A Meeting of Awkward Proportions

Xanadu Weyr - Garden
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.
On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.
Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.
The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

Another brilliant day at Xanadu Weyr, despite what anyone says to the contrary the day is gorgeous and perfect-AND WET. The early morning fog rolled in and out, leaving everything slightly dewy but then a mid-day summer rainshower DUMPED water on the Weyr at large. The massive deluge has pushed most people indoors to drink, complain, or generally avoid being uncomfortable and moist. NOT Evangeline, the rain seems the perfect opportunity to enjoy being somewhere without other people. Sitting on a stone bench next to the Koi pond, on her shoulder is a raincoat dressed siamese pointed hairless cat, whose face clearly shows that this was not her idea of fun. "And so I was like, 'no, we do not eat rocks.' Can you believe that? The kid was eating rocks!" Evangeline chatters on mindlessly, swinging her feet back and forth, and every time they swing out, she flops them in a puddle to make a. SPLASH. The movement is rhythmic and happy, she's obviously in her own little world with her unhappy feline. "Like. OK. So. We need to make four more cards because he's not even sent a response to the other 18." She's in her own space right now, pleasant and relaxed with her solitude. The only time she really gets to be herself possibly, since all of this began.

FIOREYLA WAS ALSO IN HER OWN SPACE. Kind of. She was kind of in her own space, probably waiting for her husband while she took a reprieve from her duties out here. In the wet. And cold. Without… any kind of protection from the wet. Well, okay, she has some protection from the wet — that's definitely a jacket, but WOULDN'T YOU GUESS IT that instead of being ON HER, Fire is using it to protect a stack of books that she is HUGGING TIGHT TO HER CHEST WHILE XANADU WEYR TRIES TO DROWN HER. And she probably would have just SAT THERE PERPETUALLY, looking more and more the part of a drowned healer except that Evangeline is over there talking to a cat and Fire's A HEALER WHO IS DRAWN BY THE THOUGHT OF CHILDREN EATING ROCKS. "N-no!" comes quite sudden (more of a squeak than real sound, honestly), seconds before Fire has enough grace to look embarrassed about her interruption. She turns several shades of red, but she was ON HER FEET and STANDING BESIDE EVANGELINE before she even realized what she was doing. "T-Th-The rr —" BREATHE, FIRE. "Therocks." It comes out a rush, almost panicked as she HUGS THAT COAT PROTECTING HER BOOKS EVEN TIGHTER. "They should… s-see a healer. That can… it… abrade…" Give Fire a moment as those violet eyes focus in on that cat, actually seeing it for the first time. Her mouth opens, and doesn't quite close but moves as if she's trying to form words — "Is that a cat?" On account of the fact that Fire's voice is soft enough to warrant calling it a whisper ninety-nine percent of the time, it's safe to say that the former is SO quiet, Fire may not have spoken at all.

CAT CONVERSATIONS ARE PRIVATE MMK. Well. Mostly speaking out loud to animals has risks, like getting seen and judged of having your fun story kitty time interrupted by people who might be less together than you. Evangeline JUMPS at the voice of fire, despite how quiet she is, her buttocks walk themself down the bench and further away from the soaked woman. Brown-green eyes bulge out for a moment because her tiny manatee brain is struggling to figure out WHAT she did to be interrupted. "Hello?" For her part, Evi's voice is clear, full of questioning and surprise while remaining polite and sweet. Examining Fioreyla from head to toe, deciding that even if she's not an apex predator in any way AT ALL this person is definitely lower on the food chain. A mouse has just met a cricket nymph. "Are you ok? Can I help you, Um here, sit sit." Evangeline pulls her damp skirt out from her sides, placing the fabric on the bench next to her and patting in like you might call an animal to sit on a couch. "The child didn't actually swallow the rock, it's ok. You're very wet. Here." Patting the skirt again with one hand, the mom in Evi takes over entirely. Evi turns to look at curtains, and back at Fire, the feline gives the smallest MEW. Despite her damp day, Curtains has MANNERS. KITTY HELLOS TO YOU STRANGER. THE BRIGHT PINK rain coat and RAIN SOCKS on the feline make her look like a small MUTANT CHILD. With a shy grin, Evangeline murmurs in a smaller than typical sound. The noise is similar to when a child wants something but can't ask, so it's all mumble. "Yeah, yes, she's a cat. Yeah." Tucking her head, the motion to hide in her own shoulder. Making her smaller and closer, a protective bird-like gesture of discomfort. Before snapping out of it as she suddenly remembers her manners, "I am Evangeline, this is, um, WELL, this is CURTAINS. You should sit." Evi is in full mommy mode, prepared to take care of little Fire even though she's barely taken care of herself to this point. Ask a man about his bite marks and how self-regulation is going for her. OK. Pointing to the neon pink coated catastrophe SLASH saint on her shoulder. SHE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS CAT. THIS CAT NEEDS AN ADULT.

DRIP. DRIPDRIP. DRIPDRIPDRIP. For a very long moment, Fioreyla stands there merely dripping at Evangeline, watching the movement the candidate makes with an awkward kind of inability to people. "O-oh, I'm — n-n — ah —" She tries to answer any of those one things, but it is probably Fire's curse that she is VERY EASY TO STEAMROLL YOUR PERSONALITY ALL OVER. Evi asks a thousand questions (OKAY, SO TWO, WITH AN INVITATION), and Fire is reaching up with one hand to tuck a strand of red hair behind her ear, those violet eyes dropping from the cat to that space being patted on Evangeline's skirt and Fire looks like she's completely out of her element for a second. And then Fire does EXACTLY WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT SOMEBODY TO DO IN THE FACE OF SUCH SELFLESS INVITATION. She sets her books down on the skirt, and then she twists her hands, and she gives Evi the kind of smile that's painful only because it's so obvious that Fire has no idea what she's doing here. "Thank you." Because that is EXACTLY WHAT THE SKIRT WAS FOR, FIOREYLA. Who are you. And then Fire hesitates only a moment more before she sits down on the wet bench in lieu of stealing her book's prime real estate. Because of course she does. "E-Evangeline," comes a little breathless, and then there. There is a real smile. "Curtains. I'm Fioreyla." But she's nervous, so EVEN YOU do not get to escape her panic-torrent of random facts. "D-did you k-know that the color pink is… it s-symbolizes joy and h-happiness?" A gesture with delicate fingers towards that CUTE PINK RAIN COAT AND THOSE BOOTIES. "T-They're very cute. I… D-did you make them?" CALM DOWN FIRE. BREATHE. YOU GOT THIS.

There's a host of thing that surprise Evangeline, the longer she is here, the more off-kilter the world seems. Watching Fire drip, she smiles at her, showing all her teeth but unable to maintain the smile. Concern creases her mouth, and her face moves between a smile and a partial grimace. EVI BE THE ADULT. "You could have sat down, ok." With a small, helpful tilt of her chin towards the wet woman. IN EVI'S DEFENSE, she only spares a single second of her time to look at her skirt being used as a bookshelf. "PINK is the best color! DO you know anything else about it? What brings you out in the rain?" OH GOD EVI TO MUCH SLOW DOWN. All the words tumble out of her mouth, and her characteristic spunk is back with bells on, she bounces in her spot with childlike happiness. A NEW FRIEND, EVI. YAY! "I did make it, yes, I making a lot of things. DO you want to see?" SHE is not waiting for an answer, her hand goes to her pocket, and she pulls out 7 pieces of folded up paper. Unfurling one, she holds it up like a proud preschooler. The sheet is covered in drawings, every inch of it has some outfit or another, a majority of them are TOTALLY for cats. In the center of the picture is a cat onesie, full pajamas with ears and tail. "SO, right here, you see if for like, rain." Pointing to a 3 by 3 drawing of the raincoat the cat has on. "AND, right here, is for summer." There's a little summer dress, obviously meant for a cat or a MUTANT child. ONE OF THOSE OK. In the upper right corner, she points to a dragon costume, but it also looks a bit like a onesie, "I am making this for Citayla, she's having a baby." Babbling on, she might be coming on a tad strong, but. All the time, she has spent avoiding EVERYONE has made her lonely. After her ramble, there's a pause; a blush comes to her cheeks, and then she says. "I am so sorry, I, why are you out in the rain? You don't even have a cat." Yes. ONLY PEOPLE WITH CATS COME OUT IN THE RAIN. KNOWN FACT.

YOU GOTTA SLOW YOUR ROLL IF YOU WANT FIRE TO ANSWER, EVANGELINE. The healer starts to say words several times, words interrupted by more questions until Fire is smiling awkwardly at the candidate beside her and just waiting for — THERE. THAT PAPER. Fire leans forward with genuine interest, her head tilting to one side as violet eyes take in those designs and — she looks excited. "F-For Citayla?" YES, THERE IS RECOGNITION FOR THAT NAME THERE, and Fire's smile maybe shifts again, a little unsure of herself, a little withdrawn even if she remains. "They all look perfect." BUT THAT IS HONEST. SO IS THAT BLUSH THAT COMES ACROSS HER CHEEKS WHEN SHE'S ASKED WHAT SHE'S DOING OUT IN THE RAIN. Fire blinks once, twice, thrice and then looks away from Evi, away from cats and cute clothing ideas to STARE STRAIGHT AHEAD. INTO THE VOID. "M-my h-hu-hus… my husband." Another twist of her hands, pressed against her stomach. "I was… he… d-did you know that the s-scent of rain has a n-name? Petrichor. It's… sometimes the rain will f-fall and e-evaporate before it reaches the ground, though. They call it…" A beat. "P-phantom rain." SHE'S GETTING QUIETER AND QUIETER AS SHE SPEAKS. AND TURNING MORE SHADES OF RED. QUICK, FIRE. FIX YOUR MISTAKE. "Do you always make clothes for your c-cats?" She asks it a little too eagerly, lunging her whole body into the question like this might somehow make her less awkward.

Evangeline can be overeager, downright rabid in her excitement to make friends, but she is not totally oblivious to Fioreyla's discomfort. The recognition that she might be too much for the tiny healer has her rocking back slightly, sitting up, squaring her shoulders and keeping her smile to a glimmer of it's potential, instead of looking like a cat that is ABOUT to eat a canary she looks like a cat that has the canary in its mouth. GOOD EVI, you GOT IT. "Yes, Citayla." Nodding her head slowly at Fire, she folds her paper back up, there's no rhyme to how she does it, and it seems to revert to its original form, NOT a square but not anything else. Uniquely her skirt has pockets, she shoves the paper in and nods with a bit too much enthusiasm at all of Fire's facts. "Petrichor is a neat word." She is 100 percent being honest, the act of interacting with another human being seems to be feeding her joy. Curtains is retrieved in ALL her pink GLORY and placed on her lap, slowly without explanation, her hands work on the zippers and buttons of the cat-fit. "WELLL, you /see/ Curtains is special, and she needs clothes." Pulling the coat off the POOR COLD feline mews pitifully, noooo my clothes HELP. Curtains is revealed in all her glory, the siamese points on her legs, face, and tail, and the fact that she is NAKED, her grey skin covered in fine hair impossible soft in appearance, it begs to be touched. "See, she needs clothes." Both hands sit beside the unfortunate feline, palms up like she is presenting her winning pie for a judge.

CURTAIN IS A NAKED CAT? Fire leans forward, as if she means to get a better look and is nothing short of fascinated by this hairless specimen of feline. "I h-have heard of hairless cats, but I've n-never seen one before." NOW FIRE IS BEING INTRUSIVE, abandoning her seat on the bench so that she can sink into a crouch and crabwalkshuffle her way closer to Evi for a GOOD GANDER at that there KITTY CAT. She touches the tips of her fingers gently to the bench, and there's a brightness to her own expression, a kind of awe, an excitement that translates into the smile she turns up and onto Evi. "S-she's very pretty." But Fire doesn't try to touch her. She rises to her WHOLLY UNIMPRESSIVE HEIGHT, gets EVEN MORE WET IN THE RAIN, and moves to sit back down again on that bench. "And y-you are…" a beat, as violet eyes scramble FRANTICALLY. "A c-candidate? Oh. I — that… that's w-wonderful. Are you enjoying it?"

Curtains is the most socially acceptable being in this SCENE MMK. As Fioreyla moves towards her, she reaches out a paw, making the motion of batting at the redhead, her claws are well sheathed, and the look on her pointy brown face is curious, blue eyes following with interest. "Nana gave me four as a gift, I gave one to.. Someone, it's complicated. Curtains is the only one who likes going out, though." Stroking the soft hide, she begins to reassemble the ensemble, hands deftly placing petite feline paws in rubbery pink armholes. With quick finesse, she zips the outfit on, lifting the feline up and contorting her around; the animal tolerates all of this like it happens every day. IT DOES. EVERYDAY. With the candidacy question, she sighs face shifting into half a frown. "Are you supposed to enjoy candidacy? I am learning, but everyone here is— different. I-" Struggling with words, her mouth glued shut, breathing deeply and humming a little tune, mm. mm.. mmmm. "Living here forever might take adjusting." Sadness creeps onto her face, the idea of never going home has her sinking. It's suddenly apparent that she is wet too, hair stuck to her face, a small shiver as the moisture gets to her. "I.. I should take her inside, it was a pleasure to meet you! Please get dry." Removing the books from her skirt, she will make to hand them to Fioreyla, before running back to the Weyr. Back to somewhere that still is not home.

"I have n-never stood," Fioreyla whispers. SO SHE WOULDN'T KNOW. But she does look her own levels of concerned for the struggle to get out words, for the evident discomfort in Evi, for the way in which she shivers and — "Y-You should go —" But Fioreyla is stumbling as her books are handed back to her, hugging them to her chest clumsily, nearly dropping them as she watches Evi go and her mouth works but it's too late. She's too far gone. It's why she's not paying any attention when that grit-gravel rasp issues, "Hello, Fioreyla," from behind her; it's why she does actually drop her books as she jumps, a soft squeak of a sound in her throat as she turns around to face — "Hi, Sohzen." It's a little breathless, but it would be ridiculous to say NEITHER OF THEM EXPECTED THE STATE OF FIRE'S TIMIDITY OR THE UNFORTUNATE UPHEAVAL OF HER BOOKS. She is leaning down to frantically put them beneath her jacket again, and Sohzen is moving to help her. But those violet eyes stray back, back the way Evi departed until she's rising with her books in her jacket again, hugging them to her chest, and Sohzen is draping something warm around her shoulders. "I think she was sad," she whispers to her husband, as she moves a little closer towards the shelter of his body. But the REST OF THEIR CONVERSATION IS FOR THEIR EARS ONLY, because they're moving through the gardens. Probably with every intention of getting Fire dry and forcing some soup into her before that wet turns into a cold.

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