2017-11-24: An Awakening

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  • Log: An Awakening
  • Cast: Avril Vent Fleur, Dean Stark
  • Where: Little Twister - Dusty Lane
  • Date: November 24th 2017
  • Summary: Avril awakens after the trio's encounter with Janus. She discusses her new predicament with Dean, now that she knows she has a hefty price on her head.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Even in Little Twister, there are many small chirping birds. A flock of them chatter in the brush just outside the windows, excitedly speaking their news to one another.

The sun scatters its beams lazily through the orphanage window, just above that little bit of frail greenery, to here lend a little bright light to the little sideroom the trio of Drifters are renting.

Wincing faintly, Avril stirs at last from where she's rested since they returned from the ill-fated exploration of the Den of Miasma...

...and sits bolt upright, a hand clasped at her throat. Someone has done her the favor of changing her clothes for her, and her silver hair spills unbound across her shoulders (and indeed, across much of the bed).

Her lips part as she stares at the far wall, only to slowly close.
Her lips press thin.

Then her hand falls away to land in her lap, where she stares down at both open palms for a moment, eyes slightly widened.

Then, clasping her hands, she lifts her head, her expression pensively resolute.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

After all, birds can go wherever their wings will take them. And if their wings take them someplace terrible, they can just take flight and leave again. There's a certain freedom in that... as long as you also accept the dangers and costs of something deciding you look delicious. But that's true of earthbound creatures as well, so really, who's worse off?

Dean's thoughts meander somewhere in this general direction as he stares out the window, lying on his bed as he waits with arms folded under his head. He also got badly injured during that fight, but he at least managed to stay conscious. Avril... She went through a lot that day. At least, that's what Dean has to assume is behind her sudden behavior change. Outwardly, he might be calm, but inwardly, he's pretty worried about her. At least Rebecca's taking care of the chores while the both of them recover... while making it absolutely clear that they both owe her big-time for it. (Though, let's be real, she'll only put the thumbscrews on Dean for this one.)

So when Dean hears someone stirring on the other side of the curtain, he too sits up, although slower and with a wince or three. "Avril?" he calls as he throws his legs off the side of the bed. "How're you feeling? Are you doing okay?" Without thinking, he gets up and reaches for the certain that separates their sides of the room.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

The both of them, really, owe a lot to Rebecca. She had managed to guess at the approximate shape of Janus' intentions, while the both of them had remained in the dark until the moment the axe had fallen, so to speak.
And while it's possible they might have escaped without her timely intervention...

But apologies and making amends will have to wait. Right now, there are more pressing matters to address.


There's a moment of pause or so until she speaks up. She lifts her hand a moment still later to reach for the curtain--

Dean beats her to it. Her hand falls away, withdraws back to her lap.

Rebecca might have shouted about here. But Rebecca isn't here.
Avril sits in the midst of her bedsheets, staring over at him in momentary silence.

"I... believe that I am well enough, under the circumstances," she hazards, as if assessing her own condition for the first time. "I feel as if I may have been asleep for some time." Her brow creases. "...Somehow, this feels familiar."

But she shakes her head. "...I feel exhausted despite my long rest and I have been injured. Nevertheless, I should recover fully. And you, yourself?" She looks him over, as if seeking any damage he may have received. "You were hurt terribly, were you not?"

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

It's possible they might've escaped... but, realistically speaking, it would either have been only halfway through the Den of Miasma before they succumbed to its poison, or straight-up as Janus's prisoners. It's not either of their faults that they didn't know Avril had a price on her head... except for the fact that Dean saw a poster and assumed it was about someone who just *looked* like Avril... okay, maybe it's a little their faults. But all's well that ends well, right?!

Dean pulls back the curtain. Avril withdraws her hand. "What feels familiar?" he asks, moving to sit next to Avril on her bed. "What just happened to us? Or being asleep for a long time?" Still, it sounds like she'll be okay... more or less. It's not great that she's still exhausted even after resting for so long, but as long as she'll be okay in the end, that's good enough. He makes a face at her question, though--not because Avril's asking it, but because it's true. "Yeah," he admits. "But I wasn't as bad off as you were! Janus was *really* going after you. I was just kinda... there. Besides, I'm tough! I'll get better soon enough, don't you worry." His eyebrows furrow in concern. "What I *am* worried about... is that wanted poster. Who would put a bounty on *you*?"

'What did you ever do to anyone?' is on his lips, but he bites it back just in time. After all, neither of them knows the answer to that question.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

She may look a little different with her hair down. It's certainly a bit of a change from the usual restrained, regal figure Avril typically presents.
Just visible at the neckline are a series of bandages, likely covering the wound that Janus dealt to her sword arm's shoulder.

She nods when Dean wonders at what was familiar about it. "Being asleep for a long time, yes..."

But in truth, there's something oddly familiar about that situation when she dwells on it... and the one they're in right now.

Her gaze tilts off sidelong, and somewhere beneath the sheets, she shifts her legs. "...It appears that I am also a 'wanted' person," she comments at last, glancing down at her hands in her lap, still clasped. Her gaze lifts, to rest on Dean for a moment.

Though it's hardly the most cheerful of smiles, she still smiles at him. "...I'm glad. Rebecca, too... I'm not certain how it would have went, were I on my own."

But neither does the smile last.

"...Yes. Someone is searching for me."

Her attention has returned to her hands.

"I had thought, for a moment, that I should relinquish myself to him. Should I do so, there is no question that the person who is searching for me would know who I am." She shakes her head. "...However, my reason remains as I said to Janus. There is something I must do. I feel... it would become impossible should I surrender my freedom to another."

There is a lengthy pause.

"But he will give up. Nor will he be the last to come in search of me."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Avril *does* look different with her hair down. It's a very free look for her, unlike her usual restrained, dignified appearance. It's also very pretty, even compared to how she usually looks, which is also very pretty--but Dean straight-up doesn't notice things like that. He's more concerned with the bandages at her neckline and what's underneath them. ...that is to say, her healing injuries.

"Huh," he says, scratching his head. "Being asleep a long time... I wonder why that'd be familiar?" He thinks about it for a moment, then suggests, "Maybe you used to sleep in a lot every morning?"

He tries his best.

He sobers. A 'wanted' person. "Yeah," he says. "I want to take another look at that wanted poster, myself. I wanna know what whoever the jerk who put that up is is trying to say what you did." What? ...Well, his general message probably gets through. He does manage to smile back, though. "Yeah. We really do owe Rebecca a big one. She might get mad at me a lot and be kind of a negative naysayer, but she's always looking out for me. Heheh, if it weren't for her, I probably would've been eaten by monsters years ago!" That's a joke. You can tell by how he grins and rubs a finger under his nose. It might not sound very joke-y to Avril.

But... Avril lays out her logic. Dean frowns but falls silent, listening. It's... true. There'd be no reason to put a bounty on someone you don't even know, especially since he knows for a fact that she hasn't done anything bad since she fell out of the sky, memories lost. When Avril says she can't give up yet, though, his smile returns.

"That's right," he encourages her. "If this person who's looking for you wants to find you so bad, they can come looking for you themself! They don't have to get violent guys like Janus to come chasing after you! Who knows if you'd even be safe if you gave yourself up to them? Besides, you've still gotta find Johnny Appleseed!" He nods firmly. "So what if he doesn't give up? Neither will we! And me and Rebecca, we'll never stop looking out for you!" Dean rests a hand on Avril's shoulder with a fierce smile. "That's what friends are for!"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

And that's a question that Avril can only shake her head at bemusedly. "I'm... not sure," she admits, at a little bit of a loss.
Still, to her credit, she tilts her head to one side. "...Though, I'm not certain that is quite right..."

It feels like it was a little longer than a morning.

He says he wants to inspect the poster again. Avril nods, finally untangling her hands from one another. "I also wonder what they say, and what crime they claim I've committed. Perhaps there might be further information there. I... would also like to know. There may be a clue." To her identity, or perhaps, whoever it is that is hunting her dearly enough to set bounty hunters after her.
His message, it seems, gets across just fine.

"Perhaps we should get her a gift. ...One of the little girls, Alice, was telling me about how the matron gives them oranges as a gift on Glove Day. It appears it's traditional to make presents to people important to you on that day..."
She frowns faintly, as if in thought.
"It is coming soon, is it not..."
Though that little sidetrack Avril wanders down veers back to business as Dean comments that Rebecca has 'saved him from being eaten by monsters'.

She's taking this seriously.

Which is why she sits up straight, a muted look of alarm crossing her features. "...She's done all of that as well..." she murmurs, decidedly nonplussed. "Then, we must get her a gift!"

Not very joke-y to Avril at all.

But she explains what she thinks they can determine from the situation at hand. Clearly, it must -- as she commented before -- be a setup of some ilk. She hasn't done anything that would call for a bounty.
Or, at least, nothing that's measurably worse than any of the business Drifters typically get caught up in.
...To be honest, compared to some drifters, she's practically a saint in terms of her activities.
...A somewhat pragmatic saint, that is.

"Yes," she says, with finality. "I can't simply give myself up." Not without a better reason than this.
Not when she knows nothing of what she's wanted for, or why.
Perhaps if she had been on her own, it would have been more tempting.
"I cannot accept the terms as they are given." It's the final word she has on the subject.

Only for her statement -- and all the unease it brought with it -- that she and they would be followed and hunted further in the time to come to earn her Dean's unrelenting pledge of support.


Followed by a shake of her head. "...No, you are right. We cannot give up, either." Still, she pauses. "We may... wish to reconsider where we're staying with that in mind. I do not wish to bring their attention to this place."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

"Oh. No?" Dean asks. He thinks about it some more; then he shrugs. "Well, I'm all out of ideas, then!" After all, Dean is such an active person, he can't imagine someone with narcolepsy... or someone who's, say, been asleep for thousands of years. He doesn't even know cold sleep is a thing.

Avril also wants to know what her poster says. "Yeah," he says, nodding. "I'll let you know as soon as I find out. I can just pretend like I want to go after the bounty myself, so it's no big deal!" Avril's not exactly in a position where she can look into it herself, after all.

Not very joke-y. Well, it *is* true that Rebecca's dragged him out of more than a few sticky situations, and it's also true that Glove Day is coming up. Dean looks thoughtful, then grins and nods. "Yeah, that's a good idea! I don't want her feeling like we don't appreciate her or anything. She can be a pain sometimes, but I know it's because she cares about us! Maybe we could get her... a bunch of oranges?"

He tries. Oh my god, does he try.

Cannot accept the terms as they're given...? Dean doesn't *quite* understand that, but he understands at least that Avril's not giving up or giving in, so he nods firmly. "Right!" But then she points out that staying here at the orphanage might bring trouble to the place. Dean opens his mouth, shuts it; then he deflates. "Y-you're right... I never even thought about that. I'd feel terrible if Janus or someone like him attacked this place to get to us..." To Avril, technically. It's not like he or Rebecca have prices on their heads. But, well, where Avril goes, they go. They're all in this together, after all, even if they may occasionally work apart. At the end of the day, they still come home to the same tiny room.

"Where else could we go, though?" he adds. "D'you think Gwen might have some good ideas? She's the one who pointed us here in the first place." If only he were a Golem Hunter already! It'd be easy for sure to find lodgings if he were. But he can't focus on that right now when his friend is in danger.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Her injuries aside, there's a large problem with her checking -- especially in a town like Little Twister -- and that's the not insignificant risk that someone will glance at her, glance at the poster, and put two and two together.

Besides, she has some recovery to make good with before she's wandering around anywhere on her own. Even the power of the Guardians in her Medium can only go so far to put her back on her feet again.

But at least there are other things to consider beyond the rather immediate problem they have. Such as: what they should get for Rebecca by way of thanks.
"Hmmm." Avril gives this one serious thought. "Oranges are delicious... but I feel as if we should perhaps gift her something more lasting."
But what could that be?

Though even that sidetrip, as it were, doesn't last long. Not when there's a problem her wanted status creates for the place they've made their home away from home. Avril's gaze skims away from Dean, a little guilt blossoming at the sight of him so glum. "..."

She, herself, has only realized it approximately now. They can't risk staying here any longer than they need to.
They're in fact fortunate that no one has attempted something terrible sooner. "...Yes," she murmurs at length, criss-crossing her fingers with one another again.

"That, I am not certain. Perhaps the Caravan Kinship, or Wayside... but I would not want to bring more danger upon their heads." It's also likely that, given their separate aims, she may end up having to fight Riesenlied at some point in the near future, which would make things difficult. "...Hmm." She's perhaps making a similar expression to Dean as she mulls over several options and comes up empty-handed.

"Perhaps Gwen may. She did indicate this place to us, and she is in a somewhat similar situation." Avril pauses for a moment. "It may also be wise if I considered my appearance and whether I should alter it. Dressed as I was, I may be too easily recognized, should the same image be on the poster."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

"Something more lasting? Hmm... Hmmmm.... That'll be kinda tough," Dean admits, rubbing a finger under his nose. "I'm sure we can come up with something! Like a book of poetr--no, no, she'll kill me," he mutters. "Uhhh... Maybe an ARM-cleaning kit, or a book about the circus? Or maybe a new neck bandanna! Or a romance book? She was really into the romance section when we were in the library," he suggests. "I didn't know she was so into that stuff, though. Personally, I don't see the appeal. But I guess I don't have to, since it's a gift we're getting for her, not me!"

Poor Rebecca.

But it's true: they can't stay here much longer. And while the CaraKin and Wayside aren't bad ideas, Dean wouldn't want to put them in harm's way any more than he would the orphanage. "Mmmm," he murmurs in vague agreement. The idea of a disguise, though, makes him brighten. "Hey, yeah! We could do that! We've been staying here a while and we only *just* learned you have a bounty on your head. If you change your look, I'm sure we could stay a little longer! Then we don't have to panic about where we're going or who we're putting out! We can take our time and decide what the best thing to do next would be!"

He brightens further. "Hey, maybe I could even sign up with the Golem Hunter's Guild finally! We could just keep traveling *ahead* of bounty hunters if we could use the train whenever we want!" Probably won't be that simple, but hey, it's a thought. "Not to mention, it'd be way easier to get a place to stay just about anywhere!" It's not why he wants to be a Golem Hunter, but it's a *great* reason to put a priority on becoming one. What better reason than to protect his friends, after all?