Happy Birthday, Mr. Krupalia

Damir stammers and stutters for a second with a big, stupid grin on his face, then manages to spit out, "What are you doing here?" Emby replies that she's here for his birthday. He jokingly picks on Ferella for asking him to wear his armor, then he, Ferella, and Emby journey up to her room to chat. Damir removes his armor, and they talk about Mount Pon and Damir's trip back from Mount Pon. After they chat for a while, Mrs. Mocmar asks if they would like some lemonade and Ferella insists on helping her make it. They leave the room, and Emby and Damir are left alone in what becomes an uncomfortable silence. Emby asks Damir about his music, and they chat for a minute, but Emby quickly realizes Damir's discomfort despite his attempts to hide it. His bluff about being disappointed in missing an evening with her is dismissed as BS; Damir tries to worm his way out, but succeeds only in making Emby upset with him (two 1's in a row on Bluff checks). Damir buys himself some time to think by playing "Tears" for her (Perform 23), and she is taken aback by the emotion in the song. The following conversation then occurs:
Damir: "I really have no clue how to put this, so I'm just going to try to blurt this out. All I ask is that you hear me out and don't say anything until I've finished." *pauses* *not quite looking at Emby* "I wrote this at Mount Pon… . I realized there that… I… . I didn't know until you were leaving that I would miss you quite so much. I didn't want to say anything, because you've got enough to deal with already, and I knew that you wouldn't be expecting this and woulnd't feel the same way. You see, I've fallen in love with you… ." "Now, you don't have to say anything. I already know what you would say, but… I just don't like holding back from you. I WANTED to tell you the truth."
Emby: Her eyes were already wide from the sheer emotion behind that song… frankly, you were starting to scare her by speaking so hesitatingly after such a powerful song. The face around her eyes goes from mounting concern to utter surprise, at this last sentance. Emby opens her mouth, then closes it a few times, unable to think of anything to say whatsoever, though she desperately wants to say the RIGHT thing here, whatever it may be.
Damir: "Look, I know you weren't expecting that… . You don't have to say anything."
Emby: "Well… I…" *thinking feverishly…* "You're right… I wasn't expecting it… I… are you sure?" *winces, like she'd just bitten into a lemon*
Damir: "Yes… I'm sure. It's okay, though, Emby, I know you don't feel the same way. Don't… don't worry about it. I didn't want you to worry about it. Just… pretend I didn't say anything."
*half-hearted smile*
Emby: "I… no… look…" she puts her hand on her forehead and takes a deep breath. "This is important, Damir. This is probably the most real thing you've ever said to me. I'm NOT going to pretend like it didn't happen."
Damir: "Look, Emby, I know you're going to tell me you don't love me. I don't expect you to. But still… I suppose it's better that you know… . I just… I really don't want to hear you say what I know you're going to say."
Emby: *Sighs and looks at Damir, kinda shrinking a little bit* "I don't *know* what I'm going to say," she says exasperatedly, "how can you know?"
At that point, Ferella knocked on the door, interrupting. Damir got the door for her and mistakenly took her glass of lemonade (she had been listening at the door). Damir started to drink the lemonade and asked Emby to elucidate on what she had been studying at Mount Pon. The two talked for a while (mainly Emby talked and Damir asked occasional questions), and Ferella mainly listened. They talk for a while, then Emby decides to show the two around Tantor. To keep Ferella interested, Damir jokes with Emby and Ferella lightly as they wander. Emby begins to interrogate Damir about various preferences (architectural, fashion, etc), and he answers. Soon, Ferella starts answering as well, and she and Damir begin to lightly debate. Around 4, Ferella suggests they all go to a pub for a drink "to steady Damir's nerves." Damir says he doesn't really want a drink but will go along; Emby suggests a cafe that serves alcohol. They chat at the cafe for a while, then go with Damir to his meeting. He arrives early, but the guildmaster makes him wait. After about half an hour, he decides that he doesn't feel like waiting and doesn't want the job that badly; he therefore leaves. Emby and Ferella briefly try to talk him into staying, but their hearts aren't in it. Ferella decides she would like to go home; Damir talks her into showing Emby her place. After the brief tour, Damir suggests that Ferella come with Emby and him and celebrate his birthday, early though it may be. After all, he is no longer busy tonight! Ferella, however, declines, making excuses about being tired. While walking back to the Mocmars' house with Emby, he talks to her for a while about his plans to go to Nevermoor. She is surprised to hear this, but much more surprised when Damir actually presents a very well-reasoned and well-thought-out plan for his trip; in fact, she can find no holes in it. Damir nearly succeeds in keeping her otherwise occupied during the trip back to her house; as they are getting close, however, she asks, "Did you mean what you said?" Damir confirms that he did, but that he also knows and understands that she doesn't feel the same way. He tells her that he expects nothing but felt that she deserved to know the truth. She then twists the dagger further by telling him that it's not out of the question, she just has no clue what to feel about him because she feels she doesn't really know him. Damir and Emby decide to leave the conversation at that and return to her house, where they chat idly with her parents until Malicor shows up to take Emby back to Mount Pon. Damir then thanks the Malicors for their generosity and sets off for Gwivonna. He, thankfully, has an uneventful trip.

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