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Contingency Plan

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Getz sighed when Holbio volunteered him to help check the border for further erosion. This was the bit he disliked most about being a member of the ward Circle, holding the blasted land together. Unfortunately, using his elemental skill set came with the job. Shoving himself to his feet, he slumped down the hill to find Holbio waiting for him.

"So what's the contingency plan, anyway?"

Blinking, Getz stared at Holbio. "I think we're just meant to keep this bit of the world together. There's no contingency plan, mate. That's it."

"No, I mean them." Holbio gestured his head up the hill where the other two just sat. "I'm assuming that's as serious as I believe it is."

"I think we're definitely going to see her again, yeah." Getz said, walking on. "I don't know how long for, though."

They stopped a few paces on and prodded the ground. There were a few minor cracks still hanging about, but they were pushed back together with minimal effort, and nothing new seemed to be forming. Holbio nudged one with his foot until it shivered away, and then glanced back over his shoulder, towards where they'd left Clef and Umi.

"It's just-" he started, and hesitated.

Getz pulled a face at the ground and trudged on a bit further. "He did get the law changed. Well. A bit changed. …It's not completely treason, anyway." Holbio snorted. "It's a stupid bit of law anyway! If anyone tries to make a fuss about it - well, Aveo'll probably deal with them. She likes the girl."

"He bought her a promise box." Holbio caught up to him. "Because nothing says 'look at the treason I'm committing' like buying a commemorative gift - oh, stop eying me like that, I don't care he's breaking some legislation that should never have been written in the first place. But - he's in love with her. And she is… she seems very young? Very determined, at least at the moment, and she looks at him with the same expression he does her, but…"

"What do we do when they have a huge explosive fight and it breaks his heart because they're both too stubborn for their own good?" Getz waved a hand at the ground. "What do you think we do?"

"…Hide behind Aveo?"

"Absolutely," Getz grinned. The expression faded a few moments later, and he glared at the next crack in the ground until it shuddered back together before they even reached it, without bothering with words or gesture. "You said it. He's in love with her. He's tried cursed hard not to be, this last year - Aveo even went off to the Castle to see what she was like. You know how hard it is to get her to the Castle? I don't think we get a contingency plan for this. I don't think we can do anything but hope. And hold on hard as we can when it all goes to shit somehow."

Holbio sighed and shook his head. "Well, at least there's two of us to try and ground him if he panics. Why did someone stubborn enough to be Guru have to be a lightning-mage, of all things!"

"Because he's stubborn enough to be Guru so he's stubborn enough to make lightning behave? Come on, we'd better get a move on," Getz said, and raised an eyebrow when Holbio muttered something about his legs. "…You remember I'm your Healer, right? There's nothing wrong with your legs right now."

"There will be if we try walking a full circuit!" Holbio complained, but he kept walking.

"Look, we're about at the end of the disturbance here, and didn't you mostly want to give them some time alone, anyway?" It'd been Holbio's idea for the two of them to go check things out in the first place. "If we turn back at the end of this field it'll be fine."

So they did. Several minutes later, they neared the side of the hill only to hear Umi shouting at Clef, her words echoing down into the valley.

"You know," said Holbio, turning around and walking back the way they'd just come. "I think I've changed my mind. A full circuit isn't that bad an idea."

"Yeah," Getz agreed. "We should probably double check the stability of-" he glanced back "-everything?"

They only checked the same bit of border a second time and perhaps half as far again before heading back toward the hill in the hope that the dramatics had ceased. Getz was practically dragging his feet as they walked along.

Holbio nudged him with an elbow. "Something wrong with your legs?"

"Shove off," Getz pushed him aside. "You and I both know there's only so much you can do for a power drain. You don't have any snacks with you, do you?"

"No. Just the water and probably about a quarter of a bottle of last year's wine."

"We might need that if they're still at it when we get back."

Things were mostly quiet when they made it back up the hill, which seemed to be a good thing and not a sign that things had imploded something awful while they'd been away. Both Umi and Clef were still in respectable health and more or less composed when Getz returned with Holbio.

And the ground was still solid, so it couldn't have been that bad.