Title: Kitchen Duty.
Challenge: IX Competition
Character/Pairing: Oscar, Kieran
Author's note: originally intended for FE_drabble, but I just missed the deadline.
It had started well. Oscar had been stirring his soup pot in breathing in the aroma of herbs and spices he had just imbued into the brew when the door burst open and out came a voice he recognized all too well.
"There you are! Hiding again? I should have known— "
"Hello Kieran," Oscar said.
"Hello? Just 'hello'? That's no way to address me– Unless you're planning something again—"
"Actually hello works fine, or at least it usually does." Oscar didn't vocalize the latter half that included such thoughts as it works fine...with normal people.
"I brought my axe, this time you won't best me!" He lifted the sharp implement up and Oscar cringed when he buried it in a bag of flour that spilled out of it like snowy, frosted blood. He was not looking forward to explaining that to Soren or experiencing the strategist's wrath. Maybe he'd let Ike break it to him.
"See? It was newly sharpened too!" Kieran let out a giddy laugh and plunged the axe into a bottled vat of ale. It clove in two and a spilled over the floor to meet with the spilled flour in congealed granules of white puffy globs.
He was definitely going to let Ike spill the news. He let a silent prayer that Soren wouldn't visit the kitchen for any reason for the next few hours it was going to take to clean up.
"Actually, Kieran, I'm busy cooking," Oscar said.
"Cooking? A Crimean Knight does not cook! It would be demeaning to the name, nay, all of Crimea itself!"
Oscar shrugged. "Funny thing, I'm a mercenary, not a Crimean Knight anymore."
Kieran's nostrils flared in pure, unabated rage. "You'd besmirch the royal name, you'd turn your back on the Queen's Holy Guard? I demand a chance to fight you for that!"
Oscar sighed. "I didn't mean it like that. Here's a challenge, there's some potatoes over there. If you peel them all up before me, you win."
"You imply that our rival could extend to...menial tasks?"
"Yes, Kieran. Ours is a special rivalry. After this you can show me up by cleaning the floor far better than I could have ever done."
"I accept your challenge!" Kieran bellowed. "I, Kieran of the Crimean Knights shall peel potatoes with the force of ten men!"
"Try not to cut off your fingers," Oscar said.
Kieran did win that test and their new housework-based rivalry proved fruitful. However, it hardly tired Kieran out for actual sparring sessions. Oscar had long ago learned that Kieran was a never-ending source of energy and crazy all wrapped up in one. Still, it wasn't too bad having Kieran as a kitchen helper (occasionally called 'kitchen rival' or 'kitchen compatriot') If nothing, it certainly made chores more lively.