Minding Duty


Jaya.jpg Jonavan.jpg Hope (NPC'd by Jonavan)

Date: June 18, 2011
Location: Jonavan's Room, Healer Hall, Fort
Synopsis: Jaya lets Jonavan know that his sister went south to help support Olira against Vaputero. Jonavan is not pleased that Jaya didn't tie her up to keep her from going.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

By the time it was dinnertime, Evie has been gone for hours. Jaya stayed away from Jonavan's room as much as she could after that meeting, touring the corridors until the time came where she couldn't hide any longer. She had given Evie her head start, as much as could be given, and so now she had to return to the room to see if Jonavan and Hope had returned. It was also likely that the two were already down to the dining hall, which the woman with her bruised face was not going to make her appearance there until the last person leaves.

Jonavan wasn't inclined to wait for Jaya, even if there wasn't a hungry toddler to see to. He half-assumes she's out drinking and tearing up some Fortian bar by the time he opens the door and escorts Hope in. They're making slow progress because Hope is standing on Jonavan's feet, and he's bent down, holding her little hands and taking what, for her, is huge giant monster steps. She must find the whole thing hilarious, because she's giggling infectiously.

Jaya was in the process of sewing what she had started earlier for Hope when the toddler's laughter gets her attention. She watches, her fingers in pause, as the two make their odd procession into the room with some interest on her face before she sets the sewing tools to the side of her on the couch. Silence continues as she watches how Jonavan is with Hope, some semblance of a smile touching full lips fleetingly before she breaks the moment a little by announcing her presence. "Ate already?"

Gruff in contrast to Hope's giggles, Jonavan replies with a short, "Yeah." He swings Hope up and off his feet, setting her down on her own. "Go feed Chicken-Shit," he sends her off, straightening as Hope rushes to do just that. He glances briefly at Jaya, long enough to register the smile, but his gaze doesn't linger and he moves past to oversee Hope feeding her pet. "Day alright?" Perfunctory small-talk.

Jaya watches the two of them, and once Hope rushes off, Jonavan gets the brunt of her study. His short answers seems expected for she doesn't counter any of them, merely looking away and returning to the project she set for herself once he moves away. "Fine," is her short answer back, her fingers moving over the fabric she was using to make something decent for Hope before she adds, "Your sister came by."

"Anymore and Chicken-Shit will burst," Jonavan intercedes; Hope, sing-songing, is counting out handful after small handful of grain for her beloved pet. "Feathers everywhere." He could get more graphic but luckily the child stops. He'd be perfectly happy pretending Jaya's not there, except he cannot ignore the remark about his sister stopping by. "What'd she want?"

Jaya could probably tell that she was being ignored, and the woman was not liking it. She watches him watch Hope with slightly narrowed eyes, choosing not to answer him right away before she shakes her head and starts to put the sewing utensils away. Setting them down into a wooden box she kept in her yellow carrysack, "To see you," she finally answers coolly, arranging the needles in the box without looking at him any longer. "And me. To check out the rumors and all." Beat. "She's gone, though. Gone south." It's given too casually as she gets off the couch, closing the lid on the box and dropping it into her carrysack.

Oh, rumours. Discussing other people’s folly makes Jonavan more expansive, though he still studiously watches Hope rather than converse with Jaya properly. “There’s a new one out – apparently you’re a disgraced daughter of the Southern Blood who I miraculously cured from firehead and now you’ve come to thank me.” Jonavan doesn’t specify just what ‘thanking’ him involves, but it’s not like it’s hard to guess. “Not sure where Hope fits into that one, though – chicken stays in the crate.” He repeats this several times each day, and still Hope deviously tries to set the bird free in the apartment. He keeps his eye on her until Jaya’s last comment causes a break in his attention. Jonavan lifts his head and looks at the woman squarely for the first time since entering his quarters – perhaps the first time since that ill-fated evening not so long ago. “Now why,” he starts calmly, deliberately, “would she go south after coming here and having a conversation with you?”

"I suppose that one's better than the truth of there being a thief in their midst," Jaya is lofty and cool in tossing back, slinging the carrysack over one shoulder. When Jonavan finally looks her way, the Bitran is busy securing her carrysack straps about her shoulder. When his question comes, it's expected as well, and the woman keeps her tone lofty and non-chalant. "She asked. She wanted to know why I and Hope were up here, and I told her. Apparently she has investment in the very woman whose son belongs to my former boss." Then she looks over her shoulder towards him before adding, "Tried to stop her, but she's as bullheaded as you are. Must be a family trait. Your sister doesn't like to heed warnings, nor caution."

The carrysack registers, but Jonavan is otherwise occupied and so it passes without immediate comment. “And you let her?” His calm is starting to drop away quickly as he throws out that incredulous question in Jaya’s pause between words. Jonavan has a hard stare, the complete reverse from his studied avoidance of meeting Jaya’s eyes. “Might as well be describing yourself too – how hard did you really try?”

"I let her?" Jaya turns to face Jonavan on those words, her arms coming to a fold across her chest. "No, I didn't. I tried like I said, shuga, but she wasn't buying. Called it her duty as a mindhealer, or something, or that Olira needed the support. What was I to say to that?" Shoulders lift and fall mechanically to convey her helplessness in the situation she was put in, the barkeep shaking her head. "As to how hard? Hard enough." Stepping up to the masterhealer then, "I told her what he's like, what he could be like…what he would pull if she was not careful, but she wasn't hearing that. What did you want me to do, knock her out and tie her up?"

Jonavan doesn’t move when Jay steps towards him, tension apparent up close in the clenched line of his jaw. “There’s an idea.” His frown deepens, displeasure writ large. “She’d be pissed as a half-mad watchwher but at least she wouldn’t be on her way to getting herself killed – or cut like you.” He looks pointedly at Jaya’s scar before looking her in the eye again. Although the man hasn’t actually heard the story of Olira and Vaputero, he puts things together quickly, surmising where Evie’s role lies between her frequent visits south and now Jaya’s flight north. The deductions leave Jonavan unimpressed both with his sister and Jaya. “Fuck her duty. It doesn’t extend to putting herself between a victim and a rapist, and you should’ve known that even if she has too much bleeding-heart sympathy for her own damn good.”

Jaya falls silent in line of his displeasure, the barkeep having expected it the more Jonavan speaks. She says nothing when he puts two and two together before drawling, "Her need for duty seems to be the same as yours," is all she gives to it all with the barest lift of her brows before she turns away. "Is she wants to run crazy, it's not my place to tie your sister up. Only to tell her what to expect. I'm not your sister's keeper." She throws a cold look over her shoulder at him as she steps away.

The comparison draws a sharp negation. “No it isn’t. I like the challenge and couldn’t care less about the people. She’d substitute herself if she thought it did any good, but it doesn’t do a single sharding thing. There’s always someone who’s been abused. I’d rather it wasn’t my sister.” Jonavan stands in place, speaking rapid-fire to Jaya’s back as she turns away from him, bluntly callous and hardly seeming to care that his words cast him in a misanthropic light. His voice comes low and tight as he reaches out in the attempt to capture Jaya’s wrist, meaning to spin her back towards him so he can deliver his accusation full-force, to her face. “You’re not her keeper, but you’re the reason this has all gone to the south. It’s your fucking fault.”

Jonavan’s not the sort to raise his voice when angry – which he most certainly is judging by the hard stamp of his expression – but children pick up tone and tension regardless. Hope, acting out in nervous energy and going unwatched, releases her pet chicken into the room.

Jaya was in the process of walking away when Jonavan catches her by the wrist. He succeeds in turning her back to deliver his accusations, the barkeep having fallen silent in light of his rapid-fire words that did indeed cast him in a shady light. Head tilts slightly to the side in the face of such accusations, seeming to weigh her own response to that with the slightly narrow gaze. Looking him over idly, one could tell that she wanted to bite back and toss cutting words like he does, but something holds her back. Finally, "It is," she seems to agree with him, her chin lifting with her pride. "All of it. Care to throw me out? My stuff is already packed," and she lifts the shoulder mechanically in indication of her carrysack. "Wanna throw all your biting words at me? Then do it and be done. I have a dinner to lift." It's all said woodenly, as if the words were rehearsed.

Without Jaya acting the ready opponent, Jonavan holds onto his anger through will alone. “That’s it?” His gaze falls as, suddenly remembering that he’s still holding Jaya’s wrist, he lets go as if burnt. The flutter of feathers caught out of the corner of his eye makes him remember Hope, who is half-occupied with her avian but anxiously watching the adults. He doesn’t scold her for loosing the chicken; does not, in fact, say anything for a long moment. Glancing back at Jaya, the man sounds strained but subdued, anger at a simmer, but something almost unrecognisable colours his tone and mien – Jonavan is worried. Maybe more than that: scared. “Kicking someone out loses its effect when they’re offering to go.” Jonavan being who he is, the apprehension is muted under wryness, though it’s only half-hearted, if that. He doesn’t directly respond to the rest of Jaya’s remarks, but perhaps not saying anything is answer enough.

The man’s conflict come to the fore when he glances at Hope again. “I promised Max.” Jonavan’s dilemma. Who do you pick – the family you’re born with or the family you choose? He moves to the sofa and sits heavily. “Fuck.”

"That's it," Jaya dogs his words, stepping close, her chin lifting in defiance. "What were you expecting, a fight? I told you," and her dark eyes blazes on his own, "that I am done fighting you, Jonavan. At least verbally. Next time will be my fist. Don't push me." When he lets her go, she steps back, keeping that defiant tone when he speaks on kicking her out. She could detect the fear, the worry. Her features barely lessen, however, though she does offer to his last, "I cannot answer that, but Hope still has me, remember?" and a hand presses to her own chest in emphasis. Dropping her hand then, "Even if you go after her, what would you do? You can insult me, but insulting him? Evie would be the least of your problems." Arms fold across her chest then, watching him on the couch - gauging him.

Verbal sparring is about as close to real relationships with people as Jonavan gets. He hardly knows how to relate otherwise, which is perhaps what keeps him silent when Jaya refuses to play along. That, and a whole separate issue to be preoccupied about; later, he’ll think about the whys and the wherefores and the possibility of drawing her fire once more. Now, though, Jonavan restlessly drums his fingers against his leg and tries to think clearly. “Hogtie her and drag her back?” He turns Jaya’s earlier remark into a plausible path to follow. “You think I should just sit here?”

As much as Jaya wants to comfort him and sit beside him, she knew such efforts would be waste. She stands there, arms folded, her heavy carrysack slowly starting to slide down her shoulder from standing in one place too long as she listens. She remains aloof because Jonavan has pushed her to be so, and so his initial guess gets a brisk, "She'll likely fight you the way you fight me. I doubt she'll leave off her crazy plan willingly." Looking about the spacious room, her dark gaze lingering on the room where Hope is to be, "If you leave after her, I think Max would understand," she gives, turning her gaze on him then with a slight downward tilt of her head. "Evie is your family. You will not forgive yourself if something were to happen to her. Go with your instinct."

“I’m more stubborn than she is,” Jonavan mutters, somewhere between truth and threat. He stares across the room, hard and uncompromising; the look ebbs only a limited amount when he leaves off his scrutiny of the far wall and looks again to Jaya. “Or you,” he interjects with an addition to the tally of people he won’t forgive. Still, her words are met with more consideration than anything else, and a moment later he rises with a decision.“I’m going for a walk.” The decision is currently limited to that. “Watch her, will you? I’ll have something sent up.” He heard Jaya’s remark on going to ‘lift’ her dinner. “Or,” voice low; Hope’s still listening, “you can eat her bird.”

Snorting to the first as she rolls her eyes a little before looking away, "We know that much," is Jaya's muttered response to that one before Jonavan falls silent and she returns her gaze on him. She doesn't break the silence either, watching him weigh his options before he puts in that he would not forgive her as well if something were to happen to Evie. Her voice as stone, "You wouldn't be the first whose life I've fucked up, nor the last. I'm from the lands, shuga." Carrysack slips down to the ground then when she unfolds her arms, once Jonavan announces that he was going for a walk. She says nothing to watching Hope, since that was a given, and she moves toward the door of the room where Hope is in with her carrysack being left on the floor. There's a faint twitch of brows on hearing Jonavan offering to send food up, and his latter gets a dry, "I'll be sure to leave the bones spread all over your bed. It's courtesy, where I come from."

Jonavan has never minded Jaya's allusions to a past life of crime and the ways when it came to the fore until now, with Evie drawn in. Restlessness streams off him as he moves towards the door, not stopping to pick anything up on the way. "People fuck each other over plenty in Hold and Hall too." Which doesn't lessen his blame for Jaya having brought a seasoned criminal down on their heads, just moderates it through comparison. With his hand on the doorknob, he suggests further use for the chicken bones. "Tell fortunes while you're at it. Just so long as Hope doesn't end up with a bone stuck down her throat or through her nose. Do you do that in the lands, too?" Opening the door, Jonavan heads out with the words, "Back in a bit."

Leaning by the door now, "Is that so?" Jaya drops on Jonavan for his first rejoinder, arms folding again as she nods. "Huh. Guess you really do learn something new everyday." She ducks her head around the door then to watch and see what Hope was doing as Jonavan answers on the poor chicken, his jibes getting a sharp, "Bones through noses? Think I heard somewhere up north that they do. Usually means they're handfasted." The sarcasm is strong as she meets his gaze nodding him off towards the door with her bruised nose before she's watching after the toddler once more.

"Two's a bit young to handfast, so try to restrain yourself," is Jonavan's last parting shot as he leaves to pace and think and find a sandtable to start brainstorming his options on what to do about Evie.

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