by CosmicPhoenix Dragon aka Phoenix

Shawn began to wipe up the bar and collect the empty glasses and bottles, tossing them into the bin underneath the bar. The traffic, usually pretty heavy at the time of early morning as it was, had slacked off a bit and the youthful bartender had decided to use this time wisely, to at least give the bar a respectable appearance...at least, as respectable as possible at Buccaneer's Den. All sorts of people came in day in and day out, each looking just a bit more cruel and terrible than the other.

Except that one.

The one with all those people around him, wearing the ankh. He was a really pure-looking type. Wonder how he got in here so easy?

Shawn chuckled to himself. The Avatar. I guess he saved Brittania then. Hooray for him. Still, he wasn't bad-looking...and neither was anyone with him, really. The Druid-woman...that look she gave me. ..yeesh! Really eerie.

He brushed his scarlet hair back on his head and took out a few bottles of ale, then one of wine...and then he reached behind them all and threw some sort of switch; something clicked, and he ducked under the bar and collected something, wrapping it in a small towel.

"I'll be back in about eight hours, Chief. Gotta catch a few winks. " He knew the man sitting at the farthest table, chatting up a barmaid, wouldn't hear him, but he didn't care. Where else would he get a bartender for Buccaneer's Den who actually wouldn't poison everyone that came in? Dead unlikely, he thought, no pun intended.

Shawn walked out the back entrance and to his small but comfortable house, stopping only momentarily to unlock the door and then lock it back behind him. He flopped down on his bed and lazily set the towel- wrapped treasure on his bedside table, letting the towel slip down to around the base of the bottle of champagne...the finest champagne in Brittania.

"I've been saving this for a long time," he said to no-one in particular. "And this is as good a time as any's going to be."

The man edged the cork out, and he sat up. The explosion sounded like cannonfire, so nobody on the entire island would notice. The foam exploded out, onto his hands, running down his arms, splashing onto his lap and bedclothes, and he put the bottle to his lips and turned it bottoms-up, not allowing another drop of the fizzy, bittersweet drink escape from the neck.

When he had drunk his fill, he held the bottle up to the sky and grinned a cockeyed, boyish grin. "Here's to you, Avatar. And next time you come by, you can finish the bottle with me. But I don't have no crystal, so you're gonna just have to settle for bare lips on the bottle!"

Shawn laughed to himself lightly and set the bottle down, then reclined on his bed and closed his eyes. His body lost consciousness. ..and his eyes began to dream. 

HTML conversion by Erraticus for Dragon Press