A/N: Whoa! FanFiction is letting me have more than 2 characters listed in the summary! This is cool!
Well, it's the evening of St. Patrick's Day, and I figured that we needed a fic to celebrate. And how better to celebrate than with something absolutely stupid!
"Why is everybody wearing green?" Horace asked Will as Halt was left to converse with the innkeeper, as the older Ranger had been working on his accent that was widely known here in Hibernia, and had been making it more pronounced. Because of this, Halt did most of the talking; they didn't want the locals getting suspicious.
In answer to Horace's question, Will said, "Halt's told me about this before. It's a national holiday, called St. Patrick's Day. On this day, every year, everybody wears green to celebrate."
Horace looked around at the sea of emerald; green tunics, lime hats, olive leather boots, Kelley green breeches. "Well, what if you don't wear green?" he queried, looking around skeptically.
"Usually, you get mauled." There was no hint of a smile on the young Ranger's youthful face.
"What? That's insane!"
Will dropped the serious demeanor, favoring instead a grin. "If someone sees any person, man or woman, that doesn't seem to have any green article of clothing on their person, they'll go up and give them a little tweak." He looked Horace up and down. "You know, I'm surprised that you haven't been trampled by everyone in town by now." There went the dreaded eyebrow, up into the youth's hairline.
Horace cast him a wary glance. "What're you looking at me like that for?"
"You know, I do believe that I will give you your primary Hibernian cultural enlightenment."
Backing a step away, the knight drew a breath to retort, but was cut off as Will seized hold of the flesh on his inner arm between a forefinger and thumb, squeezing hard and adding a sharp twist just for good measure.
Horace looked hurt. "You know, maybe the locals didn't pinch me because of this little sticker on my hip," he intimidated, letting his hand drop to the hilt of his sword threateningly.
"Maybe," the Ranger said with a casual shrug, "but you forget that I," he grabbed the strap of his quiver, "have about two dozen of my own stickers within easy reach."
"You're too close for your arrows to do any good!"
"I have two more weapons right here on my belt."
Horace looked almost livid. "I'll pinch you back!" he uttered indignantly.
"You imbecile, I'm wearing green!"
"On my cloak, simpleton!"
"Oh yeah! What if I took your cloak, huh? What would you do then? I'd like to see you at that point!"
"My leggings are green. Or do you plan to rip those off, too?"
But Halt chose that exact moment to emerge from the inn, and decided to step in. "Boys, what's going on here? You're going to draw eyes to yourselves."
Will crossed his arms across his chest and rolled his eyes to heaven. "Horace just refuses to accept the way people live here in your home country, Halt."
The older Ranger looked thoughtful. "You know, that reminds me," he grabbed a fistful of his cloak and inspected it, "of a tradition that I used to practice when I was I child." He sidled another step towards the two youths. "Horace, you seem to be quite vulnerable today, not very…properly colored. Wouldn't you agree, Will?"
Will grinned at his former mentor. "Why, yes I would, Halt."
Horace looked wary. "Halt, I'll pinch you back," he threatened.
And Halt bounded forward in one deceptively swift and graceful motion, pinching the young knight in the soft flesh over the ribs. Horace was quick, but not quite quick enough for the Ranger.
"What is with you two?" Horace asked, exasperated. "How was I supposed to know of this tradition? Ugh!" But as he finished speaking, he sprang up and nipped Halt just below the shoulder. That was payback.
Very deliberately, Halt took up a ready stance. "You must know, Horace," he informed, "that if you pinch someone for St. Patrick's Day and they are indeed wearing green," he flexed his fingers, "that you receive ten back."
The next half of a second was indeed a blur to Will. One instant, his friends were having a semi-civil conversation; the next instant, they had wrestled each other to the ground. Vaguely, the young Ranger could make out a few phrases; "Cut it out!" and "That's what you get!" and "Nobody ever told me –ouch- of this before!" and "Teach you to pinch me!"
I'll bet you'll never guess who said what. …Sense the sarcasm?
Every other moment, a Hibernian man or woman would stop at the spectacle. Frowns would crease their faces; each one would speculate this absurd wrestling match for a while.
One by one, Will would point lazily at the presentation, and lean toward the man or woman. "He wasn't wearing green," he explained to each one of them.
Once they heard this, they simply nodded and went back on their own ways.
A/N: This took me, like, thirty to forty, maybe fifty minutes to fully create, type, and edit. I really don't understand the station which harbors my trains of thought...