Guest Staff Quarters
This is a wide, wedge-shaped room, about twice the size of one of the neighboring quarters for permanent castle staff. It is furnished sparsely, but comfortably, with a small sitting area to the right of the door. The rest of the room is divided into several small but cozy sleeping areas, with partitions and curtains for privacy. There is a small table beside each bed, and small lockers that fit under the beds for storage.
Haft enters the guest quarters with Megren and Lanisen. “So, what is it you need carried up, Meg?”
Megren walks carrying her cane, but not using it. “Well, I grabbed an apple crate and I think everything will fit, but I’m still using the cane on the stairs.”
Lanisen trails along behind them, his hands in his pockets. “You didn’t have all that much when you moved down.”
Haft says, “Guards don’t need all that much.” He grins. “Squires are packrats.””
Megren moves to kneel at the small chest next to her bed. Atop the chest lie a wilty flower crown and slightly better preserved nosegay, a small amethyst cluster, and two books. She pulls open a drawer.
Lanisen considers Megren’s stash and tilts his head to the side in concession.
Haft asks, “So, anything heavy in the crate we need to know about? Books, maces, Tiny?”
Megren pulls a spare dress out of the drawer, a small box of the sort generally used for hygiene kits, and a third book. She tugs the crate toward her to start packing. “Just this.”
Lanisen hesitates, glancing at Haft, then takes a seat on an unused bed.
Haft watches Megren pack. “What’s the crystal thing?”
Megren glances up at the top of her dresser to see what he’s referring to. “Oh, that’s amethyst.”
Haft asks, “Huh. Where’d you get it?”
Lanisen scuffs the toe of his boot along a crack in the stone floor.
Megren picks up the amethyst and wraps it in the washcloth from her kit. “Lanisen brought it back from Carmichael.”
Haft says, “Oh? That was thoughtful.”
Megren says, “I may have been coercive.”
Lanisen says, “She wasn’t.”
Haft narrows an eye at Megren. “Hmm. Either of you taking any more trips soon?”
Megren says, “You’d have to ask Sir Darrin for my part.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders and shakes his head slightly.
Haft says, “Yeah well he better not bundle you off anywhere until your ankle’s back to normal.”
Megren says, “I promise any lecture you might give me he’s already done.”
Lanisen grins slightly.
Haft says, “I thought he was the one out digging the hole you tripped in.”
Megren says, “It’s a complex relationship.”
Lanisen pulls up one foot to rest on the bedframe and hugs his updrawn knee.
Haft says, “So it would appear.”
Megren packs her things in with neat efficiency, taking care to put the flowers and amethyst in a safe place on top where they won’t get jostled or squished.
Lanisen asks, “Tiny’s off chasin’ butterflies, I guess?”
Megren says, “She ran off earlier, yeah.”
Haft asks, “Far be it from Tiny to lend her aid. That everything?”
Megren uses her cane to push herself up. “Should be.”
Lanisen gets to his feet and moves to join her, stooping to pick up the crate.
Haft looks surprised, but doesn’t comment and offers Megren his arm.
Megren takes it without verbal protest.
Lanisen shifts the crate to a comfortable carrying position and waits for them to lead the way.
Guards’ Barracks – Women’s Side
Haft and Megren preceded Lanisen out of the room, but then Haft stops. “Maybe you should go first. We might slow you down.”
Lanisen halts uncertainly behind them. “I don’t, I don’t mind.”
Haft shrugs. “All right,” before continuing up the stairs.
Lanisen follows them quietly, shifting his grip on the crate.
Megren leans on Haft’s arm rather than her cane up the stairs.
Haft asks, “Doing all right there?”
Megren says, “Fine, I’m fine.”
Lanisen hesitates a step, watching them. “You sure you don’t want to wait one more day?”
Megren says, “Yes, I’m fine.”
Lanisen pulls his lips between his teeth uncertainly, but lowers his head and doesn’t argue.
Haft says, “Stubborn,” but he doesn’t sound like he means it.”
Megren says, “Adrian said I could.”
Lanisen keeps not arguing.
Haft says, “Musn’t argue with Adrian. He keeps the salves.”
Megren says, “I’m fine.”
Lanisen is quiet behind them, staying about three steps back.
They reach the top of the stairs. “I think we’re just about out of danger. Magda gonna holler if we bring your things in?”
Megren snorts. “Hardly.”
Lanisen looks ahead with some apprehension and shifts the crate again.
Haft says, “If she does I’m telling her it was your idea.” He proceeds to lead Megren into the barracks.
Magda is out, probably on duty, and the barracks are empty of any of the other women who might abide there. Megren extracts her arm, and moves toward her bunk, drawing the curtain aside. “If you just set it on the bed, I can take care of it from there.”
Lanisen follows obediently and sets the crate down as instructed. He backs away, rubbing his elbow and glancing at Haft.
Haft shrugs. “Anything else we can do?”
Megren says, “I think that’s all I needed.”
Lanisen asks, “Do you– should we leave you to it?”
Megren says, “I can unpack later if you want to keep company.”
Haft says, “I need to discuss a matter with Owin before his next shift. Maybe I’ll catch you up later.”
Megren says, “Oh, sure.”
Megren says, “Thanks for the help.”
Haft says, “No trouble, Lanisen did most of the work.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders, glancing at Haft.
Haft deems this sufficent parting conversation and departs for the men’s side of the partition.
Lanisen rubs his bad shoulder and glances a little anxiously around the area. “Um, should I–?”
Megren moves toward the partition. “Lunch, I think.”
Lanisen falls into step behind her, relieved.