Log:We Bleed Beautiful Rubies
Eden sometimes wears intricate things. Today's dyed red leather dress garment literally took lacing up both sides, the front, and back, and required the care of a young 'meanie' as handmaiden while dressing. There's also a series of loops and cuffs on her bare arms and adornment charms and chains strewn through curls and braids in her hair.
It's late. A lot of the Fortunate are asleep in on the communal beds and pillows or in smaller partitioned areas. Next to the communal pools for bathing, a slight young thing with pale blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes is gradually working the Patron piece by piece and lace by lace to bare for her nightly bath.
Eden is quite still and patient and picturesque while this happens-- sometimes she's capable of being so quiet and posed, it's like looking at a statuesque piece of art, which is either admirable or slightly unnerving, depending on context. While standing for undress, she watches the stragglers coming in from task with a Caller to take their own rest, occasionally tipping her dark head with tiny nods as they pass in the distance.
Zephyr is still awake, though he does tend to nap during the day and is awake into the evening. Instead of occupying his usual position, he has been in one of the partioned areas tending to a young Fortunate named Georgie, who hasn't left since returning from donating blood earlier today. Zephyr isn't exactly known for his nurturing nature, but he hasn't left the youth's side. At least not until he comes out to approach the baths.
He's in a sage green robe that only falls to his thighs, with short sleeves that show the small bruise inside his elbow, a sign he's donated today. He pads toward the water, and he inclines his head to Eden. "Might I have a moment of your time, Patron?"
ROLL: Eden rolls brains+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x3 (Set) -- Match Value: 3 (Raw: 2 6 6 3 6 -- d6)
Eden turns her head and takes a moment to look at Zephyr, studying his mien and general details (like the arm) before replying, a slight smile gracing her features for the young man. And though her response and expression is generous and light with invitation, there's something about the cast of her eyes in that expressive Eden way that speaks without words. She's visibly noting the importance and putting them in close bathing quarters to make the talk appear more casual than confidential.
Things like this are what mark Eden as approachable despite her bearing-- she notices small things and is extremely empathic to moods or general situations, even without needing full details. "Of course. You have given a piece of yourself for cause today? Will you relax with me once I am free of adornment?"
The girl tending to the patron has finished pulling off all the jewelry and hair adornments and is working the final lacings off of the dress to stash in a basket to take away when finished. Eden's hand gestures toward the furthest pool with a stride that way once bare. It happens to be the hottest pool too, a tactical body stress reliever for conversation.
Zephyr follows after, and he keeps quiet until they are well and truly secluded, or at least as secluded as one may get here in the Gilded Cage. The young redhead has been behaving quite strange lately, truth be told. For the longest time he fought tooth and nail with his brother Cinder, and lately, they seem to have made peace. This has softened the youth's haughty nature some. Not entirely, but some.
He sits at the edge of the pool, trailing his fingertips in the water. "There was a War Girl," he says. "She was dying. When I left, she looked much better. Cinder distracted me as they put the needle in. I, ah, fainted the first time I donated." Which isn't precisely what he wants to talk about, but it's polite to make conversation instead of blurting it out.
The girl is dismissed with Eden's things and leaves behind a towel and a long, thin robe for the patron to put on after she removes herself from the water. She's apparently planning on doing actual washing when she awakens, because she pins up her hair and only has a cloth with fragrant oil on it to wet left poolside, no other soap left behind.
Listening as she sinks into the hot water next to where Zephyr is, she breathes out a gently pleasured sigh of relief to be weightless in the heat of the water, her on-point posture fully relaxing in rare visible moment. But water is made to be coveted, and so, she enjoys it properly, no real call for presentation or airs like this
"It is odd, but sometimes it helps to watch the needle go in. It helps me detach from the pain and wooziness, seeing it as a process, thinking about my blood giving health to someone else, observing the place where saving a life all begins."
Eden is patient, she gives advice for this in useful, quiet fashion as she would anything else, conversational point or not.
Zephyr smiles, just a ghost of a smile, really, and he says, "Maybe someday I'll work up to that." He's comfortable with the Patron's nakedness. That's life in the Gilded Cage. It's doubtful this is the first time he's seen her in the flesh and doubtful it'll be the last. He is, himself, already bathed and about as pristine as one can be again after his donation.
"Georgie didn't do so well today," he finally says. Georgie is a few years younger than Zephyr, and they've never seemed particularly close before. "When I got to the sick room today, the Healers were working on him. He panicked when the needle went in. There was quite a bit of blood." He takes a moment to breathe. "He's resting."
"He is young. He will acclimate. Or he won't, but he'll at least learn to suffer more gracefully, yes? I can make swooning out look quite attractive, I believe." Eden tells Zephyr with a small nod of her head, making the barest lacing of humor and confession that maybe, yes maybe, once upon a time, the Patron might have had a blood-parting problem of her own she overcame with time.
Maybe. She's not directly confessing that, and she wouldn't, the woman keeps her conversation so very focused on other people or matters when talking, it's hard to know many personal things about her beyond what people see. For an attentive moment, she looks and weighs the man again before wetting her cloth to start wiping away the day's cosmetics now that the steam she's basking in has made it less of a task.
Then she slips in commentary that's not inquiry, but a probe or opening to take or leave, "You are rattled. I do hope you hydrated well, it can leave one not feeling quite up to par if you are not careful."
"I thought he was going to die," Zephyr says, "there on the floor of the sick room." Rarely leaving the Gilded Cage, Zephyr is somewhat shielded from most of the ugliness of life and death. "Drak was cleaning up the blood, and Georgie just looked so awful. Anyway, they brought him back here and I've been keeping an eye on him. He's in bad shape. That Copper, Locke, he was there, and he said I should tell you what happened."
Eden takes a moment to process this all while wiping away her makeup with the scented oil on the cloth, wetting it to rinse afterwards. When without cosmetic aid, her features are more fresh, fair, and angelic than doll-like elegance, so when she looks at Zephyr, it's more openly gentle with sympathy. Turning with slosh of water, she casts the cloth to poolside and rises to stand out of the water to gesture for the man's face.
"Come here, precious. It does not feel like it now, but to have blood with the precious flow of beautiful red rubies, it is a gift and a blessing." Reaching her wet hands out with no real concern for the steaming bare expanse of skin she is now out of the pool, water line left at her hips, she goes to take the young man's face between in grasp with thumbs at brushing pet.
"He will recover. Understand that the medical people will not take //our// sacred lives for another. Panic probably had much to do with how bad it seemed at the time. I will speak to him on this when he is well and try to help him prepare for when the next call comes." Her head tilts then, "It is good you are taking care of him. Sometimes, we need to nurse someone else to assuage our own fears. Sometimes, we need to see someone pull through to calm the irrational fears in our own minds. He will be well. And next time you give blood, so shall you. Yes?"
Zephyr lifts his gaze to hers. He is a rare flower, and perhaps sometimes prone to wilting, but there's a quiet endurance about him. As precious as he is, he still manages to somehow end up okay. "I'm feeling a rare moment of protectiveness for a younger Fortunate," he admits. "Because if it were me, I wouldn't be all right. I would need someone." With a small smile, he adds, "I did okay today. I didn't even faint. It helped, seeing the War Girl who received my offering, and the way she rallied. I believe in the cause, Patron. You can count on me. I won't balk."
"Very befitting. I am proud of you. But not just for your performance and resolve. You see..." Eden leans in to press a kiss against Zephyr's forehead after initially speaking her pride in regards to his thoughtful nature and resolved behavior about what's clearly an unpleasant task for many of the 'blessed'.
"It is not your natural inclination to give without return-- it is understandable for the way we live our lives. We are valuable, valuables buy our valuable time and talents, everything has value, this trade of desires. We must find our own ways to feel recompense..."
The brunette pauses then and sinks back down into the water, thoughtful in visible ways with her expression and eyes deep in distraction, "You are learning about the principle of giving in different ways. It is fulfilling. I understand it well."
Eden takes in Monitors and gives them what they need happily, without any lux exchange, just their due right for service. It's probably a concept she gets entirely, the need to give another security and burden eases because it feels like a part of the giving principle that Fortunate are made for. Care for the herd is just as poignant internally as it is externally.
Zephyr leans into her touch, which is itself more forthcoming in affection that he's usually known to give. "Perhaps I've been too rash in the past," he says. "The transaction is a matter of creating a boundary, not of greed. I'll give of my blood and my body, but my heart... It is all I have that's truly mine, isn't it? Small and bitter as it may be. After I fell out with Cinder, I guarded it. Now that we've reconciled..." He lets out his breath in a soft sigh. "I'm still figuring out who I am now, Patron. Hopefully a better version of who I was."
"Do not feel any shame or regret in learning how to navigate this life. We have our troubles like the ones that fight and die and struggle. They are not the same troubles, but everything is relative and most of us are human parallels of the same base needs. The issues just emerge differently due to environment." Yes, Eden is quite into psychoanalysis given half a chance because she finds it interesting to observe the way men and women are with their private desires, needs and wants, to learn where it all stems from. And while everything is different with details, so much of it is also the same.
Ah, the life of a companion, especially when the companion takes company to incredibly intimate levels. Being //too// good at what Eden does for and with Callers has certain negative kickback from time to time, bouts of jealousy or clinginess, but Eden //herself// always seems to be unaffected and takes it all to manage with grace and understanding. Of course, playing that close to Callers is dangerous for her in another way. What if one of them worms in and sticks?
But it's Eden. Surely not. She's always appropriate. Except... suddenly she gets a little personal, prompted by that last bit Zephyr says, "... I am still learning what I like and who I am too. We surpress our desires by trained habit to favor the desires of others, for the greater good. It's easy to not ever quite get a grip on what //we// want or enjoy. I feel like this is a good step for you."
"You are wise," Zephyr says, "and I much admire you, Patron, for both your wisdom and your grace." With a small smile, he adds, "Your beauty goes without saying. We should all aspire to such appeal." He rises to his feet. "I should go check on Georgie. He feels weak, and like he's failed Sanctuary. I donated to his intended recipient, so nothing was lost. She'll live to fight another day." He bows his head to Eden, a sign of respect. "Thank you, Patron, for your care. I will reassure him that it's going to be all right."
"Give him my well wishes. I will spend time teaching him breathing techniques if he likes. But in due time. Go in restive peace, do not fret. Time will heal, even when the lessons are harsh and unexpected." Eden bows her own head and slips on a girlish grin of almost bashful delight for the compliments, her freshly washed and undecorated face far more expressive, a little bit walls down.
Then she starts to float after sinking downward and letting the water rise her back up with body relaxing in full, "Remember to take some time for yourself, too. Find me if there's any complication in his mood or state, I will come. For now, though, good night."