[Story] Thorns – Booty Bay

Our room is in a pirate ship, I’m not sure if it was a real ship that they turned into rooms, or they just built it to look like one. Either way, it’s perched up on a hillside, so it looks out over the bay. When the sun goes down, the sky lights up with all different colors, and it’s reflected on the surface of the water. You can just sit and watch it while you do nothing, but in my case I was putting clock parts together. It’s not really that I was bored, it’s just habit when I’m not doing anything else. Besides, if we want to stay longer, I’ll have to send some stock back for the shop soon. Summer’s not usually a busy time, but stuff does still sell now and then.

We decided to stay in and order food from the room menu, because we hadn’t done that before. Usually we’d pick one of the little spots along the dock to eat, though they mostly all serve the same thing — fish. It’s not really boring because there are a lot of different kinds of fish, plus there are a lot of different ways to cook it, or different spices. I’m surprised Nash hasn’t asked about cooking any yet, there’s no stove in our room though. They thought people would want a fake parrot made out of feathers, but not a stove. I guess a stove doesn’t fit with a pirate theme.

I got fried clams with chips, and Nash got some clams with pasta in butter and garlic. Both were good. You can also order umbrella drinks off the room menu, so we did that as well. I got one called a “shark bite” which has a candy shark filled with cherry juice so it kind of looks like blood. Nash was a little freaked out by it I think, I had to assure him I didn’t actually want to drink blood.

I can tell he doesn’t want to leave, and it’s understandable. I brought up the idea of opening a second shop here, since a lot of people come through the bay. I’m not even sure if it would even be possible — how much rent for the shop would cost, for one, and the more pressing issue of how I’d  make enough stock for both shops, especially in the holiday season. But then, maybe the bay isn’t as busy then — the weather’s rougher, so maybe summer is the busy season here. Anyway, it’s something I would have to talk to Rose about, to see if it’s even possible. Would it be bad living on the beach? Definitely not. And Nash wouldn’t have to worry about getting nabbed by the guards, either. He also insists that he’ll be able to help build soon, and I think he might be able. He’s already able to make some repairs and replace parts, and he’s going to try making his own clock with the shells he found on the beach. Maybe he’s a little slower than I am, but I’m sure he can catch up. I’d miss them though, and Pup. Maybe they could come visit now and then, it’s not that far away. I bet they’d all love the beach.

In one of the shops here they have stuff you can buy, like funny shirts, and also pirate shirts. I think Nash and I both need one of those, and maybe drinking glasses or something. Nash wanted me to pretend to be a shark, that boy is a little odd sometimes.

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[Story] Thorns – Booty Bay

We’re here in Booty Bay now, the minute that Nash got home from the Cathedral from getting his cast taken off, he wanted to leave. We were able to go in my flying machine, which made it a lot easier to get down there rather than trying to hire a gryphon. I haven’t been here in ages, I remember it being kind of sleazy, which I guess it still is, it’s a goblin town after all. But it seems like they’ve fixed it up a bit so it’s a place that people would want to visit. Aside from all the shops, where they sell anything you can imagine, there are also a lot of bars and places that you can stay. Our room is nice, it’s got a little balcony that looks out onto the harbor, and the windows on the other side face the jungle. There’s a little ice box with drinks in it, and since it’s still early in the season, we don’t have any neighbors. Nash was nervous when we first arrived I think, he kept his hat on and he was worried that people would recognize him as a blood elf. But like I told him, no one here really cares. Goblins don’t care what race you are, or who you’re talking to, as long as you have gold. I made up enough stock that the shop should be good for several days, I did bring some tools and parts with me, in case  I find time to work. If I’m able to, I can send them back, though I don’t expect there will be a big rush this time of year. I also thought Nash could start on his seashell clock if I brought the parts. If I run out of anything, I’m sure one of the shops will have it, they’re goblins after all, they’re big on making mechanical things. They probably have some interesting things that I can’t get in Stormwind.

Once we got settled in, we went out to the beach. It’s really beautiful, the sand is pure white and the water is the brightest blue I’ve ever seen. I brought a tray of drinks down with us, while they do have ale and beer, most of what they sell is the fruity stuff with little paper umbrellas in them. I was telling Nash about the ones they have that are frozen too, they’re nice when it’s hot out. The food here is great too, there’s all kinds of seafood, I never really had it living in the forest, or in Ironforge. All they have is dried fish, and it’s pretty gross and salty. They have fresh fish here, and it’s roasted the same day they caught it, with all kinds of vegetables. There’s also clams and crab and things that they get from the beach. I actually think I like fish now, at least when it’s done like this.

Nash finally took off his hat and started to relax a little, I think. He wants to go swimming, I said that there might be sharks, but I think the harbor would be safe enough. In any case, there are goblins with explosives there to scare away any sharks. I’m a little worried that he might get a sunburn, but he says he won’t. I guess we’ll find out later. He asked what color I’ll get if I get a tan. Honestly, I don’t have any idea. I had to remind him that I’m a night elf, so it’s not like I ever spent a lot of time in the sun. The forest is really dark and shadowy, and Ironforge is underground. Stormwind has big buildings blocking the sun, and I’m inside most of the day anyway. If I’m not, I always have my hat on. Probably just darker? I don’t know.

He says he doesn’t want to leave. I think he was probably joking, but I’ll admit it’s kind of tempting. We could just stay here and I could make clocks and ship them back, just drinking cold fruity drinks and laying on the beach during the day. But I’d miss Stormwind I think. And I know I’d miss Rose, even if she doesn’t miss me.

[Story] Thorns – Cheesy

I think I’ve figured out the secret to cheering Nash up. At least, until he changes his mind about it again. He mentioned a little while ago that he wanted some cheese, and I remembered he said that he likes the kind with holes in it. So I went to the cheese shop and I let the guy help me pick out a bunch of different kinds, I got a whole basket with different ones to try, and also a big chunk of the hole kind. For myself, I got the smoky kind that they serve at Brewfest, I like the taste and it reminds me of being in Ironforge. It would be better if we had some stout, I guess, but it’s still good.

We ate the cheese and we talked about stuff. I had no idea he was so crazy about cheese, maybe they don’t have it in Silvermoon? But I suppose they must, they probably have fancy cheese that only rich people are allowed to eat. I told him about the one from Darnassus, I never really liked it much, one because it stinks and two, because it reminds me of being in Astranaar. Nash asked me if it smells like druid’s feet. I’ve never smelled druid’s feet, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what they smell like. Nash said he liked it though. He made me try the soft cheese, I thought it was kind of weird but then he showed me how you’re supposed to spread it onto bread, like butter. That makes more sense, it also tasted good. I could definitely eat more of that. I still think the smoked Ironforge cheese is the best though, Nash asked me how they make it. I think they just put the wheels into the smokehouse along with all the sausages and other meat, it has that same rich smoky flavor.

Nash wanted to know if I’d do things if there was a dwarf woman here in the house. That’s a weird thing to ask, but I think I know what he was getting at. I told him I wouldn’t, that stuff is just for fun and not really serious. I didn’t think this was either, but maybe it is now? Nash said it’s not complicated, even though he’s been saying that for weeks and hiding in the bathroom to cry. But maybe he means it now? I don’t know, I don’t really understand what he means when he says that. But I told him I wouldn’t, unless he wanted to of course. I’m not sure if he’d be interested in any dwarf women. He wanted to know if they are hairy, I said that a lot of them are. I mean, they’re dwarves.

He asked again if I’m happy, and I said I just kind of feel like I’m existing, doing things day to day. I think he understood what I mean, at least he said he did. But again, he has a history of saying he understands when he really doesn’t, and then getting upset by it either. I like making clocks, I like working in the shop. Sure it’s a lot less exciting than what we did before, but it’s also less dangerous, and less chance of getting us all into trouble. That’s important if we’re allowing a blood elf to live with us. Nash wants to keep helping with the clocks, he’s still convinced that he has to do something in order to stay. I told him I do like having breakfast, he’s getting pretty good at omelettes.

His cast will be coming off soon. I guess he’ll need to go see the girl at the Cathedral to do that. Nash said he wants to go visit her, instead of Zarellina. I’m not sure if I trust her any more than Zarellina, but it’s good for him to have more people that he can trust and talk to. If nothing else, I know she can keep a secret, and that’s important. Once his cast is off, we’ll be able to go on our trip. I think Nash is pretty excited about it, I’m looking forward to it as well. I’ve only been a couple of times, and that was just to get shipments. I think it’ll be a lot of fun to go walk on the beach, and swim in the water, and get drinks and stuff. We can look for shells, and Nash wants to use some to make a clock, his own, not fixing one that I gave him. I figure a clock with shells would be good for the bathroom.  If nothing else, the trip gives him a chance to get outside and not have to wear his hat for a while. The weather should be nice enough, it’s a little early yet but that means it shouldn’t be too crowded. It’s not a huge place for people to visit, but I remember it being pretty busy when I was there before. I hope I don’t trip over any goblins.

[Story] Thorns – The Cheese Shop

Temperance looked over the shelves of cheese in the shop, not really certain where to start. She didn’t usually go to the market often, usually the little kitchen in the cathedral was stocked by the cook or her workers. But it was rainy today, and not many people were about the square, and it gave her a reason to keep her hood up. She hadn’t expected that Nash would like cheese so much, but then there was very little she knew about him. Though he’d turned down the suggestion that he remain in the little basement room for now, she liked to be prepared in case he came to visit again. Besides, she could always eat it if he didn’t.

There were so many delicious smells that it was a bit overwhelming. The tables and shelves were all stacked with cheese in every size, shape, and color. She could recognize some of the names, but others she’d never heard of, no doubt from places far away. Thankfully, the man behind the counter was helpful, offering her a tray of little samples. What did she need the cheese for? Was it a party, a special dinner, for sandwiches or baking? Temperance decided that hosting a guest was entertaining, even if it wasn’t in the traditional sense. She told the shopkeeper that she wanted a variety of different cheeses for her guests.

He brought out a wedge from a wheel that had to have been enormous, and sliced an impossibly thin slice with a little silver knife. It was delicious, firm and nutty with a pleasant aftertaste. She bought some of that, and some of the strong hard cheese, some of the kind with holes that Nash said he liked, and some more of the soft cheese to spread on bread or crackers, because she liked that kind best. There was one with little bits of herbs made into it, which had a lovely flavor.

Would he come back again? Temperance wasn’t sure. He was talking again about wanting to leave, but he had nowhere to go. He couldn’t go to Silvermoon, and he said he found the forest scary. That amused her; though she could agree that the forest back in Duskwood could sometimes be frightening. The roads were impossibly dark, with no lamp-posts, and the trees grew dense, their branches reaching out from the darkness. Things lurked there too, dangerous things that she’d rather not think about. But the forest outside of Stormwind was bright and open, true that there were bandits along the roads, but she knew that patrols rode along them regularly. Didn’t elves live in the forest? She supposed not all of them did. Nash had told her about Silvermoon, how it had been destroyed by the Scourge in the attacks. He didn’t much like her idea that they should repair it, but perhaps they had been trying and it was taking longer than expected. From the way he said it, so many elves had died that they wouldn’t be able to live there, even if it was rebuilt. Marjolaine said something similar had happened in Gilneas — the city stood ruined and empty now, and those few who had escaped were cursed. Just like she was.

She’d agreed to speak to her on Nash’s behalf. He was worried that she was angry with him, and didn’t want him there. Temperance was certain that wasn’t true, the woman had never been anything but patient and kind with her. It had to be just a misunderstanding, but if Nash heard her say it, there could be no doubt that he was allowed to stay. The rest of it was more complicated. Temperance thought the elf — Harrier — didn’t sound like a very nice person. She couldn’t understand why Nash wished so much to stay with him. When it came to giving advice, she was certainly the wrong person to ask. She’d never lived with someone like that, nor even been close to it. Perhaps it was more difficult to make decisions when you were, maybe your feelings got all tangled up in things and you couldn’t be objective. That was certainly possible. She thought about asking to speak to him, but she didn’t think she wanted to. Unlike Marjolaine, he seemed distant and cold, and something about him unsettled her. Maybe all elves were like that — kaldorei at least. Nash wasn’t like that at all.

With the basket under her arm full of cheese, Temperance ventured back out into the rain.

[Story] Thorns – Stew

Nash made stew for dinner. He said he’s trying to cook the easier recipes first, which is a good way to go about it. I thought it was pretty good. There was meat, and a lot of different kinds of vegetables. I forgot to tell him that he should try putting stout in, they do that in Ironforge and it’s really good, makes the broth taste really rich and good. He also made bread, which is I think a lot more complicated because you have to mix it just right, and then wait for it to rise, and then bake it. Some of the outside was a little dark, but it wasn’t bad.

What did I make? I made a mess. It doesn’t matter what I say, it’s always the wrong thing. I’m really trying, but it’s like he takes whatever I said and makes it fit what he wants to hear. I said I thought it was great that he wants to learn to cook, but he should do it because he wants to rather than because he has to work to stay here. He took that to mean that I don’t want him to cook anymore. When did I even say that?! I thought guys were easier to understand than girls, that’s not true at all. At least Rose tells me when she’s mad, and usually she tells me exactly what I did, too. Not Nash, he insists everything’s fine and then he goes and hides in the bathroom all night. If things are the same whether I try or not, maybe I shouldn’t try anymore? Nash said he’s going to keep things not complicated, which means not getting feelings involved, but I don’t really believe that. I think he’s just saying it because he thinks it’s what I want him to say.

And why does he think he has to work to stay here? It’s his home, and he’s part of the crew. Well, we’re not much of a crew right now, but some jobs could come up in the future and I’d want him there for that. Either way, he doesn’t have to cook or clean or do anything besides be himself, and it hurts that he thinks he does. Like he’s only here because I want him in my bed. While it’s a nice perk, it’s definitely not the only reason. I also told him he doesn’t have to, if he doesn’t feel like it or he’s not interested or whatever, and he said he’d never say no. That’s creepy. He’s allowed to say no whenever he wants to. Apparently I should have just lied when he asked if I was happy, that’s the lesson I’m getting here. I don’t see why his feelings depend on my own, he can be happy even if I’m not. It’s not like things are bad, either, just — I don’t know, not amazing or something. But like I told him, I don’t think my life has ever gone amazing, I’m just trying to get by.

I can’t ask Rose for advice, obviously, and Star wasn’t much help. She just told me I’m an idiot, which I already knew. I don’t need to pay for someone to tell me that.

[Story] Thorns – Egg Day

I bought a lot of chocolate eggs at the market. I knew Nash wouldn’t be able to go to the one in town with his leg in a cast, and he really enjoys it so I hid them all around the shop while he was asleep. He probably only found about a quarter of them, so I’m sure we’ll be finding chocolate for months now. I think he liked it. It’s not always easy to tell with him, but it seemed like he had fun looking for them. And he didn’t even have to compete with a bunch of little kids either. I told him that a rabbit had hidden them or something, and he gave me a weird look. I don’t think that’s actually how the story goes. What do rabbits have to do with eggs, or chocolate? It should be a chicken. Or a chocolate chicken. He hopped around with his cast and ate most of the ones he found. I tried to give hints, but I couldn’t remember where I’d put all of them either because I was half asleep when I hid them. I guess they must be really well hidden.

I don’t know why I can’t just be happy. Maybe I should have just lied, but I think that would be worse. But as soon as I said it, I knew I shouldn’t have. How am I supposed to know if I’m happy? I don’t think I have ever have been. Maybe for a little while, but then it goes away just as quickly. I don’t know if I can be what he wants me to be, either. I’ve tried to tell him that, but he’s stubborn. The last thing I want is for him to get hurt again, either by breaking his leg or something worse. He’s so convinced that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, either. He’s also trying to prove that he should be here, even though I said he doesn’t. One thing he’s doing is trying to cook. I came downstairs and there was smoke everywhere, but I guess he only burned his own. Mine actually tasted pretty good. I think it’s good that he’s learning new things, but he shouldn’t be doing it for the wrong reason.

What if I actually got what I thought I wanted, but still wasn’t happy? I think about that, too. Maybe no one’s really happy, and they just pretend they are so they don’t let others down. Or themselves. Maybe you’re just supposed to be content with what you have. I don’t know. Things aren’t so bad, I have the shop and a lot of work, it’s not as lucrative as before but it’s steady and I enjoy it. It’s also a lot less dangerous, which is important when I’m trying to not get Nash arrested. I never dreamed about growing up to make clocks in a human city when I was little, but then I didn’t even know what a human was. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have, I guess.

[Story] Thorns – Back to Work

I knew Rose wouldn’t be happy about Nash coming back to the shop. I told him to kind of try to stay out of the way, not hide but be out of her path, pretty much. I expected that she’d yell — not at him, but me. Instead she just got really quiet, which was somehow worse, this giant wall of disapproval around her. Nobody talked much, which actually isn’t that unusual during the day, because she’s up front with customers and I’d be at my workbench. Nash usually wants to help me there, getting pieces or tools or whatever. Lately he says he wants to learn how to make things himself, so I’m trying to familiarize him with what everything is and what it does. Maybe he could start with repairs, that way the pieces already exist, it’s just fixing one that doesn’t work right. He’d get a better understanding of how they’re supposed to go together and interact. Nash also said he wants to learn how to cook which, let’s face it, would be useful since I can’t cook for shit. I like that he’s wanting to learn new things, but the reason is that he thinks he has to be “useful” in order to stay here. That’s bullshit, there were never any ultimatums or anything put on him before. I know he’s afraid of her and possibly with good reason, but I’m the one staying here when the shop is closed, and we both own it, so I think I should have a say in who’s allowed to stay.

After we closed up, she wanted to talk in the office, which is the tiny room that used to be Pup’s. It’s not really an office other than the fact that it has a lot of papers in it, but it has a door that closes. I’m sure Nash was probably listening outside, but I guess I would in his place too. I told myself it didn’t matter anymore, and for a while there I think I almost believed it, but that’s not true. It does, I still couldn’t help wondering what else she might have said or done, how things could have gone differently. They won’t, but I still thought about it. She wanted to know why I’d brought him back here, knowing that he’d been caught before. Where else was he supposed to go? He can’t go back to Silvermoon, and we can’t just shove him out the gates of Stormwind. I’m not letting him turn into one of those weird void-tainted elves. He doesn’t want to stay on the farm, and he doesn’t like the idea of going to Ironforge. Besides, we have the shop here, it’s established and does good business. It would be stupid to tear up roots now. She just sort of grumbled, but I think she knew I was right. Besides, I  don’t really believe he’ll run off like that again. I mean, I have to believe that, or I wouldn’t be inviting him back. He could prove me wrong the first time he gets upset, but at least right now he can’t because he’s got a cast on. And I’m hoping the trip cheers him up, too. If he feels more comfortable, maybe he won’t feel the need to go out on roofs and drink. Though I mean, I can relate, so it’s not like I’m throwing any stones here. But we could do it inside, maybe. I also told Rose about the idea for the hidden room. I think it won’t really be needed — the guards are down to just the regular patrols now, maybe just a few extra — but it can’t hurt. And it might make her feel more secure about the situation.

She did give Nash a look as she was leaving, she didn’t say anything but its intent was pretty obvious — don’t mess this up. I guess all things considered, it didn’t go as badly as I thought it might.  And I told him that she’ll get used to the idea in time, at least I hope so.