17 February 2015
This courtyard is the lush central hub of the surrounding Harbor Commons, bound in on three sides by rows of duplexes and triplexes, cutting upward at the sky with the sharp thrift of a minimalist's style, neat lines and bountiful windows, boldened with accents in wood towards the upper stories, stone towards the base, the whole of the compound sealed in by a low stoneworked wall that opens entrance gates to the streets beyond at its two far corners, smaller gates at building back doors.
The fourth side of the courtyard is open to the East River, the ground forming a slight decline, controlled on one side by micro-retaining walls to form wide steps where picnic tables sit beneath the nominative shelter of a trio of dogwood trees, accessible by ramp. The other side is allowed to slope at its natural angle, a wide open yard space, until its cut off at the river's edge, where a massive pair of oak trees stand, a staircase leading away up one of their thick trunks.
The yard itself is carpeted in an organic flow of emerald grass swirled through with wending channels of smooth-paved cement walkways, flowing naturally away from the building's front entrances, where some are arced by trellis, some flanked by hosta plants, fern and lilies, a few laid in gentle switch-backing ramps for wheelchair access, before forking off at matching angles to sites of small garden installments. Bird feeders and baths suspended from the necks of small lamp posts, a rock-lined koi pond, a sleek gazebo tucked to one side in simplistic varnished wood, its southern side overgrown with a mass of thriving grapevine and a caged-in barbecue pit under its sheltering roof. A play area and proper garden are within sight off another branch, until finally all paths spiral in like wheel spokes to a shared common house at the center of all traffic flow.
Showing a level of precocity well beyond his his tiny size, Taylor bounds quite unfazed through the fresh-fallen snow. Oft all but disappearing into the large piles, he simply reappears somewhere else with a triumphant, high-pitched bark. The Bishon-Poo zips all about in teensie Barbie-pink rubber booties to protect the pads of his feet from the salt and chill and a miniaturized version of a powdery pink hooded sweatshirt with a rhinestone 'I <3 NY' bedazzled onto the back.
Billy is still smartly dressed from work, having gone to class and then the Commons straight-away. He's bundled up beneath his white peacoat and scarf. He barely stands out from the snowy yard, himself. Giggling, his breath floats out in front of him, "I expected him to be a bit less wily. I don't know why." The blonde bends down to reassure the little puppy as he runs up to his feet, "Go get 'im! Where's Obie!?" Billy claps his gloved hands.
Micah is not nearly so smartly dressed, not that one can really /see/ the hoodie, tee, and henley buried under his puffy olive winter coat and coils upon coils of Fourth Doctor scarf, Jayne hat and convertible candy-corn striped mittens layered over liner gloves with capacitive fingertips top off the upper level winter-wear, with only lined jeans and snow boots visible of the lower. "Can't rightly say /what/ I expected 'im t'do. Was a little afraid he'd fall in a snowdrift an' get /stuck/. Ain't never had a dog no smaller'n Obie." Obie, meanwhile is right where anyone says his name. He has a yellow squeaky ball in his tongue-lolling, drool-spilling mouth when he returns, bounding through the snow. Billy said the name /and/ clapped, so he earns the ball dropped on his foot. Drippily.
Billy doesn't miss a beat, lifting up the ball gingerly with just his thumb and his finger. He isn't so accustomed to picking up things covered in drool, yet. "There you are! Good boy!" He waits for both dogs to be utterly captivated by the ball before he throws it, and yes, it's the weakest, mostly flimsily attempt at an overhand throw that anyone has ever seen. "Go get it!"
"I was never allowed to have pets as a kid," Billy says, giggling as the two pups trip over one another, "I was always too sick. ... Speaking of which, how is the clinic? Is everyone okay?" He frowns, wiping his hand on his side.
“If y'throw it further, y'don't hafta throw it as /often/,” Micah informs with a chuckle as Obie pounces the ball, squeak-squeak-squeaking it the short /dive/ back to Billy's foot for another drooly ball-plop. Wag-tail. “Allergies, was it? Those don't bother y'none anymore?” A slow head-shake answers the question of the clinic. “Not as bad as it could'a been, t'be honest. Jax's shield contained the worst of it. Jax an' Flicker got ev'rybody out of the worst of it, too. Both of 'em been burned a bit. Was a paediatrician got a bit of it, too. But the nurse as was near Flicker moved pretty much out of the line of fire entirely. Folks is shaken up, though. Jane's on the warpath for new protocols t'prevent this kinda thing in the future.”
"Before I manifested," Billy nods, "I was pretty much bubble boy but now, the bleach I release cleanses the air around me of most irritants." He bends at the knees to retrieve the ball and throw it once more, mumbling something about how he *was* throwing far. "It's all so scary. And sad. But I'm glad Jax was there. He's so powerful," Billy side-peeks to get a read on Micah's expression, but is quickly distracted by two dogs at his feet. Again.
"I guess your genes found a way t'fill a need for you, in a way," Micah replies with a soft 'huh'. Obie quickly pounces the ball again to...drop on Billy's foot again. Wag? Wag? Whine? He might not be doing so well with sharing the toy. "It /is/ sad when folks'll attack a /medical/ facility...worse. S'posed t'be a safe an' healin' place. Nothin' but folks in need an' folks tryin' t'help." Micah's lips thin at this last. "It is good that he can protect folks. An' I know it's in 'im that he's gotta. I just hate...seein' 'im hurt an' hurt /bad/...again an' again."
"I know," Billy breathes out, sympathetically. Tugging the ball playfully out of Obie's mouth and tossing it again. The sad matter is, the toy is probably too big to fit in Taylor's mouth, anyway. "Did you two get to do anything to Valentine's Day, at least?" He smiles just faintly, trying to draw them away from the dismal topic. This time, he just remains lowered and waiting for the dogs, not bothering to stand.
Obie is perfectly happy to keep chasing the ball until he falls over from exhaustion. Bound! Pounce! Pant! Wag! “Curled up in 'is hospital bed for a bit once they was lettin' anybody in the buildin' t'visit. I was gonna make a dinner but... Just did it the next night an' brought in for the folks at the hospital instead,” Micah replies with a small shrug. The beagle /might/ be at risk of bowling Billy over as he comes in head-first for another ball delivery.
"Oh, well, that's nice. I'm sure everyone was grateful--!" Billy lets out a bit of a squeak, falling back into the tuft of snow. He grapples with Obie playfully, only to be ganged up on by both dogs. "Valentine's is so commercial, anyway," his voice drifts off with the ball as it flies through the yard. With a little hmf, the willowy young man pushes back up to his feet with a crooked smirk, "At least, that's what I tell myself."
"S'good t'be able t'feed folks when they ain't feelin' their best," Micah agrees with a nod before...suddenly moving toward Billy, getting a hand out to help. "Y'need a hand? Obie can get a little..." As if on cue, the beagle /thumps/ against Billy's chest, so happy to have friends on the ground! But then the ball is flying again and...priorities...so is the dog off after it. "It ain't one of m'important or favourite holidays. Mostly I see it as a reminder t'stop an' spend time appreciatin' folks. Not so much an excuse t'buy chintzy cards an' bad candy."
Billy takes the offered hand as Taylor serpentines between his feet, determined to keep up with Obie. "Oh!" Billy exclaims as he almost slips fully into Micah, bringing his other hand around to grab hold as well. Laughing, he watches the dogs shoot out into the yard, again. "Sorry. They're going to be like, really tired, at least." He beams, laughing more.
Brushing some snowy paw prints from his coat absently, Billy makes to step forward before turning brightly back to his companion, "Shall we head in? Game night is probably starting."
Micah takes a little stutter-step backward as he braces himself for accepting more of Billy's weight than anticipated, wrapping arms around to help keep them /both/ upright. “Ohgosh. Obie's kinda a...stupid but friendly oaf. 'Pologies if he squashed you a bit. S'just /very/ enthusiastic 'bout fetch. An' balls. An' squeaky things.” Taylor's coat and boots earn what was very likely not their first skeptical look of the evening. “S'a good idea t'get in 'fore the pups are froze, yeah. Clean ev'rybody off, do some gamin'. I'll prob'ly be 'round for the full clean-up since I didn't set up t'day. Step one: everybody gettin' warm, dry, an' full of tea an' cocoa. Step two: gamin'.” Giving a little whistle to summon the beagle, he leads the way back into Lighthaus.