|Iris Lark||Iris walks to the door and opens it, leaning against the threshold as she waits. She invited Jackie over for dinner and she decided to get some air while she waited for her friend. She crosses her arms loosely over her chest as she gazes out at the yard, humming softly to herself.|
|Jacqueline||It's not a long wait: The sound of a motorcycle engine can be heard in the distance, dopplering closer, the town's buildings lending it some interesting echo effects. But within a minute, a patched-up Lone Wanderer pulls into the small front yard, drawing up close to the front doorstep but leaving enough distance not to be in the way of anyone using doorstep or door.
The gecko-leather-clad rider shuts down the engine within seconds, to spare the neighborhood and especially her door-leaning friend further noise torture. Jackie pulls up her goggles and pulls down the scarf that's tucked up under the earflaps of her gecko-leather padded cap, giving Iris an apologetic smile. "Heyo again, Iris. Sorry I'm late. And for the noise. I'm trying to find quieter mufflers for this bike, but it's tricky to fit anything that wasn't built specifically for it."
She gestures to the bike's cantle, where a durable plastic case is tied. Upon further inspection, it proves to be an old strongbox that's been modified into a pet carrier. "I brought Whassup. I know he's been missing you since you're not at the clinic much anymore."
|Iris Lark||Iris starts to smile when she hears the noise and she pushes off of the threshold, moving out to stand on the porch. "Jackie!" She says, waving the woman in. "I'm glad you came, and that you brought my little buddy." She holds up a cornmeal muffin and quips. "I made his favorite." She takes hold of Jackie's hand and tows her into the home. "How are you doing?"|
|Jacqueline||Jackie manages to get off the bike, not without a little trouble; it was built for larger people. She barely frees the pet carrier before Iris's hand closes on her own, and she's drawn inside the admittedly-nice house. "I'm sure he'll be glad to see you again -and those- again," she replies, trying not to laugh in faint flusteredness. "I'm good, mostly. Just busy with the business lately, and talking to folks across the counter. How've you been since you moved in here? Nice place, by the way..."
She tries to stop in the front room, at least long enough to pull off her cap and scarf. "I'd better not let him out 'til we get someplace outdoorsy. He's been in there for a while."
|Iris Lark||Iris gestures towards the back door and nods. "I've been doing okay, working a lot." She says, shrugging a shoulder. She moves to the kitchen and checks on the dinner she's making. Happy with how it's going she turns away and pulls Jackie towards the back porch. "I live quite near Sparrow, so I've been spending time with her and Stockton."|
|Jacqueline||Jackie has enough time to hang up her cap and scarf before she's hauled off towards another door, pet carrier in hand. Fortunately, this one looks to lead outside. "How are they? I was glad to see they'd become an item, but I haven't seen much of them lately."|
|Iris Lark||Iris stops and blinks at Jackie. "They're doing well, as far as I know..well.. Stockton is, Sparrow is still a bit shaken from everything that happened in Mexico." She gestures briefly to her face and leans in to whisper quietly. "She's healing, but, it's slow going, and she's always going to have scars now."|
|Jacqueline||"Oh..." Jackie blushes at the admonition, lowering her gaze. She remembers the cowgirl doctor's pretty face well, and shakes her head in sympathy. "I'm sorry. Please, if you see her, give her my best wishes? I don't know if she'd want to see me. We were out of touch for quite a while."
She sets the carrier outside, reaching outside just long enough to open the door. There's barely a moment's delay before an explosion of black and white and brown is flitting at top speed for the nearest tall greenery, trailing a dopplering cry of, "And awaaaaay we goooo!"
|Iris Lark||Iris watches Whassup burst out of the carrier and she laughs softly, walking forward to put a muffin on a small planter before she takes a few steps back and gives Jackie a reassuring hug. "It's okay, I'll make sure that I mention that you asked after her." She says, gesturing to the porch swing. "Have a seat, I'll bring you some cold tea."|
|Jacqueline||"I have a bad feeling about ever getting him near that carrier again," Jackie laments, hugging Iris tightly in return. "I doubt it was anything like an easy ride, even with those old ice tray parts I put in there so he'd have something to hold on to. I just hope those muffins are enough."
She draws back a little, enough space to rest her hands on Iris's shoulders and vice versa. "Thanks, Iris. It's my own fault we fell out of touch, but I just got so /busy/ and things were so hectic... thanks." She turns for the offered swing seat. "I'll be right here."
|Iris Lark||Iris walks into the house briefly and when she comes back out she has two old mason jars filled with light amber liquid and chunks of ice. She takes a seat next to Jackie on the swing and pushes off with her feet, sending them gently swaying back and forth. She hands over Jackie's jar and takes a sip from her own. "Life is hectic, that's pretty much why I moved out here. The Clinic was taking over my life, people ..I don't think people truly appreciated what I was doing for them, or the amount of work I was putting in. I needed a break."|
|Jacqueline||Jackie accepts a jar with a nod of thanks. "I know it seemed that way a lot," she agrees softly. "Personally, I was always grateful for your help. I know that's easy to say, but as often as I get hurt, I know the value of a good doctor. A good friend is even more valuable."|
|Iris Lark||"Well that's why I invited you out here, I don't count you as a patient as much as I do a friend." Iris says, leanng over to gently shoulder bump Jackie. She leans back on the swing and enjoys the gentle sway. "I hope you'll come visit as often as you can, it's always nice to have company."|
|Jacqueline||"I'm glad to know it," Jackie replies, taking a sip from the jar and nodding. "I always thought of you more as my friend than my doctor. Even if I couldn't come over as often as I wanted, I was around when I could be. Granted, the clinic was a /much/ shorter walk from Mom's place than the town of Avalon..." she adds teasingly, grinning at Iris. "But then again, I didn't have a working bike then. It evens out. I'll be by whenever I can get away!"
From a nearby tree comes a call of, "Well, I was just passin' by... thought I'd drop in and say hello!"
|Iris Lark||Iris laughs merrily, pointing at Whassup. "Hopefully he'll do the same." She takes a breath and nods. "Things have a way of working out, we're going to be doing work to keep the settlements safe, so it'll be busy out here. I'll be offering people a place to sleep if they come to help, you're more than welcome yourself."|
|Jacqueline||"I'll remember that. I have a feeling they'll need me a lot more here than in El Dorado," Jackie says, considering the matter. "What with the Militia making their home there, Eld and Shantytown are pretty safe. Here, though... I've been hearing plans for a wall. I don't know much about construction, but I'm sure /somebody/ will need help of a mechanical nature at some point. Besides, it's a good excuse to drop by for a visit. And I'm sure Whassup'll be by, too. He's a sucker for a good cook."|
|Iris Lark||Iris smiles at Jackie and nods slowly. "There are going to be walls going up everywhere. I'm going to help where I can, but it's going to be a lot of work all around. Plus there is the research going on with Einstein for the FEV virus."|
|Jacqueline||"Einstein? FEV virus? I think you're getting over the head of a simple wrench-turner," Jackie says, the confusion outweighing the self-deprecation in her tone. "But with what I saw of the Horde, I'd say walls are a step in the right direction."|
|Iris Lark||"I'm hoping they never make it here, but..they likely will." Iris murmurs quietly, wrinkling her nose. "Once we start here, I'll get in touch with you and see if you're able to come build with us."|
|Jacqueline||"Anything like that, they have to keep moving just so they don't starve. By the look of them, they were living off the land," Jackie says, grimacing at the memory. "So they'll keep moving north. As much as I hate to say it, that means we'll see them sooner or later."|
|Iris Lark||Iris nods as she gazes out at the wasteland. "I'm not sure walls will do the trick, but it will make people feel better." She says, letting her feet trail along the porch floor. "After what I saw when we went south, I'm certain we're in for something."|
|Jacqueline||"Limiting the ways in and out has some advantages," Jackie says, rubbing her chin. "It's not very convenient, but it does help with security. Beyond that, it all depends on the strength of the walls. Times like this, I'm sorry we don't have more of the Ancients' equipment working. I mean, they could move hills and dig tunnels through mountains! Just putting up concrete walls would be like building sand castles to them."|
|Iris Lark||"Building tunnels through mountains." Iris marvels, grinning over at Jackie. "I read stuff about that on my Pip and I still can't wrap my head around it." She pulls her feet up on the swing and sighs. "So Jackie, how are things going with you?"|
|Jacqueline||"It's all true. Some of my books have photographs of it all," Jackie replies, nodding. "I wish I could've seen such things in action."
The question makes her stop and consider things. "I'm okay, I guess. I mean, there's nothing wrong with me, but when folks started coming back from Mexico... I missed seeing some of them, and now I don't know where they are or how to get in touch. I got lucky with you and Ashur, and now I know where Sparrow and Stockton are, but everybody else..." She shrugs helplessly.
|Iris Lark||Iris nods slowly and sighs. "I imagine that most of them are licking their wounds, things were very rough down there." She offers Jackie a smile as she takes another sip of her jar. "I'm hoping that things even out soon, I'm trying to take it easy with Jude and just breathe for a while."|
|Jacqueline||"What's Jude like? I think I met him once, and not long enough to form much of an impression," Jackie says, looking back over at Iris.
Evidently, Whassup has decided that he's regained enough dignity to rejoin the two. The chubby little bird flutters down from his high perch, landing next to the corn muffin. He click-click-clicks thoughtfully, eyeing the morsel and the maidens distrustfully. "I will gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today..."
|Iris Lark||"Jude is..he's sweet and kind and he treats me like I'm a queen." Iris says quietly, a smile on her face. "We have a strange relationship, but it works for me." She gazes at Whassup as she giggles and toes the muffin closer. "He's so adorable."|
|Jacqueline||"Well, with the lack of royalty these days, being treated like a queen is the best anyone can get," Jackie replies, stifling giggles. "I hope you stay so close. By the look in your eyes, it's good for you."
Whassup hops back a step, seeing the muffin move closer! But after a long moment, he takes a nibble. From then on, that muffin hasn't got a chance.