(1310-07-31) Cake for Gal
Summary: A duck, an eagle, and a cake that's been carefully made for Gal.
RL Date: Tue Jul 31, 1310
Related: None
gal fleur 

Salon and Garden - Valais Townhouse


Gal has waited, you know, just long enough for any ambient awkwardness to fade after that close call in the lake, but not long enough that Fleur would start to suspect he's avoiding her. Besides which, he's had his own drama to deal with in his fight with Cole and the subsequent fallout from that situation. But now he's on his own, scooting over to the Valais residence, a place where he is as yet an unknown, for the most part, having spent zero time here since his arrival in town, leaving Fleur with the responsibility of making the place up and appointing it suitably. But he comes with gifts for the kids, and so he's shown, muddy boots, old sweaty tunic and all, into the salon, where a servant is left eyeing him while he samples the spirits on offer on the sidebar, gifts left hanging out on one of the couches: a toy duck for Bastien, a toy eagle for Giselle, and, what's even better, a bag of mixed candies for each of them, which is his gift to their mother: some spazzed out children to try to get into bed tonight.

It's through the doors that lead from the salon and into the garden that Fleur and the children arrive. It's Bastien that explodes into the room first; his wooden sword clenched in one hand and home-made cape that looks suspiciously like one of his mother's skirts billowing from his shoulders. "Uncle Gal!" He clambers onto the arm of a silk upholstered chaise and thrusts his sword in Gal's direction. "Hello Gal." Tall, pale and blonde, Fleur sweeps into the room, the muslim drapes fluttering as she passes between them, the youngest of her children carried upon one hip. She's wearing a confection of apricot and cream silks today, her hair left loose so that it hangs in gentle waves to her waist. A hand to Gal's shoulder and kiss to his left cheek and then his right. "Did Ercole come with you? I've arranged for us to lunch in the garden. The children have been busy helping the servants with setting it up. It's… interesting."

Gal leans in, letting her guide his shoulders so that there's no mistaking the direction of her kisses, and he gives Fleur a little shake of his head, "Just me," he answers. "I don't think… well, we can talk later, lunch sounds great, thank you," he waves off the grown-up talk for another time, opening up his arms toward Bastien on the attack, instead. He's unarmed, himself, and so is defenseless to Bastien's thrust from the arm of the chaise, his arms tossed wide as he gives a garbled play-holler and then rolling in over his stomach as he collapses to the floor, "You got… me!" he chokes out, reaching out an arm toward Giselle, "Save me, Giselle! You're my only hope!" he makes grabby fingers for the little girl to come 'heal' him of his wound.

Fleur's laughter is warm as she sets a wriggling Giselle on her feet. She may well be his only hope, but a two year old's idea of healing involves clambering on top of Gal's chest, squishing his face between two chubby hands, and covering his face with tiny rosebud kisses. "Eagle!" Bastien lands inches from Gal's head, 'cape' fluttering, as he spots the toy intended for his sister. "Oh dear…" Fleur's laughter descends into giggles as she sinks to sit on the arm of another chaise, enjoying the moment for what it is. "They've done nothing but talk of their wonderful uncle Gal since the trip to the waterfall. You'll have to forgive them their excitement at seeing you again so soon. Don't you think Bastien's cape is wonderful? We tried to make it just like the ceremonial ones that the City Guards wear."

Gal goes fish-faced as his cheeks are squished, and lets the healing kisses continue until he gasps and seizes the little girl under the armpits, lifting her up and sitting up straight at the same time. "I'm all better!" he declares, "It's a miracle!" He rolls forward, rocking his feet under him and then bouncing upward to a stance, hefting Giselle upward the whole while. At least the guard's keeping him fit! Look, he twirls her until she squeals, then swings her down and covers her little cheeks with kisses, too. Now Bastien has noticed the toys! The wrong toy, in fact! "Hey, yeah, look at this one!" he slips Giselle onto his hip, carrying her much like Fleur is wont to do, going to pick up the duckie. "This one swims almost as well as you do, kiddo," he explains why he got it for him. "And look in the little baggie on his neck, I think there's your name on it, and a little something else, too," he tries to tempt the child to the proper gift with the mystery of the little baggie filled with candy. The eagle toy is softer and squishier, and, if Bastien gives it up to investigate the duck, he'll tickle Giselle with the feathery eagle toy, which has another little baggie with her name in it. "And look what this one says! Can you see the letters?" he asks Giselle, pulling the slip of paper out of the baggie and seeing what she can do with it, having little to no notion of whether she might have started trying to read yet. He's never done the fatherhood thing before.

Fleur isn't going to rescue Gal from his niece and nephew. At least not yet. On the contrary, she appears to be thoroughly enjoying watching how the children interact with him, and he with they. The smile on her face says it all. Her smile is magical. Easily distracted, and without even a smidge of the candy having yet passed his lips, Bastien is quick to latch onto the existence of the duck and the fact that it has a bag around its neck with his name on it. "Mama! LOOK! Duck!" He swooshes and swoops it through the air in a not very duck-like manner, and uses it to peck at Gal's thigh as Giselle shyly tucks her face into his neck. "Birdie mine?" Tiny fingers bury themselves in the feathers, and Fleur finally relents, rising to her feet to sweep Bastien from his. "How about we let Uncle Gal breathe for a minute, and take him into the gardens to show him all the lovely things you've done for him for his lunch?"

Phew. Crisis averted. Gal mighthave needed rescuing in earnest had that gone very differently, and neither does he mind that Bastien doesn't seem to know much about how ducks work. He stands up to the pecking and looks over the faux-Guard's Cape the kid is wearing. "It's spot on. I might have to have your mama make me, one, too, in case I get a spot on mine. They hate it when you show up for presentation with spots on your cape," he grins. "Are you a Guardsman, too, today, Bastien? You wanna take my shift later?" he laughs, noogieing the boy gently and lovingly, then letting his heart absolutely melt when Giselle seems to bond with the fluffy eagle toy. "All yours, sweetie," he tells her, eyes welling with a little bit of moisture, just enough to make his eyes gleam, not enough to spill out. Then mom is here and to the rescue, "Oh, boy, I can't wait. What did you make for me?" he asks the kids, not letting go of Giselle but keeping her cuddled in against his side while he gets ready to accompany Fleur and Bastien out to the garden.

"Cake." Giselle whispers into Gal's neck. She smells and looks like she's been very involved with the making of that cake too, which Gal will probably be aware of now that she's snugged in so close. There's a sugary, lemony smell about her, and her hair smells as if she's upended a canister of baking ingredients upon her head. She's certainly not letting go of that eagle as she deposits another kiss to whatever part of Gal she can reach, though he'll have to balance her carefully in his one arm since Fleur's slipping her own through his other. "We're not going to spoil the surprise for you Gal. You'll just have to see for yourself. Bastien grinds to a halt, eyes opening wide at the question he's asked. For a moment there's that'd childish uncertainty that shows in his eyes, as if he's not quite sure whether Gal's pulling his leg or not. "You think I could? Could duck come too?" It's with a half-smothered laugh that Fleur tugs on Gal's arm, pulling him with her through the doors and into the garden.

"I think I already have a whole cake right here," Gal giggles, a sound too young and bubbly to qualify for any other appellation. He nuzzles his face down into Giselle's hair and nomfs gently over her head like he were taking a nibble, tickling her with his chin and the little vibrations from his throat. Then Fleur is on his other arm and he turns to look to her, almost shyly, meeting her eyes with a boyish smile and feeling that strange faltering sensation in his stomach as though this is a place where Louis ought to be standing, gazing at his wife and holding his girlchild while his boychild and heir asks the audacious questions of childhood. Clearing his throat to rid himself of that wibbling sensation, he angles his eyes down to Bastien, again. "Of course. You always have to have your partner with you when you stand on guard, in case one of you gets called away or needs to pee or something. I think we can find you and Duck a good post outside your sister's room while she has her naptime. You can't let anyone in to disturb her, right? Unless they know the password."

<FS3> Fleur rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 1 8 5 1 4 5 5 4 7 6)

Bastien opens and shuts his mouth. "I won't let anyone in." He declares solemnly, then sprints off ahead and down one of the paths. Fleur's eyes meet with Gal's over the top of Giselle's head, and she lifts the hand not tucked through Gal's arm, to ruffle her daughter's curls. Something of Gal's mood is picked up on, and there's a sudden softness that melts in the darkness of her eyes. "It's okay to be missing him, Gal. We all do. I tell Giselle all the time about how wonderful her father is, but I realise that he's nothing more than a name to her." She leans in, her fingers cupping behind her daughter's head so a kiss can be pressed to her curls. "Hurry up! Hurry up!" Bastien lingers on a bend in the path, eager to get the small party to their destination. And there it is. A table covered in a white linen cloth, festooned with streamers and paper lanterns, littered with flowers in colours that clash, and piled with plates of pastries, meats, cheeses and fruits. And in the centre of the table stands a messily iced cake, with Gal's name spelled out across its top in candied fruits. (Actually, it's spelt 'GUL' since someone's stolen the top of the 'A'.)

Gal's eyes flee the gentle contact, but he listens, even if his eyes are loitering down in Giselle's hair, the words threatening to draw out those earlier wellings of salt tears. Gal might be a tough kid, but tears have always come easily to him; tears for being happy, tears for being sad, tears for being angry, tears when seeing something beautiful. He nods his sullen understansing, keeping his arms protectively around the little girl, then squeezing Fleur's hand and hurrying along as Bastien commands. He'll be Comte, one day, better get used to following orders! "Oh, wow. It's got my name on it, too!" he marks, of the cake, just openly leaking, now, stealing his hand from Fleur's hand to wipe his eyes across the sleeve of his tunic. "Thank you, kittens. You put in a lot of work on that, and it's beautiful!"

Fleur trails in her family's wake, her hands knotting behind her back as she soaks in the scene and the emotions it brings. Giselle pat-pats her fingers to Gal's face, pressing his cheek in the way that children do so that she can turn his head and force him to look at her. "I did iced the cake, Uncle Gal." There's pride in that childish voice, an earnestness too for one so young, but she catches that leakage of tears from his eyes, and smears them away with her fingers. Up on the table, Bastien picks more candied fruit from the lettering of Gal's name, the unset icing smearing his fingers as he reduces the name so it now spells 'GIL'. And so the luncheon hour will pass, with Giselle wrapped up against Gal's chest and Bastien eating with duck on the side of his plate. And Fleur? Fleur will keep the small talk flowing, ensuring that Gal's plate is kept full and his glass topped up, and storing away the memories of the meal for setting down later in ink on parchment.

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