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.

WELCOME BACK TO THE MOST SHOCKING. EPISODE. EVER. OF XANADU WEYR'S BUTTER-UP-THE-COOK OFF. It was bound to happen, folks, destiny is dictated by the candidate chore roster landing our competitors in the kitchens together once more. After the last time, Stefyr and Keruthien shared this duty, there were words exchanged, challenges issued. The question? Who could be the champion of the kitchens, the ultimate mooch's mooch, the preeminent provision procurer. Will it be golden boy Stefyr or dark horse Ruthien? Let's tune in and find out.

Divide and conquer seems to be the name of the game as far as Stefyr is concerned, arriving early, pristine in appearance, and already toting a basket of tubers for a round-faced cook old enough to be his mother. "I'm really just so excited to be here today," he's telling her with evident sincerity. "I love your gravy," which is all true and when it comes with such a winning smile, he's probably off to a strong start. And if he flashes a See? look at Keruthien that is probably meant to say that he's in for quite the competition from his blonder bro, that's all just a healthy competitive spirit.

Ooh, it IS a strong start from our golden boy Candidate! Stefyr's setting the bar high and that opening will be tough to beat! But it’s early yet in the competition and this could be anyone’s victory, as who knows what Keruthien has up his sleeve. Look at the way he’s grinning like a wild canine in the chicken coop! He better be on guard, if he wants to hold his position. See, Ruthien’s watching closely, amused to the nine’s with Stefyr’s opening tactic. Not to be outdone, he’ll wait just long enough for the round-faced cook to turn back to her work before sliding in on the other side of her. “It’s true, what he said! That gravy is some of the best, hands down.” he compliments in a voice holding no edge of sarcasm and more genuine sincerity. Hey, maybe there IS truth to it! Talk about an easy leg up! “You’re looking well. They’ve not been working you too hard this summer, have they?” Is it too thick? Or just right? Who knows, but that smile is radiating gentle charm and youthful innocence that no man his age should possess. Where’d he learn THAT trick? Well, he’s weyrbred. Does that mean Stefyr’s at the disadvantage here? We’ll SOON FIND OUT!

GO BIG OR GO HOME, BRO. And don't step on his lines. Stefyr's eyes narrow at the curly-haired candidate who is of a height with him over the top of the cook's head, she being at least two heads shorter than the towering giants of the candidate class. "Actually, ma'am," the golden boy butts back in with that smile of his, his hands reaching to accept a peeler from the older woman before she can even ask. "The Weyrleader asked if I could have a copy of the recipe for the gravy." A HIGH COMPLIMENT, if R'hyn issued any such instruction and Stefyr is not just full of suspicious stuffing. "You know, I can peel these. We used to peel tubers by the bucket back at the farm. All those growing boys, to feed." And there it is, folks, the go big move: the dimples. They're on fine display. Can Keruthien match that level of adorable sizzle? If he can, it might not even matter because this is a busy woman and she might not have the patience to be their judge for she's aiming to hand Keruthien a peeler, too, with every apparent intention to abandon the boys to their task.

Stepping on lines is part of the sneaky tactics of someone out to WIN THIS THING! Stay sharp, Stefyr! Keruthien’s on to you. In fact, he’s sort of half-gaping at the other Candidate when he goes in for that dimpled look and supposed ‘high compliment request’. It takes all his effort not to snort out loud, but he does roll his eyes a little behind the round-faced cook’s back, while quirking one lone brow at his competitor. Really? REALLY? You’re going to start throwing high-rank names, kid? And tales of home! Damn, Ruthien’s short on those sort’ve things since, well, Xanadu is his home and it’s probably not the best thing to remind the cooks of his younger days pilfering snacks. Ahem! BACK TO TASK! The peeler is grasped and blinked at and ‘lo, there goes their target! Away on her task, likely ALL TOO AWARE what’s going on (and secretly loving it, come on). With a sigh, Keruthien leans against the counter, elbows propped behind him just-so to support his weight with a feigned air of dejected mood. “Well,” he faux sighs. “THAT didn’t go as well! You had to choose the tough nut to crack first, huh? Y’know there’s easier targets?” Teasing, he’ll tilt his head askance, playful, despite the failure of the FIRST ROUND! Did either of them score? Shall it be a neutral drawl!? Grabbing one of the tubers, he’ll toss it idly in his hand, catching it effortlessly. One. Two. Three. Ah hah! “Mhm. What about them?” He’ll nod towards a group of younger cooks, young ladies, currently working what looks to be a batch of cream. Delicious? Ruthien peers at Stefyr, all sidelong and mischievous. Well?

Briefly popped brows and the blue eyes beneath make a 'Yeah, what of it?' telepathic message to his bro. Does he get the message? If not, that Stefyr sticks out his tongue at the other boy probably is just his way of KEEPING IT CLASSY. His hands dip into the bevy of tubers reaching under a nearby counter to pull out a crate to sit on and a bucket for scraps and he sets to like the good little farm boy he once was. That his cheeks take on a slight blush probably would have aided their cause moments ago, but does no one any good now since the targets are too far away to make use of it. Sure, Keruthien's teasing, but it looks like he just struck an unintended nerve to get that kind of reaction. He's silent too long, really, his eyes only flicking toward the women working with the cream and then back to the tuber he's peeling in practiced strips. It must be a deficiency in Stefyr because there's nothing wrong with the ploy Keruthien is suggesting, nothing wrong with easier targets, but Stefyr just doesn't seem to get it. Or maybe it's something more. "That might not be the best idea for me." He clears his throat but doesn't immediately elaborate. It's not hard to read too much between the lines though, with him allowing targets old enough to be his mother but not young enough to— well. Not be.

Careful of sticking out tongues and other such ‘rude’ gestures! Keruthien’s got his own repertoire and some really ARE of the scandalous variety! He won’t pull those tricks out quite yet (or at all) because they’d likely get their arses turfed — or he’d get turfed and like hell he’s giving victory to Stefyr that easily! And while the other is setting to work at peeling, like the poster child he is, Ruthien’s not so inclined to get down to business (well, not THAT business, anyways). He’ll toss that tuber idly another set-number of times before setting it aside, along with the peeler, as he leans in closer to Stefyr. Has he caught on at all to that silence? No, of course not. At least, not in the ways HOPED FOR! He’s noted that flushed look though and that’s probably spurring him to his usual course of mischief making. “Why not? What’s there to worry about? Afraid you’re gonna lose against me?” he teases, only lightly goading because let’s be honest here? He’s not going to twist Stefyr’s arm in this. Just like he never forces anyone to do something they wouldn’t; he’s just unaware that he can be very convincing at times! Another glance towards the younger cooks and his grin turns a touch smug. “Want me to warm ‘em up a little, then?” Seriously, bro! He’s gonna do it.

"Yes, Keruthien," Stefyr responds to the other candidate, expression one of played up defeat. "I'm just so intimidated by your obvious prowess." And that's when the blond flips a peeling toward his bro's nose. Fighting dirty is probably against the rules, folks, but if the judges didn't see it, anything goes. "I'm just… apparently flirting and I don't know it." He admits after an aggravated look and some silence, popping the tuber into a pre-prepared bowl of water left by that cook he was helping earlier. "I'm not sure there are good ways to say I want to kiss you, but I also want to kiss other people and not have it come off poorly," a glance goes toward those women and their cream. That may be worrying prematurely, since Keruthien looks like he's about to get a leg up on the competition due to his own temerity and the golden boy's timidity. And Stefyr? He gestures an invitation to Keruthien to do his worst. Maybe the big blond will go do the mopping up after his bro crashes and buuuuurns. Or maybe he has another target in mind.

Keruthien chuckles throatily and doesn’t even so much as bat an eye when that peel is flipped at him. He’ll just brush it aside and then flick it right back at Stefyr because surely they’re BOTH mature adults! Right? “You are though! That was some good work on the cook too, y’know.” He means it too, there’s no snide edge or sarcasm lacing his tone. “Flirting doesn’t have to be some grand sweeping gesture! Or laid on too thickly. That sometimes has the opposite effect!” What is he doing!? GIVING ADVICE? To the competition! The nerve. Oh and then Stefyr has to go and say that and now Ruthien will be Ruthien and turn the tables ever-so slightly by leaning in, turning that wry smile on his own BRO! “You could just ask?” he almost sing-songs sweetly, half-teasing, all dead serious. “Or don’t and just do and worry of consequences later?” Yeah, that’s totally HIS motto! Easing up, he’ll clasp his hand to his shoulder in an affectionate pat. Don’t give up! You got this. Maybe? Keruthien probably doesn’t but that won’t stop him. So yeah, watch him potential crash and burn in spectacular fashion! Because off he goes, with just a flippant grin cast over his shoulder to his partner in crime— err contest and then he’s smoothly gliding his way in along side one of the younger ladies. There’s enough din among the kitchens that his comments can’t be heard clearly but he’s obviously saying something that gains him mixed reactions! One blushes and giggles, the other is intrigued but indifferent and the third looks ready to just smack him (or walk away, probably that). Whatever is said and exchanged happens quickly, with the obviously gullible one waiting for the opportune moment to sneak him a little bit of whipped cream from the bowl. To which he promptly licks from his fingers in a way that is in NO WAY PURE and sets the girl to blushing furiously and looking quick to her work. Ruthien? His gaze shifts to dead. eye. stare. Stefyr, wherever he may be, for the best of it, before the gesture is done and he focuses back on the younger cooks. At this rate, that bowl is going to be butter instead of cream! Poor girl.

The advice is received with narrowed eyes and the other candidate opens his mouth as if he's going to say— what? Something. But he seems to think better of it. Stefyr lets his glowering expression fall to the tuber: it can handle it. He makes a gesture to hurry his bro on his way. OFF YOU GO, RUTHIEN. YOU'RE NOT WANTED HERE. Well, no, not that, never that, but go on anyway. Because as soon as Keruthien is up and off, Stefyr's setting his spud and peeler aside and wiping his hands and following. He was all ready with one of his more charming smiles (the youngest brother probably did need that charm to get a fair portion at home), only when Keruthien turns, he is right there. That gesture? It ends up probably a lot more intimate than it would've been from across the room. It has the blond turning six shades of red as his eyes follow the action. He's as bad as that first cook. And that's probably why after meeting Keruthien's gaze briefly in one unreadable look that might mean Keruthien misstepped with his bro or maybe that poor Stefyr is more confused than ever, he steps to the side to join the flustered cook, giving her a gentle, friendly elbow. "Can I help with that?" is sweet balm after Keruthien's salaciousness. Maybe, just maybe, he's not even after a dollop of cream of his own. Has he forgotten the terms of the bet already so soon? Or maybe he just wants to lose. Either way, he doesn't look back up at his bro as he follows some of the instructions given to him by the cook whose color matches his own.

Oh Stefyr! Don’t look at him like that? Keruthien was just having fun and not intentionally at the expense of others! He’s used to being a flirt, it’s as built in to him as many of his other quirks, he’s just not wholly aware of how bad it can be. Maybe there’s some understanding that a line was crossed, because he doesn’t push further, keeping only to his grinning and to his side of the cook. She is, undoubtedly, a little surprised by Stefyr’s arrival but relieved by his calmer approach. Help? That’s a magic word! Of course he can help and she will tell him so, perhaps a little flustered (and with a quick darted look to Ruthien). What’s the bro up to? Oh, he’s watching, to see if the game is still on or if this is the end of it. It’s the blond Candidate’s “turn” after all and maybe he’s anticipating some hidden talent on his part — or just anything, really. Keruthien holds his breath for ALL options to be played out on the table, that’s part of his love for moments like these: who knows how the cards fall, or the dice roll. It’s not even a complex game or scenario; it’s innocent enough, simple, but there are so many odds and possibilities and he’s THERE FOR IT, readied to morph and shift as much as he can to meet the expectations. For that reason, he is observing. It could be read wrong, the way he continues to stare at Stefyr, at the young ladies trying to do their work, at them all.

Stefyr is a good helper, really. He follows directions well, he isn't well versed in cream beating, but he'll give it a go with his strong arms. But he's one to watch. It doesn't take too many of his sweetly earnest questions to the cook about how she knows when the cream is just right to have her offering him tastes off a spoon that she loads with a spatula. "Mmmm, mmmmm," he compliments without words, but with expressive faces. The ones while she's looking are tame, but then at Keruthien, over her head, there is one that well… if he weren't already blushing, Stefyr would be by the time he finishes making that face. Keruthien is really missing out despite his early apparent bid for a point. It might be, even that such an expression directed at Keruthien after what he just pulled on Stefyr is just revenge — but then again… it might also be… flirting? Do you make faces like that at your bros and mean nothing more than a return of embarrassment with it? Who can say. Stefyr's making his excuses to the women and brushing- yes, brushing, like that's his arm on Keruthien's back, and those are even his fingers ghosting across Keruthien's palm where no one can see- past Keruthien to head back to the tubers he was tasked with lest they go untended too long.

If it’s revenge, it’s sweet revenge and potentially backfiring as Keruthien isn’t exactly deterred by those faces! It definitely earns a reaction, a sort of blank, mildly slack-jawed, LOOK for whatever that was — to his credit, he doesn’t burst out laughing and draw the entire kitchen’s attention to it? He should be THANKFUL for that! There is some quiet snickering though, which only draws the attention of the other two ladies who really should come to their poor coworker’s HELP! Whether it was joking or flirting, does the details truly matter? Keruthien’s taking it both ways and none, until Stefyr is brushing past like that and draws his focus in a much sharper sense. He’ll leave him to wander back to the tubers and the peeling, likely staring much longer than one ought to before grinning wryly. Turning to the ladies, he makes some passing comment and a wink that sends the favourite blushing again and the other two FINALLY shoo’ing him away. Laughing to himself, he’ll drift on back to actual work only NOT because he’s too busy sidling up to Stefyr’s side. Personal space? Nah. No such thing here, though he starts under the guise of some “friendly” ribbing by nudging his elbow gently into his side. It’s the way he leans in, the way his voice is pitched to a gruffer whisper that treads a fine line between joking around or definitely flirting. Knowing Ruthien? He’s left that decision in Stefyr’s hands. “… you’re either underselling yourself,” he muses. “Or you’re one of those damn naturals who don’t even know it and just need some experience to nail it.” Pun intended? OR NOT. He’ll relent a little, straightening and yet hovering so, so close and though he’ll reach for a tuber and a peeler, his gaze is fixated on Stefyr. Like the real game here isn’t their contest of buttering up cooks but now him, instead. Intrigue (maybe integrity too with it) knows no bounds, with this one!

If Stefyr was paying attention for Keruthien's reaction, it isn't obvious from the way he looks wholly absorbed in… peeling potatoes. He hasn't resumed his seat, at least and is thusly standing when his friend comes up alongside of him. He's careful with that peeler, not wanting to lose any bit of skin to the process of cleaning the tuber in his hands. He doesn't seem to even notice the lack of personal boundaries (but then he does work for Risali, so that's bound to trip up a person's idea of how big a bubble is supposed to be). There's a moment after that nudging and those words before the blond even appears to have heard the curly-haired candidate. Slowly, Stefyr leans just a little toward his friend in turn, his voice hushed in a way that attracts the ear - the way it would be for telling secrets in much more intimate circumstances, barely audible above the kitchen's usual din. "Or I'm not sure what I'm doing and I'm just seeing what happens. Don't give me so much credit. I don't deserve it." Another pause. "I'm probably just fucking up every friendship I have." Then his elbow touches Keruthien's side, "Including this one. Am I?"

Keruthien is a willing participant in whatever this is going down between them, whether or not he’s wholly neutral in the larger picture. At least Stefyr has the comfort and safety that he’s not one to judge, nor truly form an opinion either way. He’s rolling with it, while also giving his best bro the most genuine and honest reactions and answers possible. Even if it goes so horribly wrong or is misunderstood! It happens! More than Ruthien will ever realize. His head tilts, just enough to pick up that hushed statement and he will chuckle low, accepting that elbow to the side in stride. “You just gave the literal definition of flirting. Again! And maybe you do. Take it as a compliment!” he muses, with a smile that is less wry and more warmth. Quirking a brow, he gives him a rather quizzical look, but curious. “Did something happen?” he asks gently, but without pressure. His gaze hasn’t left him yet, the tuber and peeler idle in either hand. Even he, with all his reckless behaviour, knows better than to work with sharp things distracted! “What?” he scoffs, a little surprised. “No? Not in the slightest!” Cue another nudge, this one firmer, to Stefyr’s side and maybe more than that. Is Ruthien leaning closer? You bet he is. Side by side SUPPORT, bro! If his hands weren’t occupied, he might’ve slipped his arm around the other — it may yet happen. “I enjoy our friendship!” AWW LOOK! He said it! “You’re fun.” Aww, see? “And fascinating.” And now he’s slipping into IS IT? ISN’T IT? territory. Well done, Keruthien! But it’s done as innocently as breathing, as he’ll grin to himself and now focus on peeling that tuber. Slowly. Painfully slowly. Stefyr, he sucks at this, bro! But look at him just going for it, regardless. “It’d be hard to fuck things up with me! I mean, you could tell me if you don’t want anything to do with me? And I’d respect that.” No he wouldn’t. Keruthien would probably push the issue because he can’t help it until it’s without a doubt this or that.

"Flirting…" Stefyr rumbles a frustrated noise along with the word, "…is stupid." Because it's hard. It's so hard. And he still doesn't get it. His eyes go to the tuber Keruthien is peeling, not objecting to the physical closeness, but making a face. "Dude, you suck at this." Trust a bro to tell you. The blond knows Keruthien would do it for him. And since they're expected to peel the whole bucket… Well, Stefyr redoubles his own efforts, trying to model better techniques for the uninitiated. "I enjoy our friendship, too. I don't know what boundaries are." Then, "I mean, I know what boundaries are. I have a couple." But there's the problem, only a couple. "I'm not sure where the right lines are with some people. And I… I don't care. But I don't want someone getting hurt because I found their line too late." Does that make any sense? He slides a look toward his curly-haired companion. As to whether or not something happened, the blond candidate is circumspectly mum about anything that might have. Or maybe he's just distracted by the bigger picture. "Do you need labels? Everyone seems to like them." Except Stefyr, who sounds downright glum about the very idea right now.

Keruthien does laugh this time but it’s still low enough not to carry far beyond their little imposed ‘bubble’ at their spot. “Is it?” he quips lightly, only to blink at his work and toss his less-than-perfect tuber in with all the perfect ones with the barest shrug. “Yeah, I do.” he admits, with not a care in the world. “Can’t be perfect at everything. I suck at peeling and maybe… flirting isn’t your thing either. Which is fine! No shame. Though I think you got some natural charm and allure that, y’know? You might not need it.” So take that, Stefyr! Have some unfiltered Ruthien-brand honesty as he just says it how he sees it! He’ll watch, at least, as he works the peeler and wordlessly tries to emulate it… with mixed success. Comically is the way he almost pokes his tongue out trying to get the technique! More seriously, he’s listening closely for once and makes a muttered thoughtful sound. It’s probably a grunt, because, they’re BROS! Having a talk. “In my experience,” For what little it’s worth here, in all his twenty Turns of ‘wisdom’! “Folk are gonna get all bent out of shape whether your careful or not. The trick is, is knowing when you’re truly fully in the wrong and making amends and when it’s just a… clash of personalities. I want to be me and I’m not gonna try to break myself into something folk would prefer, y’know? If they can’t enjoy me as I am, then maybe it’s for the best we don’t get along.” Keruthien won’t pry as to WHY they’ve gone into this conversation. He scoffs a bit, “Nah. I hate labels, actually. Seen what they can do and… yeah. Not for me, thanks!”

Something about Keruthien's lack of need for labels eases the tension that had edged into Stefyr's broad shoulders. "Well," he says after a long moment of silence, peeler hand rising to let his thumbnail scratch his cheek, leaving behind a streak of starch, before he sets the peeler back to work. "When I don't want to kill you, I enjoy you as you are." The playfulness of the first part of the remark might fall flat for the seriousness of the second half. Still, he goes back to peeling and watching Keruthien and some moments into that mixed success, he rolls his eyes. "Okay, I'll do this. You go score us biscuits." Is that an admission that at the end of the day, it's the dark horse that's going to take this round of Butter-Up-the-Cook Off: Xanadu Weyr edition? The golden boy reaches to take the partially peeled tuber out of Keruthien's hand, fingers brushing fingers again, and then an elbow in the side is meant to send him on his way as Stefyr concedes defeat. But don't worry, Fyr-fans, these chuckleheads are sure to have overlap on kitchen duty again before the shells crack. TUNE IN NEXT TIME for the rematch. And… about that bet? Well, tune in for the results of that, too… if you dare!

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