|Recovery and Reflection|
Chiffon's partner has been quiet. That's not entirely unusual for the more introverted Sanuye of the two. It would be more accurate to say that he's had little to say about those events. He has since learned that the object of his responsibility was stolen and that few clues, if any, remain after the firestorm and changing realities of that location of the outskirts of Mabase area.
Calwa walks along, almost with a limp, although not from any actual injury. He's favoring his front right leg likely from soreness alone. He hasn't worn his glasses, which were cracked and need repairing, since the incident and doesn't have his bags on, either. He seems relieved to be back out amongst nature; the Park really is the best option for some settling. A small smile is given to the side, to the larger of the two, as if to offer some reassurance that he'll be okay.
"I've missed you, you know."
Chiffon's body matches his spirit, stalwart and cheerful at this turn of events but certainly a little worried. He is difficult, if not impossible to pry from Calwa's side since his recovery. Which may be abrasive on occasion, but this is the price we pay.
Though he's got a few marks and mars from the fight, it's nothing compared to what the smaller Sanuye has dealt with, and so these Chiff bears with little complaint. It's strange to be back here again, or some version of here, with his counterpart like the distance between those moments was more than fleeting.
There will be ways to pursue what is needed, but now is a time of mending. Chiff leans over to bump his snout against Calwa's smile. "I was worried I'd lost you."
A tiny quiet laugh is elicited from the bump. Calwa dips his nose lower and intends to return the gesture with an upward nudge, but the motion goes very soft at the last possible moment. It's not that his nose is still injured or that it even hurts, but sudden reminder that it did hurt as much as it did causes the contact made to be very gentle, yet no less genuine.
"Still kind of hard to believe I'm here next to you. I don't know what's going on anymore or where we are." Calwa's voice trails off at the end as he turns his head to look over the water's surface while slowly strolling along.
The gentleness is reciprocated. Aside from a little lick, Chiffon is careful not to exert too much of his usual... enthusiasm on Calwa. Not yet, at least. Right now he's a good block, easy to lean and easy to draw from while being there, and warm.
"Mmm. I never know what's going on." Chiffon admits with a toothy grin. "But... it's much better with you there, yes." He sighs a little and watches the water, too, ears tilting back. "Though I'd like if it.. stayed in place for once."
"Sometimes," starts the markedly less-clothed of the two. "Especially when I think about it now," Calwa continues, talking in small segments with a lowered voice. Thankfully, the general calm of the park at the moment allows for ease of conversation throughout this. "I wonder if maybe I- I dunno. Died jumping from one building to another back in New Corel." That would have been when he 'fell from the sky'.
The smaller takes a moment to swallow some saliva -- a feeling that is odd after being so dry for so long -- before adding, "And maybe this is some kind of purgatory, instead of returning to the Lifestream, or punishment for things I'm not sure about." Calwa turns a bit and lifts a foreleg, his sore right foreleg, to give Chiffon a hug from the front while brushing cheek to cheek.
"But, if that were the case, I wouldn't have you with me to prove it all false."
"If reincarnation works like that... hooo. That'd be a real trip." Chiffon looks up thoughtfully, and scrunches a face. "Really painful way to travel around the cosmos though. I uh. This seems like some magical cataclysm to me, if anything..." A bit of wisdom and consolation along with all of the silliness.
And a little blush too. He's not used to being so... directly addressed in a romantic manner. Chiff leans back, helping prop up with his barrel and draping a thick paw around Calwa's withers for a little squeeze. "I'm really, really not going anywhere again. Promise. Somehow, all of this is just.. makes more sense with you here."
It could be seen as more romantic maybe, if Calwa weren't dealing with such an existential problem. Honestly, it's a measured level of stability that Chiffon offers that keeps the smaller from getting too deeply lost in thought over it all. All the same, the hug is heartfelt and the contact shared, for just a moment if it can be kept, is needed. Faintly, Calwa slightly trembles.
"That's kind of you to say. I don't recognize anything here expect for that one building back there." That would be the Usual. "Wow. I guess everyone must feel this way if they wind up here like me. Us. Th-that must be really sad."
"I think part of that is just... it still feels like it's transitional for everyone. I wonder. I want a way to make you feel at home. But... while we keep trying to find the way to real home." Chiffon shrugs his shoulders and smiles a bit. "I guess the concept is foreign to me. You're like... the closest thing I have to one."
So being parted is definitely traumatic. He pauses, and looks over with a little smile. "... worried about the others, huh?"
"Well, yeah." There are a lot of questions from and about the previous place that extend to this one. Are all denizens here Lost? Or only some? That could make for painful politics concerning new arrivals. Reluctantly, Calwa pulls himself away from Chiffon and turns to look out over the water.
"Speaking of, do you think it's safe to sleep here? This seems like a nice place to rest." It's true, though: Calwa doesn't have a home and, as a courier usually on the go, is fairly used to resting where able more than having an established place to call 'home'. That would be Cosmo Canyon.
There is a slow sigh. "I miss curling up next to the Candle on a clear night looking up at the stars. The heartbeat of Gaia below and the whispers of Greatness in the Cosmos above. Maybe you can see it someday. With me." Calwa pauses before adding with an awkward laugh.
"You could meet my dad." And his brother and sisters.
"We can try to help them. When we're ready." Chiffon bobs his head. Heroics isn't really in his nature, despite what has been seen. Still, it's hard to ignore that they all have a shared plight, and might have a shared solution. Chiffon looks up as Calwa pulls away but doesn't chase after immediately.
He's not far away, though, turning on his paws and gesturing. "I'm sure if we find a quiet spot no one will bother us. It's... not exactly a quiet inn, but until we find a place."
He trails off, listening and imagining with a little bit of a smile. "I'd like to see it with you. Meet your family. The uh, swamp where I was raised is hardly as awe-inspiring. But I'd still show you off." Around. off. Around, one of those two.
With a gaze that droops in order to look over the ground, Calwa finds a nice spot to rest and lowers himself to lie down there near the lake's sandy edge, without actually winding up on the sand and grooming nightmare that might entail. His forelegs cross and he lays his head down next to them while his tail curls a bit and bumps Chiffon's incidentally.
"I've seen some swampy areas, but I didn't linger long." To say that Calwa is usually only 'passing through' would be accurate. Until now. "Still, i-it could be worth a look. Right?"
Chiffon watches for a while, turning his nose to the air. A quick sniff check, and a few alert ears before he allows himself to rest again. A little. Listening for passers by and any possible... interruptions before he slinks over and lays beside the smaller liondoggo. Tails cross with little fanfare and he laughs. "Strange but loving people have been a hallmark of my life," he admits. "And any place can be made.. homely. With the right look and the right table spread."
As strange and outright alien as Qu were, there is no question as to their mastercraft of hospitality. "You think you'd like a place to stay that reminded you of home? Or would that be too much?"
Calwa's face shows a drift in thought paused only by the welcome company of Chiffon's warmth and proximity. "There are few places I've ever seen or read about that are anything like the Valley. It's dry and hot during the day, but it gets cold at night. There's almost always a breeze. And, uh, it's tradition to have your own personal hut. The Buga build these huts out of wood and metal on the sides of the observatory mesa where there are natural and hand-dug caves within. Very sturdy and cozy."
His left ear flicks twice before his weight rolls just a little to settle in against Chiffon's form while he simply stares out at the water but doesn't actively observe the lake. "Not sure there's anything like it elsewhere."
"Mm... that's true. But, you can be surprised what little it takes to evoke feelings of that place. It seems like you carry a lot of it in you as it is." Chiffon ponders, drawing little circles in the sand with a toe while he looks over. Makes a soft 'oof' as he feels the smaller Sanuye against him, and shifts his hinders a bit to help make a crescent-moon shelter for warmth and presence.
"So... let's find some places that aren't like anywhere else, either."
"Something tells me there's plenty of that to go around, at least around here." Given, Calwa has seen little of Twisted or even Mabase and has no idea what to expect, there's probably a little more dryness in his tone that he fully intends.
"But, hey, we're explorers, right?" Well, yes, although Calwa makes a better Urban explorer due to his talents. "So, I mean, I'm sure we'll find all sorts of things." His voice gets a little shaky when he adds, "I just don't want to explore outside the city alone."
"Yeah. You have to admit... it's exciting for an explorer. So many friends! So many possibilities! Between the two of us, we can cover a whole lot of ground." Chiffon puffs a little, sounding a little.. excited? Admittedly, it's there. "But I won't lose sight of the important things. And you know. If you find a way home." He tilts his nose over and brushes it down the snout of the smaller Sanuye.
"I'll go with you. And I won't send you out alone, of course."
Calwa is somebody used to being away from family and home for long periods of time. It takes a while to ever reach that 'homesick' point. As such, Calwa does not yet truly pine for home in any sense. Rather, he's mostly feel overwhelmed by being thrust into places wherein he has no knowledge. He could tell you the history of the Nation of Wutai, its feudal intricacies, and the relation of its belief system under the deific guidance of Leviathan compared to the Buga or Sanuye people, but these strange and random places so now discovered are so alien.
"Well, I need to make more Gil," Calwa comments as a matter of terminological habit. "The sooner we get more coin, the sooner we get properly on our feet-" -to track down the people that got away. He doesn't say it. He says nothing about those fresh memories. Chiffon may be able to infer meaning, though. "-and maybe get more food."
Lifted from the ground, Calwa-snoot moves over to bump against a Chiff once more. "Thank you. You know, for being such a good friend."
Chiffon's origin in being somewhat... spirited away makes him more attuned to the alien. A little more at home in it, and at times seeking it out to further his own strange knowledge of the world. Priorities though have shifted from following his Grandpa's teachings with quite as much... vigor. And there is a strange sort of docility to it, even with the strange landscape. He nods his head along, though, in agreement. "We can both take on jobs. Probably even tougher ones, if we're together!" Quick money is usually either dangerous, or dishonest. And the former is usually preferred.
"It's nothing. You'd do the same for me. And besides..." Chiffon trails off with a little low laugh and a purr. "I may have been telling people we're a bit closer than that." So openly, too! "...How do you feel about beef bowls?" No, that's not our thing, that's Liyara's thing. but still.
Closer than that? "Well... We are. But you know what I meant. It's still- It's s-still a friendship." Chiffon has him stammering again, it seems. Flustered, Calwa winds up burying his face against Chiffon's neck after the nuzzling initiated. There he rests, against the larger's form, a pile of fuzz and mane and tailflames together overlooking the water.
"Beef bowl? Like...what, a bowl with beef in it? Sounds simple."
Chiffon puffs up a little proudly. "I'm happy to hear that." And a little pleased at making the Sanuye stammer, shy, and be silly. It feels like things are right again, in some way. "It is though. I'm happy to call you a friend." He tucks his head down and nuzzles between ears, letting him rest close and giving a shift to get more comfortable. "Heehee... oh, they've got other stuff in them. Rice and seasoning and... uh, there's a lot of ways to do them. A friend introduced me to them." He laughs softly. ".. guess we've got new friends now too."
"Definitely a dish from Wutai, then. Well, the style. Or so it sounds like. I'm pretty familiar with that kind of stuff, so it'd probably be fine." Plus, there's the added benefit of it being a bowl, and that makes it easier to eat when you don't necessarily need cutlery or anything like that. "I'll try one. When I have money for one. But, maybe a nap first?"
There's a moment where Calwa feels Chiffon's fur directly against the exposed bit of skin around most of his neck in that ring. It's a very odd feeling, but somehow it doesn't bother him too much. Maybe he's too worn out to be bothered. Maybe it's just because it's Chiffon. "You've made new friends already? I don't know how you do it."
"That sounds about right, from what you told me about Wutai. I've got a little tucked away for emergencies but we can find some postings in the morning..." Chiffon nods a little and rests his head on the ground, just so he can peer at the other Sanuye a little and keep his senses out. If feeling those fresh marks bothers him, he doesn't let on. He just likes being here.
"Dumb luck, really.. and at least one you already knew I think..."
This catches Calwa off guard. Up until this point it felt like the two being reunited was some sort of cosmic miracle, and, while it still is, this brings to question the curious nature of that statement. "Somebody I already know?" This doesn't make him get up or anything, but his relaxed posture against the bigger Sanuye lessens by a degree or two. There's a beat of silence as gears turn inside Calwa's head despite the sluggishness of tiredness pulling toward the notion of sleep.
"You met Rocket, right?" If not, that would be weird. With all of them cruising around the Usual and all. Still, it's possible those streams haven't crossed. "It seems like a few of us have crash landed here. It's.. not exactly a coincidence. The topography and the people, it's more like someone took a chunk out of where we were and dropped it all.. um... here?" A bit different than their first transition, to say the least. Chiffon notices the stiffness and responds by washing a few licks over the Sanuye to reassure. "I have a feeling more if we look around, too.."
"Sounds familiar," muses Calwa over the name without any sort of immediate jolt of recognition. There have been many colorful types stumbled across in the not-too-distant past. "But, by Gaia, that's weird." Those licks have a notable effect, though, which causes Chiffon's partner to slump in place a little more accompanied by a sigh. A good sigh, mostly.
"I wonder what cosmic disaster would have to unfold to cause such a place to exist, if what you say is true."
"Everything about this place is a bit weird..." Chiffon murmurs between licks. Maybe it's instinctive. Maybe it's meant to be soothing, but it falls into a natural rhythm of little long licks that'll fall off before they get annoying. "Whatever it is, we're probably just caught up in it... not in the center of it. 'n we can figure things out from here..." He rumbles a little and lays a forepaw over his Calwa. "I don't have anything tomorrow... you should try to close your eyes though."
Part of Calwa wants to stay awake to better enjoy present company after such an absence and especially so in the wake of trauma, but the sheer amount of stress he has endured coupled with the need for some honest recovery time after his medical care weighs upon him in a way that makes the warm suggestion given by his affectionate and protective boyfriend very difficult to resist.
He actually gives a reply, but the words are mumbled. Calwa's tail twitches lightly against Chiffon's before coming to a rest once more. He'll be better soon. There will be a lot to distract him from 'stuff' to allow him to process it on his own.
There will be plenty of time for that, as is self-aware and an assurance Chiff would give if he weren't happy to see Calwa resting again. In a somewhat natural state, at least more than in medical beds and dealing with the worst of the mend. There's soreness, but a semblance of normalcy. The sound of soft breaths and a familiar touch that won't abate until he wakes up in the morning.
As he rests there, his ears swivel and tune to the environment around. This will probably be a light sleep for Chiff, on alert and just hanging on for some scent or sound that might be a danger threatening to return. The comfort of the situation is infectious, and they're hidden well enough that one night here probably won't be amiss...