Vote Of Confidence


Ahnika.jpg Evie.jpg NPC'd by Jonavan Olira.jpg NPC'd by Jaya

Date: Nov. 24, 2010
Location: Lakeshore, EW
Synopsis: Relly (Olira) has a "friend" in need of advice, but Evie has her suspicions and Ahnika doesn't trust that the mind healer could help. They also find out that Evie is Jonavan's sister.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

Evie has sprawled out on one of the benches along the lakeshore, pillowing her head between the palms of her hands. Face up, she soaks up the morning sun with the eager air of a northerner luxuriating in summer warmth. Her skirt is long enough for decency even with her knees up.

After at least starting a good chunk of her book-keeping duties in the weyrling barracks early, Olira (or Relly, as her name is to the world down south) thought it best to go for some breakfast and a walk on the shore to stretch her legs. The Tillekian was also out on a mission, at least a small one, after having talked with Jaya the other day and the Bitran barkeep had pointed her in the direction of one visiting mind healer. So far she hasn't been able to find her from that time Jaya did point her out, but that hasn't stopped her from looking. So, after a satisfying breakfast from the caverns, the redheaded woman is taking her stroll along the shore with Ahnika and her green dragon after speaking her desires of doing so to her, hands clasped behind her back and her long red hair bound into a single braid behind her as her eyes light upon a familiar face sprawled out on the bench. She turns to Ahnika then in her faltering steps, "I think that's her," she mumblers low for the green weyrling's ears alone, nodding in the mind healer's direction before she tentatively starts to approach.

Having promised to help look for the mindhealer, and be there for general moral support, Ahnika and Jhath meander out along the lakeshore with Relly, having finished up their morning training for the moment before they're scheduled for a follow-up class in a little while. To say that Ahnika wasn't being supportive would be inaccurate, but she's not an accomplished actress enough to hide some doubt in her eyes. It could simply be doubt over ever finding the mindhealer though, and not doubt over the services she renders. So it is with a slight tightening of her shoulders when Relly motions in the direction of Evie that Ahnika moves along with her approach, nodding silently. Jhath walks her usual marshaled step alongside her lifemate, quiet and dignified. The weyrling clears her throat loud enough on their approach to hopefully herald their arrival and prevent any startlement. Jhath is a little louder than that, issuing a trumpet with fanfare. "Jhath…" Ahnika sighs a bit, and then, to both Relly and Evie alike she mutters, "My apologies. She doesn't always remember the strength of her lungs." Ahnika's expression is closed and guarded as she regards Evie, but she isn't frowning or scowling openly. This is for Relly, she reminds herself, not for herself.

First opening her eyes when she hears Ahnika's throat being cleared, Evie then jolts upwards to sitting when Jhath trumpets. One hand grasps the back of the bench as she turns to look over it towards the trio approaching. She looks mildly embarrassed to have startled so, looking from the green who had interrupted her sunbathing to the weyrling addressing her. "Oh no, no apologies necessary. This is a Weyr, isn't it?" The young woman's gaze lingers on Ahnika, made curious by the weyrling's clear reservation, but she pays it no other attention and smiles openly for all three, dragon and women alike. "Serves me right for nearly dozing off."

With Relly having been startled herself by the Jhath’s trumpet, “…you’d think I would be used to it by living in the barracks,” she’s muttering over to Ahnika, the woman having gotten used to the weyrling enough to issue such comments. All the same, Jhath does get a barely wry grin from her before she straightens up and returns her gaze on Evie. If she has noticed Ahnika’s reserve for the mind healer, she has yet to make any comment on it. “Hope we’re not disturbing,” she sends softly by way of greeting, including the weyrling pair along with herself as she takes a step towards Evie. “I know you don’t know us, but…do you think you could spare a moment?” She glances over at Ahnika then briefly but she lets her gaze linger on the mind healer as she waits for an answer before taking a seat.

Evie's manner earns her a smile from Ahnika and the redheaded weyrling nods a bit to the rhetorical question, but doesn't answer verbally. It was rhetorical, after all, well, in Ahni's mind anyway. "It's a nice warm morning for dozing," she responds politely, not really all that engaged in the conversation yet. But she is trying to make nice at least and mind her manners. Relly is fitted with a more companionable and genuine grin, "Be grateful you missed the first month or so, where Jhath took it upon herself to wake the barracks up for morning feeding and physical training in regimented fashion…a dawn." Jhath, for her part, rumbles and puffs her chest out a little. It is, after all, something to be proud of in her mind, being the barracks morning trumpeter and helping everyone get used to a more military schedule, even if she has no memory of it now and is only going off Ahnika's. Chuckling a little, Ahnika leans over to affectionately stroke her tall and stocky girl at the shoulder before looking back at Relly as she addresses Evie and then to Evie herself, "We know you're on vacation, of a sorts, or heard so anyway. If it's an imposition, we can leave you alone." Her eyes briefly say, 'please tell us it's an imposition' to Evie, and then she schools her expression unreadable, guarded once more. "I'm Ahnika, this is Relly," she motions to the woman beside her, "And this is Jhath," to her towering dragonet on her other side.

"Not at all," Evie assures. She doesn't sound like it's mere politeness either. She swings one leg off the bench and tucks the other beneath her as soon as Relly evinces a desire to join her, making space available. "Of course, I have plenty of time." The healer watches Jhath a moment as Ahnika details her younger days with a soft smile, but it's the people who interest her more, especially as the weyrling indicates that she knows who Evie is; her eyebrows quirk as she interprets Ahnika's expression. "I'm Evie," the woman on the bench says, completing the introductions, "but something tells me you know that." She sounds almost amused, not suspicious - word seems to travel quickly in the Weyr.

“And the others are still friendly to you?” Relly means it as a tease for that fact that Jhath would wake everyone up so early. “My brothers and sisters would have hosed me in the face if I tried the same thing.” But there is a small chuckle, the notion of dragons doing such things that she sees a holdbrat doing amusing her greatly. Moving to take a seat on the bench beside Evie then, “Jaya pointed you to me,” she explains with a glance towards Ahnika, nodding once to confirm that they had indeed known the mind healer by name. “You know, the barkeep?” There was only one as far as she knew, but she wanted to clarify anyway. “Anyway, uh, we kinda wanted to talk to you about something,” she begins, her nervousness evident even though she looks to Ahnika for support. “You see…I have this…friend.” Fingers come together before her in her lap as she looks at Evie and continues. “She’s been sorta…violated? I’ve been wondering what I can do to, you know, help her. Like, advice? Things she should do? Eh…you know what I mean?” Voice falters, the Tillekian transplant hoping desperately that she wasn’t making a muddle of this and incriminating herself. She was still dealing with the shock of it happening at all.

Grinning, Ahnika responds with, "Luckily dragons have very short memories, the rest of the weyrlings, well…" her voice trails off and leaving the rest unsaid with a soft chuckle, remembering all sorts of pillows and such tossed at her those mornings or being yelled at. Nothing thrown or shouted that would be dangerous enough to warrant Jhath going after them and starting an even bigger fuss, of course, but enough to express their discontent. The tension in Ahnika's shoulders returns, however, as Evie indicates it's no imposition, but that's the whole of it, no other outward signs. Her expression just remains generally guarded otherwise and she lets Relly have the other half of the bench while Ahnika and Jhath settle down on the lakeshore's coarse but sandy earth, side by side. Ahnika sits cross-legged and Jhath more or less sphinx-style. Other weyrlings may curl up against their dragonets like some giant pillow and be all affectionately mushy. Jhath and Ahni look more like they are in formation, only seated on the ground. They both are giving Evie and Relly most of their attention, however, though the weyrling pair do move their heads, as one, on occasion to take in the surroundings, as if on sentry duty or something. No, that's not suspicious at all. Nodding once, Ahnika picks up a lake-smoothed rock from around her foot and holds it, running her fingers across its surface briefly before looking at Evie and Relly once more, and helpfully clarifying, "We got her away from the man who hurt her, but just need to know if there's anything else we could do to help."

Evie remembers Jaya easily and nods to show it. She smoothes her skirt over her lap and then regards Relly quietly, letting her speak without interrupting. The nervousness tips her off, and Evie doesn't believe for a moment that Relly is only talking about a friend, though she says nothing to disrupt the fiction. Evie glances across to Ahnika when the weyrling adds further detail, expression at once serious and thoughtful. Her attention comes to focus on the woman seated next to her, and the mind healer takes a moment to frame her response given the sensitive nature of the subject. "Well," Evie says carefully, "I'm glad to hear that she's no longer in danger. You should be proud to have gotten her out. Now, I would say that the most important thing is for her to have someone she can talk to about what happened - someone like me." Trained, in other words. She regards Relly steadily, taking her time so what she's saying can be processed. "As difficult as that may be for her, it's the best way to come to terms with what happened, how she's feeling now, and hopefully gain some peace. If you want to help your friend," and here Evie glances at Ahnika, "you should encourage her to do that."

The easiness in Ahnika’s response to that has Relly grinning her way, though it’s the seriousness of the nature of the talk with Evie that has that amusement being short-lived. Ahnika helps clarify, coupled with Evie’s response, “But must I ta- I mean,” she shakes her head at that, blinking a few times as she tries to backtrack that slip – the girl just was not good at this – “Must she talk about it?” she clarifies. “I mean, what if she’s fine? She seems fine…” eyes go towards Ahnika then, the woman biting her bottom lip before adding, “I mean she knows what happened, and shells on fire if she lets him near her again…” Voice falters from that passionate outburst, the woman stealing a look at the mind healer. Eyes go towards Ahnika again. “I guess what I mean to say,” she starts again, trying to calm her voice down, “is…if she were here? What would you tell her?” Because she was there, and Relly was starting to think the mind healer is probably not falling for her ‘friend’ story since it was starting to fall apart.

Ahnika politely turns her head toward Evie as the woman speaks, affecting a look of interest and attentiveness, but her eyes are settled on a point just past the mindhealer. Oh, she's listening, but she's dividing her attention to some degree as well though only really observant might notice, probably. It could be that Ahnika is maintaining some kind of internal dialogue with Jhath, or it could be she is wrestling with her own inner demons or that feeling of responsibility toward Relly and hers. To Evie's last, however, and a testament to her having been listening, Ahnika shakes her head a little, "Impossible," though it's not harshly stated, more regretful, suggesting Ahnika would be more than happy to make it possible if it were in her power to do so. So, perhaps she doesn't have anything against the process itself, just maybe the circumstances of this particular situation? Well, maybe. Ahnika smiles reassuringly to Relly when the other redhead looks at her, "She is fine," nodding once, "It's not easy," and then there's a pause where she adds, "I mean, I imagine it isn't easy. But she's doing great work, keeping herself busy, making new friends, everything a person who hadn't gone through something like that would do." Any trained psychologist could tell that Ahnika was trying to be uplifting and encouraging here, though it might seem odd to an outsider since by all accounts, the said 'friend' isn't here. "And she's safe," Ahnika says firmly, wanting to reassure that point with Relly talking about not letting him near her again, "there's no way he can get near her again. Jhath would tear him limb from limb and only after I got to him first and castrated him for even trying." And perhaps the anger in her tone is a wee out of place, even considering Evie realizing they were talking about Relly. Ahnika is a bit unhinged all on her own, with her own anger and frustration resurfacing some with Relly's own fears. Jhath, however, is no help in quelling that kind of talk of vengeance and dismemberment, rumbling deeply in her chest with approval over smiting the invader.

Evie doesn't look surprised to hear Relly's slip or her reluctance to talk. She's heard it all before, and she smiles at the woman opposite with a gentle sympathy. "I would tell her," Evie says, waiting a moment so Relly has a chance to calm herself, "that not talking about it is like hiding something under the bed. It'll still be there, and the longer she tries to pretend it's not there, the more aware of it she'll become and the worse she'll feel. Unfortunately it's not just something that will go away. And," here Evie leans forward ever so slightly, "I would tell her that she is brave, and strong, and she can do this, despite how difficult it may be." Ahnika's declaration gets a lifted eyebrow, and the mind healer is surprised when she intervenes. Evie lets her speak her piece, watching the weyrling closely, but puts to her mildly as she finishes, "Why is it impossible? She is safe, as you say, and she deserves it, for herself. All that progress - which is wonderful - is incomplete until she can fully face what happened." In other words, she isn't fine.

Relly is looking from mind healer to weyrling, feeling the pull between the two with a slight frown. “Right,” She’s saying on Ahnika’s heels on being fine, the grin genuine, and she was looking fiercely approving when the redhead declares what she and Jhath would do should Vaputero comes near her again. She nods to that, a fire lighting in her eyes on Ahnika’s passionate words before she turns to Evie, finding her leaning towards her and those words given has her in pause. It’s obvious she’s hesitating, not sure what to say next or what to do. Then, it’s with this hesitance in mind that she asks in a low voice, “What more could she talk about there, I mean, he…he came at…her…” she stumbles through the words, her eyes unfocused and not looking at either of them as she recalls without wanting to. “To send a message,” she says this more firmly, the anger in her eyes being one of the few emotions she’s been showing since being at the Weyr. “The…he wanted to send a message, and so he…” and her eyes narrow, not able to say it.

Ahnika frowns a little at Evie, though she doesn't interrupt either. When the mindhealer finishes saying her peace, the weyrling holds her tongue for the time being and looks to Relly as she begins to speak, catching that grin and returning it in kind, and then focusing at the rock in her hand once more. She nods a little approvingly when Relly asks what more there could possibly be to discuss on such an unpleasant experience, though still looks and fidgets with the rock in her hand until Relly talks of Vaput sending a message and Ahnika gasps a little, looking up sharply and with alarm, whispers, "Relly! No!" and shakes her head, meaning that she thinks she said too much with that. There's emphasis to her hushed warning, but it's not in volume and neither is it meant to be threatening, just worried about letting too much information slip out and thus compromising her safety. But Ahnika is quick to try and draw attention from it and Relly back onto herself in an effort, however, futile, to distract the mindhealer by saying a little defensively, "You make it sound like there's something wrong with her and there isn't. She didn't do anything wrong. There's nothing wrong with her." Ahnika begins to carve a little path in the ground with the rock, digging a little trench next to where she sits, "She's not trying to throw herself off one of the weyr ledges or anything, or curled up in a ball in her bed sobbing and not eating or looking after herself. She's not attacking other people. She is fine. She is facing it. She's got friends to talk to about it." She looks up now, "Friends like us. Friends she can trust. Friends who won't tell or… embarrass her." Embarrass her? "Bad things happen to people all the time," Ahnika continues, "And this was definitely bad. Some people, sure, they need to work it out. Some people," pause, "some people don't." Jhath's multi-faceted eyes swirl in a curious azure hue at the mindhealer, maintaining her silence since her previous rumble and just observing. "Some people just need friends and that's all." Ahnika steals a glance at Relly and then looks at her trench-digging some more. "I'm sorry we bothered you for nothing. We just thought there was…maybe a little something more we could do for her." Something more that doesn't include sharing the gory details with someone who's just going to go blabbing it to everyone, or so her grey eyes suggest when she looks up next.

Evie stays calm in the midst of all this, professional without that making her distant. She listens to the bits and pieces of what Relly manages to get out without comment, then addresses the initial question. "She could start by talking about how she feels." Obviously she's angry, but Evie only sees that as the starting point. Ahnika's interruption has her attention, and the woman frowns at the greenriding weyrling's attempt to silence her friend, which she sees as inimical to what she thinks must be achieved. She only allows the distraction because Relly is there to hear it and could be swayed by it too, though Evie clearly isn't. "I didn't say she did anything wrong. But as much as she may seem fine, something like this has lasting effects in how she sees herself, in how she sees others, in how she will relate to others. Everyone needs to work it out." Evie speaks firmly, attention at first sharp on the weyrling as she has begun to suspect ulterior motives beyond a reluctance to make her friend feel ashamed. She looks at Relly prior to stating her last sentence, quietly firm. "Everyone needs to work it out," she repeats entirely for Relly. "Have your friend talk to me. It will stay between us."

Of course Relly says too much, but it’s almost like a dam’s been broken. Too late she realizes what she’s said, eyes wide and flying towards Ahnika at that sudden cry as she tries desperately cover it with something else. Luckily, Ahnika is saying all the words that sound right to her, so she’s nodding in agreement – not quite trusting herself to speak just yet. “Good friends,” she allows herself to say that, turning a firm gaze on Evie. “We won’t let anything happen to her, but, what she feels…?” She considers that question, frowning to herself. It’s clearly something she hasn’t thought about, having shut herself down since the incident and keeping a lot of things on the surface only. “Angry,” she states the obviously, the anger showing in her stormy-colored eyes. “Defenseless. Helpless.” Pause. “I would think,” she tacks on quickly, wiping discreetly at her eye before she straightens her shoulders. “I mean…no one was there for her! They beat down-“ Nope. Not go there. Eyes dart towards Ahnika, “I mean, can you imagine how that feels?” she puts toward Evie then, turning the tables. “To be helpless? To be defenseless? And no came for you, or stopped it?” Ahnika’s last gets a little bit of relief from the Tillekian, but Evie’s firm statement gets a long look from her without any words. The wavering is there, the considering of the mind healer, then she looks toward the weyrling in the same manner. “I’ll talk to her,” she offers on her ‘friend’ soberly, nodding once before turning to regard Evie once more. “See if she will come your way…if there’s not anything more we can do for her.”

"All major events like these change people," Ahnika speaks yet again, "Lasting effects? That's to be expected." Then, she falls quiet again while Relly speaks, at least not interrupting her and seeming to understand it's what the other woman needs right now. It's when Evie says it will stay between her and Olira, Ahnika issues a snort and bark of laughter that carries no mirth, and then she is standing when Relly says she will 'talk to her friend' about speaking with the mindhealer, Ahnika stands up, "I don't think so. No offense, Evie," buuuut, she'll be offensive anyway, "but the last time I trusted a Healer, Jonavan, in fact, someone got hurt, sliced open, needing stitches and over a month of recovery," herself, in fact, but Ahnika's not one to whine about her own problems. She just wanted to explain why she isn't trusting here today. "Not to mention someone else is dead," and how is that Jonavan's fault? And look who is doing the blabbing now? No matter, Ahnika's on a roll here, though now her guarded composure is wiped clean away and she is blinking a lot and swallowing a hard lump in her throat, "And all because Jonavan couldn't keep his mouth shut after I talked with him. And this guy, this sharding son of a watchwher is still out there, after her," and she quickly adds, "after our friend, and I'll be trussed up like a porcine in a country Gather before I will let her talk to someone who isn't already…" involved? Vetted? Given security clearance? Ahnika purses her lips, looking angry and doesn't finish, "Come on, Relly," she says, bossy but at least in a gentle tone, "I don't think there's anything else to be done here." Well, no, of course not, Ahni. You've done already spilled half the Weyr's dirty laundry already. Won't Max just love that. But Jhath stands too, stretching a little to get ready to make their exit, and completely disarming and calm despite the stiff tension felt in her lifemate.

The healer doesn't look away when Relly starts to express herself, holding her gaze whenever possible. To the question put to her, Evie must acknowledge, "No." She is not about to claim empathy when it would diminish what Relly feels and falsify her own position. "It hasn't happened to me. But I have seen many, many woman to whom it has. It helps to talk." She echoes her earlier conversation with Jaya as she says a few more words on what she can do - and what she can't. "I can't say a few magic words and make it go away. But she can do this - for herself - and I can help her do it." She gives Relly a smile that she hopes will remain in the young woman's memory along with her words, then turns to meet Ahnika's accusations. "I am not Jonavan," she says clearly, unflinching in the face of the criticism directed at her brother and, respectively, herself. "I fully appreciate the need for confidentiality, and I would never jeopardize that." Unless of course she thought Relly was going to go jump off the Star Stones, but that is another matter. "This is my job. It's what I do. Let me do it." The last is as much a directive for Ahnika as it is a final plea for Relly's trust.

Evie’s answer to Relly’s question draws a long silence, even through Ahnika’s words for her. Her reluctance to talk was still there, but the woman couldn’t help but to return the mind healer’s smile tentatively. Evie’s last words was definitely something she was going to think about, and it’s only towards the last of Ahnika’s words that she snaps out of her silence to blink and dart a glance towards the weyrling for her heated words. “Who’s this Jonavan?” Relly picks up the name, looking with a frown towards Evie since it seems like the mind healer knew of whom Ahnika was talking about. “He’s a mind healer like you, too? He got someone killed?” Yep, looks like she was listening after all, her frown growing in increments. She looks to be obeying that order to come along, too, but curiosity still has her on the bench as she looks between the two of them. But still, Evie’s last has her meeting the other’s gaze, her thoughts churning.

Frowning, Ahnika crosses her arms over her chest and looks to want to be anywhere but here. The anger and frustration has cleared out any fleeting brush with her own threatening tears for the moment and she doesn't acknowledge Evie's sentiments. Just answers Relly, slightly sulkily, "He's one of the Healers stationed here. Not a mindhealer." Then she unfolds her arms to press a hand to the back of her neck, looking uncomfortable at the question of him getting someone killed, "Not directly. I may have exaggerated that bit." Uh-huh. "But he did talk and he shouldn't have and people got hurt." That she stands firm with, it seems. She crosses her arms over her chest again and looks expectantly at Relly, though she doesn't put words to it this time.

Evie will go further than Ahnika in describing who Jonavan is. For her, it's simple. "He's my brother." She looks at Ahnika directly, practically daring her to voice further prejudice against Evie on account of her relations. She has nothing to say about what Jonavan may or may not have done, not having any knowledge of the situation herself, though they can be sure that she'll be speaking to him directly to hear his side of whatever happened. "I'm not responsible for him, but I am responsible for what I do, and confidentiality is at the heart of it."

“Your brother?” Relly looks from Evie to Ahnika as if to confirm that. She starts to nod but stops, choosing to say, “I…see.” She’s silent for a long moment not giving any indication that she’s listening further until her stormy eyes light on Jhath and she announces, “I, uh, better get back to work.” Not that the weyrlingmaster’s a hard-ass, but, she does peer up towards the sun with squinchy eyes before she glances at Evie with the glimmers of a smile. “Thank you,” she says, her tone polite yet faint. “I will think, er, I will tell her all that you told me and…I’m sure she will make the right decision.” She didn’t want to say she will flat out find the mind healer, but she figures those words would suffice for her current uncertainty. “Maybe I will see you around, too?” Cuz she’s not her ‘friend’, see? She looks to Ahnika then, noting the consternation in the young woman with a slight furrow of her brows before she resolutely gets to her feet. Ahnika seems to be getting more of her attention at the moment, perhaps seeing that there’s more emotions at play here than just her defending the Tillekian’s interests. Relly makes mental note to perhaps speak with the weyrling alone, too. “Let’s go back, Ahni,” she offers then, her slight concern for the other evident on her face now.

Brother? Oops. She assumed they knew one another professionally, and now that Ahnika looked a little more at Evie, she could see the resemblance. Does she apologize? Hell no. This is Ahni. She shrugs a little as if to make no apologies for her accusation against Jonavan, seeing it as the truth in Ahnika's mind. Though inwardly one can be sure she's kicking herself hard for having said as much as she had, figuring she'll end up getting a tongue-lashing from Jonavan and/or Max, and not in a good way. She frowns a little at the fact that Relly seems to actually be considering talking to Evie, quite plainly not liking it, though by now it's evident it's not just for the fact that Relly compromises her security by doing so. Jhath rumbles deeply, turning her attention to Ahnika a moment before looking over her head in the direction of the barracks. Ahnika's expression smoothes a little, however, when Relly suggests they go back and Ahnika nods once, lowering her hands to her side and looking ready to go. Another nod, this one a perfunctory polite execution of manners to the Healer, and then she takes a step back, waiting for Relly to join her before walking away, but a clear signal of impending departure nonetheless.

Evie holds Ahnika's gaze a moment before turning back to Relly, her smile once again in place. "You're welcome. I hope to see you, and her, around." She lets the fiction be maintained without even a knowing look to contradict it. "You too." Evie gives this last for Ahnika, smiling bright as if heated words had never transpired. She stays put while the others leave, and only after they've gone will Evie flop down onto her back with a sigh.

“Thanks,” Relly says again, finally taking a step away from the bench with a head bob in Evie’s direction. Her lips part as if to add something else, but the words fall to the wind when she steals a look at Ahnika’s expression. It was definitely time to go. When her smile slips, it returns in place when she glances back at Evie again, a hand lifting in a still-wave before she abruptly turns and takes hasty steps to join Ahnika in her departure, the concerned expression still lingering along with the clouded thoughts of what had just transpired between the three of them. It was certain that both weyrling and mind healer had given her much to think about this day, which will lend proof to her heavy silence in the barracks for the rest of the day.

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