The day grows old. Already, the sun has set beyond the horizon and only the faint haze of the evening lights the districts of Stonebarrow. Miranda walks alone, taking a walk and some time to think. Her keen ears hear the crackle of leaves before a familiar voice calls out from behind her, "Hello Miranda! I've been looking for you." It's Morgan, the young witch-in-training.
The lone Lapi seems lost in thought and a bit surprised at the sudden call. Miranda spins around, ears twitching, her face immediately perking into a smile as she spots the Kadie in front of her, replying softly, "Hello Morgan! Umm, What can I do for you?"
"Wellll, it's a bit private," Morgan admits. He walks ahead until he's caught up with Miranda, and then he beckons towards the woods. "I need to talk to you alone, if you don't mind?"
"Really? Well alright, I wath jutht taking a walk about anywayth," Miranda replies, scratching her cheek as she wonders what the Kadie witch could be wanting to speak to her about… and why would it need to be private?
Morgan simply smiles, offering Miranda his hand as he heads into the forest.
The Lapi takes the offered hand, walking along quietly next to him. She begins to look quite content after a little while.
Once Morgan has brought Miranda to a clearing, he offers her first choice of the rocks available to sit on. "I thought you'd appreciate some privacy for this; after all, it's a bit personal. For me, too," he explains.
Miranda picks a fairly flat rock and sits herself down, arching her brows slightly at the witch, and playing with one of her ears nervously when he mentions it is a personal matter. Eventually she just blurts out, "Alright. Well, tell me what'th on your mind?"
"Direct! That's good, that spirit will help you if you accept," Morgan replies. He takes a seat across from Miranda, staring at her a moment before looking away and flicking his hair over his shoulder. "You see, I have been tasked with finding a new Shrine Maiden a virgin young woman to calm the river dragons. Amelia will soon be too old, and, well, she won't be available either way." He glances at the Lapi, then gives her a sad smile. "Do you want to hear more?"
Looking a bit puzzled, the gray Lapi tilts her head, blinking. "Dragonth? Thertainly, tell me more. I'm afraid I don't really know much about thithh. Shouldn't make dethithionth on thingth until you know more. I'm not thure exactly what you're athking."
"Fair enough, and wise," Morgan says approvingly. "Basically, you get to wear a special dress and give a recital of lines that calm the water dragons. The water dragons are, of course, the rivers. The spirits of the rivers, to be exact. Most of them are fairly passive, but the dam river spirit is understandable grumpy, and in need of soothing. The Shrine Maiden must be female, young, and a virgin."
Miranda takes a moment to process the information, her ears turning pink at the repeated mentions of it needing to be a virgin, all while thinking a bit embarrassedly to herself, well, I'm glad I haven't gone to thee Lili yet then… The Lapi watches Morgan for a minute before asking, "Ith that all? Anything elthe entailed in thith I need to worry about?"
"Have you been with Lily?" Morgan inquires, tilting his head. Before the Lapi answers, he adds, "Because while none of my business, that doesn't count. What would count would be someone like me." He gives Miranda another smile, then sighs softly. "Which is a shame, because I really do like you, Miranda. Either way, I'd like to keep seeing you, if that's all right."
At the new-put question Miranda's ears go from pink to bright red, and for a moment it looks quite like she's wondering if the Kadie witch can read her mind. The Lapi blinks, coughs, and doesn't quite look at Morgan when she replies, "Err, no I haven't… " She then, just as quickly turns around and gives Morgan a kiss on the cheek, "Yeth, it ith definitely alright, whatever happens. But, another quethtion? How thoon do you need thomeone? And have you looked into anyone elthe?"
When kissed, it's Morgan's turn to blush. "Um, well, ah," he stammers. He has to clear his throat and straighten his pants, much as he would his skirts, before he can answer clearly. "Soon, but not too soon. I can keep looking, if you'd prefer I do so. You're under no obligation, and I don't want you to feel pressured either way, because of me, or anyone else."
"Hmm, well, I believe I need to think about it a bit," Miranda replies, smiling at Morgan's blush. "Tho it'th jutht rethiting lineth? Would my… um… pro-nun-ci-ation be a problem?" she says, concentrating hard on saying the word without lisping.
Morgan glances at Miranda, grinning at her. "Not at all! My mother chose you as the first choice, after all. That means she thinks highly of you," he answers.
"Really?" Miranda replies in wonder, seeming a little stunned that the towns elder witch would think highly of her.
"She must, if she chose you. I believe my mother also chose Amelia, and Amelia has done quite well for herself," the male Kadie insists. "Plus, you're so cute! How can the river dragons resist you?"
"Well, I'll definitely have to think theriouthly on it then! I wouldn't want to dithappoint your mother or you by taking it too lightly," the Lapi says, smiling a bit more confidently herself now. "Umm, how old ith too old? I mean, how long exactly would my help be needed?"
"You'll have to speak to my mother about the exact details, Miranda. I just wanted to let you know, privately," Morgan says. He reaches over and pats her knee, smiling. "It's really just a one time a year event, unless the water dragons are really upset."
"Well, I thuppothe I can do it if you really think I can. I'd thtill like to think about it a little bit. I'll try and come find you thometime tomorrow with my decithion?" the Lapi replies thoughtfully. "Oh! and I wath wondering," Miranda suddenly continues, "Whatever getth dethided… I wath wondering if you might like to do thomething together thometime? I mean like go on a picnic or thomething?" she adds in afterthought.
Morgan nods slowly, still smiling, until Miranda reaches her offer. He raises an eyebrow, then smiles wider. "I'd love to, Miranda. You know, I cook a mean carrot cake," he replies, sounding delighted.
Miranda grins at the very idea, "That thoundth wonderful! I can hardly wait!"
"Me neither! You know, with all the craziness around here lately, I'm really looking forward to a nice picnic." Morgan's tail twitches, then, ears redding, he asks, "Can I kiss you again, Miranda?"
The gray Lapi girl blinks, looking caught off guard for only the briefest moment before giggling and nodding, reddening a bit herself. Smiling she scoots a little closer to him whispering, "Of courthe, Morgan."
Morgan giggles a bit himself, looking down for a moment in embarrassment. Then, looking up through his dark black hair, he grins. Leaning forward, he wraps a arm around Miranda's shoulders, pulling her close before he kisses her on the muzzle. "Kissing you is like kissing peace," he whispers afterwards. "Like kissing a quiet meadow."
Leaning into the kiss Miranda smiles contently afterwards, replying, "You're quite a poet, Morgan Nightthade. And you're one of thothe rare people worth waiting for… If I do dethide to akthcept that offer."
"Awww, you're just saying that," Morgan insists. He gives Miranda a quick kiss in the nose, then scoots away. "I'd better stop. I might get used to this, and I'm supposed to be demonstrating my willpower and dedication, here." He shakes his finger at the girl. "For shame, teasing me so."
Miranda covers a fresh giggle with her hand at the finger waggling in her direction, before sobering a bit, though still smiling warmly. "Well, alright Morgan, I'd hate to breach your dedication. But I did mean what I thaid."
"That's why it's such a tease. Here, I want to ask you out, and I really shouldn't because we do need a Shrine Maiden. It's very trying, I'll have you know," Morgan insists. He then stands up, offering Miranda a hand. "I'd wait for you, too, you know?"
Miranda takes the offered hand and hops up herself, resisting hugging the Kadie for a moment while saying, "And that's one of the reathonth you're tho thweet Morgan. Alwayth trying to put tha good of tha town before yourthelf. Your determination maketh you thtrong."
"It's weaker than you know," Morgan says with a wink. As he leads Miranda back to the road, he asks, "I'd like to talk to Buffy some time, and I need a Chalk to take me. Would you like to see her, too?"
"I'd be glad to take you thometime Morgan, I know thee'd be glad of the company. And to be honetht I'd like to talk to her mythelf, thee's very interethting," Miranda says.
"Indeed. I'll tell you a little story about her, if you want to hear it," Morgan offers. They reach the road in short order, not having been that far.
The Lapi nods, looking quite curious as to what the story could be about, "Yeth pleathe, Morgan. I'd very much like to hear it," she says quietly.
"Well, as it turns out, our dear Buffy became a vampire not out of victimization, not out of lust for power, or greed, or just accident … but out of love. The original vampire wasn't but a shadow of her current power. You see, Buffy's purity made her stronger. There's power in lacking desire, you see," the Kadie says.
"Really? I never would have guethed!" Miranda replies in wonder. "That really ith amathing. But, you know it's altho hard to know if it'th jutht lacking dethire, or overcoming it. Or maybe jutht dethiring different thingth, like love, or the happineth of a friend," she point out.
"It is a mystery. I think Buffy desires to protect the Chalks, which is why she remains." Now that they're on the road, Morgan looks up and down the road, swinging his arm idly. "Would you like me to walk you home, or do you want to think some more?"
"I believe I need to think a little longer… Lili made me an… offer, and I wath thinking about going to thee her. But thith new dethithion to make it might be betht not to tonight," the Lapi admits, looking a little torn.
"Ohhhh, go ahead. As I said, it doesn't 'count,' and Lily is quite open-minded," says Morgan. He reaches over and smooths out a wrinkle on Miranda's dress, then smiles. "I'll leave you to think, then. Let me know if you need anything."
"I know, it just might be eathyer I thuppothe… Oh why are big dethithionth difficult?" Miranda asks of the air, rolling her eyes before smiling back at Morgan. "I will definitely let you know, and I look forwardth to theeing you again Morgan," the Lapi replies finally, giving the Kadie another kiss on the cheek before walking off down the road again.