Ivan must be drunker than he thought he was. He could have sworn he knew his way around Vivienne's parents' house, since she wanted to introduce him last week and showed him the place, but maybe they have a... secret... upstairs... bar? where Vivienne's room is supposed to be? And most certainly was last time he checked? He's never going to find the sweater she sent him up looking for here, anyway. Why is there a secret upstairs bar in Vivienne's parents' house?
"Should I haul Linyabel over here too? I have no idea what Vivienne would make of her, actually..."
"Can't whoever that is just come and look at the spooky magic bar himself?"
"It wasn't here yesterday, I'm pretty sure; I would not be willing to place a large wager that it will be here tomorrow."
Ivan opens the door and pens to Linyabel. "Hey, Linyabel, there's - actually I think I'm going to make Miles explain this time. Miles. Explain."
"You try spending three days straight scrambling through collapsed tunnels and fighting for your life every few minutes, see how good you smell afterward," Stalas says irritably.
Linyabel appears in the pen display to reply presently. "And how am I supposed to explain myself to Vivienne Vorville?" she inquires via speech-to-text subtitles, arching an eyebrow.
Stalas is now looking at Miles strangely. Again.
"All right. I can be there in -" the display wobbles slightly - "ten minutes, longer if I'm held up at the door deflecting questions about the nature of the emergency. Where in the house are you?"
"Second floor, leftish."
"Leftish. Thank you, Ivan. I'll be along presently."
...Stalas cracks up.
The call ends. "I showed him a wedding holo, this can't just be astonishment at the 'pretty human'."
"Sure," snickers Miles. "Stalas, right?"
"Stalas Aeducan. And you're - Miles Vorsomething?"
"And I am still Ivan, and Linyabel only lets Miles call her by nickname so she's probably Lady Vorkosigan to you, and can we think of a better name for this place than 'magic wormhole bar'?"
"Damned if I know," says Miles. "Does it call itself something, I wonder?"
"There's not a sign."
"I'd suggest asking the proprietor, but—" Stalas gestures wordlessly at the general emptiness.
"No 'ring bell for service', no listed hours of operation."
"Horrifying void full of exploding stars," Stalas agrees cheerfully. "How do you know it's a display, anyway?"
"...Well, thank you for that cheerful and uplifting thought."
"I did not need that possibility. If those are real live exploding stars this place has got to be fantastically radioactive."
"It means 'full of invisible intangible poison that spreads like light, goes straight through almost anything that's not made of lead, and can kill you or make you very sick or fuck up your ability to have children depending how much hits you where'," Miles summarizes.
"Why is there a word for that?" says Stalas, eyeing their surroundings warily.
"Because the universe is an amazing place full of wonders and delights," says Miles.
"You have my sense of humour," Stalas accuses.
"So it would appear."
"A vital resource that the galaxy was previously desperately short on."
...Stalas looks slightly wistful.
Ivan sighs, and shuts up.
Ivan waves her into the bar. She looks at the tableau of bar, Miles, Stalas, exploding stars, and door into the hallway of the Vorvilles' house.
"Well," she says, producing her medical scanner, "this is certainly interesting."
(Stalas makes a slight bow in Linya's direction.)