A little knight-music
Warnings/notes: Kai-stern/Tetheus (established), ooc, shortie.
Disclaimer: I don't own Dragon Knights.
written at 17th february 2005, by Misura, for the livejournalcommunity 30kisses (theme: radio-cassette player)
There was a strange gem sitting on Tetheus' desk. He was reasonably sure it hadn't been there the day before, although he supposed it might have simply been hidden from his view by the piles of paperwork that had gone flying due to ahem unforeseen events the evening before, and that he was currently in the process of rebuilding. If Alfeegi were to catch him like this, there would be Trouble, but, fortunately, Alfeegi usually assumed Tetheus to be every bit as competent as he himself was, and rightly so.
Where one kept one's paperwork said nothing about one's ability to deal with said paperwork, really. The fuss one made about where others kept their paperwork, now, that might indicate a certain lack of confidence in one's own orderliness, but Tetheus firmly believed in minding his own business and not commenting on that of others -provided they offered the same courtesy to him.
"Is it morning already?"
Ah, yes. His paperwork being not quite as neatly sorted as it might have been was only half the reason why he'd prefer not to have Alfeegi drop by this very moment. The other half seemed to have enjoyed a reasonably comfortable night's sleep - Tetheus would be amazed at that, if he hadn't known about the frequency with which Kai-stern didn't stay at the most expensive inn he could find.
Plus, he supposed that last night's ahem activities might have exhausted Kai-stern's already low reserves somewhat, considering he'd only returned from his latest diplomatic mission two days ago -just too late to see Rath and Rune, who had set out the day before.
"Yes and no." Tetheus wondered if he ought to make a trip to the kitchen to get Kai-stern a mug of coffee. Of course, Kai-stern could order some coffee himself, the moment he'd have returned to his own office, where Alfeegi had doubtlessly already piled up a load of paperwork Kai-stern really had to read and file away, before he'd be allowed to escape again.
"If you're awake enough to go cryptic on me, it has to be." Kai-stern groaned, stretching and yawning as he rose. Tetheus hesitated for perhaps one second before deciding that to pretend not to stare would be both useless and foolish.
Things might have fallen into a repetition of the night before after that, if Tetheus' door hadn't suddenly been slammed open -an occurrence that ought to have been impossible, since Tetheus, preferring not to leave too much to fate, had locked his office while he had still been coherent to do so and recall where he'd put the key afterwards.
"Hey! Why's your door locked when you're in?" Tetheus wasn't entirely sure if his visitor turning out to be Thatz rather than Alfeegi actually earned the term 'lucky', but he supposed that in theory, things could have been worse, especially since Thatz seemed not to have noticed Kai-stern's presence yet.
"That's a secret, I'm afraid." Tetheus attempted a weak smile, to convince Thatz that this was one secret that wouldn't interest him in any way, neither involving food nor treasures.
"Oh, fine, be like that. Anyway, have you seen - what's Kai-stern doing here?" Thatz had wriggled himself past Tetheus, to encounter a still-undressed Kai-stern, who appeared uncertain whether to spend his energy on getting some clothes on as quickly as possible or on coming up with a perfectly rational and logical explanation for his presence.
"That's a secret, too." Kai-stern, Tetheus noted, was much, much better at smiles than he ever hoped to be. "Could you tell me what's for breakfast today, by the by?"
Had it been anyone else, Tetheus would have considered this blatant admission of having spent the night in Tetheus' office an utter folly. However, since this was Thatz, there seemed to be a pretty good chance at Kai-stern's diversion having its intended effect -even if the odds of Thatz blurting out something about what he'd seen still inclined Tetheus to consider a position as ambassador to some far and distant province.
Thatz enthusiastically begun listing the foods he'd already consumed this day -sometimes, Tetheus marveled at the way the thief never seemed to gain any weight, what with his fondness for eating. Kai-stern, meanwhile, gathered his clothes, while Tetheus kept an eye on the for-now empty corridor outside his door.
"But, to get back to business, I'm looking for a little something I brought back from Kuulta. Ruwalk told me he thought you might like to have a look at it, since you're Secretary of Security and all. Have you seen it anywhere?" Thatz took two steps towards Tetheus' desk, before Tetheus reluctantly left his spot near the door to salvage at least some of the work he'd put into arranging his papers.
"A document?" Ruwalk had given him a whole stash of papers, Tetheus recalled, although he'd been uncharacteristically vague about their contents.
"Naw, a ... " Thatz regarded him with some suspicion, before confessing, in a near-whisper, "a kind of jewel. About this large," -Thatz indicated the size of a smallish paperweight- "and purple."
Tetheus held up the mysterious gem he'd found earlier.
"Yes, that's it! Can I have it back, please?" Thatz grabbed for his treasure, but Kai-stern, by nature more suspicious, paranoid and/or cautious than Tetheus when it came to Thatz and his claims of ownership, had deftly plucked the object in question out of Tetheus' hands and kept it firmly out of Thatz' reach.
"And just what is so special about this gem that Ruwalk wanted Tetheus to look it over?" Kai-stern inquired, slowly walking around Tetheus' desk while Thatz made several more attempts to regain possession of the jewel.
"It records sound," Thatz replied, apparently having tired of chasing Kai-stern and halting near Tetheus. "You drop it somewhere, and then, if you use the right spell, it'll let you hear everything that's been said since you put it there."
Tetheus and Kai-stern exchanged a look.
"I guess that there isn't much interesting to listen to stored in it right now, but ... " Thatz began searching his pockets. "Now, where did I put the note with that spell again?"
"Oh, bah, what could possibly be the use of such a device?" Kai-stern sauntered over to Thatz -without, Tetheus saw, the gem being anywhere in sight- and put a hand on his shoulder. "You know, I've heard some rumors about a very valuable treasure being hidden in some cave - one of my informants even drew me a map. Why don't I show it to you? I also got several bags of cookies on my visit to Cachao; would you like to have one?"
"Uhm." Kai-stern steered Thatz in the direction of the doorway. Tetheus prudently stepped aside.
"Did I say 'one bag of cookies'? I meant, two." Kai-stern cheerfully babbled on, while Thatz' expression slowly changed from one of confusion to one of excited anticipation.
"That was close." Kai-stern slumped into the seat Tetheus had offered him as soon as he'd came back from making sure Thatz had plenty of things to do besides remembering about his visit to Tetheus' office, and his reason for said visit.
"Having Ruwalk turn out to be sleepwalking down the exact corridor that we'd decided to be safe enough to engage in some activities best kept private was 'close'," Tetheus replied, somewhat coldly. "Thatz walking in while you're stark naked in my office isn't even remotely 'close'."
"Well, at least he didn't walk in on both of us being naked, did he?" Kai-stern shrugged, clearly having made up his mind to view this whole disaster as nothing but a small, insignificant inconvenience, much like Alfeegi refusing to accept a report for its lack of commas and footnotes, or Rune insisting on proper, civilized behavior under the strangest circumstances. "It could have been much worse."
"Perhaps." Kai-stern stared at Tetheus with some surprise at this easy admission. "However, I fully intend to take no more risks and find out ow, exactly, that would be possible."
Kai-stern pondered this for a moment, before he grinned.
"Fine with me. As long as you don't insist on working ridiculously late, I don't see why we couldn't limit our more intimate meetings to our personal quarters."
Thatz whistled as he strolled down the hallway, carrying a considerable load that consisted of several maps and bags.
"Hmm. I wonder how long it'll take them to forget about the stone so that I can steal it back." Thatz frowned, before his face brightened again. "Ah well, I've got two more, after all. Let's see how much I can get from Alfeegi when I put one in his bedroom. It's easy enough to see when he and Ruwalk have planned a date, after all."
"You'd really think they'd have figured out by now that if you act normally all the time and then suddenly start to not look at each other would be about the same as a public announcement."
Thatz sadly shook his head as he tossed his loot on his bed, and went looking for Ruwalk.