(1310-06-25) An Apple Shared
Summary: In which an apple is shared, and Galinaceous is met.
RL Date: Mon Jun 25, 2018
Related: None
gal desarae 

The Citadel

High on a promontory on the southern peninsula of Marsilikos, the Citadel stands tall and firm against the winds whipping in from the sea. Its only approach is from the north, a set of stairs carved in a coil directly into the granite of the mount, wide enough for only two to pass shoulder to shoulder, rising to meet the single gate room between the inner and outer walls of the citadel, both of travertine, white against the dark grey bedrock that rises high over the port, studded with guardposts, each flying the billowing blue banner of Marsilikos.%r%rWithin the twin walls of the citadel the granite has been leveled into a flat rectangular surface, atop which a variety of buildings have been built. The most well-fortified of these is the great octagonal watchtower, crafted in grey granite blocks which match the terrain, rising ten stories higher than the top of the citadel itself, in the top belfry of which is kept a wide array of spyglasses, alarums and masive flags to haul aloft to warn the town below of the arrival of various ships from sea. On the other side of the courtyard are two shorter granite buildings with big bronze doors, under guard all day and all night: the Treasury and Armory, respectively, of Marsilikos. There is also a wooden barracks-building to house the troops which staff the citadel, and the bulk of the citadel floor is open and used for military drills and exercises.


When the heat of summer rolls across the city, there can surely be no finer place to be than down in the port, for it's here that the cooling breezes that blow in off the sea can best be enjoyed. Especially if a person has climbed to the highest point on the Citadel's walls. It mightn't please Florent that such is Desarae's heart's desire in the heat of the afternoon sun, but a Cassiline has to do what a Cassiline has to do. So it is that there are two figures perched up on that wall today; one clad in the dull grey garb of his calling, the other in the black that mourning demands. With her hair left down and loose, it dances capriciously about Desarae's head, but that's perhaps a thing to be desired, since black is not the easiest of colours to wear when the sun beats down on your head.

Gal lifts a hand to plant it palm against the blazing sun and shield his squinting eyes as he steps out of the dim and narrow barracks where he makes his rather less than elegant domicile in easy comraderie with the others of the city guard's general soldiery. He's out of the official city armor but still wears his brick red tunic and the baldrick at his waist with the pommel of his sword kissing his muscled flank, just on the off chance it's needful. Well-worn boots take hold of the cool marble courtyard of the citadel's height with a boyish stompiness edged with a masculine swagger, and he sets his hands on his hips, letting the sea air fill his chest and the sunlight warm his face once his eyes have been inured to the light. The dark figured silhouetted against the sky above the ramparts is bound to draw his attention, and instead of heading back for the stairs down to the city he ambles that way, instead, not hopping up, yet, but just observing.

There's not that much to observe; just a young female figure and a Cassiline. Sitting. On a wall. There might even be ten green bottles placed between them that they're happily knocking off and onto the rocks below — except there's obviously not. What there is is a carefully laid out linen square upon which one bottle is placed, though it's not of glass. It's a leather wineskin, and along with it are a couple of wedges of what looks from a distance to be bread. So there's bound also to be cheese. And fruit. Yes definitely there's fruit since, trapping her hair to her neck with one hand, the female of the pair prevents it from flapping about as she takes up something round and rosy coloured from the impromptu picnic. "Half for … -nd hal- … .." Some of her words will catch in the air and drift Gal's way, and there's a flash of sun striking steel as a knife (a very nice one at that) is pulled from her waist.

Gal could wing an arm up there and scrabbleboot his butt up over the inner edge of the fortification; there's a certain inclination in the kid for that sort of nonsense, but at the last moment he turns, instead, greeting Ercole at the post where his friend is on guard and ducking down into the interior of the fortfications, instead, down into the dark, now that his vision is flashing pale green and pink from the beating daylight, then up the stairs and out of one of the raised turrets nearby, strolling along the parapet from there with an easy pace. "Oh, hey, picnic."

Florent is immediately to his feet, and without a second's thought he places himself between Gal and his Charge. "No closer." The warning is stern, his tone flat. Amusement shows on Desarae's face at her Cassiline's reaction, her fingers rotating the apple as she bisects it neatly with her dagger. "I think you had best introduce yourself before Florent tosses you over the wall. I'm Desarae, and you can join my picnic if you've not of a mind to do to me what my Cassiline might do to you." One half of the apple is set down, and she further divides the half that she holds. "The apples have travelled all the way from the orchards of l'Agnace. They're very good. You should probably lay your sword aside first before you come and claim some though, as Florent can get a little twitchy."

Gal presents himself before Florent, arms at his sides and palms shown slightly forward, a helpless sort of posture that should read unthreaening enough even if he still maintains quite the eye on those apples over there. Neither is that a euphemism, the kid seems hungrier for a snack than for anything untoward. "I'm Gal… I'm in the City Guard," he does introduce himself. Most of the rank and file of the guard is made up of common-born, so his leaving out his family name is hardly an unusual thing. He dresses like a commoner, too— if he didn't have that blade with him, which is beyond the purchasing power of most. "I'm supposed to keep this with me even when I'm not on shift. Y'know. In case. Ercole's on duty just down there, he can vouch for me if you need," he offers up simply, but neither is he willing to part with his blade. Not that he seems attached to it— he just doesn't want to get in trouble going against his captain's orders. "Can I have an apple?" he asks Florent, rather than Desarae, and gives the Cassiline his best and saddest puppy eyes.

Florent grunts at Gal, his eyes boring heavily into the young guard's skull. "It is fine, Florent." Desarae speaks. "I remember the guard's face from when Lord Belmont duelled in the Plaza. He was there when I had to use my 'kerchief to staunch the blood. It is as he says. He is in the City Guard." Teeth sink into one of the quarters of apple, and there's a satisfying crunch to be heard as, with her other hand, she holds the other quarter out for Gal to take. Florent takes one step back. It places him directly behind Desarae, thus allowing Gal just room on that narrow rampart to close the distance between himself and Desarae, and claim that piece of apple from her hand. "Gal. Is that short for something?" Now that he's closer he'll easily be able to tell that she's of a similar age to him, her figure modest in the manner of youth.

Gal endures the staring with an easygoing smile for Florent, knowing pretty well the stresses the man is under and understanding why he needs to be cautious. He doesn't approach until given leave, and even then he only squats down just aside the blanket, not invading Desarae's space and at the same time putting hiself in the most precarious of positions, from which to defend himself would be difficult— to attack, almost impossible. The human equivalent of a dog rolling over to show his stomach as he leans forward and takes the apple from a distance, then rocks back onto his heels to taste the apple and then finish the quarter not a moment later. It must have tasted awful, that's why he was so eager to swallow it down. "Oh, yeah. Wild night. Sorry I didn't recognize you. You were with that other girl. She used to come around here sometimes, but I never got her name. And she kinda stopped coming. Hope it wasn't something I said," he laughs. "And no. Just Gal. Heh. What would it be short for?" is not an attack on the comment, more an idle fancy. "Galinaceous?" he laughs.

Desarae scrunches her nose, a smile twitching at the corners of her mouth with Gal's reply. "I don't know. But now that you've said it, I think that Galinaceous suits you well. I think it'd be a fine thing to hear that being bellowed across the courtyard down there when you're late for practice." Another bite of her apple is taken and she washes it down with a hearty mouthful that she swigs from the wineskin. "Namarrese red. Would you like?" She backhands her mouth with the sleeve of her gown, and holds out the skin. "I had Giselle get it for me from my aunt's wine cellars. It's good, or so she tells me." She chews away on her mouthful of apple, apparently happy to confide such things to the relative stranger. "You hardly look old enough to be in the guard." A beat as she swallows, eyes swivelling to the practice grounds below them. "Were you down in the yard training today? The Vicomte de Rouen was down there earlier, putting the new recruits through their paces with the broadsword."

Gal is left licking his fingers while eying another apple, not really asing for oe but sort of asking for one anyhow. "Mm, mhm!" he's never going to turn down a little bit of the red stuff, even if he doesn't know who Giselle is or who Desarae's aunt is or where these mythical cellars are located. "I'm not a new recruit, I've been in the guard six months now. And besides, I was up and walking third shift last night. I just woke up," he informs her. "And, I mean, I can take the abuse as much as the next guy, but why do you assume I'm the one who's late for practice?" he asks, just joking around more than actually protesting— wine can buy you a lot of forebearance.

Desarae relinquishes the wineskin, the thongs of the straps trailing through her fingers as it's taken from her. "It must be hard standing guard through the night," she muses. "Then again, I've been awake a lot in the early hours myself these past few weeks. I kind of like that time of day right now, it's quiet, so it's easier to think." She's not a brick short of a barrow, so notes where his eyes fall on the apple, so takes another from the linen and passes it to him uncut and unpeeled. "As for assuming, I'm not." Her voice quiets. "It's just that I had a brother of my own who was of the age that you are. And he was late for everything. Always…" Her breath exhales slowly, filtering between her teeth as she turns her head from Gal, her attention directed seawards. "What made you decide to enter the City Guard and not, say, take to the ships instead?"

Gal tips it back into a hearty chug, that wineskin, but does not rise from his crouch, only arcs his back like a hound mid-howl and swallows it down as though it were the cheap stuff from the inn he were swilling rather than the fineries of the Duchesse's collection. When he finally sets it down again he lets out a satisfied breath and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. He's got a brain, too, even though it's not readily obvious a lot of the time, and by the time Desarae gets to 'had a brother,' her mourning weeds, the diligence of her Cassiline, they all click into place and elicit a subtly spoken, "Oh, shit," in the wake of her 'always.' "Sorry. Uh." She's asking him a question, "My dad made me. I mean, I guess I've always been better at horses than, like, seahorses. But that's the main thing, yeah."

Gal tips it back into a hearty chug, that wineskin, but does not rise from his crouch, only arcs his back like a hound mid-howl and swallows it down as though it were the cheap stuff from the inn he were swilling rather than the fineries of the Duchesse's collection. When he finally sets it down again he lets out a satisfied breath and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. He's got a brain, too, even though it's not readily obvious a lot of the time, and by the time Desarae gets to 'had a brother,' her mourning weeds, the diligence of her Cassiline, they all click into place and elicit a subtly spoken, "Oh, shit," in the wake of her 'always.' "Sorry. Uh." She's asking him a question, "My dad made me. I mean, I guess I've always been better at horses than, like, seahorses. But that's the main thing, yeah." He trades back the wineskin for the second apple, but he attacks it less heartily than he had the first quarter, rolling it in his hands and sniffing it before taking a nip from one side.

Desarae nods to Gal, but her mood has now broken. She bundles up the rest of her impromptu picnic and moves it across her lap in order to place it between herself and him. "Here, you may as well have the rest of this, as I should go. I've been neglecting certain things today, and I've some letters to write along with everything else." She swings her legs up and over, dropping her feet to the 'safe' side of the wall. She'd probably drop herself down from that point, except that before she can Florent is lifting her clear. Her hands smooth her skirts, then she picks her dagger from the top of the wall. It's a glorious thing; its blade long and keen with a handle that's enamelled in a blue so dark that it's almost a black. She slides it into the sheath at her belt. A grumble from Florent. "Goodbye, Galinaceous. Perhaps I'll look for your face the next time I walk on these walls."

"Hm? Mm," Gal's got an apple in his outh, or he might protest. But the wine is good and, hell, even the sheet is nice. "MK," he mumbles over his swallowing. "Bye," he answers. "Yeah, I'm— well, you know where I live," he tries, if faintly, to inject a little levity, but his words are also too burned to fly. He looks from the dagger to the Cassiline with a raised brow, as if sensing some import or wondering whether the man needs aid. He'd offer some advice, but all the advice whirring in his head sounds so empty. So he just stands. Slings the picnic in one hand over his shoulder. Lifts the other in a still wave of salute as they go.

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