In which Haft is in a hurry

Off-duty Mess


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>

Haft enters the mess and heads straight for the food, apparently in a hurry.

Megren sits cross-legged on the ground in front of the fire, Tiny perched on her knee and a book propped open on her lap. Haft’s hurry makes a bit of noise, and she looks up at the sound of it.

Haft fills a bowl of stew and tears a chunk of bread from the loaf before making a beeline for Megren and plopping down into a chair beside her.

Megren shuts her book and Tiny lifts her head to give her a punishing look for the suddenness of this before the kitten settles back down to return to sleeping. “What’s got under your collar? New recruit needs breaking in?”

Haft stops with his mouth open and his spoon halfway to it.  “Would you count His Royal Highness as a new recruit?”  He answers his own question before shovelling a mouthful of food in.  “Actually, that might be apt.”

Megren squints an eye at him, “The Prince has joined the guard and you’re setting off to prank him into fitting in? I never thought it of you, grandfather.”

Haft says, “Not quite.  I just encountered Prince Cor in the stables and we had an interesting conversation.  My shift’s coming up so you’ll forgive me if I don’t pause to breathe between bites.””

Megren wrinkles her nose. “Ah, you’re making new friends, no time for old Meg.”

Haft raises a brow.  “‘Old Meg’?’ Am I expected to call you “Grandmother” now?  That’s how we identify everyone over the age of seven?”

Megren says, “Grandmother only if Tiny has kittens.”

The fire flickers, casting dancing shadows all over the walls.

Haft squints.  “I guarantee you that will eventually happen.  I give you three years till the onset of old age.”

Megren says, “Better spend it well.”

Haft says, “Yep,” before inhaling some of the bread.

Megren says, “These old knees will give out before you know it, and no more parapets or riding for me.”

“Nope,” Haft responds, coughing slightly as something goes down the wrong pipe.

Megren squints an eye on him. “Please do not die of boiled potatoes. I have plans tonight, and clearing up your affairs would just get in the way.”

Haft coughs again.  “That was the bread, not the stew, and I’m fine.  What plans?”

Megren says, “Sir Darrin wants to go for a late ride.”

Haft says, “Well, don’t fall over your horses in the dark.”

Megren says, “They’re a bit tall for that.”

Haft says, “Details.”

Megren says, “I’ll be sure to tell him you said.”

Haft finishes his stew and tucks into the rest of the bread.  He raises his brows in question since his mouth is now full.

Megren raises her brows back, not sure what the question is.

Haft finishes chewing.  “You’ll tell Sir Darrin that I said ‘Details’?”

Megren says, “No, that you said not to trip on Dawn’s hooves.”

Haft says, “Well, nobody would want that, would they?” He rises, taking his plate.  “Sorry, got to get into uniform.  Have a good ride, Meg.”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side. “Safe shift. Maybe I’ll see you after.”

Haft says, “Maybe. I could use a game of chess.”  He turns and sets his dishes aside for cleaning before striding from the room.

Megren grins, watching him go with an amused sort of twinkle.


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