The Root Of Pie

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg Nara.jpg

Date: 11/16/10
Location: EW: Kitchen
Synopsis: Having convinced Nara through Jhath and Inefredath to come be her escort so she can get to the kitchen in the middle of the night without anyone trouble, Ahnika proceeds to bake Max a bubbly pie with a letter intended for him as well. Nara riddles out the significance of pie for the couple and manages to talk Ahnika into letting her play delivery girl and go-between for the two lovebirds, though not for quite the innocent reasons that Ahni thinks.
Rating: PG-13
Vignette: Ahnika


Settling her chin in the palm of one hand with her elbow perched on a counter, Nara’s lips practically pout as she speaks, “When you asked me to play escort, Darling, I thought I was sneaking you out of the barracks for something really exciting, not this … cooking stuff.”

“It’s called ‘baking’,” Ahnika responds, filling the crust-covered pie tin with the syrupy-berry mixture. “I’ll make some sweetcakes for your trouble. And you didn’t help me sneakout. You’re my escort, so it’s all good and proper and no one gets in any trouble this way.” Any more trouble than they already have, that is.

The 30-something Nara waves the distinction between escort and partner-in-crime, preferring the latter, really, “Baking, then, whatever. It’s not terribly exciting or fun is it? Unless you’re baking a laxative into the pie …” Nara’s interest suddenly piques, “Are you?”

Ahni scowls, “Of course not.”

“Oh come now. Just a little bit. A teeny bit?”

“No.”

Nara sighs, “Well, we can’t simply just be baking a pie.”

“We’re simply baking a pie.”

“If you’re going to use me to sneak out,” Nara continues as if she didn’t hear her, “at least make it interesting, Darling. I have a reputation to maintain you know.”

“One that includes you walking around the weyr naked?” Ahni asks as she gently settles the top layer of crust over the pie.

“Exactly,” Nara says. “People will think I’m suddenly becoming respectable if I’m caught baking pies with you in the middle of the night.” She grins suddenly, “Unless … unless we cover our naughty bits with the pie and go streaking across the bowl!”

Ahnika nearly drops the pie as she starts to slide it into the oven.

Nara gasps, straightening on her stool and leaning forward, hands gripping the edge of the counter, “Never say you did so already, Darling? And I missed it?” She grins brightly, her eyes sparkling with mischief.

“Of course not,” Ahnika says, straightening nervously and starting to clean up her mess from preparing the pie.

“You are a terrible liar, Darling, remind me to teach you to play cards and soon,” Nara slides off the stool and moves over to where Ahni is busy cleaning up some flour. The older greenrider leans against the counter, lounging there with one hip sticking out as she seeks to make eye-contact, “You’ve been a naughty girl with bubbly pie, haven’t you?” Nara grins impishly, “Do tell.”

Turning a few rosy shades darker, Ahnika is quick to say, “I never ran about the bowl naked,” while Nara is quick to respond, “Well, no one’s perfect, Darling, and you’re still young yet. Give yourself time.” She pats Ahni on the back encouragingly, “So, you’ve not run naked across the bowl … that leaves …” Nara’s eyes widen and she grins even bigger, “You covered your naughty bits with pie?”

Ahnika turns a deeper shade of rose and works to clean up the counter a little harder and faster. She mutters, “Maybe … a little … once … before Jhath hatched of course. A sort of … experiment.”

Nara leans in and hugs the weyrling about her shoulders, “I’m so proud of you, Darling! And here I was beginning to think you were a lost cause and didn’t know a thing about having fun.” She lets go and leans her back against the adjacent counter, “Did you like the results of your experiment?” She grins.

Ahnika is quiet a long moment, working fast and furious to finish cleaning up while the pie bakes. But the question only serves to bring that particular memory bubbling back up to the surface. She blushes deeper, but the memory is a fond one, and she smiles at it, suddenly wishing she could see Max.

“Uh-huh. I’ll take that as a yes, then,” Nara continues to grin, no longer bored at all. “Are we doing the same thing again? Is that what the pie is for?”

Ahnika’s smile vanishes, and she clears her throat, “No, certainly not. I’ve been in enough trouble already recently. Don’t need more.”

“Where’s the fun in that? Besides, I’m here, I can make sure you don’t do anything you shouldn’t,” Nara grins impishly and waggles her brows meaningfully.

Despite herself, Ahni can’t help but giggle, “You’re incorrigible.”

“Thank Faranth for that,” Nara says easily.

“It’s a good thing one of us has some proper sense.”

“So, what’s the pie for, Darling?”

Ahni hesitates and then shrugs after a moment, “My beau … I can’t see him so much right now, so I try to write him letters and bake him a bubbly pie … he likes my pies.”

“No doubt,” Nara says amidst a stifled snicker.

The redhead finishes wiping down that section of counter and moves onto the next mess she made. She opens her mouth as if to protest her innocence, but seems unable to get anything said, so she just shuts up for the time being.

“So, who is the lucky pie-eater?” Nara asks, genuinely curious, “I promise I won’t tell, Darling.”

Ahni flushes again, but answers, “Max, the Beast Manager.” It’s not too hard to find out, really. Max and Ahni have attempted to be discreet, but not actually kept the fact completely hidden. She’s had to bribe kitchen help to take the pies to him, point of fact.

Whistling low, Nara holds the cabinet door open as Ahnika puts away some of her personal pie-making implements and ingredients that Indira set up for her, “No wonder he looked so sharding grumpy,” nevermind the fact that whenever Nara saw him, he was reprimanding Waine for shirking his duties to paw at Nara. Again.

“Grumpy?”

“Is he waiting for you? He must be. He’s such a grouch. Just like you, he doesn’t seem to understand what it means to have fun.”

“Grouch?” Ahni asks, this time straightening from her cabinet and looking worriedly at Nara. “He never … seems grouchy or grumpy those rare times when I do get to see him …” she adds, tugging on her bottom lip with her teeth, her expression one of uncertainty.

“Of course he wouldn’t, Darling. You’re his elixir,” Nara says, sliding her arm around Ahni’s shoulders in a companionable hug.

“His elixir,” Ahni repeats, staring at the floor. “Well, he’s got a lot going on right now.” Such as trying to lay the foundation of his crime lord business.

“Darling, the man is obviously suffering from the worse kind of fever, the lovesick kind, and you’re the cure.”

Ahni’s shoulders slump, looking as guilty as she feels, “You think so?”

“Yes, I do, and we’ll have to do something about it,” Nara gives her shoulders a squeeze, “You love him, don’t you?”

“I do … But what can we do? I’m a weyrling,” Ahni says, leaving the rest unsaid. Nara has been in weyrlinghood and knows exactly what Ahni is talking about.

The older greenrider grins knowingly, already formulating a plan in her mind, “Tell me how you intended on getting that pie to him, hmm?”

==================== … a couple hours later … ========================

Eastern was beginning to seem much more fun than Ista, Nara thought gleefully as she moved through the nearly empty corridors with the basket in hand containing the bubbly pie and Ahnika’s letter. Ista had been around long enough that Nara couldn’t have dreamed of getting away with so much there. Here, Eastern was still in its formative stages, things were still getting organized. Shells, they only recently got that brownrider, W’red, in as Weyrlingmaster, this several months into the first weyrling class. Living in a place with such disorganization and chaos? It was a veritable playground for the likes of Nara. Of course, she’d not do anything truly damaging. Even she had lines that she wouldn’t cross. But “harmless” mischief? It only served to keep the leaders and weyrwomen and headwoman all on their toes. Really, Nara thought, she was doing them all a service, truth be told.

The present bit of mischief however had more to do with her new pet, Ahnika, and getting her to loosen up. A summer breeze, cooler for the fact that Rukbat had long ago gone down past the horizon, greeted the greenrider as she emerged from a tunnel and into the bowl, the basket with the pie gently swinging from her hand as she made her way toward the Beast Cavern.

Along the way, she stopped by one of the posted glowbaskets that marked the path for those wandering around at night. It’s there in the relative quiet and dim lighting that Nara settled down on the ground with the basket nestled between her legs. She had seen Ahni put the folded letter in the second pie tin. The poor naive girl really should learn to be more secretive. It was obviously up to Nara to teach her such things.

Carefully removing the pie and the tin it was baked in out from the second tin, Nara tugged the folded piece of paper out and set the pie back into the basket. Eagerly, she opened the letter and began to read, impish grin beginning to form on her features …

Max

I hope this missive finds you well, my Heart. Jhath and I are well. My injuries have all healed for the most part, though my right arm still seems a little weak at times, which is why I’ve not declared myself fully fit and presented myself to the Weyrlingmaster just yet.

Unfortunately, W’red has riddled it out that I got myself into some kind of trouble and put me to a test, confirming my injuries for himself. I got a sound lecture that I know I deserved and a severe warning, but so far he hasn’t grounded me to the barracks. I am trying to mind my Ps and Qs more though, not wishing to test the boundaries of his patience with me and finding myself grounded. When I am fully fit, I’m to present myself to him for vetting the claim. I’m sure the strength in my arm will return in time and I’ll prove myself an able rider soon enough.

Your choice for Weyrlingmaster was a good one, it seems. He is quite thorough, strict but not unreasonable, and best of all he seems approachable when one of us has an awkward question or wants to put forth a new idea or suggestion. A pity that I feel his eyes on me and Jhath too much since he discovered my injuries that I can’t sneak out as readily as I did before. I miss you. I miss your arms about me. I even miss our petty arguments, if you can believe it.

Jhath desires me to inform you that she does not miss our petty arguments.

We’re conducting wing stretching exercises now, though I imagine you’ve probably seen us in formation in the morning doing so. It won’t be long before Jhath is gliding on her own, I imagine. She is very excited, though I suppose not as excited about it as others are. I think she is excited over the freedom it will mean for her, and she will be able to get to me faster if she needs to, and it is one step closer, in her mind, to learning to flame Thread. Others seem more eager about the lessons in flying for the sake of learning to fly, though, which I suppose is understandable.

I think I’m going to have to spend some extra time studying Jhath’s musculature around her wings, though as I don’t seem to be getting it as quickly as the others. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering I make the worst Healer in all of Pern. The exercises are fine. It is little more than physical training for Jhath alone. Learning how things are all connected on her is another matter. I had similar problems finding her second stomach. I’ll get it, but it will just take more time. I hope W’red doesn’t think me a simpleton, though. I want to make a good impression, especially considering how we got off on a foot where he undoubtedly thinks me a troublemaker of the first order.

Speaking of trouble, Love, I’ve yet to meet Kelarad’s kin. I’ve seen her about, but she’s been more or less keeping out of the way of us and with W’red watching I’m not comfortable approaching her yet on my own. I wonder if he is waiting on me getting healed up completely before introducing us? Should I ask L’ron and Balkrith to make a distraction and steal her away for a private conversation at some point?

I suppose I could ask Nara, too. She’s a new greenrider here, her and Inefredath transferred from Ista Weyr. You may have met her as she seems to enjoy Waine’s company. A lot. She’s interesting, constantly stirring up mischief in one way or another. I’m not sure she can take anything seriously enough, but she does seem to grow on a person though. She’s even had me laughing a time or two at her craziness. She seems to think I need a mentor to teach me how to let go of serious things and have fun. Perhaps she’s right. One day, I might show you what that means.

Until we are able to get see one another again in speaking distance, know that you are on my mind and in my heart and I love you and miss you. I’ll never let go.

Jhath sends her regards as well.

Keep me forever,
Ahni

Nara folds the letter with a light huff, asking aloud, “Craziness? She didn’t even say anything about my good looks.” Nevermind the other rather interesting information in the letter there. “Well, obviously, there’s only one way to deal with this,” Nara mutters through a smirk, putting the letter back into the second pie tin and then carefully sliding it up under the pie-filled pie tin so that it is just as it was before. Getting to her feet, she picks up the basket and continues on to the Beast Cavern, fully intending to wake a certain Beast Manager up with this particular message, if need be.


Closing Credit Theme Music: Fiona Apple - "Criminal"


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