Day 020: Old Friends
Summary: Britt arrives in Coesbur and runs into some old friends.
Date: 06 Jun 2016
Related: None
Veks Britt Rinnan 

Coesbur Kennels

A five-foot high fence surrounds the kennels on three sides. Made of wooden posts sunk into the earth with crossbars of whatever materials were at hand, lashed together with a variety of cordage, it's nevertheless strong enough to keep the animals on one side, and the humans on the other.

The fourth 'wall' of the kennels is a row of shoulder-height doghouses made of old planks, corrugated metal, and bricks. Several of them run together on the inside, allowing the animals to sleep together in cold weather, but a few have individual walls and grates on the openings to isolate animals if necessary.

Behind the doghouses is the Houndsman's home. Lumpen and rather ungainly, its primary components are the shell of a Volkswagen camper-van, rusted slabs of corrugated quansit siding, and chunks of what might have originally been barn walls. Despite its cobbled-together origins, it has been elaborately decorated with wind-chimes, dangling bits of shiny metal and coloured glass, and dozens of painted dog-skulls.

Day 20

It's an early summer day, the same as any other early summer day — on the surface, at least. Scratch a little deeper, and things get weird in a hurry. Strangers falling from the sky, less than half a day's walk from Coesbur. Giant, flaming comets crashing to earth from the sky, only days after that. Rumours of weird, untreatable sicknesses spread by these newcomers.

Better than the Reapers attacking? Maybe? Probably?

Coesbur's dogs don't give a damn about the new happenings, at least. Every day is the best day ever, when you're a dog. Today, the kennels are relatively quiet. A few dogs are milling around, play-wrassling or sniffing eachother for new stories. Others are sleeping. And Veks, the village's young Houndsman, is slogging buckets of water from the village well to the kennel stores, keeping them topped up. They were built for his father — a man of formidable size and strength — and the smaller Veks manages the task with considerably less ease.

It is these strange happenings - or, more specifically, a certain report sent after the happenings - that has brought Britt to Coesbur. She rides a dun mare. It's a different horse than the last time she visited, probably a loaner from the common stables. Rumpled and hot from traveling, her habitual path into the village now takes her past the kennels. Spying the young man hauling water, she lifts a hand from the saddle pommel to wave. "Veks." It's a simple greeting, accompanied by a warm smile.

Slog, slosh. Slog, slosh. Veks sways to a stop when his name is called, and eases down the pair of barrels slung from the thick branch across his shoulders. The two years since Britt's last visit have shed the last of Veks's babyface, the puppyish too-large limbs and awkward shoulders finally filled out. No final inch or three of height, alas; he'll forever be chin-height to his father's ghost.

"Britt!" he calls, as pale eyes light with recognition and summon a grin to his face. "Didn't know you were comin' through." He leaves the buckets where they are, dogs already coming to help themselves to the fresh water, and jogs to the fence's edge. "You good?" He unlatches the gate and slips through to step up to the side of Britt's horse. There aren't a lot of people who matter more than the horse they're riding in Veks's books, but Britt's one of them.

Rinnan arrives from the Village Center.

Britt has just ridden into the village, still rumpled and sweaty from traveling. Her route has taken her past the kennels, where she's stopped to talk to Veks. The younger man is just coming out of the gate, while Britt is sliding down from her horse. Her feet hit the ground just as he's reaching the side of the horse. "Neither did I," she says, of her unexpected visit. "I'm well enough. Too long out of the saddle, though." A brief grimace clouds her face, even as she pats the horse's neck. "How are you? Your mothers?"

Veks, meanwhile, is all smiles. In the grand scheme of things, Britt is apparently both known AND highly-considered by the Houndsman. He bounces once on the balls of his feet, as if about to hug Britt but then reconsidering at the last instant. Well. He /was/ just shlepping water in the kennels. Best not to sweat all over a friend of the family's. "You been riding longer than I've been walking," he reminds her, admiringly. "It'll come back in no time." He takes a step back to reach for the horse's reins. "They're good. Didn't catch sick from the Skaikru. None of us did. You heard about that already?"

Rinnan appears, ambling in with a small, weighted net in one hand and a general trajectory that appears headed towards the river. Her head cants slightly, like a dog trying to make sense of poetry, at the sight of Britt sliding off her horse. Something in her expression seems to trip a breaker across the lines of recognition, as her mouth pulls into a pleased half-smirk. Changing course, she sidles up to the pair with a grin for Britt before she looks over at Veks with a good natured smirk. "Is this one bothering you?," she asks, chin lifting towards Veks with an air of expectant conclusion about the state of Veks' bothersomeness. Today's Level: Orange - Very in fact bothersome.

"Don't remind me," Britt replies with a good-natured grin. She's just as sweaty as Veks, after baking all day in the summer sun. She stretches out an arm to invite that aborted hug, offering a hearty thump on the back if he accepts. Not one for gushy shows of affection, is Britt, but there are sometimes exceptions. The mention of sickness causes a crease in her brow, but before she can answer, she's distracted by Rinnan's arrival. The younger woman gets a pleasantly-surprised smile. "Rinnan. Good to see you. No more than usual," is a smirking answer to the question.

Veks's practically-beaming grin sharpens toward a smirk when he spots Rinnan approaching. The toothier expression freezes with surprise when it becomes clear Rinnan and Britt know eachother. Smoke-grey eyes flick back and forth between them. Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. This changes /everything/. Rinnan gets the start of a suspicious squint — just what game's getting played here, missy — before he asks, "You… fought together?"

"Mmmm…," Rinnan responds with a air that can't decide to commit to an answer as she grins over at Britt with eyebrows knitt mischeviously. "…where do I know you from again? Braile, wasn't it?" She purses her lips in an indecision that's all mock reach to place the face and the name. Hmmm? Oh, a war? Which war again? Rinnan's grin goes wider and louder, more seeable from space as she grins over at Britt warmly and smirks at Veks. "If it wasn't for Britt, Arlin would have died another 300 or so times over," she concludes, with a light gesture Britt's way. "We went in shifts, so we could both take naps unless he wandered off into the enemy camp after a pretty face," Rinnan concludes, looking at Veks with a raise of her eyebrows that seems to enjoy its momentary position as owner of additional mystery.

Britt looks between the two of them, hearing Rinnan's response with a knowing smirk. "More like 3 than 300," she demurs, though the truth is probably somewhere in-between. "But yes, for a few months." The comment about Arlin wandering off causes her to chuckle lightly, then she says, "Hopefully he won't get any ideas about the Skaikru. Is he here?" She glances past Rinnan in the direction she game, as if to see if he's over there somewhere.

Veks looks Rinnan down and up, as if her smug not-really-explanations cast her in an entirely new light. Reputation gain by proxy? It appears so — but then Arlin's mentioned, and the Houndsman has a whole new batch of cognitive dissonance to sort through. "Arlin," he mutters, a little sourly — though he /does/ cast a look around the village square, searching for the tall man amongst the other passers-by. "Yeah. They came in together," he adds. "Think they're staying in Que's storeroom for now."

"He was in the Seat earlier," Rinnan directs, her head turning towards the building that can only be The Seat itself, politely ignoring Veks' tonal review of Arlin. "Being Heda's healer has its perks," she adds with a knowing grin, the more exact number of the number of times Arlin and a pretty face were on a collision course for certain death left unspecified. Her head inclines just a touch towards Britt in a friendly gesture. "I am glad you're here," she offers, before turning to look at Veks. "It doesn't really need stating but she's very good at what she does," she reflects, this approval for Britt but presented for Veks.

The sour look causes Britt to cant her head slightly, curious. But she doesn't ask - not now. Either of them might recognize that she has her All Business face on, now that the healer's been mentioned. One can almost see the gears turning behind those green eyes. Even so, she offers a smile in response to Rinnan's compliment. "Thanks. It's good to see both of you too. I'll catch up with you both more soon. And your mothers," is offered to Veks with a slight nod. "For now though I need to find Arlin. Orders. If you'll excuse me…"

Orders. Veks shoots a quick glance to Rinnan, curiousity plain in his expression. Coesbur used to be such an unexciting place. "I'll tell them you're coming for supper," he says to Britt, starting to back away in the direction of his childhood home. He lifts a hand to her in farewell, then shoots Rinnan a final look before turning to walk away. There'll be words for Miss Mysterious later, all right.

Rinnan's eyes flick the way of Veks childhood home with a neutral, if too neutral expression before she refocuses on Britt and Vek alike. Just in time to catch Veks' 'look', she smirks openly at him in a kind of poop consuming grin. Her hand raises to offer Veks a little 'sparkle magic' finger wave as he departs. Byyyyye, cupcake. Immediately, her head turns and she looks at Britt with a nod that switches almost instantly to business mode. "Oxfor will likely also want to meet you, if informally just so he's aware of the number of Warriors accumulating here. Arlin can make an introduction, if you like?," she offers with a nod for her need to move. Holding up the net in her hand, Rinnan too seems to resume her obligation: dinner. "I'll see you later," she smile at Britt once more, before heading off.

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