lark_in_flight: Cosette smiling down, eyes closed, in private happiness or smug satisfaction (a heart full of joy)
Cosette Fauchelevent ([personal profile] lark_in_flight) wrote2016-03-09 11:23 pm
Entry tags:

Team-building hedge maze adventures

Cosette has spent rather a lot of time walking the Milliways grounds in recent weeks, either with her father or with her husband. It's no Luxembourg Gardens, but there's a half-wild charm to the grounds all the same, and in any case she'd enjoy walking on the surface of the moon if it were with someone she loved.

So she's strolling along on a gentle path by the lakeside, her hand tucked into Marius's elbow. Her head is tipped against his shoulder, insofar as her bonnet allows.

Is that a squirrel up ahead of them on the path? How sweet, she thinks, and smiles at the little creature.
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-11 05:41 am (UTC)(link)
Marius, perhaps beginning to think that maybe he is dreaming and should just accept this, says faintly, "Yes, of course."

"You are so terribly kind! But--" The squirrel glances around. "I could never ask you to simply stand here on this path! Won't you join me for tea? My home is just this way."
Edited 2016-03-11 05:41 (UTC)
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-11 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
...bewilderment, mostly.

But oh, Cosette is looking to him. Right. Yes. His feeble social instincts stir, and he says politely, "Yes, thank you."

The squirrel looks terribly pleased. "Just this way!"

He switches to all-fours as he leads them off the path and into the trees. The light seems to change as they go, just subtly. The trees, though perfectly ordinary trees, are suddenly not quite like those in Milliways.

What is less ordinary is the squirrel's house, which is not the sort of tangled nest that squirrels generally live it, but a large, stout tree with a door set right into the trunk. The squirrel hurried forward to pull the door open for the Pontmercys.

"Do come in!"
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-12 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
Marius does a double-take as the squirrel passes, then looks hastily down at himself. He seems to be all there, just-- smaller? And he wouldn't even guess that, save that the squirrel now seems so large, and all its furniture seems to be just the right size for them.

"Do take a seat," the squirrel cries as it sets about preparing the tea things. Marius moves hesitantly towards the table and pulls a chair out for Cosette before sitting himself.

"Now, then," the squirrel says when it returns to the table with a little tray of acorn-shaped cookies. "Where was I?"
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-12 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
And of course Marius isn't afraid! Because he is a man! And this is a squirrel.

He's just... slightly perturbed. But that's been his default state since arriving at Milliways anyway.

"Ah, yes!" The squirrel nods and takes a seat. "My name is Aloysius. I live a humble life here, as you can well see! I have no longing for finery, for fuss. But I have been charged with a wicked crime!"
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-12 04:18 am (UTC)(link)
"There is a fine hedge maze not far from here, just that way," Aloysius says, gesturing towards one of the little windows. "Its keepers are proud of it-- and rightly so! It is truly a wonder. The hedges grow high and thick and straight-- once inside, it is quite impossible to tell where you or going, or to see any marks of the land outside! And along the path, a row of perfect, lovely trillium flowers! And I am accused of picking them!"

"Is... is that such a terrible crime here?" Marius asks, glancing at Cosette. She knows more about flowers than he does-- perhaps she will look horrified?

"Oh, yes," the squirrel says solemnly. "Once picked, you know, a trillium takes seven years to bloom again."
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-12 04:46 am (UTC)(link)
"They are indeed," Aloysius says solemnly. "They keep a very close eye on the entrance and exits to the maze-- and that is how they spied me leaving, and knew, when the flowers were found plucked, that I was the only one who had been inside! But I did not pick them!" he cries. "I would never do such a thing!"
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-26 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
Marius, on the other hand, is very definitely looking at Cosette.

"Can anything be done?" he asks.

Aloysius the squirrel sighs. "I would like to prove my innocence! But I cannot think how. There must be some secret entrance to the maze! But if so, I have never seen it, and I am not permitted to return to the scene of this crime."
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-03-26 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
"Have you no-- no police, no inspectors, who might investigate this for you?" Marius asks, but Aloysius shakes his head sadly.

"Well-- well--" Marius casts an uncertain glance back at Cosette. "Suppose you showed us where it is? A-- a fresh pair of eyes, you know, perhaps we might-- see something."