Two weeks after the "incident of the grey goats gruff", as Gilan grinningly insisted in calling it, and Gilan finally seemed to be settling down to learning all which Halt could teach him. The absolutely not grey haired ranger was secretly pleased that Gilan seemed eager to learn, bright, quick, and, contrary to popular belief, actually did know when to stop joking and be serious. Though, he was fond enough of taking full advantage of any other time to goof off.
One bright morning, Halt and his apprentice rode into town on weekly errands; essential things, such as making his weekly report to Baron Arald, and getting more coffee.
"Gilan," said Halt. "I'm going to leave you to do these errands," He handed a written list that was foled like a letter to Gilan. "And I don't want to find out about any more harebrained foolishness that you've done." He glared impressively at the boy.
"Okay, what if I do something, and you don't hear about it?" Gilan replied cheekily.
"I will." Gilan couldn't help but twinge at the dangerous tone. He knew all too well that nothing escaped Halt. He could still feel the ache of the metal spoon Halt threw at his head the other day, when Gilan couldn't throw his dagger properly. The spoon was to"drive the point home" Halt said.
"Here's your list of things to get. After you're done at the market, go to the tailor to get you're cloak; no, it will NOT make you instantly invisible. And stay well away from the animal pens." Halt growled out his instructions to Gilan, who, although he was listening, was pretending to absently watch a falling autumn leaf. Just to please Halt.
"Sure Halt. Halt, will I like my new cloak? What kind of coffee was it you wanted? Is the market guy friendly? Does he have a dog? Can I pet it? Is the cloak as swishy as yours? Do I…."
"As much as I'd love to answer all you're senseless questions boy, I have to tear myself away to report to Arald." Said Halt. "Just sit outside the inn when you're done, and wait for me." Gil flashed a cheeky grin.
"Sure gramps, Er, I'll be going now, bye!" hastily adding the last part, Gil hurried away from the devastating doom that surely awaited him if he didn't clear out fast.
Turns out, the man selling the coffee was friendly, did have a dog, which Gil joyfully did pet, he was enamored with his new cloak, and it was as swishy as even Gilan's heart could desire. Having completed these and other errands, Gilan sat down on the steps of the inn to wait for Halt, as per order. With a jaw shattering yawn, Gilan began to toy with his saxe knife, stretching out his lanky legs and resting in the shadows of the front porch. Alas for Halt's prediction, sitting still as he was, and wrapped in his cloak, Gilan actually was almost invisible. At least, he was to the girl who haphazardly tripped on the appendages which suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
"Why you little twit! You've made me spill my basket all over! All have ye sorry for trippin' me like that ye vile vagabond!"
Looking up startled, Gil saw a girl sprawled in the dust at his feet, sputtering angrily at his startled visage.
"Bounding blazes!" Here Gil's mare looked scathingly over at him "I didn't see you there miss, honestly! So sorry, let me help you up." Gil jumped up and offered his hand to the girl, and then hastened to recover the contents of her basket. He offered his kerchief to the girl to dust herself off. The fire seemed to dissipate from her face like a snuffed candle at Gilan's polite sincerity.
"Oh, tha's alright. I thought ye meat to trip me. Boys are always teasing me so. Sorry I called ye a twit. I'm Delia Writworth." She held out her hand good-naturedly.
"Thank you. I'm Gilan Davidson of Caraway fief, lately apprenticed to Halt the ranger. How do you do?" Gilan bowed gallantly, taking her hand and sweeping his cloak back dramatically. He knew all those boring court etiquette classes his mum made him take would come in handy someday!
The lively brunette giggled at him.
"Oooo, yer a fine one. Not like the rogues around here."
Gilan winked and smiled a smile calculated to make the girl melt. "I'd like to meet a few. I'd introduce them to some manners, hey? Here, let me walk you home, shall I?" he said, excellently keeping his "Gilan charm" to the max.
"Oh all right. I live just up that way. M'da owns a shop up the street." So, Gil, completely forgetting to wait in front of the inn, offered her his arm and with her on one side and the basket on the other, strolled up the main road chatting smilingly. People stared and whispered to each other:
"Ain't that the ranger boy?" "Sure is, an' with lil' Delly on his arm too!" "Wal, ain't that a sight?"
Oblivious of the spectacle he was making, Gil continued up the road with the pretty girl. As they passed by the tailors, Delia waved to two girls out front.
"Betty, Shelly! Hello!" She beamed as they looked over and saw their friend and the grinning young man.
"Hey Delly! Who's that hansom' feller?"
The two giggled and fluttered their lashes furiously. Gilan performed his excellent bow again, sending the girls into another giggling fit.
"Gilan Davidson, at your service ladies. May I ask your names?" Gil was really starting to enjoy this too much. One after the other, the girls bobbed curtseys as they introduced themselves smilingly. "I'm Rebecca." "And I'm Shelia."
Those girls sure like to have their names match, nickname or no. I'll never remember all these 'ie's' and 'ia's' thought Gilan wryly. Strangely, the girls all looked awfully similar; same shade of brown hair, hazel eyes, same pert nose, petite build, round face…
"Say, you not…"
"Sisters? Sure are!" they chimed in chorus. They looked at each other and giggled. Then added: "Triplets in fact!" Taken aback, Gilan's eyes might've been mistaken for saucers just then.
What've I gotten into? He wondered.
Halt, escaping at last form the Baron, who continuously laughed at his own not-so-funny jokes, jumped onto his horse, Abelard, and trotted briskly across the bridge into town.
Looks quiet, no livestock running loose, or apprentices. Doesn't appear to be any fires or screaming. Gilan must've behaved himself after all.
Halt grunted to himself incredulously, causing Abelard to look back in surprise.
What's gotten you so surprised? Must be something big to get you to actually grunt. Was the horse's half-sarcastic comment; but only half.
"Gilan hasn't done anything mischievous it would seem."
I gathered as much from the calmness of everything. That is, if I hadn't just smelt Blaze up ahead.
Halt flicked an eyebrow. Sure enough, there was Gilan's mare, rider-less, coming towards them. As she approached, the spirited mare pranced a bit, turning and trotting a few steps, then circling back as if she wanted them to follow.
What, only had him a week and you've already lost your boy? Halt was certain the horse smirked. Blaze rolled her eye at Abelard scathingly.
Not like I had anything to do with it! She retorted.
"It's called sarcasm Blaze. And you'll get it a lot from this cynical ol' beast." Said Halt.
Look who's talking you grumpy greybeard. Abelard looked pleased at his alliterative genius. Wisely, Halt refrained from answering; you never could get the last word with a ranger horse.
"Anyway, I'm guessing Gilan isn't waiting at the inn like I said to?" shaking her mane impatiently, Blaze wheeled again and trotted off, Abelard following suit. Wrapped in his deep cowl, expressionless, Halt noticed people gossiping fervently with startled expressions. As he rode within sight of the cloth-and-goods store, Halt face-palmed.
The three girls hung all over Gilan, giggling endlessly and without apparent purpose.
"Oh my, you're so very- " "Gallant Gilan!" "We jus' have to introduce- " "You to our mother!" "She would absolutely die-" "At your lov'ly charm!" They gushed, constantly finishing each other's statements. Shelly was hanging on his neck, patting his still-boyishly un-muscled chest, giggling at flustered face, while Becky fingered his long, wavy hair, tucking a flower behind his ear, while Delly clung to his arm, fluttering her lashes furiously.
Halt contemplated what to do; he considered simply riding up and snarling at the girls to "Get lost", but he figured the Baron wouldn't be too pleased at his scaring little girls. Finally, he rode up and dismounted.
"And you're here because?"He said, choosing to ignore the "giggling idiots" surrounding Gilan.
Gilan groaned silently. Uhhg, Halt is the last person I wanted to see this. "Er, uh, h-hi Halt. Y-y'see, um,"
Becky cut him off. "Oh! This is your mentor!" Un-daunted, she promptly Grabbed Halt's arm, and fawned on him.
"Oh, you're just as cute as your apprentice!" She gushed.
Genuinely started, Halt's eyes widened. "Now see here girl…" Before he could shake her off, Delly joined her sister and began to play with Halt's scruffy beard.
"Grey is sooo adorable on you!" Forgetting his predicament, Halt protested.
"It is not grey!" Abelard snorted and shook his mane in amusement at Halt's troubles. Breaking away desperately, fear actually shining in his dark eyes, Halt jumped on Abelard and barked out to Gil.
"On your horse! Now! We'll discuss this later!"
Gilan stammered as Shelly scruffed his hair. "B-but Halt!"
"NOW!" Breaking away, Gilan jumped on his horse and galloped after Halt.
I'll never try to use my "Gilan charm" like that again! Gilan shook his head ruefully. Sensing what his apprentice was thinking about, Halt muttered:
"Gilan's gallantries indeed."
A/N there ya go! Hope everyone enjoyed it, I know it was fun to write.X3 review plz? No! Meanie...-.- jk.:P