Logs:Lost History - Iyakay the Crafty

From NOLA: The Game that Care Forgot
Jump to: navigation, search

Lost History - Iyakay the Crafty

Characters: Kayid, with Slip mostly as a plot device and ST
Date: 2020-07-19
Summary: A pledge-bound mortal follows a changeling through the Barrux Door and gives away one of his names in exchange for safety.

Some days, it happens without notice. A passing curiosity might reroute Kayid's steps, tugging him along some new trajectory without any clear reason. Oh, it's easy to rationalize. There's a store he wanted to check out in this direction or maybe he has a lead to check up on out this way. Or maybe he's come to recognize the weird workings of the pledge and follow it through. Whatever the case, however it's happened today, he's found himself on the outskirts of the French Market as the potentially concerning of a busy Sunday winds down, the crowds on the street--some masked and far too many not--beginning to thin out as streetlights turn on. Slip rounds a corner onto Barracks Street, past a cafe with outdoor seating running along Decatur closing up for the evening. She stops at a door on the side of the building, the black outer gate swung wide and propped open, the overhead light turned on, illuminating a sign on the front which reads OPEN HOUSE with details about the hours, safety precautions and realtor contact information below. That's probably why she stops and stands in front of the door with her hand on the handle for a long moment, just to read all that information, right? Nevermind how she seems to be talking to herself.

When the door opens, it doesn't appear to open into an actual house. It seems to let in on an alleyway with pavement underfoot and brick walls lining either side. The lighting seems natural, dim. Not nearly as inviting as one might expect for an open house event. She steps through and lets the door drift closed slowly behind her. It wouldn't be difficult to catch, if someone cared to try. But it didn't seem to be locked either, almost certainly easy to open if it were allowed to fully close on its own.

The pattern had become recognizable. Too much pondering and he found himself stumbling into Slip. He rather expected to see her at some point - though he couldn't rightly say when or where. Some days, he doesn't see it coming, but it had ceased to be a surprise anymore than someone coming home early. She was supposed to be there, always on his path, but the timing could catch him off guard.

Tonight's thoughts were nominally focused on a recent chat with one of the homeless, but it was fighting for brainwaves with the lingering...nightmare wasn't the correct word. It left him desiring her comfort in a nebulous way he didn't entirely recognize.

This leaning on people business was new.

He rounded the corner, familiar footsteps no doubt lost beneath the busy market behind him, just in time to see her at the door, mouthing the words on the sign to herself - or so he believes. His momentary pause resumes a walk, then as she starts to step inside, he picks up the pace. Perhaps trying to sneak up on her as she always did him, he didn't call out to her. Instead, once she ducked inside and he saw the door left to it's own devices to close, he broke into a short sprint. His fingertips just catch inside teh door before it can fully close. He didn't bother to look around before he pulled it open, but he does come up short when he peers inside. He inevitably looks up along the wall toward the window overhead, to either side of the door, before looking back down...an alleyway. This wasn't just one of those quaint little courtyard interiors some of the other buildings in the area had, he recognized that much. Magic of some sort? A step across space perhaps...Was he really thinking that? Was it any stranger than what she'd shown him thus far? Curiosity demanded to know at least where this door went, what city he might step into, what country for that matter -

If there was any sight of her left to have, he watched until she was out of sight before stepping in and drawing the door closed quietly behind him, and started cautiously down the alleyway, senses piqued, one hand rifling through his bag for his phone.

It could, in theory, be an oddly gated alleyway cutting through the block framed by Barracks and Decatur at the near corner, a private pathway behind and between all the brick buildings. It's strange, but plausible. If only the details weren't all wrong. The wall too the right isn't tall enough while the wall to the left is a bit too tall, neither matching the expected proportions perceived from the outside. There's no window above the door, just a strange stylized W painted on the door and an expanse of wall capped by vines which weren't present on the other side. Those vines tangle elsewhere, too. Green shoots push through cracks in walls, through buckling cement, some dripping odd little flowers with perfume that teases at memory, an itch of the distant and familiar that might take time to place.

Kayid isn't given a whole lot of time, if he means to follow Slip. By the time he's through the door, she's already gone, rounding one of the nearer corners, left or right, well before the alley lets out into what looks like it could actually be a courtyard. There are figures moving, there, in the distance, and more bustle and noise than one might expect. Like a busy day at the French Market, a familiar cadence of vendors trying to catch attention with free samples while shoppers chatter among themselves. What sort of Open House is this?

There are options, should he care to explore, paths branching both left and right into open spaces, a courtyard at the end, each with its own unique sights and sounds. Should he venture toward the first crossroads to peek in either direction, he'll find a shop door down the right path, on the right-hand side, with that same W above the door and another courtyard just beyond it where a besuited, upright alligator seems to be talking with a short leafless tree, the familiar tug of Slip's presence felt down this way; while an unmarked door leads into one of the buildings down the left branch which also seems to let out after only a few yards, spilling into what seems to be a flea market, tables lining the path to either side, piled in clothes and curiosities, in books and baubles, where the only vendor in easy view appears to be wearing a bumpy green mask with very large amber eyes.

It doesn't take very long to realize that something is, well, strange. He paused before the cross-roads, long enough to get his phone in hand. First thing was first - where was he? That was quickly squelched when his screen registered no connection at all, not even a roaming. He holds it up a few angles, but alas- nothing he could hone in on.

He flicks over to the camera instead, turning toward one of the peculiar flowers instead, snapping a few shots to remember to look into later, curious things that they were. Another quick snap over his shoulder at the W over the door he'd come in. It's kept tucked in his palm when he finally starts to move forward. He starts to follow the pull after her, but at the crossroads, spotting the ...alligator?...his brows both lift and then promptly furrow. Costume comes immediately to mind. Perhaps it was a party he'd stumbled into - tries to rationalize his mundane mind, not quite ready to accept anything as strange as...an alligator in a suit. Hesitating a moment, he looks on toward the market, a quick glance back the other way, and then he starts to step away to follow the busier sounds.

Not all the captured images will look quite the same on the other side as they do on this side. Here, there's no assertion of the mask, no attempt to hide what anything really is. Over there, though, back where reality insists that fairies simply do not exist, the details might differ. Those little flowers aren't quite so vibrant, their petals not so exaggerated in shape. Oh, there might not be an easy match to find on google, but there are are plenty possibilities that are near enough to suggest some crossbreeding. That W stays right as it is, nothing inherently odd about it, showing as the logo for a small local business, Wayward Company, who collects unwanted knickknacks, fixes 'em up and sells 'em at local flea markets; no official records, should he dig into commercial licensing, but paid booths at a few different markets, listed on websites without any contact information.

In the present moment, however, everything is rather entirely out of the ordinary all of a sudden. As the lefthand path lets out into the flea market, it's clear the uneven grid expands well beyond the limits of a single city block, rows of tables and covered stalls intersecting at irregular intervals, occasionally interrupted by free-standing structures like the ones Kayid is just leaving behind. Stranger still, all the vendors seem to be of odd proportions and in peculiar costumes. Those are costumes, right? Perhaps it's a masquerade market, but those are very convincing masks which move grassy mouths and blink alien eyes. Perhaps if they were selling luxurious goods it might be more plausible that these were wealthy eccentrics who could afford animatronic costumes, but the vendors stand behind tables of old paperbacks and VHS tapes, jars of homemade jams and hand-shaped pies, stacks of unmatched socks and boxes of lost keys, the odd assortment of forgotten objects and handmade curios that fill every flea market around the world.

Oddly, Kayid is the strangest feature of the market at the moment. A human has found his way in from the other side. There might even be a gasp or two before an old lady with a brown, twisted face like knotted wood calls to him, "Hey! Hey you! C'mere. 'Fore ya end up on the block. By her cleaver, kids these days."

Typically, Kayid knew how to blend in, to slip among the crowd and not gawk or stare. He knew how to hug the fringes. But this was all together out of his depth. He stared and the further he got down the row, the more and more he realized...He wasn't in Louisiana anymore. It takes until the 'C'mere' for Kayid to stop short and twist around to peer toward the strange old lady. He studied her for a moment but really - her features were a little alien and he wasn't sure he could make heads or tails of her integrity if he wanted to.

He might have had the thought to step back, to double back and find Slip, but honestly - the world around him had overwhelmed the fact that he'd even followed her in down into the back of his mind. He takes a glance around, over his shoulders, his arm tucking his bag close before he takes a couple of slow, cautious steps toward the old woman. English evaded him out the gate, falling into his own language at first, for a couple of words, before he shakes his head and scrounges up Arabic-accented English. "The block...?" doesn't wait for an answer before, when he's near but not quite in arm's reach, he adds, "Where is this?"

The old woman gestures with one stubby, knot-knuckled hand to her side, a shooing motion to urge the others to look away, to encourage the vendor at the next table able to stow his chittering questions about where does she think it came from and what's she gonna do with it and does she think it might like some socks. She's having none of it, all of her attention on the mortal spewing weird words at her. The squirrelly hob next door risks a quiet curiosity of, "Is it brokens?" just before Kayid slips into a more recognizable language, something the local marketeers have come to know.

"Tumbledown Market," says the wooden woman very plainly. "Ain't no place for unaccompanied mortals, no, but we'll hide ya right up if you gots business to do. How's about you give me your name and I give you a mask? Getcha some proper anonymity here. 'Fore ya end up on the block as chattel or chow. Know plenty'd not mind getting a bite outta something like you."

"...of course. Tumbledown Market," Kayid mumbles back, not sounding at all 'of course' about it in tone whatever his words say. He steps a bit closer, glancing back the way he'd come, having a very difficult time feeling like anything else but a stray chicken in a foxhouse. "I ah-Kay," he offers, a little stammered. He had countless monikers he tossed around, none with any real history behind them to be considered alternate identities, but Kay was a new one even to him and left his brow furrowing some. It might have all come out sounding like Iyakay. A little more of his street savy returning to him as he chews through the thoughts, he adds, "I'm not here alone. I found myself separated." He gestures back the way he came when he adds, "She should be just that way - Are these all masks?"

The old woman's face creaks as she squints at Kayid, not buying this 'Iyakay' nonsense he's trying to sell. "That a name you ever used before, right and really, Iyakay? Sounds a little lie, way it stammers out, way your face goes all crinkly at the top." Both of her hands plant on the table between them so she can lean forward and look past the unevenly stacked shoe boxes beside her with their collections of paper goods--from collectible cards to letters exchanged between strangers to high school diaries and kids' craft pojects--to look back down between the buildings to see if there's any sign of this mysterious she accompanying him. "Fine," clipped but accepting, whether she believes him or not. Straightening, she looks him in the eye, her own the pale beige of wood, ringed with year-lines right down to brown pupil. "Same goes for separated mortals. Just ain't safe." When her gaze dips, she starts going through a couple of her boxes until she finds one with a collection of paper masks, from cheap magazine cutouts to exquisitely crafted marvels. The one she plucks up is somewhere in the middle, a very convincing and elegant attempt at a fox with ruddy brown paperboard and black ribbon as dark as his hair. "A real name for the right mask, Iyakay. One somebody would know you by."

Kayid winces a little, grunts under his breath, and glances over his shoulder towards the other creatures around him. "My apologies," he starts, looking back toward her as he stuffs his phone into a hip pocket. "I heard once names have power," he admits, feeling very sheepish and justified all at once. He'd never given that idea much thought before but here? Talking to a woman with heartwood for eyes? He looks over the various masks she's sifting through, following the fox face when she lifts it out. A name. Somebody. "Amaro," he offers, much more surely. "The Corsair," he adds with a small little smile to himself before he shakes the damned spider-woman out of his head and peers towards the wooden one instead, curious to see if the name were acceptable.

The glance back at the rest of the stalls earns a flurry of movement from the vendors not currently engaged in one side of a transaction or another as they all turn their inhuman heads to make it look like they weren't staring even though they all very much were and will be again as soon as Kayid refocuses on the wooden woman. He might catch how they whisper, how gossip about his presence is beginning to spread, an excited murmur which may or may not include a betting pool springing up around any number of possible fates the solitary mortal might meet. On the bright side, New Orleans isn't known for its own native Lost population; the likelihood of him getting nabbed by a Keeper is probably pretty low. Historically. Times are changing.

"Good to know somma your lot still know what matters," the woman with heartwood eyes answers of names and their power. When a suitable name is offered in exchange, she nods agreeably and tells him, "Today, I am Amaro the Corsair and you, once you tie the knot behind your head--" She holds out the mask for him to take. "--are Iyakay the Crafty." Tomorrow, nobody will be Amaro the Corsair anymore; the name will be bound to an item in a box or listed in a book somewhere, forgotten by Kayid, forgotten by the spider who wove it for him, taken by the Wyrd in payment for today's safety. And the mask does provide safety, should the man put it on and tie a knot in the black ribbons behind his head. It feeds the belief that all these odd faces are masks, for how his own face becomes vulpine, his eyes sharper, his ears longer, his beard russet and strange. A fox for the moment, hiding his humanity, playing the part of a changeling for a little while. Until he removes the mask or steps back out into the mortal world where it will, again, prove nothing but shaped paper and soft ribbon.

Kayid takes the mask offered, turning it over in his hands. He might have been a little more wary if it were not for the whisperings at his back. The mask seemed the safer of the two options. "Shukraan, Amaro," may be alien, but the thankful tone surely translates the meaning. He fits the mask on his face and carefully knots the ribbon. Pulling his hand away brushes past the elongated ear, giving it pause. He feels along it, over his face, and blinks several times before he's reaching for his phone again. This time the camera he opens is front-facing, to stare at himself for just a second before he rapidly shuts it off and repockets it. Ahem. He takes a step back and mumbles, "I should find...my friend..." as much to himself as to the woman. He twists about and after a couple of steps first one way, then another, he finds his way to that tug toward Slip with more than a couple glances back until he's taken a turn that puts the old woman out of sight.

"What a weird little mirror," observes the rodent in the next stall over who has done a very poor job of obliging the wooden woman's shooing. Kayid's simply far too interesting to ignore, even if he'll get an earful for it later. She makes another attempt, another sweep of short fingers as she assures the fox-faced man who's traded one identity for another, "Very dashing. Very clever. Sure to fit in fine now." The table gets a double-knock as he starts to head off, a call of, "Pleasure doing business witcha!" preceding a shuffling of boxes and an eruption of whispered gossip among the merchants closest to her table.

The tug toward Slip leads off to the right now, rather than back the way he came. She's moved, headed deeper into the market maze. The further he gets from the paper goods vendor, the less awe and curiosity he draws, viewed not as a potential victim but rather as a likely customer. Various merchants attempt to appeal to him, showing off their shiny trinkets, their rings all lined up in neat little rows, their bows and boots and pocket watches. Some shake jars of glowing blue fruits while others waft over the scent of hand-wrapped streetfood unlike anything he's ever smelled before. Others promise stranger things like the cure for a broken heart, a map to forbidden knowledge or the question that burns at the heart of everything. Oh, how they tempt. If only he'll pause in pursuing that connection, in turning down this row or that, for just a few minutes.

Kayid, or Iyakay as it were, started to find his way into a little more comfort once the whisperings fell further behind him. He still felt at his face now and then, the strangeness of his nose, the curious beard, but shock was starting to fall away, replaced with purpose.

Until he spots a pocket watch. He'd managed to ignore most of the barkers, not unlike roaming through souks overflowing with brilliant colors and shiny metals and heaps of spices, but his feet stop abruptly spotting the small item. He backpedals a couple of steps and looks over it, then anything else in the same stall before narrowing in on the hob working it - not that he recognizes the creature as such. 'Just a mask,' he tells himself within the confines of his own mind before finding his voice. "...Do you happen to have a compass?..." asked skeptically.

"Oh, I knew you were a bright one!" chirps the hob behind the stall as Kayid approaches. She's an odd one, like a bit of cryptotaxidermy that's patched a bird together with a squirrel, a short yellow beak attached to a furry face with beady black eyes and long-tufted ears. She wears a toolbelt around hips that erupt into feathers, avian legs hidden by the table. In addition to watches, there are meters and gauges for all manner of things, only a few of which make any lick of immediate sense, and several odd little gadgets and contraptions of more difficult to discern purpose, some of which possess very modern-looking screens or buttons. When he asks after a compass, she tilts her head in a very birdlike manner, considering the fox-faced man from a new angle and assures, "I have lotsa compasses, yessir. Got ones that can lead ya to your heart's desire and ones that can help ya track a bounty. This one here--" She taps one with a pretty blue glass face. "--will take you to the nearest source of potable water, and this one--" She nudges forward a tiny little compass that could fit on a keyring. "--knows where that thing you lost that one time is hiding." Looking back up at him, she wonders, "Is there something in particular you're wanting to find?" Let's hope it's not true north.

Just a mask...and a very good costume. Kayid might stare a little much before the creature starts offering up different compasses. That do quite a bit more than what he expected a compass might. He wets his lips and blinks when his tongue catches on a slightly elongated incisor that he hadn't really noticed before. The more direct question draws him back out of his thoughts, a vacant stare at the hob only lasting a beat before his ears twitch back a little closer to his head and he leans down to look at the various compass. "No...but I find myself in need of one," he remarks, though he didn't seem to care that of all the things she'd listed none of them were really about direction. He reaches out a fingertip to nudge at the one she'd told him could find one's heart's desire and asks plainly, "How much are you asking for this one?" Perhaps he'd been walking through to quickly to notice yet that no one he'd seen was exchanging ordinary cash or cards.

The hob's hands draw up in front of her fuzzy chest as she straightens a bit, drawing back ever so slightly. It wasn't a long look, that not-quite-there stare, but it was long enough to inspire a bit of nervousness from the flighty critter asking the pointy-toothed fox what it wants. Let's hope it's not dinner. How swiftly she sheds that affectation once the bartering has resumed! "Oh! That's a good one. Bit dangerous, in truth, fickle as hearts can be. I know mine doesn't linger on any one thing too long of late, but, hm. Let us see, let us see." She looks him over, eyeing the bag at his hip for a moment before flicking her black-eyed attention up to his eyes again. "You got any gadgets of your own in there? Any devices you might be willing to part with, in full or in part? Something I can work with? Always looking for something more to work with. Never enough parts. Never enough things to pick apart."

Kayid glances down to his bag, contemplating its contents without opening it. He had a thorough mental inventory, and most everything in there was vital, loaded with work of one form or another, or attached to. "I'm not certain I d-" breaks off short. "Wait, I do have something," that wasn't exactly trivial. It'd be a nuisance to replace but he wouldn't necessarily miss it either. He tucks a hand into his bag to fish around past lenses and two cameras, tablet, until he finds a set of keys at the very bottom, where they always wind up. Slipping his hand out with them, he flips the keys aside to offer the remote emblazoned with JEEP across the top, four buttons, one bright red with the alarm icon on it for viewing. Then there was lock, unlock, and an engine start. "Could you work with this?"

Lenses! Cameras! The edge of something flat and shiny! Oh, such promise! Such joy! Such... perplexed curiosity teetering toward disappointment when what comes out is such a small thing. Will she get all the keys that go with it? No, no. He tucks those in his hands. She blinks up at him warily. But there are buttons and words she may or may not recognize. Her nose twitches as a hand reaches out cautiously to press one button then the next and the next. And, lastly, the alarm. A chirp here, a chirp there and nothing at all alarming. Not dead, just... disconnected. With a cluck, she considers, "Yes, I think I can recalibrate it nicely. Oh, oh!" An idea has dawned. "Yes! Yes. That'll do. One compass for one clicker. No takebacks. Just remember it's not Chirrada's fault if you don't like what you find. Your heart's your business, not mine. Deal?"

Perhaps spotting the disappointment, he takes a cue from the stall keepers he's more familiar with and embellishes. "It's a key to my...iron carriage. It allows you to wake them from afar, lock them down, or scream," he tries, trying to make it sound all a bit more impressive than just a key chain bauble of convenience. One of the keys on the ring had the same mark on it after all. He lets her test the buttons, somehow quite certain she wouldn't send the vehicle in the next world beeping repeatedly from here. "No takebacks," he agrees with a half-hitch of a grin, not quite comfortable with the whole ordeal but at least settling. It takes a little work to get it off his keyring, which goes into his opposite hip pocket from his phone. "Deal," he nods, offering it over in exchange for the compass in question.

"Sounds awful," says the hob of an iron carriage. It doesn't entirely sound like disdain, a hint of consideration in her tone, in the way her head cants implying that she might be wondering how such a thing might be weaponized. A bird-squirrel-girl can never be too safe. She watches carefully as he unwinds it from the keyring and grabs at it greedily when it's handed over, a quick, "Deal," chirped back. She plucks up the compass and offers it over, explaining, "Might take a little time to calibrate, to discern momentary wants from what's really deep down desire, but like I said, hearts are fickle, and it's always gonna be a bit tricky. Try not to shake it too much, and if it ever seems to go weird on you, just sleep with it beneath your pillow to reset it. Might be good to do that tonight too. Just to make sure it gets a good feel for you. Or wear it in a breast pocket. That's a good way to go about the calibration too. Hey! Hey!" She's already looking elsewhere, following the progress of another hob walking past. "Marshy! Ya got those pipes for me yet?"

Some things don't require any tweaking and configuration. That tug toward Slip has stabilized, whenever Kayid next looks for it. She hasn't moved in a short while, potentially busy with her own business now.

Kayid takes the compass and gives it a once over, considering its face before tucking it somewhat unceremoniously into his bag. "I will be certain to keep that in mind. Thank you, Chirrada," he offers the strange woman. With her distraction with Marshy, Kayid steps away, moving to find Slip once again. No more stops, he keeps his attention off the stalls, tuning out the voices hawking their wares until his path leads him to wherever it is he might find her, clearing his voice as he gets close enough to hear (by his reckoning anyway, probably much closer than needed in fact), followed by a mildly uncertain, "...Slip?" Unsure how she'll react to finding him here, with a changed face, of all places.

It's a lovely piece of work, small but sturdy, the glass face slightly foggy without quite obscuring the compass rose below. There are no directions marking any of the points, none standing out as north. Still, there's a rotating bezel with 360 degrees marked out, a little mark for reading the orientation, but the needle currently wobbles unhelpfully, pointing nowhere in particular. On the back of the gadget is an intricately carved eye with long lashes, the iris shaped like a heart. The simplified symbol, not at all anatomically accurate.

Perhaps the needle might tilt toward Slip as Kayid makes his way through the market, for the determination with which he pursues her, guided by the Wyrd. A few turns, one uncertain trek around some festivities that have interrupted the flow of traffic at a busy intersection, and there she is. Without her mask. The points of Slip's ears are easily seen with her hair pulled back, the heat of recent days demanding that she draw it up and off her neck. Her skin has that odd undertone to it, but she could so very nearly pass for human among all the odd hobgoblins and Lost circulating through Tumbledown. She sits in a chair at a horseshoe-shaped booth with gauzy cloth draped over it, hanging like drawn-back curtains to either side. Wind chimes play out a slow song, no real breeze to stir them. She writes while a cowled figure sits across from her, reading, waiting. Patient. Even as her hand stills, as the darkling perks up and looks around, too-pale eyes settling on the fox-faced man with her boyfriend's bag at his hip, wearing his clothes, looking right at her. He's probably close enough to hear the, "Shit," she breathes as she sets the quill down and shoots up to her feet, murmuring a, "Sorry, moment, just one... fuck..." to the hooded, amber-eyed shadow she leaves behind as she rushes over to Kayid to touch his furred face with worry. To try and calm herself and consider it with appropriate kenning. "Are you alright? What happened? How'd you get here? What... what? How?"

Kayid is quick to lift his hands and wrap them loose at her elbows, to assure in a quiet whisper, "It's a mask," when she touches at his face. "I am alright. I think," he adds. There might be a faint blush on his cheeks when he goes on, "I was looking for you, without realizing it again. I just missed you through the....door?" Could it be called just a door? His brow furrows some and he looks up, realizing he wasn't quite sure which way he'd come or which way was back to said door. He glances past her then towards the shadowed figure, briefly, and then back down towards Slip. "I'm interrupting, I'm sorry. If you could...maybe show me the way out...? I can leave you to..." His ears press back tight to his head again and he half-laughs, that slightly lost sort of laugh, "Whatever all this is."

Just a mask. Slip can feel its edges, can see them, when she really looks. Not paper beneath her fingers, to even her sharp eyes, but an effect all the same. She understands. Just like she understands how careless she was when she went through the door, the one little thing she could have done differently to assure nobody, especially not Kayid, had followed. She'll have to be more careful. For now, gratefulness wins out, fortune that their pledge held, that he found her. Fingers curl behind his neck as she pulls up, presses her cheek to his, leaves a few kisses right there. "No," soft and certain. "I'm, mm. I'm almost done." Heels hit the ground, and she withdraws a bit, slips one hand down into his and tugs back toward the stall. "Just a few minutes more, and we'll leave together."

She returns to the quiet shadow with a murmur of apology and resumes her writing. November 24, 1975, the day after my thirteenth birthday... It details a minor childhood adventure, adolescent mischief, a first french kiss. She won't remember it tomorrow, but it's fair trade, her tongue forgetting one thing that it might learn another. She might even explain the exchange to Kayid on their way out, as she keeps so terribly close to him, at least one hand always on him until he's heard the nursery rhyme that unlocks their exit, until they're back out on Barracks Street again... and maybe still for a while after that. Better to hold on and know where he is than to let him follow her into trouble, even if that mask is proof he knows how to navigate it well enough.

When Slip pushes up, he tips his head down and wraps his arms more fully around her shoulders. He might have squeezed just a little bit tightly, giving away some of the apprehension and anxiety that's still plaguing his limbs. He tipped his cheek to the kisses, and made to press one to her forehead when his head lifts up again. His fingers lace into hers, and he follows along, nodding to her version of the plans. It was preferable really, as much as everything was just ... so much at the moment, it was easier to take on having her far more familiar brand of strange near at hand.

He took a glance at the page, but spying something that looked rather personal, turned his attention away while she wrote, watching the market buzz around them until it's time to go.

Falling to simple, distracted conversation until they reach the door, "Was that what you were mouthing then," was mumbled more to himself looking over the door when it admitted them back out into his own reality. As he stepped through the door he reached up to unknot the mask, pulling the suddenly ordinary thing off of his face and passing a hand over it's resumed normalcy like he wasn't quite sure it'd work that way. He walks along with her all the while, letting the mask hang from one hand while the other is curled into hers, quite eager to find his way back to her place to sleep off the unexpectedly big day.