To Mend A Rod


Ciara.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 2010.07.27
Location: EW - Lower Bowl Center
Synopsis: Shortly after Ahnika departs, Max is on his way back to the beast caverns when Ciara comes across him. By the time she leaves, she probably has a very low opinion of him.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Max

Rukbat long since set and after the dinner hour, finds one morose looking beast manager meandering his way back across the bowl, puffs of dust lifting up into the night air as he doesn’t even bother picking his feet up properly. Once or twice he throws a look back over his shoulder, to the way he’d come, but otherwise is head down, hands in pockets.

Coming in the opposite direction is one Ciara, her clothes and hands dirtied from whatever work it is she's been doing this evening. For all that her purpose is no doubt a bath and then food of some description, she can't ignore the sight of someone looking so down, especially when she walks right near Max. "You all right, there?" She asks the man, slowing to give him a curious look. There's no recognition in her eyes, for all that this is the man who's been causing her best friend so much grief.

Scuff, scuff, scuff, Max tramps along, almost missing the query sent to him. “Hmm?” his head lifts, dark eyes settling onto the young woman about to pass him. Short silence and then a wry smile, a tiny thing at best, shifts out, “Depends who’s asking.” He puts back in response, not really answering the question.

Ciara has stopped completely now, watching Max as she considers how to respond to that. "A concerned passerby?" is what she settles on, putting one hand on a hip and looking at him. "Looks like you've got a lot on your mind. Seems like a lot of people are like that at the moment." Ciara might be a bit simple sometimes, but she's not completely stupid, and the cogs are starting to turn in that head of hers. Ahnika's all messed up and sad about a guy…and here's this guy looking all sad. Coincidence? It does seem far-fetched.

Drawing on humour as his safeguard, Max sets an amused look over to Ciara, “Just a broken nose,” he’ll use that as convenient cover for his earlier brooding, “been told it should be fixed up in no time at all.” Ah, she’s not quite that easy to fool it seems. Broad shoulders shrug and eyes flicker the way of the infirmary tunnel, back to the young woman again, “These are trying times.” The generalisation given with consummate ease. With mouth quirking up at one corner, “Does this concerned passerby have a name?” a brow hiking up in prompt.

Ciara lifts one eyebrow ever so slightly as Max talks about his nose, but…she's jumped to conclusions now, and isn't going to be deterred quite that easily from finding out why this particular young man is all brooding. For all that he seems to be speaking with ease now. "Ciara," the girl replies, words easy and not betraying her suspicions. She'll play along for now, with the serious matter of Ahnika on her mind. "And yours?"

Max is, male, and as such, can be more than a little thick at times. As the last few sevens have borne brilliant witness to. Which means that, he misses that telling browlift of Ciara’s indicating her scepticism at his reply. Happy for the reprieve from the mind fog of just a few moments ago, a crooked grin breaks free and he unpockets a hand and extends it in offer of proper greeting, “Max,” he states simply. Casting a glance about the quietening bowl, his eyes then drop down to the white knot on her shoulder, “So, you’re one of them candidates, huh?” Trying for simple conversation.

Ciara is a little slow to shake Max's hand, not quite used to that formality, but when she does, her grip is firm (and perhaps a little gritty thanks to the dirt on her person). "Max, huh?" Ci tries the name out, eyes narrowing ever so slightly as she tries to make a connection. She's heard it before but…she can't be sure. Eyelids lifting to a normal position again, she aids the conversation. "Yup. Got asked to Stand by Weyrwoman Randi." As if that makes a difference, or something. She shoots a look at his knot, but it's not overly telling. "What do you do about here then?" To the point.

His own grip will tell of work roughened hands as it meets Ciara’s and then retreats back to his pocket. Slight bemusement lingers for the repetition of his name and the narrowed look it earns, perhaps the entirety of his name will help, “Lomaxin actually. But only my mother uses it. When she’s pissed with me.” Which is around ninety percent of the time. Mention of the werywoman draws a quick shadowing of eyes and then it’s gone again. With a jerk of head in the general direction of the beast caverns, “Take care of that lot,” beasts and stablehands alike, “What did you do before the weyrwoman landed you with that?” her knot.

"Interesting name," Ci comments, but it's an offhand one. More politeness than anything else. No, she's more interested in Max's profession, glancing in the direction that he indicates with that jerk. "Hm. So you must be Headwoman Indira's son, then?" One connection's been made, but a much bigger one still hasn't. And likely won't, unless some glaring clue comes to light. "Fished," she answers Max's question. "Until I was Searched. Sort of." Her face hardens a bit, despite herself. "Rod's broken now, and until I get it fixed there's not much I can do aside from chores."

One connection made draws a faint grimace from Max and a simple, “Aye,” in response to being the headwoman’s son. Dark eyes pick up that hardening of Ciara’s features and have him asking putting out an offer of help, “One of the lads down in the beast caverns is pretty handy with fixing stuff up. I can ask him to take a look at it, if you like?” Having drawn more relaxed for this easy flow of conversation, the tension starts to fall from his shoulders, curiosity for the broken rod having him ask, “How did it get broken in the first place?”

Ciara's struggling to stay on her guard, particularly when the topic of the rod comes up - and that offer of a potential fix, albeit not by Max but offered by him on behalf of another. "That would…that'd be really good, actually. Really nice." There's tension in her shoulders as she answers his question about the cause of the break, and a noticeable pause before she answers. "It was during a lesson. If you could ask about the fixing…and about the cost…I'd appreciate it." Her hand slips from her hip now, finally. "I've not the marks to be going to a smith, really."

Broad shoulders roll in an easy shrug at Ciara’s thanks, “Sure, no problem.” A sympathetic look appears for how it got broken in the first place, “Student was a bit rough on it, I assume?” because these things can happen. As to talk over costs involved, Max unpockets a hand literally waves that off, “Not going to cost you anything, except maybe,” his head ducking down to try and catch the candidate’s eyes, “maybe a smile?” Trying to coax her out of that tension that appears to have settled upon the young woman. He, that just moments before was a great big mess of brooding himself.

Ciara shrugs the matter off. "Something like that." She's happier to leave that particular line of conversation behind, given her vague attitude towards it. She gives Max a long look when he suggests a 'payment' for the work, her eyes focused on his. Eventually, she does smile, and a genuine one too. His coaxing has worked, for the most part, though there's still a hint of tension in her upper body. "Sounds a fair cost to me." She shifts her legs, bending one knee so that her hips are at an angle, still staring up at him. "I was thinking more of paying your friend, but a smile is free, hm?"

Not one to pry, (usually) Max leaves the topic alone when Ciara does, turning out a grin when she ‘pays’ him with a smile, “There you go, wasn’t so hard now, was it?” His head tipping to one side, the beast manager lets loose a low chuckle, “Believe me darlin’, you don’t want to go giving a pretty smile like that to Waine.” That having been said he notes, “The lad owes me time on carcass duty, so I might be persuaded to cut him slack on that if he fixes your rod up nicely for you.”

Ciara's eyebrows jerk up high when Max says that about Waine. "Really now?" The compliment in the sentence does not go unnoticed, but she's not about to lead Max on by responding to it, or anything. Best to keep your distance from guys who like to throw out compliments like that. "Well. Should I come find him at some point? I usually have the evening off, after dinner, to do what I like. Or should I come back to you?" That could possibly be misconstrued, but it's too late and she's said it now.

Chuckling low once again, Max can do little more but shake his head in amusement at Ciara. “Well, you’re more’n welcome to come down there and thank Waine yourself, though I warn, he’s got a silver tongue for the ladies.” Having a bit of a pottle moment are we? “How about this,” he offers forward as a possible solution, “Once he’s gotten it mended for you, I’ll bring by the weyrling barracks, okay?” See? Safe. No ulterior motives whatsoever.

"I think I'll pass on the direct thanks, with all due respect," Ciara says, with a smile to try and soften the blow of that statement. Max's suggestion gets a firm nod. "I think that sounds real good." She sticks out a hand, much as he did earlier, though she accompanies the gesture with, "a deal, then?" Her earlier suspicion is gone…for now. With the happy prospect of getting her beloved rod fixed for a damn good price, she'll leave off her 'investigation'.

His laughter tells of there having been no need to soften her words, he knows his stablehands well enough. Again his hand unpockets and clasps Ciara’s firmly, “Deal.” Max agrees with a smile. Now that the girl seems less prickly he’ll take up investigation by asking, “Were you born here, or did Randi drag you and your fishing rod in from someplace else?”

"Good." Ciara seems pleased with that outcome, letting her hands drop to her sides when the handshake is concluded. She shakes her head at the first part of his question, before he continues, which has her clarifying her action. "I come from Nerat. Randi got me in here though, yeah." She gives him a funny look, as though she's got some sort of suspicion about him. "What about you? You always worked with beasts?"

The shaking on the deal concluded, Max folds his arms across his chest, a brow hiking upward “Nerat?” that draws his interest. “Hold proper or cothold?” As to the question put back to him, there’s a brief almost telling hesitation before he nods, “Stablehand up at High Reaches Weyr. My father had me placed in the hopes it would keep me out of trouble.” Which clearly it did not. He’s also careful not to divulge just how he made the sudden leap from mere stablehand to beast manager.

Ciara misses Max's particular interest in her homeplace, though her answer is honest, and fairly comprehensive. "A bit of both - I was born in a cothold, but I was at the Hold for about…four Turns?" She pulls an impressed face at Max's promotion. "That's quite a jump, stablehand to being in charge here. Then again, I wasn't a fisher at Nerat, just a kitchen helper, but…huh." She catches onto the Weyr thing instead. "You're used to Weyr life, then?"

“Nice area,” Max remarks on Ciara’s homeplace ,”might have stayed on if Randi hadn’t found us.” The beast manager smoothly glosses over the young woman’s comment about his leap in status, choosing to answer the question she puts to him, “Father was a brownrider, and weyrsecond. So, weyrbrat born and raised,” given with a cocky grin.

Ciara doesn't seem to know what to say to Max's first comment, so she focuses on his background instead. "I see…how does Eastern compare to High Reaches? S'the first Weyr I've been to, and I've only heard a little about how it's different. Gets a Holdbred girl curious, you know?" She grins a little.

With an almost indifferent shift of shoulders, Max gives her question some thought, although there is an amused look earned her for the curious Holdbred girl comment. “A Weyr’s a Weyr. Pretty much all the same except with Eastern being so new it’s not as…settled as somewhere like High Reaches. Bloody cold up that way in winter too. But that has its own benefits too.” Benefits which he’ll not comment on at this time but which might be noted in the devilish grin that unfolds.

Not being one who has much knowledge of colder climates, Ciara lifts an eyebrow at that. With genuine, and probably rather naive curiosity, she asks, "how can cold have benefits? I'd much rather be somewhere warm, if you ask me."

Ciara wants to know about the benefits of dealing with the cold? More low laughter from Max, a roguish glint to his dark eyes, “Well see now, when it gets so cold it feels like its gone right to your bones. You take one roaring fire in a hearth, a soft rug, a bottle of wine and a pretty girl. Mix it all together,” as if he were describing a cocktail, “and you got something hot enough to melt the skin right off you.” She asked.

It takes a moment for Ciara to put that all together, and her reaction when she eventually works it out is pretty…childish. "Uh. Oh. Gross." She wrinkles her nose, giving Max a look. Then she mutters, "suddenly I regret asking." Hmph. "Are all Weyr men like this? Or is it just you?" She gives him what could…quite possibly be called a haughty look!

Hands to hips Max stands there a little dumbstruck at the girl’s reaction and then throws back his head and roars with laughter. It takes a good few moments for him to gain control of his mirth, before wagging a finger in Ciara’s direction, “Thank darlin’, I really needed that.” As to whether her assessment of him applies to all Weyrmen or just himself, he steps forward and touches a finger to the tip of her nose, “Reckon you’ll just have to figure that one out for yourself, little one.” wink.

Ciara purses her lips at Max's bout of laughter, looking annoyed at his reaction. When he touches her on the nose her jaw loosens, though her mouth doesn't drop open. At least she saves her dignity a little. "Well." She has to be polite to him - he's the one who's going to be getting her rod (hopefully) fixed, after all! "I'm glad I can amuse you." She shakes her head. "Well." Now she's just repeating herself. "I need to go clean up." Oh Faranth, that was the wrong thing to say, and she knows it, in the way her cheeks go pink. "I'll see you to drop my rod off." And Ci'll try to retain some dignity, despite her blush, carrying on her path to the lower caverns with her chin slightly raised.

Aaand, he’s laughing again, shoulders shaking, head down, laughing again. “That’s a first, even for me,” Max chortles over Ciara’s blushing comment at needing to go get cleaned up. “Next thing, I’ll be getting half the womenfolk knocked up just by looking at them.” A remark which likely won’t help her opinion of him much. He watches with high amusement as the girl lifts her chin and continues back on her path toward the bathing caverns. The bathing caverns. Dark eyes hold in that direction and then drag away, some of his earlier brooding returning, although somewhat lightened by the interaction with Ciara.

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