Trouble Has Many Names


Jaya.jpg Randi.jpg

Date: May 22, 2011
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: The bar sees the return of Randi, the Weyr's Weyrwoman. Jaya and Randi do a little catching up…..while sizing each other up on whether each can trust the other.
Rating: PG-15 for language.
Logger: Jaya

The bar this night is not as packed as usual, which for the staff, is probably a good thing after the packed nights of before. The tall, teak-skinned frame of Shijan is at the entrance, guarding and watching those that enters and leaves while the towering presence of the Telgari barmaid, Suli, is seen working the tables. Hayli, the petite blonde, is bustling about as well, bantering with the card tables of men and riders as both hands are filled with mugs. As to the barkeep herself, Jaya is behind the stocked counter passing comments and drinks, her loose dark hair in its usual disarray as she starts passing off much of the work to Suli. It is good to be the owner. A couple of dragonriders visiting from Southern currently has her attention, the one with the bronze shoulderknot is currently showing off a bar, muscled arm to her and anyone that lingers close. "…and if not for my bronze and this pal here," and he claps his fellow brownrider on the back, "I would be missing an arm right about now!" The way he's telling it, one would think the scar left behind was large and hideous. It looked nothing more than a long, thin paper cut.

Striding into the bar with a click of bootheels on stone, one windswept weyrwoman pauses to look around the room while tugging off her gloves one finger at a time. Shijan is eyed with curiosity and mild-but-wry amusement, but she only smiles and nods in his direction. More might have been said, but the brash bragging of the Southern bronzeriders catches her attention. With a wink and a grin at Jaya over their heads, she steps closer and claps a hand on each man's shoulder. "Looks like you slipped and sliced y'self in the baths, mate. Drink a few more and maybe you'll grow enough brains to spin at least a semi-believable yarn." Stepping back from them, then, she lifts her hand to Jaya. "Have you still got a stock of the White in for me, then? Got a fair bit of dust to clear out."

With Shijan studying the Weyrwoman as she stops on the threshold, his intense gaze flicks over her with recognition before he executes a more respectful nod of greeting in her direction. Jaya catches his eye briefly before she shows a flicker of pleasant surprise at finding Randi here, it having been indeed, a long time. She sends that grin back as the Southern riders continue their banter, Randi's words cutting off the one called H'yi as he flexes the 'injured' arm over the counter. Both men turn to find the blonde woman there clapping their shoulders, H'yi's blue eyes flowing over her as she speaks. "Maybe I just need the kiss of a pretty lady to make it feel better," H'yi is quick to say, flashing that cheesy grin with his mate rolling his eyes and returning to his drink. "How about I buy you a drink?" - "How about you pay for the ones you already ordered for all the women up in here?" Jaya cuts in abruptly, brows quirking at him as she catches his face fall. Uh-huh. Nodding her greeting to Randi then as she steps away from the men, "I feel like the barmaid you found over a turn ago," she gives warmly, clearly glad to see the goldrider as hands find her hips and she looks the blonde over. "I think I remember you propositioning me, too. Welcome, Randi." Turning she's already grabbing a glass and the right vintage asked as she looks over her shoulder and answers, "I never stop a stock, shuga. Pull on up a stool. I'm sure these visiting Southern gentlemen will be happy to oblige one of their own." H'yi's mate does as bidden, nodding a smile over to Randi as he takes up his drink and steps away from the counter. "I'm a go lose at some cards," is his excuse before he's gone.

Sitting easily on the stool vacated by the rider, Randi flashes a winning smile over at H'yi. "My dragon's lounging in the Bowl outside. You should probably start by kissing her arse, mate, because the women in here are too smart to fall for the diamond-studded bullshit tumbling out of those lips of yours." Her voice is light, almost playful, but when she turns back to Jaya it's with a roll of her eyes and silent look of 'Men'. "I might have. I don't remember, but I seem to end up propositioning my fair share of damsels, lately." Flipping a full mark from her thumb towards the owner, she nods. "Paying my way ahead of time. Though if I end up drinking more'n that, you can bill me when I'm sober again." Apparently shit-facery is the order of the evening.

Whoa! H’yi was clearly not expecting that answer for the way his silver tongued face falls flat, and so he’s picking up his drink, dropping the payment owed to the barkeep with a grumbling that sounds something close to ‘sharding tough-nosed, Eastern women…’ and is off the stool to go join his companion. “Good to see some things really don’t change around here,” Jaya is commenting wryly, moving over to collect up those marks left behind with a chin being thrown towards H’yi’s retreating back. Back to Randi, “Fair share of damsels? I either should be piqued, or aroused.” Crass to the core, some of the tough-talking Bitran barmaid hasn’t changed, either. She catches and pockets the flipped mark into a pocket along with the rest then, setting the bottle of white to the waiting glass as she listens and sends Randi a slight frown for the last. “Sounds like your trouble has a name, shuga,” she notes gruffly with her rich alto, passing the filled glass over to her with a brief nod. “Max mentioned something to me the other day but didn’t go into details. Been hearing snatches of things from the riders here, too. Have something to do with why I haven’t seen you and Alara around these days?”

Randi snicker-snorts into her arm as H'yi tucks his tail between his legs and makes a swift retreat. Jaya's comment earns her a bright, contagious grin. "Oh, I doubt they'll ever beat proper manners into me. Though Faranth knows La tried her best." Mention of her friend from both her own lips and Jaya's adds a cloud to Randi's questionable mood. "La's not coming back." At least as far as she's concerned. It's not bitter, this realization, just tiredly accepting. "Her family's gone and caught something bad, so…" She waves her hand, trailing off into silence as she pours her first glass of wine. Raising it towards Jaya, then, she grins knowingly. "To your thriving business, my lady." Her playful tone is drowned by the first gulp of wine. "Max knows better than to go into details, Jaya, even to the people who work for him." She eyes the woman over the rim of her glass and takes another sip. Yes, he had passed on that tidbit of information to her. Well, he said for instead of with, but it's all the same, right? At least this way, the comment is vague enough to be innocent - though she's fairly sure Jaya will take it the way it's meant. Who ever thought they'd see the day where Randi could safely pass information in a crowded bar. "As for me, though…" She takes another gulp. "My trouble's got many names."

“Fuck manners, I say,” Jaya drops her opinion with a wide grin, knowing full well she’s as far from manners as a pickpocket. The cavalier attitude wanes in light of finding out that Alara was gone, the woman blinking before, “Gone? What?” but then she’s getting the details, her chin lifting with that frown as she studies Randi’s face, trying to discern more from her lips than what’s being said. It certainly explains a lot. “So it’s all been on you, hasn’t it,” she surmises, lips pursing. “Fuck.” That’s Jaya for you, and she now grabs an empty glass and pours herself some brandy from a bottle hidden below. Shaking her head as she clinks glasses with her, “Not bad for a barmaid learning her way, huh?” and she drinks. Coughing into the drink on talk of Max, she does catch those words, eyes darting towards Randi’s own for a long moment. Suli passes with empty mugs to hand over, and once the Telgari is gone, “Too bad on him I ain’t just anybody that works.” Beat. “For him,” she drops with that little pause, setting her glass down as she studies the Weyrwoman. After a lingering pause, “Seems like, you and he spoke more than just details,” she ventures idly, her tone made to seem cavalier once more. “Because I agree. Trouble does have many names. I would know. These names spoken in private?” she asks then, setting to cleaning out the deposited mugs, her dark eyes never leaving Randi’s face.

"Aye, I'll raise my glass to that." Randi tosses back the last of the wine in her glass and pours herself a refill. "Well, to be fair, it's all been on Ciara and Rocio." The usual hidework duties of weyrwomen. "And mostly on Indira." Giving credit where credit's due, but not elaborating on the why's or her own whereabouts. "Not bad at all…" But she trails off, then. First to drink and then to listen to what else the barmaid-turned-owner has to say. Swirling the wine in her glass, she stares at the spinning liquid thoughtfully. "The deal was full disclosure," she comments quietly, almost to herself. There's more silence, then. For as much practice as she's had over the last turn, it still takes a bit of forethought to phrase things without being … overly blunt. "So yes, we spoke about more." Though looking at Jaya again, this time with an evaluating stare, she hrms. "Though not about enough it seems." Another drink. "So tell me, Jaya. How far down the caprine hole have you been dropped?"

Grinning, watching the Weyrwoman pour herself a refill, “Indira?” Jaya echoes, lifting a brow at that one. Yeah, it’s been that long since she’s seen the Headwoman, so to hear that she was taking a lot of the Weyr work proves curious. There’s a glint of piqued interest on the matter of the beast manager-turned-crimelord, eyes lingering on the swirling contents in Randi’s glass, stating with a touch of wryness, “He doesn’t give the deal of full disclosure easily.” Clearly she seems to know. “So yes, I imagine you did.” Hips shift to lean against the counter as she turns at an angle, being able to keep an eye on the things going on about her and on the Weyrwoman at the same time. She meets that evaluating stare, her guarded face giving nothing away, easily scrutinizing on the last statements spoken to her. Moving to refill her brandy, “That question could mean a lot of things,” she drawls, brows lifting delicately at her, that amusement returning and she holds her glass. “I’ve been dropped down all kinds of holes, shuga. Even dropped others down the same holes.” Her tone’s almost playfully, and challenging, and brazen, and all those things at once. “You’re going to have to help me out with the specifics of which hole you’re wanting to know about, hmm?”

Randi a turn ago would have simply taken what Jaya said at face value and gone on to explain the whole thing in alarming amounts of detail. But this Randi is older, rougher, sharper around the edges and just a little less sure that people are always on her side. So instead of answering right away, she takes another sip, trying to find something in that stony facade of Jaya's to tell her she can trust this woman. Finally she drops her gaze to the glass. "Haven't we all?" muttered in response to the comment on holes before she takes another large gulp. Playful and brazen are good things in people - things Randi enjoys about people she trusts. In this woman that she barely remembers, it puts her on edge, so she looks her dead in the eyes - Randi's once warm brown ones now dark and hard. "Don't play that shit with me, Jaya." There's no heat or threat to her voice, just fatigue and a bone-deep world-weariness. "I'm not going to play that game with you anymore than I'll play it with Max." Leaning back to roll a kink out of her shoulder, she rests her other elbow on the bar and sighs. "Either be straight with me and show me I can trust you, or toy with me and I'll know not to bother."

“The only games I play deal in profit, shuga,” Jaya is blithe, watching the woman before her intently as she drains her glass. Study for study. Trust for trust. Leaning forward, eyes flicking towards any that should hear, “Trusting me won’t be the problem,” she notes, head tilting slightly to the side, her dark hair spilling forward over the nasty jagged scar running down one side of her face. “It’s trusting you. Got too many folks around wanting me either dead or locked up.” Brow lifts at that. “So you want to know something? Ask it. I ain’t never had anything to hide from you, even from the first day.” The Bitran straightens up now with her drink, reaching for her bottle before adding, “We can be blunt. I like blunt. You’re a blunt sort of woman, and I like that. But I don’t tell something for nothing,” she warns, being of the trader philosophy, her glinting eyes watching her. To clarify it, even, “Sounds like, you and I have a lot to catch up on, Weyrwoman.”

Randi snorts. "And if the wrong person finds out just what I spent this last turn doing, I won't live to see the day afterwards." Randi's tone is dry, there, but mildly heated. Her fight with Ciara might have reached Jaya's ears by now, and this young Weyrwoman has about had it up to the eyeballs with these sorts of arguments. She opens her mouth to say something in return, but cuts herself off as a bulb goes off in her brain. Shaking her head and grinning at Jaya, she takes another sip of her wine. "If you really didn't trust me, you'd have plenty of things to hide." She seems satisfied by that and tilts her head to one side. "Just what is it you do for our thick-skulled stubborn 'Arsehole' of a 'lord'?" Using Hope's name for the man she's still not that happy with brings a slightly warmer smile to her lips and she leans closer. "Forgeries? Trafficking? It can't be anything worse or he'd have said something by now." She keeps her voice quiet, but seems much more amenable, now.

Oh poor Randi, if only you knew just how little you've been told.

Brow lifts at the initial admission. “I have missed much of the fun, I see,” Jaya notes, alluding to the sort of gossip she does get. Apparently she needs a dragonriding informer. On trust, “A turn ago, I can agree,” she answers smoothly, “but I was a lot more fucked up when you found me than I am today. I figure if you decide to kick me out, or ship my ass to the guards, I’ll have a plan this time.” In other words, touché. Leaning back now with her brandy, not knocking it back as quickly as before, “Odds and ends,” comes the quick answer to the question, but then the barkeep pauses. She studies Randi for a moment, eyes narrowing slightly before adding, “I move things. One day it’s here,” and a finger touches her own glass, “ and the next day, it’s not.” Eyes meeting Randi’s, “And cargo is anything. Things, people, you name it. I’m good at it.” Shrugging then, “But he hasn’t exactly used me for anything,” she notes, wry. “Forging alliances, maybe. But forgeries. Never tried that trade. Maybe should have.” On something worse, that gets a pause, her jaw tightening once before woodenly stating, “Max doesn’t know everything about me and what I’ve done, shuga. He ain’t the first I’ve worked for, and if he don’t watch that cute ass of his and gets himself killed, he probably won’t be the last.”

That last makes Randi laugh - unfortunately it's just as she's taking a drink. Wine up the nose is so not pleasant. At all. Still, she's laughing even as tears spring to her eyes and she reaches for a napkin of some sort to blot both cheeks and nose. "If he doesn't watch that ass of his," she refuses to confirm Jaya's qualifier on this one, "it'll be me what ends up killing him." But her tone is light, if a little rueful. She's still got a bone to pick with that boy. "That's a useful skill, though. At least, if I had things to get out. As it is, the problem's more getting stuff in. Even with - " She catches herself there and her shoulders fall a little. "Even with the extra stock I've been able to … procure, things are gonna start getting tight around here in the next few months. So if you've got the ability to make things appear, too, I might just kiss you."

Laughter greets Randi’s words on Max’s ass – might as well talk about it, right? Raising her glass as if in toast, “You can’t fault the man for being incorrigible, hmm?” Jaya drawls before taking a drink. “I broke his nose once. He kissed me, and I hit him. Good times, those.” On skills, she nods, setting her glass back down before stating, “In? As in, into here?” and she nods with her chin in indication of the Weyr. Cocky with her shrug as she takes a drink, “Shouldn’t be hard,” she admits, proud-like. “If I can get something out, shouldn’t be hard to get something in. Depends on what the cargo is,” and she watches those shoulders fall a little, frowning, before adding, “Ever thought about moving cargo to a separate location then? One very few would know about?” But appear? There’s just the smallest of smirks before the barkeep answers with, “Give me time. I can figure anything out. I’m a fast learner.” Leaning a little forward, “Look, if you’ve got a problem that needs solving, I might be able to help. I may not can do it, but I know folks that may. Discrete folks,” she adds that with a pointed look. “Us Dicoris are resourceful, see. We may be a bit unhinged, but the one thing we do know about is solving things.”

Randi shakes her head. "The problem isn't keeping it safe once it's here." Faranth knows there are enough beefy men loyal to Max, Indira and herself - not to mention Jaya - to keep anything secure. "The biggest problem is finding it available to get to here." She shrugs. "Times are tough and people are greedy, Jaya." She gives her a look that says she doesn't have to tell the other woman just how much both things are true. "We've been being skimped on in the tithes we're meant to be getting, but no one on the Weyr Council will do anything because they're all at least a little guilty." She takes another drink. "And it's only going to get worse." As for the offer, it makes her toss her head back and laugh outright. Settling herself, she reaches out to lay a friendly hand on Jaya's arm. "I'm sorry, Jaya. It's just that I've got so many right now that I wouldn't even know where to start. But thank you." She finishes off this glass and holds up the bottle to show that she'll take it with her. "I'll definitely keep that in mind."

“And people get greedier,” Jaya adds to those words, nodding, agreeing. “I know all about it.” But now Randi’s alluding to the trouble – one of them at least – and the barkeep’s considering those words in silence. “Fucked up,” she decides to say about it, shaking her head. “Getting worse sounds about right, too.” She’s still thinking those words over when Randi laughs, grinning at the friendly hand on her arm and she says to those words, “No need to apologize, shuga. And take the bottle. There’s more where that comes from.” Leaning back now in the pause, “I take drinks when the bar closes,” she admits with firm, sober nod. “I don’t charge, either. You need to talk, even if it’s runnershit-talk, or even lady-talk over who’s got the cutest ass around here, you’re welcome here, Randi.” The lopsided smile is genuine before she drains her glass and finally sets her own bottle away. “I ain’t going anywhere.”

Standing and stretching - and feeling much better for having come to enjoy the booze and the company - Randi offers Jaya a softer sort of smile; it's a smile tinged with sadness. "I may just do that sometime. It's been … a change, not having La around." She grabs the bottle by the neck and offers the barkeep a saucy salute. "It's been a pleasure, as always." She turns to leave and then stops, turning to give the ex-trader an earnest look. "And Jaya… Thanks." And then she's gone, with a friendly wave to Suli and the girl-she-doesn't-know, but a wink and a grin to the door guard, for his serious demeanor.

The softer smile is returned – Jaya may not know what troubles the Weyrwoman, but the look is understanding anyway. Tough. Life is tough and she understands that and so, she responds to it. “Don’t be a stranger,” she offers on the welcome, nodding as she returns to cleaning the glasses. “You take care of yourself, Randi.” And she watches her go with Suli nodding her farewell along with Hayli – and Shijan doing it as well, but in his usual, serious way.

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