==== October 5, 2013
==== Aife, Donatien, Q'fex
==== Q'fex and Aife meet over differing drinks. There's also talk of moderation with Donatien in which the cobbler and healer makes tentative plans.

Who Aife, Donatien, Q'fex
What Q'fex and Aife meet over differing drinks. There's also talk of moderation with Donatien in which the cobbler and healer makes tentative plans.
When There is 1 turn 0 months and 21 days until the 12th pass.
Where Living Caverns, Southern Weyr

Aife1.jpg Dien1.bmp qfex_6.jpg


living_caverns.jpg

Living Caverns
Grand and spacious, the cavern curves high aloft in naturally-vaulted ceiling that soothes any sense of claustrophiba. Rich woods line the cavern floor, varnished and stained a rich mahogany, while round tables scatter about candlelit and intimate. The largest table lies southerly next the sideboard, long trestles that seem oriented to providing for the weyr's youngest. The rich blue of Azov can be seen from a distance in good weather, when the heavy stone doors covering the entrance are allowed to stand open.



Post-dinner clean-up has already come and gone, and the candidates so often seen scurrying about are now off to bathe and collapse in their cots. In other words: ahh, time for normal adults to come out and enjoy a drink or two among like-minded company. There's a table of lower-caverns women knitting with wine, and another made up entirely of Liger riders making intense and low-voiced bets about Igen's upcoming Typhoon Tournament over foaming beers; and then there is Q'fex, seated in the middle of it all, with a glass of milk. One of these things is not like the others.

With the hubbub of the crowds passed on, it’s more than likely to catch the erstwhile healer slipping in with only her wild hair to give up her location. She takes up a mug of foaming beer herself with a small stack of folded hidesheets under one arm as she turns too scan those left in the cavern. The table of lower-caverns women get only a brief look from Aife before, chin lifting like she must be some sort of important, she makes a beeline towards the table of Liger riders. She looks more to the familiar face of Q’fex with his glass of milk, trying to catch his attention. If she does, there’s a nod and a bold, “Mind if I steal a seat here?”

Q'fex, luckily, is seated at the table next to the Liger's, and not the Liger table themselves — though he seems more than happy to toss remarks towards particular riders. It seems as if the whole group is originally from Igen. His smile to Aife curls halfway across his lips, dark eyes amused at the boldness. He gestures with bestubbled chin; "By all means." He gestures at the seat catty-corner to his own, where she'll have just as good a view of the Liger table as he himself does, kind of. "Come to get errant work caught up?" is his idle inquiry, eyes landing on her hides.

What's a simple cobbler doing walking in at this time of night, other than to get a mug of, strangely, redfruit juice? Oh yes, making contacts. And so the cobbler turns and slowly makes his way towards a familiar head of hair, to stand by Aife and Q'fex: "Excuse me… would you mind if I sat down?" The eye lands on Q'fex's knot and quickly, his glass of milk: "If I'm not interrupting anything, of course?" Smooth, Dien, smooth…

Aife totally meant Q’fex’s table. Yep. She sets her mug down at the indicated seat and drops into it, laying the hides down last before answering. “Something like that, yeah,” is her belated answer then, passing the Weyrleader one of her grins before she focuses on her beer. “I get the ever-engaging task of inventory for the infirmary. And I’m writing a letter.” She doesn’t look to be in a hurry to do any of those things, of course, since she’s interested in her beer and his glass of milk. She’s eyeing it for sure right now. Enough so to ask now, “Why milk?” with a nod towards it. When Donatien arrives, she sends a grin of recognition before she gestures for him to join them. “Hey Donatien. I just got in. Join.” She’s all welcoming, relaxing.

Q'fex glances up at Donatien's — redfruit juice. The man lifts an eyebrow but gestures airily after Aife's invitation. "What the lady said," Q'fex concurs, his baritone mellow. He takes a sip of his milk, careful to wipe off any potential milk-mustache thereafter. "Oh, that sounds fascinating," he drawls dryly at Aife and her inventory-making, smiling at her ambiguously for her question. "Oh. It's good for the indigestion." Maybe that's code. Like seeing a man about a horse. Or something.

Hey, man, don't tell him about no milk, Donatien won't tell you about redfruit juice. The mug is lifted with an airy grin, and Dien slowly folds into a seat, "Thanks kindly, Aife," and he's not indicating Dien got there first, of course. A look to Q'fex and the fellow concurs, "And on top of that, it's apparently good for you." Nope, just dry, honest sincerity in the Weaver's voice, though the curl of a grin is hidden behind the sudden sip of juice he's taking.

“Isn’t it?” Aife returns on the inventory lists, her tone seeming thankful through its mirrored dryness that he gets it. “I was all a-quiver about it when they thought it best to give it to out of everyone there. I could be drinking some good hooch in the baths or something, instead.” Really. There’s of course arch curiosity in Q’fex’s answer on his reasons for the milk. She eyes Donatien and his drink, too, before she says, “So it’s not because you both don’t drink?” More question than statement, and really, she looks perfectly content with her beer, despite her words for something stronger. After a pause, to Q’fex she adds, “Oh. I’m Aife. Don’t think we’ve met, but, I’ve heard of you.”

"Drinking good hooch in the baths." Q'fex's look is heavy-lidded and suggestive; but then again, when isn't it? He's just got one of those faces, alas. "Is that what they are calling it these days — Aife, was it?" And then she's confirming that, and he's nodding. "Aife. Well-met." He toasts Donatien's juice with his own milk; "And you, sir. On the wagon?" questioned with a tilt of the brow upwards, just so.

Good hooch in the baths? Could be a great recipe, or one for disaster. On a few different fronts. Donatien expends some thought imagining those fronts for a moment, ending it by shaking his head with a grin, "If you've got enough water around." But Q'fex is talking and Dien listens in, toasting Q'fex's own beverage, but only smirks gently at the question (instead of the laugh that's in his eyes), "No, sir; decided to obey the benefits of moderation." Well, at least with alcohol. And at least tonight. Aife gets a curious look, "How's the beer in here?" Dien looks at his juice mournfully.

“That’s what I call it these days,” Aife is quick to say back, a thumb pointing in her own direction. “What, too young a language for you? Sir?” Amusement greets suggestion, and tone suggests that she’s no stranger to it. “But I see you’ve heard of me already, then,” since the Weyrleader had her name before she confirmed it, nodding. “That could be either a good, or bad thing. Interesting.” Considering, even, but her gaze slides to Donatien then, something he says getting a wry, “I was thinking more relaxing and drinking while in the baths, but,” But now she seems to be giving his statement some interest in possibilities before moving on. “You usually obey the benefits of moderation? And as for the beer, I’ve had better. It’s better than the ale the other night, though.” She says it like the cobbler would remember.

"Ah, moderation." Q'fex's voice is as indicative of his amusement as much as the slight smile on his face. "A principle I never quite mastered." Or perhaps it's the self-control part of moderation that he doesn't have a great grip upon. A calloused finger points at Donatien for Aife's consideration: "He'd just said it." A sip of milk. "Your name, that is." He doesn't even have the tact to seem apologetic — or something. At least he doesn't call her an upstart whipper-snapper for her crack on age. Brightly, then: "Are you two excited about working as ground crew?" He's a sadist, apparently.

Donatien indeed does remember his impromptu, unexpected very blind date, and laughs a little, "Well, it can't be much worse," he says absently. Q'fex's admission about the milk doesn't even get a batted eyelash from the Weaver, though something about him sharpens briefly, and then Dien's smiling at Aife, "I was talking about the baths, too." His voice? Smooth like good whiskey. "Cold water. To stay hydrated," or it's bubbling with humour like someone mis-poured a beer. The Weyrleader gets a very interested look, "Ground crew?" YOu mean, with a flame thrower and such? Men can be such little boys sometimes.

“Oh. Right.” There’s just the slightest of face-falls from Aife on Q’fex’s answer on her name – probably thinking there was some notorious reason attached or something like it – who knows with her - but she doesn’t linger on it. There’s something more curious in her amusement with Donatien’s answer to her, an answer to it seeming to be delayed since the topic of ground crew catches her interest. “Should be interesting, at least. Anything we should know about, being on ground crew?”

Q'fex is an ass, but at least he can make a decent recovery when he stumbles into one: "You are, I'm presuming, the same Aife that is related to Th'seus. Hannah's mentioned you, a time or two." There may be the slightest grimace at instances of 'Th'seus' and 'Hannah', so close together in that sentence as it is, but - que sera sera. Or something. "Flame throwers. The goldriders, I'm sure, will be giving safety classes. As a matter of fact, you…" guys will never know what Q'fex WAS going to say, because a young man with a panicked look on his face barely-concealed is making his way over to the weyrleader, talking in hysterically hushed tones — something about a dragon, a weyr, and a fifth of whiskey. Q'fex's mouth thins into a line, and he pushes himself to his feet. "Gentleman, m'lady. If you'll excuse me." He even leaves his milk, walking after the boy with a crisp clip to his step.

Donatien does blink an eye when Q'fex is so summarily summoned to duty, and eyes the milk, and then his juice like it's a sad mockery of the jollity of his mood. A look over at Aife, "Well then." Something about hooch in the baths, right? And cold water? Or is that for his ego? "How have you been? Tormented by any more strange chores by the two Wherries of the Weyr?" Even he's not satisfied with the nickname but with a shrug, Dien runs with it, nodding to the hides, "You do look a bit busier than watching cargo, tonight…" It's quite likely that Dien totally missed the first part of her conversation with Q'fex.

That familiar names are mentioned, brows lift in Q’fex’s direction, lips parting to say something – but maybe Aife can detect something in that statement enough to stall words on that topic, and maybe the Weyrleader can consider himself saved from probing questions since he speaks on the mock threadfall and then heads out on emergency. “See you around, sir,” is given to his retreating back before giving the cobbler a look that said, what was THAT all about? “I guess someone beat me to my party,” is her stab at humor for the muttering she heard given to the Weyrleader, the smirk slight. Whiskey, indeed. “I’ve been good,” she answers now, looking much more relaxed than the last time they met. “I’ve been finding ways to get those wherries off my back. Well, the infirmary’s got me updating inventory hides,” she adds the last in a droll tone. “Thought I’d write out a letter to someone back at the Hall too, while I’m at it. What about you, hm?” The hides only get a cursory glance. “Why the moderation tonight? You don’t look like a man that doesn’t drink.” Her gaze dares him to challenge that statement.

Donatien's shrug is light about Q'fex's departure, but there's more conversation at hand, "Good then!" And then, Dien looks almost tragic, "Does that mean I won't be asked to be your unexpected dinner date anymore?" 'Alas,' the twinkle in his eye may indicate. "Myself, I've been fine… getting around, meeting my colleagues and the residents… finding out their shoe size…" This is rounded out with a nearly-boyish grin. As to the moderation? "I had a few beers earlier this afternoon, decided it would be wise to ration a little. I can't just get up after a night of drinking anymore," and his grin is wry; mornings like that require more bacon and eggs, now…

Laughing, “Do you want to be my unexpected dinner date?” Aife poses that question like so – all deliberately playful. “Because, that could be arranged. You never asked for my shoe size. Are these boots from out of the goodness of your heart?” She idly traces the rim of her mug with a finger as she listens to his answer on moderation, seeming to regard it for a moment before nodding. “Guess those days for you are over,” she drawls on that, the long night of drinking. “Sounds fair enough though.” She raises her mug briefly then towards him before she takes a drink from it.

Being asked to be the dinner date to a lovely lady is always guaranteed to make a man smile, and Donatien does just that, "At your convenience, of course, Aife…" The topic of boot-size just gets a secretive grin that gets hidden behind his mug of disappointingly-redfruit juice, "Oh, it's more out of self-interest; I need to know averages, personal preferences, and so on." For shoes, of course. "I was told it was impolite to ask three things of a lady; her weight, her age, and her shoe-size." Somehow, this is cause for a burbling laugh, that blends well into saying, "Well, they may not be over… just fewer and farther between." One eyelid droops briefly into a wink, "Something about pretending to be respectable." After that, his eyes watch Aife's finger for a moment, but it's not polite to stare, of course.

“Well ‘my convenience’ may have you out late at night, right before the crack of dawn, seeing if you can keep up.” Aife pauses in that warning tease before tacking on, “Keep awake.” Deliberate mistake, right? Right. “Self-interest, though. You can ask me about my weight, my age, and my shoe size. I only act like a lady when it’s convenient for me to do so.” Which might be few and far between with her boldness. “Anyway, I might have to see this for myself. You on a night where moderation is not on the table. Maybe on the same day when I end up being such a bad and horrible influence.” There’s a smile. “And not respectable,” she must tack that last on, too. “Maybe you’ll tell me what your story is, sometime, too. Us coming here, down south….we’ve all got one, I’m sure.”

Donatien looks teasingly surprised, eyebrows arching, "A challenge, then." And this old man may just accept the dare… sometime. The 'error' gives Dien a little tic at the side of his mouth, which slowly broadens into a wider smile, "Respectability can only go so far, in any case," he replies in a low voice, "Moderation too." The mug gets set down and Dien laces his fingers together, watching Aife for a moment. "Mmm, stories… Depends on which one you want to believe, of course." A moment, a beat in time, and Donatien then asks, "So. What's your shoe size?" As a pick-up line, it sucks. But the weaver exaggerates his looking down to eye her feet.

Brushing curly strands from one side of her face, “I’m all about the challenge,” is all Aife says to that. “And I agree. Moderation has its place. Its time. You say believe.” The stories. His stories, something she’s finding curious. “That means you like to make up stories about yourself? Are the real ones really worth replacing? Unless you mean ‘rumors’.” Now that gets her attention, as if she could have heard some about him. As if. But then Donatien’s asking about her shoe size, and the healer’s grinning in a way to suggest that she might know the question for what it is, even if she answers with a bold, “Nine.”

Donatien mmms quietly, eyeing Aife's feet thoughtfully, "Nine. S'a good size." For what? Dien's little smirk isn't going to say, though he shakes his head, chuckling about rumours, "It depends on who you ask, is all," he says. Fingers unlace and one hand lays flat on the table to gently push the mug around with a finger tip, the other crossing over to rest on the opposite elbow, "There are many ways of telling the truth," Which totally sounds like rumours, doesn't it, "Anyways, perhaps I'll get a chance to tell you sometime. Perhaps one of those nights with less… moderation."

“Guess I should be asking around, seeing what’s being said about you,” Aife states as if she could very well do it. “I do have a nosy streak. I’m not ashamed to admit it.” Eyes study that hand for a moment before she’s mulling over what Donatien says on the truth. Maybe it’s profound to her, since she’s nodding a few times and all. “Sounds like the story of my life,” she remarks on that, though just a touch sober. Anyways, “You know where to find me if you’re up for it sometime,” she says on less moderation – and her being a bad influence. “I’m around. I’ll see if I can even convince you to make me some boots. I’ve had this one I’m wearing for turns now.” What tragedy.

Donatien chuckles a little and sits back a little, "I think the best place to start would be, ironically, with the healers," and this is said in wry tones, "Though I'm sure that's not too interesting." One hand disappears under the table to gently massage one knee. Sobriety is sadly the tone for Dien's night, and he's nodding too. A look down at Aife's footwear and the poor weaver gives a sad sigh, "I am always happy to make boots, especially when faced with such a sad tale." The tale of the ten Turn old boots has him nearly clucking, "I think I even have some that might fit you," and for a moment, Donatien's suave tone flows into a professional lull, but wait, that's not actually why he's here: "Or I could get a custom size and fit for you…" And almost unbelievably, Dien doesn't actually have a foot fetish, his voice just drops to how a very good, mellow whiskey's flavour might sound.

“Yeah, and I can only just imagine the words they’ll be willing to part with me that doesn’t involve other words like sweep and organize,” Aife states dryly on that front but it doesn’t keep her down long. At the mere possibility that she could have newer boots than the ones she has on brings more of a brightness to her gaze, even though her casual tone stays the same level. “It is a very sad tale,” she adds, milking it openly. “It just might bring you to tears. A poor healer shouldn’t have to suffer as I have.” She picks up the mug and drains it empty without breaking, and once it’s down, “I better get back and finish this,” and she picks up the hides and lifts it for him to see. She’s up and tucking those hides under one arm once more, tossing back her wild hair as she states, “Come find me sometime, Donatien. It was good catching you again.” There’s a finger wave before she’s briskly heading out, aiming for where the infirmary can be found.

Donatien waits politely as the healer drains her mug and grins a little, "We'll most certainly have to meet up and trade stories some night over… well," an apprehensive look, "Something else, at the tavern." Dien nods appreciatively at Aife's workload, "That's a pretty nice stack," he will admit. What's an 'innuendo'? Dien will confess to watching Aife get out of her chair, and nods, "It was nice seeing you again too, Aife. Have a good night." Dien may hate to see her leave, but he admires her walking away. Checking his own mug, he slowly gets to his own feet and makes his way out to the Crafters' area and his bed. And maybe a nightcap.

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