///How I Met Your Father – The Dragonborn Diaries
How I Met Your Father – The Dragonborn Diaries 2016-09-14T00:15:10+00:00

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  • DovaBunny
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    Post count: 75
    #18242 |

    Hey guys!

    So, this is my first time posting anything I’ve ever written. I wanted to write something a little different, so my main character is a crazy, funny (or at least she and I both think she is), and impulsive Dragonborn of questionable morals. Expect a light-hearted and entertaining story. Casavier and Cael will make an appearance, don’t you worry.

    Let me know what you think please! I’d love some feedback. Enjoy 🙂 x

    Warning: Lots of swearing, violence, and later, hot naked people. Proceed on own risk.

    _____________________

     

     

    “Bishop – I swear to Azura I will punch you in your throat while you sleep!!” she threatened him through her teeth, one finger raised sternly at him.

    “Are you fucking kidding me with this?! I mean holy mudcrabs woman!” Bishop threw his hands in the air mockingly. “If you dare stand in my way with this, I swear to Dibella – the only god worth my time – the next time you’re on your period, I will throw you in a pit of bears and just…just.. WALK AWAY!!” he was very close to snapping, she could hear it in his shaking voice.

    “ARGHHH!! I should’ve just left you there in that Hagraven nests and let them have their way with you for eternity! Then I wouldn’t have to deal with this idiotic BULLSHIT!!” She shook her head and paced, trying hard to control her own fiery temper. “You know what – FINE!! Just fucking….DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! You never listen to me anyway! You milk drinking piece of -” she basically kicked the door down storming outside with a slur of insults and curses.

    Bishop grinned at his success, shrugged his shoulders, plopped his elbow on the counter and very charmingly said: “And could you add ‘The Lusty Argonian Maid’ to that? Yeah, the whole series please.” Urag looked at Bishop with disgust, moaning loud enough for him to hear as he retrieved the books from the bottom of a shelf and added them to the pile of basic spell books.

    She paced up and down in the cold night. She knew he was a horny idiot, but to buy the Lusty Argonian Maid – from the librarian at the College of Winterhold! And on top of that – with their last gold!! The thought made her see red as the snowflakes that hit her cheek instantly melted as she paced around the roof of the College. Not for the first time, and definitely not for the last – she cursed herself for allowing him to catch her eye that now cursed day in Riverwood…

    ______

    She had just returned from Bleakfalls Barrow with Lucan’s claw in her hand, and some weird dragon tablet the courtwizard of Whiterun wanted. She was trying to decide whether she’d get more for it by selling it, or from the wizard. She faintly heard two drunks commenting something about sitting on laps and lip-wrestling, and on another day she would’ve kicked the horker-breath so hard up his ass that he would taste the leather – but not today. Today, she was in a good mood. She was able to do two jobs in one, and coin made Diana happy. Coin and ale.

    She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, the way it always did when someone was watching her intently – and it wasn’t the troll-twins. She let it slide, her mind thinking ‘dick better have my money’ as she walked with a swing in her step to the Riverwood Trader.

    The store was dark, gloomy, and depressing. His hot sister and the warm fire the only thing making her not want to pity whoever lived there. She plonked the big golden claw on the counter, and another hand palm up with her fingers notioning him to pay up.

    “Diana! You did it! Wow it’s smaller than I remember…”

    “That’s what she said…” she cut him off, “Listen, just pay me already? I got a hunkering for ale and Delphine just got in a new batch. And if you even think of cutting me short, I’ll sell it to Belethor in Whiterun.” She wouldn’t really. Belethor was an asshole and a bargain hunter. He once tried to buy Spellbreaker – the legendary daedric shield from Peryite – for 80 coins, if I throw in two gold ingots.

    Lucan nodded eagerly, retrieving a coin purse and placing it in her open hand. She kept her dark eyes on him, a face that said she was not impressed. She felt the weight of the bag and lifted and eyebrow at him, “Do you know how many drauger I had to kill, how many traps almost took my life, and skeevers tried to eat my face, just so you could get this glorified paperweight back?” he voice suggesting he rather not answer and just op up the bag.

    He looked over to his sister desperately. He knitted her brows at him and shook her head. His eyes widened as he pressed his lips challenging her expression. She scoffed loudly and stomped over to the waiting Diana. Keeping her angry eyes on Lucan, she removed her golden necklace and placed it in Diana’s hand next to the coin purse.  It was a fine piece of jewellery with a large diamond in the centre and two emeralds to the side. It could easily fetch 700 coin to the right buyer.

    Diana grinned as she closed her hand, and lifted the other off the claw, stepping back. “Pleasure doing business with you.” She gave Camilla a wink before quickly stealing a glance at her now bare upper chest and impressive rack. She was out and on her way to throw gold at her problems at the inn. Her problems being that her mug is empty.

    As she stepped up onto the porch, her fine neck hairs stood up again. She looked up to see a very strapping young man glare at her. He was tall, very well-toned figure with muscle at all the right places was quite handsome. His eyes were gold, honey, and amber, and his wild dark brown hair stood roughly tuffed. She found herself really impressed. She was shallow, she knew it, and she didn’t give a flying falmer fart.

    “Say, ranger…” she guessed he was by his leather armour, dagger and overall look, “wadaya say I but you an ale, and you tell me I’m pretty till we both can’t see straight?” she wiggled an eyebrow at him with a skew smile.

    “Pfft, please…” he scoffed folding his arms, “you couldn’t pay me to drink with you. Besides, if you’re looking for another thirsty farmboy to kiss your boots, look elsewhere ‘cause I’m not interested.”

    She felt herself entertained at the man. She was not Elisief the Fair, but she knew she was attractive. Short black hair fell softly on her forehead, it was smooth and shined in the sun, but stood wildly. She had large dark brown eyes, a strong but fine nose to match her striking features, high cheekbones, and full lips that always had a red tint. Years in the wilderness had given had given her a body that was slim but strong and toned, with a great butt and boobs which filled out her fitted armour without spilling over like a certain shopkeeper’s naughty sister who, from what she heard, had been buttering her buns on both sides with two local boys.

    “Oh okay… I couldn’t pay you, you say?” She steps up with a smirk while licking her bottom lip. Another thing besides coin and ale Diana liked? A challenge. “Tell you what sugar…” she slings her bow off her back “You see the middle salmon handing on that string by the bank?” She pointed to three salmon drying in the sun and pinned to a string on the riverbank about 60meters from where they were standing. “If I can hit that – and you can’t, you have to buy me a drink. If we both hit it, I’ll leave you alone as I see you’re very busy staring menacingly at unsuspecting townsfolk and holding up this here wall.” She slapped her hand on the wall next to his head, leaning a little, matching is glare with a grin and narrowed eyes. For a moment a twinkle flashed through his eyes. She actually amused him a little. And she was funny too..

    “And If I make it and you don’t?” He asked in a deep, throaty, but hella sexy voice.

    “Then I give you this.” She dipped her hand in her pocket, pulling out Camilla’s necklace, dangling it in front of his face.

    She was in luck, the man speaks gold fluently, just like her. Without a word he pulled his own bow off his back and knocked an arrow. The two lined up behind the railing on the porch of the Inn. She went first. She knocked the arrow and in a swift, smooth motion pulled it up and back, letting out her breath. She closed one eye, aimed, and let go.

    Her arrow struck the fish effortlessly and they could see the fish almost shoot off the string. “You’re up hot stuff!’ she sang to him with a mocking smile. He didn’t quite know how he felt about her little nicknames. He raised an eyebrow at her, shook it off, and took aim. Just as he was focusing on his target, she turned to face him, crossed her ankles, and leaned back on the railing so her elbows rested on it. Her chest perked up as she seductively stared him down, a skew smile on her face.

    He tried to ignore it, tried to shake off the weird sexy, teasing vibe she was sending out. But it didn’t work. His arrow missed the fish and instead shot into the wooden beam just above. “Fuck!” He looked more surprise that he missed than Vilkas when she interrupted his boring speech about ‘what it means to be a companion’ to ask if he was single. She loved making big, burly men squirm.

    “That has never happened. Best out of three?” He demanded more than asked.

    “Oh no, a deal’s a deal. Winners know when to stop gambling.” She winked at him, shaking her head towards the inn’s door. He just gritted his teeth and mumbled some curse and something about a ‘dirty wench’ under his voice. She didn’t care, she was getting ale AND she didn’t have to pay for it! Double happy Diana!

     

    He slammed the coin down on the counter “Two mugs of ale. Do me a favour, water hers down will ya?” he said to Orgnar. She gleamed and happily, rapidly tapped the counter with both hands awaiting her prize. He just fumed and stared straight ahead.

    “I’m Diana, by the way. Short for Diandrea, long for ‘Die!’” she said friendly to him, dramatically emphasising the last word. “What’s your name sweetroll?”

    He glared at her disapprovingly. Yeah, he was certain he didn’t like her little nicknames.

    “Honey, unless you give me a name, Imma keep calling you whatever pops into my head?”

    He moaned and picked up the mug Orgnar placed in front of him, bringing it to his lips in one sweeping motion “It’s Bishop”

    She smirked. She was going to miss calling him nicknames, but she liked his name – Bishop. She picked up her mug and chugged it down in a single breath.

    Slamming the empty mug down she looked back at him. “Listen, in all honesty, thanks for the ale and for taking my challenge. You’re not nearly as bad as people say you are…”

    His face spun round to look at her with an expression of confusion and shock, “What have people been saying about me?!”

    She laughed and turned to face him, dropping her head to her shoulder in amusement. “Wow you are too easy.”

    He wanted to grunt at her, but she was quick and witty. And although he despised her, she was the most interesting and exciting thing to happen in the sleepy town since he got in. He just chuckled lowly. “Fine, you got me.”

    She waved to get Ognar’s attention, then pointed to the two empty mugs on the counter. He nodded and came over to top them up. “This rounds on me.” She said with a smile, still basking in how gullible he’d been. “Now we’re even. ‘Cept for you bruised ego. But I’m sure you can get a tavern wench here somewhere to help with that.”

    He looked up at her, and actually smiled a little, although his eyes were still suspicious. “Who the hell are you anyway?”

    “Well, I have many names…” she raised her eyebrows, leaning on her elbows on the counter, balancing on the heels. “Diana, for one, but some know me as Dee, Di, ‘that bitch who stole my horse I stole from my mother’, ‘that bitch who stole a mammoth’s tusk from my store for another bitch’, ‘that bitch who killed me and my entire family’,” his eyes widened and he raised an eyebrow at her. “Oh it’s cool, they were vampires.” She reassured him. He just shook his head with a faint smile. “But most know me as-“

    “Dragonborn!” Her sentence cut short by the bard calling out to her, a hand stretched in her direction. “This one, is for you!” He picked up his lute, and started performing his rendition of ‘Dragonborn comes’. It was a little cringey how hard he tried.

    Bishop’s eyes shot to her in disbelief. “No, bullshit! If you’re the legendary Dragonborn, prove it!”

    She gave him a skew smile, “Sweety, I ain’t got nothing to prove to no one.”

    “You said, you’d stop with the nicknames if I tell you my name.” he said in a warning tone. “How ‘bout I just call you ‘Your ladyship’ from now on – hmm? Or would you prefer ‘princess’?” he said mockingly bating his lashes at her.

    She took a swig of her ale and shrugged comically “Both! Fuckit, call me lady princess Diana!”

    “Just…shut up and drink your ale.” He grunted and went back to his gloomy, brooding demeanour.

    __________

    How in Oblivion did they end up here? She was sneaking up on a sleeping bear while Bishop was trying his best to stifle his giggles up in a tree nearby – out to danger’s way. She burped and it tasted of ale and wine. Ognar had run out of ale, and she didn’t trust mead. Not after the incident at Honeybrew.

    ‘Fuckit, here goes nothing.” She whispered to herself as she crept up to the huge snoring pile of fur. “FUSS RO DAH!!” she shouted, flinging the unsuspecting creature into the night sky. She paused, and after a few seconds heard the big floof hit the ground – hard. Then, a very angry roar.

    “Shitshitshitshit…” she was waaay too drunk to fight a huge, full-grown cave bear right now. But apparently not too drunk to shout it out of its home! She slapped herself on the head for being so stupid, but immediately regretted it as it made her already disorientated head spin even more.

    “Dafuq are you waiting for woman?? Come on!” Bishop called as he jumped out the tree waving her over. “Or do you want to be the first Dragonborn to be eaten by a bear!”

    She smiled. At least he believed her now! Then the seriousness of the situation set in, and she ran after him. As they ran she could hear the bear catching up. They ran into a clearing with a big oak tree in the middle. There was nowhere left to run or hide. Shit!

    Bishop ran to the tree, locked his fingers and called out to her, notioning that he’d boost her up. She ran over and he booster her up with the momentum of her speed. She locked her legs over the branch and reached out a hand to pull him up as the bear approached them at full speed. She janked him up just in time before the bear’s claw could reach his boot. The two hastily climbed as high as they could to get away – although she knew cave bears couldn’t climb trees, in her drunken state she didn’t want to take any risks!

    The two across each other on opposite sides of the stem, catching their breath. He looked up at her and she looked back at him. Then he did something she didn’t expect – he laughed. He laughed so hard he nearly lost his balance. She joined in, laughing at how ridiculous the situation was until her sides hurt.

    “So…” she said once her laughter died down enough, “you believe me now, Ranger?”

    He wiped away a tear, “That I do princess, you have convinced me.”

    The two looked down at the very angry bear clawing at the roots of the tree in frustration. She knew they were going to be here a while before the bear left, or they sobered up enough to actually kill it. The former was more likely to happen before the latter.

    After she got bored starting at the bear, she turned to him, “I haven’t seen you around in these parts before, where you from?”

    “All over, really.” He answered, much more relaxed in conversation very unlike the Bishop she met earlier today. “I recently lost my wolf, Karnwyr. Tracked him to a wolf-fighting business run by a small army of bandits in a cave nearby. Been tryna think of a game plan to jailbreak the mutt.”

    She went quite for a moment, thinking. “You know, I was literally going to use it all on ale and maybe some honey-nut treats, but I think you need this more than I do.” She took out the pouch of gold with the necklace Lucan gave her and handed it to him. “Should be enough to round up some sellswords to help you get your wolf back.”

    He stared at her in disbelief – not a reaction she hadn’t gotten from him before, but this time it was different, weirdly more vulnerable.

    “No ladyship, I- couldn’t just take your coin like that. You worked hard for it.” He shook his head.

    “So?” she shrugged “You telling me you never killed a bandit and looted his coin? He worked hard… well, he ‘worked’ for that too?”

    He just smiled, still shaking his head. “No, I can’t. I don’t like handouts.”

    “Fine, suit yourself.” She said blankly and tucked it back in its pouch.

    A moment of silence passed. She sat contently listening to the night sounds.

    “If you really want to help… you can always come with me.” He said sheepishly, like he regretted each word just as he had said it. She had a nagging feeling he would never have asked her had he not been almost shit-faced drunk. Then again, she wouldn’t have offered him her pay had she not been so drunk.

    She wanted to tease him for asking for help, but she sensed that the pup was important to him. “You know what, why not. I ain’t in no rush. Might as well bash in some heads and loot some unsuspecting bandits of their hard-earned coin.” She said to him with that skew smile of hers. He just smiled back and nodded.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  DovaBunny. Reason: 2:30 am writing
    Helena
    Participant
    Post count: 159

    That was funny. Thank you

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    You’re most welcome Helena dear! Hope it brought a smile to your face. Part 2 will be up soon! Expect much more craziness.

    Sharis
    Participant
    Post count: 134

    HAHA XDD “Falmer fart” That had me howling for hours, haha! I may use that myself if you don’t mind?

     

    Really enjoyed reading this, it was hilarious!

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    Ahh thanks Sharis dear!! Means a lot coming from you 🙂 Hehe and you’re welcome to use Falmer Fart! Now that I’m back, should be another bit up soon. So watch this space if interested.

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    Hello! The second installment below! Again, very eager for any feedback! This will be the last ‘clean’ chapter (ie no sexy bits). The next one will be out soon!

    As before, warning to those who don’t like swearing, creative insults, and having fun. Enjoy! 🙂 x

    ____________________________________

    Her feet finally came to a standstill as she sighed deeply and looked out over the Sea of Ghosts. The icey wind whipped her hair in the wind. She heard the door open and turned to see Bishop walking out looking as smug as Sanguine as he strides over the huge College emblem on the floor.

    “Are you quite done cooling off, or should I just toss you in the water? I’d like to get back to the inn and warm up with some spiced wine now.” He said nonchalantly. She just rolled her eyes, shook her head, and turned to follow him, muttering something about a certain asshole, a vampire den, and throwing rocks.

    They fought – a lot. On top of that they were also brutally honest with one another and lived like they didn’t care if the other wasn’t there if they woke up. Sometimes she worried they would just end up killing each other somewhere in the wilderness over who gets the last slice of cheese.

    He handed her her spell-books, and they proceeded down the stairs and out the College grounds towards town.

    Once in the Frozen Hearth, they shook the excess snow off their coats, and made their way to the counter. “Spiced wine, keep ‘em coming till this sack o’ dicks next to me starts looking like Elisif the Fair!” she said to Ranmir, pointing her thumb to Bishop. Bishop huffed at her comment, lifted two fingers to the innkeeper. Ranmir grabbed two mugs, filling it to the brim with the dark purple gold. The smell hit her like a warm, summer breeze as she inhaled deeply and let out a sigh.

    Just as she was about to lose herself to the ruthless mistress that is Evette’s ‘Spiced Wine’, bringing her mug to her lips, her happy place was disturbed.

    “Is this seat taken m’lady?” said a voice, drawing her out of her trance. It belongs to an odd, dressed-up man. Same height as her, if not shorter. Very neatly combed shiny blond hair (she was sure he used some expensive, presumed horker lard-based product for it), big green eyes that were dull in colour but full of confidence, and soft lips that looked like he’d paid a hag a lot of money for them. His words weren’t even cold yet before he sat himself down, but not before nudging his barstool closer to her. Who the fuck this bitch think he is? She was a little taken aback by his forwardness, if not amused. Drinks and a show, could be worse.

    His hands were so soft and delicate, as he placed one on her wrist. She was sure he had never picked up anything heavier than a coinpurse or his heavily oiled fringe in his life. He was dressed in lavish nobleman’s clothes and had an air of superiority which he carried unashamedly. The whole package made her want to barf, honestly. If she wanted to be in the company of someone who screamed ‘I have never done a day’s honest work in my life, but that’s okay because mommy pays for everything’, she’d hang out with one of the Blackbriar bastards.

    She gave him a once over, decided she wasn’t impressed, and turned her head to look straight ahead as she returned her attention to liquid moonsugar in her hands.

    “The name is Darren Da’Nordskei, of the Falkreath Da’Nordskeis. But please, call me Darren.” He said seductively as he plucked her hand to his lips before she could protest. ‘Bitch like I give a skewer-shit who you are! Can’t you see I’m tryna drown my problems!’ flashed through her mind. But she composed herself, wiping the back of her hand on her pants where his cotton-lips had been.

    “Listen, kid. You probably mean well, but I’m just not in the mood for self-righteous prick right now, mkay?”

    “M’lady, forgive me, but when I saw you enter, I just had to speak with you,” he continued as if she didn’t just reject him as politely as she could. This little shit was testing her patience and the very little manners she had. “You are simply the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on. Your attire tells me you’re also a warrior. My sweet lady, tell me, how did you escape my dreams and fantasies? Surely you can’t be real, or have I died and gone to Soverngard?” He said with his hand on his heart as he leaned over just too close than she was comfortable with. He looked like a lost puppy looking at a lamb roast in a store window.

    “Yeah, listen kid…” with one finger on his forehead, she pushed him back onto his seat and out of her bubble. “I don’t think you’re getting this. I don’t blame you, you were obviously taught and raised by a governess who was paid to just agreed with everything you said and told you everyday how special and smart you are, resulting in the soft, privilege, entitled man-child I see now. SO I’ll spell it out for you – NOT. INTERESTED.” she said slowly, mouthing the words comically.

    “Oh my dear, sweet lady, you tease me so.” He said with a smile, lowering his head onto his hand as he rested his elbow on the counter close to her hand still on her mug. “I love a woman with some fight! I’ve gotten so tired of these basic wenches who just throw themselves at you once they find out how incredibly rich and powerful your family is.” Wow, that wasn’t even a subtle backdoor-brag. This dude is a piece of work.

    Just as she opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind, she was silenced by Bishop’s sudden large figure over her. Was he this close the whole time? Damn, how did he always manage to smell so darn good? She briefly considered if she could kill him, bottle his smell, and sell it to rich idiots like this – she’d make a fortune. Call it – Bottle ‘o Bish. All the rich wenches would go crazy for it.

    “Is there a problem here?” he said in a deep, throaty voice – with just a hint of threat, as he stood against her, his hand on her shoulder protectively (possessively?).

    Darren looked annoyed. “My fairest lady, it’s not my place to tell you how to do your job, but your manservant is quite forward and, quite frankly, rude.” Despite trying hard not to let it show, it was evident that he was intimidated (maybe a little scared even) by Bishop.

    ‘Manservant’ didn’t sit well with Bishop. He growled at the word. She could interfere before it escalated – but she was still pissed at him. She looked at Bishop, “I don’t think my ‘manservant’ here likes you very much.” The corner of her mouth drew up a little to the left, she was poking the bear and she loved it.

    “What did you call me..?” Bishop growled at Darren as he brushed passed her and wedged himself between Diana and Darren. He pulled his shoulders back, making them seem wider and stronger as he pushed his chest out – almost like wild animal intimidating an opponent before a fight.

    Darren began to panic a little, but still tried hard not to show it. He pressed his lips together in determination and got up to match the Ranger’s challenging body language. “I said, you should know your place.” He said in his manliest voice possible, but it croaked.

    In a swift motion Bishop grabbed the colourful little man by the shirt and rammed him into the pillar just behind him. You could hear Darren hick as his wind knocked out. “My place is at her side, when and how I please,” he hissed through his teeth to the now whimpering man he had pinned against the pillar. “Your place, is anywhere the fuck away from her. Now do you understand me, or do I need to spell it out in your blood on the snow?!”

    Darren nodded vigorously, and Bishop dropped him and walked back to his seat. Darren rubbed his neck, and made a beeline for the door. He opened the door, standing in the doorway, he looked back at Bishop, “You don’t deserve her, you know! I could show her how a real man treats a lady. I hope one of these days the mudcrabs get you!”

    Bishop snarled, showing his teeth as he spun around towards the door. At the sight Darren gave a high pitched squeal and ducked out slamming the door behind him. Bishop huffed and turned back to sit down at his chair with his wine.

    “I really do wish you’d stop scaring off my boyfriends, Bishop” she sighed at him with a pout. “I might as well adopt a bunch of sabre kittens now and live in a hut down by the river.”

    “What a piece of… Who the hell does he think he is? Strutting over like he owns the place, refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer. Gods you attract the absolute worst.”

    She just sat, watching him drink his spiced wine as he fumed. It was always so weird when he got all protective and possessive of her – especially because most of the time he pretended like he didn’t give a flying falmer fart about her wellbeing. Unless she had their gold…or their ale.

    She finally got to her wine, and allowed her mind to drift back to how their dynamically dysfunctional duo started…

    ______

    They arrived at the cave entrance to the wolf-fighting ring. Their journey there took an extra day so they could sleep off their terrible hangovers. There wasn’t much talking on the road – not unless they had to. Oddly enough though, the silence wasn’t uncomfortable. Bishop was confident, relaxed, and a little cocky, he had an air like he was almost doing her a favour by having her tag along. Weird, cause she was feeling the same about him.

    Firing at his count-down, they took out the two bandits guarding the entrance one arrow per bandit. She used an Orcish bow and arrows she looted off an orc bandit a while back, while he used his own handmade bow with steel arrows. They nodded to each other, each looted a bandit, and sneaked in.

    Deeper in and three dead bandits later, they came across a large cage. There was an animal inside, barely breathing.

    “Karnwyr… Gods what have they done to you!” Bishop stopped in his tracks at seeing the large wolf – larger than any she’d seen in the wild – lay on his side, a large claw-like wound running from the side of his face how to his belly.

    She dropped down and picked the lock hastily. “These scars, these are troll claws, not wolf.” The wolf started to whimper at seeing his Master, his tail barely wagging. She got the cage open and quickly kneeled at his head, rummaging through her backpack and pulling out a strong vile of healing potion.

    “Hold his head back,” she ordered.

    “Can’t you just use restoration magic?”

    “I’m still a novice, it’s not strong enough to patch him up by itself. But if I can get this potion in him, I should be able to heal whatever it couldn’t.”

    Bishop nodded and took the wolf’s big head into his hands, tilting it back so his mouth opened. Blood seeped over his hand holding the cheek with the scar. She saw the muscles in his jaw tense and he swallowed hard, his usually relaxed give-no-fucks eyes were now serious and worried. She poured the potion down the wolf’s throat, stroking his throat to ease the swallowing. Surely enough, the wound started to get darker and closed up. His chest which looked dented in before – probably from broken ribs – pushed out again until it regained its natural shape.

    The big wolf got up and eagerly started licking his Master’s face. Bishop sighed with relief and ruffled the fur in his neck. But something wasn’t right…

    “His eye…” she reached out with her hand on it’s cheek and turned it’s big head to her. Where his eye had been, that was in line with the scar, there was nothing.

    “Fix it -. Use your restoration, you said you could!” Bishop insisted.

    “It’s too late… the healing process already got rid of the dead tissue.” Bishop started at her in disbelief and irritation. “I can’t heal if there’s nothing to heal,” she clarified.

    Bishop turned back to his wolf. Karnwyr pawed and licked his Master happily, like he had no idea. She was moved at the unexpected tenderness Bishop’s face conveyed as he held his furry friend.

    “You know what… I’m not a religious dimwit, but these skooma-sniffing sons of wenches are about to get what’s coming to them. An eye for an eye.” She got up, pulled out an fire-enchanted elven sword she swiped from Jarl Balgruf’s chambers, and an orcish shield, and walked down the passage deeper into the cave with determination and fire in her eyes.

    Bishop couldn’t believe it. She fought with the fury of 10 men – 10 pisssssed men – plucking an eye from every bandit before moving on, whether he was still alive or not. At one point, she used the sharp edge of her shield to slit a guy’s throat while retrieving her sword out of the chest of another. She was scary when she was pissed off. He made a mental note of it.

    Between her, Bishop, and Karnwyr, they wiped out all the bandits in the cave with minor injuries. They divided the loot equally, but had to play ‘rock, parchment, knife’ for a magic staff that was worth a pretty penny. After surveying that the area is cleared they headed for a secret exit at the back of the Bandit chief’s chambers.

    Once outside, she figured they’d say their goodbyes and head in different directions. Before she could stick out her hand to shake his’ farewell, he confidently and nonchalantly said: “So, where to now princess?”

    She paused, studying his face for a moment. His face was blank.  She hesitated, but then pulled out her map and consulted it. “Whiterun” she said,  looking for the position of the sun and pointing in the direction.

    “Okay, so let’s get going then. If we move we can be there before tomorrow night.” He sniffed, patted Karnwyr on the head, and set out in the direction she pointed, not even looking back to see if she’d follow. Still cocky. ‘We?’ We’re not a ‘we’! What’s this guy’s deal?’ she thought.

    “Okaaaay…” She would question it, but she was intrigued. She was sure he’d just tag along for a while before getting bored or distracted and setting out on his own again, so she made nothing of it. Besides, till he left or was killed, made no real difference to her which, she had a pretty thing to look at to distract her on the long road.

    ________

    “What are we doing here again?” Bishop nagged as they walked into Whiterun. Karnwyr did not accompany them as he didn’t like cities. Bishop assured her Karnwyr comes and goes as he pleases and will not go far.

    “Food. Ale. Bed. Coin.” She said over her shoulder to him. She’d grown comfortable with his presence over the last few days. Well, ‘tolerate’ rather. Not that she’s the kind of person who’d ever feel uncomfortable. Gods knew not even Sanguine’s dirtiest joke or Molag Bal’s darkest deed could make her blush.

    “Coin?”

    “Yeah, you know – the stuff that gets us the food, ale, and beds?”

    He looked at her very unamused. “I meant to ask where you think the coin will come from, your all-knowing ladyship?”

    “I got this here tablet for the courtwizard he had me fetch,” she said, tapping the odd engraved slate strapped to her backpack. “Then I need to check in with the companions, see if they have any work for me.”

    “You’re a companion?” he asked with disgust, his face like he smelled something bad. “You can’t be serious?”

    “Hella serious. Free food, free ale, and free beds, and they always have bounties that need collecting so I have a steady stream of work. Also, I swiped most of my armour and weapons from there when I just started out.”

    He cocked an eyebrow at her.

    “The trick is to keep your eye on a chest for a few days – making sure no one checks it regularly. And take something from the bottom, something that won’t be missed.” She flashed him a smile and winked as she walked into town with a swing in her hips that flattered her figure, even through the clunky leather and iron armour. The sun had already begun to set, casting golden and rose rays that seemed to catch in her short black hair that always stood wildly tuffed.

    That was the first time he noticed it – noticed how men and boys, even some women, would stop in their tracks to watch her go by. Although he didn’t feel anything but indifference towards her, he felt his chest swell remembering all her sweet talking back in Riverwood. She wanted him, he knew it. The Dragonborn wanted her a generous slice of Bishop-pie. A smug, arrogant smile adorned his face.

    “Hello Dee!” a beautiful young red-head called out to her joyfully, waving almost over-eagerly.

    “Hey Ysolda, what’s up? I don’t have any more sleeping tree sap with me right now…”

    “Oh that’s okay, it’s a fine day with you around regardless.” Ysolda reached out and brushed Diana’s arm tenderly. “You in town long? You’re welcome to stay at my place, you know.”

    Bishop stared at the young woman who flirted and batted her eyes at Diana. They seemed to know each other too, personally. Was Diana…? No, can’t be. Although, if she were, that’s explain why she didn’t pay attention to the men ogling her. But then, all that stuff in Riverwood, that was just what… It slapped him like a fish to the face. ‘That was her tryna get free booze and entertainment’. He felt stupid. Real stupid. Here he thought he’d tag along as a favour to her, and maybe leech off her fame and riches (the latter which he hadn’t seen yet though).

    “Err, thanks Ysolda. But my companion and I,” she grabbed the ranger by the arm and pulled him closer, throwing an arm over his shoulder, “we’re here on business. Will probably just rent a room at the inn and be off by morning.”

    Ysolda looked at the Ranger. Both were not sure what had just happened, but were determined to play it cool.

    “Oh, okay then I guess. Well maybe next time?” Ysolda said sweetly with a hint of disappointment in her voice.

    “Definitely!” Diana reassured her “But we better be going now. See yah Ys!” Diana clung to Bishop’s arm as she marched him out of the market up the stairs to the Plain’s District.

    “Was nice seeing you!” Ysolda cried out behind them.

    “Just keep walking, don’t look back…” Diana said through her teeth as she waved a hand in the air but didn’t slow down or turn around.

    Once out of sight, she dropped his arm and breathed a sigh of relieve. ‘Phew!’

    “What the hell was that about?” Bishop asked cautiously.

    “THAT, my friend, was Ysolda. Got crazy drunk on expensive wine Farkas and I stole from Nazeem one night. When I reached the point that I couldn’t remember my own name, I somehow remembered her telling me earlier in the day how she needed a mammoth’s tusk for… something… I can’t recall. Anyway, so being the gallant saviour of Skyrim that I am, I decide to break into Belethor’s shop and steal his mammoth’s tusk for her.”

    “And I assume you succeeded?” Bishop asked, knowing the answer.

    “Oh yes. I can’t untie my own armour when I’m that drunk, but shit-faced or sober as a paladin – I’m always stealthy as a Khajiit. So anyway, I take this mammoth’s tusk and go knocking at the lady’s door to wow her with my bravery and valour, you know. But it’s like 2:30 in the morning. She opens the door in this naughty little silk gown, and I hand her her tusk. But this wench, she’s so grateful she grabs me and kisses me. She goes on to tell me she has no money to pay me, but she then says ‘Is there anything I can do to repay you?’ I know, real ‘Lusty Argonian Maid stuff. Now I’m about to take the tusk back and say ‘well then bye Felicia, sucks to be you!’, but for some reason I just stood there staring at her boobs in that sheer dress. Honestly, I was just impressed, but she took it as a sign of me indicating my method of payment.”

    Bishop stood frozen. What, the hell, was he listening to?

    “So anyway, long story short. I wake up with very little clothes next to a very naked Ysolda the next morning with no recollection of what happened after. Could’ve been worse. I heard Farkas woke up naked in the fountain at Dragon’s Reach. The whole town’s guards was there. So yeah, since then I’ve avoided her like the plague.”

    Bishop stood in silence for a while, trying to make sense of what he just heard and add it to what he (thought he) knew about her.

    “So, you’re…into chicks?” Wow, was that really all he took from that story?

    “Wouldn’t you like to know…” she teased with a skew smile as she made her way towards the stairs up to Dragon’s Reach.

    Actually, yes. He would like to know. But he wasn’t about to let that show. A picture flashed through his head of Diana and Ysolda both naked in his bed. He quickly shook it off and adjusted his pants before following.

    ________

    He was sooo tempted to just throw her over his shoulder and carry her pathetic, whiney ass up the stairs. For someone who could probably run for hours on end, arm-wrestle an Orc, and swim across Lake Ilinata like an Argonian, this bitch was defeated by stairs.

    “Fucking…hate…stairs….” She heaved each word out of breath as she used her arms to lift her legs, one by one, up the stairs, pausing regularly to recover.

    “Are you kidding me with this right now?” he said blankly in disbelief.

    “Go on… without me…” she continued, “Tell… Ysolda… I’m sorry… And tell… Nazeem… to go… fuck himself….” She genuinely looked like she could collapse at any moment. Guess everyone had a weakness – the mighty Dragonborn’s was stairs. Not very hero-of-Skyrim-esque.

    “Gods… what have I done to deserve this?!” she cried as she collapsed to catch her breath. “Wait, no. Don’t answer that. We’ll be here all night.”

    “Oh for the love of Mara..!” Bishop plucked her up and threw her over his shoulder. She didn’t resist at all, she had no strength to. She was limp like Heimskr’s penis when thinking of ‘mighty Talos’.

    “Ah yes, my mighty, loyal steed! Onward and upward!” She commanded with a finger pointed to the sky. He sighed and shook his head as he made his way up effortlessly. Till he felt hands tapping his butt.

    “I wouldn’t do that if I were you ladyship…” he warned. Her hips here on his shoulder and her legs bent around his arm, keeping her from slipping off his backside. Her head was just above his behind.

    “Why? You have a good butt. I liked your butt.” She squeezed a cheek, “I think I’ll name it… wait…” she sniffed, then gagged. “What the hell ranger?! My mouth was open!” She yelled at him as she covered her nose and mouth. He just grinned, “If you ever try and name any of my bodyparts again, I’ll wait until you’re asleep and your mouth is open, and toot in your face – got it princess?” She just let out muffled curses.

    He put her down on the last step. She straightened her armour and hair. “Great, now I’m going to smell like horker fart in front of the Jarl’s courtwizard! Dipshit.” She sneered at him, but he smiled proudly. She just rolled her eyes, shook her head and headed in, Bishop in trail.

     

    She approached Farengar’s desk, to see the mage look pleasantly surprised.

    “Well, look who it is. Come to Dragon Reach to discuss the ongoing hostilities while you sip expensive wine, or have you finally made yourself useful?”

    Bishop was taken aback by how forward Farengar was with her, and that she didn’t give him a piece of her mind. Instead, she look somewhat… sheepish?

    “Yes, yes, I know I’ve been gone for a while. But I brought you a little something.” She unstrapped the tablet from her backpack and placed it on the table. At first he was mortified that he’d keep such a priceless artefact strapped like  a pelt on her backpack, but he was just too happy to have it in hand.

    “Finally! Yes, this is it!” His face lit up as he eagerly examined the tablet.

    Diana stood there, waiting. Farengar looked up, surprised to see them still there. “You’re dismissed, Diana.”

    “Aren’t you forgetting something?” She held out her hand, her face a little irritated.

    “Diana,” he said seriously leaning over the table to her, “this tablet is over three months late. You came here full of promise and hope, killed the dragon, got summoned by the Greybeards, got your orders to retrieve the tablet as soon as possible – and then you disappeared.”

    “I was…busy.” She said as confidently as she could, raising her eyebrows. “You know, a lot of people need my help. What, should I just walk away in their hour of need because some wizard in a tower needs me to play errand girl for him because he’s too busy playing with purple rocks?”

    “This is not a joke, Diana!” he said sternly. “Dragons are coming back to life, and we have no idea why. You might just be our only hope and you need to start taking this seriously!”

    “No, you listen Farengar!” She said matching his tone. She was very rarely serious, so it was a bit unnerving for Bishop. “I am my own person, as you are yours. And I don’t care if you’re a Jarl, an Orc Chief, or the Emperor himself – no man will dictate my life for me!” She slammed her hands on the desk leaning to him.

    ‘Note to self – don’t tell Diana what to do’, Bishop thought to himself. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She looked over and saw a small pile of gems on his desk. Looking back at him, she picked up the biggest diamond of the lot, and walked away. Farengar didn’t dare stop her.

     

    The walk back down was significantly faster and more quiet than the one up. The twin moons were rising into the sky as she marched herself down the stairs. He could almost see the little thundercloud above her head. Also, apparently going down stairs is no issue for her.

    Her fuming silence made him uncomfortable. Should he ask her about what she’s feeling? Yeah, chicks love to talk about their feelings…right?

    “You wanna, talk about it-“ he began as they reached the bottom, but he was cut off

    “No. Fuck off.” She answered coldly.

    “Well fuck you too then! Gods, who ordered the tall glass of hissy bitch with a side of ‘daddy issues’?” She paused dead in her tracks, and turned to face him with eyes that would make a troll cower in fear.

    “Ex-cuse me?” She said, mouthing the words. Surely she had misheard him!

    “Arghhh… I get it okay! I know your type. You don’t like being told what to do, especially coming from older men. Whether it’s just you don’t like orders, or maybe you don’t like responsibility – I don’t fucking know, and I don’t fucking care. But here’s the thing about me, Princess, you need a punching bag, that’s fine, hit me with it. But you sure as hell be ready to take it as well as you can dish it out.”

    She was speechless. Her mouth hung open like she was about to say something, but nothing. Her dagger-spitting eyes turned to real surprise and, maybe even appreciation? She was mostly surprised he hadn’t just flipped her the bird and took off. Nope, he gave her her own medicine, and now stood impatiently waiting for her to collect her thoughts.

    “Close your mouth, won’t you, before you swallow a firefly and choke. I’d hate to steal your coinpurse from your corpse here in the open. Now, you wanted to go to Jorvaskr?”

    She closed her mouth, and snapped out of it. “Er, yeah. But it’s too late now. Half of them are already drunk, and the other half almost there or asleep.”

    “Alrighty, off to the Bannered Mare then.” He said blankly and lead the way.

     

    “Barkeep – two rooms and ale! LOTS of ale.” His voice rang over the mumbling of the busy inn as they entered.

    “My dear, I’m afraid we only have one more room available for tonight. It’s the spring festival starting tomorrow and everything else is booked for the next two days I’m afraid.” Hulda looked genuinely sorry.

    Shit. She had forgotten about the festival. Farmers from all over Whiterun will be in town to trade, sell their produce, and establish trade agreements for the coming year. Guess she and Bish’ll have to cuddle-up. “Guess we’ll just be cuddle buddies then tonight.” She slapped his butt and winked at him. She did like his butt!

    Bishop just growled at her. “Barkeep, are you sure you have nothing else? I’d much rather sleep on the floor than bunk with her, don’t wanna catch mad-cow.” He turned to Diana, “Yes, yes I did just call you a cow.” She narrowed her eyes and pouted at him.

    “There’s a cot in the storeroom at the back of the bathroom. It’s small and cramped, but it’s clean?” Hulda said apologetically.

    “I’ll take it, at half price of course.” He said insistently. Hulda nodded and got each of them a mug of ale.

    “Is the water still warm?” Diana enquired, pointing her thumb towards to bathroom.

    “That it is. Had it filled not too long ago, and all the guests have been too busy celebrating and catching up with old friends to have used it.”

    “Perfect!” Diana slapped her hand on the counter, then threw an arm around Bishop’s neck. “Could I ask that you fix me and my best-friend-in-the-whole-world-who’s-going-to-stand-guard-while-I-bath here each a plate of food while we’re gone? I’ll take mine in my room. He’ll take his…” she glanced across the room, spotting the young bar wench on Mikael’s lap, “ah, on her.”

    Hulda just blushed and smiled. She knew Diana by now. Her son was one of the companions too and had invited her and Farkas over for dinner a couple of times. Bishop looked over to the girl she was pointing at, shrugged and nodded. “Works for me.”

     

    “No peeh-king!” she commanded with a finger pointed at his face as she narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. They’ve had a couple of ales by now till Bishop called time-out. They didn’t have a lot of coin and still needed to pay for supplies. Diana, being Diana, then turned to stealing unattended drinks all over the inn. Wine, ale, mead…whatever the hell Uthgerd was drinking, it didn’t matter. When Sinmir realised his mead was gone, and started violently darting his eyes around the room, Bishop pulled her into the bathroom.

    “Couldn’t pay me to, Princess…” he chimed back as he walked to the entrance to stand guard.

    “Pffft, ‘oe needs ‘em” she waved his comment off, taking off her armour to get ready for the bath. There was a single divider separating the door and the bath, and the entrance had no door as the steam and humidity would damage the wooden floors and beams of the old inn.

    She slipped in and sighed deeply as she soaked in the hot water, washing away all the dust, dirt, and even some old bandit blood still left on her skin. She scrubbed extra hard on her hair, still convinced Bishop’s fart lingered when actually, it was just her own stink from days without a bath.

    Just as she got out, pulled up her leather pants and threw on her undershirt, she heard a voice at the entrance.

    “Well hello big boy… What a pity to see a man like you alone on a night like this. Maybe I can help with that?” Said a very sultry female voice.

    “I’m not alone. Go away.” Bishop said dismissively.

    “Look, handsome, I’m someone who doesn’t take no for an answer, and I want what I’m looking at right now. So how about we not waste anymore time, and I’ll show you a night you won’t soon forget for all the right reasons.”

    “Are you fucking deaf? I said I’m not interested. Gods only know where you’ve been, and I very much like the fact that when I pee – it doesn’t burn. So make like a tree and leave”

    Diana cringed hard at Bishop’s terrible pun. She popped her head around the divider to see who the mystery slut was.

    Bishop stood in the middle of the doorway, arms folded and feet apart as if to fill the frame. He stared straight ahead. In front of him was a beautiful young woman in very fitted tunic, short leather skirt, and knee-high boots. The whole ensemble fitted her very well and would’ve earned applause from Dibella, she’s sure.

    “It’s her, isn’t it. That woman you came in with,” hot mystery slut continued, pointing over his shoulder into the room. “Seriously? Look at me. I could get any man in here if I wanted to, but I just see one man that I want. Now tell me, what does she have that I don’t?”

    “Diana has self-respect.” Bishop said coldly. He wanted to add something about her also not having any STD’s, but heck, he didn’t know her life.

    “Heyyy, did I hear my name?” Diana swooped in next to bishop. Her loose shirt clung to her wet body. She drew her hand through her damp hair, pushing it out of her face. “I couldn’t help but see my friend, dickbutt, here not treating you the way a beautiful woman like yourself should be treated.” Her eyes looking the girl up and down as she bit her lip seductively. “Allow me to make up for it. Did I overhear you say you offer a night not to be forgotten, cause you see, I’ll already pretty buzzed and I don’t think I’m going to remember meeting you in the morning – so I’d love for you to make sure I don’t forget this night, as I’d hate to forget your pretty face.”

    Diana fixed her sexiest gaze on the girl and stepped closer. “The name’s Diana, but you can just call me ‘The D’, cause all the pretty girls want me. And you are?” Diana reached out, took her hand and kissed it. Bishop just hung his forehead into his palm as he shook his head.

    “I am…” the mortified girl plucked her hand out of Diana’s, gave Bishop a quick look before looking back at Diana as she took a step back, “…creeped out, and leaving.” The girl spun around on her heels and darted into the crowd without looking back.

    Bishop and Diana stood looking on. Diana with a satisfied smile on her face and Bishop with a very confused one.

    “Ladyship, you come on a little too strong – anyone ever tell you that?” he asked with a laugh in his voice.

    “Oh whatever do you mean? I’m subtlety and grace embodied.” She answered in a high, dainty voice. “Oh, and you’re welcome, by the way.” She said as she turned to put on the rest of her clothes.

    “I’m welcome? For what?” His eyes fell to her waist as the damp shirt still clung to her body, showing off her figure. Just as it moved down to the rise of her hips, he quickly shook his head to snap out of it.

    She turned to him as if she couldn’t believe he just asked that. “For saving you from that thirsty wench’s legs.”

    “So that whole bit was for my benefit?” he said with a laugh.

    “Yeah. I mean, since we’re doing this whole ‘companion’ thing now, might as well start looking out for one another. So whenever one of us is being hit on by someone we’re not interested in, the other has to come to their rescue.” She explained matter-of-factly.

    “Okay,” He said with a chuckle. “This is going to be fun!”

     

     

    Whiterun was crazy. Stalls and people everywhere. Worked well for them as shopkeepers had to lower their prices. They picked up some potions, food, and ale. She stopped by Wairmaiden’s to get some new arrows and have their weapons and armour patched up and improved.

    “Thanks Adrianne!” Diana said trying on her new armour and loading her new arrows. “Feel like I can run chest first into a bear and kill it with this breastplate!”

    Adrianne smiled at the compliment. “Actually, now that you’re headed that way, could I perhaps ask you a favour? My father, the Jarl’s steward, he had me make the Jarl a new sword for his upcoming birthday. With the festivities I’m too busy to take it to him and he’s too busy to come down here. Could you deliver it for me?” She pulled out a magnificent, reinforced steel broadsword with golden finishes and emeralds and rubies on the hilt.

    Diana’s eyes went wide. “Of course! Anytime!” to which Adrianne smiled appreciatively before turning back to her forge .

    “Free sword” Diana whispered through her teeth to Bishop.

    “Score.”

     

    It was well passed noon, but the town still buzzing with life. Diana and Bishop strolled back to the market square and browsed the stalls.

    “YOU!” a voice broke through the noise. Diana turned to see a finger pointed at her. Belethor’s finger. “You stole my tusk!”

    “Shit…” is all she got out. Bishop’s eyes darted around them, his mind formulating an escape plan. He grabbed his dagger, “Hey, kids!” he yelled over to some children playing in the dirt. As their little faces turned to him, he swung with his blade at a bag of taffy that sat on the counter of a stall that sold sweets and kids toys. “Run Diana!” he yelled at her.

    She spun around and darted towards the Winds District. Bishop hastily pulled out a few coins and slapped it on the counter before following her lead. Belethor came for them but was stopped by the kids who swarmed around him after the sweets.

     

    “I think we lost him.” She said out of breath, hiding behind the walls of Jorvaskr.

    Bishop peered over. “Yeah, coast is clear.”

    She sighed with relief. “Good. And here we are at Jorvaskr, our last stop. By the way, we’re sleeping here tonight.”

    He was a little taken aback by her use of ‘we’. They really were a thing now? Companions. Amigos. Bunk buddies.

    “Alright. But if I wake up with fleas, I’m feeding you to the giants.”

     

    Farkas threw his arms up and cheered as he turned to see his favourite shield-sister walk through the door. “Diana!” She smiled broadly and genuinely as she walked to him and threw her arms up too. He picked her up effortlessly and squeezed.

    “Easy there big guy, or I’ll pop like a clam.” She weezed. He put her down and ruffled her short, messy hair.

    “Where the hell have you been! The big shots from Dragon’s Reach were here every second day asking for you.”

    “I was… busy. Listen hun,” she quickly changed the topic, “I need work, and my companion and I need a place to stay tonight. Think it’ll be okay if he stays here?”

    Farkas looked up to the ranger standing in the doorway a few feet away. Farkas was big, even for a nord. His hands alone could easily crack a person’s scull. Farkas didn’t look very impressed with his shield sister’s new little toy.

    “I guess, but you’d have to ask Vilkas. He’s downstairs. He’ll want to see you.”

    “Ah, working real hard on trying to not have any fun again?” She asked with a smirk

    Farkas chuckled, “Of course, what else? Can’t afford to have a moment of weakness, what if Ysgramor suddenly comes back to life and walks in here to find Vilkas having fun? Unacceptable!”

    She giggled at the big oaf’s attempt at humour. She has rubbed off on him a little, it seemed. She stood on her tip toes, pulled his head down and planted a kiss on his cheek. “I missed ya big guy! Good to see looking happy and handsome as ever. I’m sure all the new lady-pups are just falling over their paws for you – but remember, you lost our bet at Dawnstar and now you have to marry me! So they can look but can’t touch.”

    He blushed a little and brushed her chin with his finger, before pushing her in the direction of the stairs. “You and I both know you reset those traps! Now, get! Before I forget my manners.” She winked back at him and they made their way over and down the stairs.

    Hold-up, now she’s engaged?? To a man-bear? This news, and seeing her kiss Farkas and call him ‘hun’ confirmed Bishop’s suspicion. He had been made a fool by thinking he was ‘special’ to her. But still, she was hella entertaining, and he had no place to be. He’ll stick around till it gets boring or she gets killed. In the meantime, she felt the same about him.They were pretty interesting companions.

     

    They proceeded down the stairs and into a long corridor. He stayed two steps behind her, as she confidently made her way down before turning into the last room on the left.

    “Stay here” she ordered, tapping her hand on his chest before going in alone.

    She leaned in to see the big but somewhat smaller brother of the oaf upstairs. He sat at his desk, pouring over books. A plate of untouched food on the edge.

    “Did anyone order a ‘long lost shield sister’ with extra ‘I’m sorry’ and a side of ‘please don’t be mad’?” She smiled and did her best puppy dog eyes.

    Vilkas turned to look at the familiar voice, and let out a sigh, like he had been holding that breath for a while. “Diana… the prodigal daughter returns.” He looked at her with mixed emotions, and didn’t get up from his chair. “You were gone so long we’d started to assume the worst. What happened to you?” his voice was sober and earnest.

    “Well. After being told you are supposed to be the saviour of Skyrim after nearly having your head chopped off and having a dragon talk to you, and discovering I now had mythical power, I put the ‘run’ in Whiterun and GTFO’d out of here.”

    She didn’t like serious talk; Vilka knew this. He also knew that this – that she ran because she got overwhelmed, scared maybe even – was as honest a confession she’d made in a long time. He finally got up and embraced her. She sighed with relief and hugged the tall, dark, and handsome man tightly.

    “How long will you be staying?” he asked after a much longer than usual hug.

    “Actually, I’m just here for work and a place to crash tonight. I’ll be gone in the morning.”

    His face fell a little. Ever since he and Farkas found her that day, alone, in ruined stormcloak armour and covered in blood fighting a giant just outside town with the fury of Ysgramor, she has had a special place in his heart.  They took her in and cleaned her up, turning a blind eye to her rampant kleptomania, even leaving sturdy armour and weapons for her to find in chests scattered throughout Jorvaskr. She loved to tease him, and brought some much needed lightness and humour into his life and he soon felt himself very protective of her. He taught her everything he knew about one-handed combat with a shield and archery, and with her determination and drive she soon became the prodigy at Jorvaskr.

    But he was careful to not let her too close. When the time came for her final trial, although Kodlak had asked him to accompany her, he insisted they send Farkas. He still regretted that. When Diana and Farkas returned, the two were thick as thieves, getting into all kinds of mischief together, and became inseparable.  That could’ve been him, and he could only blame himself.

    “Well, I’m sorry to hear. This is your home as much as it is mine, so please rest and eat. I’ll speak to Aela about getting you a couple of jobs together by the morning. Kodlak is out for the night on the Jarl’s invitation at the big party at Dragon’s Reach tonight. Shame, he would’ve wanted to see you.”

    She was relieved Kodlak wasn’t around. She had immense respect for the Harbinger, but couldn’t shake the feeling that he saw right through here, and that terrified her more than bears, more than Dragons, or finding out she’s pregnant…and that Nazeem’s the father.

    “One more thing, Vilkas…”she knew he has a soft spot for her, so she didn’t know how he’d react to her bringing a stranger into their home calling him her companion. Is it too late to pretend she doesn’t know him and kick him out? “I wanted to ask, if it’d be okay if my companion stay here tonight too?”

    Vilkas looked at her confused, “Your…companion? But I thought you travelled alone. Who is she?” He knew the ‘she’ was wishful thinking.

    “He… is Bishop. I helped him out and he’s tagged along since.” She leaned out the door waving him over.

    Bishop had been eavesdropping intently. As he stepped into the room, Vilkas raised his head and straightened his back – as if to intimidate or impress, it wasn’t clear which. “….Hi.” Bishop said awkwardly. Vilkas was a handsome, tall dark Nord with dark blue eyes in his mid thirties, and an experienced and celebrated warrior too. Bishop was the same age as Diana, barely 24, rather kept to the shadows, and despised more than liked by everyone who ever knew him. He knew he was waaay out of his league if he thought he could compete with this guy. Not that he would want to, honestly, Diana freaked him out a little. I mean, he saw the appeal, but still – the woman is cray.

    Vilkas swallowed hard. “Sure, why not. A friend of a shield-sister is a friend of ours. There’s only one open bed in the bunk room, but you can sleep in Skjor’s room. We’ve been meaning to have it fixed up for you, but you’re never around long enough.”

    “Thank you, Vilkas” Diana smiled, leaning in to put a kiss on his cheek as she did with his brother, just more tender this time. Vilkas nodded and turned back to his work. Diana took the cue and ushered Bishop out with her following.

    “He’s going to kill me in my sleep isn’t he?” Bishop said nervously as they walked up to the main hall.

    “No,” Diana scoffed playfully, “He’s just… Vilkas. He’s always reading, studying, and serious, but he’s harmless – as long as you stay on his good side by not throwing his shield sister to bears if you don’t like her jokes.”

     

    The two ate and drank to their fill, and retired to the quarters below. One of the young female recruits had tried really hard to offer her services as a bed-warmer to him for the night. He was sorely tempted, but was already too scared that Vilkas would come and strangle him to take her up on the offer.

    Diana crept into Skjor’s old room. Everything was exactly as he’d left it. The room was eerie, and gave her the heebie-geebies. Just as she stepped in, a book slipped off the shelf and fell on the floor. ‘Nope!’ she yelped and spun around before darting out.

     

    “Pssst…. Farkas!” she whispered as she stood over the big snoring lump. “Hey, I’m talking to you ice-brain,” she gently shook his shoulder.

    “Whu-what? Diana? What are you doing here?” He sat up rubbing his eyes, “I’m too tired for any of your adventures so whatever you have planned will have to happen with me in bed.”

    “Yeah, save it for the wedding night.” His eyes shot open and he blushed as he realised how dirty his offer sounded. “Now shut up for a second and scoot over, I’m sleeping here with you tonight.” She said in a whisper voice as she pushed him to move up to make space for her.

    “But Vilkas said you’re sleeping in Skjor’s room?”

    “The fucking room is haunted and creepy as shit! You’re welcome to go sleep there, but I’m not! Besides, what if Aela starts sleepwalking in the night, comes over and thinks I’m Skjor??”

    Farkas sat up thinking for a moment. Thinking was hard for Farkas. He shrugged and scooted over. His bed was the biggest and only custom made bed in Jorvaskr as the normal ones were too small for him. She slipped in and cuddled up behind his back.

    “…hey, Farkas?” she whispered cautiously.

    “Yeah, Dee?”

    “Is it okay if, maybe, I’m little spoon?”

    His shoulders began to rock as he tried to stifle his chuckles. “Sure.”

    She jumped on her other side and moved into his chest as he turned too. He was still trying hard not to giggle.

    “Thanks.” She said as she cozied up against his chest under his arm. “Oh and Farkas?”

    “Yes, mighty Dragonborn? Need me to read you a story? Some warm milk, perhaps?” he said as he began to rock with chuckles again.

    “If you tell anyone about this, I’ll tell Kodlak about that time you got drunk and used Wuthrad to cut your steak because you were too shit-faced to find a knife. And then you stole that daedric heart from his room and ate it, thinking it would give you powers.” At that the big body behind her went quiet.

    “You wouldn’t…”

    “Try me.”

     

    The sun wasn’t even in the sky yet when Bishop was up and very ready to go. During the night, the little companion girl tried to sneak into his bead by crawling up under the covers. Saying no to a woman is tough, saying no to a drunk woman is hard, saying no to a drunk companion? Nearly impossible.

    He made his way down towards the room Diana slept in, when he saw her sneak out of Farkas’ room, shoes in hand as to not make any noise. His eyes widened and his face judged her, hard.

    “Nothing happened!” she whispered to him as he walked over, shaking his head disapprovingly.

    Bishop paused for a moment. “Sleep with who- or whatever you want. Can we just leave? Please?”

    “Sure. As soon as we ate and I have the bounties we can go.” She put on her shoes and they made their way upstairs for breakfast.

    Aela and Farkas soon joined after. Aela gave her enough bounties to last a while. She knew this was a favour from Vilkas, as usually only one job is given at a time. Speaking of, where was Vilkas?

    After breakfast they said their goodbyes and set out. Bishop ducking behind Farkas to avoid the whelp girl seeing him as she came up.

    Once outside, her eyes caught a dark figure leaning against the wall. ‘Vilkas? Outside? Was he lost? Did he need her to call an adult?’

    “Vilkas?” she said gently as she walked over to him. “Was wondering where you were.”

    He looked up, giving her a smile. “You heading out?” he said, looking at Bishop impatiently waiting a few steps away, looking over his shoulder every now and then to Jorvaskr’s doors like he’s afraid of what might come out.

    “Yeah. But I’m glad you’re here. I wanted to say thank you for the jobs, and for letting Bishop stay here.” She said earnestly.

    “Of course.” He said as his smile faded and his eyes fell to the ground over his folded arms. “Keep safe, and stop by again if you’re in the area.”

    “I will.” She said, a little disappointed that he dismissed her so quickly.

    She turned around and took two steps towards Bishop as he eagerly waited for her to catch up. But she stopped in her tracks, turn back with determination and walk back to Vilkas, planting a big kiss on his lips, her hand on his cheek.

    His body froze in place and his eyes went wide as her lips met his. Just as he started to melt, and close his eyes to take in the kiss she pulled away. “Goodbye Vilkas. Take care of yourself.” She said kindly to the shocked man as a tint of crimson flashed over his face. She turned back and caught up with Bishop as they made their way out.

    “I don’t want to hear it…” she said as soon as they were out of hearing range from Vilkas, he just stood there staring as they disappeared.

    “You kidding? He looked so depressed, I was about to go over and kiss him just to get him to lighten the fuck up.” He replied with and shrug and raised eyebrows.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  DovaBunny.
    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    ‘Here I go, here I go, here I go again – girls what’s my weakness? MEN!’ – the Shoop Song.

    Alrighty ladies, here we go with part 3! Not sure if anyone’s reading this (if you are, gimme a holla that I know you exist). The chapters will start to become more and more NSFW from here. Again, warning to those who don’t like swearing, sexual innuendo, or have a sense of humour.

    -The DovaBunny

    _____

    The Frozen Hearth fell into a lulling calm after that spectacle, with only the crackle of the fire and soft humming of close conversation hanging in the air. Diana and Bishop sat in silence as they finished mug after mug of spiced wine put in front of them. Bishop was still inexplicable pissed after what happened with the Darren fellow. She didn’t have the energy or desire to pry it out of him or to sit and figure out what was up. Her mind was occupied with much more important things, Dragonborn things, like wondering how horkers mate and who the father of all Mavern Blackbriar’s kids are – or did she just spawn the little creatures?

    Bishop slammed his sixth empty mug down on the table, and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “You, me, upstairs, now.” He commanded in a low, commanding voice as he got up and made his way to the inn’s stairs going up to the bedrooms. He paused at the foot of the stairs to glare at her for staying seated. She sighed, finished her mug, got her books, and followed, dragging her feet to show her reluctance.

    Once in their room, he quickly shut the door behind her while she put down her books and backpack. “Bishop, I…”

    “Shut up will you,” he cut her off in a deep voice as he eagerly tore her cloak off her shoulders, his mouth finding her neck as his hands started loosening her armour. His eyes were closed shut, a furrow on his brow, as his hands manoeuvred around her armour and piece by piece it dropped to the floor. She wasn’t even that good at taking of her own armour!

    She wanted to resist, but felt herself give in to his hungry hands and mouth on her neck. His hands slipped under her loose armour and pushed if off over her shoulders. Strong hands grabbed her thighs roughly and lifted her up onto his hips as he pinned her to the closed door. She dug her hands into his hair and threw her head back has his mouth made its way from her neck, over her collarbone, down her chest. He could turn her on like a dwemer switch.

    They had been travelling together for a year and a half now. During this time they’ve come to know each other, read each other, and accommodate each other. By now they could communicate without saying a word, by gestures, body language, and expressions. She had become an extension of his bow, and he of her sword, as they fought all kinds of beasts in unison. They were both young, inexperienced, very stubborn and self-centred people when they met, and learning to eat, sleep, travel and fight with another didn’t come easy.

    __________________

    “No, absolutely not.” Bishop barked as he swung a steel greatsword at a very angry chaurus. He’d much rather use his trusty dagger in fighting, but he wasn’t comfortable with how close he’d have to get to the vermin to be able to kill it.

    They’d been in the wilderness for two weeks, hunting down bounties. Three giants, two mines overrun with skeevers and spiders, and two trolls who terrorized farmers later, they started to look and smell like something a mudcrab craped out. They were also running low on potions. Right now they were somewhere between Solitude and Morthal, exterminating chaurus.

    “We need supplies Bishop!” Diana ducked just in time to miss a bolt of poison, and retaliated by giving it an arrow between its eyes. The creature squealed and dropped.

    “We can get it in Morthal.” He shouted to her over his shoulder waving his hand in frustration, before turning the creature in front of him into a kebab. He picked it up on his sword, and threw it at the last one still scurrying around.

    “FUCK no! That place is creepy! Besides, the town is haunted by the ghost of that girl and her mother who died in a fire cause daddy’s new vampire girlfriend was into sucking more than just… well, you were there, you heard the barkeep!” she fired an arrow at its head at the same time it spat poison at her. The dead chaurus had pinned it to the ground, and her arrow hit home. He ducked just in time as the poison grazed the hair standing up on her head. It splashed over Bishop’s armoured back, burning into the leather with a sizzle. He looked pissed.

    “Great! Now I need new armour!” he hissed through his teeth as he sheathed the sword on his back and walked over. “Fine, we don’t have to go to Morthal. But not Solitude!”

    “It’s the best, closest option right now! Besides, you’re not my mom! I’ll go without you…” she warned, but he knew she was serious. There was a nonverbal understanding between the two that neither of them would take the lead as neither of them is willing to follow the other – they were mature like that. That, and that they weren’t married to each other, they were together because it was convenient to them, not because they felt they had to. “Besides, we’re just about through our bounty list. The capital is bound to have work.”

    Bishop mumbles something about chaurus bait and choking in her sleep. She threw her bow on her back and wiped her brow with the back of her hand. Still catching her breath, she gave him a last glare before setting out towards Solitude. As she turned away, he lifter a middle finger in her direction sticking out his tongue, then got up and followed a few steps behind, still mumbling curses.

     

    This was her first time in Solitude. She’d been urged to join the legion in the wake of a looming civil war, but ain’t nobody got time for that! To be paid that little for risking her hide and then having them tell you what to do, say, and wear? Noooo spank-you. It also resembles an actual job way too much. Yuck.

    The people of Riverwood and Whiterun knew her as the Dragonborn after the Whiterun guards witnessed her absorb the dragon’s soul and shout. The Jarl also know referred to her as the ‘Dragonborn’, and urged her to heed the call of the Greybeards. She was told they were old hermits with long grey beards (original, I know) who lived atop the Throat of the World in seclusion. If she didn’t know any better, she’d think them a bunch of retired gay wizards who just loved the view and that ‘fresh mountain air’. She told Bishop this, who then adamantly confirmed this to be true. She believed him for two weeks until an innkeeper corrected her, and Bishop burst out laughing that she actually believed him. What an asshat.

    Now, the whole ‘Greybeards summon’ sounded pretty cool, until she heard where the Greybeards lived…and how one would reach them. 7 000 000 steps? Are you fucking kidding me?! She’d be dead before she reached 100 steps. She’d go once she could ride a dragon up there – Dragonborns can ride dragons, right? She really needs to look into this whole ‘Dragonborn’ thing.

     

    Bishop and Diana walked in to what seemed like the whole city gathered for a beheading. Those who turned to look at them looked more disturbed by their appearance than the beheading. The city saw new faces regularly, especially with the harbour, but the two of them looked like…well… troll shit, to put it lightly. And smelled like it too. Mud, blood, poison, skeever poop, and chaurus bile speckled their faces and battered armour.

    “Do we… stick around for the show?” she asked Bishop through her teeth, unsure of what to do. She had never been in such a fancy city before. Everyone was dressed like noblemen and women. Even the children had expensive toys and clothes of rich colour and high quality. She could sell one of those toys and start a small farm back in Helgen.

    “Fuck me if I know…” Bishop replied under his breath, both still staring straight ahead with uncomfortable and uncertain grins at the people gawking at them.

    “Gladly!” the word slipped out before she could think. Dammit, she should really start doing that ‘think before you talk’ thing. Eh, she was too hungry, tired, and sober to care.

    Bishop nearly broke his neck as he shot her a look of shock and surprise, looking at her like her head had just turned into a giant sweetroll. Whether he was scared, flattered, interested, or disgusted wasn’t clear. Maybe all of the above.

    “I’m kidding, calm down…” she wasn’t really. It had been months since she’d felt a tender touch. The closest she last had was that abrupt kiss with Vilkas. There had been, let’s say, opportunities, with strangers of relative attractiveness in some inns along the way, but Bishop was being a cock-block because it was ‘unfair’ if she’d to get lucky and not him. And attractive women rarely hang out in random inns on the road.  She was getting tense and wound-up and edgy. Even Bishop started to look good! Well, when you tilt your heade side-ways and squint….after 12 mugs of ale.

    Speaking of people ‘doing things to her body’, as they stood there watching the stage, the hair on the back of her neck stood up. Someone was watching her intently. She quickly glanced around but saw no one. Must’ve been someone who just couldn’t make out if the huge stain on her neck was dirt, dried blood, or the world’s biggest hickie.

    There was too much talking and too little beheading for Diana’s taste, so she elbowed Bishop and nudged her head towards the inn. He nodded in agreement and the two walked over to the Winking Skeever.

     

    “’Winking Skeever’, really?” she huffed to Bishop as they walked in.  “You think at the back they have a brothel called the ‘winking beaver’?” She said amused at her own terrible joke.

    Bishop sighed and lowered his head into his hand. “Just, shut up and get us rooms and a bath would ya? You have our gold.”

    “You shut up, I’m funny dammit!” she said as she waddled over to the counter, gold in hand. As soon as she turned away, Bishop lifted his head with a big grin. He did think she was funny, but he wasn’t going to let her have the satisfaction of knowing that.

     

    She couldn’t remember the last time she slept so well. The rooms were much more expensive than any inn she’d stayed at before, but the beds were amazing, the bath rejuvenating, the food delicious, and the bar sold spiced wine! The stuff’s incredible! Would be her new favourite drink had it not been so expensive. Then again, selling Bishop to the Khajiit wasn’t out of the question, although she might get much more for him if she sold him to the priestesses of Dibella for…’inspiration’.

    They got a double room, which was cheaper than two singles. She didn’t mind. She had already finished her food and was already asleep by the time he got back from the bathroom. He took oddly long now that she thought about it… What was he doing- Nevermind, she didn’t want to know.

     

    “Hey, dickhead, get out for a moment will ya, I need to get dressed.” She called over to him in his single bed across from hers as he sat up and put his feet on the floor, still adjusting to the morning sun that spilled into the room. Her eyes couldn’t help but linger for a moment on his broad, muscular shoulders that were visible under the big shirt he slept in. For just a fleeting moment, she felt the desire to touch them.

    “Hey, you wanted to be roommates, not me. Besides, we’re travel companions now. You’re going to have to get comfortable getting dressed in front of me at some point. I’m the one who needs to be worried you’ll jump my bones once you see me without any clothes and get to meet the twin moons and dawnbreaker,” he said with a naughty smirk gesturing at his junk. Wow, moment’s gone, she thought.

    “Oh yes, containing myself when I’m around you is the greatest challenge I face daily…” she said in a very unimpressed voice and blank expression. Bishop just grinned and shrugged. “Whatever, just get dressed.” She rolled her eyes and rummaged around her backpack for some clean clothes. She found an old pair of leather pants and loose white tunic she could tie up around her waist with the straps and buckled from Bishop’s now-destroyed armour.

    The two both stood with their backs to each other, facing their beds as they got dressed. Bishop didn’t know she knew when someone stared at her, and she didn’t think he needed to. Sure enough, just as she pulled her night gown/huge shirt off her head and stood only in her smallpants, she felt the hairs in her neck stand up. She just smiled, Bishop was just a man after all.

    “Like what you see there, Bishop?” she said seductively without looking back. She could hear a sudden uncomfortable shuffle, not sure how she knew. “I thought I couldn’t pay you to peek?” she turned her head to look at him over her shoulder. The blush evident over his face.

    “Just- shutup!” he awkwardly barked and got dressed in a huffy rush. She lavished in the idea that she could make him squirm a little. Him, who is always so in-control and uninterested. This could get fun.

     

    The city was beautiful, but the people were as cold as Ulfric’s balls. They kept to themselves and whispered to each other as Diana and Bishop strolled through. Again, she couldn’t blame them, they stood out like a pimple on a horker’s ass. Her leather pants, the belt around her waist, and loose material around her bosom showed off her curves maybe a little too well. Her short cropped black hair lovely in the soft breeze (and now clean!) as her big dark eyes surveyed the city. Bishop was back in his old leather armour we wore when they met. His amber eyes still brooding from the morning, but other than that, he really did look good, handsome even, now that he was cleaned up.

    “I see a forge up there,” Bishop said, pointing up towards smoke rising from the raised grounds of Castle Dour, “that should be our first stop.” She nodded in agreement and gestured for him to lead the way. “Lead the way… after your little peepshow this morning it’s about time I get to admire the view too,” she said tongue in cheek as he walking ahead of her. He only responded in muffled curses through his gritted teeth.

    Just as they set off, she felt it again. Hairs standing up, the tingling sensation that someone is watching her like yesterday when they arrived. She looked around, searching the crowd, when her eyes met those of a beautiful vision of a man. Black hair neatly combed, short at the sides, with deep, warm blue eyes that stared at her like he was trying to figure out what she was. He was dressed in full armour of shiny steel with details that indicated some guild or noble order. Come to mamma!

    She stopped dead in her tracks and turned to her stalker. Bishop didn’t notice her little distraction and kept walking. She narrowed her eyes as her mouth pulled into a skew smile. She walked over to the man, hand on her hip and a swing in her step. “Well hello sailor!”

    “Hello..sai?” he couldn’t understand why she had just called him a sailor when he very obviously did not look like one.

    “Well aren’t you a tall drink of handsome, and I’m feeling thirsty,” she said as she looked him up and down and winked, leaning against she wall outside Bits and Pieces where he stood in the shadows.

    He was very confused. “Er, okay. Pardon me for staring my lady, but are you by any chance the Dragonborn? Or, hopefully, related to her?” He secretly hoped this wasn’t the mythical Dragonborn he had travelled from Cyrodill to meet, she was a little…well, not what he expected. Yes, okay part of him pictured a powerful warrior riding in with gold and ivory armour swinging a greatsword made of dragonbone while riding a majestic and enormous white horse as the heavens open up above her and a choir of angles announced her arrival.

    “Who wants to know?”

    “I do…actually. My name is Casavir, and I’m a Paladin.  I’ve travelled all the way from the Imperial city at the news of a dragonborn having returned to Tamriel to fight the awakening of dragons in their ancient burial grounds. You fit the description that was given to me.” He said, straightening his back and lifting his head proudly. He didn’t come all this way for nothing, he still needed to present himself well if he hopes to get her to agree to his assistance.

    “Oh really? And how was I described?” she asked curiously as she bit her lower lip.

    He pulled a note from his satchel and read to her, “Tall nord woman, body strong and toned. Hair short and black with dark eyes, strong nose, and red lips. Armour changes, but mostly light with leather and steel plates strapped on shoulders, chest, thighs and shins. Horizontal scar along the side of her neck. Very attractive.”

    She beamed at that last bit and her eyes twinkled, “Oh you think I’m pretty, do you Paladin?”

    The big man’s mouth fell open as he tried to think of a response. She certainly was, there’s no denying. But he had been conditioned since his boyhood not to take such factors into account and keep his mind off anything that could cloud his judgement – drugs, alcohol, fame, gambling, women.

    Seeing his loss for words, she continued, “Yes, actually, I am the Dragonborn. You can call me Diana, or you can call me… anytime, day or night.” She said seductively with a wink.

    “Er, please to meet you Diana.” He ignored that last bit as he nervously gave a little bow. “Now, the reason I tracked you down is that, I was hoping I could offer you my s-“ he continued but she interrupted him.

    “Say, what are you doing later tonight? Any plans?” she asked sweetly.

    The Paladin was taken aback. He wasn’t used to being interrupted, and especially not in the middle of a speech he’s spent months on the road preparing back when he assumed the Dragonborn would be a man. “I don’t have any plans yet, my lady. Why do you ask?”

    “Well,” a naughty smile spread across her face, “you ever heard that song ‘The Dragonborn Comes’? she wiggled an eyebrow at him.

    Casavir stood speechless. Was she…hitting on him? Is that what is happening? Would she shout him to death if he refused? Did he want to refuse? How could a person as beautiful as a deathbell be as dirty as a drunken pirate?

    “CASAVIR!!” a voice boomed over the crowd. All eyes turned to see a very angry Bishop storming over, his eyes fixed on the Paladin. He was actually a little scary right now.

    “What in Oblivion are you doing her- you know what, I don’t know and I certainly don’t care. Come ladyship!” Bishop grabbed her by the arm firmly and pulled her away, back towards the blacksmith. Judging by his temperament and his grip, she knew resistance was futile and stupid.

    “Call me!” she shouted back at the Paladin, her thumb to her ear and her pinky to her lips.

    The man stood dumbfounded at what just happened. “…Call you what?” he shouted back. Gods she didn’t make a lot of sense.

     

    “Bishop, that was rude. When we’re done here, you need to go apologise to my future first husband over there!” she said as he dragged her up the slope leading to the forge.

    “I’d rather have sex with Jarl Bulgraf and eat a pile of giant dung, thank you.” He said as he let go of her arm once the blacksmith gave them a weird look as they approached. “Now check our coin, how much can we spend? I need new armour, arrows, and my blades sharpened.”

    “Speaking of getting swords sharpened..” she said under her breath as she got out her coin purse and threw it at him. “You know, you really didn’t have to cockblock me there.”

    “THAT guy?? Seriously?” Bishop sneered at her in disbelief.

    “What? The man looks like he was chiselled from marble by the hands of Mara!” she retaliated. “Or maybe it’s just-“ her eyes fell down as she considered.

    “Just what?”

    “It’s been a while okay… A Dragonborn’s got needs too, you know.”

    Bishop’s mouth fell open a little as he just stared at her. She often had that effect on people. “Also, was it just me or was that one buff troll back near Dawnstar kinda cute?” Yeah, okay; she was just horny. Damn girl needed some action soon before she lost it and captured a bandit as a sex slave. That would be an interesting twist.

    Bishop cleared his throat, “I’m just, going to ignore that.”

    “Ignore what?”

    “All of it! Just- everything that happened since I woke up today.”

    She shrugged and walked over to browse the blacksmith’s armour.

     

    Bishop bought some new reinforced bosmer armour that was light enough to run in but strong enough to take a hit. It fit him well, showing off his broad shoulders and strong, tall frame. Yeah, she wouldn’t mind looking at that every day!

    After they got everything they needed, they headed for the apothecary. Bishop walked behind her with his hands on the either side of her head as to narrow her vision to only see straight ahead like a donkey’s headbrace.

    “What the-“

    “What? I’m doing the people of Solitude a favour. This way you won’t get distracted and go harass some poor stable boy or noblewoman.”

    “Not my fault I put the ‘Solid’ – in Solitude” she shrugged in her defence.

    “Yeah, shut up and keep walking Casa-whore-va.”

     

    They did their shopping and got all the supplies they needed. They could go to see the Steward for work, but she wasn’t too keen on introducing herself to the Blue Palace court. They wouldn’t give two shits if she just called herself Diana, and they would use and abuse her if she revealed herself as the Dragonborn. They decided they’ll just take whatever the innkeeper had and whatever was on the city’s noticeboards.

     

    “That’s her! I swear it. I heard the Paladin tell the Captain.” A guard whispered loudly to another.

    “No, that can’t be the Dragonborn. The Dragonborn is a noble, legendary warrior. She looks like she’d sit on a nobleman’s lap for money. Not sayin’ I’d mind the Dragonborn in my- oemff!”

    The first guard elbowed the other hard in the ribs when he noticed Diana standing in front of them glaring down. How did she get here so quick? On seeing her, the two just stared straight ahead wide-eyed, pretending like she wasn’t there. After a moment, she just let out a breath, shook her head and walked back to the inn. Bishop had been checking the noticeboard nearby, but had heard the conversation and saw how she took it. He plucked off two bounty letters and followed her in.

    She walked right passed Casavir who sat on a bench near the entrance talking to a man in captain’s uniform. Casavir and the man both stopped mid conversation and stared as she walked by, the Captain’s eyes dropping to her backside. She didn’t even notice them, she just walked to the table the furthest from the door in the shadowy corner and plonked down.

    Bishop followed her lead in ignoring the Paladin and his friend, although he did notice them. He got them each a mug of ale and a plate of fresh bread and cheese to share that he balanced on his arm as he walked over to her.

    “Thanks…” she said as he sat down and she reached for a mug.

    “Err, what? You wanted something too? This is mine” he said gesturing to the two mugs and huge plate. She paused but saw the twinkle in his eye. She gave him a huff and a smile before grabbing her mug.

    He let her sit in silence for a while, drinking and eating absently.

    “I heard what those guards said, outside…” he said gently, “You want me to order two ales, piss in it, and take it to them? I can throw in a slice of sharp cheese? The secret ingredient would be ‘Bishop fart’. Quite potent.”

    She looked up at him with a look he usually gave her, the ‘be honest, how hard were you dropped on your head as a baby?’ – look, but it soon faded to a chuckle. He was actually trying to cheer her up. This was…unexpected and new behaviour, but she knew not to read too much into it. “Nah it’s okay, I was planning on sneaking out later tonight to catch slaughterfish put it in their toilets to bite off their balls, but then I realised they don’t have any.” She lifted her mug to him and winked.

    “Ah, astute observation there… Guess it’s the ball-less dickbutt brothers’ lucky night, getting off this easy.”

    She just smiled and nodded. Returning to her drink and watching her toes wiggle in her boots as she propped her feet up on the empty chair next to her, leaning against the wall behind her.

    “So, how did you find out you were the were…you know… the dragonborn?” he said in a deep soft voice over their third round. Usually he didn’t mind their silence, but he had been curious for a while. She never spoke of anything dragonborn related. He heard from others that she apparently assisted the Whiterun guard in killing a dragon that had attacked a nearby tower, after which she ‘absorbed his soul’ or whatever and shouted.

    She looked at him, knitted eyebrows, but saw nothing but genuine interest in his face. She sighed, “Same way I found out I swing both ways – crashed the wrong party and the wrong time.”

    He was silent, so she continued. “The one was a birthday party with a group of travelling Dibellan priestesses, and boy let me tell you, those girls party harder than Sanguine! The other…” her voiced turned sombre, “I was in Helgen visiting family. Hunting was my only source of income at that time, so I’d leave home for a few weeks, and return to sell their meat and pelts. On this day I was out near the town when I heard a commotion. I climbed a nearby cliff to get a better look, but my curiosity clouded my judgement and I didn’t check my footing. I fell and landed with such a noise that one the men, a man in legion armour, heard me.

    He accused me of being ‘one of them’. I protested, insisting I had no idea what was going on, but he didn’t listen. All I got was a smack over the head and I was out. I woke up a later on the back of a wagon, bound. With me were a couple of men in stormcloak armour, including none other than Lady Ulfric Stormcloak herself. “

    Bishop’s eyes widened. She continued, “One of the guys tried to make conversation and spoke of Sovngarde and a chick who makes mead with berries in – I don’t know, it’s all a bit of a blur. Once in Helgen we were lined up at the chopping block. One guy, not in armour, tried to explain he wasn’t one of them and when they didn’t believe him tried to make a run for it. He got an arrow in the back of his head before he could reach the gate. My family even tried to intervene, but they were threatened to be thrown in with us ‘traitors’, so they stepped back.

    As I kneeled at the block, the skies shook as a bloodcurdling cry echoed. Everyone froze, but the Legate commanded we continue. The axeman laid his axe on my neck, marking his goal.” He has wondered what that scar on the neck was. A scar like that must be a very painful reminder. “Before he could bring down his axe, a huge black dragon appeared, swooping down on the tower. The sky turned dark and evil as people scattered in all directions. Then he, the dragon, he looked right at me and spoke to me. In that moment, it was like he woke something up in me, something that had been there, but had been slumbering all my life.”

    Bishop sat silent, drawn into her tale. A wave of actual fear flashed over her face, it unnerved him a little. “He called me Dovakiin, which I later learned from Farengar means Dragonborn in the dragon tongue.” She looked up to see Bishop staring at her, his mouth hung open a little with a look of almost-concern on his face. She shuddered when she realised how serious their conversation had gotten.

    “ANYWAY! You’ve heard the rest. I survived, killed some stormcloaks on my way out looting their armour and weapons as I do. Ran all the way to Whiterun to warn the Jarl, but ran into a fucking asshole giant with zero chill just outside the city walls terrorising the farmers. At that point I was so high on adrenalin, wound up, and straight up pissed that I took him on. Would’ve been smashed into taffy if it hadn’t been for Vilkas and Farkas. And the rest is history no one gives falmer fart about, so – yeah. And she lived awkwardly ever after hiding from her responsibilities, the end.”

    She chugged the rest of her ale. “I’m going to bed. I’d like to be out of these walls before the sun is in the sky tomorrow.” Bishop nodded in agreement, finished his ale and followed her up to their room.

     

    Casavir’s captain friend had left, but he stayed, watching the mysterious Dragonborn from a distance. Why in blazes did it have to be Bishop? Of all the men, heroes, and soldiers she could’ve picked to travel with her – what head-injury did she sustain for her to pick Bishop? Casavir had run into the ranger twice before, both times Bishop’s name was one on a list of troublemakers his order had to round up, and both times Bishop was the only one to slip away. It was clear that he had rubbed off on her, no lady was that forward and crude on their own accord. Bishop had polluted her, but perhaps, she wasn’t beyond saving yet? The Paladin shook his head at the stupid idea that he could save the saviour of Skyrim from her companion.

     

    The atmosphere in the room was sombre, cold, but not uncomfortable. Neither of them did ‘honest’ and ‘vulnerable’ very well, and her story and his reaction to it had them both in unfamiliar territory. They quietly got dressed. She snuck a peek at his butt when she heard the distinct sound of his pants and belt hitting the floor. He did have a nice butt. But her eyes were drawn up to his bare back and shoulders. The way his muscles bulged and moved around his shoulder blades and over his neck had her mouth dry and …something else quite the opposite. Wow, Bishop, come for the butt, stay for the bod, she thought. She snapped out of it when it came to mind how awkward it’ll be to explain if he’d turn around to see her right now.

    Once in bed and the candles out, she laid in the darkness and thought what it’d be like in Bishop’s bed. He wasn’t hard to look at, and as long as he kept his idiot mouth closed, she couldn’t help but picture him being quite skilled in the art of lovemaking. She allowed her mind to drift.

    Little did she know, he was thinking the same thing. She was the perfect balance between sexy feminine woman, and powerful warrior. He could only imagine what she’d be like. If she made love like she fought – and he has a suspicion she did – then holy mudcrabs. He recalled the picture of her bare back and bottom, and tried to imagine what the other side of the coin would look like. He wondered if he could rub one out without her noticing?

     

    By the time she woke up Bishop was gone. The only sign that he had been there was an empty mug next to his bed. For a moment she pondered whether her real-talk last night scared him off. Whether on hearing the shit that happened to her made him run for the hills. She couldn’t blame him for it, but oddly felt a sting of disappointment. She wouldn’t show it, of course. Gods could you imagine how pig-headed and cocky he’d strut around upon hearing that she actually liked having him around?? Mara pls no. He was already barely tolerable, but he pretty cute tho.

    She accepted that she might’ve scared him off. This why we keep things casual Diana, you know this! That’s she remembered – he had their gold. “SONOVA MOTHER-!!!”

    She bolted out of bed, got dressed in a haze, grabbed all her shit and raced out the door. “Oh if I find that piece of skeever shit he better pray to Hircine I don’t hurt him so bad he’ll wish his father never got a boner!” she darted down the stairs seeing red.

    You remember how ale and coin make Diana happy? Well, no coin makes Diana mad. Because no coin, meant no ale. And sober, horny Diana – is not a Happy Meal toy lemme tell you that.

    “WHERE IS HE!?” her voice filled the room. Patrons turned in horror to see her standing at the bottom of the stairs, eyes filled with bloodlust and rage, feet apart, claws out, looking like she’s about to strangle a sabre cat.

    “Mornin’ Princess!” a very cheerful Bishop voice echoes back. She looked to see him strut over from the bar, bounty letters in hand, coin purse on his hip, and a painfully smug smile on his face. “You know ladyship, if you want me you could tell me in private. I mean I know it’s been a while and you’re wound up, but dayum gurl, get it together I ain’t going nowhere.” The throaty, teasing chuckle in his voice made her want to choke him, she was secretly relieved.

    “I thought you disappeared with our coin.” She said as she composed herself, straightening her clothes and brushing her fingers through her short hair. She neglected to do so in her rush.

    “Now, why would I do that? You’d just find me, tracking my scent like a bloodhound.” He looked at her, wiggling his eyebrows with a naughty smile – why was he so cheery this morning? She thought he’d slept terribly as she heard faint groans coming from his bed and assumed he was having a nightmare. “You can always find me in Riverwood or … in your fantasies.” He winked at her.

    “My what?” she asked confused. She had no idea what he was talking about.

    “Oh yes, secrets out. I heard you last night, moaning my name. You want me, you can’t resist me -can you? Can’t resist the ol’ ranger charm…” he leaned against the wall with one arm, flexing his shoulders. “This doin’ anything for ya princess?” he said seductively peering at her through his eyebrows.

    “Wha – what are you talking about?” it hit her. She probably had a dream about him and said his name, but Bishop here thought she was pleasuring herself to him! Ohh this is rich! “You think I touched myself and thought of YOU??” she laughed in question. “BOY are you full of yourself!!”

    Bishop stood up, uncomfortably confused, “So, you didn’t? Then what was that you saying my name stuff?”

    “I talk in my sleep sometimes! Probably dreamed you were being eaten by a bear and was cheering on the bear! Besides, even if I did find you… you know, not hard-to-look-at, I got a lil’ turned on by a buff troll a while back, it’s not exactly a compliment at the moment. Heck, I find a lot of things attractive – men, women, full bottles of ale, spiced wine, fresh bread, that cute bard over there…” she said pointing to a young man, no older than 17 winters, playing the lute in the corner.

    “Okay… I get it…” Bishop said coldly. His demeanour the opposite of what it was 2 mintues ago.

    “…reinforced shields, books with leather covers, big beds with feather pillows, elven swords, that cute bard over there…” she continued in the same tone

    “I said I get it! Geesh, you couldn’t just let me have this one, could you?” he said getting pissed as he grabbed his backpack off the counter. “Whatever, I’m done with this sweet-roll town anyway. Let’s go.” He marched himself out. She caught the bard’s eye, winked, and followed Bishop out the door.

    “You know ranger, you trying so hard to convince me that getting turn on by you, and touching myself over the thought of you, is alright, it kinda feels like you might be projecting some hidden desires, hmm?” She asked teasingly as they walked into town towards the gates.

    “Oh you know I touch myself when I think of you princess…” he said back confidently, making her stop in her tracks, “It’s called a ‘face-palm.” He turned and gave her a little wave. That was a good one. She’ll let him have that.

    Kathy
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Love it!!! Put ole Bishop in his place…”Probably dreamed you were being eaten by a bear and was cheering on the bear!”

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    *hops in* Hellooo! Another chapter of ‘How I Met Your Father: The Dragonborn Diaries’, brought to you by BunnyEntertainment. Now sit back, pull up your Bishop plushie and your Casavir cocktail (it’s just tea…he doesn’t drink alcohol), and enjoy!

    <insert usual warning here> Lemme know if you liked it or any feedback!

    -Bunny OUT- *drops mic and hops out*

    ____________________________________________________________

    CHAPTER 4

    __________

    Diana awoke in the early hours of the morning to the thud of a drunkard slamming the Inn door on his way out downstairs. These Nordic Inns were sturdy on the outside to keep the cold out, but inside the walls, floors, and doors were usually quite thin.

    She looked over to the sleeping ranger next to her. Seeing the moonlight fall over his exposed back, his broad shoulders and tuffy dark brown and coppery hair made her feel…warm, almost; a deep happiness she couldn’t quite explain. She gently reached over and pulled the covers over him, letting her hand linger for a moment as it brushed his shoulder. Shit, if she weren’t careful, she might actually start falling for the oaf – and that’s just bad for business. The reason they worked so well was because there was no ‘feelings’ involved. Hell for all she knew he had a wife and kids somewhere, he is always writing and receiving mysterious letters when they get to inns and towns. It wasn’t her place to know what they were, their situation worked, and if it ain’t broken…

    She resisted the urge to brush away some hair that had fallen on his face, and instead slipped back down under the covers. She turned her back to him and moved up till she could feel his warm skin against hers. This way she knew he was there, it made her sleep more easily. She ran her hand over her long hair and tucked it under her head. Her black hair was finally as long as it was before it was shaved off when she first joined the companions about two years ago. So much has changed since then…

    ________________

    “So, what’ve we got?” she asked him once they were a few hours outside Solitude’s walls heading back inland. It’ll be great to be travelling and hunting down bounties again, it was where she felt she was actually doing some good. Out here, she could be herself and not worry about anyone needing anything from the Dragonborn.

    “Let’s see…” Bishop took out the bounty papers and flipped through them, “We got – one skeever invested farmhouse, a giant, two bandit camps, and a vampire lair!” His voice peaked in excitement at the last two. They’ve avoided bounties on any human or humanoids, sticking to vermin, creatures, and abominations. Bishop accepting the bandit camps and a vampire lair should tell you how desperately they needed the coin. Or how bored he’d gotten.

    “Oh fuck me….” she said at the feat.

    “No- thank you!” he said expressively comically.

    She glared up at him with a raised eyebrow, “Yeah, like you’d say no to this,” she said with over the top gesturing up and down her body.

    “Easy! Just watch-“ he stopped, leaned down so his face is right in front of her boobs, “NO!” he said sternly to them. He giggled at how funny he knew he was.

    “Pfft, whatever you need to tell yourself sweetheart.” She said brushing it off confidently.

    “What’s that suppose to mean?”

    “It means, I know I could get you – if I wanted to. But I don’t want to.” She said smugly over her shoulder as she kept walking.

    “Hold up,” he stepped in front of her, stopping her in her tracks, “You honestly think you can seduce me?” he sensed a challenge. Just like Diana, Bishop liked a challenge. And ale and gold. Gods these two were too similar for their own good.

    “Listen Bishop, I know I can get any man I want if I really put my mind and body to it. Most of the time, I’m just fooling around, having a laugh, but if I really want a man –“ she stepped towards him that he could feel her hot breath on his neck and smell her scent, “not even Akatosh will be able to stop me. I will have him.”

    Her eyes were full of fire, life, and mischief as she looked up at him, intimidating him a little. He stood like that, studying her face, taking in her smell and feeling her breath. She realised that the gravity of the matter sunk in, he knew she wasn’t kidding. She gave him a wink as her lips curved into a smile in her left cheek, and brushed against his shoulder with hers as she walked on.

    Had he underestimated her? Maybe…

    “Pfft, whatever ladyship.” He said in his usual cocky, smug demeanour, “You get turned on by buff trolls and reinforced shields, remember? Face it, you’re just horny and it’s getting harder and harder for you to resist me everyday.”

    “Yes, I am a hot-blooded woman who gets turned on by things that appeal to me, sometimes I get horn but other times I’m not.”

    “…as horny.” He added with a smirk. “Listen, princess, I’m not here to judge you. But if you’re looking for someone to practice your seductive, persuasive speechcraft on, you’re barking up the wrong tree here.”

    “Barking up the wrong tree? Bitch please…” she continued as they walked, “And speaking of lumber, don’t go pretending like I didn’t put the ‘wood’ in your Riverwood back when we met. You think I forgot that I beat you in that shoot-off? Bah! I’ll never let you forget it.”

    “And you think I didn’t notice you checking me out at the Inn? Checking out the old Bish-dish,” he wiggled his eyebrows at her in taunting, “You and every other woman in town. What can I say, the way I be turning on the ladies, I put the ‘river’ in Riverwood.” He said smug, grinning at himself.

    She stuck her finger in her mouth and pretended to gag. He laughed and flipped her the bird.

     

    So they had one cleaned out farmhouse  formerly known as ‘SkeeverLand: Fun for the whole Skeever family!”.( 1/10, would no recommend.) Next on their list was a giant, lounging in front of – what he’ll call a campfire, but what she’d call a ‘the burning of the blue palace’ it was so big.

    “We have to get it down before it can reach us. If its close enough for you to see the blood on its club – its already too late. If shit goes wrong, just bail, fucking run as fast as you can.” Bishop instructed in a whisper as they stalked the creature from afar.

    “You’ve killed a giant before, right?” he asked hopefully.

    “No, but I’ve seen people killed by giants before. So I know what doesn’t work more than what does. From what I’ve gathered, you get to close – he’ll send you to the Tamriel Space Station – you don’t want that.”

    “…boy I have faith in this mission.” He said sarcastically under his breath. “Okay on my mark-“ She sneaked to a nearby boulder and they both knocked an arrow. Bishop counted down on his fingers, 3-2-1, and they fired.

    The first two arrows were golden, one in his right shoulder, another in his neck. The second two, were not too bad; one in his leg, one in his hip. The third two, however weren’t fired as Bishop and Diana spat in opposite directions as the Giant ran towards them at full speed. “RUN DIANA!” Bishop yelled. Big guy was piiiissed.

    The giant went after Bishop and soon started catching up on him. He looked over his shoulder to the giant (rookie mistake) and his foot caught hold of a rock. His body hit the ground at high speed. Fuck! He ankle was twisted badly, there was no way he’d be able to get up and run before the giant sent him into outer space.

    He hastily pulled out his bow and started firing arrows at its head as fast as he could. It wasn’t enough, the giant was nearing. He looked and saw the dried blood stains and bits of fur on its giant club as he raised it while nearing. Just as Bishop accepted his fate and braced, the giant flinched and abruptly froze. He stood paused, then flinched again. He spun around to see a very adamant Diana throw rocks at him – fucking, rocks! At a giant! Idiot…

    “Hey! Dickbrain!” she yelled, trying hard to distract the creature, luring it away from the injured ranger, “You’re so ugly, when you were born, they were convinced you came out the backdoor!” she flung a rock as hard as she could at his head. Bishop couldn’t believe his eyes…or ears. He looked behind her and saw her bow broken on the ground. It seems in her getaway she also stumbled and stepped on her bow, breaking it. This is why you never run with weapons kids.

    It worked, the giant turned his attention to her and started moving towards her.

    “Ohhhh shiiit!” She hadn’t exactly thought of what she was going to do once she got his attention. She wasn’t very good at the whole ‘thinking ahead’ thing, much like she wasn’t with the whole ‘thinking before speaking’ thing. Generally, just ‘thinking’ wasn’t her strong suit. But she was good at running from her responsibilities! So she ran.

    Bishop’s mind raced, and then he remembered something he’d learned as a child. A giant’s soft spot, his weakness, is the base of his head where his spine connects into his scull at the back of his neck. With it running away from him, he had a clean shot – but he couldn’t miss or he would put the ‘die’ in Diana. His mind flashed back to when they first met, and she introduced herself, saying her name was Diana, ‘short for Diandrea, long for ‘DIE!’’.

    An involuntary smile washed over his face as he pulled an arrow back, aiming at the back of the Giant’s neck. He let out his breath, and let go.

    His aim was true. At the impact, the giant’s whole body went limp, crashing down into the ground with a screech. Once the dust died down, Bishop looked over and saw an exhausted Diana trying to catch her breath, leaning on her knees with her hands, head hanging down as she caught her breath.

    “You ran with your bow unsheathed, didn’t you…?” he called out to her. She did not look impressed. “Don’t lie to me, I know you fucking did!”

    “Seriously?!” She huffed as she stormed over to him. “I almost died saving your sorry ass, and you yell at me for running with my bow?”

    “I told you to run and not look back when the giant came, not my fault you’re so stuck on not taking orders… Besides, you and I both know you’re faster than him.” The latter was true.

    She opened her mouth to explain to him in detail how he could go to oblivion and perish in a slow, painful manner that involved the violent destruction of his testicles, but then she saw his ankle. “You’re hurt…” her voice was sombre and concerned.

    “It’s…nothing. Just toss me a healing potion, I’ll be fine.” It hurt like hell, but he wasn’t going to tell her that.

    She fell on her knees next to him, her hand pushing him back down, “No, no, stay down.” He was taken aback by her concern. This was not the Diana he knew and despised. She inspected his leg carefully, tenderly touching if she had to. “You broke your ankle and the bone split. The healing potion can’t magically fix broken bones if they’re not together.” He knew where this was going and he didn’t like it.

    She searched her backpack and pulled out an expensive healing potion, handing it to him. “On the count of three, I’m doing to pull your ankle back into alignment. It’s going to hurt like a mother, but that’s when you should drink. I’ll have to hold it in place till the potion takes effect.”

    “Are you sure about this?” he asked uncomfortably as she positioned herself at his foot, taking her ankle into her warm but steady hands.

    “Yes. Now, ready? 1-2-3-“ she pulled his foot towards her, drawing it back into alignment, and then pushed back towards him so the broken bones collided. She had to some force as she was working against his strained muscles and tendons. He let out an involuntary cry, before throwing the whole bottle down his throat in one go. He tensed up and gritted his teeth under the pain, beads of sweat appearing on his brow. Diana refused to look at his face, and focused on keeping his leg still and in place.

    “You can open your eyes now, I think it’s done.” Her voice came at him after a while. He opened one eye then the other, seeing her still tenderly holding his leg, inspecting it again. “How does it feel?”

    He wiggled his toes, rolled his ankle, and bent his knee. “It’s perfect!” he said with relief, and a little surprise. She smiled with satisfaction and got up to collect her things before heading over to the big dead giant to see what she could loot off him. She’d hear that giant’s toe is great for alchemy, but she wasn’t sure if she felt like carrying it around, or heavens forbid tasting it to see if she could make out it alchemic properties! Noooo spank you!

    Bishop stared at his leg. Besides the blood stain, it looked good as new. Did she really just save his life? He looked over at the young woman. They were both young, inexperienced, and still trying to figure out who they were and where they were going. She had no business taking risks for him, then why did she do it?

    “Hey Bishop!” she called to him with excitement.

    “Yeah?”

    “Big dude had fucking black soul gems in his pocket! SCORE!” she held up the blackish-purple stone for him to see.

    “Awesome! Those things are expensive. Was probably planning on capturing our souls in it before turning us into a kebab and roasting us by his little fire over there.”

    She beamed a smile at him, impressed with her find, and continued. He watched her, not sure what to feel. This isn’t what he signed up for.

     

    Bishop had been unusually quiet and withdrawn. Yes, they hardly spoke on the road, they used gestures and body language to convey direction, weather, danger, and even calls from nature, but still, he wasn’t himself. She wasn’t about to ask him though, she wasn’t his fucking mother.

    They’d been on the road for five days since leaving Solitude. They were headed south through Hjaalmarch towards Rorikstead, but it was still at least three days away. Her legs were getting tired.

    She was walking absentmindedly, dragging her tired bones along. “Bisshooopp…” she dragged her voice like she dragged her feet.

    “No, for the last time, I’m not carrying you.” He replied sternly. He’d resorted to walking behind her, because if he didn’t she’d just drop under a tree and he wouldn’t realise it till he was halfway to the next town.

    “But PLEEAAASSEE!”

    “I said no. Besides, you weight a ton, and I don’t feel like lugging around a stupid horker right now.”

    She huffed and growled. “Oh come on! You’re strong enough! I mean you look like you can barely carry that big bow,” she just had to throw an insult his way, “but I’ve seen you lift many a heavy thing! I’ll do anything!!”

    The Ranger considered this for a moment, “…anything?”

    Seeing the opportunity, she turned around and put on her best impression of a thirsty tavern wench, tracing her index finger from her collarbone down to her chest armour, pulling down just a little to show off a little cleavage. “Anything…”

    The ranger followed her finger down and bit his bottom lip. “Now princess, don’t go making promises you don’t intend to keep.”

    “I’m not!” She steps forward putting her hands on his chest, trying to hide how desperate she was not to walk anymore. She worked really hard to stay lazy. “Whatever you want, my ranger.” She said again in a sultry voice looking up at him with her seductive dark eyes.

    “Well then…” he smirked and rubbed the back of his neck, “I want you to…” he dropped his hands to her shoulders, “WALK! He spun her around and gave her a little shove in the direction they were initially headed. She stumbled and regained her balance, only to sneer back at the laughing ranger. “What? You didn’t actually think your little side show there had me going, did you?”

    She opened her mouth to yell some profanities at him, “You know… nevermind, not going to waste my breath on you…” she fumed and turned back to stomp onward.

    “Yeah, save your energy for focusing on putting one hoof in front of the other!” he piled on, a laugh still in his voice.

    She was absolutely livid as she marched herself on, lost in thought for how to get back at him. A fox suddenly appeared from the bushes and ran right over her feet. She yelped in fright and jumped back. Just as she braced for her bottom to hit the unforgiving cold ground, Bishop caught her in his arms as she fell back on him.

    She took a moment to recalibrate and appreciate the beautiful gift of life. Turning to Bishop to thank him, she realised how close his face was to hers, and how gently, he was holding her. One arm around her legs, the other around her back with his hand just grazing the side of her breast. Her shoulder was pressed to his chest. She could feel the heat from his body, and smelled that amazing piney, man-smell of his. Her eyes slowly made their way up, over his lips, his killer cheek bones, to his bright, amber-honey eyes. Have they always had specks of brown and green?

    Truth was, Bishop had been trying hard not to think of her …in that way… for the past few days in the road. He preferred to see her as a sexless, genderless blob of a person, and no one grows attached to that – that’s disgusting. Which is kind hard seeing as though she usually walked in front of him, swaying those lovely hips as she walked. Even the way her short midnight-black hair whipped in the wind drew him in. When he heard her yelp and saw her leap backwards, his immediate instinct was to catch her, even though Mara did not show mercy to his knee hitting the cold earth hard.

    He snapped out of it and realised how awkward the situation was, and immediately dropped her, dusting himself off, and kept on walking.

    “Ow!” she said as her butt hit the round. “Rude!”

    He scoffed, “The great, mighty Dragonborn – afraid of stairs and foxes. You’re a real storybook hero, you know that? So glad bards are lining up to write song about you…”

    “Oh fuck off… You know you-“ her rant cut short as an arrow zoomed past her face and struck the tree behind her. It was forsworn arrow. They had been travelling close to the Reach’s border. They both froze, looking wide-eyed at the arrow then each other. The arrow was soon followed by another, and the two scurried into cover.

    “How many?” she asked as she unsheathed her sword and shield.

    “I didn’t get a look… fuck.” He took out his bow. “Go left, I’ll go right. I’ll go for the archer, you look for others.” She nodded and they went off.

    Three footmen and two archers. She left the archers to Bishop as she took on the rest. “FUSS!!” she shouted. It wasn’t super effective, but did enough to destabilise them for long enough so she could attack. The only motivation she had for getting into the whole ‘Dragonborn’ nonsense was to learn more powerful shouts.

    With a swing she sliced one’s neck right open. He fell to his knees, gurgling and choking on his own blood till he collapsed. Seeing this, the other two came at her with full force. One, a woman, used dual-wielding, and the other man used a war axe.

    She tried her best to block most of the hits, but many landed. Lucky for her though, forsworn weapons were mostly of stone, wood, and poor quality iron, and didn’t do as much damage. She managed to strike the man in the ribs. As he folded over clenching his ribs, she plunged her sword down his shoulder blades into his chest. The woman, seeing Diana momentarily distracted, used her chance and struck down on Diana’s outstretched arm.

    Diana dropped her sword, grabbed the gash on her arm and reeled back in pain. Blood was pouring over her armour and she could see bone. She felt light-headed.

    The wild woman sensed her victory, and came up slowly, raising one her sword. The cut on her arm had struck an artery, and Diana was bleeding out. She could feel herself drifting in and out of consciousness. She looked up to see the woman.

    “I’ll kill you for that!!” she heard Bishop’s voice boom, bringing her back. He swiftly moved between the two, catching the woman’s swing on his steel-padded forearm armour. He used her momentum to knock her weapon out of her hand before dashing his dagger into her neck. She then did her best impression of the first guy dying, gurgling blood.

    Bishop turned to the fading Diana who had slumped against a big rock and dropped down. “Shit shit shit shit… Fuck Diana, what have you done!” he panicked as he threw out his entire bag on the ground looking for a health potion. One rolled out, and he plucked it up and used his teeth to pull out the cork. “Now drink before you-“ he turned to her, but she was out, her body limp against the rock she was leaning against, blooding gushing over her armour and stomach. “No no no no… Diana! DIANA!!” he called to her, shaking her shoulders. Nothing.

    He pulled her onto his lap and lifted the potion to her mouth, but it just spilled over her lips. His breath got heavier as her heart beat got lighter.

    He looked at the vile, closed his eyes, and poured it into his mouth. He laid her head on his arm, tilting it back. He put his lips to hers, sealing them, and slowly released the potion into her mouth. He gently stroked her throat as he’d seen her do with Karnwyr when she gave him the potion as he laid dying. He could feel the potion go down, and released her cold, soft lips. His eyes glued to her face as he desperately searched for signs of hope. His arm wrapped around her shoulder with one hand on her cheek, he gradually felt the heat return to her skin. He saw colour return to her lips and cheeks, and sighed a sigh of relief.

    She opened her eyes to see the ranger’s face in his hand while he cradled her in his arm. What the-… The last thing she could remember was him the woman raising a sword to her and she couldn’t fight back because of her arm… her arm!! She looked down to see the wound all closed up. The only proof that remained was her torn armour, (lots of!) fresh blood, and a slight pinkish scar.

    At seeing her sit up and examine her arm, he pushed her off his lap and got up. She nearly fell face first in the dirt at his abrupt push.

    “Could you stop doing that?!” she barked.

    “Doing what? Saving your life?!” she replied, visibly irritated.

    “No! Dropping me like yesterday’s cabbages. Wait, you – you saved my life?” her voice turned serious.

    “Yeah, well now we’re even for the giant thing. I don’t like owing people anything.” He mumbled as he packed all his things into his backpack again. She noticed the scattered items. He must’ve been in a real panic to have done that to get to a potion.

    “Bishop, I-“

    “Save it Princess.” He said sternly as he picked up his bag and walked off.

     

    Walking into the Frostfruit Inn in Rorikstead was much more pleasant than walking into the Winking Skeever. They looked and smelled just as bad, especially with Diana still covered in her own (and various other creatures’) blood. They had just come from a bandit camp nearby, and very almost had their asses handed to them were it not for a few mid-fight healing and stamina potions and the occasional 17 wheels of cheese. Bishop had had a firebolt explode in his face, so his entire face was black from the soot, and his fringe stood widely pointed to the heavens. But to the people of Rorikstead, it was just another day and they were just another travelling duo.

    The two walking corpses dragged themselves to the counter, but before they could say anything Mralki, the innkeeper, put his hands on the counter and said with a smile: “Room over there, bath will be ready in 10, I’ll get yous each a plate and a mug. That’ll be 20 gold for everything for the night.”

    “Thank you…” she sighed and dropped onto the barstool. You knew this man saw a lot of travellers, and knew what they needed right away.

    “You’re welcome dearies.” He smiled at them. “Erik! Run the bath for our guests here!” he called out across the room. She turned to see who this poor sod was who was going to have to clean up after the disaster-zone after they’ve both bathed. She saw a young, handsome man with red hair and cheap iron armour nod, put down his book, and rush over to their room. He’s cute…

    “That’s my son, Erik.” Mralki interrupted her thoughts as he dished up warm beef stew for the them. “He’s to take over the inn when I’m gone, but the idiot’s got his mind set on adventuring. No offence – but it’s suicide. Skyrim has never been more dangerous than it is now, what with trolls, bears, falmer, forsworn, vampires… and now dragons?!”

    “It’s not so bad once you get to know your foes, their weaknesses and strengths-“ Bishop counter-argued.

    “Yes, but that takes experience.” Mralki replied, giving each their bowl with a spoon, turning to fill each a mug of ale. Diana wanted to contribute to the conversation, but after getting a sniff of the food, she lost herself, very ungracefully, in the delicious stew, making sounds only pigs having an eating-contest out of a trough could imitate. Bishop looked disgusted at the display, the innkeeper took it as a compliment.

    “Besides,” Mralki continued, “if he had a partner like one of you, I’d be happy to let him go. By your armour and weapons I can see you two have travelled far, but you’re both still alive. And that is all it takes to make a good companion – he keeps you alive and keeps you going.” With that he placed their ale in front of them. Diana’s bowl was already empty. She gave him a sheepish smile and nudged the bowl towards him. Mralki laughed, took it, and turned to fill it up again.

    Just as they were digging in, a courier popped in the door. He surveyed the room, and stopped when he saw Bishop. “This is for you.”

    Bishop looked at the seal, and back at the courier. “Thank you. Check in with the innkeeper tomorrow morning, I’ll leave a letter with him with payment.”

    “Of course. If that is all for now, good day.” With that formal exchange done, the man disappeared out the door again.  Bishop didn’t open the letter, but instead stuck in deep in his backpack. She’d seen paper in there before, but she was just so surprised that he could read that she didn’t bother wondering what it was. Still, she got the sense that whatever this was was none of her business.

    “You can use the bath first, I got something I need to attend to.” Bishop said coldly in a low voice.

    “Yess!” she cried. She was hoping she could go first, usually they’ll play ‘rock parchment knife’ for something like this, something she almost always lost. “No take backsies! Water’s going to look like ass when I’m done tho- so…, heads-up on that.” She wagged a finger at him, pushed back her empty bowl and mug, and set off to their room.

    Once she was gone, Bishop leaned back to make sure the door was closed before retrieving the letter. Mralki saw Bishop’s serious expression as his jaw muscles clenched. “Bad news?” he asked concerned.

    Bishop looked up at the old man over the paper, his eyes dark as the corners of his mouth drew up. “Quite the opposite. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” He took his letter and bag and sat down in the furthest corner of the inn to read and then write a reply.

     

    Both clean, scrubbed, and dressed in fresh clothes (the innkeeper borrowed them each a set of clothes for the night while Erik washed their armour and clothes) it was time for bed. The room had a big double bed, but it was big enough so they could each sleep comfortably without the risk of touching each other and making it awkward.

    “Now princess, before you go planning to harass me during the night, know that I sleep with my dagger under my pillow and that I will cut off whatever touches me!” Bishop said with a smirk as he flipped his dagger between his fingers.

    “Pfft, as if sweetcakes. Besides, if I feel like harassing anyone, I got my eye on the cutie washing my unmentionables right now…” she said confidently as she got into bed.

    “Who? Erik?” Bishop asked, somewhat displeased.

    “Whaat? He’s cute! And a girl’s gotta eat. Besides, since when do you care who I get a good ol’ slap ‘n tickle from? This is a village, there’s women around! Or go for the usual tavern wenches, whatever floats your goat.” She tucked her hands behind her head, stretched out, and propped one leg over the other.

    “I don’t care.” He dismissed her. “And maybe I will allow myself some horizontal refreshment with one of the local ladies, I’ll see how I feel.”

    “You feel with these,” she lifted her hands to the roof and wiggled her fingers, a proud smile on her face. “And usually, like this-” slapping them palms down on her breasts and gave them two quick squeezes.” Bishop’s eyes fell to her breasts with her hands. “HAH! Made you look!” she yelled and smacked him right in the face with her pillow. “Heee…” she giddily grinned, so impressed with herself as she tucked the pillow back under her head.

    “Ohhh wrong move princess! You do NOT want to play ‘made you look’ with me!” he said sitting up, “I grew up with seven brothers AND spent most of my young life around young, immature men! Do you know how many woody-womb-peckers I’ve seen??”

    “Listen, ranger, what you and your boyfriends do behind closed doors is none of my business!” she teased, opening one eye at him with a skew smile.

    “…wow, you’re impossible.” He said blankly as he fell back down on the pillow.

    “Impossible to RESIST! Ha-ha!” She lifts one hand and high fives it with her other hand. Gods she’s a dork. He just sighed heavily and blew out the candle.

    The two lay in the dark room. Outside you could still hear the humming of some drunk patrons still hanging around, the clanks of mugs, and the crackle of the fire. It might be noisy to some, but it was comforting to them.

    “So, Diana..” Bishops voice came from the dark. He only called her Diana when he was serious or she did something wrong.

    “Hmm?”

    “With the upcoming spring, I heard there’s quite a lot of work near Ivarstead.”

    “Good! We can head there after we clear the vampire lair. Stop by Whiterun and collect on the companion bounties.”

    “Yeah, yeah, what I was thinking…” his voice agreed. But there was something he was not saying, she could sense it, but she waited. “You know,” he eventually continued, “while we’re there, why not take the journey up to the Greybeards. I mean we are right there! Might as well make the most of the trip.”

    “Hold up, what’s this horseshit now?” Her head yanked to look in his direction, but it was too dark to make out his eyes. “I am NOT climbing those stairs!”

    “Why you gotta be so damn stubborn?” he growled, “You don’t even know what’s up there! They could give you incredible shouts, teach you insane ancient dragonborn magic, they- they could give you a dragon you can fly for all you know!”

    She paused to consider that. She did want a pet dragon. “I’ll think about it.”

    “Good. Gods woman, you know how many people would kill for that honour? And here you are, giving it all up because you’ll have to climb stairs!”

    “That’s not the only reason Bishop, and you know it.” She snapped back.

    “Oh not that ‘I don’t take orders’ bull again?” he nagged, “get over yourself, your responsibilities as the Dragonborn are bigger than your ego!”

    “Bishop!” She sat up, he eyes so full of fire he could almost see them in the pitch black, “This is NOT your call to make! I am my own woman, and I make my own destiny!”

    ‘Yeah, well, what if the destiny you set out for yourself is pathetic and selfish!” he sat up too, matching her challenging tone.

    She couldn’t believe him. She could strangle him right here, but she gritted her teeth and counted to 10. “Go to hell Bishop.” She grabbed her pillow and stormed for the door, only identifiable by the faint light that creeped in below the doorframe.

    “Yeah, run away like you do from all your responsibilities! That’ll solve shit!” he barked after her as she slammed the door on her way out.

    As her footsteps died into the noise, it hit Bishop what had just happened. He exhaled and closed his eyes, ‘Fuck…’ dropping his head into his hands.

     

    He barely slept the night, hoping to catch her coming back to bed. Maybe even throwing in a comment about her not being able to stay away to relieve the tension, but no. At first light he got up, got dressed, and packed their things up. At least her backpack was still here, which is a good sign.

    He stepped out and surveyed the room, looking for his crazy companion. Nothing.

    “She’s downstairs, with Erik.” Mralki called from behind the counter. For some reason, hearing this made Bishop feel a little tight in the chest and warm around the collar. He nodded back to the innkeeper and headed down.

    He found her curled up on a pile of clean bedding next to the large boiler, clenching her pillow. It wasn’t very pleasant down here. In the corner was a room with two single beds, presumed Mralki and Erik’s, but the rest of the space was barrels of food and wine, buckets of dirty clothes, and a big tub of where he assumed they kept their trash. It was filled with spoiled food, torn cloth, broken furniture and crockery, and offcuts of meats and vegetables. It reeked. She must’ve been very determined to sleep here.

    “I told her she could sleep in my bed, but she was pretty pissed and scared me a little, so I left her alone.” Erik’s kind voice came up behind him in a whisper, as to not wake the sleeping dragonlady. “I threw the blanket over her once I was sure she was asleep.”

    “Thank you, Erik.” Bishop nodded to the boy. He kept his glare until Erik realised this was his cue to leave them. Seeing this, he quickly excused himself and went upstairs.

    “Morning princess…” his voice was sweet, and woke her from her uncomfortable sleep. Her eyes adjusted to the light, then turned to see him sitting in the trash-tub next to her – clean clothes and all.

    “Bishop, what on the actual fuck are you doing in there?” she asked, dumfounded, rubbing her eyes as she sat up.

    “Well, Mralki told Erik to ‘take out the trash’, so …here I am.” He said with a forced grin, but his eyes were kind, not the usual passive aggressive, I-may-or-may-not-kill-you-in-your-sleep expression he usually carried.

    “Bishop…?” she asked, tilting her head with a faint smile.

    “….yes?”

    “Is this your way of saying you’re trash and you’re sorry?”

    “…maybe.” He looked down at the floor.

    She let out a chuckle, got up, and walked over to the horker in his natural habitat. She stopped right in front of him, and he met her eyes. She offered him a hand, and helped him up. Once up she gagged a little at the smell he carried with him, “Phe-euw Ranger! You might wanna go take another bath! Can’t expect us to sneak up on vampires with you smelling like rotten garlic and clams!” she pinched her nose and tried to bat the smell away.

    “You mean… this doesn’t do it for you ladyship?” he asked, pretending to be insulted and surprised. She just gave him dead eyes. “Well then I need to bottle this stuff! Keep it with me for nights you’re feeling frisky. I’ll call it ‘Princes Repellent!’” he exclaimed, finger pointed to the sky.

    “Gods you’re impossible…” she said with a laugh as she made her way for the stairs, trying to get away from him and his stench.

    “Impossible to MISS! Haha!” he proclaimed, she just shook her head, “With my new aroma, I’ll have heads turning everywhere I go!” He claimed proudly, pursuing her.

    “Yeah, those heads turning will be people trying to break their own necks, anything to get away from the smell!”

    He just laughed and winked at her with a thumbs up. They were back.

    Helena
    Participant
    Post count: 159

    That was good

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    Thanks dear 🙂

    DovaBunny
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    So Casavir, Cael, and Bishop walk into a bar. I didn’t see what happened, I was outside drunk planning to steal some Dibellian statue with an angry Hobo.

    Because I have no self-control and love writing – here you go with another chapter the very next day! *throws party streamers* The  scenes in the beginning of each chapter (in the ‘now’ before the rest which is memories) will soon make sense.

    _________________

    Chapter 5

    _____________________

    Diana still couldn’t fall back asleep. The Frozen Hearth was comfy, but her mind was a blur with memories and thoughts. She carefully lifted the covers and slipped out, careful not to wake the snoring ranger next to her. She tip-toed over to the window and looked out over the vast tundra. The moon cast a beautiful blue haze over the snow covered mountains and valleys. It was beautiful. It has also finally stopped snowing, which is good as they had to fall back into the road first thing after sunrise towards Solitude.

    She got lost in thought, staring out into the beautiful scenery in the moonlight. Suddenly, she was startled and brought back by the touch of a warm, strong hand on her bare back, sliding over till it rested on her waist. “Is everything okay, ladyship?” a deep, gentle voice sounded at her ear. She turned right into the Ranger’s arms.

    His eyes searched her face, but she just gave him a reassuring smile. “I’m fine, Bishop. Thanks. Just couldn’t sleep, is all.” He relaxed, planted a kiss on her bare shoulder, and turned to head back to bed. He could be very sweet when he wanted to be – which was almost never. But something changed in Dawnstar, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

    ____________

    Sooo killing vampires is not as easy as it sounds. If it wasn’t for Mralki’s insistence to take ‘cure disease’ potions, the two of them would be sprouting fangs right about now.

    The dynamic dysfunctional duo emerged from the lair in the first light of the day as the sun rose, covered in blood, nearly all but drained of life, scarred forever by the things they had seen. Diana’s left eye developed a twitch, Bishop was unable to fully close his mouth. This being said, their pockets were full of loot and vampire dust, so all’s well that ends well! …once they get over the trauma.

    “So… Bish…?” she asked in a shaky voice as they marched towards Whiterun on auto-pilot.

    “Hmmm?” he responded a little more high-pitched than his voice usually is, staring straight ahead unblinking.

    “Maybe vampires is not our thing?”

    “Agreed. How ‘bout we leave them to the Vigilants of Stendarr?”

    “That’s alright by me!” she gave him a thumbs up, but also started ahead unblinking. Her thumb sticking out of a hole in her glove.

    They walked in silence for a while, only the sharp sounds of their feet shuffling along in the dirt heard. Bishop broke the silence, “Ladyship?”

    “Hmm?”

    “Could we…forget that ever happened?”

    “What part? The thralls? The turning into bats? The draining the life from your body? The biting and clawing? The you squealing like a little girl? The – ”

    “All of it,” he interrupted in a slightly higher pitch again, before clearing his throat, “just, all of it.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Thank you.” He said in his best attempt at a manly voice. The two continued down the path away from Broken Fang Cave.

     

    Just after midday they came across a small spring in the nook of a hill, and decided to set up camp. They could easily reach Whiterun by tomorrow night from here, and they needed the rest.

    While Bishop went to wash off the physical and emotional scars in the warm water first, she cleared a place for their bedrolls and a fireplace. She rolled two nearby logs closer and gathered wood to start the fire.

    Of course, she would’ve loved to be in the water, but she lost a game of rock parchment knife, and again when she insisted on best out of 3. He cheats, she’s sure of it. She’d already taken off her armour, and was hanging around in just her leather pants and tunic waiting for him to finish. The whole turn-taking thing was the only downside to their traveling together, made her feel like she was back in her parent’s home with her siblings. But it did help to have another pair of hands, another arrow, another blade, and another set of eyes on her travels. All and all, she couldn’t complain.

    “All yours princess!” he sounded like his usual cocky self and looked like it too with hi -WHA?!

    “BISHOP!” she turned away and covered her eyes, “Put on some clothes dammit! Haven’t I suffered enough today?? Haven’t these eyes seen enough atrocities!?”

    “What’s the matter princess? Have you forgotten what a man looks like? I know it’s been a while and you got cobwebs on your cooch, but dayum!” He laughed at her, towel over his shoulder and leaning against the big tree that gave their camp shade.

    “MY cooch’s got cobwebs??” She turned back to face him, working hard to maintain eye-contact. “Hah! It’s been so long since ol’ dawnbreaker there’s seen any action that your twin moons have become spider eggs.” She taunted.

    “Oh yeah? Dunno, they look pretty fine to me,” he looked down and gestured at his junk. Without thinking her eyes followed his eyes and hand. Her eyes widened a little at his proud display. “HAH! Made you look!” He called her out, and high fived himself. “Told you not to play games with me ladyship,” he said smug as he pulled his towel off his shoulder and wrapped it around his waist.

    She stood facing him for a moment, her eyes going narrow as a skew smile rose into her cheek. Keeping his eye contact, she unbuttoned her tunic and dropped it to the floor exposing her bare upper body; dirty, stained, and scarred by their adventuring. She could see his jaw muscles clench, but he maintained eye contact. She then seductively pulled at the fastenings on her pants before bending down to push them down to her ankles and step out completely nude.

    Still he stared directly into her eyes, a slight smile indicating that he thinks he’s winning this silly game of hers. She grabbed her towel off the log next to her backpack, and made her way for the spring, tossing it around her neck. She walked up to him, as he stood between her and the spring. “The game has only just begun ranger…” she whispered in a sultry voice into his ear as she passed him, lightly brushing her hand over the bulge under his towel as she kept walking. He flinched at her touch.

    Just as she strutted passed, swinging her hips, she felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand up. “Made you look…” she called out without looking back. She knew he’d turn to look at her pass and that his eyes would fall to her backside. He’s just a man after all. She giggled to herself as she heard him nervously shuffle with confused muffled sounds before abruptly turning towards the camp.

    Bishop did not like what had just happened. She challenged him, and he liked that about her, but still, he always felt in control, telling himself that he was actually the one at the reins and that he knew what he was doing. For a moment there, he felt that slip away. For a brief moment, he felt the urge to give in to her, the desire to let her take the lead and allow her to tease and seduce him till he surrenders. But just for a moment. He had to stay focused.

     

    Thank Mara for venison stew and ale! After both of them had two helpings of each, they sat back on their respective bedrolls, each leaning against a log, admiring the fire. The night was cool, but the winter cold was passing. She was clean, fed, aled-up, and comfy, in essence – she was happy. She looked over the flames to the brooding Ranger staring into the flames. He’d been not unusually quiet, but unusually broody since her little display earlier. He’d been writing a letter in that secretive leather notebook of him again, and re-read old ones he received. They’ve been travelling together for almost three months, but still the man who slept a few feet away from her every night remained a mystery.

    “You never told me how you became a ranger?” she asked with a smile, snapping him out of his plan-for-world-domination face.

    “No, I didn’t.” he returned blankly.

    “Well… would you tell me?”

    “Why do you wanna know?”

    “Because I want to know the closest thing I have to a man in my life now!” she said with a laugh, “C’mon, you got no one else to talk to. Talk to me Ranger.”

    “No thank you.” His abrupt dismissal took the wind out of her sails. Why was he so rude? Was it still about earlier?

    “Why not?” she asked, a little offended. “I’ve told you about how I became the Dragonborn when you asked.” She recalled that night, and how she saw he had the potential to be kind for the first time after he saw that the guard’s comments got to her.

    “You didn’t have to tell me. You’re a free woman, you can do what you want, and so can I.”

    She wanted to snap at him, but she knew that would do no good right now. “Bishop, I’m just trying to get to you know.” She responded in a softer voice, “I mean, we eat together, drink together, sleep together, fight together- I know you so well, and also, not at all. What’s wrong with opening up a little?”

    “Do me a favour princess, save your sappy talks for the bards and innkeepers’ sons, I’m not that kinda guy and I’m not interested in telling you my ‘life’s story’,” he used air-quotes on the latter.

    “Bishop, I – ”

    “I said, save it!” he barked, “Gods woman, we got along just fine before, it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it! Now go to sleep.” With that, he got into bed and turned on his side facing away from her.

    She sat staring at the lump in the bedroll. Had she done something wrong? What did he mean ‘they got along fine before’, and why did she have a naggings suspicion the ‘don’t fix it’ comment was alluding to something deeper? Either way, one thing was for sure, she was never going to open up to him again – not after that. If that’s the way he wanted to play it, fine. They’ll be strangers who just co-exist. Diana could hold a grudge like Heimskr held onto Talos. She got into bed, cursing herself for opening up to him that night in Solitude, for thinking they could actually be friends.

     

    The road to Whiterun was hard and cold, and I’m not just talking about the scenery. Bishop kept his distance behind her, and she refused to look back at him. She only knew he was there by the sound of his feet on the dirt, a sound she knew so well by now.

     

    “I got some stuff I need to do. I’ll meet up with you at Jorvaskr later.” Bishop broke the silence as they walked into the market in Whiterun, turning off towards the inn. Dusk was filling the sky and the shops were already closed, so clearly he didn’t need to buy supplies. To be honest, she didn’t care what he did. She turned to him blankly and nodded to let him know she got the message, before turning off to continue on her own.

    This was the first time in all the time they’ve been together that she’d be without him. It sounded stupid once she realised it, like they were bound somehow. For three months he had been her shadow and she had been his light. Now, it seemed like the beginning of the end. She didn’t have a problem with this per se, but she was much more of a ‘rip the bandaid’ than letting it peter out -kinda woman. If he didn’t like being with her anymore, that’s fine, but then leave. Or don’t, and get over yourself. Just pick one.

    Instead of going through the doors, she decided to rather walk around to see who’s in the training yard. She didn’t feel like making an entrance and drawing attention to herself right now, something she usually didn’t mind, especially in her home.

    Sure enough, on the bench, barking orders at the whelps, sat her former partner in crime – Farkas. She decided to sneak up on him, to see if his reflexes are still what they were. She quietly removed her backpack, and propped it up against the wall, before going into full sneak-mode.

    “Rina! Keep your damn shield up!” Farkas yelled, before muttering under his breath, “damn women fighters.” Diana was right behind him, and heard this. She got a naughty smirk on her face. Then – she pounced.

    She threw her whole body onto his upper-body, wrapping her arms around his head and eyes so he couldn’t see, and holding on for dear life as he jumped to his feet and started shaking and rattling around like a wild horse trying to throw his rider off. Her legs were clamped around his torso and arms, keeping them from plucking her off.

    With all the commotion and Farkas’ wild cries and muffles, all the whelps turned to laugh at their great teacher. She let out a little giggle at how funny it must look, at which point he paused in place.

    “I know that giggle…” he said as the tension started to leave his body. She bit her lip to keep from bursting out in laughter. He used his powerful muscles to pry her legs off his arms and she slid down his back, but kept her hands over his eyes. His hands went to hers first, gently feeling for any tell-tale signs. But she didn’t wear any jewellery (not if she could sell it for ale or a nice new bow) and he knew that, so he let his hands move over her wrists, down her arms. He was reaching over his own shoulders when he felt her short tuffy hair. “Diana! You little daedra!”

    She let go of that laughter she was holding back as he spun around to her, a big goofy smile on his face. He picked her up and nearly squeezed the Dibella out of her. At this point he noticed all the whelps standing around them just looking.

    “Did I say you bunch of maggot munching mudcrabs could stop?!” his demeanor switched from lovable, goofy big brother, to scary pirate captain. She would’ve likened him to some military position, but she knew jack shit about the military. The whelps all jumped back into their old positions and continued their training like nothing changed all in less than 2 seconds.

    “Since when did you become the big bad wolf?” she asked, impressed by this new development. He was never like this when they trained together.

    “Well,” he went back to smiley Farkas and rubbed the back of his neck, “after you left you set a new standard for what a new member of the companions should be. Vilkas felt that if you could do it, so could any whelp, and developed a whole new training regimen.”

    “Wow…” she responded, genuinely impressed. ‘Regimen’ was a big word for Farkas.

    “Say, I don’t see that little plaything that followed you around before,” he asked, looking over her shoulder, a hint of satisfaction in his voice. “You killed him didn’t you?”

    “Pfft, I wish I killed him.” She brushed it off, “The cabbage-for-brains is in town running errands, said he’d join later.”

    Faskas looked a little disappointed at that, but picked up again, “Well, I’m happy to see you sis. You look well.” He gave her a once over and a broad smile.

    “Thanks big bro,” she said sweetly, “You look as handsome and hunky as ever! Yelling at whelps seem to be working for you, you know -” She was cut off by the doors to Jorvaskr swinging open. Vilkas stepped out in his full wolf armour, handsome and manly, deep in thought – as he usually was.

    “Ah, brother! Perfect timing, look who came to visit!” Farkas announced proudly, drawing Vilkas’ attention. He looked up to see Diana, sheepishly grinning at him. Her leather and steel padded armour had begun to wear, but she still looked like an adventurer and warrior. Vilkas’ mouth opened a little at the unexpected sight.

    “Heyyyy Vilkas,” she said sweetly as she stepped closer to him, her hands clasped in reverse just below her hips. She wasn’t quite sure how to act, especially since she left him with that kiss. Gods why was he so hard to read, she couldn’t tell if he hated her or loved her.

    “Diana…” he let out her name with a breath and a smile grew. He stepped forward, arms open, and she took the cue, throwing her arms around his neck as she stood on her tiptoes to hug him tight. “Welcome home.”

    She released him and dropped down in his arms to stand facing the big man. “It’s good to be home. But it looks like you’re all geared up, going somewhere?” she didn’t try to hide her disappointment at this possibility.

    “I-a, I was…” he looked to Farkas who nodded back at him in assurance, “but that can wait. It’s not everyday our favourite shield-sister returns from the wilds. I’m sure you have quite a few interesting tales to tell.” He put his arm around her shoulder and turned with her to head back in the hall. Farkas barked something at the whelps and followed the two.

    “Oh do I! You ever fought vampires?! What a bunch of assholes!” The brothers laughed at her over the top start to her stories. She’d always find a way to tell the simplest tale in the most dramatic way to make the brothers, especially Vilkas, laugh a little. Farkas could giggle at two apples and a sausage put together to look like a dick, but Vilkas – for Vilkas it took bad puns and imaginative exaggeration to her stories.  She happily obliged both.

     

    The three spent the night swopping stories, drinking fine ale, and eating off each other’s plates. She and Farkas has had many such a night, but usually Vilkas kept to himself or talked business with Aela or Kodlak. Tonight, he sat next to her, laughing so hard his stomach hurt. There was celebration and feasting, she felt like she never left.

    Then Bishop decided to show up. He sneaked in, not wanting to be seen. He’d been gone for hours. She immediately spotted him. He searched the hall for her face, and once he saw her, just gave her a nod of acknowledgment. He grabbed an ale off the table and sat on a bench in the dark against the wall.

    Usually she’d go up to him, they’d get food, she’d let him join in on their conversations – but she was having a good time. She didn’t feel like having him bring her down.  She turned back to her brothers and told them of ‘SkeeverLand’ and her ideas for skeever-themed snacks and attractions.

     

    It was just before midnight, and the party showed no signs of slowing down. Farkas had gotten distracted with a young whelp who was asking about shield technique, but the oaf was too blind to see that she was trying hard to flirt with him. Diana and Vilkas had been talking for hours. It was comfortable, fun, and just lovely. He asked about their travels, her thoughts, her fears, and shared just as easily. She liked the new Vilkas.

    “So you’re actually considering taking the seven thousand steps? All because he told you to start taking your dragonborn responsibilities more seriously?” Vilkas asked curiously. He was sitting close to her, one arm on back of her chair as to give her his undivided attention.

    “At first I thought: no way in oblivion, but I guess he has a point…” Vilkas, like his brother, did not like Bishop, but refrained from making it as obvious as Farkas had. Before he could respond, however, the music in the room picked up and was followed by cheers. It was a companion favourite dance tune.

    She turned to Vilkas hopefully. He smiled at her nonverbal request. Just as he was about to ask her, BAM! Enter Farkas!

    “Dance with me sister!” Farkas called as he grabbed her hand and plucked her out her seat like she weighed nothing. She looked back at Vilkas concerned, Farkas was a terrible dancer, which was unfortunate because he loved to dance. Vilkas just laughed and shrugged back.

    “Uhh okay!” she responded as she struggled onto her feet to get into position.

    From the corner of the room Bishop sat watching the scene. He’d manage to remain undetected. Which wasn’t a big feat considering 90% of the people in the room were hammered. He watched her laugh and have fun from a distance. He scoffed at Farkas’ two left feet as he kept stepping on Diana’s toes as they danced. Diana, of course, was too nice to say anything, but he could see her flinch and grit. For a moment, he considered stealing her for the rest of the dance.

    “May I cut in?”

    Diana turned away from Farkas to see Vilkas standing next to them, hand held out to her. “Of course brother!” Farkas smiled and place her hand in Vilkas’.

    As she turned into Vilkas’ arms and Farkas grabbed another poor lass, she whispered through her teeth to Vilkas: “Thank you!”

    “Your welcome Diana,” he said with a laugh, lowering his lips to her ear “You know, I was about to ask you when he butted in. Its…, its going to sound stupid, but I’ve always wanted to dance with you. With you being gone so often and for so long, I guess I just realised I needed to use the chance I have, here tonight, with you.” He turned to look deep into her eyes. She has spent many a night dancing in this hall, and even asked him a few times, but he always passed. Looking into his dark blue eyes, she could feel how he meant it.

    “Well, then I’m glad you asked me tonight.” She smiled warmly back, her eyes soft as she held his gaze.

    Under the lead of his strong but gently guiding frame, they moved about the room. Everytime she moved away and back to him, or had to join another dancer before rejoining him, he held her closer, tighter, till she was pressed tight against his body.

    The drums and lute took over, and the music became slower. She felt his warm breath on her neck and took in his scent of oak, new books, and skyeforge steel. He moved his hand from the small of her back around her waist, holding her body to his as they moved in unison to the music. She moved her hands from his shoulders up to his neck as he rested his head on hers closing his eyes as they just moved together.

    Although they were fully clothed on the dance floor, this was the most intimate experience she’d had in a long time. Her soul needed this, it needed to connect with someone in a space that was safe, warm, and caring. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, someone was staring and she had an idea who, but she couldn’t care less right now.

    As they swayed and moved together, Vilkas’ one hand remained around her waist as the other tenderly roamed up her spine to between her shoulder blades. He lowered his head so his cheek was pressed against her temple. Lulled in the moment, keeping her face to his, she tilted her head back, her lips edging towards his. She felt a rise in his chest at this gesture.

    They kept their eyes closed, guided by the music and the warmth of her breath from her lips, he leaned in for the kiss, their lips just a hair’s width from touching. She was ready to taste his kiss, and he sure was ready to kiss her lips.

    “YOU FUCKING BITCH!?” a woman’s voice carried from the other side of the hall, startling the two dancers. “I’ll cut you for that!!” They turned to see the lass Farkas danced with, a big red stain of wine over her white dress, fuming at the lass who was flirting hard with him earlier the night.

    Before anyone could react, the two jumped at one another, yanking, clawing, and biting. Vilkas broke out of their embrace to search the room for Farkas or Aela – someone else who could intervene, but nothing.

    “I’m sorry, Diana” he said earnestly, a hint of real sadness in his eyes, before turning to run towards the girls to break it up. It took two jugs of cold water, Vilkas, and three other men to eventually stop the catfight. Once it was under control Vilkas looked over to her, out of breath. She sighed and smiled back. The night was over, they both knew it. Nothing ended a party faster than a fight. A challenge is different, a friendly brawl – sure! But a real fight like this? Forget it.

    The band was packing away their things as everyone started to head down. She looked over to where Bishop sat, and saw a big smile on the Ranger’s face. Was that out of amusement, or did he know something she didn’t? Bishop got up and proceeded to follow her towards the stairs.

    Downstairs everyone disappeared into the rooms, but Vilkas stood down the hall waiting for her. She met up with him, Bishop in tow.

    “Bishop.” Vilkas nodded to the Ranger in cold greeting.

    “Vilkas.” Bishop responded the same.

    Vilkas turned to Diana who stood in front of him, taking her hands in his. He paused for a moment to glare at Bishop, hoping he’d pick up to give them some space. Oh he picked up on the cue alright, he just ignored it. Vilkas realised this and turned his attention back to her.

    “Diana, I’m so sorry for how the night ended. This is… not at all, what I had hoped.”

    “Ah don’t beat yourself up about it Vilk, I know how things are around here. These things happen. But thanks for dancing with me, and saving me from Farkas! My toes will forever be in your debt.” She smiled warmly at him. He smiled back, but said nothing, just taking in the feeling of her hands in his and the way her dark eyes seemed to light up.

    Bishop let out a big, over the top yawn. “WELL! This has been fun, but Diana and I need to hit the road early so we best be off to bed.” He reached out and tugged her arm towards him. She pulled back.

    Vilkas bit his tongue as to not put the little manbitch in his place. “Fair enough. Diana, I will have the payment for the bounties ready by breakfast. We have an open bed in the spare room for your companion, and Skjor’s is yours as usual. Sleep well, and if you need me for anything during the night – you know where I am.”

    “Thank you Vilkas, good night.” She let go of his hands and made her way towards Skjor’s room. Bishop gave Vilkas a smirk and a wink, as he followed Diana. BOY Vilkas did not like Bishop and Bishop did not make it hard to hate him.

     

    Bishop walked in to Diana already pulling her tunic over her head facing away from the door.

    “Woa princess, going in for another round of ‘made ya look’, are we?” he said jesting.

    “No, I’m just changing then I’ll be out.” She answered coldly. “You can sleep here. I know you don’t like the whelps room.”

    “But – where will you sleep?” Bishops demeanour dropped.

    “Dunno yet. Maybe Farkas is passed out somewhere outside and I can have his bed, otherwise, with Vilkas.” She threw her night gown over her head before untying her skin tight leather pants and wiggling out. All the while facing away from him.

    Bishop remained silent, his eyes fixed on the floor in thought as he stood by the door. He looked up to see her stuff her clothes back in her bag and turn towards the door to leave.

    “Good night Bishop” she said in her emotionless voice, avoiding looking at him. She brushed pass him and reached for the door, but just as she opened it, Bishop slammed his hand on the door closing it.

    “No.” he said in a deep, throaty, but non-threatening voice.

    She stood dumfounded. “… Whaddaya mean ‘NO’?”

    “I mean, no, you shouldn’t go sleep with one of the mangey mutt brothers.”

    She just started at him in disbelief and slightly pissed.

    “I am your companion now,” he continued, “If you have to share a bed with someone, it should be here, with me.” He finally turned and met her gaze. She wasn’t sure if he was asking, or commanding…or pleading. “Now, willya put down your bag and get into bed Princess?” she hesitated, suspicious. “Please?” There it was, he was asking. Still, looking at his hand pressed firmly on the door, it also didn’t seem like she had much choice in the matter, and if she were to yell at him here, she’d wake up the whole hall.

    She narrowed her eyes at him and turned back towards the room. She didn’t want to admit it to herself, but she was still pissed by what had happened the previous night. Where she’d usually be dropping one sex-joke after the other with some charming sexual aggressive commentary at the idea of them sharing a bed, right now, she just wanted to sleep.

    Bishop stood in place holding the door till she put her bag back on the table and climbed into bed, folding her arms like a spoiled kid who wants daddy to buy her a dragon-unicorn to play with. He let out a sarcastic but also a little real “Thank you,” at that, and started to get undressed himself.

    “No peeking now ladyship.” He said over his shoulder, his mouth curling up a little as he sat and started untying his boots. He looked over to see her, leaning her head against the wall and staring at her toes under the covers. She didn’t look like the mighty warrior now, she just looked like a young woman. The way the candle light flickered across her shoulder, neck and face, the contrast between her oversized white, soft gown and her short black hair hair that caressed her face and neck, her dark eyes that could be so confident and naughty, but also so soft and kind. She looked, almost vulnerable, lost.

    Bishop let out a breath that felt like a mask falling off his face. “I grew up in a rough, small travelling clan of three travelling families,” he began

    Wide-eyed she quickly turned to look at him, not sure she just heard what she though.

    “The only thing that separated us from a band of bandits was that nobody knew we were. We’d travel from town to town, robbing travellers on the road and blowing it all in the next tavern on fine wine, wenches, expensive jewellery… And when the coin dried up, it was back on the road.”

    She sat up, crossed legs and hands on her lap palms up, listening to him intently. “Must’ve been tough, being a kid during all that…” he voice kind, comforting.

    “Which is why I left.” He stood up and turned away, pulling his shirt over his head. Her eyes couldn’t but help admire the way the candlelight dances on his strong back. “The kids were mostly left to raise themselves. It was constant fighting, back-stabbing, bickering, contest…all for what? To grow up to be like one of them?” his voice got deeper and agitated. She saw his shoulder muscles tense. “One day, I just took my stuff and left. Never looked back.” He relaxed again at that.

    She sat for a moment, taking in what she had just learned from the ranger. She understood that this isn’t something he’d just willy-nilly tell everyone, which is probably why he didn’t want to tell her. She appreciated him opening up, even if it is just a little.

    “How old were you? When you left.” She asked, her voice like warm honey, trying to reach out and comfort him at the unpleasant memories.

    “Not even fifteen winters yet,”  he threw on the large shirt he slept in. While she was in thought he had changed into soft, tan cotton pants that came to right below his knee where it seemed to have been torn off. “But I think that’s enough bedtime stories for tonight,” he turn and moved towards the bed. A faint smile on his face.

    She scooted over in the single bed to make as much room as she could. He slipped in under the covers, trying to get comfortable. The two laying next to each other on their backs didn’t quite fit on the bed, his shoulders were too broad.

    “Ah, wait, I got an idea, put your arm under my head,” he raised an eyebrow at her, but did as she asked and stretched out his arm over her side of the bed under her head, his hand dangling off the other side. She hopped on her side, facing away from him of course, (they’re not cuddling!) and wiggled till she was comfortable, resting her head on his arm with her back to the side of his body. “perfect…” she purred cosily.

    He had stayed in position, a little uncomfortable with how comfortable she was making herself. He just didn’t want her sleeping with other men, he didn’t really think it all the way through. But here she was, dozing off in his arm. He carefully leaned his head towards the bedside table, careful not to stir her now perfect position, and blew out the candle.

    “G’night princess” he whispered, but he could tell by how her breathing got heavier that she was already off.

    He laid back on the pillow and stared up into nothing. He felt strange. A part of him couldn’t believe he told her about his family, yet another part felt she deserved to know. This was just to appease her after she shared with me, now were’ equal, the thought to himself. He would focus on maintaining his distance, a professional distance, from her. At that thought his attention turned to how near she was to him right now. He felt her soft skin and warm breath on his arm. He could feel her deep, rhythmic breathing against the side of his chest. He bit his lip, closed his eyes, and dropped his head back. I can’t do this.

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