Nachton On Ice... (Rules Within)
Here on the lake, the ice is thick enough for you to have fun skating, no matter how many spills you take. Lace up your own pair, or borrow one from the little stand next to the lake, and try it out! There's plenty of room for all!
((ooc: Feel free to RP at your leisure here; however, every post you make must quote a bit of a Christmas carol. Whether the title, a line or two, or what have you, don't forget to mention one, and place it in bold for all to see. Be creative!))
The air was crisp and delicious, full of wonderful spicy scents, and she couldn't ignore the little tinkle of silver bells around her neck. Her parents had sent her a lovely little choker for Christmas, three delicate chains with crystals intertwined, and three tiny bells for luck in the new year that made a faint noise underneath her windbreaker.
Full of Christmas spirit and looking forward to an exhilarating first skate, Aishe bravely stepped onto the ice...
...and fell flat on her ass.
There was a swish beside her and she looked up at Kem's gloved hand as he made some sort of disgustingly graceful turn and stopped, solid as a rock, right in front of her.
"They do a lot of skating on the Nile, do they?" She asked as she grabbed his hand, tried to get her feet beneath her, and fell again.
"We took our winters very seriously on the Nile," he said with mock solemnity as he finally offered both hands, and both feet for her to brace against. "After all, they were few and incredibly far between."
It took a moment for her to get her bearings, during which time he let her hang onto one arm while he brushed a few wayward strands of hair off her face. "Hoofprints," he explained, "on your forehead. Just there."
He gave her a quick grin but didn't let go. Much as it was amusing to see her slight confusion at being unable to immediately master the art of skating, he didn't want her testing the limits of vampiric regeneration tonight.
Now that she was here, she didn’t at all regret her decision to get out. Walking in a Winter Wonderland had rewards of its own. As she walked, she spotted what seemed to be skate rentals. It looked like fun, although it had been a while since she’d skated. Hesitating she debated falling and making a fool of herself.
The whole thing had played out in his head hundreds of times and he could only hope it was half as good as those fantasies portrayed. He really liked this quirky, fun librarian and he wanted to make a real go of this. He'd put the plastic windows on the Jeep for the winter and hoped Ana had been warm enough, when he glanced her way she looked so cute bundled in her big winter coat, scarf and hat.
Smiling he hopped out of the jeep and ran around to Ana's door, he had to give it a hard bang and a jerk to get it open then lifted her down to the ground. He grinned down at her and moved her gently aside to shove the door closed with a reverberating slam. He gave her nose a quick peck then headed to the back of the jeep to retrieve their ice skates.
He took her hand in his and they followed the trail of stamped down snow to the center of the Winter Festival happenings.
"Want to skate first?"
She nodded and they made their way to a bench. Joey knelt in the snow and helped Ana put on her skates. He looked up to smile at her and grinned at the impression of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer the wind was making of her face.
Anticipating a lack of size 16 skates, Xeph had gone ahead and ordered a pair. He'd never skated before and while he'd had his fair share of spills thus far, he thought he was doing rather well, until three energetic 8-year-olds soared by, passing him like a kidney stone. He just grinned at his own efforts and redoubled them, not about to let the ice win this one.
A flash of black hair and dark skin off to his left; he turned, thinking Nikhila must be there, and found he was mistaken. The woman sitting unceremoniously on her rear on the ice wasn't anywhere near as tall as Nikhila, and definitely not Indian. Xeph would have offered a hand had not another man shown up just then and done so for her.
Looking past the two, Xeph did finally spot the younger were, looking hesitant as she apparently debated the merits of making a fool out of herself on the lake.
Xeph, with a certain puppy-like air, thought nothing of it himself. Stumbling and slipping but laughing all the way, he waved at Nikhila, nearly launching himself into a snowdrift in the process, and called out to her.
Wondering if the knot in her stomach was holding her anchored to the Jeep's seat, she was actually momentarily rooted to the bucket shape in fear as Joey reached his arms out to her and lifted her from the vehicle. She felt like a feather, in his grasp, and smiled up at him - a full head or more taller than she was - only to giggle at the quick peck on her instantly frozen nose.
Adjusting her navy blue knit woolen hat while he tied her skates, she leaned forward and flipped a folded edge of his black hat over and tugged at the knot of his scarf. Smiling for a moment or longer, she adjusted her glasses before reaching into her pockets and pulling out a pair of powderblue mittens and slipped them on her hands. When Joey was done with her skates, she handed him the pair he'd brought for himself. The well-worn leather was supple and well-cared for. "I'm glad you rescued them before Russ peed on them. He peed on mine, too, when he first saw them, if it makes you feel any better. I think he just has a thing for shoes. I can tell you've been skating, as well-cared for as these are..."
Memories flooded Ana's mind as she recalled her first time skating. "I've skated for most of my life, at least a little each winter..." She spread her lips, looking not unlike a beaver with her front teeth protruding, and said, "See deez? These two teeth, as you can see had been lost in my first experience skating. I didn't know just who to blame for that catastrophe! Of course it was all my fault, never having been on skates before, but still, it hurt a little. Okay, a lot. All I'd wanted for that Christmas was my two front teeth. Instead I got fifty bucks from the tooth fairy and a new pair of skates. I guess it almost balances out."
He grinned at her and sat down on the bench to pull on his own skates on. "You always know Christmas time is here when the ice skates come out of the back of the closet."
He tied the bow on his second skate and stood, holding out a hand to her. He carefully stepped onto the ice and held out his free hand for her's. She stepped onto the ice and he spun them in a gentle circle then released one of her hands.
"Seems sound enough."
He usual confident demeanor seemed to fly right out the window when he was with Ana. He felt slightly awkward and wanted nothing more than to be here doing this. He, for the first time, didn't have more nefarious designs in mind behind his plans and actions. He didn't want to just get in her pants and that threw him off a bit. He didn't need to make small talk with her, because he felt like he knew everything there was to know about her, so he had to come up with other things to talk about. This too made him feel awkward, since he had never before been at a loss for conversation.
"How's your game going?"
Joey didn't play video games, unless the occasional go 'round on the xbox in the Den's common room, but those were usually shooting games and sounded nothing like what Ana played. He liked to hear about her virtual world, since he himself lived a hidden life as well.
"I really don't think they'd let people on here, if it weren't safe. As it is, for as warm as it was just last week, I'd think the horse is stretching it," she observed, that last in her raspy voice, and she pointed with her mittens to the passing white horse and sleigh of people.
Her hand felt small in his, the confining mitten preventing her from feeling all of his fingers, but the whole of his hand was just as comforting. The spin didn't tweak her sense of motion - no dizziness was good - but she was a little surprised when the first bit of conversation from the gentleman before her was to ask her about 'her game.' Arching a brow, she curled his arm and wrapped her hand around it and turned him onto the ice proper. "It's been a rough week. A lot of game mechanics have changed, and people are still getting used to a lot of the changes. It's pretty neat, though, the new races have been introduced a few weeks before the expansion pack, and outside of one of the cities you can sometimes see the three ships come sailing in, the ones that take you all over the world."
When he asked about Azeroth, she sometimes wondered if he was just humoring her - how many boys knew girls like her, that actually played video games on a regular, non-incentive basis? - but when he asked pointed questions in return she knew it was more than idle chatter. He truly seemed curious about her interests. "Haven't played so much since Thanksgiving, though, busy with this that and the other thing. You'd think, for not having family, that my weeks would be empty? Hah!" She squeezed his arm gently as if to press a little gratitude into him for his company.
He grinned at her and set his pace to her shorter one, which caused him to take smaller strokes against the ice.
"It seems this time of year is busy no matter who you are. Though it's nice to have some time off. Wren's boyfriend has whisked her away to Jamaica so I'm tasked with checking on the Studio once a day, and turning on the heat the day before classes resume. Except tomorrow, I don't have to go by tomorrow. I will, but I don't have to. So what are you doing on Christmas day in the morning?"
He suddenly hoped that perhaps she would spend it with him. He didn't want to just jump in bed with her, though it would be nice, he just didn't want the evening to end. And if he could get the whole night and all of Christmas day as their first date, well then he would be the happiest man alive. How strange that she had come to mean so much to him in so short a time. Maybe it was his biological clock or some were instinct that had him seeking a partner, or perhaps he had fallen into love with the pretty little librarian from Buffalo.
Arms out a bit to steady herself she peeked back at Kem, who was following close, still looking disgustingly at ease on the ice.
"It's like rollerskating... but a lot more slippery!"
As if to demonstrate the point, out went her feet again, depositing her firmly back on the ice. This time she rolled to her knees, determined to make it at least a few feet on her own, and stopped still.
"Well look at that!" She exclaimed, pointing to one side of the lake. "Do you see what I see?"
Over across the lake, she was sure... it was Ana! With a man! A very attractive man who seemed, for all intents and purposes, to be paying her a good deal of proprietary attention indeed. Scrambling to her feet she did her best to inch away from the couple. "I don't want to interrupt them! Let's go!"
"Careful now, stopping isn't so easy with those skates. Those picks on the front will dig in and if you're not ready for it, you'll fall on your knees."
With a hand on each side of her waist from behind, Kem used her weight to slow them both down, turning his feet slightly to glide to a slow stop. Wrapping his arms fully around her waist he leaned over, kissed her cheek, and said, "See? You'll get the hang of it in no time."
Pak opted to brave the cold to see about this festival thing and regretted it almost as soon as she set foot out side of the Towers, but she was stubborn enough that she refused to do the sensible thing and go in. Hat, scarf, gloves and coat served as semi acceptable armor as she entered the park; although all you could really see of her was her blue eyes. She felt a bit like a Russian spy in a bad novel.
Trying to steer away from the espionage cliché she decided to try the skating thing. Her first step on the ice, however, nearly proved to be her last as her feet almost immediately decided to go in two separate directions. Arms flailing a bit, ok a lot, she finally managed to stand on her skates. The trick would be doing anything else.
Making her way on to the ice she was pleasantly surprised that so much of it came back to her. She was balanced and secure on the blades and gracefully pushed herself in his direction. She had, however, forgotten how to stop and very nearly crashed right into the Alpha managing a tight turn at the last second that looked more planed than it was. But she was stopped.
“I think I meant to do that.”
Nikhila managed to stop before hitting him, but Xeph hadn't really bothered with "stop." Why should he? He was just getting a grip on "go." The logical next step from there was, "go even faster," so rather than try and stop at Nikhila, he simply whipped on by, grabbing whatever part of her clothing was withing flailing reach, and pulled her along. That was even better; now he could really dig in and build up some speed. Pretty soon he'd be giving those little kids a run for their money!
Not exactly two birds of a feather, a little part of him observed, but maybe that's why he liked his Gifted so much. Not to mention she was an anchor. Literally. He was cruising now... if she wrangled herself loose he was toast.
"Come on, faster!"
She’d just barley managed to slow down when Xeph started in on his charge. As she tried to switch his grip from her cloths to her hand, where at least she’d have some control (or the illusion of it) her heart was beating a like a drum pa rum pum pum pum.
Nerves gradually gave way to enthusiasm and soon she laughing aloud and actively trying to keep up with, and even attempting to pull him along despite the fact she couldn’t pass him.
Looking up she realized they were rapidly running out of ice.
Stammering, she attempted to reply, "Uhm well that is as to so far as up wait hang on..." She cleared her throat and tried again. "I have no plans as yet. So far," she added bashfully, "All I'd hoped to do tonight was to mix and mingle in our jinglin' feet without even considering rockin' around the Christmas tree."
Why did the prospect of seeing Joey on Christmas Morning thrill her so, as well as scare the living shit out of her? She'd gotten him a gift... Nothing too fancy, but something she hoped he'd like. But the prospect of spending Christmas morning with someone so wonderful as Joey... She shivered minutely.
"Maybe we could spend it together."
What the hell? What ever happened to 'You and me by the fire waiting up for Santa Claus, wink?' It was like all his cool had drained out through his feet and he was left with goofy puppy grin. 'Oh, Christmas tree!' They would need one. He'd gotten her a little gift. It was in the jeep, and it was nothing terribly big, but he hoped she would like it.
"Do you have a Christmas tree?" There that was a much better segue into 'let me spend the night with you.'
Then he asked about a Christmas tree, and she giggled. "Not so much, no... I have a little purple Disney Princess tree that I picked up at the Lowes' just outside of town for about twenty bucks and hung a single ornament on it... To signify my first real Christmas in Nachton." She made a little snorting sound. "Not that I have a whole lot to entertain you with at my place... We could watch Christmas movies; I've got a slew of them... Oh! I know! We could watch Christmas Story for twenty four hours straight! Have you ever watched it? It's just about the funniest Christmas movie I've ever seen. Got the idea for a possible new Christmas tradition from it, too... Going out for Chinese on Christmas Day." She giggled again. "It's a good thing I don't know anyone named Stephen, though; I'd hate to feast on him!"
Ana looked up at the crystal clear sky and gazed at the partial moon. "It's such a clear night... Brightly shows the moon this night, though," she commented as she rubbed her still-cold nose, "the frost is cruel."
"Purple...Disney...Princesses? Oh my dear Ana, we will have to remedy that. I say that when we finish here we go buy you a proper tree with at least some lights."
They took a left turn around the pond, sticking to the area between the outside and the middle where traffic flowed at an even clip. "I like Christmas movies, though It's a Wonderful Life never really did much for me."
He watched her rub her nose and bent his head to place it against his cheek, hoping to warm it just a little. "Are you too cold? We could go get a hot chocolate or we could just go."
Joey wouldn't mind ending their outing early, especially if it meant he could go home with her.
"And I say," she replied with a firm set of her lips, "That while your offer is quite thoughtful, that my existing tree is perfectly fine, because it was erected in the spirit of Christmas, not as a need to impress anyone or make myself feel like I'm replacing something I lack. I may not have a lot materially, but I have a few amazing friends, and they can be my true Christmas tree this year, with the ornaments of my friendship hanging in hugs and kisses and smiles and rosy red cheeks. I don't need a big table or a rockin' party, because faithful friends who are dear to me, gather near to me and I hope we can all revel in the true spirit of Christmas."
After that, she felt somewhat foolish, because it felt like that one short monologue was the longest thing she'd ever said to Joey... and it likely was. But he had to know that he couldn't hope to fix all of the little possibly broken things Ana held dear... and while the Season had always been one of them, her Holiday Spirit had received a much needed reboot within the last year. "I'm not too cold, no, but hot chocolate sounds yummy."