Love hurts, eat your feelings.
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*Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens**
// The kitchen is large and well-stocked with technology as well as those with culinary skill. State of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths that used to be in here. Three baking ovens are usually going full bore half the day, from early morning through to mid-afternoon. Large windows take up the entire of the western wall, generally open wide to the mountainous landscape beyond allowing the cool breezes in to keep the kitchen's temperature to a desirable level.
Tables, cabinets, and counters take up the remaining spaces and walls. Various spices, herbs, and other foodstuffs are found here, and what's not ready at hand is tucked away back in the storage caverns or the massive cold-room large enough to walk inside.
The night hearth beside the door to the main caverns has been kept out of a sense of nostalgia, but the smaller stove set beside it is what's actually used to prepare late-night food. This is where you find late night meals of stew and soup simmering in pots, and pitchers of klah and tea in their electric units to be kept warm.
//


The day is over, and night has settled over the Weyr with the chirping of bugs and nocturnal animals that break the silence. Nighttime is the perfect place when you wish to have privacy and solitude, the air cool yet humid, causing a faint sea chill that wafts in through the open kitchen window. Settled on the counter, a sandwich of roasted wherry mixed with egg and oil aioli. (chicken salad) The mixture smells good if you like wherry and spices. Next to that is a glass of wine, pink and probably more sugar than anything. On top of the cabinets, staring down at the girl in the green skirt and long sleeves are four firelizards gold, brown, blue and green in color. Their eyes identify them, 8 whirling jewels begging for scraps with intense scrutiny and occasional crooning to press their luck. In her lap is a stack of cat cards, all of them glittering in the low light with accompanying glittery pink, purple, and blue envelopes. It's clear she's enjoying herself, nibbling slowly and chattering at her flizzards. "You see, um, it's not really my fault. But that's not why you apologize.. you guys are listening, right? Good. I knew you would be." A piece of wherry is tossed into the air and immediately devoured by the chunk cotton candy blue, who momentarily is the scourge of his siblings.

It isn't unusual for V'ayn to haunt the kitchens at night despite working in them all day. Insomnia quite rudely taken over the baker's life and it seems he won't even be attempting to toss and turn in bed today. After regular work hours he had gone home to take a shower and get a fresh change of clothes, but after finishing this heavy footsteps bring him back to the cooking area. He gently pushes open the doors and steps through looking somewhat haggard. Dark circles have settled under his eyes but he remains neatly dressed. His attire consits of slim fitting black pants and a button down shirt whose sleeves are rolled up. At first, V'ayn doesn't even notice Evi. He moves to grab his apron and only after tying it and turning around do his blue-green eyes land on the woman. Who is on the counter. There's a long stare before he lets out a sigh and runs a hand over his face, "We do have chairs, Evi."

Evi might not be noticed, but she doesn't miss V'ayn's entrance, all the glowing eyes follow him as the teenage greenriders do. The circles do not go unnoticed, both of her eyebrows dropping into a furrow and a frown of worry overtaking her face. Chirping a greeting gold, Tulle drifts down from the makeshift perch, landing on her mistress's shoulder and wrapping her twisted tail around the collared neck. Sharply inhaling, lips puckered out, there's a card shoved into an envelope and licked. "Here… I'm late on today's. We got busy. I am so sorry, please, really, truly, believe that I have no control over when or how that all happens. I also didn't think Varequoth liked her that much. Do you want a sandwich? I've got extra." Babbling out all of this at a speed that's almost impolite while motioning to the bowl settled next to her. Still sitting on the counter with a sandwich that's losing tidbits of wherry out the one side via the teeny gold maw who has managed to eat nearly half of the meat from it before a raised shoulder interrupts her rude thief feast.

V'ayn allows a tired smile to take over his features and there's a quick shake of his head, "Evi, really…you don't have to keep apologizing. I get it." Though he won't decline thecard if it's handed to him. "Varequoth does like her, but he will also attempt to chase pretty much every female that goes up." It can make for a rather unpleasant time for the baker. "I'll take your sandwich and I'll counter with dessert. /But/…Evi, the counter." Not that he'd ever try and make her get off, but she'll certainly be the object of pointed stares for the rest of the night. Already his hands are twitching while his mind urges to grab hold of some cleaning supplies.

Swinging her feet several times, her hallmark inability to sit still expressing itself via her toes, she slides down and shakes her head. "I'll wipe it, you don't have to." She's not to mention how many dozens of times she has sat in that very spot and not wiped anything down. He'd probably die, or have a panic attack and that would ruin the apology. "Um, no, I. You see, I'm not me when Nei is… " A bright crimson blush, head tucking in to hide behind the gold wings of her pet, eyes closed tightly. "Um, yes, for you." Holding out the card, peeking one eye open with a squint while the other stays firmly shut. "Alright, I can help you with dessert. Ma taught me stuff." She's wayy to sweet for the absolute demon that is Neifeth, though it's easy to see how she attracted the dragon. Turning around, a sponge is grabbed, spraying cleaner on the spot before she's on her tiptoes, getting a plate down to begin his sandwich. "What's Varequoth like? I take it for granted everyone already knows NeiNei." Because she's not shy at all.

"Evi, I think that became /very/ clear." Her not being herself that is. Still V'ayn doesn't seem upset, in fact he looks utterly amused by Evi's multitasking. He won't make her suffer for too long however and eventually reaches for the card. It's opened quite carefully before he pulls out the object to read the contents. Glitter may not be high on his 'things I love' list, but he certainly appreciates the thought. "How about you finish with what you're doing first and then come help me?" He'll read the card as he walks towards the food storge area, ready to pull out several ingredients. As for Varequoth - "Flirtarious, ready to swoop in and save the day, a bit of a daredevil - he pushes me."

The response gets an awkward blush, tucking her body down in shame as the envelope is taken. Focused on making a sandwich, hair is pulled back and hands are washed and dried on a towel. Staring at the cabinet, unwilling to turn around because her face refuses to be a normal color. "Alright." Placing a skillet on the stove, the bread is placed down on it for toasting but her head nods along. The card reads, -Please know I was not myself last sevenday and would like to ask your apology for any actions that may have upset you. If I owe you marks, find me. Extremely, super, sorry. Evi- Watching the stove with a casual swing of hips, head nodding from side to side with energy that oozes from her even in the dead of night. "Nei doesn't need saving, she's the one you might need to be saved from. Likes meat, blood, flowers. Um, she complains a lot but everything she complains about actually bothers her. That's hard, because most dragons aren't so picky. But. In her head, what everyone else gets to see is like… ummmmmmm." A long pause, flipping the slices of bread with a spatula. "It's as if you'd never seen Fort Weyr, and I blindfolded you and put you in the water closet, and took off the blindfold. Then said WoW this place is amazing, except in this scenario I've seen the entire planet and not just the ugly water closet in some back room in Fort Weyr." It's a deep comparison.

V'ayn carefully tucks the card away as he begins pulling our sugar, flour, eggs, and some fruit. "Evi, you /really/ don't have to apologize this much. In fact, I won't accept any more cards if you send them." He'll bring over the lot of items in a few trips before chuckling, "Well it doesn't have to be her - he'd save anyone he thinks is in trouble. It can be pretty entertaining at times. He'll probably try to save someone from her!" The thought earns an amused chuckle from the baker as he starts measuring out items into different bowls. He listens to the explanation Evi gives of Nei's mind and after a while simply shakes his head, "That is an….interesting metaphor." It seems that sandwiches will be a theme tonight because he's making sandwich cookies. Or what will /eventually/ be sandwich cookies. For now it's simply cookie dough.

As both pieces of bread develop a golden brown color on both sides, nicely toasted with a hint of the seasoning from the pan adding a depth to the flavor. Garlic mayo is spread on, Evi dancing around the kitchen with a bounce and flurry of skirts. The moment he speaks of not accepting the cards there's a deep sigh, "If you.. want to, I can't fathom what my mother would think if she heard me while proddy. She's not dead but she probably has palpitations." Lettuce is placed on the bread, tomato and then the remainder of the wherry salad. Finishing it's cut diagonally, a pickle placed next to it with a content hmm of satisfaction. It's clear that she's good at this, kitchen, cooking, taking care of people. "Tell me why you and N'on broke up." Straight to the point, a pickle plucked from the jar with a force and nibbled on as brown-green eyes demand an explanation with an all too casual air.

"It's a child's job to give their parents heart palpitations sometimes, I think." V'ayn lets out a quiet laugh while beginning to roll out the cookie dough. It's clear that this is a recipe he's done plenty of times. This done he looks up to find the sandwiched finished and tosses a smile in Evi's direction, "Thank you." He'll get to the sandwich eventually but for now he starts working on the fruits. V'ayn has just barely started zesting a lemon when the question about N'on comes to his ears. The result is that the baker freezzes in place. Subtly his fingers tighten around the fruit and he looks up at Evi while sighing, "Didn't we talk about this once? I gave up." Of course things are never that simple.

Biting off bits of pickle, eyes locked on it as if it might get away if her focus isn't on it. "Children's job is obedience, I- well, uh, um." No more words, only pickle and its need to be eaten in teeny bites, slivers of pickle being pinched off by the teeth of one of the youngest full-rider greenies in the Weyr. Only when V'ayn pauses mid zest does she flurry forward, washing her hands and moving to take the lemon from him and continue. "I am no love expert, but Nei has made me good at knowing up from down, " Because nothing inside the mind of Neifeth is ever in a normal place, "You could have simply followed him around apologizing and begging until he gave in. I mean, the proddiness distracted Nei but I'm pretty positive she was planning to lock you two up together." Casually discussing his own kidnapping with him as if it's the morning weather. Ah yes, it's goregous out today. Perfect day for a kidnapping or locking two ex-lovers up in a misguided attempt at unification, by golly you're right. Or something.

As Evi takes over the zesting, V'ayn moves over to begin cutting the cookie dough into small circles. Precision is key in terms of appearance so the baker is /quite/ careful as he does so. "I agreed to break up with him, he won't take me back so easily. He….has his reasons." Given the tone with which the baker says this last part he doesn't agree with those reasons. His movements pause then, blue-green eyes swiftly moving towards the younger rider. "Is /that/ why you suddenly started asking about barns and caves?" There's an amused shake of his head for this entire notion, "I'm not sure even that could fix this. But…now I see why Varequoth was being so evasive."

"WELL you two need to get along, N'on is very important and I owe him." The mention of her barns and caves gets another blush lips puckering forward and cheeks plumping. "There's a shortage of good places to lock people up, especially with dragons everywhere." Weyrfolk are hard to kidnap, is the jist of it. With a decent pile of lemon zest now available for use she leans up on the counter and waits for further instructions. Sighing there's a moment where she nearly slips her butt up on the counter, the natural move resisted with a head shake and chagrined wrinkle of the nose. "Nei isn't secretive, except when she is. She'll usually tell anyone who will listen what she's going to do, most fail to believe her and whose fault is that? Not hers, she tried." Giving her fey wrought bitchy dragon way more credit then she deserves. "We won't know if the cave thing will work without trying, and it'll be easier if you agree to it." Like an escape room, but without any of the safety features. "We did think about um, well. No. You needn't know that." Turning back to grab V'ayn another bowl, keeping herself busy.

"It's not that we don't get along…or at least I hope he isn't mad at me. Mostly when we see each other it's all just a little sad." A hint of woe even dampens the smile on his face as he goes about cutting the dough. Soon enough there are several dozen small circles spread out on pan sheets. "We'll be making the cream filling next - zest infused of course." And htus he's sliding over the dairy products and a touch of butter. If she needs instruction he's happy to provide it, but V'ayn is also content to watch her go about doing it with her own method. "No no Evi," now the expression on the baker's face becomes somewhat teasing, "before I agree to a cave or barn I want to hear what option 3 was."

As the dairy and butter are slid her way she heads towards the stove. Grabbing a medium pan from beneath it's placed on the heat, probably not what V'ayn had in mind but she's going this her way. There's plenty of things she fails at, this is not one of them. The dairy and the zest are placed in the pan, and allowed to heat as she stirs with the relaxed rhythm of a woman raised in the kitchen. "Sad is bad." Frowning hard and glancing over at him. "Well, see.. Neinei isn't really the fixing type. She enjoys revenge though, and N'on is my favorite person here. She suggested we save all the hearts from all of her kills and fill your weyr with them. In case you needed to know what heartbreak really looked like. I told her that it could wait, we'd do cave or barn first." Isn't she a delight? Keeping it ON THE TABLE as an idea but willing to pursue other options. "Mostly because I didn't know where we'd keep the hearts, unless we collected them all in one day." A dilemma for sure. As the dairy begins to simmer the greenrider quickly realizes she has no eggs. Hurrying to the fridge five eggs are gathered, separated out and beaten to smooth them out. Without missing a beat the warm cream is poured over the egg yolks, beating continuously and examining the mixture as if it'll provide the answer soon enough.

V'ayn looks utterly taken aback at Option 3 and frowns decidedly in Evi's direction, "Have you actually talked to N'on about any of this?" It's quite clear that he disapproves of this idea and a shudder runs down the baker's spine. "It's all well and good that you want to fix things Evi, but sad /isn't/ always bad either." He doesn't stop her from doing the filling her own way but instead moves to put thecookies into the oven. It's only once the appliance is securly closed that he turns back around, "Given you're so close to N'on, why are you asking /me/ about this anyways? Shouldn't you ask for his version of things? He can tell you that I haven't been as horrible to him as the two of you assume I have." To be fair - the bronzerider has been on the receiving end of less than pleasant warnings.

Focusing on the task at hand, bottom lip in teeth Evi places the mixture back in the pan and adds sugar, cornstarch and salt with an approving nod. SUddenly realizing she's mispoken, there's silence. Stirring slowly the mixture is removed from the heat, a strainer found swiftly enough as what is now obviously a pastry cream is strained and butter is added a gentle mix of the spoon. "I tried, to ask. He won't discuss it." Sighing sadly, bottom lip extending. "I guess, maybe I'll try more. I- you know it's not easy, knowing the right thing to do." Spoken as a child, who is trying even if she's failing miserably. "I guess, we assumed he'd never break up with you. That it's you." Raising both shoulders and covering the custard with a lid it's placed in the freezer. The onlooking firelizards croon softly, eyes a distressed orange and yellow as the brown joins the gold to perch on her shoulder. "Maybe, we aren't close at all. I've been wrong about such things before." That revelation kicking her in the gut, causing both eyes to bulge out with sudden grief.

"Sometimes the right thing to do is not doing anything." V'ayn is silent for a while, watching from a few feet behind her as she works. "I still hope that it's me, but this isn't like Neifeth or Varequoth or Zhelinath - there are a million other factors that go into what's happening." With a soft sigh he comes up beside her, cautiously venturing to lay a hand on the teenager's shoulder and give it a squeeze. "Why is it your job, Evi? Don't go doubting your friendship now, he obviously cares about you. But there's no reason for you to take all this on your shoulders. Being there for someone doesn't make you responsible for their happiness or for their problems." His hand quickly drops, sliding into the pocket of his pants. "you're going to wear yourself out."

"You're saying leave him miserable?" Evi busies herself cleaning up, the excess energy being put into the dishes, and she cleans exactly like a woman who was taught to clean away her anger. That pot is going to PAY, scrubbing at it with a vengeance. The hand on her shoulder gets a side-eye, shrinking down a bit because she's not used to contact and then she extends her chin and brushes it against fingers as an acknowledgment. "If I don't care, nobody might. If he didn't care about me, I'd be… Who knows. I would be married to an old man with a baby on my hip." Most women speak of this option with disgust, it's clear Evi was open to the idea. "One person caring can change everything, if that means I am tired then so be it." Nearing tears, she rinses the pot and sets it out to dry, going for the bowl next. "He cared for me. He cares for me." This is love, it's obvious. "I have to help."

V'ayn lets out a groan of frustration, "That isn't what I meant." He's not great with emotion words. "I'm not saying leave him miserable, just take it down a notch. You don't have to try and fix all of his problems for him. There are other ways to care for someone other than trying to smooth out their whole life." The baker's tone edges towards annoyance before he catches himself and sighs. The baker readjusts his features and his words after a moment of thought, "It seems like your idea of helping is fixing /us/, but you're smart Evi - I'm sure you can find some way of showing you care that doesn't leave you holding the loose ends of someone else's relationship."

Finishing with the bowl the strainer is next, scrubbing it out and leaving it to dry. Turning around as she's now out of things to clean, her hand extends forward to brush the back of her hand along his face. It's a tender gesture, she's the oldest person yet young and naive. "You made him happy. He liked you." As the oven timer dings she stares at the appliance, disinclined to move. "I don't want him to be in pain." Turning and retracting her hand, eyes glazed over it's obvious she's speaking to Neifeth. "I don't like this feeling, um, this helpless feeling." Shaking her head hard, trying to fix the internal battle going on in her heart.

V'ayn flinches slightly when the hand starts moving towards his face, but he doesn't dodge. "At least sometimes." the happiness that is. A whistful smile appeas on the baker's face and after she's dropped her hand he moves to retrieve teh cookies from the oven. "I don't either, but if I don't think that anyone can ever avoid that forever. Or maybe I just experience that an abnormal amount." There's a somewhat self deprecating laugh before he glances back to the greenrider, "And hey, just because you feel helpless doesn't mean you are. You're probably doing a lot for him that you don't even realize." For the remainder of their time in the kitchen V'ayn will continue to fluctuate between voicing his emotions nicely and putting his foot in his mouth. /Eventually/ the cookies will be completed and perhaps the two sad human-ghosts will be somewhat less emotional when the leave. Maybe.


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