(2018-11-21) Checking In
Luke stops by to discuss chickens, turkey day, and /stuff/.

Thanksgiving prep is well underway. Right now there is a Katherine standing at the counter cutting celery and onions as she prepares to make her own stuffing for her turkey. The turkey is rather large, and he's been cleaned and stands ready to receive bread-based yumminess into his butt cavity. There is some faint holiday music playing in the background, and things simmering on the stove, and thankfully for everyone, coffee made.

"Knock knock!" Luke calls from the great room as he lets himself into Katherine's house, dumping his jacket on the hook before he follows his nose into the kitchen. "Wow, it smells good in here. That is a fucking huge turkey," his eyes bulge a little as he goes to make himself comfortable at her table. "How you doing, Kate?"

"I'm doing good, Luke. You?" Katherine nods to a stool, pouring coffee in a cup for Luke without even asking if he wants it. "Yeah, big big turkey. Big." She lets out a soft laugh and side-eyes the monster. "It's going to take forever to cook though, I may let it cook nice and slowly overnight, if I want to get up and baste it constantly during the night." She pauses in her chopping, grinning at Luke. "You ready for Thanksgiving?"

"Thanks," Luke says offhandedly as the coffee is handed over, moving to wrap his hands around the mug and draw it up for a big gulp. "Uh, yes? And no. I don't know," he says of being ready for Thanksgiving. "I'm going with Abby to go have dinner with her parents and her brother and my mother and .." he puffs air into his cheeks and breathes it out in a woosh. "It's a big step."

"Yeah, that is a big step." Katherine murmurs, pausing to eye Luke. "What are you taking with you, anything?" She asks, putting her attention back down to her cutting board, her knife rocking as she continues to dice celery and onion. "If you'd like, you can snag one of the pies over there." She points to the decorated table where a few different pies sit, cherry, pumpkin, apple and sweet potato.

"Flowers for her mom. That was Ethan's idea. Wine for the table, that was Angela's idea," Luke sort of rambles off, frowning to himself as he glances hungrily over to the pies sitting on the table. "My mom's bringing four different kinds of pies. She went crazy. She's so excited, I think this has made her forget about the whole.. you know. Cancer, treatment, that sort of thing."

"Both very good ideas." Katherine notes, sweeping the celery and onions into a bowl. She gazes up at Luke, catching the glance. "Well why don't you take one for your house, you might not have a lot of leftovers, but you can have pie." She chuckles and shakes her head slowly. "I'm glad it's making your mom happy, it's the little things that mean so much to some of us, you know?" She rubs her hands together and purses her lips. "How is Abby doing, she nervous too?"

"Oh, man. That'd be awesome. Thanks, Kate," Luke replies of the pies, casting one last glance towards them before he looks back to Kate and grins. "She's good. I don't think she's nervous /at all/. She just kept telling me how much her parents'll love me and that I shouldn't be worried," he rolls his shoulders back into a quick shrug. "I know she's right? But I haven't done the 'meet the parents' thing in a really, really, /really/ long time."

"Luke.." Katherine pauses, leaning against the counter to grin at him. "You're a great guy. You're nice, comfortable to talk to and most importantly for any parent, you have a stable job and life and care about their daughter." She shrugs and pushes back a bit, pulling a green pepper over for the treatment. "You have nothing to worry about, trust Abby, and trust yourself." She starts to chop slowly, scraping the seeds from inside the pepper. "I got some chickens a few days ago, they don't need any special kind of care that you'd know about, do they?"

"Yeah, yeah. I know," Luke waves his hand dismissively at Katherine, chuckling a little. "I just want to make a good impression, that's all. I mean I lo.." he stalls out, before he manages to restart his thought engine. ".. Like her. A lot." He seizes immediately onto the conversation of chickens though, because it was far safer than the avenue he was headed down. "Oh, well. Do you have a coop?" He straightens to look through her backyard window, blinking a few times when he sees said coop. "You're going to need winterized feed, I can pick some up for you the next time I go to the store. Chickens eat a lot more in the winter htan they do in the summer."

Katherine laughs out loud, rolling her eyes as she gazes over at Luke. She lets him change the subject, polite enough not to push him into sappy subjects. "I have a coop, I'm going to paint it in the spring." She gazes at Luke, pulls her notepad over to take notes. "Excellent, I'd really appreciate that. I went out and got eggs today, their clucking is kind of soothing." She opens the fridge and pulls out cheese, cream cheese and cooked bacon. "Luke, I know …" She tilts her head, exhaling before she pulls out a glass bowl from a cabinet. "You should tell Abby how you feel, if you really feel that way. Girls love to hear that."

"I can get you a bag that'll last you a few weeks, they sell feed in bulk at the shop I go to downtown," Luke makes a mental note, drinking his coffee as she talks about her chickens and their soothing clucks. But then she has to go whipping back around and bringing up the subject that he wanted to forget, and he chuckles a little awkwardly, reaching to rub at the back of his neck. "I ah, yeah. I mean, I'm sure it'll.. you know, come out eventually. It's really early still, Kate, only been three months," he shakes his head, "Speaking of, how are things with Xavier since the party?"

"I'll slip you some money before you take off, I got a new boarder last night and he paid for a week in cash." Katherine remarks, setting things up to make a cheeseball. "If you feel it, say it. Don't wait until it's too late. I don't take anything or any day for granted now." She pauses at his question, aiming a look at him. "Xavier is fine, as far as I know. He's upstairs talking sternly on his phone - as per usual." She looks amused, briefly pushing hair out of her eyes with the back of her hand.

"All right," Luke knows better than to argue with Kate over money, but he does get up to refill his own coffee while she's chopping away. He gives her a sidelong glance, rolling his eyes a bit. There's a decided lack of response about taking things for granted. "So if that's your motto in life now, I take it you two are dating now?" he smirks around his cup of coffee as he drinks from it again. "I mean, since you don't take anything for granted anymore."

Katherine returns the sidelong glance, smiling up at Luke fondly. "We're not dating, no. We're going to the resort this weekend, but there have been no discussions of a relationship. Nor would I consider one right now. I just got out of a relationship, and I don't hop from one to another." She leans in, bumping into Luke. "You're right though. I'm not taking anything for granted. Life is far too short, and I paralyze myself with indecision and worry more than I ever should. I was listening to music last night and I realized that…I don't do a lot for myself. I need to change that."

"You're going to the /resort/ this weekend? I mean that sounds pretty serious. I dunno if I would go to a /resort/ with somebody who I wasn't interested in sleeping with or already dating," Luke bumps back into her as he heads back to the table, coffee in hand. "But you're right, Kate. You don't do a lot for yourself. And you should change that. I don't think there's anything wrong with Xavier, all things considered. Except that he doesn't seem like the kind of person that's going to settle down forever in Calaveras," he shrugs. "As long as that's what you want."

Katherine nods at Luke, laughing as she shakes her head. "It's not serious, and I never said I wasn't interested in sleeping with him. I'm planning on it." She blinks, looks embarrassed for a moment, a faint blush coloring her cheeks. "Well if he goes, he goes." She sets down her knife and tilts her head, a thoughtful look on her face. "I always try to do the right thing, the good thing, and it hasn't worked out for me. I put people before me all the time, and this once, I'm going to be a little selfish."

"Ha, I knew it," Luke chuckles boldly, eyes glimmering as he shakes his head. There's another mouthful of coffee gone before he sets his cup down and shrugs his shoulders. "You gotta do what you gotta do, Kate. As long as you feel safe and comfortable with him?"

Katherine pauses, raising both eyebrows at Luke. "You knew it?" She tilts her head, a dangerous squint to her eyes. "I don't know how you …knew it." She leans against the counter, crossing long legs at the ankles. "Care to share?" She doesn't answer the last, clearly latched on to this new part of the discussion.

"You two are rather obvious about the fact that you have the hots for each other," Luke points out. "It's not an insult, it's just.. I don't know. Kinda obvious."

"Mhmm.." Katherine pushes away from the counter, gathering the green pepper to dump into the bowl. She gets out a grater and starts on the sharp cheddar. "We'll see what happens Luke. I'm not daydreaming or thinking ahead anymore, got that out of my system." She gazes at him, the smile returning. "You can take some soup home as well, I was making some for this weekend so Charlotte won't have to cook. I made too much." She pushes the cheese through the grater, eyebrows furrowed. "Maybe Abby might like some wedding soup." She picks up the second brick of cheddar and starts the process over again.

Luke tips his head, the smile fading as he watches her. She talks of soup, but he's hung up on her expression, and his brows lift subtly. "What's wrong, Kate?" he asks. "I mean. Honestly. What was wrong with what I said? It's okay that you guys are attracted to each other. And you literally just said you were planning on sleeping with him this weekend. So. Dish. What is on your mind?"

"Smile, Luke. I love you. You know that? You're one of my very best friends." Kate murmurs, slamming the grater on the cutting board to dislodge any cheese left behind. "There isn't anything wrong. I really do mean that. It's just that, talking about my last relationship is why it ended. So I'm gonna keep this one closer to the vest. I'm gonna sleep with him, I'm gonna enjoy whatever place he makes for me in his life, but I'm not getting my hopes up again. I did that, recently enough that it still stings. That's all." She slams the grater again, frowning slightly. "Everyone leaves, you know. It's something that I struggle with."

"Not everybody leaves," Luke points out, his brows falling into a furrow. "And I think you know, you and Ethan were just not.. compatible. You said that yourself, that you realized that? I dunno. I get it, in a way. I didn't date for a long time after what happened between me and my last girlfriend, but then I met Abby and things just … clicked. They made sense," he lifts his shoulders, a smile passing by his lips. "Do you like him, Kate? Do you feel safe with him?"

Kate dumps the cheese into the bowl, poking at the cream cheese to see if it's soft. "We weren't compatible, but we weren't polar opposites. It might have worked if things didn't go insane. Everyone daydreams about their relationships Luke. If you told me that you didn't think about what tomorrow could bring, I'd think you a liar for the first time since we started talking." She unwraps both cream cheeses, dumping them into the bowl. "It's over now, and I'm not trying to dwell." She picks up a spoon and slowly starts to mix the ingredients. "I like him a lot, Luke. I feel completely safe with him. I'm still nervous about /things/ but that's my struggle to figure out. I'll do it too." She sounds pretty determined, her lips set in a line.

"I never said I don't daydream about my relationships. But we're not talking about /me/," Luke points a thumb at her, reaching to take another drink of his coffee. "I'm sure you'll figure it out, Kate. And I hope he makes you happy. Because that's what you deserve, in my opinion. Someone that'll make you happy."

Kate sets the bowl aside, pulling out pecans and putting them in a freezer bag. "You're sweet Luke, it's why I adore you." She crushes the nuts with a rolling pin, a smile tugging at her lips. "I've got shit figured out. I'm just here for the ride right now." She furrows her brow and then clears her throat. "No pun intended." She sighs and aims a soulful look at Luke. "Won't you take some soup home, or even one of these pies? You'll save them from being ignored and unloved." She pushes so hard at the subject change, bottom lip trembling.

Luke chokes on his coffee. It takes him a full minute to recover, his eyes squinting closed as he laughs and laughs. "Yeah, yeah. I'll take the damn pies and soup, Kate, don't worry."

"Listen, pal.." Kate lets out a little laugh, moving to wash her hands. "I expect people thought I'd cry and wilt over this whole mess, but it was a big wake up call, in a few ways. I'm going to be okay. I'm gonna save my crying for my private time, and soldier on. If nothing else, I need to get in a serious relationship, or hitched, before I turn thirty and Julian comes knocking on the door to take care of me." She rolls her eyes and opens the freezer, pulling out a bag of wedding soup. "So expect an invite to dinner in the near future, bring whomever you like. I'll get sambuca and we can toast the fucking snow or something."

"I never thought you'd cry and wilt over this whole thing," Luke says that seriously as he drains what's left in his cup, rising to his feet. "You're stronger than you let people believe you are. I see that. And Kate," he narrows a look at her. "I'm way past thirty and not married. Don't give yourself deadlines. That's fuckin' dumb," he says bluntly. "I dunno if Xavier is your end game? But as long as he's normal, and you don't see any red flags? Then go for it."

Kate blinks, laughing out loud as she gazes at Luke. "No deadlines. Ugh, he's the one setting deadlines, but if he shows up here in a tux after we're both thirty, he's just gonna get the compost dumped on his head. If I ever get married it's because I am head over heels for someone. Full stop." She blows a kiss at Luke as he prepares to leave, pulling a few twenties from her pocket. "Here, chicken feed, and..Luke? Thank you for …well everything. Don't forget the soup, and take a damn pie."

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