Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

"You know I can hardly determine a favourite food—soup or otherwise," Balder reminded her gently. "I am not all that particular—but this would certainly be very high on my list," he gave a small gesture with his spoon before taking a bite.

"And as for formality, I—well, my first two sets of foster parents," he said, setting his spoon down into the soup a moment, "were high up in Vanir’s houses. Lord Njord and Lady Sjofn had me until I was around four, and then Lord Freyr and Lady Gerdr. We were together quite a lot at that time," he remembered fondly, "and so it was more like … Lord Njord and Lady Sjofn were more like … foster grandparents with Lord Freyr and Lady Gerdr as my foster parents." The titles sounded cumbersome even as he doggedly went on listing them.

"I learned quite a bit from Lord Freyr," he thought on it, picking up his spoon again. "He felt it was important to know how to address different people at court, to speak proper Vanir, and to conduct oneself properly at functions. Add to that when I was … changing houses, Thor offered to let me stay with him some at the palace. It was a little over my head at first when I had supper with his family, but they were very kind about it."

"I was half hoping you’d settled on a favourite food, or at least type of food. That way I could make sure you always had it served for you whenever you came over." Nanna replied playfully to his reminder. 

Balder had lived quite a different life; moving from home to home, family to family, none of it his blood but rather borrowed. 

"I have heard a great many good things about Lord Freyr from my father. His name seems to come up from time to time." Nanna  pulled a piece of bread apart elegantly, dipping it in her soup as she watched her betrothed. "It cannot have been easy growing up like you did, even if you were part of a high Vanir house for some of it. Someone along the way helped craft you into a very good man, and I hope to be able to tell them that one day."

"Whatever you decide to serve I am certain it will be perfect every time," Balder said, swallowing down another few spoonfuls of soup. "Perhaps I may even enjoy the variety that would come of your attempts to discover a favourite," he countered with his own playful glance toward her.

"And I would not say that someone helped me as much as all my foster families did," he amended her assessment. "It was … while I might have … rather stayed with a family more—more permanently, I cannot begrudge my upbringing, varied as it was. Each house has taught me something and made me what I am—who I am—today."

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

Balder found the bowl at his setting and took the ladle Nanna offered to scoop out his own portion. “That sounds nice,” he commented at her description of her relationship to the other woman. “You must still be quite close then. Perhaps next time I might meet her,” he suggested as he set the soup before him, picking up his own napkin for his lap.

"The outbound missions have been cut down significantly since the Stone Sickness. Sif is still on bereavement leave—and hating every minute of it now. I think the inactivity irritates her more than it helps to calm her down after what happened."

He picked up a few slices of the bread Nanna had indicated and offered the rest of the plate to her. “They haven’t sent me out of the realm since my shield-sister is effectively out of commission, so I’ve been handling odds and ends at the barracks houses,” he explained, dipping the end of a piece of bread into the soup. “Inventories, missives, running a few practice drills with new recruits. Nothing terribly exciting.” He took a bite with a low noise of approval, swallowing it down quickly. “This is very good,” he said to her genuinely. “I can see why it is considered special.”

She smiled demurely at his praise of the food, filling her own bowl and taking a slice of bread for herself as she went over all he had said. 

"You have known Sif for some time, She’s lucky to have you as family." Nanna stirred her soup idly before sipping at her spoon. "You have some practice in…a formal setting through. I dont know anything about your upbringing, not much anyway. Did you have a favourite soup?" She asked lightly. "Or a favourite place to play? A most hated teacher?"

"You know I can hardly determine a favourite food—soup or otherwise," Balder reminded her gently. "I am not all that particular—but this would certainly be very high on my list," he gave a small gesture with his spoon before taking a bite.

"And as for formality, I—well, my first two sets of foster parents," he said, setting his spoon down into the soup a moment, "were high up in Vanir’s houses. Lord Njord and Lady Sjofn had me until I was around four, and then Lord Freyr and Lady Gerdr. We were together quite a lot at that time," he remembered fondly, "and so it was more like … Lord Njord and Lady Sjofn were more like … foster grandparents with Lord Freyr and Lady Gerdr as my foster parents." The titles sounded cumbersome even as he doggedly went on listing them.

"I learned quite a bit from Lord Freyr," he thought on it, picking up his spoon again. "He felt it was important to know how to address different people at court, to speak proper Vanir, and to conduct oneself properly at functions. Add to that when I was … changing houses, Thor offered to let me stay with him some at the palace. It was a little over my head at first when I had supper with his family, but they were very kind about it."

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

"I—sorry," Balder apologised again, apparently given the wrong impression of the style of dinner by the quality of the spread. His footsteps echoed for an awkwardly long time as he stepped around the end of the table, the distance around almost absurd, before he could take his seat across from her. He sat, seeing the small washbasin at the side of his plate and rinsing his hands in the clean-scented water.

"Thank you," he responded politely to her offer, searching out the glass at his setting and picking it up gingerly. The stem of it seemed hardly a quarter of the width of his fingers, and he feared snapping it off if he grasped it there. He let his hand scoop under the bowl of the goblet, thinking to let it rest in his hand as he held it out rather than risk shattering the glassware.

The smell of it as it poured out was familiar and he offered a smile across the table. “It is,” he assured her. “Just the same one as I had at the tavern.”

"You and your cook—or nanny—seem to have outdone yourselves," he complimented at the array before him. "Did you—have you done this often together?"

"Not so much anymore." Nanna took a napkin and set it on her lap out of habit. "But I try to make time to see her, even if I just sit on the counters and try to make her laugh." 

She smiled at Balder over the table and offered him the soup ladle. “Its the cook’s special pumpkin soup - it was my favourite when I was a girl. There’s bread too.” 

Nanna felt nervous, hoping he’d like it all, hoping it was enough and not too much all at once. “How has your work been? Is Sif doing…a bit better?”

Balder found the bowl at his setting and took the ladle Nanna offered to scoop out his own portion. “That sounds nice,” he commented at her description of her relationship to the other woman. “You must still be quite close then. Perhaps next time I might meet her,” he suggested as he set the soup before him, picking up his own napkin for his lap.

"The outbound missions have been cut down significantly since the Stone Sickness. Sif is still on bereavement leave—and hating every minute of it now. I think the inactivity irritates her more than it helps to calm her down after what happened."

He picked up a few slices of the bread Nanna had indicated and offered the rest of the plate to her. “They haven’t sent me out of the realm since my shield-sister is effectively out of commission, so I’ve been handling odds and ends at the barracks houses,” he explained, dipping the end of a piece of bread into the soup. “Inventories, missives, running a few practice drills with new recruits. Nothing terribly exciting.” He took a bite with a low noise of approval, swallowing it down quickly. “This is very good,” he said to her genuinely. “I can see why it is considered special.”

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

"It … it is wonderful," Balder answered slowly, a small amount of awe still remaining in his voice. "Even only making part of it—it is impressive."

"I am sure," he tore his eyes from the food to follow her as she moved across the room, "that it will be just as impressive to taste as it is to see." He brought himself to move again, suddenly remembering his manners after his initial moment of standing awestruck, and crossed in front of his betrothed to pull out the chair before Nanna might sit.

"Sorry," he apologised for his near slip in etiquette as he stood with the chair ready for her. "It has been some time since I have been to eat at a formal dining table."

"You don’t need to be formal, Balder. Its just me, its just us here. This is no formal dinner - its all for you to enjoy. Use your fingers if you want to." Nanna hoped to get him to open up a bit, to enjoy himself, to see a genuine smile that was neither polite nor only half real. She wanted to make him smile because he could not help but do anything else. 

She sat as she watched him, reaching for a pitcher on the table that contained the drink from the Gilded Rose. “Do you want some? I hope its the right one.” 

"I—sorry," Balder apologised again, apparently given the wrong impression of the style of dinner by the quality of the spread. His footsteps echoed for an awkwardly long time as he stepped around the end of the table, the distance around almost absurd, before he could take his seat across from her. He sat, seeing the small washbasin at the side of his plate and rinsing his hands in the clean-scented water.

"Thank you," he responded politely to her offer, searching out the glass at his setting and picking it up gingerly. The stem of it seemed hardly a quarter of the width of his fingers, and he feared snapping it off if he grasped it there. He let his hand scoop under the bowl of the goblet, thinking to let it rest in his hand as he held it out rather than risk shattering the glassware.

The smell of it as it poured out was familiar and he offered a smile across the table. “It is,” he assured her. “Just the same one as I had at the tavern.”

"You and your cook—or nanny—seem to have outdone yourselves," he complimented at the array before him. "Did you—have you done this often together?"

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

Balder blinked down at her on his arm, a little surprised at her closeness but he eased into it as they came to the dining room.

The table they encountered looked nearly as large as the entire mess hall at the barracks. Upon it several dishes gleamed out silver among the courses: a soup, some fowl—likely pheasant, he smelled on the air—and something else covered in decorated lids that could potentially be a dessert. The cups, rather than the bronzed steins and flagons he had seen at the tavern, shone crystalline at the two set places across from each other, and he noted the cask in the corner stamped with the Gilded Rose’s seal of their finer ale.

"I am sure it is," Balder could not help the widening of his eyes at what she had prepared—all for him, it seemed, as no one else was to be present. "Did you … make all of this yourself?" he asked, peering from one end of the long table to the other, catching sight of none of the attendants he had seen the last time he visited.

"Oh, no." Nanna admitted. "No, I couldnt do all of this by myself. The cook made a great deal of it; she was my nanny though when I was a child so I did help a great deal with many of the dishes. She wouldnt let me get away with it otherwise. The pheasant - I basted it." Nanna noted with playful pride. "I also cut a lot of vegetables and fruit. I was banished off dessert though - I have a childhood tendency to stick my fingers in things before they’re finished."  

The woman laughed softly, moving into the room and noting Balder’s wide eyes. Maybe he didnt like it, maybe it was too much. She didnt know how to read his expression. 

"Is it okay?" She peered up at him. "If you dont like anything say so. We can always just get something else. It wouldnt be a problem at all." 

"It … it is wonderful," Balder answered slowly, a small amount of awe still remaining in his voice. "Even only making part of it—it is impressive."

"I am sure," he tore his eyes from the food to follow her as she moved across the room, "that it will be just as impressive to taste as it is to see." He brought himself to move again, suddenly remembering his manners after his initial moment of standing awestruck, and crossed in front of his betrothed to pull out the chair before Nanna might sit.

"Sorry," he apologised for his near slip in etiquette as he stood with the chair ready for her. "It has been some time since I have been to eat at a formal dining table."

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

"Oh," Balder was at somewhat of a loss for words as she rested her hand over his arm. "Then I—I suppose I give this to you," he turned his hand and presented the bottle.

"And I suppose I haven’t anything … pressing to do back at the barracks tomorrow," he considered, "and staying here would not be too far away should something come up."

"I am honoured," he returned her smile, "that your father has shown such trust in me … and that you should want my company."

She took the bottle from him, glancing at the label and not at all registering how much it must have cost for a soldier to purchase such a lavish wine. Nanna leant a little into her intended, sidling just that tiny bit closer to enjoy his presence. 

"Of course I want your company. It is some of the best company I know." Nanna’s words were genuine, quiet as if reserved for only him as she led Balder through the foyer into the dining room. Their seats were placed opposite each other on a table made for a great many more than two. "I could not quite remember what your favourite drink was, so I ordered some from the tavern we went to a few weeks ago, when I met Sif and Thor. I hope its the right one. We can open the wine you brought too - I think it will go well with the main course tonight." 

Balder blinked down at her on his arm, a little surprised at her closeness but he eased into it as they came to the dining room.

The table they encountered looked nearly as large as the entire mess hall at the barracks. Upon it several dishes gleamed out silver among the courses: a soup, some fowl—likely pheasant, he smelled on the air—and something else covered in decorated lids that could potentially be a dessert. The cups, rather than the bronzed steins and flagons he had seen at the tavern, shone crystalline at the two set places across from each other, and he noted the cask in the corner stamped with the Gilded Rose’s seal of their finer ale.

"I am sure it is," Balder could not help the widening of his eyes at what she had prepared—all for him, it seemed, as no one else was to be present. "Did you … make all of this yourself?" he asked, peering from one end of the long table to the other, catching sight of none of the attendants he had seen the last time he visited.

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

"Lord G—oh," Balder had been halfway into a respectful bow when he registered the voice that addressed him at the door. "Nanna, I … hullo," he swallowed the first syllable, surprised to be so immediately in her presence unaccompanied.

"I—ah," he shifted the wine in his arm as he stepped over the threshold at her invitation. "I brought something—for the host—but I don’t … did you say your father had some business away from the city tonight?" he asked, unsure if he had missed something in her letter.

Nanna shut the door behind Balder, ushering him in happily before finally coming to a more settled position beside him. 

"My father was called away, yes. He is at the country estate all weekend, but he said to have you over anyway. He must like you a lot to allow it - I would take it as a huge compliment." 

There was a pause, the woman not quite sure of what to do, so she set a hand over Balder’s arm and smiled brightly up at him. “We have the whole weekend…if you want it. I hope to make your time off worthwhile.”

"Oh," Balder was at somewhat of a loss for words as she rested her hand over his arm. "Then I—I suppose I give this to you," he turned his hand and presented the bottle.

"And I suppose I haven’t anything … pressing to do back at the barracks tomorrow," he considered, "and staying here would not be too far away should something come up."

"I am honoured," he returned her smile, "that your father has shown such trust in me … and that you should want my company."

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

balderoncebrave:

Balder shifted his stance as he stood before the large double doors of Lord Gevar’s city residence where Nanna had invited him for the evening. It had been some time since they had seen each other—not since the funeral, he considered, nearly two weeks ago. He had been true to his word, however, in writing her—nevermind the strange looks from the messenger serviceman for sending a missive merely across town—and the letter he had received back contained the invitation to dine.

The bottle of Alfar wine was tucked carefully under his arm, a full month’s pay to be drunk in the course of an evening, but considering that even in the little he had seen already of the city residence he knew the quality of host-gift would require as much. The main entry hall and the parlour alone potentially possessed all of his new regiment’s salaries within it as decoration. Thinking on it now, he sincerely hoped the quality of the vintage would be up to snuff.

Taking a fortifying breath and raising his free hand, he gave a soft but solid knock upon the main doors.

The knock on the door had her smiling, eyes shooting across the foyer to the great wooden structure as butterflies leapt to life in her stomach. Nanna gathered herself and crossed the room, reaching to let Balder inside before realising her hands were still full with a flower vase. Quickly she set it aside on a low side table and opened the door, beaming at her intended. 

His letters had warmed her heart; he seemed to really be taking the time to invest in something between them, in wanting to nurture the relationship. 

"Hello." Nanna stepped out of the way for Balder to come inside. "You’re just in time. Dinner is nearly ready. I hope you like it." 

"Lord G—oh," Balder had been halfway into a respectful bow when he registered the voice that addressed him at the door. "Nanna, I … hullo," he swallowed the first syllable, surprised to be so immediately in her presence unaccompanied.

"I—ah," he shifted the wine in his arm as he stepped over the threshold at her invitation. "I brought something—for the host—but I don’t … did you say your father had some business away from the city tonight?" he asked, unsure if he had missed something in her letter.

Hope and Expectation | Closed RP

goddessnanna:

Nanna went to great efforts to make the house seem warm and inviting, filling the foyer with fresh flowers and ensuring the scent of dinner carried through all the way to the front door. Her father had returned to the country manor leaving his daughter alone for the weekend in the city so that she might spend some more time with her betrothed. 

She flitted around the sitting room, ensuring the fire was stoked just right, that Balder’s had a selection of meads, ales, and wines, and that his room was made up properly. There were fresh towels upon the bed and a huge bath through the ensuite.

Nanna was nervous. Good nervous. Nervous excited. She wanted to spoil him, to let him know that she cared by caring for him. She wanted to make him comfortable, to give him a weekend off from the barracks that he could enjoy, that he could remember fondly as a warm and relaxing time.

Thus everything was ready and waiting, the little woman standing in the kitchen behind the woman who had once been her nursery maid before being ushered out with a new vase of flowers and orders to find somewhere to set them.

Balder shifted his stance as he stood before the large double doors of Lord Gevar’s city residence where Nanna had invited him for the evening. It had been some time since they had seen each other—not since the funeral, he considered, nearly two weeks ago. He had been true to his word, however, in writing her—nevermind the strange looks from the messenger serviceman for sending a missive merely across town—and the letter he had received back contained the invitation to dine.

The bottle of Alfar wine was tucked carefully under his arm, a full month’s pay to be drunk in the course of an evening, but considering that even in the little he had seen already of the city residence he knew the quality of host-gift would require as much. The main entry hall and the parlour alone potentially possessed all of his new regiment’s salaries within it as decoration. Thinking on it now, he sincerely hoped the quality of the vintage would be up to snuff.

Taking a fortifying breath and raising his free hand, he gave a soft but solid knock up on the main doors.

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