The Flowers Say It All


Bowen.jpg Lorayit.jpg

Date: Oct. 2, 2010
Location: Weyr Gardens, EW
Synopsis: Lo meets Bo and helps him pick out a flower to say the words he wants to say to his lady. He also tests the man to see if he's 'recruitable' to his cause.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Lorayit

It has been a hard sevenday for a simple Weyr gardener. After the debacle with the runner thieves - his runner thieves, anyway - and all the trouble that it brought, Lorayit was finding it difficult to keep a calm face to the outside world. This late night he stands, the Weyr's gardens a paces behind him as he surveys his handiwork with hands in his pockets against the pale moon's light. Since no one's really about at this time, the gardener sees no reason to wear his usual mask of polite friendliness. The hat is off, one can say, and the dark look he sends the various rows of flowers and herbs is withering. He looks to be finally finishing his shift, late at that, so it's with a heavy sigh that he turns from the sight of flowers and moves to perch himself lazily up on the nearby flatrock outcropping. A bottle gets taken up immediately and uncorked, the man already starting to down it in a few gulps.

One of the benefits of being a tanner is that when one is on the job, at least around the curing vats, only the few who can stand the smell - which usually means other tanners - loiter about. Not quite the case with some other jobs in the weyr, no matter the hour; even the kitchens, it seems, can't get a moment's peace. The gardens, at least the flowering portion, are likely of a similar nature, probably with more than a few strolling lovers under a moonlit sky taking them in. Or … doing other things in them. Tonight however, a lone man wanders through, hat on. He looks anything but the romantic type and instead is eyeing some of those blossoms rather critically as he sets his hands to his hips and considers the plethora of floral variety here. At one point, he takes his hat off and scratches his head, seemingly unaware of anyone on outcroppings. Could be he's that terrible at noticing such things. Could be he's just that distracted.

Despite his taking liberties with a certain bottle, Lorayit isn't too far gone into the bottom of said bottle to notice anyone loitering in his garden. He's leaning back up on the boulder, bottle halfway to his lips when his gaze lands on Bowen. There's a slight frown as he regards the other, the bottle slowly coming to a rest on his lap as he watches. The way Lo's looking the man over, one would think the look kinda leery if they didn't know the gardener's real profession. So leery looks will stay. It's almost sudden when he's on his feet, taking the bottle with him as he saunters toward the big tanner with his easy grace and casual demeanor in place. He stands just to the side and behind Bowen, blue eyes considering him from head to toe and back, before he decides to easily break the silence. His gaze shifting towards what Bowen could be looking at, "You know, the little red ones will do it, to say you're sorry," he says, letting a bit of a drawl enter his tone as he turns back to Bowen. "If you're looking for flowers to say it." He's making assumptions of course, but usually men rarely entered his garden unless for a woman, in Lo's estimation.

Some men visibly show when they are startled by jumping or shouting. Bowen just -freezes-, his whole body going tense and stock-still. But then, he's not much for quickness in most any respect. After a long moment, the man finally moves again, this time to set his hat casually back on his head and sloooooowly turns around before straightening to his full and unimposing (for most guys) 5'10" height. In the lighting at this hour, the bruise to his chin and the pencil-thin cut on his lip may or may not be visible depending on how close Lorayit wants to look. Bo takes a moment to give the gardener a long look, himself, though it's not terribly critical. Just a man assessing the fellow who, by Bo's estimation, actually snuck up on him, whether intentional or not. Finally, the stocky tanner just grunts a little, more shown by the slight movement in his shoulders and chest than the soft sound from his lips, "Much obliged," Bowen says, letting his body relax a little now, though keeping his chest facing Lo as his head turns back to the blossoms. He appears to be considering the red ones for a time, even though he's got nothing to say sorry for. Yet. It's still early though. Give him time. "Sounds like ya know a lil sumpthin' 'bout talkin' with flowers." His accent marks him as Southern-born and bred, and he turns his blue eyes back onto the gardener with his words before dropping that gaze down to the bottle Lo carries, briefly, and then back up to the man's face once more.

Lo certainly takes in the injuries when Bowen slowly turns around, not hiding that open appraisal of the other in the silence. At that grunt, the gardener straightens up a bit more to peer at his face before sending him a nod in greeting. All easy. "I know a little something about everything," he answers on flowers, now stepping up to the side of the tanner to sweep his own gaze over his garden. The bottle shifts a little before he lifts, turning slightly to send Bowen that easy smile of his. "Lo," he gives in greeting, inclining his head briefly. "Weyr gardener here. Looking to talk to someone with flowers?" He continues to appraise the other man as he speaks too, seeming to size him up as perhaps someone he could do business with in the near future. After all, with two of his men out of the picture now, and a target still present to collect…not to mention he has no idea that Bowen was one of the men that captured one of -his- men…

Bowen doesn't appear to be unsettled by the scrutiny. He's pretty much been dealing with that since he got here. First for being new. Then for the injuries from thwarting runner thieves, and then the bar brawl. "That so?" Bo responds slowly to the first statement, though doesn't seem skeptical, more just facetious and attempting to be funny, sort of. Then he nods, "Lo," in greeting before lifting a hand to jerk his thumb at his chest, "Bo," because not saying his own nickname against Lo's is just too hard to resist. "Weyrtanner," because he doesn't really have anything to hide. At least not on that angle. He looks back at the bed of various blossoms, and it's here that he looks skeptical, though it's genuinely more a skeptical look sent the flowers and Bo's self-criticism than anything the gardener has said or done. His relaxed posture is one that is shared by many men who aren't unused to the infrequent sucker punch or even full-on brawl, and so are generally "ready" without being coiled tight as a paranoid spring at the same time. More habit than anything he's conscious of. "Mebbe," Bo says at long last with an exhale, and a faint smirk draws one corner of his lips up just a touch, "I reckon I better figure out whut I'm lookin' ta say first, though. There alotta things a flower can say?" Because if he has a lot of choice, they'll be here for the rest of the turn before he makes up his mind.

"Bo?" That gets Lorayit to break into a smile that was already present. "Ah! Weyrtanner. Figures." Taking a step back with a wave of one finger towards his upper body, "I can see it in your arms," he explains with a single nod before he turns back to the flowers that have Bowen's skepticism. He's silent a moment, fingers coiling tightly around the top of the bottle before he lifts it to his lips. He takes a short enough drink, wiping what escapes from his mouth with the back of his hand before he holds it out in a wordless gesture. Lo isn't anything if not courteous, and what is better than sharing a good bottle of brandy? At the questions given on flowers, the gardener takes a moment to gather his thoughts before responding. There's a slight shrug, letting his blue eyes roam over the small sections holding all different kinds and types of flowers for one's perusal. "Flowers can say anything, really," he gives his own belief with non-chalance, passing a glance over to the tanner. "As long as the gesture is simple. Still, though. I imagine women usually don't pay much attention to their meaning as opposed to the one that's giving it to them." That's what he believes, anyway, the man taking on such a confident slant to his tone. "Noticed your accent," he suddenly gives, the words seeming to have been present in his mind for some time now and only just now decided to be uttered. "From Southern way?" And in that same pause, he also adds with a touch of wryness, "What are you looking to say, anyway? If I can be of service."

"Stacked hides can get purdy heavy a'times," the tanner says softly with a little nod and, unsmiling, seeming just a hair's-breadth shy of actually gloating at the ego-stroking, whether intentional or not. "If ya ain't got th' muscle fer it when ya start, yer sher's shells gonna have it when yer dun." And then there's the heavy buckets and buckets of water to fill the vats, but Bowen doesn't go into the particulars. "Reckon ya gard'ners get yerselves a work-out, too," he allows in turn, taking the offered bottle without a verbal thanks, but a nod of one just the same. He takes a draught while Lo speaks, not overly long enough to warrant concern that he's drinking it down, but not sissy sipping either. With a little harsh exhale, mostly because he didn't rightly know what he was drinking before he first tasted it and so hadn't really prepared himself, he hands the bottle back to Lo. After Lo mentions that most women find the man who gives them the flower more significant, the tanner states dryly, "Oh, I reckon I'm really fucked now." There comes a little grunt, and if it is meant in near-silent laughter at himself or meant for his accent, there's no telling. "Ayup. Southern." His hands free now, he hooks his thumbs at his hips, casual like, and leans back a little to regard the flowerbeds again. "Shit," he mutters on a sigh, "I ain't rightly sure, Lo. Been long time since this here tanner even felt like tryin' t'get a woman's 'ttention." And he's earnest there. Not ashamed of it and so not feeling like he needs to hide it.

"Sounds like my line of work," Lo supplies on tanning, though by the looks of him the best he's ever lifted was a plow. Lorayit would probably flail in that line of work, but the man could either be mocking himself or simply being friendly. Once the bottle is taken, he gives an easy half-shrug on gardening and answers, "Strong brandy," he supplies on the taste of it, once the bottle is handed back. "And well, gardening's nothing like farming. That's what I really do. Nothing like being out in the fields all day, watching your handiwork grow into something beautiful." He gives the flowers and herbs about them a fond look just the same though, so he could very well be including the garden in his statement. On the topic of women, there's light laughter and a glance in Bowen's direction. "Doubt it," he disagrees with ease. "Women are pretty easy once you get down to their basics. Not much to them. Bet she likes you well enough, if she's got you here looking at flowers, right?" At least to him, women are easy. He casts a glance about them, eyes scanning the different types of flowers as if the very one would come pop itself out as a good answer. "Go to Southern often?” this next question comes without pause from the topic of women, as if the two were somehow or other related.

"Ayup," he practically grunts to the comment about the brandy and lets it go at that. Bowen is quiet as he listens to Lo talk shop, or at least talk gardening and farming, returning his attention back to the other man. He nods a little, offering after a lengthy pause, "Good, solid work, that. Farmin'." And after mentioning watching something grow into something beautiful, he adds in agreement, "Nuthin' like feelin' like ya dun sumpthin' good an useful at th' end of th' day." Perhaps oddly, he doesn't pry into why the man is here gardening instead of out in the more expansive fields. Every man has his own story and Bo's not usually the prying type unless he has a specific need to. So far, he appears not to. The corners of Bo's eye crinkle a little in mild show of amusement to Lo's disagreement about the tanner, but that slips into a look of genuine incredulousness when Lo says women are pretty easy. He turns his attention back to the flower beds, seeming thoughtful of Lo's words, but neither agreeing or objecting to them in the end. He remains looking at them as Lo's last question comes and Bo doesn't even bat an eye at the shift in topic, "J'st got here a few sevendays 'go, so ain't lookin' t'make that ride back anytime soon. But I reckon I'll go back at some point. Still got kin there."

“Something good,” Lorayit seems to consider those choice of words, an oddly dry slant to his tone since he himself is far from good. “Yeah, something like that.” Since the other doesn’t offer further words on that subject, nor on whether women are easy or not, he doesn’t supply any more himself. Returning his attention back to the flowers as he takes a long drink from the bottle, Bo’s answer on Southern earns him a shallow nod as his mind works furiously. He did need something – a message – sent on to the Hold. To the people he needed to communicate with. Brushing a hand across his mouth, “Got a pretty girl out there,” he suddenly supplies, affecting a wistful tone as he lifts his blue eyes to the sky. “Ermina. Got some things I need to send her. A short message, too. I don’t suppose…?” Blue eyes slide over to Bowen whether he’s looking his way or not, seeming to gauge the man’s reaction to this abrupt change of subject – or, maybe not since they were talking about women in general. “If you managed to get this way, then do you have the means to briefly go back? Especially if I make it worth your while, Bo?” Lorayit’s laying on the smooth-talking charms now, a finger lightly brushing under his lower lip as he tries to entice the big tanner into doing him a favor. Really, it was a test, but it’s likely that Bowen wouldn’t know it since the gardener is remaining so easy with him at this point.

If anything, Bowen actually looks like he feels sorry for Lo having a girl out at Southern as the tanner slides his gaze back to the gardener, though it could just be that he feels sorry for the man having that kind of distance between him and that girl. The question has Bo’s expression turning stoic and neutral, unreadable, except for the fact that his eyes blink. A lot. Like he’s trying to riddle something out but he doesn’t want to show it, either for fear of looking stupid or perhaps for fear of insulting Lo. He lifts a hand to rub down his face and for a brief moment, his tiredness shows, and then after a very long moment he finally speaks, “Can’t leave things right now, m’afraid,” which is true, though he doesn’t seem particularly regretful. “Not fer a long runner ride like that. M’sorry.” He doesn’t specifically say he has his own runner, but the implication is there nevertheless. But he’s not a dragonrider and neither does he have one in his pocket as Max does, essentially, for favors like this. But he’s not shooting things down without offering a helpful suggestion anyway, because Bo is generally a nice guy, or tries to be. “Yanno,” he drawls, “a lot of Southern riders come by on their sweeps or ‘cause some green is ‘bout t’rise. That’d be fast’r an’ y’might even get a night in with yer purdy girl b’fore comin’ back.” He hooks his thumb back in his waistband, “But when I’m lookin’ t’make that ride back, ya can bet I’ll come find ya b’fore Igo an’ see if ya got anythin’ ya wanna send back with me,” stated amiably enough.

Lo is taking Bowen’s expression of his having a girl in Southern as the latter rather than the former, his blue eyes considering the silence with open interest. However, he does affect a look of mild disappointment, there and gone in one instant, as he doesn’t answer on the decline right away. Nodding a few times, “A Southern rider, eh?” He pretends as if he’s considering this, eyes narrowing to the sky as if the answer would be in the stars. The bottle slowly lifting to his mouth, “Perhaps. Don’t know if I want my Ermina facing some brash and daring dragonrider though.” Not that perhaps Bowen would be any different, but the farmer is already moving on in the conversation. “I’ll be sure to keep you in mind, however,” he adds on, sending Bowen a look of pure kindness and companionship – as if this unassuming man could do no wrong. “Have been here less than you, mind, so I certainly am not in a position to be turning down any kind of help from potential friends.” His look is pointed, trying to convey the meaning that it’s the kind of connection he’s certainly looking for with the tanner. He still wasn’t sure about Bowen, but it didn’t hurt to have fellows around to talk women and share whiskey and brandy with. Eyes fall back to the flowers. “So….what about a nice, general bouquet of pale yellows?” He steps forward, shifting and bending down to gesture to the large yellow ones with delicate-looking opened buds on the ends. “A few of these and she’ll be smiling from ear to ear.” Back to the topic, and perhaps the reason Bowen was there – the man perhaps not wanting the tanner to leave at least empty-handed.

As Lo looks skyward, Bowen does too, but mostly because he’s looking to see what Lo is looking at. To the comment about a brash and daring rider, Bo grunts and nods in agreement to that, looking a bit like he is all too understanding about it. “Greenrider might do th’ trick fer ya, Lo, that bein’ th’ case,” he offers quietly, but isn’t terribly in a compelling mood so leaves it at that. Alas, he’s not going to be leaving Che for a long ride over to Southern just when it was looking, to Bo, like she might be in some kind of trouble, not without a stronger reason than just paying family a visit and delivering love letters at any rate. To the comment about potential friends, Bo nods quietly, lowering his head to regard the other man for a time, “T’ain’t no thang,” he drawls, and it wouldn’t be really, if he was already riding there, so he means it. His blue-eyed gaze moves to the flowers Lo is suggesting, finding that even in this lighting, they might look good tucked into her hair or something. Between Lo’s salesmanship and the mental image of Cheusia’s face surrounded by the yellow blossoms, it’s a pretty good sell. “Might do. Might do,” Bo says consideringly, looking more and more like he was seriously considering it. “Do they mean sumpthin’ else?” Because it’d just be his luck to get her a flower that means ‘get well soon’ or something.

“Ever met a randy greenrider before?” Lorayit puts to Bowen with some amusement, lifting a finger and ticking it left and right with a rumbling chuckle. “But, ah, I imagine the right one will come along for me to feel safe delivering what I can there. I did meet a S’las at the bar the other night who likes to make discreet trips here and there…” and from this, the matter is dropped. Lo’s not one to force a point or a sale – not in something delicate as this – but even when one declines an offer, the man learns what he can in a person. He’s helped recruit men from all over the Southern Continent for Vaputero, after all. A hard sale of a man was nothing new, and it only meant that he would continue to test the man until either something stuck or Lorayit merely got bored. Right now, though, his main sale was his flowers, not work. He brushes a finger along the pale yellows he’s showing off, then deftly pulls out a knife with his other hand and cuts off a flower for closer inspection. Getting to his feet and passing the cut flower on over to the tanner, “Friendship,” is his answer, as simple as it comes. “Friendship can mean any number of ways, too, my friend. She could be a ‘special’ friend, or the best one you have…” Blue eyes seek out Bo’s regarding him steadily now as he adds, “Unless you’re looking for a deeper meaning,” he adds, lips curling slightly. “I have some deep reds over here that could tell her that …the moon could fall tonite and crush you both, but your love for her would never fade.” Poetic much? Well, just by looks alone one could tell that Lo wasn’t one of those ‘tough and tumble’ men. Not by a long-shot. “Depends on you, Bo. How serious this girl is to you, hmmm?” The yellow one is still held out for him to take, waiting for his response with patience.

The first question gets an uncertain look from Bo, suggesting he’s not sure he’s met a randy anything since before his wife got pregnant back in the day. Poor Bo. There comes a little nod of agreement over Lo likely meeting the right rider at some point and with the shift back to talk of flowers and flowers talking, Bo returns his attention back to the yellow ones indicated. The answer supplied about their meaning has Bo looking at them a little harder, as if trying to figure out what makes one flower mean ‘friendship’ while the other means ‘sorry’. He gives up on that track after a spell, likely figuring he’ll never get it, himself, but not seeming dismissive of the other man’s apparent knowledge. “That’s some mighty pow’rful love right there,” Bo comments dryly. “There anythin’ that says, ‘I like ya well ‘nough ta kiss ya, but if tha’ moon comes crashin’ yer shardin’ on yer own, I’m gettin’ gone’?” His lips crack a little with humor, and he looks at Lo with that same bit of humor in his blue eyes, an indication that he finds himself relaxed enough to find mirth in Lo’s presence. Disarmed, to some degree. The mirth fades just a little as he answers honestly, “Well,” he says on an exhale as he takes serious stock of his feelings for the woman, “I reckon y’could say I care ‘bout her bein’ happy an’ safe.” Love her? No, not yet. He takes the offered yellow flower, “Thank ya kindly, Lo.”

“Well, love can be quite heady,” Lo is easy to agree to Bo’s dry comment, “though, I think I’m more of a ‘lust’ man myself. Each their own, and all that.” Such things may work for others, but not Lo it seems. At the tanner’s crack on what he wants a flower to say, the gardener blinks once at him and erupts into open laughter. It’s not to make fun of the man or anything – just, “I have a sister that would probably handfast you on the spot if you brought her something that said anything like that,” he notes with humor, acknowledging the mutual mirth with a twinkle in his eye. “Some woman would think that’s just your way of playing hard to get and would want you more. Hope the woman you’re looking to woo isn’t one of those!” Once the pale yellow flower is taken, and once the moment passes to something a bit more sober, the gardener gives him a nod that’s full of understanding – as if he has been there before, standing right where Bowen is and everything. “This flower would be your best bet,” he offers once his hands are free, and he bends to take up his bottle again. “If she adores you for it, or anything like that, then you owe me a bottle of something good,” he adds the wager casually, showing his teeth in a smile. “If she smacks you good, though, then it’s on me. Can’t always say I’m right about these things, so…” Take his words with a grain of salt? Lo seems to think so in the train off anyway, taking another drink from the bottle and smacking his lips against the taste.

To Lo’s laughter, Bo does not appear to think he is being made fun of, allowing a very quiet smile of satisfaction to cross his features for that moment, and then it fades as Lo talks of a sister who’d handfast him and Bo’s frame goes rigid with tension. Yeah. This guy has seen marriage and not in a good way. Still, he recognizes the statement for what it was and states quietly with a slight smirk, “Don’t reckon she is,” on whether the woman he is trying to woo is that kind of woman. Though, in all fairness, he’s not really sure. His posture relaxes a little again and he nods slowly as Lo continues on, this time about the flower, and eyes the thing in his hands carefully, like it might bite him if he isn’t too careful. Which, metaphorically speaking, is certainly possible. Then Bo looks up and gives another nod to Lo, this one an expression of gratitude, “Helped a buddy o’mine back a couple sevens ago an’ he’s promised me some good booze fer it. If this thing gets me a kiss,” because wagers should be measurable in some way to Bo’s thinking, “from her,” added belatedly, “I’ll come find ya with a bottle in hand. M’werd onnit. Thank ya, Lo.”

Lorayit looks pleased. He’s one to take a decline on an offer and turn it into something else still satisfiable to the farmer. It may have been something simple like a wager over flowers, but to Lo, it would mean a chance to start cementing a possible bond and alliance with the big tanner. He was not one to shirk on friends, otherwise. Lifting his bottle as a sort of salute through his easy laughter, “Lucky man, then,” he drawls out with a nod on the possibility of the woman not being the sort he was speaking of. “Lucky man. Tell me how it goes. I’m always here, if not playing cards over at the bar at night.” He leaves off his usual haunt of the farming fields, not wanting to have anyone put the jump on him there. The fields were good for discreet meetings, and Lo didn’t trust Bowen yet. Getting his words on the whiskey, his smile is almost infectious. “I aim to please,” he says to the gratitude, hand pressing to his chest in indication. “Don’t let anybody say that Lo isn’t a good friend to those that prove loyal and kind to him. Need me to cut you a few more, or are you going for the single approach?” He means the flower Bowen holds, his blue eyes dropping to it briefly.

Nodding slightly, Bowen’s mouth quirks into a faint smile, which for those who know Bo, it’s practically a grin. “I reckon I will,” if for nothing else then he might owe the man a bottle of something good, “Hope ya didn’t get caught up in that ruckus at th’ bar a seven or so ago,” suggesting perhaps, that is where Bo got his own fading bruise. The comment about loyal and kindness earns Lo a little curious look from Bo, as the stocky tanner doesn’t seem to make an immediate connection, and then the question distracts him and he looks at the flower again, commenting, “Some fool of a runner’s ass dun her wrong b’fore, so I’m tryin’ t’go slow,” which he might have been planning to do even if the woman in question hadn’t had her heart broken already, considering how slow-moving Bo is, in general. “This ‘un will do fer now, I reckon. Thank ya kindly.” And with that, he lowers his hand with it, not really having anywhere to put it for the time being.

Lo has definitely heard about that brawl, the gardener regarding Bo’s face with some interest as if he could read what had happened there before shaking his head. “I’m always gone before the first punch is thrown,” he says, wiping a free hand across his mouth. Well, he tries to be gone before the first punch is thrown, because he’s usually the instigator of them. At hearing what had happened to Bo’s girl, the gardener allows his features to turn somber with just a crinkle of his brows. There’s a look of understanding, as if the man himself had been there before, so his drops his chin a little with a frown and says, “Be best, my man,” in a low tone, his gaze lifting to the tanner’s. “A delicate touch could go a long way, believe me. Y’welcome, Bo.” He steps away then, eyes going towards the Weyr proper before his gaze went back to Bo and moves to drain the last of the brandy from his bottle. It’s a companionable silence, the man watching the other as he himself slips the knife back into his trouser pocket and turns to return back to his boulder.

A smirk forms for the statement of being gone before the first punch is thrown, and then it is gone, Bowen not really inclined to offer more on that for right now. Then he regards Lo and his apparent sympathetic expression once more before and there is a nod in silent reply to the ‘delicate touch’. And then finally he straightens and clears his throat, stating quietly, “Reckon I best be gettin’ on then.” He starts moving away from the gardens even as the other man puts his knife back into his trouser pocket and heads back for his boulder, “Nice meetin’ ya, Lo. Y’take care, now, hear?”

“The pleasure,” Lo turns at the sudden when Bowen begins to part, the incline of his head one of veiled respect, “is all mine, Bo. Don’t be a stranger. Perhaps,” and his lips twitch at this, “we could indulge ourselves in some cards and a few drinks. Provided no brawl should erupt, that is?” Blue eyes twinkle in the light before the suave gardener tips two fingers to his temple in a form of lazy salute. He settles back on the boulder, the bottle resting between his legs as he eyes follow the man out with a wry, “Take care, yourself, man.” Then he’s back to watching the skies, the stars, or what-have-you, his expression schooled into something unreadable but calm against the moon’s light.

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