Arranging an Apology

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!"

Just after midday, there's at least one customer lurking in the Garden shop, though from the lack of muddy hem or dirty fingernails, it might be possible to deduce that the young woman perusing the flowers isn't in the market for more of the hardcore gardening gear. Marel reaches out a hand to tuck a stray strand of long hair back behind her ear in the moment before she drifts that same hand out towards the petals of a daisy-like flower with a vivid blue hue, grazing it gently with the tip of one finger. Being as careful as she can, she gently bends one stem so that the flower lies alongside the pale pink of the next type along, head tilting as she considers how the colours are together.

The garden shop. If there ever was anything that is ka-el's kryptonite, it is all things delicate, flowery, and otherwise girlish. Like a bull in a chinashop, the young smith enters, the opening door chiming a jolly sounding bell overhead to mark his arrival. He pauses in the doorway, a heavy, soot ridden apron hung over his chest which he pulls off and leaves resting against the building outside before fully stepping in. Flower. Flowers everywhere! He drags the side of his hand over his cheek, leaving behind an ashen smear as he bypasses pots and gardening tools and approaches the floral area where he's immediately bombarded by colors and shapes of petals and blooms. "..Right…" he murmurs to himself, rubbing the back of his neck. Oh look. A girl! She must work here. "S'cuse me, can you help me?" said to the back of her head.

Drawn from her contemplation by that voice, Marel looks back over her shoulder, starting to say, "Sorry, I'm not—" only to be distracted by the smear across Kale's cheek. She pivots on one heel, keeping hold of the two stems between thumb and forefinger, and gestures vaguely in the direction of the smear with her free hand. "You've got something…" she points out, possibly trying to be helpful. "But no, I'm just here to buy some flowers for my mother. I guess I /could/ help you, but I don't know what you're wanting help with." Shrugging a little helplessly, she adds, "I don't know a lot about anything here or flowers, other than what looks nice."

Oh…hey wait. Kale's brows raise a little once Marel turns, a flicker of recognition flaring in his eyes. He knows this girl. Sort of. Not personally, but … yes, she's definitely someone that he knows! Now the question is, how does he know her? Her words distract him from his thoughts, and a blink brings him back to the present at her gesture. "Huh? Oh.. Eh, I always have somethin'," he says, lifting his arm to rub his cheek against the side of his sleeve, eyes squinting a bit. By the end of it, he's looking slightly less gray, and his arm drops back down to his side. "No, you don't work here, do you. I know you from somewhere, don't I?" he wonders aloud before his eyes flit to the flowers she has in her hand. "Heh. See, that is something I could never do," he says, gesturing to the color combination she holds. "Putting colors and types together. That's what I'd need help with."

Body half-angled towards Kale, still linked to the flowers by the stems that she refuses to relinquish, Marel's posture permits her to sneak another look or two up at him without seeming to stare in an off-putting manner. "I was about to admit the same," she confesses with a wry, not rueful, half-smile. "Admit that I don't remember your name, but I know you from somewhere," she elaborates. Free hand proffered, she tells him, "I'm Marel," without all the explanations or name-dropping that could follow. "And I could help you choose what you'd like put together? Better tell me if there's a price limit, or I might put together the most expensive bunch of flowers the world has ever seen!" As for her own choice, the pale pink is disregarded, though she gives the blue another appraising look.

Fingers snap at the given name, seemingly all that's needed to connect the broken links in his memory. "Twin, right? You're Weyrwoman Thea's daughter!" said with a grin of triumph. Then, dawning. The grin begins to slip, leaving room for something closer to awe. "You're … Thea's daughter?" Blue eyes flit up and down, and Kale shakes his head in disbelief, a matching grin emerging. "Wow, you're big." How flattering this smith is! "Ah. That is.. bigger than I remember, which was somethin' closer to.." he lowers his hand to about waist high. "But that was turns ago. On a playground. .. Heh, wow." How time flies and people change! Especially when social circles and work and age don’t really merit reason for frequent run-ins. "Anyhow. I'm Kale. Smithcraft apprentice and near broke." A hand is bought to the back of his neck to rub while he eyes the flowers. The not so free flowers. "But I've an idea. Forget about the money. Can you still help me to put together something that looks nice? Like, very nice?" He glances at her flowers now, eyes lingering on the pink. "For your mom? Is she well?"

Is that a flash of dismay at the first word associated with her? It's there and gone, whatever it is, and there's nothing but a subtle pride to go along with, "Muir's sister, yes. And Thea's daughter." Kale's reaction has Marel peering up at him with a distinctly less casual and friendly expression, highlighted only by a tightening around her eyes. "I'm about average height, I'm told," she answers dryly, being one of the least offensive things she could utter in response to any perceived insult. Warily: "Well met." Looking back to the flowers, she spends long enough studying them that it might seem that she'll refuse, only then she decides, "I'll help you. But who are they for? I think there must be a difference between, say, flowers for a mother and for a wife." It takes her another few moments of contemplation to speak of Thea. "She's well," she confirms. "I just want to get her something pretty. She's done a lot for me recently."

"I'd hope so. She's your mother, besides," replies Kale who seems blissfully unaware of any misspoken words he may have uttered that almost cost him the help he so dearly needs. It is the joy of boys. They are usually, always, oblivious, no matter what age they may be. "It's what mothers tend to do for their children." A crooked grin follows his words, though it falters somewhat now on the topic of flowers and their intended. He moves now, pondering the petals and hues that are found within them. A notebook is retrieved from a pocket, rolled and worn. The pages are unfurled as he wanders, and from within the binding, a pen is retrieved. "They're for a friend," he answers, a bit belatedly. "Well, more than a friend. At least, she used to be." A brow quirks as he pauses, poking the end of his pen lightly against the petal of a dark bloom. "What says, 'I'm sorry that you took things the wrong way and your feelings were hurt and though it's not my fault at all that they were, here's an offering of peace'?" His nose wrinkles at that, and a breath is exhaled. "Or rather, what combination would best simply say, 'I'm sorry'?"

Marel's eyebrows hike higher as she processes what the flowers are initially meant to say, a shake of her head following that part of Kale's explanation. "Well, if you actually ever want to speak to this more-than-a-friend ever again, I wouldn't start with /that/. Or really bother with it at all." So there. "/Are/ you sorry? You don't sound very sorry." Sighing, she strides away from him and down the short row of available flowers, pausing at a white tuft of a stem made up of lots of little flowers, creating a cloud-like effect. "What colours does she like? You must know that. Does she like more flashy or pretty? There's a difference, you know."

"Yes, I know, I know. Those are the wrong words," Kale acknowledges with a single nod. "But the right words are not so easy to come by. Everything that leaves my mouth tends to have the opposite effect of what I mean for them to have." He peers over his shoulder after her as she moves off, and after a beat he follows, bumping into a display of clay pots in the process. "Oh, shards…!" he stoops quickly, stilling the teetering stack with his hands, sending a wide eyed 'so not guilty of this!' look to the glowering shopkeep. "Heh…crisis averted…" He hurries along, one hand clutching his notebook, the other stuffed in his pocket for safekeeping. "I am sorry, yes. You don't believe it. Neither does she, probably, so I'm hoping to show her. I need flowers that'll speak in volumes that I can't. She likes… gold," said with a faint, yet soft smirk. "She doesn't really do 'pretty'. She isn't one've those types of girls that's overly feminine and girlish. She's bold. Outspoken."

"Then maybe it's best that you don't say anything at all…" Marel suggests, voice lilting with the sway of her distraction, drawn to a simple, bright yellow blossom with large, sharp-edged petals. Before she reaches for them, she glances over at the shopkeep, who invites her select whatever she pleases with a wave of their hands, and so leads to her choosing four of them, then moving on towards a smaller flower, rose-like in its appearance, in a vivid pink. She shoots a warning look over at Kale, as if to say that she's aware that they clash, thank you very much, and her next stop is beside a more complex affair in rich orange. Slotting them in with the rest, she holds the bunch at arm's length, then angles them towards the apprentice. "You said bold, so the colours are the same - nothing pastel and too girly. They go together /because/ they clash." she explains. "Large petals, so there's nothing fiddly or frilly, but she's still a girl, and you're supposed to be /sorry/, so… pink. Softer. For love." Cue blushing.

Huh. Say nothing? What a concept! Kale will have to remember that, especially since the worst seems to come after he opens his big mouth. Much like a student on a field trip, he trails Marel, retrieving that pen again and flipping through his notebook, passing pages of notes and etching and diagrams before coming to a clean sheet. He writes nothing though, content to shadow her and eye her flower choices with a critical gaze. He says nothing of clashing colors, perhaps wise to that warning look of hers, or … not aware that colors can clash. And when the array is complete and offered, he takes it with one hand, contemplating the color choices and range of flowers. Eyes linger on the rose-esque pink bloom for a while, lettering her last spoken phase hang for a moment. "The guy that used to own this shop, Tsenik… He was good at this sort of thing. He knew exactly what type've flower meant what, and what said too much, or not enough." Blue eyes flit from flower to girl. "You're good at this," he comments genuinely. "If you got this from someone, what would it say to you?"

"It's almost like designing a dress," Marel says absently, in answer to her being good at it, startled from her daydream and distant study of the flowers by that very thought: /is/ she good at it? She blinks her green eyes wide and abruptly starts off again, this time to add a number of wide green leaves around the bunch to frame it, the effect considered by another sidelong glance at arm's length. "I've never really tried before," she confesses. "It's sort of fun." But before she can get carried away, she makes to hand the flowers over to Kale, not content to relinquish them until she's sure the bunch will stay together until they're tied up. "I'd hope that it'd say that someone took the time to choose them and didn't just grab a bunch of anything. And if they really do mirror her, then that you know her. Isn't that the important bit?"

"Another task I don't think I'd have much skill in, to be honest," remarks Kale on dress designing. She, on the other hand, may have some luck in textiles! Or bouquet designing. Whichever is her fancy. And she's off again! Flitting to add more to the growing bouquet, which causes Kale the chuckle, as with each item she adds, he can all but hear the Marks beginning to pile and pile. "I know someone you can talk to, if you are interested in this or fabric design," he remarks as he takes the collection of flowers again. "Oh, hey don't get too comfortable with it all," he says, waving a hand at the tying. "There's no way I can afford this. I just need to see it." He gestures to his notebook, "Take some notes. I'll put it all back myself. You did the brunt work. I can at least clean up."

"But—" But it's so pretty! Marel takes a deep breath and just keeps her mouth shut on that score, with great effort. Drawing herself up, she does indeed leave the flowers with him, taking him at his word, and begins to pick out paler, more ornate blooms for her own purchase (or the /only/ purchase). "I might… like to do this," she confirms, selecting a spray of tiny purple blossoms. "I've never had a real job before." And, from her attire, and given her parentage, she's never had need of one to get many material goods that she wants. "What're you going to do? Find them wild?" Her gaze slowly swings back to him, suddenly disapproving. "I /really/ hope you're not going to just give her a picture."

"You'd be good at it," remarks Kale who turns the arrangement around and around in his hands, looking at it from all possible angles. "Tsenik. That's the man you need to keep an eye out for. He doesn't live here anymore, but he still owns this shop and comes to Xanadu from time to time. With Briana's gold caught, the trader's caravan is here in hopes of a search and hatching to sell their wares. He may do the same." With bouquet in hand, he moves to take a seat, right on the floor, and presses his back against the wall. Her disapproving tone earns a smirk from him, and he situates the flowers against one thigh while his notebook is pressed to the other. "If it was a picture, wouldn't it be the thought that counts?" he asks with a vaguely arched brow and phantom grin before his pen begins to scritch against the paper's surface. Eyes glimpse from flower to paper quickly as sketches a replica of the arrangement. "No. Even I know better than that. See, I can't buy this, but I'm thinking…I can make it. Brass here.." he labels a the yellow flowers with a symbol. "A copper nickel alloy for these… The pink will be more difficult, but I'll figure it out. Luckily, I'm with the jewelers this week. They may be able to help me find somethin'..close."

"I never said /that/," Marel insists, reaching to select what looks like a larger version of a pure white daisy. "The thought that a picture is a stupid thought counts. And would save your hide." She keeps wandering along the row, returning to the darker blue to pluck only three stems from their holder. "Tsenik. I'll remember. Thank you." With her own arrangement nearly finished, she pauses to study it, yet her thoughts are elsewhere, prompting her to say, "Isn't there some way of printing colours and designs onto metal? Or is layering it /over/ the metal? I'm sure I've seen stuff like that." That's all she has, not knowing the ins and outs of it, and so she approaches the main counter to set her flowers down and have the total added up. "Oh, and tied with a ribbon, please," she requests of the shopkeep, turning back to face Kale in the meantime.

Kale faintly grins to himself as he listens, continuing with his penned sketch and labeling. He turns the arrangement over, making a second drawing from a new angle, apparently not cutting any corners with this project. "Likely," he says in answer to her color wonderings. "I've never had to do such with what I've been workin' with now. But, in jewelry, that'll likely change. They're the smiths that manipulate metals for aesthetic purposes moreso than what I've learned so far. Gems and coloring." He pauses, eyes lingering on his drawing with a look of determination etching across his face. "Yes. This'll do." A few more labels are added the replica before the book is snapped shut and the pen slid away. Now, upon standing, he begins to deconstruct the fabulous display, carefully placing things back in their rightful place. "Your mother is truly ok? I haven't seen much of her, though I know she's busier than most anyone else on Xanadu, and after Seryth's flight, things were so .. upside down for a while. Will you tell her I said hello?"

Not so impolite as to flash marks about when present company has made it clear that they're lacking in that area, Marel hands payment for her flowers over as quickly as she can, carefully lifting her ribbon-tied affair into the crook of one arm. "I promise," she answers of Thea, trying a bright smile that might well be convincing enough to suggest all is well, but it doesn't quite make her eyes light up. "I know things have been… difficult, but… they're going to be okay now." If she has anything to do with it. Striding back across the shop, she pauses beside the apprentice for long enough to make another promise: "I will." Anything else, any more words, might give her away, and so she slips back outside to pick up the path and head home before her gift can start to wilt.

Ah, it is the story of an apprentice's life to be markless! Not that Kale would expect Marel to know what that's like, but it isn't so bad when things like room and board and food are given to you. And, other than those three things, anything else would be considered frivolous. Flowers to an ex-girlfriend? Not exactly part of his covered curriculum. As Kale circulates the room, sliding flowers back in their correct places, his eyes linger on her, and he pauses his walking when she is near. He has no reason to question the truth of her words, and thus, he smiles at her, gently, while nodding in answer. "Thank you. And thank you for helping me. I'll return the favor someday. Take care," he says in her wake, watching her go until she is gone.

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