(2018-08-18) Dog Days
Dog Days
Summary: On the beach with Besa and Taká
Date: 2018-08-18
Related: None
NPCs: Players go below, other chars that deserve mention can be listed here
Scene Runner: NA

It's a hot summer night. In Besa's mind, the perfect kind of night. He's laying on his back on the grass out back with Cocoa, talking softly to the pooch. She has her head laying on his chest and he's petting her with one hand, the other arm is underneath his head, propping it up. While the stars have changed some, he still likes to gaze upwards. It's just calming. "The new school will be just as nice, Cocoa. You will see. We have much to accomplish now. It will be good."

Taká would be inclined to agree, were he in contact with Besa's mind: hot summer nights are glorious. But then, his homeworld is a bit warmer than Earth, and his complaints about Terran winters are well-known and epic… and when he switches to his own language to describe them, they are also not suitable for public consumption or those with delicate sensibilities.
At most, there might be the soft rustle of feathers overhead, periodically. Taká is enjoying the night, and the residual thermals, and the offshore winds.
But eventually even he can get enough of flying — although it probably takes him longer than most. He touches down on the low branch of a tree near his fellow student. "Kié, Besa'tavár'h!" he says cheerily, waving.

Besa's head swivels, understanding enough of his friends words to smile. "Hello my friend. How are you this evening?" Cocoa doesn't move but her tail wags gently against the grass. "Was your flight enjoyable?"

"Always," Taká says, dropping down lightly from the branch and folding his wings. "My home was near a lake, not an ocean, and the winds are so much different that way. I never tire of them… I don't know what I'll do if I ever find my way home again. I suppose I could petition to have my estate moved, but that would take me far from my family and I don't want that either. How about you? How are you doing?"

Besa's smile remains, he looks a little sleepy, but it's more that he's just enjoying the quiet evening. "Have you contacted anyone to help you in finding your way home yet?" Not that Besa wants him to leave, but having family out there, that has to be an ache in his heart. "I am all right. The night is lovely and I have decided to let my mind just be. No meditation this evening." He scruffs Cocoa slightly. "We are just enjoying the night and the stars."

Taká shakes his head. "No, I haven't. Partly I want to solve the puzzle myself," he says, gazing up into the starry night, "now that I know I'm in my own home galaxy. And partly," he says, a little embarrassedly, "I feel more normal here than I do at home. If I went home, I'd be a research subject again, and not really my own person. I wouldn't get to be me, at least not all the time. If that makes any sense."

Besa lets his dark eyes stay on the winged for before he nods. He can understand that. He may not agree, but he can respect it. "It does. If you are happy here, then stay here." Ah, if only life are that simple. He smiles up at Taká before turning his head to look up at the stars again. That perfect hair hallows around his head. "Are you ready for the lessons to start?"

"I suppose," the little birdman says, almost indifferently. "Classes here don't move as quickly as I'm used to. But then, a lot of our education at home is done telepathically, and I suppose that moves more quickly than teaching by words and reading only."
Taká moves closer, holding out his hand to Cocoa. Yes, she's a good dog. No, Taká's not used to animals that size. "How about you?"

Besa chuckles softly. "By it's nature it is faster, yes." His eyes come back to look up at Taká as he comes closer, the ancient teen is still smiling softly. Cocoa lifts her head to sniff at the bird man, tail wagging a few lazy times. "I suppose I am? I have much to prepare for. I hope the new school building is as nice as the Estate here."

"As long as it's not under water again," Taká says, his feathers bristling and only slowly settling back down smoothly. "I can't begin to tell you how much I hated that. It was… it was just wrong."

Besa's smile fades and he just nods. He knows Rain is worried about that too. "I know it made you uncomfortable. I hope for you that we are not in dorms like that again." If Taká is close enough he'll raise his hand from Cocoa to pat his friend. No skin contact, and only if it's not in a weird place (he's not trying to grope him!). "It will be good, you will see."

Truth be told, there's not a lot of choices to avoid skin contact — Taká's stripped to his kilt and sandals, to better enjoy real weather. But, he's gotten a lot better about keeping his mind to himself; really, he'd have to be at least a little rattled and out of sorts to be unable to prevent mental contact any more. "I hope so. If they wanted us under water again, I would have to leave. I think the only reason I tolerated it at all before was that I had nowhere else to be. I still don't, but Gods, I couldn't do that again."

Besa nods, bringing his hand back before touching his friend. He doesn't want to intrude in his mind, not knowing the other has better control of his powers now. "I am sure if it is, we can tell them the issue and something can be worked out." There's a pause and Besa gets a weird look on his face. "If… if you do go, you will write me? So I know you are well?" It sounds like maybe he's worried about something.

"I… yes, of course," Taká says. "although I don't want to have to go. And even if I did, I don't know where I would go anyway. So I will hope and pray the new school is… sensibly built. Above water. I showed you what my own home looked like once, I think. You can understand, then, why the old school didn't… appeal to me."

Besa nods, his hair rippling with the motion. "I remember. It was beautiful." He liked it very much. "If you must go, we will find you a safe place, yes? You will not be lost." He takes a deep breath and lets his eyes slide back to the stars. Cocoa sighs as well, which just makes Besa smile and raise his hand back to pet her.

Taká nods, and also pets Cocoa, delicately. "If I do go, I won't go far. So much of this world is still unknown to me. I guess I'd find something to do in the village if I had to… although I don't know what."
He grins broadly. "So they better put the school somewhere dry. I'm not ready for this world's employment system."

Cocoa likes being double petted. Her eyes close and her tail keeps wagging slowly. Her boy says, "Good. That makes me feel better… but yes, the school will be above the water and you will go to school." Besa smirks gently, eyes looking back up at Taká. He looks too young to be a Junior. "It is much more complicated now. I am glad Rain is helping me sell my pottery."

"You're so fortunate to have a talent like that," Taká says, scritching a spot just behind Cocoa's left ear. "I don't suppose there's any need for alien calligraphy on this world. Even if calligraphy was in demand, no one but me can read my language."

Besa chuckles softly, "I have worked very hard to be able to throw clay. It is not something natural." Well, maybe a little, the Guardian does smell of the earth all the time. Maybe there's a connection? "Perhaps you should not sell it as calligraphy, but just a aesthetic pretty ink? Or a blessing of sorts?" Hell, Taká could probably sell it as alien calligraphy if he could figure out how to market it, but that's beyond Besa. "Would you like me to learn?"

Taká nods. "I would love to be able to converse with someone in my own language again… although a lot of it is also subliminally carried by telepathy. I don't need phsyical contact with my own people. And I'm no teacher. But if you'd like to learn Akiár'shak, I'll gladly teach you what I can."
He thinks a moment, gazing up at the stars. "I hadn't thought of that, that my own writing might just look like art to someone who can't read it. English looked like squiggles to me before I learned it, so I guess it makes sense."

Besa nods again, "Yes, I would like that, very much." He knows the ache he felt when no one could speak Coptic with him, he doesn't want Taká to feel that. "I do not mind touching my mind with yours, if that is how the language works best." He turns to star gaze again, a soft smile on his features. "Your writing is very pretty, Taká. I am sure people would like it."

"Do you think so?" Taká asks, absently rubbing the side of Cocoa's neck. "I've looked at many Earth languages; the only one that looks remotely like mine is Tamil… and that only like some of the very stylized and artistic Akiar scripts." He grins broadly. "And maybe you could teach me some of your k-kop'tik in return?" he asks, stumbling over the new word.

"Yes. All language is beautiful is some way." But he understands what Taká means and smiles back at him. "I would like that very much, yes. We will learn each others languages." Screw this English stuff! Cocoa sighs more, enjoying all the attention and the fact that Besa is calm. Nights are usually harder for the ancient teen.

Taká jerks his hand back, hopefully not startling Cocoa. "I, forgive me, I didn't mean… I wasn't trying to read your thoughts," he stammers: it has just sunk in that Besa never explicitly mentioned his native tongue aloud. "Perhaps our hands touched, or perhaps since we were both petting your dog… I don't know. I'm sorry."

The only thing that startles Besa is Taká jerking away. Perhaps it startles Cocoa too, as she lifts her head and looks at the winged boy. "I said I did not mind touching minds with you, Taká." Although he does glance at Cocoa. "You think we touched through Cocoa?" Interesting! The dog doesn't seem to mind it, so Besa's not worried about it.

"Even so," Taká says, "I know I should not make mental contact without permission. He rubs the side of Cocoa's neck again… and then very deliberatly puts his hand on top of Besa's. Words do not come through the link. Just a sense of chagrin, and apology.

Besa doesn't pull his hand away, just tilts his head waiting for whatever will come from the contact. Again, he looks far too young to be a junior. Everyone else in his class towers over him. His hand flips over to hold Taká's and he smiles softly, acceptance and friendship rushes back at the winged boy. In some ways Besa's mind is a lot quieter than it has been before. Mayeb he's starting to figure things out? But underlying everything, proubabaly not something Besa even realizes is a longing for… something.

If there's one student who doesn't tower over Besa, surely it's 5'1" Taká. What comes back through the mental link is… friendship, affection, even understanding — after all, according to Einstein, being lost in time and being lost in space are nearly the same thing.
Wordlessly, Taká reaches over and wraps an arm around Besa's shoulders for a gentle hug. (I'm not sure how, but I think you understand me better than most,) he 'sends.

That is true, they do see eye to eye. Cocoa scoots, although there's that quiet ingnation that dogs get when they're scooted from a comfy place. Besa's thin but strangely strong arms go around Taká, pulling himself up slightly from the laying position he was in for the hug. With this much contact, it's easy for Taká to get back, (I do not know how, but we will find your home. I promise my friend.) Besa may not be able to change his circumstances, but he can help Taká, certainly!

(Or find me a home here,) Taká replies. (Your world doesn't have interstellar travel. Even if we found Kyshan, or even Akiar itself, there's no way to get there. Forgive me, tavár'h, but I must be honest and realistic. Even if we found my homeworld, there's no way to get me there.)
He sighs softly, and rests his head on Besa's shoulder. (And maybe I belong here after all. Who knows?)

(We can do both, yes? You will have a choice.) Unlike Besa did. (There are many things that do not seem possible, but are. I defeated Alraxmargoth'ha. I never thought that possible.) He smiles softly, shifting so Taká has a better head rest. (Do not be sorry. I will be hopeful for you until you can.) There is a gently nod. (You will fly where you wish to, my friend. I will help you.)

Taká pulls his hand away, gently, resting it on Cocoa's back. "I suppose," he says aloud. "Maybe this world needs a sky guardian. Maybe it needs me. I don't know." He sighs heavily. "But the skies are so lonely here. There's just me, and Carmichael, and Fee. Maybe… maybe that's why I'm here."

Besa lets Taká move to where ever he's comfortable, switching back to speaking out loud. "Trust me, this world needs as many guardians as we are able to give her. It is large and there is much to guard against." He looks down at Cocoa, but adds, "I think it is okay to not know. You have time, you do not need to make any decisions right now." He reaches to pet his dog as well, careful to not touch Taká's hand. "It grows late. I have not been resting well, but feel the pull tonight. Would you like to join me for tea before sleep take me?"

"Mmm, yes, I would like that," Taká says, sitting up a little and stretching, then re-folding his wings. "I think I would like that a lot." He gazes upwards again, then at the estate, then at Besa. "I suppose there are worse fates than being useful. If I can be useful to this world, well, then, I suppose it's a good thing that I am here."

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