“Here, how about a nice large one?” The man motioned to the eggs and Kyuuki looked at them all, just holding herself while she looked down. She didn’t move for them but merely watched, gray eyes intent. It was cold, and the Flame flitter was curled around her shoulders, trying to keep her a little warmer. The man still had his best salesmen smile on, but Kyuuki wasn’t looking at him. She was looking. Right for the point in between to areas, right on the border.
“That one.” She suddenly pointed. It was on the larger side, right on the border between the nicely priced ones and the more affordable. Just like before. Lantern looked at it and seemed to approve. The man was happy to sell and Kyuuki handed over he marks. She took the egg in its container and started walking. Each step her hands started shaking more and more before she had to stop, take a moment and start again. She stopped off and got one of the healer’s to right a note for her. Kyuuki hardly could see well enough to write neatly, so she got someone to write the name on a piece of parchment. She then proceeded to her destination.
She had to stop and start quite a few times. Eventually she made it, the parcel safe. She put it down, making sure it was warm and sealed. Good. She put the note with Libby's name on it underneath it and then stepped away, checking to make sure nothing would be amiss. That done she made a hasty retreat. Lantern crooned lovingly into her neck, giving her a little extra energy to get into her room and then rest for the remainder of the day.
Time passed. Libby couldn't tell you how. The work in the kitchens had kept her busy, but she hadn't felt anything doing it. The inventory, the logistics. There should be a proper feast for Temperanth's Hatching, but this winter had been a particularly difficult one for supplies. So the counting, the sorting, it had kept them very busy. Which was good.
Libby needed to be busy.
The kitchenfolk had noticed. Libby wouldn't talk to them. She wouldn't eat. Some gave her space, others tried to serve her more, or offer her sweets. It didn't help. Nothing helped. She worked as long as they would let her stay in the kitchen, sometimes she had to silently fight their protestations for her to go rest. She just needed to work. She barely slept as it was. The time was better spent minding the kitchens, so she wouldn't mind herself.
With flour still on her face and in her hair, the idea of bathing and then freezing in the frozen Weyr, Libby returned to her room to lay for a while. Her feet ached vaguely. It was one of the few things she still felt. She kicked her shoes off, nudged a glow basket open with one toe, and stood still as the Weyr's stone foundation when she glanced to her bed.
Sitting there, a foreign shape. A card. It had her name on it. It was for her. It wasn't until a teardrop hit her foot that she noticed she was crying. Someone cared. Someone knew, someone... that was all that mattered. Someone cared.
It took her another several moments to recognize the gift as a firelizard egg. She had seen a few of the kitchenfolk with one. The crafted pot. She lifted the lid to see sand. She brushed it aside and saw that mottled, tan egg. She covered it again. These were supposed to stay warm. And the egg pot did a rather good job of that, but she wanted better than that for hers. For the first time in four days, she felt tired. But even with that, she replaced her shoes, shuffled to the kitchen, put the egg on the hearth, and in the warmth of that fire, leaning against the heated stone rim around the fire, she felt asleep. Sure, she would be stiff when she woke up, but for that moment, it didn't matter.
One of the kitchen woman retrieved a blanket for her.
For one brief moment, as they so fleetingly came, Libby dreamt that maybe everything could be okay.