Pass the Bottle (Aishen is Searched)

Monaco Bay Weyr - Craft Clearing
Tucked up in the lee of the rocky outcropping that extends from the hatching caverns, the crafter complex is a compact set of buildings and workshops that house the industry that keeps the Weyr running. The buildings ring a paved, octagonal central courtyard which is often used for apprentice lessons. Most of the major crafts have representation: the smithcraft has a squat stone building with billowing smoke rising from its chimney, while the miners and glasscrafters share a two-storied complex next door. Woodcrafters run up against harpers, which in turn abutt against the low-slung apprentice barracks. There's even a small cafeteria located just beside the barracks, for those crafters too busy to go all the way to the commons to catch a meal. To the south, behind a screen of scrubby trees, lies the beastcrafter area and runnerbeast compound, complete with a dirt racetrack oval.


The knot - properly worn, even! - says vintnercraft, with no sign of posting colors. So why is Aishen here, perched on a bench outside of Monaco Bay's apprentice barracks, long legs stretched before him and a bottle of indeterminate but likely ilicit - or at least alcoholic - beverage in one hand? Probably a good question. Feel free to interrupt the introspective reverie on his russet-beareded face, draw the attention of those distant sapphire eyes to your own. Or just go on by, and leave him to lurk in wait for someone who doesn't seem to realize - or care - that he's here.

For the record, Leia doesn't belong here either — probably much less so than our dear, proper-knot-wearing vintnercrafter whose origins can be faintly guessed (the vintner craft!), but whose destination is one that we just cannot be so sure of. Likewise: Leia's wearing her knot, and it announces the fact that she's a bluerider from Half Moon Bay Weyr IN BOLD KNOTINESS. That's it though. Just those two things noted by colors and ties and giving away nothing about why she's suddenly at Aishen's bench, sinking to sit so that her shoulder is pressed in against his like they've known each other for turns and reaching for that bottle like they've already issued polite greetings and exchanged at least their names. Introspective reverie: probably interrupted. Leia doesn't care why Aishen is here, just that he is, and now the bluerider is shifting her body, red hair falling to the side as she tips her check onto Aishen's shoulder (assuming he hasn't chucked her far from his person yet) and eyeing his bottle of POSSIBLY ILLICIT (and not even more illicit, because she stole it) drinks before blinking blue eyes up towards the sky. "Tell me your secrets," she whispers to him, bringing the bottle to her nose and pausing just before she brings it to her lips.

The faint wisp of malted hops are overlaid with the rich scent of Neratian chocolate and klah, and the taste amplifies both of those, cutting the bitterness of the beer with rich sweetness. Aishen stares at his hand where once his bottle rested, then glances down, studying the redhead curled against his side. He blinks slowly at her, then shrugs his unencumbered shoulder and reaches down into a small bag at his side, pulling free another unlabeled bottle. Setting it betwen his thighs, he twists off the top with practiced ease, the lifts it, reaching out to knock the top of his bottle against hers. "I'll forgive you one," he rumbles thoughtfully, "because everyone deserves a drink when they need one. A," he emphasizes, before taking a swig of his new bottle.

Aishen's words earn him a huff of muted laughter as Leia shifts her shoulder and settles a little more comfortably against the man, tilting her head to watch as he reveals yet another bottle and she… looks away. "That is not a secret," she tells him, even as she rolls her eyes back to his face and tilts her bottle towards his. That soft sound of glass against glass means SHE JUST MADE A TOAST (to his willingness to accommodate her, probably), and then she's shifting once more as she brings it to her lips for that first taste and - "Oh, Faranth. That's actually really good." Another tilt of the bottle, one eye closing as she squints into it as if she just might divine the technique behind this particular bottle's brew by staring hard enough, and then she sighs as she sinks ONLY ALL OF HER (unimpressive) WEIGHT BACK IN AGAINST AISHEN in resignation. "What do I have to do for the second bottle?"

There's a glint in that azure gaze - a wicked spark that lingers overlong before blossoming to laughter. "Oh, what I could say. But the truth is, nothing at this moment." To emphasize his words, Aishen tugs the sack closed, drawing the draw-string tight and tying it off. "The rest of these are for my sister - she'll inevitably need bribes to get herself out of the trouble she's bound to get herself into. Plus," he adds, with a deep, rumbling chuckle, "she appreciates a good beer. I'm glad you like it, though. It's my Neratian brew, made from plants local to the Hold. There's usually some available at the Hall if you ever find yourself in Tillek." He pauses, taking a swig, his gaze steady on the top of her head. "Which, I suppose, if that knot is correct, isn't something you'd have much trouble with."

Trouble? Leia likes trouble; there's a hint of that suggestion in the lilt of her lips, and another huff of laughter that grows into something more vibrant for what he could say. "Well," comes soft, "You would at least have to take me to dinner first." IS SHE JOKING? It's hard to tell, though she does reach out to flick his knot with her fingers, as though ensuring that it's not an apprentice she's engaging in drink and innuendo with. "Getting around, you mean?" comes with dark humor, even if she tilts her head just enough to give Aishen the kind of wide, doe-eyed look that says there's anything but innocence making up the bulk of that question. It's that wicked smile that comes around the lip of her bottle that confirms it, another swig as she looks away and - "I could be your sister, you know. Even if it's just for a day. What does she call you?" Swig. SHE'S GETTING THAT SECOND BOTTLE, AISHEN. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

"I have no doubt in my mind you and Wendyn would probably get along like white on rice," is Aishen's mild response, even as he tucks the bag more firmly against his side, that unwavering sapphire gaze never quite leaving hers. "And what she calls me depends what she wants and how likely she is to get it. Ash when she's wheedling, Aishen when she's annoyed." He grins suddenly, with wicked amusement, white teeth flashing as his beard parts. "And less savory words I'll not repeat in the presence of a stranger for those times when I really piss her off." He swigs, then turns the bottle neck between his fingers, swinging it lightly to and fro. "And what do they call you when they're chasing you out of whatever trouble you've found?"

"Ahhh," Leia whispers, as if Aishen's names and the times he's called them serve to enlighten her on many a thing. "Well met, Ash-Aishen." GET IT? Because she WANTS HIS BOOZE, and she's ANNOYED he won't give it to her. It comes around a smile that shows too many teeth, that doesn't diminish even as he flashes his and TREATS HER LIKE SHE MIGHT STEAL FROM HIM and — "Like 'bastard'?" Comes innocent enough, but the implication is there — playfully, even if those doe-eyed blinks say SHE'S JUST MAKING SURE. "I'm starting to see her point." POINTED LOOK for his bag. "And probably stingy, too?" Innocence feigned, implication still there… and then that smile transforms. "They just call me Leia." A beat, "Or madwoman. Or crazy. Sometimes they call me Th'ero." There's probably a story behind that, but she's not giving it up. Not yet. "Is that why you're lurking here? Are you hoping to find your sister in the middle of trouble you can booze her out of?"

Takes a thief to know a thief, and Aishen's gaze never once wavers from hers, even as he shifts his hip to plant atop the drawstrings. "I have been accused of being such," he rumbles, a hint - just a hint - of temper beneath the mild words. "I don't see where the circumstances of my birth - or of my fathers' relationship - have much to do with my attitude, aptitude, or disposition. Wendyn, however, usually prefers 'asshole'. She's never, however, accused me of being stingy. I'm usually inclined to give her what she wants." He sighs and lifts his bottle, draining the last before letting it dangle from his fingertips. "She was just assigned here, so I was hoping to make the transition a little easier on her. And, well… she finds trouble as easily as she finds a good ma- ah, gem."

Leia doesn't have the good grace to look apologetic, even at that hint of temper. Instead, she says, "Well, you know what we say to those people, don't you?" A beat, as she meets his eyes, as she holds his gaze for a beat longer than what might be reasonable or comfortable, and then she brings up her middle finger between them. THAT is what you say to them… at least, that's what her wicked smile says. "You might want to shove the whole thing under you, you know. I have clever fingers, a clever tongue, and a knife, just in case both of those fail." Brows rise up, but… she's probably joking. First of all, she's a dragonrider. That smile comes again and… she flops back, settling against the Journeyman as she listens, and dips her head in understanding, and - "She and I have the same problem, it would seem. About finding good gems." One, two, three… "If I can't have the booze, can I at least have you?" And now Leia is shifting again, to watch Aishen as she closes her lips around the bottle in a way that… might be lewd, except it's not so much so (if it is) to be alarming. She just… catches her lips on it without making any other lewd gestures, locks eyes with him, and waits.

"Tempting as it may be," and Aishen's tone suggests that the temptation - however slim - exists, "I'm afraid, like you said, dinner first." Although he does not ease away, there's a subtle shift of muscle in shoulder and arm, as a hint of wariness enters eyes and voice, echoing down through stance until he's clearly ready to shift away - or throw her away - at a moment's notice. "What game are you playing at, rider?" Although it seems more words crowd behind his bearded lips, they remain tightly closed in a thin line after he poses that question, no hint of his previous affability on his face. Slowly, he draws the bottle up along his fingertips, until the full neck is gripped firmly in his hand - non-threateningly, but still clearly in hand and ready for use.

"We can do dinner," Leia offers around that bottle, and then she laughs against it before she calms just enough to take a drink. "I forgot that one," she offers on a sigh. "'Rider.'" A beat. "I get that a lot too." But what is she playing at? "I want to say that I'm thinking of a way to confiscate your stash of alcohol, buuuut…" A lick of her lips, a pass of tongue over her teeth and Leia hesitates a moment before extending her not-quite-finished bottled to Aishen, even if her eyes go to the bottle that could be dangerous if he needed it to be and… Leia seems to delight in that, a spark in her eyes, a hint of curling at her lips that has her hiccupping another breath of laughter because… yep. She finds that funny. "Don't threaten me with a good time, Journeyman," comes on a wicked whisper, as she waggles her bottle at him and closes her other hand around his. "Not unless you intend to follow through." Is she GETTING CLOSER? THROW HER AWAY, AISHEN. "Well, go on. Take the bottle." Except… if he goes to actually take the bottle, she isn't passing him a bottle. NOT AT ALL.

There's a stillness to Aishen, a lack of humor in his expression that should probably tell Leia that he's no longer finding her antics quite so amusing. This an almost feral wariness that speaks of turns in places not quite as savory as the craft-hall courtyard of a tropical paradise masquerading as a Weyr. "My alcohol is completely legal," comes the murmur, just a hint of emphasis on the noun - suggesting that maybe not everything about him falls on that side of the law. Bottle remains gripped, fingers flexing and tensing as her own close over his. "I enjoy a good brawl as much as the next person - probably a bit more, in truth, but I understand it's not good to risk a rider." His eyes dart about, as if seeking out the second half of the pairing. "That said, I think I'll take my leave." He reaches out to accept the bottle back from her, gaze falling back to watch oh-so-warily. "Come see me in Tillek, and I'll be happy to sell you a case."

HOW DARE HE. IS HE LEAVING? Leia doesn't seem in the least daunted - not by his lack of humor, not by his suggestions, not by anything. She just watches him from around that infuriating smile, the kind that says she doesn't care what he — or anybody else, for that matter - thinks. There's humor to be found in everything, even when every wrong move leads them to here: him misunderstanding, and leaving. So Leia's shoulders sink in the way that says FINE, she'll let you in on the joke and she slips a white knot into his hand in place of that bottle. "Or," she says slowly, softly, around another smile, "You could put those somewhere safe, and come back with me to Half Moon Bay. Chauth laid a clutch, you know. They look sturdy." And Leia rises to her feet, still in possession of the bottle. "But I'll keep this - just in case. Candidates are barred from alcohol after all, even the legal kind." And now she's walking backwards, brow rising. "And just so we're clear, you are handsome, but I really do prefer a dinner of five before we get to that kind of a brawl. Meet me in the clearing when you're ready if you're coming. I'm here for the day, so you have some time." A beat, a roll of her shoulders in a shrug, and another smile. "Or don't. Foryth saw something in you, though, and it wasn't just the wicked brew. Thanks, by the way." Another drink, another smile around it, and she's turning on her heel, to make her way back to Foryth. And she will wait - a whole day, even, to see if he comes to join her. It's up to him entirely, and there's truly no pressure.

The world drops away, and Aishen is caught flat-footed, mentally stumbling to a halt as the threatened brawl - or seduction - instead becomes something he wasn't quite prepared for. In his hand, where he expected a bottle, rests now a white knot, and there goes the bluerider, speech delivered, offer made, to saunter off. "Hey. Hey!" Confusion with a hint of anger, a dash of startlement, and maybe just a sprinkling of fear shivers through his deep voice as he snatches up his satchel, hooking it over his shoulder and striding after her. "What is this? Search? Lady, I'm twenty-four years old, I'm not some green apprentice with dragons in his eyes. If you want another bottle that bad, I'll take it as a compliment and hand it over." With some effort, he cracks half a smile, a bare lifting of lip-corner that speaks not so much of humor as a half-hearted attempt to smooth things over.

Leia stills just enough to turn, to watch him approach, but she's already starting to walk again when he catches up, when he smiles, and offers another bottle in lieu of actually having to stand. "The joke was going to be confiscating your bag under the disguise of search - which you ruined, by the way." Is there a hint of humor, a hint of something appreciative beneath that smile? Yes, yes there is. "I wouldn't have followed through, but it would have been a good line. And you ruined it." All sing-song, all airy, all as if she's not really listening. But she is. "But the truth is that this is Search, and that maybe you're not some green apprentice with dragons in his eyes, but I have a very handsome, dependable blue with you in his. And he saw something. He wants you." And there's a rumble - a purr of sound, almost, as that blue turns up. He's handsome, built for flight and… well… agility. "So what is it, Ash? Are you coming up, or are you letting him down?" Because she reaches Foryth, and she turns to face the Journeyman with her hands on her hips. "It's probably even your last chance to stand, really. Twenty-four, did you say? Practically pushing daisies." Tsk. Smile.

Maybe not the best way to start off your Candidacy, with jaded wariness in your eyes and a sinking feeling in your stomach, but Aishen doesn't seem inclined to pass back that white knot - along with a bottle of beer, and return to waiting for his sister to appear from whatever task she's put herself to this time. "You know, I'm a brewer by trade," he remarks conversationally. "A bartender - occasional bar-fighter - and a lover of my own wares. And you want me to voluntarily submit myself to however many months of sobriety for a pretty white knot and the chance to chain myself to someone else for the rest of my life?" He glances up - up, up, up - at Foryth and gives a grim little grin. "No offense, man." Then his gaze drops back to Leia and lets out a long sigh. "Well, hell. Never been one to back away from a challenge." Question is, is the challenge going sober - or finding a way around, or under, the rules? Guess everyone'll find out. "But If I can't have my beer, you can't have my beer. Let me drop it with her, and I'll go with you."

"For what it's worth, he doesn't stop me from drinking." Not now, anyway. There was a time when he did, but NO MORE. "He doesn't stop me from much of anything." Short of those limits all dragons are subject to. But… there's another curl of her lips, feigned disappointment (and, perhaps, some real disappointment) when the man decides SHE CAN'T HAVE HIS BEER EITHER. "That's the rudest thing a man has ever said to me," she tells him around another wicked curl of her lips. "Not getting yourself any closer to that brawl, you know." Though she's nodding her head, running fingers along Foryth's neck. "We'll be waiting, Ash." So… why does that sound so damn ominious?

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