A Home and Hearth for Makari

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Log Info

  • Title: A Home and Hearth for Makari
  • Emitter: Zeke
  • Place: Cuemoni and Zeke's (prospective) house, Alexandros

A chill wind is blowing across the ground, making Zeke shudder and move toward the house a little faster. It's a soft-skin built thing, and he tries to reserve judgement on it at the moment, knowing that it will at least provide some shelter from the cold. The land around the home is beautiful at least - though the winter months being in full swing means that Zeke suspects that it will look far different in spring. There's a wide swath of tall grasses, and a place for a garden - though it's overrun with weeds now.

The whole place has a somewhat untended look to it, but they've seen the small bit of woods that accompany the property as well as the stream-fed pond which Zeke is nearly certain could and would hold fish in warmer months. The house is not exactly dilapidated, but it has clearly been untended for at least a number of months, if not the whole of a year. The outside of it seems quite large and spacious, but they've yet to see the interior.

Zeke moves to the door, and though habit prompts him to knock, he knows there is no one here to answer, so he restrains himself and opens the door for Cuemoni instead.

It's a strange thing to be here, to be in the cold where Cuemoni would ordinarily never be unless she had to be--but this is one of those occasions, because the need and the meaning is far greater than her lizard-borne reluctance to engage with the cold. Her golden eyes look around at the property and she gives a little thoughtful noise. It is overrun with tall grasses and weeds, but there is potential here. It is in nature and the softskin-built structure does not offend her own sensibilities.

When Zeke holds the door, she gratefully nods and says, "This one thanks you for your kindness," as she steps inside. "This one wonders how long it has not been occupied. Were you told how long this building has gone without residents?"

She's already mentally taking stock of what she would have to do to appease any lingering house spirits that have gone without acknowledgement and allowed to do as they please, golden eyes inspecting the doorframe to see if there's already sensible things, such as iron horseshoes, hanging or hammered into the frame.

Zeke follows Cuemoni inside and is grateful to close the door against the wind though there is no fire in the fireplace to warm the interior. There are no furnishings inside to offer the place any other kind of warmth, but Zeke's green eyes roam the wide open space that is the interior and... he likes the sprawling feeling of the living space. It's perhaps a little overly large for two, but neither he nor Cuemoni are small, and he can well imagine that they will have company - at least in the shape of Seldan - often.

There's no sign of horseshoes or other objects... it's extremely empty in fact, and Zeke rumbles a little as if to fill the silence. It doesn't have that uncomfortable feeling that some places long abandoned have - as though they've been soaked in solitude until they grow foul - but it does feel just a touch... lonely. "Nearly a year." He says in response to Cuemoni's question, looking around a little.

There's no upstairs - it's one of the requests that Zeke made - in favor of his limbs which can make climbing such things more difficult - though he knows from what he's been told that there is a small cellar for keeping things cold and such.

Cuemoni makes a thoughtful noise as she looks around. A year. No wonder it feels lonely. The fact that it doesn't have that feeling of discomfort or pain like some places do is a good sign--a sign of house spirits that have not been witness to horrible acts nor deeds, nor have they been harmed. It is still cold for a lack of a fire, but that can be fixed if needed. A fireplace is a necessary thing if there is no room for an open hearth.

"It is empty here," she says, "but like the outside, it is full of potential."

She turns her turquoise eyes onto Zeke. "This one thinks that we could make a home here, but it will require work to do so--more work than is required for other homes." To say that moving anywhere isn't work would be a falsehood. A warm noise leaves her as she then adds, "This one would love to do that work by your side."

The blue-scale makes an amused noise at Cuemoni. "Thisss one..." Zeke trails off a moment. Touching one of the walls with his claws. He can almost see that potential. What this house would look like if it were made into a home. A nest. "Can sssee that potential."

He offers his claw to Cuemoni. "Would you like to sssee the ressst of it then?" He asks her gently.

Cuemoni takes Zeke's claw so very gently in her usual fashion, a happy rumble leaving her chest. She always smells happier for being close to Zeke, the smell of her gratitude that he has chosen her and is trying to be close to her despite his fear thick in her aroma. "Yes," she says.

And then, more bashfully, she adds, "If the rest of the house is a disaster, however, maybe this one will change her mind on this house," she says. "This one has heard of clueless softskins moving into places with restless house spirits that tore apart their house, unwilling to share the place with the softskin occupants who offended them."

But she seems to realize how unfortunate that might sound given that they're touring a lonely-feeling house, and she elaborates, "This one would work to appease spirits living here if we moved here. This one... would ask beloved cihuaa to join, as you are to live here, too. It is good to establish friendly relationships."

Zeke nods, pleasure slipping into his scent. He's pleased that she would ask him to help. He wants to help. To make whatever house they find their home. Together. In fact, that's one of the reasons that he likes this place so much already. Because... it feels like a place that needs a fresh start. Like they do. Together, they could breathe new life into this space, and make it a home again.

"Thisss one would be glad to do ssso. Thisss one wantsss to ssshare sssuch with you. To make the sspiritsss happy, and to make a plassce that isss only a houssse, into a home." He slips a little closer to her, happy to be with her as he leads her into the kitchen.

Like the living space, it's quite large, more than big enough for the both of them to work in - without tangling tails (though they still could if desired). There's no island in the middle to trip over, but lots of counter space and open cabinets. There's a door to the cellar nearby and Zeke opens this door as well, peering down into the dark space curiously, but it's rather empty. All the rooms have a vaguely hollow feeling to them. As if they're waiting. Waiting to be filled with life again.

The kitchen gets an approving and thoughtful nod from Cuemoni as well, her golen eyes straying over the counter space and cabinets, eyeing the bare walls where pots and pans could be hung. She opens the cabinets and closes them quickly after seeing that they're bare, entirely empty, entirely waiting on someone to do something with them.

"We could make many meals together in this space," she says with approval. It's an almost tender thing to say. She pictures herself and Zeke already doing so. She pictures herself singing to the spirits in this place and to bless their meal. She pictures Zeke being happy to eat something that they made together.

She similarly peers down the cellar, into the darkness, and then a thought comes to mind, a noise leaving her with the realization. "Will there be a room for your honored kin to stay in?"

And then bashfully, she adds, "Not in the cellar. That is not what this one meant."

Zeke pulls back enough to close the door to the cellar and recaptures Cuemoni's hand so that he can lead her around to the other side of the house, unable to help the huffing amusement and then laughter that rises at her words. (And the thought of Seldan being relegated to the cellar which would absolutely never happen).

"There three roomsss that are... undesssignated." Zeke explains, which is what he's been told himself. He's glad though to find the hall and the rooms which were described to him in the location where he expects to find them. The first is small, but not unpleasant, ordinary in every way. The second is similar, but slightly larger, with a view of a backyard garden that Zeke had somehow missed before. Two gardens then. The last bedroom is significantly bigger, almost looking like someone had taken two of the previous rooms and knocked down a wall between them.

Zeke likes it instantly. The little nook in one corner with a bench built into the window for someone to sit at and look outside. The way that the windows stream light in from outside in spite of the fact that the days are gray and overcast now. There's no furniture's here of course, just a few stray leaves that had somehow found their way into the house. But... There's something about the space that makes him feel comfortable.

He can imagine a mound of pillows and soft blankets. A true nest here. A place of safety from the world. He can imagine it clearly.

Cuemoni is pleased that she's made Zeke laugh. It's a wonderful feeling, to know that she's made him happy and amused, and his clawed hand in hers feels all the warmer for it as he leads her to the three rooms in the hall.

The first room is so ordinary that she comments, "Storage space--for things that do not go in the living room and things we do not want in our room. The cellar can be for seasonal things stored away, but this can be for other things. Such as equipment for adventuring. Or... books." Or other things that they might need but not so desperately as to keep them in the bedroom.

Cuemoni regards the second room a bit more favorably. "Your honored kin's room," she says. "Or any other guest that might come." But she can only anticipate Seldan's arrival as a guest from time to time. The view of the second garden, a welcome surprise, is a nice thing that would enliven any stay here.

The last room, however... Cuemoni looks at it for a long moment. Golden eyes taking it all in--the light, the bench, the nook--and she also knows, just like Zeke, this is it.

"This is the nest room," she says, her tail going close to his. "For beloved cihuaa and this one to be close and to rest."

Zeke can feel it too. That they have found their place. It is spacious, and it may be lonely, but they will fill it up with their shared lives. They will make it a home. His claw tightens on Cuemoni's, his tail slipping alongside hers, and he turns his face to her. This, is where he wants to make their nest. "Thissss, issss home."

He knows from her pleased scent, and the sense of contentedness, that he is not wrong to say these words. Zeke draws himself closer to her, and pulls a small item from his pocket. One which he has been waiting to give for a long time. He presses it into the claw he is holding, a small, dark sapphire dragon curled into her palm. "Thisss one wantsss for you to take thisss. Thissss... Will bring you here. To our nessst, if you find your-ssself in danger. If you find your-ssself in need of thisss one, it will bring you here. To sssafety, to the nessst which we will build here."

Green eyes meet hers with all the warmth that he can bring to bear. "Take thisss thing, and know that you are never far from home, asss long ass you carry it with you."

Cuemoni's scent is that of surprise, but it can be read just as easily in her golden eyes. She looks at Zeke and... There's tears beading up in her eyes again.

"Cihuaa," she croaks, before nuzzling her cheek against his. It's clear she appreciates the gesture more strongly than she can really and properly express in this moment. She wants to hold him, wants to be close to him, wants him to know that she loves him for his thoughtfulness. The dragon figurine in her clawed hand is held so carefully, like the beautiful and important art that it is. "Cihuaa, it is beautiful, and lovely, and important. This one is so happy that you thought of such a thing."

She rumbles happily. "This one hopes to do something just as wonderful for cihuaa," she says. "It is what cihuaa deserves."

He instantly returns her gesture, rubbing his own cheek along her cheek, his eyes half-lidding with warmth and desire that he turns into action by releasing her claw so that he can wrap his arms around her. So that he can hold her. His precious cihuaa.

"You have given thisss one you, and there is no-thing in the world more precious to thisss one than that gift." Zeke pulls back from her just enough to be able to look at her, to look at this beautiful, caring female who has chosen to share her precious days with him. "Thissss gift, it isss a ssselfissh thing. To want you sssafe. To want to know that you can alwaysss find thisss one. It needss no repayment."

There are tears that run down Cuemoni's face-scales now, and they muddle the red lines that she's painted around her striking golden eyes, but she doesn't much care about that. To have her emotions repaint her painting is natural and welcome. To change is to live. And to see Zeke so happy... It's worth everything.

"This one will always keep it close," she says. "Just as this one keeps your love in this one's heart." She says it so softly, her eyes nictating and shedding more tears. "Both as beautiful as anything that this one can imagine."

She takes a breath and then says, "This one has an idea... for a house spirit ceremony. Would you allow this one to paint you as this one paints this one's scales?" It's a different kind of touching, in some way, than they've done before, and she wants to make sure he's okay with it. "It is not necessary, but this one would..."

Here, her scent turns bashful. "This one would like to match with cihuaa when doing such a ceremony," she says.

There is instantly, and immediately only one answer to Cuemoni's request. He is honored, he is overjoyed, he is elated that she would ask him to do this with her. To share this with her. "Yesss." He says softly, lifting his claw to trace the edge of the tear that had tracked it's way through paint down her face. Zeke is careful not to smudge her paint. "Thisss one would be honored."

Cuemoni is so terribly happy in that moment. She's already thinking of what she'll paint on Zeke. They won't match perfectly--the symbols that she has painted on herself have to do with her station as a spirit-worker, as someone who interacts with nature. Zeke will require symbols that reflect his status as a follower of the Dragonfather and a blessed healer.

He chases away her tear and Cuemoni loves him all the more for it, a marvel in that she's amazed by how the fact that her love just continues to grow and grow and grow. It's infinite in capacity, she realizes, and that's the beautiful thing. "Then this one will make plans," she says. "But for now..."

She looks around the room again, although her head doesn't move with the moving of golden eyes. "This one supposes that we must find furniture," she says. "Mmm. This one... thinks that Skielstregar may be of service? This one has heard he brings firewood to Mictlan."

Zeke looks around the room himself, and then offers a half-shrug. He is for a moment overcome again with what this place will look like when they are done. When they have made it a home. "Ssshaman Telamon offered to be of aid alssso. Thisss one isss certain that we will find what we need to make thisss plassce what it can become." He huffs, a small sound of amusement. "Thisss one will tell them that it isss perfect."

In fact, he feels just a small edge of excitement in the idea, of filling this space and all the others with things that will be of both of them. Things to make this place theirs. "Come, tell thisss one all of the ideasss that you have about what you would like."

Cuemoni can't wait. She scents his excitement and it becomes hers also. Their joys, their pains, shared together between the two of them. Her life is no longer just hers alone--they live for each other, they live with each other, and because of each other.

It is as beautiful as all of the songs and stories have ever told her about love.

"This one is beginning to have so many ideas," she says. "This one should form an understanding with the woods spirits, so that we have plenty of firewood for the fireplace..."

Because the house should be as warm of a place as her heart is for Zeke.