“Something mundane in the life of Indis and Teldryn? Bickering as they try to cook together and the guests will be there any minute but for some reason Teldryn is shirtless and covered in butter.” –themageandthemisanthrope
“I told you to leave your shirt on.”
Teldryn scowled at the petite woman standing beside him, ignoring the smug little smile that was tugging at the corners of her mouth and the wicked, amused glint in her eye. He lifted a hand, mumbling an irate curse under his breath as he dragged his palm across his chest. He let out a bemoaned sigh as the scorched butter that had popped and sizzled, flying out of the pan to land on him, left a slick, greasy smudge on his skin. He cast a sideways glance at the threadbare linen shirt he had abandoned on the back of a nearby chair before snatching up a nearby dishrag to wipe away at the slimy substance that had matted the wiry black hairs, plastering them to his chest. After silently counting to ten, to mentally calm himself and push back the biting remark he knew was bubbling up, he spoke.
“Well, we wouldn’t have had this mess if someone had just followed the recipe’s instructions in the first place,” he grumbled, snatching up the cookbook that had been lying ignored next to the stove. He shook it at Indis, who was now frowning, her arms folded across her chest, yellowed pages flapping back and forth before he snapped it shut and tossed it aside. “Did you follow the directions at all?”
Indis let out a haughty little sniff, blinking at him silently for a few seconds, ignoring the tomato seed that had gotten lodged in the thick fringe of her dark lashes during the pot’s explosion. Finally, she shrugged.
“There were a lot of things it wanted me to do,” she sighed, gesturing to the now closed cookbook. “There were too many steps. I got a late start on all of this and I figured I didn’t have time to follow it by the book so I… improvised.” She paused to chuckle, her laugh surprisingly light, airy, and carefree given the situation. “I didn’t even know tomatoes could explode like that,” she giggled, flicking away a pulpy strand of red that had settled on her shoulder.
Teldryn sucked in air through gritted teeth. His hands flew to his head and he raked his fingers through his mohawk. His fingers tugged at the tips and lobes of his ears before finally falling to his side. Frustrating little fetcher, he silently fumed, watching her pick up the wooden spoon she had tucked into the pocket of her apron, prodding at what remained in the once full, roiling pot. He clenched his jaw, squashing the urge to grab her by her tiny shoulders and shake her ruthlessly while he laughed at the absurdity of the situation, of the vegetable hanging in strings from the ceiling, and at the meager, scorched food that was supposed to be a fancy, frivolous dinner for several guests. He wasn’t surprised by this particular turn of events, though. The more wild, absurd moments seemed to be a daily occurrence since they had made a home together.
He tucked his hands into his pockets, fingers still wriggling and twitching in frustration. “You know, I’m not going to help you here, sera,” he drawled. “This was all your doing, both the plans for the dinner and the mess. I think I’ll let you clean it up.”
“Tel, no,” she gasped, the spoon dropping into the pot with a clatter. She wrung her hands in a wild panic, her eyes widening until they were almost comically large. “Please, please help me put together some food.” She bit her lip and glanced out of the nearby narrow window, leaning back into the dying afternoon light to get a better look. “People will be here any minute.”
“I said I wouldn’t help you and I mean it.”
She let out a defeated sigh as she turned away, shuffling a few steps before slumping against the wall, resting her head on the cool stone. After a few seconds had ticked by, she turned her head and one green eye peeked out from behind a curtain of dark hair. She was no doubt checking to see if he was still there. He groaned, dragging a hand down his face. You’re going soft, Sero.
“Fine, I’ll help you, but if anyone asks why they only get pickled slaughterfish and old Eidar cheese for dinner, you’re the one who’s going to explain why that’s the case.”