'Play?' Zeph only mouthed the word in question, but turned back to Taka and grinned. "I would most definitely love my breakfast. Last meal as it were..." His smile was half-hearted, his curiosity certainly battling his usual sense of caution. He didn't often enter into dangerous situations.
Right about then the front door was muscled in by Selenia, her arms both carrying one of two of the largest pumpkins she could find. She also had another bag of lumber hooked over one arm and had used her feet to nearly kick open the door. Ignoring people for the moment, she stomped the snow off her goth boots and then deftly kicked the door closed - rather gently this time - then crossed the room to the bar counter and put down the pumpkins. "There we are, big enough to kidnap a child in."
Standing back from her rather proud choice of pumpkins, she glanced over the bar area and frowned a little. She...didn't know most of the people standing there despite very brief introductions. If that. Her eyes narrowed only slightly, a sign of her discontent, but then let her very bright blue gaze land on Alex, expecting some explanation. The sense she got from the small crowd was one of some sort of tension. It was subtle though. "And what exactly is going on here?"
What Selenia did not realize, but Taka would, was a long and rather bushy leopard tail twitching behind her. And what even Zephyr and Spooky might notice the additional leopard spots following her neck up from the fur-trimmed jacket to following the side of her face all the way to her hairline.
She didn't mind in the slightest, curled up in one of the big plush chairs by the fireplace. On her nose were perched her reading glasses - a very rare sight - as her bright blue eyes flicked back and forth across the page of her book. Dressed in her usual halter top and skinny jeans, she wore a loose knit black sweater over top, one shoulder falling down her arm. She also had a faux fur blanket wrapped about herself - more comfort at this point. Poking out from beneath it was her tail, content to fall off the chair and lay on the floor, soft and plush as ever.
On the small table beside the chair, she had a glass of apple cider and rum, some ice on top. Every few pages she'd remember it was there and take a sip, but then would be immediately absorbed again. It was just so rare to be allowed a morning of peace and quiet, considering her brother's antics and Jead's bemoaning of the cold. And of course, random encounters.
Shifting position a few times, Selenia didn't move for the entire afternoon. Unfortunately, her book was done, and so was her drink - though she wouldn't be able to tell you exactly when that happened. Tucking the book and reading glasses away, she got up with her empty glass of melted ice and went over to the bar. She let the blanket fall off her shoulders back into the chair, her tail trailing after her in typical cat-like fashion.
Slipping behind the counter she poured out the warm water and refilled the glass with fresh ice and then a shot of spiced rum and filled the rest with cider. Sipping at it, she leaned against the back counter where all the wine bottles were arranged and was content to simply continue enjoying the quiet for now.
Though perhaps, it was too quiet. And for a little too long.
Freezing, in fact. Alice wasn't a huge fan of it. In all honesty, she could live forever in the warm colonies to the south. Taking in one last breath, she huffs it out, watching the puff of air flow away from her. The girl wrinkles her nose at it, then shrugs lightly. Guess it's what she got for wearing what she did. The brown boots were scuffed and worn, showing her travels easily. Her skirt swayed around her knees, and her red sweater hung loose around her torso, hiding any curves there may have been.
She had bandages wrapped around her right arm, and they extended up to her elbow, hiding what was beneath from view. Her brown hair was stuffed up under a blue hat that was a little too large for her. Accompanying it was a dark blue scarf that wrapped around her face easily. Her bag was slung across her chest, keeping the tome close to her back, giving her that calm that it always brought to her.
Looking at the building, she squints at the sign, then wrinkles her nose. Inside promised to have warmth. However, it also probably promised people, and she wasn't sure how she felt about that. However, with a shrug, she sighs and walks to the door, pushing it open and slipping inside. She closes the door behind her, then blinks, curious almost immediately, feeling the warmth of the building.
She tugs at the end of her scarf, letting it unwind from her face, her hat coming off soon after, letting her brown hair sway around her shoulders.
Looking up from where she'd been staring a hole into the wooden counter, she was mid-sip when the door opened. Looking at the newcomer, she assumed she was female - who really knew these days - and from there her assumptions stopped, which was likely for the best. Setting her own drink down, Selenia pulled her easy-going smirk across her face, bright eyes watching the other female. "Hey there! What can I do for ya?" She asked, remembering to put some effort into being cheerful. It wasn't her forte, but certain someones had explained that being friendly couldn't hurt. She would see.
Her tail flicked up slightly, showing that her inner leopard's curiosity was piqued, and by the way she took a step forward, her expression - though close lipped - might've resembled the Cheshire cat's as he so amusedly watched Alice. She couldn't help it though, she was part feline after all.
Noting the person, Alice immediately smiled, then stepped forward. However, being sort of new at the whole socialization concept, she paused when she looked the woman over, then proceeded to trip over her scarf. Yelping, she tries to catch herself on the wall, which resulted in her hitting her head, and falling to the floor. Groaning, she holds her head, and glares at the end of her scarf.
"Damn it, Serenity. Could you be any more graceful? Finally in some semblance of stupid civilization, and you fall over yourself, and make an idiot of....your....now you're talking to yourself. Great."
Pushing to her feet, she dusts herself off, then looks at the woman again, a blush covering her cheeks. Yeah. She was sort of that awkward sometimes.
"Uhm....I could use some cider? Hot is good."
She spoke the words softly, her faint British accent standing out easily. She tugged the scarf up, then stuffed it into her bag, getting it out of the way.
More than one lost soul found themselves in the frigid North. His boots were heavy on the sidewalk because weariness made his feet feel like lead. He wasn't stumbling from fatigue just yet, but even moving his legs to take a step was becoming more of a conscious effort than a mindless one. He proceeded to raise his gloved hands and tried breathing some hot air onto them as he rubbed them. The air in turn fogged his spectacles for a moment, so he pushed them down a bit on his nose so he could see, even if it was blurry.
After another moment of walking he came to a standstill. Amidst the other buildings, one stood in a much more modest, and curious, fashion. A gentle glow bled through the windows. A glance upward at a snow crusted sign revealed that this place made for a rest stop. Aside from weariness, he showed no hesitation from ascending the steps and opening the door, which the man promptly shut beside himself. Perhaps it was a faux pas, but rather than calling out a greeting he merely knocked some snow off of his shoes and made a beeline for the warmest spot that the place had to offer, which was presumably the fire place. Once there he seated himself on the floor, where he pulled his legs into his chest and wrapped his arms around them. His exquisite but poorly maintained mahogany cloak spilled out over a wide area, but he paid no mind. There was warmth and rest to be found here.
Selenia's 'need' to help people had kicked in enough to make her take a step forward when the girl fell, hand even coming up to catch her even though she was all the way across the room. She herself wasn't the best at dealing with people, and remembered - before she flew to the girl's safety - that some people didn't like help, or specifically, to be touched by strangers. So, in that awkward pose, poised for action, she watched as the girl picked herself up.
With a soft sigh of relief, she let her hand fall to the counter in front of her. Then the girl asked for cider, and nodding she replied "That I can do, um...want ice for your head or will you be alright?" She was of the assumption that not every girl that came through her door was gonna be a wuss. But she supposed it was best to ask, just in case. While awaiting an answer though, she heated up some cider for the girl's drink.
Looking up from her work she took note of the second traveller to find her little Den so far North, and lifted her free hand to wave. 'Welcome! Can I get you anything?" She asked the man, not quite having the moment to eye him over yet.
There was another who came in after her, and she watches as he beelines for the fireplace. With a soft smile, she tilts her head to the side, curious about it. Guess that was one way to get warm pretty quick. Thinking about it, she then shakes her head, adjusting the bag on her back. It gave her a bit of calmness. Looking to the woman as she speaks, Alice blinks, then smiles wide, unable to help herself.
"I'll be okay. I seem to meet a lot of objects head on, so I have a pretty hard skull."
Using her knuckles to rap on her own forehead in jest, she smiles lightly. Wandering to the bar, she slips her bag over her head, setting it against the bar before taking a seat, folding one leg over the other. She drops her hat on top of the bag, then looks around once more before giggling.
"This place is heavenly warm! I'm Alice, by the way. Short for Alison."
Her smirk quirking a bit more to the side in amusement, Sel poured Alice her drink and slid it across the counter to her. "A pleasure, my name's Selenia - but I go by Sel mostly." She said with a wink, feeling a bit less anxious about finally having customers and relaxing a bit. But only a bit. Her tail still twitched to either side, though only half minute or so.
Glancing over to the man by the fire place, she hoped he didn't have something like frost bite, then let her bright gaze slide back to Alice. "So...any reason for being so amused?"
She speaks lightly, then smiles again, unable to help it. The hexengeist wasn't great at being around people, but day by day she was getting better at it. Almost the end of the year, and she'd conversed with four people. Four! It was a record in her little hermit book. Wrapping her fingers around the cup that held the warm liquid, she lets out a happy sigh, then relaxes. Thinking, she shrugs and replies easily.
"I suppose, however, it is just an amusing day. Not really much more reason than that, honestly. So is this your place? It's lovely, even if it's not."
Finally, she took a sip of the cider, her eyes fluttering closed at the taste on her tongue. She was hungry for conversation, but the taste of the cider could almost sate her appetite for anything. It was close to her mother's recipe. And that fact gave her that tingle of warmth in the depths of her heart.
"Just needs cinnamon..."
She murmurs the words to herself, looking down into the cup, pleased.
Honestly her hearing wasn't 'super human' but having leopard qualities had its perks. Tail flicking down and out of sight behind the bar - a sign she was fairly relaxed by this point - she turned and grabbed a cinnamon stick from a glass jar and held it out to Alice. "I use them to stir mine." She explained, not a fan of most ground cinnamon since she often found it had sugar added to it - which, despite her love for sugar, wasn't always needed. "And thank you, the place is mine. Maybe after you've warmed you'll like to see the green house?"
She tilted her head towards a door near the stairs, clearly labelled what it lead into. "I have certain friends who love me too much to stay away, but can't deal with the cold."
Judging by the squeak of delight that exited the girl's lips before she took the cinnamon stick, she was pleased by the offering. Her eyes shift from a dark green to a lighter, pale green, and she grins, dropping the stick in her cup.
"It's the best way to have cider. I used to make it with a little bit of nutmeg, and cloves, and a splash of pineapple juice as well. It's the most amazing concoction that way. Stir it all together with a cinnamon stick, and warm it over a flame. It's....incredible."
Then, with a tilt of her head, she leans forward, curiosity on her features. It was a bad habit of hers. It's why she was more of an observer than an interacting party. Clasping her hands over her cider, she glances towards the stairs, then arches an eyebrow, looking back at the woman.
"Greenhouse. What kind of plants do you house?"
It made her fingertips tingle to think about the possibilities. She was an alchemist and herbalist, after all.
The heat would take its time to pierce the man's cooled body. The intensity of the flames started out uncomfortably as they tried to draw out the chill in his bones and rekindle the feeling in his skin. Snow and wind were not kind to the under dressed and the unprepared. Despite the displeasure, the end result would be worth it. With discipline and patience, the blonde slowly breathed out the the icy air in his lungs.
"Your indifference to my behavior while I leech on your hearth is all the kindness I require, mad'am, thank you." The stranger eventually responded. For a moment he unlaced his fingers as he drew his cloak more over his body and less in the general way of walking. Never let it be said that he didn't have politeness on the mind in some fashion.