Author Topic: Vacation Time  (Read 892 times)

Ebon Ilnaren

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Vacation Time
« on: December 18, 2016, 10:23:10 PM »
Sunday, 18 December

The morning was a flurry of activity as the Ilnaren family--and guest--packed up their luggage and loaded a taxi-van to take them to the train station.  Their train left at 10:15, the Mt. Yasuo express that would take them to just outside the Barrier of Nine.  From there it would be a three-day overland journey to the central village of Jenli.

"But how long will it take us to get there, Papa?" asked Azure with a child's endless curiosity.  She sat beside Ebon in the taxi, while Phen and Olivia sat across from them.

"It used to take a week on average to travel from Rhydin to the Mt. Yasuo range over land, but since G'nort spearheaded the railway, it should only take us about two days."  Ebon looked out at the slightly cloudy winter sky, then back to his daughters--for Olivia was also listening with rapt attention--and shrugged.  "Maybe three, given the weather, but that just gives us more time to enjoy the train ride together."  

In the third row of seats, Doran sat with Sylva and chimed in.  "That's assuming you two don't wind up sleeping the whole way up there!"  This brought a chorus of cheery giggles from the girls, who had been up all night, unable to sleep from the excitement.

At the station, Phen led Azure and Olivia to find their compartments while Ebon, Doran, and Sylva made sure their luggage was properly stowed.  The lad looked to his father with a slightly impish grin.  "Do we get our own compartment?"

"Yes... the girls will be with your mother and me, so I'm trusting you to be on your best behavior, Doran."  The mock sternness in Ebon's face soon gave way to a smile; he knew his son wasn't given to shenanigans.  "Come on, let's get aboard."

Ebon Ilnaren

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Re: Vacation Time
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2016, 09:59:45 PM »
Sunday, 18 December

They are so adorable when they're sleeping like that, it'll be hard to wake them up enough to get them into their bunks later, Ebon said to Phen through their silent bond.  As he and Phen had expected, after staying up the whole night before the family left, their girls crashed fairly early that first evening.  Both Azure and Olivia slumped in the couch across the compartment, sound asleep, while their parents sat curled up together beneath a blanket, watching the evening snow fall.

Nodding against his shoulder, Phen smiled warmly.  I'm glad we were able to take this trip, with everything that was going on back in the city.  Then she leaned in and gave Ebon a kiss on the cheek.  Have I told you how much I love you today?

His expression grew thoughtful for a moment.  I don't think so, but it can't be more than I love you.  Pulling her closer, they cuddled in and enjoyed the relaxing quiet.

Doran Ilnaren

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Re: Vacation Time
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2016, 11:09:39 PM »
Monday, 20 December

Doran woke early that morning, rolling over to lie on his belly in one of the upper bunks, looking out the window at the pre-dawn tableau passing by.  He glanced across to see if Sylva was awake or not.  If she was, she gave no sign of it, but that was okay.  They'd spent the afternoon with his sisters while Phen and Ebon had some time alone, and while Azure was still a bit shy around Sylva--which amused Doran no small amount, given that Sylva wasn't exactly outgoing herself--her sister had no such compunctions.  Maybe it was her affinity for wild things touching upon Sylva's still-slightly-feral nature, but Olivia sat down next to the young woman and offered to share her coloring books.

So it was that they had spent the first afternoon, until the elder Ilnarens called them all to the dining lounge car for supper.  Afterwards,  the younger girls were sleepy but Sylva and Doran remained behind in the lounge, where he played his little flute softly to a varying--but appreciative--audience.  Finally, with evening having shifted full into night--they retired to their compartment and climbed into their bunks.

Now it was morning, and Doran was trying hard not to focus on the girl sleeping(?) across from him.  It was still overcast, but the pink tinge to the clouds turned orange as the sun rose behind them.  "Pretty," came a soft voice from the other bunk.

"I wasn't sure if you were awake," he replied with a smile.

"Why didn't Doran ask?"

Finding himself completely incapable of coherent speech momentarily, he shook his head and climbed down from his bunk.  "I'm going to take a shower and get cleaned up before everyone wakes up."  Pulling a robe on over his pajama bottoms, he grabbed his kit and a change of clothes and headed out, down the corridor to the washrooms.

 # # #

Returning to their compartment dried and dressed, he paused a moment and knocked on the door to warn Sylva, then slowly opened it.  She was still lying quietly in her bunk.  "Good morning!" he called, climbing up to straighten the sheets on his own bed.

"What are you doing?" she asked with innocent bluntness.

"Making sure the covers are tucked in before I put the bunk away," he replied without missing a beat, before folding the bed in and settling down on  the couch below.  "Makes it easier to get it back in.  I'll take care of yours, if you like.  Did you sleep well?"  The way they were positioned, she was like a cat up on a tree branch, looking down at him; an apt comparison, he thought.


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Re: Vacation Time
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 02:28:25 AM »
She wasn?t sure why she agreed to this but she found it hard to tell decline Doran?s offer. Just what had she been thinking? Surely his family didn?t want the monster tagging along on this family trip. Maybe it was just some big trick on her that Doran was pulling and she would find herself alone at this place called train station.

She had stuffed the bag she had got from her ?Secret Santa?, who wasn?t so secret, and made her way for the appointed destination. Her bag was kept close, even when they boarded. When Doran tried to help her with it she simply hugged it closer and insisted that she was okay. It wasn?t that there were was any weapons in it but the way she clung onto it you?d think it were a lifeline. She remained clinging on it through the majority of the trip, using it to hide behind.

The sisters were a big ?on the watch? subject for her on the ride itself. Not only did they make her nervous but also very curious. They were what normal girls were suppose to be like, weren't they? How they acted, spoke, even moved was so...different.

The parents, the one called Ebon and Phen, were watched just as much. Ebon seemed pleasant enough and Phen, the mother, seemed nice though the motions with her hands tended to confuse Sylva from time to time. She was also pretty sure that there was this sort of ?I?m watching you? feeling from the parents. If Sylva had actually known what a mother?s protective nature was like she might of chalked it up to that!

What time she wasn?t observing the people she was in the company of she spent quietly staring out the nearby window. It wasn?t that she was ignoring Doran - not at all. She did talk to him, as brief as it was at times, but there was just so much going on that it was really hard to keep up with!

Some part of her was fearful that she was placing them in danger just by being there. After all she was fresh out of the hospital after being shot by some unknown assailant. She was without her weapons or means of protection - completely vulnerable with no way to protect herself. Not that she felt she needed to protect herself from Doran or his family. That was one feeling that wasn?t in the waves that crashed upon her.

Eventually she started to relax and it showed when she, Doran, and his sisters, spent time together while the adults did adult things. Ever so often her eyes tilted to watch Azure and even made an attempt or two to try to talk to her but seemed to chicken out at the last second.  Olivia offered her something called a coloring book and it opened up a whole new world.  It was inspiring! Even if she knew absolutely nothing about putting images on paper. So when Olivia offered the coloring books you better darn well bet she tried to figure out how to make colors on that paper!

When it was time to bunk down it took a lot for her to actually get in bed and not sit on the floor and sleep there. A lot of coaxing from Doran to get in the bed itself but she decided to humor him by climbing in the bunk. It was strange being in it but she managed to at least seem like she was sleeping. Instead she waited for the sound of Doran?s breathing to ease as he fell asleep. Once she was sure he was there was quite movement in her bunk as she pulled her dufflebag over and began to dig around in it. Whatever she was pulling outside of the bag and tinkering with kept her busy until sleep made it too difficult. She managed everything back into the dufflebag and hugged it to her chest before just laying there, watching the scenery beyond the glass.

She did eventually hear him stirring but she remained still, watching the coloring of the skies mingle as day began to rouse. She hadn?t slept a wink which could be good or bad. Time would tell she guessed. Sighing quietly against the bag she mumbled, ?Pretty?. The colors of the sky were something she often found herself watching but they were always the best just as the sun woke or went to sleep.

"I wasn't sure if you were awake,"

"Why didn't Doran ask?" It seemed simply enough but now that she thought about it he probably simply didn?t want to wake her if she had been sleeping. Peeking over she watched as he crawled out of his bunk, shaking his head.

"I'm going to take a shower and get cleaned up before everyone wakes up."  

She blinked slowly as he announced his doings and left her to the room alone. A count was made before she rolled out of her bunk and dove over to his own, shoving something into his bag for him to find at a later date. She didn?t do any digging - it was quite literally a shove! Just jammed her hand in and released whatever it was before she scrambled back to her bunk and sprung back into it.

Like a cat she curled back up with her dufflebag tucked at her back and she stared out the window. Dozed off with her eyes open only to be woken by the return of Doran.  He was far too chipper on his return with a "Good morning!" chimed at her as he began moving the sheets of his bed around.

What..the heck was he doing to his bed? "What are you doing?" For the course of the trip thusfar she had kept her questions down to a minimum and for good reason. She remembered the festival and the trouble she caused. She didn?t want that again. Not for Doran. But he didn?t seem to mind her questions as much.

Even as he explained what he was doing she was practically draped on her own bunk, making sure he wasn?t going to get any funny ideas of trying that mess with hers! He wasn?t going to use that as an excuse to get close to the dufflebag. Nope! Avoiding his question she craned her head in a very feline-like fashion and peered down at him. ?Are we going to spend more time with your sisters today?? There was a pause and she dipped her chin down a bit. ?Do you think if I ask, Azure will let me see what it is she makes on paper??

Before he could even answer she was already springing out of bed, the dufflebag drawn with her.

One down, four to go, though she doubted putting the other four in his family?s belongings would be as easy. ?Is there going to be that white stuff where we are going? Um?? What did he call it again? ?Snow?? That was it! Again, before he could even answer, she was on the move, nose twitching. He smelled like soap! ?We should get breakfast for Doran?s family.?

Hmm. Actually instead of hiding the items in question she had a better idea. Before Doran could even answer, yet again, Sylva was on the move! She had somehow managed to get everything done properly in boxes (except Doran's which was still in his bag!). Wrapping was not her forte but there had been some nice person to assist with that. So throughout the trip these boxes, small as they were, had been left where the people they were meant for could find them.

She may not of completely understood what Christmas was, she did understand the concept a little.

-------------------------------------------------- ------------

For Ebon: A pocketwatch inspired necklace that glows with a celestial light.

For Phen: A small bottle with a silver chain connected to the cork. Inside the bottle is a white liquid in which small little hearts float along with the names of each family member. The largest of the bobbles has 'family' written on it.

For Aluza: A small bottle with a blue chain connected to the cork. Inside are very small pencils, each of different colors. A colorful beaded string is also connected to the cork and ends with a bronze heart. A little bronze sign is attached to it that reads 'Create'.

For Oliva: A small bottle suspended from a white-silver chain. Inside is a opalescent liquid and a wire shaped to look like a bubble blower.

For Doran: A small bottle full of stars that hangs from a bronze chain. Decorated with a full circle and stars, there seems to be some kind of writing that follows along the circle's back.

Phen Seer Ilnaren

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Re: Vacation Time
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 01:55:41 PM »
It was such a lovely gift Phen found, it's chain acting as a bookmark in the book she had left on her seat in the train compartment.  It had to have been Sylva.  She cannot imagine any other who would have been secretive about it.  It was beyond Olivia's skill, and Azure would have made her gift known, if in her usual shy, toe digging the floor way.

Phen wore the bottle around her neck, very pleased with the gift.  She was pleased with a great deal of the journey.  Not the least of which was having her family together and away from the stirrings of the city.

Her entire life had been in that city, and she had walked the skypaths -- the rooftops -- in her thieving years.  Years long past now.  She could not hate them, though.  It was in those years she had met Ebon.  He had given her the strength to break free of that life and build a new one at his side.  No place she would rather be.  

And he was there, on the opposite bench of the carriage, helping Olivia in ways Phen never could. The child had her talents that went beyond Phen's understanding.  Azure sat curled up next to Phen as the carriage wound its way along foreign paths.  The girl's dainty fingers smudged with pencil as she sketched on her ever present pad of paper.  Phen noticed that Azure wore a bottle, too.  When she paused in her sketching, those fingers would go and rub the little copper tag 'Create' like a talisman and then sketch some more.

Phen's attention on Doran was as rhythmic as the tide.  She was trying very much not to keep looking at him as if he were her little boy.  There was no doubt she was proud of him, of the young man he had become, but the boyishness was edging away from his face.  She doubted they would have a family trip like this again, and she trusted Ebon's wisdom that this trip would also help Phen transition in her relationship with her eldest just as Doran was making his transformation.

Phen smiled and relaxed, nodding to the image Azure showed her on the page.  Her booted foot slid away some to touch against Ebon's.  The bond between them was strong, but it was good to communicate through touch as well.  He smiled at her, her heart swelled, and she smiled back.