[LF] A Beautiful Morning [K 5.1]

edited January 2013 in In-Game
You awoke in Dash's arms. Your first date became a night of many firsts. While Dash's hair is askew, all twisted and tangled, he is all smiles when you both finally wake up. The bed was obviously designed by a sorceror who conjured evil spirits intent on making everyone who lies in it have no desire to leave it ever again. Well, that and Dash's desire to tickle you in the morning, then cover you with kisses until nature finally forced the two of you to rise.

One of the two servants from last night raps at the door and Dash puts on a simple cotton robe to answer it. The servant, a man in his late fifites in brown robes simpler than Gerra's, but similar style, informs you that morning meal has been prepared. The open door allows the smell of honey to drift in, and within a little while, both you and Dash are heading to the table where you spoke with Piera and Gerra last night.

There is a third guest already there, his clothes are that of a merchant, nice thread, well maintained, not fine enough for court style, but much more functional and pragmatic. He has a long drooping mustache and is possibly in his forties. He's a chubby, with quick eyes that take in much.

Piera and Gerra stand when you arrive. Piera speaks first, "Bo-Fun, these two are our guests we spoke of. Please, you two, come sit and eat with us." The food is a mixture of dried fruits, grains and rice, with some roasted pork that has been sweetened.

Bo-Fun doesn't stand, but he nods graciously. Dash is leery of yet another stranger, but he is hungry.

After some pleasant conversation, you find out that Bo-Fun has been told your names and that Gerra trusts him implicitly. He mentions that he trades with all of the four nations and bender politics are interesting to him, but he prefers staying out of The Great Game, as he calls it. He's a pleasant conversationalist who puts you at ease.

That is, until he asks about ten minutes into the meal, "Keela Zhu... I think I met your betrothed Ji Fang as he was heading to Ba Sing Se. How is he?" Dash pauses mid-chew on a roll and looks at you with surprise.
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  • Normally I would be quite leery of another stranger, myself, but I am so happy this morning, glowing really. I can't bring myself to put my guard up right now. Not after last night. Not after waking up in Dash's arms. I just want to keep pretending that the outside world and all of my problems don't exist.

    At least, until Bo-Fun so kindly reminds me, and reality comes crashing in. I saw the look on Dash's face out of the corner of my eye, and I know everyone else at the table saw it too. I don't dare make eye contact with him. I should have told him. I should have told him about Ji.

    I force myself to keep the polite smile on my face, but I know it flickered, and I hesitate just a tiny bit too long. "I'm terribly sorry, Bo-Fun, to correct you, but Ji Fang is not my betrothed. And last I heard, he was doing exceptionally well for himself."
  • Piera sucks in a breath at the tension at the table and Gerra rises to go get himself a drink, thinking this will break things up. But Bo-Fun obviously doesn't get it, or he's digging, "No, I'm rather sure of it now. Ji Fang of the Fire Nation stopped here a couple weeks ago. I ate with him and the council, they threw a small feast in his honor, him being an ambassador and all. He declared his betrothal to Keela Zhu, indentured to Jun Da the war hero. He had a woman with him, what was her name...?"

    Dash hasn't finished chewing. He just closed his mouth and now he's watching. Not angrily, just still shocked. Is this some kind of game?
  • My temper is starting to flare. What is Bo-Fun's problem? Why can't he just let it be? My smile is incredibly strained now. I'm so sorry, Dash.

    "My apologies, I should have clarified. He was at one point in time intending to become my betrothed, but he is no longer." My eyes are full of sparks even though my tone is still mostly civilized. "I thought you preferred to stay out of The Great Game, Bo-Fun."
  • Bo-Fun chuckles, "Oh yes, yes indeed. You're so right. My apologies." Piera shoots him a look and he looks away. The meal continues on in silence. Dash isn't upset, but he looks unsure about exactly what just happened.

    Then Bo-Fun declares he is finished eating and rises to leave. Gerra returns with his drink at that time and walks him out. Piera turns to you, "I'm sorry our friend was rude. He is too curious for his own good. But he will keep your confidence. He knows better than to cross me." She offers a polite smile. "How long will you be staying at Kashang Oasis? If you would like, I can give you some hooded robes so you can travel around."
  • "We're leaving in three days." I lie, still feeling rather riled up from that conversation with Bo-Fun. Piera has been so kind to us, but I'd rather she not know exactly when we're leaving. It'd be too easy for her to figure out which ship we were on. And she might trust Bo-Fun, but I'm not sure if I do. "Your generosity is truly overwhelming." I add, remembering my manners. "We would be very grateful for the use of some hooded robes."

    I'm grateful that Dash doesn't look upset. I know I do owe him an explanation though. I'll give him one. I just want to wait until we're somewhere more private.
  • Piera and Gerra provide you with robes and a small pouch with your clothes, freshly washed, inside. They see you out of their estate. Piera even offers you a small hug.

    We skip ahead to you walking with Dash. Where are you headed? He's a little distant right now, keeps saying he's looking out for Suli, but it feels like a chasm. Do you say anything about Ji Fang?
  • We're headed back to the ship. I'm rotating between feeling furious at Bo-Fun and guilty at myself for not telling Dash sooner. I wait until we're passing by a quieter area, away from the bustle of the market crowds, then I reach out and catch Dash's arm, pulling him to a stop.

    "I should have told you." I say quietly. It kind of burst out of me. I've been practicing in my head what I planned on saying, and now it all comes out in one breath. "I didn't know Ji Fang was intending to be my betrothed until the night before we left. Rui told me. So I went and saw him so I could tell him no in person. I told him I was in love with someone else, and that I wouldn't marry him. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. It just totally caught me off guard. I grew up with Ji, we were friends when we were kids. And then I found out that Rui was writing him letters pretending to be me, can you believe that? So he thought I loved him, but actually Rui had fallen in love with him, and everything got really messy—" I stop and take a breath. "I am not marrying Ji Fang."
  • Dash listens with curiosity. His brows crinkle when you explain the wild mess of letters and love and he finds it amusing. When you declare you aren't marrying Ji Fang, he says, "Good. That would be weird." Then he chuckles at his joke and pulls you close. "You nobles have so much time on your hands, this is what you do with it?"
  • I lean into him, letting out a relieved laugh. "Well I spent my time sneaking away to be with a gang of kids who taught me how to steal and sneak around and jump across roofs." I grin up at him. "But mostly I just wanted to get to know this incredibly good-looking boy I had a huge crush on."
  • Dash kisses your forehead and chuckles, "You know? I have to say, I really like hearing that." He takes your hand and starts leading you towards the Lucky Dragon.

    The docks have twelve ships moored this day, a number of them are moving crates and freight on and off the ships. There is no activity for the Dragon. The two of you are wary and cautious, so you take your time and keep a watch for anyone looking for you. You end up watching the people near your ship from an area between two large warehouses. You see Suli walking by herself, her eyes on the ships, completely unaware that you're watching her. You've got the drop on her, if you want it.

    What do you do?
  • I retreat carefully back into the shadows of the warehouses. I don't want anythin' to do with Suli. I just want her to leave me alone. I pull the hood of the robe further over my face. My hair extensions are gone, the kimono is tucked into my bag. I'm back to bein' Key. But no matter who I am, Suli seems to be right on my tail.

    "Dash..." I say in a low troubled voice. "Piera said that Suli told her she got a tip on the wind that we were comin' here. What do you think that meant? Do you think one of the crew knows who I am?"
  • Dash is less than happy at your return to Key, since that means kissing and snuggling will result in odd looks.

    You ask him about Suli and a spy and he says, "I don't know how? Do you think so? What if we stay around for a bit on the docks and watch. If they always stay around the Dragon, then they know how we got here. We will find another way to leave." He considers that, "That means we can' trust Hornet. She set this up."
  • I frown. Hornet would never betray me, would she? We're friends. Aren't we? "Ok. Yeah, that's a good plan."

    I keep my eyes on Suli, watching what she's watching, but I'm wrestling with myself. Finally I sigh. "Dash...I don't think we should go back to the Fire Nation anymore." I take my eyes off Suli for a second to glance at him. "At least, not back to my father. I've been thinking about it, and with everything that's happened, there's a good possibility he'll be angry. He'll want to smooth this over, quietly, and I'm afraid he'll...well...I'm afraid he'll marry me off. If not to Ji Fang, then to someone else. After all, what's a more perfect way to get rid of a troublesome daughter?" The bitterness in my voice is evident, and I sigh. "Basically, I'm afraid that if I go home, I'll lose all of my freedom all over again. And I want to be free." I look up at him again. "I want to be with you."
  • Dash shrugs at the change in plans. "Alright, Key. We don't have to go to the Fire Nation. If it weren't for you, I could honestly say I've never met a Fire Nation person I liked before. To be honest, anywhere is fine as long as we're all together. I mean, its always been Ba Sing Se and outside of Ba Sing Se. So, wherever we end up, its still outside of Ba Sing Se."

    He considers the thought of you being married off, "Your dad would marry you off as punishment? That's... so different than what we hear down on Clay Street. For us, everything for a noble is just so and always delightful and expensive. But that's not really true, is it? I'm finally starting to see why you liked sneaking down to be with us. Not that... not that I ever minded it." You see him almost put an arm around you, but stop, remembering to his chagrin that you're dressed as a boy.

    "You know," he mutters, "if we switch ships, I want you to stop dressing like a boy. Because... well, I think you can guess why. Cramping my style." But he's not angry at all, just making light, enjoying even this odd moment with you.

    Suli doesn't tarry by The Dragon. She's actually focused on a much larger ship, one built for passengers more than freight. After an hour of quietly watching her, she heads into the Oasis proper and you and Dash are, for all intents and purposes, safe.
  • When I'm sure the coast is clear, I lead the way to The Dragon. I want to make sure that the rest of Clay Street is ok. I don't know if Suli knows about them and who they are, or if she'd recognize any of them if she saw them. Besides maybe Dash. But I want to warn them. If they haven't already figured it out yet, which they probably have. When you live on the streets, you recognize danger really fast. You have to in order to survive.
  • (take an XP for key of fraternity for doing this)

    Both you and Dash sneak aboard the Dragon. The gangplank is up, so you shimmy up the side away from the docks, right?

    Since there's a chance of being seen by someone and you've got a bit of a climb, I'd like to see some dice here. Difficulty two.
  • I'm a Street Kid and a thief so I know how to sneak and hide and find the way

    #DiceRoller( 6d6 )
  • Both you and Dash scramble up the hll of the ship and slip into a porthole before anyone can see you. Dash insists you go first so he can watch out for you. You swear you feel his eyes on your backside as you climb up and duck in.

    You have a moment to gauge the place before Dash moves up to join you. You're in Hanae and Hornet's room. It is pretty small, a hammock over a bunk, two lockers, a silver mirror fixed into the wall, a hanging lantern, a small built-in desk and stool.

    What do you do?
  • I glance around casually, waiting for Dash. When Dash drops down next to me, I grin and then exuberantly throw my arms around him and kiss him hard. I wish I didn't have to go back to being Key either. Now we're back to sneaking into closets, and so much has changed between us after last night. I hate having to hide my relationship with Dash.

    Anyways, I linger if he lets me, trying to make this kiss last as long as possible, but I eventually regretfully pull back. "Guess we better go check on the kids, huh?" I say in a slightly husky voice.
  • Of course you're the one who has to pull back. Dash finds you irresistible, especially with the memory of last night still lingering with him. When you mention checking on the kids, he chuckles lightly. He pushes you ahead of him towards the door, saying, "You first. I like the view back here better," and chuckles again.

    You head down the hall to the room where Boot, Mew Mew, Min and Canlid have been staying. The door is slightly ajar. When you get closer, you catch the sound of some hushed talking down the hall, male and female. You also hear the sound of Canlid snoring softly inside their cabin.

    Where do you go?
  • I grin mischievously at Dash and walk with an exaggerated sway in my hips. I pause for a second when I hear hushed talking, then I creep down further until I can make out who it is from their voices. It's probably Boot and Mew Mew, right? Or some of the crew? But I try to be silent and stealthy just in case. I mean, this place is crawling with people looking for me, so it can't hurt to be too careful.
  • edited January 2013
    Evidently you are very stealthy, with your hip sway and everything, because the conversation continues as you and Dash sneak close enough to make out the words.

    Mew Mew: "...away from me. That was a-a mistake."

    Then, a male reply, not whispering, but talking low, "So, you fell across the room into my arms? And the kissing? That wasn't on purpose? I'm taller than you, you had to stand on your tiptoes, if I recall..." It's Sheng-Li's cocky voice.

    Mew Mew: "I didn't say accident, idiot. I said mistake, like a thing I regret, I shouldn't have done. And you better not tell Boot."

    Sheng-Li asks, you can hear his smirk, "Or what? Or what, Mew? You keep hanging around a guy you don't love? That you barely like? That's only going to make you hate him. I like you."

    Mew Mew, her voice rising a bit with frustration: "You don't KNOW me. You just kissed me, you'll get over it. Listen, I need to go. They're going to wak-" Her talking is cut off, you saw some movement of the small shadows where they're standing near a porthole. You think, probably, that he's pulled her into a kiss.
  • I smirk a little. Then I start backing up, pushing Dash backwards too. So Mew Mew is safe. That's good. I glance at Dash to see how he's taking this. I tighten my grip on him just in case he thinks he needs to go run and defend Mew Mew or something. I think she's working out some very important issues with Sheng-Li at the moment. Best not to disturb them.

    I'm heading for the room where presumably Boot and Canlid are sleeping, if Dash will come with me.
  • When you back up, you feel Dash's hands on your hips. He was rying to steady you. Yeah, that's it. But then you both head back to check on Boot and Canlid. Push open the door slightly and see Canlid is the one snoring. Boot is out of it, too.

    You see Min there, in her hammock, sitting up, knees pulled to her chest. She's crying. She sees you and Dash come in, tries to wipe her cheeks with the back of her hand and looks away. At Boot.
  • Well I'm not gonna lie. Every time Dash touches me...I feel like electricity is zipping across my skin. I wish we were back in Gerra's room in that big comfy bed. I wish we were anywhere but here where I'm disguised as a boy.

    But all those thoughts evaporate from my mind as soon as I see Min. I stop in the doorway, my face instantly concerned. What is going on? I look at Boot too, to see if there's some clue there. He looks like he's out of it to me. I look back at Min, catch her gaze, an' crook my finger at her, motioning for her to come out into the hall with me and Dash. If somebody hurt Min, I will kill them.
  • Min, still wiping her tears, looks past you and Dash, like she's looking down the way you came. Then she shakes her head no violently, her jaw set. She doesn't want to come out of the room.
  • I make a tiny, almost silent, exasperated noise. Then I cross the room up to the side of her hammock, trying to move silently.

    "Min." I whisper as quietly as I can. "What's wrong?"
  • Min shoots you a dark look, her body is still drawn up. She says back quietly, but full of hurt and a tinge of spite, "You know. You saw them, too."
  • Oh.

    I let out a little sigh. "Min, will you go on a walk with me? Pretty please? I have a present for you."
  • Dash backs out into the hall. Min looks at Boot again, then nods after a moment. She wipes at her face more openly, then uncurls her legs and drops down from the hammock quietly and comes out to you.

    Where do you take her?
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