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Tina The cold winter sun is halfway up the pre-noon side of the bowl of the sky as Sister Tina walks toward a small creek north of El Dorado, guided by a hastily-drawn map and a rumor that Abigail Caine frequents that creek. Her hands are tucked into the sleeves of her habit against the chill, but otherwise she looks little different than she does in church. Which is probably a testament to the value of thermal undergarments and the coverage of a nun's habit and veil.
Abigail Caine Abigail Caine might be by the water. It's impossible to be sure, really. First of all, Tina doesn't have a photo and Gale is not one to attend church so far as she is aware. Second of all the figured she does see isn't obviously much of anything. They are sohort, perhaps five feet tall, dressed in a militia desert camouflage uninform, BDUs, heavy black combat boots. Their face is covered with a red bandana and dark aviator sunglasses hide htis person's face. A rather fine, oversized black broad-brimmed hat sits jauntily on this person's face providing further shade for their eyes. Between all of this and the gloves on her hands Gale doesn't show even a spare inch of skin. She does, however, have well-kept long brunette tresses. Well. There's a hint at least.

At the moment Abigail is positioned along the bank of the pond in the shade of a tall, gnarled juniper tree. She is laid across the sand with her head on a bedroll, arms crossed over her chest. The girl could be asleep or simply staring up at the sky. "Hello, Sister," the voice calls softly. "Didn't expect to see anone out this way. Especially not ressed how you are. Is everything alright...?" Gale doedsn't really move.
Tina "Good morning to you," Tina replies gently, though a hint of nervousness is there as well, eclipsing her usual warmth. "Are you Abigail Caine? I have been looking Miss Abigail, and was told I could find her here," she continues, pausing near the relaxing young woman.
Abigail Caine "Aye, I'm Abigail Caine," the young woman begins slowly. She squints slightly, sitting up and then removign the bandana. So she does have skin. Her eyes are still hidden bheind those glasses. "Usually people call me Gale. Something I can help you with...? Is Fern getting into things again?" She takes a deep breath and twists slightly to orient herself on Tina. Gale is softspoken, laconic sort of person. Her facial expressions are impossible to read, especially with the glasses.
Tina "Well... perhaps there is, and perhaps she is. Don't worry, Miss Fern hasn't hurt herself or anyone else that I know of. It's not that sort of getting into things," Tina says, shaking her head. She moves to kneel on the sand next to Gale, then pauses, giving the dirt an uncertain look. Then, hesitantly, she draws up the skirt of her habit as she seats herself, letting her thermal-clad legs rest on the sand rather than her habit. Arranging the skirts carefully, she continues. "But I thought I should find you as soon as I could, to see if the matter could be straightened out without any hurt feelings."

She swallows, blushing faintly, and continues, staring at the sand. "The fact is, Miss Fern wanted to arrange a date between yourself and myself. I... wanted to talk to you privately about it. Preferably before Miss Fern could broach the subject. Please don't be angry with her, Miss Gale," she adds, lifting her eyes from the sand to look into Gale's eyes, or glasses in this case. "She said that you didn't wish for her to do this, but I know that she meant well, and was thinking only of your happiness."
Abigail Caine Gale listens intently. She arches a brow after a moment, considering Tina carefully from her place reclining alongside the water. Gale reaches up and slowly removes her sunglasses. The young woman has vibrantly blue eyes that gleam faintly as they study Tina carefully from head to toe.

"I appreciate you being so concerned about my feelings, though I promise that's not really a problem. First of all, 'Gale' is fine. Miss Gale doesn't sit right somehow." The woman's voice is gentle but firm. "Anyhow. You're right, I asked her not to try to set me up with anyone but I'm not going to be upset. She's a kid. Kids do silly things. I'm sorry she bothered you, ma'am."

Now Gale sits up slowly, turning to face the other woman. She looks Tina over from head to toe before returning her gaze to the Nun's face. A deep breath follows and is slowly exhaled as their eyes meet. "I know this has probably been a huge inconvenience," Gale continues quietly. "Is there anything I can do to help make it up to you?"
Tina "It's no inconvenience, truly," Tina replies earnestly. "And while I do agree that Miss Fern is still a child, and that children are known to do silly things, I must answer that she is also sweet of nature, even if she is an imp at times, and that her heart was in the right place. She has also become a dear friend of mine, which is why..."

She pauses, blushing a little as Gale looks her over from head to toe. "I'm sorry... this isn't the easiest thing to talk about. My heart knows what to say, but my head doesn't speak the same language. I was only interested in keeping her out of trouble, and sparing your feelings. She is dear to me and, as her caretaker, it only follows that you should be dear to me as well." She looks down at the sand hastily, blushing again. "Or something like that. Forgive me if my thoughts are muddled... once more it is painfully clear that my heart and my mind do not share a language," she whispers.
Abigail Caine Gale listens intently or a momen. She squints slightly now, cantign herh ead all the way to the left in a waterfall of brunette tresses. She's actually a pretty thing; classically so, with wide eyes and a slight overbitte that lend themselves well to an innocnet look wholly out of keeping with her chosen rpofession. No wonder Gale likes to keep herself largely covered up.

Eventually a faint blush creeps into Gale's cheeks a s well though her expression seems to largely disregard it. Her chest expans slowly as she breathes in again and then she shifts her weight just a hair. "If I didn't know better," Gale begins in a near whisper of her own. "I'd think you were actually trying to ask me out."

Gale pauses on that note, watching Tina's expression for some sort of a reaction. She takes a deep breath, slowly. "The heart and mind dont' suually communicate all too well. WHy don't you try saying whast your thinking and- not spendig so much time thinking it through?" Gale slowly reaches out a hand.
Tina "Forgive me, Miss Gale. I am trying to do just that, truly," Tina says softly, still blushing. "It seems so clear in my mind, but when I try to say it, nothing comes out right." She takes a deep breath, remaining still as Gale's hand reaches toward her. "I suppose what I am trying to say is that, if you are willing to chance a date with me, then I am willing to take that chance, too. Whether you say yes or no, I will understand, and will hold no hard feelings against you."
Abigail Caine Gale takes a deep breath and holds it for a second, still holding out her hand. She frowns for a second and then removes her right glove now. She has small handsq, with skin that is softer than one might expect for a woman who so clearly works with her hands. The blush in Gale's cheeks brightens just a hair and she nods very slowly. "I don't know what I Can promise beyond that," Gale begins slowly. "But I'll go on a date with you. No strings. You can still date someone else if you like or... Whatever else." Gale shrugs her slender shoulders. Really, under the lairs, she's a fair amount smaller than Tina is. "What... Would yo ulike to go do?"
Tina Tina blinks as she realizes that Gale had offered her hand. Then she slips her hands from her sleeves, drawing off her right glove, and gently takes Gale's hand. Her own hands are finely boned and soft. "I'm sorry... I wasn't sure what you were doing with that for a moment," she says contritely, lightly squeezing that soft hand in hers. "Thank you. I... thank you," she says at last, for the moment lost for even the wrong words.

The question draws a blink. "I'm not really sure... I had mostly been thinking about how to straighten things out. I hadn't thought about what to do about the actual date." She swallows, bowing her head. "I've never dated, you see. I've never asked anyone out, or been asked. Frankly, I am not really sure what to do. Is there something you would like to do?"
Abigail Caine "You know, I'm not sure what there is to do on a date either," Gale responds with a soft laugh. She shakes her head slowly. "To be honest, a lot of the people I'd look to for role models didn't really... Take their time. Dating. I get the feeling you don't want to go shooting or learn how tp unch people," Gale continues wit ha soft laugh. Thenshe pauses for a second.

"What do you like to do for fun?" Gale pauses for a beat. "We can start there. Things you'd like to do but are afraid to or.. Anything. I'll try to make something happen." She gently squeezes Tina's hand then. "We'll at least give it a fiar shot. Then you can tell ern we tried and won't have to feel bad about it if it didn't work."
Tina Tina smiles faintly at that. "Likely not... not at first, anyway. They are things that feel like necessities, not fun. Actually, I am not sure what most people consider fun. I spend most of my time outside of services reading, or trying to mend my clothes... honestly, I don't get a lot of time outside of services and necessary chores, come to think of it."

She gives Gale's hand another gentle squeeze, looking down at it, then smiling gently at the smaller girl. "Perhaps we should just start with this, and think things out from here?" she suggests softly, slowly looking out at the creek.
Abigail Caine "If you like," Gale responds quietly. She returns to leaning agaisnt the juniper tree, looking out toward the water. Gale frowns then and crosses her legs at the knee. The frowning continues and she shifts her weight slightly from left to right. The small woman twists slightly and then moves to lean her head into Tina's lap. Other than that Gale will simply remain companionably silently. She doesn't intend on releasing Tina's hand unless the larger girl pulls away from her.
Tina Tina glances at Gale at those first slight moments, curious but not alarmed. She forces herself not to startle when Gale's head comes to rest in her lap, even though the move surprises her. Instead, she focuses on memories of romantic films older than the vaults that she had seen once, before she had ever seen the sky outside of Vault Town.

Smiling faintly, she reaches down with her free hand to slowly brush a few stray wisps of hair away from Gale's lovely face, letting her fingertips trail over the smooth skin of the girl's cheeks and forehead.
Abigail Caine "Vault dweller?" Gale ask suddenly. She doesn't move really, other than to form the words. Blue eyes narrow slightly while the study the face of the woman above her. "It's the way you- pause. Like you're seeing something new. And remembering something faroff. You see that in vualt dweller sorts who grew upp watching old holos doing stuff instead of people."

Gale gstures vaguely with he left hand then returns it to resting acorss her abdomen. She squeezes Tina's hand in her right and then breathes a soft sigh. "You're... Very beautiful," the woman begisn slowly. "You could date almost anyoen you like, I think, were you inclined." That is stated in a fairly flat voice.

"Do you know how to swim?"
Tina Tina blushes at the question, blinking in surprise. She seems to bow her head slightly, her eyes half-lidding, and nods quietly. "Your eyes are as sharp as they are beautiful," she whispers. "I have lived at the church for years, but I was born in Vault Town." Her hand comes to rest against Gale's neck, fingertips trailing over her collar. "I hope you liked it," she whispers. "The girl I learned it from had eyes much like yours. She was so beautiful... it hurt to think that she died so long before I ever saw her on that screen. I hope it was before the bombs fell. I pray she was that lucky..." She unconsciously squeezes Gale's hand tightly, her eyes momentarily squeezed shut at the memory.

The question doesn't surprise her as much this time. "It's been a long time, but yes, I do know how," she whispers at last. "Why do you ask?"
Abigail Caine "I don't know. Dying when the bombs fell wouldn't be so bad. Most people who died would've been killed basically instantly," Abigail replies in a musing voice. "I wouldn't have wanted to be outside in the days after." There's a soft sort of haunted finality to the way Gale speaks, full of quiet purpose and certainty. As fingers trace the young woman's slender collar she slowly takes a deep breath. This is held for perhaps as long as a minute.

"We're sitting out by the water and it just struck me is all," Glae replies simply. "Realize given how you're dressed you're not likely to want to strip down and dive into a lake but it seemed like it was worth mentioning anyhow." When Gale shrugs Tina can feel it through her legs, the girl still positioned in her lap.
Tina Tina nods quietly. "The dead were the lucky ones, or so the history teachers said," she whispers, bowing her head. Her hand lifts clear of Gale's collar to make a slow, somber cross over her breast, then lowers back to the smaller girl's neck, her fingertips lightly teasing loose tendrils of dark hair.

"You were sweet to call me beautiful," she whispers, "and I am both deeply flattered and grateful for your kind words. But I am only what He made me, for better or worse. I doubt many would want to date a nun. Our conversation is rather limited, and I would be very surprised if we were much fun at parties," she adds, forgetting her time at the recent party at the Caine homestead. "As for swimming, it does sound fun, whatever my manner of dress. But the water would be terribly cold right now. Perhaps when it is warmer out?" The last accompanied by a faint smile as she looks into Gale's eyes. "You have such a lovely face," she whispers. "The militia clothing looks out of place. But it's part of you... it's so clear, just from the way you wear it. And in that, it, too is beautiful."
Abigail Caine "You'd be surprised. There's a lot to be said for swimmign when the water is still cold. There's a- clarity that comes fromhitting the water and feeling the cold shokc your nerves. It can clear the mind and help you think." Gale's voice is soft but it takes on a rhythmic cadence. She squeezes Tina's hand lightly.

"You limit yourself too much. Awful lot of people who wouldn't much care what you say or how and don't need you to be fun at parties so long as you look the way you do. I'm nto one of those. A pretty face is wonderful but I really need is a partner." There's a pause while Gale considers this statement for about a second. "You say God made you all that you are... But you seem to be pretty dismissive of yourself regardless of it."

Gale stares into Tina's eyes in turn, squeezing their joined hands one more time. "You talk abotu dating such a way. Is there any particular reason you want to...?"
Tina "Forgive me. I just do not want to present myself as something more than I am," Tina murmurs, shaking her head slowly. "The most I have ever been in my life is a nun, and an assistant to Sister Neva, and even in that I am seldom adequate... sometimes I think that they let me stay at the church out of kindness and pity. At least I can light candelabras, and fix the equipment when it breaks down, and for that I am thankful."

She returns Gale's squeeze of her hand. "Well... I had wondered if Miss Fern was right... that we might truly be the good match she believed we were. But I have always wondered what love was like... and by that, I mean romantic love, with long looks into one another's eyes and lingering kisses... and perhaps even song and dances. It all looked and sounded so sweet and wonderful on the screens."

She chuckles at the argument for a swim. "I'm not sure I would find it quite as clarifying. Wouldn't we need towels for it anyway?"
Abigail Caine "Staying a little wet for awhile while you dried off walkign about wouldn't hurt you none. Towel's strictly optional," Gale replies though she is quick to break into laughter having done so. The brunette shifts her weight slightly in Tina's lap, moving herself closer to Tina as she considers her words with a great deal of care. Then she blinks a vouple times. "Songs....? Dances? I don't know very many people who havung and danced as they fell in love. I don't even know if I *can* dance," Gale muses then. Then she pauses for a second. "Do those robes of yurs restrict how you move at all?"
Tina "Please tell me you're joking about that," Tina replies, with a wry smile, as Gale laughs. "I can almost feel the snow in the air." She shakes her head and quietly begins to pet Gale's hair, shrugging at the question. "Perhaps it is just something people do in old films. I remember a lovely couple in one film doing that. Of course, they were almost a side note in the film... the rest seemed to revolve around a trio of very silly men making a spectacle of themselves at a very fancy sort of party that went on for several days. Which is especially silly when the movie was supposed to be about animal crackers, I think. Though that was probably better... I don't know how you'd make a movie about animal crackers that would be entertaining. All they do is lay there and go crunch."

She shakes her head at the question. "A little, perhaps. Though that may be because I have worn them for a very long time and have gotten used to them. It's been so long that I can't really remember whether they were problematic or not."
Abigail Caine "We might just get some snow soon enough," Gale agrees in what is nearly a whisper. "It's cool enough for it. You can feel the moisture in the air. Just needs to drop down ten degrees or so and that an happen on a lark." Glae's voice is more serious now, though the difference is extrmeely subtle. She runs a hand lightly along tina'ss thigh now, shifting her weight slightly from let to right as she considers what to say next.

"Let's stand," Gale suddenly muses. "Maybe we can't go swimming but... I can help with at leasto ne of those things anyhow. If you'll join me?" Gale moves to get to her feet, arching a brow. "And some movies are just strange. That sounds as if it were probably one o' them."