Girl Talk - 03/02/21


The sun was beginning to set when Blue knocked on the door to the Hearth, overly-dressed in eastern finery. While her visits normally took place in the morning, the Xaela had spent some ample time tidying and organizing their new home in the Lavender Beds. She needed a break from the dust and the cobwebs and Luca was feeling down! More than enough reason to hop on the next airship to Limsa and appear before their door bearing a pleasant smile and a little wave of her tail.


The door opens, an aproned snow-haired knightess stood before the door. The sound of cooking from downstairs could be heard, put briefly on pause to answer the door. “Ah, Miss Blue. I would dare wager you called upon mine home once more to speak with Lucatiel, yes?” The apron covering the woman bore the crest of Ishgard, but curiously also held a small stuffed Carbuncle poking out of it, eyes forward.


Blue rose to her tiptoes when the door opened, sniffing up at the air keenly for what must have been cooking inside. She dropped back on her heels and smiled up at the knightess soon after, tail still a merry wag.

“Hi Luna! Yes! I've come to visit Luca!” She glanced over at the sun setting over the horizon and shuffled from one foot to the other anxiously.

“I'm sorry I've come a bit late. Had a lot of cleaning to do at the house. Am I interrupting anything?” She looked over at Luna's apron, smiling at the little stuffed carbuncle cooking assistant.


Luna offers Blue a small smile. “Nothing so pressing that I would forbid you from mine home. Do come in.” She steps to the side, oblivious to the notice of the apron-rider. “Lucatiel is upstairs in her room I do believe. If there is aught you need, do not hesitate to call upon me downstairs. Thank you, Miss Blue. I am hopeless in these regards.” She bows her head to Blue and heads down the stairs. If one was perceptive, they might notice her gently pat the stuffed Carbuncle's head as she heads down.


Blue stepped into the foyer and nodded at Luna's words. “Oooh, I'm sure your not hopeless! I'll try my best though!” She curtsied to Luna and waited for her to dip out of sight before racing up the stairs with an excited little giggle, calling up to Luca merrily,

“Luuuuucaaaaaa, I've come to visiiiit!”


There is a moment and a clatter of foot to floor before the left door bursts open. Lucatiel steps out, wearing her usual white dress, hair down, and make up nowhere to be seen, “BLLLUUUUUEEEE!” The girl looks positively ecstatic at the other's return, practically jumping in place. “You're back! It's beeeen soooooo looooong!”


As ever, Luca's excitement made Blue's excitement grow exponentially, most certainly unable to resist hopping around because that made things even better! She pounces the girl and hugs her affectionately, pulling back to squint at Luca playfully.

“You're looking just as cute as the last time I saw ya, and that was moons ago! Did you get my package?”


Lucatiel happily receives the hug, bouncing in place with Blue and hugging back. “So are you! But you're all Easterny looking! It's even better than before! Umm, I did! But I didn't open it yet, Luna told me you might stop by soon so I figured I'd wait for you!” Indeed, the package was on her table in her room, next to a hastily closed make up container.


Blue giggled and clapped her hands together. “That's even better!” She took Luca's hand and pulled her back inside her own room, letting go just before the Xaela took a seat at her bedside. She bounced excitedly.

“Open it, open it!”


It takes very little to yank the girl back into her room, stumbling for just a moment. “Okay okay! Let's see!” Her excitement grows as she grabs the box and plops down next to Blue. With enthusiasm (but cautiously) she opens the package, her eyes going wide at it's contents. A neatly folded ao dai, ornate and beautiful.

“WHOA! BLUE! Where did you get this!?” She immediately comes to a rise, pulling the dress up with her before turning around to face Blue. She drapes the dress over her front, looking between the woman and down at the dress excitedly.


“From the East! Now you can be Easterny looking too!” Blue laughed and hopped back up onto her feet to circle Luca as she displayed the dress, nodding with approval. “Ooh I'm glad, it looks like I didn't get one too long or too short. Kinda had to guess at the market, but I bought it at the same place I bought this!” She indicated her own togi and smiled.

“Do you like it?”


Luca oohs and aaahs over the dress before looking at Blue and repeating. “It's really pretty! I can't wait to wear it! Thank you so much Blue! I love it!” She holds the dress to the side for a moment, hugging Blue with one arm again, carefully draping it over her bed so as not to crease it. Her eyes remain glued on it for a bit.


Blue wriggled happily at the one handed hug and only then plopped down on her bed once more, making space for the Ao Dai so as to not get wrinkles on it. She settles in comfortably though, bringing her knees up to her chest and coiling her tail around herself as she looked up at Luca again.

“It's been a while since we've seen each other. Let's catch up! What all have you been up to these past few moons?”


The girl sits back down, pausing at the question. “Oooohhhhhh geeez. Umm… Well…” She bites her lip, pausing. She lets out a deep breath after a moment. “Okay, umm, well, I signed up to help this woman named Astra so then me, Rina, and Tret went with her to a temple out in some sandy place out east but then it was all weird and there was another guy named Haimus who tired to hurt us but then Tret killed him BUT HE DIDNT I GUESS and then I feel asleep and had awful nightmares and then woke up and a statue was rude and almost trapped us in there but then we got out.” She blurts this all out, knowing if she stopped she might just not continue.


Blue blinked a bit, earfins flicking at Lucas explanation of events leading up to the whole weird adventure Tret had also been on while she'd been away. Thankfully having received a clearer Cliffs Notes version from her husband, the Xaela was able to piece together most of the events that had transpired from Luca's point of view.

She listened thoughtfully and nodded. “And how're you feeling about all that happened? Doesn't sound like the funnest of adventures..”


Lucatiel smiles as she looks at Blue, very clearly a put-on smile. “Umm! It was awful! The nightmare felt so real, like I was really there, and I was all alone. Carby was gone, all my friends, even… Luna was go- she was dead. I was at her grave. I, umm… I wanted to give up. But I got out eventually! I dunno why though. It was all a bit scary, but I'm over it! For the… the most part.”


Blue scoots on over and simply takes one of Luca's hands, squeezing softly before she leans back and closes her eyes.

“I have nightmares like that a lot….losing my friends, losing Tret, and then being alone. All alone. Nothing left…”

One eye winks open to look at Luca.

“I've tried not to let the loneliness get to me. It's really scary though. You want to make sure it never happens, so you do what you can and hope it's enough..”

Blue's words were getting more and more vague. She shook her head and smiled gently.

“Believe it or not, I was super lonely before meeting you and everyone else we know!”


“Really?” The girl looks up at Blue, a bit shocked. “I thought it was just me. It's really hard! Yes! It's scary…” She nods in affirmation, practically echoing the woman's words in her own thoughts. She pauses, biting her lip and looking down a bit. “You too huh? For how long? For me, it was a whole year and some time before I even met Gair, just… alone in that apartment… I…” Her words fail her for a moment, a pained difficulty apparent on her face.


Blue opened her other eye and leaned back, listening quietly. Her expression changes a bit, a little less happy and a little more serious.

“Oh, I've always had the lonely bug. I was taken from my family when I was really young, so it's just a feeling I've grown up with. Just…fear that I'll lose everybody. Because it's happened before and might happen again. The thought of being alone tears me apart.”

She acknowledged the pained expression on Luca's face and continued. “And I'm sure you feel the same. It's not easy. That's part of why I went out East. I thought if I got stronger, I could keep my loved ones closer to me for longer.”


There is an audible gasp from Lucatiel, tears forming in her eyes. “You were kidnapped!? That's awful! Blue I'm so sorry! Did you ever get to see them again!?” Thoughts flood the girl's head of how she would've been in a similar situation, and it is naught but grim tidings.


Blue looked down at the floor. She hadn't quite expected their conversation to go this route and she was honestly surprising herself with how much she was sharing.

“No…never saw them again.” The Xaela managed a weak smile and waved her hands.

“It took a while but I got better! I made friends…lots of friends, and I helped people when I could. It couldn't replace what was missing…but it helped me recover.”


“Whaaat!? Nooo forget me, we have to go find your family! They're out there somewhere! I wanna help you find them!” Luca's eyes shimmer as she looks into Blue's, practically pleading to help in what was surely a near-impossible task. “My problems are so dumb compared to that!”


Blue was taken aback at Luca's response, though her commitment to trying to help her had the Xaela wiping her own eyes, beginning to tear up.

“I wish it were that easy… I really do.” She shook her head slowly, finding her fingers curling around the bedspread she was perched on.

“..but I don't even know where I was taken from. I was too young. And…I'm pretty sure my family did not survive.”

She held Luca's gaze for as long as she could, knowing full well, at least secondhand from Tret, about the burned ship and what had been found there.


“Even if it's hard, I'll help! We can… Oh.” All the gusto just gone from her words as she looks sadly at Blue. “I'm sorry! I… I'm really sorry! Oh gosh, I don't know what to say…” True to her word, she falls silent and opts instead to just quietly hug Blue tight, pushing her face against the woman to hide her own tears.


Blue didn't want to cry today but she was having the hardest time in not doing just that, especially when Luca came in and hugged her. With a shudder and a sigh, the Xaela returned the favor, squeezing tightly before she spoke again.

“It's okay…shhh. Don't cry. I'm okay. You're okay. I didn't come here to make you cry! Here, how about a little distraction?” she pauses. “You're not scared of frogs, are you?”


Luca pulls back, wiping her eyes from the tears and trying to act as if she hadn't been crying in the first place. “I'm fine! I'm okay, I promise! I– W-whuh? Frogs? No, they're adorable, why would i be!?” She looks at Blue with a mix of confusion and excitement, not having expected an odd development but also not minding.


Pleased with having misdirected the conversation the Xaela stands up on the bed and drops into a crouch. She's trying to roleplay cool ninja poses.

“Back East, I had to take a really dangerous test so I could be a ninja like Lami!” She mimics a sneaking motion and continued.

“There were a buncha talking statues- nicer than the one you met. There was a pervy guy- nicer than the one Tret didn't kill. And then, at the end, there was this GIANT. MASSIVE. FLAMEY FIRE FROG.”

Blue extends her hands over her head for emphasis, but she is rather short, so the intimidating effect is considerably lessened.

“But he was nice! And just wanted some friends! So he gave me the ability to summon him! Not as big though.”

The girl plops back down on the bed and crosses her legs before she closes her eyes, channeling aether into the mark that allowed her to summon her amphibian companion before slapping her thigh.


A rather large red frog sits in Blue's lap before she hurriedly picks it up and cradles it in her arms.

“Meet Rex!”

The frog croaks at Luca and gives her a very stoic stare. He is quite warm.


Lucatiel is quite impressed (and possibly confused) by the sudden actions Blue performs, as well as trying to follow what she says. Her thoughts slowly catch up right before the frog is summoned. “Lami is a ninja!? I thought she was a pirate! W-wait, what, a statue? A pervy guy? Whaaaat!? Big frog!? I'm so –”

She is cut off by the sudden appearance of a large red frog. Her eyes are completely drawn to it in awe (and more confusion). There is a big pause as the girl goes wide-eyed. “IS THAT A FROG!?” She practically shouts in surprise, slowly and cautiously reaching a hand forward to tentatively pet the amphibian.


The frog puffed out a miniscule amount of smoke from his nostrils, but made no move to get away from the tentative hand. He was more than happy to receive even more affection. The frog's skin was super soft and warm, clearly acclimating his body temperature so as to not cause 3rd degree burns. Rex croaked appreciatively.

Blue beamed at the interaction and giggled. “Oh, Lami is still a pirate! She's a Pirate Ninja! Or..maybe it's Ninja Pirate!”


“Ummm…. Rex, huh? Hi Rex! You're really cute!” As her hand is not scorched or batted away by the cindery croaker, she reaches fully and pats it gently. As she does, she smiles widely at how pleasant it feels (aside from it still being a frog).

“OoOoOoOo… I like Rex! Such a nice frog! Oh, umm… a ninja pirate? That's… okay then. I guess it's a thing!” Perhaps she might have protested more about the oddness of it all, but she was all too happy to pet the frog.


Blue smiled and set Rex down on the bed after it had been pat. Black beady eyes looked around the room for a moment before the amphibian wriggled onto a pillow and stood watch.

“I've never had a companion like him before. Course I can summon him anytime and stuff but..why would I ever want to unsummon him? He seems happy just being around.”


Luca looks quite excited, as if someone was finally speaking her language. “YES! That's exactly why I have Carby out all the time! Why would I ever want to send him away! Even right now, he's just downstairs watching Luna cook! I think… Rex is really cute! You should keep him out all the time! Then he'll get a lot of pets too!”


Blue was clearly pleased with this answer, looking from Luca to Rex with a big grin.

“Well that settles that then! I'm still getting Tret used to the whole giant frog in the house bit.” She giggled and shook her head before blinking curiously.

“So does Carby do his own thing by himself or do you guide what he does?”


The girl pauses, as if she had to think on that. “Umm… Well I guess I kinda guide him a bit, sometimes not even on purpose! Umm but sometimes he does his own thing! Like when I got hurt when me, Luna, and Vinalo went on a field lesson! He started attacking anything that tried to hurt me before it could! And sometimes I think I catch him just doing stuff on his own! I still swear he plays with things when I'm not around!” She nods, oblivious to the idea that it may have been her own subconscious programming that made it seem 'alive'.


Blue, who really had no clue how Carbuncles worked, was more than happy to accept the aetheric golem as a living, 'breathing' creature that had Luca's best interests at heart. She nodded excitedly.

“Yeah! I was exploring our new house- oh, did Luna tell you? Tret went and surprised me with a WHOLE HOUSE! Anyway, me and Rex were exploring and we turned around and this scary mannequin was there and Rex spit a fireball at him! They really do care about us, don't they?” Her tail thwapped against the bed in a wagging motion before she recalled Luca's mention of her field exercise experience. She remembered talking to Vinalo about it and frowned softly.

“Yeah… I heard from Vinalo that the field exercise didn't go very smoothly?”


Luca's eyes go wide once more with excitement. “HE GOT YOU A HOUSE!? OH. MY. GOSH!” She looks over at Rex with smile. “Good Rex! Keeping Blue safe from a mannequin! U-uh.. Wait, does that mean the mannequin was… alive?” She looks back at Blue, a bit creeped out by the idea.

“Yeeeeeeah it… Umm, well… We all went out so I could fight little Puks for a bounty, which was really hard! They were so cute, I didn't wanna hurt them! But they were causing problems for the farm so… Anyway, I got most of them when some bandits who had tied up the family burst open the barn! One was a mage and the other had a big sword! I helped fight them off, but it was so exhausting… I barely made it home without falling asleep!”


“Nah, not alive! Just spooky looking! Mannequins are kinda creepy to me!”

Blue tilted her head curiously as she listened to Luca's own adventure, unable to resist adding a little “Awwh…poor Puks!” under her breath as she continued.

Only when Luca was done did the Xaela nod and begin fiddling a bit with the spade of her tail.

“That sounds super tiring. Do you think you did good? Why're you trying to learn to fight and stuff anyway? Not going to stay here?”


A small 'phew' of relief comes from the girl as Blue assures the mannequins were not, in fact, alive. She is made to pause once again and think on whether or not she was happy with how she performed. “Uhhhhmm… I think I did alright! I helped keep Luna from having to do all the work, and I helped heal her for the next week after she got a big cut across her chest! Umm… I wanna learn so that I can help people, and go on adventures! I don't wanna be dead weight! I mean, I don't mind people protecting me but I wanna help too!” She nods.

“Well… I dunno. I like being here, with Luna and everybody around. I don't really wanna leave, it's… it's my family at this point. Luna's pretty much… my living mother.” Her eyes dull a bit, dwelling on the recent discoveries in her family ship. “I wanna see the world, but… I don't want to do it alone. I can't live like that again. Last time I did, in that apartment I…” She claps a hand to her mouth, as if upset with her own thoughts.


Blue turns and leans forward to give Luca a quick hug.

“Who says you've gotta see the world alone? You already went on a lil adventure with a bunch of your friends. Think of where you'd like to go and make some plans with friends to go there! I'd be happy to come with! Maybe you can even have a nice trip with Luna. You know she'll always protect you, and now that you can heal and fight a bit, you can help her more!”

The Xaela settles back on her haunches and stretches a bit.

“I definitely wouldn't have gone East for training all by myself! I'm glad Lami was there as a teacher and a friend to help me.”


It doesn't take too much to pull Luca back from dark thoughts, a smile forming on her face once more. “Yeah, maybe you're right! I could go with friends! OH! And Luna! But umm… She's always working. Every day, for most of the day.” She nods, a bit slower than usual. “Yeah, I can help now at least!”

Another nod at Blue. “I bet it was really fun! And scary, but that's adventure! Maybe I should go to the East some day…”


Blue smiled brightly. “I bet Luna wouldn't mind a break from knightly things to go out on an adventure with you! It's fun, and it's scary sometimes, so you gotta be strong, but never be afraid to ask for help too.”

“And the East is very fun! Better bring money though, cause you'll want to buy all the things! You might even find love there. You never know what you'll find with adventuring.”


The idea seems to resonate with the girl strongly, as she puts her hand to her chin in thought, a poor mimicry of the motion Luna performs. “Maybe I could find love, huh? O-oh….” That was it. It was as if Blue had accidentally flipped the switch, and now tears began to pour down the girl's face. “Oohh… Blue!” She puts her hands to her eyes, trying to hide her tears again, poorly.


Blue looked alarmed at the sudden waterworks, earfins giving a flick. She was making Luca go through all the emotions today it seemed. Frowning, the Xaela swayed from side to side with concern before reaching out and pulling her friend to her again to let her cry it all out.

Blue rubbed at her back and gave Luca some moments before asking, “What's wrong? What happened?”


Trying to control herself, Lucatiel manages to bring herself to watery sniffles in order to talk. “Bluuue! While you were gone, I did a *sniff* Valentione Auction! A really nice guy named Edwin bought me and we had a really good date! sniff We had two more really fun dates after and everything was going so well! But then… It turned out he never considered us an actual couple! sniff He said that he couldn't commit to just being with me! He wanted to be able to see other girls at the same time!”


Blue pursed her lips when Luca brought up an auction of sorts, her thoughts going to the most darkest of places. At around the time she was wondering if she needed to wreck someone's face in, Luca brought up dates instead, immediately lessening the tension, Blue breathing a quiet sigh of relief.

She continued to listen before she felt something warm nudging at her elbow. It was Rex, who had a handkerchief in his mouth. Making sure not to use the corner with fire frog spittle, Blue dabbed at Luca's tears.

“Hmm. Well that's his loss! And though I know it makes you sad now, this Edwin guy did you a favor. You want a dashing knight, right? Not a dashing knight surrounded by a buncha ladies!”


Luca does not resist being handkerchiefed, unaware it was somehow produced by a frog. She sniffles, working hard to not let her emotions completely overwhelm her. “But he was a dashing knight! Just not an actual knight… He was handsome and really nice! I don't understand!” She sighs, the sniffles ceasing for now. “It makes no sense that he wouldn't commit to me… I must have done something wrong! Am I not pretty enough? Maybe I need better make up, or to dress differently…” She grabs her long hair in her hands, running a hand through it idly. “Maybe I should dye my hair…”


“Luca.” Blue's voice carried a surprisingly stern tone, interrupting the woman and her woes about not being good enough.

“Finding love isn't like that. There's no such thing as making mistakes or doing something wrong. And changing yourself just in case he might like you more makes that love fake!”

“You should never have to change yourself for anybody. Not someone you like, or a friend, or family.”

“You're unique and special and there is only one Luca. Like there is only one Blue and only one Luna and Vinalo and Rina! I don't want a fake Luca as a friend.”

“I want real Luca. And the person you end up spending the rest of your life with should want the same.”


The girl's eyes raise, looking at Blue. “… I know! I know, I shouldn't try to change who I am! But it's nice hearing it all the same, thank you Blue! But still… What if who I am is… is bad? I've seen how some people look at me, and how some people act around me! I know they consider me weird, they don't wanna be around me! Sometimes I wonder if I was… if who I am was just different. It's hard not to think about! What would that other me be like… Dark hair, tough and reliable, maybe tall! I can't help but wish I were them sometimes!”


Blue laughed and shook her head. “So what if they think you're weird? Or if they gotta feel like they gotta act a certain way around you?”

“I mean for some reason other Xaela don't seem to like me cause I act so different. It gets to me a little bit…but that's on them too, for making opinions of me without really knowing me!”

“There are parts of you that are gonna change by themselves. You'll experience things or people that might change how you think or feel. And course, if you really wanted to dye your hair you could.”

She proceeded to poke Luca in the center of her chest lightly with the tip of her finger.

“But you are loved. By your family, by Luna, and by your friends. None of them think you're bad. Look at how much Luna and Vinalo are helping encourage what you want to do, to go out and explore the world and be ready for it! Look at me, getting you a nice fancy dress and coming to visit because you're so important to me! Tret tells me even Rina stood up and protected you like a good big sis in those ruins.”

“People are all around caring about you and seeing you through.”


A'erina had stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame for some time but seemingly avoiding both of their gaze. She couldn't help but actually feel sorry for Lucatiel, having been the victim of relationship woes, she decided to chime in at the mention of her name.

“ I thought it might help me if I help someone. I'm far from a big sister. Truth be told I still don't know why I made sure to protect her, but I felt like I should. Didnt do me much good, but she got home safe and in one piece so that's all that matters anyway, isnt it? Doing the right thing and all that.”

She remained leaning against the frame incase, and continued.

“ I don't want to tell you what you should and shouldn't do. But if someone doesnt want just you… it'd be better to just leave before it gets worse. I cried too… for the longest time. But if you can get over it sooner, it won't eat away at you as much to the point you decide to do something stupid.”


The hand running through the girl's hair slows as she takes in the advice, smiling again. As ever for Lucatiel, ups and downs come and go quickly. “Y-yeah! They're the weird ones, being all judgy! They're just missing out then! Luna likes having me around, and you, and all my friends! So what if Edwin wouldn't commit to me, his loss! YEAH!” Her words grow in volume as she gets fired up.

“Maybe I will change, but maybe I won't! I like myself exactly how I am! But if I do change…” Her tone lowers for a moment as if dragged down by shaded thought, however it quickly rises again, “If I do change then oh well! I'll like that version of myself too!” She nods enthusiastically. She hugs Blue after the poke, squeezing tight. “That's more than enough until I find someone who truly loves ME! All you guys! Everyone does so much to help me! Even…” Her eyes lock on the woman in the doorway, excitedly bouncing in place while still hugging Blue.


She lets go of the poor mlem and bounds over to the cat in the doorway, giving her a tight hug as well. “You still protected me! If you hadn't, I might have gotten more hurt! That's definitely a thing that big sisters do, right? I dunno, I never had one, but!” She smiles at A'erina as she pulls away from the hug. “You're right. It still hurts, it's still like i lost something I really liked. But… There are way more people in the world, and people who don't just want a group of girls all giggling over him! Someone who will just want ME!”


Blue was pleased her words were getting through to Luca, her earfins giving a little wiggle as the girl at her side absorbed what she was saying. She hugged her back tightly, just then noticing Rina at the doorway as well- and then thoroughly being bounced along. Blinking a bit, the Xaela giggled and watched her friend make a beeline for the miqo before looking to the frog on the pillow. He seemed to be snoozing.

“Hiya Rina!” Blue calls only after Luca has had her say, rising up to her feet and dusting her dress off a bit before wandering over to the door. “You felt responsible for her safety, and that's a very nice thing of you to do. Still quite sisterly.” She smiled and looked to the midlander.

“Anyway, love is out there Luca! It's kind of an adventure all on its own. So enjoy the ride. The good and the bad. And for the bad, we'll be around to help cheer you up anytime.”


“ More like a friend thing. Being a good sister isn't really something I'm good at. ” She petted Luca on the head as she had become accustomed to becuase it felt weird doing anything else “ If you need me to beat someone up, once I'm healed, I'll gladly do so, Luca. ”

She looked at Blue. “ Never got to speak to you properly the other day, you didnt miss a beat jumping back into the Grindstone. It's nice to see you made it back safely too. ”


“A romance adventure! That sounds great! Hopefully a bit less umm… violent than a normal adventure.” She smiles at the head pats, always happy to receive them. “Maybe you're not that good at being a sister Rina, but you're the best one I've ever had!” She nods at the woman, as if it was some sage advice. “I… don't think I need anyone beat up, but if I do I'll remember to ask you!”

The sound of heavy footfalls could be heard from downstairs, slowly heading up.


Blue addressed Rina with a nod and a bubbly laugh.

“Yeah, I'm sorry bout that. Got tacklehugged by Vinalo and then they called us to line up. Wanted to test out some of what I learned…but I still got plenty to get better at.”

She looked away for a moment. “I'm glad to be back. The trip didn't turn out…exactly like I expected it to but…I've got no regrets.”

Bicolored eyes blinked back up at Rina. “But Tret mentioned you needed something from me?”

Her ears flick at the sound of someone else drawing up the stairs.

“Is that you Lunaaa?” The Xaela called down.


The knightess's elegant voice echoed up the stairs, shortly before she was visible. “Indeed, it is I.” As she steps on to the landing, she looks a bit more disheveled and sweaty, but not entirely too much. The stuffed Carbuncle in her apron was now pushed to the side, Lucatiel's actual Carbuncle now sitting in the pocket and looking out. It's head was lightly dusted in flour as was the apron itself.

“Girls, if you are so inclined, dinner is ready. Lightly breaded seasoned chicken and some fresh vegetables to compliment. I will set the table downstairs, if you would please assist Miss A'erina to the table.” She bows her head, the faintest hint of a smile visible.


“ I took a trip and it didn't turn out how I wanted it at all. But uh, I don't need something from you… It's more like, I need You.” A small smirk on her face as she said it. “ Of course, I'm not in the best condition right now so it will have to wait, and I'd rather there were no ears around. But, Don't worry it won't be nothing too bad.” She was about to continue as Luna discussed food

“ I can do it on my own, you don't need to mother me so much, Luna. ”


Blue tilted her head quizzically at Rina's explanation. “Uhm…okay…just lemme know what I can do for you when you feel better!” Her attention drifted over to the appearing Luna and her flour-caked carbuncle companion. She hopped in place at the dinner declaration, nodding excitedly.

“That sounds lovely Luna! I'll be more than happy to join. Been so busy tidying and talking, forgot to eat! Rex!”

She looked back into Luca's room if only to find that the large frog was crawling down the steps already.

Blue turned to Rina to offer the Miqo'te a hand if she needed it. “It's still stairs and stairs are a real pain!” She dipped under the Seeker's arm to act as a brace, patiently waiting.


Perhaps through intentional ignorance or simply not noticing, Luna seems unaware of the frog's quick movement. “Mayhap you are fit to move yourself freely, Miss A'erina, but you are still a guest in mine home and injured, I will not have you exacerbating your wounds because of sheer pride.” She turns to Blue with a more visible smile now. “C'est magnifique! Ever joyous do I find myself that others may partake in my culinary creations.” She finally turns to Lucatiel who was bouncing in place as well, smiling widely, and offers the girl a genuine smile of her own before disappearing downstairs.

Luca moves to also be under A'erina's other arm, putting her arm behind the woman's back. “Come on Riiina! Careful now! I bet you're hungry too! One step at a time, okay?”


“ I… ” She sighs “ Gotta have some pride, y'know? 'Bout the only thing I have left ” She would reluctantly let them assist her in getting downstairs, as much as she wanted to do it on her own. “ Of course I'm hungry, I'm not doin' anything. Wanna be back home, working or… or somethin'! Don't like being cooped up all day.”


Blue was gentle in guiding Rina down the stairs. Much different from helping people through the mud and just as tricky, at least in the Xaela's mind. “It's okay Rina, you got plenty of time to be all proud and stuff when you're completely healed.” She'd guide her around the bend and down to the landing of the middle floor before peering about for Luna.


Waiting for them on the main floor was a table draped with a fine cloth decorated with House Crests, adorned with four plates and sets of silverware, a large stand in the center of the table with a giant rock of salt on it, and four chairs ready to be used. Luna was coming up the bottom stairs with a heaping tray of the aforementioned battered chicken, which she began to portion off to each plate equally. “Un souper à savourer, les filles.” The woman looked considerably cheery for how she normally was, heading back downstairs to retrieve the side.

“Oooooh! Thank you Luuuna!” Lucatiel smiles widely as she helps A'erina to her seat, eager to put herself in a chair as well.


Blue made sure Rina was settled in her seat before also claiming a chair at the table, mentally oohing and ahhing at the fanciness…even if she didn't quite understand what the salt lick was supposed to be for.

As the chicken was portioned out, the Xaela licked her lips, though she did briefly nudge at the battered chicken with the tines of her fork. No bones? What kinda magic was Luna capable of?!?!

She looked over to Luca with a teasing grin. “You always get to eat this good?” Then nodded graciously at Luna. “Thank you for cooking!”

Meanwhile, Rex nosed at the cinders in the fireplace curiously before burping out a fireball to set the wood alight.


A'erina was seated, she put on a smile as she was seated, she was grateful for the help but deep down she didnt want to be treated like an infant. “ Y'know, you keep spouting that Ishgardian like I'm supposed to know what you're saying. What even is an ” Un Suppa a Savoury.“ Anyways? Should teach me some word sometime so that I'm not completely clueless on whatever it is you're trying to communicate with. Regardless, it looks good and I'll thank you again for a good meal as I have been. ”


Lucatiel had most definitely zipped to her seat as soon as she was done helping A'erina, looking quite excited. “Most of the time! It's a lot of weird Ishgardian stuff but it usually tastes really good!” She smiled wide at Blue, feeling quite special.

As Luna returns up the stairs with a tray of vegetables, she looks over towards A'erina. “Un souper à savourer, Miss A'erina. A supper worth to savor. If you truly wish to learn Ishgardian, I would teach you some but only if you truly wish to know. You are quite welcome for the meal, all of you.” She bows her head once more, adding heaps of sauteed green beans, cabbage, and carrots to everyone's plates. Setting the tray off to the side for now, she also takes a seat next to Lucatiel, smiling quite visibly.


Blue was thankfully quite distracted now with the tray full of vegetables coming up the stairs that prevented her from demolishing the giant chicken tendie on her plate almost immediately.

Gotta be ladylike. Gotta be ladylike. Gotta be ladylike.

Her earfins flicked at the conversations going on around her but the grumbling in her stomach was like that of a wild animal. There were a limited number of seconds between Luna piling more onto her plate and moving on to the next. One…two…yep.

Blue launched herself at the plate like a cat pouncing its prey, remembering to use a fork and knife because ladylike and happily stuffed the inside of her cheeks full of vegetables.

Chew chew chew. Happy tail wag.


A'erina waved her fork around whilst talking. “Nah, I ain't interested in learning it, you're the only Ishgardian I know, or care to know, for that matter. It's your home but not really one for the cold. I'll take my canyons and desert over the snow and ice any day.”

A'erina lacked table manners, so a knife was wasted on her as she poked the fork into the chicken, picking the whole thing up and take a bite out of it.

“Can't disagree with the food though, you lot know how to cook… except for whatever that thing is for.” pointing at the Rock salt.


In contrast to the restrained-but-enthusiastic manners of one, or the lack-there-of with the other, Luna ate slowly and cautiously, as always raising her hand to cover her mouth as she chewed. Elegance and dignity taught in youth. Lucatiel however was less dignified. Clearly trying to to mimic her guardian somewhat but still doing what she knew best after 20 years of life, she would eat fast and heartily, though she would at least chew slowly and not wave her utensils about like a madwoman.

An eyebrow raises on Luna's features as she looks between her house-guests. “Miss A'erina, surely you are possessed of proper table manners, yes?” She groans, looking from the woman to the rock salt in the center. “It is an Ishgardian tradition - a large crystal of rock salt is set in the middle of the table for all to enjoy. I am accustomed to using silverware to break off small amounts for mine own use, though I had heard tell of some households that would apply their tongue directly to the crystal. That sounds absolutely vile and barbaric.”

Lucatiel looks from Luna to the salt crystal. “You can just lick it!? You always had me break a piece off! I wanna just lick it, that's way easier!”

A stern look is passed from guardian to ward, joined by a simple, “No.”


Blue had thankfully not forgone use of her own fork when it came to picking up her own chicken, taking a bite with a happy hum as she looked to the others across the table. Her mismatched eyes caught on the gigantic rock salt briefly as it was explained, and the lil Xaela shrugged her shoulders.

“Seems ah…kinda strange. Wouldn't people enjoy it more if it was smaller and um….sprinkle-able?”

She then looked to Luca, “Oh, I almost forgot! I'm gonna learn some aether stuff from Vinalo. Wanna know how to heal with it…and just use it better for future adventures.”


A'erina shakes her head. “ Luna, I don't have a table, so how can I have table manners if I don't have a table?!” She looked at the rock, and then back to Luna. “ You lick it? And here I thought all Ishgardians were… Well…” She resumed eating chicken some more “ Maybe do what Blue says and just grind it up? ”


Luna looks perplexed at the suggestion, eyeing Blue. “Smaller? And able to be doused over your meal? Now that sounds strange. Such application is for cooking, not once the meal is prepared.” She looks over at A'erina now. “You need not a physical table to be learned of manners, Miss A'erina. Besides, I harbor doubts that you truly do not have a table in your entire home. No, some folk opt to applying their tongue directly to the crystal, we do not here in this house.”

Blessedly unseen by her guardian, Lucatiel had shoved her face up to the large rock and stuck her tongue to the face of it. Dragging her tongue over for it just a moment, she quickly reels back with a loud “EUGH!” She makes a face of disgust for a moment before turning to look at Blue. “Oh! You're gonna learn it too? What kind of art are you gonna try!?” From disgust to excitement in the span of a couple seconds.


“Well what if you don't put enough salt in the meal?” Blue countered Luna before finishing off her chicken.

“If you just…fork some off, aren't they still kinda big? Do you just…stick them in your mouth like candy?” The Xaela was genuinely curious, even more so when her eyes caught Luca trying out the salt rock the way it was meant to be(?) used.

Blue giggled at Luca's response to the taste, but answered her questions happily afterwards.

“I'm gonna try learning conjury from them! Mostly how to heal…it'll really be useful I think. But also how to understand aether better and how it might help me in battle along with all the stuff I learned from Lami out East.”


A'erina mimes a sarcastic response to Luna. No need for a table to eat dinner at if you're never eating meals anyway. “ Eh, sounds to me like you want to get into battles. You sure that's what you want? ”


Blue looked over at the Miqo'te before propping her elbows on the table and staring down at her now-empty plate, humming softly. “I wonder if I have a choice sometimes. Feels like my entire life had been nothing but battling for something…” She shakes her head and smiles, drumming her fingers against her arm before she straightened up again.

“I don't want to get into battles…not really. But I know the better I get, the more I can help and protect. Then I can treasure times like these even more, knowing everyone I care 'bout is safe..”


Luna looks at Blue as if she had asked an impossible question. “Not enough salt… Aside from general error when preparing a meal, I dare say that it would be impossible for me to do that.”

Luca leans over the table, trying to whisper to Blue but being a bit loud. “Her food is really bland sometimes!” She giggles a bit and leans back. “Oh, conjury! I bet Vinalo will be a really good teacher then! Tell me what it's like when you learn, I wanna know!”


Blue looked from Luna to Luca at their respective responses before giving a bubbly laugh.

“When Tret cooks, he's always asking me to come in and taste in case I notice something don't seem quite right. I bet Luca would be up for trying any food being cooked and offering suggestions, like an assistant!” She thought to herself and looked around for the wily blank-faced carbuncle. “Maybe even Carby could do that…” Blue vaguely recalled the star eating scenario.

“N' yeah! Of course! They said teaching you is quite a lot trickier cause of…uhm..what you are learning isn't conjury? What is it then?”


A'erina continues chomping away. wrinkling her nose at the mention of conjury.

“ Maybe if you get really good at conjury and healing, you too can walk around like a stuck up princess. It's not even that impressive, waving a stick around and healing people? Oh look, I'm gifted in the magical art of healing via conjuration, let me make sure everyone knows it. Seems like a waste when you can heal just aswell from a book. Ain't that right, Luca? ”

She'd finish her rant about conjury, clearly not aimed at anyone but her sister who wasn't even present, but was aware A'erina did nothing but talk shit about her.


Luca looks a bit lost, particularly at the vaguely aimed sass. “Wuhh? Umm, well there's a bunch of ways to heal! I don't think I could do conjuring, having to talk to invisible elementals and stuff. That doesn't sound easy. But yes, I can heal just fine from my book!” The girl nods, turning to Blue. “Oh, Luna has me taste-test a lot! I love it! Except when it's stuffy snow people food.”

Luna sighs, not wishing to even attempt to explain to her ward about flavor subtleties.


Blue also looked bit lost at Rina's sudden ranting.

“Hmm…not planning to be all stuck up and stuff…but I couldn't learn how to heal from a book anyway, least not without learning to read first.” She admitted before looking to Luca with a grin.

“Whereas talking to elementals seems like something I was already doing before I met you all. Probably not correctly..but Vinalo can show me how to do it proper!”

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