From A Floor Down

Title: From a Floor Down
Time Period: May 25, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: "Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." - William Congreve

The Albatross at its best times is duly rowdy, though only as much as its attending owners will allow. For long nights of the rough stuff, you can go find yourself in the rookery with the rest of the type. Though his reasons can be called into question, Leonard seems to enjoy toting his fiddle to the Albatross more often than elsewhere. Perhaps because it is a place less likely that someone might clock him and steal it. Also because he enjoys it, and possibly because he gets free food out of it. Ever since his wife left him, his taste buds haven't been the same.

"I think that fellow liked it just a little too much, don't you?" The ruddy-and-cream wolf laid down beside his chair looks up with bent canine brows, nose on paws as she looks between her mage and the mentioned- a man who was so dour and unwilling to move at first, having gotten loaded up enough by his friends that he has managed to plant his face into the floor during a particularly wild attempt at dancing. A bloody nose ain't nothin a drink can't fix.

«You're going to create a nuisance if you keep up the fast ones.» True. Faster it goes, less control the patrons have over foot placement.

Mariah is among those taking advantage of the music, seen among the dancers as a flash of red from her skirt as she's led and spun around the floor, and passing from partner to partner as the songs go on. It's something of a goodbye, probably more innocent than her clientele would like, but having decided to leave her line of work, they can take what they get.

And she seems more than willing to go on, right up until her feet get away from her, too, and she has to catch herself on a chair before she stumbles over as well. She'll blame it on the drink, since there's been plenty of that.

"You go on, I'm going to have a sit down before I seriously embarrass myself," comes her slurred English accent, along with a laugh as she pulls out that chair and sits down. It just so happens to be at Leonard's table. Which she doesn't seem to mind. "Leonard," she greets with a smile, "marvelous work, I must say."

The instrument under his chin hitches just slightly when he tips his head to Mariah as she lands at his table. He is close to finishing the song up when she does, and he doesn't seem to waste much time after the fact, before leaning across the edge of the table to socialize- fiddle resting on his shoulder.

"I try." Leonard smiles, an attempt at disarming. "I cause more destruction this way." He tips the end of his bow towards the man with a bloodied rag on his nose, being sat up at a table by his comrades. "I can't exactly go around being a smarmy guy, so this is good enough." Sage grunts from her spot under the edge of the table.

"Red's a terribly garish color for drinking to a new lease, isn't it?" Red also being the color of whores, mistresses, you know how it is.

"That you do," Mariah says with a glance toward the wounded, "I narrowly escaped it myself." But she doesn't mind, seeing as she turns back to him with a wide smile. "Smarmy's not as good anyway," she adds with a nod toward the instrument.

Her fingers pluck up a bit of her skirt, as if having to take a moment to remember what she put on. "I suppose my reputation is stained with the color, whatever I opt to wear," she notes before looking up to him again, "I plan on selling most of them for a less… audacious wardrobe." But they are nice dresses.

"Hopefully they can find new homes, rather than be recycled. You do have fine taste, no matter color." Leon gives a short shake of his head, a smile, and waves his bow-hand in the air. He may have had something to drink too. God only knows where the mug went. Rolled away, possibly. "People will hate clothes because of who wore them, it's a pity. I bought a smart jacket from one of the caravans for a rock-bottom price because the man who wore it before me-"

"-was some sort of… trafficker. I still got a bargain." He lifts his brows uncannily high on his face. Because Leonard is one man that the women can talk to about clothes, it seems. Sage inches her face out from under the table again, eyeballing Mariah and giving her shoes a sniff. "Do you have any requests, darling?" Was that to Sage or Mariah? Um —

"I imagine I can get some of the other girls to trade for them. At least the ones I'm less attached to." As risque as they can get, there are one or two she's not likely to part with. Unless she must. "It is a pity. Clothes make the man, not the other way about," she says, her smile turning crooked.

Her gaze lowers when she notices Sage sniffing, and her smile evens out as she regards the familiar. "Hello, darling," she greets her, "What do you think, Sage? Shall we ask him for something sullen?" Why she would be in the mood for sullen is anyone's guess, but it is a pattern, when she's had just a bit too much to drink.

"I'd ask the girls-" His girls- "-but I am afraid they subscribe to the scandalous part of things." Leon lifts his bow hand to rub his thumb on his brow, pushing a bit of his hair aside his temple while it's busied. "Sullen? I don't do sullen for parties- subdued, maybe. Ambient. Placating. Sedate. But sullen? You wound me."

He tests a few notes on the fiddle as his eyes dart about to inspect the room, as playfully bright as they usually are. Sage seems ambivalent, though she does sit up and put her chin onto Mariah's knee. Her leather and metal collar looks freshly polished, and the delicate design betrays the size of the canine. Fierceness and portrayal have always been at odds there.

"Oh no, I meant— the Doves. I could hardly forgive myself for encouraging someone respectable that way," she says with a bit of a laugh on her words. Her hand drops to run over Sage's fur, imposing size though she may be.

"We'll have to save sullen, then," Mariah says, her tone subdued as well as she looks over the table at him. "I suppose despondent wouldn't do, either. Forlorn? Bleak? Melancholy?" She's teasing now. "How about… serene, then?"

"Serene is fine… needs to be less roughhousing as it is. Isibeal would have my hide if I caused her floor to be stained with the blood of innocent revelers. So if anyone complains I'll point them to you." Leonard looks at her with a raised chin while he lifts the fiddle back to his shoulder proper. "Let's see…"

While Leonard attempts to settle onto a path of musical serenity- in the form of something that sounds like a wandering tune- Sage is left to her own devices; which, right now, means using dog-wiles to extort a scratch behind the ear.

«I hope she doesn't have too much trouble. You'll have to tell her for me. Are you listening?» No, he doesn't seem to be- just engulfed enough in his tune to not pay attention. «Men.»

"Oh, send them my way, I never dealt much with complaints, but it's probably time I get some practice in," Mariah says with a wry smile. It isn't hard for Sage to get a scritch out of her; she always has been fond of the familiars.

While she pampers the animal at her feet, he attention is more on Leonard and his song, a soft sigh slipping out of her to accompany the music. She really doesn't seem to care if the other patrons are unhappy with it, and perhaps assumes they'll guess it was her request when they see her sitting there. One thing's for sure, she's not glancing around to see how they're taking it.

The other patrons don't seem to mind a less rowdy bit of music; it will give most of them some time to find more drinks, locate friends, and otherwise use the time to corral something to mop up spilled pints. Leonard sinks into his music, eyes between closed and narrowed, hair falling to his temples. "If people have their way-" His voice is just loud enough to not disturb his playing, and not let him get off track.

"-they'll take every opportunity to belittle." Hopefully she is prepared for life outside the Dovetail. It has been some time since.

That observation manages to get Mariah looking a touch more clear-minded. The way her expression sinks, she's thought about it and isn't much looking forward to how the town will react to her choice. And resentful, perhaps, that they think it's their business to comment on. But she turns, motioning to a waitress to bring a drink around.

She probably doesn't need another, really.

But it might explain why she's had so many so far tonight. "Oh yes. They will. Do. It's been along time since this town much approved of me," she says. her chin lifting just a touch. Putting on the appearance of being unbothered. Nevermind her looking just the opposite a moment before. "Just something new for them to gossip over."

"Sage and I hope that you do not find much trouble on your way out of your errant vocation." So he was listening. Sage cocks her ears and shifts to lean against Leonard's leg, head dipped to avoid bumping the underside of the table. Her tail flicks and wags against the floor. His tune picks up a moment, and it gets away from him- merrily so- before he realizes he was supposed to be playing something subdued, instead.

"You're a cunning girl. You'll manage."

"I appreciate that. From both of you," Mariah says, taking her glass when it arrives, but forgetting to thank the waitress. She'll remember later. But with the familiar moving and the song swinging toward the upbeat, she slowly stands to her feet. "I think I should let you get back to playing. Your fingers are itching," she says with a warm smile.

His words cause her smile to dim, not unhappily, but into something a bit more serious. "I always do." she raises her glass to him in lieu of a farewell, but her feet don't return her to the dance floor, but rather toward the stairs.

Leonard closes the song as she gets up to depart, drink in tow. He smiles when the last notes come, the swing of his bow and fiddle moving into a curtsey of his hands. A short farewell, as her solo finishes.

"The next one is going to cheer you up from a floor down, cross my heart." The man calls as she makes for the stairs, chuckling to himself. Negativity is the Devil's Tool, Mariah! Leonard certainty doesn't let her mood get to him, as the next tune he starts is a jaunty one that of course- tickles at the floor of the upstairs.