Still working on the longer stuff, but I came up with this shorter story. I had the first part written weeks ago but it didn't feel "finished" enough to post. Couple days ago I went back to it and added more to it, and here it is! Enjoy.
P.S. Kaled and Khaotic are both extremely ticklish. I wouldn't try anything or you'd probably get a blade to your face (>.<), but to each other it's fair game. /evilgrin
P.P.S. This is after their trip to Winterspring, but still a week or two before they head to Eastern Plaguelands.
The early morning light shone down on Silvermoon, the sun just peeking out over the tops of the buildings. The city was still quiet, until you reached Farstrider Square, then the hush was broken by the regular hssstt- thnk of someone practicing their archery at the training dummies.
Kaled and Rajji stood at one of the dummies, pulling their arrows out. Kaled had his bow at hand; Rajji had set aside his rifle and was using an old bow of Kaled’s. Kechara perched on the wall nearby and Ashke lay underneath her, side-by-side with Rajji’s newest companion. Kaled still wasn’t sure what to make of the brightly-glowing, transparent, catlike creature, but Rajji had assured him that Wraith was harmless, to the troll’s friends, at least. Alti had followed them out as well, even though he had scarcely left Khaotic’s side in the last several days. But the scrawny cat-that-was-not-a-cat that also lay nearby had intrigued the young lion so much that he had come out with them, and he now sat grooming the stranger’s mane, his expression still confused. Bearkat took it all in stride, and let Alti be as he watched his two friends.
Kaled was continuing the conversation they were having as they practiced their archery. “It’s just that we’d like to know,” he was telling the troll. “We can’t call the baby an ‘it’, that’s insulting. But we don’t know whether to say he or she, and it’s just getting confusing.” Rajji stopped and thought for a bit. “I know what ya mean, Kaled, but I’m afraid that I’m not sure whether my priest or shaman brothas can do what ya ask. I don’t know enough about what they do, ya know.” “Well, what about a witch doctor? Do they have any different skills?” Kaled asked, and Rajji shrugged. Kaled turned to the cat lying nearby. “What about the druids? Do you have any spells or something that could help, Bear?” The druid closed his eyes as he thought, then opened them to look at Kaled. “We have no spells,” he answered, his voice a deep rumble. “Perhaps there might be something in the Emerald Dream, but I haven’t walked there for a long time, and it’s grown dangerous.”
Kaled frowned in concentration. “I know our priests, paladins, and mages can’t help; I already asked them. I asked the orcs too, and they said the same thing. Their shamans don’t use the kind of magic that could help.” He sighed as he looked at Rajji. “I guess we’ll have to wait, then,” he said ruefully.
They took a few more shots before Bearkat asked Kaled, “So where is Khaotic this morning? Still sleeping?” “She was awake when I left,” Kaled replied. “But she hasn’t been feeling all that well the last couple days. I think the baby’s being kind of hard on her,” he finished with a worried frown. “Do you want me to come look at her?” the druid offered. “I’m no healer, but I know enough to help, maybe.” Kaled shook his head. “Thanks, but we have Harene taking care of her already. She says everything is okay, he’s just… active.” He watched as Rajji tried a few more shots, then as they pulled the arrows out of the target again, he said, “I think that’s enough for me. Thanks for coming out here, you two. I need to get back to her.” Rajji nodded and clapped him on the back, and they watched as Kaled headed back to the Royal Exchange and home.
* * * * * *
Khaotic was sitting in a chair with her chin propped on one hand, elbow on the armrest. She didn't look around when Kaled came in and stepped up behind her. “What’s wrong, love?” he asked her. She tilted her head back to look at him. “Nothing much, I just haven’t been sleeping well the last few days,” she answered as he started rubbing her shoulders. “Mmmm,” he said. “The baby?” She nodded. “It’s not really his fault; it’s just hard to sleep when it feels like a kodo is hopping around in your belly.” He snorted, trying not to laugh, and she eyed him. His expression changed to complete innocence, and she sighed at him.
He continued his massage, and she hardly paid attention when his hands moved down her back. She was completely unprepared when he suddenly started tickling her sides. “Kaled!” she yelped. “Stop that!” He laughed and went after her again, and she slapped his hands away, then retreated upstairs. He followed her more slowly, giving her time to prepare a defense. By the time he reached the top she was standing next to the bed, staring at him fiercely. “I’m warning you, Kaled,” she said when he started toward her.
She glared at him as he approached, then with a snarl she grabbed the pillow from behind her and swung it at him. He blocked the blow but she swung again. The third swing he managed to get a hold on the pillow and pulled it out of her hands, then dropped it to grab her wrist as she struck at him. He was laughing again by this point; she was still snarling. He forced her back to the bed, and she fell backwards onto it when the edge hit the back of her knees. She tried to hit him with her other hand, but he grabbed that wrist as well, pinning both her hands to the bed above her head while he crouched over her. She twisted underneath him in an attempt to throw him off, then tried to knee him between his legs. “Hey!” he protested, blocking the knee before it hit anything important. Growling under his breath, he sat on her, being very careful of her belly. Straddling her with his knees on either side, he hooked his feet over her legs, holding her immobilized.
They stayed that way for a few minutes, catching their breath, then suddenly Khaotic started giggling. “That’s much better, love,” Kaled said, but then she muttered something under her breath in Thalassian. He raised one eyebrow in mock reproach. “No thanks, love. That’s not really my thing, which you ought to know by now.” Khaotic smirked at him, her eyes twinkling mischievously. “Ready to behave yet?” he asked. Her grin stretched wider. “No.” “Good,” he murmured as he leaned down closer. “Neither am I.” His lips brushed her forehead, then he kissed her on her mouth. She returned it eagerly, hungrily. After a moment, he released her wrists, and she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down on top of her.
The need for air finally forced them apart. Kaled eased over so he was lying beside her, then ran his hand down her face, cupping her chin. “Su balah,” he said softly, then grinned at her, and she returned it. “You are impossible,” she murmured back. He kissed her again, and her last coherent thought for a good while was how much she loved him.