drop-by


Off-duty Mess
Castle Anvard


Megren sits curled in one of the armchairs near the fire, her boots off so that her legs can be drawn up onto it. There is a book open on her lap, and Tiny is nestled in the crevice created by her bent knees and curled stomach, but the squire appears to have dozed off.

Lanisen sticks his head in the doorway, glancing quickly about to see how busy the room is. He ducks his head and makes his way toward Megren’s chair, a small cloth bag with a drawstring clutched in one hand, and is given pause again when he sees that she is sleeping.

Megren is only sleeping very lightly and she stirs when she senses a nearby presence, though it takes her a moment to get her bearings.

Lanisen says, “Ahhh, sorry, I’m, I didn’t realize you were snoozin’.”

Megren wrinkles her nose and grins sleepily. “/Snoozin’/, huh?”

Lanisen says, “Well, what would you call it?”

Megren says, “Resting my eyes.”

Lanisen says, “Mm.” He gestures at the other chair and asks, “Can I join you?”

Megren lifts her brows. “Sure, of course. There’s hot cider if you want it.”

Lanisen says as he sits, “No, it’s, I’m not gonna stay long, I– um, here.” He holds out the little bag to her.

Megren leans forward, to the sleepy protest of Tiny. “What’s this? You should stay.”

Lanisen hands over the bag and sits back, pulling his lips between his teeth. He looks both apprehensive and pleased with himself.

Megren squints an eye at him when he doesn’t respond, but then lowers her eyes to the bag and opens it with her thumb and forefinger while Tiny climbs her arm up to her shoulder.

Lanisen says, “You said you didn’t have a set, so…”

Megren looks back up in surprise and delight when her investigation reveals a full set of cubes. “Where’d you get these? Don’t tell me you pinched them off Gearn.”

Lanisen says, mildly indignant, “What? No!”

Megren asks, “Then?”

Lanisen says, “The woodworker with the stall in the ward, I asked her to make ’em.”

Megren pulls one out to examine it. “They’re perfect — thank you!”

Lanisen dimples up, well pleased. “I figured you’d maybe– um. You’re always havin’ to borrow Gearn’s, I thought you might– get some use out of ’em.”

Megren says again, “/Thank/ you.”

Lanisen beams. He claps his hands on his knees and gets up. “I’ll let you get back to your, um, eye-resting?”

Megren exclaims, “No, stay!”

Lanisen pauses, darting a glance around the room. He rubs his elbow uncomfortably and looks back at her.

Megren drops her legs off the edge of the chair and Tiny protests again. “I’ll go with you, then.”

Lanisen says quickly, “No, no, it’s all right, you two look real comfortable.”

Megren makes a face at him.

Lanisen points out, “She’s squeakin’.”

Megren turns her head to boop Tiny’s nose with her own.

Lanisen grins and ducks his head. “See you ’round.”

Megren says, “Fine, fine. Thank you.”

Lanisen says, “‘M glad you like ’em.”

Megren exclaims, “Yeah! I do. It’s — thank you. You didn’t have to.”

Lanisen says, “I wanted to.”

Megren scrunches up one side of her face happily.

Lanisen makes roughly the same sort of face back and turns to go.

Megren holds up one of the cubes for Tiny to sniff.

Lanisen steps quickly to the side to get out of the path of one of the guards coming in for an evening meal, then makes his way out the door.

A log on the fire shifts, sending a column of sparks flying upwards.

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