Notes: Not much to say. Just a bit of early guild bonding.


"Almost… oh, rats!"

"Ichigo… Do you need help with that…?"

"No, no, I've almost got it…"

Tilting her head back, the charmander strained her arms, struggling to reach up and get everything arranged just right. But rich red fabric kept slipping under her tiny, clawed fingers, and she grunted in frustration as she felt it sliding too far to one side, threatening to fall.

"S…seriously… I can help…" offered Laramie, though he didn't sound very confident.

"I can get it!" Quickly realizing her mistake, Ichigo shook her head, adding, "Sorry, but I… Ohh!"

Another frustrated cry escaped her as the troublesome kerchief slipped free of her hands and off onto her shoulder. As she grabbed for it, Sunflora popped her head into their room.

"Oh my gosh! Is everything okay?"

"Oh, Sunflora!" Laughing nervously, Ichigo waved her off with her free hand. "We're fine, we're fine… I'm just trying to get this stupid thing tied up right."

"Oh, your scarf…?"

"Yeah." Shaking it out, Ichigo laid it against her belly so she could try and smooth out the wrinkles. "I wanna tie it 'round my head, but…"

"Your head?" The flower tilted her own head to one side, confused.

"Uh-huh… Pretty sure it's big enough, but I can't quite reach…"

"I could get it," Laramie offered, before adding "…Maybe. I think so?"

Vines uncurled from around his bulb, flexing experimentally, but Ichigo shook her head.

"No, I'm pretty sure I can get it. It's just I'm not used to… Oh. Well, I just can't seem to get the angle right."

"Hmm…" Folding her leaves over each other, Sunflora cocked her head to the other side. "But… don't you like scarves?"

"Well…" Flicking her tail back and forth, the lizard watched Sunflora's face, waiting for her to catch her meaning. She wasn't quite sure how to read the flower's expressions just yet, though… But she didn't have to wait long.

"Oh… Oh my gosh!" Sunflora's leaves quivered violently, and she repeated "Oh my gosh! I know EXACTLY what you mean!"

"So… yeah." Hefting the fabric again, Ichigo explained, "I'd be more comfortable wearing it a little higher, if I can just…"

Tilting her head to one side again, she ungracefully flipped the bandanna up over her forehead. The little lizard then tried to gingerly maneuver it into a position where she could work with it, unconsciously closing her eyes as she concentrated on her would-be headgear. The tip of her tongue peeked out of one corner of her mouth while she worked; she didn't even seem to be aware of that.

…Or, for that matter, just how adorable she looked. Sunflora almost squealed about it, but thought better of it. The little rookie probably didn't want any distractions.

Or any help, either. Laramie stood by awkwardly, watching his partner struggle with her kerchief. His vines kept twitching, involuntarily, as if itching to unfurl and assist her. But she'd said she didn't want any help, so…

So…

After a little more fussing, Ichigo thought she almost had it ready to try tying it again. Just had to keep one hand on the side, pinning the fabric down so it wouldn't slip as she carefully tilted her head again…

…She could really use an extra set of hands. But she didn't want to bother anyone with it, especially after she'd already told Laramie she could handle it on her own. She just had to…

Her thoughts were promptly upended as she felt something light and soft brush the other side of her head, and her eyes snapped open. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of yellow, a flash of green, and…

"Oh my gosh, hold still! You've almost got it!"

"Sunflora?" Abruptly, she was acutely aware of how close the flower was standing now -- and, more importantly, where exactly her tail was. Gasping involuntarily, she immediately bent it off to one side, keeping the tip as far away from either of her companions as possible. "Hey, I…"

"Just a moment!" Her leaves might have looked rather frail, but they moved swiftly and surely; Ichigo could feel them brushing and fluttering against the nape of her neck at impressive speed, along with fabric tightening into place. Soon, the older apprentice was stepping back to admire her handiwork, cooing with delight.

"Oh my gosh! You look adorable!"

"…Thanks." Admittedly, 'adorable' hadn't been what she was going for; Ichigo had been hoping for more of a 'practical' or 'sensible'. Still, she returned Sunflora's smile, then looked over to her partner. "What do you think, Laramie?"

"Great!" Beaming, Laramie piped "Thanks, Sunflora!"

"Yeah, thanks for the help." Scratching her cheek, Ichigo wagged her tail a few times, grinning.

"Oh my gosh! It's no problem! Happy to help!" Clapping her leaves together, she added "Now, you two just let me know if there's anything else I can do to help, alright? That's what we're all here for!"

"We will!"

"Yeah, thanks again!"

Beaming, Sunflora all but skipped back out into the hallway. Why, if she was smiling any wider, she was sure her face would split in two, and oh my gosh! That just wouldn't do!