==== October 29, 2013
==== Nora, V'dean
==== Nora is going over her list in the kitchens, V'dean is trying to make her life harder

Who Nora, V'dean
What Nora is going over her list in the kitchens, V'dean is trying to make her life harder
When There are 0 turns, 10 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
Where Kitchens, Southern Weyr

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Renowned, the culinary prowress of Southern, and suitable her kitchens to the task. A broad and airy sweep of room, it cannot help the sweat-drenching heat — though hearths are cleverly set within the ground itself to maximize efficiency. Big copper pots gleam along long tables, cooks hustling to and fro to prepare the necessary meals. There is never a candlemark the kitchens are left unstaffed: even in the wee hours of the night, bakers can be seen shaping loaves and mixing biscuits. For those who miss meals, a sideboard brims with leftovers that are easily transformed into portable potables, complete with sweet herbal tea and a large wheel of a soft, white, crumbly cheese.

Breakfast is hardly the mad frenzy that lunch of dinner can be. It's a much more rote process, less deviation, getting under way before the day can throw up obstacles. And so by this time, when the brunt of the breakfast crowd has passed, the kitchens take a bit of a breather before the lunch preparations kick into full swing, which is a good time for Nora to snag the cook to go over some menus. Dressed in white, with dark green accents in a thin belt and a thick bangle, Nora is sitting on a stool by the counter, leaning to one side to write, legs neatly crossed, hair pulled back. "And there's that herdbeast that has to get used up," she comments in agreement with the cook, tucking her obligatory heeled shoe in close as someone moves past. She nods a bit and jots down a few last notes as the meeting winds to a close.

"Does that mean steak?" That shadow of a figure on periphery of notice, ambling past that tucked heel, speaks and proves itself V'dean. He has a sack of something he's not headed much further with, stopping just a little ways along to deliver it with a beaming smile to one of the elder bakers. The woman fusses at him a moment with her dish towel, but shortly thereafter leaves her rolling pin to make off with the delivery. The rider is left to twist about and lean elbows upon the counter, a heel cocking to make his posture more idle. Cool green eyes slip towards the green accented headwoman. His smile, not quite so beamish, is still pleasantly present.

There's a hitch as the man passes and Nora does a subtle double-take when she recognizes him, her eyes cutting aside to watch a few of V'dean's steps toward the older woman. She could probably answer him then, and perhaps she should, but she was writing something, so she gets back to that, wrapping up the last of arrangements as the bluerider takes up his very leisurely lean. Another sneak of a glance is enough to catch the sight of that not-beaming-but-pleasant smile and so even though she gives him only her profile, perhaps that slow curl of a grin at the corner of her mouth is for him. Either that or the age of perishables in the stores is far more pleasing than anyone would have figured. And it's a different smile than the one she smooths lightly onto her face as the cook takes her leave. Then, at long last, while her pen traces over the paper to review her writing, does she answer: "Yes, steak. Or kebabs." Then the pen pokes toward that old baker. "What was that you brought in?" She does twist a little on her stool, toward him, even if she doesn't turn her face to him just yet.

"Kebabs." This could be taken as acceptable, too, given the way the bluerider's mouth skews towards his dimple as his eyebrows tick upward. The poke of Nora's pen diverts his gaze a moment. The returning swivel of his chin seems to break him free of his lean, gets him to wander the few steps closer to the assistant headwoman on her stool as his palm skims along the counter's edge. "A bargaining chip," he answers with lazily low lidded smug. "There's a black market operating in your very own kitchen." He's probably teasing. Just out of reach of the kick of her toe, V'dean slumps back into a lean upon his one counter-laid forearm. "Does that ruin your list?" his eyes flick so briefly down to her paper that he can't possibly be reading.

Nora puts on a duly impressed purse of her lips — or rather it would be suitably impressed if he'd said something totally mundane instead of dubiously inflammatory. She mouths a silent 'oh' for this dastardly black market he's a party to. And maybe he's out of reach, but that just makes it all the more likely that the swing of her foot isn't meant to make contact, stretched in his direction and then left to fall idle again. "That depends," she muses quietly, attention still largely on her papers. "On what was in the bag." And at long last she looks over at him, eyes teasing even if she manages to keep her smile coolly minimal.

His lashes brush low to follow the swing of her toes, the stretch of ankle deepening at his dimple before it smooths away. "The hearts of virgins," V'dean answers blandly as his gaze lifts to find the tease in her eyes. He keeps the spark of his amusement submerged — for a moment. Licking his lips as his grin surfaces, he turns half a look back after the baker as a little shrug ripples at his shoulders. "That, or a few bunches of fruit. I snuck up on them this time." His elbow straightens as he scans a look over Nora, leaving him a little taller. "You look back to your old self."

This time being impressed comes with the arch of one brow and the failure of her smile to remain so carefully reserved; instead it finds a elfin twist on her lips. "Does that mean you've turned to necrophilia? I'd imagine you'd have to remove the hearts first in order for them to remain pure." She's not unaware of the way his grin doesn't quite match his eyes and it has her own lashes narrowing faintly, waiting over that wry grin. "Ah, well, we probably have more use for fruit." But… "This time?" His look over her, it probably drifts toward that injured arm? It's healing nicely, though the scrapes have left behind streaks of dirty-looking discoloration, barely a hint of yellow left from what was once a rather ugly bruise. Her wrist flexes, conscious of the remaining marks. "Right as rain," she quips lightly, though the (not so) innocent smile she puts on might make some nebulous suggestions.

That does it — it gets V'dean to break from his self-satisfied smile to a wrinkle of nose. Ick. It leaves him a little distracted from her this-time query, giving the smallest of nods in reply. Instead, it is her arm and those traces of greater injury that he does note. It's a flatter look slanted to take in the questionable innocence of Nora's smile. "Glad to hear it." Letting go the counter, the rider drops his arms into a loose fold across his torso. Another, slightly more impatient, glance is twisted over his shoulder. "Getting everything in order for winter, then? I guess the storms will be rolling in soon." A fact for which he'll ripple a little disgruntled.

It's not that Nora sighs, exactly, but there's a little extra weight to the calm exhale that comes through her nose, stealing the stronger flavors from her smile until the fading remnants of it are hidden as he returns her attention down to her papers. A sliding finger aligns the edges of the pages and she slips them back into the catch of her trusty clipboard. "Something like that," she answers easily, straightening her spine and slipping down from the stool, a twist letting her hem swing about her legs and ensuring that the skirt has fallen into place. "Not a fan?" There's just a tuck of a faint teasing to one side of her mouth, but she doesn't appear terribly inclined to linger for his answer. Turning to go, she looks back over her shoulder, a thoughtful flick of her eyes taking him in and deepening the curve on her lips. "Stay dry, V'dean."

The chuckle that makes his answer is certainly dry. "Clear skies, Nora." With her abandoning it, V'dean will claim her stool to wait out the arrival of his contraband reward until it comes in the form of sweet filling and flaky dough. Mm, pastries.

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