Drinking Through Winter

~~*~~ Fort Weyr - Shenanigan's Lounge ~~*~~

The natural walls of this cavern haven been completely covered and replaced by straight and sometimes curving walls of brickwork. There's method to the madness of covering stone with stone. It's as simple as the electric buzz in the room. New grade electric lights dot the fancy brick worked walls, with wires cleverly hidden behind, allowing more focus to be centered on the rest of the room rather than the numerous strings of wire needed to operate the lighting. Each bulb roosts in a bronzed metal flowering fixture, giving the room a rich atmosphere. Still, the walls are not the only place which has stone on stone appeal. The floor has been run smooth, the surface now slate rock, creating an imperial cast.
Beyond the actual foundations of the lounge, the luxury continues. High backed wooden chairs with padded white seats have been stationed all around the room. Between the individual chairs are benches fashioned out of the same rich wood with pillows made to flatter the cushions. There are low lying coffee tables or end tables near the individual chairs, while there's larger dinning room sized tables with chairs to match scattered as well, giving much variety to those who find themselves in the room. Decorative hangings and framed artwork has been neatly hung around the room, but to offset the meticulous method of the room, there's some pieces that give a sporty feeling to the room - such as a fishing rod or a snow shoe.
Of course, the final appeal of the room comes in the form of it's purpose; athletic competition. There are several games of darts lining the walls, various decks of dragon poker cards available, a large velvet lined pool table centered to one side of the lounge, a mat area surrounded by ropes, and an area that keeps track of all the runner races around the world via radio signal, giving constant updates on the status of the runners. Lastly, there's a bar here, small and built with brick as well. There's usually a bartender on duty willing to mix drinks during the evening hours.


It's just a little too early for the crowds to arrive in the lounge. Not that there aren't a few, scattered about at tables and chairs with drinks in hand, but there's still room left for whoever's next to arrive - and drinks ready to serve them. Borodin's at the bar tonight… or, well, he's at least on a stool by the end of the bar, cutting limes into neat slices and putting them into a small metal bowl.

As the limes are cut, another couple of people enter. The first is old Geren, one of the more well-known traders that passes through Fort every few weeks. He wastes no time in heading right to the bar, drink on his mind and marks in his hand. Nodding to Borodin, he says, "Surprise me, boy. Something fruity but strong, that's all I ask." He slides some money across the bar, amply more than the cost of the drink. "Keep my glass filled tonight and there's double that waiting for you," Geren smiles, one of his front teeth missing but diminishing his mirthy charm not a bit.

Next comes So'l, dressed in the simple clothes of a woodworker clearly in mid-project. Flecks of woodchips cling to his sleeves as he approaches the bar, the rider smiling a hello to Geren and Borodin. "An ale, please. Don't really care which one," he smiles, taking a seat next to the trader. "How've you been, Borodin?" So'l asks.

Oh look, people! Well, they're not Borodin's problem unless… they head to the bar, which they do. Borodin nods to Geren as he slides off that stool, setting the cutting board and limes (and knife) down behind the bar before he reaches for the marks. "Might have something like that," he admits, and smiles up at the trader briefly before lowering his gaze to a glass. Fruity but strong - he can start that with some lemon vodka, poured generously, and add to it a couple splashes of dark rum and orangefruit juice to fill up to the top. Garnish? Does this even get garnish? Okay, probably. It is fruity, but on the other hand, it's strong, so Borodin just goes for a slice of lemon - he did those before the limes - before passing it along to Geren. Next up is So'l, and Borodin half-smiles. "The pale wheat is good right now," he says, because he cares which one he serves even if his patrons don't, and he turns to get a cup and draw the ale from one of the barrels here. The motion's a familiar one, enough so that he can look back and say, "Oh, uh, I'm well enough. Bit tired of winter, but who isn't?" A very small laugh. "You?"

Geren watches Borodin make the drink with interest, his wizened eyes narrowing as the lemon slice is slipped into the glass. "Definitely /looks/ fruity…" the old trader says, suspicion — likely as to the possible strength of the drink — clouding his face as the drink is passed over. Taking a tentative sip, his mouth widens in a grin as he swallows. "Now /that/ is a drink! I love it! And I don't typically like orangefruit, so that's saying something!" He takes another big gulp from the drink and audibly "ahhs," clearly content with what the bartender has whipped up for him. Raising the glass to Borodin in salute, Geren turns away and meanders to a table not far away.

So'l, meanwhile, chuckles at the trader's exuberance and nods to Borodin's suggestion of the wheat ale. "Sounds great, then," he smiles, settling comfortably on the stool and idly picking wood flecks from his tunic. As Borodin goes about pouring said ale, the rider smirks at the mention of being tired of winter. "I'm in total agreement there," So'l nods resolutely. "I've almost forgotten what it's like /not/ to be cold out there." With a shrug, he answers Borodin's question with, "Been good here, thanks. Just flying patrols and getting back into an old hobby. Kind of rusty with my tools, sadly."

Nyalle is rarely in Shenanigans, preferring to stay out in the main cavern at the leadership table. But she does check in from time to time, and now would be one of those times. Her long skirts are simple grey, her tunic long sleeved, high necked and white, her knot pinned just so. Dark hair is pulled back into its usual braid as she moves between tables, forcing her eyes to lift and look around rather than focus on the floor. "Hello," she says quietly as she settles onto a stool, brightening when she realizes the person she's sat beside is actually someone she knows. And she recognizes Borodin as well, shoulders slipping down slightly in relief.

Appearances… well, that's why Borodin included the vodka. Also the rum, which is good at making things taste like they've got a kick to them. So the appearance of fruiting and the fact of the strong… "Uh." That's for the fact that Geren doesn't like orangefruit. Not that he mentioned that in the drink-concoction stage! But oh well, the trader likes it. "Good." The vintner sweeps the coins away to start Geren's tab, then gets on with that ale for So'l. "There's days I'm glad I don't have to put toes outside the caverns," he says with a smile, then nods as he passes that ale to the rider. "Yeah?" He looks down, because maybe he's trying to remember, or maybe just to see… oho. Wood shavings! "You carving something in particular?" Borodin's gaze lifts again, and this time, it's to note the figure in motion that is Nyalle. He watches for a moment as she approaches, then lowers his gaze to swipe a rag over an (already clean) part of the bar so he can look up again when she actually arrives. "Good evening." A smile. "What can I get you?"

"Smart man," So'l chuckles at the notion of knowing when to stay inside. Gladly accepting the offered mug, he takes a big sip and nods. "You're right, Borodin. The wheat ale /is/ good. I like the after taste in particular," he explains, gazing into the drink with a smile before looking up at the bartender's question. "A crib, actually. Melthana, one of the weavers? She's expecting in a few sevendays. Hoping to get it done in time." At Nyalle's approach, the bronzerider is grinning widely, his voice full of warmth as he says, "Nyalle! It's great to see you out and about. What're you in the mood for? It's on me," he says, signaling Borodin to add whatever the Weyrwoman will drink to his tab. It's been sometime since he's run into the Weyrwoman and he's clearly glad to see her.

Nyalle reaches out automatically to brush some of those shavings to the floor before she catches herself and folds her hands in her lap instead, with an apologetic smile offered. "Tea, please. And thank you, So'l. It's good to see you as well. How is everything? You're making a crib?" She just looks relieved to be talking with people she knows, instead of either sitting here by herself or talking with strangers. All part of being the weyrwoman though.

Borodin nods to So'l's comment on the ale with a small - but nevertheless pleased-looking - smile. The woodcrafter's project, on the other hand… "Oh," Borodin says. "I don't know her." A shrug - it's not like the weyr's not a big place, there's plenty of people who don't know each other. Besides, pregnant women tend to avoid bars, which are places where most people drink alcohol. Not all people, as Nyalle demonstrates, but… most. Tea? "I can do that." There's a few mixed drinks that use it as a base, and while they're perhaps not the most refined, they're popular in winter. So Borodin steps along the bar to where there's a pot sitting ready and pours some, setting a lemon-slice and a few cubes of sugar on the saucer before he brings it back to Nyalle.

"I am indeed," So'l smiles back to the Weyrwoman. "For one of the weavers in the Crafting Cavern. She was very kind to me when I first came to fort," he explains, "and I wanted to do something nice for her. Got the wood down in Southern. A nice cherry wood," the woodworker smiles. "Brought back the extra — with Sharuth's help, of course," he smirks, "so I'll have plenty on hand for future projects." Taking another sip of his ale, he nods as Borodin brings over the tea. "What about her younger sister, Lesha? I think she comes in here sometimes. Real tall, dark hair. Kind of…pushy," he smirks, "but in a playful way." Looking around the bar, So'l "ahs" and nonchalantly points. "That's her over there. She's a harper apprentice." The rider's eyes flick back to Nyalle, "So how are things going this winter? Had a proper snowball fight yet? They're popular here," he smiles.

Nyalle tries not to look disappointed that the tea is not freshly brewed, but reminds herself that she's not actually here for tea. She's here for conversation. So she smiles and says a polite 'thank you' when the beverage is delivered, adding a bit of lemon. "Cream?" She ignores the sweetner. Quiet, she listens to So'l for a moment, glancing around to seek out Lesha, noting name and face together in her mind. "Cherry wood is a beautiful wood," she says quietly. "That's very nice of you to do such a thing for her. Do you have other projects waiting? I saw the one in Th'ero's office. You're quite talented." Then she laughs, soft, color in her cheeks. "A snowball fight? No. I haven't had one of those…" She trails off, frowning for a moment and looking to the side. "It's been a long time," she condcludes.

Cream is also used for certain drinks - so yes, Borodin has some, which he provides to Nyalle in a small cup when she requests it. There are entire arguments to be had about whether it's better to have tea brewed by the pot but then kept warm, or tea brewed by the cup but barely given time to steep, but this is neither the time nor the place for them. Instead, it's the time when Borodin looks over to see this Lesha So'l mentions. "I've met her," he acknowledges with a nod, then looks back down to give the bar another wipe. "Fort may not be the High Reaches, but we do still get some snow." Enough for snowball fights!

"Thank you," So'l replies warmly to Nyalle, "I appreciate the compliment. But that was done a long time ago and I'm afraid I've gotten a bit out of practice," he says with a sigh. "Thankfully cribs don't require as much intricate work as dragon carvings do," the woodworker smiles softly, raising his glass to take another sip. When Nyalle reveals she's /not/ been in a Fortian snow battle yet, the bronzerider tsk tsks and smirks. "Clearly we need to work on that, then. It's kind of like a rite of passage here." Borodin mentions that he's met Lesha and So'l nods back. "Any interest there?" he asks the man innocently, passing his mug across the bar for a refill and looking at Borodin expectantly.

Tea given with hot water and a tea satchel so Nyalle can let it steep however long she wishes - that is her ideal, but again…not about the tea. She takes a slow breath at the mention of High Reaches, shaking her head. "There are no snowball fights at High Reaches weyr." At least none that she's ever seen. "But at home, we would have some. As children." She looks a bit surprised then. "A rite of passage? Another one I seem to have missed…" There's a small frown, and she shakes her head. "Not one I'm too upset to have missed, truth be told. That's for children." And she's too proper for that. Or trying to be. Glancing at Borodin, her brows lift at So'l's question, curious and a bit surprised at the asking.

Surely if the weyrwoman made suggestions, the staff here would listen, but Borodin only knows the procedures he's been told. He lifts an eyebrow at Nyalle's report on High Reaches, but only for a moment. "Oh. Of course not." He wipes the rag along the bar, then hangs it on its hook. "Are there any winter traditions from High Reaches?" He smiles slightly. "The ones that aren't for children, I mean." He turns from her to take So'l's mug, then blinks at the rider's question. "What?" On consideration, he blinks again, then shrugs as he lifts the mug. "She's not usually rowdy." Herein ends his opinion? He turns away and goes to get that refill for So'l.

"For children? Well sure," So'l laughs, "children probably have more opportunity to enjoy them than adults do. But that doesn't mean all the fun's reserved for them alone," he smirks back at the woman. "I'm thinking we'll just have to have one soon. No kids allowed. Hope you're good at dodging," he smiles at Nyalle, "because I've got a big snowball with your name on it." It's a friendly, playful threat of course. When Borodin mentions that Lesha's "not usually rowdy," So'l hmms. "Well, I just happened to hear from her sister — the one I'm making the crib for," he says to Nyalle before looking back to Borodin, "that she comes in here because she kind of likes you. But you didn't hear it from me," he smiles innocently.

Nyalle shakes her head at Borodin's question, finally taking a sip of her tea once she's added the cream. "Not really," she admits. "At least none I was aware of. Perhaps the other riders or the weyrfolk had some. I had other duties to tend to." Then she chuckles, shaking her head at So'l. "I used to be. Suppose we'll see if I am still?" Looking over to Lesha, then to Borodin, then to Lesha, the weyrwoman is hardly subtle in her curious peering.

Borodin glances down to that teacup, then back up to Nyalle as she speaks of her duties. "I see." His mouth opens, and then he shuts it again, very firmly and deliberately. Whatever his comment, he's not going to make it, instead polishing a glass or two that someone's bound to want a drink from at some point. So'l's addressing of him draws his attention back to the bronzerider. "Oh, well." He smiles. "People say all sorts of things."

"You suppose right," So'l nods back, smiling mischievously. "Won't have much trouble hitting me back, though. I'm kind of a big target," he laughs, gesturing to his large frame. The refilled mug is lifted to his lips, the ale dampening the leading edge of his moustache. His lower lip lifts up, wiping away the excess liquid as So'l turns to smile at Borodin. "That they do. But just thought you'd like to know. In case you were interested, too," he nods with a smile. "Well, if you'll excuse me," So'l takes another big draw from his mug, "I've got a snow battle to prepare. There are arrangements to be made and people to recruit," he smirks, standing up from the stool. "Better watch yourselves outdoors," he smiles at Nyalle and Borodin. "You never know when frost-ilities could break out." With a wink, the rider drains the last of his drink and sets the empty mug on the counter before excusing himself.

Nyalle gives Borodin a curious look as he so obviously censors himself. "What?" she asks before /she/ can stop herself. Looking back at So'l, the young goldrider laughs softly, nodding. "We shall see then," she says with a little smile. "Clear skies, So'l."

So now Nyalle's gone and asked, and Borodin sets down the glass he's polishing. First, he nods to So'l. "I'll keep it in mind," he says. He hasn't actually looked in the harper's direction since she was first mentioned, though. "Keep warm," he tells So'l with a slight smile, and takes a moment to put the bronzerider's mug away before bringing his gaze back to Nyalle. He looks at her a moment, considering, then asks, "What's the difference between a Weyrwoman and a secretary?"

Nyalle looks a bit surprised by the question, though she does consider it for a few long moments. Then she smiles. "Eggs." That's certainly one thing. "And secretaries are underneath the boss. We are the boss. Or, wait. Was that the beginning of a joke?" Because if it was she's totally ruined it no doubt.

Borodin doesn't laugh. Eggs, she says, and he exhales slightly, a little puff of breath. Eggs, and also… being the boss. He lets out the rest of that breath, then shakes his head. "It's not a joke. It's a question. Because, Weyrwoman, if you're so occupied with your duties that you don't know about life in the Weyr around you, then you are a secretary. Nothing more."

Nyalle sits up a bit, glancing around and then back at the vinter. "Who says I don't know about life in the weyr around me?" She's /here/ isn't she? Out of her office…mingling. Sort of.

Borodin smiles, though it doesn't reach his eyes. "I'm not answering the question for you. That's not my job." Though, isn't he a bartender right now? Shouldn't he be making amusing small talk or… something? "I'm just asking it."

Nyalle shakes her head slightly. "You made a statement. I'd like to know where that assumption came from that I'm so occupied with duties I don't know what's going on around me."

"My question is about the difference between Weyrwomen and secretaries." Borodin keeps on smiling. " What are the winter traditions of High Reaches?" He already asked that one, didn't he? "What about Fort?" He didn't ask that one, but she sort of discussed it with So'l. "So, Weyrwoman. I'll look forward to Kayeth's next clutch."

Nyalle just looks confused now. As if she can't decide if she should be amused or insulted. "Of High Reaches, I do not know. My situation there was /quite/ different. For Fort, apparently there are snowball fights. I know of festivals, of hunting and gathering trips down south, lots of knitting and sewing work going on, lessons, music in the evenings." Then he's apparently changing subjects abruptly, as in a farewell, and she nods. "Thank you, as do I." And she dips her head, looking thoughtfully down at her tea.

Borodin listens to that report, then nods. "I wouldn't know how different. I've not been to High Reaches." He reaches for the polishing rag again, looks for a glass. "I don't expect I'd enjoy it." Borodin glances up to Nyalle as he says, "Me, I like things here at Fort." And then he looks down again, and starts polishing… though he doesn't go anywhere, not unless someone calls him away to make a drink.

Nyalle shakes her head. "You probably wouldn't." Then she's sliding off the stool, leaving her tea mostly untouched. "I'm glad you like things in Fort. I do as well. Perhaps I'll see you at the snowball fight?"

Which is a good reason for Borodin not to go there! He nods to Nyalle, lifting his gaze to her once more. "You might." He'll take her tea to dispose of, since she didn't like it. "Have a nice day."


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