Cats and Bags (invite only)

Ran sat with Mara on a bench in Vesper Gardens. It might surprise plenty of people to know it about him, but he loved to garden. Nurturing something and making it grow with his own hands pleased him. Not babies and whiny things (he could say with a certain amount of dubious pride that he'd helped raise exactly, hmm, none of his children) but trees and flowers. So when Mara had brought up this site as a place to visit one night Ran wasn't going to say no.

It wasn't terribly unusual for them to hang out, not after having been separated for so long. Mara was Ran's favorite sibling - though he'd be hard-pressed to use the term sibling to describe their relationship, honestly. Mara had loved Amir for as long as Ran had ever known her and she had intervened on numerous occasions when Ran's behavior had irked their Creator. She was his friend and always had been. She'd been a little shy of him at first, particularly because as a human he had been less than suave. They'd spent so much time together on a boat, though, that eventually they'd learned. Ran had to shut his mouth around her sometimes and she'd finally accepted that he was all talk. From there on, they'd been close.

Ran and Mara had enjoyed the scenic sights and smells of Vesper and now sat near the tinkling fountain. Mara had told him about her father long ago - or, more to the point, Ran had discovered her secret because he was nosy and couldn't mind his own business. Since then he had occasionally asked her how it went and she occasionally told him. He knew she was worried about what would happen if this wayward vampire of Amir's ever met him and now here they were in the same city. He understood her stress but he thought she should just let it happen and get it over with. Like a band-aid.

"So does he know you're here? Your father?"

Ran Iyala 11 years ago
They were the only people who were currently in the tiny restaurant, so Ran felt free to lift his hand, wave to Mulu, and tell him in Amharic how delightful the food was. The couple grinned at him proudly; they knew it was good. Ran figured it wouldn't be to everyone's taste but for what it was, it was excellently done.

He watched Pakpao figure out how to eat and noted that she was left-handed. A poor Nightsman he'd be if he didn't observe what he could at any opportunity. He gave her brownie points for eating it properly. He'd learned it himself the hard way and for several decades had to remind himself - eat with your right hand in Ethiopia.

When Pakpao mentioned that her friend would berate the tej Ran quirked an eyebrow at her, unoffended but puzzled.
"Why would he berate it? It is what it is."

Ran had a lot of experience with different cultures and he had learned to respect them each for what they were. Respect wasn't an important word in his lexicon, usually, but when it came to accepting people's differences Ran was definitely in favor. Look at him, after all.

Mara was eating more than he was used to and he tilted his head at her.
"Eating for two, kitty?"

She chewed, swallowed, and smiled softly. "Jin and I go out to eat often. He's taught me to enjoy it much more. And, I've started cooking. We have a lovely kitchen at our house and it's a shame not to use it. I'm thinking about taking a class or two."

Ran blinked at her.

Mara nodded and helped herself to more wat. Ran shrugged and grinned.
"I'd like to know if you do. Maybe I'll take it with you." He turned to Pak. "Want to learn how to cook?"

He thought nothing of inviting Pakpao to join them and was quite serious about the offer. Ran was a sociable person and in his opinion, the more the merrier. From Mara's smile he knew she wouldn't mind sharing her class with her friends.
Pakpao 11 years ago
Pak shrugged and grin apologetically. Yes Eiryk would berate it for not being mead but he wouldn't mean a word of it. He had a great deal of respect for any and all kinds of brewing. He actually turned his hand, at one point or another, to brewing or distilling most things. He just always come back to mead and he claimed it was what he was best at. But there was no short way to explain that and Pak really didn't want to explain her former emergency back up date to Ran.

"You'd just have to know him...”

Pak might be a bit rusty still but she didn't think it was in her best interest to discuss other men when sitting with another rather attractive man.

Pak ate sparingly, more tasting than eating really, it was how she usually managed food unless she was really having to sell the human thing. Pak echoed Ran's 'Really?' saying the exact thing just a hair latter than he did.

She was rather flattered that Ran would think to ask her. It was the kind of thing she would have liked to have done with Mara anyway but never would have though of herself nor dreamed of asking if she could come.

"That sounds like fun. I don't think I can do much more than boil water any more.”

Minor fib, she could still manage a few things she used to cook when she was human. But even then she'd never been a gourmet cook, she'd been a farmer's wife just keeping the family fed.

"What kind of cooking were you thinking?”
Ran Iyala 11 years ago
Ran shrugged to himself. He didn't know Pak's friend and he wasn't worried about it; hadn't been to begin with, really. Apparently the guy was a wine snob or something. There were all types; Ran was a language snob so he could relate.

They looked at Mara inquisitively. Ran didn't really are what kind of cooking, himself, he just thought it would be fun. Learning things always appealed to him and food was a language in and of itself.

Mara swallowed her bite of food and nodded. "It's just a night course at the adult education center," she said with a smile. "Basic things. How to cut properly, different kinds of cuts, different terms, different pieces of equipment, things like that. Then after you learn the basics you start actually cooking things and at the end of the class you host a dinner for your families. I thought it would be fun."

Ran nodded.
"Count me in," he said. "I think it'll be a lot of fun." He looked at Pakpao with one eyebrow quirked up, waiting to see if she'd join them. Sure, they'd only just met but she knew Mara and the whole cooking thing could be cool.
Pakpao 11 years ago
It wasn't something that Pak would ever do on her own. It really was far too easy to let work consume her and being naturally guarded she was hesitant to try new things. The number of people who could talk her into something like this, well Pak could count them on one hand. Ran, however, had apparently made it on to that list. At least, he was the icing on the cake. If Pak were honest with herself she'd admit that it wouldn't be a chore to spend more time with him.

"Hell most of the people I know are already dead. How bad can it be? I'm in."

Trying these new skills out on Kem and Aishe and maybe Eiryk and Alex would be fun. Perhaps not Alex, Pak thought, he might not survive her cooking attempts.

Maybe if it were fun she'd try another class. It could happen. After all if she didn't try and get out of her box sooner or later she'd stagnate, something Pak was genuinely afraid of and she was starting to think she might be losing touch with the rest of the world. Time to do something about it.

"I shall learn to make cookies or lasagna or something and make my team eat it."

She said with more confidence than she felt. But, fake it until you make it after all.
Ran Iyala 11 years ago
Ran laughed at Pakpao's reasoning. He could say the same, really. The folks he would try any recipes out on, were definitely beyond being able to be negatively affected by them.

"Hmm," he mused, "I'd offer to make some cookies for Amir but for one, he rarely eats. And for another, he wouldn't trust anything I gave him anyway."

Mara chuckled. "You've played too many tricks on him with a durian fruit, Ran."

Ran scratched his head sheepishly.
"Yeah, well, I never thought I'd actually attempt to cook something legitimate and edible."

"He likes gingersnaps," Mara said with a sly smile. "If you make some, I'll make sure he tries one."

Ran perked up.
"Really? Gingersnaps? Why am I not surprised that one of the few foods he likes is one that has a bite of its own? Even his food has to be violent."

Mara laughed and shrugged her shoulders. "I can't argue. You have a point."

"I know, I'm good like that," Ran said modestly. "I have points at least once or twice a night but I try to keep it at that."
Pakpao 11 years ago
Pak liked listening to Ran and Mara, and the little tidbit about granddad was interesting as well. She really had trouble picturing Amir with Milk and cookies, even gingersnaps, but that made it rather amusing.

She and Mara had established a friendship over a year or two. But as they ate and chatted and walked Pak was rather surprised that she'd made another friend. Ran had surprisingly and easily fallen into that category as well. He wasn't the sort of friend she'd run too with a massive problem or cry on his shoulder about a heart break, no they didn't know each other well enough, but maybe some day he would be. For now though he'd just sort of slid past most of her walls and armor and she found herself liking him. Very -very- few people could do that.

The evening was a success in her book and she hoped that Ran and Mara felt the same, they gave very indication that they did. And they also made plans for a cooking class. She was dubious but oddly looking forward to it.

((OOC... all out with permission))