Stand Up And Fight!


Lunarian! That was it. At least she’d remembered one name, she had a decent enough memory just not for names and faces. Which was ridiculous she mused, how could she forget the name of the only white tiger she knew of around the barracks? Well it wasn’t like they’d met before she reasoned and smiled in greeting at the feline. She didn’t trust herself not to gasp as her ribs started to twinge. It wasn’t far now, she could make it and they were going at a slower pace. She’d just have to keep her answers short. Saffron wasn’t sure why but appearing weaker right now seemed so much worse than it would in front of Warren or Caldera! Actually, all of those options seemed horrific.

‘How were things with her?’ Really? Did he seriously just ask that? She shot him a glance out of the corner of her eye trying to judge if he was making fun of her. He didn’t have that look Warren got, there was no coldness in the eye or harshness in the mouth. No sly twisting of the lips. There was an open expression that threw her off guard, it was a real question then? How was she supposed to answer that? Nimueh, her adopted mother, was gone presumed dead for all anyone knew, Tristan, her cousin, was a traitor and a guilty of patricide and her brother was missing as always. Also, her ribs were still bruised and she was finding getting along with the rest of the recruits difficult. Yeah, things were just peachy thanks. “Fine, yeah I, uh it’s not intentional!” when in doubt bend the truth a little, “I mean it’s not like I’m avoiding you. I uh don’t know you enough to wanna do that.” So, sticking to short answers didn’t work and she came out a little breathless towards the end, a mix of that and babbling causing her to start to colour. She could blame that on overheating maybe.

At least his explanation of his running route didn’t require an answer and all she had to do was nod politely as she tried to keep up the pace. The flush grew as she tried not laugh at Lu’s comment on Dylan being an idiot. She ducked her head down a little to cover up the grin the cat had caused forgetting that with her hair tied back she had nothing to actually hide behind. She snorted as Dylan cursed out the tiger and felt her skin flame up, why couldn’t she just laugh like a regular girl?

Thankfully she can pretend to be at least vaguely distracted by the nobles busy with their own training. Normally she would only glance in their direction not liking the idea of them watching her either. Now she takes the time to stare a little bit longer a brief reprieve from her running partner. It was nothing personal she was just inexperienced in holding a conversation so long and with a stranger. Was it impolite to keep looking at them? It felt awkward to her at least. Besides they were running and if she kept glancing at him she was going to throw off her balance and probably tip or fall or run into him. All bad things. She listened though as he explained his plans. Boxing with his brother sounded nice. Well the family aspect did. She wasn’t too proud to admit she envied that.

The next words out of his mouth though, they totally throw her and she almost trips. Huh? Saffron can’t help but glance at him now her expression more like she’d been offered a box of annoyed writhing venomous snakes than a sandwich. Did he mean it? This wasn’t some sort of cruel practical joke was it? Had he set something up with Warren? Maybe she was just being ridiculous. Dylan wasn’t part of her group of trainees and she’d never seen him in the same space as Warren that she could recall. And that looked like nerves not meanness. Nerves were something she understood perfectly well. Although what Dylan had to be nervous about Saffron had no clue. This was a good thing though, wasn’t it? She should try right? Nimueh would probably tell her to try. “Uh sure,” it’s not quite so breathless this time but she’s starting to feel the run, not just in her ribs. Her legs and lungs are beginning to complain to.

“I mean lunch sure, no training yard for me though,” it takes a second before it dawns she should probably explain, “Uh my ribs, there was accident. Training ya know? There not quite right yet, coupla days an I hope I can get back to it”. She smiles shyly as she artfully avoids mentioning just how and who messed her up. Saffron really did hope it would only be a couple more days. Any more sitting on the side lines whilst the others just got better would be the end of her. Still she had to eat right and they could that before he had went to the training yard. It would Nimmy proud wouldn’t it? She was trying.

Christian Holzinger | html by Merlin

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