Who

Zannen, Selaine, Thesrov, Jonaxi, Lenali (NPCs puppeted by Selaine)

What

Zannen sets up a dinner date for Selaine's kids to ask them a very important question!

When

It is evening of the first day of the ninth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Zannen's Room

OOC Date 04 Dec 2018 05:00

 

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Ah, the bare-faced excitement and honesty of children! Mortifying at times and refreshing at others.



Zannen's Room

If a room can be breezy and cozy all at once, Zannen's home has accomplished this with ease. The main space boasts two large, bronze-shuttered windows that open to a view of the Azov, positioned in such a way that the breeze draws much of the heat from the space in the summer. Here there is a comfortable sofa with muted grey-blue cushions, plus a few matching chairs, all arced around a hearth kept crackling in the winter and only as hot as necessary in the summer for cooking. A skybroom dining table with four chairs is nearby, a wall full of hooks holding various pots and pans in the backdrop. Past a hanging beyond the hearth is Zannen's bedroom, boasting another window and a cozy full-sized bed. A clothes press is at the foot, a standing wardrobe and a chest against the wall to the right. There's a desk below the window with a stool tucked beneath, often strewn with various hides and maps.


There's quite the plethora of tantalizing scents creeping out from around the edges of the door to Zannen's apartment in the Seacraft complex. The dolphineer has been home since late afternoon, arranging his main room into something bright and cozy and comfortable around a low table with cushions surrounding, almost like an indoor picnic area. Consulting with Selaine over what foods would do well with her children for this little "dinner date" with the lot of them is what prompts this spread of cooking at his small hearth, a few different pots and pans bubbling and sizzling. There's even something baking in the coals, and another covered basket being kept toasty nearby as well. The man himself is dressed rather casually in soft boots, linen trousers, and a fitted forest green tunic, humming as he cooks and keeping an ear out for the knock he's expecting.

"Please make sure to be on your best behavior for Uncle Zannen, ok? He's being very kind to cook for all of us," Selaine's voice floats up the stairway of the complex as her trio of children make their way up ahead of her with Thesrov at the frontlines. He waits patiently for his family at the top of the stairs. "We know mom," he says a bit indignantly as the greenrider frowns at him and then motions for them to move along. "It's the door at the end. Make sure to knock, please." Jonaxi is already running ahead to said door, Lenali trying to catch up behind her, "Can I do it, mama?!" The smile she gives her twins is resigned. "Go ahead." *Knock knock knock* The sound of the knocking is soft, considering the size of the girl's hand. "It smells yummy!"

Soft though the knock may be, Zannen is on high alert for any such sound and immediately pops up from his spot by the hearth, straightening his tunic as he strides to the door. It opens inward, allowing him to peer down at the twins. "Ahoy, ladies! Good day to ye, Thesrov," he greets them all before his gaze lands warmly on Selaine. "An' to ye 's well, Selaine. Pleasure t' see ye." His eyes say vastly more than that, but there will likely be things belatedly tacked on to his greeting much later. "C'mon in an' get comfortable! But careful 'round the fireplace, aye? Dinner's almost ready!" Holding the door open, he stands to the side to let them all pass by him before closing and latching it once more.

By the time Zannen opens the door, Selaine is coming up behind her children. "Hi Uncle Zannen!" the twins greet cheerfully with their big wide smiles, looking adorable in matching outfits. Thesrov's greeting is much more subdued, but still polite. As for Selaine… the smile she gives the dolphineer is a warm one, "Same to you, Zan." Her eyes say just as much as his before her children move past Zannen to look around, staying well away from the fireplace. While they are occupied, Selaine sneaks in a quick kiss to Zannen's cheek, "It smells wonderful in here. Did you need any help?"

The kiss to his cheek sets sea blue eyes to glittering as he sneaks one back before turning fully back into the room. Though colorful and cozy, there aren't many points of interest to be found around Zannen's living room for the children to find…at first glance. After a time, they may notice the fishing poles hanging on hooks above where his couch rests. A heavy, tarnished bell about the size of a large pail hanging above the hearth. An old oar with a curious chunk taken out of the broad end on display between the shuttered windows near the tall dining table across the room. "No…well. Just help rememberin' who likes what, mayhap," he answers Selaine with a lopsided smile. "All o' ye can sit where'er ye please on the cushions round th' table," he lifts his voice to tell them all, adding to Selaine, "Idea I borrowed from Ky. Her with that low table an' cushions she's always loved. Not bad when ye have a group."

Selaine's smile widens when Zannen sneaks in a kiss as well. "I can definitely help with that," she responds before she's turning her attention back to the kids. And in true kid fashion, they're looking at anything that might be just a little interesting. The twins seem to be particularly fascinated by that oar, both doing the same little headtilt at it before turning to go find seats. "I was wondering how you were going to manage that," the greenrider comments as she watches her children settle obediently on the cushions, though still gazing about. "What's that, Uncle Zannen?" Jonaxi asks and points at the bell above the hearth just as Selaine moves to settle between her daughters.

"That," Zannen replies, craning his neck to glance up at the bell over the hearth as he squats down before the little fire, "is a dolphin's bell. One o' th' things I get t' do…" He pulls out some plates and passes them to Selaine while pulling his cooking rack off the fire. "…Is swim out far with th' dolphins t' find places that're easy fer us both t' reach. Then I set up a big bell, like that 'un, with a long rope hangin' off it. When th' dolphins need t' get our attention, they come ring th' bell." He uncovers the pots and pans, looking to Selaine with amused questioning in his gaze. This is the point he needs help with! "What would ye all like t' drink?" he asks, looking over to the children. "There's water, apple juice, an' milk. Might have some citrus juice, too, though I need t' check."

Selaine takes the plates and places them before each child, and then in front of herself and the open spot for Zannen. Meanwhile, the twins look completely awed as Zannen explains the dolphin bell, eyes wide. Thesrov clearly looks interested but feigns otherwise. With the inquiry about drinks, Selaine could very well answer for them, but she gives them the opportunity to answer for themselves. "Milk, please!" replies Jonaxi, "Me, too!" chirps in Lenali. A look from Selaine. "Please." Big grin. "Apple juice, please." Selaine's gaze shifts from them to Zannen with a wry smile, "Are you sure you don't need any help? Getting the drinks?"

"Two milks and an apple juice, aye," Zannen echoes, shifting so that he can more easily get up. His gaze flicks to Selaine, and he shakes his head. "I'll get th' drinks if you'll start doin' plates," he replies. "An' speakin' of…what do ye want t' drink yerself?" He stands and gives her a wink as he snags cups for the children, passing by his wine rack. "Somethin' from here, mayhap?" He goes about filling the cups from different carafes he pulls from a sunken storage area against the western wall, replacing them and then passing the milk to the girls, the apple juice to Thesrov.

"How about a glass of that Benden red?" Selaine asks with a grin in his direction before she looks into the pots and pans to see what he's prepared for them all, and then serving each of her children what she knows they'll actually eat from it all. A trio of thanks is given when drinks are passed around, though they only take a sip from their cups before putting them down. They've been taught not to drink too much before their meal, after all! "It smells really yummy!" Lenali exclaims as Selaine places a meatroll on each of their plates. "You've really outdone yourself, Zan," the greenrider agrees.

"Oh, th' red, aye?" Zannen's brows arch in surprise, though he grins and snags two wine glasses, filling one for himself and then Selaine. He sets one near where she'll sit, then at his own place, before taking plates for himself and the greenrider to fill while she tends to those of her children. "Outdone? Well, thank ye…but I like t' feed people," he counters, broad shoulders hitching upward in a somewhat sheepish shrug. "Doesn't seem extravagant t' me." He grins over at Lenali as he fills his and Selaine's plates. "Ye let me know if it tastes yummy too, aye?"

Selaine's grin widens before she focuses back on taking care of her children, laying out napkins in their laps. "Thank you," she says, looking up briefly at him when he puts down the glass. "And I think so," especially knowing how much effort he had put into this 'date' of theirs. "Yes, sir!" Lenali replies enthusiastically with a wide grin. Thesrov is quiet the whole time, simply watching, seemingly regarding Zannen in a fairly serious manner. Or as serious as an eight-Turn-old can look anyway.

Zannen just smiles warmly at Selaine's last, finishing filling their plates and setting them out. Then, after making certain everything around the hearth is safe and secure, he settles himself on a cushion, plucking up his own napkin. His smile goes lopsided as he notices Thesrov's scrutiny. "You're thinkin' might loud there, Thesrov," he notes with a subtly amused drawl. "Whatcha thinkin' about?"

Selaine murmurs a soft thank you for Zannen before she looks around at her children to make sure they have everything they need. Her gaze shifts up to look over at Zannen and then to her son with an amused smile. Thesrov simply blinks at the dolphineer at the question before shifting his gaze to his mother. "Nuthin'," he says as he looks down and takes a sip of apple juice. Selaine's lips remain curled into the same smile as she glances over at Zannen with a brief shrug. "Shall we eat?"

Zannen withholds the chuckle that wants to rise at Thesrov's answer. "Aye, let's eat," he answers Selaine, and sets to doing just that. He stays alert for reactions to the food despite his confidence in his cooking, though doesn't show it outwardly. "What'd you all get up to t'day?" he asks. "Anythin' excitin', or did th' rain make everythin' sort o' borin'?"

And with Zannen's response, the girls dig into their food with much gusto, though Selaine makes sure to keep an eye on them so that they don't make a mess of themselves. Of course, she helps herself to the food as well. "So yummy!" the twins exclaim after eating a mouthful of wherry stew. Jonaxi is about to answer with a mouth full of food when she sees the look her mother gives her. She chews quickly and swallows, "We went to look at art! In the… in the… mama, what's it called again?" "The Solarium," Selaine answers with an amused smile, "It was something to pass the time." "The art was pretty!" Lenali chirps in, "Thessy thought so too!" she adds, calling out her older brother, who looks up a bit surprised.

Zannen grins at the twins' praise of their stew, eyes glinting with quiet amusement when he notices Selaine making certain no one talks with their mouth full. "The Solarium, eh?" His brows hike upward for a moment. "'S been a long time since I've been in there. Mayhap I'll go visit again sometime." He notes Thesrov's surprise with some mirth, though chooses not to put the boy on the spot. Not for this, at least. He takes a sip of his wine as he peers around at the children, quietly deciding it's as good a time as any to speak to his motivations. "Now, part o' the reason I invited ye to come have dinner is 'cos I have somethin' I want t' ask the three o' ye. 'Specially you, Thesrov, since ye're kinda th' man o' th' house, aye?"

Selaine is content to listen to the chatter of the twins, looking over at her son as well to observe his reactions. Her gaze shifts back to Zannen, "They're always changing the art on display so there's always something new there," she says of the Solarium. Then she goes back to helping herself to more of the food, with the occasional sip of wine. When Zannen speaks up again, the children focus on him, especially Thesrov, when he's called out again. He straightens in his seat, though betrays nothing in his expression. Selaine keeps quiet, expression amused as she takes another sip of wine.

Zannen may have underestimated just how serious Thesrov might be, even so young. He can't decide whether or not to be amused or concerned! He sets his plate a little to the side, leaning forward so that he can more easily fit all of them with a glittering sea blue gaze. "That day when I met all o' you out on th' beach an' told ye 'bout th' dolphins, I knew I'd be seein' ye again. But I also knew I liked yer mama very much. She an' I have talked some since then, an' now I want t' ask all o' you if it's okay fer me t' spend more time with her." His gaze settles on Thesrov, and he gives the boy a gentle little smile. "Ye're the eldest an' th' big brother, Thesrov. So ye can ask me whate'er ye like before tellin' me one way or the other, if ye want to."

Thesrov is fairly mature for his age, especially with having to deal with over-excitable twin sisters all the time! Selaine seems to find some amusement in it, at least, eyes glittering with it as she looks from boy to man. The boy glances at his mother when Zannen mentions 'liking' her. The twins gasp in unison, eyes sparkling. "You mean like like?!?" exclaims Jonaxi, clearly the more outspoken of the twins. Selaine resists the urge to chuckle as Thesrov frowns just a bit as he regards Zannen again. "Are you gonna make mama sad?" He's clearly remembering something. And that makes Selaine wince ever so slightly.

Ah, the bare-faced excitement and honesty of children! Mortifying at times and refreshing at others. Zannen can't help but chuckle now at the twins' question and nods. "Aye, I do," he answers Jonaxi before his attention returns to Thesrov. He expects the opposite of the twins' enthusiasm and isn't disappointed. But the boy's question does catch him slightly off guard, making him wonder what exactly is being referred to. "I never want t' make yer mama sad, Thesrov," he answers with earnest solemnity despite the reassuring curve to his lips. "Not ever, I promise ye. If she gets sad 'cos of me, I'll always do my best t' fix it. But I'll never make 'er sad on purpose, 'cos it'd make me sad if she were sad."

The twins squee at Zannen's response to Jonaxi's question, looking completely bright-eyed between their mother and the dolphineer. They do tilt their heads curiously at Thesrov's question, clearly not sure what's going on there. The boy listens and nods, his expression showing that he does seem to trust Zannen's words. "Ok. As long as you make mama happy." He looks to her then, and finds Selaine smiling warmly at him. He blushes and looks down, taking his cup to drink from it. The greenrider shifts her gaze to Zannen, her smile for him just as warm. "Well, I suppose you have your answer, hm?" "Mama! You're blushing!" Jonaxi points out, and when her daughter says that, of course there's a rush of color to her cheeks. "I wasn't until you said that, you silly girl." The response she gets is just a bunch of giggling from the twins. Selaine clears her throat. "Finish your food now," she tells them with a sheepish smile in Zannen's direction.

Between the squeeing from the twins and the weighing of his answer from Thesrov, Zannen knows quite well that he does have his answer. Seeing the boy blush under his mother's smile brings about a grin, but he tries to spare Thesrov from most of it with a pull from his wine glass. "Aye," he manages in a low rasp of sound to Selaine just before all the blushing gets pointed out and deepened. For that, he does laugh, the lower rumble of sound underlying the flurry of giggles that follow. "Well, now that that's settled…" He grins back at Selaine, reaching out to capture her hand and give it a brief, affectionate squeeze before food is returned to. He'll settle to it easily, chatting as chat comes until all is cleared and he pulls out the dessert he's kept hidden in plain sight - bubbly pies, revealed when he pulls the basket from near the fire and plucks the folds of the cloth from the top. "Ye can each have one," he says, setting the basket in the midst of them do be dug into.

Selaine returns the squeeze of his hand, the smile that she gives him now warm. She lets the twins chatter away, both of them asking Zannen all sorts of things from the oar against the wall to the things he liked about their mother. After getting over his initial shyness, even Thesrov asks a few questions of his own, though he's otherwise content with letting his sisters do the talking. When the dessert comes out, there's squeals of delight as each child plucks one from the basket. Selaine looks over at Zannen with a grin as she grabs one for herself. "A man after my own heart."

The oar turns out to be quite the story, the missing chunk of it having been bitten off by some great, toothed creature in the water that Zannen never got a good look at - something that he plays up as much as he can, of course. He takes each question in stride, though will not be at all surprised if the appearance of dessert stems the flow. The glint in Zannen's eyes at Selaine's last holds more than he's allowed to say in front of the children. "That's the hope," he counters as he takes up his own bubbly and then covers the few remaining before younger eyes can notice. They'll be saved for later…when his company numbers one plus himself, rather than four.

The children all 'ooh' and 'ahh' at the appropriate moments of Zannen's oar story, completely enthralled. Even Thesrov can't hide his interest now that he's getting more comfortable. Selaine watches them all with warm affection before glancing over at Zannen again. There's a soft chuckle for his counter before she digs into her dessert, as do the children. She does, of course, notice Zannen covering up the rest of the bubblies and raises a brow at him. After the twins finish their desserts, there's a bit of yawning from them as the night goes on. "I think someone's getting sleepy," Selaine notes in a soft, singsong voice. "Not yet, mama…" says Jonaxi, even as she rubs her eyes.

That eye-rubbing from Jonaxi has Zannen chuckling softly. "It is late," he notes, but it really isn't. Not for adults, anyway. "I promise ye'll get t' come back sometime. I'm glad all o' ye could come over tonight." Glancing to Selaine, he asks, "Need help gettin' them back, or will ye be alright?"

Zannen's comment seems to at least appease the little girl, or it could just be her sleepyness taking over. It is late for the children. Selaine moves to stand, leaning over to make sure both twins' hands are clean and helps them up. "I think I'll be ok," she replies, looking up at him. "Come along now…" she takes both girls' hands and leads them to the door, with Thesrov following behind. "I'll be back soon," she promises. "Bye Uncle Zannen!" the girls wave sleepily before their mother leads them out and home.

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