2021-05-26: All the Pineapples in Spira

From Dream Chasers
Revision as of 23:52, 28 May 2021 by Strangeshrimp (talk | contribs) (Created page with "*'''Log: All the Pineapples in Spira''' *'''Cast:''' Character :: Riley Arwell, Character :: Avril Vent Fleur, Character :: Xander Lovell *'''Where:''' Luca - Port...")
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  • Log: All the Pineapples in Spira
  • Cast: Riley Arwell, Avril Vent Fleur, Xander Lovell
  • Where: Luca - Port District
  • Date: May 26, 2021
  • Summary: Avril, missing her Medium, goes alone in search of Riley. She receives an explanation for his behavior on their last meeting, and has to explain herself to both him and Xander, who arrives also in search of Riley.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Riley snuck off early on his own in search of breakfast, if 'drinking excessive quantities of pineapple juice' can be counted as breakfast.

The morning finds him sitting on the beach, sipping his drink and watching the waves lap the shore as the sun rises higher into the sky. It is peaceful and pleasant enough that is already questioning whether it might have been better to drag Xander along to experience it with him, but Xander did seem to need some extra rest after a day of forced socialization and emotionally harrowing birthday gifts. Hopefully they still have enough time left in this phase of peace to do it later...

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    The last time she'd come down this way, she had ended up trading blows with someone who, based on previous interactions, she never would have suspected. But in escaping him, she had also lost something precious to her.

    If there is one truth -- well, one other truth, alongside her Primal Truth -- that Avril holds firmly in her heart, it's that one's treasures are important things. Therefore, eventually, she had made up her mind.

    Therefore, eventually, Avril had come back south in search of Riley (and possibly Xander as well).

    And as it had happened, she had very quickly gotten a bead on the fact that he was about in Luca. Finding him, though, takes some time.


    But it doesn't take forever.

    She doesn't come armed, she doesn't come with magical ice crystals wreathing her in a halo, but she does approach him with a certain look in her eyes. It's not murder. Not... yet, anyway.

    "I have been looking for you," Avril tells him.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Riley stands up quickly at the sound of his name in the familiar voice, his posture wary and his free hand hovering near his dagger and his mind calling to the power of the Blood Garden that seems to wait beneath his skin.

He remembers their last encounter too well. The power of her ice magic. The coldness that came over her when he attacked, which he initially took for a defensive response to the betrayal until he saw how quickly and strangely it faded. He remembers how close she came to striking him down before it did.

He quickly powers down the rest of the juice before answering her (no sense wasting it, especially if he could die here!)

"...Hi again." He offers an uneasy smile. "Sorry about before. I was hoping you could just let it go. It was kind of a desperate situation and I don't plan to do it again." ...To you.

But mentally he's already contemplating how it would extend the Fangs' reprieve from their curse if he managed to win this time.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    She's not sure, quite honestly, what she had been preparing herself for. A continuation of that altercation? Perhaps she should have asked Rebecca to back her up in this -- she's sure that Rebecca will be angry about this, once she learns that Avril went to find him on her own.

    But. As foolish as it is, she has begun to carry a certain calcifying worry in the depths of her heart. She will manage this, one way or another, even if she has to crack the wall that divides herself and herself further. But, if Rebecca were...

    It's foolish. It's nothing but foolish. And yet.

    Still, even her deepest fears hadn't prepared her for... an apology. Avril blinks slowly, once. "You are... sorry?" She tilts her head to one side, as if trying to make sense of it. "Riley, tell me now... had you been under another's influence after all?"

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Had you been under another's influence after all?

Riley glances aside with a grimace. "...Not exactly. It was my own will, but..." Is there anything he could say that would make it sound like this wasn't going to be an ongoing problem she might feel some responsibility to intervene in for the good of others?

"I was under a curse and thought the only way out of it was to take someone's life. But... before I managed to succeed, Xander helped me find a way to purify myself."

... It's almost the truth. It's how he wishes things had gone, a year ago, before everything went so terrible wrong.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "A... curse."

    Rebecca would have likely seen right through it. Dean would have bought it, without hesitation. Avril, who sort of sits at the middle ground between the two, wavers. On the one hand, he hadn't seemed as if he were under a curse. But, on the other hand, could she be certain? Could she live with herself if she gave into that impulse, the one that even now encourages her to -- if not strike him down -- then treat him as an enemy?

    There is value in her other half. But that value does not mean that she must embrace it at every turn.

    And so Avril, who like Rebecca thinks and overthinks, takes the stance that Dean might:

    "A curse that would impell one to take another's life... I am glad that you had not succeeded, Riley." Bowing her head, she clasps her hands over her chest. "It is fortunate that Xander was able to aid you. ...Are you aware of what that curse might have been, or from what it was born? We should attempt to avoid the same fate..."

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Riley relaxes a little as Avril seems to accept that as an explanation, letting out a slow breath and moving out of the battle-ready stance he'd been in.

"Believe it or not, all it took was being the first person to explore the wrong ruin." That much is perfectly true, and the regret in his voice at the senselessness of it is palpable, maybe even a little too intense for one who claims to have escaped the curse's influence and narrowly avoided a sad outcome.

"Something evil was sealed there, and I stumbled right into it and was... infected by it." He gives a small shrug and a rueful laugh. "I really am sorry that I even thought about killing you. Much less... actually tried it." It's surreal talking to someone like this after a brazen attempt to take their life. But he is glad he failed in the sense of not having removed Avril from the world. Especially if she isn't going to try to kill him or bring him to justice. Maybe that's callous to the people who did end up becoming the Fangs' victims. But he didn't know their latest victims, didn't smile and pretend to be drifters with them. A crazy part of him does want to try to salvage this, and not only to avoid having her think of him as a mad killer on the loose who needs to be stopped.

"I hope you recovered all right." He's pretty sure he poisoned her, or tried to.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    All it took was being the first ones to enter the wrong ruin. The wrong place, at just the wrong time.

    Avril bows her head with solemnity. "I see... then we must take care to be more cautious. It seems there is much we still do not yet know about Spira."

    Because that thing that Riley is describing definitely happened in Spira and didn't happen, say, some time ago on the Blue Star above them.

    She shakes her head when he apologizes. "No, I must confess... I had thought you were earnest in your attempt, then. I am quite glad that I did you no serious..." Avril pauses, looking him over. "Oh, I did not cause you undue harm, did I?" She had been just about fighting 'for keeps' as it were, fully under the impression that she was in peril. In fact, to the degree that she had stayed her hand at all had only been because they had met once, before.

    "Me? I am alright. Though..."

    She pauses a good long moment.

    "You did not happen to collect my Medium, had you? I could not find it when I searched, later, and it is dear to me."

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

I see... then we must take care to be more cautious.

"Yeah, I think it's better to be at least the second one in, when it comes to mysterious ruins, even if the treasure pickings are slimmer."

Oh, I did not cause you undue harm, did I?

There's a wincing smile at the memory of many ice knives. Avril's self defense abilities are ...formidable.

He waves the thought away. "Nothing I didn't earn. And Xander's a doctor so he fixed me right up anyway."

You did not happen to collect my Medium, had you?

"Your... ... oh! Yes, I did!" He retrieves it from his bag, and offers it to her. He won't mention that he considered selling it and instead waffled and was hanging onto it as a weird memento of the ruined attempt at drifter friendships.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Xander's arrival is unannounced -- quick and quiet, forcing himself between Riley and Avril before any trade can be made. He holds his arm out as if Riley would obey that boundary to keep him back, and eyes Avril with a tense caution as if they aren't the violent, dangerous murderers here.

He hasn't yet seen what Avril can do firsthand, but he's seen the aftermath. That was more than enough.

"Don't," he warns her through clenched teeth, spreading out his stance and shifting in preparation to launch into the offensive.

He hasn't even registered the medium as a part of this. All he knows is he waited too long for his wayward partner to return, and when the worry became agitation, left to find him standing opposite Avril -- someone who now knows, someone who tore Riley apart with ice.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "That is fortunate, then. I did not realize that he was a doctor. If I had only known you were suffering from a curse and it was not of your own volition..."

    But then she asks after the matter of her precious thing: the Medium that had come into her possession not long after her first meeting with Dean and Rebecca. And when Riley says that he has it, she just about lights up. "Oh...! Riley, thank you!"

    It's all water under the bridge, it would seem--

    Or at least, it's almost that before Xander interposes himself into the situation, quite literally.

    Blue eyes wide, Avril gazes up at Xander in a guilty mix of shock and surprise; she draws back a step. "I..."

    What had she done to Riley, to invite such a look? She had not thought she had...

    Shaking her head, Avril takes another step backwards.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.


Oh no, his delicate web of lies is about to snap. Riley tries to think quickly, though he's definitely making some weird faces in his panic and his words are significantly less smooth than with his earlier untruths.

"I was... just explaining to Avril how you helped me remove the curse before I did anything horrible!"

He smiles hopefully at him, though at least initially there's nothing to smile at except the back of Xander's head. He leans around him, reaching out and trying again to offer the Medium to Avril despite the protective intercession.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Xander keeps his gaze on Avril, not sure what to make of her expression, or if he's relieved by that fear and extra distance between them. None of him willing to risk his or Riley's life on uncertain doubts.

Riley speaks up and Xander's eye almost slides back toward him before snapping back on Avril. Removed the curse -- damn it Riley, what futile story are you trying to spin now? Xander's eye may be on Avril, but his raised voice is definitely for Riley: "I think you should be explaining why you're stopping to say anything at all after I had to sew you back up from the last time!"

He tries to snatch up the Medium himself when Riley tries to slide it past to Avril. "Riley, are you handing her a weapon?"

That might not be a thing you should call Mediums, Xander.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    One hand hovers near to her chest, lingering there as Riley pleads on her behalf. "Xander, I... I am sorry, for what I had done to Riley," she says. "I meant him no ill will."

    An interesting statement, for someone who had gone to war against him with blade and ice.

    Xander just isn't having it. "Oh..." she utters, dismay blooming in her expression. "No, I had but intended to speak with him about what had happened. You have my word. Ah--!"

    She's reached for the Medium herself, just in passing, unable to fully contain the need-ridden impulse that drives her to grab for it. It's something old in the core of her being, older perhaps even that presence that takes up nearly a full half of her very self.

    This is precious, it says. She cannot let it go.

    "This is my Medium, Xander. I am requesting that you return it to me," she says, and the precise timbre of her voice may suggest that there is steel beneath her silk.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

"You are making it sound like she started it..." Riley mumbles with a kind of embarrassment, despite the increasingly tense situation. There is a part of him that is enjoying Xander coming to his defense like this, even if it is threatening the tenuous peace and inverting the situation in a way that seems almost cruel in how it's making Avril apologize like she was at fault.

... ... come to think of it, she seems kind of... uncertain about what she actually did?

A question pops into his head, and he blurts it out in the midst of everything. "Avril, were you you when we were fighting?" They already addressed whether Riley was Riley. He completely forgot that Avril had also been behaving as if someone else had taken the wheel.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Wait. That... is guilt in Avril's demeanor. She apologizes, like she hadn't been rightly defending herself in that moment. For all of Xander's protectiveness, he knows what he and Riley are, and he knows that fighting back isn't something you apologize for. So it is that Xander finally pries his heated look from Avril to Riley with a colder, what-did-you-tell-her glower of accusation. If Riley made up a story that somehow made Avril think she was the bad guy here --

You are making it sound like she started it...

That makes Xander glare at Riley harder. (Because he's right, Xander.)

But Avril's voice shifts with steel and Xander cautiously watches her again. He feels a thumb over the Medium in his hand, tensed and already aware there's only a few ways this ends. Much as he hates it, handing it over may be one of the options with the least distress. Slowly, he offers it toward Avril, but places his other palm against Riley as if to keep him back from whatever consequence this might have.

...Then Riley asks an unsettling question, and Xander's expression falls with a sigh because now he's second guessing giving the Medium back. But it's too late to jerk his hand back now.


<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Just a little bit, a small bit of herself has begun to bleed out into herself, drawn out by the threat of losing the Medium again. On this, all of her is aligned -- she cannot lose what is one of her treasures...

    And Xander moves to offer it back to her. It's a strange thing, this Medium: it's all metal and angles and smooth surfaces when contrasted with the carved stone tablets the Baskar usually use. And Avril doesn't quite dress like one of the Baskar shamans do.

    Slowly she reaches out to take the Medium in hand, relief flooding her expression in the moment she finally reclaims it. "Oh... I cannot thank you enough," she tells the both of them. "I do not know what I would if I were to lose hold of it for good."

    And then Riley asks a question. Her grip tightens on the Medium.

    "...I was myself," she answers, because that part of herself is still very much her. "However..."

    She glances away from them both. "It is not... a memory. I do not remember who I was. Yet, a part of me 'recalls' how I once would have reacted. It is me, only another sort of me." She looks back at them, loathe in this moment to explain all the little terrors she's had about herself, who she had been, what she might still be capable of doing.

    "That is all."

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Riley makes a strange face indeed at Avril saying she 'cannot thank them enough' -- It is an 'I can't believe this scenario is really happening' face. He tried to kill her! Has he become so overwhelmingly charming he can get away with attempted murder now?? He looks at Xander and tries to telepathically communicate this question to him. (Riley no, the medium is just very important to her).

Yet, a part of me 'recalls' how I once would have reacted.

Riley blinks. "So it's like an echo of who you were before you lost your memory?"

A fierce person. Cold and impersonal. It wasn't beyond the realm of what he felt was an appropriate reaction to having an acquaintance pull a knife on you, but it decidedly wasn't Avril's reaction. At least not this version of Avril. That sounds... a little frightening, to have started to diverge from who you used to be like that. If it were him, he'd probably be worried about losing his new self if the memories ever came back.

"Does that happen a lot? It seems ... distressing."

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

The way Avril reacts to getting her Medium back has Xander flinching. Guilt sinks into his features now for having wrestled with keeping it form her. "Uh. Yeah." It's not normal to be thanked for returning it when she lost it fighting Riley for her life, is it? Xander likewise gives a quick glance to Riley as if to silently somehow ask this, but seeing what Riley is 'saying' turns Xander's shock into annoyance.

When she explains herself, Xander begins to finally settle, straightening from looking ready to spring into action. He's still not keen to move from between them, though.

"The amnesia," Xander says allowed, recalling that problem. There was a poem involved -- he doesn't think a poem will help here. Frigthening, yes, both in what she can do and what it might mean. "...Sorry he provoked it. Sorry if I almost did earlier." Xander sighs. "Sounds like Other You was trying to protect This You. But, curses or not, I have my own things to protect."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It isn't normal, technically, but to her viewpoint, he had been under the influence of another (not a new situation for her and her friends to cope with, by now) and what's more--
    The Medium has become (has always been?) so dear to her. Even contemplating having lost it, for good, had been almost overwhelming in scope.

    "...Is there something wrong?" she asks Riley all the same, regarding the look on his face and Xander's own.

    Avril is quite skilled and capable in many respects, but in terms of actual experience since her awakening she is... ...extremely naive.

    "Yes. It seems to be something akin to that," she answers straightforwardly enough, nodding. "It appears that the person I used to be was quite different in many respects to who I am now." Which is... putting it mildly; Avril knows -- or at least has an excellent idea of -- who 'Avril the Lolithia' had been, based not only on her own instincts and impulses at times, but also what she has been able to glean of the Ice Queen's rule, five thousand years before. But she has learned just enough self-preservation to keep these facts under wrap just a little bit more. It can be a bit of a shock to learn that the person you've met and just might travel alongside in the future is actually an ancient and terrible alien (okay, well technically just her descendents are) queen.

    "It happens sometimes. I have," and she pauses a moment here, as if uncertain, "become accustomed to it."

    Sometimes it's even helpful. Even if the peril -- and one she has been grappling with and only recently found some sort of peace regarding -- is that she may become eventually swallowed by who she used to be, should she recover her memories.

    She shakes her head when Xander apologizes. "No, you have nothing to be sorry for. I am simply grateful everyone is alright," she tells them both, and even smiles slightly at his last remark. "Indeed. I feel much the same way about those dear to me."

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

"I have become accustomed to it."

"Wow, what a thing to have to get used to..." The curse of the Fangs, as much as it impels Riley to commit acts of violence, has never altered who he feels that he is or afflicted him with amnesia about his actions (although given Xander's experiences, it may be capable of such things). It's a bleak thing to imagine.

But then... between Avril's assurance that she's just 'grateful everyone is alright' and Xander's remark about things to protect, Riley finds himself somewhat giddy for a moment.

This turned out... so well? He thought he was in for a fight to the death and instead Avril has forgiven him and Xander is saying nice things and she's smiling at them and everything is great?? He grins broadly at them both, drunk with power and frankly a little emotional about the whole thing.

"You're the best!" he tells her, tapping a hand to his heart to indicate how moved he is by her generosity of spirit.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

"It's nothing," Xander lies of anything being wrong. Even if he wanted to explain it, how would he start?

But he's only now beginning to understand the complication Avril's brand of amnesia introduces to her life. It's not merely a matter of another, dangerous self to be afraid of -- for what she might do, or for parts of herself she might lose -- but an disquieting level of nativity. One that it feels like they're taking advantage of as she continues to thank them, apologize, and ask after their well being. She's smiling at them, after everything.

He hates this. But that doesn't mean he can afford the alternative right now.

Rebecca certainly has her work cut out for her...

"Yeah," Xander responds bleakly of everyone being all right, hand to his temple to cradle a budding headache. "It's fortunate nothing permanent happened."

Sigh. "You have nothing to be sorry for, either. Just so we're clear."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Well... all right," she tells Xander.

    There was a time when Avril would have agreed that it was a difficult situation to be saddled with -- not knowing what might come of her if she ever did remember everything, whether who she was now would be subsumed and vanish.

    It isn't the case, still, that she's in full acceptance of that. There's a part of her that is still afraid, there's a part of her that wants this journey to never end. But, at the same time, 'the other Avril' is still Avril. They share so many things in common that seem to thread them together, she and her former self. Perhaps, and she's been willing to let herself consider this, it might not be the end she fears, but a new beginning.


    She can't help but giggle lightly when Riley proclaims that she is 'the best'. "I am only doing what my friends would have done," she tells them, shaking her head. "Besides... we have both had our own burdens to bear in this, don't you agree?"

    Fortunately nothing that couldn't be taken back happened.

    "Ah?" That last remark from Xander seems to have caught her off-guard, though. "Oh... I see." And she inclines her head, almost as if in a shallow bow. "Then I must thank you, Xander. For looking out for the both of us."

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Besides... we have both had our own burdens to bear in this, don't you agree?

"Well, maybe, but it seems unfair to you to act like the situation was balanced... you're being more forgiving than I think a lot of people would be. But still, I hope we can go back to becoming friends."

Riley considers. They may awkwardly circle whether anyone needs to be sorry or not forever if they aren't careful. This is an opportunity to pick up as though that incident never happened, isn't it? He should jump on that. Even if he's fairly certain Xander would prefer they make a hasty escape and never see her again if they can help it.

"...Have you ever had pineapples? Spira has a lot of wonderful fruit and Xander and I are on an important mission to eat all of it." Xander, did you know that was your mission?

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Then I must thank you, Xander.

"I'd prefer it if you didn't."

It might sound like dry humor. But words like that are a little too much to take, and this heavy weight of exhaustion is definitely Riley's fault. He's just about to make some excuse why they have to go when Riley instead changes the subject into something that sounds worryingly like it's leading to something.

Xander shoots him an irritated look, jaw clenched and barely keeping back a growl. Do you like Avril or not, Riley?!

"No, my mission is to keep you from poisoning yourself trying."

This continued attempt at friendship is the poison. That's the metaphor!

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Avril shakes her head nonetheless. "You were unable to help what happened to you, Riley. It would be unfair of me to act as if you were to blame." Besides, haven't some of their other friends fallen prey to such things before? As long as one tries to do better and takes steps to ensure it doesn't happen again...

    And it isn't as if Avril doesn't have a whole walk-in closet full of skeletons, herself.

    "Ah," she murmurs, when Xander remarks that he'd rather she didn't thank him. "Then, I will refrain, if that is what you wish.

    Her gaze turns towards Riley. "Yes, actually. I had the opportunity to try some of it the last time we were here." Though she tilts her head to one side, as if seriously considering his proposition. "If you were to eat all of it," she says, quite seriously, "then there would be no pineapples left to grow more."

    ...it might be hard to tell if she's joking or not.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

No, my mission is to keep you from poisoning yourself trying.

Riley laughs. "Well, that too, but it doesn't hurt you to eat a pineapple or two yourself along the way."

I had the opportunity to try some of it the last time we were here.

"Well, maybe we can find one you haven't tried. If you'd like to join us..." He looks at Xander like he's hoping for permission, although they both probably know he's probably going to do it anyway. He has been handed a second chance by the universe and it's so unexpected and exciting that it literally hasn't even occured to him yet that it would be kinder to let her go.

Then there would be no pineapples left to grow more.

"That's a good point, we will have to leave one or two for repopulation. Or save the seeds..." Riley is absolutely joking.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Xander is going to have to find a way to adjust to Avril's innocence. Which he shouldn't have to do, because they should be using this opportunity to never speak to her again.

"I'll make sure he doesn't eat them all," Xander promises with a sigh, just in case Avril isn't kidding in her concern. He's starting to err on the side that she isn't.

Riley looks to him for permission and gets a glare instead. But, as it always ever is, Xander can't -- or doesn't -- stop him, only mouthing '48 hours' at him instead.

This time will increase in increments of 12 for each perceived Riley Crime.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "I would like that," Avril says, because while she isn't quite as guileless as some, she's still moreso than one might ought to be. "It is not as if we had the opportunity to sample every fruit in Spira, after all." Particularly what with the war that had broken out.

    She does look to Xander first, though, as if searching his expression to see if this is okay by him. He seems to be the protective one of the pair, and in all fairness -- take for example what Avril would have done if she had ever crossed paths with Janus Cascade again -- she cannot fault someone for being protective.

    "Very well. Shall we go on in search of unfamiliar fruit, then?" she says, looking between the both of them.

<Pose Tracker> Riley Arwell has posed.

Riley, predictably, looks into Xander's glaring eye and decides he definitely has his permission to move forward with his plan.

He steps forward and gestures them onward into the great unknown. "Yes, let's find an unfamiliar fruit and eat almost all of it...!"

This course of action has clearly been ordained by the universe itself and cannot possibly backfire.

<Pose Tracker> Xander Lovell has posed.

Of course Riley does.

That's a generous judgment on Avril's part considering Xander has now successfully protected exactly nobody involved in this conversation. His expression at last softens when she looks to him. Only Riley deserves dirty looks right now.

Defeated, Xander sighs and follows after Riley. "Yay."