Lanisen sits at a table against the wall, a piece of paper laid out in front of him. The remains of a meal are pushed to the side, and he’s absently massaging his right arm while he reads, as if it is paining him.
Harmonia trots into the tavern, making her way up to the counter to buy a piece of pie. She spies Lanisen, and her brow wrinkles. Pie in hand, she heads his way.
Lanisen is quite focused on the letter in front of him, and he doesn’t immediately notice Harmonia as she approaches. He reaches the end of the page and turns it over, casting a quick glance around the tavern as he does so. “Oh,” he says, and grins at her. “Evenin’, miss.”
Harmonia tips her head to the side. “You okay, Mister?”
Lanisen asks, puzzled, “What’s that?”
Harmonia says, “You okay, Mister? You were rubbing your arm. Does it hurt?””
Lanisen looks blank for a second. “Oh,” he says, and pulls his arm in. “Didn’t realize.” He shrugs and admits, “Cold makes it ache a little, seems like.”
Harmonia tilts her head to the side again. “Was it making the snow man? Did my snowman hurt it?”
Harmonia climbs onto a chair, placing her piece of pie on the table
Lanisen blinks at her. “Wh–no, no no no!” He laughs and rubs the back of his neck. “It wasn’t your snowman, don’t worry. Um. It got… sort of hurt a couple months ago, and it’s still healing. That’s all.”
Harmonia takes a bite of her pie
Lanisen asks, “What kinda pie did you get?”
Harmonia says, “Blackberry.”
Lanisen sticks out his tongue a little and makes a grossed-out face with an exaggerated shudder.
Harmonia asks, “You don’t like blackberry?”
Lanisen says darkly, “It /crunches/.”
Harmonia giggles. “That’s the seeds.”
Lanisen shudders again.
Harmonia says, “I love it.”
Lanisen mutters, “Good that /somebody/ does.”
Harmonia says, “Whatcha got there?” She gestures to the paper.
Lanisen says, “Oh, it’s a letter from my friend in Anvard. Tryin’ to figure out what to say back.”
Harmonia asks, “What are they like?”
Lanisen says, “Huh? My friend? Real nice, she’s one of the guards at the castle. She’s got red hair like you.”
Harmonia perks up, “Really?”
Lanisen says, “Uh-huh. Hers is real short though. Shorter’n mine even.”
Harmonia makes a face of disgust
Lanisen assures her, “No, it’s real pretty on her though.”
Harmonia nods, “Okay…”
Lanisen says, “She’s tryin’ to learn to read is what she’s doing and I told her I’d try and help, only I’m not so great at it either.”
Harmonia oohs. “I don’t know it myself.”
Lanisen says, “‘S all right. Lots of people don’t.”
Harmonia is quiet, thinking and looking around the tavern. She looks back Lanisen, “How’d you hurt it?”
Lanisen asks, “My arm?”
Harmonia nods. “Once in Terebinthia a friend fell out of a tree. He hurt his arm.”
Lanisen winces sympathetically. “That’s no joke either,” he remarks.
Lanisen says, “Um.” He pauses, and casts an uncertain glance around the tavern before grimacing and looking back at Harmonia. “I got hurt in the battle,” he says frankly.
Harmonia’s eyes brows shoot up and her eyes grow wide, she leans in whispering quietly. “Did the bad men hurt you?”
Lanisen says uncomfortably, “Oh, well. They shot arrows at us and we shot arrows at them. I dunno who shot at me.”
Harmonia frowns, “I’m gonna practice real hard and then no bad men will hurt anybody.”
Lanisen grins, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “I don’t doubt that,” he says quietly.
Harmonia exclaims, “I’m gonna go practice right now!”
Lanisen says, “What, now? But it’s cold out! Your fingers’ll freeze right off!”
Harmonia pulls her new mittens out of a small pouch, “Momma made them.”
Lanisen says, “Oh, hey, look at those! Those’re real nice.”
Harmonia notices her mother enter, standing close by the door. “Oh. I gotta go.”
Lanisen says, “Careful with your arrows, ‘k?”
Harmonia nodnodnods. “I will.”
Lanisen says, “Good luck, kid.”
Harmonia says, “Bye, mister.”
Lanisen waves after her.
Colin enters the tavern and removes his heavy cloak, rubbing his hands together to warm them.
Lanisen sits alone at a table against the wall, a letter unfolded in front of him.
Colin heads in his direction. “Evenin’.”
Lanisen leans back in his chair, stretching. “Hey,” he responds, rubbing his shoulder. “How’s Ara?”
Colin gives an easy grin. “Doing good. What have you been up to today?”
Lanisen shakes his head. “Nothin’ exciting. Checked in on Eston’s sister’s house one more time but I think they must’ve left for the winter. Tryin’ to come up with a reply for Megren now, but I’m not good at letters, turns out.”
Colin frowns in confusion. “Where would they go? And, what seems to be the trouble with letter writing?”
Lanisen turns faintly red. “Just ain’t clever with words is all,” he says, a little defensively. “And I dunno where they’d go, they just ain’t /here/.”
Colin shrugs a little. “No one said you had to write it tonight. Maybe the words will come later?”
Lanisen sighs. “Yeah, I reckon. I been puttin’ it off, though, I feel bad.”
Colin says, “Blame it on me. Tell her I’ve been working you to death.”
Lanisen snickers under his breath, glancing wryly at Colin. “‘Preciate that.” He works the fingers of his right hand idly, giving the quill on the table a baleful look.
Colin notices the movement. “How’s the arm doing?”
Lanisen makes an indistinct growling sort of noise.
Colin says, “Noted.”
Lanisen says, “Think it’s the cold, it’s been crampin’ up somethin’ awful.”
Colin makes a face. “That’s not good…. on the plus side, I anticipate us heading back relatively soon. Probably should have it looked at, see if there’s any new ideas.”
Lanisen asks, “Yeah? When’s that?”
Colin asks, “Not sure yet, within next couple weeks maybe?”
Lanisen nods thoughtfully. “There anything in particular we need to do or get before then?”
Colin chuckles. “Not sure of that yet either.”
Lanisen says, “Keep me posted if you think of anything. You eat at Ara’s?”
Colin nods. “Yeah, I’m good. You eat yet?”
Lanisen says, “Yeah, a while ago. I was thinkin’ I might go check in on the horses.”
Colin says, “I haven’t checked on them today myself. They probably could do with some company.”
Lanisen nods, folding up the letter and tucking it away. He screws the cap tightly back on the little jar of ink and drops it into his pocket with the quill, then stands up. He takes a few wincing, limping steps on his stiff left leg. “Hahahaaa, /lion/ I hate winter,” he remarks, making a face.
Colin rises up from his chair to go with, looking somewhat sympathetic. “Just wait til you get old…”
Lanisen groans, then snipes back with a small smirk, “Yeah, you’d know, wouldn’t you?”
Colin gives him a look. “You hush or I’ll make you into a snowman.”
Lanisen says, “Fine by me. Snowmen don’t have to move.”
Colin says, “Cold.”
Lanisen concedes this with a muffled grumble.
Colin grabs his cloak and puts it on before heading out with Lanisen.