SIM:Reinard Sims/Loitering Within Tent

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This sim was posted September 3013 and depicts a day in Greir Reinard's childhood where he had to cope with being rejected from the school's Futbash team and was cheered up and inspired by a trip to the circus.


((Reinard Residence, Kanuri, Rania Province, Til’Ahn))


::Dropped off from school, the slam of the gate was the only indication that Greir was home as he slinked inside, kicked off his boots and flung his dripping rain-cloak over the peg. Proceeding upstairs there was some scuffling and bumping as he dragged his bag upstairs with him, followed by the scraping of chair legs on wood. With Greir installed at his desk once more he rummaged in his pack and brought out the exercises he needed to do for the next school day. ::


::Greir’s face was scrunched up into an angry frown and he chuntered quietly under his breath as he read over his exercises. He had to re-read the instructions numerous times as his mind was elsewhere. He had just come from the Futbash tryouts for the school’s junior team and it had not gone remotely well. Not only that but it was made plain to him that he was never going to be able to get a place on the team so he should just stop trying. That was his first real aspiration dashed and the disappointment was crushing.::


::Rori always listened out to hear when Greir arrived back from school. He’d been wondering all day how his tryouts had gone; Greir had his heart set on being able to get into the school team and had been talking about it for weeks now. In fact, that had been the most Rori had heard him talk about a particular topic for as long as he could remember. His nephew wasn’t particularly outgoing and, while the two of them shared a close family bond, Greir tended to be the sort who would graft away under his own steam for most of the night on homework and school projects. He seemed to be pushing himself hard to succeed and to make Rori proud of him. The truth was, Rori saw him as his own son and he was always proud of him.::


::The fact that Greir had gone straight up to his room rather than come in to say hello spoke volumes about how things had gone at the tryouts. Leaving a half-chopped voard on the cutting board, Rori wiped down his hands on a towel and hurried up the stairs, knocking on the door before poking his head around it.::


Rori: Greir?


::Greir didn't look up from the work he'd surrounded himself with. He had a lone PADD with some assignments and notes on it, numerous books and exercise jotters around. His reply was disgruntled and the glare never left his face.::


Greir: HMMPH!


::Rori’s face was painted with commiseration. He opened the door and stepped inside Greir’s room, closing it behind him.::


Rori: You want to talk about it?


::Greir kept his eyes on his work, not that he was making any progress with it but he was so gutted he couldn't stand to look at anyone much less talk to them. There wasn't much to say on the matter anyway, he hadn't got into the team and it was self-evident.::


::What could he say. It was just another thing he wasn't good enough for and it burned.::


Greir: ::A little louder and defiantly.:: HMMPH! No.


::Rori’s brow furrowed. Greir had come home from school in a funk before but this was the worst he’d seen him in a long time. He had to have been told he didn’t make the team, that was the only explanation. Nothing else could have him this upset. Travelling over to Greir’s desk, Rori placed a hand on the back of his chair and squatted down alongside him.::


Rori: You know, when I was a kid, probably about your age, I really wanted to be an astronaut. I talked to some of my teachers and asked them what I needed to do, made sure they knew I was serious and it wasn’t just some silly dream. They were really good about it, told me what subjects to take, helped out where they could. And I never made it. ::He smiled wistfully.:: Didn’t get the grades I needed. One of my professors told me I wasn’t smart enough.


Greir: ::Disbelieving:: That's crazy you're one of the smartest people I know.


::He turned his head slightly towards Rori without looking directly at him and listened closely.::


Rori: You know what, though? I don’t regret the fact I was never an astronaut because the important thing was how hard I tried. I’ll always be proud of that. Just like I’m proud of how hard you tried. And I’d pick you for my Futbash team any day of the week. First pick.


::He lifted his hand up from the back of Greir’s chair and gave his shoulder a reassuring rub, hoping his words were getting through to him.::


Greir: Thanks but you'd have a terrible team then. oO How can you be proud of failure? What does it matter if you tried if it amounts to nothing? My family did not make all of these sacrifices for me to be a failure. Oo


::Greir sighed. As much as he appreciated what Rori was trying to do, he was sick of being an incapable loser. It was what had brought him here in the first place and he seemed destined to stay one. He was beginning to think no amount of hard work was ever going to pay off.::

::He cleared his desk suddenly with a sweep of the arm and rested his forehead on the desk, using both his arms to cover his head.::


::Rori felt his heart sink a little bit as he saw Greir slump deeper into his funk. He was always so hard on himself and didn’t tolerate even the slightest personal failure. Rori knew he was going to have to teach him that no-one could live like that for their whole lives if they ever wanted a shot at being happy. He withdrew his hand from Greir’s shoulder as he cleared his desk, bending down to pick up the things he’d scattered.::


Rori: Come on, Greir... Look, buddy, the truth is that there are lots of things we want to do in life but we can’t do them all. You try as hard as you can and give things your best shot, but if they don’t pan out then you dust yourself off and you stand proud. There are a million things you haven’t tried yet and you’ve got such a long time before you find out what your calling is.


::He piled everything he could next to the desk, then took a trip over to his nephew’s bed, perching on the end of it. Greir obviously wanted some space and crowding him wasn’t going to help.::


Rori: You know something? I wouldn’t care if other people told me our Futbash team was awful. Not even for a second. I would just enjoy the fact that I’d get to play with one of the most hard working and dedicated kids on the whole of Til’ahn. I don’t know what they said to you today but they’re obviously not seeing what I see, which is someone with a heart so big and an intelligent enough mind that you could inspire anyone to do anything. If they can’t see that, it’s their loss and one day they’ll realise how much they messed up by not giving you a shot.


::Greir sat up and wiped his face with his sleeve a few times. He swivelled around in his seat a little, dangling an arm over the back of it.::


Greir: ::With hanging head:: A big heart and intelligence doesn't win games. ::Glancing at Rori briefly:: I'm not... I'm not fast enough, and I have rubbish reflexes. Not even just a bit bad, but properly awful.


::Rori really hoped that some teacher or other hadn’t said that to him in those words, otherwise he would be paying a trip to the school.::


Rori: Who told you that? And how did they decide? From watching you play?


::Greir had got to play, his muddy, rain soaked clothes were testament to that and had really been enjoying himself too - right up until he was eliminated from the tryouts and given the verdict. In fact it had put him off playing all sports. If there was one thing Greir hated it was being rubbish at things.::


Greir: I was the first one eliminated, Dad. ::He shrugged in defeat:: They are right - I was terrible. Can I get a pardon? I don't want to play sports this year. I would rather just watch.


::On the one hand, Rori wanted to say no. He didn’t like the idea of Greir giving up so easily. On the other, he wanted to give him what he wanted. Greir had been lumbered with a rough deal since he was tiny; he hadn’t even had the opportunity to grow up in his family home. His fielding was still causing him problems and this wasn’t the first time he’d come back from school beating himself up about something or other. He decided to defer until he could have a proper think.::


Rori: Let me see what I can do. We’ll talk about it seriously in another couple of weeks. I’ll definitely see if I can fix up a temporary one though, OK?


::Greir nodded vigorously. He appreciated that Rori hadn't simply dismissed the idea completely and told him he had to carry on playing sports.::


Greir: Okay. That's fair.


Rori: Now will you give me a hug already? It looks like you could use one and you know I hate it when you’re down like this.


::Greir got off his chair and almost charged at Rori, wrapping his arms around him and squeezing tight. Rori returned the favour, making sure Greir felt reassured and safe.::


Rori: That’s better. It’s going to be OK. You’ve always been my champ and that’s never going to change.


::Greir could feel his anxiety levels drop a little as he hugged his uncle. It didn't matter what happened, Rori was always there for him and Greir appreciated that more than anything else.::


Greir: Love you. ::Clinging on::


::Rori’s heart swelled as he squeezed his surrogate son, pleased that he’d been able to lift his spirits a little bit.::


Rori: Love you too.


::Just a few words of reassurance didn’t seem like enough to fix Greir’s day. Rori wanted to do something special for him and he remembered having seen flyers up around town for a travelling circus who had specifically geared themselves to be low-tech. That would be the ideal thing to not set off Greir’s fielding headaches. Rubbing Greir’s back a little before breaking the hug just enough to be able to look at him properly to talk to, Rori decided to suggest it to him.::


Rori: How about we go out and do something tonight? I have a really good idea for a treat.


::Greir looked up in surprise with big, curious eyes. He didn't think he'd done anything that merited a treat but he wasn't going to let that get in the way of something potentially fun.::


Greir: Yeah! What are we going to do? ::Sounding a little excited.::


::Greir’s change in mood set a smile spreading across Rori’s face.::


Rori: We’re gonna go... to...


Greir: ...yes? ::Smiling with anticipation::


::Rori’s eyes flashed with mischief.::


Rori: Wait for it...


::Greir saw the mischief and knew something great was coming and it made him all the more restless and excitable. He was practically wriggling about with restless energy now. Rori always knew the right things to say and do. ::


Greir: What!? Come on and tell me. ::Impatiently::


Rori: The circus!!! It’s going to be so much fun! There are posters up about it all round town and I bet most of the people in it are going to be really famous!


::He hadn’t got a clue whether or not they would or wouldn’t be, but he could hardly sell it by saying they were going to see a bunch of amateurs performing now, could he?::


Greir: Yay!


::Greir sprang up and jumped around the room merrily with his hands in the air. ::


Greir: This is going to be so great! When does it start?


::Rori looked across at the clock on Greir’s shelf, a look of mock horror quickly forming on his face.::


Rori: Uh-oh... you know what? I think we only just have enough time to get changed and hurry out if we’re going to make it. I’m just gonna have to buy you some food when we get there!


::Greir tugged on Rori's sleeve and giggled.::


Greir: Come on, we don't want to miss this!


::He was really looking forward to spending some time with Rori and was sure the circus was going to be absolutely amazing.::


::Rori laughed and ruffled Greir’s hair. He was pleased he’d not only managed to cheer Greir up but give him something positive to look forward to. The voards would just have to remain half chopped on the counter for now.::


Rori: Alright, scamp, alright. I’m going! Pick your favourite outfit and I’ll go change into something that doesn’t make me look like a kitchen assistant. Meet you by the front door in five minutes, last one there’s a pletrok!


Greir: Haha! I'm going to beat you! ::With mischievous determination::


::Rori shuffled himself off casually to his bedroom. He only really needed to change his shirt to make sure he would look presentable enough for a night out at the circus, which wasn’t an occasion that you particularly had to dress up for. He made sure that his door was pulled closed enough that Greir wouldn’t be able to see whether or not he was still inside but open enough so that he could hear when he hurried off down the stairs. He had every intention of being the pletrok.::


::Greir bounded over to his wardrobe and started pulling things out. What was he going to wear!? This was going to be fantastic so he had to be dressed in something that was suitably great but he only had five minutes to choose. He pulled off his muddy, soggy clothes and threw them towards the door. If he'd had more time he'd have washed properly. Instead he pulled on some dark blue trousers and a nice, yellow top with a high neck and black stitched details. He went thundering down the stairs determined to be first and started pulling on a pair of dry boots.::


Greir: ::Yelling:: Hurry up! We're going to be late!


::Once he was sure Greir was by the door, Rori came thundering out of his room and clomping noisily down the stairs. When he saw Greir there already in his shoes, he made a big show of being gutted at the loss.::


Rori: Awwwwwww no! I don’t believe it! I’m the pletrok! And I don’t even have my shoes on!


Greir: Haha! Not so slow after all eh? I'm the greatest! Now let's go, if we're quick we can get good seats! ::Bubbly::


::Rori crammed his feet into his shoes as quickly as possible, without bothering to undo the laces. If he’d seen Greir doing that then he probably would have made him take them off and start again but in this case he felt it was warranted.::


Rori: OK then... grab onto this! ::He grabbed an umbrella and passed it to Greir.:: I’m just going to get my cloak.


::He walked down the hall and pulled it off the peg, then came back, pulling it around him and making sure he had enough blits in his pocket for the circus as well as food.::


Rori: Go go go! The circus waits for no-one! ::He unfastened the door then took the umbrella, ready to put it up and then lock the door.::


::Greir hurried outside and waited for Rori to lock up. ::


Greir: Come on, come on. ::Clearly in a hurry.::


::Rori started out at a brisk walk. He wanted to make sure they would be there when the show started. Greir fell into step with Rori and walked right next to him. As was usual when he got particularly interested in something he started bombarding Rori with a bunch of questions as they hurried along.::


((Outside the Circus Tent, Edge of Kanuri))


::Rori had enjoyed the walk; despite the fact they’d had to rush a little bit and the fact it was quite muddy out, Greir had seemed to be content enough to talk away for the whole trip. Rori loved it when he engaged his inquisitive side and he’d done his best to answer every question to the best of his ability. Where Greir had found gaps in his knowledge, he’d made educated guesses. Greir was now the equivalent of a little circus expert, for someone of his age, at least.::


Rori: Well, this is it. ::The tent was bigger than he’d thought it would be, which was a good start:: What do you think?


::Greir looked about the place at the crowd forming and the brightly coloured tent, which was absolutely enormous. He could already hear some music coming from the tent and tugged on Rori's sleeve to hurry him along.::


Greir: Wow! It's really packed. I love all the bright colours. That's the biggest tent I’ve ever seen! Can we get one?


Rori: What? A big tent?


::The older Laudean chuckled to himself.::


Greir: Yeah but not any old tent... one of those! ::Pointing at it::


Rori: I’ll tell you what we can get. Some grub. Otherwise they’re not going to be able to hear the music in there over our rumbly stomachs. It looks like you can get tickets from the places they sell food anyway, so we can do both at the same time.


Greir: Okay!


::Greir wasn't picky, he was just happy to be out on an adventure. ::


::They stopped at the nearest stall rather than battling through the crowds. It was selling freta, meat patties with some fried vegetables and sauce inside a wrap. They smelled delicious.::


Rori: What do you think, scamp? One of those each?


Greir: ::Nodding enthusiastically:: Yes please!


::By now he was very hungry indeed and would have been happy to eat anything short of insects.::


::Rori ordered up two fretas and two tickets. He didn’t have to wait long before everything he’d ordered came his way. The prices weren’t even that bad. If tonight went well then it looked like they might be able to make this a more regular thing, whenever the circus was in town.::


Rori: ::Handing Greir his freta.:: There you go... that should keep you going while we queue.


Greir: Thank you.


::Greir didn’t waste a second and started eating it immediately. He hadn’t had it before but it was quite tasty. He continued to look around. It was getting harder to read the posters and see the stands as the place was filling up quickly. He absently kept closer to Rori’s side - he didn’t want to get lost in the crowds.::


Rori: Looks like we made it just in time to get a halfway decent seat. It’s a good job you were hurrying me along, or we might have missed it!


::The queue went up some stairs, but it didn’t look like there were masses of people between them and the tent. No doubt there would be more coming.::


Greir: ::Nodding:: I think the whole town is here. I didn’t know it was going to be this busy.


Rori: Or me, scamp... or me...


::Rori quickly finished eating and put a hand on Greir’s shoulder so that he could make sure they stayed together. They would be alright once they got onto the stairs as the crowds were separated out into several single-file queues by the hand rails; there was room for two or three people to stand side by side in between each rail, but Rori figured that the event staff were probably on the case in order to keep everyone safe. As they reached the bottom of the stairs, his and Greir’s tickets were checked and they joined the line, ready for the slow journey to find their seats.::


Rori: Excited?


Greir: ::Nodding vigorously:: Sure am! This is going to be great! What about you?


::The queue couldn't move fast enough as far as Greir was concerned. He just wanted to get seated as quickly as possible.::


Rori: Yep! This is going to be fantastic! I’m glad we decided to come.


::He was looking forward to seeing the show but it was worth it most of all to see Greir so excited and happy. With a bit of luck, the disappointment he’d suffered earlier in the day would be a distant memory by the time they got home.::


Rori: Not just that but there’s no school tomorrow, which means we get to talk about it all day!


::Greir was already forgetting about those awful tryouts as he had something very different to focus his attention on. It looked as though the weekend was going to work out to be pretty good after all.::


Greir: This is going to be great.


::They queued for a while longer, listening to the music coming from inside the circus tent, slowly getting closer and closer to the entrance. Snatches of conversation hit Rori’s ears and he was surprised and pleased at how little energy he was fielding from the tent itself. From the queue to his right, Rori heard a female voice cutting through the others. As he listened, he realised it was a mother talking to her young daughter.::


Mother: Mutye, be careful with that or you’ll drop it! Hold it tight, there’s a good girl!

::Thinking nothing of it, he took another step up the stairs, smiling down at Greir. They were only a few more steps away from getting into the tent.::


Mother: MUTYE! Oh... look what you’ve done! I said you’d drop it!


::An anguished wail followed by the sound of a young girl crying cut through the crowd. Concerned, Rori looked around to see what was going on. Greir’s attention was immediately drawn to the sound of the mother who could be heard above the general mumbling and chatter of the surrounding crowd.::


Rori: Did that little girl drop her toy?


::Greir was an observant kid and not much got by him. Rori couldn’t see where it had gone but he was prepared to bet his last blit that Greir could see it.::


::Greir had been paying attention to what was going on and his face was set in a frown as he saw how distressed the little girl was at having lost it.::


Greir: Yeah. ::Looking for the teddy.:: Look it’s just over there. People keep kicking and standing on it. It’s going to get ruined. ::Pointing towards it.::


::Rori looked in the direction that Greir was pointing; there was a stuffed teek teek bumping its way slowly down the stairs. No-one really seemed to be paying it much attention.::


Mother: No, we’re not going back now. We’ll have to hope one of the staff will hand it in. We’ve just queued all the way up the stairs!


::The girl didn’t answer, but the crying intensified. It was obvious that the toy meant a lot to her. Rori felt awful for her and couldn’t believe that her mother wasn’t willing to go back and get it. The other people in the queue probably hadn’t seen it; most of them were concentrating on the tent up ahead.::


Rori: Poor kid.


::Greir nodded sympathetically. He wished someone would pick it up and pass it back but no-one had noticed. They were all concentrating on their own things.::


Greir: I could hand it back…


::Rori felt a swell of pride. He wasn’t about to let Greir fight through the crowds on his own, which meant that if they went to get the toy they would lose their own place in the queue and have to start again. They had tickets, so they were guaranteed a seat, but they most likely wouldn’t get any choice about where they were shoehorned in.::


Rori: You wanna do it, scamp? We’d have to queue up again, but it would make that little girl happy. I’d come with you as well, watch your back and be your wing man. What do you say?


::Greir grinned happily to think that he could reunite the girl with her lost toy. He knew that would need to be quick before they were gone completely. He didn’t really mind that they would lose their place in the queue and just saw it as a minor inconvenience that they would have to wait a bit longer to get in.::


Greir: Come on! ::brightly::


::Greir tugged on Rori’s arm keen to be the hero and return the lost treasure to the damsel in distress.::


Rori: Yeah… alright, let’s do it!


::It was easier for Greir to go under the barriers than Rori, so he climbed up and over. That did pull the attention of several people from the crowd who started to complain loudly about the fact that they needed to ‘get in line’. Rori ignored them, encouraging Greir as he chased after the toy in the quest to save it before it had its stuffing stomped out of it.::


Rori: Go on little buddy! Nearly there!


::Greir zipped past a sea of legs undeterred in his quest. He was quite unaware of indignant complaints as he squeezed past and snatched it up. He looked back to Rori with a proud, victorious expression as he held it up like some kind of trophy.::


Greir: I got it!


::This was turning out to be quite a lot of fun and the pay off for Greir was going to be great as well. Rori beamed at his surrogate son, pointing at him as he made a prideful observation.::


Rori: You have always got it! Let’s go, kiddo!


::Greir took off after the little girl. He could still hear her up ahead and it helped him seek her out. The little girl soon noticed him coming as he squeezed past people, excusing himself as he went. She called out for her teddy and reached towards it as he finally reached her and triumphantly handed it over.::


::Rori watched as the little girl took the slighty mucky teek teek and cuddled it tight, overjoyed to be reunited with it. Once she’d given it a suitable amount of affection, she started reaching out towards Greir. Evidently she wanted to give him a hug too, to say thank you.::


::Greir couldn’t be happier with the girl’s response and knew it had been worth sacrificing their place to do it. He liked to make people happy and it was clear the teddy was important to her. As she reached out again he looked up to Rori uncertainly but found his attention pulled away pretty quickly by the mother’s voice.::


Mother: Stop rubbing your face all over that, it’s filthy!!! ::She snatched it away from her daughter, who started to cry again, dusted it off angrily and then returned it, which quieted the tears at least a little bit. What are you reaching for?


::She turned around to see Greir stood there with Rori. He calmly and politely explained what was going on.::


Rori: My boy saw that your daughter dropped her toy, so he gave up his place in the queue to go and get it for her. I think she wanted to say thanks.


::The mother looked embarrassed and didn’t speak to Rori, but eyed him suspiciously. Rori raised his eyebrows, ready to let her know what he thought of her if she didn’t do the right thing…::


::...which she duly did and let her daughter down so that she could give Greir his reward, a big, grateful hug. Rori nodded at the mother to let her know that she’d made the right decision.::


Mutye: Thank you thank you thank you!!! You saved teddy! You’re teddy’s hero!


::Greir’s face was set in a frown as he watched the exchange with the mother, waiting to see what would happen. He giggled a bit when the little girl gave him a hug and went slightly pink.::


Greir: You’re welcome! ::Happily::


::Once he had some room to move again he pulled a little hero pose for her, beaming proudly.::


::Rori chuckled away to himself under his breath as his little champ took the opportunity to show off. The girl squealed with laughter as she was scooped up again by her mother.::


Mother: Come on, the queue’s moving.


::She hurriedly thanked Rori, who shrugged and pointed at Greir. She sighed and thanked him too before hurrying to get back into her place.::


Mutye: But mommy, that boy is going to be my boyfriend!


::Rori eyes screwed shut and he strained to hold in a guffaw as he heard the comment. It was the most fantastic response they could any of them have hoped for really, even if it was a little bit unrealistic.::


::Greir was a bit shocked by the little girl’s response and stared up at Rori in disbelief? ::


Greir: Is she… ::He paused with his mouth hanging open:: Am I going to be her boyfriend now?


Rori: No, no… you don’t have to worry about that. She’s a bit young for you anyway, champ, but hey. Doesn’t hurt for her to have someone to look up to, right?


::Greir nodded along and liked that idea she might take inspiration from, or look up to him because he’d done a good deed for her.::


Greir: I guess…


::Rori scruffed his hair, squatting down so that he could talk to Greir without everyone else being able to listen in so well.::


Rori: In fact, that’ll be two people looking up to you. Her, and me, because what you just did was awesome. I’m so proud that you would give up your place in the queue and go out of your way to help her like that when no-one else would. What a star!


::Greir grinned and did his hero pose again. He was so proud of himself and happy with how things worked out that he was on a real high. His uncle Rori’s opinion mattered more to him than anything else so the fact that he’d done so well and made Rori that proud meant everything to him.::


Greir: Thanks! ::Beaming again::


::Rori laughed in delight and attempted to copy the hero pose.::


Rori: How’s this? How am I doing?


::Greir laughed at Rori’s impression of him and there was nothing really wrong with the pose but he wanted to do something anyway, just for fun. He gently pushed one of Rori’s elbows up a little. ::


Greir: Very good but you need to puff your chest out more. ::Doing an exaggerated pose to show him how.::


::Rori sucked in as much air as he could to stick his chest right out, then held it for precisely two seconds before bursting out into fits of laughter.::


Rori: No… no, I’m rubbish at posing compared to you. I’m just going to go ahead and get you to show me how it’s done every time it needs doing. You’re a natural.


Greir: ::Sticking a pointed finger up enthusiastically: Yep! Mum says I’m a real poser! ::Saying it as if it was a good thing.::


::Rori patted Greir on the back a couple of times and then found his feet.::


Rori: Come on then, scamp, we’d better get back in this queue, or it’ll be tomorrow morning before we find a seat!


Greir: Okay, Dad!


::Rori wasn’t really his dad and he knew that but he lived with him and spent more time with him than his real dad. As far as Greir was concerned he had two dads and he loved them both, although secretly he liked Rori better. He just wasn’t rude or nasty enough to ever say such a thing.::


((Circus Tent, Kanuri))


::Following another long bout of queuing, during which Rori and Greir had kept themselves occupied by playing games and guessing what they might find inside the circus tent, the dynamic duo stepped through the entranceway to find that the arena was packed. Rori was relatively sure that there were people sitting on other people down in the front rows. One of the ushers guided them to their seats and he thanked them politely, pausing for just a second at the top of one of the long, stepped gangways of the auditorium-style seating rig so that Greir could take a look at the ring in the middle of the tent.::


Rori: What do you think, scamp? Cool, huh?


::Greir’s eyes were wide with wonder and he kept to Rori’s heels to make sure they didn’t get separated. When he stopped he held on loosely to his uncle’s cloak to make sure he would know if Rori began to move off. He took a really good look around. It was amazing; the whole tent seemed huge, as did the ring itself. He was really looking forward to seeing the show. Some of the posters he’s seen around the site looked incredible so if that was any reliable indication of what was to come it was going to be beyond amazing. ::


::The atmosphere in the tent was electric. He’d never seen such a gathering of people and everyone looked really excited and looking forward to what was about to happen too. ::


Greir: This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen! ::Excitedly::


::Rori smiled. Nothing was happening in the ring yet, so he had a feeling that Greir would be blown away once it all got up and running.::


Rori: Show’s not even started yet. Just you wait. You’re gonna love it!


Greir: Yep, sure am. ::Brightly::


::The ushers showed them to their seats; Rori couldn’t help but notice that they weren’t really moving down any steps, so it looked like they were going to stay high enough that they might get a nosebleed. To his dismay, once they had filed down into the middle of their row, with several people filing in behind them, Rori realised that the people sat in front of them were really quite tall. He was having trouble seeing down to the ring himself, and Greir was shorter than he was.::


Rori: oO You have got to be kidding with this...Oo


::As Greir sat down he realised what the price for leaving the queue was with a little dismay. He tried to look around the tall people in front without getting in the way of the person next to him but it was no use. He sighed quietly and looked at his knees as he considered the possibility that he might not be able to see very much of the show after all. ::


::Rori looked apologetically down at Greir as the lights went down and music struck up, leaning in to talk into his ear.::


Rori: Can you see anything at all?


::Greir didn’t want to complain. Maybe if he was lucky the people in front would hunker down a bit and he’d be able to see something. He decided he would just enjoy what he could and that equated to the dramatic music and light display – if you could call it that.::


Greir: ::Shaking his head absently:: Not yet, but the music is really good.


::That just wasn’t good enough, in Rori’s book. It wasn’t that they’d paid for tickets, or that the ushers should have done their jobs better, it was the fact that he had promised Greir a good night out to take his mind off an awful day. Sitting and staring at someone’s back didn’t really fit that bill and he wasn’t prepared to let the evening end in disappointment.::


::It took him around a minute to decide on the course of action he wanted to take. If Greir stood on his seat then that would be a quick way for the ushers to come and tell him off, and he’d probably have tired legs by the time it was all said and done anyway. That really only left one option. Rori didn’t mind having a restricted view particularly; he’d seen circuses before so he didn’t mind if he missed some parts of this one. All he needed to do was explain his plan to Greir, which he did in a conspiratorial voice, explaining it as if telling him a secret.::


Rori: Greir… get yourself up on my shoulders.


::If there had been anyone behind them he would never have agreed to it because he didn’t want to block anyone else’s view. Since they were on the back row and it wasn’t going to disrupt anyone else he thought about it.::


Greir: Are you sure?


::Rori nodded emphatically and waved for him to climb up.::


Rori: Yeah, come on, scamp, I want you to see this!


Greir: Okay.


::Greir got up and climbed up onto Rori’s shoulders and immediately found he could see so much more. Rori made sure he was good and secure by holding his legs. He could see glimpses of the show between the two people in front of him, but he was glad that Greir could now see everything that was going on.::


Rori: How’s it looking up there? Is the bird’s eye view good?


::Greir watched as the circus burst into life. A pair of teek teek were pulling these wheeled ornate looking, golden carts around the outside of the ring. What was inside the cart appeared a whole lot less graceful and classy. Dressed up in ridiculous attire they seemed to be trying to get the crowd excited as they shot water out of guns, tooted on horns and attempted not to fall out of the cart. It was quite amusing.::


::Further into the centre there was another display that was similar yet different. The performers still wore the silly attire, but they jumped, looped and moved with grace. Balancing on balls, swinging on and through hoops. They leapfrogged each other and held a little pad up every now and then. Whenever one held it up a colourful tsiri bird would fly from one of the other pads and land on it. They would bob their tails, or turn around on the pad and then fly to the next one. It was like they were dancing with the acrobats.::


Greir: That’s amazing! Why are they dressed so silly though?


::Rori caught sight of one of the costumes every now and again as he watched what he could from his limited vantage point. They were quite unusual; it looked like they were made out of ruffles of contrasting colours in strange shapes that billowed out as they moved to the music. When Greir made his comment, he couldn’t help but laugh. This had to be quite an experience for him.::


Rori: It’s all part of the act. They’re supposed to be eye catching. Can you see how they’re billowing out while they’re dancing?


Greir: Yeah!


::Greir watched as the performance continued. It was all very seamless and one act seemed to blend into the next. The music really captured his imagination and the grace and skill displayed by the performers really impressed him. There were big muscular Laudeans who could lift incredibly heavy objects, others who seemed to fly through the air. ::


::Greir liked it when they brought out the monkats. They were a semi-sentient species and the only other one known to have a connection with the fielding. They looked like a cross between a monkey and a cat with feline features and whiskers. They could communicate with each other telepathically and performed some clever tricks with their keepers.::


Greir: Can we have one of those for a pet?


::Rori had never really thought about having pets in the house before. That probably meant that he’d spend most of his time picking animal hair out of his work clothes but hey, he’d never been one to nix something that Greir was enthusiastic about and that wasn’t about to change. It could give him an opportunity to learn how to be responsible for one thing, and for another they did look kind of cool…::


Rori: That depends, buddy! If we did get one then you would have to look after it yourself. It’s a big responsibility. You’d have to feed it, train it not to make a mess in the wrong places, clean up after it if it did… you up for all of that?


::Greir thought about it carefully. It sounded like a lot of work but there was one thing that he was excited about.::


Greir: Yeah! I’m going to get a book and read all about them. Then I’m going to get one and call it Spartle. I’m going to teach it a hundred tricks! ::Enthusiastically::


::Rori had to hold onto Greir’s legs a little tighter during the course of his enthusiastic answer thanks to all the gesticulating. He was pretty sure the rest of the crowd didn’t want to see any unscheduled acrobatics and, besides, he would have been mortified if he’d dropped him. He couldn’t help but smile as he heard how into this Greir was getting, though. Futbash would be a thing of the past in no time now.::


Rori: Spartle, huh? Well, being as you picked out a name already and you just promised to look after him, I guess I don’t have much of a choice other than to say yes, do I?


Greir: ::Jubilantly:: Woohoo! I’m going to be a monkat trainer!


::Greir couldn’t wait. Futbash was a thing of the past.::


Rori: Yeah, you bet you are!


::A lot of the displays were pretty exciting and Greir felt energised and exciting watching it but about two thirds of the way through the show the pace seemed to slow. They moved into a display and where there was much calmer, more moving music and a fantastic light show. The performers seemed to be mixing a form of dance with acrobats with a martial art? Greir wasn’t sure what they were doing.::


Greir: What’s that all about?


::Rori couldn’t really see anything other than the odd leg or arm popping into view, although he was enjoying the music. It sounded like they’d reached the part of the show where dance and acrobatics were combined. He’d seen people do some amazing things during this part of the show before and it was a real shame he was missing it.::


Rori: If I’m right, they’re interpreting the music through their movements. Kinda like dancing but with some other things added in. You might see them doing some flips in a minute, or there might be one or two feats of strength, where one of them lifts up another in a kind of artistic pose. It’ll probably look easy but they have to train really, really hard to make it look good.


::Greir felt that this particular performance captured his imagination more than any other. They moved with such fluidity and grace, it all seemed very natural. He’d really enjoyed the whole night but this really stood out as something particularly special.::


Greir: I can do that!


::It was pretty obvious that Greir was really getting into this particular performance, which was a fantastic thing. Rori was pretty content by that point of the night; Greir was absolutely in his element by now and choosing the circus for their night out had turned out to be a very good play indeed.::


Rori: Hey, why don’t you show me when we get back home? You up for that?


Greir: Yes. I know lots of tricks.


::Rori chuckled and patted Greir’s leg a few times.::


Rori: I’ll be looking forward to that. It’ll be the best show of the night. I take it this is your favourite then, scamp?


Greir: Uh-huh. It’s the best of the best.


::That clearly called for one particular course of action, which Rori couldn’t ignore.::


Rori: I tell you what, then, I’ll look forward to seeing the tricks you have ready for when we get back and you can look forward to the next time we come to see the circus, because I’m going to make sure we get tickets every time they come to town. Does that sound like a good deal?


::It looked like the show had really captured Greir’s interest and if it was something that he could take pride in and would build his confidence up then Rori was all for encouraging and supporting it every step of the way.::


::Greir knew Rori never made a deal he couldn’t keep and he trusted him completely. He felt like he was getting a huge reward for no reason at all. Rori really was the best and Greir was super excited that he’d get to come back again and watch all the amazing performances. He didn’t know if they would be the same or if they would be different. Maybe a bit of both but he was certain he’d love it just as much either way.::


Greir: ::Throwing his hands up:: Yay! ::Gleefully::


Rori: Next time maybe we can see about getting some seats in advance. It would be even cooler to be right down there, by the ring. Then you can really watch what those dancers are doing and it’ll be even easier to copy them!


::Greir loved that idea too, in fact it was safe to say that the entire thing had been a resounding success. By the time it was finished and they headed home Greir was as high as the tip of the tent itself. All he could talk about all the way back was the circus and all of his favourite bits, which was almost all of it! When they got home Greir was keen to show Rori his tricks and stood bouncing up and down excitedly in the front garden.::


Greir: Can I show you my tricks now?


::Obviously Greir was going to need some space, but letting him attempt whatever tricks he wanted to try out in the garden in the dark wasn’t the best of plans in Rori’s opinion. After the wet weather they’d been having, he was pretty confident that Greir would also be plastered in mud by the time they were done.::


Rori: You can, but let’s get in the warm first. I’m going to move the table in the living room so that you can have space to do them in there, OK?


::He would also have a nice, soft carpet to land on in case he lost his balance. It wasn’t that Rori thought that Greir was likely to fall, but he would hate to see him hurt himself.::


::Greir sagged and looked put out at the idea of having to wait a minute longer. He sighed heavily in resignation.::


Greir: Ooookaaaay….


Rori: Atta boy. Come on!


::He continued to the front door at a jog, had it unlocked and open in one fluid movement and was kicking off his shoes just a second later.::


Rori: Make sure you take your shoes off properly! Stick mine in the cupboard for me, please, champ! I’ll get the auditorium ready!


::He hurried into the living room and shifted the table over to one side of the room out of the way, hoping to have plopped down into his seat ready to be in place as Greir’s audience and sing him an entrance fanfare by the time he was ready to come in.::


::Greir chuntered under his breath quietly and impatiently as he sat down and took off his boots. Moments later he sprang back up and grabbed Rori’s so he could fling them into the cupboard out of the way. He came bursting into the living room, acting as though he was greeting his legion of adoring fans.::


::All he was missing was a stage name. Greir the great? It was good, but not the one. It wasn’t flashy enough. It was just ordinary greatness. He would need to make himself a costume too. That would have to come later.::


Greir: It is me! Are you ready for the best spectacle… ::Blinking because something wasn’t right:: … most spectacular display you ever saw?


::Rori made himself comfortable in his seat - he’d applauded when Greir had entered the room and was pleased that he’d had a chance to deliver the fanfare the way he’d wanted. What an entrance!::


Rori: ::Imitating crowd noises:: Hurray! This is our favourite act! ::He imitated the mother they’d seen in the queue:: We’re ready, Greir! ::He imitated the guard who’d asked them for their tickets:: I wish I could be Greir, he’s so awesome!


::Greir chuckled at the impressions and was quite pleased with himself. He looked around the space that he had, deciding what he had room to do. Not a lot unfortunately. He decided to begin with a backwards roll and push off into a one-handed hand stand. He could visualise in his head what he wanted to do and what he needed to do to make it work.::


::He rolled backwards just fine but pushing up into a handstand didn’t work out too well. He had done two handed handstands before but hadn’t got into them in this way before so wasn’t used to managing his momentum. So when he came up into a handstand he was moving too quickly to stop and hold in that position and kept going. He recovered from that, planting his feet back on the ground and flipping back up into standing position. He was a little wobbly and it wasn’t quite what he’d been going for but he pretended it was perfect.::


Greir: Tada!


::Rori wasn’t quite sure what had happened towards the end of the backward roll and figured that Greir had been trying to do something complicated but he clapped heartily nonetheless. He wondered whether or not there was a gymnastics club at Greir’s school that he could sign him up for.::


Rori: That was amazing! Any more tricks?


::Greir stood and pondered what else he might be able to do in the limited space he had. He was a bit disheartened by the lack of room and the wobbly turn had taken the wind out of his sails a little. He’d barely had room for the roll and recovery. There was not really enough room for a cartwheel, or for running around to dance. He was a little worried about accidentally crashing into something.::


::His handstand hadn’t really worked, so he still had that move to show off but on its own it was pretty boring. He didn’t have any props around with which to copy some of the things they’d done with hoops and other objects. Well, he did have a ball he could use but he knew he wasn’t allowed to toss it in the house and didn’t want to spoil the night by breaking something. He was a bit red-faced and disappointed as he decided that was it. Not quite the fantastic display he’d had in mind.::


Greir: Ehm. No.


::That didn’t look like the enthusiastic young man that Rori had brought back from the circus. It smelled like something was up. He scuffled down onto the floor on his knees alongside Greir to go do some coaching, lowering his voice so that the crowd couldn’t hear.::


Rori: What’s up? What can I fix?


::Greir folded his arms and complained petulantly about it but stopped short of saying why the small display area was bothering him. It was quite late; it had been a big day and bigger night. Usually he’d be asleep by now so his tolerance of his own mistakes and patience were wearing thin.::


Greir: It’s too small. I will show you properly tomorrow.


::Of course he was making the assumption that tomorrow it would be dry and that they could do it outside. It was possible he was setting himself up for another disappointment.::


::Rori rubbed his back to try to comfort him a bit. He didn’t want the night to be ruined.::


Rori: What if I move both tables and one of the seats out of here into the dining room? Then there’ll be a lot more space. It won’t take me a minute, especially if you help?


Greir: ::Rubbing one of his eyes and shaking his head.:: No thanks.


::Rori caught the eye rub and realised that his little circus star was probably exhausted. It was quite a way past his bedtime and it seemed adrenaline wasn’t enough to keep him running any more.::


Rori: OK, maybe we should get you to bed, huh? Then tomorrow we can put the show on. I have a feeling it’s going to rain again, but why don’t we move that furniture in the morning, and maybe we could pick up some fabric from town and then put it up on the walls so it’s more like a tent? I know I’d still really like to see the Magnificent Greir and so would the crowd! Can you hear them?


::Under his breath, he started chanting “We want Greir”, as if from a distant crowd.::


::Greir rubbed his other eye and yawned. The day was finally catching up with him but he liked Rori’s idea. He was quite happy to put on a show tomorrow, even more so since they were getting to decorate the room especially for it.::


Greir: ::Nodding his head:: Tomorrow is going to be even better.


Rori: Exactly! Gimme a hug!


::Greir responded by giving Rori a hug. He wasn’t the sort of kid who shied away from that sort of thing. He felt ready for his bed as he yawned again, burying his face in his second dad’s shoulder. He couldn’t see Gjord doing any of this with him and felt really lucky that he was all the way out here with Rori.::


::Rori ruffled his surrogate son’s hair as he hugged him. It had been a great evening and he knew that they were both now really looking forward to what the next day would bring.::


Rori: Alright, go and get yourself washed up and into bed. I’ll be up to say goodnight in just a minute.


Greir: Okay.


::He padded off to the washroom to get himself cleaned and ready for bed. All the spring and bounce in his step was gone as the energy and adrenaline that had sustained him had all run out. When he was ready he took himself off to his room and climbed into bed. He rolled onto his front and closed his eyes ready to fall asleep already.::


::While Greir got himself off to bed, Rori cleared away the voards that had been left out in the kitchen and boiled up some water to make himself a cup of herbal tea. He was pretty tired himself after all of the excitement and he figured that an hour’s reading and relaxing before an early night wouldn’t do him any harm.::


::By the time he got upstairs and went in to check on Greir, he was already asleep. Rori smiled and pulled the covers up and over his shoulders a little bit, then kissed him on the cheek.::


Rori: Sweet dreams, scamp. Circus day again tomorrow.


::He was pleased above all else that whenever something got Greir down or he was having problems with his fielding, he always seemed able to get through to him. The weekend would hopefully be just enough of a lift that Greir would be headed back into school with a new hobby under his belt and a smile on his face when the week started again.::


TBC


A JP by
PNPC Rori Reinard
SIMmed by: Fleet Captain Diego Herrera


&


Cmdr Greir Reinard
First Officer
USS Vigilant
Cadet Steward: UFOP: Starbase 118