Quick Study

Title: Quick Study
Time Period: April 23, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Cas proves to be one, at least in some subjects.

In a world where walking is the most common mode of transportation, it isn't good when someone actually has trouble doing it. In this case, the cool spring air isn't enough to wake Cas up all the way. In fact, he walked right into a fencepost and seems to have missed half of what the woman beside him is trying to say.

At least he isn't passing out, but he's close enough that people likely smile and assume he's had too much to drink.

If only they knew.

Once they finally make it back to the room, he collapses into a chair to await the promised tea, and nearly fell asleep multiple times. So even before the tea is ready he's back on his feet and at the wash basin splashing water on his face.

"Sorry. Kinda ruined the date, didn't I?" he speaks up, as if the whole thing were his fault. The water seems to be helping, as he rubs damp hands over his face again.

Mariah doesn't mind holding him up as they walk along, and seems to be lingering in a mix of amusement an apology at his listless state. As for the onlookers, she isn't giving them much thought. It wouldn't be totally uncommon for them, seeing her half-dragging some drunken soul back to the Dovetail.

It does take a little bit to get the tea ready, and while Mariah does try to keep him awake, the water probably helps more.

"You didn't," she says with a soft, crooked smile, "Why would you think you did?" She may even think that idea silly. She carries the teapot over to where her cups sit to pour him a cup first. It's still steaming when she brings it over to him. "Careful with that. Hopefully, it'll be good enough to square my tea debt, yeah?" But when she turns back to go pour herself one, she shakes her head again, "And for the record, I don't call this ruined. I think there'd need to be yelling and crying and maybe some sort of creature attack to really ruin the night. So we're okay."

"Don't say stuff like that, the night isn't over yet!" Cas says with a wave of his hands as if to dispell the potential disaster that she may have called down on them with her words. "There could be a fairy attack, or— those little things that steal your socks," he says, making gestures with his hands. Tiny little things. But perhaps they could end in tears.

More likely his than hers.

"I— I just mean that maybe I shouldn't have offered myself up, until I knew just how it would… I mean… I didn't know I'd get so tired I should have had some tea instead of the ale," he explains, taking said tea offered at him, before he sips at it. It recieves a grateful nod, but it seems to be acceptable.

"I should have talked to you about it before we ambushed him, that part's my fault," Mariah says her head tilting as she looks over at him. "And for the record, you wouldn't be feeling any better without the ale."

With her own cup in hand, she steps over to him again, to lean over and press a kiss to his cheek. "So, I'm sorry for nearly putting you to sleep. I thought that might be the better option. Or at least the most friendly." She reaches for a chair, to pull it over and sit down before she looks back to him again, "As for fairies, that is what iron is supposed to be good for. Keeping them off, aye?"

As he listens to her own statements of fault in the matter, Cas hesistates, and then nods, accepting it as part of the way things happened. At least it means he'll stop apologizing. Maybe. But it won't stop him from nursing the tea. Combined with the air, the water and the drink itself, he seems more awake now, at the least.

"Well, I guess the iron would keep the fairy away— but not those other things! The… things." Whose name he has forgotten, by the sound of it. But the only thing they could steal of value is finegered through the paisley shirt. Both things, really.

And the shirt itself.

"He liked my shirt— I can't remember some of it, but I remember that— unless he was making fun of it…"

"We'll just have to have faith in a bit of good fortune for the other things." Mariah sips at her own tea then, but it must still be a bit warm for her, because she sets it aside a moment later.

"He did like your shirt. Are you a bit fuzzy on the details already?" She teases gently, reaching over to put a hand on his arm as she chuckles warmly. "I don't think he was making fun, love. He doesn't strike me as the type, really." She settles into a silence there for a moment, fingers moving to rest against her cup again.

"You know, he knew what I was doing," she says, eventually, a bit of a troubled tone coming to her voice there.

All of the possible smiles and joy over the fact his shirt was liked by someone are wiped away by the troubled tone of voice and what is said with it. Cas sits up a little, blinking in surprise and worry, setting aside his teacup after one deep drink and reaching out with both hands to touch her wrists. "I— is— " There's a questioning tone to his failed sentances.

After a few moments, he takes in a slow breath and steps forward, pressing a kiss against her forehead. "It'll be okay." Usually reassurances aren't his strong suit, but— maybe this time he's going to try.

Mariah looks up at him at the touch, but she closes her eyes again at the kiss. It makes her smile, just a soft, little expression, but it's there. She even nods at the vocal reassurance.

"I mean, I could be wrong. But I'm just— I'm pretty sure he knew. Not used to trotting it out like that. Made me a little more nervous than I expected it to, really." But she plays that comment down with a chuckle as she moves to stand up again. She reaches out to touch his cheek, but turns to head for her window. It's where she likes to go to think. And brood.

For a long moment, Cas watches her move away from him, tilting his head to the side, and definitely not smiling anymore. Her place for brooding isn't normally used around him— or at least he doesn't recall it being used often.

But he can tell she's upset, and it doesn't take much to know why.

After a moment's wait, he gets up and follows after her, offering his hands forward, "From what Lady Aislinn said it sounds like he has a secret too, right? I— will it be okay?" his attempts to resasure seems to have faltered.

"No no, I'm sure it'll be fine," Mariah says, although her brow furrows as she looks out the window. "He's… Well, he's not exactly talkative, is he? And maybe he was just… being suspicious. I suppose we weren't the best at subtlety, 'ey?" She turns there, smiling lopsidedly in his direction.

But it dims a moment later, and she reaches out to take his hands, opting to step closer to him instead of letting her gaze linger on the outdoors. "Do you think it makes me… false? That I keep it a secret. I know most people expect a certain amount of it— I mean, but that's my job, that's not… me. You know? But this is a bit different. Aye?"

"No, he didn't seem the talkative type— he really did remind me of my dad for a minute, too," Cas says, grimacing a bit as he tries to make a stern expression. "You know, that 'I know you're up to something now spill it' kind of thing." The stern look dissolves more quickly than it was formed, and shifts into a smile.

One that tries to be joking, but doesn't quite make it. Perhaps because of her words. He moves closer, squeezing her hands as if hoping she'll look at him. It's why he does his best to keep his smile. "It's none of their business, right? Besides— I kinda like being one of the few who gets to see that about you… I'm sure there's parts of me that you see that most the town doesn't— In fact before the Kelpie thing you were the only one…"

Mariah actually seems put at ease at his answer, her smile coming easier when she finally does look up at him. "I like you being one of the few, too. I like that you're the only other person Masque seems to tolerate," she says, as if Masque merely 'tolerates' her.

His last words get her smile turning more sly, as she moves to finish his sentence with a bit of a tease. "The only one who'd seen you without your clothes on?" But, her tone eases back some as she shifts from holding his hands to wrapping her arms around his waist. "The only one who what?"

"Masque needs to get out more," Cas says with a shy smile, looking down towards his hands, and her arm, as it goes around him. With his hands sliding into place over her arms, he shifts in closer.

Maybe, for a moment, he stopped paying attention.

"What?" he asks, looking back up almost as if he just realized he'd trailed off there. "Oh— that, the— clothes. I still had underpants on, at least, but— my pale body is no longer restricted to you!" He laughs as if that's rather funny. "I have other secrets too. Even you don't know all of them. I can keep secrets."

"I'll try not to get jealous," Mariah says with a crooked smile, dragging the joke along a bit further, "Just so long as I still get to have a look." A finger comes up to make a show of tugging his shirt out enough to peek down and everything.

But he gets her attention back to his face at those last words, and her hand shifts, laying flat against his chest instead as she lifts an eyebrow up at him. "Oh, do you now? You've been holding out on me? Terribly unfair," she says, although, by her laugh, she's not at all serious.

From his smirk, it seems Cas is rather liking this teasing that he's trying out. Even if the more he hints at his secrets, the harder it probably is for him keep them. But the way he moves his hands to her dress, sliding fingers along the fabric, he may have learned from her on distraction.

"It is terribly unfair, isn't it?" he says with a grin. Oh yes, he's awake now. And with a playfulness to his voice. "But the mystery kinda make things… interesting, right?"

And it is distracting, his hands moving in a more promising direction. Even when he speaks up, she seems to be paying more attention to his grin than the words, even though she nods in reply. It's a bit faraway.

Her fingers move to toy with the buttons on that shirt of his, although she doesn't actually undo them yet. "Oh," she says, a laugh on her voice when she answers his latter words, "Goodness, yes. There is something fun about a little bit of mystery." Which may be why she's not pressing him to spill everything all in one go.

"You already know most of my biggest secrets, anyway," Cas does give that reassurance, as his hands start to pull at the fabric of her dress, in the first stages of the attempts to remove said clothing. "Too many more and you might get bored with me," he says with a smile, not accusing, or even worried, despite the words.

In fact he seems far more intent on what he's starting to do than what he says.

He may be taking a while to learn how to read, but he may have learned some things from her.

"I'm sure we would find some way to fight back the boredom," Mariah says, voice turning a bit breathy as he starts on her clothes. That it's easy enough for him to get through her somewhat complicated attire speaks to adage about practice making perfect.

And it seems he's learned more than just that, because Mariah only manages to wait a few moments longer before she brings a hand to the back of his neck and pulls him into a kiss. Secrets will have to wait.