[P] [m] they say that the world was built for two
Mel/Tate | Wedding Reception Side Thread
#1

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: excessive drinking (time to get krunk, as the old people say).

Rosemary, like her brothers, did not reach for the drink. They knew the risk was dire, and Landon had been adamant that none of them follow the dead ends of their parents (and so he led them to other dead ends, ones they never could have imagined).

She knew by now that he had been wrong about many things. Salsola was a dream compared to the trading hub of Portland; rich in appointment, their food and the drink flowed with abundance, and their people were no worse for it. But when it came time to brave the waters of this new world, his voice stubbornly persisted in her head.

She kept an eye to her goblet of wine throughout the feast, and left it untouched when ardent singers beckoned merry dancing around the hall. High on the ambrosia of festivity, Rosemary hadn't needed any extra courage to be spurred along into the fun. She wheeled about with friend and stranger alike, laughing and clapping and changing partner freely until the melodies bled into those gentler tones, which meant the night might begin to dwindle into pairings.

The current of movement deposited her back to her seat where the wine remained in perfect condition. Rosemary kicked back, propping aching legs up on the empty seat beside her, and settled her hand around the base of the goblet. She wanted water, in truth; she thought she could run head first into the darkness of the Loch and drain it dry for her thirst.

Lacking this, she satisfied herself on watching this golden world spin upon its axis.
(—) | NPCs:
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#2
The night had been more extravagant and grander than any event Tattersall had attended in his life. He found his senses all but overwhelmed: the decorations were colorful and many, the food of such variety and quality he ate until he thought he might burst, and the drinks, well, the drinks were flowing.

He hadn't ever really been drunk before, though he had sampled alcohol in the past. There was always an expectation of decorum and behavior present, especially if his parents were around.

Luckily for him, his mother had departed relatively early with his younger siblings, and he had lost track of his father. The Director was a rancorous man and likely to find company among the Shield – if Tate had been a proper member, he might have been dragged off to save the rest from his old man. Being that he was merely a Henchman, however, he was better able to escape the demands of the Faction. No doubt the upper echelon would spend the night socializing with the rest of the elite.

Tattersall, thirsty, sought out a pitcher. The one close to his end of the table was empty, and while a servant would undoubtedly fill it sooner than later, he was unwilling to wait. His search brought him further down the long table, where he found what he was after. It was here too he found Rosemary, sitting alone.

“Hey!” He barked. She was good company – a little rough around the edges, a little loud. As he poured the remnants of the water into a bowl, Tate pulled up a chair next to the new Family member. He lapped at his drink greedily before placing it on the table between them. “Having fun?”

Before she could answer, another voice cut in.

“Zey vill play, look, zey arrre not doing anything!” The thick accent, more pronounced given the intoxicated state of its speaker, drew Tattersall's attention at once.

Igor Kotovo was another one of Salsola's Henchman. He was a huge wolfdog in more ways than one. Even with a sash looped around his belly it stuck out prominently, though the short sleeves of his shirt put his burly arms on clear display. A relative of the groom, it was clear to Tate that the foreigner had been enjoying the night thoroughly.

The man he was dragging along with him looked a bit more put together, though Duncan's long hair had come loose sometime during the night and spilled over his shoulders, and when he spoke, his accent was equally conspicuous.

“Ah dahn't bahther the kids, dey–”

“I have game. You vill like it,” Igor declared. He sat down with a noisy thump across from Rosemary and Tate, and slapped a stack of well-worn, sturdy looking cards between them. “Here, listen, rules are simple – ve guess what card is drawn. First ve guess what color. It simple, da? Come on, play.”

Duncan, despite his earlier and presumed reluctance, settled next to the larger Henchman. He smiled and nodded at the bowl of water.

“Gahnna need somethin' strahnger than dat,” he said with a smirk.

Luckily for them, it was around this time that Kaimkillen deposited a fresh bottle of something amber colored on the table. The coyote barely stopped as he collected some of the empty containers and hurried off, presumably before any further requests could be made.

Tate snorted and glanced at Rosemary. “I'll play if you will.”

[+ 5]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#3
Like creatures of another submarine world, the Salsolans in their frills and scales and glimmering adornments eddied around their social pools. In surfacing from this excitement, Rosemary realized once more that she was not quite one of them, for as much as she could dive and play among the reeds, she still needed to breathe.

Somewhere from the waves of festivity, a voice called her out.

"Hey!" She rolled her head back to greet the Valentine boy, but was otherwise too comfortable to move her feet and let him claim a seat properly. He pulled a chair around anyway, perhaps unbothered about her lack of manners, and this made her warm with a genuine gratitude for his company. Tate was an island in the sea of extravagance; regardless of those uniquely Salsolan traits and dressing, he came to feel no different to her than the boys she'd known elsewhere.

She eyed his drink with obvious envy, even though the goblet of wine remained untouched in her hands. About to ask him if he'd tasted what the cooks did with their pork (how did they make it so good?), they were all of a sudden beset upon by two men of opposite body types. Her mouth froze in a surprised, delighted expression—she'd seen both Igor and Duncan around at various points, but never had the chance to meet them properly. Their names swam hazily in her head.

Despite the Irishman's attempts, there was no exit to this intrusion (not that Rosemary wanted one). A deck of cards was slapped onto the table with the finality of a gavel, the effects and vibrations of which she thought could be felt throughout the Kingdom. It jolted her out of her laziness, and her feet flew back to the floor.

She knew cards and games and the drunken revelry that could be heard from the Portland bars each night, and the world that she'd run from came thundering back to her heart in the best of ways. She liked Igor instantly.

Tattersall threw the call to her, and Rosemary all but sparkled with delight. "Yeah?" She tilted her head to him, trying to see through his cool demeanor, and then sat forward to gauge the hands that Igor was already dealing. "Alright big guy, we're in! I gotta warn you, Tate, I'm better at playing cards than hunting." This was a complete lie. She watched Landon play plenty of times, and assumed she could do the same herself - the fact she bested Owen in a number of smaller games didn't help this inaccurate perception.

Rosemary wished she had some sleeves to roll up, because she was about to kick some metaphorical ass. Was that possible in this game? Yes, she decided, ass could always be kicked.
(—) | NPCs:
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#4
Even though she did not ask for it directly, Tate pushed the bowl of water towards Rosemary before he turned his attention back to the older men. He didn't entirely know what he thought about Igor, whose connection to the Erilaz made him notable. Foreign-born and raised, he was rowdy in a way that didn't always suit Salsolan behavior. There hadn't been much of a reason for Tate to interact with Igor before his promotion, and even now, he saw less of the big wolfdog than he had expected. Whatever duties Igor was responsible for did not always seem to overlap with those that fell under the umbrella of the Shield.

Now Duncan, he had a very defined position and role. A guard was a noble thing to be, even if the task itself was more often boring than not. He was far more approachable than Tattersall's aunt Lace, who worked alongside the Irishman. The fact they were related made it easier for Tate to approach her, but even he often struggled to read his stone-faced aunt. She had departed the reception all ready, it looked like – celebration or not, the threats from the outside world would not stop.

Rosemary's comment brought a bark of laughter from Tattersall, who had seen firsthand that the she-dog was more inclined to a “fire first” tactic when it came to hunting. Even if this wasn't a game of chance, he imagined she would not have the capacity to plan for much of anything.

Their noise or the group itself drew the attention of another Salsolan. Having lost his company when Whisper retired for the night, Cole Eachan found himself unwilling to make the long trek back to the barn where he slept just quite yet.

“What's all this, then?” He barked as he approached, making friendly signs with his ears and tail.

“A game!” Igor boomed. “Sit, we play, we drink!”

Encouraged by this, the horseman settled in one of the empty seats. “How's it work?”

“Ah, I explain,” the Russian scoffed. “First, I put down cards.” He laid out four: the Jack of Clubs, the six of hearts, the six of spades, and the four of clubs. “Now, I give you card and ve guess card color. Here, vatch – Duncan! You go first! Red or black?”

“Black.”

Igor flipped the card over and revealed the two of hearts.

“Ha!” Igor laughed. “WRONG! You drink!”

As Duncan did so, Igor turned to Cole. “You see? Now you go. Red or black?”

“Uh – red?”

Flip! Eight diamonds, like a snakeskin, stared up at them.

“Ah, you were right! See, he is good at this game,” Igor taunted Duncan with a toothy grin.

“What does that mean?”

“You give a drink to someone.”

“Oh uh—Tate,” Cole said.

The Henchman sucked his teeth but took a mouthful of the alcohol without complaint.

Igor, looking delighted by how things were going, put a hand on his chest. “Yes, now I go. I pick...red!”

The six of diamonds was revealed. He laughed again, and slapped a hand onto Cole's shoulder. “Now you drink! Good – your turn,” he said, and pointed at Tate.

“Red.”

Flip! The ace of clubs. While Igor and Duncan laughed, Tate took another drink.

The blonde wolfdog turned to Rosemary. “What color?” He asked her.

I am using random card pulls to determine what each character draws! You can do so or choose for Rosemary -- feel free to PP them heading into the next round (higher or lower than their first card) if you want, or I can do so with my post. :>
[+ 5]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#5
She wet her tongue on the water that Tate had wordlessly offered, and wiped her mouth on the back of her arm as a new Salsolan joined in. He was another large, handsome sort of fellow with a pleasant demeanor, whose scruffiness had been tamed for the celebrations.

The game was just as simple as Igor had said, and she'd been riveted by the dynamics of the first round, joining in laughter when Tate had to drink yet again. It felt like home. Flanked all around by men much larger and older than herself, with their drunken vigor and the flurry of accents, they could've been sailors or fighters or gamblers at La Roux's. They could've been her father.

But she was no longer just a pup sitting on papa's lap, and hadn't been for some time. Memories were less rosy the closer to the present she got, and spliced by the faces of her brothers, who'd always been there when her confident bluster drew the wrong kind of attention. Mosie had teeth and enough fight to make a handsy drunk think twice, but she hadn't needed to be that girl here. Her pulse quickened - Salsola was safe. Rosemary was safe.

It was her turn.

Rosemary glanced at the Valentine boy with a smirk, "If I'm right, you're gonna drink for me."

Cole's eyebrows jumped, and Duncan gave a soft laugh. "These wains, eh, Cole?"

Red was her first instinct, because of Tate's fur. Luck would have it that at the last minute, she changed her mind.

"Black!" She woofed.

The card flipped - ten of spades. Barking a laugh of disbelief, she gave Tate a look of pure devious delight. She'd never been lucky before, and lord how she relished not eating her bravado for once. "Cheers," she said with a wink.

"Saints help him, Broc's lad is goin' to be mangled before we get to card three," One of the Irishmen laughed. "Tate, just remember that this was all Igor's idea, eh? Anyone asks, we were never here."

When the table settled down, they moved on to the next card.

Back to Duncan again, the objective was now to guess if it was higher or lower than the first card. With his two of hearts, Duncan lounged back easy. "I'd be a fool not to guess higher, eh?" Lo and behold, the second card was a four of clubs. It took him a moment to decide who to give his drink, and Rosemary tensed when his gaze landed on her.

"Igor," Duncan said, sparing her with a wink. "You're lookin' parched from all that barking."
(—) | NPCs: Duncan de le Poer, Cole Eachan
winks being thrown left and right. Thanks for the card generator! Also lmk if I'm getting this wrong conceptually, haha
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#6
He scoffed and pushed back his short hair with one hand. Chance, though, made him a fool – his cocky smirk faded when he found himself drinking yet again. Despite the taunts of his elders and peers, the alcohol in his belly hadn't quite sunk into his blood yet. All the food he had eaten earlier was there to help dilute it, and he had gotten some water in the mix. Right now he felt warm, and good, and contentedly buzzed.

“You think I can't hold a drink, Duncan?” Tate asked when he finished. The guard smiled at him in a knowing way.

“You jus' remember what I said – it was all Igor.”

Having finished his own sloppy drink, the Russian wolfdog smacked his lips and wiped his mouth with the back of one of his large hands. “The point of the game is to drink,” he reminded the party seriously. “Besides, it is bad luck to open a bottle and not finish it. Now,” Igor sat up and nodded at Cole. “High or low?”

“Uh – higher.”

Another set of diamonds appeared when his card was flipped over. Unfortunately for Cole, there were only three of them. He picked up his drink dutifully as Igor announced higher for his choice and slapped down the Queen of Spades.

“Ah, beautiful dark lady, she favors me tonight! Drink, Duncan,” he said, and added a few words in his native tongue that Tattersall did not understand. He laughed as Duncan made a rude gesture with his free hand, and despite looking like he felt very out of place, Cole chortled.

When it came to Tattersall's turn, he tapped the card in front of him. “Are Aces high or low?”

“Low,” Igor answered. “Ace is vone,” he held up a finger.

“Okay, well high then.”

The five of hearts was revealed. Pleased, Tate grinned at Rosemary. “Come on then, catch up!”

You got it! :D The next round they need to pick if the card is in (between the values of the cards they drew) or out (the range outside of this).
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#7
Her smug grin capsized when Igor spoke; it surprised her to realize that there wasn't a winning to the game. Not exactly.

In her naiveté, she didn't think people did that: played games just to get drunk. What could be fun about turning into an incoherent mess and stumbling home to a dark house, maybe throwing up along the way, leaving it to one's children to clean them up? She'd always figured that drinking was just a passage to the actual prize, a mechanic that made winning more difficult. Had her father become a funnel for...nothing?

For the remainder of the turn, she watched with round, serious eyes. Then Tate's voice pierced her little bubble. 

She blinked away the trouble and smiled at him. "Alright," she said, challenging. "I'll catch up."

The point was to drink, she reminded herself. Rosemary grasped the full cup of fruit wine and considered her reflection in its blazing surface. She'd eaten of their feast and danced to their songs, and once she tasted the drink, there would be no going back.

Not one to do things half-way, she drank the whole goblet. For the speed at which she drank she didn't taste it at first, but then, like music, the flavor gradually grew louder; acrid notes turned sweet, singing warm and resonant on her tongue. She gasped when finished, drawing away a bead of liquid from her mouth with the back of her hand.

"There!" She said, with a lightheaded laugh.

It was her turn to finish the round. With a ten, she didn't think the chances for a higher number were good, but now she was feeling flush with luck. What was the worst that could happen, anyway? She'd have to drink again? It wasn't scary now that she knew it tasted good.

"Let's do...Higher!" She woofed.

Nine of clubs danced in front of her, just two counts shy of being the right card. "Aw, so close." She reached over the table for the bottle and poured herself another full cup. She didn't drink it all this time as she was still full from the last (and this one tasted different to her wine), but she had enough to make anyone squirm in their moderation.

Duncan flagged down the Mendicant for another bottle.

When it became clear what the rules would be the next round, the Guard laughed and drummed the table. What were the odds of getting anything between a two and a four? "This is easy. Out!"

To the astonishment of the table, the card was flipped...and a three of Spades taunted them with glee. Duncan cursed loudly while the laughter rang around.

"You weren't thinkin' of doin' anything else tonight, right?" Cole grinned. Duncan made another rude gesture as he put back the rest of his drink.
(—) | NPCs: Cole, Duncan
I love when random card generator works with the narration, oh Duncan HAHA
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#8
The laughter was full of mirth and filled the space around them. It was quieter now that the hall had begun to clear out – all the families with children had long departed. Even Morrow had slunk off sooner than expected, though Tattersall would have liked to have his friend keep them company. Unable to fully understand the shame and fear that the hound had when it came to his presumed inability to shift, Tate could not grasp that these feelings would drive Morrow away. He had always believed the dog to be shy.

There was no room for that at their table, with the four men ribbing and taunting each other as the night went on. Rosemary was a kindred spirit, as she had been since the beginning. When they had gone hunting, she had been unabashed and reckless. This charisma hid any uncertainty she might have felt, as it did for Tate.

As the game went on, the cards began to play tricks on them. Duncan's misfortune spread to Cole, who chose in only to have the Jack of Spades appear. The horseman drank as Igor played his own card, and his choice of in likewise proved incorrect when the four of spades came up to mock him much in the way Duncan, his accent more prominent, did so.

When it came to Tattersall's turn, he hummed thoughtfully before making his decision. “Out!”

Flip! Revealed was the eight of spades, and with it, a triumphant grin from the young Henchman. He shot a look to Rosemary, as if he intended to choose her – but he wasn't keen on pushing a lady beyond her limits (he could imagine the tongue-lashing his mother would give him if she found out) and nodded at Cole.

“Cheers,” he gibed.

The wolfdog made a gesture with his fingers that Tate imagined was rude. Sláinte.”

Sorry for the delay! We can have them wrap up the game with the next/final round in our next posts. :>
[+ 3]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#9
They drank to the round of misfortune (or fortune - who was keeping track? The rules of the game made winners of them all.) At some point she caught Tate's eyes, and their bright yellow color were like beacons in the whirling fog of her mind. He didn't choose her just then, but a thought suddenly popped into her mind: she could choose him.

Rosemary had flown past her limit like it was just a warning sign, yet with the table to keep her steady, there was no reason to think otherwise. She didn't think anything was amiss either, accepting the changes only by their gradual introduction. They said the drink helped to loosen things up, and she'd always been a person of loose reason.

"In," she declared at her own drawing, and blew a piece of hair from her eyes when the Queen of Hearts fell upon her pile.

"Well fuck me," Rosemary laughed, already pressing the cup to her lips. She caught the look on Cole's face and his raised brow, and gave him a suggestive wriggle of her own. "What, you thinkin' about it?" She said before she could stop herself (as if there were any mechanisms to stop her mouth in the first place).

Cole gave a great flustered shake of his head. "I'm not, I wasn't—" Although his adamant appeals only made him seem more guilty, and laughter at the table grew as the horseman failed to dig himself out from his own grave.
(—) | NPCs:
sorry for the wait!
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#10
The atmosphere of the room was warm and starting to become a little out of focus. It was, admittedly, the most Tattersall had ever drunk. He was by all accounts a boy – though a man now in body and title – who had never diverted from a path of good and righteousness. This might have seemed strange to an Outsider, who would have imagined Salsola full of evil folks without rules, but here the Law was the most important of all. Without it, they would have devolved into chaos: a bad of serpents could not hope to live forever without a singular, unifying order to their existence.

This was not to say the undercurrent was not present. Even now, wicked thoughts and actions were being planned and put into motion. They lived on the edge of chaos – it was the only way to keep such ambitious, violent people from utter and total collapse.

Around him laughter bloomed. While Cole flushed under his fur, Tattersall smirked and spared a glance at the bold woman to his side. He had never really thought all that much about sex (it had come up, of course, but was often shoehorned in with ideas of love and duty) but with his inhibitions lessened and his hormones coming into their own, his mind wandered.

Rosemary was a pretty girl – he had a small frame of reference for this beyond his immediate family – but he liked the strong shape of her arms, and the way she didn't hesitate—

“Final round!” Igor declared. “Pick the symbol!”

“Suit,” Duncan clarified.

“Pah, they know what I mean,” the burly wolfdog scoffed. “What do you say?”

“Clubs.”

His pleased expression fell when the nine of hearts was revealed. Igor laughed and declared: “Diamonds!”

The three of spades, when revealed, had Duncan ribbing him with a toothy smile. “Ha!”

Cold, seeming to be far more focused on the game and doing everything not to look at Rosemary, quickly announced his own choice. “Hearts!”

The Jack of Hearts showed his face. “Go on, Tate,” the horseman pressed. Tattersall sucked his teeth but took the drink, which he clapped down on the table with gusto.

“Spades!” He barked.

Seven black spades stared up at them, and he shoved the bottle towards Cole. “Call it even,” he taunted.

[+ 3]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#11
Whatever was whispered in the streets of Portland, there was nothing to Salsolan life that was more or less evil than the city or the road.

Here at least she was given shelter and food and taught their ways, cared for by its healers when she was unwell, and the only expectation was that she serve them in return. This was a stark contrast to the freedoms she'd been raised with (if it could even be called that). She had been overlooked and forgotten in her own city, allowed to disappear without consequence. This reality made evil of good people - her brother took aim at the world, but Rosemary, unable to hold onto anger in that way, had only desired to find one that chose her too.

She liked these men. They were good people, she decided. Maybe it was the drink that made her feel full to her heart with warmth, but Rosemary realized she hadn't stopped smiling since Cole shoved his nose into his cards. He was kind of cute (that was the drink, certainly), but he was no Valentine. Now, there was a handsome fellow.

"Spades," she declared.

Diamonds. Just like that, the game was done.

Rosemary tipped the cup to her lips, and only regretted it slightly - the room began to spin, as if she were suddenly unmoored without the cards to dock her in place. Rising with a clear sway, she nodded to each of the boys.

"I think...it is clear...that I've won. Gentleman, it was a pleasure playing with you...and kicking all of your asses," she said, shortly before tipping backwards.
(—) | NPCs:
xD
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#12
Certain events united people: strife, war, merriment to name a few. Having experienced those already in his young life, Tate came to look at his packmates as allies and know that the sacrifices made for peace were heavy. He had been there the night the assassin killed those two women. The face of the man – dark, wicked – had shown itself again during that great battle in the north. He could no longer see it clearly, but there were some nights when he woke in the dark, a scream trapped in his throat, and felt the presence of death very close.

The memory faded, but his spirit remembered. If his mother was to be believed, the powers beyond (she called them the lwa, and never told him their true names) saw everything that had ever happened in the world. No one who had died was ever truly lost, and sometimes, things cycled back.

His sister would never be who she might have become, but there was a chance her spirit would find her way home in a new form someday.

With one final slap, the red face of the card was met with barking laughter and jovial yaps of delight. Tate joined the collective, but when Rosemary stood he noticed her stumble, and then, almost all at once, fall over. Before he had time to register his own reaction he had abandoned his seat. The weight of her body surprised him, and nearly bowled him over, but he was strong even in his stupor and managed to get hold of her before she hit the ground.

The other men had stood too, looking concerned.

“Lass, you all right over dere?” Duncan called. He made as if to climb over the table, but Igor stopped him with one burly arm.

“Valentine has her,” he said.

“Is she okay?” Cole asked, his ears pricked high atop his head.

“I think so,” Tate replied.

With the danger apparently passed, Duncan slapped Igor's hand away. “You know this...!”

As the two men took up bickering, Tattersall helped hoist Rosemary up properly. He felt a little fuzzy himself, and had to blink a few times to clear his vision, but she seemed more worse for wear and – and loathe as he was to admit it, Tate was a responsible young fellow and this extended to his acquaintance.

“I think you've had enough,” he muttered into her ear. Up close, her hair smelled like oil and salty sea-grass. He could smell the booze on her breath (or was that his?) and smiled at the other men. Cole was the only one still watching them at this point.

“Do you need any help?” He asked.

“Nah, I've got it from here. Come on,” Tate said to Rosemary, whom he kept a hand on just-in-case. “It was fun,” he went on, meaning the game and the party as a whole.

“Okay,” Cole replied. He looked a little disheartened to be left behind, but when Duncan called his name turned and was soon caught up in the new debate the older men had begun.

With great force of effort to maintain his own composure, Tattersall helped guide Rosemary out of the warm building and into the cool night. The difference in temperature was immediate and helped clear his head just enough to make him conscious of just how drunk he was.

“Shiiit,” he slurred. “Maybe we shoulda brought water.”

tldr we are outside now lol
[+ 5]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#13
There was a moment where she should've hit the ground.

Rosemary blinked until the room came into focus. What she saw confused her, and it wasn't until Igor's words drifted into her mind -- Valentine has her -- that she realized she wasn't nestled in the roots of a tall autumnal tree. Her eyes widened with a look of pure starry-eyed wonder. "Is that magic?" She asked, no longer willing nor able to clarify the origins of such fantastical thinking. Tattersall had transformed from the Blackwoods to boy right before her eyes. That must've been the power of a witch's son.

After a moment, she was tipped back onto her feet and into some semblance of order. Rosemary discovered it was just as difficult to stand after so many cups as it was to think, and she was grateful that he would loan her some of his balance. Her head careened against his shoulder.

She could've fallen asleep right there, but the tickle of his murmur in her ear kept her alert. "What makes you say that?" She laughed, only self conscious of her mischief in a way that authored more of it. "I've never been better."

That wasn't a lie, she thought. Salsola had granted her a second chance at life, one that she resolved not to waste, no matter how wasted she became.

She waved goodbye to the kind faces swimming in her vision before ceding to the tide of Tattersall's intention. He brought her out into the sobering cold of the late spring night, and there Rosemary found her footing, out where the blur of stars and land made a familiar horizon for the girl of dark water. She'd been severed from her family on both sides, but they had ways of reaching her across time, across the elements. She felt something when she swam, and sometimes she even dreamed about the desert.

"Yeah, good thinkin' Valentine," She wrapped an arm around his waist, for his benefit as much as her own. They could be each other's driftwood for a while. "Let's go find some."
(—) | NPCs:
lol hi outside i'm drunk
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#14
Something sturdy and warm gripped his middle. Tate tensed slightly, surprised by the touch, but this passed as he reasoned out that it was the most effective way to go. They could support each other (him more than her, though she was strong for a woman) and getting her back to her home was going to be more difficult than finding his own.

“Oh, it's Valentine now, is it?” He teased. “That's fine, I see how it is! Don't worry, I gladly carry my name. My House is a noble one, after all!”

This was true, in a sense. Brocade and his siblings had come to Salsola as Outsiders, but their ties to the Heiwa family had been what established them properly. When Morgana Revlis had formed a union with the Director, it had bound them to the more prestigious Revlis name, and elevated the status of the family as a whole. Tate had grown up knowing he was a highborn, and though he rarely felt a need to impress this upon his peers (who already knew such a thing) the drink had made him more inclined to brag.

“It would be veeeeerrry confusing if you called me that around my family,” Tate went on. “You know I have four sisters? I'm glad I moved out when I did, poor Tweed has to deal with the little ones and Taffy. Have you met Taffy? You'd know if you did, she never shuts up.”

When they had first exited the Feasting Hall they had followed the wide, well-worn path north. There was water all around them – the Loch was full of it – but it was still briny and not so good to drink. Over the years this had changed considerably, for the Atlantic could no longer reach beyond the land bridge, but it would be a long time before the taste completely faded. As such, there were several options: the rivers themselves, which were miles away, Lake Ligeia, which was nearly as far, or the pond near Marrgerd, which was closest.

It did not occur to him, in his state, that the best solution would have been to turn around and merely ask for water. They were well past the central area of the Ruins now (which was not very far, but felt like it at the time).

“My house is up that way,” he pointed towards the outline of the Northern Watchtower but meant beyond this. “Back in the woods. Me and Morrow live there – I don't know where he went,” Tate lamented as he and Rosemary swayed at the curve of the road. “He always runs off without telling me. But I dunno, maybe he wanted to go on a patrol or something.”

the classic drunk people helping drunker people
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#15
She giggled as if caught red-handed, though stealing what was hard to say. Igor's sensibility, perhaps. Older men had a way of imbuing everything with a sense of history, which Rosemary found genuinely riveting when spoken to life by anyone other than Casimir. She might've made good use of the records in the library if the inky scratch marks meant anything to her.

When they'd first met, it had seemed to her that Tattersall didn't care for house or title. That impression morphed with his teasing; perhaps a Lord confident in their station didn't need to flex their advantages upon introduction. His remarks offered themselves to further jest for what they seemingly revealed about his pride (and maybe that was the point).

Rosemary grinned, "And here I was thinking you were above all that. Good to know you're just as cocky as the rest of them."

She laughed again, this time at the idea of trying to summon him and pulling in a whole flock of Valentines instead. They made good progress as Tattersall elaborated, and the Ruins began shrinking in scale the further out they went, revealing more and more of the night sky. Rosemary didn't have a clue where they were going, her sense of direction misled by the dizzying whirl of drunkenness, and she felt flush with gratitude for his support. In another life, she would be worried about being so detached from her own sense of self - Tattersall could've been anyone steering them anywhere.

But the picture of the boy at her side was taking shape, earning both her sympathy and interest (and a little envy - Ness had been the closest she had to having a sister) with every detail shared.

"Taffy...the one with the hair?" She hiccuped. "Tweed, Taffy, Tate. I'm startin' to sense...a pattern." She turned her grin up at him, like she might continue on in some rambling, lighthearted jest, but she let herself simply look at him. He was muscular, but not too much like Owen, and he was smart without being mean. Most importantly though, he was very cute.

Tattersall indicated the direction of his home, and Rosemary turned her face to squint at the copse of darkness.

"Patrolling? Now? What a goof," She gave a fond chuckle, accepting this theory as fact without equivocation. She was somewhat familiar with Morrow, and to her drunken mind, it stood to reason that he might be so dutiful. "Lucky for you, huh? He won't have to see you in such a undignee-fied way." She began to slow, struck by a karmic bolt. "Oh, stars above," she groaned. "You couldn'ta made your home just a few strides closer? It's not like you can hear your sister from here." She couldn't really hear anything, except for the faint thrum of her heartbeat in her ear.  
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#16
Duty was what made him care, not ego. Everything he did revolved around the fulfillment of this – doing what was best for his House and his family, and the greater Familia to which he was a part of.

“Yeah the one with the hair!” He echoed loudly. Taffetta took great pride in her massive coiffed locks, though what she styled in them was hard to miss. Even so, with its copper color, Taffy's hair stood out – it was part of the reason she went to such efforts to keep it clean and well-groomed. Having long hair seemed like a pain to Tattersall, who kept his own cut short.

He snorted at the naming conventions of his family, which he thought to explain in detail. This was part of their Household lineage too. Names were important things, and applied their own value to those who carried them. They were special, sacred things. There would never be another Intarsia as long as his mother was alive, for example. It was too painful a memory to breathe life into a new form, and would overshadow the poor child forced to carry such a thing.

Tate felt Rosemary slow, and so he mirrored this. Eventually, they stopped moving all together.

“We aren't...going to my house?” He half said, half asked. “We just gotta find some water, right? There's a pond near the barn, but that's aaaaaalll the way up there,” the Henchman waved his hand vaguely northward.

Feeling dizzy, he swayed on his feet. “Maybe we should sit down for a bit.”

They were nearly at the Oakgrove, he realized suddenly. Trees had sprung up in front of them, and a wall was close to the road. When had they gotten past the houses? He felt like his sense of time and distance was off-kilter, and wondered at the power of the drinks they had consumed.

[+ 3]
You got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
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#17
A lesson would've been welcomed, for she hardly knew the worth of things, let alone a name. Her own was rife among common folk, in various iterations - Roses and Rosalies and Rosalines had proliferated her childhood to such a degree that her family went along with Mosie to keep track of her attention. Now Mosie was just a memory, cast aside like a toy she'd outgrown.

"Water?" Confusion set into her expression, and Rosemary realized she had lost a sense of what they were doing in addition to where they were going. There had been some imperative, but that felt as faraway as the Ruins themselves. "You're a little too drunk for swimming. Aren't I taking you home?"

As they came to a dead stop, she was reminded that this wasn't Portland, and Tate certainly wasn't her father. "Oh. Yep, I'm drunk." Sitting down suddenly seemed like a good idea. After gently untangling herself from his person, she hoisted herself up on a lower edge of the wall, and the movements weren't totally ungraceful despite her inebriation. For once, it was nice to slow down and let the moment catch up. "Much better. Come here," she beckoned.

A wind wended through the old grove, bringing with it the faint scent of blossom and the coming warm season. It felt nostalgic, oak and early summer and the verge of something new.
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