Who

Beris, Naneska, R'ku, Xanthee

What

The Tea Room does great pastries, and great talk of love, slapping, bazaar families - all the good stuff!

With thanks to Naneska for the log title! :P

Innuendo

When

It is midmorning of the first day of the twelfth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

The Tea Room

OOC Date 08 Jan 2018 00:00

 

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The Tea Room

This shop is easy to miss from the street. It bears the same striped awning that most shops have, this one in shades of lilac and sand, but it has no sign save for a plaque of sandstone hung beside the door, on which a teacup has been carved. When open, the heavy curtain that covers the doorway is pulled aside to allow entry. After stepping through, one will find themselves in a tiny space decorated with classic desert touches.

The walls are whitewashed to increase the sense of light within but the floor is tiled in hues of blue and green, with each tile bearing in its center a brilliant red lotus. There are only five small tables, all of them of dark, heavily carved wood set low to the ground. To sit at one requires reclining on the plethora of pillows and cushions and layered rugs provided for that purpose; each seat is provided with a carved wooden back-prop to rest the pillows against, for those who want spinal support. Tea is served from the service at the rear of the room, where a tiny smokeless hearth keeps water heated, and a row of trays are kept loaded with teapots, tiny cups, and containers for sweetener. There is a small selection of fruits, breads and cheeses also available for those looking for a snack but this is not a place for heavy meals.


Tea is great any time of day, but that period between breakfast and lunch? Perfect for a nice cup of the stuff. With winter creeping in at Igen and the temperatures dropping, a hot drink is perfect - and better shared, of course. Beris enters the Tea Room first, pushing aside the heavy curtain to step in to the lovely, aromatic warmth within. "Ahh," the woman looks pleased to be in from the cold, and now she can take off her gloves, though her jacket remains on for now. She glances back to R'ku. "Should we sit nearer the hearth, or by the window? We could people watch…."

It's almost a reflex when stepping into the aromatic, steamy atmosphere of the Tea Room - R'ku takes in a deep breath, appreciating the different spices and smells wafting around, "I do miss having an excuse to come here more often. It always smells so sharding good in here." His excuse likely being Beris having used to work here and, now that she doesn't, he's probably patronizing the Pit a whole lot more. R'ku keeps one arm looped around Beris' waist as they hesitate just inside the room, though he's quick to make his decision, "Window. It's not too cold yet and people watching is definitely fun." He draws away from Beris a moment to free his hand so he can start to shed his outer wear - gloves and a quick unbuttoning of his jacket.

Beris can't help but grin. She's happy to be his excuse, wherever she might be working. "It's like you read my mind," she says of the window seat suggestion, and since they're now not in such close proximity, it means she can slip off her jacket as she makes her way to claim the table nearest the window. Slinging the jacket down under the low table, she settles herself comfortably among the pillows, cat-like and happy to be here with R'ku. Her eyes will follow his progress over; a server near the hearth is apparently awaiting them to take their place before she comes over to take orders and so forth. "I wonder if we'll see anything unusual. I used to see Parhelion chasing people, sometimes." Ah, memories!

R'ku peels off his own jacket, pausing to settle it underneath the table, as well. He eyes the pillows thoughtfully for a moment before carefully settling himself down into the mass of cushions. No matter how careful he is, though, his weight is enough to make him sink into the mass of pillows, "This is comfortable, but getting back up takes some skill not to look completely foolish." He flashes one of his usual toothy grins before adding, "But, at least we don't have to deal with that for a while yet." He casts a glance out the window, scanning the passersby, "Might be a bit early for funny drunkards, but .. you never know. There'll probably be at least one surprising sight out there while we're here."

The single server is looking rather put out and though she acknowledges the entering couple, she doesn't immediately head over, instead it looks as if she is making sure the hearth is ready to be handed over to her replacement, who appears to be running late. And as if that were her cue, here comes Xanthee, easily spied through the window the couple is sitting at. She is wearing a cloak that flows out behind her as she is running towards the Tea Room, pausing at the doorway attempt to slow her breath. Then with a little pat to her dishevelled hair, she walks in, an apologetic smile on her face, "Sorry, so sorry, I slept in." She says quickly as she stores her cloak out of the way, as she gets a glare from the server, "You're lucky it was me, just don't make a habit of it. You should tell that Miner of yours not to keep you up so late." That is said with a bit of wry humour that sets Xanthee's cheeks aflame with a blush, "Now go take that couple's order while I finish my clean up and get out of here." Xanthee nods and, grabbing an apron, makes her way over to where Beris and R'ku are seated by the window. "Well hello! How are you two doing this morning? Can I get you anything?" She asks as she hastily ties the apron around her waist.

Beris is smiling broadly at R'ku's slow sinking into the pillows, so she turns her head to look out the window and spare him further indignity. "Oh-" Something's happening outside! A person dashing towards the shop with a billowing cloak. It's not until the person is inside the shop and has slowed down that Beris realises who it is. "Oh, it's Xanthee. Did you meet her before? I think you saw her reciting poetry, that one time?" Whether R'ku has met her again, she's not sure, but she does grin at Xanthee when the girl approaches, still putting on her apron. "Morning, Xanthee. Overslept?" Oh yeah, she's gonna teeeease.

Naneska has arrived.

R'ku struggles just a bit in an attempt to pull free of the sucking pit of pillows long enough to resettle himself properly - thankfully Beris is not looking at this point, as it's probably more than a little humilating for a few seconds. Thankfully he manages to right himself just in time to see the billowing cloaked figure, "Oh! Xanthee?" He furrows his brow, seemingly trying to place the name. The mention of the poetry has him brightening in recognition, "Oh! Yes. I do remember now. I don't know if I've run into her since then, but … the poetry was … interesting." He does make a mock disappointed noise in his throat, "She didn't even stumble on her way in. Not so interesting for people watching fodder." Xanthee does get one of his bright, toothy grins of greeting as she arrives at the table, "I'll let Beris choose something - she's the tea expert." And hl leave all the teasing to her, too.

"Maaaaaaybe…" Xanthee drags that one word out suggestively and gives Beris a little wink. "Sometimes you just can't drag yourself out of bed, y'know?" Finally settling her apron over her hips, and with a gentle pat to settle her toussled hair, she pulls a small pad out of her apron pocket. When the rider says he'll leave the ordering to Beris she turns back to the woman, "So what'll it be then?"

R'ku's struggle goes unwitnessed by Beris, lucky him. She keeps her smile a little more muted when he gives his opinion on the poetry. "That's…one way to describe it." Faranth knows Beris was probably writing stuff like that when she was Xanthee's age. She just had the good fortune not to have any chances to read it in public! She giggles a little when he seems disappointed at the lack of tripping, giving his arm a pretend smack. "She's a friend." And that also means plenty of teasing! "It's a real problem," she'll note back, eyes sparkling in a fake-serious face. "Zingari blue for me and…the house black for R'ku. And a plate of pastries?" She glances to R'ku for his confirmation that the order sounds okay, despite his putting it all on her.

Is there a tinkly bell at the door? The tea room certainly seems like it is the kind of place to have a tinkly bell at the door… at any rate, perhaps it is a change in pressure or the scuff of boot on the stone threshold that announces the arrival of yet another customer. Even Naneska is forced to concede that before-lunch is a little early to start day drinking, but that doesn't mean the trader lass isn't thirsty. "Ye could wait til a body has settled afore deciding their order." She chides Beris (the only face she knows) teasingly. Clearly as far as Naneska remembers Beris works at the Tea Room, and it's perfectly okay for the girl to be settled in the cushions with another customer.

"/All/ the pastries," R'ku is quick to agree, flashing a quick grin, "I have drills later on. I can afford to devour a bunch of the pastries and then work it off during drills later." And probably very much hate himself for running on a stomach full of pastries, but … R'ku has a soft spot for the pastries in this place, all probably due to Beris, as well. "And I /know/ she's a friend," he adds after, holding his hands up to fend off the pretend smack, "That's why I said /stumble/ not /fall/." Because he's not that cruel to wish anyone to fall … but a little stumble may have been interesting to watch with the dramatic billowy cloak effects.

Xanthee looks up when she hears someone else speaking behind her, turns and gives her a smile, holding up one finger in the universal 'I'll be right with you.' signal of servers everywhere. Turning back to Beris and R'ku, scribbling their order down while reciting it, "Ok so Zingari Blue for the lady, House black for the rider and an obscene amount of pastries, got it!" She grins as she then turns to Naneska, "Welcome to the Tea Room, sit wherever you want, I'll be right there to get your order." The raven-haired girl then sweeps towards the tea service begins preparing a tray while the other customer gets settled, cause you know, Xanthee knows at least to give a customer their time and not to rush them.

"You need the energy for drills, right?" Beris teases R'ku - but hey, she's not complaining at the idea of a huge plate of delicious Tea Room pastries! A customer service assistant's instincts never die, and Naneska's entry is noticed; Beris soon relaxes back into the pillows though, with a little flap of the hand sort of wave for her. "Don't we look settled?" She pats the cushions beside her, an invite for Naneska to join them, if she wants. Then it's Xanthee who gets her attention, as Beris watches the girl go and start doing all the things that Beris remembers doing. "I wonder if it'll ever not be weird being on the customer side," she muses softly.
Well, Naneska's been known to take less invitation than vague cushion patting, so the rather more emphatic patting has the sun-child grinning and accepting that very gracious invitation. "Mornin'." She grins at Beris and the as-yet-unknown rider. She doesn't need to know people to share their table. And lets face it, this table looks way more interesting that any of the other tables on offer. "Aye, 'tis to early n' too chill to rush such an important decision." She responds to that finger of Xanthee's with another cheeky comment. Apparently someone is in fine fettle this morning. "Naneska o' t' Reika." And she has introductions to make!

R'ku gives a quick grin, a brief flash of teeth appearing beneath his neatly trimmed moustache, "I'll go with that excuse - energy for drills. I'll have to try to think of that when I'm trying and failing to roll myself off these sharding pillows." He can make an excuse for carb-loading or something, right? He has to maintain that muscular physique required by dragonriders somehow. He doesn't seem all too shocked when Naneska decides to join them - he probably assumes this is one of Beris' friends. He inclines his head to Naneska, anyhow, and gives her a grin, "I'm R'ku, Bronze Kabelkath's, Wingleader." There's a heartbeat of a pause before he also adds, "Formerly of the Tlatoani." Because he seems to feel the need to bring that particular connection up when meeting people in the Bazaar.

Xanthee bustling around the tea service, she sets some water over the fire to boil, and arranges a plate with a good number of pastries on it onto a tray. When she notices out of the corner of her eyes that Naneska joins the party, she strides over to them again, now looking down at the newcomer. "And what can I get you?" She asks, her notepad back in her hands and her stylus at the ready.

"Come here for something hot on a cold day, too?" Beris will ask Naneska, though her eyes remain on Xanthee. Any longer would probably be rude, but she does finally look away to give R'ku a cheeky grin. "I'm sure we could haul you up, between us. Maybe Xanthee could lend a hand as well." She's in a very good mood today! Probably on account of finding out she hasn't got some incurable disease from her encounter with the glowy stuff in Kurkar. Her interest is on the two different family members, one current one former, meeting, though Xanthee gets a smile when she returns for Naneska's order. Though Beris looks like she wants to ask Xanthee something, she'll let Naneska put in her order, first.

Naneska wasn't joking about rushing her decision! But after a moment's careful consideration she picks out something slightly exotic, with plenty of sweetner and cream because she's not proper at the best of times. "This!" She points at the Pernese chai equivalent. "Wit' an extra lashin' of sweet." She sends Xanthee an innocent smile. "Oh, and somethin' t' nibble on." Faranth forbid she interfer with carb-loading. "Aye. Sometimes ye need somethin' a lil more refined than campfire klah." She agrees with Beris before tiltin' her head at R'ku. "Well met Wingleader." There is a quick frown before she smiles again. "Should I be concerned by t' number of traders that now make up t' ranks of Igen's riders?" It is a tease, given with a wink.

R'ku quirks a brow at Beris, his lips spreading into a wide grin, "That sounds like a recipe for disaster and all of us rolling around in a heap of cushions, unable to get up. I'll have to hope I don't get weighed down by /too/ many pastries." He turns his grin to Naneska, an amused snort escaping him at her words, "If you ask my parents, they'd say it was some sort of conspiracy to steal away promising Trader youth … but the Tlatoani are not all that fond of relinquishing youngsters to candidacy." He pauses before giving a sharp laugh, "Though the only other Tlatoani I know of that has actually gone for candidacy got a bronze, too, so perhaps we're a hidden mine of potential Weyr leadership."

Xanthee nods briefly as she takes Naneska's order, "Perfect! Coming right up." As she busltes back to where the water is just beginning to boil, and so she goes about preparing the various cups with their various teas, her movements almost like a dance, grab that there, put those cups there, measure out this. As she goes about her business, she's unconsciously humming under her breath, obviously in good humour this morning. A few more minutes and she is making her way back to the table with a laden tray. Balancing it on one hand, she serves them each their respective drinks before placing a plate with a heaping pile of pastries, at least 10 of the things. Hey they did say wanted a lot. Sweetener and cream is added to the table as well before she hugs the now empty tray to her chest, "Can I get you anything else?" She says, her customer service smile plastered on her face.

Beris looks suitably pleased with Naneska's choice (you can take the girl out of the Tea Room, and so forth). "Only if you pull us down!" Beris half snorts at the image R'ku conjures up, of the three of them unable to get up from all the soft comfy pillows. There's nodding in agreement with R'ku (of course Beris is gonna agree with her boyfriend) when he mentions traders being good leaders. "Good blood, obviously." With a coy smile at R'ku. And yay, drinks! And SO MANY PASTRIES! "Xanthee! I was gonna ask how you are? Like, is stuff going okay for you here?" She wraps her hands round her tea cup as she asks, looking up at the girl. Mm, warm.

Naneska grins. "Stranger things have happened. Me cousin got himself the Weyrleaders knot." She threatens R'ku with dire humor. "Ye could be next!" It's all in good humor though as she sorts her tea out with enthusiasm, a spoon or two of sweetner, a little extra cream. "Not that I wish ill on t' current one." She adds quickly, before taking a sip and letting forth a satisfied exhalation. "Ah that hits t' spot. Thank ye…" She pauses significantly to allow the still lingering Xanthee to make her own introduction. Sure Beris just used the girls name, but Naneska prefers a more personal touch. "I'll repay ye both for the piggery I'm about t' indulge in." This is both to Beris and R'ku as she wiggles her fingers over the selection of pastires. She did order her own, but she isn't above helping herself either! But at least she promised renumeration!

R'ku nearly chokes on a sip of tea at the whole Weyrleader comment, his eyes watering slightly as he lowers the tea cup. "I … I really hope not anytime soon," he manages to choke out, voice a bit raspy. Not that he'd likely have a whole ot of say in such things, Kabelkath being as gold-chasing as he is. "Thankfully I've yet to be saddled to the sands as of yet … much to the annoyance of my bronze, who seems to want to catch every gold that flies." He'll try to put the idea of Weyrleader to rest by digging into the pastries - he picks up one in each hand and takes alternating bites of each, pausing to consider the taste of each of them. Not that he seems to care that he no longer has a free hand for his tea.

Xanthee shrugs her shoulders, tray still hugged hard against her chest. "Actually, if I'm completely honest, the job is probably one of the more steady parts of my life right now. Good, bad, it's been an interesting few months." She scoffs and shakes her head, when the Weyrleader is mentioned, "Are you talking about H'rik? We were Candidates together…he slapped me once." she says with a little giggle at the memory, but quickly adds, clearing up her non-sequitur, "I was having hysterics in the Laundry." Watching them dig into the pastries, she smiles brightly, "They are super fresh this morning too. Enjoy! Let me know if you need anything." She says as she moves back towards the tea service, starting to tidy up.

NEVER GOING TO LET THAT SLAPPING GO, ARE WE?

Beris is less choking, more deeply amused by Naneska's Weyrleader threats. Her boyfriend the Weyrleader? That WOULD be interesting. She lifts her cup and sips, dark eyes watching brightly above the rim. She's not going to stop people tucking in to the pastries, R'ku or otherwise. She'll let R'ku escape such conversation with his dual-wielding of pastries, a fond, amused smile on her lips as she replies to Xanthee, eyebrows lfiting with interest. "Oh?" There's clearly more to that, but she isn't sure whether this is the right company to ask Xanthee to elaborate on it. "Oh. The Weyrleader…slapped you." is that a claim to fame? Ooh yes, pastries! She reaches for one herself, looking after Xanthee as the girl retreats.

"H'rik's done a bit more than slap me." But the same can be said of many a rider, or non-rider, or passing stranger… This is probably why Naneska doesn't come inside all that often, her table manners are appalling. But she winks anyways, unrepentent even as she snags a few of those pastries. "I'll put marks on ye then?" Because the reaction clearly delights her as mischief dances in her hazel eyes. "Seems a bit odd t' have ye other friend wait over there don't it?" She hisses at Beris, glancing about to check on the other patrons. In Naneska's world, hospitality > talking about naughty things at the table. "Hey, you!" Pause. "Xanthee! Surely ye've worked hard enough to take a break?" She's all heart this one.

R'ku waggles one of his two pastries in Naneska's direction, "It's your marks, you're free to lose them as you will." Because he's so not going to tempt fate by actually bragging that he's going to become Weyrleader - not that he even wants to at this point. He spends the next few minutes steadily making the two pastries disappear, pausing only once to add his own encounter with the current Weyrleader, "H'rik's not too bad. Not like I've gone drinking with him or anything outside of Wingleader duties or anything … but he doesn't seem ass backward or anything." R'ku shrugs and then dives back into devouring his pastries. Mmmm. Carbs. He'll remember he has tea, eventually … once he has a hand free to drink it. Ignore the fact he has a few crumbs in his moustache now.

Xanthee finishes off her tidying up, and with the other patrons served and no one looking at her expectantly, she pours herself a large glass of water and wanders back to the table where Beris, R'ku and Naneska are seated. "I suppose so, not like I just got here or anything." She says with a little giggle, sipping from her glass, but not taking a seat because she is still alert for a patron's needs. "And it's not a whole story, I was having a bit of a panic attack in the middle of laundry duties during candidacy, H'rik was kind enough to knock some sense back into me."

Beris's eyes sparkly at Naneska's forthright comment about H'rik. More claims to fame?? "Oh-" Naneska's hissed comments jolts her out of her amused thoughts. She eats her pastry quickly, to free up her hands to stick both round the tea cup again. Alas, the tea must be drunk though. She grins at Xanthee as she comes to join them. "I won't tell anyone if you don't." Naneska and R'ku are included in that too. She notices the crumbs in R'ku's moustache and, smiling fondly at him, removes crumbs from an imaginary moustache on her lip.

Naneska taps her nose. "My discretion is guarenteed." She assures all and sundry before sipping from her chai, the pastry selected forgotten so that she can better focus on the real important things, like talking. "'Sounds like 'im. Good head on his shoulders." Another beat, and another skip. "Good shoulders." She winks, but she is trying to be discrete so her own encounters remain unspoken. "I don't like t' bet on a sure thing, R'ku. The odds, and the rewards are greater on the unexpected." She may loose marks, she may not. That is what makes it exciting.

It takes R'ku a few seconds too long to figure out why Beris is miming a moustache - he ends up staring at her for a few seconds, brow furrowed and pastry halfway to his mouth. And then it seems to dawn on him and, clearing his throat, he brushes at his moustache very undiscreetly, removing any lodged crumbs. A flash of a grin is given to Beris - part thanks, part fondness. But the crumbs end up right back where they were again as soon as R'ku starts to chomp down on his remaining pastry. "You brought more than enough pastries. As such, I will consider this my payment for silence," comes R'ku's deep rumble of a voice, his tone levelled down an octave in an attempt to be mock serious. Not that he can hold it for very long, as he soon grins, "Nah. I wouldn't say anything in any case." He glances between the other three at the table, eyebrow raised, "I'm starting to feel jealous that I don't have a sordid tale of slapping someone during /my/ candidacy. I suppose perhaps I'm too tame?" He glances at Beris, brow arched, as though asking her opinion on this matter. She ought to know, after all. Naneska is given a snort of laughter, "Perhaps this is why Tlatoani aren't known for betting too much? Seems a bit risky."

Xanthee shrugs her shoulders again, and takes another sip, "It really wasn't that big of a deal at the time. I just get a kicking knowing he's Weyrleader now. It's kinda like my, 'I knew him when…' story." She giggles though as Naneska mentions his shoulders, raising an eyebrow, "Yes, I guess you could say he's good-looking." She comments after a moment, "But I have eyes for only a certain Miner these days." She says with a smile way more genuine that her usual customer service smile. Then she gets a call from across the room and with a nod to the group, "Duty calls, enjoy the rest of your tea." And then she is off, doing the waistressing thing.

Looks like Xanthee's break is over! Beris is still grinning, amused by this gossip about the current Weyrleader. "You need to build a reputation as a Wingleader," she'll tease R'ku, all innocence as she then finishes her tea. There's a sigh; it was delicious, the company has been grand, but…the day is going on. "I suppose it's about time to go?" She's got work, R'ku's got drills. She stands, gathering up her jacket, ready to leave on her man's arm. "You staying, Naneska?" She doesn't sound opposed to the woman joining them for the walk, if she wants.

Naneska isn't really a proper representative of Reika, she isn't really proper at all. "The risks I take haven't hurt no one. Least of all me. 'Tis jist marks after all." And Naneska can always find a way to make more. As the conversation turns to domestic matters, a brow rises. "Well good luck t' ye on that." She bobs her head, her slightly puzzled comment covering both Xanthee's resumption of work aaaaand her miner friend. Her attention turns to the other two as the server gets back to her day, and her eyes narrow with suspicion. Xanthee's comments probably giving Naneska pause enough to reconsider some of the inter-play between rider and pit-girl in a new light. "Aye. I think I will stay. T'would be a shame to let all these go t' waste." She gestures at the large plate of pastries before her and sighs. "'Tis a tough job, but someone hasta do it I guess." THE SACRIFICES SHE MAKES FOR WUV, TWU WUV!

R'ku drains the last bit of his tea with a satisfied sigh, settling the cup back onto the table with a thunk. "Time sharding flies," he says with a hint of annoyance, "And we didn't even get to see anything interesting out the window." That second comment is mostly sarcasm - he chuckles a bit at the end of it. "But … duty calls." He, too, stans from the cushions. It does take him a few more seconds to lever himself out of the black hole of pillows, but he manages it - the bigger you are, the more the cushions seem to latch onto you, it seems. "Well. Good luck with your betting," he says to Naneska as he dons his jacket again. The remaining pastries are given a thoughtful look, "Such a shame, indeed. I'll have to do my best to help you out with that noble pursuit before we go." Leaning over, he snatches up one of the remaining pastries with his free hand. Flashing a wide, toothy grin, R'ku heads out with a pastry in one hand and his other arm looped around Beris' waist.

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