Fine Young People

K. Ryan

"You'd think," Neal murmured as he watched the two women laugh over the table, "All those years as a boy would have helped your wife hold her wine."

"Ah, well." George grinned, taking a long, slow draught of his own. "I kept her to lemonade, you see."

The Lioness, gesticulating wildly, caught Kel's hand up in hers. "He was lying," she said. "Lies. All of it. Raoul is the father of wicked lies."

"No," George called mildly. "I am."

"Or Myles."

"Shut up, Neal." This from husband and wife together. Neal felt something in his ankle give as Kel kicked it.

"All of you," Kel said softly, "Might shut up."

His friend was glowing like a candle flame, flushed from people rather than wine. Alanna had not let go of her hand, and Kel's eyes kept flicking, briefly, back to her face. To George's face. To this place, the Pirate's Swoop she had been years denied, where friends had lived in exile from her.

"So," Kel said levelly. "Tell me what truly happened that night in port, Sir Alanna."

George smiled, standing up and pulling Neal with him. "That," he whispered, "Is a long story, and even rogues and fools know when to leave two fine young people alone." Smile flexing into a grin, he blew his wife a kiss, took Nealan firmly by the arm, and left.

Note: Written for the first round of Goldenlakes SMACKDOWN: A fanfiction fight for Kels non-canonical hand. Competitor: Alanna of Pirates Swoop and Olau. Characters are in no way mine. The competition is the brainchild of Goldenlake message boards. They, likewise, neither own nor profit from these characters and/or their geographies.