Day 027: Sew It Seams
Summary: Cassandra and Ruth stumble upon Madelyn and receive sartorial aid.
Date: 21 June 2016
Related: None
Cassandra Madelyn Ruth 

Tent City
Room description
21 June 2016

The late morning sun shines bright on this particular section of Earth, leaving most milling about without aim within whatever shade can be found if they aren't sharpening weapons, manning the wall walk, or engaged in some form of activity within their patches of home. The tension of an unwaged battle with the Grounders has caused quite a few tempers to flare today already, which is only exacerbated by the heat of the sun.

Ruth is one of the millers. At current, she's going from tent to tent and calling, "Stella? Steellla." about each. If no one within one tent responds, she takes it upon herself to peek inside for a minute or two as if to ascertain that the redheaded girl is indeed not there. "Eden, Stella. Where are you?"

Madelyn looks up from the small wooden lap table she has set up in her low tent when Ruth peeks inside. The slight girl pushes a loose strand of hair behind her ear looks more than a little uncomfortable with the situation. "Not in here…" she says, trailing off awkwardly. "I mean, I know you can't knock on a tent, but, like… there should be a… a… protocol?" She raises her shoulders defensively.

A creature of habit, Cassandra is up each day at the crack of dawn. Those who are familiar with the Earth Skills enthusiast know her reason: Dawn Chorus. For all her barb-wire exterior and thorny disposition, the girl has a somewhat whimsical passion for indulging in nature's beauty, most of all in the singing of birds that erupts each day most prominently at sunrise. She returns now to the tents from her morning routine, and just in time as the sky starts to rain down a light, misted drizzle. Oblivious for now of Ruth's intrusion into various tents, she's about headed for her own, ducking under her flap just as she hears that call for Stella. Dark eyes peering beneath her matted hair, she squints out into the open, pausing.

"Sorry," Ruth responds with a blithe shrug of her shoulders, her bland expression and tone lacking the sentiment that word should provide. "Hey, look, have you seen a redheaded girl, about yay tall…" She gestures with the flat of her hand parallel the ground, fingertips brushing at her chin. Even as she does, her eyes are scouting the interior of Madelyn's tent, if only just for that spare moment. "Her name's Stella." As if she hadn't already made that obvious.

"Wait, let me check…" Madelyn makes a show of patting her pockets. "Nope. No Stella." She goes back to sewing a patch on a ripped shirt, but her hands are shaking a bit and she ends up sticking herself. "Shit," she mutters, sticking the finger in her mouth.

There really should be some sort of equivalent of a knocking protocol. Where previously Madelyn had only one surprise intruder in her tent, and surely one was enough, a second now appears behind Ruth's shoulder, eyes flickering between the guest and the occupant. "Stella's on her medtech shift in the Dropship," Cassandra reveals, her voice nonchalant but expression dubious. "I saw you talking to her not twenty minutes ago, Mercer." She hovers, offering Madelyn an upnod, but her hand is notably wrapped around the hilt of her machete. Just in case.
<FS3> Ruth rolls Deception: Good Success.

Ruth's mouth presses into an unamused line at Madelyn's pocket patting, her expression communicating a dry 'come on, now' that doesn't have the chance to get voiced as Cassandra appears at her back. "What?" She half-turns to face the dual intruder, stepping aside as though to let her pass. In reality, she's likely just trying to keep all of her in view without obstruction. "She had to go take a piss," she tells Cassandra without missing a beat, her clumpy hair flipped behind the shoulder closest her dubious friend. It may or may not smack Cass. "Or so she said."

"…I'm glad her kidneys are working," Madelyn nods, testing her pricked finger. She finishes attaching the patch and starts to go over the edges with decorative stitching that resembles arrowheads. "In or out," she says finally. "It's bad luck to linger in doorways."

Cassandra's suspicious, semi-swollen eyes keep warily eyeing the space between Madelyn and Ruth. Though she's been recovering from her head injury nicely, the telltale bruising around her forehead and eyelids has yet to fully abate. "What do you say, Ruth?" she asks. "Sounds like an invitation." She makes it clear by her shoulder-wide stance that if the kleptomaniac stays outside, so will she.

Swallowing back words that would undoubtedly be unkind, Ruth steps into Madelyn's tent with an easy brand of nonchalance, her head tilting some to the side in her observation of the seated girl's needlework. "That's impressive," she intones, her fingertips grazing over the strap of the makeshift bag slung over her shoulder. It's almost in tatters, though it obviously wasn't a great bag to begin with. The stitching is crooked, uneven, and sloppy.

"Leave your boots by the door, please," Madelyn asks softly, looking over her two guests and turning around to face them. The tent is small, but there is enough room for her bedroll and a few feet of floor. The tent isn't quite tall enough for an average-sized adult to stand comfortably, but sitting on the bedroll or tarp is totally an option. She gives a bashful shrug in response to the compliment. "It's not hard, and it holds better with the reinforcement. It's a lot easier to do with a machine, but we got what we got, yeah?" She looks over the bag with a critical eye. "That thing looks like it's being held together with spit and prayers. Lemme see?"

Though she doesn't obey to remove her boots, Cassandra has the minimal courtesy to brush them down at the entrance before she takes a seat just past the tent-flap, cross-legged — so in a way, she does leave them by the 'door', only she leaves herself there as well. Her position has the added benefit of vaguely blocking Ruth's path from an overly swift escape. Hair hanging messily over her face, she bows her head to her shoes and props the onto her suede-clothed thighs, idly plucking scraps of mud with her fingernails to flick them outside. "My question is why," she comments, glancing up momentarily towards the arrow motif that Madelyn is stitching. Cass has arrowheads of her own, of the practical variety, buried in the makeshift parachute-material quiver at her back. "I mean, what's the benefit? It's pretty, but you know…"

Ruth's right eye actually twitches in annoyance with a swift glance sent Cassie's way. Her scowl is minimal, though, with thought given to Madelyn's detail-oriented gaze. She slips her boots off with some reluctance, but holds them by their tongues rather than leaving them behind. It's as if she can't fathom the idea of parting with her belongings for any period of time.

Along that strain, "I, uh… my bag?" She gestures to her bag, then to Madelyn's hand. Cass gets another glance, this one measuring. "Sure, I guess." It's then that she chooses to sit crosslegged on the floor, sitting on a few scraps in the process. She doesn't appear to notice. "It's pretty. She can do what she wants. No one asked you, Boner." This is likely directed at the girl occupying the entrance.

Madelyn wrinkles her nose at the boots in her tent, but doesn't say anything. "Like I said — it's pretty, and it reinforces the stitching. It keeps it from coming loose or fraying. As convenient as machines are, nothing holds as well as good hand-stitching. But you don't look like the kind of person who really cares about that," she remarks, cutting her quiet babbling off. She nods at Ruth. "Yeah, your bag. I mean, only if you want."

"Dunno," Bonheur remarks, dusting off the soles of her boots with her palm after scraping off the majority of mud to discard outside. This is in all likelihood a gesture of compromise regarding the shoes 'indoors', albeit an unintentionally ill-mannered one. "Wouldn't mind some clean clothes. If you could make those. Underwear especially. I'm being serious. Mine's beyond wearable now." Her own clothes are Grounder-fashioned, and she's practically drowning in them. They were meant to fit a large, muscular, masculine form, whereas hers is more androgynous and scrawny.

"Sure," Ruth mutters after one more moment of frowning at the bag in deep thought. "I made it myself. I don't think I did too badly." She offers it, contents and all, to Madelyn with an added, "Yeah. That would be great for me, too. This is my only outfit. I don't have sex for clothes or anything like that, so I make do with what I have." She scratches at her cheek, offering mildly, "I could owe you a favor."

"…people are having sex for clothes? Man, I never get invited to that kind of party," Madelyn muses quietly, thoughtfully. "I can totally make new clothes for you guys. I can't make new cloth, obviously, but I can make new stuff for you out of what you have and the scraps I have. What do you do? I'm happy to trade. I was a tailor's apprentice. Hell, if you find new cloth somewhere, that'd be amazing." Her eyes light up, seemingly pleased with her own business acumen. She examines the bag, slipping her hand inside to test the seams. "It's definitely serviceable, but you're going to want to line it."

The comment about having sex for clothes sees Cass Bonheur sending a sharp look Ruth's way. "Well I killed a dude for these clothes," she shamelessly affirms, seeming to find that a better claim. She turns her gaze back to Madelyn, scrutinising the seamstress and her work with interest. "I'll trade you fruit leather. I don't have any cloth. Maybe if we kill some Grounders we'll have more to spare. But it's more likely they'll kill us."

"You —" Ruth whips her head around, staring briefly at Cass before blinking twice to regain her composure. She does so with a small snort. "Of course you did." Somehow, she takes her derision to eleven without allowing a curl of her lip to surface. It's all in the eyes. To Madelyn, with a lot more civility than she granted Cassandra, "What I have in the bag is, uh, not really good for clothes. It's meant for something else, but I'm sure I could find something if you don't have enough for an outfit on me. I know I'm kind of tall. I could deal with shorts, though." She gathers her hair back behind her shoulders. "Line it? How do you mean?"

Madelyn looks between the two of them, nervously. "Fruit leather? Sure. If you let me keep any scraps of fabric that doesn't get worked back into your stuff, I'd appreciate it." At the words 'what's in the bag', she eyes Ruth questioningly. "Actually, it'd make a great bag," she says absently, "Probably waterproof. Would be a bitch to hand-sew, but it'd last forever." She pulls her hand out of the bag, almost reluctantly.

After putting in such effort into cleaning her shoes, Cassandra rises to her feet, now likely to dirty them all over again. "I'll go get my shirt," she says, taking a step back towards Tent City. "Be right back."

"If you have any plant or… you know, fibre or something that could help you make clothes or fabric…" Ruth gives her wrist a twirl near her head. She's clueless. "I could gather it for you. I'm good at finding things." She places her boots neatly in her lap, reclaiming her bag from Madelyn and taking a look at her own stitchwork. "The fabric I do have was meant to be used to try to, uh, make my own tent. It would work, since you said it's probably waterproof. I just need to find more of it, or something like it."

Cass gets a little wave as she heads out. "I thought there were plenty of tents," Madelyn muses, but shakes her head. "Yeah, it'd make a good tent. Maybe kind of stuffy, though." She turns the shirt. "I don't know anything about weaving or making new cloth, though. So any random plants you give me, I could, like, make a pretty floral arrangement, I guess." She looks up and chews on the inside of her cheek for a moment, as if weighing a decision. Finally, she asks, very softly, "Where did you get those ration bars?" The question is earnest and innocent.

"It'll eventually get cold outside," Ruth notes with a defensive twist of her mouth, eyes crinkling some in thought as she considers the threaded arrow design Madelyn's currently working on. "I'm Ruth, by the way." She doesn't offer a surname. Cassandra is blandly watched in her departure, but Ruth makes no move to wave in her direction like the other seated girl. "I —" The question catches her off-guard for a moment, enough for a flash of alarm to widen her eyes for a split second before she's hugging the bag close to her chest. "Fair and square," she spits out, not quite collected. "From a trade."

Cassandra's tent is nearby, and where Ruth doesn't even have a small one, hers is very, very big. Too big. No one needs a tent as large as hers. It isn't actually hers, per se, but rather belongs to notorious bully Asher, who muscled his way into getting more parachute material than he needed early on. They're hardly the only teens around camp who have taken to sharing now that they're free to do whatever the hell they want on the Ground, but in her case, tent-sharing appears to have worked out nicely to her benefit. She could never have earned so nice a space on her own.

"Fair and square my arse," she interrupts when she returns, a heap of lavender cloth in hand. It's the shirt Cassandra was wearing when she landed, before she switched into these Grounder clothes; once a dark purple hue, the colour has faded, been smattered with blood, and has a gaping hole beneath the collar. It's fraying and starting to fall apart all over, too. "Can you fix it?" she asks Madelyn, spreading the fabric and holding it up for her to see.

"Madelyn," the slight girl says, adding, "Petrie," as an afterthought. At Ruth's apparent distress, Madelyn looks down at her hands, almost guiltily. "Sorry, I was being nosy," she mumbles, going back to her work. When Cassandra reappears, she looks up, blanching a bit at the gore. "Um. Maybe. If… if it were cleaner? And…" She nibbles her lip. "The edges need to be secured and I'd probably have to waste a bunch of it to get to the fabric that's worth salvaging, but… I could work with this. Might be able to make underwear out of it, at least?"

"Boner, go away," Ruth says in a hard voice, her hands making shooing motions towards the flap of the tent when Cassandra makes a reappearance. The shirt gets a mildly disgusted look, but Ruth's own current clothing isn't much better. It's just black, so it's harder to tell that it's almost too awful to be used as a rag. She is silent for a short while, absorbed in thought. "I could, um, offer some of them to you in trade. Packed with nutrients. Good for you. Filling." As Ruth sells the bars in their value, she once more does a scan of the tent. "Or I could fetch water for you. It's scarce right now, so I'm going with a party to secure some soon."

Cassandra smirks, spurned on by Ruth's urging of her out of the tent, and looking wryly amused by the attempt to trade. Mercifully, she makes no further attempt to poke holes in the kleptomaniac's credibility. "So you are going after all? Great. Don't forget to drown," she reminds her, then turns her attention to Madelyn. "If you can make this into matching underwear, you might just be my hero. Or maybe underwear and a vest?" She glances down at the shirt again, then indicatively pulls the sleeves towards the back. "Like a sleeveless shirt. You could repurpose the sleeves to fix the rest, right?"

Madelyn mouths 'Boner?', then shakes her head, looking away, minding her business. "Either of those would be a great trade. That sounds great. Great." She looks up nervously at Cassandra. "Hey, um, could you knock off, like, the, um, death wishes or whatever? But yeah, I could definitely do something with this. It wouldn't be the most comfortable underwear because it doesn't have much give, but it'd be okay. I'd actually use the sleeves for that part. I could make a vest from this, but…" she surveys the damage, "It'd be kind of a short, cropped vest. Like a little, um, bolero? I think that's the word. I could also make the stuff you're wearing fit better, if you want. I'd do that just in exchange for the fabric I'd be taking off to tailor it, because there'd be a lot."

"Me? Drown?" Ruth gestures to herself with a dubious lift of her brow, her grin wide and anything but sincerely joyful. "I'm not the one who fell face-first into a strange guy because I was too stupid to watch my feet. No one asked you." She executes another hair flip, this one a bit less melodramatic. It really was starting to get in her mouth, and she's one of those who has used their water rations for drinking purposes rather than pseudo-bathing purposes. It's not all that clean. "How many bars, then?" She starts through the bag, counting them to herself with a furrowed brow. "I have…" She's obviously about to give the exact number before she remembers a certain presence at the tent flap. "… enough. We can negotiate later, if you want."

Although the incident Ruth is referring to was twenty days ago now — where Cassandra stumbled straight into Silas Pike because she wasn't watching her footing down by the river, injuring both of them — it's still enough to make her clench her jaw when brought up. "I was thinking more like a closed vest. Like a tank-top," she says to Madelyn, before hooking her thumb in the direction of Asher's tent outside. "Come by later to work on it. Don't forget to knock though, yeah? If I leave it with you, Klepto Mercer here will probably repurpose it before you get the chance. She's real good at 'repurposing' things she finds lying around."

"Negotiate later. Sure. That's fine," Madelyn nods. She looks at the grimy fabric for a moment. "I'll have to see what it looks like after you wash it. And…" She pauses at the accusation of kleptomania being tossed at Ruth, glancing over to look at the girl warily. "Whatever makes you more comfortable," she says awkwardly. "I don't think I caught your name," she says, turning to Cass. "Unless it actually is Boner, in which case I apologize."

Ruth's nostrils flare and her shoulders hunch just a bit; she's hurt by the accusation being thrown her way. She holds up both hands, their palms lined with dirt. "Frisk me before I leave, then," she mutters bitterly, tone lowered as if she'd rather Cassandra not hear. "I haven't taken a thing of yours. I've been talking straight with you. At least I haven't been wishing anyone dead. Just new clothes and a new tent. All I want." She's earnest about her desires, at the very least.

"It's Bonheur," the girl at the tent-flap informs Madelyn tiredly. "Cass Bonheur." Pronounced Bonner, so it's easy to see where the nickname came from; especially if, based on hearsay tossed around the Skybox, the rumours are true and she was notoriously sleeping with the widely-beloved Earth Skills teacher she later saw floated, after blaming him for the black market goods that were found in her possession. "You're Mad Petrie, right? I remember." She turns with that to exit the tent.

Face reddening, Madelyn looks down. "Sorry," she apologizes to Ruth, embarrassed and seeming to be genuinely contrite. "That wasn't fair of me." She looks up as Cass turns to leave, then looks back down, mumbling, "I hate it when people call me that."

"It's not your fault she's a total spaz," Ruth comments, raising her tone once more as she leans back with the support of one hand. The other rests still on her bag. "Like I said, though. I can deal with, like, a tank top and a pair of shorts or something. And some underwear. Maybe socks. Small things, because you're not made of fabric." She says this all rather graciously, her smile genial and generally easy-going. "Let me know what I can do to help, okay?"

"Socks are gonna be rough unless you find me either sweaters to unravel or an actual sheep," Madelyn admits. "But I'll see what I can do. Sorry again," she apologizes anew. "I didn't mean to get weird.

"No problem," Ruth comments briskly, clamoring to her feet with boots and bag clutched in either hand. "I think it's about time for my med shift, though. Thanks again. I can pay you some now and some after, or all after. You choose." She indicates first her makeshift bag, then Madelyn.

"I have to actually take measurements and stuff before I do anything," Madelyn explains. "So find me after your shift and we'll talk, okay?" She cants her head, looking up at Ruth as she prepares to leave.
You submit a new request.

"Oh, okay," Ruth responds, chipper as anything, as she starts towards the flap. As she's bending over to slip on her boots, she adds, "I'll, uh, knock next time." A grin is flashed.

Madelyn chuckles, looking up with her own playful grin. "It's appreciated."

With that, Ruth is bounding out of the tent.

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