Moonflower and Sungazer (2)
Characters: Lineal, Rahona, Kellin, Barli, Eliste, Fog, Lihona, Barr, Nalin, Taem, Mehan, Glafir, Jezz, Vaheri, Menore, Vidara, Linli, Tahna, Neke
Description: The Sungazer and Moonflower riverboat crews have a party marking the end of their time together.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 2, day 3 of Turn 5
Notes: Riverboat Sungazer
"Welcome aboard," Lineal called, leaning over the railing and waving at the people making their way up the landing stage. He recognised the Moonflower's Captain and the headwoman and presumed the others were the rest of the family, now gathering at the seaport ready to set out on the overhauled riverboat. He waved. "Come on up!"
Menore stretched up and waved to Lineal. It would be nice to see the Sungazer crew again, the last time before the Moonflower left to resume it's normal trek over the river. She cast a glance to her side, but made no comment to Mehan. Yes, it would be good to get back to normal.
~ ~ ~
Mehan also waved at the Sungazer's captain he he followed Menore up the landing stage onto the main deck. It would be nice to get his own boat back on the water for this time ashore for the Moonflower's overhaul was the longest time he had been off the Nettleweed River in his life.
It had been an interesting time, in more ways than one, but he was glad it was coming at an end.
~ ~ ~
Glafir had finally managed to get a turn in the washroom and get cleaned. He hurried to their tiny cabin. There was no sight of Vidara, but his best clothes were laid ready on the bed and her smell still lingered. He had missed her only by few minutes. He quickly changed and went to the deck to join the others.
Vidara was there when Glafir arrived. She moved over to join her husband, took his hand and gave it a small squeeze of affection.. "Hey slowpoke." She turned to peck him upon the cheek.
Only slightly behind Glafir, Barli smiled at the affectionate greeting the young couple shared. It had been fun getting to know the members of the Moonflower crew. Smoothing her hand over the front of her green gown Barli offered Vidara and Glafir a friendly nod.
Though she had been able to keep her own room, all to herself, throughout the time that the extra crewmembers were aboard, Vaheri would be glad to see them go. She glanced about, critically eying the members of Sungazer's crew and finding that they were definitely dressed to make all proud, before turning to inspect the food that had been prepared and set out for the party.
"Aunty Vaheri?" Lihona said, appearing at the headwoman's side. "I could try some of that for you - to see if it's all right."
The headwoman glanced down at the girl and then around. "I suppose that would be a good idea." She held the tray toward Lihona. "But don't tell the others or there will be none left for our guests."
"It's good," Lihona mumbled through a mouthful. "But they're not real guests - just more of the Moonflower crew. Almost family. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if ate a little more -"
"I would mind, my dear," Rahona said firmly, having heard her daughter's suggestion. "Why don't you go out there and help your father welcome the Moonflower's captain aboard rather than trying to wheedle food out of your aunt?"
"Has anyone seen Jezz? I sent her out earlier," Barli said approaching the trio before Lihona had a chance to follow her mother's suggestion.
"She was ..." Lihona looked around. "She _was_ with me."
"Ah, well, she must be about then," Barli answered giving a cursory look around before turning her attention to the boarding guests. "I suppose Mehan will be plenty pleased to be on the water again," she said to no one in particular.
As she spoke the captain of the Moonflower appeared at the edge of the crowd, smiling at the Sunflower crew as he was introduced to them, and keeping a firm hold of the hand of the woman at his side.
"Well, well," Kellin murmured under her breath.
Menore caught Kellin's eye and wrinkled her nose at her cousin. It was followed by a grin, though Menore didn't let go of Mehan to go greet Kellin. She made her greetings to the rest of the crew. She was still annoyed at her cousin for choosing to leave the Moonflower, but the pain of that separation was lessened at the admittance of Mehan and the plans for the future they were making with one another.
"What's with that?" Taem asked bluntly, having more than a little of his aunt's direct nature. He pointed to the joined hands of his captain and the Moonflower's owner. "Something we should know about?"
~ ~ ~
The girls rushed ahead of Fog and Neke, their excitement obvious about the evenings celebrations. They chattered excitedly as they made their way along the deck to the group of girls and women waiting to disembark. Fog's gaze was fastened on Eliste where she stood amongst the small gathering.
"You really can't take your eyes off her, can you?" Neke asked with a smile.
"No... when she's around, she is the centre of everything, for me."
"I can tell." Neke smiled, pleased that her brother was happy again.
They neared the group, so Fog held his questions in check, but knew he would have to have a deeper talk with his sister once the festivities were over.
Eliste smiled when she saw Fog and started to say something, but then she heard Mehan and her attention was turned to the Moonflower's captain.
Mehan cleared his throat and looked down at the Moonflower's headwoman and started to answer Taem's question. "Probably something worth announcing, anyway," he admitted.
"Might as well do it now." Menore suggested as she motioned toward the crowd. "If there is anyone missing, I wouldn't know it from this throng."
Well, then," Mehan said, raising his voice. "Menore and I have something to share with everybody. We're going to be married before the Moonflower gets back on the river."
"Wow, that's news," Glafir said with surprise.
"Not completely unexpected," Kellin said with some justified smugness in her tone as she stepped forward to kiss Menore's cheek and pat Mehan on the shoulder. "Congratulations. Both of you."
Vaheri continued to arrange the food on the serving table. Both Mehan and Menore were riverboat people – it would have been more surprising had one been from ashore.
Vidara glanced at her husband, eyebrows raised. "So...the whole 'at each other's throats...was that their way of showing their love for each other or something?"
Menore smirked at Vidara's comment, then grinned to her cousin Kellin. "Thanks." It had taken a long time to get to that point, but now that they were there, Menore was practically giddy.
"This makes this celebration more than just a farewell then," Lineal said, delighted that the young owner of the other riverboat had seen sense and agreed to marry the other captain. "Everybody get something to drink and we'll make a toast."
"Grab that tray of glasses," Vaheri told Barli. "We don't want anyone left out."
Barli was quick to do the headwoman's bidding, moving quickly to make sure everyone had a glass and that it was appropriately filled. She wore a wide smile as she bustled about, pleased that things had worked out for the two.
Eliste inched closer to Fog after she was handed her glass, her hand slipping into his. She smiled up at him, then lifted the glass as the toast was called.
Fog glanced down at Eliste, and squeezed her hand lightly as his eyes met hers over the rim of their glasses.
Mehan smiled down at Menore as the crews of both riverboat toasted their future. He supposed he needed to make some reply, but for the moment he just thought how lucky he was to find somebody special twice in one lifetime.
Menore returned the smile, then lifted her glass just for him. The fellow had finally come around. Well, it certainly had taken long enough and Menore was going to enjoy it.
The Moonflower's captain blushed a little as he looked away from his future wife and nodded instead at the Sungazer's captain. "Thank you for your kind words - and for giving a home and work to some of our crew during the overhaul. We'll even forgive you for enticing a couple of our most valued crewmembers away.
"Menore and I will be starting our new life together on the overhauled Moonflower. The crew will be home, we'll be back on the river. We couldn't ask for anything more. Thanks again to all the Sungazer crew." Favours weren't recorded as in books that tracked profit and loss, but all the same each and every riverboat knew exactly where it stood as far as owing or being owed favours to any other. The Moonflower was deeply indebted to the Sungazer but the Turns to come would even things out. "You've made the overhaul period easier than it could have been, and we're grateful." He raised his glass. "To the Sungazer."
Last updated on the March 30th 2009