Looking through my files, I happened upon this "deleted scene" that apparently I had all set up for a chapter and then took out. So, here's a small side-story that I just re-discovered!
I looked over at Leon. We were both lazing around this morning, taking our sweet time in packing up. "You know what I just thought of?" I asked suddenly.
"Hm?" He glanced at me from where he was inspecting his sword.
"We should take a day off. Let's just stay here for the day and rest. That sword obviously isn't going anywhere."
"Are you sure?" He looked at me doubtfully.
"Oh come on! We're not doing anything too quickly at the moment anyway. Let's just rest for the day." I flopped down my bedroll. "I could sure go for a mid-morning nap..."
He stood up, sheathing his sword. "I'm going to go make sure nothing can surprise you in your sleep."
I smirked and rolled over my side. My ears caught the sound of him walking away until finally I couldn't hear his footfalls any longer. Once I was sure he was gone, I swiftly changed into something with a little less...cloth to it. I knew where a spring lay nearby, and I didn't want him watching me.
I walked to the spring swiftly, avoiding bushes and other things that could potentially leave scratches on my bare legs. When I reached it I immediately ran and jumped into the water. The cold temperature froze me for a moment before I grew accustomed to it, at which point I was already swimming around.
A small waterfall splashed over the deepest part of the pool, and I scrambled to the top just to jump again. It had been a long time since I had swam like this and I felt very happy to be doing so. A laugh bubbled to my throat as I broke the water's surface from a dive.
When I went to go for another jump, a voice stopped me. "Kat? What are you doing?"
I whirled around and immediately my face heat up in a blush. "L-Leon! I... Um... I wanted to go swimming, and, uh... Good lord this is embarrassing..." I slunk back into the water. "What are YOU doing?"
"I heard splashing so I came to see what was going on." He shook himself and turned away.
I sighed softly. "Would you...like to swim with me?"
"Only if you want me to."
"Get in here before I push you in." I watched as he relieved himself of his sword, cloak, boots, and shirt. As he turned around, I gasped and my eyes widened.
He stood right in front of me. "What?"
I was too busy staring at him to answer. "Ah! What did you say?"
"Why are you staring at me?"
"I'm not staring!" I splashed him and swam to the other side of the spring. "You're so vain."
He chuckled warmly. "You didn't think I looked like this!"
"W-well... No... I always imagined you looking...skeletal." I could feel my cheeks taking on a scarlet hue.
"Because being a trained knight would give me absolutely NO muscle, right?"
"Just shut up!" I swam up behind him and dunked him under water. He came back up, coughing. "I'm a bit clueless, ok?!"
"All right, all right..." He laughed and splashed me lightly. "Let's just forget about it and have fun."
I nodded eagerly and proceeded to literally swim circles around him.
For about the next hour we swam together, laughing and splashing each other. It was hard for me to tear my gaze away from him. How could he have possibly looked so...so toned without me knowing? In honesty I felt a bit betrayed. I have a right to know what's under the breastplate LONG before this!
Yet, a part of me also reasoned that he might have been a bit self-conscious. I noticed a scar that was obviously from a wound of ages gone by that ran him through. He...was lucky to be alive. And he knew it. I felt a part of me go out to him, but at the same time I knew he probably didn't want my sympathy.
I was so wrapped up in my thoughts as I climbed the rocks again that I wasn't paying attention and stepped wrong. In a split second my hands slipped and I toppled backward, a scream leaving no time for air intake. I hit the water with a resounding smack. My vision grew foggy, and I sank lower in the pool. Just when I was ready to pass out, I felt something grab me by my waist and carry me to the surface.
All at once my mind returned to me. Leon set me on the outside of the spring, kneeling next to me as I coughed up water. "Are you all right?"
"I think so..." I managed between coughs. "Ow... Goodness..."
He pressed his hand to my back. "That sounded like it hurt."
"It did." I took a deep breath, wincing. "I think I'm done swimming for the day."
Leon nodded and helped me up. I stumbled into him with a weak cry. He caught me in his arms, looking down at me in alarm. "Kat?!"
"Nothing. Let's just go." I smiled slightly and turned.
I began to head back to the camp when he stopped me by grabbing my arm. "Kat, are you ok? Do you want me to carry you or anything?"
Two answers popped into my head at that moment. No, I wasn't ok, for my fall triggered an old injury; and yes, I would most certainly like to be carried. Unfortunately, I said the exact opposite of both these answer. "No, I'm fine. But, um, thanks for asking."
"Why are you limping, then?"
He noticed. I sighed in defeat. "About a year ago I fell out of a tree and injured my ankle. Since then it's given me problems from time to time."
"I see... Well then, I guess we can't have you walking on it, can we?"
The next instant I found myself very close to his chest. A small squeak emitted from my throat. "Gah, Leon...!"
"Did I hurt you?"
"N-no, but... Aren't I too heavy for you?"
He smiled slightly. "No. Why?"
"Oh... No reason..." I slung one arm around his neck. He started walking back to the camp with me in his arms. I nuzzled up closer to him. He was very warm, and being this close to him wasn't as un-enjoyable as I had thought. And for the first time in my life, I was actually thankful that I had fallen out of that tree the year before.
I think I'm beginning to remember why I never put it in the actual story... Oh well.
Reviews are appreciated!