Veresch, Threvobek


It's way after hours but pie can still be enjoyed. For a little while.


It is the eighty-second day of Winter and 20 degrees. It is a clear night.


Sidestreets, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


Bazaar Sidestreet

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

Any pretense of lingering cold within the small staging arenas was false amid dozens of bodies and a Weyr's geothermic bonanza. Several fight patrons filter through the double hinged doors into the open but many stay within the pit to finish their drinks and socialization. This is the cockfight crowds, the ruffians too poor (or cheap) for the tunnelsnake divisions. Threvobek is commonplace in this crowd, a crowd composed of those who like him, those who don't, and those who wouldn't care if Thread ate him but would have a drink in his honor. No loitering within tonight though he is rue to see Tarla part from his side. She stays with the establishment.

With the night's embrace upon them, the crowd is surely of the rowdier type, and yet there are younger ones too, dirty urchins, nameless boys that always hang around events like these in the hope of achieving recognition or a job on the side. In time they'll grow up into men like Rev. For the moment they mill around, and tonight is no different. There's a yammering crowd of them outside the door, offering to fetch things (not all of them legal!), and it takes some time to make one's way between them. Still, escape is attained, and eventually there are dark alleys around. The sounds of the bazaar fade slowly, with small bits of trade still occurring. In one abandoned stretch, there's an old man arguing vociferously with a thin boy, tall enough but slim as the wind, and dirty as hell.

Threvobek has a scarf bent around his neck somewhere and tugs it higher on the back of this neck once outside. That is the extent of his cold weather preparation this winter night. Sounds are still plentiful behind him in the makeshift arena, wordless aural blobs of keyed-up men with alcohol courage. You know, the fake stuff. Threvobek shakes his head when one of the adolescents approaches him with offers. He's broke and says so. But everyone says that. As his eyes focus away from the red interior lighting— a trick of scarves; showcases the blood more— he doesn't believe who he thinks he sees. And pursues her.

It's always difficult to believe what one sees upon a moonlit night. In this case, however, his eyes did not deceive him. Ahead of him, a few twists into the sidestreets, there's a young woman (girl?) dressed in black, with nothing agleam about her. It was just a momentary glimpse of profile, the lack of an Adam's apple; in the end it leads to a darker alley and a figure that's waiting for him, patiently, arms crossed and eyebrows arched up. "Good evening," Veresch greets, slight irritation on her face, eyebrows arched. "Didn't expect you to follow me, Rev."

All he noticed was "female" at first glimpse. Age and stance parred her identity down further and then Veresch's voice clinched it. Threvobek catches up, "funny, I didn't expect you to be a fancier of ambushes." His voice comes out with a firm rush of visible breath. "What in Faranth's name brings you out alone here? You father would scorch you." Eyes scan the shadows behind the young woman, trying to scry any details of an armed gang, pack of aggressive canines, or at the very least an obscene pile of runner dung Veresch could fall victim to.

Alas for him. There's no dung, gangs, little urchins or stray splinters for her to fall over. All there is, in fact, is a narrowing of her eyes at him, and a lowering of her eyebrows as she uncrosses her arms. "My father doesn't need to know of this," she says tightly, intently. "I've been running around this place for the last two turns now, so there's nothing here that's going to catch me." There's an instant that she seems wild, fey-touched, all gleaming eyes, but seconds later her posture shifts and she shrugs. "I'm just … checking up on a few things, Rev. No need to be worried."

Threvobek is aware of the exchange dissolving between the old man and the waif, their sector of the bazaar grows quiet. Voice is toned down to match the overall atmosphere. "Listen Veresch," composure adjusting for an 'education'. His left arm is guided over her shoulders, its weight half of what it could be. And here we go out of the sidestreet into the slightly less alarming main route. "You seem like a smart cookie. You're trusted by the Weyrleaders, you and your family are educated," with nothing to go on for Veresch's mother, he takes a chance—it's gambling night, there's a theme. Rev forces a stop and the weight of his arm doubles, constricts for a two, three seconds then is withdrawn completely. "But only STUPID people charge into dark alleys with good faith! And a woman no less." Looking coyly over each shoulder, "do you at least have a weapon?"

Being escorted out of the sidestreet by that arm over her shoulder, Veresch is so surprised at the action that she actually goes along with it, and remains silent throughout the strange one-arm hug she receives afterwards. "Rev," she says quietly, calmly. "I don't like it when you imply that you're stupid. I know you're not, so you should stop it as well." After all, he did charge into the alley on the blind faith that it was her. Her mouth cants into a wry smile and eyebrows arch up. "Weapons?" she asks innocently, though that gleam's back in her eyes. "Has it occurred to you that perhaps I'm charging in there on their orders?" Pause. "Want something to eat? I know a vendor down here that owes me a few."

Threvobek takes a breath quick on impulse but the words to ride it are just a little slower. Damn women. "I'm a man, I can take care of myself, and the only one's gon' miss me if I'm dead is Ulmaren because he might have to scrape beast shit for a day or two until he finds another worker to do it." Running out of breath he snatches more. "The Weyrleaders have enough brains not bid you wander alone at night, don't insult them." The vapor around his head finally begins to dissipate and his face is all the clearer. "I could eat," always. "But not until you tell me why you're really out here." With self-authorized authority, arms fold.

She stares up at Rev as he speaks; oddly enough, rather than get irritated as she normally does, the lecture causes a small smile. "Well, if you say so. I'll tell you what I may, but then you're going to walk with me whilst I do so, because I'm not going to stand here and explain myself on the spot. Just so that you know, I'd miss you at least, and likely my father." So saying she moves a little forward, slips one arm around his closer arm, and starts walking. "There was a sort of … of uprising in the Bazaar some time ago. About half a turn or so. It eventually sorted itself out, but … well. Suffice it to say that I still feel a bit delicate about it, that it needs watching at times, and I keep an eye on the tight spots. I know this place quite well enough to be in no trouble." There's a pause as she considers, then leads him to the stall she had spoken about. Once there, she slips away and starts haggling with the woman there — it's a blur of how are yous, murmurs about family, friends and food. Eventually she returns with a large twist of cloth. "That and I need to prove something to myself. How not to be afraid. D'you understand?"

Threvobek's arms slowly unknot as their arms link and doesn't miss a beat as far as walking's concerned. He listens, head turning to Veresch just once to see if her expression matches her explanation. "It wasn't that much of an uprising." And speaking of daddy dearest, "I'm still going to tell your father." Still gonna miss him now? "Being afraid helps keep you alive." Having risked their brief friendship— and probably the snack— Rev cedes, "but I admit you have game." Like those determined bleeding fowl. Once reaching their alleged destination he homes his hands in his pockets in the absence of gloves but otherwise seems tolerant of the cold. With no wind it's almost kind of balmy. Eyeing the cloth in Veresch's hands, "that's too much roughage for my taste."

Veresch might be flippant at times, but now, in the night, she's just herself — perhaps a quieter, more thoughtful version of the daytime girl. "I think," she says gently, "that you only say that because you weren't much involved." Stark truth. "If you want to tell my father… well, that's your choice." Peeking about, she snags his arm again and drags him down a dark alley, one that terminates in a tiny courtyard with stacked crates. "Come on." She scoots towards the crates, makes herself at home on the lee side of a stack and undoes the cloth wrapping to reveal five pies. "Here." She portions out three to him, inviting him to a seat next to her. "No need to chew the cloth."

Threvobek rolls his shoulders under the cold starlight as they progress through a smaller pass with crumbling cobblestones. He nods his thanks over his shoulder to the vendor without knowing who she is. Surveying the small street's outlet: "Now this is ambiance. Guess the violinist must'a retired early." Customary in Igen to brush a potential seat off before sitting, Rev heeds tradition and sits on a crate once bearing olives. "All I'm saying is it could have been worse." Teeth sink into the pie without asking for flavor.

Now that's not something that Veresch can argue with. That long-ago event could have been much, much worse. She merely shrugs. Given that he's sitting as well, she turns a little to shelter in the corner created between his body and the stack of crates. "This is what you risk poking around after sunset," she says lightly, nibbling at her pie with small bites. "Besides, it's free, the ambience, so hush." Moments later, thoughtfully, "You know, you could have just walked past when you saw me."

Threvobek corrects his posture by spinning the angle of his legs but there's an additional crate in the way so resting sideways it is. The scarf around his neck is poked back further into the layers of cotton and cheap leather lest pie eating manifest to pie wearing. "I mean, I can see," still chewing and now swallowing, "how the Weyr would want to monitor status changes in the masses. 'specially since the bazaar is a trade route for more than just goods. For every bolt of nice textiles," latching onto another bite but continuing with it stacked in one cheek, "is a scrap of gossip from all corners of Pern. And then you add oldtimers into the mix." Color him unimpressed. "I thought you might be Larson's sister at first, a guy I know. With the fight crowd dispersing, your timing was especially poor. Nothing like half-drunk men high on a win or laid low from a loss." Fitting in, "good pie."

"Rev," Veresch says with a certain measure of asperity, "My timing was perfect for what I had wanted to do, which was get information from that old woman, so please don't tell me that it was wrong. All it does is irritate me." Pause. "A lot. Eat your pies." Dusting her hands off, she wraps her last pie back up in the cloth and tucks it away underneath her tunic. "This is one of the reasons I really dislike nowtimer men — you always think you know best, you know everything. You don't." Dipping her head in greeting, she measures the stack of crates. "Good evening to you."

Threvobek's jaw retracts, front teeth sliding by as he meets Veresch's eyes resolutely. "I might not be the leaders' right hand man but I'm entitled to more than just licking pastry." Holding remnants of the second pie he holds his head over the crate to renew eating. "Don't forget to whistle while you walk."

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