Difference between revisions of "2020-02-09: They Grow Up So Fast"

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(Created page with "*'''Log: They Grow Up So Fast''' *'''Cast:''' Character :: Jacqueline Barber, Character :: Catenna, Character :: Kourin, Character :: Ethius Hesiod, Characte...")
 
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Latest revision as of 19:34, 12 February 2020


=======================<* Meria City - Outer Regions *>=======================

Outside the inner wall that contains the oldest parts of Meria City and the main castle itself is a newer city, the result of growth over the centuries well beyond the original parameters of the settlement. With Meria's good fortune in terms of natural resources, the city proper does not need to be terribly crowded, and so it doesn't compare in terms of sheer scale to the more compact metropolis of Guild Galad.

Nevertheless there are a lot of people here, and that means inns, shops, businesses, and beyond the outer walls, farmland for miles. The port is active, carrying goods from the northen regions as well as the ore from its mines, and bringing in goods from the south.

Meria City has relatively wide streets, but there are few gas-powered vehicles on them, considered to be largely reserved for the military. The buildings themselves tend to cluster together, sprawling slowly over time. The atmosphere here is often reserved, and quite proud. It is known among other things for a fine collection of teas brought in from around the world.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

At first, it seemed like an ordinary business day for the Caravan Kinship. They had stopped in Meria City to do their usual rounds of selling goods and restocking on supplies. It's starting to get late now, and most of the Caravan Kinship have already returned to the Carakin for the day.

Jacqueline is not among them. She's usually quite punctual, or she'd at least send a note along that she'd likely be late. It's not so late that one ought to be worried, but it does raise questions...

...Question that, while not answered directly, do receive clues the moment the front door clicks open and Jacqueline steps in. She looks...quite happy. She has a bouquet in one arm, and she's carrying a carefully wrapped box in the other. How mysterious!

She hasn't noticed any of the others yet. She's still in a bit of a daze, as everything that happened not long ago catches up to her.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna's picked out a larger range of dancing outfits these days. The one she's in now is fairly abbreviated, mostly white with big peacock feathers making up the trains of her skirt. The day's take has been substantial, and she leans in a corner to count it out, Saarda-Shanta sitting on her shoulder and eyeing the currency intently.

Until there is a click. Both Moon Shaman and Great Owl look up at the exact same time.

<Ara ara. Look what the cat dragged in,> Saarda-Shanta remarks mildly. <Did we miss a visit from some mysterious benefactor?>

Catenna lightly taps the Owl's bill with a delicate finger before setting down a handful of gella. "You look like you have had a very nice afternoon, Jay," she invites the alchemist with a cant of her head and a quiet smile. "The flowers are quite lovely."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is...for once, taking a break. She's laying on her side, giving belly rubs to Spirit and just, enjoying an afternoon of idleness.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius took over the kitchen at an inopportune time. (There is no opportune time for Ethius to take over the kitchen. The only good thing that can be said is that he is good about meticulously preparing and cleaning the utensils used. Everything in between is...)
        The front door clicks open. Ethius hastily finishes his latest... batch... which does not seem like a proper way to refer to a quantity of things he just made. Rather than expend further time and energy to something that should not be, it seems more prudent to instead note how quick and precise his clean-up is.
        Like he knows he's doing something bad, or something.
        'You look like you have had a very nice afternoon, Jay,' Ethius overhears Catenna say. He is usually familiar with how peoples' footsteps carry, and would not admit that this time he had to go by Catenna's addressing to discern who it was that came by.
        He closes the cupboards without a sound (this claim can be disputed by Saarda-Shanta) and comes out to see Jay return with a bouquet and box and that happy look on her face.
        "I assume your latest meeting had proven fruitful." He appears to dodge asking the obvious.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia WHEELS UP to the Kinship and says, "I hope they're all ready for the 'wheel world' nyeh heh heh..."

BUT THAT WAS SOME TIME AGO. Now LYdia is lounging in the Caravan and looks towards Jay as she steps inside.

She blinks a few times. Her eyes trail towards the bouquet. She stares at it for a while. Then her eyes snap up to look to Jay's eyes.

And then she slowly presses both hands on her face and makes a very big lovely smile. "Heeeeee....!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan tends to come and go from the Caravan Kinship, but was a part of the day's activities; lately, he has been joining Catenna onstage and bringing a dash of pyrotechnic flair to the group's performances.

This is... terrifying (even if it was ultimately his own idea) so he's sort of quietly recovering from it still.

The door opens, Ivan takes in the sight of a beaming Jacqueline Barber... the flowers, the gift...

His eyes widen with faint alarm, and he rushes over to Catenna to whisper, "Is it her birthday??"

It's not so much that he forgot as that he didn't know! He's never had to worry about birthdays other than Talia's before and that one's rather hard to lose track of since they share it...

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It is rarely a good sign that Lydia and Cyre are of like mind on anything. It means that there's probably mischief afoot. Someone important is about to put on their boot and find that it's been filled with spoiled cheesecake.

But today there is no cake. There is only Jay looking adorable, a boquet of flowers, and Cyre...

Cyre's head, peeking out from the other side of the couch, his face locked firmly in that most ominous of expressions.

                                     :3

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline freezes in her tracks as Saarda-Shanta makes her observation. A slight blush crosses over her cheeks, and she chuckles nervously. 'Mysterious benefactor'... 'latest meeting'...

"Um... something like that..." Jacqueline says evasively. This is the part of things she's wholly unfamiliar with! How should she approach it?

"O-oh, yes, I did... It was wonderful." Jacqueline confirms with a nod toward Catenna, as Ivan runs over to whisper something to her. "And...yes, they are, aren't they...?"

They've got the sort of assortment of bright colors Jacqueline really likes. Whoever picked them out clearly knows her quite well...

And then, Lydia looks at her with that smile. That big, lovely, knowing smile. And if that's not bad enough... there's Cyre, with a very similar look on his face.

Jacqueline's blush intensifies further.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

There's a reason Catenna's feathers are not actually blue. They're a curious peacock-style pattern, but in gold and red. They match up with Ivan's flames quite well.

"I don't think so," Catenna murmurs as Ivan leans in. She, too, drops her voice almost conspiratorially. "But she is positively glowing. She must have had a lovely experience...."

Saarda-Shanta cocks her head to one side, then turns it back towards Lydia. The big white owl lets out a soft hoot before hopping down to sit on the arm of a chair.

It takes Catenna a couple of seconds. She gives Jay a searching look.

Then she nods, soberly, and returns to counting her change. "Our dearest Jay is growing up," she remarks mildly.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin sits up, now interested. "You have experienced a romantic encounter?" she asks, because Kourin doesn't really do subtle or teasing. "I am glad for you..." She glances away, down at her hands, entwining her fingers together. "And a little envious."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Soooooooo," as she leans back, "It's like someone has gotten... a WHEELATIONSHIP UPGRADE. Who is the lucky gal, if I may ask?" The fact that she said 'lucky gal' might indicate she has some idea who though.

So, you know, there's that. Either that or she's just had Jay pegged.

She looks to Cyre and studies his expression for a little bit before pressing her hand to her mouth and looking back.

"I hope you aren't...tired of our pestering, nyeh heh heh..."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius turns his head as Lydia lets her youthful enthusiasm for romance runneth over as others fill in the gaps as to what just happened while Jay nervously goes over what it is that just happened. Jay seems positive about the whole experience. A momentary tension passes.
        "I see." Does he, though? He doesn't pass muster when tiny cinnamon-coated things in a bowl are forced to be explained as to their appeal as regards a specific demographic, so this may be MORE LIES.
        He notices Lydia's specific choice of words but does not say anything as he faces back towards Jay and otherwise fails to add to the cooing chorus.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Catenna dismisses the idea that it might be Jacqueline's birthday, which at least dispels any concern about procuring a gift. But then... that means this is a more unusual sort of a circumstance... Ivan looks around curiously at the various knowing looks that people are aiming Jacqueline's way. And then...!

"A romantic encounter?!" Ivan repeats, as Kourin blurts out what everyone else had been dancing around and grinning about until then.

"Is that really what happened?"

If there was any remaining ambiguity, Lydia proceeds to really... drive it home.

"H-how many wheel puns is that now, Lydia..?"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"I think the wheel puns are wheely funny," Kourin says, completely straight faced. And apparently earnest.

"Did...did I do it correctly?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Oho," Cyre ohos, putting a hand scandalously to his mouth, "Ohohoho. Indeed, our little jaybird has finally entered her very own springtime...!" The catman vaults up and over and then right into the CaraCouch, his fingers steepling conspiratorially. There is GOSSIP to be had. And also teasing. Because this is just what you *do* under these circumstances. "So who was it that stirred your heart? Who reached down and mixed up all your feelings? It takes at least two to ignite the alchemy of ~love~ after all! I guess that now we can tell all your admirers that you're..." His eyes flicker toward Lydia, "...Spoke-n for... Nyahahahahaha~!"

Oh no, they're both punning.

Oh no, they're both laughing with ny-sounds...!

It's... it's a purrfect storm...!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna gives Jacqueline a look. She says it subtly, saying that's she's growing up... but then, Kourin and Lydia both ask her directly.

"All the wheel puns... I'm guessing the vehicle outside is yours?" Jacqueline asks Lydia, perhaps as a way of changing the subject... but, it's a subject that doesn't want to stay changed for long when even Ethius comments on it... in his own, terse way, and Ivan asks if it really happened. Jacqueline confirms this with a brief, slight nod.

And then, of course, there's Cyre and Lydia, with their unbeatable tag-team of puns. Jacqueline... hiders her face with the flowers. It's not really that she's embarrassed - how could she possibly be? - she's just...still registering things herself.

Jacqueline doesn't answer the question of who the lucky gal is just yet - instead, with her face still hidden, she makes her way over to the couch, settling in and setting the flowers and box down carefully - very carefully.

"...Lunata...approached me while I was wrapping up my shift." Jacqueline explains, massaging the back of her neck. ...It wasn't without some nudging from Shalune on both sides, but she doesn't bring that up. "And, well... she asked me out on a date. So... I said yes, of course."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

So much for keeping things subtle. Catenna can only smile at Ivan's outburst of surprise, merely stacking a few gella one on top of the other. She closes her eyes, letting a look of mild satisfaction cross her face.

When she looks up again, it's to give Jay a look of quiet interest. The sight of the alchemist blushing so intently is enough that she touches a hand to her own cheek.

"Ah... the Lunies. That was very sweet, I can imagine." She leaves the coins where they are and moves out of her corner.

It's to circle behind the couch, leaning forward over the back of it to drape her arms around Jay's shoulders. Her chin comes to rest atop the alchemist's head as she draws her into a loose, fond sort of hug. "I'm very happy for the both of you. Lunata's feelings for you have been quiet, but clear enough. You should explore it with an open mind, and listen to where your heart guides you."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"It is good to hear that two of my important friends are happy," Kourin says, smiling somewhat wistfully. The path she has chosen has not led her to such a relationship thus far.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        For his unchanging expression that can neither be classified as amused nor unamused because such descriptors are not fair for one who has not fully shown any capacity for amusement to date, Ethius does seem interested as things trend towards the 'who,' slightly leaning forward with a tension in the air--
        "Miss Lunata, then?" He remarks, the tone of his voice unreadable. He still doesn't fully look away from Lydia as congratulations and advice are given. "I see." Does he, though? Can he? Love can't possibly exist in an Ethius heart. If he has a heart. (It is confirmed he has a soul, but the heart is still up for debate!!)
        The apparent tension bleeds away slowly, almost imperceptibly.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It's Lunata...! Lunata and Jay! Jay and Lunata! "Oh man! We'll need to give this a name. LunaJay," Cyre chirps, grinning like the Cheshire Cat just found the bottle of make-you-grow-bigger cream. "JacqueLunie...? This needs to be written down somewhere...!"

Though... Will her weird state of life-and-death be an issue there? Cyre isn't sure, but he's not going to let it get the mood down, either!

"Soooo," he says instead, eyebrows waggling conspiratorially. "Box of chocolates? Are those the only kisses that she gave you...?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia looks back to Ethius for a few moments. She is kind of getting tired of the whole AWKWARDNESS between them but she isn't really sure how to fix it after everything. She lowers her head for a moment, shakes t off, and then looks to Kourin. "I know right?! They're great! And versatile! I'm going to 'ride' it as long as I can! Until it's wheely annoying!"

She beams brightly at Jay like 'eh? eh??'

"Yessssss!" Lydia throws her hands up. "Also it's about time!!" She glances to Ivan suggestively.

IE: It's commentary how despite everything, they still were able to have a date faster than Jay so maybe they're not so bad right??

"Nya ha ha ha ha ha ha!" She laughs with Cyre, going to nyas instead the second time.

"Oh but yeah. Wheel's mine. Wheely."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"If we must give them a portmanteau, why not, Jaqueluna?

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Ah, so that is what happened. Congratulations...!" Ivan says, with a quiet intensity that makes it sound as if he had just learned Jacqueline Barber had been chosen for a dangerous but crucially important mission, rather than getting asked out on a first date by a long-time admirer.

But perhaps he sees the event as carrying a similar weight? Love is a battlefield, after all.

Lydia attempts to catch his eye to share a private joke with him and his face becomes a panicked question mark because he can't figure out what it is. Is Lydia trying to hint that he should ask her out already?? He should, what is he waiting for??? WAIT NO HE ALREADY DID.... is she waiting for him to do something else??? What is it, though, there are a lot of things it could be...!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"It was..." Jacqueline agrees with a nod. Catenna settles in beside with a fond hug.

"Hahah, well... right now, my heart's pounding at a mile a minute, so maybe I should give it a little time to calm down before I try to listen to it..." Jacqueline admits with a nervous laugh, massaging the back of her neck. "I was able to keep my cool while I was with her, but it was only after that it really hit me that this was...happening, you know...? I don't have any real experience with this kind of thing..."

"...But, thanks..." She says, as everyone expresses their congratulations and well-wishes.

"Lunata looked happier than I've seen her in a while. ...It made me happy, too..." Jacqueline says wistfully.

She chuckles slightly at Lydia's next cycle of wheel puns, but then...Cyre asks that question. Jacqueline goes red again, and this time, she doesn't have the flowers to hide herself behind.

"N-nothing like that happened! We just...sat together by the riverside, and talked. We used to do that all the time, back in Adlehyde..." Jacqueline explains. They sat pretty close together, though... but if she admits to that much, that'd probably be akin to opening Pandornya's Box with this crew...

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius must be made of some kind of antimatter that is the opposite of whatever building blocks of social existence make something 'not awkward.' There could be many legitimate scientific queries going forward as to how to reconcile how such can exist within the same physical plane of existence without explosive meltdowns!!
        For whatever reason he was side-eyeing Lydia, that seems to subside in time as Jay further discusses the encounter, and this is the part where he will once again say 'I see.'
        "I see." See? Called it. He doesn't sound terribly concerned...?
        "That would explain the curious length of absence today." Jay is usually very punctual and thorough about what she does and where she goes, by his experience - perhaps the relief on his end was indeed genuine in this instance. He should offer some further congratulations, advice, or anything of the sort, shouldn't he? That's what friends do... but for whatever reason, he doesn't seem intent to drive further down that road verbally, nor correct course.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

For her part, Catenna keeps her gushing to a minimum - though she does smile gently at Cyre. "So what would we be, dear heart?" she asks mildly. "Catcat?"

She moues her lips a moment as she looks down at Jacqueline, leaning over her a little further as if to check out the box of chocolate. But she eases back after a moment and boosts herself up to sit on the arm of the couch with one leg tucked up. Her smile returns, small and cheery. "Lunata needed some happiness in her life, really."

She clears her throat quietly. "Don't feel like you need to rush into more than that," she assures Jay. "If you feel you should go further with Lunata, just let your heart carry you where it feels appropriate. Some people are charmed by whirlwind love affairs...."

Here she gives Cyre a sidelong look.

"...and some prefer to take things slower."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Catcat, KittyCat, Cytenna? There are a few!" Portnyandeaus are one of those things Cyre does every so often. When he needs to whip up a new one, he just reaches deep down into that dark and terrible place in his heart that produces a nonstop flood of puns, seizes upon the most magnificent among them, and throws them together to serve on a silver platter.

But! This isn't about the two of them! It's about Jay and Lunata being ~in wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuub~<3~

"Aww, that sounds adorable. Sitting by the river, exchanging sweet and meaningful words, not realizing that the flower of love is growing to full and magnificent bloom until finally it takes them both by surprise!" Cyre sighs dreamily before draping himself across Catenna's shoulders. "A slower approach is good too, isn't it? But every love story has its own rhythm and there's not one that's better than the next! Nyahahahaha!"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I get it. You're calling Cyre a whirlwind love affair because of Fengalon, but I know you're over the moon with him so, nyeh heh heh...!" Lydia snickers, glancing towards Ethius for a long moment and then asks, "Hey Ethius."

Long pause.

"Is there anybody you have a crush on?"

CAN Ethius have crushes?!?! Lydia can't be sure, but she bets nobody ever asked him before because it's Ethius but perhaps there's a heart...lying in that robot chest!!

Wow, Lydia thinks, is that racist to be like 'Ethius has a robot heart'? Do I have a self-confidence issue I am projecting onto him?!?!

Maybe she is just kind of in a weird headspace right now, she supposes. "These are all very mature takes and all but really I'm glad it finally happened."

She looks to Ivan for a moment. She blinks a few times but doesn't seem to realize what he's thinking right now.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is apparently focusing her full attention on petting Spirit right now. Spirit does not appear to mind. Kourin's full attention is absolutely not on petting her dog, but, well...

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Lunata looked happier than I've seen her in a while. ...It made me happy, too...

"Ah, that's so great that you're able to bring one another happiness like that...! And sitting by the riverside and talking is a great date, too..."

Or is it...? Is the fact that he thinks so why Lydia wants him to hurry up and make an unspecified move? Aaah! But what is it, what if he overshoots? What if he... attempts a more serious kissing maneuver but she actually just wanted chocolates?!

"Cytenna is a catchy couple name," he notes, because apparently somehow he's still managing to follow the conversation with the half of his brain that isn't going 'aah.'

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Y-yeah... Sorry, I was kind of... riding the moment, and I didn't want to interrupt things by running off to a Memory Cube to let you all know I'd be late..." Jacqueline replies, with a nod toward Ethius.

She looks toward Catenna, then, with a nod.

"Yeah. Lunata...she said the same thing. That...everyone has their own pace, and it's okay to take it at your own pace." She replies...then pauses, looking toward Cyre.

Flower of love...

...Jacqueline buries her face into her hands to hide the blush again.

She sits like that for a bit before managing to regain her composure, looking up and sending a nod Ivan's way.

"Yeah... it was nice. I think it was a great choice. It was Lunata's idea." She replies with a nod.

She looks toward Kourin, then, and offers her a polite smile of encouragement.

As for couple names... she doesn't chime in on that right now. She's not sure she's ready to face that just yet...!

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Suddenly Catenna has... a catte.

With a mild, amused sigh, Catenna leans back into Cyre and slides a hand up to stroke through his hair. Her fingers find the base of his ear and give it a little scratch. "You missed your calling, dear heart. Perhaps you should become a poet. Or for that matter a lyricist; would you like to sing along to our shows?"

She flashes Lydia a little smile, then, and winks once.

Back to Jay her attention turns, though she does laugh softly at Ivan's suggestion - not unkindly. Her free hand falls to her lap. "Jay, don't be embarrassed about things," she urges with gentle warmth. "It is perfectly alright to pursue relationships, even sweet and wholesome ones."


        MEANWHILE, A THOUSAND KILOMETRES AWAY....

"But I wanted Jay," Neriah Parringer whines, apropos of nothing, as she pouts in her literal noblewoman divan.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        'Hey Ethius.'
        Ethius doesn't reply, as if pointedly facing Jay while he has his hands behind his back. An observant Lydia may notice within his pockets that he has a jar of something that is faintly sweet but that quickly betrays an odious after-scent. The actual taste must be awful. From the viewing angle, it looks like he has himself some... gooey... stuff. (It is literally Gooey Stuff. The second-lowest snack tier!) He makes no contribution to what to name the couple, but that's historically been true of everything ever - he has refused to partake in naming anything other than that one time he veto'd Fei's pet name for a golem at the Masterless Isle. For whatever reason. It was a fine name Fei picked for it!
        'Is there anybody you have a crush on?'
        He blinks once, looks to her. "Should I have one?"
 
        THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION... DID HE? WHEN?
 
        An open field. A musty, rainy day. The water in the ground congealed into a soft, clay-like substance. Greedy hands - hairy hands, save his own which there was none to speak of - plunged within with a childlike glee. Most of the time, they were raised. Kneaded. Taller and taller, so the sky could see when it came back.
        He did not raise his share. He dug two fingers and made what seemed half a circle - no, it had to have a curve to it. He tried to repeat this on the other side. It looked much like this:
 
        <7
 
        Why go further into the ground? Asked words that were not those, but understood as those. The meaning was clear, if not the diction. He could never transcribe them. They were confused at this choice. The sky would never see that.
        But I want you to see that.
 
        RIGHT NOW
 
        Ethius goes regular-Ethius-grade-of-silence, because it's harder to imagine one lower than that. Then he gradually, from what should be a 'zero' point, hits a newly established 'zero.'
        His eyes close. Did I? Do I? A hand goes to his forehead. ...Have I seen them... since?
        ...
        "...I cannot say." He settles on.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia beams at Ivan. "Sitting by the riverside and talking huh..." She considers it for a few moments. "I didn't think about that... because it involves water... but so long as we don't go inside...It should be fine, right?!"

She points at Ivan. "Ivan! Do you want to do some chatting by the river sometime? I'll even leave the wheel behind." You know in case Ivan was getting jealous of an inanimate round object. "I actually took mom on a ride with it too, she's actually kind of wild if you offer something round to her I've noticed..."

She honestly didn't expect anything from Ethius so when he says he cannot say, Lydia's expression goes super deadpan.

"Okay, sorry, you don't have to tell me about your secret lover. I was just curious."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cattes are like that. They can just show up and drape across your back or lap or whatever and demand pets (as is their right, as everyone knows that all cattes are entitled to pets). Cyre's caty grin returns in all its irrepressible glory as Catenna's fingers find his fluffy, fluffy ears. "Nyahahaha, singing, huh? I've always thought my singing voice wasn't half bad, maybe I can give it a shot?"

But-- a performance involving a singing cat?

Who would even want to watch something like that!?

"You can be as embarassed as you like," Cyre adds, because he's a terrible person. "Embarassment just means that there are feelings and actions that you're still getting used to. Don't worry, I'm sure there'll come a time when you two become just as shameless as Cat and I! Just let it ride, and enjoy one another's company. And the next time you feel like you need to spend some time, just let us know over memory cube. Heck, as long as you drop us a line, you could even spend the entire night together! Just be sure to stay safe and everything'll be fine!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I don't... really have any advice to offer, but if you ever want to freak out or anything, I can listen," Ivan offers to Jacqueline, solemnly. "Or I guess if you want to talk about what's going on without freaking out, I can listen to that, too."

Lydia expresses surprise that Ivan feels warmly about chats by the river.

"Ah, do you remember, we had a conversation on the waterfront that one time..." Perhaps that could be referring to anything at this point after their many adventures, some of which ended up more aquatic than others, but his tone suggests it was a conversation he finds somewhat Important.

Do you want to do some chatting by the river sometime?

"I-I wouldn't be against it... it's nice to look at the water..."

Ethius... says that he cannot say whether he has a crush on someone.

"YOU CANNOT SAY?" Ivan demands, suddenly tuning in urgently to the Ethius end of the conversation because Ethius just gave a response that translates to 'absolutely yes but I don't wanna tell you more' in Ivan's native tsundere language.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I-I'm not sure I'm... embarrassed, exactly, I'm just..." Jacqueline pauses. "...This kind of thing, it's... pretty new territory for me, hahah. I feel like... I'm wandering into everything blind, but... in a good way."

But then Cyre says embarrassment just means that there are feeling and actions you're still getting used to, so... maybe she is??

Jacqueline nods, though, when he says to just let them know next time she needs to spend some time.

"Right... I'll be sure to." She replies. And Ivan even has offer of his own, too. She smiles, offering him a nod.

"Thanks... I might need that sometime." She replies.

She looks toward Lydia, then. She took Riesenlied on a monowheel, ride, huh...? Because it's round...

"...I can definitely see that." Jacqueline comments. And Ethius has a response to Lydia's earlier question. He 'cannot say'. Jacqueline doesn't pry - that can mean anything, and if he can't say, well... then he can't say!

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna can't resist but scritch lazily around the back of Cyre's ear. She can hardly be faulted. Catte is meant for scritch.

"You could be a very cute singer. We could write some charming cat-themed lyrics for you." She smiles archly over her shoulder before leaning back into Cyre. A blush colours her cheeks, then.

"...Are we truly shameless?" she asks, hand coming up to her collar.

<Catenna, Cyre has rubbed off on you more than you know.> Saarda-Shanta tilts her head a full 180 degrees.

Catenna clears her throat emphatically before huffing and nestling against Cyre a bit. "Hmph...."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia can think of several important interactions with Ivan that involved water though now that Ivan is pointing out their 'waterfront chat' it's only now that Lydia realizes that it's actually been a lot more prevalent than she thought. Ivan tried to kill Jay the first time near a boat and fell into the water, then they talked by the water and she threw herself into the sea when he wasn't looking, and then there was that time later where she found him after he nearly drowned, and then there was that underwater ruin which was one of their first adventures together. And the beach picnic! Though to be fair, maybe this is because they met on Spira. If they met in Meria or something maybe they'd only have had a couple waterside chats. Maybe no waterside chats.

But for this she suspects it's either their first conversation or the post-drowning conversation. Both of them stand out pretty strongly to Lydia! And maybe it even means the first date!

"I remember!" Lydia assures Ivan, though is too nervous to make a guess which of the ones Ivan is talking about. SHE WILL JUST HAVE TO REMEMBER ALL OF THEM. "I just--well I guess I thought the water element wasn't a part you liked about it." Especially since one of those times water happened to be in Ivan's lungs. Hmm. Maybe it WASN'T the post drowning talk he's referring to.

"But okay! I'll...remember this for the future! It'll be great!"

She is kind of startled by Ivan suddenly going all caps at Ethius but doesn't interrupt this because she finds it kind of amazing actually.

She smiles at the ex-assassin turned... brewer? It's been a while since she asked Amaterasu about that.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ivan's yelling flaps what usually appears unflappable, the oddball man shy of jumping right where he stands as he is snapped back to the present, underscored by Lydia's disappointed deadpan about his 'secret lover.'
        "..."
        If he's blushing, it doesn't show because HE IS A DIRTY LOWER FACE COVERING CHEATER and it may be for his benefit he is not known to be a card sharp because they'd just shoot him on the spot, can't trust a man who hides the lower half of his face!!
        ...Were they in danger... then? Now? Ethius' mind wanders as he brings that hand back to his forehead. "...Yes. We have established the wheres, hows, and whys of Miss Jay's deviation from her daily schedule," he deflects blatantly, finding the part where Lydia is looking to Ivan with that smile of hers, "this established, I," he struggles to think of the words, as if going off-script.
        ...I have never given an opinion to others about their romantic ventures. He realizes this, and also that he's hanging on an 'I,' and the awkward pause is unlike him.
        "I believe I will return to my duties." This is a flimsy excuse because what the hell does this man do, exactly, unless it's just stare at them and stand uncomfortably at a distance? He can already do that right there.
        He starts to withdraw.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin frowns, but says no things.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Catenna is soon rewarded with an utterly shameless low-frequency vibration that reverberates out from the depths of Cyre's throat. "Nyahahaha, you just want to hear me singing cute cat songs. Don't worry, I can respect that~"

It's true. No matter how much Catenna might try to deny it, she's... certainly grown much more relaxed since they began this journey. Cyre has gone the other direction, somewhat. One has balanced the other, and they've both benefitted.

Cyre grins and wraps his arms a little more tightly. "There's no shame in being shameless. If the world thinks we should be ashamed, then let THEM deal with the shame."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.


I just--well I guess I thought the water element wasn't a part you liked about it.

"It wasn't, exactly, but maybe I like the watery views a little better by association now?

Ethius retreats under the pressure of the interrogation. Good goddess, Ethius has a crush on somebody...! It's difficult to imagine... Ivan glances around the group. Now they are all suspects now in this mystery....

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia watches ethius leave. She grabs at her arm briefly and then looks back to Ivan.

Okay it definitely wasn't the post drowning conversation which means he means....probably the first one! AHh!! That one!! AHHH!! A silver blush flicks onto Lydia's face.

Then she smiles and says, "Yeah?"

It's a little weird, but that idea makes Lydia very happy.

"Eheh... okay next date... we follow Lunie's lead o/~"

She singsongs as she practically dances outside, deciding she should do something nice for Lunata at some point.