|Summary:||Darek and Sela get ready to say their final goodbyes. War sucks.|
|Date:||5 September 2012|
|Related Logs:||Stonebridge Sucks.|
|Kitchens, Highfield Keep|
|The kitchens are normal for a Keep of this size, scents of fresh bread and spices meet all who enter here. A large cooking fire with an iron bar that passes from one side of its arch to the other, laden with iron pot hooks and pots; sits against the smaller, right hand wall of the room. Roaring hot on one side, while the other is a bit of glowing embers. Setting temperatures to cook any range of foodstuffs. Above is a small opening in the stone fireplace, an oven of sorts that almost always seems to be baking fresh loaves of bread. A long, heavy blocked table sits in the center of the room, fresh fruits lay at its center while one side might have the meat for that nights sup, and one of the other has a servant kneading some bread, another, peeling onions or mashing neeps. This place is always alive though, even in the wee hours of the morning one is bound to find someone cooking or baking something to be eaten that day, or the next.|
|September 5, 289|
It's been more than double the four days alotted for Sela to remain in Highfield, and Darek hasn't seen the little thief in a good portion of that time. Of course, he's been out to see both military camps, and paying the price with his Ser for the extra time off he got before that. Now, however, he's back, his livery is dusty and travel-worn, and he looks about ready to fall over and sleep for a week. Of course, being a teenage boy, his second thought is for food, and only his third for sleep, and so he stumbles his way into the kitchens well after dark, blinking bleary-eyed around for some food to nab or someone to find him some food to not-nab.
While it will never get as cold as Winter, nights so far after the harvest season do carry a chill. For this reason, a fire burns low in the giant hearth. It perhaps had once been a raveneous pit of flames, but now burns a warm and soft red with embers and the occasional lap of flame. There are very few kitchen staff at this hour save for a few scullery maids fetching wine and late-night snacks for those burning the midnight oils. Near the chopping block, a girl in simple linens sits on her knees beside a bucket of soapy water. A bristled brush is scratched across the floor in a whooshing pattern. It is rhythmic and constant, adding a gentle beat to the gentle singing that comes from the Sela girl. She does not notice the squire yet.
No authority figures around and no Mistress Caddock to feed him without theft, so Darek goes into stealth mode, which consists of raising up on his toes a little and going all light-footed. He glances once at the singing scullery girl, looks away, stops, blinks, looks back, and gapes. He opens his mouth to say something, and then a look of pure mischief filters over his face. Instead of speaking up, he goes all sneaky-like around behind the thief. Turnabout is fairplay , right? Or foreplay. Either one is good. He does his best to sneak up behind the thief and reach out to put his hands — maybe a little dirty, but not too bad — over her eyes.
The song does not precisely have words, but it has sounds. Soft and gentle noises that make up something sweet and gentle like a breeze. She is completely unaware of being snuck up behind as she scrubs a bit of dirt on the ground, exposing naked wood beneath. It is probably this focus that causes her to be so incredibly shocked by the sudden hands placed over her eyes. She almost shrieks, but it is not quite her style to fully scream. She does grasp around the hand over her eyes and look around sharply to look into the familiar eyes of the squire. "Darek," she hisses. "Don't scare me like that."
Darek opens his mouth to say something 'smart' like 'Guess who,' but then she reaches out to grab his hand, and he steps forward quickly in case he's going to get thrown, "Woah, woah…" When she recognizes him, he nods, "Yeah… it's me, Blue-eyes." He crouches down, brushing aside his sword as he does, dropping one hand down to lift her chin so that he can give her a good proper smacker of a kiss, "Missed you. Thought you were gonna be gone by now." He blinks again, lowering his voice, "And… uh… not in the kitchens."
"Don't sneak up on a sneak," Sela says with a small touch of laughter. Then she shakes her head a bit as she leans forward to meet the kiss. Her fingers reach up to touch one of those righteous curls before she leans back to smile with almost peaceful contentment. "I'm not going anywhere," she lies, though she does offer him a sadder smile. "But, Lady Charlton said that maybe I should work in the kitchens with Mistress Caddock… learn some new skills. The scullery maids are awful gossips, too."
Darek rises up to his feet, leaning heavily against the outside edge of the hearth without much care to the hint of soot smudged onto his livery. "Best way to practice, isn't it?" One thumb hooks behind his belt-buckle, and he scritches at his hairline, "Gotta be careful about learnin' too much from Mistress Caddock, Blue-eyes." Even worn and tired, the squire finds the energy to tease, "She's liable to make a housewife outta you." Oh, if only his ears were paying attention to what his mouth was saying, he would be scared totally awake. Glancing over to the nearest scullery maid, then back down to the scrubbing theif, he leans his head against the stonework along with his shoulder, "You really been here the whole time I was gone?"
Sela snorts. "Mistress Caddock wouldn't dare. She knows I'm just here because this is where Lady Charlton put me." Though she does offer him a slightly amused smile at the idea of becoming a housewife. "You know damn well that I ain't gonna hold still long enough to become a housewife." She drops her brush in the bucket with a firm splash, and now she begins to roll up to her feet. "I like her though… she's kinda funny, though she cooks like she's fattening up everyone for Winter." She shakes her head a bit as his actual question. "No, just a few days. I've been tryin' to avoid going back to the Roost, but I'm going to be dragged off there anyway."
Darek chuckles, "Dunno… Mistress Caddock's the one who got me to stop cursing." Well, for a while. "She can cursed well work miracles." And then he's backpedalling frantically, verbally if not physically, "Not that I want you to be a housewife or anything like that. That ain't the life I'm lookin' for." His already-tired features fall a bit at her news, and he grumbles, "Well fuck-a-doodle-doo." And now that scritching motion turns into a scrubbing, pulling his hair out of his face, "Mistress Caddock was more a Ma to me than my Ma was." That's a change of topic, really.
"It's not fair," Sela says with a sigh. "I'll be sixteen in five days… five days, Darek. Noble girls are married by the time they are sixteen, but I'm dragged around by my father like I'm ten." Then she frowns a bit at him, though the change of topic is well-accepted. "She kinda reminds me of my Momma, but… what's your Ma like then?" She asks as she slips up to lean beside him against the hearth. She glances down toward the low-burning flames before she returns those pale blue eyes to him.
Darek looks over to the thiefette as she leans near him, shifting his lean to sling an arm over her shoulders, then freezing in place, "Five days? Fuck-a-duck, Blue-eyes. That ain't much warning for me to get you somethin' for your nameday." He leans over to press a kiss to her cheek, "I think you're just tryin' to get me in trouble, so you can make me do whatever you want." Oh, right, there was a question in there too, "Uh… my Ma was a tavern wench." And he's not too ashamed to say it, "Always some guy hangin' around her, but she wasn't a slattern or nothin'." Or at least, she didn't get directly paid for anything. "She was… busy."
Sela blinks. "You don't gotta get me nothin'." She shifts uneasily against him. "I'm not tryin' to get you in trouble, I just didn't think it mattered all that much." She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "I don't really like namedays. No one cares how old the daughter of a seamstress is." She then glances him a bit of a look that might hint that she does care, but she doesn't want to put him on the spot. Then she cocks her head a bit. "But you're the only one she's got as a son, so that's gotta be something," she says perhaps a bit tactlessly. Then she blushes a touch. "Not sayin' anything about your Ma, Darek…"
Darek snorts at the demurring of the importance of a nameday, "You're gonna be sixteen, Blue-eyes. That's big. Like… real big. It's your majority. Maybe I'll even let you boss me around for a day," he leans in to nibble at her neck a moment, breathing in the fragrance of her dark tousle of hair, and he murmurs, "or for a night." Not that she doesn't already now and then, of course. "In addition to a present, I mean." And then he snorts, "Least I was when I got taken on by Ser Henrik. Seven only know if I am now. Never really checked much. Like I said… busy."
A light and wonderful giggle escapes her lips at the nibbling and the whisper, though she does spoil-sport the moment with a small sigh. "I'll be at the Roost by then. Charltons aren't allowed there, so maybe we will have to celebrate my nameday when you get back." There is a rather upset note there. Then she offers him a small smile. "It don't much matter about your Ma, you got others who care about you too. Ser, and Mistress Caddock, and me. We all care about you."
Spoilsport indeed, "Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Okay then. Whatever the last day you've got here." Darek swallows once, then bulls on ahead, "I'll totally blow off everything else. All yours that day." Which means he'll be — at the very least — running his ass off the next week, and that's only if Jac gets a hold of him rather than someone like Harold, in which case he might get a lash or three. "And yeah. I got friends here. As close to family as I've ever needed." The squire slumps a little into his arm slung around her shoulders, picking a little at his belt-buckle as his stomach rumbles, "Damn it… stupid stomach. Rode all day and didn't stop. I'm fuckin' hungry." At another time, he might be interested in making that a double entendre, but right now, he's mostly sulking.
"Don't do that," Sela objects. "You can't blow off your whole day for me, Darek. You gotta keep focused for what's happenin' with the march on Stonebridge." She offers him a small smile. "You'll owe me when you get back, okay?" She says as she reaches to grip his hand gently. His complaint though draws a bit of a laugh before she nods him to take a seat at the chopblock. "Sit down. I'll get'cha somethin'." She presses a small kiss to his cheek, her eyes closing briefly. "Next time, you come to the kitchen and get a bundled lunch so you ain't so hungry."
Darek reaches out to grab her hands, and hold them to keep her from running off, "No…" for such a flamboyant young man, he seems real serious now, tossing back his hair and meeting her eyes directly, "No. You're gonna be dragged off to The Roost where you won't have anyone around to celebrate your fucking biggest nameday. No way. The last day before you go. All day. Whatever you want to do. Promise."
His seriousness causes her to blink in surprise, and she looks up into those dark eyes. "All right, Darek," Sela says with a soft resignment, and a small smile starts to quirk the corners of her lip. "It might be like… tomorrow, or the next day though," she points out before she squeezes his hand gently. "You gonna sit down so I can feed you now?" She tilts her head with a little hint of warmth returning to her voice. "There's some meatpies that I can fetch for you, and maybe a mug of something to drink."
Darek nods as she accepts the promise, letting a tired little smile break through again, "Yeah. Totally. All of that sounds good." And he lets himself be let to the seat, slouching down in the seat and resting his elbows on the chopping block and his chin on his hands, "So what you're saying is that I gotta get enough sleep tonight that I'm not totally wiped out for tomorrow or the next day?" There's a pause, and a touch of his trademark smirk returns, dimpling one cheek, "Yes, Ma…"
Sela casts him a good-natured scowl. "Things you do with me you don't do with your Ma," she points out as she tiptoes past the hearth with quiet grace. She kneels down a bit to open one of the miniature cellars; within are several boxed pies that are cooling in the ground. She sweeps back toward him with the box, pausing once to pull a bowl off one of the shelves and grabbing a fork from a drawer. Everything is deposited opposite of him, and she starts to pop open the box. Her gaze lifts up to him. "I just want you to be too sleepless because of me." She smiles to him shyly, as if she genuinely wants him to be prepared for the upcoming march.
Darek nods his head in fervent agreement with the first point, his right hand sweeping out in a too-slow attempt to lightly swat her backside. "Too right." Collecting the fork, he hovers over her box-opening, ready to pounce. His fork slides through the crust of the meatpie, piercing the filling, and then pauses as he looks over to her, laughing softly, "You and Ser are the only things I lose sleep over, Blue-eyes. And Ser's just 'cause I'm worried about what the fuck he's going to do to me the next day, or because he's got me up at all hours doing some exercise." At least he doesn't do more than gripe about that. Tucking into the late dinner, he stops, chews, swallows, and leans over to kiss Sela on the cheek, "You're good to me, you know that, Blue-eyes?"