Desri Accosted by K'ael

Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens

It seems that with the fire that destroyed much of the kitchen, care has been taken to restore it to a condition well beyond what it was orignally. And thus state of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths, while thin metal sheets have been installed over each countertop, for both ease of use and ease of cleanup. A large pantry remains generally open, containing a all the nonperishable goods, while a similarly large icechest contains the perishable goods.

It's later at Xanadu. Past dinnertime for sure. The kitchens are mostly empty save for a few drudges doing some general cleaning. They won't be full again until early tomorrow morning when the bakers and the breakfast crew arrive. Well, there' is one figure hanging about in the kitchens. It's K'ael! The leader of Xanadu's Search and Rescue wing was rarely seen around the weyr these days outside of work. But tonight, he is here. He's dressed up in an apron that reads "Ask me how I treat my meat" and there's a variety of carving knives laid out in front of him. Next to the knives is a big hunk of herdbeast, which the bronzer seems to be sizing up as he sharpens up a cleaver.

Earlier, Desri had visited the nurseries and offered to lend a hand. She hadn't expected the Xanadu creche-workers to be quite so enthusiastic about accepting. The afternoon spun by in a whirlwind of activity; controlled chaos at its finest, as is common to the nursery. The Istan was ecstatic, being far better as a worker than idle tourist. Unfortunately it left her missing the dinner hour and now with the Weyr winding down, she's on the prowl for something to eat. Of course, prowl implies sinister intent and Desri is a little too hesitant in poking her head through the doorway to count as a predator. She idly, anxiously, tugs on one of her braids while sizing up the occupants of the kitchen. That there's one man and a handful of drudges leaves her bold enough to step on inside and approach (perhaps unwisely) the fellow with the cleaver. "Ah…I don't mean to interrupt but…is there a tray or…a night hearth for those who missed the meal?" Don't tell her, but she's got a smear of pink paint in her hair, and a yellow one across one cheek.

It's very possible then that Desri had come across a tiny version of K'ael. His son, Milo. Though Milo wasn't a baby anymore, so maybe not. The bronzer didn't have any infants in the Xanadu nursery that he knew of, at least. The bronzer looks over to Desri as she come in. Then he laughs a bit. "They don't usually keep much out, no. But there are some leftovers I'm sure in cold storage. Or you can grab some crackers and cheeses." The bronzer gets to work cutting the slab of beast down into the different sections. He grins a bit at Desri. "Or if you ask really nicely, I might be tempted to cook you up something fresh. Like steak." As if to tempt her, the bronzer slices off a nice prime cut and jabs a knife in it. Then he holds it up so it dangles. Hopefully Desri isn't a vegetarian. Otherwise she might be sick all over the place.

The first answer leaves Desri to look rather hopelessly around, no doubt in search of this cold storage. But the "or" bring dark eyes back to the man. There is no sicking up but by the way she blinks at him and leans back slightly, she hadn't expected to find a steak hanging near her face. At least she doesn't scream; the strangeness of the presentation startles a laugh from the nanny. "I…if it isn't a bother, that would be…yes, please," she answer, curling her arm around her torso and sliding back a step. If she tilts her head just so, she can talk to man instead of steak. "Are you…I'm Desri." Hello, abrupt and awkward introduction. "D'son's sister. I…if you're going to cook for me, you should know my name."

K'ael, full of tact, always. The bronzer seems pleased with her answer and he steps over to fire up the grill. The steak is set aside as he moves to pull down a variety of spices and things. "I think I'll have one, too. Two steaks, K'ael style. You like spicy or something more traditional? It's a little late for spicy I guess." The spices are mixed into a bowl with some other things and the steaks are set in it to make a nice marinade while the grill heats up. The bronzer extends a hand to her, then retracts it quickly. It wasn't exactly clean. "Er, sorry. I'm K'ael." There's a blink from him then. "You're D'son's sister? Really?" That garners a grin. "Dels and me are best friends! We go way back to before we impressed. Same clutch, him and I. We're bronzer brothers."

"I don't think it's ever too late for spicy. There's a steak rub in Ista, I wish I'd brought the recipe. It's hot enough to make you cry." Desri may be speaking quietly but there's no denying, she likes her spicy foods. She trails after to watch the process with interest, curiosity bleeding some of her awkwardness away; her hands remain tucked firmly under her arms though, as if she were worried of knocking something over. Yeah, she made no move to take that there-and-gone-again handshake. "K'ael? Oh…I remember him mentioning you, yes," she says, ducking her head but lightening up enough to give a smaller version of his grin, "It's nice to meet you. I don't know if the stories he told me are real or not, but…well, it's still nice to finally meet you."

K'ael chuckles. "Well then! Two special spicy K'ael steaks coming up then." There's a few more things added to the bowl. "That's a little too spicy for K'ael this late. I'll get indigestion and my goldrider will be mad at me." He chuckles to her. "Good to meet you too, Desri. Younger sister, right? Well, knowing Dels they're probably real. He's never gone and made up stories that I've ever known. What's he told you about me?" The bronzer has taken to slicing some meat very very thinly. And laying it out in a nice fan-fashion. "You got any firelizards? I make my own jerky for my set. And the cats, once in a while. The stuff they sell is usually too salty, and you can't keep raw meat on you in like… your pocket, or anything. So this is more convenient as a snack for them. People can still eat it though, of course."

The stream of chatter leaves Desri looking bemused. Fortunately, she's an excellent listener. She leans back against the table near the grill, resting as she alternates looking from the marinade preparations to the one preparing it. "Younger, yes. His foster mother is my blood mother. He told me you like to talk. And eat," she says with a glance at the slab of beef, "You keep him smiling." The first two observations are said with a smile of her own, the third somewhat more serious. The matter of pets leaves her shaking her head, a movement which finally brings the pink-streaked braid into her line of sight. Rumpling the bridge of her nose, she snares the rope of hair and begins scraping at the stain with her fingernail. "I never had time for firelizards, I had babies enough to tend without needing to look after a pet too. You don't have to make the steaks spicy, if it's going to get you in trouble with your weyrmate."

K'ael is kind of a chatterbox. Especially around new people that he wants to talk to. "Ooh, so not by blood then. But I bet you two were close growing up? D'son has fond memories of his childhood I know." He chuckles. "It's true, I do! I also like to work out, and I like long strolls on the beach…" There's a grin as she finds the pink streak in her hair. "You got a little yellow, here, too." He motions on his own face where the yellow on hers it. "No? They can be helpful if they're trained alright. Babies are fun though. I've got five kids. And one on the way." Two, actually, but the bronzer doesn't know that yet. "They can be a handful, though. You look a little young for kids, though." He peers at her, then grins. "Ah, no weyrmate. Yet. My goldrider is at Western, and I've got duties here at Xanadu right now. I should be alright if they're a little spicy. I won't keep her up then." The steaks are tossed onto the grill with a sizzling sound. "So I bet you got all the dirt on Dels' childhood. You'll have to tell me some good stories I can embarrass him with."

"Oh no, we…our father. Half-siblings, I guess, but it's easier to…ah." Desri flounders again; it was only a matter of time! She takes a breath and lets it out slowly, trying to rein in the nerves while surreptitiously scratching at her cheek. Drat, he's right. The tips of her ears go pink as a result. "We weren't especially close, I think I annoyed him since I was so much younger than he was and always trying to follow him. And then he was always away." She hesitates, giving her cheek a last rub to be sure the paint is gone. "I was a nanny, actually. I haven't…I mean. No. No kids, except for other people's. People like you, they…they keep people like me too busy for our own," she says, attempting a poor joke.

K'ael blinks a bit at her. "Oh? Ooh…" He nods, and grins. "Right. Half-siblings. How old are you, then? Dels and I are getting a little old, I guess. You look a lot younger. Younger than twenty, I would guess? Kind of too far apart in age, I guess." The steaks are flipped as some jerky is laid out and brushed with something, then popped into an oven that barely feels on. He nods to her then, and then laughs. "Ah a nanny! I like kids but I'm not cut out for that type of work. I'd get too stressed out. I'll make sure to keep your guys employed, though!" There's a grin to her. "Actually we're going to probably foster our kids. But if you ever do want some of your own." He thumbs to himself and then winks at her. Then he chuckles. Is he kidding? Most likely.

The guess earns a distracted nod, while Desri goes back to trying to get the more stubborn pink paint out of her hair. Her head is down as a result so she misses much of the naughtiness in the form of grins. This leaves her answers verging on the more serious side; one wonders if D'son's purpose in whisking her away from Ista was to teach his little sister how to loosen up. "I just turned eighteen, yes. If you're his age, you won't be old for awhile…though if you already have six children, and another sixty or seventy years ahead of you…" The bronzerider is a one man over-population epidemic! The though, when it occurs to her, brings soft laughter and a glance up at the fellow in question. Only for her to realize just what he's suggesting, even in teasing form. Now the ears /and/ the cheeks go bright. "Oh, um. I'll…take that under consideration. You, ah…mentioned Western?" A clumsier segue there never was.

K'ael is a bad influence. He could influence Dels, he could influence Desri! Just a few days with the bronzer and she'll be loosy-goosey for sure. Though he wasn't like he was in his younger years. Where it would only take a few hours. "I'm a turn or two older than Dels, I think. And five only." He laughs. "I won't be having kids past fifty turns or so, hopefully. Even my goldrider will be getting too old for children by then." He wraggles his eyebrows at Desri, then grins. "I'm just teasing. I'm way too old for you anyways. Mm, western. That's where I spend most of my time these days." The bronzer is keeping an eye on the steaks. "Hm. I think we might need a side dish. Tubers, perhaps."

"Five and one on the way," Desri counters, not so much the mouse that she can't put that out there even while blushing. Maybe there's hope for the girl yet. Not that she's willing to even discuss, jokingly, the prospect of her own children. That may be why she leaps at the prospect of peeling tubers. "I can get those started. Or…or heated up, if there's leftover. I…yes. I'll do that," she volunteers, easing away from the table to make for the ice-chest. Much rummaging follows, and banging of pots and containers. She's a nanny, not a cook, but reheating something is not beyond her basic skill set. In the meantime, K'ael can be sure she's wracking her brains for a topic of conversation that /can't/ be twisted into teasing. "Are your children at Western, then? That must be hard, having to be here."

K'ael can sort of tell Desri isn't much for talking about herself. She seems to dodge a lot of the questions. But K'ael isn't really a single man anymore, otherwise he'd be making things /really/ uncomfortable for her right now. "There should be some left overs. We can throw them in a pan. That'll be good for a side dish. You like your steak burnt to a crisp or bloody as heck?" K'ael wasn't a cook either. He could man the grill, and cook eggs and tubers. That was about it. "Cause if you like it bloody, yours is done." He chuckles. "I like mine a little bloody." The bronzer ponders for a moment. "I got a couple at Western. Couple are here. Then one at Telgar. They're all fostered except for Milo, my oldest boy. He stays here with me. The others I'm not so close with, unfortunately. I only see them once in a while. They weren't exactly planned. Flight babies. Except for Milo, he was an accident." He chuckles. "A good accident, but you know how it goes. This baby on the way is the first I'll have planned for."

Desri doesn't know how lucky she is! Except maybe she does; the glance sent at the bronzerider has a touch of the grateful about it when he goes with her suggested topic. "A little bloody is fine," she says, erring as always on the side of caution. Some already mashed tubers are slopped onto a pot and set on one of the stoves, the dials fiddled with until she gets something resembling a simmering heat going. "That's not an unfortunate thing, not always. The nurseries here seem really good. The fosterers will make sure they know they're loved." She pauses for a beat, in the midst of mixing the tubers in the pot to keep them from getting scorched. "Sometimes I feel like I'm one of the only non-flight weyrbrats in the Weyr. I mean, at Ista. There might be more here." See? Details can come out without prying.

K'ael isn't hard to lead astray. The bronzer will talk about nearly anything. "A little bloody, coming up. I'll turn the grill off and let them cook a little longer while the tubers go." He nods to her then. "Yeah. I'm holdbred, so it was hard for me to get used to the idea of fostering. But just about every weyrbred person I know who was fostered only has good memories from it, so I think it's really the best way. Enka and I don't really have the time to properly care for a little one, what with her being senior and me being here." He chuckles. "Nah. My son isn't a flight baby. Oh at Ista. Well, there might be a brood of little Ton-lings still running around there from back before I was even weyrleader there." The steaks are plucked from the grill finally and plated, waitingfor the tubers to be done. The bronzer doesn't want them to get dried out in the meantime.

It's only a moment longer before the tubers are heated to palatably warm. Simmering heat apparently counts as 'crank the dial all the way up' in Desri's world. At least they're not crispy and black. "I helped my mother with it and I don't remember anyone being unhappy with it. They loved their foster parents but they loved when their blood parents would visit too. It /is/ the best way." Even without having undergone the process herself, she's firmly in favor. A smile meant to be reassuring is tipped towards K'ael while she plops a spoonful of tubers onto the plate closer to him. "I'm sure they're happy. However many there are running around." Ever the optimistic soul; at least now she appears relaxed enough to inject some teasing of her own into the conversation. "Maybe I'll get to meet Milo before you have to go back."

Tubers are tubers. The bronzer will eat just about anything. This is a second dinner for him. He nods to Desri. "So maybe in a few turns you'll be a foster mom, too, hm? If you don't impress, I guess. Maybe you can foster one or two of my brats later on." Future brats, he means. He nods to her, finding a couple of stools for them at a counter where they can partake of food. The steaks have a little kick to them, but nothing to write home about. He laughs. "Well, I haven't transferred to Western yet. So Milo is still running around here most of the time. Trying to introduce him to the caverns at Western, so when we do make the move it'll be easy on him. But I spend a lot of my time over there now with Enka pregnant."

"I'd like to be but it'll be some time yet. Most parents want their fosterers to look as if they've reached their majority," Desri responds, tucking her chin down so that laughter escapes as a more muted chuckle. "Once you have seven and eight on the way though, let me know. I'd be happy to help, I was playing assistant to Mother by the time I was ten." Yes, that was a little glimmer of professional pride. As she gets settled on the stool and drags the plate in closer, she adds, "I promise not to let Dels be /too/ terrible an influence on them." Just to sweeten the deal. She indulges in a rare grin, the dimples she shares with her brother appearing, then bends to the task of carving up the steak for eating. "It sounds like you move around as much as he does. Ista, here, Western…"

K'ael nods and grins. "I'll keep that in mind. Heh, Dels is a good guy though. He's like another brother to me. I'll already be a bad influence on them I'm sure." K'ael has his own set of dimples. Of course he's been showing them off all night, though. The beast in front of the bronzer is being quickly masticated. "Mm. I started up at Grayson hold. Then I moved to Telgar. Then to Ista, then Ierne, then here. And soon Western." He chuckles. "Well, I always wanted a dragon for the traveling. I guess I like to move around. Though I'm hoping to settle down in one place for a while. What made you come poke around Xanadu? I'm guessing this isn't just a visit?"

The nanny's a daintier eater. Of course. Cut cut, chew chew. "Someone told me once that it gets into your blood. Being able to travel. I…never really saw the allure," Desri admits, "This was Mother's idea, and Dels'. Mostly Mother. She said I needed to get out before I locked myself into the nursery for the rest of my life, so she sent me here. It's nice, though. I mean…everyone's been nice, they don't seem to mind that I've just…moved in." Another bite is forked into her mouth to cover for the attempted return of the awkward. It works. "I'll be allowed back when she says I am, so I'm…making the best of it. I started in the nursery today, and one of the juniors said she might pay me to help look after her two toddlers now and again, while her gold is on the sands." Apparently Badri's great plan to expose Desri to The World has backfired.

K'ael was all… rugged, and manly during his eating! Or something. He's not a slob, but he inhales that meat faster than he ought to. The tubers, too. "Mm. For me, I loved the dragons. Once my brother brought home his bronze, I was hooked. I had to get out of the cothold. Get close to the dragons. And see Pern. Traveling can be pretty fun." He chuckles. "Well, Xanadu is pretty nice. It'll at least give you a little different experience, even if you do end up back at Ista down the road." He nods to her. "You should make your brother take you out around Pern a little. You like music, swimming, dancing, uh… eating? Beaches? There's something for everyone all over the place. You should stop by the tiki lounge at Western." The bronzer is full of ideas. "Or the marketplace at Ierne."

It isn't often she's had the chance to talk to those born outside of the Weyr. To hear this description of dragons, of being dragon-crazy, draws a look of bemusement from Desri. "I guess it's different when you grow up with them. I used to sit on the beach when I was little and watch the greens sunning themselves. I couldn't hear them but just seeing them, you could tell they were chattering like a flock of aunties, so I'd make up conversations in my head." Sacrilege! Not that the weyrbred girl appears to recognize it; she laughs at the memory and this time it's genuine laughter. "You've done well for yourself…though. Um." That was short-lived. The string of suggestions has her shifting uneasily on the stool, ducking her head to resume polishing off the steak. "I might. He's awfully busy, and I'm happy just learning my way around here. They need me in the nursery too."

K'ael isn't shy about it. It was all true! Even now the bronzer loved dragons. He just has one that occupies most of his time. "Mm. We didn't get to see them up close very often. Or at all, really." He blinks at her, then laughs. "From what I'm to guess it isn't far from the truth. Azaeth isn't much of a talker, though. He likes to stay out of the gossip." The bronzer shrugs a bit. "You're young yet. There's plenty of time to go exploring. You can visit the holds around Xanadu. Or just poke around at the weyr. Certainly plenty of babies, here!"

"I made it up to the ridge the other day. I was almost hit by a weyrling coming over it on their second flight." Which, in Desri's mind, is proof positive that she was not meant to travel or explore. It is far, far safer in the nursery. The sky is dangerous. Large, open spaces of any sort are dangerous. Better to live vicariously through others' stories. Like D'son. Or, now, K'ael. "What was it like, growing up in a hold? Was it terribly old-fashioned? Did you have radios?" Waiting for an answer provides a handy excuse to finish off the dinner, the tubers powered through with more alacrity before they harden into a rock-like mass.

K'ael blinks. Then he laughs a bit. "Well, if you're ever in need of rescuing… you know who to call. I got a nice big bronze that can shield you from low-flying weyrlings. You should at least let me take you flying. It'll be fun. Safe." He smiles to her, looking at her with big blue eyes. "Think of it as repayment for making the tubers tonight. What do you think?" He shrugs a bit, and then laughs. "What do you mean? We had running water and the like. Electricity, too. Though most things weren't. Radios? No. We had lighting, though. That's about it. I grew up kind of out of the way though. My family grows grapes for wine."

Electricity? Even that's too much! She has the gall to look somewhat disappointed, no doubt having been picturing some pristine pastoral scene out in the boondocks, full of bearded men and women in dresses. Desri marshals her disappointment, leashing it long enough to begin reaching for the bronzerider's plate…only to hesitate when the big blue eyes are brought into play. She blinks once. Brown eyes, such as hers, just are not capable of the same impact. "I…couldn't. Impose, I mean. That would be…you said yourself, you're so busy now and…here and Western, all of the…stuff." Ahhh, yes. The stuff. Serious business, that. But she's not a rude girl, so she thinks to add, "If you weren't so busy, maybe. Sometime. I'll just…be careful and watch out for weyrlings. Until then."

Unfortunately for Desri Grayson is close to Telgar, so while it wasn't a major area it was still close enough to civilization that they had some comforts growing up. As it were, K'ael's got four older brothers, and they all look very much like him in varying degrees. Same blue eyes, same built physique. Though K'ael was by far the beefiest, even if he was the shortest. "Ah don't be like that. It's only for a little while. Less than an hour, I can swing that easy. It'll be good for you. You can tell your mom then you've seen the whole weyr. You suure you don't want to go?" Big sad puppy-dog eyes from the bronzer.

But the stuff. With the things. At the places. Desri's arguments gradually slip away, unvoiced, while she regards K'ael in silence. Her expression is pained; she knows she's been backed into the proverbial corner. It's amazing D'son ever managed to pry her away from Ista in the first place. "I…maybe. I suppose. If it'll be less than an hour, when the nursery doesn't need me. And I tell D'son what we're doing. Where, I mean. Where we're going." That last is quickly tacked on, the most important clause of all. "Just…up to see the Weyr?" And then she flees, /flees/ before the blue eyes to go place the dirtied dishes into the big sink.

K'ael wasn't a bad guy, really! And for once in his life he's not trying to manipulate his way into a girl's pants. He's actually quite satisfied with his current setup. he nods to her. "Sure. Whenever you want. I can generally spare a moment. Dels can even come up with us if he wants. It'll just be a nice short flight to see the weyr. Nothing fancy or anything like that." He chuckles. "Well, unless there are other things you want to see? I mean, we can between anyplace." K'ael has a feeling that D'son is going to hear it from his sister. About the horrible bronzer that's making her do things!

Do things and /go places/. The horror! Desri is less worried about K'ael playing stereotypical bronzer than actually being up /there/. Out in the open. Did she mention the near collision with a weyrling dragon? Things could happen. Bad things. The Istan vents her anxiety by giving those plates a fierce scrubbing; the noise of the running water makes it difficult to answer right away. But eventually they're clean enough to squeak and she has to return to the conversation. Scrubbing her hands on a small towel, she meanders back towards the table with a measure of false composure. "Oh, no, just seeing the weyr would be enough, really. I mean, something might come up while we're out and then you'd have to rush back and I really don't want to be an inconvenience."

It's true! Do things, go places. The bronzer liked both. Desri was kind of shy for a weyrbrat. Maybe that was the difference to those who'd been a real 'brat' and someone who just happened to grow up in a normal family at a weyr? The bronzer tries to comfort her with a grin as he moves to take his jerky from the oven. "I won't let any weyrlings get us. I'm used to being safe and saving people. It's my job, after all. But I wouldn't worry about being an inconvenience. I have a whole wing of well-trained riders to handle emergencies. It'll be fun, I promise." The bronzer works on getting his jerky all nice and wrapped up. At least he's distracted, right?

"Fun," Desri echoes, not sounding entirely convinced. She tries a game smile anyway. It's difficult not to make the effort, at least, with K'ael so cheerful about the prospect. Better to think about those words of reassurance than the possibility of a lightning strike or a fluke windstorm or Azaeth hitting altitude and then suffering a freak wing injury /out of nowhere/. It could happen. "I…should get going, but it was nice meeting you finally, K'ael. Thank you. For the…steak. And everything." That appears to be the cue for Desri to flee, before he finishes up with the jerky and decides it's prime time to view the weyr in the dark in order to admire all of the sparkly lights so far, far below.

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