(2018-12-30) Mulled Wine and Boxes
Late night moving inspires help from a neighbor, and those just passing through.
Players:
cash..sevin..uma..vyv..

Sometimes people get home late. Seeing headlights and hearing a car door or two around 2am after the bars let out isn't an uncommon thing. Hearing the back door of a van open and close time after time, however? That's weird, especially in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Paired with the lights of the van and the porch light being on - Cash had to have lost track of time. A moving van has been in front of this house since Christmas Eve, though - So the new neighbor isn't necessarily surprising, but that he's moving boxes at this hour is definitely out of the ordinary.

While slightly smaller than the homes around it, the house in question makes up for that with its charm. Brick and stone make up the first floor of the structure, while exposed beams reach up in a traditional Tudor style along the second story. A red, arched front door is illuminated by the porch light across the small, but neat, lawn. It's a short trip from driveway to door, but the path is too narrow for any kind of dolly or cart, forcing Cash to carry each box individually. Which is exactly what he's doing right now, dressed for the night's cold, but not in any dignified manner. Flannel pants in a red and black plaid, black snow boots, and an olive green jacket that matches nothing else.

Vyvyan moves with grace and confidence and the impression he subconsciously expects the world will get out of his way — which is a little odd, since his appearance isn't notably intimidating. Tallish, yes, but partly an effect of good posture: he probably does make it to six foot, but not much farther. Fit enough, but it's a lean musculature on a slender build. His dark hair is kept fairly short, though it still has a tendency to get a bit tousled. Then again, the blue-grey eyes are rather intense, and while the full lips and high cheekbones may well have seen him called 'pretty' at some point, he does seem to have a fair case of resting bitch face. Clean-shaven, he looks to be in his mid-to-late 20s, and his somewhat-English accent is hard to precisely place.
He's wearing a cashmere sweater vest with a stepped-chevron pattern in muted red, yellow, and orange — like autumn leaves, or an extremely subued fire — over a white oxford shirt, its collar unbuttoned. A pair of brown suede chelsea boots peek from beneath dark jeans, and over top is a navy wool peacoat against the cold. Now and then a movement may reveal the rough-hewn amber cufflinks and slim, leather-banded watch at his wrist. Everything looks notably well-fitted and well-made, suggesting a certain degree of affluence… or at the least, a certain degree of vanity.

Uma is one of those neighbors. She is a doctor and her practice is also one of the homes here. Her first reaction to the noise is an annoyed grunt and an assumption her teenage sister is getting home way too late. As the noise continues, she drags herself out of bed. "Eve…if you've brought a party home…" The blonde is in baggy pyjamas but as soon as she opens the front door, she realises that is not enough. When she reappears, she is now in fur lined boots, baggy PJs, a ski jacket, mittens, scarf, and beanie. Her eyes are still able to be seen but that is close to it. At least the cold is waking her up as she trudges towards the noisy neighbor.

Parked just in front of the moving van is a silver truck. Domestic, older model, spattered with mud and in need of a wash. There's a pile of two-by-fours in the cargo bed, and a stack of assorted junk on the passenger-side seat. A swarthy looking fellow in a dark wool overcoat is making his way out of the house adjacent to what appears to be Cash's, and pauses a moment halfway down the walk. Keys in one gloved hand, curious look for the guy in the flannel pants and snow boots who seems too cheap to hire movers. "Bit late to be doing that, isn't it?" Might be a familiar accent, even.

Vyv is not one of those neighbours, but apparently, he knows someone who is. Equally apparently he currently wishes he didn't, since his appearance is marked by the far-too-loud closing of the door behind him as he emerges — not quite a slam, but first cousin to it. He stalks down the path toward the street, radiating annoyance, until he suddenly stops, looks exasperated at the area just past the sidewalk, then at the sky, and starts to dig into his pocket. It's only then that the fact that he's NOT the only person out here right now registers through his irritation, and he looks toward the source of the thumping. And the voices. A slight pause, and then the general sense of pique subsides, or at least goes stealth. Mostly. No greeting from that quarter yet, though, just watching a moment. The outfit on the man moving the boxes does not go unnoticed. And probably not unjudged.

The words are true, but it's the accent that draws Cash's attention. Blinking, he pauses, box still in his arms, and turns to look toward Sevin. "Is it?" Shifting the box to one hip, he pulls his sleeve up to glance at a watch on his wrist. "Oh fuck…" It's almost odd, cursing in that warm, genteel accent. Catching the movement of Uma's approach out of the corner of his eye, Cash looks her way then and winces slightly. He moves to put the box down on his front step and offers a small wave to Uma. "Sorry," He offers then to both of his neighbors, "I… May have lost track of what hour it was - And may have not realized how much noise this would make." When someone is used to environments where planes are constantly coming and going, noise really has a very different meaning. An almost-slamming door catches his attention for half a second, but his mother taught him to mind his business long ago.

How can Uma stay mad with Cash being so polite. Easy…it's 2 a.m.! There is some garbled profanities accompanied by the woman waving her arms around before, to her embarrassment, she realises her scarf probably hid all that prime swearing. She pulls the scarf down to try again, though the fury has drained a little now. "It's two in the morning." Oh, he already acknowledged that…and that he was wrong…and he apologised. Damn it! Uma is reduced to a puff of hot breath into the cold air and a… "Would you like some help?"

Sevin might be a neighbour, or he might be visiting someone in the area. Given the polite farewell that preceded his departure toward his truck though, the latter seems more likely. A beat's spent in silent study of Mr. Flannel Pajamas, before he offers in a low voice, roughly in time with Uma's query, "You need a hand with those?" He's not dressed for moving boxes, precisely; crisp white shirt and tie under his unbuttoned coat, tailored trousers, boots with a glint of silver at the heel. The clothing is somewhat at odds with his scraggly hair and beard; perhaps he's returning from a dinner party of some kind.

Vyv continues watching a moment, halfway through pulling out what's probably a phone when the offers to help come. He doesn't give any sense of feeling like any of this is relevant to him in any way but curiosity until a moment or two after they do, when his focus lands on the boxes still in the van, then suddenly flicks to the house he's just come out of. It's the other next door from the one Sevin came from. Even if they were paying attention, the upward twitch at the corner of Vyv's mouth might be too subtle to see from there, but it's harder to miss that when he looks back at the van just after that, he starts to approach, reaching into a different pocket to pull out a pair of leather gloves and pull them on. "Well, should you need a couple more hands," he offers in a decidedly Englishy accent as he nears, "I do hear many make light work."

Being met with offers of help seems to be the last thing Cash was expecting. It does make him smile a little, though. "I mean, I won't turn down help, I'm no fool." He says with a laugh, "I've got some wine mulling inside that I can repay the trouble with?" That might be the most Southern Charm thing he could have possibly said. "There's not actually that much left in the van - I've been working on this for days." A glance over to Sevin. "And you should at least have a scarf." Which is promptly followed by Cash taking off his own scarf and tossing it in Sevin's direction. Throughout it all, though, he keeps glancing back to Uma - And there's that sort of look like he's sure he's seen her somewhere before, but can't quite believe it. Vyv's approach and offer completely surprise him, and Cash nods. "Same to you, then - I won't say no, and you're welcome to wine if you like." Which is when he reaches down to take up the original box again. "None of it is fragile, feel free to just bring it all in and set it anywhere.

Which brings us to inside. Inside is a warm space, full of natural light and that same Tudor-style architecture throughout. The home is kept orderly, though boxes can still be found in corners, and the second bedroom has yet to be unpacked at all. A lot of the furnishings seem suited to an older couple, soft florals, oil paintings of fox hunting, an oak dining table that will seat eight and that is set with fine china. Yet interspersed throughout is evidence of the home's younger inhabitant. The television is large and mounted to the wall, attached to multiple gaming systems. Who the hell is this guy?

<FS3> Sevin rolls Reaction: Success. (7 3 5)

Now that Uma has calmed down enough to pick up a box…and not immediately throw it to the ground again…her bright blue eyes study Cash in return. He looks familiar. Damn familiar. But maybe she's still sleepy? She picks up one of the boxes, not caring how heavy it is, and offers nods of greetings to the other Good Samaritans. Uma heads inside, looking around in the completely non-nosey way that you check out the houses of new neighbors. No hints in here as to who Cash could be. He doesn't look old enough for the decor. She gently places the box in the dining room. all the other boxes reminding her that her own house is still packed with them. Then off to get the next one.

Sevin was not expecting to have a scarf tossed at him. So it's possibly a credit to either reflexes or luck, that he manages to snag the thing midway through its trajectory before it awkwardly beans him in the face. He glances at the scarf. Why does he need a scarf? Is this some sort of weird Southern hospitality? "Thanks," doesn't even begin to cover his confusion. He peels off for the van, his own keys shoved into his coat pocket - along with the scarf - and the first available box hefted up into his arms.

"Am I? People don't usually give me explicit permission, but I suppose when it involves manual labour…" It's weirdly difficult to tell whether Vyv's joking or not from tone or expression, though there is a hint of something toward the end that suggests that over here, whatever possessed him to offer may have just shifted slightly in balance against the actual task at hand. If so, it's not far enough to renege, at least, and once the gloves are properly settled, he moves in and picks up one of the boxes somewhat gingerly. Not fragile, but do they bite? Once he has it, he marches it up to the porch and inside, not making any particular attempt to be any quieter about it than Cash had been before. And also not wearing a scarf. Tch.

"It's cold, and you look like you've just walked out of a dinner party." Cash offers as an explanation to Sevin's obvious confusion. Then he's content to go back to moving boxes. Cash wasn't kidding, there's not all that much left in the van. Between four people? This is quick work of not more than a couple of minutes. And no, none of it bites. In fact, most of it seems to be labeled in obsessively neat handwriting, and smell remarkably nice - Like expensive cologne and pipe tobacco. Once it's all inside, Cash gives them all a nod. "You're of course welcome to go back to your nights. If you'd like that wine though, feel free to take a seat. And thank you, all of you - I'm sorry for my terrible sense of time." Gestures to the couch. Which, while it's more of an antique shape, it is noticeably very comfortable and the upholstery is of a nice fabric. Small details become more clear when the house is inspected. The items in here are of high quality, are meticulously dusted, and the boots by the door… Well, for anyone that knows what military issue looks like, there's no mistaking those.

At least Uma is trying to be quiet. She's thinking of all those sleeping souls around them, especially that doctor who works hard all day…wait…that's her. "Just a little wine for me, thanks" she replies as she looks over the couch. Are they all going to be sitting on it. Rather than commit a couch faux pas, she wanders the house. The boots are known to the ex-Army doctor. And they help with another dilemma too. 'Captain Montgomery-Reagan!" She didn't mean to yell it but it's done now. "Iraq." Uma is quite pleased with herself, at least until she realises there are at least two people who have no idea what she's talking about, and then a blush arrives to her cheeks. "Sorry. I think I know our host. Umm…are you two always dressed so nice at 2 in the morning?" She looks down at her own combination of PJs and ski gear and suddenly feels rather frumpy.

"I think I'll manage," replies Sevin with a glint of amusement. Fairly thick accent, throaty and gruff and on the verge of being angry-sounding, even if he clearly isn't. The box in his arms is deposited just inside the house in question, beside that antique-looking couch. He lingers just a moment, oddly juxtaposed amongst the quaint and almost anachronistic finery lining the walls and floors. A flick of pale eyes about the living room, lingered a moment on the kitchen - where the smell of mulled wine is no doubt coming from - and he backs toward the door again. His phone comes out briefly so he can check the time. "I've got to get going." Uma gets a brief look for her commentary, his gaze returning to Cash when he's referred to by rank. A beat, and a twitch of his lips that almost wants to be a smile. "Nice to see you again." Aaaaand he's off.

Vyv is also thinking of the neighbours! Well, the neighbour, anyway. THUNK. But there's nothing fragile in there, after all, right? Even so… the particularly nice-smelling ones do get a little more care themselves as it goes on. Once they're done, he accepts the invitation; wine probably does sound good, but it's also warmer inside than outside… and he's clearly curious about these furnishings, doing a bit of the same wander-and-look that Uma is, if not for quite the same reason. "Quite welcome, and yes please," is the reply to Cash, and he's quiet until Uma's realization startles him. "Captain Montgomery-Reagan?" he echoes, and while he probably doesn't recognize the boots in the same way the doctor does, he can at least put two and two together and get something resembling four. A glance after their host, and Sevin gets a silent nod of farewell as the man takes his leave. Uma's question, though, gets the ghost of a half-smile, and a, "Yes. Always."

There's a nod of acknowledgment for the request of wine then and he disappears into the kitchen before attempting to address… Anything of importance. Returning a moment later with three mugs of hot, red wine smelling of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla, he sets two down on the coffee table. The third is kept in his hands as he slides out of his snow boots. "Of course, it was-" Cash begins to respond to Sevin's leaving, but Uma's sudden formal address, in a shout no less, makes him physically jump. It's reflexive the way that he answers back, "Yes, Ma'am?" Some habits just don't die.

"It was nice to meet you" Uma nods to the nameless stranger known as Sevin. She has to laugh at Vyv's reply about his early morning fashion. "I don't think I have the patience" she sighs before Cash's reaction has her bemused. She is easy to please this early. "No need for ma'am, Captain." Damn that mulled wine smells good and she eagerly picks one up to breathe in the scent. "Divine" she sighs before looking to their host. "You probably don't remember me. I looked after you over in Iraq after you had that…mishap…with your aircraft. I have to learn to remember people for work so I often know people who don't know me." Her brow furrows a little. "You used to talk about your wife a lot. Is she still coming?"

The wine does smell good; Vyv picks up that third mug, and inhales the scent for a moment as well, before taking a sip. "Lovely, ta," he says, before taking another, and watches the pair talk for a few moments, just warming up. And possibly being a little nosy, perhaps. He does move over to the couch, then, though he half-perches, half-leans against the arm for the moment, rather than actually sitting on the cushions like someone who intends to remain there a while.

"Of course. I keep a pot of it on most evenings in the winter." Cash says with a nod to Vyv, not fazed, it seems, by the English style of thanks. Focusing back on Uma, he listens as she explains, blowing over the surface of his wine to cool it. "Oh… Oh!" Cash shakes his head, "Oh my god, yes. Sorry, I was… On a lot of painkillers." Touched by a warm laugh, his voice takes on a pleasant baritone purr, "I knew your face, but couldn't place it. Uma, right? Please, just call me Cash." Taking a moment to actually sip at his wine, he steps aside to slip out of his jacket. At least the black shirt works a little better with the plaid pants. Not that plaid pants ever really work, but it's a little better. "Oh… Uh…" Cash clears his throat, idly fidgeting with the wedding band still on his finger, "No. That didn't exactly work out."

"Oh…sorry to hear that" Uma replies apologetically to Cash about his marriage. Good one, Uma. There's another neighbor who'll never say 'hello' again. Still, he is wearing his wedding band so it's not entirely a stupid thing to ask. "Yes, a fair few painkillers. But you recovered great…obviously. I told them there was no need to cut off anything." She sucks on her lower lip and then screws up her nose. "You probably didn't know that part, Captain. Sorry, Cash." That's both feet in her mouth now. "This wine is delicious." Maybe she will have more luck with Vyv? "How long have you lived in the neighborhood?"

The black shirt is indeed an improvement. If Cash does aspire to make red-and-black plaid pants work, it's at least a start. Vyv will allow it… considering it's the man's own house and he couldn't do much about it even if it weren't. He stays out of their 'small world' situation, said world not being quite large enough to naturally contain him as well — and besides, it gives him an excuse to continue sipping the wine. It may be quite warm, but small sips work. And then Uma tastes a foot, and he's probably even more inclined to stay out of it… until she addresses him directly.
As a change of subject, it might work. "I don't," he answers, and maybe it's some sort of empathy that keeps him from leaving it at that, or maybe he just feels like accepting the chance to complain about it, because he continues, "I was just here visiting a," his lips begin to form an 'f', there's a hint of a pause, and the sentence continues with a rather crisp, "acquaintance for the evening. But it's quite a nice area. I'm sure it's very pleasant when people aren't unexpectedly moving in at 2am." That probably IS a joke, or meant to be at least; it's definitely lighter than the bit before it. "Do you mind terribly if I linger here while I wait for a cab? I hadn't really been intending to be calling one this time of night. Oughtn't be long, though." Probably about as long as it takes to finish the wine, really.

Cash waves off the apology, ironically with his left hand. Doesn't linger on the topic, though. "I did, yeah." Paired with a laugh, and he doesn't sound overly bothered by the fact that at least one person had considered taking off one of his limbs. "Thanks for that, can't blame them, though. My leg was… A real mess. Still aches sometimes, but it doesn't stop me from flying, and that's good enough for me." Cash settles on the floor then, beside the coffee table, setting his wine down. "By all means. I'd offer the guest room but it's still in boxes." He answers Vyv with a laugh, "Sorry your acquaintance turned out to be an ass." Seems he's not as inclined to tiptoe.

Uma blushes with amusement at Vyv's story of his evening…morning. And that other person who helped was also emerging from a house that wasn't his. When did this street become a red light district? And why doesn't the red light at her house work? "It is a nice area" she confirms. "No one shooting anyone else yet. That's always a plus." A sip of her wine before looking back to Cash. "You're still in the service? Still flying? Nice." And what a nice man to offer Vyv a spare room. "I would offer you my spare room too but I don't actually have one. My sister stays with me and the consulting room takes up another bedroom. This is a nice house, Cash. What brought you to Calaveras?"

"Well, I'm certainly glad I decided not to spoil the record, then, although as I don't actually own any firearms, I suppose it was probably safe enough regardless," Vyv says; the mug mostly-conceals another faint half-smile that the tone does a better job of hiding, before he takes another sip. "And yes… I'm rather sorry, too, actually." Which might be slightly more than he meant to say, as quickly as it moves into, "Thank you. For the thoughts of rooms, as well, though that's really not necessary. And congratulations to you both on the successful limb retention." One more sip, and then the mug's set lightly on the coffee table and one glove removed so that when he fishes the phone back out, the screen will bother to respond. Text or an app, apparently, rather than an actual call.

It's a more sensible to way to 'call' a cab, anyway. "Thanks, I'm rather fond of it." Cash laughs, patting the leg in question to further the jest. Avoids the topic of firearms entirely. Though he does nod to Uma. "I am, yes. Requested transfer after my marriage fell apart." Cash says with a small shrug, "The brass," As though he isn't an officer, "Saw fit to grant the request. I think they wanted to avoid the scandal, anyway."

"Scandal?" If it wasn't getting on three in the morning, Uma would love to her all about this. "Welcome to Calaveras. I hope things work out for you better here." She drains her wine. "I better get going. Feel free to drop by whenever you like, Cash." Old times is probably not a good thing to talk about in their case but it is a shared background. "My house is the one with the lights on. Always have the…umm…lights on." She will take her empty glass off into the kitchen. "Oh, and if you need any victuals, Cash, while you get settled in. I'm happy to help out. Good night…morning. Hope you catch that cab." That last for Vyv obviously. Then she is heading back into the cold and the trudge back to her place.

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