Post Nightcrawl Snack

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.

At this late hour, most of Xanadu is at their homes and weyrs, tucked into the peaceful silence and sweet comforts of soft pillows and blankets. Even in the Summer heat, things have been pretty tolerable in the great outdoors. However, when it comes to the masses, there are some places that shouldn't be too overwhelmed with climbing temperatures. P'al finishes the last wipe of his countertops, moving quickly with trained precision around the kitchens as amber eyes move one step ahead of him. Content at the quality of his workplace, the butcher turns on heel and moves to the cold stores. Just outside of the heavy doors are rows of racks containing meat allowed to warm up for cooking. A heavy slab is collected and it's carried back to the counter top, and placed on a wooden block. The man takes in a deep breath and sighs, rubbing his hands together while he looks for the tools of his trade. The kitchens are understandably warm from the ovens and stove tops, so his long sleeved coat is shed for a simple shirt tucked in his trousers, all protected by a knee-length black apron. If it gets any hotter, cutting meat in the cold stores is an option, provided no one tries to lock him in when the rest of the morning crew gets in. P'al hums, patting the slab along with the tune and then with a slow drag of the choosen knife, he begins cutting thin strips. One careful pass at a time.

There is someone who would love to be the majority of the weyr folk right now, asleep in their home and weyrs with all those sweet comforts! Ru’ien isn’t so lucky and, unfortunately, bonded to a green whose proximity to her next flight means increased misfortune for him. It’s not all bad, but a warm evening led to a particularly bad case of restlessness coupled with nothing else to do — which he apparently solved by going out for the night. Where did he go? Who knows. Somewhere that had alcohol flowing and questionable everything-else; unless that ‘everything else’ was your cup ‘o tea! Which it is, for Ru’ien! That doesn’t explain why he ends up partially stumbling into the kitchens at this forsaken hour, skin flushed with more than just a visible buzz. His hair is much longer now, well past his shoulders, though he’s styled one side in three rows of various sized braids. He’s dressed as eccentric as can be, mismatched colors of darks and flashier colors; a modified, mid-sleeved top more in a woman’s style, cut to about mid torso. Over it, he wears dark overalls, which have been altered to be the shortest shorts ever. They should be illegal, given how they show off too much for anyone’s imagination. Completing it are thigh high sheer stockings and heeled boots. In a nutshell? Ru’ien looks ready for some nightclub scene, not the kitchens! In fact, are his nails painted and is that a hint of makeup? He takes a moment to collect himself, stepping further in in the process and eventually catching on to the humming (if it hasn’t stopped by then). “P’al?” Squint.

« Um, P-P'al. P'al? I-I-I think we have a SERIOUS problem. » This is Xanadu. Absolutely nothing would be a serious problem, Auricyth. P'al continues his long careful cuts, neatly stacking the strips of cut meat onto a tray for easy access. The butcher feels content with the quality of his work but it gradually slows when his lifemate distracts him with the ruffling of furr in the dark recesses of his mindscape. The brownrider slows his humming, glancing back at his work and the placement of his hands. Auricyth having something uncomfortable to report is the norm but for some reason, the intensity this morning is distracting enough to evoke a frown on his rider's face and the sounding of name brings a small twitch at the edge of his mouth. Knife still in hand, the brownrider turns to the source of the voice, and opens his mouth to speak but stops. Pauses. Mouth open and everything. He's giving Ru'ien the elevator eyes, in both horror and admiration. I mean, he might be able to pull off the heals but the overalls? Definitely a dangerous game! "Ha-Ha-er. HI." If you can't say something ni- "That's a pretty fucking amazing outfit you got there! Who's closet did you raid? And please for the love of Faranth, don't say Ila'den's because I'm one-hundred percent convinced it will destroy my fantasy of him wearing a floral mumu, sponge curlers, and fuzzy slippers behind closed doors. My internal damage has a limited capacity, you know." The brownrider slaps his hand over his mouth, trying not to make a sound and he's offering the greenrider an apologetic peek. Is this the danger you were talking about? This is tame for home, Auri. « N-No, not quite all of it yet. There's m-more, I'm afraid. »

“P’al!” Ru’ien exclaims at the moment that the brownrider greets him! Those elevator eyes? Earn a smug look and a bit of posturing involving an obvious shift of weight to one hip. Like what you see? He might’ve even opened his arms and spread them in enthusiastic greeting — but P’al is spared any hugs (for now) on the account of that KNIFE he’s holding! “Thank you!” he beams for the compliment, when he’s done with laughing low in his throat for the rest. “You think I have a death wish? Though I bet Ila’den has some of the best stuff hidden away — and I’m not talking about the floral mumu.” From the way his nose wrinkles? He did NOT need that mental image! Unaware of Auricyth’s warnings (whatever could be the matter? Ru’ien’s harmless!), the greenrider saunters a little further into the kitchens now that he has a friend ally here. “Nice blade,” he almost purrs, gaze pointedly shifting to said knife, then to P’al (and now it’s his turn for the once over) and last — the meat. Blinking, he seems to recall why he’s here! Ru’ien leans against the nearest counter edge, just within the proximity of too close to the brownrider. “Say,” he muses, mouth curving into a smirk that brokers no limit to mischief beneath the feigned innocence. “You wouldn’t know where I could get a little pre-dawn snack?”

P'al crosses his arms over his chest, holding himself snugly as he fights back that unruly tongue of his. Well… he isn't going to admit that he rather does like what he sees, but it's more an appreciation for the asthetic and the greenrider's brazen attitude that makes the image fit so well. "Not gonna lie, if I had the chance to raid his closet to see what the man has hiding in there, I would definitely do it. That, plus we have to check under the bed, there's no such thing as a man that doesn't have a box of frightening unmentionables somewhere." The knife is mentioned and he glances over at it, still very much in his hands. Carefully, he unravels and twists at the waist to place it a safe distance aside while wincing as he fights back a wide and toothy grin. A quick clearing of his throat is all the man needs to school his features and he turns those amber eyes right back to appreciating Ru'ien. "There might be a little something in the kitchens, have a seat in my office and I'll be with you shortly." All said with a low chuckle as he motions to a stool beside the cutting board before quietly sauntering into the next work area. He isn't gone for long, returning with a pair of mugs and a platter which is placed on the counter for the greenrider to enjoy at his leasure. While things are still being prepared, meat rolls and a small bowl of berries has been liberated from the cooks at the very least. One of the two steaming mugs is slid over and P'al takes a noisy sip of the other before moving back to the cutting board. Handling heavy meat makes a man thirsty, don'tcha know?

“Oh, you really go all in when raiding someone’s personal space, don’t you? Remind me to never leave you unattended in my weyr — better yet, don’t even try! I don’t even hide my shit.” Ru’ien’s just going to put that out here but the real question is? How much of it is TRUE, P’al? “Now you have me wondering about unmentionables Ila’den might have and I really, really don’t need that mental image!” SUCH a buzzkill! That’s family (kind of) for Ru’ien, y’know! He’ll track that knife as it’s set aside and while he’s just beginning the texture fixation portion of his trip into proddiness, Ru’ien is still very much respectful (at least with sharp objects)! Grinning broadly, he’ll go as far as to clap his hands together in delight for P’al’s offer and immediately settle himself in that chair with a surprising amount of grace given his outfit, those boots and his height. “Ahh, you’re the best, P’al! Thank you~ I thought I was gonna have to go hungry for a few hours until things kicked up proper. Forgot to make sure I had snacks hoarded away.” he explains, while promptly going right for some of the berries. Yum! The mug is carefully nudged within reach but he seems more invested in the food. “And I thought I was gonna have to try and butter up one of the cooks!” Dressed like he is? It would’ve been a disaster! When he’s had his fill to take the edge off of his post-dancing all night (and a few drinks) hunger, he’ll prop an elbow up on the counter surface and give P’al his whole undivided attention. “So….” he muses, with a smirk. “What’ve you been up to lately? Seems like foreeeverrr since we ever crossed paths!”

Traumatizing people with mental images is SO FUN, THOUGH! If P'al is a buzzkill, wouldn't that be a good thing after a wild nightlife? "But if I go into your weyr, it wouldn't need to be hide and seek! What you really need to worry about is if I touch anything." Cause he will, or at least make you think he did so when you go to use your own morale raising implements, the suspicion will forever be there if P'al touched the thing. Did he lik the bred? More strips of delicious breakfast meaty goodness are cut free from the slab and the stack continues to grow. Once the tray is filled, he puts the knife back down and quickly carries the tray into the next room. There's a distant murmur, and the brownrider returns with an empty tray just begging to be draped apon! The tray is placed in position, and P'al continues with his bacon cutting duties. "Yeah, good luck getting the cooks to do anything at this hour. The Cooks, Bakers, and Butchers like myself all share the same workplace and all come from the same Craft but the competitive behavior between us all often makes it impossible to get anything good." So it pays to know their behaviors, habits, and patterns. Especially if you want to switch a spoon for a spatula just to hear someone rage about their workspaces. Once a sevenday is almost a must! What has he been up to? P'al tilts his head to the side, humming in thought for a moment while he continues to work. The silence stretches on for a bit, and finally the man slows his cutting to a stop. "Not too much, honestly. I get up, I tend to Auricyth, get myself ready and off to work. Check on Auri once more, and then settle down for the night in preparation to just do it all again the next day. Now that I've said it out loud, I am definitely one boring individual. Man, when did I get old?" He frowns, tapping the knife tip on the cutting board. "For once, I'd like to get into something adventurous that isn't already the norm here in Xanadu. I need a vacation."

Ru’ien laughs again and smirks, “Good point!” He’s going to leave it at that, mostly because his sleep deprived mind can only hold so many threads at once! Look at all that delicious meat (<insert every kind of pun here>)! His gaze is fixated for a moment on that tray, not so much out of wanting some of it to eat but — what was that about touching? He wants to touch it but resists, busying his hands instead with a meatroll from the platter. Sure, it ends up partially dissected before snacked upon but it keeps Ru’ien’s wandering fingers from contaminating food prep! “Seriously? Wow. Didn’t think you morning crew were so damned cutthroat!” he muses around another bite of food. Despite being completely out of place visually, Ru’ien looks comfortable where he sits. Like this is all well and perfectly normal! “I’ll keep that in mind, thanks for the tip~” Stretches of silence won’t often unnerve Ru’ien and he fills that time with some further idle snacking or the occasional pass of his hand over the surface of the counter, or over his exposed forearm or brushing over the fabric of his clothes — not all his gestures are extravagant, most are subtle! “Nothing wrong with routines,” he points out but it’s a trap, he’s got a teasing edge to his voice that comes into full play as he grins. “But yeah, you need more than a vacation. You need some hobbies!”

"Hobbies? I don't know, I already do some rather smashing people watching. There's some unique specimines out there, I'll have you know. Some you won't see every day, and sometimes even some sevendays. I'm not talking about your every day aunties and uncles, either." P'al tilts a sidelong gaze towards the greenrider and he smiles, rolling his eyes at himself before grabbing the slab and rotating it for an easier cut. It may have been quite some time since the two of them spent any given moment with eachother, but the butcher feels very much at peace in this moment. The morning is going by, and he isn't even noticing the passage off time. "You might be right, though. Butchering is well and good but you can't always mix business with pleasure. I guess I don't really know what I would rather be doing. I've gotten pretty comfortable with the same old same old." Complacency kills in more ways than one. The brownrider finishes up the slab with a few more cuts, and then the knife is carefully placed aside once more. "I'll be right back, hold that thought… and this one." This one? P'al rubs his own chest and preens as he turns around and moves back over to the racks. There's a weyr full of people to feed so he has to keep the trays going. The new slab is slapped, literally, onto the counter top and the brownrider takes his knife and gets promptly to work. "Promise me you'll wear those heels every time you come to visit me in the kitchens because there's some stuff high up on a shelf and when I need it, I can never ever get it down. I'll just stand there weakly jumping up with hands outstretched and pouting but no one will help me. I'm a delicate flower, Ru'ien. Treat me gently or I'll cut you."

Well, if there’s one way to get Ru’ien’s attention? Mention people watching! P’al has him riveted to that part of the conversation! “Where do you do your people watching? My latest hangouts have yielded so little but I was going to blame the warmer weather! And people watching is an skill~” And he clearly sees nothing wrong with it. The brownrider might not be aware of the passage of time, but Ru’ien is likely feeling it a little, now that he found a SNACK (and company). “Guess those two don’t always mix but nothin says you can’t make some time now and again? Try something new! You’re always welcomed to join me for a round of drinks — and if that’s not your thing, maybe some dancing? Cards? All of the above?” Just what does Ru’ien get up to? Might be best not to answer that. This one? Ru’ien tilts his head, clearly a little loss (blame the mild tipsiness) but content to hold whatever thoughts are rattling about in his easily distracted head! He fans himself a little with his hand, still looking a touch flushed. Someone’s running hot! As the new slab is slapped down, Ru’ien jumps a little but swiftly brushes that off with an impish smirk and helping himself to the last of the berries from that platter. “Mhm, I can’t promise but I’ll do my best?” It’s said around a mouthful of food and a low chuckle that soon morphs into a shocked gasp. “Such threats! As if I would do anything else but treat you well, P’al! Have I ever wronged you?” Cue a hand pressed to his chest. You wound him! Where’s that mug? Ru’ien’s reaching for it, taking a few long sips of the drink before setting it back unfinished; he’s already slipping from his seat. “Gonna have to cut this visit short though — thanks for the snacks, by the way! Need to get home and maybe sneak in a quick nap before Kihatsuth starts fussing.” Not that she’s not to blame for part of his condition at the moment! “See you around, P’al?” There’s a wink tossed his way, along with a lopsided, friendly grin.

"You know how every weyr has it's own little sneaky-sneaky privy time spot that people like to abuse? Don't be on the path going there. Be on the path that leaves and heads back to the weyr proper. Those are the ones you wanna watch because it's either someone getting busted by their weyrmates or some kids out on a path for destruction. Mostly it's perverts and they're fun to terrify." Nothing scares a pervert more than a well dressed and well groomed rider giving the disappointed parent stare. Seeing them skitter off into the unknown is a classic experience every time. "You know what? I just might take you up on the offer of a night outing. You'll have to dress me though, I've been running around in uncle chic these days. I mean, literally. Buttons are hard for these delicate fingers. I won't make you do the boots, though. No one needs that abuse to their noses." See? What a sweet, adorable, and thoughtful brownriding butcher he is! Never wronged by Ru'ien, oh no. Not at all! P'al chuckles, moving to the sink to thoroughly wash his hands and he returns with a clean towel as he dries all the way down to the webbing between his fingers. "Definitely! I'll see you around!" « Oh, you'll see her around alright. All over. » Dragons fly all the time. We'll be fine. « Then you better stretch then, you bastard. » Stretch? The bulb finally flickers but P'al simply snorts and shrugs, returning back to the handling of that delicious meat. At least he doesn't have to stretch for this one.

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