(2017-11-30) Nerdy Birds
Nerdy Birds
Summary: As days count down toward the return to classes, Fionnuala and Carmichael go Statler and Waldorf on pop culture and video games. It's exactly what the title entails: nerdiness.
Date: 2017-11-30
Related: NA
Scene Runner: NA

Back Lawn, Winbarry Estates
Thurs Nov 30, 2017

A large swatch of green that goes in all directions. To the east and northeast, the lawn goes from the green of grass to the yellowish-brown of sea grass and then sandy beach, the blue-green of the ocean spreading out as far as the eye can see. In the center is a tall overgrown hedgemaze, with dormant flowering bushes at the corners.


Late morning, and along with it a splendid splash of sunshine casting itself over the grounds of Winbarry Estate. By now many of the students seem to have figured out the lay of the land, and the biggest task now is trying not to forever trip over one another in the smaller quarters. The days are ticking by, easing toward the resuming of classes, and there is surely a degree of apprehension there. IT's a huge adjustment, afterall! But then there are some who just roll with the punches and are content to pick up again, no matter where they're at…

Because hey, this is an old estate, with all sorts of the nooks and crannies that are characteristic of old family homes… so many places to explore and speculate on. But even curious sorts like Fee need a break.. and it is out in the back lawn of Winbarry that one may find her, if they know how to look.

A murder of crows dapples itself across the swatch of green grass, the blades shiny with dew in the light of morning. There's about fifteen of the raucous black birds, pecking and scratching and hunting worms, having conversations. One of those crows… is Fionnuala Reid.

<FS3> Carmichael rolls Bird Talk+mind: Good Success.

Oh hey, crows. One of the few birds that have more to say than 'food where', 'mate now', 'gtfo my territory', or something of the like. So, since Carmichael doesn't have much else to do — and moping seems counterproductive — he heads out into the back lawn to get some sun. Quite literally, since he can actually absorb it.

So, there he is, black-haired and black-winged, dressed in a turtleneck and jeans. He sits down on the lawn, far enough away from the birds not to startle them, but close enough to listen. Then however, there's a rustle of plastic on his person and… bread appears in his hand!

Carmichael squawks quietly to the birds that he has some food for them. His 'accent', if there is one in bird-speak, is passable. It's enough to be understood. He starts to tear the bread into smaller pieces so the birds can handle it easier.

There's, for sure, a degree of 'sophistication' in the ramblings of the crows. Well, by bird standards anyway. Crows like gossip and if people only knew that crows 'talk' about what they see, they would be floored! There's 'talk' along the lines of: 'stay away from the Wok for now, they threw a pan at Larry' … 'the weather is shifting' .. etc, etc. The sounds that they all make, all so variable, are but a 'front' for the discussions that are at hand — ah, wing? — here. The crows go about their business, no one crow acting in a way that is stranger than all the others, only to cease their efforts at another voice piping up!

Collectively, the murder of crows face the winged boy! At the mention of food, the pile of them begin to hop and flutter in Carmichael's direction. As the bread is tossed out, the birds fall upon it.. but there is //one/ crow that does not fight with the others to pick up the pieces. Feathers ruffle and the bird caws softly, a glint of 'something' in eyes that are not inkdrop like the others', but glowing like a topaz jewel. Depending upon how birdspeak translates in Carmichael's mind or awareness, this one 'bird' adds her two cents. There is a 'female' feel to the voice; gleeful. It says along the lines of: 'Do you have any strawberries? Bread is MURDER for my figure. Get it..? Murder? I made a funny!'

The lone crow tosses back her sleek head and caws in a staccato, as if laughing. Fee cracks herself up!

Carmichael is quick to get the bread out onto the ground so that the birds can have it. Having been the victim of more than one seagull attack in his time here — and he will SWEAR they screech the bird equivalent of 'BANZAAAAAAAAI!' when they divebomb for food — he isn't eager to repeat the experience with crows. Particularly because crows are smarter.

And then suddenly one of the crows is 'talking'. Not just in animal-speak, but in full human speak. Enough to make a pun! Carmichael blinks, but then starts to laugh when the pun registers. <Not in claw. Can find?> he offers.

'Hand' isn't a word he knows the equivalent for in the bird 'language'. 'Find' is, whether he knows where to find them or not. It so happens he does, in the crisper drawer in the fridge inside. He stands up slowly, so as not to scare the birds away. <Will come back with?>

<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Shapeshift: Failure.

The lone crow watches her fellows for a bit, and if a crow had the ability to look a bit disgusted at table manners… Fee would make such an expression. Instead she puffs up the feathers of her chest a bit and wing ruffles, her head bobbing side-to-side for a few seconds. The sharp chips of topaz that her eyes resemble eye Carmichael again. <It's ok. I'm shifting back. It's me, Fionnuala.> She tries to convey, though pieces may or may not connect easily in how Carmichael receives them. The girl's Gaelic name isn't exactly something that lends itself to crow very easily. <Fee, Fee!> She tries again.

As the other birds dine, only a couple hop back as Carmichael stands slowly. He can 'speak' to them so he cannot be a threat, and they drop their guard back down just as swiftly. Fee is just about to shift back, winks of golden light snapping at her wingtips as she wills the magic… but then two crows start fighting over a piece of bread and they wrangle a bit! The loser barrels back and smacks right into the concentrating Fionnuala!

A dash of light, skittering harmlessly across the grass. Fee turns on the offending crow and unleashes a volley of caws and chirrrrrs. <Damnit Fred! Watch where you're going!>

Carmichael has the idea that this one crow that's talking isn't a normal bird. But he can't quite grasp what she's saying exactly. Until she says 'fee'. It takes him a moment — is payment a concept that a crow would know anything about? And then it hits him. "Oh! Oh, hello!" he greets. This time in human, because if it's Fionnuala, she can probably understand it.

And true, even as he stands, he doesn't attack the birds. So there's no reason for them to be concerned about him. He winces, though, as the bird smacks into her as she's concentrating. "Ouch… are you all right?" he asks. She seems fine, but hollow bones are a thing.

<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Shapeshift: Good Success.
<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Wind Elemental: Success.

A series of events begins to occur, quick and sporadic. The crow that smacked Fee and received a, uh, 'beak lashing', begins to puff up and posture because this crow named 'Fred' is a bit of an asshole and a sore loser. It behaves in a purely aggressive, pushy way toward the incognito shifter and Fee has her own little way of silencing the bully. She's just trying to shift back so she can have a nice visit with her angelic friend! The offending crow postures and puffs and caws roughly, trying to make himself look bigger and meaner.

Fee flutters, a low 'churrrrr' heard as she seems to 'will' something. She needs to get this jerk away so she can concentrate! There is an abrupt heightening of the breeze, casting itself across the grass in a linear pattern that has very obviously been gathered and shaped. The breeze peaks into a brief, forceful gust and the posturing, churlish crow that accosts Fionnuala is abruptly buffeted straight up into the air! Harmlessly but effectively 'shoved' away, the bully crow manages an aghast 'squeeee' sound (as close to 'holy shit' as one can get in birdspeak) and flaps off. Fee ruffles again, goes back to her efforts, and the lights 'catch' and begins to shape her body into that of a slender girl.

The shifting complete, Fee faces Carmichael with a grin, wings lowering behind her body which is outfitted in black tights and an oversized, woolen sweater of sorts… looks like an Ugly Christmas Sweater! "Hello, Carmichael! I hope we're not wrecking your peace."

It's a good thing Fionnuala deals with the situation as she does, since Carmichael was about to get in there and pick her up to get her away from the sore loser crow in question. Thankfully the crow gets toppled over and flies away, and then Fee shifts back to her human form without much other trouble. Carmichael visibly relaxes, and his feathers stop poofing.

He smiles in greeting as she speaks normally. "Hi there. Not at all, no. I came out to spend some time with the birds. Moping seemed like it wouldn't serve much use, so I figured I'd feed the birds a bit. Listen to them, see if they've got anything to say. Someone threw a pan at one of them?"

<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Solarkinesis: Good Success.

The girl has been outside for awhile, mostly as a crow… she travelled with this murder for about an hour, the morning light hot and stark upon her black feathers. Now that she is back in a human form, her own wings bear the dancing notes of solar energy, and her eyes are bright. Sunshine always, always looks good on this girl.. even if the sweater that she wears is an utter horror. A knit, colorful monstrosity consisting of squirrels (of all things) as the main design, chewing in Christmas lights. Where does she find this stuff?!

But on the bright side, it sure looks warm and cozy.

She approaches her friend, the birds at her feet scattering and still confused as to how this girl came to be amidst them. Food is a far more fascinating thing, alas, and the birds pick up what remains of the bread with near-surgical precision.

"How have you been doing? I haven't seen much of you since before that.. the dance. Are you okay?" Fee asks, noting Carmichael's ruffled wings. The pan brings a cheeky grin into her face, "Haha.. yeah. These guys are pecking around behind Wok This Way. Larry was pecking at one of the vents around back and making noise, and wouldn't you know.. this dishwasher came barreling out the back door and threw a pan at him! Nearly clocked him too.." Fee's eyes are round and expressive as she eyes one crow in particular, "Serves you right, Larry."

OOC: Fee's Sweater ... o_o;

Carmichael focuses on the sweater for a moment, and blinks. It's… slightly morbid when one thinks of what would happen to a squirrel that tried chewing on Christmas lights. But he doesn't bring attention to that. He's been very careful with the students thus far, not wanting to press their emotions too much, for obvious reasons. Not yet.

He nods at the question though. "Oh yeah. I'm fine. I was luckily in an area that had a direct line to the sky. As soon as I heard our… well, late Headmistress shriek so, I knew it was bad news. And as soon as I saw the first reptilian snoot, I shot up into the air and flew to land." He pauses, to look Fee over. "You look in reasonably good health… you weren't hurt, were you?"

The mention of the bird's plight gets a snicker. "Well, if he was bugging the dishwasher, I can understand. If it's one thing I've learned about Chinese food, it's that people who cook it tend to be VERY serious about it. Such an intrusion would have definitely been reacted to violently."

To look at Fee in her hideous Christmas sweater is to see a girl who looks alright, or has simply coped well. No sign of injury and if they're had been? It's long gone. Her glowing eyes take the half-angel into account too, and Fee looks pleased as well to discern no longstanding damage. Talk of the calamity affects her though, and the thought of those lost is still a sore spot. "I'm glad you were able to break free. Getting out when the school was overrun was honestly pretty frightful. You're lucky you didn't see those things up close.." She rubs her upper arms as she continues to stand on the grass, one wing quivering. Sparks of solar energy dash across the black feathers, like gold dust.

The crows, now finished with the bread, begin to scatter and amble off, though some wait hopefully for a second course. Talk of what happened to poor Larry proves to be a more lighthearted direction for conversation.

"Either that or Larry would have ended up on the menu." She says with a ferocious little giggle, making her way up and onto the patio and grinning to her friend. "You out here for a bit? I'm just going to get some tea and a bite to eat, then I'm coming back for a sit down."

Carmichael nods. "I'm glad I didn't, too," he replies. "I'm sorry you had to though." Since she seems incredibly disturbed by it all, that's the only thing he can think, is that she got first-hand experience of how terrifying they all were. He does regret not being able to help, but… as he'd told Garrett, sometimes the best way one can 'help' is just by not being there — by being one less person in the line of fire.

He is, however, not about to bring that up. The mention of the bird possibly ending up on the menu gets a snicker. "'Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie'?" he ventures. "Couldn't have been baked very well if the birds sang for the king." The mention of getting a bite to eat gets a nod. "I need to come in and get some more bread anyway." He looks at one of the birds still hanging around. "I think they're still hungry." He chuckles.

The girl has a funny little way of catching segues in conversations, and in response to Carmichael's further thoughts on the disaster the girl offers more of her own take on it all. "I saw what I saw but I got out, too. I don't hold it against anyone who was able to get out quickly. I guarantee anyone outside who would have came back in to help? It would have only caused more trouble. More bodies in those close quarters would have hindered those who COULD fight back." Fee reasons, rubbing the back of her neck, scratching deliciously at a patch of skin that the woolen sweater has been itching at. Long story short she doesn't question Carmichael not 'being there', and she actually looks grateful that he made a quick getaway. "We're here.. most of us, anyway. We just have to make do and get stronger." The girl's cheeky grin softens.

Carmichael goes and recites a nursery rhyme that Fee knows, and her features glow with amusement. "I love that nursery rhyme! So few people really know about them, these days.. I really don't think I'd want to try a blackbird pie. It's kinda… cannibalistic." A grin, and she nods toward the back door. "Lets get the tools for battle, then. Those crows aren't going anywhere."

Carmichael nods. "That's what I figured," he noted. "If the teachers were having so much trouble, there wasn't much we could do but get out and try not to be underfoot, right?" In ANY way, including that one! Which he's careful to avoid directly referencing. Though he does wince a little and notes, "Well… not ALL of us. But at least some of us made it. So there's that."

As Fee heads towards the back of the house again, Carmichael follows. He considers her words. "That… actually I was thinking about that. Would eating fowl of any kind be cannibalistic?" he wonders. "For either of us, really. I'm also at least part bird. Wings and all…"

"I.. I can't even…" Fee says softly as she makes her way into the back entryway, wings pulled in closer to her body to avoid bumping or jostling anything breakable. She could just hide the things, but it just feels… nicer.. to have her wings out. More natural. She keeps pace with Carmichael as they head for the kitchen to seek out that which they each want and need. It's a good thing they're not living in the day and age of cookstaff and servants, as many of these big estates were known for. Carmichael, with his appetite, walking into the kitchen would maybe be met with looks of terror!

"I can't even imagine not eating chicken wings! Or chicken soup..! Or… no, it can't be. Ignorance is bliss in this case." Fee grins sheepishly, walking into the kitchen and eyeing the cupboards that are, perhaps, in varying states of fullness as the estate is still being prepared and set up for the student body. She looks to Carmichael next, "I don't think I've asked you this.. did either of your parents have wings? A latent bird form, maybe? I'm still kinda wondering about you.. a couple of your abilities resonate so well with mine." The girl thinks out loud as she begins awkwardly, trying to reach up into one of the cupboards for a beaten-up box of Earl Grey teabags.

Carmichael chuckles quietly at her almost horrified look regarding not eating chicken. "Oh, I know," he replies. "I actually lean towards a preference for fowl, and it would be horrible to know that made me a cannibal." He also pulls his wings in as he enters the door; it's something that he's grown used to over the years. As for the kitchen staff? Fortunately his appetite is mostly sated by starch-laden foods. They take up more space in the stomach, so they leave him feeling less like he wants to devour the whole kitchen!

He's looking for those strawberries as Fionnuala asks her question. And as he straightens, shutting the fridge door, he considers. "Not that I know of," he notes. "Dad's always been a little weird, but never really struck me as bird-like. We all figured it was just random abilities popping up in the family. That's been known to happen, though it's rare. I haven't looked any farther back; maybe it's somewhere there. But then again, information about Dad's side of the family is nigh-impossible to find…"

The girl listens as she pulls down some teabags — Earl Grey feels so wonderfully adult — and seeks out spoons and a small bowl for sugar. Carmichael is British.. surely he will fancy a cup of tea too, right?! Fee will just assume.. and she's just being polite, getting enough for two. Saucers can be heard clinking as she listens, "It makes sense.. that's been known to happen, too. I guess I'm just not used to such a thing because my own family has been.. pretty predictable." Fionnuala grins over a shoulder, her braid bobbing as her head turns. "A little weird? What does he do that's weird, if you don't mind my asking? My dad is weird too, but more… nutty than weird." Said with affection.

Rooting out an old fashioned tea tray from one of the old cabinets, Fee sets everything down and moves to find some milk. "So a big ol' family mystery… how interesting! At least to someone as vanilla as me. What about your Mom? Do you know much about her backstory?"

Carmichael's being polite too; the strawberries aren't just for him. He'll go back into the fridge, in fact, to see if he can't find some whipped cream. Strawberries and cream! He's planning on making some for Fee if she's interested. "Aha," he says under his breath. Bringing the whipped cream out of the fridge, he asks, "Fancy some strawberries and whipped cream?" It's a decent impromptu snack!

As for his dad? Carmichael tilts his head. "Well, you know how parents always seem to 'know'?" he begins. "Dad's always been like that, but it's always been more than that. The day I got into that fight where I accidentally broke that boy's arm, by the time I got to the principal's office, Dad was already there. He never said how he knew I was going to get in trouble.

"It's not just that," he continues. "He's been like that all my life. He'd promise to take me somewhere, then later change his mind, and then I'd find out later that something horrible happened where we might have been if he hadn't changed his mind."

"Ah, a fine thing to have with tea!" She chimes out, trying to adopt a British accent of her own… fails miserably. She has the grace to look apologetic. "Okay that was bad, I have to apologize for that. I'd be kicked out of England in a snap." Said in good humor as she assembles all that she needs on the tray, looks it over once more, and picks the lot of it up. Fee looks cheerful; she is plenty pleased with the course of the morning, as the days tick onwards toward lessons and duty. One more relaxing interlude in which to get to know yet another one of her peers. "I'll have what you're having, is what I'm getting at, and I'll bring the tea. There's pressure to perform, though.. I don't want to serve crappy tea to an English boy!"

Jesting aside, Fee's attention returns to the questions at hand: Carmichael's parents. She nods once, affirmative, to the parents knowing bit.. though this situation causes one finely-arched brow to quirk in question. "Do you think he has… there's plenty of names for it, but Ma always called it as such.. 'the sight'? Precognition? I think it's rare, even for our ilk, but some people can see into the future.. or it's like a danger sense." She tosses out some ideas, head tilting as she holds the tray pertly in front of herself.

"Sounds like your Da means well.. but it can't be easy knowing all the time. Sounds like he's something more than a shifter.. though that can't be discounted either."

Carmichael chuckles as he starts to gather what he needs to make the simple dish. A knife to cut up the strawberries in pieces that are bite-sized but not too small, a couple of bowls, and spoons. "Not to worry. You should hear my southern accent," he notes. "American southern, not British southern. The latter I can manage reasonably well. The former is Just Not Happening." His tone is amused, and the capital letters can almost be heard.

However, he nods at the mention of his father's abilities. "Wouldn't surprise me. He knew about Gran's heart attack a while back — she made it through, by the by. He called her just as her chest was starting to hurt, and told her to go to the hospital. Then he packed us up in the car and followed. I'd be willing to hazard it's less a flat 'ESP' and more a danger sense, since he always seems to know when something horrible's about to happen."

Strawberries are chopped up and layered with the whipped cream. If he can find some sponge or pound cake, that'll get used as a 'base', too. So if all goes well, it'll be edging on strawberry shortcake when he gets done with it! If there's room on the tray, he'll put the bowls with the layered treat on it. "There we are." As for his dad being more than a shifter? "Well, he's never changed into a bird in front of me, so unless he's keeping it a secret…"

Pause. "Oh God, I hope it's not like Teen Wolf. The movie, not that horrible series. 'I was hoping it'd pass you by'?" His voice changes, taking on a mock-panicked sound; he's only quoting a line. "'Well, Dad, it didn't pass me by! It LANDED! ON MY FACE!'" He chuckles nonetheless, and his demeanor returns to normal.

The shifter watches and waits while Carmichael preps the fruit, "OH hey.. is that kinda like what goes in a strawberry shortcake? You know those sponge rounds that you put the berries and cream on?" She asks, remembering well that summer'ish dessert. A grin then, as she sees Carmichael making exactly that.. or trying to. "Great idea, and—-" A pause, laughter. "Oh man! You have to try American Southern sometime, just for a laugh. You go through part of the day talking like that, I'll try British. we won't land in detention but rather, the loony bin!" Fionnuala exclaims merrily, lapsing into this amusing tangent before hastily returning to talk of Carmichael's very intriguing — and mysterious — Daddio.

Making room on the tray for the half-angel's concoctions, Fee looks with pleasure at their bounty and anticipates enjoying all of it on a sunny back porch. Carmichael suddenly breaks out into a perfectly executed mimicry of a panic, and then.. the Holy Grail of Fee's world: he quotes a CAMPY MOVIE——

The girl literally explodes with laughter, and she has to put the tray down as the dishes clink threateningly. Fionnuala shakes with giggles, focuses…. wills the solar energy into her expression. This results in her irises beginning to pulsate and glow with a fierce, yellow aura… and she stares right at Carmichael, voice dropping into a raspy snarl. "Give me. A keg. Of beer."

Carmichael nods at the mention of the cake rounds. "Yeah. That's usually sponge cake or pound cake, depending on whether you're using syrup or cream, respectively. Sponge cake tends to get used with syrup so it'll soak up the flavor, but pound cake tends to be used with cream, because it stands up to the thicker cream a lot better."

The mention of the southern accent gets a grin. And then, with that horrible southern accent, observes, "Why I do declayuh, we'd make just the fraitnen peya!" It's horrible, it really is. On the line of overdone 'Gone With the Wind'. Back to his normal accent, "That said? Mine may be bad, but I have heard some utterly HORRIBLE southern accents. I'll have to show you that one character in that game." He shudders. "Bleh."

He seems pleased to have made her laugh over the movie quote, and starts to laugh himself when she quotes a different part. "I almost want to see if you could try that in town, or whether they'd just call someone to pack you off back to the school." He might be kidding.

The girl gets herself under control, her hand waving as if trying to cast the giggles away so she can safely carry this tray of goodies back to their destination. "It's.. hah.. it's tempting, but I had better not. Either the school, or jail.." Both Not Good. "Alas, I'll just have to carry on with quoting bad movies.. though that was a dead ringer, wasn't it?" Fee asks, sighing wistfully. She's just about to pick up the tray again when Carmichael goes off into his take on an American Southern twang. It's as awful as one can imagine, and Fee needs to leave the tray be again… she's laughing anew. Both palms lift to press against her eyes, rub; luckily she's not wearing mascara today. Black streaks paired with that ghastly sweater.. she'd be quite the treat.

"Man oh man… what game is that?" Fee chances to ask, taking a few deep breaths and finally picking up the tray. She's making to head for the patio again, but she waits to see if Carmichael needs anything else before they go.

"I'd better quit it with the silliness for the moment, or we'll never get back out to the back lawn," Carmichael observes. Then he seems to remember something. "Oh, right." He locates some more bread, for the birds. This he'll carry out himself. He grins. "It WAS a dead ringer," he agrees. "Particularly the glowing eyes!"

As they head out to the back lawn again, Carmichael answers the question about the game. "It's one of those 'one man against an army' type games, where you're one ridiculously-skilled individual against an entire army of individuals that are probably only considered 'highly trained' by the standards of sea monkeys. It was originally about the Warring States period of Japanese history, and all the characters were the 'daimyo' of Japan, working to unify the country. But when it came to the west, all the serial numbers got filed off and it got a ruddy good seeing-to with the localization bat. So now it's a game about a bunch of weirdos fighting to rule over a nebulous not-Japan country.

"I use my abilties for humor, and jest… and oh, for good too." Fee remarks casually, which… isn't too far off the mark in regards to truth. "Seeing as how I'm still a kid in the eyes of the law, and am expected to uphold some kinda discretion with my abilities.. going in an pulling that charade in a liquor store wouldn't be wise. I do dumb things but that would take the cake.." The girl observes, looking down at the little cakes on the tray in front of her.

As they backtrack to the patio, Fionnuala listens to the explanation on what manner of game Carmichael initially spoke of. "Sounds colorful," A giggle. "Is it badly dubbed? Are there bad, bad voice actors? It sounds like a game with some really bad voice acting." Fee asks over a shoulder as they come up to the door and push it open, revealing the patio and expansive lawn.

Flecks of black yet poke around in the grass: the crows, most of them, have stuck around. Fee pauses, makes sure a table is clear, and sets everything down. Involuntarily, her wings twitch and slowly unfurl, catching the sunlight which has begin to shine down in earnest as the afternoon unfolds.

"I used to love playing video games.. I love the badly made ones."

Carmichael nods. "I try to help out where I can with mine," he agrees. "I'm no hero, though, and I'll deny it with my last breath to anyone who thinks otherwise." He chuckles. "Nothing heroic about me."

As for the game? "The actors aren't all bad. But the representation of the Christian church is REALLY uncomfortable — one of the characters is a middle-aged man with an unnatural fascination with a female character who's about twelve. Also I think they outsourced all their female voice actresses to the porn industry," he replies. "There's another part where a female ninja is supposed to be assassinating a bloke. He turns around and she instantly falls in love with him. And, if the voice actress is any indication, immediately required a change of panties. Which was a trick, because I don't think the character wears any."

He pauses before he sits down, though, moving to the edge of the patio and beginning to tear the bread up and dispense it to the birds. <No fight. Food is much. Hurt is bad.> His way of saying there's not need to fight because there's plenty of food, and that if one of them gets injured it could be dangerous later.

"That's actually really big of you to say that." Fee says as she looks skyward and smiles a silent thanks to the heavens. The sunlight really is such a wonderful treat, almost like the shortcake. Then, back to Carmichael as she allows herself to set down on one of the patio chairs, her wings draping and resting at either side of the chair like a black feathery cape. "I'm no hero either, I don't know how to be. It takes years of practice. I kinda like helping the hero out… but it has to be a good hero. Like Yoshi and Mario." A sagely nod.. since they're on the topic of video games. Though, Fee squints. "Unless that Hero is like Mario using Yoshi to double-jump over a big gap, leaving the poor dinosaur to fall into the abyss. Those heroes can go pound sand." Said as she opens up the teapot of boiled water, drops a pair of teabags in.

She listens, again, to the answer to her question. "Oh God that's the worst! She exclaims with a laugh, the crows flutter and twitch behind her. "So any mundane task the girl sounds like she's spending time with the pizza delivery boy?!" Fionnuala asks, looking up with a blush. "Running! Opening doors? Unf unf?" She leans back in her seat, looking aghast and amused. She glances sideward to the birds as the half-angel reassures them of there being plenty.. all of the heads begin to bob and move in unison. Fee can't help but grin.

"Sometimes 'helping' the hero is staying out of his way," Carmichael replies. "Or her way, granted. But one less jobber in the line of fire is one less jobber a hero has to worry about, one less way he has to split his attention. Or she," he adds again. He's not being sexist. He's male, he thinks in male terms. Once he's done spreading the bread around, he'll sit down in one of the other chairs.

At the mention of Mario dropping Yoshi into a pit for a double-jump? "To be fair, I never figured out how NOT to do that," he notes. "So I'd be merrily breezing my way around a level when suddenly I'd find Yoshi bucking me off his back when he saw we were about to fall — I always imagined he'd yell 'save yourseeeeeeeelf!' as he fell. And I'd continue on just to make sure his sacrifice wasn't meaningless."

He starts laughing, though, at the mention of the voice actress. "No, not really," he replies. "To be fair that's the only time she does that. It's just so bloody ridiculous to hear her acting like that. It doesn't help that the scene in question is a closeup of the man's face… and suddenly the background turns 'fanny pink', and then rose vines grow all along the sides of the frame and burst into bloom. Pink roses, mind you."

Worry not, Fee is picking up what the half-angel is putting down. She's not one to sit and nitpick 'his' and 'her'; 'he' and 'she'. Her eyes observe the casting out of the bread, and the rapidly moving crows as they converge upon the bits in the grass. Grinning slightly as the birds have at it, Fee finishes counting down minutes and leans forward to pour the tea, just as her mother taught her. How long to wait and steep, how to pour. She is surprisingly deft!

"Well there's a good way to look at it… Yoshi looks like that sort of self-sacrificing creature. We've figured out the secret: he's a Promethean." Fionnuala remarks with a giggle, setting he teapot down. She tosses about a half teaspoon of sugar into her tea and a splash of milk. She does not yet move to tuck into the dessert, not until Carmichael is ready. Aww, a Supers' teaparty!

"Thanks for this.. it's kinda nice to lay low before everything picks up again." The girl says suddenly, giving her tea a sniff. "I hope this is okay. You don't have to go easy on me.. if this tea isn't up to British standards, you tell me so!"

Once Carmichael's done casting the bread, he'll return back to the table and sit down. He smirks a bit at the mention of Yoshi being a Promethean. "He has to be — did you play Yoshi's Island? That game was the most annoying 16-bit game I've ever played. And I played F-Zero. As it turns out, listening to a 16-bit digital baby's cry is more annoying that getting blown up repeatedly."

But then he smiles, as she offers thanks. "I can understand that. I think we all need a bit of downtime, especially of late," he replies. "At least it'll be too busy to give us much time to think about it." Though at the mention of the tea? There's an odd sort of smile. Almost sheepish. "…I have to confess something. Despite being British, I've never been much of a tea snob," he admits. "I will say I like Earl Grey, because it has a different flavor to most black teas that I've had."

The girl suddenly looks relaxed. "Oh, thank God.." She exhales. "Not to generalize, you know… not saying all British people love tea and know every single nuance with it… kinda like my Da. He's as Scottish as sporrans and oat cakes but the guy hates haggis. You look at him and listen to him and you'd think he eats it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.. but he wants nothing to do with it. Eating, anyway… he usually threatens his employees with being forced to eat it when they need to be disciplined." Fee admits, eyes round and wide. "But—-"

All thought ceases, all 'deep' thought. Fee jerks back into her seat, looking scandalized. "That absolute JERK of a baby." She hollers, causing the crows to look up. Blink, blush… she leans forth, holding her tea. "I played that game.. I played the heck out of it. It was love and it was hate. I wanted to cheer when those.. propeller… jerk.. things took the baby but also cursed each time because it meant I lost the level!" Fionnuala says pointedly, looking incensed. The girl really loves Super Nintendo.

"When several of the same stereotype come out of a country, particularly if they're very loud, people OUTSIDE the country start to think all people INSIDE the country are like that," Carmichael replies. And then he grins. "Besides that, most of us like poking fun at the 'stoic, tea-swilling Brit' image anyway. I think the whole thing is funny." As for haggis? "I've eaten haggis before. It's not bad. Just like a sausage or ground meat."

And then he starts to laugh. "That face. That face is the face of someone who knows the true frustration of simultaneously wanting to throw Baby Mario off a cliff but knowing you'd be trapped in that hell with him forever if you did." He grins. "It was a nightmare. The lore behind it is interesting though — it means that Mario and Luigi were born in the Mushroom Kingdom and sent via stork to the real world. Which means their return via getting flushed down the toilet or however it happened is sort of like a homecoming."

Dear God in heaven, is this what it would feel like to have a sibling with whom to rip apart ridiculous series and games? The thought occurs fleetingly to Fionnuala, warming her for a few seconds, only to be quashed by a spat of laughter. Her face of outrage reddens with amusement and then embarrassment as she begins choking on her tea, but just for a few seconds. "Ugh, ugh.. see? See what the anger made me do? I'm choking on anger, so strong is the memory! That accursed baby!" She exclaims, heartened by the presence of someone who shares her upset, her rage. Fee's voice is a bit raucous as she clears her windpipe of the tea and vitriol. "Oh hey.. I forgot about that. They toted the tale of the brothers being born and raised in… Brooklyn, wasn't it? Then here comes 1995, with this entirely new tangent." Fionnuala says firmly… with all the authority of a girl that was born in 2001. c.c

Let's just say, she likes the 'retro' games… even though the SNES was way before her 'time'. Suddenly Fee's palms come down on the table and she pushes up to look at the half-angel, eyes wide… she watches him, the squirrels on her ugly sweater watch him. "Here's the question that defines a person's mettle… whose your favorite? Mario? Or Luigi?"

Still chuckling, Carmichael inquires of Fionnuala when she seems to start choking on her tea (or on her anger, whichever is the case!), "Are you all right?" Though of the game itself? He nods. "It was a frustrating mechanic. A game-long escort mission. Like Resident Evil 4, and Ashley." He wrinkles his nose. "I don't mind escort missions if the target at least has the sense enough to get out of the way, or hide in a bin. But when they start running around squawking like chickens at a peepshow, it gets aggravating."

He sits back a bit as Fee stands up partially, and blinks. The question gets a moment of thought. "They both have their functions. Mario is good for the 'face' of the company, but because he's in everyone's spotlight — because he has to appeal to EVERYONE — he has to be… well, sort of bland, personality-wise. He's enthusiastic and heroic, but those are very general traits that anybody can have.

"Luigi, by contrast, doesn't have to deal with that sort of thing, and doesn't have to appeal to everybody. So he's allowed to have a personality, albeit a varying one depending on the game you play. I think, by virtue of that, I'd prefer Luigi, since he's allowed to have a personality. Besides, busting ghosts with him in that Gamecube game was fun, too. And you could see how scared he was, but he was trying to find his missing brother. Again. Though nobody really remembers 'Mario Is Missing'."

Poor Carmichael.. he's strumming a special chord in Fee's mind. She's a nerd… a pretty nerd, but a nerd. Everything that he says about 'escort mission' games, about that jerkface gloryhog Mario… one can see the harps playing behind her eyes. Thankfully she eases back when the half-angel lays out his very very reasonable and APPROPRIATE thoughts on each brother. "Luigi all the way. You are forever in my good books for recognizing these very important things." Fee remarks with a sunny, indulgent smile. Worry not, the madness has left her gaze, replaced with sweetness and amusement.

"Wanna see something cool?" She leans back, hands poised in front of her, fingers steepled.


Carmichael chuckles. "If you like Luigi, you ought to play Super Paper Mario," he replies. "I've heard him described as 'the most amazing human being who ever lived' in that game. No spoilers, of course, but… well, let's say you might be incredibly surprised, and that one ultimate move in Super Smash Brothers where he dances in the dimension of doom might finally make some sense."

Unfortunately, Carmichael is not going to refuse this question. "Something cool? Like what?" He's honestly curious now!

<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Wind Elemental: Great Success.

"I must try all of these games.. maybe by next summer holiday, when time will be more plentiful." Fee says with a merry glimmer in her gaze. She pushes her tea and cake back, just a bit so as to not get jostled in what is about to happen next. Pauses.. reconsiders.. slides out of her chair and down the steps, toward the lawn. Better safe than sorry. She turns on a heel to face Carmichael, hands on her hips. "Before we partake in the victuals of strawberries and cake.. I present a live display. Few have seen it. I've been practicing since I was a kid."

What the bloody hell.

"I present!" Fionnuala cries out, color high and expression rapt. "The Luigi JUMP——"

Her lips move soundlessly in a chant, the arcane words contrasting drastically to the weirdness that is about to happen here. Wings folded tightly behind her body, the girl instead relies on magic instead of feathers to get her aloft. Wind answers her call, rising upwards beneath her feet in a gust and propelling Fionnuala into the air! About ten feet or so! Her legs begin to move precisely in the fashion of Luigi's spastic jump ala Super Mario Bros II!


Carmichael watches this demonstration with interest. And when he realizes what she's doing, he starts to laugh. "Aha, the Scuttle Jump!" he replies, still chuckling. "That is awesome. And I can see you practiced a lot. Though I do have something to tell you about that, something that might disappoint you."

He waits until she's sat down again before he continues. "Super Mario Brothers 2, the one we got in the west, wasn't the one they played in Japan. The one we got in the west was a reskinned version of a game called 'Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic'. The basic gist is that there's a storybook about an evil toad named Mamu took the dream machine that controlled the weather and made it spit out nightmares, but the people defeated him. The last page gets torn out, so 'Mama', 'Papa', 'Imajin', and Imajin's girlfriend 'Lina' have to go into the book to re-write the ending.

"It's still a great game, whether it's Mario-branded or not," he assures. "And I'm kind of glad they did that — the game set a number of precedents for the characters' abilities through the franchise," Carmichael notes. Still, he hopes she's not going to be too disappointed!

The girl lands with a plop.. it's as if this revelation has pulled her to earth resolutely and soundly. She does not mope for long, however; there's cake, good company.. and one particular consideration. "I guess I can't be too sad… explains why Peach was able to float. Because it wasn't. actually. Peach." Fee grunts, and shoves a hearty portion of shortcake into her gob.

She's not truly upset.. good humor twinkles in her eyes, and it is here where she will remain. Ah, the joys of ripping on pop culture.. before school must begin anew!

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