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A Piece of Advice

a Capow one-shot by Keon

Editor's Obligatory Legalease: Changes made to this story other than grammar/spelling/punctuation/sentence structure are marked within [brackets]

(Warning, this is slightly silly. ^_^ )

        Dachend looked up, half curious from his beer as he heard a familiar name across the Retreat.

        "Hi, Ahlen," smiled Elyssa as the young swordsman walked in.

        Dachend's first thought was whether to throw the barstool across from him or the lurker on it after Ahlen, he hadn't had a good fight in about a day and the new owner of the Retreat hadn't yet experience a good brawl. Dachend was a bit curious as to how she would such a thing.

        But before he could get up and grab both the lurker and the barchair Dracho'xian interupted his train of thought.

        "Say, Dachend, I wonder what Ahlen [is] smoking?"

        Dachend cocked an eyebrow, Ahlen didn't seem like the smoker type. But then Dachend noticed that Ahlen in fact, literally, was smoking, small wisps of smoke rising from his clothes and rather unruly hair, even for Ahlen.

        His curiosity awakened, Dachend emptied his beer can and threw it, hitting Ahlen squarely between the eyes.

        "Couldn't you just have called at him?" Dracho'xian asked sarcastically, his eye looking over at Ahlen from the back of Dachends hand.

        Dachend waved a hand at Ahlen while he answered, "Naa, that was much more fun--" then to Ahlen: "YO!! Ahlen, come join us, you look like you could use a drink!!"

        Ahlen, asking Elyssa for a drink, walked over to Dachend, rubbing the sore spot the can had hit. "I'm not in the mood for this."

        Dachend grinned. "Hey, if I'd wanted a fight I'd have thrown something heavy at you"

        Shrugging, Ahlen sat, but still wary. He'd known the monster hunter long enough to know that his claims of holding his peace only lasted until he decided that he did want a fight.

        Dracho'xian gave Ahlen the once over and then said, with hint of concern. "Hey, you look a bit roughed up, Ahlen. Everything okay?"

        Dachend, opening another beer [can], nodded. "Yeah, you look like shit, man. More than usual, at any rate. What's with that burned out look, anyway. Some one beat you up with a blowtorch?"

        Ahlen groaned. "I don't want to talk about it, okay!" Dachend smiled, which Ahlen imagined had to be the way a hungry cat smiled when [it] promised the canary that it wouldn't eat it if it came out of it's cage.

        "Oh, yes you will," he said, and downed half his beer. Ahlen narrowed his eyes on the monster hunter, Dachend just might get his fight anyway.

        "You boys play nice!" a voice cut in. Both men turned their heads and looked at Elyssa, who'd come over with Ahlen's drink. "If you're gonna fight, take it outside" she said, with a lot more self-confidence than one should expect when you remembered who she was speaking to.

        Dachend just grinned that sly grin of his and said: "Make me!"

        Elyssa smiled enigmatically sweet. "If it comes to that, I will." And with that, turned on her heel and walked away.

        Dachend and Ahlen shared a look, then looked after Elyssa again. "I think she knows something we don't," Ahlen mumbled

        "They always do," muttered Dachend, then shrugged it off and looked at Ahlen. "So are you gonna tell what's happened or should I break this table in half with your head?"

        "Please," added Dracho'xian for good measure.

        "Shut the fuck up, Drach!"

        Ahlen sighed, they'd find out soon enough anyway. "Me and Lyta had a fight."

        "You have my sympathy," said Dracho'xian, heart felt.

        "How come?" asked Dachend. "You tend to be pretty good at thinking and then speaking around her"

        Ahlen rubbed some sot off his face. "Well, she'd bought some jeans and wanted to know if they made her...."

        "Butt?" "Behind?" "Ass?" Dachend and Dracho'xian asked in union.

        Ahlen nodded. "Yes, that. She wanted to know if it looked big." Dachend emptied his beer and nodded for Ahlen to go on. "Well I said it did, and before I knew it, I was dodging fireballs"

        There was a collective *SLAP* as every male in the Retreat slapped his forehead. Dracho'xian made the mental equivalent, making the sound himself.

        Dachend shook his head. "Damn, man, aren't you one big idiot!"

        "What?" said Ahlen. "What'd I do? I just told the truth."

        "Exactly, kid. Never do that."

        "Huh?" Ahlen scratched his head.

        Dachend shook his head. "Listen, Ahlen. I can't believe you've survived so long. I better give you a quick [lesson] in how to survive women"

        Not understanding, but curious, Ahlen moved a bit closer to the table.

        Dachend grabbed another beer and started. "Listen. When your girlfriend ask you about how she looks or if this or that dress makes a difference, lie. Lie, for you life depends on it"

        "But..." Ahlen began

        "No buts, man. You gotta lie, and even then you maybe won't be able to play it safe."

        Ahlen suddenly feeling like when he was studying under his swords master. [Namely,] small and puny in the presence of a superior being. He looked at Dachend with wide eyes. "How come?"

        "Well..." Dachend said, "when she asks, you usually can play it safe by saying 'you look great. You're beautiful', or something like that. BUT! Sometimes she figures it out and asks 'compared to what?' And then you're doomed, it's the road of no return, man!"

        Ahlen, remembering his recent encounter with the female ego, winced and asked, "But can't you just say she looks good and leave it at that?"

        Dachend shook his head, smiling in a way that told Ahlen he was way off the mark. "Listen, there is one way to come through encounters like that unharmed. One way! It's an ancient technique handed down from man to man through times untold. I am willing to teach you, but are you ready?"

        Ahlen pressed his palms together as if in prayer and bowed in plea to Dachend. "I am ready, master. Please teach me the technique or I will perish at the hand of my girlfriend!"

        Dachend rubbed his jaw nodding slowly. "Very well. You are ready." standing up he pointed at Ahlen. "Observe, student. When your girlfriends ask how she looks or if her clothes fit her. This is the only way to evade that impending doom." Looking into the room as if looking on his own girlfriend Katt, Dachend pretended to look up and down her. Then pursed his lips, inhaling, while tilting his head just so slowly that he seemed to consider something very deeply and then a smile slowly appeared on his lips, a smile Ahlen had never seen on Dachend. It was a smile like you'd found the key to paradise and someone had just shown you the door to it. Then Dachend turned to look at Ahlen. "And that's how it's done!" he said and sat down again. Spontaneous applause broke out across the room at Dachend's marvelous show skill.

        Several lurkers sat, tears streaming down their facec. "Oh, I am in the presence of a master."

        Ahlen nodded beaming. "Yes, yes I see it now. You are so wise, sensei."

        Dachend nodded, dignified. "Good, you see the truth now?"

        Elyssa and Kimiko looked across the Retreat and then at each other. The light was too dim and they had been too far away, so they hadn't been able to pick out much of it.

        "Wonder what that was about?"

        "Beats me!"


[Keon's notes:]
I'd wanted to write that for a while. Ever since I saw a standup show on that particular topic. ^_^
Turned a out bit more silly than I intended. But what the heck.

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