[P] [LcS] [bbq - CdC] I never knew what it took to win
OOC: CdC Cooksite. Starting with Building Phase, mid-point will timeskip for the cooking phase with prompt. If I need to change anything, please let me know! Assuming Abilene already went over some of the plans and spoke things out with Lyall and Aelin. If I need to reiterate things with her, I can do that. :)

Building Phase

The building phase of the cooking competition had come. Unfortunately, with it had come the fluttering butterflies that often accompanied her doing something she wasn't used to. They had been given supplies, supplies that they had leisurely picked through, ensuring that they had what they needed, other stuff they needed to search for. They hadn't necessary divvied out roles, though she was sure that since she had been the one with the most guidance from Josephine back home, she'd likely end up helping the others with culminating a strategy that would at least make them seem somewhat adequate, considering they had taken the opportunity to represent their pack.

The Cavalier had never really considered herself much of a planner but in reality, she typically had to make plans every day and usually, those plans were on the fly considering she was a huntress, even if not in rank back home. Venison herds migrated and there were times when you couldn't find your desired prey, when you had to make due with chasing a squirrel or hunting birds. There were always tactics to hunting alone when companions were scarce, though she hadn't had that problem in the most recent weeks. Her paws grazed the side of the large pot that was intended for Aelin's stew and her eyes drifted over the space they had been pointed to for their cooksite.

By the time they had finally fallen to her companions, she had offered a clumsy smile before clearing her throat, her hair pushed back and over her shoulders. "I'm not exactly sure where to start but I guess we should divide and conquer, right? Are either of you good at digging?" She felt like she should have known that answer, at least in regards to Aelin, though they had spent more time on beaches and spending time with one another doing other things. Digging hadn't ever come up, to her remembrance.
Wc – 214
Sorry for short, but it’s the second ‘ dig a hole ‘ post I’ve written today LOL..

Aelin gave their set up a once over, a slight frown present. Paired with a furrowed brow, her features came across as quite serious indeed. Finger pressed to her lips, the wolf ran through their plans over and over – trying to keep each part fresh and at the forefront of conscious thought. Abilene cleared her throat and at once Aelin’s bitter-coffee gaze skipped to the other woman, head cocking. She couldn’t help but subtly take in the form of her partner, eyes twinkling as she covertly winked at the hybrid and cracked a smile.

“ Ye, I’m just grand at diggin’, I’m sure this lummox is just as grand, if not grander.The wolf replied, silver hair sliding over her shoulders as she cocked a hip and looked at Lyall with raised eyebrows. Crossing her well-muscled arms, she grunted and motioned with a dark nose to where the tools were stacked before striding over and picking two shovels up – tossing one to the gigantic male in one smooth motion.

“ Well laddie? Let’s get goin’, right over t’ere looks t’ be suitable. “ She directed, using the end of the tool to point where to begin digging. “ ‘Ow deep are we diggin’, love? “ Came that sing-song Irish lilt, directed towards Abilene.

[Image: bdmpOoy.png]
Of course, he had signed up to do the barbecue, why wouldn’t he want to help? It wasn’t like he actually knew how to cook, so maybe he could learn something from Abilene and Aelin. After all, it wasn’t everyday that the youthful man got to stand and gawk at a pair of females who were interested in one another. Which was such a strange thing to think about, how did they even….? No, he couldn’t have thoughts like that, not whenever his teenage body was doing awkward things to him already.

However, gawking would be creepy, so he only stole glances every once in a while at the women, their cute little looks at one another making him somewhat uncomfortable, and slightly jealous. They were speaking… Oh? Aelin was talking about him? He looked at her with the hands on her hip, and offer a sheepish smile. “Y-yeah, sure, good at digging’.” A partial smile, followed by a goofy looking grin. “Been diggin’ my whole life.” Followed up with his strangely tall figure lumbering towards their first cook-site, not without catching the shovel that Aelin tossed at him with an “oof”.

Catching it to his chest, it sort of made his solar plexus a bit sore, ignoring it however, Lyall began quickly digging in silence, ignoring the somewhat demanding tone from Aelin but beginning none the less. Ears paid attention to what they asked one another, that same pang of jealousy hit his stomach at the endearment of “Love”. It would seem as though everyone save for him, were finding people to crush on. His only crush was his step-sister, Maisie, and he wouldn’t admit that to anyone. Especially not whenever he had two women who made him rather uncomfortable and just the thought of Maze basked in the moonlight, made his groin begin to ache.

Think about grandma Jace, or about flowers…. Whew, that was close.
Aelin and Lyall seemed eager enough to get to work while Abilene pointed out what needed done for the better part of the beginning stages of their building phase. "I'm sorry," she stated after a few moments where she had basically been watching the both of them dig. "I was trying to get things straight in my head. There's so much to remember!" she exclaimed with a toothy grin.

"About a leg deep, your leg, Aelin, and about this wide." For measurements, she chose to step forward, etching into the ground with her foot at about the width the hole was meant to be. Aelin's leg was about the depth. They were far enough inland that there wouldn't be a threat of water rushing in to bury their dig site but the fine grain of the sand was different than she would have hoped for. It meant that the stones needed to be stacked a certain way to keep it from crumbling inward. She had been tonguing at her cheek for several moments when finally she smiled at both.

"You're both doing a great job," she said, "I'm going to go gather a some stones along the beach. I saw a couple we could use on the way in."

"When you get finished helping her, Lyall, could you gather some firewood for us? We need to dry the walls in the fire pit. Probably best to do that with flames, right?" She inched closer, leaning up to kiss at Aelin's snout before she went about her own business. Finding the particular stones they needed was a tough task in and of itself. She couldn't carry the heavier stones by herself and would need Aelin's help when it came down to that particular task but the drifting stones she had seen encrusted within the sandy dirt of the beach on the way to their spot had been mostly perfect. It hadn't taken long to find them. Out of the corner of her eye, when she'd been approaching the others once more, she'd found a flatter, smoother stone embedded within the beach's sandy front.

While she already had an arm's load of stones, all mostly the same shape, a few different but none with the best, overall appearance, she had stopped, set each of them down and gone about the task of digging it out. It was only about a foot long in length, slabbed at an angle on the underside, a rigid top that looked as if it had been ground down by the ocean. Too heavy for her to carry by herself. She gathered what she could and eventually returned to the others. "I found most of what we need for the secondary fire but we still need a flat stone. I found one for the bottom of the pit but I'm going to need someone's help."
Wc – 245
PP given w/ permission. 

Been digging his whole life? The Irish female hid her laughter behind a few well-placed coughs, pounding on her dark chest with a fist. Oh lord, had she been that awkward as a youth? Inwardly the female cringed at the spike in male musk around them, endeavoring to go linger by her mate instead of the teen with watchful eyes.

“ Right, ye got it. “ Aelin replied, making quick work of the pit with Lyalls assistance. At least these big males seemed to be useful for something. After the pit was dug, the Hushhowl male wandered off looking somewhat embarrassed but relieved to be sent on his own. The dark female glanced in his direction with watchful eyes, noting that Lyall didn’t seem to be all that worried about how quickly he accomplished his task.

“ Typical males. “ The First Officer grumbled, waving at her mate-to-be as she returned and asked after assistance. “ Sure, I’m sure Lyall can start on making t’ fire. “ Stepping out of the pit after scraping the edges of it, Aelin trailed after Abilene to where this larger rock lay and assisted the fiery-pelted female in carrying it back. It was heavy and took some finessing, but eventually they got moving and the Damaichu instructed Aelin on where to place it.

Once everything was in place and Lyall returned from gathering firewood, the wolf placed her hands on each hip and smiled broadly. “ W’at next? “

[Image: bdmpOoy.png]
Lyall was stuck helping Abilene, enjoying the breeze, unable to think any more about his previous thoughts, unless he wanted to deal with snapping teeth from both females. Creating a situation wouldn’t be the best thing for him to do. Instead he continued helping, trying to ignore the fact that Aelin was hiding her laughter, with some fist pounding on her chest, and then coughs. A furrowed brow, as he did his best to avoid looking at her chest in the first place.

Now his ask was gathering firewood, both the females seemed to be rather standoffish and he didn’t blame them one bit, considering his musk was beginning to become apparent. His mind wandered for a while as he broke sticks over his leg, and chopped some down with a bone knife, slowly, he began his way to making the sticks into a beautiful teepee masterpiece, and beamed with pride once he was done. The only reasons he even knew that the fires should have been made looking like this, was due to watching his mothers’ whenever they created fire for their forge.

Lyall remained silent, cautiously he looked at Abilene, then Aelin, warily he asked; “Should we start the fire now?” Of course he was literally seconds behind asking basically the same question as Aelin, and carefully laid ears down on his head, tilting his head to one side. Hopefully he wasn’t going to get reprimanded, Aelin was scary, especially after their last run in. He thought it was hilarious, she did not. How unfortunate, for her at least.
Time skip - several hours

Prompt: Do you smell burning?

In the busy hustle and bustle of the cook, one of your team members has been a little to generous with the kindling. Your cook-fire’s flame is burning a little too bright, and, more importantly, a little too hot, threatening to dry out your dish!

The fire's start had been the beginning for them after they got the site up to speed and the cooking pit dug out. The middle section had been patted down with water, dried out with the flames stoked by Lyall. It seemed easy enough to keep the fire going while the three of them worked. The biggest part of their meal was, of course, the stew. The carcass, the chicken, the rabbit, all of those meats went into preparing it along with potatoes, other veggies and a broth that inevitably came from cooking all sorts of meats and veggies in the same water.

She did not have much to do with helping to prepare for that. Aelin had done her fair share. In all, the three of them had their chance to add their opinions to what they made and each of them had their own little thing to do. Honrin had provided them with some honeycomb and honey they'd brought themselves. The other fruits had come from the reserves which had been offered to them by DCG and their trades throughout their time already spent in the coyote pack.

Some time had passed between building their site and cooking. Hours, in fact, that had bled away while each of them worked. They had everything cut up the way they wanted. The stew was well on its way to being finished. The fire, Abilene hadn't checked on since Lyall had been given freedom to feed it as he saw fit. The honey, of course, had been set on top of the large stone they'd been cooking on in a medium sized pot and had just started boiling down when Abilene first smelled something amiss.

Smoke had been rolling from the top of the large stew pot since it had heated up but it had become thicker between the last time she had looked that way and smoke now seemed to roll from the bottom of it as well. "Guys! I think the stew is burning!" she yelled.

She had been sitting a distance away, looking along the beach. It hadn't taken long to stand up when she had yelled out to the others. She had immediately rushed toward the honey's pot, trying to ensure that the smell wasn't coming from there either. That's when she noticed it; the area around the two cooking holes had grown 'hot', flames flickering brighter than normal beneath.
Wc – 531
Pp w/ permission.

Mostly, the surrounding area smelt amazing. Aelin stood up and tried to get a scoop on the competition – but it was hard to discern what the other teams were putting together while the wolf was supposed to be watching her own pots, so to speak. There was too many things going on though, for her to truly concentrate. The looming mateship ceremony between the two knights was within the next fortnight and it was a little anxiety-inducing if the Cavalier was being honest with herself.

In the midst of a daydream concerning what they’d both wear, agonizing how to appropriately accessorize – she heard Abilene yelp a warning and jerked back to life. Without a moments hesitation Aelin dove for the fire, harried steps carrying her close to the flames that roared with a life of their own. Narrowing her gaze, she tried to best figure out how to deal with the burning stew. “ Who was in charge of t’ fire again, aye? “ The Irish beauty exclaimed angrily, moving to yank the heavy pot from further harm. All Aelin succeeded in was scorching her palms, earning a pained yelp from the wolf.

“ Amadán! Lyall, ye fuckin’ gobeshite! Git over ‘ere and ‘elp me, or are ye as stupid as ye are tall? “ The female barked, wincing as the pain set in in both palms. Shaking them as if that’d take away her burns, Aelin glanced towards the large wolf as he shuffled forward apologetically with ears downcast. “ Sorry guys… musta been distracted. “ He mumbled, wisely lining his own hands with thick leather squares, designed to safely handle hot surfaces. Abilene had gotten over to the pot herself, scooping up the remainder of the leather and assisting Lyall with moving the pot off the flames – casting glances back at the honey that had become near crystallized.

“ Aelin? I’ll look at your hands in a moment, but could you look after the honey? I don’t want it burned either. “ A poignant look was passed between the fiery Damaichu and the gigantic Hushhowl, and the dark-hued wolf was shocked to see the male shrivel under that evergreen-gaze. “ Yes, love. “ She agreed with a sigh, knowing that surely the triage tent would have something to slather on her palms once the cooking was finished with. The two managed to get the pot off the flames, but were left looking lost on how to stifle the overfed cookfire.

“ Try scraping some sand on t’ edges, it’ll choke it. We will ‘ave to stoke it again to get it up to temperature, but waiting for it to die down will take too long. “ The First Officer supplied as she pulled the rock cooking the honey away from the direct heat source. It still needed to turn into sugar, and the heat from the rock below it would keep it from cooling completely. Doing as instructed, Abilene got the fire to cool down and checked that the stew was still edible. Once everything was back in place, the shorter femme put everything back into place and began feeding the fire anew – relegating Lyall to clean up duty.

[Image: bdmpOoy.png]

Abilene liked Lyall in her own little way, though it wasn't anything like the relationship she shared with Lucian. He had made her feel more comfortable with horses, after all, than she had at that point with some of the people she dealt with on a regular basis outside the pack's borders. She had grabbed the pot of honey near crystallized and placed it on the sand a short distance away while Aelin helped moved the cooking stone, careful not to slosh any remaining in the event that she accidentally got any on herself or spilled too much which surely would have taken them out of the competition. It was put back on the stone after the stone itself had been moved.

Hearing Aelin's yelp, the anger in her voice, brought her attention forefront, though, and she visibly winced as Lyall received a verbal lashing the likes of which she'd never heard from the light haired woman. She found that she kind of liked the authoritative version of her beloved, though she spoke nothing of it. In hushed movements, she had quickly found herself helping Lyall move the pot off the flames, her attentions turned toward Aelin shortly thereafter.

"It's okay, both of you. We're still in this," she said with a small grin as she visibly swarmed Aelin's hands, careful to look over each of her paw pads, the flat of her palm to make sure that she wasn't hurt badly. "It'll heal quickly, I'm sure. It'll be sore for a while, though. No heavy lifting. Allow Lyall and I to get the pot back on when it's time. You can help prepare the sugar and compote." She glanced toward both, her voice softer than Aelin's but only just slight. After she helped with pushing some sand into the hole containing most of the burning cinders, she knew only time would tell whether or not the flames were stifled enough to warrant cooking again.

It'd take time but they had a while yet.

When everything had been put back in place, the stew had been tasted, she fell back against the sand nearest Aelin, still worried over her girlfriend's hands. The honey had been taken off, scraped from the pot and broken into manageable pieces, settled in a sack they had brought with them and put atop the stone it had been cooked on. It had been crushed into smaller, more brittle shards until it was almost a powder consistency. The difference was that there were a bunch of smaller pieces within that would probably need to be sorted if it were to be eaten in the state it was in. Of course, it wouldn't remain that way for long. Soon, it would be a syrup, made with the juices of the fruit they'd cooked down.

"I have a good feeling about this."

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