Daunting the Dauntless

Xanadu Weyr - Stables
The stables of Xanadu Weyr are composed of one long building, lined with box and standing stalls that are kept thoroughly clean by the resident grooms and stablehands. Runners nicker and neigh at everyone who enters, save for the obstinate ones that just flicker their ears in indignant curiosity that they dare not make visible. The foremost stalls near the door to the barnyard are the grand box stalls which are home to the prized runners of Xanadu, as well as the most pregnant, those which are so far along that they require constant observation by the Herders, so as to ensure easy foaling.

A broad pathway covered in straw and sawdust leads to the rest of the weyr's stalls, primarily comprised of standing stalls. Many runners are in the standing stalls, with ropes strung across the front so as to keep the runners from leaving their designated containers. A few hay bales sit here and there along the avenue, some of which act as seats for the stablehands and grooms on their breaks, others as snacks for those runners who can reach out their necks far enough. Buckets and baskets of grooming supplies - brushes, combs, and the like - also sit here and there, occasionally knocked over by a wayward hoof or inquiring muzzle.

Early autumn at Xanadu is a lot like late summer! In fact, it’s basically exactly like late summer. Hot and (today at least) dry and just screaming for lazy hours spent in a hammock and maybe not in the barn. But alas, that is where Shiloh and Averil find themselves. Post-ride and untacking, there’s a pair of runners (a larger flea-bitten gray, and a smaller dark bey) chillin’ in the aisle and half asleep while their riders are hauling heavy saddles toward the tack room to put away. And since Shiloh is a gentleman, he’ll totally take Averil’s from him rather than making him throw it up onto the rack himself. But he totally has to put the bridles away for him (which is def. the easiest part). “Grab the grooming bucket?” comes as Shilow throws the (sweaty) saddle blankets upside-down over the saddles.

Turning over a saddle that ways nearly as much as he does is not something Averil is about to complain over. Instead, Shiloh is the subject of a grateful smile and a quick bob of his head and a murmured "Thank you." The moment that the beastcrafter has stepped away, he's pulling carrots out of his satchel, serving one up to both Lightning and Will before stepping away to grab the bucket of brushes and combs. "I still think we need to go explore that clocktower," he calls loud enough to be heard in the tackroom. "We could bring a picnic with us, maybe some of the tack that needs to be worked on? You can do that leather-hole-punching thing while I draw?"

Averil and Shiloh are not the only familiar faces who have recently returned from a ride, but the once waif-like Tejra now grown into her lithe, strong limbs and dancer's frame, is several steps ahead and coming from a much longer excursion. The first real warning of her is a murmur of her melodic purr, cultivated over turns of practice at the Hall where she did not begin nearly so refined of poise in body or speech. It comes from the small office where the stable's manager may be found at various points through the day (including this one), but the real herald of her coming to the otherwise engaged freshly returned riders regrettably far from one another is the dramatically dark and deeply accusatory, "YOU." It's not loud, so much as projected perfectly within the space to carry down the aisle to its target: poor, sweet Avi. SEE HER, AVI. THE DERVISH WITH FLAME-BRIGHT HAIR, PALE SKIN AND WILD(LY BRIGHT) EYES, BEARING DOWN ON YOU IN A CLOUD (okay, not cloud) OF ROAD DUST AND PREDATORY GRACE. Unlike many of the women in Xanadu, Tej is not SMOLL. She is slender, but she stands tall at 5'7" and the muscle is going to make the collision WITH WHOMSOEVER DARES step into her path significant, especially if she doesn't have enough time to pull her momentum properly (though some effort will be made regardless in deeply reflexive trained reaction). She's not moving quickly enough to alarm the animals, but swiftly and smoothly enough that there's not too much time to react to the oncoming STORM of TEJ.

“The leather-hole-punching thing?” There’s definite amusement in that repetition, though Shiloh won’t bother to correct him. It’s cute. “Sure,” he decides, a little louder, to accept all of the above. Picnic. Drawing. Hole-punching. With the saddles stowed and the blankets flipped and everything as it should be, he drags a hand through his hair before dropping his hat right back on it and heading for the door. Willow? Lightning? Well. They’re pretty tuckered from the STRENUOUS RIDE (aka, walk through the forest and small canter on the beach) and more likely to simply flick an ear at the Storm of Tej and… go right back to sleeping. After gobbling up Averil’s carrots, of course. It’s Shiloh that might need to worry. He’s caught at the door a moment later, frown on his face that only deepens when he sees for whom that perfectly projected ‘you’ is aimed at. He won’t quite move to interceptTejra, but there’s a squinty-eyed look that flicks between the too and definite motions toward her even if it’s really toward the runners that are consequently near Averil. But it’s fine. It’s FIIIIINNNNEEE. He has a totally legit reason to be there that he will absolutely take advantage of (gotta groom that runner, right?). And if his gaze is solidly on TEJ AND CO and not LIGHTNING AND WILLOW well… >.> details.

Now see, Avi? He was thinking about picnics and painting and hole punching and getting Shiloh /out/ of his shirt. The whole oncoming storm thing? It takes him completely by surprise. It should be noted, at this point in time, that Avi is not particularly good at handling surprises. In fact, he tends to freeze up rather like a deer in headlights. (Never mind that Pern does not have deer in headlights. It's still a valid descriptor, OK?) Of course, he hears the *YOU* and, of course, he responds to it in the aforementioned Cervinae fashion. Unfortunately, it takes him a moment or two for everything to click together in a fashion that makes sense in the face of the oncoming storm. Still, it's the sort of moment that is confusing if only for the simple fact that that face is not a face he had expected to see. Clearly there is a glitch in the matrix that is his current reality. "Tej?" It is also unfortunate that he chooses to push his hat (A very stylish lacey white cowboy hat— It was a gift!) back on his head with the hand holding a curry comb, a fact that has him immediately gasping (It's metal, they hurt) and dropping the comb in favor of pressing his palm to his head. "…Ow."

And the tsunami hits and engulfs. RIP Averil. Did Shiloh want him back? Right now, all that can really be seen is Tej and her long limbs wrapping around Averil as her hands clutch his chin, so she can cover his face with peck-peck-pecks of affection (advantages of being taller at work, even if she has to bend a little to work around the lacy white hat). Some would call the little noises of delight emanating from that redheaded force of nature squeaky and none of her sentences are complete. It's a lot of, "What are you-?" "How are you-?" "When did you get-?" and "Oh, you!" Shiloh's presence is completely ignored, if not unnoticed in this greeting-adoring-appreciating process she has going on here because he is completely unimportant right now, comparative to the feline-like female finding herself face to face with one of here favorite people, duly demanding petting attention. Finally, a full sentence as she pulls back just enough to look down at the other harper properly, arms having shifted to a MINE embrace that doesn't look to be loosening in the immediate. "You didn't tell me you were coming here!" Nevermind that she's probably been a little remiss in writing, if not totally silent in the months since the Igen hatching.

It is probably the name that saves her. That keeps Shiloh from descending like some sort of dark knight Beastcrafter of Justice to whisk Averil out of the way or bodily shove Tejra off course. Because it is that name that springs from Averil’s lips that has Shiloh understanding that she is known to him and not just swooping in for no good reason. Still, there’s a tensing of his frame, a hardening of his jaw, a flash of eyes that darts from artist to hurricane and back again to ensure that Averil is not in danger (or making those ‘save me!’ faces). He’s not. So Shiloh doesn’t. He lets the Storm of Tej surround him and pepper him with kisses and just… stares at it all, torn between disbelief and… is that jealousy?! Couldn’t be. Just ignore the little tick in his cheek and the grinding of his teeth and the shifting of his weight and the death glower being leveled upon Tejra before he has the sense to rip it away and pretend to be doing something useful. Like… brushing the runners. Who couldn’t care less, really. Just don’t make them work and they’re happy right now. But it’s about at that finally-completed sentence that he just can’t hold back any longer and, with a clearing of his throat, offers a (completely ridiculous and totally unnecessary because DUH) “Friend of yours?” aimed at Averil.

Engulfed in the auburn-hued force of nature crashing down on him, Averil's responses come in the form of "I.." And "..Good…" And "Not long…" No full sentences, they just won't fit in there no matter how hard he tries. In the end, words melt away into a quiet laugh that cannot be mistaken for anything other then adoringly pleased. The kisses peppering his face are returned with air kisses, and an attempt to capture her hands with his own. He fails. But by Faranth, he makes the attempt. (Good thing he dropped the curry comb). It is only when she has to pause to breath— everyone has to breath, that he finally manages to get out. "I thought you'd already be back at Harper's Hall. I intended to write. I even have pictures I was going to send along." Fear Shiloh, they are most assuredly drawings of you. Course, he does cast frequent glances at Shiloh (and some of them /might/ be pleading in nature). "Tej.. Tej…" But really, he's ninety eight point eight percent certain that all the pleas in the world will not shake her from her course. "This is Shiloh," DISTRACTIONS COULD WORK. Sorryloveyoubut… It's only Shiloh's question that has him reaching out to attempt to grab the beastcrafter's arm and tug him closer. "Yes, this Tej.. Tej, this is Shiloh."

"No, no, they've not gotten grounds to send me packing yet," Tejra gets in before the Beastcrafter rudely interrupts the happy reunion with his proof of existence. HOW DARE. Of course, this particular response is the kind of thing that wouldn't make much difference to one who knew her peculiarities and liked her for them, but doesn't really sound good to the outsider ear. Troublemaker? Almost definitely. She did write that they were looking for reasons, and she'd be back soon for a visit at least, but she was toeing the line, or trying to. Given that she is not wearing a knot of any kind, one might already easily guess how well Tej tends to get along with the establishment of Harpers. It's a good thing she's incredible in her particular field, or they never would have kept her this long, probably. It's true that very little shakes a Tej from her path once it's decided and not even the introduction of Shiloh does much to impact it. She does shift around a little, giving Avi more room to breathe, even if her arms are still draped around his shoulders (SHE MISSED HIM, OKAY?) as she eyes the definitely not annoyed Beastcrafter with her pale gaze. She glances back to the smaller man and probably knows how much she's already overstaying her welcome and thus, for Avi, mind, drops her arms away, the better to place her hands on her hips and take in the tall drink of water other journeyman. "Shiloh," is almost dismissive because she's turning her attention back to Avi with a bright smile. "Are you here-here? To stay?" Posted, she means. She certainly hasn't been in to check the new duty rosters or anything seeing as how she's only now just back.

Nope. Definitely not annoyed. Zero annoyance. Totally always looks like he might wanna punch something in the face. But for all the death glaring patiently waiting that Shiloh does, he makes no move to fill in that space vacated (if only slightly) by Tejra. Even if he’s being reached for and tugged forward and reluctantly obliging by taking another step or two closer. At least all of the cuddling-and-catchup gives him a chance to size-up study Tejra without being TOO rude about it. “Tej,” is repeated in a voice that may not be dismissive, but is certainly not welcoming. Flat, maybe. CAREFULLY NEUTRAL maybe. Only to be left with a snort when Tej turns back to (the admittedly much more interesting) Averil. Right. “I’ll get the runners settled,” he assures, offering a faint and fleeting little crooked smile toward Avi that is probably supposed to communicate understanding or something, before he moves the two, three, four strides away to yank at leadropes and start hauling horses runners toward their stalls.

Avi is not at all distressed with the affection. While there are very people in the world that he trusts, Tejra is definately one of them. And when she drops her arm and braces her hands on her hips, he's quick to step in and link his arm through her own. "I am here-here," he assures. Fortunately, his work can be done from anywhere and even if he takes commissions from other venues? He won't have to leave. Course his gaze follows hers to Shiloh, the softening of his expression accompanied by a light flush that rises to stain his cheeks. "Shiloh is my.." Awkward. He isn't exactly /sure/ if it is okay to finish that sentence and it shows in the worried look he darts to Shiloh's face. In the end, he exhales a breath and lightly clears his throat. "Shiloh is my suitor." It's true! Still, he's abruptly worried that he might have just upset the beastcrafter. Course, that worry IS NOT EASED when Shiloh strides away to deal with the runners. All most immediately, he's clearing his throat again, one hand drifting up to brush over the back of his neck.

Tej's arm is no sooner captured than she's shifting the physical alignment of their bodies again. It's probably a familiar game from all those turns that she spent in beyond rigorous, physically repetitious, body abusing practice to control every muscle as individual and then them as groups. The adjustment this time is to slip free her arm from his but to reclaim the same hand in her far one as she steps into his side, one arm going up along his spine so she can play with his hair (hair she's played with at least a million times). "Your 'suitor,'" she repeats, not with any disbelief or disdain, but rather with a sharpening interest. (RUN, SHILOH.) Her eyes go back over to the Beastcrafter walking the runners away. "So I'm to be nice to him then," she interprets looking back down to Averil. It would be nice to say that this was an unnecessary request to make of Tejra, but they both know it's not. In fact, they probably both know that requests are not always honored even when she has the best of intentions. She's quite smart enough to recognize this is not the moment for her favorite brands of trickery, and thus she gentles, with effort, and a look that says we will talk about him later. (She will want to know everything, Avi. EVERYTHING.) And she seeks to draw the illustrator along with her, letting herself curl around the one arm she's claimed possession off and go in the direction the cowboy went. "Can we help, Shiloh?" If Tej plays a game with the syllables of his name on her tongue, that can't be helped. She must be allowed some outlet for her penchant for pandemonium. She really should get a commendation for limiting just to the rhythm of his name.

Rest assured that all of that touching (and hand holding, and hair playing!!) has not escaped the beastcrafter’s notice. I mean. It’s kinda obvious. He looks back at them over a shoulder before he’s pretending to be entirely devoted to the two (half asleep and honestly, would stable themselves if turned loose) runners. Suitor? That word might not get a response that is seen, but there’s definitely a twitch of an eyebrow. Like maybe Shiloh would have chosen a different word. A much more intimate word, even if labels are not something they’ve talked about. So, fine. Suitor will suffice, and is certainly better than just ‘friend’ or, Faranth-forbid, acquaintance. The clop-clop of lazy hooves dulls a bit as Lightning is released to his stall, the runner moving unerringly for the hay and providing plenty of time for the door to be shut behind him. The question of help nets another glance, and obviously the tightening of his expression and the lack of real eye contact has nothing to do with the tangling tongue playing games with his name. Nope. “No, ma’am,” comes in polite cowboy-return, even if it’s just a little less friendly than it might otherwise be. “I’ve got it.” And yes. He absolutely ma’am-ed her. And might be (totally obviously) trying to catch where it lands.

Being nice is probably a monumental ask, particularly since chaos (Tej) has it's own interpretations of the word. Avi knows this and accepts it with a light tsk and a murmured, "Normal person nice, Tej." Because that BEARS SAYING. It's also a request that he is well aware may go unanswered. In time, though, he's absolutely certain that Shiloh will win her over. Cause, Shiloh. It is as they move along in Shiloh's wake, his arm more then happily given over to the dancer, that he slants a curious glance up to her face. "Where have you been? I've been here for a while." Of course the mind boggles at imagining what adventures (mischief) she might have been up to and immediately inspires a keen and intense curiousity. Course, he also knows the 'We will talk later' look and answers it with a quiet laugh and a mild flush of his cheeks. Course, his gaze is on Shiloh, watching for reactions to his introduction. Course, there's weirdness there, between his friend and his suitor and he's not entirely sure what to make of that, at all. "Lightning and Willow are very well behaved," he points out to Tej quickly. "They'll be settled in no time. I will," he assures Shiloh. "Brush Lightning down before we go to dinner." Cause he spends his time out here. In the barn. Drawing. Cause, as has been noted, he can work pretty much anywhere.

Oh, oh, oh. That's how it going to be, Shiloh? Well, it's your funeral. The smile that comes is feral at the edges. Shiloh knows about skittish horses, right? Well, does he know about wildcats? The kind that maul a man? Meet Tej! Fortunately for Shiloh, she doesn't actually come with claws or fangs, but the way her look meets his ma'am says everything it needs to about what she can do without them. It does not bode well the way her lips curve into a slow, smug, smirk. "I think I like the ring of that, Avi." She's not looking at her friend right now. She's looking at Shiloh and maybe Avi will have to rein her in a little because she's looking at him like she might just put him on the ground, get a boot tip under his chin and ask him to Ma'am her again. Doubtless, Avi has seen her pull off similar stunts when she trained with guards bigger and badder than her 'for fun' she said, although it seemed anything but when she was tiny and new to it all. 'One more way to use my body,' she'd claimed and oddly had never been penalized by her dance instructors for injuries that made movements challenging. Just one more way Tej got a number of strange free passes in her time at Harper. "But Avi wants us to be friends." The smile is more a baring of her teeth at Shiloh than a smile. "And we wouldn't want to disappoint him, would we, Shi-loh." She plays again, but look, she's trying here. She does look back to Averil to finally answer, "I'll tell you all about it later. Mostly boring, but a little exciting here and there. Out making the rounds in the region. For weeks this time." Which is why he hadn't seen her. Riding out, visiting all the farms, dealing with any matters of law or complaint or learning or music that was needed here or there, in those places who lack their very own harper.

Woe be to Shiloh, he knows not what he does! Six-feet-tall and solidly built, he’s probably (definitely) making assumptions that will turn out to be horribly wrong. But while he might (incorrectly) assume that he could take her, he’s not the type to want to try. Pushing people is not his thing. He’d much rather avoid them. And the look that briefly graces his face before it’s conveniently turned away to unlatch the big grey’s halter and turn him loose in his stall, says he’d really like to avoid everything happening right now. So he won’t “ma’am” her again, but he won’t be especially gracious either. Avi might want them to be friends, but the beastcrafter’s looking like he’s not sure that’s on the table. But what he’ll say is, “Don’t worry about it,” for brushing Lightning down. “I’ll have an apprentice take care of it. Catch up with your friend.” Is he dismissing them?? Maybe. >.> Or maybe just dismissing Tej and Avi is unfortunately (quite literally at the moment) attached to her. A thing which has ABSOLUTELY NOT ESCAPED HIM.

Looking between the two, Averil can't help but look a little bit worried. He /has/ seen Tej put men on their backsides with little to no effort. But then, on the same token, he's seen Shiloh an anxious or uncooperative runner with little more then gentle tones and careful redirection. Course, then Shiloh is dismissing them. Her. Him by association and Averil, for a moment, couldn't possibly look more confused, or hurt, then he does. It's enough that he is silent for a few long moments, just forcing himself to breath all slow and deep. "Oh… Well. Ah.."Lightly clearing his throat, he shifts uncomfortably before sweeping his gaze up to Tejra's face. "There is no way it could have been boring." He absolutely refuses to believe that even for a moment. In fact, he's absolutely certain that it was probably far more exciting then he would be able to handle. "Did you just get back then?" Because, dismissed, or not, he's not ready to budge.

He's doing what now? Signing his own death certificate??? Dismissing them??? No, no, see, that's only what poor, misguided Shiloh thinks he's doing. She is… well, not on the same page as Averil, but at least in the same book. She does not look like a woman who has taken any kind of hint. There's so many Tej could handle this, but surely the protective instincts that she reserves for so few that have served Avi so well in the past could be a real danger here, since that dismissal couldn't not have stung - she doesn't even need to look to know. "I thought 'suitor' might imply he's a gentleman." She stings right back, her pale gaze narrowed and boring into whatever part of Shiloh's head is currently turned toward her. At least she doesn't threaten to break anything. Yet. "It seems your Shiloh," this time she doesn't play the word game, "is a trifle confused about the state of things, Avi. First, in thinking he has any say over whether we stay or go," yes, Shiloh, tell a feline what to do; that'll work, "and second, in just how much we mean to each other and how. Do you want to tell him, or shall I?" She means the brief version of their history. Her words are so crisp, so sharp in intonation and delivery that they might as well be the cut of blade through air.

Shiloh is busy. He’s so dang busy that he doesn’t have time to turn around and address them. See how busy he is?!?. Though really, there is only so much fussing he can do before Willow might kick him (or at least threaten it) and so with another adjustment to the hay net that didn’t require it to begin with, he turns and exits the stall, slides and bolts the door (with so much attention to detail he should be promoted), and finally moves to hang the halter on the hook. Who knew putting runners away required so much focus? But then it’s done. And he has no reasonable excuse with which he can claim to continue ignoring them being busy, and so chances a look. To be fair, it was a dismissal he thought would be well received. A chance to catch up! But no; it was more than that and literally everyone knows it. Even the dang runners probably know it. Is he stung? Maybe. But his poker face shows little. Runners don’t like rampant emotions and so, Shiloh has learned to control his. Even if there’s enough strain in that (very well-muscled) form to provide proof that he’s not infallible. “You can stay as long as you’d like,” he allows, the words for Tej and Avi both. Because as much as he might want to, he does not own the stables. “Just though the Caverns might be more comfortable for your conversation.” Is that what this is? A conversation? Certainly not one that Shiloh will dare to include himself in.

"That's my fault, Tej," Avi notes in quiet tones. "I haven't talked much about how things were at the Hall." Because it is embarrassing, true, but also because it still a massive raw wound deep inside. "Neither of you are being very nice," he points out to the both of them. Again, he lapses into quiet as he glances between the two, a frown dancing on his lips as pale grey eyes settle on Shiloh. "I love you," he states in matter of fact tones, COMPLETELY oblivious to the fact that he has not said -that- yet. "And I'm not sure why you are mad." But he clearly is and it's confusing. "And you," he states as his gaze sweeps up to Tejra's face. "I love you, too. In a /different/ way. But you are being very aggressive." And he feels safe enough with the two of them to point that out without being skittish. "Shiloh has gone out of his way to keep me safe, Tej and he's always treated me like I am precious." Even if he is acting off right now. And before he can be interrupted, his gaze sweeps right back to Shiloh as he points out. "Tej was the /only/ person barring our instructors who was kind to me at Harper Hall, Shiloh. She protected me from the boys that would have…." Done horrible things he'll probably never want to talk about. "She's like my sister."

There are very few people on the planet for whom calling Tej out on less than courteous behavior doesn't result in something damaging (to her, to them, to both). She has never been particularly easy to get along with unless she's wearing that 'mask,' one of her many by which she navigates the world. With Avi she wears fewer, or more basic permutations of things, but only when they're alone does she occasionally wear none; even then, she can't always help but to wear some by habit. Pale eyes slide to Avi and she is masked, here, now, but someone who knows her as Avi does probably knows how to see through that. She's listening to what the younger harper is telling her. She's not taking it particularly well, but at least she doesn't say, 'He started it,' aloud… because… did he? DID HE, TEJ? It would be a Tej-ian thing to claim. Her eyes flick to Shiloh in the moment after Averil so plainly states how things stand, and though she stiffens just slightly, she has the good grace to look back to Avi and lean to kiss his temple, murmuring softly, "Good, because you are." Precious. He always has been, to her. Then, she gives the greatest gift she can in this moment, by withdrawing after a squeeze of those slender shoulders, one hand sliding down to Avi's low back just so she can push him a little forward toward Shiloh. She doesn't even take the moment to scold Shiloh for being hurtful, however inadvertently, she just murmurs. "I'm going to bathe." A familiar implication left entirely unsaid because she doesn't need to say it, not to Avi, is that they'll talk later. This is how she supports him, them. She lets him know where to find her if, say, the Beastcrafter gets dumber and not smarter in the moments that follow, but she gives them the space, the moment for whatever might follow, pivoting with unearthly grace and striding toward the exit.

Oh, Shiloh is about to get all sorts of dumb right now. Because whatever he was expecting Averil to say, it was definitely not that. The face of neutrality cracks into something stunned and vaguely horrified. It would almost be comical, if he wasn’t also looking terrified. Good thing he wasn’t doing anything dangerous, or he might have lost a hand. As it is, a few steps have him slamming face-first into a wall (but as his face is turned toward Averil and Tejra, only the one side gets bruised. Well. And the whole rest of his body because ow). “You what?” is probably not something he should say, but it spills out of him anyways. For a moment (and this is really telling, y’all) there’s a look of ‘HELP!’ shot toward TEJRA of all people, before Shiloh is finding a way to try and gain back some of that composure before he makes an even bigger idiot of himself. “I… uh… Oh.” Also not what he’s supposed to say. Like. NOT AT ALL what he is supposed to say. But he says it anyway. And then Tejra is slipping away. To give them space. And pushing Averil toward him and… damn if he doesn’t take a step back because DUMBASS is absolutely his middle name right now. Breathing. Maybe breathing is a thing he can do and not fail at?

Expectations are funny things. And Averil is caught just as off-guard by Shiloh's reaction. So much so that for a long moment, he just stands there looking as horrified by the reaction as Shiloh had by the admission. Speechless, it is not until he's nudged forward, and stumbles, that he shakes out of it enough to give a single shake of his head. And while there are about a thousand things he could say? The fact that his throat is closing hard enough to strangle him has him turning on his heel. Fortunately, the ONLY person likely to see the tears is Tejra, but he's still running right on past her. He needs a moment, or ten. Granted chances are very good that he'll be waiting for her in the hallway she gets out of the bath. Right now, though? Right now, he needs to be alone so he can wither and die of embarrassment in peace.

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