|Cooking in TASK's Kitchen|
It's not going so well.
Rayne is, looking actually quite stressed out as she finally closes the oven on the lasagna dish that she's made, and takes a long swig from a cup of coffee as she stares in apprehension at the mess in the sinks that will likely need to involve heavy scraping to get clean. "If this doesn't turn out, I'm giving up," she mumbles to herself.
"I'll be honest, this is the last place I'd expect to find you hiding." And how long has Sunset been standing at the door, leaning on the frame with a smoothie cup in one hand as she tends to? At least long enough to politely not interrupt Rayne while she was finishing. The remark is followed by a low whistle. "Pinkie Pie would do wonders in a kitchen like this... and get it covered in frosty and sprinkles in the process."
Rayne glances over to Sunset and smiles weakly. "Oh... Hey, Sunset. Well, clearly I'm not 'hiding' today, then." She looks around the place, then back at the mess in the sink. "It's going to be enough of a pain to clean this as it is, I'd rather not having it also covered in icing." She flicks a lock of hair out of her face with a shrug. "I'd also not put icing on lasagna. I personally think that would be a pretty bad match," she says, attempting to make a joke.
Sunset chuckles a bit. "Yeah, that's usually not the best of combinations." She drops the empty cup in a trash bin and wanders over to look for herself. "But it looks like you've done well enough Rayne. Been practicing?" Home Ec wasn't exactly her strongest suit, but it does involve a lot of chemistry-like work.
Rayne raises an eyebrow at Sunset's question, then looks over at the pile of dishes in the sink, most of which have a fair amount of charred remains of past attempts on them. "If you call that 'practicing,' then yes. I'm actually pretty out of practice... It's been over a hundred years since I've tried to cook for more than two people." She sighs before downing the last of her coffee and going for another cup. "How've you been? Sorry I've been dumping so much of the work of the Welcome Center onto you, but, well... I've kind of not had the time to deal with it lately."
Sunset shrugs a bit. "I know, you're busy being in charge here still." But she smiles a bit afterwards. "I could handle teaching six teenage girls to understand the magic of friendship and fight the random supernatural evil, I can handle this." Hopefully.
Rayne mixes her coffee with creamer and sugar before blowing on it. "Ooooh. Teenage girls. Yeah, this should be a cakewalk compared to that." She takes another swig of her coffee before looking at the oven again... and swearing. She quickly sets up a kitchen timer, subtracting the amount of time that she thinks has passed. With a sigh, she looks back at Sunset again. "So what's been happening in your life? I've not even been able to catch up socially lately... Ugh."
Sunset tilts her head a little to one side with a look of concern. "The original director hasn't shown back up I take it." Talking with Rayne was always a bit of a peculiar issue. Her first instinct was to comfort... but Rayne had the whole 'no touching' thing she had to remind herself. Good thing Pinkie Pie isn't here, she'd try to cheer her up and she has no sense of 'personal space' most of the time. "The same, really. I don't mind the keeping busy, but there's a difference between talking to people as friends and talking to them for work. Funny how sometimes you can see a lot of people yet it feels like you're alone still."
Rayne raises an eyebrow. "Actually, I have seen Satyrn not too long ago... but I'm guessing you're talking about Kotal? He... was reportedly in town, but I didn't catch him, unfortunately. I think he's on a vacation or something... Somehow in another universe or something." She sighs and shakes her head. "And then Minu and Sil vanish as well..." She frowns as Sunset relates her own feelings on loneliness and nods as she takes another swig of her coffee. "Sorry about that... Well, no one ever said you can't be friends with them afterwords, though. But yeah... I do know what you mean by that."
Sunset exhales softly as she leans back against one of the counters. "Kind of funny in a dark way, isn't it? We finally get something set up and rolling to help people adjust to being in Twisted... and that's when people seem to start disappearing again." Another sigh escapes the red-blonde as she glances off to the side a bit. "Figures, when I'd find another place I can actually fit in..."
Rayne opens her mouth and makes some odd grasping motions with her right hand, then sighs and shakes her head. "Life can really suck sometimes, Sunset. But on the bright side. I've found that its significantly easier to get in contact with Gegoshi than I'd been lead to believe. She's kinda nice. I felt like she was... like she was always testing me, but not really in a 'are you worthy' kind of way." She frowns, looking down into her cup. "And I found out there's a lot more to being a council member than just being in a leadership position. Something about it literally helping the stability of this place."
Sunset emits a soft laugh at that. "Gegoshi sounds a lot like Celestia." But the laugh trails off at the end, sounding more like she's laughing depreciatively at herself. "If I'd realized what she was really trying to teach me... but I was young and cocky and got too full of myself..." Needing something to distract her hands so she doesn't try to hug Rayne she picks up a random kitchen utensil to look it over. "Yeah, life has it's own weird sense of humor."
Rayne frowns at that. "I also 'met' Concordance. She's kinda comatose. Her guardian is kinda bored out of her skull, though, so I got Gegoshi to give her an entertainment center, so that made me feel better. It put things into perspective, I guess. Things could certainly be worse." She glances back toward the entrance. "Maybe I should visit Guarlesia more. I'll have to try to contact Gegoshi about that again, I suppose."
Sunset motions with the spatula like she was testing it out, but she's mostly just keeping her hand busy. "If there is one thing I regret, its that I never got to apologize to Celestia properly. After the last adventure I was considering going back to Equestria to do that... and that's when I ended up here."
Rayne shrugs and sets down her coffee cup, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "Okay, that's enough of this depressive talk, Sunset. There's always hope in this place, too. We never know what tomarrow may bring, after all. It can easily bring just what we want. Someone could come here, or perhaps you could get sent home, you know?"
Sunset huh? ".. Oh, yeah." One hand goes to rub the back of her head in her usual embarrassment fidgit. "Sorry, I kinda got wrapped up in my own thoughts." Despite everything she's accomplished making herself better there's still an issue or two in there. After a moment she laughs softly. "I don't know if this place would even be able to tell which world should be 'home'. I think I confuse it a little." She holds her arms out a little in self-indication. "I stayed in my human form instead of turning into a unicorn, after all."
Rayne glances at Sunsets arms as she holds them out. "Well... sometimes where you're born, where you grew up, isn't really your home anymore, you know? I don't consider Avia to be home, just where I mostly grew up. Heck, Italy I find to be more home-like for me." She motions her head towards the oven... then quickly turns to check on the lasagna. With a light curse, she quickly opens it up and grabs the pan out of the oven... without oven mitts. "Ow Ow Ow OW!" she shouts out as she quickly moves it over to the stove top where she drops the just barely overcooked lasagna's dish before she rushes onward to the sink to start dousing her hands with cold water.
Sunset hmms thoughtfully. "You do have a point." After everything she had gone through with the other girls that world had started to feel more... comfortable... She jumps out of the thought when Rayne starts yelping though. Instinctively she grabs a kitchen towel and tosses it over Rayne's hands once she's got them cooled off... Then pauses. "... For some reason I was expecting you to be resistant to hotness."
Rayne shakes her hands, running them under the cold water even with the towel over them. "I am resistant. That's not gonna actually damage my hands, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt like hell." After a moment, she pulls her hands out and... yeah, they look just fine. "See?" she says as she holds her hands up in front of her. "Perfectly fine. They don't even hurt anymore."
Sunset ohs. "Good point. Resistance to injury doesn't necessarily translate into resistance to pain... What about the lasagna?"
Rayne looks over at the dish. She really, really looks over it carefully. "It's edible!" she declares! "Though I'd wait a few minutes. Even I don't want to eat it with how hot it is right now." She turns to look at Sunset, now a proud almost smirk on her face. A success!
Being hot wouldn't stop Pinkie Pie, but she's not here... thankfully. That'd make it hard to be sure there's enough for everyone. But Sunset smiles almost as big. "See, practice does pay off!" A pause as she glances at the sink. "Sometimes a lot of practice, but still counts!"
Rayne waves a dismissive hand at the sink. "We'll deal with that later," she declares as she brings out a stack of dishes for people to put the lasagna on, followed by silverware. "Now where'd that spatula go?"
Sunset holds out the one she was fidgeting with earlier. "Here you go~" Food is a much more interesting and less depressing topic to discuss.
Rayne blinks and approaches to cautiously take the utensil in hand. She can't take it by the business end, of course, so she does get perilously close to Sunset's fingers as she takes it by the handle. "Um... thanks," she says a bit quietly. Quickly turning, she somewhat stiffly walks back to the lasagna and starts cutting it up and divvying it out. After the first few are placed on dishes, she gets on her comm and says, "Lasagna in the kitchen. First come, first serve."
Sunset seems to realize a moment too late that she should of held the spatula the other way, and quickly relinquishes her grip as soon as Rayne grabs it. "Do I get a piece for being emotional support in these trying times of kitchen work?" She's mostly joking. Mostly. It does smell like it would actually be edible.
Rayne grins and nods. "Of course I'd save you a piece for that! But in this case, you'd likely be able to get to a dish in time, anyway." She takes two dishes from the counter and walks back over to Sunset, offering one to her. "Uhhh... if it tastes burned... just... scrape the top layer off. It should be fine underneath."
Sunset accepts the dish with a smile. "I'm sure it will be fine. It certainly smells good." She digs in to get a piece off with her fork and sticks it in her mouth, chewing thoughtfully. And politely swallowing before speaking again. "Okay yeah the top layer is a little overcooked, but it tastes perfectly good otherwise Rayne."
Rayne grins and nods. "Good! Good!" She takes a seat at the table and starts digging in herself. "Hrrrrm. Certainly not as good as dad used to make, but for not having made one in over a century, I think I did pretty well!" Ignore the pile in the trash and sink, ignore the pile in the trash and sink...
Sunset smiles a bit more as she sits down as well to finish. There's nothing wrong with it taking a few tries to get it right. "To be entirely honest, I was never all that great in Home Ec either. I managed because a recipe is kind of the same as a chemical formulae." Or bullied someone else into doing it for her, before her change of heart, but that's not important anymore. "But then I had Pinkie and Fluttershy to help me out."
Rayne nods as she takes another bite. "That makes sense. So that's what you're studying for, then? Chemistry? Gods, it's been ages since I studied that. I've had to take some minor refreshers on that every once in a while when I've actually needed it for a job or two... though that's been pretty rare, if I'm honest. Most of the jobs I've taken haven't needed that kind of thing."
Sunset makes a vague shrug. "Not specifically, but I was better at sciences and such than I was... those sort of things." Pauses thoughtfully as she taps the end of the fork handle against her chin for a moment. "Strangely enough, a lot of the methods I learned studying magic as Celestia's pupil applied well enough to human sciences. I guess you could sum it up to how the two worlds are divergent versions of each other?"
Rayne raises an eyebrow. "'Divergent versions'? Sunset, the world you originally came from has almost nothing in common with the worlds most people I've met here come from. That place is... pretty damned unique, I gotta say. I really, really wouldn't say they're 'divergent versions' so much as 'comepletely different things.' Then again, maybe your second world was a good intermediate?"
Sunset laughs softly. "I was comparing the world I was in to the Equestria that Twilight and I originally came from. I doubt there is any one world that is anything CLOSE to Twisted."
Rayne laughs and nods. "No, no, you're right on that one, that's for sure. But it seems most worlds people come from aren't... TOO divergent from my own, at least the way things like physics work." She takes another bite of her lasagna as some of the troops start to come in to get some as well. "I'd argue your home universe is possibly the closest to Twisted. Nothing seems to work on its own here, not even the sky."
Sunset mmms. "It's true, Equestria does have someone or a group of ponies watching over things other worlds tend to just leave happening on their own."
Rayne nods as she chews on another bite. "Right. That's what I remember from conversations I had with... from conversations I had." With a frown, she lets that particular point drop there as she waves to some of the troops. "Eat up, boys! Just scrape the top layer off if it's too burnt for you, it's fine underneith!"
Yeah we'll just leave that point there unspoken, even if they both know who it means. Instead Sunset points at her own mostly eating piece with her fork. "She's not kidding, it's definately edible!" Even if the top layer is a little overcooked. The rest is fine and tasty.
Rayne looks back down at her own nearly emptied dish. "Um, anyway, um, yeah..." She looks up again. "So what about the other world you were on? In? Does it require the upkeep that Equestria does? Or is it more like the universes I and most of the others have come from?"
Sunset forks up some of the last bit of lasana. "The world Canterlot High is in is much more like what a lot of people around here call a 'human' world, yeah. Magic wasn't even a thing there, which is part of the reason I." Pause. "Did things I'd later regret." She gives it a dismissive wave. She's told the 'raging she-demon' story enough times. "Though in hindsight, I've come to believe it was less of it not being there, and more of it being a lot more subtle. In Equestria magic can be found pretty much anywhere. In that world, it needed something to draw or channel through. The Element of Magic, the Dazzlings' amulets, the collector device that world's Twilight made... Heck, the Rainbooms did it through -music-, so it doesn't need to be a necessarily physical thing."
Rayne tilts her head slightly at the descriptions. "Hrm. Yes, it does sound a lot more like how it works in my world. Well, like how it might have been when it wasn't understood yet. I'm willing to bet that if it's studied enough there, it could be channeled into proper spells, more the way I do it. But... unlike Equestria, of course, it's not... /needed/ for anything."
Sunset taps her fingers thoughtfully on the tabletop. "I wonder if they ever fixed the statue outside the school."
Rayne shrugs. "Probably? A statue is generally considered something important, right? I bet they found the budget for it," she suggests, not having a clue what the details are. She eats the last of her own slice of lasagna and looks around the room. She's happy to see so many troops up here eating now, but the smile is still a little sad. None of them see her as anything but their boss, really.
Sunset hehs. "I suppose they would, eventually. Though it was important for other reasons. The portal to Equestria was located in the pedistal, but that didn't get blown up, thankfully." She scraps the end of the lasana off her plate. But the somewhat happily sad look of her friend doesn't go completely unnoticed. Alas, what can she do about that?
Rayne looks back at Sunset, her smile just a bit stronger. "Well. I think today's... effort went well, wouldn't you? The troops seem happy. Now just to get the dishes cleaned and away, right?" Seeing Sunset's plate is now empty as well, she reaches over to grab it as she stands up before heading over to the dishwasher. Thankfully this place has a very large, almost industrial grade dishwasher! In fact, as she narrowly avoids collisions with some of the other troops, she moves back to the sink to get those cooking dishes to put into it as well.
"I'd definitely call it a success." Rayne may of took her plate but that doesn't stop Sunset from getting up and walking over to the sink with her. "Here, lemme give you a hand with those." Even if they don't have to wash them directly, that's a lot of dishes to get organized into the dishwasher.
Rayne smiles to Sunset, finally a genuine one! "Thanks! I think we've got this handled well!" With the dishes now in the dishwasher, she takes her now cooled cup of coffee and, glances around before making her way to a more secluded corner of the room. Once there, she quite visually relaxes some, her shoulders going down from being fairly hunched as she lets out a breath of air. Apparently, though she was doing a good job of hiding it, that many people around her was starting to get to her.
Sunset would say she was impressed Rayne managed it, but doesn't want to disrupt her getting a moment to relax. Or give away certain personal space issues someone has in middle of a large group of people. "Thanks for the meal Rayne. I should go check on the Center and make sure the night shift doesn't need anything before I turn in. It tends to be quiet but you never know in this place."
Rayne smiles back at Sunset again. "Hey... no problem! Just... trying to fill part of what's been missing around here, you know? I may not have Kotal's knack for it, but it's not like I've never cooked a big meal before, right?" The smile falters a little as Sunset announces she's heading back down before turning in, however. "All right. Sounds like a good plan. I'll see you around tomorrow then, probably, right?"
Sunset turns partway but pauses to give Rayne a smile and a wink. "Trust me Rayne, the food was good, but that effort to do so is what means the most to people. I'll see you tomorrow. Night!"
Rayne smiles back and nods. "Right. Have a good night, Sunset."