==== February 13, 2014
==== Thierry, Zeyta
==== Bad-mouthing abounds as pride and etiquette are tested.

Who Thierry, Zeyta
What Bad-mouthing abounds as pride and etiquette are tested.
When It is evening of the sixteenth day of the first month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
Where Igen Bazaar Sidestreet.

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Bazaar Sidestreet
No matter the time of day, the darkness here is almost absolute, adding a certain je ne sais quois that borders on the treacherous. Here and there, cobblestones have gone missing and leave holes that are perfect for snagging the feet of the unaware. The stench is also criminal, a mixture of urine, rotting meat, and other things best left unexamined in the heaps that pile up next to the back doors of certain of the bazaar establishments.


Such unsavory environs for a lady to traverse alone, where the activity of the bazaar careens off and ends, stifled down a narrow side-street such as this to stagnate in its malodorous state of decay. Yet, Zeyta harbors some of the doom and gloom atmosphere herself — at the least, she is unafraid of the darkness stewing in suspicious corners. For all that fails to intimidate in her fragile, pretty appearance, she conjures in demeanor: her face a stoic mask of carved marble, her carriage straight and adjusted to a soldier's martial stance and forward march as she walks, her feet thudding against stone with a heavy pounding, relentless as the sort of grim severity which marks her figure. Purposeful, she strides, destination unclear as she aims, not slinks, further into the labyrinth heart of the bazaar, searching.

He might have been forced to wear a guard's uniform to appease certain people, but a change of clothes won't take the street'snake out of Thierry. The wiry teen, dressed for work, is hanging out in the mouth of an alley offshoot with a couple of his boys when they spot Zeyta; one goes to whistle to her, but Thi, being more /cautious/ of late thanks to his recent experiences, lifts a hand to smack the youth across the cheek, silencing him with an unspoken warning. That's not to say he's not /watching/ the rider, though; quite the opposite. Leaving the gang behind, he slips out of the alley and starts to follow Zeyta, without being exactly secretive about it.

Zeyta is long accustomed to the catcalls and jeers of boys and men, even going so far as to provoke it with her Oldtime attire. Not riding leathers, /these/ clothes, sacrificing function for form, her gold jacket expertly tailored and fastened by bronze buttons echoed in the copper embroidery along the collar and hem of her black tunic. Leather pants, dyed olive, delineate every curve of hip and the sleek lines of legs, shifting with the staccato clack of her heeled boots. Observing the group of vagrants(?) as she drifts by in her roaring tumult of steps, she side-eyes the youths with so harsh a stare before continuing, unperturbed by the concentration of masculine energy, or the lone specimen in his guard's uniform who peels off to trail her. Reaching a sudden stop, she halts, not bothering to look across her shoulder as she calls, "And may I help you?"

She halts, he halts. Thierry's left staring at the woman's back, standing at ease a couple of metres behind her. "Dunno, weyr-girl." His eyes run over her, appraising as much as judging, lingering on those leathers in distaste. "Could be I might help you." There's a gentle clinking as he slips his hands into his pockets, sidling cautiously closer, just off Zeyta's left side. He stands there, still a step behind her but more easily seen, keeping a safe enough distance between them. "You're looking lost, and ladies in trousers don't do so well around here." It's delivered in such a tone as for the meaning to be… ambiguous. Helpful advice? Gentle threat? The only thing it /isn't/ is glowingly friendly.

"Mmm. You would do well to address a rider as more than 'weyr-girl,' no?" Far from gentle chastisement, Zeyta's voice rings colorless in its tone, droll and weighted. Pivoting on her heel to bring him into view of her gaze, she mounts fists on either of her sides, cool and calculating with her imperious eyes as she looks to her left. Knot and garb registered, she smirks, breaking that otherwise joyless facade. "I'm not lost. I've no need for front entrances. Besides, I've a dagger and a dragon for anyone foolish enough to try me." Only the former she reveals with a flash of the ornate, ivory handle sheathed at her waist. "If I desired an opinion, I'd solicit one. Perhaps from one of those drooling dogs yonder who might be more amenable to a woman's request." She lifts a brow at him in silent challenge.

"I betcher /aaall/ about the back entrance, rider-girl." That's a step up from weyr-girl, isn't it? Thierry gives the brownrider a crooked, not entirely pleasant smile - on that's just the sunnier side of a sneer. "You keep your pretty lady dagger tucked in your pants and your dragon in its weyr, and them there boys'll keep back." He gives the tiniest tip of his head in the direction of the gaggle of youths he's just broken away from, running his tongue over his bottom lip when he looks back to Zeyta. "You're one've them Oldie-timers."

Zeyta's nose screws tighter into her face in a wrinkle of distaste, mouth flattening out into an tight-pressed line. "Crude. I do hope the guard soon instructs you on proper etiquette. Perhaps I'll place a reminder with Ladivos or one of the weyrwomen until it trickles down to … the lowest ranks." A sliver of a threat glimmers in her warm-brown stare, unflinching as it fixates on the youth, posture cementing into a rigid placement of limbs that literally stands her figurative ground, back by a steely will. "I'll do as I please, and I think you'll find Kczyslawborth does the same. As to my origins — yes, I am of Oldtime, with all its superior breeding. High Reaches by birth, and now stuck in this … desert waste."

The 'lowest ranks' dig makes no mark on Thierry; he's spent all his life near the bottom, so being called out on it's hardly an insult. As such, his expression barely changes, save the the slightest tightening around his eyes before one of his brows raises in amusement. "Can't see what's so superior about coming from a dead past," he scoffs, shrugging his shoulders. "You're the ones with no clue of etiquette in /my/ time. If the desert waste don't fit you, then fuck on off out of it. There's plenty more of Pern for pantsies like you to see, 'stead've standing here insulting my home." And /that's/ where there's a hint of pride and patriotism to him; he pulls himself up a tough straighter, puffing out his chest a little to look down his nose at Zeyta.

"If we weren't superior, then why would your precious Igenites travel to beg us come forward and defend you." What starts as a question ends as a statement from Zeyta, falling with a acerbic finality, words barbed. In response to his sudden masculine assertions towards her she rolls her eyes, lifting a hand she now examines with utmost intensity, scrutinizing her nail-beds, unmoved by his display. "Would that I could. Alas, I'm stuck here, and while I've learned your culture, I've no interest in participating in it. Mind you, I'm /quite/ proper if need be. But this seems hardly the place for /that/. Mm, don't you think."

"Lack of choice doesn't mean the chosen ones're best," Thierry retorts, giving a little toss of his head to shift his floppy dark fringe from out of his eyes. "No-one's stuck anywhere, precious. You want out, you get the fuck out, and we'll all be the happier for it." He hooks his thumbs into his belt loops, regarding Zeyta as if she were some sort of inferior.. object, perhaps? His eyes narrow, and the corner of his lips curls into a snarled sneer. "But you don't come into my house and toss around insults about what's good and proper, just 'cos it doesn't match your Oldie-timey i-fucking-deals. You've got a dragon, lady. Use it, or quit fucking complaining."

Zeyta spreads her fingers wide in front of her, exposing her palm and then clenching a loose fist — to better gauge the state of her manicure. "Well, as much as I enjoy your prattle about events you know but stories about, I must here curb your liberal dispensation of foul-mouthed wisdom." Done with her preening, she levels her head to meet his face, all blank apathy writ across her stony visage. Lips pursed, she mulls over her words before releasing them. "I'm not complaining, I am relating facts. While you might disagree with them, you have little power to change my opinion. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm quite through engaging some boy delaying my errands."

Thierry's eyes narrow again, his tongue just visible sticking out between his lips as he bites down on it. He's practising restraint to the best of his abilities, and the limits of what he's capable of are being severely tested. "Sure thing, pretty rider," he says through gritted teeth and a forced smile, taking a step back from Zeyta even though he wasn't crowding her to start with. A sweep of his arm shows she's free to go. "You go on with your errands and your Igen-bitchin', cos there's no-one here who wants to hear it."

"Not that I need your permission." Zeyta /almost/ hisses, but that wouldn't be very dignified of her now, would it? Instead she tosses her head, dismissing him with a curt wave of her hand, as if to brush him out of sight. Straightening herself out, she dusts her shoulders and commences with her same, proud step forward, pounding feet booming and stirring grit in her wake.

"'Course you don't." Need his permission, that is. Thierry steps back out of the way of that dismissive hand, inclining his head with sarcastic grace. Zeyta may feel his eyes on her back as she leaves - and that wolf-whistle Thierry suppressed from his gang earlier? It rings out down the street, from one of the boys that duck back into the shadows. Thierry turns to scowl over his shoulder at the disappeared lads, before he, too, slinks away into the darker alleys.

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