December 21st. True to their words, Amy was given a couple days away from the greenhouse to process everything that happened. Paige made good on her promise to take Amy over to the storage building to go 'furniture shopping'. There was a rather unimpressive selection, to say the least. Mostly things people brought with them or stuff donated by locals. Though Paige wouldn't describe it as 'used'. It was just 'worn in'. The days since Amy
#Traveler'sGorge – April 22, 2020
has returned to the greenhouse have been productive ones, though. Not only have they managed to get the hydroponics tables seeded, but since then they've moved on to helping the others work the soil in the other segments of the greenhouse to begin planting crops.
Kirill is currently with Amy in the hydroponics room. So far they haven't run into any problems, but they still make sure to keep a close eye on everything between other duties, ensuring the equipment is functioning properly and keeping track of nutrient balance in the water. It's a mostly mindless task, but a necessary one. And it's a nice departure from the rest of the backbreaking work required around the greenhouse.
Amy didn't stay away from the greenhouse for long, more eager than ever to get back to work and prove that she's not going to be a burden after what happened. She's been pretty quiet since the incident with her family, and she's been mostly focused on working. Still, the lack of uncomfortable treatment by the others, and their progress with the greenhouse - not to mention getting some actual furniture into her new home - has all
contributed to raising her spirits. The prefab might be smaller and less comfortable than her room back at the homestead, but it's private. It even has a lock - although she had to ask Paige for help with changing the code. At the moment, Amy is checking the readouts for the water monitoring, dressed much as usual - she doesn't exactly have an extensive wardrobe. Her winter jacket is discarded on a crate by the greenhouse
Paige's arrival is announced by the sound of sliding doors. She's dressed much in the way she usually is. Worn, faded black jeans that are tucked into her tightly-laced winter boots that reach nearly to her knees. Having just come from outside, she's still wearing her thick, winter jacket and has her tuque on. Towing behind her are a pair of women. Mayra and an older woman named Shannon that Amy has surely seen around. She looks to be in
her late 40s- maybe early 50s. Shoulder-length brown hair. Amy may have heard that she arrived with Mayra. Shannon's son, Brent, is a resident of the Gorge and it seems that Shannon hitched a ride to visit him while Mayra was staying to work on the wall.
Paige clears her throat as she steps inside. "Mayra and Shannon are about to take off." she says, her words carrying a strange tone to it as she glances Kirill's way.
Kirill looks up from the grow table his hands are pressed against, glancing between the three women before stepping towards them, posture straightening. "Oh..." he says softly, attempting to hide the obvious disappointment in his voice as he wipes his hands against the thighs of his already-dirty workpants. "Already?"
Mayra gives a couple of small nods as she steps forward, "Afraid so. Unfortunately I've got some things to attend to back home but I didn't wanna head out without saying goodbye." she says, arms already opening as she approaches the large man.
Kirill gives Mayra a quick hug, offering a few gentle pats on her back before pulling away. There's a certain comfort and familiarity between the two that suggests they've known each other for some time. "You sure you can't stay a couple more weeks? Kind of a shame, you two comin' all the way out here and then hittin' the road just before Christmas." he says, as if that might cause them to reconsider.
Paige sucks her lips in, attempting to hide her own amusement as she saunters over towards Amy and gives her a subtle nudge with her elbow before shooting a pointed look towards Kirill.
Amy glances towards the doors when she hears them open, flashing Paige a small smile before looking at the other two as she listens to the exchange. She's only spoken a little to Mayra, and not at all to Shannon, so she remains silent, the faintest hint of awkwardness in her stance. When Paige makes her way over and nudges her she follows her gaze to Kirill before glancing back toward her with a puzzled look, as if she's not sure what
Mayra gives a snicker as she takes a step back, tucking her hands into the pockets of her jacket. "You know I'd love nothing more than to spend another couple of weeks sleeping on a stiff cot in a tent in the middle of nowhere and hang out with you guys, but I've got customers waiting on me." she says and, despite the obvious sarcasm, it seems to an honest statement. She seems to be right at home here in the Gorge.
Kirill snickers in turn, hands moving to his hips. "Fair enough." he relents before his attention shifts towards Shannon. "Uhh-... and-... uhh-... you, too?" he asks. He doesn't seem to have that same level of comfort with her as he does with Mayra. As a matter of fact, the way his voice hitches there seems to be some underlying nerves.
Shannon offers a kind smile, dipping her head in confirmation. "Yeah..." she says softly, her brown eyes meeting Kirill's only briefly before bouncing off. "Don't want to miss my ride." she adds with a chuckle, tilting her head Mayra's way.
Kirill stands up a bit straighter, brow furrowing as if that's an easily fixed problem. "Well, that's nothing we can't handle." he says, passing a glance Mayra's way, as if for confirmation. "I can have someone give you a ride back whenever you're ready to leave. Or-..." he shrugs dismissively, as if the thought had only just occurred to him, "...or I could even give you a ride back myself." he offers.
Shannon is quick to shake off his offer. "No, no. I appreciate it, but-..." she shakes her head once more, "I couldn't trouble you like that."
Kirill interjects just as she finishes. "No trouble at all!" he assures. "Besides, I know you don't have any family back in Freedom Falls and, well, nobody should be spending Christmas alone-..." he begins before cutting himself off abruptly. "Not that I'm-... implying you're lonely or anything." he quickly trips over himself. Shannon's expression shifts from confusion to amusement. "Just-... sayin' I'm sure Brent would probably
Paige's nostrils flair as she attempts to maintain a straight face. She looks from Amy and then shoots a sharp glance towards Kirill, and then another to Shannon. She repeats the process a couple more times, her silent signalling almost painfully obvious- so much so that Mayra begins watching her with great amusement- until Kirill begins tripping over his words, causing her to visibly wince.
Amy blinks as she observes the exchange - her impression of Kirill has been very calm and collected, and to see him fumble his words is a surprise. After another round of Paige's less-than-subtle hinting her eyes widen slightly with realization, and she briefly runs a hand across her mouth as a choked noise slips out. She schools her face into a neutral expression as she watches the awkward conversation, mouth clamped shut.
Shannon's amusement only grows as Kirill continues, her gaze dipping towards the floor briefly as she reigns in her smile. "That's-..." she stammers, blinking hard, "...I appreciate that but me and Brent already did our celebrating. Said our goodbyes. Truth be told I'm pretty sure he'll just be happy to have his tent to himself again." she jokes, another snicker slipping out.
Kirill furrows his brow, acknowledging her words with a few nods. "Well, hell, that ain't a problem. Could always just stay in my room." he says. An offer that causes Paige, Shannon, and Mayra to give a raise of their brows in shock, almost choreographed in their timing. It takes another moment for the older man to realize the potential implication- only clued in by the look on the others' faces- and, for a moment, you'd swear a
shade of red found its way into those leathery, weatherworn cheeks of his that creep out from behind his bushy beard. "I wouldn't be in it, of course! I meant-... I'm fine with taking a cot down at the guest house. It'd probably even be good for my back." he explains, puffing out his chest and pushing back his shoulders as he brings his hand around to his lower back for emphasis, staging a grimace as he does to further
Paige is finally unable to restrain herself and a sharp snort escapes her at Kirill's floundering. It persists for a solid few seconds as if someone just let the air out of a balloon.
Mayra now has a look on her face of painful restraint as she tries to keep from adding to Kirill's obvious embarrassment by keeping her own snicker from slipping out.
Amy 's eyebrows join the others' in shooting up in surprise. As Kirill scrambles to elaborate her hand returns to her mouth and she clears her throat quietly, suddenly very interested in the display that she was checking when the others came in.
Kirill bites down, not even hazarding a glance Paige's way. Instead, he merely draws in a low breath. "....Or you could always just take Paige's room. Pretty sure she ain't gonna be needing it much longer." he says now that the awkwardness has been made apparent. The lighthearted threat backfires, merely drawing out a second, louder snort from Paige that he tries to ignore.
Shannon, for her part, does her best not to add to the awkwardness. She merely runs a hand through her hair to hide the embarrassment on her own face for a moment, nodding softly to herself. "That's-... very kind of you and I wish I could take you up on it." she says before offering a sincere, "Really." She flashes an honest smile as she meets the older man's eyes. "Would love nothing more than to get a couple more weeks with Brent.
Unfortunately I've got responsibilities of my own waiting for me back in Freedom Falls." she explains with an apologetic tilt of her head. "But I'll be back soon enough." she adds.
Kirill's posture relaxes a bit, stance widening ever so slightly as his smile shifts to something a bit more sincere and he dips his head in a nod. "Just-... know that you've always got a place here Mrs. Cassidy." he offers.
Shannon gives a small nod of her head. "I'll keep that in mind, Mr. Kozlov." she says. She lingers for a moment before shooting a glance Mayra's way, as if to signal she's ready to go. She passes the onlookers- Paige and Amy- small, polite nods before looking back to Kirill one last time. "You take care." she says, which garners a stern nod from Kirill. "And you make sure that boy of mine is taken care of." she adds, a bit more weight
Mayra manages to keep the giggles from escaping throughout the exchange, and when Shannon signals her leave, she offers the pair of women a small, departing raise of her hand before shooting a nod Kirill's way and following her friend towards the door.
Kirill is quick to nod once again at Shannon's final request. "I'll look after him like he was my own." he assures. Far from an empty promise, that seems to be the way he treats everyone here at the Gorge. They're his responsibility.
Amy relaxes a little herself once some of the awkwardness lifts, seemingly having been embarrassed on Kirill's behalf. She looks back towards the others in time to catch Mayra's wave, returning it with one of her own and a small smile.
Paige draws in a deep, fond, wistful breath. as the pair leave. Once the doors have slid shut behind her, an ear-to-ear grin spreads back out across her face. "That was painful to watch." she muses aloud. It gets little more than a sigh from Kirill as he tries to quickly return to work, but she's not having any of it, planting herself right on the edge of the grow table he begins to work at. "No, I mean really painful. You're just
sooo-.... so-..." she trails off, brow furrowing beneath her tuque as she searches for the right word, eventually turning her gaze towards Amy to help her out.
Amy quickly turns back to the display even though she's long-since done checking the readings. When she catches Paige looking her way out of the corner of her eye she glances her way and raises her hands, palms out, seemingly unwilling to stab Kirill in the back. She still has to fight to keep from grinning now that the others have left, however, her mouth a thin line.
Paige tilts her head as she studies Amy, her refusal to play along garnering a lighthearted frown. "...Old!" she decides on. "You've been dancing around telling her how you feel for, what? A year now? Tell you what, old man. The next time she's here? You just need to grab her." she explains, reaching out as if gripping an invisible person by the shoulders. "Tilt her back." she continues, precariously leaning forward from her
position at the edge of the grow table. "Plant a big ol' smooch right on her lips-..." MWAH she smacks loudly, "And say, Hey, bebby. You sexeh!" She puts on an almost insultingly deep voice as she continues to mercilessly mock Kirill. Suddenly, her arms shoot out to her sides and she gives a quick flap to keep from teetering right off the edge of the table, hands quickly grasping at the edge of it once she's regained
Kirill doesn't seem bothered in the least by Paige's teasing. It's just static to him. "Uh huh." he agrees, letting her have her fun at his expense as he makes himself busy with his work which, thankfully, also causes him to miss her near-fall. "I'll get right on that."
Amy gains a dubious expression as she watches Paige's theatrics. The voice she puts on elicits a sudden, surprised snort of laughter, hand shooting up to cover her mouth again. She's about to feel bad for laughing when Paige's near-fall distracts her, more muffled laughter slipping out as she watches her flail, hand covering her grin.
Kirill manages a small, restrained smile of his own when he hears Amy join in on the laughter. At least they're having a good time. The fact that it's at his expense doesn't seem to bother him all that much.
Paige's eyes go wide as she secures her position, gaze turning back to Amy to see if she was caught. When it's clear that her almost falling off the table didn't go unnoticed, she's unable to keep from joining in on the laughter. Kirill just continues to go about his work, assuming their continued laughter is directed at him.
A small burst of static sounds out through Kirill's omni-tool that sits on the table he and Amy sometimes use for breakfast. Shortly after, a disembodied voice follows through. Thomas. "Uhhh... Kirill? Got a bit of a situation out here at the gate. You busy?"
Kirill casts a glance towards his omni-tool, briefly looking between Amy and Paige before starting over to answer the call. He makes sure to give his hands another quick wipe on his pants before picking the omni-tool up. "Nothin' I can't put off until later." he responds as he thumbs the button along the side of the device, "What's going on?"
Paige's lighthearted demeanor slips away, as if a strong gust of wind blew it right out the window. 'Situations' are rarely a good thing. She lets out a deep sigh that breaks up her smile, gaze temporarily shooting up towards the ceiling before she kicks off of the table and falls in step behind Kirill towards the omni-tool. "What now?" she mutters to herself.
Amy 's laughter is cut short by the crackle of the omni-tool. Her smile quickly fades and she moves a little closer to listen, although she hangs back, eyebrows furrowing slightly with concern. Is it her father again?
There's a short pause before another round of static sounds out. "Well..." the voice on the other side says, but Thomas doesn't get the chance to finish his thought before a loud horn honks, audible both via the omni-tool and muffled through the greenhouse walls. "Open the gate! I do not have all fucking day!" a second voice- this one gravelly and decidedly female- growls in the background of the call. A deep sigh