hot leaf juice

Fischer’s Tavern

Lanisen sits at a table with a bowl of porridge and a cup of strong tea. He looks like he’s not all the way awake just yet, and his hair is on the rumpled side of respectable.

Bjorn saunters into the tavern and hoists himself up on one of the stools, ordering a tankard of ale with seeming obliviousness to how this could be seen as a strange thing to do so early in the morning.

Lanisen drinks his tea, sleepily mechanical in his movements, staring off at nothing in particular while he wakes up. Once it’s gone, he blinks down at the bottom of his cup, then hobbles up to the counter to beg a refill.

Bjorn watches Lanisen with something close to amusement, “Well, tis th’ son o Adam fae th’ ither day.”

Lanisen, apparently still too bleary to make this connection (or the brogue confuses him, who can say), blinks at Bjorn and says eloquently, “Huh?”

Bjorn shakes his head, but says not unkindly, “Ah kin see ye’r nae awake yet”

Lanisen blinks hard a couple times and rubs his eyes, then squints at the dwarf. “Oh,” he says. “Sorry. Um. It’s Bjorn, innit?”

Bjorn says, “Aye that’s me, ‘n’ ye’r Lanisen aren’t ye? ”

Lanisen says, “‘S right, yeah.” Fischer puts a new cup of tea on the counter in front of him, and he takes it gratefully.

Bjorn peers over at the cup and says with a wrinkled nose, “Ne’er saw th’ appeal o’ tea. Tis just hot plant juice”

Lanisen blows into the cup, wrapping both his hands around it. “Truth be told I don’t much care what it is, long as there’s enough of it to wake up on.”

Bjorn carries on with his trail of thought, “Tis nae even as if it tastes o’ anythin’ ”

Lanisen says, “Tastes like tea.”

Bjorn says, “Weel ye kin keep it ”

Lanisen lifts his mug in a sort-of toast. He yawns again, cavernously, and covers his mouth with his hand a moment too late.

Bjorn says, “Nae hud enough of a kip? ”

Lanisen hoists himself clumsily up onto a stool, sloshing tea over the side of the mug. “Mornings,” he says darkly, “shouldn’t be allowed.”

Bjorn takes a draft of his ale as he considers the wisdom of this statement, “Aye bit if they weren’t there, there’d just be anither thing tae tak’ it’s steid”

Lanisen groans a little bit and guzzles tea. He’s beginning to look more awake, so it must be working in some capacity.

Bjorn seems quite content to sit with his ale and watch the coming-to-life of Lanisen.

Lanisen says, “Oh,” and glances back at the table where he was sitting earlier, where his bowl of porridge is still sitting. He slides off the stool, landing on his bad leg with a grunt, and gimps across the room to fetch it.

“Watch yer leg” Bjorn says unhelpfully after the fact.

Lanisen says wryly, as he returns with his breakfast, “Thanks.” He sets the porridge next to his tea and resumes his seat. He gives Bjorn a thoughtful look, forehead furrowing slightly.

Bjorn raises his tankard, “Ye’r welcome”

Lanisen asks, apparently out of nowhere, “You know Loc?”

Bjorn nods, “Loc?” He shrugs, “Aye, ah ken him, nae weel though”

Lanisen says, “Oh. All right.”

Bjorn says, “Why’d ye ask? he a friend o’ yers? ”

Lanisen says, “Ahh, um. Yeah. Was wonderin’ how he’s doin’, is all.”

Bjorn shrugs again, “Daein’ a’richt ah reckon”

Lanisen nods. “Figured. Thanks.” He works on his porridge, now gone a little lukewarm.

Bjorn says, “Na problem. Ah kin tell him ye asked after him whin ah next see him? ”

Lanisen says, “Wh–no, no, that’s fine. I talked to him just the other day, just sometimes it’s hard to tell, y’know?”

Bjorn just nods in affirmation that he does, indeed, know.

Lanisen is now awake enough to notice what Bjorn is drinking. “Breakfast?” he asks jokingly, nodding to the tankard.

Bjorn grins and takes a draft, “Aye, Ye git me thare”

Lanisen takes another drink of his tea. “Never seen the appeal of ale, personally,” he says after a moment, musing and deadpan. “Ain’t it just fermented plant juice?”

Bjorn boggles a moment and then grins and waves a finger at Lanisen, “Turning mah ain wurds against me!”

Lanisen’s deadpan breaks into a broad grin, thoroughly pleased with himself. “I’d never.”

Bjorn laughs heartily, “Ah bit ye just did lad”

Lanisen finishes his tea, still grinning gleefully. “Ain’t that what it is, though?”

Bjorn grudgingly says, “Aye mibbie, but tis different!”

Lanisen asks innocently, “How’s that?”

Bjorn exclaims, “At least it doesn’t just taste lik’ leaf stew!”

Lanisen says, “I’ll give you that one.” He scoops up another bite of porridge and adds impishly, “It tastes like fermented grain stew.”

Bjorn gives a dramatic sigh and shakes his head, “Thir’s going tae be na convincing ye is thare?”

Lanisen chortles. Fischer is giving him a black look, so he adds hastily, “That ain’t to say I don’t love ale, and Carmichael ale in particular. Best fermented grain stew around.”

Bjorn says, “Aaaaye, tis nae bad ah guess” He chuckles good humouredly

Fischer points at Lanisen, all good-natured offense. “You watch yourself, or next time you come in all bleary wantin’ tea I’ll brew you the stuff we give the little ones to send ’em to sleep at night.”

Lanisen raises both hands and ducks his head. “Sorry, sorry.”

Bjorn says, “Now that’s be funny tae see ”

Lanisen says, “Don’t give him any ideas.”

Fischer just smirks.

Bjorn puts on a look of injured innocence and says, “Ah wid ne’er”

Lanisen grumbles, just as injured and every bit as innocent, “A man can’t trust anybody these days.”

Bjorn says, “That’s th’ cost ye pay fur insulting a barkeep’s ale ”

Lanisen says, “Said it was the best around, didn’t I?”

Bjorn takes a generous gulp of the aforementioned ale, “Ainlie efter saying ’twas fermented grain stew”

Lanisen says, “/Delicious/ fermented grain stew.”

Bjorn finishes the ale with a satisfied sigh, “‘N’ ye best be remembering that.” He slides off the stool and stretches. “Ah best be getting back tae th’ mines, nice seeing ye again.”

Lanisen says, nodding, “Mornin’, then.”

Bjorn says “Ye’r nae tae bad fur a son o’ adam” and makes his way back out the Tavern.


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