Day 072: All About That Bass
Summary: Galle and Afaye gossip about the aftermath of the epic party.
Date: 08 August 2016
Related: First and Last
Afaye Galle 

Galle's Dwelling - Tondc, Trikru

This small corner of the Hood is obviously dedicated to someone with a serious green thumb. While the metal and wooden house is modest and even, dare they say, quaint, it is merely the necessary dwelling surrounded by plantlife. Medicinal flowers and herbs grow in organized beds, they clumped together according to their needed growing requirements. There are also small beds of vegetables and berries that are scattered throughout. Climbing flowers twist their ways up the windows and doorframes of the house, and there is an entire wall of flowering vines that bloom violet in the late spring and early summers.

The house itself is a single-story dwelling made of corrugated metal and cedar slats. It is actually quite impressive — but those who knew Galle's houman know that he had dabbled in carpentry during the quieter peacetimes between the two Ice Wars. Windows are mismatched, salvaged from Old Earth structures. The door is handmade and intricately carved with flowers and vines, and a peekhole window is set in its center. Inside, the house has board flooring and high ceilings that show off the rafters. There is a front room that is dedicated entirely to an impressive kitchen, a dining area, and a place to curl up beside what looks to be a salvaged woodburning stove. Just behind the front room is the sleeping room, which is a smaller room with nothing more than a bed and a large chest that holds Galle's assortment of clothes.

72 Days After Landing

It does not take much for gossip to spread all over Tondc, but it is not the talk that Galle had expected. Instead of talk about Luther skulking out of her house at the morning hours after the celebration, it is more about the over-drinking and dancing the Healer engaged in the night before and how she had to be hauled off just as she had been hauled in. If people saw Luther at her stoop, they assumed he was just there for an elixir. Apparently, the woman is about as dried up as she has joked. She isn't entirely sure how she feels about that. Not that she has had much time to think about it after caring for many hangovers, and then falling into a summer cold soon after.

Sitting on her porch just outside her house, nursing on a cold cup of tea, she looks over her garden with tired eyes. It has been a long day, being told she was wasting Komfi's time in the healing house, and sent promptly home to see to her cold. She is not exactly happy with Komfi, or herself, at the moment.

Rumors, shmumors. Some people may have been overheard talking about Galle getting into the celebration, but - as Afaye has pointed out time and again - there are a lot of people nursing some terrible hangovers. It just so happens that the horsemaster is not one of them; she seems sprightly and bright-eyed and bubbling over with obnoxiously cheerful good health as she saunters up the path heading for her friend's house. She whistles beneath her teeth. One arm stops swinging as she rests a hand on her hip, coming to a stop a few feet from Galle.

A gimlet eye analyzes the healer from head to toe, taking in the weary, glazed expression and the slumped shoulders. "You look lovely today, Galle kom Trikru." There's only maybe a teensy tiny hint of sarcasm. "Mouth full of sand, head full of rocks?" Her leather trappings creak as she lowers herself onto the floor of the porch and props her arms on bent knees.

Galle looks up from her tea as her irritatingly cheerful friend steps through her garden toward her. She narrows her eyes suspiciously, leaning back in her chair as she does. "You look like someone I am about to loathe, Afaye kom Trikru." She smirks then, but gestures into an empty seat beside her. "More like aching down to the bone, and a stuffy head and nose. I think that the world's weight has doubled." She sighs, taking another sip of her potent tea.

"Why in the Flame are you so cheerful?" The question is asked with some envy. She would give anything to be that awake and spritely.

One hand flicks dismissively at the silent offer of a chair. She seems quite content to sit on the ground. Maybe sitting lower than Galle will take the sting out of not being afflicted by too much drink. She has the good grace to look aghast at being loathed, however. "Tchah! I'm not even a patient and you talk to me like that." The corners of her mouth twitch briefly. "How could I not be cheerful? Oxfor has picked a site for New Coesbur, and I am to round up the workhorses to haul gear. I can finally do something besides muck stalls and tell obnoxious Skaikru to stop asking for horses before I put an arrow between their eyes." Note she makes no mention of the new site bringing them even closer to said obnoxious Skaikru…

Pausing, Afaye considers what else she might add in response to the inquiry, and she bites her lower lip in an uncharacteristic display of sudden shyness. A brief shake of her head dispels this, however. "It'll be good, hard work."

Galle snorts at her indignance — no matter how playful. "Everyone is my patient. It is just you are not in need of my services right now." Then she sips her tea while she listens to the bits about New Coesbur, and then she frowns slightly. "Yes, I heard… so close to the Skaikru's stegeda… will be interesting to see if that was a good idea or a poor one." She doesn't sound too sure. She taps her cup slightly, and then snorts. "Why do they want horses? None of them can ride."

"Close enough to peg them with arrows across the lake, if need be." Afaye flashes her white teeth in a brief, bloodthirsty grin belied only by the humorous burble of a chuckle following. "I foresee some interesting—disputes, to say the least. We will manage them." She drops a hand down to her side and draws circles in the dust kicked up onto the porch. "They want horses because we have horses, I suppose. Or maybe because they're tired of walking everywhere. They want lessons to go along with those horses, too. That one little pissant has a mount, and Oxfor insisted I give it back. I fail to see how they will take care of it, though. Do they know how to shoe? Muck stalls? How much to feed it? Grooming? None of that. It will die or go lame, and it will be my fault. That's what the Skaikru do - they fuck things up, and then it's our fault."

Galle laughs brightly — and genuinely — at the grin from her friend. Then she offers a small shrug and agreeable nod. "I suppose having someone close to keep an eye on them is not a bad thing… but will Oxfor be able to keep himself from being too forgiving?" Her tone is a bit speculative. Then she tilts her head, listening to the horsemaster's complaints about the Skaikru. She snorts, shakes her head. "You are not wrong… but…" And she holds up a hand before offering. "You could teach them…"

"I could," Afaye admits, wrinkling her nose at the prospect. "And I will. That is the one stipulation - I will teach them proper care. The other stipulation is I am not giving away our horses. They have to find their own. Now, if Oxfor were to order me to do so, that is entirely different." She pauses and inhales deeply through her nose; her chest rises until her lungs are fit to bursting, and then she exhales explosively. "The one who has a horse has not asked for guidance. He is too proud, I suppose. I do not run a charity for Skaikru." She lets the talk of the Arkers dwindle down there, switching subjects with the blink of her eyelids. "I am going to be teaching Khesu kom Trikru to ride and handle the workhorses. He will need to if he is to help with the felling." She tilts her head and squints at Galle for a moment. Blinkblink. "I wonder if any from Tondc will assist."

"Do what I have done… find a Skaikru who is eager to learn, accepts what it is to be a Second, and will agree to teach what they learn to their people." Then she takes another swallow of her tea, her voice a bit nasally as she talks more. She sighs out a breath, leaning her head back a bit. She catches the blink from the woman and the following comment. She chuckles slightly. "I'm sure that there are plenty of abled bodies who will assist… the Mountain is no more, warriors will want to have something to do." Her mouth thins. "I'm sure that Luther will go assist." There is something in her tone that suggests that she will be staying here, thanks.

Afaye bobs her head once in acknowledgement of Galle's wisdom, even as the tight purse of her lips subtly implies her lack of eagerness to secure a Skaikru second. "I could fetch one up, I suppose. We will be closer to them, so repeated run-ins will be inevitable. Your Second seems a capable woman, for all that her peers are pigheaded idiots." Well, that's a backhanded compliment if there ever was one. She grunts in resignation. "I will consider it."

The horsemaster falls silent for a moment, and the red dots on her face bounce as she furrows her brow. "Luther? Ahh, Luther." The wrinkle on her forehead disappears, and the right corner of her mouth quirks up in a lascivious half-smile. "I wouldn't mind watching that. There's a backside I could sink my teeth into and give him a good shake."

Galle sputters on her next swallow of tea, looking surprised at Afaye's words about Luther. She clears her throat, and then nods. "Well…" She tries her hand at a believable smile. "I'm sure that he would appreciate that attention." Her smile goes lopsided. "You should go to New Coesbur, see if he is interested… certainly he could use the distraction." She sets her head back then, looking tired.

"Silver is… alright… she has her moments of youth… and, like some Skaikru, does not always see that our ways do not need to be changed." She flicks her gaze to Afaye. "She will learn…"

<FS3> Afaye rolls Alertness: Good Success. (2 7 2 4 4 5 7 8)

Something in Galle's tone catches Afaye's attention, and she glances up sharply. Her nostrils flare, and her gaze flicks from left to right as the healer attempts a smooth segue into discussing Silver's merits. This does not serve to properly distract her, however, having caught the scent of—something. Like a dog on a trail, she leans forward and peers at Galle rather intently. "Why would Luther need a distraction? He has never come across a burdened man. Ever." Her eyes narrow perceptibly. "Galle kom Trikru, what did he do?"

By the Flame, people are too observant. Galle tries on her best haughtiness, both hands curled around her cup and her chin lifting slightly. "What did he do?" She scoffs slightly. "Nothing that cannot be properly misdirected… we fucked — " What a crude word from the Healer, but it is said with an air of disregard. " — and he misperceived it. He could probably use someone distracting him from his embarrassment." There are half-truths and near-lies in all that, but Galle is used to those and so she delivers them without much hesitation.

Afaye jerks back as if someone had jumped out of nowhere and held a torch to her face. One can almost smell the burnt hair as she stares at Galle with her mouth hanging open; the slack-jawed look is quite out of place on the usually composed face. "I" Her mouth closes. It opens again. "He" Close. Pause. Open. "So." A lot of weight hangs in that one word, and it vibrates the air like the lingering hum of a hammered gong.

After another moment or two to collect herself, the horsemaster drops her knees and settles into a cross-legged position. "I don't even know what to say to that. It sounds like bullshit wrapped in bullshit masquerading as dessert."

"So." Galle agrees, though she finds herself uncertain what agreeing to that word and its unspoken sentiment means. She feels abruptly confused… fourteen all over again, drunk on rose wine, and… she almost blushes before she can finish that thought. She narrows her eyes slightly at her friend as she sits cross-legged on the ground, and her jaw sets a bit. "I don't know what you mean," she says, knowing exactly what Afaye means.

"Yes you do." The reply is abrupt and unflinching, but after another momentary pause Afaye relents with a quiet sigh. "You were drunk. Judging by the gossip, you were really drunk. Judging by what I saw, he was really drunk. It happens." Mostly. "Something big happened, Galle kom Trikru, something monumental that went our way. The Maunon - they are no more. This is a new and different future for the Trikru. All of that piled on top of a load of heavy cider… People celebrate in all kinds of ways."

Now it sounds like she is trying to convince herself and Galle that the bullshit is dessert after all. "Does he—want more? From you."

Galle frowns at first. "I know that. I'm sure that Luther was celebrating just as I was… and I'm sure that we both enjoyed it." Despite the morning after, and Galle's vague memories of the night's escapades. She taps her fingers against the mug, looking down into its mostly depleated contents. She lets the question hang there for a long moment, only shaking her head once she has let it fester long enough. "No… he does not. I think that, perhaps… he would have accepted the opportunity if I wanted it, but I don't."

There's the smell of bullshit again, and Afaye wrinkles her nose. Maybe someone's horse took a dump up the path. She glances away from Galle for a quick check of the immediate surroundings, but no pile of horse apples pops up to conveniently sway her. "Hmph." She unfastens her flask from her hip and tips her head back to take a swig of water. "My instincts tell me not to believe you, but I know you wouldn't lie to me. There's no reason to, eh?" Yeah, yeah - just let that sink in. "I can keep an eye him while we're down in New Coesbur. If he shows signs of trying to hang himself from a tree or something, we can revisit this conversation. You said Silver is getting along well enough? Besides trying to invalidate generations of our healing practices, of course."

Galle sighs deeply, looking across the lazy state of a garden in late summer. She does not speak for a long moment, and should perhaps accept the fact that Afaye is giving her an out as the conversation changes. But, even this woman can be an idiot at times. "Luther and I have been down this path… twice now… drunk and desperate for a connection, but a brief one. He does not need to be looked after like that… I'm sure that he is fine." She frowns slightly. "I would much rather see him find a woman who wants that with him." Because she doesn't. No, of course not.

Then she sighs, returning to the topic of Silver. "She isn't attempting to invalidate… it is just a debate of which is better… I'm sure her people's are quite profound, but… look around… technology does not survive, and we have found a sustainable way to heal. They need our knowledge more than we need theirs."

Afaye grunts quietly, but allows the conversation of Luther - and that whole sordid past - drop. For now. She seems slightly uneasy, and she shifts her weight from side to side as she tries to fill the momentary silence by gulping heartily from her flask. She exhales a sound of satisfaction, and when she comes up for air the topic has shifted onto a lighter, less intrusive note. "If nothing else, our knowledge can augment theirs. From what I hear, they did not exactly arrive here with their tools entirely intact, no? It would be faster, and much easier, to learn how and why we do what we do. Apply it to their people while they figure out how to get what they do have up and running again. Or… Or if it can be supplemented with property from the mountain."

Despite the knowledge that the Maunon have fallen, talk of that dark fortress of horrors is enough to sober anyone. Afaye's shoulders hunch slightly just in the mentioning. "She will learn. She is quite young. Do you not remember being that age? I was sure I knew everything."

"They did not… nor can they really maintain what they already have…" Galle grimaces. "Though I'm sure the Mountain's healing supplies will help." Though her lips thin. "As long as it is only their healing supplies they are interested in." She looks at Afaye now. "And not their other technologies." She then looks back out at the garden once more as a young rabbit begins to gnaw at the edges of her long-ago bloomed broccoli. She watches with mild disinterest, but does laugh when Afaye asks after her own memories of youth. "Yes… I had met Timore by then… and I remember my Komfi rolling her eyes when I said he would become my houmon one day." She offers a smirk at her friend. "Komfi never really liked Timore… I never found out why… and I'm sure she will never tell me now."

Afaye smiles gently at the mention of Galle's houmon, although a touch of sadness lingers in the corners of the expression. "I wish I could have known him. I would have figured out right away what your Komfi disliked, but I wonder if it was more the idea of Timore than the man himself. Your judgment would not allow for anyone less than a truly good man to win your heart." Slumping forward, she rests her elbows on her knees and cradles her chin in her palms. The fingers of her right hand drum against her cheek briefly. "It is a lucky thing to find a houmon, but I—I will settle for a niron. Every once in a while, it's an itch I have to scratch. And then I'm good for another, oh, eight or nine seasons." She grins cheekily at Galle. "Perhaps I should get Luther drunk and ask him about his thoughts on the matter."

Galle offers a light laugh at Afaye's words, and she shrugs. "I'm sure Komfi disliked him for barely legitimate reasons… she gets something in her head, and that is all she focuses on. It is what it is… his fight is over." The Healer recites the words softly. Then she offers a small smile as she recalls. "I met Timore after he broke his arm just before his final mission with his First… silly boy… I think he was showing off, or Luther had dared him. I set his arm, and looked after him." Then she casts Afaye a broad smile, head tilted. "Mm, well… do not be surprised if he gets eager while drunk. He might be able to itch that scratch for you, though."

Afaye's nose wrinkles at the suggestion, and she glances away for a moment. This must be what it looks like when she is truly shy; surely nobody can even tell if she's blushing. Her cheeks feel hot to the touch, and she presses the backs of her fingers to them. "He might be able to, but I would require enough liquor to fell a horse before that would happen. Luther kom Trikru is a beautiful man - a feast for the eyes. But I don't think he's a feast for the rest of me, and I can't picture it being anything other than really, really, painfully awkward. Gnaw-off-my-arm-in-the-morning awkward."

If Afaye is echoing Galle's feelings of the morning, she seems entirely unaware. Her gaze is focused on some distant point along the ground.

Galle looks surprised at Afaye's words, head tilting slightly. "You do not find him attractive like that?" Her question is posed carefully, almost with confusion. That alone should speak volumes about her own attraction to the man — an attraction she is in hot denial over. She then blushes slightly at the last of her words, clearing her throat a bit. "Well… it wouldn't be the first time he has experienced that…"

Afay's brow furrows at the question, slightly puzzled herself. "No. I mean, yes, I am, but…" The struggle to find the right, inoffensive words could not be more real right now. After a handful of seconds, she tosses up her hands in a frustrated sign of surrender. "I do, though I think it's a silly thing to admit. I would and could ride him like a wild stallion, Galle kom Trikru, but I don't feel compelled to. He has a certain way of looking at a woman that can make her tingle in all the right places, but I am content to admire his shapely backside and nothing more. Do my words make any sense?" She isn't so sure herself, and she worries her lower lip between her teeth. "I find the whole scenario slightly absurd and most likely moot anyway."

When Afaye mentions riding Luther, the Healer actually colors gently at the height of her cheeks. It takes her a few moments to shake something from her mind, but the blush remains ever so soft at her cheeks. Then, Galle frowns at Afaye's words, her brow furrowed thoughtfully. She nods slightly as she looks back out across the garden, holding gently onto her cup. She taps the empty vessel a few times. "Well, we can all admire that," she admits. She hesitates slightly. "But, I understand what you mean… sometimes, obtaining something you've admired from afar… only sours the entire thing." She ducks her eyes slightly, looking into her cup as she does. "It is best to stay afar and keep things sweet." She then glances to Afaye. "If I'm hearing you right."

Afaye's lips curve upward into a strange smile, and she glances sidelong to Galle. Cue the awkward neckrub as she considers her friend's words carefully, bobbing her head in a placating manner. "Yeah, that. Or - and I'm just throwing this out there - I could also mean that I could just as easily live without it as with it." She purses her lips in thought runs a hand over the short, rough hair on her scalp. "What I really meant is that the odds are incredibly unlikely that we would have enough energy or enough liquor for it to happen." With a loud sigh, she shakes her head and flaps her hand dismissively. "That's enough about Luther's potential in bed. You'd best just keep him, Galle. You'd best just keep him."

It takes a moment for Galle to realize her friend's words, and she looks over at her with a hard blink. "Me?" She asks, tone a bit aghast. "He wants nothing to do with me in that regard, Afaye… we were drunk, that is all. He made it quite clear that it was nothing beyond that." Or she made it clear, and he agreed. It is really up to debate at this point — not that Galle would ever dare engage in such a debate. "I'm going to New Coesbur tomorrow," she offers. "When will you be making your way there?" Seamless topic change, look at the Healer go.

Perhaps the conversation is starting to head down a path that is equally uncomfortable for the horsemaster. She shifts her weight from one side, fidgeting with her belt and shifting her pouch around. So when the topic switches immediately to the new village, she latches onto it like a fish on a bug. "Tomorrow," she concludes, offering Galle a brief, cheerful grin. "And it isn't soon enough, if you ask me. I'm itching to be out from underfoot and to put in some real work bringing back our village. Even if it is closer to the Skaikru."

Galle is thankful to let the topic of Luther go. She instead focuses on the journey. "Well, we will be along the road together, perhaps… I have a cart to load though. I'm going to set up a healing tent because the warriors are bound to get more injured building instead of fighting." She smirks then as she sets her cup aside. "And I should probably start putting together supplies."

This is as good a cue as any. Afaye sighs heavily as she is reminded that her own work is hardly finished, and she stretches her arms over her head with a quiet groan. "I should start my day as well. Much to do, and never enough time. I've got wagons to load and horses to prepare myself, but I am sure we will be able to keep each other company along the way." She cups her face in her palms and rubs briskly to revive herself. One explosive sigh later, she rises to her feet. "Perhaps I'll beg a supply of cider from the public house, and we can put our theories to the test tonight. See you later, Galle, and be safe."

The Healer nods slightly. "Never enough time." She offers a light laugh at the mention of the cider, and she nods gently. "I'll partake," she promises. Then she starts to step away, still feeling her headcold bothering her, but she will do her best to disregard while she prepares for New Coesbur.

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