What's Cookin'?

Xanadu Weyr - Dragon's Rest Farm
In contrast to the gigantic barn is the smaller homestead. The structure is a small two-level cottage, complete with a covered porch that sweeps around the exterior. The wooden slats of the house seem freshly painted, as if this old place has been brought back to life by careful hands. A chair-swing sways beneath the shade of the porch, moving with the slightest breeze off the sea. Inside, the quaint space has been decked out with the comforts one might expect. Fluffy rugs cover hardwood floors, and finely carved furniture dominates most of the spaces. A few things here and there seem older, heirlooms that now have a new place to call home.

Everything within the cottage is comfortable, rather than elaborate. Though it may have once been empty, there is now a warm, welcoming feel to the place. Many large windows and sliding doors look out upon both the training field and across the road, a view of the beach and the sea beyond. Even on the hottest days, these can be opened to let in air and leave the rooms cool and comfortable. Set back a ways from many of the other Weyrbarns along the roadway, there is plenty of room for those who need a bit of space and privacy. There is plenty of space, leaving room to grow, to learn, to expand, and most of all… it is a warm, safe place to come home to when the day's tasks are done.

Soriana's… at home! And it's barely even dinnertime. How strange. She's sitting on her couch, with… oh, wait. She's reading something. So she's probably not really truly home, just doing her work here. Because… what, the office is too crowded? Too nois- "Enough, Haruhi!" she calls into the kitchen where a certain gold firelizard is complaining vehemently about… something. Probably the fact that there's a pot on the stove and it's (gasp!) bubbling. Also steaming around the edges of the lid. So strange and confusing! And not okay. According to Haruhi.

Ka'el has been doing night flying and flaming with hand-picked members of different wings for the past few days. It's been usual for him to come late and fall into bed after just barely stripping himself of his riding gear. So for him to come home now at an hour that can be deemed reasonable is unusual! At least, for this week. But here he is, coming through the front door, carrying a small bag filled with lumpy things in one hand while the other remains empty. No paperwork today! Maybe. Or maybe it's all in his head to mull over and think through, which is exactly what it looks like he's doing now. Thinking. Thinking. The door closes. "Is something burning?" It's not quite a burning smell that he smells, but..hey, Haruhi's going on. Something must be wrong, right?

This week. Today. For once. Soriana's… well, she's not exactly expecting it, which is probably why the door opening goes unnoticed. Galaxy-rider Ka'el could complain about her security practices! …but, uh, who would be dumb enough to try to break in during daylight? And it is still daylight, shockingly enough. Daylight, if only barely, and they're both here. Clearly, something is up… but what? Haruhi has (squawk!) her opinions on the matter, mantling wings at the pot. "What?" Soriana says, looking up. Blink. Ka'el! And… burning? "Is it?" It better not be. But. She sets the book down and swings to her feet, striding to the kitchen to grab a heat-absorbent towel and wave Haruhi away (indignation!) so she lift up the lid of the pot. Inside is ground herdbeast mixed with beans, barley, and whatever else was in that bundle of 'meal, just add water and fire'. The water (that she added) hasn't entirely boiled away or absorbed or whatever (from the fire) yet. "…nope." Not burnt. Though it could probably use a stir.

Give him a minute. Galaxy-rider Ka'el may surface yet. As it is currently, Weyrleader Ka'el's mind is jumbled with enough stuff for him to not immediately register that someone didn't lock the door. But…Rukbat isn't exactly wholly disappeared behind the horizon yet. The Time of the Baddies is not upon them right now. Maybe she'll be spared? He follows her towards the kitchen, sparing a look to Haruhi while setting that cloth bag down upon the tabletop. But, more than the gold, the pot itself that Soriana checks turns his attention, and he glances from it, to her, then back to the steaming pot. "…You're cooking?" Heh. He didn't mean to sound as confused as he does right then. Soriana cooks! .. Like…sometimes. Boiling eggs and toasting toast counts as cooking, right? Sandwiches is more like…putting pieces together, but…still a form of cooking, yes? He loosens his tie (because yes he wears ties to work sometimes. He's the Weyrleader!) and gives her a quizzical look. "Company coming?" Cuz that's a reason to cook, right?

So if she's going to stir it, she needs a spoon. Like… this one. That is on the counter from when she stirred it before. Soriana pokes that spoon in at the hot… stuff. It's like oatmeal! Except with… meat and beans and stuff instead of oats. But it's the same principle, and she knows how to make oatmeal. (Also how to add butter and sugar and fruit to the oatmeal, after she makes it.) As well as how to cook… uh… other stuff. Like… salad! She could make salad, if she ate salad, which she doesn't, so that theory hasn't really been tested. Still! She could. If she wanted. Sothere. She turns to Ka'el at his perplexity, arching an eyebrow. "Yeah." Real cooking from a real Soriana! …more or less. She turns back to the pot, and there's maybe a faint upward twitch of her lips. "Nobody's coming." So she's cooking because…? "Kitchens were crazy today. They've started doing the baking for the Gather."

Nobody's coming. Okay. Uh. So she's cooking becaaaaauuuuse… Oh! There's the reason. Crazy kitchens. Gather. Ka'el nods in understanding now. "Oh, that's why it took lunch forever to get to the office.." he muses as he wanders closer to her, peering over her shoulder at the … stew? that she's made. There's definitely stuff in there! Beans and meat and…other things that probably taste good together. Hopefully. At least it doesn't smell burned! It's probably very good, right? His stomach is currently empty as Ka'el forgot to stop in for dinner, or perhaps he was discouraged because of the slowness of lunch. Whatever the case, her cooking is perfect timing! "We've been gifted with tubers," he says with a nod to the bag he's brought with him. "From ol' Gustav down the way. I expect a favor to be asked from either one've us in the coming days." That's the only reason a ranking person gets gifts, isn't it? And… wait a second. "Why are you here?"

"Pretty much," Soriana agrees. Lunch took forever, dinner… she'd probably still be waiting. "I think something broke, too, I saw some of the techs heading that way." She shrugs slightly. Not her problem unless someone makes it so, and they'd rather not have her underfoot either way! "So yeah. I'm cooking." She sets down the lid and slips her arm around Ka'el as he comes closer, giving the stuff another stir (because the instructions were 'stir occasionally', and ignoring it for a while then stirring a bunch is practically the same, right? It averages out. Or should). It does smell distinctly foodlike! She glances to the bag, and smirks. "Tubers." Those require cooking! Though she can probably figure out how to do a baked tuber. Maybe even, if she gets fancy, how to chop them up and put them in a frying pan. "What do you give the weyrleader who has everything? …tubers." She laughs, and shakes her head before leaning over to kiss Ka'el's cheek. "I live here." Duh. She smirks as she thwacks the spoon on the edge of the pot to shake off the foodstuffs before putting the lid back on to let it finish cooking. "My mom said, if I was going to be reading how to do my job, I might as well do it at home." A shrug. "She had a point. So what's your excuse?"

"Apparently," he answers to her tuber remark. It's every Weyrleader's dream! Tuber sacks for gifts! They're the everything meal. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. A midnight snack. You can fry 'em, boil 'em, bake 'em, saute 'em. You can't go wrong with tubers. Ka'el vaguely smirks as he leans against her, pressing his lips to the side of her neck after he's kissed. "You live here?" he echoes brows raised. "Huh. Never would've guessed." Another smirk as he leans away, eyeing that spoon and the food residue on it. Mmm to lick or not to lick, that is the question. They don't have company coming, so it wouldn't be wholly unsanitary. They share germs all the time! In the end, he swipes a finger against the spoon and suckles upon the tip. Mmm … stewy. "That is a good point," he says after he's pulled his finger from his mouth. He moves away from her to put the tubers away in a lower cabinet. "Plenty," he answers, speaking of his excuses. "Haycinath was startin' to look a little bright. Called off tonight's practice," he says, speaking of the little green as if she'd know who she is. "Second, got a letter I've to deal with. About Kinden."

…well. A skilled cook can't go wrong with tubers. Soriana and Ka'el? They could so go wrong with tubers. In so many ways. "I know," Soriana replies about her living here. "I'm very subtle about it." Those socks tossed around at the foot of the bed? Subtle. She smirks as he chooses the quasi-sanitary version of licking. The one where they can pretend, because there's no obvious slobber… and tilts her head with a questioning look. Well? Is it edible? Or is he going to keel over and die now that he's tasted what's secretly a pot of poison she's brewing up to take vengeance on those who've slighted her? The safe marks are on the 'edible' option, but… y'never know! Sometimes the longshot bet takes it all, so one can't always play it safe. When it comes to glowing greens, though… Soriana nods. "Better to avoid the distraction." If she recognizes the name (or doesn't) she doesn't comment. Maybe she's just distracted by reason number two. "Mmh." She glances to the pot - still simmering - then back to Ka'el. "Reading? Or writing?"

Ka'el hasn't keeled over and died yet, so unless Soriana's put some slow release poison in that food of hers, he's safe! And it was probably good since he didn't do something like gag. That's usually a good sign, right? But he's not going in for a second taste, though possibly that's because he's keeping himself busy with those tubers. And once they're put away he's heading to the refrigeration unit to get himself a bottle of something to drink. And then, he's busying himself with drinking it. And soon enough, he'll find something else to occupy his hands and mind with so that his mind is not wholly focused on his brother. Or that green that he hopes to avoid. Divide and conquer. "Reading first. Writing second," he answers before plopping down upon a kitchen chair, drink set on the table so that he can pull off his boots. "Release papers.. It'll be two turns in another month and a half, two months. I've to go over the terms N'shen put in place. Confer an' decide if they've been met satisfactorily. Sign his paperwork when the time comes.." He frowns at the floor as he sets one boot aside. "I don't even know if he knows I'm Weyrleader."

Keeping busy… is sometimes a good thing. Now? One of those times. Soriana listens, though she takes the towel and folds it, mostly so she isn't just staring at Ka'el while he multitasks in the attempt to avoid thinking about things too much. She nods to the ordering - it's a sensible one - then starts occupying herself with going back and forth to that table to put down some bowls and spoons and other things that'll be useful for eating. Because that's what one does with food. One eats it, whether it's a fancy feast or a stew sort of thing or… bread and water rations during hard labor. Release papers. "Has it…" really been that long? It has. "Huh." Time… has dragged and tumbled and done all sorts of things, but it's definitely moved. She supposes she can see it, now that it's brought to mind, and she drags her mind back to what Ka'el's saying. Terms and paperwork and… "He probably doesn't. I mean… I'm sure they know the Weyrleader there." But Kinden doesn't know, because… "Ka'el. But I doubt he… cared to notice that." The change of name? That his brother caught (ha) a promotion? …either, really. She pauses, looks to him, and her tone's a calm one. Neutral. "You're going to send him home?" Because really… it's his choice. N'shen put the terms in place, but he's not Weyrleader anymore. Ka'el is.

Bowls. Spoons. Ka'el watches as Soriana sets two places for them at the table. He should probably do something helpful. Like…get a glass for her drink since he already has one. Or go stir that pot because maybe it needs more stirring. But all he does do is continue to sit there, both boots now pulled off and set to one side of his chair along the with single bootknife he's unattached, tie loose and draped around his neck, and eyes distantly unfocused on something that cannot be seen. Wow. Time really has rolled on. He hadn't realized how much of it until that letter came. Sealed and stamped. Official. Bearing a name that haunted his dreams the first few months after, but then..so much happened since. Seryth's flight. Luraoth's flight. Weyrlings. Paradise River. Kiena's Betweening incident. And so many more things inbetween that Kinden faded from his mind. N'shen and Thea's warnings were no longer relevant. Til now. Eyes flit up to Soriana's face at her question of what he'll do. "Do I have any other choice? How would look for me to keep him there if he's paid his due as promised?" He leans forward now, towards her while still in his seat to curl an arm around her upper legs and pull her betwixt his. His head tips up to look at her. "But he's not going to go anywhere before I see him. I've my own terms he'll have to agree to, the first of which is to never shardin' step foot in the Weyr proper."

Soriana could always demand that Ka'el help, but she doesn't. Not this time, and it has been… well, not a lot of time by some measures, but it's been a not a lot of time that's seen (in which they've seen) a lot happen. Ka'el's weyrleader now, and so when he asks if he has a choice, Soriana tilts her head and gives a shrug, a lift of one shoulder and the corner of her mouth to go with it. Sure he does. Would it be fair of him? No, but he's Weyrleader, and this is his domain. If the Weyrwoman doesn't argue, there's a great deal the Weyrleader could do before the Conclave would even think to get involved on behalf of that holder. It… might not look good. Soriana does nod to that, as she steps closer. She drapes her arm around Ka'el's shoulders, head turned down to look at him as her fingers splay over his upper back. "Don't tell him you're Weyrleader," she says after a moment. "Not at first." The corner of her mouth tugs sideways. "Just say you wanted to see him. And… see what he says." To Ka'el. Or will it still be Kale? Certainly not The Weyrleader. "If he's going to…" Her lips curl, the thought unpleasant. "If he hasn't changed, you'll know." For all the good that knowledge might do him. It's not like there aren't already reasons to toss and turn at night. Why add another? …because he can't help adding it, can he? He doesn't have a choice. So he might as well know what he's dealing with. "…and then you can tell him the terms." Like never coming back here. That's a start.

Don't tell him? That's one way to approach it. To approach him. Masking the truth, for a little while, in order to uncover the truth of his brother's feelings. To avoid the what could be sugar-coated version of him that may surface upon knowledge that Ka'el is the one in charge. Ka'el is the one who'll decide his fate. He leans forward and turns his head a little, resting his cheek and side of his face against her stomach. "It's weird not knowin' what to expect from him. Goin' in blind…" He mirthlessly smirks. "I don't know if I'd even believe him if he looked … sorry about anything. If he was .. remorseful or apologetic or any've what he never would've been before, I'd figure he was lying, even if he was telling the truth. I'd almost be happier if he told me he hated me. That he was happy that he did what he did and that he'd do it again if given the chance. Only because I'd know he was being honest. … But I wouldn't really be happy." For obvious reasons. He vaguely nuzzles against her, just a slight up and down shifting of his head against her clothing. "I'll try it, though. See what he says to Just Ka'el and go from there."

Maybe it's a good way, maybe it's not, but… maybe it's just that Soriana wants to know. Not that she knows Kinden well. (Barely at all.) She's met him, along with the rest of the horde, when they were celebrating Kale (not Ka'el. Not then) having a turnday and turning into a man! …well. Into a man according to the law. Actually turning into a man was a bit less abrupt and a lot more painful. Soriana's hand reaches up, brushing her fingers gently over the back of Ka'el's head, trailing along his hair as she listens. He knows how his brother was before. And he'll see how Kinden is now. Soriana… she hasn't seen Kinden since the incident. There was advice about that, in fact. Don't give him a target. (Beyond the one he already has.) So she's not associated with Ka'el, in Kinden's head. (More than she already is.) So really, her sage advice is… "It sucks." Yeah, that's what it comes down to. All the wisdom she's supposed to have as goldrider and junior weyrwoman and weyrmate, all the compassionate guidance she can muster… is that, and a quirk of her lips that lasts only a moment before subsiding into a sigh and frown.

Yup. Those two words say … pretty much the long and short of it. It sucks! No one could've said it better than his goldriding, junior weyrwoman weyrmate. "A lot," he extends, letting a few more minutes of hair teasing pass before he exhales a breath and pulls his head back to look up at her. Her frown causes a frown of his own, but soon after, he squeezes around her legs. "You know Jer'od down the way? He entertains for a living. Juggles, I think. Anything he can get his hands on. Rocks. Knives. Small children. I think he's even teaching his blue to do so. And in the forest a little past where I was living, there's a guy named Alistair. A little older, but not…old ancient old, y'know? He has sort've a menagerie going on out there. Catches baby squirrels and birds and things and nurses them to health, though they end up stickin' around after he releases them. I think he's trained the birds to fold his laundry or somethin'. And the squirrels gather nuts for…nut cakes." Yum! He lifts his brows a little. "They both sound like barrels of fun, eh? And I don't think either've them have brothers to speak of, wicked or otherwise. I can set you up. This meal of stew," He's been calling it stew without really knowing if it is in fact stew or not… "could be our last. I'll take the tubers and live off of those. I can manage tubers." Maybe. By now he's smirking. "And you can learn to juggle or teach the squirrels to cook and do your paperwork, and the only thing that'd suck is how little you'd have to do."

Jer'od? Sure, she knows him. In passing, anyway. She's passed by while he's juggling small childr- er. Juggling for small children. There always seems a few of those running around near his place, probably waiting for the dragon to juggle. So she nods. "Yeah?" What of it? Of him and… Alistair, too. Soriana's eyebrows climb with question as she hears of the forest-dweller with a forest-menagerie. He's probably got a white beard - not because he's ancient-old, but just because those birds need something to nest in. It's traditional. And Ka'el is telling her about these guys because…? Oh. The questioning look on her face turns into a smirk, and her head gives a slow, amused sort of shake as he continues. "If you're going to have a last meal, surely you can come up with something better than stew." It's not stew, really. Too thick. Not chunky enough. Chili, maybe? Something like that. Stew's easy to say. Close enough. "Some sort of gourmet… something." That neither one of them has the skill to cook. "Besides," she says, and leans down to kiss at the top of his head. "The squirrels probably have brothers."

Whether or not Alistair has a beard …. well, she'll just have to wait til the honeymoon and see, won't she? Ka'el's grin lingers as he rises from his chair, his arms sliding up from her legs to settle around her hips as he does so. "I like stew," he remarks of the meal. "And who's to say this isn't gourmet style? I saw things in there…" Things that he can't name because… well. There's a lid on the pot! Yeah. That's why he can't name them. It isn't because he doesn't recognize the chopped up meatstuffs and other..stuff that's in there. Not at all. >.> "Besides, all of your meals are gourmet, baby. Gourmet sandwiches. Gourmet toast. You make high-class stuff. S'all I need til raw tubers are on the menu for the rest've my life." He leans in enough to touch his lips to hers. "Squirrel brothers are nothin'. If they bother you, you can just kick 'em away. Or throw nuts at 'em." If only human brothers were so easy to scare off. "Tej is single," he points out. "He has a sister who's younger. I hear sisters are nice."

…she doesn't even get to see this dude (can she call crazy squirrel-nurturers dude?) until the honeymoon? That, uh… sucks. Or would. "Yeah, but do you like-like stew?" To put it in junior apprentice terms, because inner children or… something like that. Maybe she should go with the juggler guy instead? "Even stew with… things." That she put there. So the reason she's not naming them is just to tease Ka'el! Clearly. Because she's not the sort of cook to throw stuff in a pot without knowing exactly what it is. Not her. Nope. "Only the highest-class scrambled eggs come with shards of shell stuck to them. It's how you know this is a quality establishment. Full of quality. And cooking-smell. Soriana slips her arms more fully around Ka'el, and leans in to press her lips back to his. Though… "You ever tried kicking a squirrel?" She smirks. "Little brat'll climb up inside your trousers, like as not." A brisk shake of her head, and then she pauses, tilting it to consider this… Tej. "A sister, huh?" Because everyone knows it's best to choose partners by the quality of their siblings. "How much younger? And is she my shoe size?"

"The kitchen staff wishes they could make eggs like yours," Ka'el agrees with a solemn nod of his head. "With that slight hint of crunch? That's high-mark stuff." It's not a wonder their door isn't pounded on daily with requests for her special scrambled eggs! "And I thoroughly enjoy stew," he says in big-kid terms. "It's my favorite winter meal. And .. even though it isn't winter, it's still a good final meal to have on our potential final day as weyrmates. It represents us because it's a mixture of…" Hm. Waait a minute. She never did say, did she? He pauses with narrowed eyes. "Do you even know what's inside of that pot?" he asks skeptically, brows lifting higher as a thought comes to him. Kicking squirrels. Squirrels up the trousers.. "Sounds like you've personal experience with squirrels. … Did a squirrel run up your pants today? Is that why you're home early? And is the consequence of that happening is that we're having…squirrel stew tonight?" Gasp! He's figured it out! Soriana is a squirrel murderer. Which is far better than being a people murderer, one supposes. "Tej is twenty-….four? I think his sister is twenty-one. .. Or twenty… Maybe nineteen. You aren't planning on severing one of her feet to see if you're a match, are you?"

Oooooh. Thoroughly. It's three whole syllables of enjoyment, just like 'Mmm mmm good!' …which isn't nearly so big-kid (er, mature) a way to say it. What's inside that pot? "Not eggs, that's for sure!" She didn't toss Haruhi's eggs inside, though… it would explain the squawking, if she had. At least the gold firelizard's settled down, perched on a countertop. She's still keeping a close eye on things, because without her supervision… well! Who knows what might happen? There might be squirrel in the stewpot, for one thing, but Soriana smirks. "Anything that's in there deserves it." For running up her pants? …maaaaaybe. She hmms consideringly about this sister of Tej's. Just a little older then her! Or… her age. Or… younger. One of those, anyway! "Nah," she says to the foot-chopping. "Maybe I'll just steal Tej as a brother. Since he's practiced at having a sister and all. You think he'd bring me cookies?" That's… what big brothers do, right? "Maybe beat up guys that look at me funny?" She smirks, and leans in to kiss Ka'el.

Hmm. What would deserve a fate so dire as to be thrown into a stew/chilli pot? What evil bovine? What cruel corn? What…um…badass bean? The ominous onion! The sinister cilantro! *cough* "I'll take your word for it and hope I don't have a chicken head in my bowl." Complete with beak and eyeballs. Yuck. Maybe that's why Haruhi was carrying on? She was trying to warn him of his impending meal of horrors! "Pft. You don't want Tej as a brother. He farts in his sleep." But he'd still make a good weyrmate? He smirks. "Brothers don't bring sisters cookies," says he with no sistering experience at all. "Brothers smash cookies in the faces of sisters. Brothers steal cookies from sisters." Or maybe that's just what brothers do to other brothers? "And knowin' Tej, if he did decide to bring you cookies for whatever reason, he'd probably eat'm all before they got to you. But, if you're lookin' for muscle…shells, you've got all you need right here." He lifts an arm to flex a bicep, but his flaunting is cut short as he kisses her. He grins against her mouth a moment, then settles in to the kiss, pressing against her affectionately, pushing thoughts of release papers and dangerous brothers back to the far reaches of his mind. For later. "Mm. I'd beat up squirrels for you if they looked at you funny," he says, parting his lips from hers just enough so that he can speak that oh so important fact. "Tie their tails in knots."

"…nope. No chicken heads." Though that pause was just a little bit suspicious, wasn't it? She had to think about the answer! And she's still thinking about the brother question, too. "I don't have to sleep with him. Just get him to… uh… do brotherly things." Whatever those are. The ones Ka'el lists makes her look dubiously at him. What does he know? "Hah. He'd be sweet and generous and kind. Like… uh…" Shardit, this would be easier if she knew more people with siblings and less tangled-up weyr-style families. "Anyway, he would. And he'd move furniture for me, and… okay, yeah, he probably would eat all the cookies. Gotta keep up his strength." She brushes her fingers to that muscle of Ka'el's. "And might not even bring tubers to make up for it." Though, wait. Are tubers a brother thing or a weyrmate thing? This is getting confusing, but she grins around the kiss, leaning in close against him. This is a good feeling, warm and safe… especially from squirrels. She smirks, kissing at the corner of his mouth as he explains that. "Better tell that to the one in that tree by the wood shop. He's been staring at me lately. Chittering, when he thinks I won't hear him."

Tubers are totally a weyrmate thing. .. Or at least this particular weyrmate's thing. He'll explain later (and he might even find a way to make it make sense! Maybe…) "That squirrel's been chitterin' at you?" Ka'el says, brow arching dramatically at the news. "What's he been saying? Did it sound more like a chit-chitter-chit-chit? Or more of a chitter-chitter-chit-chitter-chit? They're two very different things, and neither one are flattering. But still, if I'm to confront him tomorrow about it I want the facts straight. Misinformation never ends up well." He frowns and shakes his head. "Shardin' squirrels…" And he nearly goes twenty seconds with that angry face too! Nearly. But it's on that eighteenth second that his lips begin to wiggle as he fights back a grin. "…You're sure it's not squirrel meat in that pot? I think either tharo the chicken head is tryin' to escape," he says, looking past her and towards the pot that's been left to boil. The lid is starting to bounce a little. Probably with steam and overboiling chili..stew. Not chicken heads or the spirits of vengeful squirrels. But you never know.

But Ka'el already explained the tubers! They were from that fellow down the road, and… oh. Wait. That must have just been his cover story. The real truth is far more dire. Someday he'll tell her! Maybe. Or maybe that information's need to know and she doesn't. Need to, that is. At least not to know about the tubers. The squirrel, on the other hand? "More like chit-chitter-chitter." And then she grins outright as Ka'el struggles with his own, looking back to the pot and laughing. "I'm sure." Her arms tighten around him in a hug, and then she disentangles to go look at it. The lid needs to be reseated, and the spoon needs to poke it, and all those other things that are a part of… "I think it's ready." So says Soriana, gourmet chef of the highest order. "…least, as ready as it's going to get."

Gasp. "You're sure that's what it was that he said?" Ka'el's eyes widen, and he makes a fist of vengeance! (ignore the grin of amusement that goes along with it) "He'll pay for such an insult!" That fist is then shaken dramatically in the air just before he's hugged, which he's happy to return. He's less happy to let her go, even if it is to check on their wonderful meal of yumminess. And so his hands slide from her lethargically as she moves off, leaving him to watch her move off, which actually isn't such a bad thing at all. He smirks while has head faintly cants to one side, and at her declaration that the stewchilli is done, he straightens and gives a salute. "Yes ma'am!" Grinning, he grabs for one of the bowls she's set out for them to carry towards her. "This one is yours. So, if you want to scoop out the chicken head for yourself, go ahead. As head chef in this weyr, you're entitled to.." He doesn't finish. He pauses, both in mid-sentence and midstep, as if someone has pressed the pause button on life. Eyes look past her, past the steaming pot, past his present surroundings. To which, he scowls. "Shit."

"Every cuss-strewn syllable of it," Soriana assures Ka'el about that foul-mouthed squirrel. That fluffy-tailed rat is in for a rude awakening when he's found out! Because… yeah. One of the things weyrmates are good for is defending each other. Mostly from real threats. Sometimes from fake ones, except that's more the part where they're good for amusing each other and lifting spirits… which seem, for the moment, to be doing quite well. Soriana grins as Ka'el extends that bowl to her, taking a spoonful of chili (no chicken heads, though she smirks at that) and bringing it over to… wait. Something's going on. Droplets of the food splatter down from the full spoon, plopping into the bowl, and Soriana's expression turns serious as she looks at Ka'el's. "What?" There's things she knows it can't be. Ones Luraoth would have told her at the same time as Kanekith (or so she presumes) told Ka'el. But that leaves a great many things it could be, everything from 'Kinden escaped and is going to attack the Weyr' through to 'Haycinath has risen and Kanekith thinks she's cute'.

It could be that Ka'el has just remembered that he was supposed to sign off on those Very Important Papers that are due back to one of Xanadu's beholden areas, but he forgot. And possibly, that will offend some Lord and Lady holders and cause trouble! Could be. But it isn't. That bowl is still held in his hands, the bottom of which now sporting droplets of chili that have splashed down into it. He inhales a slow breath, filling his lungs with a fragrance that's not at all the savory scents of brewed meat. He smells something light. Sweet. A warm breeze brushes against his face, teasing the skin. A fragrance of flowers teases his nose, flooding his senses, but it isn't overwhelming. It's alluring actually, tempting him to search for the source. But a blink brings him back. Back to the here and now. Back to Soriana and the chili and the bowl in his hand. He swallows, gripping tighter at the surface of his bowl. "Damn it.." He thrusts the bowl towards her, shaking his head. "I've got to go. I think… I… Yeah. I sh-should go. I need to go." His tongue slides between his lips, nodding at her. "He went…"

So many things it could be, and only one thing it is. Soriana's frown lingers, but it edges toward concern. Unhappiness. Worry, but not… she takes the bowl Ka'el shoves toward her, turning to put it and the spoon on the counter. Ignoring them there, as the chili slops from the spoon and makes a mess, because she's turning back to Ka'el, closing the distance between them in a single step and wrapping her arms around him, crushing him in against her in a fierce hug as she leans up and presses her lips to his - hard. Intent and focused on kissing him, on grinding her mouth to his and squeezing him against her. On saying… "Okay." That's not what the kiss was saying, but it's what she says after. Once her lips have drawn back and her arms release him, letting him go. Out there, to the scent of flowers in an evening breeze that fills wingsails and lifts dragons into the air. Because he should go. And… "I'll be here."

But. Dinner. Soriana made dinner for him. For the both of them. And … they're home together. And they're not passed out because it's some ungodly hour. And they were just joking about eating squirrels. Or was it beating up squirrels? Whatever. It was fun. And he wasn't thinking about Kinden anymore and … it was fun. This? Is not fun. Not really. It's fun for Kanekith, who is the only bronze one out there eyeballing the cheerfully glowing green who's prancing about, having taken her small share of blood from a recent kill. He's huge, in comparison to her. Such a dainty little thing, as is her rider, who flits coyly here and there, stopping at fence post to fence post. Ka'el can see her. Sort of. Borrowing Kanekith's vision momentarily til Sori's hug tugs him back. His arm curl around her, clinging hard, kissing harder. His fingers press against her, his grip tight and… She pulls away. Speaks a word. He opens his eyes and glances to the door, vision wavering. Out there.. "Damn it, Kanekith.." He grits his teeth, looking back to her. "He won't.. won't catch her. Can't.." « I shall. You shall see… » Ka'el cringes. Lets her go. "I'll be back. I pr- .. promise."

It's not actually okay. That's the word Soriana said, but it's a lie. It's a lie she'll tell him, just like either he or Kanekith is lying right now. She doesn't actually want to be released, either, but she's keeping her arms loose so they don't drag him even as she leans in as close as she can get for the moments until they go. Until Ka'el goes, because Kanekith's already gone. Already watching that pretty green that he wants. Kanekith will chase, and he'll… either he'll catch, or else he won't. He's going to give his all for the attempt, of course, even if Ka'el's heart just isn't in it… not that he'll care, with Kanekith's urge to chase overpowering his own desire to stay here and have that home-cooked meal and talk and laugh and avoid thinking about those important papers. Kanekith will chase, and then… …and then Ka'el will be back. "I know." Soriana darts forward again, another brush of her lips to his. "I'll be here." She'll dish herself up a bowl of chili, stare at it for a while before realizing she has no appetite, and then she'll put the leftovers (the entire pot of them) away and go sit on the couch. She's not going to bed until Ka'el gets home. She'll pretend to read, and if Kanekith… if Ka'el doesn't get home until late, she'll fall asleep on that couch. But one way or another, when he gets home, she'll be here.

(Continued in Innocent)

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