(1312-03-13) Everything is Fun
Summary: In which pretense is all the rage and everything is fun.
RL Date: Friday, the 13th of March, 1312
Related: None
symon sido 

The Grand Plaza

No humble, cobbled, crowded town square, this: the grand plaza of Marsilikos gleams, a true centerpiece of a wealthy, international port city. The marble tiles of the square itself are fitted smoothly together, alternating white and greyish-blue with obsidian equal-armed crosses inset at the intersections. Four raised planters, ten meters square, offer cool travertine seating around swaths of raised ground, grassy and tended in all seasons with foliage best beautiful and suiting to the weather, positioned in each of the corner quadrants of the square, and, in the center, a concrete-laid pool is lined with marble, into which four ichthyocentaurs are pouring cool, clean water from carved vases of striking white marble. On a pedestal half-hidden by the winding tails of the ichthyocentaurs is an ancient obelisk, one solid piece of red granite, imported with great expense from Menekhet, mounting twenty one meters into the sky and casting a winding shadow around the corners of the plaza as the day progresses.

On the western edge of the square a grand marble stairwell overlooks the port and the harbor below; to the north, two strips of marble extend far between the stoate pillars of the marketplace, embracing a well-cultivated spina of greenery.

It is a winter day. The weather is cold and fair.

It may be cold, but the sun is out, and that's enough to cheer one Sido-Zinnifre of the Salon of the Poppies. Her fur-lined suede buskins are bound with gleaming black-brown ribbons up her calves, and a brindle cape is snugged around her neck with a bow of the same sheen. A minder from her salon keeps her distance, but is there to vouchsafe the courtesan's safety, not that the bright white sparkling clarity of the resplendent Grand Plaza is much place for brigands and ne'er-do-wells. She's met with some one or other with whom she's acquainted, and is speaking with them in a hushed excitement near to one of the planters— then they take leave of one another, the latter carrying on, and the former dallying in place, lifting a hand to the marble edge of the planter and strolling around its edge to regard the fabulous forms in the fountain.

Symon has no fur whatever, but he has a camel-colored wool cloak that still looks rather fine, and is sufficiently warm if not as luxurious. It's chillier than he'd like it to be by now, and so he grips that closed with one fist, but he does pause to admire Sido's accessories openly as he passes near the fountain.

Sido is accustomed to admiration, at least in passing. She notes the pause and answers it but with an engaging smile and a subtle pooling of her satin-lined velveteen gown about those buskins of hers when she dips into a curtsy which is better inferred than seen. "My Lord." Oh, and she speaks. "The sun's made a promise he's yet to keep, hasn't he?" A jolly sort of way of putting it.

"Hello," Symon says brightly, as though they weren't speaking for the very first time in their lives. "I w…was just thinking the same thing, rather. And w…wondering w-wher you b-buy your fine furs." A smile to rival those sunbeams emerges.

Sido takes easily to Symon's manner, stance slackening into a dynamic contraposto with her hands tucked at the small of her back, nor taking umbrage at the familiarity of his salutation, but answering in kind: "Oh, these were a gift, from a dear friend up north of Carduroux. But they are terribly fine; if you'd like, I'll write and ask. Though each day I think more and more likely I will be putting them into the cedar for the season."

"Of course," Symon says at the news that the things were a gift. He waves a hand. "No, I couldn't p-possibly p…put you to the trouble w…when sprim m…/must/ b-be days away." He sounds hopeful, at least, that that is so. "Once it w…warms up, I'll forget w…winter ever existed."

"Until it comes back again to remind you, isn't it always?" Siz smiles, kind-eyed and easy-souled. "I like my buskins best of all. They feel like house-slippers for your entire leg, and are very pretty into the mix. And if you stand here where the planter breaks the wind and the sun shines firm, you can feel the first bit of spring warming through to your skin already. Soon enough it will be upon us."

"Seems that way so far," Symon admits with a rueful smile. He takes a moment to appreciate these buskins as well. "Oh, I truly can't w…wait. I hate the cold, b-but it's also no fun b…being stuck inside."

"It… can be fun, being stuck inside," Siz posits the thesis, gently and hypothetically, rather than with any air of rebuttal. "When it is truly ghastly out of doors, and you can curl up inside in some nice blankets before a fire or with a brazier near at hand, read a book, or have a nap, or just cuddle and be cozy. The poor weather without just makes it the more of a delight— do you think?" she draws Symon in to judge her momentary ekphrasis.

Symon cannot help but smile at the suggestion. "There are p…pleasant w…ways of b-being in," he is forced to concede, "B-but not forever. One chill day is a delight; sixty in a row loses a b-bit of novelty, don't you agree?"

"I do agree— though I am, perhaps, a little overfond of a good nap, and will seldom be too bored to find one sweet, if it comes to that," Siz tips her head to that playfully self-deprecating angle, shifting her weight forward onto the ball of her left foot and just subtly trimming the distance between them, eyes meeting his eyes. "Have you come out to walk, My Lord? We might walk a while together, if you'd care to. Perhaps if we pretend at spring long enough the sun will keep up."

"Oh, if you like," Symon says agreeably, bobbing his head and gesturing in the direction he'd been heading before, setting off at a slow pace if his new friend seems inclined to follow. "I w…wish p-pretending always could change the w-world," he says, but his tone is sunny rather than melancholy.

Sido does like, if the fact that she pops into motion and takes up a pace to match Symon's own says anything for her preferences. She keeps her hands tucked at her back, hidden below her cape, her torso angled slightly away from him— but all the better to keep her head angled and attentive. "Oh, yes? What would you pretend, if pretending had the power you wish?"

Symon somehow does not seem to have anticipated this natural next question in the conversation. "Oh," he says. "W-well… That I knew things, I suppose," he says with another flash of smile, "That everything w…were fun."

Sido's guardian follows apace, coming around the side of the planter next and watching them proceed for a while before stepping along, too. Siz takes Symon's favored pretenses under advisement, then, affably and with all casual tone of voice, "Well, I think that all sounds quite merry. Let us, then: today it is spring, everything is fun, and you know all you need," she pronounces the rules of the game.

<FS3> Symon rolls Perception: Failure. (5 3 2 3 1 3 3 1 6)

Symon Does not notice the guard, being so caught up in that lovely proposal for a game. "If that w…were all true, it w-would b-be time to p…plan a p-party, surely. A garden party, don't you think?"

"You're quite right," Siz answers brightly, then, tipping a shoulder in toward Symon fondly, "But, then, you ever are," she reminds him with a joyous smile. "A garden party, and whom might we invite?"

"Oh, everyone," Symon says immediately, turning rounded blue eyes on Sido. "I'm not feuding w…with anyone in M-Marsilikos, I don't think. And w…with p-parties, the b-bigger, the b-better."

"How wise you are— feuds never end up an aid to either side," Siz approves of his political m.o., "Then everyone it is. Which gardens shall be commandeered?" she goes on to ask the man with all the answers to-day.

Symon looks thoughtful. "I admit, I haven't m…my own gardens," Symon says. "You seem the w-wise type. W…what do you recommend?"

"And even if you had, they could hardly bear up under the whole town turning in," Siz supposes, "I think that Eisheth's Gardens would do well, and the priests certainly won't mind— everything is so much fun when the springtime is here," she steps with a drowsy daydreaminess, spinning a little on the ball of one buskined foot.

"That's true," Symon agrees, bobbing his head. "Surely they'd realize it's just the healing w…we all need after a long w-winter. Anyone w-with any sense appreciates spring," he opines. "W…what is your favorite part?"

"Of Spring? Oh, I don't know. Everything smells nice, everything is pretty," Siz tosses out a few things, then laughs. "Gosh, I feel like I should have some sort of deep and personal answer about the promise and innocent hope of a new season of growth or some such, but, I don't know, it's just pleasant, isn't it?"

"Oh," Symon says, looking taken aback at the idea of a deep and personal answer. "No, I rather think it's the things you said. And everyone comes out and you can talk again, and dance, and stay out late at night and look at stars if you like." He gets through all that without stammering once. "Although now that I say that, I'll have to b-be getting along to m…meet someone soon. Oh, b-by the way, I'm called Symon de P…Perigeux."

"Well… I think the things you said are better apt," Siz confides, "And I will steal your answer hence forth," she appends with an upward tip of her chin, an impish glance. "You really do have all the answers."

"So good to be acquainted, Lord Perigeux," she dips into another shallow curtsey as he's about to take his leave of her. "Sido-Zinnifre Bretel, of the Coquelicot Salon," she introduces herself, in turn. "But people call me Siz. You can, too, if you like," she offers him the familiarity without hesitation, as though she might offer it to everyone as a matter of conversational course.

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