Appointment, Interrupted

"Oh, is that what it was?" Skye smirks. She looks over her shoulder to make sure they were out of earshot before nudging Saffron with her shoulder and lowers her voice. "I was sure it was the daggers he kept pulling out of his …. well, I don't think I want to go there."

Saffron chuckles. "I didn't say whose skill, did I?" She winks. "I was wondering where those daggers were coming from. Let's pretend it was somewhere sanitary."

The brunette shudders. Then she suddenly thrusts out her arm with the damaged vambrace. "Na is going to be very vexed with me," Skye sighs. "If she asks, I am going to say I was sparring with Julian. She will accept that." She pulls her arm in and examines the deep cut in the leather. "I am not certain the armorer can repair this here. I may just have to do without until we can get to Scythia for a replacement."

"We will both say you were sparring with Julian," Saffron says firmly. "If anyone should ask me. Is it that damaged?" She eyes the offending cut. "I would rather you wear something than nothing…"

"It goes almost all the way through," Skye admits while tugging at the laces to take it off. "Good thing I put them on. I really need to get more sparring time in somewhere." She eyes the cut again and frowns. "It really surprised me, actually."

"I saw that," the dark-haired sorceress answers. "I thought about setting his pants on fire then, but I wasn't sure he was worth the effort." She sniffs disdainfully. "Now, if you'd been having trouble…"

"I knew you had my back," Skye grins. Then she shook her head as they stepped back into the castle. "This will sound strange, but you have seen how Scythian's spar with blades and words; that was actually kind of … boring."

Saffron smirks slightly. "I wasn't going to say it first. It really kind of was. Except for… well, you know."

"Except for the part where I was dancing around in leather trousers," Skye grins and hip checks her girlfriend. "Although I seem to recall you like the little leather kirtles and tops quite a bit when we are in my mother's Court. Goddess knows I do."

Saffron grins smugly. "Well, the kirtles do show off your legs better… but the trousers do such a nice job of showing off other assets."

"One of these days," Skye says lowly in that particularly sexy growl she has. "I am going to say to Hades with what people might say and take you right here in these halls."

"One of these days," Saffron murmurs lowly, leaning closer with that look in her eyes that usually presaged a steamy kiss, "it will be a race to see who takes who in the halls. Speaking of races…" She grabs her skirts in both hands and sprints off down the hall, shooting a playful grin over her shoulder. "We'll be late if we don't hurry, remember?"

Skye stays and watches the retreating sorceress a moment, before laughing and racing after her. "Minx!"

Skye catches up with Saffron, and they continue down the corridor, but then something gets their attention. For Saffron, just a slight hint of a shiver down her spine, for Skye, a noise that's out of place.

Turning, they catch a glimpse - just a glimpse, nothing more - of a large man, bearded, dark-haired with bits of white throughout, dressed in green tunic and trews. He's gone before either of them can get more of an impression than that, though it's unclear exactly where he went.

"What….?" Skye blinks at the spot a moment. She glances at Saffron then moves over to where the man had been to see if she can determine where he went.

Skye's initial, cursory glance, isn't enough to indicate more than the fact that someone had definitely been there. There were footprints in the carpet, for one. But there aren't very many places for him to have ducked into, either, and as close as it was, the two know they would have heard a door opening.

Saffron glances back at her with eyes that are just slightly wider than they were before. "What was that?" she asks. "Or who…?" She doesn't move from where she had skidded to a stop.

Skye frowns, biting her lip as she turns back to Saffron. "He … he looked -," she shakes her head, and when she speaks again, it is at a whisper. "I was reminded of Oberon."

Saffron shuts her eyes and rubs at her forehead with one hand unhappily. "Please tell me you didn't say that, Skye. It's not a good day for being scolded for running in the halls by a ghost. Especially that one." She opens one eye slightly to look at the brunette. "You're right, though… it did kind of look like him."

Biting her lip pensively again, she looks back to the spot then returns to Saffron. "All right," Skye says calmly. "We can pretend this never happened and go on with our bath; or we can tell someone who will think we are mad, or will give us that condescending look they save for when they have known something all along and kept it to themselves. Or want us to think they knew all along before they shoo us out of the room." She scowls. "I hate when they do that."

"I know," Saffron answers. "I hate it too. I usually go set fire to things afterwards until I feel better." She sighs and lowers her hand from her forehead. "Let's… I don't know. Let me take a look and see if I see anything, I guess, and if there's nothing, let's wait and see if it happens again?" Tentatively, she takes a look around for anything resembling sorcery or other Powers.

Saffron's test is a bit more conclusive. There is definitely a trace of something. Not Pattern, she knows that well, and not the one she'd felt in the Hall. It's too alien, however, to get a good sense of whether it's Power or power.

"Well, if it's a ghost," Skye says firmly. "The old pervert better stay out of the bathroom… and the bedroom. Or I will be happy to show him those loopholes large enough to charge Morgenstern through in his 'no marrying of brothers and sisters' rule."

"Including the part where we're cousins and not siblings?" Saffron asks, dry and amused. "If we didn't have the bath waiting, I'd say we go back to the house. If he comes and lurks there, we'd know we have some serious problems." She considers the spot further, undecided. "I can always ask Aunt Fiona when I talk to her next whether there's a history of hauntings around here. It could be it wasn't him, just some guy."

"Right," Skye says. She takes Saffron's arm and determinedly marches her away from the spot and for her rooms. "Later. The next couple of hours are not for ghosts. After that, well, you can go ask Fiona, and I'll go see what Julian has to say about hauntings."

"Right," Saffron echoes, with one last glance back. "And no more running in the halls today."

Her partner scoffs. "I somehow doubt it had anything to do with running in the halls." She frowns. "Although … it could be related to what happened this morning."

"Unknown power sets people on fire and raises ghosts in the halls of Castle Amber?" Saffron sighs. "I hope not. I really, really hope not. This is not what I was looking for when I complained that my class was boring."

"But what an exciting paper it will make, dear," Skye smiles. "You know what? Unless a ghosts pops up in the bath, I am not going to worry about it right now. There isn't a thing I could do anyway. Except, perhaps, mock them because I can do things they cannot."

Saffron sighs melodramatically. "Skye, sweetheart, it's not generally advised to mock ghosts. That's usually when the poltergeist activity starts and people get hurt."

Skye sniffs. "Why do I care if the castle has poltergeist? I live in the woods."

"Yes, but you're not in the woods right now, are you?" Saffron replies, smiling.

"Why must you spoil my fun?" Skye huffs. "Just for that, no….hmm… I'll think of something later. Here we are." With a flourish she bows Saffron into her rooms and follows afterwards. Within Skye's rooms, all is as it should be, just as she left it.

Skye still gives the rooms a wary look as they pass through the sitting room and into the bedroom. She starts peeling out of her weapons and armor, tossing the leathers onto the bench at the foot of the bed until she can look through them later for weaknesses caused by the hits she had taken. She doesn't want to admit it; not now in these stolen moments Julian had given them so unexpectedly. But the apparition in the hall has shaken her up. What could it possibly mean that the ghost of Oberon - if that had indeed been Oberon - had appeared in the halls of Castle Amber?

Saffron perches on the edge of the bed and watches. She helps with the disarming as she sees need, but mostly she sits there with that worried look Skye knows altogether too well, though it's only partially directed at her. The rest of the concern is directed off at the uncomfortable thought that there are suddenly far too many alien powers - or Powers - floating around in Amber, particularly with Fiona now absent. One thumb taps absently against her skirt in a thoughtful way. "Sweetheart? Do you think maybe we should go ahead and tell someone…?"

Skye drops down beside her and sighs. She leans forward with her elbows on her knees and scrubs her face with the heel of her hands. "Probably," she agrees heavily. She pushes herself back to her feet and pulls a creamy linen poet shirt out of the wardrobe to pull over her head since she was down to her trousers and boots. "Random?"

"Most likely," Saffron agrees with a sigh of her own. "I'd rather be in the bath, but…"

"Fucking Oberon," Skye mutters scathingly in an uncharacteristic use of profanity. But as Saffron knows, Oberon shares part of the blame for Eric's death; at least in Skye's eyes. She redons her hip scabbard and sheathes her blades in them. "Now all I need is that rat weasel Corwin to show up and my day will be made."

Saffron rises and moves to the other woman's side, putting a gentle hand on her lower back. "Sweetheart, if he shows up…" She offers a tilted smile. "Well, I'll just have to set him on fire for you. Maybe it wasn't Oberon; maybe we're both just jumping to conclusions…"

She gets a sideways look and a crooked smile in response. "I know. But you must admit; if anyone had the strength of Will to come back, it is that old snake." She leans over and kisses Saffron quickly. "Let's get this over with. There is a slim possibility we will manage to salvage some of this day."

"I know." Saffron's smile straightens out. "I'm tempted to insist we salvage it at the house, since we know for a fact it is not haunted. But we can decide that later." She hugs Skye briefly and then releases her, stepping back. "Let's go."

Skye gives the bathroom a longing look and sighs again as she turns and leaves with Saffron to go look for Random. "Alright. If we can't get in to see Random, do you know if Fiona's still around?"

"I'm not sure," Saffron answers. "I believe she was getting ready to Trump somewhere; she pulled a card out before she left the hall. I can try calling her if we need to." She smiles slightly. "After all, she didn't except today from the instructions to call every day at random times."

"True enough," Skye agrees. "But I will be feeling quite petulant by then. This is not how our day was supposed to go."

"And that is why I'll be starting the conversation with her." Saffron shoots her a wry smile. "I know it isn't, dearheart. Hopefully this won't take long at all and we can spend the rest of the day relaxing."

Skye reaches back and pulles her braid over her shoulder, playing with the ends. "If we aren't assigned to wandering around, looking for ghosts." She looks at Saffron out of the corner of her eye. "We'll be very thorough in the linen closets."

"Alas," Saffron answers blandly. "There are an awful lot of linen closets in this place. But I can't imagine we'll have to wander around looking for ghosts. You don't look for ghosts - they come to you."

"Sometimes," Skye says quietly. "But it depends on why it's a ghost, doesn't it? Some of the them haunt where they died. The library in the Sorceror's Spire is haunted, but nowhere else. Some haunt people. Which, I think, would be bad."

"Yes, it would," Saffron agrees. "You would have to actually buy that fireproof clothing you've been threatening to get. Lurking mystery figures - particularly ones that can vanish and reappear at will - make me testy." She sighs. "There's another type of ghost, though, right? The type that appears as a warning

The Ranger sighs. "Is there a full moon tonight? The place is going mad."

"I have no idea." The sorceress shakes her head. "Let's go back to the linen closets; that was less upsetting a topic."

"I like that idea…," Skye stops suddenly and looks at Saffron. "So…. where do we look for Random, anyway?"

"Umm…" Saffron stops as well. "Well… either we go back to where Court was and try and track him down from there, or we go knock on his door, or we just go sit down and call him, I guess."

"I choose C," Skye declares. "You'll have to do it. My deck is in my room."

Saffron rolls her eyes good-naturedly. "Your room is only two hallways back the way we came, Skye. But I suppose I can do it, if you will track me down a sitting room."

She tsks. "Being the brilliant Scout that I am, I can tell you that there is one two doors down on your right. Last time I was in it, it was yellow. A brilliant setting for you, my lovely firebird."

"Flattery," the sorceress answers, mock-scolding, "is only going to get you so far. You get to make any further Trump calls." She turns and moves towards the indicated door.

Skye hangs back a moment, enjoying the view. "It gets me far enough that my talents carry me the rest of the way," she says with a sly grin as she comes up beside Saffron again.

Saffron shakes her head and laughs. "Minx."

In the sitting room, she settles down on a couch and starts shuffling through her Trumps. "Are you planning to be a part of this call, or are you sitting it out?"

"I think I will be the watchful one unless he wishes to speak to me as well," Skye replies with a nod. "I don't want to look up suddenly and see, I don't know, the ghost of Brand staring at us."

"Don't even joke about that," Saffron answers flatly. "Please." She locates Random's card and turns her attention to the task of trying to contact him.

TOCLullaby (for a stormy night)

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