Jenny: A Glib Saying

It was a big, strong hand that closed over his. Jason returned the grip easily, noting, though, in the back of his mind the fitful sullen thunder that had been in the man's eyes only last night. He suspected it was on account of Domitia that Ambrosius had opened up a place among his retainers for the big Irish bull of a fellow. Except for the Fox, on whom they could still always rely when in a tight spot, none of the Hawk's men were given to uncertainties of character. They were like pillars. Looking at the man before him, holding his hand, Jason knew he had yet to see any of that steadfast likeness.

Give him a little time, old chap. He'll come round. Still, he turned an inward smile as he considered that, of all the newcomers of late, he thought Master Lucius the steadiest of them - Master Lucius, whose only defense was droning rhetoric at best.

"Yours is quite the story," said Jason, retracting his hand. "Most of us have pretty mellow tales: we were born here, grew up here. If we've got any sense to it, we'll pick up swords eventually and follow after the Merlin and his pack. Soldiering and farming - it's in our blood here. But we all have odd pedigrees here, which you'll learn if you listen hard enough. I suspect you'll fit right in."

He was close to glibness. After the pressure of waiting and the break of the battle, life seemed very bright and hollow to him, like a bubble. He had come through - most of them had come through - as Druce had said they would. But he shook it off as best he could, knowing much of the unusual cheeriness stemmed from sheer exhausion. He still he things to think about, things to do before this whole thing was behind them. Soon he would be turning over the physician's duties solely to Gaius and he would be making for the paddock to see to the horses.

The Guttersnipe said in Iceni, "Are you all right?"

"I have a lot on my mind," he replied. "I have this awful feeling that I just need to laugh until I'm sick, and then I'll be fine."

A frown unfolded its rose-grey petals over her face. "Was it that bad?"

An uneasy laugh escaped him, and he knew he was looking a bit grey. It had been bad. It was not the same, binding up the odd broken limb or stitching up a horse's side where it had cut itself on a briar. It had been his own people, and yes, it had been bad. "I'll be fine. Don't worry about me."

"Sha!" she said scornfully, and rose from Frip's side. "I am needing to take - I mean - " She shook her head and switched out of her sudden Greek into Latin. "I am needing to take Frip down to the stream to bathe. Domitia, are you coming too? You can talk to me about...whatever it is you were needing to talk to me about."

Jason nodded, though he faintly dreaded being left alone with the Irish bull. "I think that's a fine idea."

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