You're Her


Ahnika.jpg Jaya.jpg

Date: 8/6/10
Location: EW - Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: As promised, Ahnika drops in to lend a hand to Jaya and her new bar, and having been told the truth by Max previously, Ahni tries to figure out what it was that drew him to Jaya, and in the end tells the bar owner what she knows…
Rating: PG-13 - Language and adult content in conversation
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Jaya's Bar

A dark, cozy room has been carved out of the wall on this section of the hallway. It looks as if it was meant to be an archive of sorts, but when the back wall caved in, it made most of it too low for efficient shelving space. Instead, the remaining shelves have all been pushed back against one wall and a large wooden counter - so new it still smells of tree - blocks it off from the rest of the room. A few small tables take up the rest of the place; simple chairs sit around them. It's bare bones and boring, now, but there's potential. It just needs the right touch.

With the bar slated to open the following day, things were surprisingly quiet in the put-together barspace this night. Some closed crates still stack the walls and the tables were far from organized, but the bar's owner doesn't seem to be all that worried about it. Alone in the barspace without her usual towering barmaid, the dark-haired young woman has her lists in hand as she sets up work from behind the counter. There's an open bottle set up before her along with a half-filled glass of some deep red-looking liquid, but Jaya seems more into the lists she's checking against rather than her drink.

There comes a simple knock, first, three square wraps against the stone frame of the entranceway and then a redheaded candidate pokes that head in, looking around the dark interior a moment before her grey eyes land on Jaya behind the counter. After the barest of hesitation, Ahnika offers the other woman a congenial smile and a wave from the doorway, but doesn’t actually enter. Instead, from there, she calls out, “I have a little time tonight, if you still could use an extra pair of hands? Offer to do it in exchange for learning a bit about how a bar works still stands. No payment necessary.”

The wraps against rock is what draws the dark head up from her work, brows furrowing before recognition touches her face. "Ahnika," Jaya drawls the name, a genial smile appearing as she sets the current list she's working on down on the countertop. A hand lifts to beckon the candidate forward into the bar now before she moves around the counter towards the bar floor. "Glad you came by," she states honestly with a firm nod. "I'm opening this place in the morning, and with Suli suddenly so busy…" there's a shrug, the bar owner seeming not to mind too much that the grave older woman's missing. "Well," and she pauses, looking around as she gathers together what needs to be done. "I got some crates that need moving towards the storeroom, so if you want to give a hand in that?" A brow lifts toward Ahnika, her tone businesslike as she gestures with her chin towards the crate-lined wall.

Beckoned forth, Ahnika only happily obliges, moving in with a more studious gaze about the bar, taking in the placement of certain furniture, the shelves, the bar counter itself, and how lighting (or lackthereof) may or may not play a factor in displaying one particular asset over another. But once Jaya, herself, comes around to the floor, Ahnika returns her attention to the bar owner herself. That same studious gaze now lingers on the other woman, but there seems to be no venom or hint of tension from the candidate as she does so. It’s almost as if Ahnika sees Jaya’s part in the bar as equally contributing to its success or failure and so takes the other woman in as she does the rest of the place, studious without being entirely critical. Finally, one side of Ahnika’s mouth is drawn up in a small smile and she nods, looking over at the crates that need to be moved, sizing them up from the distance to see if they are too large and awkward to be moved alone or if it’s something she could do. Whatever she decides about the matter, Ahni begins to roll up her sleeves without further delay. “Sure, Jaya, I can help with that,” and she gives Jaya another considering look with her head bowed slightly, as if trying not to be so obvious about it, “Tomorrow? I know the ‘riders will be happy to find you open, along with some others. You feel ready for the crowd?”

"Eager is good." Jaya seems to note some of the study Ahnika takes in with the bar, and looks pleased by it. Moving towards the crates, "They're pretty heavy for just one of us, so why don't you get one end and I get the other?" She still seems level enough to continue in her businesslike manner, but the the lopsided grin that comes forth from her amusement probably negates the seriousness of her. Putting action to words, the woman reaches out for the topmost crate as she continues to speak. "I'm always ready," she speaks of the patrons to come with some curious bravado as she lifts one corner of the crate with both hands. "Worked two taverns enough to be. 'Course, still missing some of the things I want to have in, but I think the sooner I open the better." Looking over at Ahnika then before her dark eyes slowly scan the barspace, "Doesn't look like much -now-, but, you know. I'm an optimist. The riders' won't know what hit them." Which could be a good or bad thing, with the way the smirk is saying on the barkeep's face.

“You’ve got spunk, as my foster da would say, so that’s definitely a plus, and will help as you get the barspace to the finished look you’ve set your mind to,” Ahni says, smiling a little more triumphantly to the barkeep while still watching her, this time watching how Jaya moves to the crates in question while Ahni finishes rolling up her tunic sleeves. To the unobservant, it could almost look lecherous, but the more critical would note Ahni’s gaze as being more openly curious. “Worked two taverns? No doubt that’s where you got all the experience you need to run something like this and keep the thirsty patrons coming.” When Jaya settles on the first crate in question, Ahnika closes the distance at a little bit of a trot herself, and reaches for the other side, “What are we moving?” Because, if one is to learn about bars, one should know all the details, even something as mundane as what is contained in the crates being moved. “I mean, I figure it’s inventory of a kind,” says the would-be future headwoman, “Glasses? Bottles? Something else entirely?”

Jaya's brows lift at that, the candidate's initial words causing a low chuckle to spill forth. "Spunk," she repeats the word, seeming to taste it as she sets the side of the crate back down. "Think my da would have called it something else." It's muttered, a little dryness entering her tone as she says it. She straightens to pull her hair from her face, seeming not to notice how close the other studies her as she darts her gaze about the barspace. When she finally meets Ahnika's gaze with her own, "Not exactly sure if I'll make a good barkeep, to be honest," she's willing to admit a bit sheepishly at Ahnika's encouraging words. "I was the one that kept the patrons from killing themselves and wrecking the bar, shuga. Don't need much experience in that. The headwoman tells me it's going to take more than that to run this, the way she says it." There's a light shrug of indifference, then the barkeep returning to lifting the other side of the crate once Ahnika is in position. When asked what was in the crates, she pauses, seeming to consider what to answer as she regards the other curiously. Then, another shrug is given and she starts to lift her end of the crate as she says, "Some are mugs. Some are glasses. Some are bottles. Even got some tablecloth around here somewhere - if I ever decide to make this place look a bit more classy," and a wink is thrown Ahnika's way on that. Leading in moving the crate towards the counter and the storerooms, "How's candiate life treating you lately?" she gives a question of her own, seeming carry her end with little effort - atleast on the outside.

Either the comment about what Jaya’s father might call it is missed since it was muttered, or Ahnika simply chooses to let it go for the same reason, the girl simply doesn’t respond to it. The next admission earns a bit of an arch to Ahnika’s eyebrows and another smile, this one with a hint of surprise in her expression, though if it is due to Jaya’s admission or if it is due to something else, Ahni doesn’t say. When Jaya finishes that comment, Ahni nods, hefting the crate up on her end as Jaya does without seeming to need a count-off. “Headwoman Indira is extremely smart and wise. If I get to be her age and have even half the knowledge and skills that woman has, I will count myself extremely lucky,” Ahni says, and her admiration of Indira is without question. Everything in her expression, even with the heavy lifting, is a testament to how genuine her words are. She nods a bit, as if coming to some internal conclusion that’s not shared, and then says, “Not sure why patrons would want to kill themselves, especially in a bar, but I’ll take your word for it. If the Headwoman’s helping you, I’m sure you’ll do fine, Jaya.” There is a solemnity in her tone as she makes the latter statement, too, but the girl’s eyes are for the floor now, watching their step as they move the crate. She nods a bit to the statement about the contents of these crates. “As for classy, well, this weyr could use it, that’s for sure,” Ahni says, thinking seriously about the idea, “but I dunno how many of the drinkers and carousers here would really care for it. Got to make things work for where you are, you know? No matter what you’d like to see about it for yourself. Else, you’re losing profit.” She looks up then, smiling a little more, “But you probably got that already figured. Sorry. I can be a little tactless and bossy with advice at times.” Ahni? No. Never say so. She glides right into the subject of candidacy without another beat, “Oh, it’s fine. Long days. But I’m used to the actual work itself. It’s more or less what I was doing before, helping the Headwoman out.” She seems ready to say more, and then decides against it and goes back to concentrating on their path as they move the crate along.

"You have an interest in the Headwoman." It's likely deduced from Ahnika's words as Jaya leads them to take the crate to one of the back rooms. Once through the door, "She's an….interesting one," she admits on Indira after the long pause, slowly bringing the crate down to rest ontop of a stack of others. "Similar. What I thought of her before…not sure what to think of her now." Dark eyes seek Ahnika's out then, it being her turn to study the redhead intently now. Once the crate is carried and they're both back outside the storeroom, "The taverns I worked weren't exactly….what's the word…" she pauses as if this was a conundrum for her, a hand going to her forehead before brows lift and fingers snap with dramatic air. "Civillized," is the word fished out, given out with non-chalance before she moves on towards the wall again. "Patrons in uncivillized places find -any- reason to kill, shuga. Not really my business, but well…so long's there was no blood to clean up…" There seems to be some darkness in the light way she speaks of such matters, the barkeep onto lifting her side of the next crate. "Don't mind advice," she drawls then, sending a curious look the candidate's way. "Seems like I must be in need of it lately. From men troubles to keeping barmaids in line, to keeping -bars- in line." Beat. "Do you get breaks at least?" she asks now on all the candidate work, shaking her head. "Get a chance to do the things you like?"

Nodding a little at Jaya’s first comment, and then adding, “Oh, very interesting,” to the second, and Ahnika seems to mean it as nothing short of a compliment for Indira, given her tone. “I’ve learned so much from her already about how to tend to a weyr, and about life in general,” Ahnika says, still gushing a bit with admiration that probably borders heavily on idolization, really. The redhead’s grey eyes meet Jaya’s darker ones when the other woman seeks them out, and then Ahni says, “Well, she wants this weyr to succeed, I know that much, so you could think of her as an ally for you and your bar to be successful, thus making this weyr more successful.” Because for Ahni, all things can ultimately be broken down into simple parts like that. It’s one part naivety, and one part pragmatic. She follows Jaya back out to the main room to get the next crate. “If she were handing out free advice to me on my new bar, I’d take it in a heartbeat. That woman knows things.” And that’s about when Ahni realizes how gushy she must sound and actually blushes a little, but manages a wry chuckle at herself. She shrugs, “What can I say? I like her a lot.” Her smile fades a little as she looks at the floor, apparently the floor having said something utterly profound to her. The talk of killing is what brings her out of her reverie and she seems to take that in rather stoically, reaching for the other half of the crate Jaya picked out and grunting a little when hefting it away from its perch. “Must have been a bit scary at times,” Ahni allows, on the topic of patrons killing themselves or each other. But it’s the following statement about advice, including ‘men troubles’ that has Ahni nearly losing the crate, stumbling and managing to hang onto it before it hit the floor. “Whoops. Eh. I got it now. I think.” She does pause long enough to readjust her grip before continuing along. “Breaks,” Ahni echoes, giving her an extra minute to recover and think about it. “It depends on the assigned chore, but yes, for the most part. We get breaks.” The second question has her blinking a moment before she says, “But I am doing the things I like.” Somebody really needs to get laid. Really. Then a heartbeat later, she says, “Oh, well, I could do without latrine duty, I guess, but it looks like that’s been taken over by a candidate who smarted off to the weyrwoman anyway.”

"Yeah, I just bet she does," Jaya speaks on the headwoman knowing things with a sardonic touch as she leads the way with the lifted crate back towards the storeroom. Regarding the blush that comes forth from the redhead, "I can see she's gotten -your- trust, hm?" she drawls on that, interest showing in her dark eyes at Ahnika. "What does she know, I wonder? The Weyr stuff, I can see, but the rest…" she trails, letting her suspicions and disbelief known in the candidate's presence with little apology. as to the talk of past bars and dangerous patrons, there's a guarded chuckle from the barkeep in the ensuing pause. "Us Bitran women are made of tough stuff," she states with pride, nodding firmly at Ahnika as they move. "I weren't afraid of those men. In the end, they're just little boys playing around with their big knives in their own sandboxes. A smack to the head or a good fuck usually kept them in line." And then the crate nearly falls, the bar keep readjusting her hold on her side as she shoots the other a long quiet look. Frowning a bit before she moves on towards the storeroom, "And that being?" to what the redhead likes to do, a small hint of amusement playing at the words. Once in the storeroom, the crate is dropped off as well, and the barkeep's leading the way back outside. Something last said gets a lift of her brows as she looks back over her shoulder at Ahnika. "Candidate smarted off?" she echoes this piece of information, perhaps in explanation of it.

Ahnika nods simply to the notion of Indira having won her trust. She doesn’t even try to deny it, not really seeing the point or purpose to. To the disbelief, Ahnika doesn’t seem hellbent on proving her own thoughts on Indira right, for whatever reason. In answer, Ahni just shrugs a little and says, “I’ve had the opportunity to talk a lot with her. She’s lived through a lot. Seen a lot.” And with this she gives another shrug. Then comes a gentle smile commenting on Bitran women and Ahni nods, seeming to well believe it. The comment about a smack to the head and a good fuck seems to draw a quiet contemplation in the candidate, which is probably just as well considering she just nearly cost the bar owner some inventory. “That being?” she echoes again, looking genuinely lost at first before realizing she meant what Ahni likes to do. “Oh, well.” She studies the ceiling a moment, “Making sure things are taken care of, I suppose, especially for those folks who I care about.” Looking back at Jaya and shrugging a little, having a hard time putting words to it. “Spending time with them, making sure they got all they need.” And then a pause and adds with a grin, “And learning new things, like how a bar is run.” To the candidate smarting off, Ahni shrugs yet again, saying, “I wasn’t there. Just was told about it later.” She follows Jaya back to the main room for the next crate, and doesn’t try to hide how she watches Jaya’s hips move when the other woman walks. And Ahni asks, “So, this … fucking men … business. How do you do it?” She looks up from Jaya’s body to the other woman’s face, the redhead’s expression is flatly interested in learning, but there is a tightness to her eyes, a shadow of a pain she thought was gone. She busies herself by reaching for the next crate, “I mean, I know the clinical way. But … what do you do? Just walk up to a man who’s being unruly in your bar and say, ‘Wanna fuck me?’” The question actually came out harder than she meant it to, and for a moment, Ahni looks surprised even at herself. Another flush to her cheeks, but this one is less embarrassment and more irritation at herself, and she puts her gaze to the crate and floor once more, “I mean, how do you get them to … you know … want to do it with you?”

"She has," Jaya is even enough to agree on the Headwoman living through a lot, her own expression one of a guarded thoughtfulness as she places a hand on the next crate. She turns her intense gaze on the redhead then, seeming to study her more as the other speaks about the things she likes to do with her time. The last of this answer gets a slow lazy smile from the barkeep. "There ain't nothing to running this place, shuga," she says, nodding back to indicate the whole barspace. "I like that you like to learn, though. You have my sister's mannerisms, there. She was always looking to learn something new, too when she wasn't in the throes of her passions." She's even going there in explaining it, a hand lifting to wave what she had just said off. Walking as she does, the dark-haired woman is astute enough to notice Ahnika full interest in her once more - or her hips, rather - and pauses at the sudden question. There's a small frown starting as Ahnika stumbles through her words, but the more she speaks the more this fades to something more mischievious. Watching the candidate's eyes, there's a rumbling of a chuckle from Jaya as she spies the flush to cheeks, "I'm thirsty," she says, changing her course and moving towards the counter where the bottle and glass was. She goes behind the counter and pulls out another glass, her eyes falling on Ahnika as she asks, "Some wine?" It seems for -this- particular discussion? The barkeep needed some liquid fortification first. She starts pouring the wine into both glasses before the other could answer anyway, asking as she does so, "Got a man that's being….unruly?" and there's just a hint of mischief present here.

Managing a smile at Jaya’s words for Ahni’s love of learning new things, and the parallel drawn to Jaya’s sister, some of Ahnika’s awkwardness shifts a bit into something easier in her body language, even at the talk of passions. The invitation to have a drink has Ahnika looking torn between wanting to keep working and staying busy – workaholic that she is – and wanting to try the wine. Not that she’s never tasted wine before, but all wine is a little different and so it is all a new experience, especially as this setting promises to be extremely different from the little drinking she’d tried before. For a moment, she mentally pictures Indira and then Max both good and thoroughly in their cups, and the impressionable teen takes those few steps over to the bar counter with Jaya, in search of information and a new experience. “Thank you,” she says with a nod to the wine as she settles in there, “Maybe just one.” Then her grey eyes lift up from the glass to Jaya and Ahni, rather serious compared to Jaya’s own expression of mischief, shakes her head, “No. He’s being quite the gentleman, actually, agreeing to wait until after the Hatching. He says … he says he doesn’t want to ruin my chances for Standing.” Ahni rests her chin in her hand, elbow propped up on the counter, “I wanted to wait, too, but I’m not so sure I want to wait anymore.” There is a pause and she swallows, licking her lips thoughtfully, and then asks, “So, what do you do? How do you get a man to just, I dunno … “ she eyes the bar counter a moment, and then makes a sweeping gesture, “ … go nuts, throw you down on the bar and have his lusty way with you? What did he—” she starts, and then freezes, frowning and looking at the counter, “What do your patrons like? What gets their blood just set to simmering?”

Offering the first glass with such slow reverence once Ahnika comes over to the counter, Jaya makes no response to the other's comment on just drinking one. The slow unreadable smile lingers as she moves around the counter to where Ahnika is and claims a stool with her own glass in hand. As the other continues to talk, "It's as long as you don't get pregnant, right?" she levels at the other in account of waiting, taking a long sip of the sweet, heady liquid. "I mean, that's how -I- hear it-" and then, Ahnika makes that comment about being thrown down on a bar and having ways with one and Jaya practically sputters out the wine she was drinking. Coughing, she throws the redhead a sharp glance as she tries to recover the face she lost in the moment of unexpectedness. And oh, she catches that 'he', and maybe it's this coupled with such enticing words that has the scarred-faced woman blinking. Eyes immediately go towards the countertop, her own face just a bit flushed enough to be noticed before she glances back at Ahnika again. "Uh….depends on the man, I guess," she hedges now, seeming to pick through her words. "Is that what you're wanting? To be treated like that?" She doesn't hide the fact that she's sizing the redhead up now, and there's a critical study of her as she absently wipes at the drops of wine she spills down the front of her top. "You don't seem like the type, shuga," she drawls her assessment then, fingers brushing along her own top before she claims her glass again. "That kind of fucking isn't for the faint of heart. Men like that….well…." there's a sigh in the pause, her jaw working as unspoken questions and tensions hang in the air between them. The wine suddenly seem -so- interesting…

The pregnant question has Ahnika going still, and she nods, mutely, in answer. The wine is given a tentative sip first, and then a good long swallow second. There is a fleeting thought to Max’s request regarding drunkenness, and then Ahni looks across the bar counter at Jaya and takes another long draught of the wine, this time letting the liquid slide about a little on her tongue before swallowing it completely. The question on treatment draws a frown from Ahni and she shakes her head. She’s about to say what it is she does want, and how she wants to be treated, and then something makes her think better of it, and she closes her mouth. She eyes the surface of the wine and finally exhales at it. “S’good wine,” she says, conversationally, murmuring it, and then she brings the glass back up to her lips and in a more normal tone, adds, “So, I know about you and Max.” A beat pause, “But that’s not why I’m here.” ‘Being subtle’ and ‘Ahnika’ aren’t even in the same dictionary. “He explained it all to me,” Ahni says, “How he was a pretty big jerk to you. So, I’m not here on some weird vengeance … thing. In fact, I offered to help you with the bar before I even knew … what you were to him.” Another beat pause, “What you are to him.” Then she falls silent, eyeing the other woman across the counter, watching her reaction. A slap may be coming, or even being physically tossed from the bar, but Ahni does not really seem to be expecting it. She’s more … curious, in a way, with a hint of regret in her eyes. For Max’s part anyway.

Perhaps in different circumstances, a slap would have ensued along with lots of sniping, but it's a testament that Jaya stays silent. She drains her glass and reaches for the bottle to refill it, pausing enough to hold the bottle out to Ahnika in silent inquery for a refill herself. Her lips purse over the feline being let out of the bag, Max's name causing a sigh to escape. "So you're her," she says with careful dryness, finally breaking her silence as the study given the redhead intensifies. "Figure he'd tell." Longer study, longer silence. Her glass refilled now, "What we are or were," she continues on blithely, meaning her and Max, her intense gaze lingering on the redhead, "is of no importance here. It's a good thing you're not on some…vengeance…thing," she borrows the words, the corner of her mouth lifting at it. "Wine's good stock," she comments then, lifting her own glass before she takes her drink. "Bitran brand. Nothing better, shuga."

Shaking her head at the offer of a second glass, and taking another sip of the one in front of her, Ahnika watches Jaya and her reaction, the younger redhead just nods to the comment about being ‘her’. The rest, Ahnika is quiet over for a long time. Finally, she says, “It’s important to me, and I know it’s important to Max, whether you care to believe it or not. He wants to try and make things right,” there is a little shrug and the redhead’s eyes cast their gaze for the surface of the bartop, seeming to see through it. The tug at her lips suggests she’s not really optimistic on Max’s chances of effectively making amends to the (likely) plethora of women he slept with and wronged, but that is neither here nor there. “I wanted to hate you, really,” Ahni says, looking up from the counter to Jaya again, “It would have made everything easier. But the fact is, there’s a lot about you that I like. And I did want to learn about the bar, really,” her tone genuine here. “So what you are to Max is important if it means we’re going to have a problem, you and I.” She drains the last swallow of wine and then tilts her head a little at Jaya, “Oh, and yes, I did want to know what you did to get him … like that. I wasn’t just asking because I particularly enjoy torturing myself. I want to make sure …” that he doesn’t stray? That Max is completely satisfied with what and who he’s ended up with? She leaves the rest of it unsaid and shrugs a bit, briefly looking miserable at not being able to satisfy the man she loves. Then she glances over to crates and slides off the stool. “Let’s at least get the last of those crates in the back before you throw me out, then.” Practical to the bitter end. “And I’ll be sure to sing the praises of your Bitra wine to any I meet, not to worry.” She manages an uncertain smile for the bar owner.

"Yes, he's been here trying to do just that," Jaya admits on Max trying to make things right with her, her expression unreadable as she places the bottle back on the counter. She seems tight-lipped on that matter, her jaw hardening as she nurses her glass of wine. When Ahnika mentions that she had wanted to hate her, that was safer territory. Brows knit together and she keeps her intense gaze on the redhead at those words, amusement faint on her features. "I slept with him and yet you….like me," she seems to summarize, or perhaps get a rise out of the candidate - or both. "You're an odd sort, Ahnika. Most women in your position would either be telling me to fuck off or to stay away from their man. Or starting a scene, even. Unexpected. I see what he sees in you." A nod is given, considerable as she in turn drains her glass once again. Once the glass is set away, "You and I have no problems," she doesn't keep the redhead in suspense any longer, though the intense gaze put on her never lessen. "And as for wanting to know how I ….got him…." she pauses, leaning back against the counter to regard the other woman with mild interest. "What do you want to make sure of?" she latches onto this unfinishes question, the barkeep in her just couldn't resist. "That he…?" Probing, of course, the woman sliding from the stool once the crates are mentioned. It's the last that have her grimacing a bit before she adds, "I'm not throwing you out, shuga. You're still welcome here, of course."

Ahni nods to the idea of Max having been there, trying to make things right, but she doesn’t comment. The pale skin of Ahnika’s cheeks color a bit at the second statement, though, and a rise out of Ahni Jaya does seem to get as the redhead is pursing her lips together a bit in mild irritation that is only slightly lessened when she is called odd. The blush only deepens when it looks like Jaya means to insist on Ahnika finishing the statement. “I trust him,” Ahnika says, her chin out a little, trying to be convincing. Mostly she does trust him, in all honesty. 99%. “I just want him to be happy.” Pause. “Satisfied.” Let that spin off as it will. “But just forget it. I’ll figure it out.” Frowning at the floor, Ahnika lapses silent as she meanders back over to the crates, then nods. She reaches for the closest one, saying, “Good. No problems then. And thank you, for letting me come back.” She gives another glance around before getting ready to heave the crate up, once Jaya is ready. “This place is going to be great. It’s going to be packed,” she comments earnestly, then shoots Jaya a smile.

Brows lifting and falling, "Then you have nothing to worry about, do you?" Jaya returns blithely on trust, her dark eyes taking in that flush to cheeks and that jut of Ahnika's chin. Moving to help lift the next crate, "If he's happy with you, shuga, then trying to rope him to do something he doesn't want right now won't pull matters into your favor. Patience," the word gets dropped, the barkeep looking over the crate at her pointedly. "And, if you insist on speeding things along…" she pauses as they reach the storeroom, dropping the crate ontop of the stack. "…I find kisses in the right places to be useful. And being vocal about what you want, when and where you want it. Men respond to that." There's a knowing grin here, then she's leading her back out and moving on. "I sure hope," she shares in the other's confidence in her bar, looking around with a possessive air. "I have high hopes riding on this place, Ahnika. A new start, of sorts." Which is what it's all about, her gaze seems to say.

Ahnika frowns a little a the thought of Max being happy and her pushing things along faster than Max might want. "It's not that so much as … just … nevermind," she finally says, shaking her head, "I'll riddle it out." Then she chuckles lightly, awkwardly, and nods, "Thank you just the same." She lapses quiet at the mention of kisses in the 'right' places, seeming genuinely curious, and interested, and even moreso at the thought of telling Max what she wants, and she remains quiet throughout it all, helping Jaya get the crates moved, but not out of anger or frustration, just more pensive and studiously quiet. Finally, Ahni grins, dusting off her hands a bit and nods to Jaya, "A new start for us both, then." Though she doesn't clarify what hers is, precisely. "So, I'll come by when I can and help out some more, if you like." She turns, indending to head back out the way she came, and then pauses, turning to look at Jaya over her shoulder and nodding once more, "And … thanks." Leaving the expression of gratitude vague on purpose, probably because she is grateful for more than one thing. She makes her way to the exit in calm, sure strides.

Jaya sees the confusion, the war of emotions, and there's a expression of even understanding. "If ever you want to talk," she gives, a hand gesturing towards where the counter is located. "I'm ever the good listener, shuga." With that said, the barkeep sends Ahnika a grin that wanes a little as finally, her taciture barmaid makes an appearance at the entrance. With Suli walking in and barely giving either of them a glance, "The offer stands," she says in coming by with a firm nod. "I guess I…like you, too." It's admitted, the hesitation evident before Jaya turns away for the counter. Ahnika's thanks receive a backhand wave of dismissal at it, the woman now going to her lists and her barmaid. "Until next time, Ahnika." Then it's back to inventory lists.

Closing Credits Theme Music: The Killers - Mr. Brightside

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