Well, It Beats Breaking and Entering (attn: Sorcha)
Mara sat at a quiet table at the Marina, tapping her fingernails gently on the table and trying not to look as nervous as she felt. There was a combination of factors contributing to her nerves, not the least of which was the fact that she was meeting Jin's daughter here and she wasn't sure how Sorcha would feel about this whole thing. She'd agreed to meet Mara however and that was promising.
It was the first time since the attack that Mara had been out, as well, which was part of her reason for choosing the Marina. No one looking for Mara would come toward the waterfront. She hated the ocean.
She crossed her legs and sat very still, her only movement her tapping fingernails as she stared out at the detestable ocean waves. She did like the noise they made, but when it came to water the further Mara was from it, the better, in her opinion.
As if on cue, the waitress appeared with a glass of water and set it down in front of her. Mara smiled and thanked the lady, then sipped delicately at it. It was no substitute for blood.
[Good Evening] She signed for the sake of everyone else around and then took a seat.
An attentive waiter appeared almost instantly, Sorcha smiled and pulled out her pad. Writing her drink request, a Guinness, on the paper, she held it up for the man to read. Off he went. [So I'm fairly curious. Does this meeting concern Jin?] As far as she knew, he was the only topic that they would likely have in common, except for perhaps Evgeni. Sorcha's heart skipped a beat at the thought that the Anantya had possibly found something useful on the man's where abouts. Unlikely, She expected that information of that type would have come from Jin, possibly in person but it was easy enough to request her send to him.
The waiter returned with her drink; she smiled and signed a 'thank you'.
A waiter appeared quickly and took Sorcha's drink order. Mara waited patiently and then laughed softly at Sorcha's directness. Small talk later, apparently, she thought.
"Yes, it does," she answered. "It's nothing horribly urgent."
She glanced down at her open menu, having pretty much decided what she wanted already, trying to figure out how exactly to phrase it in a way that didn't make her sound like a stalker.
"I'm trying to do something for him," she said, "and certain information would be useful. I'd rather it be a surprise though, so I didn't want to ask him directly."
Nor had she wanted to hint at it in conversation really, because Jin was clever and highly likely to suspect something was up from the nature of Mara's questions. It wouldn't be the end of the world if that happened, obviously,but it would be a little bit more fun this way.
[Is that so? Well what did you need to know? I will help if I can.]
She poured over the menu and then wrote her order down. A nice warm clam chowder in a bread bowl.
Sorcha gazed out over the waves before turning back to Mara. [You picked a beautiful place. I hope the food is as good as the view.]
"It's simple," she explained. "I wanted to do something nice for him for..." she stopped suddenly, not having thought actually saying it would embarrass her, but apparently it would. "...Valentine's day," she finished in a little half mumble.
Mara lifted her shoulders at Sorcha. "Normally I'd just ask him for some of his favorite things, but he's too clever by far and he might figure out that I'm up to something."
She took a few moments to detail some of the aspects of her plan to Sorcha. "I was going to craft a mystery for him. I've planned something for the night but I thought I might send him on a little hunt for the items we need and then, well, he's going to have to find where we're doing it as well."
Mara tilted her head at Sorcha. "Do you think that's a good idea? Maybe we should just go out instead."
She was bound to overthink this entire thing if she dwelled on it too long. She thought Jin would enjoy it, for it would end up sating his curiosity in a number of aspects. She wasn't planning on sending him to every corner of Nachton; in fact, by the time he'd made a stop or two it would probably be very clear what their plans for the evening would be.
Sorcha smiled, leaning back in the chair to take a better look at the dark haired woman who sat across from her. She wondered just what Jin had done to deserve ' something nice ', for Valentines Day, no less. Doubtful that her Creator would elaborate on that.
Chuckling, she sent [Yes, and he's far to curious. The only thing that might stop him from sorting it all out would be his politeness. He'd be dying to know though, best not to put him through the trauma.] Sorcha winked. [A mystery is something he'll obsess over.]
She took a sip of her drink and then responded to Mara's idea. [That would be wonderful. He'd love it! ] It seemed that the Anantya understood her Creator pretty well; it made her curious. Jin didn't exactly hide the trait but he didn't take just anyone on his little escapades. What kind of trouble had they been getting into?
Sorcha smiled and answered the worry. [ The idea is brilliant. He will -love- it. I promise.] She favored Mara with a sly look, cool pale eyes narrowed. [You seem to know that he enjoys a good puzzle. What trouble has he gotten you into?] The tone of her send was light, she knew that Jin wouldn't voluntarily put anyone else into harm's way.
"Fortunately this won't be something he'll have to obsess over for very long," Mara said with a little laugh. "I'm not sure I have the resources for that deep a mystery." Really, her idea was an elaborate set-up for what would probably a fairly boring night. But given the trouble she and Jin seemed to attract on a regular basis it was appealing, to Mara at least, to look forward to enjoying some time that didn't end in some sort of distraction or another. And truthfully, she had a hard time envisioning any time spent with Jin as boring. With any luck he shared her view.
Sorcha's enthusiasm was encouraging. "Do you think so?" she asked hopefully. "I've never done anything for anyone on Valentine's Day." She bit her lip thoughtfully. She very much wanted to get this right. Mara looked up at Sorcha's next question, eyebrows raised. "He's gotten me into very little trouble," she said truthfully. "I've gotten him into some though."
She frowned at the memory, not far enough in the past to be entirely behind her. Clearly Jin had not told Sorcha anything about that event, which she appreciated. "He helped me out of a very bad situation recently," she said. "I want him to know how much it meant to me." Then she shook her head and smiled. "How much he means to me," she corrected herself.
Mara wasn't very good at revealing her feelings, especially to someone she didn't know well but Sorcha was Jin's daughter. There was no point in being secretive. "Besides, who doesn't love a good puzzle?"
She steepled her fingers under her chin. "So. I already know what we're doing for food. But we never got dessert last week. So, is there a favorite I should focus on? And something to drink. Wine, maybe? I'm not sure."
Taking a drink of her ale, she looked out the window at the view. There was a woman standing there, she watched the waves for a moment, as if they were a mysterious unfathomable thing that was not to be trusted. The figure turned towards them and Sorcha couldn't help but notice the woman was pregnant. Her dress was white and appeared to be a fine linen, the dark blue wrap crossed her body and covered one shoulder; it was unmistakably Egyptian. The figure was hazy but she could see faint puncture wounds on the woman's neck. The ghost was clear enough for Sorcha to discern her resemblance to her lunch companion. She watched the spectre from the side of her vision, which paradoxically seemed to make the ghosts more clear. In this case it didn't.
The woman approached the table and smiled down at Mara and then turned to her.
"It is good to see her happy, though she's afraid of what it means." The woman favored Mara with a motherly smile; Sorcha sensed concern but sadness there. "She has been through so much. It is hard for her to trust."
Frowning, more in confusion than concern, Sorcha was brought back to the conversation going on among the living, or at least breathing, the former was always up for debate. [You got him into trouble? That's a rare turn of events.] Mara's next words suggested that she shouldn't pry. She was content to let the matter drop.
"He is a kind man." Sorcha tilted her head up, taking another swig of the Guinness as she glanced at the ghost. " I believe he will be good for her."
Sorcha mentally answered the spectre, pensive. "As she will be for him."
This news sparked a lighthearted good mood; and a fondness for Mara despite not knowing her very well. Obviously she had great taste, though Sorcha would admit to some familial bias. She was now determined to convince Jin to join her for dinner some time soon; she was insanely curious how he felt about Mara. A small guilty part of her conscience said it was none of her business but she had been dealing with knowing things that were none of her business for centuries. The nagging little bit of conscience was quickly brushed aside. Besides, it would be a good thing to know.
[ I am sure there are some boring people in the world out there somewhere. Perhaps we could do a little test? We set up a table with a newspaper, folded to the crossword laying there, a pencil conveniently nearby, and see who doesn't pick it up and try to solve it. Anyone that doesn't must not like puzzles, or can't read, or doesn't know English or is blind...Perhaps this isn't such a good test.]
Sorcha considered Mara's questions.[Jelly beans] She laughed. [If you want something more dessert and less candy then maybe a chocolate mousse with raspberries. Anything with raspberries, or oranges or bananas. He absolutely loved a key lime pie we had at this little country restaurant. Personally I think the pecan pie was better but I will grant that both were excellent.]
[Wine is a good choice. He does not drink much.] Sorcha knocked back more of her own for emphasis. [But he does like a variety of wine.]
((OOC: Mara's ghost with permission. Let me know if that's ok. Sadly, after everything got quiet I got sleepy. It suddenly hit me that I didn't wake up at 2pm and am now rapidly approaching the being awake for 24 hours. Unconsciousness is likely to happen before more tags. =( ))
Sorcha frowned for a moment and Mara could only assume it was because of her having gotten Jin into trouble, but she nodded in agreement anyway. "He didn't have to help me but he did." She couldn't say anything else without getting too emotional. Jin had quite possibly saved her life. There was no knowing how far her attackers would have gone had they caught her alone. Maybe they hadn't meant to kill her but Mara wasn't sure. She tried not to speculate.
Sorcha's puzzle idea made Mara laugh. "Maybe not such a good test," she agreed, "but it'd be kind of fun to try anyhow."
As Sorcha gave her a list of things that might appeal to Jin, Mara nodded. She was reassured by the fact that she'd thought of several similar things already. "I did think about chocolate mousse with raspberries," she said thoughtfully. "I was going to avoid oranges until I could really do them justice but I think I might have an idea there too. We might have to have two desserts."
Mara hadn't cooked much but when she had she'd been pretty successful. She did enjoy baking, and did not find it particularly difficult to follow a recipe. Both of the things she had in mind could be prepared early too, and finishing touches added later. "I want to make it myself," she said to Sorcha. "I'm already going to have to buy a great deal of it because I don't have access to it normally, I wanted there to be at least one or two things done with my hands."
Mara was naturally the artistic type. She preferred hands-on activities to anything else most days, so when it came to demonstrating affection it was natural to her to attempt to make something for that purpose. It wasn't that she had anything against purchasing a gift, but things seemed so much more intimate or meaningful when you knew someone had spent time thinking of you when creating them.
She gave a little 'hmm' over the idea of wine. "Maybe something very light to go with dinner, then," she said. "I really don't drink much either but it has its place."
Thinking again she tried to envision what she had wanted to do that night. "I don't think the topic has ever arisen," she said, "but what is his favorite color? Blue comes to mind, but I think that might have been in a particular context."
Mara was smiling at that; the color she used for the evening wasn't the most important part of the plan but she was trying to touch on as many of Jin's favorite things as she could, mixing a few of hers in as well. Mostly, though, she wanted an evening that would be relaxing and enjoyable for him.
She was going to have to do something for Sorcha too, for being so accommodating to someone she barely knew. Lunch was on Mara, of course, but she thought she might have to send a little thank you gift to Liefde later as well. Ideas began to filter into her mind there, as well.
The waiter arrived with their food and Mara thanked him as he placed each one in front of them. Taking a little bite of tuna and greens covered in a delicate sesame and ginger sauce she made a little noise of enjoyment.
"What about music?" She asked suddenly. "That might be good." Her pale eyes stayed on Sorcha, watching her reaction as well. She would like to know how Jin's daughter felt about the topic of music.
She understood Mara's desire to make the food herself. Sorcha enjoyed cooking, baking in particular but all of it had a certain soothing satisfaction that might be considered odd for someone who no longer found nourishment in food. [That makes perfect sense to me. Making something with your own hands makes it more personal, more special.]
The hazy figure appeared to have left for the moment but she could sense her about somewhere. They were always around, especially when she was first getting acquainted with someone. Perhaps they wanted her to know they were there watching their loved ones; once she knew then they seemed to be more quiet.
[A deep blue is his favorite, not navy, more cobalt.] She thought for a moment. [Yes, and silver. He's fond of that too and both together. I think its a night sky thing for him. If I were to guess based on our conversations.] Impishly, she wondered about Mara's creator. Surely they also have these random discussions. [What about Amir? What's his favourite colour?]
Their waiter was back and with two steaming platters of food. Sorcha signed a thank you to him. He picked up her nearly empty drink, pointing to it and raising his eyebrows. She smiled and gave him a nod; yes, she would like another. It was doubtful to be worth the effort to explain she could hear him. He would either figure it out, or not, by the end of their meal.
Dipping her spoon into the soup, Sorcha had an immediate answer for that question. Blowing on the hot liquid, she then smiled and took a bite. [Jin likes a lot of things, especially if you can dance to it.] One of the few blessings in communicating through sending was that she could eat and speak at the same time. [He adores anything with a good guitar,ruan, lute... well, I suspect you get the picture.] She was fond of dancing but had always enjoyed the more riotous and fast paced folk dancing than the stately ballroom setting. That was in part because she was so tall that she always felt like a large cow stomping about on the dance floor and less like a floating swan. [Was there a type of music you had in mind? Did you want it more for atmosphere or to dance?]
It was difficult to say things like that in front of Sorcha without feeling awkward and flushing a bit. After all, Sorcha didn't know her. Mara had no idea how often she and Jin spoke; surely Sorcha knew they had been out a few times but she couldn't put into words the feelings she felt, if she couldn't even put her own finger on them.
When Sorcha confirmed Jin's favorite colors Mara laughed softly. She explained the source of her amusement to Sorcha, describing to her the dress she'd worn for New Year's Eve, chosen simply because Mara liked the colors and the textures, without having known Jin's preferences beforehand. "It wasn't intentional," she said, "but a stroke of luck perhaps."
Nibbling at a piece of seared tuna, enjoying the light flavor, Mara did not have to think at all to answer Sorcha's question regarding her own Creator. She and Amir were too close for her not to know all sorts of details about him; he was the best friend she had, after all, and she knew that feeling went both ways.
"Amir likes black. And silver. And for him, it is definitely a night sky thing. He loves the stars," she explained, since Sorcha seemed curious. "That's why he learned to fly. And he still goes out religiously with his telescope when anything interesting is happening in the sky."
She couldn't think of a time when Amir hadn't been mesmerized by the sky at night; just look at his bedroom. Everything in it was black and his star-globe was on all the time. Even during the day he was surrounded by night!
The waiter who offered Sorcha another Guinness also refilled Mara's water glass; she thanked him and sipped it, smiling at Sorcha's next words. She knew she and Jin had a lot in common, but little details kept surfacing that didn't cease to surprise her... or if surprise wasn't the proper term, then perhaps please would do. The answer Sorcha gave her was the one Mara herself would have given if asked the same question. It seemed evident from the way they danced together, but it was always good to have it confirmed.
"I do get the picture," she laughed. "I was thinking atmosphere mostly. I don't think there will be enough room to really dance, where we'll be."
She wished... it would be pleasant... maybe it would be possible.
Picturing Amir studying the sky through a telescope was strangely easy. She knew him hardly at all but it still seemed to suit. Nor was it difficult to see him flying a plane. [No doubt he jumped into those early unstable contraptions with no fear whatsoever.] Sorcha chuckled silently and took another bite of chowder.
Mara's reasoning for her choice of music was odd. The spoon hovered in the air, before returning to the bowl. Jin had no problem with a small space. In fact, Sorcha reminded herself, he would probably be thrilled to death to be in whatever confined area Mara had in mind so long as the company was good. [Intriguing. I will have to hear all about it.] She smiled at the woman across from her. [Afterwards and perhaps not all the details. I wouldn't want to pry.] Much, a bit, whatever she could get away with.
[Anything else?] Sorcha wondered what Amir was doing on Valentines Day but that was more inappropriate than she was willing to be. She didn't really know him so a nice cuppa and chat would be a better place to start. For all she knew he was involved with someone or several. Her own holiday was likely going to be spent with Gwyn, which would be depressing if she weren't accustomed to it.
Her smile turned into a grin when Sorcha speculated further on Amir's flying. "No fear," she agreed, "although I would say there was a little bit of trepidation the first time or two. Once he got the knack of it, though, there was absolutely no stopping him."
Mara hadn't been about to experiment with the advent of flight herself, and she well remembered the early days when Amir went soaring off into whatever contraption he could. It had taken her much longer to get comfortable with the idea of flying above the ground. "Do you like to fly, Sorcha?"
Mara raised her brows at Sorcha while she awaited the other woman's response. Flying in a smaller passenger plane was much different than a commercial jet liner. "Amir usually needs very little excuse to go flying." It was a hint of a suggestion; perhaps Sorcha's interest was merely that; polite interest. If she wanted to, though, Mara thought Amir could be convinced to take her up with him.
She laughed softly, feeling that same bit of awkwardness at the idea of telling Sorcha all the details. Mara wasn't planning on that, one way or another, but what she had planned would certainly be private enough and she wasn't about to deny the feelings were there. "If Jin doesn't tell you, I'll let you know how it goes," she promised. "It's good to know I was on the right track with a lot of things."
She and Jin did have plenty in common. Many of the little things she'd planned were things she liked herself. The idea pleased her and gave her a little bit more confidence. "I think we've covered most of the questions I had," she said thoughtfully. "I'm glad you were willing to help me out."
She really hoped hat what she'd planned wasn't ridiculously forward or foolish; never having celebrated this particular holiday Mara wasn't sure how far was too far. What she'd planned had significance to her though, and she doubted Jin would miss that significance at all. She could read people well enough; if he seemed uncomfortable or unhappy with her ideas, well, plans could change.
"What do you have planned?" She asked Sorcha. "Is there... someone you spend time with, there in Evenhet?"
Taking a swallow of her drink, she got back to the question. [I like smaller planes though. It feels more like you are flying. The open air biplanes were especially wonderful.]
She smiled at Mara's pledge to tell her how things went on the big date. [It isn't necessary if you'd rather not. I just hope that you both have a good time.]
Sorcha pinched off a section of the bread bowl and dunked it into the remained chowder, [I have no plans. I just arrived here, from Ireland, week or two after Jin actually. I don't know many of the Evenhet in Nachton. I've really only met one or two of the ones living in the Tower.] She shrugged. [Its alright. I was a nun for centuries.] Sorcha grinned toothily [Can't you tell by my very proper demeanor?] Picking up her half empty glass she wiggled it in illustration. [Drinking is not a sin if you drink fine Irish beer.]
Then again, Mara had never actually flown in a commercial jet. As Sorcha answered her question she nodded. "Amir owns a Cessna. Well... among other planes. That's his current favorite, I believe."
She enjoyed flying with Amir. While he didn't require her assistance, she normally made herself comfortable in the cockpit with him. However on longer flights the little Cessna was extraordinarily comfortable and had plenty of room for reading, standing, sleeping, whatever was necessary.
Mara shrugged and shamelessly offered up her Creator's skills, turning her previously hinted suggestion into something more real. "I'm sure he wouldn't mind taking us up sometime." Or just Sorcha. Amir had indicated after Halloween that Jin's daughter was pleasant and personable and from him that was high praise considering her Clan affiliation.
Finishing off another few bites of lightly seasoned tuna Mara nodded at Sorcha. "Well, we'll see how it goes," she said. "For all I know everything will backfire on me and the evening will go up in flames."
In her lap, she crossed her fingers against such an occurrence; given hers and Jin's previous track records she wouldn't count anything out. They seemed to have a combined knack for attracting unwanted attention. The thought made her shiver. It was still too soon for her to feel better about what had happened recently.
When Sorcha said she didn't know many people in her Clan Mara tilted her head, wondering why. Sorcha seemed plenty friendly to her, and certainly outgoing enough. "I know a few," she said, "but not very many. They've always seemed pleasant." She inclined her head to include her present company in that statement.
Sadly, she knew about as many Evenhet as she did Anantya. All right, it wasn't strictly true but it seemed like that some days. She did raise her eyebrows at Sorcha's being a nun. "It doesn't seem to suit you," she said frankly, "but then, I haven't known a lot of nuns in my time."
For all she knew they were a swinging lot at night when the lights went down. She shook her head with a grin and admitted, "Never developed much of a taste for it, but I will take your word."
She smiled at the thought of Amir as a commercial pilot. He would look smashing in one of those uniforms but she doubted he would ever wear one. Pity. Sorcha herded her thoughts back to the table when Mara spoke of taking a ride at a later date. [That would be lovely. If you don't think he will mind.]
Leaning back to regard Mara more clearly, she gave her a look that clearly conveyed her skepticism. [Bah! What could go wrong?] The plan seemed solid. Mara seemed to have thought of everything. Jin was bound to be happy. Sorcha decided that her companion was just feeling a case of nerves and she probably wouldn't get over them until the event took place.
Shrugging, she spoke of her past occupation. [I did it originally to save our heritage. We had oral traditions and the knowledge of them was dying and a different truth was being told. In time it became one of the only places where you could be an educated woman without anyone giving you trouble. After a while, I got rather used to it. I go back occasionally.]
Sorcha looked down at her stout and then at Mara. With a shrug, she said. [More for me.] before taking another swallow of her drink.
Lifting her shoulders at Sorcha Mara said, "I don't think he'll mind at all." Save for the fact that Amir did not, under any circumstances, spend time with any Evenhet. Mara suspected however that because of who Sorcha was and the fact that he did actually like her in spite of what he would consider her deplorable taste in Clan affiliation he wouldn't object if Mara asked him for this one flight. He rarely ever did. "Let me know when you want to go and I'll see if Amir is free."
She waved her hands at Sorcha. "Don't say that!" Mara and Jin had already had plenty of 'what could go wrong' moments. Mara was really looking forward to one night where nothing unexpected happened. Normally she went poking her nose into tings looking for trouble but just for one evening, she'd like to stay out of it. Mostly. All right, maybe a little bit of harmless fun.
As Sorcha explained about being a nun Mara tilted her head. She could see, when it was put into those terms, why it would have appealed to Sorcha. [That was something I never had to worry about,] she said, returning the sending since the topic had turned to subjects they might not want anyone accidentally overhearing. [I was slightly sheltered but I never gave it much thought because to me, I felt like I had every freedom in the world.]
Amir had never demonstrated the sort of male dominance that was so prevalent in their world when she was younger. Nor had any of her siblings. [I was lucky to have Amir. He was a barrier against my many fears for a very long time. Still is, in some ways.]
Mara finished off the last bite of her salad and raised her water glass in a little salute to Sorcha. "It's all yours," she said with a laugh. Delicately wiping her mouth she said, "That was a good meal. Thank you for sharing it with me. And for sharing your inside information as well."
She continued to dip pieces of her bowl into the last of her soup. Looking up sharply at Mara's vehement reply, Sorcha held her hands up. [It will be fine. You'll see.] Now she was curious what kind of trouble the two of them had gotten into since Halloween. Did they go to find Evgeni and run into trouble? If they went without her then she was going to have words with her Creator.
She sent to the blonde, now being held by someone else. Amrit, whoever that was. [How are you doing, A StÃ³irÃn?] Sorcha listened to the response. Evgeni tended to be quite vocal. She didn't blame him being stuck alone for so long. She knew also that he had trouble sleeping. Sorcha talked to him early in the mornings for hours, hoping it would help him drift off. Normally she fell asleep herself before that happened. It made her sad and frustrated that they could not find him. Apparently though, according to Evgeni, he had company. She listened to him explain who the man was. The singer from the Halloween party. Plucking another piece from the bowl, she sent [Perhaps you should find out what clan he is in. If he is in Evenhet or Anantya then it might be easier to find help in locating the both of you.]
She smiled up at Mara when she explained that Amir had kept her safe. [Jin does a good job for the trouble I give him with it.] Sorcha explained. [I'm stubborn and prideful. I admit it and often I demand to be left to my own devices. He has always given me my space when I've needed it and quietly kept tabs on me. I will grant him that he's gotten to be an expert in never letting me know. Its only familiarity with Jin's own stubbornness that assures me that he's watching.]
Nodding, she signed. [It was a good a meal. Thank you for inviting me.] The information was for a good cause. She was sure they would have a wonderful time.
She shook her head with a smile at Sorcha. "I certainly hope it'll be better than fine. I'm aiming for 'great' personally." She could joke a little about it, since Sorcha didn't seem at all put out by the idea of her Creator seeing Mara.
Listening to her speak, Mara's expression softened. "He loves you." It had been obvious even back on Halloween. She clearly recalled the look of indecision and concern on Jin's face when he'd thought Sorcha might be in trouble. "It's a wonderful thing to have, a Creator who cares and who watches over you."
Their meal finished, Mara paid the bill and exchanged contact information so that she and Sorcha could get in touch when it was necessary. Mara reminded herself to ask Amir for a flight very soon and thought that perhaps she might call Sorcha again after Valentine's Day... depending on how it went. She had rather enjoyed the woman's company.
Once they had parted ways Mara found a quiet location and shifted. She wasn't comfortable traveling alone yet so she went back to the Manor the same way she'd come to the Waterfront, slinking, belly low, from shadow to shadow and scurrying through open areas as quickly and unobtrusively as possible.
((ooc: Both out, with permission!))