Say No To This

  • katahdin

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    Aerith huffed in frustration when she couldn't find what she was looking for, looking over at Ceren as she headed for the door. "Yes, yes. I won't touch the bandages. And I can go get Theseus now if you'd like. Oh! Maybe you can take him to the ball as your date!" She grinned before disappearing out of the infirmary, heading quickly through the halls to the room where she kept the various odd things that she collected, like frogs, lizards and weird plants. She was considering stealing a beehive so that she could have her own honey whenever she wanted, but was very confident Elwin would be upset at her for letting bees into the castle.

    Elwin shook his head a little at Aerith's comments as she left, chuckling to himself. He smiled when Ceren offered to come to the ball, nodding a little as he looked at her. "That does sound fun, and I would appreciate it.. Thank you, Ceren." He smiled, glancing around to make sure none of the healers were paying attention before leaning down to press a quick kiss to her cheek before stepping back.

    "I should be getting back to work, and I'm sure you have things to prepare for.. And I need to make sure Aerith's uniform is ready so that she can wear it to the ball, I know that'll be the only way to get her to go." He grinned, giving a little wave as he headed out of the infirmary. "See you, Ceren."
    January 2nd, 2019 at 09:52pm
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    Ceren shook her head at Aerith's comments as she walked out of the infirmary. "Only if he turns into a prince after I kiss him," she called after her friend. She wasn't sure she quite believed Aerith about the bandages, but maybe she would be better-behaved now that her grievances had been aired and taken care of. It was a small hope.

    When Elwin thanked her for her offer, she gave him a little nod. "Of course," she said softly, giving him an odd look when he then began to glance around. She opened her mouth to ask him what he was doing, but shut it again when he kissed her cheek, a little blush creeping up in answer. "Okay, see you," she said to him lamely as he, too, left the infirmary, leaving her to herself once more.

    Well, Aerith was coming back... In the meantime, Ceren pulled the bloody sheets off the cot Aerith had used and took them to the laundry bin to be disinfected and washed, then returned to the cot, beside which sat a rolling cart with a kettle and teacup sitting on it. She pushed the cart back towards the supplies closet where it belonged, then took both the kettle and teacup to one of the many sinks in the infirmary to wash. As Royal Healer, these were all menial jobs she could dictate to another healer but didn't, enjoying having something to do.
    January 2nd, 2019 at 10:04pm
  • katahdin

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    Aerith returned about twenty minutes after she had left, carrying a fresh honey tart in her mouth and the infamous Theseus in her arms, the large toad croaking disapprovingly as he was carried into the infirmary. "Here he is, Ceren! Prince Theseus!" She announced as she walked in, the ugly looking creature earning a shriek from one of the regular healers when she saw it, leading Aerith to snicker happily, glad to be terrorizing the healers. She walked over to where Ceren was doing the dishes, setting Theseus on the cart, shaking out her injured hand slightly, having had to use it to carry the big creature from her room.

    "You don't really have to kiss him if you don't want to, Cer. I just wanted you to look at him." Aerith admitted softly, making sure the toad didn't crawl off of the cart. "I did hear that you volunteered my presence at the ball later this week." She said, looking at Ceren suspiciously, as if knowing something was up. "Nyrel told me to convince you to go while you and Elwin were talking earlier.."
    January 2nd, 2019 at 10:15pm
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    In the process of setting the kettle on the drying rack, Ceren glanced back as Aerith announced her arrival and was met with the sight of a frog far bigger than her imagination had conjured. She'd thought he would just be ugly--not huge. As Aerith set him down, Ceren gave him a look that could only be called suspicious. There was a wave of relief, however, when it was said that she didn't really have to kiss him. "Really?" she asked, looking up at Aerith, who was also focused on her frog. Then she sighed. "We made a deal. I should probably kiss him anyway."

    Before she could pick him up to get it over with though, Aerith confronted her about the ball, her words hitting a little too close to him. Ceren resisted the urge to sink in on herself, to show any hint that whatever Aerith was thinking might be the truth, and nodded instead. "I'm sorry, I should have asked if you would want to go. A ball isn't exactly my idea of fun, but... I realized today that I've been neglecting both of you as a friend, and I want things to go back to how they used to be. As much as they can, I guess. The two of us saving Elwin from having an awful time later this week seemed like a good start towards that." She couldn't acknowledge Nyrel or his scheming. She'd accidentally said something once, after her parents had first passed, and she'd been rewarded with bruised ribs.
    January 2nd, 2019 at 10:35pm
  • katahdin

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    "He is very kissable, huh?" Aerith smiled, leaning down to murmur small praises to her beloved frog, patting him gently before he croaked. Aerith grinned a little, looking up at Ceren as she straightened. "It's ok, Ceren, I don't mind going. I'll get to wear that new uniform that Elwin promised." She grinned, shrugging a little. "But it sounds fun, though."

    She hummed a little as she watched Ceren finish cleaning the teapot, reflecting on what had happened in the past hour or two. "Why was Nyrel here, anyway? Shouldn't he be off kissing someone's ass or something?" She asked curiously, unable to help but feel like she wanted to know more about him. To her, he seemed kind, but if she knew about how he treated Ceren, she would personally make his life hell.
    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:17pm
  • sun spirit

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    "Are you speaking from experience?" Ceren asked with a laugh as she grabbed a rag and dried off her hands, turning to Aerith at this point, relieved once she realized that her friend accepted what she'd said. "Think I could get away with wearing my uniform too?" she asked, motioning down to the healer's scrubs she wore. Since Theseus was here in front of her and she wasn't squeamish, she even reached out and stroked his head with one finger, thinking maybe he'd like it.

    Aerith's question startled a laugh out of Ceren though, whose mind conjured up an image of her brother kissing some noble's bare butt. "He was just dropping in to check up on me. Since I moved back, I haven't been out of the infirmary much, even to see him, so he comes by every now and then... We were talking when I got a knock on the door and was told you were here," she explained with a little shrug. "Don't worry though, he's probably busy kissing ass now."
    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:31pm
  • katahdin

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    Aerith laughed as her friend asked if she could wear her uniform, shaking her head. "No, Ceren. You should dress up all fancy. It'll be fun. Plus, if you're wearing your uniform, everyone will think you're a stick in the mud." She teased, watching as Theseus lifted his head to lick Ceren's finger, thinking it might be a treat, which earned another laugh from Aerith.

    She nodded a little at Ceren's explanation, although she blushed a bit when she mentioned Nyrel kissing someone's ass at the moment, unable to push back the thought of him kissing her, which surprised her greatly. "Hm.. At least he's a good brother."
    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:45pm
  • sun spirit

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    Ceren blinked in surprise as Theseus licked her finger, pulling her hand back slowly away from the frog. Aerith must've had him for a while, considering he was so well-behaved. She couldn't imagine a frog picked up from outside just sitting complacently and licking fingers. "You'll be wearing your uniform though," she pointed out, lifting an eyebrow, then admitted, "And I don't have anything fancy to wear. I outgrew everything my parents had made for me when I was younger. I've gotten used to wearing comfortable things I wouldn't mind getting blood and vomit on." She pressed her lips together and attempted petting Theseus again. "I'm not really girly, I guess."

    Aerith's blush drew her attention though, and Ceren quickly pieced together that it was in relation to her joking about Nyrel. She didn't say anything but thought it odd... Aerith wasn't a prude, not by any means. Why would she blush at the thought of someone kissing someone's ass? No answer was immediately forthcoming, so she decided to leave it alone, instead nodding. "Yeah... He's really stepped up since our parents died. He's always working to improve relations with other families and make sure our family name is one to be proud of." She spoke almost reluctantly, eager to leave the subject of Nyrel behind. Or at least the lies she had to tell her friend.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 12:03am
  • katahdin

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    "Yes, but my uniform is cool. Yours is boring. No offence." Aerith stated, smiling at her friend as she petted Theseus. "He likes you, Ceren. If I liked him less I'd let you have him. But I raised him from a little egg, and don't want to give him up." She smiled, lifting the toad up to press a kiss to the frog's head.

    "I get a cool set of armor as a general, and you have boring scrubs. I'll talk to Elwin, I'm sure he'll set you up to get something nice looking." She said, glaring at a healer who gave her an odd look for holding the frog. She nodded a little when Ceren spoke of Nyrel, holding her frog close. "I'll be in my fancy armor, you and Elwin will be all dressed up, and I'm sure all of the gentlemen will happily cater to your every need." She stated, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively, teasing her.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 12:39am
  • sun spirit

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    Ceren indulged in a whim and stuck her tongue out at Aerith as her uniform was called boring. It wasn’t boring... just practical. “Don’t worry,” she smiled, watching Aerith kiss Theseus, “I’m not trying to steal him from you.” Then, because she’d made a deal... she leaned in and pressed her lips to his mouth, yelping and jumping back when she felt his tongue against her lips. “That’s the last kiss I ever give you!”

    When Aerith mentioned talking to Elwin, Ceren shook her head. “No, it’s okay, really. I can talk to Nyrel. I’m sure he’d be happy to arrange something.... although then I’d have to deal with his sense of style... and he’s a bit flamboyant.” She sighed but didn’t contradict herself. She’d figure something out. The thought of gentleman catering to her every whim and the faces Aerith made had her laughing though. “Sure, Aer.” She rolled her eyes with a smile.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 12:51am
  • katahdin

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    Aerith giggled wildly when her friend kissed Theseus, cradling the frog in her arms as she laughed. "Ha! Poor Theseus, you've hurt his feelings!" She teased, shaking her head a little when she mentioned having Nyrel's help. "No, let Elwin help. Your brother doesn't want to deal with your clothes when he could be out kissing asses." She grinned teasingly, patting her cheek gently before turning to head for the door. "I'll head out, leave you to your work. By Cer!" She called as she hurried out of the infirmary, wanting to get Theseus back to his cage.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 01:36am
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    (I decided to skip. I'll bring Nyrel back in at the ball ^-^)

    Ceren gave Aerith an indignant look as she was laughed at. "He hurt my feelings! He tried to put his tongue in my mouth!" she huffed, giving the huge frog a glare for good measure. "That's no way to kiss a lady," she informed him, reluctantly letting Aerith change the conversation once she got that out of her system. "I'm sure Elwin doesn't want to deal with my clothes either. Really, just let me take care of it." Except Aerith wasn't hearing any of it, of course, and was halfway out the door before Ceren even finished speaking. Shaking her head, she gave up and waved in defeat. "Bye, Aer."
    The weekend came too soon, and with it, the ball. That morning, a package arrived for Ceren--her dress--and that afternoon, she had to enlist Aerith's help to get ready. She was technically nobility because her mother had been a baronness, a title which had fallen to Nyrel, but she hadn't had maids attend her since she'd left for the Academy and upon her return, had declined to have any. It wasn't a luxury any of the other healers had, and if she'd been a commer, not one that would've been offered in addition to her title as Royal Healer. Besides, she was comfortable without them.

    So Aerith helped her into the dress and after failing an intricate hairstyle in a hilarious way that had them both gasping for air, Ceren plaited her hair in a single braid that fell over her shoulder. She wouldn't have known what to do with make-up even had it been available to her, so that was foregone and instead her outfit was completed with a pair of silver flats that had arrived with the dress. Then it was her turn to help Aerith into her outfit for the evening--the armor she called her "uniform". It was intimidating and shiny and surprisingly lightweight, and when they were finished, they couldn't have looked more different.

    Even so, Ceren was in good spirits as she took Aerith's arm and the two marched together to Elwin's quarters to pick him up as his "dates" for the evening.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 03:03am
  • katahdin

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    Aerith had never been one for dresses, but did her best to help Ceren get ready. She laughed and teased her friend good-heartedly, happy to have Ceren help her into her armor, as there were many straps and pieces and she wasn't used to having it on yet. She finished off her look with a nice red cape around her shoulders and a sash around her waist, along with a belt which held her scabbard and sword, and despite this being a very formal event, she couldn't help but hope she'd get the chance to use it.

    She joked and giggled with Ceren as they headed to Elwin's quarters, the bolder woman knocking on the King's door. "Elwin! Open up!" She called, grinning when the King opened up the door.

    Elwin opened his door with a smile, wearing some of his best garments, grinning at his two friends, who were so different from one another. "Good evening, ladies. Ceren, you look lovely, and you as well, Aerith. So, should we get going?" He asked, offering each of the women his arms, Aerith gladly taking his arm. "Yes please. I want to piss off stuffy old men."
    January 3rd, 2019 at 03:29am
  • sun spirit

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    Ceren happily let Aerith knock on Elwin's door and demand his presence, which he took good-naturedly, as he always did when dealing with their friend, opening his door within moments and stepping out to meet them. He'd dressed seriously for the ball, much like Ceren had, and she had to admit--privately--that the finery suited him.

    "Thank you. You look handsome too, you know," she told him, extricating herself from Aerith to take his arm. "I'm sure there will be plenty for you to torment," she added to Aerith with a chuckle as the three friends made their way down the hall together towards the ballroom.

    If she were being honest, Ceren wasn't entirely sure what the purpose of this ball was even supposed to be, although the moment they stepped in the room and were announced, she thought perhaps she had an idea. There were very few old men in attendance for Aerith to torture after all, and that seemed to be because women outnumbered men two-to-one and most of them were of a young, marriageable age. An attempt to help Elwin choose a bride.

    Ceren wanted to turn around and leave, and she didn't blame Elwin for dreading this event one bit. Undoubtedly, the plan the friends had planned would at some point be sidelined by the beautiful women roaming around, just waiting to snag the king's attention. The thought of it all made her stomach twist, a feeling she fought to ignore.
    Nyrel had arrived to the ball early, dressed in his finery which included a flattering blue that accented his eyes. Nearly every woman in attendance tonight would have her eyes set on the king, but it was still beneficial to be one of the few men. He could find a dance partner for every dance he cared to participate in, and as the night wore on and Elwin didn't show interest in him, more and more of the women would search out other companionship. If nothing else, it was a good night for seeking out potential allies and perhaps a wife. He was certainly old enough and plenty eligible.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 03:48am
  • katahdin

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    Elwin was glad to have his best friends by his side when they were announced, hoping that their presence may keep the other women who so obviously were trying to catch his attention at bay. He didn't want to get married, at least not to any of the women that had showed up here tonight, the only woman he'd ever considered marrying was Ceren, and even then he was too afraid to ask her in fear of losing their friendship.

    Aerith soon left Elwin and Ceren to head out into the crowd, believing that she had spotted one of the servants carrying a tray of honey tarts, although she was disappointed when she realized they weren't. She settled for taking a cup of wine to help calm her nerves and help her deal with all of the people around her, glancing around to try to find someone she recognized, not fond of being alone.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 04:24am
  • sun spirit

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    Ceren had been counting on Aerith's presence to help bring some fun to the night, with how wild and unpredictable she could be, but as soon as they made it into the ballroom, she took off into the crowd in that clanging armor at some mision Ceren could only guess at. Turning to Elwin, Ceren gave him a little smile. "Looks like it's just you and me," she said softly, fidgeting with the end of her braid.

    It didn't take long before it wasn't just Ceren and Elwin though. Soon, one of the braver women approached, a girl with curling dark hair who wore a wine colored dress and carried herself confidently. "King Elwin?" She dropped into a graceful curtsy and offered him a brilliant smile when she rose. Ceren let go of Elwin's arm, edging away from him just a bit to give him some space to talk to the girl. "My name is Eilene, Your Majesty. It's a pleasure to meet you."
    It was early in the evening yet, but Nyrel decided that he could do with a glass of wine, and so he found himself wandering the ballroom, keeping an eye out for a waiter with a platter of glasses when instead he came across a curious sight: a walking suit of armor with a head of brown hair that he suspected he recognized. Taking a chance, he changed directions, and as he came closer, realized that it was Aerith he'd seen after all, dressed nothing like any other woman in the room. "That is quite the impressive suit of armor, my lady," he said by way of greeting as he approached her.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 04:44am
  • katahdin

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    Elwin was happy to wander around the room, chatting with Ceren about how her day had been and how she was doing at her job. However, his questions were interrupted when Eilene approached them, turning to offer her a kind smile. "Hello, Miss.. It's a pleasure to meet you as well, I hope you're enjoying the ball." He said simply, a very polite and neutral comment. He wasn't really interested in speaking with her, but couldn't just be rude and outright dismiss her, but when he felt Ceren let go of his arm and step away he frowned, turning to look at her. "Ceren, wait, this won't be long." He promised, not really realizing that what he was saying could be considered rude especially when Eilene was standing right there.
    Aerith looked up when she heard Nyrel, blushing faintly at his comment of her armor, taking a sip of wine before looking down at the new armor. It was beautifully crafted, and incredibly lightweight, barely making any obnoxious clanking noises as she moved throughout the room. "Oh, hello Baron. How are you?" She asked, smiling politely. "I'm surprised to see you here. Ceren didn't mention you'd be around. And thank you, Elwin had it made for me. It's very comfortable." She smiled, tugging her cape around her.
    January 3rd, 2019 at 05:14am
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    Though Elwin was turned away from her and wouldn't have seen it, Eilene stiffened a bit at what he said to Ceren, eyes focusing on the healer, who suddenly appeared very uncomfortable. She considered mumbling some excuse and going to find Aerith or some unused corner, but the look he gave her stilled her feet. It wasn't just that he seemed concerned and seemed to really want her to stay, but something about him almost looked pleading, like he didn't want to be left alone with this unknown woman. So she gave him a small nod and hesitantly stepped back over to his side, avoiding Eilene's eyes as she did so.

    Meanwhile, Eilene took it upon herself to continue the conversation. "I am. It's such an amazing opportunity, being here at the palace," she said to Elwin with a smile. Don't you think so?" This last was addressed to Ceren, which of course she didn't catch until Eilene added, "miss?"

    It only took seconds after she looked up for Ceren to realize what just happened, and she quickly shook her head. "Oh, oh no, I'm not here for, I mean... I'm just a healer. I'm here as Elwin's friend."

    "Ooh, I see. Then, if you wouldn't mind..." Eilene's gaze drifted back to Elwin with a charming smile. "Perhaps you would consider dancing with me, Your Majesty?" Ceren pressed her lips together and dropped her head again, the whole of her focus going into studying her shoes.
    "Oh please, no need to be so formal!" Nyrel argued as Aerith called him 'Baron'. "I know we don't know each other very well personally, but you're Ceren's friend. Please, just Nyrel." The polite smile she offered him and the use of his formal title seemed a little out of place with her character, and he couldn't help but wonder if maybe... bypassing her remark about being surprised by his presence, he frowned and asked her frankly, "I'm sorry, but... I don't make you uncomfortable, do I? It's just that I've always heard what a firecracker you are, but you're acting so formal, I couldn't help but wonder. I'd hate to think that was the case, but I have to be sure."
    January 3rd, 2019 at 05:34am
  • katahdin

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    Elwin smiled politely at Eilene, nodding a little when she asked him to dance. "Yes, I'd be happy to dance with you. However, I promised my first dance of the evening to Lady Ceren, here." He explained, linking his arm with hers once again. "Please, excuse us, Lady Eilene. I hope to see you again later this evening." He said as he turned to lead Ceren away from her, letting out a shaky sigh as he stepped away, looking down at her. "Sorry for dragging you into this.. But once I get pulled away from you, I'm afraid I'm done for. They're like vultures." He murmured softly.
    Aeirth frowned a little when he asked if he made her uncomfortable, shaking her head quickly. "No, no. Not at all, I apologize, Nyrel.. It's just odd seeing you again after such a long time, I suppose.. When Ceren went off to the Academy, you disappeared with her.. I suppose I'll get over it." She shrugged a little, taking another sip of wine. "Besides, Elwin told me I need to start being more polite, because being General and being rude don't go hand in hand, apparently.."
    January 3rd, 2019 at 05:54am
  • sun spirit

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    Elwin put Eilene off expertly, if only until later in the evening, and Ceren thought she felt as glad as he looked to get away from the young woman. Still, they didn't go too far, and Ceren gave him a sympathetic smile at the sigh he let out when it was just the two of them again. "It's okay. I'm just still no good with strangers, and I thought..." She felt her face warm. "Well, I thought maybe you wanted to talk to her. I'm sorry, I'm not doing too good at making things fun, am I?" In a way, she felt like she was failing him.
    Nyrel's posture relaxed as Aerith confirmed that he didn't make her uncomfortable, nodding as she offered her explanation. "No, that's alright! I just like to think I'm a rather charming person, and I suppose I begin to worry when someone isn't charmed," he explained with a small chuckle. "Please, take all the time you need. I just had to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong." As he spoke, he finally saw a waiter carrying a tray of wine and made sure to take a cup, which he had a long sip of, enjoying the sweetness of it on his tongue. "Well, I don't know about polite... I would think Generals need to be able to read the people around them more than anything. Being polite helps keep things peaceful, true, but I'd think your job is more about strategy."
    January 3rd, 2019 at 06:11am