#1995

[The scene opens on the interior of a dim tavern, the name of which – Dragoneye Charlie’s – is painted above the bar in passably readable script. Judging by the dark windows and sparse remaining crowd, it’s nearly closing time. Only the regulars linger still, scattered among the bare wood tables and ill-lit corners, and even most of them have stopped ordering refills. Dragoneye Charlie himself stands behind the counter, idly polishing shot glasses as he keeps an eye on the two patrons still drinking at the bar. Despite their size, the tiefling and half-orc seem considerably tipsy. The tiefling, Remr, leans her elbows on the counter as Brutus, the half-orc, fights to keep his tears to a manly, albeit heartbroken, minimum. It is clear they have been here for a while.]

Brutus: I thought he was the one, okay? Like, deep down I knew he didn’t want anything serious, but I guess I thought it would be different with me, you know?

Remr [grimacing]: Oh, I know. And it’s never different. They’ll always leave you high and dry like a fuckin’… [she snaps her fingers] a fuckin’…

Brutus: Desert?

Remr: YEAH. Like a fuckin’ desert. Speaking of deserts, [she turns to Charlie and indicates their empty glasses] can I get another round over here?

[Dragoneye Charlie fills their glasses without comment.]

Brutus [staring into his glass]: I still have his yoga mat. Do you think I should let him know so he can come pick it up? It’s a nice mat. He probably wonders where it is. I should tell him.

Remr: No! Throw that thing away, man, like, just toss it. Make a clean break. It’s the only way you can move on. There are other fish in the sea. Other gay orc… fish. Like, so many, and you [she jabs Brutus’ chest with one finger to emphasize her point] could have any of them, because you are FABULOUS. No, wait, no, you know what? Forget about all those stupid fish. Dating’s for losers anyway. Who wants a person who’s, like, always around and supporting you and stuff? More time to discover miral… mircul… mir-AK-ulous scientific breakthroughs when you’re alone. [she chugs the remainder of her drink]

Brutus [confused]: I’m a baker.

Remr: Then more time to… I don’t know, invent better… pie. Hand pies. More time to invent better hand pies. [She holds out her empty glass to Charlie with a smile] More drink please!

Dragoneye Charlie [shaking his head]: I’m cutting you off.

Remr: But I’ve only had three!

Dragoneye Charlie: You’ve had six.

Remr [with much indignation]: …yeah, well… whatever, I’m a biologist, not a math-eh-muh-tician. Speaking of science, though, the process by which alcohol is fermented is fascinating on the molecular level, it really is. [she pulls a scrap of parchment and a piece of charcoal out of her pocket and starts drawing] You start with–

Brutus: Oookay. [he pats Remr’s shoulder with a giant hand] Let’s get you home.

Remr [blinking sleepily]: Oh. Okey doke. [she deposits a handful of coins on the bar and stands, or at least gets herself into a vertical position, albeit with a definite sway. Brutus, having weathered worse binges, hooks an arm around his companion and leads her out to the street with a minimal amount of wobbling. He deposits her at the door to her inn, where she revives a bit and slaps him on the shoulder in what she clearly intends to be a gesture of commiseration.]

Remr: Friendship’s all you need in life, buddy. Fuck that guy. Just you an’ me, it’s just you an’ me against the world. And science.

Brutus: Uh… thanks. [he pushes her toward the door] Get some sleep. And stop calling me in the middle of the night, okay?

Remr [attempting a combination of thumbs up and finger guns at the same time]: Call you in the middle of the night. Got it.

[She disappears through the door, just managing not to shut it on her tail. Brutus stares at the closed door for a second, contemplating how he got to this point in his life, then sighs and heads for his own home.]

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