(1312-06-22) Fashions and Roses
Summary: Jehan-Pascal meets Perrin, introduces him to the fashionable drink at the Black Pearl and the fashionable femmes of the White Rose.
RL Date: 6/22
Related: None
jehan-pascal perrin alienor 

La Perle Noire — Grand Plaza

The face this establishment shows to the Grand Plaza is a window display of coffee beans in a fantastic blown-glass vase, against figured silk which changes with the seasons; and a pair of heavy oaken doors guarded by a swarthy, bearded, well-muscled man in Ephesian costume, who bows patrons out of Terre d'Ange and into a foreign land redolent of fine coffee and cinnamon and tobacco, lit by countless candles suspended each in a gleaming glass lantern from a ceiling that billows with ruby-red silk and cloth of gold. Layered carpets of many colours, intricately woven and warmed in winter by a hypocaust, soften the music of pipes and drums and mandolins that filters through this sanctuary of civilised pleasures. Here a friendship might be forged or renewed, a deal struck, or a day simply whiled away in Eastern opulence and ease, amidst the red and the gold and the smoke.

In the middle of the main lounge is a raised circular stage upon which an horologist's glass marks the lapse of two hours between performances by Ephesian dancing girls, or minstrels singing joyously in the tongue of that land, or even a local d'Angeline bard telling tall tales. Low tables of dark wood radiate therefrom, surrounded by lounging cushions and richly-upholstered divans; the outermost are set in alcoves which may for privacy's sake be screened by shimmering silken curtains. If one desires amusement, one may summon at any hour alluring dancers whose brass finger-cymbals chime to accent the undulations of their hips. If one wishes to smoke, one may command a water pipe. But the true business of the house is the coffee. Perfumed young men in loose trousers and embroidered tunics move to and fro like angels dispensing this liquid mercy: strong, fragrant, frothing kahve, brewed cup by cup from the fine-ground black pearls of Ephesium, served in elaborate copper vessels beside tall glasses of pure spring water and plates of esoteric and delectable foreign sweetmeats.

Several sets of doors at the rear of the lounge lead away to the kitchens; to a stairway ascending toward smaller chambers which may be reserved for private parties; and outside into a courtyard, open in fair weather.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a summer morning. The weather is warm and clear.

Jehan-Pascal had only dipped his toe into the depths of coffee addiction before the wedding, and, even so, he missed it during his month in Avignon. Not that it's impossible to get, but this is… this is just the stuff. JP, being something of an early bird where the average d'Angeline is concerned, is having a quiet morning with his legs crossed under a table, caffeinating himself at his leisure. He's got a sweet pastry he's ordered, as well, but he's barely touched it in favor of sitting bent over the table and writing with a persistent scribble-energy in a good-sized leather bound tome with wood-bound graphite.

Perrin seems to be in no hurry at all. He can be seen outside at first wandering around the Grand Plaza for a time before discovering the coffee beans displayed in the window, or perhaps it what the enticing scent of the coffee which drew him closer. When he walks in through the front door, he begins to smile and gives a polite nod to the swarthy Ephesian men that bow as he enters. He seems like he has never been here before, the way he takes in the sights, sounds and smells make it clear that he is pleased with his find. He does not seem in a great hurry to find a place to sit, however he does begin to look more and more like a tourist the longer he tarries.

Jehan-Pascal does glimpse up toward the door in a reflexive gesture when movement there catches the periphery of his vision, but he looks down again on not recognizing the person in question. A few more notes, a few taps of his pencil against his bottom lip, then he's setting the writing implement into the vale between verso and recto, straightening his back and making it crack once or twice, lifting his coffee for a deep, appreciative drink of it. And since Perrin is still standing there, looking more touristy by the moment, Jehan-Pascal sets the coffee down and gives the guy a welcoming smile, waving him closer in an invitation to have a seat at his otherwise empty table. He's not dressed up, at all. Dressed down, more like it. Dun riding trousers to just below the knee, and boots from there down— or, at least, he wore boots in, they're at his side, now, and he's in a pair of plainish grey hose. And, over all of them, his somewhat aged favorite, the forest-green tunic of fluffy wool, the sleeves bunched up with a leather thong slipped from shoulder to shoulder, making it short-sleeved for the summer without having to ruin the arms with rolling.

Perrin nods his head and offers a ready smile before taking a step towards the table, only to be delayed by a serving man who also had noticed the dark haired man's evident delay in the middle of the room. This causes another short delay as there is a brief conversation between Perrin and the serving man which involves another nod towards Jehan-Pascal's direction. When the other man begins his trek again, it only takes a few steps before he arrives at the table. He says, "Hello, thank you for the invitation. It is my first time in here, and I was wondering how I could have possibly missed it in my past visits. The smell…" He inhales deeply and his smile shows once again, "I am Perrin, it is nice to meet you."

Jehan-Pascal's eyes flicker to the Somerville emblem on Perrin's doublet, but only momently. His brain is lightning even if his eyes are fog, and soon eye contact is genially returned. "Good to know you, Perrin," he uses the given name, since the introduction lent itself to an implied permission to use it. It's an informality Jehan-Pascal finds highly charming— he's never one to stand on ceremony, either, so he answers back, "Jehan-Pascal," by way of introduction, but, since he's wearing no emblem of his house and is in his 'street clothes,' he adds, "Of Baphinol," to not leave Perrin at a social disadvantage. "I only started coming to this place a few months ago, but heck if it hasn't made me regret my being late to the party. It had a wonderful flower of popularity last year, but I guess I'm a little slow to jump on gustatorial trends. It is tremendous, though. Let me stand you your first cup," he offers, chipper. Oh, how chipper.

Perrin sits across from Jehan-Pascal and seems mildly surprised at the introduction, "It is very good to meet you in that case Jehan-Pascal, and again I thank you for the kind invitation." His tone hints that he is comfortable enough with being more formal, however does not prefer it. His words seem to flow more fluidly in a comforting bass when he is talking about things other than nobility. He receives his cup of steaming coffee and pours in some cream as he admits, "The smell alone was enough to lure me through the door. I have tried only twice before and had not quite developed the taste. It was recommended to add cream. What do you recommend, and I would be gracious to accept your offer, thank you."

"Mm, yes! The purists will look down their noses at you about it, but when I first started I think I was drinking something more cream than kahve," Jehan-Pascal smiles. "And that's nothing to be ashamed of. Make it as sweet and amiable to your senses as you like. Then, when you get to like the flavor, maybe you'll like it on its own… or maybe not! It doesn't really matter," Jehan-Pascal patters on, resting his hands on his knees and beaming at the new inductee to the cult of the black pearl.

Perrin looks about the shop and smiles a little, as if having purists look down their nose at him would be amusing to him. He does not have to wait long before the serving man he had spoken with returns to the table and sets Perrin up with a steaming mug of coffee. He seems well pleased with this and holds the mug in both hands and breathes in the rich aroma and allows his eyes to drift closed as he does so. He says nothing, however his posture alone shows that this sort of thing is good for the soul and should be practiced by more. After a long moment he takes a tentative sip and considers for a moment before trying another. He admits, "This seems much different than the bean I had tried in L'Agnace." A brief pause before simply adding, "It is good."

"It's very good. We haven't got anything like it even in Avignon. I'm going to need to fix that," Jehan-Pascal laughs to himself. "I almost felt myself physically suffering from the lack of it after a month away," he confides. "But I suppose it's that way with anything so fortifying to the spirit," he goes on to consider, more abstract and philosophically than in any realm of reality. "When our spirit is used to being so fortified, it mourns the dearth of those fortifications when deprived of them. What do you think? Is that an encomium to the fortifying agent, or a condemnation of our spirits' disinclination to self-fortify?" 'Tis a heavy question before noon, for sure.

Perrin looks over the brim of his mug at his table companion and considers his words. He is quiet for a moment after, and seems to take another sip or two as he considers. He admits, "The first two times I tried what I had at the time believed to be coffee was not prepared like this, so I do not think I experienced the suffering from the lack… However, after sampling this, I am beginning to see how you might have that sort of reaction." He quiets once against before suggesting, "Maybe it is as natural to the soul as a mothers milk is to the babe? If it truly fortified the soul the way milk fortifies a babe's growth, then it would be not unlike forcing a foul to ween away from milk. The craving for what it is used to is a difficult thing and they might feel a similar physical suffering from yearning for the teat?" He gives a slight shrug of a shoulder and takes another sip, "It is early for such things though, so I may well discover a new thought with the next sip."

Jehan-Pascal lifts a hand back over the table's edge to take up his cup one more time, rolling over Perrin's contributions in his mind and trying not to let his own mental gymnastics jump too many steps ahead of the conversation. He lifts his brows in admission with a soft smile when Perrin praises the local brew, taking a sip and then settling his forearms on the edge of the table, leaning forward with interest in the analogy of the weaned foal. "But the mother's milk, we can see how it builds the foal from its first tottering steps to a fine, strong animal. What does the kahve build in us? I feel energized in its partaking, my work flies."

Perrin smiles at the question and nods his head solemnly and admits, "That is the question isn't it? This feels like my first real cup of genuine coffee, so I do not have that answer… Yet." He quiets for a moment again to allow his eyes to drift closed as he breaths in the scent of the mug in his hands, then takes a drink. It seems cool enough now that he is able to do more than just take small sips. He suggests, "Unlike spirits, there does to be a wholesome quality to this. Although, I will admit to savoring a good drink in a somewhat similar manner." He looks to his companion once again as he asks, "Have you experienced that sort of craving with anything else that we could compare the near physical suffering with the absence of kafve with? Or something else that energizes you in a similaar manner, perhaps." He pulls a bit of a face at this, perhaps only now making understanding the contradiction of this drink.

Perrin and Jehan-Pascal are seated at one of the tables, discussing the merits of the coffee they are both drinking. The shop is not very busy, so the two men's voices can be heard from a small distance. Perrin had just inquired, "Have you experienced that sort of craving with anything else that we could compare the near physical suffering with the absence of kafve with? Or something else that energizes you in a similar manner, perhaps?" of the man across the table from him.

Dressed in a very fine but very conservative gown in a creamy off-white color, with a diaphanous white veil covering her hair and her face, at least partially, yet with a crown of brilliant fresh daisies pinned in that dark hair, Alienor makes her way into the Ephesian cafe with an air of comfortable familiarity. She is not an unfamiliar figure to the servers, though, and at least one pauses to flirt quietly with her before she laughs softly and makes her way to a table coincidentally not far from where the two men sit.

Jehan-Pascal has, indeed, and could draw comparisons. "I'm very partial to wine, in fact. It's not quite the same…" he's watching a hundred words pop around half-behind his eyelids before settling on, "Effrenate sensation, but it produces a quite cordial lubrication of mind and body without which I must admit I feel rather dull," he produces for comparison, "And, on occasion of going without for quite a number of days, rather worse than dull." His eyes are drawn to the White Rose (he supposes, her veil obscuring her to the degree that he can only recognize her by her garb) now in attendance, but they don't linger there overlong. "What about you? You mentioned earlier this beverage's contrast in wholesomeness to that of spirits, and I did intend to question you on your meaning, there."

Perrin waves a hand dismissively, "Don't be so modest. We've managed to strike up a conversation within moments of meeting that is more stimulating than any I've had in months… While admittedly, I have spent quite some time preparing to move here and most of my conversations involved the transportation of animals and boxes. Not the fiercest of competition in the field of invigorating conversation." He takes another sip of his coffee before following Jahen-Pascal's gaze to the lovely young woman in the white gown. He offers her a small smile, despite being not quite seeming confident that he caught her eye. Veils, they make it even more of a struggle. He looks back to his table companion and says, "I was thinking along the same lines. Wine and spirits tend to make me more talkative, however in a more of a slurred voice than the kafve has given me. A good whiskey can be breathed in much the same way and enjoyed to some of the same extent as this… However, the warmth of the mug, I believe makes a world of difference for me."

Alienor does offer a beautiful smile to the two men, offering Jehan-Pascal a perfectly executed and demure curtsey before turning her gaze to his companion. Her eyes linger on Perrin for a moment, until she's sure she's caught his eye, and then she drops her gaze in a demure manner that somehow manages to be a little flirtatious. She slips onto the divan she has chosen gracefully and comfortably to wait for her kahve to be brought.

"Well, how much is me and how much of the kahve… that's the question of the day," Jehan-Pascal grins into the rim of his kahve cup, then drinks it down. "And now that I've been woken up, I'd better run home, I've got to transcribe some of these figures into my correspondence and get them on the road so they can get to Avignon tonight." He's got to take a moment to get his boots back on, though, and he'll take a moment to glance between Perrin and Alienor, "A White Rose in the wild," he grins at Perrin. "Why don't you ask her over? The White Roses of Marsilikos are unparalleled companions. And you and I— we'll have to see one another again soon. We're redoing our suite in the Baphinol residence in town, just now, but we'll be ready for company, soon, and are at least able to accept correspondence there. What about you, where can I send word?" he wonders.

Perrin cannot help but smile at the girl's lovely smile and mild flirtation. He comments to Jehan-Pascal, "It is nice to be in Marsilikos again. I had not been here in several years. I had almost forgotten the charm, and this place had not even existed on my last visit", referring to the coffee shop. Then his new friend makes to leave and he stands to send him off, "I have only just moved to the city and plan to stay for a time. I have arranged to stay at the Somerville residence here in the noble district. It may be a day or two before anyone there remembers the younger son of a younger daughter, however any missive will find me in short order I am sure. It was nice to meet you Jehan-Pascal, and I hope our paths cross again soon." He looks then to the young woman that Jehan-Pascal had spoken of. He gives her another friendly look before giving his attention to the departing man once more. He says, "Good drinks and good company, both a way to start a day off well. Be well."

It's only a mild flirtation for Alienor feels the need to be modest and demure. Indeed, her dress covers more than most summer dresses in warm Marsilikos might, and she looks absolutely delighted with the cup of kahve that the server brings her, laughing brightly at his compliments and teasing. And then he leaves her be, and she keeps her own company calmly, enjoying the hot coffee.

Jehan-Pascal closes his book and lifts it up under his arm as he stands, boots finally laced back into place. He looks up and halts, charmed, slightly, that Perrin stands to see him off, and he steps in and applies an amiable kiss farewell to Perrin's cheek, patting him on the shoulder and then drawing back to grin. "I'll send word soon. We'll have dinner or something," he suggests brightly. "Until then!" he peeps brightly, heading on past and out, leaving the Somerville Lord to get to know the White Rose (alum).

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