The Pair had made their way back to Thumbelina's bedroom. With a heavy sigh she made her way to the closet and started undressing. "I'm sorry that Kadar is unwell again.. I had hoped you two would be friends too.." Her dress fell to the floor as she looked back at him with a small forced smile.
Cassius smiled softly at Thumbelina as he got his clothing together to get dressed for an outing. "He seems to be a very troubled individual... very paranoid." He said and went over to Thumbelina to rest a hand on her shoulder. "I don't want to force him into liking me, so I'll leave it at his pace."
Thumbelina smiled up at him, resting one of her hands on the one he had placed on her shoulder. "I know.." She thought again of what he'd said before about everyone being broken. "He's a good kid though.. and you're wonderful.. so I'm sure in time you'll be close...Oh..." Her smile grew. "You'll be happy to know the beach is forever summer.. you should remember to wear something light under your winter wear." She pulled her swimsuit out of the closet.
Cassius squeezed her shoulder before pulling back and returning to his clothes. "Really? How very intriguing... I don't have any summer clothes with me, so when we get there I'll just remove my shirt." He said and put his jacket back up, since he wouldn't need it for long.
"It's still cold on the way there.." Thumbelina watched him put his coat back up with a slight worry as town was still covered in snow. "We could always stop by your place on the way, then we could get more baskets. She smiled. "Having you with me I can bring so much more home than when it is just me and Reginald."
Cassius paused and pulled his jacket out again, turning to Thumbelina he smiled sheepishly and said "Hehe, you're right~". Buttoning up his shirt he nodded and said "Sure, we can stop by my shop on the way.".
Thumbelina nodded happily and pulled her swimsuit on.
Cassius looked her up and down and smiled. "Lovely swimsuit, M'dear. Is it from that clothing store that recently closed?" He asked and finished buttoning his shirt.
"Ah yes it is." Thumbelina furrowed her brows in concern. "I liked the girl that worked there, she also made my green farming clothes.. But she went missing.." She sighed and shrugged, pulling her warm winter coat over the swimsuit. "I'm ready when you are." She started undoing her sleeping braid letting the majority of her hair hang long.
Cassius sighed sadly "I'm sorry that she went missing. I didn't know any of the people who worked at the shop, I had just seen it a few times...". Pulling on his coat, Cassius nodded and gestured to the door "Ladies first~".
"Why thank you darling." Thumbelina grinned and gave a curtsy before walking out of the bedroom, down the hallway and finally down the stairs to the front door. Glancing back only at the stairs with a big smile before she vanished down them.
Cassius watched her go and grinned, feeling warm and happy at the smile she flashed back at him. Humming lightly, Cassius followed her down the stairs and out the door.
Thumbelina had waited outside the gate in her larger form and waved to him as he came out the front door.
Cassius had to pause once he exited the door, the change in the size of his surroundings disorienting him for a moment. Waving up at Thumbelina, he twisted his ring and felt himself return to normal size. Shaking his head lightly to get rid of the feeling of being dizzy, Cassius walked over to Thumbelina.
Once he had exited the yard she wrapped herself around one of his arms and started walking with him towards his shop. "Are you still looking forward to going out.. even though it's just me?"
Cassius frowned at her question and leaned down to kiss her cheek. "Of course I am~ I'd go anywhere with you happily.". He smiled at her softly and pulled her closer, wrapping an arm around her waist.
"Anywhere?" Thumbelina looked up at him curiously with a slight smile.
Cassius nodded "Anywhere.". He smiled and squeezed her lightly.
"I.." Thumbelina blushed lightly and looked down at his arm as they walked. ".. Likewise..." She smiled softly.
Cassius entwined his hand with her and smiled. Soon his shop came into view and he had to let go of Thumbelina to unlock the door. "How many baskets will we need, M'dear?" He asked curiously.
Thumbelina watched him unlock the door while she thought. "Hmm.. I suppose however many you wish to carry... I was just going to get as many ingredients as possible..."
Opening the door, Cassius swept inside and headed for the backroom. "I'll grab a couple of large ones then~ Would you like a basket as well?" He called back to her as he went grabbed them.
"I could probably carry a small one.. Unless we stay out too long... then it would be difficult to carry if I could no longer hold my size..." Thumbelina walked in the direction he had while she talked.
Cassius grunted in acknowledgment as he grabbed two large baskets only. "Alright, then two it will be." Turning around, Cassius headed back into the front of the shop and held the baskets out for her to inspect. "Will these be alright?".
"Ah!" Thumbelina stopped walking in. "Yes they should work marvelously!" She grinned.
Cassius smiled at her enthusiasm. "Great~ Shall we? " He gestured to the door.
Thumbelina nodded and walked out the door to wait as he locked it back up. "You know... I feel.. different today.. in a good way."
Cassius tilted his head and locked the door behind them. "You do? How so?" He asked curiously.
Thumbelina reattached herself to the arm she had been holding before and looked thoughtful. ".. It like.. hmm.." She started walking again in the direction of the beach as she tried to explain. ".. I feel like... I can.. hmm.. It's like.. I don't have to fear my emotions around you... If that makes sense.."
Cassius moved the baskets the he was carrying out of the way when Thumbelina wrapped herself around his arm again. "Really? That's... that reassures me.". He kissed her forehead and smiled.
"Reassures you? Of what?" Thumbelina looked up at him curiously, a faint blush to her cheeks.. though that could have been from the cold outside.
Cassius blushed slightly and said softly. "That you're comfortable with me and that I don't'... frighten you.".
Thumbelina furrowed her brows in concern. "You are the kindest person to me... I care for you so much that I feel I may burst at times.. why should you frighten me? The only fear I could have of you would be to be apart for too long..."
Cassius's face turned a very dark shade and he stammered slightly when he spoke. "I-I'm accustomed to being considered a monster... it's a deep-seated fear that I'm afraid will always effect me...". Smiling happily he looked at Thumbelina "I'm so glad... that you're not frightened of me.".
Thumbelina smiled brightly and stood up on her toes so she could be level with his eyes. "I'm not scared." She then kissed him, sweetly, letting her lips linger longer on his than she usually would.
Cassius inhaled when Thumbelina stood on her toes to kiss him, nearly dropping the baskets he was holding. He kissed her back, not being as chaste about it.
Thumbelina draped her arms over his shoulders and slowly after she moved her lips from his with a light giggle. "... I.. I love you darling." She smiled softly.
Cassius leaned his forehead against hers and smiled. "I love you as well, M'dear... so, so much." He whispered, his voice slightly filled with awe that he felt that way.
Thumbelina closed her eyes as she enjoyed his presence. Taking one of his hands in hers she smiles softly and took one of his hands. "Shall we.. go somewhere warmer my love?" The pink held to her face and her hair fell loose over her shoulders.
Cassius pushed some of her hair behind her ears and squeezed her hand. "Yes, It's a bit chilly here isn't it?" He chuckled lightly and waited for her to lead the way.
Thumbelina led him to the cave that led to the beach. She giggled as she spoke again. "It's funny.. The last time I was here with you.. things were.. so different..."
Cassius grinned, remembering that day. "Yes... it seems like it happened so long ago...".
"It really feels like a long time doesn't it.." Thumbelina sighed and held onto his arm as the beach started to become visible at the end of the cave. "So much has happened.. in only months.."
Nodding, Cassius set the baskets down and looked up at the sky. "It's true... my life has changed drastically since I came here and met you... and I've never been happier.". He grinned.
Thumbelina shifted into her smaller size with wings and removed her jacket, placing it into one of the baskets before shifting back into the larger size. She pondered quietly while he spoke. "I was.. much different before you were here too."
Cassius slipped his coat off and placed it in the same basket as Thumbelina's. "I remember... you were... quieter..." He voiced, remembering how soft-spoken and unassuming she was.
"I was worse before the mansion..." Thumbelina paused, thinking. "... I was much more... timid I think... but it wasn't just that.. I was so scared... I was easily terrified of everything.. and I didn't really see myself as being worth anything.." She laughed awkwardly. ".. I suppose that's what happens when a person is seen as property for a large chunk of their life."
Looking at her, Cassius tried to picture what she described and sighed. "I'm sorry your life was that way before... I wish it hadn't been.". He leaned forward and put his hand on her shoulder.
Thumbelina frowned lightly at his expression. "I didn't want to make you upset.. I just.." She tilted her head to the side in thought. “Part of me wonders what you would've thought of me had we met like that..." she patted his hand lightly and smiled. "... You are... the strongest force in my life that makes me like myself.. I don't want you to be upset over things you cannot change."
Cassius smiles and wraps his arms around her, pulling her close. "You're by far the best and greatest part of my life... it pains to hear how you were treated before because I love you." Pausing he kissed her nose and continued "I only wish that I can help you create better memories...".
Thumbelina wrapped her arms around Cassius and watched his face as he spoke. ".. You already are." Her smile grew and she shook her head. "I will stop mentioning my past.. My mother had told me once that 'if one's thoughts linger too long on their past then they will lose sight of their future'.. I hadn't really understood her at the time though.. I was much too young.. But I would much rather look forward to my future than back at my past."
Cassius Ran his fingers through her hair. "Your mother had wonderful advice... I'm going to enjoy looking forwards to the future with you." He murmured. "Now... don't we have some ingredients to be getting?" He said with a grin.
Thumbelina closed her eyes and rested against him as he ran his fingers though her hair. She wondered if he liked that she wore it loose today.. his words disrupted her thoughts and she sighed lightly. "Oh.. right.. I guess I should leave my favorite place then..." She loosened her grip, stepping back slightly. Though she did not let go completely and instead leaned up on her toes, a quick motion as she planted a kiss on him.
A light laugh escaped him against Thumbelina's lips as she kissed him quickly. "Well your favorite place will be glad to go with you and stay as close as possible during this.".
"I'm glad." Thumbelina smiled warmly as she backed up to observe the area, to remember the route to the fruit, as well as allowing him time to retrieve his baskets before she took his hand.
Cassius went over to the baskets and picked them up. Turning back to Thumbelina he grinned and said "Lead, M'dear!".
Having her destination squared away, Thumbelina took one of his free hands in her own and started walking into the beach forest. "So.. aside from glowing eyes is there anything else unique to your species?"
"Hmmm... well, we're poisonous..." He said and walked along beside her. "We can also carry two times our own weight...".
"Poison hmn? are there bits on you I should be careful of? Or is it something you have to choose to use?" She smiled over at him. "I know you would never do so to me intentionally."
"Choose to use... retractable mandibles in skull... You're in no danger." He grinned at her.
"Oh, I think I saw those once when you were sleeping.. they're cute." She looked back to the path ahead of them, taking a slight turn.
Cassius glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "Ah yes... they do tend to pop out when I'm sleeping...".
Thumbelina didn't seem worried. She kept her eyes on the forest, taking a turn into a patch that had varying citrus fruit trees.
Following behind Thumbelina, Cassius looked around the area they were in and asked "So what are these ingredients used for?".
"Lemon is good for medicine.. and cleaning.. but the rest are for baking.." Thumbelina looked over at him with a smile. "Citrus fruit is good for health in general... there's also aloe and eucalyptus but they're in a different location."
Cassius nodded, not quite understanding but nodding nonetheless. "I see... I think I'll leave the uses of lemon to you. I'm not as knowledgeable..." He said and chuckled.
"They're actually a very useful fruit..." Thumbelina let go of his hand and started picking some lemons and placing them in the basket as she spoke. ".. For medicine they can help with asthma, disinfecting, fevers, dandruff, dry skin, diphtheria, bad breath, acne, kidney stones, fatigue and high blood pressure are some things.. and for cleaning it is fantastic with all stuck in stains and smells." She smiled. "Oh.. I'm rambling.. sorry." She laughed lightly.
Cassius placed the other basket down and began to help luck the lemons. His eyes widened as she listed the various uses for lemons. "That's... quite an amazing fruit.". He was honestly very surprised by it.
"I think so as well!" Thumbelina smiled widely looking back to him. "It's one of my favorites." She thought for a moment. "Do you like the taste of lemon in things?"
Cassius plucked some more lemons and glanced over at her. "Yes, I do~ Lemon cake is a favorite of mine.".
"Oh! I didn't know that." Thumbelina looked a bit surprised then smiled. "I'll have to make it again sometime."
Cassius grinned and rolled up his sleeves. "That would be wonderful, your food is so good..."
"I'm glad you think so.." Thinking of food and cooking for him, Thumbelina thought back to the winter solstice she'd spent with him. "You know.. you never did sing for me." She spoke without turning as she picked the fruit from her current tree, her hair was most of what could be seen. She could feel a slight blush coming on for even mentioning again.
Cassius coughed awkwardly and stared down at his hands. "I was hoping... you would forget..." He mumbled and stood still for a few moments. Taking a deep breath, Cassius turned to Thumbelina. " Falling asleep over earth,
Leaving the ground for the lovers.
Cast away back for the better days,
When I knew it was easy to lie,
When I'd only one hand for goodbyes, then. ~"
Thumbelina could feel her cheeks growing in color and she turned to look at him with wide eyes. "... Darling you're amazing!" She grinned excitedly. "Teach me the words. I want to sing with you!"
Cassius blinked and scratched the back of his head as he blushed. "I'm not... I'm not amazing but I'll teach you the words...". Clearing his throat, Cassius began reciting the words to her in the tune the song went.
Thumbelina walked over and clasped two of his hands in hers and looked him in the eyes seriously. "You are amazing, even if you didn't have a good voice you would be amazing. But You really have a lovely voice." She listened carefully to the words he sang, mimicking them a step behind.
Cassius flushed and nodded meekly. "I'll take your word for it, M'dear...". He continued to sing the song and smiled at Thumbelina as she caught on quickly.
Thumbelina smiled and continued singing with him. Once she was comfortable with the words she returned to picking fruit while singing.
Cassius grinned when she got the words down and followed her lead in picking the lemons some more. The baskets were slowly filling up.
Part way through picking she switched to picking the oranges and limes of trees a small distance away while singing with him, her movements picking up a slight dancing quality as she half flew half stepped around the trees.
Cassius paused in picking the lemons and song to ask. "Should i start picking the others as well?".
"Oh.. if you wish to? I mostly use them for eating though.. so I won't need as many of them as the lemons." Thumbelina giggled. "It's fun.. having someone to sing with.. Perhaps later we could dance again?" She smiled warmly, her abundant happiness visible.
Cassius moved the baskets closer to the other fruits but continued to pick the lemons. "Well, if you like singing and dancing with me so much... then I'd love to do it anytime you wish~".
"Really? Whenever I wish?" She seemed very surprised by the idea that she could ask for things at her wishing.
Cassius nodded. "Of course!".
"I... I appreciate that.. So much more than you know..." Thumbelina smiled as happy tears started forming. "... No ever offered me to request things whenever I wish.."
Cassius sighed and walked over to Thumbelina his hands going up to her face. Staring down at her, he wiped at a tear that fell from her eye. "M'dear... you can request from me anything you want and I will do my best to fulfill it.".
"Thank you...." Thumbelina smiled and closed her eyes, allowing herself to rest in his hands. "I just... how was I able to meet someone as wonderful as you... I feel... so very lucky that you want me."
Stroking his thumbs along her cheeks he said "I don't know how you fell for someone like me..." and then leaned down to kiss her lightly.
Thumbelina opened her and looked at him with an expression somewhere between confusion and concern. ".. How could I not? You are always kind and trying to help me.. and patient with all my issues.. Any person would be foolish to not want you."
Cassius smiled "I know... It's just.. strange for me to be considered wanting enough.".
"Wanting enough?" Thumbelina watched his expression carefully, trying to understand him more.
Sighing softly, Cassius said "Spiderborn aren't exactly known for our looks." and played with some of Thumbelina's hair.
"I don't think you look bad though..." Her brow furrowed with growing concern. ".. I also don't really see why appearance is so important. I love you.. for you. You could be anything, and I would love you the same."
A small laugh escaped Cassius and he moved his hands to Thumbelina's shoulders, squeezing them lightly. "Oh, M'dear, you are wonderful... but sadly not everyone sees the world like you do...". He grinned to reassure her.
Thumbelina rested a hand on one of his. "I am sorry that the rest of the world made you see yourself as less than you are... but at the very least.. we have each other so we don't have to face their judgments alone." She smiled softly.
Cassius smiled and squeezed her shoulders. "Thank you Thumbelina. You're very right...". He kissed her nose and took a step back. "Shall we get back to work? It's getting close to lunch time~".
"Wow really?" Thumbelina looked up at the position of the sun. "Huh.. you're absolutely right.. I'm surprised my form has lasted so long.. maybe it's getting better because I've started trying to practice magic?" She shrugged and looked at the baskets they had already. "We probably have more than enough for today if you wanted to head back."
Cassius went over to the baskets and hefted them up. "I wonder how long you can keep your form up... maybe once you practice enough you'll be able to keep your larger form up as long as you want?" He voiced and went back over to Thumbelina.
"Perhaps?" Thumbelina pondered the idea briefly. "As I am said before, I know nothing about my own species.." She smiled and checked to see if he had any hands free with the baskets picked up.
Cassius held out his only freehand for her to hold. "Hmmm, I wonder what else you can do with your magic.." He wondered aloud.
Thumbelina took the hand as soon as it was offered and started walking towards town. "Don't know.. But so far healing and some affinity towards plants..."
As they exited the forest, Cassius shivered lightly. "Shall we put on our coats before going any further?" He asked.
"Yes that would probably be wise." Thumbelina released his hand as she shifted into her tiny fairy form to retrieve her coat from under the lemons.
Cassius dug through the lemons and pulled his coat out, quickly slipping it on and rubbing his arms to get warm faster.
After Thumbelina's coat was securely on she shifted back into her larger form, wrapping herself around Cassius, hoping she could help him warm up faster.
Cassius chuckled and hugged Thumbelina before slipping out of her grasp and picking the baskets back up. After he had secured the baskets, he held out his hand for her to take again.
Lacing her fingers with his, Thumbelina once more started walking through the cave that led to town. "Are there any things.. that you would like to plan to do together sometime?"
Swinging the hand that held Thumbelina's hand back and forth, Cassius mulled over what she said. "Frankly... it's far too cold to do anything outside for long... unless we keep going to the beach forest.". Glancing at Thumbelina he asked "Do you have any ideas?".
"I could probably think up a few.. I was just.. curious what sorts of things you liked doing.." Thumbelina let her hand swing with his motion.
Cassius hummed in response and tugged Thumbelina along, enjoying walking with her.
She watched him curious to his lack of real response. "I suppose we could cook together some time.. Or I could teach you to make medicine.. most of the things I enjoy doing are.. quite boring.."
Cassius glanced at Thumbelina and grinned. "Cooking... I would very much like to cook with you.". Pausing he added "Only I'm not very good at it...".
Thumbelina smiled widely. "That would be fun I think.. Hmm.." There was a pause while she thought for a moment. "Do you think I could leave the Majority of the lemons at your house? We got an awful lot of them." After they were dropped off you could come back to my place and we could.. maybe.. spend more time together?"
Cassius hmm'd at her question and nodded. "Yes, we can drop them off on the way to your home~".
Thumbelina walked alongside him to the shop, quietly enjoying his company.
Cassius unlocked his door and shuffled inside the door, putting the baskets down nearby before turning to Thumbelina and holding out his arm. "Shall we go to your place now?" He asked with a grin.
"I would like that very much." Thumbelina wrapped herself around one of his arms as the pair disappeared down the street towards the farming district of town.