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[Yael] Prelude To A Dance [Lenila | Jalase]

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The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:40 am
In retrospect, Lenila still was not certain how she’d avoided deep conflict with her ‘co-workers’ (and the Boss in particular) in the aftermath of the events unfolding after her last scouting escapade. They had expected her to be at a certain return location. She hadn’t been. It could have landed someone as inconsequential as herself in their eyes in a gutter somewhere in an attempt to cut losses and risk, or so she figured.

Explanations and wheedling, though, had gotten her out of virtually any trouble. She was unharmed.

And she owed a world of thanks to a certain ever reappearing city guardsman.

Little as she wanted to admit any connection to anyone involved in the city and its ‘system’, which she wholly and utterly did not trust and made no mistake that it did not serve persons like her, but rather the persons living in comfort who thought they had something to fear from persons like her. It was a terrible irony, she thought, that the wealthy always found ways and reasons to think themselves to be the victims in need of protection from the dangers the poor presented—when, if the system were not designed to hold everyone in their station to perpetuate the wealthy’s greed, there would not be so much of what they ‘feared’ to begin with and in fact created and maintained through their devices of power.

But Jalase, fiercely as she didn’t want to admit it, did not seem to follow the pattern. In fact, though she was even more reluctant to admit the latter, she had come to build a certain fondness for him, inspired by his stubborn dedication to the pursuit of what he thought just in a world where she had seen so very few of that caliber.

So it was that she stood perched on a high rail over the lip of some building on a street she knew the man to patrol on occasion, a single flower dangling loosely from between her fingertips as she watched. This time, she had determined, their meeting would not be entirely coincidental.

Little though she trusted or respected them, she did believe in her gods, and while she rarely heeded much of anything from them other than what she might have considered to be warnings, in this case it seemed they had put this man in her past several-too-many times for her to ignore his presence. It was high time they interacted under more neutral and pleasant circumstances.  
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:01 pm
Things had, for the most part, settled back down into normalcy for Jalase — save for his thoughts occasionally going back to the small thief of a woman he’d rescued about a week again. A couple of days after Jal had found Lenila, going through things at the office building, he had visited back with Zekiel. It had taken so long for him to check back in with his friend because Jal hadn’t be able to decide on telling the priest the truth or not. In the end, though, Jalase figured it’d be safer, for both him and Len, if he fibbed to Ze. Though his belief in the gods had faltered a long time ago, it had still been awkward for Jal to step inside the temple and lie to one of its priests — to a friend. Maybe he’d eventually tell Ze the truth, in time. For now, though, it was something on he and Len would know about.

The laughter of children caused Jal to pause in his patrol and smile when a little boy and girl came bounding around the corner and nearly ran into him. He chuckled as they scampered backwards and apologized quickly for running into him. “S’no problem,” he said, voice friendly as he watched the girl, smaller and younger than the boy, kind of hide behind the other slightly. His brows furrowed together at this. By their looks they were obviously poorer and used to the guards of the city being gruff with them — or worse. “No harm done,” Jal said as he patted his stomach and grinned down at the children. “Enough padding here to keep me from getting hurt by such a minor bump. You two be careful, though, yeah?”

The two of them nodded and Jalase watched as they took off down the road, in the direction he’d just came from. The longer he was with the city guard, the more and more he saw how corrupt the system truly was. There weren’t very many, like him, out there anymore. He did care about the citizens of the city — all of them. And he hated to see such fear in those so young when they saw him. Just because he was a guard. Sighing, Jalase turned his attention back to his patrol and started moving forward again.  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:10 am
Where, where, where-

There he was. Lenila’s legs (already dangling from the lip of the rail she was perched upon) swung with idle curiosity as she observed the scene unfold below between Jalase and the scurrying children. As he finished placating their concerns and sending them on their way, she gave a small puff of a hum beneath her breath, waited another moment until he turned to begin his route again—and stood herself, following along for just a few paces from her elevated vantage point until an opportunity presented itself. At that point, dropping to hang so that one moment there was nothing before him and the next, there she was, dangling upside down from a hook-kneed position over a sign to whistle.

“Oi, fancy pants!” Gripping the bar of the sign to steady herself and hold her grip, she let her legs drop loose and her body swing to ‘upright’ before releasing it entirely and dropping with a soft thud to the ground below some foot and a half from her target. After a short dusting of herself and a shake of her head to clear the spin, she held out the flower, flashing teeth. “What’s a soft city boy like you doin’ in a place like this, mm?”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:18 am
Jalase’s ears twitched at the sound of a close by whistle but he paid no mind to it — used to such sounds on his daily routes through the city. It was when he heard Len’s voice that he paused and blinked. Looking around, he didn’t see her at first. Frowning, he glanced up when he heard the squeak of a sign and saw her dangling from it. Raising an eyebrow he opened his mouth to say something but she dropped to the ground before even one word came out.

“Len, what’re you…” He trailed off as she stuck out her arm, flower in hand. His cheeks flushed as he stared at the thing momentarily before gently reaching out and taking it from her. “Mmm...ya know, hunting down wiry little thieves, accepting bribes from said thief,” Jal said as he brought the flower up for a small sniff. “Same old same.” He smirked and gave her a quick wink. “What are you doing here?”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:34 am
“Lookin’ fer you.” Len ‘punched’ his arm, a light rap of her fist before lacing her hands behind her head and eyeing him. “Ya know, makin’ sure ain’t nobody tryin’ to kill you again. Gotta keep a close watch or you might get taken advantage of.”

After a moment’s pause, she let out a breath and opted to voice the real reason she was about.

“Figured it might be nice to see ya sometime when or the other of us wasn’t in a great scrape. See whatchu look like when you ain’t gettin’ poisoned or savin’ my tush somehows.” Her eyes flicked to the flower, and then up to his ears. “Thoughtcha might look nice with a flower in your hair, too. Heard city boys like them kinda sweet talkin’ gestures and such.”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:47 am
“Mmm, I had a couple of close calls this morning,” he said, glancing in the direction the children ran off to and laughed. “But I managed just fine. I try not to make a habit of getting poisoned. It’s bad for my health.”

Jal glanced back towards Len, another eyebrow at raising at her words. He chuckled at her and shook his head. “I’ve never put a flower in my hair before.” At the same time he said this, though, he reached up and tucked the flower behind his ear. He held his hands up and grinned at her. “How do I look?”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:01 am
Lenila couldn’t have been sure what Jalase was referring to initially—until his eyes glanced back the direction the children had scurried off in, and she puffed amusedly. “Oh aye, they looked like real trouble. Death just a’waitin’ to happen.”

When he reached for the flower, though, her attention immediately went there, surprised and still thinking to herself that he wouldn’t—but then he did, and a giggling laugh bubbled up out of her quite of its own regard.

“Oooiiii, like a big beautiful princess!” She grinned, eyes sharp with mischievous good humor. “I like it. Real sexy-like. Gonna have you ladies faintin’ in the streets.”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:55 am
Jalase grinned at Len’s laughter and brought his hand up to rub the back of his neck. “A princess, hm? “ He shook his head, a small snort coming out of him. “Fainting? For me? I doubt it,” he said as he patted his belly. “They tend to go for the other guards. The fit, good lookin’ ones.”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:33 pm
“Ey, well.” Len shrugged. “If they ain’t got no appreciation for an extra strip or two o’ extra substance to the meat ain’t my fault or yours. Whatchu do for fun when you ain’t stompin’ around the streets like you got somethin’ important ta do?”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:58 am
Jalase couldn’t help but let out a bellow of a laugh at Len’s words and grinned down at her. He shrugged his shoulders at her next question. “Just the normal things. Read, practice with my sword. Finding some place secluded and settling down with a book is sometimes the best thing at the end of a long day. At least for me.” He raised an eyebrow and rested his hands on his hips. “And what about you? What do you like to do when you’re not bribing city guards with pretty flowers?”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:16 am
Read.

Lenila squinted. “You one o’ them nerd folk? I figured you was like…a bar dancin’ and lady wooin’ shenanigans sort. Ain’t that—?” ‘—what you all do?’ Except that Len found, listening to him, that she didn’t disbelieve him. It wasn’t that he never drank, that was clear by how he had gotten himself into trouble the last time or so, but beyond that she’d seen no evidence of alcohol, partying, or women. So she supposed it was likely an unfair guess as any.

“Well.” She shrugged. “Most o’ my time I spend tryin’ not ta starve, y’know, but on good days I like climbin’ high walls an’ peerin’ out over the world when it’s nice. Like sunsets or mornin’s or when the stars are out in buckets. I got some friends I play cards and piece games with…” She flashed her teeth. “Sometimes that can make supper money if they feel like makin’ a losin’ bet. I just figured…” She hesitated only a moment before pressing on.

“I figured it might be nice, after the gods ‘ave put us in the same spot so many times of their own game, that we do somethin’ we like to do without nobody settin’ it up all troublesome like.”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:23 am
“Nerd?” Jal repeated, shaking his head. “Nah. I just like to read. Got that from my mom, I s’pose. She was always reading me stories when I was little.” His brows knitted together at the mention of her trying not to starve. It made him think back on the times he’d treated her to meals and made him view things completely differently. Now, more than ever, he was determined to not let her go hungry. He’d feed her as often as she’d let him.

When she extended the offer of spending time together, outside of their fateful encounters, Jalase had to blink in surprise. While they had seemed to be getting closer, now, it was definitely not something he had expected any time soon. In fact, her being seen with him could be dangerous for her. And yet, he couldn’t help but nod and respond. “I’d like that. Anything particular you had in mind?”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:29 am
Eyeing him, she weighed her options.

“‘Mittedly…I ain’t think ‘bout it much past that an’ the flower,” she said. “Gotta lotta folk I know prolly wouldn’t be so happy ta have a guardsman about with em, but…maybe sometime if you was off like, not on official business an’ such an’ dressed down more normal like, I could scrub a bit o’ mud on your shirt and pants and we could go card playin’ an’ gutter rat dancin’. Would just hafta tell my friends you was like, a ditch digger or somethin’.” She tipped her head. “Or I could show you some views o’ the city you ain’t never seen, maybe both.”  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:34 am
“Both sounds good,” Jal said as he let his arms fall to his sides. “I should have a couple of days of free time coming up. Wouldn’t be hard to dress down and let my hair down.” He gave a big grin and a wink. “I’m not too shabby at cards either. A bunch of us get together from time to time to play, when we don’t have anything else to do.”  

Tangled Puppet

Sarcastic Demigod


The Only Black Uke
Crew

Sparkling Fairy

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:00 am
So it was that after a little more discussion, Lenila provided a location, they agreed upon a time, and eventually set about their own ways until then. On the evening she expected him, tucked down into the underground of one of the inner city pubs, her exterior display matched that of any other night she might come to such a place, involve herself with friends of her own she had made through her years of exposure to and interaction with Pajore’s streets and its out of society residents. Those beneath the grain, so to speak.

Her eyes, though, were on the lookout, flitting on occasion towards the door and watching for her expected company while working not to give any of those already among her a sign that she was waiting for anyone special. It would be better if they were introduced to Jalase as a casual friend. No one of special notice or importance.

The more attention anyone paid to him, the worse she figured the danger to both of them. But, if they played it casually enough, there ought to be no reason for suspicion, as she so often had stray friends from varied portions of her life, and one subset — or this one, at least — would not likely be overly suspicious of a new face.

“Come on then, ey? Four high priests, the flush is ney unbeatable, any takers?”

Len, whose attention had wandered again to the door, turned back to the game before her, and her fingers tapped over the corner of the cards in her hand. After a glance to it, she tapped. “Aye, double in.”  
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