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Peace and Quiet (Supposedly)

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“This is nice, isn’t it?” Ho-Tan says, resting her head against Vex’s shoulder.

“Hmm…” Vex mumbles, and Ho-Tan realises that he has fallen asleep.

“Vex?” she whispers, and Vex jumps slightly.

“What?” he says blearily, smiling when he sees Ho-Tan looking at him.

“I said this is nice,” she says.

Vex nods and leans his head against Ho-Tan’s. “Yes, it is, isn’t it? Very peaceful.”

“Yes, it’s nice to have some time to ourselves,” Ho-Tan says.

She doesn’t dislike their fellow Elders (far from it), but it is nice for her and Vex to just spend some time together, alone, just as most couples do. Which is why they are sat alone in the best sitting room (the one with the big fireplace; everyone loves this room), cuddled up together on the sofa, simply staring at the fire and nearly falling asleep. It is so peaceful like this, and Ho-Tan is grateful that the other Elders have let them spend time together undisturbed.

---

Sometime later, Ho-Tan wakes up, not even realising that she had fallen asleep. She opens her eyes to see Elder Pressley wandering through the room, looking a bit groggy and very confused.

She sighs. “Pressley?”

He turns to look at her, and Ho-Tan instantly knows he is drunk. “Yes, Ho-Tan?”

“What are you doing in here?”

“What, shouldn’t I be in here?” he says, glancing around the room.

“No,” Ho-Tan says, and she can’t help but smile.

“Why not?”

“Because me and Vex are supposed to be having a quiet evening together.”

Pressley’s eyes widen. “Of course. Sorry.”

“Never mind. Why were you in here, anyway?”

“I was looking for my whiskey,” Pressley says. “Have you seen it?”

“I saw Trevor with a bottle earlier. Could that be it?”

Pressley suddenly looks a lot more alert. “That thieving blob. I’ll get him for stealing my whiskey.”

As Pressley storms out of the room, Ho-Tan starts laughing.

“What’s funny?” Vex mumbles, barely waking up.

“Nothing,” she says, deciding it is easier to explain that way.

---

Ho-Tan is watching the flames dance in the fire (at least until one of them gets a move wrong and the others yell at them), when the door opens. And she sits up sharply when Elder Flowers wanders into the room, stark naked and humming to himself.

“Flowers!” she says, having one of those ‘I don’t want to look but can’t stop looking’ moments as she uses her hand to block Flowers’ nudity from her vision.

He looks at her and grins sheepishly. “Sorry, wrong room.”

Vex awakes, and his eyes widen as he looks at Flowers. “Ah, Flowers is naked again.”

“Yes… um… sorry about that,” Flowers says, and he covers his groin with his hands as he edges back out of the room.

“Honestly,” Ho-Tan says, cuddling up to Vex again. Who is going to bother them next?

---

Ho-Tan awakes with a start as she hears Trevor scream. Seconds later, Trevor zooms into the room, closely followed by Pressley, who is in turn followed by Elder Choop.

“Help me!” Trevor cries, rushing past Ho-Tan and Vex.

“Give it back!” Pressley yells, tripping over his cloak as he chases after Trevor. He goes tumbling to the floor, hitting the floor with such a thud that Vex jolts himself awake.

“Ah! What’s going on?” he mumbles, his eyes wide.

Ho-Tan pats his arm. “It’s all right, Vex. Pressley is just trying to kill Trevor for stealing his whiskey.”

“Innocent until proven guilty,” Trevor says.

“I think you’ve been reading those crime novels Debbie gave us, Trevor,” Choop says, putting his foot on Pressley’s back to stop him getting up and chasing Trevor again. “Because our legal system doesn’t work that way. I’m afraid you are actually guilty until proven innocent.”

“Ha!” Pressley yells.

“Crud,” Trevor says.

As the three Elders yell and argue about laws and whiskey and crime novels, Ho-Tan sighs and grabs Vex’s hand.

“Come on, let’s just go to bed,” she says, and they leave the other Elder’s to bicker on their own.