Where There's Smoke

Description:

Margot Dupuis

    Rose to Purple Dusk
  • Hearth Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    Child Minder & Cut Mender
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    0 marks
Where There's Smoke
« on: August 10, 2018, 10:57:02 PM »
If Margot’s face got any hotter she would start to steam. A single tear hovered in the inner corner of her eye. She blinked it free, letting it roll down the side of her nose. She was not a weepy woman by nature, but anger always seemed to make her eyes water.

She was walking fast around the outskirts of the village. Imri’s dark head on her shoulder. Young legs looped around her waist, hooked on her narrow hips to help stay up. Once or twice he complained softly that he could walk on his own. The knot on his ankle made her think he was lying. Or trying to be tough.

Either way she ignored him in favor of focusing her craft. It wrapped between his toes and danced all the way up to his calves. Soothing the sprain and preventing more swelling. Her hands were locked around her wrists, making a sturdy seat for his bum. Her long hair loose and mingling with the boy’s curls.

He was fretting, she thought, like a proper little man. Trying to think of a way to make her put him down. Unless he was thinking about the scene she had just caused. Either way he chewed his bottom lip, casting pleading looks over his shoulder towards the house.

They had a nice little place. Margot had only been inside once, and she’d not paid much attention to the actual house. But she knew where it was. Like a beacon at the back of her mind. Same as her parents’ house. No matter where on the village she was Margot knew which direction Absalon’s place lay in.

”Lor- no. Um. Absalon,” She called as they got closer. Holding his suddenly squirmy boy still she tried to prepare her defense. When she wasn’t greeted in the yard she made for the door. With Imri insistent on getting down. He could tell that something wasn’t right. Eyes on doorway. Seeing what Margot did not. Thick wisps of smoke pouring out from underneath. Then framing the whole doorway as it was thrown open. ”What in Hell’s name…”
@dergon

Absalon Croix

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Fisherman & Diver
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 06:30:16 AM »

All he’d had to do was stoke the oven and put the dish in. Clary had promised him, dish made in exchange for fish enough for three of the same. So Absalon had settled the logs in the stove and set them to smoking with craft. Put the dish in the oven and left it be just as she’d told him. Promising that even he couldn’t make a mess of it with a sweet, if sassy smile. Her daughter had a similar grin, Absalon had noticed. Her son too, but he hadn’t been asked to see him through his virgin night.

And now his house was on fire. Or at least his stove was, smoking and hissing. Dark clouds billowing from the oven and grey wisps spilling from the firebox. Cursing, he opened the shutters on the windows. Which only seemed to worsen things. The doors on the stove were too damn hot to open and the smoke growing thicker, so Absalon had to give in, and flee.

Spilling out of the door with the smoke, he nearly ran over Margot and Imri. He hadn’t heard her calling over his own cursing, or the sound of his damn cabin burning to the ground for a bit of fish casserole. Margot was cursing too. Raising his eyebrows at her in surprise, Absalon gripped her elbow and steered her away from the steps. Net rough hand stroking her arm as he looked her and his boy over, Imri’s eyes wide with secrets and worries. It made him pull them both a little closer.

”I think our dinners burning,” he explained to the boy, glancing at Margot over his dark head. His Opal chasing the heat and trying to dampen the fire he’d started in the stove. At least the smoke was slowly clearing, and no flames were licking up his walls. Imri squirmed, trying to work free of Margot and onto Absalon. Collected by his father without thought or slip. A lifetime of practiced habit easing them together.

Margot Dupuis

    Rose to Purple Dusk
  • Hearth Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    Child Minder & Cut Mender
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2018, 11:49:40 AM »
Healer first- Margot pressed a probe to Absalon. ”Are you hurt?” Worried by the smoke she shuffled over faster. They near collided. Expression unreadable Absalon led them away from the worst of the smoke. Her sudden flick of fear lessened under his steady hand. Wide shoulders a barrier between them and the danger. Shifting to settle Imri on her hip Margot absently tucking his reaching hand back around her neck. Forgetting for a moment he was for Absalon and not her own to protect. It was the training overseer’s fault.

Imri scrambled for his father again. This time the exchange was made. Margot’s attention turning towards the house. Fire was the trickster element. Never taming, always looking for ways to get free of human attempts to contain its power. Burns were the worst sort of pain, too. So she had to make sure her friend was alright before turning to the next problem. A few threads of her Rose started to clear the smoke. ”Don’t let him stand on that ankle.” She instructed.

She hummed thoughtfully as she searched with Rose probes. No flames that she could see or sense. Stepping closer to the door she looked for the source of the smoke. Then wrenched at the oven with Craft. Another thick waft of smoke puffing out from it when she got it open. Stepping up to the threshold she peered in from the stoop. Burning grease her hearth witch’s nose said. Scorched fish and a lot of smoke. ”Definitely burned. Maybe the stove too, but I could probably mend that.”

Fingers dancing on the doorpost she swept the smoke out with her Purple Dusk. Clearing the air in the house. ”What were you trying to cook?” She decided it must have been the foods fault somehow. In all the ways she knew Absalon he was a very capable man. Not the sort to idly start house fires by accident. While the last of the smoke cleared she wandered back to them. A hand for each warlord, placed on one broad and one small shoulder. ”If you don’t mind, I can see what salvageable of the food? And what went wrong with the oven.”

Absalon Croix

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Fisherman & Diver
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 06:37:56 AM »

”Not a bit.” His skin twitched under the probe in warning. As all men he’d been trained to be a hunter, a warrior, first. Like few he’d been allowed to have his own nature. Some things could only be bred or beaten into a man. Others could not be trained out. But other than a little twitching, Absalon did not react to her probe.

Let Margot do her fussing while he did his. Broad hands petting and shepherding, getting them away from the smoke that rolled down the steps on his heels. Grinning as she pulled Imri’s arm back around her neck. The boy widened his eyes at his father in question. Absalon shrugged in reply. Women.

”What is wrong with his ankle?” Absalon asked, tucking Imri against him. He followed Margot’s probe in case she had need of him, and sent one of his own over his boy. He did not have the healer’s sight, however, and only made Imri wiggle and laugh. ”Shh now.” He quieted him with a grin. Distracted only for a moment. It was all Margot needed, inching closer to the burning house.

”Margot.” He warned, hand tightening on her arm. She didn’t seem to heed him. Slinking up to his doorway and poking his house with her Rose. Absalon followed, shielding them from the smoke and any heat that might come licking out. Margot seemed unafraid, however. Absalon felt the dolt, standing on his own porch, Imri safe in his arms, while Margot investigated his smoking cabin.

Stove rattling and smoke vanishing out the windows and doors as if it had never been. He held his shield steady, even if the heat never came and no flames presented themselves. Just in case. Imri was watching too, hands clasped over Absalon’s shoulder, his head resting on that.

”A casserole from Clary.” He’d probably need to get her a new pan now. And a new stove. It didn’t seem right asking Margot to fix what he’d broken. She came back to them then, settling hands on their shoulders. Absalon stroked her elbow. She was a good, sweet girl. Danger over now, he let his shields fall away, looking over her shoulder into the house. Imri stirred at his hip and whispered in his ear. Hungry like any hollow legged boy.

”Alright.” He agreed, glancing at her. Nearly eye to eye. It was pleasant. ”But you let me pay you, for the trouble.” And there was still Imri’s ankle to get to the bottom of. And why Margot had been carrying him home. He ushered them all inside, depositing the boy in a chair.

Margot Dupuis

    Rose to Purple Dusk
  • Hearth Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    Child Minder & Cut Mender
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 10:23:32 PM »
With Imri released from her unconscious possessiveness Margot let out a long sigh. Trying not to concentrate on the answer to his question. At least not the long answer. Exhaling she puffed it up through her cheeks so the too short to restrain hairs that framed her face were stirred. ”Just a minor sprain, I’m sure.” Which was how she had found him. Tearing him from his training. That wasn’t a story for then, though. There was a fire to put out.

If he would let go of her arm. Smiling to herself Margot pretended it wasn’t there. Not quite sure what to make of such things anyway. Much easier to focus on the work that needed doing. Unafraid of any potential flames, especially with his shields to guard her. They had proven true once before. Surely they would keep her safe this time too.

Happy when they were unneeded in the end. ”No fire at all. That’s good.” She chirped once the smoke had dissipated. The corners of her already smiling mouth tucking deeper as she turned towards the pretty picture they made. Father and son both watching her with the same eyes.

”Maybe something spilled over…” Brows straining towards one another she tried to guess. Expecting there was grease, or dropped potato at the heart of the problem. Shy at her hovering Imri told his father secrets. Making Margot’s cheeks pinken. Was he telling that she had yelled at the hunting instructor and caused a scene? She hoped not.

Whatever it was the men didn’t share. So she offered to see what could be done about their dinner. And the stove. Shoulders working up towards her ears as he agreed, on his own terms. ”Well, let’s see if it’s any trouble first.” She didn’t want him to pay her for a friendly gesture.

She could use a mark or two if she were being honest. Plus Absalon was kind and fair. He wouldn’t expect anything… untoward. His house was a safe place. They went inside together. Margot first, smirking at his shepherding. Then the two Croixs. Her nose led her straight to the kitchen. Pan coaxed from the oven with a little Craft. She set it on the counter. Not a promising sight at all. Someone had forgotten to stir the dish. Leaving the fish fillets on top. They must have dripped oil into the open flames.

With a glance around the kitchen she bit her lip over the distinct lack of cooking utensils. A small filleting knife would have to do. She scraped it along the flaky meat to see how burned the food was. ”This isn’t so bad.” She decided as the overcooked portion was easily scratched off.

After cleaning a section of counter she called in a basket from her cabinet. Similar to the one that had spilled the day they collided on the path. ”Imri would you like something now while I fix this?” It would have to go back in the oven. Which would have to be cleaned first. ”I have pomegranate, mango, or a banana.”

That would keep him occupied while she sliced sweet peppers to cover any charred flavor lingering in their meal. She looked over at Absalon from under her lashes. ”Before anyone else tells you, I may have embarrassed him a little today. I’m sorry.” In a rush to get the words out she only half explained. ”His ankle was twisted! I thought he was going to cry there in front of everyone. And that awful man was fussing at him to walk it off. It just made me so angry! You know? Then he didn’t want to let me have him, since I’m not his mother. Which is unfair, because he hasn’t a mother to go fetch him if he’s hurt himself. I know it isn’t my place… but, but, but…” she sighed, and cut the next pepper fiercely. ”I’m sorry. I hope they don’t give either of you any trouble.”

Absalon Croix

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Fisherman & Diver
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 06:23:55 AM »

Margot seemed to have forgotten them. Absalon stood beside Imri’s chair, hand resting on the curved point of its back. They both watched her do strange things in their kitchen. Sweeping his hair back from his face, Absalon tried to remember when a woman had last been in his kitchen at all. He and Imri shared a look, both shrugging. It was all a mystery to them.

They were both entranced, however. Imri was especially interested when she called in a basket of fruit. He plucked at his father’s shirt while trying to decide. He’d had a mango from her last time. But he like pomegranates and bananas both. Could he have both? Absalon shook his head and plucked a banana from the basket, peeking over Margot’s shoulder to see what she did with the dish while he was at it.

”Here. You are too messy to be eating pomegranates in the house.” He ruffled Imri’s dark curls to make up for his less than kind words. They just happened to be the truth. Distracted by the treat, Imri did not mind when he father left him to lean on the counter edge. Watching Margot cut peppers that were not theirs, with a knife he suspected was not theirs either.

”Oh?” He encouraged, raising his eyebrows and lips at her. She did not need much encouraging. Margot stormed into the explanation like she’d stormed into his kitchen. Absalon smiled less as she did, fierceness creeping into his heart. ”I know.” He said to keep her talking, even though he didn’t. Absalon suspected though. Awful man. She must have meant the hunting master, the man who trained nearly all the boys of their village. ”No, he does not.” Absalon looked at his motherless son, playing with shells and his banana peel.

”I will just give them trouble back,” he said softly. Absalon had already exchanged words with that man once. And very nearly blows. ”Don’t be sorry, Margot. We both appreciate you looking out for Imri, even if he is too young to realize he is.” The boy looked over, attuned to nearly every shift of his father’s moods, which were not many. Absalon smiled back at him and the whole house seemed to settle.

”I will talk to him, and I assume it is the hunting master.” He picked up a sliver of pepper and sniffed it. Curious if she always walked around with a basket of food in her cabinet. He supposed it was a clever trick when she looked after to many hollow legged boys. ”Is there anything I can do to help?” He offered with a bewildered look at all of it, and a suspicious glance at the oven.

Margot Dupuis

    Rose to Purple Dusk
  • Hearth Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    Child Minder & Cut Mender
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2018, 10:31:31 PM »

Margot could see the signs of his discontent. A father’s cool anger making his shoulders tense and his gentle face hard. Brow low and smile gone. Part of her wished that she could take it all back. Keep the story to herself, and not trouble him.

But for Imri’s sake she would not. If she pretended nothing had happened, then it very well might again. She didn’t want to worry Absalon, but what else was there? He was all Imri had in the way of parents. Their eyes both drifted towards the boy. Oblivious to the conversation he entertained himself without concern for the adults.

”Well that one deserves a bit of trouble to be honest.” Unkind old man! He would bully anyone he could get away with bullying. The real hunters couldn’t be spared to teach the boys, so the retired old man pretended at training up the youngsters. Maybe he really did and Margot was just biased now that he had upset her. ”Oh. I’m glad I was there to help him.”

They were a fine pair. She watched them, slicing the last bell pepper into thin strips. All the small round seeds were collected in a small satchel she called in from her cabinet. Later she could dry them to mix in with other seasonings. Now the fish dish was a bit more colorful, and a lot less burned.

Turning from one task to the next seamlessly she crouched in front of his open oven. ”Yes, the hunting master. I should have said.” A trickle of doubt worked its way into her mind. Needling her as she surveyed the oven with a critical eye. It had not been cleaned in a while, she could tell. It was also not often used. ”You can taste it if you like.” She told him, tipping her chin at the pepper between his fingers.

Standing again she wiped her hands over one another as if dusting them, despite having touched nothing. Hiding her mouth and it’s giggles, behind her fingers she nodded at his question. Or offer. Silly man, making those eyes. She almost wondered if he’d never been in his own kitchen before. ”Do you have wood? It would be better to start fresh.” She could make the charcoaled logs work if she had to.

Without much fanfare they cleared the oven. A fresh fire stocked to life with Craft before she slipped their dinner back in to finish. Touches of her Rose left in her wake. One to time the food, one to mind the heat of the fire. Hands cleaned she leaned on his counter and sighed. Returning to the previous conversation. ”I just happened by, and I saw him being tender footed. So I tried to ask Imri if he was alright- but the hunting master interrupted to tell me it was none of my business. We argued a bit over whether I would have a look or not. It isn’t badly hurt at all, I was just so mad.” Maybe the ladies in the village were right. ”They all say I’m too soft on the boys, it’s why none of the young mothers hire me. I just don’t think a bit of love or concern is going to ruin their chances of being raider heroes or master hunters.”

It hadn’t hurt own brother any! Nor most of the men she knew. They’d been coddled by their mothers and turned out just fine.

Absalon Croix

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Fisherman & Diver
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    0 marks
Re: Where There's Smoke
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 08:31:50 PM »

”You didn’t need to.” She had already, just not in so many words. Some did need trouble, Absalon had learned. Men who couldn’t see beyond their own noses unless you broke them. Even then it was more of a bitter submission than any real learning. And the hunting master was one such. Absalon would have to have words with him. Again.

”This?” He turned the pepper slice over in his fingers, frowning at it. He’d forgotten it almost, watching her fuss at his kitchen, the smell of it like something freshly burnt in his nostrils. Cleaner than the underly smokey smell of the kitchen. Shrugging he snapped it in half between his teeth and chewed, finding the flavor much like the smell. He dropped the rest in the pan and nodded, fetching her wood from the box he kept it in.

”He is bitter in his old age.” He answered once the stove was clean and burning again. Absalon did not forgive it. Respect, once earned, needed kept and he was fast losing any he had possessed for the hunt master. Margot did not seem very keen on him either, defending his son as if he were her own. Absalon approved. ”Young mothers worry too much, I think.” He looked the oven over, the smells radiating from it much more pleasant than those they had walked in on.

Imri had noticed too, abandoning his play at the table to come lean against his father leg. He swung in the space between Absalon and Margot, hands twisting his father’s loose fishing pants. His eyes darted from father to Margot to oven and back. Absalon ruffled his hair and did not correct him.

”Worry about things they can’t decide anyhow.” Imri grinned, eyes and cheeks creasing with it. His ears bounced with the expression, peeking out if his dark curls. ”They’ll learn, and regret their silliness, don’t you worry Margot.” It was a shame. She was good with the children. Especially all the wild young boys.

”Is it ready yet?” Begged Imri, still empty despite the banana. Absalon laughed and tugged his ear. ”Patience!” He warned.

 

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