Trouble? What Trouble?

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg Jaya.jpg

Date: 7/30/10 (Day #: 05 Month #: 08 Turn #: 1 Time : 06:48:00 PM)
Location: EW - Living Caverns
Synopsis: Ahnika and Jaya happen to meet over dinner in the Living Caverns and make a deal.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Living Cavern

The main Living Cavern at Eastern Weyr is a near replica of the "Lower Bowl" in shape. It is circular, with ceilings sloping up into a gentle cone shape. There are a few stalactites hanging from the ceiling, from which the Weyr's few firelizards may perch. Between these, there are a few inverted "hills", showing exactly how quickly the workmen finished this job. It lends an eerie quietness to the place, as the features cut the sound more effectively. The glowbaskets on the walls highlight the tables of all shapes and sizes around the room. The Head Table appears to be more traditional in place and kind, but the rest of the tables are variable. The east side of the room boasts larger rectangle tables suitable for whole groups of riders, while the middle holds smaller circular tables more appropriate for a family with children. The west side of the room has small square tables which often double as gaming tables on lazy days and most evenings.

Near the Head table, off to the East side, the double doors of the kitchen swing open. Near those doors, two long rectanglular tables are set up for food and drink service. On the eastern and western sides of the room, the stairs lead up to parallel hallways which connect to the rest of the Weyr. A third, smaller set of stairs at the southernmost end of the cavern leads to the Weyr Entrance.


At around the dinner hour, there is still a pretty big crowd in the living cavern, and most of the tables are packed and the conversation din likely carried well into the various halls that branch off from it. Ahnika is seated at a table with a few other candidates, and there are two empty seats left there. They are eating and talking and even, as the commentary calls for it, laughing. It is a rare thing for Ahni lately, who has been broodish since before being Searched, point of fact. But today, today there seems to be something different. As one of the other candidates tell their group at the table, “ … and then she tells me, ‘But that’s where they put the fresh sweetsand, not the ale!’” the group at the table break up into raucous laughter, including Ahni, who nearly spews her beverage as she chokes with mirth. As the laughter dies down, however, two of the candidates in their little group excuse themselves, talking of getting a bath or some other task, before returning to the barracks, leaving their table even more open than before.

Since arriving to the weyr, one would find it strange that the new bar owner would deem it fit to show up in the living cavern when she makes it her mission to -avoid- anyplace that attracted too many people in one area. By now it was common knowledge that she frequented the kitchens at night, although lately her missing presence from even there is becoming small talk among the kitchn workers. However, the scarred-face young woman is coming in with less the aura of intimidation that she normally cloaks herself with, her sharp gaze taking in the large crowd with a thin expression. A steaming bowl in hand, Jaya takes the first table that seems -less- intimidating for her - which just so happens to be Ahnika's table. She looms up behind the candidates remaining facing her, then hunkering down beside them and across from Ahnika without a greeting or an exchange of pleasantries before she starts digging in.

The remaining two candidates end up digressing into a conversation of their own about something Ahnika either doesn’t have much interest in, or doesn’t know enough about to be able to participate, and it’s just as well, really, as Jaya takes a seat across from her. The redhead, in a rarely seen good mood (at least lately), smiles in a friendly manner to Jaya, her grey eyes scanning the other woman for a knot to give her an idea of her standing here. But not finding one on the other woman, Ahni just makes a generally polite dip of the head to her, “Hello there. Good afternoon … “ and then takes another sip of her beverage.

Spooning her meal into her mouth, and with a few glances from other tables being sent her way, "Candidates popping up everywhere now," is given with just a touch sardonically from Jaya. Could that be a greeting? She does, finally, nods her head genially at Ahnika, her own eyes sliding to the candidate knot worn on shoulder. There's an awkward silence, usually since it's not often the bar owner brings forth any conversation not involving a brawl. "So, uh…" spoon makes a noise in her bowl, "…are they treating you all alright here? Candidates, I mean? I ask because," and she clears her throat in the pause, her cool alto dropping low, "something the weyrwoman mentioned to me, before I was brought here….about standing."

There’s a bit of a closing of that friendly warm sunshine on Ahni’s expression at Jaya’s first comment, but her good mood can’t be dispelled entirely, it seems, as a heartbeat later Ahnika smiles once more, and nods her head, “Right and so. The Searchriders seem to be bringing in new folks all the time. It’s getting closer. “ She punctuates it with a little shrug as to say, ‘what else is to be expected’? and then sips some more of her beverage, considering Jaya a little longer before responding to her question, “A weyrwoman asked you to Stand?” There is a beat pause as Ahni glances to the other two candidates who are apparently completely engrossed in their sidebar conversation and then the redhead returns her attention to Jaya, smiling once more, this one an attempt to be disarming, “Yes, I suppose so. I’ve never been asked to Stand before, myself, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. It seems like just the usual drudgery chores, personally.” Like that is just nothing to this holdbred girl. Then Ahnika says, “I’m Ahnika, by the by.”

"Well, Randi didn't -pointedly- say so," Jaya backpeddles just a bit, naming the weyrwoman with a small frown marring her features before she shakes her head. "She kept throwing hints though, right when she won me off of my last place of residence." The smiles are disarming indeed, just alittle as the bar owner nods towards Ahnika's knot and asks, "How did it happen to you? They rope you in just to do their chores, or something?" The last part being said in response to the mention of drudgery chores. When a name is given, the dark-haired woman sends her a curt nod and a casual enough "Jaya. Opening a bar here. Well met, Ahnika." She's openly studying the other now, never putting her spoon down.

Ah. Randi. Ahnika smiles and nods with that, though says nothing. Taking one of the few remaining bites of her own meal as she listens to Jaya. “Ah, well … “ Ahni starts, putting down her eating utensil in favor for another sip of her drink as she considers, “ … well … “ her voice trails off and then she chuckles at her own lack of words, “I’m not really a hundred percent certain how things are done like that. Whether a hint is enough, I mean. I’ve sort of grown up on the backside of a rural edge of a sweep and well … “ she shrugs, letting her voice trail off, and sipping her beverage once more. It is an action she is grateful for with Jaya’s next question as it allows her a brief moment to consider how to answer while she is swallowing. “Eh, something like that, I guess,” her brow creases a little and she studies the surface of the table before adding, “Except I was already doing those anyway, well, most of them.” She ticks off a few on her hand, “I hadn’t done much tunnelsnake hunting or digging for the lakeshore before … or work in the stables,” the last brings a small smile to her lips, and the teen is unable to hide a brief starry-eyed look before she clears her throat, and continues, “So, I’m guessing they either wanted me to do extra than what I had been doing, and pretty badly, or maybe … “ modesty and humility wins out and she doesn’t finish the ‘maybe they really saw something in me worth Search’, just letting it hang out there with another light lift of her shoulders for a shrug. Then she smiles to the other woman again and nods, “Jaya. Well met, yourself. A bar? I’m sure the riders will all be thanking you.” She grins a bit.

Jaya nods some, seeming a bit more at ease the more Ahnika talks. "What parts?" she asks when Ahnika mentions the backside of a rural edge, dipping her bread into the bowl's contents and taking a bite. And then she mentions the chores, which has the bar owner nodding them off like she was checking them off a list….until she mentions the stables and she spies that starry-eyed look with a blanche of her own features. Her own gaze dropping away and to her bowl suddenly, "It sounds like they did," she agreed easily enough on the extra work, seeming to use the words to recover herself so that she could meet Ahnika's gaze once more with no indication of there being any change in her expression…unless detected. As for the bar, there's a mechanical lift of one shoulder before she states, "Yep, a bar. Marks will be plenty if these dragonriders guzzle drinks the way they were doing that nasty ale back at the Blood and Bucket - where I was when Randi found me," she is quick to explain. "So, you know. I just -hope- they're thanking me with profit," and the look sent the candidate's way is one that is pointed before she returns to her meal.

“Small cothold on the southern edge of Fort’s sweep,” Ahni explains easily enough to the other woman, distracted momentarily as the other two candidates stand and say their farewells, more to Ahnika than to Jaya, but they include the newcomer briefly for the sake of politeness at least. After Ahnika returns their farewells, she returns her attention back to Jaya, now alone with the bar owner at their table. She smiles slightly at the next comment about the extra work, and works again on the last few bites of her meal as she listens about the bar, and then the redhead chuckles a bit, saying, “Well, from what I’ve seen so far, between Eastern and Southern riders, I don’t think profit will be a problem, especially if you have barmaids who are, if you’ll pardon, particularly fetching.” Her grey eyes look up from her plate again to fix on Jaya. If there was anything amiss in Jaya’s expression, Ahni doesn’t appear to have caught it, or perhaps she is just allowing the other woman her dignity and not prying. She considers the bar owner a moment, chewing softly, and then swallowing, “You know, I’d love to learn how a bar works. I don’t have much in the way of free time every day, but maybe once in awhile I could come and spend a candlemark there and help you get things set up, if you like? No need to pay me of course. I like … learning new things.” She laughs softly, blushing a little, “I’ve never even been drunk before.” Oh boy.

"Haven't been Fort's way," Jaya seems to relate, cleaning out her bowl by sweeping the last of her bread around it. "From Bitra, myself. You ever miss it?" she, for some reason, feels compelled to suddenly ask her - and it comes with just a hint of a wistful expression before it returns to its guarded state. When the candidates bid goodbye, she nods their way before Ahnika mentions fetching barmaids. She pauses here, brows going up before there's a low chuckle. "Well, I got a barmaid," she drawls on that, a lopsided grin forming, "but I dunno if you would want to call her….fetching. At least not to her face, shuga." Pausing, seeming to regard Ahnika now the more the other talks, she gently pushes her bowl away and folds her arms across her chest. "I -could- use a hand or two down there, moving some things around," she was musing, nodding a few times. "So far it's just been Suli and me, and I think she's already tiring of seeing my scarred face." The last given with small sarcasm, her head tilting slightly with a narrowing of eyes. "Never had a drink in your life?" she asks then with veiled interest. "Hmm, well. I don't got much now, but, you come by enough and I'll make sure you've gotten drunk at least once. Trust me on that," and the smile could very well spell trouble if taken seriously. Her cool alto back in business mode, "If you want to help out, I'll be glad for the help. I'm expecting shipments of wine soon from up north, and I'm still thinking of ideas to decorate the bar and make it…entertaining."

The question of missing home draws a somewhat pensive expression to Ahnika’s features as she considers this before speaking, “Sometimes,” her grey eyes lifting to look at the other woman’s face again, “My foster parents mostly, and the … “ she twists her lips a little, before relaxing them with a sigh, “the simplicity of it there.” Then she flashes another smile, brighter and an excited light shining in her eyes, “But simplicity usually means dull and I do enjoy the fast-paced excitement here. New horizons. New places and people to meet. New things to learn. New experiences.” Ahni buries her mouth against her cup once more, drinking a bit and swallowing before responding with a mild scowl. “Sounds like she doesn’t know how to appreciate a good person when she finds one, this Suli, regardless of looks.” That’s all she touches on about the scar, the memory of Rocio sharing the truth about hers is still fresh in her mind. She shifts uncomfortably a moment, which could be misconstrued, and the redhead nods next to Jaya, “Oh good. It will have to be worked around my Candidate responsibilities now, but as long as you’re flexible about that, I would be happy to lend a candlemark’s work here and there, and if I don’t end up Impressing,” Ahni tries to keep her voice from sounding too hopeful there, “then I am sure I can work out a few more hours to help you. But by then I am guessing you will be already set up and won’t need my extra bit of help.” She grins about drinking and says, “Oh, I’ve tasted it before, just never in excess enough to be completely drunk. The riders seem to like the condition quite frequently, so I wouldn’t mind seeing what the fuss is all about.” She chuckles and inclines her head a little, “Thank you.”

"My home was never….simple." Jaya's in a sharing mood, but then, it couldn't be anymore odder than her still sitting in a room full of people. "I kinda wish I had the simple - the dull - back there. Things might have turned out different." As for Suli, there's a small, but warm smile appearing, showing the bar owner's fondness for the hired barmaid already. "Suli's not a bad sort," she defends lightly with a small chuckle. "Had a tough life like me. She's decent, you'll see." Beat. "Come by anytime," the dark-haired woman decides to say then when Ahnika mentions her schedule. "Suli and I are easy, there. And, if you don't Impress," she pauses, regarding the other rather thoughtfully as she studies her face, "Then, we'll talk. I'll -always- need the help. Some days I, uh, won't be able to run the bar, so…." she lets it hang, changing the subject. Leaning back in her seat with a little smile playing around the corners of her mouth, "-I- think," and she presses a hand to her chest, "That you don't really know a person until they're drunk. Tongues start to loosen up, walls that are up start to crash down…" and she gives a little oddly-executed shrug. "Been my experience with folks all the time. Booze can filch the most tight-lipped of men from their secrets."

Ahnika quiets a bit as the other woman shares talk about her origins, tilting her head some as she listens and seems even attentive to it, even if she had just met Jaya. The redheaded teen smiles then, shifting to prop her chin on her hand and her elbow on the table as she sips the last of her drink, setting the empty cup on the table gently while she continues to listen. When Jaya talks of Suli, making allowances for her, Ahnika allows a fleeting show of regret for saying what she said, but again, opts not to speak up about it and just continues to listen, her expression smoothing out. That is, until Jaya says they’ll ‘talk’ if she doesn’t Impress and Ahni looks actually pretty pleased and interested, even though she doesn’t know a thing about bars, other than what they are intended for. Again, more measure of that quiet attentiveness from the candidate, and only after Jaya talks about loose-lips and booze, does Ahni smirk thoughtfully, “Then I guess people who have secrets might want to avoid the stuff, sounds like.” Though the smirk is one that seems tempered with very mild doubt, not apparently sure she believes that the only way to really see a person true is through booze, but not knowing enough to really question it either. And then she says, “If I don’t Impress, I expect I’ll be back to my old duties, but if you would only need someone to help run things at the bar to give you a day or two off every seven or so, I think I could manage both.” Then she holds up a hand, “But I won’t hold you to it. If bar-work is anything like fishing, you may just be thanking me for my effort and sending me on my way.” She laughs softly, but there is a smidge of genuine remorse for that fishing accident in her eyes, and Ciara nearly losing her fishing rod.

"People who have secrets seem to have -every- reason to drink," Jaya seems certain of this point. Perhaps, talking from personal experience? Or maybe hitting too close to home…. "They never avoid the stuff, shuga. Which, makes my job all the more enjoyable." Ahnika's silence is actually…comforting to the bar owner, letting some silence from her own side linger without that initial awkwardness that came in the beginning. Ahnika's agreement with helping out earns her a pleased grin, nodding once at her and answering with, "A deal, then. If you suck at it, well….you can't be any worse than -I- was from the beginning. You don't seem the sort to cause trouble, either," she adds, seeming to size the candidate up now. "It won't be like fishing, but it does come with its own challenges, Ahnika." There's a companionable pause there before she lets out a sigh and pushes herself to her feet. Glancing around briefly, "I better get back," she says, collecting up her empty bowl in the process. "I enjoyed our chat, Ahnika. It was….refreshing." The last is given with no sharpness, rancor, nor mockery, the nod sent her way an oddly respectful one.

Ahnika resumes listening, seeming intrigued at the conversation of drinks and secrets and those who keep the company of both. She grins at Jaya as the other woman agrees to the deal, and she seems to cement it in place on her own end with a firm nod. The comment about causing trouble earns Jaya a rarely gotten chuckle of self-deprecating amusement, “Oh I don’t cause trouble … not intentionally, anyway.” The mild impish sparkle to the younger teen’s gaze suggests she’s not above trouble of a kind or at least the thought strikes her with interest. Then a nod and the amusement fades to a simple smile, “I’m sure it does. All work does. I look forward to learning all about it,” and the weyr’s Girl Friday looks sincere with that statement. “Right then,” she says as Jaya gets up and make to leave, and Ahnika is looking down at her own plate and drink, and finding both empty now, she stands too. “I should, too.” At the compliment for the conversation, Ahnika smiles again, “Thank you, Jaya. The feelin’s in kind. You take care now. I’ll come by first chance duties allow.”

"Still can't be worse than me." Somehow, Jaya just can't see the word 'trouble' with Ahnika next to it, and it's apparent in her voice. "Good. A pleasure, candidate." With bowl in hand, the bar owner gives Ahnika one final firm nod in farewell before she's turning around and skirting through a small crowd to go disappear out of the cavern in a rustle of skirts.


Closing Credits Theme Music: No Doubt "Different People"


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