Agent Huinesoron (DOGA/SIELU/DAS-DIG, depending on who's asking) strolled along the 'Green Stuff' aisle of the General Store. Every few steps, he pulled a box or bag from the shelf, and added it to his increasingly-overstuffed basket. It wasn't often, after all, that you could even find fresh vegetables in HQ, and there was an interesting salad he'd noticed on a mission in Dorthonion that he wanted to try. He'd need grapes from the vinyards of Dorwinion (into the basket they went), celery from anywhere (a bundle of Sphinxian imports followed the grapes), and of course, fried-
There was a swish from behind him, and a level voice said, "Put down the mushrooms and step away from the shelf."
Huinesoron turned slowly, and had to forcibly restrain himself from looking twice as far down as was actually required. "Agent Kaitlyn," he said, doing his best to smile. "It's been a while. Why are you pointing a stick at me?"
The not-actually-hobbit woman brandished said stick. "This is a Muggle-use wand," she said, "ten and a half inches of applewood with a unicorn hair core. It could blow your pointy ears clean off."
The elf frowned. "I thought those things didn't work in HQ. That's what you told me about mine…"
Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. "That was a clever lie." Without looking away, she flicked the wand in the general direction of the end of the aisle. "Incendio. Now hand over the-"
"Hey! Do you mind?"
Kaitlyn looked round guiltily at the couple a few steps down. A tall, dark-haired man was patting out the flames on the hem of his cloak, while the woman with him tried to stifle her laughter.
"I mean, I know I'm a pyro," the man said, glancing up, "but this is ridicu… oh. Priestess Kaitlyn."
"Um." Kaitlyn flushed slightly, and did her best to hide her wand without actually moving. "Your High Priestiness. Hi."
"Just Dafydd will do." The ex-PPCer plucked at the charred edge of his cloak. "Ah, well, I needed a new one anyway. But," he added with a scowl, "that doesn't mean I wanted you to set it aflame."
"That's his job," his wife said with a wink. "Hi, Kaitlyn."
"Agen- um, Constance." Kaitlyn chewed on her lip for a moment. "Sorry about the… the fire thing."
"Good." Dafydd let the blackened fabric fall from his fingers. "Why the pyrotechnics, anyway?"
"I think she was showing o- ah. That is to say." Huinesoron thought for a moment. "We were having a discussion. It got out of hand. Greetings, sir."
Dafydd seemed to register him for the first time. "Huinesoron," he said, the Quenya name flowing smoothly in his lilting accent. "Elen sila… well, no stars here, I suppose." He shook his head slightly, and then his gaze sharpened. "Actually," he said, "you're just the person to sort out a little dispute we've been having."
"Oh, you're not going to--?" Constance folded her arms across her chest. "Really, Dafydd?"
"What?" The elf spread his arms. "If you won't see reason, it's perfectly legitimate to ask a third party for advice."
Constance snorted. "A neutral third party, yes. Not another member of the Noldorin Supremacy Club."
"I wouldn't say I thought-" Huinesoron began, but Dafydd barrelled right over him.
"It's not being Noldorin that makes me superior," he said, then stuck his tongue out at his wife before turning back to Huinesoron. "Imagine, if you will, that you have been sent to hunt down a Suvian who utterly upends the entire history of our people. Do you agree that you would have a greater right to kill her than your partner," he waved one hand at Constance, "who simply objects to the way her Lust Object is treated?"
Huinesoron considered this. "It does seem rather more significant," he mused. "I think I'd certainly want to-"
"Oh, come on." Constance planted her hands on her hips and scowled. "You can't seriously value ancestry over character! I mean, would you say I had the right to the kill just because we were in one of my Dad's bo-?"
She stopped abruptly, ignoring Huinesoron's curious look, and turned to Kaitlyn. "You're with me on this, right?" she said. "I mean, if the Suvian was meddling with Luthien or whoever, you'd want to take her out, right?"
Kaitlyn held up her hands. "Hey, don't drag me into this," she said. "I'm just here for the mushrooms. Besides, I'm DCPS; I don't kill people."
Huinesoron glanced at her, his brow furrowed. "I thought you'd transferred to Floaters."
"I'm temporarily assigned to Floaters," Kaitlyn corrected with exaggerated precision. "I'm still a caseworker underneath. Just like these two," she flicked her wand at Dafydd and Constance," are still retired even if they're taking on this mission of theirs."
The couple exchanged a startled look. "We haven't got a mission," Dafydd said. "What are you talking about?"
Kaitlyn glanced from him to his wife and back. "The one you're arguing about," she said, "with the elves and the Lust Object…?"
"Oh, that's just hypothetical," Constance said with a flick of her head. "It didn't come up when we worked together, so we never really thought about it."
"Then why are you here?" Huinesoron put in. "In HQ, I mean, now that you're retired."
"Because it's next to impossible to get groceries out of season in Malij," Dafydd said. "Like tomatoes, or… mushrooms." He reached over and plucked the carton out of Huinesoron's hand, tucking it one-handed under his arm. "See you around. Connie - run."