====May 31, 2013
====Bailey and Br'er
====Br'er and Bailey are… friends? Yeah. Let's go with that.

Who Bailey and Br'er
What Br'er and Bailey are… friends? Yeah. Let's go with that.
When There are 2 years, 1 months and 15 days until the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr - Indoor TP Room (Some Minor Watering Hole)

Igen Weyr - Indoor TP Room (Some Minor Watering Hole)
Some rubbish little tavern in the New Weyr. At least the drinks are cheap.

Evening in Igen finds many denizens hiding out indoors to escape the autumn chill lingering in the air. Some of those are residents, but others hail from more… exotic locales. Bailey is one such, tucked into a speakeasy of sorts in a cavern not far from those which are abanonded. Not nearly as legit as Dustbowl, this is a place for expensive whiskey, cheap beer and a tremendous amount of gambling, a place where fortunes are made and lost on rickety table-tops and scheming threatens to take over Pern. The Telgari weyrwoman has gone native for this particular outing, wearing the loose-fitting dress of a good conservative Igenite, the gold-patterned-on-black headscarf hiding the glory of red hair. She's enjoying an expensive whiskey at what happens for a bar in this tiny little place, listening to the conversation swirl around her. One not looking for her would likely not recognize her, so out of norm with what it is that she normally… does.

Br'er comes on the winds of time: fairly literally, with his particular convoy of refugees making their appearance in the Bowl only a slight while before. (Little Inlayraith fared better this time, though she's still under dragonhealer care: at least the jumps were more gently staggered.) The freshness of the hour means that the News - the News of the Knot - has not yet had time to percolate beyond those who witnessed its brief appearance on his shoulder before he bustled off, Inlayraith secure in healers' care, for… purposes. Purposes that have led him to this dubious locale, entering with one of the seedier merchants in tow. The two men are talking, in quiet tones: the conversation is distracting enough that Br'er misses Bailey altogether, even as he walks an arm's length away. Audible, but just barely: "- staying for a few days more… shouldn't have delayed so long but -"

Heart-shaped face is cupped in a calloused hand, chin to palm, perched in a way entirely incongruous with the garb she wears. Slate eyes gleam with interest at a familiar voice, moreover when those eyes chance upon the happenstance of heavier cording at shoulder. Bailey sips her whiskey, straightening to hunker a little more over her alcohol, posturing defensive, not at all interested in that conversation. Khalyssrielth has to fuck everything up, though, by reaching out to Inlayraith with a flurry of sleet and ice and snow, slicking frost and freezing water, rifling the grasses with frozen dewdrops: hello, little one is her unvoiced greeting of snow and sugar.

Inlayraith's response is no more chatty, though for her it is no doubt a side effect of exhaustion: those grasses are wilted and bow even under the mere weight of droplets, and her concentration lapses, in spurts, even as she tries for a friendly chorus of crickets. The effect is a bit like a kitten, nodding off. She's so sorry, Khalyssrielth, she's just SO tired :( But the echo of the exchange is enough to give Br'er surprised pause, two feet away. Quite loudly, to the merchant: "Is Bailey of Telgar at Igen?" He doesn't sound disapproving, just… startled.

There is an infusion of strength, freely-given-effort and energy to soothe and comfort: Khalyssrielth's sympathy made tangible, inasmuch as those things ever can be. Hush, Inlayraith, time to sleep. Bailey must be one hell of a poker player, because she doesn't start at her name or even smirk at the reference, head bowed over her glass. Not far from her, a brownrider swings around smug, his (drunken) response as loud as Br'er's question: "I thought that dragon was too pretty to be a bronze!" At that, Bailey can't help but snort, though she's not the only one. The brownrider, however, doesn't leave it at that. "Br—'er, what's this?" He doesn't go so far as to plunk a finger against that knot, but it's CLOSE.

"She is here, then?" Br'er is a skilled jumper of conclusions, and turns a stare on the merchant. His mouth opens, a question on his tongue, and then - the brownrider. Less than an hour in, and this isn't the first time Br'er's fielded this question: his blase expression speaks volumes. His pleasant voice rings in the growing quiet, as Igen's scheming masses hush their conversations at the scent of Gossip, raw and rare. "I've been promoted, of course." Of course, says the first greenriding Weyrsecond in over two centuries, oozing serenity. Like he can't imagine why anyone would be surprised.

"Since of course that doesn't mean a thing," Bailey replies to the lackadasical reaction of Br'er, her voice imbued with scorn amped to ten, turning and pushing back the coil of headscarf in one smooth movement. "Such a talented man as yourself will of course find a way to make your tenure…. memorable." A hitched half-laugh. "It always fascinated me how quickly you lost your accent, Br'er." Her lips twitch into a half-smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. Telgar-in-Igen, and gone native to boot; the redhead doesn't move from her seat, and finally amusement starts to infiltrate her expression about the edges. "Staying for a few days more?" Her voice is quieter, glance shifting between Br'er and his merchant friend.

A brief flicker of surprise ghosts Br'er's boyish face. Brownrider forgotten, he whirls upon Bailey immediately: "Not only here, but here." It's just surprises all 'round tonight, isn't it? Startled gives way to delighted, the greenrider's features lit up with an affable, obliging smile. He might mean it: it's hard to tell. "Goldrider!" the man pronounces, all deference - but he waves his pet merchant away, and takes the seat across from her without so much as a murmur of May I. Sliding easily over her comment about his accent - the bland colorlessness that turns ago replaced the gritty burr she once heard from him - he moves smilingly on to pleasantries. "What brings you here?"

"So are you staying a few days more or is he?" Bailey inquires, not one to give up a line of questioning while it may still be pursued. She's not sulking, a big change from the last time Br'er saw her, no doubt. "And by Khalyss' shards, drop the act. You can politic your fellow ferrets. Where's your baby-faced friend?" Ri'enn, presumably. "Has he started sprouting hairs," stage-whisper, "—down there yet?" Maybe she had one too many to drink. Just … just maybe. Notably, she doesn't address what brings her to Igen.

"Weyrleader Ri'enn is staying a few days more," clarifies Br'er, all smiles, all subtle reminders of Titles. "In the Old Time. Though who knows when he'll actually pop back up, in this time." Two questions answered in one, double word score! The greenrider talks about Timing it like it was a mere jaunt across the continent: not something intense enough to knock his poor dragon flat. (And really, in closer proximity, he is worse for wear, too, lined eyes and subtle shakiness in the hands - just hiding it better.) To reward himself, he'll grab her glass with one of those not-quite-steady hands, if she's not fast enough to foil his theft. "And hello to you as well, by the way, Bailey." His SMILE this time has a faint, underlying edge of a friendly 'fuck you'. "I'll pass your inquiries onto Ri'enn, when next I see him. Better yet, you can ask him yourself; he's taken up an interest in trouser-wearing women."

"I still can't believe you all gave in to the peer pressure. Timing it. Sounds dangerous." Bailey, flippant. She doesn't attempt to steal her glass back. "And whoever said I was talking about the weyrleader? I meant your other baby-faced-friend." She LIES. And finally relents enough to lean over and grasp his shoulder in the most physical gesture that she has in her entire repetoire. "I'm glad you made it back safe, Br'er." It's a softening - the most he'll get from this one. "There was talk that you may not come back." Matter-of-fact. Her eyes drift from his face to his drink-holding hand and back up. A subtle upward tich of an eyebrow.

"You'll have to clarify," Br'er says, clearly indulging her. "Some of us have a lot of friends, you know." ZING. Toothpaste commercial smile! "It was worth it," he adds, after a moment. Less flippant, more honest. "At least - I think. I don't know yet." Something odd in his expression, there, but it doesn't linger, for the greenrider flows smoothly on. "It doesn't look like our recruits have started burning the Weyr down quite yet, so I'm hopeful." The older man takes a sip from her glass, before his pale eyes flick down towards the hand on his shoulder. Very carefully, he sets the glass back down. After a moment's thought, his gaze lifts, settling steadily on the young goldrider's face. Tired? No: fraying at the edges with exhaustion. And hardly just physically. "I thought about staying there," is said, quite casually. "It was - tempting. Even with the Comet."

"Some of us," Bailey returns with a faux-coy glance upwards beneath thick 'lashes, "Think we have a lot of friends. The others live with the truth." There's no friends. Only blood. Razor-edged humor is dropped, slow bit by slow bit, at the oddness in Br'er's expression, but she doesn't quite address that. Yet. She gives his shoulder a squeeze and removes herself to her own sphere of personal influence (respect the bubble), ruddy eyebrows moving together as she quizzically frowns over his last words. "That's one hell of a thing to say, Crom." -Her- Benden accent is never like to fully go away: too ingrained into who she is. "Though when faced with the hazards of timing it /back/," she continues with all of the mistrust of a Nowtimer… It's lightly stated, though the suspicion of the tactic is still there.

A neatly groomed eyebrow lifts, and then the greenrider laughs. "I always forget," Br'er rasps, all toothy grin, "what a charmer you are, Bailey. How's it going at Telgar, by the by?" A knife twist, casual, deliberate - but at least he's humane enough to not linger on the matter. The man lifts his purloined drink, knocks a long sip back, dries the corner of his mouth with a fastidiously wielded sleeve. "There were - things there, worth liking. And seeing as the two women who threw me in the brig," so casually referenced, like it's no more noteworthy an experience than his heavy new knot, "both came forward…" A sharp, harsh-edged smile. "Let's say I thought about it." His shoulders lift and drop, before he resumes his drink. She can obviously tell what decision he ultimately made.

"I can be charming." It isn't a mite defensive at ALL. That chin juts out, stubborn, gleam not leaving grey eyes. Her lips slide upwards in a smirk, then, as the knife-twist turns out to be less fatal than anticipated: "Quite well, though I've an appointment to see Vergora within the seven." Speaking of crazy women, her eyebrows lift at the commentary of Br'er-and-the-brig. "Obviously I need to meet these two. Even if they weren't enough to keep you in the past," tsk-tsk. Under loose garb she shifts restless, an aborted start to a familiar pose of leg-under-body: it just doesn't work on a barstool AND with this ridiculous clothing schema.

"Mm." Br'er weighs this information with all due consideration. His fingers tip-tap-tap against the crudely shaped glass. "You'll like them," the greenrider says, with more than a tich of disapproval. "I only spoke at length with Hannah, Dhiammarath's rider. She's convinced I'm evil, I'm afraid - " Again his shoulders lift, all 'whatchagonnado' " - so it might be better not to mention that I'd suggest talking to her." He drains the glass, and lifts his hand for a refill. "Which I do. I'd certainly talk to them before I'd bother with Vergora. Don't waste time on a falling power, Bailey. It's not a question of if, anymore - only whom."

At this rate Bailey's going to stamp her foot like a little girl and storm out. Except she doesn't, not quite. Instead, her voice - and expression - goes serious from sardonic. Lowers, too, a tich for the content of what she is to say. "Br'er, you know damned well just as much as I do that it doesn't matter who is in power now. It doesn't even matter when I get here." Her laugh is humorless, now, and sharp. "I'll not stay long. I haven't tried Ista out, and Selfie is getting old. Maybe I can time it right." Bailey. Senior. A hundred bronzeriders across Pern just felt a chill shudder down their spines and have no clue WHY.

"Bailey, you're an idiot." Br'er doesn't bother lowering his voice: either he doesn't think what he's saying is worth muffling, or he's just tired enough to not give a shit. "Selfie has Tolfi picked for a successor and you know it - and she's left herself enough time to ensure it works out how she wants. Besides," he pulls a face, "Ista." SHUDDER. "You'd hate Ista." The barmaid comes over and provides the refill: Br'er is silent for this, but resumes as soon as the woman moves away. "Have you talked to the Oldtimers? I know you're shit at this -" it's not an insult, per se, more a statement of fact "- but even you ought to see why you should."

"You think /I'm/ an idiot, greenrider?" Bailey's tone has gone icy. "You're the one who jumped after some four-hundred-and-fifty-year-old piece of ass!" Reckless, man. Anything over two-fifty has definite risk of spoilage. Her expression goes exaperated at the end, though, shaking her head. "I'm not /shit/ at this." She's just Pern's goldriding foster kid. It's what happens when you Impress at an incredibly young age to an incredibly headstrong dragon. "And why? Why them?" Her eyes narrow. "Are you hoping they take over your weyr, Br'er?" Her voice is silky-smooth again and loud enough to be overheard… and for a buzz of whisper to gossip along about the outskirts of those who could overhear.

Put this in the logbook: Bailey just scored a HIT. And Br'er is too tired, too off-balance, to hide the way he winces. TWICE. Once at the mention of the jump; once at the mention of WHY he jumped. He sets his refilled glass down with a dull THUNK. "Take over? Far from it. They couldn't even if they wanted to." A shrug of the shoulders, too casual. "Assist us, however…" The greenrider is silent for a moment, a time-out on account of booze, but once he's finished he leans in, lowers his voice. "I don't give advice without a reason and you know it. Take it or leave it, goldrider. I'm offering it as a friend." He lets the final word linger on his tongue, letting the vowel sit in a way subtly reminiscent of a long-ago accent.

For all of her gruff and grit in — other areas of life — Bailey softens visibly as her words touch a little too close to home. "Br'er," she states, her voice lower. "You know how I don't like to take advice. This is the second time someone has told me to do it." Rebel Bailey cannot cope with speaking with any part of the Empire, kthx. Some kind of … internal alarm is going off, though, and she shakes her head with just a touch of a smile. "I'll think about it. You…" She doesn't touch his shoulder again, but leans her own in a certain way that makes it seem as if she's internally grappling with the notion of invading his space again. Her unwillingness wins out and she steps off of her barstool and away from Br'er in one smooth movement. "You take care of yourself. Watch your back." She looks significantly to his knot.

"I suppose I should have told you to do anything but," is Br'er's acerbic reply. "But with my luck, that would be the one time you'd decide to be contrary by taking suggestions." There's a pause. Possibly, just possibly, he feels he's being a dick; the greenrider gives an irritable shake of his head. "My apologies. I'm tired." Tired, and off his game. He watches her grapple with the question of Personal Space in liquor-sipping silence, purposefully, unhelpfully immobile. But when she rises, his glass lifts, a respectful (?) salute. "I will." The greenrider's smile has a sharp-toothed edge to it. "I always do. Good evening, goldrider."

"Perhaps you -should- have," Bailey replies, gone acidic by alkaline in point zero zero seven seconds. Her eyes flash briefly, but her expression is abruptly stifled just as her hair-color is by regaining scarf over her hair, eyes demurely cast down. It probably has to do with entry of a bronzerider, talking loudly. She doesn't look up from her downward-cast gaze. "You always do." There are teeth in her words, more bite than would be expected. "Weyrsecond," she murmurs in reply, not a touch of sarcasm in her words before she walks off with quick, tiny steps placed as tidily as any well-bred, non-hoity-toity woman would. Soon enough she's disappeared out the door and into the great beyond, to wreck whoever knows how much MORE havoc.

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