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Feb 07

Chapter 25: Arrin’s Suspicions

Chapter 25: Arrin’s Suspicions

In Which A Ferret’s Disguise is Slipping.

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Yazeth: The morning dawns bright and cold, though as soon as the sun has poked over the tops of the trees, the day begins to warm to a rather comfortable temperature for this time of the year. Jozra, still exhausted from the previous day and night, decides to stay asleep for a while yet and then realizes that in order to make such a decision that she is already awake. She lies comfortably for a while, listening to Soquan breathing steadily next to her and the sounds outside as the town begins to wake up.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan rolls towards her, still deep in slumber. The otter’s arms, which had been draped lightly around her, tighten slightly as he settles into his new position.

Yazeth: The ferret, not wanting to disturb the otter, merely continues listening and allowing her mind to wander. A little while later, she hears Arrin start to move around in the other room. Hoping for some tea and a bit of conscious company, Jozra carefully extracts herself from the otter’s arms and slips out of the room, joining Arrin as she enters the dining room.

Arrin Woodgreen: Arrin smiles as she spots the ferret. “Good morning Jozra, how are you today?”

Yazeth: The ferret pulls up a chair and seats herself at the table. “’Morning. I’m feeling quite rested actually. Er,” the ferret grins sheepishly, “sorry if I startled you and Soquan last night.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She grins at her. “It’s okay. Do you want some tea or something?”

Yazeth: Jozra grins. “You must have read my mind.”

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter chuckles and takes out another mug, placing it in front of her. “Now we just wait for the water to heat.”

Yazeth: The ferret nods and leans back comfortably in her chair. “So did you sleep well?”

Arrin Woodgreen: She shrugs. “I guess so, woke up a couple times during the night though. What about you?”

Yazeth: The ferret makes a face before grinning wearily at the otter. “I suppose you know how the first part of my night went, but after that I can’t complain.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She nods and rises as the water begins to boil. “Well I’m glad Soquan could help you out.”

Yazeth: The ferret’s ears turn a little pinker than usual on the inside as she flushes slightly. “I don’t really understand why I don’t have the nightmares when he’s around.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She shrugs as she returns with the teapot. “I guess you just feel safer around him then you do alone.” She fills her mug, then picks up Jozra’s and fills it. She hands it to her. “Here you go.”

Yazeth: Jozra mulls over Arrin’s words as she takes the mug. “Thanks.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She catches a glimpse of the ferret’s paws and arms and gasps slightly. “Jozra!” She points.

Yazeth: Jozra is startled out of her reverie. “Wha? Oh.” She looks at her paws. Oh sandstorms! Why didn’t she notice that earlier? It seems the dye didn’t set as well as it should have in the damp bath chamber in the caves. How to talk her way out of this one? The ferret frowns and scratches at the back of her wrist where it seems she missed a little dried mud. “How odd.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She reaches for the ferret’s paw to inspect closer. “Let’s see that.”

Yazeth: The ferret can’t do anything but let the otter take her paw without raising further suspicion.

Arrin Woodgreen: She rubs at the powder colored fur, revealing more black on the ferret’s arms. She raises an eyebrow at the ferret. “Care to explain?”

Yazeth: Jozra successfully pulls off a properly astonished face. “I haven’t a clue. There was a black walnut tree over the pool where we washed our hands before eating. Could that have done this though?”

Arrin Woodgreen: She taps her foot paw, pulling off a very convincing ‘disappointed mother’ look. No, it couldn’t. Are you sure there’s nothing you wanna tell me, Jozra?”

Yazeth: The ferret shrugs helplessly. “I’ve no idea why my paws are like this.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Still holding her by the wrist, she rises and walks into the kitchen, pulling Jozra behind her. She takes a bucket of water and places it on the counter. “Wash your paws.”

Yazeth: Jozra cocks her head at Arrin for a moment before moving towards the bucket, calculating wildly the entire time but not letting an inch of it show. Not good. Not good at all. She’d come to like Arrin and Soquan quite a lot and would hate to have to do something… drastic, just to stay undercover. Fortunately the water is cool and does little to remove the dye. If anything, it blends it a little bit.

Arrin Woodgreen: Arrin sighs as she watches the stuff smudge. “Jozra, please tell me the truth, you’re not a regular ferret, are you?”

Yazeth: Dammit! The ferret looks around at the otter with her paws still in the water and her face neutral. “No. I’m not. But…” Something cold flashes in the ferret’s eyes but her voice remains steady, “…it’s imperative that nobody else knows. Understand?”

Arrin Woodgreen: She nods. “Of course. But I don’t see what’s so bad about it.”

Yazeth: Jozra turns away to find a towel with which to dry her paws. “It shouldn’t be. But there are some beasts who are highly suspicious of ferrets that look like me.” There. That much was the truth at least.

Arrin Woodgreen: She nods. “Alright, I understand.”

Yazeth: The ferret nods curtly before downing the rest of her tea. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go fix this.” She raises a paw and smirks.

Arrin Woodgreen: She nods and sips her drink. “Go ahead.”

Yazeth: The ferret exits the room and returns to the guest room where Soquan is still sleeping. As quietly as she can manage, she begins on a thorough reapplication of her disguise.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan wakes up at the shuffling sounds in the room. “Wha-”

Yazeth: The ferret grins cheerfully, still in the midst of applying the setting solution. “Good morning. Sleep well?” Only two and a half seasons and already she was running low on the solution. Well, she’d just have to avoid future hot baths then. Pity.

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods, stretching with a loud yawn. “Yes, very well. What about you?”

Yazeth: Jozra carefully caps the solution and begins rubbing it into her fur. “Pretty good.  Arrin’s got some tea ready if you want some, though she may have to reheat it a little.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He shrugs. “I’m fine for now.” He kicks off the blankets, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

Yazeth: The ferret nods, inspecting her forepaws and arms. “Thought I’d straighten up my belongings a bit before breakfast.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Good idea.” He rises and begins to make the bed.

Yazeth: Jozra turns and examines her mask in the mirror, folding her spare set of clothing and stacking them neatly on the wardrobe before stooping to examine her foot-paws and tail tip on the pretext of picking something up off of the floor.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan finishes with the bed and begins to unpack his bag also.

Yazeth: Satisfied with this less hasty reapplication, the ferret begins to go through her things in earnest. Perturbed that she had somehow allowed herself to be completely disarmed at one point, she conceals several of the small black knives on her person. She hangs her cloak up on a hook and stows the disguise kit back into an easily overlooked pocket in her pack.

Arrin Woodgreen: Feeling a bit more awake and chipper, he slips up behind her, placing his paws on her waist and his chin on her shoulder. He grins at her happily. “Hello beautiful.”

Yazeth: The ferret raises an eyebrow in amusement. “And how, exactly, do you know that I’m beautiful?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins some more. “I just do.”

Yazeth: Jozra grins, allowing herself to be flattered for a moment before moving away from Soquan to gather her boots from the side of the bed.

Arrin Woodgreen: He chuckles and pulls her back. “What? No ‘Thank you?’ No, ‘Aw, Soquan, that’s sweet of you to say?’”

Yazeth: The ferret laughs. “It is sweet of you to say.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins and tickles her. “Much better.”

Yazeth: Jozra squirms away. “Ack! What did I tell you about the tickling?!”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins. “I thought that was only for last night.” He tackles her playfully onto the soft, just made bed.

Yazeth: The ferret attempts a roll across the bed to avoid being trapped under Soquan and lands in a heap on the other side. For a moment, the ferret’s face hardens. That wasn’t a hard move at all and she flubbed it. ‘I’m losing my edge…’ For the otter’s benefit, though, she laughs and scrabbles to her feet. “I haven’t even had breakfast yet, though!”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins and leaps again. “So? Your point?”

Yazeth: The ferret dodges. That, at least, she was able to pull off. “My point is it’s bad form to tickle someone with an empty stomach.” She grins cheekily and adds a rather bad impression of a hare’s “Wot wot?”

Arrin Woodgreen:  He lands on the floor with a thud and rises, grumbling darkly. “Fine.  I’ll leave you alone for now.”

Yazeth: Jozra winces at the thud. “You okay?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He brushes himself off. “I’m fine, I just miscalculated.”

Yazeth: The ferret nods as she straightens up the bed again. She knows how that goes. “I wonder if Arrin needs any help in the kitchen.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He laughs. “Most likely, no. If I know her, she’ll probably already have it done.”

Yazeth: Jozra chuckles. “True. Well,” she glances around the room, “looks like we’re done straightening up here.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins. “Alright then, on to the kitchen.” He picks her up and slings her over his shoulder, carrying her out of the room.

Yazeth: The ferret protests feebly but allows herself to be carried out of the room. Arrin grins when she sees the pair.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan smiles at his sister. “Look who I found complaining of hunger. Looks like we better feed her.”

Yazeth: The ferret chuckles as she’s set back down on her feet. “In my own defense, I wasn’t exactly complaining. Just stating that I was rather peckish.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan laughs and Arrin looks amused. “I guess I better feed you both then. Breakfast’s ready anyway.”

Yazeth: The ferret rubs her paws together and sits down in the chair she had claimed earlier. “Oh goodie.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan chuckles and sits also, digging into the meal.

Yazeth: Jozra and Arrin quickly follow Soquan’s lead and dig in as well.

Arrin Woodgreen:  He eats the meal happily, enjoying himself a lot.

Yazeth: The ferret obviously enjoys the meal that Arrin has prepared and quickly finishes her breakfast.

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins at the ferret across the table. “So what do you want to do today?”

Yazeth: The ferret shrugs as she carries her dishes to the counter for Arrin. “I don’t know. Perhaps you can give me a tour of your village. I only really saw the market.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Sure, that sounds good.”

Yazeth: Arrin looks out the window. “Tell you what, guys. It’s a great day out there, how about you both meet me at the clearing around noon and we can have a picnic lunch. You know which one I’m talking about, right Soquan?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins. “Of course, how could I forget?”

Yazeth: The ferret grins at Arrin. “Sounds like a plan. Shall we go then, Soquan?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Sure.” He puts away his plate and heads for the door to retrieve his staff and cloak.

Yazeth: Jozra takes her cloak and debates for a second before putting her boots on.

Arrin Woodgreen: He waits for her by the door, fiddling with his staff slightly.

Yazeth: The ferret is soon ready and joins the otter by the door. “Lead on then.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins and takes her by the arm, leading her outside.

Yazeth: The ferret allows herself to be led and soon the pair are walking along a well traveled path.

Arrin Woodgreen: He leads her along the paths through the village slowly, stopping to point out things here and there, sometimes teling a story behind the place.

Yazeth: Jozra listens intently and occasionally asks questions. A few things strike her as almost familiar, but she can’t quite place why. It’s as though she heard about it in a story somewhere. he ferret doesn’t comment on this, though, and continues listening to Soquan’s tour.

Arrin Woodgreen:  He continues to do this, making his way around the village. Noon arrives and he alters his route towards the clearing for their lunch.

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