You're Alright

Title: You're Alright
Time Period: February 11, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Self-consciousness makes room for a kindly comment from an unlikely source.

For all that Algernon drinks relatively often, it is rare for him to drink to excess. Which he knows. And his familiar knows.

Tonight — his night off — it's the prompting of the latter that has him squinting reluctantly down at his pocket watch, brassy sheen turned in the hand he has rested against the bar until he can focus to resolve a reading out of the face. Not too late. Still in the region of PM rather than AM, when he tucks the watch away and glances to the window. The inn is quiet; the bar is sparsely occupied.

Back in the warmth of his bedroom, a largish cat sighs into the pillow it's nestled into.

Someone fairly familiar with what the soldier drinks sidles up behind him and places a glass a little more than half full in the spot beside his other. Her perfume is unique and also quite familiar, what isn't is the fact that she's not speaking. Much.

"Mister Fogg," she greets, quiet and breathy, almost a whisper as it can't be heard throughout the room. Something a little out of the ordinary for her. "I hope you don't mind my joining you? It's late, I shouldn't walk to my room by myself, and I don't feel up to sneaking into one of the unoccupied ones here just yet." The prostitute smiles, just a little, and settles herself in beside Algernon. Invited or not. "How have you been?"

Those that are left to occupy the downstairs seem to be either hesitant to leave, or with little choice in where to go. Though not of the latter, Jorn has ended a moment of camaraderie with one; a sailor, by the looks of it. Young in the face and garbled in tongue, the man leaves the rickety table where he was sitting across from Jorn, offering a departing remark in something that Jorn seems to understand, despite it sounding like English gone through a rock tumbler.

When the stranger is finally gone upstairs, Jorn is left to his own devices at a table littered with the remains of more than a few drinkers, and a mug finally emptied when the boy is gone. It also gives the Northman a look at the stragglers, for what that is worth; of course, Algernon is hard to miss, and in a similar way, so is miss Owens. The prettiest thing in here tonight, really.

Reticence or no, Algernon has no trouble guessing who among Dornie's natives would have gall enough to sidle so close smelling the way she smells. Hard to tell if he's slow to acknowledge her because or in spite of that instant, insidious recognition, but he remains facing forward until she's seated. Recalculating the wisdom of another round, perhaps, in a brush of left hand across the slant of his beard and across his mouth. He uses the same hand as a pivot when he finally turns enough to look her up and down, hat resting on the bar next to a pair of empty glasses.

"Miss Owens," he greets, quiet in turn, as if reduced volume is at all likely to keep everyone left (Jorn) from looking. A dismissive tilt about his profile says he doesn't mind. A mild, "Alright," says that he has been 'alright.'

A fresh glass of scotch set at his right hand says that he ordered it before he knew she was there.

The withdrawal of Jorn's stranger friend does not pass unnoticed, and Algernon slants a look back over his shoulder at the other man as if considering how he might be utilized as an escape mechanism. "And yourself?"

She's dressed as she always is, completely covered from shoulder to foot with a daring little bit of cleavage. Its color is a rusty bit of red, like poppies, matched by the stain on her lips as she gives a faint smile to the older gentleman. "The same," Luna replies, tone still a hush as she follows Algernon's glance backward to Jorn. Her blue eyes widen just a touch before she wrenches her head back forward and takes one of the soldier's full glasses and sips. "I went to the healer, as you suggested." She's obviously still trying to stay sober as she shudders and replaces the glass in front of him.

"Mister Fogg," she continues, "Algernon" using his name. Her arm wraps around his as the prostitute inches a little closer. She's stiff as a rail, obviously as uncomfortable as Algernon himself but she doesn't let go. Nor does she turn back around. "I'm glad you're alright," not what she was going to say at all, the abrupt turn in their smalltalk is clear.

Jorn seizes the opportunity of No Company to make himself comfortable, leaning back and propping his feet out under the table, one leg slightly bent to keep balance. He looks at ease, even if his attention is drawn in towards fishing a pipe from the inside of his leathers. Not actually knowing if he'll use it- it is a personal excuse to look away from the- business- that Luna seems to be doing. Licking his thumb once, he brushes out some loose ash from the bowl, pale blue eyes shaded by a naturally dour brow.

The Nord may also be humming something to himself, if one listens closely enough.

"Oh?" Englishly skilled enough in impassive conversation to not so much as twitch a brow when substance dependence is brought about as a means of small talk in a public place, Algernon watches her twist eye contact away from Jorn and sip his drink. Buzzy inebriation — if he is inebriated — looks a lot like any other tired night he's spent sitting at the bar, now that she's here. One form of mental wear indistinguishable from another.

Save maybe that mild confusion furrows in disconcerted across his brow when she latches onto him like an orphaned sloth and utilizes his first name in the same baffling stroke.

Inevitably, he looks dimly back to Jorn again in search of an explanation. And/or assistance. In this matter.

"Aye," there's a small, confused, quirk of Luna's eyebrows as she looks up at Algernon and then lets her eyes slide in the direction he's looking back in. Then down at her feet. "I think he likes me as much as you do," she says of the northman behind them, "much less in some ways." With the hand not currently occupied with Fogg, she reaches for that glass again and takes another sip. Succeeding in a feat that's almost impossible, the young woman looks as stiff as an Englishman while doing it.

"Not much," she explains after letting a shiver course up and then down her spine. "I don't think he likes me much." If there's an invitation for Algernon to argue, the turn of her head toward the opposite wall closes it up.

Unfortunately for Algernon, Jorn is half into a yawn when he glances over; he does, however, fix a rather passive look on the two afterward. Don't look at Jorn for an answer or help, for that matter- he can only suspect that he may make Luna more nervous than otherwise, and that Algernon may be caught in a web already. The temptation to test this former theory by jumping up and yelling 'boo' quells itself with a small, private laugh, and his shoulders under the white fur give a slight roll.

Truth is, Luna may have that lovely cornsilk hair, and those stormy eyes, but Jorn finds fondness hard to force past that. Not that he'd explain himself. It is probably best that she thinks he doesn't really have any, given her career.

Jorn fishes in the same place for his tobacco pouch, taking his time in finding it for the sake of visual eavesdropping, at least. It is the middle of the night, and sometimes an old bear has nothing better to do than be a silent nuisance.

"Is self-pity to be your next great undertaking, then?" Polite as his patience allows him to be, Algernon manages enough finesse to his piss off, please smile to keep the keep at bay before he can add any further to the collection of unfinished alcohol they've already accumulated between them. Seeing as Jorn is no help at all — the slant of a subtler sideways look informs him that Fogg will remember this later — it's left to him to cage a hand over the remaining glasses one at a time to draw them smoothly out of Luna's easy reach.

"You haven't been very nice to him." Even so, she is shivering and rigid and he draws her closer against his side via the grip she's already established.

"It ain't self-pity," the words are spit a little louder, more noticeable than the rest of their murmured conversation. When they echo against the ceiling, Luna's face turns a shade of deep pink and she looks away again, until she can feel the heat in her cheeks and ears die. It's a little while. Especially when the footsteps overhead could be someone she knows or even related to.

The drinks are out of reach, pity.

She lifts a finger to get another and grits her teeth when the look from Algernon, over her head, is listened to by way of the man giving her his back. "I know, he fights alongside the guard." The entire reason for the blonde's dislike of the bear-man. Maybe. "And he turns into that beast… What if he were— I don't know— with one of the girls one day and suddenly raaarrr…" she's more of a kitten than a bear when she curls a few fingers and scratches into the air.

Yeah, yeah. Algernon is a big boy, Jorn is sure that he can handle it. There is also the matter of Jorn not being a terribly social butterfly to begin with. As far as he knows, it just isn't his place to get into it. If he knew that he was the topic being discussed, it would probably be a different story. He would very much defend his ability to not turn into a creature while keeping company at the Dovetail; mainly by virtue of his not wearing the pelt at all times, and secondly- a total gentleman.

While Luna discusses how terrible Jorn's spiritual compatriot is, he keeps to his seat and fills his pipe, pulling the last match from the little book left on the table by one of its previous visitors. When Jorn strikes it, it fizzes out weakly. Damn.

"Fogg. Do you have a light?" Comes abruptly.

"Alright — " Algernon cuts in before Luna sees fit to elaborate any further, imperative for her to silence herself implicit both in abruptness and tone. He's off the stool and balanced in his boots quick as that, movement necessary to 'lead' her off her own perch by the link of his arm to hers.

No word on why the conversation is suddenly over. Perhaps he assumes that she'll be able to figure it out if she's given some time to herself to think, as allowed by the key (one of two; the other vanishes again) he navigates out of his pocket and into one of her hands.

You're not serious. Forge is certain.

"Go and wait in my room. Quietly."

Having to say so makes him feel old, suddenly, and he's given a moment's unsteady pause before Jorn's question sinks in and he reaches back into his coat.

Being led out of her seat, to a stand, unguarded glasses of alcohol nearby. Luna's free arm stretches to pick up one of the fuller glasses before Algernon dips into his pocket. One more sip to warm her, then she gives it up by way of replacing it on the bar. Taking the key into her palm, she curls her fingers around it and holds it to her chest. He's given a wordless nod and then she tilts up onto her tiptoes to give the Englishman a kiss on the cheek.

"I'll be as silent as the snowfall," she promises before being true to her word and ghosting up the flight of stairs. If there's anything she can be counted on, it's being quiet in step, if not gossip.

In the bedroom itself, most of the man's personal possessions are left alone. Most. One book is all she needs to occupy herself.

Jorn's face pulls into something most akin to 'is that so?', floating between sarcastic and fake disinterest. Oh, Algernon. You're totally whipped. The Nord runs his tongue over his back teeth and watches those few moments, even giving Luna a bit of a flinty look when she moves to go upstairs.

"Jeg beklager…" It at least sounds apologetic. "If I'd thought you needed me to butt in, I could have… Hope you weren't expecting it." Jorn is hesitant with his smile, and it is fleeting, sheepish in its private amusement. His knuckles crack when he stretches his hands one at a time, sitting up in the chair and letting it fall heavily back to all fours.

Is he? The realization creeps along with an unsettling doggedness that keeps blankly disconcerted resignation in Algernon's face long after she's flitted up the stairs and left him to dig after his box of matches.

It takes him several seconds too many to realize he's feeling around in the wrong pocket and he sighs when he leans to hand them over, back turned long enough for him to retrieve his last drink once he has.

When he sinks back down into a seat it's the one across from Jorn, hat and coat forgotten at the bar, where he'll have to retrieve them later. Along with his tab. "Probably for the best," he decides after a long sip, "that you didn't."

Jorn cocks his eyebrows upwards, this time voicing himself while he plucks a bud from the matchbox. "Is that so?" Suddenly, he is concerned on what she was actually saying to him over there. It registers on his face a second later, behind a narrowing of the eyes, and the orange of the match reflecting in them when he strikes it to light the pipe. Jorn gives it the initial puff to help it catch, smoke breathing out through his nose and teeth.

"I do not think that she likes me much." The northman says, ever cautious in his guessing.

Feeling very much like a character in one of Cruikshank's novels at mirrored self-consciousness, Algernon cannot force himself to manufacture a reply with any sense of hurry. He sips and considers and lets his stare unfocus somewhere into the middle distance. Dornie.

"She doesn't," he confirms, with a twist at one brow that might translate as sympathy. He isn't sober; the effort lacks its usual finesse. The tradeoff is that the half-smile he manages after it is slightly more lax than the norm, and so slightly more genuine. "But I think you're alright."

Middle distance doesn't stop Jorn from glancing over his shoulder to see if there is actually something there to stare at, however. There's nothing, obviously, so he turns his head back and shifts on the chair. Right. Algernon's confirmation gets a more hearty chuckle and a wider smile. The sound peters out modestly through the rest, and Jorn finds himself clamping a little at the end of his pipe.

"Good to know. You're not so bad yourself." He wags the pipe away from his mouth, to gesture back at the Englishman. "I will surely be able to sleep tonight."

Feline anger and indignation hangs about the back of Algernon's mind in a sweltering fog — distracting even without alcohol's numbing influence. A glance down into the glass acknowledges the effect without desire to distance himself from it; he takes another, longer swallow and declines to set the remainder aside, holding it close to his knee while he listens to his own breathing instead. At this rate, he might as well have one more.

"Mm," he says. At least someone will, says Forge.

Algernon drinks.