Bowen.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 9/8/10
Location: EW: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Bowen takes Max up on that invitation for a drink and the two talk about simple pleasures and learn more about what makes the other tick.
Rating: PG
Logger: Bowen

Eastern Weyr: Beast Cavern

Sweeping upwards from the tunnel's entrance at the easternmost end, this cavern arches well over the heads of its inhabitants; both two- and four-legged. Wooden stalls and pens have been built in rows. Two rows are built into the north and south walls and two are back-to-back down the center, leaving two aisles up and down. Each animal enclosure is spacious, well-built and solid; the whole place smells of new timber and sawdust, with the subtle undertones of leather, animal and hay. The western end opens out into the feeding pens and from there into the upper bowl. The opening is large enough to allow a decent amount of sunlight to enter the cavern, but not quite big enough to allow the adult dragons inside.

It’s late evening when Bowen finally returns on this, his second day. He’s gotten lost more times than he cares to admit, but eventually – or with assistance – found the station where most of the tanners have been given to do the bulk of their work with oversized cauldrons and racks for stretching and worktables for the more detailed work and such taking up a lot of space and smell after all. He’s talked with the other tanners and gotten to know a little of them as well as many of the herdsmen and stablemen, crafter and non-crafter alike, and the Southern man seems to be settling in, slowly (as is his pace for most things) but steadily and surely. As such, he’s missed catching Max at the end of his first day for that drink, but today, he’s a bit more caught up on things, and has a little time. His boots scuff a little against hard-packed earth and stone alike as he moves down the aisle, not making any pretense to try and be quiet, and he pauses to look in on Strider before moving on toward the stall that has become known as Max’s office and quarters. He knocks on the wood of the door to see if anyone is home, and unlike some of the other stableboys, he knows better than to just knock and barge in, so he remains outside for now.

Duties done for the day, save for some paperwork, Max is indeed to be found in his office-quarters seated at his desk with a four-legged ball of fluff wandering about on top. For the time being he seems to be ignoring it as he pours over what looks to be stock reports, a hand running a tired sweep across his face before making a notation in the margin next to the count on herdbeast. As such it's with some degree of relief that he glances up at the knock to his door and finds the tanner standing there, "Finding your way around here alright?" That his measure of greeting as he gestures for the man to come in and take a seat.

Leaning a little against the door, but not with his full weight, Bowen rests his arm across the top and takes in the area with his blue eyes, seeming to absorb everything in his good ‘ole sweet time. The kitten draws a smirk from the stocky man and he looks back to Max’s face before saying, “Yep, everywhere but the whiskey trail.” He scratches the little bit of growth on his chin that he’s allowed over the last few days, adding, “Though, I keep hearin’ sumpthin’ ‘bout this place called Jaya’s.” His voice trails off as he nods to the kitten on the desk and adds, “That thing gonna come at m’arse too if I step in ‘ere?” Though the man is not laughing, his blue eyes are, remembering how he first met Max the morning of the day before.

Dropping the stylus, Max leans back in his chair and sets a hesitant look over to Bowen, thumb rubbing along his lower lip at mention of Jaya's bar before finally taking the diplomatic route, "Not a bad place to soak your sorrows if you're of a mind to do so publicly." And he'll leave it at that. The kitten in the meantime has found the stylus dropped and is currently batting it about the desk heading precariously close to pot of open ink. "Oy!" the beast manager takes it by the scruff of the neck and deposits it down on the floor with a slight grunt for the complaint coming from ribs, "Get back over there where you belong with your kind." A drawer is opened while he's still bent over and the whiskey the tanner had handed two days ago taken out along with two glasses. Taking his time about carefully straightening up again, the beast manager sets a crooked grin over the other man's way for comment of the butt savaging beastie, "Only if you accidentally sit on it. I think," he's not too sure about that. Dark eyes flicker in the direction that the furball swaggers in, "But I'm starting to believe that one's half wher." With a measure of amber liquid now poured into each glass, one of them gets set before the chair opposite his and Max leans back with his own in hand, lifting it toward Bowen as if in toast, "Here's to keeping our hides in one piece."

“Ain’t got no sorrows to soak,” Bowen says in his quiet, husky voice with a grunt and pushes past the stall door, careful to close it again considering there are kittens frolicking around. And he’d be right, for the most part. His most sorrowful hour of his life was over a turn ago. His slow easy stride brings him to the chair on the other side of Max’s desk, and with his hat still on, the tanner settles onto the seat, slouching with a grateful expulsion of breath as he stretches out his not-so-long legs and crosses them at the ankles. With that same quiet laughter in his eyes, Bo watches Max remove the kitten and hooks one arm over the back of the chair while the other hand rests easily on his thigh. He remains studiously quiet as he observes and listens to Max talk to and about the kitten, grunting in a very brief and whispery bit of chuckling at mention that the kitten is part wher, but he doesn’t speak on it, at least not then. Instead, he leans forward to pick up the glass and lifts it when Max does, tilting his head a little at the toast, “Yeap,” he drawls, “one piece.” He tosses back the whiskey after the toast, and he wasn’t kidding about it not being the fancy stuff from Southern, as even with just this one shot the tanner gives a single stomp of his boot and blinks some of the water out of his eyes before finding his breath again. Then he chuckles, a little longer and less whispery this time, and issues a single cough, “That’ll put hair on yer chest.” Settling back in his chair, he adds, “So, if ya don’t mind me sayin’, ya don’t seem th’type to dote on furry litters … in yer own quarters, that is.” With the unstated piece being that, obviously, if Max was that worried about sitting on one, he’d keep the litter elsewhere.

Shrugging easily in response to Bowen's return, "Then you might be wanting to check it out sometime. Barmaid's not so easy on the eye," this of the taciturn Suli, "Booze is good," specifically not mentioning the bar's owner in any of that. Max waits until the tanner is taking up his own glass before knocking his back. A gasp followed by a similar cough for the sharp burn and then he's setting a watery grin over to the other man, "Or something," he manages to get out in agreement. Reaching for the bottle, whiskey gets sent into each glass again, his eyes tracking to where the litter are currently romping about on his mattress on the opposite side of the stall and a rueful chuckle spills out, "I ain't." one to worry about the stable felines in general, "It's…a bit of story." Looking somewhat sheepish at the end there. And then clearing his throat he turns the conversation back onto Bowen, "Headwoman get you situated alright?"

“I try not t’do much drinkin’ alone. Bad fer th’ heart, m’Pa’s always said,” Bowen allows with a little nod regarding Jaya’s bar and the bottle that sits between him and Max now, “One of th’ other tanners was sayin’ they sometimes do their drinkin’ there toward th’ end of th’ seven, play some cards. I might join ‘em a time or two.” There’s a tight smile as he adds, “Barmaid could be the prettiest thang in th’ whole weyr an’ it won’t matter none t’me. I do m’drinkin’ for good company and good laughs after a hard day’s work, not skirts.” Which presumably means, skirts do not equate to laughter and good company for this man. Of course, he did say he had gotten hitched, so that could be why, too. No man wants to deal with a scorned woman after all. He picks up the refilled glass, following Max’s gaze to the kittens once more, and then takes a more gingerly sip of the whiskey before leaning back in the chair once more and looking at Max, and then with a tip of the head in silent respect of there being a story behind it, he adds, “Maybe I’ll hear it sometime,” his polite way of saying, he’s interested, but not going to pry. Not right now anyway. The question about the Headwoman earns a slightly tightened look to the edges of Bowen’s blue eyes and he nearly chokes on his second sip of whiskey before clearing his throat, “Ayep. That she did.” And takes another sip.

"Reckon your Pa an' mine musta known each other," Max gives with a short chuckle of amusement. "Aye, the lads," those from the stables, "often head down that way themselves. You should go," excluding himself from such ventures. Bowen's tight smile over talk of barmaids earns him a long look and then the beast manager is uttering a wry chuckle, "Was a time, it wouldn't matter if the barmaid had a face like the back end of a runner, I'd always manage to drink her pretty," the grin slightly roguish in its presentation before he's swallowing down a larger than intended mouthful of the sharp liquid and having to wheeze out a breath. As such it's a while before he asks with companionable interest, "Little woman got you on a short leash then, eh?" assuming this to be the reason for the tanner's apparent disinterest in barmaid's, attractive or otherwise. Lifting his glass and tipping it the other's way, he dips his head in agreement, a slight smile playing about his mouth on one day fully explaining the kittens currently being housed in his stall, "Aye, perhaps you will." It is however, Bowen's reaction to the general enquiry made on his meeting with Eastern's headwoman that draws first a bark of laughter and then a deep smirk, "Told you she was one to watch out for." As if somehow that had been a prank of his own making.

There comes a genuine grin and a dip of the head to the comment about Max’s father and Bo’s father possibly knowing one another. He didn’t know what Max’s father did or where he was from, but it’s an easy assumption to make that perhaps they had, if Max, like Bo, had gone into the same profession that his father had been in, considering tanners and beast crafters all circulate in similar crowds. But the ‘you should go’ comment earns an arching of the eyebrow and some of the grin fades to a more neutrally curious expression, “Y’say that like ya don’t go down there with yer lads yerself. There sumpthin’ ‘bout it I should know ‘bout? They hard on folks who don’t make good on their bets right away or sumpthin’?” Those blue eyes observe the beast manager from over the rim of his glass as he takes another sip, this one going a little longer as Max talks about women, too, though likely for different reasons. He exhales with a hiss for the burn down the back of his throat and leans forward to set the now empty glass on the desk, “No leash. She died.” Here the man’s blue eyes lift from the whiskey glass to Max’s face as Bowen leans back in his chair once more with, “Felines,” more sedately stated as the only explanation. His gaze slides over to the frolicking kittens, but if he seems inclined to transfer any aggression onto the helpless litter, he must be keeping a tight rein on it as he makes no move, just content to slouch in his chair for the moment. With Max’s next statement, Bo merely nods slightly, understanding, or seeming to, and then smirking at Max’s laughter. “Y’did,” he agrees easily, adjusting his hat on his head a moment and then adding, “Force t’be reckoned with, she is. But then, all women are, really,” he admits, “Hope I ain’t gotta cross paths with her too often. I’m just a simple man. Not askin’ fer much. Just a place t’hang m’hat and work th’day long and maybe a drink or a laugh or two with friends.” He nods then to Max, seeming to include him, though it could be just being polite, since they are currently drinking together.

Max more than likely has no inkling of where or how the tanner's mind is working with regards to their fathers perhaps having known each other. Especially as it had been an idle comment made to the brownrider having been of a similar drinking philosophy. It's the question put to him over his reticence to frequent the bar that fades the grin and has the beast manager setting a level look onto Bowen, and then shrugs, "Naw, they got a problem with the fuck 'em and leave 'em, philosophy." It may be crude, but the whiskey, weariness and no small amount of weyrling induced strain has left the man somewhat blunt. Dropping his eyes away for a moment, he studies the last remaining mouthful in his glass in silence until the tanner drops his reply about his wife out onto the air. That has dark eyes lifting swiftly back up to the other's face, "Shit, sorry man." And then shaking his head slowly as if imagining enduring such a horrific loss himself adds in a quieter tone, "That's harsh." It's perhaps fortuitous that conversation then carries on in a different direction, or Max might have slipped into morose contemplation of Thread and its similarly voracious appetite. With a light smirk, "Aye well, she's anything but simple," this to Indira and then breaking into a somewhat self-effacing chuckle followed by a sigh as he slumps further in his chair, "used to think simple was…well simple, until it wasn't. But I hear ya on having someone to share a bottle and a laugh with."

The level look and comment on the philosophy at the bar merely draws a faint dip of the head from Bowen, wisely keeping any comments about the barmaid who is not easy on the eyes and Max’s statement leaving the erroneous suggestion that she may have been easy on the eyes at some point. “Gotchya,” Bo says quietly. He lapses quiet again himself a moment, and then to Max’s apology, he shrugs, “Was a little over a turn ago now. S’alright,” in as much as being a widower could ever be alright. He takes a breath then and stands up, “Them big felines don’t kid ‘round. No one who don’t know what they’re about should go out there wanderin’ alone, whether they think they can handle it or not.” Which is perhaps his way of trying to hold his wife’s memory in a better light, suggesting perhaps the woman was just too eager or fascinated by the experience and simply untrained. Then he grimaces slightly, “Sorry, I can get a little preachy sometimes.” He nods then smirking faintly, “Simple can stay simple as long as there ain’t no woman involved.” Jaded much? Another nod to the bottle and glass this time, “Thanks, Max. I’ll see ya ‘round.”

And Max isn't about to elaborate just now. Perhaps in time he might. Swallowing down the last dregs of whiskey in his glass and exhaling through a hiss a light frown forming as he nods in agreement to what Bowen says of Southern's wild felines, "S'what I keep trying to tell her, but she don't want to hear it." This on Ahnika and her insistence on learning how to hunt, although there's no way the tanner could know that right now. Shaking his head to words of the other having gotten preachy, "Naw, not preachy. Maybe I should get you to talk to her sometime. Hunting wherries is one thing. Felines" a sharp press of lips and then the beast manager stands too a smirk forming for Bowen's comment over women but he makes no comment, simply giving into a low chuckle. "Any time," this to the thanks given. He'll wait until the tanner has left and then turn back to the bundles of fur that have taken over his mattress uttering quietly in their direction, "Why -do- I keep you around?"

Closing Credits Theme Music: Kenny Chesney - "The Good Stuff"

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