None of these fabulous books (by Tamora Pierce) are mine. This is just the ramblings of my mind, making the plot 110% mine. Disclaimer good for the rest of this story.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

It was quiet.

Almost too quiet, as Trisana Chandler sipped her tea and read the newest book her teacher, Niklaren Goldeye had given her on volcanoes. It had been years since the forest fires at Gold Ridge, but they still fascinated her. Suddenly, a log in the fire popped, nearly causing her to spill her tea just as the door to Discipline cottage opened.

She sat up, dodging her hot tea (not that it would've harmed her, her primary magic being dealings with lightening, making her almost immune to extreme heat) as it dripped onto the floor and dropping her book.

"Oh, gods damn it all!" In her concern for the stain on the new throw rug Sandry had just sent from the Citadel, the opening door slipped her mind.

"Is that any way for a proper merchant girl to talk, Coppercurls?"

She smiled, still looking down; she only allowed one person to call her Coppercurls. This was a well known fact, considering the time she set her winds on a novice who forgot that certain condition.

"You of all people should know that I am neither proper, a merchant, nor a girl any longer." She smiled up at the young man who had come in. At seventeen, he was six feet tall, with a blade thin nose and jade-color eyes sparkling with mischief. He wore a loose cream colored shirt that contrasted against his tan skin, with hunter green breeches, a black patent leather belt and boots. As she smiled at her friend, Tris tried not to allow her eyes to wander to the bare chest showing through the opening in his shirt.

He moved closer to her, taking in the girl he hadn't seen in years. In stead of the shortly shorn hair that Rosethorn had given her when she was eleven, she now wore her hair in a multitude of braids, and all except the two framing her stubborn face were pinned up at the top of her head. She still wore her glasses, but her eyes had gone from a solid grey to more of a grey-blue, reflecting her power with the winds and sea. She had even slimmed down a bit (her cheeks were still chubby, something he found endearing about her) by practicing the combat moves he had taught her when they were kids. All in all, at 5'6, his Coppercurls made a beautiful sixteen year old. He reached out and gently tugged at one of her braids, seeing the power in them.

"Is that the way you greet and old and dear friend, Tris? And what is this about you neither being proper nor a girl any more? Who got to you before me?"

Tris enveloped her old friend in a hug. "Briar Moss, you should feel special. I only greet you with that kind of distain and you being so unappreciative really does hurt, you know." She pulled away, leaving her arms still around his neck and his around her waist, and looked up to smile at him.

"You wench," Briar exclaimed, pulling her even closer. "Of course I appreciate you. But back to my other question. What's this about you not being proper any more?" He looked around. "And seeing as how this place is empty 'cept for us, what man do you have coming over?" He waggled his eyebrows at her, and made a lewd gesture with his mouth.

"Briar!" She hit him lightly on the chest. "Do you want some tea? I just made a pot."

"Tea sounds great; perfect pick-me-up for the weary traveler. But seriously, where is everybody?" he asked as he followed her into Discipline's small kitchen.

"Well, you already know that Sandry has moved in with the duke into the Duke's Citadel to care for her uncle." Briar nodded to confirm his knowledge of this. "About three hours ago, Niko was called down to the Hub. He came back an hour ago, packed, and informed me that he was needed at some mage's meeting in the south; I was told to stay and help out around here. My guess is that Niko is going somewhere and doing something dangerous again." She handed Briar his mug of tea and refreshed her own, rolling her eyes. Leaning against the counter, she continued her story. "If he weren't he would've asked me to go with him." She grumbled and sipped her drink.

"Someone sounds jealous. Tris, Niko is forty some odd years our senior. He's a big boy; I think he can handle himself."

"I know, I know, but still. I feel better when I know what's going on. It's the busy body in me." She smiled over the rim of the mug. "In any case, Rosethorn and Lark will be in Summersea for the next week or so, as guests of the duke and Sandry. They went with Daja and Frostpine to stock up on supplies while the fair's in town. Frostpine is looking for more scrap metals and in the process is offering his and Daja's services for repairs. Lark needs more cloth and such, and Rosethorn went for more exotic plant seeds. She wanted to surprise you with them when you returned. We weren't expecting you back from Hajra until late next week."

Briar drained his drink and waited for Tris to finish hers. When she did, they took up familiar positions at the sink, him washing, her drying. Briar started with the left over lunch dishes, methodically washing and handing off to Tris. It was nice, calming work, and they chatted, enjoying the quiet.

"So its you and me for the week, eh, Coppercurls?"

"Looks that way." Briar notice the calm, collected look on Tris' face as she worked. That was new; as a child, she had always rebelled against housework, a painful reminder of the work that her family had forced on her in her youth. "If you don't mind the observation, why are you so calm? You hate housework."

She smiled to herself, considering what Briar had said. "I still do. But I've learned to enjoy mundane tasks; there's a pleasure in doing brainless things. It lets my mind wander." She got a dreamy look on her face, staring out the window.

Thank the gods, or Briar would've been hit for the once over he was giving her. Being so much taller than his friend, he noticed that her dress was rather low cut for what he remembered as her usual dress, giving him a glimpse of her chest. He chastised himself for the impure thoughts, but still... they had both grown up, and was it really his fault if he couldn't help noticing her body? If she hadn't wanted the attention, she shouldn't have worn the dress! And her butt... he leaned back a little to get a better look. Yeah, she had been practicing what he had taught her. He smirked to himself as he finished up, draping his washing rag over the sink edge, thinking the whole while what Rosethorn, Lark, and the other women of Discipline house would do to him if they found out what ran through his mind. Finishing up, he rested on the edge of the sink to peer at Tris as she finished up her own work.

She turned to face him, and jumped back, not expecting his face to be so close to her own. The intensity of his eyes and the whiteness of his smile so close to her had startled her, making her jump. He just laughed.

"Coppercurls," he said, resting a hand on her lower back, dangerously close to an asset he had been admiring, "I'm off to bed. Sweet dreams." He leaned in to kiss her cheek and give her a hug, but by chance, Tris had turned her head at the right moment and he caught her lips. For a second, their eyes locked, shock in both. But he went with it, and increased the pressure of his kiss. When her eyes drifted shut, he followed suit.

Tris eventually pulled away, a blush spreading across her cheeks. "Well, good night then," she told him, and ran off to her room.

Briar just stood at the sink, and watched her go. He had just kissed Trisana Chandler.

And he hadn't been struck by lightening... yet.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Tris wasn't able to sleep. There were too many distractions; the winds calling to her from her window were one of many. Many months ago, Tris had moved her bed under her window, so she could look out it and play with the winds on nights such as this, when insomnia plagued her. It was so bad, she half considered undoing one of her braids and playing with her lightening. Then she remembered one of Niko's speeches to her about the dangers of her power, and all the problems it could cause. Tris resigned herself to pushing her coverlet down to her waist and calling the cool winds to play over her body.

Just as she grew cold, she heard Briar's mind call.

~Hey, Tris, you sleeping?~

She groaned to herself. What did he want now, she wondered. She rolled onto her stomach. All she wanted to do at the moment was try to get to sleep; never mind her body refused to let her. She wished to attempt sleep anyway!

~Coppercurls, I know you're awake. I'm just over you're room, and heard you groan.~

~Fine, fine, FINE. I'm awake, are you happy now?!~

~Very much so. Come join me.~

~Briar, I want to sleep. What in the name of Tuhengri Stormlord makes you think you can summon me whenever you wish? I am not one of your students at your beck and call.~ She added to herself, besides, he already got his chance to see me tonight. By the gods, did he really think she hadn't noticed? Her mind had been wandering, not on a completely different plane.

~Please, Tris? Full moon tonight... even me and the plants can feel its pull.~

Damn him. Damn him for knowing what buttons to push. Briar knew she loved the moon, and was fascinated by how the moon affected the tides.

~I'm on my way. And you're a liar, Briar Moss. The moon doesn't affect plants that greatly.~

Tris could feel Briar's mental laugh reverberating through out her skull. She crawled out of bed, pulled her hair back again, and made her way onto the roof. She found Briar leaning against the chimney facing the sea.

"You dragged me out of bed to watch the sea with you?"

He turned to face her. And truth be told, he was a bit shocked. Tris was wearing a white nightgown that was practically see-through when she stood in the proper light. Briar felt his jaw go slack at the sight, and had to concentrate on not allowing it to drop. He couldn't believe his Coppercurls would go out in front of a guy wearing that, even if said guy was him! He saw the outline of her thighs, hips, stomach, breasts... he turned away from her to hide the guilty look on his face, and quickly rearranged his pants to hide the sudden bulge. He had to think of a quick remark...

"You make me wanting to spend time with you sound bad when you say it like that."

She tilted her head to the side and thought about what he said. Briar wanted to spend time with her?

"Briar, you know I love spending time with you." She crossed to him and took a seat close enough that she could feel the body heat coming off him in waves. Maybe it hadn't been such a great idea to wear only her nightshirt out onto the roof.

Briar noticed her shiver and shifted closer to her, wrapping her arm around her to help her keep the warmth in; she resisted at first, but finally decided that warm and close was much better than cold and far. He smiled down at her.

"You never could resist one of my guilt trips, could you, Coppercurls?"

She shook her head no, watching the sea. It was what she had been called out for after all. Briar continued.

"You remember that time when Crane had us mixing love and anti-love mixes with the herbs?"

"Yes, I remember it well. It smelled so good in there that day... all of the cinnamon, ginger, jasmine, patchouli, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, and spearmint!"

"And you, weather witch that you are, dared me to drink some of it! I was kissing everything I could get my hands on!"

"I remember it well. And don't blame my dare. If you had put a little more restraint into the magic, you wouldn't have had to kiss everything that afternoon until I got the anti-love done."

"You prolonged that on purpose! You know what, Tris? I think you liked the fact that I kissed you so often that afternoon."

"Your awfully full of yourself. I just enjoyed watching you try to get your arms around Dedicate Gorse..."

"I take back what I said earlier. You're not a wench, you're my own personal imp come to torture me." She just laughed. "So you really believe you didn't enjoy it? Shall we try a recreation?"

Tris felt her heart start to pound. "As you wish."

Briar hadn't thought that would be her response. He swallowed the large lump in his throat. "I think we began like this..."

He placed a light kiss on her nose, and Tris' eyes drifted shut. She was back in Crane's greenhouse, twelve years old again. Then a little kiss like the one she had just received had meant nothing then, but that wasn't the case now. Briar had moved on to her lips... wait, that had never happened in the greenhouse!

Funny, Tris really didn't care at the moment.

He kept it light at the moment, giving her a chance to back out with both of their dignities intact. When she shifted to straddle him, he got the hint and kissed her harder, his tongue finding its way into her mouth...

Tris' eyes snapped open. She was in her bed, and she had been dreaming.

Or had she? She felt the weight of an arm on her waist. Gently, she picked up the hand and examined the living vine tattoos on it.

Briar.

In her bed.

With her.

She twisted around to look at him. Well, at least they were both still dressed. Nothing had happened. Heaving a light sigh, somewhere between relief and disappointment, she shook him lightly until he roused from his sleep.

"Briar, what in the world are you doing in my bed?"

"I heard you whimpering... I had figured you were having the pirate dream again. When you didn't wake up, I just climbed in with you. The minute I put my arm around you, you stopped shaking. I took it as a good sign and stayed. Do you want me to leave?"

He looked like a little boy again, being yelled at by Rosethorn for something that really hadn't been his fault.

"No, stay. And Briar?"

"Yeah, Tris?" he asked ready to go back to sleep.

"Thank you for checking on me." She placed a kiss on his forehead and turned onto her side, ready to sleep, Briar's arm back around her.

Briar didn't sleep much that night. He kept thinking about the cool spot on his head where his Coppercurls had kissed him.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Well, that's the first chapter. R for later chapters. And of course, read AND review people. Please?

AML ~*kt*~