Day 095: The Danger Of Comfort
Summary: Luther returns to Tondc for supplies and drops in on Galle.
Date: 1 Sept 2016
Related: Bears, Horses, Raccoons, Cats, and Bull-Bunny-Panthers, Oh My.
Galle Luther 

Galle's Dwelling

This small corner of the Hood is obviously dedicated to someone with a serious green thumb. While the metal and wooden house is modest and even, dare they say, quaint, it is merely the necessary dwelling surrounded by plantlife. Medicinal flowers and herbs grow in organized beds, they clumped together according to their needed growing requirements. There are also small beds of vegetables and berries that are scattered throughout. Climbing flowers twist their ways up the windows and doorframes of the house, and there is an entire wall of flowering vines that bloom violet in the late spring and early summers.

The house itself is a single-story dwelling made of corrugated metal and cedar slats. It is actually quite impressive — but those who knew Galle's houman know that he had dabbled in carpentry during the quieter peacetimes between the two Ice Wars. Windows are mismatched, salvaged from Old Earth structures. The door is handmade and intricately carved with flowers and vines, and a peekhole window is set in its center. Inside, the house has board flooring and high ceilings that show off the rafters. There is a front room that is dedicated entirely to an impressive kitchen, a dining area, and a place to curl up beside what looks to be a salvaged woodburning stove. Just behind the front room is the sleeping room, which is a smaller room with nothing more than a bed and a large chest that holds Galle's assortment of clothes.

95 Days After Landing

Life has resumed for Galle kom Trikru in Tondc. She has not journeyed back to New Coesbur, claiming that her responsibilities have kept her returning and that Sev kom Trikru is a capable healer that does not require her leaning over his shoulder. She is currently working in her garden, kneeling on a folded up blanket while leaning down over the late summer harvests of herbs. At this time of the year, she will harvest much of what she has left to be dried, steeped, and bottled for the winter months ahead. She is humming as she works, filling in the Trigedasleng words now and then of a public house song — a pleasant, but sorrowful dirge.

Luther kom Trikru actually volunteered for a supply run to Tondc. Then again, he can't exactly work all the time, at least that's what he tells himself. He's got bundles of herbs, some bags of nails, and other assorted relatively-rare goods and sundries in bag slung over one shoulder from a long strap like a duffel, but as he spots the Healer in her garden, he turns his steps in that direction, sidling up to a tomato plant and plucking one of the ripe fruits before he turns a broad grin on Galle, "Heya, Galle." Oh so casual.

"My garden is not for your pleasures, Luther," Galle says, looking up just briefly at the casual greeting. Her shoulders are a bit tense, but she is quick to take a breath, relax, and find her center. She offers him a gentle smile — something a bit more familiar to the time before the celebration. She ties twine up around a bundle of lavender, setting it in her basket with the bundles of sage and morning glory flowers. She brushes her hands together. "I see that Fayet let you escape her authoritative clutches…"

Luther clears his throat at the chiding words, his smile struggling not to spread wider across his lips. The tomato is hidden behind his back for a moment, and then brought back around and he sighs softly, stepping forward to set it into her basket, "I'm surprised she let me run as far away as Tondc. Figured I could do with a bath that wasn't in cold water though. Plus, you know, all the goods and sundries they need back in New Coesbur." And he hefts up the bag over his shoulder to demonstrate. Looking down at the flowers being twined together, he lifts his brows, "Have you been making floral crowns then? Doesn't seem like your style, but I found one on my seat the other day at lunch."

"Mmhmph, you do often smell," Galle replies, though she does not specify if he smells good or not. When he sets down the tomato, she does smile gently at him before she returns to cutting and bundling herbs. When he indicates the bag, she looks up, nods, and then returns to her work. At the mention of the floral crowns, she frowns up at him. "No…" Her gaze falls away again, adding softly, "You must have an admirer."

Luther snorts at her initial reply, "Like daisies and sunshine." Or, sawdust, leather, and man, but… you know. The suggestion that he has an admirer causes him to shake his head, "I don't think so. Or if I do, they're shy. I asked around, but no one claimed the crown, so I wore it the rest of the day." He pauses then, reaching out to claim a bit of mint from her basket and chew on it idly, "I thought it might have been you."

Galle looks suspiciously at him then, though she does not comment about his various scents, she does about the crown. "It was not me." She frowns a bit, ducking her head again to tend to the herbs. "I'm sure one of the young women of Coesbur fancies you… perhaps it was her." She then finishes with this bundle, and begins to stand, grabbing up the basket as she does. She looks over toward him as she begins toward her open door. "Come then, I'll make sure you have some extra tinctures for the healing tent."

Shrugging lightly, Luther notes with a grin, "Well, they are all so fun to flirt with, it's not my fault if they decide that I'm pretty." Her offer draws him in immediately, however, stepping around an herb bed to make for the door, "Sev has been too busy tending to Britt to make sure he is stocked. More tinctures is a good idea." And then he puts in, "She's okay, apparently. Had to be taken into the Skaikru station though. Something about her side being on fire. Inflamed."

"Hmph, I'm sure," Galle replies over her shoulder as she steps back into her house. It smells delightful inside as she has a venison stew going, it bubbling on the low-burning stove that is also working on warming the house that will get quite cool once the sun fully sets. "I know… I visited with her before I left New Coesbur…" She turns her head slightly toward him as she sets the basket on the table, unpacking the bundles into piles. "I have not told Erson yet," she says quietly, huffing out a soft sigh. "I don't know if I should… it would, perhaps, encourage him to go visit her, but it may also worry him."

Luther's mouth starts watering immediately at the smell, the Warrior licking his lips. But the mention of Erson is distracting, and he nods, setting the sack down just inside the door, "Yeah. I was going to stop by and tell him. See if he wanted to come back with me, even though she's going to be perfectly fine… at least from what I heard. Did it seem that way to you?" Without even being asked, he moves over across the table from her to assist with the unpacking. He can't start new piles, but at least he can put like with like.

The Warriors always knows how to be a comfortable presence in this house, and Galle is smiling softly as she works through the herbs. It takes her a long moment to realize her own contentedness, and it quickly is overcome with a hint of guilt. She shakes her head slightly. "I won't go see him then… I doubt he needs two people telling him that he is being a fool, and that Britt is waiting for him." She then nods at his question. "She will heal… the pain is what worries me the most." When the herbs are sorted, she starts to move around the kitchen to gather bottles. She pulls out a large jug of grain alcohol from the lower cabinets — and a slender, tall bottle of deep violet glass.

Luther also knows how to high-grade edibles. It's only a few sprigs here and there this time, but even working with herbs, something always finds its way into Luther's mouth. By the time the herbs are sorted, that mouth has curved up into its own smile in response to hers. "Oh, don't let me stop you. If you want to see him, I can spend more time lazing around, or drinking at the pub." More likely, gathering more supplies, weeding the gardens, or otherwise pitching in. At the Healer's declaration, he nods slowly, "I don't know what the Skaikru do for pain. Has your Second told you?"

"I have thought that perhaps Erson could use a reminder that he has a woman who loves him waiting for him to realize that she cares not how many fingers he has." Or hands, for that matter. Galle does not catch the irony in that statement, considering the awkward dance her and Luther continue to step through — sex here and there, stolen kisses, and then casual coolness that ensures that any high tide also has a low. She looks up at the question about her Second, and she half-shrugs. "No, but they are very lacking in their own medicinal supplies… they rely on willow's bark and poppy as we do. Perhaps something from the Maunon, but that is probably quite rationed."

Luther nods sharply at Galle's words about the former archer, "I brought by a sign from the wall of the Mountain a few weeks ago. He was still grieving his hand. He could use a smack to the head." Still, the words are spoken gently. Nodding slowly at the information on the Skaikru, Luther gestures to the bottles, teasing "We're getting the good stuff then?" The good stuff that will make you go blind. And whatever is in the slender bottle.

Galle sets aside the large jug of grain alcohol, and fetches two mugs to pour the liquid from the violet bottle. It smells of apricots — heavily fermented apricots. "Freem's wine that he bottled last autumn," she explains. She slides him a mug. There is only perhaps two fingers of alcohol at the bottom, but Freem's wine is more like a liquor. She then nods to the jug. "That's for the tinctures I'm steeping for winter. Most will need to be bottled for a year, but the lavender will be ready by the Solstice."

Luther reaches out to take the mug, carefully making sure that his hand brushes hers when he does. Holding the mug under his nose, he inhales the fruity, alcoholic scent, nodding sharply, "Well, at least you gave me the actual good stuff. I was worried you were going to look to make me blind so I would have to sit around and sort herbs by smell all day." And then he realizes that that might actually be a little too close to 'living here,' for comfort, and clears his throat, taking a sip of the apricot liqueur.

The purposeful brush sends a flush of warmth through her, and her nerves sing for a moment. Galle tries her best to ignore it, though her fingers lazily trace where he touched her unconsciously. "I care for my patients," she replies, offering a small smile. Then she takes a sip of her own mug, savoring the flavor. It is only after the second sip does she set her mug down and turns to see to the stew pot.

Luther takes an actual sip of the liqueur, blinking at his being called a patient, and then he looks down at the slowly-growing-in nail of his left ring finger, "Oh, right. I am still a patient, aren't I?" Cradling the mug in two hands allows him to brush his own fingertips against the rough ceramic surface, "So this is all just the standard patient care? Including the woods and the cove and the tent?" Okay, so he couldn't help it, a teasing grin spreading across his face.

Galle uses a heavily insulated mitt to remove the lid, and she stirs up the stew several rotations before his questions cause her to blink. With her back to him, he can't see how the blush suddenly rises up to her cheeks. She glances over her shoulder a bit, the look accidentally coy. "You know it isn't," she says in a hush, and she tries to hide her smile, but fails terribly. She turns away again, stirring the stew and then replacing the lid. "That is just something between us."

Luther's quiet laughter has a tight, throaty quality to it, but he nods, "I know, Galle." His own smile is anything but coy, and his laughter returns in a chuckle as she tries — and fails — to hide her own smile. "Something nice, but casual. I know." There is the tiniest thread of disappointment laced through the words, although it's probably actually unconscious at that. He takes another sip of the apricot booze, lets it linger on his tongue, and then swallows.

The Healer lapses into a thoughtful silence, squeezing the mitt between her palms. When she turns, her expression is serious. "I don't want you to miss an opportunity that may blossom into something more, Luther." She gestures slightly, almost dismissively. "How much you would hate me in the coming years if you realized that our… interactions caused you to miss someone who you could start a family with. You cannot possibly want to be without a houmon forever." She then sets the mit down, stepping forward to move back around the table and gather up her own mug. "I don't want you to resent me later."

The Healer's words have some parallels to the words of Scout, out in the woods around New Coesbur, and Luther shifts his weight a little, taking a last sip of the liqueur, but still holding the cup in both hands, "I've lasted this long without a houmon and a family. I'm not in any particular hurry." The words are more sure than the tone, but he shrugs the tone off, "And there is nothing to resent from time spent enjoyably with a good friend, Galle."

"You say that now," Galle says, her own tone reproachful. "But, I have seen it before… a casual series of meetings that do more harm than good." It is hard to tell just who she is trying to convince of these things — Luther, or herself. She gathers up her own mug, and she takes several steps to calm the uncomfortable way her chest hurts. She looks up to him, trying to move on from this topic before she steps too far afield. "Would you like to spend time enjoyably with a good friend before you go back to New Coesbur?" Her smile twitches slightly. "I have enough stew, and certainly you weren't going to travel back tonight…"

Luther scoffs, even as he forces himself to respond, "Don't hold back if someone else comes by who makes you feel less lonely either, Galle. You deserve that comfort." But then she's making the offer that he had hoped she would, that had actually driven his steps in this direction, he realizes now. His smile spreads, and he takes in a slow breath, "I would love a bite of stew, and some enjoyable company." His left hand comes up, aiming to cup the right side of her face, his thumb brushing over her cheekbone.

Galle looks up at the brush of his calloused thumb to her cheek, and she starts to smile. There is something not quite right in that smile, though — a soft sadness. "I don't need anyone else… I have had my joy." For only a few short years. "I will be alright." Then she lowers her chin slightly, saying in a softer voice. "But, you should follow your own advice… if there's someone who makes you happy, and brings you joy… you shouldn't wait." Then she steps closer, drawing up to the balls of her feet as she does. "Stew will be an hour or so, still…"

Luther shakes his head at her protestations, his fingers tightening at her scalp behind her ear and his thumb continuing to stroke the ink-blessed skin, "There's need, and then there's want." But he leaves it at that, his other hand slipping around her waist as she rises up on the balls of her feet, breathing in the scent of the herbs, the stew, the home, the woman. His smile eases, and he ducks his head, "So… we have a whole hour…"

Fade to Black.

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