Something Rotten


Bowen.jpg Fiala.jpg Harson.jpg Nenienne.jpg Vanielle.jpg

Date: 12/17/10
Location: EW: Living Cavern
Synopsis: Dinner time finds Bowen's curing vat stench enabling him to eat alone … at first. Harson joins with a smell all his own, and the two find their table rounded out with unlikely table companions in the form of young women: Fiala, Nenienne, and Vanielle. After Nenienne leaves and Fiala makes it known that she's still being harassed by that trader Orric, the brothers Bowen and Harson decide to cut their dinner short and go pay Orric another visit.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Bowen

The dinner crush is on and Bowen is a rarely seen man here in the Living Cavern when the place is this crowded, but he’s here today nonetheless. Fortunately, working long hours around the smelly curing vats today has enabled him to clear an entire table by himself. There, he sits minding his own business and keeping to himself, shoveling a thick stew into his mouth. His sweat-heavy hair sticks to his head while his hat sits on the table beside his plate.

Harson brings another smell to join the food smells and the Bowen-curing-vats. It's a sharp tang of sulphur. Lovely. Grinning from ear to ear, he doesn't seem to mind the be-speckled blue and purple dots that are spread over his face, shirt and arms in a spray of what must have been a brilliant dye-war. He's about to stomp right by Bowen until the stink catches him and he falls back a step to peer at the man, blinking rather stupidly as his smile falls away.

Nenienne arrives and, as per usual, heads over to the klah pot, pouring herself a mugful, downing it, and then pouring herself a second before she looks around. Her nose wrinkles, but she does not otherwise acknowledge the warring smells.

Add to the rest a smell of runnerbeasts. Fiala comes into the cavern, straw tangled in her hair, but her hands and face scrubbed clean and bright red. She is still wearing the clothes she arrived in, which have been washed but are showing some definite signs of wear and tear. She stands uncertainly, biting at her lip, unsure where to go or sit. She even glances towards the kitchen door, perhaps pondering offering her services to help out.

When one is around a smell so much, no matter how bad, it becomes unnoticeable to him. But introduce a new smell, well, that’s something … new. As such, Harson’s odor of sulfur has Bowen blinking his blue eyes a little, but survivalist and woodsman that he is, it is Harson’s back-track and regard of Bowen that has the weyrtanner turning his head to regard the taller youth. “Shells,” Bowen mutters by way of initial greeting, and he takes the time finish chewing and swallowing the spoonful bite in his mouth before continuing, “Whut th’ shards’re ya doin’ ‘ere?” Bowen leans back in his chair now, but reaches for his mug next to his plate to have a sip while he continues to look at Harson. Unfortunately, little else draws his attention away from his younger brother, not yet anyway. “Lemme guess … Ma?” one eyebrow arches, slightly shifting the otherwise stoic expression of the stocky man.

Harson waves a hand under his nose as Bowen leans back to regard him, "PEE-EWE!" He drawls, not so much mimiking Bowen, but allowing his accent to slip back into the same twang as the tanner. Nevermind his own ripe fragrance. "What am I doing here? I came here to try and hunt down information about our 'missing' little sister. But I found her, thanks a -lot- for giving me a heads up." He looks away to hide his peevish expression from his elder and spots the straw-adorned Fiala and the klah-fetching Nenienne, but they sadly don't really register at the moment. "What were you thinking?" He asks Bowen as his attention slips back that way.

Exhaling and stepping into the hall, Vanielle quietly places away some bandages in a small side pouch, and closes the flap with the small loop and the toggle.

Nenienne gets herself some meat, tubers, and vegetables, then look around for a place to sit. Sadly, given that it's crowded and given that everyone is avoiding Bowen's table, his is the only one with open seats. Taking a deep breath in the klah-scented air, she heads over toward the table and sits as far away from Bowen as possible, nodding politely to him and then assiduously not listening in to the brothers' banter.

Fiala stays near the entrance, uncertain, until a sound comes from outside. Loud sounds, the voices of some of the traders who will, rumor has it, be leaving in the morning. They can be heard coming closer and then moving on, likely on their way to the bar. The girl pales, a feat considering her fair skin, and she dashes to get some food, a plate of tiny portions. Then she turns, looking for some corner to sit in

After one of his customary pauses, Bowen smirks faintly, giving right back to his brother and the waving gesture made under his nose, “Ayup, dat’s whut happens when ya get th’ shits an’ roll ‘round init like ya did,” his free hand gesturing to the colorful splatter over Harson’s face. Another sip and inaudible grunt that is made evident only in the slight rock of his shoulders, and he finishes swallowing to say, “Yer welcome,” to Harson’s sarcastic thanks. Despite the content of the chat, there’s a twinkle of amusement in Bowen’s blue eyes. Could it be he’s actually glad to see his brother and happy to be trading barbs with him? Well, the man who swore off women for the rest of his life actually got married this turn, so, stranger things have happened. “I asked m’self whut might send Ma inta ‘sterics th’ most an’ dun it,” is his dry reply to Harson’s last, which may or may not get him punched, even if it isn’t exactly true. His attention turns to Nenienne at the opposite side of the table, and that reminds him of his stew, which he looks down at. “Get sum’grub an’ siddown,” Bowen growls out huskily, “Reckon we got things ta talk ‘bout.” He nods politely to Nenienne, “Ma’am,” in greeting. He’d tip his hat, but that’s sitting beside his plate right now. New movement at the buffet draws his attention to Fiala, and his eyes tighten a little briefly before he looks back up at Harson, not noticing Vanielle near the entrance yet.

Vanielle passes by and then notices Bowen.. She's slows her approach.. She's not exactly tactful, but she approches thegroup with some curiousity. "Quite a group this even.."

Harson blinks, "Huh?" Puzzled as his 'condition' is pointed out. He looks down at himself, extending his arms out and there's a widening of his smile again at the reminder, "Ah, a bit payback…." Explaining his condition before waving it off with an inky purple hand. The hand forms a fist at Bowen's remark and he grinds out between a sudden tightening of his teeth, "You allowed her to convince you to take her /here/ to the weyr just to piss mom off?" Smile gone, it looks like he might just reach across the table and grab at the Bowen but he's way too sneaky for such a forward approach. Instead he rocks back on his heels and sizes Bowen up very slowly. "Rriiight, food." Seeing the other man look at Fiala's direction there are so many questions left hanging but he goes to fetch food first, can't argue on an empty stomach afterall.

Nenienne is studiously gazing at anything except Bowen and Harson. Seeing Vanielle, she smiles and says "Hello there. How are you doing this evening?" She notes Fiala but doesn't address her at this point.

She looks and she looks, but Fiala doesn't see any totally empty table. She sighs then, and hunches her shoulders, grips her tray tightly, and marches herself towards Bowen's table. "H-hi…" she stammers, her voice close to audible. "Might I sit here to eat sirs, ma'am?" She does not look up, but speaks staring down at her feet, which are kept carefully hidden under her skirts.

“Payback, eh?” Bowen returns to Harson after a moment, not put off by Nenienne’s lack of response. He’s a guy who enjoys his privacy and quiet, too, usually. The fist isn’t missed by the older brother, and his shoulders tense just a little, preparing to dodge a swing that might be coming, but doesn’t. He remains quiet as Harson sizes him up, watching him right back, and then the sibling stand-off is cooled off as Harson apparently goes to get something to eat. Bowen looks back at his stew, picking his spoon up just as if nothing happened. Spoonful of stew pauses on its way to his mouth as he hears Vanielle and slides his gaze to her. There’s a blank look then, since he’s not really sure if the girl is talking to him, and then he just nods slowly, still seeming uncertain. Spoonful goes into his mouth then and he starts chewing as Fiala comes up to their table. He nods to her request, gesturing with (thankfully) a now unladen spoon to one of the seats. With his mouth full, he just chews and doesn’t invite her to join them verbally.

Vanielle notices Fiala, and smiles, she's quietly realizes that the table's one of the few not occupied to maxmimum capacity. "Space for one more?" she chimes. "If not… I can move on…" she comments.

The table was pretty much empty due to Bowen's radiating stink, but Neni scoots her chair over anyway. "Always room for you," she says to Vanielle, and also nods to Fiala. Glancing over at Bowen now that the tension is over, she replies, perhaps a bit flippantly, "Sir."

"Thank you." Fiala sinks down onto a seat, and she sets her food in front of her. It is enough to feed a largeish mouse, a bite here, a bite there, but hardly more than that. "It's good food," she says after tasting a bite. Whe folds her hands, savoring the morsel in her mouth before taking up another bite.

Considering the fact that there’s really only ever been one woman who could put up with him, let alone love him, and she’s not here right now, Bowen doesn’t seem terribly surprised or moved by Nenienne’s somewhat flippant greeting. In fact, if anything, the tanner seems oblivious. He’s got good stew in front of him. That’s all that matters. That doesn’t mean he’s terribly happy that these girls at his table seem able to tolerate his stench enough to sit there, though. As Vanielle now joins them, Bowen gives first her, then Nenienne and finally Fiala a circumspect look. Swallowing his bite, he nods then to Fiala. “Ayup. Bakers an’ cooks take good care o’ us ‘ere,” this stated in a mildly good-natured tone for a man who doesn’t tend to get along with the female gender in large portions. He scoops up another bite of stew and shovels it in, a little bit getting on his chin and he wipes it off with the back of his bare hand.

Relaxes as she gets comfortable in her seating, and looks around at the others. "You're a new face." she says to Fiala. "A pleasure though,the name's Vanielle, I work in the infirmy."

Nenienne is completely unlike Fiala, wolfing down her food as the stench becomes ever more present. She finishes and gets up, nods politely to those brave souls remaining, and heads off to put her dishes in the bin.

"My mother cooks this bland stuff for my brothers, because they're picky, and I have to eat that. She makes these lovely dishes for my father and her." The gidl shakes her head sadly. "I'm Fiala. I … I'm just here, right now. Trying to not be a nuisance and help whenever needed until I can talk to the Headwoman and ask for a job. Something to earn my keep, here." She bits at her lip, looking towards the cavern entrance, staring thoughtfully.

Vanielle nods. "Not too hard, Indira's pretty sweet. She's knowledgeable and kind, she helped me out after I got a bit… lost as to what I was going to since there weren't any eggs, but I think for the moment I've found my calling, at least being an infirmary aide's helped me to know myself better."

As Vanielle talks of working in the infirmary, Bowen’s attention is drawn to her, trying to remember if he’s seen her there before. Whether he recognizes her among Cheusia’s aides or not, he doesn’t state as much, continuing to eat his stew in silence with the occasional glance over to where his brother disappeared to. Fiala’s comment gets another nod, not exactly one of sympathy for having to eat bad food where she came from, but just acknowledging he heard her. This guy is not your typical sensitive and suave guy. “Alotta traders ‘bout these days,” he chooses to say after swallowing that bite and starting to sop up the remains of his stew with a roll, “Prolly has th’ Headwoman’s hands full.”

"I'll be glad when Orric leaves," murmurs Fiala, nodding to Bowen. "He…" She shudders, not continuing that line of thought. "I hope she'll have need of me. I… can't cook food like this. I'm pretty good at ruining food like this." Another pause, and she looks over to Vanielle. "Eggs. Oh." Her eyes flicker, as if she just now realizes she's in a *weyr*. "I'm good with helping with the runnerbeasts as is hurt, salving them and soothing them and the like. Maybe I can… Well… I can find numbweed and stuff. Anyway." She looks down.

Vanielle nods. "I'd say ask Max, he's the Weyr's beast herder.." she explain. "If you're good with runners I mean."

A dark look is sent Fiala’s way, though not meaning to make her the target for it. Bowen’s just doesn’t think about things like that. “Dat trader ‘pologize ta ya yet?” he asks Fiala around a mouthful of stew-sopped roll. He doesn’t say anything about Max. He’s already told Fiala about Max the day she got here, so doesn’t have anything else to add to Vanielle’s statement. Chasing the remains of his roll with a long draught of his beverage, Bowen turns his blue-eyed gaze onto the direction he last saw his brother go. Worried? Well, maybe curious.

"Intend to. Bowen…" Fiala pauses. "I'm sorry, sir, I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know what title I'm s'posed to use for you. But he told me about the beast-herder." She swallows another morsel, then turns troubled eyes towards Bowen again. "He did apologize to me, sir. But he has odd customs for apologizing. I don't think I like them."

Vanielle watches Fiala with a curious glance. "Don't try and be that way, Fiala." she says trying to cheer the girl up.

Harson comes strolling back into sight with a bowl of stew and a dish stacked with rolls. He gives a cocky look over his shoulder and nearly trips over his own feet. The stew sloshes dangerously in the bowl and a couple rolls bounce loose from the stack but he manages to keep most of the food in order. Best to ignore the snickers behind him, but they aren't forgotten, oh no. Noticing who is sitting with his brother, he hesitates, blinking owlishly at Fiala and then scowling at Bowen who, in his mind, is putting him through the discomfort of girl-socialization while he eats.

Won’t Max be displeased to hear himself being referred to as a herder? But Bowen chooses not to correct it, which in itself is interesting and only liable to add to the rumors that Bowen and Max don’t seem to be on good terms. A faint smirk comes to Fiala’s apology to him over not knowing his title, but slow as Bowen is, he doesn’t have his response prepared before she talks of Orric’s apology to her. His blue eyes harden a little and he offers in sotto, “Gonna kill ‘im,” before working his jaw a little as if something in the stew was bitter, and he leans forward into the table more, looking sternly at Fiala, “Whut,” he drawls out in a dangerous rasp, “did ‘e do?” Vanielle and her attempts to cheer Fiala up are ignored. As for Harson, hey, Bowen tried to scare everyone away with his smell. Not his fault these girls can tolerate it. The stocky tanner doesn’t acknowledge his brother’s approach yet, though, fixing a more intent look on Fiala and waiting for her words of confirmation to condemn the trader Orric to another sound beating.

Vanielle goes back to eating her meal in relative quiet, taking in the atmosphere and the stench.

"Don't try to be what way?" Fiala tilts her head, blinking in puzzlement at Vanielle. But she trembles at Bowen's rasp, and she shrinks closer to the other woman, ducking her head. Her cheeks flame red, as do the tips of her ears, and she hunches her shoulders, folding her hands in her lap. "H- he's… he's going tomorrow. It's… f-fine."

Harson is silent as he settles in beside his brother, on the other side of the women, letting the bulk of the other man act as a sheild for him. He sets the plate of rolls on the table, towards the center so others can grab some and snatches one from the top for himself. His gaze zip from Bowen and offers a mute scowl before moving to the two women. Curious, but not curious enough to pipe up yet. The hard-won meal is tucked into as the others speak around him.

Vanielle smiles. "Don't be so.. timid. I mean there's nothing wrong with a little timidity…" she raises an eyebrow at Bowen. "Stop spooking her." she snaps in a firm tone. "Most people are are pretty nice. Stand your ground." she says reaching to comfort the other girl.

Bowen frowns at Fiala, which probably doesn’t help, but he doesn’t think about that. Instead, he’ll just make a mental note of finding out from Orric himself what he did or said to Fiala in way of apology, and busting a few more heads if he has to. Then he turns that frown into a scowl at Vanielle, but remains quiet, settling back into his seat with less intimidating posture to now finally stare at his brother and his brother’s stew. “Hey,” he says, greeting him again, then buries his lips against the rim of his cup.

"So… if I'd've stood my ground, he wouldn't have kissed me or've pawed all over me like a dog? I'd not've been up all night mending a tear in my sleeve?" Fiala looks at Varielle with an expression of mingled skepticism and dawning shame. She swallows hard, blinking rapidly, then pushes her plate away from her. "If anyone else wants the rest of my meal, they can have it. I have to tend to my ponies."

Harson looks up with his spoon still in his mouth and eyes Vanielle like a feline might a rocking chair. Very scary woman with the snappiness. He glances at Bowen and leans closer, spoon stuck between lips and murmurs something around it to the other man while keeping Vanielle in his line of sight. Just in case she might come across the table at him. It could happen. He blinks over at Fiala and blushes at her words and shoots Bowen a dark and dirty look, "And /you/ brought our little sister to this awful place?!"

Vanielle paues slowly. "WAit what?" she says turning Fiala. "Who did, and yeah.. he might have actually backed off. Leting a man paw at you is inviting him, stand up to him, hit him if you have too. If its not something you want… if you don't like him.. push him away. Most men unless they're as dumb as dimglow.. can take a hint."

Bowen frowns again at Vanielle, and then to Fiala and her explanation, but distractedly glances to Harson with his murmur, shrugging a bit and saying aloud, “Yer askin’ me?” Because Bowen probably could win the Pern award for Man Who Understands Women The Least. But his attention doesn’t linger long on Harson because instead he just nods once to Fiala, “He ain’t leavin’ t’morrah. He’s leavin’ t’night.” Then a look back to Harson, “Right?” Apparently inviting his brother along to bust some trader’s head who can’t keep his hands to himself. Then Bowen defensively grunts, “Th’ manhandlin’ traders wer’n’t ‘ere when I brought ‘er. B’sides,” he picks up his drink again, adding dryly, “All Paerin’s gotta do is turn on dem wut’rwerks like Ma taught ‘er an’ she scatt’rs anythin’ with a cock betwixt his legs fer a hundred meters.” And with that he takes a drink, so if a punch is coming, he’s not ready for it.

At Vanielle's words, Fiala gives a shudder, hiccuping softly. She leaps to her feet, shaking her head. "I need… need to go." She glances between Bowen and Harson, her mouth falling open at the older man's words, and then turns away. She trips over her skirts, grasps for the back of someone's clothing, then goes sprawling on the floor. She lifts her head and looks up, her face scarlet. "Shards, shards," she murmurs.

Harson nods his head to Bowen and drops his spoon into the bowel with a messy clatter. "I think r'now is better. C'mon lets…" His words die in his throat as Fiala goes flying…er, falling. "Oh…" Shooting Bowen an uncertain look he waits for the other to get up and help the girl, color draining from his face. "She's going to start crying. Go get her!" Even giving Bowen a push so he'll hurry it up before the tears start flowing. "Then we can go break that sharding traider's arms so he can't muss with Paerin."

Vanielle watches Fialla. "Oh.. no." she gets up… But stops after a moment and then proceeds to follow Fiala .. "ARe you ok?"

Bowen chokes a little on his drink as Harson pushes him and he sets the cup back down on the table’s surface with a hard sound without meaning to and it only seems to be then that the sluggish tanner realizes Fiala is no longer in his line of sight above the surface of the tables around him. “Cutitout,” he grunts at Harson, moving to shove him back once before he gets to his feet and peers over the opposite side’s edge to Fiala on the floor with Vanielle apparently hovering close by, “Don’t cry,” he orders gruffly and simply. Then picks up his hat and puts it on his head, “If’n ya ain’t dead, an’ it’ll keep ya from cryin’, well, I reckon ya ken watch me an’ Harson break Orr’c’s arms.” Some guys give flowers and candy. Bowen and Harson break arms. Aren’t they sweet? "Yerself, as well, if'n ya wanna, I s'pose," Bowen offers to Vanielle since she's, well, helping Fiala it looks like.

"I…" Fiala sits up gingerly. "I'm not hurt from falling. Not much." But…" She shakes her head. "I really do have to go take care of the ponies…" SHe offers up a wan smile. "I… thank you for caring."

Harson grunts at the push and shoves Bowen back. He's a lot more solid than even a few months back, darn that growing up. Standing up he cracks his knuckles, attention on his brother now that the girls are distracted and neither of them have to mop up. "So, we gather up his teeth and put them in a little pouch for her when she's done with the ponies?" He asks, sounding too eager about this.

Watching Fiala say she was okay and make her exit, Bowen grunts a bit, “She t’inks we care,” somewhat bemused by that fact. He doesn’t care, right? Of course, not. Obviously, Bowen just considers dealing with Orric as simply a matter of ‘taking out the trash’. Right? He rolls his shoulders a little next, his thick, stocky frame wobbling a little with Harson’s strength as he is shoved again. This makes Bowen take another look at his younger, now taller brother. “Huh,” he grunts, as if seeing him for the first time. Things were busy during the wedding and Bowen was … very distracted. He grins then, “Ya ken pick up his teeth when we’re done an’ sew ‘er a nice little pouch if ya like. I’ll be havin’ some whiskey. Come on.” He adjusts his hat a little on his head and nods to Vanielle before making his smelly way to the stairs.

Vanielle gets to her feet. She nods to Bowen before finding her place again. "I am glad that's over with." she murmurs settling down into her chair.

Harson chuckles when he catches his brother's look and offers an awkward flex of his arm, like someone not used to showing off their newly aquired muscles. "I can stich /and/ drink…unless the Master catches me." He pushes his chair back and gets to his feet, "You know this fool?"

“Gooood,” Bowen drawls slowly in reply to Harson over his shoulder at the base of the stairs, “Don’t get cocky.” Then another nod, “Ayup. Orric an’ I hadda chat once already. Guess he misunderstood me. Bett’r go make m’self more clear.” Bowen disappears up the stairs, cracking his knuckles, and presumably with his brother … going to make their point to these traders a little clearer.

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