Sweetcakes Of Heartbreak


Andi.jpg Ahnika.jpg Merendezen.jpg

Date: 2010.08.08
Location: Eastern Weyr: Kitchen
Synopsis: Zen finds Ahnika in the kitchens and finally confesses to what has been causing his odd moods. Andi returns during their chat about her.
Rating: PG-13 Language
Logger: Merendezen

A typical Weyr kitchen, this room contains a small section for immediate storage, large stoves, pans and containers of immense size, and continuous activity. The cooks and Bakers claim their domain, utilizing almost every bit of space in this smallish kitchen. Hooks for cutlery and pans stick out of the walls, and the gleaming polished countertops usually boast plates and platters full of various kinds of food.

After cleaning themselves up in the bathing chamber and Ahnika's promise of sweetcakes for Zen, she has arrived here in the kitchen in the middle of the night. Either the nightcook has taken a break or has made some kind of dereliction of duty violation because she isn't here right now. Humming a little to herself, the damp-haired Ahni begins roaming around the kitchen, collecting ingredients and cooking utensils that she'll need.

Merendezen might not have arrived at the kitchens, if not for the fact that Ahnika wasn't in her cot when he returned to the barracks. And that's what has him stepping into the kitchen, arms folded and face looking neutral. "Are you going to get in trouble if we're caught, Ahni? I thought you meant you'd do it the next morning, not right after the bath." Green eyes roll upwards before he shakes his head and pulls up a stool to watch her work with attention occasionally flickering out to the living caverns.

Not exactly startled, Ahnika was distracted at the time Zen's voice comes, and so she turns, holding a sack of flour. She smiles a little at him, perhaps endeared by the fact that he cares enough to not want her to get in trouble, or at least that's how she interprets it. She moves the flour back over to the counter where the rest of the ingredients are being gathered, "The trick is to make enough so that what we don't eat, and what I don't take to Randi, can just be added to the morning buffet. That way, they won't mind so much." She sets a mixing bowl out on some nearby counter space, and then adds, "Besides, it will take awhile for the dough to rise, before I can fry it, and I'd rather do it now while I'm wide awake than get up earlier." She motions to some turnovers that were left over from dinner with a jerk of her head, "Get us a plate of those, and some milk if there's any to be had. I doubt they have wine around here, not locked up anyway."

Merendezen lifts a brow but returns the smile nonetheless, watching her work. "I see… Well, saves them from making anything else for the morning, then." He's still tense just being in the kitchen, even without the crazy cook watching his every move. He can still feel her eyes. He shrugs at her order, but, he's tired so he'll follow the command without much protest, filling a plate for her and bringing it over before he's fetching some milk as well. His own plate consists of considerably less while he doesn't fetch milk. "Locks aren't hard to break if you really want some wine."

"It's a big weyr and getting bigger," Ahnika says, as if she would really have anything to compare it to, "I'm sure they'll make something else, just perhaps not have to make as much as they were going to." She draws some water from the pump into a bucket until she thinks she has about the right amount, eyeballing it intuitively rather than taking out any sort of measuring cup. To his locks comment, she pauses and smirks at him, "Between you and Max, we're going to need to put guards on the kitchen, and perhaps other places, too." Then she arches an eyebrow, "Or is it that you're helping him filch those pies?" Not that Max really needs any help. The thought of her love brings a warm smile across her freckled features and Ahni gets back to the task of pouring some of that water in the mixing bowl before cracking a handful of eggs, one at a time but single-handedly, dropping the contents into the bowl and tossing the shells into the refuse bin. She may not have the stuff for Healer work, but she appears moderately skilled in the kitchen, and pretty much at ease while doing it. "So, you know I spoke to Max," she says in start, pausing to give Zen a meaningful look, and then she chuckles a little. "He said that my name 'may have come up' when you two talked, but you seem to know a lot more than just names. I guess I shouldn't be surprised the two of you are hitting it off so well."

"It is getting bigger. Candidates coming in, still. Though it seems like many of the Crafters have stopped coming in along with other various people. The incoming have dwindled and we're practically at full working force." From Zen's observations, at least, because NPCs rule! He gives her a little look, shrugging. "I've not stolen anything from the kitchens, yet. And I don't intend on it without good reason. Picking a lock is easy enough and you can always close it again after you take a share. It's not like it'll be completely empty, either…" He laughs, "bubblies are for everyone though, aren't they? So it's not entirely stealing if he's just taking them before they get set out for the others to eat." He shrugs, moving to eat some of the food and giving the young woman a look. "As to be expected." He muses, to the mention of her speaking with Max. The meaningful look only earns a shrug before he shovels a bit more into his mouth, chewing and swallowing before they talk. "He gets a look. Like you do, when you're mentioned. It's shardin' obvious your both so worked up over one another, so… Not entirely a secret what's going on there, sweetcake…" There's a soft grunt and green eyes drift away from her, staring at his plate. "Asked him for advice… But it doesn't mean shit now…"

Nodding a bit as she cracks more eggs, Ahnika listens to Zen's thoughts on the growth of the weyr, more or less having come to similar conclusions. She takes a wooden spoon to break and mix up some of the egg and water in the bowl briefly but then turns her head, grinning at the sound of his laughter, seeming to miss it lately. There comes another smirk from the redhead and she adds, "That's … actually a good point, really," that being that Max is just getting to the pies before everyone else. She watches him eat a bit before she pours in the sugar and salt and milk and starts mixing it more slowly. Some of her cheeks flush at the comment on how Max and her look when either one is mentioned, but she smiles, then grins, then chuckles a little over it. So, she's taking it like a good sport otherwise, even shrugging a little in vague apology for how sappy they must be. "I suppose," Ahni says, finally allowing. With the spoon, she sweeps a bit of the mixture back from the edge of the bowl cradled in her arm, pausing in her stirring a moment to reach out and grab a little triangle of breading from the plate Zen is eating, or sharing, from and then goes back to stirring. "He was good about not saying what it was about," meaning the advice, "So, why does it all mean shit now?"Cursing always looks and sounds a little funny coming from Ahni, even funnier when she misses the proper context for them, but her tone is genuinely interested. She nods over to the strongbox where they keep the cooking wine, "Sounds like you might want some wine more than I do. It's over there." An open invitation to pick the lock.

Merendezen gives her a look as she turns to look at him, his laugh dying off fairly quickly. "It's true, not like they have no intention of putting the bubblies out. And it's not like a few of them don't snag one or two before they go out, either." Brows furrow as he looks back down to his plate, picking at the food there before taking another bite and eyeing her with his head tilted down. The apologetic shrug is met with a shrug, "people can't help how they feel. Or some shit like that." There's a soft grunt before he shifts position, watching her work and ignoring the fact that she's snagging food from his plate. "Good…" Grunt. He eyes her a moment before he shrugs, green eyes flickering away from her face before giving hint to his actual vulnerable state. "Just doesn't mean anything now… No reason to think about it or even consider it… Was a shardin' stupid fool, anyway." He shakes his head at the okay to pick the lock. "Would rather get drunk than sip wine."

Ahnika is quiet as he justifies absconding pies, or Lord Holder girls, as Ahni is having trouble telling which he means with that line of analogy. Perhaps both. She resumes her slow, methodical mixing with the wooden spoon, her mouth working on the little morsel and helping to give her reason for being quiet as Zen talks, which is really probably a good thing considering all the grunting he's doing and her lack of tact. After adding a bit more flour to her drying mixture, beating it, and then adding more and beating it in again, then looking between Zen and the mixing bowl, Ahnika says, "Max is good for that, too, getting drunk. Or …" she thinks about it, "He used to be." She's honestly not sure anymore on that front. "You're many things, Zen, but I don't think you're a fool," Ahni comments, knowing only what she knows from that encounter in the galleries and Zen's behavior to be able to put just a corner of the truth to it. She adds a bit more flour and beats it again, "Whatever the problem is, if the old plan to fix it is no good anymore, then sounds like you just need a new plan to fix it." She wipes a bit of flour from her nose only smearing it on her cheek by mistake instead, "And the best way to riddle out a new plan is to 'think about it' and 'consider it' like you are. Maybe you're just too close to see it right enough. Yeah?" She puts in some more flour and beats it in yet again. "So, what changed that the old plan doesn't work anymore?" She is happy to keep it vague, if for no other reason than perhaps it is the only way Zen might let her help him.

His talk of bubblies is only of bubblies, because the analogy can get confusing if they start adding in taking more than one at once. Zen remains focused on her work, watching her beat the mixture with a mild interest. "I know. Would see him if I had the will to go and actually do it." The getting drunk, thing. He considers her quietly, shrugging before rolling his shoulders and shifting his position. "My definition of a fool is certainly different than yours, sweetcake." He remains silent for a moment longer, "flour is on your face." Just so she knows before he rolls his shoulders once more and tilts his head back, staring up at the ceiling. "Can't make a new plan…" He mutters, "she's gone and I can't just haul my ass out to Boll, throw her over my shoulder and bring her back. Can't leave the Weyr and I'm pretty sure I'd be jumped by the whole shardin' Hold before I even got close. Can only take on so many people at once before I can't hold my ground anymore."

The comment about not having the will to go out and get drunk with Max actually cause her to stop what she's doing and look at Zen in mild alarm and concern. "Oh, Zen," her tone full of compassion for the other candidate, not quite pity. He's got it bad, but she didn't realize how bad until he said that. She sighs softly at his second comment, but the third has her setting the bowl down and grabbing a towel to wipe her face off before looking at him in exasperation and then looking at the ceiling, as if compelling some higher power to give her strength and patience, and then she sets the towel aside and resumes beating the mixture, pausing to add, "You guys never think outside your little mental cotholds, or stalls," as in the case of Max, and then she shakes her head a little. If she is surprised at the admission of who he is mooning over, she doesn't show it. "She's gone, but not for good. And no, you can't physically go to her. That'd be suicide. But you ever think this was a sort of blessing in disguise? Write her a letter, man. Show to her that you can give her, no," she changes that, "That you want to make more effort than you make for the other women you dally with around the Weyr. If you want to impress her, doing what you normally do to get the attention of a girl isn't the way to do it. She's a Lord Holder's daughter and she deserves nothing but the greatest challenge you can muster in yourself." She punctuates her suggestion with a nod, "Start with a letter. She wouldn't expect it from you, more than likely. It'd make her think she may have misjudged you, give her pause." Another beating of the doughy material and she stops, adding, "If you can't go to her, you need to get her to want to come to you. If anyone can do it, Zen, you can." She smirks, "Got more charm in your pinky finger than most men do in their whole body."

Merendezen gives her a look at her tone, rather unexpressive if there's a like or dislike towards such a tone directed towards him. He simply shrugs and turns his gaze upwards once more, staring blankly. "Why would I think out of what I normally do? Before, I never would have tried anything. For anyone. There was no point in doing something like this, in pining over someone. Specially the shardin' Lord Holder's daughter, the girl who deserves far more than I could ever give, even if I worked my ass off to get whatever she pleased. I'm not the type that parents generally approve of." There's a soft huff, "don't know if she's gone forever or not. Someone came and got her and now she's gone… Wouldn't care if it were suicide." He grumbles softly, mostly under his breath and if she hears it, he doesn't care. The mention of a letter has him giving her a rather blank look. "That's contradicting in itself, sending a Lord Holder's daughter a letter. A love letter when he could very well have a man picked out for her already… She'd be better off with that man more than she would with me… You underestimate how much power her father has over her. Even if she wanted to come to me, she wouldn't because she'd listen to him… No matter how much charm I got, I'm worth nothing to a Lord…"

Now it is Ahnika's turn to give Zen a look, one that reads 'if I didn't have my hands full right now, I'd be grabbing hold of one of your ears for talk like that …' Instead, the redhead seems content to work the mixture a little longer before setting the bowl down, sprinkling a little bit of flour on her hands, and beginning to knead the dough pretty thoroughly in the bowl. "One step at a time, Zen," she grunts a bit with the effort to twist and knead the dough, then adds, "You don't shell-sharding," there's a new one for the Harpers, perhaps, "need her parents approval right off, just hers. Once you won her, Zen, then focus on what you'll do about her parents. But there's no sense in planning for the storm when you're living in a drought. Get yourself a few drops of rain and quench that thirst first, yeah? The way I figure it, if you've won her over, she'll be your greatest ally in working on her parents for approval. She knows them better than you do, and what will work, or not work. So, don't get ahead of yourself. Just fight the fights that are put in front you first." She pauses in the kneading and looks up at him, narrowing her eyes a little, "And if you have a care for her at all, you won't insult her like that again. Sure as shards don't give up on her or think she won't be good enough to do what is right when the time comes. And don't sell yourself short; women spot that sort of thing quick and it may want us to pet you and cuddle you like the sad puppy you are, but it won't make us respect you. Be bold, Zen." She goes back to kneading. "You're good at being bold. And I think most women like it, especially a girl who is maybe a little scared and in a new world and without a partner to help her understand it all." She blinks, rather surprised at how familiar that sounds, and then her expression smoothes as she resumes kneading.

Merendezen grunts at the look she gives him, returning it with one of his own: neutral. Though, it's not really considered a 'look'. He simply shrugs and looks away from her. "Even if I win her, Ahni. I can't win her parents. Even if I'm patient in working through this… It's not some fantasy world written like the Harper's stories where the lowly man, who is literally a nobody, who comes from nobody, who has no family to speak of wins the woman who comes from Blood, who is used in trade between two Holds… I have nothing to give. She is worth more than I am, I would bring nothing to that Hold or to her father. So even if I did win her, he would disown her before she would even be allowed with me. You know what she said when I first met her? She wasn't allowed in the presence of men without anyone else around because if they ruined her… She'd be worth nothing. This is not a fantasy place where Lord Holders are forgiving and will give into their daughter's wants. He's a hidebound old fool who doesn't even trust the Harper's for information… He's using her as a spy, making her record everything about the Weyr and then send it back to him. That sort of man would kill me before allowing me to even touch her." He frees his hands of the plate, giving her a firm look. "You don't know her, Ahni. She is delicate, frail, and meant to be protected. She can't answer me what she wants because she's spent so much time being told what she wants that she doesn't even know herself. I finally got her to speak to me outright, to make a slight decision and now she's gone home and she'll fall back into the ways of being told every little detail of her life and she'll be okay with that!" The man, for the second time, allows the mask to break and there is genuine anger there. "I'm not selling myself short, woman. I am of no worth, I am a man who came from bad and will only bring bad. I've damaged, maybe even killed, people, I've likely got children who the shards knows where. I am the man no Holder would want around his daughter…" He turns away, looking towards the door of the kitchen. "But Faranath help me, I've never wanted to fix and help anyone more than I want to help her."

Ahnika continues to knead the dough in the mixing bowl, though it's clear from the occasional glances she gives Zen that she is paying attention to him, and she must respect him enough not to interrupt, or else the brief grunts she gives at the kneading of the dough suggests she just doesn't have the breath to articulate a response at the moment. By the time Zen is finished with his little rant and eyeing the door, the dough is good and kneaded to Ahni's intuitive liking and she sets it aside, covering it with a fresh towel, for rising. Dusting off some of the flour from her hands and clothes, Ahni seems to let all of the woez-me and I'm no good commentary go. The man is obviously smitten and her protests to the contrary won't do any good. Instead, her only response is, "There you go again, Zen. Putting the cart before the runner. Thinking too far ahead. You're not even giving her a chance." Then she tilts her head a little, eyeing him with a mixture of compassion and exasperation, saying, "You're sharding mad because of how he treats her, how he doesn't let her make up her own mind, and yet you're doing the same thing, aren't you? You've already made up her mind about you, about what she needs in a man, about what she wants, or deserves or should have, all for her." She puts her hands to her hips, looking sober, but her voice comes out soft and tender, "Zen, you're right. I don't know her that well. But if what you say is true, about her da, then it seems plain to me that she doesn't need another one lording over her and thinking he's protecting her from the world. Sounds to me like she needs someone who will …" she glances toward the locked strongbox full of wine, "Pick locked doors for her so she can see the treasure of the world with her own two eyes. Let her look at the wonder of the world and don't be the one to make up her mind about it for her. Sounds like she already has someone doing that."

While it may be night at Eastern, its still relatively early in the day at Boll, and given the time change from pre-lunch to post-dinner, its no surprise that one arriving from the opposite half of the world would go peeking into the kitchens for food. Thus, Andi's sneaking appearance through the entrance really shouldn't be a surprise, though her personal appearance might be - layers of skirts are proving to be almost awkward, her hair put up in a style that is far too elaborate for her slender frame, look all together like she's been stuffed into someone else's wardrobe. However, her entrance has her catching the tail end of Ahnika's speech and she's left looking shocked from one to the other, coloring darkly above the collar of her dress, and looking quite as if she's ready to bolt, with food in hand or not.

Merendezen tilts a look back at Ahnika, briefly. "I suppose I am…" He admits, jaw working but no response further than that coming. He considers everything she says, taking it all in and giving no response right away. Or, perhaps, he doesn't intend on giving her one at all for the look he gives her lasts far too long than one would normally give someone if they had the intention of giving a sound reply. "Thanks." Is all he finally says before his attention is drawn back to that door and the elaborately dressed Andi. If Zen was a blusher, his cheeks would likely match the color of Andi's as he spots her. Whatever shock factor her appearance has on him is lost to his impulsive side as he's quickly reaching for the blonde hair woman before the can turn and bolt out, pulling her close and scooping her up. Whatever he says is quite muffled because his face is pressed firmly into her shoulder, but one could rightly guess that it's a string of insults followed by praise for the little woman.

To Zen's response, Ahnika smiles slightly, and her shoulders relax just a smidgeon. She nods then to his brief expression of gratitude and her attention turns to the door at about the same time his does, perhaps a second or two later. It takes her a moment to register who it is standing there in that get-up. After all, she's only met Andi once. When she does, and sees the shocked expression and realizes Andi must have heard, Ahni swears softly under her breath, adding, "Well, now, this is awkward." And then Zen is off his stool and reaching for Andi boldly and Ahni can't help but grin and sigh a bit, her heart skipping a beat at the display on behalf of all romantics out there. She turns away then and makes for the other exit, the one toward the Lower Caverns, meaning to slip out and leave the two alone to talk … . or whatever. The dough needs a good two hours to rise anyway before she can do any more with it.

One step backwards is all Andi manages before Zen is catching her and scooping her up, squeaking quite loudly as one arm is instictively moving to keep her skirts in their proper place, the other trying to find some sort of purchase aroud his neck, all the while looking quite like a trapped animal, eyes wide as she's unable to flee. Shifting a little, she stays bright red as she squirms just a little, eyes darting to Ahnika as she tries to wiggle her shoulder away from his face. And then, the other teen is disappearing, leaving Andi alone with Zen, her wiggling slowly subsiding, before she finally manages a squeaky, 'Zen'.

Poor Ahni is all but forgotten for a moment, holding Andi close and not letting go until he turns briefly to give a look to the teen. Nothing is said in her direction before attention returns to the woman in his arms who squeaks his name. "Little one." He starts, putting her down but not removing his hands from her. There's a struggle for words, and then finally, "don't leave like that again…"

"I…" And then Andi's feet are meeting the ground and she's relaxing a little hands hurriedly moving to smooth out her skirts, settling the over her hips and shaking them to settle the fabric back into place, her attention dropping down to the ground as well. "I had to go. Then." She says simply, without elaborating, even as one hand lifts to touch the braids that are settled on her head, swallowing. "There.. really wasn't… time." Or an option, as it were.

Merendezen moves to encompass her in his arms again, but not picking her up this time. He is simply content to hold her, and if it were possible, to never let go again. "I know. I just wish I had known… Was it my fault?" He only pulls back to search her face, green eyes completely open and vulnerable. "Are you leaving again?"

That look, that worried look causes a little whimper from Andi, before she's shifting. "I.. I don't know, Zen… He.. I…" And she shakes her head a little, turning in his arms, but not pulling away, setting her back towards him to better hide her face from view, dropping her chin and looking away. "I.. was introduced to.. To some eligible husbands. Again." She starts slowly. "But.. But he.. wants me to be here, for now."

Merendezen gives a slight nod, perhaps understanding the stuttering and looking a little disappointed as she turns away. He shifts, pressing his nose into her hair, holding her tighter. "Andromeda…" He starts, holding her tighter. "I don't want to let you go. I don't want to let you go…"

Andi hesitates for a moment, glancing towards the door through which she so recently came, leaning gently back into him as he tightens his hold. Hands slowly lift to rest on his arms, fingers curling gently, biting her lip before she finally speaks. "I…" A gulp. "You.. You may have to." She says softly, head hanging just a little as she answers honestly, the trained Lord Holder's daughter.

It's late enough to where they won't have to worry too much about someone coming in. Zen doesn't look to where she does, holding her still as she speaks. Her words have him tensing and he mutters, "you won't fight him…?"

Andi winces as he tenses, slowly turning in his arms, her hand hesitantly lifting to the side of his face, fingers brushing briefly over his jaw before she takes a slow breath. "Even if.. Even if I do there's… Nothing stopping him from just… Just grabbing me." She whispers softly, eyes nervously meeting Zen's. "From just… taking me where.. Where he needs me to go." There is, perhaps, a little bit of fear in Andi's eyes at that soft admittance, despite her clear loyalty to her father.

Merendezen looks down at her, sated by the touch of her fingers along his jaw. "I'll fight him…" He breathes out softly, his eyes finding hers. "I'll fight him. If you want. If you don't want to leave, I'll fight him." And by the burn in his eyes, he certainly isn't lying. "Whatever you want, little one… I'll do it."

Fingers linger there on his jaw still, as she meets his gaze, hurriedly shaking her head. "Zen.. If.. If I have to.. If someone wants… Me." The way she says me certainly reads more as 'Boll'. As he continues to offer she shakes her head again, fingers curling gently. "They.. They will probably want.. One of the others. Or… Or more than they'd get with me." She starts trying to reassure both of them. "But.. I.. don't know for sure."

Merendezen gives her a look, "Andi…" He starts, "they…" Another struggle for words and green eyes close tightly. "I hope they will want for someone else…" A soft breath is drawn and his form is tense again. "I wish you would follow what you want rather than what anyone else wants for you…"

Her hand shifts, moving to rest on his shoulder then as she hesitantly stands on her tip toes to give his cheek a quick kiss, blushing even as she does so. "Aren't… Aren't you… doing the same thing? With.. Standing. Letting the.. The dragonets decide your future?" She murmurs softly, blinking up at him a few times. "Its.. Its who I'm suppose to be if I need to." Words are barely audible as she talks, glancing away.

Merendezen blinks at the feel of her lips on his cheeks, giving her a look. He says nothing for a moment, "I suppose I am…" He agrees, green eyes closing briefly before they open again, shielded from her now. He leans down to press a gentle kiss to her lips. "I wish that you wouldn't… But I can't stop you…" He pulls away then, "I can't help you if you don't want this, too… Be who you need to be." He takes a few more steps back before turning away and is finally the one running away from her, rather than the other way around.

"Zen.." Andi starts as he pulls away from her and then as he's turning she stands there, dumbfounded, looking after him. "But.. I do.." She whispers to herself as he disappears, hurriedly shaking her head, dabbing at her eyes and gathering herself to flee and rid herself of the encumberance of the extra layers.

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