Who

Va'os, Rielle

What

Va'os and Rielle try to get away for a bit at the Kitten.

When

It is sunset of the first day of the eighth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

The Tipsy Kitten, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 29 Mar 2018 06:00

 

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"I was just trying to match you. The whole 'run ragged' look."


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The Tipsy Kitten

Here there be drunkards: a marble bar and the gorgeous array of colored bottles behind it would be enough to draw them in, but more yet lures those to enjoy the recreation the Kitten has to offer. Windows allow light to naturally illuminate the first floor of the tavern in the daytime, while green-tinted glows shine after nightfall. A door behind the bar leads to the tiny kitchen, while a stairway leads above to the rooms available for rent. Among the hubbub and the ruckus, a calamity of tables scatter through the open space, plenty enough for dragonpoker tournaments on restday eve.


Sunset finds the skies clear over Southern but the brighter weather is almost a mockery given recent events. With more riders falling ill again, morale about the Weyr is likely strained, to say the least. Even in the Kitten, the atmosphere is laced with tension beneath the facade of casual conversations and sporadic laughter. Va'os is tucked away in a quieter corner, dealing himself a fresh hand in a game of solitaire or what passes as the Pernese equivalent. Even his usual easy going manner is replaced with a sobered expression and distracted frown; beside him, a few empty shot glasses and a full tankard of ale. No surprise that the Weyrleader is drinking… and heavily at that.

Rielle counts herself lucky to not have fallen to the illness that's been claiming far too many of them. She'd tried to avoid it for Zariel's sake at first, but her conscience wouldn't allow her to steer clear when she might be able to help. Her wing hasn't been immune, of course, but she's been able to help them stay healthier than Tiglon, at least. And she's also been fussing over Va'os, who at least seems well enough to drink again. Her own need of a drink draws her into the Tipsy Kitten following dinner, Va'os' familiarity pulling her back toward his table. A simple hot toddy in hand, she takes one look at his expression and settles herself quietly across from him, watching his game. She's exhausted herself, a shadow lingering around her eyes that hasn't been there in months past. "Mark for your thoughts, Va'os," she murmurs finally, teal gaze lifting from the cards to his face.

The soft snap-sound of a card being set to the tabletop is all that answers Rielle at first, but Va'os isn't ignoring her. In fact, his expression changes long enough to offer her a smile at the sound of her voice. His gaze won't lift immediately, but when it does, there's the same exhausted look staring right back at her; only he's slightly flushed with the gradual burn of a decent alcoholic buzz. "If that's the case, I'd be filthy rich by now," he quips, mouth curving into something more of a wry smirk as he sets the rest of the cards aside. "Hey. You look rough," He's either too tired or feeling bold enough to risk saying that bluntly to her face. "Long day?" Of course it's been. Again. For all of them!

Rielle prefers blunt, and certainly doesn't mind it from Va'os. She trusts blunt coming from him, at least. "I think that's become the way of things," she says to answer his question. "I was just trying to match you. The whole 'run ragged' look. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and all." A wry glint flickers through her eyes as she tilts her glass to her lips, a soft sigh leaving her after she swallows. "I don't think…I've ever felt so helpless in my entire life," she confesses quietly. "I can't imagine how Varden and the rest of the Healers must be feeling right now. Or you." She reaches across the table to take his hand gently.

Va'os' laughter is genuine, even if it feels out of place in the current state of things. They won't get stared at for it, but he doesn't bother sobering himself right off (and maybe the alcohol has something to say in that). "Well then, I'm flattered you're going for the 'haven't had a decent sleep in half a Turn' look… to put it lightly." He'll reach for the neglected tankard and tip it to her in a mock toast before bringing it to his lips for a shallow drink of ale. He's not looking to get roaring drunk here! Just comfortably numb. "I think we'll all be relieved to know what's the cause of this is." he mutters, while reaching to take her hand in turn. He accidentally ends up scattering the cards from his game; not a bad example to a symbol to his scattered thoughts. Squeezing her hand, he'll then let it go to work on gathering the cards and stacking them neatly. "Three riders are sick in Jaguar now. Not long after we turfed those squatters from the barracks… Some Guards are down too."

Well pleased with having brought out Va'os' laughter, a sound she never tires of, Rielle grins even as she nods agreement to finding out what's causing this Star-spawned illness. After another sip of her hot toddy, she idly watches him make the cards neat again. "I have one down. R'hel, another brownrider. Seems comparatively mild, though I don't know if that has more to do with the medicines I've been asking them to take or the fact that he's just a hardy old bastard." Old relative to her, anyway. "Just makes me think it must originate with them all the more." The refugees. "Are any of them still around, or have we gotten them all out to rebuild?"

"I'd put marks down on him just being a tough old bastard. Most brown riders are! Y'know. If you believe the stereotypes." Va'os smirks and, with the cards now stacked, he leans back in his chair to set them aside and likely returning them to where he found them. When he turns to face her again, his mood has sobered again, along with the topic."If any of them are still lurking here, it's because they're too young, not of good health or too old to handle travelling in the rain and to only a half repaired home." Why does it sound like he's assuming this is the case? Because he probably is taking a large guess at it! Most of his day is consumed with figuring out how they're to keep fighting Threadfall with weakened numbers.

"I'll keep that in mind when I hit fifty," Rielle remarks drolly. Then things are sobering again, and she sighs once more as she weighs Va'os' reply. "Would it sound monstrous of me to say I wish they could be quarantined until we figure this out?" she says, her voice straining with the very suggestion. "Shards, it could be how to figure it out." Shaking her head, she lifts her glass once more and empties it with a toss that looks rather frustrated. With the situation. With herself. Perhaps both.

Va'os scoffs, "Who said fifty is old? I heard that's the prime of your life!" See? He's probably going to still be kicking it around eighty and only really slow down in his nineties! Or, to keep with a morbid sense of things: he'll die before he reaches his golden Turns. "Too late for that, I'm afraid," he sighs at her suggestion, only to give her a reassuring look. "Hardly monstrous of you either. Pretty sure they do that sort of shit all the time when a strange illness breaks out! But we've sent 'em all packing back to Black Rock and I'm not about to piss them all off again by rounding them up and dragging them back…" Given they just kicked them out!

"I suppose that depends on how we live," Rielle says to Va'os' first, a smirk tilting her lips. "And yes, they do do that. But I'm talking about the ones who are still here. The ones who've left won't matter now if they're carriers; our people won't die off them anymore." She frowns at that, uncomfortable with how dehumanizing it is to have to think of people in terms of potential disease-carriers and little else right now. But it's difficult not to when their ranks are thinning because of whatever this is. "Faranth…I'm so glad it didn't get you like it could have," she tells Va'os suddenly, her tone strained as slightly over-bright teal eyes flick to his face. Through a combination of booze and exhaustion, her emotions are bubbling just a little closer to the surface than normal.

All conversations are put on pause when Rielle starts to crack emotionally. "Hey," Va'os murmurs softly and though he lets go of her hand, it's only so he can pat the chair beside him. Come here? "I'd tell you that it's not good to think like that but I know better. Kind of happens, doesn't it? I went to some dark places too, when I was sick." He grimaces, shaking his head and then rolling his shoulders as if to rid himself of those memories. "And either you have one sharding amazing immune system Rielle or a damn fortune in good luck not to have been felled by it."

Rielle moves quite willingly to sit beside Va'os and tuck herself against his side, a deep, slow breath drawn to steady herself. She nods when he mentions that it just happens; thinking those sorts of thoughts seems inevitable, though she usually manages to keep it brief. Her arm slips around him, her head resting against his shoulder. "I'm betting on a bit of both," she says to his last with a little snort. "I've built up some pretty good resistances over the Turns just by virtue of what I did before, and I've been trying to be careful with most everything lately, though since we still don't know what's causing it…well. Luck it is."

Va'os leans back in his seat and turns so that Rielle can settle comfortably against him. Eventually his arm will slip around her too and he could care less who may glance their way and gossip later in their open display of affection. Maybe, for once, no one will care, given the recent events! "One perk of being a Healer, I guess?" he muses, while reaching for his ale with his free hand. Waste not, want not! Once the last of it has been drained, he'll set the tankard aside and draw Rielle closer in a brief squeeze-hug to his side. Reassuring, affectionate and comforting! Because his words are going to be hardly that. "… I can't promise you that something won't happen to me, Rielle." he murmurs after a heavy exhale of breath. "It's just one of those shitty things about life."

"I know that." Simply and factually stated. "I've seen too much to fool myself into thinking otherwise. But I can hope." Rielle lifts her head to catch Va'os' eyes. "I'm too fond of you not to do that, you know." With another sigh, she relaxes against him, quiet for a long moment. "Would you like to come over tonight?" she finally asks softly. With him being sick and all, she's been keeping the question to herself for the sake of make sure he's recovered. Maybe he is by now…and all they're dealing with is the exhaustion of keeping things afloat now.

A quiet laugh and Va'os tilts his head to rest it against Rielle's for a moment. "Yeah, I know." A man of so few words, yet so much is said in the same breath. He doesn't feel the need to verbally express his mutual fondness of her. Someday, they will have to seriously talk but that day isn't now. Her offer is met with a grin. "Is your weyr closer? Otherwise, you're welcome to crash mine but either way, I'd like company." Even if he may not have much in the way of energy for much in the long run. Exhaustion (and recovery) is a bit of a buzz kill!

Rielle can't help but grin at Va'os' reply, the first true grin she's allowed herself today, if she recalls correctly. She may not; she's tired. "Mmmmm…mine is cleaner, but yours has more ledge room and is definitely closer. So yours wins." And she's perfectly fine with the bacheloresque state of cozy chaos he has going on; she just can't resist teasing him about it from time to time. Va'os energy level - or lack thereof - doesn't matter to her; it really just being with him that she wants, regardless of how much they do or don't do. Sometimes the simplest, truest embrace is all that intimacy requires to be sated. "Whenever you're ready," she murmurs, tilting her head up to kiss the point at the back of his jaw beneath his ear before straightening so that he can make his own shift.

"See? I told you you'd get used to it!" Va'os will tease her right back about the state of his weyr. They probably had that wager going ages ago. Either way, he wins tonight and he will grin again for the kiss she places by his jaw. "I'm ready! Let's go." Eagerness will see him moving swiftly from his seat and pulling her along with him. Somehow he avoids either of them being tangled up in a mess, given that alcohol is likely to go right to his head. The less walking they do, probably the better but he'll be remarkably steady on his feet for the most part. All the more excuse to hold her close though, right?

Chuckling as she finds herself so eagerly led onward, Rielle manages to snag her rain gear from the hook on her way out, slipping it on before walking the rest of the way with Va'os. All the more excuse indeed! She scarcely lets him go, her arm around his waist letting her keep herself tucked against him still. And there she'll remain as much as possible for the rest of the night…with a few variations, of course. Maybe they'll both get some good, sound sleep. Until it finds them, current worries can just stay well away for a good, blissful while.

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