It’s been a couple of days since the repairs and upgrades to Grans were completed, and the dining room is back in full swing. And apparently, people are trying to make up for lost time. The place has been far busier than is usual for this time of year, to the point that the usual mid-afternoon lull seemed like it was actually going to be almost as busy as lunch time. That meant that the inn’s staff were at ‘all hands on deck’, and the cooks opted to prepare dishes that more easily stretch their limited produce — a trio of soups paired with quick-to-make biscuits, likely of a variety that Kaji introduced.
Finally, though, later than usual, the dining room is all but completely empty, giving the kitchen and dining room staff a chance to take a break. And, using the break time, Miss Frizz is trying out the most recent iteration of ‘travel cart’. It’s about the size of a shoe box but still dwarfs the little rodent inside, who is currently using that ugly little mouse effigy as padding so she doesn’t smack into the rolling box’s wooden sides if it runs into something.
Which the rolling box IS doing. Frequently.
Dair had only been in Vesper for a couple of days and for the first couple of those days he’d tried to play things straight, but hunger and cold got the better of him and he helped himself to a few things. Items tucked under the sturdy weather worn poncho he’s wearing he steps into Gran’s looking for some food, maybe a room, but mostly a place to stay out of sight for awhile.
He’s making his way across the dining room, eyeing the few people on hand to see who might be likely to trade with him when something thumps into his leg. “Ow!” he shouts, jumping back. He gives the box a kick.
Jesh had totally been riding the Restorium train, much to the relief of all concerned. Let’s face it, she wasn’t going to be a mechanic, and now that nobody was making a pretense about that fact, everyone, including her, was a lot happier. Even if it meant she was using magic.. daily. Despite the fact that she had an actual place to be on a regular basis, she could still be found at Gran’s at regular mealtimes, helping out. Quietly busing tables, and after her own meal, helping wash up in the kitchen.
She hadn’t had a chance to sit and grab her own soup and biscuits yet because of the rush. “Was there a special that nobody told me about?” You know, like a sale. Or a grand re-opening. Or something like… Or maybe it was just the cold.
As it happened, she was facing the door, having just set a bowl of lunch down in front of a regular who usually hit the mid-afternoon lull to miss the rush, and saw the newcomer not only enter, but kick Miss Frizz’ box.
One can practically feel the air crackle as the young woman takes umbrage to that and marches over. Hilarious if you know her usual mein. A glare for the man. “Excuse me. But we don’t kick people here.” One suspects she might haul off and kick him if there weren’t a crowd. “You apologize right now.”
Miss Frizz doesn’t even really register when her newest wheeled box experiences yet ANOTHER impact against something — she’s still trying to figure out how much effort she needs to use to telekinetically push the wheeled box around including trying to make it change course — but then when the box is KICKED and knocked over on its side, she goes tumbling out and immediately dashes for the relative safety of the nearest table leg. It’s WAY too easy to get stepped on around here. At least she’s relatively easy to spot with the bit of red fabric she wears like a cape over her back.
<~ Miss Jeshua? What just happened? ~> She’s asking because Jesh is doing angry voice at someone. Or some thing.
The crackling of the air around Jesh, sets off a different sort crackling around Dair, he glances down at his right arm, eyes going wide and clamps a hand over his forearm. “Shut up, shut up, shut up,” he mutters under his breath while Jesh closes the distance between them.
When she’s reached him the cracking around him has faded to a dull hum and he meets her anger with a look that’s both puzzled and annoyed. “Lady, that’s a box not a person!” he shouts back. “And I am not apologizing to a box!” he was already mad enough that he didn’t see the box in his path. The damn bracelet wasn’t letting him sleep and he was way off his game. A trip up like that in the Vanishing Point would have gotten him killed.
Naturally, the box becomes the focus of his ire but when he lifts his foot to kick he spots the little shape dashing for the table leg. “What in the hell…” he says, leg still poised to kick the empty box.
Where Jesh hid her temper prior to this is a mystery. Though it may have a lot to do with it being Miss Frizz (who is more than capable of caring for herself, but that’s besides the point) who got kicked.. Okay. It was the box got kicked. But Miss Frizz was in the box. And who was he anyway to stomp in here and just kick other people’s things?
<~That man just kicked you. For no good reason.~> Unlike Miss Frizz, her reply only goes to the mouse. She’s actually learned both volume control and honing down on individuals.
Other than the fact that Miss Frizz had run into his foot. But that’s pure semantics. And besides, he was wearing boots. And that little box didn’t hurt that much. He might have actually hurt the wee little mouse.
Even as Dair notices the scurry away from the overturned box, Jesh is poking a finger into his chest. “I’m not a Lady, you take that back. And my friend was in there. Not everyone is a great big clodhopping monkey armed blocked headed..” Words fail at this point, and with a last finger jab of punctuation she finishes, “Thing like you.”
As he comes down the stairs, Kaji has to wonder what the latest commotion’s all about. It’s not too unusual, although Gran’s place isn’t the sort you’d expect to have any fights or quarrels break out on a regular basis, and the recent rat swarm invasion had been completely unexpected. Stifling a yawn- he’d been napping due to being hit by a random wave of tired earlier on- the young necromancer frowns a bit as he looks around the common room.
“Whoa, hey! What’s going on?” The box looks familiar, his sleep-addled brain getting a jump-start, and he gives a flick of his wrist as though jerking the wheeley box car on invisible strings to ‘tug’ it out of Dair’s reach.
“Easy there, Jesh,” he says as he crosses over towards where she and Dair are. “Where’s Miss Suss?” Ugh, it’s too early for this. Wait, no it’s not. What time is it anyway…
A particularly ugly mouse-like doll appears from under the now upright wheeled box and somehow manages to head over toward Kaji under its own power. For her own part, Suss peeks out from behind the table leg up at Jesh and the man she’s glaring at and then Kaji. After a second, perhaps spent deciding something, she again dashes across a section of the floor, though this time straight toward the newly arrived and still sleepy teen. Without hesitation she climbs the outside of his trouser leg until she’s where he can easily reach her with his hand.
<~ I’m right here, Kaji. Miss Jesh? maybe if we give the man a chance to explain? ~>
When Jesh starts poking him, Dair lowers his leg, steps back and tries to brush the hand away. “Would you stop that!” he says, the crackle returning about his person. “You too,” he says at his right arm, before he turns back to face the fury of the continued verbal assault. “Hey! I didn’t know there was someone in the damn box! Who drives a box anyhow?! And in bar!” he exclaims before he shoves away that last poking finger. “True, some of them are blonde, pokey and opinionated!” he counters. “But you’re right about one thing, so not a lady!”
Dair steps back letting out a sigh, and clapping a hand over his right forearm, it’s only then when he pays attention to the dark haired guy with the mouse. “Sorry to kick your mouse, guy, just took me by surprise is all-” he blinks. “Did the mouse just talk in my brain?” He’d missed the other time being yelled at and all, now though he could hear the words loud and clear.
“What’s going on?!?” Jeshua looks clearly ticked off – she’s not yet made it to abashed over this burst of temper. “This..” And since she’s used all her derogatory words already, she just makes a disgusted face at Dair before turning back to Kaji, “He kicked Miss Suss. And was going to stomp on her cart, too. He didn’t even stop to see if she was oka–”
You can clearly see the moment it hits her that she hadn’t stopped to see if Miss Frizz was okay before going off on her tirade. And worse, that she’s just been poking some stranger in the chest, spewing off near threats at him – or at least thinking them very strongly in her mind.
<~I don’t like him~> she answers Miss Frizz sullenly, this time not keeping the thought to just the mouse, but letting Kaji in on it as well, telling the stranger out loud, “Yes. She does too speak in your mind.” Much eye rolling with that, as though it hadn’t thrown her for a loop when she’d arrived not so very long ago. But he doesn’t need to know it had terrified her then.
“Oh, good.” The teenager looks relieved to see Miss Suss, scooping her up to assist her to his shoulder. A sort of wary look is cast down at the mouse doll, and hoping to forestall it from trying to scramble up his leg, he picks it up and lets it settle in his jacket pocket with its head sticking out. At least for the time being he seems to have gotten a handle on his own doll from being a nuisance, even if it took crafting furniture to size and setting it up in a corner of his room. Maybe this was how those ball-jointed doll owners did. Except their dolls didn’t come to life and get them hurt if something happened to them.
Turning his attention back towards the newcomer. “Err, it’s fine dude. And the name’s Kaji. This is Jeshua- be nice, Jeshua.” He pauses to stare a bit as the guy engages in a conversation with his arm. “…oh gosh, not another one,” he mutters. “Umm- I hope you don’t start getting into a fist fight with your arm, mister. Gran won’t tolerate it, so I’d advise you to go outside if it’s something you need to settle right away.” He says this like this is something normal. Or at least something he’s seen before. Most likely the latter. Either way, Kaji’s unfazed by the unusual behavior.
“Also yes, this is Miss Suss and she speaks in people’s heads because otherwise she’d speak mouse. So please apologize to her, not me.”
Suss is only too happy to settle on Kaji’s shoulder where she can watch Jeshua and the newcomer with her little dark eyes. <~ I’m trying to learn a faster way to travel in this city without having to take people away from their jobs. Hence the wheelbox. And Miss Jesh, it’s okay. He didn’t know. ~> But you can bet she’s going to be wary of the man for a little while, at least until he learns to watch where he’s putting those boots.
<~ May I ask your name, sir? ~> she address Dair directly, even if he seems more concerned with something about his arm than with the people in the room.
“Innocent stranger I accosted?” Dair supplies when Jesh runs out of words to describe him to Kaji. “Also, I wasn’t going to stomp on the box, I was going to kick it again,” he points out crossing his arms over his chest, a glint of golden hued metal showing half-way up his forearm.
“Noticed,” he answers to Jesh about the mouse speaking in his mind. “Hard not to.”
The others are regarded with a skeptical look in Dair’s blue eyes, at first but when Kaji introduces himself, Dair’s expression shifts and he lowers his crossed arms nodding, “Dair,” he says in return answering Suss’ question and offering a greeting to Kaji in turn.
When it’s brought up, Dair looks down at his arm, moving back the poncho to show the alien band clinging closely to his forearm. “Nah, not going to fight me, at least I don’t think, just making a lot of noise in my head right now, so, we’re cool.” He lowers the arm again before he looks over at Suss directly. He hesitates as he contemplates the fact he’s about to apologize to a psychic mouse. “Sorry for kicking your cart,” he says to her. “Didn’t know what it was.”
“I’m always nice,” Jesh complains to Kaji. “Where did it get me? Nowhere.” Though she sound ever so slightly smug for some reason. “Whatever.”
The matter has clearly moved beyond her heed to be upset on anyone’s behalf.
<~It’s not okay. He didn’t even stop to see what it was. He just kicked you. Who does that anyway?~> Back to just Suss with her words.
She mutters something unintelligible to herself at the ‘innocent stranger’ part. “Just be glad it was only my finger,” she snorts. “And not something else. What can I get you anyway? We have soup. And biscuits.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t advise kicking random boxes anywhere. Who knows if they’d explode?” It’s hard to tell if Kaji means it or not, especially when he’s grinning. “Anyway, nice to meet you Dair.”
He looks at the odd armpiece that the man wears, tilting his head. “Ooookay. That’s…good? I guess?” He also nods in approval as the guy apologizes to Miss Frizz. Then he smirks a bit at Jeshua before turning to gesture so Dair can take a seat somewhere if he wants. It felt silly just standing around. “I recommend the potato chowder. Finally got that one to taste right! Had to get most of the ingredients imported.”
Miss Frizz tilts her head a bit as she also looks at the object on Dair’s arm. Her eyesight is far from the best, though, so she likely doesn’t pick up any more about it than Kaji does. Then, when the teen gestures for Dair to take a seat, Suss turns a bit on his shoulder and one of the chairs nearby seems to move without being touched. Regulars here would already know that it’s the mouse moving the thing telekinetically, but …
<~ I like the green rings in the chowder. They’re sharp. ~>
“You, work here?” Dair asks incredulously when Jeshua tells him what’s on offer today. He runs a hand through his hair before fishing around in his pockets. “What do you guys take for payment? Got a couple of things to trade but can put in work if there’s need.” That last is directed to both Jesh and Kaji since it seems they both work here in some capacity. He doesn’t take the offered seat just yet, with payment still up in the air, but he does give a chair a glance like he’d very much like to.
“Good to meet you too, Kaji. You too, Suss, Jesh.”
He steps out of the way of the chair when it moves apparently of its own accord. “So probably shouldn’t kick that too, right?” he asks making a joke of the thing by the tired smile on his face.
Jeshua rolls her eyes at Dair. “Uh, right. I’m just offering you food because I work somewhere else and this is what I do for kicks on my time off.” Which.. as it happens, isn’t too too far off the truth at the moment. She relents enough, though, to tell the man, “Kaji makes good food. They actually let him cook.”
There’s a reason they don’t let her. Though she has been made to go shopping.
“Onions, Miss Suss. They’re onions.” She knows, because she asked Kaji what they were. They seemed pretty extravagant an ingredient to her. Then again, lots of things did.
“I wouldn’t kick the chair if I were you. That’s Miss Suss helping. You’ll get used to it if you stick around.” Something in her voice doesn’t make that comment all that inviting, though it’s not outright rude. “I’ll go get you your food.” Bothering to tell Kaji, “I wasn’t going to hurt him.” Quieter, and most definitely under her breath and not meant to carry, “Much.”
And with that, she’s off to retrieve soup.
Kaji laughs. “Miss Suss works here too. The chair’s her doing- and don’t be surprised if you see dishes and things being cleared away by themselves,” he explains to Dair. He glances after Jeshua, frowning a bit before he shrugs and glances back to the new guy.
“Gran’s fare is reasonably priced, but she’ll accept work in exchange too, if that’s easier for you. So you may as well sit and enjoy the fire, at least. And I guess Jesh is already going to get you some soup. So where’re you from, Dair? Just passing through or something?”
<~ Onions? I thought onions were the white round things. Oh, could you bring me a green ring, or maybe a couple of wheat grains? ~> Miss Frizz hasn’t eaten since the lunch rush either, and with as tiny as she is, her metabolism doesn’t appreciate going without food. She resituates herself so she’s more comfortable against Kaji’s neck.
<~ Have you been in Vesper long, Mr. Dair? ~> She’s TRYING to be friendly, here!
Dair says, “Let me rephrase, they let you work her. I mean with all the chest poking, I am surprised I didn’t see people running for the hills on my way in,” he says arms crossed again before he lowers them again and sinks into the chair that Suss pulled out now that he knows food is coming. “Thanks, Miss Suss,” he says to the mouse seeming to adapt to the weirdness pretty quickly. “And I just arrived two nights ago. Used to live in Old Richmond, but needed a change of scenery,” he says, most of that was true, he did live in Old Richmond, and he did need a change of scenery but there were rather large gaps left by those truths, ones big enough to put a Glitterboy through.
He notes the parting comments made by Jesh to Kaji even if he cant’ make out the words and he gives it all a snort, before he answers Kaji, “Work’s probably easier, I need to hold onto what I’ve got. I can read and write if that’s any help. By the sound of that soup, you have the cooking covered, with Miss Suss handling the seating and Jesh the prodding of innocents, so, I hope there’s something left for me to do.”
Jeshua makes it almost into the kitchen when Dair’s comment reaches her ears. Whereupon she stops dead in her tracks, and turns enough to stare at the newcomer. “You don’t even know me, so shut up.” She does, however nod to Miss Frizz. “I’ll bring you food. Though I really don’t know why you want to use a cart anyway. You move things with your mind. Why not just move you.” She says it so matter of factly, too. Like, hey, Miss Suss, why don’t you just float around the way you move chairs and things. In her mind it seems the most logical solution. “And they are onions. The white ones.”
That she didn’t need Kaji to tell her. She knew those ones. Though she was with Miss Suss on the liking the green ones better.
“You hungry, too, Kaji?” Since she’s already heading into the kitchen.
It takes some effort not to hunch his shoulders up as Frizz moves closer to his neck. Her whiskers tickle!
“Oh my gosh you two, drop it!” Kaji sighs, rolling his eyes at the continuing comments between Dair and Jeshua. He really hopes they don’t keep going with this. “-if there’s any pie?” is his response at Jeshua’s query, but that’s practically a given. Kaji and his desserts.
He moves to plop down in a chair, carefully because of his mouse-passenger, straddling it backwards as he rests his arms over the chair’s back, facing Dair. “Old Richmond, you said… I’ve been out there a few times.” He can’t particularly say he misses it since more often than not, it had been to go track down Harvesters and potentially face undead. That…wasn’t fun.
“Always nice to know- not a whole lot read and write in this city and it’s kinda mindboggling sometimes…” But then Kaji’s not from here so it’s been all the stranger. “There’s always things to do around here though. Dishes, cleaning up tables out here or sweeping, and hey, if you’re good with cooking and things then kitchen help’s always welcome too.”
Dair puts up his hands in surrender, both to Jeshua’s demand he shut up and Kaji’s plea for them to stop. “Okay, I’ll shut up with the comments.” He does a zipper motion over his mouth as well.
“Let me know if you go again, I can tell you about some places to check out,” he says before he frowns about the readers. Figured with the mages, there’d be more around,” he says, though he’d known some magic users who didn’t read. “Guess being wrong is good for me while being a sad state of affairs for the world.” The prospect of helping in the kitchen, earns a lopsided smile from Dair. “Well, I can cook for myself, not sure if people would pay to eat it. Could cut things and stuff like that though.”
Now he’s done it, he’s gotten Kaji to scold her. Which doesn’t earn Dair any points in her book. And worse, Kaji just suggested the man work in the kitchen – at her jobs. Well, okay, Dair suggested cutting and chopping, which left her dishes. And, fine, she wasn’t great at cutting and chopping either, but it was almost cooking, and she did kinda like it..
With a hrmph, she disappears into the kitchen, only to return shortly with a tray that has a large bowl of soup, a plate of biscuits, a piece of pie, and the things Miss Frizz asked for. All of which Jesh delivers to each in turn before telling Kaji in clipped tones, “I’m heading back to my oth-” There’s a pause where she catches herself before continuing, “To my job. If anyone wants seconds someone else will have to fetch it.”
She’s notably not brought anything for herself, despite not having eaten.
Not waiting for a reply, Jesh takes the tray back to the kitchen, and given her lack of return, has either left for this mysterious job, or has merely holed up in the kitchens, lying about having a job to save face in front of Dair. Whichever, she doesn’t make an appearance again until much later in the day.
Miss Frizz takes advantage of Kaji’s sitting with the back of the chair close to the table, making her own down his arm and then hopping from there to the table itself. She really does look like a normal everyday field mouse except for the bit of red cloth. <~ Reading isn’t really all that important here, what with so many different kinds of people from all kinds of places. Like me, or Miss Elpida, or all of the people who don’t have hands like human people have hands. ~> And almost as if to illustrate, she stands up on her back feet and waves one of her tiny front feet.
Kaji wasn’t scolding! And really, kitchen-help was a given when it came to suggestions for work, so he certainly didn’t see a problem with it. He glances back towards the kitchen at Jeshua, brow furrowing in confusion before he sighs and looks back towards Dair.
“What sort of things did you do out in Old Richmond?” he asks. He watches as Miss Frizz makes her way down to the table, nodding. “Yeah, and not everyone’s a mage around here, and even then not all of them read. A lot of the signs you’ll see around town are pictures. But yeah, whatever you feel you can contribute. Gran is pretty fair with things around here. I’ve been staying here practically since the first day I ended up in this city.”
When Jeshua comes back with their food he blinks, opening his mouth to thank her or something but she’s off and gone again. “…um?” Slowly looking back to Dair, he shrugs. “She’s…usually not like that. Maybe she’s having a bad day…”
Dair says,”Scrounging mostly, exploring.” Most of it was true, just years out of date. “And he sounds like it, maybe you could introduce me when we’re done eating?” He nods then about the reading and the signs. “I saw the signs,” he looks to Suss. “And makes sense if there’s people from all over around. Easier to just do pictures than try to write a ton of words.”
As for Jeshua, Dair watches her go and lifts a shoulder in a shrug. “I have that effect on people sometimes.”
There's a new guy in town stopping by Gran's, unfortunately not without a few introductory faux pas.
February 02, 2411