Tag and Duchess–who is giant armor, but giant armor that can talk?–are part of a group that camped not too far away from where Lark and Elm were originally.
“We saw those mutts chasing after you and decided to help out,” Tag says, walking beside them after having sent Duchess ahead. Lark is walking, too, to give the already tired Elm a break. “Those critters already set one of my friends on fire.”
Lark glances at him in alarm.
“Nah, he’s fine. Actually, he’s a bit of a nutjob, so he might have enjoyed it.”
Elm also sends a thought-feeling of bewilderment her way.
“I’m just joking,” Tag says, which would be believable if it didn’t follow a long moment of silence. “About the enjoying it part. He is actually a little bit nuts, though, but that’s ‘cause he’s seem some shit.”
‘Battle fatigue,’ Elm says to Lark. She nods in understanding: her master had nightmares sometimes, of missions long passed.
“Don’t let that scare you off,” Tag says, interpreting her silence as fear. “He’s not a bad guy.”
“I’m not scared,” she says, chin held high, “You just talk too much.”
Tag stops, and after a pause–in which Lark realizes what she said and slaps a hand over her mouth, and Elm gives a whicker of secondhand embarrassment–so do they.
“I, uh, I,” she stammers. It was a rude thing to say and she shouldn’t have said it, but she’s not going to apologize for telling the truth.
Tag starts laughing. “You’ll fit in just fine,” he says, “the others say the same thing at least twice a day.”
The others of Tag and Duchess’ camp are as odd and, somehow, odder that she expected.
Geoffrey, the one that Tag called a nutjob, had greeted Lark with a polite handshake and Elm with an affectionate kiss. On the mouth. Elm, irritated at Lark’s response of uncontrollable laughter, went to a far corner and sulkily grazed.
There was also Doc who wasn’t really named Doc but actually named Lina and not actually a healer. When Lark asked why she was called Doc, the others of the camp glanced at each other and distracted her by introducing the last member of their group.
“Why is he tied up like that?” Lark asks, eyeing the sleeping body hanging upside down from another giant armor. According to Duchess, this one doesn’t talk, and thus is inferior to her.
The group shares another glance, before Doc speaks up, uncertainly, “He’s more comfortable this way?”
“Speaking of hitting the hay,” Tag says, even though no one spoke of such a thing, “It’s late, and we just fought off a pack of those hot doggies, so we should all get some rest.”
Not a very good distraction, but Lark is very tired and lets it slide.
A/N: working on a Walking Around thing but won’t finish it soon enough so here’s another Lark and Elm thing. wooooh.