(1310-11-05) The First Sip
Summary: Oliver has never been drunk before. Etienne promises his brother Anse to look after him if he does. NOTE: Contains some discussion of sexual consent and ethics, but no acted sexual activity.
RL Date: 11/5/18
Related: We need to talk about Owlie, Coming Clean, Of Brothers
gemma anse oliver thaddeus etienne rajiya 

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish is tidy and well-kept - and warmed by a fire in the hearth to one side on colder days and evenings. An old tapestry depicting a pair of two leaping fish is adorning the opposite wall - a reference to both the ruling House of Mereliot and the name of the inn. The common room has five tables of sturdy oak with chairs and benches, between which two serving maids move to take orders or bring food and beverages. The air is filled with tasty smells of freshly cooked meals, and murmurs of conversation - and occasionally even melodies rippling through the room, when a lute player is around to provide entertainment. The fare is of good quality that even would not disappoint noble tastes.

There are stairs leading upstairs towards a number of comfortable and well kept rooms the inn has to offer.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a fall evening. The weather is cool and drizzling.

NOTE: Contains some discussion of sexual consent and ethics, but no activity.

Gemma nods her head to Anse, "I think we spoke of it before, opening a store-front of some sort for entertainment and small foodstuff. This place sort of reminds me of what I have in mind but I don't want it as rough." she winks, "I'll give the place a woman's touch."

Thaddeus nods slowly, for a moment as he watches them, and then he sips his wine for a moment."Now then, it was a good to hear, and see you again Princess Rajiya, and her plan is good, and we will be setting it up soon. I can't wait to see, it in action."

"What is wrong with your brother?" Rajiya does ask curiously, looking to Thadeus before the conversation does switch again, "A place?" When a servant comes by to see what she wants, she will get a glass and order something for the table to share, whatever might sound good to all.

Anse smiles happily at Gemma "interesting. Book readings too maybe? I would be interested to see it…" Anse looks around the room at the description of it "I suppose a little rough, but I think I like it here. I've been here a few times. Its nice being among regular people. I might just be biased because I like one of the bartenders though…" Anse grins at Rajiya "well, mine are all dumb and ugly."

Etienne descends from above, his gait is relaxed and his face freshly washed, droplets still clinging to the point of his beard. He peers around the room with the curiosity of a new arrival. He passes close enough to hear, and curious rather than alarmed wonders, "This place is rough?"

Gemma turns her head to look in Etienne's direction, "Well rough as in the decor, the furniture. If you want rough you need to head to the port." she grins and agrees with Anse, "I rather like it here as well, it's got a nice atmosphere."

Thaddeus nods slowly, as he listens now sipping his wine, and then he looks over at the princess."He was getting married, and now he is not getting married is all, it is complex." He then sighs softly, as he watches them now, and allowing Gemma to finish.

"I… am sorry to hear that." Rajiya does murmur to Thadeus when he explains about his brother. With a drink in hand, she lifts it for a sip, lowering the glass when Etienne comes by, her gaze to take him in quietly.\par

Anse is sitting at a table with Gemma, Thaddeus, and Rajiya. Etienne just arrived to stand near the group. Anse is sitting crosslegged on the chair chatting happily when he looks up wo Etienne and nods in agreement with Gemma "oh yes, not that rough truthfully. Like Mademoiselle Gemma said, its just rough in decor. I don't believe I've met you before lord?"

Oliver and his assistant Henri slowly make their way down the stairs. Henri walking in front of Oli and Oli with his hands on Henri's shoulders. They finally make the last step and Oli puts down his cane and taps the floor lightly. He's wearing black pants, and a white tunic with blue embellishments. Henri is wearing all black. He heard someone he knows well. He taps his way towards the table. "Anse?" He speaks softly, not wanting to interrupt conversations. Henri bows his head to Anse and the others in the room.

Etienne flashes Gemma a sunny smile, "Atmosphere counts for a lot." He returns the Princess's gaze, head slightly lowered in deference, obviously wanting to speak from his expression, but unsure how without an introduction. Then Anse gives him and opening and he gives an elegant enough bow to those seated, "I'm Etienne D'Arguil of the Baronnie of Berck." His accent marks him as from the north Coast of Azzalle, though not of the highest circles, not of the lowest either.

Anse looks at Oliver like he just saw a ghost, his mouth wide open, and for those with a passing familiarity with him being caught without something to say is a rarity for the priest. "Owlie?" He says in shock. Anse's moment of shock quickly fades away as his legs are quickly unfolded and hes bounding out of his chair to nearly tackle Oliver with a hug "what are you doing here?!" he exclaims in shock and surprise.

Gemma scoots her chair closer to Thaddeus, making more room around the table for anyone that wishes to join them, "Please sit down Lord Etienne, join us?" seeing Anse get up suddenly she repeats the offer, "Bring your friend closer to join us Anse? We can set him up with some refreshment."

Rajiya begins to introduce herself, but Anse is off his chair and attacking some poor Owlie person. Amusement appears upon her face, a smile to touch her lips as she watches the way the priest hugs the blind man. If anyone was watching, the guard in black that entered with the princess touches her weapon, but then relaxes, though continues to watch anyone that comes near the table. After a moment, the princess does offer to Etienne, "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Princess Rajiya Jadeja of Bhodistan, serving as ambassador." With invitations extended to both Etienne and Owlie, she will scoot her chair to one side a little more as well to make extra room for chairs to be added to the shrinking table.

Oliver hears his nickname and he smiles brightly. He wraps his arms around his brother and holds onto him. "I finally convinced our Mother to let me be free. I just have to keep Henri with me, incase I almost fall off a roof…again." He chuckles a little and keeps smiling. "Oh Companions, I've missed you." He sighs happily and keeps holding onto him tightly. He tilts his head to Gemma and shows her that happy smile. "I'm his baby brother and I can join … Oh my companions! A princess." He turns to Anse. "Am I dressed alright? Am I wearing pants?"

Etienne steps lightly out of Oliver's way, giving another polite bow to the new arrival. His eyes flick between Anse and Oliver and then to the black clad guard. When all seems well, he gives another quick smile at the invitation, "Why thank you, as long as it's not an intrusion. I've newly arrived and am still getting my land legs under me." His attempt at looking collected is thrown to the winds, "Bhodistan? You must have seen so much in your travels!

Anse squeezes Oliver tightly in a hug before his brother parts a bit to listen towards the group of people "well, I think its ok brother, i'm not even wearing shoes and the lords and princess don't seem to mind all that much." Anse is grinning as he helps his brother towards a chair, once guided to a chair Anse turns to place a hand on Henri's shoulder "thank you so much for helping my brother" he says to the assistant before returning to the now very crowded table, dragging a chair from a nearby one to sit in it crosslegged once more. "I didn't think mother would ever let you out of Camlach, you missed Sab's wedding. Is that why she let you come here, because Sab is here? I bet father would be furious if he knew I ended up here on pilgrimage…" Anse realises hes hammering his brother with questions and looks to the rest of the group. "This is my brother, Lord Oliver Basilisque, Owlie this is Mademoiselle Gemma, Lord Thadeus Trevalion, Lord Etienne D'Arguil, and Princess Rajiya Jadeja of Bhodistan."

Thaddeus nods slowly, at the others taking it all in, as he sips his wine for a moment, as he sighs softly."Hello to you as well, Oliver, and Lord Etienne, it is a pleasure to meet both of you." He then sighs as he listens, and as he watches them, and with a soft chuckle."This is becoming quiet the throng, and I need to go, have a few things to take care of tonight, stay with them Gemma, I have to prep the fleet."

Oliver nods his head. "I am wearing pants though?" Henri chuckles and says yes. He bows his head to Anse. "I'll leave him in your hands for now. I have some barmaids to woe." He moves towards the bar. Oli though nods his head. "We both traveled to make it for Sebastien's wedding. Though when we got here, we'd missed it by a few days." He sighs quietly. "I convinced Mother to let me stay and that my brothers would care for me. I heard you were here, from Henri and obviously Sebastien. She wasn't going to let me stay but I finally convinced her." He nods his head. "Oh yes. Father was already mad you were a priest." He chuckles. When he's introduced, he doesn't look at anyone he just waves each time someone is mentioned. Then when a male voice says he's gotta go, "It was nice hear you. May the companions guide you."

Gemma reaches to take Thaddeus's hand, giving it a quick squeeze and a smile, "I'll see you at home in a few hours." turning back to the table, listening a moment before grinning at the banter between the two brothers.

As more people join the table and the conversation swings back and forth about her, people may begin to pick up on the subtle rise of apples in the air about the princess. With her glass in hand, she looks from one to another as conversation and introductions do come, but turns to Etienne with a nod of her head, "It was quite the trip. Marsilikos is a beautiful city. I hope to get to see more of Terre d'Ange eventually." As Thaddeus rises to leave, she wishes him a good eve.

Etienne says, "I am pleased to meet all of you. However you made your escape, I am glad of it, Lord Oliver." His tone is amused, "With or without pants." He rises again to bow as Thaddeus takes his leave."

Anse straightens up a bit in his seat and darts his eyes to Oliver "is mom… here?" Anse asks warily before grumbling a bit under his breath. "Of course hes still mad. He'll probably never stop bein mad at me, fortitude and perseverance my a…" Anse coughs then and smiles "though I suppose no one needs to hear me grumble about family things best long left in the past." Anse nods to Rajiya "It is a beautiful country. I've managed to see a deal of it on pilgrimage, it was a wonder seeing the coast for the first time I have to say."

Gemma takes up her glass of wine and leans back, listening avidly she says brightly, "Oh I'm having a great time listening about the family problems. I'm an only child and my father dotes on me. Sometimes, great as it is it can be a little boring. I always did want a sibling."

Oliver pales a little. "Henri said I was wearing pants…" He reaches to his legs and feels them. "Oh I am." He brings his hand to his chest. "I have done that before." He grumbles quietly. "No. Mom is already on her way home." He grins a little. He reaches his hand towards Ansi and lightly touches his face before moving his arms around him to hug him. "Dad was wrong. You were meant for whatever you choose to be." He sighs happily. He releases the man and listens to Gemma. "I felt like an old child for a long while. I was a surprise. See I'm nine years younger than this wonderful man. So… All my brothers were off being grown up and I was at home being coddled."

Anse offers an honest smile when Oliver hugs him "thank you brother" he says lowly then laughs a bit to Gemma "you say that now, and he likes me now, but we were all absolute jerks to one another growing up. I am sure there were times we all wished we were only children. Owlie was doubly unfortunate though, by the time he was old enough to play with us we'd all been sparring for ages, couldn't have asked for an easier target." Anse grins and glances to Etienne "what about you m'lord, siblings or only child?"

Etienne chuckles, "I am very glad to have the whole of Terre D'Ange between me and my family problems. Have you Aunts? I have a hoarde of them. All with Opinions about my Doings…." In a gently teasing tone to Oliver, "Ah! Who hasn't, but you are definitely wearing them. I wonder if my brother feels the same, surrounded as he is without me to draw meddling attention…. I've sisters too, Agnes, Claude, and Antoinette. I've nothing if not family. i love them all; I'm glad to get a bit of breathing space."

Oliver chuckles a little and waves his hand. "You had to catch me first. I was like a blind cat running through the house." He laughs. "Though I did hold my own sometimes by swinging my staff around. It was only when I fell from being dizzy I got jumped on. Though Mom always came running when I screamed out. All of you got in trouble and I was treated like a little piece of gold." He smiles happily. He nods to Etienne. "I can tell you that your brother is being coddled. When it's the last baby in the nest… it was fine before Anse left but after… I couldn't go anywhere without a million questions." He claps his hands together. "Can someone hand me … alcohol?"

Gemma reaches over to touch Oliver's hand, letting him know she's speaking to him, "That just set it up so your parents made all the mistakes with your siblings and with you they did everything perfectly." she asks then, "Would you like something to eat or drink? We have wine along with bread, cheese and some slice meats." she laughs then as Oliver asks for liqure, "Wine or would you like ale?"

Anse hrms a little to himself when Oliver mentions him leaving but he doesn't elaborate on that subject. Instead he laughs at what Gemma says and grins at her "you keep saying things like that they'll go right to his head. Hes always getting women to say nice things to him, saying people are being mean to him or the like." He laughs a little towards what Etienne says as well "I used to have a good deal of land between me and my family but apparently we've all decided to move to Marsilikos."

Oliver feels someone grab his hand and then hears a pretty female voice. "Oh no. I was devious. You can never blame the blind on." He chuckles a little. "My parents made mistakes with all of us." He nods his head. Then Anse talks and he lightly hits the man…he hopes in the shoulder but god knows cause he's blind. "Not true. I once tried to woe a servant. Beautiful soft voice. They hated me." He laughs. He turns his face back to the pretty voice(Gemma). "Oh I get a choice?!" He seems shocked about this. "Food would be nice. And… ale. I've never had ale."

Etienne sighs in commiseration, "That sounds Exhausting, Oliver." He perks up, "I have heard tales of the quality of Eisande wine. Good filling food sounds like and just right for a man just off a ship…. I suspect there are those who would consider me a mistake, for certain." He gives Gemma a wink. then he shrugs good naturedly, "Little Brothers, what can one do?"

Gemma grins, "I never had wine, well least not till a few months ago. Ale isn't as nice at least in my opinion." she waves a server over and gestures to Oliver, "A ale for the Lord please." looking over at Etienne she asks, "Would you like something as well Lord Etienne?"

Anse lets the hit glance off his shoulder and gives Oliver another nudge "its rude to hit priests Owlie." Anse teases back to the man "should be able to get whatever you want, didn't you offer to pay for everyone's drinks?" He smirks at Etienne "I met a Lord Rousse who claims that Eisande has the best wine. Something about dragons. I'm not sure if this place serves dragons though." Anse chuckles at Gemma "I think I agree with you, though I think wine is also dangerous in enough quantities."

The blind man smiles and shakes his head. "My mother never let me drink at all. This will be a first." He grins happily. "Anse, I'm going to drink." He points out to his brother. He ouffs as he is nudged. "Only if they aren't your brother. It's a love tap." He points out as if it's a matter of fact. "Oh! Dragons serve the drinks or dragons are served? I'd prefer the former." He chuckles a little. "Oh who is paying? As long as it's not me!" He brings his hands together.

Etienne grins too, "Ale's the opposite of wine, the fresher brewed the better. Let it get stale and it is indeed nasty stuff. Still, I'd like to try the local wine and see if it lives up to it's fine reputation, so yes please." he gives them a wicked grin, "Anything's dangerous in large enough quantities. That generally doesn't stop a man from trying….Oh! Then we definitely must drink, if only for the sake of your education!"

Gemma says, "If Thadd had stayed I'm sure he would have covered though he did leave coin for the wine and food earlier. If nothing else he'll have a little tab the next time he comes in." ordering two of the ales for the lords, "Though the ale they serve here is better then what the port has, at least it's palatable. What wines do they have locally? I should know but don't."

"Just dont have too much Owlie" Anse warns but chuckles then "you're paying Owlie. You can't expect me or Mademoiselle Gemma to pay, and we just met Lord D'Arguil, so that just leaves you." Anse bahs a bit when Gemma volunteers Thaddeus "Well, that's no fun, ruin the whole game" Anse says as a joke to Gemma. "No, it doesn't stop someone from trying, but sometimes it should."

Oliver nods his head and claps his hands together happily. "I'm excited to learn." He's happy also to learn he's not paying. "So I'm getting good ale. I am happy about that. What kind of food am I eating soon? Is it local or exotic, like beans?" Yeah he's been sheltered. He turns to stare blankly at Anse. "You are no fun. It's not like my vision can blur if I drink too much. I hear that's an issue."

Etienne grins, "Oh definitely have too much. You've us to look after you if you do. We should make a game of it." He looks a little startled at the bean comment, but is too polite to mention.

Two tankards of ale are set down, one in front of Etienne and the other Oliver. Gemma responds to Oliver question, "I'm not sure what you would consider exotic. Right now it's just bread, some soft cheeses and I think sliced boar." grinning in Anse's direction, "If he drinks too much I'm sure someone can carry him home."

Anse grins a bit to Gemma and Etienne "are you two going to volunteer for that? I have to be back in the dorms tonight, I can't have my drunk brother keeping me up all night." Anse glances to Etienne "maybe the lord here will be nice enough to take you to a noble establishment some time Owlie, why are you staying here anyway? I can't imagine mom would have agreed to that if she'd known."

Oliver hears something set down and reaches his hand out slowly. It curls around the tankard and his other hand curls there too. "I think a lot of stuff is exotic. It's not what mother would allow so anything not in the house was exotic. First time I tried candy I got yelled at because each candy piece takes a year off your life." He chuckles. "I knew she was lying because I'm still alive and I've had over a hundred pieces." He chuckles. He brings the ale to his lips and takes a really long drink of it. He puts it down, full foamstache in effect. He makes an 'ew' face and then goes for more. He finishes half the tankard and shakes his head. "I wasn't staying here… permanently. I told her I would stay with Sebass." He chuckles a little. "But oh me, I'm blind and cannot seem to find where he lives." He shrugs his shoulders.

Etienne snorts, "My allowance is short. I have no noble establishment to offer, just a room upstairs, but I'm sure we can drag him up to his if he gets messy…. The colour of the sea so far south is exotic all by itself. It's all green and gray back home." He is just sipping from his tankard when the myth about candy hits him and he nearly chokes, "Are you sure you brothers haven't switched clothes?" He takes a good drink, "It'll taste better once you've had a bit more. When it starts to taste really good, you'll know it's starting to work."

Gemma chokes around a sip of her wine, setting her glass down to take up her napkin as she contains her low laugh, "Oh you are a naughty boy pulling the wool over your poor mother's eyes. When she finds out all you've done to sneak out she will be trying to drag you home."

Anse glances to Oliver then to Etienne "no, I joined the priesthood late. Hes just an odd one. Our mother really did dote on him. I had all kinds of candy and other nonsense growing up. Might even be part of the reason he was never allowed to have any." He tilts his head curiously at Etienne "you think the ocean is truly different between here and Azzalle?" He looks over to Gemma "it'll probably be good for him though truth be told. Get out a bit in the world. provided someone is here to keep him from drinking free ale to death."

Oliver laughs a little. "Hopefully the ale hits faster because this tastes horrible." He drinks more before answering Gemma. "She will never believe you. To her I am a perfect child…. except the whole blind thing. That was a horses fault." He waves his hand. "I am happy she is going to live her life though…away. I can breathe!" He drinks more of the ale until he's done his glass and quietly burps. "I will take more." He nods his head. He gasps and then chuckles. "Yeah that's probably why. If I had everything you guys had then I might become like you." He shakes his head. "It's lovely though. I get to experience everything when I am old enough to appreciate it.

Etienne eyes Anse, "I really do fear for my brother's access to sugar plums now." his tone shifts and his eyes get the look in them some men have for their beloveds. "It's very different. Here it is so bright and blue and… not a quick to change. At home some days it's hard to tell the sea from the sky when the fog is in. She is changeable and prone to going from gentle to furious and back again quick enough. I do not know her temper here just yet, but I'd like to learn it." Cheerful and teasing again, "Ah, keep drinking, you'll find it soon enough." He suits words to action and quaffs half his tankard, then lifts it in toast, "To breathing free air far away from those that love us too well for our own good!"

Gemma shakes her head a little, chuckling at something Etienne's said, "The sea here is like that as well but normally when you're out at sea and a storm comes in. You get stuck in a fog bank and you better sit your butt still till it lifts." she laughs then as more ale is asked for, "I think we better feed you first. Father, give your brother some bread to soak up that ale?" nope she doesn't want to have to try and carry him.

Anse smirks at Gemma "brother, not father. I make no claims to be this mans father." Anse unfolds his legs and then stands up from the chair "but I can get some bread." Anse motions for a server and orders some bread and butter and cheeses for the table, and then turns back to the table "I do have some dorms to get too though. Mademsoiselle Gemma, a pleasure as always, Lord D'Arguil it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope to meet you again some day." Anse turns to Oliver and gives the man a hug "it really is nice to see you Owlie. I'm sure i'll see you again soon." He mutters something to Oliver before he rises back up and offers a bow to Etienne "I can't wait until I hear about what his first hangover is like."

Oliver smiles happily and claps his hands together again. "The sea sounds like a temperamental child, that kills people." He shakes his head and listens as he's told to wait for food. "Where is the fun in that?" He asks quietly. "I want to not feel my toes." He hugs Anse back and smiles brightly. He awws at the mutter and sighs. "I love you too, brother." He turns to the table and claps his hands. "Someone feed me …" He states simply.

Etienne listens carefully to Gemma, "Ah! So the beauty and calm is a mask over the same gloriously tempestuous heart….Indeed! Bread and ale is good….It was good to meet you as well, and I do promise to look after him in your stead." He rises and bows, "A night of firsts indeed!" He gives Anse a wink. When he's seared again and the food shared out, "Not a child, but a queen, Lord Oliver, to be worshiped and adored and feared. She gives life as well as taking it, and is beautiful in all her moods…. Check your nose first, to see if it is still there. Noses go missing first, long before the legs." another mischievous grin.

Gemma starts to make moves to leave as well, making sure the most recent drinks and food is covered, "Treat the sea as a beautiful but temperamental woman and you'll never go wrong." standing to give Anse a hug, "Have a good night." when she turns back to the table, "My lords it's been great meeting you but I need to take my leave as well."

Anse holds the door open for Gemma when she departs with him, bouncing out of the bar into the night.

Etienne rises again to bow and to attempt to kiss her hand, "It was truly a pleasure."

Oliver hears everyone leaving except Etienne. "It's okay. I will keep him company." He smiles. He drinks more from a new glass and waves to Gemma. "Lovely meeting you. Hope to hear you again!" He turns back to Etienne and gasps a little. "What? My nose leaves?" He brings his hand up to his nose and holds onto it because it's not getting away from him.

Gemma's cheeks flush lightly, "Have a great evening and until next time."

Etienne's smile is in his voice even if the lips aren't visible to Oliver, "In a sense. More like, it will feel to your hand is if it is someone else's. Let us find out if we can have a pitcher for the table, and do have some of the bread and cheese. you will be glad of it later even if you are not hungry now." Once the pitcher is brought, he fills both their cups, "Who is this Sebastian? I fear I know very little of the gossip."

Oliver reaches his hand out to the blob on the table and grabs what he hopes is cheese. He brings it to his mouth and goes to bite it. Nope, napkin. He puts it back down and pats around before just going back to his drink. He releases his nose and grins. "Sebastien? He's my oldest brother. He is Viscomte Sebastien Basilisque." He grins happily. "I am so proud of him." He points out. He drinks the rest of his drink and burps again. "Oh I am so sorry." He hiccups a little.

Etienne waits patiently and reaches for the hand no longer protecting Oliver's nose in the hopes of guiding it to the bread, "I did promise your brother to look after you and that does mean making sure you at least get something solid in your stomach while you're still in a condition to eat it. I'll not fill your tankard again until you do. how did that last one taste, buy thee way? So your oldest brother just made a good match?"

Oliver allows his hand to be lead to bread. He takes a piece. "Thank you…also that's mean." He mentions about no more drink. He brings the bread to his lips and takes a few mouse like bites. "He did! I was proud of him." He nods his head and grins. "It's not like our father could negotiate so he… kind of did that on his own." He takes a few more mouse like bites. "Can I have more now?"

Etienne chuckles, "Oh, I promise to pour you more once you've eaten all of that. Trust me, you will need it." He drinks from his own tankard while keeping an eye on Oliver, lest he try to drop or hide the bread, much as he would have done in Oliver's place. "I do keep my promises, Oliver. Both to you and your brother the Brother. Your father couldn't negotiate? Is all well?" he eyes the bread, "The whole piece, Oliver." he teases again, "I thought you said it tasted nasty, and here you are calling mean for not giving you more."

Oliver bites a little bit of the bread and makes a show of shoving something in his mouth. His hands are free now… though a very obvious piece of bread is in his shirt. "I'm done." He smiles a little. "Oh… " The smile dies. "My… father died two years ago." He takes a deep breath. "It's been hard but… mother is struggling the worst. Which is why I stayed for so long. I didn't want to hurt her." He shakes his head. "It does taste horrible but something is supposed to happen so I'm still drinking."

Etienne snorts, "You are not, Oliver. You may be blind, but I am not. If you do not want that piece in your shirt, I will give you another and larger….Oh!" His voice goes gentle, "For that, I am sorry. I should not have brought it up and spoiled your fun….you are a good son to her sounds like, but you just as clearly needed room to grow. Keep a tree in a pot and it will not grow right and eventually wither. Now you have room to wiggle your roots and perhaps your Mother will heal better as well."

Oliver cusses quietly and grabs the bread. He shoves a big piece in his mouth and grumbles as he eats. He clearly doesn't want the larger piece. "It's alright. I think I've grieved. I do cry at night sometimes. More because I don't remember what his face looked like and I'm losing the sound of his voice." He sighs. "I take the edge off at nights though which is good." He listens to the man and nods his head. "My mom needs to worry about herself and stop worrying about me. When she does that, she will heal. I think she's crying right now though. She hasn't really cried about him so now that she's alone… she will be." He takes another bite and it's almost half gone.

Etienne gives a soft bark of amusement at Oliver's consternation over the bread. Then he lightly touches Oliver's hand, "That must be a hard thing, to lose those memories. I loved my grandfather dearly, but it's not the same, I think. Still, you have the good memories of things done together to carry with you and he helped make you a man. My Grandfather used to carve little wooden animals by the fire on Winter nights. I do not remember his face anymore, but I remember his big gnarled hands with knife and pine. Perhaps you have something like that to hold even if his voice fades." His sips his drink thinking, "I think you are right about your Mother. That it hurts very much now, but that the weeping will help her heal."

Oliver feels the man's hand on his and he shakes his head. "My father was always mad at my brothers. Either Sebastien wasn't being proper or Anse was getting ready to be a priest…Stephane was the glowing child that he mentored and me? I was the blind one. I wasn't always this way and he loved me before the accident. Tried to train me so I could become a Cassaline. Then this happened and he didn't know what to do with me so I was left with my mother." He shoves more bread in his mouth and then puts it down as he chews. "I'm getting full.."

Etienne gives the hand a gentle squeeze and deciding that is good enough for now, releases it so as to fill both their tankards. Following his own advise, he spreads cheese on his bread. "No offense, bit it sounds like your father was a bit of a fool to not see the value of all of his children. We grow as we grow. To try to bend against nature makes no sense. Best to cultivate what is best and trust for the rest." He nudges Oliver's tankard so it touches Oliver's hand, "I may suffer from a surfeit of attention, but it is kindly meant, as it sounds like your Mother's is. It sounds like you have good brothers who value you for you. that is a thing to be thankful for."

Oliver nods his head and takes the full tankard. "I think my father only wanted what was best for us. The best life. He didn't know what that looked like for a blind man so he stayed away." He drinks down half the tankard and shakes his head. "I love my brothers very much. All of them. They might have beat me up and been mean when I was young but I love them and support them no matter what." He nods his head and puts his free hand on the table. He hiccups again and frowns. "Wha *hic*"

Etienne sips in a more measured way, being the responsible party this evening for once. "Then you are well looked after indeed. what do you imagine for yourself? Beyond losing your nose, I mean… Are you all right?"

Oliver holds his breath hiccuping a few times before they stop. "I am well looked after." He smiles happily. "Imagine? I don't know. Sex, drugs, and alcohol." He says teasingly but he might not be teasing. "I am dizzy." He drinks more alcohol and hiccups again. "Nooo." He drinks from the other side of the cup and his hiccups stop immediately.

Etienne laughs softly, "Ah. I admit I rather hope my future holds similar, though I suspect Gran Marie hoopes rather the opposite for my sojourn here…. Ooo! I've not seen that cure before. Very clever of you! has your nose gone missing yet? Better check!

Oliver grins slowly and bow wags. "You want to sex?" He frowns a little and shakes his head. "Why would you ask that you idiot?" He grumbles to himself. "Henri taught me that one." Then he's asked to check his nose and his hand flies to his face faster than it should and there is a loud slap and his hand drops and he just sits there with his head back. "I just did that…"

Etienne chokes on his bread at the blunt asking out of the blue. Once he has calmed his coughing with more ale, he says seriously, "Not tonight. I have promised your brother to look after you properly. Tonight we are drinking and though I have been told I am not much of a gentlemen, in this I am. I will not let you do anything that you would likely regret as much as that, and I am a stranger you barely know." His tone turns gently teasing to take the sting out of it, "Best not to combine Quite so many Firsts on the same night, especially as there is a good chance you might forget a portion of it." He chuckles at the procession of small embarrassments, but there is a kindliness in the tone, "If a man can not do a few foolish things his first time out drinking, then when can he do them?"

Oliver hears the coughing and blinks a few times. "Oh so not a no. Just maybe later." He winks in his general direction as he puts bread in his mouth. It's… not sexy. He ohhs a little around the bread and finishes it, chewing before he points to upstairs. "Just had sex. So not a first." He smiles a little and brings the glass to his mouth drinking down. "It would be a second. I didn't know that person either." He leans back in his chair and squeaks as his chair topples. He lies on his back, "Oh man…" Then he just starts laughing.

Etienne says gently, "Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. We've only known each other a few hours and I can't possibly tell how things will go…." And then Oliver is on the floor and he is laughing too, even as he rises to go help the lad, "I think the ale is working…. Would you like a hand up?"

Henri is already over hoisting up Oliver. He puts the chair back up and sets Oliver against it. He checks his back and his head before nodding and moving back to the bar. Oliver nods his head. "I'd love help up." He extends his hand forward and grins happily. "Well…we should get to know each other… is that what… people who want to have sex do? See I have no point of reference."

Etienne laughs again, "I fear your man has anticipated me. Would you like a hand into your chair again or perhaps a walk to clear your head a little." He takes the offers hand anyway, "People who want to be friends get to know each other. they talk and the like. Let us focus on becoming friends for the evening, yes? And put thought of the other out of our minds since drink… tangles things."

Oliver feels the hand and holds it. "Friends." He nods his head slowly. "One more drink and we can go for a walk." He states simply. "So since we are gettin to know each other… tell me about you." He leans forward a little and grins happily.

Etienne sits next to Oliver in hopes of tipping his chair upright if he starts to fall out of it again, and fills Oliver's cup from the water pitcher instead of the ale. "There you go, drink up and I'll do the same." He drinks to show willing. "I'm an oldest brother, as you'll remember, and our Castle is near the sea. We've a little port there and our folk fish out of it and do a bit of trading. We swim almost as soon as we can walk. I've always wanted to travel though this is as far as I've ever been from home. That was the first Princess I've ever seen earlier and for so far away!" He is rather hoping to distract Oliver from other thoughts and so speaks a little quickly.

Oliver takes a few large gulps of the water before putting the tankard down and glaring in front of him. "Oh I don't know how to swim. You must be very good." He nods his head. "That was the first princess I've ever met too!" He smiles happily. "This is also the furthest from home I've ever been. Tell me about your siblings."

Etienne sips from his tankard, "A good thing to learn, but not tonight. It's another thing best done sober." Another sip, "Agnes has Mother's colouring, as I do, though she looks more like grandmother. She's a first rate hawker and can sing…." A little sadly, "They'll be marrying her off soon, I suppose. certainly the letters were flying back and forth about it when I left. Claude has lighter hair and has our mother's temperament and looks. she the best embroiderer and dancer of us. Antoinette… climbs and drives them all even crazier than I do. Orland is five and I suspect they hope he'll turn out better than I did, though when I left he was sure he wanted to be a pirate when he's grown.

Oliver grins a little as he describes visuals for his siblings. He doesn't say anything though. He takes a moment before he says, "They sound lovely." He drinks the rest of his water and glares more. "I sound like a dying cat when I sing." He chuckles. "Your family is so talented. Swimming, singing, embroidering, dancing." He shakes his head. "My brothers can do none of that. They are good ships men and swordsmen." He nods his head.

Etienne laughs, "Me too, really. My sisters got all the talent in the family, such as it is….I'm not bad with the sword, but I don't love it the way one must to be great. I'm not nearly enough in love with death for one thing.

Oliver nods his head slowly. "I am survivable with a staff but if I get into combat… I'll die." He sighs quietly and attempts to drink the empty tankard. He urgs and reaches his hand out for the pitcher. Or what he thinks is the picture. His hand wobbles high above it as he tries to grab the air. "Clearly I have the eye sight of a molerat."

Etienne says, "Did you not say you wanted to step out for a bit of air before your next drink?" He shrugs, then realizes there is no chance of Oliver seeing it, "So don't start any fights involving sharp objects and cross professional mercenary off your list of things to do with your life. What is a thing you like doing instead of a thing you are expected to do?""

Oliver stops reaching and brings his hand back. "Did I?" He blinks a few times before nodding. "I guess so…" He pushes himself off the chair and grips the table. "Why do my legs feel like jelly?" He grumbles. "Oh I can be a mercenary. I will hunt those blobs." He chuckles a little as he tries to take a step. "I like looking at the stars until the sunset and watching the sunrise before sleep. Or I imagine it all while I'm high off my rocker."

Etienne rises quickly to offer him a steadying had, "I did warn you the nose goes first and later the legs. You can now say you've had another first…. Off your rocker? Here, take my arm."

Oliver takes Etienne's arm and holds on tightly. "Yeah…" His eyes slide closed. "My brothers don't know this about me. So don't tell them." He shushes Etienne. "Since I was fifteen… I have been getting high on opium. It was right after my dad died… I just… didn't want to deal with the pain so I got high." He grumbles a little. "Also my first day here I had sex. I'm a whore." He starts going limp against Etienne's side.

Etienne gently bends their steps towards the door closest to the privy, not for any amorous or nefarious reason, but because that was rather a lot of ale and best to have the lad close to the destination than risk the alternative. He makes eye contact with Oliver's helper and jerks his head towards the door to which they are headed, then looks pointedly at Oliver's other arm in hopes the man will come get the other side to help. "That is… unwise. To take so much so often." He makes no promises. Instead he says, "Courtesan is a noble profession, and sex is a blessing and not a thing to be ashamed of. Still, if you have taken no money than you are not one and have simply enjoyed Naamah's Blessing. Perhaps you should discuss all this with your brother Anse.

Oliver shakes his head. "It was my first time and I didn't know him." He grumbles a little before Henri lifts his arm over his shoulder. He becomes a lot lighter for Etienne. "It works." He speaks gently before turning to smile at the person on the other side of him. He sniffs and gasps. "Henri! I love you." Henri shakes his head and rolls his eyes. "Let's go." Henri grumps. Oli's eyes start closing. "When I have it… everything is better. It's softer and lovely." He grins slowly and turns his face to Etienne. "Are you worried about me?"

Etienne silently mouths to Henri 'Privy then bed. He's had enough.' Then gently, in the slow clear annunciation one uses for floppy drunks in the 'I love you' phase, he says, "There is nothing wrong with that if both agree. It's just not for everybody." After a pause he inquires, "Do you think I should be worried?

Henri nods his head and starts moving them over to the Privy. "I don't agree. You can love me and I love you but not like that. You are my not blood brother." Henri grumbles. Oli though turns his face to Etienne and he looks mad. "No. I'm fine." He almost growls at the man. "Why would you be worried…" He turns his face forward. "Tell me about the sea."

Etienne lets the topic drop and says again, "At dawn sometimes, she is beautiful and calm, the light like a salmon's belly reflected on the ripples, wavelets gently lapping one's toes. near the mouth of the river in the right season there are sometimes long legged cranes just waking and thinking of breakfast.

Oliver frowns. "I cannot picture it. I don't know what… a salmon looks like or cranes or… dawn." He frowns a little more. "Do you have to relieve yourself, my lord?" Oli nods his head and Henri hauls him into the bathroom. "We will be right back." He closes the door behind him and Oli. There is some noise from the bathroom, 'aim right there…there you go. I've got you.' Soon enough Henri comes back with an Oliver on his back. Oli reaches for Etienne. "You don't hate me right?"

Etienne mouths, 'Best sitting down in this state. Less mess.' To Oliver in his clear enunciation, and with a real attempt to tamp down his accent for the sake of clarity, "Of course I don't, Lord Oliver. I am just looking out for you as I promised. Concern and hate are seldom friends." He takes Oliver's other side, with no attempt at all at dignity as navigating the stairs safely is the more important concern, "What colours do you remember. Perhaps I can help you picture it better. Cranes are long winged birds with very skinny legs."

Henri hands part of Oliver over as he starts moving for the stairs. Oli grins a little. "Good…because I love you, Etty." He sighs quietly. "I… don't remember colors." He speaks softly. "It's been so long ago… I just … so many blobs." He chuckles at the sound of what a crane looks like. "Oh I'm picturing a tall pigeon." He grins as his eyes close and he starts going limp. "I like.. the ale." He purrs happily.

Etienne's tone stays gentle, "Imagine a cat sized pigeon with fancier feathers and several feet long knobbly kneed stick legs….I am glad you had fun, Oliver. Try to lift your legs a little, all right?" He is trying to judge if it would be better for one of them to take the head and the other the legs and just carry him out right.

Oliver grins with his eyes closed as he gets heavier and heavier. Henri grumbles and looks at Etienne. He nods at the man and takes him under the arms so Etienne can grab his legs. "Let's get him to bed. I've seen him like this before. It will be some time before he's awake again." He shakes his head a little and starts backing up the stairs.

Etienne takes Oliver's legs gamely enough and carries the dead weight like he's done it before. He mouths 'Sorry,' in case Oliver is awake enough to hear. He does keep his promise and help Henri get the lad up to his room, and once he's settled on his side with a basin nearby leaves the rest to servent.

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