Like A Woman


Bowen.jpg Cheusia.jpg

Date: 9/20/10
Location: EW: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Bowen gets ready for a little afternoon hunting jaunt when Cheusia comes looking for Max, and ends up talking with Bo about women and their potentially budding friendship.
Rating: PG
Logger: Bowen

Eastern Weyr: Beast Cavern

Sweeping upwards from the tunnel's entrance at the easternmost end, this cavern arches well over the heads of its inhabitants; both two- and four-legged. Wooden stalls and pens have been built in rows. Two rows are built into the north and south walls and two are back-to-back down the center, leaving two aisles up and down. Each animal enclosure is spacious, well-built and solid; the whole place smells of new timber and sawdust, with the subtle undertones of leather, animal and hay. The western end opens out into the feeding pens and from there into the upper bowl. The opening is large enough to allow a decent amount of sunlight to enter the cavern, but not quite big enough to allow the adult dragons inside.

Late afternoon finds the tanner not in the Living Cavern partaking of the dinner meal. Instead, Bowen’s here in the Beast Cavern, not immediately visible to anyone in the main aisle for the time he’s spending with his runner, Strider, in the stall the gelding has been assigned. A saddle rests across one of the stall walls, perched there across the thick wood with a saddle-blanket and bedroll and saddlebags and an unstrung bow, and a bridle and quiver are looped over a peg in the stall. The stocky man stands there with a brush, stroking down the runner’s side with an almost affectionate sweep of his brawny arm.

Cheusia is coming into the Caverns, cheerfully greeting those working before carefully striding towards Max's office. If the door is closed, she doesn't hesitate to open it without knocking. Or, she would until she's distracted by taking a curious look to that one man who she has not frequently seen in the cavern. Then, she stops and turns, moving to watch the man with his runner. "You're surprisingly gentle." No, she can't entirely keep some comments to herself.

Normally, Bowen wouldn’t even look in the direction of the voice. Most times when people are talking around him, they are talking to someone else. Yet, the combination of the fact there was a recent attempt at runner-theft making him just a little more alert while here in the stables, and the fact that the voice that spoke was none other than Cheusia’s voice, the tanner slows the stroke of the brush until stopping altogether. He’s slow to turn and look in the direction of her voice, but turn and look he does. The bruising on his face is looking a lot better now as he stares at her with his blue eyes, more just dark discolorations now. He’s sporting a bit of a beard, however, as it wasn’t very comfortable to shave while his face was still swollen, cut, and healing. He continues to stare at her for a moment longer before breaking his gaze and returning to his runner, bearing the markings and coloring of an Appaloosa, patting him on his neck. “No need t’be otherwise with Strider here,” Bo states in that quiet husky voice of his, “He’s been with me through a lot. Proven ‘imself steady an’ loyal ten times o’er.” The runner just blinks his big dark eyes at Cheusia, looking bored more than anything. Bo gets back to brushing him down, grunting, “Max’s out.” Simply put and so soft it might not even be heard. “I’ll tell ‘im y’were lookin’ fer ‘im though.”

Cheusia would lean in to rest her arms along the stalling, to watch him still but he's turning to face her and her smile grows despite their previous… Conversations. Grey eyes do search his face, curious and questioning as to how the healing is going. She's not disappointed, from the looks of it and even the beard is noted. "Well, was kind've curious if you were capable of being gentle. And seeing as you're managing whole sentences at this point, anything seems possible." Then, her attention turns to the runner and she watches the animal for awhile. "Mm. I figured, I was just going to wait in his office for him. Thanks for the offer, though."

Bowen continues with the brush down, now moving easily around Strider to the other side, which puts the runner between them, much to Bo’s preference, even though he had to get that side anyway. The problem with this, though, is that while the runner is between them now, along with the stall door, it also means that he’s facing her more. Not exactly his preference. He keeps his blue eyes averted, however, pausing to pick some hair out of the brush and only after her first statement does he slowly look up at her, across Strider’s back. “Can’t know whutever fer,” he mutters, though doesn’t clarify if he means to her being curious about him being gentle, or about him managing whole sentences, or the waiting for Max in his office. To the thanks mentioned, he just grunts again and nods slowly, lifting one hand to press a curled knuckle lightly to the brim, tipping it without really actually moving it on his head. There’s gentle for you. He gets back to brushing the runner and says, “Can’t say how long he might be,” and therefore how long she might have to wait for Max. He smoothes down the hair on Strider’s back with his palm briefly and then looks at her again, hesitating before he says, “Anythin’ I can do ya fer?” Maybe if he takes care of whatever she needs, she can leave sooner. Not that the tanner is a Beast Manager, to be sure, but he’s worked around them enough and knows his way around the stables to possibly help her with whatever she needed.

Cheusia is more interested in the runner as Bo begins to move around in his brushing. Grey eyes searching the animal and you can be certain that itch that has driven her in her healing career is certainly mourning for the lack of understanding of animal healing. Though it's still not too late! In her mind, at least. "Curious by nature. I ask questions and like getting answers, even if I have to get them myself." Her smile quirks into one of more serious determination at the lingering threat in there. The runner only holds her attention for so long before once again drifting to the man tending to the animal, "mm. That's fine. I can wait, I'm not doing anything important today. So, if he ends up being gone for a whole lot longer… You can keep me company, mm? There's not much I need beside conversation at this point, really." Good luck trying to get her out without actually hauling her out and you can be sure she'll be kicking and screaming the whole way.

The gelding is about as easy-going and well-mannered as a gelding can be, which pretty much means it’s nearly a threat from a feline or a dragon that might spook him. She watches Strider and Strider watches her right back. If anything, his eyes stare at her as if to hypnotize her into giving him a treat: ‘sugarcube-sugarcube-sugarcube’ … Bowen seems to be mimicking the runner in this regard, at least continuing to stare at her across the runner’s back. You can bet he’s not looking for sugar of any kind, though, if that growing perplexed expression is any indication as she speaks. Finally, a good two or three heartbeats later, he just shakes his head slowly and gives Strider one or two more strokes of the brush before putting it up and grabbing the blanket, tossing it easily across the runner’s back and smoothing it down gently, “Suit yerself, ma’am.” He goes for the saddle next, hefting the heavy thing without even a grunt, and the limp is much less pronounced than a few days ago. After getting the saddle across the blanket on Strider’s back, he starts working on cinching it up, “Won’t be comp’ny fer long, though.” Pause. “Headin’ out.”

If only runners could speak… Though that might cause some issues. Or if Che could read minds… But that's not a much better thought, either. So, hypnotism fails and sugarcube goes unrewarded to the poor runner. Though this does keep her from noticing another someone staring back at her and when his gaze breaks, her's finds him and considers him and the work he does in preparing the runner. "Hey." She starts, but it dies shortly after as he begins to speak again and of his departure. "Am I that bad?"

Finishing with the saddle, Bowen checks the blanket a moment to make sure it didn’t get wrinkled underneath that could cause Strider some discomfort. It’s then that his gaze flicks over to her and he frowns more deeply to the question, looking away then. He doesn’t respond right away, just moving over to the stall door, even if it brings him closer to her. He stares at her another long moment and then reaches up slowly for the bedroll with one hand on the stall wall next to the door, and then the saddle bags beside it. There’s a pause where he lingers, still studying her, blue eyes making contact with her grey ones unless she looks away, and then finally, quietly, with genuine regret in his tone – though over what is anyone’s guess – he says, “Y’don’t want me t’answer that, ma’am.” Then he starts to turn to head back the few steps to Strider.

Cheusia's gaze follows him easily, drifting in between the man and his work, careful to avoid looking as if she's watching him much to closely. Though when he moves closer her eyes briefly meets his and a single brow lifts in question. "Where are you going?" Curiosity again, and the question coming out before she can really stop it. Her eyes search his when he finally makes contact and when he speaks she tilts her head very slightly, much like a pet feline would. "I wouldn't ask if I wasn't serious about knowing the answer. Stop telling me what I want and don't want." She straightens when he turns back and her expression sets into a firm one. "I don't see why I scare you."

“Fer a ride,” comes Bo’s reply easily enough. It’s the truth, and he sees no reason to hide it. He’s certainly not packing for a long trip, though the bedroll may suggest otherwise. It’s just simple cautionary riding. One should always take on with you even if you don’t think you’re going to be gone for long. He secures the bedroll and the saddlebags at the back and sides of the saddle, where the buckles are, and only when he’s done that does he pause and look at her once more, this time with a little tired sigh and looking sort of badgered, regardless of him deserving it to some degree. He looks away then, and shifts his hat a little more securely on his head, as if buying himself a little bit more time before he speaks. “Don’t mean no ‘ffense fer it, ma’am. Just don’t get on with most women.” He leans against Strider, who only shifts his weight slightly to accommodate the stocky tanner leaning against him, uncomplaining and remaining still. “Reckon all women scare me, ma’am,” Bo says in that same quiet voice. Then he moves for the bridle next.

"Oh." Che quiets then, resuming her watchful manner as he secures that bedroll and the saddle bags, moving in closer and leaning in to watch more carefully. Each movement is noted and carefully examined before she shakes her head. "I don't take offense to things easily, Bowen. Not the sort, I'm not sensitive." A teasing smile forms upon her lips before she chuckles. "Most women, but again, I figure we'll get along well enough…" She trails off and the final bit has her lifting her brows. "Why? You don't have to treat me like a woman. I'm fine with that."

Bowen seems blissfully innocent of her study of him and his movements. Well, he knows she’s watching him and Strider, but he’s not think of it as ‘studying’, apparently, because there is only that slight tension in his shoulders that seems to exist no matter what woman is around him. He gets the bridle on Strider then, and affectionately strokes the runner’s cheek, looking into Strider’s eye as he does so. It’s a few moments after she finishes speaking that the man actually chuckles softly, and then on an exhale offers with a shake of his head, “Oh no. Reckon we ain’t, ma’am, not if I keep makin’ ya so mad as t’fuss at me as ya did yesterday, and are doin’ now. I was married. I know when I’ve done wrong enough t’get that tone from a woman.” There’s a little pause and he looks at her now, “No, Che, ma’am, with that tongue and them eyes and that smile, yer a hundred ‘n ten percent woman, t’be sure. Can’t do nuthin’ but treat ya as th’ woman y’are. That’s th’ truth.” He gives Strider another pat on the neck and goes for his unstrung bow and quiver, avoiding looking at her entirely.

Cheusia allows a smile to pull at her lips, making it grow wider as he treats the runner with affection, but she does not dare point out that gentleness again this evening. Nope, instead, she leans in forward and lifts a brow. "It happens. People have spats… But you really shouldn't go making my mind up for me. That's the only thing'll get you in trouble with me. That and blatantly ignoring if you need to be healed, but you've been good on that part." Those brows that lifted are drawn into a frown. "What is everyone and the eyes? Shells, my eyes aren't any different than yours. Or my smile." Said eyes roll upwards and her studying finally ends for the moment. "What if I insist you not treat me like a woman?"

Tying the bow and quiver on, Bowen eyes her a little distractedly as she speaks, frowning a little more and more as she says her peace. When she’s done, he walks around the runner, taking his good ol’ sweet country-boy time as he double-checks his tack, the fond stroke of his hand sliding around his gelding’s side and neck and cheek and muzzle as he goes, while the only real movement from Strider is the flick of his ears and the occasional blink of eyes. Apparently satisfied, Bo moves then to the stall door, even if it means having to get closer to her. He eyes her a long moment as his hand reaches for the loop of rope that essentially ‘locks’ the stall door, “Ma’am, I’ll tell y’whut,” with a bit of a pregnant pause before continuing, “I’ll stop treatin’ ya like a woman th’ moment y’stop badgerin’ me like a woman.” He pulls the half-door opened then, hooking the loop of rope to the stall wall beside it so it won’t swing shut again. And then he’s looking at her again, merely a pace or two in front of her, expecting her to get out of the way, apparently, with just his sheer stocky and sometimes intimidating presence as a hint.

Cheusia leans back as he steps closer to the stall door, watching him as he speaks and awaiting the rest of the statement. The offer, however is met with a laugh. "Afraid I can't stop the badgering. Just in my nature, how else would I get information out of stubborn fools who have hurt themselves?" Sound familiar? She laughs and takes a careful step even farther back to get out of his way. "And, Bowen…" She trails off. "Never treated you like a woman." A cruel game of twisting his words now and she flashes him a grin before drifting back towards Max's office, clearly intending to get out of his hair, for now.

Another man might laugh, enjoy the gentle jabs of humor given, but Bo just frowns all the more, his blue eyes following her movements as she leaves with those words still lingering on the air between them. Finally, he sighs, shakes his head slowly, and turns back to Strider, leading him out of the stall and down to the end of the main aisle without another word, fully intending to take advantage of the quiet and woman-less world of the countryside where he can hopefully get a little light-game hunting done and thinking solitude for the next few hours before it gets dark.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Brad Paisley - "I'm Still A Guy"

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