Shoe Poker

Western Weyr - Recreation Cavern
This large cavern is painted a pleasant shade of pale blue-green, with purple highlights along borders. Western Weyr's badge is featured in a twin tapestries hanging on either side of the entry. Directly inside the doors and to the right is an area with bookshelves and a long computer desk for the public computer. Several chairs line the desk so that people waiting for the computer may pursue other studies. To the left of the entrance is a sitting area with a chess set built into a table.
Along the wall to the left is a bar, set up against the storage closet. Tall metal chairs with bright purple and blue-green cushions line the bar; beside the bar is a pair of gambling machines. Prior to recent renovations, the bar was set up on the other side of the room in front of a huge mirror inset into the wall. Now that mirror is behind a slightly elevated stage featuring a piano recently built by the Harper Hall and transported to the islands. Several music stands and musician's chairs are stacked against the wall, for use when Harpers or weyrfolk desire to perform.
Along the wall opposite the entrance are dart boards, each with a set of couches and chairs nearby for relaxation between turns. And all throughout the room are sitting areas with similarly constructed couches and chairs, all featuring blue-green or purple fabric. Short, darkly stained wooden tables are centered inside each sitting area, for games, food, drinks, and whatever else weyrfolk need. Near the center of the room is a large, long table useable both for crafty pursuits or table tennis, and interspersed throughout the room are card tables with wooden, cushioned chairs.

Yeah that's right. It's a worknight and Zi'on is down at the rec cavern drinking and gambling and playing cards. THIS IS THE LIFE OF A BACHELOR. The bronzer is in his work clothes. At least part of them. His button up tunic and knot is hung on the back of his chair and his shoes are off, leaving him in just his undershirt, pants and socks. The bronzer was clean shaven this morning, but the five o'clock shadow has grown in. Zi'on's also been keeping his hair longer than a buzz cut as of late. He slams his cards down on the table with a sigh. "I fold. I need to be dealt a hand, instead of a foot." He complains to the rest of the table. Then he gets up to go to the bar, so he can get a refill on his drink.

This /might/ be fimilar. The whole Zi'on going to the bar and a young teen named Rhadan being there. Sitting on one of those bright purple cushions, the teen is minding his own business while he reads, slowly, from a book that is on the bar in front of him. He has only been here for a few minutes, so perhaps that is why he is only a few pages into the book - but if one had been able to see… yep, he's been on the same page for quite a while. There is a half-full red drink in front of him - this one not alcoholic, but perhaps appearing so. His fingers go to turn a page in the book. You know that drink, though? Right next to the book. His hand bumps it and the tipping begins. O.o! Thankfully, though, he does reach a hand out to stop the glass from falling. No spilled juice! Yay!

And then there is /Ila'den/. He's not here to enjoy the recreational activities, or to reminisce on a time long passed when he'd first started to fall for a particular goldrider. No, Ila'den is here for Zi'on, and Zi'on alone, and he moves in that silent, wraith-like manner he's accumulated after years of patience, error, and training. When Zi'on moves to the bar, Ila'den slips in beside him, and even reaches out a hand reflexively when Rhadan's drink threatens to spill. He's spared having to catch it, obviously, because the teenager manages that task well. "Easy now," the Weyrsecond murmurs, voice low with distraction as those grey eyes turn onto Western's 'leader. There's a smile for the bronzerider, albeit lacking in his usual abrasive humor. A blessing, perhaps? Or a very dangerous omen. "Still at the drinks, Zi?"

Zi'on does a double-take when he spots Rhad, and blinks as his drink nearly falls over. Was the teen drunk already? The bronzer picks up the red drink in front of him and sniffs at it, then peers at Rhad. "You drunk?" He's half-tempted to grab the teen's head and sniff his breath. "It's not good to drink by yourself. You should come play cards with us. I will buy you in." The bronzer turns to spot Ila'den RIGHT THERE. And his brow furrows. "I hope you're here for a drink, Ila. I don't know what you mean by 'still'. I told you I was coming here after I left the office. And here I am. Still." When his drink is sat down in front of him, Zi'on picks it up and takes a drink.

Oh. Look. Another hand that went out to save his drink. Ila's, though Rhadan doesn't know it yet. Nope, Rhadan's eyes were too busy staring at the drink, as if to tell it to 'stay'… when it is picked up. O.o It is the Weyrleader again. "No." Well, he /isn't/ drunk yet. Just clumsy. It was almost an offensive question, you know. Just because he was drinking… well, okay, it might /look/ that way. And… is that Ila. "Noodles…" This word is muttered low, and mostly to himself - though it might be heard by the two nearby bronzeriders. The word just came out. He can't always control himself. The young man takes a moment to look between the two men, then to the poker table, "Poker?" It is not a 'what's poker' kind of question, but more of a 'you said something about poker'.

Zi'on's choice of words has Ila'den raising one brow, and then slipping into one of those infuriatingly secretive smiles. "Not the definition of 'still' that I was going for, but a definition that works well enough. I didn't /come/ for a drink, but I'll stay for one if you need company." Is he… worried about the Weyrleader? OF COURSE HE IS! Friends worry, even if they are bristly and busy pretending to be too manly to care. Still those grey eyes move from the Weyrleader to Rhadan, and the smile on his lips is suddenly mischievous as he says, "Unless you already /have/ company. A little young for my taste, Zi'on, but I suppose if they're old enough to fly, they're old enough to—" Here is where Ila'den is rudely interrupted by the barkeep asking him for his, "Order?" The Weyrsecond stifles his own laughter as he redirects his attention to the man behind the bar and shakes his head. "Nothing for me, thanks." He's going to sit back and enjoy the show of space-case teens (sorry, he was too drunk to remember), and the usual grumbling of Zi'on that indicates Ila'den is close. "Did you say something about noodles?" Ila'den inquires of Rhad, because he's /pretty sure/ that's what he just heard.

Zi'on peers at Rhad. An untrusting peer. Like 'I know what you're up to, hunter-boy'. "What is it with people and noodles around me?" Zi'on actually said cards, but they are playing poker, so he nods. "Yeah. Rider like to gamble. Because they don't have anything better to spend their marks on." The bronzer looks to the other bronzer then. "We're playing cards, but you're welcome to stick around for a round or two. You can buy yourself in." There's a grunt from Zi'on as Ila'den insinuates him and Rhad are on a date or something. Zi'on takes his drink and goes to sit back down at the card table with the rest of the riders. No response required. Rhad is welcome to flee the weyrsecond as well.

Rhadan is… well, he knows that much of the conversation is not his business, and he does his best to act like he is ignoring it and focusing on something going on on one of the couches. He is listening, though. Card, huh. He is interested, and he is nodding. That nodding stops, though, when there are words that make his head turn to the Weyrsecond. Oro? His reaction is a little sharper than Zi'on's. His eyes widen and head shakes, "No!" and that is followed by, quickly, "And I am /not/ that young!" Yeah, lookithim! He is totally /14/ turns! That's old, duh! "And besides, you're the noodle guy." That was stated to Ila'den as Rhadan grabs his book and drink from the counter and makes his way to the card table. Yep, noodle guy.

Well, Zi'on took /all the fun out of teasing/. Ila'den watches him go with some of that easy, husky laughter, and then turns that mischievous look back onto Rhadan. 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much', Ila'den doesn't say, but this /eyes/ do, dancing all the while after both retreating forms until he finds himself abandoned and alone at the bar, labeled 'noodle guy'. "Were you the unfortunate soul I manhandled back in the living caverns?" Ila'den asks, struggling not to dissolve into more laughter as he gains his feet and follows them both to the table. He pulls up his own chair, far from wanting to join, and settles a little back and off to the side of Zi'on so that he can comfortably watch. He's not /civilized/ enough to be well-versed in playing cards, and the man doesn't pretend to be.
Rhadan probably doesn't want any part in the conversation between Zi'on and Ila'den. When it wasn't weyr business, Ila'den was doing something to irritate the younger bronzer. Zi'on pulls a chair up so Rhadan can take a seat. "I'm buying him in." He says to the dealer, motioning towards Rhadan and then reaching into his pocket and pulling out the required amount of marks to play. Rhadan is given his chips, and then dealt into the next hand. "If you get rich, you'll pay me back the buy-in. Otherwise it's on me. The rest you keep." He tells the hunter. When Ila'den makes his way over to sit with them Zi'on peers at him. "You're interrupting our date, Ila'den. Did Shad have her flight yet? I'm tired of doing all of Enka's paper work."

Rhadan is not much civilized either. But he was an apprentice, and those who teach him his trade - hunting - did not forget to teach the boy the finer point of living life as a man. Card, his foster father had often told him, were an essential piece of a man's pride and friendships. So, the boy know of buy-in and ante and blinds. His eyes go to Ila'den, though, as he is given his chips. They stay on the Weyrsecond for a few moments before he speaks, "You wanted me to prove that boys had noodles." Rhadan's eyes go to his chips now and he begins to stack them to his left. "And then you tried to figure out if I had certain female parts as well." He. Has. No. Boobies. He does have card, though, and he attention is on them. Ohhhh. He calls the bet. "If I do have winnings, you'll get 50 percent." This is to Zi'on.

Ila'den's hands go up almost defensively, and the Weyrsecond laughs along with his gesture. "Far be it from /me/ to ruin your date, Zi'on," the bronzerider says, gaining his feet a second time that night in order to come closer to both Weyrleader and his friend. He places his hands on the back of Zi's chair, and leans in close to say, "She did, and I won, if that's what you're asking. Heard you had a win yourself, aye? Congratulations." Those grey eyes jump to Rhadan, the teenager gets his rapt attention, and then the Weyrsecond is laughing all over again. "Did I now? /Fascinating/. I apologize for my behavior, but I trust that by the end of the night our young Weyrleader will be well-versed with your noodle and obvious lack of certain female parts." Did he just… lean closer and kiss Zi'on on the cheek? He /did/. He's even rubbing his scruffy chin on the back of Zi's head after, for seconds /maybe/, before telling Rhadan, "Take care of him, would you? Get him home in one piece, call for me if you have any trouble, and /try/ to make sure he's in bed in well enough time to be on time to work in the morning." DANCE OUT OF REACH! Ila'den tousles the hair on both of their heads before making a hasty retreat for the door. Yep. Even if he didn't get to molest Zi as thoroughly as he /tried/, he's getting out of dodge ASAP.

If Ila'den wants to learn poker, he's free to ask Zi'on to teach him. In their private time together. Which is copious. And cards are a good way to socialize and drink and have fun. As long as the betting didn't get out of hand. Only bring what you can afford to lose was Zi'on's model. And once he was out of cash that meant the night was over. Zi'on raises a brow at Rhad. "How hard is it to figure out?" Zi'on lifts his shirt. "No boobies. Done. Unless he wanted to know about other parts." Zi'on also calls the bet. "That was what I was asking. You heard, eh? Or you saw me come into the office this morning? My flight winnings are tied to my job, remember?" There's no words for Ila as he kisses Zi'on's cheek. Nothing more than 'blech' anyway. The rubbing will earn Ila'den a shove if he's not quick enough to move away in time. "I don't know why he's like that."

Rhadan has been exposed to… so many things recently. Maybe it was his age. Or, perhaps, just bad (good?) luck. Either way, Ila's words cause a serious widening of Rhadan's eyes and a shake of his head. THe first set of word - about Zi'on and his noodle. The boy is speechless, though, and does not respond. The kiss on the cheek cause the young teen to turn his face to the cards. Ah. Card. More betting… and raise. His chips are leaving his hand for the pile when a hand tousles his hair. What? He is suppose to take care of a Weyrleader? Certainly that wouldn't be needed. Right? Rhadan's eyes follow Ila as he dances away. And… Zi'on. A moment passes before Rhadan speaks, "Well, you two were both drunk. He decided to feel for himself." Rhadan pats himself on the chest. There is a pause as the betting round circles the table, "So… uh, you're still the Weyrleader?"

Well, hopefully Rhadan won't end up exposed to any of Zi'on tonight. There were not enough ladies about for strip poker, so playing for money it is. "I won't be well versed with anyone's noodles but my own tonight most likely. There are some drawbacks to not having a weyrmate. Though maybe Raev or Enka won't be busy tonight." Zi'on strokes his chin a bit. Cards are laid down, and Zi'on loses this hand it would seem. Zi'on probably won't drink himself into a stupor tonight. Not having to go into the office tomorrow. "How rude of him." He says about Ila'den's feel. "Next time you see him you ought to give him a purple-nurple in repayment." Zi'on isn't even kidding. Not one bit. He would love to see Ila'den get a titty-twister. The bronzer grins to Rhad and nods. "Apparently! Which is good. I've gotten rather used to my job. I'm still on the hunt for an assistant though. You can see the kind of help I get around the office." He motions to the door. The one Ila'den left out of.

Rhadan does not /plan/ to be exposed to anyone tonight. The fact that the conversation, shortly after Ila's departure, moves away from anything involving noodles and dating other men is a relief to the teenager. His own hand is laid down and… well, can one blame a boy for beginner's luck? Everyone else let him win the hand, right? He does grin as the chips are collected and added to his stacks. Look, already ahead. Not likely to last, right? There is a grin in Zi'on's direction, "Luck." And a pause, "I'll let him know you gave me permission to when I do, huh?" Purple nurple the Weyrsecond? How many 14 turn old boys can say they have done that? "So you… enjoy the job?" and at that moment more cards are being passed around, and the blinds are in.

Zi'on is also relieved that he can now talk about manly things. And not have to suffer any more Ila'den kisses. The bronzer is apparently not very good at cards. Or just not lucky enough to get anything worth playing. Really Zi'on expects to lose all the money he's brought, either through gambling or buying drinks and food for himself and those at the table. It was part of playing weyr politics, hob-nobbing with the wingriders. Plus a lot of them Zi'on knows because he spent turns as just a wingrider. "Good. You can tell him I put you up to it, or even that I ordered you. Make sure it hurts." Zi'on pulls up his cards and ups the bet on his turn. "I do. It's not for everyone, but I enjoy it. It also helps to have good wingleaders and plenty of riders with fertile golds to fill the ranks. I suppose it also helps my case being weyrbred, and my father having been in charge of weyr relations when he was weyrsecond." He grins. "Shipton is a well known name."

His book, sitting in his lap, is forgotten. That was the reason he came here tonight. Truly he meant read some. He never really could do so in public, though, so it wasn't like he would have accomplished much. Now his attention is on the card game and conversation. His cards are looked at and, apparently, not good. He folds on the first round of betting. This does give him a chance to sip at his drink as he listens to Zi'on. The name at the end causes the boy to tilts his head and furrow his brow a bit. Think. Think. It is well known, so he must know it, right? Wrong. "I… uh… I think I've heard that name before. Maybe. I think." Okay, so don't blame the kid if he is confused a little. He doesn't know if he remembers it. "My father's a rider here still. I… don't see much of him. He's a greenrider. R'al. I was fostered, though, to a hunter."

Who comes to a bar with drunk riders and poker and darts to read!? He should do that on a cot. Down in the living caverns. Zi'on eventually lays his cards down, only to lose and with it a fair bit of chip. He laughs a bit. "It's my name. Well, technically it's my father's hold name. Which I've inherited, even though I've never seen the place my whole life. It's convenient for me to carry it, since it has weight and I don't look much or sound much like my father." There's a nod from Zi'on. "I know R'al. At least in name. I don't know him well. My father rides bronze, like I do. I was fostered for a stint while my parents were weyrmated. After they split and my mom moved she put an end to that and took us all with her." A new hand is dealt and Zi'on lays down the first bet this time.

"So… like, it is /his/ hold, or something?" Rhadan is slow, so sometimes he needs a break. Or some leeway. Whatever it is he needs, he needs it in this instance. And look. Cards coming Rhadan's way. He does call the bet after looking at his cards, his eyes looking at Zi'on sidelong, "My mother I haven't seen much. She was a rider too, but just isn't around. She rides blue, though." Uh… yes, the though is weird, but there. "Was it good to move? Be with your mother?"

Zi'on laughs. "He's a rider. So… no. It's not his. Just where he grew up. Us riders don't own holds or property. Just dragons." And even then it was hard to tell who owned who. There's a nod from Zi'on as he ponders over this cards and takes a drink. "My mother rides brown. I suppose it was good." Don't look now, but Zi'on is something of a mama's boy. His green earns her keep just by delivering letters to Vesvesris. "I was in the caverns with the weyrbrats a lot though. Then I same to Western when I was twelve." Chips are tossed. "Does your mother ride here?"

And Rhadan keeps in the hand this time. He even raises the bet the second time it goes around. "Uh… no, not here. I think she lives at a Weyrhold somewhere. She's a craftrider or something. Not sure. I've only met her once or two. Father said she didn't want to get attached." He doesn't mind, really. This is not a young boy speaking as a hurt puppy or something. No, he was just stating the facts. Rhadan's drink is gone as he sips the last of it down before showing his cards as the betting ends. He loses, but his two pair wasn't a bad hand.

Zi'on folds this time, throwing his cards down in a showboating display of anger at them. He nurses his drink instead. "Ah. Well, okay." Though Zi'on sort of thinks that it stinks, when parents went out of their way not to show ANY interest in their offspring. "I've got five little ones now of my own. And one more on the way!" There's a blink then and Zi'on furrows his brow at the rider sitting next to Rhadan. "What's that? I saw that! You peeked at Rhadan's cards, G'hem! You cheat!" G'hem denies the claim of course, and then others start chiming in with their own claims of this and that. Then a bottle gets thrown, and a drink gets thrown someplace else. And Zi'on narrowly avoids a punch to the face, by sliding his chair back. "Whoop. Getting a little rowdy in here!"

Rhadan's eyes follow Zi'on's to the rider next to him, his eye showing a brief moment of confusion before before there is a look of slight anger. This guy looked at his cards? It was a good hand, too! Best one yet! Rhadan does look like he is about to speak, perhaps yell at G'hem when the others at the table begin to speak and, as it escalates, the teen begins to back away from the table a bit, "Hey. Its okay. New hand, right. Really, it's fin—EE." the ending of that word is loud, as Rhadan is quickly standing as he is slashed with an alcoholic beverage. "Hey!" Crap. Now he smells like… well, a drunk. His shirt is damp, and some got on the side of his face. He backs away from the table to reach down and pick up the book that is now on the floor. Dusting it off when standing, his eyes go to Zi'on, "Happen often?" He's 14. No one would swing at a 14 turn old, right?

Zi'on gets up suddenly to avoid another drink and some guy's… shoe? Wait! That was -his- shoe! He goes to fetch it, leaving Rhad to fend for himself a few moments. Two of the riders, G'hem being one of them, are wrestling around around. One of them is shoved hard into the table and then sort of half-falls over onto Rhad. He's not G'hem, but the rider is very inebriated and it's hard for him to get back up. And so he ends up just sliiiding down to the floor. Zi'on comes back to grab Rhad's upper arm and coax him out of the way. He laughs. "Often enough." He will retreat by the bar as the 'fight' peters out on it's own. It's hard for drunk people to keep fighting, after all. Also the guards are storming in, and dragging some of the more intoxicated patrons out.

Rhadan isn't /totally/ clueless, but he does often enough get distracted. He allows his focus to be on the book for a few moments, brushing it off and turning it over. He wishes to make sure it is okay - it is important not to destroy /this/ one. Of course, it is in the middle of this badly timed mind-wandering that somone is /falling/ into him. Rhadan is not yet large enough to handle that sort of weight without trouble, and as his arm goes out to watch some of the man's weight, he his sent stumbling a few few. Ow! Crap! Well, no his attention is back on the world. And… now he is moving ad he is coaxed. "I… did one of them throw a /shoe/?" And are they at the bar? That is good, because Rhadan is ordering a drink now - alcoholic and fuityish. "What about your marks?" Rhadan did collect his book, at least.

Poor book. Neglected and now abused. Were the previous ones destroyed? At least no one seems to be seriously injured from the little brawl. There will probably be some black eyes and pounding heads tomorrow though. Zi'on for his part is putting his shoes on and sitting at the bar. "Yes! It was a shoe. My shoe! I took them off to get comfortable and someone used them as a weapon. Honestly, who throws a shoe?" Zi'on also orders a new drink. He shrugs about the loss of marks. "Eh. It's fine. I didn't plan to come out ahead anyways. I'm not very good at cards, honestly. I'm getting better, slowly." Zi'on doesn't seem too concerned about the other riders, either. It wasn't his turn to babysit. He's here with Rhadan now!

That poor book is now set back on the bar where it had been when he was here the last time. Oh, the book had better survive its mission. Rhadan had it for a good reason. "Thanks." and as a small thirtyseconmark is set on the counter, Rhadan takes the drink that was made for him and sips it lightly. Ahhhh. Rhadan's gaze does travel to the riders and the guards and the happenings of that, but not for long. "… at least your feet didn't smell bad. Some people who take their shoes off have no business doing so." You know that heavy, musty smell? Yuck. Rhadan's head shakes at the thought, "Well, I guess if you enjoy doing something, you might not mind losing marks while doing it." There is a pause before, "I don't like losing, myself. Not unless I simply cannot win."

Zi'on sips at his drink and then chuckles. "Well, I was and wear clean socks. Everyday! Also someone comes and collects my laundry and comes back with clean stuff." So there's no turning underwear inside out. "Trust me I'm aware. I lived in the caverns for a long while. Also the candidate barracks. Three times." That terrible cheese smell? Yes. "Yep. I like to play and chat with the riders. It's relaxing. Plus it beats sitting in my weyr by myself." The bronzer tilts his head back to down the rest of his drink. "I should head home though. I have early meetings tomorrow. If they start up again make sure they deal you back in." Zi'on gives Rhad a manly pat on the upper back, then wanders out, grabbing his shirt on the way.

And so Rhadan is left at the bar as he was found, book on the bar, drink by his hand. He does not mind the departure of the Weyrleader. There is a nod to the man after that strong pat on his back, "Seeya." Now, the boy has reopened the book and is once again reading in a rec room. Better things to do? Nah!

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