Can you believe it's been over a year since I updated? :O I'm very sorry to those who waited, and the reviewers I lost. I hope this continues to meet your standards. :) Dedicated to danceee15, whose idea this was.

"...and then she said, 'You don't put the fan there,'" Faleron chortled, following his friend into her room. "Mindelan, your Yamani friends are just hilarious."

Kel, who had no idea what the first half of his story was, and wasn't sure she wanted to know anyway, said, "Thank you?"

He threw himself down on her bed and she winced as it groaned dangerously. My mattress can't take much more, she thought resignedly. At this rate I'll have to buy another one soon. She said, "Faleron, I have to change. I'll meet you back at the mess hall."

He raised his eyebrows. "What, no peek?"

She fought down her amusement as she scowled and scolded, "Your mother should've washed your mind out with soap instead of your mouth."

"Maybe Mama didn't raise me so polite after all," he drawled, and yelped as the hurled boot found its mark. "All right, all right, I'm going. No need to get abusive—unless of course that's how you li—ow, Kel, okay, I'm leaving!"

With her hands on her hips, Kel glared at Faleron as he rolled off her bed. He carefully smoothed the wrinkles out of his tunic, combed his fingers through his hair, frowned as he plucked at his hose, until finally Kel half-giggled, "Just get out, you dolt. I have to change. And no, you don't get a peek!"


Kel barely stifled a sigh as her best friend peered around the door in disbelief. "Kel, why are you letting Faleron peek at you?"

"I'm not," she said in exasperation. Faleron snickered. "I said he didn't get a peek."

"Faleron's peeking at Kel?" another voice behind Neal exclaimed. "But what's there to look at?"

That proved too much for them; catching sight of her face, they crumpled in laughter. The door opened wider to reveal Merric's smirking face. She pointed a finger at him.

"That," she accused, "was inappropriate. All of you, out. You can annoy me at supper. It's only an hour away. You can last that long, right?"

"I suppose we can try," Neal sighed dramatically, but he was already backing out of the door.

"Maybe you can clean up a little, too," Faleron joked, bending over to scoop up a discarded pair of trousers. "I mean really, didn't you ever learn how to put your clothes away?"

"Like you ever did," Merric said, rolling his eyes.

"Mithros, Kel, what do you do, suck it all in? These are tiny."

Neal frowned. "Are you calling her fa—Kel, these are only inches around. You can't possibly fit these."

Now Merric joined them as they stood in a circle, eyeing the small-waisted pair of breeches Faleron was holding doubtfully out in front of him. He scratched his nose and said, "They're right. I couldn't fit these, either."

There was a moment of silence.

"Kel..." Neal said slowly, an odd expression on his face. "Are—are these even yours?"

"Of course they are," she said in exasperation. "Why would someone else's breeches be in my—"

"Put them on."


"Put them on."

"Yeah, if they're yours, then prove it."

"I don't have to prove they're mine. And I'm certainly not going to do it with you watching."

"Oh, come on, Kel, we've grown up with you. We don't care about your long, luscious legs—"

"Not now, Faleron. Our Kel has a man's trousers in her rooms."

"I am not 'your Kel.' And those are mine."

"Then put them on."

"I'm not—"

"Because they're not yours," Neal accused. "They're a man's. You've had a trouser-less man in your room. I bet he was shirtless, too."

Faleron coughed politely. "I'll be the voice of reason here and say perhaps Kel just wanted motivation to lose weight? You know, maybe her goal is to fit in them."

She resisted the urge to strangle him.

"Whose are they? Come on. Be honest. We know they're not yours."

"I think," Kel said, "that it is none of your business."

Neal stared at her for a moment. Then, surprisingly, he said, "Fine. That's fine."

She eyed him warily.

He continued innocently, "I'll just make everyone else try them on—and then we'll know exactly who it is!"

"What—Neal, no—"

"That's a great idea," Merric said, impressed. "Neal, for once in your life, you've made yourself useful."

"It is not a great idea at all—"

"Are we in agreement it's not any of us?" Faleron asked. "We may be lean, trim, and handsome, but none of us are skinny, right?"

"Boys, if you actually go through with this, so help me I will—"

"Let's go!"



"Try them on."


"Try them on."

Seaver shrank away from the look in Faleron's eyes, and Kel tried once again to snatch the trousers away. He yanked them out of reach and shoved them back in Seaver's face. She emphasized with the violated look on his face.

"Wait a minute," Merric interrupted. "Look at the trouser legs—they're much too long to be his. He's too short."

"Well, you're one to talk," Seaver said irritably.

Kel reached for them again, and this time Faleron stuffed them down his own trousers. It created a very large bulge that made her vaguely uncomfortable.

"Want them now?" he asked archly.


"Ask her."

"You ask her."

"Neal, she was your knight-mistress—you ask her."

"Say, Kel—"

"No. Can I have them back, please?"

Neal sighed, pulling his head back around the corner. "There's no point," he decided. "The Lioness is much too short for these—" he gestured broadly at Faleron's crotch, "—and she's not exactly the trimmest bush in the hedge anymore, if you get what I—"

"Queenscove," a voice said ominously, "did you just call me fat?"

He gulped loudly as the others moved away. Alanna stood right behind him with her hands on her hips, her expression murderous.

"Of course not," he scoffed with forced merriment. "You know that you're a—"

"I don't want to hear it," she interrupted, holding up her hand. "But I know you're up to some kind of trouble. Keladry, can't you talk some sense into him?"

"I've tried, Lioness," Kel sighed. "It's no use."

"Why are you all out here, anyway, sneaking about like night-creatures? You look suspicious."

Involuntarily, Kel glanced at Faleron's crotch, where the trousers were stuffed. Alanna looked there as well, and blinked.

"Never mind," she sighed. "Queenscove, what did you used to say—ignorance is bliss?"


"Neal," Kel said, "for the last time—it is not Garvey."

But that didn't quell the feverish glint in his eye. "I know it is," he said in a low voice. "You and him—you've always had a thing for each other, haven't you?"

"You've gotten to get over this obsession with Garvey," Faleron said solemnly. "It's unhealthy."

"It's not an 'obsession...' Oh, look at him sitting there, watching the squires fence. What a creep."

"He's looking for a squire," Merric said in exasperation. "Let him be. Besides, he's obviously too fat to fit in them."

Neal didn't look placated, and he sent one last evil look at Garvey before following them away. At least Faleron had taken the trousers out.

"I give up," Neal sighed. "No one seems tall enough and lean enough to fit these damn trousers. Faleron, you might as well give them back."

Kel snatched the trousers out of Faleron's hands, glowering at him. "How kind of you."

"Oh," someone said. "You've found my trousers."

Three heads whipped around to stare, and Kel cleared her throat, reluctantly turning around as well.

"Master Numair," she said as blandly as possible, "it is good to see you."

Numair's lips twitched. "Indeed."

Merric and Faleron were whispering furiously with each other. Apparently, Neal could do nothing more than stare with a slack jaw. Tall and stork-thin, the man fit the description. Or the trousers, for that matter.

"I was just coming to find you, actually," Numair continued blithely. He accepted the wadded trousers from her and tucked them under his arm. "Daine wanted to invite you for supper in our rooms, if you would like to join us."

Kel cleared her throat again and struggled harder for a casual voice. "I'd like that."

"Excellent." He turned to leave, and as strode away, he called over his shoulder, "We've also found your shirt."

There was a long, strained silence at his departure. She tried very hard to look everywhere but at her companions.

"I," Faleron began, and then stopped.

Neal passed a hand over his eyes, lips moving. She suspected he was praying.

"Well," Merric finally said, "we did want to know."

"Yes, but I didn't want to know that," Neal snapped. "This is—weird. He's so—old. And he's—Numair."

"His trousers," Faleron said in horror, "were touching my—they were—ugh!"

Merric clapped him on his shoulder. "We live in awkward times, my friend," he said gravely. "Wait, Kel—where do you think you're going?"

"Well," she said, turning to walk backwards, "I have to get my shirt, don't I?"


"Master Numair must be working on one serious spell," Esmond commented as he slid his trencher beside Faleron. "His room is right above mine, and all I can hear is this crazy thumping noise."

"Esmond," Merric sighed, closing his eyes, "not now."

"I'm serious, though, Numair's working hard on something—"

Neal groaned and pinched his nose. "Sometimes," he said, "I have this overwhelming need to hurt you."

Please review! And keep in mind, for those who are reading this for the first time, that this is just a bit of silliness, and I understand the implausibility of it all.