"Spring cleaning. Double meaning! Oh snap, kids!"
by Aithne Flynn
Spring cleaning. It's not my thing normally. Seriously, why would you clean in the spring? The season is all about new life which builds itself upon the foundations that have been set during the previous autumn and winter. People should summer clean. 'August clean' if you will. Anyway, I was cleaning up the tree house.
That's right, cleaning a tree house. I'd cleared out one of my bags, adding more to the set of shelves that I had perched in a corner. I'd proceeded to organize the items. You know, folding the gowns, setting up the little trinkets to look like they were either at a ball or in the midst of epic battle. The norm. Turns out I'd been lugging around a pair of boots, though. No, not the normal bright, anti-rain kind that I normally wore, but instead these were all black and covered in buckles. All in all, they were pretty hot, but not my style, so I needed to shove them someplace out of sight.
I was going to just stuff them in this nifty little chest that Ger had helped me find. It was all sorts of pretty, covered in carved-in snakes, birds, and vines. The epitome of nature and all of that; now that I think about it, I wonder if that was just Ger picking up on this and that right away. Meh, it doesn't matter. The chest was full of junk anyway. Well, paperwork and junk, but once you've filled out as many forms as I have, the two become synonymous. The boots wouldn't fit in there.
That either left behind the tapestry I'd tacked up over one of the windows or under the hammock. I couldn't very well put them behind the freaking tapestry. It was of this chick outside a castle and if I had put them there, it would have ruined the entire affect and I'd only bought the thing because of that same 'affect'. I wanted Geraden to feel at home while he was up in a tree. Well, not at home, but more comfortable. Yeah, that's it. That's exactly it.
This just left under the hammock. Now, you'd be surprised what you can put under a hammock. Sure, the things can still be seen, but they're honestly forgotten. You get so caught up with fact that you're the proud owner of a hammock that's strong enough for you and your beau . . . Well, let's just say that the boots fit under it nicely.
Well, they did after I took out the shield that had been busy collecting months and months of winter dust.
I honestly didn't remember where the hell I'd procured it from. So, I had no choice but to plop down right in the middle of the tree house and carefully clean the dust and grime from it. I had it shining in no time, which meant that I could see every scratch that it'd gained from battle, every ding from saving a fair maiden. Oh, and that engraving. That damn gryphon. Did the knight even have a coat of arms? Was that his?
Huh? Oh, yeah. That's right, it was my knight's. Er.
I'd borrowed it from Ransom forever ago with absolutely no intention on returning it. I stared at the shield for a moment or half hour or something before I remembered exactly why I had stolen it. Ger and I had been jousting. Well, I'd made Geraden do it. I hopped up on one of those stupid animals and taunted him until he was forced to give in to appease me. The thought made me laugh; we'd have to do that again. The bruises were worth it.
Anyway, I had taken the shield as compensation because Ransom wouldn't let me borrow that black armor of his. I would have given it back in timely manor and he looks better without it anyway. Though, that doesn't say much. He looks better without a shirt, too, but I wouldn't dare try to convince him to go without one.
Hell. Yeah, I found myself fawning over my best friend again. Again? Yeah, again. I set the shield up, careful as I looked at it, the damn thing acting like a dull mirror. It stood for so much more than those battles it'd been used in, than those maidens it'd protected. At least, it did to me. As I ran my fingers lightly over the gryphon, I couldn't help but think about how it belonged to perhaps the most amazing man I knew. He was kind and understanding. No, I'm not exaggerating. He'd give you the shirt off his back or the last scrap of food he had. The most a person had to do was ask.
Disgusted, I pushed the shield away before drawing my legs against my chest. I wrapped my arms around my legs, resting my chin on a knee. Yeah, shut up, I was in love with my best friend. My best friend who was married. I thought I was over it, you know, accepted that he and I were just friends and that Ger was totally my match.
Ok, well, Ger is my match and I love that man like woah, but Ransom's a match, too. Even if I had my chance, even if that boat sailed before both of us even knew what was happening, he's still a match to me, too.
I sat there, my cleaning forgotten for the longest time. I had to fix this.
I was going to have to talk to him again, which totally sucked. Every time this stupid thing came up, things got awkward. Maybe I could just give him the shield back. Maybe he'd be able to hivemind with me like he normally does and know exactly what was going on. I'll just have to put a bow on the shield and see.