Posted Nov.11.18 at 03:00 pm

< You need a note from the healer if you want a day pass. Sorry, > the spirit at the desk said, not looking sorry at all.

"Um," Yoshi said, and Shinobu began to bark a retort at the same time, but Vlad looped an arm around her shoulders and cut them both off.

< No we don't, > he said. < That was overturned in court. In fact, > he added, with a smile, < it's a federal offense to require more than a truthful assertion of medical necessity. Right, Luu? >

Luu, who had sidled up to the little copper desk with an air of looking vaguely interested, smiled as well. The smile, baring long teeth, did not reach their eyes at all, and a little flicker of orange light skipped off one of their canines and the gold piercing in their lip.

< That's right, > they said, pleasantly.

The spirit, seeing this, shuddered slightly. Resentfully, they held out a little slip of paper banded in blue and gold. < ...Here. >

< Come on now, > Vlad wheedled, taking the slip. < Two day passes, friend. One for each. >

The spirit shot another look at Luu, whose smile had not wavered in the slightest. If anything, the orange light playing over their teeth just strengthened a bit.

Wordlessly, the spirit handed over another slip, which Shinobu snatched from them with a glare.

< So, what's your name? > Vlad said. The spirit hesitated, glowering at him.

< ...Fen. >

< Thanks, Fen, > Vlad said cheerily, as they turned towards the light pouring from the round portal. He gave a little salute. < We'll see you on the way back. >