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A Moments Respite

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    Thancred leaned himself against the doorframe of the cottage Kori had bought some years prior. It was a nice peaceful cottage in the housing district of Gridiania and Thancred could definitely see why Kori would spend his gil on a little get away from life. But more importantly it meant that in between the quests and the fighting it was a place he could come to and watch Kori just be Kori, no Warrior of Light business involved. 

    Today was one of those blessed days when they really had no plans and nothing to do. The star was at peace for the moment and they were all taking advantage of that. It was a nice warm summer day and Thancred smiled to himself as he watched Kori chase a few of the neighborhood kids around the yard. A squealed laugh filled the air as Kori caught one the of Miqo’te girls, picked her up, spun her and then (carefully) tossed her into the inflated pool they had set up for the occasion. The girl went under and immediately popped back up with a huge smile which caused the other two kids to instantly cling to Kori begging to be thrown as well. 

    One by one, Kori picked them up and tossed the remaining children into the pool to join their friend. Thancred watched as Kori then mocked turning and leaving before running and jumping into the pool himself, causing quite a tidal wave to splash over the giggling children. They all started to splash him as pay back and Kori pretended to drown under their onslaught.

 Honestly, Thancred knew Kori was a child at heart but he never would have pegged the guy to be so good with children. Apparently they just were never around enough kids for the subject to ever come up. After all they had been through with Ryne, as well, maybe it was something they none of them would go for it. Babysitting the neighborhood kids was enough. 

    Kori stood in the pool, the water reaching to about his waist, with all three kids hanging off from his neck. He shook out his hair, pretending he didn’t realize the children were there, and stepped out of the pool. Thancred’s gaze followed the group as they crossed the yard and Kori plopped himself down on the picnic blanket that was laid out under a nearby tree. The kids detached themselves from their free ride and honed in on the snacks that were waiting for them. It was then, after Kori settled himself down leaning against the tree, that the two of them made eye contact and Kori beckoned him over. Thancred pushed himself away from the door and shuffled over to sit next to the other on the blanket. 

    “You should change into some trunks and join us,” Kori said and he leaned his head on Thancred’s shoulder, “I’m sure it’ll be more fun than holding up the door.” 

    “I figured it would be best that at least one of us was dry to meet Aymeric when he shows up for dinner,” Thancred reached over and grabbed a snack off the tray for himself. He noticed the little Au Ra boy staring at him intently and smiled at the child who gasped and turned back to his two Miqo’te playmates.

    “Well he could just join us also,” Kori mumbled, closing his eyes.

    “Hmmm,” Thancred leaned back, making sure his shoulder was at a comfortable height for Kori, “I don’t think there will be enough water left for all of us. You’ve already emptied half the pool with your play fights.” 

    There was a yawn from his side and Kori muttered an unintelligible reply. Thancred noted one of the girls had curled up under Kori’s arm already snoozing. The other two were slowly starting to catch the drowsy mood as well and crawled over to lay themselves across Kori so they too could take an afternoon nap on their makeshift bed. 

    “What did you say, love, I didn’t catch that,” Thancred nibbled on his apple slice and leaned his head back against the tree.

    “I asked when Aymeric was going to show up anyways,” Kori muttered and placed a hand on one of the kids. 

    “Oh, whenever his meeting was over, he said,” Thancred finished the apple as he spoke. 

    There was no reply and a quick glance told Thancred all he needed to know. All four of them were completely passed out on the blanket, Kori still leaning against his shoulder. Guess that’s what happens when you play rough in the sun. He knew that Kori had a tendency to get lazy in warm weather and children were easily worn out, in his experience, so it didn’t surprise him in the least that they had all fallen asleep so easily once they had settled down. 

    Thancred’s smile was still on his face and he turned his gaze upwards to watch the clouds pass through the tree leaves. He was content being used as a pillow and was happy to sit here for as long as may need be, or his arm fell asleep. The sound of footsteps coming up the garden steps, though, made his fight or flight senses light up and he quickly turned his head to see Aymeric stepping into the yard. 

    “Ah, I seem to be too late,” Aymeric sounded amused as he took in the scene before him. 

    Three cats and a dragon napping in the sun and one poor Thancred caught underneath them all. 

    Thancred chuckled, “You just missed them. They all fell asleep not too long ago.” 

    “Then I shall do my utmost to not disturb them,” Aymeric walked over, pulled his robes around himself and sat down on Thancred’s other side. He reached out to pull Thancred’s free hand into his own, “Shall I even inquire how you managed to be stuck in the predicament you are currently in?” 

    Thancred curled his fingers around Aymeric’s hand and fought the urge to lean up against him in the same manner Kori was leaning on himself, “I was told to sit and somehow got manipulated into being used as a pillow.”  

    Aymeric let out a soft laugh, clearly being careful of being too loud, “That certainly sounds like Kori. Where did the children come from? Don’t tell me we should be having a conversation.” 

    “Not to worry,” Thancred readjusted himself so that he could maneuver his other arm freely, “They saw Kori setting up the pool and decided to come play. It was quite the sight, you would have loved it. He is very good with them.” 

    Aymeric raised a brow as Thancred gazed down at the kids, a peculiar look upon his face, “Perhaps we do need to have a conversation after all.”

    Thancred let out a short laugh, “Ha, no. Regardless, it’s probably about time their parents come looking for them.”

    “And yet I do not have the heart to wake them,” Aymeric patted Thancred’s thigh and then stood, brushing off his clothing, “I guess I should start making supper then, so that they won’t be cranky when they wake.” 

    “I will come and help as soon as I can extract myself from the pile,” Thancred nodded and started to examine the limbs that were leaning against himself.

    “No need to hurry,” Aymeric headed for the cottage door, “You know where to find me.” 

    It took a few moments but Thancred managed to wiggle free of Kori and his kids, gently placing Kori’s head on his own jacket he had bundled up to make a pillow. After making sure that no one had been awoken he made his way inside to help Aymeric in the kitchen. Dinner was finished within the hour and it wasn’t long after that that Kori shuffled his way through the door, stretching and yawning with bits of sleep crusted to his eyes, saying that the kids had all gone home for the night. They would need to clean up the yard in the morning but that was a future problem. For now, the three of them could enjoy a rare night together without having to worry about what the next day would bring.