Mikal and His Amazing Rainbow Cape
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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!"


It was early this morning when Marel slipped away from the barracks and vanished to someplace beyond the caverns, no sign of her seen since, nor has anyone been able to detail where they saw her go. Early enough to fit in around chores, her morning shift at the garden shop is beginning to near its end, but, presently sat at the counter of the empty establishment, she seems in no hurry to depart and find lunch before beginning her next task. The counter is scattered with single stems of a rainbow of flowers, being woven one by one into a circular wreath or headdress shape by the young Candidate, who seems totally absorbed by her work. She even smiles slightly, a serenity to her expression not oft-seen these days.

Of the chores available in candidacy, running errands has got to be the one Mikal likes best. Certainly it beats watching the little. One errand brings him across the meadow to deliver a couple packages to a rider. Since he ran the whole way he finds himself with a few extra minutes before needing to return for the next errand. Having noticed Marel's quiet entrance from the barracks early in the morning he's been keeping an eye for the other candidate. Not having found her anywhere else he decides to peek into the flower shop to see if she's here. Quietly he slips in and his gaze is drawn to the counter where she works. For a moment he merely stands and watches, not wishing to break her concentration.

Marel takes her time to look up, concentration entirely with weaving in blossom after blossom to form a twisty-turny sort of plait, and it might be entirely by coincidence that she has to reach further for a particular stem and the move lifts her gaze enough for her to realise that she's not alone in the shop anymore. "Mikal," she greets, smile remaining, her fingers still weaving stem of their own accord without her looking down to check her work. "You want some flowers?" she asks, her general assumption being that that's what most seek when they enter the premises. "Is there a girl? You've got a girl!" Jumping from one conclusion to the next!

Mikal offers a sheepish smile as he's caught. So he simply strolls over. Smooth, yes? "Flower? Oh no thanks. I..huh? yes..no..Whowhat?" his head nearly spins at the leap to /that/ conclusion. "No girls like me!" he blurts out then coughs, blushing beet red. "I was…errands..passing by." he stammers, caught in a lack of the right answer.

"I'm sure plenty of girls like you," Marel insists, pausing in her weaving for long enough to fix him with a faintly chiding stare. "Don't talk about yourself like that." A lady wouldn't call him out on his blushing, and so she doesn't; even chooses to try and give him something to occupy himself with, inviting, "Could you come here and hold this circlet for a moment? I need to get some paler colours to balance out the brightness." And so she proffers the untied end of the loop of twisted stems as she asks, "What errands have they got you doing? I've got to help in the kitchens later."

Mikal merely shrugs at that, offering no agreement or denial on any girls liking him. "Sure." he agrees, stepping over to help. "This is really nice. Is it for Briana's baby shower?" he takes the correct end to hold for her. "Running packages around the weyr." comes his reply. "Must be training for the transport and delivery wings." jokes the healer turned candidate. "Kitchen help aint so bad. Used to spend plenty of time in there. Can still cook a few simple things."

Pausing as she hops down from her stool, Marel breathes out an, "Oh," and regards the circlet anew, head tilting as she studies it. "I hadn't thought of that. Do you think she'd like one?" She tilts her green-eyed gaze back up to Mikal, a flicker of uncertainty there. "This one's for a customer who wanted something for his weyrmate to wear in her hair for a holder something-or-other. A celebration, I think? I was too busy taking notes and sketching it out." Feet meet the floor and she pads steadily across the room to claim several stems of a tiny white flower with multiple blooms, then returns to sit back down, ready to reclaim the circlet with a, "Thanks." And then she can't resist: "If it's training for transport and delivery, I hope you've been running about flapping your arms like wings."

"Well sure…I mean don't most girls like flowers." and women. Mikal can only offer a weak shrug, continuing to hold the circlet as asked. "It looks very nicely done. I'm sure whomever ordered it will like it very much." his eyes track her movement as she pads across the room to claim the tiny white flower. As she returns he obediently hands over the circlet. Once done he shifts to lean against the counter. "Flap my arms? Nope, I'll just run really fast."

"A lot of them do…" Marel hazards, inclining her head a little bit. "I mean, some don't, but… she seems the sort that might. I could make one in pale pink, blue and gold? For a girl or a boy, and a goldrider's child." As he leans against the counter, she ducks her head a tiny bit more, dark locks falling forward to hide her faint blush at his compliment for her work. "But you need wings," she protests in a murmur, unwilling to quite give up on her gentle teasing. "To practise. Of course, they won't be /your/ wings if you Impress, but it's good to get an idea of the look. Maybe a cape? In the colour dragon you'd like to find you."

"Or perhaps a cape of /all/ the colors since I have absolutely no idea what color I'd like to find me. Except for Gold, of course." Mikal grins. He spreads his arms to either side and flaps a few times. "I think you'd look better in wings than me! Though I'll take the cape." his gaze once more goes to the item she's making. "That's a good idea, thread gold through the main colors. She'd love it."

"A rainbow cape." Marel would be better at 'deadly serious', were she able to get her expression to match her voice, for she offers a slightly lopsided smile along with her words, no matter how earnest they sound. She even loses the battle with that smile entirely when he flaps his arms like that. "With gold lining, just to be subversive. Or flashy," she jokes, fingers tracking back through her weaving to begin adding the little white flowers at appropriate intervals. "I'll see what I can do. I'll have to make it the day before, to make sure it stays fresh. I've managed to knit two pairs of little booties and a hat so far."

"Rainbow cape." Mikal is all seriousness….except for the goofy grin he's wearing. No more flapping though he brings his arms back down to his side. "Flashy…oh I don't know if I could pull off flashy. What do I look like, some bronze rider?" he laughs. "Oh I love the gloves." he notes. "Booties and a hat…for the baby?" he looks stricken. "I don't..I've not even done my drawing yet." he wrinkles his nose in dismay at being so far behind.

"Mikal and his amazing rainbow cape," Marel affirms with a sharp nod and a silly smile. "Who might be a bronzerider before long. You, not the cape." Just to be clear. Mention of the gloves softens her smile to something more pleased and heartfelt, a shallow nod given as she tells him, "You're welcome. I'm glad you like them." Catching his stricken look, she begins to shake her head, pausing in her weaving once more. "Booties for babies are /tiny/. They don't take much work. Likewise with hats," she hastens to say. "You've got plenty of time. And besides, it was your idea to give Briana one of these," a twitch of the circlet, "too. We could say it was from both of us."

Mikal spins a couple times with his imaginary cape on. "Ooh..I don't know if a bronze would pick me. I'm probably too young. And besides, my father's a blue rider and people always say I act more like him than my mom." he admits as he stops his spin. "Oh I do like them!" the gloves in question get pulled from his jacket pocket. His hands are still a pale blue as the paint hasn't all come off yet. "Plenty of time but I can't find any decent canvas to do the picture on. What do you think of a baby cradled in a egg?" he asks. "Really?" he blinks at her offer of saying the circlet was from both of them. "I..could help you make it maybe?"

Marel can't spare both hands to clap as he spins, so she taps one hand against the countertop in lieu of proper clapping, eyes bright with good humour. "I don't know if they take age into account," she replies with a quick shrug of her right shoulder. "And if we go by that logic, I either have to be a gold or bluerider, if Impress, and I'm not sure whether either would be right for me." The sight of the gloves gets him another little smile, as does the sight of blue hands, but she refrains from commenting. "I think it's a good idea; it sounds elegant and meaningful. Symbolic," she encourages. "And of course; I'd like that." Weaving all the while, white flowers threaded through the whole thing.

"Maybe brown for you then." he predicts. Running a hand through his shortened hair he looks thoughtful. The gloves get slipped back into the pocket from whence they came. "I'm still trying to work out the other details of the picture and the colors." one wonders if Pern has colored pencils or the equivalent. "And I need a good canvas." that seems to be the tricky part. "Let me know how I can help then. I've never put together flowers before."

"Maybe," Marel echoes softly, selecting another flower from the counter to begin rounding off and tying the circlet. "Had you thought of keeping it to just charcoal?" she asks, glancing back up. "Sort of sketchy and smooth. And it would be able to go in most rooms, because it wouldn't affect a colour scheme." She seems stumped about the canvas part, lips pursing in thought, brows dipping slightly. "Maybe a Harper would know? Or a trader?" But then comes her own tricky bit, wherein she has to knot the end of the strand of stems into its beginning to form a complete circle. "If I get the flowers, I could bring them to the barracks? Or we could work on it here?"

Now the idea of charcoal never occurred to him. Clearly he was hung up on the colors. Mikal offers a lopsided grin as he pushes from the counter to wander the room, peering at various flowers. "I've been trying to catch up with a trader to see if I can get something from them. "Do you sell oils here?" he asks suddenly, turning slightly to face Marel. "Oh I don't mind coming here to work on the circlet with you. Quieter here." less eyes watching too.

Already shaking her head, Marel glances around the shop just to be sure that she hasn't missed anything, and offers an apologetic, "I haven't seen any in stock, sorry. We do perfume, but that's probably not really what you're looking for." A few moments pass in silence as she finishes tying up stems and gives an experimental tug to make sure that it isn't going to fall apart, then hops down from her stool to hang the loop to settle into shape on a hook quite high on the wall. "Okay, we can do that," she readily agrees, drifting back to the counter to gather up off-cuts and dry leaves to sweep away. "I've got a key, so if we have to work out of hours, we can."

Mikal hems faintly. "I thought maybe Elsie might like the girly flowery oils." he says by way of explaining his curiosity of oils for sale. As she falls silent he continues peering around the room, lightly touching several flower petrels. "Sounds good." is agreed on the working out of hours. "Spend any more time in the galleries?" he asks curiously as he eventually makes his way back to where she's at.

"….No," Marel has to admit, slightly shamefaced, yet she squares her shoulders the moment she catches herself folding in on herself, and makes to stand tall instead. "I think… I just don't like watching them and wondering. And I don't want to get too attached to them. Maybe it's best that the next time they and I meet is when we're on the Sands for real." Off-cuts swept into the nearest bin, she rounds the counter to meet him on the same side. "Have you?" And on its heels: "Want to go get lunch?"

Mikal simply nods at that a bit. "Perhaps…" he murmurs thoughtfully. Before he can really form any deeper thoughts on that subject though she mentions food. "Ooh, lunchtime already?!" his interest perks up. "Let's go." he gives a half bow. "Shall I escort you then my lady?" he offers a crooked arm and a bright smile.

“Go on then,” Marel accepts with a smile to match his. “I think I can let you do that.” And so she loops her arm through his and lets him escort her off to lunch and back to the caverns, pausing only to lock the door behind her.


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