==== October 24, 2013
==== Jovie M'tias
==== Jovie and M'tias share drinks, guess about each other's personal lives.

Who Jovie M'tias
What Jovie and M'tias share drinks, guess about each other's personal lives.
When There are 0 turns, 10 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
Where Dustbowl Cantina, Igen Weyr

M%27tias10.jpg stone.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.

It's unseasonably warm for winter but hardly overpowering. Most of the weyr has gone to the living cavern for their food and drink but there are others who have opted to head straight to the bar. Tonight M'tias is one of those guys. At a loud boisterous table in the back, he finishes up an intense game of poker with some seriously dirty looking men. There's a lot of yelling and slamming of fists as the little man drags his earnings towards himself. "I'm just sorry that you can't all be as overwhelmingly intelligent as I am. Maybe someday." And that comes with a wink as he practically hop-skips-jumps out of their sphere. A wave of grumbles and complaints follows him as well as a few 'I bet that midget fucker is cheating'.

The noise is enough to earn the glance of a few patrons, including one young woman who sits at the bar. Her blonde hair is brittle and feathery from recent washing, but clean, which might be more than can be said of the dingy shapeless clothes that hang from her skinny body. They might be clean, too, really, just stained with dirt and wear. Her skirt is rather unreasonably short, but her legs are covered with a pair of slouchy stockings that seem like they might just slip to show a bit of leg at any moment, particularly since one boot swing intermittently beside the rungs of her stool. Her cool, kohl-smudged eyes take in the triumphant moment at the gambling table, lingering on the short man as he gets up, and then return to the empty plate in front of her, or perhaps the wee splash of liquor still left in her glass.

What marks he made at that game are tucked away into a variety of pockets that line his jacket and to the bar itself he goes. M'tias clambers onto a tall chair next to the not-so-dirty blonde girl and orders his glass of whiskey, neat. There's a healthy flush to his typically pale face, a sure signal that this isn't his first whiskey of the night and also a rather elated expression. It's possibly not his first win either. So far things seem to be going just great for him. He regards Jovie out of the corner of his eye as he receives his glass, flashing her a crooked smirk of a smile. "Come here often?" Would he know if she had? The signs point to probably.

When M'tias takes the seat beside her, Jovie lifts her head faintly, probably aware of his regard even if her own eyes do not cut sideways to return it. At least not until he speaks to her. Her smile comes first, if the slow hitch at the corner of her mouth can be called a smile, and she turns, bland amusement in her eyes for the line he chooses, picking unhurried over his face, from the orange hair to the shape of his mouth. She's probably been here before, though only once or twice in recent days, and who can really remember what may or may not have transpired in the foggy turns of the past. Now, instead of answering, she just arches one dark eyebrow, her smile quirks a little more deeply. Really? Come here often? But she traces the line of her mouth with a sliding tongue and cuts her glance to her mostly empty glass, which she tips rather teasingly.

For some the return of a silence to a friendly question would be considered a form of rejection. So M'tias is either particularly brave or just lacking in fucks. Or perhaps it's some kind of a challenge for him, it's hard to tell with that enigmatic little smile. He follows the cut of her glance down to the empty glass and returns it with a smooth lift of one eyebrow, lips tugging to the side. Not having taken a sip from his own yet, he silently pours half of the whiskey from his into her tipped one. Then he rests his elbow on the counter, wearing a 'what now' expression.

Or perhaps he just picked up on all the communication that did occur? As unconventional as the delivery might have been. And when M'tias mimics her lifted brow, Jovie's cool smile warms just a touch, particularly when he goes pouring from his glass into hers. It might drip a little over her fingers, because when the sharing is complete, she brings a knuckle her mouth to suck the droplets of whiskey off. Her eyes are on the ginger man all the while, watching, conspiring perhaps, now that they're in their drinks together. Her knuckle slips between her teeth, marring one side of a wry expression. What now? She rotates on her stool, crossing her legs toward him, facing him, and this time she's the one who mirrors him, planting her elbow on the bar. "Who are you?"

It would seem that some sort of agreement has been made when she turns her body towards him, a silent deal to sit here in this place and keep each other company for awhile. So he does the same, however he doesn't cross his legs because he's at least manly enough to not do that. Instead he stretches what length his have to drop dusty boots on the rungs of her stool, how he manages to do it around her legs doesn't seem to come with much conscious thought. It just happens. Lifting his glass to his mouth, he answers before taking a generous swallow of his half-filled whiskey, "A man." There's a tease there in the way his lips twitch. "Who are you?"

Why, they're practically best friends now, through all this silent sharing of drinks and arranging themselves. And perhaps she'll move her leg so he can borrow her rung — like a good friend — swinging her boot back to hook around the leg of her stool, a tiny sliver of skin showing above her knee. Tawdry, half-dressed thing. But more importantly, his answer seems to be even better than she expected and it leaves something smooth and sly in the shape of her mouth. "A specter," Jovie tells him. "You won't remember me tomorrow." But he's forgiven, or so might say the lift of her glass before she claims a sip.

There's no mistaking that his glance slips down, that he trails his gaze along that sliver of skin before looking up in time to catch her words. His own smile is sly, secretive as he takes another swallow from the glass. There's no comment on her out-of-place dress in this world of covered up women. Instead he responds to things she's actually said this round, "But I remember you today." Insinuating perhaps that he knows her from another day, yes? And the game they're slipping into is entertaining, so it's no surprise that his knuckles slip to his teeth in evident amusement as studies the expressions on her face.

Jovie seems either to not notice the tiny slice of skin showing or she just thinks nothing of it — though she would hardly miss the momentary dart of M'tias' gaze, plainly watching him as she does. "You're looking at me right now," she points out, as if it's impossible that he's ever seen her before, or that he would remember her — though really, stockings aside, it's not likely that many people would forget a dress that short. Where is the rest of it?! "Maybe you're confused." Her cool eyes linger at that knuckle, some tiny twitch at one of those dark brows pleased with the reactions so far. "You from the Weyr?" she guesses, adding a new dimension to teasings of their conversation.

"Hmm, not now. You were there when the two-" M'tias rolls his eyes towards the rocky cavern ceiling, deciding on the right word. "-men were 'fighting'." The whole second half of his sentence sounds dubious. As if he wouldn't call the two 'men' or (and?) that he doesn't consider what happened a fight. Removing his knuckle, he downs the rest of his whiskey, letting the glass rest on the stained countertop. The ginger man is watching the vessel when she makes her one remark. The smile that comes is sly, crooked and with a darting of blue eyes towards her. "I'm never confused." Twisting towards her again, "My dragon is from the Weyr."

There's a little turn of her head, uncertain, as if she really isn't sure what he's talking about. So perhaps Jovie intends to claim she wasn't there and so surely cannot remember the short man and his wagging finger among the crowd? Except she doesn't go so far as to deny it and the cool smile might even make a joke of her feigned confusion as she takes another sip and a casual glance away. "Your dragon," she repeats. It brings her gaze back, moving from his knees to eye his face again, this time with the calculation of kohl narrowing around her eyes. "Blue," she hazards, though a wrinkle at her nose isn't so sure.

The tip of his finger trails along the top of his empty glass idly, while his attention remains focused on her. The guess that she hazards brings a short round of laughter from M'tias and he ducks his head with amusement. When he lifts his head again, it's to rest his chin into the palm of his hand. "Three more guesses." He counts to her as he fidgets his boots on the rungs of her chair, knocking into the sides of her calves a little. To keep up the evenly scaled ratio of their game, he takes his own chance at figuring out her identity. "You're not from here."

THREE guesses? Jovie makes a face for that, biting her tongue at him for implying she'd need so many. But the proposal of a challenge does have her draping more deeply against the bar, sinking into her planted elbow, weight tipping onto a hip. She swings one leg just a little, just enough to brush at his boot …entirely by accident. "You're not from here either," she tells him in turn, but it's the question of his dragon's color that preoccupies her attention, has her studying his cheek, his shoulder. Another guess seems to come to her, but she's hesitant to say it, the upward tip of her chin daring her assumption to be true. It's long beats, perhaps even enough for M'tias to grow a little bored, before the waif says, "Green," the word vaguely drawn out, purred perhaps.

THREE GUESSES. That's how many options she has! "I'm from… nearby." M'tias allows with an easy lift of his slim shoulders, that same mischiveous smile tugging on the corners of his mouth again. It's clear that he rather enjoys the series of reactions she undergoes while attempting to figure out just what color his dragon happens to be. If she brushes against his boot entirely by accident, there's no outward sign of acknowledgement yet. When the wait drags out, he lifts his eyebrows to silently draw the next guess from her mouth. And so when it comes, his grin broadens. "Siabeth." Which is distinctly feminine, there's no mistaking that.

Distinctly feminine and a clear admission that she's guessed correctly. Now when Jovie's eyes rove over him, it's as if all his pieces are exactly where they should be and she can somehow take credit for it. Her grin winds smug behind the soft toying of her finger at her lip. "You have a girl in your head," she says with just a touch of teasing and a teeter of her head that has the messy blonde strands catching tiny breezes. Her knees rub together. "It's always tricky with the greenriders who aren't solely into dick." Just in case anyone was thinking this particular half-dressed scrap of a young woman was proper.

"All the time." M'tias admits with another round of laugher, though this time it comes more quietly with the admission. He doesn't seem ashamed or embarrassed by his lifemate, not in the least. There's still the evidence of entertainment tugging along the corners of his mouth. It's been awhile since he actually had a drink and he flags the bartender down for another, darting a questioning look towards Jovie before he completes the order. "I know, it's a shock. Not every man that impresses green is a raging homosexual that runs around ripping his shirt open and exposing his immaculately manscaped chest hair to the world, causing hard cocks everywhere." With a self-derisive grin he shrugs those slender shoulders once again, "Some of us are just naturally this ruggedly handsome."

Jovie hardly seems inclined to deride him for the color of his dragon, she who has no dragon at all. More, there's just that glimpse of curiosity lingering in the calm of her gaze. But hey, if M'tias is buying, Jovie will slide her glass along for a refill. "Mm," comes a non-committal noise for his description of other greenriding men. "But you've had your share of reactions," she surmises, letting his touch of self-praise slip right on by without comment. Though it might just be the cause of her fleeting attention to the scruff at his chin. Very rugged. "And holdbred," she assumes. Sure, he could be born of some Hall, but she likes her odds.

You never know in these parts. He slips the marks across the table to their bartender, indeed paying for both of their drinks. Seems that Jovie has passed some unknown test that he'll actually buy two now instead of just splitting the glass. "Everyone has their share of reactions. Haven't you?" M'tias wonders, glancing absently to the ragged appearance of her skimpy outfit. There doesn't seem to be much judgement in it, more an interested appraisal. As for him? Yes he is extremely rugged, thank you for noticing. "Two for two." He admits to the being holdbred, twisting around to accept the drinks when they appear. Her is slid over and he takes his, craddling it in his hands.

Jovie pulls a face, brows low and with a dismissive frown as she shakes her head. No, never had any reactions. And then she smiles afterwards, because obviously that's a sarcastic expression. Expressions can be sarcastic, right? The free drink is received with a bounce of her brows as thanks, and a rather greedy first swallow that might suggest the accumulation of drinks this evening is making them go down more smoothly. "Will you guess something of me?" she wonders, a little more twist on the words, in the curve of her mouth, after all this talk of reactions.

Really. M'tias leans his forehead towards her, looking up from under a pair of red eyebrows. When the smile breaks through instead, he utters a short laugh of amusement before taking a drink from his glass and glancing away. His expression is thoughtful as he presumably thinks of something to guess about the waif before him. "You're not from here, no. You live outside of the Weyr." But those are things he's hedged at and around earlier on. So there must be another guess that he speaks, bringing a speculative look back to her, "You're alone."

It might give her real pause, that guess that comes last, the one that is not so readily apparently just by the fact that she's not been a regular about Igen's Bazaar in recent memory. She holds that reserved smile in place as he stabs at her origins, but when he says she's alone, Jovie's already wan expression fades. A soundless laugh moves in her chest as she turns her head to eye him from the smudgy corner. "How do you figure?" It's almost a professional inquiry, so to speak. And then there's a tip of her head toward him, another laugh this time with more strength behind it. "Or do you mean, I'm alone here at the bar." Because her smirks says surely that wouldn't count.

M'tias' smile is small, crooked as her reaction registers in its different keys. It's during this time that he takes a more generous drink from his glass, his elbow still leaned so heavily against the counter. "Your eyes." As if that should be all of the explanation one needs in this world to make such a determination. He lowers the whiskey, keeping it close to his chest. "You're not alone at the bar right now." So it's not that he's referencing. "Where do you stay at night? The desert can get cold when the sun goes down."

Jovie looks like she might rather like to roll those eyes, the way they close, the way her face turns off toward the bar again. But the smile she wears can indulge him a little, and her lifting lashes watch the swirl of whiskey in her glass before she takes another hearty swallow that just about finishes it off. "Do you have a suggest? Back to your weyr with all the other strays?" No, she doesn't really seem to expect that, and maybe he need not worry since, "It's warmer here than on the road." Or at least, there are more nooks where a person could hide. Okay, so maybe it's not that her prospects are completely worry-free.

M'tias likely suffers from some kind of gut rot, the way he downs the rest of that whiskey in a long draw from the glass. He slides it back across to the bartender and pulls those dirty, dusty boots of his off of the rungs of her chair. Flashing her that broad, crooked smile, "I don't make a habit of inviting specters over for the night. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and they've disappeared with your stuff." Not that he would know from experience or anything. And here he takes the time to slip off of the stool, leaving behind a tip for the service. "The world is fucked up." That seems more to himself than to Jovie, exactly.

"Your weyr must be a little different," Jovie tacks on with a shadowy laugh — exactly the sort of thing that would dissuade a person from feeling entirely safe, particularly if they were going to be unconscious. "The thing about specters, though," she muses, easing off her stool as he does, stretching her thin back with a pop of bone that doesn't sound quite healthy. "We don't usually need invitations." And here, she does wink, her tongue touching her lip in a flash of pink before she turns away. Jovie, certainly, is not going to disagree with his statements about the world.

"My everything is a little different." M'tias shoots back, tugging his jacket closed and snapping some buttons into place. The laughter does catch him off-guard and he delivers the waifish girl a curious look as she turns her back onto him. She can't see it of course, but she's regarded with a heightened lift of a ruddy eyebrow as he considers her in silence. For better or worse, he turns his back on Jovie to leave the bar. And they never did exchange traditional greetings. Or names. Why mess up a good thing with a good-bye?

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