Beating Frustration


Max.jpg Kaskan.jpg

Date: 2010.12.09
Location: EW- Outside the Feeding Pens
Synopsis: Max encounters one very drunk Kaskan down at the feeding pens who then proceeds to tell him about a hot blond he'd encountered in the Weyr's tunnels…one thing leads to another and tempers explode.
Rating: PG18 for language
Logger: Max

Evening shadows seem to be Kaskan's favorite haunt. Hovering within their secretive depths he paces along the fenceline of the feeding pens, booted feet clipping along at a pace denoting frustration. Though alone, his voice carries a conversational tone as he treads his path, arms swinging in animated gestures. Something bulky is gripped in one hand and occasionally upended to his lips with barely a hitch in his stride. Snippets carry on the evening breeze to any who might venture into his sphere… "Locked away like criminals for Faranth's sake!", "How's a person supposed to contact'em?", "Brown bulk of lard!", "No right to block it!", "Bad idea anyway!"…

It’s one of those nights where yet again, sleep eludes Max. Although by the looks of him (hair standing on end and slightly bleary eyed) he’s had a good go at trying to coax it into his embrace and been entirely unsuccessful. Wearing just a pair of light linen drawstring trousers, the beast manager is currently positioned with arms dangling over the top strut of fencing surrounding the feeding pens, a sandaled foot hooked up onto the lower cross piece of timber. Those snippets of conversation carried on the breeze have him turning his head slightly toward the direction that Kaskan’s coming from, a smirk forming as a brow lifts upward. However he says nothing, waiting until the guard is closer to do so.

Kaskan is upon Max before he knows it, his attention so inwardly focused that he doesn't notice the other man until he nearly trips over him. "Blasted broken shells, man!" he curses, back-peddling a few steps in surprise. "Don't sneak up on me like that!" Dark brows furrow beneath over-long bangs, his visage shadowed just enough to hide most of the signs of extreme fatigue. He hasn't slept in over a day, every hour of that time spent in abject angst. Nerves already frazzled he takes a few moments longer to recognize the Beast Master than he normally would, and even then he merely grunts by way of belated acknowledgement. Swinging the whiskey-laden arm in gesture he offers a sour, "Oh, it's you."

Currently involved in his own line of brooding, and wearied from sleep refusing him acquaintance this night, Max snorts softly in response turning his back to the fencing and hooking elbows up behind him as he sets a long look over the guard. “No, its Lord Fax,” he gives in a dry tone. That scrutiny remains on Kaskan, with a thrust of chin going the way of the bottle he wields, “Party for one?”

Kaskan sways a little too much, rugged features scrunching as he narrows a look on Max. "Lord Max?" he echoes incorrectly, then huffs. "You wish." Too far gone in his own self-indulgence to take offense he answers the man instead with a heavy sigh and tilt of the bottle. "Apparently so," he replies spitefully, an angry look cast over his shoulder. The incinuation is that the situation is not his preference. "The likes of myself aren't allowed in with the high-and-mighty."

Amusement bleeds through the brooding mask as Kaskan gets it wrong and then it strikes him that in a darker way that title likely applies given his claim on the Southern continent. As such a corner of his mouth curls upward but never quite makes it into a grin, or even a smile. Again a brow goes up and dark eyes track over the path the guard had swayed in on. “High and mighty?” Max questions.

Amber liquid sloshes softly in the bottle as Kaskan swings it in wide gesture across the bowl and to the north. "The weyrlings," he supplies, "Or at least the big brown lump of a boulder that is guarding the entrance." As if reminded he raises the bottle and takes a long drink, some of the whiskey spilling down his chin. Swiping his forearm across his mouth he lets loose a healthy belch. "Bastard wouldn't even tell me if she was there."

“Ah,” Max gives as his expression folds back into that line of brooding once again when Kaskan explains. “Aye, still need to have me a few words with W’red. Sharding putting shelling stupid ideas into her head…” starting out and then cutting short on his own line of disgruntlement when it comes to weyrlings and their Weyrlingmaster. And then the guard’s words sink in and he turns a curious look onto the other man, “You know someone in there?”

Kaskan stops short at the personal question, fuddled brain not realizing he blantantly gave that one away. The ironic torture of his situation leaves him without an answer for several heartbeats, then finally he answers with brutal honesty, "I don't know." A stern sigh blows through his nostrils, lips set in a firm line. "That's what I wanted to find out." For a moment all the chaotic confusion and pent-up anger comes washing back, more than justfied by a single incident of denied entrance. With one swift side-long kick Kaskan nails a nearby post in the fence and a loud crack can be heard. Dropping his foot to the ground he sways a bit, cursing under his breath. "S'better this way anyway," he blurts. "I'll just go find me that hot little number I ran into in the hallway and forget everyone and everything else."

“Ya don’t know?” Max sets the guard with a dubious look and then frowns a little for the other’s demeanour. Where he might have offered up help knowing most of the weyrlings save for one or two himself, he instead narrows a wary look over to Kaskan. He’s got Olira hiding out in there, not to mention a certain redhaired weyrling he’d give his own life to protect. For all he knows, the other man could be in Vaputero’s pocket and sent on a mission to do further harm to Kelarad’s cousin under the guises of being the guardian to a lordling. As such his expression sets though he does offer a rough snort to the other man seeking out solace with another woman, “Hang around for along enough and they’ll be stripping down and throwing themselves at ya.”

"Nope," Kaskan bluntly answers, and seems likely to leave it at that. Leaping on any distraction from the dark thoughts attached to the woman in those barracks who has him so vexed he focuses on Max's observation instead, tousled raven locks swaying across his view with a roguish set as he tilts his head in the man's direction. "Ya don't say?" Kaskan drawls, northern accent slipping back into his voice with the onset of alcohol. "I'd heard that about the weyrs but hadn't seen it yet m'self. Though between you and me I think I came close with that blond I met. Practically had to peel her off me then but wouldn't mind so much going a few rounds with that shapely ass now." Free hand rises to scratch at his chin, tone musing as he adds, "Never did get her name though. Shame."

There’s no denying the mental note Max is making with regards to looking into Kaskan’s interest in the weyrlings, or that northern accent that slips through into the tone of one supposedly from Southern Boll. Letting the matter seem to fall aside a rough snort precedes a roll of dark eyes, “Next time I’ll send ‘em your way.” A low chuckle fits into place as the guard outlines a blond that had apparently wrapped herself about him. “Without a name how you gonna track her down again, huh?” given that there’s probably an abundance of blonds wafting about the Weyr ready to dance the horizontal tango with someone that looks like Kaskan does. “Gimme a few more details I might be able to help you out there,” a smirk fits into place, “but it’s gonna cost ya,” eyes settling openly to the bottle the other has in his possession.

"I'd be much obliged!" Kaskan declares, sending the bottle toward Max with a jaunty little toss. Hopefully the Beast Master sees it coming in the shadows since Kaskan gives him no warning. Hitching his weight on one hip he raises one hand to trace his chin with forefinger and thumb in thoughtful pose. "Let's see," he ponders, a smug grin playing about his lips. Male testosterone at it's best tonight. "Long, luscious blond hair and dark eyes that smoldered. Full kiss that begged to be kissed and…" Here he pauses to give the other young man a significant raised brow and definitive framing gesture with both hands, "A figure that'd turn a dragon vegetarian, I swear." He whistles low then, the sound grainy for lack of fine motor control. "Had a right saucy attitude too… all about dancing and guidance. Yep, she wanted me bad, my friend. I'd have her in the sack like /that/ if I find her again." A snap of his fingers accompanies the last firm statement.

With the bottle being open, some of it slops over his forearm as Max catches it, which doesn’t seem to bother him much given that he almost immediately sets it to lips and swallows down a healthy mouthful of the liquid. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, the beast manager sets Kaskan with a careful look as the back of his neck starts to prickle with some of that description falling familiar upon his ears. Keeping his tone casual though a tight note might be noticed slipping in, he questions further, “Dragonrider?” Not yet at the point of questioning this ‘saucy’ blond’s approximate age yet. Another swallow of amber liquid gets knocked down his throat.

Puzzlement deepens the shadows of his expression as Kaskan considers the question. "Ya know, I don't think so… but can't be sure. She never mentioned a dragon and I didn't see a wing knot." Broad shoulders rise and fall beneath his crisp shirt, the tail of it having slipped partially from his waistband to hang loose. In fact, he looks particularly well attired for the sharp contrast of sallow, sunken features and eyes tiredly underscored. Dressed to impress, perhaps? Sidling over to the fence Kaskan gives the kicked post a testing wriggle, grunting when the wood crackles and gives a little too much. Setting it as aright as possible he turns back to the other man, the post already a foggy memory. A wry but tired smirk hovers about his lips. "Wouldn't surprise me if she was a greenrider with that randy attitude though," he surmises with a snicker. Then, a touch thoughtful, "She was carrying a bunch of books. Don't know about that. I guess it's the smart, quiet ones that'll surprise a man, eh?"

Watching as Kaskan moves closer and tests that post, the beast manager tips the whiskey bottle toward it, “Tomorrow morning after breakfast, I’ll have the fence-poster and nails ready and waiting for ya.” Yup, looks like he’s going to be attempting to get the guard to repair his own damage. The clothing the other man wears has been taken into account with little more than a faint smirk attached for having been there himself before. And then Max is turning back to the subject of the guard’s blonde with a low chuckle preceding his words as he nods his agreement, “Aye, those harper apprentice types are often more than just the books they hide behind.” Making the assumption that it must have been just such a young woman that Kaskan had come across in the tunnels.

Kaskan whips a look over his shoulder at the sound of dragonwing to the north, red-lined eyes narrowing into the darkness. Somewhere above a passing blue returns to his weyr, a slip of shadow in the darkness. The swift turn of head throws off Kaskan's equilibrium and he sways enough to stumble, one foot jutting to the side to keep him upright. Lips tighten into a hard, thin line for a moment before the man turns back to his companion, belatedly catching something about waiting for him. "Who's waiting for me?" he perks, the quickness of his question betraying the train of his thoughts. Lifting a hand he scratches behind an ear at Max's last comment, revealing an old injury that took part of his lower lobe. "No, I don't think she was an apprentice. Too old for that. Older than me." As if sight of the whiskey bottle in Max's hand incites the same in his blood he smirks, adding, "Which is fine with me. Older women know exactly what they want."

A brow goes up in open amusement of the other man’s drunken stumble. Yeah, because he’s never been legless like that over a woman before, right? Riiight. Another swig from the whiskey bottle and then an amiable grin washes into place as he gives the fence post in question a tap with his sandaled foot, “Ya girlfriend here. Says she wants ya to nail her.” Battling to keep a straight face for the play on words there. That however drains right away when Kaskan states the lady of the tunnels to have been older than him. Dark eyes narrow and all jest falls from Max’s tone, “Long dirty blond hair, down to here,” indicating mid back on himself with his free hand and then lifting to demonstrate a tousled riot of waves, “and sorta mussed up looking but not?” Careful how you answer this one, mate.

Kaskan looks to the post. Then to Max. Then to the post. Then to Max. "Great, cuz I got plenty of wood ready and waitin' for'r," he snickers, a patent smirk upending his toothy smile. Lewdly adjusting the front of his trousers he tips toward the fence and leans an elbow on the top rail. "Don't know though…she looks a little stiff," he adds, thoroughly amused by the string of bad puns. In the midst of wiping his eyes with the back of a hand he blinks with thoughtful surprise at Max's descriptions of his mystery lady. "Hey yah, that exactly right!" he perks, nodding eagerly. "You know her then? Point me in the right direction, friend!"

It’s Kaskan’s return quip that does it and has Max laughing openly for a moment. “Reckon that was her boyfriend ya were pounding down by the lakeshore so if I were you’d I’d be careful of splinters.” Because that could really hurt! Nodding in acknowledgement of the other young man’s reply on the blond, that grin hovers in place a moment or two longer, although now it’s holding a dangerously warning edge to it. Taking a step toward the guard, the beast manger holds out the whiskey bottle toward him, “Hold this for me a moment.” And then whether or not he’s taken the bottle, Max sends a right hook, (his weaker arm luckily and pulling the strength of the punch) streaking toward the side of Kaskan’s jaw, growling out as he does so, “That’s my Ma, you randy git!!”

Amusement bubbles to the fore, reinforced by Max's laughter. "Splinters… ha! Good one!" Kaskan chortles. "Thanks. Now I'm not going to be able to practice without thinking of that and losing my concentration… too funny." Still leaning, Kaskan is more than happy to take the whiskey back. Already imagining the burning taste splashing down his throat he only has eyes for the bottle and never sees the fist flying at him. The connection is solid and sends him reeling, balance already weak. The fence creaks loudly in protest as he sprawls back against it. Anger clouds his features as he scowls and raises a hand to his throbbing jaw. "What the fuck was that fo…." his voice trails off as Max's statement registers. "…or. Your MA? No way, man. She was way too hot to be your mother! It must be someone else."

Max might have come back with some or other witty remark on having ‘helpfully’ messed with the guard’s training methods except for there being the small matter of his mother and the other young man’s earlier comments about her now clouding the air. A smug edge of a smile traces out as Kaskan goes sprawling against the fencing, a few of the herdbeast skittering nervously away from the small commotion. His indignant response does little more than to serve as further fuel to the beast manager’s ire and he steps right up into the guard’s personal space both hands reaching for his collar to drag him up straight again, unless of course he scrambles out of the way. With a light snarl in place, “Speaks with a trace of a northern accent. Smells like jasmine.” Words coming out in stilted tone, not ending in query but given as further determining indicators of the older blond the other young man had encountered. It’s up to Kaskan’s next reply as to whether or not this is likely to devolve into an all out throw down between the two of them.

Anger flashes like lightning in the stormy slate blue of his glare, hovering mere inches from Max's equally heated expression. Any sort of restraint is lost as the titanic temper Kaskan houses grabs the reigns completely. Leering sarcasm is thick as he smugly gloats, "Oh yes, I'd forgotten that. I could smell her sweet perfume when she rubbed up close and offered to teach me a few private lessons, if you know what I mean!"

In his addled mind the memories are rather biased but even moreso as fury goads his tongue to spiteful exagerration. "I remember wondering if she tasted as good as she smelled," he jeers, and with a sudden twist jams one leg behind one of Max's calves, giving the other man a hard two-handed shove to the chest in an attempt to trip him up.

Max wouldn’t normally taken advantage of a drunk. But hey, this is his mother’s ‘honour’ he’s defending here, so all bets are off. He is however prepared to give the guard one last chance and so he allows him to knock his hands away from his shirt collar, fists bunching in readiness as he fixes a dark glower onto him.

Sadly, Kaskan decides to start taunting and the last shreds of any rationale die in their wake, “You’re not the first,” he growls out, “and you won’t be the last either.” Referencing either his potentially becoming yet another in a long string of Indira’s younger conquests, or said conquests unable to hold their tongues that meet the hard end of his temper and fists.

“I’m gonna kill you,” he spits out in response to that jeer right about when the other young man’s foot hooks his calf. Kaskan shoves and the beast manager grabs two fistfuls of the front of his shirt again. If he’s going down, he’s sure as shards taking the guard with him. His leg buckles and then both tuck in close to his body as his back hits the ground, feet coming up to shove against the guard’s mid-section in a bid to toss him back over his head and to the ground behind him. If he’s been successful, Max swiftly rolls and springs to his feet again, unhampered by the dulling effects of alcohol in his system such as the other is. Dark eyes blazing he growls out yet another low warning despite the alert stance he’s taken in readiness should the other disregard his words, “Stay down you dimglow.”

Gravity does an about-face as Kaskan's leg maneuver works but he's dragged down right along with it. With a lurch that throws his head back he topples forward onto Max, landing hard on the other man's bent legs and losing all sense of direction as he gets thrown head-over-heels. The hard ground knocks all remaining air out of his lungs with a loud grunt.

Stars swim in a blurry dance for several seconds as he lies on his back facing upward. Vision slowly refocuses, finally coelescing the lights into stationary pinpricks dotting the night sky. Groaning he lifts a hand to his brow and sifts back disheveled raven locks.

Common sense would dictate heeding Max's advice but Kaskan is beyond taking advice and bristles at what falls on his ears as a taunting order. Rolling sluggishly to his hands and knees he looks up at the other man through a curtain of over-long bangs, blue eyes blazing with fury.

"You wish, wherry-lover!" Kaskan yells, wiry muscles springing in an all-out drive of pure uncoordinated strength. No grace. No finely tuned skill. Nothing that usually marks such efforts made by the Bollian guard. He simply throws his body into Max, burying his head against the man's ribs as he wraps Max's waist tight with his arms and plows into him intent on throwing them both backward… and if successful, right into the already weakened fence.

Max is on the verge of stepping forward and offering Kaskan a hand up when the guard sets to rolling over onto his hands and knees. Dark eyes narrow lightly but he’s still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt despite the anger rolling off the other man, “I said…stay down.” The advice grating out in a tone lowered by the ire still wrapped about him.

Considering the guard’s state of inebriation and having expected Kaskan to do as suggested, Max doesn’t expect the other young man’s next move and so isn’t able to either side step him or tense his abdominal muscles to receive the blow. A grunt forces out along with the air in his lungs as the guard launches himself at him and slams into his ribs head first, cracking one of them and severely bruising several others. But that isn’t given conscious recognition just then for next, with the momentum, his back is crashing into the weakened fence line which gives with a crack, landing the beast manager in a tangle of poles and limbs and probably with the guard on top of him. Yeah, that’s gonna hurt in the morning.

The back of his head having hit the ground hard, he’s stunned for a moment or two and then he’s sucking air back into his abused lungs. “You stupid fuck!” Max gasps out as a knee jerks upward, aimed at Kaskan’s lower abdomen is he has indeed landed on top him, a fist ploughing toward the side of his head while at the same time his body twists in an attempt to throw the guard over onto his back and thus gain the upper hand.

Mental exhaustion blinding the mindful regulation of militaristic training Kaskan falls back on older habits of brutish street-fighting. Though precision is clouded due to the alcohol that slugs through his system, adrenaline drives the rippling brawn that lines his frame. Over two turns of daily violence followed by the rigorous routine of guard training honed his lean, wiry mass into sheer, potent muscle.

Thus, when he finds himself atop Max he grunts loudly from the pain shooting like fiery sparks from his shoulder where the broken end of a railing connected during the fall but doesn't lose his grip on the other man's throat. Fiery sparks shoot down his arm as he tries to grind Max into the ground, his shirt torn and quickly reddening at the curve. The pain of a dislocated shoulder soon dulls beneath the weight of furied emotions, the overwhelming rush uncontrollable now that the dam has been broken.

Thanks to his positioning, Kaskan dodges most incoming blows and sends his own in return with a blind ferocity. Unfortunately for Kaskan, his positioning also leaves his lower regions more vulnerable. Hovering over the other man, his legs rigidly keep him aright amidst a tangle of limbs and fencing. As a knee suddenly connects with his stomach Kaskan's spine arc's back, a rush of breath emptying his lungs. The stench of sweat and alcohol washes over them both, underlaid with a thick, earthen musk.

A long, drawn out groan rumbles into a fierce growl as Kaskan shoves his face close to Max's, almost nose-to-nose, the longest of lank raven layers draping over the other man's brow. "/YOU/ stupid fuck - she was asking for it! Not my fault your Ma is stacked!" is hissed through clenched teeth. Not exactly an apology, no. Tact is not one of Kaskan's virtues in the best of situations, let alone the middle of a heated fight.

Distraction and pain clouding his concentration, Kaskan misses the next incoming punch. It lands squarely on the side of his cheek and with balance suddenly askew he sways when Max follows with an unexpected roll. The pebbled ground slams hard against his back, part of a railing jabbing painfully into his thigh as he finds himself suddenly looking up at Max instead of down.

With Max being stone cold sober, he’s trying very hard to hold onto his own training and the understanding that Kaskan is not in full possession of his faculties due to his inebriated state. But that battle’s coming dangerously close to being lost. On the upside, adrenaline coursing through his veins is currently having a blessedly masking effect on the pain he’ll be feeling once it starts to leave his body.

Being as how he’d landed on his back, he’s not able to dodge all the blows sent his way, one of which catches him just above his eyebrow, splitting the skin open and almost immediately sending a trickle of blood down the side of his face. That combined with the grip Kaskan has on his throat snaps the last chord of control, anger devolving into rage for the other’s hissed words and he snaps his head up in an attempt to head butt the guard.

Having lost his sandals when the guard ploughed into him, a bared foot becomes entangled between poles when he rolls causing the beast manager to land awkwardly on his knee, pulling a cry from him as pain shoots out and radiates about his kneecap. It doesn’t however detract him from his mission and unless Kaskan fights free, he’ll straddle him with blood dripping drown from the cut above his eye, one hand closing about his opponent’s throat while the other delivers a full shouldered punch aimed at his face. “I’ll send you back to your mother in a bag!!” snarled out.

Its right about then that Waine, the beast manager’s second in command comes running from the beast caverns, having been alerted by the audible sound of a section of fencing going down and the frantic lowing of frightened herdbeast. It takes but a split second for the burly stablehand to realize what’s going on. “Boss!! Get him off him before you kill him!!” recognizing the blind rage for what it is – a black veil descended over all reasoning or rationale. Large blocks for hands reach down, trying to grab Max by the shoulders and pull him off of Kaskan risking having his boss turning on him next.

Pain helps to centralize some of the blind fury driving Kaskan. No longer himself, he is nothing but emotions run amok. Long-buried anger, fears and frustrations pour like a raging river from the black chasm of his soul smothering all the usual restraints that keep his guard in place. Lightning lances into his leg as his struggles to dislodge Max drive something sharp through his trousers and skin. A hissed growl of pain is stopped short as pressure on his neck cuts off his airway. Immediately he bucks against the ground, arms stretching upward to grab, jab, or strike anything he can use to push Max away. Red droplets splatter to his face and shirt mixing with the spreading stains of his own blood and making for an even grislier visage.

Fireworks erupt before his eyes, momentarily clouding Max from his vision, as the other man's fist plows into the side of his temple and grazes painfully across his nose, immediately spouting a trail of warm blood from his nostrils. "Limey… bastard!" Kaskan gurgles, voice barely a whisper through Max's hold on his throat and thick with the northern accent he usually hides. Olive-tanned complexion is beat red, flushed with exertion and lack of oxygen. Dirt cakes his skin and clothes, often clotted darkly with blood.

The addition of another voice is lost on Kaskan, too far gone within a veil of stubborn rage. His struggles continue unrestrained and if Waine manages to hinder Max in any way Kaskan will dive into that opening with fists and legs flying, hell bent on taking advantage of it.

If Max hadn’t been driven to the point of anger like he has, he’d have quite likely recognized and understood the emotions currently driving Kaskan having been there himself before. However, he’s not at a place to be putting much logical thought into anything, the only driving factor now being to subdue the raging guard. The two of them presenting a rather gruesome sight that would likely have both their women horrified no doubt.

A rough grunt pushes out when his fist makes contact with the other young man’s face and nose but it’s not enough to stop him as his hand continues to close about his throat giving him a light shake, “Quit it, you ornery shit for brains!!” That growled out right as blocky hands grab at his shoulders, the beast manager momentarily loosening his hold around Kaskan’s throat to lash out in Waine’s direction.

Waine is a lot quicker than his six foot, one hundred and twenty pound bulk might suggest and so he easily ducks the expected response and manages to successfully haul his boss off of the guard. His focus going to Kaskan next as he firmly puts himself between the two and growls out in echo of Max’s earlier words to him, “Stay down!” At least until he can get both to calm down and stop trying to beat the living daylights out of each other that is.

Max's orders only infuriate Kaskan further. As soon as Waine has his boss's attention Kaskan kicks up his knees aiming for the middle of Max's back. The sudden freedom to breath as Max is hauled off of him comes as a shock and he is thrown into a fit of rough coughing, blood splattering from his nose even more down the front of his shirt.

"/You're/ the shit for brains!" he yells in keenly witty rebuttal, coherency shot to hell and unable to come up with a more biting retort. Waine presents nothing so much as a hurdle before his goal so the man's barked instructions fall on deaf ears.

It takes three attempts for Kaskan to get to his feet, and even then he has to bite down hard against the pain lancing through several limbs, most notably his shoulder and thigh. But once he does get there he stumbles forward determined to reach Max, hurdle or not.

Having briefly (and ill advisably) turned his attention onto Waine in that split second, Max doesn’t see Kaskan’s next move coming and so is thrown forward onto the stony ground when the other young man’s knees hit into his back only just getting a hand out in time to break his fall and stop his face from becoming one with the ground itself.

With a roar of anger he instantly tries to jump back to his feet except that without thinking he sets his weight to the leg with the damaged knee and it buckles under him. “Sodding son of a watchwher!” snarled out as he stubbornly tries again and succeeds but only in time to find Kaskan is up and somewhat on his feet too.

Waine might be between the two of them and trying to keep them apart, but Max is clearly having none of that as limping he starts closing the gap. “Back off!” this given to Waine in a warning growl as blood seeps down from his eyebrow and trickles over his swelling eye. An angry toss of head sends droplets flying, clearing his vision slightly. This was his fight and he intends to finish it. His second in command sends a brow lifted look his boss’s way and then raising both hands steps back, thickly corded arms crossing over his broad chest as he now falls to observing and ensuring they don’t start beating each with broken fencing next. “C’mere, you tunnelsnake!” that to the guard when he’s close enough to try grabbing the other young man around the neck with one arm, sending a fist towards his kidneys with his other hand if Kaskan hasn't managed to dodge him, breathing drawn hard as adrenaline starts to leak from his system and pain sets in across battered ribcage, head, knee and back. Give these two any longer and all they’ll likely be able to do is lie flat on the ground batting uselessly at each other and cussing each other out until neither one can move from pure exhaustion.

Kaskan scowls, blurry-eyed vision further impaired by dripping blood and swelling nose. Ugly yellowish-purple blotches are already starting to appear across his cheek bones and jaw. Raven layers that usually wisp in random disarray about his face now cling with annoying regularity to blood and dirt, his habit of swinging them out of his view becoming useless. Thus Max's approach is veiled by a combination of elements and Kaskan's fists swing wide in staggared misalignment. Such is his disillusion that he nearly goes for Waine by mistake but Max's voice snaps him in the right direction. Spurred by taunt of his father he spits a bloodied glob to the ground toward Max's feet and seethes, "Your mother must've slept with one to breed the likes of you!"

Once he has a mass to focus on tunnel vision blurs all else, however the dizzying effect leaves his timing off so when Max's proximity and insult register the other man's arm is already tightening around Kaskan's sorely bruised neck. Bearing down he grinds his teeth and growls like an irate dragon, leaning forward as far as he can intent on lifting the beast master off his feet. Several sharp blows to his ribs rob Kaskan of what little breath he has left and his knees immmediately threaten to crumble.

Holding his breath, Kaskan reaches to the depths of turbulent madness tapping into the last bit of strength his exhausted body has to give and rears back in a sudden change of direction. Pushing hard off his feet he arcs his spine to bend the other man as well. Unless Max can find solid footing fast the momentum will stumble them both backwards… and where was Waine?

Swaying a little on his feet, he sets the other younger man with a heavily threatening glare and then lips curl back in a wearying snarl for Kaskan’s further insult to his mother. “Rutting gobshite!” Max growls back in response his head drawing back to attempt head butting him again but ended with a sharp grunt of pain as the guard delivers further insult to already injured and purpling ribs by throwing them both over backwards.

Having Kaskan land on top of him sends jarring pain through every abused part of his body. “Fuck, that hurt…” groaned out low as he ignores the pounding headache that’s starting to set in thanks to the blows to the head he’s taken and using hands and feet will try to push his opponent off of him. Yeah, he’s hurting and with the adrenaline gone from his system, he’s tiring too, breath coming heavily and wracked through with pain as his chest expands and tortures his ribs further Which doesn’t mean to say that if he’s managed to bridge enough distance between himself and Kaskan in the dirt that Max won’t try aiming a kick with his good leg somewhere along the other man’s side. “Runner’s ass!” Seems he’s running out of insults too.

Waine gauging the state of the two brawling young men, steps back in, a piece of broken fencing in his hand. Waving it threateningly between them, he states calmly in a baritone laced through with dark amusement, “End this now, or I’ll do it for you.” And by the set of his jaw, the burly stablehand is quite clearly, not joking.

Kaskan is not in any hurry to move at first. Squashing Max beneath him he merely lets his dead weight pin the man down until squriming gives the other man enough freedom to start landing some painful punches to his ribs and injured shoulder. Grunting after one particularly well-placed fist connects with his side, Kaskan bends his arm and jabs downward with what little strength he can muster and rolls to the side.

Attempting to turn quick enough to keep Max subdued Kaskan is awarded a kick to his injured thigh that instantly washes his senses in blinding white pain. Losing all track of his opponent he concentrates on breathing, each extended intake drawing protest from abused throat and chest muscles. To Max's insult he steals a few precious wisps of air to wheeze heavily, "You would know!"

As his vision returns the first thing he sees is someone wielding a stick and muscles tense for an expected blow. But in the next instant confusion forces his attention to focus because he knows it can't be Max. Squinting helps. Ah. Memory dully serves up the arrival of another man - someone who knew Max. The threat is heard and mentally rejected, although physically it can not be denied. Kaskan slumps, grumbling, and as a last show of rebuttal reaches out if he can to give Max a hard shove.

Growling, “Get off m…” Max gets no further as the guard’s elbow connects with his solar plexus sending muscles necessary for breathing into spasm. It takes a moment or two before they release enough for him to suck some air in which sends him into a rasping coughing fit punctuated by groans unable to do little but deliver that kick that he had.

One arm having taken to guarding over throbbing ribs and vision blurred by blood, sweat and the swelling of his eye, he squints up at Waine still robbed of normal breath and utters a non-committal grunt just as Kaskan shoves at his shoulder. Considering that he’s now rolled to be flat on his back, the knee of his uninjured leg drawn up and about all the fight gone out of him, he does little in return but fling out the arm nearest to the guard, perhaps that now loosely bunched fist will hit something. Who knows? He’s too sharding tired right now to care. “Your mother.” Even the insult holds little to no heat in it.

Waine seemingly satisfied that the two of them are quite literally done in, drops the piece of fencing he’d been wielding and heads off back into the beast caverns to return shortly with a set of water skins. Tossing them down between beast manager and guard he comments through a smirk, “I’ll be getting the Healer now.”

Max flinches slightly as something lands with a dull thud next to him and scowls up at Waine for the comment on calling a Healer. “No, you sharding won’t!” this as he rolls painfully over onto his good side and reaches for one of the ‘skins. With a flicker of dark eye (singular because the other has now closed up) Kaskan’s way, “’Less the pansy wants one.” Further weak taunt and not a question.

Such is the pain radiating through his body that the addition of a half-hearted slug landing on his hip barely registers on Kaskan's radar. Moreso does the insult jar his senses, maternal pride evoked by even that much of a slight. The irony of that reaction is completely lost on Kaskan. "Yah, well…" is all his minced brain can put together in reply.

Though tensed for renewed blows with Max at any second Kaskan hasn't the energy to do any more than sit slumped in exhausted repose. The arrival of a dropped skin, however, quickly grabs his attention. Watching as Max rolls to retrieve one, he is surprised to feel a twinge of gratitude for the other man as he tells Waine not to get the Healer. He's on the outs with Cheusia at the moment. The woman is apt to sew him up with a darning needle just to make it hurt more.

Snatching up the other skin he gives it a shake to assess the sloshing inside, assuming the contents are some sort of alcohol, and follows up with a sneering retort for Max's indirect question. "No need here. I'm just fine," he snaps, belying his words with every inch of his bloodied and beaten frame.

Max lifts up onto one elbow, uncorks the water skin with his teeth, leaving the cork to fall wherever it may and lifts the skin swallowing thirstily, his battered throat from where Kaskan had grabbed a hold of him complaining. Wincing for the deep inhale of breath that follows, he pushes up sluggishly to a sitting position and upends the skin sending the rest of its contents spilling over his head in a cooling rush, uttering an expletive as it courses over the cuts and bruises on his face.

“Dipshit,” that given half-heartedly to Kaskan as he begins an assessing exploration of injuries that can be seen and reached with probing fingers bearing fight grazed knuckles. Another heated oath for the stab of pain elicited when he presses against the cracked rib before moving on to roll up his drawstring pants and test the extents of the damage done to his knee, which despite having swollen beautifully, appears only to have been badly jarred with thankfully no damage done to cartilage. A scowl sent the guard’s way, “You’ve just cost me a whole sharding seven!” that in regards to his getting back to breaking his wilful runner in. “Moron,” muttered under his breath.

With the two of them turning down his offer to call a healer, Waine tactfully retreats back to his post at the tunnel entrance to the caverns leaving his boss and the other young man to sort themselves out now that it looks like they’re not about to try killing each other again. To Kaskan, “You got issues, mate,” says Max, the one that had thrown the first punch because of words spoken about his mother.

Kaskan's frown increases as he watches Max pour the contents of his skin over his head. Not alcohol then. Damn. Admittedly though, it isn't a bad idea so once disappointment passes Kaskan employs the same idea himself although, so as not to look like he's following Max's lead, he instead pours the water on his arm first. Muttering curses that would make a billiage rat blush he washes enough of the cover blood off to reveal an ugly gash over his shoulder. Cuts and bruises slowly appear the more he applies the water, turning the tattered remnants of his shirt into a burgundy wreck.

Feeling the prick of male pride he stops there, not wanting to make it obvious in front of Max just how badly he's hurt. Water sloshes down his chin as he tries to take a drink. His entire face feels somehow detached, although his nose has already pierced the cloud to make its injured state known. Something has lit a fire where his thigh should be, as well as his ribs in general. Every bone, sinew, and muscle in his body gears up for massive protest the likes of which are probably going to land him in bedrest for as long as they can manage to keep him there.

Amidst self-evaluation, Kaskan throws Max a lurid scowl at regular intervals. "Speak for yourself. /I/ don't shovel shit for a living," he spits to the Beastmaster's first crack. And since he couldn't care less about Max's losses, the next receives a piqued, "Poor baby!"

Waine finally leaves. Good, one less witness. Kaskan is nearly exhausted enough to simply lie down and let himself melt into oblivion but there's still Max to consider. No way is he going to give the other man the satisfaction. So before he gives into physical agony he attempts to rise… only to end up kneeling on his good leg, curled forward in grunting torment. Complexion infused a ruddy red he grinds his teeth and braces one hand to the ground. Growling low in a throat that feels raw, he mutters, "You have no idea."

Max…has no such problems with male pride. He’s hurting and he doesn’t give a wher’s butt who notices. Or maybe it’s because he well knows that Kaskan is hurting just as much. Then again, that male pride will likely come into play the next day where he’ll stubbornly refuse to stay put, haul his ass out of bed and hobble about his duties being about as effective as putting an old uncle to them and probably just as cranky for the accompanying aches and pains.

Kaskan’s insults, including the one about what it is the guard thinks he does for a living merely earn the man a dark glower from out of silent regard. Or maybe not. “Better’n playing nursemaid to some spoilt brat,” Max gives with a grunt. Vague amusement crosses his expression next as the other young man tries to get to his feet, noting in a rough and sardonic tone as he pushes up painfully to his, favouring the leg with the injured knee, “Got redwort and numbweed in my quarters.” Which he’s just as much in need of himself.

For a long moment he does little but stand there, slump shouldered, an arm guarding over ribs and weight held to one leg as blood slows from a trickle to a sluggish ooze down over his swollen eye and the side of his head as he fits Kaskan with an unreadable look for the response given to him having issues. Shuffling over the short distance, a grunt of pain accompanies the slight bed forward as he holds out a hand to the guard in offer of helping him up, “Got whiskey in there too.”

For half a second Kaskan nearly refuses Max's hand. A week ago he would have. But his aborted attempt to rise snuffed out the last embers of his willpower. Surprise at the other man's offer wedges open a crack in Kaskan's hardened shell, allowing a slip of weary desire through. The last thing he wants to do is let Cheusia get ahold of him - the healer would have a hayday making him pay for it. Whiskey is the final straw, allowing him to save face as well.

So take the hand he does, his grip firm and skin rough with half-healed scars and calluses from the staff he favors. Cringing with the effort he pulls himself aright giving his chin a hard toss to clear lank wayward bangs from his view. "Can I trust that it won't be poisoned?" he asks wryly, tone only half-joking.

With a similar grip of calluses formed from the work he does and old scars earned both in work and fighting, Max sets Kaskan with a wearied and somewhat sardonic idea of a grin as he comes to his feet. “If I was going to poison ya, I wouldna wasted my time tryin’ to beat ya half to death, aye?” Northern accent heavy. Jesting slips off to leave behind a tightly warning expression as with chin lifted he states, “Ya just leave my Ma alone, an’ we’ll be all good.” Yeah, he hasn’t forgotten about what started the fight in the first place.

Not waiting to see if Kaskan will follow him, the beast manager turns toward the upper entrance to the beast caverns and slowly limps off, tossing over his shoulder as he does so, “You ain’t the only one what got problems, Kaskan.” Neither taunting nor belittling whatever it was that had driven the guard into such a rage, merely making observation that he was aware that there was something else at the root of it all.

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