Howard never truly found himself partaking in activities humans did, unless it was something John took him too or if The Guild was partaking in what Lord Francis described as a 'group activity'. And yet here he was, slowly trailing after his fellow guildsman as they walked through the trails of what she deemed a cemetery- the scenery only left him with so many questions but seeing as how his companion hadn't spoken a word yet he decided silence would be in his best interest. As did keeping a distance from the horse who's reins she held in her grip. Washington Irving. Yes, she was as quiet as him most days but even as a god he couldn't help how her presence always piqued his interest and curiosity. It was something he ruled out to be a human reaction, nothing worth noting after all and yet- somehow, some way the two that kept his attention the most were always John and the woman he trailed after. The two he was around the most within The Guild despite his contract being with Francis, but if he wanted him around them so be it, who was he to judge the decisions of their leader when all he wished was to return to the ocean.

"You're quiet." Her voice finally broke through their silence- something so quiet like a bell but still a commanding presence that brought the god from his thoughts and to reality; he didn't realized she had stopped walking and looked back in his direction- though she had no expression on her face or head to begin with, it was almost as if it were there her eyes would be saying 'are you distracted?' The notion almost made him snort but instead he shrugged and slowly caught up to her.

"Apologies… Conversation is lacking when I am around it seems…" He replied, nodding to her and continuing alongside her once he had caught up and she continued even with Ichabod's quiet noise of protest seeing him draw nearer- he couldn't blame the creature but it was annoying when animals could tell what he truly was. "You've been quiet as well." It got her to laugh, quite a shock even if it was brief.

"I don't mind it, we aren't conversational creatures, Howard." The veiled woman replied after such a brief laugh, the hand holding onto the reins of that animal, Ichabod, loosened as she patted it on the neck to give permission for it to wander. Were...all creatures like that? He shook his head and banished that thought from his mind; he'd ask about it later, it wasn't too important but that was besides the point. Washington had started to walk off again and he, of course, followed like a lost puppy. Letting her lead the way while they continued their walk, Howard found himself growing irritated- the air was stifling and it was getting too cold. What was it with the changing of the seasons that made everything so irritating and uncomfortable? It was only proving to make him sleepy, more than usual and it was times like these he could go back to the ocean to sleep. But he kept his thoughts elsewhere, he knew he couldn't go back, not yet anyway.

They walked further into the Cemetery before the two stopped and Washington broke away to wander around, watching her movements- how she carried herself, how she stopped every so often to let those gloved fingers of hers touch upon the trees, headstones- whatever was around them; there was no smile to be seen from underneath the black veil that hid what was left of her neck, what was left of her nonexistent head. He remembered her telling him that normally people aren't usually headless, that was why she hid herself away. But they were alone, so why hide herself now? Humans were complicated creatures, he could feel himself getting a headache just from thinking on the subject a bit too hard. How annoying.

"Irving?" It was Howard who finally broke the silence between them again, going to her side and letting curiosity take the lead- hands going to remove the facial covering she always wore just as her own came to hold his wrists, almost stopping him from taking it off. Why? He wanted to see. And nobody was around so it made no sense to hide what she always hid away.

Humans made no sense to him.

"Howard, don't." A quiet protest from her- shoulders rising almost defensively but he only gave her the slightest tilt of his head, "please." Even quieter but that didn't stop him, he removed her hands from his wrists and slowly went to hold onto the fabric that obscured her vision, that obscured her face. No protests followed this action and her shoulders relaxed, so she WANTED it to be moved, she WANTED her face to be seen. Another instance in which humans were confusing creatures, but he continued to move it until nothing was in the way- seeing the feeble wispy remnants of her usual smoky neck where her head should be. His expression never changed but actions spoke loudly from what John had told him.

"...I see your face… Is that so… wrong?"

"No, I- I suppose not." Washington finally moved to fully and properly remove her veil, setting it down beside some flowers and wandering off a ways; thankfully the trees hid them well if they wanted to show parts of themselves they didn't show off to the rest of the world- though even she'd agree that seeing something such as himself wouldn't sit right with anyone. But he couldn't help that, when people called upon Cthulhu from R'lyeh to worship him things would go south regardless of sacrifice or not, but that was all for when/if he was awake… Sometimes he could sleep like the dead. (Literally.)
And so back to their momentary unspoken silence they went- almost as if they knew if the other would say something when they opened their mouth to speak (even if she hadn't one), they knew. But focus had been drawn to the distance, seeing two strangers approaching a headstone to place flowers- another instance that he didn't understand…

"They're grieving." Washington finally made her way back over to him, her hands resting atop of one another in front of her; she continued, "Before you ask- yes, they do this for people they've lost. If I were to take a gander you've never seen this?"

He nodded.

"I figured as much. When one grieves or goes to see a deceased member of their family, hell, even a deceased friend- flowers are usually tradition when one goes to visit their resting place." She explained, a shrug of her shoulders, "Sometimes they leave food, perhaps even gifts, whatever to keep their deceased company I suppose. I never really understand what happens in the modern setting anymore, but it's what I get for being among the dead myself."

Oh right, she wasn't like John or the other members of The Guild- she was among the dead.

"So you leave… flowers as an offering…?" Howard couldn't help but find that ridiculous but humans always had a weird way of showing their appreciation for things. It earned him another laugh that he couldn't help the amused eyebrow raise that it brought forth, "Humans are… interesting creatures."

"I can agree with that. I don't even know what to expect from them and yet we surround ourselves with the living and humane every day. Bound to them we are not, though here we are."


Washington simply shrugged after that, turning back to watch the scene- he had to gauge she must have been thankful no one could see them so far within the cemetery; that would have been a nasty sight if someone caught a glimpse of her (or himself for that matter). But she simply took ahold of his hand and guided him away into the trees, they didn't need to be interrupted by any outside forces with their small yet ever so brief getaway from their colleagues.

"We needn't disturb them, come along Howard." She hummed softly, going from holding his hand to linking their arms- almost letting their feet guide them while her horse simply went where it pleased so long as it could see it's owner so long as he didn't get near him. Fine by him, animals weren't his friend either, and he was more focused on the former conversation the two had but a moment ago, so he decided to bring it up again the further away they got from where she had abandoned the black veil that hid herself from the world.


"You can call me by my name, Howard- I do the same for you."

"Apologies, Washington…" A pause, she was right- they truly weren't conversational creatures. "I have a question."

She turned to face him, motioning with her hand for him to proceed and when he didn't Washington's neck puffed a small cloud of smoke- he didn't want that, a verbal response was what he wanted. "Proceed, Howard." and it was what he got.

"Flowers… do you leave them for those who… you don't see for a lifetime?" Poor choice of words but it seemed to be in the right direction, "Or, as you put it… grieving?" Confusing… it was irritating.

Washington placed her free hand where her chin would be as she thought for a moment before shrugging, "I suppose, if that's how it registered in your mind I don't want to confound you or the like but yes. Sometimes when you haven't seen someone for a long time- it's a good way to show you've missed them. Sometimes out of a gesture of love."

Hm… So there was more than one occasion for this sort of exchange. Another nod as he processed this, it was confusing but perhaps after a nap it would make sense, but he listened nonetheless as she continued. They were out of love, grief, if someone missed somebody- the list went on but he never commented on how odd it was, he'd seen her quarters within the guild- the same blossoms she spoke of were always contained in a box and never within a vase like they were in Fitzgerald's office. It was strange, but he couldn't complain- it kept them alive in a different way.

"I see. Most of the time when one decides to show their love for me- I get a dead body or fowl blood. Sometimes multiple." Dead words to match the truth but it was the truth, followed by an innocent question- "would you leave them for me…? Your flowers…?" Well it was enough to make her stop and tilt her 'head' to the side in thought, watching her straighten out while laughing again.

"If you would allow me, I would even leave them to drift on the ocean, Howard." Her hands went to hold onto his face- a gesture never seen or given… It was nice. Even a god had to lean into the cold unfeeling hands of the headless woman before him, even without expressions or a face so much emotion was being given to him. Adoration, Worship- not that kind he would receive as a great old one, Loyalty; there was so much he didn't know where to begin so all he gave in return was silence. She'd understand anyway. An understanding, unspoken silence if he remembered correctly. Gods above he could fall asleep like this-

"Howard?" Silence broken. And a reminder he couldn't sleep for long, or at all- at least Washington was gentle about it...


"...Shall we head back? Or what?" Washington removed her hands from his face, much to his disappointment before she went back to holding his arm, "I don't need you falling asleep on me, Howard." She gently admonished him, only earning a soft grunt in return. He was aware of his… habits but truly, he had done well up to this point in staying awake so she could at least take note of that.

"We can continue… As long as there's no eyes around. It's irritating, almost like breathing." Howard replied, "I do not look forward to returning to Lord Francis or the others so soon… irritating."

If she could smile, she would have- but Washington just hummed in response, beginning to walk with him again through the Cemetery. Who knew something so filled with grief would be the perfect setting for a break from The Guild and everything to come with them, a nice reprieve before having to go back and fulfill a contract that would be null and void in the coming future upon their departure and arrival within Yokohama. And from there? Who knows.

"We have to go back sooner or later- but I do agree… I'd much rather take a reprieve away from them than to go back so soon. Besides, I rather like your company, Howard," she nodded, gently squeezing his arm, "come along- there's plenty more where these headstones came from."

"Of course."