Fitness with Darklings

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Fitness with Darklings

Audra & Mavis

21 October, 2019



Parking Garage

      Mavis is "dressed" for cardio. That is, she wears a pair of sneakers instead of her typical sturdy boots and gym shorts rather than worn-out jeans. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail that's fraying, threads of black hair slipping loose and forming a wild halo around her head. The mortal still has her hoodie on, a light, breathable shirt underneath, but she's still sweating from a recent jog around the part. She carries a sporty-water bottle that's about three-quarters gone and her face is still rosy from the run.

      "Your legs," says Mavis for probably not the first time, sounding winded as they hike back to Audra's vehicle, "are longer than mine."

      Athletic wear is not something that Audra generally goes out of her way to wear. That said, she has a few specific pieces from her limited wardrobe that she likes to wear on her late-afternoon and morning runs. Always picky about the time of day. A snug black tanktop that hugged what little curves she had, protected further by a loose, red tracksuit jacket that is currently unzipped. Her long, slender legs are clad in some black, skintight fabric. Finally, well-worn running shoes.

      "Yes, I'm aware of that. Come on, you're keeping good pace. Though, we have pretty much finished, so feel free to slow down a bit." Audra waggles her water bottle at Mavis, almost idly threatening before she takes a swig herself and leans against a concrete support pillar, watching the other woman trudge along. Audra herself was flecked with sweat and seemed to be quite worn down, though she doesn't show it much.

      Huffing and puffing, Mavis jogs stiffly behind Audra, rolling her eyes at the woman's coaching. At least she wasn't cold. The shorts Mavis is wearing right now are technically "gym" shorts, shorts for the gym, although maybe the mortal sleeps in them or wears them to slog around the house. This might be the first time these shorts have ever been ran in... This might the first time in a long time since Mavis has actually ran, for that matter.

      She drags herself over to the pillar Audra is leaning on to thump her back against it and lean too. Mavis pulls up the sleeves of her hoodie, bunching them at the elbows, and playfully hits Audra-- thumP!-- with her water bottle before uncapping it. "Remind me," she sighs, lifting the brim to her lips to drink and pausing, "to find out next time what //kind// of park before I agree to go." Mavis gives a small laugh, sounding both amused and abashed. "I didn't know it was, like, a fitness park. Geesh."

      Audra rolls her shoulders lazily, tilting her head to the side until her neck makes a sickening crack. She does the same with her arms, stretching out her joints and letting the sound echo in the garage. "I mean, even if it was a 'normal' park-" she emphasizes this distinction with air quotes. "-what would it matter? We'd do the same running." There's still a glimmer of a smile on the slim woman's face, and she leans in closer to Mavis.

      "It was a good showing, at least. I would prefer some sort of.. I don't know.. Athletic club? But I didn't really care for any of the ones I checked out earlier this week." Audra heaves a small sigh, shrugging. "I don't know what I accepted when I was looking for jobs up here, but it's a bit more... Small-town than I expected."

      Mavis winces and her head flinches back from the sound Audra's skeleton makes when it harshly cracks. The noise brought her a shiver, but she was a little envious. She teases, "You sure you don't need a chiropractor?" Then takes a drink of her water, twisting the cap back on when she's finished. Mavis' brown eyes dance with mischief and she winks at Audra. "That is, if this small town has one.. I was lookin' for a video store earlier," admits the mortal with a mournful sigh. Apparently, she couldn't find one. "Guess we're both experiencing a bit of the "small-town blues"." She affectionate scoots along the pillar to shoulder-bump Audra, although due to height differences she just bumps against the lawyer's arm. "That's a thing, right?"

      "Yeahhh... Small-town blues." Audra chuckles and leans into the shoulder-thump, her own arm snaking down to deliver a playful swat to Mavis' rear end. "Video store? If you want, I can probably stream it or something. What were you looking for?" Another swig of water and the black-haired woman stretches out one last time. "I don't think so. They don't generally like me, on account of the stretchy limbs. I end up in awkward positions and I always leave thinking I would have rather gone for a massage, y'know?" A casual chiropractic visit sounded like torture to the woman, judging from the shiver it sends down Audra's spine.

      Mavis jolts upright when the other woman's hand smacks her backside and leaps a little away from the pillar. She looks flustered then sets a hand on her hip and looks at Audra with amusement in her honey-brown eyes. The human is grinning too, canting her head and pursing her lips like she was half-tempted to scold Audra for swatting her rear, but she doesn't. Instead, she just laughs a small laugh at something Audra says and goes, "I've never been to one myself. Not sure if I want more people playing around with my skeleton, there's a lot of bolts and plates holding it together." Her grin widens, revealing her neat rows of white teeth and the millimeter gap between her incisors. Mavis' pink tongue pokes out, bitten down on, then disappears again. "And, I dunno what I was looking for aside from, you know, that nostalgic feeling you get from poking around an old video store."

      "No? You're not missing much, in my opinion. Massages now - that's the good stuff." Audra cracks a grin of her own, teeth pearly and barely visible through the thin line of her lips. "And as for the video store bit.." In truth, she hadn't spent much time in one. Audra spends a moment thinking back before deciding. "Never really my thing. I do like streaming, through. Keeps me occupied on long trips, and while I'm waiting for the fiber optic." She gestures towards her car. "Did you want a ride back? We could also just toss the water bottles and go grab a bite or something."

      "Mm," hums Mavis, melting at only the idea of a massage. She nods in agreement, murmuring, "Those are nice, don't have to worry about x-rays either." The human just shrugs in response to Audra expressing little to no interest in video stores, it wasn't for everyone. "s'Okay, streaming is the king these days. Hell, I spend hours at Amity watching Netflix on my phone," explains Mavis, sticking her water bottle in one of the pockets of her gym shorts where it peeks out the top, then cramming her hands into her hoodie pocket to warm them. "She doesn't have a TV, neither did grams," she comments, now that she was thinking about it. Mavis glances off, sighing as she thinks about the eventual television shopping then looks back at Audra with her smile returning. "Sure, I'm ready to sit down." Her legs her achy after a run in which she was mostly trying to keep up with Audra's lanky strides. "And, ehh, I dunno if I want to grab some grub, but maybe some coffee," Mavis notes while she walks off toward where Audra had parked. "I'd ask you to come back to the house, but-" Mavis shoots Audra a strained smiled. "Yanno, roommates. Well, sort of more like I'm staying there for free and don't want to bring guests around?"

      That reply gets a nod and Audra does move to unlock her car - swapping her water bottle for a credit card that gets slipped into the pocket of her jacket. "Sounds good. Let's walk slowly for a bit, wind down to sitting so you don't cramp up." She flashes a weak smile, knowing how hard of an ask it is. "And coffee it is. How's the roommate situation going, anyways? You got a timetable yet for the big move into the new-old place?" She heads for the exit of the parking garage, the headlights from her car casting a long, deep shadow that seems to fill the entire building for a brief moment.

      Mavis pulls her water bottle from her pocket and chucks it into the car with a heavy sigh. She straights back up, closing the door, and making sure that Audra can see the roll of her eyes and the wry twist of her lips.

      "Fiiine," she bemoans dramatically and trudges around the car to join Audra while scuffing her sneakers over the cement. Mavis steps in along Audra and snakes her arm through the other woman's to loop them together. She was a little chilly and presses herself closer to Audra, leeching the warmth through her track suit while set off. "It's going fine, really," she says about the living situation with Amity, sounding like she means it and also as if she wasn't telling the entire whole of it. "Amity doesn't sleep much, spends most of the night cleaning, reading, and drinking tea. I try not to make much of a mess," she tells Audra, trying convey that she herself wasn't half the neat freak that Amity was without outright saying so aloud. "And I should be moving into gram's house any day now. Had some exterminators come out, do a sweep of the place, dropped a few bug bombs they gave me. Started cleaning the place out, most of it the things inside are intact. It's crazy," she says, astounded, "you'd think rodents and moth would've overrun the place after all these years or the roof would've fallen in, but nope. The Baines' Manor still stands."

Mavis leaves the garage, heading back out to the street.

Mavis comes in from the street.

      "Oh, it's not that bad, you big baby." Audra's teasing voice was calm and soothing, but that only made it worse for getting under people's skin. She leans in and embraced her companion's arm as the two walked out of the garage and onto the street proper. "Oh, that's good. Amity..." She picks her words here with care. "-seems like an easy one to get along with. I absolutely cannot handle rommates, or even housemates. At least, not at the place I really consider my home, you know? When I was working a job and attending classes, I use to rent a room out of a house, but I spent maybe.. One, two nights a week there?" She muses this over as they walk, refusing to shiver or even acknowledge the chilly air.

      Mavis' body shivers of its own accord, whether or not she chooses to acknowledge that she's not adapted to these climes. She's under-dressed for the weather, but when she was running it didn't seem so cold. She'd been looking forward to defrosting under the heater in Audra's rental car, but now they were walking again the the chilly air was snaking up her gym shorts.


      "She is," Mavis admits when the subject of Amity being a good housemate comes up. Arguably, Amity was a far superior housemate to Mavis who likes to leave wet towels on the lid of the toilet when she's finished showering. Mavis listens while Audra talks, peering up at her face curiously and huddling close to her side. Their ankles almost tangle together a couple of times, on account of Mavis, but the human lengthens her strides to try to match Audra's and that seems to work out the kinks.

      "I've pretty much always had roommates," Mavis remarks. "Kinda used to it, really. Not sure what I'm going to do with myself once I'm moved into the Baines' home." She didn't enjoy the idea of being there alone in such a big, old house. Mavis hadn't ventured there after sundown yet, but her imagination provided plenty of nightmare fodder. "It'd help if I'd known my grandma, you know? But.. it's just this creepy, ancient house that smells funny and is full of weird, witchy stuff."

      Audra does shorten her strides, somewhat. She keeps pace better with Mavis, smiling impishly as she lets her leg brush up against the other woman's. It isn't that Audra is particularly warm - if anything, she's somewhat cold herself, but she carries herself with that stiff, upright posture and without any fidgeting or squirming despite the fact that her scrawny form is more susceptible to the chill.

      "It's not so bad, living alone. Peace and quiet. You can decorate the place just the way you like. Never have to worry about who might see you or where people are at any part of the day." Audra scoffs lightly. "No, I'll stick to that over cramped living spaces and the problems what always seem to arise." The coffee shop is gestured to as they get closer. "The house weirds you out? You could try a seance. Or maybe establish a shrine to your grandmother? Those things might help put you at ease."

      Mavis lifts her shoulders and Audra would feel the mortal walking alongside her shrug when she mentions decorating. "Never cared about it, honestly," says the tawny-skinned artist with a quiet laugh. "Or, I dunno, we were never staying long enough to care much about it." By "we" Mavis probably meant herself and her late mother. She'd only moved out when she was 19, maintaining a close relationship with her mother until the woman died. "I don't like living alone, makes me feel," her words trail off and Mavis unconsciously slows her pace as well, "alone." She picks back of her stride again, setting a brisk one that has her brushing against Audra's upper, outer thigh with a hip when she takes a step. Mavis tilts her head up and rolls her eyes when Audra brings up the seance thing. "C'mon, haven't you seen the old movies? That only makes creepy houses creepier," she tells Audra, trying to take the woman seriously, but failing to seriously consider the subject. "I mean, there's a bunch of sage and stuff in the kitchen if you want to come over and perform a cleansing ritual, seance, or whatever." Mavis waves her free hand then regrets pulling it out of her pocket and puts it back in. "Hell, maybe I'll be able to convince you to move part-time into one of the rooms downstairs so I'm not jumping at shadows in the middle of the night." She thinks for a second, then adds, "There's a couple of rooms upstairs, too." She was.. kind of serious about the offer and Mavis steals a shy glance up at Audra.

      "I wouldn't mind paying rent somewhere like that. Quiet. Old. It's pleasant to be sure, and there are certainly times I would like a place to stay that isn't my own house." Audra taps her chin, nodding slowly. "Let me know when it's all cleared up, I've got no qualms staking a claim. As for the cleansing rituals..." She pauses briefly as the pair approach the coffee shop. "I don't know any of them myself, but I would love to have a look at whatever occult things got left behind. Hobbies, and all." She winks impishly, sticking out the tip of her own tongue as she grabs the door and ushers Mavis inside.

      Mavis looks shocked by Audra's easy acceptance, not accepting it herself, and she blinks up at the woman in disbelief. She blurts, "Really?" Then goes, "I mean, I was only half serious about it, but if you want to come by and check the place out-" She trails off again, looking up at Audra with a smile that she bites down on and tries to mute, but fails. Glee twinkles in Mavis' honey-brown eyes and she un-loops her arm from Audra, giggles, then ducks playfully inside of the coffee shop when the woman opens the door for her. She turns around to explain, "Oh, it's not all that interesting. By "witchy stuff" I just mean Grandma Baines kept a lot of herbs and jars of weird stuff on hand. Looks like she was growing them out back, too, if I can ever get the garden tamed and in order," Mavis adds with a weary sigh. Apparently the landscaping around the Baines Manse was giving her some headaches and blisters. "Mostly, I think she was an old lady that liked to listen to the radio, commit herself to her crafting projects, and she had a hard time getting around. All of the furniture kinda... has like these walkways, I think she had to lean a lot to get through. Seen old ladies do that before when they were too stubborn to get on the walker."

      It made her kind of sad to talk about her deceased relative that way and, also, to think about the elderly Ms. Baines clunking around in her old home alone. Mavis frowns and looks down at her sneakers, then looks back up again to ask, "Where'd you want to sit?"

++++FTB 'cos we had stuff to do++++

++++FTB 'cos we had stuff to do++++