asar_suti: (Writely thread)
Asar-Suti ([personal profile] asar_suti) wrote2005-12-26 07:19 pm

Loggage post: Gil and Asar-Suti have Christmas

The 26th December, St Stephens Day in some places, Boxing Day in others, was always much more relaxed than the 25th. Christmas Day, for the kitchen staff, started well before dawn and ended close to midnight with everyone pitching in, either manually or magically, to clearing the debris of the day. This morning those staff members who had drawn the short straw and managed to escape the previous days mayhem had their turn in the barrel and the exhausted others had a chance to sleep in a bit.

Conscientious managers, however, tended to put in an appearance - just to show willing - and so Gil was there, again, aproned and floury, mixing up another batch of dough for the lunchtime rolls. Actually he found it quite soothing and would pass the job along to the next available cook because, today, 26th December, was HIS Christmas Day and soon he'd be off to spend it how he liked.

Asar-Suti had actually spent much of the time Gil was working madly out of the bar, wandering to several Earth versions and other worlds to watch people celebrate. In one place, the priest had even snarked at the astonished congegration or only ever turning up at Christmas; that was a strange sort of celebration. In another, kids had bowled over the Christmas tree during an especially spirited nativity play.

But now, on the second day of Christmas, all those strange revels had palled, and Asar-Suti wanted nothing but some quiet with Gil, who'd hopefully get to escape his kitchen today, barring all emergencies. And wouldn't be so exhausted that he'd just fall asleep instead of enjoying the snow and the arctic lights in, what was it called, Flipperland? Or something else, in some other place.

So, Asar-Suti came to the kitchen on Boxing Day morning, a wrapped gift that was almost, but not quite, the size of a shoebox, casually under his arm. "Morning, Gil," he said to the floury figure kneading dough.

"Hi, Soots," Gil said with a smile. "Sleep well?" He had left the little purple god slumbering the sleep of the just that morning, figuring that he needed a lie-in just like everyone else.

"Yes, I did," Asar-Suti said, ruefully adding, "I hope you slept at all? You were terribly busy yesterday, and you're already up again. Would you like some tea or coffee, and when would you like your present?"

"Tea would be great," Gil said, grinning, "and I'd like my present with my tea when I've set the dough to rise, please, I'll only be about another minute or so."

Asar-Suti laughed, and put the wrapped parcel on the table. He went about to make tea by hand, very carefully, to show Gil how much he cared, and to make this really special; he conjured himself some coffee as well, and sat down at the table with both mugs, putting elbows on the table and calmly, almost speculatingly, waiting for Gil to finish with the dough. "Work is such a great thing, I could watch people do that for hours," he joked.

Gil chuckled, giving the dough one last tender fold. He covered the bowl with a cloth and set it to one side of the range so it could warm then washed his hands. "I feel much the same about watching you in the garden," he said, going to the pantry and returning with the orange tin and a package of his own. He sat down and smiled at the tea pot. "Thanks Soots, I need this."

"Oooh, lebkuchens!" Asar-Suti said, with a smile, opening the orange tin so they each could have some with their respective tea. He leaned over briefly to kiss Gil's cheek, said, "Happy Christmas, Gil," took a lebkuchen, bit off a piece, drank some coffee, and sighed contentedly. From the corner of his eye, he ogled the package Gil had brought.

Gil used the shotgun approach to gift buying, figuring that if you got a bit of everything something was bound to please. consequently the package was large and Gil had grunted a bit when he set it down. He too took a lebkuchen and bit into it with a sigh. "So what's the plan?" he asked. "Presents then lunch then get away from this place for a bit?"

"That sounds wonderful," Asar-Suti said,wrapping his hands around the coffee mug. "Námo gave me pale purple elvish robes, by the way; I look positively serene in them. They left for Aman last night though - not the robes, but Námo and his friend Lee, and Maglor and Nerdanel as well. But they'll be back - she likes you, you know."

A broad grin, and he pushed the almost-shoebox over. "Here, that's for you; open it!"

"Yay, slippers," Gil said and shunted Sooty's present across to him. Inside there were a number of items that he hoped might appeal. he picked up his own gift and began to pick at the paper.

Asar-Suti opened his package and smiled brightly at the bathrobe, the gardening things and the chocolate cake, finding each item very nice with many words, while quietly watching Gil unwrap his package. There were books inside, as in everybody else's presents from Asar-Suti this year. These were four fat paperback books, common things from some Earth version; they showed heroes with swords and beautiful women, and animals, drawn in a mercifully non-lurid style, in pastels. They were all written by the same woman, and they had titles like 'Legacy of the Wolf' and 'Children of the Lion'.

"Ray had told me they exist in his world," Asar-Suti said quietly.

"Books?" Gil turned them over one at a time. They certainly looked thick enough to have many recipes but somehow the pictures on the front didn't look right for cookery books. He opened one at random flipping through the pages then stopped and peered at the small typescript.

"Oy, there's some bloke called Lochiel in this," he said and laughed.

"Yep, he's bound to be," Asar-Suti said, with a grin. "Do you remember Boromir, and how all worlds are stories somewhere? The books there are the stories somebody on Earth wrote about my world. Ray told me about them, so I went to find them for you. I didn't read them; don't want to throw them into corners with disgust. The woman calls them 'Cheysuli Chronicles', so they're probably horribly biased against us. But I wanted you to have them, and to know about my world as far as you can. Just don't tell anybody else about them. Strahan, Teirnan or Ginevra would probably be terribly shocked if they heard."

Gil had never found it hard to shock Ginevra but had never met either of the other two from Sooty's world. However, he knew that Sooty had a great interest in them so he smiled and reached across the table to hug him. "I won't," he promised. "Thank you, Sooty. I'll read these over the winter. See if I can sort the truth from the lies."

Asar-Suti hugged him back, and briefly touched his nose to Gil's. "Neither side was shiningly good," he said. "The way Donal forced his sister Bronwyn to marry a newly subdued enemy was disgraceful and led to much suffering - and that were those wonderful Cheysuli heroes! But from those books, you'll learn about my world, and its history. Between the lines, you'll hopefully still see how powerful Tynstar was, how sneaky Rhiannon, how sensual Lillith, or how clever Strahan. There's some things that I'm not proud of, like Strahan's treatment of Taliesin and Carolan, but I don't even know how much the writer will tell you about those two; they were men who were lovers, and I think people on Earth have some prejudices against that?"

"There's good and bad on all sides," Gil agreed sadly, lifting the first book in the series and opening it. "My own world - the government do things that, honestly, I can't condone and sometimes I can't help but think that the pure bloods who panic about the erosion of our way of life have a point. It's just that - well, there's right and wrong ways of going about things, aren't there?"

Asar-Suti nodded, quietly. "We only wanted to preserve our way of live, too; and so did the Cheysuli a'saii, Teirnan's people. We were afraid of all that a future in which the prophesy was fulfilled would bring - there would be no more Ihlini nor Cheysuli, the way we'd known ourselves and each other down the ages. I can understand that scares the pure bloods of your world as well - there are so many muggles, and so few wizarding folks, so the fear drove them right into the arms of that Voldemort fellow. Ultimately, all life is change, as I learned here; but is it evil if you want to keep what you love?"

"Not at all - as long," Gil added, thinking again of Lochiel, "as what you love wants to be kept." He smiled. "Come on - let's put our pressies away and go for a run in the woods. Faun shape keeps out the cold."

Asar-Suti quickly downed his coffee, closed the orange tin, got his gifts together, and followed Gil to their room, shifting shape as he went. Gil waited until he was in through the doors before beginning to shed his clothes. He could do so while fully clothed but his hooves tended to tear his trousers. Once properly naked he grinned at Sooty and changed, warmly brown furriness replacing warmly brown skin then his brown hand grabbed Sooty's white one and he tugged him towards the door.

"Last one to the Lake's a centaur," he giggled.