Gwaine knows damn well he shouldn't be in here; Cooky has barred him from her kitchens twice already. Apparently, the many privileges bestowed on a knight of Camelot do not include partaking in some of the kingdom's culinary delights early, and it makes Gwaine wonder why he even agreed to the position in the first place then.
With the mood Cooky currently is in, Gwaine doubts even Arthur himself would be able to filch a tender morsel without being swatted with the head cook's weapon of choice: a fearsome ladle that's as old as Geoffery the librarian, and probably just as crusty.
(Gwaine grimaces; he really didn't need that mental visual, thank you very much.)
But Gwaine is nothing but determined; he slinks around the scullery maids, giving them a wink and holding up a finger to his lips. They titter at his antics, throwing a cautious glance in Cooky's direction--the ancient old crone is busy reaming out a servant for grabbing the wrong cask of wine from the stores. It's horrible luck for the boy, but it works perfectly for Gwaine as a means of distraction.
Scalding steam escapes from various pots and pans, releasing various mouth-watering aromas to mingle in the air. Gwaine is debating which delectable delight to sample first when he spots a bushel of apples, freshly picked from the orchards.
The sight is too tempting to resist; rationalizing that it will be better to take one apple then say, a chicken leg, Gwaine picks the largest and ripest looking of the group. Shining it on his tunic, he takes a bite, the crisp crunch instantly flooding his mouth with sweet, tangy juice. He tastes the autumn sun on the reddened skin, the culmination of good soil and water in its pale, succulent flesh, and he doesn't hold back as he indulges some more.
An indignant screech bellows behind him, and that infamous copper ladle hits him squarely in the back of the head. But as white stars burst in front of his eyes, Gwaine determines a good apple is totally worth the whispered stories that will emerge about a knight of Camelot bested by a member of the kitchen staff.