[----TAKEN FROM AMBIENCE'S PERSPECTIVE-----]
Fa'Diel - Oreyndur Forest
Bending tightly from north to southeast, the soft dirt that creates a
grassy trail leads on near-relentlessly within this splendid forest, the
trail itself being covered here and there by various bits of overgrown grass
and other mild vegetation. A couple open patches within the overhead growth
allow a decent amount of sunlight in, enough to maintain life on the forest
floor. A small glade lies hidden beyond the brush to the west.
Ambience had lead on through the winding, forestial path for a short time, pointing out the occasional site and direction along the way for various things, all of which he had perhaps learned during his time spent living here, away from the general public. At this time, he stopped at a bend in the trail, and examined a section of the foliage carefully, as though looking for something specific.
Standing on his tiptoes, Ambience peers over a section where he'd have trouble seeing otherwise, before standing back down and smiling a little to himself, with a nod. "Okay, here's the place."
In preparation for the coming of the night, Rarity's horn is glowing a pale blue, as she casts an illumination spell to help her - and your - eyes adjust to the relative darkness. "It certainly is a far walk, Ambience, but this is well worth the journey and all the pain."
Ambience frowns somewhat at the mention of pain, even if the tone of speaking was meant optimistically. He realized that he lived a considerable distance from anywhere societal, but it only just now occurred that not everyone likely used to having to go so far out of their way to get anywhere. Keeping it to himself, however, he offers Rarity a boyish grin before pushing ahead to the west - and through the underbrush bordering the trail.
Fa'Diel - Secluded Glade
A canopy of lush, verdant leaves shelters this decidedly spacious
natural expanse, suppressing the glare of the sun during the day and
controlling the temperature as a ceiling would at night. Sturdy oaks and
other hardwood trees form the outer barrier of the clearing in a
surprisingly accurate circle, save for an almost hidden break in the same
direction as the sound of running water, and a wider one to the east, back
towards a larger trail in the forest. The ground is relatively empty, bare
of most signs of inhabitance other than particular patches of worn grass.
The entrance to a shoddy-looking cabin is also here, directly to the west.
Lifting a branch out of the way for both he and his companion's sake, Ambience looks up toward the western cabin. "There. This is where I live."
"I must say it's rustic, by my standards... But that's not to say it looks bad, by any means. Contrary to how I may act and look, I can survive being in the wilderness and getting dirty, if it's necessary." Rarity, after casting a subtle appraising glance over the cabin, nods and casually saunters over to the door, though she stops short of entering to keep from seeming rude.
A faint smile lingers on Ambience's face, but its meaning is a bit uncertain. He walks around next to her, moving to open the door himself. "Mine and Da's situation is a bit different, I guess. I know you might be used to somethin' that strikes a higher... flair, maybe." He paused, briefly acknowledging the general upkeep of her mane and tale, before moving on so that it didn't seem weird.
You say 'I get mad at him sometimes, but Da did the best he could with what he had. He raised me from a baby, all while Mama was gone.'
You open the door.
Rarity nods, extinguishing the illumination spell centered around her horn as she steps inside. "I will say there's a bit of charm in this cottage, as far out of the way as it is. And I daresay it was difficult, but very worth it to him to make sure you were raised properly."
Ambience doesn't say anything, but at the very least bears a brief expression of thanks for Rarity's understanding and consideration as he follows her inside. He frequently wondered how to really explain to anyone why he lives so far out here, but the fact that she was as understanding as she claimed to be raised his self-esteem by a significant margin.
Seikou & Ambience's Cabin - Front Room
The front entrance to the cabin leads into a wide livingroom-style
area, though it seems rather rustic and offers less modern ammenities that
most livingrooms and dens nowadays possess. There's an old-looking couch
and a chair, situated at opposite ends of the room, and a pair of wide
windows take up a majority of the front wall. A small table with a
pictureframe on it is nudged up against the back wall, next to a doorway
which leads to the back of the cabin.
Ambience takes a moment tdjust his eyes to the sparsely-lit room for a moment, before turning around and slipping his shoes off at the door's side, closing it as he does. "I don't think Da's home. He leaves a lot for little reason, but I don't worry as much as I used to. He's got a lot on his mind."
You close the door.
You say 'Place would be a bit noisier if Da were home. He works on metals an' such.'
While being careful not to run into the furniture or walls, Rarity makes her way to the couch, fighting the urge to cringe as she sits down atop it and smiling. "I can relate somewhat, darling - there would be times where I had to leave Sweetie Belle by herself while I tended to business outside of Ponyville."
"Yeah. Da goes on walks, a lot of times. Just goes on, and thinks about stuff... Mama, Variance. I think he lets a lot of stuff get to him sometimes that shouldn't. But he says a lot happened 'fore I was born, so I can't really say anythin' to him. I just try to do what he tells me, do my part, y'know. That kind of thing." Ambience, glancing toward the door leading into the kitchen.
Ambience considers for a moment, realizing that if it were just him, this place would feel normal. But for some reason, something bothered him about the way the place looked when he had company over. He tried not to let it be too obvious, but his half-grin, normally present, was beginning to fade as the notion wore on. It was kind of a new feeling, but then again, Ambience hadn't really had any company over. Like, ever. Which only drove the point home, at that point, that he didn't really have any friends with which to do so, either.
Out of habit, there's a soft glow from Rarity's horn as she begins to work on repairing the fabric of the couches, levitating the old material and a portable sewing kit from her remaining saddlebag simultaneously.
Ambience doesn't seem to notice at first, apparently caught up in his reverie over these new (and somewhat unwelcome) feelings of inviting someone over to a less-than-visually-appealing residence, but upon the notion that he does come to, he blinks a couple of times, mixed feelings welling up with what he's witnessing.
You say 'R-Rarity? You don't have'ta do that, you know...'
Even while she guides thread and a needle through the holes in the material, Rarity turns to you with a curious expression. "Why ever not, darling? I have to repay your kindness in some way, and dresses are hardly something you're going to find a use for out here. I'd feel simply HORRIBLE if I didn't show my thanks by doing what I'm good at, since, well... I'm the bearer of Generosity."
This consideration ground away at Ambience for a moment. His embarassment at inviting someone over only to have them fix his things was subsiding somewhat, if only because what Rarity said made decent sense. In spite of himself, he felt somewhat pleased that she took to her own doings with little regard otherwise, and though he knew little of this Element she spoke of, he could see that she was pretty well taken to her cause.
Ambience found himself walking over to her, then, taking care not to get in her way, but feeling a bit more comfortable on the whole. Everyone had their quirks, he likely realized, just as he had his own. He kept his thanks present on his face at that time, as well as his words. "Thanks, then... but pretty soon, I think you're goin' to wind up having made up the difference between us."
Rarity says 'Oh, certainly. And it's really no trouble at all.'
Ambience looks up after a moment or three of watching. "Oh, speaking of that... I'll be right back." With that, he turns and heads into the next room, sidestepping a table on his way out the door. The sounds of rummaging, including the oddity of metal clanking against one another, can be heard from the other side of the wall in the process.
He returns after a few minutes (and a few more clanks of metal, as well as the sound of running water), stepping back into the den area and holding what looks like a fairly large, and recently rinsed-off apple, still somewhat wet from the latter activity. He stops next to Rarity, but doesn't disturb her work; Ambience holds the fruit in a way that makes it obvious that it isn't intended for himself, however.
By this time, Rarity's put away her travel-worthy sewing supply kit, and levitated the fully repaired cover back onto the couch, turning in time to catch sight of your return as well as the apple. "Well, dear, I'm finished with the work, and...-thank you. Such a kind offer, from a gentleman."
'Gentleman' wasn't really the word of choice he'd use, but Ambience laughs a quiet, short laugh, offering her the apple anyway. "Though I didn't expect you to jump on fixing things as soon as you got here, I appreciate that you think that way. Things are a little untidy, but given the choice, I'd rather see this and be a li'l embarassed about it than have you run away in disgust."
You say 'And you're welcome, as well. I thought maybe it was a good turnabout for your consideration, and since we live in the woods, stuff like this is easy to get ahold of.'
Rarity returns to resting atop the couch, holding the apple aloft with her magic as she eats some of it politely. "In no way would I have considered running from this. I owe you gratitude, after all, for giving me a place to stay while the Boutique gets built."
"I might not still be here if it weren't for you 'n your friends. Knowing you don't yet have your own place right after what happened woulda been like a slap in he face, and I'd never do that." Ambience grew quiet after a moment, watching Rarity eat, not in an obnoxious stare, but more of a quiet consideration for what he thus far knew about her.
Above and beyond everything else, the whole Soulless thing didn't even seem to factor into the equation. Ambience wondered for a moment if all this fera he initially had was a silly notion, or maybe it was this one specific, rather peaceful moment. He wasn't too sure, but in reality, he didn't care too much, either, so long as nobody was in danger.
After a few more bites, Rarity moves the exposed core over to the trash can - if there is one - with a small flare of magic before looking up at you with a serene expression. "I would've given my life, if that's what it had taken to protect you from that monstrosity. I'm glad it didn't, on top of being grateful that it's brought us closer as friends."
'Friends'. He knew what they were, obviously, but the concept never rang all that clearly for Ambience up to this point. In the midst of one rather ferocious battle, he had not only made one of his own, but hadn't managed to do something uncouth and mess that friendship up yet. He didn't even know if he and Crossroads were friends, even though they knew each other, given the odds they lately were constantly at.
Taking a moment to let the thought sink in, Ambience returned Rarity's expression with a goofy sort of smile, and a light scratch of his head. "Yeah. Hopefully we won't have too many close calls like that, though. Wouldn't want to find a time when I might actually have to get you out of a jam."
Rarity says 'Come what may, in the future... I won't abandon you. I may not have quite the same sense of loyalty that Rainbow Dash does, but I'm far from somepony who just runs from their problems, or is helpless on her own.'
"That much, I believe." Ambience pauses, then adds "'Rainbow Dash'... has another one of these elements you mention from time to time?"
You say 'I take it there are actually a lot of ones like you, then.'
Rarity says 'She is, and easily the bravest one I know, on top of the most loyal.'
Ambience considered this an answer to both his questions. For all he knew, this 'Equestria' was likely a separate world where everything was of her own kind, as opposed to the regular, two-legged world he knew. Not to say this bothered him, of course. Considering he was pretty much born in this place where everyone who lands here calls it strange, it was pretty normal in turn.
Ambience nods then, standing straight. "I made you a place to sleep, by the way, for the night. I fixed it up while I was back there getting the apple for you."
With a nod, Rarity gets up off the couch, looking around at everything before levitating her considerably larger over to an empty spot so she can empty all her supplies to settle in.
Ambience watches briefly, with a nod. "If you can find a spot to leave them, you won't have to worry about anyone gettin' into it or anything. This far out, despite the trip, means we're pretty safe from prowlers, too. Y'won't have to worry about anything."
Rarity says 'Very nice. I daresay I could get used to living out in the country, even if there are things I'm not used to.'
Ambience smiles faintly. "It ain't so bad, no. I spent eight years out here, just about, from the time I was born 'til now. Da likes the solitude above most everythin' else." He doesn't seem to consider the oddity of his wrds, despite the fact that he appears closer to between twelve and thirteen instead of the 'eight' he now mentioned.
Instead, Ambience beckons Rarity to follow him, once she's finished sorting through her things, as he heads toward the door leading to the back room.
Rarity nods, trotting at a casual pace to the back door with a curious expression settling on her face.
Seikou & Ambience's Cabin - Kitchen
The back end of the cabin is pretty much as shabby as the front end,
though this specific room seems to be used as a storage space as well as a
kitchen. Cupboards and cabinets are filled with all kinds of junk, ranging
from the standard kitchenware and utensils you'd find in any like-domain, to
assorted robot parts and metallic objects. Most of it appears to have been
stashed away in an attemptedly-neat fashion, but the actual success of this
is questionable. There is a small dining table against the fore wall
of the room, but most of its space is also home to assorted things, leaving
little space to actually sit at and eat from. At opposing ends of the room,
two mini-hallways lead into separate, decidedly smaller rooms, while a
rickty screen door off to the side leads outdoors.
Ambience steps around a small box at the end of the kitchen, a twinge of embarassment catching on his expression. "I know, I know... just be careful with your tail." He sighs somewhat at the notion of the mess that somewhat looks like a kitchen, still heading toward a room to the north.
At this, Rarity laughs sheepishly, having the decency to rub the side of her head with one hoof and flush in embarrassment. "I wouldn't have thought of commenting on everything here, despite how much I tend to focus on being neat and making a good impression."
Ambience smiles faintly, keeping to himself. He wasn't used to actually having to worry about what the place looked like. Maybe he could make an attempt at fixing it up sometime later, especially if he was going to have a guest here. Either way, he heads into the northern room.
Seikou & Ambience's Cabin - Ambience's Room
What could be expected as a messy room in the style of a kid who
never cleans up after himself is actually quite the opposite, if only for
the lack of things to make a mess with. A small bed is pushed into a corner
space of this equally-small room, with a worn blanket barely large enough to
fit over the mattress. A shoddy wooden dresser is aligned on the wall
next to it, with a few drawers half open and various articles of boys'
clothes sticking out of it in random places; a small but sharp-looking
little blade is sitting on the wooden top of it, underneath a drawn picture
nailed into the wall overhead. A small desk is opposite the bed and dresser
in another corner, where a miniature carving studio seems to be set up, with
whittling knives, wood pieces and even a few finished figurines are all
scattered around it. Other than this, there doesn't seem to be any sign of
a legit "boy's room" aspect. No toys, no mess, not even a TV; the room
itself feels awfully forlorn, as a result.
Despite the state of the room (or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it), the bed seems to be made up rather nicely, for that which Ambience actually has to do it with; the blanket is curled about in an almost nest-like shape, with a pillow on each end, situated in the center of the mattress.
Ambience smiles happily at his venture, seemingly at least a little proud of himself. "It ain't much, I s'pose. But if you actually need to sleep, you can at least be comfortable about it, right?"
Rarity says 'Very true, and again, I don't need much to sleep on.'
Ambience nods, looking upon Rarity for a moment, as he seems to find himself doing rather frequently of late. "It's hard to speak of this without sounding offensive, I guess, but I wouldn't concern myself too much if I was looking to let a... normal... horse lay down for awhile. But I understand that this point that you're somethin' special. It would be horrible of me not to treat you at leas' as an equal, if not more so." Its apparent that he seems a little concerned about stepping on eggshells.
You say 'But regardless, you're still a guest. You deserve a decent place to rest, especially after I dragged you all the way out here.'
With another nod, as she returns the gaze evenly, Rarity levitates the fancy blanket she'd been carrying in her saddlebag into the room with her magic. "I'm glad you're treating me so well."
Ambience looks up as the fancy blanket comes into view, and seeming to recall something himself, he turns at that moment and heads toward his dressed, where he retrieves several black crystalline-looking pieces of black glass from his person, setting four shards down on the top of it next to the weapon already present there. He looks at them for a moment, double-checking his pockets to make sure that was all that he had.
Ambience looks over his shoulder from the dresser, red irises blinking once. "Rarity, besides the place you were havin' built in Truce, was there a reason you were here, at that time? Or was it jus'... an accident?"
Rarity says 'I don't think 'accident' is the term to use for that. Even if I hadn't been planning to get involved in a fight that night, I wouldn't have ignored my new duty as one of the Wishborn."'
You say 'Oh, no... I meant your being here. Even if you got here by accident, were you planning on finding a way home?'
Rarity says 'Oh. I'll keep hoping and searching for a way back to Equestria, but if I can't find one... Then I'll just hope that I can adapt to living here as well as I did in Ponyville.'
She sounded pretty optimistic, considering this meant never seeing her friends again. Ambience wondered if that endless optimism was just another quirk the Pony had. But then again, maybe she also already accepted what having a contract with this "Kyuubey" meant, too. "Which is why you are just seein' about having your place built in Truce, then. A 'better safe than sorry' thing?"
Ambience adds quickly, "And at least you know you have friends here, too."
Rarity says 'Yes. I've already realized that I may not be able to return to my true home, given my responsibilities now. So I've planned in advance to have the boutique built here, to make getting accustomed to life here easier. And that's one thing I will always be grateful for - my friends.'
Ambience took a moment to think on something she'd mentioned just now: her responsibilities. Having seen firsthand what the corrupted ones were capable of, he almost wasn't thrilled with the idea of something like that turning up so close to his home. But at the same time, he wasn't about to turn around and turn Rarity out for it. She'd already shown him how far beyond this "Wishborn" business a person could go when it came to helping others, and he was beginning to understand it, too.
Still, not being one himself left him with little opportunity for empathy in her case. The most he could really do was what his heart told him was right, which is what he'd been doing, to the best of his ability. Ambience nodded. "I'm glad, then. I'll be here whenever you need help. Will this room be okay for you, in the meantime?"
After setting her blanket on one side of the bed, Rarity climbs atop it, tucking her legs under her and watching you with a genuine smile. "It will, I think. And again, thank you."
Ambience smiles, walking away from the dresser and toward Rarity as she settles down, reaching to take the blanket that he'd laid out in the middle of the bed and lay it over her, shifting one of the pillows around so she'd be able to use it where necessary, if she chose. "You don't need t'thank me anymore, Rarity. If we're friends now, this is what we're s'posed to do for each other. Right? It's good lookin' out."
Rarity says 'As always, you're right, darling. Friends always do look out for one another, and I'm very pleased to know you consider me one.'
Ambience tucks in the sides of the blanket somewhat, making sure she seemed comfortable. Whether it was possible inspiration, or perhaps just in the fact that he actually, legitimately happy for one of few times in his life, he'd really never know, but Ambience tipped his head forward immediately following, and gently kissed the Pony's head, just at the fore of her mane. "I'm glad." He grins, halfwise and quietly. "If you need anything, I'll be in the other room. Okay?"
Even as she goes crimson from the unexpected kiss on her brow, Rarity keeps smiling. "I'll be sure to call you if I need something, darling."
Ambience looks down upon Rarity for a moment longer, before turning and quietly heading out of the room, closing the door only halfway as he does; it may be worth noting that, during this whole exchange, he never removed the sheathed longsword still slung around one shoulder, as if it were something just that important to him. Whatever the reason, he takes it with him as he makes his exit, his general demeanor a bit more focused than it's been in quite some time.
After all, if Ambience had someone to protect besides his family now, he was going to need something to do so with, right..?