin, makes an impassioned plea to be taken with them.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Bowen

Bo is anxious to get back and was up earlier than he meant to be, even rising before his own mother. So it was he who got the pot of klah going for the household while he washed up from the wash-basin, having bathed the night before, and got dressed. It’s another crisp, misty summer morning that he steps out into after having his first cup of klah, and makes his way over to the stables to bring back Ashes and Strider to get them hitched to the cart-wagon that had been packed up all but their personal belongings the night before.

Perhaps it is plotting. Or planning… Or simply waking up because she, too, was anxious. Thus, Paerin is dressed and sneaking quietly out of the cothold and over to the stables to corner a certain brother of hers. "Bo?" Is called out, soft and drawn out and there's no way to miss the fact that she's up to something.

Alone and preoccupied with his thoughts and genuinely with his guard down, the weyrtanner doesn’t seem to notice he’s being followed. So, it isn’t until he has the harnesses on Strider and Ashes and turns to lead them out, him in between them, one hand each hooked into the harness on either side of him, that he draws to a sudden stop, seeing his younger sister standing there, and dressed for the day. He blinks quietly at her for several long moments. He’d even scratch his head, but his hands are full of runner at the moment. “Mornin’,” he finally drawls, “Ya didna need ta get up an’ see us off.”

While she waits for Bowen to notice her, there's a quick fix of her hair and a straightening of skirts more as a nervous habit than the desire to look nice. And when he stops, Paerin smiles a little too innocently. "Mornin'." She returns with a chipper pitch. "I know." Straight and too the point and then, without warning that's when the tears get flowing. and soft little sobs. "Save me… I don't want to stay."

There’s some more blinking from Bowen as he stands there and listens to her, politely giving her his attention, but much of it is confusion and just early-morning grogginess, too. It’s when she starts to cry and pleads for rescue that Bowen looks left, right and then behind him over his shoulder for escape. Shells, he really hated it when they cried. Not seeing an exit he can creep off to while she cries, Bowen sighs and mutters, “Shit. Cut that out will ya?” Oh yeah. Isn’t he sensitive? “Yer gonna have Ma an’ Pa out here lickitty-split wunderin’ whut I dun ta ya now.” Then he frowns, releasing Strider’s harness, knowing the sedate gelding wasn’t going anywhere, though held onto Ashes since Ashes was a newer acquisition than Strider and wasn’t quite as predictable. “Whut d’ya need savin’ from anyhow? Ma spoils ya like ya were an’ only youngin’.”

The crying stops almost instantly, but there is a few sniffles lingering as she rubs at her eyes. "I…" Perhaps the question catches Paerin off guard, or there's the pause for effect as she sniffles more. "I was… I want to do something new. I feel… Trapped.." Slowly, hiccups begin for more tears. "Y-You just want to keep me here, don't you? You don't love me." Que crying. "My brother doesn't love me."

If Bowen suspects the waterworks is an act, he doesn’t show it. But mostly that’s because he is well beyond suspicion at this point. He adjusts his hat on his head with his free hand as he listens and then sighs audibly as the crying starts up again. “Well I sure as shells ain’t gonna love ya more with that wet racket yer makin’, Paerin.” And he’ll take up Strider’s harness once more and start to move out, slowly, giving her a chance to get out of the way at least, though he doesn’t seem inclined to let her stop him.

"Please, Bowen? Pleaaase?" Paerin whines out, tears still on her cheeks but the obvious sobbing stopping. She does, however, move out of the way and takes to following him with the pleading continuing. At least she's not pulling out the mom card.

Bowen is grateful she got out of the way. It would have been hard to explain to his mother how his baby sister got trampled down. Not, you know, he was grateful because she didn’t get hurt. He shoots her an incredulous look, and then returns his attention to hitching up Ashes first, “It ain’t no pretty Gather there, Paerin. It’s a Weyr. It’s a Weyr whut’s just startin’ up. Ya ain’t gonna be coddled there. Ya ain’t gonna be spoiled like ya are here. If ya wanna go somewhere nice, I’ll see about gettin’ a rider ta take ya ta Fort. Eastern is the frontier, Paerin. It ain’t ‘xactly civilized much.”

"I don't care." Paerin snaps out first, arms folding across her chest and she's looking more stubborn by the minute. "I don't want to go to Fort. I want to go to where my brother is. Cause I care about my brother."

There’s a little grunt, though that could be just hefting the hitch in place and then getting Strider connected to it next. Bowen sighs a little after and looks over Ashes back at his sister, “And whut’s Ma say? She gonna let ya? I doubt it.” Another frown and he adds reluctantly, “Lemme talk ta Che ‘bout it.” Maybe Che will say absolutely not and save Bo the trouble.

"I didn't tell Ma…" Paerin mutters, "she'd say no…" Which is the sole conflict of her decision. The need to make mother happy or the need to make herself happy. "'kay. I'll wait. Right here." And she watches him intently as she waits, not exactly being subtle, either.

And there’s a conflict for Bowen too, in making his life easier by leaving his sister behind, and making his mother’s life hell in taking her with him. There’s also the fact that he doubts his sister would want to stay once she knew she had to work there. He figures he’ll be hiring passenger service from the nearest rider in less than a seven. As Paerin indicates she will stay right there and wait, he frowns at her, knowing she’ll stay there and wait until the herdbeasts come home. “Shells,” Bowen mutters back, “I ain’t got time fer dis nonsense, Paerin.” But despite the chastising, he secures the last leather strap on the hitch he asks, “Are ya packed already at least?” And he begins to make his way for the cothold door, looking at her over his shoulder as he walks.

Paerin would return that frown, but more out of the fear that she'll be left behind she leaves a pleasant look on her face. The crestfallen look is already working it's way onto her face, fearing he'll simply say no but he asks her if she has packed and there's an eager nod of her head. "Yes." Her tone is kept quiet and then she's making to hurry in front of Bowen to rush to her room and grab her things. And, she even packed smart! Anything unneeded has been left out.

Bowen runs a hand down his face as he watches his sister cross the threshold of the cothold ahead of him and sighs. He steps into the home and takes off his hat and spots Zeime who has finally gotten up (probably smelled the klah) and was now working on getting breakfast together. She’s already shouting at Paerin not to run for fear of the girl falling and splitting her head open or something. Bo runs a hand through his hair next, nods to his mother, “Mornin’ Ma’am,” in greeting, and then goes in search of his wife.

The shouting is likely returned with a polite call of "yes mama" but even the running doesn't stop until she gets to her room. Che, on the otherhand, is still in their room, laying in bed. She is dressed, however, staring thoughtfully at the band on her finger and smiling to herself. Nothing has ruined her good mood since the wedding and the fact that it is now time to leave has made that mood much brighter.

Bowen shakes his head briefly and slips into their room, the guest room that they had been given for the visit. He smiles and brightens noticeably when he sees Cheusia, however, and for a moment he forgets why he came seeking her out, “Mornin’ Beautiful,” he greets in that husky voice of his. “Got th’ runners all hitched up.”

Cheusia drops her hand and peeks at her husband and gracing him with an even brighter smile. "Morning handsome." She returns, pushing up into a seated position before moving from the bed to slip her arms around him. "Wonderful. So we're eating breakfast and then taking off?"

“That’s th’ notion,” Bowen answers, unable to help but smile both at her, her coming over and putting her arms around him, and being called handsome. So far, this marriage was getting off on the right foot, compared to his first marriage. He slips his arms around her waist and tilts his head so as to avoid bonking her with his hat brim as he leans in to kiss her gently. It’s a soft, ‘good morning’ kind of kiss, and not a long or deeply passionate kiss, “Got one thing though,” he says softly, lowering those lips of his along her jaw and to her ear, kissing and nibbling tenderly.

"Wonderful." Che breathes out, grey eyes closing as she brushes her lips gently against his for the kiss. "Mm? One thing… What is it?" A soft sigh slips from her lips as he moves his lips along her jaw and then comes to nibble upon her ear. "Nothing bad, I hope.."

“Not too bad,” Bowen continues to neck his wife, taking his hat off again and setting it on the nearby dresser, all without his lips leaving her neck and ear, “Mebbe we could put off leavin’ fer anuth’r candlemark ‘r two.” Slow down there, cowboy. He blinks a bit, remembering himself belatedly and chuckles as he blinks and pulls his lips away, though keeps Cheusia in his arms, “Ah,” he smiles sheepishly, “Paerin wants ta come back ta Eastern with us. I ain’t told ‘er yes yet. Just that I’d talk it ov’r with ya. I reckon my Ma will throw a fit, though,” and he says the last in a way to suggest that wouldn’t be bad, except maybe for his father.

"Oh, good." Cheusia giggles softly, though it is breathless as his lips remain upon her. "Mm. We could.. But breakfast would get cold." She muses softly. When he does pull away, grey eyes open to consider him with a loving smile. "Oh." The smile doesn't fade as she considers, listening to his words and then she chuckles. "We could kidnap her." That sounds worse than it is now, "figure she could use it.. Considering how your mother is. Make her learn to work and how real women should behave."

There’s a moment with Bowen’s blue eyes saying, ‘screw breakfast’, but it fades with her further talk of kidnapping his sister. He blinks a moment and then pulls back as if looking at Cheusia for the first time, though there’s a quiet smile tugging at his lips and his arms are still around her waist, so he’s more surprised than vexed. “How real women should behave, eh?” he says after a moment. Considering the poor influence his mother and previous wife had on his sister’s behavior, the notion of her having someone like Cheusia as an influence actually appeals to Bowen. It might save some poor sap of a man (like he was himself) from getting into a similar marriage Bo found himself in the first time. “Aw-right. I’m gonna leave an extra couple bottles of whiskey fer Pa though,” because the poor man will have to live with the shrew after her prize-doll daughter is stolen away.

Cheusia grins at that look in his eyes before it fades and her grin simply remains in place, watching as that smile comes to his lips. "Mhm. Because, your poor father… And you. And your brother. And your sister…" She gives him a little look, lifting her hands to gingerly cup his cheeks. "I'm good with that. He'll need it…"

Bowen mms, leaning in as she cups his cheeks to kiss her gently again, “Thank ya, Che, guess we better get out there an’ get this party underway.” He smelled bacon frying and his stomach growled noisily, “After breakfast.” He picks up his hat again with one hand, the other still around her waist.

Cheusia returns the kiss and smiles brightly. "You're welcome. We should… And you're hungry." Laughter follows and she makes to walk with him downstairs to enjoy their breakfast before chaos breaks loose.

Arriving downstairs for breakfast, Bowen was his usual quiet and reserved self, though now kept more of a look-out for Paelin as he ate, intending to give her some kind of signal, discreetly if possible, as he ate. He, like he always had, sat through his mother’s hen pecking over whether or not they were dressed warm enough or fashionable enough or had enough food and water and first aid equipment with them for the journey, and how he better write her. “Ma, I ain’t never wrote ya an’ I ain’t gonna start now,” Bo says, more irritated and uncomfortable by that point than anything else. And he promptly stuffs his face with the hot breakfast that his mother, she points out, slaved over just for him and Che, to whom she says, “Do you see what sort of disrespect I have to put up with from him? I should hope he never talks to you that way, Cheusia!” Bowen sighs and eats faster.

Cheusia is generally quiet throughout the meal, more or less trying to drown out Bowen's mother with food. But, that is harder than it seems. Instead, she gives vague answers to everything or nodding when required. "Mhm. I would hope not." Though it is said in a rather obligated tone more than anything.

Paerin, on the other hand… Has noticed the signal and has promptly finished her meal. "Mama. I'm going to my room." And not coming out. Or, at least not in a way where their mother will catch her. And she's promptly doing so, without waiting for confirmation.

“Hmmph,” Zeime says with a satisfactory nod at Cheusia’s agreement, not seeming to think anything about it, but she does eye Paerin on her way back to her room, and then Zeime looks at Kayne, Bowen’s father, and sniffs, “All of this hassle with the wedding and Bowen and Cheusia has obviously upset your daughter. You should do something!” To which Kayne sedately drinks his klah, “Ain’t nuthin’ ta be done, Darlin’. She’ll get ov’r it, I reckon.” Which sets Zeime off on a tangent about how Kayne has never really cared for his own daughter or Zeime and obviously doesn’t care about what other people think of their family. After a few seconds of that, Kayne clearly tunes her out, as does Bowen, who finishes the last of his klah and pushes away from the table while wiping his mouth with a napkin and a glance for Cheusia, “I’ll get our bags now if’n yer ‘bout ready ta set off.” His eyes say he hopes so.

Cheusia nods idly, making as if she's paying attention to the conversation. Though she doesn't roll her eyes because that'd be rude and she'd hate to be caught. Instead, she focuses intently on finishing her breakfast. She's done quickly and wiping off her mouth. "Mhm. All done. I'll help." She follows suite and pushes away from the table. "Thank you so much for having us. We had such a pleasant stay." There's a bright cheerful smile after, just to make it seem all the more nicer.

Zeime smiles at Cheusia, then blinks, getting misty-eyed already for their impending departure. Kayne gets up from the table as Cheusia and Bowen do, and gets his hat, muttering something about checking the wagon out, even if Bowen already has done so. Anything to get out of the house. Bowen nods once to his father and then smiles at Che and nods to her, reaching to take her hand and walk with her to get their bags. It’s only once they have them from their room that Bowen lingers by the door where his mother has started weeping for their departure and he’s saying, swallowing visibly at Zeime’s tears of woe and statements like ‘I just don’t understand why you can’t live here at Southern with the rest of your kin!’ and Bo simply ignores it and says, “Mighty kind of ya ta let us stay so long an’ get hitched an’ all while we wuz here, Ma’am. Ya take care now.” And he steps out through the door, moving probably the fastest Che might have ever seen the man move. His father comes to the porch and offers to help Che with any bags she was carrying to the wagon, not even looking at the weeping woman behind the newlyweds.

Cheusia smiles and takes Bowen's hand, walking with him. It doesn't take too long to get their bags and Che's looking a little too eager to get out and gone. "Thank you very much." Is said again and then taking after Bowen's quick pace. The bags are handed politely over to Kayne and then she's making her way over to the wagon.

Paerin's bags are all settled and the girl is also smuggled aboard, oddly, but somehow managed.

If Kayne had noticed his only daughter was aboard already and hidden in there amidst the crates and trunks and barrels and such, he doesn’t indicate it in any way. As Kayne situates the bags he took from Cheusia in the back, Bo silently hands off his own to his father at the back of the cart and then moves to the side of the bench seat to hand Cheusia up into the front. For those terrible few moments, the only sound is the sound of Zeime’s weeping on the porch and waving her handkerchief at them. Bowen pauses to shake his father’s hand in a firm, meaningful grip, meeting the older man’s eyes for a good moment and then they let go. For these two, that seems to be the only thing needed. Well, then there is the leather bag he hands to his father, containing two extra bottles of Southern whiskey that Bo had been saving for the road, murmuring, “Yer gonna need it, Pa.” His father nods sagely and thanks him, and Bo tips his hat and simply says, “Ma’am,” to his mother before getting up into the cart and on the bench proper.

Cheusia smiles at Bowen and settles onto the bench when he helps her up. Though she's watching her husband with a careful look, curiously peeking here and there for the missing sister. She shrugs after a moment and settles for the ride, crossing her legs and waiting for them to begin their journey.

Without much fanfare, Bowen snaps the reins and the runners start off at a plodding pace. After getting them directed more on the road, Bowen takes off his hat and waves at his parents, and then settles down in the seat, looking first to Cheusia and then ahead at the road, “Paerin?” he questions softly.

Cheusia smiles at Bowen as he looks to her, leaning over to rest against him a bit. There's a curious glance backwards, As Paerin shifts around. "Yes?" It's quiet, but she's most certainly there.

Bowen is quiet a few moments, taking the reins in one hand to wrap an arm around Cheusia as she leans in against him. Then he says, “Aw-right. We gotta make one stop b’fore leavin’ th’ Hold good’n proper, an’ dats ta get a little more wuter an’ rations since we gots anuth’r mouth ta feed.” In all honesty, Bowen always tends to overestimate food and fresh water since he can hunt and there are usually streams nearby, but he prefers to play it safe than be sorry, and if he can use that to keep his sister in line at the same time, he will do so. “Whut this means is, I gotta spend some of my own marks fer ya ta come back with us, so I’m gonna expect ya ta be helpful along th’ way, makin’ camp an’ such. Dat’s rule number one. If ya ain’t agreein’ tad at right now, I will turn dis here cart ‘round.”

Paerin is quiet again, listening quietly. "Okay… I'll help." Though it is softer, and begrudgingly, she agrees. "Am I stayin' back here?"

Che simply nods along, listening and agreeing with what has been said so far.

“I reckon as soon as I get th’ extra wuter an’ rations ya can get up and sit on top of one of dem trunks,” Bowen reasons slowly, and then adds, “Rule number two, yer gonna mind Cheusia as ya would mind me,” beat pause as he thinks about that, “or better than ya mind me, really.” He rubs Che’s shoulder a but affectionately, “And rule number three, when we get there, I’ll take ya to th’ Headwoman an’ she’ll find a place fer ya ta work an’ yer gonna work the job she gives ya. No arguments there.” Complaining, he’ll deal with, expecting it really when he knew she wasn’t used to doing much work around the cothold, but getting her set up with a position at the Weyr he wasn’t going to argue over. He looks at Che then, “I can’t think of any others right now. You?”

Paerin sighs softly, "okay." So many rules! A face is made but she can't entirely be seen where she sits in the wagon. "Okay… I'll work." More agreement that is reluctantly given. But she'd rather not be sent home.

Cheusia considers thoughtfully, then shakes her head. "Not at the moment. We can always add rules later, if needed.. She's not whining and complaining right now about being in the back."

Bowen nods, but it’s slow in coming so it could either be for Paerin’s response or Cheusia’s comment or just both. Finally he says, “Aw-right then. An’ when yer ready ta go home, I’ll put in fer th’ passage by dragon fer ya.” Then more softly he mutters to Che, “I give it a seven before she’s pleadin’ ta go home.” But he seems amused, and really, the man has nearly everything he’s ever wanted out of life right now, so even a sobbing, whining teenager is hard to dampen his spirits as he heads them down the road of their new lives together at Eastern.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Rascal Flatts - "Life Is A Highway"

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