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Mercer smiled and took down a note. "Window it is." He murmured. He was impressed by her knowledge of birds. He hoped to add an extra detail to attract birds to the yard for her enjoyment. Then she asked about the flowers. He scratched his cheek sheepishly. In all honesty he found it a tad bit embarrassing that he could just look at a flower and being able to recognize it. It was useful when given landscaping work, yet it wasn't the type of things you could exactly show off with the boys around and so on. "Well, throughout the years flowers have developed a language of their own. Not only does each flower mean something, it can also vary on their color. Example a red poppy means pleasure while a white poppy means consolation. As pretty as they are willows mean sadness, and Forget-Me-Nots, as the name applies, mean to not forget someone and keep them in your memory. I could explain to you every flower that comes to mind but then we'd stand here until nightfall." Mercer smiled.

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Rowan was deeply interested in Mercer's knowledge about the flowers. It absolutely fascinated her and she couldn't stop smiling. Once he was done giving only a few bits of information, Rowan nodded.

"Wow..." She said with a smile of her own. Rowan just wanted to learn even more about the flowers. Maybe Mercer could teach her sometime.

"I know a little bit about Forget-Me-Nots!" Rowan said excitedly. "I read a story about it a while ago... There was a mercenary who loved a girl. The girl loved these unnamed flowers that were far away and so the mercenary went on a long perilous journey to find them. The girl waited for his return. The mercenary finally found the flowers after a long time hunting for them, but he died on the way back. Before he died he wrote a letter to the girl that he loved. A merchant found the letter and the flowers and delivered it to the girl. The letter said that he wanted her to never forget him, and to always remember him by the flowers. And then they named the flowers Forget-Me-Nots. Or at least, that's what I think."

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Mercer smiled as he listened to the story. He had never heard it before, but it was very beautiful. It filled him with a hint of guilt. He as a father hoped to one day read his daughter bed time stories before tucking her in. But in their first interaction after so many years it was the other way around. "That's a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with me." Mercer said. He pursed his lips, gripping the pencil tightly. "Alright. We have these covered. Anything else I should take a look at? Your father did mention a lab or something."

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Rowan chuckled after hearing Mercer's comments. It made her happy to know that someone was interested in, at least. Perhaps she could tell him other stories sometime.

"Thanks... And oh yeah! The lab is this way. He wanes do make That bigger for more room for his supplies and stuff. He's a scientist. It's pretty cool." With that, Rowan led him down the hallway after they existed the room once more. She led him down a flight of stairs and into a basement that almost looked like the interior of a spaceship with lap equipment everywhere.

"This is it." She said with a smile.

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Mercer's jaw dropped once they the lab. He hadn't seen so much complicated technology since the jail he recently busted out from. He didn't know what kind of scientist he was, maybe for medicine or engineering...hell, maybe even for the tower. Curiosity was overwhelming. "This place is amazing." He finally said. The way that she spoke proudly of her father's career once again brought him dread. How could he, a handyman of blue colored job could compare to a scientist? He didn't know. He carefully walked around the place, taking notes on where he could do the renovation without causing so much of a mess. He was careful to not bump into anything, tapping on the walls to determine an estimate which ones were strong enough to not collapse in the expansion. "What kind of scientist is he?"

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Rowan watched as Mercer marveled at the lab. She decided to sit down on an empty space on re lab table in the middle. She looked around herself, taking in all the things in the lab.

"He creates medicine... And I think he does a tiny bit of genetics too. My dad doesn't tell me too much of what he does. Actually, I'm never allowed in here. He's only letting me in now to show you around. My dad is very private of his work." Rowan said with a shrug. She understood why Vargas was so private. After all people liked to steal things, and such information Vargas has could be dangerous.

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"Right." Mercer nodded. If he were in the same position he would have done the same. Such grand secrets and medicines would not only be useful, but scandalous and dangerous for them to get out inappropriately. To have a single thing out of place could spell trouble. Yet he wondered of what exactly. What were they about? What kind of medicine? He hopes his worst suspicions were just that; suspicions. "Alright. I got the measurements. By the end your dad should have even more space to work on...whatever it is he works on." Mercer said with a cheerful smile. "Anywhere else you wish to show me? If you aren't allowed down here it must feel odd to be in here in the first place."

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Rowan continued to look around herself; trying to take in as much detail as she could. She couldn't really remember the last time she was in here.

"It does feel kinda strange. I always wanted to come in here when I was little. Even now I still try to steal peeks here and there." She said with a chuckle, sliding off of the table. Once Mercer asked about any other destinations, Rowan held a hand to her chin in thought.

"Hm... I don't think he wants to do any more work but I'll show you outside in the backyard. It's really pretty. I'll show you some flowers I planted myself there too! The greenhouse is my favorite though."

With that, Rowan went towards the stairs to go up.

"My family's pretty small. Just me and my dad. But I think of Lucy as an aunt. Her older brother as an uncle and little sister as another aunt too. What's your family like?" Rowan asked, looking down and behind to Mercer as she went up.

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Mercer nodded and followed. The backyard would definitely be something g he had to see. He would have to expand the greenhouse and make it bigger as well as connect it to the house. When Rowan asked about his family, he was a bit hesitant, but decided it wouldn't do harm. "My family is very small as well. There is key wife, my daughter and I. My wife is a teacher's assistant that helps children with special needs. She's deaf, so we speak using sign language. When we first met I had to carry a notebook until I could memorize the language to communicate. She's...the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the whole wide world." Mercer cooed. Though Mercer was a tough looking guy, if there was a weakness, it was his wife. When it came to her the rest of the world seemed to dim compared to her. She made him the happiest man in the world. The same could have been said for his daughter, but the events that occurred had changed the plan completely. "My daughter is smart and spunky. She definitely inherited her mother's eyes and her love for nature."

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Rowan smiled as she listened to Mercer's story. Honestly she wanted to just melt at how romantic it was. "Aww..." She chimed as they walked. "That's really sweet. Maybe you could teach me sign language sometime? And I hope I get to meet your daughter too! It sounds like we have a lot in common. Maybe you could ask my daddy if you can invite them for dinner sometime. He wouldn't mind at all." After a few turns and whatnot, Rowan led Mercer to the back door of the house which was a long glass sliding door. From the door alone, one could see the backyard. The grass was very healthy, but it was a sort of grayish green color which gave the backyard a sort of peaceful aura. There were gray flat stones on the ground forming a small path, which led to a small water fountain in the middle as well as a small little gazebo with a bench swing inside. The other side of the backyard was a fire pit with chairs around a glass table in front of it for eating and a grill right next to it for cooking. To the sides of the backyard was little patches of colorful flowers, which complimented the grass.

"There's a grill there but my dad never uses it. He doesn't know how to but it's really funny watching him try to figure it out!" Rowan said with a chuckle.

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Mercer smiled a bit. “Yeah, maybe. It will be most likely to be my wife. My daughter, not so much.” By this point Mercer felt that he couldn’t be any more impressed. He was wrong. The backyard was heaven. It was absolutely stunning and bigger than the parks that the Bronze district had around. He shook his head and gently nodded at Rowan’s statements. “Uh…cooking on a grill does take a special touch. It can lead to delicious food…or ashes for dinner.” He mentioned. He walked around, glancing as he looked for the spot where the new, grand greenhouse would be at. He found a nice spot, walking over around it before taking mental notes on how he would make it and connect it to the house. It would be a grand masterpiece…he just hoped he could make it up to standards to the rest of the yard. “This place is beautiful. It’s like a small piece of paradise just outside your door.” He admitted. “You must’ve had lots of fun when you were younger here, just running around and exploring.”

 

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Rowan looked around outside. It was a cloudy somewhat chilly day, although it brought about a feeling of serenity in the backyard.

"He makes dinners of ash." Rowan said with a small shake of her head. She picked up a small tennis ball from a nearby bucket and brought two chairs over to sit on.

"Here." Rowan said, placing the chair next to Mercer and herself. "This place is great when you need inspiration or some peace." She slowly went silent when asked about when she was younger.

"Oh it's fun... It's pretty lonely though." Rowan said with a small frown.

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Mercer sat down on a chair and noticed her sadness. Being raised an only child was a lonely experience, something he understood. "I get what you mean. Sometimes a sibling or two, as much as they might annoy you as you all grow up, can do good. Heck, even a pet, just something to keep you company. I didn't have any siblings, nor we could have any pets. The most I could do was to have a pet rock named Ester. Good listener, but doesn't do much." Mercer joked. He wondered if she could have felt equally as lonely if she was raised with them. Maybe? They hadn't even thought about having any other kids. Not since their first and only was taken away. He decided to cheer her up further if possible. "Do you have any rackets? We can play if you want."

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Rowan listened to Mercer's words and couldn't help but smile. She was happy to have someone understand how she felt. Sure, there was Vargas, however Vargas never felt such loneliness with Lucy's father in his life. She always heard so many stories on how they were partners in crime... And the stories made her wish she had something like that as well.

"Well, I never really asked my dad about getting a pet... Maybe I will. It... Probably won't be a rock though." She said with a chuckle. Upon being asked about rackets, Rowan went to look inside the bucket where she got the ball.

"All the backyard toys are kept in here... Got it!" She took out a blue and green racket, and showed them to Mercer. "Pick one!"

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Mercer pondered and picked up the green racket. "Alright. I don't know how to play as well so go easy on me." Mercer chuckled. He took a few steps back, gaining a distance between the two. They didn't had a net, but they wouldn't need it anyways. He moved the racket awkwardly as he got used to swinging it. "I hope I'm holding this right." He murmured. He smiled up at Rowan. "Alright, her ready." He said, throwing the ball into the air before gently smacking it with the racket, sending it flying at Rowan.

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Rowan chuckled as she took the other racket. Once Mercer hit the ball, Rowan began to hit back and followed up with another hit each time he hit it to her. It was so simple, and yet she enjoyed it. She wished she could do such things with Vargas more often.

"This is silly... But fun." She said with a small giggle, hitting the ball back once more."

"It looks fun." Came Lucy, who was leaning against the doorframe of the screen door with a grin on her face. Rowan looked back. "Lucy!"

Lucy chuckled and crossed her arms. "I came because you slowpokes were taking forever. I almost started to get worried."

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Mercer was having so much fun as it was, Lucy showing up came as a surprise. "Ah Lucy." Mercer said, missing the tennis ball as it bounced off his head. He rubbed his forehead and chuckled a bit. "Sorry that we took long. Rowan showed me around the house to take measurements. When we got here we couldn't help but to take a break." Mercer smiled bashfully. A thought came to him, and he glanced up at Lucy. "Hey, actually. If I give you a letter, and you happen to walk by the neighborhood, think you can give it to my wife?...I kind of forgot to tell here I was staying to work." Mercer said. In reality he just wanted to let her know that he was alive, and let her in on what was going on...who knows, maybe when the time came...they could be a family all again.

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