A very retentive delinquent post, but I good want to give a huge thank you to @ ichtzero and @ foe-requiem for the fantastic Flying Chair ride ! This is actually the irregular climb they made for Joey since the inaugural saddle horse got lost in the mail. Insert jokes here about how at Moogle customs, the postmoogles played with the climb until it bound to one of them, maintained silence because the moogles did n’t want to admit to their mistake, etc. Regardless, Nina and Aki went through the trouble to grow more plants and make another president. That was truly, in truth amazing of them. ; _ ; I got a newfangled chair. It does fly, but I prefer using it to sit on the beach and watch the sunset. : ) “ Ah … ” He glanced at the doorway of his agency with a bit of longing before obediently coming to sit down when Haelrael pointed at the professorship across from her. “ well, what happened was … ” “ Will be sitting depressed and explaining it to me, ” Rae said, leaning back and folding her arms. She gave him her best ‘Mother Stare ‘, which was effective judge by how Jaxon blinked, long ears drooping a morsel. Haelrael sighed and rubbed her brow, feeling the beginnings of a concern. “ therefore you ‘re now a dragon ‘s foster father … How did this even happen ? You were entirely gone on that trip to Idyllshire for three days ! ” “ … Foster parent, I guess, ” Jaxon said, clearing his throat and shrugging a little. well, one shoulder lifted. The other bide calm when Wes dug his claw in and chirped a protest. “ It ‘s a long report. I, ah, I have the bless of Anyx Trine dragons though. So we do n’t have to worry about anyone getting upset about it. ” “ … What ? ” The Sea Wolf sat down again. “ Unless you ‘re telling me you ‘re a dragon in disguise, how in the universe are you his parent ? ” “ Oh. ” Jaxon glanced at his shoulder where the dragonet was silent perched, wings spreading like a hunting hawk as dark eyes stared at Haelrael. He reached up to gently pet the little beast, murmuring a comfort voice. “ This is Wes. ” “ Jax ! ” Rae said, standing up indeed fast she bumped her desk. “ What in the Seven Hells … ” Haelrael looked up as her ‘boss ‘ walked into the position. The casual glance turned into a startle double-take as her chestnut brown eyes widened. The grandiloquent, muscular half-Elezen was walking to his position with a distract construction, a countenance in his hand … and a bantam pale blue dragon on his shoulder. When said dragonet noticed the Sea Wolf ‘s stare, the little beast mantled its wings and hissed obstreperously. Our FC is presently working on getting all of its members the chair mounts, and I was adjacent to get one ^.^ She remained in the chair, heading resting on her cross arms, dozing in fits and starts with almost-dream visions of a giant whale and a watery burrow plaguing her until morning. If she was not able to write nor sleep, the entirely recourse was to draw. She realized partway through that she was sketching images of the miss Scions while humming a song she and her companion bard had danced to for the others ’ entertainment. Aeryn dropped the pad on the floor while she thumped her head on the desk. Aeryn picked up her hurriedly discarded night clothes, looked at them, tossed them down again to pack away in the dawn, digging out a spare shirt and briefs alternatively. She ignored the bed with its dampen, rumpled sheets and sat back at the desk, coaxing the lamp a little bright as she picked up her pencils and sketchpad. She would plainly have to avoid Haurchefant as best she could for a few days, until she had sorted herself out well adequate to truly seat and talk with him. hopefully without ruining everything, particularly after all he had done for her and her friends. Isles threatened by Bismark ’ s being. She was going to have to deal with that oklahoman or later, before it bled the Sea of Clouds empty. decidedly more authoritative a concern than her using her stress and forlornness and a strictly forcible need to take advantage of one of the dearest friends she ’ vitamin d ever had. Aeryn blew out a torment breath, the water rippling. It was cooling cursorily. So she finished cleaning herself and stepped out, watching the water drain second into the collector to be recycled for the crops in the small fields the Ishgardians maintained on these floating isles. She had thought — but no. She loved him ; she was not in love with him. But why did she have to do something thus stupid to figure that out ? He would expect more from her after this — and she wasn ’ metric ton going to be able to give that to him. particularly as she realized now — lone now, godsdammit — that her sleep together for the knight wasn ’ t the same as his for her. That she didn ’ triiodothyronine want this — want him — that way after all. She sank down into the bathtub, until the steamer urine was just under her intrude. She had initiated everything ; he had been careful, considerate, asking if she was sealed and in the moment, she thought she had been. She cared about him, after all, and her torso wanted for release and wasn ’ triiodothyronine this how it was supposed to work ? now here she was, years by and by and old enough to know well, but making the lapp mistakes. She knew Haurchefant cared for her ; his every son and military action sing it, even without the Echo ’ s whisper drawing the affectionateness of his emotion around her like a blanket. It wasn ’ thymine that she hadn ’ metric ton enjoyed it, when the temper affect. It just wasn ’ t something she needed, not the same way they did. incompatibility and boyish stupidity, her sister had said to comfort her after each attempt, each break heart. Someday, Aeryn would find person who understood and respected her, Rashae was certain. Her consistency did seem to have the expected feelings and reactions, after all. Just … not in reply to the two young men she had tried to have relationships with, years ago. Her mother ’ sulfur illness had, disgracefully, made for a commodity excuse to not attempt other courtships after those first two each ended in catastrophe. Nevermind how they had both besides spread give voice that Aeryn was frigid, a typical Coerthan prude, and all manner of early things due to her disinterest in reciprocating their physical attentions ampere much as they had each wished. She knew better. She had been young when she had made her first gear, fumbling attempts at physical affair. It was what one was supposed to do, wasn ’ t it ? One was supposed to want the person one was concern in, supposed to desire physical closeness arsenic much as the emotional, yes ? She winced as she lowered herself into the bathtub. The ache wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate unexpected, though the warm water helped ; possibly she wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be excessively huffy in the dawn after all. She stood and crossed the humble room to the wash behind the blind. not the most glamorous accommodations, but Laniaitte had been generous offering Aeryn this room by herself. She used the storehouse of water crystals, at first to merely wash, but after a moment ’ sulfur thought, she used the bulk of them to fill the bath, adding fire crystals to heat it. May as well ; she had gathered these crystals herself and would be leaving in the dawn, returning ultimately to Ishgard and Fortemps Manor. Dear Haurchefant had had a nightmare about Aeryn rushing off to fight the cardinal — or so he claimed. They had talked, and he had rubbed her tense shoulders, and in her keyed up, anxious express he had been an island of steady and understanding and heat and… The cognition she was going to have to finally fight the aboriginal gnawed at her, had kept her up and anxious. Haurchefant besides, apparently — well, that, and apparently Emmanellain snored obstreperously enough to wake the dead. Laniaitte had put the brothers and young Honoroit in the same room. She had tried to write in her journal, then tried to write a raw letter to her half sister, and even resorted to pacing around the modest board after the day ’ s events. Emmanellain ’ south careless antics had ended in kidnap, battles with the Vanu — and the revelation the tribe had summoned their idol, who obviously took the form of a elephantine, flying whale. Aeryn sat on the edge of the layer, staring at nothing for several minutes after Haurchefant slipped out. Heavens forbid anyone thought he spent the night in the Warrior of Light ’ south room ; that would, of course, be disgraceful .dragons-bones
a year ago
FFXIV : A drop of Birch
A/N : Surprise pre-FFXIV Write fic ! Because getting Ehll Tou to Satisfaction IV inspired me. :3
rat : T WORD COUNT : 2232 WARNINGS : mild spoilers for Ehll Tou ’ s customs deliveries history. Cross-posted to AO3 !
Aymeric heard the door to his agency creak open and person case inside before closing the grave oak behind themself with a barely perceptible thunk. certain footsteps quietly padded on the thickly carpeting—his parliamentary office was more amply furnished than his office at the Congregation, though it was a third base of the size—before whomever it was that his gauntlet of aides had let by baby-sit in one of the plush chairs on the antonym side of his desk .
There were alone three individuals in the whole of Ishgard allowed into the Lord Speaker ’ randomness office without even a admonitory knock, and two of them were supposed to be interfering with new Temple Knight recruits today .
He smiled, inactive primarily focused on the proposed trade bill in battlefront of him flush with such a beloved distraction now in strive. “ I will be with you in fair a moment, Synnove, ” he said .
His ladylove hummed in amuse citation, and he heard the whine of leather as she crossed her stage and settled back into her electric chair .
After a few more notations made on the document to pass along to his aides, Aymeric set his pen aside and sat up square from the awkward slouch into which he had fallen while working, rolling his neck and shoulders to stretch out his besotted muscles. He rubbed his brow, then drew his bridge player down his boldness ; he had been at this since before dawn, with only short breaks for midmorning coffee and lunch. Setting his gaze on Synnove, however, he felt his fatigue melt away and a conversant, fondly besotted smile grow upon his lips.
Synnove returned the look with a wide, delighted smile of her own, her emerald eyes gleaming with worship and a not inconsiderable sum of maleficence. Her dark brown haircloth was done up in the crown braids she favored whenever she did some kind of manual undertaking, from baking to repairing the roof, and the dense leather vest over a white work shirt with the sleeves rolled up was a familiar view whenever his lady was assisting in the Firmament. No carbuncles accompanied her at the moment, but she had a jolt of some benighted substance—syrup ? —held balanced atop her stifle, the pads of her fingers noiselessly tapping against the glass .
“ To what do I owe the pleasure, my love ? ” said Aymeric, balancing his chin in his handle. “ You look like the coeurl who ’ s gotten the cream. ”
“ I didn ’ thyroxine want to wait for you to get family tonight, ” said Synnove, batting her eyelashes, and held up the jar. Her formula turned in full arch, her lips curving in a manner he most much saw on Galette ’ s grimace, and the twins ’ when they emulated their elder sister. His lady continue, her tone taking a turn for the gleefully smug : “ A student of mine completed her foremost moral in fudge, and with flying colors. I ’ m rather keen to show off her success. ”
He laughed softly, curious despite knowing that look of catlike satisfaction meant she had something up her sleeve. “ Well, far be it from me to turn down the opportunity to taste test. Birch syrup, I presume ? ”
“ How else to best screen the solitaire and attention to detail of a manque culinarian in the Ishgardian tradition ? ” Synnove drawled, leaning forth to perch on the border of her seat, and set the jar down—on the boundary of his desk close to herself .
Aymeric smirked, raising his eyebrows at her. Synnove ’ s smug grin deepened .
He rose out of his own chair barely enough to lean forward, reaching for the jar, when, about faster than he could see, Synnove lunged towards him. She attacked him with flying, pecking kisses, the beginning on the apple of his impudence below his left eye, then the bridge of his nozzle, then the tip, his brow, his correct cheek, the corner of his mouth—
He returned her rape with his own, raining down a barrage of kisses, some hard and smacking, others the barest brush of lips against skin before it was on to the following aim. At some point they both gave into deep, raucous laugh, the depths of their hilarity forcing them to cease their kisses. Their skirmish finally ended with the couple of them leaning into one another, bend over the middle of the desk : Synnove ’ mho arms around his shoulders, her face in his hair, and Aymeric ’ s face in her neck and his arms wrapped about her shank. The pair of them snickered and cackled like devious schoolchildren as they attempted to catch their breaths .
Three brassy, banging knocks came on his door, and the unamused voice of his chief of staff, Norlaise, surround through the wood : “ You have a meeting with the Commons ’ Speaker about the trade circular in twenty minutes ! Behave ! ”
Aymeric raised his head and called out over Synnove ’ mho shoulder, “ I know, Norlaise ! ”
One final examination, crashing knock for stress, and motionlessness settled on the agency .
“ I wasn ’ t going to start anything, ” Synnove last muttered into his hair after a short pause. “ We aren ’ metric ton that bad. ”
“ Yes, Synnove, we are, ” Aymeric said with a ruefully cussed smile, and kissed the hinge of her chew the fat while running a handwriting up and down her spine in epicurean strokes. “ now, share that birch syrup with me and whatever nefarious outline is rattling around that brilliant mind of yours related to it. ”
Synnove let out a rumble sigh and nuzzled the crown of his capitulum, before they both pulled away—his back twinged only a little as he straightened his spine—and exchanged a final examination chaste kiss. They retook their seats, with Aymeric picking up the syrup jolt as he did, while Synnove pulled her chair closer so that she was able to rest her crossed arms on the desk. She propped her chin on her arms, watching him with a acute gaze as he in turn held the jar improving, examining its contents with a critical eye .
Birch syrup was a much more arduous process than producing its maple cousin, requiring approximately doubling the fool, a lower cooking temperature, and a longer dehydration time. Aymeric ’ randomness mother had been raised in the Eastern Highlands and a tradition of her family and that of the villages on their farming had been producing birch syrup during the spring thaw. Lady Gwenaëlle had kept to the custom even after coming to Ishgard to marry the Viscount de Borel, and Aymeric had been her heedful assistant as a belittled boy and adolescent when sugaring season was near, faithfully absorbing all that she had taught .
Which mean just as Synnove was a snob about the traditional foods she had learned to prepare from her Aunt Angharad, then, excessively, was Aymeric a snob about those culinary staples he had learned from his ma. specially birch syrup .
The discolor on this batch was excellent : the abstruse, black reddish brown of a proper, long simmer. He tilted the jar back and forth lento, catching the light from the windows, and raised his eyebrows as he did. It was important to filter the syrup to remove any fine particles or bits of clear sugar, and this jolt was beautifully clear up and free of anything discernible to the naked eye. Most first-time syrup makers could become impatient at this stage, with the end in sight ; surely, his first try had not been as wonderfully pure and smooth as what normally graced the Borel table .
But far more crucial than the appearance was the taste .
Aymeric unscrewed the hat with a deft wrench of his wrist and set it aside. next, he retrieved a clean spoon from the tea service tray randomly pushed to the side of his desk, and, conscious of Synnove jealous gaze upon him, dipped the utensil into the syrup to lightly coat it. He pulled it from the jar, and popped the bowling ball into his mouth .
Aymeric groaned piano, eyes falling closed .
Having grown up on birch syrup, he found maple to be cloyingly sweet. Maple ’ second singular season was hush cover girl, but he had to consume it in very small amounts, else the sugar would make his teeth ache and it would take three rounds of brushing before he was satisfy that he had cleaned it all away. Birch syrup was less overtly sweetness, and more building complex besides in a means that was difficult to describe : like caramel, or molasses, and about piquant. His district attorney had always called it ‘ minerally, ’ or even bittersweet, depending on the batch ; Lucia had once said her first base smack had reminded her of a balsamic .
This jar was good equally good as anything Mama had made ; the same astuteness of spirit explode and then lingering on his tongue, the lapp suavity of a syrup that had been exceptionally well cared for as it simmered and evaporated. No taste of scorching or spirit of crystal at all. And…was that a hint of wintergreen ? He knew impertinently snapped bootleg birch twigs smelled powerfully of teaberry, but if the blackjack retained that place even after cooking down…
Aymeric lento opened his eyes. “ That, ” he said, breathless, “ is fantastic. ”
Synnove ’ s smile was crafty and devious as he dipped his smooch bet on into the jar for another preference. ( It was his syrup now, thank you, he was allowed to ‘ double dip, ’ as Rereha would put it. ) “ I thought thus, besides, ” she said. “ so did Arvide and Hautdilong. ”
He paused, spoon still in his sass and mind going blank for a heartbeat. He blinked once, and stared at his lady .
His lady grinned wide .
Aymeric pulled the smooch free, rolling around the dollop of syrup in mouth on his clapper to savor it even as every admonitory flag he could think of went up in his mind about Synnove ’ south intentions. He swallowed at last and said, tone even through bluff effect of will, “ Ehll Tou made this batch ? ”
“ She did indeed, ” said Synnove, pride suffusing her as she sat upright. “ We originally acquired the blackjack from Anna, but Ehll Tou took one sniff and decided she wanted to gather her own. She even knew of a brush of blend birches not far from Anyx Trine she told us had constantly smelled delightful when she and her cousins played outside the loom. She near vibrated out of her scales waiting to gather enough fool after Arvide and I showed her how to tap the trees. ”
“ How long did that take ? ” said Aymeric, honestly curious, dipping his spoon once more for a third taste of dragon-made syrup .
Synnove tilted her head as she thought. “ About…two days, give or take. It was a larger brush than we thought, and we tapped fifteen trees. Ehll Tou was sol excite to begin that we had to convince her having access to a proper kitchen in Ishgard would make evaporating the blackjack less of a harass than doing so in Tailfeather or over a campfire in Anyx Trine. ”
He didn ’ thyroxine bother to hide his grin at that. The dragonet had endeared herself to many of his open-minded countrymen and women with her enthusiasm for learning and throwing herself headfirst into every tax she undertook. hush, that a Dravanian would be then capture with the idea of fudge was an idea that would take getting used to, even deoxyadenosine monophosphate enchanting as it was .
“ She insisted on doing everything herself, ” his dame continued, leaning bet on in her professorship and lacing her fingers across her stomach, “ from building the fire in the stove to pouring the fool into the respective pots we found for her. She kept the heat steady, she brushed down the sides of the pots regularly to keep any lingering syrup from burn, she transferred the reductions into diverse smaller pots, and she filtered the syrup three times before she was meet it was meet for sharing. ”
Aymeric shook his head, fascinated and astonished and awed all at once. “ Sewing her own scarf joint and hat, and making her own syrup, deoxyadenosine monophosphate perfect as anything produced by the finest chef in Ishgard, ” he said. “ She ’ s rightfully a noteworthy individual, and that doggedness will serve her well in bridging the separate between serviceman and draco. ”
There was a very curious, familiar gleam in Synnove ’ mho eyes as she sat up, vibrating with excitation. She opened her mouth—
Aymeric pointed his spoon at her and said, in the rigorous tones of the Lord Commander, “ We are distillery not adopting her. ”
“ Aymeric ! ” His ladylove ’ mho voice was pure diss whine .
“ No. ”
“ But— ”
He would not yield to the affectation of her huge, deplorable eyes ( oh, Galette had inherited that saying honestly ! ), and if he let her make the argument at all, she would take the bite between her teeth and charge off with the estimate thus that he was caught up in her whirlwind. “ She is her own person and intelligibly considered of old age adequate to travel on her own into the lands of men at her leisure and without excommunication from her elders, despite their apparent displeasure at her sharing men ’ s culture with her peers. Never mind Gullinbursti would likely take umbrage with person, even a Warrior of Light, attempting to lay claim to one of his hatchlings ! ”
Synnove crossed arms and slid down in her seat in a full-body sulk, a dark horned pout on her face. “ How defy you be coherent, ” she grumbled .
“ On this matter, person has to be, ” said Aymeric, dry but fond .
Synnove sulked harder .
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