Pie And Conversation


Mahlie.jpg P'sec.jpg

Date: July 02, 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Kitchen
Synopsis: P'sec feeds his sweet tooth; Mahlie does some sweet talking.
Rating: PG
Logger: Mahlie

P'sec could be out in the caverns, finding something to eat there. Could. But nothing caught his fancy, or he just felt like a snoop, and sometime in the evening after the dinner meal, the casually dressed man wanders in with a sweet-tooth and starts looking for something to satisfy his craving.

Mahlie is in the kitchens, this time doing evening duties cleaning up the various pans and stones and dishes used by all and sundry. She's got her blonde tresses tied back with a kerchief-type head cover, and she's got water all over the front of her clothes. She's whistling tunelessly, dipping her hand into the soapsand every little bit to get a bit more of a scrub for the big pan she's cleaning. "I told you, Margola, nobody want's that stuff. It's not going to be any good by morning, and everyone's eaten. So, unless you've got room for it, put it out for the firelizards and other pests." She doesn't even bother turning at the footsteps, making the assumption that it's a fellow worker.

"What's not going to be any good by morning?" the bronzerider queries from over Mahlie's shoulder, curious in the off-chance that the firelizard fodder might be just the thing he's looking for. P'sec adds, hopefully, "I've eaten, but I'm still hungry."

"Oh." Mahlie is startled, and that causes her to drop a small bit of the sand on her wet tunic. "Oh, dear. Well, won't have to wash this one too much, will I?" She grins over at the man, and chews on her bottom lip as she considers. "Well, there's always a few things left around. We just have limited storage and some things don't work as leftovers. What in particular did you have in mind? Meats? Sweets?" Being as he's a guy, those are her first guesses.

"Sorry, didn't mean to sneak up on you." P'sec takes a small step back, the concession of space part of his apology. "Sweets," he answers decisively. Mahlie's guesses are perfectly reasonable. "There were some bubblies left out, but…" He shrugs.

"Not what you wanted? I have a few of those sweetrolls, and then — " Mahlie grins, completely forgetting about the startling. It's easy to do once she's in the rhythm of work. At least there were no spinners involved, like there often were with her siblings. She runs a wet hand over her face as she considers what's available. "The baker did have some of that crumbly stuff left. Have you tasted some of that? There's some over " She spins, as though dowsing for it, and perhasps she is. Probably just remembering, though. "there." She points to a shelf, whereon sits a small pan of something sweet and crumbly.

P'sec shakes his head no to the sweetrolls, being picky, but looks at Mahlie consideringly for her second suggestion. Following the direction of her point first with his eyes and then with his step, the man goes to take down the pan and declares, "This looks good." A quick look around turns up no spoons. "Want to split it?" P'sec asks, being generous.

Mahlie taps her wet finger to her chin, and grins. "Sure. I'd love to. Just give me a moment to get this pan cleaned. It's the last before that one and that one shouldn't take that long to do." She returns to the job, continuing to talk as she does. "I can't say as I recognize you. Are you new here?" She has seen him in and out, but hasn't yet talked to this particular rider. "Did you come in with that bunch of riders? With D'lan?" Her face wears a dreamy grin at the mention of the brownrider's name, for some strange reason.

In the meantime, P'sec looks for spoons. He opens a couple drawers until he meets with success. Removing two, he closes the drawer with the rattle of silverware. "Yup," he answers both questions at once. Though unable to see Mahlie's expression from where he stands, the mere mention of the brownrider occasions a look of amusement. "Let me guess," he says without compunction, "you two are acquainted."

"Acquainted." Mahlie turns, giving the bronze rider a quick wink. She pulls the pan out of the water, and releases the valve to drain the water away. "Such a quaint way of phrasing it. My mother would be pleased." She grins, drying as much of herself as she can quickly on a nearby towel, and moves over to join him. "But yes. We're acquainted. Do you want to go sit down, or stay in here?" She shrugs, open to either plan.

P'sec grins a little as Mahlie appraises his word choice. "I take it your mother has not met D'lan." An allusion to the brownrider's promiscuous ways. He digs in to the crumbly sweet without waiting for the younger woman to join him, unable to resist trying a small bite. "Oh, stay," he decides, happy enough to eat at the counter. He passes over the second spoon. "Closer to the washing up."

Mahlie chuckles quietly. "Oh, no. She met him. That was the beginning of the end of my living underneath her roof." She grabs a spoon, twirls it cheerfully, and dips the end into the bowl. Eating the bite of sweet, she sighs happily. "I'd forgotten how good this was." She grins, gesturing with the now-empty spoon. "Sounds like you know him pretty well, then." But she doesn't remain on the subject of D'lan for long. "I'm Mahlie." She gestures grandly around her. "Kitchen drudge." With a grin, she grabs another small bite.

"Ah." The single syllable says it all. P'sec's second bite is a lot bigger than the first, a boy-bite, an attempt to get as much in as possible. "Yeah, we go back." He's both vague and unconcerned. "P'sec," he replies, with a bit of a smile for the way Mahlie claims the place through gesture. "Bronzerider. Nice to meet you. I'll remember you for the next time I want something from the kitchens."

"You just like me for my pastries." Mahlie winks again, taking another bite. "I see how you are." She laughs again, and gazes over to a shelf. "Oh, that…" She hurries over, moving a container from a higher shelf to the one just below it. "No wonder we couldn't find it. It was in the wrong place." She shakes her head, and moves back over to the table with the sweet on it. "Well met, P'sec. P'sec and bronze … ?" She asks after his dragon's name. She takes a good look at the rider. "No knot?" Curious.

"The pastries are good," P'sec acknowledges, easy in tone and demeanour. He takes another bite as if to prove it and brandishes the empty spoon. "Abydoth." For a moment, catching Mahlie's attention on him, his gaze lingers on her as well. "No," he confirms, switching his focus back to the sweet. "Not for just walking about. If you can't toss off your knot - or your boots - at home, where can you?"

"True." Mahlie takes another bite, licking the spoon slowly. It's not clear if she's being intentional, or just really enjoying the pastry. "Abydoth." She tries the dragon's name, and nods. "Very nice name." The treat seems to be rapidly dwindling, but Mahlie thinks of something. "Would you like something to drink with this? Not klah at this time of night, surely, but maybe some redfruit juice or something?" Her mouth is getting a little dry, so she thinks to offer.

"I suppose it is," P'sec says after a pause, actually having to consider it. "He just thinks it's his name." A shrug, almost helpless; dragons will be dragons. "Juice would be grand," he accepts, not immediately going for another bite of the sweet. Perhaps he realises his bite-sizes almost double Mahlie's. "So," continuing a separate line of conversation, "what brought you down here?"

And as the blonde drudge fetches them cups and juice, all the cheer sucks out of the conversation and Mahlie gestures again with her spoon. "Just a little bit of trouble between myself and several of the other kitchen staff." She doesn't give details nor does she name place. Not yet. She pours the juice, filling his, and pouring the rest of the pitcher's contents into her cup, which fills about three-quarters of the way. "I wasn't hurt." At least not physically. Terse words signal her refusal to speak more of the situation for now

Mahlie's reaction is strong enough for P'sec not to miss it, even if he wasn't perceptive. "Sorry," he says after a moment, sounding like he regrets bringing it up. Reaching for the juice after it's been poured out, he gives her a quiet, "Thanks." With his spoon, he gestures for Mahlie to dig in, help herself of what's left. "Well, I'm glad you're in Eastern. Who else would feed us hopelessly hungry riders at all hours?"

Mahlie's cheer returns, realizing he's going to leave the topic. "Some other poor shmuck, that's who." She grins, winking at him a third time, and shrugs one shoulder, some glop on her upper tunic dislodging when she does. "It's still a bit … close. It was … home." She twirls the spoon once before taking another bite. "Thank you."

"As long as there's always someone who knows where the goods are kept, a Weyr's in good functioning order," P'sec declares with some satisfaction. "Otherwise, we'd all waste away." He nudges the crumbly sweet towards Mahlie and, not entirely sure if he's answering for the pastry or something else, replies, "Don't mention it. Go on, finish it."

Mahlie eagerly spoons out the next bite, willing to finish the snack off. "Mmmm." She nods her head quickly, blonde hair bobbing to the rhythm. "You're right." Swallowing, she answers him. "I think that's why I do it. I could've apprenticed with … " She doesn't specify with whom, but she does wave her spoon, emphasizing her point. "I could have apprenticed, but I thought, I'm already very good at this … " She grins, turning to face the bronze rider completely. "Mum raised seven of us. I was the oldest." So, this is pretty much the same stuff.

"Quite a lot, but not so many as some." Pern without birth-control, unless one has access to dragons. "Oldest of three - that I know of. Weyrbred," P'sec adds, as if that explains it all. It probably does. "You're probably good with kids, too. What else can you do?"

If Pern had job interviews, this would feel like one to Mahlie. But the concept is foreign, so she blithely natters on, spooning up the last of the pie and eating it quickly. She sips at her juice some, too. "I can clean fairly well. We didn't have too many helpers, except for the nine of us, so when Dad wasn't …" Well, doing whatever it is that Dad does, "working, he'd help too. But mostly it was up to Mum and I to keep things in order. Yes. Take care of the kids. I'm alright with laundry, working some in our little garden… we had farmcrafters nearby, but sometimes it's cheaper just to garden yourself, you know?" Although, being weyrbred, he may not know. "I also learned a few things from my father." Naming him, or even his craft would give too much away at the moment, so she leaves it there. "He thought I might follow in his footsteps, and when I didn't, he was disappointed for a while. Now, he just hopes I'll use the skills for whatever I'm doing." She thinks that's about it. "Oh. I know how to behave in polite society." An eye roll expresses her clear opinion on doing that, though. "It's a pain in the arse." She grins widely again, taking another sip.

P'sec seems interested as he listens to this little slice of a life he never had, setting down his spoon and drinking the last of his juice. He laughs openly at Mahlie's last two statements put together, grinning back. "Yeah, it is. Well, Mahlie-of-many-talents," and thusly he names her, "thanks for the food." He picks up the dish empty of all but crumbs with the intent of taking it to the wash basin.

Mahlie gives a grand curtsey, laughing the whole while. "And you, P'sec-rider-of-bronze-just-Abydoth, thank you kindly for the company." She drains her glass, moving to put it in the bin and clean it and the rest. "Fair even." She nods again, giving a genuine smile.

"Pleasure's all mine." Unless stopped, P'sec looks like he'll wash the dishes himself. "Next time a pie needs eating, I'll know where to find you."

Mahlie is perfectly willing to let him finish up those few things. She pulls out a towel to dry them, then efficiently puts them away after they're dry. "Now you will." She takes the last piece from him, and stows it, glancing around, checking a mental list as she prepares to head out. A yawn escapes. "Oh, excuse me. I'm full, and now, I'm tired."

Once everything is finished and his hands dried, P'sec heads for the exit but is gentleman enough to let Mahlie precede him. "Until next time."

"Until then." Mahlie calls, as she steps out the door toward the dorms.

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