Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing

Title: Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
Time Period: January 13, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: And tried to sneak out afterward, too. Both of them.

While most of the girls are lounging away inside, waiting to entertain, or perhaps already engaged, Mariah isn't currently among them. Their tittering is easy to hear, but equally easy to avoid on the way out. At least, the back way is anyway.

But not all the whores are easy to avoid, as there is at least one sitting in the back, nursing a rather fresh black eye with the cooks away from where the johns will see. But Mariah is outside, standing next to a horse as she straps on a saddle with quick hands. She's no stranger to them, it seems. But odder still is the split lip she sports, and a bruise of her own budding around it.

It isn't usual to be able to tell that Mariah is angry, she doesn't generally fume and stomp around, but tonight, it's contorted her face into a sneer as she goes about her work. There is a badger darting this way and that around her feet, as if it were feeding off her agitation.

The door to the back opens and closes with a thud. The sight of a man leaving the Dovetail on unbalanced legs is not an uncommon one, certainly, but this particular man is no regular john — as familiar a sight as he may have once been around the brothel. Beisdean's path is a crooked one as he staggers across the yard toward the road that will take him toward his temporary home.

His head is down, eyes on the ground, and if he notices any bloodied or bruised women, he says nothing. There is a smear of blood on his own head, and the once cream sweater he wore is now pink with wine stain beneath his open coat.

Suddenly he stops, looking around, only just now noticing he is alone. "Darklight…" he growls in irritation, turning back to glare at the building behind him, eyes narrowing in the glow of the light from within.

And if it were any regular john, Mariah would get herself out of view in her current state. She might have a few customers who wouldn't mind her looking bruised, but even them, she tries not to encourage too much. But, seeing as she knows this one, and he's in a worse state than she's in, it keeps her there, and a bit confused.

"Beisdean?" She sounds confused, too. Masque doesn't run off this time, as he normally does when other people come around, but hangs out closer to Mariah's heels, hunkered down in the grass. I thought this was a whorehouse, not a dodgy bar, is what her familiar has to say about the night as a whole, mildly disapproving of the whole scene.

Hush, you'll distract me. Mariah does glance down to her feet there, but she looks back to Beisdean, without a smile this time, for several reasons. "What's happened to you?"

He turns to look at her, eyes still a bit glassy. It takes a moment to register what she's asking. "I'm fine…" is a lie, but the truth is complicated and he's not sure she's figured it all out yet, and the witness who could help him is apparently sleeping in the warm indoors.

Gaining focus, Beisdean frowns as he sees her split lip. "What happened to you? Did one of your clients do that?" he demands, worry sharpening his senses a little as he strides toward her.

Almost in a straight line.

Until he notices the badger and stops in his tracks, lest it attack him.

"That badger is going to spook that horse if you're not careful," is helpful advice.

"Don't change the subject," Mariah says, a hand going to her hip. Her left hand, since her right is busy being sore. "Did one of the clients do that to you?" Her eyes narrow a bit and she looks back to house, like she might just go back in, if the answer is yes.

She's in a mood.

Noticing the wobbly steps, she looks him over again, like most would a jigsaw puzzle. "Wasn't a client, for the record. Just one of the girls saying things she ought not," she says, a bit distracted. But he gets her attention full and clear when he mentions the badger. Her gaze snaps up to his face and then she looks around as if not sure what he means. But she steps back from Masque there, just a little. "Oh, yes… Ah… He's been pretty quiet so far," she notes. It is possible she has no idea how to deal with an actual badger.

The look at the building makes him laugh. Just what he needs, the small woman going in to beat someone up on his account. "No. Just one of the girls," he echoes, stepping a little closer when it looks like the badger doesn't plan on attacking them.

Masque still gets a wary glance. Beisdean pulls his flask from his coat pocket and then a handkerchief, dousing the latter with the contents of the flask. He gestures to her face, then gives a little beckoning wag of fingers to draw her closer to him — he isn't getting closer to the badger, apparently. "C'mere. Let me see."

"These girls are getting rowdy," she notes, because she totally wasn't the one to start the tussle she was in. At all. She glances to Masque, too, giving the familiar an amused look. In return, it looks up at Beisdean, but it doesn't bare teeth, at least. Even when he beckons Mariah over, the badger seems mostly… bored, perhaps. If a badger can be bored.

It isn't this one? It's a legitimate question, since Mariah sighs a bit and steps away from the horse at that wag of fingers, following directions apparently. No comes as a sharp, brief reply from the mage. When she gets to him, the badger quietly slips away, into some nearby bushes. "It's just a cut is all," she says, not mentioning her hand or whatever other bruises she might have gotten. "The other girl is far worse off," she adds, the healthier side of her lips curving into a smirk.

"Please tell me," Beisdean begins, mouth echoing her smirk as he brings the handkerchief gently to her lips to clean the cut, "that my mother never got into fisticuffs with any of the other ladies."

It is an amusing thought, to think of the good natured Slainte in a brawl with the other prostitutes.

Up close, she can see his eyes are dilated more than with mere drink, which might answer the question of just which 'one of the girls' he'd been with if it weren't for the cut bump on his head. Up close, too, she can smell the wine spilled on him and see a couple of glass pebbles still caught in the weave of his sweater.

The pressure of the fabric against her lip is taken away. "You should put some ice on it, too," Beisdean suggests. "Want me to grab you an icicle?"

"This is hardly necessary," is muttered just before a hiss when the alcohol touches the open wound. But his request gets a laugh, brief though it may be, at least it softens her expression some. "Your mother never got into fisticuffs with any of the other ladies," she says, although by the hint of teasing in her tone, she may just be saying so because he asked so nicely. She's not telling.

The signs aren't missed, that he's be into more than just the wine he was so sloppy with, which brings concern out to further shove the anger to the side. Her eyes slide back to the house for a moment, but she's not jumping to conclusions just yet. Out loud.

She opens her mouth to protest the suggestion, but she pauses and eyes him a little instead. "Alright, but only if you let me see about that cut on your head."

"Which one was it? You're not usually so riled, I didn't think," Beisdean asks conversationally as he steps away and toward the roof of the building to pull off an icicle that hangs there, then breaking it off with a wack against the wall. The small piece he wraps into the handkerchief to hand to her, then moves to sit on the back porch for her to look at his head.

"It's not bleeding much now. I'm sure it'll be fine," he says. "It's a pity she wasted the wine, though. It was a lovely vintage, from what I remember."

"Just Florentine," Mariah says, complete with a dismissive wave of her hand. "I don't think she knew I was there, I don't think she would've said something so…" She trails off there, her hands curling into fists and her lips thinning. Her right hand uncurls fast enough, with a little shake. "…bad. If she'd known I was standing there. I don't usually… hit people," she says, as if not wanting him to think badly of her, "But when they're hurtful about Luna…" The rules change.

She takes the ice, but it stays in her hand a moment while she takes a moment to clean his cut as well, and she tries to get the blood out of his hair as well. "I'm surprised you remember much at all, by the look of things," she says, her tone playful.

Beisdean leans against the building while she works. "Bits and pieces," he says softly, brows knitting together at the mention of Luna, refreshing his guilt and anger at the evening's events. "It's nice of you to stand up for her. You're a good friend to her, though I'd wager a bet or two that her tongue's been as sharp to Florentine more than once. I wouldn't break your own hand or face over it… Luna can fight those battles for herself, aye?"

The flask comes out again, this time to take a swallow before passing it to her, presumably to clean the scrape. Or drink from. He's not going to argue, either way. "She's maddening, honestly," he adds, sounding tired and sad all at once. "Tell her I'm sorry again in the morning, will you?"

"Luna wasn't there," Mariah says, which seems to give her reason enough to stand up for the blonde, at least in her own mind. "And she says things, flippant things. Silly things. She isn't… cruel." There's a line somewhere in her head, apparently, of how far is too far. The other girl went too far.

When she takes the flask, she drinks first, and cleans second. But when she comes around to sit as well, she passes back the flask and puts the ice to her lip. "She is. I love her anyway." But his last comment brings an eyebrow up and she just looks at him for a long moment. "I can't imagine what you could've done to her to get her to hit you like that." There's a beat before she adds, "How bad off is she?"

He lowers his eyes as she looks at him, then lifts them to the road beyond the yard. "Physically she's fine. Drunk. High. Maybe having a second dose," Beisdean says, his voice quiet and flat. "I should've known better than to mix, but it's been a bloody rough week…" His glassy eyes move back to her face, looking perhaps for forgiveness for his decision.

He sighs. "I wasn't me. She hit me with the bottle when she realized it. So aye, physically she's… as all right as she ever is, drunk or high or both, but…"

His shrug says the rest. "Best if I stay away I think."

It's hard to say if there's forgiveness there, exactly, but there isn't much in the way of judgment from Mariah, either. "We can't always make the best decisions," she ends up saying, "Life'd get terribly dull, wouldn't it?" As he goes on, though, her brow furrows, concern split between the two of them.

"It's hard, you know, watching her heart get broken over and over," there's no judgment in that, either, "But I dare say that would happen whether you stay or go. But if you've got some ghost coming after her…" Her hand wobbles back and forth; a ghost makes the whole thing far more difficult.

Beisdean stands, one hand reaching for the corner of the building to keep from tumbling. "She needs to learn not to build her castles in the tidepools," he says irritably, despite Mariah's nonjudgemental tone.

He begins to button his coat, bundling up for the walk home. "I don't think it … it's hard to explain, but I don't think he was one that normally would have found me or been able to…" His hand gestures again. The word possess is too hard for him to say, to admit to. "But it's one more reason to stay away, aye? I'm already to blame for so much having gone wrong with her life, it seems." He shakes his head, then reaches up to smooth his hair over the wound.

"Just check in on her, I guess… maybe skip that you saw me, on second thought. She might not want anyone to know, and if we can save her pride another scrape, it might be better, aye?"

"Aye," Mariah says gently. She has an easier time of standing up, and she reaches over to help steady him as he tries it. "You know you're not. She's just… hurt and lashing out." That may be a little reminder to herself as well as to him. "It's hard to accept when you've dug a hole for yourself you can't climb out of. I can't say I don't understand her, at least a little."

There's a not to him, though, with a wry half smile, "I wasn't planning on bringing you up, exactly. But I'll make sure she's alright. Are you sure you're alright to get home? I'm not going to find you frozen to death in the snow tomorrow morning, am I?"

Beisdean smiles. "I'll be fine. Goodnight."

After turning to go, he pauses, and turns back, expression somber. "Thank you," he murmurs, ducking to give her a quick peck on the cheek. "Things are getting a bit ugly for me here, and I might pick up and go without warning. If I do, just know you were a bright spot in the journey, Mariah."

A cap is pulled from his coat pocket to pull on his head, pulling a hiss and a wince from him. "G'night."

Mariah smiles and actual smile at the kiss, despite the cut in her lip — the ice helps. "You're welcome." When he goes on, though, that smile snuffs out. "You do seem to be in the midst of some bad luck. I might have to find you some sort of good luck charm before it runs you off." She puts a hand on his arm for a gentle squeeze. "If it does, I'm glad to have met you all over again, Beisdean.

"Just take care of yourself out there," she says, as a farewell, and it's hard to say if she means just tonight, or in case he runs off. There's just a little hesitation before she lets go of his arm.