Old And New Habits


Jaya.jpg Jonavan.jpg Suli.jpg

Date: Oct. 18, 2010
Location: Lake Shore, EW
Synopsis: Jaya drops in on Jonavan, though she wasn't expecting to see him on the shore in the morning. The easy banter and Q & A sessions continue over breakfast.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

Morning sunlight reflects off the surface of the water as Rukbat crests over the bowl walls. A group of children are playing to one side in the shallows, which means that Jonavan's parked himself to the other side, still in range to hear their shrieks but far enough away to deny responsibility. He's brought his breakfast with him to picnic outdoors: sweetrolls and a mug of something that is probably klah.

Mornings don't always see the bar owner outside beyond her bar, but this was one of those days where one needed the fresh air. She's walking down the shore with her bodyguard in tow - Shijan being paces behind her so as to always give her privacy but not too far back so that he could reach her in an instant should anything untoward happened - and her old barmaid by her side. The two women seem to be in deep conversation, The barmaid doing the less amount of talking as they meander towards Jonavan. It's only once Jaya spies the healer that she suddenly nods toward Suli and approaches him with steps of purpose. Suli moves off with a long look towards the healer, but Shijan remains passing that same long look to her. The customary smirk in place as she sweeps a gaze over the group of children nearby, "So this is where you take your meals," Jaya gives by way of greeting, her voice laced with amusement once she reaches him. She even sits down beside him whether he invited her to or not with a grateful sigh, regarding his meal before looking him in the eye. "Interesting. I always figured you to be the one that prefers his meals away from the light sounds of laughter."

"Ah, but what you don't know is that really I'm imagining all sorts of terrible tragedies happening." Jonavan takes in Jaya as she approaches with a bit of a frown, the result of squinting against the sun. His expression eases when Jaya sits and is no longer back-lit. "Just as tragically, I think I'm too far away to get there in time in case one of them slips and drowns." He might not be serious, but the droll tone makes it hard to tell. He glances beyond to Suli and Shijan, then conversationally remarks, "Still have your loyal escort I see. Have you ever considered getting a canine? "

"Are all healers like that?" and Jaya drolly shoots Jonavan a look that's dramatic and pointed. "Waiting for their next victim? I could cut myself right here and save you the trouble." She even holds out her arm, the keeping a straight face even though no sharp object is produced. After a while, unless he takes her by the arm, she'll drop it back down and lean back to send a look towards Shijan - who has settled himself against one of the outcropping rocks. "Still got spies," she drawls that out, harking back to that evening's conversation over cards. "Been thinking I should trade him in for a canine though. Canines don't always look over your shoulder." Dark eyes take Jonavan in as she considers something, "Maybe you could be my guard," she puts forth as if she was serious, tapping a finger against her propped up chin. "Threaten the spies with needles and your humor, and they'll be bound to leave me be, you think?"

Jonavan only looks amused at the barkeep's description of those in his profession, gaze momentarily traveling the length of her outstretched arm. "Clearly you do not spend much time in infirmaries and have not heard that amount of cooing that goes on over the miracle of childbirth." His hands are full with breakfast with klah the priority; while caffeinating himself, Jonavan mutely offers Jaya one of the two remaining pastries. "And miss his fascinating conversation?" he responds as if shocked, also looking towards Shijan. "That man is a mine of information. You can't get a word in edgewise." He's less forthcoming with the witticisms after Jaya's further suggestion, looking back at her thoughtfully while taking a large bite of his sweetroll. "Needles are feared disproportionate to their size," he acknowledges at last. "Though if you're considering me over a canine, I'm afraid I might have more of a tendency to wander off."

Jaya laughs throatily, taking the offered pastry with the held out arm and nodding her subtle thanks. "I'm glad he's not chatty," she admits in an odd defense to the bodyguard that's perhaps too far down to hear their conversation. She takes a healthy bite of the pastry then, her intense gaze regarding Jonavan for his latter words. Once swallowed, studying him as much as he does her, "Rather have you right here by me, shuga," she remarks on him wandering off, nudging him a little playfully with her shoulder. She did enjoy his company, after all, though she was not to the point of admitting it to him just yet. Sobering up some, however, "Got some trouble following me, so the precautions are necessary," she admits, sending the healer a look. "Don't like it much myself, but, I gotta stop running somewhere." Might as well be here, right?

Jonavan proves similarly reticent but does, looking down at Jaya in reaction to the nudge, say in good humour, "Well luckily for you I'm still learning my way around the place, so the range of my wandering is rather limited. And canines are stupidly habit-forming. You know, infirmary, bed, bar, lake. I like the sign." He makes short work of the rest of his breakfast and settles into the klah, stretching out the half-cup left. He clasps this between both hands. "Yeah, I gathered," he notes on the subject of Jaya's trouble. "Doesn't look like your bar's making enough in profit to warrant it otherwise." A pause for a sip and to consider the merit of asking the following question. "You been running awhile then?"

"We seem to have both been present at all destinations, save one," Jaya notes on limited itinerary, just a bare note of suggestion in her husky alto as she works on the given pastry. "I hardly venture out all that much myself. Got a friend that's trying to make me change that, but I think we are creatures of habit." She seems to think watching Jonavan is interesting, for her gaze never wavers from him as they both talk. The lopsided grin growing more prominent in the pause, "You still haven't talked about Landing," she adds in then matter-of-factly, pretty much showing that she can be quite the canine when taunted with a bone. "Mentioning all that stuff involving someone buying fellis off of you during pillow talk doesn't count." Though it wasn't a whole lot he had said, but she's making it seem as if he had. She finishes the pastry and wipes her hands clean, his comment about her bar getting a briefly dirty look from the bar owner. "My bar's doing just fine, thanks," she tosses back flippantly, "And…yeah. Been running awhile." There's hesitation, the scarred woman finally breaking off her study of him to look towards the bright lake before she adds, "Turns."

"Forgot to mention food," the healer adds as an afterthought, reminded by the state of his now empty mug, which he regards with despondency. "Landing, Landing, Landing." Gaze cast up, Jonavan makes the word into a joke of exasperation and would go on but for the piece of Jaya's background that slips out to take precedence. He becomes more thoughtful as he watches Jaya in return, rubbing the unshaven line of his jaw with a fist. "Wouldn't have thought you'd had enough Turns on you to get into that sort of trouble," he remarks eventually, not mentioning age this time as a dig at Jaya but instead as part of a perceptive curiosity. "Was it sex?" The question is blunt but in no way suggestive; rather, the healer in him immediately thinks of what might make a young teen run. "It has to be personal, to make someone come after you."

When Jonavan watches Jaya, Jaya is watching the lake. She thoughtful herself when he speaks, brows merely lifting at his remarks but not putting words to them initially. Then, the woman leans back on her hands, her head lifting to take in both the lake and sky before she finally responds in the silence. Blithely, "You'd be surprised, shuga, what can be done in four turns," she says in an almost murmur, and there's a slight darkness to her tone that seems ominous. In either case, whether detected or not, the dark tint to her voice vanishes. His blunt question does get a long look from her, the bar owner looking slightly guarded before she briefly shakes her head in answer to it. "Business is always personal," she seems to recite the words to his last then. "He used to say that to me." Pausing, deciding on what to tell him, her next words are chosen carefully. "Let's just say I wasn't always a barkeep. That…I had jobs far more…riskier?" Dark eyes regard Jonavan then, searching his eyes for perhaps recognition of him getting it without her having to explain further, and whether or not she would see the light of disapproval there.

The intensity of Jonavan's scrutiny does not abate as he perhaps looks for signs of having gone too far, or clues to whatever answers he's looking for, or, more simply, the desire to work out a puzzle. He's good at listening, it turns out, absorbing these bits and pieces silently. When he speaks, it isn't in direct response to anything Jaya's said. "You see a lot of people come through." He puts it plainly, mildly, without reprobation.

Jaya regards the healer equally in kind, letting the silence linger far beyond what's considered the norm. When Jonavan finally responds, his words cause her eyes to narrow only slightly - there's no malice or anger in the movement, just a guarded curiosity at the simple words as she studies him. Where there perhaps should be guilt or remorse in her eyes, there is none; perhaps she is one of those that simply has no remorse for her past - or, she's one of those that's gotten really good at hiding it. Seeing no disapproval, ultimately, she blinks and it seems it's done for the sake of doing so. "You also see a lot of people fall," is her chosen response, mild with a touch of non-chalance. Curiosity, even, for Jonavan's choice of words.

The response Jaya gives draws a short smile from Jonavan as he now leans back on his elbows, stretching out with one knee bent. "Meant the infirmary. I wasn't being metaphoric. Who am I to spout optimistic platitudes?"

Jaya blinks again, and this time she frowns - at least briefly. Then, quite abruptly, she snorts her short laughter. Brows up, "I tell you I'm shady and your response is about your patients. Another healer quirk, Journeyman?" she asks dryly, though she can't help the bland smile that appears on her face. "Or maybe that's your 'sweet' way of saying that you don't judge?" Shoulders twitch as if to shrug, the woman shaking her head slowly. "But enough about me," she adds deliberately, head tilting as she pins a look onto the older man. "Tell me something about you. It's my barkeep honor to ask." Her chin props up on an elbow then, setting the words on her past aside to now grill him in less clinical terms.

The way Jaya puts it has Jonavan nearly laughing himself, a huff of an exhalation rather than anything fuller, voiced. "Consider it a microcosm. I don't have much of a life outside of it," he acknowledges, both conceding Jaya's point and responding to her request for information. He picks out a pair of dragons as they fly overhead, chin tilting up as he tracks them go by. "So you're shady. Everyone's got something to hide. You're just more direct about it than most." He glances back at Jaya over the near shoulder. "Since you keep asking, I'm partially here to do research at Landing. In exchange for being on-call for Threadfall and the like. Been there the past couple days getting set up."

"So you got something to hide," Jaya picks out that statement, making a statement of her own with it, flicking a glance up and down Jonavan as if she was making a show of sizing him up. "Now you got me wondering what yours is. Perhaps it's one of those tidbits I'll only get out of you when you're drunk." Beat. "Or in the throes of passion," she adds, her words brisk with just a small sardonic touch. At her being direct, there's short laughter and a wry, "I'm only direct because the feline's already out of the bag, sort to speak. Besides, promised someone I would try to be good - at least within the confines of the Weyr." What happens outside the Weyr is left up to chance, as far as she was concerned. She quiets when Jonavan mentions his work in Landing, a flash of interest and curiosity there and gone before she asks, "I see. What kind of research?"

Jonavan's response is to steady himself on the far elbow and reach over, trying to give Jaya a shove to knock her off-balance. Beyond that Jonavan is not particularly forthcoming, which may, intentionally or otherwise, lend credence to her remarks. "And this is you good," he states a moment later with a touch of wryness. His shoulders can't shrug with him leaning back as he is, leading Jonavan to respond to the question on research with a sort of verbal diffidence and ambiguity instead. "Don't know. Don't know the half of what's there. Whatever'll help us get through the mess we've made."

The shove, since her weight is mostly to one side of her with her head propped up on one hand, has Jaya stumbling over and causes her stick a leg out more for balance. She throws a deadpan look at him then, though it only lasts for the moment it takes to right herself up again. And he can believe, she's not one to be easily distracted by a push - but the scarred woman seems easy in letting that be answer enough between them. To his response on her being 'good', she affects a purely dramatic look of taking offense, drawing herself up short. "Have I cheated you in cards?" she puts forth on that, matching his tone. "Taken advantage of you?" Loftily, "I've been the picture of teenage sweetness behind a bar counter," she adds, though it's far too obvious that it's an act, and she's not hiding that. Anyone believing her to be 'sweet' probably deserves to be swindled. Her amusement fades somewhat when Jonavan answers her question on the research he's doing, nodding a few times with a small frown. "Sounds like you got some theories on the matter," she says vaguely. "Progressives. Traditionalists. AIVAS."

"Teenage sweetness behind a bar counter," Jonavan responds, repeating Jaya's words back to her with a grin for her affectation of innocence, "is an oxymoron. And maybe you haven't taken advantage of me, but I'm fairly sure you have the advantage." The wordplay is an indulgence the man cannot resist and as such is enjoyed. It is there that he wants to keep it, on a slightly humourous level, as he squints up at the sun and then back to Jaya. "Too early in the day for this. I don't go into my rants until noon."

"Much like I don't start my drinking until before noon? I get it," Jaya responds to Jonavan's last first, her tone easy as she shifts to settle more comfortably beside him. "And you're right. I do have the advantage. That's the way it should be, right? I can always choose to do so later." Despite the easy banter, she does make note of his reluctance to broach the subject of rants and research - and that is definitely being filed away for another time. Her grin comfortable in is presence, she looks to add something else until there's a throat clearing from right behind them. She turns to find her barmaid, the much older woman giving Jonavan, then her a pointed look before she verbally interrupts. "The shipment has arrived."

"I also try not to show up to work before noon. It coincides." A sidelong look at Jaya and Jonavan starts to answer, "I'm not sure about that," but whatever else he might say or do is put on hold as Suli approaches. Jonavan tilts his head back to get a look at the woman from an upside-down vantage point, the sweetest of smiles plastered on (and therefore a tell-tale sign of its insincerity). "We were just talking about you."

"I would hope not," comes Suli's deadpan voice, not looking impressed by Jonavan's words one bit. She deliberately turns toward Jaya and studiously ignores an approaching Shijan as well, expecting her to get up and return to the bar. Jaya turns back towards Jonavan then, his initial response causing her snort and rolls her eyes expressively in mock annoyance. "Then I now know when to seek you out, if I want a rant-free Jonavan," she drawls out, getting to her feet and brushing her pants off in the process. She nods sharply for Suli to go on ahead, that she'll be along shortly, and she turns in an attempt to drop a kiss on his temple. Sending him a wink before straightening, "We'll do lunch sometime, or dinner," she tells him by way of farewell, the scarred barkeep taking a step away and back towards her two waiting companions.

"You look radiant from this angle," Jonavan tells Suli, completely undeterred as he makes a point of staring openly up at her chest. Rant-free, perhaps, but not lacking for insolence. "What fun is that?" he puts to Jaya then, heedless of any contradiction with his earlier statements. He pulls himself out of the lounging position he's acquired, sitting up properly, and it's from there that stretches out his hand to catch an arm, a wrist, and pull Jaya back for a proper kiss despite there having been no earlier displays of affection or anything of the like.

Oddly enough, Suli bristles at the man's comment and brings herself up short. She's not deigning to respond to him, but Jaya does. "You must say that to all the women," she says, almost taking another step back until Jonavan has her by wrist and allows him to pull her right back into that proper kiss. She smiles into it, hand reaching up to wrap around his neck as she deepens it only briefly before releasing him completely. There's momentary surprise registering on her face since it catches off-guard, but it's couched in that seductive smirk before she's turning and heading off with both Suli and Shijan flanking behind her.

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