The Thing About Strays

Makea's Home

The house is tiny, but efficient and decked out in copious amounts of wood, stains long since faded with a dulling sheen of gray that gives it that lived in luster that one will not see in all those fancy "renovated" versions that can be found in trendier parts of town. It's a Craftsman bungalow just like those, but one that's still quite authentic to era it was created. Dated furniture is brought to life with deep, soothing colors and wildly patterned pillows. The decor is a blend of matching chaos, thick with dark purples, blues and greens while the accents are brighter hues of gold, splashes of red, and browns. The designs range from animal print to nonsensical swirls, as well as those clearly under Turkish influence. There are a few knickknacks one would expect to find in an older woman's home, but several trinkets are notably unusual. African animal figurines and candy bowls made of carnival glass adds to the clashing colors. Goblets, bleached bones, as well as candles of every shape and color are strategically placed around a sizable collection of books. Most can be found in their proper place, but some are strewn about, either settled under another object, or open to a particularly fascinating page. Despite the clutter, everything is kept relatively dust free. The cleanliness of the place is belied by the scents that give hint to just how many generations of love have passed through this house. A set of stairs heads up to an even smaller second level that promises to reveal just as many homey stories as the first.

OOC Note: Joao gets soooo much love for helping me describe Makea's home. :3 Thanks Rocky!

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Puddles have grown into rivers which coalesce into lakes that flood the city from end to end. Drowned rats scurry along the streets trying to get somewhere dry and Joaquim is no exception, though he doesn't seem quite as frantic as the rest, but he's definitely soaked through and through. A quick turn is made to jog up a short walk that ends in an even shorter flight of stares which carries him right up to a boldly painted door. While most people might give a timid knock, Joao is the sort that will wear a doorbell out, and so he presses two long buzzes worth of pressure and then waits under the protective canopy of the porch.

There's no angry calls for patience, or even the sound of quick stomping as the doorbell is abused. The second buzz comes out as a warped attempt, the button needing a moment between buzzes to function properly. Still, Joao won't be waiting for long as Makea opens the door. "Oh! Sug, what in th' world… You're soaked. Get in here." She demands, stepping to the side and letting the sopping wet twig into her house. If he isn't fast enough, she'll give him a prompt little shove in. While her home is warm, it's not toasty, which means that Makea herself is wrapped up in a dark purple housecoat. It's something of a robe, but thicker material, and the woman's certainly wearing clothes underneath. "You poor thing, what were you doin' out in weather like this?" Even as she speaks, the woman is already reaching into linen closets to toss a towel his way.

Joao doesn't mind the shove, but only moves so far past the door that it can be shut behind him, and there he drizzles water onto the floor, working on a puddle that promises to be a lake in no time. "It's just rain. You see that storm? CRACK! BOOM! Rummmmble. So awesome. Nature is more dangerous than any vampire." The smirk is sleek, but the wild mass of curls sure aren't, stringing down about his youthful face in an unheeded disarray that he peers through at Makea. The towel offered is taken, but does very little to stave the flow of water transferred from body, hair, and clothes to floor.

Makea is already in full mothering mode, tsking and murmuring under her breath about tenacious little boys. The entire time, she's hardly trying to hide the growing grin on her face as she shuffles about in the closet. "I take it you're the type to get sick a lot, hmm?" A soft sigh leaves her as she pulls out a shirt that looks small for her, but big for the teen. "You're gonna catch your death if you stay in those clothes. But if you're uncomfortable wearin' old hand me downs I can't make ya." The puddle is glanced at but doesn't even get a wrinkle from her brow. She's much more concerned with poor soaked rat of a lad in front of her, a pair of basketball shorts and that shirt hanging in her grip.

Joao is unfazed by any of it and happily strips as he chatters, "I've never been sick in my life. I'm healthier than a horse. You ever notice how folks say 'I'm healthier than a horse', yet everyone else is talking about how horses are always sick? They get colic and worms and they make them get more shots than they do kids in school. I don't think they're a very good standard to go by for health." The sodden jacket and shirt are puddled into the pond of murky water on the floor so that the towel can attempt to sop away as much as possible, and then the oversized shirt is taken, draping down on the rail thin body to hide anything exposed when the rest comes off and given the same towel treatment.

Quick to hand over the shorts and shirt, Makea turns and gives the boy his privacy. While it's one thing to have a teen strip in your home, it's something else entirely should you watch. "Mm, I didn't know that. Don't know much about animals that aren't th' pet variety." She chuckles and walks back into the kitchen. Speaking of animals, Joao is likely greeted by the sight and smell of wet animals, no less than three dogs rushing up to bark and bounce around him. There are even cats about, all looking half-dry from their own time out in the rain. Makea returns, giving a soft shot of breath between her teeth, a sharp enough noise to get the mutts to settle. "Not mine, not really." She explains, bending to pluck his soaked clothing and wrap them up in the towel. "Would you like somethin' warm? Coffee, hot chocolate? Apple Cider?" She takes a moment to rub the balled towel against Joao's hair, attempting to get a bit more moisture out.

Are you really offering Joao caffeine? Before the jacket can get away a multitude of items are ferreted out of the pockets, all of which but one item placed sat upon the first open surface that he can find, which takes a moment or two to find. "Nice place! I'll take anything you wanna drink." The item, which appears to be a DVD still fresh in the cellophane, is tossed over the back of the couch onto the cushions, just like he already lived here. The ticking sound of claws on hardwood floors was the culprit for the immediate need for free hands, and the tall teen is ducking down to canine level to give them a proper rowdy greeting to match their own. As Makea fusses with his hair, he ruffles fur, scritches ears, and grabs a hold on tails as they whip by his face.

Makea chuckles softly as she manages to bring some of those curls back to life. "I'm pretty sure two of 'em are neighborhood dogs that get out plenty… the third, I ain' so sure about." Same for the cats, likely. Whether they're temperarily lost or strays, looks like Joao fits in well with the four-legged visitors. Dark eyes follow the DVD as it sails onto the couch, making no verbal comment as a brow quirks upwards. "Go ahead n' settle in." She calls back. A metal thunk sounds, quickly followed by the gentle hum of a dryer. "You hungry, Sug? I got muffins, n' a few slices of pecan pie…" She continues to list various treats and a few actual meals that she's willing to warm up for the boy. Southern hospitality at its worst, as she finally seems to settle upon her return, handing him a mug of cinnamon spiced apple cider. "Still think you're nuttier than a fruitcake to run around in this weather."

Joao fits in with the four legged visitors far better than Makea knows, or does she? The thought flicks through the young man's head as he glances sideways at her. "You take in strays? I'm sometimes considered a stray." And he's nuttier than a fruitcake for a laundry list of things. A long list of wanted food items is rattled back, but none more excitedly as, "I'll wash it down with two slices of pecan pie!" Dog stink is wiped off on the clean clothes as he stands up, stretching up to touch the roof just to feel the surface texture. When his hands come down the cup is received with a delighted smile. "My grandma said, 'If she feeds you she'll never get rid of you! Warn her!'," and his grandma is likely the most knowledgeable about the enigma that is Joaquim. The grin that ensued after the admission is swallowed up by a testing sip of the cider.

Steam dances and circles the shot of blown breath that leaves Makea's lips, cooling just enough to manage a sip. "Mmm. I love visitors, even if these sweeties ain't much for conversation." His grandmother's passed on warning gains a long, pleased laugh from the woman. "Oh, I've always been a sucker for the scrawny little things that find their way onto my doorstep." A round cheek jumps up to complete a quick wink, before the mostly dry teen is given another handsy shove towards the couch. "Go ahead. What movie did you bring?" Once again, the hostess disappears for a bit of time. By the time she returns, there's a large tray full of leftover baked goods, and a warm bowl of vegetable stew. Setting it down on the low coffee table, she settles her behind on the arm of the old, well loved couch. "Let's see if I can't get some meat on them bones."

Joao calls after Makea, "The Witches of Eastwick!" and just as that's dying off, a, "I… got it for you!" It's a total coincidence, but for whatever reason the kid thought she'd like it. The lanky teen ratchets down and claims a piece of real estate on the floor between the couch and the coffee table. It's the best guess for where the food is going to go and the couch makes an excellent back brace, while long legs sprout out the other side of the coffee table. The dogs crowd in around him, the smallest of the three crawling under the table to drape himself across ankles, warming the ache of cold right out. When the food is presented anything not made of bread-like substance or chocolate is shared with the dogs while Joao munges and babbles, "You seemed like a W.o.E. sort. Kinda sexy wicked, but damn good hearted." Pause. "Cher is hot," just in case you wanted to know.

The smile on her face doubles in size, though it's only from the fact that he thought of her when getting the movie. The subject has nothing to do with it, of course. "Ooh, I don't think I've seen that one." Makea sounds interested, scooping up the DVD and taking note of the fact that it's in mint condition. Mmhm. "Sexy wicked, hm?" The woman's hand finds his damp hair, nails raking through to scritch and comb through the curls. "Well aren't you a lil' flatterbug?" More like a normal teenage boy, likely the only normal thing about Joao. "Glad t'see you aren't afraid of dogs. They've certainly taken a shine to you." Then again, he's feeding them. Her manicured claw rips through the cellophane easily enough, though her smooth voice takes on a noticeable note. "And jus' where did you procure this particular copy, Sug?"

Swallowing, Joao answers a single, "Yep," to multiple questions, including the last. The hole that is his mouth leads to the black hole of his stomach and both are rigorously stuffed with home baked delights. You'd think he'd not eaten in a month, when likely it was only a couple to a few hours ago. There's lots of sounds of enjoyment as he devours this and that, only to get louder as her fingers take to his hair and just like a canine he leans into the attention, but never once do his hands and mouth stop until a goodly amount is missing and the main item is pulled over to sit reverently in front of the teen. "I love pecan pie." A sweet childlike gaze roves around until it finds Makea, "I love you for making pecan pie." Nothing /too/ freaky about this. It's said with the same reverence given to the pie and lacking any sexual tone in the slightest. Makea has been lifted to the level of Goddess of Pecan.

Makea is a patient woman, and so she lets the ravenous teen stuff his cheeks. He didn't answer her question, but she isn't going to drag it out of him. Not yet. When he confesses his love to her, she gives his hair a quick ruffle, though there's no scalp massage this time. "Well thank you. S'always nice to feel loved, and damn if you don't make a woman feel appreciated for her cookin'." Despite the pleasantries, Makea circles the coffee table until she's on the opposite side of him. Fingers pinching the plate those two slices of homemade pie are on, she tugs it a bit farther away from him. "Joao-honey." The first time she's used his name, despite knowing it. This is serious. Though still open and honest, her expression becomes a stern one as she holds up the DVD, nail clicking against it. "Where exactly did you get this?" The corner of her lips gives a twitch, "How?"

Shock sends Joao's eyelids casting wide as the beloved pecan pie is pulled away. Mournfully he stares; riveted on the silky texture of the filling, and completely engrossed in the promising crunch of the crusty top layer. A dribble of drool has to be quickly wiped away before it streaks too far. The melancholy gaze begrudgingly breaks contact only out of necessity to flick to Makea's lovely face. After searchingly perusing the chocolate luster, he suggests, "I got a really great discount on it!" Of the five finger sort. This twist on the truth allows it to come out clearly 'as' a truth, should she have spidey sense.

That's right! The pecan pie is being held hostage until Makea gets some answers. And don't think she's above taking a savory bite out of it, just to make Joao drool a bit more. Luckily, it doesn't have to come to that. When he looks to her, a sharp eyebrow slowly rises and while she's still the same, sweet woman- she means business. It's the side of Makea her students often see. "Mmhmmmm." The drawn out hum is slow to die in her throat as the pie is tugged just a wee bit closer to herself. "Strike one, Sug." What happens at three? "I don't like bein' lied to." Her eyes soften then, "I'm not gonna get you in trouble. But I'd prefer it if y'didn't bring… discounted items into my home. Alright?" It isn't as if she can stop him all the time.

It was technically a lie, but not really - not in Joaoland, so when she calls him on it he comes within inches of protesting, only for the scent of the crunchy pecans to tickle the little hairs in his nose, reminding him that Makea holds all the cards. A gusty sigh is thrust out into the room, carrying with it the mingling scents of everything he just ate. "Okay, but that'd mean I'd have to walk in naked." The punchy grin that spreads is full of all sorts of sordid truths, but the twinkling that alights the lush green of his eyes punctuates it all the more.

Makea purses her lips, the line matching those slightly lowered lids. Smartass. With a roll of those dark eyes, she shoves the plate back over, "That mouth is gonna get you in a world of hurt." She's given up, laughing at his cheeky grin. How does anyone stay mad at him? Makea finds it difficult, to say the least. And while it's one thing to ask Joao to keep his 'gifts' to himself, she's not going to expect him to walk around butt-ass nekkid. "Just be careful, Sug. I ain't gonna stop you from bein' you, but…" Well, he likely knows what the threat is. Standing up, she turns towards the old telivision and the much more up-to-date DVD player sitting on it. "Let's see. How do I..?" Sit back, kid. This could take a while.

Score! The pie is back and Joao literally leaps on it. Not with his feet, obviously, but both of his skinny arms suck it right into his realm, building a fortress around the goods. It becomes a bit of a pickle when he realizes the fork is on the outside of the battlements, and his longing gaze darts back and forth until a quick grab brings it into the kingdom of goodness. "My grandma says that all the time. My mom just rolls her eyes," but both of them give into him. Grandpa too, but dad - not so much. A piece of pie is lovingly forked and quickly disappears inside the cage of teeth that mash it to mush while taste buds savor the flavor with an almost sexual veneration. A swallow later and he's back to worshiping the Goddess, "Oh god, this is SO good. Can I live here?" If it's a joke, it's hard to tell through all the oozy enjoyment of the next bite.

Mutter mutter. Grumble. Then there's the sound of button pushing, and when that doesn't work, Makea mumbles under her breath a bit more. Joao is free to enjoy his pie, though his comment catches her attention. A finger hovers over a promising looking button as she comments, "I'm serious, Joao. I don't wanna see you get into any trouble, y'here?" Despite the stern tone, it's cushioned by the deep concern she has for him. Makea gives a sudden crow of triumph, arms lifting in jubilation as… the DVD player finally opens. Placing the silvered disc in, she pushes the door back into the devilmachine. "I hardly ever keep strays." She finally answers, backing up with a remote control in her hand. The woman eases herself onto the couch with a plop, her legs near where Joao is settled on the floor. He gets another drag of those impressive nails, "But, you can visit often, and I'll do my best to have a hot meal for you when y'do. Deal?"

Hopeful, Joao asks, "Will you make me pecan pie? Because I think your pie is the best I've ever eaten." A slight hint of guilt is washed down with a sip of cider, "Don't tell my grandma. She tries. Not enough /pecans/." Not enough of all sorts of things, but he won't go into that. Grandma is loosing her faculties just a bit. "You know when she makes rum cake she substitutes the water in the recipe with rum? So it's /all/ rum. You can get drunk off a good sized piece!" Well, he'll eat half a cake in a single slice, so there's exaggeration, but only slightly. The piece of pie is gone and he's eyeing the other slice. "I'm not crazy about chores, but if you need somethin' done that someone like me," male and /tall/, "should do, I'll do it." Fear the results if there are instructions to be read in the doing.

Makea chuckles, "I'll make you all sorts. Pecan, apple, pumpkin. I shouldn't eat all of it myself." And she rarely does, more than happy to offer a slice to neighbors and all kinds of hungry folk she might see. One more ruffle of those dried curls, "I won't tell a soul. Your Gramma's feelin's will remain unhurt, Sug." A series of wriggles has Makea sinking comfortably into the old couch, one of the dogs abandoning Joao to lean against her thigh and curl up under an arm. Even as she selects the play option on screen, the woman nudges Joao with a calf, "Oh, I'm sure I can find somethin' to keep you busy around the house. Now hush, and lets see just how sexy and wicked these witches are." A small, bemused smile settling on her lips.

Since Makea doesn't make a move for the second slice of pie, Joaquim devours it, making all sorts of x-rated sounds while doing so. Once it's gone a licked fingertip picks up all the stray particles that are sucked off until the plate is cleaner than an operating room, if chock full of Joao-germs. The belch that is emitted tells of the happy belly and the happy boy that pushes off the ground to slither up onto the couch next to the woman, curling in next to her and wriggling himself into the crack between her and the couch as if they've been friends for decades rather than days. As the movie plays across the old screen, tinted by time and prolonged exposure to the light within, his head drops onto her shoulder while his vivid eyes keep track of the visuals more than the plot and his nose twitches as it quietly draws in all the sweet feminine scents that comfort while he remains there until Makea chases him off.

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