Surprise...?

Characters Alexa, J'en
Synopsis Alexa tracks down J'en to give him some (un)surprising news.
Out-of-Character Date November 11, 2019

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.


With the days growing warmer and warmer at Fort Weyr, one would think that people would be more inclined to be out and about rather than tucked away in a corner of a bar. Which, for the most part, they are. However, that is not to say that there aren't exceptions. The promise of swimming or sunbathing is certainly not enough to lure some people, the hard core regulars of Shenanigans for one, with a certain bronzerider among them. It might only be tipping towards dinnertime but that's not keeping J'en from sitting at that there back table, his long legs up and crossed at the ankle, a computer in his lap as he sips at a dark ale in a green bottle and reviews all those ones and zeros on his screen. The man wears his riding pants and heavy boots, a deep crimson tank top, his jacket hung on the back of his chair. Currently he was staring at the screen and toying with the ring of metal at the left corner of his bottom lip, dark lashes low, and his expression purely neutral.

The outdoors might be sunny and warm, but they come with untold hazards to computer-kind! Things like DUST and WIND and IRRITATING SCREEN GLARE BECAUSE THE SUN IS BRIGHT- GRR. J'en is probably wise for staying indoors, where he has only the threat of spilled beer and ANGRY WEYRWOMEN to contend with. Or maybe just mildly-irritated weyrwomen. Alexa isn't quite angry yet, but she might just get there if she can't find this sharding bronzerider before sundown. Seriously. She's gonna keep a notebook with names from now on, because this is effing ridiculous— "FINALLY!" Triumphant declaration is made at the spotting of said bronzerider — Jae might be tucked in the back, but Alexa has looked high and low and now he is spotted and recognized (it's the tattoos. Hard to go incognito with those). Fear. There was unlikely to be a helpful bronze-warning because — much like her rider — Raaneth has entirely forgotten the name of the bronze that flew her. At least she can blame it on dragonic memories. Alexa has no such excuse. But it's fine. It's fine. Because she found him. And while she might not be angry-stomping her way over, she's definitely got the look of a woman on a mission as she sidles and slides and even elbows her way through the (admittedly not very crowded) bar until she's standing across from Jae. "You. You are a hard man to find." Particularly when she's completely forgotten his name.

Yes, the sun was far too bright, and there was something about the weather in addition to the time of day that made people think that smiling and cheerful greetings were okay. Ugh. It was almost enough to keep J'en tucked away inside his weyr, but he'd made a promise to be less of a hermit, which is why he is at the very least parked in his usual spot in Shenanigans. The bronzerider is absolutely clueless to the fact that someone was looking for him, looking all chill and relaxed and boozing it up. This obliviousness continues all the way up to the interruption of someone's voice far too close for his comfort, golden eyes darting upwards to the Igen goldrider now standing in his general vicinity with a single brow slow arching over one of them, "That's the point," he rumbles back in a soft but even tone, doing a decent job of hiding the fact that he was trying so hard to place this woman's face, "What brings ya to Fort?" It seemed the perfect time to tip back his ale and take a sip, who this was and why she was here starting to gnaw at him with greater and greater force.

Well. At least Alexa knows his face even if she doesn't know his name. She also remembers why she knows his face, so she's definitely winning this 'who are you and why do you look familiar' game. A quick huff of breath seeks to blow stray hair from out of her eyes, and when that doesn't work she swipes her hand across it instead, tucking blond hair back behind her ear. "Yeah, well. I'm sick of walking." Which, apparently, is why she is going to yank out a chair and sit down in it, whether or not he wanted a table guest. Clearly, manners have been left somewhere along the path behind her. Maybe up or down the million and one stairs she had to climb. Of course, now that she's here the prospect of explaining why seems to have become rather daunting. Maybe it's all those tattoos. Or that deadpan stare. Or the ale he keeps sipping at. Whatever it is, Alexa has stolen his chair but has apparently gone mute. A few false starts, a bit of shifty eye-movement, and after far too long sitting in silence she simply blurts out, "I'm pregnant." And, in case he doesn't connect the dots. "It's totally yours." Beat. Two. Three. "Just thought you should know." Do you remember her NOW Jae?!

Truth be told, J'en had done his very best to spend as little time looking at Alexa that day and as much as possible trying to forget her. Fights were flights, and he loved his weyrmate more than his own life. Next to nothing changes of his expression as Alexa huffs, mildly waiting for some explanation as to why she was here and lingering in his space, head tilting somewhat to the side as she helps herself a seat without bothering to ask him if she could join him. Really. There is no response to her annoyance of having been all over the weyr looking for him, far more focused on the fact she'd just sat down, an action that strongly suggested she planned to be there for a bit. Settling against the back of his chair, his chin tips upwards and the darkness of his lashes lower, saying nothing as he sip again at his drink. Through Jae's silence and Alexa's false starts, this continues to be the trend throughout. Course, he nearly chokes on the dark amber liquid as she finally manages to make her announcement, shoulders instantly stiffening and doing his utmost to recover with as much dignity as he can muster. For a second, just one single second, there is the sharpness of his poison tipped glare with all the 'yer mistaken' that goes along with it before all that he's tried to push out of his mind comes flooding back to drown him in the reality of this moment. "Fuck," he breathes out ever so quietly to himself from behind the opening that green bottle, and in the very next second he's exhaling a very long and heavy sigh, "Ya plannin' on raisin' it yerself, or fosterin'?" Don't let the absolute neutrality of his tone fool you, because internally he was freaking the fuck out right now.

Alexa might play at confidence, but that death-glare nearly has her running. Seriously. She didn't know the guy beyond their one encounter — and that, a hazy thing to begin with — and being threatened (even if it's just via those golden eyeballs) by a not-so-small, tattooed and pierced bronzerider is enough to have her thinking twice about being here at all. She stiffens, shoulders back and back ramrod straight, fingers laced but fidgeting in her lap, green eyes once more darting to the door like it might be a damn good idea to get the heck out of dodge, when his expletive seems to signal his acceptance — and remembrance — of past events. "Yeah." Cause 'fuck' is right. Literally and figuratively. But the question has her gaping, staring at him as if he might have grown a second head. "I can't raise a child!" So that would be a 'no' on doing so herself. "Fostering," she adds. "Unless you wanted to raise it…" But even though the question is posed, there's a hesitation to that offer; a catch of breath and a tightening of her throat as she swallows. And because she might as well say it all… "But I was kind of hoping the child could stay at Igen…" She might not be able to raise it herself, but it's still her child and she's damn sure she wants to be a might more present than her own mother was. A sigh, and she studies the grain in the table top, tracing it with her eyes if not her fingers. "Look. You don't have to do anything. I wanted to tell you because… because it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't know you; you don't know me. I didn't know… I dunno. I guess if the situation was reversed, I'd be pissed if I found out later, instead of at the beginning."

In well over half of his nearly thirty turns of living, J'en had tried (and failed) to intimidate with that look, but here and now it had come on impulse rather than out of intention. Either way, had he known it had managed to be effective, it may have filled him with a smug sort of pride regardless of their current situation. FINALLY! However, the look is there and gone, quickly replaced by that neutral mask as he does his very best to maintain some semblance of decorum and far too distracted by the knowledge that he and S'van would have to have yet another of those talks he didn't like having to notice the goldrider's initial reaction. As for the follow up, all Alexa gets an arched brow, but no translation as to why. At least, not yet. Not knowing the woman or whether or not she had someone back at Igen to help her with child rearing, it seemed only natural to inquire as to her plans for their offspring, snorting softly in the end. He doesn't say what immediately sprung to mind, that he had thought the same of raising a child, but he had S'van to back him up, "That ain't somethin' I can decide on mah own." Cause, weyrmate. There were other factors as well, such as the fact that the bronzerider pair were already raising a kid together and their son spent more time with nannies these days than he did with them. "That's probably best," he agrees, nodding, of the unborn remaining in Igen close to the mother that clearly wanted it even if she couldn't raise it herself. As for the rest of all that, table admiration aside, "Appreciate that." And he did. "Already been through the opposite, it ain't fun." Like babies being born and suddenly it was all 'SURPRISE YOU BE A DADDY' or having to hear it through a third party. But, hopefully Alexa doesn't inquire as to how many children J'en had fathered in his lifetime, because the answer would either be a straight up count of the ones he knew or a shrug to go along with his 'no clue'.

Congrats Jae-muse, ya finally scared someone. But as it is there and gone, Alexa forgoes bolting for the door in favor of rather awkward conversations and a surprising number of variables she hadn't considered. Like his weyrmate. But it's fine. It's fine. Because her counter-offer is taken and she's breathing a sigh of something like relief, nodding along in understanding about how much that conversation would have sucked. The whole 'surprise, you're a dad!' coming after the baby was in the world. "Yeah," is all she can really say about it though, having never had the experience herself (and given she's the baby-carrier, probably never will). No need to ask how many kids he's spawned; because frankly she doesn't wanna know. The only one she cares about is the one currently growing in her womb, because that's the one that will impact her life. He could have a hundred kids, and it wouldn't make much difference to Alexa. "So I guess… I mean… do you wanna know when it's born? Or like… I mean, if you don't care that's fine. I totally get it," she adds quickly. "I'm not trying to make you be, like, involved or anything. Seriously. It was a flight, and I get that. So just… I'm just asking because— well? if you *want* to be involved, or something, you can be. So just… if you could just tell me, then I'll know? I mean, you don't have to tell me now either — unless you already know right now — because maybe you have to talk to your weyrmate about it. But maybe you don't. I dunno. I don't know how these things work. Fuck, I want a drink." She might just pout, because a drink is something she definitely cannot have.

J'en would have been totally pumped about it had he known. Secretly of course and not to be shared with another living soul other than Leketh. As it was, there was plenty else to keep the bronzerider in the here and now, despite the otherwise freak out of this and the future conversation that would have to take place between himself and S'van. The actual number of his spawn aside, J'en was rather fixated admittedly on the one currently growing inside of the goldrider seated with him, leaving much unsaid as he just tries to process everything that had happened in the last five minutes. Which was a lot! As if to complicate things, Alexa launches into the sort of questions that were making his head spin faster as well as inspiring him to take a mouthful of ale, the latter of which he takes his time swallowing even if all he really wanted to do was guzzle it down right now and order another like twelve. "I dunno," he replies honestly once there was little else to keep him from forming a response, "It ain't that I dun care…" With that his voice trails off, because as emotional a person as he was under all the whershit, it hits him in times like these just how much his weyrmate's opinion mattered. "…this affects S'van too. I'll 'avta talk it over with 'im and get back to ya." The rambling, something very reminiscent of a few other people he knew, didn't seem to bother him as much as it might seem it would have. "One drink ain't gunna fuck up anything, so ya should have one if ya want one. I'm sure the fuck gunna…" With that, he's flagging down a waitress, probably expecting Alexa to make up her mind on this a lot sooner than he was going to back to her as to whether or not she could expect to see him in Igen again anytime soon.

"Yeah of course, sure. Talk it over and just… I mean, let me know if you want to… know. When the baby is born…" *Sigh*. Seriously, they ought to teach a course in Weyrlinghood about these situations. What is the protocol even? Alexa is just gonna make it up as she goes. "And yeah, but no," she decides, a vehement head-shake given at the offer of a drink. "I actually… I mean, I gotta go home. Back to Igen. It took a lot longer to find you than I thought it would." Probably because she couldn't ask for help seeing as she'd forgotten his name. With the waitress flagged down, Alexa seems to think this is a perfect moment to actually start making her getaway, rising from her chair and waving away the inquiring look of said waitress. "Oh. I'm only a couple months so… I mean. You've got time." Nose wrinkled, she sighs and shoves the chair back under the table, just as it was when she arrived. "If you decide you… well. If you decide you'd rather not… you know. You don't have to tell me. I'll just assume that no answer actually is your answer, I guess." A shrug follows the words, and now she's definitely eyeballing the door. "But yeah. I just… Well. Now you know. So I guess. Bye." She'll at least wait for some sort of acknowledgement of her exit before running, because that's only polite. But there's definitely no sticking around to chat now that she's said her piece. Except, well… "And I'm Alexa. In case… you forgot." Cough-cough.

Perhaps J'en should count his blessings he wasn't invited to the birth? Although, right now, he wasn't thinking about that so much as the look on his weyrmate's face as he told him he'd knocked up yet another goldrider. Honestly, given his track record, it should just be assumed that once he's slept with anyone female they were knocked up. How this all had come as a shock to him at this point was anyone's guess. Though, really, they should totally have a weyrling class that covered this stuff or at the very least touch on it in the mating flights lecture. Not being a weyrlingmaster presently, this thought probably doesn't even occur to the bronzerider, not when he's ordering four bottles of ale and nodding to the all too soon to be departing Alexa. It's not as blatant as a 'suit yourself' but it's just as good. "In the future," he murmurs, not looking her direction as he hands off his empty bottle and payment for the next, "I'm either 'ere or 'ome." Not that he's expecting Alexa to show up again, but he's not exactly giving her directions to his weyr either. "Just 'ave yers get in contact with Leketh." Another nod comes for time, a thing that seemed forever now, but would undoubtedly fly by. As much as J'en would have preferred to put off the inevitable, his plan was to get a little drunk on liquid courage and drop the bomb as gently on S'van as possible. "Ya'll 'ear from meh soon. Either way." Sure the letter would be in Sev's handwritten as Jae's was illegible, but she'd have her answer. Sighing, the bronzerider waves her off, "Later…" as he was already at least mentally invested in drinking now, setting his laptop aside after he'd closed it, not even caring right now as to whether or not he remembered to save his progress. "J'en." With that, Alexa was outty and J'en was left to brood with his booze.

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