The barkeep and the headwoman


Jaya.jpg Indira.jpg

Date: 2010.07.22
Location: Headwoman's Office
Synopsis: Jaya comes to see Indira about sleeping arrangements and the two size each other up.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Indira

Early morning, before breakfast has even been served, finds the Headwoman already in her office and sorting out the first problem of the day. That being a shaggy haired young man in his late teens. “Leron, I’m not going to warn you again. This is the third time in as many sevens that Max has sent you here for shirking your duties. You want to go back onto latrine duty?” With the door standing open, the conversation at hand is probably not hard to overhear.

And it's just as well that the door was open and there was business already afoot, for Jaya walk by the door, backtracks to stretch her head back at them, then reverses her stride to let herself in. Perhaps it's the name that she hears - Max - that gets her attention, or, this could have been the very room she was looking for. She flicks a nosy glance about the room and its occupants, coming to stand inside and right beside the door now with her arms folded and giving no response. She seems to want to let them continue their conversation, but she leaned herself against the wall to suggest that she wasn't about to go away either.

“No ma’am,” Leron counters with, trying on a suitably chastened expression, “but it wasn’t my fault the goat chewed through its rope an’ got away.” Indira raises a dark blonde brow in warning as the teen tries to wriggle his way out of it and takes a threatening step in closer to him, her hand going toward his ear to give a tweak, “I should have left you out there on the road to become threadbait, you ungrateful young pup. Now get back down to the beast caverns and if I hear one more word of complaint coming from you latrine duties will be the least of your problems.” The shaggy haired lad sets a scowl to the headwoman and then holding his ear, stomps out and passed Jaya muttering something about having been happier to have been left alone in the first place. With an exasperated roll of eyes, the headwoman turns to Jaya next, “Morning, how can I help you?” efficient as always.

Jaya watches Leron as he's taken out with a small blotch of interest. Her head turning to following him out with her gaze, Indira returns it to her with her question. There's silence, and then there's, "How many 'Max's' are in this Weyr?" If the question offsets the other, then it seems to be Jaya's intention. Even her tone suggests that the question was Serious Business.

Moving toward her desk, Indira settles herself into the chair behind it and beckons for Jaya to take up the other. “How many Max’s?” she repeats the question, looking a little confused, “I’m not actually sure. We haven’t quite finished up the census yet. Are you looking for someone in particular?”

Taking the offered seat, Jaya flicks a gesture towards the door. "I'm curious," is her non-commital explanation, planting a neutral enough smile in place once she is settled in chair. "I ran into one that seems to be running the very stables your boy-" and she nods her head sharply behind her "-seems to be running back to, but, I'm assuming the name given me was his full." She shakes her head a fraction as if to clear it, leaning forward a bit as if to change the subject. "Nevermind. I could be mistaken. Jaya," and the cool introduction comes with a hand pressed to her chest to connect the name to herself. "I've just arrived not too long ago. Are you the Headwoman?"

Dark eyes, so very like her son’s, narrow onto Jaya as she expands on the topic of the person being asked after, “Lomaxin? You’re here to see him?” The dark haired girl opposite her having gained Indira’s –full- attention now, her tone draws sharp edges into it, “What he do? Get you knocked up or something?” Open annoyance flickers about the headwoman and then is pulled back behind a perfectly neutral mask, “Headwoman, Indira,” she states by way of introduction.

The name gets instant recognition, Jaya's eyes widening but a fraction once it's mentioned, but the rest of the headwoman's words cause those very same eyes to narrow in defense instantly. Her hand dropping from her chest as she brings herself up in the chair, "-Knocked- up?" she echoes this particular piece, looking rather put out by such a notion. Letting haughtiness chill her business-like tone away, "Hardly, Headwoman Indira," is given with a little sneer. "I just wanted a confirmation of a name, and now I got it." Settling back into her seat now, "I'm here," and these last two words are given pompously, as if the thought of being there because of someone else was unsettling enough. "I'm here to open a bar and I need something to sleep in. I figured you would have something to suffice until I can find a place to stay." Businesslike once more, the barmaid lets the edge ebb some from her rich alto.

Shoulders held perfectly straight break from their bonds and roll into a shrug for Jaya’s indignant comeback. Indira knows (or thinks she does) her son enough for this to be something she’d expect from him. Settling back in her own seating as she does, hands lace together over her stomach and the headwoman sets a long silent study onto the dark haired young woman, as if sizing her up. Finally, “What’s your business with, Max?” A scratch of protective mother bear coming to the fore in her tone. She’ll give the other woman time to think that over as she goes to the topic of the her needs, “From what they’re telling me, the room set aside for the bar’s finished being dug,” as to the other part of the request made, a smirk forms across the older blonde’s mouth as she deliberately misinterprets, “Sleep in the buff. It’s what I do.” Teasing set aside, she draws a sheet of paper off of the stack set to one side of her and studies it, “Weyr’s still new enough that space is at a premium. You can take a cot in the make-shift dorms we have set up in the lower caverns, run a screen in the bar and sleep there or…” and Jaya probably won’t like the next one much, “see if Max will rent you a space in one of the empty stalls.

"I like my privacy." Jaya doesn't answer Indira's question on her business with Max, her gaze coming to study the older woman critically. "I need my own space. I'm perfectly fine with sleeping behind the counter." Clearly, the dorms was out, and her nose then wrinkles some at the option of the stalls. Dryly, "I doubt Lomaxin-" she deliberately uses the name he gave her with a petulant air "-will be in a good enough mood to set me up there, and, I doubt I would want to be around should he decide to show his….ill manners again." The deliberate misinterpretation gets just a tilt of her head to the side, her eyes never leaving the other's as amusment remains absent at the tease. A tetchy one this is, hm?

"Don't we all," Indira drawls on the matter of privacy, letting the matter of Jaya's non response go. She'll find out one way or the other. As to the new bar owner having chosen to sleep at her place of work, the headwoman nods and makes a note on a separate piece of paper, "I have someone doing some work for me. Perhaps if I ask nicely, I can get him to have a wooden screen made up to offer you more privacy," the barest hint of sly entering dark eyes. Strangely enough, a smirk fits into place for the petulant air the dark haired woman uses in relation to the beast manager, "What he do, swat your butt when you sashayed passed? Offer you a stall for a kiss in return?" already pegging the other woman as being more than capable of being able to take care of herself, "That's Max. He gets too much for you. Deck him one." Clearly the woman hasn't seen her son lately. Another document is taken up as she states, "You'll need to give me a list of things you'll be needing for your bar. I've managed to secure a few of the essentials for now such as glasses and the likes."

The matter of her setting home behind her bar's counter settled, Jaya visibly relaxes. Somewhat. When Indira starts to write and talks of a wooden screen, Jaya reaches forth to try and still her hand. "No need," she states, adding a quick smile to blunt the edge to her words. "You'll find me low maintenance. All I ask from you is a sheet and a pillow." As to the list for the bar, she leans back into the chair and finally releases her intense gaze from the headwoman to contemplate the matter. A finger tapping against her chin idly, "I appreciate the glasses, and like," the barmaid allows with a curt nod in Indira's direction, pleased. "I'll write up a list. I've already started one up, in fact." Pause. "The drinks and like will be -my- issue, however," she adds this briskly, turning her glance back to the headwoman. "You will find I am not without my -own- means for securing the things I want." As for Max? "I will deal with Lomaxin, later," she returns glossily on that matter, her tone ominous. But, she can't help to ask at the questioning, "He must be a thief of kisses. You say he…does this sort of thing before?" Speculating.

Both brows hike upward, Indira lifting a look up from her task as the new arrival tries stilling her hand, but she continues to finish the note and sets the sheet aside, the edges of internal amusement flickering in and out over something. “You might well be low maintenance, darling, but this Weyr takes care of its own. I’ll have a mattress, pillows and sheets sent down to you. We’re a bit short on cots, but that looks set to change,” her tone brooking no argument on the matter. Nodding the headwoman mentally files away what Jaya says with regards to the bar, a small smile flirting about her mouth and then withdrawing when the younger woman claims ownership to organizing her own alcohol. A wry chuckle looses itself from the tousle haired blonde, “He’s a man, darling. Aren’t all men thieves of something or another?” Cynical.

"Its own." For some reason, this part of Indira's statement was the one that Jaya found sarcastically interesting. "Thanks," she gives low then for the mattress and the like, allowing a little smile to play at the corners of her mouth. Brushing a hand over her face, the long scar down the side that was hidding by dark hair seen for a moment in the action, the barmaid lets that matter drop and addresses the other. "You know this Lomaxin." It's a statement. Eyes dropping to the table briefly, "He would do well to steer clear of me in the future." This next is given as cold as steel, as if she was expecting the Headwoman to deliver this piece of warning to the beast manager himself. Her voice turning neutral on this last now, "Thieves they may be, Headwoman, but they are certainly not the best at it." The smile is there, barely, seeming to empathize with the cynical statement.

Ever observant, sloe eyes catch that scar that gets briefly revealed, though no reaction is forthcoming as yet more information gets silently tucked away to be taken out and perused at a later stage. Initially ignoring the comment made over her son, Indira, feigning idle interest, lifts a stack of papers and beings leafing through them. Without looking up, “Where was it you said you came in from again?” A note is made in the margin of one document, set to one side and another taken up, hovering mid air as the headwoman’s attention lifts and places squarely onto Jaya, “Anything you have to say to, Max, you say yourself. I don’t have time to play messenger or get into the middle of a lover’s quarrel.” While her tone carries bland indifference, the last words might quite likely have been designed to deliberately rankle. The paper drops, is scanned through and then it too is set to one side and the older woman’s attention shifts back onto the occupant of the chair opposite her, low sardonic laughter spills out, “You’ll do well to rethink that mindset for it’ll be the very one who shows himself as inept as a thief that will have stolen everything before you realize it’s even missing.” The sharp edge of bitter experience flattening dark eyes.

Indira rankles Jaya effectively, though really, it doesn't take -that- much to do so. Dark eyes hovering over the headwoman's documents, "You assume -far- too much to my liking, Headwoman," the barmaid returns haughtily on the barb about a lover's spat. "And I will do well to think however I damn well please!" Shooting Indira one of her signature 'And -you- are?' looks, "I have nothing to worry about from -him-, here. Or anyone." Petulant much? As to the perusal question of her origins, the moody young woman's guardedness is instantly on alert. Chin lifting a fraction with a frown present, "I didn't," the barmaid let her know. "It's Telgar." Anyone good at detecting it would be able to pick up that something was clearly not right about that answer, the way it was tossed.

It takes one, to know one, and as such, Indira’s lips simply curve into a short smile of smug triumph as Jaya falls for the bait. In a seemingly bored tone for the new arrival’s tetchiness, “Oh, unbunch your panties and take a breath already.” Catching the barbed look sent her way, a brow pops back up in display of patient amusement, “I, darling girl,” yes, she did just use that term, “am the one woman in this Weyr, you –do- not, want to piss off.” The unspoken ‘capiche?’ clear in the steel edge of her tone. The headwoman’s faint smile speaks to her having been well aware that Jaya hadn’t revealed her origins, “Nice place in the summer,” she comments easily in return. “Got any family you’ve left behind up there?” just two woman having a conversation, nothing more, nothing less. Or so the older blonde’s easy posture, relaxed expression and warm tones would suggest.

Jaya visibly bristles at the reprimand. This was definitely new territory for her. "Really?" on pissing off that one woman, her eyes narrowing on her. "That almost sounds to me like a challenge. How I love those." Arms come to a fold across her chest, panties staying firmly bunched. She meets that 'capiche' look head on, not turning away in her quick temper. When Indira moves on about her origins, a thin lipped smile is what comes forth that has no warmth. There's a non-chalant shrug on family, and a quick "Telgar's just a place to me. I was just passing through." A long-ass 'passing through', perhaps, but unless the headwoman heard through the grapevine that she was the notorious barmaid from the Blood and Bucket up there, she's not seeming to let on. Since they were on the stage of sharing, Jaya then asks in a clipped voice, "Yourself?"

Indira sets a dead eyed stare onto Jaya, a brow hiking up almost into her browline, “You –really- want to go down that line, do you? The last person that tried that got set up on top of the bowl wall for his efforts. And the one before that? Let’s just say, they’ll never find gainful employment in that region again.” An icy little flicker of a smile and then its gone again, peeled back behind the near congenial façade that sets into place. “Ah, a nomad,” the headwoman derives of the new bar owner’s comment on her origins, “interesting life for those that can handle the uncertainty of it.” As to the question put to her, she answers with ease, “Just myself and my son. No one else.” At least not that she’s aware of.

"Threats already." Jaya shifts in her seat, allowing a slow nod as if this line of action was expected. "I -must- say, this is the quickest." She doesn't seem fazed in the least of being dropped onto of the bowl, nor of losing employment. But then, the barmaid finally releases the headwoman from both her gaze and her ire. "Don't feel like going down -any- lines, today, Indira," the notorious barmaid drops all-too calmly for perhaps the other's liking. Meeting her eyes again with that mocking smile, "I'm still finding my way around this place and don't need the weyrwoman breathing down my back." The 'yet' unspoken is almost tangible. Hands lifting in mocking acquiesce, "Just need my stuff so I can lay down peacefully tonite. Take care of its own, remember?" In case, you know, she forgot. She seems to allow the nomad comment, though adds, "Hardly interesting. Just necessary. At least you have your son." A brow lifts, then falls. "I just have me."

In a slightly patronising tone that one would use with a littlie, a patient smile attaching, “No sweetie, just helping you to settle in by letting you know how I like to keep things running around here.” Her way or the highway? “Well good, then we should get along just fine,” not exactly buying Jaya’s acquiescence but putting voice to the notion anyway. Amusement comes quickly on the heels of the tetchy woman’s comment over getting on the bad side of the weyrwomen, “Alara and Randi, while as different as chalk and cheese are good people to have on your side. Let’s face it,” leaning forward for the sincerity with which Indira delivers the next, “they’ve taken one helluva chance taking the likes of us on,” bracketing the two of them together in the same category, “and all in the name of seeing a way forward into the future rather than stagnating in some hole in the wall while Thread eats the planet around us, hmm?” And while it might mean nothing to the recently relocated young woman, its evident this is a subject the headwoman is passionate about. Stacking papers together one on top of the other, the woman stands and moves toward a crate from which she draws out a yet another document, takes it back to her desk, fills it in and hands it over to the bar owner, “Take this down to stores and they’ll have you set up right away with what you need for sleeping arrangements.” A shadow passes behind her eyes at mention of having her son and then she’s putting a smile that seems to carry genuine warmth to it, over to Jaya, “No,” she corrects, “you have us,” the weyrfolk, “and all of this,” a hand lifting and moving in the air to encompass the Weyr in its entirety.

Jaya is speechless, perhaps, for now she just takes to glaring at the older woman. Then, she's on her feet. "Hope such chances don't bite them when they least expect it," she mutters dryly, smoothing out the folds in her skirt before she delivers a speculative look Indira's way on the mention of Thread. She watches the woman like a hawk when Indira stands, taking the offered document firmly and pockets it with a crisp nod. While she seems congenial at this point, it's obvious that something in the verbal exchange had rubbed the young woman the wrong way and she is not yet mollified. She catches the shadow that passes the woman's face at the mention of her son, the last simply getting a tight and doubtful "We shall see." Which, might lead one draw some interesting conclusions in regard to Jaya's guarded past.

“I for one am grateful for the chance given,” Indira states sincerely, eyes lifting up to Jaya and finding the young woman still ruffled, “Is there something I should know about? Or are you just going to sit there and look daggers at me until I guess what it is?” Practice of turns passed keeping the conversational level to her tone. There does come a brief twitch of brow for the last phrase spoken however, “The Weyr, as with life, is what you make it.” Says she.

Not dropping back into her seat, Jaya chooses instead to be nosy and appraise the room rather than the Headwoman. "It's….nothing," she answers the other awkwardly on there being anything wrong, her gaze not on her. "Not exactly enamoured with the tone you've taken with me, is all. I'm not that whelp you just ear-delivered out your door." At least she speaks her mind, right? Turning back towards the desk to sweep her gaze over Indira's documents, "Clearly," the loaded word is returned dryly at the last before her gaze finally settles on her with an 'are we done?' look.

Staying where she is with her hip leaned up against the side of her desk, Indira’s arms fold in casual pose across her chest as the new barkeep puts words to her prickly state. Eyes tracking Jaya’s movements about her office, the barest edge of a real smile tilts a corner of her mouth, “And I do not appreciate people coming in here and being disrespectful but I do admire your backbone in speaking your mind.” No chastisement in either tone or expression, simply a statement of fact with perhaps a hint of approval for the young woman’s boldness. Catching the interest in her documents, the headwoman sets a hand to the nearest stack and slides just out of easy reading distance, that smile still flickering along her lips. Coming in response to that look set upon her person, “Was there anything else?”

"Well, you know us holdless folks, shuga," Jaya quips, sending the glimmers of a wry smile towards the Headwoman. "Could never take orders properly. Otherwise, I would be where I need to be right now." Gaze turns off her, the documents now out of seeing reach, her own lips twitch at the action before she turns toward the door. That is, if she's not stopped anyway. "No. I'm done." That bare smile doesn't leave. Not completely as she heads for the door.

Jaya’s words draw a low chuckle from the headwoman who then states, “Takes some of us longer to find our path, but when we do?” leaving her to fill in the blanks. As the new barkeep starts to make her departure, Indira moves back to her seating, eyes following the young woman, “Welcome to Eastern, Jaya. I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for here.” Said with genuine intent and then she’s back to poring over seemingly endless sheets of paper.

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