(123-04-25) Seen and Unseen
Seen and Unseen
Summary: And cats.
Date: 26/04/2016
Related: Following Kitten Club

Esme and her generosities are left behind, as is the question of whether or not Lady Marsei is certain she wants to keep the stray cat she plucked from the streets of Oldtown as she and Camillo make their way back to the Hightower. The sun is still high in the sky, and the lady keeps the hood hanging heavily over her face to hide from it; this oddity of her attire, in ill-fitted grey. The kitten, too, is hidden, protected in Esme's basket. Both kitten and lady have been prone to silence for the last several moments; one perhaps lulled quickly to dozing by the sway of the basket, and Marsei somewhat indecipherable. There's a self-conscious note to her quiet and the way she ever-so-often adjusts the hood, shielding her face with her hand when someone passes close-by.

Then, sudden, and hopeful: "Will you help it heal, like you did for my dove?"

Camillo looks vaguely puzzled by Lady Marsei's going so heavily hooded, but he certainly does not question it. He follows dutifully a step behind the lady's side. He looks up from the ground in mild surprise as she speaks after a long silence, then gives a slightly hesitant nod. "I can try, my lady. I have never given a cat anything before, but…I can try. I don't know quite what it was Mistress Esme gave to it, so perhaps we ought to wait awhile before giving it anything else."

The answer seems to please Marsei enough, and she clutches tighter to the basket as though protective of the precious cargo, trying not to jostle it about as they travel over the cobblestones. "Esme thought you might know what to do," she encourages. "She seems like such a nice woman. She knew that you helped with my dove." She looks along her shoulder at Camillo, barely catching a glance around the dully embroidered barrier of the hood, cheerfully curious over that fact.

"Oh," Camillo says, nodding a little. "I…come to the shop a lot, to fill orders for the Tower or make changes. She's always very kind to me. And I have heard that Prince Dhraegon looks kindly on her, as well." Which must surely mean that friendship with Esme is entirely wise and above-board. "I think…with the kitten…a poultice for its wound, and good food…a check for fleas…" He pauses a little and looks at Marsei. "If you're sure it's best to keep it."

"Oh, I don't see why not," Marsei replies merrily, as if it's the easiest, common sense answer in the world. "I should like to have a cat again. Besides, I feel responsible for it now; if it can't be with its mother, it needs me," she says, looking down at the basket. "Dhraegon seems to enjoy Mistress Esme's company, and that of her son; it was lovely to be able to take them out on the boat trip." Never-minding Marsei's brief bout of sea-sickness, an incident also soothed by cats.

Camillo looks a little unsure about that answer. "You would take a one-eyed street cat for your own chamber?" he asks, looking to Marsei but seeing mostly cloak. He lets his fretting subside enough to respond about the boat trip. "Mistress Esme said that there were dolphins. I'm sure her son was greatly pleased."

"I know it looks a little rough now… but I can tell it has a sweet temper," Marsei replies, certain. "And it's just a baby. Once it's all cleaned up, what could the harm be?" Happy with her assessment, she smiles forward — hidden, granted, by the hood. Quieter, and ever-so-slightly apologetic, she says, "I know this was not what you expected of your day…" Nor did Esme, or Marsei herself, for that matter.

Camillo shakes his head a little. "I am working one way or another, Lady Marsei. I am glad to escort you and see to the animal if that is what you wish. But…we should not let it into your rooms until we are sure it is free of…parasites," he mentions reluctantly.

Marsei gives a thoughtful, regretful little "hmm" of a sound under her breath. "I will wash it with lavender," she announces optimistically (never-minding, also, that the flea-abolishing properties of lavender were only just learned through Esme's wisdom). The logistics of how and where such a thing could happen are ignored for the moment. The sights and sounds of the docks surround them and pass them by on the way to the bridge. "I'm sure you…" she pauses, "You must be I wondering why I'm dressed so," she says more soberly, half-reluctant.

Camillo tilts his head. "Let us do that in a garden or in my chamber," Camillo says, "And not in any place near where the nobles sleep." His brows slowly loft when Marsei brings up the matter of her dress herself. He tilts his head. "Well, I must…admit, my lady, I have not seen you so before."

She does not answer straight away, instead looking ahead at the path before them. Her steps have, inadvertently or otherwise, slowed their pace the closer they get to the bridge. "I did not want … to be seen," she states quietly. "Rather, I … wanted to be unseen. I suppose I wanted to see if I could." It is an answer without explanation, but does not ring untrue.

Camillo matches Marsei's pace. He looks far from enlightened. "You wanted to see if you could be unseen?" he echoes. "I… Why, my lady? Is something troubling you?"

"No, not at all!" Marsei is eager to dissuade any notions of trouble. "I … no, it's silly," she insists, turning a smile toward Camillo, swiping the edge of the hood back just enough to be sure it reaches him. "And not particularly successful. Now I find myself stuck wearing this thing and risking someone see me in it…" A fate worse than fleas, perhaps. She looks down, quietly lamenting the garment's lack of style as they approach the bridge to cross.

Camillo bobs his head once at Marsei. "I am sure no one will think ill of you, my lady, because of a cloak. I can carry it for you, if you wish. But we are almost to the Tower, now."

The lady comes to a stop before the bridge, distant enough that the guards have not bothered to pay any mind, yet, to a servant and a plain-cloaked person with a basket. Foot traffic passes by steadily at this time of day, causing Marsei to look fretful without quite lifting her head to show her face clearly to any of the passers-by. She holds the basket toward Camillo. "Will you hold this a moment?"

A pitiful meow sounds from the basket in apparent protest. Marsei slips the grey from her person; it falls away from her head, the sun catching the beads and pearls of her pink and white dress and upon the red of her hair, an instant transformation. She quickly folds the borrowed garment, opens the basket, and tucks it around the tiny inhabitant, who looks out into the world with one bewildered amber eye and an open-mouthed squeak.

Camillo blinks down at the little cat and its little protest, then looks up at Marsei again. "I can carry the basket from here, lady," he offers, now that it is so much heavier. "But you see, you instantly look your old self again."

After making certain the kitten is cozy and the basket is secured, Marsei leaves it in Camillo's possession and carries on her way. She looks like herself, and is therefore looked at. Those they pass look at her, even unconsciously, on their way elsewhere — or look away if they look at all, in the case of smallfolk, servants heading out of the Hightower. "There are people who move about so easily among others, unnoticed," she comments, pensive and with lingering reluctance. "I think it is a skill you have, Camillo."

Camillo bobs his head once at that comment. "I do not know if it can be called a 'skill,' my lady," he says, either out of modesty or because he does not wish to be as invisible as he is. "But you are a figure of importance to the people here, and famed for your beauty and kindness. It is natural that they should notice you."

"I don't mind," Marsei says with a bright smile. "I don't." She blossoms under the smiles of a lord and lady in passing — a pair of Tyrells, by the looks of them — seeming happier for the chance to smile at them than the attention she receives. "I think there are people who deserve to be seen more than they are," she tells Camillo, "But has it not served you, being unseen?" she wonders more than inquires, thoughtful as she determines, "When it is a purposeful thing… I think it is a skill."

Camillo is quiet for a moment, only glancing at the Tyrells, before he admits, "Sometimes it is useful, my lady. A servant certainly should not be obtrusive. And when you live many people close together, it is useful to find a little privacy in public."

"Yes," Marsei agrees thoughtfully, nodding her head down while she walks. Almost home. "It is much easier to hide in the dark," she says, her tone turning to light-hearted jest afterward, "Perhaps I shall stick to hide-and-seek." Prince Dhraegon has been known to have a liking for the game, a fact likely not utterly unknown to the residents of the Hightower by this point.

"But, my lady, it can be difficult to live and work in the dark. I think you are just where you ought to be." He pauses to think things through a bit further. "But. If there is ever anything you need that…unobtrusiveness could help with…I hope you will say."

Marsei smiles over at Camillo, free and clear without the hindrance of the hood. During a pause of her own, she seems to think on his words; throughout, her smile only grows both in size and sense of consideration. A distinct confidence exists in her buoyant voice when she answers, "I will."

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