Daine lay back in the cushioned armchair, legs tucked up beside her. A cat slinked up to lounge across her lap, and she scratched its ears tiredly, stifling a yawn.

Jon was still detailing an attack strategy to drive back a horde of scanrans to Raoul and the Lioness while Numair listened attentively. Though he was to stay in the castle and conserve his powers for the numerous immortal attacks, Numair kept himself abreast of all developments in the war.

Daine watched the four of them poised over a long table housing a map weighted down on the corners with candlesticks. It had just started to get colder and a fire burned in the grate behind them, casting shadows on their tense faces. Daine felt her eyes dropping, she fought them open, but they crept down...

Numair looked over to where Daine was sitting, curled up in the armchair. She was sound asleep. He smiled at the sight of her with one hand draped over a tabby, the cat purring contentedly.

'Excuse me', he straightened with a groan, back cracking from having remained in the same position for too long. "I think I should see Daine to bed."

Alanna and Raoul exchanged a quick smile, while he felt a blush rise to his cheeks. Ignoring them, he gave Jon a wan smile, 'It's a good plan, Jon. If you need any more help, you know where I am. Under palace-arrest, in my room."

Jon gave a short grin, "I appreciate it, old friend. Now get you both to bed! No doubt I'll need you both before too long."

Moving over to Daines chair, Numair bowed to the cat, 'Excuse me, please, but I think it was time Daine was in bed". The cat jumped down and rubbed against Numairs ankles while he gave it a quick pat, "Thank you."

Scooping Daine up under her knees and shoulders, Numair lifted her carefully. She stirred, and sensing his familiar presence, settled into his hold. Her sweet, drowsy weight caused his heart to twist, and he brought his cheek softly to her hair. 'Goodnight everyone."

He walked through the corridor leading to Daines room and transferred her weight so he could open her door. The tabby was already waiting on her narrow bed. Pulling back the blankets he eased her down gently, taking off her boots off before he drew the covers over her.

The moon shone on her face, framed by smoky curls. He smoothed a curl back from her brow, wanting to kiss her forehead. Her hand was tucked into his. He brought his face down, and softly brushed his lips to it, then stood.