Log:Lolly joins the freehold!

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Lolly joins the freehold!

Lolly and Zillah

6 March, 2019

Lolly reluctantly joins Fate's Harvest, and almost barfs all over Zillah's feet.


OT01 The Greengarden

      Winter. Interminable. COLD. When will Spring come? Not soon enough, if the quiet yearning on Lolly's greenish face is more than an odd and fern-based fetish. Still human enough to pass, the young woman is, nonetheless, showing the signs of her careful Arcadian pruning, beauty and allure subtle yet, but unmistakably Fair. She hasn't earned the superlative -est. Not yet.

      Green-rooted white hair is drawn up in two high messy buns to at least -attempt- stopping it from trying to curl up like the petals of the ruddy flowers sprouting from her flipping scalp, strands of long bangs hanging down from each temple before her ears. The mixed-blood Asian woman leans in toward a fern, surreptitiously brushing her cheek against a frond to breathe in the scent of healthy life. Shhh. This is totally normal.

No one is going to mistake the woman that comes into the greenhouse for human, these days. Not with that press of Wyrd that comes with her presence, or the stretching of shadows from the edges of the room, or just that sense of otherness that even mortals pick up on in their hindbrain.

Especially not with that Crown currently on her head.

Zillah may be under the safety of a roof, but the shadowsnake still has her parasol open over her head. The boots-leggings-sweater combination is fairly normal, at least. Hardly one to judge when it comes to normalcy, especially not with the cooing that she's doing to the plant in her off hand.

      Soooo... yeeaaah. Lolly outright flinches the instant Zillah gets close enough for her to notice the very particular eau de divinity, jerking up and staring at the shadowsnake with wide green eyes -- much to the bemusement of a human employee walking past on her way toward the cash registers.

      Flicky-up go those eyes, lingering on the crown, then hastily skitteryflicky back down to the ferns she had been all but cuddling. After all, convallaria does quite like partial shade. Maybe they bring back comfortable memories.

      The lily glances at Zillah again, a quick dart of a look, conflicted. Her posture is subtly angled toward the Queen, even as she nibbles on her lower lip and mutters softly under her breath in Japanese, arguing with herself (or an invisible friend?) over something.

To mortal eyes, the woman is rather pretty. Curves, good hair, and those eyes as blue as the depths of the ocean. Zillah's worth staring at, that's for certain, even if there's something a bit off about her. Maybe she tips a little too far on the crazy/hot scale? But maybe she'd be worth it. It's no surprise that someone would stare at her.

Of course, they can't see all the extra. That glimmer of darkly iridescent scales, the way shadows move around her like adoring and serpentine pets. Those solid black eyes, as empty as the space between the stars. Lips curve, when she feels herself being looked at, and she lifts her head to see the root of it. An amused lift of brow, a tilt of her head. 'I'm waiting', that expression says, even if Lolly is trying to only get quick glances of the shadowsoul.

      The sunlight, diffused by the corrugated panels of the fiberglass and the snowy, cloudy overcast outside, is a pale and greyish thing, augmented here and there by full-spectrum lamps to keep the plants happy.

      It sure keeps Lolly happy.

      After another ten seconds or so of anxious internal debate, the mixed-blood lily huffs a frustrated breath, jerks the fern out of its tray and hugs the pot to her chest, as if to protect herself on her way over toward the creepy shadows, delicate greenery and tiny Spring blossoms rising up where she steps, all herbs and flowers used in healing. She hesitates at the boundary of the deeper darkness, uncomfortable, then takes a deep breath and blurts a stammered, "Ah--h-hi. Can we, um. Talk? Somewhere? You're Zillah, aren't you?"

It's the warmth and the scents of the greenhouse that the snake finds most pleasing. Warm is good. Sunlight is bad. But that's why parasols are a lovely invention. She watches with interest as the lily gathers up her courage, even if she's hiding behind a helpless fern. Gaze flickering down, to watch those flowers as they spring up, another quirk of her lips. The shadows press out, but they don't consume. As gentle as nightfall, on a pleasant evening. Of course, that's not the story in Zillah's own personal circle of Wyrd. Everything darkens around her, and there's life in those shadows. Whisps of whispers, half-forgotten voices.

Forked tongue flickering out, she wets black lips before she speaks. "Of course we can, dear." Echoes of hissing in her voice, but that accent is all Brooklyn. "And I either am, or someone stole her headwear. Where would you like to go, lovely?"

      Gulp. Shoulders tense and high, hapless fern hugged close against her coat, Lolly seems torn between NOT looking at Zillah and the natural instinct to keep her eyes on a potential threat, body language all internal conflict, flight, flight.

      "Um. I-I'm not sure. The back, maybe?" She gestures vaguely toward the rear wall of the public section. "N-not as many people." Point in fact, NO people, at least right now. That section has a lot of mulch and outdoor tools folks in Vermont won't need for at least another month or two, once all the snow is gone.

It's hard to look harmless, when you're a creature like Zillah. But at least she's not going out of her way to look threatening...right? She doesn't loom over the other woman, or even flash those curved fangs her way.

"The back is fine," she says with a nod of her head, glancing that-a-way to doublecheck the scarceness of mere mortals in that area. And, likely in a move to keep Lolly from feeling like she's being actively herded to the slaughter, she leads the way to the back area. Mmm. Smells...earthy.

      Earthy, yes, especially since there's manure back there, too. In bags, and a lot of it as scentless as possible, but... well... cow poop is cow poop.

      Lolly follows after Zillah when the Moon leads the way, and, after a slow, deep breath, she whooshes out an awkward sigh and admits, "I-I've been thinking about pledging. I just..." Can't find the words, apparently. Rolling her lips between her teeth in thought, her scent, this close, is an intoxicating thing, lily of the valley's sweet-sharp fragrance given a faerie upgrade.

      Coat-fluffed arms tighten around the fern's biodegradable pot as she holds it close, eyes dropping to the fronds. "I've never -been- in one before, and this one has, like, sixty bajillion people who make me feel like I'm living in one of my nightmares, but I want to -help-, and Czcibor, he said there was a, um, the Greenies? That they owned this place? That they helped people with healing and stuff, and I-I want to help. I, um, I DO help, just..." Again, the rapid flow of lightly-accented words comes to a sudden halt, brain hitting a wall.

There's a quiet, expectant air that comes from Zillah as she turns to face Lolly once they're in the back. No good place for leaning, she instead cocks a hip and twirls that parasol oh so slowly as she stands there. Patient. Patient but waiting. Don't mind those flickers of tongue to taste the air, or the way she watches unblinkingly. Completely normal. Yep.

She waits, letting the flower get it all out before she says anything. "We sorely need members of the Greenies," she offers. "There are far too few willing healers in our number. Did Czcibor happen to give you a copy of our laws, when he told you of the Freehold?"

      Yep. Totally normal. Also normal: the fact that Lolly reacts to Zillah's version of 'normal' with a decided lack of comfort!

      "I-I, um," the lily begins, fumbling through the words under that unblinking stare. "I think it might have been Kelsey, but, um, I've seen them at the Wayhouse before. Just don't ask me to recite them, 'cause I know I can't."

There's a thoughtful look on Zillah's face, and there's even a little 'hrm' to go with it. One hand lifts, a finger tapping at her lower lip. "But do you remember them well enough to know what you're signing on for? This isn't a class - I'll not expect you to recite them word for word, but I don't want you unaware of the laws. Because if you break them, it's not me that you have to answer to."

      Shifting her weight, then quickly shifting the other way when she finds that her new position has begun to squish one of the fern's so-pretty fronds, Lolly makes a face. "Um... Listen to the people in charge, keep stuff secretish, don't kill other members...and if you do, you'll end up dying anyway so sucks to be you?"

      As summaries go, it doesn't sound like a very encouraging reason to join the freehold.

There's a slow nod, a purse of lips. "And no serving the Kindly Ones," Zillah adds, a firmness in her voice there. "But yes. If you break your pledge, Lolly, you'll end up dead. It probably won't be pleasant. But as long as you don't plan on fucking anyone over, it's no biggie."

There's a bright, winning smile, there. So pretty. So Fairest. So very, very Wyrd.

"Be careful, you're squishing your new friend, there." A pause. "If you like to Oath, we can do so now. The Greenies are few, but I'll let them know you're joining their number."

      Gulp. With skin as odd as hers, so plant-like and smooth, she doesn't precisely -pale- when Zillah mentions the Kindly Ones, but she looks as though she -ought- to be paling. Chlorophyll doesn't move the way blood does.

      The poor, abused-yet-abundant fern is hugged closer again, fingers tightening on the pot. "'Like' has nothing to do with it," she retorts, showing a hint of backbone, but only a hint. "I practically peed myself when you walked in, and knowing my luck, the next person in charge'll be even scarier than you are, but...oh, fudge. Just do it." She squinches an eye shut, making a face, as though swearing herself into the freehold were comparable to getting vaccinated. Who WANTS to be poked with needles?

Zillah's lips give a little quirk. "It's possible that they will be, as you say, scarier than me. But being in the Freehold is its own form of protection, dear."

The shadowsnake takes in a breath, and then lets it out. Drawing things out, just a little. Because she does like being poked with needles, and more importantly, poking with needles. "Repeat after me, then." She recites the Pledge from memory, slowly enough so that Lolly doesn't miss a single word, or the weight of it as the Wyrd draws into them.

      Lolly fidgets, uncomfortable in that drawn-out silence. That discomfort doesn't get any better, either, when she feels the weight of fate just...waiting there, witnessing what they say, the give and take of reluctant fealty. She actually flinches when it's done, when the pledge has been sealed, and looks a little nauseated.

      "I'm not going to barf, I'm not going to barf, oh god, not going to barf..." she mumbles into the fern, barely-audible, anxiety and tension keeping her neck and shoulders tight with suppressed fear.

      On the bright side, she -doesn't- vomit.

"Please don't barf," Zillah says with a soft chuckle in her voice. "I may be the Goddess of Lost Things, but I'm not the patron saint of lost lunches." See? She can make jokes! That's surely a human-ish quality. Nothing to worry about, here. "Welcome to the Freehold, Lolly. And the Greenies. Good luck to you."

That tone...that smile. Why is it so ominous? Not that Lolly has the chance to ask, before Zee's showing herself on out.