[P] A Needle Pulling Thread
#1
OOC: dated for the 17th. Elsie is singing to the tune of Carl the Intern's theme song in Phineas and Ferb. Obviously that doesn't exist here, so it's a coincidence. Because I think it's funny. :|

IC:
"It's Carrrl! He's a brown 'n white llama! Carl! He pulls all my stuff for me! Carl!" Elsie sang, and she could have sworn the llama had just sighed at her. Surely he was used to this by now. Maybe it was because she was skipping along next to him, but Elsie made sure not to jerk the reins she was leading him by, so she didn't see why that was a problem.

"He's got a big ol' fluffy butt-" She cut off with an overly theatrical gasp and stopped to accuse, "Did you just roll your eyes at me?" Carl looked at her, then back to the direction they had been heading as Elsie giggled. "Oh fine, I'll stop. It smells like we're here anyway." She didn't know what exactly this pack would smell like, but she went the direction she was told to, and this was definitely the border of a pack, which she made sure to stay respectfully on the other side of.

Looking around, Elsie bounced excitedly while seeing if there was anyone here that she could talk to right away. She didn't want to unpack everything, only to get invited into the territory because then she'd have to pack up again, re-hitch Carl to the cart (probably annoying him in the process) and then unpack everything again. All that work would be useless, so she simply glanced around once more.

"Hm, doesn't seem to be anyone here right now. Guess I'll call and see who hears me." Elsie lifted her head and let out a friendly coyote howl, then leaned back on the cart to wait. She knew several former d'Artisians had considered coming here, as heard from her great-aunt, Esther, however she wasn't sure if they had chosen this pack or a different one that was apparently up north and full of Vikings. Perhaps someone would know if they had arrived here, but then again, it was also possible that they had and whoever greeted her wouldn't even know it yet. Still, it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Elsie didn't remain leaning against the cart for long. Her excited energy meant she couldn't sit still for long unless she was doing something like sewing to occupy her hands. Right now, she wasn't, so she stood up further on her toes, trying to see if anyone was coming.
#2
Abi's feet wove gently curving paths through the woodland flowers, always careful to preserve the beautiful and delicate heralds of Spring. There was an appreciative glint in the Sadira Princess' blue-green eyes – for her home, which she was gradually settling into; for the coming of Spring, which meant Summer would be on the way next. Summer came with birthdays for Abigail and her siblings in Vinatta, and already the family-oriented young girl was nursing ideas about what to get for them.

The pale child of the King was examining a pretty pale pink bloom when the call sounded. Timber-brushed ears flicked this way and that, assessing how close the originator of the cry was, before she straightened and set off in a jog which was somehow smooth and flowing, owing to long legs and a good sense of her growing body.

The sight Abigail was met with when she pushed through the final stand of trees made her tilt her head, thin brows lifting curiously. She had never seen the soft-looking creature before – she hadn't often seen horses pulling carts, even. Abigail was learning quickly about horses, soaking up every drizzle of information she could from the Court, and the prospect of opening that avenue to other livestock was exciting.

Waving a hand, Abigail came to a halt before her fellow female. She looked eager to be about whatever business she was here for, and momentarily Abigail wondered if she should call for Silvano or Queen Charlotte, but she had enough confidence to greet someone on her own – just as Valencia had had the confidence to greet her all those weeks ago. She smiled, thinking of her cousin and friend, and bobbed her head, bouncy curls tumbling. “Hi there, I'm Abigail. What brought you to Cour des Miracles?” Her eyes flashed towards the llama, wondering if it was possible to ride such a thing.

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#3
Soon enough, Elsie spotted someone coming towards her and an excited grin spread across her face. “Someone’s coming!” She told Carl, and she couldn’t help but bounce excitedly while clasping her hands in front of her. For his part, the llama continued to look entirely unexcited about the whole situation. The grin remained on her face and she returned the female’s wave.

“Oh, good, I made it to the right pack,” Elsie laughed. She had a habit of getting lost sometimes, but now she’d be able to make it here at least since it wasn’t that far from her home. "I’m Elsie Hennamin from Cercatori d’Arte and I’m here to hopefully do some trading. And this,” she held her hands out towards Carl, “is my llama, Carl.” He simply huffed and looked Abigail over then looked away. “He pulls my cart of stuff.” She stepped back to the cart and pulled back the blanket on top of everything to show some of the bright-colored fabrics she had.

“I don’t know if you would be interested, or know anyone who might be, but I mostly make things like dresses, skirts, flow-y shirts, and other clothes. I can also make bags and blankets and some leather armor.” She wasn’t sure if this pack was as much about learning to fight as Casa di Cavalieri had been, so she wasn’t sure if the leather armor would be as sought after. In fact, she was really in the mood to make some pretty dresses.

“So, what'cha think?” She asked, hoping that even if Abigail was not interested in her wares that she might think of someone else who would be. Elsie really wanted to get some trading partnerships going with the nearby packs so that she could eventually start traveling to the ones that were farther away as well.
#4
If Abigail had been intrigued by the llama, she was positively enamoured with the bouncing little woman's sunny demeanour. Her own laugh chimed and harmonized with the woman's comment about finding the right pack, but when she mentioned that she was from d'Arte, Abigail's face took on a look of pure wonder. “Cercatori d'Arte, that's where Faolan's from! Do you know him? Faolan Kido?” the teen gushed, the words spouting from her lips before she could think of manners or of stopping herself. “He's, um, a friend of mine. I think,” she added in softer, more wistful tones.

Her eyes, which had been at risk of clouding over with thoughts of the Kido male, regained a sharpness and alertness when Elsie mentioned trading – and at the mention of clothing, the Sadira girl clapped her hands together in delight. “I do love pretty clothes.” Attempting to rein in her enthusiasm, one pale hand rose to Abigail's corkscrew fringe as she pushed the dark bronze strands from her eyes – she hadn't noticed that she'd been nodding at a rate which had put her mane of curls into disarray.

Behind the curls Abi's eyes sparkled and she marvelled at her good fortune in coming across a trader – and such a pleasant one, at that. Not only a pleasant trader, but a packmate of Faolan's. She was itching to poke around in his history but business came first. There were more Luperci on her list of those to impress than just Faolan Kido – even if he was a personal favourite.

“I would love a dress for the Springtime,” she admitted, her hands clasped beneath her chin as her eyebrows dipped into a frown of concentration. “I have some sewing supplies, and a couple of books – one on sewing, I think – and a pair of gloves I made from rabbit skin.” Suddenly Abigail felt out of her depth, having never even witnessed a trade before. She knew vaguely what went on from Shiloh and Jerome's accounts of what they got up to at the Outpost; she just hoped her offerings would be enough to tempt Elsie.

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[html]<center><div class="abifailsig032018">Abigail<img src="https://i.imgur.com/obp6FzZ.png" width="65px">Sadira</div><br><div class="abifailsig032018-bottom">Let me light up the sky, light it up for you</div></center>
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#5
The grin on Elsie’s face changed to a bit of a knowing look when Abigail asked about Faolan. She recognized that tone of voice, having experienced several crushes herself. Her family had several regular trading partners and some of the members of those packs had been quite attractive.

“Yes! Well, I only saw him briefly before he left with Mistral, but my great-aunt talked about him quite a bit because he was adopting one of her cats’ kittens. She has known him since he was a little puppy.” She knew Esther missed Raven, but was also glad that she was having her own little adventure of moving to a new pack. “I think they were coming here, actually!” Maybe Abigail had not met up with him here yet, although Faolan had also mentioned some other pack he was thinking of going to as well. She frowned, trying to remember the name of the pack, but she could not come up with it. “Or maybe some other pack. The name started with a ‘v’ I think.”

The smile returned to Elsie’s face when Abigail said she liked pretty clothes. “I do, too!” She replied. “And I love making them.” Elsie nodded while listening to the things Abigail had to trade, and wondered if the other female had done a trade before. An unkind trader may have taken everything in return for a dress, even though Elsie was sure that it would take only some of her offerings to make for a fair trade. She was not sure if she should point this out, though, so she chose not to do so, at least not that way.

“That all sounds great! Why don’t we see what you like and I can let you know what a fair trade for it would be. Sound good?” Elsie suggested while starting to untie one of the bundles of fabric. This bundle had ready-made dresses. “So, we can either see if something I already have made would be good for you or I can take your measurements and make you something out of the cloth I brought.” She rummaged around and pulled out two dresses: a green one, and a pale yellow one that had a blue sash around the waist. “What do you think of these?”
#6
Abigail wanted to know more about the Kido male who made her stomach trip over itself, but she didn't know how or what to ask – this was the first wolf Abi had met from Cercatori except for Faolan himself. Part of her felt guilty, too, for being overly curious. The saying went that curiousity killed the cat, but Abigail remembered her first curious venture down a hole which had ended with an injured fisher cat nearly attacking her. Palaydrian had saved her then, but this intense interest in the older male felt somehow more dangerous. As if she might regret it, simply because she was giving it so much thought and putting so much into it.

Elsie spoke brightly while the Sadira female's thoughts tugged half-heartedly at whatever anchorage they had to the conversation. Mistral, the blithe trader mentioned – Faolan had gone with Mistral. Abi's bluish-green eyes widened slightly as her head bobbed in a nod. Far from understanding, the girl nodded in spite of her incomprehension. She was afraid to ask who Mistral was, afraid that she'd get the answer she felt she already knew.

Not for nothing had Abigail been able to craft a pair of gloves – she was an expert at distracting herself from the uncomfortable. “Vinatta?” she offered, letting her brows rise but trying to conceal the hope which stirred in her chest. Why would Faolan go to Vinatta if not to visit her? But she had already left, and she hadn't sent word. She could have kicked herself. "That's where I'm from."

Abigail flushed with gratitude when Elsie offered to show off her wares and suggest a fair trade. “Yes, thanks, that sounds great!” The pale female didn't delude herself into thinking she was anything of a trader – she was just a girl looking for a pretty dress to impress a boy with, though she would admit to neither. In fact, since Mistral had been mentioned Abigail's usually peppy persona had quietened a little. She had even forgotten about the llama.

Abi was naïve, too young to have practised bartering, but she had a keen eye for the way clothes fell on a Luperci figure, and she knew none better than her own. Seagrass eyes shifted to the dresses which Elsie produced, and one pale hand rose to push the sepia curls from her eyes. “I prefer the green,” she blurted, “I don't know if the yellow would suit me. On my Mumma, though...” She could picture Shiloh wearing it, a flower in her hair. Grinning once more, Abi reached out with a delicate hand to brush it against the fabric, catching the material between her fingers and assessing its weight with a thoughtful gleam in her eye.

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#7
"Yes, I think that was where he was going, or one of his choices," Elsie nodded. She was still learning the names of all the packs. Abigail seemed a little deflated, but Elsie was not quite sure why. She as not sure where Faolan had gone exactly, or if he and Mistral even ended up in the same pack; just that they were leaving Cercatori d'Art together. So, the younger Hennamin was not sure what she could say to the youth to make her feel better, but she hoped that trading for something pretty might help, at least a bit. Elsie knew that material things couldn't make people happy, but sometimes it helped cheer her up, even for just a little while.

Elsie saw the grin on Abi's face and thought maybe it would work after all, and she nodded to the other female's dress choice. "Green it is then! But to be honest, I think they would both look lovely on you," her tail wagged behind her as she set the yellow one back down. "Now let's see..." She took a couple of steps towards Abi, intending to hold the dress up in front of her to check the length.

"It looks like its a bit long, so I can take the length up a bit, which won't take long. The sleeves seem a bit long as well, so I'll do the same with those," she said, thinking out loud more than anything. Then she set the dress down on her cart and began rummaging for some string. "Do you like the blue sash from the other dress? I can take it off and put it on this one if you do," she offered, then let out a quiet, "Ah-hah!" as she pulled out a ball of yarn. She found her dagger as well, which she left sitting on top the pile of stuff on her cart.

"I just need to take your measurements so I don't make the dress too short, okay?" She asked, moving towards Abigail again. "Just your arms and your waist to feet." Elsie started unwinding the yarn, which she planned to use to get the right lengths and cut off with her dagger after measuring. Later, she would be able to use the yarn for something else.
#8
Abigail's cheeks, raised in a hopeful smile, only sagged ever so slightly when she learned that Faolan had several choices. He could probably charm his way into any pack, if the way he had charmed Abigail was anything to go by. But not all leaders were romantics or teenage girls crushing on teenage boys. She thought that Silvano might accept him, but knew little of Queen Charlotte. It had been vain to hope that he had left his home, his birthplace, to settle in the same place as the Sadira Princess – vain and naïve, and foolish. It showed in the faint rosiness of her cheeks as she blinked rapidly, glad to move the subject onto more frivolous things than her young heart's feelings.

Abigail wasn't shallow, but she liked talking about trivial things – it didn't matter a jot if debating the existence of flying pigs would never change the world, because trivial conversations were easy to fake. Talking about dresses was the best possible opportunity, because even if Abigail had to fake her own confidence, she didn't have to fake her keen eye for style.

The thought which had been sparked upon sight of the yellow dress rolled around in Abigail's head, gathering some moss before it came speeding out of her mouth. “No, no, it would look best on my Mumma. Do you – do you think, if I gave you approximate measurements, you could tailor it to her?” The girl gabbled awkwardly, an arm shooting out from her side to estimate Shiloh's height. “She's shorter than me and her proportions are a little different, but she'd look so lovely. I'd like to keep the blue sash for her, she wears a blue flower in her hair sometimes and that's what made me think of her.” Abi's mouth clamped shut and she swallowed, unsure why she was blathering on at the trader. Luckily Elsie seemed patient.

The Seigneur stood stock still, her back perfectly straight while her neck arched to get a glimpse of what the Artisan was doing. “Ready,” she chirped, her energy and enthusiasm restored by the image of Shiloh's face lighting up in her head – not that it stopped her glancing sidelong at the strange, fluffy beast which had pulled Elsie's wares.

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#9
With a smile, Elsie listened to Abigail talk about her mom. It was obvious how much she loved her, and of course, it would mean another trade, which made Elsie happy as well. She watched as Abigail described how tall her mother was and nodded. Although she liked tailoring clothes to fit someone in person, she had no problem guessing, especially because it seemed like it would make Abigail happy.

“I would definitely do my best! I can leave some extra room in it so that if I get it wrong, she could have someone else make it fit better,” Elsie suggested. It would be better to have extra room than not enough; at least extra room could be easily fixed. When Abigail agreed to be measured, Elsie picked up her dagger in a way that made it obvious it was meant as a tool in this situation and not as a weapon. She then popped the blade into her mouth, dull side in, so that she could pull the string out and start taking Abigail’s measurements. First, her waist to her feet, then her arms. Pieces of string fell to the ground as she cut them.

“There we go!” Elsie said, bending down to pick up all the pieces of string. “Now I’ll know what lengths to make everything.” She walked back over to her cart and set the knife back down and laid the dress out to start working on it.

“Alright, so you said you had some sewing supplies?” Elsie asked while setting the string on the dress, lining it up from the waist down towards the end of the skirt. “What all do you have for those? Normally I trade for unused leather, or supplies I can use to make more clothes, but I’d love the books as well.” She then dug around on her cart, looking for her sewing supplies. She pulled out a container of needles, and she used some of them to start pinning the end of the skirt where she would need to cut it and then hem it.
#10
Abigail's ideas of gifting her mother with a beautiful new dress were swelling into a plan. She had not yet been back to Vinatta since moving to the Court and while she was happy here – especially in this moment, forgetting her teenage awkwardness as she chatted with Elsie, who didn't seem like she would've pointed it out anyway – Abigail did miss Vinatta. Not the woods or the snow or the strings of disappearing wolves – family, friends – but the wolves who remained: Shiloh, and Al and Dreyma, and all her Uncles in the forms of her Mother's brother and cousins. Little did Abi know at this point that one of her Uncles and the leader of her former pack had left to find her cousin Soli. Abigail barely remembered the golden-haired beauty; her absence was more of a presence in Abi's mind than the she-wolf herself.

Bringing herself back from the North to the warm South where Elsie now stood beside her with a length of string and a dagger clenched in her teeth, Abi shook thoughts of the Vikings from her head – all except Shiloh, who she would have been happy to chatter about all day. “Oh yes, my Mumma is a seamstress herself so she could fix up anything that needs doing,” the girl gushed, bright-eyed and waggy-tailed.

Abi did as she was instructed with casual movements and the occasional appreciative glance from Elsie to the surroundings. She could hardly believe that soon she would have a brand new dress, and one for Shiloh. It would be proof that she was doing okay in her father's Court.

“I have lots of thread, some needles and pins and some offcuts of cloth, if they'd be of any use.” Abigail flushed faintly, unsure of what exactly would sound attractive to a seasoned seamstress. "The books.. one is more fashion pictures than anything, I think, and the other is a sewing manual."

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#11
"Oh, that's perfect, then! I won't make any changes to the dress since it's probably too big, and then she can make it fit perfectly." Hanging the dress only altered once would look better, and Elsie hoped that since she was a seamstress, she would have fun altering the dress. No matter what, though, Elsie guessed that she would love it since it was a gift from her daughter.

While continuing to measure and pin the dress, Elsie listened to the things that Abigail had to offer in trade. Some of it would be useful to her, and some of it she may be able to simply trade for something else. It would depend on the quality of everything, which meant that she would need to see it.

"Hm, the books definitely. I have plenty of needles, but I would love to see the thread and fabric. Actually, maybe the needles and pins, too." Even scraps could be useful to her, whether she was using them for patching things, or for making quilts. Once the bottom of the dress and the sleeves were pinned, she picked up her dagger and started cutting away the excess fabric. The cut was a bit jagged.

"Don't worry, this will look nice and smooth once I've hemmed it under," she said to reassure Abigail, then folded part of the fabric over to demonstrate. "Like that," she said, looking over with a smile. "So, for your trade items, why don't you go get them while I sew this?" Elsie suggested. "I'll be able to help figure out what a fair trade is from there?" The extra length from one sleeve was cut off, and she moved on to the other, then set her dagger down so that she could pull a stool off the cart and sit down to get to work.
#12
Abigail's cheek-aching smile didn't flicker or dim throughout the process of measuring the dress. She was almost giddy with excitement and she might have done a little dance if it hadn't been necessary to keep still. Elsie's dagger looked like it could leave some nasty marks if it was put to such a use – but Abi was thankful that Elsie seemed benevolent, and overjoyed that the trade was progressing. That was a feat in and of itself for the free-spirited teenage girl.

“Seriously, I can't thank you enough,” she chirped, glancing down to admire the way the finished look would turn out once it was folded and hemmed. “I hope you don't think I'm horribly vain,” she added in a softer voice, worry creasing her smooth, young brow - it didn't occur to her that asking such a question was vanity in itself. “I just.. I want to make an impression, I guess.” Abi's cheeks flushed faintly and she cleared her throat, looking down the length of the dress to admire the flow of the fabric.

Abi's head bobbed up and down with zeal. She remained still until the fabric was no longer against her before taking a careful step backwards, as if exiting from a spotlight. Abigail's moods had been flighty, changeable recently, and no doubt her family would have some clever explanation for it – but as she ran for the Hotel the wraith-like teenager didn't want to know what the truth behind her good mood was. She just knew she was on some sort of high, and that she wanted to bathe in its glow until the next inconsequential thing came along to bring her down again.

Abigail returned with springy steps, laden with a heavy bag and an armful of books alongside it. She deposited the items carefully onto the ground and tucked a few stray strands of thread in before straightening, her face bright.
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#13
“Oh no, not at all,” Elsie said with a grin. She’d met vain canines before. They were the ones who were difficult to work with, and didn’t necessarily make for the best trading partners because they demanded more work than what their offers were worth. Abigail, however, did not seem to be like this in the least.

While the Courtier was gone, Elsie got to work stitching the right sleeve of the dress first. Her stitches were even, expertly done; a simply hem was something she had done so many times, that Elsie was quite sure she might even be able to do it in the dark by touch alone. Not that she wanted to; being able to see her work made it that much easier. The second sleeve went by just as quickly, and Elsie then got to work on the hem of the skirt.

Carl grazed nearby as she let her mind wander a bit with the rhythmic stitching. The sleeves had been quick, but the skirt was wide so it allowed her to find a steady cadence. Abigail’s return caught Elsie’s attention when the skirt was about half done and she paused, looking up with a smile. Her eyes then went to the things Abigail had brought with her and she set the skirt aside so she could stand up to take a look. First she looked at each of the books, then to the thread, taking in it’s quality.

“This seems like very good thread,” Elsie said with a smile. “And I like both of the books, too. Some of the things in that fashion book look like they would be fun to make!” She set those aside. “Lets have a look at the cloth, hm? I’m thinking a book and the thread would be good for one dress. Then a book and some fabric for the other?” The dresses were relatively simple patterns, and had not taken her a long time to make. It also helped that the books were a subject that Elsie was actually interested in.


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