Looking Out


L'ron.jpg Ralik and S'las (NPC'd by Jaya)

Date: June 12, 2011
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: S'las introduces L'ron to an informant named Ralik. Ralik takes a favor from a still-missing Jaya to look into L'ron's family when he's received no response from his letter sent home months ago.
Rating: PG
Logger: Jaya

With the Weyr being in the current state it was in - a Bitran crimelord still about in the vicinity, whether in the Weyr or not - S'las was being kept busy these days. He walks tiredly into the bar, his rider jacket slung over one shoulder this evening as he lifts a hand to get Suli's attention along with the words, "Ale, and make it strong, Suli." He drops into a stool and takes a long look around, finding the bar surprisingly sparse considering the time of night. The crowds hasn't been too huge with Jaya still out of town, and many seem to prefer the Bitran woman's prickly company to the towering Telgari barmaid's. Still, Jaya had wanted him to be about in the case that her friend, L'ron should show while she was out, and so - another night in the bar with his drinks - he waits to see if this night the bluerider would show.

One thing or another had kept L’ron from taking that final step to meet with Ralik and get things under way to find out about his family back up on the northern continent, before now. Or perhaps it was simply a case of ignorance being bliss. This night, is the night to change all that and set things into motion as evidenced by the arrival of a tall young man bearing the shoulder-knot of a bluerider. Aware of Jaya’s absence, warm brown eyes float a look out over the patrons as if he could somehow divine of his own accord which of them might be this Ralik she had spoken of. Finding none that satisfy he heads toward the bar counter.

When L’ron arrived, S’las had a seat position that could spot him out easily. He had seen the young man around after all, with the bluerider being friends with the Bitran barkeep enough to garner his notice here and there. His grey eyes dip to the shoulderknot just to make sure, nursing his drink idly as he makes to linger his gaze everywhere. When he starts to approach, he only waits until the bluerider reaches the counter before stating in his glass, “I thought you would be by much sooner.” If that gets his attention or not, the wily bronzerider would nod a greeting to him, his own shoulderknot missing. “Evening to you, L’ron of Balkrith.”

“Hey Suli,” cue the big smile that always gets sent the Telgari barmaid’s way, “I was wondering if maybe…” L’ron’s words cut off when he hears not only his name but that of his dragon’s spoken by the man near his elbow and a brow goes up. “Ah…do I know you?” not the most polite of greetings but then this is L’ron and he can be a little out of it at times. There’s a pause as the other man’s inital words filter in, “Yeah, I would have been by sooner but…” eyes narrow slightly and he lowers his voice as he takes a step closer to keep the next just between them, “You’re not that Ralik fellow are you? I’m sure I remember him as being,” a hand lifts and scratches at his head, “well, not you.” And there’s the sheepish grin.

“Hide the loose knives,” is Suli’s greeting, though there’s an easy smile (if you could call it one) on her face as she serves out some drinks into Hayli’s hands. “It’s L’ron. Can I get you something?” Eyes cut to a watching S’las, the bronzerider tipping back his glass in L’ron’s question to him along with a blithe “You’ve seen me in drills and the like. I’m the fashionably late one,” is his response, inclining himself briefly towards him. He knocks back his drink smoothly before he moves it wordlessly towards Suli to refill it before he adds to him, “You would have come sooner but….?” He echoes, though the question gets and wry, “Ralik? Me? No,” and he shakes his head. “I’m not nearly as rugged. He’ll be by shortly, though. I’ve just sent word through the appropriate channels,” his dragon, likely. “The man’s been a wraithe about the Weyr, doing business while Bajaya’s gone. Please, have a stool,” and he gestures toward the stool beside him just as he gets his refilled glass back.

L’ron’s grin turns lopsided with a touch of wry for Suli’s quip, “Just an apple cidar, thanks.” He’s not much of a drinker. Turning back to S’las there’s a snap of fingers as recognition falls into place, “Right. You’re that bronzerider.” The one that’s always late. The young bluerider doesn’t complete the reason why he’s not come by before now and dips his head in a nod of thanks for word having been sent to Ralik. Taking to the stool next to the bronzerider, concern washes across his open features at mention of the bar owner, “Any idea where she’s gone or when she’ll be back?” When, not if, for he’s optimistic enough to believe that Jaya will indeed, return.

With Suli going to fulfill the order, S'las downs his easily as L'ron confirms the recognition. "I am bound to learn my lesson, according to my dragon," he says it drolly, it being neither here nor there with a flick of his fingers. Suli then returns with his drink and also brings S'las his refill before the man nods his thanks and turns back to L'ron. Catching the wash of concern along with the question, there's a sigh and a shake of his head before answering, "Who knows, with that one. It's like her to leave. Did it a lot back home. If you believe some of the rumors floating around," and he turns on his stool to flick a long glance over the patrons in the bar, "you'd think the woman's run off with some dazzling trader with gems in his hair. I could almost believe that one, if only because I know she'd go long enough for her to steal those gems off him." he smirks a bit at his own jest before he nods the bluerider's way, "But I wouldn't worry though," he adds, equally optimistic as he claims his refill. "She's bound to show up somewhere. You don't drink?" he now addresses the drink order, his gaze on it dubious.

A smile gets sent to Suli when she delivers his cidar and then L’ron’s putting his attention back onto the bronzerider and he can’t help but laugh at the man’s notion of what it is that Jaya might be getting up to. A good solid drink of the cidar is swallowed down and then he lifts his mug as if in toast, “In that case, here’s to Jaya coming back a rich woman.” There is a quick twitch of lips, appreciation for S’las trying to calm any concerns he might have for his dark-haired friend’s wellbeing and then a laugh spills. “I drink. I just don’t do it until I’m staggering around and passing out in strange places.” Actually, the bluerider has a very low tolerance for alcohol but he’s not about to admit as much.

With L’ron lifting his glass as if in toast, S’las lifts his own along with laughter to greet those words on their mutual friend. “Ha, she’ll come back richer than she was leaving in either case, make no doubt on that.” He tips his glass then answers on the bluerider’s response on drinking with a wry “Strange places? I don’t recall a time where I’ve woken up in a strange place. By a female stranger, sure, but-“ – “Is this the one?” S’las’s words are cut off by a shadow as Ralik appears before them, all clothed in pale greys and an overcoat born of the north. S’las doesn’t finish his sentence, turning on the stool to greet the informer with a nod and a “Pull up a stool! I was just about the regale the lad on the joys of waking up in the arms of strangers-“ but Ralik cuts him off with “That won’t be necessary. Your presence, that is.” He turns to regard L’ron then before inclining his head in silent greeting, the man having already bid the bronzerider on his way and expecting him to comply. “L’ron, is it? Jaya has told me about you.”

S’las’s comment about being woken by female strangers draws yet more amusement from L’ron. Amusement that pauses, as does the path of his mug back to his mouth when Ralik slides up next to the two of them and a brow goes up when the man clothed in grey dismisses the bronzerider. “Uh, see you at drills I guess?” L’ron sends after S’las and then turns to Ralik with a shrug, “He could have stayed. I wouldn’t have minded.” A warm brown-eyed gaze flows with open interest over the other man and then he nods, “Yeah, that’s me. Which would make you, Ralik.” Quite the genius isn’t he?

Pointing to an empty card table for L’ron’s benefit, “I’ll be right over here, nursing my darling drink,” S’las answers on drills – the bronzerider clearly not done for the night. “When ol’ Shabbycoats there is done with you, and you want some company with that cidar, come drop your leathers over there at that table.” He tosses a wink at Ralik then, who is not looking none too happy about being dubbed ‘Shabbycoats’ before he heads off for that table. Once the bronzerider is out of earshot, with a severe draw of his lips that alludes to his dislike of the man, “I like keeping my work private,” is his explanation for sending S’las away. “Even the most mundane. This won’t take long, I imagine.” Grey eyes find L’ron then and he shifts to claim the vacated stool. Straight to business, “Jaya says you have need of me. How can I be of assistance in regards to your folks?”

Shabbycoats. That has L’ron trying very hard not to openly snicker. Not with the mysterious Ralik standing right there and so he winds up merely sending S’las a nod before putting his full attention onto the grey-clad man. The bluerider takes a moment or two, gaze dropping to the mug of cidar he settles with undue care onto the counter before him and then it lifts to Ralik. “Don’t know really,” he starts out honestly, “I wrote them a while back, telling them where I was and about…you know, all of this,” the Weyr, his dragon, Ciara, “and, well, I haven’t heard back from them.” L’ron’s voice drops across the last words with worry evident in his expression.

With Ralik sending a briefly dark look towards the bronzerider at the card table, L’ron gets his attention once he starts to answer on business. There’s only the slightest frown the more he hears, the man studying the bluerider along with his words in heavy silence. Grunting when the young man is done, “Do you remember how long ago you wrote them?” he asks, the informer going through the customary questions one asks to determine the sort of investigation. “Is there any emotional reasons for them not responding, such as, you left them on a bad note? Or would there be some other reason for them not possibly wanting to respond?” Tough questions, but the man gives them deftly, watching L’ron with interest as a hand dips into his shabby coat for a sheet of hide to write on.

L’ron listens in silence as Ralik poses his questions, nursing his cidar slowly. By the end of it, as the other man is drawing that hide out of his pocket, the young bluerider is wearing a frown. A few moments of silence linger and then a sigh is exhaled onto the air with L’ron lifting a hand to rub at the back of his neck. “I uh, kind of took off without telling them. I left a note though.” There he pauses to take another drink of his cidar, “Wrote them for the first time around…” cue the distant look as he tries to remember how far back that was, “six months ago? My parents are rather hidebound but I don’t think they’d not write back just because they’re annoyed with me.” At least he hopes not.

The hide out, Ralik flips free a writing stylus and is already scribbling notes down as L’ron answers. When L’ron say he took off and left home, the informant looks up at him from his writing and echoes, “Took off? And you don’t think they’re the sort to not return the favor and write back?” He appear a little dubious at this for a moment before leaning back and fitting the bluerider with a long look. Frowning, “Hm, do you know of your family being in any kind of trouble? Even the most smallest altercation?” he asks then, his writing stylus pausing on the hide.

Lips press into an unhappy line when Ralik questions him on assuming that his parents might have forgiven him for having left with nothing but a note to explain his departure. L’ron does however meet that long look sent his way with a lift of chin, “Sometimes asking for forgiveness, is easier than asking for permission.” Spoken like one born to the harper craft. Reaching for his mug of cidar, the bluerider’s hand halts mid-air and he turns an astonished look onto the other man, “Trouble?” Sounding incredulous for the idea for his parents are your typical salt-of-the-earth types that would rather put themselves out than another. Shaking his head slowly, “Nah, I don’t think so. There was this one time when old man Jorge’s ovine fell down our well but my father gave him a newborn kid to replace it and my mother made her famous redfruit pie by way of apology.” Through the fond note in the young man’s tone as he recounts the minor quarrel between neighbors, strings a touch of longing for hearth and home despite the new life he’s made for himself at the Weyr.

Now it’s L’ron’s turn to set Ralik with an intent look, a note of urgency in his baritone, “I really need to find them. You see…I got weyrmated not too long ago and well…” he’s dying to share the news with his family and introduce Ciara to them.

The words born from a harper’s lips get a slight frown of interest from Ralik. He nods to that, his hand returning to scribble something on the sheet of hide before he pauses on L’ron’s next answer. His stylus tapping lightly on the counter, “So they’re good folks, hm? Well noted. Still, could be something. How long have you been from home overall?” He can hear the longing in the bluerider’s voice and so he asks with interest. Then, catching the note of urgency in his voice, “Weyrmated and you want them to know,” Ralik finishes for him, nodding sharply and adding that to his notes. “Very well. I’m sure there’s no trouble to be had, as you say, but in the case that there is, I will send word. It will be a while before I’m able to come back south,” he adds, putting in the finishing touches to his notes before he straightens up from it, “but I know folks that come south all the time. They’ll be able to send you a note, either way. There will be no charge,” and he inclines his head to that. “Jaya has already seen to it.”

L’ron gives a firm nod of head for his parents being good people, pride creeping into his tone, “Yeah, they are.” There’s a long pause when Ralik questions him on how long it is since he’d left home with the young bluerider in a rarely seen display of being discomforted. His answer when it comes is spoken into the mug that lifts to his mouth, as if he’s ashamed to admit it, brown-eyed gaze kept firmly to the counter before him, “Over two turns.” Draining the last of the cidar there’s a warm smile in place such as is commonly associated with the smitten, “Yeah, it kind of seems the right of way things, you know?” For his family to meet his weyrmate. Setting the mug down, L’ron nods his understanding of Ralik’s next and then turns out a smile that’s laced with fondness when Jaya’s name is brought up along with the arrangement she’s put in place to his benefit. “She’s got a good heart,” he comments fishing in his pocket for a mark bit to make payment for his drink, “Just wish she’d believe that.” Musing out loud before adding with a direct and purposeful look sent the other man’s way, “If you ever have need of anything, Bal and I would be glad to do what we can.”

“Over two—?” Ralik begins to echo that but stops, watching L’ron for a long moment before he clears his throat and scribbles that on the sheet. Once done, the sheet gets slipped back into the coat it belongs along with stylus. Ralik doesn’t smile much, so his inclines his head on the matter of weyrmates and family and quips almost wryly, “I wouldn’t know.” On the matter of Jaya even, on her having a good heart, there’s a raised brow of interest in that one. “Dicoris, I hear, can be good to those that are good to them. She is different, I agree.” Now that the business was done, the informant gets to his feet from the stool at L’ron’s last words and nods. “I will be sure to convey the sentiments to my boss,” is his response, the flash of the smile there. “There’s not many dragonriders we meet in my line of work. Most don’t know, rather.”

L’ron at least has the good grace to look as chagrined as he should for having left making physical contact with his family for as long as he has. But there’d just been so much to see, so much to do and then there was Balkrith and weyrlinghood and before he knew it, two turns and some change had slipped by. Pushing the mark bit forward, the bluerider sends a lopsided smile Ralik’s way. “Isn’t that the way of most people in general? Looking out for those that look out for them?” As the other man stands to his feet, so does L’ron, a hand extended as formal ending to their business but he pauses and tips a curious look onto Ralik, “Your boss?”

Suli appears then to collect that mark with a nod for both men before she’s off again, and Ralik pats the pocket where the sheet of hide is hidden. To L’ron’s chagrin, “Some leave home for worse reasons,” is his reassurance for understanding with a small tweak of a grin. “You have an interest on checking on them. That’s better than not doing so at all.” Beat. “As for the way of people,” he goes on to say, eyes flicking on Suli as she leaves them, “Most, but not all. I usually deal with the ‘not all’ sorts.” Grey eyes find the bluerider when asked after his boss, to which the man answers deftly, “Serevan. He runs Nabol.”

A quick smile is sent Suli’s way and then L’ron’s focus goes back to Ralik the smile a little smaller but still there in appreciation for the reassurance the man tries to offer forward. A short chuckle greets the ‘not all’ comment but he can’t dispute the man’s logic. It’s what he says last, the reply given to the question posed that draws the most interest for despite having travelled with Indira and her band and having worked under Max in the stables, L’ron remains blissfully unaware of the beast manager’s alternate title. He’s not stupid though and figures out in short order that when Ralik says that his boss runs Nabol, he’s not meaning in the Lord Holder way of things. “Is he a good boss to work for?” It seems like a fair enough question to him.

“Far better than most,” is Ralik’s stout answer on working for Serevan. “He’s appreciative, and I will convey your own words of assistance for it’s him I work for.” He wasn’t sure if the bluerider even knew what Serevan was all about, but the informant seems to find some small amusement in keeping it a mystery. Eyes flick over to S’las then, who seems to bantering back and forth with the card table full of dragonriders a pace over before he looks back to L’ron and states, “I should be off. There’s a rider giving me a ride and has been waiting. Is there anything else you wanted me to look into?”

L’ron appears to be satisfied with the answer that Ralik gives on his boss and his usual smile drops back into place. “It would be our pleasure,” he confirms on assisting Serevan if needed. Tracking the glance that goes to S’las, a wry grin appears and he takes a step as if to accompany Ralik on his way out, “Nah, I’m all good. Ci will be wondering where I’ve gotten to as it is.” He’s not whipped; he simply enjoys the goldrider’s company. “Thanks Ralik,” genuine gratitude in the smile that is put forth and then he’ll head out.

With the business concluded, and L’ron offering to give assistance in confirmation, Ralik finally gives a little bigger smile before he steps from the counter. He nods on the matter of Ciara and is heading out with him, sending back over a wry, “Not a problem, sir.” And then he’s gone too, heading down the hallway into the shadows in much the same way that he came.

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