Fight! Fight! Fight!

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.

WRATH, TEMPER, RAGE, FURY. THY NAME BE RISALI. She’s only just left Calisi, having kept her emotions in check as best she could until the goldrider had GONE TO SLEEP OR DONE WHATEVER A QUEENRIDER DOES (kicked Risa out, probably) and Risa could make her way to the taverns – not home, because the minute she set foot inside, she would want K’vir and more booze and right now she just wants to be angry. “GET OUT OF MY WAY,” the tiny woman snaps to some unfortunate soul as she makes her way in, reveling in the way people part for her as rage carries the tiny woman through patrons and workers alike to find a seat at the bar and climb onto it. Her feet don’t touch the ground. SHE IS SMALL AND FIERCE. FIGHT HER. “Faranth. Just give me the strongest thing you’ve got. Five of them. And if I can still feel my face after the second one, I’m coming behind that bar and teaching you a thing or two about tending.” Risali: unpleasant, barbed of the tongue, caustic to a fault. Arms come up on the bar as she waits, crossing over each other as she presses her forehead to one forearm and breathes. THOSE WEREN’T TEARS YOU SAW. A TRICK OF THE LIGHT, SURELY. Regardless, even when the first of her ridiculous five drinks is placed on the bar beside her, she doesn’t look up.

Risali isn't the only one having a drink or ten. Tucked in the darkest corners with his hair hanging as a curtain over his face is none other than the Tanner journeyman and bronzerider, himself. At least, one of them. The man reaches out, dragging his heavy mug towards him before leaning back and taking a long pull of his drink. The mug is placed back down on the tabletop, slid away and the pair of tall shots are slid closer. One is lifted up to his mouth and he pauses, his mouth hung open a little as his eyes slowly turn up to see across the way. If the young woman notices him peering over, he'll know if the shadows are with him or against him this evening. L'gan shrugs, tossing back the shot and the second in quick succession, then they're stacked in the empty mug. Any person who makes an attempt at being social with the man is met with a scowl until they leave him alone. His bowl of nuts will keep him company.

The shadows and the odds are NOT in L’gan’s favor – not tonight, anyway. Risali’s all bad tempered, head down, rage at the world, I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING and she still sees him. It starts with the hairs on the back of her neck rising in that somebody in here is eyeballing you and may or may not be good at murder kind of way that ends with Risa lifting her head, grabbing her drink, and turning until grey eyes are settled on L’gan. HACKLES RISE. There’s a backwards look for the bartender and a less than friendly, “Keep them coming,” as she makes her way across the tavern to L’gan, and his lonely tables, and his WANDERING EYES that have no business being on her but were anyway and, without invitation and regardless of scowl, the woman is dropping herself into a seat opposite of him. It happens with a slowness, as she lowers herself, as she brings one booted foot up onto the table – THUNK – followed by the other. She crosses booted feet at the ankle, and raises her eyebrows towards her hairline as she holds her drink a whisper away from her mouth and breathes, “Problem?” DON’T MIND HER. SHE MAY OR MAY NOT BE ITCHING FOR A FIGHT. Whatever she’s doing here, she’s tilting her drink back and downing half of it in one go, wiping her mouth with the back of her arm before slamming the half-emptied glass back on the table. There’s a little spill, but… A WORTHY SACRIFICE.

L'gan flinches but there's no telling if it's the bar hand delivering the other round or the young woman that found her place over to his table. There's too much going on, in his head and around him that the bronzeriding tanner is at a loss. All he can do is take down on of his two shots, hugging the glass close to his chest as he takes a long moment before swallowing and he slowly… opens his eyes. In the dim light, those honey hued eyes are glistening as he looks Risali directly in the eyes. His shoulders slowly lower as he seems to deflate in the very spot he sits. He opens his mouth, letting out only a quiet choking sound but nothing comes out. His voice seems to have forgotten how to form words. Tears begin to glisten down the sides of his own face and he makes no effort to wipe them away. "Problem. Problem?" he begins with a shaky laugh and he downs the other shot before slamming it back on the table. "I don't think the word problem is sufficient enough to describe everything that could possibly go wrong. How much I miss them both."

Is he — he is. Look at Risali blanch. As soon as those tears come unbidden down L’gan’s face, the tiny harper freezes; she’s all fire and temper until she’s not, internal tempest instantly doused when a complete and total stranger starts crying; then she’s booted feet coming off of the table with a quickness and leaning forward as grey eyes look around her for maybe somebody who knows this guy. Risa extends her arms out, dabbing her hands down in a movement usually used to console frightened animals and communicate SILENCE around a grimace until her eyes are helplessly on the man again. There goes her fight. “Them?” she breathes, not getting it, not sure that she wants to get it so much as get the hell out of here, but unable to flee when somebody is hurting so much. “O-okay. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.” There’s a moment’s hesitation, and then Risali is on her feet, moving with slow, unhurried, unsure movements towards the man she meant to YELLBREATHESCREAM at and instead finds herself placing one hand on the shoulder of. Risali moves into a crouch once she’s reached L’gan, just off to the side of his chair, internally cursing herself for not having acquired her father’s innate ability to just keep on being a dick as fingers sweep down his arm to his knee where they grip in a gesture meant to be companionable and reassuring. Risa tilts her head back, grey eyes seeking honeyed hues as she finds her voice once more, “How about we start with names? My name’s Risali. I’m a harper. I just moved here from Half Moon Bay Weyr. Who are you?”

Them? He nods his head in short little shakes before he takes his new mug and takes a long drink out of it. He doesn't put it down quite yet, just trying to gather his composure. L'gan wipes his mouth off with the back of his hand and he nods again, this time slower. "Yeah. Them. Two women in my life. Both are… priceless. Vibrant and passionate. Gentle and kind in their own ways. They were inseparable and I admired that, respected that about them and I couldn't imagine life without one of them there but… then it happened. Don't know how or why but they've split up and now things are just so… Cold. Empty. What happened?" The bronzerider signals for another round and he just leans back with the remnants of his mug. "I don't know when things just started falling apart. Keeping… keeping a family together is hard sometimes." He peers towards Risali with those glossy eyes and he manages a crooked and somewhat embarrassed smile. "I'm so sorry. I'm L'gan, bronze Granaeth's. Journeyman Tanner here in Xanadu. I shouldn't be burdening you with this."

Two women. Both priceless. Risali’s with L’gan so far. Despite the fact that Risali would really, suddenly rather be home, possibly harassing K’vir, possibly playing piano, possibly curling up into a ball in private and sobbing into her pillow (she’s been doing that more and more often lately), Risali listens. Vibrant and passionate. Check. Gentle and kind in their own ways, okay. It’s not until L’gan says they’ve split up that Risali seems to suddenly be in possession of mental puzzle pieces and only one place to fit them. Risali is many things, but let it never be said that she’s stupid – or slow on the uptake. A slow exhale marks the sudden return of her temper, though she does her best to keep it boiling under the surface because L’gan is crying and now he’s smiling at her, and the smile Risali returns in kind is almost painful to see. “L’gan,” she says softly around that wince, and then she’s rising to her full, unimpressive height, hand leaving his knee as she crosses her arms over her chest and leans her hip into the table, leaning forward. “Please tell me that one of the women you are talking about is a pretty little blonde woman named Calisi.” Because if so, she has questions for the man – questions she couldn’t get answered by Calisi, but has every intention of getting to the bottom of.

The bar hand makes his way back through, replacing drinks and removing all the empties without uttering a word. L'gan takes the clean cloth napkin silently left before him and he silently presses it to his eyes. He takes a deep breath and lowers his hands to the table, leaning all the way back and gathering up his mug. He brings it to his mouth, peering up over the foam to Risali in silent thought but no sign as to what immediately comes out. "Word gets out fast around here." He takes a sip and carefully lowers the mug, careful not to spill a drop. Instead he just runs his finger across the surface of the glass, spilling the glistening orbs of condensation down to the polished table top. "Yeah. Calisi is hurting. I failed her, too. I was spending so much time with Marel that… How could I have been so blind. Did I hurt her? Is this all… because of me?" That little revelation slips out with a choked voice and he reaches for his shots, chasing one after the other to ease the burn in his throat. If there was any sign of him collecting himself, it’s all gone now. The man is deflated back to his seat. The only thing looking bright is the bowl of nuts before him.

Risali’s eyes move away from the weeping, defeated man to roll up towards the ceiling as her lips move in what might be, ‘FARANTH HELP ME BEFORE I MURDER THIS MAN WHERE HE SITS.’ It takes the harper a moment to collect herself enough to trust herself to speak, but even the respite from conversation, and reality, and here and now doesn’t seem to do her much good. There’s still a bite in her tone – even if it isn’t necessarily directed at L’gan, when she speaks again. “Hurting. She’s more than hurting.” L’gan’s finished his shots, and the barkeep is diligent in his return with more booze – which just get slapped right off of the table before Risa pulls herself up to sit on it and rests the tip of one toe on L’gan’s seat – right between his knees. The other leg crosses above the one on L’gan’s seat at the knee as the tiny harper applies her elbow to her own thigh, curls her fingers, and tucks her hand under her chin. Risali goes for a pleasant smile, but it probably looks better suited for a madman plotting the murder of the person before her. “I am going to try and be as calm about this as possible, L’gan, because I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but you clearly know Calisi.” Risa gives his chair a little kick, and then reaches behind her for the nuts which she calmly settles in her lap before popping one into her mouth. MMM. DEM SALTY NUTS THO. “Who. Gave her. The black. Eye. Was it you?” Hopefully the answer is no. THOUGH SHE BE BUT SMOL, SHE IS FIERCE.

Risali's movements at the booth might as well been a distant memory with the way the sounds and sights of the room sound more and more skewed. He doesn't even notice the weight of her near his lap or her proximity. Only the burning in the back of his throat and the sound of his own pulse pounding in his ears. Through all the haze, the last words spoke by the harper cut through the fog with a vengeance. Slowly, the slack expression on his face fades and it's replaced with a look of confusion. "Calisi doesn't… Marel has the…" A distant look appears on his face as he tries to reach out to Granaeth but the bronze won't have any of his drunk rider's nonsense at this abhorrent hour and in his condition. L'gan's hands begin to clench and he closes his eyes to breath but the anger is there, clearly written all over his face "What. She has a black eye, too? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!" By the grace of Faranth does his fist find the table, slamming into the hard surface without spilling his nuts all over the young woman.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE INDEED. “DON’T YELL AT ME,” Risali shrieks right back at the man – even if his raised voice wasn’t directed so much at her, but at the cosmos. In her haste to jerk back and away from him at his sudden intrusion of personal space, Risali does the spilling of his nuts for him. All over herself. And the table. And the floor. “And back,” she hisses at him, applying one booted foot to his chest in order to push him as FAR BACK IN HIS CHAIR AS HE CAN GO. NO TABLE-FISTING FOR YOU. “Yes. Calisi has a black eye. She does. Not just Marel, and she will not tell me who did it. She won’t tell me who, and she won’t get out of bed, and she wouldn’t feed herself or drink any water if I wasn’t there to make her do it.” Risali’s voice is raising slowly, pausing abruptly as she takes in a breath and exhales. “None of you have bothered making sure she is okay. NONE OF YOU. NOT A SINGLE, SHARDING, USELESS ONE OF YOU.” Risa’s off the table now and on her feet, her own hand slamming down on the table to make some of those spilled nuts jump and join their brethren on the floor. “And now here you are, sitting in a tavern, getting drunk and crying and eating nuts,” note, Risali does pick some of them up and fling them at L’gan – but lower, towards his stomach, “instead of manning the FUCK UP and going to make sure she is okay. Instead of finding out WHO DID THAT TO HER. All of you. EVERY.” Fist pound. “SINGLE.” Fist pound. “ONE OF YOU IS USELESS.” Well, it’s clear that not all of Risa’s fury is directed towards L’gan, but he’s getting the brunt of it anyway.

Risali's shriek startles L'gan to the point where he visibly flinches and flails a little bit and the boot to his chest is largely ignored. He just sits there and stares at her incredulously, mouth hanging open and he holds his hands up as he glances at the casualty spread around him. Good bye, precious nuts. Now what's gonna soak up the alcohol? He slowly moves his reddening eyes back over to the Harper, his mouth silently repeating her words as he tries to force his brain to soak them in through the drunken haze fighting against him. "She's not eating or nothing? What in Faranth's. Alright, I really screwed up. I shouldn't 'ave left her alone like that. You're right, I should've… should've been there. Need to find out what's wrong. Need to tal'*hiccup* Shard it. Need to talk to her." Need to order more nuts, too.

Risali does that thing she learned, in an attempt to reign in her temper: she counts backwards from ten. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seve— “YOU THINK? YOU THINK MAYBE JUST A LITTLE FUCKING BIT YOU FUCKED UP?” This time Risali’s anger is directed towards the table in a different fashion, fingers curling under the top of it so that she can FLIP THE DAMN THING and all its remaining nutty survivors over. “And it’s not just you. It’s ALL. OF. YOU. This entire sharding WEYR is full of you IDIOTS.” To say that Risali is disgusted or taken back by the hiccup of a man too drunk for even his dragon to deal with is an understatement, and Risali’s lips twist in a scowl as she leans right back into L’gan’s space, pushing her finger right into his chest for emphasis on just how serious she is when she says, “Stay.” Poke. “Here.” POKE. And away she goes, weaving through people and waiters alike who, if they were paying her no mind when she first came in, are certainly watching her now. It takes several beats for Risali to return, but when she does, it’s with a mop bucket full of dirty water – and she upends the damn thing right over L’gan’s head before chucking the empty remains aside. “You don’t get to sit here and feel sorry for yourself. Either man the fuck up, get up, and go see her, or drag your sorry ass home, but get OUT OF MY SIGHT.” FEROCIOUS LITTLE THING SHE BE.

You know the funny thing about bar and tavern mop water? It doesn't often get cleaned out. Usually it's the same stagnated water that's been sitting in there all day complete with bits of vomit and other bodily fluids that found themselves in various unsavory locations courtesy of this establishment’s clientele. The scent and gelatinous mixture can only be described by it's current customers dry heaving. L'gan begins to gag and covers his mouth with his soaked sleeve but it only makes matters worse. By now, other patrons are quickly paying their tab and are vacating so they don't end up a victim of this crazy harper woman in the bar. The bronzerider tries to take in deep breath between bouts of gagging and he stares angrily at this shrieking defeater of bar nuts. "I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE TIL I'VE SHOWERED ALONE. AAAUUUGGH!" If Risali doesn't move away from her path of destruction, she's going to be projectiled by dearly departed nuts, alcohol and whatever hydrating fluids left in the rider's system. "I'll leave the *gag* the sharding bar, I'll pay the bartender for this…*gag* disaster. I'll talk to her. Just stay away from me." And the nuts. Clear skies, nuts. Clear skies.

Gross. No, really. Gross. Risali almost feels bad for what she’s done to L’gan, but only almost. Maybe later, when she’s had some time to sort out her anger and realize that she’d just directed every bit of her ire towards the wrong person, she’ll buy him a tunic. And a cake. And a really nice pair of boots. “YOU THINK I WANT TO SHOWER WITH YOU?!” Risali shrieks, indignant and scrambling backwards fast when L’gan threatens to lose his nuts and everything else in his stomach all over her. “You would be so lucky.” MUCH VICIOUSNESS. MUCH RAWR. And there Risa goes, stepping to one side, making a sweeping motion with her hands towards the door in a gesture that says BYE FELIPE around a wryly sarcastic smile. “Don’t drown, L’gan,” she spits at him, tone implying she hopes he does. She doesn’t. She would feel really bad. Really bad.

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