|Sers and Assholes|
|Summary:||And both at the same time. Jarod and Alek have a unfriendly chat in the Rockcliff that ends in a friendly brawl.|
|Related Logs:||In the Entrance Hall|
|Rockcliff Inn — Terrick's Roost|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|Sat Oct 15, 288|
Evening settles bright and loud at the Rockcliff, enough ne'er-do-wells and traveling swords gathered in advance of a wedding, arrived too early from lack of planning or eagerness. Alek is one of those, though he does not take his supper with men that gossip and laugh in the flickering candlelight. His place is in a darker booth under the stairs, a half-dressed whore pressed to his side where fingers curve over her hips where they can be spared from his wine.
"Merry evening, gents!" hollers Ser Jarod Rivers as he makes his way into the Rockcliff. The former greeting is to the room at large, though he exchanges more familiar "Hullo"s with some of the local men - and offers a quick grin to a few of the barmaids he passes. The bar is his destination, where he orders a pint of ale, so Alek and his whore-companion go unnoticed for the moment.
Along with only being half-dressed, Alek is only half paying attention to the dark-haired woman at his side even as she whispers in his ear, lips practically set to skin as her bare chest brushes his arm. Whatever she is saying brings a flicker of his own sharp grey gaze towards Jarod, a slight crooked lift to his lips before it's covered with a sip of his wine.
Jarod gets his beer and starts to social drinking, striking up a conversation with a man sitting next to him at the bar. A traveling sword from the North who seems to have come to town hoping for a shot at the tourney purse that'll come along with the wedding. Alek remains unnoticed by Jarod, but the man he's decided to drink with is paying slightly more attention to his surroundings. And is at a better angle to see Alek looking in their direction. The sell sword elbows Jarod, who breaks off whatever joke he was telling to glance toward Alek and his whore. Eyes narrow in recognition. Faint for Alek, quick for the whore, who he offers an easy smile. He's been a good customer to the ladies here.
Long fingers lift his wine glass in an easy gesture towards Jarod, Alek's smirk lingering before he grows bored and looks away. Instead he brushes a kiss over the whore's collar bone carelessly before leaning forward to continue their own conversation.
Jarod certainly isn't going to interrupt special time between a man and his whore. His eyes do narrow at Alek, and his continues to try and place him, but after a beat he shrugs and looks again. Taking up his conversation with the Northman again. They're soon deep in debate about what sort of techniques are more favorable in melee combat, how many knights may show to compete in the Roost tourney, and such business.
Then Alek will eventually dismiss her to fetch more wine, the woman who calls herself Nina rising with giggle at something he says as she readjusts black curls to cover her breasts even as she moves through the main room of the inn. While he waits, the knight sits with his half-eaten dinner, picking idly at a piece of goose.
Jarod stops chatting about fake violence to watch the whore walk across the main room. "Naughty Nina. Creative girl, that. Well worth the coin," he advises the Northman he was talking with. Though, now that Alek is alone, he excuses himself from the bar and strides toward Alek's more secluded table. "Enjoying the fruits of the Rockcliff?"
"An abundant garden," Alek offers in turn, humor warming his gaze where it lifts under the fan of dark lashes to Jarod. "They could be cheaper, but quality does tend to do that, does it not?" He makes a gesture of fingers to the seat across from himself, absently inviting.
Jarod plops down in the seat when invited, absent or no, and sets his pint down on Alek's table. "The cheap ones tend to come with more bugs than I care to take to bed with me." He gulps of his ale. "I know your face. But I don't know it, if you take my meaning. I recall seeing you at Four Eagles Tower the other day, but you're a stranger to town, so far as I can recall. And I thought I knew most of the faces around these parts."
With his own cup empty, Alek merely twists it in an idle gesture under the graceful fall of his fingertips around the rim of the glass. He answers, mild, "It is very likely that you will find you know less and less as the wedding approaches, I am sure." He smiles, of course he does, a crooked, easy smile.
"Likely as, particularly with the Westermen descending on these lands," Jarod says. "Hope the lot of the folk coming through behave themselves, though that's not likely. Always a few assholes who can't resist causing trouble in new parts." He takes another drink of his ale, and extends a hand across the table. "Name's Ser Jarod Rivers. I'm Captain of the Guard up at Four Eagles. Figure the man I'm drinking with should know my name."
Alek's brow quirks up at Jarod's answer, a laugh escaping in an exhale from Alek's lips before he answers in turn, "Alek Coope." He does not move to take Jarod's hand, nor add the customary title to his name. "I already knew. I am afraid Nina has as loose a tongue as other parts."
"Her tongue does fine work, so I'll not fault it," Jarod says. He eyes Alek when the other man doesn't take his hand, and eventually his palm is withdrawn. "Ser Coope, isn't it? The Lady Banefort said you were claiming to be a knight attached to the Oldstones when you were in the castle the other day." His manner gets, just a little, less friendly. Just a little. He's the sort who defaults to 'friendly' and it takes him awhile to get away from it.
"Ser Alek Coope the Blacksword, if you must, as they have taken to calling me. I would prefer Alek if you will, Jarod," is countered with smooth humor, nothing less than friendly. Alek's smile, however, takes on a slight sharpness and he leans slightly forward to say something before Nina returns with wine. "Fetch another for our lord here, will you, Nina" sends her away again with a light smack of the woman's ass as he fetches up his own glass. "As you were saying?"
"I'm no lord, but I'll take another drink if you're paying," Jarod replies, grinning and watching Nina's shapely, patted bum go off to retrieve drinks. "Alek then. Though I've now got to ask why they call you Blacksword. Just a color choice, or is there something more to it?"
"Somthing poetic some singer made up after the Battle of the Trident," Alek answers, grin infectious where it slips onto his lips and he leans forward conspiratorially. "Though, truth be told, I think she was only impressed with my cock, but that is not so heroic of a story." He takes a moment to lift his drink to his lips, sipping silently as he regards Jarod. "But may I suggest in the future before you come wagging your tongue about manners to someone, you have something more interesting to offer as well."
"Less heroic, perhaps, but more fun for you I'll wager, from what I recall about the Trident." Jarod gulps some more of his ale. "Am I boring you, good ser? So sorry. I live to entertain. I wasn't wagging my tongue about manners, either, though I could, now that you've come to it. The Lady Banefort also told me you had a rather glib exchange with the Lady Lucienne Terrick while you were at the tower." A pause and he adds, "My lady half-sister."
Almost an apology though flavored with dry amusement, Alek replies, "No? Perhaps I read too much in to your reference to assholes causing trouble, then." His fingers brush over the steel of his cup, thoughtfully tracing it's curves before he responds. For all that, his answer is still a slightly sharp, "The lady seems to be rather easily offended, but when one goes nosing about other people's business, it is easy to feel nipped."
"The lady is accustomed to being treated with respect, Ser," Jarod says. "And those who do not show it to her under her own roof…well, I don't mind teaching them a lesson in manners." He grins as he says it, though it's not a joke. "I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding, though, aye? Won't happen again? And I wasn't calling you an asshole. Haven't known you long enough to make any judgments on whether you are one or not. Though I'm still keeping my mind open on that score."
"It was not likely a misunderstanding more than your 'sister', ser," Alek begins smoothly, the sharp bite of winter coming to his words where they cool considerably, "Needs to keep out of her visitor's business. That is rather ill-mannered as well." He leans forward, a knuckle chucking lightly against Jarod's jaw despite threats. "I know my lessons and learned them long before you ever did, but if you would like to try, make sure to come with a big—sword."
Jarod sits up a notch straighter when he's chucked at. Still smiling, but his green eyes are no longer merry. "I fight villains with swords, Ser. Fists'll do with assholes. You want to tap me again, I think we'd best go outside."
"As entertaining as it would be to lay my hand on you, Jarod, it would be a shame to bloody you before your… brother's wedding," Alek answers, his pauses before referring to Jarod's family now simply becoming, well, assholish. "And I have a whore waiting for me, unless you volunteer to take her place." JOKING, OBVIOUSLY. He even says it in that sharply dry humored tone that flavors everything else.
"I can do better than you for the night," Jarod says, standing. Finishing his pint in a gulp. Not that draining it is very impressive, given how little was left. "Should've figured you were a bugger, though. All talk, not much to back it up."
It's this last that brings true anger sliding darkly to grey-green eyes where they follow Jarod, not even Nina's convenient arrival staying Alek off from rising after him. Fingers rake through his hair, pulling it from his face as he lifts his chin in a short gesture to the door. "As you wish, my lord. If you would rather be proven wrong," he allows.
"Let's go then, Ser Bugger. And don't call me lord," Jarod says, squaring his shoulders and striding toward the door. To take it outside. "Might as well get a head start on knocking assholes here for the tourney down a peg or two." He pauses by the bar, removing his swordbelt and offering it to the Northman he was chatting with earlier. "Hold this for me, good fellow, while I teach the newcomer to town some manners. Agreed, Ser?" This to Alek. "No need for live steel between two honest assholes."
"I only promise in so far as you keep that filthy word from your lips," Alek answers with a sharp sidelong glance towards Jarod. He probably doesn't mean 'ser'. Nevertheless, his fingers are deft as they unbuckle sword and belt, placing it aside by the door as finds himself outside. A few other patrons start to slip out as well, those who have overheard enough to guess at what may be happening, and they gather as Alek strips his shirt over his head and sets it aside as well.
"You prefer Ser Asshole?" is Jarod's cheeky reply to that as he strides outside. Loudly. He's sort of 'working' the crowd, and he's proud of that line. "Works for me." Seeing Alek divest himself of his shirt, Jarod shrugs and pulls his green tunic off over his head in kind. Handing it off to a winsome brunette barmaid who's come to watch the fight. The done, Jarod takes up a 'boxing' sort of stance outside the inn, fists raised.
Alek's own stance has less to do with boxing and more to do with wrestling, falling back in a comfortably defensive position as he allows himself to adjust to the lights and the wine in his head, to sharply study Jarod's own posture as the other ma works the crowd. Focused, now, he does not reply.
Jarod pivots on his heel, as if he's giving a final wave to the crowd, but instead he takes a shot at Alek's jaw with his right fist. He's less about studying his opponent and focusing and more about just getting down to punching, it seems. It's a fair shot, as far as punches go, though it's unclear how seriously he's taking Alek.
Reaction only slightly delayed by the buzz of alcohol, Alek turns his chin as the punch comes at him, knuckles sliding across his jaw rather than impacting, though he still catches some of the force behind that thrown punch. He immediately bursts into action, surging upwards as he drives his own bunched fist at the younger knight's gut.
Jarod is surprised by the other man's speed. Perhaps he'd been expecting the wine to slow Alek down more. He takes the shot in the gut, grunting as he gets the wind knocked out of him some. Though he manages to stay on his feet. He ducks and cuts a hard left at the other knight's ribs, putting all his effort behind his punches now. The crowd has sort of created a circle around them, and some of the more drunken patrons laughing and shouting. A few are even placing bets.
The impact on ribs causes Alek to wince, trying to curve away from it but having very little room to escape it. With adrenaline dulling pain, he instead focuses on trying to pound his fist into Jarod's face, mimicking the other man in a shot sent towards the jaw in the same place he tapped earlier.
Jarod isn't quite so quick at turning his chin, and Alek's fist connects with his jaw with an impactful 'crack.' "Fuck!" Jarod hollers as he winces. That was no tap. That's going to leave a bruise. So he gets more intent about leaving a few of his own, taking another shot at Alek's face as he whirls back around. Straight slam toward the other man's nose this time. He's an energetic boxer, and though he's not the lightest on his feet he can definitely take some hits and keep swinging.
With so much of his attention now focused on throwing his own hits, Alek doesn't have the same quick reaction to this next one coming his way, turning only enough to keep his precious nose from breaking and earning knuckles to his eye instead. It takes him a moment to recover, eye already swelling up as he tries to blink it away. He does close in again, this time trying to hook a foot around Jarod's to pull him down even as he punches at the man's side.
"Ha!" Jarod laughs as his fist connects with Alek's eye. He's enjoying himself. Sort of. Less so when Alek's foot hooks under him and he falls to the ground, with a solid thud. Prompting a few gasps, and laughs, from the crowd. The falling does make him 'dodge' Alek's punch to his side, so he's got that going for him, at least.
Alek is more graceful where he purposefully falls on top of Jarod, knee moving to trap the man's hip to the ground as his free hand catches at his shoulder. Or tries to, at least, as he once again send his own fist at Jarod's face.
Jarod turns his head to try and avoid the fist in the face, though that it makes it connect even better with his right eye. Which will soon start to swell to match Alek's. The other man has him well pinned with his knee, though he does jut up his free leg to attempt to knee Alek in the stomach. He's down, but he might as well get in a few last hits while he can.
It only takes Alek one knee to his gut that is enough to make him lose his breath and wince, before he tries to shift to capture both of Jarod's legs between his. Hi bb. This would be totally different if he wasn't trying to punch Jarod in the face one more time.
Jarod has just enough mobility left to squirm his shoulder and neck away from Alek's incoming fist. Though he can't actually get himself off the ground, with the other knight pinning him down. He tries to kick again, but his legs are properly captured now, so he can't get in anymore parting shots to Alek's stomach or groin. "Y'know…you fight all right for a bug…for an asshole," he says cheekily. Though he at least amends his insult, perhaps aware he's not in a position to easily avoid more punching.
Alek exhales a breath of a laugh as his knuckles impact on ground, pulling them back to shake it out. His fingers press all the tighter at Jarod's shoulder as he starts his insult, only loosening slightly as it is amended. "You have to fight well, to truly be an asshole without ending up with a knife in your belly," he answers, taking a moment before he shifts off Jarod and pulls himself to his feet. He even offers a hand out.
Jarod takes the hand, a grin on his face as he hefts himself to his feet with Alek's assistance. Albeit a slightly more crooked one than before. His lip is bleeding, in addition to his rapidly purpling eye. "You must get plenty of practice, which I figure helps." He retrieves his tunic from the barmaid who'd been holding it for him, pulling his shirt back on over his head. She's sympathetic enough about his beating, though she eyes Alek with more appraisal than she was before.
"Less when I do not have to deal with lord and lady types, though I am sure you know enough about that," Alek replies, his own sword retrieved before his shirt and buckled quickly over naked hips. "They all seem to have too much pride to take anything said with a grain of salt."
Jarod gets a short laugh out of that as he belts his sword back on, shrugging. "Suppose they do, mostly. Can't have folk think they can get away easy with being rude to my baby sister, though. Sets a poor precedent. Makes you feel better, you don't seem like a bad sort apart from that. An asshole, certainly, but we've all our flaws, eh?"
"Your baby sister may do well with less men in her life to protect her," is Alek's only neutral reply, though grey-green eyes hold warm humor where they lift to Jarod before slipping away. He shrugs on his shirt, instead, with a careful shift of lean muscles that still protest at recent impacts of fists. "That is not my concern, though. My only concern is finding Nina to kiss away these bruises."
"You pay her a couple silvers extra, she'll show you what she can *really* do with her tongue," is Jarod's advice about Nina. "For my part, I think I'll go home and soak mine away. Was…interesting meeting you, Ser Alek. Next time you're around the Tower we should head out to the practice yard. See if you do as well with a sword as you do with your fists."
Another laugh escapes only as far as Alek's throat, though it warms his words as he answers, "And here I was trying to get Nina to take less of my money." The sketch of his fingers in a salute may or may not be assent to Jarod's invitation before he moves to retreat back in to the Rockcliff.