Serenity arrives from the vast expanse of the parking lot, flowing in with a slow undulation of 'wings' and a swirl of feathery gills. Even if not looking for her, Ren wouldn't have any trouble spotting Sae. Ren slides off to the side of the door before offering an amiable "Hello." Ren adds, motioning a fin edge toward the apron, "A very colorful outfit that you have today."
Rayne is currently well within the store, deep in the confines of the clothing section. What is she seeking out here? Some stylish new outfit? A dress? No, she's just looking at T-shirts, of all things. She oddly seems to be having a lot of trouble deciding what to get among the multitude of designs, or if she wants a design at all! Sometimes there are just too many choices.
Thought perhaps very powerful, Flandre seems to be wholly devoid of initiative. If it weren't for someone pushing her to go out and do stuff, she'd probably stay in her dorm all day and night drawing and playing games, only moving out when hunger sets in. Fortunately for her, initiative is something that Sae has in spades! Being elated at the idea of going out to paint stuff, the vampire Flandre allowed her thrall to draw her into helping out with painting and is there too at the S-Mart. She's not.. next to Sae though which may be a slight problem knowing Flandre.
As one might expect due to her immaturity, rather than stand still and wait patiently for the rest of the Welcome Center Committee, she's running around the halls of S-Mart, driving around in a shopping cart and making a nuisance of herself. "Wheeee!~"
Sae pushes up onto her tippy-toes and waves excitedly to Ren. "Heya Ren! And awwwww, thanks! I use it when I paint stuffs! Cept I kinda ran outa art supplies since Flan uses them too!". Just to show off how cute she thinks it is, she undoes the back of her apron and turns it inside out, showing off a Hello-kitty face she'd finger-painted on the fabric. Putting it all back on the right way, she turns to walk into the store and eeps softly at what Flandre's doing. "Eeeeep! Flaaaan! Be careful! You might get hurt or break somethingggg!". For someone who's the vampire's 'thrall', Sae sure plays the 'mother' in this relationship quite a lot! Her shouting might be enough to tip off Rayne her friends are here, too!
"So so! Ren! What kinda stuffs should we get! Finger-paints are a MUST I bet! Nothing more soothing, plus most people have finger-ish things, right? Fssssts not withstanding! Thouuugh...", she giggles and peers at a 'fin'. "Can you..fin-paint?"
Serenity shifts to match height with Sae, leaning over to peer curiously at the painted design. As Sae heads in, Ren slips in at her side. Ren doesn't seem to focus on Flandre until Sae points out the source of that noise. Ren waves a 'wing' and doesn't look particularly concerned, perhaps due to unfamiliarity with the possibilities of childish antics together with wheeled vehicles. "'Soothing' sounds like exactly the goal we're trying to accomplish," Ren remarks agreeably to Sae. "It might even help to integrate people if they see children's drawings of difficult or strange circumstances." Ren then smiles and pokes the girl in the shoulder with a few boneless 'fingers' formed by sharply scalloping the edge of a pair of fins. "I may be a bit out of practice from painting without a brush, but surely could pick it up again."
Rayne's left eye twitches as she hears, off in the distance, the sound of Flandre. Her right hand move up to her face and she pinches the bridge of her nose with a sigh. She counts down from ten, reaching 2 before she then hears Sae calling after the young-looking terror. She groans lightly and mentally debates making her presense known or not. She just wanted a nice t-shirt to wear with those jeans she picked up a few months ago, she wasn't really in the mood to... deal with Flandre. . o ( ...Maybe I should invest in a wig... Then I might be able to pull off being incognito... )
Ooh! Right! Hurting and breaking things was a big no-no now! Because Sae said so! It seemed that the vampire's thrall was slowly becoming less Flandre's servant and more like a guardian, perhaps taking the place of Flandre's nanny. "Okaaay!" Surprisingly, Flandre actually complies with Sae's order to be careful. She jumps off the shopping cart, letting it roll down the hallway carelessly, and skips over to join the colorful slug and the school girl. "Hi Ren!" Chirps the vampire returning Ren's greetings.
Flandre then reflexively holds hands with Sae as she does with those she views as being more responsible than her and sniffs about thinking she caught the familiar scent of Rayne.
Sae jumps and giggles when Ren pokes her, the edge of her fins unexpectedly firm to the touch, at least when Ren wants to them to be! "Awwww! That's awesome! You should totally do some finger painting toooo! Just with that 'ger'. I'm thinking I'll paint some cute, calming scenes! Like maybe a kitty's stuck in a tree in one, but then they rescue the kitty in the next! Then the third they're all snoozing safe and sound together!", grinning wide. "I should totally watch you paint sometime though! It'd be cute!". As Flan comes over, Sae happily takes her hand and hums as they trio walk along towards the arts and crafts section, giving the smaller campire's hand a firm squeeze. "You gotta be careful with those carts Flan! Someone might round a corner or something and go 'oof!' and get hurt!", giggling again though to show it's really no big deal. Half of the people around here could have a card run at them and be a-okay, so Sae's not terribly concerned.
Just to be silly, Sae takes Flan's hand and makes her point a finger out, then reaaaaches over with it to poke Ren's fin! "Flan flan! Did you know Ren can finger paint?! How cool is that!"
After Sae gives a painting example, Ren takes a moment of puzzled expression to visualize it before nodding thoughtfully. "Indeed we could use some illustrations of happy endings for even more troubling things that happen in town." Ren peers down the aisle with fluorescent-colored paper in passing, but continues following at Sae's side. Her warning to Flandre gets a brief frown and perhaps a bit of extra vigilance while passing the end of an aisle. Ren doesn't seem to mind the two horsing around, but retracts the fin a bit after noticing that it's Flandre's fingers involved. "Well," Ren hedges, "one shouldn't expect any masterpiece from me." Ren adds thoughtfully, "I suppose motion tracking art is right out for people unfamiliar with video, but perhaps some dance with ribbons?"
Rayne sighs, deciding she'd probably best be social... or at least making sure Sae is keeping Flandre out of trouble. She leaves the T-shirts for another time and steps out of the clothing area, looking around for where she last heard either of the pair... and is mildly surprised to notice Serenity as the group walks into the arts and crafts area. She tilts her head, once again considering just letting the group be, as between Sae and Ren, she thinks Flandre is unlikely to cause any problems today.
"I'm sorry." Wow! Looks like Flandre really has changed a lot for the better. She's even apologizing when Sae even half chides her about hurting people. Then again, Flandre still speaks with a decidedly childish tone to her and it may be somewhat difficult to tell if she's being sincere with her apology or she's just doing it so that Sae will leave her alone about it. Nevertheless, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Back then she'd not only refuse to apologize, she might even question why it was a bad thing to hurt people. After all, if they didn't want to get hurt then they should get out of the way, or so was her previous reasoning.
That said, Ren is very wise to retract her fin before Flandre touches her. The vampire may be taking steps to improve her behavior but she still has leagues to go before fully controlling her powers. Flandre wiggles her fingers at Ren as she fails to touch the colorful slug person, which is good because she might have accidentally blown Serenity up had she managed to touch her.
"Cool! Let's draw some pie, Ren!" Flandre clamors excitedly as the two begin to talk about arts and crafts, jumping up and down next to Sae. "Everybody loves pie!" She's yet to notice Rayne due to her excitement it seems.
Sae ruffles Flan's hair and flashes Ren a proud smile when the girl apologizes. "Great job Flan! Told you you're the bestest!", hoping to push the girl a little more in the direction of 'apologize good, hurt people bad!' with her encouragement. Simply shaking her head to Ren's modesty, Sae adds "Don't be silly! As long as it makes someone smile, it might as well be a masterpiece, right? And I know your stuff will make be all sorts of happy! Do need to think up more happy-ending scenes though. Maybe like..someone hiding under a blanket, and their friend being all OH NO OH NO but then they pop out from the blanket to hug them or something! I dunno!".
Looking around for some art supplies, Sae manages to catch Rayne in her vision. "Rayne! Rayne! Wanna help us get some art stuffs? I bet you know lots about it 'cause you've got super pretty hair!". Wait, what does that have to do with anything? In Sae's mind it's Pretty rainbow colors -> paints are colorful -> Rayne must paint! "But yeah, Ren! I think that'd be nice too! Dancing's always so upbeat and happy after all!"
"Draw some pie?" Ren repeats curiously. "Pie tends to be simply baking-pan-shaped, no?" Sae's advice, then, gets a smile from Ren. The sea slug makes a single spin in place, lightly undulating a horizontally-held portion of fin edge (perhaps fluttering an imaginary ribbon). Ren stops as Sae calls to Rayne, flaring a pair of fins to wave to her. "I'm afraid that dangerous animals appearing randomly and people brandishing weapons are a bit more frightening than a friend being lost beneath a blanket," Ren observes. "Or would you like some help," Ren calls to Rayne after Sae, "with your own shopping?"
Rayne is just about to turn away from the group when she hears her name called. She lets out a sigh, but there's a smile on her face when she turns around. "I might not know as much about it as you might think... I'm really still on just making sketches still, I've not... stepped into color just yet." She shakes her head to Serenity. "I think I can handle my own shopping today..." She glances down the art aisle, though, and does step into it, heading for one item in particular. "I am running low on sheets in my current pad, though." She glances over her shoulder at the rest of the group as she reaches the pads, however. "So what are you guys all up to here?" she asks with a raised eyebrow.
Flandre smiles up to Sae looking very pleased of herself and nods enthusiastically at the pettings. "Ya huh! I am the bestest! No matter what that ice fairy might say!" What ice fairy? She must be referring to Cirno, though its not someone any of the present would know. Of course, context is not something that Flandre has ever bothered with and fails at explaining what she means, instead deciding to stare at Serenity with wide red eyes. "Yeah! It's also delicious! I like strawberry pie the best!" Wait, Flandre is getting off topic here again. "Or we could draw potatoes! Potatoes are nice!" Yeah, she's mentally checked out it seems.
"Aha!" Flandre hops a bit as her red gaze falls upon Rayne as well and she grins with fanged teeth. "I thought I smelled you around here, Rayray." Giggles the little vampire terror. "We're buying things so we can paints the Welcome Center!" Exclaims the vampire before glancing confusedly at her thrall. "Uh, that is what we're doing, right Sae?" It seems she forgot already.
Sae claps once at Flandre's question, smiling wide down at the girl. "Mhm! You're half right Flan! And that's what counts!". Turning to Rayne to finish the explaining her vampiric girlfriend did, she adds "We're hear to get a bunch of paints for the welcoming center. Not to paint it and stuff, though! We're going to make some happy, kinda childish paintings for it and stuff to help cheer people up! Plus leave plenty there so any newcomers can kinda like.." she bobs her head side to side while she searches for the word "..decompress? By fingerpainting! Or with brushes, if that's what they want!".
"Aww, that's a great idea Flan! I'll draw a potato with a nice red bow around it! Like it's a girl-potato! It'll be cute!". Ahuh. Two 'mentally checked out' peas in a pod sometimes. "What kinda stuff do you draw anyways Ren? I don't think I've seen one of your things before!"
Serenity doesn't offer an opinion on whether Flandre is the bestest, but does nod at her suggestion. "I suppose food might be a common experience of different sorts of people, though having it available to eat might be more productive than drawing it." For Rayne's question, Ren motions toward Sae for her explanation. "Painting seems a good low-technology activity for our clients and likely a familiar one." Ren slides over to Rayne's side as she stops. "That sounds like a wonderful thing to be running low on," Ren remarks encouragingly while peering at the shelves, then twists to Sae with her question. "No, I don't draw. Of course art is a basic subject in primary school, but it's not something I've made much use of for some time."
Rayne blinks and pulls back her head slightly at Flandre's understanding of what the supplies are for. "Please do not paint on the walls of the Welcome Center... I'd like to try to keep it professional looking..." At Sae's better explanation of their goals, she visibly relaxes a little with a small sigh. She nods to Ren, though. "Yeah, that's a pretty solid idea. We should definitely keep it all in one area, but have it prominent, nonetheless, in the waiting area." She raises an extended finger, however. "We do have that vending machine in there that's free of charge for food... I don't really see how we can effectively do much better..." She tilts her head, then. "Maybe a table with pastries? The problem is keeping them fresh... and keeping regular TASK officers out of them."
"Yay! I was half right!" Cheers Flandre childishly whilst pumping her fist and waving it around a little. "That's better than what I usually do!" Which is to say, she gets it totally wrong and maybe even blows whatever she was trying to fix to smithereens.
Once again, she begins to hop and down excitedly when Sae agrees with her idea of drawing potatoes. Of course, Sae -would- be the only one to go along with Flandre's crazy ideas, though she goes even a step further and expands on it with some suggestions. "Yeah! I can draw a potato with a baseball cap so its a boy potato!" The vampire girl continues to hop. "Oh! Oh! And one with a sombrero so its a Spanish potato! And one with a wizard hat!" She is, perhaps, taking this idea a bit too far.
Sae says, "Hmm! Good point! What if people get hungry while they're painting? Or thirsty?" Sae muses to herself, thinking. "Maybe..do people usually arrive at certain times? I could maybe stop by sometimes with refreshments if so!", giggling. "Could help me practice cooking, even! I needa learn how cook up some awesome stuff for Flan and me after all! So couldn't hurt?".
Sae can't stop laughing at how cute Flandre's being, giggling and twirling and even picking up the vampre for a few seconds! "I think the first one will do awesomely Flan! Maybe I'll paint the girl and you paint the boy potato? With a big heart above it! Could totally set a happy tone for the painting area, dontcha think?", hopefully distracting Flandre from painting a million potatoes while simultaneously going along with a silly idea! It's always a weird balancing act with Flandre, but one Sae loves to be in the middle of!
"Hey Ren! Speaking of sheets and stuffs, what kinda thingy do you sleep on? If that's not like..too personal?", tilting her head at the slug, since she's curious what would constitute comfy for her!"
"I agree with keeping the office looking professional-looking by segregating the decor that doesn't match to one area or to one of the meeting rooms," Ren agrees with Rayne, then motions toward her. "I defer to greater experience with providing fresh food, though. That just passed through my mind as a common shared experience. Perhaps we could try something with folk tales, too?" Ren glances to from Flandre to Sae and Rayne as the potato suggestion continues, apparently a bit confused and looking for some deeper symbolic meaning. Sae's question about furnishings distracts from further speculation there. "I sleep in a hammock. It's not a sheet, but a netting of cloth strips." Ren looks a bit puzzled by this question. Ren grins and adds, "I'm not aware of any vegetables being involved."
Rayne says, "Huh... Well, I guess we can rotate paintings in the area." She shrugs, then glances at Ren. "Yeah, it all makes sense, I guess." She then picks up the art pad, then nods to the group. "Well, I'm going to go ahead and get this art pad home... You kids have fun, but not too much fun, okay?" She waves and starts heading for the checkout."
Sae seems to know exactly which of Flandre's buttons to push so that the girl doesn't fly off the handle. Flandre is easy to control once she's understood after all. She has plenty of enthusiasm, its just a matter of using that enthusiasm and energy to something productive.
Rather than paint a million potatoes with different hats, she seems to agree that making a loving potato couple could be just as good. "Aaaw! Yeah! They can have hearties with each other, just like us!" Flandre chirps and leans up to rubs cheeks with her girlfriend/thrall/guardian as Sae picks her up.
She then waves to Rayne as she departs and smiles up to Sae and Ren happily. "I'll go ahead and start getting some crayons!" Wait, are they gonna be using crayons to draw this? Flandre doesn't seem to realize she's jumping to conclusions and wanders off to the kindergarten section.
Sae claps again. "Hammock! That actually makes a lot of sense! With how squishy you are and stuff, could kinda like..form up to your body perfectly! Must be adorable!", giggling and seeming to be very happy with Ren's answer. "I take it that means a blanket wouldn't be a very good present, then?", she asks with a tilt to her head, trying to figure out if one would work for someone who might not even BE warm blooded!
Serenity nods to Rayne and flutters a 'wing' to her in parting. Ren slides sideways and backwards to make way for her. As Flandre takes off as well, Ren peers after her but seems a bit more relaxed with her at a distance. Ren slides over to Sae's side and folds down a bit to have a look at the paint colors. "A blanket for me?" Ren asks curiously. "Wearing a blanket sounds rather bad for breathing. I might consider getting one as a wall hanging, though. Are you considering a hobby involving textiles, then?"
Sae looks over at Ren, then back to the paints, then back at Ren, repeating a few more times before she starts holding up a few shades in the fsst's direction. What's she color matching for? "Mhm mhm! I'm thinking of like..really learning how to knit and sew and stuff. I kinda-sorta can already, but I wanna make something nice! Me and Flan have all the blankets we could ever need, so thinking of making it for someone else! I dunno if it'd be pretty enough to hang, though!", giggling. "At least, my first one."
"I see," Ren replies with an encouraging tone and a gesture toward her. "You're working on dance, painting, and textile arts at the same time. That's wonderful. I've heard of some schools in other cultures having disappointingly low expectations for the arts." Ren adds, "Perhaps you can try some sculpture as well, by creating some toys out of cloth for young residents of this town?"
Sae gets all excited at the talk of even more art! "Mhmm mhmmm! That'd be super super cute! Adorable dolls that are soft and cuddly and pretty! It'll be so much fun to do!", smiling wide. "Thanks SO much for the idea! Never even thought of that! Is so silly not to have big expectations for art stuffs though! Cause like, without art stuffs there'd be soooo much less cuteness and happiness, right?"
Serenity nods in reply to the thanks. After considering Sae's observation, Ren grins and motions to the sides. "Without the arts, frustrated engineers everywhere would war with equally frustrated bureaucrats as they tried push even more ridiculously unnecessary consumer goods on the world and the bureaucrats fought to ban them all."