(2018-11-17) Bonding Over Cocoa
Wren invites Yazmin to her house for a homemade treat. Because real hot cocoa goes great with awkward.

Blackmore Homestead, Mesa Dorado
Sat Nov 17, 2018

Built many years ago by Morley Blackmore with his own two hands, along with a 'little' help from old and trusted friends, it was here that the carpenter took his wife to earth to raise their two children. Fast-forward and that same married couple has lived in this faithful little rancher home at the base of the San Juan mountain range for many decades.

The homestead boasts a large ground-level front porch upon which a pair of old wooden Adirondack chairs have held sentinel for almost as long as the house has been standing. To enter the space is to find a cozy den and kitchen + dining room combo. There's only one bathroom, catering to the occupants of three small bedrooms. True to the style of most ranchers, past and present: the house is single level in design.

Large windows leave the house positively brimming with sunshine on a good day, and it is just that much easier to see its history in the form of photos on the walls, and the bric-a-brac of ownership such as decor, sentimental objects and everyday furniture.


As promised, a couple of days after their deciding upon such plans, Wren indeed scooped Yazmin up to bring her back to the modest but cozy Blackmore homestead. With her Gran out for a ladies' social and Paw down tipping a few beers down at Johnny's (Wren would pick him up after dropping Yaz off later in the evening) .. the two artistic girls have the house to themselves! Now now get out of the gutter; it's most likely that the two are just too green and fumbly to take advantage of it. But when you've a creative mind with a project afoot, it's just so nice to have that time and space to engulf the den of the home with supplies and have at 'er.

Wren would have given Yazmin the tour of the house upon their arrival that afternoon, and though the rancher isn't much to write home about it's solid, and cozy.. and FULL of character. Photos on the wall show a plethora of family, including Wren's own mother when she was both a giggly baby and the woman herself, a fetching but overly thin workhorse of a woman with startlingly blue eyes and lovely dark hair.

Wren, a good host, will have set herself to making homemade hot chocolate (made with cream, cocoa and vanilla.)

She wanted her new friend to be comfortable and at-home. She calls into the den from the tiny kitchen, "Almost done! Do you like molasses cookies?"

"I don't know" Yazmin yells back in her usual stoic manner. "I'll tell you in about ten minutes." The tour was interesting. All this…what did Wren call it? Oh yeah, family. Is this what it is supposed to be like. It's a bit creepy to someone who feels like she knows every foster parents in town. All this…bonding.

Pushing that out of her mind, she spreads out her art gear over the den table, as well as sample images of characters and landscapes she has been working on. A script, closely guarded, is there to help them along. She ties her curly hair out of the way as she looks over the images, considering what to work on first. Isn't this also a date? Business before pleasure. Maybe they could even get some of Wren's family into the drawings?

Yazmin wanders to the kitchen, leaning on the doorframe as she watches Wren at work. She could make a dry comment about the small size of the kitchen…if it wasn't a hundred times bigger than what she is used to. "Need any help?"

The place smacks of familial bonding, doesn't it? Were Yaz to see Wren interacting with her grandparents, that would be another lesson. The elder Blackmores are tremendously loving toward their granddaughter; but luckily it isn't such a culture shock to the prickly biracial girl. But one thing for certain: this little house is brimming with stability. It makes it far richer than even some of the mansions out Birchwood way. *gag*

"You'll like them." Wren calls back, her typically nervous manner having abated considerably in Yaz's presence. When the taller girl comes to join her, Wren will be found easily in the small but functional space. She's in a pair of plaid blue and black pajama pants and a tight black t-shirt, hair cinched up high into a messy bun. No makeup. Wren is a simple soul. She's stirring something vigorously in the saucepan and she turns to set doe eyes upon Yaz, "Can you grab the milk from the fridge? I can't leave this." Then she smiles.

Yazmin nods to the request and makes her way over to the fridge, staring at it a moment. "Wow. Look at the size of this fridge. You feed it hormones or something?" It's certainly not the bar fridge she is used to. Opening it brings another revelation. "And you have stuff inside it. This place is like Disneyland." She grabs the milk and brings it on over.

Yazmin is dressed in her usual apparel; sneakers, tights, short skirt, sweater. Her jacket sprawled on the floor of the den where it dropped. Make-up? Never heard of it. So she is all for Wren's natural look…wishing she could pull it off so well herself. The milk is places on the counter. "Do I need to pour or something?"

A bit of laughter from Wren's side of things, "Hormones..? No.. it's actually smaller than most of the ones I've seen," She admits as she whisks the chocolatey froth. Then she remembers that Yaz doesn't come from much and adds with far more sensitivity "Gran and Paw have had that fridge for years. Since I was a kid. They will likely use it until it's straight-up dies. There are some out there that are double the size but we believe in using something for it's practicality, not it's cost." Explained levelly. Yaz brings the milk carton and Wren indicates a plastic measuring cup — marked clearly — with a nod of her head. "Can you pour about a cup-and-a-half into that? Then, as I whisk, pour it slowly into this pot."

Yazmin is being trusted with a delicate operation! "Slow, though.. we don't want to scald it too quickly. It's worth the trouble, I promise!"

"When the fridge dies, you could convert it into an apartment" Yazmin deadpans, "Rent it out at the trailer park. You'll get takers." She has steady hands, she can do this pouring thing. "Cup and a half. Got it." The measuring cup is filled first and then a single drop hits the pot. "Too slow?" she smirks, before speeding it up a little. "Say 'when'…or 'not that fast you crazy bitch'. I've heard both."

The dark-haired girl breaks out into her shy laughter, pressing the back of her free hand to her mouth. "O-oh my God, stop, you're going to make me splash everywhere—" Wren catches herself, gives the whisk a light tap to the side of the saucepan to egg Yaz on when the taller girl trolls her. "You're doing ok. You're being a cautious bitch." She giggles at the brashness of it all, and indeed the milk is poured into the boiling mixture rather carefully. Nothing goes wrong as far as Wren can tell… she stirs til' all of the milk is added and upon removing the pot from the heat she sets it down and starts adding pre-measured vanilla. She carries on with stirring, large dark eyes observing Yazmin thoughtfully.

"See? you're a natural." Though her expression softens, "I've.. never been up that way, where you're from. Are there lots of people in that park?

What she's making? It smells divine.

"I try not to up there much either" Yazmin shrugs about her home before tapping the last of the milk out and rinsing out the measuring cup. "How many live there? Depends if there's a party on. The population is…transient. If it's a Saturday night and everyone's getting lucky with outsiders, it could double. At least." She finds a section of the bench to lean against, back to it so she can watch Wren in turn. "That smells good. I'm not used to food that doesn't have a perfume of grease. But, hey, at least I haven't put on weight."

Can she get away with sticking her finger into the mixture? Isn't that what you're supposed to do in such situations? "I've never seen anyone bake before" she states with pouting lips. "You look pretty natural yourself" she adds, with a little smile. Totally talking about the food.

"You know you're welcome here for as long as you'd like, right?" Wren offers… she is certain her folks wouldn't be too against it, either. Granted the extensive use of a spare room (blush) would perhaps eventually required rent but…. hey, details. Too soon. It's all Wren's good heart shining through and her large, dark eyes study Yazmin for a half-minute or so. "It sounds…. almost scary. That sort of.. unpredictability. She watches Yazmin, leaning there as she does against the counter, and looks shyly back to the pot full of hot cocoa that she works to transfer into large mugs. The dark liquid pours thickly, steam rising in lazy curls. The mugs are a hokey pair of tourist trap specials: one advertising a breakfast joint that folded a decade ago in Florida; the other bears a likeness of Pluto from Disney World.

She baps the back of Yaz's hand goodnaturedly, "Don't poke this liquid, you'll get burnt!" Before she hands Pluto!mug over to the taller girl. To taste the hot chocolate is to taste.. well, nirvana. The 'natural' bit earns a blush. "Natural.. a-ah.. I've done this heaps before. Nan taught me. She'd kill me if I brought the packaged hot chocolate powder into this house."

The offer of accommodation causes one of Yazmin's eyebrows to slowly arch. "Umm…that sounds pretty good, but they won't let me. I'm on a scholarship that my 'family' leeches off. To get that money, they need me to be there. And they come and check every now and then to see if I'm living there. But, hey, they just look at my shit in the cupboard to figure that out. Not that I'm ever there, you know. But…umm…thanks for the offer. I'll think about it."

"Oh…Pluto. Nice. Hey, I wonder if he ceased to be a full character when the planet ceased to be one" Yazmin muses nonchalantly before blowing over the hot liquid. "Smells great." Once cool enough she will take a taste. "Wow. This is delish. Wanna get married? Does your Nan?"

A nod to the den. "Want to get started?" She heads off into the other room, doing her best to swing her hips…but she doesn't have any.

One doesn't need hips to be noticed, it's simply the intention. So Wren follows along, undulating her own non-hips, sipping from a mug bearing the logo of a place that likely got shut down due to a food violation back in 1992. She wrests her gaze away and joins Yaz in the den, blushing with incredulity at the 'married' bit. "Dunno.. you'll have to fight Paw for the right. That just leaves me, t-the understudy." Said with a giggle. Depending upon where Yaz chooses to sit — assuming it's the beaten-up old soldier of a sofa and not Morley's equally resigned lazyboy, Wren will ease her slender bones in to sit alongside her peer.

Even to be close and not touching, as she sips the thick drink, is Important enough. Wren's gaze flits to the array of papers. "So what do you have, so far?"

"You're not the understudy to me" Yazmin replies, not as flat as usual, but not overflowing with emotion either. It was a pretty brave thing to say. At least in her mind. The sofa is chosen because, yes, it lets shy people sit next to each other.

"Some character sketches mostly. I've brought the script along, remember, top secret, and we can work out on planning out some images" Yazmin suggests before another sip of the divine hot chocolate. How can home made drink be this good! "Have you read many comics?"

And so the shy people will sit beside one another, though Wren would be the last person to ever call Yazmin shy. But 'lo there are different types of shyness. Yazmin's rather 'brave' statement is not lost in Wren and it's all she can do, to smile sweetly behind her mug and look down at her knees. She is inwardly relieved that they picked the sofa because she kinda enjoys sitting alongside Yazmin, especially when they talk shop! She turns her head as she eases her body into the crook of sofa's arm, one thin leg folding over the other as she listens.

"Can I have a look?" Wren asks.. nevermind the works are in front of her. It's a sign of respect to ask before she grabs at her fellow artist's work. Call it a sort of… code. "Have you spoke with Devi since.. since we agreed to work together?" A blush, before she considers the next question. "Not many.. a few Marvel," A hand over her heart at the merest thought of Stan Lee. "Some other off-the-wall things… a lot when I was a kid. Like.. Archie." Blush.

"Archie?" Yazmin doesn't judge…well…she judges everyone but Wren. "Okay, it still tells a story through pictures, but we'll do better than that. Soooo much better." A nod to the request to look at her art. "Of course you can. And…umm…I haven't forgotten about drawing each other too. I was thinking of drawing you like one of my French girls." There's that deadpan tone again. "Not that I have any French girls…"

Yazmin may not seem to be shy in a traditional sense, though very guarded everyone must admit. But around Wren she feels like a giddy schoolgirl…which she is. Not that she will ever let her fellow artist know that! "I haven't talked to her again" she frowns, "Other than 'hellos' at work kind of thing. She is really into writing her new book and I don't want to interrupt that. Too much." Yazmin eyes the blushing Wren…she looks sooooo cute…so best look away again before she says anything stupid.

"Archie…" Admits poor Wren, looking down at her knees. "It got the point across even if the character designs w-were vanilla… cookie cutter. Happy-go-lucky American boy, blonde sweetheart, black-haired socialite… goofy best friend.. the teenage experience." Wren shrugs, though none of it… she can hope to even identify with. The 'French girl' bit caused Wren to perk, head tilting. "But I'm not even F—oooh… oh." Blink, a little sigh.. as if she's been 'found out. She looks to Yazmin shyly

"I… kinda sketched you already. Practice, you know. I can get the sketchbook if you wanna see?" Wren asks; she's beyond the fear of 'saying' anything stupid. She prays that she didn't DRAW anything stupid! She couldn't bear to flub up any of Yaz's likeness in her sketches!

"Not my teenage experience" Yazmin points out needlessly, and she can guess it wasn't Wren's either. Her eyes go wide at what Sugar says. "You drew me…already? Umm…sure…I'd love to see it." Is it her turn to blush now? She nervously pushes her hair back behind one ear and sips on her hot chocolate. Yazmin may have tried to draw Wren from memory too…but no way is she showing her friend those drawings.

"Y-yeah.. already. I hope that's ok." Wren calls back as she sets her mug down and makes her way across the short distance to one of three identically-sized bedrooms that happens to be her own. It is to be noted that the house, while not messy or too hectic, is nonetheless lived in. FULL of memories. Wren meanwhile keeps a rather tidy, meticulous space. Yazmin is granted that tiny bit of window in which to compose herself from that pesky blush! There's the sound of something being moved; the soft rustling of pages. Then, Wren re-emerges with a hardcover book — clearly sized for sketchbook — hugged to her chest.

Reinstalling herself back alongside Yaz, Wren flips to the roundabouts a quarter of the way in.. this is a new book. So many characters and scenes flit past hastily and she lands at a drawing that is unmistakably … Yaz. Pencil strokes; not sensationalized (Yaz's proportions are spot-on) … she has drawn Yazmin as a Valkyrie-ish being! It's rough, but the likeness is there.

"Sure it's okay. Why wouldn't it be?" Yazmin shrugs, totally not blushing. As Wren pops out for a few moments, the tall girl picks up the script and shoves it back in her bag, before adopting a cool pose. She has to have a couple of goes at it before she finds one that looks suitably relaxed and not bothered. Just in time for Wren's reappearance. "Bound sketch pad? Nice." These people are so rich!

Yazmin's expression frozen as she waits for the image to be presented. And when it is, there is a sharp intake of breath that she doesn't manage to hide. Her eyes a little wide as she takes it in. "Wow. That's…wow. You see me like that?" So much power. She's tough, she has to be, but Yazmin has never thought of herself as powerful. "That's fucking fantastic" she smiles. "Oh…sorry about the language." Yazmin looks to Wren, and that is an actual smile on her face. "Thank you" is stated softly before she leans in for a quick kiss to Wren's cheek.

"I was given this as a gift before I started up at Rocky Mountain college," Wren explains as she anxiously awaits Yaz's reaction to her depiction. If she has noticed any sort of fidgetty response and/or nerves on the taller girl's part, she politely does not let on or even exploit it. Wren isn't cruel like that. But is that just the barest curve of her lips, in amusement? So now, as Yaz looks upon Wren's rendition of her likeness, the latter observes the emotions in the former's profile. Is she nervous? Of course. It's a very personal thing to draw someone, to borrow their being and moments. But then Yaz's excitement is like a balm and Wren released the breath she had been holding.

"R-really? Oh good—great! I thought it was right.. Valkyries are historically seen in mythology as choosers of the 'slain'. L-like really badass reapers. I don't see you as a reaper but they just… look like they're in such control and so capable. Plus you totally have the height, form and poise.." So Wren has noticed eh~? The kiss to her cheek positively warms Wren from head-to-toe, and she will pull Yaz in for a tight hug. "I'm really, really glad you like it.."

A tight hug. Yazmin wasn't expecting that but there are zero complaints. It's a shame she is a bit uncertain and clumsy in trying to return it. Her arms eventually wrap around the other woman, a nervous pat of Wren's back, before she realizes it is better if she just flattens her palm and keeps it still…ish. She doesn't feel very capable at the moment. "You might not see me as a reaper, but you see me as badass, right?" A little attempt at deadpan humor - she has to be cool. Though, physically, she is feeling rather warm.

The hug lingers…and lingers. It should probably start feeling creepy about now but Yazmin has no urge to let Wren go. Breathing in her scent. Feeling that warmth against her. Is this what closeness is supposed to be like? Yazmin turns her head slightly, her lips against Wren's neck, nuzzling a little. Oh god! What is she doing! With a sudden start, Yazmin pulls back and swallows nervously. "Yeah…it's a great drawing. Perfect."

Something tells Wren that Yaz needs this. She suspects hugs are a rare commodity where the other girl hails from; to be held is to be in danger. Wren will not be felt trying to ease back and by the time Yaz is starting to give into a little something rather unexpected, so too has Wren slipped a bit. One hand lifted to knit into the other girl's hair, to stroke…. and true to their mutuality as two awkward beings where affection is concerned? Right when Yazmin startles and pulls back, leaving Wren's heart to trip in her neck right where the taller girl's lips grazed, so too is Wren.. flabbergasted. But not in a bad way.

Wren takes a deep breath and smiles outright, trying to keep her friend at ease. "Thanks for being really cool about it. I mean—it's an honor to draw you, ok?" She looks down at the superpowered Yazmin in her book. Back up. "I've not been to your author friend's store, yet.. did you wanna check it out sometime in the next day or so? I'm training at Starkweather music but I'm free in the late afternoons. Mr. Shay has been keeping me in mostly earlier hours, which is great." Said fondly; she appears to like her new boss very much, already.

Yazmin is in a bit of a daze…so much for that control. When things are bad and cold she is quick to get back in the groove. When things are good and warm…she's never had to deal with that much. Thankfully, there is Wren's voice and presence to bring her back. "You know it's my turn to draw you now, right?" The smirk has returned. "Like, we could do it right now if you want."

A nod about the visit to 'A Likely Story'. "Yeah, it would be good for Devi to talk to you. She is /really/ worried about her worlds being adapted. She wants to meet you to make sure you will treat her work with respect. I have no doubt. I wouldn't have asked you if I didn't but she needs to make sure. You're cool with that?" How did she end up holding Wren's hands? But there they are, in Yazmin's.

And there they stay, right in Yazmin's palms! Wren has deft, warm hands. "Of course you can. I can pose, too, if you want. A-as long as I don't have to stand on my head or do parkour in the living room." Said with a soft, shy giggle. Her laughter comes easily when she's talking with her fellow artist. "Just let me know. I owe your muse that, after I so sneakily drew you." Must have been recently, too. Unseen by Yazmin is the prolific pile of scribblers and bound pads of paper housing Wren's sketches. She must have drawn valkyrie!Yaz in the past day or so.

Wren listens then and nods once, her dark hair bobbing. "I promise to respect ever letter of every word that she writes. But I get it if I have to level with her and make sure she knows too, in my own words. I'm game to go anytime, to see her." A soft squeeze to Yaz's fingers.

"What about parkour in the bedroom?" Yazmin deadpans in her usual way…until she realizes how what she said could be interpreted. Her eyes opening in alarm for a moment before it is time to change subjects. Quick. "No tricky poses." That didn't really change the subject very well. Talk about Devi! "I'll try and organize a time to go and see her. I'm not sure what her Thanksgiving plans are but she sure loves Christmas. I don't even know what your Thanksgiving plans are. You'll probably be busy this week." To draw Wren, she is going to need her hands back…the drawing can wait a little longer.

Worry not, Wren saw the humorous side of the slip up. She is not a loud, boisterous 'giggler'; everything is quiet and soft but heartfelt. "No tricky poses. N-no, ah… no bedroom parkour just yet." Wait, yet? Shit, now she steps in it! Wren lights up like a lantern, so sudden is the blush, and it's all she can do to laugh again. "Look at us go. I.." A sobering thought, but not a sad one. She smiles into Yaz's eyes, "We don't go crazy here for Thanksgiving… Gran and Paw like to get a couple of chickens to bake. Uncle Glenn isn't in town and he was a real pig on the turkey.. without him we don't have our main powerhouse in putting it away… so…" She tilts her head, curling one leg up and under her lean frame.

"You wanna come over here, for Thanksgiving supper?" Asked thoughtfully. "You're more then welcome."

There is that Yazmin trademarked half a smirk at the 'yet'. She is going to have some pretty wonderful dreams tonight. "No turkey? Isn't that blasphemy? The turkeys are probably thankful… You sure you want your family to meet me? I don't really light up a room. Don't want to bring the party down." Or, more probably, she doesn't want to screw things up being herself and have Wren being banned from seeing her again. That would really, really suck. No…/really/.

The willowy girl recognizes in Yazmin that nuance… that fear. One thumb strokes the back of Yaz's hand before she slowly, reluctantly, lets her go. "I mean it. IT'll be ok. Gran and Paw are.. they're good people. But it's up to you, completely.. no pressure." A gentle smile as she makes to stand up. "Think on it. Think on the pose you want out of me, too." Oh God, so many directions to go in with that! Her eyes sparkle once, darkly. "I'm going to go get something to snack on, to bring in here. Sit tight and I'll be back, ok?" Asked cheerfully.

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