K'ane, Veresch


Escaping from the storm in the cavern goes horribly wrong… for Veresch, at least. In retaliation, she gives him girl-hair.


It is the twenty-fifth day of Spring and 52 degrees. A passing storm thunders overhead. Lightning flashes and thunder booms.


Living Cavern, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Living Cavern

Dim light from hanging glow-globes cannot fully camouflage the ravages of time and neglect on Igen's busy living caverns, though hints of its former glory peek through in the decorative cuts to the cave's natural limestone and the high quality of dusty, tatty-ended tapestries. Here and there, skybroom tables — stained dark by wood finish and a decade of grime — sit in loose groups, flanked by wicker chairs with pointy, broken rattan that pokes out to invariably find unprotected skin. The seemingly randomly placed furniture, however, at closer inspection, forms a sort of cross-shape of negative space. At the northernmost walls and nooks of the caverns, a long buffet table with tarnished lazy susans hosts an array of finger-foods and pitchers for the interested, refilled occasionally by drudges that shuffle in from the curtained entrance to the south, beyond which lies the kitchens. To the east is a large arch leading outside and, across from that, to the west, a set of rattling doors that open to reveal the tunnels and stairs of the inner caverns themselves.

The storm's been raging for at least two hours now; with lightning flashing and a strangely sweltering humidity and the everpresent smell of rain on hot stone. With most of the people already through the cavern for their breakfast and a quick run to where they work, the crowd of people have trickled off into much smaller numbers that don't mind braving sheets of rain. Barring the cleaning drudges, for the moment there's only one person at the tables that traditionally bear at least a stew, or fixings for a sandwich, and hot beverages: Veresch, with her hair slicked back flat to her scalp is staring thoughtfully down into the bottom of a mug of klah, not at all observant just at the moment. From the look of her, she's been in and out of the rain several times already, though there's a jacket her size steaming in front of the nearby hearth.

Why is K'ane down here and not tucked away in his weyr, snug as a bug in a rug? Because the man is perverse, of course: for all intents and purposes it looks like he's been out doing his normal running in the mire out there. The bronzerider slogs through the entrance and shakes himself like a dog, a few lower caverns workers shooting him glares as he trudges wet tracks towards the nearest hearth — which turns out to be the one Veresch's coat is steaming in front of. "Hey, slick," he greets the messenger mildly as he passes.

Veresch stares idly as the rain-wet rider comes by, and her eyes are just about to drop appreciatively when the voice registers and holy hell don't perve, it's K'ane. "Man," she says with a certain idle admiration at the line of muddy prints to the hearth. "Morning, K'ane." Her mug's treated to a stare again, thoughtfuly. "Just use the jacket if you want, it's already wet enough." She turns to the table, slugs back the last of her klah, and pours another, this time holding it out to him silently. Wiggle wiggle.

"Huh?" K'ane doesn't really care about the water he's dripping everywhere. It's the same kind of zero-consideration he gives to snow or ice or… really most any environmental stimuli. The big man goes to pour himself a cup from the hearth when Veresch is wiggle-wiggling, and with a philosophical shrug moves over to sit across from the messenger. "How's life?" he queries, taking the mug with a quiet murmur of thanks.

"For your hair," Veresch mumbles, though it's already too late. She relinquishes the mug to him and makes herself comfortable, ignoring the drip-drip-drip down the back of her neck. "Mhm, good," she manages to get out. "I'm running around as much as I can now, so that I don't have to do it later on during summer. Deadman's Trench just about killed me the other day. You?" She glances at him, then down to the curling scores that peep out over one shoulder, and finally the thin scar down his face as old as it is. "You look a bit banged-up," is her final judgment. "That bad fall the other day?" Pause, and an uncomfortable look. "Are you ok?"

The queue of K'ane's hair at least makes it a not-drip but a steady slide of water down his spine. Well. It did, before Veresch reminds him of it; he takes a hasty sip from the mug and then sets it down, the better to tug the hair-tie from the end and start undoing the brief plait. "The Trench is a rough run," K'ane reflects aloud. "Worse in the summer, though." His teeth flash white, brief and mercurial: come on, who out there really would run that FOR FUN in the middle of an Igen summer? … oh right. His expression changes when Veresch mentions fall, though, and his head shakes. "I'm fine. Saw some hellish 'scores, though. Dhioth normally keeps me out of th' most of 'em, but with th' new gig…" He cants his mug at an angle, a what-can-you-do gesture, then catches himself before klah spills over the side.

There's something about the way he tugs the tie out cavalierly that makes her lips press flat; ignoring the almost-spill, she stands up to wander around and do it herself, fingers quick. Then, "Hold on." with her hands on his hair, she sleeks it back and squeezes down on it, turning the slow slide into a brief, wet torrent. "Man," she complains over his head. "I have no idea how you don't get sick, going around like it's high summer in Ista. Don't you ever get cold, K'ane?" Working precisely, she separates, finger-combs, plaits, returning the hair to a neat braid. Her hands stay there for a moment. "Things are going south in the bazaar," she says quietly, voice rubbed colourless. "Too south. You're huge, but things are … getting nasty." A light warning, perhaps, from a first-hand observer.

There's a momentary surprise - genuine surprise, from a man who isn't often accustomed to such - before K'ane's broad shoulders shift in a subtle shrug and he leans his head back to give her more space to do whatever-it-is she's doing back that. Hold your jokes, PEANUT GALLERY. His hair is as thick as horsehair, even wet. "Cold? Uh. Coupla turns ago, I guess…" Baritone drops off. "The bazaar?" His eyebrows lift and he cranes his head around to squint up at her. "How?"

Playing with K'ane's hair and turning it into an intricate braid with fifteen parts gives Veresch's fingers something to do as she thinks, gaze resting off to the side. "It's difficult to describe," she finally says as she works. "You know how sometimes, just before a thunderstorm, you get that tight feeling, like your head is being squeezed? It's like that down there — there's still crime, but things are battening down. I'm not seeing people that I normally see, and down the end around the Wher, that Bitran isn't the only fellow skulking about these days, and if you can get your hands on supplies and herbs, bonemenders are starting to exchange better during barters."

That's right, people are going to be looking at K'ane all weird with his fancy hair. The bronzerider gives a deep rumbling sound of contemplation at her statement, and if it's a not-surprised sound, well. "Gets like that, in my history. Just…" He lifts a hand to gesture calloused digits off into the distance. "From past 'xperience, not with anything s'bad as the bazaar, but. These things go in waves. It'll break soon enough. They always do."

The girl gives an unseen shrug. "I suppose," she finally settles on, and reaches to take the tie from him. There's one last flick of movement before she steps away, letting him straighten. "I know you think I'm still a kid," she finally mutters as she sits down. "But something's going to snap down there soon, and I don't think it's going to be a very pretty sight. The female guards… I'm kind of worried about some of them." Her fingers fluff through wet locks again, and there's a squirm to unstick her shirt from her back. "It might be presumption, but yeah, be careful if you go in there?" A small smile appears. "You already have enough scars to frighten most of the ladies away."

"You are still a kid," K'ane clarifies, just in case anyone was wondering. "Till you're at least twenty. Or have a kid. But," and alarm creases his face suddenly, "Y'don't go havin' no babies, y'hear me? They are a shitton of time an' you are way too young." He brandishes a finger at her and then belatedly, "What'd you do t'my hair?" It FEELS WEIRD. What? He's not trying to steer the conversation away from the bazaar at ALL. Don't look at him like that.

Veresch's eyes pop open wide, and her expression is one giant WTF-face. "What? The hell? Why would I want kids? They're disgusting little mess-creators!" Abruptly her voice drops, just in case her mother's loitering around somewhere, or engaged in her usual pastime of super-hearing. "I don't want any babies. Ever. I don't even like looking after my firelizard, so he scrounges for himself. I can't be waddling about knocked up." Her lip curls with wordless disgust. "I'm not some little cute holder girl, okay? No." Then, because now she's sulky, she lies blithely. "Nothing. I just tied it up off your neck, it looked like a scraggly mess."

K'ane seems AWFULLY relieved at her no-kids-wtfery face. "Well, they ain't necessarily disgusting," K'ane objects, a little belatedly. He's got, uh, a few tykes running around. "But. No kids. Good. Keep up th' good thoughts. You're too narrow t'be waddlin' around anyhow." He totally just said that. Some men, y'know, they like them birthin' hips. "Somehow I don't believe you," re: his hair. K'ane leans back, mug of klah in hand, and just LOOKS at her for a long moment.

Veresch is immune to the gaze, for the moment at least, and merely gives an innocent little smile before moseying to the klah again. "How's about we make a deal and you have the kids, right? And my hips are broader than a week ago!" Sheesh. Yes, she checks sometimes. "They should make men carry the babies, equipment or not. Besides, it's not like I have anyone I want to even think of making babies with." Over-sharing is caring, see? When she returns, she snags her jacket on the way over, leaning her head sideways to squeeze water-wet hair dry onto it. "I love storms," she shares happily. "What's it like flying when it's raining like this? Does Dhioth like it too?"

"Eh." K'ane shifts a hand. "I think I already have 'nough for th' both of us." He shakes his head briefly and straightens. "C'mon, now. Carryin' babes is one of th' things that makes women so…" WOMANLY "…freakin' badass." What? "I mean, seriously. Women make life." This is an awesome thing. Just not an awesome thing that Veresch should engage in for at LEAST the next five turns. "Well, maybe you'll find a nice girl someday an' settle down." His grin is only vaguely leery and completely hilarious. "Up there? In this? Eh, feels like gettin' hit in th' face by a bunch of tiny ice-pellets, most th' time. It ain't pleasant. An' Dhioth…" His voice trails. "There's not much that Dhioth likes."

Veresch does that bendy thing that teenagers do, kicking her boots off to put socked feet on the seat with her butt. "I'll settle for not being that badass for as long as I can avoid it, thanks." Awfully dry there, and just a tiny bit amused. "And hell, if I could settle down with a girl it'd be fun — but… boys." Yeah, because boys. No girl for her. She sips delicately at her mug, giving him the thousand-yard stare over the rim. "I guess then he's not going to like your hair," she points out idly. "Although, you know, it looks very pretty at the moment." There's a thoughtful pause. "Do dragons laugh?" Because if so, there's likely going to be some laughter.

Oh the bendy thing. K'ane eyes her for a second: dammit Jim, he's a bronzerider, not a saint. "Just boys for y', huh? Don't get off on th' thought of pretty lips an' a nice rack?" He leans forwards, settles down his mug, props up his elbows on the tabletop. Speaking of pretty… "… Did you just say PRETTY in reference t'my hair?" His hands come up unbidden to touch at the strands of plait. What the.. "Veresch." His voice is ominously low. "What did y'do t'my hair."

If Veresch is at all aware that K'ane's even looking at the bendy thing, it passes in a rush of idle snickers. "Just boys. Thinking about boobs just makes me shudder in an icky way. I want them, but for myself. You know, on my chest, not theirs." Or the thing masquerading as her chest for the next two turns anyway. Another sip. "I did your hair," she protests with a look. Unfortunately, that's the moment that a drudge, passing by, titters, and she has to bury her smirk in her mug. "It's neat, and tidy, and it won't fall out for the rest of the day, tied it too tightly for that, so don't worry. It'll fit under a helmet if you put one on." For all she knows, K'ane GLARES Thread to death, his body certainly seems to back the theory up.

K'ane opens his mouth. Closes it. Briefly STARES at her. Picks up his klah, sets down his klah. AND THEN HE STANDS UP. "I'm not havin' this conversation with you." The bizarre just broke his brain. But K'ane's bizarre is a little different than your average bizarre: "Why wouldn't y'want t' FONDLE BREASTS, woman? What is WRONG with you?" That was … a little loud.

Hooray! He gave up the Hair Thing! Still, she chokes on her klah a moment later, gurling with laughter. "Oh hell, if you could only see your face now!" she crows happily. "I think having to think about boobs are icky, yes. I don't want to fondle them, I just want to have them." There's a quick look at her mostly-flat chest; for the moment it's still an advantage given her predilection for dressing up as a boy and spying. She puts the mug down to wiggle her hands vaguely in the air. "No touchy, just wanty. But yeah, I remember that talk we once had — you like them, right?"

K'ane opens his mouth. Closes it. Briefly STARES at her. Picks up his klah, sets down his klah. AND THEN HE STANDS UP. "I'm not havin' this conversation with you." The bizarre just broke his brain. But K'ane's bizarre is a little different than your average bizarre: "Why wouldn't y'want t' FONDLE BREASTS, woman? What is WRONG with you?" That was … a little loud.

"Ssssh!" Veresch hisses, trying to see who heard. This is some kind of bizarre get-even attempt for his hair, right? "If you can't understand why I'd actually want to, you know, have some, then I'm not going to explain it to you!" She makes her chair scrape back, bolts the last of her klah and scrambles up. "Just forget it!" And there she goes, stomping back off into the rain, grumbling every step of the way.

Oh this is so not over. "If y'think that DICKS are more fun t' play with than BOOBS y'ain't right in the head, Veresch! Y'should try th' both of them an' see what I mean!"

Veresch stops cold, possibly because she's so red that there's no blood available to move her legs. "What?" she strangles out. "What the hell did you say?" She whirls, an absurdly easy movement. "How did you even get on the topic of.. of…" It's not shame strangling her, but sheer indignation; it's a wonder her hair hasn't steamed dry yet. "I'm not going to talk to you about dicks! Leave the dicks alone! The dicks are not a topic!" So decided, by fiat, so nyerherher.

"I said," K'ane states, his voice patient, "If y'think that dicks are more fun t' fuck around with than a nice rack, y'are displayin' for th' world," or just the living caverns — surely they have an eavesdropper or fifteen for this — "Your lack of experience. Seriously. Dicks ain't that fun." Except his dick, but let's leave K'ane Junior Rick Junior Megatron Carl out of this conversation, that would be awkward. "Th' dicks are always a topic. All I'm sayin' is you should try them BOTH out, an' then come back t' talk to me. Trust me. Boobs are way better."

The girl is going to… you know, Veresch isn't sure what she's going to do, because right now she's wishing the earth would swallow her and it's not obliging. "I don't want to try out breasts!" she snarls, stomping closer. "I just want to have some!" One sharp little finger points. "No wonder you have kids floating around if you like them so much!" Her gaze drops where It Shouldn't, and her eyes narrow as if she's trying to manifest spontaneous snipping. "There is nothing wrong with my inexperience, thank you very much. I /have/ a guy I like!" Just a pity that he's prettier and likely not interested. "And he has a dick! Not boobs!"

"Well, yeah." K'ane kind of gets that dumb-man-pride haha-yeah-that's-right kind of smug grin on his face when Veresch points out his virility. "Good lookin' kids, too. Take after their mamas." Because he's about as attractive as a dick, apparently. Wait where was this conversation going… "All I'm sayin' is that you'll look back an' regret not takin' this time t'engage in a little experimentation, if y'don't. An' the one thing y'don't want in life is regret, y'know? It sucks." K'ane regrets nothing.

Wait. So maybe there is something to this conversation. "I don't want to experiment with some random stranger," she mentions sulkily. "And Chel would slap me silly if I asked." But who has nice breasts? Muirnin? Sadie? "Your kids have no manners," she snips as she tries to forget the weyrwoman's breasts the moment they pop into her mind. "Besides. You can't just tell me not to have babies for five years and then tell me to go and mess about with some woman. That's just… not logical." At all. "Just … don't ever offer. Ever." Another vague wiggle of her hand at Mr. Megatron. "Ever"

"Listen, that's th' most logical thing EVER. Y'go tastin' all th' honeys an' hittin' licks, y'won't be gettin' dicks an' therefore BABIES." K'ane's argument is IRREFUTABLE and perfect, or so claims his FACE in perfect triumph. Then, a scoff: "Y'really think I'd —…" And then he stops himself, changes that tact, "You're just a girl." He means young, really.

At that last, Veresch's head pops off, because screw the experimentation and Sadaiya's breasts, THAT MAN just said the wrong thing. "Are you saying that just because I'm younger'n you, you think I'm a kid?" Her face reddens slowly, hands strangling in the hem of her shirt. "I'm fifteen, not five! Weird holder girls are already packin' things away for their kids at my age. Besides, don't talk about age, aren't you like … forty-five or something? It's a surprise you can even … you know."

"You are a kid," K'ane replies patiently. For that last one he has a low laugh, and a couple of steps in her direction — enough to loom, still-damp and devilish as always. "If y'weren't a kid, I'd throw you over one of these tables right now an' show you just how I 'can even… y'know'." He AIRQUOTES that last, with an asshat smirk. "But y'just a little girl, Veresch. I don't think you could handle it." Now he's just being a douche.

Veresch doesn't take looming well. It always makes her hands itch for a knife, and it'd be a bit of a problem shivving K'ane in front of every drudge in the Living Cavern, and then having to deal with cleanup and W'rin and Faranth knows how many other problems. So. For the moment she's stuck fantasizing about taking those atrocious air-quote fingers and twisting them off. "Get away from me," she gets out between her teeth, staring fixedly at his chest from the spare grace of a inch's clearance. "Just because you don't think I could handle it doesn't mean I can't. I can. And it's not like that'll ever change, or that you'll ever find out either way."

Probably. There'd be a certain irony with her stabbing K'ane with his own knife (and not in that way, come on peanut gallery, give up on the dirty jokes). "Hey, you're th' one who wanted me t' sit with you." K'ane's eyebrows lift and he moves to pass her on his way back out into the deluge, shaking his head and muttering about crazy little girls.

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