A/N: Written from the prompt 'the realisation hit him like a lance'. Please read & review!

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Dom had once commented that it was never Lerant's day. Something always went wrong, be it the weather, messy Rider shenanigans, or Kel's maverick horse taking a chunk out of his arm or otherwise mistreating him (Lerant still had the bruise, yellowing slowly on his left shin, from a vicious kick the previous week.) Lerant himself often complained that nothing ever went quite right for him; his life was like a very good portrait which had been badly hung on a wall, and was destined to hang slightly askew forever, irritating everyone who preferred their pictures to be hung straight and completely negating the obvious beauty of the portrait.

However, today was getting off to a decent start. It was supposed to be his day off, and he had got up at a relatively civilised hour, eaten a leisurely breakfast uninterrupted by Wolset's usual terrible jokes, and now he was down on the practice courts, enjoying himself.

This did not mean that he was busy smashing seven bells out of a practice dummy or peppering a target with arrows: that wasn't his idea of enjoying himself. Rather, he was watching someone do something they were very good at indeed. It constantly astonished Lerant exactly how graceful Kel was when she practised using her glaive; admittedly, she was brandishing a thumping great stick with an oversized kitchen knife on the end, but there was such a thing as deadly grace, after all. And Kel didn't just have her graceful moments, after all. She had a lovely smile, and beautiful hazel eyes, and even though her idealism verged on stupidity every now and then it was really quite endeari-

The realisation hit him at exactly the same time as the lance, and it would be hard to say which blow surprised Lerant more. He whirled and yelled "Oi, watch where you're bloody going!" at the heavily-laden squire responsible more or less on automatic, his brain still in a state of confusion.

The squire, who had been desperately trying and failing to control the lance, as well as full tack for a destrier, a practice-sword in a sheath and a chain-mail vest, shouted something that could have been an apology or possibly just some swearwords, but Lerant didn't hear. He was too busy rubbing his bruised head and staring at Kel.

He couldn't be in love with her. That was just ridiculous.