(1312-06-06) For the Birds
Summary: Gal feeds the birds and is morose with Alienor.
RL Date: 2020-06-06
Related: None
alienor gal 

Market Promenade — Marsilikos

Two massive promenades, separated by a narrow row of alternating planters and plinths supporting marble statues from all over the known world, make up a marketplace that extends in a narrow space far to the north of the grand plaza to the south. Each walkway is two two-meter marble slabs wide, one gleaming white, the other greyish-blue, and they alternate to and fro in coloration all the way down each promenade, their intersections marked with a series of equal-armed crosses in shimmering black stone. While there is plenty of space for vendors to set up ad-hoc establishments to hawk their wares, to each side of the double promenade are stoa of fluted marble, holding up a terra-cotta tiled roof over a shady, cool walkway, punctuated here and there with doorways and windows open to a long series of indoor shops, each marked with a hanging sign outside the door.

Every twenty meters or so, five stairs lift the level of the promenade as the marketplace works its way uphill, to a smaller plaza at the northern end where all the most exclusive and expensive shops are established. This smaller plaza also has an obelisk of red granite in the middle; it's shorter, and more slender, but when the change in elevation is taken into account, its tip is at the exact same height as the massive obelisk in the town square to the south.

It is a spring day. The weather is warm and overcast.

Gal is in his standard off-duty kit. The boots still give him away, though, those are the boots that the City Guard wear, with the strips of armor embedded into the sides. Tucked into those, some brown worn-leather riding trousers, and, almost hiding those except for an inch or two between its hem and the tops of the boots, a brick-red tunic with its sleeves presently rolled up against the oncoming heat of summer. He's gotten a loaf of this morning's bread, no longer hot but no less fresh and fluffy as he breaks the crust open in his fingers, from Audrialla's place, and doesn't really seem to care about the manner in which he's just shoving it into his cheek.

Dressed in a blousy loose gown that is breezy enough that she can keep it from touching her back, Alienor wanders the market, mostly window-shopping, with a guard in the livery of the Rose Sauvage and a chaperone following her in a disapproving sort of way. It's the sad sort of shopping, the sort that's done when one hasn't any money to spend, but she is looking at this intently.

Gal ambles without purpose, 'til he finally just turns and sets his ass against the side of a giant stone planter inside of which a garden of flowers are just fading from their spring bloom and littering the place with petals. It's as apt a backdrop as any, at this point. He watches people without much interest. Same shoppers, different day. He doesn't have to have his guardsman's ear perked up, if someone gets pickpocketed, well. There are others of the guard posted in their full uniforms and their bright blue capes with their giant-assed polearms posted at intervals to come to the rescue. For Gal, the only thing that stands out is that sort of ambient moroseness in the way that courtesan is shopping. But she's a courtesan, after all— it doesn't take much to determine that— and they don't much deal with the likes of a fellow living on a guardsman's salary. He nods a little bit to her chaperone, as if to say, 'I see you. I'll leave her alone.'

Alienor does have all the accoutrements of a proper White Rose, after all, though her hair is twisted up tightly rather than curled alluringly, and she seems wistful, with her hands in the patch pockets of her gown. She stops to sigh longingly at a dress in a shop window, romantically styled and vibrant with color, and she looks tired for a moment. "Do you think it'll rain today?" she asks Gal in the casual way that strangers ask one another these sorts of things.
<FS3> Gal rolls Meteorology: Success. (8 4 5)

Gal is in the middle of stuffing another hunk of soft bread into his maw when she addresses him, of all things. The bread is fluffy and compacts down, but still his eyes water slightly in trying to swallow it before it's ready, creating a kind of literal lump in his throat to match any metaphorical one that might be lingering. He processes her question, though, and, squinting his eyes against their watering, he peers up at the sky for clues and also to give himself time before he answer, "Mmm. Dunno… maybe? There are some clouds up northeast and those like to roll to the sea?"

"Maybe," the young courtesan repeats, and the breeze makes her dress bellow, and there is the scent of rain in the air. She looks up at the sky for a moment, at the overcast sky, and she shakes her head slightly. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt your eating. I hope that your bread is good."

"It's from Audrialla's, you know it's good," Gal tries, maybe, to inject a little levity, though it doesn't stick— not even with him. He holds over the loaf, whether or not she'd care to take a pull of the white fluff from its exposed flank. He doesn't add voice to that offer of bread, though, skipping over it entirely in favor of, "You OK?"

"Oh, thank you. But no thank you," Alienor replies, shaking her head to the offer of bread. "I don't really get out much. I had to stop by the marquist's after visiting the temple to have the healing of my back checked on. That's all."

Gal draws the bread back in toward him, then. "Sure thing," he accepts her thanks-but-no-thanks, starting to pick at the bread again, but failing to pluck up the hunger to grab any more of it. He looks up and to his side, sort of angling his torso back just above the waist, but the marque is all presently covered (I would suppose). "Does it hurt a lot?" he goes on and asks, since he's always kind of wondered.

The marque is covered by her billowing dress, because there's nothing terribly attractive about a newly inked piece, half-finished while the inflammation caused by the process goes down over a few days. "No," Alienor replies with a little shake of her head. "It's not comfortable, while they're doing it, but the salon has special salves to make it itch less. But it still itches. It definitely still itches. That'll go away with the swelling in a couple of days, though, so it's mostly a matter of not scratching now."

Gal ends up just holding the bread on his leg with one hand, his other hand settled back behind him to prop him in a lean. "That's the worst, having an itch and not being able to scratch. Under armor is the same thing, though I guess that's at least a matter of physical barriers and not just… pure willpower. Ehm…" he shrugs up a shoulder, "I guess talking about it isn't helping much, either. Sorry. I don't usually talk to… y'know…"

"People?" Alienor suggests to finish his sentence, a bit confused, and then shrugs slightly. "It's fine. If you don't want to talk, I'll just wander along. Window shopping." She smiles slightly.

"People with… so much ink," Gal specifies, indicating, by periphrasis, her status. "I mean, we can talk, I just feel like I'm going to say something dumb and end up with my foot in my mouth," he goes on, as if this might be a custom of his. "What are you shopping for?" he straightens up his shoulders to introduce a new topic.

"Oh. Oh. Yeah. It's fine. It's really fine. I'm in a …strange place right now," Alienor replies with a little shake of her head. She sighs a bit, glancing around at the shops for a moment. "I'm just looking, you know? I don't have a lot of extra money right now… So I'm just… just looking."

"A strange place?" Gal repeats, not quite following her lead in looking at the shops, but watching her face, instead. "Mm. Yeah, I feel yah. My place has been pretty weird recently, too," he taps the butt of the loaf against his tunic, getting some flaky crumbs onto it, which he then sits up to brush onto the ground. "I wouldn't have thought you'd be hurting for coin, though. Err. Sorry. Is that insensitive?" he winces. He knew he was going to say something wrong.

"No, but it's pretty common for an adept to spend absolutely everything they make on their marque," Alienor explains with a slightly shy smile. "The sooner you finish, the sooner you're working for yourself."

That's news to Gal, but Gal hasn't ever really been versed in these matters. "Huh. Fact of the day," he declares it, fiddling with a bit of the bread between two fingers and pinching off a tiny bit, sending it down with the crumbs to see if he can lure that dove sitting on the overhand opposite them. "So making a mental list of all the stuff to shop for once you're independent?" he supposes.

"Yes, I suppose so," Alienor replies with a nod. "I cannot take an assignation right now anyway, so I'm just walking through town, trying to entertain myself and stay out of trouble."

The dove, meanwhile, remains wary of Gal's offering, made in good faith though it might have been. Sagacious biped. Gal starts rolling up another pellet of the breadstuffs. Alienor says she can't take an assignation, and Gal takes hr at her word, not having any idea of their rules or schedules, he just sort of nods his head amiably as if, of course. Of course she can't. "Well, I'm in the city guard, so if you need help staying out of trouble, I can probably manage. I don't feel like I might be at my most entertaining, just now, though. Sorry." He flicks the next pellet and, even though the dove remains aloof, a gleaming-coated grackle darts in and takes it away with him. "Oh, did you see that? It got it."

"It did. I don't really know anything about birds," Alienor admits with a pleasant smile, watching the grackle with amusement. "He seems greedy but enthusiastic. And you don't have to entertain me. It's just hard to look one's best when one's marque is inflamed."

"Yeah, me— me neither, really," Gal shrugs, excusing the burden of education from being on him, her se. "Just that… well, you know, bread," he shakes his head, deciding against pulling loose any more of the bread in hand for the avians, maybe if only to save himself having to buy any more supper. "Oh… yeah, OK, that makes sense," does it, though? "I mean, you look fine," he hurries to add, if she were feeling insecure. "Just… mm… morose?" he tries to pick a word. "I guess I'd look morose, too."

"Oh. I don't really mean to be morose," Alienor replies, which only makes her look at the more concerned, naturally, and she crosses her arms and shifts a bit awkwardly. "It's just been a really strange few days. Well. Week or so. Maybe fortnight. It's been a rough fortnight."

"You're allowed to be morose," Gal points out, then, brow furrowing, "I mean— I don't mean that you have my permission to be morose, I just mean that if you're morose, that's fine. You don't need to put on a sunny dispositon just to please some random guy," he tries to better explain himself, quite possibly to no avail. "Sorry about your fortnight."

"Sometimes life takes a turn and we don't know how to deal with it," Alienor murmurs thoughtfully, pressing her lips together for a moment, looking a little concerned for a moment. "Anyway, it's not that bad. It'll all work out. I'll figure something out in the end."

Gal blinks quietly down at the bread, then sets his lips in a firm line, to match hers, without even consulting her face to check if he's doing it right. "You know what? That's true," he tells her, as though he were surprised to find a truth in among this rather generalized to and fro. "It will all work out. And maybe it isn't that bad. Still doesn't stop it feeling that bad, though."

Alienor looks at him and actually smiles for once. "Thank you," she says with a measure of warmth and vulnerability. "People love me and they'll take care of me, and it'll be fine, in the end. I'm young, and I have a future."

Gal returns the smile, though his is a quantum and a half tighter, offered along with a terse, slow nod. "There's always the future. I'm Gal, by the way," he remembers he hasn't said hello. He offers no surname, but, "I'm in the Guard."

"Alienor no Rose Sauvage," says the girl easily, and her surname makes it completely manifest what her occupation is, even if her white dress and chaperone and guard didn't already. "It was a pleasure meeting you, Gal. It's nice to talk to people."

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