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i love these roads where the houses don't change

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      1.

Sandra Lynn had never really moved in with someone when she had furniture too. When she and Gilear had moved in together, they had just kept all of his stuff, since she was used to being a ranger and had been living sparsely. Now, she was a woman of a certain age and had a kid and moving all of her shit in with Jawbone’s was difficult, no matter how much space there was in Mordred Manor.

There was just so much kitchenware , and Sandra Lynn had no idea how . There was going to be a lot more people living in the manor than just her in Fig but did they need this much dishware? All of this dishware that didn’t match?

She held up a particularly funny looking glass to Jawbone, after rummaging through his cupboards, “What is this? Are we keeping it?”

Jawbone turned to face her, a little confused at first, but then laughed when he saw what she was holding. The glass was decorated in the logo of a bar, Sandra Lynn could tell that much. But the mascot of the bar seemed to be a werewolf, she had no idea why Jawbone would keep this.

He walked over and took the glass from her, looking it over, “Are we keeping it? I don’t know, it’s kinda fun.”

“Kinda fun? It doesn’t really seem like something you’d like,” she gestured to the werewolf on it.”

“Oh yeah, that. This was from one of the first bars I ever worked at, most of the people who worked there were werewolves actually...it’s more of an inside joke than anything else? I forgot I had this…” Jawbone trailed off, and Sandra Lynn could tell he was remembering his life from Before. Before he got clean and sober.

Sandra Lynn put her hand on Jawbone’s arm and smiled at him, “Let’s keep it. If you want to. It sounds like a fun inside joke. Maybe you could tell me the rest of the story,” losing her confidence she faltered slightly, “if you want.” 

“I would like that,” Jawbone smiled back at her. “Maybe I do have too many bar glasses.”

“Do any of your dishes match? How did you get so many?”

  “Oh, no. None of my stuff matches. I got all of it from flea markets or I just...took it from places I worked.”

“That’s why you have so many bar glasses?” Sandra Lynn laughed. “Because you took them? Makes sense.” She took the glass from him and wrapped it in newspaper, and put it in a box with other glassware. 

“Hey! I take offense to that.”

Sandra Lynn jokingly rolled her eyes, “Yeah I’m sure you do.”

 

      2.

This time Jawbone and Sandra Lynn were at her home, going through her kitchen. They had pulled most things out of her cabinets, examining them. Most of Sandra Lynn’s dishes were functional over nice, and she was willing to part with most of them.

They got to the back of her cabinets when Jawbone pulled out her wedding china. That made her pause. “Wow, this is nice. Where’d you get this?” Jawbone asked.

Sandra Lynn hummed. Her mother-in-law had gotten the china for her, well, for her and Gilear. Sandra Lynn had honestly thought that he would have taken it with him. She hadn’t answered yet, so she just quietly said, “It was a wedding gift.”

“Oh.” Jawbone never fully understood Sandra Lynn’s hesitance to talk about her part relationships, it didn’t feel healthy to bottle all that shit up but he understood her hesitation when talking about Gilear. It would always be complicated since they had a kid together. “Do you wanna...keep it?”

“Not necessarily? But Fig might want it someday? Fine china is meant to be passed down. Right?” Sandra Lynn gave Jawbone a confused look, who looked just as confused as she did. Neither of them knew much about traditions, especially when it came to nice things like this. 

“Maybe we could not wrap it up just yet? Let Fig decide if she wants it?” Jawbone wasn’t sure how any of this worked, he was really just guessing. 

“That sounds good,” Sandra Lynn nodded. “I don’t think I’ve ever eaten off of it. What’s the point of having something like this if it’s not useful?”

Jawbone laughed, of course a Wood Elven ranger didn’t understand why someone would ever get something that wasn’t useful. “Some people like nice things just because they’re nice.”

“Seems a little wasteful. To me.”

“I agree, but sometimes nice things can just be nice.”

“Well, yeah. But do they have to cost as much as these plates definitely cost?” Sandra Lynn raised her eyebrow teasingly. 

“Oh no, the best things in life are cheap as hell.”

  Sandra Lynn laughs, and Jawbone joins her. Who knew going through kitchenware could be fun?

 

       3.

The stuff with the Nightmare King’s Forest happened so quickly after the move into Mordred Manor that no one had really gotten a chance to form a routine. One day, after everything, all the adults living in Mordred Manor who were awake before teenagers even thought about waking up, were eating breakfast in the kitchen. 

Jawbone had cooked for them, and they were just having a quiet morning in the kitchen when Fig stumbled in. She went straight to the cabinets, leveraging herself off the counter to grab a mug from a higher shelf, a very specific mug. 

“Good morning?” Sandra Lynn asked, wondering why Fig was going after a specific mug.

“Oh!” Fig looked at all of them like she was just now noticing them, “Good morning.”

She poured herself a cup of coffee and Sandra Lynn just wondered to herself when her daughter started drinking coffee. When Fig turned to face them she was drinking coffee from a mug that said in big letters “#1 Vice Principal”. Sandra Lynn couldn’t help but ask, “Where did you get that mug?”

“Oh, this old thing?” Fig coyly asked. “I stole it from Goldenrod in the beginning of freshman year.” That made Fig cackle laugh in a way that reminded Sandra Lynn she had a truly terrifying daughter. It was easy to forget sometimes, but the power was definitely there. She and Jawbone made eye contact and he raised his eyebrows, both of them acknowledging it.

“You stole it?” Lydia Barkrock asked. “Nice.”

“Yeah! I’m glad we discovered that he deserved it,” Fig said, nodding. She left the room with her mug, grabbing some food really fast before climbing the stairs to her room again. 

Sandra Lynn turned to Jawbone and Lydia, still shocked by her daughter saying she was glad they figured out that he deserved it. She had to ask, “What did I do?”

Lydia and Jawbone just laughed at Sandra Lynn’s utter confusion and slight concern.

 

       4.

Lydia and Ragh moving in had been great for everyone. Ragh fit right in with all of the kids of the house, and the both of them had help with any medical issues that might come up. When they moved in, Lydia brought her great cooking skills and what it took to use those great cooking skills. 

She had her own cabinet, with all of the dishes she had brought with her. Everyone knew where to put her things back if they helped wash them. One day, Fig and Ragh had offered to help with the dishes, since they had managed to make a mess of the kitchen that day themselves. 

Fig held up a type of cooking utensil she had never seen before, elves didn’t usually keep anything iron in their house, just in case. 

“What is this and do you? Clean it?” Fig asked that, because it seemed to have not been truly cleaned in a while. 

Ragh laughed, “It’s a cast iron skillet. Have you never seen one before? And no, you don’t scrub it the way you would scrub other stuff.”

Kristen and Tracker walked in to get snacks while Fig and Ragh talked and Kristen paused, “You’ve never seen a cast iron skillet?”

“No? Why do you all seem so shocked? I thought I was an elf for 15 years.”

“Oh, yeah. That is true isn’t it?” Kristen said and then shrugged, “Anyway, you don’t scrub it because the thing being old adds to the flavor of whatever you’re cooking. Like cornbread. Or really nice potatoes.”

“What are really nice potatoes?” Fig asked, as she, Ragh, and Tracker looked at each other confused. 

“Y’know,” Kristen shrugged, “just really nice potatoes.”

“Okay, I- nevermind. But I’m not scrubbing this?” 

“No,” Kristen and Ragh both answered. 

Fig put the cast iron skillet back, “Noted! Do you guys want to help?” Fig asked Kristen and Tracker and gestured to the dishes she and Ragh were still doing.

“Oh! Look at the time!” Tracker said as Kristen grabbed food out of the pantry. “Got to go!”

Ragh looked at Fig as she rolled her eyes, and laughed. Tracker and Kristen were quick to run away, and they just went back to quickly finishing the dishes while they goofed off with each other. 

 

       5.

One day, after a particularly fun day travelling through the various malls and peddler stores of Elmsville, all of the teens arrived back at Mordred Manor, tired but laughing together. Most of the Bad Kids had joined them that day, but now they were slowly splitting off to go back to their own houses. 

As everyone was getting ready for bed, Aelwyn approached her sister in their room and quickly held something out for her. 

“Oh?” Adaine asked, but held out her hands. 

Aelwyn placed a bowl in her hands, one that was highly decorated, and had a frog at the bottom of the bowl, so when you finished whatever you were eating you saw a frog. “I saw this at the Peddler’s Shop, and it made me think of you and Boggy. So.” She gestured to the bowl that now sat in Adaine’s hands and shrugged her tense shoulders. 

  “Ah!” Adaine let out a small squeal. “This is so cute!” She quickly wrapped her arms around her sister, pulling her into a hug. Aelwyn slowly wrapped her arms around her. “Thank you,” Adaine said. “I can’t wait to eat cereal that’s way too sugary in this thing.”

Aelwyn wrinkled her nose, “You should probably wash it first. I did get it secondhand.”

Adaine laughed and released her sister, “I’ll be sure to wash it, it’s so cute!”

“Well I’m glad you think so.”

“I definitely do!” Adaine left the room to go wash it right then and she passed Fig in the hallway, “Fig! Look at this cute bowl!”

 

       +1.

One day, when emptying out the dishwasher, Sandra Lynn found a casserole dish that she had never seen before. It didn’t look like it belonged to her, Jawbone, or Lydia. There were a few other people in the kitchen so Sandra Lynn turned around and held up the dish, “Is this anyone’s dish?”

Jawbone, Ragh, and Fabian were sitting at the kitchen table discussing something about Aguefort Academy, she assumed it was about the Bloodrush Team. They all looked up at her, confused. 

“It’s not mine,” Jawbone shrugged and said, at the same time Ragh said, “It doesn’t look like my mom’s.”

Fabian just looked at them, Why would they know? 

“Do I keep it if I don’t know whose it is?” Sandra Lynn asked. 

“Maybe someone else will know whose it is,” Jawbone suggested. 

That was a good point, everyone, and a few extra people, were at the manor today and would probably know whose this was. So Sandra Lynn took the dish into the living room where Kristen, Tracker, Aelwyn, and Lydia were. “Is this anyone’s dish?” she asked, holding it up.

All of them answered with various forms of no. Kristen looked at it thoughtfully though, “Did someone bring food in that dish when we did that potluck this weekend?” 

“Hm,” Sandra Lynn hummed, “maybe they did?”

“Ayda, Fig, Gorgug, and Zelda are working on a song in the garage,” Tracker said. “Maybe the Thistlesprings brought it?”

“Ooh, that’s a good idea,” Kristen said and Sandra Lynn nodded.

“Thanks guys,” she moved from the living room to the garage, taking the dish with her. She knocked when she got to the garage, but she doubted they could hear her over their own music. “Guys!” She called as she walked into the garage, and Fig and Gorgug both stopped playing, and their respective girlfriends looked at her. Holding up the dish Sandra Lynn asked, “Does anyone recognize this?”

Everyone shook their heads, no. “This doesn’t belong to your parents Gorgug?” 

“No,” Gorgug shook his head again. “My parents don’t really cook many casseroles. Sklonda cooked last week, maybe it’s hers?”

Gorgug still looked awkward, referring to an adult with their first name, but he was on to something. Fig piped up, “Riz and Adaine are working on clues,” Fig said clues in a sing-songy voice, lightly making fun of her friends, “up in her room, maybe he knows for sure?”

“Thanks, you guys are probably right,” so Sandra Lynn made her way up the stairs to Adaine’s wizard tower to find the two teenagers surrounded by stacks of paper, each one looking ruffled, and Riz looking slightly manic with the lack of sleep. 

“Hey?” Sandra Lynn asked. She debated internally if she wanted to know what they were working on. She didn’t. They both looked up at her, and she held up the dish. “Riz, is this your mom’s?”

He looked at it for a second, narrowed his eyes, “Oh. Yeah. That’s hers.”

All of this trouble just for it to be Sklonda’s this entire time. “Okay, I’m just gonna set this down right here,” Sandra Lynn said as she set the dish down on one of the desks in Adaine and Aelwyn’s room. They really did have papers everywhere

“Thanks,” Riz said as he and Adaine got back to work. Wow these kids could be intense sometimes. 

Sandra Lynn made her way back to the kitchen, that was too much effort just for a casserole dish. When she got to the kitchen she saw that Ragh and Fabian had put away the rest of the dishes and she smiled at them and thanked them. Then she looked at Jawbone and said, “We should’ve just kept it. It’s not like anything we have matches anyway.”