Fluffykins Murderface

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.

That nebulous hour between late afternoon and early evening means that the Wherry isn't busy YET but it's only a matter of time. There's already a few early birds claiming a few stools, but not a bartender in site! It's fend for yourself, or not. Eventually Rhodelia finally emerges from the stock room, wiping her empty hands on her apron before she quickly grabs a rag to look busy at scrubbing the nearest thing, which happens to be the bar top. Scrub-a-dub-dub.

Nessalyn is fully prepared to do her own serving when she enters the Wherry and finds no bartender. Self-service? NO PROBLEM. But just before she can duck behind the bar, a rogue Rhody appears and saves her from potentially being thrown out on her ass for entering an employee-only area. "Hey, bartender." She sidesteps away from the bar entrance, like she definitely wasn't about to go back there. "I'm gonna need a drink."

"Any particular type of drink?" Rhody's not exactly opposed to going without direction for orders, but chances of it being actually what Nessa wanted would be like fifteen percent. It might not even have alcohol in it. The rag is stuck into a back pocket and she's not even questioning the whole nearly-behind-the-bar-patron. She's more concerned with glancing over her shoulder to the store room.

"I need enough alcohol that I stumble into my bed and pass out tonight, so whatever you can do to make that happen. Reckless behavior on the way there is completely acceptable." Nessalyn flashes something that might be meant to be a smile at Rhodelia, except it ends up looking more like a grimace. She settles herself onto a stool, eyeing her occasional partner in crime with faint suspicion. "What've you got back there? Contraband?" She should probably be less enthusiastic about the possibility.

Rhodelia gives a very knowing huh as her hand moves over towards the clear spirits. "As long as that reckless behavior doesn't include any puking in here." Stumbling outside to puke, is perfectly fine. Just don't make Rhody clean it up. A little bit of rummaging and she locates a glass. And a couple ice cubes that tinkle as she straightens up. "There? Nooooooo-thing…. Here's your drink!" Feeling the lie falling through her fingers, the boozy-diversion is happily handed over with a forced grin.

"I said reckless, not disgusting," Nessalyn retorts, pulling a face that has her tongue sticking out in disgust. "And I know how to hold my alcohol." She may be pint-sized, but she'll still be able to stand upright well into her drinks. A brow arches as Rhodelia attempts to lie unconvincingly. "Has anyone ever told you that you're a terrible liar? You could've just said you were unloading a shipment and you realized you left something balanced precariously, problem solved. You don't go with 'nothing' when you're obviously staring at something back there."

"If I had a mark for every time I've heard that…" Rhodelia rolls her eyes as if she did have those marks, she clearly wouldn't need to be working here. As for the review of her lying abilities, she huffs and crosses her arms. "Our last shipment came in three days ago. And I'm not a liar. I don't have anything back there. It's all the tavern stuff. Nothing of mine." And she only winces slightly as there is a sound of some boxes moving back there.

"Yeah, yeah. But some of them are right." Statistically speaking, at least. Nessalyn snatches up her glass, taking a swig. She purses her lips for a moment, considering, before nodding her approval. Solid choice, Rhody. "I don't know when your last shipment came in, so I might've bought that. And clearly someone else has something else back there. Or someone else is back there." She tilts her head, giving the bartender a pointed look at the sounds. "Are you hooking up with customers in the back?"

"And some of them are horribly, horribly wrong," Rhodelia shivers at memories of just how wrong some customers have been, but that wave of horror is replacement with a completely different look of shock at the latest accusations. "Hooking up? NEVER!" Well, there may have been that one time, but it wasn't in the stockroom! "There's nobody back there." But Mr. Nobody is apparently very busy rearranging those boxes and then there is a loud HISSSSSSSSS.

Nessalyn is about to comment on the wrong-ness of said customers — or maybe just wiggle her eyebrows and mock Rhody to death for her shocked response — but those noises in the back draw her attention. "There IS somebody back there!" She crows triumphantly. "Or something." And then she's up and wandering back over to the entrance to the bar area, inviting herself inside. "Let me see."

See, typically Taeli cleans up after her working jaunts in the wild — nine times out of ten, her presence at the weyr proper is from her free time. But this time… this time she's arrived at the Tavern in her working gear, all tough leather and hide and professional badass face. Well, insomuch as a cute snub-nosed blonde girl can ever be a professional badass… She clinks her weapon of choice, a wicked hunting knife, onto the bartop. A machete is strapped to her back. "I'm here about the tunnelsnake problem?" she says, all LOOK AT HOW PROFESSIONAL HER TONE CAN BE, blue eyes flicking between Ness and Rhody. 9 times out of 10 this is Taeli totally fucking with someone, so it is ENTIRELY possible she's just wanting to see Nessalyn's reaction. (then again there could totally be tunnelsnakes)

Rhodelia doesn't have time to get offended about eyebrow wiggling since Nessa's wandering back behind the bar. "Waiiiiiit…." She's making wild waving hands towards the engineer, not like that's going to stop anybody, but she is able to jump in front of the stock room door. "You don't want to go back there. There's a… a… a… tunnelsnake." There's some more clunking and another hissing sound. And as if exactly on cue, Taeli comes in with announcing a supposed tunnelsnake problema and all those blades which has the bartender's eyes widening. "I think we may have found a less… sharp way of dealing with it?"

Nobody really wants to deal with tunnelsnakes (except maybe Taeli?), but the fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to deal with tunnelsnakes, and so Nessalyn doesn't exactly balk at the idea. In spite of the fact that Rhodelia claims a tunnelsnake and then Taeli's sudden appearance seems to confirm it, the woman still looks suspicious. "Are you sure that's a tunnelsnake?" Sure, it sounds like it could be one. But it could also be something else. "Are you getting it drunk? Let me see." She moves as though she might try to physically shove Rhodelia out of the way. At worst, she'll let the thing free and it can terrorize the entire tavern!

Taeli fucking LOVES dealing with tunnelsnakes. She has a set of knives tucked into a sleeve, too — the lowest one becomes visible, a thing made for throwing rather than using. She crosses the bar by aptitude of vaulting it, an especially athletic movement from someone her size. She may… or may not also have just rattled glasses and potentially knocked a big glass whiskey bottle to the ground. Oops. It doesn't SOUND like it broke, at least… "Where's it at?" she asks Rhodelia with guileless gaze as she reclaims her main knife from the bartop.

Reflex gets Rhodelia lunging to save the bottle of whiskey just in the nick of time, but that does leave the doorframe undefended. "Well, it was back there. But I don't think it is any more…" There is some more rustling and the hissing has progressed into a loud yowling. "Can tunnelsnakes even get drunk? Nevermind… why don't we just go back to drinking, you know, back there?"

"… do tunnelsnakes make that noise?" Nessalyn glances back toward Taeli for confirmation, since she seems to be the expert here. "Because there are other things that hiss." And yowl. "Pretty sure you won't need that knife, given that the bartender just walked out of that room." With the door now unprotected (thanks, Taeli!), Nessalyn yanks it open, leaving whatever is inside plenty of room to escape and run amok.

Taeli goes for the overkill and draws her machete, holding it two-handed like a fucking sword and broadening her stance to be ready to CUT OFF SOMETHING'S HEAD. What happens, Rhody? Can Taeli roll a natural 20 here and come out looking like a badass EVEN WITH a snub nose?!

Someone rolled a natural 20 and we all know it wasn't Rhodelia on her bluff checks. As she sees the machete come out, she's busy with a stream of "Nonononononononononos!!!" But she's not able to get between the hunter and the doorway, but hopefully Taeli can look first and cut later because as soon as the door is opened, the trio is greeted with another loud yowl (and proud) as the fluffiest of fluffy orange felines turns around and displays a still slightly squirming tunnelsnake in it's mouth.

Nessalyn looks fairly triumphant as the door opens to reveal a cat — admittedly with a tunnelsnake in its mouth, but still a cat. "See?" She turns to glance at Taeli, nearly choking on a sudden laugh as she realizes the huntress' stance. "Told you that you wouldn't need it." And then she crouches down, coaxing the orange ball of fluff with a soft snap of her fingers. Well, provided Taeli hasn't beheaded it.

Taeli totally deflates. Sadsack over here. D: But only for a moment before she brightens up like — come on, did anyone NOT expect her to get excited about A CAT?! She sheathes her machete in a weirdly experienced sequence of motions that prove that her day-job is actually a job that she might be good at, and joins Nessalyn in crouching down. "Kitty kitty kitty," she calls with that ridiculous voice that most humans use when there's a fluffy cat involved.

Fluffy McFluffyson stares at the people suddenly crouching down and finger wiggling at him and gives a look of complete and total disdain that only a cat can manage before he actually does take a few steps closer to only drop the entrailey tunnelsnake at their feet before literally turning tail on the folks. "So uhhh, nothing to see here?" Rhodelia is still standing and just rubbing the back of her head and trying not to look at the 'snake guts.

Entrails! "Oh look, Taeli, it's your favorite," Nessalyn comments as the cat does its cat thing and leaves them with only this 'present'. Although her nose does wrinkle slightly at the sight of it, she doesn't immediately back off. "So, you keep a cat in the store room? Orrrrrrr," she drums two fingertips against her jaw as she turns to look at Rhody. "Did you bring a cat in to deal with the tunnelsnake?"

Taeli doesn't cringe away from the entrails but it's not like she's about to play in them either. There's people around, that would be weird. She's onto more IMPORTANT questions than Nessalyn's line of inquiry (as far as Taeli-verse goes), twisting her head around to beam up at Cousin Rhody. "What's his name?"

"I didn't actually bring the cat in. He found his way. And the tunnelsnake. Maybe he brought the tunnelsnake in? Or followed it in?" Rhodelia just shrugs and slides around to get a better look at the fluffy cat. She didn't really ask many questions (not that the cat would have answered), but just accepted he'd solve the main problem. "Are you sure he's a he? How can you be sure? And I haven't had time to name him? Or her? Or him?" More headscratching and not many answers.
"And no one noticed a cat just wandering in here?" Well, that boes well for health and sanitation around here. Nessalyn cringes a little at the thought. With a grunt, she uses hands on her knees to leverage herself up from her squat, apparently giving up on making friends with the contrary cat. "I'm pretty sure that's a she. Way too tough to be a boy. But I guess he's your cat now."

"Maybe," Taeli says, the condition of the chicken or the egg seemingly the same as the cat and the tunnelsnake. "I think y'all will wanna clean that up though," she says, rising from her crouch and nodding toward the dead tunnelsnake. CLEANUP IS NOT HER JOB. At the moment. It could change at any second, really. Taeli frowns at Ness' words but doesn't actually counterdict them as… well… she pretty much agrees with everything she's said. "So how are ya, cuz?" she turns and beams at Rhodelia with a glimmer of her typically enthusiasm.

Rhodelia turns a little green as she looks at the mess of a tunnelsnake. "I'll give whichever one of you cleans that up a free drink?" She is not above trying to bribe anybody else to do her dirty work. As for the not noticing the cat, she waves a dismissive hand. "He's a cat. he probably jumped in a window or something." The cat is busy doing his (or her) cat things which means lots of licking of lots of places. Killing tunnelsnakes is dirty business after all. "I guess I could find a herder to find out?"

"I don't mind paying for my drinks." This answer is offered with a shrug. "Besides, it'll be way more fun to watch you clean it up." She smirks, ducking out from behind the bar to return her drink. She still leans over the countertop to try to keep an eye on that cat, though, because even Nessalyn isn't entirely oblivious to cute and fuzzy things. Maybe. "You could just take a look between her legs," she suggests casually. "Do you have any milk? Give her some milk."

Taeli pulls a face, "I really don't wanna hafta take a SECOND bath today," she says to Rhodelia, half-apologetically, half-grimly determined. "There was this weird old guy in there this morning that kept trying to get me to wash his back. It was grody." She shudders and goes the normal way around the bar this time, some of her gear clanging against the sides as she slips from behind the bar. Nessalyn gets a funny look for LOOKING BETWEEN HER LEGS. "So I ran into these other guys and man, I just don't understand. Can you explain something to me?" to Rhodelia, Taeli looking SUPER concerned. "How do two guys have a baby?"

Rhodelia's face drops as both turn down her wonderful deal and with a sigh of defeat, she turns to face those tunnelsnake remains, but not before giving a glare to the cat. "You could have at least had the decency to eat the thing as well." Nevermind the whole living tunnelsnake thing being an entirely different level of scary. As for advice on figuring out the gender of Cat, Rhody headshakes as she goes for the broom and dustpan. "She doesn't look hungry?" In fact, the cat looks perfectly satisfied as just the act of murder is enough to sustain him or her. The bartender stops poking at the tunnelsnake at Taeli's last question. "You mean like, possessing a baby or actually having a baby? To have a baby, a woman has got to be involved. Somehow."

Nessalyn snorts. "Pretty sure you should be taking your baths after you go getting innards all over yourself." She half-gestures toward Taeli's uniform, regardless of whether there's any actual evidence of blood and guts to be seen there. "I guess we should've figure out she wasn't hungry when she didn't eat the tunnelsnake." She gives Taeli a long, hard look as she recounts the weird old guy trying to get her to wash his back, and then the two guys. "First of all, I don't know how anyone lets you out in public unsupervised," she begins, lifting her glass in salute to Taeli's naivete, "and second, when two men really love each other one of them can have a baby. Didn't you know that?" That's what fanfiction would have us believe, at least. Look, it's just as probable as 6-legged runners.

"See, that's what I thought," Taeli says — no — crows, gesturing at Rhodelia. "But that's not what they said. They said it was their baby and it just seemed like the guy knew what he was saying even though he was kind of scary, I mean who goes around with an EYE PATCH, did he only have one eye? I have no clue, but man, his hands were HUGE, and I just…" Ah, there she is. The hunter windmills her arms and then settles on a barstool, looking glum. "I don't think there was a woman involved. He was so serious about it." She slouches down bonelessly, fisting her two hands together and using that architecture to prop up her chin. Then she's launching back upright and gesturing DRAMATICALLY at Nessalyn. "THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID."

"Are you sure they were both men? Sometimes you'd be surprised…" Rhodelia grimaces as she has to nudge the tunnelsnake into the pan. Clearly the broom isn't enough distance, but she doesn't have a ten foot pole. "Like Killer over there?" Even if she looked at the cat's junk, it would probably be too fluffy for her to tell. "Or Rumball? Fluffykins?" She leaves off tossing name suggestions to snort at Nessa's joking. "You're just making stuff worse."

"Are you unsure whether people with only one eye exist, too?" Nessalyn questions, brow raised at Taeli's rambling explanation. "Because they do. Eyeballs pop out real easy." Mpreg, random eyeball removals… Ness knows it all, you guys. Or she's just really full of shit. "Well, it sounds like eyepatch is the dad, if his hands were that big. You know what they say." She gives Rhody a knowing look, since she's pretty sure Taeli has no idea what they say. "Fluffykins. That's it." She raises her glass to her lips, taking another drink and smirking around the glass when these men apparently confirm her BS. "Well, if I said it and they said it, it MUST be true."

"Huh," Taeli absently remarks, "Y'know, I think the one guy said the other guy was a woman, but listen, there's no way in hell, 'cause damn he was a good looking man." What? SHE'S GOT EYES. The girl even happily sighs in remniscence. "But he was with the other dude. The pirate dude." She screws up her face. "He did like, I don't know, he was making these GESTURES and I think he was talking about sex but it really didn't make sense." Beat. "But back home we never really had anyone who like… had sex with men." Beat. "I mean, that WAS a man. Sex with men is totally natural if you're a woman." Beat. "Right?" She beseechingly looks at Rhodelia, 'cause she's a way better person overall than Nessalyn. About that cat… "He looks like a Dreamsicle." She has no idea what that means, but let's be real here, Taeli doesn't know what a lot of things mean.
Except she knows enough to know, "That's not necessarily true," when it comes to Nessalyn SPEAKING TRUTH.


Rhodelia just blinks at Nessalyn's suggestion. "The bigger his feet are?" It seems reasonable to her. Hands, feet, clearly related. "Unless the other guy was riding on his own bronze dragon, really, you have no idea. You'd be amazed at how well some men can dress up. There was a night where we had a bunch of riders in from somewhere all in skirts and you wouldn't tell until they started singing and one took over the bass part. Well, you wouldn't have told for most of them." Some of them may have had more trouble with stubble than others. "Dreamsicle? Maybe if he had actually eaten the tunnelsnake could have been Dream-anything. But he is Fluffy…"

"He could be a Dreamkiller," Nessalyn suggests with a wide smirk. "He killed your dreams of having that tunnelsnake eaten." She has jokes! Another sip is taken from that glass, before she slides it across the counter, tapping the rim to signal for a refill. "It's true, it's hard to tell sometimes. But when men want to have sex with each other, one of them just… opens up." Her expression twitches slightly, as though she's struggling to keep a straight face. "I've heard it's really interesting to watch. You should ask, if you see them again. But trust me, my dad had sex with men all the time, he told me all about it." At least part of this statement is true, and the conviction behind it does lend from believability to the rest.

And this is precisely when a scarred middle-aged man yanks open the door to the Tavern and hollers, "TAE!" in a no-nonsense kind of way. The blonde scrambles to her feet and goes trippingly toward the exit, "BYE Y'ALL!" she calls behind her before calling ahead: "COMING!" and there she goes. It's anyone's guess if she actually hears wtf Ness said. But let's face it, the answer is probably yes.

Rhodelia has finally gotten the tunnelsnake remains into the dustpan and disposed of it who knows where and Murderface over there is busy snoozing away after making himself extra comfortable. "How do they let you out in public?" That's to Nessa as she's pouring the drink, but Taeli is getting called away before any clarifications can be made. "I think I need to go check on those guys." You know, the people that came in about five minutes ago and she hasn't served yet? They probably want drinks and food and then more folks and well, Rhody's about to be really busy whether she wants to be or not.

"They don't," is the answer, given with that same blank expression. "I escaped." But then both Tae and Rhody are gone, so Ness is left to nurse her drink in silence, until she can grab the bartender again for a refill. It'll give her plenty of time to try to figure out how to coax the cat onto the counter to create chaos in the middle of the tavern. Hooray!

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