Log:Custodians Meeting: June 2018

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Custodians Meeting: June 2018



Toby, Lux, Haruki, Logan, Kip, Ashe


The Custodians have their June meeting and some emotions flare.


The Library

It's Friday! Which normally wouldn't be any different but there's a Custodian's meeting. It might be a short one the rumor is even. Ashe had gotten there early, because, she wanted to take a ride on Apollyon and well, the large bat like creature needed to eat. But she's inside the Library now. Going through a stack of papers that she brought with her. "Kip, have you seen our little guy lately?" she asks him.

Lux comes out of the stacks, with a book in her hand. Its open and she is more concerned on its subject than what is inside. She frowns slightly as she walks toward the meeting without really looking up. The wyrd produced light trails in a long river behind her, its misty essence drifitng up ward and filled with ever increasingly complicated fractal patterns. She stops just before the others, managing not run into anyone or anything. "Hmm," She mushes, before nodding to others and settling in.

Toby steps inside the library. Fridays are good. Toby likes Fridays, even if they don't mean much for him. But this Friday is a special Friday, because it's a Custodian Meeting, the first he's been a part of! He's supposed to get a mentor or something this meeting, or at least, that's what he's thinking about. That and the library. The library is a neat place. Toby happily waves his ears. "Hello~!"

"Not today," Kip mentions in his quiet voice that seems more suited to this setting than anywhere else. He gives a little smile at Ashe, then sets down the stack of items he was carrying. Look how nice and clean everything is! As if he spent the morning cleaning up even more than usual to prepare for the meeting. He even put chairs out! He gives a wave of greeting to everyone.

Logan strides into the library, dressed in a brilliant blue linen blazer with the sleeves rolled up over a v-neck blue to white gradient t-shirt, paired with jeans and white low-top Converse. He beams out at the group in more ways than one: his smile, full of white teeth, and the light that surrounds him, though that's also got a touch of shadow. "Hello, everyone." He looks to each person in turn, studying them all as he continues to smile.

"I mainly want to introduce the newer recruits to the Library. Some of them aren't here today or right now and that's fine." Ashe states. He black robes conceal her form. It's just normal wear. "Little Dude will probably come and visit soon." she tells them. "So Toby, this is the Library." she gives a wave of her hand as she turns to the stacks. "The Librarian, Aaron. And the Assistant Librarian, Kip have been doing an excellent job of keeping things going. We've also been repairing and doing changes." she adds.

Closing her book, Lux settles more fully onto the chair. She pulls one leg over the other, crossing at the knee and watches the procedings. Doesn't have much to say or much need to say anything at the moment, so she continues to listen for the time being.

Haruki's never been to Stoneheart before. Never. Never ever ever and he's all wide-eyed and a bit shaky and sticking close to Logan most likely and it's all overwhelming and what's he even doing here? And... And... Copy Logan. Smile like he is. The smile might look fake on Haruki but he's trying. Try and fake the certainty and confidence too? That much is less easy.

"Hello, Logan." Ashe adds belatedly in a friendly tone.

Toby looks over the library, and gives little nods as his eyes wander. "This is pretty cool." He says. Toby gives a nod towards Ashe. "Hello, I'm the aforementioned Toby. Nice to meet all of you." Toby glances towards the others, his eyes lingering a bit longer on Lux and Logan than the others. Then Toby lets his eyes rest on examining the library itself.

Kip doesn't sit, he just sort of hovers in the background. When Ashe says his name, he does do a little dip of his head, but doesn't say anything to interrupt or anything. He's just nice and quiet overall, almost like he doesn't want to draw attention to himself.

Around the corner, there's a bit of a huff as a hob comes around the corner, much shorter than most hobs and very pale. He's dressed in a dark robe much like Ashe's. It's kind of the style. But when people get a look at his face, there's a good reason for the robes. He's not that friendly looking, "Welcome." it states in a Lurch like tone before it tries to shuffle off. Shuffleshuffleshuffle.

Logan puts a hand on Haruki's shoulder and gives it a reassuring squeeze. "Hi, Ashe, Kip, Lux," he says, grinning at each in turn, and then moves forward to offer a hand in greeting to Toby. "Welcome to the Custodians, Toby. I'm Logan." He glances over his shoulder at the hob who comes in, getting a good look at him, but most of his attention is on the person he knows not at all.

Books! Books books books books books. Haruki's distracted by them, gazing wide eyed at all that knowledge. Well knowledge in theory first he'd have to actually read them. And is that another monster? Smile. Smile at them all, no teeth, look harmless and defenceless. All is good. And stick with Logan.

Watching Haruki, Lux clicks her tongue slightly. "I am Lux, a Vizier of Fate's Harvest. And, obviously, a Custodian." She offers this as introduction to anyone who seems to need it. She does not give an indication that it is a pleasure to make introductions. She folds her hands over the book in her lap and keeps her ruby lips in a thin line. At least it isn't a frown. She falls silent and waits to see if Ashe or Kip have any direction theyw sih to take the meeting further.

Sticking with Logan is a good idea, usually. Kip spent his fair share of time plastered to the guy's side, after all. Haruki is given a slight grin, as if he's amused somehow by the whole thing. After all, it wasn't long ago that Kip was the one trying to look harmless and like a terrible target for anyone's attention. He still is doing that, though not nearly as much. ""Logan's good at taking you through the paces," he mentions softly before his attention is on Toby. "Welcome. Wow, didn't realize we had so many new people interested in joining." That last part is spoken as he glances toward Ashe, his attention only veering momentarily toward the hob. He doesn't look at all surprised or taken aback, which means he probably is not surprised or taken aback by his presence. Must mean he's used to it. As if to answer some sort of question, Kip nods his head toward him even as his eyes remain on Ashe. Ask and ye shall receive. "I uhm, I didn't think to make sure that Ben knew about this meeting. Guess I'm already failing at this whole thing. Oh Ashe, he came to see me. Told me I'm supposed to mentor him. So... I am." Is that last part a question or a statement? It's kind of both.

Toby takes Logan's hand, and smiles, "Nice to meet you guys. I hope I can help with the knowledge gathering here." Toby himself isn't looking the biggest and strongest either, he's just kinda excited. Even as his eyes are drawn away from the knowledge, his ears are going about, as if trying to hear the books. Toby gives a little look towards the hob too, then he turns back to Logan, then Toby looks over towards Ashe. "Speaking of mentors, I'm supposed to get one, too, right?"

Haruki smiles at Kip and there's relief on his expression and it's a genuine happy smile to see him and let's just uh sort of ignore the terrifying people that are also here. Although ignoring them is a bad idea. But it's just all so overwhelming. "Itsy's going to join too but it's not worked with his schedule so far. He really, really likes books. And learning."

Logan gives Toby's hand a firm shake. "I'm sure you can help us, Toby. Welcome aboard." He gives Kip a smile for the compliment, then looks to Ashe. "I'm happy to take on an additional mentee if Toby's in need, Ashe. I have the bandwidth for it." But he gives Haruki another smile, too, like he's trying to tell him he hasn't forgotten about him.

Haruki's eyes flash with pure jealousy as Logan offers to mentor Toby too. And then his shoulders slump a bit and he just exhales, a sigh. He doesn't speak whatever's on his mind, just looks defeated and a bit sad.

Ashe gives a smile to the Hob, "Everyone, this is our Little Guy. I tend to call him Bruce since he likes it as well." she tells them. "We took him in after his...caretaker died. So he's been getting settled." she tells them. Then there's a look around to the others as the take looks around at things. Kip gets a shake of her head, "You've not failed, Ben knew of the meeting. So don't fret." she tells him. Then there's a look to Toby and Logan, "Garrett is going to be mentoring Toby." she tells them with a friendly tone. "So, some rules of the Library. If you check out books, please sign them out accordingly. Bring them back in the same condition." she states. "If you need to record an event. Please do so in the correct location. If you are unsure. Go to Kip, Aaron or myself." she explains.

Toby perks his ears up and swishes his tail when Logan offers to mentor him, and there's a noticible dip in his ears and tail as he's told someone named 'Garrett' will be mentoring him instead. But, Toby takes it and turns to Ashe. He listens to the rules, "Fair enough." and then he give the back of his head a little scratch. "So, who's Garrett?"

Lux seems very relieved when she isn't named as a mentor to any of the new Custodians. It is pretty much the only emotion that crosses her features. She remains calm and quiet, listening, and the light-smoke that dances around her calms from those fractals into calm smooth waves of light crashing across each other.

Logan just smiles, folding his arms and shrugging his shoulder a little. "Sure," he tells Ashe, his eyes moving to Haruki's face for a moment, studying him, before they move away again.

Despite having seen her in the place a few times, which isn't unusual since the Library is mroe or less open to all in the Freehold, Kip watches Lux for a moment. "Were you joining us as well?" he asks, looking a bit unsure as to if there had been someone else officially added to their roster that he wasn't aware of. He spends a lot of time not going to meetings or things where he is Required To Not Be A Hermit. "I mean, I-- I think it's great. We need more people who like to document their research," he mumbles before finding a topic he can better speak about. "Garrett used to be the Assistant Librarian here but has been concentrating on teaching and documenting." That must be how he got bumped to Assistant Librarian. "And yes, as Ashe said, if anyone needs help please let us know. Uhm, I'd prefer if you don't take out too many materials at once and then not bother to put them back in the right place. It makes it impossible to find things. And if you check something out and don't return it on time, I'm sending Ben after it." Ben is scary. Ben is much better at that job than Kip will ever be, probably.

Haruki breathes a sigh of relief, maybe a touch of guilt on his epxression, gaze dipped down. And he's looking at Kip when he makes the threat of Ben, and shivers a bit. Ben is scary.

"Garrett is the Former Librarian. He's one of the best mentors anyone could ask for." Ashe states to them. Then there's a look between the two of them. Yeah. Ashe wasn't stupid. "You seem like you'd rather have Logan mentor you. So, I will assign you to him." she states in a friendly tone. "So we've got all of the new recruits settled. This makes me happy. And it will give Garrett more time to keep building our new installment." she gives a musing sound. Then there's a look to Kip, "Lux just got off of her Recruitment." she tells him. Then she lets him go on with his talking.

Lux looks rather amused at Kip. "I joined over a month and a half ago, Kip," she says softly, then chuckles. "You haven't seen all the new bits and pieces of information I've been leaving in the library to be filled? Well, you no doubt have, you are rather competent at your job after all. Works signed by Shadowcaster are mine."

Logan smiles and watches Kip for awhile, though he has nothing to add to that. Then he shrugs. "Whatever you think is best, Ashe. I can mentor Haruki and Toby, or just Haruki. Whatever's easiest." He then adds, tone casual, "There's another issue that's come to my attention I'd like to discuss, if now is a good time." He waits to see if it /is/, in fact, a good time.

Toby nods in response to Kip. And then Toby giggles in response to hearing that he'd be assigned to Logan. Logan was handsome and great looking and seemed like a regular prince charming. Toby gives Logan a hug, maybe without thinking, maybe with thinking. Either way, there's a grin on his face.

NO! Nonononono!!! Haruki's expression is all NO! when Ashe changes Toby's assignment. There's some glaring at Toby. GLARE. But he quickly tries to cover it up with a smile.

D'oh! Kip looks like he's about to smack his forehead with his palm as he looks at Lux. "So /that's/ why you've been in here so much. I thought you were just doing a project on your own!" Hi Kip. You've been part of her research. You should know this. "I-- just didn't... I mean I know the... just sometimes others contribute their research. The Greenies are forever documenting their new treatments and stuff." He pauses, as if he just realized something. "I bet one of them noted where they found that Pear," he mutters to himself, shaking his head a little.

Ashe gives a nod to Logan, "Of course, go ahead, Logan." she tells him.

Toby sadly isn't blind either, and he glances at Haruki, "...If that's alright with you? I think there's enough of him to help both of us." Toby stands up as proper. "I mean, I already have a good friend of my own. You don't need to worry about me stealing him from you."

Logan grins down at Toby and gives him a hug in return, or really, half a hug, patting his back whil ehe does so. He grins and glances briefly at Kip, then tells Toby and Haruki, "Don't worry. There's enough of me to go around, I promise." Then his bearing grows a touch more serious. He takes a step or two back so he can see everyone, and says clearly -- but still in that very pleasant, musical tone he has, "I have reason to believe that Cerise Hodgson is a Fetch." He pauses, then continues. "It's been suggested to her face -- by someone other than me -- and if it's at all true, time can only be of the essence. I suggest we work to gather as much conclusive evidence as possible before making a move." Once again, his eyes move back to Kip and hold him, for a moment, before looking away again.

Haruki looks at Toby. Glares at Toby. Poor cute small and adorable delicate Toby, who's all magical and now being sweet as well. "You can't steal a person." And then he corrects. "Well, you can I guess. You've all been stolen but you can't steal someone like that. And it's nothing to do with me how many people Logan wants to mentor. He's really big on sharing and helping as many people as possible. And even if this is his first time, and Garret's super-experienced, and one of the best, well I'm so glad you're not worried about me holding you back and not learning as much as possible. It's very kind of you." And then he looks at Logan when he speaks of Cerise. "Does it matter?" he asks Logan. "What will you do if she is one?"

A brow is raised at Logan's declaration. She considers that for a moment, and then there is a gleam of something in her eye. Something intense, and the light-smoke about here shifts suddenly to take on the appearance of claws slashing through it. She doesn't change her face though, but says softly. "That sounds like a job for the Harvestmen, once you've verified your inforamtion is correct. That is their duty, to handle such things. We are to collect and distribute the information, not be executioners."

It's almost like a lightswitch, Toby's ears press against his head, and his expression grows cold. "A fetch? I suppose that this place could have those, yeah. I know about them all too well... But I don't think I could bring myself to try to hurt another. It's not like it makes our lives any easier on returning if we're 'dead'." Toby also affords Haruki a nod, before looking back towards Ashe to see how she feels about it.

Kip's eyes lock onto Logan. The glow that's always faintly present within those mismatched eyes burns brightly, his Levinquick lightning crackling out, joining the agitated lightning that zaps around his body. "Shut the hell up," he says in a quiet but rather dark voice, directed at Logan. Which in and of itself is odd. Kip /never/ sounds like that. He never acts like that. And he never ever acts or sounds that way regarding Logan of all people. "Cerise is not a-- no. She... She's /Cerise/. Is this because-- look, she hit her head. She got a concussion. She'll be /fine/." The more he talks, the more the anger seems to take on a tone of concern. Someone's overprotective of her. Maybe it's a good thing nobody apparently suggested this to him before. He ignores the questions and the comments and instead just takes a slow couple of steps toward Logan, still arcing with energy that shows his emotions clearly in how active it is.

Ashe crosses her arms over her chest as Toby and Haruki exchange glances. But as Logan speaks the shadows start to deepen in the library, crawling down the walls then she realizes what she's doing and she relaxes. "We need a Duchy of Truth and Loss is what we need. Let me see if I can locate one. In the interim, we'll need to see if we can safely see if she is a Fetch or not." she tells them. "So we will proceed with caution." she tells everyone. Then there's a look to Kip and then she reaches out to put her hand on his shoulder so he doesn't go any closer to Logan, "Kip, you are close to this woman?" she asks.

"It may matter, Haruki," Logan tells him, "if she's been recently Taken. And it's highly possible she has been." His eyes move to Lux next, bright and curious. "I'm not personally suggesting execution, Lux. Fate's Harvest is about gathering information as a Freehold. We don't usually destroy first and ask questions later, do we?" But then there's Kip and his outburst. Logan just smiles pleasantly in return. "Kip," Logan says quietly, not moving away from the other, but not moving towards him, either. "Do you know how Dross was Taken? He had head trauma, fell into water, and a Fetch came out. It's suspicious, and Cerise's powers disappeared for no other forseeable reason. If her Pledges broke, then she's almost certainly a Fetch." Then he looks to Ashe, seeming pleased, and nods. "That's the idea. Gather more information and proceed with caution. Because of Fate's Harvest's policy on fetches, I thought we should be the first line of defense. Not the Harvestmen's offense." He is a Waykeeper, after all, and he knows the rules well.

Lux shrugs slightly, and the light show around her falls into calm nothingness. Her eyes watch the crowd and those about, but her part has been said. She folds her hands back into her lap on top of the book and falls silent, watching.

Toby relaxes his expression, and absorbs the information. This is really curious to him. "Cerise's powers disappeared..." He mulls over that phrase in his head. "What exactly was Cerise?" Toby perks a single ear up. He feels a little like he might be out of a loop. And he tosses the little story about Dross over in his head too, as if trying to make connections. He did just arrive in town not long ago, after all. Surely, he knows few of its secrets.

Haruki looks at Kip. "They took her into the hedge. She hit her head. She came back different. It could be a concussion. It could be the being in the hedge changed her. The hedge is not a good place to take mortals. It's not a fun party picnic. It feels off. She's been drinking a lot. But that might be just from being in the hedge. It's a scary place. Or it might be from hanging out with CB. People who hang out with him usually take up drinking." He mulls over what Kip says. "If she has a concussion that's lasted this long she should go back to the hospital and get some brain scans." And then he asks Ashe. "What's the Duchy of Truth and Loss?" He looks at Logan curiously as he explains things. "She doesn't seem like a monster. Just scared and uncertain."

Haruki explains to Toby. "Cerise was a psychic. Her powers appeared after an incident with the Lost. She's not had them for long. And they disappeared very recently, after she went into the hedge, and banged her head. Trauma like that can cause psychic abilities to disappear. And for something that spontaneous appearing, it disappearing too doesn't seem too out of the ordinary."

"She's not a goddamn Fetch!" Kip snaps at Ashe. His voice is still thin and quiet, but there's a definite crack to it that shows he's shouting. As if realizing what he's doing, he stops and takes a few deep breaths to calm himself. "Cerise is-- she works at the shop. We're /very/ close." He pauses a moment. "I mean, not like... she's family to me. And she can't--" his voice chokes a moment like he's having trouble for a second getting the words out. "She can't have been Taken. Because if she was, it was while she was saving my life. And if-- if she was Taken, I need to find out where she is. I need to... I need to go get her. But nobody, and I mean /nobody/, touches her even if she is a-- a fetch. She's been sick and scared and trying very hard to find out why her abilities aren't working now. She's terrified she lost them." Toby is looked at, but the answer that was about to appear on Kip's lips disappears and he looks instead at Haruki. "I drink more than Alexander. He just doesn't hide it as well as I do," he says in a growl. Wait, is Kip admitting that he drinks more than CB Alexander? "Cerise and he have history and I'm not about to get into it, but if they're off drinking together, it has nothing to do with whether she was Taken or not. And we think the concussion is just what took her powers away. The tea witch was looking into it, too."

Lux looks over to Haruki, her entire demeanour changing. She hunches forward. Her eyes grow darker, shadowed. Her Looks are more quick, glancing this way and that. Her voice, when she speaks, is barely above a whisper, and more cautious than it was a moment before. "-WHO- took her, Haruki?" she asks. Then as quickly as the change overcame her its gone, and Lux is straightening her back, her eyes lightening. And her smile, though thin, is encouraging to Haruki to answer

-> >> Ashe to Here << <-==============================================

   Rolled 8 Successes for an exceptional success.
   < 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 >

-> >> Presence + Intimidation.Stitched_Grimace + 5 + 3 [No Flags] << <-=

Ashe draws the hood off of her head so that everyone can see her face and the pale woman beneath it is NOT happy when Kip snaps at her. "KIP KENSINGTON if you do not control your emotions I will do so for you!" she hisses out from her stitched grimace. "This is the chance that is taken when Mortals join us. When they are Enchanted or Ensorcelled. When they are pledged to us. Do you understand?" she asks him. "Calm down. If she has been taken standing here and blaming yourself or others will only be a detriment to finding out what is going on." she states in a stern tone.

Logan turns to look at Haruki. "What if she is a Fetch, Haruki? Why does it matter so much to you that she isn't one? Is it for the same reasons as Kip? I never said she was a monster." He shakes his golden head. "I just want to get to the bottom of this and help her." When Kip starts yelling about it, Logan looks at him with the same calm, cool, collected expression, the light around him continuing to shine. Ashe gets a pair of raised eyebrows when Ashe goes hardcore on Kip, and he waits to see what happens next. Amazingly, he's still smiling. Just no longer grinning.

Haruki's about to say something to Kip, in response to what he says and then Lux is being scary and even if it's not deliberate he's all shaking and trembling and trying to look as small and harmless as possible and... "CB? Mina?" He sounds so uncertain and then Ashe is also being scary and he looks overwhelmed. He just shakes his head at Logan. "Why does it matter to you?" he replies in a whisper. "I was just trying to help. I'm sorry. I'll be quiet." And he then does that.

"If she's been Taken, then figuring out whether she's a fetch or not is the first step. And I'm sure time is of the essence, one way or another. We got no time to lose, right?" Toby considers, and then without another word, Toby heads out, moving with apparent purpose. Maybe he has an idea? Maybe he's just being headstrong. Probably a little bit of both drinks, really. Either way, he's off to do something.

Lux fixes Haruki with... an attempt at a smile? Its not a very good one. "You are not in trouble Haruki. Apologies. But it is good to know who brought her into the hedge. If it was members of the freehold and they sold her to a Fae, then that would violate their oaths. If it was not members, if she went with someone else, then the possiblity of her being Taken raises signifcantly. The who is just as important as the what happened." She ignores Ashe and Kip's exchange, her voice calm, but far above the whisper shout it was a moment before. She is clearly trying - not in a very convincing manner - to calm Haruki and let him know he is doing allright.

Logan puts his hand on Haruki's arm. "Here's why it matters," he says softly. "Because if Cerise was Taken recently, we need to -- yes." He smiles at Toby before he goes. "Exactly, like I said before. If she was Taken, it matters not only for her sake, but for everyone's sake. It means there might be an active Keeper in the area." He squeezes Haruki's arm before moving his hand away again, bright blue eyes moving to Lux curiously, lingering on her.

Haruki listens and nods to those who've spoken to him. "She wasn't sold." He says. He then nods at Logan, listening.

Kip's lightning still crackles around him and his eyes still glow brighter, but at least his stance shifts to a less aggressive one, his arms going around himself like it's a sort of self hug. It's like he's doing his best to keep from snapping back at Ashe like he so clearly wants to. He takes in a deep breath and exhales it through his nose in an attempt to center himself, though it's clearly a struggle. Calm down? CALM DOWN? Fine. He's trying, at least. And it's pretty obvious that if it was anyone but Ashe yelling at him to do so, he'd keep on ranting and raving. But no, Ashe is one of the few who can break through the haze of emotions enough for him to at least make an effort on reigning himself in. Though his voice is sliiiightly more controlled when he continues, it's still choked with conflicting feelings that have no clear target. "If, and I mean /IF/, she was Taken, it was while I wasn't there to keep it from happening." Because Kip would be ever so useful in that aspect, right? "She was there because of /me/. She's involved in all this because of /me/. So if she's out there somewhere, trapped by one of Them, I need to find out where she is so I can go get her." Someone's planning to go all Die Hard here.

Ashe gives a nod to what the others say, "I'll have to give a poke at my contacts and see if there's been any mentions of a Keeper in the area." she states. She was a Legate after all. Then there's a look to Kip and there's a bit of a nod to him, "Kip, you won't do this alone. And it's suicide if you DO try to do it alone. So please, let us help as well. You and Logan both seem to have connections to Cerise, work together for the moment to see if you can find out what happened." she tells him. "I've had a human taken because they were close to me as well. He came out changed. It's hard to explain, but we're here for you." she states. "The meeting is over." she looks to the rest of them as she pulls her hood back up. "For now, our priority is seeing if this Cerise is a Fetch or not. Kip, you cannot tell her what we are doing. Do you understand?" she asks him.

Haruki looks at Kip sympathetically. "You can't." He says softly. "If you did you'd endanger us all. I know it must feel terrible but we're stronger together. Everyone working with eachother. Not you going off alone." He says to Ashe. "She already knows that people think she's a fetch. She's been drinking and behaving erratically. How should we treat her? Should we say we believe her? That she isn't a fetch. Try and help her return to a sense of normality? Or. What's usually done?"

Logan watches Kip, eyes curious and calm, tapping his chin with one well-manicured fingertip. He tilts his head and smiles at Ashe. "Ashe, can I speak to you for a quick moment?" He looks to Haruki and says, "If you wouldn't mind waiting just outside the Library, Haruki, I'll be there in a moment. If Ashe deigns to speak with me, that is." His glittering grin shines out. Finally, he looks at Kip and says, "It'll be okay, Kip. We'll get this all sorted out. Don't you worry."

"He can't tell her we're locating a Duke or Duchess to confirm the situation. Because this will mean that they are either going to run...or stay and potentially die." Ashe tells Haruki in a soft tone. "This is a delicate situation, whether she is aware of what people think she is or not." she adds. "I would like it to not become a public one. We have masquerades to maintain as well. For all of our safety. For the Freehold and for those not in the Freehold." she tells them. Then there's a nod to Logan, "Sure Logan, what is it?" she asks him.

Haruki nods at what Ashe says. When Logan asks him to go outside though he just looks scared. To go outside, alone and... he just looks at Logan, sadly.

Kip knows that Ashe is right. It doesn't seem to make it any easier for him to swallow, though. His arms tighten around himself and his jaw sets so hard that it might be surprising if he has teeth left after grinding them together as much as he is. "Fine," he manages to get out, though the singular word is gutteral and hissed. Oh, he knows. He knows Ashe is right. He knows he's overreacting to the news even if he feels totally validated in it. He knows he's got grandiose ideas of marching into Arcadia and dragging his 'sister' back. He knows he can't tell Cerise (or at least what he thinks is her) anything even if she apparently already knows some of it. But it's not sitting well with him. "I'm sorry," he finally says, the words coming out less harsh and more mournful. His hand rakes through his hair a few times, more a burning off of nervous energy and anger that has no real outlet than it is a motion to get his hair out of his eyes. "She's... Ashe, it's /Cerise/. I can't act like nothing is wrong. The most I can do is avoid her, but even that feels like a betrayal," he explains quietly. "She was never out of their line of vision, though. They /saw/ her the whole time. Even when she fell and hit her head. I just... It can't be true." Oh wishful thinking, how easy you make it to delude yourself. Giving a slight nod to Logan, he exhales a bit more of that anger that's still churning inside of him. "I'll-- I was going to... I was going to do some work here but I'll leave you both to talk. I'll be at home. Not in the shop." He hesitates and then adds, "Can you-- if it's not Cerise, if it is one of those things, she's... she's still scared about what's going on. And I-- I just... I can't bear the thought of something happening to her. Even if it's not really her."

Haruki shakes his head at Kip. "That's not true. She was submerged underwater and they couldn't see her. It wasn't long but she was out of their view. Should someone make you promise not to tell her less you be struck silent? Would that help?" He's trying to avoid the whole being forced to go outside and stand on his own. He's never been left alone in the hedge before, even if this is a hollow.

"I agree, Ashe. I mentioned it here first because I don't want it to become a public issue. And thank you, I won't take up much more of your time." Logan flashes another charming grin, eyes moving up to Kip again. "Take care of yourself, Kip. Feel free to call if you need anything." He looks at Haruki. "I'll only be a moment, Haruki, if you wouldn't mind. Are you nervous about being out there alone? It'll be fine, I promise! I'll only be a moment." Though he does look at Kip and chirp, "A Pledge might not be a bad idea. What do you think, Ashe?"

Ashe gives a look to Logan, "If Kip wishes to pledge to me that he isn't going to tell Cerise, then that is fine. I am not going to force it." she states. Then she looks to Kip, "What do you want to do Kip?" she asks him.

Kip still smolders, just not with the same level of fierceness as before. It's being crushed down moment by moment, little by little. It takes effort, but at least Ashe scaring the bejeesus out of him gave him a good head start on it. "No," he says in a raspy tone. "I-- I'm leaving. I mean I'm leaving town for a couple of days before... I just need to breathe. I'll take Mina away for the weekend. I'll-- I'll just concentrate on her and not-- not think about this or anything else for a couple of days. Because if I stay here, I can't promise I won't keep anyone from getting near her. I can't even think about the idea of anyone getting near Cerise, Fetch or not, without wanting to punch them. I swore to her I'd always protect her." Because Kip's such a great protector, right? But Ashe and Logan make sense so he pauses, lowers his head in a thoughtful posture, then nods. "I will. Pledge. Just-- to make sure. It's probably as much for my sake as yours." At least he's being rational about it, which is a step up from before with his emotion-driven outburst.

"I can't Logan, not alone, please don't make me," Haruki says. "Please don't. I've never been here before. I never go in the hedge. It's all strange and weird and not real. Please don't." He's trembling now as he begs. "I know this is normal to you but it's not to me."

"Come here, Haruki, there's no reason you have to go outside for this anyways." Ashe tells him with a gentle tone.

Logan puts a hand on Haruki's shoulder, as if to steady him. "It's okay, Haruki. You can stay here." His voice is soothing. He smiles at Ashe, then watches Kip some more, that sharp gaze levelled on Kip's face. For the time being, he says nothing more, but those brilliant blue eyes study him intently.

Finally, something gets through to Kip, chiseling deep enough to peel off more of his restlessness and agitation. "Haruki, it's perfectly fine," he says in a much calmer voice than moments ago. "At least /here/. You'd be close. It's not things here that you have to worry about, I promise. It gets easier." With each word he becomes more calm, more centered, more his usual softspoken self, even though there's still a riot brewing under the surface. It's just not a crashing storm like it started out. "I am," he mentions to Ashe. "Sorry, I mean. I-- I shouldn't yell, especially not at you. It was uncalled for, regardless of us being in the middle of a meeting. I just love her, like a sister I mean not in a... romantic way. And I've told her countless times I'd do my best to keep her safe. And it turns out she might have been snatched away right under my nose and I'm too damn stupid to even realize it. So I'm sorry I took it out on everyone here. And I'll take the pledge to prove I'm listening and I'm taking this very seriously and I'm doing my best to not let emotions get in the way of thinking things through."

Ashe gives a look to Kip, "Do you think a month will work? If so. You will pledge not to speak of this to Cerise or anyone that could possibly leak it back to Miss Hodgson." she tells him. "If you break this pledge, you will be very sorry, Kip." she tells him in a low tone.

Haruki's still shaking and looking upset. It's Ashe he goes to though, looking relieved. Will she let him hug her? He could really do with a hug. Truly everything here has him on edge. And there's Kip trying to reassure him and Kip's going to get a hug. "She loves you like a brother. You'd do anything for her? She'd do the same. You have to respect her choices. Her decisions, not yours. If you got hurt helping her, it wouldn't be your fault, would it? Same goes. You're not stupid. I love my brother so much and I'd be devastated if anything bad happened to him too."

"No," Kip says. "I-- I mean, you need to add in something to keep me... to keep me from doing something stupid. Because right now I can convince myself it's not true, but if I find out it is-- Add that in and I'll pledge. For a week. And then we can renew it if we need to, but just in case something changes... You might need me. To be really involved. And I can't if I'm limited."

Logan watches Haruki go to Ashe, but his facial expression doesn't change. It's as pleasant and smiling as always. "Being 'really sorry' isn't enough for you, Kip?" Then he glances at Ashe and says, "I'd still like to talk with you some other time, Ashe, if you don't mind."

Ashe gives Haruki a hug, she's not completely a monster! "You're fine, Haruki and I'm happy that Itsuki is wanting to join us as well. I met him over the Autumn and he was nice." she tells him. Then she looks to Kip, "I was getting to that." she tells him with a chuckle. "If you break the pledge, the Wyrd will strike you blind for a time. A time that you'll probably go mad in. And you love your books and things far too much for that." she admits.

"And yes, we can speak another time, Logan." Ashe tells him.

Haruki likes Ashe a lot and hugs from Ashe and now he's not being abandoned he's well not far more relaxed but at least not on the edge of pure panic. He's quiet now, watching and listening.

There's a slight wince as if Kip is horrified by the consequences, even if part of him wants it to be even worse. He needs a good solid pledge to deter him. He knows his weaknesses, after all. "Yes. I agree to those terms." He manages to muster a smile for Haruki in an attempt to keep him from worrying, though he does let his attention go back to Ashe. Logan's question isn't really answered, but it's implied in the quick glance he gives him. "And sorry I interrupted you and Ashe needing to talk."

If Logan is displeased or annoyed in anyway, it certainly doesn't show on his face. He's still smiling, eyes still bright, expression still pleasant. "It's quite alright, Kip." His eyes wander over to Haruki. "I'm going to go now, Haruki. Did you want to come back with me, or would you rather stay here with Ashe?"

Haruki nods at Logan. "Okay. I don't want to stay. I want to go home. There's so much walking on getting out anyway."

It doesn't take long for the Pledge. One week, not to say anything to or about Cerise and the possibility of her being a Fetch and extended to include anyone who may leak the information back to her or Kip will lose his vision for however long. But the pledge is spoken, the pact made and the whole thing sealed up. "I'm still leaving for a couple of days at least," he mentions quietly. "I'm going to let Mina know we're going away for the weekend and I'll... I'll hopefully be less /this/ when we're back." With that, he takes off for the shop and apartment to prepare.