Another First Kiss

Title: Another First Kiss
Time Period: December 31, 134 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: They had planned on a dance, the rest was improvised.

It's a big night. The usual hustle and bustle of the market square has been replaced by an entirely different kind. Instead of haggling and hawking, there's music and dancing and drink. Oh yes, there is definitely drink. Being early enough in the night, only a special few have indulged enough to be edging toward drunk, but most are starting on the path there all the same.

Off to the side, a bit apart from the dancing, Mariah sits perched on a wall. It's just high enough that she probably didn't get up there by herself, but low enough for some young man to be passing her a drink. And while she smiles and accepts, the perceptive will notice it moves to sit on the wall next to her, instead of her drinking it. It isn't the first of its kind, but several seem to have suffered the same fate.

She wears a long, flowing ivory gown that sits off the shoulders and holds an impressive amount of bead work that makes it glint a bit in the firelight. Out behind her stretch two great, white, translucent wings, like she were some great butterfly sitting there. Her mask is cut to match, covering the upper part of her face, but leaving the lower half exposed. She wanted to join in the fun, of course, but didn't want to be too hard to recognize among the crowd.

"Tryin to avoid gettin drunk too early?" A masked figure says as he approaches closer, a very recognizable smile on his face. Dimple and teeth alone would mark this masked man as Cas Blackburn, if the Yorkshire accent hadn't done some of the same.

This man's outfit is oddly eclectic. A brimmed fadora-style hat sits upon his short dark hair, that she'd helped him cut not two days ago, and his mask is made of black leather that only covers the top part of his face. Either he had someone dress him, or he spent most his pay for the last few months on the outfit alone.

The rest of his outfit is a deep grassy baggy shirt, held in place by a darker vest. His dark pants are rather tight by comparison, but the shirt and vest go down past to his thighs. The boots are the only ragged part, knee high and dark, with green sewn into it to help it match.

"I like to keep my senses about me when others have lost theirs," Mariah says, hand making a quick, circular gesture to indicate… everyone but herself, apparently. Her smile when she looks down at him gives away that she knows who it is, but all the same, she puts on a quizzical face as she leans back a bit to look him over. "Who could this masked gentleman be?" Because no one else is masked? "I can't decide if I should venture a guess or let the mystery lay on for a while."

There is an extra glance down at those tight pants, which adds a bit of mischief to her expression, but no real comment beyond a crooked smile. However, she does hold her arms out his way, apparently needing help down.

"I don't really drink at all, so— " Cas says, glancing around to follow the gesture, perhaps not quite getting into the partying spirit in the same way as some. "But I like to dance, so I can addle my brains by dancing with pretty ladies," he adds as he turns back, continuing to smile.

His eyes dart downward to the costume. "Don't you recognize me?" he asks, not seeming to get the whole thing, as he looks back up. Which is when it seems to hit him. "Oh, yes, right. Of course. I'm— The. Masked. Bandit. I'm here to steal your— …wings?" He says in an awkward and sheepish way, as he raises his hands up to take hers and help her down. "Apparently I already have if you can't use them to flutter down on your own."

"A fair method of addling ones brains, in my opinion." Mariah laughs gently when he catches onto the game, and takes his hands to get herself off her perch. "Yes, apparently. Awfully roguish of you, you know." Her hands don't let go of his right off, however, and she smiles warmly over at him. "Funny, I would expect to feel more grounded. Missing the wings and all."

Her gaze flicks to the rest of the party, or as much of it as she can see from her lower perspective, "Are you enjoying it so far? The party. It'll be rowdier later, but I admit to liking the beginnings a little better."

"I'm a heroic bandit, so I'll give them back," Cas says with a grin, starting to get into the game a little bit, even if it's hard to mask some of his most distinctive attributes. Like the smile he keeps flashing at her, as he holds her hands gently. For once he's not wearing gloves, but the long sleeves fall over his hands much like his paisley shirt would.

"I'm liking it so far, but I haven't yet gotten to dance with any … fairy princesses yet. Assuming that is what m' lady is." While he says that, he raises a hand up as if to pull her around a little. "Would you like to dance? Before things get too rowdy and you're too tired to?"

"So you came as a contradiction," Mariah points out with a chuckle, "I see." She looks back at him, her expression as playful as her tone.

"Oh yes, good eye. A fairy of some sort, anyway. I'm not sure I'm entirely cut out for the princess part." Her smile brightens, though, when he asks for a dance. "Oh, you should know by now, I'd never be too tired for a dance with you. Heroic bandits are a rare breed, after all." She steps in a little closer, expression softening a bit, "But I would adore a dance."

"I think you make a wonderful princess, personally," Cas says, pulling her around so that she will spin some. Not too much or too quickly, but there's a definite spinning motion in the light dance move. "And you have the fairy flattery down, too. One might think you're the one trying to rob me. Of my wits if nothing else."

The longer he sinks into this game, the more he seems comfortable with it, but there's still an awkwardness to his smile as he pulls her toward the dance floor. "Is it true that fairies grant wishes? Or was that something else— "

The spin gets Mariah grinning again, and she comes back around to face him with a bit of a spring in her step. It is possible she likes dancing very much indeed, even if she doesn't say so. "I think taking your wits is only fair enough. Turn about is fair play and all that."

Following him to the floor, she chuckles some at his question. "It's true enough. Some do accuse us of being underhanded in our wish granting, but that's only for people we don't like. Promise."

"I'll have to do my absolute best to stay on your good side, then. I like my wishes to be un-underhanded," Cas says in a playful and teasing way, probably well aware of his poor English. It's not every day a heroic bandit gets to dance with a fairy princess and this one seems to be enjoying himself.

Positioning his hands so he can lead, he pulls her into a slow dance that's almost a waltz, but not quite. It's a little less perfect than that, but it's passable. "I am on your good side to start, right? Even with the whole wing theft bit?"

"It can be a challenge, but I think you're up to it." Mariah slides into her position easily, although her hand that's supposed to be resting on his shoulder slides along to the back of his neck. His dancing may not be perfect, but she dances along smoothly.

"Hmm? No self respecting fairy can give you a straight answer as easy as that," she says, her head canting to the side. "Are you planning on making a wish to find out for sure?"

"I guess I wouldn't want to dance with a fairy that didn't respect herself…" Cas says with his smile still in place, showing in his eyes under the holes of the leather mask. It doesn't have much of a design on it, now that she's closer, just some simple ridges for texture to accent the shape.

"I might have to make a wish, if that's what it'll take to find out, but I think you're already granting the one I can think of right now." With that, he extends an arm to twirl her again, careful of the people around them, most of which are strangers to him. When he pulls her back, he pulls her in a little closer than before.

Her mask, contrarily, is beaded and shimmery to match her dress. Even her hair seems to have beads woven into how it's pinned up. "I thought I was supposed to be the one with the fairy flattery," she comments, her voice quiet enough to be a challenge to hear over the music and conversation around them.

When she comes back in from that twirl, her hand rests against his chest instead of moving back to where it's supposed to be. That closeness even softens her smile some. "You never told me you knew how to dance," she says, breaking her own game, at least for the moment.

"Didn't I? I suppose not— I can't dance too well, but… I can, a bit." While he talks about this, the bandit seems to have lost his bandit confidence at least for the moment, more nervous and having to pay more attention to where his feet are suddenly to avoid stomping his big boots on her feet.

"There was a… someone who made me learn once is all. I don't think I'm great, but… good enough to be a Heroic Bandit, I guess." By the end, he's recovered his smile and his step, but the change was obvious. "You dance much better than me."

"I'm sorry, did I make you nervous?" Mariah asks with a gentle laugh as her hand touches his cheek for a moment. "I think you're very much good enough," she says, and her fingers brush through a bit of his hair left uncovered before it moves back to his neck again.

"Oh, you know. There was someone who made me learn once," she says, her teasing smile returning. "After a few of Dornie's celebrations, I wager you'll find yourself catching up soon enough."

The light touch on his hair makes his eyes close slightly under the mask, causing him to stumble before he opens them again. Cas looks sheepish and apologetic, but at least he didn't stomp on her feet when he did. Or run them into another set of dancers.

"The best way to learn is to do— and that's— what I'm doing right now," he says, without falling into any fancy moves again for a while. The simple dance is easier, doesn't require as much attention.

"But you always make me a little nervous. Even when you don't. It's just— a different kind of nervous, I guess. Dancing with a beautiful shimmery fairy princess would be nerve causing for anyone I think— not to mention that you're usually very pretty when you're not… dressed up like this."

Biting down on his lower lip, he adds, "Sorry. I'm breaking the mystery a bit aren't I?"

Mariah shakes her head at that apologetic look, not seeming to mind a stumble here and there. Or a simple dance, either. Plus, he's being complimentary, and that is cause enough to be forgiving. "To tell you the truth, I like you better without the mystery."

It might only make him more nervous, but she closes what distance is left as they dance on. "Even if I do quite like being a fairy princess for the night. It does have some appeal."

The smile that follows after is somehow even brighter than before, making his mask move as it raises his cheeks up so that the smile touches his eyes. "That's good, cause I'm not very good at being anything but— well— me," Cas says truthfully, with laughter on his voice as she gets even closer and he starts to move less and less. It does seem to make him nervous, from the sound of his pulse and the redness that starts to show on his ears.

"You— make a very good fairy princess, but— if you want— I could be the one to grant you a wish. Or at least I can try. I mean I'm definitely not a fairy, but— if you wished for something I could try to make it happen for you." There's that stumbling in his voice, and he does end up stepping on the side of her foot, "Aa, sorry. Did I hurt you?"

Mariah stops dancing there when he steps on her foot, out of surprise more than pain. Although there is some of that, too. Boots are far heavier than the slippers she has on. She hangs onto his shoulder, but her other hand waves off his apology. "Not to worry. You wouldn't believe how often it happens," she says with a bit of a laugh.

After wiggling her toes a bit, as if to prove it, she straightens back into position, but instead of taking his hand, she points upward with a quick glance following. "Did you notice where we were dancing?" She may only have noticed because she helped set up the decorations, but she's not explaining that bit. She just waits for him to look up at where some mistletoe hangs from the decoration above.

There's still a worried twist to his mouth even as she stops and wiggles her toes to show she's not hurt. Cas takes a half step back with one foot as if he may step back to check for sure, but her grip keeps him from getting very far. Besides, he seems reluctent to let go of her himself. At least until she has him look up.

One hand pulls away to hold his hat on his head so he can look up, exposing quite a bit of his neck when he does, distinctive adams apple and all.

"Oh— that's— oh." He says quietly, before looking back down. "I didn't do that on purpose," he says a little too quick to jump on the defensive, as if he thinks she's accusing him of doing it on purpose.

The defense makes Mariah laugh a little, and she shakes her head at him. "No, of course not," she says, her hand moving to touch his arm. "We can move if you'd like, but that's hardly in the spirit of the holidays."

She certainly doesn't seem to be planning on hauling off to find another spot. In fact, it seems suspiciously like she's just fine being there and with the tradition itself.

"No really I…" Cas continues the defensive thing for a whole three more words before the words just stop coming and he works his mouth as if trying to whisper them to nothing as he looks down at her again. When his mouth closes, his eyes do the same, a hint of a grimace on his face as if he knows he's embarassing himself.

But he's not moving away from the spot either. Or stepping back more. In fact the foot he put behind him moves back up so that he's standing up straight again.

After a few deep breaths, his eyes open again and he lets the hand drop from his hat. "Is— is that your wish then? To— uh— go along with the spirit of the holidays?" It seems he's asking for permission, from the way he seems to be fidgetting, the hand dropping toward her face, as if he's not sure he should touch it. He might mess up her mask.

When he grimaces at himself, Mariah slides her arm around his side to run her hand along his back. It's just a little comforting gesture, rather than a proper embrace, but when he opens his eyes again, she smiles softly up at him. Her other hand moves to lift her mask, sliding it up over her face instead.

"Oh, I think it's important to honor tradition. At least when the person you're honoring it with is of the pleasant sort, at least," her tone is lighter, like she's trying to relax him again. But it is a sort of permission, even if it isn't a direct answer.

The indirect permission seems to have made him smile, if nothing else. Cas keeps his mask on, but he lightly touches her cheek with his fingers first, almost as if happy to see her face under the mask that she's worn. As he leans closer, he whispers in a tone he doesn't intend for anyone else who might be nearby, "I'd take mine off, but it's difficult to get back on. So— you can just pretend I'm me for this, and not the Green Bandit— or whatever I actually am."

His fingers slide down to her neck, thumb remaining on her jawline as he angles her face upwards so he can lean down to kiss her. Lightly at first, but it doesn't end immediately. He doesn't need much more than this to addle his brain.

Her eyes close at that touch and her smile drifts toward the nervous side, albeit a good kind of nervous. It's his words that get her to look at him again, and her voice matches his whisper, "Gladly."

His fingers can feel her pulse quicken this time around as she lifts up a bit to meet him for that kiss. Her hand slides to the back of his neck again, her touch light but definitely present. She's content to let that kiss draw out as well, and she only pulls back from it when she actually needs to take in a breath. There's a bit of a pause, and she clears her throat a little before she looks back up at him.

"I think I may need a drink after all," she says, her smile just a hint at a corner of her lips.

Even when the kiss ends, Cas' eyes are still closed and he doesn't seem to have caught on and moved back on his own yet. There's a moment even after she talks where he just seems to be… standing there. With his eyes closed. Before they open again and he laughs. Sheepishly. "That doesn't sound like a bad idea, actually."

Those words are said softly, and then he seems to recall where they are and looks around, his ears turning red again. "Uh— right, yes, we should— go do that." Before he ends up standing there looking like an idiot. "I mean if you don't mind getting one with me at least. I promise another dance after— and I'll try not to end us up under one of those again." He points up. "I mean, unless you— I— We should go get that drink." The last is said in a rush, to cover up what he was about to say, as he shifts his hands away from her face and hand so that he can look around for the bar.

"Which way was it again?" Yeah, he didn't need a drink to get slightly addled.

Her hands come up to cup his face as he laughs, her smile warm. For a moment, if seems like she might kiss him again, but she, too, is aware of where they are, exactly. So, instead, her hands drop, although one takes his hand.

"Another dance sounds like a wonderful idea. And Cas? Don't worry too much about where your feet take us," she adds with a smile. That smile widens at his question and she steps backward toward the bar, her hand tugging his along. "We might need to find you something without alcohol," she teases lightly, "This way, come on."