"Halt?" Gilan asked tentatively, glancing at his teacher.
Halt stifled a sigh, then answered, "What, Gilan?"
"I have a question."
Halt rolled his eyes upward. "You just asked one."
Gilan grinned sheepishly before continuing, "Does it bother you that I'm taller then you? By like, a lot?"
Halt didn't answer immediately. Many things were running through his head, most of them along the lines, When did he notice he was taller then me? Finally, Halt replied, "You're not that much taller."
Gilan's forehead creased in confusion. "But Halt, I talked to Crowley! He said you're the shortest Ranger that's ever been in the Corps!"
Halt eyes darkened. "Crowley said that?"
Sighing heavily, Halt made a mental note to tell Crowley never to talk to his apprentice again. In an effort to change the subject, Halt said, "It doesn't matter how tall I am! I have a reputation! You, Gilan, do not have a reputation. "
Gilan shook his head, a smile breaking through on his face. "Right. The reputation where you're eight feet tall and kill bears with your bare hands. THAT reputation."
How did we get back onto the subject of height? Halt thought wearily. "Most Rangers are sort of small! And I'm not the shortest." Halt snapped, catching Gilan's smirk. "And you are not as tall as you think you are!"
Gilan thought a moment. "I will be. As for right now, it helps having a good cloak and a short teacher."
Halt took a deep breath. It was taking an immense amount of self control to not send an arrow into his apprentice's leg. "Since when has height been such a good thing?"
The apprentice shrugged. "I don't know... I guess height is intimidating."
"Rangers are intimidating already. But being a Ranger, you want to move unseen. Being tall adds extra work." Halt said, raising an eyebrow.
Gilan mirrored Halt's expression. "Watch me become the best unseen mover in the Corps."
Halt sighed, then turned to the kettle. Pouring himself a mug of coffee, Halt answered, "Maybe, Gilan. Maybe. Now, today we need to ride up to the castle. I need to speak to the Baron." The conversation, Halt implied, was over. But Gilan, irrepressible Gilan, couldn't help adding one last comment.
"Hey, Halt. Coffee has been said to stunt growth..." The apprentice then darted out the door towards to horses.
Halt gave a long, lingering sigh. Today was going to be a long day.