A/N: This one is a gift fic for JaySketchin, for drawing me a pic I wanted as a Discord profile. Here's some Gurjian for you. I hope you like it~!

Quartz, Parchment, Shears

The journey from the woods was long. The carriage rescue was successful at least, thanks to some sort of sentient rock creature that guarded Brea like the biggest and least fluffy fizzgig in existence. She said its name was Lore, and Rian hated to admit it but they never would've freed those Gelfling, and Deet's Podling friend, without Lore. Strange spiral patterns covered Lore's entire rocky body, making him look like a walking piece of artwork.

Although Rian had said hello to Lore and received a good response, he was still a bit unsure. Especially since it was only with them because of Brea and was only tasked to protect the Vapran princess. There was no real guarantee of safety for any other members of their party and the soldier in him was a bit too untrusting in these troubled times.

Gurjin had noticed his best friend being quiet and thoughtful. Saw the glances aimed at Lore now and then and the unconscious reaching for the reassurance of a weapon he no longer carried. Gurjin knew it was bad to let Rian stew on things, so the Drenchen poked the Stonewood. Over and over. He finally stopped when Rian agreed to talk in hushed tones so the others couldn't eavesdrop.

Deet heard every word, but she was nice enough not to call them out.

After hearing him out, Gurjin couldn't blame him for thinking that way of Lore. But the taller Gelfling figured Brea would stop anything bad from happening, while Rian was not quite as sure.

"Go poke it then," Gurjin challenged.

Rian looked at him askance. "Go poke the walking rockpile? And what, break my finger?"

"How hard do you plan to poke it?" Gurjin chuckled, his ears flicking as mirth swam in his eyes. "You're not gonna break your finger unless you try to. Don't try to," he warned, knowing exactly how reckless the other could be. The irony of his reckless challenge escaped him entirely.

"Why don't you poke it then?" Rian challenged back. "Go on then, show me how it's done."

"Oh no, this is about you. Think of it like a trust exercise," the Drenchen said with a smile, staring directly at his friend's eyes. Gurjin liked Rian's eyes and made sure to look at them whenever he had the chance.

Rian would've crossed his arms if it wouldn't make walking harder. "You started this, you should finish it," he said, a note of finality ringing in his tone.

"Quartz, Parchment, Shears?" offered Gurjin, wiggling his fingers playfully in Rian's face.

The Stonewood batted them away with a huff, not saying anything.

Gurjin didn't push, but he started counting down in his head.

"Fine, you're on," Rian said a dozen steps later, making Gurjin smirk in triumph.

"Quartz, Parchment, Shears!" they chanted.

Rian's hand was open, his fingers splayed to show parchment while Gurjin chose quartz, his hand in a fist. The smaller Gelfling grinned in victory and tilted his head at Lore in a get-on-with-it way.

"Best two out of three!" Gurjin said insistently, ears coming forward slightly. He watched his friend sigh and get ready.

"Quartz, Parchment, Shears!"

This time two of Rian's fingers were straight, the smallest one and his thumb tucked in. Gurjin had made a fist again. Rian frowned.

"Quartz beats shears," the Drenchen cheered. "Tiebreaker!"

"Quartz, Parchment, Shears!" they chanted for the last time, both fully invested in the outcome.

Rian had a fist clenched tightly while Gurjin's fingers were splayed. Gurjin celebrated as Rian's frown deepened and he scoffed, turning away for a moment. Rian hated losing. The taller soldier shooed away the shorter, grinning the entire time. The moment Rian wasn't looking, Gurjin's eyes found Brea, ready to shout for her if needed.

The Stonewood slowly made his way closer to Lore, trying not to attract anyone's attention as he did. When he was right beside the rock creature it took no notice of him, solely focusing on the path ahead and its mission to take Brea to the Circle of the Suns. He reached out quickly and tapped once against its swirl-engraved back.

Lore didn't react at all. Had it not felt it? Could a rock even feel in the first place? He tilted his head as he considered Brea's guardian, the blue and green highlights in his hair showing up vividly as the sunlight shimmered down his hair's long length.

Gurjin took his eyes off Brea to watch. Rian's hair was so much softer than a Drenchen's and it caught the light so much better. There'd been a couple of times Gurjin had to fix Rian's hair for him and he'd loved every second of getting to run his fingers through it. He coughed and focused back on Brea, though his eyes kept sliding.

Rian squared his shoulders and poked Lore again, a little harder. Nowhere near hard enough to break his finger though, he wasn't that much of an idiot. Again he was completely ignored. Feeling braver now, Rian laid his whole hand on Lore's back.

This time Lore stopped and Rian gulped slightly. Lore's head swung around to peer at the Gelfling touching it. It was not the one it was meant to protect, but one of the others that travelled with its ward. Lore did not feel attacked and the Gelfling wasn't displaying any signs of aggression. Lore's ward was a curious little thing. Perhaps Gelfling were just curious by nature?

Lore gave Rian a short, slow nod and started walking again. Rian blew out the breath he'd been holding. He started walking as well once Lore was a few feet ahead and slowly made his way back over to Gurjin, who was failing badly at hiding a smile.

Gurjin nodded at Lore. "There, see? I guess there's a gooey centre in those rocks."

"Oh, Thra, save me," Rian muttered, prompting a noise of indignation to spout from Gurjin. He smiled and nudged his taller friend lightly in the ribs, the two sharing a laugh.