2019-08-20: A Heart is a Difficult Thing to Possess

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  • Log: A Heart is a Difficult Thing to Possess
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Avril Vent Fleur
  • Where: Djose
  • Date: 20th August 2019
  • Summary: Avril comes across Riesenlied and Noeline for an unexpected, yet no less heartwarming reunion.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied is having a Walking Day today!!

It's letting her get around the refugee camps around the Djose shoreline a lot more, what with wet sand and rocky outcroppings not being ideal terrain for the wheelchair. She's taken a double-dose to get in more exercise today...

But she knows her limits too, and that's why she has a cane along with her as she holds Noeline's hand on her other one. She's dressed extra-warm today, with her capelet back on, which is... unusual for Spira, but Riesenlied and cold have never exactly been friends, and the chill often causes problems for her.

"Just a little more... over up there, where at family is? Then we take a break," Riesenlied heaves out a breath.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

"Of course. Focus in on them - think about making it to them first and foremost. I'll make sure you don't slip," Noeline replies with a warm chuckle... but one that's tempered with caution, as the Hyadean doesn't follow her own advice and instead glances over every so often to check Riesenlied's footing. Rockier and more damp than the last shoreline they inhabited, she's aware that it might feel to her partner like she's just bumped the difficulty up, and is taking the appropriate care.

The ex-spy has never really dressed warm; the cold simply doesn't seem to bother her all that much. Still, the garments she wears nowadays are certainly a lot more practical than anything she used to wear back around Filgaia, and she is at least wearing a light jacket around her shoulders - if only because Riesenlied is the sort to look at her and feel cold out of sheer sympathy.

... there is some evidence she's cheating, as well. A very faint corona of shadow leaves her ever so slightly out of touch with the wind...

"Just a little more," she echoes Riesenlied in encouragement, then glances up towards Mikaia and Janey. "They have hot drinks ready, I think."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

It's safer going towards the northern reach of the Highroad -- far safer than the near-constant battles taking place to the south.

At some point, Avril may venture down that way and see what might be done, but that day is not now.

Her reason for being out on the road today, alone, is far more mundane:

She is taking a walk, having suddenly felt the need to get out and about. There has been much on her mind lately.

But as coincidence -- or fate -- might have it...


She's come to a pause on the road, gazing at the group of them. She hesitates, her fingers curling inwards towards her palm, that hand raised to roughly chest height.

She remembers, and not for the first time today, a figure in white armor. The scent of fire. The sound of screams.

"Are you... here," she says, extending a hand. "I know. You are attempting to walk on your own. Still, please permit me to lend you my aid."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Avril has been on Riesenlied's mind lately, in no small part because the various members of the Outreach haven't really been able to get together that often. It feeds into the feeling of people going their own ways, straying from each other... and the loneliness that comes with it...

"Okay," Riesenlied whispers to Noeline. She takes it one step at a time -- her digitigrade, scaled legs make for really awkward footing, no small part of the reason why it's troublesome for her to walk now. "One, two..."

Mikaia shouts out from the top, "Hot cocoa and Moccy are waiting for you, mom! You can do it!"

But then that thought actually manifests as Avril appears, and-- Riesenlied blinks a few times as she exclaims cheerfully, "Oh! Miss Avril!"

She darts forward and takes about four solid steps before FWUMPH--

"Oh--! No!"

This might be a double-team catch opportunity...??

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

"One, two... ah, Miss Avril. Hello," Noeline replies back in a light tone, though without turning her head; she can recognize the voice, and is currently a little engrossed in her work - or rather, in not doing it. Early on in Riesenlied's Walking Days she had a habit of taking too much of her partner's weight thanks to an overeager desire to help, and had to get a bit of a lecture from Mikaia as a result.

Since then, she's learnt better - to encourage, rather than just take everything on for her. "Please give us just a little, if you would, and then--"

And then she's immediately biting back the rest of her comment as Riesenlied starts to dart forwards. There's a moment of pride - there was a time when the other Hyadean couldn't even manage these fits and starts - but then the scrape of scale against rock alerts her to an incoming fall, her feet pushing her forward before she's even consciously registered it.

She's able to reach one of Riesenlied's arms, the other left for Avril - and she holds her breath as she waits to see if they've kept her beloved upright, before softening into a quiet chuckle.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Avril actually blinks. "'Miss'...?" she hazards, in those moments before Riesenlied starts forward.

Before Riesenlied stumbles.

"--Lucadia!" The Medium comes to hand readily, and in a heartbeat--!

She is at the Hyadean woman's side, catching her other arm in the same moment that Noeline manages.

"...What a relief," she sighs, in the wake of it all, her shoulders sagging slightly. But only slightly: she straightens afterwards, assuming a more, perhaps, aristocratic posture as she bears her part of the load. "Riesenlied, you need only lean on us," she says. "It will not be far."

It will still take some time, to ensure that they can proceed at a pace that suits a woman still relearning how to walk, to not lend insult to injury by carrying her the rest of the way. How difficult it is to walk -- a child only manages it because they are a child, with all the flexibility granted by childhood. Someone grown like Riesenlied, however...

"There is," she says after a few steps, her voice low, "something that I have been meaning to tell you."

One slow step forward.

"K.K.... is alive."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied has been grateful to Noeline, whatever she chooses to do -- whether it's take work on for herself or encourage her; she knows she's finding her own path to being a community leader herself, and too hands on an approach will only stymie her own process.

Much like how she needs to have these moments to re-learn how to walk; to build muscle and strength back in her body; to try to resist the incoming atrophy her degeneration is causing her.

"S-sorry!" she calls out to both of them, as Noeline and Avril both hold her at the same time. She wheezes and bashfully says, "It has been so long... I was-- I was thinking a lot about you, about Dean and Rebecca too. How much I've... missed you all..."

Not to mention the shape of her legs have transformed dramatically, too...

It doesn't take long for all of them to make it up to the top, where Mikaia's got a little picnic mat ready for them. A cute white chocobo is also seated at a corner, which Riesenlied nestles against as Moccy gives a 'kweh!' and a chipper greeting to Avril.

Then Avril shares the news.

Her eyes widen slowly; at this point in time, she might not have remembered immediately that Ragnell has told her, with her mind being a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions and activity.


Before she knows it, she's shed a tear without even realising it.

"Did you... did you meet them?"

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline's grin in return to Avril's confusion is light and amused; she tilts her head a little in greeting, at least, before the flurry of movement that needs to be put out to save Riesenlied from falling over.

"You've gone a lot further than I expected today, and the rest of the path is a little slick. I think that's more than enough to be proud of today," she encourages the other Hyadean as she takes a place opposite Avril, helping Riesenlied forwards up the rest of the way to their waiting children. It takes her a moment's thought before she chuckles, adding: "Before long, we might not even need the chair-- though perhaps we should get you a cane that's a little more sturdy."

Lowering Riese down to the picnic mat and against the roosting Moccy is the easy part, and she caps it off with a kiss to her partner's forehead and a blanket across her lap. She might be doting just a little overmuch, but she seems content with that.

When Avril breaks the news, her smile flickers visibly, and though it remains placid her gaze definitely hardens. Her feelings on the Trial Knight are a lot less complex than Riese's, though still far from unified - but rather than voice them, she decides it would be a lot more constructive to prepare some of the cocoa that Mikaia mentioned.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Yes, it is as she says. Do not worry -- we have not much further to go."

The climb is a slow one, up the hill, to the picnic mat where the children wait. Avril worries, almost, that even like this Riesenlied's remaining strength might not be enough...

But Noeline has the right of it. Between the three of them, they make it. She crouches by Riesenlied briefly, after they lower her to settle upon the mat. %TJust once, she reaches out to gently pat Moccy on the head.

Before she witnesses the Hyadean woman's reaction.


Her gaze averts. "I... am sorry. I should have spoken of this to you sooner," she says.

And then: "Yes. After Luca fell. I was unable to retreat immediately, and that is when I met them."

When K.K. had seen clear through to her conflicted heart.

Had spoken of that 'someday', should it remain so in conflict.

Avril's face remains averted; she lapses into silence.

"I thought," she says at length, "that you should know."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Enough to be proud of today. That is, perhaps, the reaction Riesenlied has -- that she has her little milestones and goals, with how much she's able to push... and even if it might be rocky (literally), she made it.

Riesenlied cups her mouth as she feels Noeline's less complicated feeling. She accepts it. She ought to learn a bit more from it too.

"... I--" she first quietly reaches forward to wrap Avril with a light hug, if she'll let her.

"... I'm glad you are safe, first of all. We had to flee from Luca's harbour and I was very scared of being separated from you, and Dean, and the rest. We could not find you... then I was injured by a stray arrow."

She lifts her capelet a little where the bandage is still there.

"... ... but as for K.K. ..."

She bites her lip.

"I've been in so much grief since we came to Spira. Thinking they were departed, to the Ley. Thinking I did not have it in me to endure what I felt when Father fell. And yet..."

She lowers her head, pursing her lips.

"I know they mean it when they say our paths must cross next time we meet. And yet, here I am stressing so much about their safety..."

She sniffles a bit louder, rubbing her eyes. Mikaia furrows her brow as she sits next to Noeline, Moccy lifting her head up and giving a 'kweh' in turn to Avril's petting.

"... it feels like people are parting ways ... that things are coming loose and undone ... so I am glad that at least, you are here."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

When Noeline turns back to the Veruni girl and her Hyadean beloved, it's with her smile looking somewhat restored - if only for Riesenlied's sake - and with three steaming mugs in her hands. They're each a little chipped, each a little misshapen, but handmade as a symbol of the family they've brought together. Her mind feels a little lighter for the reminder as she hands them out.

"... I think it is alright," she decides, her voice quiet as she carefully sets herself down with Mikaia on one side and with Riesenlied on the other, not spilling a drop as she nestles the warmth of the cup in her lap. "Both telling us now, and in worrying about their safety. ... we can hardly say something like 'how dare you tell us'," she comments to Avril with a chuckle - then her free hand rests atop Riesenlied's. "And I would not want you to stop being you."

She doesn't hug Avril herself, but only because she doesn't really think she or Avril are quite that sort of person, not without Riesenlied to be the centre of it all. Still... she has at least gotten better at being earnest.

"We've all been split on Spira, especially when it comes to the Guard. I can't deny that," she notes quietly to the both of them over the rim of her cocoa. She might not be that susceptible to cold, but she can certainly appreciate the warmth. "But whatever happens, you all have a home on the Fereshte. Or in Wayside, once we get back to Filgaia - because as easy as it can be to forget about it, there are a great many people waiting for our return."

She says it as much for Riesenlied as for Avril, as she grasps the hand she's caught. "If we've parted, it will only be for a while. Those bonds still remain."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

In this, Avril neither has the time nor inclination to resist. She leans into Riesenlied, loosely wrapping her arms around the other woman.

"I am all right. It was... foolish of me," she murmurs, closing her eyes. "Perhaps I should have escaped when I was able. Yet, at the same time, after what they had done..." She won't say she has no regrets. But neither does she entirely regret that course of action, as futile as it was in the fate of the city. Perhaps they bought some time. Perhaps more people were able to escape before the city fell entirely under the Guard's sway. She parts from Riesenlied only at some length, her hands lingering a moment in the woman's own before retreating altogether.

"No. I did not think that either of you would hold my silence against me," she says at Noeline's comment, gaze hooded. "Nevertheless, it has been... a difficult thing to speak of. They did not harm me, and yet..." Her gaze lifts. "I have not told Rebecca or Dean. Perhaps I might not, at least not yet. I wonder, perhaps, if it might be better to save them from more grief, in this land..."

It has been a land of sorrows for all its beauty. Sin leaves its mark, time and time again.

"Yes. ...You are... correct," she says, and though she smiles, this is far from an expression of happiness. "They... said as much, to me. That should you meet them again... your paths will cross." She cannot meet Riesenlied's eyes anymore, for all her bluntness, for all her pragmatism, this is where the heart falters. "I do not think... this is what they wish, but instead, what they feel must be, regardless of their heart. I am sorry."

She lingers a moment more, then finally stands. A breeze catches her garb, a simple garment in the Spiran style.

"...I know. And for that, I am more grateful than I can express, Noeline. 'The Fereshte is home'. It is good to say that."

Particularly in a world where she has no home otherwise, none that she can name such.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

In her particularly heady state, Riesenlied does appreciate Noeline's kiss and her comfort as she grants her a blanket; she looks cozier already, against her chocobo and snugged up warm. "I know you say it would not be me to stop... but..." she speaks to Noeline, then looks back to Avril.

Then she shakes her head, as she parts gently from the hug as well. "I do not hold it against you either. ... they spoke as much, at the Lost Sanctuary. To be an Adversary of Man... yes," Riesenlied's eyes flicker further.

"... they allowed me a glimpse into themselves in Krosse. I found something profound and unthinkable. Something that hurt so, so much. I wonder what it is I still do not know."

She sucks in a deeper breath, then smiles to Noeline again. "That's right... you will always have a home, no matter where you go. Just--"

She flushes further as she murmurs, "Perhaps I am in need as much of that assurance, lately..." as she dabs the rest of her tears away.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline watches Avril for a long moment; her eyes are almost as hooded as the Veruni's, but eventually she closes them to let out a breath. "... there are many ways to be harmed. And whether it was physical or not, or intentional or not, it certainly sounds from your voice like they did." She pauses, running her fingers through her hair for a second. Asking for more details is the obvious, Noeline thing to do, but she knows well enough when to be tactful and curb her curiosity.

"At the very least, I would strongly suspect that Dean and Rebecca would much rather hear it from you, rather than not. It's easy to think about 'saving them from grief' - but that just leads to the same sort of isolation that Riese worries over, and a dozen other misunderstandings besides," she admits plainly, an almost comically glum look on her face as she tries to offer a little levity. "I say this as someone who has once made Riese snap at her."

Still, her hand closes gently around Riesenlied's at the same time - a silent promise that she's not upset, nor holds it against her, that it's not something that hangs over them any longer since the climax on Elru.

She pairs it with a glance towards her partner. Putting it in words is briefly difficult; her brow furrows softly as she wars a little with her own opinion on the Trial Knight, but then she nods her head. "... I don't want you to have regrets. That's all. Your desire to understand others... even if I feel it might be a little reckless sometimes, I would like to protect it as much as I can," she promises with a lopsided smile, fond and concerned all at once. "And whatever you choose, I will be at your side."

She pauses, lets that hang in the air, and then lets out another breath. "There's going to be a mountain of work when we get home, I'm sure. I bet Wayside will be absolute chaos without the two of us around," she makes something of a show of grumbling her way back to lighter topics.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

At that more penetrating comment from Noeline, Avril does not respond immediately. Then, at length:

"Of that... I am aware," she says simply, without looking at her. More than that, it seems, she is unwilling to now divulge. Perhaps soon. Or, perhaps, not at all. Not all of one's wounds are for baring, a fact that the Veruni queen has been learning.

But for those which one can show to others... perhaps it lessens their sting.

She is not in this alone. She knows that. No one will turn from her, no one will be shocked or horrified. And yet, it is a raw thing to unwind, what conflict there is in one's own nature.

As is the increasingly precarious position she may be in. Give in, and risk who she is now? Resist, and risk complete fracture?

She already knows the answer and she fears it.

"You are... likely correct," she says to Noeline, at length. "The longer a secret is held, the more difficult it becomes to bare. ...And yet..." She cannot help but smile, sadly. "A heart is a difficult thing to possess, I am afraid."

But ultimately she shakes her head, her gaze returning to Riesenlied. "So even one such as the Trial Knight..." she starts, then stops. "No. I believe, I already understood that of them. They, too, have something that they..." Is it as simple as 'protect'? Or might it be... 'love'?

If she had but been at Love's Cradle, she would have known it to be so.

Her smile has grown by degrees warmer, though no less sad. "That is the reason for the Outreach, isn't it? To create a beacon for all those without a home." She does not say it out loud--

'Because the both of you know what it's like'.

Noeline remarks then on there being a lot of work, once they return. "I suppose so. I am, I think, looking forward to it."

And this smile is not sorrowful at all.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied is content to take more of a quiet role in the conversation, in part because her strenuous walk has taken the sails out of her. And yet there's a flush of embarrassment as she listens to Noeline--

"... uuuh. It isn't as if I think a relationship should be perfect, and we won't ever argue ever again, and yet..."

She sulks and her horns fwip up. "I'm still really embarrassed thinking about it..."

Avril speaks of what it is she understands of the Trial Knight, but...

Is it just love? She's not certain yet.

She cuddles a little closer, pouting... but as she listens to Avril, there is a quiet nod and a smile. "... I'm looking to that work too... though I think that Val and the others back home have no doubt made it into a thriving village!"