MT07 - Wayhouse - Nov 25
It's a couple days after Thanksgiving, and it's only chilly instead of outright cold, tonight. No snow, just grey skies not even bothering to loom threateningly-- maybe the clouds are
tired or cranky or just not into it. Either way, it means the night's not pitch black, because the moon's lit the clouds up from behind, and in that strange light, everything outside is
In contrast, the inside of the Wayhouse is warm and warmly lit, as welcoming and community-oriented as it ever is, and there's a man present who's recently taken to holing up there with
various manual projects, at the dining room table, when he wants to be ostensibly social but doesn't want to go to the effort of seeking out company or subjecting himself to crowds.
Czcibor Kowal's in jeans and a nondescript zip-up maroon hoodie with hiking boots, a newspaper spread out on the table in front of him, and he's idly reading it as he carves into a split
stick he's already stripped of bark. It doesn't look like it's something he's very good at, at all. But you don't get good at anything without practice, right?
Dielle comes into the Wayhouse. She's wearing that godawful sweater of hers, the one that's purple and green and scary shades of both. She doesn't have anywhere in particular she needs to
be or any reason to be in the Wayhouse, she's just there because going to poke the bears in a different place doesn't sound like fun tonight. She sees Czcibor and calls out a hearty "Hey,
there," to him.
The tin man looks up and grins. "Hey, Moon Princess," he says, setting the stick and the pen knife down, then reaching for his coffee as he looks her over-- and tries really hard not to
look at her sweater. He sips his coffee, then sets it down as he tilts his head. "Captain Moon Princess, I mean. Are you okay?"
Dielle chuckles. "I'm just fine, Czcibor. Had to do some shopping today. I can trek in the Hedge for hours, but one trip through Costco just drains me. And on the weekend of Black Friday,
too. This was after talkin' to a new girl, Peggy, and givin' a personal training session to an athlete" She gives a bit of a yawn and says, "How's your day been?"
"Eh," the Elemental says, wobbling his free hand and shrugging. "Quiet, which is good, I like quiet. Too much social drama and emotional friction the past few days. Really glad to just...
not." He pauses, then reaches up to rub the back of his head. "I should have mentioned this before, but I-- I don't think I can go on the Ashen Hunt. I mean, if you need me there as a
healer if any of our people get hurt, I can do that. I'll go as air. I don't know how they get organized around these parts, but the way they've been run in other freeholds I've been
in..." He shakes his head. "Being terrifying and mob-chasing someone, or a group of someones-- mortals in this case... I just... I understand they need to die. But my brother was chased
by the Wild Hunt. I can't... be the monsters that hunted him."
Dielle says, "You don't have to, Kowal. It's entirely voluntary. If you want, we can both go and sit on the sidelines and heal our people if they need it. Well, you can, I can just heal
bruises and concussions and shit. I'm all for going and talking to these guys, or getting into a nasty brawl kinda thing, but...well, I ain't Autumn and it's not my scene, precisely." She
sits down, and leans on the table and looks vaguely relieved that someone else shares her sentiments. "It's not even that I feel bad for these fuckers. They're murderers. But this ain't
If Dielle looks relieved, Czcibor looks like her admission just took the world off his shoulders. All the hesitation drops away and he laughs, shoulders sagging, back thumping against the
back of his chair. "Dzieki Bogu--! I thought it might be a requirement or something. It's-- there is a lot of Autumn that I admire fiercely. I am glad they are there to keep our lore and
our magic; I am glad they are there to find ways to use the Gentry's magic against them-- but fear... fear is a blade with no hilt and no sheath. It's even easy for me to use-- and that's
why it is so very important to me that I don't become it." Then he slouches down a little further and holds his mug in both hands, looking rueful. "And also, yes, it isn't clean."
Dielle smiles at Czcibor and it's a slow smile with as much relief as he has. "Don't know if it's because I'm me or because I was a unicorn. Or maybe it's the guy I'm with, and he just
makes me want to be better than I am. But I prefer a clean fight and I'm not real happy that we're not gonna get to go back and have a chat with those guys. Shooting them in the head when
they refuse to change is at least giving them a chance. They can fight back. This? Yeah, I really, really don't much like it."
There's a little tilt of his head again, and Czci's smiling a small, fond, lopsided little thing at Dielle. "I think it's probably because of who you are, if it's got you on a gut level
like this." Then the smile fades and he looks into his coffee, which may or may not be laced with alcohol. "A clean fight is always preferable to assassination, and assassination
preferable to murdering someone who's terrified and running from you because hell is literally on their heels. Because I'm me, I prefer-- when possible-- alternatives to death. A
second chance with a sword of Damocles hanging above it, perhaps. Terror used as an educational tool rather than as cruelty in and of itself, and balanced with hope and knowledge. 'This
is what could be done to you, but it won't be. You won't die if you never come after us again, if you leave. Or if you help us instead.' Rehabilitation. Pledge-binding. It's worked
before-- but this isn't where I come from; I'm new here. This isn't my season. None of this is my call, and it shouldn't be." Then he looks up at Dielle again. "But if there's no other
choice, then yes, let them at least go down fighting."
Dielle nods at Czcibor and says, thoughtfully, "I was gonna hold off on this, but I don't think I am, based on that speech. I'm promoting you to private in the Harvestmen. You've already
shown you're effective in teamwork, which is the big thing, you can take orders as well as give them, and frankly, we need that. Especially since we're gonna need another Lieutenant,
although I'm not promoting you to that, not yet. I want to see more before I do that." She looks pretty pleased, now.
Haruki's never completely comfortable at the wayhouse, but he's trying to get better. He's dragged Itsuki along with him today, if just to get out of the house and do something different.
At least it's warm in here, unlike outside. "I still haven't found the books." He admits. "There's got to be books and information and, well it's not all online. Not that I can find,
which is just as well since anyone would be able to read it then." He trails off at the sound of other voices, as he steps in to where they are.
Itsuki is dragged. The smaller Nakamura is slightly better dressed than last time anyone mighta seen him, wearing a new and comfortably warm looking oversized hoodie, and actual pants. He
does look pretty glad at getting out of the cold, at least, shivering and looking actually interested. "Do... you think so? Is that a thing that they'd keep..." He trails off as they spot
the other Lost. Offering a hesitant wave as he moves behind Aniki slightly.
To say that Czcibor looks... pole-axed... as the two boys are coming in would be an understatement. "I-- what, really? I feel like I just got here," he's saying to Dielle, blank eyes
wide. "I'm honored, Captain. If there's anything you--" But they're actually coming in this direction, and the Pole's eyes flicker toward Haruki and his obvious brother, then back to
Dielle like 'can we talk about this in front of them, is that okay?' but he's also lifting a hand in greeting, and smiling. "Is this the famed Itsy?" he calls with a laugh.
Dielle gives Czcibor a nod, and she says, "As far as I'm concerned, you've proven yourself, already, Kowal. Congratulations. I think...I think I'm gonna have to head up a squad myself,
for a little while, but I'm gonna have to chat with Ashe and see what else I can do." She smiles and manages not to sigh. When Haruki and Itsuki walk in, she cuts herself off and turns to
wave at them. "Hey, Haruki! How are you! And Itsuki, I haven't seen you in ages and ages! How are you both?"
"Czcibor, this is my baby brother, Itsuki," Haruki introduces them with a smile. "Are you okay?" He asks, concerned. "I can easy go, wander off elsewhere? We were looking for books." He
smiles brightly at Dielle. "I'm good! You? It's so good to see you." He then glances at Czcibor. "Congratulations?"
Itsuki's nose twitches at the 'baby' brother line, but has long since started just ignoring it. Instead he waves again and then blinks at the greetings. "Famed? Uh. Hm. I guess I don't,
um. Get out enough." The smaller twins offers an apologetic smile, "It's uh, nice to see you again though." This to Dielle, and then to Czcibor, "Um. It's nice to meet you, Cz..." He
stumbles a little on the pronunciation of that one.
"...thanks, I think," the tin man says with a wry laugh. "But no, really, I'm glad you can trust me: it means I can be more useful. And maybe later you can give me a run-down of who's
actually in which squad, since I know the intended organization in theory, but I haven't been able to figure out who actually does what beyond yourself and Rorschach." On the table in
front of him is a truly amateur woodcarving in progress, with chips and shavings all over the newspaper he'd spread on the dining room table in front of himself. He grins at Haruki's
introduction, and Itsuki's continuation. "Kowal," he laughs, and it's 'KO-val'. "Generally Captain Czcibor Kowal der Landeswehr, but-- now also Private Kowal of the Harvestmen. I am very
glad you have found your brother, and that you are close. Family is important."
Dielle smiles at Czcibor and says, "I think that will be a good idea. But in the meantime, pardon me for a bit? I have to use the facilities. Sorry, everyone. Serves me right for eating
Taco Bell." With that, she runs off into the bathroom.
Haruki nods at Czcibor. "Brothers are the best. Even baby ones." He moves to muss Itsuki's hair, affectionately. "This is Harvestmen things?" Is Kowal the name I should use, or Czcibor?
I'm Nakamura Haruki, but Haruki's the name that's used." He looks curiously at the woodcarving. "What's that?" And then. "Czcibor has a hot air balloon? He's going to take me not to Oz,
and I was going to invite Damion, because he's big and warm, and it's so cold, but Damion's busy."
Itsuki snorts, whapping as Aniki musses his already admittedly pretty messy hair, trying to look more grumpy than happy as he shrugs, "I suppose family is pretty okay." He concedes,
clearing his throat and ah'ing as Dielle excuses herself. Waving and looking to the metal Pole, "Harvestmen? Are you guys like, an army?"
Wincing at poor Dielle's distress, Czcibor takes a sip from his doctored coffee and shakes his head at Haruki. "You can call me whatever's easiest. Czcibor is actually my middle name, and
I've had so many nicknames in my life that it really doesn't matter. Kowal is even short for Kowalewicz. Ziv calls me Chee; my oathmate calls me Czcyk sometimes. I've spent the greater
part of my adult life in Vienna, where calling people by their surnames is the norm, even friends-- so I am very very accustomed to being called Kowal." He glances at the carving in front
of him and laughs. "That is me deciding to try a new hobby, one that doesn't involve either Star Trek novels or waving a sword around in the Hedge." Then he smiles and shrugs a little at
Itsuki. "The Harvestmen are the defensive line for Fate's Harvest. Organized fighters. An army's generally rather bigger; this is more like a militia, as I understand it."
Haruki shakes his hread. "No, I should call you what you want to be called. That's so many names. I don't want to speak of more intimacy than I have with you, or be familiar if I'm not."
His eyes light up. "OH! Are you watching the new star trek series? It's good to have lots of hobbies."
Dielle comes back and says, "Sorry about that! Don't be too quick to go in there. It's a little on the scary side. I refuse to give up meat entirely but I don't think my digestive system
likes it all that much. Which is way, way more information than any of you wanted." She takes her seat back again and shuts up.
Itsy wrinkles his nose but looks sympathetic. "Yeah. Gave up meat before the changes anyway, but I really doubt I'd be able to handle any now. Had a few runs in just with dairy and. Um.
Well. I can't eat dairy, anyway." The bun looks a bit embarrassed, looking back to the other conversation and nodding, "Oh, so you all drill and stuff? Militias aren't so much a thing
"We're Veganish," Haruki says to Dielle. "My stomach doesn't agree with much. No gluten either." He admits. "So, well, I understand." He looks at Itsy. "You're not thinking of joining,
are you? You'd get hurt. You're best and safest running away. You're so fast nothing can catch you."
"I don't watch a lot of TV," admits Czci, setting his coffee down and spreading his hands, then snorting at Dielle and just Not Commenting. He continues, "I'll probably binge-watch it
when the season's over, though. I don't have the patience to wait a week between episodes. But I'm looking forward to it." He pauses, skipping over basically all the foodstuffs
converstion, then squints at Haruki and Itsuki. "There is an entire squad of non-combatants. Which is amazing. It wasn't so, in Vienna. My cousin... my cousin was a bunny, too. She--
got overconfident, and went off by herself. If you did join, Itsuki, I would hope you wouldn't do something like that. That you'd let the combatants take attention off you, and run,
and take the information back with you."
Dielle shakes her head. "Rorschach's squad /are/ combatants. They're all fighters, they're just better at scouting. Doesn't mean they /can't/ fight. But y'all are welcome to come train
with us anyway, we got a few sparring sessions set up in the next few weeks. And a new recruit, who don't know much about fighting beyond which end of the sword to hold. Nice girl, so
long as she remembers to keep her thumb OUTSIDE her fist when hittin' someone."
"I- I don't know. I was just asking." The monochromatic bun is obviously considering it *now* at least, looking up at the Polish man's description, features softening. "Oh. I'm sorry you
lost your cousin." He offers the unicorn a grin, "Might watch, at least."
"If you wanted to, you could come watch it with us," Haruki offers. "If you like watching things with people. I like that. The social aspect of watching something weekly. Hanging out with
friends, with some good food, and drink, and watching something on tv we all enjoy. The discussions and anticipation leading up to the new episode. It's so much more fun with others." He
looks curious as noncombatants are mentioned.. "Could I train with you too?" He looks sympathetic and echoes Itsy. "Sorry about your cousin."
"Ooh, good to know," Czcibor says to Dielle, giving her an eyebrows-up fingergun. "Yet another instance of us really needing to talk about what the organization actually is as opposed
to what it is on paper. Gonna keep my mouth shut on it until we get a chance."
Dielle and Czcibor are sitting at the dining room table, newspaper and a terribly amateur wood carving in progress on the table in front of the tin man, and Haruki and Itsuki are both
standing near them, all four of them conversing.
"I'd-- actually really like that," the metal man says, startled at the invitation. "I haven't gotten to watch anything with people in a long time, and it's lots of fun. And-- thanks.
It's been a lot of years, but-- like I said, family is important. So... thank you." He defers the training questions to Dielle, glancing to her.
Dielle says to the boys, "If you want to come train with us, you're both welcome to. I mean, obviously, I'd like to keep that to Freeholders only, but just maybe it'll get us a few more
people. Although, admittedly, what we need are active people." She grins at them, and says to Czcibor, "Well, in this case, I've never seen the Irregulars NOT be able to fight, so what I
understand them to be doesn't necessarily have much to do with how it started."
Haruki smiles at Czcibor, brightly. "We watch, um American Gods, when it's back on. And been watching Star Trek. And Game of Thrones, of course. And sometimes we just hang out and watch
movies. And I've probably forgotten somethings we watch." He nods at Dielle. "We're both oathed. Itsy runs fast as anything. I'm... well I'm me. You know I'm not that good at much."
Ahoy! It's a Waykeeper! A real honest to god Waykeeper in the Wayhouse! Logan comes in from the cold, bringing cold air into the mud room as he continues through into the rest of the
Wayhouse proper. Once he does, of course, he also brings a whole lot of bright light with him. He's wearing a navy blue coat over a yellow and blue rugby-style striped sweater, paired
with blue pants and white sneakers with yellow soles. A suitably cheerful smile is given to the whole group. "Hi, everybody. It's always good to see people assembled here in the Wayhouse."
There's a nod to Dielle from Czcibor as he picks up his vodka-laden coffee and sips it again. "Paper versus performance, always." Then he grins at Haruki and Itsuki. "I'd love to. My
contact info's tacked to the bulletin board-- just give me a call when you're planning on doing it next, and I'm in." When the door opens and lets in daylight from the nighttime along
with the chilly air, the Elemental's suddenly shifting a little uncomfortably, biting his lip. 3... 2... 1...
"Logan I'm sorry for being a social disaster the other day!" he blurts out, putting his hands on the table and half-standing. "It was... a bad day."
That said, he realizes abruptly he was just now a social disaster again, and he clunks back into his chair and his metal hand clanks on his metal face as he drags it down it, mortified.
Dielle reaches over to pat Haruki's arm, lightly, and withdraw again. "I'm ok at a lot of things and not great at most of them and I just ended up as Captain of the Harvestmen. Then
again, I'm damn fine at delegating." She looks over and waves at Logan. "HEY! How the hell have you been? I'd wondered if you were still in town, I haven't seen you much!" She grins at
her fellow Dawn. (Her mantle's rather stronger than it had been.) Then she turns to look at her newest Private and snickers. "This sounds like a story."
"They are awesome, not bad!" Haruki tells Itsy with a smile. "But yeah, not the vampires and the werewolves. And not the demonhunting brothers." He nods at Logan. "Hello Logan. You and
Itsy know eachother? Logan does magic tricks," he tells Itsuki. His eyes go wide as Czcibor apologises to Logan, and then he looks concerned. He smiles at Dielle. "Delegating is important
too. And I think you're great at so much. Like being a friend, you're a great friend."
Logan's eyebrows raise briefly at Czcibor's little outburst. "I don't know what you're talking about, Captain." He pats a confident hand on Czcibor's arm. "I'm sure everything's fine. How
are you feeling now?" Then he flashes his grin at Dielle. "Good to see you, Dielle. Congratulations on the promotion." Haruki and Itsuki get the smile next. "And good to see you too,
Haruki. I'm not sure we have met, actually. I'm Logan." A golden hand is extended to Haruki as he asks the group, "What are you all talking about? Sounds like television."
Itsuki nods, blinking out of his reverie and taking the offered hand, shaking it. "Itsuki. Nakamura Itsuki. It's nice to meet you. Um." Cheeks turn a bit silver as he looks back to
Haruki, processing something with a little frown as he leans in, squeezing the older Nakamura's other arm and then slipping away, "Be back in a minute!"
There is a little more sinking-into-chair; if Czcibor's not careful, he'll sink completely under the table. He chuffs out an echoey little laugh, then reaches out to very lightly punch
Dielle in the arm. "No story. Didn't you just hear the man? He has no idea what I'm talking about." Then he pushes himself up and waves to Itsuki, and smiles apologetically at Logan.
"Yeah. I had a long talk with a friend afterwards, and she settled me out some on a problem I've been coping with. I just-- didn't want to--" He shakes his head and laughs. "It's not
important. Anyway, yeah, Haruki and his brother have invited me over to watch television with them, and it's been a while since I've gotten to do anything like that. They were just
describing some of the shows they watch."
Dielle murmurs a quiet "Thanks" at Logan. She nods in agreement about the topic of conversation, but since she hasn't really been saying much in it, she doesn't feel like she needs to say
anything more about it. She grins at the arm punch, and waves at Itsuki as he leaves.
Haruki blushes at whatever Itsuki whispers at him. "Are you okay?" he asks Czcibor. He nods at Logan. "Yes. TV shows. What do you like watching?" he looks between both Logan and Dielle.
He still looks curious as to what they're talking about, but doesn't pry. Then he looks over at Dielle. "You'll let us know when training is? I think it'd be good for Itsy to be able to
defend himself. But I don't want him getting hurt."
Logan pauses, hands in pockets, looking at Czcibor with an expression of patient amusement. His brows raise again, all sympathy as he nods his golden head. "Well. It's good to have
friends, isn't it?" Brilliant blue eyes linger on Czcibor's face for a moment longer before he focuses in on Haruki. "Well, I don't have as much time for teevee as I'd like, but there are
a few things I watch. The Man in the High Castle's really good, and I also like Westworld and Mr. Robot. Guess I've always been a bit of a sci-fi fan." He laughs a little and moves to the
kitchen in order to open the fridge, though he's still within earshot. Besides, he's back soon enough, a can of lemon LaCroix in hand -- which this Waykeeper always keeps stocked here.
Dielle snickers. "I kinda mostly watch movies. And The Great British Baking Show." She looks proud of that and says, "I can't figure out how such a laidback show gets so damn TENSE."
Haruki smiles at that. "Oh I watched that once. But I'm gluten free, so it was like torture. It's all the gluten everywhere." He looks at Logan. "Oh. I watched Westworld too. And I'll
maybe see the others. Only I don't want to watch nazis, not when there's so many around as it is."
Patient. The idea that anyone has to be patient in dealing with him-- which is entirely his fault-- well. Czcibor shifts in his seat again. It's easier to cope with when he doesn't want
someone to like him. Wanting that-- that makes everything more difficult. By stages, his mantle's gotten more confused in the presence of all the Dawn change; the flowers keep changing.
Earlier spring, later spring, nearly summer, nearly winter-- and right now it's settled on snowdrops and petrichor, and he gives Logan a small, lopsided smile, and he just nods to the
assertion. Then he starts cleaning up his mess, wrapping wood shavings and dust in yesterday's newspaper, and pocketing both pen-knife and terribly amateur unfinished carving. "I like My
Drunk Kitchen," he says absently, "on youtube. I have to get going, though, I'm really sorry. Haruki-- call me, okay? Dielle, please please call me when you have a few minutes to go over
stuff I need to know; I'll bring booze, just text me what kind you prefer. Or if you prefer something else. Logan-- good to see you again, and I definitely hope to catch you for more than
a few minutes next time!" He crumples the paper, smiles, and goes to collect his coat, limping gait present but not pronounced today.
Dielle nods at Czcibor and says, "Actually, I don't drink a lotta booze, but I'll be happy to have that talk over cake or pie or somethin'. I'll even supply it." She yawns and it's a big
yawn. "I think I'm actually gonna go, too. Haruki, I'll text you with the times, ok?" She gets up and grins at Logan and says, "Be nice to Haruki, yeah?" She doesn't say that like there's
any worry about it, though. "G'night, y'all."
Haruki's gaze flicks between Czcibor and Logan, back and forth as if he's trying to add something up. "I will. Definitely. Well text if that's okay? I prefer texts." He says to Dielle.
"Goodbye! Thanks. I'll see you then." He then looks at Logan. "You going too?"
Logan flashes his beautiful grin to the people who are leaving. Just when he got here, too! Well, it is late. "Bye," he chirps, not really punctuating that with anything else. He sips his
LaCroix and says to Haruki, "Probably soon, since it doesn't seem like anyone needs me. By the way, I wouldn't worry too much about the Nazis in The Man With the High Castle. It's all
just a fantasy. Nothing like real life."