Who S Your Mama

Participants:

Indira.jpg Jonavan.jpg Hope.jpg

Date: 2011.05.03
Location: EW - Lakeshore
Synopsis: Indira takes Hope down to the lakeshore just before midday to get some fresh air and runs into Jonavan who starts asking awkward questions and Sancka, and old washerwoman from Landing who figures it out but promises to keep the truth to herself.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Indira

On this late summer morning, verging on midday, the showers have stopped although the humidity remains, a clinging, sticky thing that tempts those down at the lake to peel off their clothes and jump right in. Jonavan is contemplating doing just that, it seems, standing at the shore at a part that isn't populated by dragons. There are people, too, but they're easier to ignore than their much bigger counterparts.

Indira is one of those drawn outside having decided to take her lunch hour before the rush hits the living caverns. Simply attired in a light summer dress, the Headwoman is currently strolling along the shore, stopping every now and again as the toddler with a mop of black curls stops to investigate a pebble here and a leaf there. Indulgent, she doesn’t appear to be in any hurry though she does look to be trying to entice the little girl to eat a redfruit just as they draw close to where Jonavan is currently contemplating the waters of the lake.

"If she won't eat it, I will," Jonavan volunteers as Indira and the toddler draw near. He couldn't be bothered to bring his own lunch out with him so settles for stealing off others. It's reason enough not to ignore them like everyone else.

Hope seems more interested in putting the leaf she’s just found in her mouth. “Jays, Hope!” Indira gives with an exasperated sigh and promptly plucks it from the little girl’s mouth, “You won’t eat vegetables, but you’ll eat shrubbery. Next I know you’ll be eating mud just like your father did!” Jonavan’s comment draws her attention up and onto the healer and a faint smirk attaches to the blonde’s mouth, “Why how very kind of you, healer. Such a gentleman you are to offer help to ladies in their time of need.”

"If she doesn't want to eat it, she doesn't want to eat it," the healer says philosophically, apparently not so concerned about children getting their vitamins. "Mud won't kill her. Force-feeding her might." Cue Jonavan stepping in to try to snatch that redfruit off Indira. "How did you manage to keep your figure?" he asks impertinently, eying the Headwoman in that frank, audacious manner of his.

A brow goes up and Indira fits the man with an amused look for his comments on the do’s and don’ts of keeping a toddler fed in a healthy manner, “And you would know this because…” he’s a healer? Hope, sensing in the way that children do that somehow, Jonavan is on her side, sidles over to the man and wraps a small arm about his lower leg if he doesn’t step aside, setting the Headwoman with a toddler’s look of challenge. “I tell you what,” Indira says drawing the redfruit just out of reach of his questing fingers, “You get her to at least eat a bite or two and you can have the rest.” As to the supposed compliment paid her, low laughter spills, “I run around behind her.”

"Because an outside opinion is far more sensible than parental over-concern, which just makes you as highstrung as a wherry with its head cut off." Jonavan looks down as the small child attaches himself to his leg, mouth quirking with faint amusement. He doesn't try to displace her, but instead, if she holds on, carries her along for the ride as he takes a few steps closer to Indira in a bid for that redfruit. "Deal." Another long look at Indira, and he adds, "I don't remember you being fat, either." One hand sketches out a pregnant belly in the air.

Indira narrows a look onto Jonavan, the curve of amusement her mouth wears dispelling any true distemper on the matter, “You and he are too much alike.” The ‘he’ of that not being expanded on. With the healer starting to move, Hope wraps her other arm about his leg and indeed does hold on, giggles erupting for what is apparently, a whole lot of fun. The Headwoman, eyes his approach but doesn’t back up, in fact her smirk simply deepens, finding the bold healer to be amusing. “Fat? Tsk, such a clinical word for a healer to use,” and then she gives a toss of head, appearing to be offended, “She was born just before we arrived here.” What kind of mother must she be to have left a newborn behind?

Sitting in the sand with her feet just far enough in that the cool water laps around her swollen ankles, Sancka the bent old washerwoman from over Landing way turns to watch the trio with a disapproving eye. "That'd be on account of Weyrfolk not birthin' their babies like the rest of us normal folk." The cantankerous old woman shifts her weight and slides her feet in a little further with a grunt - lamenting the arthritis that has her here any longer than need be. "They pick up the wretches somewhere between." Nevertheless, one corner of her thin, cracked mouth turns upwards as her myopic blue eyes finally focus down on little Hope. "That's where riderfolk start an' that's a-where they allus end up." This last, however, is muttered low, almost to herself. Indira's comment, however, makes the old woman look up at her, squinting her eyes as if to see better the Headwoman's face in the sunlight. "You been here an awful long time, missus." She lowers her gaze back down to Hope then, scrutinizing her as well. "An awful long time." Subtlety, thy name is not Sancka.

Jonavan's eyes widen, exaggerating a look of surprise. "You mean I have a shot?" Again, he gives Indira an open once-over look. Taking the redfruit, he doesn't immediately present it to Hope or try to get her to eat it - indeed, the healer's mostly ignoring her. He does give his leg an experimental shake though he doesn't really try to displace her. "Right, they just magically appear out of between one day," he tacks on to Sancka's statements, sarcasm personified. He doesn't contradict her last statement though, addressing the washerwoman in tones of agreement. "Good for her age, aye? I'm surprised she can even have babies."

Open laughter now, and then she pretends ignorance, "A shot at…?" Sloe eyes sending him silent challenge as she relinquishes the redfruit. As the old woman sitting nearby speaks up, Indira cocks a brow and glances down at her, "Just as well I'm not rider-folk then, hmm?" It's when Sancka's attention falls to Hope that the Headwoman stiffens slightly and reaches for the child still wrapped about Jonavan's leg, though it has more to do with never knowing who might be working for whom and being concerned for the child's safety than anything else. But then the healer goes and adds his two marks worth and the tousled blonde tries to stifle the indignation that wells up, though her reply, with a little sniff added for good measure, is directed to the old woman, "I wouldn't call three turns an awful long time, my dear. Though I suppose once one starts getting long in the tooth, it can seem that way." Cue the smile everso sweet sent down to Sancka followed by a disdainful look sent to the healer.

Laughter, hoarse and soft, turns to hacking - all of which culminates in the old woman spitting into the sand beside her. "When you ain't got half the teeth you were born with, missus, the moments seem like Turns." Dry commentary on the quality of the conversation? Or just an old woman's gripings about the aches and worries that come with age? Sancka doesn't look to be in the mood to say. "Three turns is long enough that child o' yours oughta be at least a full head taller there, missus - if not more." Those last three words are punctuated with a shake of her finger in Indira's direction, that same hand sweeping in the healer's direction before falling back to her lap. "Healer man'll tell ya. Youngin's grow quick like at that age, less'n they ain't bein' fed right." She squints harder at the girl, her eyes tracking to the fruit Jonavan now has and then back to the girl-child. "Or less'n they're sickly, but she don't look like no whisper child…"

"You know," Jonavan replies, flirting all the more with a blatant suggestion and a lift of his brow. He starts munching on the redfruit after giving it a shin with the lower part of his shirt. He doesn't move to prevent Indira from removing Hope, but does give her further attention when Sancka points out that her height and age don't match up. "Guess she's just a runt." Far too cheerful about it he is, talking with his mouth full. "That's what happens when you abandon your baby for someone else to raise."

“Oh, of course,” Indira gives a snap of fingers, “Weyrleader, aye? You’re looking to impress to bronze and take over the Weyr. I should have realized as much.” Yeah no. And the smirk says it all. Where most might recoil from Sancka’s spit into the sand, its compassion that starts to well up within the Headwoman for the old washerwoman. That however quickly falls off when she continues to point out the discrepancy of age and Indira grows silent, bending and sweeping Hope up in her arms in a protective gesture. “She’s small for her age,” she states on the heels of Jonavan’s runt comment. And while the child is indeed delicately built, she’s certainly not sickly or puny looking. Anger flares briefly in her eyes for his last however. “Be very careful about the accusations made before you start laying blame, Healer.” Tone held carefully even.

Indira's comment about Jonavan taking over the Weyr earns her a wry snort from cross old Sancka, but it's not until the sly old woman observes the overprotective gesture and the careful tone that she speaks. "Slimy slitherin' tunnelsnake testicles, missus," she grunts out the … unique expletive as she hauls her old bones to a stand, stretching out the kinks in her back as joints audily creak and crack. "You act like a younglin' heifer nursin' her first spindly calf, but I know you's got some other spawn lurkin' around here." Leaning over, Sancka lifts a short wooden walking stick from the ground and uses it to slowly shuffle towards the others - though her line is for the exit. "Seen him 'round Landin' once or twice. He'd be a pretty ol' thing if'n he didn't know he was." And just as she's about to pass them by, she stops dead, gears visibly turning in her head. And then she laughs. Big, gasping laughter that has her leaning entirely on that one short stick to keep from collapsing entirely. This, of course, brings on another fit of croup-y, chesty coughing and Sancka once again spits in the sand. "Keep your secrets then, missus. If'n they's not a-wise enough to see what's in front o' their own two eyes, they don't deserve to know nothin'. Not a wherry's blasted thing." And with that, she shuffles onwards, muttering and chuckling to herself - immensely pleased at whatever it is she thinks she's puzzled out.

Continuing to eat the redfruit he's stolen (right from the mouth of babes!), Jonavan rolls his eyes dramatically skywards. "You're on to me. I figure even if they won't accept me for Search, I'll just make my way onto the Sands anyhow." It is rather the sort of thing he'd do, ignoring all the norms and proscriptions. "Surely you don't expect people to think otherwise, since this is the first time she's shown up at Eastern in…three Turns." He's never watched his mouth now, and Indira's warning changes nothing. The healer watches the old woman, partially out of professional interest, but it's her comments and laughter rather than her coughing that brings a smile to light. Sancka having her wits about her makes her go up in his estimation, and in turn Jonavan acts like a healer for once as he suggests, "If you go by the infirmary, they'll fix you up a syrup for that cough."

Low laughter rises up, “Oh I’d pay good marks to see you do just that, Healer.” For let it never be said that Indira isn’t for the unconventional. And then his next words catch her and with a sigh and shake of head, she relents a little, “I expect people to believe whatever it is they want to, Jonavan. People will gossip and make up their own stories. I don’t see reason to correct them.”

Sancka’s expletive draws high amusement from Indira rather than disgust and it’s all she can do to prevent herself from laughing outright because…well, she’s supposed to be pissed at the old woman, right? But, there’s just something about her that the Headwoman seems to like. Perhaps it’s her blunt manner, or maybe even that the old woman is still as sharp as a tack. She does however set Sancka with a browlifted look, her dark eyed gaze confirming what the old woman suspects and then she steps aside to allow her to pass by more easily. Hope shrinks in against her minder as Sancka puts her under close scrutiny, little fist fitting to her mouth and dark eyes grown solemn and watchful. “I’m sure he’d appreciate the compliment,” Indira gives with a smirk, “In fact, I’ll have him drop by and share a meal with you sometime, shall I?” And by the tone of voice, she’s not kidding, though Max likely won’t thank her for making dinner plans on his behalf. A gracious incline of head greets words to being allowed her secrets, or Hope’s as the case would be and only once the old washerwoman has moved on, does she put a look over to Jonavan, “It takes all sorts, doesn’t it?”

Jonavan is still mulling over Sancka's words as he watches her go, and when he turns back to Indira it's to carry on what the washerwoman started. "She's right you know. Most people are idiots enough not to think twice." Most people implying not him, along with the washerwoman. "Though it also begs the question why you need your secrets anyway." The redfruit is half-gone by now, and unless Hope shows any interest he'll carry on until it's nothing but core.

Now that Sancka has moved on, Hope seems to relax a little and sets her dark regard to Jonavan currently munching his way through her redfruit. "some," a little arm reaches out and fingers wiggle in the direction of the fruit, apparently she wants some. Shifting in her stance to better accommodate the wriggling toddler, Indira puts a long look onto Jonavan. "Tell me what you know of what it is that Max really does," husky voice held low due to the gravity of the conversation and to keep it out of earshot of those that pass by, "And I'll decide just how much you need to know about Hope here."

"You sure you want this?" Jonavan addresses the little girl doubtfully, holding the apple at eye-level and looking between it and Hope. "I've been slobbering all over it." Indira's remarks offer an intriguing bargain, and the healer looks back at the headwoman in such a way that it's obvious his interest is piqued. "For a beast manager, he sure has a lot of projects on the side," he finally says, testing the waters rather than diving in.

When you’re two turns old and slobber over most of what you eat any way, the slobber of another is really of little consequence. And so the little one eyes the redfruit, eyes Jonavan and then gives a firm nod of head and repeats, “Some.” Expression unreadable, Indira cants her head to one side, studying the Healer carefully as he makes vague reference to what it is her son does outside of his duties of beast manager. “You’re going to have to be a little more specific than that,” she states then with a lift of chin, the protectiveness of a she-wolf over a cub shining a fierce light in her eyes as she gives Jonavan the floor to speak openly.

Jonavan still looks unconvinced that he should give up the redfruit, but at last caves with the words, "Well alright," and holds out the fruit for the child to take. Indira wants specific? Jonavan humours her with a short smile. "Most people's hobbies don't include training up fighting squads and making dead bodies unidentifiable." He watches Indira closely, curious on if she knows of the latter; he assumes the first.

Hope stretches toward Jonavan, little hand curling about what's left of the redfruit and without another word; she's nibbling at it, juice running down her chin. "Hope, say thank you," Indira reminds the toddler, a small smile to the Healer for having performed the task she'd set him whether willingly or not. A stubborn look goes first up to her grandmother and then sets to the healer and then eventually, "Fan ku," comes muffled from around a mouthful.

The Headwoman remains calm in light of what Jonavan says, though there is a lift of brow for comment over unidentifiable dead bodies. Quiet a moment and then, "Now, what of that speaks to you of a carefree existence for any that are close to him, hmm?" still hedging about revealing Hope's true parentage and being careful to avoid naming the beast manager's more nefarious title.

All part of Jonavan's master plan - score a bit of free food and convince the girl to eat what she doesn't want by taking it from her. "You better like it or I'll take it back," he threatens Hope with a faint frown. "You're not exactly innocent yourself either," he points out to Indira. "Providing protection for wanted criminals. Now why would you do that?"

The admonition received by Jonavan, serves to have Hope sending him a scowl not unlike that often worn by her father. “Wanted criminals?” Indira’s tone gives nothing away as she feigns ignorance once again and bends to set the toddler down at her feet, “Why would I do such a thing?” His question echoed back to him in annoying fashion, though there is a faint note of challenge to it.

"Excellent question, since you're the one supposed to be keeping us all in line, not throwing thieves into our midst." There is a ring of dry wit in Jonavan's tone as he goes ferreting out answers to questions long-brewing. "I was there when someone strolled into the bar and started talking about a bounty. Someone provides the muscle that threw him out." A pointed look at Indira answers her challenge.

For some reason a wide smile tainted with sly edges wreathes about Indira’s expression, “Ah, so you speak as a concerned resident of the Weyr, do you? Worried about who might steal your sense of justice are you?” Deliberately sardonic that last as she lets the Healer know that she’s not fooled by his sudden sense of right and wrong. “The point is,” she states taking a step away from where Hope is now playing happily in the mud that foots the lake waters, “said bounty hunter is no longer a problem, now is he?” Her tousled blonde head then tips to one side and she mocks him lightly, “Are you afraid, Healer,” the words almost purring out now, “do you want a big, strong, bodyguard to keep you safe at night?”

Jonavan's answering smile is just as knowing; he's far more interested in the mystery of it all than anything else, and showing the source of his interest, he replies, "Deflecting, are you?" He follows a step, through not into the mud. "Not this one, but perhaps the next one will be, or the one after that." Finally, a wide grin materialises as he counters, "Are you offering?"

“No, darlin’,” Indira takes a step in toward Jonavan, her husky tone turned down to almost intimate levels as she sweeps a gaze down and then up the younger man again, “I speak as the one keeping you all in line,” smirk. There’s no denying the confidence in the Headwoman. Confidence born from turns of having been in her chosen line of work both legitimate and…otherwise. Then she steps away and as she does so, a brow arches upward, “Any that try what he did,” coming into the southern territory without first properly presenting themselves to her son, “won’t have the tongue to speak further warning to their kind.” Making it sound like she herself would likely cut it out. “Offering?” amusement sifts into her tone once again and then she gives a short laugh of feigned delight, “You’d hide behind the skirts of…a woman?”
Jonavan looks to be enjoying the attention, with his faint, amused smirk holding in place. "Not saying I don't approve of your methods - keeps things interesting on my end." Sewing the tongues back on, presumably, or dealing with the wounds after. Or the bodies, as was last the case. "I'm quite clear on the 'how' - it's the 'why' that you still aren't answering." His smirk broadens. "Under," Jonavan corrects.

“Mmm,” the sound of musing comes from Indira with a flash of amusement in sloe eyes over Jonavan as she starts to coax one mud covered toddler away from her current game of sling-mud-at-passers-by. The curses and filthy looks thrown her way, ignored for the most part. “Why?” and for the first time in this meeting, a genuine smile appears as she straightens and shepherds Hope ahead of her, “because if we don’t, who will? The Weyrleaders and dragonriders have their hands full protecting us above,” from Thread, “we do what we can down here on the ground,” her and her son. “The potential for malevolence is in each of us, Jonavan. As is the potential for good. Sometimes people just need a little encouragement to find their footing again, aye?” To his last, laughter once again peels out onto the midday air, “I think I like you.”

Jonavan, on the other hand, is about to step in to help Hope improve her aim. "Higher, you're only getting them about the legs." Indira cuts the game short though, the spoilsport, and Jonavan can't help but look disappointed. All the Headwoman's optimistic words on the potential within receive a slight shake of the head, the beginnings of disparagement. "People don't change." Something in the way he says it suggests he's not speaking about the Jayas of this world, the reforming thieves and murderers under Indira's wing. The smirk is still there for Indira's last comment though, satisfied. Really, don't encourage him.

No wonder Max and Jonavan get on for that’s just the type of thing he would have been likely to do. Goodness help the residents of the Weyr should the two ever be left alone with the toddler for who knows what dirty tricks she might be taught. Hope, hands full of mud, has decided she should give the Healer a ‘proper’ farewell and is in the process of launching herself at his legs when Indira catches her, “Oh no, you don’t missy.” Straightening the blonde gives a quick smile, though it’s tinged with sad experience of what he says being true in some instances, “Aye, most don’t. But there are those that do.” Little Miss Muddy-pants is turned in the right direction and the Headwoman sends the Healer a last smile, though this one holds a faintly wicked edge to it, “I’ll see about sending that bodyguard over for you.” And then she’s heading back toward the warren of the Weyr. Which probably means Jonavan will find himself with a big chunk of a woman named Helga sporting traces of a moustache along her upper lip. Lucky him.


Boney M - Ma Baker
(OOC note: Song tag is tongue-in-cheek)


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