Wound Up Too Tight

Participants:

Max.jpg Jonavan.jpg

Date: 2011.04.11
Location: Cave outside of Landin & The Feather & Fowl
Synopsis: Max and Jonavan head to The Feather and Fowl after the arranged fights conclude where a bar brawl is started for the hell of it. Or was there something else at play?
Rating: PG13 - Adult innuendo and language
Logger: Max

They say practice makes perfect. However amidst the mingled smells of dirt, sweat and blood one might be forgiven for struggling to make the connection in this setting as patrons of the recent bout of fights hosted in a cave just outside of Landing, start to disperse.

Exan, victorious in his bout lingers, waiting for his cut of the purse while Demerion, slowly but surely starting to show signs of being on the mend and denied opportunity to earn any cut due to his injuries, skulks near the mouth of the cave sending dark looks Max’s way. He who is currently having a word with the young and inexperienced fighter that Jonovan has just finished patching up. “Next time you’ll remember to keep your guard up and instead of dropping it each time you make a move, aye?” To which the weary eighteen turn old sporting what is going to be one heck of a shiner and bruising along his upper torso in the morning, gives a grim nod and heads toward where the others are being banded together by their trainer before heading out. “Yaron,” the beast manager calls out, “See to it that Exan gets his cut and…” mouth curling around a smirk, “get Demerion to help clean up before you close up, perhaps pushing a broom about will help aid his recovery.” The latter named being anything but impressed and throwing a tight lipped look the young crimelord’s way as Max then turns his attention back to Jonavan, “You need to get back or are you up to dropping by Messon’s place?” Naming a tavern not too far from where they are.

Likewise, Healing here is a far cry from the gentle hands and sympathy usually expected of those who practice the craft. The fighters unlucky enough to merit Jonavan's looking-over lose doubly in having to face his cutting comments and brusque ways after their initial beating in the ring. He rises off his wooden stool as the teenaged fighter he's now done with starts to take his leave, re-rolling a length of unused bandage. "Or break some ribs, puncture a lung, give me an excuse to cut you open," Jonavan remarks as the counter-suggestion to Max's advice, showing far too much enthusiasm at the possibility of invasive surgery. He finishes tidying away his things while Max calls out final instructions, most of it going into a woven basket that will stay with the fighters and re-emerge the next time someone's bloodied and bruised. "Could do," Jonavan agrees, glancing at Max as he pushes the lid shut. "Not like anything better's waiting back there for me."

At any other time Max might have had something to say about Jonavan’s caustic manner, however, as far as he sees it if his fighters want to remain free of the Healer’s cutting barbs, they’ll work that much harder to stay injury free. Nothing like incentive, right? And so it is that dark amusement greets the Healer’s sardonic comment to the youngster. Shrugging into his jacket a rough snort greets the other’s last, “What, no breathless infirmary aide waiting on the great and mighty journeyman to corrupt her in the supply closet?” smirk.

If only others thought like Max did, and then Jonavan might be able to push through a reform on bedside manners. "Been there, done that," Jonavan retorts, sliding towards flippancy. He collects his jacket too and continues in the same tone as he moves to join Max, chin jerking a 'let's go' suggestion towards the exit. "Haven't you got places to be, things to do, people to see? As great and mighty as I might be, and I'll give you that, I didn't think you swung that way."

Falling into step with Jonavan, Max inhales deeply of the night air as they step out of the cave, it being a welcome relief of the dankness of the cave and sends a sidelong smirk the Healer’s way, “Got bored didja?” Not really expecting answer as they turn and head toward a grove of trees. Hands shove to pockets and the beast manager utters a dry sound that may or may not be amusement, hard to tell really, “Nothing that needs to be rushed back for.” However, its low laughter that rumbles and twists about his next words, “What’s that saying again…?” A hand un-pockets and fingers snap together as if it had just come to him, “Don’t knock ‘til you tried it.” Er what? Should Jonovan be getting worried round about now? Considering the ill hidden snicker that follows that quip, hardly.

"It's all just so easy after the fourth or fifth," the Healer laments, though his reputation in the infirmary is far more one of tyranny than philandering. His booted feet make a heavy impact, snapping twigs beneath. Jonavan can banter with the best of them, and his dry reply matches his straight-faced expression he sends slanting toward Max. "Who's to say I haven't?" Without skipping a beat, he continues in that same, bland tone, "You know Healers, all those anatomy lessons." The serious manner shifts into a meaningful look. Back on the subject of Max's nothing-to-rush for, Jonavan follows up with, "Not even that red-headed harridan of yours?" No love lost there. "She seems the type to demand you straight home, no stopping off for a drink along the way."

Amusement greets that return quip, “Now you’re just braggin’.” And then morphs into open laughter for the next as Max ducks under a branch of a tree, heading towards the pinprick of lights in the distance, “Oh right, show and tell, huh?” Making it hard to determine whether or not the beast manager believes his companion’s claim to experimentation or not. Jonavan’s last however, that has Max instantly losing any sense of jocularity and he drops into a brooding silence for a moment or two before giving in tight tone, “She ain’t got no more say these days.”

"Mmhmm." The sound of satisfaction could be as much for a riposte well-played as for the claim itself. Jonavan doesn't let on just how serious he is about it; his humour depends on droll, dry amusement and mockery. The change in Max's mood draws a quiet look. "Well, better off for it," he then gives his opinion whether it's sought or not. Perhaps it's best that he sights the tavern taking shape through the trees and, with uncharacteristic generosity, declares, "First round's on me."

A smirk that had started to quirk out through the brooding he’d dropped into is cut short when Jonovan declares him better off and Max shoots the Healer a narrow eyed look, “How would you know.” The bitter comeback out before he has chance to bite it back. Chagrin is however measured in the pale smile and faint dip of head in gratitude to the uncharacteristic offer made as they close the distance to the welcoming glow of the tavern and then he shrugs, “Reckon it just weren’t meant to be.” Tone hollow as he shoulders his way passed a few patrons lingering at the door without so much as an ‘excuse me’ in place.

There is much that Jonavan could say on the merits of women and the even greater merits of being without them, but for one reason or another the healer does not avail himself of the opportunity to retort or speak disparagingly of Ahnika - not that he ever needed one to begin with. Instead, a low, guttural noise 'hmm' meets Max's platitude, which could be interpreted as agreement, or not. Silent, on the verge of sinking into his own brooding mood, he enters through the space left in Max's wake and follows him into the tavern.

It’s probably just as well that the Healer chooses not to speak so of Ahnika for despite the break and the jagged tear left in its wake, Max might likely have decked him. And so it is that the two of them enter the tavern in silence with the beast manager slipping a sidelong glance over to Jonavan as he too seems to drop into a pool of brooding. Taking to a stool in the shadows at the end of the bar, he gives a nod of head the barkeep’s way when he greets, “Juice for me and,” turning to his companion, “whatever he’s drinking,” leaving Jonavan to place his own order. Juice, he’s kidding right? “So…who is she?” stabbing in the dark as to what had caused the Healer to lapse into gloomy silence. Because it’s always got to be about a woman, right? Riiight.

Jonavan finds another stool in the corner and pulls it over, hand under the seat as he swings it towards the bar. "Juice, are you twelve? Get'im a rum too for when he decides to grow up and hit puberty. And one for me." He seats himself beside Max and faces the other man with one elbow on the bar, eyebrows hitching upwards for Max's query. "There isn't anyone," he states evenly, and at least with one interpretation, the remark is entirely true. He takes a sardonic turn in adding, "Unless you mean the infirmary aide I left in the closet."

Max sends Jonavan a narrowed look but rather than give away the fact that he’s gone back into training in order to take Demerion’s place in the upcoming northern games he says nothing, merely giving a rough snort. When the barkeep pulls two glasses and a bottle of rum from behind the counter and has finished pouring the drinks, the beast manager’s hand snaps out and closes about the neck of the bottle, “Leave the bottle.” In for a penny, in for a pound it seems. Gereck, the barkeep merely sends the pair a brow lifted look and then wisely moves off to tend other patrons. “An attack of conscience for leaving her locked up?” the sarcastic quip comes in return to the Healer’s adroit sidestep.

Much better. Jonavan's expression communicates as much with a nod of approval for Max and his further order for the barkeep. "Good, you've grown a pair." It's simple to knock back the first drink when there's a bottle waiting right there and refills are easy to come by. "The key's in my trouser pocket," he says in the tones of a confession, leaning closer while reaching out to grab the bottle by its neck. "Suppose that means I'll have to go back in the morning."

Jonavan is saved from a cutting comment by a curvaceous blonde with a bosom only barely contained in the tightly laced over-corset type affair she’s wearing, that passes by in a sway of hips and cloud of cheap perfume, “Aye, seems she’s got quite the pair too.” Unfortunately, the big guy coming up behind her, overhears the comment and steps in toward where healer and beast manager reside, “What didja say?” Threatening. Max glances at Jonavan and then back at Big Guy again, “He said he’s got a locket in his pocket for her.” Totally twisting his companion’s words around and aiming blame his way while he casually knocks back his drink and fits Big Guy with the most innocent of looks.

The blonde draws Jonavan's gaze too, attention heightened thanks to Max's comment, and he absorbs her passing presence with an open smirk. He busies himself on the refill when the man behind her takes notice, even tips the bottle towards Max to offer him a top-up, encouraging fast drinking. With the rum still on offer Jonavan gives the beast manager a dirty look. It seems a reaction to having the blame diverted until Jonavan follows up with a remark exaggerated in its annoyance. "Bastard. That was supposed to be a surprise."

Sensing more than seeing the offer of a refill, Max holds his glass out to Jonovan, though his eyes never leave the Big Guy, even going so far as to offer him an unapologetic grin. The blonde, realizing her companion’s no longer behind her, doubles back and tries to tug him away before anything gets started, “Come on love, they’re not worth it. Just two sad little men trying to get their jollies ogling what they can only dream about it.” Big Guy stares hard at the two leaned up against the bar counter, gives a grunt and starts to turn away. That’s around when the beast manager, quickly throws back his second drink (fast drinking indeed) and then tossing a wink Jonavan’s way, drawls, “That’s not what you said last night, darlin’.” To his drinking buddy through a smirk, a devilish glint lighting dark eyes, “Time to see how big a pair you’ve got, healer.” Right as Big Guy turns back toward the pair with a low growl emanating from his broad chest. Waine would be so proud!

Jonavan puts away the second shot even quicker than the first, looking as if he intends to go through as much of that bottle as possible before it's knocked out of his hands. He's already in the process of refill number three for himself and moving on to Max when the other man goads first the blonde and her companion, then the healer himself. His eyebrows quirk upwards at the challenge, and though far more a man of words than fighting action, Jonavan duly throws out his own comment sure to piss off the Big Guy. "Tight little number's practically invitation enough," he says off-handedly with a nod to the blonde's corseted bosom.

That’s it, Jonavan’s comment is what finally snaps the Big Guys last nerve and tossing off the blonde’s restraining hands he makes a lunge for the healer, of a mind to pull the man from his stool, hands reach towards his tunic. As for Max? Well, he very helpfully relieves his companion of the bottle he’d been holding, chugs back a good solid mouthful of rum and sets it down on the counter behind with a swipe of hand across his mouth. Still lounging on the stool he then goes on to clap Jonavan on the back, encouragingly of course, “You’re up skippy.” Griiiin. That is until his stool gets jerked out from underneath him and he lands on his butt on the floor, “What the fu…” the expletive cut off as he shoots a glance upward to find one rather mean looking chap with lank oily hair spilling across his eyes (Big Guy’s mate) glaring down at him. But rather than shrink away, a roguish grin paints into place, as he gets to his feet, making a show of dusting his butt off, “You know, if you wanted a kiss all you had to do was ask?” and then ducks the incoming punch.

"Remind me why I bother with you," Jonavan tosses back to Max, rocking forward slightly from the firm slap on the back. Jonavan has just enough time to down his third drink before being lifted off his stool, and it's the drink that's of clear importance otherwise he would have tried to make a move. With Big Guy's hands bunching in the fabric of Jonavan's shirt, the healer looks at him with clear, cool impudence. Rather than dangling in the air, he's tall enough to look his opponent in the eye, though lacks the same bulk. "He means it you know, he's far more into your friend than your girl," Jonavan alleges, before asking with quirky sarcasm, "How can I help you?"

“Because I bring excitement into your dull little life,” Max quips in return looking more pleased with himself than he probably should considering the glare coming from the blonde that all but screams ‘arsehole!’ at him. Rather than reaching for the bottle behind him to belt Lanky Hair with, (because that would just be a waste of good rum) he grabs up the stool he’d just been knocked off and swings it hard against the other’s side. Grunting as it connects and then breaks apart leaving him standing there with just a leg of the stool in one hand. Shaking his head in what appears to be wonder, “Don’t make ‘em like they used to.” That brief lapse in attention grants Lanky Hair opportunity to land a roundhouse punch to the side of his head that flattens his ear against his head and draws a growled curse of pain as he’s sent staggering sideways toward the Healer. Big Guy, hands wrapped in the front of Jonavan’s shirt, is more brawn than brains and so there’s a brief moment where he seems unsure of how to react to that question. Decided he’ll then try to drag his ‘prize’ over to where the curvaceous blonde is watching wide eyed. “Tell the lady, you’re sorry,” he growls.

"Storage closets are plenty exciting," Jonavan replies, contradicting his earlier claim. Or maybe not, considering that he adds, "Especially if your mom's in 'em." He looks round to watch the beast manager's fight gaining momentum, wincing when the stool shatters. When Max comes his way the healer is all too ready to push him back towards his antagonist. "Go on, aren't you supposed to be an expert at this or something?" He doesn't try to disengage from Big Guy, and soon enough he's facing the blonde with a wide-eyed expression that would be contrite, if this wasn't Jonavan. He plays along because Max is right - this is fun - and apologises with a mixed bag of compliment and insult. "I'm truly sorry that you have settled for such an unappealing guy," he says, bringing his hand up to cuff the Big Guy on the shoulder as if they were buds, as if Jonavan wasn't maligning him. "I can't decided which is more flawed, his face or his intelligence. I honestly haven't got a clue what you're compensating for. If you wanted a meal ticket, I'm sure you could bag someone much higher up the food chain with your charming…personality."

Where before such a comment would have had Max turning on Jonavan instead of Lanky Hair, now he simply sends the healer a one fingered salute along with a smirk, “S’what your sister said too.” That storage closets are plenty exciting. Lanky Hair, having recovered enough from having a stool broken against him, takes the banter back and forth between healer and beast manager as an opening to try laying another one down on the latter when he’s shoved back in his direction. “Just warmin’ up,” Max counters with and is if to demonstrate as much swings the arm with the stool leg in hand back, aiming the blow for Lanky Hair’s head just as he lunges forward to try and grab him in a rib crushing bear hug. CRACK!! And down the man goes like a sack of tubers. Darn, there goes all Max’s fun, he even going so far as to nudge the man with his boot before looking over to where Jonovan has been dragged off. “Hey, I think I broke mine. Can I have yours?” as if the man lying groaning on the floor were some kind of toy.

Big Guy actually starts to loosen his grip on the front of Jonavan’s shirt, not quite understanding his sarcasm at first and taking that tap to shoulder to mean the apology is genuine. That is until the blonde starts to snicker when the healer gets to the point of questioning the flaws of her companion. However, when she realizes the insult is then being directed at her the pretty pout that had started to form gives way to outrage and brown eyes narrow. “You prick!” she hisses and then shoves at her ‘man’, “Don’t just stand there gawping! He just called me a whore!” Or so that’s how she interprets the healer’s words. Big Guy looks blankly at the blonde as if she were speaking Greek and then it sinks in and a threatening rumble starts in his chest as he rears his head back, about to try and headbut Jonavan.

Jonavan's hand remains on Big Guy's shoulder, a gesture of friendliness that has nothing friendly about it - the distinction can be confusing for hulks such as this one. He shoots off a glance towards Max for his repartee, amusement edging up the corners of his mouth, though he still goes for a serious demeanor when facing the blonde and her protector. "No, I called you a gold-digger," he instructs the girl in a voice reserved for simpletons. "An important nuance." The hand on the Big Guy's shoulder serves as a first line of defence as he tries to twist away and disengage when it becomes clear that Big Guy intends to start causing pain. Jonavan's first concern is protecting his brains - he needs them! It's this consideration that has him trying to get in a well-placed blow to the kidneys before the Big Guy hits him with his skull - otherwise Jonavan would never have thrown the first punch.

"All yours!" he calls over to Max at this point, more than willing for the other to start whacking away with his stool leg. Hopefully Max will still be obliging once Jonavan has thrown back a retort to answer the storage closet claims. "My sister probably had your balls in a vise," he observes, sparring verbally on two ends.

The curvaceous blonde’s eyes narrow further as Jonavan corrects her and then surprisingly enough, it’s a sly smile that patterns itself upon her pretty mouth. “Oh, well that’s different,” seemingly happy to be viewed as a gold digger rather than a whore. And then she’s slipping behind her companion and disappearing from view. He who in having glanced over to see his mate drop to the ground misses the healer’s stealthy and as a result, successful attempt to free himself his attention swinging back as fabric slips from his hand and just too late to see that incoming fist of Jonavan’s. A grunt of pain sounds out when it connects with his kidneys and forestalls the headbutting just as a loud cry of ‘Yeeha!’ pierces the air and the blonde launches herself onto Big Guy’s back, legs wrapped about his waist, one arm about his neck and the other seeking to claw at his eyes. “I’ll hold him, you hit him,” she shouts at Jonavan having decided the healer to be a better gold digging prospect than Dimwit.

While one might expect the brawl to be broken up by an indignant tavern owner, Messon, knowing exactly who Max is, wisely stays out of it. However, one can be sure that there will be a bill for damages passed on at a later date. Right now, that’s the furthest thing from the beast manager’s mind, especially with Jonovan finally making a move to beat up on the Big Guy. “Oh no,” Max states with a laugh, hands lifting in the air before him, “looks like you two have it aaaall under control there.” Reaching behind him he takes up the rum bottle once again, grinning, “I’ll just stay here and think of the different ways your sister can apologize to me for the vice.”

The blonde jumping in as an accomplice was the last thing Jonavan expected, and his expression shows it. The healer starts to shake out his fist with a bit of a grimace, hardly accustomed to throwing a punch, and doesn't immediately react to the blonde's shouted directions. Instead he watches with bemusement as she throws herself on the Big Guy's back, and seeks out Max's gaze with a 'well, what do you know' expression. "Well," he says eventually, afforded time now that Big Guy's rather more preoccupied with the girl on his back, "suppose you could pass me that chair-leg then." He's not entirely sure if he relishes the idea of continuing this brawl, seeing it more as the inevitable option.

Big Guy is already starting to try and shake the ‘monkey’ from his back which causes the blonde to tighten her hold as she’s thrown about and sets Jonavan with a look, “I’m not doing this for my health, you know! Hit him already!” Catching that look thrown his way, Max almost chokes on a mouthful of rum as he tries to laugh and swallow at the same time. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he grins, “I think you two will make a fine couple. Oh, and I expect to be the best man.” The best man for what? Getting fine upstanding healers into trouble? He’s just about to toss the stool leg Jonovan’s way when Lanky Hair grabs a hold of his leg and tries to haul himself up using the beast manager as his personal leaning post. “One moment,” he sends to the healer lifting the rum bottle in the air in emphasis and then cracks the poor sod on the back of the head finally putting him out cold. A nod of amused satisfaction and then the stool leg is arcing through the air in Jonavan’s general direction, “There you go, show the lady what you got.” Griiiin.

"You're doing just fine," Jonavan calls encouragement to the blonde, recovering his equilibrium. It doesn't seem to bother him to leave her hanging. For Max, another quip: "Maid of honour you mean." He keeps an eye on the Big Guy in case he starts to free himself anytime soon, waiting his turn for the stool leg and catching it when it finally comes his way. "Lady?" he repeats, tone dubious, but refrains from besmirching the blonde further since she is helping out. Finally, after a further slight hesitation, Jonavan sets to with his makeshift club, swinging in from the side.

Big Guy almost gets it right when he reaches an arm behind him to try and pluck the blonde from his back. Sadly all that achieves is to rip her skirt off, much to the delight of the bystanders evidenced in the laughter and ribald comments starting to be passed back and forth. A squeak of dismay erupts from her. “You idiot!!” and immediately she sinks her teeth into Big Guy’s ear pulling a howl of pain from the poor man.

“That would make you the bride,” Max shoots right back at Jonavan as he watches on with high amusement when the blonde is left wearing boots, a blouse corseted by that tight-fitting over vest and…panties. “Go play the hero and save your woman,” the beast manager gives as the healer catches the stool leg, dropping the ‘lady’ bit out of it with a grin.

Well, now Big Guy has an insane woman clinging to his back and Jonavan landing blows against ribs and kidneys. And while he swipes a big fist here and there at the healer’s head, he’s being severely hampered by his ‘rider’ who, curling a hand into his hair has yanked his head back and is currently slapping him about the face. “Hit him in the nuts!” Blondie yells out advice as she makes a small fist and bops her ‘mount’ on the nose.

Jonavan steps back to watch for a moment when the skirt comes off, distraction nearly costing him in the form of a fist. He just manages to move to the side so it's only a clip to the cheek rather than a blow that comes smashing into his face. "So much for protecting her honour," he can't resist quipping to the unfortunate man now fighting to protect his own dignity rather than the woman's. Jonavan wields the stool leg to ward off Big Guy whenever he starts to go for the healer again, calling back to Max, "At least I'd look better in a dress than you would." His echoed "Hero?" is just as skeptical as the earlier questioning about the blonde, and Jonavan is indeed an unlikely hero when he lays in with another blow meant to rob Big Guy of his breath for a minute, long enough for him to dare the winded man's reach and follow up with a knee to the privates, per the hellion blonde's suggestion.

The unfortunate skirt still bunched in one hand, Big Guy tosses at Jonavan with a growl, “The crazy bitch is all yours!” That is he could just get the woman off of his back. And then he grunts with pain as Blondie lands that fist of hers on his nose, eyes immediately starting to water and lashing out at the healer being as how he’s the closest. Back to the bar, one elbow hiked up behind him, Max looks to all intents and purposes to be watching harper theatre unfold before him, rather than his friend playing poke-the-watchwher with the leg of a stool. A laugh is given for the quip over dresses, “Aye, because you’re more of a girlie-boy than I am.” Downing another healthy swig of rum, the beast manager looks set to finish the bottle on his own but then Jonavan’s delivering the final blow that drops Big Guy to his knees in a strangled howl of pain, hands cupping over his now throbbing manly bits and trying very hard not to sob like a girl. A cheer goes up from the gathered crowd. Jonavan, the victor! Blondie finally looses her hold on the poor man and with as much dignity as possible bends to scoop up her skirt, giving everyone a lovely show of rounded panty clad derriere in the process. Marching over to the healer she’ll lay hand on either side of his face (if he doesn’t duck out of reach) and reward him with a kiss full on the lips. If successful she’ll draw her head back and patting his chest state very matter-of-factly, “You may take me home now.” The proverbial knight in shining armour has won the affections of the lady! Hurrah?

Who says he wants her? Jonavan probably could've struck a deal with the Big Guy that would have let both walk away more or less intact, but this being the first Southern bar fight Jonavan's wound up in, it seems a pity to end it with no clear winner. Once the man is down, Jonavan's left standing with the stool leg, stepping back to escape from the impromptu ring formed back to the bar. What he's won seems more like a trophy wife than a trophy, and while he's perfectly happy to return her kiss, the blonde's following instructions are not so easily followed. "Sorry." A glance to Max, and a hand outstretched for that bottle and what's left in it, "I've still got drinking to do."

Had Jonavan gone the route of trying to strike a deal with the Big Guy, one can be sure Max would have had more than a few comments to make, one of which would likely have disputed his masculinity. Wrapping the skirt back about curvaceous hips, Blondie’s movements halt and Jonavan is set with a look when he turns down her offer until he glances toward Max that is, then her mouth moves into a taunting smirk. “Sorry, didn’t realize you two were a couple,” snark! And then she flounces off, womanly pride in tatters. As Jonavan reaches for the bottle, Max releases it without quibble. “Not bad for a healer,” commenting on the man’s ability to hold his own in a bar brawl.

The blonde's comment, no doubt designed to sting, draws a reply from Jonavan counter to what she might expect, sarcasm hidden under exaggerated agreement. "Oh, he's far more my type." He leans back against the counter and tosses the stool leg towards the rest of the stool that's become scrap wood, then shrugs off the compliment. "Well, I had help," Jonavan points out after a swig from the bottle, watching the blonde leave and looking faintly regretful. "She'd have been after me in less than a week." Rationale for the turn-down.

Big Guy and Lanky Hair being helped to their feet amidst groans and the odd whimper or two, shoot beast manager and healer wary looks on the heels of Jonavan’s return to Blondie. Perhaps they had been trying to kiss them after all!? Max sends a look after the sway of hips as Blondie departs and he sets his companion with a smirk, “Feisty little number that one.” Suggesting he might have taken her up on the offer had it been swung his way. With the crowd starting to disperse now, old Messon (the tavern owner) meanders on over and sets the pair with a faintly amused look, “This going on your tab, or his.” Before Jonavan has a chance to answer, Max’s expression takes on a cocky grin, “I’ll pay for the damages but he’s payin’ for the drinks.”

"That's one word for it." Jonavan tilts the rum bottle to the side to assess just how much is left in the bottle, then finishes it off with one long pull. "Off her rocker's another. Well. Three words in fact. And she didn't really seem the type to let you go after a night," he continues, seeming to suggest that an anonymous one-off is far more his style of late. He sets the empty bottle down on the counter, looking towards Messon at the tavern owner's approach. "No 'get the hell out of my bar'?" Jonavan greets the older man with the question. He agrees to the split with a nod, then modifies in his next breath, "But he's adding another bottle to his part for dragging my ass into the middle of this in the first place. And insulting my manhood." The last he delivers in a tone of false outrage.

“You speak the truth, healer,” Max agrees on steering clear of any woman that might look set to get her claws stuck into a man on a more permanent basic, his recent woeful state of affairs still far too fresh in his mind to even consider such a thing. At Jonavan’s greeting, Messon’s amusement deepens and then slides behind a smirk of unreadable origins, “The Feather and Fowl likes to accommodate the tastes of her patrons.” He gives with almost more ease than one might expect. “Fine,” Max gives in a put upon tone to the amendment the healer makes, “Reckon you earned it.” The last however, that has him laughing outright as he drops a pointed look to Jonavan’s crotch, “I’d have to see it first, to insult it, aye?” Which hopefully doesn’t spur the healer to flashing because the beast manager might well go blind if he does.

"That's right I did." There's a satisfied nod when Jonavan gets his way with the second bottle, before he responds further, drawing back from Max. "Later, steady on!" Jonavan's eyes widen for his companion's presumption. "You have to at least get me drunk first. Right?" His gaze goes towards Messon, seeking endorsement. "Consider your patrons accommodated. Keeps the woodcrafters in business at least." Jonavan's mouth twitches up towards a smile.

From out of a deadpan expression, Max slides an intent look onto Jonavan, “I don’t do sloppy drunks.” Er…what? He’s not serious is he? “Best you keep your wits about you with this one, son.” That from Messon to Jonavan and then he cracks a grin though whether its to his last or for his next might be hard to determine, “I got me a deal with them woodcrafters. They send rowdy patrons my way and I send the order for replacement furniture back to them.”

"Well I only do sloppy drunk. I suppose it's just not meant to be." Jonavan releases a sigh that's meant to be laden with regret. His stool hasn't been broken, so Jonavan returns to it now. "So everyone's happy except the ones losing all their marks to the both of you," he determines from Messon's words. A shrug signals a change of mind. "Or maybe not, if they're working it out of their system." A glance sliding towards Max suggests that that's just what the two of them have just been up to.

Jonavan’s sigh is met with a heavy one of his own with Max even managing to look quite forlorn about the whole affair, “A pity to be sure.” Yeah right. And then one corner of his mouth hitches up as he catches that sidelong look coming from the healer, “’bout the same deal you an’ me got, aye? I set ‘em up to get broken and you fix ‘em up good as new again.” As if fighters and stools are one and the same thing. Messon gives a snort to such talk and folding his arms across his chest sets a stern eye onto the two younger men. “You only get one free pass per woman, boys,” he having been around the block enough times to realize what might likely have been driving the two of them, “after that I’m gonna crack your heads myself for bein’ stupid enough to go back to the same broad for more of the same.” And with that ‘sage’ advice delivered he turns and heads down the bar counter to retrieve the requested bottle of rum. Max lifts a brow at the older tavern owner’s back and then slips Jonavan a feigned look of bemusement, “I ain’t got no idea what he’s gabbin’ on about. You?”

"Or break them further in the process." Jonavan's mutter is not so quiet that it cannot be heard by both men. Messon's remarks raise a wary, uncomfortable recognition which has not quite dropped off before he turns back to Max, shamming that he too finds it all cryptic. "No clue," Jonavan delivers, the liar.

Messon and Max as one turn a brow-lifted look onto Jonavan for that comment and then exchange one between themselves though neither makes comment. With the older man moving off, Max gives a shrug, “The ole codger’s been at the bottle one too many times.” That his excuse for not understanding what had been said to them and then spying a man standing from his stool, he having broken his, the beast manager reaches out a hand and grabs it right as the portly gent moves to sit back down on it once again only to find fresh air and then ground under his ass. Settling himself upon his stolen stool with all the nonchalance in the world, Max leans slightly toward Jonavan, all jocularity aside, “I’m headin’ out in the mornin’ and will be back in a few days. I’ll have need of your services when I get back”

Jonavan's expression for the two of them is an open question, innocent as can be. He's as happy to let Messon's comment pass as Max is, excuse accepted willingly. The healer watches and lets out a snort when Max steals the stool right out from under another of the tavern's patrons. Fortunately the other gentleman doesn't seem in a mood to confront Max on it, having seen the fight just a few minutes prior, and it's confusion more than anything that colours his movements as he picks himself off and goes looking for another stool besides the one that just disappeared out from under him. "Oh?" Jonavan chooses not to ask where or why, simply nods after a short interlude. "Well, send a message for me to Eastern and I can make myself available."

A faint smirk, that of an alpha-male, follows the portly gent briefly as he moves off to find himself other seating without so much as a provoking word sent in Max’s direction. Conversation lulls as Messon returns with the bottle and sets it down between the healer and young crimelord, along with two clean glasses, “Yaron’s waiting on you in the back when you done. Got him set up in a poker game so he’ll be busy a while yet.” The last added with a devious smirk. “He loses his seven’s wages to you and you and me are gonna have a talk,” Max gives in return and then turns back to his conversation with Jonavan as the old tavern owner moves off with an amused snort. “It’ll be my Ma you’ll be meetin’ with you.”

Jonavan reaches for the bottle to pour, nodding his thanks. The tavern owner's words elicit a wry comment of his own for Max. "And here I thought you suggested we come here out of good, honest comradeship." A good measure goes into each glass before the healer sets the bottle back down again. "Your Ma?" That has Jonavan's eyebrows edging upwards, surprise visible. "I have often thought, if only I could be so lucky." Jonavan's joking, probably, along the lines of the snipes traded earlier.

“Don’t know so much about the honest bit,” Max gives with a rueful look to his companion, nudging his glass over for Jonavan to fill, “But I’ve learned that the only way to find pleasure these days is to learn how to mix it with business.” Telling words to the one listening closely. Taking his glass up, he sends the healer a nod of thanks and then amusement rather than affront colours his expression, “She’ll put you on your ass quicker’n you’ll have time to drop your trousers, healer.” Taking a drink, he nods, “Aye, she’ll have someone for you to…check over for a clean bill of health.” Suggestion made that this is to be something that will be kept between headwoman, healer and beast manager.

Jonavan gives Max a curious glance for his words as he picks up his glass. "And here I thought you were all for separating the two, settling down with the weyrling in an empty stall big enough to house her dragon and raising a litter of babies," he comments blithely, despite the seeming agreement earlier to avoid the woman question. He takes up his own glass too, mouth twisting into a sideways grin when told that Indira will put him in his place, and before drinking says with a wink, "All the better to admire the view." His lack of comment on the upcoming physical is discretion enough.

The easygoing demeanour slips right off Max at that comment from Jonavan, expression darkening and lips thinning. “Aye well, you thought wrong,” he gives in a tight tone and then in an attempt to shake the sour mood off that was threatening to descend, states dryly, “You know what thought did, aye?” not waiting for an answer, “Planted a feather and thought a wherry would grow,” he delivers with sarcasm attached. Turning a sidelong glance onto the healer he returns the favour, “So you and Jaya, what was that all about?” As to his mother, his mouth pulls around a smirk, “I’m almost tempted to offer you bribe to try and have a go at her.”

Jonavan watches Max while poking his cheekbone, which the Big Guy's knuckles had grazed earlier. For once in his life he doesn't press for details, perhaps because of the way Max turns the question round. "Nothing, clearly. Haven't you got a meeting to go to?" He makes the subject-change obvious, not even managing more than a vague smirk for the continued remarks about Max's mother.

Dark eyes hold to Jonavan when he replies and then Max gives a grim nod of understanding. “Who needs ‘em, aye?” Offering forward false bravado for the healer to share in and then a corner of his mouth twitches for the obvious change in subject and the young crimelord glances in the direction of the passage that leads to the rooms for rent. “Aye,” he replies standing to his feet and while his next might seem directed to the tender cheekbone that Jonavan pokes at, the solemn knowing expression in his eyes tells otherwise, “Wise man once told me that all things heal with time.” Not expanding on whom that ‘wise man’ might be or if he even exists the understanding there that he too is hoping the statement proves to be true in the end.

"I'll drink to that," Jonavan delivers in tones similar to those used by Max, an excess of machismo that brings him to articulate his agreement. He leaves off prodding the shadow starting to form where the earlier fist had connected, dropping his hand and wrapping it round his glass instead. "Course it will," he says, pride making him dismissive. "It's just a bruise." Perhaps he means the statement to go beyond literal interpretation as well.

Draining his drink, as if to be able to wash away the metaphorical bruising of life, there’s a faint smirk in place when he sets the empty glass back down to the counter, “We should do this again, sometime.” Start a bar brawl? More than likely. Turning in the direction of the passage now, he pauses and notes to Jonavan, “Shouldn’t take too long, just need to go over a few things I need Yaron to take care of while I’m away. You plannin’ on stayin’ a bit longer?”

Jonavan makes a noise of assent. "Beats turning in early." He hunches towards the bar, elbows propping him up, not looking to move immediately. "It's either that or take the bottle with me," he replies with a more than a hint of black humour. He doesn't mind a spell of sitting and drinking alone in the tavern, as it happens, and when Max reappears later he'll find Jonavan right where he left him.


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