Scattering to the Winds

Morgan watches with quiet curiosity at what his Aunt does to put the fires out. After giving what was left of the cloak he has appropriated in a vain effort to put the fire out, Morgan returns the tossed blade to Lucas, then heads outside long enough to retrieve his mace. He pauses in the door, for a moment, looking inside the room thoughtfully. Then turns and leaves

"I will be in my quarters if anyone needs me." Gideon announces to no one in particular. He bows respectfully to Random then walks out of the grand hall.

Gwyll stands calmly, lost in his own thoughts. When the moment of doubt has passed, he turns to Random "I'm willing to investigate this strange incident, if you want Random. I can depart as soon as you want." Gwyll bows and walks towards the door "I'll be in my rooms if you need me."

Lucas sheathes his sword, as the danger seems past, and accepts the return of his daggers from Gwyll and Morgan. At Gwyll's words, his face grows serious and he speaks up slightly "If you choose to send him, Your Majesty, I'd be happy to accompany the expedition. Just in case he runs into any trouble." He turns away, then, and walks over to Skye, speaking cautiously, and almost nervously "Excuse me, cousin, particularly if this is a bad time, but I've actually been meaning to ask you this for some little while: Would you mind sparring with me while you're in town? It's terribly difficult to find anyone who's my match in battle. And while being beaten like a drum by my father has it's own charm, a more equal contest would be quite nice for a change."

Having been watching Julian leave with an enigmatic expression on her face, Skye turns slowly to face Lucas when he begins speaking. Her head cants slightly to the side in a act of curiosity and one dark eyebrow curls upward. It's actually a quite fetching look on her, especially when one corner of her mouth turns up in a crooked smile. "That can probably be arranged. Though I am curious as to what has convinced you I am that good."

Lucas smiles back, clearly pleased, but speaks quite seriously "Thank you very much. And I'm certainly a bit better in terms of raw skill, but I'm fairly certain you can run me into the ground, and that matters quite a bit in a real fight. Or in any sparring that approximates such. It should be…interesting."

While the two are talking, Morgan, Gideon and Gwyll leave the Hall. Fiona takes Saffron to a corner. With Julian and Gerard gone, the hall suddenly seems somewhat larger than it did before. Random, Vialle and their guards head up to their quarters, and Florimel sweeps out of the Hall, leaving Skye, Gideon, Fiona and Saffron, and the regular guards for the Hall.

Skye notes the departures with no real reaction while Lucas speaks. She sweeps the hall with her gaze and gives Benedict's son the flash of her smile. "It appears I have time now. I need to change first though. Is there some place particular you would care to spar?"

Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Fiona take her leave and Saffron heading her way. Lucas' hand on his sword hilt most likely gave away the topic of discussion; not that Skye and Lucas had much more in common then that. Saffron smiles slightly; Skye and the subject fighting isn't a surprising combination to her. She heads that direction to reclaim her notebook. So much for using Court today for her report…

Without even turning her head, Skye pulls Saffron's notebook from her belt while giving Lucas a smile that is perhaps a touch mischievous. "Do you mind an audience? Assuming Saffron wants to watch."

Lucas smiles back and nods to Saffron "Not at all. Spectators are quite welcome."

"Excellent," Skye nods agreeably. "I'll just go slip into something more comfortable for fighting. These boots are killing me." She looks down at her Ranger issued watch. "Meet in the West practice yard in twenty minutes?"

Lucas refocuses on Skye and nods once more "Certainly. See you there."

Skye nods once more and turns to Saffron. "Coming?"

"Of course," Saffron answers as she tucks her notebook under her arm.

Clasping her hands behind her back, Skye falls in beside Saffron as the two make their way out of the hall and up to the rooms formerly inhabited by her father. She waits until they are away from people before she says anything. "It was very odd to have a burning man in the room that you had not set afire," she remarks mildly. "What did the lovely Aunt Fi have to say on the matter?"

"The last one wasn't entirely my fault," Saffron objects with a soft laugh. "But yes, it was quite odd, wasn't it?" She lets a few more steps pass before she continues, "Aunt Fiona was not reassuring. I'm to call her every day, at different times, while she's off exploring just what the power was that we encountered." She frowns. "It wasn't Amber and it wasn't Chaos - and Aunt Fi says it wasn't this 'Font of Power' either."

"Hmmm," is Skye's considered response as they head up the stairs. "Well, I of course blame Corwin. Why does Fiona want you calling at random times? To make certain she hasn't fallen in a hole?"

"Of course," Saffron agrees. "He's a good one to throw baseless accusations at. He makes himself such a good target, after all." And then she shrugs. "I assume it's to be sure she hasn't fallen in a hole, been captured by something, or been eaten." There's a pause as she frowns slightly. "I hope it's just paranoia, though. I don't want to meet anything that can capture or eat her."

"Agreed," her companion noted. She pauses at the top of the stairs and glances casually around the family wing. Then she tilts her head just slightly to see Saffron as they continue down the hall.

"Julian's on to us," she says quietly. "He didn't say anything, but when he told me to stay, he looked in your direction and did that little secret smile of his."

Saffron considers that gravely. "Well," she begins, thoughtfully, "I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. At least he smiled; that means he doesn't hate it, right?" She eyes Skye slyly. "So does this mean I can yell at him, too, the next time you come home exhausted from maneuvers?"

The Scythian snorts. "Only if you promise to wait until I can stay awake long enough to watch." She blinks. "No, wait. I'm not sure I want to even know if you do. I don't need to get spanked by Julian because my girlfriend chewed him out." She suddenly gave Saffron a bright smile. "Then again…"

"Well, he can still spank you even if you sleep through it," Saffron offers, returning the smile with a bright one of her own. "So I suppose I'd just have to wait for you to wake up so that I get to watch." And then, innocently, "Ten minutes, did you say?"

"Tart," Skye grins. They stop at the door and she unlocks it and pushes the door open. The Ranger steps in first and sweeps her eyes around to look for anything out of place before stepping back to let Saffron in.

Her boot kicks the door closed as she pulls the raven haired woman against her. "You want to wait until after the sparring," she growls lowly. "As I recall."

"Mm-hmm," Saffron agrees, wrapping her arms around the Ranger. "But I have to make sure you get a kiss for luck beforehand, and I know how you are." She grins.

"There is too much talking." Skye's response was to rake one hand through Saffron's dark tresses before pulling her into an intensely passionate kiss that almost made up for the weeks apart. There wasn't time to truly make up for it, but with any luck, that would come later before she was called back to Arden.

Saffron murmurs, "Alas," playfully just before their lips meet. And then she does her best to make up for those same weeks, hugging Skye tightly to her. It takes a considerable amount of willpower on her part to remember that they're expected somewhere in ten minutes; when she decides they should come up for air, she can't help but nuzzle the other woman's neck. "You had to agree to a sparring match," she sighs in protest.

"How was I to know Fiona would pick today to take less then an hour playing wise elder?" Skye murmurs in protest. She inhales the scent of Saffron's hair before pulling back. She gently pushes the other's raven curls back from her face. "Besides, I'm sure this won't take that long, and he'll be tired before I will. Then we can come back up here, or go to your house. Though I'd rather not waste time riding across town."

She kisses Saffron's noise and smiles. "Help me change; I can never lace the back of those Scythian leathers properly by myself."

There's a moment's pause as Skye turns to the wardrobe. "We can stay here," Saffron says finally, sounding slightly distracted. "And of course I'll lace you up."

With a handful of leather, Skye turns to eye the other woman. She tosses the pieces on the bed before reaching in and getting the rest. "What? Saff, if I'd known Fi was going to be finished so quickly, I would have done this later…"

"No, no, it's not that…" the dark-haired sorceress answers. "It's… something." She frowns sharply and stamps one foot in a flare of irritation. "Bah. 'Something.' It's familiar, but too far… and gone." In a low, irritated growl, she finishes, "And that's it. I hate being poked by Persons Unknown."

Skye's eyebrow twitched as she removed her jacket. "You really shouldn't growl like that, sweetheart. It's distracting. Please explain this poking."

"Well, they certainly weren't in the room with us; you would have noticed," Saffron answers grumpily. "And you're trying to deflate my temper again. It was mental contact - and not enough to get a handle on it."

Skye continues undressing, taking the time to hang up her uniform as she removes each piece. Down to her black bra and knickers, she walks over and gives Saffron a kiss on the temple. "You think better when you are less grumpy - adorable as I might find that look. Now, who is not here that would try and contact you? You said it was too far."

"I don't know," she answered in exasperation. "It wasn't Aunt Fiona. I don't think it was anyone I know." Trailing off, she paces restlessly to the bed and picks up a piece of leather, staring at it blankly for a moment. "Weak, overstretched… I don't know." She rights the piece she's holding and sighs. "And sort of familiar. But I don't recognise from where yet."

"Getting yourself worked up isn't going to help matters," Skye points out calmly.

"You always say that," Saffron mutters grumpily.

"Because it's true," Skye rejoins.

It isn't that she is not taking it seriously, but there is only so much she can do to help in this situation. She sits on the bed and pulls her trousers out of the pile of leather. "Go through the list of everyone that is not in Amber, and cross off anyone who would not be familiar from previous contact." She pauses to look up at Saffron. "That is how they would be familiar, right? Previous mental contact?"

"I don't know if that will work," the dark-haired woman answers, laying down the object she'd picked up again, neatly. "Even if I limit it to just Amber and Chaos, there are still too many possibilities. And it could have been someone using something other than their own minds, which would make who it was harder to find out." She huffs and plops down on the edge of the bed. "And it didn't last long enough to be useful."

"Well," Skye says as she stands and shimmies her trousers the rest of the way up. "It doesn't sound like anything can be done but wait and see if it happens again." She twists her upper body and fastens the laces at the hip. "Which is bound to drive you mad." She smiles. "I suppose I shall just have to distract you."

Saffron sighs, and after a moment smiles slightly. "Alas. I don't know how you'll survive trying to distract me." She stands back up and moves closer. "Here, I'm supposed to be helping you with those…"

Skye snorts a laugh. "I'm well rested and feeling frisky, sweets. I rather think it's you that will not survive the attempt." She leans over and gives Saffron a quick kiss. Then she sheds her bra and pulls on the leather sleeveless top of her armor. Pulling her hair aside, she turns around so Saff can lace her up.

Smiling, Saffron obediently does up the laces. "You're feeling frisky now," she teases as she works. "We'll see how you feel after your sparring match. Do you suppose we should arrange for a hot bath on our way down?" She deposits a light kiss on the nape of the brunette's neck. "There, all done."

"I think that can be arranged, my little minx," murmurs Skye. She nuzzles
the sorceress a too brief moment before stepping back with a sigh. "We'll
snag a page or someone on the way down."

The Ranger makes quick work of stomping into her boots, shrugging into her sheath harness and getting Saffron's help in tying on her vambraces. She slides her blades home with a snick and snags a ponytail holder from the small bowl on her side table. "Let's go find a Page to scandalize," she grins. "And then you can watch the multiple personalities of Benedict's son smack me around — until you set him afire, anyway."

"I have no intention of setting anyone on fire today," Saffron laughs. "Would you like me to do your hair, sweetheart? Braid it, at least?"

"That would be great," Skye smiles and hands her the hair tie. "If I do it, it will look like there's snakes wrestling on my head."

"It's never that bad," Saffron sniffs, moving behind her. "Not even when you've got bird's nests in." She rakes her fingers gently though Skye's hair, gathering it together, and starts to braid. "Snakes wrestling is dreadlocks, like that warrior we met the last time we visited your mother - the one that was practicing her archery and split her own arrows twice while we were watching. What was her name?"

"Mmm…Dushera," purrs Skye. "Shield sister to my my mother's Second." She leans her head back and closed her eyes while Saffron worked. "It is about time we visited again. If there is something out there eyeing Amber, I may need to request a Scythian horde."

"We should visit," Saffron agrees. "Soon. And if you keep purring like that, woman, we're going to be terribly late…" Smiling, she kisses Skye's hair. "All done."

"Alas," she declares as she turns, smiling. "Lets' get this over with. As good as that gown looks on you, it will look better on my floor."

Saffron grins. "I was planning to save this for a surprise, love. I saw the pattern and just fell in love." Her smile goes sly. "Wait till you see what goes underneath…"

Skye looks pained. "Teasing wench," she sighs. "I may just have to punish you for that." Then she waggles her eyebrows suggestively. "Alas." She laughs and heads for the door.

Laughing, Saffron follows. "Is it going to be the same sort of punishment as last time? That was rather fun…"

"Woman, how many times must I tell you? If you enjoy it, it isn't punishment. You could at least act contrite!" For good measure, Skye smacks her when she walks passed on her way out the door the brunette is holding open for her.

By the time they are both out in the hall, she is all blue eyed innocence.

Saffron, on the other hand, is still grinning. "But acting contrite is not nearly so fun…"

Skye gives that remark an indignant sniff. She spots an upstairs maid and strides over to order a bath be waiting in an hour, as well as a light meal and a pitcher of chilled water and a bottle of Saffron's favorite wine. She whispers something to the maid that makes the girl's eyebrows rise before sauntering back to Saffron's side.

"Shall we?" she asks innocently with a broad gesture towards the stairs.

Saffron's eyebrows rise as well. "Oh, I suppose…" She moves that way, eyeing the other woman with a hint of suspicion. "Planning a surprise for later, are we?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Skye responds smoothly. "Besides, I would think my getting an unexpected day of leave from Julian would be surprise enough. Really, Saffron, you are terribly spoiled."

"I can't imagine how that's happened," the raven-haired woman answered blandly, a hint of mischief in her voice. "I suppose it's all this city life. Obviously 'Ranger' offsets all the spoiling you get."

"Yes, well, eating bugs will do that," Skye replies lazily. "I'm especially fond of the roasted grasshoppers."

"Are you?" Saffron asks brightly, grinning. "Well, I'll be sure to save the next crop of them I catch in the garden, just for you. I can season it with something tasty… Moss and mushrooms, perhaps?"

"Moss?" Skye gasps, clearly appalled. "With grasshoppers? No, no! Mushrooms and wild onions." She tsks and shakes her head. "Moss…. "

With a mock-disdainful sniff, Saffron answers, "And how am I supposed to know what goes best with grasshopper? Some of us prefer to eat creatures a bit higher on the food chain."

Skye sneers. "City girl." It might be more impressive, if she had been able to not giggle.

"Tree dweller," Saffron shoots back, trying to smother her own laughter.

"Aw, someone talked about my treehouse, didn't they?" Skye pouts and kicks at the floor. "Stupid squirrels." She grins cheerfully. "I blame Corwin."

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