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Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit dropped the cloth wrapped gifts on his bed and turned around quickly, rushing back out. He wanted to see what was behind those precious fabrics so badly, but it could wait till the evening, for now he had a job to do.
Stonegit jogged up to the throne room doors, eyeing the guard quizzically. “Anything happen?” he asked.
The guard considered telling Stonegit Blunt had caused another ruckus, but then, reflecting on what the man had said, he decided against it. “No sir,all quite.” he said
"Good," Stonegit said, patting the man’s arm. "Thank you, I’ll take over." with that he stepped into the King’s chambers. "I’m back," he said to Haddock. "Sorry for my absence but Blunt…um…well let’s just say he was up to mischief again."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Nothing unpleasant, I hope?" Haddock asked, eyebrows raised. "I would hardly desire him to harass you in the manner he has me."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Ah," Stonegit said, waving a hand, and then glancing to make sure they were alone before contiuing. "That’s just because he doesn’t like you. He’s a nutcase, you’re a hardcase, you clash." he grinned at him, the comment clearly not meant as an insult but rather a playful jibe. "No…no it was uh…it was nice." Stonegit murmured, running a hand back through his thick hair.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Nice?" Haddock seemed slightly surprised at that comment. His mind reflected back to Blunt’s latest barge into his chambers and the comment about Stonegit’s birthday. Did he really mean… "Did it have something with you turning twenty today?" the king asked.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit tripped coming up the stairs, stumbling clumsily before staggering back into his rump. He stared up at Haddock wide eyed. “How did? I mean uh…well yes.” he cleared his throat, slowly standing to his feet and brushing himself off. “…it did…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock gave a small, toothless smile… about as much as he ever smiled, really… and clapped Stonegit on the shoulder. “Well, good to hear.”
Haddock got up to return to his family chambers. He paused before the door to his chambers, hesitating slightly before remarking, “How about you come on inside with us? Mera’s hardly angry with anyone anymore… and you could, perhaps, relax with us. Assuming that the kids aren’t too energetic, which admittedly is always a worry, particularly for Egil.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit’s shoulder inadvertently pulled away from Haddock’s touch, but then he caught himself, carefully letting his shoulder rest back into Haddock’s hand. Despite his initial reaction, he really did want the gesture of kindness, it was one of those small things he always waited on.
He glanced at the door, processed Haddock’s words, and then nodded with a tiny grin. “Yeah…I’d like that a lot.” he said, a bit of excitement in his eyes.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Okay." The king nodded once before he averted his attention back to the door. Haddock knocked but did not wait before opening it and stepping inside. Or rather, he stepped halfway inside. A tiny body hurled itself straight at his leg, an enormous shriek ringing out, “DAAAAD! You’re home!”
Haddock faked a stumble backward. “Oh no, I’m being attacked,” he groaned, staggering into the wall behind him as the boy persistently clung to his leg. “Stonegit, save me.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stared down at his King, quite surprised by the abrupt change, but then the grin came back as he look down at Egil. He hadn’t seen the boy ever since Mera had first entered the camp…boy did he ever look like his dad. “I got his legs!” he called, dancing around the two of them and securing Egil by his ankles. “Don’t worry, I’ll stop this assassin!”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "THAT’S - NO - FAAAAAAIIIR," a high pitched voice screamed indignantly, kicking at Stonegit. He fought to free his ankles, managed to squirm out of one handhold, and in the process kicked sharply right behind his father’s weak left knee. Haddock had a moment to grunt, "Gods!" before the leg bucked and he fell to the floor.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Whoa!" Stonegit said in surprise, wincing as he saw his King go down, knowing that probably hurt. He hoisted Egil up so he was hanging upside down, holding off to the side, he looked down at Haddock. "Are you ok?" he asked.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock ignored the fact that Egil was screaming (and laughing despite himself) something along the lines of “Put me down! Put me down! I’m a PRINCE!” He pulled himself back to his feet without wincing too much, and without responding verbally to Stonegit, snatched the boy into his own arms, holding him tightly until the boy realized struggling was futile. Whispering into Egil’s ear the threat, “I’m going to tickle your ribs,” also might have forced the boy to be calm…er.
Haddock looked over Egil’s brown hair to his bodyguard. “I am not quite sure I warned you enough how rambunctious this one is,” he said with straight inflection… though somehow amusement tickled the undertones of his words somewhere. “Now then, with that little adventure done,” Haddock started stepping indoors, where Mera looked up from her needlework, “I suppose you should be properly introduced. Stonegit, this little monster is Egil. Egil, this man is my number one bodyguard, Mr. Elm… Stonegit.” Haddock clearly struggled to decide how formal his son should be with the twenty-year-old guard.
Egil did not seem to notice his father’s stumble. Still in his father’s arms, he scrutinized Stonegit. “Your face is funny,” he remarked.
"Egil," Haddock reprimanded, glancing apologetically at Stonegit. "Be nice."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit let a thin smile spread over his lips, this kid was certainly going to be interesting to work with. “That it is,” he mused, running a hand over his chin. “It’s what happens when you aren’t careful with the swords and daggers you practice with.”
He knelt down so he was eye to eye with Egil, holding out his hand. “It’s nice to meet you Egil, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to get to know you earlier, I was a little sick for a while.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Don’t gimme sick," Egil said, glaring suspiciously at Stonegit all of a sudden.
"What you say is ‘nice to meet you too’," Haddock instructed.
Egil pouted and refused to say it.
"Okay then." Haddock gave up after a while. He drifted toward Mera, where Signy was nearby, toddling around incredibly clumsy and with only a few successful steps at a time. "This girl, slightly friendlier than this boy here -"
Mera studied the two men sympathetically from around her needlework project. She was silent, though seemed rather comfortable with Stonegit’s presence.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stood up from where he had been kneeling, glancing over at Mera, looking slightly cautious, uncertain how welcome he was to her. When he saw she wasn’t given him a scowl or some other undesirable look, he followed Haddock, gripping Egil’s shoulder gently as he walked past. “Don’t worry kiddo. I’m all better now.” he carefully sat on the floor. “Hey Signy,” he said. “How’s that walking coming along?”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Signy stared at Stonegit with widened eyes, more than a little frightened to see a stranger sitting right in front of her. A second later, she fell backwards onto her rear. She remained there, watching Stonegit wordlessly.
"She’s a little shy and quite a quiet young soul," Haddock explained, coming over to sit behind her. "Signy," he said softly, "can you say ‘hi’?"
At the same time, Egil, not quietly at all, said, in a late response to Stonegit, “Well don’t get sick again!”
Mera spoke up for the first time after Egil’s comment. “Egil dear, getting sick doesn’t work like that.” She then smiled toward Stonegit and said, with a cautiously warm smile rising on her plump cheeks, “Fine for you to join us, boy.” She nodded as though she truly meant it.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Thank you for having me," Stonegit said, breathing a sigh. He looked around the room and then smiled at Haddock. "You have a wonderful family."
Mera Violet Haddock: Mera smiled. “You are welcome anytime.”
Haddock tried not to jerk over his head in surprise toward her.
Mera acted completely nonchalant. “And it looks like the kids like you.” She pointed to Egil, who was dragging a toy sword toward Stonegit, the boy exclaiming, “Hey look at this! I can fight too! I can be a bodies guard too!”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit turned around from where he was sitting to face Egil. “That you could,” Stonegit said. “Your father’s a great swordsman, I’m sure he’ll be able to teach you how to use one of those properly.” he raised an eyebrow, fixing Egil with his lazy eye. “You wouldn’t want to do the wrong thing with a sword now would you?”
Egil Ander Haddock: "I don’t do ANYTHING wrong," Egil assured him. "I’m as good as Dad already! I betcha I’m better’n you!"
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit bit his lip as he failed to suppress a grin. He glanced up at Haddock. “Yep…” he said. “He’s yours.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock grunted, lacking Stonegit’s amusement, while Mera remarked loudly, “Yeah. Unfortunately he is.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Brave like your dad," Stonegit said, turning back to Egil. Snag materialized beside him as he reached over to rub her neck. "You remember Snag? She picked you up that one time, but you weren’t even scared of her…that’s good."
Egil Ander Haddock: "I’m not scared’a dragons," Egil said, his face lightening up as soon as she saw Snag. "DRAGON." With an enormous grin, he approached Snag again, holding his hand out surprisingly gently toward her snout.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Snag happily touched her nose to the boy's hand. “Snag is your dad’s other all day guard, for when I can’t be there. She’s playful, she loves hide and seek.” Stonegit rubbed the back of his neck. “I have another dragon, his name is Shovel, you can play with him too, but you’ll have to be gentle. He’s old, and doesn’t see very well.”
Egil Ander Haddock: "More dragons? Are it a big one? Mom’s just got Terrible Terrors."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "He’s a Deadly Nadder," Stonegit told him. "So he’s average sized, but he’s my oldest friend." the boy stood up. "I’ll see you around ok Kiddo?"
He walked over to Haddock, rubbing his arm as he smiled back at the two kids. It was getting late. “Thank you for introducing me,” he said quietly. “I haven’t had a…day…like this, in a long time. So…” he sighed. “Thanks for helping to make it the best one I’v had since…” he hummed, shaking his head with a smile, not needing to finish.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Glad you could come," the king answered softly in return. "And may there be more days like this anytime. You’re always welcome here with our family."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit spent the rest of the evening talking with the Haddocks. But eventually Egil and Signy were put to bed and Stonegit felt a little odd with just him, Haddock and Mera alone in a quite room. He was saved from an awkward situation though when Haddock and Mera retired to bed. Making sure Snag was guarding, Stonegit rushed to the guest room he had been using, grabbed the gifts Blunt had given him, and rushed back. He sat on the couch in the living room, figuring it was close enough to be considered guarding Haddock without invading on his personal privacy.
He stared at the gifts, spreading his hands over the fabric. He set the pie aside on the side table, figuring he would share it with the kids the following after noon. He took the smaller package in his hands, pulling away the cloth gently and examining the wooden box underneath. Upon opening it, he blink, and then tilted his head. He pulled out a long, wooden pipe that almost looked like a weird spoon…or flute. In the other hand he pulled up two cloth bags. He peeked inside of him. “What on…oh man,” he said, biting his lip. “I hope Blunt is ok with the fact I don’t smoke,” he muttered, and then shook his head. “I mean I could care less if he did or didn’t.” he pressed his lips together. “I just don’t want him to feel like he got me the wrong kind of thing…what is this stuff anyway.” he sniffed the contents of the bag, raising his eyebrows. “Huh…” setting the items aside and pulled out a small note card, reading. "For special occasions or particularly rough days, don’t use while on the job, especially the stuff in the black bag. That is for the really harsh days and only in small portions. The stuff in the brown bag can be used a little more liberally, but again, only occasionally and off the job, enjoy…" Stonegit shook his head. “Blunt what the hel did you get me?”
He set the box aside, oh well, at least the gesture warmed him and brought a brightness to his eyes. He pulled over the large silk sack, pulling it open and reaching inside. Gasping a little, he pulled out a large, extremely well made down pillow, and a thick matching comforter. Stonegit had never slept on anything finer than a cloth filled sack before! This was… ”Wow…” Stonegit breathed, and then buried his face in the soft material. Puffing a happy little exhale, Stonegit raised his head, set the pillow at the head of the couch, and then curled up inside his new gift, dropping off to sleep almost right away.