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 [RTRP][Multiverse] Under a Canopy of Stars

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Professor Tomoe
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Professor Tomoe

Inner Senshi Admin Activities Director

Title : Formerly Aurae; The Galaxy Cauldron Forums' Official Professor Tomoe
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Join date : 2013-07-23
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[RTRP][Multiverse] Under a Canopy of Stars Empty
PostSubject: [RTRP][Multiverse] Under a Canopy of Stars   [RTRP][Multiverse] Under a Canopy of Stars I_icon_minitime21st May 2018, 9:36 am

RTRP Name: Under a Canopy of Stars
Creators: Sailor Mercury and Sailor Saturn
Date and Time: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 5PM Central
RTRP Type: 1-on-1 Themed Rainbow Crystal RTRP Scene
Theme: Growth
Plot Summary: During a night on the trip to Mount Everlast, two girls from Lorham spend some time together under the canopy of stars. Their minds are filled with dreams and fears related to that upcoming moment where they will cross from childhood to adulthood. Maybe what they each need is someone to confide in...
Details on any necessary information:
• Takes place within the "Star Catchers" [Multiverse] Universe.
Restrictions:
• This is a 1-on-1 RP for Sailor Mercury and Sailor Saturn.
OOC Thread: via Discord
Member to Character List:
Cassandra Bailey (@Sailor Saturn)
Katherine "Kitty" Davis (@Sailor Mercury)



Cassandra Bailey

The stars above seemed to sparkle, magical in their own way. Cassandra always loved the stars, ironic though it may seem now at this point in her life. Murmurs of chatter echoed around her but she paid them no mind. It was comforting to know so many faces, but there was one face in particular she felt the desire to seek out. During the day, she'd kept to herself, a hostage to her own thoughts. But out here, in the veil of night and the glitter of the stars, it reminded her of other times she'd sought out the very same person.

Theirs was a new friendship, but it felt as though it was built strong from years of family bonds and their own certain kind of connection. Cassandra always looked forward to the end of the day, the few moments she got to herself to do whatever she'd like before the chores would take her away once more. It was strange now to think that part of that ritual now included another person.

She spotted the familiar head of pale hair and made her way closer. "Hello," she greeted simply, a small smile on her lips.

Kitty Davis

Kitty glanced up, the bedroll still in her arms, the gray eyes questioning. Her body relaxed when she saw the familiar Bailey girl, even though she already recognized the voice. It was different, somehow, to see her. No one would have called Kitty a daydreamer, but she had been somewhat preoccupied during the mealtime hour. As Mount Everlast and the meteor shower became more and more "real", she struggled with what she was going to do next.

Cassandra's company, out of anyone's here, was welcome. She waved a slight response, wondering if there was something the other teenager wanted.

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra only just now caught sight of the bedroll and wondered if Kitty was already planning on sleeping. It had been a long day, perhaps more emotional than physical for some, but everyone deserved their rest. Still... "Want to look at the stars with me?" She smiled then, sheepish at her own question. "Just for a bit?"

Kitty Davis

She almost said no, but the word caught in her throat and died there. Instead, she nodded.

After all, they wouldn't be in trouble if they didn't go to sleep just yet. They had a bit of time.

"Do we want to set up, and then watch?" asked the ever-pragmatic girl. If that was the case, couldn't they spend even more time stargazing?

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra couldn't deny the logic in that. "Sounds like a plan." She glanced behind her, locating her own belongings. "Mind if I set up nearby? It seems more like home with a familiar face so near."

She felt as though she should be embarrassed by such an admission—a near-adult wanting a reminder of home—but it was the truth, so there wasn't much to be embarrassed by.

Kitty Davis

At this, Kitty shook her head—indicating that she didn't mind, not that she wanted Cassandra to find another spot. After all, if there was anyone in their small group of travelers that she actually knew... a little... it was this auburn-haired young woman. She set her own bedding down, then looked up with a slightly embarrassed smile, although she hoped the other girl would understand instead of mocking her.

"It's going to be odd... without so many people," she admitted. She shared a room with Dorothea still, and little Rickert. She had shared a bed until... well... until very recently.

Cassandra Bailey

At the other girl's acceptance, Cassandra picked out a spot and moved her belongings a little closer. Not too close, but enough. She smiled at the admission, small and a little sad. "Being around so many people must be comforting," she said, eyes trailing back to look at the stars and their magic. "Though I suppose it might have its drawbacks. Some may count me lucky in that my family is relatively small, so I don't have to share with other sisters."

She paused. "Still... I think I'd like to have been a big sister." She'd sometimes imagined it, wondering what it'd be like to read to someone who listened with apt attention. Her brothers never cared for stories and her parents didn't have the time or energy at the end of the night.

Cassandra pulled her gaze away from the skies and glanced to Kitty for a moment, giving the other another sheepish grin at her own ramblings, before putting her attention back onto the task at hand. She felt like there was more to say, but wasn't certain how to put it to words.

Kitty Davis

When she laid her blankets on it the bedroll still smelled of Philcox, from his journey the previous year, but she didn't mind. She hadn't noticed at first, but it was familiar. He slept in the kitchens now, partially because he was grown but not yet able to move to his own house like Sibil and Niel, but partially because they needed to clear another room. Kitty tried not to think about why. She let that remain unspoken, as it had for so many months now. Even out here, among the trees, she could almost hear her mother's voice on the wind: Don't think about it. Focus on your Trials.

This tumbled uncomfortably in her mind as she listened to Cassandra and her wish for a older sister. Kitty felt guilty, as if she wasn't paying enough attention to the other girl. She tried not to betray that she had anything else on her mind when she responded.

"Well, you might. If you marry," she added, although of course that couldn't compare to growing up with someone else there over you. Sometimes she felt like having older siblings was a blessed gift, and other times it felt an unbearable curse. They were all so different. Despite the years between them, she liked Niel more now that he had his own family and lived in a nearby house than she had when he teased her for being too young and too small. She missed Sibil almost every day—it was different talking to her eldest sister than it was talking to her mother. She felt less self-conscious about admitting things. Now, with squirmy and rambunctious little Jacob, Kitty never sought the older girl for those types of heart-to-hearts.

"I like it," she said of her family, not stopping to think whether Cassandra would have trouble following along with the timeline of her conversation. "But nothing is perfect."

I couldn't even imagine it otherwise. And what would be the point in trying?

What would be the point in trying now?

She adjusted a corner of the somewhat-faded sheet, thinking it seemed "good enough".

Just like me.

The pale-haired girl stifled a sigh and gave her head a very slight shake, as if she could dispel her thoughts. "Did they ever tell you about their trips?" She forgot to specify Cassandra's brothers and the Coming-of-Age journeys to Mount Everlast.

Cassandra Bailey

As she adjusted the sheet, shifting it until it looked right. She was caught up with the idea of a potential future marriage now that Kitty had mentioned it, but honestly it was not something she'd ever given much thought. She figured it would be something that happened, but it was not something she'd go searching for either. She'd seen girls of all ages dream about being a bride. Cassandra envied them their happiness at the thought. Maybe if she found the right person, she'd be more excited by the prospect.

There were other things that excited her more.

She didn't say anything in reply, just kept setting up her little bed, listening as Kitty continued in jagged phrases. It took a moment to understand who Kitty had meant by her question. "Oh, my brothers?" She stared ahead, looking at nothing in particular as she recalled any such stories. "Simon didn't share much at all, but he's always been quiet that way. Walter mostly spoke about the how long the journey took. At first, anyway. To hear him tell it again, he was the first to reach the summit with energy to spare." She let out a small laugh. "His stories often change from day to day. It's fun to listen to, but impossible to believe."

"How about you?" she added after a moment's recollection.

Kitty Davis

Kitty leaned back, looking up. "They said it was like a party. Jokes with friends. The shower is pretty."

The taciturn girl's reply did little for the imagination. Her own painted the picture perfectly; all of her siblings had been excellent storytellers. Just one more skill that Kitty lacked. Right now, it was hard to imagine what they saw streak across the darkening sky. The stars that she knew were out there felt like additional family members. They were always present unless it was cloudy, after all. She had grown up her entire life under their watchful, unblinking eyes. What did they think of her? Was it the same as everyone else?

She shrugged slightly, and looked away. She didn't want that kind of judgment—not right now.

"I don't think..." Kitty paused, her soft voice even quieter. "It's supposed to be exciting, isn't it?"

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra hummed a noncommittal sound, watching the other girl for a moment before putting her attention back towards her bedroll. "Exciting," she repeated, nearly in agreement but for the downward tilt of her tone. The fluttering feeling in the pit of her stomach did not match the word. Excitement was for reading a new book the school had brought in, or getting to listen to a new story given by an interesting visitor down at the tavern.

This... was nothing like it at all.

Nervousness, perhaps, especially at the mention of the star shower that loomed in her future like a nameless villain. Guilt was there too, if she cared to dig deep enough.

"Exciting," she said again, this time putting her full attention onto the word as if she could will herself to feel the same. "Maybe. It will be an experience we only get once, right? One chance." She stopped herself there, unwilling to continue despite the thoughts trying to pull her in different directions like unraveling yarn.

Kitty Davis

Kitty swallowed hard, her mouth suddenly drier than she expected. "One. That's it."

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra froze for a second, those three words a kind of affirmation she wasn't certain she wanted to hear. There was a ring of finality to it that she didn't want to acknowledge. But ignore it or not, the time was fast approaching, hot on her heels. Soon, she'd need to commit to a decision she still wasn't certain she could make. One that she felt she needed to make.

She almost wanted to broach the topic, to tell someone, anyone. To keep herself from bursting at the seams. Maybe then she could listen to sense, even as her heart ached at the idea of giving up the very idea of it. "Exactly," she said, instead. "I hope it will be beautiful. Like a falling jewel."

Kitty Davis

Kitty remembered listening to Sibil describe the meteors. "They lit up the sky, like flares. We couldn't believe how bright it was. Somehow... it really captured our attention. We started dancing... Laughing. I remember watching my classmate—you remember Rebecca—spinning on the mountaintop as they came falling down. We felt united in that moment. We felt invincible. Maybe we were."

"But remember, Kitty—it's just one day. It's a great memory, but it's not the only one. You'll understand when you come back."

"That's what everyone says, isn't it?" she replied. "I... I don't know."

Cassandra Bailey

"We'll find out soon enough, I suppose," Cassanda said, a smile on her lips but her heart was worlds away. Regardless of anything else, she would make certain to remember that upcoming moment. The one that heralded her entrance into a new phase of life.

"At least the stars are pretty tonight." It was less an observation of the scattered sparkles of light peeking past the dim sunset, and more of a distraction for herself. To focus on the here and now, and not the dangerous future that could change everything.

Kitty Davis

Kitty laid back, once again surrounded by the scents of her family. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a minute, then opened them to once again enjoy the expanse of stars that glittered in the cool blue above them. It was easier to see them from this position, on her back. It was easier to think, too, without looking over at Cassandra. She liked knowing the other girl was there. It reminded her of laying in bed at night, talking to someone else.

Someone who hadn't been there to say goodbye at the entrance to the farm, with all the others. Her heart ached suddenly, the memory too close to thoughts about all those things she had been trying to avoid. She tried to pick up the conversation, so she wouldn't have to think about it in the silence.

"Yes. Do you know what you'll do... when we get back?" Kitty asked. She thought she rather knew, actually. But she wanted to listen to the other girl's voice.

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra copied Kitty's example and laid back, staring upwards towards the stars. Their brightness a secret kind of magic that she would never tire of seeing. It would be easy to simply bask in their beauty for the end of her days, watching them twinkle against the dark.

She focused on one in particular, wondering if she could learn its secrets when Kitty spoke, her words bringing everything back into perspective. Cassandra opened her mouth to answer, and paused. The inner worries didn't seem quite so vast, so terrible, here in the darkness with Kitty. "I guess I will go back to the farm," she answered finally, though her words came slowly as she fought with their hollow ring. There was no excitement to get back to the daily toil, the cycle of sameness. No love for anything that particular life could bring her. No hope for anything else. "My parents could use the help, and it's something I've known my whole life. I'm good at it. And yet..." She trailed off then, and bit her lip to keep from saying more.

She shook her head, pushed the thoughts away, and posed the question back towards Kitty in order to get this spotlight off her own decisions. "Do you have any plans?"

Kitty Davis

"Same," she replied. Her voice sounded remarkably flat and normal for how much that stung to say. She thought she had come to terms with all those crazy dreams she had as a small child, but every once in a while they rose inside of her, unbidden. It always hurt. She wondered if her younger self would be ashamed to know her, now. Ashamed to see how completely normal and unimpressive she was. How basic. How boring. How average.

And yet... someone had loved her for it. Someone had considered her "important", hadn't she?

Why did her eyes burn slightly? Kitty blinked a few times, focusing on her breathing. Nothing to think about, there. Nothing at all.

"But..."

Cassandra Bailey

It wasn't surprising to hear about Kitty's own plans. It seemed that most kids, no, adults, came back to what they were raised to do. It made sense, of course, especially for a town such as Lorham. Cassandra's lips quirked into something akin to a resigned smile.

The trailed off sentence caught her attention though, and she couldn't help but to prompt something further. "But?" she repeated, turning her head slightly to glance at Kitty through the dim light.

Kitty Davis

Kitty didn't turn to look over. She kept her eyes fixed upwards, staring at the stars. She felt like they were watching her, staring back. Almost daring her.

"What about... trying," she continued, her voice breathy and soft, even more so than usual.

She felt like she was saying something bad. Something she shouldn't have said. And yet... she couldn't stop thinking about it.

Cassandra Bailey

It was almost impossible to hear Kitty's words above the murmur of movement and other conversations back at the main part of camp, but Cassandra was able to make them out. Trying, Kitty had said. A part of her, the inquisitive part, wanted to ask for clarification, but a more instinctual part of her knew exactly what was being said without need for more words.

Cassandra turned away then, uncertain what to say. Should she say something? Could she even do so? The words came regardless, a kind of bravado given to her by the cloak of darkness and the shine of stars.

"I'm going to try." Her voice was no higher than a whisper, a secret wish for only herself and her companion to hear. Her heart raced at her own admission, the strength in the decision she hadn't even fully been aware she'd made. But... trying was all there was for her. If she died in the process of this dangerous quest, well, what would truly be the difference to a life lived in resignation?

She didn't ask for Kitty's feedback, for the other girl's opinion on the matter. She didn't even ask for Kitty to elaborate on what started this in the first place.

A large part of her hoped Kitty hadn't heard anything at all.

Kitty Davis

Kitty heard it.

She laid there, looking up, thinking about that whisper.

"I'm going to try."

Had she just imagined it? No... No, she was pretty sure it was real. She wasn't making things up. Her mind whirled with questions. Why? Cassandra seemed so sure. She really seemed to know what she was doing, unlike Kitty. That was the impression the teenager had of her peer, at least. Whether or not that was true was another story; one she didn't consider. She didn't even acknowledge the influences of her own perspective.

What about herself? Would she try? Should she? It was dangerous. It was so very dangerous—that she knew from the tales she had heard. There were people from Lorham who never returned. Sometimes the chase for those mysterious pieces claimed more than the lives that died in the hunt. Poor Mr. Johnson, the younger, had never recovered when his boy hadn't come back. He still believed that someday Edwin would walk into town.

But she remembered that poor, wan figure. Wasting away. The smell of the sickroom. The raspy breaths.

"I..." she gasped slightly, straining for the words. "I want to, but..."

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra froze when she heard the words, uncertain what to say in response. She heard that last addition of doubt, the strain to get the words spoken out loud. But still, Kitty had said them. No one said things like that lightly unless there was some true desire there. Everyone knew that the very thing they whispered of was dangerous, so it wasn't a decision anyone made without a strong heart.

This thought was an ironic one, with her own doubts and guilts picking apart her decision, and the fact that there seemed to be doubts within Kitty's own plan as well.

"Are you scared?" she asked. It wasn't accusatory, a mere curious question now that the topic had been laid bare between them. There were a lot of things to be scared of. The possibilities. Failure. Success.

Her own heart thudded painfully in her chest at the very idea of it all.

Kitty Davis

Was she scared?

"No," she said, although she wasn't completely sure if that was right or not. "Maybe? But... the chance is small."

Cassandra Bailey

"Yeah," Cassandra replied. She almost wanted to ask the why of this topic. Why did Kitty want to do this? But it seemed such a personal thing, she couldn't even begin to form the words. She didn't even want to guess for fear of imposing.

"It is a small chance," she continued in agreement, "but sometimes we need to grasp that chance with all we have." Her eyes narrowed. "Otherwise, nothing will ever change."

Kitty Davis

She didn't even realize that she was crying. Moisture leaked from the corners of her eyes. Kitty didn't really feel it; she felt something else. She felt her heart squeezed painfully in her chest.

"No, it... it probably will change," she whispered. "I don't... I don't want that."

Cassandra Bailey

There was a thickness in Kitty's voice that hadn't been there before, whispers heavy with emotion. Cassandra frowned, uncertain what to say. For her, the idea of wanting things to stay the same seemed undesirable. She'd fought against that sameness her whole life and always came up short. But here, Kitty wanted the exact opposite.

"If..." she began, but trailed off, uncertain for a moment. "If that's what you want, what you truly want, then you could have it. With this."

That was what being a Star Catcher was all about, wasn't it? To make a wish, whatever that wish may be.

She felt like she needed to explain better, to help Kitty in a way that could be understood more succinctly, but the words weren't coming as easily as all the flowery language in her books.

Kitty Davis

At this point, she was only half-listening to Cassandra. The stars in the sky streaked with the tears in her eyes, smearing together into a vague haze in the darkness.

"We can't afford doctors," she continued, almost in a daze. "Better doctors. But one of them could."

The thought of going home and seeing an empty room... an empty bed... The clothes that no one else could wear yet—Charity was too young still—packed away in a storage chest. Tucked in the attic. Maybe sitting silently in the corner of mother and father's room. It would be like having a ghost. Except it would be a ghost they never spoke of. It would be like she had never even existed.

Cassandra Bailey

Despite not wanting to broach the subject, the mention of doctors was too specific for Cassandra to not understand. She frowned then, heart saddened by it all. She couldn't even begin to know how Kitty was feeling, to know the pain of a dying family member.

It was such a selfless thing to do, and there were no real words to say in response. Her guilt was back now, in full force, wondering if her own wish could ever compare to such a thing.

Kitty Davis

Kitty didn't sniffle or sob. There were no gasping, heaving breaths. Anyone else might not have even known that their nearby neighbor was crying, but she felt sure that Cassandra both knew and... didn't want to make her explain it. She appreciated that. This was as close as she had gotten to dealing with any of this. She wasn't ready for anything else; not tonight. She just wanted to lay here, looking up at whatever she could see of the stars.

It was enough to finally understand that someone she loved might never make this same trip.

"I... want to try," she repeated again, the words less hesitant now. Almost instinctively, thinking about all the times she'd been told not to try something new, reminded of all her past failures, she followed it up with: "Please, don't... laugh."

Cassandra Bailey

It was quiet for a few moments, and Cassandra remained quiet, leaving Kitty's words to linger in the air. When Kitty spoke once more, her voice held more strength.

Cassandra stared hard up at the stars as she listened. The last addition gave her pause, however. "I'm not going to laugh," she promised. Her own guilt pulled ever more at her, goading her into adding, "It's the most selfless thing I've ever heard."

Kitty Davis

In the darkness, where no one could see her, the gray eyes widened, shocked. She wouldn't have been surprised to hear almost anything else. The only compliment she ever heard was "good job" or "nice work". She would have understood snickering. Or dismissal. Maybe she was expecting that Cassandra would tell her she needed to be smart about this—be careful. Try something else. But she didn't.

"I... thank you," she stuttered, her voice almost breaking. She felt the tears now—understood the warmth and moisture on her cheeks. When she looked up at the stars, she didn't feel like they were judging her, deeming her unfit. Was that because Cassandra hadn't?

"It's my secret."

A brief pause. She hoped the other girl would understand.

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra didn't think it necessary to reply to the first, as she didn't think there was anything to thank her for. What she said was the truth, and there was no need to thank anyone for that.

A part of her wanted to glance over to the other girl, not in curiosity during her pain but in hope of adding some comfort. But no. This felt too much like a private moment. A moment that she was allowed to be a part of, and, despite their physical closeness and despite their ongoing conversation, she wanted to give Kitty as much privacy as possible right now.

"Mine too," she replied, voice soft, a promise unspoken. This time, her heart didn't set off racing quite as hard. She paused for a moment. "Good luck."

Kitty Davis

"You, too," Kitty responded, almost immediately. She meant it. She knew what that implied. They couldn't all be successful. But if it had to be someone else... and it was Cassandra... it didn't sound like it would be as bad.

Maybe she was just exhausted from crying. Her eyelids felt heavy. Her thoughts blurred together. She stretched out, shuffling her body to find a more comfortable position. The stars still shone down on her. It felt like they were protecting her—no, both of them.

"Goodnight," she murmured, her voice thick with sleep.

She wondered if her sister dreamed under the same stars.

Cassandra Bailey

She smiled softly when Kitty responded back so quickly. She knew it was perhaps foolish to wish luck to someone who would ultimately be her opponent, but of all the wishes she'd ever heard a person make—whether said in jest or in a serious moment—Kitty's was the most kind and selfless. She was growing to know Kitty more, but there were dark chasms of unknowns dividing them. This conversation, whispered in the dark of night, made her ever more curious about the girl beside her.

"Goodnight," she said back. Cassandra stayed awake a little while longer, eyes still lingering upon the stars, head full of thoughts, before going to sleep. There was a long journey ahead, awaiting them.

THE END
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[RTRP][Multiverse] Under a Canopy of Stars

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