Feb. 24th, 2012

thulcandran: (Default)
Thanks to Leareth of the PPC for the prompt "Corrupted blood pool," though I rather doubt this is what you were going for.

Erik grinned at him from the parapet, shaking his head. Jack bit his lip briefly, and turned back to the little stream. He'd bet money he knew what was going on in the knight's head; for all Erik's high-minded sense of morals and straighter-than-sunshine spine, the man had quite a twisted sense of humor, in his own right. Part of it, apparently, included things like this. Though... perhaps it was understandable. His cooking skills were at stake, after all. Setting his teeth, Jack turned his back to the fortress and set off down the brookside, his steps light and, to an outside viewer (he hoped), carefree.

Erik had gone from snickering quietly to outward guffaws by the time Jack had slid into the little brook the third time. From the watchtower, he had an excellent view of the proceedings, all the way down to the dip behind the first hill - more than enough time. As his comrade slipped his footing and soaked his head yet again, he leaned helplessly against the wall and gasped for breath between laughs.

Footsteps behind him, quiet, steady, very familiar indeed, sounded around the bend, and Xerxes leaned up on the ramparts beside him, watching the scene below with a raised eyebrow. "Fates preserve us," he commented after a moment. "He really is hopeless at the tracking."

Catching his breath, Erik grinned at the older wizard. "Oh, yes," he said, pointing to the wood on the opposite hill. "I'll be surprised if he comes back with aught more than frogs, at this point."

Xerxes chuckled and glanced past the view, to the farther hill. "What did he bet you?"

"Ah, he seemed to have some sort of problem with the meal of the last night," Erik explained ruefully, turning back to the tower to retrieve his stave, which he'd set aside with some foresight when Jack turned out onto the path. "I believe the words exchanged were 'roadkill,' which is some slight, I gathered, on lean, rangey, and unsavory animals killed by accident, in his tongue, 'charred excuse for a casserole,' and 'a child could do better,' in that order, more or less."

The wizard winced. "Oh, dear. He hasn't had your cooking before, has he?" Upon the immediate glare Erik turned his way, he raised a hand, laughing. "Don't try it! I accepted one of your bargains for the last time ten years ago, master camp-cook."

Erik gave him a slightly miffed look and leaned back. "Well, we shall see. My watch is up at noontide, and I'm for the cots-- for better or worse, it's his supper tonight."

"His -- no! Foolish knight, you've doomed us all!"

* * *

And so it was that Erik came to be leaning against the doorframe, brows drawn in some amount of shock, as his young apprentice, with several nasty cuts along his arm already bound, handed across a bowl of something that, he had to admit, rather resembled stew. Jack couldn't help but laugh at his expression.

"Did you know there's an old trout pond halfway through the wood?" Erik shook his head wordlessly. "Ah, I thought not. Did you know that a tunic bound at one end makes a passable net for trout?"

Erik grimaced. "Your point then, I'll concede." Curious, he gestured at the bandages with his free hand. "Did the trout draw first blood?"

Jack coloured slightly and turned back to the pot; Erik had to strain to hear his mumbled reply. "...the carrots did."

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