Not So Lazy Mornings


Ahnika.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 10/22/10
Location: EW: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Newly reconciled, Max and Ahnika sleep (in the literal term) together that first night back as a couple and the next morning wake up in each other's arms to a very hungry and annoyed Jhath. While redressing her wounds with numbweed and replacing the bandages, Max listens to Ahnika retell the rest of the events concerning Jinnet's escape before Ahnika slips out in a hurry to get back to the barracks and Jhath to her morning feeding.
Rating: PG18
Logger: Ahnika

It may not look very comfortable to the outside observer, but in fact, Ahnika is quite comfortable. Well, once it was clear they were both going to be dozing off, she shifted the angle of her head so her neck wasn’t at an odd direction, but beyond that she remains as she is, wrapped up in his shirt and sheet and nestled in against his chest, fingers of one hand interlaced with his. There comes no verbal response to any of his comments, though she does smile for the personal inspection one. Despite her fatigue, her mind has definitely begun to spin off in a few directions from the course of the previous night to this very night itself, so Max is asleep before she is, but not for long. Eventually she does slip off into sleep feeling safe and secure and loved and forgiven and knowing that despite the pain and the drama, their relationship cleared another very important hurdle and they grew closer as a result of it, even if they couldn’t really have make-up sex as they may have been inclined to do under normal circumstances.

Ahnika sleeps through the night rather thickly, deeply, having everything catch up to her, and so unless Max moves around a lot or the couple gets a surprise wake-up call from Waine or someone coming into Max’s office, Ahnika will feel the beginnings of Jhath stirring her awake, mildly annoyed with Ahni for leaving the barracks alone again, though not as annoyed as she is hungry, and so the green forgives a lot … just as long as Ahni gets down to the barracks as soon as possible for morning feeding time. With a small grunt and wince, the redhead curls up into a seated position, testing the bandages for any fastenings that might have come loose in the night.

Over the past seven or so it has become a regular occurrence for Waine to have to all but throw a bucket of water over the beast manager to rouse him from the alcohol induced stupor of the night before. So it is with neither one of the couple having thought to properly close or lock the stall door and with there being no possible way for the burly stablehand to have known that his boss hadn’t spent the night alone, Waine pokes his head into the stall right as Ahnkia is coming awake and rolling up into a sitting position. Cue the blue eyed double blink, followed in short turn by a wide grin, “Morning, miss.” And in a flash, he’s gone again, closing the stall door firmly behind him. Though there’s no mistaking the sound of chuckling filtering out on the quiet air of the still slumbering beast caverns.

As for Max, he’s still dead to the world. Until Ahnika moves that is. Brows twitch toward each in a frown, and mumbling something or another, he shifts, reaching blindly for her. She could even be mistaken for thinking he’s still asleep. And perhaps he was in that instance. However, at the bumbling intrusion, eyes still closed, his mouth pulls into crookedly sleepy grin dispelling that theory. Voice still gruff with sleep he gives out a low, and oddly good natured, “Fuck off, Waine.” And who can blame him really? The love of his life returned to him, and the first night’s sleep he’s had in turns that wasn’t disturbed by nightmares is sure to put the man in a better frame of mind than he has been in quite a while. Eyelids crack open and dark eyes settle on the redhead his grin having slipped into a lazy smile, “Hey baby.”

Ahnika doesn’t pout, whine, or complain. Not usually. It’s not really her M.O. for getting attention or things done for her if she needs something done. She’ll cry when the moment calls for it, but not really to try and get something as much as she’s just a very passionate, emotional creature. She’s also not one to enjoy being idle for very long. However, she’s not been sleeping well and she just got back with Max and instead of being able to enjoy a nice, lazy morning dozing with him, she’s got duties and responsibilities to get to, and Jhath was being impatient and pouty, and sharditall, Ahni hurt, whatever numbweed was applied over twelve hours ago had worn off. Unlike Max, the redhead was feeling whiny and grumpy. Fortunately for Waine, she was still too groggy with sleep to formulate some semblance of the human response she wanted before he left them in the wake of his chuckling. She mumbles something incoherent in a timbre that has a decidedly whiny quality as Max’s reaching finds purchase about her and she lowers herself back into lying down against him, warm and solid and safe, fixing some of the sheets for comfort while she pouty-frowns at the world in general. So much for ‘good morning’ or ‘hello my love’ right back. She closes her eyes and turns her head in so her face is against his neck, which is too awkward a position to be able to actually fall back asleep on accident at least. “Need to go,” she mumbles testily. Still, the frown slowly begins to leave her face for the simple fact that she’s snuggled back up against Max, even if it’s only for a few minutes more. "Waine's not still mad at me?" she asks a heartbeat later. He didn't really look mad at her, not with that wide grin and greeting.

Fortunately, with Max having woken in a good mood the slight whine in her tone and lack of greeting in return is glossed over, a warm smile forming instead, “C’mere baby,” Both arms wrapping about her when she settles back down against him and dropping a kiss to the top of her head as she turns it into his neck. He has enough duties of his own that will soon be in need of attention, but luckily nothing quite as pressing as a dragonet bleating about its hunger in his head. Having been beaten and battered enough times himself, his next is purely rhetorical, “You hurting, love?” this as fingers lightly caress over the elbow of her injured arm. Ahnika’s query draws a low chuckle from him, “Naw, but he’s gonna be pissed with me in around an hour so.” Not waiting for a reply to the question he’d put to her, he shifts a little as if to ease himself out from under her, “You can go when I’ve put more numbweed on those cuts. I’m sure Jhath will understand if you explain.” His tone brooking no argument, despite the fact that considering her mood she’s likely to snap at him for it.

“Mm,” Ahnika mumbles sleepily to his arms wrapping around her and the kiss to her forehead, which improves her mood significantly and releases some of the tension in her frame. To his question, whether he is looking or not, Ahni simply nods just a little against him. It could be mistaken for another nuzzle, though. “Said I’d be weak a bit,” presumably the Healers said, and Ahni, too sleepy to really govern her tongue right now continues without exactly thinking, “until my blood rebuilds itself or whatever. Lost a lot of it from my arm mostly. Deeper there. Probably wouldn’t have made it to the Infirmary on my own, without Zen to carry me. But yeah,” she pauses as she yawns, “numbweed would be nice if there’s any left.” She drops silent again, eyes still closed and unfortunately as he shifts to ease himself out from under her, she unhelpfully remains where she is, dead weight against him. Not that Max isn’t strong enough to move her and get up, but it’s the principle of the thing. She either apparently means for him to work for it, or she is just too groggy to really make the connections to understand that’s why he’s shifting. “I need to get Waine something to make up for his trouble over me … oh, but you have all my marks,” pause, “I’ll make him some sweetcakes,” another pause, “But later.” Ahnika finally slides off Max back onto the mattress if he hasn’t moved her already and draws the sheet up more over her chest, “I feel bad for him … And Net.” And Net? Uh-oh.

Eyes slide closed and Max would be in serious danger of falling asleep again if it weren’t for what she relays from the Healers. It does however take him a while before he responds, the frown for how deep the cut in her arm is and the resulting blood loss heard in his tone more than it’s likely to be seen by her, “Even more reason to take it easy today, love.” A low chuckle greets Ahnika’s uncooperative state as he lifts her slightly forward so that he can slide the rest of the way out of from under her. Rolling up into a sitting position, he scrubs his hands through his hair and glances down at her, “I’m sure he’d appreciate it…after mucking out the feeding pens all day.” Aaah, so that’s to be the poor stablehand’s punishment and why he’s likely to be pissed with the beast manager. Cause and effect, Waine. Moving over to his press, a jar of numbweed (not the one from the first aid kit) is taken up and soon the mattress dips with his weight as he returns. Setting it down to one side, he reaches for her arm to begin unwrapping the bandage, talking as he does so, “I ain’t taking your marks, baby. The Weyr supplies whatever we need for repairs down here and Waine already put in the requisition. So it’s taken care of.” Hands unwrapping the last section of the bandage still and a snort spills out, “Why the shards would you feel sorry for that idiot? You let him go, what more could he want?” Well, aside from continuing to live and breathe once his handler catches up with him.

“I took it easy yesterday,” Ahni mumbles in mild protest as he slides out from under her and she resettles a little against the mattress, trying not to wince visibly at the motion, “I didn’t do any extra physical training at all, just what was called of me to do by the weyrlingmasters.” Nevermind that she nearly passed out once, but she’s certainly not going to be bringing that up now. Then she furrows her brow, “Feeding pens? What? No …” she opens her eyes to that, “Why are you punishing him for what I did?” That’s like a certain dragon punishing a weyrling for a suggestion made by a dragonet, as she sees it. “Isn’t it enough trouble that he had to round up the livestock and make repairs?” She sighs, frowning at him as he unwraps her arm but not resisting. “Don’t be too hard on him, Max. It’s not his fault,” pleading Waine’s case. Her gaze drifts to the desk as he says he won’t take her marks and she sinks a little more into the mattress, “Hmm,” looking all dangerously thoughtful and plotting-like. Look out world. That look is lost when he talks about Jinnet and she frowns, “Because he was hurting,” after what Max and Waine did to him, “and because I lied to him and … sort of led him on … and he and Waine fought and got more hurt when if I had been able to use the fellis in the first place, none of that would have happened.” She closes her eyes again, and while he works on making her stitched up injuries feel better, she explains, “I told him to call me ‘Pheenie’ and asked him what he wanted me to call him and he said, ‘Net. Then he tried to convince me to help him anyway, even though he didn’t believe my story about being on the Bitran’s side, telling me that if I let him loose and got Jaya up to Bitra for him I’d be rewarded heavily for it,” and here she frowns and cracks her eyes opened briefly, “I wish I had known that they were here for Jaya,” despite that, actually, it made her story more convincing that she didn’t know, and was genuinely surprised to learn it. It’s the principle of being shut out, though, and Ahnika sighs a little testily (someone needs a mug of klah, it seems like, before she ends up biting the head off of someone important, like the weyrleader or something) and closes her eyes and continues, “He told me her real name was Bajaya Dicori and I’d be doing the weyr some good if I took her up to Bitra.” She’s getting some of the order of the conversation wrong, but at least it’s all there, so far, “Before he told me she needed to go to Bitra, I thought he meant he wanted me to bring her to meet him and his handler and I thought that would be a perfect way to lay in a trap for them, but then he said to take her to Bitra and I told him I wasn’t sure I could, but I could try. When I suggested putting her in a crate and having a dragonrider do it unwittingly, he didn’t like that idea,” and perhaps oddly, she must have had some kind of time to get over Jinnet’s insults to dragons and dragonriders or she just considers them compliments considering their source, because whatever the case, she’s not being all upset about it now. “He said we had to do this without dragonriders if possible. While we talked the deal out, I put some numbweed on his injuries, the ones I could see, and that seemed to help win him over, too. I asked him what I was supposed to do with Jaya once I got her to Bitra, thinking maybe he’ll give me a contact there to use, but he didn’t. He just made it sound like all I had to do is hand her over to whoever came for her, and that his Bitran boss, this … Vaput, he said, would have it all handled and I’d likely never ever see him. He made it sound like I really shouldn’t want to see him anyway.” She pauses to stifle another yawn (how’s that for feeling the real gravity of the situation?), and then she says, “Where was I? Oh, Vaput.” She quiets again, mentally going back over the conversation and frowning a little at where things sort of spiraled off there between herself and Jinnet, with her sobbing over Max and Jinnet promising to have him ‘knocked around’ a little if she let him out.

“The ‘masters shouldn’t have had you doing anything physical to begin with unless,” pausing as a thought occurs to him and he narrows a look onto Ahnika, “You were hiding this under long sleeves?” Dipping his fingers first into the solution of redwort he’d taken out of his press at the same time, his lips press into a firm line as he starts slathering the numbweed on, working carefully around the stitches themselves. “I’m not, love,” punishing Waine for what she did, “He disobeyed my orders firstly by letting you in there at all, and secondly, by disregarding the long standing rule of always working in pairs. He’s being punished for his own cock-up, not yours.” With a sigh Max wipes his fingers off on his shirt (Yay for the poor laundress that gets to wash that one) and turns a steady look onto her, “Rounding up livestock and mending fences is part of his job. You think I like having to be the bad guy? Baby, what we do is dangerous.” Much like fighting Thread is, “That’s why there are rules in place. If I just let it slide, next time someone could get killed,” pointed the look he ends that with as he starts wrapping the bandage back around her arm. A soft snort spills out as he turns his attention to the injuries that stretch across her chest and down to her mid-section, hands moving to peel away the fronts of his shirt that she’s wearing and letting drop off her shoulders, “You only did exactly what he would have done, minus the humanitarian act of treating him with numbweed and letting him escape. Had the tables been turned I can guarantee you that he wouldn’t have thought twice about killing you.” Dark talk for so early in the day. If she hasn’t stopped him, he’ll start with removing the long bandage as he continues talking, being very good about staying focused on the topic under discussion and not the pair of enticingly curved breasts presented him, “That night he and his mate broke into the stables and went after Renegade, they were both armed,” him not having been so at the time, “and the only reason I didn’t wind up dead, is because I was faster than he was.” That having been said he goes quiet listening to the rest of what she says, dropping the bandage in her lap once it comes free. Rough fingertips work as gently as they can as he applies the numbweed around the stitches and down the long wound. With a frown in place he glances upward, and with lips pursed nods, “Aye, they’re here for Jaya. I didn’t tell you because that knowledge alone puts you at risk,” as she’s probably already realizing. A grunt and then he’s correcting her, “Vaputero,” the Bitran’s full name. Something she’d said the night before stills his hands once again and dark eyes narrow lightly, “How do you know the name, Timekis?”

Ahnika bites her lip a bit at his realization that she’s been trying to hide her injuries from the weyrlingmasters, and then sighs in relief as he starts to apply the numbweed, “You know what they’ll do to me and Jhath if they find out?” Whatever it is, she considers it worse than the actual injury itself. “I’ll be slower, maybe, take things less aggressively, but I’ll be fine. Right as rain in no time,” she states firmly, trying to be reassuring. She lapses quiet as Max goes into explanation for why Waine is being punished and watches him a long moment before murmuring somewhat contritely, “Oh.” Then she moves a little to help him help her out of his shirt, closing her eyes but managing to brace herself against the sting enough for it not to surface on her features. “Kill me? I doubt it … fuck me maybe.” Jeez Ahni. There is such a thing as tact, girl. “He didn’t seem interested in killing me by the end of my chat with him. In fact, I think he half thought about coming back for me when he saw me get hurt. I think I won his trust, really. He even said he liked me and warned me against trying to switch sides like I was pretending to do because he didn’t want to see me get hurt.” She peeks open her eyes to the sensation of him carefully unfastening and pulling up the bandage, and then frowns as he explains about Jinnet trying to kill him and she murmurs, “Okay, so Net’s a bit of a dungheap,” so much for liking Jinnet, though the redhead with a big heart for the underdog is still hard-pressed not to feel sorry for him at least on the torture level, since she and Jhath maintain people should ‘fight fair’, even if Ahni can rationalize it enough not to nag Max about it since, after all, Jinnet wasn’t fighting fair himself, she’ll still feel a little sorry for Jinnet, too. But that’s neither here nor there for the moment, and she lets it go as the conversation moves on. “I guess my shock and surprise at hearing they were here for Jaya helped sell my story to him anyway, so maybe it ended up being a good thing,” she allows, and then looks from her injury he’s nursing back up to his face, “Vaputero? Huh. He said Vaput,” but she’s not arguing so much as just making the observation in case that’s important to the investigation, like only people outside the organization says the full name or something. What the hell does she know? She drops her gaze back to the stitches, checking for signs of infection and distractedly answers him, “Timekis? He gave me that name. Oh, right, let me explain the rest. It gets better.” She settles her head back onto the pillow as he works on her wound and mentally does a little backtracking, “He did say, Net that is, that he didn’t think his boss, I mean, the middleman here, his handler, was going to kill him, not if he could get to him first, he thinks, which is exactly why Jhath and I were going to follow him to their hide-out. I figured that’s where he would have gone first.” Oh wouldn’t that have just been a nice little tea party? Perhaps it’s good that things turned out as they did, considering what they probably would have done to her once they caught her, dragonet or not. “Or me and Jhath and Waine to follow him together, but … that didn’t really go as planned. Jhath was waiting in the treeline,” nicely camouflaged naturally, “for him to come out but she broke cover when I got hurt.” She clears her throat, “Anyway, so Net then wanted to know who I must really work for, and he started throwing out names, nnn,” she pauses, brow furrowing briefly as she remembers, “Kelarad in Tillek. Timekis in Boll. And someone named Borrento. I told him Timekis.” Everyone say ‘hello there’ to that dropped shoe. “I mean, it didn’t really matter to me since I didn’t know any of them, so just grabbed the name that sort of stuck out to me. Except Net seemed skeptical about that, so I told him that that’s who my man told me we worked for, and that I’d never met Timekis personally to really know. He went on talking about how Timekis, only he called him ‘Mek’ was a rival to Vaput and I really shouldn’t be trying to help one of Vaput’s men if I really worked for Mek and at that point it sort of sounded like Net kind of liked me. I mean, he was talking like he didn’t want to see me hurt anyway. So I told him that I wasn’t really doing this for Timekis, that my man had heard about him, Net that is, and told me about him when we were in bed and I thought that if I let him out, Net, that it’d prove to my man that I could be taken more seriously for this kind of thing, so that sort of made it look like I was kind of being a renegade of renegades and that this wasn’t a job done by one of Vaput’s rivals as much as just a loose sail on the wind and that seemed to convince him, I think,” another pause to swallow and she continues, “So, by that point I was done with his injuries and I found something to cut his ropes with in the tackroom and I was cutting his ropes. I had asked a bit about his handler throughout the conversation, but other than the code phrase, he really didn’t tell me anything about him, other than he was sure his boss could pay me well, that he was sure his boss wouldn’t kill him, and that he wasn’t sure he could convince his boss about my loyalty to join his gang. I thought if I harped too much about it, he’d think something was, you know, not on the level, so I let it go for the most part until he was free and then I pretended I saw Waine waking up through the crack in the door, and I suggested he pretend to take me hostage, thinking Waine and Jhath could follow us discreetly, but Net didn’t like that idea and instead just wanted to make a break for it, so I told him that was fine, and if I ended up getting recaptured to just keep going and not worry about me, I’d get out, and then after I said that, I asked him what he wanted me to do if he got recaptured, since they knew my face here and I likely wouldn’t be able to get back in to rescue him again, and that’s when he told me …” oh just get on with it already, “he said to look for a man named Passan and to tell him Net sent me and he said that I should ask around the farmers for Passan. One of them knows him and how to reach him. He said that if Passan wasn’t around to talk to that farmer instead.” She exhales and then says, “And that’s about it, really. We ran out and he tried to cut Waine and I got in between them and then Jhath came and broke down the fence to try and get to me, but she couldn’t fit in that entrance, and I had told her earlier that if something went really wrong to bespeak Tuorth,” handy that. This will likely not be the last time Ahni calls for M’zen through their dragons. Poor M’zen. “So she did, and woke them up and they came running, and Zen carried me all the way to the Infirmary while … well, I guess Net got away from Waine.”

"Aye," he states grimly with regards to the consequences she and Jhath might face if the weyrlingmasters found out. "Confined to barracks for as long as it pleases them," which would absolutely displease him. Having gone quiet as he works Max flicks a dark look up to her, "No doubt." That in response to what Jinnet would have liked to have done to her. "And then killed you the minute he figured out you were playing him." There does however come a dry smile for her having won the thief's trust, "You could probably charm a tunnelsnake out of its skin if you put your mind to it." Odd compliment there. Once again he goes quiet, nodding here and there and looking strangely relieved when Ahnika reveals that it had been Jinnet that had put her in knowledge of the name, Timekis. There comes an openly derisive snort for the thief thinking his handler would let him live after messing up so royally. "Right. Idiot." Spoken flatly and directed toward his former prisoner and not her. Approval greets Jhath having been waiting in the treeline for the escapee, "Nice one." Having finished covering the wound in numbweed, he bends and slips an arm behind her shoulders in a bid to help her sit up again so that he can replace the bandaging. "Kelerad?" Max blanches a little and then covers by clearing his throat and looking away back down at her injuries and commenting quietly, "I do. Take you seriously that is." A smile edged with a hint of sadness appears, "I was just trying to keep the two halves of my life separate, baby." Her that represented everything that was good and right with the world to him, and the seedier more ugly underbelly of life. And now, the two had quite literally come together with the latter having left its mark on her. If she'd sat up as he'd tried to help her do, he'll take up the bandage and begin to wrap it back into place as he listens. A sound of frustration sounds out for Passan's name being given and then brows lift, "A farmer, eh?" That obviously being new information to him. Slowly but surely, despite the fact that there'd been a few things said in the recounting that he'd not liked, an approving smirk pulls into place, "Ma's gonna have ball with you. You're a natural." Whatever that's supposed to mean. That smirk soon turns sly as he silently contemplates what to do with the excess numbweed on his fingers. Oh look, nipples! And if she's not been able to interpret that mischievous grin he wears and pull the shirt closed around herself in time? Guess where it's going!? On the upside, any arousing sensations will be short lived given the nature of the salve. Incorrigible brat!

The slumping, miserable look Ahnika gives at the thought of being confined to the barracks is made worse when Max gives Ahni that darker look for what Jinnet may have really wanted to do to her, frowning at the thought of him killing her. She didn’t think so, if only because she thinks Jinnet would spare her life for the simple fact that she freed him. Honor among thieves? Perhaps, perhaps not. But regardless, she doesn’t voice her thoughts at this point, merely continuing on, but it is the comment about her charming a tunnelsnake that generates a smile for Max and making that dour expression slip away. She continues relating events throughout his brief comments and looks all the way up to the questioning and blanch of ‘Kelerad’. At that point, she arches an eyebrow at him, but perhaps surprisingly decides not to prompt. Maybe it’s a test to see if he volunteers it on his own. With his next words on taking her seriously, Ahnika looks away from him and merely continues relating the conversation with Jinnet, apparently keeping her own council on that point for the time being. But the comment of his mother having a ball with her and her being a natural earns her glance for him again and a small grin, “So, I was thinking, we should start talking to the farmers and find the one who knows this Passan person and go from there, maybe even use the code phrase if you think we could come up with a reason for not knowing the counter-phrase that would be believable. Between all of that, we have more to go on, at least, than we did before.” We? What’s all this ‘we’ stuff? And that’s about when he tweaks her nipples with numbweed and she squeals, pulling away and curling up to grab the pillow out from under her head and swing it at his head, “Hey! Jhath’s awake now! Cut it out!” But she’s not too mad since she’s laughing and apparently Jhath isn’t traumatized either. She’s more annoyed than she was before, and if a dragon could sigh and roll her eyes, Jhath would be doing it right now over in the barracks on her couch.

Max meets that questioning lift of brow from her over the name Kelarad with an unreadable look and then he glances back down to where he’s fastening the bandage back into place. He’s just got her back and he’s not about to do or say anything right now that might change that. Other than to utter quietly, “I’ll tell you sometime.” Probably hoping he’ll manage to get away with sometime never. But then pasts have a way of coming back to bite one in the ass. The grave expression that had slipped unknowingly into position is almost quite literally whapped off his face when that pillow she swings connects with the side of his head and he makes a show of falling over onto his back, head near the bottom end of the mattress and eyes closed. “I think you killed me,” right, because the dead talk, “You’re going to have to resuscitate me now.” Mmhmm. Hard pressed to keep the mischievous grin from showing itself; he cracks an eyelid, “Was just trying to help.” Riiight. All joking aside and remaining where he is, both eyes open and set a long look onto Ahnika, “There’s no ‘we’ about any of that until such time as those stitches are out and you’re back on your feet again.” So to speak, “Then, and only then, will we put a plan together. No going off half assed this time. You want in on all this? Then you follow the rules as laid out. Working in pairs.” As an afterthought, or perhaps in relation to what she’d said the night before about having been scared when in the tack room with Jinnet, ““Remember one thing baby, if you ain’t scared, you’re dead.”

Ahnika will let the Kelarad statement go for now, perhaps some of what Indira and Zen have said about being patient has sunk in a little. His reaction to her smacking him with the pillow earns a smirk, but she’s not moving over to him. She is moving, seeming to be a little more limbered up on account of the numbweed of her wounds. Instead of moving to him, she’s getting to her feet, now naked, and walking the few paces to the makeshift clothesline where she gets her clothes off it and says, “I’m the last person you want trying to resuscitate you, Love.” There’s an odd quirk to her lips to suggest an attempt at smirking, but her tone is too serious to be really just joking. His conditions on her involvement further actually gets no argument, but neither does she seem all that enthused. “It’s okay,” she murmurs, getting dressed now, “I think … I’d rather just help you plan things out for now, and listen for any interesting news that might be helpful. Maybe you can find someone to play Pheenie’s ‘man’ to ask around the farmers for Passan and Jinnet for her, as if you’re a jealous lover who wants to find him or something … until you need me to be Pheenie again.” She shrugs, the idea more just something casually tossed out there. Planning is more her thing anyway. She prefers a straight fight to all this lying and sneaking around, really. Jhath too.

Max stays where he is stretched out on his back, arms now folded behind his head as dark eyes track her movements, a lazy grin in place. While she might think it goes to her statement of her trying to resuscitate him, it’s more likely to be for the wonderful view provided. Her tone of voice however, that draws a flicker of a frown and then he’s setting it aside to quip through a chuckle, “Naw, rather you than say, Waine or Yaron.” A brow goes up and he gives a dubious sounding, “Mmm,” to her not getting involved again before slipping into silence as he gives her idea though, eyes never leaving Ahnika as she dresses. A smirk forming for playing the part of the jealous lover because in all honesty, just how much acting would he have to do there? “I can’t do it. They know my face,” Waine, Yaron and Shijan’s too, “I’ll speak to Indira and see who else she has that might work.” Apparently having decided her plan to be the one to go with. Rolling up into a sitting position now and drawing his knees up to dangle his arms over their tops he sets a long look onto her and then states quietly, “I’m being serious, Ahnika,” using her full name in emphasis, “You might not feel comfortable with the lying and sneaking around, but you’ve got potential, an instinct for using a situation to your advantage, and that’s rare.” Pushing up to his feet, he’ll close the short distance and reach for her. “Please just think about it, aye?” learning the finer points of subterfuge from his mother, “If only to give you added advantage should you ever find yourself in that situation again.” And that’s what it comes down to for him, her having as much at her disposal as possible to keep herself safe.

There comes no real response to her being a better one to resuscitate him than Waine or Yaron, likely because she sees it for the humor it is. But Ahnika does nod as she continues to get dressed to his statement of who could play the part of the jealous lover, “I’d suggest Zen, but he doesn’t want to get involved. Said something about needing to stay out of it. Might be better not to risk him getting hurt considering Tuorth, anyway.” If she has any other suggestions, she keeps them to herself, and considering how helpful Ahni tries to be all the time more than likely it’s a matter of her just not having any other suggestions. She looks up and over at him as he uses her full name; that definitely got her attention. His compliment has a genuinely big grin blossoming and she looks really pleased. Really pleased. It’s not that she’s just getting complimented like that; she’s getting it from Max. That makes a world of difference and it shows. Tugging her tunic on over her head and flicking off some of the loose dirt, she furrows her brow a little, “Think about what? Helping you? Oh, we will,” because she and Jhath are a package deal. Her voice is firm and she smiles up at him as he reaches for her, not avoiding him, and in fact leaning more into him. “I’m just going to do as you ask and wait until I’m better and, so long as you let me in, and let me help you plan, I’ll stay involved under whatever conditions you want.” Now, there’s a deal she wouldn’t have allowed, most likely, before her close encounter with that sharp object in Jinnet’s hand. So, that can be counted among the good things that’s come of this. She leans a little to kiss him gently, chastely, and then says, “In the meantime, you can teach me everything I need to know, like how to bluff better and such. Right?” She clearly misunderstood who would be giving the lessons. “Jhath is starving, Love. I need to go. Thank you … for forgiving me and still loving me and … the numbweed …” She grins and kisses him again.

To Zen not wanting to be involved, “Aye, I know. We spoke a few sevens back.” In a bid to protect his friend’s right to privacy on the matter, he doesn’t go into detail as to why it is that he’d spoken to the bronze weyrling about it in the first place, other than to state quietly, “He’s…had trouble before.” And then leaves it at that. That big grin Ahnika wears draws a warm smile from Max, before he corrects her misunderstanding, “Think about going to my Ma for lessons on how to keep a straight face while lying through your teeth as if your life depended on it, because one day, it might just…again.” Not something most would see as an asset but given their on and off line of work, a necessity to be sure. Watching as she flicks the loose dirt off of her tunic, he belatedly bends back to his mattress and retrieves the shirt of his she’d been wearing and holds it out to her, “Reckon this is a little cleaner.” Trying to be helpful there. Either that, or he just likes seeing her wearing it. Whether she takes it from him or not, he greets that kiss from her in as chaste a manner as he can given all the recent events and then smiling down at her, “Promise, baby.” That to keeping her involved. “Planning’s…not really my thing,” no duh! He’s more the come-out-swinging-get-it-done guy. Nodding to her needing to go he dips his head and the next kiss is met in more intense form, his hand slipping from her back to cup the side of her face gently, deeper emotions at play rather than a heated response to those soft lips under his. Breaking it, dark eyes set an intent look down onto, “Thank you for giving me a second chance, baby.” Gruffly spoken for the heartfelt sincerity behind them. And then he’s releasing her stepping back, fingers starting to work on buttoning up his shirt that had remained unbuttoned from the night before “Go see to Jhath and…” a smile appears as he glances up from the task, “thank her for me?” For having done what she could that fateful night.

Ahnika doesn’t seem surprised or disappointed or disapproving about Zen, nor does she push, expecting Max to tell her whatever she needs to know to help him with planning things or be a part of things as needed. She knows he knows where she stands on that level of disclosure now. Instead, she says, “I’m not surprised. Zen is a walking bundle of trouble,” one of the biggest examples of the pot calling the kettle black to date, at least in Ahni’s case, and she adds, “or at least he was before Tuorth,” the jury is still out on how Tuorth will impact that when he becomes an adult. “I could tell that the moment I clapped eyes on him, which is why I wouldn’t trade kisses with him for hunting lessons as he suggested.” Beat pause. “Trouble.” She doesn’t seem inclined to elaborate why she thought that, and perhaps it’s best that she doesn’t. Especially since they just got back together. Then she blinks at him once. “Oh, your mother. Yes. No, no, no need to think about it. If that’s who you want me to go to for it, I will.” Only too happy to, really, considering her high regard of Indira. She just didn’t want to assume. “That’ll work great, really.” They can talk more about Max and babies. Ahem. She grins a bit and takes the shirt for him, “I’ll get this laundered for you.” And there’s a pause as she then leans a little more into him. “I bet you’re better at it than you think,” on planning, she says, “just consider me your sounding board and you, mine. We’ll make the best of teams.” She grins, and then the grin fades as she closes her eyes and yields to that much deeper, second embrace. Her eyes open and she steps back, slightly breathless, watching him button up his shirt. After a moment’s pause, she says, “Jhath says you’ve nothing to thank her for. It was her honor, privilege, and duty as far as she is concerned, and … fun. Well, she says it was fun all the way up until I started weeping and got hurt,“ she bites her lip as her mouth runs off the restating of events and she mutters, before leaning forward and giving him a quick brush of her lips to his cheek, “Jhath’s patience is nearly at an end, though.” She chuckles, but it’s a slightly nervous sound for having admitted she’d wept while talking to Jinnet, and she makes a break for the door, hoping he won’t stop her for the sake of Jhath. In her rush, she completely forgets the items she left on his desk that she had been returning plus her coinpurse of marks, and including the letter though it’s not really needed anymore.

To Max’s credit, he does a fairly decent job of maintaining a straight face when she calls Zen a bundle of trouble, even giving a sober nod of agreement, although that probably has more to do with the bronze weyrling having tried his luck at trading kisses for hunting than anything else. Clearing his throat, he does however note in gentle tone, “There’s more’n a few that’d say you’re in need of a mindhealer for staying with me. And he did save your skin when you needed it,” twice actually if you count the time Zen came to him about Phineus having been following her around and look how that turned out. “So maybe cut him a bit of a break, aye? Life ain’t black n white, baby. It’s a whole mess of grey,” sticking up for his friend and likely at risk of getting scowled or pouted at. That having been said a smirk appears for pointing her in his mother’s direction, “She trains the informants.” Had he any idea what just went through her mind with regards to discussing him and babies in the same breath with his mother, he’d probably go drown himself in a vat of beer. A low chuckle meets her words on his planning skills, or lack thereof at times, “Mmm, consider you a whole lot more, but sounding board will do for now.” And there’s that roguish grin again, right up until she conveys Jhath’s message in return and he remembers himself, or more to the point, the dragonet listening in on them. A light frown forms at talk of her having been crying and he opens his mouth to make query on that point and then Ahnika’s kissing his cheek and is out of the door before he can even shut it properly. Hands to hips he stares after her, dark eyes swing from the doorway, to the items and marks left behind on his desk and then over to his mattress, sweeping a hand through his hair as he tries to take everything in that had occurred over the past hours. A long breath of air exhales, one that he’d been holding deep within ever since he’d first walked into his office and found her curled up in his bed. “Boss!” Waine’s urgent shout snapping him out of his reverie, “Them herdbeast’ve broken out the top corrall!” Aw crap! Back to reality. Quickly shoving feet into boots and taking up his hat, the beast manager is already shouting out orders as he exits the stall and heads on out to deal with the first ‘crisis’ of the day, his stride just that bit more confident, his head held just that little bit higher and is heart once again beating strongly in his chest. She still loved him!

To Max’s defense of Zen, Ahnika gives him a mildly confused and incredulous look. To her way of thinking, she was cutting Zen a break by virtue that she wasn’t shocked or dismayed at his having a darker past. “If I wanted to give him a dressing down,” odd choice of words there, Ahni, “for his past, I’d have done so by now, Max, but I’ve yet to twist his ear.” She pauses, looking ceilingward, “I think.” And she seems happy to leave it at that for now, considering the rush she’s in to get to Jhath and the barracks. Apparently the comment that she’s in need of a mindhealer for her continued romance with Max isn’t really given much thought. So either she doesn’t even want to dignify it with a response, or she simply quietly agrees. The explanation about his mother just gets a nod and a look of understanding, as if another piece of some master puzzle has slid into place for her reality, but it’s his comment about considering her more than just a sounding board that earns a grin. It is only once she is fully out in the bowl and making her way to the barracks with Max’s shirt over her good arm that she realizes she left everything else behind. At first she is irritated, until it strikes her as the perfect ‘excuse’ to go see him again later. Well, not that she needed an excuse anyway. With a grin and a bit of a bounce to her own step, she clutches his shirt against her even more tightly. They were back together again. All was right with the world. He just might not get his shirt back at all.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Lady Antebellum - "I Run To You"

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