The Blame Game


Ahnika.jpg Jonavan.jpg

Date: 11/26/2010
Location: Living Caverns
Synopsis: Jonavan confronts Ahnika over smears to his reputation. Accusations are thrown around, and no one leaves satisfied.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Logger: Jonavan

It's after the main dinner rush, but some stragglers are still eating and the buffet of food is still warm. Ahnika and one of the other weyrlings from her class are enjoying their dinner meal together, chatting and generally enjoying each other's company, even issuing the occasional laugh at something said-though the extremely observant might notice the mirth doesn't quite reach Ahni's grey eyes today. Eventually, the other weyrling gets up to leave and makes her farewell to Ahni, who is still picking away at her food. She's eating, for sure. Jhath would never let her hear the end of it if she didn't. However, she's not doing it in any hurry or with any real enthusiasm.

Jonavan is just finishing dinner, seated across from his sister and looking slightly more sociable than his norm - meaning that he doesn't look like he's about to kill anybody. Evie gets up to go, intending on a bath, and leaves the healer on his own to bus both plates. He stands to do just that, and his path takes him past Ahnika, at which point he slows, then stops, then changes directions. "You," Jonavan says, coming up to her table and taking a seat without so much as a by-your-leave, "have some nerve."

Lost in her own thoughts for that brief span of time between her previous dinner companion leaving and Jonavan arriving, Ahnika is rather slow to notice someone else has joined her table, pushing around a bit of her food with her fork before blinking up at Jonavan. Her immediate response to his comment is a squaring of her shoulders and a firm set to her jaw before responding, "Every sharding day." And then her lips purse and a little of that bravado leaves her gaze before she is looking away again. Aha, so maybe she does regret what happened with his sister a little? She's not owning up to it verbally yet, though.

Jonavan sets down the two plates in his hands without much of a clatter, containing an outburst. To Ahnika's response the man gives her a withering look, then spreads his hands to exaggerate that the greenriding weyrling has the floor, his invitation to speak. "Please," he says to go along with it, "would you mind telling me what was going through your infinitesimally pea-sized brain when you decided to go around announcing that it was my fault that you got hurt and someone died? Because I have no idea what are you talking about."

Ahnika bristles noticeably to the barb and wipes any look of regret clear off her face. She stands instead, picking up her plate with a bit of food still left on it having apparently decided not to finish. "Does it matter now?" She asks in an icy tone, "Sounds like you've already made up your mind. Next you'll be blabbing to Jaya all about it or go running to tattle to the Weyrlingmaster." She takes a step away in the direction of the trash and dish receptacles.

Jonavan has hardly finished, and Ahnika's intention to leave before he's barely got going earns her a further look of annoyance. "Yes, it matters when you damage someone's reputation," he answers with exaggerated slowness, implying that it's necessary in order for Ahnika to follow. Then, sharper, "Oh grow up. You brought it on yourself. Take some responsibility."

"No one needs to damage your reputation, Healer, you do enough damage by yourself," Ahnika says over her shoulder, taking another step and then draws to a stop with his last, slowly turning around, eyes narrowing and ignoring any looks they may be getting from the rest of the dining straggler crowd, "Grow up? Take some responsibility? How about taking some of your own advice, Jonavan. The fact is you fucked up and now you're embarrassed that your sister found out so you're taking it out on me. Me? I fucked up too … first and foremost for trusting you, and I've been paying for it ever since and I will pay for it for the rest of my life knowing that had things gone differently …" by this point she realizes her voice is raised and she is making a scene, so she cuts off anything else she might have said on that trail of thought, like, 'someone would still be alive today'. Saying instead, "You're a hopeless sod! Suck it up, Healer!" And she pivots on her boots and continues on her way to dump her plate, not caring if he follows or stays where he is.

Ahnika's point is perfectly true but Jonavan isn't trying to deny it. "There's a difference between me damaging my own reputation and you doing it for me," he growls out in answer, picking up his plates. He swings his legs out and gives chase. Long-legged strides catch Ahnika quickly; unlike her he's not about to draw further attention with loud accusations shouted across the caverns. "I didn't fuck up," he hisses as he draws near, "I told one person because, in case you didn't notice, trying to drug someone is slightly suspicious. If your brilliant little plan didn't go the way you wanted, that's your fault. Not mine."

Vexed to the core (and no doubt there's a green dragonet out there in the bowl with yellowing eyes and growling and huffing along with Ahni), the weyrling irritably scrapes her plate and tosses it in the dish bin with the expected loud sound that comes from knocking up against other plates. She whirls on Jonavan next, glaring up at his face and sending an index finger pointed at his chest. She will try and actually poke him with it there, but not hard. She doesn't really seem to notice that he's got her between himself and the dish bin, so must not feel too intimidated to watch that finger or her tone. She keeps it at a hushed whisper this time, at least, though it is said clearly with ire and emphasis, "You broke confidence. You, not me, Healer. You did. So any damage that has to a Healer's reputation is on your head, not mine. I'll own to the plan not working as I thought, but you made the decision to break confidence, so you did that damage and the onus for that is all you. It means that I have to make sure my friends watch who they talk to and what they say, now, but that's better than their trust being broken and their lives put in more danger because Healers don't know when to keep their mouths shut!"

Jonavan reaches around Ahnika to stack the two plates he's carrying on the pile after a minimal tip to let the major tidbits left over slide off. Being poked only serves to aggravate him further, and he reaches up to slap Ahnika's hand away. "Do you think confidentiality has no limits?" He stays close to put this to her in an undertone. "When you think someone might get hurt, you alert someone who can keep an eye out. It's always like that. Especially when you don't know the full details and can't assess it yourself. You didn't give me a hell of a lot to go on."

Having her hand slapped away momentarily stalls her, startled, but not rattled. Ahnika steps in even closer still. If he wasn't already in her personal space, she just got in his, and wouldn't at all be above actually chest-bumping his a little should they be close enough. She is fit to be tied and it shows. Her eyes narrowing and that slapped away hand coming back up and reaching for … his ear? Yes, his ear. She doesn't slap him back, just makes an attempt to grab his ear like a parent might do an insolent child and give it a firm twist if she can get ahold of it. Then she growls out in a gravelly tone, "Don't you dare take that self-righteous 'for-your-own-good' tone with me. Is that why you went to the sharding barkeep? No, I don't think so! If you were really that concerned and didn't want to just shoot your mouth off and impress Jaya you would have gone to the Weyrlingmasters!"

Jonavan isn't fast enough to jerk away since Ahnika grabbing hold of his ear was the last thing he was expecting. "Ow, fuck," he swears at the wrench she gives before he takes a quick step back. His hand comes up to take hold of Ahnika's wrist and pull her away, if he has to. "I wasn't trying to impress anyone," he snaps, scornful at the suggestion. "You're not the only person who can get hurt by your little game of trying to play hero." The disdain in his tone is distinct, as it is in his regard.

Even with weyrlinghood physical training, Ahnika's right arm (still a little weaker than her left) likely isn't as strong as Jonavan's surgical-trained Healer grip, and so her wrist is taken and her grip on his ear is removed, though not without some effort involved and probably some pinching of that ear, too. Gritting her teeth, Ahnika closes that hand into a fist, but doesn't start swinging yet - he does have her by the wrist anyway. It's as he steps back and snaps at her that she growls back, "It's not a game! People. Have. died. And you're a little late to be fretting over that now, Jonavan. Why didn't you try and talk me out of it? Or offer to help me. I know why, because deep down, you don't really give a shit about anyone but yourself. You're the worst sharding Healer on this world," so says the one who couldn't even make it to an apprenticeship. But something in her demeanor cracks with that statement and her hand relaxes a little, at least out of the fist, and she is trying to yank it out of his grip, "I never said I wasn't paying for my mistakes, including when my decisions hurt others." She swallows once, a shadow crossing her expression and she looks away from him, her voice is firm, but carries with it less of the ire from before, "I am still learning. I have a right to be wrong on occasion, but I hold myself accountable when I do. I learn my lesson from it and move on, including who to trust and who not to trust and you and every other Healer fall into that category now. Even your sister, since she obviously broke confidence enough to bring the conversation we had to you." Then she turns back to look at Jonavan, jerking her chin out a little, "You obviously think you're above learning anything, even when you fuck up."

Out of caution, Jonavan keeps hold of Ahnika's wrist just in case she does start swinging. Looking down at her, he states coolly, "I care enough to treat what comes through the doors of my infirmary, not you and your little dramas. People die all the time. But that isn't my fault if I'm not the one holding the knife." Callous, but then this is someone who likely has seen a number of people die in front of him, given his profession. Jonavan lets go of Ahnika when it seems less likely that she's going to try to punch him. "Leave my sister out of it," he says abruptly. "What is it, in your little fantasy world do people not talk to each other? You say something about me, I have a right to know. If I did fuck up - which I didn't - she has a right to ask. Get used to it." He's apparently done talking to her, because the Healer now spins with every intention of walking away.

Ahnika lets him have his say for the moment. It could look like she's not listening since she is too busy flexing her fingers a little in testing them after he releases her wrist. But she is obviously listening because she opens her mouth to begin to protest whether or not he fucked up, again. Then she shuts again and as he turns and walks away, she makes no move to stop him, just crossing her arms over her chest and calling out to his back, "One day, that head of yours will be too big to fit through the Infirmary doorway, Jonavan, and you'll have done pissed off everyone around you so much you'll have no one around to help you out. I look forward to seeing it." Then she turns to go herself, though isn't about to go in the same direction, choosing instead the kitchen exit, and one of her comfort zones.

Closing Credit Theme Music: Joss Stone - "Right To Be Wrong"

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