The Downside of Surrogate Shopping

Xanadu Weyr - Domicile of Discernment

On the outside, this cottage is fairly unremarkable. It's of moderate size, though it's clearly not the home of a rider - there's no wallow, nor is there any means for even the smallest of greens to enter. It's set in the meadow, amidst the gentle roll of the terrain toward the ridge, but any adornment by flowers or ornamental plants is purely incidental. The exterior is painted white, and the roof-shingles are brown. There's a small wooden stoop, centered along the longer side - three wide steps leading up to a doorway framed by windows.
Once inside, the main room of this cottage is bright and airy, made so by a high arched ceiling and large windows that take advantage of their northern exposure, with gauzy drapes and pale golden oak sills. Overhead, there's more of that oak in the form of exposed beams, the ceiling between them painted a soft cerulean. During the day, there is likely sufficient illumination from those windows, but for night-time, there are recessed lights hidden within the beams that diffuse against the ceiling. The walls are white with a sponged speckling of the same blue from overhead, and underfoot is more of that oak.
The house has a central column of yellow fieldstone, with a fireplace facing into the room and a half-flight of stairs to either side - one leading up, the other down. Above the fireplace is an oakwood mantel, and while it may provide warmth, under most circumstances, the radiant heating system beneath the floorboards is likely to more effective. The fireplace may, however, provide a pleasant flickering warmth, and as such, a sofa and a pair of armchairs are arranged in front of it. The sofa's a velvety blue-grey, accented with a pair of red pillows, and the armchairs are brown leather - suitable for company but selected primarily for comfort.
There's a kitchen tucked off to one side, near the upward staircase. It's small, but well equipped, with granite countertops and a brushed steel cold-box and stove. There's an oblong wooden table with chairs set around it, and even some plants in small terracotta pots on the windowsill, as the presence of fresh herbs is useful when cooking.

It's late. Rukbat has already sunk beneath the horizon, and the Weyr is lit by electrical sources instead of natural ones - though the point is somewhat arguable, given the derivation of Xanadu's electricity. Nevertheless, the light currently extant has assuredly been produced through a more human and machine-mediated process than that which is transmitted through the atmosphere from proximate stellar sources. Jethaniel has only just returned to Xanadu, the dragon who carried him setting down in the clearing and permitting him to disembark. The duration of this visit was not precisely planned, but it was a known risk; the meetings he required with some of the nearby farmcrafters had the potential to run long, and that potential became actuality over the course of morning, afternoon, and evening. Now he has finally returned to Xanadu, and while his notes will need to be written up soon, those reports do not need to be generated tonight. He does not head for the caverns, instead turning toward the meadow and his own home with weary steps that become quiet ones as he ascends the steps and slips inside.

Late nights… are for sleeping (these days anyway). But yet, Jethaniel's been away all day and Darsce's missed him. So she's staying awake to see him. Or… the attempt has been made. There's a light on - a single lamp by the couch set on low - in the main room. A small stack of books - all on childcare and the rearing of children - on the low table before it. A fire, inexpertly built and started hours ago - now burned down to a pile of embers that cast a flickering orange glow across ceiling and walls. And Darsce on the couch, curled on her side, hair spilling off the edge to pool upon an open tome that at some point had been set on the floor. One hand is tucked under her cheek, the other rests on the page titled: The Terrible Twos: How to Maintain Your Sanity. She's… not reading it. Unless she can read through her eyelids. Apparently… waiting up has become more of a waiting…down.

That section of the book likely contains information concerning naps. It is, admittedly, more about persuading children to take them rather than instructions for taking them oneself, but it is nevertheless related. Outside, moths are drawn to the light; Jethaniel carefully closes the door before he permits himself to be drawn to Darsce - though she is in the vicinity of a light, and so it is not until he is most of the way there that the distinction becomes notable. He turns from the fireplace, and then from the lamp, instead observing their light as it flickers against Darsce's features. Jethaniel puts one hand on the arm of the sofa as he sinks to a knee in front of it - just beside that book - and his other hand trails up along Darsce's arm, following the line of it as he regards her with faint smile and thoughtful eyes. The quiet which he employed when entering is maintained until his hand reaches her shoulder, when it lifts to brush against her cheek and he speaks, still relatively quiet but nevertheless possessed of more volume than the lack thereof. "Darsce."

That chapter has a list of suggestions - stress-relieving things to do while toddlers nap - not that Darsce needs prompting for certain ones. Right now she cannot imagine a day where she'll have energy to do more than have a rousing…nap. She hadn't, however, intended to drift off tonight. She sleeps though, and as always, slumbers like the dead. She's oblivious to the opening of that door or whether any moths slip inside to be freaked out about later. The touch to her arm then cheek elicit a sigh, followed by a faint smile but no cognizant response until her name is spoken. "Mmhm…yep's'me…" she mumbles. While normally she'd lift her head and pull her pillow out from underneath to burrow under, this time, belatedly, her subconscious nags enough for her to remember she doesn't want to sleep and why. Heavy lashes lift iceblue eyes hazily finding Jethaniel there. Her lips form a sleepy smile, pleased to see him and her arm, the one hanging over the couch lifts to drape loosely around his neck. "Back so soon?" the words teasing, lazy and indistinct with drowsy lethargy.

Were she asleep in bed, it is likely Jethaniel would have sought to avoid waking Darsce… but she is not, and so while his words are quiet, he does speak. His fingertips trace back along her cheek, teasing a bit of hair back behind her ear, and he nods for her agreement before his smile widens for the opening of her eyes and the positive feedback loop her own smile creates. He leans toward her as her arm goes around him, and his head ducks slightly as he admits, "They did offer to have me stay the night." An offer which Jethaniel did not, in fact, accept, as evidenced by the fact that he is here so his fingers may trace along the curve of Darsce's ear as he smiles to her with an affection that is… not entirely untouched by concern. "You must be tired." The statement is rather obvious, given both her state of repose… and the fatiguing elements of her condition as previously observed. Nevertheless, Jethaniel makes it as he observes her now.

Darsce's arm exerts a subtle pressure on the back of Jethaniel's neck while at the same time she half-pushes to her elbow seeking to press her lips to his in welcome. Drawing back, she snorts quietly at that news. "You already have a bed. And me. And I'd have missed you terribly." And he is indeed here, rather than having taken the invitation. Sothere, farmcrafters! "Did they feed you? Because if they didn't, there's a pot of vegetable beef soup keeping warm on the stove. And a basket of muffins." And yet, the house doesn't smell of charred dinner, likely because, "Cook sent it home with me." Cook spoils her so. Either that or… Darsce bribes her with free manicures. "A… little," she admits to being tired, sitting up and uncurling, eyeing the stack of books on the table with a semi-guilty look. "Reading's sort of boring." Back to Jethaniel, "How did your meeting go? Did they send you home with anything good?" Meaning, of course, something like farm-fresh butter or cheese that requires no cooking to use. Ice cream though, would be even better?

Jethaniel is easily inclined toward Darsce, and the kiss with which he obliges her inclination is warm and tender. He smiles as their lips part once more, nodding to her. "I do. I prefer the comfort of you." His bed is, presumably, also comfortable. He does nod to her query regarding his consumption of food, but nevertheless smiles at the food of whose existence in this house she notes the existence. "I may have some." The dinner provided by the farmers was, after all, prior to the consultations through the fields which took advantage of as much evening light as was available. Jethaniel nods again to Darsce's admission, his fingers tracing back down along her arm as she rises. "I find it dependent upon the reading material selected." He smiles, and remains where he is, even on her. "The meeting went well." …if also long. "The wind-power mill should see increased usage, and the planting provides a proper rotation of the soil without undue concern of inter-hold competition in crops." He brought home… a concordance of opinion that will lead to a successful growing seasons. Unfortunately, "It was, or so I am informed, approximately a sevenday before the first of the berry seasons."

Darsce is pleased to hear Jethaniel confirm his preference for comfort - not that she was unaware - she simply enjoys hearing it. "The pot is on the back heating element. Cook told me to set it to 'warm' and then not to touch it." Cook is brilliant, no? Darsce has learned (the hard way - cough) to listen to her. "You want to eat out here by the fire (ie so she may cuddle beside him whilst he does so) or in the kitchen?" The hand on the arm his fingers trace down flips over to tickle his forearm while she tilts him a rakish grin. "I've seen the things you read," she says fondly indulgent. "And the intensity with which you do so. I would be asleep in five minutes." Or maybe crying. About the meetings going well, "I'm glad," she says and means that. She's seen how he is when visits (for example, the beasthold encampment) have not. Growing seasons… well, she's in the middle of one herself, so he may wax eloquent and she might apply a transference of information? Though… probably not without twisting it but… She nods easily about the berries, "That's okay. I'm not hungry anyway. I already ate tonight - twice." She'd still manage ice cream, but isn't going to mourn that overmuch. Her smile grows sultry, "I'll nibble on you instead?" Annnd because she's been having those healer visits - more or less (though there have been a few where they tracked her down in her office), she informs him, "The healers tell me it could be any day now."

Minimizing Darsce's involvement with food-related processes is… likely optimal, yes. Cook possesses significant expertise in culinary fields, including the adaption of such to varied circumstances; she has once again demonstrated this fact tonight, and will further do so once Jethaniel actually tastes the food in question. "I will bring some here." The fire is down to embers, but Darsce still represents a strong incentive to do so. In fact, she is sufficiently incentivizing that he does not immediately move to retrieve that food, instead conducting a rotation and slow extension of his arm against Darsce's fingers to provide them with a tactile survey. He is quite interested in that, and as for his other interests… "It may also depend on the person." The appetite for knowledge varies according to analogous (if distinct) parameters to that for food. "I am glad you have been eating well." Jethaniel smiles as he trails his fingers down to Darsce's hand, where they curl around her own fingers and lift them so he may touch his lips to the back of them… given that, were he to provide a kiss to her lips, he might not manage to actually obtain that food. He's begun to rise for that purpose when she continues, and Jethaniel's fingers curl more firmly against hers rather than releasing in preparation for departure, his grey eyes studying her features earnestly in the soft light. "Are…" he begins, and his eyes lower to the curve of her stomach before lifting to her face once more. "Did they provide further information?"

"I'm sure it does. I was never a bookworm. I sorta winged it." An understatement! Darsce learned on the fly and on a need-to-know basis. As such, her motivation and focus were sufficiently keen enough to see her through certain things even though this approach has left some critical gaps in her education. Her fingertips wander leisurely along Jethaniel's arm in the direction of his hand until their fingers meet and she smiles when he lifts her hand to his lips. She laughs lightly at the dip of his eyes to her belly coupled with that unfinished question. Still smirking, "I'm fine, other than more tired than I'd like and hungry all the time." This time it's her eyes that drop to the point in question as she mutters under her breath, "No wonder I'm getting fat." And then she redirects her gaze to him answering more seriously, "They said to watch for signs of restlessness, vague discomfort, lack of appetite and not to worry if I woke up and the bed was wet, I hadn't had an accident and regressed in my childhood development?" As to what those symptoms might mean, she doesn't clarify immediately. One slim brow lifts questioningly to ask, 'like that sort of information?'

A need to know basis may, in fact, be considered ideal… presuming the capability to accurately determine what it is necessary to know. Jethaniel's own inclinations are somewhat more prone to the acquisition of factual knowledge, though he certainly enjoys certain procedural forms, such as the touch of fingers and lips to Darsce's hand. Her recent fatigue and hunger - while not intrinsically desirable - are, given the context in which they are occurring, entirely comprehensible, and so her answer serves to ease Jethaniel's concern rather than increasing it. "You are eating for two, though the distribution is not symmetric." His concern, while eased, is not entirely absent as he listens to her further report, and Jethaniel inclines his head to acknowledge that this is, in fact, the sort of information regarding which he intended to query. "…and any day now…" He glances to that stack of books. "Are there other preparations we need to make?" Given that Darsce has been conducting research, he presumes that she is aware of the requirements. The investigation of infantile prerequisites would, after all, have been a logical place to begin.

For Darsce, the need to know quite often came after an OMG moment, followed by mad scrambling to get things under control. The exemptions would be with clothing and jewelry design - though she couldn't tell you if you asked her how she picked the skill up, applied math and perspective drawing to her innate interest in fashion. It's likely she'd been all, "You'd look great if the shoulders were like so and the material draped rather than clung and the…" And fellow designers went, "Oh, a two inch box pleat." And then drew it while she watched. Observational and procedural - for her kinesthetic learning rather than auditory learning - stuck. She gives Jethaniel a baffled smile. "Well, that's hardly fair. She," because all those cute baby dresses she's designed and had made hanging upstairs must determine baby's gender, "ought to be getting half of this. I don't want to grow anymore." Her pout is only half in jest. She feels fine - if bloated like a porcine - but the any day now miiiiiight change things a wee bit (not that she's allowing herself to think about anything beyond: IT WILL BE OUT). "Uh… there are a list of things…" she sounds vague because they weren't all that interesting the list of items she was told about. Nothing so interesting as choosing pretty material for clothing. "Now where did I put… oh!" She dives for the book she'd been reading and pulls out a handwritten list (it's not her writing, but one of the healer's most likely) and offers it over to Jethaniel. It reads, in part, cloth diapers and pins, towels, washcloths, mild soap, oil, onesies, crib, mattress, blanket, clothes (the word dresses is written in Darsce's hand and circled), shoes (also circled), soft toys (again circled), cloth books, bottles, tippy cup, spoon…. there's more but the player can't include what else because Darsce's mind went off on tangents (likely in the direction of the things circled). "The stuff checked off has been ordered." From the catalogues stacked beside those informational books, no doubt. What's checked off? Yeah, that's right, clothes (aka dresses), shoes and toys.

Mad scrambles tend to indicate lacks in prospective planning, and point to the implausibility of obtaining an accurate assessment of future requirements. Jethaniel returns Darsce's smile. "Ideally, more than half. You are already developed." And their child is - while still relatively early in the process - approaching the point wherein further development will be conducted exterior to Darsce. It will, in fact, be out… soon. Any day now, according to the healers. Jethaniel nods to Darsce's mention of that list and releases her hand as she goes to retrieve it. He accepts it from her, eyes lowering to consider the contents of the page before lifting to Darsce once more as she clarifies the nature of her annotations. "Ah," he says as he looks back down. His survey finds notable the portion of the list which has been obtained - in particular, when considered in relation to that portion which has not. The proportion is perhaps not as favorable as might be hoped, but this is a soluble issue. Jethaniel's eyes reach the bottom of the list, then lift to the top once more. Diapers and pins… yes, it does seem probable that it would be advantageous to have the items on this list. His eyes lift from the paper to Darsce. "I can take some time tomorrow as compensation for tonight and obtain these." His schedule is bidirectionally flexible, which means he may adjust for late nights to balance his working hours as well as the Weyr's budget.

It certainly does. But some people never learn from their mistakes. Darsce is one of them. Even with the best of intentions, she somehow… gets sidetracked. "Oh, so it's doubly unfair then," she says in light of Jethaniel's contradiction. Or might that be 2/3 unfair. 1/3 unfair? Psh! Math! She can do it when she's designing garments. Assigning fault to natural processes? Not so much. Oh well! As for developed, she purrs agreement, assigning a different meaning to Jethaniel's point, "Totally! So I don't need any more. She can have all of it." You hear that baby? Siphon power: granted! As for the rest of the needed items, when he says obtain, she hears 'go get' and she perks. Shopping trip? "I can come with you!" Uh, right? Because her days off are flexible…ish. And she absolutely needs to pop around Pern while about to…pop. Doesn't she? Also… there is a decided lack of cuddling going on here and thus, she settles back against the couch-back. "We can plan tomorrow's shopping trip while you eat. There are some great shops in Ista." Or so she's heard.

Jethaniel is capable of mathematics in many forms, but when it comes to assigning fault to these particular natural processes, he merely smiles for Darsce's assessment. His lips twitch further at the… reinterpretation… of his words expressed by her tone, leaning in to brush those lips to her cheek. "Quite well." The placenta is not precisely a siphon, but it is analogous in some regards… from which Darsce would likely become sidetracked even were they provided. Her intentions do, however, take the track - side or otherwise - that espouses her accompanying her spouse on a mission to collect the items necessary to them. Jethaniel's eyebrows rise slightly. "Ah." This was not his original intention, however… it is not entirely implausible. The precise proportion of plausibility… "We will discuss it." He offers the list back to her before crossing to the kitchen to serve himself from the soup and muffins, bringing them back with him as he returns to take a seat on the couch beside Darsce. He - given his intention to eat - will be remaining upright, but she may position herself in relation to him as seems suitable.

Not a siphon, no. More like a semi-permeable barrier that Darsce'd like to manipulate to allow an imbalance to the exchange. That being a greater donation - in her favor - and the baby's both. Alas! That's beyond her power. Also, were it possible, it might make giving birth more of an ordeal - not that she's aware of that either! She leans her cheek into Jethaniel's kiss, subtly pleased he seems to have caught her innuendo. She might become sidetracked very easily from provided facts to the contrary, depending on how pertinent such shared facts are presented? When presented with the (okay, yes, it might have to be inescapable?) truth… she is capable of facing it. Her coping mechanisms might actually involve a plausible work-around, but it might also be unorthodox! Not that… complex problem-solving skills are currently being employed by her at the moment, no. She hears 'discuss it' as 'where to shop' and so smiles blithely and does not question that at all. Her positional dynamics are all about enjoying Jethaniel first and her own comfort second. So when he returns, she slides down until her head is in his lap - don't drip on her, please! "So… we could shop at Ierne, Ista or some great out-of-the-way spots in Igen's cotholds…" And since she's got the list, she actually reads it for the first time and notes, "The crafters in Igen make some ver soft camelid blankets, the Lemos region crafts fine wood products for cribs and rocking chairs, Southern Boll has some fabulous textiles… " Why… they could shop Pern like a… mall. Oh…joy?

There certainly is some discussion to be had, but communication may be construed as the attempt to pass ideas through the semi-permeable barrier of language, and not all concepts are transmitted as they are intended. Jethaniel settles to the couch with caution; fortunately, he did not fill his bowl excessively, and is unlikely to test the permeability to broth of Darsce's skin. He dips his spoon and takes a bite - it does smell good (thank Cook for that) - then lowers it carefully before regarding Darsce and her proposed mercantile tour. "It is… likely… that stamina is a limited resource." In particular, Darsce's; he has noted her rapidity to fatigue of late. "We do require these things," according, at least, to the healers, "but we do not necessarily require an optimal set initially." The baby would, in fact, likely survive with a secondhand crib retrieved from the stores and a set of diapers made by a weavercraft apprentice. "If we acquire a basic set, we can replace them over time." And the stores will be stocked with their castoffs for the next infant to require non-optimal materials. "It would be more efficient." Jethaniel reaches down to brush his fingers along Darsce's cheek. "…and easier."

Comprehension is oft limited to preconceived notions but rephrasing - or in this case the reminder - of her current limitations, coupled with Jethaniel's counterpoint brings a faint frown to Darsce's expression. "Not…optimal? What, like…" Gasped. "Used things?" Oh no he didn't! "But… but those might be ugly. Or smell funny." She's not freaking out or pouting. but she is far from pleased. At least she doesn't sit bolt upright, remaining supine iceblue eyes wide with disbelief as she regards her husband even while his fingers brush her cheek. With a half-laugh, "This is our first baby, not a science experiment! I'm not doing easy!" Or efficient, but at least she doesn't argue that concept, since her body is doing that already. As for going with him, "Haven't you ever heard the expression 'shop 'til you drop'?" Her frown disappears in a sunny assurance, "I'm a pro. I've got this!" Or so she did nine months ago.

"…not necessarily," Jethaniel replies with a slightly pained frown. "There are weavers and woodcrafters at Xanadu as well as Igen and Lemos." They may not have the same expertise, but how much complexity does a baby blanket actually require? "We could employ them to make… something suitable." For his aesthetics, certainly. For Darsce's? …perhaps not. Jethaniel's mouth twitches to the side for the assertion regarding their progeny, and his head lowers slightly. The pained look returns at her assurance. "I would… prefer it remain an expression." As a figure of speech, it is informative; as a reality, it is problematic. Jethaniel frowns, troubled. "If… we are to do this, we should rank the destinations by importance." Because - despite those assurances - he remains unconvinced that she will be capable of achieving the full plan she has proposed.

There are certainly crafters in Xanadu and Darsce is silent as she considers them, her eyes on the pained look Jethaniel now wears. Thoughtfully, "We do. And I'd imagine the wood is as nice as what Lemos has." Wood is wood, right? Wryly, she admits, "Forgot about the camelid project." Pretty much right after he got back and about two minutes into the (cough) sidetrack she enjoyed with him. "Have our weavers got wool from them yet? Because there's nothing softer. Or warmer." It's not complexity, it's texture she's after for those blankets. Because everyone knows how easily-broken newborns are. Their skin, as fragile as rice paper, could be damaged! Or so she seems to imply. Her boast about her own shopping ability had ended with a beam, but winds up fading in light of the troubled look she's given along with his statement. Crestfallen, she subsides into silence, eyes dropping to the list. Order of importance? She squints at that list and hms at it. "I've already ordered the most important stuff." Of…course she did because dresses, shoes and toys constitute baby survival, right? Her iceblue eyes lift to him and she can see he's uneasy about the whole idea. "I think… I'll just trust you with the rest of this," she says rather meekly.

Jethaniel nods regarding the wood of Xanadu. "So the export rates imply." It doesn't quite have the same cachet as wood from Lemos, but there are still a great many people who find it sufficient. The forests of the southern continent did have several centuries worth of head start, and while temporal duration does not always correlate to quality, in this case, they do co-vary. The quality of the camelids at Xanadu may be more negotiable - though the value of the species, and thereby Darsce's requiring of them, is not - and Jethaniel's gesture is more equivocal. "They have some." How much does it take to make a baby blanket? Or, more to the point, what priority would need to be placed on the project relative to others? "If it is insufficient, there are other sources." Jethaniel is not in principle averse to travel in the course of this endeavor; he is merely hesitant regarding the extent of Darsce's plans. Her assessment of the prioritization is construed to mean that she has obtained those things whose details are most important to her. They are the ones which it is most important that she obtain, and the rest… Jethaniel's expression eases with relief as Darsce retracts her intention to personally shop for them. "I will do so," he says, and he reaches toward the paper - or at least its vicinity, curving his fingers to rest them gently against Darsce's. "And if they are insufficient, then we will go together." But first, he's going to obtain an initial iteration of the requirements, gathered according to his best models of both the needs of infants and Darsce's preferences. Ideally, the required corrections will be minimal.

How much wood could a wood- …nowait. How much wool does it take to make a baby blanket? That's easy - enough to satisfy the child's mother. Darsce, as yet, has no idea regarding the specifics on blankets other than they need to be soft and warm. In the coming weeks, that'll likely be adjusted. Her expression lightens as Jethaniel's relief is seen and she nods agreement to his plan. It's not as fun or enjoyable as what she had in mind; pre-planning, however, would have had a different outcome had she thought to obtain the things earlier. Thinking he's reaching for the note, she attempts to pass it to him, surprised when his fingers curl around hers. She smiles then, "I'm sure you'll do fine. Just pick some pretty things." A thought added a beat later, "In neutral colors." Why? Oh, not because she's uncertain what gender they're having. It'll be a girl, of course! "I can't stand pastel pink and blue. They're so yesterday." As for specifics, she can probably show him pictures in those catalogues of simple, yet elegant furniture designs, steering him clear of fussy, overly-intricate carved things and point out textiles as examples while casually rattling off words most guys don't even consider to be real colors like 'fern', 'hunter', 'khaki', 'slate', 'smoky', 'dove', 'taupe', and 'ecru,' in place of green, blue, grey and beige. The list of material types for those onesies will be equally confusing: charmeuse, faille, lawn, silk and cashmere. All soft, delicate, mostly wrinkle-resistant and all quite impractical for newborn clothing, not that Darsce will know any of this. Have…fun?

Darsce's satisfaction - in this domain - is, as yet, an indeterminant quantity. The ways Jethaniel already knows to satisfy her are in the proximity of blankets, not regarding them, and are, in fact, why they are in this particular situation to begin with. Had Darsce obtained the list of requirements earlier, they might have taken a great many such trips together - well spaced out to avoid excessive fatigue. As it is, Jethaniel nods as his fingers curl with Darsce's. "I shall." In neutral colors? Fortunately for them both, the colors Darsce lists have a non-trivial overlap with the ones of his personal wardrobe, and so while he may not - despite his careful attention - remember the specific color names - or what combination of light wavelengths would produce them - his prior associations with those terms will cause him to select things in subdued shades, soft without being pastel or warm without being bright. When it comes to fabrics he will, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) be limited by the available selection, and so he'll end up with mostly simple cottons and wool blends. Mostly, but not exclusively; there are weavers who produce goods meant for adorning a Holder-heir at their first Conclave, and so Jethaniel finds a few garments that match the specification Darsce provides and are thus suitable for being placed atop the practical ones. Similarly, he obliges her on the matter of that blanket - or rather, blankets; they prove to be plural, fine camelid wool in weights suitable for the changing seasons. When it comes to furniture, he may use as a aesthetic heuristic the complexity of the function required to construct those shapes when graphed; this will result in articles with smooth curves and simple lines, which should prove acceptable. The rest of the items on that list - which he will take eventually - may be achieved in forms which continue that trend toward simplicity. The stack of diapers are unadorned; the oil is unscented. Both are of high quality, but they lack frills. Even efficiently done, there are a great many supplies to be gathered.

Blankets shmankets, Darsce is blaming the klah. Though tangling in bedsheets has resulted in fatigue (past and present), she's currently of the firm belief that shopping is a rejuvenating activity. Likely one day she'll be as disillusioned with that notion as she was with the klah's contraceptive properties. For now she acquiesces to the concern she's seen in Jethaniel and doesn't push it. As for those colors, she also has swatches she can send with him - it's a neat booklet in the shades she's named, the samples meant to compliment each other rather than clash. She'll spend part of the day while he's away dragging herself to work, being sent home midway through the morning by one of the healers when she tries to deliver clean linens to the infirmary. Having been told to rest, she'll have done so and then gotten bored enough to actually read the handout on labor and delivery while muttering things like, "You…can't be…serious?!", "For.. real?", "Oh gross" and I am SO screwed!" before putting the thing aside (or maybe lighting another fire with it). So when Jethaniel gets home and finds a cozy fire in the hearth and a nearly hysterical wife? Uh, it's because she's been imagining all the fun he's had shopping without her. She'll dig into the things like a child on an Old Earth Christmas morning and chatter until she all but hyper-ventilates about what great choices he's made. The only thing she might eye is that unscented oil. Because babies stink. Darsce knows that much at least. Which is likely why she's spent her whole life up 'til now avoiding them. And that'll be why she falls into his arms and starts sobbing something incoherent that sounds like "…what were we thinking?!" and then curls up in bed and cries herself to sleep. Despite the fact that her dresser contains several vials of expensive perfume to sweeten the air. Yup. Allllll because of unscented oil.

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