There are little ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ from everyone in the van as it parks in the parking lot. As they all slowly come out of the vehicle and stretch after the semi-long journey, there are soft groans and grumbles about how it had been a long ride. Eoghan merely chuckles as he looks at their little group, their little almost family and he leads them towards the entrance so he can see about paying their fees before letting them all loose into the beautiful garden.
“You two don’t wander too far, please.”
“Zora, we’re not kids, we’ll stick together but if we don’t wander far we’ll never manage to explore the garden!”
“Don’t worry, Zora. The whole place is fenced in, they could go the edge of it and still come back in one piece. There are maps everywhere, here are paper maps for everyone and disposable cameras for those who might want one.”
“You really thought out every single detail, haven’t you?”
“Eh, only half of the details, Alexis figured out the rest.” He shrugs but smiles as he hands out small cameras and maps. The twins take off to one side and their sister rolls her eyes before taking the main pathway. She knows that it’s not because she’ll essentially be on her own that she can’t enjoy herself.
“Yael, Quentin, you two ready to discover more inspirational views?” He chuckles softly as he hands each of them the last two cameras and a map to be shared between them.
“Thank you for inviting us, Eoghan.”
“You’re part of the family, guys. It’s natural to invite you to join us on this outing.”
“I’ve seen these plants before.” Yael’s words are awed as he tries his best to frame the flowers so he can take a single photo. He knows Quentin will let him have the second camera, he already has gone through a good number of shots on the one he has in his hands.
“Maybe we should invest on getting you a camera, what do you think?”
Yael stops and cants his head, looking away from the flower to his lover and he can’t help himself, he lifts the camera and snaps a photo with a soft, delighted laugh. “I suppose we could, I could get into that. It’s a different sort of art. We could print out some of the photos and I could reproduce them on canvas.”
Quentin feels that warmth spreading in his chest again. So long as Yael is thinking about turning things to art, the world is turning right. He only wants Yael’s happiness and the cost is hardly an issue as far as he’s concerned.
“When we get back home, we’ll look around to find out which camera might be best and what accessories you could need and we’ll get you what you want. Then you can explore the world of photography without having to really worry about running out of room on your film roll.” He laughs softly as they turn into another pathway, moving away from exotic flowers and heading towards the topiaries.
Those baffle him somewhat, he’s never really seen those up close though he’d seen them before from afar. They’re so strange though their details are absolutely amazing.
“Imagine, with a digital camera you could take just one photo of most of the ones on this side and you could zoom in and just keep one in your shot.”
Yael nods as he studies the topiary in front of him. He’s not sure what it is supposed to look like, maybe a peacock? The thought amuses him and he shakes his head with a soft chuckle. “I read in the bird book that it’s possible for a peacock to actually be white, like albino people. Then again I’ve read it’s essentially possible for anything in the animal kingdom to be albino though it’s not all that common, I wonder if there’s one here?”
By the time lunch comes around, they’ve all come back to the gates. The twins are chattering excitedly together about what they’ve found here and there, Yael looks peaceful and content. They find a large picnic table and out comes the packed lunches, everyone with a little something extra.
“Chef Eoghan strikes again and goes out of his way to please everyone.” Alexis’s voice is amused as he teases his lover. He smiles warmly at the man as colour settles lightly on his cheeks. Eoghan shrugs softly as if to dismiss the thought.
“Just being myself, I like to make sure everyone has something they like in their food. I know Agni likes his food a little spicier and Mira doesn’t, Zora prefers lighter foods and so on. I’m just making sure everyone has a good and filling meal. This place is huge, we just need to have all the energy we need to appreciate it.”
“All right everyone, here’s to the afternoon. This place actually closes after that, usually at ten. They have some light show but I’ve seen them and they need some work. The drive home is somewhat long and I don’t really think we should be heading home that late. That and we do have to eat supper at some point and we have nothing packed for that though we could stop somewhere in the city. What I figure is that we can meet back up at the van at six. Make sure to not forget anything you’ve brought in, okay?”
There are nods all around as food is eaten contentedly.
When six rolls around, Zora is already at the car. She looks peaceful as she gazes about quietly, as if memorizing what there is around the parking lot. Eoghan and Alexis come out to the van a few bare minutes later. Quentin and Yael are not much longer to join them. The twins however seem to take their time, it is nearly half past six when they come to the van, looking sheepish as can be.
Zora reminds them that they were late and everyone piles into the van, murmuring with quiet contentment about how it turned out to be a good day and a wonderful idea to come to the garden in this city so they could enjoy the sights.
As Eoghan starts in on the drive out of the lot and to a restaurant where they might find something to eat, the twins settle and yawn. It seems as though everyone has had a good day and sleep will be easy to find, a good thing.
They stop at a sandwich shop. Eoghan and Alexis take note of what everyone might want and what they want in their sandwiches before heading in and placing the rather larger order. Once back in the van, Eoghan takes them to a little side of the road, out of the way and the meals are handed out and eaten in relative quiet.
It is not long on the drive back, afterwards, that the twins drift off, resting one against the other. The sight is rather adorable to those who witness it. They are woken up when the van is finally parked home and they almost zombie-walk their way to their apartment and beds. The day has been long and filled with little moments of joys, definitely a day to repeat.
Outings as a family is something that seems to be appreciated by everyone, after all. Definitely an outing to repeat though probably in another area. Best not to get too repetitive, after all.
They bid goodnight to Quentin and Yael as the pair head over to their own home for the night. They have kittens to feed, a litterbox to clean and a good shower to share before tumbling into bed.
“Today was absolutely wonderful, thank you for coming with me.”
“As if I’d go anywhere without you, Yael. It’s been a while I’ve seen you look so bright eyed, it was wonderful.”
“No, I didn’t say that to make you feel bad about not being happy. I just say that because that’s what it is. I just want you to be happy and I’d do anything for your happiness, no matter the cost. I know you miss drawing, I see it in the way you are every day, so to have a chance at starting your desire to draw all over again is a chance I’d take any single day. I love you, I just want you happy.”
“Being with you makes me happy. Thank you for everything.”