02.12.3014: Blast These Woods
Summary: Kieran and Brienne meet up in the woods, apparently Kieran found the long way through. And the mudhole.
Date: 22 November 2013
Related: None
Brienne Kieran 

Arborenin Woods
Tall, monstrous trees dominant the forests that take up most of the southern half of the Spine. Their trunks are like the legs of giants, and their dark bark is home to brightly colored moss and the broad steps of mushrooms. Natural light must filter down through broad leaves, casting much of the forest in a cool green glow. The forest floor is covered mostly in soft peat and rotting debris, creating a fertile bed for lush flora, which in turn become the habitats of diverse fauna. Nurse logs, hollowed snags, sink holes, and small forest caves adds layers of detail to the broad stretch of Arborenin woods. Toward the outer edges of the forest, the giant trees transition to smaller evergreens and firs, transitioning into mountain forests to the west and rocky beaches to the east.
February 12, 3014

Brienne had made the briefest of appearances at the cruise, to get her brother comfortable for the most part, then she had made her escape as soon as she could. It's early evening and she was out seeking the solace of her own forest for now, the peace like a balm to confusion. She currently sits, leaning against a tree, a leather bound book in her hands she is writing in and an open page she keeps referring to. She's dressed in her usual shirt and pants and boots, her hair down this time though, tumbling around her shoulders. She seems intent on what she is doing.

"Blast these Godsdamned woods…" Kieran mutters under his breath. His pants, boots, and even some of his leather jacket is coevered in mud. He had gone in search of Brienne the first chance he got, and after following her trail he was pointed to the woods. "… They said finding her would be /easy/. How can you find someone if all the trees look the same?" He says, sounding quite frustrated. It's then that he almost trips on a branch and stumbles forward. When he looks up, there she is by a tree.
"Hey." He says, giving her a slight grin, trying to brush off some of the mud to look more presentable. It's not helping much.

Used to the sounds of the forest, Brienne can tell when there's something out of place. Even without looking up, she knows there's someone around before she can even see them. Then she hears the voice.. and she sits up straighter, zeroing in on the direction he is coming from. By the time he trips on the branch, she is watching him, a smile playing over her lips. And then he greets her, brushing off the mud from his journey. "Hello, Kieran." She places the book and letter aside and stands, walking towards him in with slow steps. "You came," she says simply.

All Kieran's brushing seems to have just smeared the mud as well as get some on his hands. Great. He looks a little annoyed, huffing when he realizes there was no use. "I think your forest hates me." He says, squinting his eyes. "that was the fifth branch I tripped over. I also slipped into some… well, mud." He says, motioning to his pants and shoes. He takes the last few steps toward her, lightly taking her hands into his.

Brienne lifts a finger to her lips when he mentions the forest hating him. "Shhh," she teases, "It senses your hostility." She lowers her hand and when he takes hers, she smiles up at him, eyes glittering with amusement and pleasure in seeing him. "You can get cleaned up at my apartment, if you like. Tristan has something you can wear while your clothes are taken care of, if you like?" She doesn't seem in any hurry to go though, content to stand here holding his hands. "You still look dashingly handsome, mud or not." Her grin broadens, leaving it a mystery if she is teasing still or not.

Kieran glares at a random tree. "If I had known it could do that, I would have meditated or something before hand." He says, looking back up at her and grinning. "If he wouldn't mind, otherwise I don't have to wear anything." He winks at her his grin widening still. He looks himself down and then up, noticing the now speared mud. "You think so? I was trying for the 'down to Primus' look. I think I nailed the Primus part a little too well."

Brienne laughs outright when he teases her back, enjoying his sense of humor. "I'm sure he wouldn't mind. I also have Brenn, Tristan's twin, though they are a year apart." Leaving that a mystery for him to figure out. Tipping her head to the side, she allows her gaze to travel over his clothing, down then back up and by the time they meet his again, she's blushing. "I think so, yes." Any witty answer lost as the heat of the reminder warms her cheeks. "I'm glad you came to find me and I'm sorry you had to get muddy doing so."

Kieran stares at Brie, looking slightly confused when she speaks about her twin brothers. "Wait… how can you be a twin, but also be a year apart? Are they just realy close?" He scratches the top of his head before remembering that there's /mud/ on them. He lets out another exasperated groan before shaking his head and laughing. "It's just not my day, is it?" He says, pulling her closer to him, giving her a quick kiss. "Of course I'd come find you. We were going to get you a datapad." He smiles at her, staring into her green eyes.

His confusion is endearing and Brienne enjoys the look on his face before she offers the explanation. Bren was born New Years Eve and Tris on New Years Day." Giving him a playful wink, she doesn't protest when he pulls her closer, despite the mud. When he kisses her, she closes her eyes, lips curving into a smile when he draws back. "That's right, a datapad. Actually, I bought one once, but I never could figure out how it works. It's in my apartment. All the more reason to go there." Lifting her eyes to him, she's once more captured by the blue of his and the expression in them, that smile he wears. "I can lead you back through the easy way."

Kieran rolls his eyes when she gives him the answer to the twin conundrum. "Right… that was too simple." Another smile is brought to his lips when she does, and the mention of an already purchased datapad makes his smile larger. "Well, looks like we're already a head of the game, aren't we?" He says, staring into her eyes once more. "Of course there's an easy way…" He laughs softly. "Lead on then."

Brienne grins when he rolls his eyes, it really had been too simple. "Sure, it's not far from here." Then she remembers her things. "One second," separating her hand from his, she walks back over to the tree and refolds the letter, sticking it in the book and closing it, tucking it into one hand. When she gets back to his side, she offers her free hand, ready to lead him back to her apartment. "Oh sure, there's an easy way. No one takes the mire anymore. It got too swampy.." Glancing up at him from the corner of her eyes, she attempts to refrain from laughing.

Kieran glances at the book she grabbed, then takes her free hand into his. When she tells him that nobody used the path he just took however, he just shakes his head and laughs. "Seriously?!? You guys should put up a sign or something!" He looks back to where he came from. "It took me hours to get here… how long is the trek back?" He asks, almost whining and slightly afraid of the answer.

The book he glances at is bound with leather but it's made up of blank pages that tear out easily. It looks to be some sort of glorified notepad used for writing letters and has a folded letter sticking out of it, marking a page. When he mentions how long it took him to find her, she bites her lip, deciding now wasn't the best time to laugh. She leads him through another way, away from the mud and muck, hand in hand. The distance is a lot shorter, probably half an hour, but there is no mud. "Here we go.." Leading him through the family room to her apartment, just inside the door. "If you want to use use the shower, I'll run and get you some of Tristan's clothing for you?" She tosses her book on a table.

Brienne's Apartment
Tall, monstrous trees dominant the forests that take up most of the southern half of the Spine. Their trunks are like the legs of giants, and their dark bark is home to brightly colored moss and the broad steps of mushrooms. Natural light must filter down through broad leaves, casting much of the forest in a cool green glow. The forest floor is covered mostly in soft peat and rotting debris, creating a fertile bed for lush flora, which in turn become the habitats of diverse fauna. Nurse logs, hollowed snags, sink holes, and small forest caves adds layers of detail to the broad stretch of Arborenin woods. Toward the outer edges of the forest, the giant trees transition to smaller evergreens and firs, transitioning into mountain forests to the west and rocky beaches to the east.
February 12, 3014

The walk back to Brie's apartment was /much/ shorter and there was no mud. "I think the next time I go into these woods, I'm going to make sure I have a guide…" Kieran says laughing at the luck he's had today. When they step though the threshhold of the apartment, Kieran immediately sits down on the floor to remove his shoes as soon as possible. They were quite muddy, but at least now it's starting to dry. "Yes, that would be wonderful. Thank you." He says, looking up at her. He quickly notes where the book landed, as he finishes removing his shoes. "Thanks." He says, standing up. "Bathroom is this way?" He asks, pointing down the hall.

Brie watches him as he has a seat on the floor, tilting her head and smiling, wondering if she would forever hold that imagine of him there on her floor removing his shoes. "I will always be here to guide you, Kieran." Reaching behind her back for the knob, she waits only a moment longer before nodding. "It is. Or there's one upstairs too, in the loft." Turning the knob, she opens the door. "I'll be back in a few minutes. The towels are in the cabinets and there are washcloths. I apologize in advance for the girly soaps." Winking before ducking out of the apartment and closing the door behind her.

Kieran sighs. It's been a day today. After Brie leaves He slowly stands up, leaving his muddy shoes near the door. As he starts walking down the hall, out of the corner of his eye he spots the book she had been writing in. This gives him pause. "Hmmm…" He scratches his stubble. "What was she writing about…" He mumbles, figuring it was probably some kind of diary. It would be pretty easy to see what she was writing without getting caught. He takes a few steps closer, reaching out before pausing. This was a huge breach of trust. After a few seconds he sighs, There's no way she'd know. He opens the book, careful to not get any of the mud on it and quickly glances at what she was reading, then at the folded paper.

On the folded paper, this is the letter.
Lady Brienne,
My lady, I fondly profess myself to be one of your ardent admirers. I can understand if that comes to you as a surprise that a penny-pinching Valtan industrialist would admire you. In fact, it is non-other than your opposition to harmful mineral extraction efforts that I find most praiseworthy. Since the start of my time as the Director for Research and Development for the Valta Processing and Extraction Conglomerate, my team and I have development and invented over 800 new components to insure there is no environmental or ecological damage from our efforts and updated 450 environmentally detrimental procedures. I support the same ideals as I have been led to believe you do as well.
I am writing to you now to request your assistance in a classified research project I am undertaking. I need someone that shares my belief to insure that our methods on this project are not harmful. Normally, I would be the one to do this, but as you saw at the Volkan Warehouse, I have been going 80 hours without sleeping most of the time because I have been trying to do everything. My scientists and engineers tend to take shortcuts and I do not. I am looking for someone that does not mind standing up to prevent this abuse of our world-often time the people around me are willing to accept a little damage for the sake of a big payoff. However, once you walk down the road of making one compromise, it will consume you and before you know, the world will be injured beyond repair.
At your convenience, there is much I wish to speak about and I wish to see if you would be interested—-and field any questions you might have. Additionally, I should ask your forgiveness if I did anything to offend during our last meeting, I truly do not recall much of what happened that night.
Fondly your ardent admirer,
Dr. Adelstein Valta

As for what she had written:
Lord Adelstein Valta,
I admit a letter from you was the last thing I had been expecting. Even after having read it, it leaves me a little confused as to the intent. I appreciate your interest in the environment and the preservation thereof, there are so few that I have had the opportunity to meet that share your concerns and fortitude.
As to what I could offer for a classified research project you are undertaking, I confess to be uncertain as to how I could be of assistance. If you are looking for someone to assure you that the people you have in your employ are following the correct guidelines in preventing the use of shortcuts in disposing of environmental threatening contaminates, perhaps we could meet and you could explain further on what you are requesting of me.
At our last meeting, I suppose there was a lot going on at the time and you can rest assured there is nothing to forgive. I do hope the electronic devices my brother delivered to Lady Firia were returned safely. Whenever you have time for a meeting, please let me know via email, my family will notify me.
Lady Sir Brienne Arboren

Kieran scratches his head. This was /not/ what he was expecting. He'll have to talk to his cousin about this in the near future. Having already spent too much time reading already Kieran carefully puts everything where he found it then dashes to the loft bedroom, turning on the water and removing his clothes.

Brie leaves and entered Tristan's apartment. Collecting a blue shirt, black pants and a pair of new socks she'd happened to see in a package in his drawer, she leaves him a note before heading back to her own apartment. Stepping inside, she listens for which shower he had used, taking the stairs to seek him out. Stopping just outside the door, she leans against the jam and smiles to herself as she listens to the water running. "Kieran?" She calls out. "I have you some clothing."

Kieran had just stepped into the shower. The warm running water felt good against his skin. After a minute or two there is a knock on the door, and a familiar voice. He smiles. "Just leave it on the floor in here." He says, just now realizing he had forgotten to lock the door.

Hesitating only a moment, Brienne opens the door and places the clothing on the table just inside the door then steps back out. Once that's done, she heads downstairs to the sink where she washes her hands then goes to the refrigerator, drawing out a couple of bottles of Ale and sandwich stuff, placing it all on a table with a couple of plates.

After thoroughly removing all of the mud and grime of the forest from his body he turns the water off. After drying off and putting on the clothes given to him he steps out of the bathroom. It's then he realizes just how… flowery he smells. He lets out a sigh of defeat and chuckles silently to himself as he searches for Bri.

Brienne isn't too terribly hard to find. She's at the table with a couple of sandwiches and ales. Her bottle is already opened and she seems to have started on it already. When she hears him coming, she looks up the stairs and watches him as he moves around. "Are you hungry or anything? I have an ale here for you."

Food. Kieran wasn't hungry until Brie showed him sandwiches, but after that very long, mud-filled adventure he found himself very hungry. "Yes. Food would be awesome." He says, taking a seat next to her.

Brienne waits until he is seated next to her before sliding his own bottle of ale in front of him and his sandwich. She grins, leaning in to kiss his cheek. "You smell nice." Back to the teasing, she lifts half a sandwich and begins eating it, only speaking again after chewing and swallowing. "I'm sorry had I had to leave the other morning. I wish I could have stayed longer. I really like your little corner."

faded the scene here for the night

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