Derrick moved across the far end of the grand Celebration Hall slowly, raising his eyebrows in surprise when Gwen came back inside with Lord Kahner's elest son and the two of them began to dance. Hmm. Gwendolyn must've felt out of place, and Alex would have seen her go outside from where he had been. They made an alright pair.

"This is the third reel where you've sat around and done nothing, Keane." Derrick whirled around, much to his body's protest, to see Soren, Kathering and Kiandra standing in front of him.

"It's nice to see you, too, Soren." Derrick replied, putting a hand on his forehead. "You scared the wits out of me for a second. Gave me a head rush."

"Sorry. But I did have to point out how antisocial you're being." Soren chuckled. Even Kathering seemed inclined to laugh. "I'll come talk to you again later in case you feel lonely. Shall we dance, Lady Kiandra?"

"Hm? Oh, of course." Kiandra gave a half-smile. "It'd be an honor." she took his hand they walked onto the dance floor.

Derrick watched them go, trying not to think of how funny Kiandra had acted since they came back. During all her visits to his recovery, she had never once brought up the pendant. Or given it back. What did it mean?

He was brought back to reality by Kathering laughing at him.

"It's not funny." Derrick protested. "I'm only keeping my distance because I'm still recovering.

"Sure. Whatever you say. How is your recovery going, by the way?" Kathering asked.

"Perfectly horrible. I hate every second of feeling like the life was drained out of me." Derrick replied. "But, Gwendolyn and the other healers say that I'm doing fine. Better than usual, seeing as I can walk after five weeks of rest."

"Gwen's helping with your recovery? Why?!" Kathering exclaimed.

Derrick shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine. When I asked, she said that it's the least I could do for helping discover her powers and save her life."

Kathering smiled, her voice melancholic as she said. "Of course it is. You're lucky I found a lifebeat at all, Derrick."

"Yeah, I know that." Derrick found his eyes resting on Kiandra and Soren as they danced, and looked away bitterly as her eyes met his, feeling his face heat up, his thinking cloud.

Derrick kicked himself in the shin, wincing at the effects. What was he, an adolescent girl? What made it so hard to look at her?

"Something on your mind?" Kathering asked.

"Maybe." Derrick replied. "Nothing worth hearing. It's not even your place to ask."

"Have you talking to Jon about it?"

"No. Sort of. He doesn't understand."

"What he doesn't understand is why you can't stomach the sight eachother anymore!" Kathering snapped. "Everyone's noticed it. Do yourself a favor and cut in on their dance. It'll save you a lot of grief."

"Why would I do that? I'd barely be able to keep up."

"It doesn't matter if you can keep up. It'll save you a lot of hardship if you do. Trust me."

"What do you expect, Kathering? I'm a failure at everything I do! It wouldn't work."

"No, it wouldn't. Not on me. But Kiandra?" Kathering guestured towards the dance floor. "It definitely would. So, go."

Derrick felt his face heating up. She wanted to see him dance with Kiandra so badly?

"Fine!" he turned on his heel and walked towards the dance floor, trying to look compsed, and slipped among the dancers until he found Soren.

"Mind if I cut in?" he asked, trying to ignore the surprise on Kiandra's face.

After a long pause, Soren stepped away from Kiandra. "Sure." he said casually. "Have fun."

Derrick took a deep breath, and then held out his hand. "Are we going to dance, Princess, or are you just going to stand there?"

Kiandra raised one eyebrow, then took his hand and began to guide him through the dance.

"You haven't done this in a while, have you?"

"No." Derrick said, watching their feetto mimick the rythem. "I haven't gotten my pendant back, either."

Kiandra blushed. "I wasn't sure when a good time would be to give it back."

"And does it still signify what it's supposed to, or is it a parting gift?"

"Excuse me?"

"I'm more of a gentleman then you give me credit for, Kiandra. If you wanted to forget about it, I'd understand it."

They finished the dance in silence. Then, at the last turn, Kiandra gave her answer.

"Who else would marry a runaway but another runaway? No one wants me now. My parents included. And you need someone who will make you do what the healers tell you. I know you don't take the painkillers unless you have to."

Derrick blinked, unsure of what she meant for a moment, before trying to hide a smile.

"Whatever you say, Princess."

The End

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