Hangover kind of morning

((Osilon, Karavoss))

Bleary eyed Asher awoke, early in the morning as the sun hit him in the face. He squeezed his stinging eyes tightly together, and the chirps of spring birds felt like nails being hammered into his head. “Uh...” he groaned, reaching off his bed to the small side table a few feet below him, pawing at a bottle his finger tips grabbed the neck. Bringing the bottle to his mouth his eyes cracked open, when nothing came out. He lifted the bottle high, mouth open, catching one last drop. “So much for some hair of the dog…” he groaned again, rolling off the bed and onto his feet he staggered a bit. “I am soooo hung over.” He smacked his lips feeling the somehow dry but sticky feeling in his mouth. “Salty breakfast…” he blinked, grabbing his belt off a chair, and his pipe off the nightstand. “Oh gods…” he rubbed his forehead. His head was pounding. Stepping outside, his posture changed. A leaned back cocksure attitude.

Walking through the far end of the bazaar, Asher walked past a market stall outside a small clapboard house. “Good Morning Lana, how are the breakfast rolls this morning?” he asked.

“They’re good, Asher, I make them the same as always,” the slightly plump middle aged woman said with a hint of sass, hand on her aproned hip.

“Great,” Asher said, paying for a roll that had been freshly baked that morning. He winked at her and continued on to the pub. The Golden Oak, his favourite watering hole.

“See ya tomorrow, Asher,” the woman called out to him as he walked away.

“Wouldn't miss it,” he called back and the tall man with long rust brown hair and floppy ears gave an over the shoulder wave.

Asher continued on his quest for a full Karavossian breakfast which was part seafood and part dockside tavern cuisine. Passing stands and greeting people along the way. Giving gestures of greeting to those busy with customers, the occasional hand closed bow. Everyone gave him a greeting in return.

Down the street away, the Karavossian soldiers fanned out around Lafayette and V, stern and alert expressions on their faces.

“Bonjour messieurs,” Lafayette said, greeting the three men with a smile. “What seems to be trouble?”

“We're on the look out for a group of fugitives,” the lead soldier said, turning around the wanted poster he was holding so that they could see the picture on the front, a picture that bore a close resemblance to V.

Lafayette leaned in to look at it. “A nefarious looking character,” he remarked, not glancing at his companion. “No, I can't say I have seen anyone like that, but I will be sure to let you know if I do.”

The soldier was very unamused and held the picture up pointedly in front of V's eyes as the other two men carefully watched the bounty hunter for any sudden moves, hands on their sword hilts.

V deliberately kept his hands away from his own swords and forced himself to laugh. “Okay, I admit that does look like me more than a little bit. What has this person supposed to have done?”

“He is wanted in connection to a warehouse fire in Indrasel.”

“A fire? I don't go around committing arson and have never been to... Indrasel, did you say?”

“Yes. This individual who looks just like you is also wanted for impersonating a member of the Agriculture and Poulter's Guild.”

“He did WHAT? That's outrageous!”

“It is a serious offence,” the soldier agreed, stone-faced. “Where were you yesterday evening?”

Before V could think of a really good answer, one that might just keep him from being arrested and taken into custody, Asher walked up to them all with a wide grin, stepping between Lafayette and V. Slapping his arms around their shoulders.

“Lafayette! Hey man, great to see you!” Asher laughed. “You two look to be faring better than I was this morning. Luck of the youth I suppose.”

The lead soldier looked across at Asher with some alarm. He quickly began consulting the sheaf of wanted posters, comparing the man's face to the other pictures, but saw there was no match to any.

Another soldier leaned over and whispered, “That’s just Asher. Have to run him in every now and then for disorderly conduct, but he’s mostly harmless.”

The army officer spoke up. “Moving along…” he said, then, “Wait, Asher. Are you telling me you have an alibi for these two?”

“Course I do.” Asher replied with a coprophagic grin. “This one here.” He shook V with his heavy arm. “Little fool tried to drink Ol’ Asher under the table. I’m frankly shocked he’s even walking. Frail elves like him aren’t known for holding their drink. And Fire Top here only drinks wine,” he added, patting Lafayette on the shoulder.

“Fine. Move along then, we still have an investigation to run,” the officer said, pushing past.

The one soldier with the wanted poster took another moment to compare it to V, seeing the likeness was practically identical to the person standing before him, but reluctantly he turned and left with the others who obviously put a lot of stock in this drunkard’s word.

Once the military men were out of ear shot, Asher tooks his arm off their shoulders. “You didn’t set that building on fire though, right?” he asked, but then laughed. “I’m kidding. I don’t care if you did or didn’t. If you did, they probably deserved it, long as it wasn’t a place to store Sweet Gold Vodka.” Asher laughed again. “Then I’d have to be a good citizen and turn you both in.”

“Burning down a warehouse? Nah.” Lafayette shook his head. “But you saved my neck again.” He slapped Asher on the back.

“And as thanks you two can buy me breakfast. Because I am so very very hungover, and need salty fatty greasy awful deliciousness to cure it. Be my savior, strange elf boy.” Asher slapped both hands on his shoulders and looked at V with an unsettling intensity, but with an air malaise.

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