For You

Xanadu Weyr - Petals and Pots Garden Shop

Upon entering this rustic shop, the smell of flowers is the first thing that one notices as well as the subtle musty scent of fertilizer. Selling everything for your garden needs from flowers and plants to pots and tools, the whole shop is lined with shelving filled with various things, arranged neatly by type. On the back wall trowels, rakes, shovels and clippers hang from nails, while underneath them clay pots, glass vases and bowls are stacked on the floor. In the middle of the shop is a small table that is filled with tiny glass perfume bottles with glass stoppers, each bearing a label that reads, 'Handcrafted Parfum' and an Iernian seal. These contain different fragrances, depending on the shape of the bottle. A variety of hanging baskets dangle from the ceiling, tumbles of lush vibrant flowers or vine-type plants trailing from them with price tags on the pots.

A sign can be seen near the entrance that simply states "Woo your significant other, send a hint to your brother or say hello to your mother with a surprise delivery!"

Today, Marel is the only visible figure on the shop floor upon entering the garden shop, though her boss must be around somewhere. It's quiet and free of customers for the moment, the only sound to be heard the low melody that the young woman murmurs under her breath as she sweeps the floor, no particular words intelligible to make it a recognisable song, making it potentially one of her own making, put together as she goes along. At least her voice isn't /too/ bad and only a little rough around the edges, the quiet allowing echoes to bounce around the room as she works. She must be near the end of this particular task, for the floor /looks/ clean, only a few stray grains of sand and soil to be found here and there.

So here comes some more sand, just because she needs more to do. Pushing his way into the shop, Muir is fresh from the beach. Though at least he's fully dressed, his sandals track some more sand into the shop as he glances around. He's gotten into the habit of checking in randomly, perhaps keeping an eye out for those rude folks Marel told him about. "Hey," he says, walking over to poke at a weird looking plant.

Entering not more than 30 seconds behind Muir is their mother - totally not tailing him, was she? "I thought I'd find you two in here," Thea says by way of greeting. This must be a rest day for her - she's not dressed for the office, but in a casual sleeveless sundress, sandals on her bare feet and a woven grass bag on her shoulder. There's a fretful Tocha hovering behind her flittering in her wake. "I missed you two at breakfast this morning."

"Don't poke that!" Marel exclaims, broom transferred to one hand and swung out towards her brother, meaning to nudge him away with the sweeping end of it. "You'll blame me when it stabs you, and I don't want your blood all over it either." Nudge, nudge. "Away." And if their mother sees the whole thing, she does look a (very) little abashed, broom lowered back to the ground and put back to its proper purpose. "I had an early start," she answers Thea, trying to maintain some level of professionalism and contain the urge to abandon work and hug her mother instead.

Muir snatches his hand back from the plant, giving his twin a look of horror. "/Stabs/ me? What sort of…what do you /have/ in here?" And he looks around suspiciously. Those tulips look like they've got an attitude. Turning at their mother's approach, he gives her a crooked and innocent grin. "Was hungry," is his reply, though perhaps he just couldn't sleep again and went for a walk.

Thea chuckles at the exchange between the two, her expression clearly saying, this is a reassuring sight - one she's perhaps missed and longed for since the two have returned so… changed. But she doesn't verbally call attention to it, just beams at the two of them. She has no professionalism to uphold in here, and is at the point in her life where the office wouldn't constrain her to it either and so moves to give both an arm-around hug and a kiss to the top of their heads. Tocha squawks then, recalling her to her errand. "Oh! I have these-" She steps to the counter, slips her bag off of her shoulder and tips it slowly on its side. Some sand spills out, and several eggs roll stopped by her carefully-placed fingers. Two are let to ease past onto the pile of sand.

~*~ See Only Tree Egg ~*~
Rough grey bark seems to spiral and twist oddly around the ovoid, with sparse needles of pine clumped haphazardly, leaving bald the rest of the branches and forming a peculiar beauty. Odd crystalline spots ooze from fresh wounds here and there, but don’t ask if it feels any pain; it won’t tell you. It’s just an egg, after all.
~*~ Pain is the Best Instructor Egg ~*~
A little worse for wear, the white shell is marred here by the raw pink of skin grazed by knuckles, scuffed and bruised with dusky spots there and a slight lump swelling on the crown as if it’s been in a scuffle and come away with the worse end of the encounter. Why then, does it sit there looking so proud? It’s just an egg, after all.

Marel glances over her shoulder ever so quickly, just to make sure that her boss isn't likely to see her and set her firmly in the category of 'little girl', before she leans in to hug her mother, leaving the broom propped and abandoned against the counter. She even tucks herself in closer to Thea whilst she has the opportunity, her eyes closed and expression hidden as best as she can in those few moments. Tocha's squawk makes her glance up and angle an uncertain look up, as if she interprets the noise as chiding, and she releases her mother to her task, stepping back behind the counter herself as all spills and rolls from the bag she carries. "For…?" she begins to ask, quickly seeking out Muir's gaze. Is it that she doesn't want to presume or doesn't want to hope too much?

Muir is hugged and he doesn't resist, even slipping his arm around his mother's waist to give her a little squeeze. But then he's stepping back, perhaps to give Marel as much mom-time as she wants. At the sight of the eggs though his eyes widen and he beams. "You brought us eggs!" Might be dangerous to assume, but the boy jumps in feet first so to speak, flashing his twin a wide smile.

Thea's arm's tighten fractionally and she'd have prolonged the hug indefinitely if it hadn't been for Tocha's urgency. Indeed one of the eggs is beginning to move already. "For you, yes," she says smiling a both in turn. "Faranth knows why you haven't impressed one before now seeing there are so many around Xanadu." Far too many, she seems to imply with the slight eyeroll she does before continuing, "But being apart while you both were at Cold Stone Hold got me to thinking that keeping in touch would have been so much easier if you both had your own firelizard." Her brows lift questioningly. Are they interested?

"…To send messages without anyone reading them," Marel murmurs, her gaze dropping to the egg that stirs, a mixture of apprehension and an obvious desire to reach out and touch it, which she does not, her arms suddenly clamped around her middle just to make sure she doesn't. "I thought everything would be read," she confesses softly, somehow a little ashamed of that belief, but she brightens and looks up at her twin and her mother. "It would be nice to be able to find each other when we need to, now that we're…" Not together as much as they were. "Do we just need to feed them and…?" Is it really as simple as it looks?

Muir bounces up onto the balls of his feet, boyish in his excitement. He barely restrains himself from shouting 'yay!'. Glancing at his sister, he watches for a moment and nods. "That's over with now," he murmurs. "Which one do you want?" She gets first pick it seems!

"Exactly!" agrees Thea emphatically, adding, "Oh, he probably did read everything." They all know how controlling Thadan was and is. "Or simply burned undelivered." She wouldn't put it past him for having done that, either. Marel's question has her blinking. "Oh! Yes, ah, hang on." She reaches into the woven bag that she's left lie on the counter and pulls out a wrapped packet of raw meat slivers, handing it over to Muir to undo. "Just hold it out and think loving thoughts. Try to be calm-" a glance at Muir, who looks fairly excited to her, "and see if you can lure it over to you. Then keep feeding it by hand until it is stuffed." Simple no?

Tocha, meanwhile has settled onto the counter, humming to her clutch, while Shep remains on Thea's shoulders joining in. Ruin, that wicked bronze perches upon one of the shelves and refuses to hum. He just gloats. HIS clutch thankyouverymuch.

Pain is the Best Instructor Egg is not here. You do not see it. This is not the egg you are looking for. It is not- It hatches suddenly without wobble nor crack, the shell simply disintegrating. Now the egg REALLY is not here.

~*~ Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling ~*~
He's one with the shadows, this little bronze firelizard, with night shades sneaking down his lithe form almost cloaking the hammered bronze coloration within a mantle of mystery. Despite his angular muzzle and sharp neckridges, he's cast in a wiry musculature, his lean frame built for speed and his moves evidenced with an agile grace. Copper glints amidst veiled smoke are all that hint at the coloration of cape-like wings.

See Only Tree Egg has withstood the test of time and now acquiesces to the demands of the one within, beginning a dignified, stately rocking until the shell crumbles, dumping the occupant out into the world.

~*~ Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling ~*~
Squat and thick from snout to stubby tailtip, this brown firelizard could hardly be called pretty. He has, however, plenty of character to offset his lack of beauty. A subtle quirk of his mouth gives him a perpetual whimsical smirk, bright eyes only add to his charm. His hide, no matter how often oiled, appears waxy, cocoa dusted with hoar-frost seems flaky until closer inspection reveals that, no, it's just this fella's natural color. He's got a cutely-rounded pot-belly that just begs for tickles. The wings - barely enough to distinguish it from a lizard - are hardly worth mentioning and he will probably never achieve normal flight. The talons end in toes? Upon closer inspection you'll find tiny claws barely formed emerging from the blunt ends but they aren't even sharp.

Marel vaguely has the look about her of an expectant mother who is in no way sure if they're ready to be a mother, her arms still wrapped around herself as she watches the eggs hatch, her eyes growing wider and wider. She looks to Thea, then to Muir, and her hands slowly unwind as she seeks to silently request some of those slivers from her twin. "Oh, they're…" she utters in a hushed whisper, only to fall silent, perhaps afraid that her voice might scare them off. Accustomed to hatchings? Yes. Not so much this close, nor with any creature with the potential to end up looking to /her/.

Muir scrambles for the meat scraps, pushing some into Marel's hands and taking a small step back. "Pick one," he whispers, his gaze flicking between the two hatchlings and trying not to linger too much on one or the other. Trying his best to let her get first pick - true first pick - without his wants clouding her judgement.

Thea steps back as well, perhaps a symbolic letting go as well as a practical gesture and simply watches silently. There's a nostalgic half-smile on her face, tinged with some bittersweet for the fact their father isn't here to make his usual gruff comments and warnings - all based on that love and over-protection of his, of course. If she looks worried, it's when she eyes Ruin over there on his lordly perch and murmurs, "Hopefully none of them will be as mean as their sire."

Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling sprawls flat on his back, round belly protruding Buddha-like while he blinks in amazement at the sudden expansion of his little world. Must see more of this! With a wriggle and a roll he rights himself, exposing those odd wing stumps which flutter with his curiosity as he sniff-tests the air.

Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling emerges from the shower of shell flakes in an alert stance, feet apart and head lifted proudly. He eyes the area, then moves, his motions cat-like and so swift that he's but a blur of shadow until he stops in the middle of the counter, eyeing Muir suspiciously.

What? Why are they—? There may be little to be actually /afraid/ of, but with Muir and then Thea stepping back, Marel's green eyes become wider still, the distance there interpreted as something frightening and bigger than it truly is, leaving her all alone on her side of the counter. It's only the movement of brown and bronze that draws her attention back to shell shards and babies, the swiftness of the bronze and its eyeing of Muir altering her expression utterly, something akin to protectiveness claiming her features. Its movements interpreted as prelude to a launch at her twin, she tells him, "No," and dangles a sliver of meat before him in an effort to distract him.

Muir gives his twin an encouraging smile and nod. The bronze eying him has him staring right back at the critter, meat held loose in his grasp. What? You got a problem, buddy? Shifting sideways, he looks to Marel once more and then down at the pudgy little brown. Huh. But still he waits for her to choose first.

Thea makes a soothing sound in her throat upon seeing Marel's wide-eyed expression, but other than that, she doesn't speak, choosing to allow the moment to play out without her interference. It's hard not to smile at the silent interplay between the tiny bronze and Muir there, eyeing each other like they are.

Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling waddle-rolls, his forward movement oddly-achieved, but hey, it works for him! He stumbles, trips and then bounces airborne. Oops! But- his stubby wings save the day, flitter-flapping and…HE FLIES! Well, if you could call it that, anyway. The flight path he makes is more like aerial somersaults, the wobbly-weaving up-down, side-to-side, mostly upside down position taking him more or less towards Marel until he entangles himself in her hair, chirruping softly in vexation when he can't get loose.

Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling is totally not laughing at his brother as he cranes his neck to watch the brown hatchling's attempt at flying, is he? Those teensy hark-hark-hark sounds must be sneezes, right? But enough of this! He's looking for something and the scent leads him to extend his neck and sniff at the meat Marel is dangling. It's in another direction totally that he goes though, with several swift steps before he pounce-smacks feet-first into Muir's chest. HI-YAAAAH~! CLING

Marel tenses, drawing breath so fast that she squeaks out a sound as she tries to figure out what next steps to take, meat dropped and hands outstretched in a little bowl shape to try and provide a safe landing spot for the brown, should he fall, telling him, "Baby, don't you'll hurt—!" in concerned, hushed, tones. Only then the bronze does exactly what she wanted to prevent, and, well, at least he misses Muir's face, but it doesn't stop her squeaking again, higher-pitched now: "Muir!" Duck? Don't get clawed? /Do something/? "Feed him!" She has her own hands full, offering a blood-stained finger for the brown to sniff (and if she gets bitten, it's all her own fault) to try to placate him for long enough to untangle him /and/ select another bit of meat to offer him.

Muir lets out a bark of laughter at the brown's awkward fumbling for his sister's hair, seeming unconcerned when he's heading in her direction. Then he's yelping as the bronze attacks his chest - good thing he didn't go shirtless, right? "What's your problem?" he demands of the critter, reaching up as if to grab him. Thankfully common sense steps in and stops his grab, and instead he drops a bit of meat down towards the bronze's face, not wanting to get his fingers anywhere near that toothy maw. "I'm fine, Marel," he remembers to reassure her, flashing her a quick but crooked grin.

It seems the firelizards made the choice for her twins. "Don't expect all of your choices to be that easy," teases their mother with a smirk for the pair's predicament. She reaches for the meat, dividing the rest into two piles, placing them in a small heap where each can more easily reach them.

Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling finds Marel's ear. Is this food? His tiny tongue flickers inside to taste-test, then nibblynibblets gently on her earlobe. His teeth don't seem any sharper than those blunt claws, so at least he doesn't break the skin or anything. The meat scent finally draws him to leaaaaaan out for a sniff, and he plops into her cupped hand.

Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling grrrrrrowls fiercely, claws clutching the fabric of Muir's shirt. He noses a button and latches his teeth onto it, growling more as he tugs, yanking the shirt with it. Want! Something! Now!

Stay very calm, very still, and don't move when something is trying to nibble at you, right? Marel has a grateful look for Thea as she remains that still, moving only when the brown falls into her hand. That the nibbling didn't exactly /hurt/ makes her frown and reach for one of the smaller pieces of meat, shoving it insistently against the young firelizard's muzzle, like she'd block out any other ideas he might have, such as trying to fly again. Or vanishing completely. "Better than ears," she promises.

"Hey!" Muir protests, "This is one of my best shirts, knock it off!" Pushing at the bronze's muzzle, he tries to shove some meat at his face. "Eat this, stupid." Though there's a brightness to his eyes, a smug satisfaction in his demeanor. Bronze. He got a bronze.

Thea laughs, though quietly so as not to startle the hatchlings. The sound is her bright, lighthearted laughter the pair will remember from happier times. She's stepped closer now that the rest of those eggs seem to be unready and the newly-hatched pair seem to have made their choices and there's no danger of a random impression to her. Three firelizards are quite enough for her!

Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling is easily persuaded. He snarfs the meat as fast as Marel will allow him to, only stopping when she's run out of things to offer him. His belly was big before? Well, now it's enormous! Taut as a drum, he's obviously had enough and he burps faintly, then gazes adoringly up at her with heavy lids. He chirrups sweetly, hiccups once, the breathy sounds scented sweetly of fresh meat. Then he promptly sprawls over backwards, replete.

Succulents Survive Even Brown Thumbs Brown Hatchling looks into Marel's eyes. Impression!

Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling decides, the headstrong little firelizard that he is (nothing to do with being scolded, right?), that the button isn't what he's been looking for and furthermore, it doesn't taste very good either. It's spit out, yellow eyes whirling as he peers up at the face looking down at him and the dropped meat lands across his muzzle. Hanging there, the gobbet is looked at cross-eyed until he manages to suck it in like a piece of spaghetti. SLUUURRP! Ohhh that's gooooood! The tiny bronze totally approves and since it came from above, perhaps there's more up there? He begins to scale Mount Muir in search of more.

Ninja of the Night Bronze Hatchling looks into Muir's eyes. Impression!

Little piece by little piece, bigger chunks pulled apart and awkwardly cut by her nails, Marel keeps on feeding the brown until there's no more left to hand over and she's left gazing down at him, head tilted, her hands automatically reaching out when he begins to sprawl, just in case. One hand scooped beneath him to support him, the fingers of her other hand run gently over him, pad of one finger pressed carefully against each paw, though then she's intent on investigating his wings, not pulling them, but easing one into a position that permits her a better look at it. "Thanks you, Mama," she murmurs, looking up at her now that she's sure the brown won't slip away if she lifts her gaze from him.

Muir squirms a bit, head leaning back as his body shifts, trying to escape his little climber. "No, here, gak, stop," he mutters, pushing more meat at the thing. A whole handful, even. A mountain of delicious meat gleaming on his open palm. Here. Go over there.

Thea can't stop smiling. They're so cute! Her kids, not the firelizards. She has the sense not to say it but they're probably adept enough to read her sappy proud-parent expression anyway. At least she's not laughing at their first parental attempts? "You're welcome, both of you. Oh! Here, you'll need this-" and she reaches into her pocket to remove two little wide-mouthed jars of oil, two small soft-bristled brushes and two small bags of sandsoap. "Rub them all over with this after their daily baths," she tells them both. Yep, they'll have Stuff To Do (tm) now. "You've both helped wash and oil Seryth and Siebith so this ought to be easy." Is she biting back a 'now you'll see what it's like' sort of grin? Probably.

There's no protest from the brown as Marel lets his wings well enough alone, tip of one of her fingers tracing all the way to the tip of his tail. She reaches to set her jar, brush and bag in-front of her with another quiet word of thanks. Glancing at Muir and his bronze, perhaps it's the bronze's behaviour that prompts her to ask: "If I'm working and I need him to stop doing something, do I keep telling him out loud or do I think it at him?" Having witnessed the first sort of behaviour management time and time again from various sources. "I guess he won't understand right away, like Seryth and Siebith do?"

Muir manages to coax the bronze into eating from his hand, and the critter attacks the pile with gusto. Flecks of meat scatter across his muzzle and chest as he gobbles, and Muir watches with a slightly dazed expression. "Alright," he says, nodding a bit. Then he snaps back into reality, briefly, to smile at his mother. "Thanks, Mom." It's small, but it's there. Gratitude from a teenage boy. Savor it.

Thea considers Marel, mulling over the question. "Both perhaps. Then other customers will know you're not simply letting him get away with bad behavior. You'll probably have to follow that up with physical intervention anyway. Like removing him from the area where spiny plants are situated or out of other people's bags, keeping him - them - out of the kitchens." She directs a look towards Muir, including him in the discussion. "I'll expect you to teach them to mind. Eventually they'll understand, though not as clearly as dragons do, and mind you. They're usually eager to please." A glance is flickered towards Ruin. "Well, most of them are." Ruin? Not so much. But then, the mean bronze doesn't often hang around her. "Oh! And you'll need to feed them every few hours or so for a few sevens. So keep some meat close by. I have some in a cooler at the cottage, but you can get some of the dried jerky from the kitchens. Or fish from the docks."

Out of other people's bags? A look of horror flickers its way across Marel's face before she manages to regain control of herself, her attention directing itself downwards to her new firelizard friend, brows dipping. It's awfully obvious that she must be thinking at him a variation on 'you will /not/ climb into other people's bags', repeatedly. "I will," she assures. Teach him to mind, that is, if only because it sounds like it will be horrifically embarrassing if she doesn't. "I could probably keep some meat in the cooler here - some of the things for the plants need to be kept cool too."

Muir nods his head a bit, half listening as he's mostly watching his bronze gorge himself and then drape luxuriously across his palm to sleep. Ahhh. That's better. Meat is way better than buttons. Lesson learned. "Yeah, alright," he murmurs, sticking the other things into his pockets, darting glances not straying for too long away from the tiny creature on his hand. "I'm gonna go start teaching him. Or something." Distracted, no doubt, the boy flashes a grin at his sister and mother, and edges out the door.

So yay for not getting a good night's sleep, any of them, for awhile? At least this ought to be great training for handling a newborn, though that had better be TURNS away yet for both of them. Thea could tell them all the horrific things children do to embarrass their parents but all she says is, "Just be glad they can't speak human." Now why does her gaze slide towards Muir when she says that? "Remember when your brother called Soriana Sweets, then sugar and asked her to dance?" Sagenod. It only get worse when they can speak. She is scooping the sand back into her bag, then carefully re-depositing the eggs inside when Muir scoots out. "I need to get to the hearth and warm these up. I'll see you later." And since there's no one to see her do it, she gives Marel another hug and a kiss to the cheek before she too, heads out.

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