21 June 2023
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Adam McMurrran John Crowley Middler Blaydow Teoan Genda Jessica McMurran

Adam: Frowning. What happened to your chin hair?
J.N: I shaved.
Adam: Why?
J.N: I was starting to look like a hermit. And it was scratchy.
Adam: Blinks. I thought it looked good.
J.N: I also didn't want to grate off your mom's face. Really?
Adam: Yeah. Climbs into his lap.
J.N: Why'd you think it looked good?
Adam: No one else has chin hair… I tried to get Elijah to grow some but he said "no".
J.N: You like chin hair because no one has it?
Adam: Yes. You don't look like everybody else.
J.N: Most people don't think that's exactly a good thing. Yes, I am aware that I am not someone who is pleasing to the eye.
Adam: Frowns. Who cares what they think? Lays his head on J.N.'s chest.
J.N: Good point. Pats his head lightly.
Adam: 'Lijah said he wouldn't cause he'd look like Satan. I asked him if he'd ever seen Satan and he said "no".
J.N: I'm not sure what Satan looks like either.
Adam: Then he told me to go bother someone else.
J.N: When did you ask him? Kind of weird that he'd tell you to go bother someone else.
Adam: Five minutes ago.
J.N: Was he doing anything? I see you decided to "bother" me.
Adam: Training. That's all he does anymore.
J.N: It's important to him.
Adam: I think he looks good already.
J.N: Maybe he doesn't think he does.
Adam: Stares at J.N.
J.N: …What's on your mind?
Adam: Nothing interesting. Gets out of his lap.
J.N: If you say so.
Adam: Bye now.
J.N: Bye Adam.
Adam: Shuffles away.
J.N: Stands up… and searches for Middler of all people.

Middler: Eventually found in the halls. Hello John.
J.N: …Hi Middler. Want to play poker?
Middler: Blank stare. …You want me to play with you?
J.N: …It's a card game.
Middler: …Oh! Poker! I don't know how to play.
J.N: Sighs. …I'll teach you. Come on. Leads the way to the nearest table. Aces can either be high or low. Jokers are wild. The game is five card draw. I deal you a hand of five. You can discard up to three cards or four if you have an ace.
Middler: …Ah… Okay…
J.N: It makes sense. Kind of… …Do you know anything about cards at all?
Middler: …No. I'm sorry.
J.N: …Sighs again. This shape is a spade… This is a club… This is heart and this is a diamond.
Middler: Nods, smiling since someone is spending time with him. And doing something, not just tolerating him either!
J.N: You try to get certain hands… Two twos is a pair, for example. Three twos is a three of a kind, and four twos…
Middler: Is a four of a kind.
J.N: …Yeah. If you get a hand that's all of one suit… clubs, for example… More rule explaining. …And that's what a flush is. Do you have the rules down?
Middler: Nods! Actually does. We can play then?
J.N: Yeah. Takes a deck out of his pocket and hands it to Middler. Cut the deck.
Middler: …Shrugs and reaches for the deck!
J.N: …Not literally. Snatches the cards quick. Shuffles the deck and passes out the cards.
Middler: Picks up the card. Hm. I only got a pair.
J.N: …You're not supposed to say what you have.
Middler: …Oh.
J.N: I have a straight anyway. Grabs the cards and reshuffles. Place your bets.
Middler: Bets? We're gambling?
J.N: You have to with poker. Sets down one dollar. Ante up.
Middler: I don't have any money.
J.N: Your glasses would work.
Middler: Well… alright. Sets down his glasses! Has two pair! This is great! Grinning too!
J.N: Shameful. No poker face at all. Sets down twenty bucks. Call.
Middler: …I don't have money.
J.N: Then put down your hat.
Middler: Frooowns and does so.
J.N: Alright. What do you have?
Middler: …

Adam: Outside, digging holes.
Teoan: Big booming voice. Adam!!! Picks him up.
Adam: Screams!!!
Teoan: Laughs. Turns Adam upside down and under and around.
Adam: Does not like being manhandled. Stooop!
Teoan: Holds him. You screamed pretty loud.
Adam: Lemme dooown.
Teoan: What if I don't? C'mon, Elijah used to love that.
Adam: I'm not Elijah.
Teoan: You wanna be a Glinter?!
Adam: A what?
Teoan: Sets Adam down, grabs him by his upper arms, lifts him up, and swings him around.
Adam: Stooop!!! Falls over once Teoan sets him down.
Teoan: Gee, you're a stuffy kid.
Adam: I'm not… Sniffs.
Teoan: You really, really are.
Adam: Cries.
Teoan: Aw… Jeez… Picks Adam up. I didn't mean to make you cry… I was just teasin' ya. I won't do that anymore… It's just, your brother… Well, yeah… You want a Popsicle or something?
Adam: No. Sobs.
Teoan: You don't like Popsicles?!
Adam: Lemme down…
Teoan: Sets him down. Are you okay?
Adam: Yes.
Teoan: You want me to leave you alone?
Adam: Nods.
Teoan: Oookay… Goes inside the castle.

J.N: …Now you tell me what you have.
Middler: Oh! Sets his cards down. Two pair! A pair of twos and a pair of jacks!
J.N: Sets his cards down. Straight. 4,5,6,7,8.
Middler: …Did I win?
J.N: No. Picks up the glasses and perches them on his nose and puts the top hat on his head. Good game. Stands!
Teoan: Stares at J.N. as he passes by.
Middler: Froowns. Um… Good game…
J.N: Yeah, I probably don't look good in a top hat, but I won it fair and square.
Jessica: Enters. Hello Teoan. Stares at John.
J.N: Hello Jessica.
Teoan: Hello Lady Jessica. Looking as lovely as always.
Jessica: Thank you, Teoan. Looks at him suspiciously. Not a good look for you, John…
J.N: Prefer neck frills? Tips the hat up!
Teoan: Just wanted you to know… Your kid's crying out back… I didn't have anything to do with it.
J.N: Adam?
Jessica: What'd you do to him?!
J.N: Yes, it does bear asking.
Teoan: Look, I just roughhoused with him a bit… Didn't know he was so sensitive. Elijah used to like it.
J.N: Stares.
Jessica: Slaps at him. Don't. Dooo… Thaaat. Frowns at Teoan.
Middler: I hope he's alright.
Teoan: Well, I won't anymore, gee… You might wanna toughen him up a bit, though. Walks backwards away from them. Doesn't feel like dealing with Jessica's scolding.
J.N: I had no idea that he needed to be roughhoused with.
Teoan: Shruuugs and walks away! Escape!
Jessica: Frowns. Looks to John. Give Middler his things back. Heads outside.
Middler: Hopeful!
J.N: Sits down and sets the glasses down on the table and deals cards. It's polite to give people a chance to win their belongings back. Has a crap hand.
Middler: Bigger frown. I don't have anything else to bet.
J.N: Your jacket. I'm not going to accept anything else.
Middler: Has a good hand! …Alright.
J.N: …Alright. Bluffs. Ante up.
Middler: I don't have anything to ante! Well… I could… Never mind. I fold.
J.N: Sets down his garbage hand!
Middler: …Puts his head down.
Jessica: Comes in with Adam.
J.N: Takes the top hat off of his head anyway and plops it onto Middler's head. Takes practice.
Jessica: Are you cheating Middler out of everything he owns?
J.N: No. I'm doing it legitimately.
Jessica: I ought to throw you in the dungeon.
J.N: Grins a bit. It's illegal to bet in Atlantis? Plucks the glasses off of his nose too and sets them in front of Middler.
Jessica: Well your twenty-dollar-bill is worthless here, I'll tell you that.
J.N: Well, a top hat is useless to me and so are glasses. I thought it was a bit even.
Jessica: Sighs. Well I hope you're not going to be spending all your days at the casino.
J.N: Shakes his head. …I just felt like teaching Middler how to play poker. Trying to get along with him, kind of. Beating him at poker was an added bonus.
Jessica: Shrugs. Well, I'm going to make dinner.
Middler: Sits up straight again and puts his glasses on again. Thank you for giving me my things back.
J.N: Alright… Anything I can help with?
Jessica: You can keep me company if you like.
J.N: You win out over Middler. Alright. Gathers up the cards and forms them into a neat deck and sets them down in front of Middler. You can keep them. I am never gambling with you again. Jessica would get mad at me.
Jessica: Smiles at Middler and walks down the hall, holding Adam's hand.
Middler: Smiles back thankfully, as he can see and his head is warm.

Adam: Shuffles along. Trips. Having a bad day apparently.
J.N: Walks with them.
Jessica: That's why you should pick up your feet when you walk. A bit irritable.
J.N: It's a bit easy to notice since you're usually sympathetic. …You wouldn't happen to want to learn to play poker, would you Adam? A joke!
Adam: Glumly. Idunwannapokeanyone…
J.N: It's a card game. You don't poke anyone.
Jessica: John, he's four. He doesn't even know how to count.
J.N: He's a smart kid. He'd be a shark before you knew it. Forces a bit of jest into his normally neutral voice.
Jessica: Sighs. Trying to get into a better mood.
Adam: Holds his hand out for J.N. to take.
J.N: Takes it.

Jessica: Gets to the kitchen. Starts messing with stuff.
J.N: Stays out of Jessica's way! …How was your day?
Jessica: Groans. Aggravating… Astohn's still set on annexing some of Va'Eng's land and he thinks I'll go easier on him than Julius and Daniel because I'm a woman, so he's all trying to butter me up and ugh.
J.N: Butter you up?
Jessica: Yes… Complement me… Act charming.
J.N: Nods. What'd you tell him?
Jessica: It's not within my power to just take land away from Va'Eng and give it to him without Arjuna's agreement. And Arjuna doesn't want to give up his land because Astohnika has enough land, Astohn just doesn't want to go through the trouble of building in marshlands.
J.N: Doesn't seem like he's taking 'no' very well.
Jessica: Yes. He's been going on about it for years now.
J.N: Maybe someone should just change the locks on the doors. Or get a restraining order on him.
Jessica: Sighs. I wish.
Adam: Sits in a chair and just sort of… slumps into himself.
J.N: Would you have really thrown me into the dungeon for keeping Middler's hat? Grin returns!
Jessica: No. But I wouldn't have been very happy with you.
J.N: I wasn't going to keep his stuff anyhow.
Jessica: Better not.
J.N: Well, I wouldn't have to worry about dungeon time at least.
Jessica: I guess not.
J.N: Shuts up, as his joking is not appreciated at the moment. Sometimes cannot win. Just leans against the wall, out of Jessica's way.