Seeing that Leonna's musical aura drew closer, Calista could only assume she was offering something towards her. Uncertain, she hesitantly held out her hand, head tilted and her eyes unconsciously squinting as if it would help her see more clearly. While many things usually gave off a musical aura, like peoples or even flames and wind, she could not see static objects like furniture or in this case food.
"I have done a fair amount of travel and much like yourself I had a goal - though mine was for music and tales," Calista began, leaning forwards slightly as an idea came to mind.
"This city of Demalikos has renounced magic for many years. A few of the saga's I have been told speak of a time where there were more than just hack alchemists selling cure-alls on the streets. There are strict rules now in place, some saying that the lords are trying to reclaim the lost arts for themselves to regain power over the merchants who now control the money is this place.
They are looking for anything that could lead them down the path of magic again, even though most of the townsfolk here are now more scared than enchanted by the idea of it."
Ducking around the corner, Joker saw Padme leap out the kitchen window, calling for him. It would be a simple enough matter for him to pass through - a lot of the burlier bounty hunters however would not be so lucky.
Crouching on the counter top, he peeked through and was glad the drop wasn't too steep. Swinging his legs out, he dropped down in a crouch, seeing they were in an alley behind the pub. The path went either way, left to go back to the main street and right leading further in the back streets of the city.
"Padme! Take the right path! Joker and Padme can loose them easily!"
"Silly Joker, Padme be on the right path--away from HUMANS!" It was more of a mutter as Padme jogged down the rocky path on all fours. Though not understanding Joker correctly, she had naturally chosen to move away from the busy street full of HUMANS. It would be easy to hide about the narrow backstreets, but she was hoping to see more of Joker's dream magic.
* * *
I smiled at the unsure hand, gently taking it in one of mine as I handed Callista the honeyed cornbread. It was rather difficult to contain my new excitment, eager to hear everything she had learned. Magic from a foreign land... how had it been used? Who had created it? How was it made? How did it work?
And... least likely of all, could it explain how a being of the sky had fallen to the earth and where it might have come from?
"Please, do go on. Do you know anything of what has been said of this old magic? Perhaps where it came from and how it was used?" I turned to take my own slice of cornbread, taking a seat in the other chair. Though it was comfortable, I could not help but sit on its edge, eagerly leaning towards Callista as I reached into my bag for my book and quill.
Taking a bite of the corn bread and savoring its taste, Calista chewed as she gathered her thoughts and the various bits of rumors she had heard, swallowing as she decided to start with the most well known rumors.
"Most people when asked don't really recall or wish to speak of magic - they always defer to the Alchemists that are so abundant here or don't believe in it at all. The saga's I've heard mention the heart of the people is what allows the heroes to use their power but nothing specific is mentioned. All that is said is that this magic controls the people of Demalikos - which is why it is now sought after by the nobles in this town.
Demalikos itself is usually a peaceful city, so I'm not sure why they needed to let go of the magic in the first place. I've heard no records of major wars or insurrections breaking out here in the last one hundred years. The last known saga mentioning magic is incomplete - a story of love betrayed that affects everyone here. How it ended I don't know, but that would probably be our clue to finding out what has happened.
I believe it had the very unimaginative name of "Tale of the Last Hero"," Calista finished dryly, her nose wrinkling in distaste at the title. "Frankly, I wonder at the talent of some of these bards if that was the best they could come up with."
"Ah, I see. A tale of generations..." My quill scratched the paper with new ink, though the information was scanty. These were vague details indeed, but certainly expected from a few songs and sagas told by townsfolk.
"I do wonder... might there be elders who know of more details? Or perhaps some written history detailing the events that led to this magic's rise and demise? Since we are quite new to the case, I suppose the nobles may very well be further along in this mystery than we are." I chuckled lightly at this, the thrum of my curiosity thrilled at the idea of learning foreign history.
It was strange and yet so very pleasant to engage in such wonderings with a newly found friend. Too long I had been stumbling with loose ends, hungry for information but alone in the quest for it. The few friendly curators and researchers of Keithon's libraries and museums had also been refreshing, though far inbetween. Even then, it had never been a relaxed musing over some humble cornbread.
A loud crash sounded from behind as Joker sprinted down the laneafter Padme - the Haschen was a lot faster than he but he gave a good chase - much like the people behind him.
A quick glance showed that the window hadn't been that much of an impediment - there had been a door out the back of the kitchens leading to the alley as that was where the trash was thrown out out nights. So a few of the more money hungry had decided to take that exit and come after them.
"Ara ra ra! They're gaining on us, they're gaining on us~!" Joker squealed in a manly way, waving his arms above his head. In his run his hat had flown off, so now he had his long blue hair trailing behind him like a flag.
Doing a quick hop over an overturned bin, the dream weaver, reached into his pocket portal and drew out little black spheres.
"Bombs ahooooy~!" He called, throwing them behind him. The spheres cracked upon hitting the floor, sending up bright colored smoke and flares that rocketed towards the sky, sparks dancing in the air and confusing their pursuers.
"Padme! See you a place we can hide?" Joker called ahead to her.
"I've never thought to ask the elders on this town, being as I am I can't really locate them and the people here a bit touchy on the subject. The nobles would certainly have more - they would have been able to appropriate any magic material. It's just..." Calista paused, a frown creasing her brow, "Leonna, do be careful if we decide to pursue this. The nobles will do anything to gain more knowledge. I keep myself low key because I know they would attempt to do their research on me in hopes that it would lead them back to the old ways."
Padme instinctively looked up, but this was a truly foreign place. For a Hashcen, the safe path was always that on the trees, where wolves and the like were not nearly as nimble as she. But surrounding her were thick and steep walls of wood and stone with hardly a foothold. A small and nimble creature like her could venture a climb, but she was not so sure Joker could get up fast enough with such high and unforgiving walls.
“Eee! Padme and Joker be surrounded, no hide!” Though there were some discarded boxes and other junk surrounding the walls... but no, too small and too ominously stinky. They could, however, try one of the doors or windows in the area. “Joker must pick door, quick!”
I sank back in my chair, disheartened by Calista's talk of the nobles. Finding information would be more difficult than I thought, and I hardly new if such a venture would be worth it. Merely remembering the words of our last pursuers brought chills down my spine. Experimentation on innocent creatures... what on earth would they do to a creature like Padme?
“I wonder... a magic that can control people? It seems somewhat sinister for a past connected to a tale of lost love. I do not wish to cause any trouble, but I daresay it is troubling, knowing the intent of these nobles and what they might do if the rumors are true. Would it be worth... ah, but where would one even begin to find and put an end to something so vague?”
"Pick a door , pick a door but so many to chose from~" Joker sang as he hopped from foot to foot as he surveyed his choices. The doors to the right all lead to houses facing the main street they had come from meaning it would potentially land them in thicker trouble.
The doors to the left however would take them further within the back streets of the town and there they should hopefully be able to hide out in some decripit unused building.
Settling on his choice of a cramped looking two storey building which had no lights shining in any of the windows, he gave a quick tug on the door handle to confirm it was indeed locked before taking his dagger out and resting it just before the keyhole.
"Unlock," he commanded, pushing the blade inside. The dagger morphed on entry, becoming the perfect key and unlocking the door with a simple twist. Taking it out, he reshaped it once more into its usual form and the door swung open with an ominous creak.
"Padme, quickly inside and see if you hear anyone within!" Joker whispered, looking over his shoulder to see shapes solidifying through his smoke and dazzle screen. He would have thought people would have noticed it was harmless quickly and been through already but he could also hear other people shouting about curses and black magic. The thought that these were magic fearing folk brought a silly grin to his face.
Once Padme was safely inside he would close the door behind them and relock it - hopefully thwarting the pursuers from following and they would be able to make it out the back door with no trouble.
Calista felt a bit a sting when Leonna mentioned magic that could control people being sinister. Her own brand of magic did just that and suddenly she felt uncomfortable with the topic. Yet as she thought about it she wondered - she was the only one she had heard of yet that could control people with music. The only other beings she had encounted that could do this were the river sprites knows as Nix who would use their song to lure women to their watery hold.
Through her own magic she had been able to save that woman's life.
"While it is manipulative it doesn't mean the magic itself is sinister," Calista began slowly, thinking her words through as she wondered about telling Leonna of her own magic.
"Any magic is subject to the person who wields it to determine if it is good or evil. Fire mages can be known for their destructive powers yet at the same time can use their magic to provide warmth and comfort to others or life giving light to guide the way. This magic which can control the people of Demalikos... it says it uses the heart of the people. Perhaps it is something based on a belief system like religious or clerical magics that drawn on the power of a symbol?" She ended on a question, tilting her head to the side as she took a bite out of the cornbread, relishing the sweet honey.
A short laugh then followed, "Ah but that is all just speculation on my part - I've come across some odd magics but I feel the wording there regarding the heart of the people is vital to this puzzle."
“Good Joker magic!” Padme cried as she rushed past the dreamweaver, coming to an abrupt halt once she was inside. It was comforting to finally have something solid between them and their pursuers, and the young Haschen reveled in their cleverness. She could not have found a finer friend, she felt, one so quick and magic and reliable as Joker. And he had never reprimanded her, either, never questioned the soundess of her plans and desires. If only he had been born a Haschen rather than a pink-skinned human...
Despite the sentimentality, Padme kept her ears up and alert, crouching low to the ground as she sniffed about. Aside from the chaos still in the street, she could only make out the scampering of rodent feet and dripping water nearby. With a shrug, she climbed her way back onto Joker's shoulder (which she was becoming rather fond of), sharply whispering in his ear. “Hideplace be empty of HUMANs for now.”
I thoughtfully placed a finger to my lips, surprised only momentarily at the change in topic. It was refreshing, even if not entirely comfortable, to speak of the nature of magic and further speculate about Demalikos's history. It seemed Calista was not only a skilled musician (and such was endlessly impressive, granted her... lack of sight), but also one who contemplated the politics and working of the world about her. Thinking about it... such did seem to meet her thoughtful personality, and certainly her acceptance of Joker. While his magic did not seem directly manipulative, it certainly was surprising, even frightening at times.
“Yes... you are very right.” I knew well just how destructive fire magic could be. “I suppose I simply... am more fearful of such a means of magic. To be manipulated without even being aware, to be trapped in something that cannot be escaped by means of one's own physical prowess... it frightens me.”
The ponderous memories drifted silently back, and I knew it had not been wise to follow the train of thought in such a way. I was already worried for Padme, even Joker as I wondered about what might happen if they were caught, if I... no, such fears were not worth pondering here. So I took a deep breath, shifting a bit in my seat in hopes to unsettle the weight I was beginning to feel in my chest.
“Ah, but I digress! I would be terribly lost without your astute aid. I almost wonder, when it speaks of the heart... could it even be an artifact of power? Some precious symbol of history that perhaps still holds arcane secrets?”
Calista sighed, finishing off her cornbread with a contemplative look on her face.
"It very well could be - we just lack information right now to really confirm any of our speculations. The heart of the people gives the heroes their power - it does sound that there must be an artifact of sorts that would draw this 'heart' from others and turn it to magic. Also - if it is able to influence so many people there must be an amplifying part somewhere that spreads its area of effect. Such a thing would usually be held in a central location to increase it's effectiveness. But if there are multiple heroes then there may be one amplier in a central location in key locations to cover the whole area. That is assuming the heroes themselves aren't the amplifiers and it draws upon them to do its magic..." Calista stopped, realizing she was rambling aloud.
"Sorry - Having travelled as I have I have heard of so many ways mages can use their powers that the possibilities seem endless right now."
Joker closed the door as soon as Padme was through and soon had her comfortably settled on his shoulders once more. He had to admit the weight of her was comforting - he was getting quite used to having her as a close companion.
"Good to hear we be safe," he whispered back, just in case he would alert their searchers. He doubted any of them would be sharp enough to hear him if he did talk normally given the ruckus they were making outside but it didn't hurt to play it safe and not get Padme in danger any further.
Taking a few steps further into the gloom he silently asked his dagger to glow softly, the blade brightning to cast a warm golden glow around them. Dust motes swirled like a gold mist with each foot fall, indicating this house had not been used for many a year. There were two rooms, one to each side of the door they had entered from and a stair way directly ahead with a smaller room beyond it down a narrow hall - probably leading to the back alley way and a wash room. Cobwebs were thick in the corners, their lines shining against the light.
Given the state of disuse Joker did not want to stay for very long - he was weary and now just wanted to rest given that he had been running for most of the day - firstly chasing after Leonna and Padme then from the guards and now these bounty hunters. He was proud of the mischief he had caused but now just wanted a safe haven to go to and refresh himself.
There was one place he could go to and from there he could take Padme back to Leonna and Calista in the morning.
Gently shifting, he moved Padme from his shoulder into the cradle of his free arm, her face towards him so he could look into her trusting black eyes.
"Padme, Joker would like to formally invite you to his humble abode - but Joker must warn you - it be not of this world and is in fact where Joker learned to do his magic. It be the Dream Realm and there we will be safe from all wordly troubles such as guards and bounty hunters and we can return rested in the morning."
“Hoi! Padme go with Joker, yes!” The yellow creature was already fidgeting with anticipation, imagining all the things she would tell Ziggy and her tribe. A dream realm? A daring escape from dozens of humans? They wouldn't believe their ears!
"Yes, there is a great deal that is unclear now. But we do at least have some place to start, and perhaps tomorrow... it seems there are a great deal of answers to find!" I smiled, finding Calista's companionable voice to grow steadily more important than our speculations. We truly could go on forever, as the nobles likely had, and get no closer to real information. But I had to admit comfort in the musician's creative knowledge, in her genial comfort and willingness to speak. It kept a great number of worries at bay and reminded me of the importance of human company. Padme was a good and loyal companion, but such long intervals of travel between city left much unknown about the cultures and knowledge of humans I so wished to learn.
But our conversation was waning and the day was waxing old. I had impeded enough on the kind Calista, but Joker and Padme had not yet returned. If I was not to speculate all night on this mystery of magic, what would keep my worry from building into insanity? Knowing what manner of men were after Padme, how much sooner they should have arrived... just what was going on?
Determined at least to find another conversation, I turned my thoughts back to Calista and Joker. “There is something I have been rather curious about for some time now. Is... Joker truly that fellow's name? I mean nothing ill towards him or his name, but it does seem a bit odd."
Calista laughed, "I was wondering when you would ask that," she admitted a bit guiltily once her mirth had faded.
"I honestly have never asked him if it was real or not - when he speaks it there is no overt lie being spoken. It is to the point where it seems it's a persona he has adopted for himself," the violinist paused, wondering if that even made sense.
"Joker is a complicated person, he acts as though he is simple minded yet I sometimes think there is something he is running or hiding from that causes him to be so outlandish and his adopted name is just a reflection of what he wishes to be true. Then again I've only met him twice before and I could be completely wrong," Calista finished with a wry smile.
"He is a hard one to really peg down."
Ah if only Joker could meet such adventurous spirits more often!
"Well then with one step we go to Joker's home away from home~" he sang as a purple swirling mist spread before them into a portal.
Stepping through they left the world of physicality and entered a world where dreams were literally what you made them - so long as you knew how to manipulate the dream mists correctly. That was how Joker had made his daggers in the first place.
The landscape was as it usually was - a jigsaw of boundaries that did not match up. There was an island of ice surrounded on one side by hot desert sands and on the other by the beginnings of a swamp. The sky was just as torn, one patch clear and bright blue while beside it was a full thunderstorm with lightning flashes.
Joker had taken them straight to his floating castle. It was hidden by mists to prevent other Dream Weavers from peeking in on him, and the added benefit was the gods also couldn't interfere with him here. They stood upon a garden balcony, a large opening behind that led back inside with diaphonous curtains of ice blue drifting on a light breeze. A small stream trickled to their left, fed from an unknown source as it trailed across a bed of moss and over the edge of the balcony.
Sighing happily, Joker sheathed his dagger, the portal closing behind them. He lifted Padme up high and then flopped back onto a giant plush cushion of purple silk.
"Does Padme require anything? Joker can easily conjure up a meal or three here for us to partake," he offered grinning down at the golden Haschen, watching as her eyes were darting one way and then the other as she took everything in.
I smiled, impressed again by Calista's observations. “You truly are impressive with your insights, and I do not doubt that they may be very right. I can hardly make out anything of Joker, but I do believe that he is a good man at heart. Strange and perhaps a bit overindulgent with his magic, yet I could never imagine him using it for malevolent purposes.”
The haschen was completely amazed by the sights, forgetting even to complain about being manhandled. She really hated it when Leonna snatched her so often among silly HUMANs, complaining about scaring people or “making a scene.” A haschen had a right to declare death cries to dishonorable HUMANs.
At the moment, however, death cries were far from the creature's mind. She muttered something in her native tongue (which was yet to be deciphered even by Leonna), completely in awe not just at the bizarre nature of the realm, but very much at her friend. Could such power truly belong to a mere wizard? No, she couldn't believe that. He was something akin to a powerful fey, or perhaps even something as mighty as a demi-god. What manner of creature could, at their own leisure, whisk themselves away into another realm where they had their own posh home?
“Joker be... amazeng...” And for once, Padme was so taken aback that she didn't even fidget.
Joker let out a laugh, comfortable upon his cushion. Already knowing they were safe from mortal troubles was doing wonders to ease his spirit. The events of the day were catching up with him and he gave a yawn, smiling at the end of it with the irony of falling asleep in the dream realm. Usually Dream Weavers could only enter the realm when they were asleep in the mortal world but of course Joker was different since he came here physically rather than mentally.
"Padme, Joker doesn't know about you but Joker be quite tired out from the running we has done today," already his eyes were closing as he relaxed. "This place be safe from others - Joker has made sure of that." Sitting up suddenly he held out his hand and there was a swirl of purple mist that became an hourglass - except inside was the night sky on the top half and the day sky in the bottom.
"The night sky will bleed out into the day sky and the day sky will replace the night sky to let us know when it is day time in the place we just left. In the morning we can return and find Cali-li and Bright Eyes," Joker explained, putting it up on the balcony rail.
As a side thought he also conjured up a platter of fruits and nuts for Padme, not sure what else she would eat.
"Let Joker know if there is anything else Padme needs?"
Calista agreed with Leonna's assessment of Joker, "Yes, he pursues his mischief but doesn't seek to harm people-" Calista cut off as she gave a loud yawn, shaking her head afterwards in an attempt to stay focused.
"I'm so sorry about that - it's gotten late hasn't it? And they still haven't arrived here..." Calista sighed, a slight frown on her face. Not wanting to get Leonna worried though, she gave her a quick smile.
"There is not much we can do - I can only assume the two of them have decided to hole up for the night elsewhere - I know I was saying you could rent rooms here but given how the others haven't arrived you are more than welcome to share this room. I've spent a fair amount of nights in these chairs so I can vouch for their comfort."
Padme was busy staring at the hourglass and jumped when the food appeared, in complete and utter awe at the ease with which Joker made these things appear. For once, the haschen was rendered speechless, staring with wide eyes as her little heart pounded. Such magic, such great, impressive magic! This blue haired fellow had won her complete and utter respect.
But then the creature turned her gaze from Joker's marvelous work to the magician himself, smiling at his tired face. All the magic in the world couldn't change the fact that he was her trustworthy friend. So she happily leapt up onto his lap and curled up there, ears folding down against her head as she prepared for sleep. “Joker no be scared, Padme protect Joker while Joker sleep.”
“Oh, yes, of course, I... I apologize for stealing your night in such a manner. I fear my worries have neglected all sense of time, and... I do hate to impose, but your invitation is so very generous. If you would not mind, a place here at one of your chairs would give me great comfort. I cannot thank you enough, Calista; you have so selflessly aided me and my friends when I can give only little in return. Such kindness is not easily forgotten.” I leaned forward in my chair as I spoke, certainly guilty at so readily accepting what felt so intrusive, but Calista's mere presence was reassuring. The chances of getting any sleep were not high for me, but a warm place would hopefully keep the worst of worries at bay.
Joker smiled to himself, arms crossed behind his head as his eyes drifted shut. Even with all the odd things he had seen in the Dream Realm, he was certain that he never would have seen the day he would go to sleep with a gold talking rab- Haschen, he corrected himself mentally - on his lap.
It was a comforting weight and he easily fell into a dream less sleep.
Calista gave what she hoped was a gentle smile as she curled up in the chair she was in. Sometimes it was too much bother to go to the bed and she liked the security of having something embracing her on most sides. Resting her head on the arm of the chair she observed Leonna's inner song was a bright thing - far too bright for someone settling to bed.
"Leonna I don't mean to pry but you sound as though you're not going to get any sleep," Calista began, turning slightly so her legs dangled over the edge of the chair and her face was towards the ceiling. Her hands were on her stomach as she twiddled her thumbs idly.
"I have a... magic gift," she admitted hesitantly, "for playing soothing lullaby's that can put the most troubled person to sleep. If you wanted to rest easy I could play something for you, but only if you felt comfortable with it," Calista offered, turning her head slightly so she faced Leonna once more.
Padme fell quickly to sleep, quite happy in the tranquil atmosphere of Joker's home. Worries of what would come tomorrow were far away, and only visions of all the wonderful things she might do with her magician friend floated about in her head.
“Oh, you are very kind and I... I...” How could she be so willing, so thoughtful to a stranger like me? Calista was so full of kindness, so ready to help that I felt guilty of any further notion of receiving aid. “I truly do appreciate your offer, and certainly all you have done. But I believe I will be quite alright in this very comfortable place. Even if they do not come while I am awake, I... I shall be alright.”
Calista had her doubts that Leonna would be anywhere near alright but she knew a lost fight when she saw one - Leonna had a gentle song, one that currently thrummed with a nervous energy that would not go away until the source of her worries were safely before her.
As she drifted off to sleep she couldn't help thinking that her and Leonna were very different people - and the only reason Calista could see herself being so caring right now was because Leonna's inner song was influencing her own.
Joker was asleep - yet at the same time it was as though he was awake. He was like a spirit, floating free of his body once it succumbed to sleep and he stared quizzically at his resting form with Padme on his lap.
"Ara, Joker always wondered what would happen if he went to sleep in the Dream Realm, Joker had never tried it before," he murmured to himself as he hopped up slightly to sit on his balcony. Drifting along his small garden was a small golden sphere - a Dreamer.
Joker knew if he wanted he could easily slip inside that dream and he would no doubt find a certain golden Haschen gambolling on a grand adventure within it - and so he left it be. Padme was now considered his friend and he would not lightly tread on the Dreams of those close to him.
So instead he sat and idly whiled away the time as his body slept, his mind at peace.
Both Padme and Leonna eventually found sleep, though the fae creature found her rest to be short and troubling. Dark images of the past flitted about in her mind, and she drifted ever about on the edge of consciousness, as if some hold on the real world might offer escape from the shadows that threatened to consume her sanity. Desperate words, final prayers, shouts and screams from a hundred nameless monsters—there was little she had left behind in that mountain where she had very nearly lost her life. Yet the most frightening image of all was not the face of a dark elf, but that of a man, a cat-eyed man with a syringe in his hand. She had never been the same after his magic, and every fear she had of the new darkness within herself brought that image to mind.
Exactly what did she have control over? Was her body still her own? And her friends, what of them? She could boast no connection to those she had journeyed with, for they faded and crumbled as old paper with the passing of time. If Khaz was alive, if Rontu or Ren still lived, she did not know. At the moment, all she had was Padme, Padme who had not yet returned. What would the humans do to her friend if the haschen was caught? Were all inhuman beings merely magical toys to corrupt, violate, and fear?
Many dark thoughts continued to press on the weakening fae's mind as the night waxed older and older, and she trembled quietly in the darkness. Morning, that sweet magic that broke the stuff of nightmares, could never come soon enough.
Time passed and Joker finally felt more refreshed - a signal he took to mean his body had recovered sufficiently from all the ordeals he had experienced the day before.
Drifting back into his body to wake up he let out yawn as he awoke, his body automatically stretching in anticipation of his daily morning exercises designed to keep his body limber and flexible to keep up with what he put it through with all his antics.
Too late, his body and mind registered the warm fuzzy weight on his lap that was Padme and his dismay came a second later when said weight rolled off him with a soft thump.
"Ara! Padme!"He sat up quickly, arms immediately going to pick her up, "Joker did not think again! Are you ok?"
Calista woke slowly, feeling a bit chilled. Being in a place with so much water meant that the mornings were usually cold as the sun would take it's time warming everything through. Feeling a bit stiff from having slept in the couch rather than her bed, she tilted her head side to side and wincing at the audible cracks her neck made.
Not wanting to disturb Leonna, and having a feeling that she would have had a very unsettled sleep filled with worry, Calista got to her feet, using her magic to stop any sounds of movement she made as she went towards the bathroom.
There she quickly went about her business of getting ready for a new day - going through a quick abbreviated wash up routine followed by a change of clothes. Coming out while she brushed her long hair, she finally stopped masking the noise she was making thinking that maybe that would be a subtle way to awaken Leonna. She had never really had anyone sleep over and wasn't too sure about what sort of etiquette there was with waking up before the other.
That being said, she was also wondering where Joker was as he hadn't turned up during the night either.
The theories regarding that hachen always bounce from the ground were broken as the rabbit-like creature hit the floor, making a cushioned fwop. A startled yip quickly followed, large ears pricking up just before two dark black eyes opened. “Arra, Padme be awake!”
The attempt on Joker's voice was poor, but the haschen smiled even as he reached down for her, holding still for once when a larger creature moved for her.
I was weary even as I woke. Yet the sounds and light of morning were all about me, the final release of night. The only part of me that was stiff was my mind as I stood, looking about me with dull eyes. A familiar aura was bright and about, but... yes, the two I still awaited had not yet come. Had the two found safe shelter in the night? Had they been caught? If they had, where were they and how would I find them?
With a groan, I ran a hand through my hair, not wishing to correct its messy state. What to do... what on earth was I to do? I took an unsteady step away from the chair, keeping one hand on my head as I bent to smooth the wrinkles in my skirt. "Calista... are you still about?"