Flumpy Pillows


koshka_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Flumpy Pillows
Synopsis A delivery of Christmas cheer is made to one of the region's younger recluses.
Date December 24 2010

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

Bright, early, and blooming cold - Ygraine's arrival at the Garden is, as usual, preceded by the throaty rumbling of Alfred's powerful engine. The big bike is once again bearing his full burden of panniers, crunching and bouncing over the ice and snow and frozen ruts on the road.

The sound changes a little as open ground is reached, and progress becomes somewhat more level, Ygraine's head lifting as she scans the area for the cottage's occupants and protectors, perhaps hoping this time not to see any assault rifles in evidence.

No assault rifle is in evidence. In fact the outside of the cottage is devoid of life. The only sign of any inhabitants is smoke rising from the chiminy. Someone is still at home.

Koshka, in fact, is hiding within the four walls. Sable had taken the dogs out again, letting them get their much needed exercise while the teenager stayed behind. She seems to be sitting idle, though. A pot of water warms on the stove while she sits at the table, chin resting on its surface.

The smoke rising from the chimney - rather than, say, pouring out of the windows - is certainly a good sign, and it encourages Ygraine to swing Alfred around and come to a halt close by the side of the cottage. Heaving herself off the seat, she permits herself a now-customary groan as she attempts to stretch out a little of the tightness in her spine. Wincing, she totters off towards the door, moving rather stiff-legged, though the knock she delivers is a jaunty, rolling rhythm.

Koshka's head comes up at the sound of the knock, and a frown creases her brow slightly. Visitors? She pushes away from the table and crosses to the door, yet with no weapon to her name the teen is doubly wary on opening the door. Just a crack, enough to look through with a single eye and a foot braced to keep it from opening further.

"What's the password," the youth asks, once she makes out Ygraine's form beyond the door. There isn't one, and her tone says she's not expecting an answer. But there's no plans on letting anyone inside without a guess made first.

There's a slight pause, then Ygraine flips up her visor. "Ahhh… Merry Christmas?", she ventures with a slight laugh. "Please don't shoot me. I'm just here to deliver some presents. But I'm afraid that the fire's lit, so I'm not coming down the chimney…."

Good enough. Koshka pulls open the door to allow entry, closing it tightly once Ygraine's inside. There's a shadow of a grin for the woman then the youth is returning to the kitchen. "Want some coffee? Water's going to be ready soon and I'm not terrible at making it." She shouldn't be terrible any longer, she seems to make it often enough.

"Mmmm, thank you." This time, Ygraine doesn't even show visible hestitation in accepting the offer. She does glance around curiously, checking for signs of other occupants. "Anyone else around at the moment? Just wondering if I can co-opt anyone into helping with the unloading. I can tackle it while you make the coffee. Get it out of the way…."

"Sable's out right now," Koshka explains as she goes to check on the water. After a moment, she decides to just turn the heat down, keep the good warmth in it. "I'll help, though." Coffee and cocoa are found, left on the counter, and then the youth is hurrying to help with the unloading and carrying.

Fortunately, with two sets of hands working at it, the unloading doesn't take overly long. It seems that Ygraine has chosen to attempt to lay in a range of Christmas supplies for the safehouse, as well as some purely practical items. As a result, alongside the can of WD40, another solar- and crank-driven power unit, and the frozen pizzas there are a box of crackers, a turkey, bacon, a couple of cakes, ginger beer….

Finally, with things unloaded and only a few trips in and out, Koshka closes the door again to lock out the cold. With hands rubbing together she looks over the goodies, curious, but attends to fixing hot drinks first. "Wasn't expecting you out here again 'til after Christmas," she says as she hunts down mugs and begins fixing coffee and cocoa.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

Setting about stripping off her outer layers, Ygraine cracks a grin. "Well… my rounds are somewhat reduced these days. And you guys aren't exactly able to nip out to the shops. So I thought I should at least try to make sure that you had the… minimum necessary to have a stab at Christmas. There's even a string of low-energy lights in there, in case you want to use one of the power units to put up some decorations."

"Wow, cool." Koshka returns with the two mugs, the coffee type one offered to Ygraine. "Thanks. I wasn't expecting much of anything this year, since you know.. getting off the streets and all was kinda like a really big gift already." What more could you ask for, when the weather's turning cold and you have no where to go? "I didn't get you anything." She could, though. Maybe make something with some sticks and leaves.

Ygraine laughs softly, shaking her head as she gratefully accepts the coffee, cradling it in both hands for a moment before hastily setting it down as the heat penetrates her chilled fingers. "It honestly didn't occur to me that you should", she says with a lop-sided smile. "If nothing else, I have a job and access to shops - that puts me two major strides ahead of you when it comes to getting presents. I just hope that you like what I picked up. Or that at least one of yourself and Sable likes each thing. I… didn't want you to feel forgotten out here."

The teen doesn't seem so concerned with missing Christmas. Or at least she's hiding it well. What kid doesn't look forward to this time of the year? "Well I've got resources out here, too," Koshka points out with a grin. "But you're probably going to have to wait until after Christmas for it."

Ygraine looks quite genuinely surprised, then cracks a grin. "Resources, hmmmm? I confess - I'm intrigued", she says with a laugh, moving to take a seat close to the fire, sipping appreciatively at her coffee. "I'm intending to head off out of the city for a week or so after Christmas, but if there's an emergency or the like, you should be able to get in touch with me. And I can give you contact details for another courier. Don't know how good she is, but…"

Koshka takes a seat on the sofa, sipping at her own cocoa drink. "Everything should be fine," she says after a moment. "What could possibly go wrong?" Indeed, this from the girl who's best friends with trouble. She grins again, looking up at Ygraine. Everything wil be fine.

Ygraine does manage not to look incredulous. Instead, she chuckles, takes another sip, and nods. "Well, consider it my mother hen tendencies coming to the fore again if you want to - but better you have options than not, eh?"

Leaning over, she delves into one of the inner pockets of her jacket, pulling out a folded-over post-it with a number on it. "Here you go. Her name's Mina. Don't bother her needlessly, but.. if you do need anything and I'm not around, she should be a good person to call. Just be careful. We're pretty sure the government can access any electronic communications they want to at the moment, so mind what you say. Or send by text. Or whatever."

Taking the post-it, Koshka nods. "Right. Nothing that could give anything away, don't worry." The post it is tucked away into her pocket, likely to be passed off to Sable later on when the musician returns. "So where're you going? —Or is that something I shouldn't ask?"

Ygraine laughs, shaking her head. "I'm due to head up North, to visit my girlfriend's mother. Then on to meet up with people over the Border, I hope. Spend New Year in Toronto or Montreal, before coming back here to work again. Enjoy a bit of a holiday, while we have the chance. And hope to avoid any of the… disasters and strife there've been over the past couple of Winters."

"That sounds awesome," Koshka says, feeling just a bit of excitement for the spider-lady. "I hope things work out and stuff. That your travels are safe and the weather's good. —You're not riding that bike, are you?" That could be dangerous.

Ygraine laughs. "I'm a lot safer on a bike than most people. I can the bike the focus for my gravity, so it's vastly harder to overbalance… but no. I'm hiring a car and taking it up. That way I don't freeze any passengers I take with me… and we can fit in a bit more luggage."

That's cause for relief. Koshka shrugs, as though to say it was an important question whatever the answer. Because, really, it was. "That's great, though. Unsurprisingly, I'm probably just going to be here."

Ygraine gestures towards the unloaded goodies. "I thought that the odds were high that at least one of you would be. And quite possibly more than one. Hence the turkey, among other things. I hope that I've provided enough that you can have a good stab at a Christmas celebration. There's a little Christmas cookbook in there, too, to help."

"They need to give you a raise or something," Koshka says as she looks over to the various treats still laid upon the table and workspaces in the kitchen. A grin is sent to Ygraine and her mug lifted. "Merry Christmas," she continues. "And safe traveling for those who're traveling."

Laughing, Ygraine blushes a little as she ducks her head. "I wish I got paid. Most of my work, I've been able to hide under cover of actually being a courier. But… since the… ahh, the troubles of the eighth, that's not been so easy. And there're no deliveries out this way. So I'm afraid that my only reward in coming out here is the pleasure of the company of the residents."

With a shake of her head, Koshka finishes off her cocoa. "We're good company, too," she states as she stands again. "Sable's got her music and the dogs are warm little flumpy pillows when they want to be." And the teen? Well she's just a fixture who makes the coffee.

Ygraine laughs. "Flumpy pillows? Heh. Poor old Jupiter. Though I suspect he doesn't mind. If I remember right, he used to be a police dog. This must be a rather odd retirement he's having. But the old fellow seems quite contented with it all, fortunately…."

Shaking her head, the Briton grins. "Still - having been reminded that dogs are due to return, let's make sure that the meat gets put away and doesn't become an early Christmas treat for them, shall we? A short bit of work, then we can return to lounging around in front of the fire…." Pushing herself to her feet, Ygraine quirks a grin. "Oh - and a slightly belated merry Christmas to you, too. I hope that it's a thoroughly good one."

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