Adventure And Excitement

Title: Adventure and Excitement
Time Period: March 24, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Luna's news is met with less excitement than she likes from a pair of ladies in her life.

The general hum of noise, even on a relatively uncrowded evening at the Albatross, is familiar and comforting to Isibeal as she surveys it from her duty post; in this instance, this evening, she mans the bar and keeps the ale topped up herself, her pale hair bound back and kerchiefed to keep its strays from infiltrating anybody's drink. From the clinging dew on people's cloaks, it's clear the weather outside is not at its most welcoming, so the fire in the central hearth of the Albatross common room roars unseasonably, heat drying some of the wet and salt out of the heavy air.

"Easy now," she directs some of the drinkers, whose noise level has crept by increments in the past few minutes. "No rowdy stuff here, I'd have to be sorry to all your mothers if I had to throw any of their get out in the wet." Her smile catches her mouth at its corners, her eyes gleaming a pleased and proprietary shade of green as she slides a cloth rag in a polishing habit over the smooth wood at the counter.

Satisfied, Mrs. Owens puts up her rag, and clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

Mariah is far from an unusual face around the Albatross, but it is unusual that she'd pick one of the less crowded times to be around. She's even dressed a bit more modestly. Modest for her, anyway. That and the face that she greets, but doesn't engage any of the male patrons probably means she's here for her own need of a drink or six, rather than to flirt.

"Mrs. Owens," she says with a wave and a bob of her head. It's respectful, which is different than she treats most proprietors around Dornie, but this one is Luna's mom, after all. "Mind sliding a pint this way?"

"Good evening to you," Isibeal says, pleasantly enough: it is a milder welcome than the glowing and motherly affection with which she might greet some of her patrons, but then, she is quick to fill a tall glass with ale, pale golden and foaming excitedly round the rim as she draws the pint. Rather than slide the full glass along the smooth surface of the wood with a flick of her wrist, though, she walks up the bar to slide to proffer the drink in both long-fingered hands. More likely free of mishaps this way; and she opens a conversation with it, fine pale eyebrows swept high over her eyes. "Faring well, are you?" she asks. A faint pinch developing between her high brows, she appends an, "I hope?"

The glass is taken with a smile and a nod of thanks before she takes a drink that's a little too long to be considered ladylike. But then, she's not one terribly concerned with being proper. When it's set down, though, she lifts a hand to seesaw at the question.

"Well enough. Quite ready for warmer weather." That's a safe enough topic, at least. Or, it is until she adds, "The cold keeps me a little too busy." It's the crooked smile that ready tips it into improper territories. But it's true enough! Cold nights are the busiest, down at the Dovetail.

It is not exactly disapproval that purses Isibeal's lips; the expression is frownish as she glances away, slant of her look angled toward the roar of her own crackling fire in the hearth. Fingertips resting light against the polished surface of the wooden counter, she agrees, "Aye, I understand that's to be … expected."

Her fingertips drum: tap-tap-tap, an idle tattoo, arhythmic and possibly beneath notice. Isibeal glances back at Mariah almost quizzically, her mouth quirked a little to one side. "Warmth I'll welcome," she agrees at length, "though I'd fear too harsh a spring storm. The sea is restless."

It's almost like Mariah doesn't notice the disapproval, with how her smile stays friendly and a little impish. "Oh, aye. Luckily, I once came across a book about time management when we were still traveling." Her and her family, that is. "Very instructive." She drinks again, a little less desperate this time around.

"Is it?" Mariah frowns at that. It's not good news. "And here I thought Dornie's run out its bad luck already this year," she murmurs into her glass as she drinks again. It seems like she's planning on working her way through a few of these before long.

Isibeal's answering smile is reluctant: a slow slyness, fading from her expression into a hue of something like exasperation: am I having this conversation? is not an infrequent thought for a woman behind a bar, and her features are schooled to normalcy after only heartbeats, a low chuckle caught in her throat. "I don't think of that as the sort of thing you learn from a book," she says.

It is still a quiet evening here, a scattered cluster of drinkers strewn here or there throughout the room, though the more recent arrivals are tending to linger near the roaring hearth. Isibeal glances back out over them. "Restless," she says, "but it's been worse. Though I wouldn't lay odds on running through all the bad to the good on the other side." Her smile is a more wry-edged expression now as her eyes return to her customer close at hand. "It never rains but it pours, I hear tell, and it so often rains."

"Advice books. I understand they were all over in the old days. How to lose weight, how to grow a better garden, how to become Emotionally Independent…" It's only sort of a joke. Mariah smiles like it is, though, just before she takes a moment to empty out her glass. She must have learned to drink from the sailors.

"I suppose I'm a little too jaded to hope for good on the other side of bad, but just optimistic enough to hope for less bad. On the other side of bad." She sets her empty glass down again, glancing at Isibeal with a single arched eyebrow. "Especially here abouts," she says, as far as the rain.

The door opens and closes, letting through someone who has been frequenting the establishment a little more as of late. At least once or twice a month rather than none at all. There's a whistle from a round table nearby as Luna removes her long cloak and folds it over one arm. She returns the compliment with an icy glare toward the offending patron, eliciting a guilty expression and an apology masked by a cough.

Her heels make a sharp sounding click against the wood as the younger blonde crosses the room to the bar where her mother stands tending. "Ma'!" an enthusiastic greeting that's coupled with a smile, toward her colleague the smile grows a touch smaller and she gives a nod. "Mariah… I didn't expect to see you here." A tinge of jealousy at finding the brunette alone with her mother is quite evident. "What are the two of you on about today?"

"The weather," is Isibeal's largely bland reply to Luna, some hue of distant humor lifting her mouth more at one corner than the other. She gives her daughter a cursory once-over, and then glances past her in the direction of the patrons who greete her. "Of course. Good evening, my girl. I hope you haven't caught your death running about in the wet."

Breath drawn in a long draft through her nose, Isibeal fetches Mariah's empty glass and turns back to fill it full again from her tap. Her voice lilting light, she says, "Now for less bad, I expect we'll live to see that day. Some fine morning."

"And it's effect on business," Mariah adds, looking over at Luna with a bit of mischief in her smile. When another full glass is set down, she looks back to Isibeal, "Thanks much." Her fingers curl around the glass and she pulls it closer to her. For a moment, it looks like she might hold off on drinking it right off, but it turns into a fleeting hesitation instead. It's what she came for, after all.

"With any luck at all," she says as she sets her drink back down, and she turns back to Luna, her smile already turning a bit lazy from the glass she's already had. "Did you come to see your mother, Luna? Am I interrupting?" Nevermind that she's been sitting there.

"I did of course, but you could never interrupt," not between Luna and another woman, at least. Smiling, she takes a stool next to Mariah, gingerly placing her cloak over the back before slipping up onto the seat. "Can I have a hot brandy, Ma'? It's quite chill and I think I'll need something to warm my icy heart."

Her dress is carefully arranged so it won't wrinkle as it dries before Luna flattens her palms back up on the bar and leans forward. "Mariah, did you tell her what I'd found? It's the most wonderful thing, Ma', I'd like you to come if you can spare the time away."

"Well, I'd hope she'd never come here with plans to chase off my custom," Isibeal says. More words threaten on the edge of her tongue, but she catches them behind her teeth, burying them in a solitary snort. She cants her head, not quite a nod, but kin to one; and she turns to fetch up the dark brandy bottle from the shelf lining the wall behind her. She paces away from both girls for long enough to collect her kettle, a hint of something wary in the flicker of her gaze as she looks back toward them.

Rattle and bang, goes the kettle, as she pours; and as the liquid begins to heat, she checks the time on the old clock in the kitchen behind by craning her neck to spy it from this angle. This business complete, she leaves it. "—Away from here?" she asks from up the bar, eyebrows swept high on her high forehead beneath kerchief-caught hair. "Why, this place needs me more than ever."

"I'm afraid I didn't," Mariah says, looking over at Isibeal with what may just be a bit of a warning on her expression. It's gone when she looks back to Luna again, replaced with a gentle smile. "It's your news, Luna." Plus, the bit about falling in with a total stranger isn't something she'd like to impart to a parent.

When it gets into the matter of leaving Dornie, Mariah is conveniently too busy drinking to comment.

"I'm going away on a trip," Luna lowers her voice so that only her mother and the other prostitute can hear. None of the other rabble in the room need be privvy to this conversation. "I have a map and I'm going to follow it and make my fortune. When I come back, I'll have enough capital to buy anything in Dornie. I'd settle for a house of my own though, somewhere that's all mine."

She sits back a little and clasps her hands together under her chin, bending her light eyebrows up into a pitiable expression. "Please say you'll come with me, Ma'… We'll be going out on the sea, perhaps you'd even see the selkies. Just please say you'll think about it?"

Isibeal is quiet for a long moment after Luna speaks, her glance flicking to Mariah with a faint increase of tension in the line of her jaw and the thinning of her mouth: incredulity, and a kind of internal, maternal pain, hitting just here above the sash that belts her skirts. She turns to study the kettle for a long moment, waiting in imperfect patience; she draws it off the heat and tests it with one finger, only to put it back on again and leave it behind, planting her hands in a steady brace against the surface of the counter and leaning on her palms. "Luna, what in the world are you talking about?" she says, green eyes sharp and anxious on her daughter's features. "Making your fortune with a map?"

Something in Luna's explanation to her mother gets Mariah's attention enough for her to set her glass down again. "Does that— " She pauses a moment, a glance sent Isibeal's way a touch nervously before she turns toward Luna more fully. "Does that mean you're quitting?" It's asked quietly as well, her brow furrowed gently. It's possible the idea of the Dovetail without Luna is a difficult thought. Without Luna and without Slainte.

"I mean, if you're thinking of a house of your own and fortunes and all."

"Well… aye," an answer to both Isibeal and Mariah, "I can't stay forever. Besides that, the scandal's long past and I've grown bored. It's plain to see the selkies don't want me, even after I shed my tears and waited on the water for days." Fine eyebrows knit together again as she looks toward Isibeal. "You're not allowed to forget me if you put the pelt on and leave for seven years. I've read the stories now and it frightens me to think that you'll be gone." Perhaps the reason why her grandfather sold the pelt in the first place. He loved his mother too much.

"But I need to think about my future and not be the silly girl no more." She turns to Mariah now, giving her a somewhat apologetic glance. "You could come with me. We could be proper together, if you like. Imagine that scandal, eh?"

"Luna," Isabel breathes: it as an outward rush of breath, almost as though she's just taken a physical blow to the sternum. She straightens and plants her hands on her hips, lifting her chin as she turns a wide-eyed look on her offspring. "Is this what it sounds like, when you stop being silly? Haring off across the world after— where did you get this map? Do you have a plan?"

It is a strange thing, when a mother of solid middle age respectability turns pleading eyes on a whore in an appeal (for help?), but Isibeal tries it now as her glance lights on Mariah. "Had you heard all of this?"

"Aye? Aye, she says," Mariah says with an incredulous sigh on her words. She looks over at Isibeal, echoing that plea for support in her own gaze. "Some of it, aye." It's possible she hadn't taken it seriously. Or thought Luna would move past the idea after a few days.

But she seems willing enough to help be convincing, even if staying a prostitute is probably not Isibeal's idea of the best scenario. "But who will stop Florentine from strutting about the place, ey? Who's going to add a bit of class to the house? Who's going to make it at all tolerable to live there?" She stops just short of a please don't leave me, probably because the idea of going along and turning proper stalls her thoughts.

But only for a moment. "You have so much here, Luna," she says, her hand reaching over to lay on Isibeal's arm gently, "Your mother is here. Your dad. They've a good living and— even if you don't want to stay at the Dovetail… here's a good life you could be having." It is a set of facts Mariah has long been envious of.

"Haring across the known world for adventure and excitement, aye." Luna states, there's a stubborn set to her jaw in response to the arguments of both women. Folding her arms across her chest, she sits straight, crossing her ankles together as a perfect picture of Miss Muffet on a tuffet. "The herbs are all but gone and I feel restless and in need of something to make my heart beat wild. You don't understand to feel what it's like to be so empty and without."

Her lips turn downward, suddenly depressed at the resistance she's feeling from her mother and Mariah and she lowers her head. A child's pout. "Mister Rowntree thinks it's wonderful and he's quite supportive of my plans." Possibly because he has nothing to lose.

Isibeal's lips part over words she does not say, and the breath of her sigh puffs harshly past her nose as she closes them again. "Mister Rowntree, is it," she repeats the name, with distinct and chilling emphasis. "Child, I think you underestimate what I know about what emptiness means. I, a seal-woman's grandaughter." Her chin aloft, she narrows her gaze. Incongruous, the kettle starts to hiss; before it can begin its squeal, she sets her teeth, and turns aside to quickly pour the heated brandy before it boils off.

"Oh, but you'll have none of that; it's an adventure for you, and never mind the rest. Just like your father, aren't you, heads as hard as rocks the pair of you!" Isibeal storms these words over the mug she pours the brandy into. The steam pipes from the hot liquid.

"Oh, well. So long as Mister Rowntree approves." Mariah starts to stand, apparently abandoning her mostly full glass, although she pulls out enough labor scripts to cover both all the same. "I hope Mister Rowntree is willing to come and make sure you're safe in all this adventuring."

She drops her payment on the bar and looks over to Isibeal. "Mrs. Owens. Always good to see you. I'm sure I'll be back again soon." It's a good thing she didn't bother getting out of coat and scarf, because she aims to head out again. "Luna, hope to see you for a nightcap." At the Dovetail. It's an odd night indeed, that has Mariah leaving the Albatross alone and without so much as a wink or a flirt for the other patrons.

"Safe enough, he's pledged some aide to my cause." What sort Luna doesn't say out loud, not in the common room of an inn. "But I think I would still go with or without him." She glances at Isibeal, guilty and pitiable, head down and eyes up like a scolded puppy. "I just wanted the blessings and perhaps the company of my ma'.. the one who loves me dearest in all the world.."

Slowly, she slides off the stool, leaving the brandy for her mother to steam over instead of sitting to drink. If Mariah's leaving, after all, Luna can't face the wrath of her mother all alone. "I'll jt come with you now, Mariah, let ma' think about my offer. Sea voyage and all, it should be wonderful times."

"Oh, child," Isibeal murmurs, her voice barely above the hush of a whisper. She lifts her hand and rubs her knuckles along the curve of one fine, high brow. She looks away from both of them as they leave, with little other acknowledgment dropped to either in their departure. It is not the best manners for a hostess. Not up to Isibeal's standards at the Albatross, surely.