Fudge!

Western Weyr - Kitchen
Perhaps you followed your nose here.. the cooking aromas are tempting. This is the main kitchen of the Weyr. At any time of the day or night you find cooks and drudges busy making meals and preparing foodstuffs for storage for later use. The cavern has been shaped into a huge room with a domed ceiling. The huge ovens and cooking stoves line the outer wall, their perpetual fires fueled by natural gas from a nearby well. Vent holes pierce the cavern walls, keeping the room amazingly clear of smoke. The inner wall has long counters of smooth stone, carved from the walls. You see a large, heavy looking metal-clad door. This is the large cold storage room, much like a man-made ice cave. The walls are made of volcanic rock, known for it's insulating properties. The heat exchanger is also powered by natural gas.


Some may think it's a shame to be indoors on what's proving to be a typically glorious Western day - but not Rou'x. There are /sweet things/ to entice her out of the sun on her day off, and anything to do with sugar comes up trumps. She's lingering near the doorway to the kitchen, leaning back against the wall, arms crossed over her chest and simply waiting, while one boot-clad foot taps out an irregular rhythm to the tune she's humming.

It's the slow point in the day just after lunch and before the dinner rush starts, which is Elsia's favorite time to occupy the kitchen. It gives her a chance to shape loaves of sweet rolls and bake racks of cookies in empty ovens or pull taffy on a large hook she mounted above her assigned station. Right now, though, she's shaping bonbons, rolling the soft insides with her palms and setting the little balls aside to stiffen. It's actually somebody else who notices Rou'x, a pinched-faced man who gives her a look and asks, "Did you need something?"

"Yeah," Rou'x replies to the man, her brow furrowing just a little as she looks up at the person addressing her. "Been waitin' for what's-her-name - that Elsia one? Y'know her? Thought mebbe I might…" She tries to peep around the presumed baker, into the kitchen, where she spots the woman in question. "There. That'un. D'you reckon y'can call her on out t'speak to me?"

The man narrows his eyes and turns to look. Then he barks, "Journeyman Elsia, you have a vistor!" And, duty done, the sour looking kitchen worker moves off to go do something else. Elsia turns from her station at the call and trots over, hands dangling in front of her, covered in a sticky mix of butter, sugar, and flavoring. "Hello, Rou'x!" she greets enthusiastically. "What brings you down here?"

Rou'x gives the man a /look/ as he moves off, which quickly enough melts into a big grin for Elsia. "/You/, o' course! Thought I might come on down, see if you've gotta free bit've time t'mebbe help me make summat? I got Kee n' Ir'e coming over, thought mebbe it'd be nice t', y'know, make 'em summat yummy." She fiddles with the hem of her vest, tugging it down over her wide, shorts-clad hips. "Fudge, p'haps? Kee never shared hers wi' me."

Elsia oohhs and nods her head. "Yah, absolutely, I'd love to." She motions Rou'x inside the kitchen and heads towards her station. "Let me just drop these into cold storage to set up, and we can get started." She washes her hands quickly, picks up the tray of centers, disappears behind the giant metal door, and returns again. An extra apron is snagged from a hook and offered to the taller girl. "Well, first things first, before you cook anything, you protect your food from your clothing and your clothing from your food. And your hair's already tied back, so that's perfect." She grins and then nods to the sink. "And then, wash your hands well." She sets the example, giving her hands a second, much more thorough washing. "You always wash your hands before you touch food, or after you've touched anything in the kitchen like oven handles that other people are also touching." Which is not exactly exciting information, but important.

Keen to do as she's told to get things right, Rou'x washes her hands exactly as Elsia does; once, then over again, soaping up past her wrists. "D'you think it'll matter that I were oilin' up Indy earlier? Still sorta got that oil smell on here… 's'not gonna come off inta the food, is it?" After sniffing them herself she holds her wet hands, palm up, towards the Baker, for her opinion. "Bit've oil never hurt no-one though I guess, right?" Shrugging her shoulders, she then tugs the apron on over her head and fastens. "D'you know a fudgy-brownie recipe? I want summat so good it'll make 'em /both/ wanna getta bit frisky, y'know?"

"Nah, that's what the soaps for… soap molecules are funny things. They sort of just eat everything. Even if there was some left over, well… I'm pretty sure dragon oil is edible. Might not taste fantastic, but it won't hurt you." Elsia is very cheerful about the potential for mild cases of food poisoning. "Anyway, you're not going to be shaping anything with your hands. Fudge is just about the easiest thing to make. It's the first thing I learned to make." She glances around and then gives Rou'x an apologetic look. "I can't say I don't wish daily that cacao trees had taken. I can only wonder what chocolate was actually like. However… I have a really good peanut butter fudge recipe. I don't know if it'll make anyone frisky, but it makes me want to fatten myself up."

"That sounds bloody /lush/," Rou'x agrees enthusiastically. "An' we get t' taste as we go along, yeah? Can't have no cookin' lessons if we don't know what it'll end up like, right?" She winks, leaning up against one of the benches with her hands pressed to her wideload hips. "Y'gotta tell me too Els, whatcha want in return, yeah? Cos I ain't lettin' y'do this for me f' freee, y'know?" The brownrider picks up a spoon, swishing it about in the air before her as if it's a baton and she's conducting a culinary orchestra. "Mebbe if I'm good, we can do s'more lessons n' stuff, too."

Elsia laughs and winks back at Rou'x. "Best part of fudge is eating the scrapings out of the pan." She looks around, and pulls a big sauce pan onto the burner. "Alright, in cold storage, we'll find the butter and something called evaporated milk… which is just a fancy way of saying I heated the milk until it reduced the water content. And don't you dare. I told you, I'm bribing you with friendship. And possibly gossip. Like what's this about Kee and I're and friskiness?"

"Gossip? I ain't got no /gossip/, doll, I don't go in f' that sorta stuff, I don't think." /Does/ she gossip? Rou'x suddenly not so sure. She's ponderous for a moment, then shrugs. "Kee n' I've been sorta… messin' around a bit, since the first time Geimhreath went up in a flight. Ain't nothin' serious, but she's kinda special." The way the brownrider says it suggests 'kinda' may be a bit of an understatement. "And Ir'e? Well, he's like, I dunno, my best guy friend or summat. I were just jokin' about the frisky bit, but… fog n' fire, have y'seen him lately? Fuck me, Elsi, but he's even hotter now than he were last time I got t' snog him."

Elsia laughs. "I'm not a gossip either, but I do like to hear about my friends' lives." She lifts a finger. "I'll just be a moment," and she is, returning with a glass canister of milk and a large block of wrapped butter. "You know, now that you mention it, I /did/ meet Ir'e the other night." She glances shiftily to the right. "He was half-naked in the Tiki Lounge when I went to pick up a rum order. It went decidedly downhill when his friend showed up."

"Rhabel." There's only /one/ person who could possibly make a scene go from bad to worse at the drop of a hat. Rou'x rolls her eyes, scoffing. "Half the time I dunno if I wanna stick my tongue down that kid's throat, or if I wanna smash my fist into his face. Even /Ir'e/ told me I can wallop him one if he's being an arse t'me again." She shakes her head, reaching out to examine the milk. "I reckon if he bothers ya, y' should just threaten his violin. Or that paper shit he's always got on him."

Elsia shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Honestly, I didn't stick around long enough for him to be unpleasant. Ir'e was talking about boobs and it… was just really too weird." Elsia, apparently, not a fan of talking about boobs with strangers. Or anyone. She clears her throat. "Right. Um. Okay. So we'll need measuring cups, which you can find in that cabinet there…" she indicates the one she means. "Wet and dry. I'll get the rest of what we need."

Rou'x bites back a chuckle. "Aye, y'don't like that sorta talk, do ya? I think I remember y'saying that." Which may be why the brownrider's biting her tongue right now, trying to keep her language someone more civil than usual. She goes to the cupboard that's pointed out, coming back with as many measuring cups as she can carry. "This alright, then? There's a couple more I can get once I've put these'uns down…"

"I'm… getting used to it, I suppose. It's interesting, at any rate, peeking into other people's lives." Elsia just grins lopsidedly at her admission to social voyeurism before going to retrieve a tub of peanut butter, a jar of something clear and thick, and a pot of sugar. "Oh my!" she laughs, seeing all of the measuring cups. "That will do," she reassures. "There's only 5 ingredients!"

"D'you not need a cup f' each one?" Rou'x is so /painfully/ new to baking! Her limited skillset clearly shows through in the way she frowns at the measuring jugs, unsure what to do next. "Y'know, I reckon it's always more fun t' /do/ summat y'self, than t' watch someone else do it. Even if it ain't something entirely nice, you'll get that whole life experience shit from it, n' that's good, right?" She picks the measuring cup she most likes the look of, and hands it to Elsia. "Wha's that stuff, that gooey thing?"

Elsia laughs and shakes her head. "No, I'll show you. It's good you brought a few, I can show you how they're marked." She lifts her head and blows out a breath with a tiny, nervous chuckle. "You spend enough time being told you can't do something, you start believing it. Anyway, it's safer to observe. Sometimes, it's satisfying, too. Like… this! For instance. I get to watch you create something with my careful guidance and after you've done it a time or two, you'll be able to do it yourself. First, let's teach you about measuring cups. This," she holds up the one Rou'x gives her, "Is a dry measuring cup. It's basicaly just a scoop with a handle. If you look on the handle, you'll see a marking telling you how much the scoop contains. So we want 1 cup of sugar, so you want to find one with a '1' on it. There's other markings like a half, or a quarter, or three quarters, you get the idea."

Rou'x wrinkles her nose as she examines the spoon. "F' serious? All these little things t' tell y' how much a /cup/ is? Ain't a cup whatcha drink y' klah out of?" She looks perplexed, shaking her head at the measuring cup. "Seems daft t' me. Do I just drop this'un into the sugar n' fill it up t'get a cup's worth? Then do what wi' it?"

Elsia laughs. "It's a little bit different. Not every drinking cup is actually a cup. A liquid measure cup is 8 oz. A dry measure cup is usually somewhere around 5, depending on density." She passes the pot of sugar over and says, "fill it up level, pour the sugar into the pan, and then do it a second time. This recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 a cup of milk, and a tablespoon of butter, which is about this much butter." She holds up her fingers a distance apart.

The brownrider does as she's told with the sugar, pouring out two cups, then picks up the milk. "Didja not say this were a dry cup, or summat like that? This milk ain't dry, doll. What'm I meant t'do wi' this?" It would seem Rou'x's not finding this whole baking malarky to be the easiest thing in the world, as she looks, baffled, at the other measuring cups she's dragged out. "F' serious, Els. This is bloody /hard/."

Elsia points to one of the glass ones Rou'x got down. "See how that one is clear, and has markings in the side? That's a liquid measure. Just fill it to the half mark. It isn't hard, just…relax."

"D'you do this all day? Measuring stuff all perfect, n' shit?" Rou'x pours out the milk super-slowly, so as not to miss the mark. When it gets close to the level she crouches down to watch, dribbling the liquid in until it's /bang/ on the half cup line. "Don't reckon I could do this every damned day. It'd drive me batty, y'know?"

Elsia laughs. "You get quicker at it, and learn where you can fudge and where you need to be precise. Eventually, you stop having to measure some things at all, you can just sort of…eyeball it." She nods approval for the milk and pushes the butter and a knife over, pressing an indentation with the tip of it into the butter where she wants Rou'x to cut. "Now add the butter and the milk, and we'll light the burner. It needs to come to a boil while you stir it." As far as being batty, she laughs. "I've been accused of being batty. I find it soothing, though, so maybe that speaks volumes about me."

"Fudge it. Heheh." That dry little laugh accompanies Rou'x cutting down into the butter. The cut piece is then speared on the knife and dropped in with the other ingredients, while she pokes at it with the blade - just for the heck of it, really. "Y'find being batty soothin'? Can't say I think y've got that whole batty shit goin' on, but then I don' really know y' now, do I? You gotta match or summat, so's I can light this up?"

Elsia ohs, "It's self-lighting," she tells her, turning the gas on and then firing the ignition switch until it catches before adjusting the flame to where she wants it. A wooden spoon is passed over. "And…I don't think I'm /particularly/ batty, but who knows. I do find baking soothing though. Whenever I'm stressed over something I can just…lose myself in the details."

"Yeah, I dunno if it's summat I could 'lose m'self' in, but… it ain't bad, I guess, so long's the end result is summat yum." And fudge falls into the 'something yum' category! Rou'x pokes the spoon into the butter in the pan, squishing it so it'll melt faster. "Indy n' I like t'go swimmin' or summat, if we wanna lose ourselves. We even went down divin', t' other day… y'can go real deep when a dragon's there t'pull ya back up."

Elsia takes the lid off the jar of clear sticky stuff and hands a measuring spoon over. "Three of those," she tells Rou'x absently. "I…suppose I can see the advantage of diving with a dragon around. Makes it easier, not worrying about drowning."

"Shell yeah. I'm not Pern's best swimmer, y'know? But there's no /way/ he's let anythin' hurt me. No /way/. What /is/ this stuff, anyway?" Rou'x dips the measuring spoon in, lifting the sticky stuff to her nose to sniff it. "What's summat goopy like that doin' in brownies?"

Elsia laughs. "It's basically sugar.. it's made with starch… corn if I can get it, tubers when I can't. It keeps the sugar from crystallizing during the heating and making the fudge gritty."

"Yeah, gritty fudge would be pretty shitty." Rou'x keeps poking about with the spoon, watching it all melt down and change. "What's your favourite thing t' cook, Elsi? D'you only do the sweet stuff, or d'you have a whole lotta stuff up y' sleeve?"

"Stir it, you don't want it to scorch or curdle," reminds Elsia gently as the mixture starts to boil. "I know how to do all kinds of things. As apprentices they encourage us to learn how to do a little bit of everything. I just like the sweet stuff best."

Stir it? Rou'x frowns down into the pot, sweeping the spoon around its perimetre, swirling it through the centre, and then back around the edge. She keeps doing that as she replies, all the while looking intently down at the fudgy mixture. "Sweet stuff /is/ best. Back home they never made much sweet stuff, 'cept maybe some fruity things now n' again. No sweets nor nothin', though, def'nitely no fudgy stuff like this."

Elsia smiles and says, "They really didn't where I grew up, either. Healer Hall… way too healthy." She sticks her tongue out and pretends to be gagging and then winks. "Alright, that needs to boil for about 5 minutes, and then we'll turn the heat down for another 5, and then we'll check it and it should be ready."

"I were in High Mountain - 's'aaaaall the way out in the 'Reaches. When folks were cookin' they were cookin' just for what we'd need t' eat, y'know? Nothin'… frivolous." The brownrider leaves the spoon alone, turning her back to the stove and leaning against the counter. "When Seaux went'n Impressed, he'd sometimes bring summat yum back wi' him when he visited. An' when he took me t' Ista Weyr wi' him one time, I got t' try sweetrolls. That were it, really. I gotta /real/ sweet tooth, now."

Elsia nods her head in understanding. "When you don't have much to spare, it's hard to find a place for luxuries. She makes a shooing motion, "You have to keep stirring it," she says. She smiles and says, "I got bubblies and whatnot, you know, we weren't /deprived/, but it was always special stuff. Now…" she laughs and pats her stomach. "I've put on a bit. Too much sampling of my own wares."

Rou'x pats her own amply-sized hip as she turns back to stir the fudge. "I were always big about the middle when I started growin' in all them girly ways, but it ain't helped by wantin' sugary stuff all the time!" While riding may have carved a good few pounds off her, she's still most definitely plump, particularly around her tummy and hips. "Don't reckon it's a problem, though. Ain't never stopped none've the boys, anyways."

Elsia chuckles, "You'll lose a lot of it, I imagine. Not a whole lot of big riders, you know?" She tilts her head at the last bit and laughs. "Yah, well… I'm beginning to think if it has the right parts and even a hint of willingness, they'll approach it. No offense, you're lovely."

"That works both ways, y'know? Ain't an insult nor nothin' - girls got instincts n' itches t' scratch just as much's boys do." Rou'x shrugs one shoulder, looking at Elsia with one brow raised her on her forehead. "Who's t'say I wanna lose it, anyways? I ain't /tryin'/. They say y' lose y' boobs too if y'drop wait, n' I'm kinda attached t' the girls as they are, y'know?"

"I don't," mumbles Elsia, scuffing her foot on the floor. "Yah, I guess that's true… some people, anyway. There was a girl at the Healer Hall, I guess she came in to get nutritional therapy… lost a lot of weight, came out of it…" she gestures a wide arc over her chest. "And tiny everywhere else."

Rou'x pulls a face of distaste. "Yeah, don't reckon I can see m'self wi'out my /curves/. They don't get in the way none, so I don't see why I should get rid've 'em! All the more t' love, right?" She winks at Elsia, then looks back down into the fudge. "Y' shouldn't be so shy, y'know. Ain't nothing wrong with ya. Don't this need cooling off or summat now, anyways?"

Elsia grabs the glass measuring cup and rinses it in the sink and then fills it with cold water out of the tap. She sets it beside the stovetop and says, "Here, dribble a little bit of it into the water. If it forms a soft ball, it's ready for the peanut butter. If it falls apart, it needs a little more time." She bites her lip. "I'm not shy. I'm just…waiting for somebody special to do…special things with."

"Tha's what ma always told me I should do, wait until someone special came n' asked t' handfast me. I didn't, though." Carefully, Rou'x holds the fudge-coated spoon over the water as she's told, waiting for some to drop off and do what it needs to do. "D'you wanna know about my first time? It were… sorta special. Birds din't sing nor nowt, but… hey, look! Tha's a ball, right? Is it meant t' look like that?"

"it's different if you're a rider though, isn't it? I mean… you don't have a choice anymore. You just sleep with…whoever when your dragon goes up." Elsia clears her throat. "Or…I don't know. Ila'den mostly had some self-control. Kinda." She rubs her wrist, remembering long-faded bruises. "Er. I don't know," she says of story-time, going faintly pink. "Oh! Yes, um, that's right. Here. Turn that burner off then — just turn the knob all the way right until the little mark is straight up. And then measure out a cup of peanut butter." She nudges the peanut butter and a clean spoon and a measuring cup over. "Just mix that in really well, I'll get the cold stone."

The stove is switched off, the peanut butter measured out, and Rou'x starts to stir it in. "I've only slept wi' one person outta dragonlust, n' that's Keely. An' before her, I never really slept around none… just mebbe kissed n' fondled a bit, y'know? Though there were one guy who I kinda liked, n' things went a bit further, n' then he left… but since Indy started flyin' the girls I only ever slept wi' Keely. 'Sides, he ain't won one yet."

Elsia nods her head. "I didn't…mean to imply you got around or anything, Rou'x." Ah, poor shy Elsia, so unsure of the right things to say. "I'm sure he'll win a few. I mean. If you want him to. Otherwise, uh, I'll keep rooting for him not to?" A hesitant smile is offered before she pulls a marble square onto the counter. "Alright, if that's mixed in well, go ahead and start pouring that /slowly/ out onto the cold stone. It's going to thicken up while you do. I'm going to fold it while you pour."

Rou'x wrinkles her nose a little, then shrugs. "'S'alright. I flirt a lot, I guess, it's prob'ly only natural t' think I sleep about a lot, too." She doesn't seem /too/ bothered by it, if that is, indeed, what reputation she has. "He'll win. He's still learnin', but he'll win one day, cos he wantsta win." And with the way he flies after everything that goes up, he's bound to pick up the experience needed soon enough! The brownrider picks up the pot, slowly pouring it over the marble. "Fog n' fire, lookit that! Don't it go thick quick?!"

Elsia nods her head absently, concentrating on keeping the fudge from spilling off the stone as she folds it over and over. "Yah, that's why you use the cold stone. It's made of marble, which draws the heat out of the fudge and causes it to thicken up. Once that's done…" which it mostly is.. She grabs a sheet of butcher paper from an overhead shelf where a stack of them are already prepared, and starts scraping the now-thick fudge into neat blocks about three inches square and shapes them with the flat blade of a pastry cutter. "See? You just made fudge. And what's left in the pan is our spoils. So grab a spoon."

"/Sweet/." Rou'x touches her fingertip to the top of one piece of shaped fudge, looking properly in awe. "Lookit /that/. That's proper bloody stuff an' all, innit?" If there wasn't the pan to clean out she would've just grabbed a piece of what's been set aside to scoff down, but, perhaps for the sake of retaining /some/ decency, she reaches for a spoon to start scraping. "Shards, Els, but that's like… that's /awesome/. They're gonna /love/ it."

Elsia smiles shyly. "Well… I hope they do. I hope everything goes well for you. Whatever you were looking for anyway." She smiles and goes about wrapping the blocks of fudge up. "It needs to set up a little still so it dosn't fall apart when you try to cut it and eat it, but otherwise it's all ready to go."

"I'm hopin' mebbe some booze n' some sweet stuff n' a bit've /me/ might sorta make stuff… I dunno. Easier, I guess? There's /summat/ up between Ir'e n' Keely, n' they're both pretty important t' me, so I wanna try'n make things better, y'know?" Rou'x, the wannabe friendship-fixer! She sucks on her fudge-covered spoon, looking thoughtful. "Can't hurt t' try, right? The worst that'll happen is one've 'em storms out, or summat."

Elsia nods her head in understanding. "It can be hard to be in the middle of something, you're right. I do hope it works out." She offers a genuine smile and then exhales. "Worst that happens… I don't know. I can think of plenty of 'worst' scenerios, but I'm maudlin like that." She starts cleaning up while Rou'x is scraping fudge from the pan.

"I don't reckon it can get much worse. I mean, not that it's /terrible/ now nor nothin', but I wish they were just a little more friendly. An' I wish Rhab were a bit nicer too, cos it's kinda awkward hangin' out wi' Ir'e when he's there." The last scrapings are taken from the pan, and Rou'x joins Elsia in cleaning up. "You n' me should hang out sometime, Elsi. Mebbe at the Tiki Lounge, if I promise t' keep m' clothes on?"

Elsia smiles sideways at Rou'x. "Maybe she is jealous of the way you spend time with Ir'e?" she suggests. "I mean…after seeing you at the graduation ceremony, I thought the two of you might be together." She shrugs her shoulders. "Just a thought, though. I know Keely really likes you." She loads the dishes into the sink and begins washing them by hand. "We should. I don't know about the Tiki Lounge… It sort of scares me in there. And..well, you know, I guess if you wanted to take your clothes off…" Her eyebrows knit. "It's not like I haven't seen another naked woman before. I used to help my mother deliver babies before I was an apprentice with the bakers. I've seen … lots of naked women."

"Y'thought Ir'e n' me were t'gether?" That notion makes Rou'x frown; though it's not an unhappy look. It's more thoughtful, as she bites down on her lip. "I think mebbe at one point I wished we coulda been, but he'd already met Rhab by then. He's prob'ly my best friend, though. Close enough, anyways… I do sorta wish he were mebbe one've them friends y'can, y'know, get a few extra sorta perks with, if y'know what I mean?" There's actually a hint of a blush on the girl's cheeks as she looks down to where her arms are crossed under her bust. "Kee n' I've got somethin' cool. Dunno what it is yet, but it's fun."

"Well, you were sorta…cozy," admits Elsia with an apologetic grimace. "Er, anyway… Maybe you should just be straight with everyone? Lay it out. Works well for me." not that she has tried it, actually.

Rou'x considers that advice for a moment, then shrugs. "Thei knows. He knows I'd hitch my skirt for him any time, n' he knows I don't want nothin' more'n we've already got - I don't want nor need a boyfriend, just a friend, like what he is now. Keely… I like her. She knows it - how could she not, wi' one've us nearly always in th'others weyr? But I dunno what t' /do/ with it. She's the first girl I've… y'know, /done stuff/ wi', n'… I dunno. I like her. A whole lot. But mebbe I just ain't wantin' t' settle wi' just one person yet."

"Well," begins Elsia thoughtfully, "If I was interested in someone…I'd want them to hold my hand and kiss me and do romantic things with me. I suspect it's easier with girls, they want the same things as you, generally… guys…" she just shakes her head and frowns. "I just don't sharding understand men." She shrugs. "Don't have to settle, as long as you're honest and realistic with expectations and boundaries."

"Y'know f' all he's a bit muscly hunk've a man, I betcha Ir'e's one sweet lover n' all for that romantic sorta stuff. He's one've the best kissers I've know, anyways - the bodes well, don't it?" Rou'x grins, shrugging her shoulders gently as she tries to bite back her smile. "I reckon I understand him alright, most've the time, cos I think we're kinda alike in a lot've ways. Some guys I don't get, though. Some /girls/ I don't get."

Elsia turns a nice rosy shade. "I hadn't actually thought about it, to be honest. And, er, well, the only person who ever kissed me was Zi'on, like he was determined to conquer me." Scowl. "I suppose I just don't understand people in general. Oh well."

"You kissed /Zi'on/? F' serious?" Scandal! … ish. Rou'x does look thoroughly surprised though - before she laughs and shakes her head. "What's he like? Is he /good/? When didja kiss him? Recently, or… like before graduation? Before he smooched Kiena on the stage n' all? Or like, since then?" For someone who claims not to gossip, she's got a whole lot of questions!

"No," says Elsia emphatically. "He kissed me. And I nearly slapped him for it." She frowns. "It was before graduation, umm… like, a few days before. We were on the beach playing truth or dare and he dared Kiena to kiss me and it turned into this big /thing/ that just got awkward and I guess they were fighting or something. Anyway. I don't know what it was like. He just… it was a peck, really. And like I said, I didn't kiss him back."

"I would've snogged him proper, but mebbe not in front've Kiena… she mighta got pissed off a bit." The brownrider chuckles, drawing her long braid over her shoulder to fiddle with it. "Indy s'prised us when he went up after a green earlier'n he shoulda done. I were wi' Zi when it happened, n' I can't help but wonder what mighta happened if Indianath hadn't dropped out so quick. It ain't gonna happen again I don't reckon, but I got t' sleep with his girl, I guess."

"Kiena wasn't around. It was in the living caverns…which is probably even worse." Elsia puts the now-clean dishes up to drain and dry. "I…" she trails off. "I'd kiss him back. If he kissed me again. I mean. Maybe." she sounds conflicted on it. "I don't want to get between two people. He obviously likes her a great deal. He is very attractive though… " she trails off. "There's…someone else I like though. I don't think it will ever happen though. He's with someone too, and I don't see that ever changing. He's not exactly the roving eyes kind either."

Rou'x nods her approval of Elsia's conflicted Zi'on-admiration. "I'd kiss him too, any time." She winks one honey-brown eye mischieviously, clicking her tongue in her cheek and bumping her elbow gently off the Baker's side. "You're kinda hot though, y'know. Betcha there's plenty've folks who'd be gaggin' for a gig in your cot sometime. And if y'ever fancy givin' summat /else/ a try…" Another wink… on this time it's far more suggestive.

Elsia can't help but giggle a little too hard. "Gagging for a gig?" she asks, totally beside herself at that turn of phrase. And then she sobers to turn all red. "Nobody's really asked, or…offered…or anything like that." Except, apparently, Rou'x. "Rou'x," she protests, blushing more furiously than ever as she dries her hands off on a towel. "I'd have to try the /first kind/ to try 'something different'."

One dark brow raises over her eye curiously, and Rou'x gives Elsia a /look/. "Butcha kissed Zi'on, no? Ain't that trying the 'first kind'? An' anyway, I don't reckon it matters all that much wi' a kiss. The mechanics ain't no different whether you're sticking y'tongue done the throat've a man, woman or caprine, f' that matter." She snorts - then quickly adds, "Not that I've snogged a /caprine/, o' course."

"He kissed me," Elsia says, sticking with the facts stubbornly. "And…" she trails off. "The caprine would probably be different," she assures. "They have tickly chin hairs…. Why are we talking about kissing caprines?" She considers for a moment and then laughs. "I'll kiss you, Rou'x, if you'd like, but it might require the imbibation — is that a word? — of spirits. Strong, strong, rum-like spirits. I'm a very inhibited girl."

Whereas Rou'x is generally not one burdened down by such things. She reaches out to stroke her work-roughened finger along the underside of Elsia's chin, giving the Baker a wink. "Rum can be arranged, doll. Ain't gonna make no promises nor nothin', but we'll see if something mebbe happens, if we get t' the Tiki Lounge t'gether sometime, hrm?" Grinning, she then ensures her hands are kept to herself by pressing them to her hips. "I don't like makin' not promises. I ain't always the best at keepin' 'em, which makes me feel pretty shitty, y'know?"

Elsia giggles a little, unable to take this all seriously. "Some day," she agrees breezily, and prompty giggles some more. "Ahhh…" she sighs, trying to compose herself. "Well, I do understand that. I don't make promises I can't keep. And if I break them, I do feel quite lousy."

"Yup. 'S'kinda why I'm mebbe a bit wary about this stuff wi' Kee. I don' wanna get in there n' say it's forever, 'cos what ever is, y'know? But I don' wanna tell her that either in case she's lookin' f' that n' decides she don't want me no more if I can't promise it." Rou'x shakes her head, pressing the heel of her hand to her brow. "People're too bloody complicated, d'you not think?"

"It sounds complicated," Elsia agrees, though sympathetically. "I guess I can understand though…it all comes back to honesty. And just… being realistic, every step of the way."

Rou'x nods her head. "Yeah, bein' realistic's the best way t'be, I reckon! Fantasy's f' dreamin', n' nothin' else." She slips her hands into her pockets and rocks back on her booted feet. "So, d'you reckon that fudge might be done now? Cos Indy's tellin' me it's time t'go back on up home t' get changed n' stuff, for when then come on over."

"It's done," Elsia reassures with a light smile. "Go ahead and go. I have bonbons to dip. Thanks for spending the afternoon with me though."

"Any time, darlin'! An' I owe ya s'more time, too. I gotta day off comin' up, I'll send one've my firelizards wi' a note t' see if y'can come out n' play, yeah?" Rou'x picks up the wrapped fudge, holding it with a delicacy that suggests it's precious. "Thanks f' teachin' me though, doll. I really 'ppreciate it." The brownrider blows Elsia an airkiss, then says her goodbyes and toddles on out.

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