casual sexism

Room 7
Sun and Moon Inn

Loc sits by the fire pensively.

You hear a click as the door is locked from the other side.

Colin is quietly sitting in a corner, whittling absently at a piece of wood.

Loc looks over to the door.

Lanisen is flopped on the bed, since nobody else apparently claimed it. His expression is moody and distant.

Colin glances up at the door, tilting his head slightly at the noises outside. He deems them unworthy of his attention and turns back to his wood.

Loc stands, almost expectantly.

Lanisen rolls his head to glance toward the door, watches it for a minute, then sighs and turns his head back toward the ceiling. “They’re just checkin’ the lock, like they always do.”

Colin gives a small nod, making a notch in the wood.

Loc begins to pace. “Maybe.”

Lanisen sighs, staring up at the ceiling. “You’re not gonna get out. ‘Less they’re here to take us to more permanent accommodations.”

Loc says, “That’s out ain’t it? ‘sides. Maybe I don’t want /out/.”

Colin eyes Loc.

Lanisen doesn’t ask. Or even look interested, really. He just keeps watching a spider cross the ceiling.

Loc pauses and looks to the door almost eagerly.

Colin sends some wood shavings flying and mutters to himself.
Colin mumbles “What’s taking … …”, to Colin.

You hear a click as the door leading out is unlocked.

Simetra walks in from the hallway.

Lanisen glances lethargically toward the door, then sits up, surprised in spite of himself as Simetra enters.

Loc almost looks disappointed as Simetra enters. Nonetheless he moves towards her, his stride casual and manner relaxed.

Simetra frowns and hastily sets a tray down on a nightstand.

Colin looks up from where he sits in the corner on the floor. He offers a quiet nod, but nothing more.

Loc pauses before Simetra, clasping his hands behind his back.

Lanisen stays where he is, eyeing the tray of stew with interest.

Loc mumbles “Have you … … … … request?”, to Simetra.

Colin keeps an eye on Loc and Simetra, feigning non-interest.

Simetra doesn’t bother to speak quietly. “Astor and I told Gar to give you our response. You should know it.”

Loc grunts. “He has not.”

Simetra says bluntly, “No.”

Loc gives a curt nod. “Then may I at least get the materials for a good shave?”

Simetra says, “I will speak with Astor.”

Colin’s eyebrow goes up at the conversation and he shakes his head, glancing at Lanisen.

Loc nods. He rubs a hand along his now forming beard and moustache which is still quite light. “Wouldn’t want to present such an ugly mug to His Majesty.” He returns to his spot by the fireplace, leaving her open to comment freely.

Simetra simply blinks at him and looks to the others. “Any other requests?”

Lanisen raises a faintly incredulous eyebrow, glancing at Colin.

Colin keeps his opinions to himself, his expression bemused (or something) as he runs a hand through his own 3 months worth of growth. With a slight roll of his eyes, he shakes his head. “No, thank you Mistress Simetra.” he pauses, then says, “I’ll not be requestion sharp objects from you.” He says with an ironic half-smile.

Loc folds his arms over his chest, peering into the fire. “How is the woman?”

Simetra offers Colin a smile of amusement before replying to Loc, “She has improved.”

Loc looks mildly relieved. “That is good to hear. How is her strength?” His voice is quiet, almost reflective.

Lanisen eyes Loc.

Simetra’s brows knit. “You’re a real piece of work.”

Loc shrugs. “Been called worse Mistress.”

Colin sounds like he’s coughing over there in the corner.

Loc asks, “How is her strength?”

Simetra says, “I have been lucky enough not to have had it tested on me.”

Loc asks, “She been rowdy then?”

Simetra says, “She has been ill.”

Loc asks, “Cranky then?”

Colin says, “I thought that was her personality.”

Loc hehs. “Not always.”

Simetra shakes her head in evident wonder.

Lanisen draws up his knees and watches, frowning at Loc.

Loc asks, “When shall the King send for us?”

Lanisen asks, “You anxious to see a cell or somethin’?”

Loc snorts, “I don’t see the point in delaying the inevitable.”
Loc snaps, “You can stay here if you want and they’ll let you.”

Lanisen rolls his eyes eloquently.

Colin folds his arms, looking rather irritated by now.

Simetra mumbles “It’s … wonder he’s survived this long.”, to Simetra.

Lanisen snorts and gets to his feet, eyeing the stew, but he glances at Simetra for permission before he moves from his place.

Loc drawls lazily, “I reckon Darlin’ it is.”
Loc mimics a voice Lanisen would know well.

Colin stands at that, drawing himself up to his full height. “I believe, what you wished to call her was ‘Mistress Simetra’.” he says evenly.

Simetra gives Lanisen a signal of acquiesence. She frowns at the word, not protesting when Colin defends her.

Loc has himself positioned with his back to Colin, eyes intently on the fire. He shrugs.

Lanisen takes one of the bowls of stew and shoots Loc a faintly disgusted look.

Simetra lets out a short breath. “If you need anything else, you may speak with Gar.”

Colin looks towards Simetra. “Mistress… if you’ll excuse me.” He turns his back to her, himself between her and Loc to block from her sight what’s probably coming.

Loc snorts, “Wonderin’ what was takin’ you so long to get out.”

Simetra pauses, and then leaves without protesting whatever it is Colin plans on doing.

Simetra walks into the hallway.
You hear a click as the door is locked from the other side.

Lanisen sits back down on the bed to eat.

Colin was refraining from action until Loc so brazenly speaks. His eyes darken with anger and he slams his fist into Loc.
>>> Colin smacks Loc hard with his fist! Loc is bruised!

Lanisen startles, soup slopping over the edge of the bowl.

Loc jerks a bit from the blow but doesn’t react at first. After several moments he rubs his shoulder and returns to leaning against the wall. His voice is dull, “She said she didn’t want any violence.”

Colin speaks sharply. “That wasn’t violence. It was nothing more than you deserved. You ever speak that way to her again and I’ll make certain the King doesn’t hear /any/ good words about you.”

Loc turns to Colin, eyes darkening, “You’re a traitor, Colin. And my fate belongs to the King. Think he’ll hail you a hero for killin’ me? what connects do you got now? NONE.”
Loc says, “Her job’s to deliver the food. If that. Not to sit and chit chat all nice with a band of rogues and traitors.”
Loc says, “Her loitery is askin’ for trouble.”

Colin says, “If I remember correctly it was /you/ asking /her/ questions.”

Loc turns back to the fireplace, his reply smooth, “She don’t got to answer. She don’t even like me.”

Colin scowls. “I can’t blame her.” With a few short strides he’s at the tray. He picks up a glass of water and flings it into Loc’s face. “Think twice before you call me a traitor again. Take a good hard look in the mirror before you ever accuse someone of your own actions.”

Loc snorts as the water hits him. He leers over his shoulder at Colin, “But you /are/ Colin. THe King threw you out and said so himself. I know what I am. At least I own up to it.”

Colin’s expression is rather strange, almost as if he’s smirking. He says nothing
in response.

Lanisen keeps quiet and doesn’t draw any attention to himself. His eyes are wide and wary.

Loc turns back to face the fire, his expression and demeanor neutral.

Colin shakes his head, and heads to the far side of the room, probably to protect Loc more than anything. “You disgust me,” he says darkly, before falling silent and not uttering another word for several hours.

Loc takes a seat, not minding at all he’s in the remains of the puddle. He says, “I should.”

Lanisen waits a longish time, an hour or so, finishing his stew. He finally asks Loc, “You asked her for a /razor/?”

Loc dries off in this time. “So?”

Lanisen frowns. “You honestly want a shave /that/ much?”

Loc laughs darkly and looks over his shoulder to Lanisen, “What else might I do with it? A razor can’t over come you, small as you are, or Colin, or those guys.”

Lanisen snorts. “I hearda people gettin’ their throats cut while they’re shavin’.”

Loc laughs in a hollow, cold manner. “Only if you ain’t careful.”

Lanisen eyes him.
Lanisen says, “Ain’t forgot what you said.”

Loc rolls his eyes, while not visible to Lanisen, the gesture is done in a manner to convey the meaning. “Honestly Lanny–Lanisen. Use your sense. That woman hates me. She’s got a right to, and it don’t bother me none. I’m sick a bein’ a woman’s pet. But first, do you think she’ll GIVE me a razor. ‘N even if she did, you think it’d be sharp enough to do the deed?”
Loc says, “And secondly, even if I had a razor, they’d be watchin’ me like a hawk ready to swoop for the kill. Think I could cut my throat in front ta the guards and you and Colin?”
Loc snorts, “My neck is the King’s and he shall have it–shaven preferably. Want /some/ sorta decency.”
Loc rubs the scruff, “And it’s itchy. I don’t like it.”

Lanisen rubs his own neck. “Don’t have to be very sharp,” he says quietly. “An’ good grief, Loc, if it’s sharp enough to cut hair, then it’s sharp enough to slice a throat. But you’re right,” he looks pointedly at Loc, “You’d have to be all sorts of idiotic to try it.”

Loc smiles and gives a humorless laugh, “Crazy I may be, but I ain’t an idiot. Lady Death and I shall have our dance soon enough. I ain’t in that much a hurry to invite her though.”

Lanisen frowns. “Promise?” he asks after a long moment, not looking at Loc.

Loc snorts. “Promise what.”

Lanisen clenches his jaw, still looking away. “That you won’t… try anything like that.”

Loc draws up his knees, wrapping his arms around them. He grimaces as he feels the pull in his back where the bruise is forming. He rests his chin on his arms.

Lanisen waits a moment, then finally says in a much lower tone, “Please?”

Loc asks coldly, “Why do you care? I disgust you. I’m loathsome. Why should it matter whether I live or die?” He turns a dark eye to Lanisen. “Or are you afraid of sharing the room with a dead man?”

Lanisen recoils slightly at the words. “Loc, I…” He pauses, rubs his chin, and exhales. “I… the other night, I said a lot of stuff I shouldn’t’ve. I was… I was mad, an’… I tried to hurt you. And I’m sorry…” He glances up at Loc briefly.

Loc looks back to the fire and sighs.
Loc says, “I forgive you for all stuff. I can’t stay mad at you.”

Lanisen looks like he doesn’t know quite how to respond to this. He fiddles with a loose string on his sleeve for a moment “I… uh. I didn’t have no call to talk to you like that. Not after everythin’ you’ve done… thing is…” He trails off for a moment, hunting for words, then looks at Loc and says quietly, “‘S long as there’s any hope at all you might walk out of this, please… please tell me you won’t just…”

Loc watches the fire quietly. Finally he replies, “I’ll promise for whatever it’s worth.”

Lanisen regards Loc for a moment, almost suspiciously, then says simply, “Thanks.” He pauses a moment, then adds, “An’ you gotta keep snarkin’ off to the Innkeeper’s wife? Good /Lion/!”

Loc shrugs, “She don’t really care. She don’t like me. She ought to know stickin’ round too long will get a remark or too. She’s got mighty bad airs. Acts like the noblewoman she ain’t… Her husband isn’t so bad though. I like him.”

Lanisen says, “Ain’t helpin’ your cause any. You say you wanna be a good guy an’ then you go an’ make some smart comment that makes you look like the lawless scoundrel everybody thinks you are. You still need Colin to speak for you, don’t forget. Not doin’ yourself any favors in his book.”

Loc snorts. “Colin’s a traitor. Rosal–Lady Rosalind will speak for me. And my actions to the King will speak themselves. And why should Colin be all friendly with the Inn Keeper’s wife? She shouldn’t be in her for the length she lingers. I told Colin and I’ll tell you. I turned myself into the Lady. I trust her.”

Lanisen shrugs. “It’s her inn, ain’t it? An’ she lingered ’cause /you/ were askin’ her questions.”

Loc says, “It’s her /husband’s/ inn.” His expression darkens, his voice almost pained, “Believe me Lanisen. A woman don’t get nothing if she hasn’t got a husband. And what she had after him is determined by the generousity or lack there of in the Lord of the region.”

Lanisen snorts. “Try tellin’ that to Jan–” He breaks off, glancing over to where Colin is sleeping. “But, Loc, don’t you get it? She’s got way more power’n you do right now. Show her some respect. You don’t gotta /mean/ it if you can’t; just pretend. The innkeeper’s got pull in court, don’t he? You want /him/ tellin’ the king ’bout what a dirty rotten lowlife you are?”

Loc says, “Master Astor no longer has pull in court.” He snorts, almost sneering, “Gave it up for the wench that acts all dignified like she’s somebody. just like Jana.” He spits the name. “Master Inn Keeper and I had a right pleasant chat. I think he could speak well of me.”
Loc says quietly, “He’s willing to look beyond the show.”

Lanisen rolls his eyes. “He won’t, if his wife tells him how you been talkin’ to her.”
Lanisen repeats, “Show?”

Loc says, “He knows how I talk to his wife. We spoke of it.”
Loc says, “All this attitude? It’s a show.”

Lanisen hehs. “And he’s just fine with it, I s’pose.” He shakes his head. “You gotta be dumber’n me if you’re pickin’ /that/ as your show.”

Loc says, “It shows /you/ whose willing to see if there’s something more than scoundrel and whose willing to just tip their nose to you and sneer, cuz they’re better than you.”

Lanisen sighs, “Forget it.” He stands up and crosses to the fireplace, jabbing aimlessly at the embers.

Loc moves back slightly from the embers. “It’s an old defensive habit.”

Lanisen asks, “Ain’t defensive habits s’posed to, you know, defend? ‘Stead of makin’ things worse?”

Loc says, “When you rely on something to protect you for so long it’s hard to let go. I don’t trust the nag.”

Lanisen says, “Thought you were figurin’ on changin’.”

Loc says, “I am. But change takes time. And it’s a slow go. ‘specially right now.”

Lanisen says, “Ain’t like you got anythin’ else to do.”

Loc says, “Trust is something earned. And when a woman burns you, you remember it. And when a woman who now flouts about with airs reminds you of the woman who burned you well…”

Lanisen turns around to look at him, frowning. “I ain’t sayin’ you gotta think about her different. /Act/. Just. Pretend. That’s all. Pretend to be civil.”

Loc grunts, “Suppose I can do that. Might surprise her.”

Lanisen says, “Might.”

Loc chuckles, “I think a little civility might give her heart a scare.” His voice is low but bears no ill will.

Lanisen says, “Well then. Ain’t that what you wanted in the first place?” He grins wickedly, the expression more mischief than malice.

Loc gives a soft, genuine laugh. “Maybe.” He muses, “Maybe.”

Lanisen grins. He glances again toward Colin, the expression fading. “Listen,” he says, taking a seat near Loc and lowering his voice to nearly-inaudible. “What did you tell them about Jana?”

Loc rubs his temple, “Can’t remember. Colin? Nothing I believe. I don’t trust him much.” He scowls, “‘specially when he lays hands on me. But as long as it ain’t a knife I can take a few bruises. I’ve seen worse… Her ladyship doesn’t know much about what went on… but I might a mentioned /her/ to Astor.”

Lanisen says darkly, “You did. Lady Rosalind knew about her, ’cause the innkeeper told her about him.”

Lanisen asks, “Did you tell ’em anythin’ else about her?”

Loc shrugs, “Probably that she raised me. Then threw me out when she couldn’t use me anymore and found a better toy.”

Lanisen looks away, then asks, “Are you going to tell them anything else?” His expression is flat.

Loc shrugs. “Dunno. She’s long gone by now. I guarentee it. She cried a lot tears but the moment I left she high tailed it to some place safe. Probably to get Myrd.”

Lanisen looks at him levelly. “Loc. I gotta know what you’re gonna do.”

Loc says, “The King… I’ll tell him whatever he wants to know.”
Loc says, “Maybe the Steward.”

Lanisen shakes his head. “Maybe ain’t enough. Are you gonna tell them or aren’t you?”

Loc says, “Depends on what he wants to know. I might only see the Steward. So I’ll answer whatever he wants to know.”

Lanisen says with absolute certainty, “He will ask about Jana. Lady Rosalind is gonna put it in her letter, you can count on it. When he asks, will you tell him everything?”

Loc says, “What to you means everything?”

Lanisen says, “Reckon what it means to you is more important right now.”

Loc says, “I’ll tell them of our history. What we did. And that she’s gone by now and I don’t know where she is.”
Loc says, “All that’s true.

Lanisen listens intently, then nods slowly, accepting this with some difficulty. He lowers his head for a moment, then glances up to Loc almost desperately. “It’s not too late. If you told ’em it was Shenzi, they’d believe you…” His voice is nearly pleading.

Loc shakes his head. “Shenzi will die for her own crimes. Not Jana’s. I’m tired of covering for Jana. She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself. She’s probably miles away by now. Take my word Lanisen. We’ll never see her again.”

Lanisen says, “Shenzi’ll die either way. It ain’t gonna make any difference to pin a couple more things on her record. Jana could…” He lets his head drop again and says quietly, “Please.”

Loc scowls. “No.”
Loc says, “Shenzi’s suffered enough. And she’ll suffer more, believe me. Let her be free of Jana’s reach. We’re still caught in her claws. But leave Shenzi be. Besides, Jana didn’t do nothing worse than Shenzi.”

Lanisen says, “Don’t start actin’ like it’s all Jana’s fault.”

Loc says, “It’s not. But Jana played her part.”

Lanisen is silent for a moment. He finally stands and stalks toward the unoccupied bed, flopping down to stare at the ceiling until he falls asleep.

Loc grabs his blanket and curls up, “Sorry to disappoint you Lanisen.” He uses his satchel as a pillow.


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