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a mite whimsical in the brainpan ([info]tigerkat24) wrote,
@ 2009-11-04 22:24:00

Previous Entry  Add to memories!  Tell a Friend!  Next Entry
Current music:Just Scarecrows To War--Murray Gold
Entry tags:challenges, codex alera, fanfiction

Fic: Never Saw It Coming
Title: Never Saw It Coming
Spoilers: Through Cursor's Fury, though nothing explicit.
Summary: "If you don't shut up," Tavi said, conversationally, "I will find something new and entertaining to do with a furylamp, and I guarantee you won't like it at all."
Fandom: Codex Alera
Rating: PG-13 for some mentions of sex.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Jim Butcher.
Notes: Written for beckyh2112 in the alera_ficathon. Her prompt was " Maximus, Kitai, and Tavi. Something light-hearted, set during Tavi's Legion officer days after "Cursor's Fury" but before "Captain's Fury"." I trust this works.

Also, the number of times I wrote "earthbending" when I meant "earthcrafting" is truly ridiculous. This is your fault, Bex.

Beta'd by the ever-wonderful priscellie.

"Oh, Aquitane's got pretty girls, I love their flashy style! And the Parcian girls, with their gorgeous legs, have all got a lovely--" Max paused for another drink, then bellowed, "SMILE!"

A legionaire covered a snicker with his tankard. Someone else was keeping time. Could be worse, Max decided. There had been that one tavern in Alera Imperia, where they used to dump ale on your head if they didn’t like your singing. Or the rougher one where they just threw things at you until you shut up... This tent-tavern with the makeshift chairs and scarred wooden tables seemed altogether a more congenial atmosphere.

"Imperia's got the noble girls, who make you feel all right!" He could personally attest to that, too. Nothing quite like a girl who knew her earthcrafting... "And the Phrygian girls, with the way they dance, they keep the legions warm at night!" This drew a few shouts of approval from the veterans' half of this improvised tent-tavern. From the sound of it, a few of them had been to Phrygia.

There was a brief stir over by the door. Max ignored it, and took a deep breath. "I WISH THEY ALL COULD BE THE ANTILLAN GIIIIII--"

"Centurion." Tavi stood in front of him, looking slightly bemused. Also slightly blurry.

Max shut up mid-syllable and squinted at him. "Cal--Captain?"

"I've never heard that song before." There was a faint edge of laughter to Tavi's voice.

"That's because you haven't spent enough time in legionaire taverns," Max informed him. "Want to hear the rest? Oh, Antillus has the snowfall, so the girls all learn to...."

"No," Tavi said. "Thanks, Max, but no." He eyed the empty table--amused as the legionaires were, they were not brave enough to sit near the centurion--and asked, "Can I sit down?"

Max waved expansively at the chairs. "Go ahead, go ahead, just push somebody off. They won't mind, you're the captain."

"That's very kind of your imaginary friends," Tavi said, and sat down across from Max. He took a deep breath, fiddled with his thumbs, and took another deep breath.

"You want something," Max predicted, and took another drink.

Tavi squinted at him. "How many have you had?"

"I'm still only seeing one of you."

His friend exhaled. "That is not a comforting answer, Maximus."

Max grinned. "You think I want to see more than one? Great furies, you're going to turn my hair white as it is."

Tavi scowled half-heartedly, then, probably unable to contradict the truth of that statement, quit fiddling with his thumbs and started drumming on the table instead. "You drink too much."

Subject change. Definitely unable to contradict the truth of that statement. "I'm off duty," Max pointed out, leaning back to balance his chair on two legs. "How about you don't complain until I turn up drunk in uniform."

Tavi looked him up and down. "Technically you're in uniform now."

Max gave his friend a wounded look. "Do I look like I'm in armor? You need armor to be fully in uniform. Fancy you not knowing that, Captain."

Tavi grinned. "Fine, I'll leave it alone. It's not what I wanted to talk about anyway."

"What did you want to talk about, then?" Max eyed a couple of legionaires who were edging towards the table. Apparently the captain was more approachable than the centurion was. No real surprise there: it was Tavi, after all. "And where's your shadow? I thought you two were joined at the hip." He grinned. "Or, you know, lower."

"That's what I wanted to talk about," Tavi said, ignoring the rest of it. "You understand girls better than I do."

Max nodded. "This is true. You may be good at everything else, but with girls you have all the brains of a stunned sheep. Whereas I..." he struck a heroic pose as best he could while leaning back and balancing his chair on two legs, "am a hero among women, a blessing to the fairer sex, a..."

"If you don't shut up," Tavi said, conversationally, "I will find something new and entertaining to do with a furylamp, and I guarantee you won't like it at all."

Max grinned, and let his chair thump back onto all four legs. "I think the legions are spoiling your country innocence."

"The legions haven't spoiled anything at all," Tavi said. "Kitai, on the other hand..."

"That's right," Max said, quickly, to deflect the impending mental image. "You had something you wanted to ask. What was it?"

"It's embarrassing."

"What with girls isn't?" Max leaned forward and lowered his voice. "I didn't think Kitai was shy about--eh--speaking up."

Tavi made a face at him. "She isn't. That's not the problem. Why does everything come back to sex with you?"

Max considered making a crass remark about earthcrafting and decided not to, if only because Tavi knew where he slept. "Because sex is fun." He leaned back again, and decided to see if he could balance his chair on one leg this time. "What are you pining over this time, anyway? Seems like everything's going well."

Tavi shrugged. "I'm... I don't know, I have a bad feeling. Like everything's about to go horribly, horribly wrong. I have no idea why."

Max thought about it. "Maybe because it usually does?"

"Fair point." Tavi propped his elbows on the table, then leaned forward and propped his chin in his hands and sighed deeply. "I don't know, Max. It just seems like all the time I have with her lately gets interrupted by Legion business. Or..." and here he gave Max a sharp look, "pranks."

"Hey," Max objected, mildly. "Very few of those were actually my fault. The business with the flag and the thornroot dye, for example. I had nothing to do with that."

"Yes, but you know who did," Tavi said.

Max grinned again. "Maybe. Ha! Got it!"

"What?" Tavi sat up just enough to see that Max had finally, despite being very tipsy, had finally managed his balancing act. "Oh. Congratulations. What about the collapsing tent?"

"Not involved," Max said. Which was true, to a certain extent. If certain witnesses might have testified to his having taught the legionaires how to collapse said tent the day before, he would call it legitimate lessons in sabotage. "You know they only prank you because they love you."

"Mmm," Tavi said, noncommittally. "Whatever that thing was in our bed last week, though, I know that was you."

Max immediately put on his most concerted effort in recent history to pretend innocence. He had to abandon the attempt after a minute. His chair was wobbling and it was a doomed effort anyway. "What would make you think that?"

"My door guards remember who goes in and out," Tavi said. "Kitai wasn't happy. Neither was I, for that matter. That stuff it spat stinks."

"I will go to my grave protesting my innocence," Max said. "Anyway, I was just trying to liven up your life. It's been boring around here, and don't get me wrong, I like boring in the no-fighting sense, but in the nothing-happening sense, it gets, well, boring."

"Oh, really?" Tavi said. "Then you'll love this."

Max had just enough time to blink and say, "What?" before his chair was swept out from under him.

When he'd got his breath back and opened his eyes, he found himself flat on his back, staring up at the molding tent roof and Kitai looking thoughtfully down at him. "How long have you been there?" he demanded.

Kitai smiled. It was a terrifying sight. "Long enough," she said. "I do not believe in your innocence, Maximus."

"I don't either," Tavi said, appearing behind Kitai. "Okay, I believe that you didn't have anything to do with the fish, because I'm fairly sure that was the Knights Pisces. But the rest of them, I somehow suspect, can be traced back to you."

Max actually had been involved with the fish prank, but he didn't think it quite politic to mention that just now. He kept his mouth shut and looked contrite.

"The dye actually was sort of funny," Tavi added, thoughtfully. "In a twisted way."

"Getting it off was fun," Kitai said, and smirked.

"True," Tavi said. "Especially that thing with the soap. Though I still don't believe that there was ever a hot water shortage."

Max, feeling that conversation was rapidly going places he didn't want to hear about, made a face. "If you two are quite finished scarring me for life..."

"Not really," Kitai said.

"Now, now, Kitai," Tavi said, grinning evilly. "We were going to scar him in a different way anyway."

"Hey," Max said. "This is not the best way of getting my advice."

Tavi blinked at him, looking confused, and then suddenly enlightened. "Oh. I lied. I don't need your advice, Kitai needed time to get into position."

"That," Max said, disgruntled, "is evil. And clever. Stop being smart."

"No," Tavi said. "Kitai?"

"Thank you." Kitai squatted, and put a hand on Max's chest when he attempted to get up. She leaned in very close, and said, sweetly, "Once was funny. Twice could be understood. Three times, and more, is tiresome. One more time will result in war. Am I clear, Maximus?"

"Crystal," Max said. "And terrifying."

She grinned a grin even more evil than Tavi's. "Good. See that you don't forget it." She rose, gracefully, and put an arm around Tavi's shoulders, leaning in to whisper something in his ear.

Whatever it was made Tavi's grin turn lascivious. "Yes, ma'am," he said. "Have a good night, Max." He threw another, more friendly smile at the legionaires, and added in a slightly louder voice, "Nobody saw anything, I’m sure."

"'Course not, sir," one of the legionaires called back. "Certainly didn't see the centurion getting his ass kicked, sir."

Max sat up too late to see who it was, so he glared at the room impartially. "Thanks, Captain. This won't be all over camp by tomorrow, now. It'll be all over camp by midnight."

"Payback," Tavi said.

"You deserved it," Kitai added. "Come along, Aleran." They went off towards the tent flap, and Max flopped back on the floor with a groan. The legionaires were never going to let him forget this.

It had been worth it, though. He grinned.

(Post a new comment)

2009-11-05 11:38 pm UTC (link)
*heaps love on you until you can't see the sky*

(Reply to this)

2009-11-06 12:06 am UTC (link)
Also, the number of times I wrote "earthbending" when I meant "earthcrafting" is truly ridiculous. This is your fault, Bex.

Why is it not my fault? D:

(Reply to this)

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