A/N: Hello, all. Just… something I suddenly came up with. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything that Tamora Pierce has written. So there.

Daine rushed into the palace stables and collapsed in Cloud's stall. What's the matter? What happened? Cloud asked, shocked by the wildmage's sudden entrance. She could feel the depression and anger emanating off of her mistress, affecting her so much that it was hard to keep herself under control. What happened, Daine? Daine choked back a sob and tried to speak. "N-Numair…" was all she could manage before more tears came down.

Cloud snorted in anger. I knew it! That Storkman! What did he do? I'll bite him so hard… "Cloud, don't. I-I'm sure he didn't… didn't… mean…" Daine could say no more as she began to sob again.

Tell me what happened. Cloud urged gently. Daine sat up and began to speak again. "I didn't something stupid… I know that. And he told me as much, which is to be expected. Looking back, it wasn't a very good idea…" Daine began to show Cloud how that afternoon had taken a turn for the worst.

--

A stuffy-looking old man stepped out of his carriage and walked around it, muttering about how the stupid horses had made the journey bumpy or some nonsense. Daine bristled and stepped forward in the horses' defense, but Numair placed a hand on her shoulder, shaking his head. Daine stepped back annoyed but subdued until the man committed his fatal offence. As one of the palace rat-catching dogs, a cocker spaniel, rushed across the man's path, he kicked the poor beast and shouted at it to get out of his way. It came yipping over to Daine, who bent down immediately to check it. It was only bruised, something Daine healed in a second. The spaniel wished to bite the man, but Daine hurried it away, saying she would take care of it. With a quick glace up at Numair, she saw her chance, he was simply shocked at the man's cruelty and wasn't watching Daine. "Excuse me, sir, I don't know where you're from but here we happen to frown on cruelty towards our animals." She said coldly.

"Excuse me, miss, I don't know where you're from, but here animals are a mindless nuisance that should stay out of noble company's way." The man said to her just as coldly.

"I am from here and animals are not mindless. You think intelligence comes from being able to talk and think like you, but you're very wrong. I speak for those who cannot speak for themselves they wish for me to say that you are a cruel, conceited, old man. From what I can see, they are quite right."

"I know of you. The bastard orphan of Galla who talks to all the filthy animals. And now, you are those filthy animals. You are not fit to be in my presence."

While nobody had expected the man to respond in such a harsh manner, no one expected what happened next. The court yard exploded. Dogs and cats burst from nowhere, biting and clawing while horses kicked out. Several people were unfortunate enough to get caught in the whirlwind frenzy. I 

stopped as suddenly as it had began, the noble bleeding in the middle of the court yard, Daine breathing hard, fire still in her eyes, and Numair standing behind her, looking more shocked than anyone. He began to pull Daine away through the nearest door when she turned suddenly. "See what you make of animals now." She spat before Numair pulled her completely into the room.

"What in the name of- of… What were you thinking??" It was Numair's turn to explode, "I can't believe you just did that! Do you know who that was? Do you know who just attacked??"

"I didn't attack him…" Daine said quietly.

"Well you may as well have! Do you know what you've just done?? Do you know how incredibly stupid that was?? I cannot believe you! If you wanted everyone here to hold the opinion that you aren't mad and that you're just as sane and controlled as anyone, you just blew that out the window! And do you know what? They might not be far from the truth! No one will find you any better than what that man in the court yard called you!" Numair's rant didn't get any further as Daine had turned and fled.

--

"And- and that's what happened." Daine said to the mare when she'd finished the image.

I'm not going to tell that wasn't a stupid thing to do, letting the animals attack him, but the stork man had no more right to insult you so than that noble. Are you sure you don't want me to bite him? Daine smiled slightly. "No. Maybe I'll do it later." Tears still streamed down her cheeks silently.

Cloud settled down on the floor of her stall and Daine leaned up against her, suddenly exhausted. She wanted to sleep, but she knew she would wake up and feel more reasonable, and she didn't want to stop being upset, not yet anyway. Kitten had slipped into the stall sometime during Daine's memory transfer and was now snuggled with her head on Daine's lap, very contented about something or another. "Ouch!" A sudden familiar yell came from the other side of the stables.

Daine sighed. She wasn't in the mood to accept an apology so she hoped the lanky mage was braced for disappointment. "Daine? Are you in here? As soon as you left I realized the horrible things I had actually said and felt very badly. Very badly doesn't even begin to cover how I felt. I was looking everywhere for you. I tried asking some animals to lead me to you, but none of them would come near me. Except to bite me. I was bitten three times on my way here. Spots just bit me when I came over to pat him…" When Daine didn't answer he continued.

"Kitten caught up to me and I thought she was going to lead me to you, but she bit me instead."

"Is that so?" Daine said disinterestedly as she patted Kitten on the head.

"I don't blame you if you hate me and you don't owe me the chance to explain myself. What I said to you was inexcusable, but I would be honored if you would hear me out." Numair said softly.



Daine sighed again. "Fine. Start talking." She said rather coldly.

"I didn't mean what I said to you, was just so shocked that you… allowed the animals to attack like that. But it wasn't only that. I was so angry with that noble for what he said, I was very close to attacking him myself you know." Daine sat up so she could see Numair standing on the other side of the room. "That man is very powerful and very close to the throne. That was the only reason I hesitated in teaching him that my friends are not to be insulted. I suppose I was just taking my anger about him out when I yelled at you." Daine caught the anger in Numair's voice.

Daine stood up. "You're still not excused from what you said. You're right, there's no excuse."

Numair suddenly looked very upset and Daine realized too late that her face was tear-stained. "I'm so sorry." He said desperately.

Daine sighed yet another time. If she could forgive him so quickly after being so angry with him, she was in trouble. "I know." She said quietly.

Numair smiled a little and walked over to where his lover stood. "I'm still mad at you though." Daine said, turning away.

"You have every right! I'm still mad at me. I can't believe I said any of it, even though I didn't mean a word of it. I deserved every bite I got and more and I'm going to feel horrible for a long time…" Numair turned away, looking very much like a child who had lost his mother.

Daine could resist no longer. "Does this mean that I am free to send you on a guilt trip for some things I've been needing?" She asked with a smirk.

Numair looked back at her, hopeful. "Anything you need, anything at all." He told her.

"Well I definitely need a kiss or two, especially after such a tongue-lashing… even though what I did was rather stupid."

Numair smiled and came over, pulling Daine into his arms and kissing her gently. "Is that better?" He asked almost playfully.

"Almost. Just one more thing I would like to say and then I'll feel much better."

"What?"

"Your hair looks silly."

"Ouch. That's hitting below the belt."

"Yes, well, now we're even."

"OUCH!" Numair suddenly shouted in her ear.



"Ow. What is it?"

"Your pony bit me!"

Now we're even. Cloud said. Daine giggled as Numair only looked puzzled from pony to girl before Daine stopped laughing long enough to translate for him.

A/N: Hello. I feel better now. I was a bit depressed at the beginning of this story, but by the end I felt better, just as I suspected. Writing always helps. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed…