I'll Give You A Nickel...

Title: I'll Give You A Nickel…
Time Period: July, 11th 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: A physical altercation is witnessed, interrupted and resolved.

Afanc Armors doesn't exactly look inhabited this morning. While many know that it is, as the building is over eighty years old, not very many people travel there regularly, and it is so far away from the main mass of Dornie that doing so without objective is even more rare. The chimney has no smoke coming from it and the windows are shut, but the front door is wide open.

The steep hill behind the shop has a flat top, and the grass is still damp from a shower that happened sometime last night. The thing that grabs the attention more so than the odd hill or the abandoned-looking shop, however, is the two men arm-locked and somersaulting down the side of the hill; one of which lets out a warcry of sorts just before the house blocks them from sight. Less than a second after they are out of view, the sound of either both or one of them slamming into the back of the building can be heard, and it echoes across the Vale as if the house were a drum.

It's not often that much activity happens in the Dovetail at this time in the morning - most girls are still sleeping in, and the ones that haven't have already made their trips into town. Today, Graziella is just as awake as the rest of the world, toting a basket over her arm and a smile on her face as she takes a step out onto the road.

While she seems to be headed in the general direction of the forest, the sound of two men tumbling down a hill seems to be a welcome diversion. While some women would come running out of worry, and others would run away from fear, Graziella takes her time leisurely winding her way across the street and around the house. For a few moments, she is more interested in hearing what is going on than seeing, so she takes quiet steps and keeps her head tilted to better hear what is going on.

With the trace of an impish smile, Graziella places her fingertips around the corner of the building and slowly peeks her head past the side to catch a glimpse of the action.

The first sound after the loud crash is that of an angry voice asking, "That enough for ya?" It is quickly followed by a more painful sound of a strike hitting torso and the sudden rush of air leaving someone in a wince that often follows.

Once Graziella has rounded the corner, it is easy enough to see what is going on. Two men in their twenties are fighting. One has his back flat against the ground and is struggling, the other has his left knee pressed into the sternum of the first and is asking questions between punches to ribs. "You aren't goin' to try that shite again, are you?" Strike. "Are you feeling really fuckin' stupid yet?" Strike. It doesn't look like a fair fight at all. The man on top is shorter at a glance, but much stronger and leaner. Really, the fight is over but it seems the victor has yet to realize that or is so angry he doesn't care.

Now that the unbalanced nature of the fight is right there in front of her, Graziella is torn between amusement and concern. She cringes with each blow, sucking in a deep breath of air and puffing it out as the man on the ground gasps for breath. "There won't be much left of him to learn a lesson if you keep up," Graziella muses in a somewhat humorous tone - her foreign accent is thick, and she speaks slowly, carefully so she doesn't stumble through her words. Perhaps it's not the best thing to speak up during a fight - especially one she has no context for - but her decisions tend to be impulsive rather than rational.

The angry victor jumps to his feet and spins about as he hears a voice behind him. His dark eyes are wide with concern rather than fear, but narrow as he sees Graziella. He doesn't respond to her. In the meantime, the man on the ground has flipped onto his belly and his crawling away in a fast and clumsy manner.

Blake, the man on his feet, turns back towards the one he has been teaching a lesson to and asks, "That your woman come to save you? How'd a chubby, cock-breathed fuck like you get a woman?" Snatching up the crawling man by the ankles, Blake pulls backwards. The man lets out a whimper as he claws at the ground and only manages to leave a trail of desperate marks in the muddy grass as he's dragged all the way back to Graziella. Blake stops there, kicks the other man in the ribs, and asks the young woman, "This piece o' shite belong to you?"

It's hard not to laugh as the man attempts to squirm away. Graziella struggles with hiding a smile - at first her cheeks dimple, then she tugs her lips down dramatically in an attempt at a frown, and finally she settles for barely hiding her amusement. There's no use.

"No," Graziella says simply enough. It's the honest truth. Her gaze flickers downward to study the man as best as she can while he lies upside-down on the ground."I've never seen him before in my life," she lifts a delicate shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. "What did he do?" she wonders with a curious tilt of her head. Her eyes shift back upward to study Blake now, having given up any hope of recognizing the clear loser of the fight.

Attention turned downward once again at this news, Blake kicks the man in the ribs again. "Should 'ave known a thievin' bitch would lack a woman." The man on the ground curls up into a wheezing ball, and whimpers some sort of half-choked plea for mercy. Blake either decides to grant this mercy or just ignores the man entirely. Looking at Graziella, he still looks rather angrily excited, but stops his kicking. His accent is local, but sounds perhaps a bit watered-down now that he's calming. "Well, not sure why you care if he is not your man, but…." His gaze drops back down to the beaten man. "He came into the shop and asked me if he could see the quality of metal I work with. As soon as I left the room to fetch a sample, he grabs…" Blake looks up the hill as if trying to spot something. If his frown is any clue, he doesn't see what he's looking for. "Grabs a chunk of nickel I had under the counter, probably thinkin' it silver, and makes a run for it."

For some reason the fight seems to have got her blood rushing too - Graziella bounces slightly on her heels, full of pent-up energy bubbling underneath the surface. "Just wondering," she insists with a dismissive wave of her hand, though her motives for interrupting the fight certainly were to make the fight stop whether she knew those involved or not. She certainly does care, but she thinks it best to at least pretend she doesn't.

"Why would you steal?" it seems to be a genuine question, directed toward the floored man still trying to breathe normally again. "That's wrong," she frowns, leaning over the man to give him a pointed scowl. It's not particularly intimidating - there is nothing remotely scary about her.

Blake answers Graziella's question for the sobbing man, "'cause he's a worthless cunt, that's why. He's lucky you showed up when you did." The armor smith stabs his index finger towards the man and growls, "If I ever see you so much as walk by here again, I will use you as fishbait." He stares for a few seconds, turns and starts up the hill like nothing has happened. As he does so, he rubbernecks about; eyes scanning over the ground as he tries to find his stolen chunk of nickel. "Fuck…."

Perhaps because of the tumble, his anger or maybe even simple misfortune, he steps right over the very thing he is looking for and continues up the hill. If the beaten man on the ground was paying attention, he'd see it. Instead, he's once again trying to crawl away from Blake on his belly; regret clear despite his mud-covered features.

"Mmm, I suppose so." A slender brow arches at the display, but admittedly she breathes a little sigh of relief as Blake begins to trudge off. The fight is over, the man is not dead, so she'll chalk this one up as a success. Once his back is turned, Graziella gives the thief a tiny little smile and a wiggle of her fingers to wave him off. It's hard for her to stay mad at anyone - even at thieves. "Go on," she whispers quietly, nodding her head toward the street. A tender heart is one of her many weaknesses.

Ever one with an eye for shiny objects, it doesn't take long for Graziella to catch a glint of light bouncing off something small half-buried in the grass. She is in no rush to point it out, though - waiting until the man has dragged himself into the street and out of earshot, the young woman only then starts to meander a little ways up the hill before coming back down and coming to a halt in front of the stolen object. "Tada," she announces with a sunny little laugh, holding the chunk up and out in the palm of her hand for display.

Rather impatient, Blake looks as if he's about to give up already when Graziella's triumphant noise pulls his attention towards her. His eyebrows lift as he sees the metal, and he starts towards her; sliding a little in the mud as he reaches the slope but remaining balanced on his feet. "There it is," he mutters. "Glad someone around here has some decent fuckin' character." Ironically, he is reaching out to take it without so much as a hint of thanks, he at least looks the young woman in the eyes for the first time that isn't immediately followed by him swearing at and/or beating a thief. "I need that f-" he cuts himself off as if he didn't think his words through and was about to spill a secret.

He may not say thank you, but Graziella doesn't even seem to notice. "You're welcome," she beams, proudly so, glad to have managed to help out. At first she is about to hand the item over with little incident, but as soon as there's a secret to hide she changes her mind. Her fingers, small as they are, quickly clasp over the metal and her palm, keeping it trapped within her grasp. "Need it for what?" she wonders with an inquisitive little smile, rising up on her toes in an attempt to level their heights - to little success, as she barely reaches five feet tall as it is. "I did find it for you, after all…" she notes with a wink, her voice trailing off gently. Her grip on the metal loosens - she's not about to hold it hostage in exchange for information, but she is curious and will press the topic for a moment or two before her short attention span gives out for something else. Finally, her fingers splay outward all the way, and the metal is open for taking whether he gives in and tells her or not.

As Blake's hand closes on air, his upper lip curls back from his teeth and his brow drops in the middle. Either he is not in a playful mood or he is not one to play at all, but either way he bites back his instinctive response and crosses his arms over his chest as if to restrain his hand. The left sleeve of his shirt, the vambrace on that side and his back are smeared with mud from the somersault. Completely changing the subject, he suspiciously asks her, "What brings you to my neck of the Vale, stranger?" Apparently the nickel chunk isn't that important, because he allows it to rest there on her open palm. He looks more distrustful by the second, and examines her as if she is a potential threat or curiosity one should be cautious with.

"What brought me -here-, you ask? The repayment of a debt," Graziella admits breezily, as if she hadn't actually been sold to pay off her father's many debts. Her tone nearly suggests she arrived on her own whim. "I live across the street," and to demonstrate she glance over her shoulder in the cottage's general direction. She is not dressed for a social call by any means - her clothes are simple and her boots are worn from treading the forest floor. Her curiosity about the nickel has already faded away into near-nothingness. With a laugh and a shrug, she gently tosses it in the air and lobs it toward him to catch.

After he snatches the chunk of native metal out of the air, Blake makes a silent 'ah' of realization as he quickly calculates that 'across the street' can only be a few different places, and nothing is too close but a few businesses are in the general area and assumes the petite young woman before him is a Dovetail employee. This comes out as, "So you're a whore?" The nickel is enclosed in his fist before his arms cross again, and he starts back down the rest of the hill. "You're plyin' at the wrong place. No spare food to trade and I don't keep any fuckin' wine or smoke or whatever other vices your kind wastes their time with." He stops at the bottom of the hill to squint his eyes, raise a hand to his eyebrows and look towards the road to see whether or not the thief left. Satisfied by whatever he does or does not see, he then turns towards Afanc Armors and continues on his way.

The statement doesn't bother her, because it's true. Graziella is proud of who she is, so she is not insulted. Some of the other girls are easier to rile up and might even take offense, but not her. "Not plying," she states bluntly, "just helping." With a cheeky little grin, she too starts down the hill - but starts on the path toward the forest rather than the toward the buildings they each reside in. The basket still hanging over her arm is still quite empty, and that is a situation that must be rectified. "Hope you don't get any more thieves!" she calls out, and somehow she means it, too.

It isn't often that Blake shows surprise, but it isn't often he can be that blunt with someone and not cause a smile to falter. Especially when he uses a much-hated term for her profession, makes assumptions and isn't nice about any of it. Half-turning back to look over his shoulder at her, he adds a, perhaps, less unfriendly farewell with his eyebrows still a tad high. "Run fast and scream loud if you see anything dangerous." Taking the corner, he now walks along the front of the mossy building; heading towards the open front door that waves slightly in the wind.