Title: The New Guy

Rating: K+

Genre: Friendship/General

Summary: Kai's the newest member of their ranks in Colhen so Evie takes it upon herself to test the archer's skills. Of course, whenever Evie's involved, things get more dangerous then they have to...

As a bored Evie sat in a corner of the Inn along with Lann, who was happily sleep-drooling on the wooden table, and Fiona, who as reading a book, Evie couldn't help but watch as Captain Aodhan tersely recited the purpose of the Crimson Blade mercenaries to the young man, one of the new recruits, standing stiffly across from him.

The strange man that had spontaneously appeared in the Inn this fine morning was a good head taller than Lann, but at a closer glance the muscles in his exposed arms that rippled as he crossed his arms across his chest showed that he was an experienced fighter. Skin pale as death and hair messily spiked and gelled back, the icy feelings rolling off of him matched the fiercely cold look in his eyes that had scared off a lot of the other new recruits that had arrived the night before, him included. It didn't help that he was wearing a mix-match of cloth and leather armor, which was incredibly unusual for a new recruit to have in the first place.

When Aodhan finished his little speech and shook the hand of the new recruit, welcoming him into the Crimson Blades, the Captain waved a hand at the new recruit and turned to his papers and breakfast. The new guy stood awkwardly for a moment, clearly lost in unfamiliar territory, and it only took a second for Evie to decide whether or not to go and talk to the new recruit before he managed to glare the wooden table in front of him into flames.

She flounced up to the new recruit with the permanent scowl etched on his face and chirped in a friendly tone, "Hey, you're one of the new ones, right? I'm Evie! Who're you?"

She got a raised eyebrow and a frown in response as he tried to quickly process the chatter that was coming out of her mouth. Ah, so he didn't talk much then. He and Fiona would get along splendidly! Evie pouted and grabbed his arm, startling the young man, before dragging him over to the table she previously occupied. She shoved him onto the wooden bench and took a seat next to him, making sure to kick Lann off of his perch and onto the floor with a thump.

Lann continued to snore from his slump on the floor while Fiona looked up from her book for a moment before returning back to it in disinterest. He looked vaguely uncomfortable as Evie ribbed him for information, but nonetheless he spoke in the hopes of getting Evie to stop pestering him and being touchy-feely all over.

"My name is Kai." Evie's eyes widened in surprise.

"Oh, so you're that archer that everybody was talking about last night! Did you really pin Gallagher to the wall?" That particular incident that had not surprisingly circulated around within half an hour; apparently Gallagher had gotten a little too friendly to one of the shyer female recruits and one young man had nobly stepped up, slapped the shit out of the womanizer, and then pinned his clothes to the wall of the Outpost with some arrows along with an angry warning.

Kai flushed a little in what seemed to be embarrassment as he recalled the fiasco. "I did. I had told him to stop harassing the young woman, but he didn't listen, so..."

Fiona put a leaf into her book as a bookmark and slapped it shut before setting it on the table, her deliberately noisy actions getting the attention of both Kai and Evie. She held out her hand to Kai, her approval of his actions evident as he gripped back just as firmly as she did as they shook hands. A mutual understanding passed between them as Fiona deadpanned, "Congratulations, you passed the test. Welcome to the Crimson Blades."

Evie blinked and her jaw dropped. "Fiona, did you just make a joke?"

Fiona looked at Evie as if she was an incredibly slow child who had just stated the obvious. Or, in other words, the same look she gave to Lann whenever he was about to do something very stupid and life threatening, like that time he jumped into a nest of spiders just because he saw something shiny down below...

Evie gasped dramatically and covered her mouth with a hand before aiming several hard kicks to the side, effectively nailing the dead-asleep Lann in the side a few times. The dual-wielder snorted and smacked at Evie's leg before sitting up and pressing the heels of his palms to his eyes.

In-between yawns Lann managed to get out a whine, "Ugh... stop kicking me, Evie!" He swatted one last time at Evie before hauling himself up back onto his seat, purposely squishing Evie between him and the... other guy... who was definitely not there before he was napping...

"Wait, what's going on?" Confused Lann was confused. Evie grabbed his shoulders and started shaking him vigorously. Kai had a slightly worried look on his face, but Fiona sighed and kicked Evie's knee under the table.

"Lann, Fiona just made a joke! It's the end of the world! Run! Get to the docks!"

"Evie, stop shaking Lann or I'll make sure he throws up on you." That got Evie's attention and she stopped shaking the poor man that looked a bit green. Kai's lips twitched into an amused smile for a brief moment before disappearing, but Evie caught it and gushed. Loudly.

"Aww, you smiled! You're so cute!" She accentuated her statements with the action of suddenly pinching his cheeks. As Kai struggled to tear the mad woman's grabby hands off of his face, of which was actually quite hard to do, the door to the Inn banged open and a loud and deep voice boomed,

"HALLO MY COMRADES! WHAT A FINE DAY IT IS!" Evie turned in the direction of the door and thankfully stopped pinching a dazed-looking Kai before launching herself at the giant who had just stomped into the building.

"KAROK! Good morning to you too!" Evie was able grab hold of the giant man's shoulder and effectively swing herself around so that she was piggybacking the bulky man that was carrying a pillar that was more than two times her weight in one hand. Fiona and Lann waved a hand in greeting to Karok as he bumbled over to the wooden table they were occupying.

Kai's eyes got noticably wider as the giant sat down on the free space next to Fiona, effectively lifting the unfazed woman up at a slight angle. Lann rolled his eyes in exasperation and got up from his seat and switched sides, taking the only unoccupied space next to Fiona. The bench came down from its tilted position and was stable again on the floor.

As Evie began to squabble with Karok and Lann over seat space, Fiona opted to study the archer sitting across from her. Kai quickly caught on and they entered into a staring match of wills, neither of their eyes flickering or blinking for a long while.

Then Evie purposely interrupted by headbutting Fiona none-to-gently to the side. She threw herself across the table at Kai and her eyes brimmed with a mischievous sort of excitement as she exclaimed, "Hey, can we see how your bow works? Nobody else around here is an archer, so come on, it'll be awesome! And fun!"

Kai's uninterested facade cracked in under a minute from the ten-tonne pressure that is Evie when he said after a moment of deliberation, "Fine. Is there a training area we could go to?"

"I'll bet you 2,000 gold that he doesn't miss." Fiona was really sure about her bet. On the other hand, Karok was adamant that Kai wasn't that great of an archer.

"3,000 THAT HE MISSES. WAIT, MAKE THAT 5,000." Fiona and Karok looked at each other for a moment before they both turned their attention back to the impending disaster that Evie had cooked up within the previous five minutes.

The 'training area' Evie insisted on was the far edge of the Docks that people rarely visited, and the target that that crazy magic-user wanted Kai to aim for was a deathly still and pale-faced Lann that had been tied to a tree with some thick rope that had originally intended to be used for their late afternoon fishing trip. There was an orange, where Evie had procured it the world may never know, that was balanced precariously on the top of his head, but the sheer incredulousness of the situation could summed up with the expression of barely-contained panic the dual-wielder had on his face.

About 15 feet away, a completely calm-looking and steady-handed Kai had nocked an arrow into his wooden bow and was lining up his aim to the tiny orange fruit atop of his live target-practice dummy. As he took a deep breath, Evie, Fiona, and Karok watched in both fascination and amusement as he drew back the string and let the arrow fly.

The arrowhead sunk right through the middle of the fruit and dug a good inch or two into the tree behind it with a confident thunk.

Lann's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he slumped into a dead faint.

Evie cheered and gave Kai a high five, of which the archer smugly returned as the ice in his demeanor melted slightly with the pride of his accomplishment. Karok reluctantly handed a half-smirking Fiona the winnings before clomping over to Kai and giving him a back-breaking slap on the shoulder for a good shot.

Fiona couldn't help the faint smile that rested on her lips as she nodded her approval to Kai. He would definitely be sticking around with their merry little group for a while if she had any say in it. It was a strange, but Fiona felt like their group finally found the piece that was missing for quite some time. Now they were complete, their team would most likely be the stuff of legends for years to come... but Fiona shook those thoughts from her head as she made her way to Lann's limply hanging form. It was time to deal with the present, and she would need Karok's help in dragging Lann the dead-weight back to the Inn before Aodhan or Gwynn noticed and gave them all extra work for slacking off.