Lunch Date

Title: Lunch Date
Time Period: June 7, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Food, gifts and a discussion about rent. It's like they're normal.

Lunch hour can't come too soon these days. Mariah used to just be waking up at this time, but these days she's been working for hours already. But even so, no amount of pricked fingertips or demanding customers have managed to stop her getting a basket together, draped with a blanket, and getting out to the stables to see her favorite stablehand at work.

She doesn't interrupt, but sets everything down to hop up on the fence to watch until he notices. Sure, she'll see him later when they both end up back at the flat, but it's harder to see him riding horses there.

Sometimes, even at the stables, it's hard to see him riding horses. Riding is one of the rare things Cas gets to do, but he always looks forward to it—

Too bad this isn't one of those days. From the sight of him inside the stables, he's doing work he doesn't usually do, but something she will no doubt appreciate for other reasons. For one he's peeled off his shirt, but not his gloves, working inside the stable itself as he repairs one of the stalls in the stables themselves. Either years of wear or a rogue stallion meant the wooden walls needed to be replaced. It's likely he noticed her, face flushed with work and warmth, but he doesn't stop working until he finishes the job.

He's still got a lot to make up to the boss, even if his absense wasn't his own fault.

At least it seems he's not limping too much, anymore.

Putting the tools away, he picks up a dirty shirt and carries it along as he moves to join her. "Hey."

"Well, hello there," Mariah says with a wide smile as he makes his way over. Nevermind that she's seen him with his shirt of plenty, seems she's not tiring of it any time soon. "Have time for a bite?"

She tilts her head toward the blanket and what smells like a decent meal in the basket sitting on top of it. But it's only a moment before she comes over his way, hands moving to rest on bare shoulders as her smile tips crooked. "Or at least a kiss. I could leave the biting for later," she says, playful.

Often when he's shirtless it's not also dirty, sweaty and flushed from activity. Not all at the same time, at least. Cas' hands tighten around the shirt that he doesn't put on just yet as he watches her hands. His breath is unsteady, and probably not just because he was hammering pieces of wood into place not too long ago.

"Uh— yes, I should have time for a… quick break. Not too long, though. I have a lot of chores left to do before I can head home." The mention of home makes his eyes slide away, that flush on his cheeks somehow seeming to gain a different context. But there's blankets and baskets to look at. "I needed a break for water, anyway. Wouldn't get the boss anything if I pass out right?"

"I promise not to keep you. I do have some water, though. And some soup." Mariah chuckles a little when he looks away at the mention of home, but she doesn't comment on it, since he's already blushing and all. "Right, no good if you work yourself into the ground, aye?"

She does lean in to give him a kiss, just a quick one before her hands slide down his arms to his hands, tugging him along toward the promised lunch. "Plus, I have something for you." Not that he'll be able to wear it while he's working, but it seems she couldn't wait much longer.

"I'm sure it'll be great," Cas says breathlessly, as he collapses down on the blanket. The kiss may have something to do with his tone of voice. But perhaps the work and the heat and other things play their part. For the moment, he chooses not to pull his shirt back over his head, setting it down beside him, while he reaches out to examine the promised lunch.

The glove covered palms stop their search, free fingers already beginning to get himself a glass of water, as he hears her mention something. For him. A gift.

"You didn't— " he starts immediately, before he stops, pressing his lips tight together for a moment. "What is it?" is what he settles on.

Mariah comes to settle down with him, and while he goes for the basket, she pulls out a small package from her pocket. "It isn't much, just a little thing I picked up when I was running errands for the shop." But even so, she hands it out toward him with a smile.

And once it's passed over, she reaches for the food herself, to pour out some soup for each of them and a cup of water, too. It isn't a fancy lunch by any means, but it tastes good all the same.

Only after he downs a few gulps of water does Cas open the package that she handed him, and when he does he's rather quick about it, like a kid might be when opening a rare present. In many ways he's probably both of them at heart. It takes him a few moments to realize what it is, but when he does he laughs softly.

"You got me an earring," he says with a smirk. A surprised one, at that. "I haven't had one since I got here— I had to trade most my jewelry during the trip," he admits, feeling his ear lobe as if wondering if the hole is still there— of course it is, though, or she wouldn't have known he could wear one.

"It even kind of goes with my favorite shirt," he adds with a surprised sound, as he uses both his hands to secure it on his ear. Likely he will have to take it off when he starts working again, but for the moment…

"Does it?" Mariah asks, as far as it matching. The curve of her lips at one corner gives away this isn't the first she's noticed, of course, but she's playing innocent for now. "Sorcha ordered some buttons from the jeweler in town? And she had these. I thought of you. Is all."

When he puts it on, she reaches over to tuck a piece of his hair out of the way. "Looks nice on you." She smiles softly, fingers brushing his cheek gently.

"Buttons, huh," Cas says in an extremely distracted kind of voice. Probably because he is distracted. By her more than the soup and drink that she's promised him. "I'm glad— that you got it— and that it looks good, too," he says, voice wavering and somewhat uneasy, but in that way that is marked mostly by his shyness than anything.

"You know— I was thinking of talking to the old couple we're living above… see if I can help you with… your deal with them. Bring them some fish every so often, or offer to do repairs or…" he trails off. "You would be okay if I did, right? I'm sure they know I live there too now…"

"Of course it would be okay," Mariah says with a chuckle. "They know you're there, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the help. I can clean, but repairs are a bit out of my repertoire."

Bringing over her soup, she slides next to him, tucking up against his side. "Careful, though, once you get them talking, you'll hardly be able to get them to stop. As a warning." Lonely old people, which might explain why they agreed to the arrangement in the first place.

There's relief across his face as Cas smiles an finally begins to work on his soup. It seems he had doubts she would go with the idea— Or maybe that she would take it the wrong way. He seems to have many thoughts going on in his head at any one time. Between the first sip of soup and the second spoonful, he slips out a, "I talk a lot too, so I'm sure we'll get along just fine."

The idea of spending some part of his day keeping old people company doesn't seem to bother him. "But hopefully they'll let me work while they talk at me, or it would defeat the purpose of doing chores for them."

Mariah can't help but laugh at that, and she leans over to kiss his cheek. "Maybe you will, at that. I might have to just watch that, when you all get going." And even though she has a bowl of soup in hand, she leans her head against his shoulder. Just for a moment.

"Oh, don't you worry. They'll make sure you get work done, too. They don't let you slack off, I can promise that." She knows, even after so short a time living there.

"I'll just be glad to be able to help a bit— with the boarding payments," Cas says with a shy smile, leaning against her as she leans against him. The heat in his skin is still there, and he smells very much like him, though it may seem odd that he still wears his gloves. They only offer so much protection from the tools he uses.

"When you gonna learn to make gloves, anyway?" he asks with a grin, showing one of the directions his thoughts are going. Likely helped by the fact he's watching those very same hands spoon soup towards his mouth.

"Every little bit helps," Mariah says, and her soup gets set aside in favor of sliding her arms around him. His question makes her laugh, though, and she shifts one hand to lace her fingers with his. "Looking for a wider selection, are you?"

She looks up at him, though, her smile amused, "I can ask Sorcha to make that high on the lesson list. I suppose you'd be an excuse for a lot of practice."

"Some of mine are pretty tore up," Cas admits defensively, but he still seems to have a few pairs with only small holes. Some patched by himself, from the look of things. He did learn how to patch his own clothes, after all. Not everyone can afford the seamstress. At least until he started living with one.

"Your hands would look good in them too! Even if they won't protect your fingers from needles, but… If they were girly they would probably look good on you…" And he would still have her fingers free to play with— like he does now.

"Well, you do work with your hands. Only to be expected," Mariah says, her hand squeezing his hand at that defensiveness. "We'll get some new ones made; it isn't any trouble."

When he mentions the possibility of her wearing them, she glances down to their clasped hands with a more curious expression. "I'd never thought about it before. But it isn't a bad idea. It would keep my hands warm while I'm stitching."

It isn't long before her smile returns, particularly at him playing with her fingers. And it seems that she's aiming to use what's left of their break to kiss him, rather than finish eating. Soup keeps well enough.