It's Been Swell But The Swelling's Gone Down Now


Bowen.jpg Harson.jpg Jaya.jpg Kaskan.jpg Suli.jpg

Date: 12/17/10
Location: EW: Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: A busy night at Jaya's Bar finds Kaskan watching a card game and Jaya at the bar, as usual, when Bowen and Harson enter the bar looking like they've been in a fight. Light banter ensues and Harson gets his first taste of whiskey while Bowen and Kaskan make a timid start at rebuilding bridges.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Bowen

The bar is a busy sight this evening with the card tables all full and the barmaids Suli and Hayli bustling about in the crowd. There's a table or two still open from groups of dragonriders leaving, and there's still stools to be had about at the counter where Jaya can be seen as usual making the drinks. Shijan - tall and imposing with the striking gaze - is at his usual perch by the entrance, looking over any and all that should pass by. It's a lively atmosphere this night with most of its patrons appearing to be in either feisty or good moods, and their barkeep seems to be of like mind save for some fatigue that could be seen in her dark gaze as she moves about.

Bowen saunters in with a polite nod to Shijan and a look to show he's not here to prove something about his testosterone. However, the swollen, cut lip and flushed and swelling cheek over his cheekbone tells a different story. So does his swollen and cut knuckles and the slight stiffness as he walks from the door to the bar. He may not be here looking to start a fight, but it's clear he's just left one. He glances once over his shoulder to make sure Harson is still with him, saying, "Reckon Che ain't gonna be too happy with m' t'night, so bett'r make it worth it." And then takes off his hat as he nears the bar and sets it on the counter, waiting with his usual stoic, slow expression.

Kaskan has been stewing at one of the back tables for a while now. Eventually he'll make his way up to the bar per his usual habit, though how much of his usual harassing and flirting with the sexy barkeep will follow remains to be seen. At this point he certainly doesn't look in any mood to crack a smile. "You gonna play yet?" barks a scruffy dealer at the table to Kaskan's right. Resting an elbow on the table's edge with his chair tipped back against the wall Kaskan slowly turns his light blue gaze to the man and scowls. "I'm still thinkin' about it." With a grumble the other man deals to the others at the table, mumbling, "Put yer marks where yer mouth is."

Harson follows after Bowen, he looks a bit worse than the older man. There's a limp to his step but also a huge smile plastered to his face. Not saying anything, he gets himself settled down at the bar and gives his swollen lip a poke with his thumb and starts to check the condition of his teeth. "I think I'm going to have a sharding black eye. Do I have a black eye?" The smile fades at last as reality slowly creeps in to replace the insanity that had overcome him.

Yep, Jaya does note the incoming injured men when she turns from a seated patron to fulfill a drink, eyes slightly narrowing at she meets Shijan's gaze. Shijan, for his part, silently nods and returns Bowen's greeting, his piercing eyes flicking over Harson as he passes as well before he turns his gaze back on the barkeep. Said barkeep's even noticed Kaskan from the time that he had arrived, but she hasn't had a break from the counter to approach. For now, he's getting the same flat look that she's giving the tanner and his brother. Passing a few drinks over to a waiting, towering barmaid, "How is it," she gives to Bowen as she approaches him with an empty mug in hand, "that whenever I see you, you're usually looking like trouble done put a mark out on you and just collected, shuga?" Dark eyes slide over to Harson then, not recognizing him so she gives him a more genial nod in greeting despite his obvious injuries before she turns her attention back on Bowen. "So what can I get you men tonite?" she asks, including Harson in the question even though she's not looking his way. Suli, meanwhile does approach Kaskan's table once she delivers her drinks, a brow lifting at him before she grunts out, "Gonna sit back here all night or can I get you something from the bar?"

Considering the busy night that the bar is having and Bowen's condition, he's not yet noticed Kaskan at the card tables. Instead, he grins at Jaya, it's a bigger grin than the stoic man usually gives, so there's some familiarity to the look exchanged. "He tried ta kiss me," he says in explanation, gesturing to his taller but younger brother next to him, extending the same gag line that seems to be popular in these parts. "Harson, Jaya. Jaya, Harson," Bowen huskily gives in introductions next, "An' whiskey, please." With a grunt, Bowen moves to try and clap a hand on Harson's shoulder, "Lucky bast'rd, I didna get m'first black eye til I was nineteen." Like it was a trophy. And apparently that's meant to answer the question of whether or not he's getting a black eye. "Pa'd be proud, Hari." It's then that Bowen looks out at the sea of filled tables in the bar, either looking for friends or just curious, and his attention lands on Kaskan. The smile he had been wearing slowly fades, but he doesn't let his gaze linger, turning back to the bar and his brother and Jaya.

Kaskan rocks his tilted chair ever-so-slightly, pushing his arm against the table where four others are steadily exchanging marks, growls, and bawdy jokes. As Suli approaches two start clunking their mugs on the table chanting for refills. One especially burly fellow who's already growing red-eyed from drink actually reaches for a handful of posterior. As for Kaskan, his gaze remains hooded under dark lashes and over-long bangs for a few moments even after Suli speaks, then he slowly raises his gaze. He doesn't look much better than those who've just been fighting, the obvious signs of violence marking his visage as well. His are just as obviously a bit older though, lack of sleep adding dark rings under his eyes and stress shadowing the creases, lines, and purplish bruises of his features. "I just might, and yes you can," he answers smartly. "Ask Jaya for a skin of my usual."

Harson whines a little as he touches at his sore eye and looks crestfallen. He makes a sour face to Bowen claiming he tried to kiss him and clouts him on the shoulder, or tries to, "Don't go spreading rumors like that around a place like this." A quick look around to be sure no wayward people are getting a mind that he's a guy-kisser. Only pausing that gaze to size up Kaskan and his condition. "Shards, that someone you know Bowen?" Scooting into his chair he looks to see who he's being introduced to and stammers out an uncomfortable: "H-hi there." With a little crooked smile at the barkeep.

"Someone's always trying to kiss you, shuga," Jaya notes to the tanner in return, expressively rolling her eyes before a playful wink is given. Then, the exchange between the brothers, along with the easy introduction, has the barkeep turning her intense gaze on Harson. The long and jagged scar down the side of her face could be seen in the light as she turns her head and brushes her dark hair from her face, Bowen's further words to the other having her reach a conclusion. "A brother," she drawls that out in her husky tone, the slight Bitran accent present as she regards him with that crooked smile. "Harson, was it? Well met, shuga." To Bowen, "Got your family visiting you here?" she asks as she gets to pouring that whiskey, and she does catch them both looking behind them towards that shadowy corner where Kaskan sits. Her own smile fades a little, but she's making no comment on that particular topic. Back there in that corner, the burly fellow that has the audacity to grab at Suli's ass gets a sharp swipe at his head by her meaty arm. "Want ass to grab? Shake up your friend there," she suggests before turning towards Kaskan and noting the smart return with a sniff. "You could ask her yourself," she notes dryly, the older woman well aware of his liaisons with the barkeep in the past. "But, I can ask." Disdain is in her voice, but that's a usual thing when it comes to the towering barmaid.

Burly ducks with a lecherous smirk and his buddies grumble with raucous laughter but no one else dares try for a grab at Suli. They do shove their empty mugs toward her though, still cantering for refills. Kaskan merely watches with a wry grin that doesn't raise humor in his dull blue gaze. He's just as aware that the employees of the bar know of his trysts with their boss and rocks his chair back to set against the wall with a smug touch to his pose. "I might, but you asked me first," he informs the barmaid. Then, just to be contrary with impeachable politeness he adds, "Much obliged."

Bowen takes the shoulder abuse like the stocky man he is, but Harson is bigger now and so it actually rocks Bowen a little on his feet. Just wait until his kid brother actually stops growing. Smirking with a faint wince at how that smarts his lip, Bo responds to Harson, "Well, I ain't worried. Now I know ya ken handle yerself if any of dem bronzeriders get a lil handsy with ya." The wink from Jaya is returned with Bowen looking more and more comfortable and amused as he leans against the bar. That is until Harson points out Kaskan. "Ayup," Bo says flatly, "Name's Kaskan." Then to Jaya, "Ya could say dat," regarding his family visiting. He's still betting Paerin will want to go back home at some point, in tears, but it's getting harder and harder to deny the fact that she's staying longer than he thought she would. He's still not really sure what Harson is doing here, long-term or short-term, so he leaves it at that. "Noticed yer sist'r wuz 'ere too," to Jaya as he takes up the glass of whiskey she pours. He keeps his attention on the whiskey for the moment, hearing but not looking at the minor altercation between Suli and the patron. Mostly because he knows Kaskan is in that direction and chooses to avoid looking there.

Harson doesn't stare at Jaya, or her scars, he keeps his eyes shyly averted from her. More or less. There's a few flickered glances her way but he's mostly trying to keep his attention on his brother. Of course he does bob his head in confirmation of his name, "N-nice to meet you." A little smile, he still has all his teeth thank goodness. To the introduction of Kaskan, if you can call it that, he gives the man a small wave that stops half completed. "Right. Well here is hoping I don't have to do that again. My hand is all messed up….better to do things the sneaky way. Less blood too…." He reaches for the drink and sniffs it. Clearly, he's not a drinking man yet.

Suli actually looks disappointed that the smack to the burly man's head didn't connect, but presses her lips together at the lot them and takes up their mugs for the refills to come. She was clearly used to such men and their antics by now, the towering barmaid barely registering much of a reaction to them other than her usual frown. To Kaskan, however, that's a different matter. "It's called me being polite," she answers deadpan to his cheeky comment on her asking him first, her chin lifting a fraction with her hands occupied with mugs. "What's with all the marks, anyway?" Nope, she's not talking about marks to pay with, clearly - her hard eyes settling on what she could see of his face. Back at the counter, once Jaya passes over the whiskey to both brothers, wry amusement held in her gaze at banter between them. When she is addressed, "For a time," she answers on her twin, hitching up one shoulder in a shrug as she crosses her arms across her chest. "Beddie. Dropped by unannounced and is as irritating as she was six turns ago. Be lucky you didn't meet her." Beat. "Did you two get into a fight again?" she guesses then when Kaskan is brought up, the Bitran bending slightly to put the guard in her sights while she passes Harson and his obvious shyness a rather amused smile. At his sniffing the drink, however, she straightens up and offers in that wry husky tone, "I can offer something less….strong. I carry anything from the exotic and mild to the spiced and heady." She does realize not everyone is whiskey drinkers, after all, and it was all profits to her either way.

Kaskan pays half a mind to the ongoing game, the distraction of gauging the other men's weaknesses no longer as entertaining as it was minutes ago. For Suli's benefit he shrugs one broad shoulder, a bit stiff for his usual grace, and replies with a healthy does of male pride, "What? These little scratches? Just a bit of a scrap with Max. I let'im live though." The table's players, being of a rougher sort, are duly appreciative of anything violent so chortle knowingly. Max is no mean feat to mess with. Kaskan's rep goes up a few notches.

Foregoing his plan to eventually join the game once enough alcohol had hindered their senses Kaskan pays more attention to other patrons of the bar… most notably the recent additions to the bar itself. Jaya is always in his peripheral vision so once the tanner and his companion enter that sphere they garner more of his regard. An aborted wave from the skinnier version of Bowen raises a dark-browed expression. Even knowing Bowen is still mad at him having it confirmed still tweaks his ire. The man just can't take a joke! Too much time skinning dead animals has apparently robbed him of his sense of humor.

"We ain't stayin' long," Bowen says softly, some measure of attempt at reassurance in his tone as his blue eyes focus on Harson beside him as his brother talks of his hand getting all messed up, "J'st long 'nough ta get a drink b'fore th' 'firmary an' Che," another sip of that whiskey, "'Cuz ya can't hold a glass 'r bottle when yer hand's wrapped an' iced." It's important to instruct the younger generation on the proper to-dos and not-to-dos in brawling and recovering from brawling, right? Bowen seems to think so. Considering their distance in age and their various stints at completely different Halls, this is probably one of the first brotherly bonding moments they've had a chance to get. Bowen's taking advantage of it. To Jaya, however, he returns his attention for her question about him and Kaskan and shakes his head, "Not lately." Before he left for Southern, yes, but that was a long time ago now. "Reckon th' air ain't been cleared as well as it coulda been." The tanner watches Harson sniff his whiskey with open amusement in his gaze, but he's not suggesting he not try it. Neither is he scoffing at Jaya's offer for something easier to get down, though. No further looks are given Kaskan's direction, but that could be because he's still mad, or it could be Bowen just doesn't want to have to face him and clear that air he talked about. Bowen's not your most communicative, touchy-feely kind of guy.

Harson shakes his head to the offer of something else to drink. "N-no ma'am, that's alright." He glances at the others in the bar before giving a cocky toss of his head and tossing back the whiskey. Likely not the best thing to do. Unaccustomed to the blaze of heat that burns down his throat, he's left hacking and coughing in the wake of the drink. Slamming the glass down he chokes for air and slaps Bowen on the arm, "SMooooth…rrriight." It takes a moment longer to recover to a normal breathing pattern but his eyes are still tearing up a bit. "Shards'n shells….tastes like firestone."

Yeah. With Max still being on Suli's shit list, finding out that Kaskan was fighting with him has some of that cold regard lifting off of her a few notches. "Hope you fucked him up more than he did you," is what she grunts to that, openly showing her even deeper disdain for the beast manager before she adds swiftly, "I'll get your usual." Suli makes it up to the bar in time to see Harson knock back his drink, and she's passing Bowen a look before she deposits the dirty mugs and sets about to getting refills. After mumbling a few words to Jaya with a nod in Kaskan's direction, "Looking to start him on one brawl a sevenday?" she drawls to Bowen, nodding Harson's way when he starts coughing. To Harson, "No ma'am," she adds, setting the deposited glasses aside. "Just Jaya. Reckon I'm not that much older than you, if I am." She passes over the proper skin for Kaskan towards Suli, Bowen's answer to her question getting a curious look. She'd ask Suli but the barmaid is already around the counter and gone with the skin, heading back to Kaskan and handing it over from it being laid over her shoulder. Then the men the next table over gets their drinks, the lot of them getting one of her heavy looks as she dares one of them pinch her backside again.

Wobbling a little as Harson slaps him on the arm, Bowen can't help but laugh at his brother's reaction to the whiskey, but a laugh for Bowen is more like a chuckle for most everyone else. The tanner knocks back the last of his own whiskey, hissing a little at the burn and thumping his chest with a wince and flexing of his bruised knuckles and fingers. Then muttering to Harson in teasing jest, "Ya been eatin' firestone 'gin?" Then Bo turns a rueful look onto Jaya while he pulls out enough marks to cover the two drinks and sets them on the counter, "Naw, I reckon m'sist'r'll have dat covered," with the expectation that she'll get herself in enough trouble every sevenday and Harson feeling obliged to get her out of it or defend her honor or whatever it is those crazy kids do these days. "Thank ya kindly," Bowen says then, for the drinks, and perhaps for otherwise, too. He picks up his hat then, and puts it back on his head, "Ya t'ink ya ken walk out, Hari, or should I get a stretch'r from th' 'firmary?"

Everyone loudly expresses appreciation for the drinks Suli delivers, not below using flattery to get on the barmaid's good side. If it weren't so exaggerated or their words somewhat slurred it might have come off more sincere, but being the stereotypical patrons they are it's par for course in an age-old game they're just as versed at playing as the cards in their hands. Kaskan, however, has had enough of watchfully skirting the edges. Once his skin is delivered he takes a healthy swallow, then bribes his formerly prospective cohorts with a topper to their mugs so that when he announces his intention of leaving them they don't protest overly much. An empty seat is room for an active player, after all. So Kaskan clunks his chair to the floor and rises with a groan more fitting to someone five times his age, his usual ease marred by trying to favor his left arm and right leg at the same time. Apparently there are more injuries than the obvious ones beneath his clothes. Swinging the now much lighter skin in one hand he makes his way to the bar purposely leaving just one man staring forlorn into his mug and Harson between himself and Bowen. Seeing the man prepare to leave he merely leans an elbow on the bar and waits till Jaya glances his way to insert himself by noting, "Watered the back table for ya."

Harson cracks an embarrassed smile to Jaya, "Every sevenday? Naw, not me. No way." He flexes his hand gingerly to make sure all the fingers work. First one hand and then the other before looking back to Bowen, "You're going? Already? But what about another drink….you're not going to just leave me out here are you?" A lamb amoung the wolves. Toying with the glass he doesn't look too certain, "no, no that's alright, I can walk myself, nothing broken thank goodness." Watching the wounded Kaskan saunter up, measuring the various wounds he can see now at the up-close range.

Suli's snorting at the grand responses given when she delivers the much-awaited drinks, moving off to deal with other patrons now that her job (as she saw it) was done. Back at the bar, Jaya's eyes fall on Kaskan as he approaches, the woman always managing to note his position in the bar the same way he keeps her in his peripheral vision. She chuckles shortly then on Bowen's response about his sister, pocketed the marks laid out in less than a second. With an incline of her head to that thanks, "Always willing to water down the battered," she drawls to the tanner with an easy smile. Speaking of, Kaskan makes it up then, the barkeep flicking an assessing look over what injuries she could see before she's countering his words dryly with, "Thanks. Who knocked you up?" Cuz Suli sure didn't tell her. Harson gets less of her snarky ire, however, especially since the young man doesn't know her yet. "Say that now," she notes at that embarrassed smile, sending a smirk of her own as she nods pointedly towards Bowen. "Keep hanging with him and you might not have much choice, shuga."

With a little sigh, Bowen leans back against the bar, facing his brother, smirk tugging at one side of his marred mouth. "Ya were j'st whinin' 'bout yer hands," Bowen says, "But since yer offerin' ta buy me anuth'r drink," he was? "I ain't 'un ta turn it down." But the hat stays on for now, especially as he looks past his brother and the other fellow staring into his drink to Kaskan and nods to the guardsman, "Kaskan," he greets simply, flatly, his smirk fading a little, but he's not frowning or taking off his hat or rolling his shoulders to get ready for another brawl. He's done for the night, he thinks. His smile returns easily enough however as Jaya talks of watering the battered, and then he returns to her last, "Aw, now, don't go settin' those lofty 'xpectations, Jaya. I'm a married man, now. I might not be able ta live up ta dem."

"Bowen," is Kaskan's equally monotone and pointed reply. Seems he isn't in the mood to expand on their current disgruntlement either. His gaze falls pointedly on the other man, now at closer range, and the similarities are even more notable. "You must be mini-Bowen," he remarks, again with a dry deadpan tone. He may be holding a nearly empty skin but not because he's been drinking. The dull chill in his light blue eyes is from physical and mental exhaustion. At the tanner's jest Kaskan snorts before he can stop himself, self-filter at least catching a sarcastic comment from slipping out. Tilting his chin, over-long bangs skew his view, randomly wisping across one eye.

"Married don't mean much if you're still throwing fists about like someone just stole your best runner," Jaya notes to that with Bowen getting a fake stern look. It's only brief though before she is willing to let the three men deal with their drinks (and each other as long a stool doesn't go flying) once Suli returns to her side with a big order of drinks to fill. She's still there of course, but settling back into her work during a very busy night, coming over to them to check on them on occasion with linger looks here and there but otherwise leaving them be until they decide to have need of her.

'Mini-Bowen' is several turns Bowen's junior and already towering over him-not too hard since Bowen is only 5'10", but still. Bowen might still be stockier, and a little more experienced in brawling, but Harson's going to be an interesting brawl-buddy if he keeps filling out the way he is, and helping Bo with the Weyr's miscreants like earlier tonight. "Harson, dis is Kaskan," Bowen drawls after Kaskan talks to his brother, "Kaskan, dis is m'bruth'r Harson." Easing a little more into some amount of good humor around the guardsman, made evident by his smirk to Jaya again, "Runner didna have nuthin' ta do with it. J'st a feller whut couldna keep his hands ta hisself an' leave a girl 'lone, an' me an' Hari here showed 'im th' Weyr tunnel exit izzawl. Didn't we Hari?" Aww, Bowen's really trying to bond and reacquaint himself better with his estranged little-not-so-little brother, isn't he? In his own way anyway. And so he will continue to pass a few more moments and drinks with Harson and Kaskan and Jaya there at the bar until it's clear he and Harson should be getting some ice on their brawling wounds or risk not being able to get themselves out of their cots in the morning, and therefore calling it a night.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Toby Keith - "I Love This Bar"

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