I don't own any of the characters. They belong to marathon.


"Hmmmmm", Josh sighed.

I should really call him Sir or Master, but he makes me call him by his first name. It's not proper though and I'd be strung up by his Father if he heard. But Josh thinks its silly.

"Hhmmmmmmmm" ,he sighed again.

"Is there anything you want Sir", I ask, though my words were muffled as I was collecting his clothes for the evening.

" It's Josh to you. You know that Brett", He whines.

" Is there anything you want JOSH then", I ask again not quite freed from the cloth so still quite muffled.

" I want to skip this ball tonight," he explains.

" You know that's not possible", I reply putting down the clothes down on the bed whilst Josh stands in front of the mirror. I pick up the first shirt and hold it up for him.

" Hmmm. I could if you took me into the village", he tells me slyly his eyes sliding towards me.

I frown, he would get in so much trouble if he wasn't present tonight, but he had been bothering me to take him to the village for weeks. I knew this would end in a debate and I really couldn't argue with him. It was extremely taboo so I took the safe route.

"You've been to the village many times, " I grit my teeth trying to keep my voice neutral, " what would be so different this time".

" You know what would be different Brett," he growls turning around to face me, "I've never seen it without the whole village being washed, the children being put away and hearing the same things they've been told to say. Its just not natural."

I feel ashamed. I should be honest with Josh he looks after me, but it's my job to look after him and I can't let him get into trouble or hurt.

" I'm sorry, but your Father would be furious," I attempt to reason with him, but he cuts me short.

" I wouldn't let him blame you Brett. I have asked you to do this for me. It's me who wants to skip this stupid 'evening meal'".

" I wasn't thinking of myself," I mumble quietly.

Josh laughs and ruffles my hair. I manage to smile back through my thoughts. I could take him and he would be so pleased ,but he might never be allowed out again. Just then Josh had gone back to trying on the shirts I had laid out, leaving me to my thoughts. I don't want to disappoint him he's so good to me. Treats me like an equal, but that's just Josh, going against all rules in society as if they don't exist even in front of his tutor and father (sometimes). His tutor is always disgusted and glares at me whenever he sees him, often taking me out of the room so he can talk privately with Josh.

"I heard Lady Yoko will be at the event this evening, don't you want to see her," I plead with him, even putting my hands together.

"Hmmmmm," he sighs again.

I really don't want to upset him. Oh I think I have he's not looking at me and is heading for the bathroom. I wince as he slams the door. I've really done it now. Josh says its his dream or life long ambition to be an equal, but I don't want him to see life as it can be, he's too good for it. I busy with myself with choosing the clothes that would please his Father, contemplating what I should say when he comes out. I should really say nothing and disappear. Like a servant should, but that might anger Josh more. He hates it when I follow servant procedures that we all know off by heart or should do. Like I mentioned before, he naturally pushes all boundaries to their limits and expects me to do too. It's not that simple though.

Josh needs to come out of the bathroom. He has half an hour till the evening starts and he's not dressed. What do I say to get him out of there? He's doing it on purpose, but it's my fault.

"Is my son ready yet?," I voice growls.

I jump. I didn't realise Lord Kirkpatrick had entered the room. Oh dear what am I going to do.

"Yes Sir," I reply quietly, "He's just freshening up,"

I'm cut off.

"I don't need to know what he's doing," He yells at me, "I need him downstairs to greet our guests so make sure he is ready. Otherwise you will be receiving the whip. Understood."

It was a statement not a question, but I nod my head as quickly as I could anyway. He leaves immediately afterwards, but his threat hangs in the air. I need to get Josh ready now or who knows what his father will do.

" Sir you need to come out," I plead through the door, "You're wanted by your father. Please come out."

Josh doesn't say anything, but I'm not sure if he can hear he seems to be making a lot of noise. Oh no oh no oh no. Ok stop panicking. You just need to bribe him out. Yes. But what to bribe him with. Oh no.

" I'm sorry. I didn't mean to argue with you Sir. Please come out, I need to get you ready," I plead , more loudly this time though.

" Stop calling me Sir," Josh yells back.

Oh no oh no oh no. No wonder he isn't responding I've gone back to proper servant mode. I always do that when I'm around my other superiors. I'm doing this all wrong.

" Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry," I mumble.

"You can stop that as well," he yells through the door, " You are not a slave. You are my friend."

I didn't realise I was mumbling. I was trying to figure out how to get him out of the bathroom. He sees me as a friend. That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me.

" Some friend I am if I keep angering you," I mutter darkly, " And get you into trouble."

" Don't be silly," He laughs, "I'm getting myself into trouble."

" But your father wants you in the main hall as soon as possible," I explain, " He won't be happy if you're not there."

"That's putting it lightly," Josh laughs again.

" Please you need to come out and get ready," I sigh when I get no answer, " What do I need to do to get you out of there".

I didn't realise how whiny I sounded then because Josh laughed again and tutted teasingly.

" Do you really have to ask me in that manner," He mocks me, I think, "Now ask me properly."

Sighing I reply in the proper manner, I have to be reminded to do this, hoping I can get him out of there.

" What can I do to persuade you to go to the evening meal your father wishes you to be at tonight," I reply, " And make it more enjoyable."

I almost forgot that. Always in your masters best interests. Always in your masters best interests. Always in your masters best interests. I'm jogged out of my stupor by Josh's laugh. What is he laughing at now.

"That's a little too formal, but I'll buy it," he said.

" What?" I yelp.

I'm then flung backwards. I hit cold hard slabs of stone. Great, face smashed into a prickly wood door and back slammed against stone. I really don't think I can move, but I can see Josh's feet. They're going back to the bad were the shirts are. Does that mean he meant it? He's going to go to the ball!

Scrabbling upwards, and falling back down onto the floor, but I try again, and reach Josh. I reach for the shirt he is holding, happily tugging on it so I can dress him. But he doesn't let me have it. My smile drops and I frown at him.

It's only then I realise what I had just agreed to, and there was no going back.

I tried to groan inwardly, but I couldn't.

" No, I grumbled, " I didn't did I?"

It was supposed to be rhetorical question.

" Yep, subconsciously you agreed to something I've always wanted to do," Josh smirked, "I'm one step closer to my dreams".

He paused and sighed dramatically. It was obvious how happy he was at the prospect of going to the village as if he really was a villager. I couldn't help myself though. I was almost crying at the thought of losing Josh in a crowd or coming back to find the whole castle waiting and looking for us. I would never see Josh again and he wouldn't even be allowed out into the courtyard anymore.

It was then I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was only josh, but I still jumped.

"ya jumped me ou'a me skin 'en" I grumbled speaking in my true tongue.

Josh loved it when I slipped back into my original tongue. He said it sounded different coming from me and he often tried to mimic it. Today ,however, was different. He knew he'd had scared me and that was why I spoke like the slum kid I was.

" It won't be that bad Kid," he tried to console me.

It wasn't working and he knew it so he tried a new tactic.

" What if I made a deal with you? Huh. What If I stopped getting you to make president's rice pudding," he suggested, " Or I taught you how to read."

He said that last part so quickly I almost didn't get it. It was like he had just realised something amazing. It tended to be like that with bribes for Josh though.

" Teach me," I asked cautiously, " How to read? Really?"

" If it will make you feel better, then yes," Josh chuckled.

I must have been beaming at him because he ruffled my hair again and then gave me a huge hug.

" Well Kiddo, I have to go before Father come back and kills me," He explains as he heads to the door, somewhere between it all he'd changed into the first shirt I had held out for him, he looks vry smart and will please his Father I'm sure " But I will see you down there soon."

Josh then disappeared out the door.

" Oh and don't forget to wear that blue suit on my desk. My orders remember."

I once again groaned.