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Fadali glared at her tankard.I don't like this tavern,
she thought, very clearly.
And she didn't. But it was the only one she didn't have to travel for at least two days to get to. She sighed heavily. She missed the Ragged Flagon. It hadn't exactly been a top-of-the-line place, but she'd gotten used to it, and in any case you could easily get drunk enough to forget it was sub-par if you wanted. Of course, it wasn't really safe
to get drunk in the Ragged Flagon, unless you were part of the Guild...and even then, she wasn't certain...
The Dunmer cursed softly under her breath, for no particular reason.
She hadn't been back to the Flagon--to Riften
--since she'd heard about...about Mrrsizha. It had been...forever, it felt like, but she was sure it wasn't really that long at all. But it had been long enough for her to accept what had happened.
Or maybe "accept" wasn't the right word. She still wondered, now and then, if she had been wrong, if she could have just looked a little
harder and maybe found something
, if Mrrsizha was still alive somehow
Fadali sighed heavily. If Mrrsizha was alive, she would have come back. Or contacted her, at least. Or...or something. Right? She'd had enough time. More
than enough time.
She glared at her tankard, and thought unhappily that she wasn't drunk enough to be thinking about Mrrsizha. She sighed again, hanging her head a little and closing her eyes. She felt very tired, and she wasn't really certain why.
She thought about ignoring her name, but raised her head after a moment, prepared to tell whoever it was to piss off. When she turned and saw who had spoken, though, she only blinked in surprise, uncertain what to say.
Brynjolf sat down next to her, quiet and frowning gently. He had a very pale yellow discoloration on his jaw, she noticed; the remains of the bruise she'd given him last they'd spoken, probably. For a moment, she was morbidly pleased with herself that it had lasted as long as it did.
"Brynjolf." Her voice was low and quiet and dull.
"You don't look so good."
"Neither do you."
Brynjolf raised a hand, his fingers brushing the bruise self-consciously, and he smiled a little for a moment. Just a moment. Then, he sighed.
"I'm sorry about Mrrsizha."
"Yeah." Fadali took a drink. "Me too."
They were silent for a moment. Fadali thought the silence should probably feel awkward, but she couldn't really bring herself to care about it. Finally, Brynjolf cleared his throat softly and said, "We just wanted you to know, if you ever want to come back...no hard feelings. Alright?"
Fadali considered snapping at him, but decided against it. She missed
the Flagon, and she had precious few friends anyway. Fewer, now. She couldn't afford to alienate more of them, and it wasn't worth the small pleasure she'd get out of snapping at him.
"...thanks, Bryn." She sighed softly. "Maybe I will."
But in the back of her mind, she couldn't bear the thought of going back, no matter how much she missed it and the people there. It wouldn't be the same, without Mrrsizha.
He just nodded, then stood, his business here evidently concluded. He did pause to take hold of her shoulder, though, squeezing it gently.
"I am sorry." His voice was very quiet. "For what it's worth, you were right. I was supposed to keep her safe." He paused, as if he wasn't certain what else to say but wasn't sure he'd said everything he should. Finally, he just sighed heavily. "I don't think we even know what we lost."
Fadali didn't answer, and was trying to figure out what he meant by that and if she took offense to it on Mrrsizha's behalf; before she could decide, he let go of her shoulder and she heard him turn to leave.
"Bryn?" She didn't turn.
He stopped. "Aye?"
"Sorry about punching you."
He didn't answer immediately, but Fadali could imagine his soft, almost-humorless smile. "Don't worry about it, lass. I've survived worse."
This time when he left, Fadali didn't stop him.
More of Fadali Being Emo About Mrr. (I need a better title for this. Or a less wordy one, anyway.)
I actually wrote this one second in the series and filled in what is actually part two later, because I'm clever like that. Look, Fadali does wear things besides her Dark Brotherhood armor! Which is to say, I was tired of drawing it, and she DOES have other clothing. The perceptive amongst you may have noticed that she's also wearing earrings for the first time ever...partly because we just now decided she has her ears pierced, but she just doesn't wear earrings often. The ones in this picture, in fact, are the ones she gave Mrrsizha, and periodically I remember to draw them when I draw Mrr.