Most Men Are Idiots
Summary: Lionel comforts his friend Jeremy after a break-up.
Date: 6 July 2013
Related: None
Lionel Jeremy 

December 5, 3009 — Pale Horse Tavern, The Caravan


It is the year of 3009. The comfortable coolness and warm colors of Autumn seem so long ago, the harsh chill of Winter blanketing the Northern Plains of Ares in a coverlet of white snow. The Caravan has nestled itself up against a frozen lake, clusters of rovers circled around various bonfire pits to provide natural warmth and light. With the sun sinking low on the horizon, a bitter chill settles in over the constantly-moving settlement of House Rovehn.

Sir Lionel Keats had received a message from Sir Jeremy Singer of the Spine some hours ago, and detecting the low-hanging cloud around his friend, invited him out to the Vale for drinks and dinner. The Pale Horse Tavern is a bit of a hallmark of the Rovehn, nestled in the market level of one of the older rovers. It possesses no windows, maintaining a dark and warm atmosphere that is very inviting on this particularly cold night. He is already at the bar, nursing on a tumbler of dark whiskey as he waits for the arrival of Jeremy, glancing toward the door now and then.

Jeremy wears a heavy jacket in mottled white and brown. It's not stylish, but it blends nicely into the snow-covered terrain. He steps into the Pale Horse Tavern, his raw-boned, freckled face wind-burned from the chill wind. He spots Lionel at the bar and moves in that directly immediately. He offers up a little smile as he approaches, but it doesn't reach his eyes, which are tight and perhaps a little withdrawn. "Hey." He settles onto the stool, leaning forward onto his forearms and looking across at Lionel, "Thanks for inviting me. Just… yeah. Needed to talk to someone."

Lionel straightens up on his stool when he spies Jeremy entering the tavern. He meets the Arborenin Knight's smile with one of his own, but his is a far better attempt at warmth and comfort. He turns around a bit in his stool so that the pair of men are seated neatly side-by-side, and he gestures his glass at the scarred, one-eyed bartender. "Get my friend one of these," he says, lifting his eyebrows as he lifts the tumbler. Then he glances back over at Jeremy as he takes a sip from the deep, caramel-colored booze. "You sounded like someone chopped down your favorite tree," the Valen comments idly. "Tell me your woes."

"Isn't that the bartender's job?" Jeremy looks up to the bartender, holding up three fingers horizontally to indicate the depth of a very, very strong double. Looking over to Lionel, he lets out a breath, "Tammer dumped me." It's simple, straight-forward, and direct. "Said that it wasn't working out, that he'd found someone else." The drink is delivered, and Jeremy tosses a long swallow back, wincing at the burn down his throat, "Which would have meant more if I hadn't caught him with some Terran boy-toy."

"Ouch…" Lionel offers as he takes another swallow of his own whiskey. He starts to smirk, shaking his head as he looks forward at the arrangement of colorful bottles behind the bar. He pulls his lips back over his teeth briefly as he relishes in his own burn, and then he sighs. "I always found Tammer to be a bit of an idiot," he offers his friend as he glances over at him. "At least he didn't try to awkwardly explain that 'it wasn't what you think' or to 'let him explain.'"

Jeremy looks down into his glass, as if considering whether or not to finish off that burn-y drink, then takes another sip, "Oh, he would have been even stupider to try either of those, when he was balls deep in boy-toy." That's enough for him, and he drains out the last of the whiskey, sucking in a breath in the wake of the booze. "And no, he wasn't the smartest, but he was sweet. At least I thought he was." Raising his hands up to his forehead and running his head through his hands, "I don't know what I'm doing here, just… needed to vent, I guess."

Lionel chokes a bit at the balls deep comment, and he grimaces. "Fuck, you caught them doing that?" He shakes his head, breathing out a sigh before he takes another drink of his whiskey. There is a bit of a pause from the older of the two Knights before he reaches out, clasping on Jeremy's far shoulder. He draws the man up against him in a comforting side-embrace. It lasts just a heartbeat or so before he releases him, snaking his arm back around to rest his forearms on the bar. "Forget him," he says firmly. "Tammer isn't smart or sweet. He's stupid and young." He smirks. "I flirt a lot and I know it, but I would have never done anything like that to you."

Jeremy nods his head, pushing his empty glass aside and straightening up again, "Yup." He leans against Lionel for that moment, then straightens up again, running his hands over his face and breathing out again, "Yeah, that's because you're an actual human being, Lie." Looking up to the bartender, he adds, "Terran Island Tea. He was sweet, and he was pretty, and he was a total dick." Apparently, he's past the grief portion of grieving and into the anger portion.

Lionel shakes his head while he chuckles against the lip of his tumbler. He finishes off his drink as well, setting the glass aside. He nods to the bartender, lifting two fingers to indicate he wants one too. Oh, he will meet Jeremy drink for drink; that's what friends do. He seems utterly focused on the Arborenin despite the fact the Tavern is starting to get busy as those of the Caravan attempt to find warmth and hearty foods. He shrugs a bit. "Yeah, he is. And so he isn't worth it." He hesitates a moment as he taps his fingers against the bar. "Stay here in Rovehn," he says. "We're going to be setting up for the Firelight Fete, and no one here fucking knows Tammer, so you can just hang out… here. With me."

Jeremy glances over to Lionel at the invitation, his eyebrows rising up sharply, "Yeah?" The pint glass full of alcohol arrives, and Jere immediately takes a sip of the drink, "Is that you asking me out for a date, Lie? You looking to be a rebound?" He sighs again, "Because anyone who'll put up with me when I'm like this, I don't really want to go bouncing away from."

Lionel shifts almost uncomfortably on his stool as Jeremy goes for the deduction angle. He breathes out a loud and heavy exhale, reaching up to scratch at the side of his head awkwardly. "Look, Jere…" He shakes his head a bit as he curls his hand around his own pint glass. "I'm usually pretty cool with being the rebound guy, but…" Man, this appears to be the hardest thing Lionel has ever had to say. "But, not this time." He folds his arms across the bar as he stares down into his glass. "Stay here until year's end. If I can put up with you and you don't want to go bouncing away…" He shrugs. "We can go from there."

Jeremy blinks over at Lionel when he shifts on the barstool, frowning in thought as the other man speaks. He looks back down to his drink, taking another sip and passing it from hand to hand. "Yeah?" He's asking that a lot recently. Reaching out to squeeze Lionel's upper arm with one hand, he nods a little, "It'd be good to get away. For a little bit. Thanks."

Lionel still looks a bit awkward, scrubbing his hand back across his longish hair. "Yeah…" he says after a moment. Then he starts to smile a bit at the squeeze and accepted invitation. "For a little bit," he says in agreement. "Not going to make you move here or anything. I'll never get you out of those woods." He then looks down a bit sheepishly in his glass. "Not that I'm suggesting… anything." He shakes his head a bit, releasing a small chuckle. He glances up toward the bartender as he passes. "Two dinner menus. I should feed my friend."

Jeremy shakes his head, laughing softly, and a little boozily already, "Too much horizon." He takes another heavy sip of his 'tea,' and then sets the glass down again, "I don't know… I was thinking about just having a liquid dinner. But you'd better not be suggesting anything. That's how you scare a guy off, suggesting something after he's just found his boyfriend nailing a boy-toy." His eyelids narrow warily, for all that the blue-gray orbs behind them are clearer than when they come in, and even glittering with amusement, "Especially when you're such a big ol' flirt yourself. I don't think I've -ever- seen you when you weren't trying to get into someone's pants."

Lionel blushes — just a little bit — and clears his throat. He then waves off the menus he had just asked for, and instead says pointedly. "Two pot roast plates, and make sure his has extra bread," he says firmly to the bartender before he takes another gulp of his own Terran Iced Tea. He then shrugs one shoulder at the boozy words of the Arborenin, and he pauses. "There's been times…" And he pauses. "At some point. I'm sure." He offers him a lopsided smile.

Jeremy drinks down another swallow of booze, "Buzzkill." The accusation is teasing, however, a liquid sort of ease settling into his frame and voice alike, "Yeah, you're pretty and you know it and you're not afraid to show it." Working his way through the booze-heavy cocktail rather more quickly than he should, the Arboren crosses his arms on the bar and lays his head down on them, looking up at the other young knight, "How do you do that, by the way? Not attract 'em, but just flirt with one after another?"

"Well, I am pretty. And very confident in myself." Lionel pauses. "I hear at self-confidence is very attractive." He flashes a winning smile at the younger Knight before he massages his hand against the breadth of Jeremy's shoulders, offering comfort. Then he shrugs his own shoulders a bit. "I don't know… I know which ones like the attention and which ones don't, I guess." He puffs out his cheeks a bit. "I have fond memories of flirting with you, even if you turned me down every time. Something about just being there to learn to ride a horse."

Jeremy nods his head against his forearms, "Yes, yes, and yes." He rolls his shoulders under the hand, spreading the broad width out. He laughs at the repeated memory, letting his eyes closed for a long moment, "Yeah. I was here to learn to ride a horse, not to be ridden like one." He reaches out to turn the nearly-empty pint glass around and around on the bar, "I still have some pretty fond memories of being flirted with. Couple of peach-fuzz kisses. Good memories."

Lionel smiles in such a way that warms his features and brings a bit of lightness to his blue eyes. He rolls his shoulders a bit. "All you think about is sex, sex, sex," Lie teases before he shakes his head, sobering a bit. "Yeah… fond memories." He seems to be thoughtful for a moment, looking over at the mostly-drunk Jeremy. He gently ruffles up the back of the man's neck. He seems to be just on the brink of something and then decides against it, completely disorganizing Jeremy's chaotically organized hair. "Alright… so… should I let you order another drink?"

Jeremy laughs at the scruffling up of his hair, straightening up on his barstool and draining off the last of his Terran Ice Tea, "Not until that pot roast gets here." He offers up a broad smile, "Unless we're doin' shots." Because drunk people always think shots are a good idea. "And I'm thinking about sex, sex, sex, because I just got to see it first-hand. Without being involved. My own little porno, and right in my bed." From warm and fuzzy to maudlin in six seconds or less.

Lionel just grimaces, shaking his head. "I'll help you burn the sheets." He finishes off his own 'tea,' putting the glass aside to be cleared by the bartender. He doesn't order Jeremy any shots, apparently being sober enough to know that is a bad idea. He instead shakes his head. There is a beat pause while Lionel considers what to say or do next. He apparently goes with what comes naturally, nudging his shoulder against Jere's. "I liked it better when you were teasing me and smiling, Jere. Forget Tammer and focus on me."

Jeremy smiles, but it's wry and still a bit sad, a suspicion that only a single glance at his crystalline eyes confirms. "Well, it's got to be confidence for you, with those ears of yours." He reaches out with one hand to poke at to top of one of Lionel's ears, then rubs gently over the rim of his ear with his thumb, "Okay, so they're kind of cute and endearing." Shaking his head, he lets his hand drop, "I'd ask you about your love life, but I wouldn't even know where to start."

"Look, my ears —" Lionel starts to protest, but is quickly silenced as Jeremy dotes a bit on one of the offending ears. He clears his throat a bit, looking quite mollified. "Handsome and endearing, please, Jere. Cute is what you call a foal." He then shrugs his shoulders a bit. "You could start with… 'So, Lie… tell me about your love life.' And then I'll go… 'Can't tell you much about love, but I could tell you about my sex life.' And then you'll glare at me in a jealous sort of way. It is quite a good way to start that conversation." And he brightens with a smile.

Jeremy shakes his head at the correction, "Cute. Definitely cute. Like a puppy." He waves one hand in a sort of 'go on, go on, get it over with' gesture at the two-sided conversation coming from the other man, even if a smile that actually touches his eyes accompanies it. The last point causes him to snort boozily, however, and protest, "Jealous my ass. I've got no claim to be jealous about. But if you're going to be talking about all your conquests, I might get a little jealous of the success and lifestyle." He stops there, frowning in thought, "No… I don't think I would, actually. I'm not looking for wham-bam-thank-you-sir. I'm looking for something softer, something more permanent." And then he laughs at himself, "And that is how you scare a guy off."

Lionel arches up those magnificently bushy, but no less handsome, eyebrows. "Yeah, you know, I just remembered… I'm suppose to got into hermetic solitude this winter. Maybe you should go back to Arborenin." There is a teasing light in his eyes as he nudges his shoulder up against Jeremy's once more. "I will spare you my list of recent conquests… not that there's been all that many lately." He grimaces. "I'm starting to lose my touch." Or he really hasn't been trying all that hard lately. Up for debate.

Jeremy shakes his head, "Bullshit. You invited me in, you'll have to do a whole lot more than that to get rid of me." The grimace causes Jeremy to laugh, looking down at the plates of meat, potatoes, and vegetables that are slid in front of them, and the basket of bread that accompanies it, "Another Ice Tea with the meal, please." And then he reaches over to ruffle up Lionel's already-tousled hair, "If you're striking out more often, you're not trying hard enough, because you're even more handsome than when I left."

Lionel nods his head graciously for the meal, and he reaches for one of the wraps of utensiles — just in time to accept the ruffling of his hair with a good-natured laugh. He swats at his hand with an ever-widening smile, though he shakes his head at the bartender's silent inquiry if he will have another. He appears to be staying mostly sober now. He looks lazily over to Jeremy before he starts to mix his food together into a muddling. "Careful there, Jere… or I'm going to start to think you're hitting on me." He does seem quite pleased all the same. "I don't know. Isaac got married last summer, the Hostiles are… what? Almost three years out?" He shrugs. "Guess I've been thinking a lot more lately.

Jeremy starts straight in on the pot roast with fork and knife, getting at least three bites into his mouth, and probably at least one down his throat before he looks up from the meal, chewing, swallowing, and asking, "Isaac? Really? I thought he ran away from any talk of marriage." He grabs a piece of bread, sopping up some of the juices of the pot roast, then brings it up to his mouth, although he speaks again before he continues eating, "And of course I'm hitting on you, you're the best looking guy in the place. I have my standards." The sauce-dipped bread goes into his mouth, and he chews most of it, then puts in, "Thinking's dangerous."

Lionel barks out an honest laugh. "You can run away from it, but eventually it outruns you. I think it was the woman. Beautiful, really down to earth, doesn't put up with his bullshit." He shrugs his shoulders a bit, and then he starts in on the mixture of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. He pauses at the assessment of thinking, and he quirks up his brows. "So, I shouldn't be overthinking, is what you're saying…"

Jeremy takes a drink of his second Tea, "No, I'm saying you shouldn't be worrying your pretty little head thinking at all." He flashes a grin over at the other knight, the pain in his eyes mostly hidden for the moment. Cutting into the pot roast once more, he shrugs, "There's a right someone for everyone out there. It's just a question of finding them. And not being too big of an idiot to see when you've got the wrong person, or when you're missing the right one."

"Huh," Lionel says idly as he chews on another mouthful of food. He pauses for a moment, considering his next words carefully. "And what if that right someone just found out his scum of a boyfriend was sleeping around with a Tarran boy-toy and you're trying to respect the whole break-up while also gleefully waiting to make your own move?" He glances over at Jeremy as he pokes his fork idly at some hunk of roast. "Just… hypothetically."

Jeremy stops with his fork halfway to his mouth, chewing on the last bite out of pure instinct as surprise tries to cut through his booze-haze. "Just… hypothetically." He offers up a little bit of a smile, dropping his eyes from Lionel's before he responds quietly, "Well, then I think you should do your best to resist that someone's attempts to get over someone by getting under someone else, at least the first night when he's drunk, angry, and stupid, and give him one of those big strong shoulders to cry on for the night." Letting the smile blossom full-bore again, he reaches for his drink, "And in another drink, I'll deny having said any of that. In two more, I'll forget altogether."

"He will need two more of those," Lionel immediately says to the bartender, pointing at Jeremy's drink. Then he glances toward Jeremy, offering a sobering smile. "I'll do that though." He taps his shoulder meaningfully before he focuses on his meal for the time being, looking a bit mollified by Jeremy's words.

Jeremy drains off a goodly portion of his second Tea, blinking away the alcohol and flashing a smile over to Jeremy, "Don't worry, I'll be trying to get you to kiss me by the bottom of the glass." Rather than work on downing more of it immediately, however, he goes back to work on the meal, "So. Hypothetical right one. Now I know why you've been striking out, loss of focus."

"Oh, shut up," Lionel grumbles good-naturedly, though he does settle into a comfortable and familiar smile. "I have flawless focus. I just have decided on a more permanent target." He takes another few bites of his meal, considering for a moment before he glances over toward his fellow Knight once more.

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