Search Parties

Title: Search Parties
Time Period: March 28, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: The aftermath of a splendid night at the Dovetail attracts militia attention…

How exactly the Fjord-mix mare got to the Dovetail, nobody can be totally sure; chances are, she was either dropped off, or possibly ridden halfway before horseback bordered on DUI. Whatever the case, Kuu is presently tied outside of the building, chewing on some of the new grass sprouts. It may be picturesque, if it were not for the secondary fact that there is a wide, fringed lampshade slung over the crown of her head and both ears, tied around her jawbone not unlike a fancy string bonnet. The blood orange color is hard to miss, even at a distance, and interrupts the browns and cottage tones of the Dovetail itself.

Evidently, someone thought that her presence tied outside with the rest of the mounts was not enough, and went out of the way to tie it on. Given location, unsurprising. The bay mare tied next to her leans in to nibble lips over the fringes.

It's been over two weeks since Mister Fogg last set foot within The Dovetail's walls. That his absence correlates with an increase of interest from certain other patrons in his 'courtesan' of choice is probably not a coincidence. He's had other things on his mind, besides.

But this morning, as he crosses town on foot post return of his service mount, something catches his eye from afar.

Something orange.

Paired fingers hooked after an itch behind his ear, he glances first to see if anyone else is around to look twice before he adjusts his hat and then his course. Kuu stands out on her own. Enough so that she is familiar.

The lamp shade is new.

Reluctant to get overly touchy when the bay next to her stamps and steps aggressively away, he considers his options. Looks around again, hands in coat pockets. He's tired, smells like work, and so on.

He's also curious enough to eventually meander up the steps and through The Dovetail's front door.

In the morning, it's not a busy place in the main rooms, since the girls are either still seeing to customers or resting in the wake of, you know, a hard night's work.

But there's one about, at least, picking up the front parlor while the other girls do… whatever it is they're doing. So when the door opens, it's a little surprising to see a customer on the other side. Delivery boys, sure. But it makes Mariah get a crooked, sly smile as she regards Algernon.

"You're a little late, Mister Fogg," she says as she hangs a shawl up on a coat rack.

Kuu in her fancy hat seems to recognize the smell of the third horse, lifting her chin and nickering at Algernon as he passes by and into the building.

True to the morning, any customers that have gotten up so far, seem to have come to blows with powerful hangovers or an otherwise creaking wakefulness. Sometimes both, depending. Jorn Wartooth is not a common sight at the Dovetail, and the inside is not a common sight to him, when he pries his eyes open and tries to drown out the hammering fuzz in his brain. He'll remember more as the day goes on but it so happens that two soft, supine bodies provide quite a lot to think about right off the bat.

The northman is battling his pants, boots and some wandering, sleepy hands before too long. At the last he forces himself off of the edge of the king-size bed and into the second boot. Jorn is perhaps strange in his manner of departure- to either of them a kiss, somewhere- a hand, the side of a mouth- before he is slipping quietly out of the door nearby. When he foots his way aimlessly to the top of the stairs down the hall, it is with arms slung full of whatever he was wearing above and on the waist, and a bleary, half-blind look smeared across his face. The white fur is over one shoulder, and if it had a throat, it would be chuckling.

"You've married?" Sly is taking things a little far for Algernon's affectation, but he does manage a crook at the corner of his mouth beneath knit brows to mirror hers once he's closed the door behind him. "Not to the comely one with the weasel I hope." He doffs his hat, dismissively deflective in manner as he is flip of the conversation. "He seems like trouble."

A cursory examination of the same territory Mariah is tidying is all that's needed to determine that Jorn isn't there once he's taken a few steps deeper into the mix. "I don't suppose you've seen Mister Wartooth." His reason for being here is established quickly, and without prompting. Slightly awkward. Meanwhile his voice is cut to carry clearly to the top of the same stairs Jorn's just crested. "His horse is tied up outside."

"And leave all this?" Mariah seems encouraged into a grin by just that small change of expression, but perhaps it was more than she expected. She comes over to lean on a high-backed chair, his guess at her possible marital candidates getting a wry chuckle. "He's prettier than I am," she says, as if this were an obvious reason for not marrying someone.

"Care to take a seat? There's coffee, if you'd like a cup." It is fairly common that the customers here… need coffee in the mornings. Her eyebrow raises at the inquiry, and her crooked smile comes back into view. "Well. I don't see Jorn," she says, taking the more familiar name even as she denies familiarity, "But he's about. It's policy not to rush anyone out, but if you care to wait."

She also glances toward the stairs before she steps around the chair to sink into it. And out of direct view of where the various patrons will eventually be filtering down.

There are voices downstairs looking for him, and he recognizes both when he is already halfway down. Jorn reels around and backpedals a couple of steps, practically frogmarching back onto the landing. Which is exactly what Mariah sees when she glances just before sitting down. Somewhere in there, he knows that one of them has likely seen or heard him already — but since when did mornings such as this have to make total sense?

At the very least, Jorn goes about smoothing down his hair and dusting at the corners of his eyes; he shifts back around to descend the stairwell again. This time, in a much more dignified way than just tramping down in a daze, even though he remains just half-dressed.

"What was this I heard about coffee…?" The Nord's voice sounds sheepish and dry-mouthed when he hits the bottom of the stairwell and slinks to the doorway of the parlour to peer in.

Brows lifted to account for 'all this,' when he sweeps his eyes once more around the parlor, Fogg settles comfortably into no comment. "I don't know about that," cautioned mildly in place of more overbearing insistance of her superior good looks instead, he trails absently after her offer of coffee despite having no intention of taking her up on it.

He (predictably) drawls a half-hearted, "Nooo," on the subject of waiting for Jorn. Not his keeper. Or maid. Or mother. "As long as it hasn't been stolen." Mystery solved then, his work here is presumably done. A glance down after her legs is just that: a glance.

Of course, then there is Jorn with most of his clothing in hand and his eyes tick up again, expression schooled neatly into impassive acknowledgement, hat still in hand. He hasn't taken a seat. "Morning."

"Ah, well. You're too kind," Mariah says, apparently taking it as a compliment, but the dry monotone of the thanks takes away any implication that she might think it ~moving~. In that way the girls of the house tend to, from time to time. Or pretend to. Semantics.

She's about to make her goodbyes when she hears that familiar voice making an entrance. And just like that, she's back into view and smiling something a bit more affectionate in Jorn's direction. "Speak of the devil and he doth appear," her tone, though, still dry. "Come and have a sit, darling, I'll fetch some." Apparently she means that very chair she was in, because she gets up and gives it a pat before letting her steps take her in the direction of the kitchens. And the coffee.

"God morgen. Thank you, Mariah." Jorn greets again, this time with a little less trepidation. He is also not in the right state to argue with Mariah's gesturing, apparently, because he lugs himself over and down into the empty chair when she tells him to. Nose wrinkling, Jorn rubs at the sandpaper texture of his jaw; the look he gives Algernon during is something vague. Not ashamed to be found here, not quite. There is still something awkward about the berserker's posture, and it is unclear what is causing the discomfort.

"Kuu is outside? I only remember coming here with MacCruimein and Hossfeld…" He begins, and all but dumps his armful at his own feet, shrugging the cloak into the chair, and tugging a long-sleeved henley from the items at his feet. Jorn yanks it down over his head, muffled for a moment. "Gods only know what happened to them."

Of course Algernon is. The kindest. A subtler turn of that same smile from a few minutes ago follows Mariah up out of her seat, only to be obscured by a sigh before Jorn can slump into the same space. "She's wearing a lampshade," he confirms, once Wartooth is settled. As settled as he can be while pulling his clothes on.

A step rocked back onto his heel appears to be the start of his exit, further insinuated by the push of his hat back down over his head. "Well." he says. Well. "I should notify the search parties that you've been located."

Luckily, with the coffee ready and waiting, Mariah isn't long before she steps back in, carrying a tray with not just one, but three cups. Be prepared. Also, it smells delicious, so perhaps she thought Alergnon would change his mind. As she sets the tray down, there's just a little chuckle at the mention of Jorn's companions, but Mariah doesn't actually help with explaining what happened to anyone. Nope, she's far too busy pouring coffee.

It's a big job.

The first cup is passed Jorn's way, and Mariah pulls over a stool to perch on while she pours one for the militiaman and herself as well. "Do us a favor and paint the Dovetail in the best light when you do," she says to Algernon. "A few new faces couldn't hurt." Of course, that's not a surprising statement, when the rumors through both the Doves and the militia are that she's not doing as much these days. Business, that is.

"Excuse me?" A chuckle comes with Jorn's words, and he pushes back his dark hair again with one set of fingers. "Search parties? I hope not." He can never entirely tell Algernon's truthfulness, and being half-awake like so is not doing him any favors. Jorn sits straighter once Mariah reappears, one hand patting the hem of his shirt down, the other open to take the cup that she passes to him. "Thank you."

"Haven't seen many on your side, either…" New faces, that is. "I really do hope nobody was looking for me. Last I knew I had the morning open…" Eyebrows dip low on Jorn's forehead as he considers Fogg over the edge of the drink, sipping at it all the while. "Or is all of this Fogg-speak for your being concerned about me?"

Algernon is sorely tempted. He is also sorely tired, freshly poured coffee surveyed at a lingering distance that eventually resolves itself into a slow shake of his head. Shouldn't. "Thank you," says Fogg through a fidget at his cuff, "but I musn't if I intend to get any sleep." Circles around his eyes corroborate the supposed necessity of actual rest beneath something like apology in a tilt of his brows.

"'Concerned,' is a strong word," corrected mildly for Jorn, he forces out a smile that's really more of a jut at his jaw. "Any other requests before I'm on my way?"

"Fair enough. There's always some around, if you care to stop in later," Mariah manages to say without too much hinting at a double meaning. Just a little. Occupational hazard. "I don't think I have any. Unless you wouldn't mind removing the… ah… lampshade? from the horse on the way out."

She turns to look at Jorn then, no further comment on new faces, but a bit of amusement that even the horse was in on the festivities the night before. "I'm honestly surprised you were able to get down the stairs so soon," she says, teasing as she moves to take a sip of her coffee.

"Yet you could have kept riding." A moment of mirth passes by behind blue eyes, but the interference ends there. "The shade, yes." If there is one on the poor horse, he can't help but wonder how it got there. He may never, ever find out. Mariah gets a bit of a wry look from him after the teasing, and Jorn feels a bit of blood in his ears when he tries to not look at either of them again. "Only because I was set on it."

"You should be more worried about Florentine getting down the stairs, though." The coffee mug finds his mouth again, purposefully and obviously timed.

Mariah gets a tip of hand to hat; Jorn gets a flat sideways look and a breath that might have been a harrumph if it had more force behind it.

Neither of them is privy to a hard blink that punctuates Florentine's situation, as by then — he's well on his way to the door.

There's a wave for Algernon before he turns to make his way out, but Mariah turns back to Jorn with a grin. "Oh, is that a bit of boasting I hear?" She seems to be completely alright with teasing him about this, but at least it's friendly instead of demeaning. "You should have said before, I would have brought you a chocolate biscuit with your coffee."

Her hands curl around her cup, fingers slipping through the handle instead of holding it. It may be nearing spring, but it's still a chill morning, this time of year. "I suppose my worry may be displaced, but it is a bit easier when you're used to to." Implying that Florentine… is. Unfortunately it carries the implication that Mariah is, too, given that they're all whores here. But at least she seems to have meant it as a joke, instead of an insult.

"A little. This just means you owe me a chocolate biscuit or something comparable." Jorn's not giving up on the prospect, and as for boasting- well- once again, it comes to mind that he is not a man that shows up with regularity. Perhaps it is reassuring. "Maybe." He wouldn't know how used to certain things certain people are, however. "I'd rather that than take anyone by surprise-" That didn't come out right at all. "-ugh."

"If I come in here with MacCruimein again, send me out." Jorn leans his face into one palm, digging the heel of his hand to the hollow of one eye, closing them both after a beat.