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| News Scrolly Thingy
| Year Seven and Still Flyin'! Thank You, Everyone!
, All by myself...
Waster of Words
Member No.: 1,279
Joined: 6-February 12
Grant watched the steam rise from the top of his mug, as the snow fell around him. He walked slowly, taking in the sights and sounds of the festival. It was cold this time of year, though that was to be expected for Christmastime. Even the warmer worlds in the ‘Verse had their own version of winter, and Lilac was no different.
Lilacers...or Lilacites. Lilacians...Lilaconians? Whatever. They had an annual winter festival, and the whole Xu Township had shown up to throw down. Christmas was serious business, for serious, in Xu Township. Lights twinkled and flashed and strobed and faded. Snow crunched underfoot, and fell in large flakes to land on the eyelashes of anybody not wearing a hat with a brim. Sleigh bells rang and tinkled and and clinked and clanked against the sides of horses, filling the air with a cheery background chorus beneath the melody of laughter floating through the night.
Grant took a deep breath, and smiled. He loved Christmas.
Almost as much as he loved the large man at the street corner. He stood wearing a harness of large clonging sleigh bells that set off their chiming any time he moved, which he did frequently, pouring and handing out free cocoa and warm homemade cookies, fresh from the door of the mission behind him. Even his large size was dwarfed by his smile.
It lit up his face, and brought grins to all who saw it. Grant smirked, and moved forward. He drained his disposable cup, and tossed into a nearby trash can, moving quietly to sneak up behind the Padre. He waited until the man was fully turned away, and pounced, wrapping his arms around the older man's ribcage and lifting him off his feet.
"Look out, Padre! KRAMPUS ALMOST GOT YOU!!!" Grant cried, jerking the Padre away from his cookie duties.
The larger man's body shook with laughter as Grant set him back down. He turned to face the younger man, and grinned.
“Hey, Padre. Merry Christmas.”
|Padre Peter Garrison
Bringer of Smiles
Member No.: 1,229
Joined: 6-September 11
"Look out, Padre! KRAMPUS ALMOST GOT YOU!!!"
A familliar voice split the Christmas-y air as Pete was lifted off his feet, and he couldn't help but bursting with laughter. Only one person he knew would come up with something so ridiculous, and pull it off with such commitment.
Grant Gardener's wiry arms wrapped around his midsection, holding his soft booted feet a good six inches above the pavement for a moment. The younger man set him down, and he turned around to find a familiar smiling face.
"Hey, Padre. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, me boy." he said, wrapping the taller man in a proper hug.
It was his favorite time of year, Christmas. Everybody was a little bit kinder, and more likely to help their fellow man. It made Pete's job a little bit easier. And it helped that he had so many willing elves (like Grant) who spent their time bringing cheer to the world.
"What're ye doin' in me part of the 'Verse?"
The younger man shrugged.
"As little as possible, of course. Enjoying the Christmas-y atmosphere." he chuckled. "I had a show last night. I'm actually meeting my folks here, and then it's on to home to Paquin."
Pete cocked his head to the side, and furrowed his brow.
"They aren't home now?"
Grant rolled his eyes and smacked the heel of his hand against his forehead.
"Duh, of course, you don't know. They started touring. The Opera House has them traveling the 'Verse doing training in other Houses. They're sort of the advanced scouting team for the home House's new production of Don Giovanni. They're doing a two year run, and Mom and Dad are running the show. Co-Directing and Producing."
Pete nodded appreciatively.
"So promotions all around, eh? Not bad." he said, smiling. "What're you doing while you wait? Just standing around, attacking poor, decrepit, old priests doing their good works?"
He began pouring more cocoa, and motioned for Grant to take up the cookie tray, and assist, which he did without complaint.
"Oh, come on, Padre. Don't be silly. You're not poor." the younger man said, laughing.
Close to four in the morning, Pete strolled up to the mission's main doorway, careful to kick the snow from his boots before he stepped into the entryway. The Padre was very particular about snowy boots on his floor. One should enter a place of healing and safety like the mission clean and unsullied by the world.
Since that was near impossible in this 'Verse, he'd settle for clean shoes.
He moved into the sanctuary, and found one of his lost sheep sleeping deeply on the rear pew. Holly Sands, possibly his most lost sheep, snored softly and frowned in her dreams...
Teller of Lies
Member No.: 1,302
Joined: 25-March 12
She was running. Along the rooftops back in Eavesdown, with Jonny and Jack at her sides. She was faster than they were, though they were more cunning, and kept finding shortcuts that let them stay with her. They leapt and dodged and jumped and ducked and slid and skidded around corners, their rooftop playground beautiful in the moonlight.
As they ran, Holly glanced over at Jack. His long, thin limbs seemed impossibly long, almost spidery in their grace. He suddenly burst two more sets of arms from his ribcage, and smiled at her with long venomous fangs stretching his pale lips thin. He used his extra appendages to get a nice long running start, and leapt off the edge of one roof, his clothes melting away to reveal a coating of spiderwebs that expanded and took shape. Two beautifully silky wings grew out of the material, and Jack flew off into the night, safely above all the silly mortal concerns that suddenly slowed Holly down.
She turned to see Jonny at her side, but instead found a ship flying alongside her route across the rooftops. Jonny was in the pilot’s seat, and he gave her one last glance as he kicked the engines into gear, roaring ahead, flashing the ship’s name plate by her. The “Freedom” rocketed into the night sky, its fiery tail burning the world black as it hit atmo.
Holly skidded to a stop at the edge of the roof, confused, alone, and afraid as the superheated plasma from Jonny’s escape burned her world to ash. The flames licked up the side of the roof, and it started to crumble beneath her. She felt the ground drop away, and she didn’t even have the strength to cry out as the heat began to sear her skin.
She woke with a start, and found herself cradled in the soft yet strong arms of Padre Peter Garrison, the only man alive that she trusted. She took a few shaky breaths, haltingly, still hot from her nightmare, and he reached up to lay her head back down on his chest.
“It’s okay, me girl. It’s okay. Just a bad dream.” he said soothingly, gathering up her hair to expose the sweaty back of her neck to the cool air inside the mission. “I’m here, and everything’s gonna be okay.”
She let her breathing slow, but it didn’t become any less stressful. For a moment, she was caught between the waking world and her dreams, and didn’t know which way was up. She blinked several long moments, she just breathed, but the Padre kept being all comforting and wonderful in that terribly annoying way that he had, doing everything he could to restore her faith in at least part of humanity, and she lost it.
Tears began to flow down her face, and she wrapped her arms around the large man. She buried her face in his shirt, and let out an agonized moan. Nowhere else in the ‘Verse would she cry so openly, but here, with the Padre, she knew that she was actually safe, and that nobody would judge her, or find weakness in her. She knew that he was there for her, and she was safe in his arms and in a way, he was her home.
And so she cried. She cried and cried and cried, the tears falling like rain, letting out every ounce of pain and betrayal and heartbreak that rested on her shoulders at the moment. She cried until she couldn’t cry anymore, and then she cried some more. When her sobs finally subsided, and she just lay there sniffling, the Padre heaved a great sigh.
“Bad night?” he asked.
The edges of her lips curled into the hint of a smile and she lifted her head, pushing her hair back from her face. She looked at him with bloodshot eyes, and sighed.
“You could say that.” she said softly, her voice still hoarse with emotion.
She glanced at the large wet spot on his pale gray shirt, and frowned.
“I’m sorry, Papa.”
He looked down, and shrugged.
“Pish posh. Don’t worry yerself, girl. I’ve helped raise more babies than ye can count, so some tears and a little snot will nae hurt me feelings.” he said, with a chuckle and a dismissive wave of his hand. “Come on, then. We’ll get ye something ta eat. Kitchen should be runnin’ by now, and then ye can crash in me room. I’ve got too much ta do, so I’ll nae be sleepin’ today.”
He stood from the pew, and offered her a hand, which she took. She wasn’t in the habit of accepting help from anybody, but she’d never turn him down. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and she at least attempted one around his waist. They walked, and the Padre chattered away, and for now, she almost believed him, that everything would be okay.
Holly looked up, and shrugged. The man coming fresh from her shower was all sorts of man. A face and body that looked like it’d been carved from stone by someone capturing absolute perfection, with an attitude that showed exactly how pretty he knew he was. Long dark hair and a surprisingly soft beard, with talents that spoke of lots of practice at being pretty and reaping the benefits. She’d picked him up, or vice versa, the night before, in the bar downstairs. She’d taken the whole blackjack table for all their money, and had drunk herself into a very pleasantly fuzzy state of mind. She’d decided on him as her evening’s entertainment (because the blackjack had been far too easy), and they’d gone up to her room with only a few sentences exchanged.
She sighed, and propped herself up on her elbows, the sheet pulled tight across her skin.
“Does it matter?” she asked, smiling slightly. “Are you really interested?”
He smiled back, and shrugged.
“Not really. Seemed polite ta ask, though.” he said, reaching for his pants.
She didn’t pretend to look away, enjoying the view as he got dressed.
“It was. But let’s not pretend this is anything but what it is.”
He nodded appreciatively.
“Fair enough.” he said, sitting down on the edge of the bed to pull on his work boots. “Don’t mind sayin’, I wouldn’t mind doin’ whatever this is again.”
Holly smiled, and shook her head.
“I’ve got a rule. No back to backs.”
He grinned, and stood back up, sliding his wallet (which she’d emptied at the blackjack table anyway) into his pocket. He folded his arms across his chest, and cocked his hips to one side, exuding masculinity.
“I was thinkin’ next time we might try back to front.” he said, fairly leering in an adorable way.
She actually laughed, and fell back to bed.
“Get out of here, Mister Comedian, so that I can sleep, and I might consider it.”
He shrugged, and made for the door.
“Well, if ya change yer mind, just ask one of the women-types where ta find Lawson. They all know where to find me.”
She rolled her eyes as he left the room, and curled up beneath the covers. She had nothing to do today, and sleeping off the hangover that was creeping up on her seemed like a good plan.
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