Aede Ate a Runner (and other tales from the Hold)

Spring - Month 5 of Turn 2716
Half Moon Bay Hold - Hold Square
The road to Half Moon Bay hold leads right to the hold square, an open area surrounded by buildings of all sides. The square is the focal point for local politics with the courthouse and guardhouse nearby. The square separates the residential east side from the commercial west side of the hold, and there seems to be a steady supply of merchants traveling through it. There is a large empty space off to the side to allow for dragons to land and unpack their passengers and cargo.

Disclaimer: Um. It's Sev and Jae so… language.

It is a pleasant spring day, mid-morning with shining sun and cool breeze. The kind of day that foretells of good things. Unless your name is S'van, and then this morning holds nothing but DOOM in the form of a short, balding man and his hysterically crying child, both of whom are trying to convince the poor bronzerider that his dragon (who is not looking AT ALL innocent about twenty meters behind him) ate his daughter's pony. It's kinda hard to negotiate with a crying child, but Sev's trying to explain that the price of recompense is exorbitant. Only the words he's using are "You're crazy" and "That's way too much money!" Diplomacy. He does not have it. At least he isn't yelling, though by the looks of things, it might be getting pretty close to it. Whether or not Aede DID eat the runner seems to be a non-issue. Of course he ate the damn runner.

Why was J'en here? Why was S'van here? Shopping, a stroll in the loveliness to be found in a change of scenery, or looking for prized ponies to feed to Aedeluth? All of the above? One or two of those? Who knows. What is known is that the older bronzerider had a few brown paper wrapped parcels tied up with twine under one arm, lashes low and golden eyes scanning for the well-known silhouette of his weyrmate. His expression was, neutral, without being mask-like as he makes his way across the hold square easily maneuvering himself through the small gatherings of people blocking his path. As soon as he spots S'van, there is a pause and then the slow rise of one brow as his gaze slides from handsome tall bronzerider to red-faced holder and his squalling offspring. He can only make out bits and pieces of the conversation, not enough to shape the cause of all that discourse, and so long legs soon carry him to come casually stand beside S'van. He plays some catch up, looking between holder and weyrmate, twitching slightly at the taper of one brow for the wailing of the child. "…'ow much ‘e askin' for?" he inquires, making no reach for the pouch containing his marks. Nope. Tipping his chin upwards, a cool expression tints the edges of all the neutrality. As soon as he hears how much? "Yeah, no. We'll be goin' directly to the ‘arpers." You know, to hire one of those lawyerly types. "If yer runner was as valuable as ya say, ya'd ‘ave registered it with the beastcraft and they got records for that shit…" A drumbeat, and he slides his eyes upwards towards S'van, "…includin' ‘ow much it was worth…"

Really, it's the sniffling and sobbing and somewhat hysterical child that is giving Sev the most trouble. If just because her barrage of "He ate him, he ate him!" is both cringe-inducing as well as somewhat heart-breaking. But still, "Sentimental value is not a reason to inflate the price," is argued somewhat flatly, grey eyes absolutely refusing to look at the tearstained face of the child. Which is easily done, when the wandering over of his weyrmate provides him readily enough with an excuse to look away. "That thing was at least twenty-five turns old already." It's followed quickly by a scathing look towards the bronze beast who's started this, something vaguely like ‘not helping' hissed out between his teeth. "A hundred marks," offered as J'en approaches, Sev supplying the price even as the irate man echoes him with a much more demanding, "Hundred marks!" which is what he's determined the "Sentimental value and undue distress. My daughter had to bear witness to the consumption of her pet!" Cue extra screaming and a new round of garbled ‘he ate him' that has Sev lifting a hand to press to his forehead. J'en's resolve that they wouldn't be paying? Met with furious expression and what would likely be a renewed insistence on the worth of the animal until he catches the insignia. You can practically see the wheels turning in his head. Was this worth lodging a formal complaint? Was it worth arguing with TWO bronzeriders? Scowl. "Fifty then."

« And stringy as all get-out. Seriously. Not sure he was worth the effort. And I think there's a piece caught in my tooth… »

"He was nineteen!" insists the child, while "Ten" is what the holder tosses out. As the age, not as a counter. He's not THAT stupid! And there's a quick, sharp-eyed look to the girl for her unwelcome admission. Sev? Snorts in disbelief because, "I saw what it looked like," before Aede ate it. But it's under his breath, because J'en is countering half-prices with half-prices again, and the holder is trying unconvincingly to look as if he's going to argue it but who is he kidding? Twenty-five marks is more than that fleabag was worth even as a colt, and he knows it. "Deal. And get your dragon off my property," which… is met with a frown because, "It's a public field…" comes from S'van, who turns to make sure that Aede really IS still in public territory (Yup. And looking not at all ashamed for having eaten some little girls' pony. Admittedly, he didn't KNOW it was some little girl's pony or he would have eaten the draft-cross instead. But I digress…). Either way, the holder's pocketing the money with a swiftness that suggests he takes that ‘harper' threat very seriously (as he should) and then booking it around the pair of bronzeriders and towards the main Hold, dragging the still sobbing child along the way with placating murmurs of ‘we'll get you a new pony' only to be met with sniffling outrage. The hand on his forehead goes through his hair, as Sev just stands there and contemplates the series of unfortunate events that has led to this moment. And then there is just silence, because really. What does one say when their dragon has eaten a runner, and their weyrmate has paid for it? Well, probably, "thanks," for starters. And then a clearing of his throat. "I can…" ‘pay you back' is probably what he was going to say, except that 1) it's a lie. And 2) he knows J'en won't accept it anyways. "… carry those…" is what he says instead which is not much better. Cough-cough.

Nineteen. That is when J'en glances towards the insistent child and then towards the holder with only an arched brow to show for it. No comment made, this is all, not even with his weyrmate snorting and getting defensive. He lets both men say their peace, uninterrupted, simply curling his fingers in against his palm as soon as the marks have vanished and then drops his arm back to his side. S'van covers that whole ‘get off my property' whershit perfectly well on his own and so he watches as the holder gets while the getting is good and as soon as he is gone, golden eyes dart towards his weyrmate. A hand slides through brown hair and gratitude earns the younger bronzerider a softly hummed, "Hmmhmm…" Then he waits and might guess what was desired to be said but is not, shifting the parcels under his arm. "I ain't a woman…" Squint and then he's jerking his head off towards the local tavern, "…can drink water if ya want, but I need an ale…" Or five, because his head was pounding along with his rising blood pressure. With that he steps off in the direction indicated at an unhurried pace, assuming of course that S'van is of a mind to join him, "I wouldn't worry ‘bout it too much. High probability that ‘e left that animal out there for exactly that reason. Ya were just the unfortunate bastard who's lifemate dun give a shit what ‘e eats." J'en certainly didn't seem ruffled, but that big vein on the side of his temple might dictate otherwise. No blame is laid however, because by the time he's pulling the tavern door open the tension gathered in his shoulders was nothing at all. A pause just inside and the older bronzerider selects a table towards the back as always when it was up to him, all cast in shadow and gloom. Perfect. The packages are settled as far back from where they might be snagged by a sneak thief and he slides into a seat.

Yup. That went over about as well as Sev was expecting. So rather than try to explain away the awkwardness, he'll just fall into that fantastic default: silence. At least I comes with a hint of a smile. J'en walks and of course Sev follows, falling into step beside him. One hand reaches out, fingertips finding the leather jacket at the small of his back. "Not worried about the runner," he's quick to reply, which might mean he's just a LITTLE worried about the runner (or rather, the sobbing child half that used to have a runner). But he's not going to dwell on it. Not with his weyrmate proclaiming that he needed alcohol. "Are you alright?" Is asked in mild concern, voice dropped low but still loud enough to be easily heard by the intended recipient. His indiscriminate runner-eating and chaos-causing lifemate is ignored, except for the humorless half-smirk at his mention. Yeah. He's just going to pretend there's a cure for that (there isn't) and try not to think about the trouble he could get into out in that field (Aede, for his part, has decided a nap is now preferable to terrorizing the locals). Into the tavern, and straight to the back and shadowy corner they go, Sev's hand dropping away from Jae's back so that he can drop himself into a chair with a sigh. A glance for the packages (does he know what they contain? If not, he'd certainly like too), and then a somewhat interested glance to the other occupants. "Do you think I'd be risking my life if I ordered something to eat?"

There is a softness in the look that J'en gives the tall bronzerider who falls into step beside him when those finger touch to the small of his back. He may not be able to feel their warmth or the sensation, but he could most certainly feel the light pressure behind them. Dark lashes lower, and then his gaze darts towards the door he is opening soon after so that they could wander into the tavern, "Yer worried about the runner…" he says, not looking back, but continuing forward towards the table. As for his state of wellness? J'en sorts and tosses his weyrmate a look, "…I'm pissed mah weyrmate almost got fuckin' scammed…and knowing ya, if ya'd ‘ad a ‘undred marks…ya woulda ‘anded it over." A twitch upwards at the pierced side of his mouth, squinting at S'van before he slides into his seat. Clearly, he was teasing him and not calling him an easy mark. Well, sorta. Cough. "Ain't nothin' ya coulda done Sevran," A full out smirk as he flags down a server, "Shouldn't come as a surprise to ya that yer lifemate's an asshole." There was a fondness in the way he spoke of Aedeluth, despite the language he had chosen to use and its implication. "Dark ale for meh and water for ‘im…" he tells the wench when she makes it over there, turning golden eyes upon the younger rider and following his grey to the packages. "Some spices I was almost out of and a few other miscellaneous things…" A casual (not at all) glance about and then pointedly he hones in on the wench as she hands them each a menu. A glance over it, "We eat ‘ere, we gunna die?" Yep, he's direct, flickering his attention directly up at her with an arch brow of expectation. The poor woman does blink and stares at him a moment, opening his mouth, before she laughs and she assures them both that the food was decent. In fact, she even gives some recommendations before she says she'll be back with their drinks shortly. "Huh…" J'en expresses and then starts looking over the menu in earnest. "I think it's safe." Muttered really, but there it was.

"I wasn't about to get scammed," snorts S'van defensively, clearly missing the tease amongst the complaint, if just because his mind is definitely on the carcass of an animal past saving. Alas. Naught to be done for it, as J'en is quick to remind him. Seats claimed, he's quick enough to scoot himself closer, an arm soon draped around the shoulders of his weyrmate even as he's being reminded of the special breed of asshole that was Aedeluth. "He's usually not so… expensive though," meaning, his tendencies are typically pointed toward the personal torment of his lifemate's psyche, and not so much of his pocket-book. But despite the challenge that his life has become because a certain bronze creature sought fit to claim him for his own, Sev wouldn't trade Aedeluth for anything. Even if he's recently cost him a small fortune; never mind the runner beast just now. He sighs quietly as drinks are ordered, determined to put the whole subject of crying children and expensive dragon-snacks behind him. "Miscellaneous things," repeated without real inquiry. A muffled laugh for the blunt inquiry; which Sev hastily attempts to disguise as a cough (and fails, badly). "Good to know," that death was not on the menu, because it was also not on the agenda. A polite, "Thanks," for the menu offered, and it's accepted with his free hand (because the other is remaining stubbornly around J'en's shoulders). Held at an angle for the light, he gives it a quick skim before glancing beside him. "Are you ordering something?" which is, really, Sev-speak for ‘did you want me to read any of it to you'.

"Hmmhmm," J'en says, said in that ‘sure you weren't' sort of way that indicates otherwise, but he drops the topic afterwards because it wasn't worth an argument. It had been, more or less, a rather pleasant day until all the pony murder. No need to ruin it with being all sassy and whatnot. Instead, there is that familiar arm draping over his shoulders in a gesture of closeness that the older rider was well accustomed to, and he even leans slightly into the man that it belonged to. It was comfortable as it was comforting, regardless of recent events, J'en was feeling fairly at ease. "It was only twenty-five marks, it wasn't that expensive." Rich bastard. Where DID J'en get his seemingly endless flow of marks? Surely a Wingleader didn't make that much more than the wingriders he was responsible for, even with hazard pay. "That is correct…" Golden eyes shift towards S'van as he mentions miscellaneous things, suggesting that now was not the time to be discussing what could possibly be under that mysterious label. "Spices ain't the only thin' we were runnin' low on…" And he leaves it at that, gaze dropping back down to the menu and letting the server head off to get their drinks. The thing is turned over at some point, the back given just as much scrutiny as the front, but without much expression to speak of it would be difficult to figure out if he was in fact interested in any of the offerings. For the question next directed towards him, J'en looks up and then back down at the menu. Lips pursed and the laminated item is turned over again, given much more parusal than was strictly necessary and then he shrugs slightly as to not dislodge the arm across his shoulders too much. "Got somethin' marinatin' at ‘ome, dun wanna fill up ‘ere." J'en speak for ‘I can't fucking read this and people don't need to know my business'.

S'van has, by this point, gotten used to the seemingly endless supply of marks that seems to flow from his weyrmate's hand. That he, himself, has little to nothing is not a cause for concern; and he's never been the sort to fuss over the fact that he can't reciprocate all of that generosity. This, though, has him frowning just a bit. Because twenty-five marks was rather expensive in HIS mind. But oh well. He's not going to argue; best to forget the whole thing and just keep better tabs on where Aedeluth was getting his snacks from. A twitch to the corner of his mouth for those miscellaneous items they were running low on, and grey eyes drop to the menu without really seeing it. Absently that arm across leather-clad shoulders shifts; elbow bent so that he can bring his hand up to lazily toy with a few strands of hair, letting it slide through his fingers in a rhythmic manner. "Do you?" have something marinating. "I'll just get something small then," because he could eat Aede's weight in food and still have room for more. But there is a quick lean and cheek-kiss given, because he speaks J'en and knows what's concealed beneath that statement. When their server inevitably returns with drinks, there's a quick, "Thanks," for the water, and an equally quick and totally unashamed order placed for something fried and altogether unhealthy. Fried something or other. Are onion rings a thing on Pern? They are now. Hand to water, glass drawn close but not lifted; grey eyes peering curiously around the tavern in that general people-watching capacity. He, at least, is at ease in the current setting; not yet crowded enough to make him uncomfortable.

Golden eyes shift, slowly, sliding over until they were at the corner closest to where the younger bronzerider was seated beside him and he says nothing to the inquiry after whether or not he had something actually marinating at home. Otherwise, his expression remain neutral. This makes it a little difficult to tell if he actually did, or if it's something he's just saying to escape the embarrassment of being unable to read like everyone else. J'en places the menu down though with his hands folded one over the other, allowing his hair to be toyed with as it is as if it was something that occured everyday (which it very well might). Lashes lower for the lean in and the warm press of lips to his cheek, the soft sound he makes lost to the returning footsteps of the tavern wench carrying their drinks. He accepts his own with a bob his head towards the woman, a side-glance for the unhealthy order of deep fried heart disease, "Yer gunna croak off before meh ya keep eatin' shit like that…" That's all the comment he makes though, leaving S'van to it, handing off the menu and lifting a hand up to indicate he wasn't interested in ordering anything himself. J'en cooked healthy meals at home for them both, avoiding the living cavern entirely himself, but he did occasionally partake of the food made there when his weyrmate brought it to him on days he was too busy or distracted. The older rider lifts his ale to his lips and tips back the bottle for a long satisfying pull of the contents, showing no interest in the few patrons of the establishment present. There weren't many, perhaps four in total not counting the dragonriders, most more focus on food and drink than anything else. One though, watches all the affection between two men and disgusted, stands after throwing payment down on his table. Out the door he goes, muttering to himself, and J'en doesn't even seem to be aware of it. It was a hold after all, there was bound to be a few of those types about. Calm and cool, bottle lifted and sipped, leaning slightly still into his mate's body.

It's doubtful the other patrons would pay so much attention to the pair that they would be able to ascertain J'en's difficulty with deciphering text. And even so, it could have been disguised as a simple conversation about what the tavern had to offer, and not a verbatim reading of the menu. Sev certainly knows him well enough to skip over options that would get an immediate "no". But the whole thing becomes irrelevant, as statements of things marinating are made, whether or not they are truthful. Predictably, there's a grin (affectionate and playful in nature) tossed the way of his weyrmate, when threats of untimely deaths are offered in response to the younger bronzerider's choice of quick snacks. "Nah," he answers, twisting a longer lock of hair around his fingers. "Only eat this stuff on special occasions," like when his lifemate eats some kids pony. And while it's more a tease than anything else, there's truth enough in the words. S'van typically ate very healthfully, if just because that was how J'en cooked. And Sev ate whatever Jae cooked, preferring that to preparing his own meals or filching things from the living caverns. About the only thing he indulges in are oysters, either those brought in by his own hand (a very rare occurrence, given lack of time and the relative newness of the skill) or at the Tiki Lounge. He's sporting a rather affectionate look for his lover when disgruntled holders decide to make their exit, and though the movement catches the corner of his eye and prompts the turn of his head to follow the motion, there isn't much to be done about it. "Hm." More thoughtful than anything, though it gives him pause. It's not often that they were out and about at Holds, and there's a brief thought given to preserving the peace (last thing Sev needs are complaints coming into the Weyrleader about him; he's kinda holding his breath and crossing his toes that the horse-eating doesn't come back to haunt him). But the lean into him dispels any desire to move away. Stuffy holders could shove off. "Sometimes I forget how rigid holders can be." Its low, and rather disapproving.

It was a pride thing and very few people knew about Jae's difficulty with reading, exactly the way he liked it. Not a single person who knew had faulted him for it, but he still did his best to keep it on the downlow. That meant being eternally grateful that his weyrmate was so wonderful as to be willing to read it to him, but knew him well enough to pick up the the cue that it was not something he wanted out in public. Inside the sanctity of their weyr? Absolutely. Being embarrassed or feeling that he was somehow lacking in the face of judgemental others he did not know so well? Pass. Just as he would extend that courtesy back by not voicing what the special occasion was that meant onion rings finding their way past S'van's lips. It wasn't like it was difficult to figure out. "Just be careful…" he murmurs back, because he wanted the younger rider around for a very long time, and drowning his worries in deep fried foods might take some of that precious length away. He said all he was going to say on the subject and he lets it drop, even as he leans just fractionally more into him. He didn't need J'en fussing over him or dictating what he could and couldn't eat, but it wasn't going to stop him from worry about it even if it is only a little at present. So, he drinks his drink, and shuts the fuck up about it. Golden eyes remain on the table past affectionate looks cast towards his profile and disgruntled holders with some sort of prejudice towards same sex couples. All he knew was that he was snuggled up beside someone who loved him and that someone was toying with one of the longer bits of his hair. This was fine, really. At the turn of Sev's head away though, Jae follows his line of sight, tipping back his ale and shrugging his shoulders lightly. Dismissed sir, good afternoon to you. Simple as that. "Eh…" That's about all the time and effort that he had for a bigot and one of the main reasons he prefered weyrlife to holdlife, "…I ever tell ya I was blooded?" Golden eyes lift them and he looks to S'van, "Think I was…fourth or fifth in line for Breakwater Hold…." Another shrug and sip of ale, "Second word got back to them I was…openly affectionate…their words…with other men…I ceased to exist." Draining the last of the bottle he sets it aside for the server to take it away again, "Fuck ‘em…"

"I'll be fine," returned for that 'be careful'. It's not condescending. In fact it's meant to be reassuring, even as S'van accepts his plate of deep-fried "veggies" and plucks one up to munch. Such foods really were an exception rather than the rule when it came to his overall food consumption, and it's unlikely he'll finish the whole thing before the grease becomes undesirable. That shoulder-draped arm tightens briefly with the lean into him, even as his fingers move back to sliding through dark hair and twisting strands absentmindedly. Quiet munching of onion rings for Sev and silent ale-sipping from Jae until departing, disgruntled holders has the conversation turning in an unexpected direction. "Blooded?" He repeats after taking a sip of his water, grey eyes meeting those gold with a flick of his gaze. He heard him. It's more reflex from surprise than a request for clarification. Which also answers that question of whether or not he was previously told, even if Sev follows it up with a curious, "no, you haven't." Interesting! Not that it changes anything, given his status as a dragonrider. And the apparent disownership mentioned soon after. Sev? Definitely not blooded. Definitely not holdbred either, or with any ties to the hold or holder or holdbred. Thoroughly weyrbred, even if he was the first dragonrider in his family as far back as they could remember. "Huh." But yeah. Fuck them. "Their loss," and his gain, really. Breakwater loses an heir (however many removed from the actual title) and Sev got a weyrmate.

(technically not finished but… life.)

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