Friends and Neighbors

Title: Friends and Neighbors
Time Period: May 21, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: A family from the outskirts of town finds a warm welcome in the marketplace as rabbits are promised, dinner plans are set, apprenticeships discussed, and jokes made.

The market is a busy place today, thanks to the warm weather of mid Spring, unfurled in mantle of blue sky dotted with white clouds. The vendors' stalls are a bustle of activity, and it seems everybody and everybody's brother is out in force. Even the lesser-seen denizens of the village seem to have made the trip to town today, and with the drop in attacks from magical creatures, spirits are high.

Over at the butcher's stall, the crotchety old Farmer McDowell haggles over haggis, growing red and sweaty in the face when he doesn't get his way. Over here, teenager Sholto Clooney gets his hand smacked when he's found reaching for an apple without paying for it. Anyone else would be assumed to be just testing the merchandise, looking for bruises, but Sholto's got a reputation. Angry, he stalks away empty handed.

If Sorcha had been at that booth, she might have enabled the teenager and bought him an apple. As it is, she's not over there, she's at the meat vendor with her crutches, waiting for haggis haggling to be done with. Dark hair up, knee length skirt, shirt and a light knit cardigan, she's patient, observing, taking in the market and hoping to catch a glimpse of whichever stall she'll thump over to next. Hopefully, a stall with something foreign.

In Mariah's experience, nothing levels out a mood like shopping. Which is probably why there's already a couple new pieces of jewelry she's slipped into her bag. It's hard to say if it's helped. She still looks unsettled. But at least she doesn't seem particularly angry. Today.

The apples just happened to be her next stop, so she gets a front row view of the slapping. It seems she doesn't approve, because she puts back what she was about to purchase herself and turns to walk off. Sholto gets a pat on the arm, even though his mother would probably not approve of a prostitute doing so, and she'd approve even less of the wink that follows before she strides off in the vague direction of Sorcha and her crutches.

Give him a hat, and Leonard might pass for a dandy; thankfully, he is not at that level of comfort enough to try it on market day. Still, as he usually can be, the doctor is more well-dressed than the general rabble, and the thin cane he carries with him is largely more for the benefit of having something in his hands; plus, as many know, even the market can be dangerous. The cut and color- browns and blues- of his suit makes it slightly easier to pick him out of a crowd. If that weren't enough, the charcoal colored barn owl on his shoulder certainly does.

Having just finished haranguing a stall rife with brass wares- after, of course, testing the pocket telescope on a group of women across the market- Leon takes a break in the shuffle to stand off between stalls and tend to some of the owl's ruffled feathers.

«It's not my fault she missed your face. Take it like a man».

"You're starting to sound like Deidre." He warns the owl on his arm, patting her feathers down and letting his own hair be blown back by the breeze.

"You wanna make me feel better," Sholto yells at Mariah as she turns away, "I got somethin' else for you to feel!" Charming. But, he's nineteen and the town drunk's son. He'd already paid his time for juvenile pranks and petty theft as a child to more than a few Dornie citizens.

Meanwhile, over by Sorcha, a family has gathered — they look familiar, perhaps hard to place for a moment, hard to match faces to names. They're one of those esteemed, self-reliant and self-sustaining farmer families from the outskirts of town, maybe? A mother, father, and another teenager, that last's attention on Mariah and Sholto, his mouth rounding into an oh until his father claps him on the shoulder. "Stop staring, Ben," the man says.

Meanwhile, his wife smiles at Sorcha. "Mrs. Ferrier, you poor thing. Look at you getting around though. Can we help you at all? Ben or Tavish, carry her things, will you?" the tall, thin woman demands. They are all of a type — long of face and long limbed, though the son has yet to reach his adult height.

"Been getting along fair enough. But I wouldn't say no to someone running my stuff back to the shop after I buy it" Sorcha looks over her shoulder, eyes settling on Mariah and her erstwhile verbal suitor. "Just some of your vegetables, if'n it's possible. I got some pants on the second shelf back at the shop, looks like they should fit you ben. Growing like a weed. If not, I got other things" She trends towards buying off of the families as opposed to the farmers who are just by themselves. "How is it going out there? You weathered the beasts well enough?" The town vet isn't noticed quite yet.

"I don't take beginners, hunny," Mariah says with a smirk. It's hardly original, his cat call. His father may have just said that to her a day or two ago. But when she looks forward, catching the stare from an altogether different teenager, she lifts a hand to wave a bit. She didn't even wear red today. Well. Not much red. Well. Not all red.

But she seems to be heading right for them, less for the staring and more for Sorcha being there, even if she is being cared for already. She slides into a spot next to the seamstress, a smile used for greeting the family. "At least they've eased off, the beasts," she says, hopping right into the conversation.

«Am not. And I never liked that one. He's always into something, isn't he?» Sage remarks virtually at Leo's ear as Sholto yells back to Mariah. He lets her back onto his shoulder with a crease of agreement around his mouth. She does her best to avoid poking holes in his clothes now that she is mildly irritated with him. Leonard passes back into the path and heads for the stall adjacent to the butcher's where Sorcha seems to have gathered some attention. His own is on other things, however- namely the pockets of cooking herbs and sundry being sold by the stall he's stopped at.

There could be a little bit of eavesdropping going on. The owl knows this before Leonard does, and has swiveled her head to watch behind them.

"Doctor," the woman near Sorcha calls with a waggle of fingers for Leonard (or his owl, since he's not looking). He may not be a doctor, officially, but she smiles toothily to help sell her use of title, then turns back to the seamstress. "That's so wonderful of you. Ben and Tavish, take her things, will you?" She clearly wears the pants in the relationship — even if it seems she's wearing a long coarse skirt.

"Glynis was just saying that we should have you to dinner at the ol' MacRankin farm," says Tavish, reaching for Sorcha's parcels and nudging Ben who's scratching at a chain around his neck. "Don't scratch, boy. It's impolite. And in the presence of ladies." The man bows to Mariah, lips curving into what might look like a leer on many men, but it seems pleasant enough on the ginger man.

At the stall Leonard had just been at, Sholto fingers the pieces, picking up the telescope to peer out as the vet had a few moments before.

Doctor. That brings a glance to the side and the Vet. The vet and his pet. If Sorcha shuffles over a fraction, it's understandable. It's known that she's not the keenest one on familiars. A polite smile to the man who's been known to take care of Butter, Toast and Jam on occasion. "Only if you let me bring you some of the new rabbits that were born out on Mairi's farm of mine. The ones that I make the soft yarn from. That way you can start to make your own. The first litter from them" Ones that Patrick brought her back on her last trip. She passes over her bag with it's few other perishible goods and a few cards of ribbons that she'll be using at some point in clothing. It's been a productive day at the market for her. "You visited Niyati?" A gesture to the chain, leaning against Mariah.

Mariah answers the bow by leaning in to kiss the air next to him, her cheek brushing his. His wife gets much the same a moment later, if on the opposite cheek. "It's so good to see both of you in town. We worried about the farms out that way, but you all seem well."

She turns to look toward Leonard, too, seeing as he's been called out for, and while an arm goes around Sorcha to support her, the other lifts for a wave in his direction. Mentioning Niyati's shop swings her attention back, though, and she glances to the chain. Curious.

Sage doesn't need to alert him, he may have been waiting for it. Incidentally, he was buying some of the very herb, and pivots on one heel after making the small transaction, the fragrant satchel in his hand. He smiles, and waves with his other. Given his business of not dressing like a toad, Sage knows better than to present herself as the elephant in the room, so to speak. The owl crouches a little and huddles back behind Leon's head, holding onto the back of his collar.

"Did I hear a little something about baby rabbits?" Of course he did. It's a rhetorical question, as he sidles his way past the edges of the stalls, offering the MacRankins a smile of greeting. Sage mulls the potential of baby rabbits in silence, head turned to watch the market and feathery breast pressed against his hair.

"That would be lovely, dear! Ben will like taking care of them, won't you, dearheart?" Glynis all but beams at the offer of the rabbits, and returns Mariah's airkiss. "But come to think of it, you shouldn't have to galivant all the way to us. We'll bring supper to you and pick up the rabbits, too, if you like. It'll be all easier, aye? And no, we had nothing too horrible occur with the beasties, though Ben here wanted to go slay the jabberwocky so to speak. We told him he's needed at home so he had to make due with guarding the farm."

His hand dropping from the chain, Ben shakes his head at the question regarding Niyati. There's a glint of the same metal at Tavish's throat, mostly hidden by his collar. "Family heirloom," the older Mr. MacRankin says, clapping Ben on the shoulder. "Go on and run your errands, and bring these to Mrs. Ferrier's shop, boy."

The teenager nods and drifts away, moving over to the table that Sholto stands at, just as the seller snaps at the older teenager, who makes a face and stalks off. Again.

"Good to see you, sir. We do need to come to town more often, Glynis," Tavish says, reaching to shake the vet's hand.

"I'll have the wee thing brought in-" And there's the vet. A polite smile to the owl and to Leonard. "Baby rabbits. Angora Rabbits. They had a litter I was told. Might as well share and share alike, since I get a fair chunk of my food from this lovely family, and clothes from myself. How is the suit suiting you?" It's careful, sorcha reaching over to adjust the collar automatically but halting and pulling her hand back. "You mind if Mariah here joins me? I take a meal with her now and then. I'm trying to woo her to come work for me and learn the fine art of dressing a person up, instead of down"

"Leonard," Mariah greets, and he gets a hand on his arm instead of the faux kiss. Probably because his cheeks tower over her a bit. But it's a warm enough greeting all the same, and there's even a squeeze before she lets go again.

"Oh, fantastic," she says, to the family, "I love a good family tradition." It might be a little odd, coming from her with no family, but it sounds genuine, at least. Her gaze flicks over to Sorcha, eyebrow lifting playfully at the other woman. "It's true. I haven't been woo'd so diligently in quite a while." Her gaze turns back to the family at the seamstress' last bit, a laugh on her voice as she adds, "It's a whole paradigm shift, believe me."

"I haven't paid you a visit in some time, have I?" Potentially a good thing, as Leo extends shakes the elder MacRankin's hand. While Sage doesn't catch Sorcha's hesitance, her master does; he adjusts the front of his collar and coat for her instead, quite fine with showing it off. "Marvelously. I'm glad that you insisted on taking my numbers again, I think I caught a little 'round the middle." Oh ho, what a ham.

«You are getting a little paunchy. Or perhaps just old.» Sage nips at the back of his ear.

"I'd think so. But no doubt you've got the blood for a trade, my dear." Leonard does remember her family, though perhaps now more out of the infamy of having Mariah as a daughter than most else.

"By all means, bring Mariah. The more the merrier. It's a date then! Say a week from today at your place, so you don't have to come clear out to ours? We'll bring the fixings, you just provide us a place to sit and gossip, lass," Glynis bubbles to the women. "Miss Larke will make a fine shop girl, I'm sure. Bring in all the young men for their trouser fittings, aye?"

To Leonard, Tavish nods. "Not since the jenny fouled last spring, I think; he's a fine beast now." He clears his throat at his wife's joking. "We should get back to our errands, wife of mine. It was a pleasure to see you all." A hat is doffed to each of the ladies.

Over at the brass seller's stall, the vendor is once more alone, Ben's small form visible as he makes his way through the market on the way to Sorcha's shop, apparently.

"Done deal, I'll put out my finest table cloth and maybe Patrick'll be hauling his arse in from the ocean by then and have brought back some things to trade ya" Maybe. At this rate, Sorcha's thinking that it'll be late summer before he gets in. "gossip aplenty" But Tavish is opting to gather up his brood, and Sorcha can take the throat clearing hint. So she watches Ben, making his way to her shop before tearing her eyes away and back to the other two present. "Just a little around the middle but that means just more to love Dr. Hightower"

"Done deal, I'll put out my finest table cloth and maybe Patrick'll be hauling his arse in from the ocean by then and have brought back some things to trade ya" Maybe. At this rate, Sorcha's thinking that it'll be late summer before he gets in. "gossip aplenty" But Tavish is opting to gather up his brood, and Sorcha can take the throat clearing hint. So she watches Ben, making his way to her shop before tearing her eyes away and back to the other two present. "Just a little around the middle but that means just more to love Dr. Hightower"

"I suppose it is in the blood. And my blood would probably have approved more of seamstressing," Mariah says to Leonard, a crooked smile sent his way. And Glynis' observation gets a laugh from her, her hands clapping together in front of her. "You've terrible ideas, Glynis, what an influence you are. They would have to make do with fittings, I suppose."

There's a glance toward Ben from her, too, but her attention seems to lean more toward the shop than the boy. It's popular today. And possibly her own next stop. But the farewells bring her back to the group, and she nods to the family, "Looking forward to dinner, then."

"I'm all legs! I'll end up looking like a lollipop by the time I've gone grey." The veterinarian lets out a chortle, and his smile never fails to reach his eyes. "Good afternoon." Leon offers for the departing couple, reassigning his attention to Mariah sooner rather than any later. "Indeed." Somehow, he manages to put just enough gravity into this response, that it is clear he never would have stood for it. What father would? Besides, of course, Maddock Owens. But he's a whole other barrel of fish.

"I hope that you find your way into a proper apprenticeship, miss Larke."

Down at the clothier's, the boy slips in and a moment later back out, having dropped off the parcels as promised.

In the square where they stand, Glynis grins broadly and gives a curtsy to Mariah, then laughs at the doctor's lollipop comment. "Well, as long as you're sweet," she quips."

And her husband rolls his eyes, slipping an arm through the crook of her elbow.

"We shall see you then, neighbors," Tavish says with a dip of his head in a mock bow that echoes his wife's mock curtsy. "Have a grand afternoon. It's a lovely day."

And the amiable couple wanders off, stopping here and there, along the way; everyone they pass greets them with a smile and a nod.

"Some days, it's a delight to live in a small town" Forget that Dornie, is actually fairly large for the world they live in. "DOn't rightly know it'll be a proper apprenticeship, but if she gives me a chance, I'll do my best. Seeing that I don't have no children of my own, have to pass along the secrets of the trade" She lays a finger to the side of her nose, looking at the shop that Mariah is. "Shall we head there?"

"Since I've mastered an improper one already?" Mariah replies to Leonard, teasing his fatherly sensibilities a bit. She's been without a father long enough not to feel too bad about theoretically disappointing him.

She smiles once more to Glynis and Tavish, but her arm moves to support Sorcha again. "Yes, let's. Can't resist interesting wares, after all." She looks over at the woman, her expression taking on a bit more of a seriousness to it. Although not unhappily. "Remind me to talk to you about the offer. When it's not so bustling."

Always sweet. Like the candy store. Sage would roll her eyes as well, but she has to make do with ruffling her wings and buffeting him once in the head. Leonard ducks his head down, peering over his shoulder to her side. Sage politely steps out onto his shoulder, eyes closing into elfin sweeps.

"Oh now, Mariah. Proper is as proper does. As long as it's rewarding." He lifts his hand to cup the owl over her head, thumbing at the soft feathers around her beak. Even familiars like to be scratched. "Be seeing you then. I need to get on before my next appointment. Good afternoon, ladies." Leo doffs an invisible hat to them in mimickry of the farmer, smiling and stepping off into the square."

Skulking over by the fruit stand where he'd gotten smacked already, Sage may note, Sholto manages to grab another apple while the merchant is busy bagging up some produce for another customer. He smirks as he strides away, crunching into the apple unabashedly, rather proud of himself, it seems, before he darts through the space between two stalls and down an alley out of sight.