Cass leaned back against the headboard of her and Tristan's bed. She couldn't help but think about Dagonet and the expression he'd been wearing since Nuala left. She couldn't tell how much he was hurting, but there was seemingly nothing that she or the others could do to about it.
It had been days since he had let Nuala go, and Dagonet had barely spoken a word to anyone since. The only person that Cass knew he had definitely spoken to was Arthur. And even that was reluctantly done. Just enough conversation to let Arthur know that he was fine and that was it. He just did not want to talk about it.
Cass had told Tristan to go scouting without her that morning. With how distracted she was, she knew that she'd be more of a hindrance than a help. Her mind was too preoccupied with what had happened... She wanted to help Dagonet so much, but she knew that her trying would do nothing.
She was altogether too good at getting herself into an argument, and altogether to apt at meddling. Cass wondered if she'd be able to stop herself; and knew that she had to regardless of whether she thought she could or not. She knew that it wasn't right for her to continuously be creating arguments like that.
The Knights and Cass went out to train later that day, but again, Dagonet absented himself. The fact that he was keeping to himself was frustrating, but also worrying. Cass wanted to try and get him to speak again, but she knew he wouldn't. She knew it was pointless. And she knew that she needed to stop interfering.
That night, at the tavern, Dagonet did not join the others at their corner table. He merely nodded to them as he passed, heading straight for the bar, where he ate alone. The others frowned after their friend and how unlike him it was to act in such a way. They had expected it though, since he had chosen to remain alone after Nuala left.
Cass tried to keep herself from meddling, and instead busied herself with helping Vanora out. In her opinion, Vanora shouldn't have been working at all- in fact, she wasn't even quite sure how Vanora was still working. Of course, Cass wasn't going to try the 'you're too pregnant, go sit down' route again with Vanora, for risk of being yelled at and told to sit down herself because Vanora was, "FINE".
As Cass went over to the corner table to collect the Knights' now empty plates, she couldn't help but notice that the Knights were stealing glances at their brother. Cass had been doing the same all night.
"Best to leave him alone," Bors said, in a voice that was quiet for him.
Cass doubted that that was the best solution, but she didn't interfere. She had never been in that situation, and she'd never seen Dagonet act like that either. The others had been with him for almost fifteen years now so Cass had to admit that they probably understood what he was going through better than she did.
She still watched him as she could tell the others did. And because of this observation, she noticed the couple of other men that stood beside the bar near Dagonet. They were talking rather loudly, and becoming somewhat raucous, so Vanora banned Cass from going near them, with an I can handle them, I'm used to it- Don't you dare tell me I'm too pregnant.
Dagonet just sat next to the group in silence, seemingly taking no notice of them. But as Cass was on her way back to the bar, carrying a stack of dirty plates and cups, she became well aware that he was paying attention to the men. She didn't really hear what had been said, but she did distinctly hear the words 'Woad woman'.
Of course, what happened next took place so quickly, she didn't even have time to put down the things she was carrying. Dagonet stood, his fist already curled, and punched the man that had spoken. Whatever he had said, it clearly hadn't been polite. There would be no way Dagonet would react like that without cause.
The man fell backward into another man, who stumbled into Cass, causing her to drop all the plates and cups she held. Crap, she thought as several of them shattered at her feet. Broken shards of pottery were the least of her problems then though as even the Knights were quick to notice, getting to their feet and gathering beside their brother.
It looked like a fight was brewing and Cass didn't want to see the outcome of it. Nothing happened though. The man who Dagonet had punched, seemed to reconsider the thought of a fight after the Knights had stepped beside their brother. He knew that he'd overstepped his mark in what he'd said about Nuala in front of Dagonet; and with the backing of his fellow Knights, none of the other men wanted to try and make Dagonet apologise for his actions either.
The men quickly dispersed, leaving the tavern before anything else could happen. After letting out a long, deep breath, Dagonet, too, left the tavern, but departed in the opposite direction to the men.
"Well, that's enough of that," Bors yelled to the tavern's patrons.
"Nothing more interesting to see here, so get your noses back in your own business."
The people in the tavern quickly went back to their own conversations, though many of them had now changed to the topic of the usually friendly, quiet Knight's outburst. They spoke quietly though; no one wanted to risk Bors hearing their discussion and having his anger aimed their way.
As the other Knights returned to their table, Tristan went to Cass, who was now knelt on the floor trying to pick up the cups and plates that she'd dropped. He touched her arm gently, until she looked away from the shattered pieces of cups and plates and up at him.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
She nodded, still piling the plates and broken cup pieces into her arms.
"Do you think he'll be alright?" she enquired.
"I don't know. This isn't like Dagonet. We'll have to wait to find out."
She nodded again, standing up with the broken shards in her arms. She threw away the broken pieces and quickly returned to where Tristan was standing, waiting for her.
"Well, I guess I've gone back to being clumsy again," she said as she looked down at a cut on her hand that had started to bleed.
She saw Tristan frown as he noticed it.
"It's nothing; I'll be fine," she tried to reassure him.
But that didn't stop him taking hold of her hand and withdrawing a bandage-like strip of material from his pocket.
As he began to wrap it around the small cut on her palm, Cass asked, "Do I want to know why you had in that in your pocket?"
"Just in case," he replied simply.
"So you knew I'd get all clumsy again soon then?"
He tied a knot in the material, securing it to her hand, and leant forward to place a small kiss on her cheek.
Cass couldn't help but smile at that, a blush creeping onto her cheeks at how well he seemed to know her.
The smile faded though as she pulled back and said, "I'm still worried about Dagonet..."
"Let him come to terms with it himself, it is the only way he will deal with this."
Tristan paused for a moment, tilting his head to the side as he looked at her.
"I think you've had enough accidents for tonight, come," he said, taking her non-bandaged hand and trying to lead her away from the bar.
"I can't just leave Vanora to deal with all this," Cass replied, digging her heels into the ground.
But, of course, Vanora chose that moment to walk past and chip in with, "I told you before, I'm fine."
And she disappeared again, somehow carrying three plates full of food at once and navigating drunken patrons. Cass frowned after the older woman, still confused at how she could possibly be still doing as much as she was.
"Jeez, I have no idea how she's doing that, she's like Superwoman," she muttered under her breath.
Tristan raised a brow at her.
"Never mind," Cass added, mentally kicking herself for saying that.
Cass went with Tristan though, at both his and Vanora's insistence, and ended up walking the walls of the Fort. The night was cloudless, thankfully, and the moon lit their path, as did the torches the Romans had lit and placed at every couple of paces along the wall.
"It feels like a long time since we've done this," Cass said, looking to her side at Tristan.
He looked back at her through strands of dark hair that had, as usual, fallen in front of his face, and nodded.
"I've missed it," she continued with a small smile.
With his arm already around her waist, Tristan pulled her closer to him as he stopped them in their tracks. She blinked up at him, half-expecting him to kiss her.
"I don't think you should come with us on missions anymore."
Of all the things that he could have said or done, she could not have predicted that. Cass stepped back, freeing herself from Tristan's embrace as she stared at him. The moon's light was shadowing his face, so that she could barely read his expression.
"I don't think you should-"
"I heard you," she interrupted, frowning.
"Haven't we had this conversation before?"
He said nothing.
"You know why I have to come with you. I'm not letting that happen, Tristan."
"This has nothing to do with that," he said.
"It has everything to do with that. I know it bothers you that I'm there, but I'm not going to let the people I love die when I can prevent it."
"You don't know how much it bothers me that you're there," Tristan responded, his voice quiet but serious.
"What?" she said pausing slightly.
"You see how Dagonet is now, because he lost Nuala? She's still alive. Every time we leave for a mission, there's a chance you might not come back. If you don't have to be in that position, you shouldn't be."
Cass stared at the Knight unblinkingly for a moment, sadness creeping into her expression. She stepped closer to him, lightly placing her hands over his cheeks.
"Tristan, I have to be," she started softly.
"I couldn't live with myself if something happened... And because, well, you wouldn't let me go out there without you there, and I know I'm not, you know, the best at fighting, but... I can't let you risk your life knowing that I could help."
She saw his lip twitch at her argument, but eventually he conceded with a nod. He wasn't happy, but at least he wasn't fighting her anymore. With Tristan, that was all she could hope to ask for in this situation.
Author's Note: Well, okay so I got ahead of myself and found time to write this for you guys, even though I know it's kind of short. Hope you guys like it and will let me know what you thought! :)
PS. Don't tell my Uni Profs. I'm pretty sure they'll not be impressed, I'm supposed to be writing original stuff right now... *whistles*