Carpathia III: Episode 67 - Water Park

Vayhama House, Unassumed Lands, Yseri

The Vayhama house buzzed with activity. Kaut, Wolfram, and Zet were all present with the rest of the family and now dinner was finished. It was a special occasion celebrating Kaoru's first harvest of his vegetable field. It was a meager harvest, as many of the crops withered before they were ready, despite Kaoru's best efforts. That which was left required some creativity to make edible, but Ixon was eager for the challenge.

Clean-up time almost resembled a circus act, with Reuli and Wolfram scurrying back and forth from the table, bringing dirty dishes to the sink and Tarja washing the plates. Only Kaoru remained seated throughout everything, which made him feel uncomfortable. Once Reuli and Wolfram took the last of the dishes to the sink, Kaoru saw another opportunity to attempt to help.

Kaoru: I can wipe off the ta...

Before Kaoru had a chance to finish, Tarja turned from the sink, still scrubbing a plate in her hand.

Tarja: You stay right where you are! You did so much work growing the food, so this is your time to relax.

Kaoru glanced down and rubbed his thumbs together.

Kaoru: Yeah, but I only ended up with one wagonlaod of anything useful. Even that was thick and scaley.

Reuli and Wolfram dipped their dishrags in the sink and began vigorously wiping the table where Kaoru sat.

Reuli: I thought it was good!

Wolfram: Me too! I liked the fish the most, though.

Kaoru chuckled to himself, remembering another good friend of his who was crazy about fish.

Kaoru: Hee hee. Typical neko. Still, Ixon was the one who managed to cook my farming disaster and make it taste good.

Kaoru felt a hearty slap on his shoulder. Right away, he knew it must be Ixon without even looking. Sure enough, when he turned to look, Ixon kneeled next to his chair.

Ixon: Kaoru, you keep forgetting that nothing comes from the effort of just one person. You grew the food. Zet dried the spices. Quilyon caught the fish. I cooked the food. Reuli and Wolfram set the table and helped clean up. Tarja is washing. Kaut took care of the after dinner festivities.

Kaoru: I know. I just wish I could be... you know... good at something.

Kaut: You're good at fixing things. You got the hang of that mechanics of that irrigation boom very quickly.

Kaoru twisted his head around as far as he could until he could see Kaut just out of the corner of his eye.

Kaoru: You think so?

Kaut: I know so. I've worked with a lot of people. Most don't pick up on mechanics as quickly as you do. You even helped me fix those old water pistols.

There was a brief lull in the conversation, during which time Kaoru could hear Tarja say something to the boys.

Tarja: Reuli, Wolfram, thanks for your help. You can go put your shorts on now.

Reuli and Wolfram: Okay!

Kaoru watched as they both ran to Reuli's room together and slammed the door.

Ixon: And maybe soon you'll be a farming master.

Quilyon: He sure better get good at something, because he can't shoot straight!

Kaoru: Oh, ha ha. Maybe you're just a lousy teacher.

Quilyon: It's a shame you can't pick up on shooting as well as you do sarcasm.

Just then, what sounded like a stampede of elephants came rushing down the hallway. Nobody turned to look as they all knew exactly what was coming.

Ixon: Well, that didn't take long.

Sure enough, it was Reuli and Wolfram, freshly returned from changing clothes. Reuli wore a colorful pair of board shorts while Wolfram wore something that could only be described as a bikini bottom.

Wolfram: We're ready!

Kaut: I suppose I should go turn on the sprinkler now.

Zet: I'll help.

Kaut strolled towards the front door as Zet followed, both exiting the front door.

Ixon: Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, you two.

Reuli: Yay!

Reuli gave Wolfram a hearty slap on the back.

Reuli: Let's go, Wuffie!

Reuli ran exuberantly out the door, though Wolfram didn't follow. Instead, he sighed longingly, watching as Reuli ran outside. Finally, Wolfram sprinted heavily out the door himself.

Kaoru stood, having witnessed the exchange, and spoke to himself quietly.

Kaoru: I know that look.

Suddenly, Kaoru felt a gentle hand on his shoulder.

Ixon: You noticed too, I see.

Kaoru: Oh, I didn't mean for anyone else to hear that.

Ixon nodded as he patted Kaoru's shoulder.

Ixon: Not to worry. It's plainly obvious that Wolfram likes Reuli in a more than just friends way.

Tarja approached from behind, wiping her hands with a soggy dish towel.

Tarja: Reuli doesn't notice because he's not of age yet. Elves tend to mature later compared to other species.

Quilyon: What did you mean when you said that you know that look?

Kaoru looked down as he recalled old memories of different times.

Kaoru: My best friend who I told you about, Jaze... he used to look at me like that a lot when we were their age. I didn't get it at the time, but I started to understand when I was around 12 or 13. I think nekomi mature more quickly than most species.

Kaoru turned to Tarja and smirked.

Kaoru: If they do get together someday, I hope you'll spare Wolfram the abattoir tour.

Quilyon: I definitely agree with that, Mom.

Tarja crossed her arms as she raised one eyebrow while Ixon chuckled silently into his hand.

Tarja: I make no promises.

Quilyon: Well, I'm going to see how the little buggers are doing in the sprinkler. You coming?

Kaoru: In a minute. There's something I need to do first.

Quilyon: Don't take too long. This was your idea, after all!

Kaoru watched as Quilyon sprinted out the door and joined the others outside.

Ixon: What is it that you need to do?

Kaoru turned his body towards Tarja, though his head was still pointed at the door as he thought of Quilyon.

Kaoru: Tarja, could you teach me to sing?

Tarja recoiled slightly, genuinely taken aback by Kaoru's request.

Tarja: I'm sorry?

Ixon, however, seemed to understand right away what Kaoru was planning and started playfully jabbing him in the ribs with his elbow.

Ixon: You sly devil. I know what you're up to. Gonna sing something for Quilyon at a festival, aren't you?

Kaoru looked at Ixon in surprise.

Kaoru: How did you know?

Ixon: Boy, you are more transparent than the glass in the windows.

Kaoru wasn't sure if he should laugh or take offense, though he soldiered on with his request regardless.

Kaoru: So... can you teach me?

Tarja: I think I can spare some time.

Kaoru: Thanks!

Tarja: We'll work out the details later. Now get outside and have some fun!

Kaoru, happy that his request was granted and eager to see what everyone was doing outside, sprinted to the front door, taking his shirt off as he went.

Kaoru arrived outside to find the irrigation boom spraying cool, clear water from the lake while Reuli and Wolfram played underneath. Kaoru cast his shirt aside on the porch railing and charged over to join them. Quilyon, Kaut, and Zet didn't join right away, but that changed when Kaoru pressed his thumb over one of the nozzles and sent a few well-aimed jets of water in their direction. In short order, everyone was enjoying some well-earned time playing in the refreshing spray and taking turns blasting each other with the water pistols.

Commissioned art in this episode from:

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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