==== October 28, 2013
==== Jovie, M'tias
==== The circling continues.

Who Jovie, M'tias
What The circling continues.
When There are 0 turns, 10 months and 12 days until the 12th pass.
Where Cantina Back Alley

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Cantina Back Alley
A little too quiet, a little too dim. The alleyway behind the Dustbowl is not… unpleasant, exactly: the tavern staff have a little raised garden, and the brickwork of the ancient buildings all around offers a subtle beauty, with raised arches leading into little courtyards. And yet. There's something uncomfortable about the way the shadows linger here. Something distressing about the stink of the place, quite unrelated to the midden that lies at its end. Whatever else this alley might be, one thing is as certain as the goosebumps it gives: it's not a place for good little girls and boys.

-- On Pern --
It is evening
It is 7:35 PM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 10 months and 12 days until the 12th pass.
It is Winter and 44 degrees. It is a clear night.

Nothing like a back alley for shady deals. Or maybe it's the fact that it's a back alley that makes all deals look shady? Because there's really nothing at all remarkable about the one person handing marks over to another, especially when at least one of them has that distinctive, world-worn trader-look about them. When the man leaves and the marks disappear, Jovie seems not to think anything of it. She's found a skirt to wear beneath her dress at least. It's still not long enough for society's expectations, but it reaches her knees and is undoubtedly a little warmer. And it looks as though she's using her shawl as a hood, pulled over her pale head though most of it is under her jacket. Now she lights a cigarette and exhales that steamy drag upward toward the night sky, letting a lazy step drag through the grit beneath her boots.

This alley really isn't for the faint of heart, regardless of what that garden would have you think. And tonight of all nights, M'tias has decided to hang around back there. It's hard to tell whether he fits in with the castaways of society or if he's distinctly out of place, something about him screams that he walks that fine edge between the two. Leaning against a dirty section of wall, he completes a discussion with another man. They shake hands and whether the other is slipping something into his pocket afterwards is up to possible speculation. The greenrider doesn't leave right away, instead he watches as the fellow scurries off to some even darker place. It's a chill evening, so he tugs his jacket more closely around him.

She must have seen him, either when she first arrived or when he did, at some point during their respective deals, likely a glance again when her own was finished and his still wrapping. But now that they're both unoccupied, Jovie lets her sideways glance linger on the short man, one arms wrapped around her thin middle, the other free to straighten an ashing tap of her cigarette toward the ground or to bring it to her lips for another puff — the smoke has a sweet, spicy scent. She waits to catch his eye so she can lift her chin in a bit of reverse-nod, a slow, cool smile curving at her mouth. She sees him.

The landscape of the alley doesn't lend itself towards a lot of interesting people to stare at. There's a girl who's even more scantily clad than Jovie (hard to imagine that's possible, but they're out there) probably plying her wares to a rather seedy looking older man down the way. Just past the pale haired spectre. It's of course around the time he's noticing that pair that he notices her. Quick blue eyes catch her seeing him and the curve of his broad mouth increases, tugging upwards at the corners in a sly kind of smile. He glances upwards at the sky and rubs at his forearms vigorously. Cold, yeah?

There's just an emphatic stretch of Jovie's brows as she glances away again, a silent laugh in the visible breath before she follows suit with a display: giving her shoulders a little twist within the warmth of her jacket. Cold. She must glance off after the even-less-dressed girl, though there's nothing on her face to reveal her thoughts on the matter or the attire; her profile is all but hidden in the curve of her shawl. She just takes another leisurely drag and then lets those idly shifting steps aim her in M'tias' direction. Her eyes are quiet and patient over the faint glimmer of her smile — no expectant waiting, no curious hunting, she just looks at him.

If there's an opinion on the other girl, M'tias doesn't seem to have any reason to give voice or indication of it at this time. Instead he allows his wandering attention to be drawn to Jovie as she shifts so idly and aimlessly in his direction. One foot is braced against the wall as he keeps tabs on her out of the corner of his eye. He's registered her casual approach, it's there in the curious sideways smile when she's finally within speaking distance. "Hey, specter." His voice is pitched low in much the way that alley talk so often is, whether it's actually secretive dealing or not.

"Hey." The tone is flat, and yes, quiet as befitting their locale, but there's a spark of amusement in her smudged eyes, in the deepening of a lopsided smile. Jovie stands not directly in front of him, but a bit to the side, so if he would like to look down the way at the nearly naked woman, he's more than welcome. The gypsy girl just flicks at her cigarette, watching the curious shape on his mouth. There's a suggestive little bounce at one eyebrow. "I didn't wake you, did I?" she asks, as casually as anything. She exhales a drag sideways, away from him. And now? Now she waits.

M'tias' attention is hardly on the half naked woman and her companion, though occasionally it does filter down that way out of simple curiosity. For now the ashes of her cigarette catch his attention and he watches them drift through the night air and towards some unknown destination. "I think I would have noticed if you did." The greenrider answers as his eyes cut back to her and he shifts against the wall.

Her head turns, a little like she's not sure if she's caught him or just failed to follow, a narrowing of those kohl-rimmed eyes. "Yes, I'd image you would," Jovie points out archly. "Some people are sound sleepers, though. They'd hardly notice." This time when she sets her drag to the center of her lips, teasing smile wraps innocently around it, her eyes brightening pointedly at him. And then she rotates on a heel to face the direction he does, though her head tips back. This time the exhale comes with a shiver that starts in her chin and shudders down her back — maybe it knocks her off balance, that sideways step she takes, or maybe it's just idle shifting that slides her boot over the gravel.

"Some people are sound sleepers even when they're awake." M'tias rejoins, the amusement creeping into his tone. There's a pointed look of his own now, in the direction of those two distracted people away from them. "They don't even realize it." Her loss of balance of course, is a point of concern and he drops the boot from the wall to the ground. And slides his on over to meet hers that's sliding across. Thankfully being small means you have a low, solid center of gravity and the greenrider is no exception to this. Unbalanced meets balanced. Or relatively balanced anyway.

"Not your type?" Jovie quips, a bobble in her voice as she bumps aside into him, turning to look at the now-close man with an expression that only half-remembers she was in the midst of teasing him. The other half is curious now and there's something a little more muted about the shape of her smile. "Are you drunk?" she asks him, a shuffle of her step letting her lean just barely into him, just to test that balance.

"The semi-comatose? No, not really." M'tias answers, his attention finally completely broken away from the strangers down the alley. "Only all the time." But then he's shaking his head, standing up to her test of balance there by the wall. "Not really. I could probably take another half a beer before I'm really tipsy." Shooting Jovie a look that's largely full of amusement, he pushes the side of his shoulder into her. So there they can stand, holding up each others mutual weight.

Jovie puts her weight to that near leg, the other boot held off the ground and out to the side, as she pushes up to her toes. It's probably not the first time he's seen that look, that registering of his height, but she grins at him with a smile that seems rather genuine as her head creeps a few inches higher. She lets her ankle wobble as she drops her heel again, her shoulder still rubbed to his so he can feel the way she wavers, illustrating tipsy. The cigarette finds the corner of her mouth, one more quick drag sucked in before she shoots the remainder at the ground and swings that free foot around to extinguish the thing with the twist of her toe.

It probably wouldn't be the first time he's seen anyone registering his height, really. If it's offensive to him, that's not a thing that makes its way across his face. But he does ask, idly curious, "Not your type?" There's a quick flash of a smile for her illustration of tipsy as he stays still during it, remaining a balancing post to her moves. When she's finished, he suddenly drops the positon of his own shoulder, an imbalance producing event that comes complete with a playful laugh.

At least there's no sign that Jovie finds anything laughable about the inches she can gain on him, though there is a throaty chuckle when he drops so awkwardly beside her and makes them jostle against each other's shoulders again. But there's a shake of her head beneath that shawl, a bit of blonde wiggled free beside her face. She wrinkles her nose, even if the grin still sticks quietly. "Do you think you'd need to be all-the-way drunk?"

Small favors in the world- when a girl doesn't laugh at you for being shorter than she is. He stops the abrupt motion and returns to lean his back against the wall. Chin lifting upwards, he shakes his head and drops a quick glance in her direction before he focuses on the sky overhead. "No, I don't think so. At least I don't think I need to be all the way drunk right now." M'tias' is leaving his opportunities open for later, see.

Jovie watches him for a beat, his pulling away, leaning back, glancing up into the dark night. And then she ducks her own chin, a hand slipping inside her jacket, fiddling with something at chest level. She turns with a scratch of dirt underfoot to face him, drawing close this time, but whatever she's got in her hand is too small to be easily seen, particularly not in the dim light of the alley. Whatever it is, she reaches for the collar of his shirt with a kind of casual calm that doesn't at all expect him to dodge out of the way, head canted to the side and the pale smile lingering. A flick of her glance tells him to hold still, even if she doesn't actually utter the command.

It may be that M'tias is used to being uneasy, a life lived in a perpetual state of caution. The greenrider doesn't move away from her, but neither does he allow the hand clutching the small mystery item to get within poking distance of any soft, vital organs. He encloses his own around hers, squeezing it tightly closed as he drops his chin slightly, eyebrows raised questioningly.

There doesn't seem to anything weapon-like in her hands, though perhaps it's a bit unsettling anyway to have a strange girl doing something unknown at the base of his throat. There's a tickle there, a little something at his skin, her gray eyes momentarily fixed on whatever it is that she's been doing. And then Jovie lifts her gaze to meet his, and those questioning brows, her smile offering nothing at all by way of explanation and her hand still and passive in his grip. It appears she's done, though, since a step moves to rock her back away from him. Inspection would find a tiny dangling earring hanging from the collar of his shirt, hardly more than a cloudy chip of glass and a twist of wire.

He normally has a good poker face for things like this. But finding a tiny little earring hanging from the front of his shirt is probably not what he expected to find her doing. Those ruddy eyebrows remain arched, now with definite questioning for her, even if she doesn't answer. M'tias' next smile is slow and crooked, "I didn't realize we were at the point in our relationship where we exchanged gifts." He comments with an ironic twist of humor to the wry tone of his voice.

Jovie purses her lips to one side, a shrug of her shoulders in her rather ill-fitting jacket. "I skip around a bit," she says dryly, hardly one to held down by linear structure or tradition expectations. She lets those skinny, stockinged legs take a few slow steps backward, enjoying the nonplussed expression he's wearing, and maybe the little glint of glass at his neck. Perhaps there are other implications to skipping around, since there's something suggestive as she arches her own dark brows and turns to head back into the cantina.

"I'll keep that in mind." And he probably will. Ferreting the information away for a later point in time where he'll dig it out again. Fingering the dangling earing the hangs on his shirt, he watches as she disappears back inside. Instead of following after her however, he heads towards the filthy landscape of the middens beyond. Because, why not?

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