Trust Truth And Turnips


Jaya.jpg L'ron.jpg

Date: 2010.09.20
Location: EW - Kitchens
Synopsis: Jaya happens upon L'ron in the kitchens picking up turnip supplies. The friendship between the two is strengthened with confessions and statements of loyalty.
Rating: PG13
Logger: L'ron

Late enough in the evening that a weyrling would be free to wander about, at least for a short time and as his dragonet permits, finds L’ron in the kitchens busy plying his most charming of smiles with a motherly looking cook. “Just two, Hedda,” his voice over the past few sevens having finally settled down into a more a gruff version, with all the embarrassing squeaks now gone, “Surely two won’t make a difference? The stout older woman simply chuckles and shakes her head as she hands the requested tuber roots over, “You should think about asking for your own patch in the Weyr gardens and start growing your own supplies.” Having grown taller too, with some of the lankiness filling out with muscle thanks to the strenuous exercises and work of weyrlinghood, the blue weyrling leans over with a grin and plants a kiss to the cook’s cheek, “Thanks, Hedda. I won’t forget it.” And then turns to depart the kitchens and leave the poor woman in peace to finish cleaning up for the night.

That's when Jaya shows up. The bar owner's coming through for her usual take of dinner, bypassing the living caverns completely as she carries with her a bowl and an eating utensil. She practically bowls over the blue weyrling, not exactly watching where she was going and she has to hold out both hands to balance herself….which, it might look like to the outsider as if she's pushing the empty bowl hard towards L'ron's chest. "Gah!" is the only warning he's getting, too. Poor guy.

“Oof,” that would be Jaya’s bowl impacting with L’ron’s chest. Where a while back he might well have stumbled backwards, it’s a mere half step that the woman’s forward momentum causes him to take. Recovering a grin breaks out as he peers down at the empty bowl, a hand lifting and then he drops an uncooked turnip into it, “There you go.” So helpful isn’t he?

There's a turnip in her bowl. Jaya sees this before looking up to see which 'wall' she had crashed into, so the small smirk that appears at the turnip gets a response back in kind. "Filching for that blue of yours again?" She makes it sound like L'ron does this on the regular, even though she hasn't seen him since the hatching feast. She looks up at him then, letting her gaze then sweep over the physical changes in him with interest. "Been awhile, weyrling," she says, nodding her greeting. "I trust things are going well with Balkrith?" It's amazing enough she even remembers the dragon's name!

And L’ron? He simply stands there, grinning down at Jaya as she looks up at him. Only then does he take a step back, chuckling a little, “Nope. Hedda there’s my dealer,” that smile of his turning on the older cook wiping down the last of the counters. She in turn rolls her eyes, though it’s done in fond manner. Shrugging a little as his eyes drop to the remaining turnip in his other hand, tone and expression turn thoughtful, “Bal’s doing okay. A little slow to catch onto some of the stuff. But he tries real hard.” Brown eyes then lift from the tuber root and settle onto the dark haired, “How you doing, Jaya? Gotten mud on your feet, yet?” a smile quirking out.

"Dealer," Jaya repeats that words, stealing a wry glance Hedda's way before shaking her head. "Uh-huh. What's wrong with Balkrith?" She catches the tone, the look, her eyes shooting to his as he regards the turnip he holds. When he asks about her, the intensity of her gaze drops and there's a twitchy-like shrug for it. "Bar's good," she answers easily. "Suli's good. I'm good. Looking forward to this new shipment of wines I'm getting pretty soon." She pauses there before snorting, a smile lifting as she adds, "Yeah. Getting new shipments have become the highlight of my life," she adds with small laughter. As to the mud, she makes a show of looking down and blinking once. "Feet look pretty clean here," she drawls, smirking at him in turn. "But if you have a bucket and don't mine Hedda cleaning up afterwards…." Uh-huh. I'm sure Hedda would /love/ that.

“Nothing,” L’ron gives quickly and perhaps a little defensively for there being anything wrong with his bonded, “He’s great!” Perhaps now regretting that earlier admittance to the little blue taking a little longer than the rest of his clutchmates to catch onto new things. It’s the snort he catches onto, despite the smile meant to cover it and concern flickers into his eyes before he unexpectedly declares, “You should get someone to take you to a Gather. Dance. Good for the heart and soul.” Nodding firmly to that. Jaya’s smirk is met with a chuckle and short shake of head, “A bucket’s not the same. You got to –walk- through the mud and feel it squishing between your toes.” Oh, so there’s a protocol to getting one’s feet dirty?

Jaya doesn't look to be wanting that 'nothing' to slide, so the bar owner's leaning against the wall, arms crossing with her bowl and just staring him down until he says something else on the matter. At his concern she sees, though, it's her turn to get a little defensive. "Well. The only way I'm going to a gather is to swindle some hard-working people away from their hard-earned marks," she answers that dryly. She's got to be joking, right? "I can dance when I win all the pots." Well, she -might- be joking. Then he's talking about walking through mud after dancing at a gather, and the woman's giving him a Look. "How about I just get you some turnips and you get to writing that letter to your parents, ehhh?" she puts forth instead, trying to sound all kinds of enticing. "I bet you haven't done it yet, have you?"

A few things have changed, or more likely been brought to the surface and strengthened since finding Balkrith on the sands, one of them would be an iron will of resolve once L’ron has set his mind to something. Which would this time, be that of remaining loyal to his blue no matter the frustrations there might be at play. As such, he meets Jaya’s stare with a level one of his own that gives nothing away. Her next words however draw a short smile tinged with a touch of melancholy for her response. Tipping his head to one side, he studies her in silence for a while and then finally makes reply in the form of a softly spoke question, “Is that all life is for you, Jaya? Everything counted out and stacked into neat piles of marks and booze?” He may well have overstepped the boundaries but let it never be said that the blue weyrling is afraid to speak his mind when he feels it appropriate to do so. His mouth curves around a weary smile, “Started writing one,” he states and then lets the subject drift not willing to reveal just what his problem might be in finishing it. It also means that he’s not about to press any further to the bar owner walking through mud, instead he takes a step closer to her and reaches for the turnip he’d dropped in her bowl, “Get me a third, I’ll teach you how to juggle.” How’s that for a change of subject?

That look lingers from Jaya just a little longer when it looks like nothing is forthcoming, and the woman lifts her chin to end it. "Aren't you a bold one now," she notes now, but it's probably more to his comment to her gather response than to the fact that the stare-down contest was moot. "All kinds of words and faces. Does Impressing really change a person /that/ much?" If there's mockery here, it's very little and in passing. Just the nature of the woman. But, she won't back down to his question, however. "Got a father that says I'll never make it to my 25th turnday," she states all too casually with just a bit of amusemnt. "That's all that life /has/ been for me, shuga. But," and she affects a sigh, "I promised someone I will change. Try to, anyway. I am my father's daughter, after all." This is the most she's ever spoken about herself to the blue weyrling, and she's not even drunk. "Need help?" she offers in writing the letter, her interest now piqued. "You could just tell me what you want it to say and I'll write it for you. I'll even enclose a nice bottle of my finest Tillek wine that's their taste." See? Helpful. And then L'ron changes the subject and the scarred-faced woman lets him take the turnip from her bowl. "Don't want to juggle," she answers him, studying the young man hard now. "We're sticking to our deal. I'm not squishing my feet in anything to juggle turnips, shuga."

Nothing other than a mild look of reproach, possibly even hurt, greets the light mockery sent his way, with L’ron choosing not to rise to the bait. Instead he drops his eyes away and studies the turnips in his hands, as if they might hold an answer to something. Lifting his head once again a smile of warmer proportions is displayed, “You’ve got a friend saying that you’ll make it passed your twenty fifth turnday and beyond.” Countering her father’s words, “You’ve just got to want to and trust that there are people who believe in you. And you don’t have to be, you know,” her father’s daughter, “You can be anything you want to be.” Still the idealist. Seems not everything changes. The help offered on letter writing has the effect of the weyrling falling silent, studying the bar owner carefully in that time until ever so slowly his head nods, a thin margin of awkwardness showing up in his expression. His voice a quiet but gentle rumble now as he glances over at her once again, “If I let you help me, will you promise me something in return?” perhaps trying to appeal to the deal-maker side of the woman with that. A quick smile breaks out for juggling lessons, “No strings attached, Jaya. Just for the fun of it.”

Jaya, for some reason, gets remorseful when she feels for even a small moment that she's hurt the ex-stablehand, so she's frowning and watching him watch those turnips, trying to say something to smooth things over. Or rather, the best thing to say - which apparently is hard enough for her - "Sorry, that was—" the words are low, the bar owner shaking her head and just letting it drop off. It was a wonder she managed the apology, period. His counter words on what her father says, along with the smile gets simple wave of her hand and a, "Hey, don't worry about it. What does /he/ know? Do you got an ass for a father, too, by any chance?" His other words on her wanting to and trusting that there are those believing in her does give her pause, and she merely fits an unreadable expression his way at it. "I'm more him than he realizes," she notes on being her father's daughter, it being said soberly. "Perhaps someday, when that blue of yours can carry you, you'll meet him and the clan. Got good stuff to buy, too. I'll say that much." As to the letter, she's not letting up on that, either. She stares back at him, then lets her suspicions color her voice at his note of promise. "Depends on the promise," she says, regarding him steadily now. "And, fun of it. Yeah. Might be more fun for me to watch you juggle than try it myself, but….I've done crazier things. Sure, why not?" Must be a blue moon.

Brown eyes study that remorse when it shows up in Jaya’s expression as a frown, and then gentle smile breaks out with L’ron shaking his head a little. “Its okay, Jaya,” shoulders broadening and filling with muscle twitch an almost shy shrug out, “A lot –has- changed. Takes some getting used to.” Likely meaning for him as well as anyone else who might have known him before. That smile widens into something warmer if not a little melancholy for the first time since leaving home, for those left behind, “No, my father’s a good man. Kind but firm. We just had different ideas of what I wanted in life.” Straightening to his full height from the near slumping lean he’d taken to with one elbow on a counter top, the weyrling grins and nods enthusiastically, “Sure, we’ll take you! Never did get to Bitra,” he reminds her, curiosity setting in next, “What sort of stuff does your family sell?” The emergence of humour doesn’t fade but he does sober up some when she asks of the promise he wants from her, “Learn to love life again, Jaya,” spoken gently, “Stop trying to run away from it and hide from it in the dark passageways and your bar, and step out into the sunlight and greet it with open arms.” So simple for one with so few demons of his own to battle. Agreement given to learn how to juggle draws his grin right back into place as he reaches for a redfruit from a bowl nearby and one after the other tosses a turnip, the redfruit, and the other turnip into the air. With the three objects forming graceful arcs through the air and between his hands, a chuckle is added to the mix too, “Juggling, is like life, my father used to say,” speaking with ease as he keeps turnips and redfruit moving, “When everything is up in the air, remember that it’s your own hands that control for how long.”

"You'll do it, I'm sure," Jaya tries on encouragement for size, grinning L'ron's way. "Not surprised you and Rio Impressed. Ahni, too. You all have strong stuff, from what I saw." She nods firmly to that. Her smile turns more companionably when he talks about his father, perhaps letting a bit of wistfulness enter her own tone until something said gets her to straight up sharply and her eyes to widen. "Uhhh, not me," she's shaking her head, giving the weyrling uncomfortable laughter in the face of it. "I meant you and Balkrith. I, uh, can't go back to Bitra. They sell exotic wines, home made fabrics….good stuff." Just as well she looks spooked at the mention of going home, for what he wants her to promise to gets utter silence. Jaya is speechless, and not always is she rendered so. When the silence grows too long, she seems to be struggling with what to say, and how to say it. Forcing tension from her shoulders, "Can you keep a secret?" she decides to ask, her regard of him turning wary as she takes a look around the kitchen. The juggles gets her attention enough, her eyes following one object at a time before she allows a lopsided grin to emerge. "Wise words," she notes on his father, looking pleased by it.

Another chuckle shows up and L’ron simply gives a short shake of head in the negative to his having any kind of strong stuff, the appreciation for the encouragement however, isn’t hard to miss in his open expression. That slips off sideways into a short frown, and he notes rather stoutly of a visit to Bitra, “You can if you’re with us,” him and Balkrith, “Anyone stupid enough to touch a dragonrider or someone that’s with them, will have an entire Weyr coming down on them.” Of that he’s quite sure. He doesn’t press the topic and simply moves on to goods Jaya lists, “Oh, those sound interesting. Used to want to be a trader, you know. Wandering the lands with wagon full of things, going where the road took me.” An easy shrug to that proving it simply to have been the idle musing of a younger self at one time. At her growing silence, the weyrling lets each of the items fall back into his hands, brown eyes regarding the dark haired woman quietly and then he nods solemnly to being able to keep a secret, “Of course.” And he’ll leave it there for her to feel comfortable enough to speak her mind.

All said seems to lead up to her question, so Jaya leans back against the wall, regards any close enough to hear them, and start talking in a low tone. No better way of saying it other than, "I'm in trouble. I'm on the run. Can't go back to Bitra." The words are stilted, wooden, and the gaze that accompanies them is pointed. Once said, her gaze lets off and she adds, "Running this bar is a sweet opportunity to hide my tracks for now, until I can figure out my next plan. So, there you go." She pauses, letting all that sink in, then she responds to his words on trading. "Nice type of life," she agrees with a grin. "Can be simple. Easy."

L’ron’s expression goes still, listening intently to what Jaya says and then with the barest hint of a purse to his lips, carefully sets the turnips and redfruit down on the counter and closes the gap with a few long strides to fold the dark haired woman up into a bearhug whether she wants one or not. He’ll stand there a bit just hugging her unless of course she’s of a mind to either deck him or struggle free. Finally, his voice a low sound in the now empty kitchens, “When you come up with a plan,” not when, if, “Bal and I, we’ll help in any way we can.” He goes quiet a moment and then steps back setting hands to her upper arms and seeking the woman’s eyes out, “Just…promise me you’ll stop running now, okay? You got friends here now. Friends that have your back. So when you’re ready…” leaving that to hang unspoken in the air.

Jaya didn't expect the hug, so it will be like hugging a stiff board for awhile before she relaxes in inches and goes to pat his back a few times. When he speaks to her next, she's searching his eyes, even when he has her by the arms. She frowns, "Heavy words when you don't know how deep I'm talking," she notes on him and Balkrith helping however they could, the woman going serious. "You can't juggle with this. Fuck, /I/ can't even juggle myself out of it. Been running for turns now, shuga. That's what keeps me not getting caught, and now…." There's cold laughter, the bar owner shaking her head at it. "If I stop running, he'll come," she says, sending L'ron a look. "Or find a way to get me sent to the mines. But I'll figure something out, mark my words, L'ron. Well aware I can't run forever." Those words sound a little ominous, but Jaya sends the weyrling a warmer smile and reaches out to grip his arm in a show of gratefulness. "I ain't going anywhere for now, shuga," she drawls, her Bitran accent strong in this one sentence. "I love my bar. Even got you friends, here. I'll try…to live more. Like I told Rio, it won't be easy for me. Been on my own for turns now, looking over my shoulder. That does things to you."

For the barest of moments, L'ron displays a frown for her opening words and then with a determined inhale of breath he releases his hold on her arms and steps back nodding a little. "I'm not going to try and pretend I understand any of what you've gotten yourself into, Jaya. And no, some things can't be juggled. But, you can put them down for a bit until you decided what to do about them." Thus agreeing with her words on finding a way to end the running. Moving back to where he'd left the turnips and setting one to each of his trouser pockets, the weyrling sends a short look over his shoulder back to the bar owner, "You should maybe speak to Max about it. He…" looking a little awkward as if he might be saying something he shouldn't about the beast manager, "…knows things, and people…" letting that trail and completely unaware that she might very well know of the beast manager's connections and those that work with him. Or else he's just dropped his former overseer into a whole world of trouble. Turnips safely in his pockets, he turns back, thumbs hooked in the waistband of his trousers and sends a warm smile in response to her last, "Good. And any time you need to talk you know where I am." Well he's kind of stuck for available time for chatting these days but he'll make a good attempt at being available should the woman feel the need to take him up on his offer.

"Max…?" Jaya wasn't expecting to hear that name, either, so the frown is more pronounced. Lips twisting a bit, "Get more people involved? I dunno about that," she says, but it's obvious that she's considering it. "Well, we'll see. For now, /you/ know. A couple of others know. People I trust. That's enough for now." And now she lets a diffusing smile appear, letting the matter rest. At least she notes that she trusts him, which for the Bitran is a /huge/ thing. "I know where to find you," she agrees to talking with him again, her tone a little easy than before. Then she nods towards the turnips he has and adds, "Better go get those to that blue of yours. It was nice, seeing you again. Keep an eye on Rio for me, eh?" She waves her bowl a little as she takes a step towards where the food would be for her to consume so that he could be on his way.

“Getting more of the right people involved should up your chances of staying safe,” L’ron points out adding with a shrug, “also gives you that many more to call upon once you’ve decided what you want to do about all this.” Simply his way of looking at it. A smile responds to Jaya stating that he is amongst those few that she trusts, his head dipping in acknowledgement thereof. Chuckling through a grin, thumbs unhook from his waistband and hands pat against the turnip bulges in his pockets, “Glad to have something to bribe him with,” he gives fondly on his turnip loving blue. Nodding his agreement to keeping an eye on the other gold weyrling his usually ever present smile back in place again, “Nice catching up with you again too, Jaya.” A glance goes toward her empty bowl and he gives with crooked grin, “I wouldn’t eat the turnips,” the cooked ones, “Don’t let Bal know, but they really taste pretty disgusting.” Giving hint that he tolerates the raw version for the sake of his bonded. Lifting a hand in farewell, “Later, Jaya.” And with long loping strides, L’ron heads out and back to check up on what mischief Balkrith might have gotten up to in his absence.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Cat Stevens - Peace Train

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