(2015-09-24) By the Fireside
By the Fireside
Summary: Kayla and Piper have a 'chat' by the fire
Date: 9.24.2015
Related: None

It's a cool night the waning quarter moon and sea of stars offer a silverly light to the campsite below.
Besides the sound of tree frogs, crickets and the ocassional owl, the music of a flute drifts on the air, a soothing lullaby. The source, the petite pregnant woman, her audience, five sleepy headed children who snuggle around her wrapped in blankets as they watch the crackling fire. As the lullaby comes to its end, she puts down the flute there is a yawn from one child, which is echoed by the other children.
"Bed." the woman whispers to them, and the children give sleepy protests but get up to crawl into the tent behind them and find some peace in restful slumber.

The flute was soft and gentle, an unexpected sound – she’d grown used to hearing her brother playing guitar, but this was different. Kayla fades out of the shadows into the light thrown off by the fire – her movements are still somewhat stiff. There’s no doubt that her leg will be a few days at least before the muscles start to relax.
The image of the children crawling to bed has her smiling, but she waits until they are safely in their tent before she motions to a seat near the fire. “May I?” she wonders, softly.

The flute is pulled apart as Piper begins to return it to it's velvet and photo lined case. She lost her pack, her whiteboard and rifle when the pair were taken, but thankfully not her flute. She often carries it with her but that day she wasn't.
There is a bit of a start at the question from Kayla. She was off in her own little world so the approach went unnoticed. Giving a small grin she nods and gestures for her to sit.

“Thanks,” Kayla moves to take the seat. She sits a little awkwardly, given that her leg is still stiff, but without too much trouble. “I didn’t know you played flute.” She offers as she gets settled in.

Piper watches as the woman sits down, concern coming to her face and pupil black eyes. She points to Kayla, then her leg and makes the okay sign. She follows it with her questioning look.
She looks down at the flute in its case and nods, she then mimes playing the piano, but then holds up her hand with thumb and forefinger slightly apart to signify a little. She then points back at Kayla. Another questioning look.

Kayla looks down at her leg as Piper makes her motions, and she rubs at her thigh above where she was hit. “Yeah, just stiff, and it burns a bit still. I’m not taking any of the pain meds – there are others that need, or will need, them more than me.” She’s aware that folks are likely to get hurt – especially with chain saws in camp now!
“Oh, piano too? Me? Hah, no. I was a cheerleader and gymnast. I can do the splits and tumble like no one’s business but I am not musically inclined.”

She nods. Piper has been there. It wasn't that long ago that she stopped limping from her own leg injury. Tapping her temple and giving a thumbs up as if she considers this a smart idea and approves of it.
The flute is set aside and she grabs the new to her backpack, one of Quinton's spares, and pulls a note book out, undoubtedly sourced from the same person along with a colored pencil. There is a hand wobble, sorta piano. She is a beginner in that department. Scooching closer to Kayla she flips open the notebook and writes "Talent helps. Years practice and work." she looks from paper to Kayla briefly, her writing is slightly more lucid and put together than when she does speak, but not by much. More is written "You compete?"

“In high school,” Kayla agrees with a faint grin. “I kept it up casually in university – not enough time to work on it to stay competitive.” She explains with a slight shrug. And now, well…doing the splits isn’t so helpful. “Oh, but I can still rotate my arms all the way back without letting go of my hands – double jointed.” She explains with a grin.

That's something Piper can relate too. School and being to busy to do certain things. Especially those things that had nothing to do with what you were really going to school for. She smirks and gives a shake of her head "Isn't" she manages to get out after a failed attempt or two. The description of Kayla saying what she can do causes the mostly silent one to grimace painfully. That sounds like torture to her. She does hold up a hand, stopping Kayla in case she wants to demonstrate. Piper doesn't want to see that.
"Did you go to school in New York?" she asks in writing then doddles a little Empire State Building to indicate the city not the state. It's not a good doodle, but with the NYC she includes on the side it's pretty obvious what building it is.

Kayla wasn’t about to demonstrate, but the grimace and the look from Piper has her snickering. “Hey, it would have been really useful if we hadn’t been tied back to back with each other!” she protests before she looks to the question, and then she shakes her head. “Nah. I couldn’t have afforded it, even if I wanted to – and I’m sure Quin wouldn’t have wanted his baby sister crowding his style in the city.”

Well she does have to agree with that. Being able to get away by themselves would have saved everyone a lot of trouble, but at least now the bandit issue was taken care of. She does give a slight frown, not wanting to be reminded of their kidnapping. It's the past to her and that's where it needs to stay.
Piper does chuckle. She knew Quin lived in NY, but wasn't sure of the whole living included the rest of his family or not. "Should of anyway." she writes "Great place. Lived there too."

“Hah, yeah…I should have. I got to visit him a couple times. Great shopping and nightlife.” Kayla admits with a grin.
Shifting in her seat, Kayla eases her stiff leg out in front of her, towards the warmth of the fire. “Did you ever perform in New York?” she wonders. She doesn’t really know much about Piper, but she’d like to. Gentle questions are the way to go!

"Yeah." Piper says with a exultation of breath. She hasn't gotten to the point where she can smile about her memories yet. Too much has happened between then and now to make it possible…if it ever will be.
No one knows much about her, they suspect and guess, but that's it. Most don't even know if Piper is her real name. And the one person that does know isn't talking. Not that she knows he knows. "Yes." she doesn't have much problem with that word..or no. One syllable, easy. "Julliard." she starts out, though she may be saying that is where she went to school "Broadway. Met Gala….lots…all over." she points to the flute and then mimes singing. If that is the case she must not have always been the way she is now. People phobic and mute.

“Yeah, you’d said you sung before.” Or wrote, but whatever. Kayla realizes she’s lucky to get more than a nod or headshake out of Piper, and she isn’t going to push for full sentences. She’ll take what she can get.
“I bet you’re amazing.” It’s a statement, rather than a question, as she looks at the other woman.

The expression Kayla gets suggests that it was more than that. Anyone can sing…but she sang. Her brows furrow slightly she tries words to express herself "Would you…" a few beats "oh.." beat "said…" she gives up an writes instead "Would you tell Picasso..oh you said painted…or Quin..oh you said you wrote." this was her passion, it wasn't just singing for her. She does nod though, she was amazing "Ask brother." implying he has heard her sing.

“Uh…yeah, because that’s what they did. They were special at it, like you were with your singing I’m guessing but…they still painted, or wrote, or sang.” Kayla clearly wasn’t trying to insult Piper. “How else was I supposed to phrase it? Is there another word for singing that I don’t know about?” she is genuinely confused now.

She shrugs, there probably is, but she isn't providing it and since she has more than a singer, makes it even harder. It's no secret either that Piper can be sensitive about things, most chalk it up to pregnancy hormones. The woman gives a slightly apologetic grin. "Are you & Quin ok?" she writes in an effort to change the subject away from her for the moment. The last she knew they were having a bit of a falling out. She hopes that is no longer the case.

“Sorry.” Is all Kayla can offer. She can tell she’s upset Piper; that wasn’t her intention, but she’s not really sure how to fix it. And so she welcomes the change of subject.

“Yeah. He…left me a copy of his book, and some M&M’s outside my tent, with a note from him. I crawled in with him this morning, and we had a long talk.” She smiles then, and peers sincerely at the other woman. “Thank you for looking after him. He…was upset he couldn’t protect me, and couldn’t even look at me…”

"He is…" she starts with words, Piper must have had a decent day and be feeling well to have so many. The next word is to long though so she has to write it 'protective.' She's only known him for a short time but has noticed that. She isn't sure if she finds more it endearing or annoying. It really depends on the situation at the time "You…all he has left." she makes a gesture, the meaning of it though unclear…before maybe."His anchor." her opinion of course.

“He never used to be, but…yeah. We talked about that. And how I’m not a china doll.” Kayla seems okay with things – whatever their conversation was, they seem to have settled a few things. “He’s protective of everyone he considers friends, now. We’ve all changed, I guess.”

Piper gives Kayla a 'how'd you manage that one expression'. She doesn’t think there is anything she could do or say to make the man think she isn't some delicate rose. She's even shot a few people in front of him. She nods "Some better." she writes. Not all the changes this has brought about are bad. "Worth living for, worth dying for." she writes first and then "Protective." is it clear what or who she is speaking of…maybe.
Laughing, Kayla waves away the look. “He retorted that I was just a big china doll now. I promptly demanded to know why he was calling me fat.” She winks, and then nods. “Some for the better, yeah…and yeah, some people are worth living and dying for. We just have to decide for ourselves who those people are.”

Okay that is funny and Piper lets out a rare silvery laugh. She has very few reasons to laugh, and even fewer capable of making her do so…not counting the children. They are kids, sometimes their very existence makes her laugh.
She has decided who those people are. She points to the tent, where the children sleep, pushes a finger into Kayla's arm, points to Quin's name written on the page and then smooths a hand over her baby belly. "All worth it." she has no doubts in her voice. These are the people who she holds dear to her heart. The ones that make her feel real.

And that stops Kayla cold before her eyes suddenly water and she leans forward to give an impromptu hug (if she’s allowed) before quickly pulling back. “The feeling is mutual,” she whispers.

Gah! Touching! Piper stiffens, she is fine with it when she is the one initiating it, she has a much harder time with it when someone else does. After a moment she relaxes and pats the other woman's back. She can't take the contact for more than a few moments though and wiggles out of the hug. However she ever survived being tied to someone is a mystery.
She seems surprised by though, that Kayla feels the same..or it could be that anyone feels that way about her. She isn't sure she wants to know but she asks anyway, "Why?" It’s a question that has always consumed her, why do they care so much, especially about her. She truly doesn't understand.

“I could ask you the same thing,” Kayla points out before she shifts again in her seat, trying to get comfortable. “You’re a genuinely good person, Pipes – the children love you, and that says a lot. There aren’t a ton of really good people anymore, but I’ve found one in you.” Her brother is a given in that category. “And this world needs all the good it can get. Besides – I wanna meet little Quinny. And I want you there to watch her grow up.”

That's debatable. Piper doesn't, but she could, but that would be…not good at this point. She can't argue in regards to the kids though. She loves them in her own way as well. She is touched though, even if she doesn't agree. A sign is given, thank you, one of the few true signs she knows. A hand goes to her belly again, when the unborn is mentioned, but she can't hold back the grimace at the name.
“You’re the one that picked the name!” Kayla can’t help but laugh at the reaction to ‘Quinny’. Her brother hated it when she called him that, too!
“You’re a special person, Piper, and I’m glad I have gotten to meet you. Even though you don’t really trust me yet, and I still have lots to learn about you…I care about you.”

Not with a y at the end. But despite being iffy about such a nickname she grins. That is until she is labeled special she has to shake her head at that. "No." Such denial in her tone. "Not special. Not important." She writes, her script showing the agitation the words bring to her.

“Wrong,” Kayla answers simply. She carefully gets up out of her seat, shifting like an old woman as she settles her weight back onto her leg. “We all are, in our own way. And we need to stop fooling ourselves that we aren’t.” That said, she smiles and then smothers a yawn with one hand. “I think it’s bedtime.”

Saying everyone is more acceptable. She doesn't think she is more important than anyone else, no matter what certain poets say. Yawns are contagious and Piper follows suit, nodding in agreement. "Go. Sleep." She replies, and then gestures to herself and her tent with all the kids in it "Same." She then begins the struggle to her feet.

Kayla pauses long enough to offer a hand up to Piper – if she doesn’t take it, she instead waves before heading off.

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