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Three Times Madmartigan Acted Like an Idiot (and One Time He Wasn't the Only One)

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"You took my skirt!"

There are questions, accusations that Sorsha finds easy to shrug off or deflect. And then there are things like this, people like this, who insist on being annoying and making things less easy than they could be.

Happily, according to Kael, Madmartigan is somewhat ... unique. (This, she believes immediately. There's just not that many men who can wear pink and make it work for them.)

"I'm sorry, was it your favorite?" It's much more likely he stole it, she thinks.

"Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it," he says.

"What's that supposed to mean?" As if she doesn't know. As if she's not entirely aware that practically none of her mother's solders are women.

"Air flow," Madmartigan says. "It's wonderful. So light and ... airy. Everyone should try wearing a skirt at least once."

"You're mad." She pictures Kael in a skirt. It's not pretty.

"Cold, actually."

Madmartigan in a pink loincloth is ... acceptable. "I'd assume the air flow is quite good."

"That was a joke. I was joking."

"Good. I'd hate for you to catch the sniffles and become even more pathetic than you already are."



"Will you stop shoving your hair in my face!"

The really annoying thing is: she remembers every word he said to her.

"Then you stop trying to crush me to death!"

Or, well, not every word - that would really be pitiful. Just the ones he said to her That Night. He seems to claim he'd gone mad for a while. Given that 'mad' is more or less his default setting though, she can't quite dismiss the feeling it must have been something else.

"Then you stop acting like some fragile flower!"

"Then you shut up!"

"Please," his smaller (and less loud) friend says. "You're upsetting the baby."

"If you're trying to kill me, use an actual weapon," she says, more softly. "You seemed comfortable enough holding a knife against my throat before."

"Hostage situations don't count," he says, his tone almost normal. "I told you: I'd like to break your leg. Not your neck. And anyway, I got over it."

"You got over it."

"Now, I'd just like to cut off your hair."



He could have chased after her a little bit longer.

He could have tied her up so she couldn't have gotten away in the first place. (She's glad he didn't, but still. Stupid.)

He could have snuck into her tent and slipped out again with the baby without waking her up. Maybe.



"Your fighting style is flashy and showy, and it leaves your left side wide open."

"Is that why you kissed me?"

"You looked ridiculous with that helmet on your head." Appearances, in this case, are not deceiving, she thinks. Defending a deserted castle against a small army that includes two of the Queen's best warriors. It's insanity. Madness.



"Admit it," Madmartigan says. "You underestimated me. You thought I was just some idiot who was in love with you, but I'm not."

"In love with me?"

"An idiot."

"May I remind you that I kissed you? You didn't do anything!"

"Hey! What kind of guy do you think I am? Just because I love you, that doesn't mean I'm going to kiss you. In fact, how'd you even know I wanted you to kiss me, huh?"

"Did you?"

"Well, yeah. But you could have asked."

"Right in the middle of a battle."


"We should probably get back to that."


"Shall we?"

"You might want to stay out of the way. I mean, I might accidentally cut your hair or something."

"Try not to. I won't kiss you again if you do."

"So does that mean you will if I don't?"