Harper Hall - Kitchens
Accessed from the stairs above in the Entrance Foyer and through smaller, narrower staircases throughout the Hall, the lower levels house many rooms, each with it's own purpose and function. The largest are the kitchens, which are carved from caves nestled below the Dining Hall. Spacious and well equipped, all food preparation is done there, while storerooms and coldrooms have been situated further down the tunnels on either side of the kitchen itself, allowing quick and easy access.

Down in the kitchens, Tyani has been stuck with simple vegetable knife work. It's drudgery. Apprentice level things, but her wrapped ankle and leaning cane are evidence that she has to /sit/ and rest, which means she can't be darting around the kitchens with her usual level of enthusiasm. Nope, it's peeling and chopping for her, perched on a stool at one of the high tables off to the side.

Well this certainly won't help things be any less awkward. Rayathess has had time to calm down and while his mood is still low it's no where near the levels it was when Tyani accidentally stumbled upon him and tried to help him. Some very careful questions (he doesn't want anyone suspecting anything) lead him to the kitchens and to where Tyani has been placed on her reduced work duties. He'll wait until she's not in danger of nicking herself with a peeling knife and then clears his throat. "Uh… hey." he murmurs. Awkwardly. Don't fidget, don't fidget… "Um. Do you have… a moment?"

Tyani startles a little bit, turning to look at him. Her expression is mixed, grey-green eyes wide for a moment. Assessing his mood, perhaps. Then her chin lifts and she tosses a bit of hair over her shoulder. "You know how to use a knife?" she asks. She's giving him a knife? For real? Maybe she assumes he won't try anything in the busy kitchens, as she tips her head to the stool beside her. Payment for talking is helping her get some work done.

Rayathess will just hold his ground and his expression, while unreadable, is nothing like what she saw down in that room. He's back to himself, more or less, like the day she first met him. He'll blink at her question and then almost burst out laughing for the irony in what she asks. Does he know how to use a knife? HA! "Yeah, I do." So without question, he'll take one of those paring knives and sit down on a stool beside her. Closely beside her. They're going to talk, after all and he has no wish for some of what he says overheard. It takes him several long, awkward seconds before he does speak though and by then he's already peeled an entire finger-root. "I'm sorry about your foot," he mutters under his breath, darting a quick look to the bandaged ankle and then up to her before looking down again at his work. "… is it bad?"

Tyani just nods and bends her head back to her work, a tendril of blonde hair falling to cover her face. She's tense, her movements a little stiff as she works on her tuber. First peeled, then diced neatly. "It's not broken." So not /that/ bad. "But I'll be off it for a sevenday or so, at least. It's swollen and bruised. A bad sprain." She darts a look at him that he can't see through her hair.

She'll see Rayathess pause in his peeling, his brows knitted and the expression on his features one of guilt and regret and, most of all, he looks ashamed. It's a wonder he just doesn't set down the knife and the root and just walk away (and truthfully he's tempted to!). Of course, he doesn't know she can see this and so he's not as cautiously guarded in which emotions he shows. "I'm sorry." is all he can say, lamely, in reply. What else can be done?

Tyani nods slightly, returning to her cutting. She'll accept his apology…for now. "Why were you so upset?" Right. She's still /curious/, and now that it's safe(r) to pry, she's going to ask.

Rayathess answers her again in lingering silence. He's not ready to talk about it, not with her at least but he cannot find any way around answering her that isn't rude or impolite — which normally wouldn't bother him. Only… he was such an asshole to her and is the cause of her injury so he owes her something right? "It's a long story." he mutters under his breath. "…but I was asked to stand as witness to a trial and it — it didn't go well." He'll let Tyani try to assume the rest.

Tyani smirks a bit at that, her laugh soft but light. "And where am I going to go?" she asks, turning her head and tossing her hair so she can look at him. "Ahh. What trial?" She's just going to keep asking questions…

Rayathess's mood seems to lift a bit when she laughs softly. That's a good sign, right? He smirks and gives it to her… Where would she go? He sighs and resumes his peeling, his expression back to looking grim and closed off. "Tyani… there's just some things about me — about my past that I'm not ready to talk about yet, alright?" he tells her gently. In other words: he doesn't trust her yet to open up entirely about his past. "They were sentencing the men and women from Ustrr's camp." He'll say that much at least!

Tyani is /really/ curious now, and she's itching to ask more but she'll respect his privacy. If only because he was honest about it. She /will/ be going to look up Stonehaven in the archives though. "I heard about that," she says with a small nod. "Thieves and trying to kill people…" She shudders.

Won't she be in for a treat when she gets a hold of those records in the archives! Just about all of Rayathess' history is in there (not all the nitty gritty — but enough). "Yeah. Yeah, that's about the gist of it." Never mind he was one of the targets. Still, that doesn't explain why Rayathess took it so poorly and he doesn't give Tyani any further leads. He just continues to peel until she tells him to stop.

Tyani nods her head a little bit with furrowed brows. "Do you usually get so…?" Crazy? She doesn't say it, just glances at him. "There's got to be better ways to let off some steam."

Rayathess frowns and again his hand hesitates, the paring knife resting idle against the root vegetable he's peeling. She didn't say it, but it's implied and he does not look at her. "Sometimes. I've got a lot better in controlling my temper over the Turns but I can lose control if put under too much pressure or stress." And when she reads up on those records, she'll understand. He snorts, "Oh, I don't doubt it and half of them I won't do or can't do. So." He shrugs.

Tyani lifts her brows at him. "That was better?" She doesn't sound judgmental, just surprised. "Why was the trial so stressful for you?" She dips her head to the tubers again, her dice neat and precise when she takes her time with it. "What's the half you won't do?"

"That was better," Rayathess admits with a grimace and a hint of shame to his voice. She may not be judging him, but he's hard on himself. He sighs and can find no way around her question without flat out ignoring her. He tries, likely trying to channel a but of Ha'ze's mannerisms and — fails. Miserably. "Because I knew one of the women on trial." Can he leave it at that. Please? In an effort to shock her off that track, he'll answer her next question bluntly. "Heavy drinking or other substance abuse, brawling or sex." Hey, she asked?

Tyani looks startled. "How?" Yeah, she's going to ask. Then she pauses, and shakes her head. "Those things aren't worth it anyway. They just cause /more/ problems, not less. I meant like…running or riding that stallion of yours. Playing music, dancing, sailing…"

Rayathess's eyes narrow and he looks up from his work to give Tyani a lingering stare. How? "It's complicated," he grumbles and looks down again. So, no, she won't get the story. He's being an asshole but really, can he be blamed? A kitchen is no where to spill one's life secrets and past and he's only known her for so short a time. "It's winter, I can't ride my runner and I'm not really… social for dancing. CAn't sail," he remarks dryly.

Tyani tsks. "A non social Harper? I've never heard of such a thing." You're all sorts of special, Rayathess. "Everyone should know how to sail."

"I said for dancing!" Rayathess sighs, "I am social otherwise." Obviously! He is all sorts of special and Tyani will just have to puzzle it all out. He gives her another look as he sets a peeled tuber aside with the others. "Why?"

Tyani tsks again. "I thought all Harpers knew how to dance. I thought that was a class you all had to take. What if some Lady or Weyrwoman asks you to dance? You can't very well say no. And because. You never know when you'll be on the ocean. You should know how to control the vessel, just in case."

Rayathess has to close his eyes a moment and control his temper from flaring at her patronizing tone. "Yes, mother…" he mumbles in a sarcastic tone. "And I CAN dance, I just choose not to recreationally. If I am at an event that requires I dance formally with a Lady or Weyrwoman, then of course I will dance." He just doesn't do it for fun. See? And that shouldn't be a surprise. 'Fun' doesn't look to be on the top of Rayathess' list. "So let me guess? You're a master at dancing and you can sail too?" Miss perfect.

Tyani eyes him. "I'm not your mother," she huffs. Because she's not dead. Oooh, burn. She lifts her chin at his next statements. "I am a very good dancer but no, I can't sail. Father wouldn't let me learn but I wanted to."

"Well you're acting like one," Rayathess counters in a grumbled tone. So, nyah! He shakes his head and resumes peeling though he's starting to grow very tired of the chore. "Your father didn't let you do much of anything, did he?"

Imagine how tired /she/ is of it. And she has days left, too. "No, he didn't," she says quietly, her voice a bit distant. "He wanted me at home, safe and sound. Where he could keep an eye on me and always have me around even when he couldn't stand to look at me."

Rayathess would feel terrible if she ever pointed that out. Bad enough he's regretting having taken a jab at her about her father's protectiveness. "I'm sorry…" he tells her. How many times is he going to say that in one day when meeting with her? And seeing as he's already started digging the hole… why not go deeper? "Do you miss home?"

Tyani shrugs, flashing him a too-bright smile. "Not your fault. Now I'm here. And I do sometimes. I miss my brother Vahyl. Things were easier at home, but…easy isn't always best, you know?"

Rayathess knows what a too-bright smile means and so he treads carefully. "Yeah, I know," he murmurs in agreement and leaves it at that. Eventually, he'll tire of peeling and figure he's done enough for one sitting to make up for more apologizing. Glancing about the kitchens, he'll then turn to Tyani. "Is there… somewhere I can speak to you privately for a moment?" he asks in a lowered tone.

Tyani eyes him for a long moment, grey-green eyes suspicious. "Sure," she finally says, setting her knife down and shifting off the stool. She takes up her cane as well. "I'm going back to the stores for a moment," she calls. Everyone see her leaving with Rayathess? Safety first! She limps towards one of the doorways that leads to the much quieter store caverns.

Rayathess slowly stands, brushing his hands clean and then, when everyone is looking at them, pretends to offer Tyani his hand in a respectful way. Safety first! And see? He's just going to help her over there. Isn't that nice of him? He'll patiently follow along side her at her pace and once they're inside the store room, he'll push the door quietly shut but not entirely. No need to freak her out? "About the other day," he begins, fumbling awkwardly and he reaches into his vest pocket. "… I know I already said I was sorry but words can be… meaningless at times." Not that his were! He really meant it and to prove it… "Here." He pulls out a bundle wrapped cleverly in a soft but warm cloth. What it turns out to be is a gift of a scarf and wrapped inside of it a pair of insulated gloves. Both are a neutral colour and look close to brand new.

Tyani is surprised he knows how to be a gentleman, and she'll take his arm in support. She stays by the door, watching him curiously but also warily. "You got me a present?" Color her shocked as she reaches out to take it, almost letting the gloves drop as she opens it. "Oooooh," she says, her eyes lighting up. She's a *bit* superficial. "These are beautiful! And they look so warm, too…" She flashes him a grin, and a light laugh. "Do they come with a tour of the outside of the Hall?"

Rayathess can be a gentleman when he puts the effort in to being one! He'll twitch when she almost drops the gloves, half way through reaching for them and then hastily moving back when she manages to keep a hold. Even with her positive reaction, he's a touch uncomfortable and so very awkward, lifting a hand to scrub at the back of his neck. "They could, if you wanted and when… you're healed." Grimace. Sorry?

Tyani loops the scarf around her neck and then pulls the gloves on, wiggling her fingers and smiling. "These are /very/ nice, Rayathess. Not from the stores, you can tell." Or if they are…he shouldn't say anything. She smiles at him again, this one more genuine. "Thank you. It's a deal." And then…uh. She leans forward and up to kiss his cheek. It's a /habit/.

Rayathess will keep his mouth firmly shut because these ARE from the stores. He had to dig and claw through Faranth knows how much stuff until he found those two items. Instead he will only smile faintly for her thanks and he lets his guard down to turn and reach for the doorknob. They're done right? Apparently not. Apparently, she's going to kiss him! Just on the cheek, but she may as well have kissed him on the lips from the way he just blinks at her. Uh. "You're welcome…" he manages to say after clearing his throat.

Tyani blushes, a bit embarrassed at her moment of impulsiveness. She peels off the gloves and sticks them in her pocket, but she artfully twists the scarf and she's clearly going to keep wearing it. Then she gives a little giggle and hobbles out.

If Rayathess knew her better or was a different man… Tyani would have found herself properly kissed. The thought may flicker across his mind but he brushes it off and ignores it, passing it as a fleeting thing and a knee-jerk reaction to her getting close enough to kiss his cheek. He'll hold the door open for her as she hobbles out and he'll see her back to her spot in the kitchens. "I'll see you later, Tyani." he murmurs.

Tyani settles up onto the stool again and smiles at him. "Take care, Rayathess. Stay warm."

Rayathess snorts softly but it actually sounds faintly amused. "Yeah, I will. You too." he mutters and lingers for an awkward half a second but whatever he was going to add he never speaks it. Instead he turns away and walks back towards the lower tunnels that will lead him back up into the main level of the Hall. Well… that didn't go so bad!