The caravan pulls into a cute halfling village mid afternoon, and Lup hits the market while her brother starts the soup. They don’t need much, it’s only four more days to Tern Harbor, a real big-boy town, but fresh veggies are nice out on the road. She gets some greens and the last of those nice fall artichokes. A little girl helping her dad stock produce wants to know how Lup got so tall. “I got stretched out by a hill giant, pumpkin,” whispers Lup, theatrically, “She got me by the ears, that’s why they’re so pointy.” The kid gasps. It’s hysterical.
Lup and Taako make the best food these stooge traders have had in their measly lives. They are so fucking good at what they do. Even Lup can barely wrap her mind around it. Dinner is, yet again, a hit. The crew are acting like they've never seen an artichoke before. Some of them maybe haven't? They picked up a bunch of wide-eyed young dwarves a few weeks back. Are dwarves about that sweet A-choke life? She asks Taako. He shrugs.
They wash up, set everything out for tomorrow's porridge, and hit the fuckin tavern.
Halflings know how to party, and this village doesn’t get a lot of people passing through, so basically everyone has shown up for a rager with the caravan crew. It’s the best time Lup’s had in like a year. Three old dudes who probably have kids and are, like, pillars of the community, are doing the cancan on the bar. Lucky the muleskinner gets dared to climb up and swing from the chandelier. He immediately falls, and knocks over a table on the way down. Everybody cheers.
Lup dances back up to the bar to keep the good times rolling. She almost sits on a chick passed out, somehow, across three different stools. “Iss fine, honey,” slurs her friend, “Greta’s fine, she juss started early’s all.” Hell yeah Greta, turn up.
She finds an unoccupied seat, and waits for the barmaid to make it back to her.
“So did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” asks the handsome (if, well, short ) gentleman next to her. He almost says it with a straight face, too. Lup laughs.
“This - is this a thing ? Has this gotten you a lot of ladies, like, historically ?”
“It was worth a shot? You’re really pretty,” he says with a big goofy smile.
“Okay, but this a bragging rights thing, right? ‘One time I banged a hot elf,’ right?”
“Okay but have you ever been with a halfling? You know what they say,” he says, struggling to not to laugh again, “‘Once you go half, you ne- you-’” He never quite makes it to the punchline, and instead sort of falls over onto the bar giggling. This dude is adorable. Lup lets him buy her a drink.
About ten minutes later as they’re stumbling up the stairs to Dude’s room, Lup catches her brother’s eye and winks. Taako eyes the guy’s ass and nods his approval.
Shortstuff turns out to be kinky, and it’s pretty rad.
They have their own two little bunks tucked in the back of the mess wagon this time, which is honestly kind of nice. The whole wagon is their domain: pantry, stove, bunks, pots and pans clanging from the roof, and a little cupboard over the door for their stuff. No one bothers Lup in middle of the night except for her garbage brother, and he’s been doing that since the womb, so honestly kind of whatever.
The night turned bitter cold at some point, and few little snowflakes start to fall as Lup jogs back to the caravan in the early hours, still a teensy bit buzzed and wrapped in a blanket she stole from whatshisname’s room. When she finally slips back into the wagon, she just leans against the wall for a long moment, shivering and waiting for the warmth to seep into her. Taako is curled up in the bottom bunk already, which is comforting. Sure, he’s a grown-ass elf who can take care of himself, but knowing that he’s here and she’s here and everything is as it should be feels good. It feels like home. She clambers into bed and hunkers down to hopefully get in a couple hours of rest before they have to start breakfast.