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Prompt: 62. Intruder
Characters: Aniki, Kora, Rosto
Rating: PG-13
Words: 878
Contains femmeslash and Terrier spoilers.

All of these Kora/Aniki centric drabbles are also posted under the title "Pretty Mots Who Know What They're Doing" by The Purple Tyrant on fanfiction.net.

The din of the tavern made Aniki lean close to Kora just to hear what she was saying. Pans clattered in the kitchen, and a chorus of hoots, yells, giggles, and idle conversation swarmed around the main room.

"I'm working on some protective spells for one of the Rogue's chiefs, Bernt from Upper Side," Kora said, speaking as loudly as she could without yelling.

Aniki nodded. "He's a good man, as fair as you can expect from someone who's a puppet to the Rogue." She broke off and waved the barman over. "Another ale please-"

"Have it on me. Two mots as pretty as you shouldn't need to pay for their own drinks," a butter smooth male voice cut in.

Aniki took the opportunity to give an exaggerated roll of her eyes for Kora's benefit before turning to look at the interloper. He was lean and pale as the blizzard just outside the door. His cornsilk blond hair was tied in a horsetail and a 'y' shaped scar was written through one eyebrow. She raised her own eyebrow questioningly.

"Rosto the Piper," he said. "And who are you lovely ladies?"

Kora stifled a laugh behind her hand with a violent coughing fit and Aniki was highly tempted to do the same.

"I'm Aniki Forfrysning and my friend is Kora Ingensra," she said, placing a strange, lilting inflection on 'friend.'

Reining in her laughter, Kora gave a demure nod before focusing her attention back on the dregs of her ale.

"Aniki... I think I've heard your name at the Court of the Rogue. You're a rusher, but I can't remember who you've sworn to," Rosto said, passing the drinks the barman gave him over to the two women.

"At the moment? Whoever has the biggest purse. I haven't heard of you though."

He shrugged nonchalantly. "I'm somewhat new and I figure it's best to stay out of the way until I can feel out the place. I'll have plenty of time to get into trouble later." A wink accompanied his last statement.

Kora fixed her attention on the cove. "Where do you come from?"

"A tiny town to the north, near Ebeltoft. I came down a month or so ago."

She looked at him with greater interest. "I'm from Ebeltoft, but I've been out of the area with her-" she pointed her thumb at Aniki "-a good year or more. Do you happen to know anything of Agata, the village healer?"

"She patched me up pretty well after I got into a bar brawl with some idiot. Fergdin, I think his name was."

"Wasn't he the one I had to knock around?" Aniki interrupted.

Kora quickly shushed her. "Sometime, you'll have to tell me of any news you've heard from up there. Not tonight though, I don't want to risk any bad tidings. I'd probably get all soppy and cry on her new shirt."

"You could always come to cry on my shirt."

This Rosto fellow was tenacious; Aniki had to give him that. Still, it seemed to only make her want to laugh more or perhaps give him a tap with the flat of her sword.

With a laugh, Kora replied, "I wouldn't want to muss your clothes. She doesn't care much for her own and leaves me piles of laundry with worn out seams. Of course, she'll polish her sword five times a day if she gets the chance."

"And only my own. If anyone asks for me to do theirs, they make a nice dummy for my point control drills," Aniki said unable to resist the dig at the words that she knew hung on his lips.

Rosto winced at the thought. "Your blade must be deadly if it's as sharp as your tongue."

"How else do you think I got my name in at Court?" Looking over to Kora, Aniki asked, "I think I've had enough to drink for the night. You want to head up?"

"I could do with some sleep. I'd rather not be dozing when I'm doing spellwork," Kora said. As she and Aniki rose, she gave a quick smile to Rosto. "You'll have to give me some news on Ebeltoft next time we meet."

Another one of Rosto's sly smiles slid onto his face. "I could always come help you gixies into bed."

Aniki made a point of resting her hand on the hilt of her sword when she replied with a barbed grin of her own, "I don't think we need the kind of help you have in mind."

With that said, the two women climbed the stairs out of the main drinking room and into the apartment they rented on the second floor. The air was harsher here, away from the clump of hot bodies below, so when Kora came up behind her and wrapped her arms around her waist, Aniki welcomed the warmth of the embrace.

"You know, that spintry did have a good idea," Kora said, tucking a straw colored lock behind Aniki's ear.

"Oh, what's that?"

"I, at least, would like some help into bed." Kora ran her finger down the length of Aniki's muscled upper arm.

Aniki spun in Kora's arms to give her a kiss. "Then help you'll have."