Are You Short?

Title: Are You Short?
Time Period: May 2, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Short can mean many different things.

It's that time of day when people have returned from work or errands to their homes, the inn, or the Dovetail for the evening. The sun is sinking into the west, casting a golden glow over the land that begins to deepen gradually into blue toward the east. The road is quiet on the walk home toward the Dovetail for travelers running just a little later than the usual traffic; it is not far from the brothel that Beisdean sits against a tree.

He's far enough away from the brothel that he's not on Madame Hare's property, but close enough that it's hard to imagine he's not looking for someone in particular. A bottle of wine sits next to him, a book in his lap though it's grown too dark to read.

Mariah is definitely late for the evening appointments. But, by the way she's just sort of strolling in the general direction of the Dovetail, she must not have any one pressing to get to. Maybe its her night off. Or she's dodging whoever asked for her for the evening. Either one could be true.

Somewhere in the trees, a certain badger follows along, keeping out of sight, but keeping his sights on her. Insisting on having a walk alone at these times. Masque doesn't approve.

She can be heard before she's seen, although that follows quickly, a bit of low singing draws attention her way. But she hadn't counted on there being anyone about the woods to hear. If she had, she would have picked a happier sounding song. But, it cuts short when she notices the figure there against a tree. "You haven't gotten yourself kicked out of the Albatross, have you?" she asks with a crooked smile as she picks her skirts up in hand and heads more directly in Beisdean's direction.

The man cocks his head back against tree trunk to peer up at her, one corner of his mouth ticking up into a smirk while his brows rise. "Would you take pity on me and put me up if I did?" he asks, then tips his head in a 'come hither' sort of gesture.

"Not in the mood for the inn, but not in the mood to be alone in my room either, so I figured I'd come looking for some company. Some wine?" He lifts the bottle, already open, and offers it up to her.

"There might be some room in the stables," Mariah answers in a tease, but the come hither must work well enough, because she not only comes to sit next to him, but greets him with a kiss to the cheek.

"The inn's loss, the Dovetail's gain, aye? Or Mariah's gain, at least. Although, for the record, you're not looking too hard, hiding out here with the tree trunks." She glances at the bottle, but it's only a brief hesitation before she reaches for it to take a drink from.

"If I got any closer, you'd think I was looking for more than a room to rent for the night," Beisdean teases, draping an arm around her as she settles next to him, pulling her closer. "It wouldn't be the first time I'd rolled around in the stables, y'know."

He did, after all, grow up here.

His head rests back against the trunk as he watches her. "Not keeping you from anything, am I? I'd hate to get you in trouble with the boss or anything like that." The words seem sincere, but there's that twinkle in his eye that suggests he doesn't really care if she ignores her duties for him.

This is probably another one of those moments when Cas will realize he should have sent word ahead— but likely it was a whim. Finished work early, decided to try his luck. They probably missed him speeding up at first sight of them, mostly her, then slowing down, until finally coming to a stop at a decent distance away.

From the tilt of his head he seems more curious than anything else, standing there for a moment as if trying to make up his mind about something.

There's no wine bottles from him, but he stopped bringing payment, unless it's in the bag hanging from his shoulder. More likely it's clothes, though. To change into in the morning for work.

Mariah settles under that arm easily enough, not seeming to mind being pulled closer, even without him looking to buy a night of more than just sleep. Although, really, it might even be because of that that she seems at ease. "Oh, is that right? Dare I ask who the lucky one was then?" She asks with a chuckle before she takes another drink and passes the bottle back his way.

"I'm still quite good at talking my way out of trouble, you'll find," she says with a crooked grin. It may or may not be true, that she's ignoring her duties, but she doesn't mind leaving that impression, at least.

It's also clear that she's not paying the travelers much mind, especially since she isn't expecting Cas to be coming along, otherwise the sound of someone coming along might have gotten her attention more quickly.

Beisdean doesn't notice the other man, as he chuckles at Mariah's words. "If I were to be paying? Aside from for this, here?" He pats her hip and grins down at her, bending to brush lips across hers. "I rather like that brunette one, but I don't think she can string together more than two words at once, and I rather like my lasses to talk a bit."

He takes the wine bottle back to swallow a gulp. "What about you? You're a bit late tonight. Happy hour's already started inside, I think." Meaning there's already quite a few men claiming their girls for the night inside.

There's silence from the corner that Cas has stopped in, until suddenly— there's not. "Are you short?" he asks outloud, raising his distinct accent. And then he seems surprised he spoke and starts stumbling over his words as he often does. "I mean of— payment. For— uh— sorry. I didn't mean to… you know." There's a word for it, he's not sure he remembers it. "Hear." That will have to do.

"Got a bit of a thing for the dark hair, aye?" Not missing, of course, that she is also a brunette. Mariah can't help a chuckle, though, both at the pat and as he explains his preferences. "Better than preferring them not to talk, I suppose." It's just all very familiar, the two of them.

"Well— " Mariah might have been planning to explain, but a certain voice cuts into the conversation and trips her up enough that her words are forgotten before they can really form. It's a rarity, this particular girl having a speechless moment. But it's a bit… awkward.

"Cas!" It comes eventually. "No, he's not— I mean, he doesn't— You don't have to say sorry." There's a glance toward Beisdean, because she might need a little help. Just a smidgen.

"Rather taller than average," Beisdean says, after the slightest jump of muscles at Cas' sudden speech. A smile is flashed that way, and the bottle raised.

"No, I'm not paying for anything, but it's nice of you to offer to spot me, if that was what you're suggesting." It probably wasn't, but Beisdean's being diplomatic or something.

Probably more or something.

The medium lifts a brow at Mariah's stuttering, and chuckles. "Right," he says, pushing the bottle into Mariah's hands. "We must not be in trouble, since you're not talking yourself out of it too well," he teases, while pushing himself up from the ground.

"Oh— " Cas says quietly, looking off to the side, and biting his lower lip for a moment. When he looks back he doesn't seem insulted or bothered, really, but there's something else there. "I could, though— spot you," he says, pointing toward his bag lightly, as he looks toward Mariah.

There's something too genuine about it to be a tease from him.

"I owe you, Baze," For what he doesn't exactly say, though, as he looks at the man he seems to have given a nickname.

"Oh shut up," Mariah says to Beisdean with a bit of a laugh. And she follows him up to her feet, dusting leaves and dirt from her dress. And twigs. Yes.

She might be, though. In trouble.

Mariah looks between the two, and eyebrow lifting. "Beisdean's not a client. Of the Dovetail." Or herself, by extension of. The idea of one spotting for the other, though, that doesn't seem to bit sitting quite well. Which is probably why her simple explanation comes with her reaching for that wine bottle. She's probably prefer something stronger, but, any port in a storm. As it were.

"You don't owe me anything, mate," Beisdean says to Cas, then snorts at Mariah and lifts his hands in some sort of surrender gesture.

"She's right. We're friends. I'm not a customer, and don't plan to be, but thanks for the offer," he says, reaching to clap the other man on the shoulder. He glances at Mariah with one brow raised in amusement and perhaps just a little sympathy or apology or both mixed in.

"You, however," he says, returning his attention to the other man, "are here, and not short," his head tips a little as he surveys the man, as if to decide if Cas is short of stature or not, before grinning more broadly, "so I'll leave you two to be."

There's that tilting of his head again in the lengthening light from the sun. "That's too bad— If you ever did uh— decide to be a customer— Mariah's the best one. Not that I know from experience but…" he trails off, wincing at himself finally. Of all the things to wince at, that would probably be the least expected. "I mean the other girls not— "

His hands wave a little. As if the wave will get rid of what he's failing to communicate. "And we didn't exactly have a… plan for tonight, and I interupted you two. So— uh— you don't have to leave. I have errands I can… do."

A hand firmly meets palm as the two of them go on, a groan slipping past fingers at the endorsement. It's followed by a bit of a sigh and Mariah strides away a couple of steps, just murmuring to herself a bit. There might be a why me in there somewhere.

She just needs a moment.

But when they trade between who's going to be leaving, Mariah turns back toward them, a hand on her hip as she lets out a sigh. "Nobody go anywhere," she declares, "Unless it's all of us heading to the pub for a drink. Aye? On me?"

"The best is she? Well, good to know I'm not buying from the best there is," the taller man says with a grin, and he pushes Cas a bit closer to Mariah as he turns his way to the road. "We didn't have plans either, mate, you're not interrupting anything."

Mariah's words draw another grin, and he shrugs. "I'm bound for the inn whether you come or not, but if you're gonna buy me a drink, by all means," Beisdean says, making a sweeping gesture of his hand toward the road for her to lead the way.

That didn't exactly happen as he might have expected, but at least Cas doesn't look at Baze like he'd looked at a certain militia man who had been a customer. There's even a smile that appears, slowly, even as he shifts his bag on his shoulder. "A'right— but only if I get to trade for one of the rounds too," he offers. It seems her paying is weighting heavily on him.

Or maybe he's just wanting to offer, and after the first round he may actually forget…

Never been one to hold his drink well, in her experiences with him. "Do you think there'll be anyone playing music tonight? You told me there's dancing sometimes but I've never been in the inn when it happens…"

"You both are silly. For the record," Mariah says dryly, but amused now rather than embarrassed. Nevermind the pink cheeks, that's just from the wine. She reaches over to take Cas' hand, fingers lacing with his as she nods to his condition. "Fair enough. But I claimed first."

She drags him along as she goes to join Beisdean, and she doesn't seem to care what sort of a spectacle they'll all be walking to the inn as she links her free arm in his, too. "I have to buy you at least one. But ideally, enough to get us all to completely forget what just happened or I'll never be able to show my face around that tree again. And it is one of my favorites." It's a joke. Probably.

Cas gets her attention as they head in that general direction, "You want there to be dancing? I'm sure we can coax some music out of the inn, in that case. All it takes is a good enough mood. Or enough alcohol."

Beisdean chuckles as his arm is taken and begins the stroll to the inn. "The trees have seen a lot worse in this neck of the woods," he quips with a nod back to the Dovetail not so far off.

"Trust me on that one," he adds, with a wink at Cas over Mariah's head, the bottle of wine passed to the man as well.

"I have another favorite tree," Cas says quietly, before he looks back at it, smiling a little. That tree must not be anywhere near here, but for some reason he's starting to turn red. Much like Mariah. At least they match, now that they're holding hands. With a small squeeze, his free hand takes the bottle from Baze, eyes widening.

"You've been here longer than me and— probably seen a lot." There's a pause, before he drinks from the open bottle and hands it towards Mariah, until he realizes both her hands are occupied— and he can only pass it back to the original owner.

"What, these trees? Innocent as babes, they are," Mariah says, but with a chuckle. She knows different, of course. The bottle's being passed back and forth, but she seems alright to go without it for the moment.

Especially with that quiet comment from Cas. It makes her smile even out and grow slowly broad. Or maybe that's for his blushing. She gives his hand a warm squeeze. The tree may be some distance from here, but she knows which one all the same.