The trek back to the Academy was pretty uneventful. Kyle held her hand while Misty hummed and led the way. It was much later now - the air felt cooler and the hubbub of the city had calmed considerably. No one really spoke, minus a few warnings for uneven sidewalks and intersections.
Cordelia's feet were starting to hurt again, perhaps wearing boots she wasn't used to was not the best choice. But, the thought of walking through the swamps in heels or even her nice boots was a trainwreck so perhaps this was the best scenario. It had been quite a long time since she'd exercised like this. It had been even longer since she'd voluntarily gone outside to enjoy the weather.
She fiddled with her sunglasses when she heard them pass by a group of people. Out of habit they formed a line, but Cordelia nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt arms wrap around her from behind. Goosebumps formed on her arms and that familiar tingle was there when Misty spoke directly into her ear.
"I'm hiding behind you. Keep walkin' please. I don't want anyone to see me."
Cordelia understood and gently nudged Kyle to walk in front of them. Misty stuck her hand in Cordelia's jacket pocket and in turn Cordelia slid her hand under the first layer of clothing on Misty's hip furthest from her. They were silent as they walked the rest of the way home. When Cordelia heard the same shriek of the iron gate opening, she relaxed.
Misty led her up the stairs in a weird promenade. It was a little awkward, but it was worth it just to walk with someone. They walked into the corridor and the door was locked behind them. Cordelia felt her cane being pushed into her hand, and thanked Kyle.
"How did you know it was Kyle? I'm sorry if it's rude to ask. But, it's pretty impressive." Misty called from what sounded like the kitchen.
Cordelia walked towards the bookcases in the common room and sat in one of the large plush chairs. The velveteen material was butter under her fingers, and she made sweeping motions as if to comfort it. She remembered drawing patterns in it when Fiona would yell. Occasionally she would curl into a ball and nap in the chair, but that was many moons ago.
"I can hear his footsteps. One of his feet drags a little when he walks. I can hear the difference between him and other people. It's something I could do as a child that I had to do as an adult. It's a skill I'm glad I honed, even if it was for piss poor reasons."
"That's an awfully specific skill to have." Misty bit into something that sounded like an apple. "I think I can do somethin' similar to it with animals."
"I learned it when I was a child and I wanted to know who was coming to my room. If I knew it was Myrtle, I knew I was going to get a present from her travels. If it was my mother on rare occasions, I pretended to be asleep." Cordelia's hand moved from the arm of the chair onto the bookshelf behind her slightly and she started to caress the old tomes.
"I'm sorry your Mama is so terrible. She must be pure evil to be so darned wretched to someone as sweet as you Miss Delia." Misty's voice got closer as she spoke. Then, Cordelia heard the sound of her sitting in the matching chair opposite her. The book she was holding moved from its spot and Cordelia was curious for a moment. The microwave turned on and hummed, breaking the silence after her emotional storytelling. After a few seconds the smell of popcorn filled the bottom floor and Cordelia's stomach snarled.
"I told Kyle to make us all some popcorn. I figured since it feels like it's going to storm again we could watch a movie. Especially since it gets so dark this late into the year. I don't know how to use your movie stuff, but I figure you could tell me and I could try?"
Cordelia smiled at that. It kind of felt like a sleepover of sorts. How shameful was it that her first sleepover would happen so late in life.
"I would love that! What do you want to watch?"
"I'll let you choose. It will take a while to make enough popcorn for all of us though. I figure I'd pass the time." The crackle of the spine gave away what she was doing. Cordelia's heart started beating quicker and her throat closed as if she was going to cry.
Misty took a deep breath and started to read aloud..
"'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents', grumbled Jo. lying on the rug.' 'It's so dreadful to be poor!' sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress. 'I don't think it's fair for some girls to have lots of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,' added little Amy, with an injured sniff."
Sometimes Misty stumbled over words, and a few times she needed to stop and restart a sentence. But, to Cordelia it was perfect. It had been so long, far longer than she'd been blind, since she'd read Little Women, but she would still consider it one of her favorite stories of all time. The small changes in Misty's voice - higher for Amy, lower for Jo - were likely unintentional, but they made it incredibly special nonetheless. There had been a summer in her youth where she'd abandoned hopes of making friends outside and had spent the entire season reading in the attic with Sybil.
Misty kept reading, her smooth southern voice swinging to and fro while neglecting to fully annunciate every gerund she encountered. Soon, Cordelia felt herself drifting into a sort of meditative state. Soon the smell of butter and salt wafted into the room and Cordelia's stomach rumbled in response.
"Ah, thanks Kyle." Misty said, shutting the book.
Cordelia stretched like a feline, her limbs trembling and then relaxing as she shook out the ache of sitting sideways in a chair. She stood and kicked her boots off in an uncharacteristically casual way. She moved forward and reached for the couch, which should be pretty close. Once her hand came into contact with the chilled leather, she walked around the corner and plopped into the lush cushion. The leather was cold against her body, but before she could even voice her concern, a knitted blanket was draped over her. A cold hand landed on her shoulder and she thanked Kyle for thinking of her.
Being pampered (was that considered pampering?) in her own home was a strange change for her. Granted it was just some popcorn and a blanket, but never had Cordelia felt this at peace. Her needs, as small as they seemed to be, were taken care of. Today a smile just seemed to be permanently etched on her face.
"What do you want to watch Miss Cordelia? I can guarantee I haven't seen anything you got. I've never ever used a television before."
"How do you plan on working it? I know they're complicated." Cordelia started to rise to assist.
"I got Kyle helpin' me. Everyone thinks that because sometimes his words get all bumbled up that he's an idiot or somethin'. But, I think he knows more than anyone realizes."
Cordelia nodded, a blush spreading across her cheeks. She had been properly chastised and made a note to give Kyle more credit.
"I have no preference. Well, actually. Can we avoid the thrillers? Missing my sight kind of makes those movies a little too real." Cordelia explained, a nervous hand fiddling with a knot on the blanket.
"Makes sense. I'll let Kyle pick. I don't know much about any movies."
Misty's voice got closer as she spoke. Cordelia tucked her feet underneath her and leaned into the corner pocket of the couch. The leather beside her groaned and the cushions dipped. The sound of fabric rustling around and various electronic noises filled the quiet room. A happy hum came from beside her and she felt her body relax at the low timber of the younger witch.
The previews started and a familiar score started to play. Once Cordelia recognized it, she laughed out loud.
"Jurassic Park? I haven't seen this in ages!" Cordelia smiled at the nostalgia.
"I ain't never seen it. Has it got dinosaurs?" Misty sounded amazed. "Daddy always said they were man's first big lie to the people."
"Yeah it does. Also, they were real. There's a lot of museums with the bones of them." Cordelia tried to keep her tone even. She was upset for the witch next to her. What kind of parents said dinosaurs weren't real?
"I believe ya. I think my Daddy was just against everything that goes against the Book. I can't wait to see this. How excitin'."