Love And Whiskey

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg Jaya.jpg Rocio.jpg

Date: 8/15/10
Location: EW: Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: Ahni and Jaya discuss love and whiskey at the bar. Things grow tense, and Rocio arrives just as things calm once more, and there is more talk of men and their desires.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Jaya's Bar

A dark, cozy room has been carved out of the wall on this section of the hallway. It looks as if it was meant to be an archive of sorts, but when the back wall caved in, it made most of it too low for efficient shelving space. Instead, the remaining shelves have all been pushed back against one wall and a large wooden counter - so new it still smells of tree - blocks it off from the rest of the room. A few small tables take up the rest of the place; simple chairs sit around them. It's bare bones and boring, now, but there's potential. It just needs the right touch.


The bar is close to closing on this night, but there's at least two full tables not looking to be emptying anytime soon. Both engaged in a heavy game of cards, the players around both tables are a mixed variety of weyrfolks and dragonriders. Suli must be working on point tonite, for there's very little to be picked up other than at the card game tables. With conversations at a low level, and Suli more into watching the games now with the night winding down, Jaya finds herself at the counter and immersed in a low conversation with a tall, non-descript-looking man wearing a long overcoat. He's passing her something over the counter, not looking in the least worried that anyone would hear their words.

Ahnika would have been here earlier in the evening to help when the place was busier, but having spent the day in the stormy lakebed helping to dig through rocks and mud and carry rocks, she was in no condition to entice any patron to want to come back. So a lengthy bath was in order as soon as chores were done, and then a quick bite to eat before finally arriving at the threshold of Jaya’s bar. She’s dressed, for once, not in her usual day-time work clothes. After her bath, she changed into an ankle-length skirt and long tunic that is belted snugly at her waist to accentuate her slowly developing hour-glass figure. Two long locks of hair at her temples have been braided and pulled back and bound together at the back of her head with a little ribbon, while the rest remains unbound and falls about her shoulders and down her back. As she enters, she slows her long-legged stride to an appropriate gait on her approach to the bar and Jaya, giving a polite nod and smile to Suli, though she doesn’t really expect much of the sort in return. She smiles then to Jaya, but upon spotting the customer at the bar, she veers off slightly, allowing them their space, and settling on a stool a couple over from the man. While she tries not to openly stare, she is curious enough about the patrons – all of them – and including the man in the overcoat, to give them all a speculative look.

"Thank you," Jaya could probably be heard saying suddenly, her dark gaze having settled on Ahnika the moment she arrived into the bar. While taking the thin package wrapped in hide that is being slid over the counter to her by the overcoat man, her gaze lingers on the Ahnika's approach to the counter just a moment or two longer than is appropriate before she abruptly turns towards the man. "Thank you," she says again, signaling an end to their meeting before turning on a heel and arriving infront of the candidate with a genial expression. Suli, having noticed the arrival as well, sends Ahnika a well meaning nod before she returns to her watching of one of the games. As for the man at the counter, he turns a lopsided grin onto Jaya first, then Ahnika, before he nods his farewell and shuffles out of the bar. "Nice, shuga," Jaya coments on her attire, her hands deftly sliding the thin package into one of her many trouser pockets. "Come by to dirty those clothes, or are you looking for something to drink?"

Grey eyes examine the overcoat man’s departure with interest without appearing completely nosy and in his personal space. She nods in farewell in return to him, though it’s entirely possible he was doing so to Jaya and not Ahni. Another glance is give Suli as the barmaid returns her attention to the gaming table, and then Ahni smiles back at Jaya, “Thank you,” to the compliment, and brightening, “It’s not like its Gather-worthy, but I thought it was nicer than wearing my work clothes here.” Then she looks down at herself, her hair falling forward then, covering up some of her shoulders, including her candidate knot. Then she lifts her chin to look at Jaya again and shrugs, “It can be washed. I’m here for you however you need me,” very slight emphasis on the word need, but the observant might catch it. And with this, she twists a little in her seat and looks over at the remaining patrons, smiling in a friendly way to any of them who make eye contact. No reason to scare Jaya’s patrons away with a scowl, is there? Suli likely has it covered, their drinks, but Ahni turns back to Jaya and says, “If you need me serving, I can serve. If not, then I’ll have a drink. Some of that wine you shared with me before? Just one glass, though, then I’ll switch to that juice, if that’s okay.”

"It complements your hair," Jaya notes, letting her gaze follow the man out before settling on the redhead. Her head tilts a little at her speculatively, coming to a decision about something and nodding to it. "Help me get their glasses?" she offers, nodding passed Ahnika towards the card tables. "I doubt they'll be ordering anything else. Well, the loser of those games, might, but I'll be kicking them out long before that happens." A wink is given to her then, and then the bar owner's moving to get away from the counter. Over her shoulder, "We can clean the mugs and then have a drink ourselves," she adds, sending Ahnika a lopsided grin. "I'll let Suli kick them out when the time comes." Suli hears that and is passing both Jaya and Ahnika a raised brow look. The bar owner's at Ahnika's side now, "I have that wine," she says this with some amusement, nodding once. "And the juice. Whatever you like, shuga." Perhaps odd that Jaya's so easygoing with the candidate, one would probably think, but the scarred-faced woman is probably not one to voice reasons why yet.

Unable to help but smile at the first statement, unexpected as it was, Ahnika even blushes slightly and murmurs with a small shrug to her shoulders, “Thanks. Foster da was—is,” she corrects hastily, “a Master Weaver. Kept all us fosterlings clothed. We didn’t have much, but what we had always seemed to do right for our looks.” She only has one gather dress, for example, but it is a good one. As Jaya asks her to help her get the glasses, Ahnika smiles once more, sliding off the stool and nodding as Jaya comes around and alongside her, “Sure,” chuckling at the comment of having Suli kick them out when necessary. Ahnika fingers a braided bracelet at one wrist briefly, and then moves on with Jaya toward the tables, “Are there different kinds of wine? I mean, other than just where they come from? Like there’s different kinds of juice?”

Heading towards the two card tables, "Fortunate," Jaya tosses over her shoulder towards the redhead as she moves with a little sway of hips. "My ma was really good at that sort of thing, too. Even was able to teach me a thing or two growing up before she died." On that note, she's at the closest table, passing a charming smile at the men there. The only one to look up from his hand was the one that was clearly winning - a blonde man with a rider's knot on his shoulder as he wordlessly passes his empty glass on over to her. Once Jaya passes the mug behind her towards Ahnika, the rider flashes the candidate a toothy smile. Must be his lucky night. "Do you get to talk to your folks still?" the bar owner idly asks as she, one by one, moves around the table to bend over and collect up the mugs for Ahnika to hold. Suli remains at the other table and seems far more interested in seeing how that card game ends rather than kicking -anyone- out, for that matter. "Got yourself a new barmaid, Jay?" one of the losing men at the table asks aloud as she passes him, his eyes briefly touching on Ahnika. The bar owner grins at that and pats his shoulder before returning to Ahnika's side. "Helping out," she briefly answers him, then to Ahnika: "Different kinds of any drink," she answers her question then, passing her three more mugs if she can hold them. "Red, white, spiced….though, I find the red richer in flavor - stronger, too, but it really is based on preference." Nodding for the younger woman to follow her with the mugs, "I'm more of a brandy girl, myself," she drawls with a short chuckle. "Even wine seems too tame for me, Ahni."

“That so?” Ahnika asks conversationally, watching Jaya’s hips sway and starting to emulate that walk, as the other woman talks of her mother, and then adds, “Oh, I’m sorry,” regarding her death. She is appropriately subdued regarding the death of Jaya’s mother, but only as far as they get to the table and that rider flashes Ahni that toothy smile. The redhead grins at him in return, a friendly smile just shy of flirtacious. And then she takes the empty glasses handed her while openly eyeing the card-hands of the players in front of her. She gives nothing away about their hands since the young woman really doesn’t know what is being played or how to win, but she tries to commit those hands to memory to inquire about later at least. She flashes another grin at the man who asks Jaya if she has a new barmaid and actually responds, drawling, “Here’s hoping.” On the tail end of Jaya’s response to him, and not seeming to notice any other looks that are drawn to her as she is handed more mugs and she adjusts some of where she holds the handles to better manage it all. She nods and follows along the bar owner, trying that sway to her hips again, and echoing, “Brandy girl. Tame?” The last is said with a lift to her voice and Ahnika grins at Jaya. “Maybe I should try some brandy one day.”

"Don't worry about it, shuga," Jaya drawls flippantly on the account of her mother, her shoulder rolling back into a shrug as she moves her dark hair back from those shoulders. "I was too young when it happened. Don't remember much of her save for bits and pieces. Like the sewing thing." The man that asks about Ahnika gives the redhead one of his smiles at her response instead of Jaya's, gesturing to her with his card hand. "Now -there's- a smile I'll pay extra for," he drawls back in kind, winking Ahnika's way before he turns his gaze on the bar owner. "Need more pies like her 'round here!" -"Then I'd never get rid of you!" Jaya banters back, slapping the man on the shoulders playfully before she and Ahnika move away. This time the bar owner catches the sway to Ahnika's hips, chuckling softly to herself before responding. "Ahhh, maybe you should stick to the wine for awhile, shuga," she drawls, planting the empty mugs on the table and bending over the counter to retrieve two washing rags. "I get you into brandy early and you'll end up chasin' the taste of it over reason." Tossing the washing rag back towards the redhead - the woman assuming she'll catch it with her hands occupied of mugs already - "Brandy and whiskey can be dangerous things, Ahni," she says this a little soberly, straightening up to look back at her. "Dulls the senses too much. Makes you do things you wouldn't normally do, sometimes."

The only response to the talk of mothers dying too early to make a more thorough impression is a sober nod, and then Ahnika respectfully lets it go, at least for now. The man’s initial response to her comment and smile earns him another smile over her shoulder, and then his second response has Ahnika dropping her mouth open before closing it and smirking at him. She’d put her hand on her hip, but her hands are occupied with mugs right now, and so instead she quips on the end of Jaya’s response, “You couldn’t handle this kind of pie, fella.” Apparently, this particular metaphor isn’t lost on her, likely something to do with Max and his own fondness for bubbly pies. Perhaps thankfully, she doesn’t go as far as saying anything about the danger of burning his tongue on this too hot of a pie, either because the euphemism doesn’t quite occur to her or she just hasn’t gotten quite that experienced with such kind of banter. She continues to sway her hips as she moves off with Jaya to clean the mugs, however, even after she realizes that Jaya has caught her, though she does have some presence of modesty to blush for being caught, chuckling softly, with a look of, ‘Just trying something new’ on her mildly sheepish expression. “Well, s’pose I should, I guess,” stick to wine that is, “At least until after the Hatching. I shouldn’t be getting drunk. One glass of wine, then, and I’ll stop there.” She misses the tossed rag quite badly, and sets the mugs aside to bend over and pick it up, hopefully not giving too many much of a show there, considering what could be blocking the view. “So can Love, though, Jaya. So can Love,” in response to what brandy and whiskey can do, and with another glance down to the braided bracelet at her wrist. Still, she says it in a way that doesn’t make it seem like she’s complaining about the effects of Love, and there’s even a slight flush to her cheeks at a memory before she clears her throat and starts to organize the mugs for washing so they’re all together and it’s more efficiently done.

There's appreciative, raucous laughter around the card table to Ahnika's response on pies, the man lifted up and waving his hand of cards a little at the redhead - seeming more pleased with the response than put off. "Looks like you're starting to get the hang of it here," Jaya notes, casting an amused glance back towards the men at the table as the laughter subsides. "Banter is good. Keep them wanting, shuga. They'll always come back for that." She seems to know from experience, the bravado in both voice and step seems to say as she settles against the counter. At regarding the blush for being caught in her swaying movements, however, the woman seems content not to tease about it - for now. "I'll fix us up once these mugs are washed," she says on the wine, putting action to words as she picks one of them up and begins working the rag against it. Talk of love and that look to the bracelet does lend the bar owner pause in activity, her own intense gaze seeking out the bracelet before they lift to spy those flushed cheeks. "Love is blind, shuga," she drawls with a little Bitran accent on that front, resuming her cleaning with a bit of guardedness now as she schools her expression into an obviously fake indifference. "I can still perfectly see while under the whiskey's hold. Love is a -different- matter." Setting the cleaned mug aside, "I wouldn't know," she continues to say quietly, studying the other woman closely now, "But it looks like you do."

“I’ve had some … practice lately,” Ahnika says with a wry grin for the bar owner regarding playful banter, “Though I’m sure you or Suli are better at it. More experience.” She glances back over at the card table, seeming pleased to have been able to make some sort of impression on the men at the table, even if it was just mirth. Ahnika then grabs one of the mugs she lined up and follows Jaya’s example on cleaning them. The talk of love being blind does give the redhead a moment’s pause and she looks back up at Jaya, studying her carefully before, resuming the cleaning. Not precisely taking the bait, Ahni does smile a little at her last statement, and then sobers as she says, “I’m sure it’s different in some respects. Love.” There’s a little pause as Ahni scrubs at something stuck on the glass with her fingernail, and then she adds thoughtfully, “Love may be blind at times, maybe,” her tone suggesting she isn’t too sure about that, but she is young and idealistic, “And I mayn’t know ‘bout whiskey, but I’ve seen more people in their cups here at the weyr than I have in my entire life, and the way they walk into the wrong hallway or a wall or furniture, seems to me like folks have a hard time seeing there too.” Then she shrugs, as if to say it’s not important enough to argue over.

"Suli don't banter with them," Jaya remarks, snorting with a chin nod over at the older woman that has now started taking up their empty mugs. "She'll even tell you that. I think she's just gotten too…ehh, less tolerant, in her age?" Which probably begs the question of why Suli was hired in the first place, but Jaya's moving on with a shrug of no importance. Another glass cleaned, another glass taken up. "I suppose," she states on love being different in some respects, though it's obvious that she's begging to differ. It's the latter comment that gives pause though, the bar owner shooting a long, unreadable glance Ahnika's way before sudden laughter erupts from her. Her head thrown back briefly in the motion, "Touche, touche," she drawls on that, inclining her head to Ahnika's point. "But I don't know if I would call that blindness, either. You can -see-, just…" Shrug. Another mug gets take up then, "Still don't know about love, though. I keep my heart separate from my head," and she frees a hand to tap a finger to the side of her head a few times. "Had one friend that fell so hard she became a complete different person. Lost my drinking partner in Nabol. Wrote a poem about it. A shame." She shakes her head to that, though it's with amusement that she says it rather than regret.

“Oh?” Ahnika asks with a glance for the tall, older barmaid, “That’s a shame. It seems kind of fun to me. The banter.” Look out weyr. “So, what gets her smiling then? Anything? Does she like sweetcakes? I make pretty good sweetcakes.” Aha. Ahni has found a problem that needs a solution, it seems, Suli’s smile or lackthereof. She moves onto cleaning the next mug in silence, contemplating Jaya’s words, grinning a little at Jaya’s laughter and then returning her attention back to the mug in her hands. “Well and so, Jaya,” Ahnika comments with a nod and a glance around the bar, “Separating heart from head must be doing well for you,” and she means this genuinely, not any sarcasm in her voice, “Look what you’ve got going here. But at the same time, I can’t forget my foster parents. They had themselves a right and good marriage. I can only hope to have a piece of what they had one day.” There’s another pause as she puts that mug down and picks up another, “Maybe it’s that Love is different for different people. It works right in certain ways for some, like,” she gestures down at herself, “my clothes here, but for others, it needs a different, eh, material and size and color?” to carry on the metaphor. “I mean, there are some people here that I know I could never Love, not like that anyway.” Though she politely refrains from saying who, and for that matter, leaves off any commentary about her friend falling in love and changing her, other than to say, “Love changes you. But then, doesn’t everything? At least a little? I’m not the same woman I was when I first got to the weyr. Are you?” She purses her lips at a particular spot on this mug, and then finishes it and sets it down, reaching for another and not looking at Jaya for any response.

Jaya bares her teeth in a smile at Ahnika's words for Suli, then tosses a dramatic show of a speculative glance Suli's way. "What gets her smiling?" she muses on this, for it clearly is a problem. Right? "Well, I think it's been awhile for her since she's had a man in her bed," she adds with some daring, sliding the look of mischief the redhead's way and lowering her voice at the same time should the barmaid hears. "But other than that guess, it -is- a mystery to me. She's from the Weyr, you know. Telgar. Or," and here she pauses, letting some of the mischief ebb off before adding, "she's in dire need of a friend or two. Not exactly sure. Our association is only…necessary." She's quiet a moment, studying the older woman before turning back to Ahnika. "Maybe sweetcakes will help? I'd -love- to see her reaction." Could be a negative one at that, but the dark-haired woman seems amused by it either way. As to separating heart from the head, her eyes roam over the bar, her lips drawing into a line. "Does well enough," she says that guardedly, finishing her last mug. "It's good to have an example to look to, shuga," she remarks on Ahnika's foster parents soberly, seeming to refrain from her own family life in favor of responding to the bit of love changing anyone. Straightening with the rag slapping over one shoulder, "I changed a long time ago," she answers that with some seriousness, showing the redhead a peek into who Jaya really is beyond all the bravado and masks she wears. "There's nothing left this Weyr can do to change me any further." With that slip of her defenses, one sharp enough would detect the anger and uneasy disquiet in her tone before she turns from the candidate and makes her way around the counter. By the time she's across from her, her defenses are back in place, and her bravado is present with her lopsided smile. "Ready for that drink?" she asks disarmingly, now reaching forward to take up the clean mugs for storage.

Continuing to clean the mug she is working on, Ahnika listens to Jaya pontificating on Suli’s lack of a smile, lifting her face from her work to drop that chin of hers in open-mouth astonishment about the comment of Suli not having a man in her bed in awhile. Then she grins at Jaya over it, and her cheeks flush a little more again. Her eyes drop to the bracelet on her wrist and then back to her work on the mug, cleaning it thoroughly. With the suggestion that Suli needs a friend and perhaps sweetcakes will help, Ahni glances back over to the other barmaid, frowning thoughtfully initially, and then nods a bit, the frown fading to merely a contemplative expression, “I’ll just make my next batch a little bigger and bring her some and see how that does.” She nods again to the comment about the bar doing well enough and the good example to look to, but Ahnika stops and looks at Jaya when the bar owner says she changed a long time ago. She keeps her grey eyes on the woman as Jaya finishes that train of thought, but her hands continue to work as if by rote, and with a last glance for the mug in her hands, making sure it’s good and well cleaned, Ahnika sets it down with the others next to it with a thud. Enter sledgehammer, Ahni style, never one to really consider how it might blow up in her face – like perhaps being slapped or kicked out of the bar. “What a load of runnershit, Jaya,” she says bluntly, which considering how infrequently Ahni cusses (though it’s getting more frequent lately), it might look and sound odd. Still, she doesn’t sound angry, just disbelieving, and honestly, it’s not that Jaya doesn’t sound convincing, as much as Ahnika just cannot conceptualize anyone remaining unchanged by anything for a long period of time, even if she didn’t already know that Max did Jaya wrong. “You’ve changed since then. Everyone changes every day, even if it’s just …” she eyes the bar briefly, “switching from wine to brandy. We live; we learn; we change. The only way to get out of that is to get dead.” She sets the rag on her shoulder, mimicking Jaya again, and then nods about the drink, “If you’re still offering, then sure.”

"You do that," Jaya seems content enough to agree on the sweetcakes, eyes going to Suli again. "Let me know when you do. I want to be present." It's perhaps a good note that Jaya was onto storing the mugs when that strong thud of her glass gets a pause from her. Not expecting the well-mannered woman to cuss so, Jaya's shooting a sharp look at Ahnika and the sudden words with one hand on a mug. She says nothing, letting Ahnika say her peace, though there's a sharp flash of proud anger in her eyes. The mug gets ignored now once, she's finished, the scarred-faced woman turning pointedly and fully to regard the redhead with hard eyes. Hands placing flat on the countertop and eyes narrowing, "What do -you- know about it?" she tosses back heavily, some of that Dicori temper of her simmering. There's a longer silence, the bar owner studying her before she expels held breath. "Look," she states, her eyes boring into Ahnika now with small warning. "The only thing that's changed me here is the fact that I've let the folks here make me soft. Not a good change. I'm just here to make a profit, shuga. Nothing else." Such stubborn petulance. Straightening, letting arrogant swagger into her step as she moves to grab two glasses for them, "I like that you aren't intimidated enough to talk to me in that manner," she goes on to say, setting the glass for Ahnika down with an equal thud. "But my limits only go so far, shuga. The Dicori clan temper isn't just a rumor." Fixing Ahnika with a look, "Best remember that, eh?" She sets the other glass down then, quiet for a long moment as she sets to getting the wine. Lookie, lookie. Looks like Ahnika hits a bullseye. Perhaps one can't punch at the truth, or she -has- changed after all. "Where did you learn to swear like that, anyway?" she asks dryly, flicking a look Ahnika's way as she pours.

It is toward the close of the night at Jaya’s and Ahnika and Jaya are at the bar where the pair have recently finished cleaning and reshelving mugs, and now Jaya is pouring Ahni a glass of wine. There are still a few card players at one or two tables, and Suli, the tall, older barmaid is more or less manning them. Ahnika leaves off responding to the bit about the sweetcakes for Suli for the moment, her neutral expression shifting to one of confusion and then mild incredulousness as Jaya counters with her hands flat on the counter challengingly like that. She may have hit it close to the mark, perhaps, but Ahni doesn’t seem to get why, at least not right away. She seems rather unaffected by the display, though most of that is just because Ahnika is the kind of young woman to follow a colorful insect into a feline’s den without really understanding exactly what she stepped into, which makes her time here at the bar probably all the more alarming for anyone who is particularly invested in her well-being. Someone a little quicker on the draw may have met that challenge sooner, but as it is, Ahnika just narrows her eyes at Jaya. Whatever she was about to say in response is forestalled by Jaya continuing on in her warning, and with that, Ahnika crosses her arms over her chest as she listens, her narrowed-eyed gaze fading to one of cool interest as she lifts one eyebrow at the other woman. Her gaze remains on Jaya as the wine is poured, and when Jaya asks the redhead where she learned how to swear like that, Ahni merely smiles wryly at the attempt, then shakes her head slowly. Perhaps sensibly, she unfolds her arms and takes a long sip of the wine and sets it down before speaking, “Alright, Jaya. I was tryin’ to make you see the facts of life,” as if Ahni was some wisened old woman, herself, “which you already admit you know – change is change – it can be good or bad, but it’s still there, going soft or not. But if you’re gonna go and bare your claws over it,” her tone suggesting she thinks it’s rather childish to do so, “then let me make myself clear, too.” She straightens, “I cuffed the ears of bigger boys and girls than you in my cothold who threatened me, and I ain’t ‘bout to start getting’ all knock-kneed over threats now. You too ‘fraid to talk, and would rather make threats, then we’ll have a go. You wanna be sensible and sit and talk and drink, then we’ll do so. Your call,” a pause, “Shuga.” And she arches both eyebrows at this and waits.

Rocio arrives, carrying her usual basket of dimmed glows, nested within the larger basket of fresh ones. The size difference really might not make sense, except to consider that one basket carries the other. She steps in, and takes her usual survey of the room, tilting her path toward the most nearby glow. However, the interaction at the bar, both people with whom Rocio is familiar, does steal the glowtender's attention. Both brows arch up over soul-dark gaze, and Rocio does a quick survey of the others here, before she'll sidestep in order to clear a chair-obstacle. The glow basket is set on the table, and Rocio situates herself so she can still see what's going on, while she changes the glow.

Ah. Once she pours herself a drink, Jaya affects a slow yet dangerous smile at Ahnika standing up to her. She takes in those crossed arms, those narrowed eyes, and those words in a heavy silence that at least seems to finally gets Suli's attention. Chin lifting with a derisive snort, "You really don't want to fuckin' go there with me," she drawls only too calmly, reaching for her own glass. "I don't give warnings first, either. You shouldn't throw such a gift like that back." It's the latter, however, that gets her. She must have something against being accused of being afraid of anything, for Jaya is at least thankfully, on the verbal attack: "Afraid?" The way that word is echoed, it's like delivering a blow to the face. Her defenses fraying at the edges, "I'm not afraid of anything, alright? Watch where you're throwing that word around, Ahnika!" Another bullseye. Eyes close and a hand goes to her forehead, slightly brushing against the scar on the side of her face as she does so before she opens her eyes again the downs the glass of wine in one throw. Her eyes go to Suli then, the older woman staring her down from where she is, and it's possible that no one's looking Suli's way when the barmaid gives the bar owner that full-on warning glance. Jaya's gaze sweeps over to Rocio's arrival, and that seems to calm her. From Rocio back to Suli, she finds the barmaid engaged in watching the card table once more. Shoulders rolling her tension away, "Fine," Jaya gives Ahnika the word, her gaze finally returning to her. "I can be sensible. For now, shuga." And she's pouring herself another glass. "But the warning stands."

Ahnika doesn’t immediately see Rocio, considering her relative position to the bar, and the fact that she is much more concerned with Jaya for the moment, and the potential swing coming. Ahni shrugs a little to Jaya’s initial commentary about her giving out warnings, “All I’m saying, Jaya, is that if you’re gonna make threats, you should know I don’t take threats. Tit for tat.” At the reaction to being called she’s afraid, Ahni doesn’t have the grace to hide her rolling eyes, but she does sigh, and her tone much less tense, “Come on, Jaya. Wake up and think about the world and people around you. Everyone’s afraid of something. Nothing to be ashamed of. Seren once talked of someone at one of the weyrs she was stationed at who was afraid of the color brown. What kind of ninny is afraid of a color, and what the shells did he do when he went to the latrine? Any fear is better than that, including being afraid of change or talking.” She misses any glance between bar owner and Suli and instead takes another sip of the wine. She nods then to Jaya saying she can be sensible and offers the bar owner a little smile even, “Good. Sensible and not blinded by whiskey or love,” she nods again, “S’good look for you.” And then either she notices the glows light shifting in the bar or she notices Jaya’s look at Rocio because Ahni turns then and looks, and smiles then waves, her shoulders seeming to be a little relaxed now. “Hi Rocio,” a pause and she asks, “Feeling better?” since the touching was the last time she had seen her.

"Could I have one of those?" Rocio's alto, murmuring, with a nod toward the wineglass. "Call it an appreciation for better light?" A slight squinting of Rocio's eyes might suggest she's smiling. This, and there's humor in her tone. She, too, sends a quick look over at Suli, but she approaches, lamp by lamp, toward the pair. Both women, Jaya and Ahnika, get the once over, but the bulk of Rocio's reaction is hidden by the cloth that covers her features. "Much better, Ahnika. Thank you." She does bob her head in physical accent to the words. And she'll change another glow with nimble fingers too-well accustomed to the task.

"Neither do I," Jaya drops the words on not taking threats heavily. The less-intense tone from Ahnika is able to help smooth of ruffled feathers, the woman finally realizing the extent of her outburst on fear. Less intense herself, but just as guarded, "Sure, everyone's afraid of something," she is easy to agree with that, her brows furrowing. "You just…it's not like that, Ahnika." Her frustration shows, shooting her barmaid another glance before she straightens and shakes her head of whatever thoughts assailed her. Forcing a grin now, "Nevermind. Not in the fighting mood tonite," she tells the redhead, seeming to regard her anew now. "You got spirit. I can see why he likes you." He. Max. She turns to Rocio then, finally addressing her with, "Rocio. Back to the glows, hm? Of course," and she's reaching down to get up a glass for Rocio and pouring the wine into it. "Join us if you've the time. Don't think we'll be coming to blows -this- night." She almost seems to suggest that the possibility of it happening another night is there, however.

Nodding once to Rocio’s response, Ahnika smiles to the other candidate, “Good.” She lets her grey eyes linger on the veiled woman a moment longer and then she turns back to Jaya, watching and listening to her as she finishes her peace. The redhead lifts one eyebrow to Jaya’s ‘nevermind’ as if to encourage her to continue, but doesn’t seem inclined to pursue it verbally, and so her eyebrow drops and her expression returns to a more easy-going one. She just nods, then chuckles at the comment about being liked by someone, “Same could be said ‘bout you. Spirit.” And then Ahnika sips her wine, realizing suddenly how much spirit Indira has too. Sensing a theme, perhaps? Ahni considers this a moment, nearly missing the statement about not coming to blows tonight and she gives the bar owner a smirk, drinking a little bit more of her wine. Then, after swallowing, she looks back at Rocio, “It’s really good wine.”

"Good. I hate blood. Brings back bad memories." Rocio will set her glowbasket on an empty table and step up to take the wineglass, and a sip from it, though that is awkward, as she has to draw the glass under her veil. "Thank you. E'ro? Likes her?" Eyes dart from Jaya to Ahnika, and back to Jaya, in question. "He Searched her. Not," Rocio turns to Ahnika with somewhat humor-narrowed eyes, "His dragon. But she is tall and gorgeous and outspoken and bold." Rocio nods, being short and veiled and often quiet. "I think men appreciate these qualities." To Jaya, "You're open. Congratulations."

Finally, there's a collective cry of both joy and upset as the card table Suli was watching concludes their game. Most of the men at the table throw in their cards dejectedly and finally rise from the table looking worse for wear as they toss over their marks and make for the entrance. Jaya's matching Ahnika's smirk over the spirit comment meanwhile, finally going back to nursing her wine. "Guess that's saying something about us, hm?" she notes on it before Rocio joins them at the counter and the mention of the bronzerider's name has her brows going up. Ooooh, here's a safe topic! "E'ro….?" and she's looking form Rocio to Ahnika now, expecting some sort of explanation for her confusion. As to the words on men, "Depends on the man, really," she relates on that, raising her glass of wine briefly in Rocio's direction before she downs some of it. "And thanks. You should come by more often. Talk about those bad memories of yours." Funny, considering how she nearly blew a casket when Ahnika was hitting too close to bad memories of her own.

The small smile touching her lips fades entirely at the talk of blood and with a little breath taken and exhaled—not quite a sigh—Ahnika frowns lightly. She shakes her head a little, as if preparing to protest drawing blood in any fight she’s a part of, she’s really more about the ears, anyway, but whatever she was about to say just simply dies away on her opened mouth as Rocio brings up E’ro, and then as Rocio continues, the redhead’s cheeks seem to make a very good effort of trying to match her hair. She shuts her mouth and then a moment later opens it again, and then shuts it again. This time, it stays shut and she apparently chooses to bury whatever it was she wanted to say in her wineglass, draining the last little bit. She rubs the back of her neck, rendered speechless for the moment, until she finally says, “Uh, thank you, Rocio …” shifting uncomfortable at such compliments, “So, how much for the wine, Jaya?” And seems to be reaching for her money, her expression one of discomfort and she doesn’t try to hide it.

"I'd like to. Come by more. But… I think bad memories are best left alone." Rocio intones, as she manages another sip under her veil. Rocio's regard slants over to Ahnika, then, and her reaction. "Ah. Another young man vies for your favor as well, Ahnika?" Teasing, perhaps. Rocio sends her glance back to Jaya. "Business has been good?"

Oh, the silence. Jaya's soaking this all in, especially since it now has nothing to do with her and -everything- to do with Ahnika. "Suppose you're right," she affects the right amount of regret for letting bad memories alone, but she's not taking her eyes off of Ahnika now. "Come by anyway. So, what's this about E'ro? I actually know him." Dark eyes go from one to the other, not exercising any tact despite the redness in Ahnika's cheeks. The question of the wine gets a brief wave of one hand. "Consider it paid for your help tonite," she says, studying her close and noting the discomfort. At Rocio's teasing question, the bar owner finally gets it. Lips forming an 'oh', "You don't say?" she's levelling this at the both of them. "Business has been satisfactory," she answers after pausing, inclining her head to Rocio. "Not where it should be yet, but, given enough time…"

Ahnika shakes her head at that, turning to look at Rocio, offering a small smile, “I tried to bury the hatchet with him, maybe see if we could be friends, of a sort, but I think he’s been too busy with sweeps or something.” She shrugs, “I’m sure he’s forgotten all about me, certainly not vying for any favors or anything.” She coughs and clears her throat a little into her hand, nodding to Jaya, “Alright then. Thank you.” And that seems to be all she’s willing to say on the matter for now. She slides off the stool and looks to be getting ready to leave.

"You'll do well, Jaya." Rocio prophesies. "Only place that serves booze. You are destined for success." There's another squint of her eyes, before she drains the rest of her own glass of wine, and sets it back on the bar. "Don't let me interrupt. I just started work, but that will make it easier." Whites of eyes emphasize the look toward the glass, before Rocio takes in both Jaya and Ahnika's expression. "E'ro… I'm glad you worked that out, Ahnika." To Jaya, there's a quick look, "Ah to be the object of so much male attention. But to both of you… Good evening."

Even though the words on E'ro is meant for Rocio, Jaya is nodding her head all the same. "So much male attention indeed," she's picking up on Rocio's quick look and words with a sardonic lilt, her gaze sliding over towards Ahnika. "Perhaps you're more suited for bar work after all." It sounds speculative at best, then she scarred-faced woman's downing her wine. Since it looks like both candidates were leaving, the bar owner straights up and inclines her head to both of them. "Enjoyed the talk, as it were," she says, though her gaze lingers on Ahnika longer. "Us girls should do this again another night. Evening, Rocio. Ahnika."

To working it out, Ahnika merely shrugs, not really certain that she did, honestly, as she hadn’t seen E’ro since she sent that basket to his weyr what seems like eons ago now. But the effort was made at least. “No, not interrupting,” Ahni says, “I should be heading out myself anyway. Especially if I have a bigger batch of sweetcakes I should be making now for morning,” the last is said with a smirk and wink at Jaya, and then a glance for Suli. She does frown a little with a bit more heat to her cheeks at the mention of so much male attention and whether or not she really is suited for bar work, and she shakes her head in muted protest before straightening and issuing a long exhale. “Same here. We should. Take care, Jaya,” she smiles slightly, turning to head out with Rocio and giving Suli a wave at the same time, in farewell.

The veiled woman returns Ahnika's wave from her seat at the bar. Then, taking up her basket again, Rocio will return to her task of glow-replacing until she's near the door. Then a quick wave back to Jaya, before she's out too.

"We're closin' up," Suli can be heard saying now to the last card table in play, her voice full of no nonsense as Jaya returns the smirk to Ahnika on the sweetcakes. "And yourself, Ahni," she returns the farewell with a nod, now collecting up their glasses to be cleaned. She passes Rocio one last grin as the woman leaves, then all manner of smiles vanish as she returns to her work in an uneasy silence behind the counter. Suli as well nods them off, and the last they probably see of her is her going over and literally plucking one of the card hands from one of the players.


Closing Credits Theme Music: Brad Paisley – "Whiskey Lullaby"


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