Two-Bites Max

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered, in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.

The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.

Notes: Happens almost immediately after TRAPPED

It has been a long day. Like, epically long. And it's only early evening! Truly, Shiloh should not be hunched over the bar, hat in the chair beside him, tossing down shots of whisky (we assume it's whisky) like a man possessed. But here he is, doing exactly that. The bartender seems inclined to indulge him for the moment, so he probably hasn't been knocking that many drinks back. But he sure seems to ask for them in rapid succession, until there's a "leave the bottle" request that is granted (despite the bartender looks somewhat dubious and a little amused) and Shiloh gets to pour his own drinks with abandon.

Averil is normally not the 'step into a bar' sort of person. But, he is exploring his new home and does exactly that. In the interest of exploration, mind you. Course, the moment he actually /steps/ into the bar is accompanied with and abrupt halt and a dubious look that is quickly followed with him stepping out of the way of the men entering behind him. For a long uncomfortable moment he toys with the notion of turning back around and exploring other locals. Spotting a (semi) familiar face, however, has rethinking that and moving to stand behind the chair on the -opposite- side of Shiloh's hat. It is the 'whiskey' being sloshed into a shot glass that has him slanting the beastcrafter a curious look, a tilt of his head serving to send a few stray strands of blond hair into his face. "… Are you alright?" He doesn't have a name to add to the query so settles for resting his hands against the back of the stool in front of him.

In the interest of total disclosure (not that Averil would be immediately privy to this information) but Shiloh has only had (to date) TWO shots and is now pouring his third. He might have definitely had a whole glass of wine about twenty minutes ago that will definitely add to the alcohol-count, but eh… With the bottle in hand, there's a careful pour that fills the little glass to the brim before he's slanting a side-long look at the stranger speaking to him. Or… not-quite-but-still-kind-of a stranger. Without a name. A sardonic not-a-smile comes as he turns back to the glass and decides, "Been better," before knocking it back. A grimace and a shudder, and he tips his head to the empty chair in a vague 'help yourself' manner. Sit. Don't sit. Shiloh won't be offended either way. But he will offer a pro tip, one newbie to another: "Don't go looking at the eggs. Not worth it." Ask him how he knows this.

Averil blinks a few times as he slides onto the chair— he is, however, careful not to disrupt the hat's resting place. "Oh?" Curious now, he gives a mild shake of his head to the bartender, only belatedly realizing that he should order /something/ not to be rude. "Tea?" And, while there is a long moment of the barman staring at him in disbelief? Avi's learned to ignore these things and focuses on his not-quite-a-complete-stranger companion. "Did something happen?" It's an invitation to talk, or not talk, depending on the mood.

The hat is quickly relocated, nipped neat as you please from the chair and settled in Shiloh's lap instead — if he spills on it, it's his own darn fault. The ordering of tea might get a lift of his eyebrow, curious if nothing else, but no questions asked. Instead there's a bit of a sigh, and the toying of the bottle before he pours another shot. "Darn right it did," he snorts. "Everythin' I've been told says dragons are nice to people. Don't be 'fraid of 'em, cause they migh' be big but they're nice. Ha!" The toss of the drink punctuates that argument, the glass thunked down with a bit more gusto. "Damn dragons are demons. Well. The big bronze one, anyway. The gold was… alright I guess." So specific. so helpful. But really, Shiloh's not attempting to explain so much as just… vent. He might regret it later. "Tried to take my head off." Slight exaggeration. "And 'ccused me of stealing!" Which is the greater insult, truly. "As if I'd ever steal an egg. Oh. And they talk. They're damn loud."

Averil folds his arms over the edge of the bar as he listens, his chin dipping in a slow nod that makes it clear that Shiloh has the entirety of his attention. So much so that he does not even notice when the pot of tea and a cup are settled close to hand. Rather then interupt while Shiloh is drinking, he takes the time to pour his beverage, murmuring a sound of understanding to make it clear that he is still listening. It is the suggestion that a dragon nearly attacked him that has him turning in his chair, his brows furrowing as he regards the beastcrafter with a serious expression. "Did you accidentaly step onto the sands instead of the viewing area? They can get very protective," he points out. It is the last, though, that has him pausing just before taking a sip of his tea. "Loud.. Wait they spoke to you?" That's new to him, clearly. "You weren't hurt were you?" And, of course, now he's looking for signs of injury.

To be fair, Shiloh probably wouldn't notice if Averil was listening or not. He's not so much paying attention to those subtle listening cues, as simply spewing words when asked. Short of actually walking away, it's safe to assume that Shiloh is ignorant of his conversational companion's actions. A snort comes as he refills the glass. "Just my pride." Very wounded at the moment. "And my ass." Also a little bruised, because he landed on it. Hard. "An' no. I didn't. I was in the viewin' area, but that didn't make a difference to 'im. And yeah, they did." They. Both of them. The shot goes back, followed by a shudder and a grimace and a squint at the bottle just to be sure it's the stuff he thinks it is. "Apparently," he adds, with an air of 'quoting' to his tone, "The Xanadu dragon's're like that. Loud. Or some of 'em, at least. This one was. Real loud." Which might be why he's drowning his sorrows at the moment; wounded pride and the shifting of one's reality will do that to a man.

Averil slants a glance toward Shiloh's aforementioned backside, one brow twitching mildly as he promptly turns his attention back to his tea. That, however, is not a topic he feels comfortable inquiring about. "I didn't think dragons spoke to anyone but their riders," he admits. "No wonder you are so disconcerted." He certainly would be."What did they say," promptly follows the observation because how could he possibly NOT ask that. "They didn't actually touch you, though?" he ascerts. "I mean…" Really it doesn't much matter given Shiloh's current state of dis-ease. "Loud is never a good thing," he agrees as he takes a sip of his tea before setting the mug back down.

"Nah," comes with a curt little shake of Shiloh's head as he toys with the bottle. "Didn't actually touch me. Came close," he allows. "Not sure if he woulda. His 'rider showed up and called him off." And really, Shiloh is better not knowing how that would have otherwise ended. The damage (to pride and psyche) was done! At least temporarily. "Say?" comes with a slant of dark eyes and a frown. "The dragons?" Duh. "Accused me of stealin' and… somethin' about villians. To be honest I didn't think too long 'bout what he said. Was a little preoccupied with his teeth." Sharp, pointy teeth. "Th' gold said somethin' but I don't remember." Again. Sharp, pointy teeth kind of took precedence there. Pouring his fifth (sixth?) shot, he sets the bottle down and makes a conscious decision to shove it just a little further away. "Thought they only talked to their person, too," he admits. "Learning a whole lot." And he doesn't sound terribly thrilled about it. "You," he declares, shifting another look to Averil. "Artist. You're not native to Xanadu?"

"Averil," is provided with an easy dip of his chin. "And no, I'm from Ista Weyr. As far as I know, though, the dragons at Ista don't talk to people who aren't their people." At least they've never spoken to him, but then he's never gotten terribly close despite growing up there. "Maybe," he provides in quietly reasonable tones. "You should take it as a compliment that they spoke to you? I mean, I realize it was disconcerting, but given how rare that is?" It's probably not impossible to take it as a complent. As for them getting into personal space? That thought inspires a bit of paling and a quick shake of his head. "I'm pretty sure I'd have had a breakdown if they got to close while yelling." He's certain of it, actually, but disinclined to put to fine a point on it. "I guess running them in circles was out of the question, eh?" It's a lame joke purely base on Shiloh riding his mare in circles to calm her down. Lame, really and the fact that Avi looks away promptly makes it clear he gets that.

"Averil," repeats Shiloh, rolling the name around as though to get a feel for it. Or perhaps just to try and remember it, not that that is likely, given the state of inebriation. And while this would be the part where he says his own name, Shiloh kind of forgets that bit and charges right on into the topic of dragons. "Compliment," he snorts, drink lifted but not yet drunk. "Would you take a threat on your life as a compliment?" He doesn't really expect an answer, following the question with a toss of the drink and a slam of the glass (well, hard 'thump' of the glass, but slam sounds better) to the bar. "'Pparently, Xanadu dragons do that." Talk to people. "An' it's normal." The exaggerated way he says that ought to display how much he agrees with that sentiment. But clever or lame, unfortunately the call-back to their first (official) meeting goes over Shiloh's head, a blank look turned on Averil for the suggestion of running the bronze in a circle. "What?" Blink. Frown. "I don't think you can run dragons anywhere." He's a wee bit drunk, please forgive him.

It is unlikely that Avi would take a threat on his life as a compliment, and he has the good grace to blush mildly at the suggestion. "Well, no," he admits in those same quiet tones. It's the rest that has Avi flashing a wry smile, one hand raising to tuck a strand of blond hair behind his ear. "Like your mare," he reminds. "On the beach." Which is promptly followed with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Nevermind. You said his rider called him off you, though? Was he nice? I mean, nicer, then his dragon, at least?" Cause clearly the dragon was not particularly nice. "Maybe you should try again? To look at the eggs? When the dragons are sleeping or calmer? Or eating?"

A long, squinty-stare comes in the wake of that clarification before Shiloh's memory seems to trigger. "Oh! Right. That. That's different." But right now is probably not the time to explain it, even if he'll sorta try by saying, "She don't like to stand still and it's easier to let her move her feet than try force it. An' she can only run so far inna circle." Shrug. There's definitely more he could say, but (perhaps thankfully) he's distracted by the very idea of attempting to try again. "Fuck no," comes with a look that says exactly that, and only belatedly does he add, "Pardon my language," because he has manners and stuff. "But no. No way, no how. I'd sooner stare down a pissed off bull than set foot near the sands again." So much for the language. "And I don' suggest you try. You're tiny; you'd be two-bites max."

"She is very pretty though," Avi allows regarding the mare. And, given the fact that her size was intimidating to him? He's quick to nod his head at the notion of staying away from the dragons. "I was going to go look at the eggs," he admits. "But I think I… It's probably not a good idea." Given the fact that the beastcrafter has no intention of going back? It doesn't seem wise for him to attempt to brave it, himself. "Definately not a good idea," he murmurs as he sets the teacup down on the saucer. "Language?" Comes belatedly, a confused glance slanted toward Shiloh's face. "OH! No, it's fine, I've heard cussing before." The fact that he is tiny— two-bites max— has him lightly clearing his throat, a wry smile touching his lips as he tries to focus on refilling his cup, instead. "Well.. Yes."

"She is that," agrees Shiloh. And for a moment — just a second or two — there's the sort of smile usually reserved for dragonrider's going sappy about their dragons; tender and sweet and a little dopy. It doesn't last, and he's shrugging again for the cussing and reaching for the bottle like he might pour another shot (though he doesn't. Not yet). "Just cause you've heard it before don't mean it's polite. I've got better manner's than that. Usually." At least he'd like to think so. Even if he's totes forgotten the whole 'introduction' thing. Tapping his finger against the bottle, he eventually decides to let it be and flags the waiter for some water instead. Apparently he's cutting himself off. "Nothin' to see but sand anyway," he decides. "Probably more exciting to watch chicken's roost." Don't let the dragons hear him say that.

Averil does not miss that look and it brings an immediate smile to his own lips. "She's your mare, I take it? I can't imagine riding runners, but the two of you seemed very in synch." Which was nice to see. Nicer given the clear indication that Shiloh is smitten with the mare. It's the response to cussing that has him nodding slowly, one hand drifting over to lightly, and briefly, touch the beastcrafter's wrist. "I appreciate that," he admits before drawing back his hand back and taking a sip of tea. "Manners seem to be growing increasingly rare these days." It's the last that has him exhaling a quiet laugh, blond hair spilling free from the pile atop his head to trail down his back. "I certainly won't let it get back to the dragons," he assures. "Usually the eggs are nice to look at, though. I wanted to try to draw them with the dame and sire in the background." Which, admittedly, might not be a great idea.

"Yeah, she's mine," agrees Shiloh, unable to keep the pride from his voice. "Good little mare. She'll be something special once she's grown a bit." He's sure of it, and don't you dare try and convince him otherwise. It's the touch of his wrist that has him pausing, mid sip on his water, and darting a glance down at those fingers. A clearing of his throat, and he shifts in his seat just a touch, squinting over the bar to the bottles behind it. "Averil." At least he hasn't forgotten his name yet. Probably a good sign. "You're real pretty and you seem nice. And I appreciate you listenin', and talkin' with me. But at the risk of bein' rude," and negating all those nice manners he just got complimented on, "I feel it best to be upfront that I ain't looking for anything romantic." Yeah. That could've gone smoother. Probably not helped that he adds, "And you're not really my type." Cause look. He's not really in his right mind right now.

It takes Avi a moment to take that all in. A moment that is filled with a good deal of rapid blinking and staring into his teacup. In fact, that moment goes well past the point where Shiloh stops talking (digging his hole) and is interupted only by the light clearing of his throat. "I see." It's quietly uttered, though, and coupled with a swallow of tea designed to give him something to do other then speaking more. And, again, there is a long moment of silence before he looks up and affords a smile that, while it does not even come close to reaching his eyes, is very practiced. "I appreciate the information." As hurtful as it might be to hear. Still. "There is no harm in talking, though." Unless there is. Which is a thought that has him slanting a glance toward the door through the mirror over the bar. Just in case. Escape routes are important.

Unfortunately, Shiloh is not really on his A-game as far as perception is concerned (or, really, as far as anything is concerned right now). So that pause trips no alarms, and that smile is taken at face value, a nod of his head answering it as though they'd just brokered some sort of business deal. "True enough," he decides. No harm in talking. A slow sip of water and he plants an elbow to the bar, finally reaching that 'about to pass out' phase of being drunk. He'll probably at least make it to his bed before sleeping though. And, also unfortunately, he misses all that exit-checking that his (probably hurt and possibly insulted) companion is doing, his attention on his glass of water as he holds it up as though to check its level.

While it takes Avi a moment to recover— he's not quite used to being so bluntly put aside— he does recover enough to set his mug down. Of course, now he is going over every single word in his head and wondering what he did that was 'shocking enough' to warrent a verbal reprimand. "I should go," he murmurs as he slips off the stool and twists his hair back up into a loose knot on the top of his head. "I'm very sorry that you had such and unpleasant experience." Surely he's talking about the dragons, but it is very hard to tell with nothing showing on his face. "You might want to consider a soak and getting some rest." But that is all the advice he can muster at the moment. And, while he looks about ready to say something else, he turns on his heel and makes quickly for the door with every intention of getting out of there as soon as possible.

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