Truths And Half Truths


Bowen.jpg Cheusia.jpg

Date: 9/30/10
Location: EW: Various
Synopsis: After encountering Jaya and her bodyguard, Bowen arrives at the Infirmary at the end of her shift to escort her, offering protection and companionship at the end of her day. Certain truths and half-truths are revealed in the process that could sink things or make them go even more swimmingly.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Bowen

For once, the shift is finished and Che looks almost ready to leave. Almost. Almost willingly allowing herself to leave the Infirmary to actually enjoy the rest of her evening… After hunting a certain tanner down. Though, almost doesn't cut it. She's easily drawn back in by an apprentice organizing in the wrong order to which gets the boy dismissed and leaving her to finish the rest of the work. This is where she can be found upon entering, off towards the side organizing the cabinets.

She wouldn’t have had to go far to hunt him down if she had left. Bowen is on his way there, after that mildly tense encounter with Jaya and Shijan in the Beast Cavern, the man is looking for some extra numbweed to ease the throbbing ache in his thigh. He had planned on stopping in anyway, truth be told, even if he didn’t need to, wanting to keep a closer eye on her with this mess with the note, plus, the obvious reason getting to be close to her again on top. That’s just the icing. He works hard to hide any discomfort as he makes his way inside the infirmary, taking off his hat and wiping his slightly perspiring face on a shirt sleeve. He pauses near the entrance to look for her, and when his blue eyes settle on her near the cabinets, he makes his way over. “Che,” he says softly when he gets within hearing range, and not just because there may be patients sleeping at this hour. Bo is a quiet man by nature. “Was hopin’ t’find ya here, still.” His lips draw into a tender smile for the healer. “If yer shift’s o’er soon, I’d like ta escort ya back.” To the lower caverns or the living cavern to eat or wherever she goes after an evening shift.

Cheusia blinks at the sound of her name, tensing oh-so slightly before grey eyes move to find the tanner. "Bo. Hi." A cheerful smile is given as she moves to quickly finish her organizing. "Really? I was about to leave… Actually. Distracted." The cabinet is closed and she meets his gaze once more while the smile on her lips grows wider. "It's been over for awhile. I'd be glad for the escort, it's very sweet of you." Though, she's giving him a careful look over, checking over the injuries she can see. "Needing any numbweed before we take off?" Because it never hurts to ask.

The bruise to his jaw is still present, and the cut to his lip is but a pencil-thin scab right now. Other than a slightly flushed look for the sweating he’d been doing over the throbbing in his leg, Bowen would likely appear fine. However, that smile of hers seems to draw out a bigger version of that tender one from him as well, and the stocky man looks down at his hat in his hands, clearing his throat a little, “Good.” So, he misses any of the careful look she gives him. “Numbweed,” he says after a moment, “Would be appreciated. Thank ya kindly.” He’s gotten better about not saying ‘ma’am’ to her, knowing how she dislikes it, though it is a challenge for the polite and easy-mannered tanner to be sure, having it drilled into him since a child.

Cheusia's smile only grows fonder when he looks down to his had, shaking her head with a light amusement. "Numbweed, then. Did you want to put it on now or wait a bit later?" The sweating has been noted, but, she won't push him. A little game of give and take, and she's been doing a lot of nagging so a break has been given on that front. She moves easily to fetch a small container of numbweed before moving to the tanner and offering out for him, leaving him to his choice of now or later.

As she moves off to get the numbweed, that’s when Bowen looks up from his hat again, following her movements with his blue eyes. His smile fades a little then, but only to a more simply contented expression. As she hands it out to him, he states huskily, “Later, I reckon, would be best. After washin’ up.” Another nod to her in gratitude and his hand reaches to take the container from her, brushing her fingers with his own rough ones if she allows, in the taking. Then he puts it away in a pocket and looks around the infirmary a moment before settling those blue eyes back on her once more, “Whenever yer ready then … where to?” his tone maintaining the soft politeness to his manner, and he moves his hat to his right hand so that he can offer his left arm to the healer, all proper like, if she is ready to go.

"Good idea." Che decides, allowing their fingers to brush and her gaze drifting towards her hand before she allows it to drop back to her side. Then, she's stepping closer to the tanner and closing the space between them. "Ready. Don't really care where we go." She pauses, "though we could head to the baths." Her arm slips into his and she scoots in just a bit closer, arm tightening around his. "Did you see Max about the note?" Curiosity has been eating at her, and it's a wonder why she didn't ask sooner.

As she steps closer, and slips her arm through his, Bowen sets his hat on his head once more as they are preparing to leave. The suggestion of the baths is met with a stilling of the man beside her, and another clearing of the throat, but holdbred or no, communal baths is something he’s more or less had to get used to in the last few sevens. So, after a moment’s time, he nods simply, “As ya like, then. Should we stop by th’ Lower Caverns fer a change of clothes an’ any o yer … supplies?” his question comes softly as before, and then is followed by a nod, “Ayup. Had a talk with Max ‘bout th’ note. He agrees with me that we can’t be none too careful these days.”

Cheusia gives him a look as he stills, stopping to remain in step with him and only watching his expression. "Thank you. We should stop by there so I can grab a few things." She then gives a gentle tug on his arm to prompt movement. "Mm… I didn't really consider that before I went out… That it could have been more. Or a prank… Nothing new, really. Did you guys need me to do anything? I can help with something."

Bowen gets back to a slow pace, something that even someone his same height and stride would find a little on the slow side, but most of that is the tenderness in his thigh than anything else. “Lower Caverns it is, then,” Bo says after a thoughtful moment, leading them out of the infirmary and out into the bowl, starting to cross to that other entrance leading to the Lower Caverns under a warm, summer night sky. “I admit I was gonna do this m’self, but it’s likely t’seem less suspicious comin’ from you,” he says after another moment. “Ya found this note at yer cot or in th’ ‘firmary? Was thinkin’ of checkin’ th’ handwritin’ of those near where ya found it.” There’s another pause and he adds, “I hope it’s j’st a matter of the feller losin’ th’ guts t’meetchya, an’ failin’ that, mebbe a prank, and nuthin’ more.”

Cheusia is normally quite the fast walker, rarely going at a slow speed once her destination is picked. Bowen is just giving her a chance to appreciate her surroundings and the time it takes to get there. Which also gives her more of a chance to look up into the sky when they exit the infirmary. "Infirmary… At the spot I usually work in. I'll check their writing…" She considers quietly before shrugging. "I really doubt it was a man who lost the guts. I'm used to being pranked like that… So, hopefully it's just a prank that followed me from home. And nothing else… No one out to get me."

Bowen nods a little to the extra information about where she found it, and not objecting to her suggesting that she check their handwriting, though he does state, “J’st be careful how ya go ‘bout doin’ it, Che.” He turns his head a little to look at her and lifts his opposite hand to rest over hers on his arm, “A lotta strange and unsettlin’ things’re ‘bout.” He doesn’t go as far as to remind her specifically not to let on what she’s doing. He knows she’s intelligent. Just warns her to be careful. “As much as I’d like t’be, I ain’t able ta be with ya every second of th’ day.” His hand squeezes a little and he adds, “A prank ain’t too much better, considerin’…” he lets his voice trail off a little then, continuing to walk and now looking more ahead of them, his gaze occasionally drifting out to their sides, though not exactly being paranoid about it.

"I'll be careful." She promises before giving him a curious look, brows drawing into a frown. "What else has been happening? There's more than just runner thieves?" Che doesn't look too unsettled, but looks can be deceiving, after all. Her arm tightens around his just a bit more. "A shame, but, you're right… You won't always be there." She allows a shrug for his final statement before her attention is drifting skywards, happy to let him do the watching and protecting. "I want to thank you again… For being here. I really feel safe… Thank you."

The hand that rests over hers on his arm strokes it gently before he lets it fall back to his side, Bo adds slowly, “Max seems t’think there’s more to it than just runner thieves, though he’s still tryin’ ta work out whut. There’re hunters here, Che,” he looks at her again, “And these ain’t the kind of hunters whut go out an’ bring back furs. These hunt … people.” Then ahead once more, eyeing the entrance on the other side of the bowl, or what he can see of it from the glows or torches set out to mark it at night. He nods then to her last statement, “Max an’ I wanna do j’st that. Keep ya safe.” Another pause and he adds uncomfortably, “Any reason why someone from Bitra might be interested in getting’ atchu? No?”

Cheusia shifts to lean her head lightly against his arm, remaining quiet as he speaks. His words are considered with a frown. "Who hunts people?" It is obvious that she has been shielded for those darker things of Pern, while she remains familiar with death, sickness, and injuries. Her arm tightens around his before she nods in a quiet agreement. The final question, however, she shakes her head in response. "I never have been to Bitra… And, it's not likely my mother has anything to do with them… Or my father. And it's not like many people know who he is, exactly… So, no. I've no reason for anyone to come after me… Unless because I helped the injured thief."

It’s not like Bowen has quite the exposure to the underside of Pern, himself, compared to Max. However, he’s been in enough bars in his day, gambling and drinking, to know a little something from mere association and talk. “Good question,” he answers vaguely, “One Max is tryin’ ta riddle out.” He avoids saying as much as he thinks something about this has Max more spooked over it than he would be, personally, but then he doesn’t have Max’s history. “Chances are, since y’ain’t told no ‘un whut healin’ ya did fer ‘im, it’s all unrelated. But …” he lapses quiet a moment, risking a glance down at the ground as he continues to escort her, and then says, “I’d ruth’r j’st be cautious j’st th’ same.” He nods quietly as she talks of how she’s not likely the target, and that seems to take some of the tension from his shoulder. He doesn’t move as she rests her head there, other than walk of course, letting her do so, quite willingly in fact. As the entrance into the lower levels of the weyr looms closer, however, he turns his head a little to brush a light kiss on the top of her head, and then looks forward once more. “Chances are, th’ whole mess is all ‘bout sumpthin’ else, or someone else, but an’ soon we’ll all be able t’get back t’ our normal lives ‘gain.”

Cheusia nns softly, "doesn't sound right… Hunting people. That just sounds weird…" Though, it's likely she has the whole wrong picture in her head about the meaning… "I hope he figures it out. And gets everything solved…" A soft sigh slips from her lips before she nods. "It is a good chance it is all unrelated and just all fell together at a bad time. I didn't tell anyone about the man in there…" Unless someone is watching. "I'll be really careful." Though around him, she trusts him enough to be at complete ease. Grey eyes close briefly, simply enjoying the easy feeling of relaxing. "Quite ready for the normal, actually… I'll keep my nose out of it, save you both some stress. Just… Don't get hurt too badly. I like having you healthy and not so… Cut up. You and Max."

“I reckon it ain’t too diff’rent from us huntin’ this Gared feller out,” Bo comments after a pause, though more than likely it’s to try and put her at ease, and if it only serves to weird her out even more, well, it can just be added to the growing list of things Bo says wrong to women. He lapses silent as he draws to a stop outside the entrance, allowing a couple of people to depart so as no one has to get crowded, and then leads her in, murmuring dryly, “Well, there goes m’plan t’get in a fight every night then, j’st so as t’end up in yer good an’ capable hands.” Adding a bit of humor, or trying to, and hopefully setting some of the worry from her mind at the same time. And down toward the Lower Caverns in relative silence otherwise, he leads her, though much of that is due to the fact that people are still settling in for the night and he just doesn’t want to say anything that could be overheard by the wrong people. There he will gather together a quick set of clothes and other items for himself, and quietly await her to gather her own as well.

"That would make more sense." Che murmurs, giving him a look and not fully explaining her own thoughts. More likely considering them stupid more than anything. The silence is left untouched, staying there until he speaks again. "As much as I love touching you, Bo… I'd love it even more if you weren't injured each time." She teases back, grey eyes considering the caverns they walk through. She only breaks away to gather her bag of things for the baths and a change of clothing, considerably different from what she wears now. It is, most definitely, her nightly things. When all is gathered, she moves back over and frees her arm to slip around his once more to be led to the baths.

And with a wry smile for her second comment, not seeming to think the first one odd or indicative of any stupidity, Bowen leads her to the baths, still at that plodding pace that mimics the pace of his plodding gelding in a lot of respects. Once they arrive into the steam-filled chamber, he releases her arm gently and starts unlacing his shirt, nodding toward the various pools, “Y’can have th’ first pick, Che, an’ I’ll find one nearby.” Close enough to offer protection, but respectful and gentlemanly enough of her space and privacy to allow her one of the more secluded pools to herself, should she want it.

Cheusia gives him a wide smile in response, following beside him at his pace. She doesn't leave him behind nor does she try to pull him along beside her, content to go along with this speed set by him. A deep breath is taken once they enter the chamber, slowly drifting away and tilting him a look. "You can join me if you want. I've gotten used to sharing a bath with men." It's hard to feel prudish around naked men being that she's a Healer and has probably seen her fair share. Not to mention another two men by name, either. She shrugs, moving to set her clothes in a place where they won't get wet before settling her pack and a towel beside the pool before stripping and slowly sinking in. A sigh is released and she slowly sinks down lower into the pool before working on taking her hair out from the braid.

Bowen shakes his head a little, more slowly getting out of his clothes and politely keeping his eyes averted, depositing his fresh clothes on the bench near hers, and setting his hat on top before finishing getting out of his boots, pants and shirt. The stitching and scabbing of the wound on his thigh is discolored from the redwort applied from the recent reinfection, but not raised or looking particularly bad. On the mend. “It ain’t so much yer sensibilities I’m worried on, Che,” he comments softly as she slides into the pool. He grabs up two small pouches of sweetsand, fine and coarse, and his towel, and finally moves to join her in her own pool. Sure, he offered, and she declined. The man is a gentleman, but still has some testosterone left in him. Just look at the bar brawl he was in recently. He slides into the pool more gingerly, his lips pursing into a thin line as the hot water hits his stab wound, and then he closes his eyes and sinks the rest of the way in, exhaling softly as he settles in against the edge of the pool.

Cheusia isn't so polite as to keep her eyes away from the tanner, though her gaze is fixated on the stitching. A thoughtful frown pulls on her brows before she murmurs, "another sevenday and it looks like we should be able to remove the stitches if you behave." AKA: don't fuck your leg up. "Don't worry, Bo. It'll all be fine." And when he joins her, she smiles and resumes undoing the tightly woven braid while grey eyes watch him. These are the healer eyes, making sure that he isn't more hurt than he's been letting on. Once satisfied, her eyes consider his face for a moment before she slowly sinks under the water to get her hair wet. It is only a moment before she pushes up again and uses her hands to push water and hair out of her face. "What are you worried about?"

The stocky tanner cracks his eyes open to regard her through the veil of steam, not seeming to get in any hurry for the actual washing part, himself. Bowen nods to her assessment, murmuring, “I’ll try t’behave then.” There comes with it no smirk, so he could simply be just commenting automatically or he might be serious. Content with the quiet for the time while she goes under water, he lapses quiet himself, reclosing his eyes a moment before she surfaces once more and he opens his eyes to look at her face with her voiced question, “Me,” he offers huskily in answer, “not behavin’.” Now he finally dunks his own hair back and wet and grabs some of the fine sweetsand and rub it into his hair and scalp. His face is dripping with water, unwiped away, while his eyes are staring at her own if he can lock gazes, “M’tryin’ t’do right by ya, Che. Not move too fast,” says the slow tanner, “But I can’t deny how beautiful y’are an’ how hard it is t’resist puttin’ m’hands all o’er ya while here in this pool. That’s whut I’m worried ‘bout.” While his hair isn’t exactly short, it’s not as long or thick as most women’s, and so he is not long washing his hair before he goes under again to rinse it out, coming up for air after a time and pushing his hair back away from his face before reaching for the coarser sweetsand.

"Good, good." Che is content with this answer, pleased even, because she fully expects him to try his best. She sinks lower into the pool while grey eyes consider the man. "Not worried about you not behaving…" She offers softly as their eyes meet, though his explanation is met with a nod. "Thank you. It's probably not best to.. Jump into that right away." Though she coughs softly at that, sinking a bit lower into the pool and avoiding his gaze. "Thank you for the compliment, though." She continues to avoid his gaze, if only for the fact that she looks like she's examining her hair more closely.

As she speaks, Bowen is quietly washing his face, neck, and broad shoulders. Then he stands a bit more out of the water, to his waist, to wash the rest of his torso with firm, slow but efficiently massaging scrubs of his lathered hands. “S’th’ truth,” he states softly of the compliment. He’s not very smooth or flowery about it as some silver-tongued Harper might be. He could be telling Max that Strider threw a shoe or something, the way it sounds. But if he knows his speech isn’t exactly “pretty”, he doesn’t seem inclined to show it at the moment. He continues washing himself up, working on his lower half now, though trying to turn away for the sake of propriety and politeness as he does so, and finally submerges once more to rinse off. He surfaces a few moments later a little closer to her but allowing her that personal space while slicking his wet hair back from his eyes and then running a hand down his face to wipe the water away, this time. “Ya tell me’r Max if ya see or hear anythin’ whut seems odd an’ out of place,” in other words, ‘suspicious’, “yeah?”

Cheusia shifts to dig into her pouch, taking out some sweetsand and beginning to wash her hair easily. "Thanks." She grins widely, "the truth is sometimes pleasant." Though it is mostly teasing as she says this, her head tilting slightly as she combs her fingers through her hair. She moves easily to washing her arms and legs after, grey eyes considering the man even as he goes under water and appears closer. "I'll tell one of you if I see or hear anything. Promise. I'll be careful about it, too." Grey eyes drift away, looking about the baths curiously before she's pinning a look to him once more. "How did you and Max get so close?"

As with everything Bo does, he is slow to leave the pool, even having finished washing up. He could shave, but since he’s only to end up growing stubble overnight, why bother? He’ll do it in the morning. So he watches her wash her hair, and only watches her wash her hair, as he grunts a little, content to simply remain shoulder deep in the steamy water and let it ease some of the tension in his muscles away, particularly around that thigh wound, even if the hot water smarts. It’s a “good” kind of smart. “I reckon yer th’ first woman t’ever say so t’me,” his tone is approving, though. It’s not that he thinks she’s the only woman to think so, but he’s just never heard it before from one. He nods slightly to her promise to tell him or Max if anything looks odd and to be careful, and seems satisfied with that promise. The question about him and Max is unexpected, though and so he takes a moment to think it through before answering with a grunt, “Whiskey.” With that, he moves to the edge and hauls himself out with two powerfully thick arms, grunting only when he swings his wounded leg out with him, and dripping water everywhere. Without looking at her, he grabs his towel and starts drying off, moving toward the bench where his clothes are.

Cheusia sinks under the water to rinse, only coming up when finished to give him a look. "Well, most people thing the truth is either hurtful, or not true. But, that's rather stupid…" She offers a grin at that but doesn't touch the subject anymore. The rest of her is washed and rinse, more quickly than she began. "I see… Max came to me with a broken nose. That's how we met. I told him not to scream because I had to reset it. He was lucky he didn't wait any longer otherwise I would've had to break it again…" Which, is not pleasant for anyone. Healer or patient. When he leaves the pool, she watches.. Mostly his leg before she's following, only after wringing most of the water from her hair.

“I reckon sometimes, certain things’ gotta be said,” Bowen drawls, and finishing toweling off, he applies some of that numbweed to his thigh, not holding back the sigh of relief from the sensation. Only after he clears his throat does he say carefully, “I’ll tell ya that I didn’t much like hearin’ ‘bout Kason … but … twas a truth I needed t’know ‘bout, Che. I’m glad ya did.” He’s easing into a pair of old baggy black leggings he wears for sleeping with drawstrings at the waist and ankles, though he doesn’t bother cinching any of it, letting them hang a bit off his hips. He grunts with barely contained mirth at her comment about Max, “I reckon that makes sense fer him,” filing it away for later teasing the beast manager with, no doubt. “An’ did ‘e? Scream that is.” He normally wouldn’t bother with another shirt, but he’s trying to be respectful and mindful of being in the presence of a woman, so he tugs the clean one he had brought along on over his head before tossing the dirty towel in the bin for such things. As he gathers up the bundle of dirty clothes and his socks under one arm, and his boots and hat in the other hand, he carefully keeps his gaze averted from the more delicate parts, though he’s not adverse to trying to sneak surreptitious glances of her feet, ankles and even a little bit of calf. He’s a guy, after all. Even “broken” ones look.

"Yeah…" She sighs softly, perhaps avoiding something that might need to be said. Grey eyes flicker over to find him applying the numbweed and she carefully watches his movement. "I… Yeah. Needed to tell you about him… He…" Whatever else Che has to say about him struggles to come forth and she simply shrugs, leaving it at that rather than struggling to form a single sentence. She takes her time drying off. "He said he got into a fight with a shovel, but it was pretty obvious he got in a fight… He didn't scream, no. But I've never seen any man jump away from me that fast. Swore for a good long time, though. And he cried. But, I don't blame him… It hurt. At least in the end he was happy to breathe again and I gave him some candy and a kiss on the nose…" Though she trails off at that, grey eyes slowly trailing away from the tanner as she begins to dress. If there's any notice for the peeking, she makes no indication. "That's also how I got to be his favorite healer."

The boots and hat combination in one hand is proving to be a little unwieldy, so Bowen sets the sweaty hat on his nice clean head once more, before looking at her more seriously with the way she struggles to speak, and then he looks away again as she dries off. The tanner says nothing for the time being, and so as she continues on, discussing Max and him being doted on given candy and a kiss on the nose, there’s a faint smirk that tugs at the man’s lips for the rather humorous image that conjures up. Some little part of Max would likely die of mortification if he knew she was sharing such things with Bowen, and then again maybe not. A few long moments after her voice trails off, he says, “A kiss onna nose, eh? This mean I gotta deck ‘im, too?” He’s trying for humor, but Bowen typically is dry with it and so he doesn’t smile as he says it. To the comment about her being Max’s favorite healer, he adds more softly, “Yer mine, too, if that counts fer anythin’?” This time, there comes another faint smirk with the question and he lifts his blue eyes to study her as she dresses before remembering himself and looking away with another clearing of the throat. More softly, he puts out there, “If there’s sumpthin’ more yer wantin’ ta tell me ‘bout Kason, Che, just say it.” He keeps his eyes averted, and more than just because he wants her to have her privacy as she dresses. He also doesn’t want her to see the fear of what he suspects is coming in his eyes.

And there's a part of Che that would love to see Max's embarrassment if he knew the tanner knows of their first meeting, if only because she loves him so. "Mhm…" Though she trails off, and that blush that came to her cheeks the day at the bridge returns with a vengeance and it's not the heat of the pools, either. "Y-You'd… Deck him for a kiss on the nose?" Those grey eyes cast a worried look in his direction, almost wide-eyed and there's a little question she dares not to ask. "It counts for a lot… I like being your favorite healer…" She admits in a softer tone, pulling on her night gown and slowly beginning to do the ties. She remains silent for a long moment before she responds to that final statement, more for the fact that she struggles with the sentence there. Then, a deep breath is taken before she blurts out. "We did it there." And there's a little point over to said pool, which is far from the one they were in before. She turns away from him before slowly redoing her braid.

Bowen’s not looking, so he misses the blush entirely, but he responds to her question after a Bo-like pause, “Naw,” another pause as he reconsiders it, “Only if it’d turn ya on. I’ll deck any feller, even one I like, every day of th’ seven if it’d turn ya on.” What guy wouldn’t? Well, maybe some scholarly sorts might not. But while the sparkle of warmth and mirth in his eyes may go unseen since he’s not looking at her, the wry smile slightly tugging at his lips might be visible now that he’s wearing it with such a comment. “An’ I like that ya like that yer m’favorite healer,” he responds softly, the jesting note in his tone from the comment about hitting other guys if it would turn her on is gone, though he sneaks another peek peripherally enough to know she is now decent and looks at her straight on. He matches that silence as she does up the ties of her nightgown, seeming interested in the little fashion ritual for a spell when her blurted out admission breaks the little quiet spell. For a heartbeat, the poor tanner thinks she meant her and Max since that’s who they were just talking about, and his expression begins to cloud while his body stiffens noticeably, in every way but the most important way for Bo, really. And then the light goes off as he makes the connection between his request for her to tell him more about her and Kason and his eyes stray to the “offending” pool. Those blue eyes turn cool and hateful at that unlucky pool and then turn back to her, softening a little guiltily as he finds himself staring at her back now. He doesn’t move to her, though, and instead quietly, very quietly, asks, “Are ya with child?” Because that undoubtedly changes the dynamics here, and will probably have Bowen trying harder to track Kason down so he can murder him for leaving her like this – which he kind of wants to do anyway on the mere principle of he slept with her and then disappeared on her. If he isn’t dead already, which could be the case.

Cheusia laughs softly, "then I count is both lucky that I'm not turned on by you decking people…" Her tone remains teasing as she says that, though avoiding meeting his faze. The blush only goes darker at his comment and another laugh follows, though it is hardly more than a breath. Then the silence comes and she continues to do the ties of her nightgown, even tugging it free to do it all over again in her nervousness. She doesn't say anything, nor does she turn to meet his gaze. No regrets, but a touch of shame lingers there and is visible by the sag of her shoulders that are normally squared proudly. The question is the only thing that has grey eyes peeking at him quietly. "No… I'm not." Luckily for her, she is unlike her mother in that aspect. "I'm not pregnant… I would have told you that as the first thing… Max would have known, too… Cause… Yeah… I would have told him…"

A faster, bolder man would have dropped his clothes and boots and closed the distance in an instant to wrap her up in his arms. Bowen is not a fast man, though he sometimes can be bold. He stares at her with those blue eyes as she peeks at him, and then crosses the little distance between them clothes and boots still in hands. When he gets but a step behind her, he stops and in a husky whisper so that it doesn’t carry, he asks darkly, “Did he …” he swallows a moment, “force himself on ya, Che?” Here he will let his boots and dirty clothes drop to the side and moves to rest his hands on her shoulders, “Nuthin’ t’be ‘shamed fer, yanno.” But there is one man out there who Bo will definitely be murdering in cold blood if she gives even the slightest indication that it’s true. Most likely? Max will help. Bowen doesn’t seem to question that she would tell Max if she were pregnant. After all, they each have stated that the other is like a sibling.

Cheusia stares at him before shaking her head. "No. I wouldn't have been sad over him leaving if he had." She sighs, closing her eyes and relaxing at his touch. "I'm ashamed that… I let myself fall for something I never believed in. And that… It really meant nothing in the end. I could have kept distant from it, stayed how I was… Not let myself take it to heart." She shakes her head and smiles at him, "thank you."

Nodding slightly, Bowen moves his hands down around her waist if she allows, and tries to draw her in against his chest, just holding her for the moment, closing his eyes in silent gratitude that Kason hadn’t hurt her in that sense. To be sure, she was hurt and Bo knew it, but now if and when Kason ever shows his face around here again, the man will have a fighting chance of getting out alive, possibly undamaged, depending on how Bo was feeling that day. “M’sorry, Che,” Bo says sympathetically, and in a genuine timbre. “Come on, now,” he rumbles softly, risking a light kiss to her temple if she allows, one that lingers well beyond the “fatherly” or “brotherly” type of kiss on the temple, “Let’s get ya outta here.” And the potentially unhappy memories it serves up. Then, releasing her, he bends to pick up his pile of clothes and boots loosely in his hands, else he’d offer to carry some of hers.

Cheusia is drawn into the tanner, taking a deep breath and relaxing. Her trust is with this man despite it all, when she could shield herself again. "It's okay…" She whispers softly in response, allowing the kiss while grey eyes open to consider him. And she's released, she only watches him a moment longer before gathering her things and then starting at a slower pace towards the door, making sure to remain by his side. "I like kissing you."

Even though his hands are full, he does offer his arm to her once more as they make their exit from the steaming bathing chamber. While pace is still slower than some, it’s a bit more his usual pace than before, now that he’s applied some numbweed to that wound on his leg. Bowen is quiet a moment before offering huskily, “Good. I like kissin’ me, too.” Some uncertain attempt at wit to try and help lighten the mood a little as he escorts the healer out and down the corridor.

Cheusia takes his arm that is offered, remaining at his pace and seemingly enjoying it. Laughter follows and she leans over to rest her head against his arm. "Seems like that must be hard to do… Kissing yourself. You'll have to let me see that sometime so I can claim witness to it."

As Bowen is a man who happens to enjoy this woman resting her head against his arm or shoulder, he doesn’t make any move to disrupt it as they walk down toward the Lower Caverns, maintaining the sedate, strolling like pace she seems to enjoy, too. “Mebbe after th’ stitches come out,” Bo states after a moment, “Don’t wantchya t’ get mad at me fer poppin’ them out early ‘gin.” Suggesting some kind of contortion is necessary to do it. Another silence as he pauses at the top of the stairs down into the Lower Cavern, “Che, how wouldja feel if I worked it ta swap cots with th’one next to ya?” It could be a bid to be closer to her because he wants to be. It could be a bid to be closer with her because he thinks he can keep a better eye on her that way. Or it could be both.

Cheusia tightens her arm around his, closing her eyes as she continues to rest her head against his arm. There's full blown trust right there, letting herself be led without even watching. "After they come out, I'd like to see. I wasn't mad at you, it was still partially my fault. And, it was to be expected… What with you chasing after someone, and all." Grey eyes open when they come to a stop, flickering towards him and blinking. "I would like that a lot, actually. Having your cot near mine… Would be great." Not to mention they could push them together and have an even bigger cot.

Bowen’s still not used to the selfless Journeywoman Healer and her ways, though the warning voice in the back of his head is getting softer and softer these days. So, his blue eyes settle down on her head a moment, before starting on down the stairs, carefully. It’s not just for her sake but for his and that thigh wound, as well. “Renegade,” Bo nods softly, his mind returning to the recent drama in the beast caverns once more, “Still, I tried t’be careful, an’ wasn’t careful ‘nough.” At the bottom of the stairs, he resumes the pace he had before, a meandering stroll through various “stalls” used by weyr personnel until they arrive at the back section of it where the cots for the main weyrfolk population are. “So, I’ll take care of it, then,” switching cots, and comments softly, “But I’ll warn ya. M’told I snore sumpthin’ fierce.” He begins to lead her toward where her assigned or claimed cot is situated, blue eyes looking for one of her neighbors, if present, to already make a bid to switch. No sense in wasting time when Che’s welfare is at stake, apparently.

Cheusia takes the steps carefully, unaware of those blue eyes watching her. "Right… Renegade. Max's runner." She gently pats his arm before she's breaking away to head towards her cot. "Alright… And, I don't mind snoring. Some of the girls back at the Hall were really bad. Very loud." A grin is offered before she's putting away her things and settling upon her cot. She's not laying down and preparing to sleep until Bo takes occupation of the one closest to her.

“Y’might think diff’rent after our first night t’gether,” Bowen states softly, but lips quirking up in a smile. And for all the suggestive statement within it, his expression doesn’t support the notion in the least, being entirely honorable. At least for now. He regards her one last time, and those around her, before he steps off to the person who shows up at that next cot over, on what would be her right side if she were laying on her back, and with a few marks exchanged and a promise to do the actual moving of the strongboxes and press for them, it’s settled. He looks at her on that cot for a moment before taking the few steps to get back to her and leans in for a chaste, tender kiss against her lips, if she doesn’t withdraw from it. “Please don’t go nowhere. I’ll be right back,” he murmurs, and then he departs, hefting a press with his thick arms as he goes, though is likely still visible to some degree, in and out of the crowd of other folks who are settling in and not yet asleep, unlike others. Unless something happens to stall or delay, it takes a few minutes of the few short trips between the two cots, moving the person’s belongings there and moving the couple of belongings of Bo’s back before the man finally takes his hat off and puts it on one of the cot posts.

"Nah." Che returns, returning the smile cheerfully and scooting back on the cot before rearranging her gown as she crosses her legs, bringing it over to cover them. She watches the exchange with a mild interest, not pitching in and complaining that he may hurt his leg. She does have the faith that he'll not do anything to really hurt it. The look towards her is met with another smile, pleasant and patient, clearly expecting him to take off rather than approaching like he does. The kiss is returned and she smiles, only this one melting to something softer. "I'll be here." She promises before grey eyes follow his progress, even if she should lose sight of him for just a moment. His return is met with a grin, then, and only then does she slide under her blankets and rest her head upon her pillow.

He doesn’t seem to have hurt himself in the carrying of boxes back and forth, and so either the man has learned how to carry the weight properly or the boxes weren’t that full of heavy items. Watching and waiting just as patiently as she settles in under the covers, Bowen covers the nearest glowbasket to give them some added darkness to better sleep by, though there are enough other baskets around the sleeping quarters of the Lower Caverns to allow them both to see should they need to get up in the middle of the night and go use the latrines or something. Only then does he remove his shirt, tossing it to hang on the post opposite his hat, and more than likely will be worn again in the morning. “Got me an early day t’morrah,” he states softly, sounding mildly regretful, “Whut kinda shift ya workin’ at th’ ‘firmary?”

Cheusia is content when he doesn't appear to have hurt himself, relaxing all the more as she won't have to leap out of the cot to help. She settles onto her side, facing him as she lays down and grey eyes not looking away or closing until she yawns. "Mm. Same… Morning for me. Was going to work the night, too… But if you show up I'll leave on time." She notes in a soft tone and happily snuggling into her pillow. "We can do something nice after, if you want…"

It’s summer, so the stocky tanner working around hot, smelly curing vats all day is not terribly eager to be under covers right off. More than likely, he’ll tug them up during the night. For now, as he crawls in, not seeming to mind her eyes in his direction until she yawns, he shoves the covers to his shins and exhales softly as he allows himself to sink a little more into the cot, staring up into the darkness of the cavernous ceiling. Her last suggestion has him thinking about courtship. He should really figure out what it takes to woo a woman proper. Maybe Max knows. He’s got a woman, right? “I’ll show up,” he murmurs, stifling the yawn that catches belatedly from her yawn. “Che …” he begins uncertainly, “I wanna treat ya right … j’st … I ain’t some smooth talkin’ Harper … I’m a Southern holdbred feller … who don’t know whut proper fork ta use at a fancy Gather let ‘lone … how ta woo a woman.” Beat pause, “Now, if yer lookin’ ta learn ta ride, or salt cure a porcine, fishin’, or needin’ heavy liftin’ … I’m yer man.”

Cheusia leaves her eyes closed, quiet and considering. And remaining silent until he spreaaks. "'kay… Won't plan on working late…" She stretches out, slowly willing each muscle in her body to relax. As he begins, she remains silent for a good long moment, listening to reach word and saying nothing until he finishes. "Don't want sweet words… Just wanting the truth. For you to be honest… Sweet words and whispered nothings can be full of lies." Grey eyes open briefly to consider him. "You're fine how you are."

Bowen stretches an arm up to curl around the top of his head, still lying on his back, but he turns to look at her in the darkness as she speaks. Softly, he says, “I’ll always be honest with ya, Che.” Honesty has never been an issue with him. It’s the consequences of being honest with women that seems to get him in trouble. He closes his eyes then, and says, “I’ll figure sumpthin’ special t’do after …” don’t know what and it could entirely involve a dead animal of some kind. Be forewarned.

"Good. I like honesty." Che smiles widely and snuggles into the pillow more, clearly put to ease with his statement. "Okay. I'll look forward to whatever it is we do. Thank you."

She’s at ease while the poor tanner is lying awake trying to wrack his brains over what he can do that might impress her tomorrow. Talk about pressure! Shit … “G’night, Che,” Bowen murmurs, turning his head back to face the ceiling, though he keeps his eyes closed, slow wheels grinding in that country man’s head of his as he ponders tomorrow. Eventually, he does fall asleep, and he does snore.

The pressure is on. It can sometimes be a good thing… That pressure. "Night, Bo…" She trails off, and, is likely asleep the second after. Her sleep is entirely peaceful, despite the snoring near by.

Closing Credit Theme Music: Luke Bryan - "Country Man"

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