Title: Anniversary
Time Period: March 2, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Mariah's solitude on an important day is interrupted.

Toward the outskirts of Dornie, away from the market square and the pubs and the people, there are a few choice places one can go to be alone to read or think or sit and be bored. Whatever tickles your fancy. Today, Mariah happens to be taking up a spot on a small hill. There's a blanket set out, and a small basket, and she remains in a coat, although her scarf and gloves have been removed. It may be getting closer to spring, but the dreary weather hasn't left them yet.

That this particular hill happens to over look a clearing where her childhood home sits is probably… not a coincidence, really. Especially given the fact that her fingers are wrapped around the neck of a bottle of wine. There's a book sitting on her lap, laying open, but it isn't a very good pretense at reading. Perhaps she was only a moment ago. Hard to say.

Without horse and without marten or raven, Beisdean's tall form comes along the road, his face upturned as if scanning the sky. When he sees Mariah, he tips his head, and raises a hand in greeting, before veering from the road to make his way up her hill.

"It's still a little chilly for picnicking, Larkie," he says with a smile. "Might be a bit meager of a spread, too, but I guess you've got your priorities sorted out all right." Alcohol and literature — are both his vices, as well.

Mariah looks up at the movement, and while she might ignore most people waving her way at this particular moment, Beisdean is one of the few welcome faces. As evidenced by the smile that slides onto her expression. It's a little sad, and a little… lazy from the alcohol, but she waves back as if to make sure he knows he's welcome.

"Never too chilly for some things, Beisdean," she says, scooting over some so there's room for two there on her blanket. "Oh, aye, I try to from time to time," have her priorities sorted, that is, "Care for a drink?" What she holds up is a French wine of decent vintage. Something people really should be saving for a special occasion. At least, people in her income bracket. But from the looks of it, she's already dipped generously into it.

He raises his brow, but drops onto the blanket, leaning back onto his elbows and then reaching for the bottle. "It's hard to believe there are places where our warmest days are their coldest, where they'd think it were the end of the world if a snowflake came out of the sky," he muses as he takes a swallow of the wine, then hands it back. His eyes drift over to her childhood home.

"Anniversary?" he asks quietly, a rare respectfulness to his tone.

"We should all move there." Mariah pauses a moment, then looks over at him with a furrowed brow as a thought occurs to her, "Of course, then what would I do with all my lovely coats?" Like the one she's got on. It's a good enough reason for staying for the drunken mind, at least.

"Mm," she answers, gesturing back toward the house with her now free hand. "And I told myself I would have this bottle if I made it this far without getting desperate enough to sell it," she says, a bit of an inappropriately timed laugh on her words. "I admit, it has hardly been a celebration, drinking it alone."

He smiles at her words, reaching to adjust the collar of her coat, though it doesn't really need the adjusting. His eyes turn back to the house, nodding his understanding.

"In a way it's fitting. You are celebrating your strength, your independence, your success. You did this — you got through this. With help along the way, maybe, from friends, but it was your strength that got you through."

A shadow falls across them, and his eyes dart up with some anticipation at the bird that casts it — but it's a gull and not a raven, and he sighs a little, then looks back to her "But, if you want help celebrating, I'm happy to sit here and let you drink it in my company. Will that be more celebratory?"

Mariah's smile turns a little more genuine as he straightens her coat, but it also brings out a more vulnerable expression in her eyes as she looks over at him. "Stubbornness is more like," she replies dryly.

She follows his gaze upward, but his sigh has her watching his expression closer. There's a pause after his question, lingering a bit too long before her hand reaches over to take a gentle hold of his coat, as well. "As long as you'll drink with me. I wager your stubbornness at least matches my own, if it doesn't simply surpass it all together." There's a slur in her words, forcing her to take them slower than she normally would, but she still manages.

Beisdean takes the bottle to swig again, then lies back on the blanket to stare up at the sky. "I'm not that stubborn by nature. More by practice," he says quietly, then tips his head to look up at her.

"My visitors, ya know. It's a battle of wills sometimes? Who's stronger, me or them," he explains, then turns his eyes back to the sky. "It gets tiring, though," he admits, then tips his head in her direction, eyes not meeting hers, "I imagine you get tired, too." His hand gestures toward the house below them.

"I have to admit, I admire you for more than just the wit and dashing good looks," Mariah says at his explanation, and she reaches for the bottle, too, to take another drink before she lays down next to him, her arm stretching over him to rest the bottle on his other side.

"More often lately," she says softly. "They live there. Like it's theirs," she adds, her brow furrowing to fight back a more upset expression. Nevermind that it actually is theirs and has been for sometime. "And I live in a room in a house full of silly girls. With few exceptions."

He stretches an arm beneath her head to give her a pillow of sorts and comfort all in one. His lips twitch into a smile at her compliment, then fades again as she speaks of those in the house she once called home.

"Are there any exceptions?" he teases. "Well. Edme is fairly non-silly, I suppose, though I bet she has her moments, too. In my twelve years living there, I can't think of any woman who wasn't silly at some time. Including my own mum, looking back."

His gaze finds her profile, watching her. "I've only ever lived in a room of a house that doesn't belong to me… the Dovetail… the shop I worked in. My mentor's house."

It seems to be taken as a comfort first, as Mariah squeezes her eyes shut and turns her face against him for a long moment. Even drunk, she doesn't much like the idea of displaying too much emotion to people. So there's a sniff and she turns her face to look at his instead.

"I suppose I'm included as well. So maybe there are no exceptions. A house full of silly women. To the brim." Her laugh is brief, and let out on a breath as she turns her attention skyward as well. "I didn't intend that as an insult. It just sort of spilled out. I quite like my one room. I like the Dovetail."

He chuckles, arm squeezing her — it's a friendly thing, and more about camaraderie than anything. "I didn't take it as an insult. And I don't mean that you're silly in a bad way, either, for that matter, just that everyone has their moments. Anyone with a bit of light in them, and a bit of wonder — they're prone to it. And it's a good thing, to have some part of them that isn't jaded by the ways of the world, aye?"

He brings his eyes back to the sky, reflected in miniature in his eyes of the same colors. "And for those who are jaded, well, there's alcohol to force them to be silly once in a while," he adds with a grin.

The gesture brings her smile back and she even lets go of the bottle to squeeze him back. But she lifts up, propping herself up by her cheek, not seeming to mind that her elbow lands more in the grass than on the blanket. Her other hand drags across him to rest on his chest, where is just a hint of it doing its part in keeping her upright as well.

"I hope you aren't expecting silliness from me just now. This is French wine." And that makes a difference somehow. Her expression soften, though, and she lets out a soft sigh. "Will you tell me a story, Beisdean? You always were so good at stories."

"Thank God it's not Scottish," he says with a laugh. There are people who try — and fail, of course.

Beisdean brings his arm under his own head, interlacing fingers to cradle his own head once she sits up.

"A story… it's been some time since anyone asked me for one, but I can do," he muses. He thinks for a moment, eyes moving up to the sky for some inspiration, just as another bird casts its shadow upon their patch of land.

"Once, when the world was new," he begins,his voice growing rich in tone as he begins the myth, "there was no night… all of the creatures lived together in harmony by the light of the sun for all of the hours of the day…"

"Not a fan of Dornie's famous washbasin wine, hmm? Well, it's a sure sign of intelligence on your part." Mariah's smile brightens as he agrees, though, and she even leans in to press a kiss to his cheek. Grateful, perhaps.

But as he begins, she lays her head against his shoulder again, her forehead tucked against his neck. She may have come for solitude, and to drink away dark memories, but it's possible she'll consider this is better alternative.