====February 12, 2014
==== Cha'el, Teya
==== Teya and Cha'el chat over sticky buns.

Who Cha'el, Teyaschianniarina
What Chatter over semi-illicit stickybuns in the kitchens.
When Thirteenth day of the first month of the first turn of the 12th pass; the seventy-third day of winter.
Where Kitchens, Igen Weyr

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Chaos and anomie reign in this hub of food production. It's not so much the smell, which varies from 'faintly edible' to 'coal', as the film of grease that adds a sheen to every surface and glues canine hair to the wall. The area is well set up, of course — it's a large kitchen with more than adequate counter space. There's plenty of room to get around, too, even with the centralized canine spit run dominating the center of the floor. The place is just, well, not 'up to code'. Several large stoves belch smoke that chars the blocked chimney's outer brick. Unidentifiable bits of food have been baked to the floors and ground in by the uncaring trod of drudge shoes. Even the sink is crusty, with it's constant tower of filthy dishes and lack of cleansing sand to be seen anywhere. Add in the bloodied smears on cutting boards and what you have is a monument to cross contamination.

Though still no bastion of cleanliness, Igen's kitchens have seen some fair improvement in the last two turns - enough, at least, that the smells produced range farther toward enticing than they do unendurable. Which is why this morning they are occupied by a little extra: Teyaschianniarina is ensconced at what, in a professional kitchen, would be the chef's table - but here is just a table, mostly clean and tucked into a corner. Her seat is on the top of it, though, with her feet on the bench and her knees braced, hands clasped under the heavy curve of her belly as she grins, bright and merry and chipmunk-cheeked at one of the kitchen workers on break. "I don't think eating spicy food is going to make it come faster," she confides in not-terribly-quiet-tones, "or else I would have gone and popped ages ago, but if your mother swears-"

At this time of the morning, most have already fed from the breakfast buffet in the living caverns. Which might beg the question of why the Weyrsecond has just wandered into the flavorsome chaos of the kitchens. He's clearly off in a world of his own for had he noticed the extremely pregnant woman perched atop the table in the corner, its safe to say he would've turned and marched himself the heck out of there. As it is, his meanderings about the kitchens, gathering together tidbits from here and there, getting his hand slapped and not a few glares too, happen to take him into close proximity to one Teya. "Spicey food makes whatnow come faster?" Cha'el distractedly queries and glances up at just the wrong moment, catching an eyeful of rather round belly. Uuuuhhh…wherry in dragonstare much?

While the rest of her wardrobe lacks its usual militarily-influenced precision, in deference to the season Teya still wears her flight jacket indoors, wingrider knot and by-necessity Mirage patch displayed proudly despite her state. "Her," there's a stricken expression across the brownrider's face, and she glances over at her kitchen-friend who supplies, "Amara," "Amara," is echoed with relief, "Amara's mother swears that eating spicy food will make the baby come faster, but we," yes, they're a we now, although the thus-named Amara abandons their table and her break to get back to her duties, leaving clear room for Cha'el to sit if he's so inclined. "Think she's just trying to get more test-eaters for her latest recipe, 'cause I've had a taste for Igen-spicy the whole time I've been knocked up and it's not doing squat." Question answered, she snaps off a neat and tidy salute, though her, "Weyrsecond," is a little bit cheeky around a grin.

Her? Oh. Her. Cha'el eyes Amara then all but deflates when the lass moves off and leaves him all on his lonesome with said pregnant brownrider. Balancing his carefully stacked plate, he doesn't immediately take up that empty space at the table and instead remains standing. Teya is set with a somewhat wary look. "You uh…didn't eat anything spicy now did you?" He asks returning the salute as a matter of course and casting about for someone, anyone to lend aid. Nope, still on his own there.

"No," Teya admits, "not this morning. I'm not going to have the baby right here," she assures, and oh! her expression is still merry, bordering on cheeky. No respect for rank, this morning. (Or just used to handling jumpy 'riders.) "I'm not going to have the baby at all at this rate, but believe me, if anything so much as feels different, I'm out of here." She shifts, but not like they're about to have a problem - it's a bony butt on wooden tabletop kind of shifting. "So you don't need to make that face, I swear. I'm just here for the breakfast pastries." Apparently someone still has a fond spot for her, leftover from her own days as Weyrsecond. "I'll share, if you promise not to reveal my sources."

Rank and respect for it are of little consequence to the Weyrsecond when it comes to keeping a pregnant woman happy. Because while he's never had firsthand experience thereof, he's heard about those hormones. A quiet snort is uttered as cover. "M'not making no face," Cha'el counters though he doesn't quite manage to swipe the sheepish expression from his mug. There is however a crooked grin that emerges at talk of sharing sources. "I've found the ones they hide in the ovens overnight," he tells Teya sotto voice while parking his butt on the bench because he's brave! "But not where they keep the bubbly pies. Any intel on those?" Up hikes a brow.

"You were making the same panicked face that K'ane makes when I tell him my back hurts," blast the healer who said that could be an early sign of labor in the bronzerider's hearing. But Teya's grinning as she says it, with a wiggle-waggle of a cheerfully chiding finger in Cha'el's direction. "Oh, everyone knows about those ones - but I'll let you in on how to get in good, so you get fresh-from-the-ovens if you swing through in the morning." Speaking of, the brownrider goes quiet with a finger to her lips as there's a sudden bustle near the ovens, and a few moments later a rather brusque-looking baker deposits a steaming basket of baked goods on the table beside the pregnant wingrider, pats her on the cheek with kind of lack-of-care for rank that implies a serene security in her own seniority, frowns at Cha'el, and disappears back into the bustle of the kitchen. When she is gone, Teya makes a delighted noise and flips the cheesecloth cover off the basket to reveal still-hot stickybuns, one of which she very magnanimously offers Cha'el. "As for bubblies, they're someone else entirely, and you'll want to time your fly-bies for early afternoon."

"Mine would hurt too if I had all of…that," Cha'el waves a hand with a meatroll tucked between fingers in the general direction of Teya's belly, "hanging off the front of me." Ahem. Diplomacy fails him horribly at times. Time to shift focus to the bronzerider named as baby-daddy. "You'd think by now he'd have earned his stripes as a midwife with the brood he's got." Dryly given. Sticking the whole meatroll into his mouth, thus rendering him speechless during the presentation of literally out-of-the-oven goods, the baker who had delivered them is given a browlifted 'What did I do now?' type of look when she frowns at him. Chew, chew, swallow. And then, freshly baked stickybun. Oh Teya, you most certainly DO know the way to a man's heart if the wide grin the Weyrsecond sends her is anything to go by. "And what, pray tell," he asks taking the treat into his possession as if it were an expensive bottle of Benden Red, "will you be asking in return for the sharing of these hard earned secrets of yours, hmm?" Somewhere in the bowl, Sikorth is grumbling up a storm. No pastries!!

Oh Sikorth, don't you know that making the pregnant woman willing to share her pastries happy is more important than waistlines? "I seem to be built for it better than some, which, let me tell you, is something I thought I'd go my whole life without ever needing to know." Teya re-settles, weight more suitably braced now that both of her hands are occupied: one to hold the bun, the other to tear off bite-sized chunks and pop them into her mouth. "And," she says around a bite, "to be fair, this is the first one he wasn't informed of well after the fact, so it's kind of like the first." At least as far as hovering and occasional jitters go. "Mm," swallow, "so long as you don't out me as the one who let you in on it, I'll let you in on the secrets of getting all the love from the kitchen staff. It's really just," another bite, chewed and swallowed before she continues, "I really wanted to do everything right when I was Weyrsecond, you know? So I found out what a lot of people wanted. Little things, to make stuff go smoother."

Cha'el is going to pay for this. Already he's being beset by a doubling of his usual pre-dawn routine for the following morning in the barked demand of a parade ground drill instructor. To the point that he winces slightly which may be taken as response to Teya's first. There is an amused twist of lips that disappears behind a healthy bite into the stickybun followed by a low groan borne of tastebud ecstasy. Sliding out of his seating to go in search of milk which would be an awesome accompaniment, the former Istan sets Teya with a contemplative look. "You sound a lot like Sadaiya," he finally tells her, the easy smile that appears marking that as compliment. Not gone long, Cha'el returns with a ceramic jug of milk and two glasses. Filling them both, one is slid over to his fellow brownrider, the narrowed look coming from the woman whose tray he'd just lifted it from, ignored. "Do you miss it?"

Teyaschianniarina eases that narrowed look with a bright smile and a faint gesture, toward either herself or her on-board cargo. It's hard to tell — the gesture is brief, not quite a wave, and gets turned into fingers stuck in her mouth to suck the sticky from as she considers her answer. "We're not strangers," she assures of the former-Istan, now-Igen senior Weyrwoman. "I do, I think. Not that I'm unhappy now, or that I was really prepared for the job when I had it, but - I do, sometimes. Not for the rank," she wrinkles her nose at that, and lifts her glass of milk in thanks before sipping it, then setting it carefully aside so she can return her attention to demolishing her bun. "But for what it could do. Being able to positively affect change for the Weyr, being able to make things better - I miss that. I don't miss all the ways I fucked it up, though. I mean, everyone gets things wrong, sometimes, especially when it's their first time on a job with that kind of," she gestures, broad, then pulls back in to pop a bite in her mouth, "scale."

"Is anyone really?" Cha'el puts forth with regards to being prepared for the job. "Its not something one can train for." Out in the bowl, Sikorth utters a hefty snort of disagreement that blows a swirl of dust over a hapless drudge. One bite of bun, chew-swallow and a wash of milk. Aaah, life is gooood! Starting to relax in Teya's company now that he's fairly sure she's not about to pop then and there, the current Weyrsecond leans back and stretches long legs out under the table. "According to Sikorth if you don't fuck up, you ain't doing it right." A wry smile accompanies that. "Not sure that W'rin would agree." Polishing off his bun, there's a pause and then, "You got any connections in the Bazaar amongst the shop owners?"

"I was being trained for wingsecond duties before we came forward," Teya admits sheepishly, "and a guard before that, so I was maybe a little better prepared than someone else might have been, but not by much. I like records, and organization, and people," even if she's not always great at the latter. "Well, then according to Sikorth I did a sharding good job." She finishes her sticky-bun, eyes the basket for a moment, then shrugs and snags another. Might as well. "It was mostly an inability to juggle being Weyrsecond Teyaschianniarina with being nonprofessional Teya, I think. Nuts, by the way." Slightly tangentially, but she lifts the sticky bun and wiggles it to demonstrate, "the secret's nuts. And, mm. A couple?"

Interest peaks and finds Cha'el setting the perched brownrider with an approving look before he offers a low laugh. "According to Sikorth I have yet to prove myself." He comments though there is a sly glint to blue eyes. A secret closely held that could count as a monumental fuck-up were it ever to come out. Neither here nor there right now. Returning to the plate of assorted breakfast leftovers, a pained expression fits to bearded features. "If I never see another record in my life it'll be too soon. Though there is something to be said for going through some of the old stuff that was brought forward." A small smile appears. "I don't think the two can be mutually exclusive in this job," he comments of separating business and pleasure. "Nuts?"

Teyaschianniarina catches that glint, but only because she's already attentive on Cha'el's face; she meets it with a lift of both eyebrows, but doesn't pursue it further. "Well, you two also get the beginning of the Pass itself," there's an inclination toward and upward glance that she stills partway, and instead turns into a shift and press of the heel of her right hand against the now-healed Threadscore hidden beneath her clothes. "Instead of the frantic dash toward it. I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunity." That's right: she's totally implying that Cha'el's gonna fuck up too, one of these days. She softens it, though, with a nudge of the basket of stickybuns toward him. "Tell Sikorth I insisted," she asides. "I love the records. I miss the hidework the most - there just isn't nearly as much of it, as a wingrider. If you ever need help transcribing," she jerks a thumb toward her chest, "just let me know. I helped make copies of a lot of the older records, too. What? Oh," she grins, bright. "Sorry - nuts. They're the secret to the sticky buns. There's nothing wrong with the ones that are supplied via tithes, but don't let her," a nod toward the matronly baker overseeing another batch of baking, "hear you say that. They are Inferior, and a Disgrace. I know a guy," of course she does, "and it doesn't really matter who your guy is, really — but supply her with superior nuts, and you'll be on her good side for ages."

"Thanks," Cha'el returns dryly, "Your confidence in my ability to fuck up is most reassuring." The nudge of basket does not go unnoticed and sending his dragon the equivalent of a mental finger, he snags another lifting it in silent thanks before biting into the sticky goodness. With his mouth full at the time that Teya announces a love for the part of the job of Weyrsecond that sucks the most in the former Istan's estimation, brows jaunt upward. Swallowing a little too quickly, milk is needed to wash the crumbs down as is a thump to the chest to prevent himself from choking. "You're shitting me!? You like the hideword?" Stare. "Tell you what. How 'bout you and I have a little chat once you're not so…" More waving of foodstuffs at her straining belly, "pregnant. I'm sure we can figure something that'll suit us both." Cue the crafty grin for that. "Nuts." Murmured quietly to himself, a glance goes the way of the baker under discussion. "I know a guy down in Ista. Has his own plantation with a brother that has one near Nerat. Might have to pay him a visit. See what can be worked out." A pause in which the last of his bun is consumed and his glass emptied and then he's making short work of what's left on his plate. Big man, big appetite. "So what's the deal with you and K'ane. You weyrmates or…?"

"Don't choke and die," is Teya's pragmatic response, though she relaxes when it's clear the Weyrsecond is doing neither. "I know you can rescue someone who is while pregnant, but it's hard, and if you do die then I'm sure there's someone around who'll say it was my fault, and I was after your job, or something." She's grinning around another torn-off bite of stickybun, though, so she's probably only a little serious. "I know, no one likes hidework," except for her. And a few select others, surely. "So I'll definitely come see you." His revelation of his Istan Nut Connection produces another broad smile, and an approving nod. "It's worth it. I mean, you get buns out of it," which is great, "but it helps keep everyone happier. And when the kitchens are happy, the weyr is happy." It may not be a direct correlation, but Teya seems to think that it helps. "Mm, no. We're friends, he's invested in the baby, we work well together so we're gonna make a go at the whole," vague circular gesture with half-eaten bun, "co-parenting thing, as much as 'riders ever can. But nothing so smooshy as weyrmates."

Once again Teya catches him just as he's taken a bite of something but this time Cha'el's able to swallow in time and only has to cough into a fist to clear his throat. "Your timing is impeccable." He drawls, his baritone slightly scratchy. Sadly, his reasons for collecting nuts from Ista are purely self-motivated for Cha'el lacks the kind of female intuition to please and smooth feathers that Teya seems to have. But he nods and at least appears to get it. A grunt precedes another nod on the matter of her and the baby-daddy. "Smooshy," there genuine amusement sparks his gaze, his mouth turning about an enigmatic smile. "You make it sound like something a person might step in."

Teyaschianniarina laughs this time, catching herself against the edge of the table with one sticky hand before she can overbalance and topple over. "Oh, if only I could have timing when I want it. Sorry." Sorry-not-sorry, says the merriment in her expression. "Sometimes smooshy is something that you can step in," she says, shaking her head. "It's okay, for some people. It didn't really work very well for me, I mean, not once I was," her face twists a little, and she chews on her bottom lip as she tries to come up with the right word. "Grown."

Lopsided the grin Cha'el sends Teya, automatically lifting a hand to steady her should she need it and then dropping it and taking up his glass of milk when she doesn't. "Aye," he agrees on matters of the heart, "so it can be." Stomped would probably be closer to previous experiences. Dropping to silence, he fiddles with his glass, turning it around and around on the table, expression a study in contemplation. After a while sea-blue eyes lift. "What counts is that you've found something that does work for you," a nod of head to her rounded stomach. Just then, bearded features scrunch about a wince as a clarion call goes off in his head, his glass bearing hand jerking so that he almost sloshes milk all over the place. "Apparently, if I don't get my lazy arse up off this bench in the next two seconds, I'm going to be late for a meeting." Sikorth's barked reminder relayed. "Thanks for the buns and the advice about the nuts and uh, good luck with all that." Yup, the awkward face is back.

"Hopefully, anyway," Teya answers, with a scrunch-faced grin of her own that dissolves into a startled laugh. "As long as it's not with the Weyrleader, they'll wait for you," she advises, lifting a hand to her own shoulder and then flicking it toward his to indicate his knot. "That's one of the advantages. Give my love to Sikorth," she adds, because of course she does. She finishes the last of her bun and covers the rest back up again, cleaning her fingers on the leg of her pants before offering an actual salute. "Clear skies - and I'll be around to see you once this one," jab-point toward her cargo, "makes its appearance."

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