Page 184: Small Consolation
Small Consolation
Summary: Caytiv seeks solace in alcohol, and finds Senna instead. Senna doesn't really do solace.
Date: 17/1/2012
Related Logs: Bearer Of Bad News
Caytiv Senna 
Rockcliff Inn — Terrick's Roost
…Or what remains of it.
January 17, 289

There is a difference between barmaids and women who don't make their living off of tips. While barmaids laugh and bounce from group to group, smiling warmly and laughing at terrible jokes, Senna leans against one end of the bar, watching, smiling ever so slightly here and there, and letting the drinks and the knights come to her. There's actually a pool going at one side of the room, as various men try their charms. Sometimes, it's nice to be one of the few free women around.

Caytiv comes in looking like he's about to go camping. His short linen tunic and riding breeches don't stand out much from common wear, and only his tall riding boots mark him as anything except the average destitute smallperson who might come in looking for a drink, the roll of his lionskin tied twice around with a rope that crosses his chest and holds the parcel to his back. His face is dirty, despite efforts to have washed it— soot has permeated his life. He heads for the bar at an ambling pace, eyes somewhat downcast, and though he does note Senna, there, by the end of the bar, when he gets close enough to give her a pat to the rump hello, it's hardly with much vim behind it. "Ay, lassie," he tells her, voice quiet, and he sets a coin he must have had in his hand since he was outside on the counter, keeping his thumb on it 'til he might catch the attention of whosoever's serving.

It's really more that lackluster pat that catches Senna's attention, and a joke turns swiftly to an arched brow at the squire's countenance. "You're looking glum, Hill," she observes, leaning slightly forward at the bar to draw the tender's attention. There's a brief look that passes between them, a slight shake of her head, before the bartender is taking Cayt's order and Senna is watching him. "Bad news?"

Caytiv will drink the cheap stuff, so long as he can drink copiously of it, his palate rough enough not to shrink from the harsher spirits. "Ay," he keeps his eyes on the countertop a long moment, then looks up to the line where the wall meets the ceiling, following it along toward the corner as if his eyes won't sit still for too long, waiting on the spirits as the silence dives down on them in the aftermath of that one syllable, an explanation obviously owed, but none forthcoming from the taciturn squire.

Senna reaches up to brush a piece of hair behind his ear, lips pursing slightly as she watches him. "I'm sorry." One of the knights starts toward the bar to try his hand, and she looks over just long enough to shake her head with a rueful, apologetic smile before turning back to the squire. "I thought your little crew made it through the battle all right. Not a wound gone septic, is it?"

Caytiv looks profoundly grateful that his liquor's here, and seems as plentiful as advertised, in a tall cup. It gives him a place to fix his eyes, and he shakes his head before he lifts it to drink from, scrunching up his face as he swallows, though one would be hard to tell whether he's trying to hide the pain of loss underneath the pain of the liquor, or the other way around. "Nay, lassie. Ser Jarod an' Rowan fare well, still."

Senna tilts her head, watching him for a long moment, running through the rumors she's collected during her time at the Roost in search of… "Ah." She presses a hand against his back, nodding quietly. "Your older sister." She takes a sip of her own drink, still watching him. "Gentle, Hill. You want to make it back to your bed tonight, don't you?"

Caytiv closes his eyes against the memory of his sister's face, scrunching them closed as he tips the cup back and drinks the heavier for Senna's cautions. "Nay, lassie," he tells her, "Will take my bedroll t' th' field an' lay there." In case the Ironers come back? Or else he just needs some space.

"Fair enough." Senna keeps an eye on him, though, as she sips at her own drink. "Let someone know you'll be out there, all right? Last thing your family needs is thinking you've disappeared, too." For all the gentleness in the words, though, there's something awkward to them. As if she knows /what/ to say, but isn't quite sure about the feelings behind it.

Caytiv grunts in assent to Senna's condition around a gulletful of liquor. He drinks it like it was water on a sweltering hot day, something the very essence of his being requires for any parcel of peace. He puts the cup back down and opens his eyes, looking at it with a modicum of blear in his eye, trying to decide on another, letting out a belch in the meantime. Charming, to be sure.

Senna just sort of eyes Caytiv and his chugging and his belching. "All right," she sighs after a moment, leaning forward to wave a hand at the bartender again. "If you're going to get that drunk, then take a skin and get yourself to the field before you try to start a fight with someone. The rate you're going, you'll be too drunk to defend yourself by the time you start something." She does, gods only know how, manage to get a skin from the bartender, passing over coins before offering the skin to Caytiv. "Go."

Caytiv's brows flatten, cheeks pink with the vicious stuff he's just swilled. "Nay, lass. I need nay yer coin," he tells her, something manful in him discontent with being bought a drink. "Keep it, ay, an' I'll be well i'th morn," he closes his eyes as if in a slow blink, but they seem reluctant to open again.

"Consider it an early birthday present. Or a late one," Senna waves off the objection. "Or hell, go collect from the betting pool over there saying you got me to buy you a drink and cut me in on the proceeds later." Now that, she sounds more comfortable with. "But do us both a favor and go get drunk somewhere you won't get yourself into trouble, all right? You're too cute to get your nose busted off."

Caytiv lowers his head in something akin to defeat, taking up the skin and looking more embarrassed by it than any manner of triumphant. "Lass," he says to her, by way of thanks? Perhaps? Or just farewell. He doesn't make eye contact with the knights of the betting pool on his way out.