2019-05-09: Kinship of a Kind

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  • Log: Kinship of a Kind
  • Cast: Jacqueline Barber, Catenna
  • Where: The CaraKin
  • Date: May 09, 2019
  • Summary: Overcome with emotion after the encounter with Sin, Catenna lets Jacqueline into her family.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline had been fretting. It was something she found herself doing a lot lately, but of late the subject of her worry was Catenna. Recent events had hit her pretty hard...and Jacqueline could understand why.

Jacqueline was worried. She wanted to try and reassure her. Catenna had supported her when she needed it most, many times before, after all. But lately, Jacqueline had lost a little confidence in her ability to help people.

And so, she decided to enlist the aid of a feathery yellow friend. She has an idea where she may be able to find her.

And so, she rides down the path at a comfortable pace and astride a new friend - a chocobo, to be specific. She's a friendly, fluffy bird who, in Jacqueline's opinion, may be just a tad bit too protective...but she meant well.

She scans the surroundings, keeping an eye out for the shaman of Celesdue.

"Catenna...?" Jacqueline calls out, making herself known.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna had left the Caravan Kinship for a time. She hadn't returned by nightfall.

<Here, Jacqueline,> comes a low feminine voice from a spot near the side of the path. Saarda-Shanta is perched on a branch, tilting her head to one side. <Come along now.>

The soft white bird takes to the air, ghosting past a couple trees and towards a sheltered spot by the water. A small tent has been set up there. It's not Catenna's full nomad tent - just a simple travel one.

Catenna herself is in the process of wincing as she applies a bandage to an ugly but mostly-dry cut mark over her hip - one that's started to heal but not fully. There's an older, bloodier bandage on a rock beside her, as if she's been caught in the process of changing it. Another bandage winds around her right shoulder, slightly stained. A bruise is visible just above her opposite hip.

The sound of movement sees her look up, blinking once, then pressing her lips together and looking back out towards the water.

"Hello, Jacqueline." Her tone is subdued - still.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline looks up at the sound of a familiar voice - Saarda-Shanta. She offers her a polite nod of thanks then steers her chocobo in her direction, following as she leads her to Catenna's camp.

She arrives, apparently, just as Catenna is tending to her wounds. Concern immediately crosses Jacqueline's face and she dismounts, giving the chocobo a friendly pat. The bird peers on with big eyes as Jacqueline approaches Catenna, rummaging through her bags.

"You didn't come back...I was worried." Jacqueline says. "You're hurt...did something happen?"

As she asks this she draws out a potion and offers it to her.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

The Owlet seems content to leave this to Jay, perching on a tree branch and watching the woman and her Chocobo approach.

Catenna glances at the huge terrorbird with a blink, then looks back out over the water. At first she doesn't accept the potion or even say anything. She draws silence around her like a cloak and lets it hang there.

Then, closing her eyes, she lets her head hang. She turns to take the potion. "Thank you," she murmurs as she untops it and takes a slow sip.

It helps. A little.

Shaking her head, the Moon Shaman draws her arms loosely around her midsection, almost as if hugging herself. "I had a run-in with Ivan. Apparently his employer considers me a target. I talked to him before I had to... send him to take a little swim. But I suspect he'll be back."

She takes another draught from the potion before sighing. "...I am sorry if I worried you."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna doesn't say anything right way, nor does she take the potion. That's fine, though - Jacqueline doesn't press her on it, instead waiting quietly and letting her do things at her own pace.

"He is a rather persistent one..." Jacqueline agrees with a sigh of her own. "I'm sorry that happened... it never occurred to me that anyone else might be targeted, as well..."

Jacqueline is quiet for a moment as Catenna apologizes, and shakes her head.

"No, it's alright..." She says, then hesitates for a moment. Then, she gestures to the ground next to Catenna. "Um...may I join you?" She asks.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"It isn't your fault," Catenna says with a shake of her head. "Ivan is in the place many of my siblings are. He may escape it, in time...."

She trails off. The potion, mostly empty, dangles from one hand.

When Jay asks that question, Catenna nods towards one of the rocks. She, too, moves to seat herself, moving with a slight wince as the bandage and the injury beneath it interact. But her subdued reserve returns soon enough, and she curls her hands around the potion bottle, cradling it in her lap. For a moment she doesn't say anything, her eyes on the potion.

"I'm sorry," she says then.

She looks up; the weight of sadness hangs in her eyes. "I tried to warn Kaguya to call off the Guard, but I doubt that any of them would have listened. Yet I cannot stop feeling responsible. Sin is... tied into the Guardians in a way we are only beginning to comprehend, and yet it is here, terrorizing this world. Perhaps I have become so intent on stopping it that I myself have fallen victim to obsession...."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"...I certainly hope so." Jacqueline agrees with a sigh. Things were hard enough without an assassin after them...and Lydia and Talia were both concern about him.

Catenna nods toward one of the rocks and Jacqueline takes a seat without a word. Her chocobo follows suit, lowering herself down into a seated position.

Jacqueline listens quietly as Catenna apologizes - as she explains how she feels. Jacqueline doesn't answer for some time. Instead, she thinks it over. Until, eventually...

"...It isn't your fault." Jacqueline says quietly. "...But, I know how you must feel. It isn't easy, to let go of the feeling that you must've been able to do something, to avert the tragedy...I ...I felt that too. With Adlehyde."

She shakes her head. There were things she felt responsible for of late, as well, but she pushes those inside. Catenna was who was important right now.

"...You did everything you could have. And you're still alive." She says.

Falling victim to obsession...

"There are...worse things, than to try and stop something that had caused so much death and devastation. ...But you have to take care of yourself, too." Jacqueline says. She's one to talk, though, considering her tendency to push herself.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"I feel like we have been here before."

Catenna's smile is small and self-reproving. She shakes her head - but the chiding note begins to fade. "It was a couple of years ago now, and someone else was very devastated by something she felt she could not stop. I feel like I remember being part of trying to support her after that. What happened in Adlehyde, I mean."

When she looks up at Jay, Catenna brushes a few locks of hair back from her cheek. Her shoulders come up a little, then sag as she breathes a sigh. Her long fingers brush over the fluted shape of the potion bottle. "...Perhaps I had too much hope. I thought that reason is all it would take to get the Guard to forestall. But... ultimately, they will do what they choose, I suppose. And that is up to them, isn't it?"

Colour glows at Catenna's cheeks - a little blush. "...We have been through a lot of sadness lately, I think. Perhaps it has affected me as much as anyone."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline chuckles wryly, at that. Catenna wasn't wrong.

"Yes...and you were there for her when she needed it most. She's never forgotten that." Jacqueline replies with a slight smile.

She listens quietly as Catenna speaks and nods, sadly.

"...I think, ultimately, they...must've known how it was likely to end. Not just them, but...the Crusaders, and the Al Bhed, too. Everyone came together to try and stop Sin, despite the odds being against them...it's just a shame it didn't work." She replies with a sigh. Indeed, ultimately, it was up to them...they had a choice.

She nods quietly, though, as Catenna continues.

"...We have. There's been...so much. I keep worrying that things will only get worse and worse..." Jacqueline murmurs. "...But that's why we band together. There's so much...no one could bear it all alone."

She shakes her head, then looks up at Catenna.

"So...if there's anything I can do for you...let me know, okay? I don't think I would've made it through...well, everything, of late, without your support...I'd like to return the favor, if possible." She says.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

A small, sad smile tugs at Catenna's lips. "I suppose I cannot fault them for hoping... or for going, even without Yuna. Perhaps I may have done so as well, had Lulu not convinced me of how foolish it would be. I wish I had been wrong about it."

But she wasn't. And Kaguya didn't warn the Guard. And people died.

But there's only so much I can do. Catenna drains the last of the potion before turning a little to better face Jacqueline. For a moment she doesn't say anything, simply sinking into thought.

The blush at her cheeks only grows before she scoots forward slightly. She holds her hands out, palms-up, as if inviting Jacqueline to lay her hands in them. "I do not think I would have made it very far these past few years without you, either. When I first came to Ignas, I was alone and without hope. Meeting you made me believe that there was life beyond the one I left behind. That kept me going, in a very real way."

There's a quiet light behind Catenna's eyes as she finds Jacqueline's, swallowing a little lump in her throat. "...If I may say so," she admits in a more shy tone, "you are more of a sister to me than any of the six siblings who share my blood."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline nods quietly. She, too, wishes things had gone differently. What sort of world would she be looking upon now if it had...?

That answer was, unfortunately, lost to time.

Catenna scoots forward and holds her hands out palms-up and Jacquline follows her lead, resting her hands in Catenna's own.

She stays quiet, letting Catenna say everything that she wishes to. That Catenna would do this...Jacqueline knew there was great meaning to it.

Catenna's words hit her hard...for a moment, she can't really think of what to say. But, for the first time in a while, it's due to a good feeling.

"I'm...I'm honored." She says, a smile crossing her face. "It means a lot to me, that you feel that way... You've felt much like a sister to me, too..."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

The earlier sadness in Catenna's expression is giving way to something else. A little spark of hope has begun to shine behind those clear grey eyes.

Her hands are soft and smooth in the other woman's. Her fingers tighten, giving Jay's hands a lingering squeeze. "When I came to Ignas, I had no family I would care to return to, and I don't think I would be allowed to anyway. Since I have begun to travel with you, I have felt like I found a place where I belonged. I would continue to do so."

She bows her head for a moment, then lifts it again. Her guard has come down, and the smile that's left is pure and genuine. "...I know that you have a family that you love. But if you will, please accept that I consider you part of mine now. Whatever travails you face, I will do what I can to support you."

Catenna clears her throat, then, before her eyes dart over Jacqueline's shoulder. "...Even if it entails a Chocobo rooting through my bags. Where did you find one?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline returns the gesture fondly, her smile brightening.

"...Of course I will. I'd be glad to be a part of your family." She says. "And, I'll always support you, too...that's what family does, after all...sister!"

Jacqueline beams, looking happier than she had in quite some time. At least for a moment, things felt right again. Certainly, there was much still weighing on her, but she was glad for this happiness, at least.

It is at this point that Catenna clears her throat, and looks directly toward Jacqueline's fluffy yellow friend - who, indeed, may have been eying Catenna's bags.

The bird lets out a guilty, apologetic 'kweh', and looks away. Jacqueline chuckles sheepishly.

"Ah, I suppose you could say we...ran into each other. Ah...literally." She explains. "You were asleep when it happened, but...a fiend that preys on chocobo attacked the Travel Agency. I stopped it from eating her and it threw her at me...but I caught her, and so she's been following me ever since."

It's hard to tell if the chocobo can actually understand what's being said, but she seems to tell she's being talked about from the way she starts cheering up almost immediately.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

There's an honest light behind Catenna's eyes that hasn't been there since the battle with Sin. Her guard doesn't come down very often - but with Jacqueline, it's different. She's someone Catenna trusts with her life - and with her feelings.

They're things better dealt with together.

Catenna lowers her hands to her lap with a shake of her head and a quiet chuckle. "That was kind of you to do. I think she likes you - or at least, feels that you are the leader of her flock now."

With a flutter, Saarda-Shanta descends from her perch, coming to rest on Catenna's shoulder. She looks up at the Moon Shaman. Whatever passes between them doesn't require words - but what she directs to Jacqueline does. <Beasts understand humans through their own perspectives. It is the nature of most birds to protect their children from predators, after some fashion - well, with some exceptions. I would expect that this one may think you are its mother.>

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Both Catenna and Saarda-Shanta present their views. Jacqueline looks toward the chocobo, and the chocobo looks back...and nudges her gently with her beak. Jacqueline gives in, giving her a gentle pat in response.

"D-do you think so...? That's a lot of responsibility..." Jacqueline says, looking back to Catenna and Saarda-Shanta. "Well, either way, I'll be sure to take good care of her...I think I've done an alright job so far, at least."

Having the chocobo around did make things easier, at least - she took quickly to riding and helping draw her cart.