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FOTW with Green Tea and Fudge Ripple

Author: rustydragonfly
Challenge: FOTW (Blue Raspberry 9: wrongly accused), Green Tea 16 (deadline), Fudge Ripple 16 (suspicion)
Toppings: rainbow sprinkles (Ardea and Iktin)
Extras: malt (Fudge Ripple PFaH: Ardea singing in the dark)
Wordcount: 487
Rating: all ages
Story: Manifestations
Summary: Benevolence does not mean stupidity.
Notes: THE HAAAT. Okay so we will get back to the adventures of Jen, Dhaymin, and Rosa soon, but first some of what's going on in Ardea's head. Courtesy of THE HAAAT.

Ardea was enjoying a mug of pine tea when the interruption occurred.

Pine tea was not his favourite, when he was honest with himself - it was a little too thin, the taste more subtle than he preferred. But it was never out of season, and always plentiful, and thus he had no reason to feel guilt at using valuable supplies only to warm his hands. He smiled as the heat worked its way through fingers stiffened with cold, and tapped one against the side as he recalled the sun chant in his head. He lapsed on the chants more than he would care to admit, but it was expected of him to lead, and so he did each year.

He stopped as he heard the footsteps approach, leading out of the sea of voices below. "I'm back," he heard Iktin say. "Now we can talk. What was the meaning of leaving me out of this?"

Ardea kept his grip on the tea, inhaling the pleasant-smelling steam. "It is midwinter," he said. "You seemed as if you needed a break."

"Don't play with me!" snapped Iktin. "Tell me or-"

"By all means, strike me down," said Ardea. "You'll have a wonderful audience. It sounds busy down there, is it? I'm sure they'd like to see your glorious victory against an old blind man who can barely stand."

Iktin grumbled in reply, an angry, wordless sound. "Fine. Let's talk."

"Good. Would you like to sit down?"

Iktin took up his offer, and Ardea heard him ease into the seat beside him. They sat together on the platform, as cold breezes, funnelled by the pyramids, sliced through them. Ardea shivered a little and tightened his grip, taking a long drink of his tea before continuing. "I know you have your suspicions."

"He walks in here, claiming to know all about karvites? What more do you want?"

"Proof," Ardea said. "Absolute proof. "Why else do you think I sent him out? If there is a problem, then you were right."

"Then I should be there."

"Lakedi can handle any difficulty. But I hope she won't have to. You know I wouldn't wish to throw a harmless man into the snow. Nevertheless, I had her train him. She knows how he fights." And after that, he thought, I told him what happened to me. He didn't doubt the young Rhusavi's words... or did he simply not wish to doubt them?

"You're soft, Ardea," Iktin said, though his voice was calm, all his anger gone. "getting attached just because he's like you."

"I know."

"And by the end of midwinter, we'll know which one of us was right."

"Yes," Ardea said, and finished off his tea. He kept hold of the mug, for its last traces of warmth. "And midwinter is not getting any further away. Come with me, if you want to be useful. We have to prepare for the chants."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Ardea is coming up fast behind Rosa for my favorite character. I just thought you should know that. He's so cunning and awesome and justice-ful and FAVORITE.
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha. I'm glad to hear that, because this arc is turning into the Why Ardea And Rosa Are Awesome Show.
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)

*makes all the popcorn*
Aug. 20th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Nice :) Ardea's intelligence sparkles through in this, while Iktin comes across as rather jealous. I don't think he's wrong about the reasons Ardea feels an attachment though. Nicely done :)
Aug. 20th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, Iktin's right about that. Ardea's well known for taking people in and helping them back on their feet, but this case is a bit unusual because of what he and Dhaymin have in common. Iktin's well aware (and probably a bit concerned Ardea's judgement is clouded as a result).

Not that either of them are thinking in the right direction...
Aug. 20th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
I really like Ardea. He has a smoothness about him.
Aug. 20th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I know, right? He's got everything as he wants it. Thanks!
Aug. 21st, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
I like how you used the Malt prompt, and Ardea is awesome; he definitely has Iktin wrapped around his fingers. Nice :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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