I'm NOT Overreacting

Chapter 5

Gilan nervously exited his room, casting a fleeting glance at Halt. Halt had been gone most of yesterday, having a long, boring meeting with Crowley and Baron Arald. Gilan, rather stupidly, had decided to experiment how much honey you would have to put in a kettle of coffee before it became more honey then coffee. It had turned out to be quite a lot- their whole supply, actually. Gilan held his breath as Halt reached for the honey jar.

"Gilan." Halt said, his voice very deliberate as he saw the contents of the jar. "Where did the honey go? This jar was half full yesterday."

Gilan looked at the ground. "Um, yes, about that..."

"What did you do?" Halt said sharply.

"I did an experiment... It, um, involved honey..."

"Yes?" Halt prodded.

"I, um, um, sort of put all the honey in a kettle of coffee, to, um, see how it would affect the texture..." The apprentice trailed off.

Halt's hand and face became very well acquainted. "You used ALL of it?!" The older Ranger asked exasperatedly.

Gilan continued staring at his boots, unwilling to meet the dark, piercing eyes he knew were glaring at him. "Yup, that's um, about the whole of it."

Halt took a deep breath to calm himself. "First, stop saying 'um'. It's annoying. Second, you are going to ride up to the village and buy me more honey. Now."

"Of course!" Came the flustered, hasty reply as the tall boy wheeled toward and out the door. Quite frankly, Gilan was very relieved that he was still functioning. Halt without his usual morning coffee was a daunting figure.

Halt sat down in his chair, taking a small sip of his already poured coffee. After swallowing, he put the mug down. Yes, the honey was worth waiting for.

Halt watched expectantly as Gilan dashed inside the cabin. Breathing hard, Gilan said triumphantly, "I got it! A whole gallon!"

Halt briskly took the jug of honey. The grizzled Ranger had made a fresh batch of hot coffee, and he sighed contently as he spooned his preferred amount of honey into the mug. Gilan promptly spoke. "Maybe a thank you is in order?"

Halt shrugged. "I don't see why."

Gilan cocked his head. "Remember? I got you more honey!"

Halt shrugged again, "Yes. And if you hadn't done your- what did you call it? Oh yes, your 'experiment', I wouldn't have needed the honey. In the end, it goes back to you. You were only accomplishing what was due."

Gilan opened his mouth to retort back, then bit it off before it even started. In truth, Halt was correct. "Yes. You're right." The apprentice finally answered in defeat.

Halt nodded. "I usually am."

Gilan gave a crooked smile. Halt took a deep draft of coffee, then spoke. "You know, Abelard and Blaze told me the stable is quite dirty. We should probably clean it."

Gilan sighed. Moving out the door, the apprentice muttered, "Or in other words, 'Gilan should clean the stable.'"

Halt gave a barely visible smile. Yes, having an apprentice was fun- and this was only the beginning.

After making sure the Gilan was safely out of sight, mucking out dirty straw, Halt entered his apprentice's bedroom. He didn't normally go into Gilan's room, but desperate pranks called for desperate measures. Opening the jar of honey- yes, the very honey Gilan had just brought home- Halt drizzled the sticky, golden liquid all over his apprentice's pillow. Halt hid a smirk. Gilan's dark blonde hair wouldn't be so orderly after laying in the viscous mess he had just created. Putting the lid back on, Halt hurried from the room. After putting the empty honey jar back on the shelf, Halt settled himself in his chair to finish reports.

A while later, Gilan entered the house. Halt wrinkled his nose. "You smell like horse."

Gilan spread his hands out in bewilderment. "I was cleaning the horse stable."

"That doesn't mean you had to make yourself smell like it." Halt replied nonchalantly.

Gilan gave a short bark of laughter as he walked toward his room. Halt glanced up from his paper as he heard the bed creak as it always did when Gilan laid down.

"Ugh! What is THAT?!" Gilan screeched as he felt the sticky liquid ooze onto him. "HONEY?!"

Halt put his report down, as to give his full attention to his stunned student, who had scrambled off his bed and darted into the sitting room. "Halt! I have honey in my hair!" The boy wailed.

Halt nodded. "I might feel bad if I wasn't enjoying your reaction so much."

Gilan gaped at his teacher, aghast. "Halt? You did this? But, but I'm the one who pranks in this cabin! I'm fairly good at it." The boy added defensively.

Halt raised an eyebrow. "You consider putting mud in my bed a fairly good prank?"

Gilan's blue eyes widened. "We don't talk about that. I already admitted it was a horrible idea!" He said hastily.

Turning back to his report, Halt carefully placed the paper to hide his slight smile. "I recommend going to wash your hair before the honey really soaks in."

Gilan whimpered, then jogged out the door to the water barrel. Halt's slight smile grew faintly wider as he heard the continuous sounds of Gilan dunking his head in the water, followed by frantic scrubbing. Pranking did have its perks, as long as you were the one pulling the prank. Raising his voice, Halt called,

"After you're done, maybe you could run up to the village and buy more honey. We're out."

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