pentamerone <% /!UseJournal %>
The Queen's Palace in Ozland. Almost time for Afternoon Tea. [Open to Knave]
It was nearly time for the Queen of Hearts's afternoon tea and daily croquet match. She'd decided to have it at eleven forty-two in the morning, which was earlier than usual for her, and everyone had been thrown off. The cook had already had three meltdowns, two servants had been slated for execution for selecting blue napkins instead of purple, and the Queen's tarts had been knocked over by a clumsy page.

Rabbit hadn't been particularly upset by the last considering she'd stolen the recipe from him and he took a tiny bit of vindictive glee from the misfortune, but the incident had been hushed up at his orders and he'd whipped up a new batch before anyone could notice. There was a shortage of good pages as it was; it would be awfully inconvenient to lose another to the executioner's axe.

Now, with a smudge of flower across his nose and a determined set to his shoulders, Rabbit directed the pages with a stern voice. "Hurry up, James! Go make sure the roses have been freshly painted. And Chauncey, please inform the cook that the tea was over steeped last time and yes I know. Don't let her get near the knives before you tell her. That's how Gregory lost an ear last time." Rabbit checked his watch for what was probably the hundredth time since breakfast and tried not to worry too much. They were on schedule, after all.

Tags: knave of hearts, white rabbit

From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/02/2007 19:19:14  

Knave was on duty, but he wasn't out patrolling the streets of Ozland. Today he was actually in the palace, having had to come to court for a report on the goings-on in the city. The Queen had also insisted on attendance at tea, the time of which Knave was certain she arbitrarily pulled from her ass.

He was thus a bit in an irritable mood. He didn't much enjoy being at court unless it was on his own terms, or unless he was doing his best to wade through the unsuspecting females -- and some males -- there. He decided the best way to life his spirits was to hunt for new prey, so to speak. He set out, roaming about as servants bustled about hurrying to obey the queen's orders.

He rounded the corner and caught sight of the Queen's herald, that little White Rabbit. His eyebrow went up as he watched the little man bark orders, and he couldn't help but comment. "I think this is the first time I've ever seen you check that watch and not immediately proclaim 'I'm late!', Rabbit."
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 11:18:35  

"Well if you were around the palace more often rather than faffing about - oh." Rabbit stopped suddenly, realizing two things at once. The first being who he was talking to and the second being how he'd said it.

He looked up - way up - at Knave and blanched, the smudge of flour across his nose almost standing out against his skin. "P-pardon me, Knave. I didn't mean to, um. Well, things are rather hectic and - " He cut off suddenly, attention caught by one of the pages flirting with one of the serving maids. "Rodney! If I see you talking to that girl one more time, so help me..."
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 12:11:03  

Had it been anyone but the little man speaking to him that way, Knave's response would have been quite different. In fact, if Rabbit hadn't cut himself off mid-sentence, Knave's response would still have been a good deal less pleasant. "My job requires me to be here infrequently, Rabbit. Faffing about around town, keeping order, is one of the things I do best."

He looked over at Rodney flirting with the maid, and said nothing, merely smiled, slow and wide and entirely suggestively at the girl. She blushed a deep red and gathered her skirts, hurrying off and leaving Rodney chastised and bewildered. He moved closer to Rabbit as he did, looming over the small man, his lips still curved. His size made Rabbit -- and dozens of others -- nervous, and it amused him greatly. "What time is tea, today, Rabbit?"
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 13:01:00  

Honestly, was it strictly necessary for him to hover like that? Nervous and little out of sorts, Rabbit checked his watch again. "Eleven f-forty-two and that's - oh, fudgemuffins! That's only an hour from now!"

Only an hour. Nevermind that most everything was done, Rabbit having gone over everything twice, and in some cases, three times. Nevermind that not once had Rabbit failed to make the proper arrangements for tea every day since beginning his work under the queen's employ.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 13:16:20  

If it flustered the herald, then yes, it was necessary to hover. Knave rather liked making people nervous. he did it so well. Knave smiled again. "Good. I think I might actually stay for it. Maybe." He grinned at Rabbit's choice of epithet and added, "Fudgemuffins? That actually sounds quite appetizing. I'm sure you can tell me what cakes will be at tea today, can't you?"

It was a bit of a weak spot for Knave, honestly, his sweet tooth. He enjoyed cakes, cookies, tarts -- clearly tarts -- sometimes to the point of distraction. Curiosity and a bit of hunger made him wonder just what was being served.
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 14:22:09  

As much as Knave enjoyed eating sweet things, Rabbit enjoyed making them, and at Knave question the herald forgot for a moment his worry about arrangements.

"Oh, there's going to be quite a few excellent cakes today," Rabbit said happily, an excited little flush coming to his cheeks as he spoke. "There's going to be cranberry and currant muffins, black and white chocolate cake with orange zest, caramel custard-filled apple tarts, lemon cake with raspberry filling, and the queen's famous strawberry tarts." Rabbit's nose wrinkled, and he leaned forward to whisper conspiratorially. "Actually, they're my famous tarts. Someone dropped a tray and so I had to make replacements. But it was my recipe anyway, so no one will notice."
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 14:31:17  

The list of cakes had Knave just as interested as the flush in Rabbit's cheeks and it actually took a moment for him to decide which to focus on first. He leaned forward as Rabbit did, and almost casually wiped away the smudge of flower from Rabbit's nose. Almost. The touch lingered just a bit too long as Knave said, "Your famous tarts?" His voice dropped and he stepped closer. "Those fantastic strawberry tarts, those were your recipe? Well if I wasn't already asked to attend, I'd most certainly be going now. I couldn't pass up those cakes, and certainly not those tarts."

He took the opportunity, standing so close, to press hands against the wall, on either side of Rabbit's head. "If it's your recipe, I'm certain that they'll taste better now that you've made them yourself."
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 15:07:01  

The touch was unexpected and had Rabbit's eyes going wide. They went wider still when Knave closed the distance between them, a Rabbit couldn't help the little squeak that escaped when Knave pretty much caged him against the wall.

"Um, y-yes, it was my recipe," he stammered with a shaky smile, uncertain as to why Knave was suddenly so close. It was making him very nervous. "I, um, I'm glad you've enjoyed them." Which was certainly true enough. Rabbit was never quite so happy when his cooking pleased other people.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 15:23:44  

Rabbit was nervous again, and Knave couldn't help but smile. He hadn't really had much opportunity to talk to him before, and he realized he was going to have to do so more often. "Very much so in fact. Do you cook frequently, Rabbit?" He hadn't moved yet, finding he enjoyed Rabbit's wide-eyed look.
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 16:40:29  

The question actually calmed Rabbit some and he could almost forget that Knave was invading his space so thoroughly. Almost.

"Oh, I cook quite a bit," Rabbit admitted freely, almost proudly. "I enjoy cooking, but I hardly ever have anyone to cook for so it mostly goes to waste." Or rather, to waist, namely Rabbit's.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 16:51:29  

Knave noticed. Noticed how talking about cooking distracted him from his nervousness. Well, that was good to know. "That's a shame, Rabbit. every good cook needs someone to cook for. You know what else is a shame? I love sweets, especially tarts, but I can't cook them myself. And sadly, I have no one to cook them for me."

Despite his brisk command while in court, Rabbit was incredibly naïve, Knave could tell. He had a sixth sense when it came to the innocent and Rabbit positively reeked of it. Which was why Knave was interested. "There's gotta be some way to fix both problems, don't you think?"
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/05/2007 17:28:21  

Unaware of Knave's ploy, Rabbit fell into the verbal trap easily.

"Well," he offered hesitantly, light eyes brightening as he peered up at Knave. "I...I could cook for you some time? Maybe. If you'd like? It's been a while since I've cooked for any one but the kitchen staff." Oh, he'd dearly love to cook for Knave. He seemed to really appreciate fine cuisine and Rabbit needed the satisfaction of pleasing someone's palate.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/05/2007 18:24:40  

Few people would have walked right into that. That Rabbit did showed Knave the little man was exactly what he was looking for. "Would you really? I mean, that would be great for both of us, wouldn't it? It's been such a long time since I had really good cooking."

Knave held Rabbit's eyes as he spoke dark brown boring into lighter browns. And then he pulled back, giving Rabbit his personal space back. For now.
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/06/2007 00:30:06  

"I'd be happy to," Rabbit admitted almost shyly, a smile spreading widely across his chubby face. His nervousness was almost completely overshadowed by the prospect of cooking to please. Knave backing off helped as well.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/06/2007 00:37:39  

That smile. Oh that shy little unknowingly inviting smile. Knave's eyes lingered on Rabbit's mouth for a moment before sliding back to his eyes. "That makes two of us. If you want I'll drop by again after I'm finished patrolling today, around five. Where will you be?" Rabbit smile was infectious; it had Knave's own blooming on his face.
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/06/2007 01:17:11  

Rabbit watched that smile bloom and he found himself thinking that Knave really wasn't so scary when he smiled.

"I'll probably be in the kitchens then," he said, tugging a little at his collar. "If you'd like, I can meet you at the west gate at fifteen after." If Rabbit had known any better, he would have realized that he was essentially arranging a rendezvous with the leader of the brute squad. But then, Rabbit didn't know any better.
From: [info]stolethetarts Date: 10/06/2007 01:26:02  

Rabbit could call it a rendezvous; Knave called it what it was: a date. He was in a decidedly good mood now, and was looking forward to a just as good an evening. "Good. I'll meet you there." He looked up as a harried servant came running in their direction. "Looks like you're about to have your hands full, Little Rabbit. I'll let you go now."
From: [info]twodayslate Date: 10/06/2007 01:35:06  

"Oh, bother," Rabbit said with a rapidly growing frown as he saw the page approaching. And he seemed to be bleeding. "Yes, thank you, Knave. I'll meet you later," he said absently, attention already diverted and he started to stride purposefully towards the boy. "Chauncey! Did you not listen to a word I said?"

With one last look back at Knave, Rabbit guided the wounded page away. "Let's get you patched up, you silly boy."
Community: [info]pentamerone
<% /!UseJournal %>