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Author Topic:  Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]  (Read 1742 times)

IC Date: 17-1-234, pre-dinner

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Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« on: 16 Jul 2013 at 06:56 PM »
“Ouch!”

Nellaris jerked her hand away from the hot tray of wherry meat, grimacing as she sucked on a finger. Her cheeks burned red; she had been helping her mother to cook food for years and her palms and knuckles were still covered in burns. Ignoring the cook’s laughter and belated warning, she grabbed a nearby cloth, folded it twice, and picked up the tray with a glare.

“Don’t glare at me so, child,” the cook said. “And it’s your turn to eat, so you take your time coming back, you hear?”

It was the indignity of the burn that stung more than the burn itself. Steam continued to rise off the meat; she should have known the tray would be hot. A bitter Nell mumbled her assent as she walked toward the dining hall. Ducking around a skewed chair and a few milling dragonriders, she placed the tray on the laden table just so. Beside it, a basket of bread had grown bare on one side. She shifted a few rolls to make it look a bit fuller and turned her attention to the rest of the table. The cups had been placed at the end of the table opposite the jugs of water and klah.

“Oh, honestly!”

She started the business of setting up in a more logical order, moving what cups would fit near the jugs and beginning to shift everything else down. She worked with such single-minded concentration that she didn’t notice the hand reaching for a piece of fruit just as she wrenched the basket away.

Startled, she set the basket down again to allow the person to make their choice. “Sorry. I was just trying—well. Here.” She gestured to the basket with one hand, keeping the other on a handle to whisk it away as soon as she could. “The red fruits are particularly nice at the moment. Picked today.”

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R'nya

Fort Weyrleader
of Bronze Xyreith
Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jul 2013 at 06:56 AM »
“That’s quite alright, my dear.” R’nya inclined his head slightly at the girl as she offered the basket back once more, and he deftly plucked a redfruit from within it, nodding again slightly to indicate that she could whisk the basket off and to wherever she had deemed would be a better place for it. He watched with very subtle amusement as she took the basket away, attention shifting back to the bread roll he had taken earlier. With a knife in hand, he cut it open, adding a couple of thick slices of cheese, and some of the warm wherry meat. He was not overly partial to the native bird, finding beef far tastier, but he was not opposed to it, either.

Expectant eyes watched the weyrbrat, waiting for her to stop fussing over everyone else, and fuss over her own needs for a moment. “I believe you should be eating about now, my dear. Sit with me.” R’nya barely glanced at the girl as he shifted slightly on his seat to be more comfortable before taking a modest bite of his roll, blue eyes peering up at the girl as he chewed. He was a gentleman, thank you, not a starving monster and he had no desire to act like one, unlike the starving whers three seats down and one table across. Some people had very little idea how to appear in public, or how to enjoy the taste of food.

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Xyreith never speaks to anyone - ever - except R'nya

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Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #2 on: 18 Jul 2013 at 07:43 PM »
Nell nodded in acknowledgement of the dismissal, barely taking in the man's appearance. She hefted the basket and bore it away to the other side of the table, where she nestled it beside the plates. She only noticed that his gaze was still upon her when she returned for the bread basket. Then, at last, she was able to place the cups beside the jugs of drink.

His words reached her just as she finished stacking the cups into some semblance of order. Startled by the request, she looked the man up and down. She had seen him around before and knew he was a dragonrider, of course--and as she searched her memory, she thought he was probably a bronzerider. A name slowly worked its way to his face: R'nya. Her brow furrowed. She had heard his name many times, mostly from her fellow female Candidates, but she struggled to remember what the context of those snippets of conversation had been. She didn't have time for gossip--it usually wasn't true, anyway, and she usually wasn't particularly interested. Her initial concern was that this was one of those 'riders who worked his way through ranks of females, but from what she could remember she had only heard his name in praise. She didn't think that would be the case if he had left a trail of scorned lovers behind him.

At any rate, a bronzerider's request wasn't to be denied. Nell had planned on stuffing a bread roll with a bit of herdbeast meat and scarfing it down on her way back to the kitchens like she usually did, but she had been given permission to take her time--not that she usually heeded it--and the bronzerider seemed to know it.

"Um, yes, okay--let me just--" Her tongue always seemed to tie knots around people of some rank and authority. She grabbed a plate and tossed a few things on it: a bread roll, a bit of wherry meat, some tubers, and one of the red fruits. She sat across from R'nya and picked up a fork, shooting a dark look at the fiends three seats down and one table across. Didn't they know they were in the presence of a bronzerider?

"I hope you're well today, Bronzerider. And your dragon." Nell was happy to have managed so much without tripping over her words. "Pardon me, but I'm not always good with putting names to faces. You're R'nya, aren't you? I'm sure I've heard of you before--that is, from a few of my peers. They seem to hold you in high regard." Her eyes widened, fearing her words would be mistaken as disrespectful. "Not that they shouldn't, of course, bronzeriders are always meant to be held in high regard, I just--that is, you seem to have a lot of admirers. Not admirers in that sense, just--I mean--that is, it's very nice to meet you. I've seen you across the hall before, of course, but--"

Her cheeks went red as she trailed off. She was probably making a fool of herself. Attempting to hide her nerves, Nell stabbed a tuber and bit into it. She chewed slowly, wincing. "Hm. Could use a bit more seasoning. I'll have to tell the cooks."
« Last Edit: 20 Jul 2013 at 07:40 AM by Nellaris »

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R'nya

Fort Weyrleader
of Bronze Xyreith
Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #3 on: 20 Jul 2013 at 09:47 PM »
You can practically hear the wheels turning in this one. The bronze dragon’s tone was deeply amused as he peered through R’nya’s eyes at the young woman he was talking to. The rider didn’t answer him as he himself quietly took. Note of the girls expression as she flustered around with filling a plate before sitting down with him. The look she shot the table residents behind him amused both R’nya and Xyreith, though they both kept such things to themselves and instead an eyebrow arched up in the man’s face at the official title. Xyreith crowed.

A slight incline if the head was the only answer R’nya managed to slip in before another was being asked; and then a whole flurry. R’nya found flurries of questions highly amusing, and blue eyes sparkled gently with that amusement as he bowed his head again in answer before finding the words to add to his acknowledgement. The way in which her thought process was completely recaptured by her chore was very interesting, and R’nya let her focus on that and less on her flushed cheeks and onslaught of questions for a few moments as he ate some of his own meal. The air of quiet around the bronze rider camera orally indicated he was neither stressed by her flailing questions, nor ignoring them. He was just taking his time in finding the right words.

“Xyreith and I are well, thank you.” More could use her good manners and proper respect, Xyreith rumbled out Irritably, an undercurrent to his thoughts bringing to life several of R’nya’s girls and their lack of proper respect for their rank. R’nya sent back a thin stream of amusement; he liked his girls and for all Xyreith being a grump, he knew the bronze did too. They’re disrespectful. This one could teach them all some manners. he repeated, and R’nya waved him off mentally. “Relax, Nellaris. I do not bite.” His words were gentle, blue eyes searching out the girl’s for a moment before releasing them and he took another bite of food, chewing quietly.

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Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jul 2013 at 07:21 AM »
The quietly interested way he observed her was slightly disconcerting, Nell thought, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. Actually, any scrutiny made her a little nervous because it usually meant that something was amiss. Had she spilled something down her tunic earlier? Had part of her plait come undone? One hand flew to her hair, absentmindedly checking for flyaways. There was certainly amusement in those blue eyes of his, and she wondered what she could have done wrong--and whether or not her flaws would be spread around the Weyr by nightfall. But surely a bronzerider would be above gossip--if there was anything to gossip about at all. This was why Nell usually ate on the run: interaction with unknown entities made her mind fly in circles.

When he spoke again, her hand busied itself straightening the knife beside her plate of food, still barely touched.

Her cheeks reddened again, fairly chastised. "I know you won't bite. Not many do. Well, some do." She was babbling again. She gulped as his eyes held hers, and only just stopped herself from breathing a sigh of relief when his spell broke. "I--I--just don't spend a lot of time around bronzeriders. Or goldriders. I'm mostly in the kitchens, you see, and my duties don't bring me close to many 'riders. Um, I'm glad to hear you're both doing well," she added hastily, remembering the question she'd asked earlier. "Xyreith is a beautiful dragon. I've seen him flying."

Her hand stopped in its business of straightening her tunic, just for a moment, as she thought about dragons--her favourite topic by far. But soon enough it went back to the knife, as if it wasn't quite straight enough.

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R'nya

Fort Weyrleader
of Bronze Xyreith
Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #5 on: 23 Jul 2013 at 07:52 AM »
“I am sure they do,” R’nya’s voice was droll as he responded with a dry look, amusement flickering through stormy blue eyes before it vanished, and he took another bite of his roll, chewing it quietly as the girl fretted and stumbled over her words. The child was very worked up, and R’nya was not quite able to discern if it was solely because of his rank, or also because he was a man. Likely, it was both, and that just irked him. She said it was his rank, but he was disinclined to believe it was that alone; if it were simply his rank, surely she would have begun to relax? Women were annoying.

Does she know how to breathe? Does she breathe? Xyreith peered at Nellaris through R’nya’s eyes with very serious mental scrutiny, and the bronzerider pursed his lips, hiding his amusement well. I don’t thinks he does, Sir. I think she’s a mutant. Listen to her babble! The dragon’s tone was highly amused, and R’nya chewed silently with determination, not letting anything shine through for the girl.

“He is rather stunning,” R’nya allowed, dipping his head slightly in acknowledgement of the compliment to his dragon, who was still far too occupied in poking fun at Nellaris in the back of R’nya’s mind to take note of such things, not that he ever would have responded to the girl at any rate. “You should eat,” he added, nodding at her untouched plate while his left eyebrow arched slightly and he sought her eyes out once more, not blinking for a moment before dropping his gaze back down to his own plate, and picking up his half eaten meat roll once more. He planned to save the redfruit for the walk back to his hut.

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Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #6 on: 28 Jul 2013 at 06:54 AM »
"Food. Right," Nell said. She picked up her fork again and poked at the ill-seasoned tubers, finally spearing one and chewing thoughtfully. As she chewed, she glanced around, attempting to take note of the number of people in the room to see if she could judge how long she'd been there and when she'd need to leave.

It occurred to her then--as she had a chance to reflect--that it was strange that a bronze rider should request her company at a meal. It hadn't happened before that she could remember. Most of her interaction with bronze or goldriders was when they came to the kitchens to request something, or she was asked to take a tray up to one of them. They didn't actively seek her out. Those dragonriders that did attend to her--well, usually she didn't want their attentions.

So what did R'nya want? It looked like he was perfectly contented to watch her continue to make a fool of herself. She frowned into her plate and picked up her bread roll. She would never ask him, but perhaps she could enquire about him in the kitchens a bit later. She was certain she'd heard his name whispered about before. She hated not knowing what someone wanted--that's why she enjoyed working in the kitchens. There was never any doubt that someone wanted the bubbly pies to be made, or the tubers boiled, or the klah refreshed in the dining hall... People were so much more complicated than food.

Chewing and swallowing a bite of her breadroll, she gestured toward the door. "I don't mean to sound rude, but I really ought to be heading back soon. I'm usually only gone for a few minutes." She didn't mention that she was meant to take longer breaks, anyway, and her plate was still half-full.

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R'nya

Fort Weyrleader
of Bronze Xyreith
Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #7 on: 31 Jul 2013 at 09:06 AM »
"I know," R'nya replied lightly to Nellaris' statement, an eyebrow arching upwards just slightly. He was quite aware of the young woman's schedule, both the one she was meant to be following, and the one she created to fit her own need to be constantly busy. Blue eyes dropped to look at Nellaris' plate, and his expectant expression returned to her face, seeking out her eyes. "You would waste that food, rather than eat it, simpy to return to work you are not due to return to for several more minutes?" That was likely even giving the girl the benefit if the doubt. R'nya new she wasn't due back for quite a bit longer than 'a few minutes', but he didn't want her to feel completely trapped by him.

"Surely the seasoning is not so terrible?" His arched eyebrow was back, and while one if his more regular companions would have picked up in the way R'nya had spoken, and the soft laughter that was within the words as he teased the girl, the bronzerider was quite prepared for Nellaris to believe she was being reprimanded. He had been rather surprised by how the girls he hung out with regularly had come to read him so easily, but he was never surprised by how incorrectly he was often read by others. It was a careful manner he continued with, for precisely that reason. Far better people invent their own ideas than always know the truth. "Or perhaps it is the company?"

He would gauge how the girl felt, for he was quite sure he was picking up hints of nervousness that he almost found amusing. Clearly the child was not one to listen to gossip, (Or perhaps the wrong gossip Xyreith put in cheerfully,) to so wary of him. His dragons comment received wry agreement. If the girl was listening to the wrong gossip, the things she would think she knows about him would be vastly over rated. Pimp indeed.

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Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #8 on: 05 Aug 2013 at 04:55 AM »
I know. I know. I know.

Nell frowned at the words. He really did seem to know an awful lot about her, and the thought made the back of her neck prickle with unease.

"The food is good, of course," Nell said with some pride. "I helped prepare some of it, after all. It's just that there's someone new doing the tubers who hadn't done them before, and they aren't quite right. You're right, though, I shouldn't waste it." As if to demonstrate, she took another bite--she nearly choked at his next words.

Chewing hurriedly, she answered, "No, no! It isn't the company at all. You're lovely company. That is, I didn't mean to sound rude, like I said." Her cheeks went red and blotchy again in an instant, flaming straight to her hairline. Her fingers drummed on the table nervously. Again, she attempted to remember just what it was she had heard about him. She just didn't have time for gossip--but maybe she would have to make time for it in the future.

She took another bite to give herself some extra time to think. He was either talking to her because he was a nice man, or because he was interested in something she wasn't willing to give. In either case, she wasn't entirely sure why he would seek out her company. Surely there were nicer girls to provide him with pleasant conversation, and easier girls to provide him with--well. But he'd said "I know..."

She swallowed and picked up her roll again. "Sorry to seem so flustered. I suppose I'm just not used to anyone taking so much interest in me that they know how long I should take for my meals."

Nell didn't pose it as a question--she thought it would be rude, and she didn't want to insult a bronzerider--but there was a question in her tone and she hoped he'd answer it.

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R'nya

Fort Weyrleader
of Bronze Xyreith
Re: Of Fruit and Wherry Meat [open]
« Reply #9 on: 14 Aug 2013 at 12:10 PM »
"All the kitchen workers are entitled to a regulated break," R'nya pointed out reasonably, tapping the side of his nose with his right hand pointer finger as he raised o be eyebrow at the girl and tossed her a light wink. "Since I saw you come out, I am aware of when you are due back." Of course, he was aware of a lot more about the girl than just that, but R'nya could see the discomfort he was causing the child and, taking pity on her, deflected his knowledge into easily explainable routes. There was no need to upset her more, and as he had concluded with his dragon, if she were listening to the wrong gossip it was a surprise she had not fled from him in terror already.

"Relax, child." There was no harm in the words, though R'nya would have been surprised if she actively did as she was told. She seemed somewhat high strung, and while R'nya was well aware of her inclination to work herself to the bone, he was amused by her inability to even sit still long enough to enjoy a meal she had had a hand in creating. If she couldn't enjoy her own work, how could she expect those around her, and within the Weyr, to enjoy it? The bronzerider opted not to commen ton that, however (despite Xyreith's encouragement that he do just that), as the girl continued to eat. His approval flickered over the otherwise placid contours of his face.

"You did not stand this past Hatching, Nellaris. Why is that?" R'nya's voice was gentle, mildly toned so as not to intimidate or come across as disproving. Waiting for the child to answer, the bronzerider sliced the red fruit carefully, and popped a slice in his mouth. He chewed silently as he waited.


sorry for the delay! Also, ipad post, so apologies for any odd words/typoes.

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