|Stuck in the Mud
Author: Elektra3 PM
[Aveyond] In which Rhen and Lars arrive at a truce. Sort of.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Words: 911 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 10 - Published: 09-06-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3771477
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Aveyond belongs to Amaranth Games and… various people whose names I can't remember at the moment. No copyright infringement is intended, yadda yadda yadda.
- - -
"If I see one more spider, I'm going to scream," Rhen declared, cleaning off her sword with a vicious swipe.
"You were doing that already," Lars grumbled, flopping on the ground in a way that he would have found undignified if he hadn't been too tired to care.
"What? I was not!"
"Yes you were." Pitching his voice into a ridiculously high falsetto, he squeaked, "'Time to die, spider!' Who do you think you are, the hero of some epic?"
Rhen huffed. "More heroic than you. Would it have killed you to give me a hand?"
He snorted. "Please. I leave vermin-killing to manual laborers like you."
"I'd rather be a manual laborer than a loathsome spoiled brat!"
"It's good that you realize what you're suited for, Peta."
"What, being a sword-singer? And my name is Rhen, brat."
"Children," Talia interjected in a weary voice, "could you please stop squabbling until tomorrow?"
Rhen flushed. "Sorry, Dreamer Talia."
"Sorry," Lars muttered. Stupid slave girl, making a fool out of him in front of the Guardian of Dreams. If she'd known her place, none of this would be happening.
…All right, she still would have been a sword-singer. But she'd never have dared to use her abilities, meaning that she'd never have been sent on this mission in the first place, meaning that he wouldn't currently be tromping around in the dank, muddy, stupid wilderness, and his feet wouldn't feel like they'd swollen to about ten times their size. No, he'd be in his comfortable room at Shadwood Academy, doing things that didn't involve walking obscene distances.
And even if he was doing obscene-distance-related things, it wouldn't be with some annoying, stupid…
"Do your feet hurt?"
Hmph. That was just like her, trying to make fun of him. "No."
Her face was beginning to redden, but she kept her voice under control. "It was just a question. You don't have to be all defensive about it."
"Why, Peta, are you calling me a liar?"
"Sorry," they chorused in unison, still glaring at each other.
Sighing, Talia stood up. "I'm going to go meditate. Try not to kill each other while I'm gone."
When she was out of earshot, Rhen snarled, "What is your problem?"
"My problem? She's sitting in front of me."
"Fine, you – Fine! Be like that!"
"'Be like that'? Gods, you're childish."
"Oh, I'm childish? Who's the one who volunteered for this out of spite?"
"I'm doing this out of duty, not that you'd – "
"Duty to do what? Snipe at the people who are actually doing the work? You haven't lifted a finger since we left Veldarah!"
"It's called delegating responsibility, Peta."
"That's funny. I thought it was just laziness, brat."
"At least I know my place!"
"You – " She sighed and threw up her hands. "You know what? Fine. I'm not even going to bother anymore."
"Giving up so soon?"
She ignored him.
"I said, giving up so soon?"
Well, that was just fine. He didn't want to talk to her anyway. But sitting silently like this was boring, and he didn't want to be the first person to break the silence. And throwing something at her would, of course, be entirely beneath a sorcerer of his stature.
On the other hand, he wasn't officially a sorcerer yet.
"Ow! Quit it!"
"I was only testing your reflexes, Peta," he said as innocently as possible, and watched in fascination as her face turned an alarming shade of red.
"Like hell you were, you little brat!"
He smirked at her. "Why, Peta, afraid of a little – Augh!"
Rhen flashed him a feral grin, and picked up another clump of wet leaves. "Afraid of a little dirt, Lars?"
So she wanted to fling dirt, did she? "From you? Of course." Brushing the leaves off his face, he scooped up a handful of mud and let fly with a flourish. "It's probably diseased."
She dodged, flinging back a return volley. "Like I could give you anything that would kill you before you were crushed by the weight of your own ego." And ducked again to pick up another sopping missile.
But he was ready for her; he had the mud in his hand, ready to throw. And then he saw, just behind her, the snake that was creeping up from behind.
Without thinking, he called out, "GET DOWN!" She dropped instinctively, just as his fireball whizzed over her back and hit the snake.
She sat back up, looking shaken. "Thanks." She eyed what was left of the snake. "Well, I guess I can't yell at you anymore for not being willing to cook."
Of all the unlikely things, it made him laugh.
- - -
By the time Talia returned, they'd cleaned up the campsite and were sitting more or less companionably around the fire. "My goodness," she said dryly. "You're not yelling at each other. Is something wrong?"
"You could say we found common ground, Dreamer Talia," he said smoothly, and slanted a glance at Rhen. "Some more common than others."
She threw the snake's head at him.