Her head snapped up as soon as she noticed his approach; evidently she didn’t exactly trust him all the way just yet, though he supposed he could hardly blame her for that. Rushing at her, in retrospect, hadn’t been the smartest idea he’d ever had. Aubrey could own to that much. But now that he was already here, the most he could do was to reassure her that he meant her no harm. He held up his hands in what he hoped was a gesture that conveyed his intent not to harm her. “Easy there,” he said softly, “I’m not going to do anything bad. I just thought you might want to give that back, is all.”
Thistle had seemed startled, but now that he was looking at her, she didn’t seem afraid exactly. Maybe it was just that he had managed to communicate his intent.
Or maybe she just hadn’t seen him as a threat to begin with, and he had fretted over all this for nothing. If it was the latter, then that would certainly make things easier for him, but… No, this wasn’t something he ought to feel let down about. The less threatening she found him, the better. It occurred to him that, even with his own friends and family, he would have been startled too if they’d come at him suddenly like that.
But she didn’t give him the rake back. Aubrey held his hand out for it, and she simply stared at him, then went back to what she had been doing--- or what she had been trying to do, anyway. Aubrey frowned, tapping her shoulder and pointing at the rake again, then at himself. Again, he was rebuffed. Maybe she didn’t understand him, but maybe it was a dismissal…
All this second guessing was tough to deal with, as he was starting to find out. It made him feel as though he was on uneven footing all the time.
Still, if she kept going with it, then maybe she wasn’t struggling as much as it looked like she was. Or maybe she was enjoying herself in spite of it, was all. Could it be enjoyable even if she was bad at it? Aubrey didn’t know. Maybe it was more fun if your hands didn’t hurt after trying to hold onto it and pulling it through the leaves.
Could Kings of Evergreen get blisters? Gods, he hoped not. He didn’t know what he would be able to do for her if she got blisters too, considering her skin was very different from his own.
If she wanted to keep going, he wasn’t about to force her to stop.
It had been what he had wanted in the first place, after all, even if he had thought, naively, that she would be… better at it than she was turning out to be in reality. He had already tried to dissuade her from continuing in light of that, and that had failed, so any other attempts he made from here on out would probably have to involve accosting her and trying to take the rake from her by force, which didn’t even bear contemplating. Never mind how that would impede any attempts he made to win over her trust; he wasn’t even sure he would be able to win if it came to that. She might well be stronger than he was, and craftier. Aubrey, who wasn’t in the habit of engaging in physical altercations with others, wouldn’t have been surprised to find that in the least.
Though he also couldn’t really have called what she was doing ‘helping’, in the end. Aubrey watched her pull the rake over the grass this way and that, and smiled, shaking his head ruefully. He’d been so focused on her awkward movements that he hadn’t paid much attention to their direction at first, and now that he was… They were all over the place! She pretty much never even dragged it in the same direction twice, despite not having changed her own position throughout the whole process. She did turn around, which accounted for some of it, but still.
It was not unlike watching a child try to replicate what their parent was doing, actually. They would absorb some of the technique, but not all of it. Moreover, a good deal of the time, they lacked the context, and didn’t know what the point of a particular behavior was.
Because of that, their attempts to repeat the behaviors they saw missed the mark in just this sort of inane way.
It was kind of endearing. Thistle was full grown, of course, and Aubrey knew this, but even so. For once, he was glad that she couldn’t read him too closely. He wasn’t sure whether she would have taken umbrage to the sort of thoughts he was having at the moment.
Well, he’d wanted a break, he supposed. If he was getting a longer one than he had initially bargained for, then so be it. Aubrey stood back and let Thistle do as she would, content to watch her until she tired of it. Privately he didn’t think it would hold her attention for very much longer than this, especially since she didn’t seem to understand that Aubrey’s goal had been raking the leaves together.
It did take longer than Aubrey had anticipated, but he wasn’t wrong; eventually, Thistle tired of the exercise, which she indicated by dropping the rake to the ground. “Did you have fun?” Aubrey said as he walked over to pick it up, dusting off dirt from the handle. Thistle hadn’t managed to rake together any leaves, but her persistent efforts and the heavy landings of the rake’s tines had been particularly effective at dislodging a bunch of little clods of dirt, which now saw fit to stick to the pole of the rake after it had been dropped.. Seeing that, Aubrey wondered whether her calling wasn’t for ploughing instead… Maybe come spring, they could give it a go.
Well, at least the rake had no good looks left to lose. Maybe Aubrey could saw it shorter sometime, even if he couldn’t do much about the width of the pole itself.
He wasn’t much of a wood worker, for all his newfound affinity for plants, but even he could saw the end off a pole, surely. And it might do a lot to remedy the problems he’d been having in trying to use this particular rake, until he had enough funds to afford a new one that was lighter and easier to use.
For now, however, he’d have to make do with what he had. Aubrey steeled himself, took a deep breath, and resumed the work he’d started earlier.
His hands didn't hurt any less this time around. In fact, they hurt rather more, as the motion revisited the hurts that had only just gotten a relief from his break. He really was going to develop blisters, which didn't bode well for anything he might have to do the next day.... Maybe he would take the occasion to take it easy on himself.
Fortunately his days were still not very busy most of the time, and a good deal of the obligations he did have could be postponed, if they were not directly related to the care of his companions. And in a pinch, if he was experiencing any real trouble, Yeo-reum could sometimes be counted on to provide assistance, to the best of his ability. The Tat lacked thumbs, but he was smart enough to get creative if given sufficient incentive, and as irresponsible as he might be at times, he didn't like seeing Aubrey in pain either.
Besides, he'd already started this, so he may as well finish it in one go-that is, in one day, anyway. It he was going to get blisters, then he'd rather only have to get them the once, rather than dragging out the process over days and weeks, blistering and then healing and then blistering again.
It was possible that over this period he'd develop the necessary calluses, but even so, raking up leaves wasn't something that was supposed to take that kind of time. The one thing that did become easier was the technique. After having toiled for some time beforehand, Aubrey had gotten a little better at working with the rake, even with all its difficulties. He had gotten better about how to place it relative to the leaves too, and how to drag the thing so that it gathered leaves but didn't dig into the dirt and grass like it had done when Thistle had been the one handling it.
After a good deal of work, he managed to get most of the leaves in the yard into the pile that he had started earlier. It had begun to feel as though it was never going to happen, but in the end he had managed.
At that point, using the rake was no longer any real help, since the remaining leaves were all scattered by ones and twos, far from each other. He was all too glad to have an excuse to abandon the rake and go out to pick up these last stragglers by hand.
Aubrey turned to see whether Thistle would take up the rake again now that he had abandoned it, but she left it alone. Which was probably for the best, to be honest, since her use of it wasn't making the rake itself or his yard any nicer. It wasn't the problem it could have been, since she hadn't done much damage to the lawn, and the rake was already in such a state that a few more bumps and dents here and there weren't going to impact it very much, but Aubrey still didn't want to give the rake any more incentive to break before he could find a means of replacing it.
But just as Aubrey was feeling relieved, he saw Thistle approach the pile of leaves instead, and couldn't help fretting all over again. She might just mean to observe it, wondering what it was and why it was there, but it was equally possible that she would go and mess it up by spreading it around again, or possibly something worse. That would mean more work for Aubrey, and more of a mess to deal with...
Thistle reached out for the pile, and Aubrey reached out for her, for all that he knew that he couldn't possibly make it before she made contact. "Thistle, no," he said.
And she stopped. Just like that. Belatedly he remembered that he had used the same word before, with the weeds and the birds, Evidently she had remembered it, and learned something of its meaning, which in this case had saved Aubrey's poor leaf pile.
Aubrey stared at her a moment longer, wanting to make absolutely sure that she had stopped and wasn't going to start again, before he finally allowed himself to breathe a sigh of relief. "Thank you," he said to Thistle, who inclined her head at him. Maybe he was being a little dramatic about the whole thing, but it had been a lot of work to gather that leaf pile up, and he really didn't want his efforts wasted.
Well, then again, he was going to be spreading it out himself later--- just in specific places, and in specific amounts. It wasn't as though he meant for the leaves to stay in that pile forever. But Thistle wouldn't have known where he'd wanted to place it all. probably. Maybe if she had had a similar line of thought... A tree-creature might well know some basic tenets of garden care simply by virtue of their own nature and intuition.
But Aubrey somehow doubted that was her intent, and the price to find out that she didn't was a little too high in this case.
He felt sufficiently drained that he wanted nothing more than to leave the matter of spreading out the leaves for tomorrow. Upon second thought though, he wasn't sure whether that would be wise either. He might well have to use the rake to spread the leaves if he couldn't do it efficiently enough by hand, though he certainly wanted to try without it first. And he could only imagine the magnitude of pain he was in for if he tried to wield the rake after the blisters had already started appearing on his hands.
Not to mention, based on what he had just seen Thistle do, the longer he left her alone in the garden with the leaf pile, the worse the chances were that something was going to happen to it.
He supposed he could ask Yeo-reum to watch her while he was gone, but that sort of solution would only really ever work in the short term, for minutes or hours at the very most. Too long a span of time with such a menial, baring task, and Yeo-reum's attention was sure to start wandering around. And that was the best case scenario; more likely he would take the matter of his amusement into his own hands, and come up with something diverting, which would either cause more problems than it was worth, or defeat the purpose of having asked him to do it in the first place.
No, there were really too many factors working against the idea. It was a shame, but it was what it was. With a grimace and a sigh, he surveyed the garden, and tried to refine his ideas about where the leaves should go.
Riku: From what I loosely understand about the fish is that it isn't one-use, whereas the berry is. I feel like there wouldn't be any consequence of 'using' the fish...which I'd think just ooc wouldn't be counted for whatever rolls or whatever it is that it uses
Jun 3, 2020 14:14:30 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that piece of info Ren! <3 | But would it be allowed for the flavor of the rp if the berry wasn't filling enough for the Lotine?
Jun 1, 2020 6:09:21 GMT -6
Renathan: There is no need to double up on a fish and a magical berry (doesn't change the effect of the berry at all) in a lotine breeding.
Jun 1, 2020 6:02:21 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Does anyone know if it is possible to combine both a magical berry and a fish in a Lotine breeding? Or is you can only choose one of them? (right now writing a Lotine breeding)
Jun 1, 2020 5:36:49 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I am still interested in trading it for a green drake.
Jun 1, 2020 0:31:33 GMT -6
Ridelys: If you are still interested in a trade twilight, for your fidelity result, let me know.
May 31, 2020 22:49:49 GMT -6
Riku: I got three pet levels and 15c out of it. <3 And all the necessary posts for my job salary form.
May 31, 2020 18:49:26 GMT -6
Riku: In mine my crossbreed used foxfire to burn it - but then it used incendiary illusion, which was extra scary because my cross is a plant pet with thick fur. It used the distraction to escape. I’m proud of it, and it’s okay that I won’t finish this month.
May 31, 2020 18:48:42 GMT -6
Renathan: *But of course, the RNG was not having that. / In Morgan's story, the Nyssa was a real thing, so I wanted to have two different situations for the variety.
May 31, 2020 18:15:27 GMT -6
Renathan: Yeah, the 'finished the story but the RNGods are being a butt' thing is a rather unfortunate situation to be in. I had already decided that in Ren's story, the elderly woman had lied about the nyssa and just wanted someone to talk to*
May 31, 2020 18:14:49 GMT -6
Riku: That makes sense. I've considered that before. -nod- I hope your non-hxr life is going smoothly.
May 31, 2020 16:38:08 GMT -6
Haix: Just quitting the job. Don't believe I'll be making the ten posts required per month any time soon. XD
May 31, 2020 16:34:01 GMT -6
Riku: Note to haix, I believe you can post the new application form at the same time as the quitting form. Unless you are simply taking an overall break from the job system.
May 31, 2020 16:30:58 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: even AT the gardens yet. XD It sucks when you've finished writing your story and haven't gotten a success, because then its like "well... now what?" XD
May 31, 2020 15:51:47 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: ive found that when there's a quest that might take longer like this, its a good idea to try and space out the story beats to try and roll a success before i get to the meat of the story. XD Like, by the time i was 5 posts in my character wasn't
May 31, 2020 15:51:21 GMT -6