Edana holds her son close and kisses him on the head. “He does.” Kaie mumbles quietly to himself about being short.
Megren sits back down. “I myself am a thousand and seven.”
Kaie smiles. “Don’t you mean you are 107?”
Megren says, “Oh, that’s right.”
Lanisen slips through from the outer ward, heading for the seamstress’s shop. The reason for this is readily apparent: he is holding a large tear in the side of his shirt closed with one hand.
Kaie smiles and takes another bite of his pretzel. Edana smiles down at him and then look to Megren. “How is your guard work?”
Megren says, “Oh, I haven’t been a guard for close on a year now.” She smiles. “Squire work.” Her eyes skip over the other woman’s shoulder to her friend as he passes through the market. “Good, though.”
Edana ahs. “Well…I do not know where I heard that then!” She laughs and flattens her dress. “Is work as a squire particularly difficult?”
Megren squints an eye. “Well– I don’t know. It’s busy. Lots of running around. Sort of like being in the guard, but sort of like being a valet or a lady-in-waiting, and sort of something else entirely. A lot of learning. Sometimes I think it’s as much work for the knight.”
Lanisen pauses to let a group of women coming from the pottery shop pass, then ducks into the seamstress shop.
Edana nods, listening closely. At the end she laughs. “I wonder if it is? I would love to have an extra hand from time to time myself.” Kaie pauses and adds, “I am a handful.”
Megren says, “Two, I bet.”
Kaie looks up at his mother and then goes back to munching his pretzel. Edana quietly adds, “it is good fun though” and looks around the market.
Megren smiles. “I’m sure. Am I keeping you from your day’s tasks?”
Edana shakes her head. “Of course not! I was just enjoying the scene. It is good to take a small break every once in awhile.” She looks back to Megren and adds, “But if we are keeping you from yours we would not be offended if you had to hurry away.”
Lanisen steps out of the seamstress’s shop after a moment. He’s in the same shirt, but it seems to have been pinned shut, and he’s got a spool of brown thread in one hand.
Megren shakes her head. “Got an afternoon off.” She holds up the now empty pretzel-paper. “Small breaks all around. Speaking of which–” She lifts her hand and waves it. “Lanisen!”
Edana looks up to where Megren waved and smiles at Lanisen herself. Kaie tugs at her hand and holds up his empty pretzel wrapper, pointing at a nearby trashcan. She nods and he jumps off the bench, stopping to ask Megren if he can take hers as well.
Megren smiles and extends it to him. “Thank you,” she says very politely.
Lanisen takes a second to locate Megren, and he hesitates a second longer to see who she’s talking with before he moves to join them. “Afternoon,” he says once he’s close enough to talk without shouting, and dips his head politely to Edana.
Megren asks, “Dog problems?”
Edana nods her head back in return and then watches her son makes his way over to throw away the garbage.
Lanisen’s hand goes self-consciously to the ragged tear. “Ahh, heh. Yeah. It happens.”
Edana is joined by her son once again. “We have had some puppy issues ourselves! He is always getting my apron dirty.”
Megren points to the scratch on her cheek. “At least I didn’t have to sacrifice my clothes.”
Haft emerges from the potter’s shop, heading toward the ward. Catching sight of Megren, he changes direction.
Lanisen’s eyes sharpen as he focuses in on the cut, and his forehead furrows. “Are you– what’d you do?”
Edana takes a look at Megren and her smile disappears.
Haft frowns as he gets closer and notes the source of Lanisen’s question. He frowns.
Megren lifts a shoulder. “Um, be stupid? Ha. Made a wrong move in a spar.” She turns her forearm so he can see another cut on the back of it. “It’s not serious.”
Lanisen’s face winces up in sympathy anyway.
Megren says, “I’d be more upset if it were my clothes.”
Haft asks, “At least…no sprained wrists yet?”
Edana laughs at Megren and goes to adjusting Kaie’s shirt which has ridden up.
Megren lifts her wrists for Haft to see, turning her hands about. “Whole and accounted for.”
Dalia makes her way into the Northern Market, and on her way to the seamstress notices the small party. “Hello one and all,” she says turning towards them.
Lanisen steps a little to the side, glancing quickly at Haft.
Haft offers Lanisen a swift, perfunctory smile.
Edana looks up as Dalia joins the group while Kaie runs to her, arms open. “Miss Dalia!”
Megren wrinkles her noise amiably at the sight of the child’s affection.
Lanisen’s eyes flicker briefly over Haft’s face, gauging the expression, then returns the smile and turns his attention to Kaie and Dalia.
Dalia smiles when she sees Kaie come running, and bends down to his level to offer a small hug. “Hello Kaie. And how are you today?”
Kaie accepts the hug and smiles. “It is a good day! Momma bought me a pretzel.”
Megren lets the women and the child talk for a moment. She gesture to the tear Lanisen’s shirt. “Want me to have a go at that?”
Dalia exclaims, “How wonderful!” She glances up at Edana with a grin, before turning back to Kaie “I like Pretzels ,do you?” ”
Lanisen steps slightly back, angling himself more toward Megren. “Oh, it’s– that’s all right, I been, I can do it.”
Kaie nods. “I had never had one before. But it was lovely!” He runs back to his mother and sits beside her. Edana smiles to Dalia.
Haft asks, “What happened? One of the dogs take a bite?”
Lanisen steps back again, glancing between them. “Yeah, uh– They’re, they know not to bite hard when it’s, you know, hands or skin or somethin’, but cloth’s fair game in a tussle.”
Dalia gets up when Kaie runs off and dusts herself off glancing toward Haft and company, at Haft’s question.
Edana snuggles Kaie close to herself and begins listening to the story.
Haft asks, “How do they know where one starts and the other stops?”
Megren squints up an eye.
Lanisen rubs the back of his neck like he’s not really sure how to answer this one.
Haft spreads his hands. “Valid question.”
Megren asks, “One’s cloth and the other isn’t?”
Edana smiles at the group and begins cleaning under her nails.
Dalia glances over towards Edana, “How have you been?”
Edana puts her hands down. “Sorry. Clay got stuck un–” She shakes her head and smiles. “I have been wonderful. Busy but good.”
Lanisen gestures at Megren and shrugs a little apologetically to Haft. “Nobody squalls right away when their shirt’s bit, too,” he offers. “Prob’ly helps.”
Dalia eats a slice of sourdough bread.
Haft chuckles. “Suppose it does.”
Dalia smiles. “That’s good to hear.”
Edana asks, “And you?”
Dalia says, “Not to badly.” She hefts the basket on her arm, “Been busy for Milady and my mum.””
Lanisen lifts the spool of thread in his hand and gestures back to the ward. “I should– go get this fixed up.”
Megren says, “I’ll go with you.”
Edana smiles. “I am sure you have been. We have not seen you in awhile.” She notices Megren’s comment and throws her a smile. “It was nice to see you.”
Haft says, “Have a good time…sewing.”
Dalia turns to see Lanisen and Megren leaving, “Oh! Good day, Megren. Lanisen.”
Lanisen starts to say, “You don’t have to–” He pauses and glances at the others as they speak up and dips his head to them, answering, “Afternoon.”
Kaie pulls his mother’s ear to his mouth and whispers something to her.
Megren pushes him gently in the back toward the kennels. “Nice to see you Edana, Kaie. Dalia and Haft, I’m sure I’ll see you later.”
Haft says, “We’re unfortunate that way.”
Lanisen moves along obligingly.
Megren sticks her tongue out at Haft.
Kaie catches Megren sticking out her tongue and laughs.
Dalia covers her smile with her hand.
Haft quirks a brow back.
Dalia waves to Lanisen and Megren as they leave.
Kaie tries to but his feet on the seat before being swatted down by his mother.
Lanisen walks beside Megren across the ward and opens the kennel door, stepping back so she can go first.
Megren skips past him and then gingerly around a dog. “Got a needle?”
Lanisen asks, “A needle?”
Megren points to his shirt.
Lanisen says, “Oh, oh, I need a needle to fix this?”
Megren squints an eye.
Lanisen says, “I’ll be. Wish I’d thought of that earlier.” He tchks regretfully and shakes his head, then crosses to the table, where an empty wooden spool sits next to a needle already threaded with about two inches of thread.
Megren tches and sits across from him.
Lanisen takes a moment to take out all the pins, neck craned awkwardly. He drops them on the table next to the spool, then sits down.
Megren remarks, “That would be a lot easier with a second person.”
Lanisen makes a face at her and reaches for the new thread. He unspools about two feet and snips off the end with his knife, then sets about threading the needle. His right-handed grip looks clumsy, but it seems to serve him well enough. “How’re you today?”
Megren makes a face. “At least don’t sew it while it’s /on you/.”
Lanisen protests, “I haven’t got another shirt here!”
Megren squints an eye.
Lanisen narrows one eye back.
Megren gives up. “You want me to go fetch you a shirt?”
Lanisen grumbles, focused on getting the needle threaded, “I’ll get it.”
Megren gets up and crosses around the table. “Lion’s mercy. Here, let me have that.”
Lanisen neatly tugs a good length of thread through the needle’s eye and folds it over. He lifts his eyebrows at her.
Megren holds her hands out insistently.
Lanisen frowns, and looks at the needle, and looks back at Megren, and hands over the needle with the slightly doubtful expression of somebody who isn’t sure what’s expected of them. “I done this before a couple times, you know.”
Megren asks, “With your shirt on you?”
Lanisen says, both shifty and mildly defiant, “Sometimes.”
Megren reaches for his shirt, pulling it forward a bit to reach better, and tugs the cloth tight and straight with one hand, pulling the needle through with the other.
Lanisen inhales and sits up a little straighter, holding his breath.
Megren is not an expert at this task, and therefore her work is a little slow.
Lanisen squirms occasionally, which probably doesn’t help.
Megren pokes him once in retaliation. “Stop moving.”
Lanisen jumps, the same sort of involuntary ticklish recoil as the other squirmings, but more. “Don’t /poke/!”
Megren glances up at him with a grin.
Megren pokes him again.
Lanisen hisses and arches away, jabbing his elbow down to guard his side. He leans forward slightly, ready to hop to his feet if necessary. “See, this, I knew this was gonna happen!”
Megren says, “It wouldn’t if you weren’t so squirmy.”
Lanisen exclaims, “I’m not squirmy!”
Megren says, “Ha.”
Lanisen huffs. “Gimme that back, I’ll do it.”
Megren says, “No, I’m almost done.”
Megren is, maybe, halfway done.
Lanisen pushes his mouth to the side like he’s debating whether it’s worth it.
Megren sets back to.
Lanisen is tense and suspicious and very carefully unsquirmy.
Megren is slightly more effective in this circumstance.
Lanisen starts to relax after a few minutes.
Megren asks, “No work this afternoon?”
Lanisen says, “Just the usual. You?”
Megren says, “Another hour or two.”
Lanisen nods, careful to only move his head. “Defense lessons tonight?”
Megren asks, “Yes. Will you come?”
Lanisen draws in a breath and catches his lower lip between his teeth.
Megren says, “You don’t have to.”
Lanisen opens his mouth to speak, his eyes on the table. After a moment he winces and exhales. “I’m sorry.”
Megren shakes her head. “You don’t have to be.”
Lanisen rubs the side of his face and doesn’t look at her.
Megren pulls the thread tight and ties it off on the inside of the shirt so the knot won’t show. “There. I’ll let you cut the loose end.”
Lanisen twists in his seat and tugs his shirt around to look at her work. “Nice,” he says approvingly.
Megren says, “You’re easily impressed.”
Lanisen grins and doesn’t disagree, but still inspects the mending with a pleased expression.
Megren sets aside the needle and stretches her fingers. “Hm.”
Lanisen says, “And you didn’t stick me even once.”
Megren says, “Not for lack of trying.”
Lanisen says, “Mm-hmm.”
Megren glances out the window. “I was hoping to catch Sir Darrin before defense tonight. Mind if I abandon you to the dogs?”
Lanisen says, “I dunno if I’ll survive.”
Megren mms regretfully.
Lanisen says, “I’ll see you later, or tomorrow. Thanks for fixin’ my shirt.”
Megren gets up. “Yeah, any time.”
Lanisen has to mention one more time, “I do know how to mend stuff.”
Megren says, “Yeah, but if you insist on doing it while it’s attached to you it’s gonna keep coming out upside down.”
Lanisen says indignantly, “It doesn’t!”
Megren lifts her brows, teasingly skeptical.
Lanisen says, “You fixed my hair, now you gotta find somethin’ new?”
Lanisen hmphs. “I bet you don’t tell Sir Darrin his mending’s upside-down.”
Megren says, “He doesn’t try to sew his shirts while they’re still on.”
Lanisen says, “You’d’ve never known if you hadn’t been here.”
Megren lifts her brows again.
Lanisen says, “You wouldn’t’ve. ‘Cause if you knew before I’d’ve never heard the end of it.”
Megren says, “Well, you had your hair to distract me then.”
Lanisen hmms skeptically.
Megren ruffles his hair and pushes him in the side of the head. “See you later.”
Lanisen swats at her hand and says, “See you later.”
Megren gives him an extra shove for the swat and moves off toward the door.
Lanisen gets up to see her off, then turns to get started on the kennel chores.