A Rider and a Rouge

Karigan rolled her eyes as Yates Cardell bowed deeply holding the door of her room open for her, a roguish smile spreading across his face. She stood in the corridor of the Rider Wing, covered in grime and sweat from a particularly grueling training session with Drent, trying to work out what Yates was up to now.

"Sir?" The mischievous rider asked.

Sir? God he is asking for it, She thought. It had been a week since she had been a week since she had been knighted, much to the delight of Yates who had been taking every opportunity to act bow and 'serve' to her since. She sighed, it is not that I don't like the attention. I would just rather forget about him...the him in question being of course King Zachary. We have not see each other since my Knighting, maybe he does not care for me anymore. The idea stung, but not as much as she had thought it would. Shaking herself she looked back at Yates who bowed again.

"Would Sir like me to prepare a bath?" He winked.

She laughed, everyone had heard of Yates conquests, but where the stories came from was still undecided. Deciding to take him up on his offer she nodded gratefully. She watched as he disappeared up the hallway before rummaging in the closet to find a change of clean uniform, it was not long until the handsome roge returned.

"Allow me to escort you Sir."

He offered her his arm and smiled good humouredly. Trying not to laugh she let herself be escorted down the length of the Rider Wing towards the bathrooms. Other Green Riders parted as they passed making Karigan feel like someone important, not just a lowly Green rider, maybe like a queen, she mused. The thought of Estora caused a lump to form in her throat, she could not help but feel betrayed by her once closest friend.

She stared in shock as Yates opened the door of the bathroom for her, no doubt he had been planning this. He had not only prepared her a bath but the surface of the water was covered with scattered rose petals, small candles burnt brightly around the edge of the bath and she could smell the exotic soaps from where she stood in the entrance.

She turned to the other Rider who was watching her expectantly. "I thought you deserved a bit of luxury, you don't seem to be in the Rider Wing very often these days. All that work it isn't good for you."

She smiled. "Thank you Yates."

"I don't know what it is that is bothering you Kari, but whatever it is just let yourself unwind for now. You may be the hero of Sacoridia but you still need to relax."

She nodded and walked in towards the bath. She turned as Yates called her name and laughed as she saw him hovering uncertainly in the doorway. It was so out of character for the charismatic rogue to look so nervous and out of place, he flashed her a bright smile.

"If you need anything you know where to find me."

With that he shut the door leaving her alone with her thoughts. She slid the lock in to place before shedding the filthy uniform and immersed herself in the warm water. As she let herself unwind she found herself thinking about Yates. She smiled, despite everything that had happened she still had friends. I may be the Avatar but to him, and the other riders, I'm just me. I'm just Karigan. The thought of being just Karigan made her relax. She had never been just herself to anyone. She had been a nuisance, a misfit, a merchants daughter, a student, a Green Rider and now she was also a knight.

So much had been expected of her from her family and from her King. Especially from her King. Zachary, she sighed, how well does he know me? How can he expect so much from me when we have spoken fully so little. I do not know him very well either. She stared at the petals slowly rotating on the surface of the warm bath water, lost in thought. How can I love someone I do not know? She let herself think about the King much more than she had allowed herself to before, before I was scared to see my feelings for what they are. What do I feel? She analysed her own movements in reaction to Zachary's, how she felt when he had touched her, how it had made her feel when he had announce his love for her.

Suddenly she grinned. I do not love him. Her feelings for him were genuine, just misinterpreted. I care for him as I would an elder brother, I would fight and care for Zachary as if he was my own family. A petal caught her attention as it bumped in to her hand. She would have to thank Yates properly for giving her a chance to unwind. Yates. She paused, what about Yates. Yates was a good friend and a fellow rider.

She carefully stepped out of the bath and dried herself. As she combed through her long hair she thought of a way to repay him. She knew Yates well enough to know he enjoyed a good brew from the Cock and Hen, Master Gruntlers chocolate's and a game of Intrigue... She froze. Was it possible she knew more about her fellow rider than the man she had claimed to love. She blushed as she thought about the night after practice with Drent long ago... he prepared a bath for me then too, trying to be a proper gentleman. She smirked. She would invite him out.

After dressing again and untangling her hair she walked down the corridor towards Yates's room. He answered on her first knock as if he had been expecting her and ushered her inside. She looked around his room in surprise, it was a bit smaller than hers, but every surface was covered with natural things. Beautiful sea shells, polished stones and dried flowers were displayed all over, as she bent to look at a particularly pinkish shell a sketch book caught her eye.

Ignoring Yates as he hovered behind her, she flicked through the pages smiling at the workmanship and detail in the pictures of different animals and flora throughout Sacoridia. She paused as she turned a page, a picture of a young woman riding on a large horse, her hair flowing free, a smile on her face. She gasped; it was a picture of herself.


She looked at him; he was looking down at her, his eyes sparking with amusement. He smiled at her and gently took the sketch book out of her hands. She froze as his hand brushed against her arm. She felt her cheeks growing warmer, as he leant closer to her.

"Kari." He grinned and kissed her on the cheek. "Shall we go?"

"Go where?"

He shrugged. "Does it matter? I doubt you want to spend all night in my room." His eyes gleamed mischievously. "Or do you?"

She laughed and raised her eyebrows. "Have you got anywhere in mind?"

He offered her his arm for the second time that day. Grinning she let herself be led out of the Rider Wing, for some reason she did not care who saw her with Yates. Feeling freer than she had in a long time she allowed him to walk her towards the courtyard, it looked like tonight was going to be a good one.

A quick one-shot I thought of. If you like it I may write more after I finish my other fanFic (Out Of The Darkness).

No one else had explored the Idea of Karigan and Yates together (pre Blackveil).

I'm not sure about the ending. Let me know if you have any better ideas.

Read and Review thank you.