A Gift in the Garden

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.

A picnic in the garden is not an unusual thing, though perhaps it is a little unusual for it to be Shiloh with the blanket and basket, rather than Avi. He's made himself a little nest in the glade, complete with a few pillows, and calmly sent Nope on his way to fetch his artist. Aside from the normal array of food and drink (sandwiches, fruits, veggies, cookies, water and Klah) there's also a brown-paper wrapped bundle carefully tied with string and a little bit of lace (proving once again that Shiloh probably got the help of *someone* with the wrapping.

Nope finds Averil in his studio off their room, the little artist immediately putting away the piece he had been working on and heading out to follow the firelizard to the gardens. He's quick, or as quick as he can be with running a bit, then walking a bit, then running a bit more. But, eventually, he appears, pausing at the entrance to smooth stray strands of golden hair back into an artfully disarrayed bun before heading toward Shiloh with a smile. It's the sight of the already prepared picnic that has his smile softening, pale grey eyes soft and misty as he heads directly toward the beastcrafter. "You did all this?" That there is a hint of wonder in the words as he does his level best to wrap his arms around Shiloh is something he just cannot help.

A moment of awkwardness comes as Shiloh eyes the picnic setup. "Yeah. It's not much," he points out. "Just a bit of food and some pillows." That were probably stolen off their couch. "C'mon," he urges, reaching for Avi's hand to tug him close. He claims a quick kiss before nodding toward the blanket. "Eat. And then open your present." Which, surely the artist didn't miss that gift-wrapped box, did he?

"It's perfect," Avi insists as he returns the kiss and moves to sink down to his knees on the edge of the blanket. It's the mention of the present that has him slanting a glance that way, his excitement clear in the twinkle of pale eyes. He noticed it, he absolutely noticed it, but he is not about to pounce on something without invitation. Instead, he fills them each a plate, his weight settling on his hip as he balances one atop his thigh and holds the other out to Shiloh. "I'm trying not to look at it," he admits with a hint of laughter. "It's hard to resist things like that." The moment that Shiloh takes his plate, Avi pops a piece of fruit into his mouth, chewing and swallowing as he pours them both cups of water.

"And why's that?" wonders Shiloh, accepting his plate. "You already know what it is. I told you I was getting it for you." A hint of a smile follows the words, almost apologetic for the admittance. That the gift is not a surprise so much, since Avi knows what is coming. "I just thought I would have it wrapped," he adds. "Cause I know you like gifts." A bite of fruit, a quick wipe of his fingers, and he reaches out to snatch up the present and hand it over. "Go ahead," he says once he's swallowed. "Just be careful not to get food on it." Inside is a thick, well-made leather journal with a simple suede-thong tie, a rich brown in color with cream-colored pages.

Averil blinks once, his eyes widening as he looks back at the present. "The journal!" That that hadn't occurred to him is clear from the excitement in his face, an expression that softens to one of adoration at the reason it is wrapped up. The moment that it is handed over, he sets his plate aside, carefully taking the parcel and unwrapping it. Brushing his fingers over the leather, he raises it to his face, inhaling the scent of warm leather before carefully fingering the suede. "It's beautiful," Drawing in a soft breath, his eyes are a little bit teary as he looks up at Shiloh and rolls on to his knees to hug the beastcrafter. "Thank you so much for this."

Shiloh eats slowly as Averil opens the gift, dark eyes watching intently. He wasn't really worried about how it would be received, given they had already discussed it, but there's always that moment of 'what if' that comes with the revealing of something. Particularly when it is a 'something' that Shiloh picked out for Avi alone. "Good," comes with a breath and a quirk of a smile, before he's popping another bite of fruit in his mouth. "I'm glad you like it." The thanks gets another little smile, and he's quick to wrap his arm around Avi and tug him into a tighter hug. A little nuzzle at his neck and he releases him back to his spot. "Open it," might be an odd thing to say since the present itself has been revealed, but there's a flick of his fingers toward the cover. "I wrote you something."

Averil tilts his head at the instruction to open it, his expression more then a little curious as he settles back down on the blanket and carefully opens the journal. "You wrote…" Pausing as his fingers brush over the page, pale eyes flick up to Shiloh's face, his expression softening. Rather then speak, though, he takes the time to read through the page, a relieved sigh spilling past his lips despite the fact that he is tearing up. (Avi crying? Pretty normal, all things being equal.) "This is perfect," he breaths as he brushes away moisture with the pads of his fingers. In the wake of the words, he carefully closes the journal, smoothing his hand over the leather before securing it and tucking it carefully in his satchel. Still, his hand remains on the satchel, letting surging emotion settle before he lightly clears his throat. "I.. I'm doing much better," he assures in quiet tones. "Taking time to do some personal art, having a routine has really helped. I know you were worried about me.. Are worried about me."

Scooting over, Shiloh winds an arm around Avi's shoulders, tugging him close so he can press a kiss to his temple. "Good," he agrees. "I am worried about you. Because I love you. But I hope this helps." The journal. Everything. He spends a moment holding him, free hand lifting to brush those tears from his cheeks. "You've seemed better after talking to Tej," he admits. "And I'm glad the routine is helping." The unknown can be a scary thing. A schedule definitely helps with structure. A half-second of hesitation comes before he swallows what else he might have said, nodding toward the food instead. "Eat," is encouraged gently.

Averil exhales a breath, settling in against Shiloh's side as he gathers up his plate and takes a few bites of the sandwich. It is in the wake of washing down the food with a swallow of water that he dips his chin in a nod. "I'm not good with change," he admits quietly. "But both you and Tejra have helped ease that. I am trying," he adds as he tilts his chin up to glance at Shiloh's face. "I realized that realistically, I am being impossibly silly. The chances of things really changing, like changing, changing, are not that high." And getting all worked up now about things that could happen, but statistically are unlikely to happen, just seems silly. "It's so much better having things in the immediate that I know I need to do every day. But either way," he adds in more serious tones. "I'd be alright. I.. I get it that we'll weather whatever might happen."

"We will," agrees Shiloh, injecting a sense of certainty into his voice that he might not necessarily feel. But whatever his own misgivings might be, they've nothing to do with his relationship. He tightens his arm once more before relaxing, letting it linger around the artist's waist as they set about eating the rest of their picnic. Later will come lounging on the pillows and possibly cloud-gazing if they're lucky enough to linger longer. But if not, they can always comeback another day.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License