The Strength of Cloth - Tea Time

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The comparatively small and dainty teacup rattled with a clink clink clinking noise against the saucer in his hands. Despite how this was supposed to be calming, instead his anxieties just continued to race. It was silly. This was silly. He had work to be doing. He didn't have the time to be sitting here playing doll games. Orders were piling up while he was accomplishing nothing other than making a fool of himself.

For her part, Lace seemed completely unperturbed by her Maker's nervousness, rather she seemed terribly pleased with herself. "It took a while, but this one believes she's got it this time," she said, voice full of pride. "Seriously though, making a cuddle doll without building tea party knowledge into its Purpose? You can be terribly silly at times, Maker," she said with a giggle.

In service to most any other, that kind of cheek would likely be worthy of a reprimand (or worse if she were serving some of the Witches he knew), but he had come to grow quite fond of it. The Maker simply couldn't bring himself to make her mind her metaphorical mouth. "Are you sure this time? Your last few attempts were... interesting to say the least," he shot back jokingly. Her disparagement had an uncanny way of setting his nerves at ease.

"How was this one supposed to know that nightshade tea is poisonous to humans? This one thought it had a very robust flavor..." Her pout was enough remedy that he wasn't sure he'd ever stop reminding her of that day's panicked dash for the village healer. "It doesn't help that this one still doesn't have the proper tools, you know..."

It was true that their tea set wasn't really much of a set. The cups were chipped. They were lucky if any two pieces matched. In fact, their "teapot" was supposed to be for soy sauce, an old gift her never bothered using and thought would stay his doll's needs, but he wasn't going to be the one to tell her that. "I still don't see how that has any impact on the flavor or... safety... of your teas though. It's purely aesthetics."

"This one does not ask why the tongs must always be clacked twice before you remove steel from the forge, so do not inquire why the aesthetics impact the teas. Magick is Magick," she quipped back with a self-assured smirk and certainty he really couldn't argue with as she poured from the soy sauce dispenser.

“Alright, but just one pot, I really do need to get back to work.” Once his cup had been filled, the Maker lifted it to his nose to take a cautious sniff. He had to admit, the tea did at least smell good this time, though he couldn't really pick out any of the individual notes besides a strong scent of citrus.

Noting his hesitation, Lace chimed in, “The apothecary assured this one that orange pekoe is safe for human consumption. This one assures you, you’re fine. Though they’re having quite the time… Apparently Echinacea is plotting another coup.”

“Again?” the Maker asked, taking a sip. He was actually somewhat startled to find that the tea tasted quite good for once, though there was still something off about it.

“Yes, something about the other dolls having display positions of higher prestige or some sort. Which is ridiculous, since they all have the same style case kept at the same height on the same shelf, but… there’s no convincing him of that.”

Before the Maker knew it, he’d already drained his cup. Lace immediately noticed and went to pour him another, beaming as she did so. “I sure am glad I didn’t end up with a horrible doll,” he mused as she worked, “I just don’t know how I’d manage all the chaos.”

“How are you sure you didn’t get a horrible doll, Maker? This one has certainly set your workshop on fire enough times. Plus, there is that one time I poisoned you.” Her Maker couldn't help but note that that cheeky had returned.

“Ah, true. Perhaps I’ve the horriblest doll of them all; the smug kind.” His barb landing, Lace could hardly set the “teapot” down before breaking into a giggle fit.

“Perhaps you have, Maker! Perhaps you have!”

Drinking from his freshly poured cup, he realized he hadn’t been this at ease all day. The rest of the day’s orders could wait, he decided. His doll deserved a proper teapot and he had the spare copper on hand to handle it. Besides, despite the "teapot" being brave new, the tea still somehow had the faint taste of soy sauce. That didn’t stop them from sharing two more pots over doll gossip though.

End 🧵