Not Very Ladylike

Title: Not Very Ladylike
Time Period: June 8, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary:Cordelia gives Cas lessons on the local flora on a romp in the woods.

The further their steps take them from the town, the quieter and louder it seems to get. The quiet is in the lack of human-noise, where the loud is the crickets and the birds chirping.

Sunlight streams through leaves, casting shadows and light along the forest floor. The stablehand finished his chores as early as possible for this meet up, one he'd specifically asked for. After all, Cas said he owes her, and Aislinn as well. And, he'd joked, he might need the credit for future visits from the communities healers. Kneeling on the ground beside the young woman he led out here, he squints at the plants she digs through. "So what's that one do?" he asks, with interest.

Not too far away, a branch creaks, and the sound of soft chomping. Eclipse never minds getting out, and seems to have found a patch of follage to nose around in. A simple harness is all he wears around his head, mane pulled back in what must have been an attempt to braid which comes out more of a twist. The saddle on his back is more for the bags, which already hold a couple of the plants they've gathered.

"Well, you eat it," Cordelia says with a grin, looking up at him as she stacks the tall weedlike stalks. "It's Jack-by-the-hedge, but also called Poor Man's Mustard, or even Garlic Mustard. Taste." She pulls off a leave and hands it to him, before wrapping the rest of the plants she'd managed to pile up with a thread to keep them together, then sets the bundle in her basket.

"The seeds and fruit can be eaten too; the seeds are sometimes used instead of garlic. It's a safe one, not likely to cause you any danger. You don't have to be careful of it like you do the Monk's Hood." She'd already shown him those blue flowers, and has a few already in her basket.

"Aside from tasting good, they can be used to disinfect wounds. Don't eat too many if you can't find a bush to use for a restroom though." Cordelia's dark eyes sparkle as she discusses non-lady-like things.

As she talks about the taste, and how edible it is, Cas can't help but take one and chew on it a little, chewing through most of her explaination, though also nodding in interest. At least until she comments on not eating too much, and the why. With a cough, he spits out the chewed portions onto the ground, rubbing his mouth a little.

"Not very lady-like, are you?" he says in a somewhat hoarse voice. Perhaps from the garlicy taste that he has in his mouth. He's smiling, though, and his tone is otherwise teasing in nature.

"Do you eat this?" he glances back toward the horse, who lifts his head up a bit, ears erect at the voice, though he likely doesn't understand, beyond knowing he's being spoken to.

Her brows arch. "One leaf isn't enough to do anything to you. You can eat a bunch and not be bothered. And even then, it'd just be to the first degree." Number One, as it were.

She glances back at the piebald horse and lifts a brow, then looks back to Cas. "I don't think the horses would. Deer don't. I think they don't like the taste much. They're a bit like us that way, I think. We're not known for wanting a whole lot of flavor in our food, aye? Not at least if you believe what books say. The Italians like a lot of garlic in their food, but they use the real sort. We're all about the meat and neeps and tatties and the like."

She looks up at him and tucks a wisp of hair behind her ear, smudging her cheek a bit with dirt from the gathering. "What kind of food did you eat down in the south? Do you miss any of it?"

"Oh, well— I still stick to my tease— you're not very ladylike," Cas says, his smile returning despite it disappearing for a moment. Though he may be relieved to know one leaf won't do anything to him.

"It's not that different, really. When I was a kid my family were farmers, so we… we had a few potato fields, some wheat and barley, of course," he ponders, as if trying to remember something. "Oh, and peas. But most of it you can get here— but my aunt had a spice garden, and I do miss that." It being a luxury and all, he likely can't afford overly spiced foods.

"I'll take that as a compliment. Most ladies are boring," the teenager declares. Sitting up from where she'd been kneeling and then standing, Cordelia reaches down to brush her knees off. "Spices make a huge difference. Honestly, though, as long as I have salt, I can get by, and we're hardly in any lack of that." She juts her chin in the variety of the ocean before she begins walking again, swinging the basket lightly.

"So are you going to start being an herbalist, and put me and Aislinn out of business, then?" Cordelia asks with a smirk.

From the continued smile, Cas may have intended it as a compliment— but the smile fades at her own joke, sounding surprised when his voice cuts in, "What, no." For a moment he doesn't seem to have gotten the idea, maybe he doesn't quite understand what herbalist means, but he uses getting back to his feet and getting the horse untied and led behind them as a distraction.

"I'm a horse-person— I never really wanted to be a farmer, or a gardener. Always hated it, but I don't mind going out and finding stuff in the wild, either…" he trails off, scratching the back of his neck as he walks. Eclipse steps up closer on the lead, nipping lightly at the young man's coat, though he doesn't seem to mind, or stop him. "I always only wanted to work with horses. Kinda why I ran away when I was younger than you."

Cordelia reaches out to pet Eclipse's nose, smiling up at the beast and then over to Cas. "I was just kidding. I didn't think you were trying to run us out of business or anything. Truth is, if you brought in some stuff like I've shown you today, it'd be helpful. Lots of days we can't afford the time to go looking, and there's days that I come across a patch that's just a couple of days past its prime, and sort of a waste. I mean, they'll grow again, but be a while before we can use them. We grow some on our own, but there's never really enough that way. Gathering's helpful. If you can bring me stuff once in a while, I'll find something useful for you to have out of it. Deal?"

"No problem," Cas says with a quiet look across his face, eyes downcast toward the ground in front of them, not even looking at Eclipse as he nudges into the hand on his nose and makes a soft sound. It's quiet for a horse, especially a stallion, almost more of a snort than anything else. It seems pleased, though.

"You've already found something useful, though— that… tea. The…" he trails off, seeming to have forgotten the name. "The thing that helps me sleep. It still helps me a lot, though I don't need it every night." Just the nights he doesn't want to ask Mariah to use her ability to help him…

With a motion toward the basket, he finally notices the interactions between the girl and the horse, smiling. But he doesn't comment on it, instead… "Why'd you take that if it's bad for people, though? Just like the flowers?"

Looking down at the blue flowers, Cordie shakes her head. "It's poisonous. Very. But it can be useful. You can use it on skin more safely than eating it, and it's possible to make it less toxic. It works as an anaesthetic, but we'd only use it in very serious situations. Where the pain is really really bad, not just uncomfortable, you know? Third-degree burns or something like that," she explains. "It can be used really carefully orally — in small doses and after being dried or steamed or whatever — for other things like sedating someone."

After a few more steps, she smiles. "That and I pick it so that little silly girls don't instead. Someone sillier might decide they look rather pretty on a fairycake or something, aye?" A broad grin tips her lips upward. "Or someone more 'ladylike.'"

"I guess that makes sense," Cas says at first, but as she grins and turns his comment around on him, he smiles back, nudging her with his arm a little. "To ladylike and you wouldn't want to be seen with me." It's said as if he might be speaking from experience, there, but he smiles it away.

And continues with a joke, "Course I guess this isn't exactly being seen," he says, looking around at the trees and the area. "Unless we count Eclipse. But he's not going to tell."

A dark brow arches. "Well, it's not like I'm hiding it, either. It's okay if he did tell. I don't care," she says, a little more confidently than she probably needs to. "Why should I?"

It's rhetorical, clearly, as she bends suddenly to begin to cut off stems from a plant, flowering with tiny white buds at the end of each stem. "This is yarrow; it can both cause bleeding and staunch bleeding, depending how its used, so ask before you use it, aye?" Her didactic tone has returned.

"I'll definitely hold off on using that," Cas says, looking as if he's not sure why anyone would want to cause bleeding— but there's still that curiousity in his eyes, as he looks over the plant. It's being added to his mental lists of ones to gather for them— even if he's sure he'll make mistakes eventually and bring in something wrong.

It's better than nothing at all.

"I'm glad you don't care, though. I— things seem to be a little different up here, but down where I lived before— Well, let's just say while there may not have been a lot of ladies, there were definitely a few. And even the one I… was friends with… didn't dare tell anyone about me, or treat me like anything more than a stablehand when anyone else was around. She was really lady-like, though. Flowers and lace and all that. She'd probably have worn those in her hair," he points at the little blue flowers.

"Like Constance?" Cordelia says with a grin. "I'm not sure how we're so different, except that… well. She doesn't have her mother anymore, and mine's more practical than not, so that's probably the difference." It's said solemnly, sad for her cousins' loss of their mother. "I don't think you can really live like that here — all fancy and whatnot. I couldn't, anyway, not with people who need help out in the world."

She finishes harvesting the little flowered plant and stands again. "I'm not sure what my family would say if I … you know… were being…" Her cheeks grow rosy, and she looks up at the sky, one hand shielding her eyes from the sun. "Courted, you know, but it's not really an issue."

"I've met Constance and I like her well enough, even if the first time we met she told me she was named Roslind and was the daughter of a famous Troll Hunter," Cas says quietly, with a smile, even as he scratches on his nose and watches the ground. There's still something distracted about him and his voice, though.

And even more so when the girl looks rosy and shields her eyes from the sun. Mostly because he's standing there with his mouth open a bit, almost as if he's caught in the middle of saying something.

Only what he does say is a rather sudden, "Ow," as he turns around. The piebald has decided to nip at his clothes again, and caught a little arm with the sleeve. Cas reaches up, begins adjusting the harness as if it might be to blame.

"Ah, yeah, that's not really an issue… you're— um— a little young for that anyway." Though as he says that, his voice seems hesitant, unsure. "I don't actually know how old is usual around here— you're… actually about the same age that — that my sisters would be married off."

Dark brows furrow and Cordelia begins to walk again. "Not that young. Not that I want to be 'married off,' either, but I'll be 16 in a couple more months. You've seen my mother, haven't you?" That should serve as a visual for how old people are when they get married and have children, after all. "But I want to do important things, and having a family's likely just going to get in the way of that. I don't want to have a bairn by 18 just because the world needs more people. I think the people who live in it now need to survive longer, and then we don't need to go around populating it so hard."

Her cheeks flush a bit more and she sighs, looking to the road. "I think we better start in."

"I hope you never have to go through that," Cas says honestly, looking back at her after he's adjusted the harness again. "You're right, anyway. You're skills are important, but… no one should be forced to marry just to have babies…" With a shake of his head he moves back over to her, leading Eclipse behind him.

"We should get back before it gets too dark, but I have a bunch of things I can look for to drop off." Credit, trade, however she wants to see it.

But he holds his hand out to the basket. "Want me to carry that for you?"

"I won't," Cordelia says, chin rising slightly with that assertion. "I don't think my father would force me to marry someone I didn't love, at least." Her mother's another story.

She looks down at the basket and shakes her head with a smile. "I'm all right. It's all in a day's work, right? Thank you though. And thank you in advance for looking for stuff for us — don't go out of your way, but it's not a bad thing to do on a walk. I do it by habit these days."

The offered hand drops away, but Cas doesn't exactly look disappointed. Perhaps he's too busy being relieved she won't have to go through the same things his sister's did. "I walk almost everywhere, so it's no trouble to look while I do. I already pick berries every so often, if I see them. Only the ones that people can eat, though," he assures.

It seems this isn't the first time he's gone around doing research on what's okay and what's not. Though medical herbs is different from what berries make a person sick.

"Do you have any favorite berries? Maybe I can bring you a bundle for your birthday in a few months."

Her lips tic up into another smile, and she shakes her head. "No favorites. I like them all. Strawberries and blueberries, either, I suppose," she says quietly, watching her feet carry her toward town. "Don't worry. If you bring me any poisonous ones, I'll know better. And those usually have some use, anyway. There's very little on this land that can't be used for something."

"I think if I show up with poisonious berries, you'd have to quickly treat me, cause I promise you I would have sampled them," Cas says with a grin, but one that seems honest, rather than joking. Long walks mean the longer he has to sample them, even if he has a horse to ride at the time.

"Admitedly I was never much for birthdays after I left home, but…" he trails off, looking at her, and then following her eyeline. "Are you okay? You're…" he gestures at her feet, putting his hand into her line of sight.

Cordelia looks up and shakes her head. "I'm good, really," she says with a chuckle and shakes her her head again. "As long as you don't show up needing your stomach emptied because you ate something poisonous. I don't want those kinds of berries, and I certainly don't want to see them on a return trip out your mouth."

Not very ladylike, indeed.