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Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock groaned, rubbing at his temples, as he stood up and left the throne room. The entire day had been enormously busy - and stressful on top of that. He realized, with a tired mind, that he had yet to see either of his children since he had been released of the Warden’s control. It was overdue to reunite with Signy and Egil.

But he felt more than incredibly nervous to head down to the chambers where his family would be resting this evening. The last time Egil had seen his father, Haddock had been possessed and choking the boy’s own mother. Would Egil cry when he saw him? Or would he even see his father at all…? Mera might not open the doors, but tell her husband to sleep elsewhere for the night.

With a sigh, Haddock began heading down toward his family’s private quarters anyway, steeling himself internally for whatever unpleasant events would befall.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: The only thing that gave away Stonegit’s presence was that his steps did not match Haddock’s, betraying his position as he followed as the boy followed his King. It was only then that Haddock remembered that ever since the…incident, Stonegit had remained in a guarding position, but had remained at a further distance than usual. 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock glanced behind him, looking at Stonegit awkwardly, apparently trying to think of words to say but not conjuring any good ones to mind. At last he finally admitted, “I’m going to my rooms. I am not sure you would desire accompanying me there.”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "If it would not make you uncomfortable I would like to at least stand by your door to ensure no one disturbs you." Stoengit said, ducking his head and keeping his distance. 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "I doubt I will be comfortable in any scenario any time soon," the king grumbled. His hand reached up to touch at his cheek, as though he could still feel its sting.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit worked his jaw, treading lightly. “My King…if I may. I know you cannot forgive me for what I did, nor can you trust me in certain, and for certain, reasons. But if I do not know to what extent you do trust me then I won’t be able to work efficiently for you, and there is nothing I desire less than not being able to serve you in the way I promised.” 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock frowned slightly at Stonegit’s words. Mera’s conversation with him must have been just as pleasant as the one Haddock underwent with his wife. Of course. She would not handle it any other way but firmly.

"I trust you greatly," Haddock answered simply. "It is why you guard my back."

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit nodded a couple of times, and then his lips pressed together. “The Warden is still in me though, my King. But she cannot get out, nor do anything against you again. I swear.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock faltered. “I will say I don’t trust that. Regardless of what the Warden bargained with me, there’s only so far I’m willing to tolerate her presence. Preferably at a distance.”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Then I shall remain at a distance," Stonegit said, bowing slightly. "And I am sorry you will not be able to find a comfortable situation, but I cannot permit myself to not be stationed at least reasonably near by."

Snag materialized beside Stonegit, hissing slightly. Stonegit reached down, patting her head. “But Snag here has great senses. I will be able to be stationed outside of your room and she will let me know if anything dangerous is inside. That way I can guard you at a safe distance yet still not risk your security.”  

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "You don’t understand," Haddock growled. "Distance isn’t the answer." Fists clenched, he strode slightly forward, and kept his back away from Stonegit even as he headed straight to his family’s door. He then paused, staring at the door handle, as though at a loss for what to do next.  

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "I know…it’s a temporary solution." Stonegit shook his head. "I will not keep her, I will find a permanent solution and I will find it soon…If you would be kind enough to grace me with some time, I will not make you wait long."   

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Then get working at it," Haddock snapped. With this, he raised up his knuckles and rapped on the chamber door.  

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Right away," Stonegit said, nodding seriously.  

Haddock was about to enter his chambers when Blunt, who was passing by, bumped into him. “Whoa easy where you’re walking there!” He said cheerily. And then stopped, smiling at Haddock. “Let me guess,” he said, circling his finger near Haddock’s face. “You’re acting like an ungrateful sod because you’re having a bad day,” he stuck out his lower lip in small mocking pout.

"Blunt!" Stonegit growled, marching over and grabbing him by his sleeve, wrenching him away. "Now’s not the time, and you are hardly in a position to address the King like that."  

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: The king glared at Blunt. “Never touch me again,” he intoned as Stonegit wrenched the man away. He did not reiterate what Stonegit had already said, though he very well agreed with the young man that Blunt should never address him in such a manner. “Leave me be. This is not meant to be a spectacle.” 

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Blunt huffed slightly as he backed away, and then looked down at Stonegit. “You know, now I know why you say thank you to your bodyguard so much,” he eyes met Haddock’s and he gave him an infuriating grin, quirking one eyebrow. “He keeps on almost dying.” He clapped his hands together, both his eyebrows raising once before dropping, and then he spun on one foot, striding down the hall. 

Stonegit’s mouth dropped open and he strode after him a few paces, his face livid. “Excuse you Blunt! Since when did you-?!”

"You know what? Piss off," Blunt said, not looking at him. "I had to fake your death to make a demon realize it cared about you. I didn’t realize you had to do the same thing for human." he turned around sweetly. "Good night dear," he said, shoving Stonegit once gently to make him take a step back, and then    disappearing around the corner.

Stonegit, looking absolutely mortified, turned back to Haddock, raising one hand. “I apologize profusely for my old…colleague. He must have been drunk.” 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "I don’t care if he is drunk or not drunk," Haddock responded, glaring after the man. "He is not coming near me again." 

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "I will see to it personally," Stonegit said, placing one hand on his chest and bowing slightly. "Please, try to sleep well…" he hesitated, wondering if it would be wise to speak further. 

"And…I am sure Queen Mera and you will be able to put…uh, today…behind you. Just as you always do." He added, trying to speak words of comfort to his King.  

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock pursed his lips, not quite pleased with how Stonegit was acting, either. He also felt displeasure about the topic of the concept. “I suppose we will see.” 

He rapped on the door, and a moment later, it opened. Mera stood right at the entrance, arms crossed, unwelcoming.

"Mera," Haddock said. 

"Your Majesty," she answered coldly. She glanced behind Haddock, noticed Stonegit, and frowned pointedly. "I suppose you want in, don’t you?"

"If you desire it," he answered. 

"Does he?" she asked, pointing to Haddock’s shadow. 

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "No ma’am," Stonegit said quickly, nodding once and not meeting her eyes. "I’ll just be posted outside this door and my dragon outside of the bedroom. In the event of an attack." 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Mera please," Haddock said when Mera still seemed dubious after Stonegit’s response. "I haven’t seen the children in… it’s been a year. I haven’t held Signy since she was two months old." 

"Come in," she sighed, and motioned for Haddock indoors. 

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Haddock Reunites with His Family