==== December 5, 2013
==== Mayte, Andevai
==== As the Cantina Bouncer takes a break out back, a Vintner sneaks out that same way.

Who Mayte, Andevai
What As the Cantina Bouncer takes a break out back, a Vintner sneaks out that same way.
When Six Months and 18 days to the 12th Pass
Where Cantina Back Alley

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Cantina Back Alley
A little too quiet, a little too dim. The alleyway behind the Dustbowl is not… unpleasant, exactly: the tavern staff have a little raised garden, and the brickwork of the ancient buildings all around offers a subtle beauty, with raised arches leading into little courtyards. And yet. There's something uncomfortable about the way the shadows linger here. Something distressing about the stink of the place, quite unrelated to the midden that lies at its end. Whatever else this alley might be, one thing is as certain as the goosebumps it gives: it's not a place for good little girls and boys.


Shadows cling in disturbing patterns, leaving inky wells of darkness gathered in the hidden crevices of the plants in the Cantina's garden. Why is Andevai hiding back here? Leaning oh-so-casually against a wall? Entirely because he has intentions to nefarious things, or more realistically, he's on break and taking a bite to eat back where it's truly quiet. Boisterous noise spills out into the silent back alley, along with fresh glow light and the sounds of dishes, people, and the unmistakable pungent odor of sweating drunks. The play of light against caramel skin gives him a rakishly dangerous air in the very mundane task of taking a bite from the large sandwich in hand. What? He's a growing boy!

If the shadows cling to the walls, and strange smells sunder the nose, then what is a young effeminate boy doing, coming back he… Wait, upon closer examination, it's Mayte coming out of the back of the Cantina, her face melting into an expression of sheer relief as she crosses the boundary into quiet dimness. She heaves a long sigh and looks right, looks left, looks left again to make sure she's not seeing things in the shadows… and then, "Hi there. Ande…" a pause; then the charcoal-haired girl finishes the name, "vai, right? Do you prefer Ande or Vai?"

Interrupted in the relative solitude of the back alley, raucous sounds emanating from the Cantina when Mayte appears, the boy pauses in mid-bite, exuding the quicksilver of surprise before masking it with a bite. "Eifer," the word is garbled around the sandwich filling up his cheeks, but it clear enough. Swallowing, Andevai sets a more proper, slightly roguish, look to the vintner-girl. "Whichever you fancy," his baritone is as smooth as silk and warm as honey, humor bright within. "Seeking to escape, huh?" Dark brows lift as the boy affects a somewhat comical expression. "Drunk people stink."

Alas, Andevai's little escape hidey-hole has been visited before; Mayte looks relatively confident when she steps a bit further away from the door, "Cool. Vai, I think. I've heard of Andes before but never Vais." Thusly is he dubbed. That baritone? Yeah, Mayte's not immune to it, especially coupled with how the bouncer looks in the shadows. There's a little hip-hitch as she crosses her arms over? under? around her chest. "Especially after they drop their third drink on themselves," Mayte agrees, nose wrinkling, "Even worse when they're different alcohols." Not to mention, the shame of wasting the drink. "S'it been busy tonight?" the girl asks, a tip of the head inside.

A secretive smile touches on full lips, though Andevai wisely keeps silent other than a slight brow wiggle aimed at the girl. "Busy enough, but not one's crossed the line and needed to be thrown out." He pauses before adding, "Such a pity. Some nights it's all I can do to keep the place from dissolving into chaos by throwing out man after man after man who have it in their heads that the barmaids are free for the taking." He could be telling the truth or he might be exaggerating; it's hard to tell, especially given the cast of shadows across the boy's features. Dark eyes follow the play of her arms though his attention falls to the sandwich, saying just before a bite's taken, "Vai, it is."

Mayte listens to the tale the boy's spinning; slowly her eyes narrow, arms tighten, and finally, lips press together and curl into a smile. Instead of calling him on it though, Mayte just shakes her head, "Sounds like you're lucky to get a break long enough to eat your sandwich." Her tone is full of admiration, almost too much, though if there's proper light on her face, it could reflect the mischievous twinkle in her eyes. Truth or not, it's a good story. Finding a bit of wall to lean against, Mayte seems to be in a mood for asking questions, "So. You're still here." A pause and then she clarifies, "You know, instead of going back to…" And as if realizing this is a question she hasn't asked yet, her cheeks blush faintly in the dim light, "Sorry. Where were you, before you came for the Hatching?" which is totally different from where one was born, of course.

"Some days," Andevai (surprisingly) answers her honestly rather than evasively to her mischievous question, "And some days it’s pretty slow. Just depends." The last third of his sandwich is left, and he holds it up but doesn't yet finish it. "Red star," he quips in response to her question, the corners of his mouth lifting up just ever-so-slightly with sly humor. "Yeah, I stayed. It's a lot better here on Pern than on that boiling hot," he's guessing, but it's read so it makes a sort of sense, "planet that drops shit on this one. Although, I guess I picked the underdog in that fight." A good storyteller he may be, but the evasiveness of his answer could be aimed to pique Mayte's temper. Or her interest. It's a toss up.

Mayte nods briefly about the Cantina's rowdiness, but anything she was going to say in response gets dashed by Andevai's next words. Opening her mouth for 'No you're not' seems like a waste of air, so Mayte arches one eyebrow, not quite able to keep a straight face; a smile starts to crack as she replies, "I bet the wine is crap there, too." As for Pern being the underdog in this fight, "I dunno about that, we've managed to survive how many Passes without dying? And that's after we started counting them?" Are the Pernese really aliens, or have they been here all along? Reverse conspiracy theory. "No, for real though, where were you before? I came here straight from VintnerHall at Benden." Mayte will scratch Vai's back if he'll…

"Yeah, maybe, but you don't see Thread falling on the Red Star, do you?" The question has a pragmatic feel to it, though the boy's not quite done teasing Mayte. "Maybe we're not really surviving, but being controlled? I don't remember having all these strange thoughts when I lived on that other planet," Andevai's lips curve into an easy smile afterwards, but any answer he could give to her real question is forestalled by the presence of that sandwich getting stuffed into his face. Never fear! Around the struggled mouthful of meat, cheese, lettuce and other vegetables and bread, he finally does answer. "Benfen." Which sounds close to Benden. Same part of the world, even. He flicks crumbs off from between his fingers, taking the uncouth way out and finishing off the clean up by brushing hands to the fabric of his cream-and-tan colored trousers.

Starting to nod to acknoweledge Vai's point, Mayte stops mid-nod; "Wait-a-minute," she drawls with the grin of someone who's having a joke at the person who's having a joke at her, "You don't remember anything about living on that planet!" Gasp, shock, unwinding of arms to press a hand to her heart, Mayte pouts, "Nearly had me fooled." The entry of sandwich into mouth is observed appreciatingly by the littlest Vintner, either for the sandwich's sake or Andevai's, and though she tries to fight of the wrinkling of nose at him talking with his mouth full, Mayte grins widely at getting her answer. Gotcha. "S'better here, I think," because Mayte remembers well enough of that area, "I haven't gone back, myself." The way Andevai cleans off his hands has her guessing, managing to keep most of the disappointment from her voice, "Gotta go back in to bounce, now?" A little grin develops after a moment as she lets the words hang there. Find the funny!

Just to further pique the girl's disgust, Andevai purposefully talks with his mouth full when he continues on to say, "What can I say? Thread worked it's magic on my memory when I flew from the Red Star through the skies and down to Pern." At least he didn't say he sparkled in the sunlight, yeah? The grin widens at her comment of near fooling, but finally he stops torturing Mayte (if it ever worked) and swallows the sandwich. "Nah. I get a half candlemark break, but it's best to eat that sandwich quickly before it gets too cold. It's a hot sandwich, after all. I think someone called it a hogey? Something like that. If I eat it too late, though, it gives me bad dreams of talking food in the kitchen." Again, the spark of rakish smile. "Now, why are you out here in the back where anyone can come along and have their way with you in the dark when there's another entrance?" The main one. Oh yeah, Vai's caught her!

The only evidence of torture is the way Mayte's nose wrinkles again as Andevai keeps trying that tale with a mouthful of sandwich; but if you react to them, they'll re-react further, so Mayte doesn't say a thing about the food. It could always be worse: Andevai could be waiting for her to gasp, trip, and swoon over everything. Good thing Mayte's a competent Apprentice: "The Cantina can pass a full half candlemark without a fight?" Since the food is gone, Mayte can only look curiously into the Cantina, "Did you get it here? Sounds delicious." As for Andevai's smile, it has Mayte answering with the same before it frames that question, and Mayte grimaces. So many excuses come to mind and cross her face, but she eventually answers with, "I don't usually come out this far. Just… had to get a bit further out tonight." As for how she got through the Employees-Only rooms, "And no one looks at a short apprentice boy much, right?" One hand skims through the still-short hair.

It's true. When Mayte doesn't yield the reaction that Andevai expects, something glints in the coal-darkness of his eyes. "Sure it can. No one crosses Jharlodar." Such a simple statement for one oh-so-true. "Besides, a half candlemark is not nearly enough time to get a proper argument going. A full candlemark is needed. Half to warm up to your argument and the other half to get started." Now surely he's teasing, the warmth of honeyed voice holding more than flecks of laughter. "You may fancy yourself a boy, gel," the quick sweep of his eyes take in all of the apprentice's appearance, "but you're fooling no one. Not the ones with eyes in their heads, that is." Like quicksilver is that smile that flashes ever-so-quickly. "As to your original question, I stayed because Igen means freedom, though it's the stinkiest place I've ever come across."

Despite her stance in this converstion of watching Andevai, Mayte either doesn't see, or at least doesn't comment on, any shift in Andevai's eyes, but she nods, "I don't deal with him myself; Eollyn usually does, but he seems pretty," c'mon, le bon mot, serve Mayte well, "Unflinching." Well, it's good enough for the time being. His teasing gets Andevai a slightly hoarse chuckle in response, followed with an observationary, "So you have plenty of time to stop it." Heaving a dramatic sigh, Mayte confesses, "Guess I've been doing it wrong then." Too bad; Mayte hasn't had the chance to be thrown out by Andevai. Ahem. Catching his once over of her, the apprentice grins cheekily to hide her rouging face, "Fooled some people long enough," though at the tail end, that grin droops in remembrance before Mayte looks bright again, "And thanks. If it helps, you'd never pass for a girl either." Too much? Mayte's teasing contralto tries to take the sting out of those words, "Unless you really wanted to." The teasing drops as Mayte says next, "It's better than Benden, in lots of ways. And you get used to the smell." Moodkiller that she is, Mayte still shifts a little away from the wall to shift her weight to the other hip.

"That's because they were blind." Andevai's assurance comes from the well-spring of a youthful boy well endowed with confidence. A hint of secretive smile touches on full lips. "It is better here. It smells and tastes like freedom here. So I can endure the stench. Now, I'd really best head back inside." Again, the sweep of dark gaze over the girl comes just before he takes a lock of her hair (if she doesn't ninja dodge this, of course!) at her temple and gently tugs it, like ringing a bell. "You be good, gel. I'd hate," his tone says otherwise, "to have to toss you to the streets." With rakish bow, the bouncer-boy heads back into the cantina, the illumination highlighting the tightness of shirt, the cling of pants, so that his parting words come with deftly driven humor: "I'd never want to pass for a girl." As if! And thus does Andevai exit. Stage bed.

Well, Mayte certainly can't argue that point; instead, unladylike snort. That segues quite well into a sardonic eyebrow being raised, "So, sooner or later, freedom smells like the middens." She's not laughing at the idea, just grinning, "S'better than what it could smell like, then." Freedom could smell… well, worse. Somehow. The closing of the conversation makes Mayte straighten up, freezing for a moment as Andevai reaches for her… hair. This is deemed acceptable, and Mayte relaxes, letting him tug. "You keep yourself out of trouble, too," she tells him, raising a hand to smooth down any stray hairs, though perhaps her fingers fiddle with it a little longer than necessary, not bothering to formulate a reply as Andevai makes his way back in to work; what, and miss that show? Nooo thanks, until Mayte realizes she's staring, and calls, "No worries there!" And then groans to herself: on the heels of lamest comeback EVER, she has a choice of following him in, and going through the middens. Take a hit to the pride, or smell of… freedom? Mayte goes through the middens.

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