Who

Cullen, Linny

What

Linny gets an unexpected weyr-mate.

When

It is evening of the twenty-second day of the first month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

The Playboy Mansion, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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The Playboy Mansion

Not particularly one of the more ostentatious weyrs, though certainly of a larger size than most, this weyr immediately comes off as quaint and cozy with a distinctively warm and homey feel mostly because of the numerous glowbaskets tucked here and there throughout. Upon the floors are plush rugs, all the same creamy color, and every single piece of furniture found within the weyr is built out of a dark wood, with fabrics of varying shades of off-white. Tucked in corners and random spaces throughout the weyr are touches of green, various plants and flowers, all native to Ista, a homage to her home, which add a definite pop of color to the decor. Found hung on the walls are pictures that vary from sketches of different Weyrs to maps of Pern.
The weyr is broken up into two distinct areas. Upon entering, the first area is a small sitting area off to the right and a sizable bar area off to the left. In the sitting area, there's a large couch and three comfortable chairs all surrounding a large square, low table. Against the far wall in the bar area is a large wine rack, taking up the whole wall, filled with various bottles of wine from throughout Pern, and in front of the rack is a large bar set against the right wall to allow passage behind it to access its wealth via the left. In the shelves underneath the bar are fine liquors and various glasses in many shapes and sizes for drinking.
The second area of the weyr, in addition to being the most important, is an immense bedroom area, set apart by a breezy, white linen curtain after going down a small corridor. The bed is, obviously, the most dominant piece of furniture within the room, dressed in white sheets and pillowcases with a fluffy white comforter, placed in almost the direct center of the room, nightstands set on either side. Directly across from the foot of the bed is a sizable hearth to keep the weyr heated when necessary, and throughout the bedroom area are different sized dressers and chests pressed against walls meant for clothes and other belongings. To the right of the bed, off in a little alcove is a considerable bathing pool with a few benches and shelves for supplies such as towels, soapsands, and oils. Then to the left of the bedroom, in another nook, is a designated office, with a bulky desk and plush chair, along with many bookshelves, packed full of books on a number of differing topics.


A long day full of meetings, meetings, appointments, and more meetings means that an exhausted looking Linny is headed home to her new weyr, with hides tucked under her left arm with one held up in her right hand. Reading while walking can be dangerous, especially since she's just getting used to this new path home, but she's a pro, not to mention she has Kaelidyth, who is watching her beloved's trek back home, would never let her be in harm's way. Except that Kaelidyth makes no mention of the surprise awaiting Linny in her weyr…

The weyr enfolds Linny's arrival with the familiar sense of stone-muffled familiarity. The weight of a stone ceiling, the faint flutter of potted plant leaves in a low desert breeze while shadows hang lazy in the corners. Seated in one chair, still as the stone walls and unbreathing furniture, is a man. Heavy shouldered under his beaten dusty jacket, broad brimmed hat pulled down low to darken his face, he follows the goldrider with faded brown eyes. "You've not grown," he rasps to shatter the quiet.

There's that moment where the voice doesn't register in her head, and so the goldrider spins, reaching back to quickly unsheath her blade, having it at the ready should her weyr-intruder be unfriendly, causing her hides to go all over the floor. But almost immediately, the voice is recognized and her whole body slumps, full of adrenaline and nerves. "What the fuck, Cullen?" Her knife is returned so its sheath behind her back, dark eyes wide as she stares at the man in her chair. "I haven't seen you in Turns, and you think you can just come into my weyr like you live here?" Those chairs are new; hopefully he hasn't gotten them too dirty. Also, Linny doesn't need to affirm that she hasn't grown, because of course she hasn't. Shorty for life. And then starts the task of picking up those hides, all while muttering curses about the man.

Each of Linny's movements seem loud, somehow, in the wayr. The rush of her breath, the soft 'sshhhhnk!' of her blade coming loose from its scabbard. Cullen watches her from beneath his hat, unblinking. Just… soiling her furniture with desert dust and general mangy dog Cullen-ness. All grizzled and bearded. Breathing steadily. Until his jacket makes a quiet sound of shifting leather, while he lifts a glass of scotch, likely poached from Linny's own wetbar, to his mouth. "You improved your knife work." And extends a hand. Just a single hand. Not to help. He wants to see her blade. Eyes still set on the weyrwoman's face.

After tossing the picked up hides onto a table, eyes go wide, jaw slacked, as she raises a finger, on her right hand, to point towards him as he takes a drink of that scotch, making sounds of disbelief but never forming any words to accuse him or cuss him out. Slowly, jaw shuts and, with glaring eyes, she fishes her blade back out and hands it over to him. "Got it made recently, been taking lessons, too. Pays to sleep with a Smith," Linny comments, glimmers of her usual self shining through, but then another thought re-enters her brain, causing her face to go all pissy again. "Cullen, why are you in my weyr?"

"Am I unwelcome?" That flat dead-animal stare shifts from Linny's face only once Cullen's heavy fingers curl around the knife hilt; then they drop to stare down the blade, resting the flat side against his forearm, "Smith. You pick well." In steel or men? Possibly BOTH, if one begets the other. The weapon looks a little too natural in his misshapen hands, and they fall into an absent familiarity in using the sharpened point to clean out a fingernail, roving eyes finally higher, to the ceiling. "How long you been Igen-side?"

“Not unwelcome, but you have to admit this is rather surprising.” So surprising that Linny needs a drink herself, but when she goes to her bar, she grabs her favorite bottle of whiskey, opting to drink it straight from the bottle. It is also not a surprise when Cullen helps himself to that blade of hers, using it however he wishes, pulling an eyeroll from the goldrider before the bottle is lifted to her lips for a long swig. “Faranth. A few months? No, more than a few. Six, seven? Only just recently got myself an official Igen knot, though. And only recently moved into this place you have seemingly made your own,” Linny adds dryly, pushing herself off from the bar to saunter to a chair near Cullen’s, crossing one leg over the other as she rests her gloved left hand in her lap while the right clings to the whiskey bottle. “You?”

Cullen speaks low, to the knife in his possession, seemingly ignoring all questions and talking half over Linny's final question: "Mir's dead."

That causes Linny to falter in her drinking, forcing herself to swallow down the whiskey, which burns regardless but when you have to hard swallow, well, the burn brings a rosy hue to her cheeks as she clears her throat. “I heard,” she murmurs, lips pressing together as she slides a look over to Cullen. “I’m sorry.”

There's something feral and lordly about a man sitting back in a chair, beaten and sun-bleached clothes or no, sedately drinking scotch with one hand and casually holding a dagger with the other. "Yeah." He says. And then, his teeth remaining clenched behind barely moving lips. Like it makes him MAD. "…Seven months, already." Somehow from Cullen it sounds, it sounds almost like a question - the way a body buried it in a hole for a few years and then dug it up again would look /almost/ like a person.

Linny continues to stare over at the man dirtying her beautiful chair, expression falling into pensive lines as she, for the time being, favors his conversation over her bottle of whiskey. “I’m sorry. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through, what it must feel like. I know what the exact opposite feels like.” Since the goldrider was originally going to stay behind, sending everyone that she loved forward, only to change her mind at the last minute and not tell them, leaving them to grieve for her, mourn her loss, miss her. At least her story had a happy ending, a nice “surprise!” moment for her children and for D’ren. “But you look good,” she adds at the end, unable to stop herself from smirking as she does so, since even he has to know the humor of that statement.

From behind Cullen's glass, one side of his mouth rises from the grave, exposing the broken tooth on that side. Snarl, smirk, they all sort of pass through a filter of unamused frowning, and he sets the lips down shortly, "I look like forty miles of bad road, lady goldrider. Speak not so." If there were ice in the desert, he'd clink the cubes in his glass for the next gesture, indicating Linny, "Thy offspring." Something tightens in his face, to lift up his feet and place boots on the central table, the movement stiff. "How now, do they fare."

The goldrider’s face goes smooth, eyes close, when his boots go up on the table, taking deep and soothing breaths, counting to ten, reminding herself all he’s been through. But Cullen, this is why she can’t have nice things. Linny clears her throat as dark eyes reopen and focus on him, first needing a little bit of that whiskey. “They’re great. Roslin….she’s so beautiful, and Linden actually was asked to stand for a clutch down in Southern. I don’t see Dalia too much, but they’re all doing great. And Ellen? How is she?” More whiskey. Whenever she can, more whiskey.

"Fff. Reckless." Cullen's eyes close, one hand questing gingerly into the inside of his jacket. Teeth baring, "Bought a Wagon off the Chadey when we'd barely just arrived in this forsaken era. With Mir gone." His teeth click, "An' Eli. Struck out on her own." He polishes off his drink and leans back harder in his seat, hand left inside his jacket like he forgot it was there. "Guess she's down Southern way, consorting with the wildmen. I've no hand in it." Dad of the year.

“Bought her own wagon? Damn. Either wagons are cheap or life as a trader is good,” Linny muses with a little smirk toying with her lips for a moment before that whiskey bottle is brought back to her lips yet again, but this time, just for a swig and then she’s setting the bottle down on the table. She’ll let that swirl around in her system for a little bit before going back for more. Don’t want to overdo it. “It’s sort of that way with Linden. I know he’s closer with D’ren, which is fine, but I just feel so…removed from his life. I know he loves me, I just don’t think he likes me.” There’s a small shrug, which is the only opinion Lin’s going to give on the matter, before Cullen is pinned with a look. He’s got some ‘splainin’ to do, and the goldrider continues to wait for him to spill the beans.

"Neither." Cullen murmurs sedate, eyes still closed. Ragged voice dragging its chest-deep vibrations like a shovel through dirt. "Ain't a big wagon. N'even with her eye for marks, she had'a saved up for — some. Four fucking turns." That same ominous quiet makes the sound of him swallowing slowly loud in the weyr. The wet click it makes in his throat. "I needa stay here. A while."

“Why?” The woman easily transitions from Linny the Friend to Linny the Weyrwoman in just that one word, her whole demeanor changing as she regards him with an impassive expression. Hands rest on the arm of the chair, head tilted to the side while brown eyes stare at him, only blinking occasionally. There’s no sign which way she’s leaning as far as letting him stay, or maybe not stay, or if she’s already made the decision. Perhaps she just enjoys making Cullen squirm and plead, which is a definite possibility.

Cullen's eyes slide back open with tectonic slowness, the dilated pupils already turned to stare long at the weyrwoman from beneath the shelf of his heavy eyelids. He sits this way unmoving save the slow rising and falling of his chest, thousand yard stare uncomplicated and unblinking as a angry-sullen canine. His dry lips pressing thinner, and then drag open to form a thin exposure of teeth - kind of like a grin! Only horrible and strained! There's again, that knack for singular movements where he shifts one arm. Over his abdomen, taking hold of the lapel of his jacket, and pulling it partway open. It makes a sticky-wet sound, coming away from a dark stain of his undershirt. He doesn't shake his head so much as twitch it once, "I fucked up."

Of all of the things Linny thought he’d say, thought he’d do, well, that certainly wasn’t on the list, which is why eyes bulge, widened, internally thankful that she wasn’t drinking whiskey at the time. Choking on that would have buuuurned. “Faranth, Cullen! Have you seen the Healers?” The goldrider is halfway out of her seat as she thumbs towards the entrance, ready to haul him there if necessary. “I can call them here, if you’d rather. What did you do?”

Cullen's eyes close again, vicious grin fading back to sedate hardness - and instead, he lowers his head and raises one large, crooked hand to stop her movement. Exhaling roughly, "Softly, rider."

Linny slowly lowers herself back down into her seat, lips pressed together, obviously not happy with him, but it’s his decision, his wound, and it’s his prerogative to bleed to death in her weyr, should he choose to. There’s a heavy exhale, what sounds like an unhappy sigh, as the goldrider levels a look upon Cullen before another sigh and a little nod. “You can stay here as long as you need to,” is her final decision on the matter, certainly not about to turn away someone in need, someone she considers a friend at that. “And whatever you need, let me know. I can get it for you, but tell people it’s for me, if I have to.” The gloved left hand is raised as her eyebrows do the same. “The healers would be happy to give me bandages and fellis, so that’s not a problem.” Not the mention the innumerable connections she has for other things he may require or desire.

"Always knew you had a soft side," Cullen closes his jacket front carefully, draping his wrist off the arm of the chair, "Under all the fucking… teeth and claws." Teeth still gritted, he adds lower, head remaining bowed like it hurts to say it, "…'ppreciate it." And apparently he's decided that's settled because with a sharp sniff and a jerk of his head he's back to eye contact and a lazy-bones sprawl, "So. Who shares the bed of the Weyr's smallest weyrwoman these days."

“You’re welcome,” comes easily enough, but she’s quick to raise a finger at him, eyes narrowed. “But don’t you forget about those teeth and claws. I’m helping you get back on your feet, and that’s it. Don’t expect this living arrangement to be permanent. I’m not about to have you as my sharding weyrmate.” Cullen’s question causes her expression to go from all hard and serious to soft and content, hands resting lightly in her lap. “That Smith I mentioned earlier. His name is Finn, and he’s great. He’s…younger than I am.” By thirteen Turns. A fact that appalls most people, but has Linny’s self confident soaring in true cougar fashion. “But so far so good. Met him my first day here, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.” That finger returns, however this time it’s with a serious look that has a definite light undertone. “So be nice to him if he comes here, otherwise you’ll be homeless.”

Cullen's palms merely lift off the armrests in Linny's favor, his lowered head and the ancient hewn stone of his features makes it curiously archaic, like a kneel. Gruffing, "Finn, then." As though it were an accepted command. Or a permission given; all things Cullen sound KIND OF like both. He leans forward and begins to shrug out of his jacket with small jerks, tongue faintly visible where he grips it with two eyeteeth.

Perhaps the Turns have softened the goldrider, or maybe it’s her own recent injury, but it’s impossible for Linny to watch the man struggle, so she fluidly rises to her feet to stand behind him, assisting him in slowly, gingerly pulling the jacket off of him. “Do you need stitches? I can’t promise they’d be the prettiest things ever, but if you want to avoid the Healers, I’m your best option. You can pick a bottle of my best….well, whatever you prefer, we’ll slather you with numbweed, and fix you right up. I’ve got an apprentice who owes me a favor. I can get her to sneak out the supplies necessary to make you beautiful again, no problem.” Even if he can’t see her face, it should be obvious how big her smile is because of those words.

"Of stitching, I'm able." Cullen's eyes remain locked forward as he leans, climbs, kind of — squirms out of his jacket with Linny's help. "I'd take help with binding, say thanks. And - ssss. Numbweed." Out of his jacket, with shirt alone, it's not entirely clear yet what the damage is, save that Cullen seems to think it's stable and it's not… fountaining crimson horror like a Tarantino film. Just stiff, his every breath tangible and heated through the broad back of his tunic. As is the deep vibration of his sinister, unsmiling chuckle. "You just wanna get thy sweet mitts on the flesh of Cullen of Nowhere." All the more… appealing that he's just kind of ripping open his shirt one one side like a junk yard dog with a chew rag.

“For fuck’s sake, Cullen, my chairs.” The weyrwoman should have more sympathy for the man, but she can only stare sadly at the state of her new chair and whine- how in Faranth’s name she is going to explain those stains when she gets the chair reupholstered, since that’s undeniably is going to have to happen now. But the damage is done, so there’s no use crying over it, as much as Linny may want to. “Go get in the baths,” she demands, hands going under him to attempt to help him up, and if he doesn’t need her help, she simply points him in the direction of the pools. “And try not to get blood all over everything in the process. I’ll head to the infirmary and get what you need. Just…go clean that up.”

For just a moment, Cullen seems bemused to just go unhelpfully RAGDOLL and let Linny struggle ineffectively to haul his heavy ass carcass up from the chair. And when he's ready, he just hoists himself up in a single flexing of core muscles, like a landslide in reverse and a palm directly in the center of Linny's forehead letting her know YOU'RE DONE. Up a little closer, the strain around his eyes and the sides of his mouth is more visible, road-weary and red-eyed from harsh desert exposure. But vividly awake, wired as hell and grinning like a housefire even with his arm wrapped around his midsection. "You'll never know I was there." Eventually, anyway. A perk of spartan nomadic living is you don't exactly carry a lot of belongings to leave around. Off he goes!

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