Scrubbing For Truth



Date: 8/5/10
Location: EW: Kitchen
Synopsis: Ahnika is working in the kitchens at the end of the day when one of the cooks shares her thoughts on Candidacy and relationships, whether Ahni asked for it or not.
Rating: PG
Vignette Writer: Ahnika

Ahnika stifled a yawn as she plunged her hands in the lukewarm water and helped with the last of the dishes. The kitchen was winding down now, several hours after the evening meal had been served. There were still a number of Bakers and scullery drudges about either getting things prepared for the next morning’s meal or cleaning up and putting things away from the day’s kitchen help. The night-duty cook hadn’t yet come on, but things were definitely winding down.

Scrubbing viciously at a pot that seemed to have the stew encrusted on it, Ahni was unable to stifle the second yawn, and her eyes watered a little with the effort. One of the Bakers, Ellie, who was putting in the last of the pies being made for tomorrow spotted it and gave Ahni a commiserating smile.

"Long day, for all of us, but especially you, Ahni," Ellie said, dry-washing her hands on a towel after closing the oven up.

Ahni shook her head, but Ellie continued, "On top of your own chores, you’re always making sure the other candidates pull their weight. That Gavin fella, for instance—" but Ahni cut her off, saying, "Really, Ellie, I don’t. Gavin’s about the only one of the bunch that I do that extra bit for, and only because he reminds me of one of my old foster brothers, honestly. All the other candidates do right for themselves, like Nenienne and Teallan for instance. Even Zen. Pulling their weight just fine as far as I can tell."

"In any case," Ellie said, shaking her head, "Best get used to being bone-tired. When you Impress, you are barely going to have time to eat and sleep, let alone keep up with others as you do."

Ahni had heard it all before and just smiled good-naturedly, certain it wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be. "I’m sure I’ll be fine, Ellie. Assuming I Impress at all." She scrubbed a little more at that pot, but was stopped as Ellie’s hand suddenly pressed lightly on Ahni’s shoulder. The woman was quick.

"You’ve never been in a weyr before, nor a candidate, so you listen good to those who have. When I say you aren’t going to have time for anything else, it’s just as I mean it, girl," Ellie looked serious, which was unlike the normally jovial matron. Ahni stilled and looked at her uncertainly. Ellie continued, "I hear the rumors what put you in the infirmary seven or two ago ain’t true, which is a good thing, mind. Girl your age with so much in front of her shouldn’t be messing with boys, especially boys who likes to steal kisses and hearts almost as much as he likes to steal bubbly pies." Apparently, Ellie has seen Max filching a pie or two, or maybe has talked to someone else who has.

Ahni blinked and then a moment later asked, "Who?" Genuinely uncertain now as this was the first she’s heard of Max filching anything in the kitchens, and she could very well suspect E’ro would be the one to do so.

"Play dumb all ya like, Ahni, just remember that a rider don’t have time for the kind of love I think you’re looking for in him. Besides, when you Impress—"

Ahni scowls a little, interrupting, "If. If I Impress, Ellie …" and then resumes scrubbing the pot.

"Fine, have it your way, ‘if’ you Impress, boys will be a thing of the past until your dragonet becomes an adult."

Ahnika stopped scrubbing once more and looked up again, "Wait, what?" But Ellie was already gone, leaving Ahni to ponder this new information more or less on her own, not daring to want to discuss it with any of the remaining scullery drudges left there in the kitchen with her.

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