(Collective gasps)

Yes, my first one-shot fic. No chapters after this, just the contentedness of being able to tell a story in one chapter. No hassles for updates. Nothing. Plain and simple. Perfect (not the story – but rather the idea that I don't have to update).

Excuse me if I'm a little rusty, I have written a fic for (cough two years cough) quite some time.

Disclaimer: I wish I owned these characters, but sadly I don't. All credit for the characters goes to the wonderful god-like Tamora Pierce.

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Persuasions

A short, oh so short, fic based on something Aly says in one of the Trickster books: that she'd seen her Rider friends shoot an arrow outline of someone just to prove that they could do it.

Okay, there may be some slightly "fluff-ish" parts to this fic and thus I apologise for any and all terrible fluff in advance. Enjoy.

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Evin Larse looked up, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "What was that you just said?" he asked, fully grinning now.

"I said, 'I bet you couldn't do it'," was the husky reply that came from the buxom redhead sitting on the corner of his desk.

"Is that a dare then Lady Sabine?" he questioned raising an eyebrow.

The woman nodded. "I bet that you couldn't make an outline of arrows around one of your Rider friends. You don't have the nerve."

"Really?"

"Really."

"And what is in it for me, Sabine? What reward is to be claimed if I succeed?" he smiled suggestively.

"I think you can guess, Evin," the redhead purred, running long-nailed fingers through the blond Rider Commander's hair.

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"Could you repeat that for me Evin?" a confused Miri Fisher asked her best friend and Commander. "I'm pretty sure that you just asked me if it would be okay with me if I could stand up against a wall without moving whilst you shot arrows at me."

"That's exactly what I said, my dove," replied Evin with a lopsided grin.

"Why, may I inquire would you want to needlessly risk my life for your pursuit of fun?"

"Well you see," Evin took on the tone of someone wise and old that was giving a lecture to a young child. "It is not at all in my pursuit of fun that I ask this small task of you. On the contrary it is because I know that you are the only one capable of succeeding in such a dangerous and fearful task."

"Now I really want to agree," said Miri sarcastically.

Evin sighed. "In truth, a friend of mine happened to dare me to do this and offered quite a reward."

"Did she now?"

"Why do you always assume it's a 'she'?"

"Because it always is a 'she'," Miri replied tartly.

Evin looked into his friend's eyes. He saw a flash of something he didn't recognise, but it was gone before he could put a name to it. "Jealous Miri?" he teased.

If only you knew how jealous, Miri said inwardly. "You wish," she teased back.

"So you'll do it?"

Miri sighed. "I guess I don't have a choice, do I?"

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To be completely fair, Miri was a little afraid. She was pretty sure that it had something to do with the idea of someone shooting straight at her. Normally, when people practised archery their target was just that, a target, or maybe if they were lucky a spidren or renegade hurrock.

The things we do for friendship, Miri said to herself. She was already regretting agreeing to Evin's most recent insane idea. But she didn't want to disappoint him. No. Not him. She was okay with disappointing anyone, anyone that was, apart from Evin. She had long since accepted that the only women Evin wanted were the ones who jerked his heart around on a string. He liked the drama of relations with court beauties, but more often than not these women left him broken hearted. Miri hated that side of him. She wanted to say that she liked him the way he was. She wanted to say that she wouldn't play with his emotions. But she knew she never would.

"Are you ready Miri?" enquired Evin holding a strung recurve bow and a quiver of arrows.

"As ready as I'll ever be," she replied through gritted teeth.

It was with a well practiced air that Evin shouldered his quiver and selected an arrow, fitting it to his bow. His guided his bowstring back towards him aiming at a spot on the wall near Miri's left wrist and let the arrow fly.

The arrow struck true - finding its intended home in the wood of the stable wall. At the same it was also half buried in the sleeve of Miri's shirt.

"You didn't inform me that this would include the ruining of one of my favourite shirts, Evin," Miri snapped darkly.

Evin shrugged. "I'll replace it."

Miri couldn't help but smile at his cavalier attitude.

- - - - - - - - - -

The process of creating the outline of another in arrows is a long, drawn-out one, as Miri and Evin were quick to learn. It involves both considerable skill and nerves of steel, especially when it comes to realising that one is shooting at one's best friend's head.

"Evin," sighed the exasperated Miri. "When is this going to be finished? I'm starting to wish I hadn't agreed to this. This girl better be worth it."

"Girl? Girl?" Evin asked in mock incredulity. "Lady Sabine is a woman. An amazing, beautiful, buxom, specimen of woman-kind."

Miri would have moved to block her ears from hearing any more saucy details of Evin Larse's love life if it were not for the fact that her arms were somewhat pinned to the wall by numerous arrows.

"Stop. Please. I've just learnt more than I ever want to know about you and your 'woman-friend'."

Evin scoffed. "I could teach you much more about the art of love Miri. I could tell you that last night we - ,"

Evin's words were cut off by an indignant squeal. "Truthfully, Evin, I really don't want to know and am not the least bit interested in your love life." I would love for you to teach me about the art of love, she said in her head. However, this she would never tell him. Instead, she poked her tongue out at her long-time friend. "So there."

Evin placed a hand dramatically to his chest. "You break my heart, o' Miri dearest. And here I was thinking that you yearned to hear the intimate details of my tumultuous love life."

"Just get on with it, Evin."

- - - - - - - - - -

It was sometime before Evin finally unstrung his bow with a contented grin.

"Perfect," he said, admiring his work. "And I didn't even hit you Miri, not even once."

Miri had to grin at this. She couldn't deny that he was a good shot. "If you wouldn't mind separating me and wall Evin, that would be much appreciated."

He obeyed dutifully and after collecting his arrows and thanking Miri, somewhat dramatically, he turned to leave.

"Where are you going?"

"I have bet to settle. I need to go and….ummm…collect my winnings."

"Evin?" asked Miri her eyes twinkling with mirth. "You do know that Lady Sabine and Teron of Blythdin announced their betrothal last week, don't you?"

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The End.

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Gen