(1311-11-30) Some People's Hobbies
Summary: Hugo and Soleil continue their conversation in the Gardens of Eisheth
RL Date: 2019-11-30
Related: Culture Shock
hugo soleil 

Jardins d'Eisheth

Tranquility and beauty of nature is what those coming to the gardens of Eisheth usually seek. There is a playfulness in the arrangement of paths through the greenery, and the way four of them wind to the center, where there is a pond surrounded by a few elm trees, beside an area with wooden benches and tables beneath an arbor, where ivy winds about wooden posts, and a roof of colorfully glazed tiles offers shelter from the sun but also moderate rain.

Bushes are trimmed, and the green is kept short, so that people coming here can enjoy the dramatic view over the coast all the way to the sea, with the harbor and the citadel slightly to the north. Slightly towards the south and close by is the infirmary with the herb garden beside, where a variety of plants used for healing and treating certain illness are grown under the immaculate care of the healers. Towards the east, a path leads towards the temple district, where the dominant structure of the Temple of Eisheth looms, the white marble shimmering almost otherworldly on late afternoons, when it catches the warm, orange light of the setting sun.

It is a fall day. The weather is warm and fair.


After escaping the Eiran girl at La Perle Noire, her culture shock, and her general social awkwardness, Soleil permitted Hugo to walk her to the Temple District, to the Jardins d'Eisheth where the beautiful structure of the temple takes up part of one view, while the other line of sight, to the sea, is kept open and beautiful. It's warmed up a bit in the afternoon sun, and Soleil is positively radiant in sunlight, removing her cloak and folding it over her arm so that she can enjoy the luxury of the sun on her skin and hair, and truly, she is lovely.

"So you are telling me," she laughs to Hugo as they walk along in a stately slow sort of way. "That your art probably could have been done by a six year old, and I'd never have known the difference? That's delightful. If I ever run into that odd girl again, I shall be certain to speak well of it, I think."

Hugo holds up a finger. "Let's say a seven year old. Or a particularly precocious six year old. After all, I've never yet eaten the crayons afterwards, so there's that," he insists, grinning broadly as he gestures to take her cloak. "To be fair, my technical drawings aren't bad. It's just that I lack any sort of artistic talent whatsoever. It's not something in which we were ever trained. I suppose you're a talented master of watercolour or something now, aren't you, to make me look an idiot?"

"Well, not eating the crayons is an excellent first step. And no, no, not a watercolorist or anything like that. I can," Soleil notes proudly, laughing with amusement at Hugo's description of his artistic talent, before continuing. "Play the lute in a reasonably not painful way. And write love poetry. And garden a smidge."

"I'm fairly certain that, as a rule, we just pay people to be entertaining on our behalf," Hugo admits cheerfully, finding his way to the arbour and gesturing broadly with one arm (and coincidentally her cloak) for her to find a seat. "But I will certainly bear you in mind next time I need a spot of romantic poetry written for a lady friend, or somebody to tell me which flowers to give her. Otherwise I'll pick something brightly coloured at random and hope… which is rather my approach to courting on the whole."

"Frankly, it's a perfectly reasonable way to court, in my opinion. Although don't forget the pretty things that start off looking fairly plain and then shimmer beautifully when the light hits them, like pearls and opals and diamonds. Those sort of things go quite a long way in courting," advises Soleil with a charmed laugh, shaking her head just slightly so that her pearl earrings bob in the pleasant sunlight that has chosen to grace them with its presence.

"That's a level of subtlety beyond me," Hugo insists with a laugh of his own. "I'll add you to the list to tell me what jewellery I ought to buy them, too, then. I'd actually like to get the woman who runs the coffee shop something as a little thank you for being a good sport and putting up with me and my blabbering about the moon and so forth. D'you have any good suggestions?"

"Do you often blabber about the moon, my dear? I hadn't noticed," Soleil replies with a curious little smile, quirking one perfectly manicured brow. "The shop is called 'The Black Pearl,' and while it's probably a reference to the beverage she serves, a little bauble with a black pearl on it wouldn't be amiss. A delicate ring or graceful pendant or such might be a pretty touch, and you could certainly try to have the jeweler manage a particularly coffee colored one. A charm for a bangle or bracelet, even. Just a frivolous little thing that'll match jewelry she already likely has." She purses her lips. "Though there's nothing wrong with choosing to investigate what she wears regularly either."

Hugo leans back against the upright of the arbour, wrinkling his nose. "Well… actually, yes, yes I do. Bit of a hobby of mine, yabbering on about the stars and the moon and mathematical theories to very polite people who nod and smile and encourage me and let me drag them out at night to look through telescopes regardless their own level of interest. Which," he adds, grinning self consciously, "is usually nil. An actual black pearl, though, that's a good shout. I'll see if I can get hold of one. Ring or pendant, do you think? What gives the right impression?"

"That depends very much on the shape of the pearl. Most pearls are round, but some are quite oblong and bumpy, and some can be tear-shaped, even. It all depends on how it was created. The rounder the stone, the more likely it will look good on a ring. The odder the stone — that I would string on a pendant and let its unique beauty shine through," Soleil opines thoughtfully. She shakes her head slightly. "I am certain that I have listened to far more boring things than the mathematics of the sky while trying to get to know a patron. As an oneiromancer, I really have to understand what's in a person's head to truly serve them. And thus, I've sat through some truly tedious lectures."

"Now, I know you've got your confidentiality clause," Hugo agrees, eyeing her curiously. "But without naming any names, what's the dullest thing you've had to listen through? And do you charge them extra if they're utterly boring?"

"Here's the thing: everything sounds fascinating at first. 'I have a collection of dead bugs!' 'Oh lovely! It must be neat to see how bugs work!' And then they bring you to a room where they have literally thousands of dead bugs, and some of them are sorted into boxes, and some of them are actually quite lovely, but honestly, it's so weird and overwhelming, and they talk about their friends in other countries with whom they correspond about dead bugs, and they send tiny bug corpses back and forth in padded boxes so that they can look at the wings and the legs under magnifying lenses, and they *do not understand how terribly odd this sounds to the rest of the world,*" Soleil notes a bit breathlessly.

"Well, damn, there goes my plan for an afternoon showing you dead spiders," Hugo insists solemnly. "I was certain that was going to be a surefire winner, too. I mean, come on, what woman anywhere wouldn't love to see a collection of dead invertebrates." He tries. He clearly does try, but by the time he reaches the end of the sentence, there's that huge grin on his face again and he lets out a laugh. "Yeah, all right, I can see how that might be a bit odd."

"I would like to be under contract if I have to look at dead spiders for an afternoon," Soleil demands, her blue eyes wide for a moment, and then she shakes her head and laughs. "Or several. So I can appreciate that you'll spare me. Even money doesn't make some things interesting."

"But surely you could use your newfound bug knowledge to help other people fall asleep," Hugo insists cheerfully. "I mean, the more you want to tell me about arthropods, the more likely I am to conk out."

"Yes, but I don't know that the sleep would actually be restful. You'd probably have awful dreams about insects of one sort of another, and I don't think that would produce restful sleep," Soleil notes with a cheerful laugh, amused. "I think I'll stick with relaxing people through other means."

"Like playing hide the sausage," Hugo responds, grin surfacing again and making his dimples deepen. "Which is not an actual sausage, but a phallus, thank you for the explanation. Blessed Elua, I really don't want to be mean, but that was hard work, wasn't it? The poor girl."

Soleil beams at this, her face lighting up. "Yes. But not to be mean, hiding it so that they cannot eat it. Can you even imagine? If everyone in the salons hid sausages instead of 'hiding sausages,' the whole Night Court would smell strongly of rotting meat," she laughs, delighted. "She'd do better not to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when she hears a phrase."

Hugo lifts a hand. "Honestly, I think the smell would put me right off my game. I don't ask for much, but I do think basic levels of hygiene are a necessity."

"Yes, that's why we understand that we mean phalluses and not actual meaty sausages," Soleil replies with an amused laugh, closing her eyes for a moment and putting a hand to her head.

Which is enough to elicit a concerned look and a touch to her arm from the Trevalion. "Are you quite all right? Do you need something? Sorry, I shouldn't be taking up your time with my babbling, when you've no doubt got a dozen better things to do."

"No, no, it's quite fine. I was just rather tired by that conversation earlier. Having to explain every single little turn of phrase to that girl with the impossible name was just exhausting," Soleil says with a soft smile.

"How about I promise to buy you dinner some time soon, and in the meantime I walk you home so you can get a good night's rest," Hugo suggests, tilting his head a little. "And," he adds with a little smile, "so you can talk to your fellows about what a rough day you've had, without having to smile and be pretty in front of some Trevalion chap for the sake of keeping up appearances?"

"Really, that sounds delightful, thank you," Soleil replies with a pretty little laugh. There's no indication that she's ever anything but pretty, though. "I appreciate the pleasure of your company."

With which, Hugo offers his arm once more, a beaming, dimpled smile, and heads back with the courtesan in tow to deliver her to her salon to rest. Or to gossip. Or to dream of invertebrates. We don't judge.

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