Breakfast at Tenebrous'

Xanadu Weyr - Waterfall Cave

Cleverly hidden behind the illusion of stone, a cave has formed at the base of the waterfall itself, large enough to host several individuals comfortably, or one person and a dragon. The walls are moist and textured, with small rivulets of water draining from the cave floor down into the pond beyond. Moving further back into the cave finds a dry floor and a smooth rear wall. Two sturdy camp chairs lean up against the back wall, along with a generous bedroll, wrapped in water-tight animal skins. A small bundle of firewood rests off of the floor on a makeshift stand, drying.
The roar of the falls is loud here, making conversation difficult from any range other than close, and the sheer volume of water makes it almost impossible to see through to the forest beyond. The only way out appears to be via the water, back the way you came.

Winter in the forests of Xanadu are slowly winding down, but the gently increasing temperature has started to melt the snow and the waterfall. The sound of trickling water sounds almost more like a bubbling brook now than the mere dripping it was when Phylicia arrived at the cave nearly a week ago. The day before the girl had made a trip to the Weyr, leaving at dawn and returning with a new satchel full of food stuffs just after nightfall.

Crazy things happen once in a blue moon, and Phylicia actually seems to be moving about in the pre-dawn before Tenebrous does. However the previous night she also fell asleep in her own bedroll, so as she rekindles the fire to life, new flames starting to lick at the tinder provided she looks to Tenebrous' roll, to see if she actually did manage to wake up before him. It seems that this morning at least, she has the plans to make something a little warmer than their normal fare as a small cooking kettle with water is sitting on its stand above the fire.

The rushing of water down from the rocky ceiling above has done a great deal to mask Phylicia's activities, and it's only in the last few moments of her motions that Tenebrous becomes aware. One hand absently pats the space next to him on his blankets, almost expecting to find her there. When he finds otherwise, his eyes slowly open, squinting a little against the intrusion of light. he sits up slowly, one hand reaching out next to him for his overtunic, and rumbles, "How long have you been awake?" No, there are no 'Good Mornings' here. Oh no.

Phylicia almost seems to find that searching pat comforting, having looked over at the right moment to catch him stirring. She also appears to be in a good mood as she smiles, carefully setting another log into the fire now that its going, to get it up to a more proper temperature to heat the water, which is now luke warm instead of ice cold. "Long enough." She supplies, already fully dressed as she would have to be if she ventured forth for water. The fire started and with nothing else to fully occupy her attention she crosses the few feet over to his bedroll, crouching on the balls of her feet next to him, still smiling. "Sleep well?"

Tenebrous nods once. "Better than I think I usually do, if I didn't hear you getting up and about." His eyes flicker over to her bedroll and the previous night's sleeping arrangements come back to him. "I think this is the first time in several weeks that I've slept until the sun came up." He squints even more. "I remember why I always get up earlier now. Let my eyes adjust." Then he glances over at the fire. "What's the kettle for, exactly?"

Phylicia smiles a bit more, moving to unobtrusively settle herself someplace warmer for a moment instead of staying crouched as she is. And that merely takes a small stretch from her, putting herself in an area his body vacated as he sat up. "The dawn light isn't that bad." She says with a chuckle as she watches him adjust to being awake. "Porridge." She supplies easily. "I ransacked the kitchens with permission yesterday. There's also some fruits in the satchel, which should keep well enough for a day or two." Oh right. One of them does actually like to eat things like breakfast.

Tenebrous chuckles. "Phylicia, when you raid the kitchen with permission, it's not a ransacking. Its grocery shopping. Try pilfering food without permission next time. Much more exciting." He grins. "That actually sounds wonderful. I can't remember the last time I had anything hot for breakfast that wasn't reheated rations." He shifts a little, letting one arm raise to rest on her shoulder. "What posessed you to be so…productive?"

Phylicia really does seem to be far too awake this morning as she answers his grin with one of her own. "I need a reason to be productive?" She asks, trying to sound offended but failing. She shakes her head. "Even if I'm caught, I wouldn't get in trouble anyways." She points out to him. "They know where I'd be going with it." And it's not like the both probably haven't struck a deal with the kitchen staff by now. She doesn't seem to mind as he rests his arm on her shoulder, not seeming to be worried if the water is starting to get hot enough or not yet. Heating water via camp fire does tend to take a bit. "Well, I'm glad it sounds good to you." She offers with a grin. "Because if it didn't you'd be eatting your rations again." No, sympathy in this case.

Tenebrous flashes another quick smile. "It's nice to know I have options, in any rate." He nudges her gently. "Up you get. I need to boot my boots on and take care of a few things outside before I sit down to what promises to be a hearty breakfast." Even as he's tsalking, he's pulling various articles of clothing to him. Longer pants, socks, boots, and his gloves. "And speaking of things to do, how much longer are they going to let you stay at Xanadu? I thought you were talking about picking your own assignments soon?"

Phylicia shoots a quick pout at him, even if she does stand up quick enough to cross back over to the fire, peering into the kettle before she settles by her sack of 'stolen' kitchen goods, sorting through it as she ponders which of the more perishable items would go with the porridge. It's not like she stole the entire kitchen, but there's enough for one or two 'good' meals before they're back to the slightly more normal fare. "The craftmaster said I had to finish up my post here at Xanadu, before I could pick anything else." She says, looking up from the bag. "I think she said it'd be sometime in spring." So that gives her a month or so at least. "Considering the work in winter is a bit lighter." There's not as much to do, while the plants are dormant. She waves a hand at him and grins. "Go do what you need to outside. Maybe this'll be ready when you come back in."

Tenebrous rolls himself out of the blankets that cover him, coming up to his knees before finally stnading. Feet slip into boots before his coat is thrown around his shoulders and he tugs his gloves on. "Well," he offers, "At least it'll give you a bit more time to relax, what with the slow duty and all." He shrugs then, and then makes for the entrance to the cave. He's only gone a few minutes, but when he comes back in, he's walking a little less awkwardly "One of these days, I need to darg Janelle out here to actually carve some handholds into the wall out there. It's not that I want to give an invitation to anyone who happens to stumble onto this place, but it would be a lot less dangerous in the winter…"

When Tenebrous walks back in, Phylicia is adding the dried porridge grains to individual bowls, waiting for the water to get just a little hotter before she adds that, also pulled out are two oranges. She looks back up as she hears his footsteps and smiles. "It would be nice to have that, since it's not like the handholds would be visible from anywhere but right next to them." So it's not like it'd be entirely an open invitation. She has no plans to bring anybody else here. And Phylicia almost laughs. "It's not like I need much more time to relax, Ten." Comes the light protest. "There was healing from the bruise, and then the fire… I've had so much free time on my hands." That she started experimenting with those oils back at the Healer Hall again. Peering into the kettle again, she deems it a good enough temperature as steam rolls off its surface. Carefully she uses a mug to portion out water to the two bowls before fishing out spoons to stir each thoroughly. "Did you want any cheese?"

Tenebrous nods fervently. "Yes, please. That's the one thing that I hate about living out here. I don't mind the food, really, I can get along without it…but I absolutely love cheese. I have no idea why. It's not like I drink a lot of milk, there's just…something about cheese." He smirks. "The master used to spin a yarn about how the moon was made of cheese, and that it was where we got all of it at the Hall." He taps the snow from his boots and strides over ot the fire, sniffing the air. "Ok…that smells a lot better than my usual faire."

"And all it took was a visit to the kitchens." Phylicia teases him as she scoots a bowl a few inches from her, into a space available for another person to sit. "It's oh-so hard to make, you know." Yes, the young lady is giving Tenebrous grief about his eating habits, as usual. "And the porridge would keep for a while." She looks at him and laughs softly, reaching into the satchel and producing two smaller bundles, each one a square of cheese.

Tenebrous waves a hand absently as he sinks down onto the floor in front of his bowl. "Yes, yes, my eating habits are attrocious," he grouses with good humor. He holds out one hand expectantly for that cheese even as he begins stirring the porridge with his spool, urging litlte whorles of steam to rise up. "I don't remember the last time I had a quais-homecooked meal," he murmurs. And then he looks up, blinking.

Phylicia places that square of cheese in his hand, her good humor fading only slightly as she takes in the expression on his face. She knew she ran the risk (and to her it is a risk) of jarring memories of Hasha, but she was doing this merely because it sounded like a good idea, and an appealing one to have an actual warm meal out here. "Yes you do." She says simply and softly, curling his fingers about the block of cheese if they haven't already done so.

"Yes," Tenebrous murmurs to himself. "I do…" He looks down at Phylicia's hand on his as she closes his fingers around the cheese. "We didn't…have any of this." He holds the cheese up slowly. "There was…fish, I think, and…some kind of mustard…" Then he shakes his head a little, looking up at Phylicia. "It's…a little frustrating sometimes," he says quietly. "I can remember the dish, but…the rest of the day just comes to me in little…bits and pieces, like some kind of a slideshow. There's no continuity to it."

Tenebrous shakes his head again. "It's strange, and a little irritating. The Mind-Healers told me that no amount of poking and prodding would help it come faster if the memory wasn't already prepared to come on its own. I didn't believe them at first, and I tried slapping my gray matter around every way I could. Then I tried to NOT think about anything, and when I jsut sort of…moved on with life, all of this little stuff started shaking free from the rafters." He looks back down at the cheese again before he takes a bite. "I don't know if I'm put together in such a way that I could appreciate nice fish dinners, but…" He tosses the cheese up and catches it. "This tastes pretty good."

Phylicia smiles, propping a leg up as she tucks her other in closer to her body, leaving her that first knee to rest her chin on. Her cheese is sitting by her porridge, which is in the process of cooling to a more bearable eating level, and her hands are working at peeling an orange that would fit in the palm of her hand easily. "I'd say not." She teases him as she peels off a chunk of the rind. "Since you insist on playing with even this level of food." She obviously means it in a good natured way from her light tone, though her smile drops just slightly. "It sounds like you have the idea then. To just move on and let life take its course." However, it still can't be easy with all the 'random' thoughts hanging around.

Tenebrous takes another bite of cheese, listening to Phylicia speak, and when she's done, he looks up soberly. "It makes me doubt everything I do," he saya quietly. "I second guess…pretty much everything. Feelings, emotions…" He gestures to Phylicia's face weakly. "It's…one of the reasons that I don't…want to get involved with anyone right now, Phy." He stops, as if searching for the righ words "You're…a lovely person. A good friend, and never mind the fact that I don't want to screw thatup right now, because you're…pretty much the only friend I have. But…every time I look at you, I feel a stir of echoes in my head, and I have…troubel telling the difference between what he's feeling…and what I am. It bothers me…

Phylicia pauses in tugging apart the edible insides of the orange, looking over at Tenebrous as he talks. Personally, she's not a heavy eater, so she offers out to him half of the orange quietly, her brain turning. "I… would wish that you didn't have to second guess yourself." She murmurs, setting the piece down if he doesn't take it so she can peel off an individual piece. She takes a moment just long enough to chew and swallow the piece, half wondering what wouldn't sound desperate. "Until-" She starts off, pausing just a moment as if she's thinking over her words. "Until you can actually make up /your/ mind - not his - I don't think I'd like an answer." She tears off another piece of the orange, but instead of eating it, she rotates it with her fingers. "I wouldn't want you to have doubts. Because then you wouldn't enjoy it." As much.

Tenebrous accepts the orange half with a nod, absently stripping the individual pieces away and eating them one by one as Phy speaks. "It's … different, when I meet new people. There's this person over at Ista that I ran into the other day, while I was collecting samples for my new garden, after it thaws. They wanted swimming lessons from me, of all things, and… when I looked at them, I heard… absolutely nothing. Just silence inside of my own head. It was wonderful. Quiet…" He tosses a piece of orange peel into the fire with an irritated look. "I hate having to tell you this," he whispers.

"You get to make your own observations." Phylicia says with half of a nod, watching as part of the peel goes flying into fire. A mostly unforced yet slight smile is turned his way as she finishes off her half of the orange, leaving her cheese alone for the moment as she cradles the almost-too-hot bowl in her hands, letting it act as a warmer. "I'd rather hear it like this… in a nice conversation, than having you…" The bowl gets propped on her knee while one hand waves in the air as she imagines some less likely scene. "Oh, than having you yell it at me because I'm being a pest about it." Her face grows a little bit more serious. "You'll tell me if I'm being a pest?"

Tenebrous smiles. "Don't worry. After everything else that's happened, lying doesn't seem to be something that I'm going to put much stock in. You'll be the first to know, I promise. not that I think you'll ever become a pest, but…" He, too picks up his bown, eyeing Phylicia over the edge of it. "I'd just want it to be honest, if it ever happened," he murmured. "With you, or anyone. And it's not like I'm out there fishing, Phy." He snorts. I spend most of my time here, after all. I just…" He inhales the scent of the porridge for a moment. "It's good to have friends."

Phylicia looks half-way startled for a moment, her expression almost shocked until she laughs softly, stirring the content of her bowl, which seems to be at a slightly better temperature now. "Did I say you were fishing?" She asks rhetorically before she nods. "Not like I could - or would - stop you if you were." No, she'd be more likely to sit and suffer. "But, it is good to have friends. They're wonderful people to talk to." Among other things. But for the moment, she takes a tentative bite of her porridge, nodding. "It should be good now." She notes.

"Yeah," Tenebrous says simply. then he falls to eating, interspercing bites of porridge with nibbles of cheese and the occasional drink of water. It's many minutes before he finally looks up. setting his bowl aside. "Do you have any idea where you'll go, once you go back to the hall? Have you considered another post yet?"

Phylicia shakes her head as she puts her bowl down, having ate in nearly the same fashion as Tenebrous. It's amusing to watch a pair of people eating together. When one does something, the other typically follows suit. But she takes another sip of her water to help clear her throat a little better. "Have I?" She pauses to think, which should be enough of an indicator right there. "No, I haven't." But apparently she's giving it a little thought now. "I /should/ head someplace warmer. Like Western or Ista. I've never been to their area, to see how things grow there." She sets her water down finally as well, looking back into the flames of the fire. "I like it here, but staying put isn't helping me learn anything else right now…"

Tenebrous mms. "I don't know how you feel about idiots, but if you cn stomach them, Ista's not a bad place to consider. The flora there is fantastic, and it'll give you someplace new to start. It's a remarkable place to study island plantlife. In the short time that I've made my own studies there, I've found a mountain of new things to consider." He smiles slightly. "If you choose Western, I'd advise you keep an eye out for T'burk. He's an old Craftrider, very nearly as old as the master herself, I'd think. He's been working with plants for a long time now."

Phylicia lifts her shoulders in a shrug. "It depends on how big of an idiot we're talking about." Her comment is light, even while the conversation is a bit more serious. As thoughts run through her mind, she leans back enough to lay back on what bit of the blanket there is beneath them, changing her staring-spot to the ceiling. "T'burk? Is it the helpful sort of keep an eye out for him, or the not so helpful sort?" She's never heard of the healer until now.

Tenebrous coughs delicately. "A bit of both. he's a font of information, but he's…just a bit loopy too. The master spoke of him hesitantly, and while she admits his skill…" Tenebrous wobbles a hand. "Get what you can, and then get out?" He chuckles. "As far as Ista is concerned, the vast majority of the people there ar ehorny, usually drunk, and spend way too much time on the beach to be wholly responsible. Basically the complete antithesis of the environment that I enjoy working in. The country is beautiful, but…the random, seemingly casual public nudity is…not for me."

The mention of casual public nudity has Phylicia's cheeks changing color. Either it's not for her either, or she's imagining something pleasant. Both situtations don't stop her cheeks from coloring. "That just sounds a bit too … rowdy for me." She says after a few moments, hoping that her blush will recede soon. She basically seems to shake her head at Ista's decription. Or at least the description that Tenebrous gave. "Part of me is just .. overwhelmed at the choices, I think."

Tenebrous is still for a long moment before, "You could always stay here, you know. Take your post at Xanadu and talk to the masters about doing field research, rather than…" Then he shakes his head. "They'd never let you do that as an apprentice. All this complication because of…rank." he rubs the marred side of his face a little. "If only they'd consider promoting you to a Junior…"

Phylicia's smile is soft. "I'm rather bound to have someone watching over me right now." She says, agreeing with his statement about rank, though the studying look Tenebrous gets from her is colored with doubt. "I doubt they would consider it, yet." She's said it once and she won't say it again just now: they'll promote her when they think she's ready. Though his suggestion does seem to have her thinking. "Doing field studies wouldn't be such a bad idea." She murmurs. "It's … more or less what I'm doing now, with supervision…"

Tenebrous spreads his hands. "That's all I've been doing since I earned my journeyman's knot. I just…camp out here, seduce innocent apprentices and look at weeds. With the exception of the seduction part, I think you'd do fine, but that's just me." He purses his lips. "How long have you been a senior apprentice now? I was under the impression that seniors could take mentors, but that regular apprentices couldn't."

Phylicia looks about ready to answer his question before she seems to rethink her answer. One of her hands that rests idly on her stomach starts tapping fingers against herself in a count. Apparently asking how long she's been doing something is too hard of a question. "A… turn and … a few months?" She answers sounding mostly sure of herself. She doesn't sit up, but instead she rolls onto her side, one eyebrow quirked. "Either you mean I wouldn't seduce people, or I can't." She does prop herself up on one hand now, the quirked eyebrow turning into a grin. "I hope you meant I wouldn't, because otherwise I think you just challenged me." Given, it's not an apprentice she had in mind.

Tenebrous coughs again. "Uh…I was trying to imply that you… wouldn't. I think we're both aware of what you're capable of, once you get past your shyness and decide you want something. You landed your apprenticeship, didn't you?" He arches a brow. "To say… nothing at all of the bath house." He grins. "I think that, when the time comes, you'll make a fine teacher. And in the mean time, there's nothing that says you can't continue the work you started with me, until I find myself ready to take up another apprentice… because I have to be honest with you, Phy. Whoever I choose, they're either going to have to be you… or someone not of the regular ilk found at the Hall. I don't do… ordinary."

Phylicia's eyes are laughing as she continues to look up at him, half propped up on her side as she seems to be considering the possibilities. "I hope your foot tastes good, Ten. Are you implying that I seduced you to be my mentor?" She says with a chuckle that echos her eyes. Or maybe he's just referring to her stubborn streak. But she's having fun teasing him anyways. "Mmm, did you want help re-seeding your garden, once the ground thaws and the temperature is right?" Aw look, there's a touch of business there anyways.

Tenebrous chuckles. "I'm a new player to the game, Phylicia, so I don't suppose I know if you did or didn't. Truth be told, I don't… remember you coming to me to request a mentorship." He pauses. "I take it from our conversations that it wasn't exactly open and closed, but…" he waves a hand. "As far as the garden goes, I'll always take more help. Transplating the seeds is always a pain, and it'll go a ton faster if there's someone else helping that actually knows how to handle the plants. I would have asked the Master for help, but she was so busy…"

"Mmm, no. It wasn't open and closed." Phylicia says as she starts to re-settle herself into a bit more of a prone position. "Although I could try now…" She mostly-jokes, dangerously close to putting her head in his lap, one of the few things restraining her being the converstion they had a few moments ago. But it doesn't mean the possibility isn't in her mind, reflected a bit by the way she lets her body semi-relax. "Are we talking actual seeds, or transplanting seedlings?"

"Transplanting seedlings," Tenebrous murmurs. "And planting, to a certain extent. Some of the seedlings that I have can be transplanted, but I think that some of my other stock is going to have to be grown from scratch. There's nothing for that but time and effort, I'm afraid."

Phylicia mmm's softly, more like the sound that would accompany a shrug. She doesn't quite place her head in his lap, instead letting the top of her head rest against him lightly, just barely making contact. "I don't mind planting, or transplanting. Honestly. I'm more sorry that you have to wait for your garden to grow back." Because she could controll the forest fire. Right.

Tenebrous ehs. "In retrospect, the garden was…the least of the losses in the fire. It may take time, but it will grow, as is the way of all things. It'll give me a bit of a chance to make the garden into something a bit more organized. I've learned a great deal more since I planted it initially, so I can do more with it the second time around." He glances down to her with an amused smile. "Do you need a… pillow or something?"

Phylicia looks back up at him, merely doing it by rolling a little bit, giving him an impish grin. "Well, I was trying to imagine how good my chances of seducing you were right now." She admits honestly. "Are you offering a pillow 'or something'?" She aks with a bit of smile, prepared to pull back if he isn't willing. "Do more? What were you thinking of doing with it this time?"

Tenebrous just laughs then, smiling down at her. "It's like a floodgate with you. You give a girl one kiss, and she's constantly back for more. And so close after breakfast as well," he muses. He leans down just a little. "Never minding the fact that on a very basic level, I'd love to take you up on that whole…seduction thing…" One hand raises up to her shoulder. "It's like swimming, you know. You shouldn't go in for at least an hour…"

Phylicia starts to shift, even as she smiles up at him. "I can't help it that I find you attractive…" She protests lightly as her muscles bunch along her shoulder blades, slowly pushing herself into reclined sitting position, her face within inches of his. "Shouldn't. Doesn't mean can't." She provokes, unable to currently spare a hand lest she dump herself in his lap instead. He has ample warning to pull away from her incoming kiss, the intent of it suggesting just about the same basic level he might be experiencing. It's not a quick kiss either, though currently the intensity is locked up tight. After a few moments she reluctantly pulls away. "Though I'm sure we could amuse ourselves another way for an hour or so…"

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