Just Like Them


Jaya.jpg Keane.jpgKeane (NPC)

Date: Oct. 31, 2010
Location: The Blood and Bucket, Telgar area
Synopsis: Keane manages to get Jaya alone and the two properly chat over past memories, her present business, and the future. Takes place the night of Paying It Forward.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

It's late night with most having retired after the intense day spent in the Blood and Bucket bar. Jaya was sharing Olira's room for the night, but the scarred faced woman was too wired to sleep. She walked the length of the bar now that Crawl and his men retired themselves outside - though she was certain should anything untoward were to happen within the bar, they would burst through the door before she could even draw breath.

She was standing near the center of the bar when she heard movement from behind the counter. Turning,

"You were never one to get the sleep you need," Keane limped himself around the counter, grimacing at the bouts of pain before he seeks out the closest table. Gesturing with his free hand, "Come on over and keep an old man occupied."

A fond smile appeared on Jaya's face at seeing him, and she went to his side in an instant to help him into a chair. Once he's seated, "I miss this old shack," she admitted as she settled into the chair opposite, her dark gaze falling on familiar surroundings as she leaned back. "I see you haven't made any of the improvements I suggested."

Keane settled more comfortably in his chair and snorted at something said. He moved his wooden cane across his lap and took to studying the woman across from him. "Nothing wrong with my bar," he answered rather stubbornly as he frowned at her. "It has character."

"Enough character to fall apart in the next turn, you mean," Jaya quipped back dryly, the faint crooked smile evident when she turned her gaze on him.

"You seem to have enough character to fall apart in the next sevenday," Keane countered without a blink. "Coming in here, trying to take away my barmaid, causing fights without so much as payment going into my pockets and then doting on me like I'm an invalid! Why did you risk all coming here, Jaya?" he demanded, fitting a stern look onto the woman. He was the sort to couch his affection and concern in coldness, something that Jaya was well aware of.

"Because you risked all taking me in when you weren't supposed to." Jaya bypassed the blustering to the simple truth of the matter, the Eastern barkeep showing a genuine air of kindness and loyalty to this man that owned a bar called the Blood and Bucket.

Keane lifted his chin. "Don't get all sentimental on me," he dropped, though it was said with less chilliness since he always did have a soft spot for the Bitran brat. He quieted up then, regarding her for a look time before admitting his observation. "You've changed."

Jaya's head tilted slightly to the side. "I was afraid so," she admitted as well, her voice remaining sober.

"It's not bad." Keane leaned back in his chair, keeping her under his scrutiny. "You don't have that wild look in your eye like you used to. It's there, still," he amended quickly, his eyes meeting her own, "just….muted. Max had anything to do with that?"

She knew what he meant by that question, so Jaya shrugged a bit and said, "He's a friend. Maybe a good one." Silence. "You approve of him?"

"I approve of him," Keane readily agreed, nodding slowly. "Not sure about him running the south, but, he'll make a good ally. He's crazy if he thinks the renegades up here will leave him alone if he's talking the way he was with me."

Jaya snorted to that. "He doesn't run the south," she said that with open certainty, leaning forward so that she could lower her husky voice. "He might think he does. Beast manager's got balls, I'll give him that much."

Keane's fitting a smile on his face, mildly amused by her negating statement. "Last one that claimed to run the south vanished without a trace," he noted, the amusement still lingering. "Something tells me this Max is a different matter. Give the renegades cause to worry, eh? Especially if you're helping him." He nodded firmly to that, thinking highly of his former barmaid. "Can't be useful if you're dead, though, so watch your ass down there, hear? He seems to think this Suli is trouble," he brought this topic up from earlier, letting a frown mar his features. "I'm thinking the same. Watch who your friends are, Dicori."

"He and I need to stop shouting at each other first if we're to establish any kind of valuable alliance," or friendship for that matter, Jaya noted to herself dryly. "We're both too head-strong. I think I'm right and he thinks he's right." Her own growing amusement faded at the mention of her barmaid, the woman looking away to keep from rolling her eyes. "I'll keep an eye on Suli, okay?" was all she said when she returned his glare, wanting to move on from that touchy topic. "But I know in my gut that she's not the issue. Someone else is, Keane." Well, she wasn't that sure, but she didn't want to show uncertainty to men like Max and Keane.

"All the same," Keane's not looking to argue, settling where he stood on the matter of Suli.

Jaya conceded to that. After a pause, "Tell me about what's been going on up here with the renegades," she requested evenly, her expression turning cool to match the chill outside the dimlit bar.

Since it was clear Jaya wanted to change the subject (she was usually more crass about it, too, so she's clearly changed there), Keane sighed heavily and launched into what he knew of the going-ons of the northern lands learned. "The act Vaputero forced on Kelarad's cousin has many of them declaring sides," he said, his gruff voice hushed. "Mek, Lorien and Jorro, for one. Lorien, probably because it had happened in his lands. Highly likely Serevan and Harvis, too. Those two always did have an issue with violence against women. Borrento and the Ralkas are still claiming to not be taking sides in the matter, but it's likely because they want to be available to both camps should they be asked to hire out their services. More marks in their pockets in the long run."

"That's part of the reason why I need to speak with Kelarad," Jaya admitted, listening to all that was given without any reaction. Yes, she knew the insult Vaput placed on Kelarad would have the others looking to watch their own hides by taking either his or the Tillekian's side. She also noted the names not mentioned - Ritalia and Delaus, two that had on more than one occasion been allied with Vaputero before. She had met all the crimelords while working for Vaput in her days and really had no problem with most, but those two… "I was thinking, together, he and I could find a way to-"

"Make a situation go from bad to worse?" Keane had cut her off promptly before he shook his head. "Don't underestimate Vaput like you did before, Bajaya, and don't underestimate Kelarad. Both are formidable in their own ways. Even with the way Vaput came in here…" and he filled her in on what happened that fateful night when Vaputero confronted him, giving her all the details that he had left out earlier in the day when all the others were present. "It's why I'm pissed off that you're here," he had concluded, regarding the Bitran steadily. "He wanted me to call you up here and you did just that without me even having to. You're as lucky as rain all you found up here was Rad's men rather than your former boss's."

"If I have to stop running, then I have to start fighting," Jaya said with more force than she meant to, but her determined glare had never abated. "I hate myself enough for what's happened to you! If you could just come down to Eastern with me-"

"Told you I ain't going," Keane had stoutly refused her. "I'm all for Olira going with you folks, but I am meant to stay up here!" Beat. "And I said nothing about you not fighting," he added flatly, pinning a look that's heavy onto her. "I encourage you to! I just want you to fight smart, Dicori! Just because you're down there amongst those people doesn't mean you can't end up in the fucking mines, is all I'm saying!" Sometimes showing tough love was the only way to get through to the Bitran, Keane had learned, and his concern for her showed even as he spoke. Calming himself down, "I know that type of life is in your blood," he said then, nodding his head to that, "and I'm the last one to be having morals, the type of place I run. However. If you're going to stick to that life, don't let yourself become victim to it." The look in his eyes is full of meaning in that, speaking about her long list of Dicori relatives that were either serving time in the mines now or resting six feet under. "I say that to warn you to be careful with Kelarad tomorrow," he warned with authority, now leaning back in his chair.

Silence had met those words, though it wasn't a sulking Jaya he stared at. The Bitran barkeep was contemplative, mulling over his wise words in the long moments before she allowed herself to nod. "You don't trust him," she noted on the Tillekian, eyes narrowing slightly.

"I don't trust none of them," Keane corrected with a grunt. "They'll work on your side until their aim changes, and that'll happen without warning. Just saying….man might have an agenda, even if he agrees to let you and Max take away his cousin. Kelarad has never done anything half-assed as far as I've heard. Best remember that."

Oh, she did. "He was there when I got my face cut," Jaya reminded the old man grimly, her eyes unfocused. "A few of them were. I understand who and what they are, but," and her eyes focused back on him, "understand that I am just like them," she added with a touch of that Dicori arrogance that had been missing from the woman in months. "Kelarad won't get one over on me. Be certain of that."

Keane couldn't help but to smirk a bit at that small display of arrogance, pleased she hadn't completely changed. He rather liked the taciturn woman in all her glory - just so long as she didn't go off and do something crazy like she's wont to do at times. "I'm…glad to see you, Dicori," he admitted as he stared at her, the memories of their times running his bar flooding into his mind the longer he did so. "Bar really hasn't been the same much without you. Olira doesn't knock heads together the way you used to do."

When Keane spoke of memories, and of being glad to see her, Jaya couldn't help the slight wetness coming over her eyes. Blinking it back with a smile as she reached forward for his hand, "Miss causing you grief," she responded back fondly. "Now I've got barmaids and bodyguards and patrons causing me grief, shuga. Got friends actually wanting me to be the girl I would have been should my mother have stayed alive. Even wrote home, finally."

"You oughta go back and visit," Keane noted on her writing home, pleased at hearing it as he squeezed her hand back. "I know your dad's an ass, but…you only got the one, Dicori. Maybe once this whole Vaputero-thing blows over. I'll even go with you and see if they got good enough stock to help spruce this place up a bit!" Right. Like a few throwrugs and colors would really make the Blood and Bucket all the more livelier.

Jaya snorted and shook her head, "Ol' Bhadri will just see my coming home as an 'I told you so' and announce he has things to do other than to deal with his wayward daughter," she answered coolly on her father's account. "Wouldn't be interested in seeing him, anyway. Maybe I will visit, though. Maybe." She appeared to appreciate his offer to accompany her there, something that the woman will actually consider. One day, that is. And anyway, despite his protests, Jaya was determined to at least get the old Telgari to visit Eastern Weyr at the most. She wasn't going to give up on the man that easily - much like he wanted. She was still worried that Vaputero would show up again, and with him being on his own without even Olira to beside him… "Maybe you should think about hiring out some folks from Lorien," she suggested, her concern for him showing again. "Get you some help around here…protection…"

"He oughta be proud of you for getting as far as you did," Keane countered on her dad, his disapproval of Bhadri Dicori evident. But that was neither here nor there. "Got Tackas and his people," he then reminded her in near exasperation. "Don't need to go bringing in Lorien here. I'll be alright, Jaya. Trust me!" He looked hard at her, trying to knock the words into her head more firmly. "I know a thing or two about this business, shuga," he said, his tone dry. "I'm older than your own father, and I even knew about him when he was mixing up in the same type of business you were. Nothing new changes under this sun for me! I'll be here when Vaputero comes, and I'll be here when he's gone!" There's a tone of finality there, his words meant to reassure more than anything else.

Jaya had to let it go, but she wasn't going to like it. "Whatever you say, boss," she gave in with open resignation, withdrawing her hand from his to straighten up in her seat. "You just make sure you get at me as soon as you can should anything untoward happens again. Next time I will make you come down south if I have to tie you up and haul you on a borrowed dragon Between myself!" She had let a little crookedness come into her smile then, letting bygones be bygones on the matter.

Keane snorted to that threat, though it's a much softer one in nature. "Yeah, yeah Dicori. Haul me down there and I'll make you want to send me right back. Besides," and he had fit a look over the shabby place, "I would miss this place far too much to part from it." It was a sentiment Jaya could understand - a barkeep and his bar. She was connected to her own already, which was probably why she would find it hard to ever leave it if she had to one day. "Now," and Keane placed both hands flat on the table before him, changing the subject deliberately to something lighter in subject. "You said you made some friends. Tell me about them."

Jaya was willing to let that threat of his slide, knowing full well that the old Telgari bar owner would be anything but a nuisance to her. Chuckling loudly when he demands to know about the colorful people she had only hinted at earlier with Max, the scarred faced Bitran launched into talking - among others that seemed to be breaking down some of the defenses around her heart - about a blue weyrling that was trying to entice her to walk barefoot in the mud, a redheaded green weyrling that had a sweet countenance like her twin sister Bhedri, and a gold weyrling scarred just like her who had the soul of a warrior.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License