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potato, patahto

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The inn you and Soup are staying at is terrible, overpriced, and infested with other patrons. Really, someone (not you, someone else.) should do something about that. The food is terrible; bland and over seasoned at the same time. Soup agrees with you; she hasn't told you, but you know anyways, because she is flinging spoonfuls at other patrons from behind a counter. She hasn't hit anyone yet, but you have faith that it's just a matter of time.

You lean back in your chair, and whisper down to her. “Remember, it’s two points only if these… things masquerading as potatoes don't stick.”

Soup snorts, and her eyes narrow in concentration. She's using a spoon, instead of levitation, and a nostalgic peace settles over you, even though you've never antagonized innocent people sitting in a bar, ever, in your entire life. Or, at least, you haven't done it with another person. Sizzle It Up With Taako is normally a solo show. But. Soup’s better looking than Sazed, and she gets you. And you get her. If Soup left right now- which is likely, because you are you; entertaining, maybe, for a few days, but in the end, a supremely leaveable person- you think it would be unbearable. A cold, hollow anxiety curls up in your heart whenever you contemplate Soup leaving you.

There is a drow, sitting in the corner of the inn, and he’s nearly as good looking as yourself. You would walk over to him, if it were not for his creepy ass tabard, and that Soup’s target practice was bound to piss off some rando eventually. It'd be a pity if you missed out on a bar fight because you were flirting with a drow.

“Hey,” whispers Soup, still crouched by your chair. “Ten points if I can hit that guy, the one in the hideous pants on the first try.”

You flick your eyes towards the man Soup’s referring to. God, those jeans really are hideous. His entire outfit is hideous. Having mashed potatoes smeared on it will be an improvement.

“It'd be justice,” you tell Soup.

Soup grins, narrows her eyes in concentration, and readies her spoon. You make sure you have all your luggage near you, in case the need to make a hasty getaway arises, which it near undoubtedly will.

“And she scores,” Soup whispers, before she actually scores. The blob of mashed potato is in the air now, soaring in an admirable arc, and you watch it with anticipation.

Soup misses. She's close though- the potato lands on the nose of the dwarf sitting across from the man. The dwarf is stock still, except for the pupils of his eyes. Those are staring, cross eyed, at the lump of potato on his nose. The man who Soup was originally aiming for twists around in his chair, and he's wearing the expression of a man who was given daily wedgies beyond high school, well into his adulthood, and knows when to give up. His hair is neatly parted on one side. What a nerd.

“His jeans,” you hiss to Soup, to assuage the uncharacteristic guilt that has assaulted you upon sight of the man’s face. “look at those fucking jeans.”

“Goddamnit those really are some ugly fucking jeans,” Soup mutters, looking like someone’s just brained her with a cast iron pan. There might be a faint blush on her cheeks; you don't look too closely. You’ll question her horrible, terrible, lower than than the Fantasy Marina Trench standards later.

The dwarf’s eyes are slowly moving up to you and Soup. His face is rapidly changing colors to puce, and it’s fantastic. Hilarious. Wipes away the last of the remorse you feel over Soup missing her target.

“Barold,” the dwarf utters, primal rage bleeding into every syllable. Your grin is so wide your gums are probably showing.

“Oops,” Soup titters, grabbing another spoonful of potato. “My hand slipped.”

The nerd in the ugly jeans, whose name is Barold, turns to look back at the dwarf. “Yes, boss?” he asks in a tone so resigned, you’re amazed the words managed to crawl out of his mouth before slumping over on the floor.

“Kick their asses,” the dwarf demands. Oo-oo-ohh, they were getting to the good part.

“Sorry, my ass is already booked for tonight,” you tell the dwarf, looking him straight in the eye.

Barold looks at you and Soup, leaning on the table you're sitting at. Then he looks at the dwarf. You think you see the circles under his eyes noticeably enlarge.

“20 gold coins,” Barold says.

“Done,” growls the dwarf. The mashed potato is still on his nose, and you let out a high pitched giggle. Yeah, alright, you and Soup can take some lumberjack nerd who overcharges.

Soup elbows you in the side. “Watch this,” she mutters, and flings another spoonful of what might be dubiously called potato at Barold.

This time, she doesn't miss.

The potato lands on Barold’s chest. It sticks for a precious second, before falling off, and landing on Barold’s boot. Barold, for his part, barely reacts. He heaves the largest sigh known to man and elf kind. Then he stands up, and pushes back his chair with a screech. The other patrons in the inn are starting to watch.

“Yes!” says the dwarf, and bangs his fist on the table. The mashed potato finally falls with a ‘plop’.

“Hey,” you ask him “you gonna eat that?”

“Don't get your hopes up Taako-love,” Soup says with mock sadness “this here dwarf seems like a wasteful chap.”

The inn is completely silent now, all eyes on you, the way you prefer it. The way it hasn't been since 40 accusing and betrayed faces stared at you in Glamour Springs. The drow you saw earlier is looking at the spectacle like it's the most exciting, intriguing thing he's ever seen. You wink at him, and he clasps his hands over his heart.

Barold hefts his axe up, and starts walking purposefully towards you. Each step seems to echo. Your fellow patrons are perfectly still, eager to watch two uppity and scrawny elves get their asses handed to them. Somehow, that feels familiar, and nostalgia and resentment dance inside you. Everything is quiet, except for your and Soup’s breathing, and Barold’s footsteps.

“Yeah, fuck you too, darling,” Soup says, and casts fireball.

You don't stick around to see the damage- you and Soup are bolting before the fireball even hits Barold. You can barely hear the damage either, over your and Soup’s raucous laughter. Someone- the dwarf, probably, starts loudly swearing behind you.

The cart’s already waiting for you, and you toss your bag in the back, as Soup launches herself towards the driver's seat.

You’re halfway into the cart when you hear someone else burst out of the inn.

“Excuse me,” says a voice behind you. You pause, and turn around, because it's rare that you meet a fellow New Elfingtoner. It’s so nice to hear someone who isn't Soup speak normally.

“I couldn't help but be impressed by your skills back there,” says the drow you winked at earlier. “I'm called the Black Spider, but I suppose you can call me Brian, and I have a job offer.”

“Is that Brian with a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?” Soup asks, because that is absolutely vital information the both of you must know.

“It's an ‘i’, darling,” Brian tells you.