Sticks And Stones


Bowen.jpg Kaskan.jpg

Date: 10/28/10 & 11/2/10
Location: EW: Lakeshore
Synopsis: After a night of drinking and card playing to get some information from Lo, Bo encounters Kaskan at the lakeshore and decides to draw a line in the sand, one that results in violence.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Bowen

Late night. The circle of occasional glows dot the weyr - some from individual weyrs, others at intermittently spaced locations around the bowl for anyone who might be out walking. Closer to the lake darkness looms thicker along the shore, the water glistening with reflected speckles of starlight but casting no further. Along this stretch of shadows a dull thumping mixed with sharp grunts can be heard. Though one can't tell till right up on the commotion, a trio of logs have been erected to stand on their ends and lean against each other. Dancing around them is Kaskan, stripped to the waist and bouncing around the logs on bare feet as he practices fighting mauneuvers. Shuffle*shuffle*thwap!*grunt. Repeat. Repeat.

Bowen has definitely had more than a share of his whiskey tonight and it’s starting to show. Not that he is falling down drunk, but the slow tanner is even slower than usual, and he blinks a little bit more to try and focus. It is probably best that Max wasn’t there when Bo went looking for him in the beast caverns, after the several hands of cards and drinking, and feeling a little empty-handed, and not just because of the lack of solid evidence to support suspicions. Right now, the stocky tanner just wants to get back to Che’s room and collapse in her arms and try not to think about the hang-over he’s liable to have tomorrow. He loops his thumbs in his belt and eyes the ground a bit critical as he walks along the shore, heading back from attempting to meet up with the beast manager, and drawing to a stop just a few metres away when he sees Kaskan – well, hears him first, and then sees. He watches him for a time, and then manages a gruffly put, “Evenin’,” internal conflict waging on. Leave. Stay. Leave. Stay. For now, until he makes up his mind, he appears to be willing to stay. But … he’s not exactly thinking with a sober head as he adds, “Yer lucky Che was there, Kas. Was ‘bout t’knock yer head clean off th’ oth’r day, yanno.” Ooo. Big words for the person who is blinking a lot and stinks of whiskey and sweat.

Kaskan stops short when Bowen speaks, concentration having kept him focused too much on his own breathing and noisy efforts to hear the other man's approach. Instantly recognising that voice he finished delivering his current string of jabs and punches, swinging around on the ball of one foot to send the other slamming into a log at waist level. Breathing heavily he stands erect, shoulders back - a pose he found helped his average stature. Giving his chin a toss to clear his view of messed, sweat-soaked layers he levels an amused but wary look on Bowen's shadowed form. "She isn't here now," he states smugly, lobbing the threat back at the tanner.

Bowen watches him throw those jabs and punches and kicks at the logs, and if the stoic tanner is impressed, he doesn’t show it. “Ayup,” he drawls slowly, lifting his hat off his head briefly with one hand, running the other through his hair, and setting his hat back down again, “She ain’t. Y’be sure t’keep it dat way, too, y’hear?” Possessive much? Yes. Crazy stupid drunk to fight someone who’s clearly not inebriated as much as he is? Not yet. “An’ I reckon we’ll be allllright, yerself an’ I.” With this, he resumes moving past, slow that it is.

Kaskan isn't immune to a little male pride himself, especially when hyped on adrenaline and testosterone, which works as well as a few skins of alcohol. Though he only meant to tease Bowen about Cheusia, the other man's comments nudge simple teasing into something uglier.

Turning slowly to follow Bowen's passing he snorts rather loudly, heels digging into the soft sand as he cocks his stance. "I didn't see your name branded on her skin, which means she can decide for herself who she'd like to spend time with." Taking a deep breath he puffs out his chest, flexing muscles even though Bowen probably can't tell by sight. "I certainly wouldn't blame her if she wanted to watch a real man working on some fighting skills."

When Kaskan begins speaking again, Bowen draws himself to a stop and turns to look at him somewhat over his shoulder. He stays like that as Kaskan gets into a stance and shoots his mouth off, even though, shooting his mouth off is exactly what Bowen was just doing. Then Bowen turns around more to face him, though his hands are still more or less at his belt. He grunts a bit, “Ayup, I reckon it’s all real manly taken on a feller whut’s been in his cups. Lemme guess, ya run outta weyrbrats t’beat on? Movin’ onta drunks? Old Auntie’s gonna be next? Or p’rhaps ya normally save yer punchin’ fer th’ women who ya con b’tween yer sheets. Real manly there, Kas.” He leans over and spits, then straightens a looks at the other man.

Kaskan can spar with the best, the tanner's taunts only speeding the blood through his veins and stopping the flow of common sense. If Bowen had stopped there Kaskan would have merely jeered back at him verbally. But no. The man had to go and spit. A disgusting habit, that.

"Don't give me your excuses, tanner," Kaskan snaps, "Either put your fists where your mouth is or go fall into the latrine and sleep it off like you deserve. I'm sure Cheusia would prefer someone other than a stinkin' drunk in her bed." Again that pose and suggestive tone recommending himself over Bowen.

Bowen narrows his eyes at Kaskan, mouth pressing into a thin line, but he doesn’t charge like someone else might. Instead, he slowly closes the distance between them, his hands unhooked from his belt and blue eyes coldly staring down the guardsman. He’d normally reach for the other man’s collar shirt at this point, but well, Kaskan’s not wearing one, so he just steps into his personal space. “Whudju say?” he rasps, leaning closer, breath stinking of whiskey.

Kaskan holds his ground as Bowen approaches, bouncing lightly on his heels as he tenses from head to toe. "You heard me," he growls, voice aimed low for the tanner's ears only. As much as he might be stewing for a fight he also realizes that dragons linger in all directions and shouting could bring unwanted attention. Not that Bowen would know but he was told not to start any fights so if the other man throws the first punch then that should get him off the hook… technically. "Or have you drank so much that you can't hear any straighter than you can walk?"

Bowen frowns thoughtfully at that for some reason, blinking a lot. Even for someone who is inebriated. For a time, he actually looks confused, poor guy, and then he frowns again, but this time in obvious anger, and finally, after several amusing moments of Bowen trying to cut through the haze in his mind, the tanner jabs a finger toward the guard’s chest and he rumbles out, “Ya j’st stick ta yer lil stick men ‘ere, Kas, an’ leave me an’ Che ‘lone. Don’tchu touch her; don’tchu ev’n talk ta her, an’ if I find out ya have? Yer gonna wish ya kept yer pansy ass back wherever ya come from. Y’hear?”

So close! Damn drunk can't even execute a proper poke correctly. In the darkness of the shadows, Kaskan flushes an angry red. Dark brows fall over a narrowed glare as he deciphers Bowen's drunken accent. Leaning ever so slightly toward the other man he growls back, "I'll save you the trouble of finding out and just tell you now that if she asks me to take my shirt off again I will… and any other special requests she has too!"

And that did it. Bowen doesn’t even wait for Kaskan to finish his sentence before he’s throwing a mean-fist toward the other man’s jaw with his right, while his left fist, the less powerful one, is thrown toward the bare-chested man’s stomach. This time, however, Bowen doesn’t dance back as soon as the punches are thrown, whether they connect or not. Unlike last time, Bowen is much more inebriated this time around, and is even more slower moving and uncoordinated than usual. No dancing for this fella tonight.

Kaskan was ready for a punch, though the shadows make it too hard to see and respond to both in time. Ducking to the side he feels the brush of Bowen's fist on his jaw, inwardly congratulating himself for evading that blow. But the other sneaks past him and lands to one side of his ribs, causing him to grunt and spin in that direction. Automatically he kicks outward just like he had done at the log earlier, aiming for Bowen's calves to bring the man down.

Bowen feels the brush and immediately knows that his fist didn’t connect fully with Kaskan’s jaw as he’d hoped, but there’s a satisfying grunt as he feels solid impact with his left. Shorter than average and stocky, he’s not as big as some, but Bowen is bigger than many, and as such, a sweep of his legs would potentially not work as well as on someone with a higher center of gravity and less of a build than Bowen’s. However, Bowen is about three sheets to the wind, or close enough to it have some detrimental effects on maintaining balance when there’s a strong and skilled leg sweeping your own out from under you. Down he goes with a hard thud and a grunt on his back, but he’s not down for the count as he tries to aim a thrusting kick at Kaskan’s knee.

Kaskan is all wiry muscle, lean but tough from turns spent with a roving gang then honed by the structure of guided training with the Bollian guards. Though the staff is where he best shines, constantly working out has given him an edge when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. Pitted muscle to muscle he'd not last long but he isn't above the occasional untraditional blow when his wilder instincts kick in. He hobbles a few steps after Bowen's punch lands on his ribs but quickly gains his balance as starlight casts the other man's shadow to the ground, accompanied by a grunt. "Should control your tongue better when you've been drinking too much, friend," Kaskan sneers. Keeping a loose stance saves him from the worst of Bowen's return kick. Though the shot lands true his leg bends to the side tripping him instead of crippling him. With a howl he goes down on one knee and in the next second launches himself in the direction of Bowen.

Taking the scant few seconds or so as his kick connects and Kaskan goes down on one knee, Bowen rolls away once to give him some distance – and hopefully time – from Kaskan, but his attempt to get to his feet is comical at best and far from smooth, considering his current state of inebriation. Grunting, he manages in a growling tone, “Mind yers, friend, when talkin’ ‘bout ‘nuther man’s wom—ooof—an.” The last is more or less interrupted as Kaskan launches himself onto Bowen, and the stocky tanner rolls back onto the ground from the force of it with another grunt, but instead of being dazed and non-responsive, he attempts to use the inertia to roll again to try and pin Kaskan wrestler-style rather than attempt another slugfest on the guardsman. It’s severely lacking in panache, but brute strength and solid weight has always been Bowen’s assets as opposed to dexterous grace and finesse. However, regardless if he is able to pin Kaskan and give the pair some little breather, Bowen sort of gets a little wake-up call in the manner of all that whiskey sloshing around in his belly right now and some inner glowbasket is uncovered in his head. “Cut it out!” he growls, more loudly than Bowen is known to be, and if his pallor can be determined at this hour of the night, it’d be decidedly green, “Y’tryin’ t’get me t’fuckin’ sick up on ya? Just … stop. Truce?”

With adrenaline racing through his veins all Kaskan can hear is the pounding of his own heart. That same rush of energy clamps his muscles stiffly around the stockier man, trying to use some of that slippery finesse against the other's brute strength. Squeezing with all his might he attempts to cut off the tanner's air flow, his own quickened breaths coming quick and heavy.

"Don't be so damn touchy or she isn't gonna stay your woman for long," he seethes, stressing every third or forth word with a twitch of his arm. Scrambling for purchase he shows no signs of slackening his efforts even after Bowen yells at him to stop. "You throw up on me you'll regret it!" he bellows, then, "Admit you're being an ass!"

Bowen is breathing hard as the two appear to be in a death-grip on each other on the ground, but he’s still breathing, difficult as it seems to be. At least he has enough air-flow to speak in a rasp, “Ya ‘mbarrassed ‘er, Kas. Whut’s a man s’posed t’do?” Suggesting that the only reason he started all of this was because of what Kaskan started in the bar a few days ago, though that doesn’t exactly explain the crazy possessive streak he’s exhibiting. With another grunt he says hoarsely, “I’ll admit t’bein’ an ass if ya promise t’pologize to ‘er. Promise!” The last said with emphasis as he grits his teeth with the strain and effort of it as he continues to grapple with the other man.

Kaskan feels his grip slipping even as annoyance spikes through the aggression that's fueling his will to fight. Pushing off Bowen with a quick jerk he blurts, "I was only teasing you both man. No need to be so sensitive." Hunching with one knee bent to the ground and the other lifted to brace his elbow he glares sidelong at the tanner. Bending his head he sifts a hand through his damp hair, feathering the lank layers back from his face.

As Kaskan’s grip loosens and the guardsman breaks off, Bowen rolls once more, again, for a little bit of distance and security, and only then does he curl up into a seated position with one leg stretched out in front of him and the other knee is drawn up to rest his thick forearm against as the big guy hacks and coughs and sucks in much needed air even while Kaskan speaks. “Tease me all ya like. I don’ care. I’m even used t’ it. But don’t tease her. She’s better than yerself an’ me, Kas. She’s better’n alla us. She ain’t used t’ it an’ she def’nately ain’t deservin’ it, y’hear?” There’s a little pause as his breathing slows down a little more and he says, “Reckon I’ve been a bit of an ass. Fair ‘nough.” He starts to get to his feet, “I ain’t felt dis way ‘bout a woman … evar.” As if that is reason alone to act nutso. Once standing, he offers a hand up to Kaskan, as well as a hand of truce at the same time, “M’sorry,” he manages gruffly.

Deep down, Kaskan empathizes with Bowen. He felt that way about a woman once too, but it nearly destroyed him; so much so that the other man's display of emotion and admission makes him recoil behind an internal shield, putting him on the defensive. "She don't strike me as the type made outta egg shells, man." Pushing to his feet with a grunt on his own he swipes angrily at his shorts and bare chest, fingers brushing off the sand clinging to his sweat-limned skin. A northern lilt flecks his tone with the onset of distracting emotions, "Yer too damn sensitive. Don't smother the woman. Can't blame a man for thinkin' you were further along the way you two moon after each other."

A diplomat he is not.

As Kaskan ignores his offered hand and gets up on his own, Bowen steps back a pace and gives the other man his space. He begins to dust himself off, as well, and his blue eyes searching the shadows for some lump that could resemble his hat, but he is quiet as he listens to Kaskan, and he finally grunts, “Now whose bein’ th’ ass. Fine. Have it yer way.” He moves the few paces over to where he spotted his hat and picks it up, dusting it off before putting it back on his head. The fight, or rather the adrenaline, had a bit of a sobering effect on him, but he’s not completely uninhibited and it shows more in his movement than anything else. “Y’j’st watch yerself, Kas,” is his final warning, and then he moves off into the darkness and the night, leaving the guardsman to resume his staff practice while Bo goes in search of his woman.

Kaskan grinds his teeth as Bowen leaves, fighting down the urge to take another swing at the other man as testosterone-driven pride surges like an internal tide. Still brushing at sand already long-gone he mutters under his breath as the tanner's shadow recedes.

"Lucky I can't see all that well," he grumbles, angrily shoving down the tendrils of chagrin that whisper for his attention. He /was/ just teasing, after all. Not Kas's fault if the man doesn't have the balls to take a little ribbing in front of his woman. Stomping back to his practise logs, Kaskan snorts. His woman. Would serve him right if she dumped his sorry ass for someone not so stiff.

With a grunt Kaskan delivers a solid left kick to the first log. Feeling much better for his self litany of one-sided reasoning he takes several deep breaths to center his attention and focuses on kicking the crap out of the logs.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License