With Love


ignacio_icon.gif seren_icon.gif

Scene Title With Love
Synopsis It's a good philosophy for doing all things, honestly.
Date February 23, 2019

Botanica La Romana

As winter marches toward spring, the days have gotten longer and warmer, so it's actually relatively nice to be outside right now. Comparatively. With a jacket, of course. Red Hook isn't exactly hopping with excitement like it might be in the warmer months, but there are a few people outside doing things. One of them is Nacho, and he's currently doing a little retouching on the mural on the side of Botanica La Romana. The door to the shop is open, and there's music blasting out from inside, the beat making the work a little more pleasant for the man.

"Ay, no me digas que noooo, que no me quieres," he sings along with the music as he paints over a chipped portion of the vibrant teal of the ocean. His voice is fine, not unpleasant and in tune but nothing to write home about. His feet and hips moving in time to the beat indicate that he's probably a better dancer than singer, though. "Porque si tu no me quieres, yo por ti me muero."

A red cap is worn snugly over Seren's short-shorn hair, and their brow arches so high at hearing the singing it almost disappears underneath it. "What do you think that is, Baird? A party?" They're much more familiar with French than Spanish, but curiosity doesn't let the sounds of music go uninvestigated. The creature clinging to their back purrs in interest, resting its head over their shoulder as it peers out, its eagle-like face observing what lays ahead with wide, curiously blue eyes.

When the two of them round the corner by the Botanica La Romana, they find no festivities save for the one Nacho is carrying on himself. Seren pauses, the toe of one shoe tapping on the ground as they peer at the painting efforts from afar, listening to the music that carries from within the store. They look to the creature on their shoulder as its tone deepens and it starts to crawl forward, one claw latching onto their shoulder to pull it forward. "He's doing art, we're not right now." they tell the small creature in a hush. They grin nonetheless, the creature firing back a chirp at them as a part of a bargaining plea. Or it might just be whining. Who doesn't love painting, after all?

Hey, if Nacho's there, it's a party. At least in his own mind. But sometimes that's all it takes! He draws the paintbrush down in one long stroke, his movements careful and perhaps indicative of one who did not actually paint the mural himself, so is making sure not to eff it up while ostensibly fixing it. "Con esa cara de angel, te ves tan sensual," he sings as he dips the brush in the paint again.

He's distracted from singing, dancing, and painting by the arrival of someone else, though, and though the music carries quite well, it isn't so loud that he can't hear it when Seren speaks near him. He glances over his shoulder, grinning at them. "If you want to help, go for it," he says. "I got some more paintbrushes, and you can't be worse at it than me. Hola, monito," he says as he catches sight of the creature on Seren's shoulder.

"Look at you, Baird, you've done invited yourself in now." Seren chastises the creature on their shoulder with a grin. The little gryphon-like creature couldn't be more unimpressed with their companion's displeasure, their feathery ears flicking up in interest at the invitation being extended to help. It wastes no time in crawling up over Seren's shoulder only to leap from their coat toward the collection of painting tools near Nacho. Its wide, pale wings spread to help it coast to the ground, dark claws settling on concrete with a scratch as it alights. Its wings settle on its back again with a flutter, accompanied by a shuffling of its legs, before it turns back to Seren with a loud click.

Seren, who has only just recovered from the creature using them as a springboard. They only shake their head at the creature's antics, looking toward Nacho with a sheepish grin of apology as they approach. "Guess we're helping. Seems like the least we could do for interrupting your groove."

"You can't interrupt La Makina. They keep going whether you hop on or not." Considering that there's cries of 'La Makina!' interspersed in the music at various intervals, one might assume that it's the name of the band. Nacho reaches toward a tray with a bunch of brushes inside it, grabbing one and flipping it around in his hand before he hands it, handle-first, to the little creature.

"Wherever you see some part that needs a touch up, go to town," he says as he straightens up again, dipping his brush in the open can of paint. Apparently he feels that Seren can grab their own brush. Though probably Baird could have, too. "Perfection's not the name of the game here. Just make sure you paint with love." He says it in a way that makes it kind of hard to tell whether he's joking or not, but he is still smiling, so…who knows.

Baird has leaned forward, nibbling at the edge of the brush probingly before Seren reaches in to save it from sure destruction. If it's bothered by its tool being stolen, it only takes it out on its companion by squirreling up their pantleg halfway, hanging and swaying. Curiously, the claws don't shred right through the jeans they hang from, but that's a far less interesting thing than the mural they're restoring.

"Oh, I don't think that'll be a problem." Seren informs in a knowing voice, spinning the brush around their knuckle and catching it again. They bend at the waist to dip the brush in paint and begin carefully painting over what's there, sure to keep the heart of the original painting. "Is this place yours? You don't see many storefronts with art like this around here. It's lovely." Their slate-grey eyes shimmer with a silver sheen as they look back down, searching for more colors almost immediately as an idea strikes.

Nacho watches the interplay between the two with a little amused snort, though there is some vague disappointment that Baird himself is not apparently going to be retouching the mural. That would have been something to see, even if it might have come out a little messy. "Good," he says as he covers up a water stain with a fresh coat. "'Cause I don't want to have to redo it after you're done." That does sound like a joke, though, and to cement that impression he shoots Seren another grin.

"Yeah, it's mine," he says as he turns back, taking a step back to survey what he's done so far. "By default. And thanks. I can't take credit for the original, my tia did it. I just fix it up when it needs it." There do seem to be some other colors in various tins around where the teal is; a bright yellow, a very deep red, an almost electric purple.

A second brush is produced, dipped into the yellow. Seren holds it in their offhand until they finish touching up the wave with the teal … and follow by blending in the yellow along the curls of the wave. A thin line across the top and a hazy touch of across the center of the wave that's blended in, creating a greenish hint of sunlight that hits the water and passes through it. Baird purrs at the result, letting go and falling back down to the ground with a scrabble. There are open tins of paint to investigate, after all.

"How's that?" Seren asks hopefully as they step back, looking to Nacho cautiously. The brush is spun in their hand as they ask, "Too much?"

Nacho looks like he's going to move forward again to continue with what he was doing, but he stops when he sees Seren doing more than just re-painting the colors that were there before, like he was. His head tips to the side as he watches them, and he squints, his lips pressing together just a little bit as he watches. Again, it's difficult to tell what he thinks about it, even after when they ask him. He takes his time answering, which might not be the most encouraging reaction, really.

"'Ta bien," he finally pronounces, however, as he looks back to Seren as his grin returns. "You want a Coke or something? 'Cause I'm gonna just leave this to you now, so you'll probably be here a while." You're welcome, Seren.

The long pause does cause some concern, Seren looking back to the touchup they'd made to judge what it would take to smudge it off and put it back exactly the way it was before … when he pronounces something that sounds like acceptance. 'Bien' was used, after all. When his grin returns, so does theirs, and their shoulders sink with relief. At least, at first. Then the kind offer for a drink is realized to be more than innocent.

"Hey, this is yours and your tia's, I'm just here to help," they insist with a broadening grin. They see the attempt to abandon the work to an artist for what it is! "Besides, unsupervised, who knows what will happen out here." is said just as teasingly.

A moment later, far more seriously, they add, "But if you do have a Coke…"

"Well, she's not here to judge anymore so I'm in charge of it, and I say, put it in more capable hands." However, Nacho laughs, and adds, "Gimme a sec." He does head inside then, but hopefully not forever. There's some sounds from inside over the music, generic rummaging around, and then after another few seconds the music changes, this time to reggaeton.

He comes out another couple of seconds later, con Coke, and he hands it over to Seren before he picks up his brush again. "So, you a professional artist or something?" he asks as he goes back to painting his way — that is, no frills or fancy additions.

By the time he comes back out, the ocean has depth running through it, and Seren has moved on to touching up the colorful menagerie flowers, movements of the paintbrush careful as they try to add color there. Their brow is furrowed while they work, and while they certainly would benefit from having some black and white to mix with to help create shades of color … they make do with what they have. They're creative enough to make this work! And for how serious they seem, there's a definite peace taken from the touchups.

It takes them a moment to look up when the drink is brought out, a one-sided smile quickly offered up as they take the bottle and then set it down by their foot. "I could have been!" they admit without any real regret to it. "But… I got a degree in architecture instead. Seemed more practical, y'know? But I love creating. It's been a while since I've painted."

Nacho was going to help, really he was, but they're doing such a great job that it would really be criminal to add his much less talented touch to it, wouldn't it? And we can't have that. So while he picks up a brush, he doesn't actually use it just yet, instead just watching.

"I guess I got lucky today, then, huh?" he says with another easy smile that sits well on his face, one side a little higher than the other to give it a slightly rakish air. "I got some more walls you could do, just let me know." He has brought a Coke for himself, too, and he takes a sip from it as he supervises.

Seren, luckily, doesn't mind. The act of painting is anathema to any pesky heavier thoughts, and helps them with the issue of what they were going to get into this afternoon. "Hey, guess we both got lucky." they point out, leaning over to reload the brush with color. They tut at Baird to try and encourage it to get its face out of the tins, to no avail. Suddenly, its blackened beak is dipped in purple, much to its alarm. They laugh, and tap its forehead with the yellow to add another splash of color. Rattled, it rolls onto its back and paws at its face to try and clean itself off, only doing a good job of smearing the colors around on itself worse. Almost incomprehensibly so.

They offer up while putting details in the center of flowers, unperturbed by the small flailing gryphon, "You know, maybe I could come back another day and help you with that. Those other walls."

The antics of Baird makes Nacho laugh, and he just shakes his head at the little creature. "I like your monito," he says, jutting his chin toward it. "I got a soft spot for troublemakers."

The suggestion of coming back later to paint the others, though, gets raised eyebrows. "I was just kidding," he replies, "but if you want to, sure, go for it. Just let me know when you want to come by and I'll get some paint. You figured out the aesthetic pretty quick." He grins as he gestures vaguely to the mural. "Doesn't have to be the same thing, but yeah. Nothing that my tia's gonna come back and haunt me for, okay? 'Cause she was harsh enough while she was alive, I don't want to see her as a ghost with supernatural chanclas." It's said with a clear fondness, though, even if it's slightly irreverent toward the woman who is obviously no longer with us.

Seren only barely tilts their hand away from the wall in time before laughing at the thought of a ghost woman chasing someone around with a spectral sandal. The image is so strong, it rises unbidden behind Nacho, pale blue wrinkled hand raised silently. They grin and turn back to him, seeing the figure standing behind him, and continue to stare just past his shoulder, whatever they were going to say forgotten temporarily.

Something they quickly try to recover from before he has time to notice the transparent elderly woman behind him, who could in no way look like his tia, but would likely still be startling to see. She continues to wave her chancleta threateningly, wisps of blue peeling off of her person, and Seren forces another laugh. "I promise, I'll try to avoid anything sacrilegious and scandalous."

Baird still flopping on the ground is a good thing to direct focus to instead of the silent spectre looming behind Nacho, so Seren makes a valiant attempt while waiting for the invasive idea of the ghost to lift free from their imagination. "Though I can't promise Baird here won't try to add his own touch. He watched Bob Ross with me as a kid and now he thinks he's fit to spread the joys of painting."

Nacho's still grinning, though he notes the look that seems to be over his shoulder more than actually at him. He raises an eyebrow, before he starts to turn to look as well. "He can do whatever he wants," he says as he turns, "as long as-…"

He cuts off as soon as he catches a glimpse of the thing Serendipities has conjured up behind him. "La puta que la parió, coño!" he exclaims as he stumbles back half a step, flinging a hand out to catch himself against the wall so he doesn't fall on his ass. "What the fuck is that?" It's a little bit bigger than a griffin-cat-thing, after all.

When Seren watches Nacho turning back, they start to lift their hands to stop or at least warn him, and in the end, they end up cupping them around their mouth. One, because that's a horrifying thing to turn around and see — a ghostlike image shaking a chancleta at you and all — and secondly, because they're trying very hard not to laugh at his reaction. Baird scatters away from the falling Nacho to avoid being crunched, running along the wall and leaving purple prints behind it as it scampers away before hitting the sidewalk again.

"I'm sorry. That's — an accident." The explanation is spoken through their palm, and they let out a nervous chuckle involuntarily at this point. "Most of the time, the things I make are voluntary, but sometimes…"

Their shoulders slope with relief as the ghostly image finally fades away, wisping into nothing. "Sometimes ideas get too strong and I get visitors without meaning to see them. My imagination gets ahead of me and then we've got… um…" Seren briefly clasps their hands before them, feeling like they're rambling. The clasp is quickly broken to offer a hand out to help Nacho back to his feet. "I'm so sorry about that."

Nacho's staring rather wide-eyed at the spectral figure, though as it fades, he catches a breath that's only a little bit louder than it might be generally. "Que susto me pegó, por Dios," he mutters — mostly to himself — but he does accept the hand up without too much suspicion, so he must not be distrustful of the ability. "Gonna give me a fucking heart attack, and then who's gonna give you walls to pain' shit on, huh?" However, it does carry a hint of amusement, even though the amusement is rather dry.

There's another wave to dismiss the apology, though, as he continues, "Eh. Don't worry about it. I got my blood pumping for the day, I guess. Really makes you remember you're alive and not in the ground."

Hey, not everyone deals with sustos like that, so it's a relief that he does! Seren grins their apology, head shaking in amusement at him. "You, still. I know CPR. You'd not be going anywhere fast." They take a step back to set aside the paintbrushes in their other hand and finally drink from the bottle of Coke that had been previously offered.

"I should've warned you, but I thought she'd pass before you noticed." Seren admits sheepishly. "But you know like those dreams you have, when something embarrassing happens and you want it to go away, but it just kind of … digs its heels in deeper? Yeah…" They look down at the paint-splattered white-and-grey gryphon on the ground, meeting their gaze for a long moment. The creature's deep blue eyes are just full of innocence and guilt both. "Not you, Baird." is quickly reassured. "You're always there, and always welcome. Best buds, you and me."

Nacho starts to gather up the paintbrushes, dumping all the dirty ones into the pan and getting the paint cans together as well. "I'd die just to spite you," he says, "and then come back to haunt your ass. I'd be a fucking annoying-ass ghost, too." He picks up his empty bottle to put it with the other stuff he's going to carry inside, presumably.

He nods, though, at their explanation. "Yeah, I get that," he continues. "Kind of, anyway. If that shit happened to me in real life I don't think I'd go out of the house. I got my rep to maintain." He straightens up, glancing to the creature once more with another little huff, before looking back up at Seren. "Thanks for the help," he says, his tone more sincere then. "Looks way better than what I would've done."

Wincing dramatically at how much of a pain-in-the-ass ghost Nacho would be, Seren sips away at the Coke. "Well, it's a good thing you didn't have that heart attack after all." they quip timidly over the side of it, looking back at the touched up mural with a small smile for it. It looked loved, which was really what mattered in the end. Nevermind the smears of purple Baird had gotten on the pale beach.

"Hey, it's no problem. I'm Seren, by the way." Drink already in their left hand, they reach out with their right for a handshake. "Seren Evans. I just moved here a little while ago, work down at Raytech."

Let's face it, Nacho would be an annoying ghost, if only because whoever he haunted probably wouldn't be able to get any peace. However, since he has not, in fact, had a heart attack, he looks back at the mural appraisingly one last time, before he nods once, decisively. "Yeah," he says, "that's good." As though he's putting it out into the world, perhaps for his aunt. It's good. And hey, the little purple smears are by the children, at least, so it could be interpreted as something they did in their reality.

He looks back at Serendipities then, and shifts the pan filled with brushes and paint so that he can shake the offered hand. "Ignacio Rodriguez," he says. "But Nacho is fine. If you're gonna be my artist in residence we can probably go informal. Good to meet you."

"Nacho?" They blink, that being the last possible expected nickname to have heard. "Okay. Nacho." The urge to make wordplay on the name is swiftly subdued. At least for now. Give it until another day, Seren. They shake his hand emphatically. "Artist in residence sounds pretty nice — careful, you might make my head big."

"I should probably get going for now, though, eh? But thanks for letting me help bring your tia's painting back to life, Nacho." Seren smiles brightly before turning to the the paint-covered creature on the ground. Or at least … it was paint-covered. It seems like the paint's just a part of its coat now, bled in and spreading slowly down its pale form like dye on an already-wet surface. "Come on, Baird, we're going to have to go get you cleaned up." They wave their hand and the creature unfolds its wings, beginning to ruffle them.

"See you around, Nacho!" Seren warmly calls over their shoulder as they head off, the creature taking off with a few powerful pumps of its wings and landing on their outstretched arm. Oddly enough, no paint streaks down their coat as the creature takes its time in settling, crawling up Seren's arm to cling to their shoulder like before.

Once the two make it far enough down the street, the creature's prints in paint vanish from the mural in the blink of an eye.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License