Tapping V'kale

Maura.jpg V'kale.jpg Meiglen.jpg

Participants: Maura, V'kale, Meiglen; Rikath, Heloth, Svaldirath
IC Date: Day 6, month 4, turn 4
Location: The Bar, Eastern Weyr
Synopsis: V'kale is promoted to Wingleader by a pair of drunks.
Rating: PG-13 for language (Maura!)
Posted by: Meiglen

It's her favorite table; the one where you can see everyone who comes in. Maura always sits there and always chooses the seat facing the door, and today is no exception. With her, is Meiglen. Each of them with a drink in hand. And for now the bluerider appears in high spirits, laughing over the rim of her glass. "I thought Rikath was going to have a stroke. Like, /right there/. It was hilarious! He's actually loosened up since then. But he's gotten worse in other ways. Oh hey, did you want anything to eat? I forgot to order." Chatterchatter.

Perhaps both of said women are a little tipsy; Meiglen's definitely not sitting up entirely straight, and she looks rather giggly for the normally stoic and withdrawn person people expect her to be. "Poor baby Rikath. Although I guess he wasn't really a baby. Svaldi adores him, for the record — oh! Yes! Food! I forgot, we'd meant to eat while we were here." Yes, that's definitely not her first drink.

And in walks a trip down Memory Lane, if Pern had bothered to name any of its roads that. Easy-going, affable, friendly, grinning V'kale walks in, making a beeline for the bar… and almost immediately pausing, his walk slowing to more of an amble, as he looks around for familiar faces, for friends yet to be known, for that guy over there who gets a laughing hello hollered right back at him. V'kale is comfortable in himself and the space he inhabits; he's not afraid to take up a fair amount, too, when it comes to waving at someone, and doesn't even knock into a barmaid when he does so. The bar'll still be there when he gets to it, right? He can be friendly first.

"Gosh, don't call him baby Rikath to his face!" Maura squeaks, choking back a giggle. "Rikath… respects Svaldirath. And I have to tell you that there are very few dragons who can say that. Even fewer riders. It's high praise from him." He who is eternally violent and crabby. "Oh shells, that's why we're already giggling. We haven't had anything to eat!" This, apparently, is hysterically funny. She can't even stand up for having to wipe tears of laughter from her face, and then try to flag down the waitress. But LOOK, there is V'kale! She remembers him from the party. *WAVEWAVEWAVE*

Oh, look, it's V'kale. Meiglen pretends not to notice him — or else, she was going that until Maura excitedly waved at him! In response to that, Meg actually winces a little bit, before trying to brush it off and say, "That must be it. You're supposed to eat before drinking, I'm just … I forget to think sensibly for myself when I'm thinking sensibly for an entire Weyr. And she and I do both appreciate it; she says he is a worthy lieutenant."

The excited waving does, of course, draw V'kale's eye — and he's busy pointing a grin at Maura, waving back at her, before his gaze slides sideways to catch Meg in the act of … well, existing, really, more than anything else. The wincing is just added commentary on top of how she's already been avoiding him, right? Avoiding him since he got here, for that matter. Willfully, if not maliciously, V'kale strengthens the cheerfulness factor of his grin, and ambles sort of tangentially toward them. Vaguely. Indirectly, as it were.

"I should know better, seeing how all my other friends drink, drink, and drink some more." Maura waves off the idea of being sensible with those few words. "Think of it like a little break from thinking about everyone else, ok? Goodness knows you deserve it." Having grown adept at hiding some of her guilt that she's not as open with the weyrwoman as she'd like to be, the little bluerider just gulps down more of her drink and pretends not to have seen any wince at all. "Hello… V'kale, right? Yeah, it's V'kale. Now I remember. Didn't Rii and his buddy steal your father's boat once? Or maybe that was someone else. No, no I'm sure it was you. He totally pointed you out to me at hte party." Discomfort? What?

Meiglen looks as if she wants to sink underneath the table. It's one thing to wave at him; it's another thing /entirely/ to actually talk to him like he is invited to sit with them! But she doesn't want to actually say anything, so she sips her water — not her wine, she's always careful to have both on hand even if she does seem to be getting drunk too easily — and watches the exchange between them without saying a word.

V'kale's expression calcifies for a moment, a rictus instead of his regular easy grin, but in a dark-lit bar, surrounded by drunk people, there are a million reasons for that, aren't there? At any rate, now that he's in easy-shouting distance, he calls back — from all of a few people away, but still, it's loud! — "Now I know I didn't say it was my father's boat!" He's grinning again as he says it, though. That takes the sting out of the lie, doesn't it? "You're Maura, right? The girl he's all sweet on? And hey, Meiglen," with a rank-respectful nod past Maura to the familiar goldrider. They're easy-peasy, don't you know? Of course they are.

"Whatsa matter Meg? You look like someone peed in your Istan Wave!" Maura leans over to murmur this, her own expression a mix of mild confusion and hazy concentration. "You prob'ly didn't -have- to say whose boat it was then. He knew." she shoots back at the brownrider with a wry smile on her face. "I'm Maura. An' he's more then just sweet on me, pal. Least he'd -better- be." she manages to say, before blinking owlishly. "You two know each other? Well shells, pull up a chair then! Have some drinks. We're a few cups in already." Dimple.

"Oh — I'm fine," Meiglen lies classically and seamlessly, paying more attention to said drink than anything else. "Maybe I'll go get us some food, yeah?" She refrains from commenting on Ch'rii; well aware that the brownrider is intensely loyal, she's got no concern for Maura's integrity. Just hers. Which is why she is escaping to go pick up food from the bar, giving V'kale a friendly nod-and-wave showing that yes, she did acknowledge he spoke to her! She's just going to … leave, now. She'll come back!

So if V'kale is looking a bit like someone told him that winter was canceled and there wouldn't be any snow for the foreseeable future, well, that's … totally unrelated to how Meiglen's acting, of course. Of course. He grins at Maura. He has a large arsenal of grins. (Most of them are pretty stupid-looking, but hey, he's cheerful at least; just ask him and he'll tell you!) "A few drinks in, and this is the first you're getting food? Sounds dangerous — what's the occasion? And," he adds, leaning in closer to confide, "for what it's worth, I've never known Ch'rii to be sweet on anyone ever. Even a little bit." Maybe mostly because they never knew each other all that well.

"Sure thing! Not sure I could make it there without weaving anyway so maybe that's for the best." Another giggle slips out, even as Meiglen is getting up to head towards the bar. Maura's still glancing back and forth between the other two riders with a questioning glance anyhow. Curious, and making no attempt to hide it. "No special occasion. We're friends just getting together for a drink that's all. Plus, it's poker night. I try not to be around on poker night, else I might have to throttle some of the people that come over to play." is whispered, as if she's sharing a confidence in return. She simply smirks at his supposed secret-sharing about Rii there. "That right? And how well did you know him, exactly."

Are they smirking? They're smirking. There is definite mutual smirking going on, there. "Whaaaat? You're not a fan of poker night?" V'kale clutches at his chest dramatically, but doesn't even bother to pretend not to be laughing. "You know, I bet you could get rid of those people you want to throttle," he advises. "Being as how he's so sweet on you, he'd stop inviting them, if you asked. I think so, at least." V'kale doesn't have a drink to fiddle with, so now that he's all planted in his seat and all, he drums his fingers on the table instead for a moment. "I think we met when I was about … oh, must have been twelve, thirteen," he muses. "And then there was about five years, once I turned fifteen, before I headed up to High Reaches. So I'd say… reasonably well." Smirk.

"Oh, I'm a fan of poker. Just not with some of his… associates. Besides, I could totally kick their asses at the game. And then what ego would they have left? I try not to do that to the poor bastards. They lose all their money as it is." And somehow when Maura says that, it manages to be vaguely believable despite the angelic face that's delivering the words. "He wouldn't be sweet on me if I were the kind of woman to ask something like that." she points out, an eyebrow arched slightly. "Reasonably well." She doesn't seem to be buying it, but changes the topic anyhow. "And is that how well you know the Weyrwoman? Apparently well enough to address her by her first name."

Oh. Oops; good point, Maura. Score to you! V'kale looks shifty, awkward, and then as if he's sighing, because … he is. "Well, yeah, I guess you could say at least reasonably well," he allows, scrubbing one of those hands back through his unruly hair. "If in a— an altogether different way. My Heloth flew Svaldirath, once." Awkward. And that isn't even why Meiglen runs away from him! (He's pretty sure that's not why, anyway.)

More then just a pretty face, even when drunk. Maura tucks away some of this conversation to recall when she's able to actually think again. "Ohhhhh, I see. So were you not any good in bed or something?" Whoops! Apparently she's not so good at keeping those 'things that should not be said or asked' inside her head when tipsy. Plus, Rikath absolutely nudged her along - he is now wheezing in helpless snickering. And, including Svaldirath and Zekoith and probably even Abydoth in on the joke. SIGH. "I mean, uhm - gosh, hope that food is ready soon! I think I see her coming back now."

Well, Meiglen was coming back — after what Svaldirath passes along via Rikath, she may seriously conisder just leaving. But losing out to the dominant one of the pair (that is to say, the dragon) , the goldrider heads back to the table with what looks like ridiculous amounts of popcorn shrimp. "Enough to feed everyone in here," she says as she returns it to the table, ignoring what Maura and V'kale were talking about before. Pretending she didn't hear it. "Minus what I ate on my way back to the table."

Dragon> To Rikath, and Heloth, Svaldirath seems utterly delighted, in a very low-key way, about the way this evening has unfolded. « She is so funny, your Maura. Do you like her, Heloth? »

Dragon> To Heloth, and Svaldirath, Rikath is amused of course. In no small part because he nudged Maura in to saying what she did. « She is. Sometimes even intentionally. » And despite what may sound like a mild criticism, he is actually full of affection for that fact. « I help her, of course. »

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Rikath, Heloth's noisy rattle of laughter clangs as loudly as a steel bar reverberating against a stone floor. « Yes, » he agrees. « Your help is good! Mine is full of laughter, too. » The helpless kind, unfortunately for V'kale.

V'kale's stare has given in to quiet, incredibly awkward laughter, and then he's saved by a bucket of shrimp. Well, that's a first! … Or, no, wait, maybe a second. Well. Either way. "Can you even tell how much of it you ate, Meiglen?" he asks, aiming for a light, carefree, casual sort of laugh-filled tone. Everyone's in a good mood! Nobody's talking about bad lays! We're all friends here!!

Who was insinuating bad sex? Certainly not Maura! Nope! She affects an entirely bubble-headed ditz demeanor and lights up like a full glow basket when Meiglen returns with the popcorn shrimp. "Faaaantastic!" she exclaims. "Good choice. Shrimp." Which for some reason makes her start giggling again; and she has to cough and down some of her drink to try and maintain a straight face. Don't ask what crossed her mind there. "I guess no introductions are needed. And it looks like she ate about 10 on the way over. So hey, what wing are you in again V'kale?"

"It's a basket," says Meiglen, shrugging and sitting down the rest of the way. "So I can't really tell, no, but about ten was probably right considering how many are usually in there, yeah." Now that they're talking about wings, Meiglen seems to remember something; a distinctly odd look crosses her face for about a second, and she reaches a hand into her pocket, but says nothing except, "Wrath, I believe?"

V'kale ducks his head for a moment, shaking it, and makes no comments about the shrimp at all, never having ordered a bucket of Feed-the-Whole-Bar. "Wrath," he agrees. "Even though it still feels kinda ridiculous to name a wing that, considering how many of us are so easy-going, you know? Or — were." And now he's remembering, face shadowed by pain. He lost friends, in that horrible Threadfall. Sure, he hadn't been at Eastern long, but he'd been here long enough.

Also having no shame when she's drunk, Maura brazenly nudges Meg with her elbow when the strange look appears. And kind of gives her the 'what gives' look. Because she's freakin' nosy and wants the gossip. "Well, I'm in Avarice. Doesn't really apply to most of us. But it's amusing anyway." Shrug. "Rikath won't listen to anyone but Abydoth anyway, so where he goes… we go." she jokes. Only, she's not kidding if her slight exasperation is an indication. And given that she can sympathize, maybe a little too much at the knowledge of losing so many friends, her eyes water and she ducks her head.

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Heloth, Rikath sighs, making the sound as annoying as possible. Like metal screeching against stone. « Sweet fucking Faranth on a stick. Now she's -weepy-. Thanks. »

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Rikath, Heloth grumbles out a steaming, quenching hiss of agreement. « As is mine. » There's a thoughtful consideration of Rikath, then, and: « Why would you put her on a stick? » The mental image of a hazily-featured gold dragon is surrounded by a floating stick, one that can't quite seem to figure out where it's supposed to go.

Meiglen has no gossip! Absolutely no gossip whatsoever, just a curiously inquiring look directed at V'kale for a split second. "I have no idea what is going on, exactly, as far as the names of the wings. It seems like ending one as if it were a dragon's name is unusual, too, though the weyrling wing name seems to suit! I didn't name them and I don't know who did." A beat, and then, "Do you like your wing, brownrider?" She's clearly going somewhere with this.

Dragon> To Rikath, and Heloth, Svaldirath's sand blows in the wind past the other dragons, musing. « Mine keeps her feelings too deep to show them, » is all she volunteers; whatever Meiglen might be feeling, neither is sharing. Svaldirath's own guilt, however, is palpable as always. She is used to Heloth's interesting images, and so while she tempers her guilt with amusement, she hasn't a spoken word.

"Aside from the oddity of the name, you mean?" V'kale's gaze sharpens on Meiglen, and the curious turn of phrase she's directing at him. It seems far too solemn, too precise, for someone who's drunk as much as he could have sworn they both had. "It's a good wing," he says, the turn of the corner of his mouth, the shape of his eyes, saying he is speaking candidly — at least to someone who's spent years around him, like Meiglen did, once upon a time. "Strong, solid — good dynamics, or at least that's what was. We're all still shaken up, and nobody knows what to do, or who's supposed to lead. It's hard to rebuild in a vacuum."

Dragon> To Heloth, and Svaldirath, Rikath is being entirely helpful when he completes the image for Heloth. One dragon on a stick, completely skewered. « There. Don't be a wuss. » is suggested, before he turns his ire towards Svaldirath. « You have no call to feel guilt. If anyone, the Weyr Council should.» he snarls vaguely, unable to help the accusation against that group.

"Well don't look at me. Those were the names when I got here too." Maura adds, a vague smile playing at the corners of her mouth. For now, she pays attention to the conversation, popping shrimp into her mouth now and then. "Been like that for awhile. It's hard to regroup, and it keeps getting worse yeah? I'm almost glad I had a few weeks after getting scored. It let me get my head on straight again." The words are slurred though, and she seems to be eyeballing her glass as if it's grown wings.

"You don't know who's supposed to lead?" For all that she's totally intoxicated, Meiglen still manages to feign utter confusion and surprise as V'kale offers that opinion. She is not allowing for this maudlin conversation; she has much brighter things to be doing. The thing in her pocket is a wingleader's knot; she flicks it across the table at the brownrider. "That's ridiculous. You are."

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Rikath, Heloth's thoughtful consideration, tempered with amusement, is ripped off-track like a needle from a record — or, really, more like the hideous sound of metal being wrenched in half. Ow. « Savagery isn't the same as not being a wuss, » he tells the blue severely. Poor Faranth-creature is left to shake out her wings and be a vague-shape gold, again, as the stick vanishes… to turn into a surfboard, apparently, as she goes careening off through the waves, well away from Rikath's violence. There's the vague sense, as she goes, that she'll create a tsunami to deal with the Weyr Council, but it is awfully vague. Heloth hasn't really been following along with his rider's thoughts closely enough to understand.

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Heloth, Rikath takes a perverse pleasure in the tremor of pain that wrenching metal causes. Yeah, he really is kind of a sick puppy. Sorry Heloth. « It's violence, not savagery. » he corrects absently, apparently not at all offended. Only bemused. « They are not to be confused. »

V'kale was absolutely going to say something about how Maura got threadscored but doesn't look it, maybe, or something about how the two ladies sure were popping back those shrimp, Maura — to make up for the earlier laughter, clearly — but instead he's busy staring glassily at Meiglen. What? There's a wingleader's knot in his lap; how the hell did that happen? "Meg, I — are you drunk?" It's sort of a stupid question, blurted out as he stares hard at her, disbelieving — but how can he believe her, under the circumstances?

Dragon> To Rikath, and Heloth, Svaldirath is still listening, and kicks up another mental current of sand to demonstrate it. She is not ignoring you, boys, she is merely not being very responsive. Because this conversation is kind of gross, even for her. « It is my Weyr and I protect it, » is all she says.

Dragon> To Svaldirath, and Heloth, Rikath is, for at least a moment, solemnly serious. « Yes, you do. » he agrees, directing the remark to Svaldi. But then he curls up in on himself, letting stone walls rise to shut him off from everyone.

"Hah! Fuck me, but that was good Meiglen. I didn' even see that one comin!" Maura obviously approves of this stealth knotting tactic. And she raises her glass to toast V'kale. "Congratulations, Wingleader. And you're not supposed to argue with the Weyrwoman don't you know? Shut up and drink." she urges, trying to clink her glass against Meg's. And she will probably mostly succeed. But, uhm - her eyes are becoming way too glassy.

Meiglen just keeps giving V'kale a 'what are you stupid' look, only now intensified. "Can't you tell? Of course I'm drunk, but I'm not that drunk. I'd been intending to name you the next Wingleader since I found out nobody else was going to do it." Not having a proper Weyrleader is really, really making her life hard right now. "I just wasn't sure how I was going to do it, and it seems the two of you solved that problem for me. Thank you, Maura, for getting married." Weyrmated. Whatever. She and Maura still manage to clink glasses.

V'kale has now gotten to the point of alternating his confused, bewildered, slightly horrified stare between the knot in his lap and Meiglen; Maura only gets a brief glance directed at her, sad to say, or maybe V'kale would be noticing that glassy-eyed stare. Maybe it's just that they're both drunk, and he's still sober, albeit caught entirely off-guard, that makes him say it: "But I thought you hated me!"

Maura finds Meiglen's accounting of the decision rather amusing, because she busts out into giggles again. "Since nobody else was going to…" Eeeeehehehehehe. That will not be so funny tomorrow, promise. But for now? Quite humorous! "Glad to be of service, Weyrwoman! You didn' get to party with us, so I'm glad you came drinkin' with me tonight." She is rarely sentimental towards those outside of a very small circle of people, so she is undoubtedly wasted beyond all recognition at this point. "Ooooh, love-hate relationship?" Someone, please correct her.

Someone definitely should correct her — but that won't be Meiglen. She's still a bit lost in how something as straightforward as a wing tapping became so ridiculously absurd. And, more importantly, personal. "What does that have to do with anything?" she half-demands, not actually confirming or denying what she actually thinks of V'kale. "My personal feelings, regardless of what they are, have no bearing on your competency to lead a wing." Taking a deep breath, she turns now to Maura and pats the bluerider's hand lightly. "I think you might need some water and a nap, dear — "

"Yes, but you — " V'kale gives up. Maybe he'll point out to her, later, that it would make an awful lot more sense for her to order someone else to provide him with his knot, if she hated him. So… does that mean she doesn't? He can't tell, and that's going to drive him crazy all night. Damn. So he gathers himself together, with a side of dignity, and salutes her as properly as he can without actually standing up yet. "Thank you, w— goldrider." She might be acting Weyrwoman, but she wasn't Weyrwoman. Not yet, at least.

"A nap? But I can't /possibly/ leave you 'lone." Maura protests, with what is left of her last drink sloshing dangerously close to the rim of the cup. "Shyeah. Some people are real arseholes, but stil good at leadin' a wing." is agreed. Well, sort of agreed, because that isn't really at ALL what Meg actually said. Alas, the act of raising her eyes far too quickly to see V'kale stand and salute is apparently too much for her brain to handle. And, whatever else she was about to say comes out as a 'blrglergleblg' before she slumps over and her forehead thunks onto the table. Yep. Out Cold.

Oh. Well. That wasn't part of the plan. Now it's all time for business: Meiglen straightens, and stands. "You are welcome, Wingleader," she says evenly, all signs of intoxication forcibly hidden. "Now, as you've said you are friends with his weyrmate and you seem to trust him, do you suppose you could get Maura back out to her dragon?" One eyebrow quirked, Meiglen rests her hand on top of the bluerider's head. Poor, poor drunk Maura.

Dragon> To Heloth, and Rikath, Svaldirath opens up the gates of communication again, reaching out to inquire, « Rikath, can you get her home if mine straps her in? »

Dragon> To Heloth, and Svaldirath, Rikath affects a half-offended snort. « Yes. And if Ch'rii stops laughing long enough, he can unstrap her and help her down, too. So just load her up. We've got it from there. »

V'kale's expression is all manner of rueful, now. "For all that my connections with Ch'rii don't seem to have any bearing at all on that… yeah, I can get her out of here. Grab the shrimp and drinks, so I don't knock them over when I pick her up, and then we just need to find her — Rikath, right?" That seems to be the name Heloth is providing, at least. And as soon as the table isn't covered with anything liable to make a giant mess if knocked over, V'kale proves himself powerful and manly once again, by outright picking Maura up and carrying her out of the bar. Hey, it's a lot easier than trying to wake her up and coordinate her efforts to walk, right? And who knows what she'll remember through the hangover tomorrow.

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