Half Moon Bay Weyr - Tiki Lounge
As one walks onto the wood panelled flooring of the patio, they are greeted with the scent of burning oil, the likely source the various torches burning along the perimeter of the flooring. The flooring is littered with tables shaded with umbrellas, matching chairs tucked beneath when not in use.
The inside of the Tiki Lounge seems far bigger inside than outside, even when full of relaxing weyrfolk and travelers. Towards the front, in the western corner, is a small stage, generally occupied by harpers. Several tables with chairs decorate the floor and a small area is open for dancing. The bar is rather long and well stocked, glasses of different shapes and sizes hanging suspended from a rack above the bar. Behind the bar is another open window that gives one a view of the forest behind the tavern. Turning around, one is greeted by a lovely view of the lagoon. A decent breeze helps to cool the room. Up above, rafters provide a perch for fire lizards and local avians. The thatch roof, made of straw, rarely lets in any rain.
Ah, bar-life. It's a not so busy evening, just a handful of patrons and most of them seem to be of the variety that prefer to just nurse a drink or two all night rather than keep 'em coming. That means that the two men on duty behind the bar have little enough to occupy their time. The older of the two is a grizzled veteran. The younger of the two is Jonteim. The veteran has decided to keep up with the scant refills, leaving the younger nothing to do but polish glasses and make idle chit-chat with the one patron near his end of the bar, an elderly woman who seems to be here for the food, the fried friedstuff that exemplifies barfood.
Oh the joys of being a middle-aged midwife. You get called halfway across Pern to help an old colleague with a particular troublesome set of twins. Nevermind that there's a green dragon in tow too most of the time but Hey, such is the life of a craftrider. The slightly round woman named Dynome, brown of hair and eye and sporting the markings of a Xanadu rider, makes her way into the lounge. She's on her way for the bar and taking a seat. Seeing the one occupied, she turns to the younger and offers up a wide smile that illuminates her face. "Hey there! I'd kill for something cold. Anything you recommend?"
Jonteim's got a whole bunch of ready responses for the common conversation starters and questions. Here's one, for example. Something cold? "Hear the 'Reaches aren't too bad this time of year," with a quick wink. He puts aside the cup he's washing, slings the towel over his shoulder, and gives the question a slightly more serious thinkin', leaning the heels of his hands on his side of the bar and letting his weight rest against them. "Pear cider's refreshing if you're thinking of something more local, though." There's the lilt of a question in there: would she like one?
"Pear cider sounds great." Dynome says, the grin shifting to one eager and satisfied with the recommendation. "I've come all the way here, too, only fits to stick with the local specialities. Thanks. I'll be back homewards soon enough, but thankfully it's warming. I doubt the Reaches ever see a day of summer, it probably just goes from winter to less winter and back again. I do know a lot of babes come from there, guess the locals have little else to do in snowstorms."
"To be fair," Jonteim begins, reaching to snag a brown-glass bottle by the neck out of a nearby bucket of ice, getting a disgruntled look from the bigger bartender in the process: they had a system; the big guy managed the patrons, and Jon did the busy-work, and now it's all falling apart. But the cap comes off the bottle, and the blue-eyed bartender pours it into a chilled glass, continuing, "Think the cider's actually from somewhere up north. Pears are, anyway, but it'll wet your whistle, regardless." He snickers at the comment about babies, eyes on the glass till it's filled. "Gotta stay warm somehow, right? Either that or wear more sweaters, and they get awful itchy."
"That they do, but for all of it I do still love a good sweater." Dynome remarks as she takes up the glass, giving it a tip in thanks. "There's just something so reassuring about them. Like the world will be a bit warmer and kinder for it. It's pure nonsense, of course, but a little positive thinking can do wonders. Half of my job is keeping up spirits, the other half celebrating with them. Ah, but you're not hear to listen to an old midwife yammer on. Seems a quiet day here. I hadn't heard anything exciting was going on."
Jonteim, who gets back to polishing glasses like a good junior bartender, though not without an eyeroll toward what we can probably assume is his boss, waves away the notion that he's not here to listen to an old midwife - an old anything, really. "Like you say, quiet day here, and it's better than listening to…" He trails off, lifting his head just enough that the back of it indicates his fellow bartender over yonder. "Think they're having some sorta bisque in the living cavern tonight. Good food up there puts a dent in things down here." Shrug, what can ya do. "Brings you to our neck of the woods? Someone been procreating?" Like it's a naughty word.
"Must be some amazing soup, suppose I'll have to check it out before I head back." At mention of newborn life, she gives the bottle a faint wave before taking a drink. "Oh yes, as they are oft to do. I had an apprentice newly promoted stationed here and he was in a bit of a bind, so I came to give him a hand. Poor boy never was good wrangling the multiples. So, Eirimenth and I decided it was well worth making sure he didn't faint."
"Enh," is Jonteim's take on the soup, put with another loose shrug. Considering he's here, doing this, he must not be dying to get up there and eat that. The story of the boy, for a moment, has his mouth open to say something and his eyes squinted as his mind chases down a thought… that he finally gets over. The initial shape of his mouth shifts, melds into an 'ahhh' of enlightenment, and he clarifies aloud, "The boy was delivering the babies, not making them. Got it." Then, after a beat, he adds, "He'd've had a better time of it in my initial version of events. Babies all come out okay?" He says 'come out' as a vague indicator of what goes on during labor and delivery.
"Oh that's happened too!" Dynome says with a laugh that starts in her belly, a boisterous and delighted sound. "It's funny, actually. Healers deal with the young all the time but the second it's your own it's like you've forgotten everything. In any event, the little ones are just fine, a bit small but that's not unexpected for twins. No doubt you'd hear all the gossip coming through here. This'd seem a prime place for such things."
Jonteim can't argue with that. It does seem a prime place. There's actually a table full of folks who're probably in the middle of telling tales right now, which is what has the bartender commenting, "If you've an ear for it, there are plenty who'll tell, yes'm." He exchanges one glass for the next, smiling into his own reflection in the cup while he allows himself a personal reminisce, then adds, "And bad jokes. Gossip and bad jokes. Drunks," he concludes with another of those patented what-can-ya-do shrugs.
Dymone gestures in agreement with the neck of the bottle before drinking again, "True spoken, …well, I actually don't have your name but mine is Dynome. Senior Journeyman Healer and rider of Xanadu's green Eirimenth and all that. A good recommendation, this cider." She tips a head to hear said gossip, though she doesn't seem to have much of a heart for it.
Jonteim wipes his hand on the rag he's been using, though there's no indication that his hands are anything but clean. Still, it's the thought that counts, right? Anyway, his extra-clean hand extends across the bar while he says, "Good to meet ya, Dynome. Name's Jon." Since this is Pern, there's bound to be more to his name than just that, but it's what he lobs out there for now. As for the gossip, seems all they're on about is how 'she' (whoever she is) wore a skirt 'up to here' and 'he' (whoever he is) totally bought into it. It's catty gossip, which is probably even more reason that Jon lets them chatter on without interruption, without offering a refill. "Cherry stuff's all right, too, though a little on the sweet side for a hot day like this," he adds right over the top of the snide rumors.
"Cherry would be a bit sweet, but could be good mixed. I admit," Dynome remarks while accepting the offered hand with a murmured 'a pleasure', "I'm hardly a drinker but I appreciate one now and then. I'm a fan of the sweeter drinks, as much of a stereotype as that is I know. Not that I mean to sit here and gabber your ear off, you probably get that all the time though." She gives a glance towards the door, expressions briefly distracted, before she's looking back to the bartender.
It's probably because he gets it all the time that Jonteim manages to be jabbered at with such grace. Well, that and the fact that a whopping one other patron has wandered in since Dynome's arrival, and the grizzled vet down there snatched up the possible tip as soon as it walked in the door. "Umbrella drinks?" he asks, disregarding the implied apology for talking at him. "Make a mean umbrella drink, if that's what you've got a taste for. A little more, mmm, intoxicating than the cider, though," he tacks on after her distracted glance door-wards (sure sign of impending departure).
"…the very same." Dynome says with a defeated note, as if 'woe, you hath found my weakness good sir'. "Alas, Eirimenth will have none of flying while intoxicated. She's a more fierce doctor than I sometimes. She's scolding me now, I assure you, to not even think of it till we're safely home." She takes another drink, considering the rim of the drink with a brief look of consideration before glancing back out. "Have you ever travelled on dragonback?"
Jonteim doesn't look surprised, honestly, and explains it by saying, "Whenever riders come in from other Weyrs, it's always 'one and done.'" Perhaps a little forlorn, but he's definitely not laying any blame on Dymone for not drinking-and-flying. He seems ready to move on to something else, so he actually is surprised by the question, having been prepared for the conversation to end and the rider to make her departure. "Ever?" he repeats and nods into his answer. "Lately?" And he teeters his hand in a so-so gesture. (Depends on one's definition of lately, see.)
Dynome reaches up her free hand to rub at a brow, "Fair enough. You'll have to forgive me.." She begins, that one of 'you're going to think me crazy' before she continues with another drink for good measure. "But Eirimenth was wondering if you might be interested in taking a ride with us. Er, not that way." She amends quickly, lest the gossip catch wind and presume the wrong thing. "But she was listening in and she thinks you might make a good candidate for the clutch on Xanadu's sands. I know that's a question right out of the blue, forgive me."
Jonteim's waved hand dismisses any need to forgive her. "Unless you're gonna throw up on my shoes," he notes, to assure her that - no matter what she's about to do - he's probably had worse. Though, when she explains what's on her mind, he has to give Dynome a double-take after all. "That's a first," he notes in a buying-time way, his tongue working at his teeth for a spell while his eyes take on a thoughtful cast. "Gimme a sec," he decides first and foremost, moving a few steps down to a long shelf of liquor, reaching through the front bottles with their pretty liquids to a small one in the back. Full of an amber-colored liquid that's almost definitely whiskey. Apparently, someone needs a drink to make this decision.
Dynome gives a gracious tip of her head and a gesture of her hand to the libations. "Take your time. I remember that moment, years ago it was." And she settles into her chain, patient as probably befits her duties, and just takes another drink. She'll give him all the time in the world. "It's not a decision to make lightly. Just know you're not obligated to say yes. It is always your choice."
All those words try to sink in, they really do, but it's whiskey that a man needs before he can wrap his head around something like this. Especially the sort of man that needs whiskey, the sort that'd be giving it up (along with who knows what else) if he says yes. So Jonteim nods, hearing even if he's not listening, and knocks back a drink of the kind of whiskey that makes even his eyes water, holding the empty glass between his thumb and forefinger. His (now watery) eyes trail around the room, with its lack of busy-ness, with its surly fellow bartender, with its gossiping girls, and finally land back on Dynome, with her potentially life-altering offer. After an appropriately long lapse of time, he gives the only answer a man really can give, even if he's technically not obligated to say it: "A'ight."
When he answers in agreement, Dynome's smile begins to dawn, though she at least decently keeps it to pleased without being overwhelming even if her eyes are bright with glee. "If you need to sort out work and the like I can give you some time and come back. Searching-and-running may have been one thing back before the end of Thread, but these days folks do have more pressing matters." She glances towards Cranky the Bartender with a covert indication of pointing him out. "…I presume that'd be your employer?"
Another hand-teeter, kinda-sorta. That's not exactly his employer, but close enough. Jonteim knocks back another quick shot, blowing out a long breath that's heavily laden with whiskey-smell for that last, steeling drink. "A few minutes'd be fine. Need to pack a change of underwear and socks," he points out with levity that he's probably not totally feeling, but he sure can fake it. Make a living off tips and you get awful good at faking it. He swipes his rag across the top of the bar on his way to break the news to Cranky (good name), who probably won't be all that broken up about it, given their dynamic tonight.
"Of course. I'll be outside." Dynome says, figuring it might do good to give them space. She places a generous amount of marks on the bartop, far more than a simple drink. Tip for stealing away a worker, perhaps? The greenrider finishes her drink and takes her leave of the place, stepping out to where a generously fleshed, irish green dragon waits with eyes whirling with delight. "…yes yes, dear, you still have it." She murmurs while waiting for their newly-minted candidate.
Jonteim totally takes those marks with him, by the way. The tip might've been meant for the head bartender, but Jon empties his tip jar and his side of the bar before he goes; call it burning bridges? It takes him almost no time to actually sever his employment, so the bulk of his down-time is spent collecting his kit. And his thoughts. It's a good respite, a chance for him to get his head straight where all this is concerned, so that he comes back upon Dynome and, "Eirimenth, you said?" looking a little less like his head is on the verge of exploding.
"Yes, this is Eirimenth the eavesdropped." Dynome says, though there's a pleasant smile to her dragon all the same. Eirimenth just puts on a magnificent impression of pure innocence. "It's been many years since we assisted with Search but she is quite proud to have declared a fit candidate again. Dragons do have their bragging rights. Now dear, if you could hunker down so Jon here could hop on…" And the dragon does do, but only after she's brought her nose right up to the bartender to sniff and huff - likely at the odor of whiskey.
Jonteim, to the dragon, under his breath, "Don't judge me." It's a good-humored version of a drunk's refrain, uttered before he comes around to do the whole mounting up thing, slinging his pack on more securely instead of just tossed over one shoulder. He travels light - but not too light, as the leather knapsack bulges satisfactorily with a mass that's got to be clothing. There's also a spare pare of shoes slung over it by the laces, and a leather-bound journal-style book tucked into an outer pocket. "Many years for her, a first for me. Between the two of us, we're just all kindsa experienced, huh," he muses with dry humor. And then, without the dry humor, he tacks on, "Thanks, by the way." Then hurriedly climbs up, like brusquely offered gratitude needs to be downplayed as much as possible.
Dragon straps, perfect to attach things to. There's already Dynome's medicine satchel and now Jon's bags join it. She follows the candidate up atop the green dragon, moving with practice despite being a slightly larger woman, and ensures they're both secured in. "See, it all balances out in the end. Lot of something and nothing of another meet pretty nicely in the middle. Alright, hold on and we're gonna head out. Pardon in advance for the cold. Would have been nice if utter nothing was a bit warmer, but alas…" And that said, Eirimenth bugles and takes a bit of a lumbering start before kicking off and taking to the skies.
Yes. Jonteim forgot about the absolute worst part of going places adragonback, and there's a very unsavory word he has to say when he's reminded, one that's not fit for mixed company. Thankfully, he has the good grace to say it only quietly, and only once the whip of wings and wind are likely to carry away some of his volume. Also, he does cling to Dynome in a very un-masculine way, making good use of her bulk to keep himself good'n steady.