Castle  Anvard

Lanisen is curled up in a pile of blankets and hounds in the warmer part of the kennel, asleep. The fire is banked and glowing red and everything is quiet.

Megren opens the door as quietly as she can, but it squeaks a little.
Megren shushes it.

Lanisen doesn’t rouse at the noise, but several hounds do. Kite lets out a low suspicious ‘boof’ sort of noise.

Megren kneels down to shush and greet them.

Lanisen blinks awake, listening silently and watching how the hounds still with him behind the wall are behaving.

Megren gets sort of buried.

Lanisen listens to the scuffling and moistens his lips. He gets to his feet very quietly, checks his knife, and steps to the doorway, peering out into the main room.

Megren is under a pile of dogs, whom she is by turns chastening and pleading with in whispers.

Lanisen lets out a soft breath of relief and lets his shoulders drop, grinning tiredly. “C’mere, come on,” he says to the dogs. “C’mon, let her breathe.” He kneels to help entice them over.

Megren says, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Lanisen reassures her, “It’s okay, you’re okay. They’re okay too.”

Megren mourns, “It’s late, I scared you.”

Lanisen wrinkles his nose, running a hand through his sleep-mussed hair. “I’m un-scared now, it’s okay. Do you want to sit for a bit?”

Megren says, “Yes.”

Lanisen stands up and tilts his head toward the fire. “I’ll put another log on.”

Megren manages to get up with a little more chiding at the dogs and makes it into the warmer area.

Lanisen kneels at the hearth to stir up the embers and put on the promised log. After a moment’s thought, he hangs up the kettle to heat too, just in case.

Megren sits on the hearth edge and leans against the wall.

Lanisen finishes up and turns to sit next to her, leaning his elbows on his knees. “How’s it feel?” he asks, quirking a little sleepy smile.

Megren gathers up her knees. “Not very real.”

Lanisen nods, lifting his eyebrows.

Megren asks, “How do you feel?”

Lanisen mms and lifts his shoulders, smiling at her sleepily. “Glad. Little bit sad.”

Megren says, “What? Nooo, why?”

Lanisen says, “‘S things changin’, isn’t it?” He yawns and covers it. “It’s okay, I’m lots more glad than sad.”

Megren reaches toward him for a hug.

Lanisen seems slightly surprised, but sways toward her willingly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

Megren folds him into her arms. “Thank you for taking care of me the last two days,” she says sentimentally.

Lanisen humms contentedly and rests his cheek on top of her head, sleepy and loose-limbed and warm. “I didn’t even do anything much.”

Megren says, “You did practically everything.”

Lanisen says, “Well, if that’s so, I didn’t mind it.”

Megren says again, “Thank you.”

Lanisen asks, “How was the dancin’?”

Megren confides, “I got da to do one.”

Lanisen giggles under his breath. “Yeah?”

Megren says, “He said he didn’t know how so I said that’s fine and then I led.”

Lanisen awwws.

Megren says, “And I danced with Aunt Liss, and Wilf, and Hastley, and Maidie, and um… um, most of the rest of them.”

Lanisen says, a little slurred, “Sounds nice.”

Megren says, “And Ren made a huge — did you see what Ren made? A whole, it was a whole castle; I didn’t want anyone to eat it, it was a whole castle.”

Lanisen says, “I think I saw ‘im settin’ it up. Didn’t get a close look, though.”

Megren makes a mournful sound.

Lanisen yawns again and drags one of his blankets over.

Megren says, “I woke you up.”

Lanisen says, “I don’t mind, ‘m glad you did.”

Megren says, “/Oh/.”

Lanisen confesses, “Might fall asleep on you though.”

Megren hits his arm several times, “Another thing, another thing.”

Lanisen says, “Ow, ow ow.”

Megren says, “The king, I got to have one with the king.”

Lanisen grins sleepily. “Ahh, did you? Did you make friends?”

Megren says, “A little bit! But he’s nice to everybody.”

Lanisen says, “I bet he loved you.”

Megren shoves him in the side of the head.

Lanisen mmfs.

Megren scooches him back into what she perceives as a more comfortable position, and then wilts a bit, suddenly tuckered.

Lanisen squirms to get the blanket wrapped around him and generously shares, then squirms a bit more to make sure the blanket doesn’t have any corners close enough to the fire to ignite.

Megren falls asleep almost immediately, and without real warning.

Lanisen leans back against the wall, sniffing and shifting to get comfortable. He’s asleep almost as quickly.


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