Log:Orchids and Periwinkle

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Orchids and Periwinkle
Characters  •   The Caregiver  •  The Addict  •
Location  •  Facility Parlor
Date  •  2018-12-25
Summary  •  The Caregiver and the Addict share a conversation in the parlor.

The Addict is wearing jeans today, and a t-shirt. The t-shirt has a unicorn on it. As ever, he's barefooted. Stretched out on one of the couches, he's reading a book. The over has scene from a fairytale on it, showing it to be a book of some kind of folklore. On the television, Heart is asking What About Love. He's paying no attention to the strange images and music, though. That's the way he's learned to cope. Just ignore it.


The Caregiver, on the other hand, has come in specifically for that noise of the television, initially, it seems. Because immediately her eyes are turning to see what's on the screen and she freezes to listen with a small tilt of her head. She's wearing a slinky ivory sweater dress with long sleeves, a high neck, and a short hemline. It's paired with dark brown belt at the waist and a pair of knee-length heeled boots, as well as that silver cross on the leather thong that never really matches anything she wears. But she always wears it.

When she sees Martin as she knows him, the Addict there lounging on the couch reading, she walks over and drops straight down into a sit on his midsection with a little bit of a lopsided smile, wondering without precedent during the smashing greeting, "So. Let's assume that you were a flower. Any flower. Which flower would you be and why?" She pauses, adding, "... flowering shrubs and trees count, I guess. Why not."


The Addict looks up and watches the Caregiver come over, and when she sits on him, he grins, all dimples, and closes the book, setting it on the floor. "Periwinkle," he says, "because I'm plain, pleasant, and thrive away from bright light." He considers, then adds, "Or I might be a primrose, because they're hearty and you can find them everywhere. Why, what flower would you be?" He folds his arms behind his head, content to lounge and be lounged upon.


"I don't know. I didn't think about it before I asked you. But your answer is inspiring. I like it. So let me think..." The Caregiver informs the Addict of this with her slant of smile still lingering, though she casts a curious glance at the book as it's closed and settled next to the couch on the floor. Her legs stretch out with booted cross at the ankles as she sits at lounge there on his midsection, leaning back some against the back seating cushions like there's not a whole person underneath her. Then after thinking for a few beats, she answers, "I think I'm an orchid. But not just one color. A different color every day I wake up because there's so many exotic varieties. And I have a lot of pieces." A pause, lashes cutting with thought as she goes on, "And their petals are delicate and beautiful, but they're supported on these tall strong stalks..." She talks with her hands some, informing, "They're cultivated more than they're ever found. And they're symbolic of love and beauty, I think. And those are rare things to cultivate and keep."


The book is titled Folklore of Ancient Ireland. Beneath the Caregiver, the Addict is lean but far from weak. He's in better shape than Martin was in Prosperity. This version hasn't been wasting away on laudanum for years. "I like that," he says, "an orchid. They must be treated with care, because they're delicate and rare, and only the best handlers can coax them into bloom." He smiles up at her. "I'm not much of gardener, but for the right flower, I would be willing to learn."


"Yes. I admit, it takes a certain type of person to be able to keep up with, manage, and understand me at length. Not because I'm so vain to think that I'm awful more complex than anyone else, but ah. I can be a handful, I think. I don't really mean to be. But there's far worse ways to be." The Caregiver pushes her tongue in brief against the line of her top teeth at one side after considering anew with once-Martin's commentary, a hand shifting to card fingers through some of her glossy straightened strands of hair.

Her head tilts toward the book on the floor with momentary indication, giving the man under her an option then as she presents with vague smile at linger, "Irish Folklore is something, honestly." A pause, "Speaking of the right flower..." Another pause, then a curious bat of lashes, like she's a bit stumped by the concept, "When the hell did you and Arthur happen and how?"


The Addict says gently, "Given all we've been through, it's not too much, to need handing with care." He watches her, his gaze falling on her glossy hair. His own is disheveled today, like it was pinned back but he undid it to lay down. It wants to lay flat, but it's kind of smushed off to one side. It gives him a sleepy, bedhead look.

"It's strange," he says, "but so... Irish." Then the Caregiver asks after his relationship with Arthur, and he laughs a little. "The first time I met him, I felt like I was hit by a train." The laughter fades as he admits, "It was the night of all those deaths. Arthur's brother was killed. It wasn't a great time to make myself known. We happened to run into each other a little later, and he agreed to be my doctor. I kept looking for excuses to see him. Then my cousin issued the challenge to Giles. Giles said he would make sure Arthur died once he was free of the bargain. So I stopped seeing him. To protect him. Then Giles was banished. I saw Arthur later in the week and finally told him how I felt." He smiles a little. "He felt the same. We got together the day of the last banishment, just before the battle."


There's a trap of The Caregiver's bottom lip between her teeth as some of her visible good nature fades on mention of Arthur's brothers being killed. Her father and uncle. She fainted that day. Right in the square. Mutilated and strung up. And now she knows who did it, at that. But... the moment passes in favor of the now after a tiny flinch of effort. Her voice goes soft before she wonders, "And... you had a life together after Prosperity? Or is this a reacquainting entirely?"

Her hand drops from her hair to fall against her lap, commenting, "I know the train feeling."


The Addict hesitates, then unfolds his arms so that he can lay a hand on the Caregiver's. Even meeting Arthur that night doesn't change the horrors he saw that night. "We had a life after Prosperity. My wife understood the way I am. She accepted me the way I am, and so Arthur and I were lovers." His brow furrows, and there's still pain in his eyes when he thinks about how Fleur is just... gone. "I was so happy. When Fleur didn't wake up here, I felt like my life was over. But Arthur's here, and we still care about each other. It's made it easier."


There's a moment where the very -Eilis- in Caregiver widens her eyes with a certain understanding, that turn of the century way of knowing and remembering kicking in just enough. It's not that she minds or is scandalized, she just never thought of marriage quite like the way he's explaining. At least it serves the purpose of jarring her out of any other residual pained echoes that were hanging around the mind, especially when she sees who she knows as Martin pained.

Her big blue eyes widen and her jaw drops a touch slack as she asks of the Addict, hand at turn under his to squeeze right before with the reassuring touch, "Wait. Wait. You all... together or separate? Like taking turns between lovers in life or did... like..." She doesn't have the vernacular for 'threesome'.


The Addict smiles a little and glances aside, with color in his cheeks. "Separate," he says. "He and Fleur, ah, didn't have those feelings for each other. I would be lying if I said the idea didn't appeal to me, but it never happened." He purses his lips and tries to stop blushing. "Arthur traveled a lot for his music. When he was in town, we'd get together. Usually, I was with my wife. If they had, um, if they had fancied each other, I wouldn't have minded. I think that would've made me even happier, but as things were, they were pretty good."


"Well. As long as you were happy and it wasn't the source of strife... I think... that's just fine to have. You see, that means you're not only lucky in love, but you're lucky in love twiceover. And that is a pretty keen thing." The Caregiver reaches with her free hand in lean to touch at the blush on one side of the Addict's face, as if trying to assure or balm embarrassment or fluster away in brief. Then she sits back straight again in that perch on his middle like a warm human cushion, pensive for a good few heartbeats.

"I am fairly certain Pierce would not go for that. Not that I want it. But thinking on principle. I--" Now it's her turn to blush, "The first time he kissed me after months of holding out, it was the first time... you know. And he swore to me with such a fire that night that I was his and no man or demon would have me to claim." A pause, "I suppose he saw to that." Then she pauses again, the heavy beat of reflection there with that supposing easing up some with sudden laugh, "Immediately after he... you know. I asked him-- was that supposed to happen? And he immediately pops off after assuring me I didn't break him that I wasn't allowed to virginal self-sacrifice to demons because I didn't qualify anymore. I had mentioned it as a passing idea, early on."


The Addict grins at the touch and turns his gaze back to the Caregiver. "I doubt I'll never know that kind of love again, to be so wholly known and understood. I miss her so much, but I'm so lucky we had each other." He smiles weakly. "We had a little girl named Llesenia. I know she's gone, but I like to think she's out there somewhere with her mother."

He sighs softly. It's a painful memory, but he's full of those tonight. Her story, though, gets a grin from him. "Fleur and Arthur both saw to that, in my case. We all have our heroes." He winks. Then he says, "I know it's not an arrangement suited to everyone. I think there's soething fiery and rare in being so wholly devoted to one person you'd be only theirs. I could do that, but I don't think I could ever put that kind of thing on Arthur. He's a free spirit."


Smiling softly, the Caregiver nods small understanding, but even though the motion is small, it's poignant coupled with the tone of her voice, "Yeah. I don't... really worry for the twin boys I had. I only got an hour with them before I died but I know that it felt like... seeing something come full circle in the warmest way. I'm afraid of losing the memory of how they felt and smelled. But even if it happens, I still know they're fine and got their full circle too, in whatever time. I know Sebastian and Colorado did just fine in the way we would have swelled with pride to see.."

Exhaling a soft sigh, she looks at the television just as she's starting to say something else, but... Uptown Girl comes on with full Billy Joel swagger and suddenly she's reaching down to prod on the Addict with excitement, "Have you seen this one? I have! It's so good!" She really likes the music picture box.


The Addict says, "You had twins? I imagine Bastian and Colorado were great with them." He sighs wistfully. Fatherhood agreed with him, in its odd way. "I like to think she had her full circle, too, my little Senni." He starts to slip into sorrow, but he doesn't get the chance. The sudden prod gets a startled laugh. He looks at the screen, and he says, "I've seen this one. It's catchy. I don't understand any of the images, except I finally figured out what a car is. They seem dangerous to me."


"I don't know, maybe. We're so used to wheels on rails, afterall. Does kind of feel scary to be off the tracks and rolling about, mm?" The Caregiver watches the video with fascination, starting her comment slow and distracted. But it ends with her eyes on the Addict in favoring of the dear music box on the wall, endearing him all the more, "But you know. Maybe it'd be alright. Worth the drive and the ride so long as we get to take the heart-pounding moments with us."


The Addict smiles up at the Caregiver softly. "We've fought demons," he says. "Surely we can handle a little speed. Maybe I'll take you for a drive in our next life. I can't imagine I'd say no to a pretty girl like you. I might owe Pierce an apology if I'm not careful." He winks. Then he glances at the screen and hums along with the song a bit. He's got a nice voice, from what little one can tell. "I hope we at least get to dance," he says. "That remains one of hte happiest nights of my life, when you and I danced."


"Maybe you will. But to be fair, I'm not sure if he's more likely or less likely to punch you over it in this place, so ah. You're on your own there, you bucking steer." The Eilis in Caregiver lights up with delight and humor at the compliment and supposition complete with wink, bubbling over with a sudden laugh from the throat. Then she tails it with a content little noise of agreement, at least at ease for the moment as she speaks with heart, "I figure anywhere we can take a little time out to dance maybe isn't going to be all terrible. But what do I know, mm? It's all rather out of my hands, I'll take what I have again while I have it. Here and now."


The Addict gasps. "A steer?" He lays a hand to his chest. "Madam, I'm a young bull, I assure you. Don't let my gentle demeanor fool you." There's humor in his eyes as he says the words. "Let us dance as often as we can while we have time, then. Maybe we'll get to dance in our next life, but you're right, it's out of our hands." He gestures to the television. "Besides, we have to learn how to make this music liveable. I'm starting to not mind it so much."


"I adore it. Well. Most of it. Other people don't. Cillian said--" The Caregiver pauses there and starts to shove up off of her sitting perch on the Addict while clarifying with a quiet huff of air, "Or, you know, whoever he is now, he says that the television is going to rot my brain. And for a second there, I thought maybe there were waves coming out and he meant it literally, then I realized that was stupid." She grins back over her shoulder once standing at the couch side, then turns to pick up the book to hand back to the man, "Honestly, I just think he's being pissy because I'm showing a lot of leg. And that means Cillian is in there somewhere. Makes me feel better. I'm going to go see about telling Pierce something talking to you made me think of."


The Addict swivels to sit up once the Caregiver rises. His hair is truly disheveled, but somehow, he makes it work. It just gives him the look of an urchin with those big brown eyes. He takes the book and glances at the television as if to weigh the odds of there being brain-rotting rays coming out of it. "That's one of the things I love about the television," he says, "all the ladies showing a lot of leg. It seems like a more englightened era." He turns his attention to the Caregiver and smiles at her warmly. "I hope that, whatever you tell him, he doesn't come out and punch me about it."


After a kiss on the cheek for the Addict, she's on her way down the hallway before his parting words hit. Then the Caregiver snorts out a laugh and calls over her shoulder, "Totally different kind of thing. But I tell you, if a man ever looked sexy throwing a punch, it was my Pierce Colton." She's practically all proud and swoon-worthy glow. It's kind of ridiculous. Some things aren't that different.