Ahnika.jpg Neythan.jpg

Date: 8/23/10 (IC: following a previous scene to be posted wherein Ahnika joins Aladie and Neythan and Lenia and Orry in the lakebed at the end of her day of chores to help out.)
Location: EW: Lakeshore
Synopsis: As the others leave, Ahnika and Neytha have a little heart-to-heart about what happened and Ahnika begins to find that fire within her once more, taking out her anger and frustration on a pile of rocks.
Rating: PG-13 for language mostly, and kind of an adult situation
Logger: Ahnika

Still quiet for the moment, Ahnika just regards the others with fleeting glances as she continues to haul rocks. To Neythan’s suggestion that they don’t overdo it, the recently nightmare-ridden candidate comments, “Easier to sleep if I’m bone-tired and exhausted, honestly. I don’t mind.” To the ‘other stuff’ comment, her gaze lingers on Neythan once more, a distracted frown tugging at her lips, and she actually opens her mouth as if about to say or ask him something, and then swiftly shuts it and turns back to the rock hauling task, despite that it’s probably starting to get darker now, at least that will make it easier for her to hide her face. She pauses to wave to Aladie as he gets summoned off, watching him go a moment before returning to the rock-hauling. It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t assigned to the lakebed today. It just simply needs doing and she’s there to do it. Smiling a little to Lenia and Orry, she waves at them as they start to make their departure, “Clear skies, ma’am. And Orry.” Then there’s another rock in her hands.

"Yeah, clear skies," Neythan says to Lenia and Orralth with a graceful bow for the lady and her dragon, but he's still a bit distracted, and he looks at Ahnika, making a shooing motion to a couple of the other workers to give them a bit of space. "Are you all right?" he asks with concern in his voice, rolling up the hide and giving it to one of the other smiths with an instruction on where to put it for now so it doesn't get dirty or lost in the mud.

Ahnika reaches for yet another rock and then stops and looks at Neythan for his question. Uncertainty flickers in her eyes and then she looks away again. She mistakes the question for the condition of her face, after all, despite her attempt to keep it as obscured as possible, she’s still getting questioned about it. So she clears her throat and then says, “I’m fine. Was … just a kind of … accident.” Ahnika is a terrible liar and doesn’t even try to say she walked into a wall. She grabs one of the smaller rocks from the pile, one that she can carry one-handed and looks at him again, “I wanted to ask you something though. Needed to, that is. Weyrwoman Alara …” she shifts uncomfortably, “I’m looking for someone who can sketch … people, for her.” Yes. That’s right. Something Alara needs done. Absolutely. Nothing to do with Ahni and her face, not at all. She waits there, rock in hand, to see what Neythan says.

Neythan arches one brow, his expression clearly doubting the fib. "I didn't mean about the fact it looks like someone slapped you," he says kindly, "but in general." His concern is gentle, rather than intense, but he's not very fond of fibbing at times like this. "And I'm afraid I've never tried to sketch people before," he adds as he rolls up his sleeves and joins in the rock-hauling brigade. "Mostly just schematics and blueprints… although I have no idea why they're called blueprints, come to think of it… but that's neither here nor there… something is wrong."

Ahnika frowns and flinches a little with Neythan’s first statement, and one hand, her free hand, goes up to touch her face gingerly, as if checking it to see if it was suddenly sitting there with a red hand-shaped welt on it and she didn’t realize it. When he continues to talk, her frown deepens as does the color on her cheeks and she refuses to look at him. “It doesn’t matter,” she says, sounding a little angry of all things. Maybe her fire isn’t completely gone. Maybe it just had a sputtering moment with this incident. She doesn’t clarify the statement on whether or not she means it for there being something wrong or if she means it for the statement that he’s never done people before. “Just as well, really. Easier to put it behind me if I don’t find someone to do a sketch.” She picks up a second light rock then with her other hand, carrying two of them over to the deposit pile. Then, noticing that he’s started to work on the rocks with her, she says more softly, less angry, “But … when you’re ready to go back, I’d like to walk back with you, if you don’t mind.” Walking alone doesn’t appeal to her anymore. Not that she’s scared, but she is just trying to be more sensible. Max would be proud.

Neythan frowns a bit as he works, not really knowing what to say at first. Touchy redheads are touchy. "Ahnika," he probes ever so gently, "can you tell me what happened?" There's no pressure, mostly confusion over something that obviously happened, but he doesn't know what it is. "It's okay if you can't… or won't. I'm sure you have your reasons. But I hope I'm your friend, enough to talk to, at least. And I'd be honored to have your company back to the barracks, but it may be awhile. We still have a little bit of light left, after all…"

Her shoulders slump a bit with the questioning, weariness warring with embarrassment in her expression. Ahnika shakes her head at first and then sighs, “S’just so embarrassing. I don’t want anyone to know … but everything is happening so fast,” she says cryptically, “And he’s leaving to go hunt him down and bring him back and now everyone’s going to know!” She picks up another lighter rock and growls in frustration, suddenly throwing the thing overhand off into the growing darkness. And … ooo. Hey, that actually felt kind of good. Startled by the realization, she pauses. Then she grabs another throwable rock, and tosses it lightly in her hand, as if checking the weight. Her expression darkens, “There’s goin’ to be a trial!” punctuating the end of statement with another throw of the rock and hearing it smack against something hard in the distance. She exhales a breath, and looks at Neythan. “That felt good,” she says, sounding surprised. She reaches for another lighter rock.

"Just don't throw your arm out doing that," Neythan remarks as he watches her vent her frustration or whatever it is by throwing rocks around. He rubs the back of his neck again as he pauses to watch her, and by now, the dark is enough to expect the glowtender around, because there are glows on fenceposts near the lake to prevent some dumb clod from falling in or something at night. "And I'm sorry, but you're not making sense. Who is going after whom and for what reason? Why's it so important that no one knows?" he asks, sounding rather bewildered.

Ahnika is practical even when venting frustration, so she is at least throwing the rocks in the general direction of where they are supposed to be deposited. Before she throws this next one, however, she looks at Neythan, and then rolls her shoulder as if checking to make sure she hasn’t already thrown her arm out. With her free hand, she rubs the back of her neck now too, and sighs, “I didn’t want anyone to know because … because I was embarrassed about it, okay?” The last word is said with a little bit if heat as the redhead begins to find her center again, the part that makes her Ahni. But then she says more softly, “But I guess it doesn’t matter now as all of Pern is going to know,” she says, exaggerating. Then comes a wince, “Oh shards, Seren and Xavier.” Shame gets written all over her expression once more and she moves that hand from the back of her neck to her forehead, rubbing there. And then she frowns, “S’not fair. Why’d he have to pick me?” With a grunt, she throws that next rock and reaches for another, but can’t seem to find any that are throwable immediately at hand. So, it is with a little kick to the ground, she says, “A trader … a trader,” she takes another breath, trying again, “Trader named Phineus … he … he attacked me.” She goes scrambling through the larger rocks, looking for one she can throw, muttering, “And Weyrwoman Alara let Max go hunt him down and bring him back …” she snorts, “For justice.”

Neythan stiffens at the mention of an attack. "What?!?" he hisses, aware there are still others somewhat nearby, but he doesn't want them to know what was just said if Ahni doesn't want it known. "Why'd he attack you?" Since she's already mentioned that the Weyrwoman and her enforcer are involved, he doesn't immediately go charging out there to find this guy, but from the tenseness of his behavior, it's a near thing. "Who're Seren and Xavier?" he then asks, the names being unfamiliar to him offhand.

“Why aren’t there more small ones?!” Ahnika demands loudly as she scrambles through the pile of rocks, getting angrier by the second, her hands starting to tremble now with either unspent energy to vent or discomfort with the memory. She picks up one that could be handled one-handed, but is too heavy for her to throw, and pausing, she looks at Neythan, then looks away, eyes stinging with unshed tears, “I … sort of … insulted him.” She frowns and sniffs, “Shardit!” dropping the heavier rock by her foot, narrowly missing it in fact. And she resumes her quest for more rocks to throw. “Seren and Xavier were my foster parents. Shells, I hope they never find out. Aha!” She finds a rock she can throw and slides back down from the side of the pile and gets her footing before hauling off a nice chuck in the direction of where she’d been throwing them before, “Just so sick of this! I want to forget it and move on but no one will let me.”

Neythan flinches when she nearly drops the one rock on her foot, but sighs when she explains that she doesn't want to talk about it. "I'm sorry it's upsetting you so much, Ahni," he says gently. "I just didn't know what happened, and personally, I'd rather hear it from you first-hand, rather than take my news from the living cavern gossips." He opens his arms wide. "C'mere. I promise I won't mention it again unless you say otherwise. I'm just worried about you. I hope that doesn't upset you either…"

Stumbling a bit on the rock she dropped, Ahnika just sinks to the ground, seeming spent and tired, with a sigh and looks up at Neythan. "It doesn't matter … if Max finds him, and there's a trial, everyone will know anyway," another sigh and she closes her eyes, "I'm okay," she says thickly, and then with a little more conviction, "Really. I'm fine. Max found me before …" her voice trails off at the thought of what Phineus probably had in mind, not really wanting to put words to it. "Max … took care of him, and helped me. I'm okay. Nothing broken. Nothing that won't heal in a few days," she touches her face again and then draws her knees up a little to rest her arms across them. With his open-armed beckoning, she hesitates, and not just because of everything that's happened, but because she's more angry right now than feeling the need for a hug. Still, she doesn't want to be rude, either, and she might be surprised, seeing as how throwing rocks really felt so good and she didn't know it would. She heaves herself to her feet and closes the distance to Neythan uncertainly, then leans in with her eyes closed, briefly, for that hug, before starting to pull away, seeming slightly skittish and uncomfortable, but hey, she gave it a go at least. "Think we can go now, maybe?" she asks, looking at the pile of rocks and then the sky for light.

Neythan gives Ahni the quick hug he'd intended, just a little something to show another form of comfort, and he nods, not trying to make her any more uncomfortable than she probably already is. "Yeah, we can go, and as promised, I'll walk you back." In fact, he gallantly holds out his arm, something he seems to do quite often with various ladies of the Weyr, fellow candidates and everything. "And I'll sing you a soothing song along the way, if you don't mind…" The song indeed would soothe many a troubled soul, and would be sung low enough to avoid censure from any grumpy dragonriders about people being noisy outside.

As he gallantly holds his arm out for her, Ahnika actually laughs a little, but not mockingly, more bashfully, even blushing a little at the respect shown. Taking the offered arm, she’d fall easily into step beside him, and even after a little while of the soothing song, tiredly put her head to his shoulder if he allows, while they walk back to the barracks, her anger abated, and, for now, a good bit of her fear.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Shania Twain - "Black Eyes, Blue Tears"

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