====February 17, 2014
====Chel, Freesia
====Freesia gets a drink after a rough night and talks with Chel about life in the bazaar.

Who Chel, Freesia
What Freesia gets a drink after a rough night and talks with Chel about life in the bazaar.
When It is midmorning of the twenty-eighth day of the first month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr

freesia_default.jpgchel_default.jpg


Dustbowl Cantina
To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some //clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.//


"Alright, boys, nooning's over!" Though belted efficiently up the stairs, this voice has an unfortunate squeak of adolescence, holding back for at least one more turn on the sultriness its tones promise lie in the future. A thump and a creak herald what can only be someone violently turning over in their bed. "Unclench, Chel," a man's voice trickles down, "You're no boss." Eyebrows narrowing as she gnaws aggressively on her lower lip, Chel's look of argument's nearly loud enough to carry as far as words. But then, abruptly, she twists on her heel, yanking her hand back from resting on the stairway entry and strolls determinedly back towards the bar. Reaching it, her palm flattens over the wood as though she might breathe in the calm she needs straight from the polish through her fingertips. Mid-morning's not a brilliant time to be in a bar, so those who keep her company have barely noticed the small ruckus — or else have decided not to make it known they know.

Freesia decends the stairs into the cantina slowly; wearing healed shoes is unusual for the typically modestly dressed Freesia. She removes her jacket upon entering the warm bar, draping it over her arm. Today's dress is fluttery, wispy thing, with a low cut neckline and long sleeves. She approaches the bar, taking a seat near the center. "Good morning," she says to Chel, "May I have a glass of ale?" It may be early, but Freesia had a late, and trying, night.

Fingers tighten, digging briefly into the bar as if to scratch it, but Chel sucks in a deep breath and the look she lifts to Freesia is the beaming attitude of a service professional — if somewhat more languid than chipper. "You may, indeed," she greets, slithering around the structure to the bevy of bottles and oddities on display. Experienced hands dip for what she needs without looking; instead, dark eyes nearly as trained pull at evidence from her look to try and measure her reason for morning drinking. With a sweep of her arms, she plants two examples in front of the woman, "We've a native and a Nerat cask in." Each bottle is tipped in turn as it's identified.

Freesia nods her head as Chel offers two options, "Hmm. I'll take the Nerat, thank you. It will be nice to try something different. It was a hell of a night." She settles herself more comfortably on the stool, neatening the fall of her skirts to ensure her legs are covered. She may be wearing a "revealing" outfit today, but she's still used to being modest.

"Nerat," Chel repeats, dragging the rejected Igen blonde back off the bar, where it clinks into place with only a slight shuffle. Before her hand reappears, it claims one of the tubular glasses made to sweat and keep drinks cooler longer in the Igen atmosphere. Twisting her hand, she tips and pours the beverage and to the wash of it filling the tube, she explains in a lovely drawl, "Medium body in the Nerat, slight sweetness." The reddish-brown drink sloshes and she ceases the pour, letting a bit of foam fill the remaining space. "I've seen hella nights before. Looks like you came out the other side." Is it a compliment? Perhaps.

"Well, I made it out much better than the other guy. He was so drunk that he was belligerant and a hassle to deal with. Makes for a long, stressful night." Freesia's line of work is half wrangling the drunks, half physical pleasure. Being a prostitute is not always as easy as a goldflight night. Freesia eyes the glass of ale with anticipated pleasure.

"They're only like that when they're drunk?" Mischief glimmers in Chel's eyes beyond the wryness of her speech and she leans into the bar when she offers the drink out to the much needing Freesia. When her hands are free, she draws them in towards her, resting on her elbows towards the woman to lend an air of friendliness between them. A privacy mostly unneeded in the calmness of an early time bar. "So, here's to survival." And she lifts an arm to mimic holding a glass to clink with Freesia's, then mimes knocking it back. It's either too early for Chel, or she's been berated recently on drinking the wares away.

Freesia laughs, a wide grin on her lips. "No, you're right. They're always like that. But it gets a lot worse when they've over imbibed. You must have to deal with that around here, too." She accepts the glass from Chel happily, playing along with the toast. "To survival!" She takes a long drink from her ale, smacking her lips dramatically with an "Ahh."

"Most know to behave." A darker cast overshadows even Chel's eyes as she briefly becomes somber, eyeing over Freesia at what bundles of people do occupy the Cantina. With a brisk inhale, she recovers: "Otherwise, we've bouncers," and becomes a touch slyer, "and permission to do what we will with the ruffians." True or not, she regales Freesia with the idea — the image — while lifting to lean one hip into the bar casually. A couple of fingers slither towards the other woman, attempting to be mostly subtle when she presses, "Suits you?"

"Yeah, we have bouncers too, but that's not good business for us. The employees," ie, prostitutes, "take care of as much of the disruptions as possible." Freesia has not mentioned what exactly she does, and even her slightly provacative dress doesn't immediately shout 'whore'. "This is great, thank you." The woman is quick to finish her drink and extend it for a refill.

Despite Freesia's lack of explaining, Chel's nod is imbued with teenage understanding. So it's either a leap to a conclusion borne of being raised in the Bazaar, or a bartender's trick. She betrays no question in her eyes, merely bites down and slides her lower lip against her teeth, releasing with a soft, wet phha. That asking hand retracts, not quite for its purpose, but happy enough to tip the Nerat make over for a second helping. "No reason not to be able to take care of yourself," she half-mutters, trying to be conversational but unable to avoid the huff of some previous argument haunting the sentiment.

Freesia nods her head, the veil wrapped about her hair bobbing with the motion. "You have to be able to take care of yourself around here. The bazaar has some shady characters." The woman takes the class back and takes a sip before reaching into her pouch to finally pay the poor bartender who has been stuck waiting on her.

"It has it's own life," chooses Chel, a nearly lightly defensive rewording that Freesia's done nothing to earn — and the teenage realizes a minute later and almost, almost, looks apologetic. But by then they've moved on and she's sliding to accept the payment, subtly so as not to be garish about such a thing. No need to ruin anyone's fun with reminders of losing some coin. As she's doing, her eyes flick up, catching on the movement of the veil holding Freesia's hair. Chel's own has all been pulled into a runner's tail of immense proportions: thick half-braided ropes of hair layering en masse. "S'nice," her chin's jutting up towards the headwear, "That's Horencia's work?" She's asking a question, but it doesn't quite seem like she's the curiosity of not knowing.

"It does indeed," She says with a smile, sipping her second glass of ale much more slowly. Any negative undertone is either unnoticed or ignored as Freesia smiles at Chel. At the barmaid's question, Freesia unwraps her veil, grinning happily. She displays the veil in full, the silky white fabric slipping smoothly through her fingers. "Yes, it is. Isn't it beautiful?" It's one of the more expensive versions, with delicate lace along all the edges.

Admiration on Chel's face is tempered; she's not interested in the veil, as a veil, but she appreciates the thing's craft and, in doing so, traces a hand along the lace. It's pinched between two fingers and turned. "It is. Her touch is recognizable here, and," fingers splay towards another bit of patterning, "here." Straightening, the girl presents her own clothing - nothing a lacy veil would ever match. "But I'd be careful in a few turns. When it starts to unravel, she charges heaps over much for repairs." As she's opening her mouth to continue her advice, there's an incoherent belting from upstairs. Maybe it's the barmaid's name or an order, but it certainly sounds like nonsense to the uninitiated. To Chel, though, it's a call to turn, scowl and roll her eyes. "Send Mecatl down to watch bar then!" is belted unabashedly back. An apologetic turn to Freesia, "'Scuse me." And she pushes around the bar for the stairs just as a mountainous, dull looking man with the Tlatoani look strides down.

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