The Hand That Feeds


Bowen.jpg Indira.jpg

Date: 9/8/10 (IC: Midday after Tanning Hides Of All Kinds)
Location: EW: Headwoman's Office
Synopsis: Bowen seeks the Headwoman for a job and a knot and gets a little more.
Rating: PG
Logger: Bowen

Eastern Weyr: Headwoman's Office
With a woven rug beneath it, the huge desk situated slap bang in the middle of this room is pretty hard to ignore. Although aged, the deep mahogany wood has been well cared for and polished to a high shine. The high backed chair placed behind it has been upholstered to match the deep jewel tones that grace the Headwoman's domain. On the opposite side of the desk, and of lesser design, is a chair that offers not nearly the same kind of comfort as that of the 'throne'. This possibly chosen with deliberate intent in mind.
To the right of the doorway stand several crates, upended on their sides and neatly stacked one upon the other, serving as makeshift shelving. To the left, a door that leads into the Headwoman's private quarters which remains firmly locked.

Midday, and in particular the lunch hour, finds the Headwoman in her office with one of the kitchen staff having just delivered a plate of whatever is on the menu for the day. Setting her stylus down and pushing the pile of documents to one side and the plate to the other, Indira leans back in her chair, eyes closing for a brief moment as she exhales a sigh. Thus it is probably likely someone passing by the open door or stepping into the office itself might assume her to be asleep.

“Here? This one?” Vaguely comes a husky voice from the main corridor at the end of the smaller one leading to Indira’s office, which may or may not have been heard. Another, louder voice, however, answers in the affirmative, and shortly thereafter the bootfalls of the stocky tanner, with saddlebags slung over one shoulder, heralds his approach, politely knocking on the door, whether it stands opened or not, and then frowning at what appears to be him catching the Headwoman during a catnap, or … maybe she’s dead. That thought has him stepping into the office itself, but just by a foot or too, and peering toward the older woman’s chest, trying to see if it is rising and falling as it should be before he sounds any alarms to fetch a Healer. Unfortunately for Bo, despite his intentions, it really doesn’t look good.

Being as how she'd only been resting her eyes briefly, Indira here's the heralding sounds and words of someone on approach. However, she maintains the lidded, relaxed looking pose right up until Bowen enters her office actual. Cracking a lid open just enough to catch where his attention has fallen, she does indeed take his study for life the wrong way and notes with a low chuckle as both eyes flash open and pin a dark eyed look up to him, "Usually there's a trade of names before a man's study falls to my chest. Unless of course, I'm missing a button?" glancing downward as if to check that this indeed is not the case. If anything, she's amused as she straightens in her chair and gives the newcomer a more thorough going over, a slow smile appearing and then she's beckoning him forward with a flick of fingers, "Come in, sit down. You look like you've walked all the way here," eyes flicking to his saddle bags next.

A man of lesser years, or experience perhaps, might visibly start at the voice of a woman he wasn’t sure was alive. Bo, however, just lifts his blue eyes to the face of the Headwoman, remaining still in every other way. He does, however, have the grace to express a slightly sheepish look, if not actually blush, and clears his throat. “Sorry, ma’am,” he says, but instead of giving an explanation, he leaves it at that, not really being the sort to do that much talking or he just doesn’t think any explanation would have been believed anyway so what would be the point? Finally, after a rather lengthy moment of consideration, he strides in, unhurried at this as well, and lowers himself easily into the chair indicated, propping the boot of one foot on the knee of the other while his hands settle easily on his thighs. Only after he has taken his seat does the man incline his head to the Headwoman, offering, “Thank ye, ma’am,” for the invitation to sit down. His attention remains extremely pointedly on her face now, especially her eyes, and this bit of discomfort that he forces on himself to meet her eyes with his own blue-eyed gaze that has his shoulders shifting slightly. It is the only show of any discomfort, however, if it can even be called a show of discomfort, especially as the motion quiets a moment later and he goes still once more. He does not comment on walking here, but instead, offers, “The name’s Bowen, ma’am, from Southern. Tanner. Seein’ if there’s some need of me here.” Preferring to use as few words as possible, it seems, but unable to hide that Southern drawl nevertheless.

The fact that he didn't bolt, stutter or try to explain away where his gaze had been, serves to find some measure of approval with Indira for soon another chuckle meets the apology and she's waving it off with ease. As Bowen sits, so she pushes the plate of food forward, clearly not that interested in eating it herself, or simply playing the gracious hostess, "You eaten yet?" Dark eyes meet the blue fixed to them, her continued amusement not hard to miss in them but at least kept off of her face, rather than make the poor man squirm further, which knowing the headwoman, she'll have a good go at doing some point in the future. Setting to business, his introduction is taken with a nod as she draws a document out from a pile and sets it before her, "Well met, Bowen. And welcome to Eastern." With a small twitch of lips when he doesn't comment on walking there, "Long walk," she notes writing something down on the document and then glancing back up again, "We can always use a good tanner. You should see Max down in the beast caverns, he's been looking for someone reliable." Another few notes made and then Bowen has her full attention as the tousled blonde head lifts, "Just yourself needing somewhere to bunk, or is there someone traveling with you?"

Blue eyes glance from her face then, and with that glance away from the woman’s face departs some of the tension in his broad shoulders, and Bo is eyeing that plate she nudges before her. There’s a tip of his head forward in thanks, which reminds him that he is still wearing his hat, and he takes it off politely to rest it in his lap with one hand placed there. “Yes, ma’am,” he answers simply to the first question, though doesn’t qualify it as meaning breakfast or lunch or both. He does tack on, “Thank ye just the same though,” seeming to want to take extra care to mind his manners a little more closely now considering how he didn’t appear to have much manners when he first got here. He lapses quiet again then, but does tip his head toward her once more at the welcome, his gaze lifting from the plate of food to her now and there comes just a slight smirk at the corner of one mouth regarding the long walk, only for the rest of his stocky frame and expression relaxing a little more noticeably as she says the weyr could use another tanner. He waits with a patient expression as the woman continues, politely listening until she is finished. There is a pause after her words end and he finally answers, “Just myself, ma’am.” One thumb slides across the surface of his hat in his lap as he adds, “And I’ve met Max, already, this mornin’, ma’am, when I got here. My runner’s stabled there now.” Which should speak to whether or not he walked here from Southern, as unnecessary as it is. A moment later and he’s speaking again, “He told me t’tell ya that he and I worked somethin’ out fer stabling and feedin’ costs.”

Dark eyes, much like those of a certain beast manager, settle onto Bowen in open study as he removes his hat. Looking set to say something, lips part and then press together again as she thinks better of whatever it was and remarks mildly, "Trail rations don't count as food." Not in her opinion. But she doesn't push the matter, neither does she retrieve the plate, simply leaving it lying there on the desk halfway between the two of them. Another cast of attention down to the document and then she's leaning back in her chair, hands lacing together over a flat stomach as she nods to there being just him, "There's space in the common dorms. Each cot has a small footlocker appointed to it, although you'll have to arrange with the Weyrsmith for a lock. If your needs go beyond that of the 'locker then we can make a plan about your using one of the storage rooms as a temporary measure." That having been said it's the newcomer's last that draws a sound of tolerant amusement from the headwoman as she stands and moves over to a crate stacked with others as makeshift shelving along one side of her office, "Doesn't surprise me. He'd work a deal with Faranth herself if he thought it to mutual advantage." Withdrawing a knot looped with the colors representative of the Weyr the blonde hesitates and turns toward Bowen, eyes flowing over each of his shoulders before lifting to his eyes and asking, "You're not Hall ranked are you?"

As the conversation begins to potentially be straying into, to Bowen’s way of thinking, either that of a mother hen or a nagging wife giving him her thoughts on the matter of his eating habits, he shifts a bit more in his seat and rather quickly offers in that same soft, husky voice, “Ma’am? I got here at dawn.” A little pause, and then he continues quietly, “After gettin’ my runner settled, I wandered the place awhile until I found that big cavern-lookin’ room where they serve food and had me a goodly hot breakfast. Then I wandered around a little more til I got m’self all turned about and got someone to take me back to that big room, and I had m’self lunch. So don’t y’worry none, ma’am, y’got yerselves here some good Bakers. I’m proper fed, now.” With this, probably the most words he’s strung together all day, he tips his head toward her in thanks, and settles back down in his seat, hoping that will be the end of it. As she talks about the dorms and storage, he just nods once, not seeming to have anything to comment about it, nor any questions. He makes no comment, nor does he nod, at the comments on Max and his deals, not really knowing the situation well enough to feel secure enough to do so. But the final question earns a slight shaking of his head, “No, ma’am. But my father is. Tanner Craft. And I’ve been workin’ with him since I was off apron strings, ma’am, and apprenticed up to my senior turn. I’ve been doin’ tanner work under my father over at Southern since, too. It’s all I’ve done, pretty much, save the few exchange stints in the Beast Craft Hall that all Tanner Apprentices do.” He stops there. The point is to reassure her, after all, that he knows his business, not give his life story.

Dark blonde brows arch upward delicately, amusement evident as Bowen launches into his explanation of how he'd spent the first half of his day and that yes indeed, he had eaten at some point. Clearing her throat to make attempt at hiding at least some of that amusement away, the headwoman's next words could be construed as conspiratorial, "In all honesty? This," a downward flick of eyes goes to the untouched plate, "is going to a weyr mutt. I don't eat lunch but they will insist on bringing it to me. But if you tell anyone," a finger lifts to waggle in playful gesture, "I'll be sure to see to it that your cot finds itself mysteriously short sheeted and your boots filled with numbweed." Lending belief to the fact that at least some of her outwardly generous offer to give him her food was meant to work in her favor to some degree at the same time. Stepping away with the knot in hand, she drops into silence listening to what he has to say on the matter of his training in the tannercraft as she moves toward him and holds the knot out, "I just wanted to know which knot would be the most appropriate for you," she gives with a short smile for having asked the question in the first place, "but with the type of background you speak of, I would imagine it won't be long before you're up to your ears in work. Might even have some work for you myself." The crafty expression worn might however lead him to the wrong conclusions.

Poor Bowen. He really just doesn’t understand women sometimes. Well, no, pretty much all the time. To Indira, having just finished talking to him, or so he interpreted, on the merits of eating healthy and then admitting she doesn’t take lunch and the food will go to a mutt, only now to threaten his cot and boots should he tell anyone this fact, Bo simply issues a little grunt, nearly soundless, really, but his shoulders and chest move at least. He nods slowly, and states with deadpan seriousness, “Lucky mutt. Prolly th’best meal he’ll have t’day, ma’am.” And further suggesting the unstated ‘why would I want to tattle on you and take that away from him?’. He watches her move around the office, getting the knot and bringing it to him, without his head actually moving, just his blue eyes. And when she holds out the knot to him, he dips his head to her once more, and only after a little pause does he reach out to grasp it, and assuming she releases it to him, he’ll take it. “Much obliged, ma’am,” he states quietly, adding for the comment about getting some work for herself, “At yer service, ma’am.”

The amusement that continues to linger for the hapless soul seated in the chair is kept carefully internal with just the vestiges of wicked humor escaping to dance in dark eyes. "Probably so," Indira eventually states on the lucky weyr mutt, "Though I've always found it wise to play up to the cliche of ensuring the canine has no reason to bite the hand that feeds it," given somewhat cryptically. She'll hold onto the knot a moment longer, possibly even waiting for Bowen's hand to close around it's other end before she'll let it go into his care with a mildly stated, though badly worded, "I would that you were, darlin'." To his being at her service. She's incorrigible and she knows it, though the chances are that comment will fly right over the man's head.

Seemingly a little distracted as he tugs once on the knot, Bowen merely nods a little to her at the comment about the mutt and the cliche. Once the knot is freed from her grasp, he pockets it for the moment, letting those final words play through his head with a slight frown starting to tug at his mouth, either seeming confused by it or not seeming confused at all by the meaning, just the reason for it. Whatever it is, the man has his expression schooled calm and indifferent once again as he rises to his feet with an exhale of breath, "Right. If there's nothin' else then, ma'am, I'll get on out of yer hair now." He puts his hat back on, adjusts the saddle bags on his shoulder a little, and nods to her with a small smile.

Back on her side of the desk once again, Indira's just about to lower herself into her own chair when Bowen rises and starts on making his departure. She has to almost quite literally bite her tongue in response to his getting out of her hair. However, the headwoman is quite successful in this endeavor, so that nothing but the edge of a beatific smile meets his words, as she finally sinks down into her seating and takes up a document, seemingly more interested in that than the newly knotted Weyr tanner making his farewells. "That's all," she states blandly only glancing up just the once to note as he's leaving, "You need anything just grab one of my assistants, or swing by here. I promise not to try and feed you again." Amusement twitching out once again.

Bowen stands there and watches her with unreadable blue eyes as he hears her out, and then lingers in that position for a long moment that might make others uncomfortable were they in the room. And then, slowly, the stocky man tips his hat to her politely and turns to make his sauntering departure, assuming her words for a dismissal. If and when he gets out of sight, he will reach a hand up into his hat to scratch his head briefly, muttering something to himself, before moving on.

While she might not actually -see- the man liingering there watching her, she is well aware of his presence and eyes on her but remains studiously bowed over documentation. Only once she's sure Bowen has properly departed will Indira lift her head and point a deep smirk first the way of the recently vacated seating opposite her and then briefly out through the doorway of her office before it's head down and back to work.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Nine Inch Nails - "The Hand That Feeds"

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