Divale, Eala, Ko'an


Three riders walk into a bar… Team Trouble meets at the Inn by chance, each for their own reasons but none of them in a particularly cheery mood.

Mild innuendo.


It is afternoon of the twenty-second day of the second month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Oasis Inn, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 07 Oct 2017 07:00


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"Both of us are upstanding riders in our own way… Wouldn't you say so?"


Oasis Inn

Tucked into a small fold of foothills along the road leading from the Weyr to the Central Pass, this inn truly is just what its name implies - an oasis for travelers coming from either direction. Stabling and board are available - though the boarding comes at a price, since there isn't much of it. The most well known part of the Inn is the tavern - a rustic bar built of solid skybroom and furnished in dark, oiled wood, leather, metal, and glass. Though well used and sometimes abused, the furniture is also well cared for and maintained, and the food and drink draw many a rider in alongside the travelers. The decor is eclectic, consisting in hangings, rugs, carvings, and other things from every region of Pern, bestowed upon the owner in barter for lodging. The atmosphere isn't one of a dive; it's cozier than that, though there is just a touch of harmless shady to be found - particularly in the evenings.

Another afternoon is winding down and outside the winds are rising and they are cold ? that awful, biting and burning cold that seeps through your clothing, no matter how many layers you don to ward it off. Which may explain why the Oasis Inn is seeing more patrons earlier in the day than usual. It's not likely anywhere near as crowded as some of the venues in the Weyr itself but it's busy enough. The door swings open, interrupting the flow of murmured conversation and drawing some ire as a blast of frigid air heralds yet another visiting patron. Divale swiftly shoves the door shut before she's cursed at, stepping neatly aside as she goes about her business; currently that is chafing her gloved hands together in an effort to bring some warmth to them. She's dressed in her thickest jacket, a scarf and headdress wrapped around her head and covering half her face, the build up of frost around the mouth a sign that she's been outside and for sometime. Why? Who knows. At least she's not at the Pit again.

Being the only Wingsecond isn't a position that's entirely unfamiliar for Eala, but it's still an adjustment to go back to shouldering more of the burden than she has for the past couple of turns since Naomi was promoted. She's certainly not unhappy about it, though, as the greenrider never particularly wanted to share her knot with anyone else. But whatever she may have felt about her fellow Wingsecond, she never wanted to reclaim her knot like this, and the greenrider has been carefully planning her visits to the infirmary around their Wingleader's check-ins. Needless to say, Eala isn't left with much free time. Every moment has been consumed by work, or visits to the infirmary, or what little home life she can claim to have at this point. But today she has a few spare minutes, and rather than do the responsible, adult thing and spend that free time with the people who care about her, she's holed up in the Inn nursing a double and watching the door with a sense of expectation. She doesn't miss Divale's entrance, and her fingers tap-tap-tap against the tabletop as she watches the brownrider with an expression which can't commit to welcoming or dismissive.

On the rare occasion when her shifts in the 'Yard have allowed her to transfer through to the Infirmary, she may have put feelers out on Naomi's progress, but Divale has not known the former brown riding Wingsecond as long as some may have. Aionedyth's healing seems to be on track so far and she likely has more details on THAT that the opposite. Whatever has drawn Divale here, however, remains her business. She does not spot Eala right away, still focused as she is on thawing out her hands. One does lift up to draw back her head cover and pull down the scarf covering her face, head canted at an angle that she assumes will be hidden. It's in that small, little window, that the greenrider will get a naked glimpse of an unguarded expression. Divale looks uneasy and uncertain, if not in a exhausted, weary sort of way. Bordering on haunted. It's there and gone in the time it takes her to blink and gather herself as her gaze sweeps the room. Only then does she spot Eala and, none the wiser to what the other woman may have seen, the only expression visible now is her usual vague smirk as she turns to quietly approach. "Afternoon," low murmured, while her head tilts to the empty chairs in silent suggestion. May she join her?

In truth, Eala's interest in Naomi's progress is at least partially based in guilt, because there have certainly been times when she wished the other woman would hand in her knot. She's too much of a pragmatist to truly believe that she might have had any hand in the brownrider's fate, but that doesn't prevent that creeping sense of guilt for even entertaining the desire for Naomi's absence. But that's not why the greenrider is camped out here with one empty glass already in front of her and that second double never leaving her hand, even when she sets it down upon the table. She tilts her head, watching Divale's familiar form carefully as the brownrider sheds layers and shakes off the chill. That unusual expression draws a furrow to her brow and a downward twist of her lips, but she's well-aware that this moment of vulnerability wasn't shared deliberately. With a small frown, she does her best to push such things from her mind. Instead, the greenrider lifts her glass to her lips again, returning her attention to Divale only when the woman approaches. She hesitates for a moment, her gaze sweeping the busy room, reluctantly realizing that her table poses the best option. "Go ahead," she offers, gesturing toward the chair with the hand not holding the glass.

"You've managed to escape for the time being!" Divale is no fool, with Naomi down and out, that the lone Wingsecond would be as busy. She's been busy too but in far different veins and all the better now that her timing paid off and R'xim restored her patrolling privileges. Ironically, it would seem she either has drawn the late night ones or not until the following pre-dawn morning. Slipping into a seat across from Eala, Divale settles comfortably and leans back, almost casual-like, against the back of her chair. All her typical behaviours and nothing even remotely hinting at that moment of vulnerability that the greenrider witnessed. Shadow does cling, as ever, like a heavy cloak to her but that is of no surprise either. "Dare I ask, then," she muses dryly, "How you've been? Or would I already know the answer?" Clearly, since they're both here and not in the Weyr, she's assuming this is an 'off the record' meeting. A server arrives and Divale distractedly orders herself a drink, gaze following their retreat for a spell when they move off.

"I guess I have," Eala agrees, although there's a hesitation which suggests she's not completely convinced of the veracity of that statement. Is it truly an escape when work is never more than a breath away from her thoughts? She's well-aware that Divale has been returned to patrolling privileges, much to her pleasure. Given everything that passed between the three of them, she didn't dare to press the issue with R'xim on her own, so she's grateful that it seems the man has come to his senses in that regard. Forgiveness isn't likely to come from her quarter any time soon, but at least she can still work with him. One brow arches as she watches the other woman, looking for anything beneath that mask the brownrider seems to wear so well. Of course, it's slightly harder to focus with the alcohol she has already ingested, but she's doing an admirable job — something which likely speaks more to the volume she drinks on a regular basis than anything else. "I've been exactly as well as you'd expect." There's a dry quality to her voice as she tilts her glass in the brownrider's direction. "How are you?"

Stubbornness saw to Divale's 'behaving' when it came to waiting it out. Otherwise she may have been far more tempted to antagonize R'xim by enquiring too soon. Forgiveness is not in the forecast for her either but she will still give some respect to the bronzerider and serve under him for the time being; what transpired between the three of them serves as a constant reminder to her to be FAR more cautious from now on. None of it would have fallen the way it did had she not got her ass caught in the first place. "Oh well, now. That could mean anything!" she muses, tone equally as dry as she smirks to Eala. A little searching glance follows, likely trying to sense just how far along the woman is with her drinking. The prompt to her well being draws a fleeting, if wry, grin. Plenty of warning that her answer is going to be both honest and cryptic both. "Much of the same. It's a wonder I've not grown weary of the monotony of routine…" News flash: she has. Which is why much of her occasion 'free time' is spent wandering within and outside of Igen. The season doesn't see her straying too far, however. Not yet but soon that cycle will restart anew. "Still cannot figure out how you stand it. Working as much as you do."

The inn's door opens again to let the silhouette of a familiar man shadow the entrance. Familiar, too, in an old way that doesn't quite fit with the shorter jackets he's come to wear over the past turn or so. The bitter winds flutter at the ends of his long coat, catching at the edges that boast the faint silver glint of the many clasps which adorn it. Nothing touches the top of his head, his dissheveled hair messy from length, weather and the flight he took to get here- that is, nothing touches it except the bits of frost that cling to him. Frozen licks of water possibly from much farther away. Ko'an stands there for only long enough to allow his seablue eyes to adjust to the inside, his glance which drifts across the oasis of figures no more than a flicker of attention. Dark brows are faintly furrowed as familiarity catches him, unexpected. The bronzerider is rarely seen around the Weyr proper anymore, his schedule tight and crafted by his own means. Each day sees him searching. Searching nigh aimlessly without the map that sits within a cabin's vault long-lost. If it even exists, that is. But even that time spent in scouring the sea is limited to a sliver of the day, when Zodaiyath's semblance of satiation would allow him to linger in the depths of his old weyr or theirs. Eala's nephew and niece have long-since won him over, and in the stretches when he awaits Eala's return for the evening should he arrive first, it is not a rare sight to find him teaching cartography of land and sky, of swordfighting and rope tying. All of a seaman's loves, except for the one he ultimately waits for each night no matter what hour the Weyr might return her to him- physically, or from the endless paperwork which keeps her, despite his at times persistent distraction. Eventually he'd let the door fall closed, the complaints of those closer to the unwelcoming outdoors having risen in volume the longer he lingers, but ignored nonetheless. Slow steps built of intent and embolded, entitled swagger take him across the floor to the table where Eala and Divale are. The smell of the ocean comes with him in a subtle wave, awash the chill air that clings to the dark frost-touched early leather he wears, though rum is not there. Perhaps for once in public, he is almost sober. There's a bit of a darkness that holds to the edges of his expression, within the little lines and grooves of his rugged face, but a half-smile, a crooked little smug grin, scrawls itself belatedly there. "Aye." Comes his tone, though it isn't entirely amused, "I often wonder the same." He doesn't sit yet, laying his black-cloth wrapped hand on a chair back, "Hello, darling. Divale." To one, then the other, a brief pause between.

If Divale is hoping for a more expansive answer from the greenrider, she's going to be disappointed. Eala lifts one shoulder in a half shrug, her smile equally crooked. "I suppose it could." She polishes off her second glass, tilting her head back to drink the last of it before setting the glass down on the table just a tad too hard. Her eyes are slightly glassy, but she at least appears to be in full control of her faculties. A regular drinking pro, this one. She signals for another glass, clearly determined to be halfway on the floor before she heads out for the night. "You haven't?" A brow arches, the movement just a moment too slow — that slight disconnect between thought and action showing itself. "That's news to me." See, Divale, you don't fool her. Again, she shrugs, unable to offer a better explanation, or perhaps simply unwilling to delve into the depths of why she feels that insatiable drive to work when she's less than sober. "It's not monotonous, at least." Except for the paperwork. "You lot always come up with new problems for us." She glances up, startled by Ko'an's unexpected appearance. A little frown purses her lips as she stares at the bronzerider for a moment, then greets, "Hello, love." She attempts his accent, but it's sloppy.

Speaking of drinks, Divale's finally arrives, along with Eala's (maybe that was the delay) and the server doesn't linger once pinned by the brownrider's look. Curtly she'll take the glass in hand, dismissing the server with nothing more than a nod. They likely hover in case Ko'an wishes to partake in some form of alcohol before scurrying off. Drink held between her fingers, the first sip will be slow and deep, though her gaze has drifted to the arrival of the bronzerider. A brow quirks, no doubt catching that faint whiff of sea clinging to him. "Ko'an." Equally as short and blunt, though she makes no effort to mock his accent. Eala took a good shot at it, but the sloppiness brings about a snickered breath. Heh. "Of course I haven't. I'm just a model, well behaved rider who keeps to herself…" Deadpan delivery, right until the end when her lips twitch at one corner into a bemused half smile. Yeah, she's well aware Eala's on to her but that doesn't keep Divale from attempting to deflect her — even if it's painfully obvious. "Mhm, well. I guess you're welcome, then? For keeping your work interesting." Chuckling dryly, she'll indulge in more of her drink while her gaze darts sidelong and up to Ko'an. "I'd ask you why you're here but…" A shoulder lifts in a lazy shrug. She'll take a few guesses! The biggest being right in front of her.

The man remains where he stands in that nonchalant poise, unswayed to fully join them, but even less prompted to leave. There is some movement, his fingers rapped a couple of times against the chair back, the faint sharper tone of metal against wood prominent in the quiet noise that illustrates deeper thought. For a good while, his focus remains on Eala. There's a long consideration, a flicker at the edge of his lips. One eyebrow rises at her response to his presence and that greeting, then both raise in an eased but facade-like expression that seems to let the tides take it away for the sake of the moment. "It seems you've started enjoying the evening without me." There's something awry with the graveled base of his tones, perhaps not exactly returned from his venture upon GhostShip wings. However, that server who lingers? His free hand waves her off with a flick of fingers and flash of silver rings. "There's never been a better example of a rider, Divale, aside from perhaps meself. Is this what you've both come to celebrate?" Whether he means celebrate him or celebrate something between the two of them, he leaves delightfully unexplained. Surely the answer is the former. "Interesting I believe doesn't begin to describe it, the way it keeps her attention despite much more interesting things awaiting her." The tease is lighter than he'd usually pursue, as if the concern and something else which taints him keeps him from pushing those buttons as thoroughly as he may. There's a wink for Divale at her question, "I would quite enjoy sharing my tales, lass." Them swashbuckling adventures and hair-raising stories, of sea to shining sea and x-marks-the-spot. He has stories a'many. "But I'd start with better drink than this."

That glass goes from the server's hand to Eala's and then directly to her lips, the greenrider apparently intent upon losing all semblance of sobriety in short order. "Yeah, I'd like to see you tell that to R'xim," she returns to the brownrider pointedly, although the faint twitch of her lips gives away that it's not meant in malice. After all, their Wingleader probably doesn't have many glowing reviews for her at the moment, either. She groans quietly at Ko'an's egotism, her gaze lifting toward the ceiling in a silent 'help me' gesture. "We're not celebrating anything, we just happened to be in the same place at the same time." There's the hint of a slur to her voice, but it's not yet so noticeable unless someone happens to be looking for it. She meant to be hiding out here alone, but that's evidently a lost cause. The greenrider takes another drink from her glass as she listens to the pair of them converse, falling silent rather than offering up any more of her opinion. At least Divale is likely off the hook for her moment of vulnerability with Ko'an present, although with a few more drinks who knows what the greenrider will suggest? "They can't be that interesting if work is still holding my interest," she mumbles, although the words are largely spoken into her glass. She's not even halfway done with this one, but she's already signaling for another. "What're you doing here?" Either, both, her question doesn't seem to have a particular direction.

Be careful what you ask, Eala! It might be close to opening Pandora's Box, if Divale's in any mood to actually share if cornered or if she'll just withdraw entirely and leave. Hey, if she wants her peace and quiet back, there's her chance! "I'd rather not tempt aggravating him right now." Muttered honest there. Once this Turn was enough! Another snickered breath for both Ko'an's egotism and Eala's reaction to it and while the greenrider's swiftness to drunkenness is noted (with a lingering look at that), she'll quit with nursing her own drink. Knocking back the rest, she'll work her jaw slightly against the kickback, tongue running over the edge of her teeth. "Both of us are upstanding riders in our own way… Wouldn't you say so?" It was direct to start to the bronzerider, but her gruff remark soon turns to Eala. Well? "Mhm. She's got you there." Point one for her but she'll wait to reserve final judgment on Ko'an's answer regarding 'interests' and just how thrilling they may or may not be. "Sharing so easily as that?" Don't mind the faint note of suspicion creeping into her voice. There's always a price, isn't there? As another round of drink is signalled for, Divale will lift her hand to add to it. Why not?

"A bloody brilliant coincidence." There's sarcasm now here, where grin has faded to a darkly amused look about him that isn't quite an easy thing. Free hand moves to his chest, frost now turned to beads of dampness that had followed him from a world away, disrupted by the motion and sent in rivulets down his coat. It's a feigned motion of pain, as if Eala had struck him with her response. "Ah, darling, it is only because of the gentleman I am that I manage to leave you alone to tend to your work. You'd never get a thing done." Cloth-wrapped hand moves from his post on that chair to brush against Eala's shoulder, a gentle squeeze placed upon her there. It's light, and he lets go after he does so, not wanting to push her, but not asking the questions that weigh on him. Storm-touched eyes, grey and splashed of seafoam above wind-tossed waves, become steadily less inviting, less playful. "Just passing through, love." Quieter, and not so much meant to hedge as just not to speak of it now. To Divale's question, there is of course an affirmation without question, though he comes with a delay where his attention is slow to follow, "Aye. In many a'ways. There should be some sort of award or something." His thumb hooks onto his belt, the other arm rested lazily at his side, "There are some tales well worth my time to share, lass. Well-enjoyable by all." That is, they boast the hell out of his ego to tell, so of course he'd tell them readily.

The greenrider is actually sulking a little as she sits there nursing her glass, not quite willing to actually tell her friends to GTFO, but still envious of the solitude she was enjoying until moments ago. "I wouldn't either." Clearly, since she has been the model of restraint around the man. It's only in this moment that her resentment bleeds through a bit, to be heard in the slight growl of her voice. Even though she's taking relatively small sips from her glass, the liquid is never far from her lips, and she's making swift progress through this third glass. "Your ability to annoy me until I give in shouldn't be considered an accomplishment," she retorts, a stubborn edge to her words. "That doesn't actually count as being more interesting than my work." She brushes his hand off as soon as it touches her shoulder, a disgruntled frown dragging at her lips. Touching is out, it seems. But she's quick to reach out toward the server when he returns, eagerly reaching for the next glass. One for each hand! "You weren't looking for me?" That's uttered with mild surprise as she glances up at Ko'an, and then swiftly looks away toward the brownrider instead. If there's disappointment felt with this knowledge, it's quickly hidden behind a false smile. "He'll always share if it makes him look good." See, she knows. She doesn't look toward the bronzerider again, but she does mutter, "Sit down, Captain, you're too tall."

If Eala wants to trade, Divale's has plenty of solitude and quiet to spare and might not be against sharing it! Could be why she's here, rather than elsewhere or minding her own business within the walls of her private weyr. Even a creature such as she prefers social contact once in awhile… and it just os happened that the greenrider was where she was! Coincidence seems to be the norm for Divale. Dark gaze shifts between Ko'an and Eala during their back-forth exchange, mouth curved in bemusement though something hidden lurks beneath so 'innocent' a neutral facade. It's kept well guarded and dismissed when more alcohol arrives… and into the Wingsecond's hands. "Not intending to share, are you?" she teases in her driest of tones and her gaze settles on one of those glasses in a too fixated way. Surely ? nah, Divale wouldn't go as far as to snatch one of the glasses from her? No, of course not! Yet why is her posture shifting so, in her chair? False smiles and a not-so subtle change in mood has the brownrider hesitant for a fleeting breath, gaze narrowing thoughtfully on Eala before darting back to Ko'an. To who her voice takes on a mild drawl of arrogance. "That I figured out quick enough. My question is, if there's to be so much damn bragging about it, why don't you entertain us then, with a recent tale?"

Ko'an doesn't push his luck with that hand on her shoulder; it was already gentle in test of her tolerance, and proven to be unwelcome, he doesn't try again… for now. He remains where he'd come to stand, and one could make the argument that there's some vague uncertainty about him in the tension that has crept into his posture. His squared shoulders, his gaze that turns away from the both of them to look across the Inn's crowd at no one in particular. There's nobody in this place at the moment that bids any of his interest, only his thoughts- not wholly his own- that distract him. That pull at him. The first retort from the greenrider brings a bit of that arrogant grin back, though affection makes it a bit less dramatic. "Your work can't compare to the sorts of things that I can do for you." In another situation, that might be purred at her in that silken devilish voice of his. But for right now, when his worry is mixed in with the volatile sinister nature that still crackles dully in his veins, he can't quite manage it. There's a dip of his head, a sigh that takes him as if he wasn't planning on saying anything further outright. However, he'd not missed that smile, that one he doesn't quite believe. "Why else would I be passing through, love. I don't make a habit of frequenting this or any other place 'round here without one or the other of you anymore." He tilts his head to encorporate Divale in that statement that is rather blandly honest in comparison to the teasing remarks of earlier. There was a time this was still one of his places, those semi-removed areas that were still outside enough to not be a problem in his mind. That has since changed. The invitation- is that an invitation?- is taken in casual time, a chair moved back at an angle for him to sit askew in it, an arm rested along its back so that his angle faces them both with an "As you wish" uttered amidst it. "I suppose I haven't shared much of the more.. exciting adventures with you, have I lass?" This said with a slight lean forward as if he just might start one. Just might begin with a 'Once up a time', or 'It was a dark and stormy night' with some dramatic hand flare. "I would be delighted." A pause. "But not here. Either with better drink, as I said, or in a more setting-appropriate place. Any o' me old taverns would sour your taste for this forevermore."

"Darling," is drawled as her head lolls to the side to stare at him, "when has bragging about the things you can do for me in public ever worked out for you?" That slur to Eala's words is becoming more pronounced as those drinks she consumed so quickly begin to catch up with her. As much as she seemed initially reluctant about the bronzerider's presence, it's probably for the best that he'll be here to carry her home at the rate she's going. "Oh, did you want one?" She seems genuinely surprised, like it hadn't even occurred to her that the server would be bringing someone else a drink and not just helpfully supplying her with two. It's true that she likely wasn't paying enough attention to realize that Divale had signaled for a drink, but that doesn't mean she's quite so oblivious as she seems. With a hint of reluctance, she hands over one of those glasses to the brownrider, sliding it across the table with slightly narrowed eyes. "You owe me." For… giving her the alcohol she ordered? It seems not to matter to the greenrider, who glances back toward her weyrmate as he finally settles into a chair, seemingly a bit more at ease now that he's no longer towers over her shoulder. "I don't know where you frequent," she mutters with a hint of bitterness, but that's a thread best left unpulled in such a public venue — and with Divale as an audience. She makes a soft sound of disapproval when Ko'an refuses to share his stories, but she'll leave any real dissent to the brownrider instead.

"Yes," Divale's voice takes on a lower pitch in that single breath, while her eyes hold to Eala's. "I do owe you. For another time." Is she speaking of the drinks or the fact that she still hasn't let go of the self-blame of putting the greenrider in R'xim's bad graces. The drink so reluctantly passed over is claimed and swiftly consumed; now the brownrider looks to be following a similar swift path to addled senses, only her hand doesn't lift to signal for a third. There is quiet, low throated, laughter partially withheld for the teasing between Eala and Ko'an, a mood that is swift to sober and turn to a darker thread when Ko'an leans forwards slightly ? only to dangle bait via refusal. Ahh, such games! "Fine," Readily accepted and a little too easily. "Another time and venue." Done deal. See how painless that was? Never mind the vaguely suspicious glare given to him but Divale was honest in her agreement. To Eala: "And perhaps we can talk, another day." When she isn't on her way to being three sheets to the wind. No judgment is in her tone, just mere honest facts and Divale will push her chair back to stand, on the heels of that last statement. No reason or excuse given, just a dip of her head in farewell that is as abrupt as her decision to leave. "Enjoy your evenings." Swiftly murmured, as her weight shifts and she turns to walk away, slipping hands back into her gloves and donning both head cover and scarf before disappearing back out the door and into winter's night.

A chuckle arises finally of her drunken drawl and immitation, though quiet and breathy still, "I could make promises, if you'd prefer." Gaze drops to the drinks for a moment, and the promises that those bring. Likely, that too would come later, when he anticipates the greenrider to pass into a heavily inebriated state of slumber and he still requires something further to quiet his mind as much as he may be able once finally in the reprieve of their weyr. To Divale's answer to his game, there's a small grin that follows her, one of more mystery and anticipation, "Aye. I look forward to it." These are words which follow her even as she rises, drawled and unhurried, mischievious but distracted. Once the brownrider leaves them for whatever her own agenda entails for the rest of her evening, Ko'an moves himself, leaning his forearms on the table, "All sorts of places I would like to take you, love." He states lower in tone in response to what she'd said that he wasn't quite willing to answer in front of Divale given the historic nature of the concern. "But maybe when you're better able to stand on your own two feet." And so the next little while would go, little comments and such from the man who would eventually steal a sip from one of her glasses should she relinquish one enough or a new one not yet claimed set down by the server before the greenrider would grasp it. Eventually, when alcohol would create heavy limbs and heavier eyelids, would he rise with full intent to help her up with him- complaints or no. And should he be able to do so without too much displeasure on Eala's part, lift her up into his arms to carry her through the cold and upon dragonback to home. For he has carried many a rum barrel much heavier than her! While Divale's stories may have to wait for a more jovial locale, tonight he would sit on the bed and murmur tales of turns past while the one whose evening consisted of interrupted peace and quiet, may finally find rest at the end of her day.

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