<gumbal1> Leah called in sick from work for two reasons. One, she was still recovering from a black eye and several nasty bruises left by some weird blue thing dressed like a JoJo villain. Two, today was a rather special day and she kinda wanted to celebrate the day itself in relative solitude. The actual party can be shunted to a weekend, so she can actually prepare. So, for once, she's kinda just waiting for Ellie to get back, having borrowed h
<gumbal1> er PS4 for another shot at actually beating Bloodborne for once (she's really bad but at least she tries).
<Nemi> As Ellie's often said, the PS4 is there for both of them, so 'borrowed' is a silly term. Ellie had been on QUITE the warpath when she'd discovered a beaten-up Leah stuffed under their bed, and part of the reason for her absence was to cool down (and track whoever did it to gently brainfuck them). Fortunately, Cangrejo was long gone. And so with a gentle knock of warning, the door slides
<Nemi> open and an Ellie slips into the room. Like Leah had requested, the presents Ellie got for her sit on the counter between kitchen and living room, waiting to be opened on a happier day, so it's with bare hands that the Tear Drinker slinks into the seat beside the battered Leah to slide an arm around her. ".. heeeey, girl."
<gumbal1> "…hey." Father Gascoigne eviscerates Leah's toon (who, as per standard Leah Soulsbourne regulations, has been made as weird-looking as possible), meaning it's safe for Leah to turn her head to plant a kiss on Ellie's cheek. "Hwo've you been?"
<Nemi> Ellie's looking nice as ever, though she's still wrapped in the blue wool peacoat she came in with. Either she's cold or she was in a hurry to cuddle up to Leah. "Heeeey- aw man, still can't beat Gascan?" She returns the kiss, a swift smooch to the opposite cheek. "Anyway I'm.. I'm okay. I can't find who beat you up. Prrrrobably for the best since- I probably don't need a murder charge
<Nemi> or something."
<gumbal1> "Naaah, dude, it's okay, like…yeah, what you said." The controller is put down, and Leah turns to face Ellie. "Well, how was your day, at least? You've been like, working on that one paper for a while now, right?" While Leah isn't looking, 'JETFUELNUTSHACK' invades her world.
<Nemi> ".. yeeeeah.. I'm just glad ELP's back and you're okay." Ellie squeezes Leah gently about the waist, careful not to grab anything that's still hurting. She knows exactly where to avoid, of course. "I'm.. god, I don't know, I sent that paper in and I'm freaking out about it. I mean I /know/ it's good but I.." Have been what? Doubting things lately? The influence of her Children's fragments
<Nemi> remained strong. ".. ugh, whatever. Also, you got an invader with the memeiest name I've ever seen."
<gumbal1> "…wait, wha-" 'YOU DIED'. "…I thought they patched that exploit." Leah shrugs, having ELP head over to turn off the PS4. Considering today, it was probably more of a distraction than anything else. Leah, meanwhile, hugs Ellie back. "Come on, I saw how well researched that stuff was. There's nothing technical they can ding you for, Els. It's a sure take." A quick smooch on the lips is stolen before Leah breaks the hug. "So."
<Nemi> "Nnnoooop, bloodtinge Church Cannon. Rip." Ellie watches the screen shut off, vaguely amused. Her peacoat is very very soft felted wool, making the hug extra soft and comfy. "And ugh I /know/, it's just that ever since the- you know, me picking up the GWU's leftovers of me? I've been- freaking out about stuff. And now people I /can't find/ beating you up, and .. I'm upset, freaking out,
<Nemi> you know?"
<Nemi> Her lips are warm, but cold about the edges from the brief time outside.

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<gumbal1> "It's fine, you know. The thing's probably gone for good, now." Hopefully, at least. Leah can't imagine what something would need two ELP's for…or even what it would need one for. "And…yeah. I'm just glad it seems to have stopped, for now. Hopefully for good." Leah's, to compensate, are somewhat cold. Seems her body temperature has been dropping as of late. "We shouldn't worry right now. Today's supposed to be happy."
<Nemi> ".. yeah. Yeah." Ellie's happy to warm Leah up, and her own spark returns as Leah keeps speaking. She doesn't dwell much on the ELP topic either. "It should be.. And- like, I know the party's coming later, but.. Happy birthday, Lees. Ellie reaches into one of the side pockets of her coat, retrieving a tiny white box with a bow, which she holds out to Leah with a doofy smile.
<gumbal1> Tiny white box-Leah very suddenly blinks, and almost blushes a bit. The kind've thing you find in tiny white boxes are distinct, and usually mean something rather important. Which would be awkward considering something else. Still, she smiles, genuinly even, as she gently takes the box and hugs Ellie. "Thanks." Beat. "…sh-should I open it?"

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<Nemi> "Yeah- and nooo, it's not /that/ kind of tiny white box, it's just- something cute since it's a thing that I feel like you /deserve/ on your birthday but not the like, full size thing. You know?" Ellie's doofy smile goes more thoughtful.
<gumbal1> Oh. Oh. Well, it was kinda hard to tell considering how fast things tended to happen in Sanctum. Bob and Emma, Jon and Cin…still, Leah very carefuly removes the bow of the tiny white box, placing it on the nearest table (what can she say? She likes bows). One last smile to Ellie, and Leah gingerly opens the tiny white box.
<Nemi> It's- a cupcake! Still warm and fresh as if straight from the oven, with white frosting topped by a pink heart and a single tiny candle with pale flame still burning. It's adorable. And by the label on the inside of the box top, from that arcanic bakery that Ellie showed Leah before. Full flavour, diabetic safe. "Happy biiiirthday toooo yooooou," Ellie singsongs at whisper-volume,
<Nemi> grin widening.

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<gumbal1> "Oh my g-d it's…adorable and so nice and I'm not sure how the candle is still burning but I'll assume it's magic and…" Leah sets it down and resumes hugging Ellie. "…you're the best."

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<Nemi> Ellie grins brightly, leaning into the hugs and not letting them stop her song. ".. haaaaaappy biiiiirthday tooooo yoooooou… happy biiiirthday deeeear Leeeeee-aaaaaaah.."

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<gumbal1> Leah waits for the song to end of couse. Even if Ellie wasn't really professional, she really did enjoy listening to her sing. Which is why she only goes in for the kill (read: an extended kiss on the lips) after Ellie finishes her song. Hey, she likes to think she's considerate in some ways.

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<Nemi> "Make a wi-" Ellie's shut right up by the kiss, which she reciprocates more than enthusiastically. The cupcake and box is left floating to spare their hands for hugging and smoochin' as long as needed- Ellie, too, can be considerate! ".. well I got /my/ wish." Ellie winks.
<gumbal1> "You'll get more than your wish later tonight." Leah eventually breaks away. "…split the cupcake?"
<Nemi> "Oh man I can't wait." Ellie also breaks away, but with the doofiest smile Leah's ever seen on her pale face. "And- sure!"
<gumbal1> It works out for the best, anyways. Leah's used to smaller portions of deserts. Lacking a knife, the cut is done by hand and is…somewhat uneven. Still, Leah takes the smaller of the two and decides that savoring it is for the best, really. After all, the purpose of these things boils down to enjoyment.
<Nemi> Ellie, however, insists Leah takes the larger- Leah has most of Ellie's heart, after all. And she leans up against Leah as they nibble away. Chocolate, with vividly flavoured strawberry and cream cheese frosting. It's delightful.
<gumbal1> "It's…shit, I like, gotta get an apprenticeship from this chef I mean…oh geez this is good." Mostly as an excuse to bake more sweets she can actually eat.
<Nemi> "Me too. I'd have made it myself but I'm not able to- break reality or whatever." Ellie kisses Leah's neck.
<gumbal1> "I mean, not li-" Oh! Leah briefly freezes, before laughing. "…so. Wanna break out the presents?"
<Nemi> Ellie laughs! "And um- you said you wanted those on party day, I mean I can totally go get them out now though!"
<gumbal1> "…oh! Right, shit, yeah…" Leah kinda blanks, right about now.
<gumbal1> "…I, uh, have something for you, too…"
<Nemi> Ellie squeezes Leah again. ".. wait, really?"

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<gumbal1> Leah fishes into the pocket of her khakis, pulling out a tiny, makeshift bag. Reaching in, she takes out two glass rings, one of which she hands over to Ellie. "Like, I…I was thinking and…well like, we've been together for a while and like, I was thinking we could have, like…promise rings?…I tried making my own but I can't do rings, these were comissioned from that one glassmith in town and like…yeah."

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<Nemi> ".. ohmigod," says the Ellie, going so radiant as to fill the room with a strange pale warmth. Her smile is bright- she LOOKS better, somehow, her hair fluttering about her with her scarf and soft wooly coat, as if underwater and lit from behind. And she slips the ring Leah gave her on Leah's finger- and holds her own hand out for the other!

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<gumbal1> Pretty much any hesitation Leah had about the idea is near instantly eliminated by the sudden burst of radiance from Ellie. It really is encouraging when your s/o becomes so happy they literally start breaking physics in favor of anime-style expressions of happiness. Still, Leah's own slip of the ring is somewhat shaky. Call it stage-fright. Eventually, though, it's on. "…I love you."
<Nemi> Ellie's surrounded by sparkles and pastel colours as she pauses to admire the ring- just a pause, for soon enough she's burying her face in Leah's shoulder. Her hug is soft but strong, her voice choked with some measure of joy and relief and a dozen nameless things. "I- I know and I Love you, Leah Nasser, with all my Heart."
<gumbal1> The sudden true voice is…well, Leah's glad it's coming from Ellie and not someone else. Still, she's taken off-guard by the hug, though she's perfectly happy to return it. Oh, now she's crying. Expected. She opens her mouth to say something but, well, what is there really to say right now? Even if they hadn't been speaking, they were already doing an awful fine job of communicating through means other than words.
<Nemi> And with the true voice echoing what Ellie's said time and time again, the Tear Drinker seems, for once, truly content. Some great alignment must have happened inside her, between girl and monster, and here and now the two agree. Ellie cries too, feeding off Leah's own emotions and joining them with pangs of joy and gratitude. And it could be sure that the two would be doing far more
<Nemi> nonverbal communication throughout the night.
<gumbal1> Nasser's have always been good with monsters, it could be said. Rivka was famous for talking them down, Ada had somehow earned their respect, Lilith had joined their ranks unnaturally fast. It was only natural that one might eventually fall in love and, in turn, be loved by one. Still. That she was loved by the girl attatched to said monster was more than enough for one Leah Vardi Nasser.
<gumbal1> ~happy birthday, happy scene~

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