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Zahara paces back and forth in her workroom restlessly, still not sure of how things have changed. She pauses near a shelf and smiles a little. An excuse to call on Thirteen Blooming Flowers. And, check off an item on her immense to-do list. ::Thirteen, are you busy?::

Thirteen ::Somewhat.:: There is an uncustomary note of irritation in Thirteen's thought.

Thirteen ::What do you require?::

Zahara :: Just...nothing much. I had something to give you, but if you're busy, we can do it later. ::

Thirteen ::To give me?::

Zahara ::Yes.:: she replies shortly, and resumes her pacing, toying with a chisel. It's not that she needs tools, but sometimes they're soothing to have. :: I'm in the workshop. ::

Thirteen ::...all right. I will be there shortly.::

Thirteen is.

Zahara smiles a little, "That was quick."

Thirteen "I was...not far away."

Zahara "...oh. Well." She crosses the room, and picks a box up off the shelf. "Are you still mad at me?"

Thirteen sighs.

Thirteen "I am not upset with you, Zahara. Merely frustrated at the failure of my plans and our lack of the information we desperately need."

Thirteen "If we are to stop Lai, and Cerin, and their master, we must know more than we do."

Thirteen "I am...devoting my thoughts to this."

Thirteen "It is preoccupying."

Zahara "Sometimes, things work best unplanned."

Zahara "Don't you ever just go with what feels right?"

Thirteen "It is...difficult for me to know how to respond to that."

Thirteen "I apologize if I have upset you unduly, Zahara."

Zahara "There's been a lot on my mind." she pauses. "I have been far too easy to upset lately, and I cannot say that is going to end anytime soon." she glances over to the table, where a fiery jar sits, surrounded by drawings that Thirteen can't see.

Thirteen "Your feelings are certainly understandable."

Zahara "Here," She puts a box, engraved with various scenes of Xara, in his hands. "I made these for you. I hope you like them." She smiles a little, idly wondering if he will appreciate them, or be offended that she thinks they're necessary.

Thirteen rubs the box with interest, then opens it and reaches in, to investigate the contents.

Zahara Inside are two smooth orbs, inlaid with two concentric circles on each. If he could see them, he would note that they look remarkably like real eyes.

Thirteen hums curiously, listening to the Essential resonations.

Zahara "I noticed a while ago that you can't see. I thought that you might like to try it."

Thirteen is still, and silent,

Zahara shifts, and walks across the room. "If you don't, then I can find another use for them."

Thirteen "Zahara...thank you."

Thirteen "Thank you very much."

Thirteen "I...I do not know how better to express my gratitude."

Thirteen "How are...how do they...attach?"

Zahara turns back to him and smiles, "You're very welcome. You've been a good friend."

Zahara walks over to him and touches his hand, "They should just set into your face where your eyes...aren't. You have to attune them first, so that they can sense the connection. From my calculations, it shouldn't hurt."

Thirteen holds them carefully up to his face...and abruptly they sink lightly into his flesh with a rather disconcerting splortch.

Zahara watches intently to see how well they work.

Thirteen gasps, holding his hands up to his...eyes...then lowers them, looking about him for the first time.

Thirteen "I...see."

Zahara stands in front of him, biting her lip and looking solemn. She has forsaken the bandages and cloak in the sanctity of her workplace, and is wearing an elegant, crimson dress, fitted perfectly. Her skin glows, laced with intricate whorls of orichalcum that enhance the lines of her body, her eyes a stormy blue.

Zahara has cut her gold and blonde hair shorter, and elaborately braided it into multiple tiny pieces, each entwined with others, with a few curls that frame her face artfully, pinned with ruby, and sapphire clips.

Zahara "Hi."

Thirteen "You are...beautiful."

Zahara smiles, and it only enhances the effect. "Thank you." She feels oddly warm inside.

Zahara holds up the mirror, now mended, for him.

Thirteen stares into the mirror, reaching out a hand to touch it, eyes glancing at it, then darting around the room, before returning to his reflection.

Zahara "Ah, I should warn you. If you spend essence, they become translucent, depending on how brightly you flare your anima. And, since you always do that, you should know that it will be very... disconcerting and intimidating to those that see you."

Thirteen "Flare my anima?"

Zahara blinks.

Zahara "Oh, right. Watch." She activates a charm or two, demonstrating the various levels of her anima. "I can spend a certain amount of Essence without flaring if I wish, but, you do not seem to do this."

Thirteen "Hm."

Thirteen glows abruptly, then jerks backwards in consternation.

Thirteen "You did not mention this to me at any point."

Zahara "I thought you knew... Sorry."

Zahara tilts her head to one side, and smiles slightly. "I can see them, a little."

Thirteen "How would I have known?"

Thirteen "...never mind."

Thirteen "Perhaps you may help me at some point to learn not to...do that."

Zahara "Well," she says reasonably, "You've never seemed to need eyes to know everything."

Thirteen "I have never claimed to know everything, Zahara," Thirteen smiles a bit. "Indeed, my foremost concern has always been with that which I am ignorant of."

Thirteen "For exactly that reason, I am thankful today."

Zahara smiles again, then the solemn expression returns, "When I returned, and despaired, you showed me the way to strength. When I sought to remake myself, you stood by my side as my guardian. When all else was uncertain, you trusted me. When I had no hope, you had a plan. It is not enough to repay those things, but I hope it will serve you well."

Thirteen "Zahara..."

Thirteen "I have done only my duty. With this, you do me honor, and give a gift I cannot repay in turn."

Thirteen "But I am glad that my services have so moved you. I like to be useful."

Zahara laughs, and replies "What you do goes beyond duty, I hope, into friendship. I believe we should call this even."

Zahara pauses thoughtfully, "Would you like a new tour of the Cascade? There's a garden in particular you may want to see."

Thirteen "I would love such a tour, my friend."

Zahara rubs her chest briefly with an odd look on her face, though it is likely not obviously strange to her companion. She steps forward, gesturing for him to follow, and describes the paths and rooms they pass through as she had on the first tour, so that he can associate the words with the sights.

Thirteen looks around, missing nothing, especially since he can't really blink, breathing with a certain excited shallowness.

Zahara stops, finally, in the courtyard with the two trees. They are truly a glorious sight, especially the one they first planted, its branches arching over the grassy swath, fourteen flowers blooming between its roots. The other shows the promise of glory, already growing, tiny leaves reaching for the sunlight.

Thirteen "They are...beautiful."

Zahara sits beneath the large tree, and looks around anew. "Yes, they are."

Thirteen "I am glad that they have become so grand."

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