A/N: Written for the Diversity Writing Challenge, Section B, prompt #043 - roll a dice, then pick that many words from [ random-words] (set the default setting as 6 words). Those words must appear in your fic. My roll was two, and the two words I picked from my list were "poised" and "naughty".


Boring Training Exercises, the Silence and Snapping Fingers

Her fingers were poised to snap Chris awake, but a mumble halted her.

Erutis frowned, then leaned closer. Chris mumbled a little more, but no more clearly than the first. Erutis frowned harder. 'Idiot,' she muttered, readjusting her fingers – for, like all things, once the flow of the moment was lost, she could find all sorts of little things in her position that needed readjusting. It was easier, far easier, to just retry.

And this time she finished the motion and the sound of her fingers snapping was like her sword clashing on hard rock. And Chris jumped like a naughty child who'd eaten their share of warm cream buns and more and had curled up to sleep by the fireplace, only to be woken afterwards by one who was to distribute the buns at a later time. Except there were no buns, only Erutis and Chris and the wide expanse of Raenef's garden where they sat.

And when Raenef was busy with his studies with Eclipse, there was nothing else to be done except pass the time together. Together with both parties in the same state, preferably, because Erutis didn't find a sleeping Chris very good company at all.

'What was that for?' Chris asked, annoyed once his bearings were restored. He had, much to his embarrassment and displeasure, slipped from the low wall and tumbled into the dirt, and after brushing himself off a few specks of brown still clung to his tunic.

'You wanted to learn swordsmanship.' Erutis tossed the practise sword she held at him. 'Start practising.'

'You've got to be kidding me.' He stared at the sword as it clattered past his fingertips and on to the ground. 'I was having such a nice nap too.'

'And I was working my butt off,' Erutis snapped back. And getting bored. But she didn't add that part out loud. It would mean endless teasing for her. Even if it was boring to work on her own, especially when company was within her reach. 'Get practising,' she said instead: the easy answer, that summed up the situation.

And, grumbling, Chris made to do exactly that. But the clumsiness that came from being awoken prematurely still clung to him, and Erutis was frowning again. 'Focus,' she cried, snapping her fingers in his face and making him jump again. 'You should be able to do this in your sleep.'

She demonstrated, with the ease that showed her words were not jest at all, but the truth. Her motions were fluid, careless – as though she didn't need to concentrate at all on that repetition…and she didn't, otherwise the quiet in the garden would not be so annoying to bear alone.

But Chris was too new at the sword, and as he fell into the monotonous repetition he also fell quiet, and Erutis found herself assaulted by the silence once more. She snapped her fingers, this time for no good reason at all, though Chris jumped a third time and glared. 'What was that for?'

'Focus,' Erutis snapped. 'You should be aware of your surroundings still.' She paused, then added, more for her own benefit than his: 'hold a conversation with me.'

It would be more difficult for him, and less boring for her.