Beris. R'ku


Over breakfast in the bazaar, Beris opens up about her past and R'ku makes a promise to help her with a difficult task.


Igen Weyr: It is the seventy-sixth day of Winter and 32 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day with a gentle wind.


Central Bazaar

OOC Date 23 Jan 2018 00:00


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Central Bazaar

All roads in the weyr ultimately lead here, to this center of commerce. Canvas awnings jut out over time worn, sandy cobblestone, sheltering customers and wares alike from the majority of Igen's elements, and funnel scents both mouthwatering and vomit inducing through the thin streets. Almost all store fronts are open air, delineated by sandstone arches with intricately carved facades. The insides of these stone-shingled buildings act as an amplifier for the salesmens' bawled enticements, and are held up by the chipped swirls of marble pillars.

Igen winters are a stark contrast to the heat of the rest of the year. With the temperatures below freezing, despite the bright sunlight and lack of wind, the morning inhabitants of the bazaar are wrapped up well as they go about their business. With an outside breakfast more or less out of the question, Beris is leading R'ku in to one of the mid-sized eating places, where a quieter table can usually be guaranteed. She's been wrapped up for the journey there, a woollen scarf covering the lower half of her face and a gloved hand slipped comfortably in R'ku's as she enters the stone building, already pulling the scarf down to inhale the enticing smell of the foods. "Perfect."

At least it doesn't take R'ku much extra effort to bundle up for the weather - his riding leathers, which he's already dressed in, are lined for warmth. Since it's below freezing, though, he's taken the added precaution of wrapping a multi-colored striped scarf around his neck, shielding any exposed parts of his face from what little wind there is. Plus it's a nice pop of color against the drabness of his riding leathers. R'ku's first step into the restaurant is greeted by a sigh of relief, "Thank Faranth for the warmth in here." Then, as an afterthought, he pulls is scarf away and inhales, appreciating the scent, "Mmm - what did you say this restaurant specializes in?" Even he hasn't managed to sample every restaurant's food in the Bazaar.

Indeed, it's warm enough that Beris needs to take her scarf off entirely; her next move is to start popping open the buttons down the length of her heavy, oversized coat. "Cozy, isn't it?" Unfortunately, to take off her gloves she's going to have to let go of R'ku's hand. Then again, she can't cling on to him all the time, so. As she starts pulling those off, she answers his question. "The family own a load of goats - so they do a lot of stuff with goats cheese. And goat meat." There's a grin for the natural order of things. "And they do some crazy spicy dishes, if you're in to that sort of thing."

R'ku brightens considerably at the mention of 'spicy', his usual wide grin spreading across his face, "Spicy? I've not met something spicy I couldn't handle." He grew up in a spice merchant shop, after all, and probably spent his childhood daring to eat the spiciest spices out there. His grin turns a little sly, "How are you at handling spices?" By this point he's shucking his own layers - opening up his wherhide jacket, unwinding his scarf and tucking his riding gloves into a pocket. He waits for Beris to finish removing her outerwear before he slips in close to her again, sliding an arm around her and aiming a warm smile down at her, "Window seat again? People watching is always fun."

Beris grins back, as she stuffs gloves into pockets and lets her scarf dangle loose over her shoulders for the time being. "You'll probably be able to name each spice they've used for whatever you order," she teases, before slipping in comfortably against him. "Food and people-watching?" And her favourite company, of course. "I can't say no to that." She'll let R'ku take them to a table, happy for him to take charge. As for the spice thing: "I can eat a little but…too much and my mouth just goes numb. you know?"

R'ku manages to snag a prime window seat that provides a great view of the street and those who may be foolish enough to be out in the freezing weather. Currently, there is a gang of children running up and down the streets, squealing and playing some sort of game of tag. "I think, after a lifetime of eating spicy food, my mouth has gotten past the numbing," he jokes with a wry grin as he moves to pull Beris' chair out for her. Once he's done the gentlemanly thing of pushing the chair in behind her, he'll move around to is own seat and flop unceremoniously down into it, "It was fun to bet my friends, and sometimes my sisters, to try to eat the spiciest thing my father managed to get in." He leans back in his chair, considering, "Though perhaps I should take it down a notch or two on the spices today, or my kisses will probably burn you for the rest of the day. Can't have that."

Beris can't help but smile up at R'ku as he sorts her chair for her, and she settles in happily. "I need to catch up," she remarks about his talents for eating all sorts of horrendously hot things. "Have you ever eaten chilli peppers? I've heard there are ones that actually hurt if you eat them." Has she considered putting these into some of the drinks she's helped Ramita with? Maybe. She laughs when he mentions burning her with kisses. "Sounds like it could be fun, actually." There's a menu on the wall, and so Beris looks away from the window for a moment to study that, though she can still hear the kids playing outside. "Hm. Goose egg omelette with goats cheese?" She likes the sound of that, spicy or not.

R'ku bobs his head in affirmation, a slow grin spreading, "My father sells some of those dried peppers, too. I did once put 6 of them in my mouthat once." He makes a face, remembering the old pain from his childhood, " … I … sometimes did silly things when I as a kid. It was worth it though!" His grin widens, "I got a whole 2 marks on the bet!" He can't help a little pride seeping into his voice at that. Though he rumbles a bit of a laugh, as well, "And you wouldn't want me to kiss you after eating pepers. Or even touching things after eating anything with pepper sauce. It .. ah … isn't that great for sensitive areas. Best to wash thoroughly." He, too, considers the menu thoughtfully, "An omelette does sound good. Though I think I may try the one that's supposed to be spicy. The goat cheese should help allieviate the burn." More screeches and laughs from outside as the children dash by again. R'ku snorts, "Children are insane sometimes." They'd have to be to run around in the freezing weather.

Oh, R'ku is going to get a stare when he mentions that! "Six peppers?" She shakes her head in bemusement, but does laugh when he admits he won big for his pains. "Two marks is…pretty good. But…" She trails off, amused, hinting that she wouldn't do the same for the money! His warning of peppers is met with a knowing nod. "Yeah. I try to wear gloves when I'm helping Ramita with her spicy drinks. Sometimes no matter how much you wash your hands, you go to touch your eye and…" she pulls a face; at least she has the good grace to talk about less rude sensitive areas in public. "Hm. Oh, they have goat meat marinated in spices?" She points out as she gets further down the menu. That's before the shrieking children draw her attention to the window. "Wonder where their parents are," she muses, before a look flicks to R'ku. She's thinking of something, but it's not coming out quite yet.

R'ku jumps in as Beris trails off, his words tinged with laughter, "2 marks was a lot when I was a kid - well worth the several minutes of watering eyes and screaming." He trails off himself, though it's mainly due to his laughter at remembering that long ago day. "I promise I'm more used to them now - I don't scream anymore. Granted … I don't put 6 hot peppers in my mouth anymore, either," he adds with an amused sort of grin. He perks up a bit at the mention of spiced goat meat, craning his neck to peer at the menu, "Oh - and they have that same meat as part of an omelette, too, with added spice. Decision made!" He emphatically nods his head and then looks around for a waiter to try to flag down. It's probably super crowded in here, as it's definitely breakfast time and cold out. His attention is dragged back to the insane srieking children and their game at Beris' question, "If I had to guess … they'd be inside like sane adults. Their parents probably own some of the stalls around here." R'ku probably did similar things as a small child in the Bazaar, after all. He arches a brow at Beris, "You had to have done silly things as a child, right?" He can't be the only one to do something like stuff 6 peppers into his mouth.

"Not even if you were offered marks for it?" Beris grins. As R'ku picks out his dish of choice she nods approvingly - he can have the spicy stuff, shell stick with something more bland. Maybe experimenting with spicier things can happen another day, for her. "True. I suppose it's less boring than hanging out with your parents all day while they're working." She's watching the kids in question as they run around, intent on their play, carefree. She almost misses Rku's question. "Yeah I guess…in Kurkar it was more exploring tunnels, daring each other to drop down places or squeeze through tight places. Sometimes you couldn't get back the same way and that was pretty scary." Her tone implies it wasn't the happiest of childhoods, more that she's stating facts. Apparently trying to evade the topic, she says, rather quickly: "has your mother been asking you about kids?"

R'ku finally manages to flag down a rather harried waiter to take both of their orders. The woman only stays long enough to jot down the orders before disappearing back into the crowd, hopefully to bring the order to the kitchen. R'ku turns his attention back to Beris, eyes widening a bit at the mention of small spaces, "I think I'd rather put 10 hot peppers in my mouth than do that - I guess there's different thresholds of childhood bravery." He shakes his head in amazement for a moment. R'ku is in the middle of reaching his hand across the table to take hold of Beris' when the question of kids comes up. He blinks in surprise, rumbling a laugh, "To be honest, I try to tune it out when I see them. Rest assured she tries to make at least one snipe about grandchildren every visit, but I try not to let it bother me. I don't think parenthood is something to be rushed into." He finishes his hand's movement across the table, reaching for Beris' if she'll let him. He glances sidelong out the window at the children sl screeching and chasing each other before looking back to Beris, his expression concerned, "My mother's comments aren't upsetting you, are they?" He trails off a moment, unsure, before continuing, "I mean - I love you and children with you would be amazing, but only if it's something /you/ want and if we both feel ready for it." Such serious conversations in the early morning. The waiter's return with a steaming pot of klah and two mugs punctuates his comments. Thankfully the waiter doesn't stay long before bustling away again.

"I can't fit into quite as small spaces any more but…it comes in handy sometimes." She's told R'ku about her part in finding the lost girl in Kurkar, and her slight smile indicates this is what she's referencing. "You stick to eating peppers, and I'll deal with cramped spaces." Deal? She doesn't say anything at first as R'ku talks about his mum; then his hand touches hers, and Beris grips it tight. "No, they're not." She assures him, but there's something else in her eyes. Thank goodness for the waiter's discretion (or lack of time to hang around). Beris looks down at her hand in R'ku's while the drinks are put out for them, and it's only when the woman is gone that she speaks again. "I…keep thinking about it. If I do want kids, one day. It's…it's weird." Rather than look at R'ku, she looks out the window, at the raucous children. "My parents ever left me, or lost me, or something. Then I got found and taken to Kurkar and adopted, I guess." She can't seem to think of an easy way to drop this news other than just say it as it is.

R'ku keeps a gentle, reassuring pressure on Beris' hand as she speaks, as though the contact in itself might provide some support. He remains attentive, waiting to speak up until after Beris has trailed off, "I had some thought that your childhood was probably not as cut and dried as mine, though … I didn't want to pry and potentially cause you pain by bringing it up without you broaching the subject first." Because seeing the woman he loves in pain is not on the top of R'ku's 'to-do' list, though he generally looks rather saddened and somber at hte moment at just hearing the news. He hesitates for several seconds, unsure on how to move forward without causing too much hurt. So he rubs Beris' hand encouragingly, "What about your parents makes you wonder about having your own kids?" He likely has an inkling, though he really doesn't want to put words in her mouth. He'll just be the attentive boyfriend for the moment. And at least the rest of the restaurant is very busy and bustling - no one to really overhea in the noise.

Beris lifts her shoulders at that. She's holding it together, her tone almost blase as she tries not to get too emotional in public. Big shows of emotion aren't really her thing anyway, and breaking down crying in the middle of a nice breakfast in the bazaar is last on her list of things she wants to do. "There's never exactly any good time to say it," she admits, still staring out the window at the kids. "And…I haven't really had to talk about it before, I guess." She bites her lower lip when R'ku asks that question worrying at it as she considers her answer, dark eyes reflecting the light coming in from outside. When she speaks, her words are slow, as if Beris is thinking how to say it. "I guess…if they could get rid of me, it makes me think that I might do the same. Not be able to look after a baby. Or not want it. I don't know…" She's still holding it together, but now she looks at R'ku, equal parts sad and apologetic.

R'ku settles his other hand on top of Beris' hand, enclosing hers in both of his in a comforting squeeze. "I couldn't think you ever capable of abandoning a baby, love," he reassures, his tone warm. He seems unaware he just used the nickname of 'love', but he's certainly putting his heart into his words by the sound of it. These things seem to sort of slip out at random moments for R'ku. "Besides - I'd be there to help." He flashes a brief smile, full of warmth, "If we decided to be parents, we could do this together. I won't abandon you and you wouldn't abandon a child." He keeps his words full of earnestness. "We're still young, as well. I'm certainly not saying we need to be parents by tomorrow or else." He injects a bit of humor into the last statement, his smile slipping into one of his usual grins. Though he does eventually somber a bit as he continues, "Are you sure your parents abandoned you out of neglect? Maybe they didn't have a choice."

Beris's hand is tense in R'ku's, but the comforting squeeze does cause it to relax. It's not his touch making her tense, but what she's talking about that's giving her a general tightness through her body as she keeps hold of her emotions. His use of the word 'love' makes her throat suddenly feel tight, and she swallows before she can talk without her voice cracking. "I know you wouldn't. As for me…I just don't know. My parents never came to find me." Never mind the fact that maybe they didn't know WHERE to find her. "I just don't know anything about what happened or why they did it. Maybe they ddn't have a choice, maybe you're right." Her voice, quiet enough not t be overheard, is starting to rush through all the different thoughts that spring to mind. "I sometimes think I should try to find them, but I don't even know where to begin."

R'ku keeps his hand around Beris', his thumb absently stroking the back of her hand as she talks. He tries to radiate comfort and calm in his posture, voice and expression - perhaps it will help in keeping everything full of less emotions. "There are many reasons that they could have had to leave you and a lot of them would probably not be sinister," he says, his deep voice low, "Do you know if they left you at the Hold or the Weyr? Did they leave you with your adoptive family to begin with … or did your adoptive family just take you in at a later date?" So many questions, though R'ku probably isn't even sure if Beris may know the answers to half of them. But it's obvious something is brewing in his mind. "Would you let me help you find them? If the closure will help put your mind at ease … " He trails off, unsure of his next words. "I hate to see you worrying over this. And I /do/ have a dragon, which may help if a distant trip needs to be taken. Kabelkath says he is willing … though I'll spare you his exact words." Because they were probably rather NSFW in some way.

R'ku's calm demeanours is helping - Beris isn't breaking down, which is good. Indeed, she reaches with her free hand to pour out two mugs of klah, as much for something to do as to stop it getting cold while she talks about her problems. "My adoptive family haven't been very…open about it all. They just say they took me in, I should be grateful, and that's that." She wraps her free hand round the mug's handle, turning the thing back and forth. "I stopped asking them questions because they didn't seem to have any answers, or got annoyed." She looks across at R'ku, a glint in her eyes. "Would you? I…I don't even know where would make sense to start. Birth records? It can't be too far from Igen, surely." Beris's lips pull into a half-smile. "Knowing my luck it's some rider from a distant Weyr who dropped me off, and I'd never find out where they came from." At least she's got a trace of humour in her voice as she suggests that scenario.

R'ku absent-mindedly reaches out for the other mug of klah, brow furrowed in thought as he mulls over her words. "Either your adoptive family really doesn't know anything or they're hiding something. Seems a bit odd." He takes a sip of klah as he considers this, though then seems to realize what he just insinuated - that perhaps Beris' adoptive family stole her away or something. "No disrespect to your adoptive family, of course," he's quick to add, giving Beris' hand a reassuring squeeze. "There has to be someone else that was around when you were dropped off that isn't part of your adoptive family, though, right? An old auntie who likes to spout rumors and gossip?" He scrunches his face up in thought, "Would there be birth records written down somewhere? Granted … we don't know if you were born at the Hold or the Weyr or some other Hold or somewhere in-between." He seems to be grasping the dauntingness of this puzzle, but he soon rallies, "I'm not sure if it'd be the Weyr. If a dragonrider has problems taking care of a child, they foster them out within the Weyr. Unless your father was a dragonrider and your mother wasn't?" He lifts a shoulder in a shrug, "You could even be from a Trader caravan family." He sets his klah mug down with a *thunk* in a decisive way, "No use speculating, though - we'd have to go to the source of where we know you ended up and try to find someone to ask there for information. Kurkar."

There's another one of Beris's dismissive sort of shrugs. "Who knows. I want to think they just don't know anything, rather than they're keeping something from me." Wishful thinking. She sips her klah which is, fortunately still hot. She hasn't taken any offence from R'ku's comments, and moves on to his next ideas, thoughtful. "Kurkar has plenty of busybody aunties who just love sticking their nose in people's business. Maybe one of them knows something…." But who? Beris also has an idea of just how big this task might be, looking across at R'ku, her hand tightening on his in a thankful gesture. "Working backwards, right?" She sounds a bit more hopeful now that she has someone she trusts to help her with this whole thing - maybe it might be possible?

R'ku sips at his klah, looking a bit more thoughtful as he nods his head, "Always best to work backwards - how will we know which way to go if we don't start where we know things started?" He flashes Beris a reassuring smile, "Shouldn't be too hard with a dragon on our side, I suppose." The smile turns into a grin, "Not sure how successful I'll be in asking around at Kurkar, though - do you know of anyone in particular to ask for information?" He keeps his other hand around Beris' hand, squeezing every so often with reassurance. He glances out the window at the children that still seem to be rushing around and shrieking, seemingly lost in thought for a few moments. "Beris," he says suddenly, " …. do you know if that was the name your actual parents gave you or was that something your adoptive parents gave you?" Who knows if there was a note or something left? As this is being mulld over, the waiter comes with steaming plates of food and sets them in front of Beris and R'ku without any real fanfare before disappearing again. So many more tables to wait on!

That is a good point - Kurkar is on edge at the best of times when riders are sniffing around, but of late they've been particularly prickly thanks to the massive interest in the magical blue stuff. "I know a few people I could start with," Beris says, brow furrowing as she thinks of a few names. "I can do that if you want…Kurkar can be…Kurkar." Talking about it all like this makes it sound almost too easy, even though she has a feeling it's not going to be at all. R'ku's silence gets him a curious look, and Beris takes a moment to drink some more klah. Then he comes right out with a question and she sets the mug down gently on the table. "I've thought about it before, a few times. I never asked…I was just always called Beris. It would be…I dunno, weird if I found out that wasn't really my name." She wrinkles her nose, not sure what to think of it all - oops - now she looks like she was wrinkling her nose at the food. Beris tries to give the waiter a smile but she's gone so quickly. Ah well. Sadly, Beris has to pull her hand away from R'ku's so she can eat - but not without one last squeeze of his. Deep breath. "It seems insane that we're going to try and find out. Thank you." She adds, realising she hasn't explicitly said it.

R'ku is reluctant to pull his hand away from Beris .. but .. well - food does need two hands to eat with usually. He does take a moment to inhale the spicy steam coming off his omelette with a smile. "Well, I was thinking," he continues as he starts to pull a napkin towards him to settle over his lap, "If Beris was the name your parents gave you, it might be a clue. A lot of parents seem to use combinations of their own names when naming their kids." He starts to jab at his omelette with a fork and knife, slicing off a section, "My actual name was Rakouzo. My father is Rakash and my mother is Ouza." He twitches his shoulders in a shrug, " … well - it may be worth a consideration." With so few clues to begin with, even a small one may be worth something. "How about you ask around at Kurkar … and I can also ask around the Bazaar and some of the Traders. Perhaps someone knows something?" He starts to dig into his omelette, heedless of the spices in the goat meat inside it. The heat really only serves to makehis skin to start to redden a bit in his cheeks. "And it's no problem love," he adds, giving Beris a smile, "I only wish I'd known earlier. I'm happy to help."

Beris slowly starts cutting off a piece of omelette, considering the very sensible logic that R'ku is presenting. "It's something to go on. I think I was old enough to tell them my name so…it could help." She can't help it watch R'ku as he tackles his far spicier meal, curious to see if he'll show a sign of how hot it is. "People at the bazaar do seem to know all sorts of things. If one of them knows something that'd be…well, good." She can't quite find the right word, so shrugs and starts eating her food. Ah yes, there are some red cheeks across the table, and presumably not from the conversation. Beris's smile is affectionate as she notices it. "Just don't let me get in the way of your job, okay?" She says, mock-sternly.

R'ku exhales in a gust after several bites into his omelette, obviously feeling the effects of the spices by this time - red cheeks have been joined by slightly watering eyes, "I have to wonder if this place gets their spices from my father - this is great!" Oddly enough, he seems enthused about the meal despite the obvious discomfort it seems to be having on his sinuses and tongue. Glutton for punishment perhaps? "And no worries on it affecting my job. It doesn't take me a lot to venture into the Bazaar on my off time and ask a few questions," he notes with a wry grin, "We'll see what we can find out. You ask around in Kurkar, I'll ask around in the Bazaar. We can report to each other on what we find at night when we're both home." That'll be interesting pillow talk, to be sure. R'ku goes silent for a few moments as he eats and drinks a bit. Then he makes a curious noise in his throat, "How old were you then when you were found? I was picturing you as a tiny baby or something."

Beris dips her face so she looks like she's focused on eating, and can hide her amusement at R'ku's reaction to the spice. "Probably - they are the best spices around, right?" She seems reassured that he's not going to get told off for spending time on this venture, and nods in agreement with his suggested plan. At this rate they'll have stuff stuck up on the wall of the weyr as they try to put the pieces together, string connecting pictures and papers. She's happy to eat while they're silent for a moment, and then she blinks at R'ku's question, thinking. "I was a couple of years old, I think. Not a baby but, not old. I suppose I was just given a birthday, if they couldn't get out of me when mine actually was." She doesn't sound too bothered but his - it is how it is, matter of fact.

R'ku takes a break from burning his tongue with spices to ponder this, "Sounds more like 'Beris' would probably be your actual name. You had to have been old enough to at least know your name. Unless 'Beris' was a nickname or a shortened version of your actual name … " He trails off, considering this, before shrugging with a sigh, "We'll have to find out what information there is. Someone has to know something." R'ku's ever the optimist. He's silent for a few more moments before he seems to go a bit serious, "What will you do if we find them and they really did abandon you?" Though the tone in his voice likely indicates he is hoping or really wishing this wasn't the case.

"Maybe I couldn't even say my whole name," Beris volunteers a theory of her own, off the back of R'ku's suggestions. "Yeah." She'll try to cling on to his optimism and not fall back into worrying the task is just too damn big to accomplish. He brings up a good point though, about that possibility. Beris is silent, prodding at her omelette without eating, as she imagines that scenario. "I guess…I've gone this long without knowing them. It would be horrible if that's the case but…it's not like I need them now, right?"

R'ku is contemplative for a moment, pausing only to take a sip of klah. "Well - true, you don't need them. But at least at that point you would /know/, right? I imagine it's the uncertainty that is really causing you pain." And knowing is half the battle and all that. R'ku leans forward, his gaze intent and his voice full of warmth, "No matter what you find out, though, just remember that you are what you are no matter what happened and no matter what may have forced your parents to give you up." He sets his mug down with a soft *thump* and adds after a brief pause, "I fell in love with /you/, after all, regardless of what happened all those turns ago. You're your own person and you'll still be Beris in the end, right?"

Okay, now Beris is really getting choked up. For good reason of course - R'ku is being so terrible sweet, she doesn't know how to react and her throat suddenly feels tight. She puts down her fork and reaches across the table to touch his arm, buying herself a few moments while she tries to pull herself together to speak. "Thank you," she manages to get out in a half-whisper, her eyes looking rather wet as she meets his gaze. Knowing she'll actually cry if she tries to do anything else, she'll go back to eating her food, and turn the conversation to other things - like the kid that's just slipped over outside and fallen in a puddle of something.

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