Jhavid, Aurora, and Maggie
Location: Whirdling Dervish
Date: 10/18/16
Cast: Jhavid Maggie

Log Title

[ Shisha Lounge: Whirling Dervish ]-----[ Amber City ]——

Thick carpets vibrant with geometric designs in fine Alhambran silks
decorate the floor and denote sitting areas. Plush pillows in various
colors, usually with tassels at their corners, provide a place to sit
or lay back on around small, low tables of round wood. It is on each
of the round tables that one can see where this place gets its
clientele, for water pipes and hookahs are offered tot he customers
for smoking the flavored shishas of Alhambra. Arched alcoves in the
wall hold lamps to cast a pale light across the room, while shadows
dance as veils of smoky color hang from the ceiling to offer hints of
privacy between each sitting section. The smell of smoke clings to the
air and drifts up towards the ceiling to hang thickly.

A single door, painted in white and grays, leads out to the courtyard.
Its handle is brass, shaped like a flame, though cooler to the touch.

Aurora and Jhavid are here.

[ lhelp ]---------—[ Exits: S ]

Aurora is comfortably reclined admist a pile of large, overplush cushions, a glass of some booze or another and lazily puffing on the mouthpeice of a large hookah in the center of her collection og cushions. She'd look peaceful were it not for the dark sleepless circles beneath her eyes and the occasionally erratic jerk of her mismatched eyes to one corner or another.

Jhavid walks into the lounge, looking around for a bit. He heads in Aurora's direction when he spies her. "Fancy meetin' you here Philosophos. I was on my way to the baths when I heard you were in here havin' a smoke. So I figured I'd say hi."

He bends over and removes the trap from the hookah, shakes it out and replaces what was in there with the same green weed he had in Surya's. He starts to replace the trap, but then adds some sprinkles of something brown and sticky-looking before putting it back in. The usual pungent aroma is immediately joined by a sickly-sweet smell. "I take it you're ok with some company?"

[ Aurora ]---------—[ idle 6m ]
A cold, haughty woman that could be described as comely as she is arrogant. Aurora is a few inches below six feet though the confident set of her shoulders and the lofty set to her chin often seem to exaggerate the impression of her stature though her hour glass figure draws limits to such impressions. Thick mane a rich shade of auburn is neatly pinned atop of her head to reveal the proud arch of her neck and slender throat. A few wisps frame her face that is a pleasing compromise of generous lips and aristocratic features, though mismatched eyes might capture one's attention first. Neutral umber lines both eyes, one a pale jade green, the other a pale cornflower blue, both equally dispassionate.
Today she wears a simple, elegant summer dress a rich shade of creme with a lace overlay of lighter off white over it, a solid off white sash tied just below her bust in victorian fashion. Over her hair and covering her face to just below the tip of her nose as if to protect the delicate woman from the impurities of the world around her is a gossamar thin veil of white spidersilk.
------—[ female pbg no-chatter trouble-ok/4 ]

Aurora's eyebrows lift and her head cants, "Ahhh. Are they taking bets how long it is until I do something Craaazy?" her mismatched eyes cross to focus on her nose before they look back up, "Certainly, please join me." She pushes herself upright and offers him the mouthpeice to the hookah.

Jhavid takes a seat on the cushions and takes a deep hit from the hookah, although he doesn't pull as hard as he usually does when smoking. He closes his eyes as he lets the smoke gradually escape before blowing the rest out. Aurora is given a grin in response. "Not that they told me. I usually ask who's about when I enter an establishment. Call it professional curiosity." He hands the mouthpiece back towards Aurora. "Careful how hard you hit that. You'll enjoy it more if you let it sneak up on you."

Aurora sniffs, "Smells familiar…" she inhales gently and holds it, lounging back and slowly exhaling the smoke, "Sounds like a man avoiding someone." Her lids open and she peers at him speculative from beneath thick veil of lashes.

Jhavid grins. "Maybe, but not necessarily… and certainly not you. The fact remains though that I am a pirate and it's just good business to know who's about. There's an old Minosian saying. I'm only worried about getting knifed by the ones I don't know about."

Aurora peers at Jhavid, "And yet you were were originally destined to relaxe in the only setting here that'd require you to remove your weapons. Curious passtime given your concerns." She takes another slow pull and offers the mouthpeice to him, "Were I to ever consider a line of work prone to giving me shady foes I believe I would seek to find a way to work anonymously." she pours a glass of a pale liquor and offers it to him, "Are you stabbed often, Captain?"

Jhavid takes the mouthpiece back and relishes another hit from the hookah. While puffing away he opens one eye to peer at the device. He reaches out one hand to jiggle it slightly. Seemingly satisfied with something he finally stops and lets out a rather large cloud of smoke. "People being unhappy with you and expressing their unhappiness with blades is an unfortunate occupational hazard. There are those who decry the legitimacy of my chosen profession. This sometimes leads to the disillusioned resorting to trying to defend what they believe is theirs through force of arms."

He hands the mouthpiece back, and accepts the glass of liquor. "Regardless of the need for caution, I do enjoy a good batch. Luckily Minosian storm pistols carry no powder to become inert when wet. Besides that I rarely keep my arms far from me when bathing. The company of a lady might find them out of reach… maaaaaybe."

Aurora smiles and considers, "Anyone splitting hairs over legitimacies doesn't understand the laws of supply and demand. Business is business, no? I am glad you are careful. Would be a shame if harm was to come to such a handsom, enterprising soul such as yourself." She idly chews her bottom lip as she seems to relaxe a bit. As she relaxes her regard becomes decidedly speculative.

Jhavid takes a drink from the glass he was offered and savors it appreciatively. "If I take something from someone else it becomes mine. It's hard to get more legitimate than that." He puts the glass down and grins. "You seem in a better mood than when I walked in. That opium's not bad, eh?"

Aurora smiles languidly, "Indeed not. Company helps. IT's hard to hear the spiteful whispers over the sound of a pleasant I am in your debt, Captain. I don's suppose there's some way I might offer some reciprocation for your most tender mercy?"

Jhavid winks at Aurora. "Despite what some people might believe I'm actually not that difficult to get along with, that is until it's time to reverse that course. I enjoy a nice relaxing evening as much as the next man. Funny that the temper of Amber would see simple courtesy as something befitting of debt. Don't worry about it."

Aurora winces and pales a big, "It's not Amber's temper I fear." She swallows down her palm wine and puff-puff-puffs on that lovely concoction Jhavid's provided, "It occurs to me perhaps I might offer you some more secure respite myself. Possibly."

Jhavid reaches towards the hookah and unhooks the second mouthpiece with another wink. "I'm getting lazy I think." He takes a lazy draw from the second mouthpiece while he looks at Aurora curiously. "What did you have in mind?"

Aurora considers her answer carefully, smoke curling out from between stained lips, watching him absently as he unhooks the mouthpeice. After another few moments she finally decides on decides on "I keep a staff with ecclectic skillset but more notably have many others in various circle who are beholden to me. I could vastly increase the likelihood that IF someone means to do you harm you see them on the horizon not creeping up behind you."

Jhavid puffs from the hookah for a few moments, obviously thinking. "I can always use more friends, especially those whose skills might fill billets I personally lack. I believe that I should state the obvious though. Minos and Pathi aren't exactly known for their close friendship. You seem to be a person of some station. I am… well I am a criminal. I refuse to sugar coat it. I also refuse to change my ways. There is the high probability that my activities won't earn you any friends."

Aurora stretches languidly and replies in a voice thick with stifled froan of the stretch, veil stirring with her breath, "I am a private citizen in Amber, Captain. What I do here is entirely my own business unless the Regent decides he wishes to reinstate the Royal Oracle's office. No one needs to know that we are friends or what my interest in you is. As it happens most who owe me do not know it is me they owe." She offers him a bland smile "It is kind of you to be so forthright."

Aurora adds "To be clear the only friend I'd expect is you and that is not inconsequential, is it?"

Jhavid grins and shakes his head. "I wouldn't think it's inconsequential, no. Nor do I believe you would make an inconsequential friend. And I see no reason not to be completely honest. You seem like a very intelligent woman. I take what belongs to other people by force of arms. The fact that I can walk to all the riches I could ever desire means that the obvious choice, profit, is not my motivation for doing so. I would be lying if I said the reasons were not complicated, but the fact remains that I have come to enjoy what I do. I relish the fact that I look at the mighty and know that I do not live by their leave."

Aurora's chin lifts and a smoke and honeyed alto laugh sound from her. She simply lets her eyes sink mostly shut as she savors another mouthful of rich, fragrant smoke. She does not bother to explain whatever amused her so.

Jhavid seems a little curious. "What? Was I making a speech? I might be a little high." It's not an apology and Jhavid just sort of shrugs.

Aurora oohs, "I am most assuredly high. I wonder what it says of you that you seem to be questing for some validation or aknowledgement for a woman who is widely understood to be destructively insane." She winks at him, lookin at him upside down and drawls "Color me suitably impressed, captain."

Jhavid just sort of shrugs again. "I'm usually a loner. It's easier that way. I don't have to become disappointed in anyone. More importantly though, I don't have to deal with them being disappointed in me. I couldn't give a tenpenny fuck about anyone's validation. Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the fact that you're considered to be destructively insane. I might even point out that associating with me would support that theory. Really I'm just hoping that you understand what you're getting into. That way I don't have to be disappointed, and neither do you."

Aurora exhales and rubs her face, "One of these days I will find an enterprising young man with a distinct lack of daddy issues. It is adorable you thought there is anyone worthy of mention in the city who somehow is confused on what your profession is. IF you feel I lack the chops to be useful you are welcome to decline the offer..Or test the limitations of my resources. Dissapointment is what happens when one chooses to form unfounded opinions rather than observe. When it happens? Well, only the dissapointed is to blame. IF you are not worth the investment at the very least you are a pleasing face and passing company."

Jhavid just grins as he listens to the rebuke, still puffing away. "It's an interesting theory, one that might be worth of study. Don't you think? I am absolutely interested in what you bring to the table. Trust me when I say that your repuation also precedes you, and not simply for being insane. I hadn't actually heard anyone whisper that, by the way."

Aurora's eyebrows lift, "I have a reputation? How curious. As for the insane…I suppose I will have to try harder. After turning the palace inside out on regular basis, blowing up parts of the embassy, and moping about Amber clad only in a cloud of vapor I will have to reimagine the defintion of insanity."

Jhavid just sort of shrugs. "Amber is the definition of insanity. Such things tend to become relative around here. It's insane to see people who already have so much strive for just a little bit more, isn't it? That doesn't confine itself to just the royal family either. As for walking around clad only in vapor, much as that might spark the imagination, I've done just as bad. I wasn't in the city a month before, after a long night drinking with Caine, I urinated in the palace fountains and left Flora a note inquiring as to when might be a good time to arrange a private viewing of her underwear."

Aurora laughs richly and settles on her side, her head propped up on her palm supported by her elbow, "See? Sounds like you have all the fun."

Jhavid just sort of shrugs. "I wouldn't say I have all the fun. I just get my share of it, and maybe a little bit of their share."

Aurora cants her head, "Who's share?"

Jhavid grins widely. "Whosever I can get my hands on."

Aurora lifts a finger and wags it lazily, "Hands off my fun, Captain, or I will share my crazy as well."

Jhavid puffs on the hookah some more. "I'm already nihilistic. Having a touch of crazy would just give me an excuse, wouldn't it?"

Aurora considers "Perhaps. If there is no reason for the constant bombardment then why endure it at all?"

Jhavid looks a little confused. "Constant bombardment?"

Aurora waves her hand, "IT is no matter. So what amusement shall we find this evening?" there's a lingering hesitation, "Assuming either of us can stand."

Jhavid looks around lazily. "Did you have something in mind other than this?"

Aurora confesses, "I did not but after hearing about all the fun you and my favorite uncle had I feel pressure to perform." she offers him a lopsided grin.

Jhavid laughs out loud. "Considering the distance to the palace I have sincere doubts that such fun could conveniently be duplicated. I should probably also add that Caine almost knifed Sullivan that night. So the evening was fairly eventful. In retrospect I should probably have let him."

Aurora mmmms, "Poppa's…companion? What did Sullivan want with Caine and why did you stop Caine from knifing my meddling step…whatever."

Jhavid grins. "Caine and Sullivan were playing pool. Caine was kinda screwing around. Sullivan tapped Caine on the ass with the cue and told him to 'play the game.' Needless to say Caine didn't take that very well. I think I saw it coming long before Sullivan did."

Aurora ahhhhhs "Doesn't warrant a shiving. Do you suppose Sullivan learned his lesson?"

Jhavid shakes his head. "Highly unlikely. He doesn't really seem to be the type to pick up on those kinds of lessons quickly. And whether or not it warranted being stabbed is debatable. Sullivan crossed a line of familiarity that more than bordered on disrespect. Caine doesn't really have a sense of humor about such things."

Aurora mmms "No. He does not. Reasons to cause pain must be difficult thing for him to decline. How close are you to Caine?"

Jhavid sort of shrugs again. "Hard to say really. We don't see much of each other lately, but he's the one who taught me how to make my way in the world. He taught me how to sail, how to take up a prize, how to manage a crew. He taught me about Shadow and coached me on walking the Pattern."

Aidan comes here from the direction of the Pleasure Gardens: Whirling Dervish - Amber City.
Aidan has arrived.

Aurora's reclined on her side on a pile of cushions. Nearby is Jhavid, they are sharing a large hookah enjoying something that seems different than the usual sisha that's on order here. She peers puzzled, "But he's not your father is he? I rather envy you the tutorage. All he did was give me a trump of his little club in shadow and call me a fraud." She mock pouts at Jhavid.

Jhavid might be quite high by now, if the smell of what they're smoking is anything to judge by. His response is a simple flat, "No. He's not my father." Whatever darkness the question conjures is dismissed fairly quickly. "If he gave you a trump of that place then he probably likes you, or at the time maybe wanted to screw you. It depends on which club he gave you a trump to, really."

[ Aidan ]----------[ idle 1m ]——
Aidan stands tall, a bit over six feet and is a solid two hundred or so pounds. He's got short dirty blond hair that's normally mussed up and his icy blue eyes have an inner gleam in them.

He's dressed in a simple but well cut black shirt, that sits over his black pants which are tucked into a pair of black woodsman boots. Strapped over his shoulder is a sheathed large sword with a well crafted golden dragon for the grip and pommel that travels down to it's guards which are the outstretched wings.
--------[ male no-chatter trouble-ok/4 ]

Aidan makes his way into the Whirling Dervish following that bond of his and makes his way over towards Aurora and Jhavid taking a seat on some of the cushions next to the table, "m'lady, glad to have found you and not have to read another book." He offers a nod towards Jhavid, "Greetings, I'm Custos Aidan."

Aurora mmmms, "I'm his neice and a prince of Amber, I doubt he needs to stoop to fucking neices. Besides, he's riddled with chaos. I shudder to think what being in very close proximmity to that would do to my fragile little mind." she flutter lashes at Jhavid. She looks up at Aidan, "Custos. Welcome to join us." She offers the mouthpeice, "You'll have to join us if you join us." She ohh's, "Captain Flay, this is my custos and designated baby sitter, Custos Aidan of the academy of Iron of Pathi."

Jhavid nods at Aidan and offers him a, "Nice to meet you." It's unclear if he's actually being sincere or not, but he's being friendly for now at least. "I'm somewhat familiar with the duties of the Custos." He nods in reply to Aurora. "Considering the amount of familial interplay about Amber, I'm not entirely sure that being a niece is a deterrent although I will admit I have not done any research whatsoever on Caine's proclivities. You're probably correct about the Chaos though. He seemed better last I spoke to him though." Clearly that subject causes Jhavid some amount of concern.

Aidan offers a nod towards Jhavid, "A pleasure as well Captain Flay." He doesn't comment on the Chaos talk as he settles into the cushions, "What is it before I start?"

Aurora closes her eyes, "Nihilist until it comes to someone you care for, I see. I have not seen him in some time, he's a busy man. In what way was he better, and how long ago was your last visit with our favorite uncle?" she looks up to
Aidan, "Discussing the Prince Regent, Prince Caine. He is the owner of that club I dissapear to when…I need something more to drown out the voices." She smiles to Aidan, "Safe enough for your ward." She quips and offers the hookah, "Captain? Any disclaimers for my dutiful custos?"

Maggie enters from the south.
Maggie has arrived.

Jhavid is reclined on some cushions near Aurora and smoking from a hookah. Aidan appears to have recently joined them, considering that both Jhavid and Aurora are somewhat glassy-eyed and Aidan is not. Whatever they are smoking is not shisha and it gives off a rather pungent aroma with an undertone of something sickly-sweet.

He just sort of shrugs at Aidan. "It's just a little weed with some opium laced in. It won't kill you. Just don't hit it like you smoke it every day and you'll probably be ok." He looks back to Aurora. "It's kind of hard to put into words. I've seen him when he seemed to be slipping. Last I sat down with him face to face was about a year ago. He didn't seem to be slipping. Know what I mean?"

Aidan nods a bit as he takes a hit… Or at least pretends like he's going to who knows how much he inhaled… "Such a nice club I rather enjoyed my visit with you…" He refrains from taking part on the discussion of the regent for now.

[ Maggie ]----------[ idle 43s ]

Hair the color of autumn on fire falls in soft, gentle waves about this woman's face and swings in a long, elaborately woven braid down to just above the small of her back. Red blends to auburn to russet and back again, giving the shimmering masses the look of flame. High cheekbones and a narrow chin give her a fey look, the ethereal otherness augmented by eyes the color of midnight ringed emeralds and skin more golden brown than fair. A smattering of freckles dusts her nose and skips playfully across her cheeks, just to lead the eye astray. The otherness is broken when she smiles, for warmth spreads from the upward tilt of her lips and hints at laughter just waiting to brighten the moment.
Standing at about 5'6", this woman is neither tall, nor short, though the length of her limbs lends the illusion of height to her frame. The shirt that she wears is one of those ultra-soft brushed cotton affairs that ties at the throat, have long sleeves with lace at the cuffs and a swagger sewn into the hems. She wears it well, with the ties at the neckline left undone, the hemline tucked into her trousers. The fabric is a deep crimson that sets off the rose of her cheeks and the flame of her hair. It follows the line of her pleasing curves, billowing just enough to suggest fullness here and narrowness there without giving away all of her secrets.
She wears a brown belt about her waist with a sheathed short sword at her right hip and a cutlass on her left. The trousers she wears are a deep ebony denim tied at the waist. Neither tight nor loose, her trousers look casually comfortable without pretense or ostentation, though do nothing to hide the length and strength of her legs. The cuffs are tucked into the tops of dark brown leather boots that are scuffed enough to belong anywhere. To complete the outfit, she wears awhite-gold wedding band upon her ring finger
-----------[ female trouble-ok/4 ]——

Aurora watches Aidan curiously, "Well, you are welcome to make use of the card anytime. You've been all tense and cranky lately." her gaze flits to Jhavid, "I can't imagine why, a simple scholar of lady of leisure this is a low stress assignment. Perhaps that is why my ex husband assigned him to me-to make sure he got a more sedate assignment." She rolls smoke on her tongue before exhaling and asking, "Was our favorite uncle wearing that white belt when you saw him last?"

The door to the shisha room opens and Maggie is ushered in. She gives the room a once over, her gaze flickering to the only occupied area for a moment before she nods to the serving person. Apparently things are either to her liking or near enough to suite her. Placing an order for some Alhambran Gold and a hookah, she lets the person go before turning to meander over toward her sister and cousin and whatever the new person's name or standing is sit. Nearing, she nods, "Evening." The single word sails from her tongue in a voice laced with Minos, Amber and other, less welcomeing Shadows.

Jhavid looks up from the conversation and grins when he sees Maggie standing there. "Well if it isn't my favorite captain in the whole world what isn't a pirate. Nice to see you again Flame. Please join us. Share what we're smoking, or not… as you choose." He looks back towards Aurora for a moment and frowns, probably trying to recall the information she was asking for. "Honestly I couldn't tell you. I'd like to say yes, but that was almost a year ago and we were probably drinking that night."

Jhavid looks around the room for a moment and then grins as he looks back to Maggie. "Flame? Are you here alone? I guess you're not here to put me in chains or you'd have brought Merrisol or Incarnate with you."

Aidan offers a nod towards the newcomer and relaxes back into his cushions as the smoke begins to actually kick in quite a bit for the straight laced Custos.

Aurora blink-blink-blinks and goes so far as to shove herself upright and reaches out with a fingertip to reeeeaaach and poke MAggie, looking up a little glassy-eyed, "OH. You're real. Hello, sister. You're not dragging away my smoking companion are you?" She oh's, "Custos Aidan, This is Captain Flame, also known as MAggie-my sister. Maggie, this is Aidan. My ex husband designated him my baby sitter."

Maggie chuckles, the sound low and warm, "I am not going to arrest you this time, Flay. Though…" The lifted brow holds more of a tease than seriousness. Sobering slightly, she adds, "I don't do the pirate-hunting thing anymore, actually. Being married to an ex-pirate makes that a little more than a little hypocritical." The poke causes a startled glance to be settled on Aurora, "Hello, sister-mine. You're looking good. A bit out of it, but good." She turns slightly to extend a hand toward Aidan, "Custos. It is good to meet you. Please try not to let my sister drag you into too many dens of iniquity. Or, if she does, please try to drag her out in one piece again." Her glance broadens a bit, "I've ordered something from Alhambra, but I would be willing to join you, if you are all amenible."

Jhavid moves over a little, obviously an invitation for Maggie to join them as he begins refilling whatever it was they've been smoking into their hookah. "Suit yourself. More for us then it would seem." He produces a clear glass bottle. The liquid contained therein being a slight brown color. "I've also got a nice bottle of spiced Minosian rum. No glasses though I'm afraid."

The quality of the glass from which the bottle is made is superb. "You know Flame, I beeen meaning to ask you something. Your marriage to Merrisol. Word on the street is that my dad made you two get married at swordpoint. Any truth to that?"

RPG: Jhavid declares that he owns this token:
-------------[ ehs ]
Author: Meijanri Held By: Jhavid
Date: Sat Feb 21 17:02:26 2015 Focus: 0
Title: An Excellent Bottle

Created via Hardened Glass (REC-HG): token-0
Gift description:
This character can eliminate impurites and imperfections from glass, hardening it almost beyond the laws of physics. On a large scale, she can build higher and more delicately in glass than is possible in clay or stone, making structures that are both strong and tough. At a more personal level, she can create such items as glass hammers and nails, capable of withstanding shocks that would destroy ordinary tools. Arms and armour made with this gift will be combat worthy, but will require upkeep that can only be provided by a mythical glass worker.

Token Description

A gorgeously crafted glass bottle filled with fine Minosian rum. Quite the piece, it is curiously sturdy while flawless in construction, coils of thickened glass wrapping around like stylized kelp. The stopper is cork topped with a glass sphere for ease of grip.
It feels solid in the hand, equally appropriate for decor or to crack a few skulls. The maker's mark on the bottom identifies the glassworker as Meijanri Kell.

RPG: Jhavid used the following +declare targets: Shisha Lounge: Whirling Dervish - Amber City

Aidan nods towards Maggie as he accepts her hand, "I try my best to drag her out with all the same parts she had when she entered. It's not an easy task most days but it's why I get paid the big bucks." He glances at the rum and hrms, "If only it was whiskey…" He blinks a bit at the talk of swordpoint marriages, "Those really happen?"

Aurora blinks at the compliment. She looks underslept and slightly malnourished but seems to preen a bit, shooting Aidan a sidelong look as if MAggie just proved some point. She sits up heavily and scoot over towards Aidan, "Of course, please. It's been too long. How are you and the brother in law?" She looks to Jhavid, "Who have you been speaking to." she looks to Aidan and asides, "Poppa arranged my first marriage but there no knives involved. Not even sure I've seen poppa brandish a knife…I think that's what Sullivan's for."

Maggie steps forward to settle next to Jhavid. She does not look terribly interested in the opium-laced hookah, though she will likely get a bit of a contact high from the smoke. Such is life and proximity to her family. She does, however, accept the rum should it be passed her way. After not too long, her own hookah, complete with Alhambran Gold is delivered, though she does not take a sip from the smoke just yet. The server is thanked and sent on his way while Maggie considers Jhavid's question. A sparkle of merri-ment touches her gaze and she nods slowly, "Aye, Flay. Uncle Gerard insisted. Personally, I could not be happier." Turning her gaze to Aidan and Aurora, she adds, "It was the right thing to do at the time. It stopped what could have become a very nasty sea battle." Turning a little thoughtful, she laughs a bit more, "There was a time when I would have said your first marriage was barbarous, Aurora. Times change… Or people do." The laughter hints again at the edges of her tone, "I hear that Sullivan is dad's Custos? I am glad. They are good for each other."

Jhavid takes a healthy swig of the rum and passes it to Maggie while he puffs some more at the hookah, fresh smoke beginning to fill the room again. "Well I hope you'll forgive me for havin' mixed feelings with regards to that, Flame. It is what it is though, I suppose. And I think how good Sullivan is for Brand might be debatable. Sullivan is damn trouble magnet he is, she is… shit I forget what fucking gender he's wearin' nowadays." He nods towards the bottle. "If you like that rum I'll send you guys a cask of it. I think I got about a hundred or so stashed in Ennisport. Don't ask where I got it from."

To answer Aidan's question Jhavid nods emphatically. "You bet your ass that happens around here man, especially if you're a marryable commodity. I heard a while back Celeste was using extortion against some of her own house to get them to get married. That shit is serious business in Amber." He just kind of looks at Aurora kind of confused. "Honestly? I couldn't tell you who I heard it from. That story was all over the place a while back."

Aidan nods a bit as he fiddles with his belt before he takes another short hit off the hooka, "I wouldn't be surprised if the Dragon General was doing that the house was a mess for a long while from what I'd heard. Course my maternal half is Mandrake so makes for some interesting dinner talk"

Aurora's eyebrows lift "That's just cold. Immasculate a man with blackmail and then claim him." She looks sidelong to Aidan, "If that's how your family plays you ought to be careful…" she considers and amends, "You're better than the other custos they've sent. I'd be…displeased if I had to replace you." her gaze swings back to Jhavid, "What trouble has Sullivan drawn?"

Maggie shrugs at Jhavid's comment, "Suit yourself, Flay. And ask Captain Merrisol how he feels about it, if you want to." Leaning back, she accepts the bottle from her cousin and takes takes a swig. Surprise tinges her gaze as the flavor suffuses her mouth and tingles along her tongue before she swallows, "Oh, goodness. Yes, please share, Flay. That is very good rum." As for asking? She gives her cousin one of those looks that conveys both innocense, understanding and an underlying amusement. She knows better. Offering the bottle along to Aurora or Aidan, she listens a while. Aidan is given a long, slightly speculative look before Maggie muses, "I don't think that you can be married off until your contract with Aurora is settled so you might be able to avoid that fate." Turning more sharply toward Jhavid, she offers, "He. Sullivan is male these days." She listens for the answer to Aurora's question, though she blinks a little. The Alhambran Gold is not covering up all of the opium. Perhaps the smoke is starting to get to her.

Jhavid just kind of shrugs at Maggie. "I'm not sure you understand all the why's as to my mixed feelings." He motions toward the wedding ring. "Mostly it's because it's that I generally dislike seeing one of those on a woman like you. Plus as you may have guessed I have a slight problem with authority. So anyone trying to make me do something generally gets met with a negative response. But… you're happy and that's really the important thing. So… I'm also happy for you. Like I said, mixed feelings."

He takes another puff from the hookah and looks around to see where the rum bottle has wandered off to. "But I'll also be honest about the fact that some of my misgivings stem from the fact that my father was involved. He and I… well… you were in his office that day Flame. Warm reception, wasn't it?"

Jhavid gives Aurora is kind of noncomittal shrug. "I was around a lot when Sullivan first got here. Within a month of being here he managed to start shit with both Random and Caine and was planning some sort of naval incurstion into Rebma with Kestrel. Now personally I was gonna get involved in that too, never did happen sadly, but you can't tell me that a naval incursion into Rebma isn't trouble."

Aurora rolls her eyes and sits up with a teetering, "Captain Flay. They didn't break the mold when they made you. The more you sing this rebel song the more clearly I see the maker's mark on you." She pats the Pie Rat's knee, "Perhaps it's just the weed. Or the apparent crush you have on my sister." She stands up suddenly, teetering, "If you all would excuse me, I need to.." she pauses and frowns, "No, don't be absurd." seemingly to herself and without further ado wobbles over the cushions and sways outwards.

Aidan smirks a bit as he watches Aurora teeter off, "Its been a pleasure meeting you both. And on that note…" He motions towards Aurora staggering off, "I'll be off as well have to make sure she makes it home… The babysitter and all." Off he goes to save the damsel in a ditch… Err distress.
Maggie blushes just enough to let the gold freckles that spangle the bridge of her nose and upper cheeks show, "Thanks, Flay." Whatever else she might have added to that is lost as she turns in astonishment to Aurora, "What? Oh, come on, Aurora. Flay isn't crushing." Silly sisters, don't you know. She does, however, demure enough to let both Aurora and her Custos escape, "Right then. See you both another time, I hope. Thank you for keeping my sister safe." Ish. She manages to retrieve the rum bottle and offer it back to Jhavid without allowing even a drop to be spilled. Priorities.

Aurora goes home.
Aurora has left.

Aidan has left.

Jhavid takes the rum bottle and pushes the hookah he'd been sharing with Aurora and Aidan a little away from him. "Well I guess I'm done smoking that for now then." He nods at the thanks and takes a healthy swig of the rum before offering it back. "No problem Flame. I mean, it's hardly anything complicated. I got eyes. They see real well. Know what I mean?" Jhavid motions towards where Aurora just walked out of the room. "I hope she sleeps better."

Maggie accepts the bottle and takes a more measured swig. Tilting her head a little, she does watch her sister and the Custos head out, "I know what you mean, Flay. Though sometimes, I suspect that we see different things. Or interpret them differently. For instance… Yeah, I saw the way your father received you. But, he has been a real friend to me. I wonder if choices has more to do with that than not. Or gender. Though he's been pretty decent to Merrisol as well. Then again, dad has treated Aurora and I differently… So, there it comes back to choices." No, she does not look drunk, though perhaps a touch out of it. Her own hookah remains unsampled and stoppered for now.

Jhavid leans back in the cushions and looks at Maggie for a few moments. "How much was Brand around when you were growing up, Flame? How much of a hand did he have in raising you? I know education is important to Pathi. He give you that chance, or even a choice?" Jhavid leans forward and lights up Maggie's hookah, taking one mouthpiece and handing her the other. He takes a couple appreciative puffs and nods. "I'll have to remember this flavor."

It looks like Jhavid's thinking about what to say for a few moments before continuing. "My father would show up every once in a while, shower me with gifts, and regale me with stories about wars he'd fought or beasts he'd slaid or pirates he battled or some other such shit. As I got older the visits got farther and farther apart. My mother saw to my education. She had the means for that and then some. But seeing to those means meant I was largely left to my own devices. So I started doing whatever I wanted. At first it was just to see if they noticed. Mother noticed, but couldn't really do much about it. Father was, well.. wherever he was. You know who noticed? Caine. You know who didn't judge me? Caine. You know who taught me to survive, and even thrive, in the life I was living? Caine."

Maggie tilts her head toward him at that initial series of questions though she listens through to the end before making any sort of comment. Accepting the hose with a nod and faint, slightly distracted smile of thanks, she takes a puff or two after he does. Her expression turns thoughtfully introspective and she holds the end of her hose habitually closed with one thumb while she speaks, "I do not really recall much of my youth, Flay. My first mate tried to kill me and either succeeded and I came to this timeline from elsewhere, or I was dumped into the sea and washed ashore in Arden without any shred of memory other than my name. I… changed, though. From what I have been able to figure out, remember or was told, dad had no part in raising me at all. He disappeared for one hundred years the year that I was born. Or maybe the year after. Mother raised me… She was hard then, I hear and I grew up to be an arrogant bitch of a woman with a chip on my shoulder a nautical mile wide. Mother and I were both being preyed on by a nogitsune. Being clocked on the head broke the connection and allowed me to recover." Absently, she checks to see if he is taking a drag from the hose and if not, she does. "Anyway. I met dad after my 100th birthday. Not that mother was keen on celebrations, mind you. The notisune still had her in thrall. I was horrified at some of what I had done, though. Who I had become."

Stealing a glance over at her cousin, she considers the lines of his face, the color of his eyes and the set of his mouth. A half smile is twitched then and she inclines her head, "I've heard both good and bad things about our Uncle Caine. I know that dad wanted him to think well of me. I have no idea whether he does or not. I suspect not. I do not like what he did to Rebma. Either time. But, I am willing to admit that I do not know the whole story and probably never will. Though… I am sorry that Gerard was not a better father. Considering what I know of the Elder generation, none of them have been great parents. Guess they got that from their own father."

Jhavid scoffs at the mention of Rebma. "Don't get me started on Rebma." He takes a deep breath, and pairs it with another more measured swallow of rum. "I'm sorry about your mother. I know I certainly wouldn't want to see mine in that kind of pain. For all her faults she always tried to do right by me, which is more than I can say for my father. And I'd like to say I'm surprised to hear that about Brand, but I'm honestly not. I'm not trying to be an asshole, but your dad is kind of well… shit you know what I mean. Brand has been ok to me so far so I don't want to talk shit about him."

He takes another hit off the hookah after Maggie finishes hers. "The only time my father seems interested in what I'm doing is when I'm burning something down. Hell he didn't even bat an eye when I sacked Alhambra. The only thing he ever taught me was the only person you can depend on is yourself. If he wants to pass judgment on me for what I do then maybe he should have taken a bigger interest in forming my sense of morality. At the end of the day he wants to play the hero for everyone, but he's just as full of shit as the rest of them."

Maggie lifts a brow at his reaction to Rebma, but does not pursue that. Yet. Maybe later. Snagging back the rum, she tips back a swallow then passes it back, "I hear that dad was locked in a tower somewhere and tortured for the time he was away. For 100 years." She shakes her head, crimson curls swaying against her cheeks and down her back, "It explains some of the changes in him. When the nogitsune was killed, it freed mom. She'll be okay, I think. Anyway, she said that dad seemed happy that she was pregnant. Maybe he would've been there more. Maybe not." After a moment, she half smiles, "Probably not, if I go by my cousins' stories. Though he apparently was more there for Aurora. As for Pathian education? I didn't have it." A touch of bitterness enters her tone, though it is lost soon after, "Mother didn't believe in it. What magic I have…? Well, it is untrained." Which holds its own dangers…

Focusing a little more on Jhavid, she frowns slowly, "So, you sacked Alhambra? That… I t hought that was a rumor." Perhaps hoped. Leaning back, her eyes linger as she weighs her next words. A silence threatens, then dies as she speaks, "I wish that you hadn't." There. "I used to think that the only one that I could rely on was myself. I think that if I had carried on as I was going, either the nogitsune or my crew would have done me in. In truth. Or, maybe you would have, Flay. It is almost certain that we would have crossed swords somewhere along the way. Hell, maybe we did and I don't remember it. Though… Neither your name nor that of your ship sparked the blinding headaches that memory's return tends to give me. Anyway. There is nothing wrong with relying on friends, Flay."

Jhavid tips the rum back himself and passes it back again. "Let's just say that someone in Amber owes me big time for doing that. I won't say who." He stops short of telling her not to ask. He takes a deep breath and looks around the room for a minute before looking back at Maggie. "I think you and I have a very different opinion of friends, Flame. Let me tell you about one of my friends. The former captain of the Leviathan was my friend. We were sailing with the flotilla against how the Road was manifesting in Minos. So this was a few years ago. There was a big battle, and we got cut off from most of the fleet. The smaller ships near us got demolished. We managed to save a few of their sailors. We weren't damaged badly, but we were in a bad situation. So you know what our captain does? He gets the senior officers together and tries to sell us on sacrificing the crew to save our asses, and by ours he really meant his. That's what -my friend- wanted to do."

He just sits there shaking his head for a few moments. "I organized the men then and there and took the ship from that bastard, and the crew has been behind me ever since." He shakes his head again and gestures towards the door. "There's lots of people out there, Flame. Lots of people with agendas. Lots of people who want you to do what they want you to do. Lots of people who want you to live how they want you to live. Lots of people like my father, who want you to like them so you'll think they care and you'll do what they want." He pauses again to let the point sink in. "Lots of people who want to tell you they're your friend."

Maggie takes the bottle and tips back a slightly longer swallow before setting the bottle down on the table closer to him than to her. Taking a draw from the hookah, she holds the smoke in her mouth for a short while before releasing it. Wincing, she frowns at the story but the content is not entirely new to her. Not that she knows the specifics exactly, but near enough. "He was an ass. That former captain of yours. But fear can change people too, Flay. Does it mean that he was never your friend? No. It means that when the chips were down, his skin meant more to him than anyone elses and he was not smart enough to figure any other way out of the mess. You were better equiped to deal with the crises than he was. Certainly smarter. More able to see answers and options than he was." She pauses to consider while taking another puff or two. Letting the smoke escape, dragon-like, from her lips, she too takes a glance around the room. they are still mostly alone.

Plugging the hole, she sighs softly, thoughtfully, "Most people do not have the ability or power to affect much. I try to help them where I can. However, it is true that there are plenty of people out there who will be fair-weather friends but when the storm blows in, they will turn tail and run. Most of them are good, decent people who lack imagination or conviction. They truly mean well as long as their skins are not threatened. If I can, I try to show them that there is honest benefit to being a friend as opposed to an enemy or neutral party. Others? Well… sure. There are the assholes of the Shadows and Amber. Those who set out to cut you down. Or those without compassion who do not understand that we are stronger together than apart. I have no patience for those. Then there are the rare and wonderful people who are honest, loyal and devoted friends. Those are rare, but there. It takes a long time to know them for who they are. Usually. Sometimes, you know in a flash and are not disappointed later." After a longer pause, she laughs a slightly self-depricating laugh, "I guess that I believe in enlightened self-interest. At least more than otherwise."

Jhavid looks up with a little smirk. "So you ultimately believe that by serving the interests of the whole that you serve your own self-interest? Maybe it's true. Maybe not. Really what you're talking about is a lot of trust though, Flame. And my experiences have lead me to believe that people are not generally trustworthy. At the end of the day the most trustworthy thing is that any individual is going to act, in any situation, to his own self interest." Jhavid picks up the bottle to take another pull from it and sets it back down. He rubs his face and looks at the floor for a moment before looking back up.

"The world is a shit show, Flame. What does it tell you that out of all the people I've met, kings, queens, officers, princes, princesses, noblemen, merchants and whatnot… the most trustworthy people I've found in this world are fucking pirates. Double standards abound, but everyone believes their cause or their way is the righteous one. There is nothing in this world more dangerous or more treacherous than a righteous man. A righteous man will fuck you twice as fast as worst thief out there. The thief is just looking for profit. But the righteous man? He'll carve your heart out over an idea." He pauses for a moment. "Look, I'm not saying I've been through worse than you have. I'm just saying I walked away from it with a very different sense of the world. For what it's worth I'm sorry I disappointed you. You know, the Alhambra thing."

Maggie nods, "Yeah. I do believe that. I've seen it more than not." Shifting, she faces him a bit more fully, her gaze centered still. Perhaps the opium smoke is settling out of her, "Trust is a funny thing, Flay. It can be planted in adversity or peace, takes a lifetime or a few weeks to develop and die in an instant. Once broken, it may never return."

A huff of exhaled laughter sounds softly, but is there, "I do understand, cousin. I do. We are not that different, as you have said. And, honestly, look at me. While we married at swordpoint, the man I have chosen to live the rest of my life with is a pirate." Oh the irony.

Any comment she might have had over the righteous man's treatment of his fellows dies away at that last. She blinks twice though that does not hide her surprise. The smile that shadows her lips is quiet, almost a gentle thing. The "Thanks." she offers is hushed though not quite a whisper.

Jhavid waves off the thanks with a slight grunt. "You're welcome." Another pause. More rum. "Look, it really boils down to this. I don't like being told what to do. Mainly this has to do with a lack of confidence in the people telling you what to do having your best interests at heart. You think my dad made you two get married because he was worried about either one of you? That's just fucking crazy thinking there. You two were causing mayhem in his precious shipping lanes. He's like any other parent. He's not interested in right or wrong. He wants quiet."

Jhavid leans back in the cushions and sighs. "I stopped listening to anyone else's orders the day I took over the Leviathan. Most of the people tryin' to give 'em are full of shit anyway. That's part of my issues with Rebma. At least I tell you up front what I am."

Maggie twitches a smile at the grun, though nods at the rest of the reply. Letting it lie, she smokes while he drinks, the greyish smoke encircling her head like distant storm clouds over a burning sea. A faint breeze, called with a flick of a finger, sends the collection skudding away before they can darken further. When he finishes, she seals her hose and reaches for the bottle again. More rum. "You know? I know very few people who like being told what to do. I mean. Really enjoy it. Though… there are a few who come to mind. Thing is… At least the way I see it… You can't determine how people feel about you so why worry about it? What matters, at least to me, are actions. What a person does speaks to motivations, to choices made. Though, I do realize that it is hard to know what the decisions are based on… Anyway…" Considering Gerard, her smile returns, "I think that Gerard insisted on the marriage to keep the noise down and to avoid a bloody battle. It maintained the status quo. Sure. I'll give you that one. However, he sat me down before hand… figuratively speaking… and asked me if it was what I wanted. He could as easily have bellowed for everyone to scarper the fuck off, really. He is one person who could have made that stick, I think. Caine is the other." Leaning forward a little, then, she meets his gaze. The haze from the opium is gone now, though there might be a faint flush from alcohol in her cheeks. "Tell me, Flay. Do you actually believe that either Merrisol or I would have stayed married if we didn't want to be? The agreement turned on a year of married life. That year was over last February."

That said, she leans back again, her movements slow and careful. "I am not sure what your issues are with Rebma, to be honest. My memory is still pretty skewed, though more returns all the time. If this is something that I should know, I'd like to hear it. If it is private, well… it is up to you either way, in truth."

He leans forward and picks up the bottle again, but doesn't take a drink from it yet. "If someone's gonna be a hypocrit, be up front about it. I got no patience for any of that do as I say, not as I do bullshit. On that day you two got married, my father boarded a Minos ship with Remban sailors. He should have fucking well known better, and so should they."

Jhavid leans forward and this time takes a drink. "Let me tell you the little joke about Rebma. Those fuckers think they own the sea. They'll sink any vessel they choose what they find within their own waters just for bein' there, and that's fine. I got no problem with that. But then they wanna turn around and board ships from other shadows, outside their waters? That little stunt they pulled with you ain't the first time, and it won't be the last."

Maggie frowns then, her attention caught, "Woah. Hold up a second, Flay. Prince Gerard came aboard my ship. The only Rebman sailor aboard at the time was Merrisol and he is half Minosian." Tilting her head a bit, she tries to review who else was there, though her memory of some of the day must be foggy. Perhaps due to the after-party. "Martin came aboard, but I think he was summoned by Amy. To act as Merrisol's best man. I don't recall anyone else from Rebma there. Now… Merrisol may have had other Rebman sailors aboard his ship, though I don't think so. In any case, Martin was there by invitation. Any other sailors were there because they hired on." Blinking twice, she refocuses on here and her cousin, "Though Rebmans do sink ships in the triangle. Unless the ships have a pass from the Regent. As far as I know, Martin has been pretty careful to keep the Rebmans to below the waves rather than above. I can't speak to what Moins may have done. I don't think that I've ever met her."

Jhavid makes a sneer at the mention of Martin, but doesn't say anything to follow it up. "That's not the story that Merrisol shouted to the heavens later on. But even being willing to take you at your word, that was just an example. Even if it didn't go down like that, no one from Rebma ever stepped forward to decry it. I'm not gonna try and tell you what happened at your own wedding, but the story being told is the one I just laid out. And even if Merrisol is half Rebman, he was captain of a Minos ship, flying Minos colors and calling a Minos port home. And while we're at it, fuck their pass from the god damn Regent. It's a wonderful thing seeing someone tryin' to have it both ways and then watch a decent person, yes I mean you, try to defend it. Please, try and explain to me how sinking any ships without a pass while believing yours can come and go as they please isn't an exercise in hypocrisy."

Maggie tilts her head again, a frown beginning, "Now I am wondering. I'll have to look at my log and see whether I am misremembering. There was a lot of rum flowing after that and as I said, some of it is fuzzy." Taking a longer tug on the hookah, she frowns at that, too. Leaning forward, she uses a small set of tongs provided to shift the coal to the other side of the bowl. Puffing a little, she releases some smoke from the bowl itself, "Hmmm. This is getting a touch toasty. Might be time for a new bowl." But, she does not call for one. Instead, she undoes the one hose, using a glass stopper to plug her end. Shifting around a little, she rests one arm on the cushion's back, the other hand lifting to clasp her wrist. "I can't explain that, Flay because it is. Hypocrisy, I mean. All I can do is point that out to Martin. With Moins in a coma, Rebma is Martin's to govern. I can advise, but I won't tell him what to do."

Jhavid gives Maggie a curious look. "What? You think I want them to change how they operate?" He just shakes his head. "I don't want anyone to change how they operate, Flame. I want to -defy- them. Believe me, I'm happy with that. There are few things in this world that give me more joy than seeing someone believe that their authority matters to me, and then seeing them realize that it doesn't. And you know as well as I do that I'm not alone. Me, Tempest, Redhand, Bloodwhiskers and some others… you think they can tame us? I want to see them try."

Maggie shrugs, "Whether Martin changes or not is sort of immaterial, honestly." She twitches her fierce cousin another smile, however, then adds, "Whether you want them to change or not is also immaterial here. An injustice has been pointed out and it is in my nature to try and have it redressed. It is what I choose to do with the information given. As for you and the others? Flay…" Her smile softens, then fades away, "You have to be allowed to make your own choices. So, no. I don't think that they can tame you. Though if they decide to try, that is their choice to make. You have the right to be a pirate, if that is what you choose to be. They have the right to defend against you. Me? Since I do not have any trouble seeing both sides, I choose to stay out of it as much as possible these days." The frown that began somewhere in there deepens, "I just hope that you and I do not end up on opposite sides. Though I suspect that we will. Just as Tempest and I have on occasion."

Jhavid shakes his head. "Even I try to have limited contact with Tempest. Sure there are things… structures in the world that I'd like to see burned down. But Tempest? That kid's crazy. He wants to see it all burn. You don't make allies with a guy like that. You feed him choice bits of information and then watch him go kick over the hornet's nest. He kinda makes it easier to get away with more important shit that way. If he were actually more organized, had more backing and real resources I might actually be worried about him."

Trouble brews in her eyes as the talk turns to Tempest. Nodding, she reaches for the rum once more. After a swig, she offers the last of the bottle back to its owner, "Agreed. Tempest has lost whatever grip he once had on reality. I hate to think of him as a scalpel to excise contagion, but that isn't a bad analogy, really. I think he likes doing it, too. His abortive run at Kitezh is an example in a way. He could have made a lot of trouble for the Kitezh people if he followed through. I am glad that he didn't, though. I think that Amy would have hated him irrevicably." She pauses, then adds, "I would have defended the bay."

Jhavid just kind of shrugs. "He'd approached me about going in on that with him. I considered it for a good while, mainly because I think Viktor is a fucking twat. I lost all respect for him when he let his man pick that fight with Montevalno and then went and hid underneath Benedict's skirt. Fuck that guy. But ultimately it became obvious to me that Tempest was really struggling to get his shit together. Of course it all has a lot less meaning now anyway, since Random's no longer on the throne. So I suppose all's well that ends well. You hit the nail on the head though with Tempest. You never can tell how people are going to react to other people though. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if my dad issued a proclamation tomorrow that he was adopting him."

Maggie listens, nodding now and then. "Victor is not my favorite person either. But, it is Amy's life. I won't make it harder on her just because her husband is a ninny." Or a twat. Same thing. "I hope that he manages to get it together, but don't really expect it." A laugh begins, hesitates, then ends in a shrug, "Your father tends to collect lost souls, Flay. It would not surprise me, but I would see it differently than you would. Gerard is all about second chances but… perhaps only with those who believe that they need them. That is where you and Tempest might differ. I could see Tempest going to Gerard and asking for a new start. I can't really see you doing that. Not, at least, with Gerard. Look what it did for Dirk. I've heard that Caine reacknowledged Dirk. How much of that is Gerard's doing and how much isn't? I can't say." Pausing for a second, she then asks, "Would it bother you? If Gerard took in another lost soul?"

Jhavid finishes off the rest of the bottle and puts the empty down, cork in place. Obviously he intends to keep the bottle. "Let me tell you about Dirk. I'd come to Amber a couple times, but never really spent any time around here until recently. I spent a few years after the flotilla getting my shit together, refitting the ship, things like that. I made a few connections during that time among people involved in similar things. After a while I decided to start spending more time around Amber. One of the first people I met was Dirk, which unfortunately meant that one of the first people I met was also Moxon. So I'm not around here before too long before Dirk decides it's a good idea to start calling me brother. And the silly little fuck won't let it drop. I don't give a rat's ass if my dad adopted him or not, he's not my fucking brother. You know what finally made him stop calling me that? I had to put a pistol in his face to get the point across, and I'm still not sure he got it. You tell me how I'm supposed to feel about that."

Maggie shrugs, "I can't tell you how you should feel about it, honestly. First, I don't know much about Dirk. I've only met him once or twice. I will say that he is a bizzare guy with more courage than sense and the luck to keep him alive when he does something beyond stupid. Moxon? I get along with Moxon. He has the same issues with Caine that you have with Gerard, so I can see why there would be friction there. Though… I am not sure that Mox feels any differently about Gerard. Or any of the Elders with the possible exception of Julian. Which is a hair on the odd side, but whatever." Taking a longer moment, she considers the question posed from a different perspective. "I think… that Dirk is, or was, sort of despirate for kin. From what little I've seen, I would guess that he thinks that shared blood means that there is automatic acceptance. I do not think that he really gets it that respect needs to be earned. I suspect that, for him, being liked is really important. Maybe even more important than anything else. I suspect that is why he learned to become a cat. He likes cats and thinks that if he cannot get the physical attention he pathologically craves as a man, he can as a cat. He does not see that as weakness and pushes his perspective on… everyone. Or tries to. Personally? I find him difficult to be around. Especially when he is in his cat form."

Jhavid just kind of shrugs again. "I think he's an idiot. Loyal to his friends and willing to put himself in harm's way for them? Sure, admirable qualities yes but the guy's still an idiot. Moxon? The guy's a cunt. Sadly there's no cure for bein' a cunt. The difference between my viewpoints and his is that I'm not out there tryin' to convince people they should hate Gerard, nor am I startin' up shit with people just because they don't. You like my dad? Hey, cool. I don't agree, but I'll let it alone unless you ask me about it and then it's why I don't like him and not why you shouldn't, savvy? And then I'm not tryin' to pick a fight with you because you don't share the same mean-on after you tried to tell me how stupid I am for not sharin' your viewpoint. Fuck that guy."

He pauses from the rant for a moment or two before continuing. "The point really was that my father has kids of his own. It's one thing to leave them to their own devices. It's another thing entirely to be publicly disapproving of their life choices when you couldn't be arsed up to give a shit while they were still making them. And it's yet another thing entirely to put your legitimacy behind strays from your brothers and sisters that you haven't shown your own kids when said strays have aptly demonstrated that they're every bit a bigger shit show than you are."

Maggie leans back against the cushion again, her gaze lingering for a long time as silence builds. For her it is not an awkward silence, but a companionable one. Her thoughts flit through her eyes as she considers his point of view as stated. Finally, she offers, "But, Flay, I think that could be part of it. I mean… Gerard adopts stray people because they are stray. They need him to be their sheltering cove while they get their shit together. People like you? Hell, I doubt that you were ever the sort to admit to needing anyone. Gerard? I have always sort of felt that he needs to be needed. The bigger the shit show? The more likely he is to feel compelled to help. I doubt very seriously that he would know the first thing about raising an independent person willing to sail their own ship without his help. The help and guidance your mom gave you? I doubt that Gerard would know how to categorize that… Other than… something like 'oh, he's fine. he has his mom'. I am not defending him, though. I think that's a pretty poor way to deal with a kid."

Jhavid thinks for a long moment. "What exactly are you trying to pitch to me, Flame? My father did a shit job raising me, but I should love him anyway because look how nice he treats everyone else? While you're at it you should respect authority too. Just pretend it's not a bunch of people circle-jerking each other while looking out for their own self-interest. You think I don't understand my father. My resentment is not garnered from a lack of understanding. In fact I think in this case understanding might be increasing it."

Maggie shakes her head, one hand lifting palm outward, "Hell no. I'm not trying to pitch anything, Flay. Just pointing out that there are aspects that you may not have seen. You're pretty close to the core of the problem, afterall. Sure, my hope is that you give the guy another chance, but what you do with the information is entirely up to you. For all I know, you've already looked at all of that. No, I am not trying to change you, Flay. If it has caused you to hate your dad more than I have done both of you an unintended disservice."

Jhavid shakes his head again. "I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate him. If I hated him I'd be out there trying to do him harm. I'm not. I do resent the shit out of him and I maintain a rabid dislike for a lot of shit that he does. None of this was caused or worsened by you though. So you can salve your conscience on that point. You shined a light on several valid points, but I think they were things I already understood… at least subconsciously. In truth I'm both surprised at and grateful for your insight. Most people just try to tell me how great my father is, get pissy when I don't co-sign their endorsement and then move on. It's actually refreshing to find someone who savvies."

Maggie says, "Well, good. I am glad that you don't hate him." Leaning back, she lowers her gaze briefly, a blush beginning. The gold freckles peek out again, no longer lost against her sun-touched tan. "I am glad that I could give those to you, Flay. Thank you for listening." She eyes the hookah, considering that refill. It is once more abandoned, at least for now. When she speaks again, it is softer, that introspection creeping back in to color her tone, "I think… that I get it because I've kind of been there. No one knew why dad wasn't around when I was growing up. Mom loved him so much and tried to tell me that he was just busy, but I could see that it hurt her too. Thinking that he was too busy to even meet his only daughter was painful. Funny, isn't it? That he has so many other children and I never knew about them. It still sort of stings when I find a new sibling." She shoots him a slightly sheepish smile, though it does nothing but underscore the meaning in her words. Inhaling, she continues, "I went through stages, you know? Resentment and anger, frustration and fear. I ran away from mom when I was young. Figured that I would make it big somewhere and show them all." Her gaze flickers to his face, then down again, "Martin found me and took me in. He had been more of a brother to me than a cousin up until then and I think that mom called him when she could not find me. She never confessed, but… it makes sense. He talked to her and she agreed to let me go with him on tour with his band out into Shadow. I did the fireworks behind his dancers. Nothing like what a good illusionist could do, but… Anyway. He took care of me. Made sure that I understood what I was doing. It is likely that he kept me from seeing some of the ugly side of life. When I was ready, he took me home again. So, I know what it is like to be hurt by people society tells us we should love and I know that people are a mixture of traits. Also? What society thinks can bite me.""

Jhavid looks at the empty bottle and sighs. He tucks it away as he stands up. stretching as he does so. "It's funny how two different people can have such similarities in their childhood yet end up with such different outlooks on life. Your experiences lead you to appreciate what you have, and who you have around you. Mine taught me that defiance is a necessary evil. I hope it doesn't end up putting us on opposite sides some day. I like you, Flame. I wouldn't enjoy hurting you. That said, I am comitted to staying the course and some of your friends are those I am choosing to defy."

Maggie rises as he does, her smile both sincere and rueful, "Agreed on all counts, Flay. I would not enjoy hurting you and hope that we don't come to that pass. I am also glad that I have given up pirate hunting. I would not relish trying to catch you." She extends her hand, her gaze quietly confident, "I like you too, Flay. While I don't agree with your choices, I am committed to supporting your right to make them. Actually… If you are okay with it, you can call me Maggie when it isn't business." An overture.

Jhavid offers a crooked grin in response, but takes Maggie's offered hand. "Jhavid… you're allowed. As long as it's social and no one's crew is around. You know how it is. Safe seas captain. See you around."

Maggie's grip is firm and confident, though brief, "Thank you. Save seas to you as well, captain." Releasing his hand, she turns to make her way out of the shisha den. Turning just as she reaches the door, she waves once, then slips out into Amber's late night air.

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