Realm of Kaeleer => Ile de Paon => Rosnay Island => Topic started by: Aramis Dupuis on June 30, 2019, 12:28:12 AM

Title: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on June 30, 2019, 12:28:12 AM
The breeze was such through the house that Aramis found his preference for the isolation of his study briefly waning in favor of a more open area, enough that he elected to post up in the kitchen with his ledgers to take advantage of the cool air.

It was a particularly lazy feeling in him, a lull after falling into alignment. He found himself idling over the numbers, taking more care to be neat with his figures than he might normally. He'd brought down, too, a bag of Emile's pearls, that he might catalog them into the inventory and then sort them accordingly.

It was this joint venture that found him, his journals, his scales and measures dominating half the kitchen table, pen in hand as he lifted one of the pearls into the light to better describe its color. Glasses sliding down his nose, ink on his fingers, sleeves rolled to elbows and hair falling from the morning's braid, Ara had long since disregarded his appearance, or what others might think of him in a space as open as the kitchen. The only adjustment he made was to his glasses when they drifted too far. Beyond the white noise that filtered through the windows and the movements of his books, his hand, all was still.

Which made Nora's entry that much more apparent to him, being as enamored of the play of light across the pearl as he had been. Blinking, not quite startled by her presence, but not having anticipated it either, Aramis hoped she hadn't said anything to him, because he hadn't heard her if she had and he didn't want to be rude.

"Good day," he didn't know if it was morning or afternoon, and wouldn't check, "coming to eat?" Perhaps she needed full use of the table.
Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Nora Dupuis on June 30, 2019, 06:02:07 AM

Nora paused in the entryway of the kitchen. Still damp from her dip in the sea, she worked bare toes over bare toes, leaving behind a damp imprint on the floor. She'd never seen Aramis in the kitchen like this. Actually, she saw Aramis less than anyone else. He was very busy, she was told, and very important, Pella had said.

"Hi." She grinned at him, unwrapping the towel from her chest to dab at her hair, which was drying into tight waves and tangles. "Yes." Eating sounded very good, now that he had mentioned it. Mopping up the last of the water beading on her skin, Nora folded the towel neatly and vanished it into her cabinet just in case.

"Would you like something too?" Heels high as she danced into the kitchen and began banging about for something to eat. Two plates pulled out and filled with various things she found in the cold box and fruit bowl. She tried her best not to cook when someone else wasn't there to rescue whatever she was about to burn.

Careful not to bump any of his things on the table, Nora set the plates down and plopped into the seat across from Aramis. Her blue dress two sizes too big, it sagged and bunched around her body like an ill worn sack. But she liked it for pulling onto a sea soaked body. "What are you doing with Emile's pearls?" She queried, holding a plate out to him.

Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on June 30, 2019, 12:54:50 PM
Hurt feelings averted or discarded then, and one less thing to worry about. Good.
Looking and smelling recently of the sea, Aramis wondered who else might be spreading water tracks through the house. He wouldn't be able to escape back u p to his study if they were, and, no doubt, he'd be wrangled into helping clean because he was available and Emile couldn't be trusted not to make the mess worse.

"If you would be so kind," he said, tracking her as she moved through the kitchen. Contemplative silence effectively banished, Aramis sat back, fixing his glasses, a new question occupying him. Had no one provided Nora with clothing that fit? Her blue... garment alternated fluttering openly and clinging depending on if it was in contact with her wet skin. He couldn't bare the thought that she was dressed the same way when she went to market, inspiring all kinds of gossip. Gossip meant people were paying more attention to them than they should, and on the list of many things that Aramis didn't like, people he didn't know looking at him when he didn't know they were was one of them.

But best to not run off with that idea. Many of the women were fond of loose clothing post swim, and it was likely that his focus was more due to Nora's newness, her habits being an unknown to him. He'd been remiss -- he should have sought her out the moment he'd found himself resettled in his own skin enough to talk to her.

He had tact and decency, however little of both, and wouldn't be rude to his newest. It was his folly, after all, not hers. "Cataloging them; by color, shape, size, any imperfections. That way, when they are sold, we know which one and for how much." He turned the back toward her, displaying the rest. "Otherwise many of them are very similar, and I wouldn't be able to keep track of what we have."

Plate aside, pearl back on one of his polishing cloths, Aramis crossed his arms over his chest, head tilted slightly, and chose to address his most recent concern. "Do you have clothes?"
Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Nora Dupuis on July 02, 2019, 04:36:44 AM

"I would love to." A task done happily. Nora liked her new home. It was a strange sort of rookery and nothing at like the home she'd come from, but Nora was intent to love it just as much. And to be twice as useful. So she picked a little but of everything she could find in hopes that Aramis would find food on his plate he liked.

Unbothered by his looking. Emile was always looking too. The intensity slowly blunted as Nora adjusted to always being under scrutiny. Nothing bad ever happened from the staring. And sometimes Nora did a fair bit of it herself. Watching the household interact. Trying to figure out how Emile got the shells to crack open. She smiled at Aramis when their eyes met. Cheeks round and crinkling her lower lids.

At the table, she tried not to kick her feet under her chair. Or make a mess on any of the papers. Curious, and a little protective, about Aramis' work with Emile's pearls. Straightforward as a tide, Nora asked him. And then chewed a piece of fruit while he talked. Mango, Pella had said it was called a mango. And even though Aramis showed her, Nora could not see any difference between this pearl and any other.

"Does it matter?" Never imagining that because it did was the very reason why Aramis did it. Nora sucked juice from her fingers and wiped it from her chin. Sticky fingers rolling bits of fish up in a leaf a she'd seen Pella do. Usually there was also rice, but Nora didn't like rice. Maybe Aramis didn't either because he pushed his plate away. The way he sat making Nora sit up straighter and wipe her hands on her lap.

"Clothes?" She asked in confusion. She was wearing clothes now? Nora looked down. Yes. She was wearing clothes. Or a dress, at least. "Yes? Pella took me shopping. I've clothes that are just mine. Did you want to see them? Emile wanted to see them." Was she wearing the wrong clothes? Was there a preference between one brother and the next? Nora made a knot of blue fabric in her lap, food sitting heavy in her stomach.

Was Aramis going to stop talking to her like Pella had?

Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on July 02, 2019, 09:49:08 PM
Sweet, Aramis could see why Emile kept her. Although he was loathe to give up anyone once had them. Helpful, young, eager to please. He restrained himself from rubbing the bridge of his nose in anticipation of future headaches. Maybe he'd take up on a mountain and let them spin in their little dramas - but even as he thought it he knew he wouldn't. Nora became as much his as Emile was his when he'd brought her home. And Aramis couldn't just leave him at the hands of the women; Pella would stage a coup before the month was out.

He leaned forward slightly, elbows on the table edge, a piece of fruit between the fingers of one hand. "It can. Some people will only buy ones that are a specific color," he rolled a pale pink one toward her, and then one that was a dark grey, "or that have no visible imperfections," one that was lopsided, then, beside the two that were almost perfectly round. "If we tell them we have something when we don't and they want to buy it, they'll get upset and accuse us of lying." Then the business would suffer, and the marks would dwindle, and Aramis would be charged with more hungry mouths than he cared to contemplate. Emile would help, of course, but Aramis wasn't quire sure anyone would appreciate the outcome.

Then again, no one would appreciate his help either, if he was honest about it.

One eyebrow ticked up, contemplating. "No, I do't need to see them." It would be Pella's influence, of course. "I'm sure you look fine. When you're out, of course, make sure to be clean and dry. We wouldn't want you catching ill, and clothing that fits correctly helps prevent that." A beat, chewing absently, head tilting in the opposite direction. "If you find something coming to ill repair, let me know. I'll mend it for you." Better to keep her from Pella's help until her feelings about Nora settled some. It would look poorly on them if Aramis felt it was necessary to take someone's hand should she be accosted in town. And if Emile found out, as he likely would, the offender might have to vanish entirely.

And wasn't that a pleasant thought.
Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Nora Dupuis on July 04, 2019, 05:56:14 AM

Nora watched Aramis roll out pearls over the horizon of her food. Pink, grey. Misshapen and pearls that tried to roll away from him. He explained, without reproach, why the differences mattered, and more importantly, why they needed to know what they had. Head tilting, she wondered where they kept them all. Was there a pearl room? "Can't you just find what people want when they ask?

"Not out in the sea, but in the collection?"
She had sat with Emile enough hours to know that finding a specific pearl in the oyster bed would be impossible. He shucked dozens of shells before finding a single pearl. It was horribly boring, but she stayed to keep Emile company. Trying to tempt cats or monkeys close when she got too antsy.

It all seemed to very complicated. But Nora understood that the pearls made them marks. And here, marks bought the things you needed. Which were yours and no one elses. Except the things they bought for the house, the way Pella had said it implying that the house encompassed everyone inside of it. So the plates were Nora's too. And Aramis' and Emile's.

But the clothes were just for Nora unless she wanted to share. It gave her a headache. And Aramis was giving her a worry. Maybe she had picked bad clothes. Everyone was always worrying about them. Soap was much easier.

"Outside?" Nora questioned, unsure of Aramis' meaning. She'd been outside plenty and no one had said anything about her dress one way or another. She'd needed more than two dresses, though. Pella had said. The one she'd had with her too old. And the one she'd been loaned too tight. Was this one too loose, Nora wondered, looking down at herself. "In the town?" She hadn't been back since the first time.

"I will do my best." She promised him. Worrying about how she would stay dry when it rained so often. Maybe she would be able to figure out the shields every one else used. Or just stay inside. But clean and dry was only for town, right? Did she smell? Nora tucked her nose to her shoulder and inhaled. Smelling sea salt and herself, with a bit of damp fabric thrown in.

"Thank you, Aramis." Smile returned at his offer. "My stitches always end up crooked." She would do her best to take good care of her things, but it was nice to know he would fix them if she had an accident. There were a lot of things to get snagged on here. Toying with her food, Nora watched him eat with an avid sort of happiness. Eyes tracking him, memories tucked away of what he seemed to like and not like.

She would catch him more fish.

"Do you like fishing? Emile said he would get me a pole that is not so long." She stretched her arms out and wiggled her fingers. "I kept smacking things with his. Because its so big." And Nora would forget, turning while talking on their way to the rocks that sat far enough out to see for Nora to perch on and fish. Extravagant promises of a wharf had been made, but Nora had merely laughed and kissed Emile's cheek.

What would she do with a whole dock?

"I like fishing." She added, as if that hadn't been apparent.

Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on July 08, 2019, 02:56:06 AM
He tilted his hand from side to side, finishing the fish in his mouth before speaking. "We could, but if I think I have something and I don't, and we have to go diving for it, the customer could insist on paying less for having to wait." There had been a few experiences like that, at the beginning, when Aramis had been new to keeping track of their wares and Emile had been new to diving. If he had the capacity to it might have been mortifying; as it was, Aramis had simply made note to keep better and better notes on their stock until it couldn't happen again.

Humming, he nodded. "In town. Ff Emile, Pella or I aren't with you, it is best to dress for business. It's good to have pockets." It was probably remarked that Aramis dressed unseasonably, but he preferred to keep that image of himself for the outside and to be able to take it off at home. If he couldn't, the lines between might end up too thin, and he disliked the idea of bringing more parts of himself than he had to into the waters of his family's interactions. No more rough edges in the house than were necessary.

Additionally, however Emile liked to have her dress at home, Aramis would rather not know. He would likely be the one mending fences between them as it was, he didn't need her flouncing about in town in something someone might see as an invitation.

"Good." He watched her parse out the scents of her own skin. "If you need help with the bath, either Emile or myself can help." Although Emile might make more of a mess than initially intended. Another thing to keep an eye out for. Best to establish now that she could come to him for help with things she might find difficult than to have her pestering Pella, who would dislike the attention. Emile would feel useful, at least. Aramis felt it par for the course of integrating her into the house. "And we can practice your sewing, if you'd like. Then, if I'm absent, you won't have to wait for my return." As much as the women were beholden to them, Aramis had little patience for those who wouldn't do what they could to help themselves. If Nora didn't know how to sew with confidence, she could be taught.

It took some effort to not read innuendo into Emile's words, especially when they came out of a mouth as guileless as Nora's. Aramis might not be as... physically passionate as his brother was, but Darkness. Maybe he was in need of a good walk about, if he was hearing things that weren't there. Even if they were probably there. "I do like fishing," he replied, switching to fruit. "but I prefer to fish in my second skin, rather than with a pole. I haven't the patience, I think." Fishing as a seal was one of the few things he liked to do as a seal. There was an absence of self when he was without hands, a soft emptiness that unsettled him, and it wasn't something he liked to experience frequently. Indulging in a deep dive or fishing at irregular times was as much as as he allowed, unable to find any joy in lazing about on the beach or exploring.

He smiled, and it felt a touch affected, but he wasn't sure he could smooth it away. "What else do you like?"
Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Nora Dupuis on July 08, 2019, 04:19:53 PM

"And money is important." She'd been told a little, and had learned more watching Pella haggle in the market. Bargaining, the priestess had called it, but Nora had seen haggling before. There just usually wasn't money involved. Just things traded back and forth, their worth argued over as each person tried to get the best of the other.

Tearing up one of the leaves, Nora pursed her lips. "Is having pockets dressing for business?" Nora asked him. She didn't have a business and had never had to dress for it. Mostly she slipped one skin for another and never much worried about what either was wearing. Chewing on a piece of seaweed, Nora shrugged. "I don't think I would like to go by myself." If she went by herself, how would anyone know she hadn't made it there or back?

She was afraid to get lost when Emile might not know to go look for her. Then she would be lost forever. Nora worried. She worried about smells and clothes and lost. Lips twisting at Aramis. "I know how to work the bath." Maybe she did stink and she just couldn't tell. She stuffed a piece of mango into her mouth and chewed, vowing to take a bath as soon as possible. Lips twisting even more, Nora sank in her seat.

"Not now, though, right?" She'd practiced sewing plenty of times. It never did much more than frustrate everyone involved. And Nora did not want to frustrate Aramis. Frustrating people was not a good way to get them to like you. Heels bouncing against the legs of her chair, Nora changed the subject. Fishing was much better than sewing. "I like fishing that way too. I'm good at fishing." She boasted with a grin, breaking a piece of mango in half.

"Maybe we can go together sometime." She had only been out with Emile in their second skin so far. It was best if she knew what they all looked like, so she could recognize them in the water. Smiling back at him, Nora cocked her head to the side and ran down a list of things she liked. Which was a lot of things. Currently, at the top of the list were Emile and - "Monkeys. We don't have those where I'm from. I like them." She laughed, picturing their antics.

"I would like to tame one for a pet. There was an old man in the village with one on his shoulder." She told him, sliding to the edge of her chair. "He let me pet it in exchange for a shell."

Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on July 25, 2019, 01:08:49 AM
"It is." He agreed. For all they had grown up isolated from the closest village, Aramis and Emile were still Paon-born men. He would no sooner advise Nora to try bartering services for goods than he'd say it was safe to walk jewelless down the streets. "Easier to get what you want with marks." Generally.

A breath that curled into a chuckle, chin propped on his fist while he popped a piece of fruit in his mouth. "It can be. I prefer pockets. Easier to carry things for defense when you have places to keep them." Her cabinet wasn't exceptionally large, but they could and would equip her with a knife. Or at least sand.

Line of his face softened further. Darkness, how young was she? Aramis kept his opinions to himself about Emile's penchant for bringing home women, and found most of them tolerable if not sometimes pleasant, but perhaps he should have taken more care with Nora. "You never have to go alone if you dislike it." One of them would be available, or he would conscript Pella to the task. At least until Nora had made her Descent. Mother Night, he thought, casting a gentle probe. So light as to be crushed beneath any of them if they weren't careful.

"That's good. Learning to use the bath had been a bit of a trick, when we were young." Many baths too cold or too hot for comfort, or trips extended because of dropped buckets. Both he and Emile had been prone to warping them or boiling the water in their frustration. Aramis had taken to carrying a tub with him and simply dunking the whole thing when he needed a bath. His Green meant he didn't have to suffer lugging water up from the well or boiling it to get rid of salt and ocean detritus.

Chewing slowly to keep his amusement to himself, he finally replied, "No not now, if you prefer." Likely he'd end up taking that over, in the same way he'd pick up Emile's shirts, or, more rarely, some of Pella's dresses. Aramis, after all, never left clothes to sit in shreds while in a fit of pique. If he destroyed a shirt, it wasn't one likely to be mended.

"We should, it would be good to see the beach before the rains moor us here." He could shift and hunt and get out quickly, Darkness permitting, and then sit on the sand and read while Nora kept on. "Maybe we can make a day of it, take everyone down." At least with Emile in attendance she might not notice his reluctance to participate.

Monkeys. Aramis sucked fruit, hoping Emile never caught wind of that; or, if he already had, dismissed the notion. No monkeys in the house, just like there were no cats in the house.

But how to word it in a way that wouldn't fracture their amicable back and forth? With Pella it was easy, yes or no and then the logic behind it, and she knew where he stood. Nora was an unknown, and, looking at her, Aramis was certain she wouldn't take kindly to a simple 'No, they're disgusting', even if it was what he thought. His mood was too genial to ruin with tears, and Emile would cause even more drama if she ran to him about it.

"We have no indoor pets," he decided on, hoping for a level of gentility he didn't feel. Fleas and feces, scratches on arms and furniture, bites and infections and diseases. His shack would be the cleanest place of the buildings in their residence, and simply by virtue of Aramis scrubbing it within an inch of wearing down his own fingers. There would be no saving the house if he allowed a monkey inside. "Some of the house react poorly to animal hair," not a lie, because he hated it, "and it would be unlikely to get along with the cats." And there were many more cats about than almost anything else, although that wasn't saying much. Animals tended to not like Aramis, and he couldn't admit to any love lost for them, either.
Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Nora Dupuis on February 08, 2020, 08:22:22 AM

Nora chewed her lip thoughtfully. Defense was not something she had much worried about before. Life had been peaceful, the worst trouble the sort that hunted fat seals; but even those had been a rare fright, the channel had not invited the type of predators that stalked open waters. Too narrow in some places for their big bodies. Which was why she had faired so poorly against the pod and required saving from Emile.

"Is there a lot of need for defense?" Nora asked, adding another worry to her growing list of concerns. Her shoulders pulled forward, elbows sliding along stomach and thigh as she withdrew from an invisible threat, crushing a bit of seaweed in her fingers until they were fragrant and sticky. Aramis did not seem afraid. Defense spoken the same way he'd said every other word. With very little inflection, Nora realized. It was like he hadn't a care in the world. And maybe a person didn't when they wore a Green.

She used a napkin from the stack someone had left in the middle of the table to clean her fingers. And back of her hand where she had wiped fruit juice from her mouth. "I haven't been by myself to know, but I think I would like company best." And then someone would know if she needed finding. Plus there hadn't been any worry about defense when she had gone with Pella. The priestess commanded a certain respect that had extended, somewhat, to Nora, like a shadow.

"I prefer." She informed him with a sheepish smile, picking at what was left on the plate and watching Aramis shamelessly. He was very different from Emile, who was all reckless emotion and hands. Emile smiled and laughed more, and made Nora feel right at home. Aramis was... not cool, like Pella, but harder to reach than Emile. Maybe it was the difference in their castes that made them seem so far apart as brothers. If a warlord prince was passion, what was a prince? Precision? At least his caste was lighter on the air.

None of the pressing turbulence she sometimes felt from Emile. Or the cold disdain that radiated from Pella. Nora decided she would like it. Like the calm in a storm. A pocket of steady water to soothe the battering. "That would be great!" She exclaimed, brimming with smiles and happiness. Then she would get to witness all of them in their second skin. Come to know her new rookery in the water as well as without. She still felt very much like a stranger in some instances.

Nora rode the high of such an outing right into the topic of monkeys, which seemed less foolish than proclaiming Emile as the favorite. She knew Pella's eyes rolled whenever she became to excited about him. Could feel them behind her back when she greeted her rescue after any long separation. Which was any separation.

Head tilting, Nora drew a wet trail on the plate with a piece of fruit. She licked pulp from her lips and considered the best way to compromise with Aramis. She very much wanted then to he friends. There was strife enough in the family as it was. Pella and Emile were like a wildfire in the middle of the house. Popping and crackling and sometimes flaring violently. She didn't want to get caught in such a terrible spiral with this brother.

"Could they be outside pets, like the cats?" Nora asked, plying Aramis with his own reasoning. She could be happy with a monkey that lived outside. Or a troop of them. A troop, someone had told her they were called. Nora found the term endearing. "Surely they can share the trees with the cats? They seem to be the better climbers anyway." She had seen some daring acrobatics in the tree tops while monkey watching with Emile. Or monkey watching while Emile was busy elsewhere. Careful to stay in the spot he had left her and not wander too terribly far.

Title: Re: Domesticity
Post by: Aramis Dupuis on February 13, 2020, 10:10:50 PM
He blinked, contemplating. Aramis and Emile rarely required defense - Emile was Red and volatile, while he was Green and strange. By the time they were making forays into town with any regularity they were old enough and with enough control of their Craft to be considered dangerous.

Ara had only really been as Nora was when their mother and sister had been alive, and that was a long time past.

"There can be," he decided on. There had never been fear in his heart for the one-skinned crowd, but it cost nothing to spare Nora the suspicions shadows could bring. "Most of the island is not like us. They think we are no different than them. If they were to discover our differences," ours and mine, "we might need to defend ourselves." Anyone who had ever found out there was more to Aramis than his jewel and his caste had always reacted unfavorably, and he preferred not to put himself in a position where their removal was necessary if he was not in the mood for it. He tilted his head in what was one of his better approximations of empathy. "Some of the animals on the island can be dangerous, too. Emile and I would feel better knowing you had a way to protect yourself."

Emile would insist on being with her constantly or never letting her out of his sight. Equipping her with the skills to handle a knife now would save all of them stress in the future.

At least she seemed easy to acquiesce to company, even if it was unlikely to be him. A firm word to Pella and a delicately structured suggestion to Emile would be enough to lay the foundation for her, until she was ready to set off alone or balked at their hand-holding.

One corner of his mouth pulled up to just - there. Humor, amusement, without exceeding calculation. Somewhat harder to do in a place he knew he didn't have to pretend in, but a skill normally well applied. Everyone, supposedly, appreciated a smile.

He looked back, almost curious as to her assessment of him. Pella no longer looked at him so unabashedly, and Emile never cared to or hadn't known how. Aramis had never been truly new to him, after all. What did she see, in their clean kitchen? Shadows, or nothing at all?

Her exclamation startled him from his musings, and he blinked the contemplation away. He could live with fifteen minutes in the water, maybe thirty, and satisfy her. Leave her and Emile to the ocean while he took the beach, let Pella sort herself. A releasing day, if not necessarily a relaxing one.

Watching her watch him, watching her navigate the space between what she wanted and what he was willing to give, a flash of an idea struck him, took root. Perhaps Nora could act as further mediator, a kinder peacemaker, if guided correctly. Perhaps Aramis could plant her in his stead and relax into the shadows of isolation. Nora could bring him only those situations that were absolutely urgent or family endangering.

Ah, to dream. He squashed the idea back down to a seed. Maybe Nora would prove an asset in balancing the emotions of the house, perhaps not. He would need to know more of her and her abilities before he decided to trust her to assist him in any kind of mediation. A flash of promise based on a single conversation was not proof.

He deliberated, gave her question due consideration. Imagined the squalling of the cats, the screaming of the monkeys. The fur and blood that would litter the leaves, the yard. The little bodies, half eaten, missing limbs, swarming ants.

"It is unlikely that they would find friends in each other." Aramis admitted. Likely there were instances, but he sincerely doubted that the cats that frequented their home would oblige that. They were, notoriously, assholes. "You could keep them in an enclosure, to protect them, but how cruel to keep them locked away when the trees and open air are so close?" It was a little underhanded, but Aramis didn't care. He might even concede if her arguments were sound. The responsibility of a care and maintenance of a monkey, perhaps two, would be good. At an appropriate distance from the house, of course. A serviceable anchor to their home not wrapped in the complicated knot of Emile's affections, Pella's irritation, and his own possessive indifference. "How terrible to live by the sea and never be able to reach it." Or something.