A home to share?

Georgina is quietly packing her belongings into a box. Her dress is demure enough, her hair tied up into a knot at the nape of her neck.

Kurzik De’Vardis walks into the library with a casual stride, almost a saunter, but stops at the entrance as he sees Georgina, and leans against the left side of the door frame. He raises an eyebrow slightly as he notices what she’s doing and then glances around to make sure that nobody else is around before saying in a loud voice, “Leaving so soon?” as he turns his gaze back to Georgina, a slight smile on his lips but concern in his eyes.

She looks up, startled at the voice, her eyes widening for an instant before she smiles. “Well, I thought it might be wise, and Riannon has returned so I can hand the library back.” Georgina de Vitis’s voice is quiet, the Genuan accent escaping. “Forgive me for leaving so abruptly the other day.” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis shrugs slightly, an odd half shrug with his left shoulder still against the door frame, “No need to apologise. Perhaps it is me who should be doing that, in any case. You seemed far more offended by the conversation than I had intended.” He walks casually over to the desk as he speaks, stopping and glancing down into the box, “Make sure you borrow a few of the good ones before you leave. Hat knows what will happen to them otherwise.”

“It has been a difficult time, I admit and I had hoped to keep some events to myself.” Her voice is steady, calm almost, and she glances at the box. It mostly holds her own books, and her notepads, her observations and her own work. Georgina de Vitis shakes her head, giving him a smile, “These are people I am still fond of, and it is difficult to hear such opinions of them in front of me. I preferred to leave than cause troubles.” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis shrugs again, looking away as he says, “The Mano Rossa have not done much to endear themselves to our guild in recent times. I personally find it easier to make light of it than face what it might mean that members of our sister guild acts as they do. But I will keep such thoughts and opinions to myself, in future.” He looks back, meeting Georgina’s eye, the characteristic smile replaced by a small, thoughtful frown as he looks at her.

“I understand, I do. An attempt on my own life barely endears them to me, but..” She lifts her shoulders, a gesture that speaks for itself. Georgina de Vitis tilts her head, giving him a small smile that doesn’t quite make her eyes, “But as you see, I felt it best to draw back a little. I fear I have made a fool of myself and… well, my landlady needed her room also and thus the time is auspicious.” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis raises an eyebrow at the last comment, “You’re leaving because your landlady needed a room? Well, it’s lucky for you that I know a place where you might be able to stay. Although, I’m not sure you’ll like the company you’d have to keep. Best to check it out yourself, anyway. Come on.” Without waiting for a response, he picks the box up off the desk, turns and begins walking out the door.

Georgina de Vitis looks startled as he picks up her box and begins to leave. For a second, she stands still, and then she shakes her head, following him quickly, her steps fast to catch up. “Kurzik, I am not certain that this.. I mean, I am uncertain as to my welcome in this Guild.” She hesitates, adding quietly, “I don’t know if I feel I wish to stay.”

Kurzik De’Vardis glances sideways at Georgina, continuing to walk and not slowing in the slightest, “Nonsense. Just because the school still claims to be elite and we receive most of the children of the upper crust to study here, doesn’t mean there isn’t somewhere for you to fit in. And if anyone says differently, they may just find an F in my class.” He grins at her as he walks out the gate and begins leading the way through the city.

The teasing does soften the tension in her face, and she shakes her head, “You are very difficult to deny, Kurzik, you do tend to … make me smile at the very least.” She follows him, keeping pace beside him, her face thoughtful. “I detest fuss and drama, you see, and I fear I erred rather close to it, and that is so unutterably…embarrassing.” Georgina de Vitis blushes slightly. (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis grins wider and raises his left hand to point at Georgina, the box held under hid right arm, “There, see? You say you don’t fit in here, but that is a decidedly Ankh-ish attitude. Keep that up, and you might just fit in here better than I do. I swear half the traditionalists think I’m too low-brow for the school.” He shrugs his shoulders, shifting the box slightly as he does so, “But what can they do? Can’t be rid of the new professor, can they?”

His jokes, his teasing, is softening the deep freeze she had been in, the carefully contained emotions, and a smile begins to emerge despite herself. “I do hope not. Having seen it so far, I think I would prefer to remain un-Ankh-ish, and be myself.” Georgina de Vitis shakes her head, almost bemused by him, “I think you are charming and educated, but I am not certain why you are doing this… or even where we are going.” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis gestures vaguely up ahead, where along the street can be seen the signs of Cheesmonger Yard, “Over there. And it’s good you don’t want to be Ankh-ish, because none of them would be seen dead living on this side of the city. Which is a shame, because some of them might look kind of good that way…” He sighs loudly, obviously faked and over the top, “As for charming and educated, that may be, but lower house or not, someone of my heritage should not act the way I do. Smiling is practically a crime, to some.”

He has definitely been amusing, and Georgina de Vitis laughs, a soft sound, and her eyebrows arch upwards. “I prefer this side of town, it has flavour, and you know where not to stand.” She steps neatly around a puddle of some substance, carefully avoiding it. “I prefer those that can smile also. I am a little tired of pretending to be what I am not.” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis wrinkles his nose slightly, and sticks out his tongue in a weird gesture, as if trying to taste the air, “Yes, if only the flavour were more pleasant. This is akin to one of Dibbler’s sausages, I fear.” He shudders slightly, and turns abruptly into the garden out front of one of the plain looking flats on Cheesemonger Yard, “Well, here we are. Don’t let the exterior fool you, the inside is much less pleasant!” He grins and walks to the door, pausing for a moment before opening it and stepping inside.

Georgina de Vitis trails him, her expression amused but a little perplexed, her eyebrows lifted in question. “This is where you live? You know, it is not where I imagined you.” She steps through the door behind him, pausing in the doorway to look around, her gaze taking in every single thing. “I should ask what you have in mind, perhaps?”

Kurzik De’Vardis closes the door, then turns to look at Georgina his lips pursed and a thoughtful frown creasing his forehead. After a moment he chuckles softly and the smile returns as normal, “I apologise, for a moment I was going to make a very tasteless joke there, but I’m far too refined to lower myself to such levels.” He sniffs pointedly, lifting his nose in the air as he strides across the room and opens the door in the northwest corner, revealing an unfurnished room, “I think it used to be a kitchen, but well, without a stove I’m sure it could serve just as well as a second bedroom.”

Georgina de Vitis Her eyebrows fly up, but she laughs, following him with evident amusement, “You are… offering to rent a room to me?” Her eyebrows arch up for an instant before she turns, studying the room, “If I take your kitchen, surely you will have nowhere to cook?” The quiet comment is soft as she weighs things up, considering his offer thoroughly. “But I find myself in a situation where your cooking is less important, I suspect, and I thank you and accept.”

Kurzik De’Vardis looks at her with a slightly confused frown, “Cooking? Isn’t that for the common-folk?” He arches an eyebrow, a slight twinkle of amusement visible before the smile slowly returns, “I’ve honestly never found much time for cooking, anyway. When I was young, we had a cook. Then I joined the guild, so ate what passes for food in the cafeteria. Now I’m an adult and I find I’m far too busy to cook for myself. So a bedroom it is.”

She sits down on the sofa, staring up at him for a long moment and then laughs, her head shaking. “Oh Kurzik. I… ” She covers her mouth, trying to smother a giggle, closing her eyes for the moment. “Well, then, I suspect I should buy a bed at the very least…” She trails off, looking up at him, her expression bemused. “Why does it matter to you that I stay or go?”

Kurzik De’Vardis shrugs slightly, turning his head to look into the room he’s offered Georgina and staring for a long moment as if seeing something there that nobody else does. The silence drags out and eventually he speaks softly without turning his head, “I love my place in the guild, with the loss of my family they filled that void. But if we can drive away someone like you, then are we any better than those we judge a below us, those we deem miscreants for the way they attack our members? We need to be better than them. Better than we are. And keeping a friend here seems like a good way to start.”

Georgina de Vitis waits for him to speak, her hands clasping in front of her, on her bent knees. Her face becomes serious as the silence goes longer, and then he speaks, and she stares up at him, blinking for a moment. “That is… ” She, the wordsmith, the bibliophile, seems to lack words to reply. She rises to her feet slowly, her fingers clasping before her, “Someone like me… And I am grateful that you describe me as a friend.”

Kurzik De’Vardis glances at Georgina and smiles, bending to place the box he still carries just inside the empty room, before standing back up and turning to face her, “What else would I consider you? The one bright light our of my journey to Genua, someone who always seems to have a laugh readily at hand. Why, you even make jokes all the time, such that I can barely keep up. How could I not want to be your friend?”

The smiles Georgina de Vitis gives him in reply is watery, her eyes suddenly bright with tears. “Oh I am sorry, I detest …” She turns away quickly, drawing a handkerchief from her pocket, lifting to dabbing her face. “You are my very good friend, Kur, and I am so grateful.” She turns back, giving him a smile, her eyes a little pink. “I believe I shall need to buy furniture. Thank you so much, Kur, I will stay. Perhaps things will become less fraught…” (Georgina)

Kurzik De’Vardis smiles wider, and reaches out to give Georgina a friendly hug, “When life has been hard on me, I remember something. One of the few things my mother ever told me that I actually remember. Life never gives us more than we can handle. Now, I’m not entirely sure what she meant by that, but I choose to believe that if like seems hard, or fraught, or anything, it is simply because we are stronger than we yet realise.”

Georgina de Vitis returns the hug, a tight moment where she hides her face. Then she smiles in reply, her eyes warming, “I like the sound of her. This is merely a graduation of sorts.” She sighs, rubbing her fingers over her forehead, adding softly, “I will go shopping now, and get back here to unpack. I must pick up my bag from my lodgings also…”

Kurzik De’Vardis smiles at Georgina and nods his head slightly, moving over to one of the armchairs and lounging in it, one leg up over the arm in a very undignified fashion, “Of course. Unfortunately I don’t have more furniture for you, but I’m sure you can make it look homely in no time. Oh, and before I forget.” He reaches a hand under his cloak and comes out with a small key in his hand, “Probably useful in case I’m not around later. Picking the lock is probably not wise.”

Georgina de Vitis laughs, shaking her head, her face softened, some of the worry faded from it. “It will take me no time at all, believe me.” She reaches out, taking the key from him, and then bends forward to press a kiss against his cheek. “Thank you, Kur.” Then she turns, walking for the door, heading to find herself some furniture.

About Georgina

A book lover, and previously the librarian for both the CS and the MR, Georgina is a demure and quiet person, until books become involved. With a passion for books about history of the Mano Rossa, rare herbs and cookbooks, she is a great collector and often visits the other guilds to examine their rare collections. Her history, should one examine it, is unremarkable, with parents who were a book binder and a librarian...
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