(1312-04-19) The Old Siz Eyes
Summary: Sleepless Sido seeks comfort from a Coquelicot colleague — and counsel on one of the conundrums of a courtesan’s career.
RL Date: 19/04/2020
Related: Nothing in particular.
niobe sido 

Niobe's Chamber — Le Coquelicot


Sido sneaks across the hall to Nio's door and does a little tippety tippety of knuckles along the very edge of the door, where she might well nudge it a little open if it's not well-closed or securely fastened. "Nio," she whispers into the crack. "Nio, are you awake?" she dances antsily foot to foot.

There's always a sort of cheerful chaos in Niobe's room. It's not just the squawks and ruffled feathers of the four or five tropical birds of all shapes and sizes that greet anyone entering, but that combined with the little bowls of seed and fruit, of which at least one is usually upended, the hanging toys, mirrors and bits of shell and stone she's littered about the place for their entertainment, but also the ephemera of a woman for whom 'tidying' is a dirty word. Stockings hang over the back of chairs, empty glasses always seem to find a ledge to roost, and there never was a lid that Niobe could keep with its own jar.

Even now, early in the morning, the crack of the door is enough to set off a raucous screech from the parakeet who has taken it on herself to act as guard-bird. If she wasn't awake, and judging by the bleary eyed face that then comes to the door she wasn't, Niobe is now. Or some sort of approximation thereof. "Wha? Wharrisit?" she mumbles, cuffing her eyes to try to appear vaguely compos mentis. "Siz?"

It is a Siz, after all, giving Nio the old Siz eyes and hugging herself meekly, already offering an apology in her bearing and expression amd hardly needing to offer one verbally, when she can give an explanation, instead. "I can't sleep," she whispers. And so, evidently, neither is Nio allowed to? "Can I cuddle in next to you?" she asks, rather plaintive.

It's a testament to Niobe's nature that she doesn't even bother to ask questions. Instead she just opens the door a little wider and steps back to let the other woman in. The parakeet proudly struts up and down on top of the large mirror by the dresser, cocking her head at this new visitor and letting out another ear piercing whistle, which Niobe has apparently trained herself to simply ignore. A scarf, some stays and a single shoe are swept from one side of the bed and allowed to find a new home on the floor, so the Balm can flip back the top of the sheets on both sides and gesture invitingly. She doesn't actually say anything, perhaps attempting to manage this entire episode of getting up, answering the door, ignoring the bird, and returning to bed without releasing any of the sleep she was enjoying.

Nio doesn't ask an Siz doesn't answer, only slips through the doorway as soon as it's wide enough for her to fit, maybe startling a little when the bird screams at her, but otherwise just letting her hand find some comforting swatch of Nio's nightclothes and following directly in her footsteps to avoid stepping on anything she ought not. She's briefly distracted by some bird toy danging from over there, but when she's gestured along into bed she climbs in and wiggles her way back, feeling out the warmth where Niobe had been sleeping and scooting past it to where the bedding is cooler, leaving Niobe's imprint available to her in its entirety to sleep as she normally does, and meanwhile nudging her way under each and every cover there is.

Niobe wouldn't be very good at her job if she weren't, in general, a tactile sort of person. Even in a semi-sleeping state she curls in against her unexpected companion, one arm looping around the younger woman's waist and the other finding its way to rub expert fingertips through Sido's short, fair hair, stroking it back and lending her strong, practiced fingers to casually massage the side of her scalp.

Sido slides her own arm over Nio's ribs, in turn, letting her hand hang down and fingers drape against Nio's back. Her calf, down lower, slides along Nio's calf and she bows her neck, tucking her head in against her friend and Comrade-in-Naamah, the muscles in her neck pretty much liquefact under the attentions of the hand that knows exactly where to press to relieve tension Sido-Zinnifre never even knew she was holding. Her mouth lolls open and her eyes flutter half-shut.

Content to merely explore the areas of the woman's neck that seem abnormally solid, Niobe allows a comfortable silence to stretch out for some time before finally relenting, deciding she's awake now anyway, and asking, "What's bothering you?"

And then it's Nio's turn to bring Siz back from the cozy embrace of slumber. But the cuddles are warm, wholesome and affectionate, and Siz hardly minds being awake under such a circumstance. Her mind having been quite near to empty, the question brings an immediate answer to the fore of her mind, and one she wasn't really expecting, either. But the longer it sits there, the more she assumes it's correct, and lets out a winding sigh. "There was a Lady. She came to visit and I just felt like… we had this instant connection. But the next time we met she… I don't know, it was different. Like she didn't even care. It's stupid, I know it's stupid, but it hurt my feelings."

Niobe finds her way to the base of Sido's skull, rolling her fingertips in tiny circles where her neck meets her head and the shorter fuzz of her hair prickles beneath her fingers. "So tell me about her?" she encourages, arm pulling the young woman tightly in against her by way of sympathy. "Why do you think the change of heart?"

"She's funny, so cute, just really kind of a free spirit. Like a little bit of a girly girl, but also and at the same time like… she could just be a total bad-ass?" Siz gives an unedited notion of first opinions and attractions, which very well may be skewed with heliotrope-colored lenses, but there you have them. "One day we were gazing into each others' eyes and the next… well, we weren't alone, I suppose was the difference, and she seemed to prefer anybody's company to mine."

"So she has a different persona she has to keep up in company?" Niobe suggests, flicking a sympathetic smile. "That all sounds very familiar, doesn't it? Do you have plans to see her again, alone?"

"I had sort of hoped that she would call," Siz confesses, now regularly languid, "But in vain. I don't want to go throw myself upon her if she is displeased by me somehow," she further worries. "It would be best just to consider the matter closed, wouldn't it? And yet when you ask me what bothers me, that all comes straight back. Despite being several months' past, now."

"We are in a fortunate and unique position," Niobe points out fondly, "where calling on a favourite is flattering. Send word to her. Invite her to join you for… whatever it is you do with your cards and your crystals and your whatever else it is." One can almost hear the air quotes around certain words. "You'll do better to talk to her than to come crawling in here, worried. I can't tell you what she's feeling. She can."

"I wasn't worrying when I crawled in," Siz points out, a cat-like smile as evident in her voice as Nio's scare quotes were in hers. "Now I am," she tickles Nio's back with her fingers spidering to life from their inanimate drape. "But I'll have to think of what to do in the morning," she asserts, for which distinction this paltry hour barely qualifies. "If you rub my head again I will be asleep in only a moment."

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