another briar/sandry fanfic by me! i just cant get enough of them! hope u enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own anything Tamora Pierce or Circle of Magic. But I wished I owned Briar…;)

"Why are you here so early, Sandry?" Daja asked her saati when she opened the door of her house on Number 6 Cheeseman Street after she heard some raucous knocking. She was hardly surprised when she saw Sandrilene fa Toren, shivering under her thick wool coat in the pouring rain. Several days before, Sandry had told the other three mages that she would stop by their house and take a look over all of their clothes, sew a seam here or there, and then leave to spend the rest of the day with her uncle.

Rushing past Daja Kisubo, Sandry shed her cloak and handed it to the servant who waited for it. She hugged herself and shivered again. "It's freezing out there. I hate when it rains. It's always so cold."

"Apparently." Daja muttered after she closed the door. When she turned around again, Sandry clapped her hands and rubbed them together. The Trader groaned when she saw the determined gleam in her friend's cornflower blue eyes. "Tris is asleep. I wouldn't disturb her if I were you. And Briar's busy with his shakkan. You might as well start with my clothes."

A smile crawled slowly onto Sandry's face and she carried her sewing basket up to Daja's room.

"Help me." Briar said, running into Tris's room after about two hours since Sandry's arrival. The redhead looked at him curiously from the top of the book she was reading.

"Help you what?" Tris turned back to her book, subconsciously stroking Chime's back.

Briar peeked out the door and put a finger to his mouth to silence her. Someone's muffled footsteps stalked by the door, stopped, went forward a bit, and stopped again. Briar's grip on the door handle was turning his knuckles white. Finally, the footsteps went away and Briar sighed, slumping against the door. "Hide from Sandry. She's been hunting me, wanting to see my clothes. Luckily, I locked my room in time before she could get in. Hopefully she'll give up her search for me soon."

Tris turned her page in her book and stated absently, "And then she'll come here to check my clothes."

Swearing loudly, Briar recognized his folly. He quickly exited Tris's room, and found himself staring right into the bright blue eyes of his foster sister Sandry. The smaller girl's chin was raised haughtily when she saw him and she laughed, "You thought you could hide forever, could you?" She grabbed his sleeve and ordered, "Unlock your room this instant or I'll make all the clothes you're wearing come undone."

Briar laughed sheepishly as he replied, "You really wouldn't do that now, would you, Duchess?"

"Call me Duchess again and maybe I will!" Sandry tugged on his sleeve, leading him to the door of his room. She pointed to the door and imposed, "Open it."

Grumbling curses in several languages, Briar opened his door and let her through. Instantly, she invaded his wardrobe, pulling out individual items and frowning, shaking her head disapprovingly. Briar sat on the edge of his bed, waiting for her to check all his clothes and leave. He hoped it wouldn't take long. He really didn't want to leave his shakkan because he was still pruning it. Hoping to hurry his foster sister along, Briar uttered, "My clothes are fine, Sandry."

"Didn't you wear this in Namorn that day when you had that fight with Olfeon?" Sandry held up a tunic. She looked at the hem and groaned, "The seam is ripped, Briar. Didn't I teach you to treat your clothes better?" To herself, she added, And why did I overlook this rip?

"They're just clothes, Sandry. I don't see why you bother. They'll probably get ripped sooner rather than later." Briar mumbled through his hands. When he saw Sandry's reddening face, he had the sudden urge to take his words back. She looked mad.

"Just clothes, Briar? Just clothes?" She waved the tunic in his face. She glared fiercely at him and said, "At least you can pretend to care about them the way I do! Why can't you see these clothes are just like your plants? They're just as precious as your stupid plants!"

"Stupid?" Briar rose to his feet, his expression a mix of fury and agitation. "You arrogant little princess!"

Sandry took a step back and turned away from him. Ignoring Briar, she grabbed her sewing basket and stormed out of the room. Briar stood in shock, realizing slowly just what he'd said to her. He swore loudly and ran out of the room, but Sandry wasn't in the hall. He searched for her magical connection to her, but she closed herself from him. He cursed once again, remembering how sensitive Sandry was at times. What he had said to her was cruel and she would take it to heart.

Fumbling through her sewing basket, Sandry managed to find thread and a needle through her cloudy vision. The tears she begun to hold in her eyes after Briar had called her an arrogant little princess were forcing themselves out of their eyes. She ran the back of her hand over the side of her face and found moisture. Shaking her head, she commanded herself to work on the tunic in her hands. But it was impossible to do such a task when her mind was elsewhere. Crying out, she covered her face in the tunic to muffle any sound coming from her mouth. She certainly didn't want Tris or Daja to come out and find her sitting, crying on the damp ground in the garden and want to know what was wrong. Or worse, Briar could come out and find her.

She sniffed lightly and caught the faint earthy scent of Briar. She tensed, remembering his callous words. But then she relaxed and buried her face deeper into the tunic. The Briar smell was comforting and pleasant.

She picked up her needle again and began to stitch the wide rip on the seam of the tunic. It took her nearly ten or fifteen minutes to stitch the whole thing. When she was done, she stared out at the garden and sighed. Briar's garden was almost as beautiful as the one back at Discipline. She could smell the wet dirt from the rain earlier in the morning and the flowers, and she leaned back against the wall of the house. Beside her was a group of shrubs, most she couldn't recognize.

Sighing at the solitude and peacefulness of the garden, Sandry stood up. She figured she had two options: she could leave the tunic with Tris or Daja and tell them to give it to Briar, or she could leave it outside his door. But she didn't want Tris or Daja to interrogate her or for her to run into Briar when she left it outside his door. Sighing again, this time because of her small dilemma, she made her way back inside the house.

The noble realized just as she reached the door, that she had left her sewing basket back between the shrubs. Strolling back to the brambly shrubs, Sandry failed to notice the oak branch that had broken off of a tree in the rain. Clumsily, her foot hit the branch, causing her to fall. Right into the shrubs.

"Oh, cat dirt!" Sandry cried and tried to crawl away from the shrub. Thorns caught onto her silk dress and scratched at her face. She yelped when a particular twig poked her temple and left a small gash right along the side of her face. Tiny ripping sounds caught her attention and she said a word Briar often used when he was angry and wasn't to be used by a lady such as her.

After another fifteen minutes and she was still in the shrub, she cried in anger and panicked. What if she never got out of the bush? Suppose that when she did manage to get out, would her dress be torn to shreds by the thorns? She'd obviously be a sight traveling back to the Citadel with a ruined dress and eyes red from crying.

"I need help!" Sandry cried out, hoping at least someone would hear.

The noble was surprised when she felt strong hands grip her shoulders and carefully pry her from the shrub. The person helped her to her feet and shoved her sewing basket into her arms. Breathing a sigh of relief, Sandry turned around and faced—Briar!

Flabbergasted and a bit delighted, Sandry stuttered, "Briar, I …Um…Thank you…I think…What I mean is…uh, I…ugh…I don't know what I mean!"

A light chuckle stopped her from her rambling and she looked sheepishly at the boy. He had a small, slightly ashamed smile on his face and he chuckled as he looked her over. Sandry could only imagine how bad she might look, what with her several scratches and torn, muddied dress. She looked at her hands and gasped when she saw Briar's tunic—tattered and in need of more repair.

"Come on. I have some balm to put on those scratches." Briar reached out and touched her elbow lightly. She flinched visibly and he pulled away, but then gripped her elbow firmly, yet gently as he led her to his workroom. When they got there, he forced Sandry to sit on a stool as he got out the balm to heal her scratches.

Kneeling before her, the balm in one hand, Briar began to carefully cover each scratch. Sandry averted his gaze and looked at the ground. Her hands quivered and her lip trembled when she glanced at the once perfect tunic in her hands. She bit her lip, but that didn't stop Briar from noticing something was wrong. He laid one hand on hers and asked, "What's the matter, Sandry?"

She turned her head away, still keeping her eyes off him. Briar went on to say, "Look, Sandry, I didn't mean what I said— about you being an arrogant little princess. I was just annoyed with you for hounding me about the condition of my clothes." His grip on her hand became tighter and Sandry almost sighed in delight. Having Briar touch her hand like he was, was pleasure in itself. "I'm really sorry."

Sandry looked at his gray-green eyes and was shocked with the amount of guilt that was held in them. She nodded reluctantly and leaned down to place her forehead on his. She held the tunic in her hands and whined, "It's ruined, Briar. That shrub ruined your tunic. And after I had just finished sewing the seam, too!"

The boy laughed lightly and brushed a strand of hair that had escaped her braid behind her ear. "How'd you even get in that shrub?"

Bashful, Sandry cleared her throat and replied, "I tripped."

Briar's laugh was enough to make her shudder in rapture. His voice was just beautiful. Why hadn't she ever noticed before?

She shoved him and defended, "Don't laugh. It makes me feel stupid."

After finishing with one last chuckle, Briar put the balm away and came back to Sandry, smoothly cupping her face in his hands. They stared deeply into each other's eyes and Briar whispered with teasing in his voice, "You're not stupid, just silly."

What happened next bewildered both of them. Somehow, their faces had leaned just far enough so their lips touched, hesitantly. Sandry blinked for a second before closing her eyes and combing her fingers slowly and sensually through his coarse black hair, deepening the kiss. Briar's tongue skirted the edges of Sandry's mouth before she allowed him entrance. The boy's hands wandered down to the small of her back and he pushed her closer to his body. After what seemed like an eternity, Briar and Sandry parted and stared at each other with such compassion that they couldn't help and go back for another kiss.

When they pulled away again, each smiled brightly. Sandry giggled, "I really am silly."

Briar nodded, breathless and he rested his forehead on hers. "I'll have to thank that shrub, even if it is imprudent."

"Why?" Sandry giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"If it weren't for that shrub, I'd never get to do this," He leaned down and kissed her squarely on the mouth again, this time more aggressive and arousing than their first two kisses.

The noble girl slapped his arm playfully when he let go of her and she gathered her sewing basket and Briar's tunic in her arms. She looked at the tunic and shook her head, saying, "Well, Briar, now that this tunic is beyond repair, I'll have to make you a new one."

Briar groaned and dropped into the stool Sandry had been sitting in before. Sandry came over and wrapped her arms around his neck again and told him, "Don't be so negative. Take off your tunic now, Thief-boy."

With this statement, Briar's eyes lit up and she slapped his head. "Don't be so vulgar. You need to be fitted for your new tunic."

Grumbling, Briar obliged and took of his tunic as Sandry held up his tattered tunic and asked herself, "I wonder if I could possibly fix this seam."

Chuckling, Briar collected Sandry in his arms and whispered in her arms, "Don't even think about it. You have to fit me for a new tunic now." Sandry's mouth grew into a wide grin and she nodded and Briar leaned down to kiss her again.

i know i really could have come up with a better ending, but oh well! my sis was pressuring me 2 get off the computer and when i have a time limit 2 my writng, the final product isnt as good as it could have been! well, i hoped u enjoyed another 1 of my sad attempts at Briar/Sandry fluff...romancey stuff...!


any and all good comments are appreciated. flames are just ignored! ;)