The Mother of All Forks

Xanadu Weyr - Nursery
Large and spacious, this room is just perfect for families with young ones too little for the playgrounds to gather together. Situated just off the resident halls near the main caverns, it is easy to for parents to drop off or visit with their children throughout the day. Just outside the door, is a small set of shelves with nooks for shoes and boots to be placed in with hooks above for sweaters and jackets. Scattered throughout the room in both adult-sized and child-sized are several plush couches where parents and nannies can cuddle the little ones.
In the center of the room is a miniature 'playground' area for toddlers to climb on with pint-sized slides, ladders and crawling tubes. The floor there is well padded for protection from falls. In one corner are cushions and pillows along with shelve full of books to read, several tiny table provide space for coloring and crafts while a stack of pallets is available for naptime. Cubbies and baskets are filled to the brim with colorful toys in a variety of shapes to help stimulate the imagination. Foot-powered riding toys are also available for the active child.
In one corner, on a rug with bright colors and a variety of shapes, there's an area for storytelling with comfortably upholstered chairs and pillows available for sitting on the floor. A projector is available for visual aid, with a white screen that pulls down should anyone need it.

What's Taeli doing in here? Sitting cross-legged among all the toddlers, of course, her face and shirt STREAKED with paint and .. is that some macaroni in her very blonde hair? Well. It WAS blonde. Now it has some suspicious blue streaks in it. It's not her fault, y'all. Right now, indian-style on the ground, she's very loudly oohing and aaahing over some little snot-nosed brat's very avant garde fingerpainting masterpiece.

There are few things that could make Sylvarin go into the nursery…being forced to make and deliver an afternoon snack for the children? That's one of the few reasons. The baker arrives with an assistant drudge carrying two trays each only to pause in the doorway. His almost permanently knitted eyebrows seem to wrinkle even more as he takes in the scene in front of him. It's barely audible, but there's a click of his tongue. How messy! After a moment, those green-blue eyes eventually fall on several of the tiny tables and he heads over in that direction to place the trays down. What's on the trays? Yet to be determined as they're covered!

Nessalyn certainly doesn't want to be here, but she has a small child attached to her back who appears to be clinging with a terrifying amount of strength for a creature so small. The engineer is a little red in the face since her windpipe is being crushed by a tiny arm, and she's wheezing a little as she makes her way into the nursery. "OW, MOTHERFU-" She juuuuuuust catches herself with a, "Forker. Motherforker." Because that child on her back is yanking at the bits of wire and tools that adorn her hair, and it hurts. "Come on, get off of me. You're here now." This demand is met with a solid headshake, and a reedy little voice demanding, "What's a motherforker?"

"WHAT'S A MOTHERFORKER?!" comes the chorus from the kiddos encircling Taeli's current position. The huntress looks up owlishly, streaks of blue and pink chaotic over her face like so much warpaint. Her eyes narrow from — something, momentarily, until she's suddenly LEAPING to her feet in a controlled explosion of energy upwards. Kids are smart, they get tf out of the way, half clamboring for whatever the treat is — one little girl is taking to hollering, "TREAT TIME! TREAAAAAT TIIIIMMMEEEE!!!" at the top of her lungs — and the other going running for Nessalyn, a flock of chirping little birds all asking what the fork a motherforker is.

"It's someone that's a complete pain in the ass." Yeahhhh, Sylvarin's probably gonna get kicked out of the nursery at some point today. But at least he kind of whispers the 'in the ass' part. So maybe only a couple of kids heard him? One can hope. "I'm pretty sure you're about to kill…." That sentence doesn't finish because soon Sylvarin is experiencing something that's /pretty/ close to a nightmare. "NO." Look at him, all 6'0 of him trying to act like some sort of guard in front of those covered trays. "No one gets treats until everyone sits down!" Because he spent TIME and EFFORT on these and those tiny grubby hands aren't going to ruin his wonderful creations. Does his face look scary and angry? Oh yes!

They've MULTIPLIED. Nessalyn looks genuinely horrified to find that her entourage of one has suddenly developed into an entourage of more than one. She still can't get the first one off of her, and now there are more clinging to her legs and tugging at her shirt. SHE NEEDS HELP. But she's also never going to admit that she needs help, so she stubbornly grits her teeth and tries not to think about where those tiny hands have been. At least Sylvarin is tall enough that they probably can't overpower him. "It's, uh." Someone needs to protect the children, here. "It's the mother fork. That's what you call someone who's… really good at eating." Speaking of, "LOOK, THERE'S FOOD, GO EAT IT." In order words, get tf out of here.

"HE SAID A BAD WORD!" it only takes one, Sylvarin, and that chubby-cheeked little girl is pointing a chubby-handed finger at the Baker with all the gleeful scandal of her soul. Taeli meaaaaanders on closer, evidently the only one perfectly at ease here. She picks up one of the running, screaming little heathens and holds the kid upside down. Any other situation, this would be extreme bullying, but this kid is just super excited by the attention and almost dies from laughing so hard. Kids, man. They're so weird. Like little drunk hyperactive humans. "PUT ME DOWN!" turns into "UP! UP!" in a heartbeat, so Tae's getting her cardio in by lifting this kid and then putting him back down. Meanwhile, MOST of the kids in Sylvarin's vicinity have calmed down and are staring at him or bashfully toeing the ground, but a couple of them little motherfuckers are screaming and running around with basically the attitude that YOU CAN'T TELL ME SHIT. One of them is actually vectoring in a way to run DIRECTLY into the back of Nessalyn's knees. If only Taeli wasn't so distracted

"Yes I did, and who knows, I might say more." Sylvarin kind of grimaces at the children, though that expression eases when at least a fair amount seem to settle down. Those few running around though? Oh he's staring daggers at them. "Three more seconds to calm down or you little tunnelsnakes get nothing." But maybe he isn't completely heartless when it comes to kids because the ones staring up at him do eventually get a long sigh. "Alright…have at. Two each though, no more." For a brief second he turns to uncover the couple of trays. Each one is filled with sandwich cookies. The biscuits themselves are a vanilla flavor with red-fruit creme in the middle. There are a few different shapes though and each is decorated. About a third are tiny fire lizards in various colors, another third are various runners, and the last third are…tunnelsnakes. Ok, so he's not in touch with what children want. But they are decorated /really/ well and frankly that decorative icing on top (all sugar by the way) seems to almost glisten. Course….all this means he's /not/ paying attention to the kid that's looking to tackle Nessalyn until it's far too late. Good luck!!

Let it just go on the record that Nessalyn at least tried to not swear in front of children. And hasn't yet murdered one of them, in spite of the fact that the one around her neck may legitimately be trying to strangle her. "OFF," she demands, attempting to pry those little legs from around her waist. "Why are you so strong?" There's a lot of giggling in return, and somehow those skinny legs only tighten their grip. "Seriously, what-" She's about to turn that demand toward the room at large, because HOW CAN SHE NOT GET A LITTLE KID OFF HER BACK, but then something comes barreling toward her legs and knocks her out at the knees. "FUHHHHHH-" She's so close to blurting it out. "-ORK." Honestly, the garbled sound of her voice as she tumbles forward and hits the ground hard probably negates all of her efforts to disguise the word anyway, especially since the near-swear is followed by a colorful array of phrases which aren't all entirely child-friendly. At least the one on her back seems to have put his clinging power to good use, since he's still attached to her as she lays there on the floor, defeated.

"Oooh, those look FANTASTIC!" That's Taeli for anyone wondering. She drops the kid she's holding, narrowly catches an ankle before skull-cracking happens, and starts wading through chubby little chunksters toward the cookies. LISTEN. COOKIES ARE LIFE Y'ALL. She snaps up one of those sandwiched snakes and beams over at Sylvarin as if he's legitimately the saviour of Pern. Her attention slo-mo gets drawn towards the walking trash fire that is the current situation with Nessalyn and THE CHILDREN, and her slo-mo reaction is to slowly widen her eyes and reach out with one hand, valiantly in vain. "PUPPY PILE!" she yells after Nessalyn's down, though, just because behind the golden labrador excitement and loyalty is the sadistic mind of future!Taeli that everyone should be super fucking scared of. See: current situation, where Taeli nibbles innocently away at her (delicious) sandwich cookie and watches the kids basically flying-squirrel to try to pile up on top of Ness.

"Where are the /actual/ nannies?" Because right now that's exactly what this situation needs and not a huntress woman-child! Sylvarin just stares as Nessalyn goes crashing to the floor and winces at the stream of words that come right after that. Look, he's /starting/ to make his way in Nessalyn's direction to offer her some help because the children /should/ be distracted by food. But why is nothing ever that easy? Because he's pretty sure that Taeli is a tiny gremlin that's somehow been reincarnated into a human. If reincarnation exists. Whatever. That savior-gaze being set on him is returned with a WTF-WOMAN gaze right back at her. "If she suffocates this is /definitely/ your fault." He's pausing specifically to tell her that, which may not be a good idea cause little kids are /much/ faster than paused adults.

Nessalyn already knew what was going to happen the moment she failed to pop back up to her feet as soon as she hit the ground, because kids are demons and opportunistic and JUST THE WORST. So it's not really a surprise when they all start landing on her, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant. Not to mention the fact that there are COOKIES JUST OUT OF REACH. This is literally the worst day ever. "NO PILE." Yeah, that gets no response whatsoever, as kids continue to climb on top of her and she feels vital organs being squished beneath them. She's tiny, y'all. It doesn't take much for these little monsters to turn her into a pancake. "Can't breathe." It's not entirely true, but it's becoming an effort. Gritting her teeth, she attempts to crawl toward Sylvarin, but stretching her arms out apparently just invites a few kids to come and yank on those, too. "I'M GOING TO KNOCK YOUR TEETH OUT, TAELI."

Taeli is a whole whopping inch taller than Nessalyn, so y'know, she should feel some sympathy for her fellow woman. She just beams down beautifically at the scene unraveling in front of her, as if this is the most lovely entertainment (and refreshment) than anyone could have ever bequeathed upon her. It's kind of like watching a young, blonde, female Loki being born right here in this moment. Kinda scary really. Except she beams up at Sylvarin and reaches down to pluck up a kid, stuffing the rest of her cookie into her mouth. Only then does she holler, "FIVE MINUTES UNTIL NAPTIME! GET A COOKIE OR YOU WON'T GET ONE!" it's almost like someone let her in charge of these heathens, which is a really bad idea. At least there's a lot more of a stampede towards the cookies. Tae stands neatly outside the as-the-crow-flies line between the downed awknerd and the cookie platters.

Maybe it's the site of poor Nessalyn trying to crawl across the ground that finally seems to kick Sylvarin into gear because the baker steps forward and begins scooping up kids. And where are those kids going? They are flying in the air. Yup, he's throwing them to that rug area with all the pillows and cushioned couches. None of them should get /seriously/ injured but honestly he's thinking a few bumps and scrapes might do them some good. Thankfully he's only two kids in before Taeli calls off her army of minions and she is /definitely/ getting another stink-eye. "Let me guess, they're all your cousins too?" Because how else can she control THE SWARM if they aren't related? For now attention turns back to the engineer though and the baker looks mildly concerned. He'll offer her a hand up if needed, though certainly won't be offended if she doesn't take it! "You ok? Or at least well enough to kick her in the face again?" Because that's the important question.

As the crowd of children disperses in favor of cookies, Nessalyn is left blessedly kid-free. She probably should get right up, but, "I'm pretty sure they cracked a rib." She bemoans this fact as she holds her side, rolling over on the opposite to flop onto her back. "I'm dead." That's fairly obviously not true, but she is feeling aches and pains in all sorts of places. "I think they dislocated my shoulder." She wiggles it a little for good measure, eyeing Sylvarin's hand for a moment before shaking her head. Ness isn't much for physical contact, and this just violated all of her boundaries. With a grunt, she pushes herself up, giving Taeli the stink-eye from across the room. "Even if they'd broken my leg I'd still find a way to kick her in the face."

"Wanna cookie?" is all Taeli says — chirps really, brutally without remorse as she brightly beams at Nessalyn. "Your hair is a little," she makes a mental voodoo kind of motion, fingers pointed toward her scalp and wiggling. It's also the universal sign for dude your hair. "But the cookies are great!" she enthuses, beaming over shamelessly at Sylvarin. This is the best day EVER. "They're pink even!" cause everyone knows exactly how much Ness loves pink. "No, you can't have two," she chides a kid who's probably shoved four in his face and is reaching for another one. "Go find your nap space." She bumps him with a leg and off he goes, grumbling around the giant mouthful of SUGAR.

"So I should tell Ajral to expect both of you in the infirmary by the end of the day." FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. Just kidding. Sylvarin would /never/ encourage that. Fighting gets things dirty, and dirty is horrifying and gross. Given that Nessalyn doesn't /actually/ seem to be dying the baker turns around….only to find that the little monsters are /demolishing/ the cookies /way/ too quickly with those tiny fingers and mouths. Yes, that's what little kids do, but his expression is a peculiar mix of annoyance and devastation. "I spent /hours/ on those…" Because he is a perfectionist when it comes to desserts. He created ART, art you see. And they didn't appreciate it enough. All that work gone in just a couple of minutes. Alas!

In all fairness, Nessalyn's hair is a bit of a mess at any point in the day given the strange amount of stuff she stores up in that bun of hers. But one hand to her head tells her that it's definitely worse than usual, and her pliers are on the floor beside her and a pair of tweezers are threatening to topple at any moment. "I hate pink." Her scowl sits firmly upon her lips, directed ever-so-pointedly at Taeli. Sylvarin probably deserves some thanks for his efforts, but she's too busy plotting how to murder a puppy to worry about that. And… wait. Her gaze sweeps back to the cookies as the children demolish them. "NO MORE COOKIES?" This day couldn't get any worse.

This, Nessalyn, this is what happens when you kick a puppy IN THE FACE. Taeli just beams at all responsible parties (ie nobody)… just kidding, she grins at EVERYONE, it's almost compulsive really, but with a waggle of fingers she turns around and gets back to her bizarre impromptu nursery watching. BYE Y'ALL KIDS GOTTA SLEEP AND THEY AIN'T GONNA DO THAT unless someone bribes or drugs them. 50/50 which way Taeli might just go there.
(She doesn't even say goodbye. Manners.)


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.

"No more cookies…" Sylvarin echoes, sounded quite tired now. He didn't actually /do/ anything and he wasn't tackled by anyone but his cookies were /eaten/. Which is technically what they were made for, but still! There's a sigh from the baker as he moves over to stack the empty trays on top of one another. "I forget if there are any cookies left, but if you want to try something else I have a few things in the kitchen that are ready for dinner." The trays are hefted up, eventually moving to rest on the shoulder as a few steps with long legs take him towards the entrance/exit. "Frankly, you kind of deserve it after all that." There's a little smirk on his lips, turning to glance at Nessalyn once more before he's making his way out towards the caverns. Perhaps she'll follow him, perhaps not!

Nessalyn doesn't seem inclined to move, at least until one of the children seems to be venturing in her direction, and then she snaps to her feet. YOU'RE NOT GETTING HER AGAIN, MONSTERS. With one more scowl for Taeli's back, she makes haste in her departure, only half-listening to Sylvarin's words. Her focus is upon those terrible creatures, who might at any moment turn and lunge at her rather than going down for a peaceful nap. "Wait, did you say you have more things? Dessert things?" Oh hellooooo, new best friend. "I definitely deserve it," she agrees, breathing a little easier now that they're out of the danger zone.

"Yes, dessert things." Sylvarin lets out a low chuckle as he moves through the hallways and caverns before finally arriving at the kitchens. He is only a journeyman but there's an air of smugness when he walks through those doors that certainly isn't quite as overbearing when he isn't in his work area. There's a brief hand wave to a few workers that are preparing for dinner and soon he's moving over towards a counter towards the back. The empty trays are dropped off before he turns towards the cold room. "Anything you're allergic to? Or particularly hate the taste of? I've got a couple of things…" He says all this /assuming/ she's still behind him, but he'll glance back to check only after the words leave his mouth.

Ah, the kitchens. A place Nessalyn frequents only to steal desserts from the bakers, since she has no talent for cooking whatsoever. She could burn water. But dessert things have been promised, which means for the moment, Ness will follow Sylvarin to the ends of the earth. "Seaweed," she answers decisively, a faint smirk playing on her lips. As she walks, she fiddles with her hair, tucking her tools into her belt as she takes down her ruined bun and twists it back up into place again, the ends of her hair still fanning out like an odd peacock's tail on top of her head. Tools are neatly tucked back in place, before she turns her attention to her likely-ruined clothes. "They got paint on me…"

"Don't worry, that's a special dish made for Taeli." Sylvarin smirks, but to be fair Taeli kind of asked for something seaweed related. "They're all disgusting." The kids, not the desserts he means. In a moment he's disappearing into the cold room and reappearing with a small cake on a plate. The little item is a half sphere, the flat side resting on the dish. It's covered in a light blue glaze that glistens under the kitchen lights. Resting atop it is a single berry and little bits of powdered sweetener. It almost looks like snow falling on water despite the concave shape. It's quite delicately placed in front of Nessalyn and soon Sylvarin is producing a utensil, "A Mother Fork for you, m'lady." One can practically hear the smirk in his voice, and despite the fancy word he's looking completely casual. "Berry flavored glaze covered a citrus cream cake."

"Just give her candied seaweed." Nessalyn grimaces even as she suggests it, the very words threatening to make her gag. "She deserves it." That's the least of the engineer's planned revenge, but at least it's a starting point. The talk of kids — or maybe it's seaweed desserts? — being disgusting earns a firm nod, since she agrees either way. Blue eyes widen when he brings out that work of art, and for just a moment the woman looks almost ashamed, before that flicker of an expression is hidden behind wide eyes and an appreciative grin. "Now that's a dessert." A snort of a laugh is offered for his joke, as she reaches out to take the fork from him. It's brandished a bit like a sword as she utters, "The Mother of All Forks, I think." And then she's going for the cake, fighting against her baser urge to simply SHOVEL ALL THE CAKE into her mouth, instead picking up a reasonably-sized bite. Which she promptly shoves into her mouth. Then, "Oh shiiiiiit!" It's groaned around the mouthful. "Marry me."

"I'm about 90% certain she might actually like it. Or pretend to, just to get on people's nerves." Sylvarin holds both hands up in a joking manner, as if to surrender to the fork-sword, but soon after he's leaning over to drop an elbow on the counter. He's not /trying/ to be rude, but the baker does tend to stare when someone's tasting one of his desserts for the first time. It's not that he isn't confident, he /is/, but it's how good it actually tastes on the scale of all things good. Apparently her reaction is high enough of the scale because he grins broadly, "Careful, you might regret that proposal later!" He even lets out a little laugh before reaching over to a notebook and pen that's been tucked into the corner. "Any suggestions?" Because she's kind of a test subject here too. It takes him a moment to flip through the very full notebook to find the right page for this dessert. "It needs a name too."

"That sounds like something I would do," Nessalyn admits with a little nose wrinkle of distaste, because Faranth forbid she have anything in common with Taeli. She dives in for another bite, making further noises of appreciation as she devours her second mouthful. "As long as you make me desserts and abide by my rules of not speaking to me unless I want to be spoken to, we'll do just fine." Because the best marriages begin with a total lack of conversation and demands for constant food. There's no way this will fail! She licks the fork clean before she brandishes it again, waving it over the glaze as she says, "More of this. Maybe like a pond around it? You could call it something artsy, like 'Spring Thaw Cake' or 'Snow-Kissed Summmer Cake'." A simple shrug of her shoulders. "Or something, I don't know. I'm an engineer, not a cake-namer."

"I knew it, you /are/ one of her cousins." Sylvarin snaps a finger while saying those words before chuckling. He turns around now, back pressed against the counter while two elbows rest on it. "Deal. Course, that means I get to decide what type of desserts to make." There's an almost foreboding gleam in his eyes before he's glancing towards the ceiling and nodding his head a couple of times. "I like that snow one…could add a few more decorations. Maybe one of those clear shards of melted sweetener? Icicles or something like that." The pen in his hand is twirled between his fingers absentmindedly as he ponders on this a bit more.

"You say that again, and I'll find a new home for this Mother Forker." Nessalyn jabs it in the general direction of his chest, not close enough to make contact, but enough to make it clear where the fork's new home will be. Her eyes narrow slightly, suspicion written in the downward twist of her lips. "As long as there's not seaweed. If there is, I'll leave you forever." The last is said archly, with a motion that might be a toss of her hair, if only it weren't bound up in a bun. "Sounds fancy." A thoughtful shrug. "Go for it." And while he goes for that, she's going to go for the rest of her cake. "Do you have any more of these?"

Sylvarin's hands go up immediately once more, "Got it…no seaweed." But she didn't say anything about OTHER THINGS. And COMBINATIONS. Their hypothetical marriage would probably last all of two days! "Anything to please the lady of course." Again, despite the fancier words he appears quite casual. "I do actually, and maybe a couple more that are in earlier stages of development you could help out with." There's an effortless push away from the counter as he moves towards the cold-room again. He'll eventually return with more desserts and the taste-testing will continue for a bit longer!

And thus the worst day of Nessalyn's life became the best. The end.

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