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Apparently I am fucking terrible at sketching. It seems like every time I think "oh, I'll just do a cute, amusing little sketch", it turns into "lol this needs to be a real picture with a background and shit". Why.

Mrrsizha gets a lot of short jokes, living in Skyrim. The worst part about it is that she isn't even like, super short...she just happens to live in the homeland of the Nords, is all. If you're not a Nord or an Altmer, it's kind of inevitable that most of the populace will be taller than you.

Between that and the snow, it's almost enough to make her consider moving. Almost.

And yeah I know Vex isn't a Nord, but 1) I've always imagined her being tall and 2) I just really wanted to draw her. (The other option was Sapphire, and since she sort of hates everyone I don't think she'd've worked very well for this.) I'm guessing she was too busy lightening someone's pockets to hear the comment Brynjolf just made about Mrr being a tiny kitty, and is just now going "wait WTF is going on". Or something. Hell, I just wanted to draw her making that face; make up your own story to explain it.

In any case, Vex is also one of the people Mrrsizha likes enough to actively hang out with outside the Flagon. Well, provided you count constant rivalry and a mutual slightly grudging respect and admiration as liking someone, anyway. I assume Brynjolf's only allowed to be there because he's been sworn into silence about telling anyone they're actually friends. They have reputations to uphold, you know.

Also: holy crap I love drawing Mrr's pimp ring like nobody's business. gotta keep those bitches in line somehow amirite



referencing one's own hand is an exciting and often painful experience

last update before finished. I also have no idea what Vex's eye color actually is so I guessed based on the ref I used. Will actually figure it out before I finish this however. >>
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Part 1: [link] Part 2: [link] Part 3: [link] Part 4: You Are Here

---

Fadali brought her horse to a stop, looking back over her shoulder. It was too dark and too rainy to see well, but she thought she might have lost her pursuers.

She stayed where she was for a moment, her horse stamping and snorting nervously. She really shouldn't be on the road, she knew--it made her easier to catch--but she was too afraid of what could happen to leave it. Leaving the roads during the day was risky at best, doing it at night was almost suicidal. And that was leaving out that she might do something incredibly stupid like bolt off a cliff or run into a dragon or some other awful thing.

Just when she'd almost decided she was safe, she saw torchlight in the distance. She sucked in a short breath, ears twitching; after a moment, she could make out their voices.

They were looking for an assassin.

The Dunmer turned her horse away and spurred him into a gallop.

She left them behind quickly, but she was certain they must have heard--if they were close enough that she could hear them, they could probably hear her taking off at a gallop, and who would be galloping around at night except their assassin? The horse didn't get far before he ran straight into a patch of thick fog; Fadali bit her lip, but didn't let him slow. She could just barely make out enough of the road to avoid any major obstacles, and they were still too close to risk slowing. The fog would help.

Any other thoughts she had were abruptly cut off when her horse skidded to a halt suddenly, rearing with a whinny. She was dimly aware of a shape throwing itself off the road, then the yowling scream only Khajiit made. Damn! She thought the Khajiit had moved in time, but...

She turned the horse, peering into the darkness where she thought the Khajiit had fallen. "Gods, I'm sorry! Are you alright?" There was movement, and a glint of light like you saw from animal eyes. The Khajiit went still, and Fadali was about to dismount to check on him or her when she heard the last thing she expected.

"Fadali?"

The Dunmer blinked rapidly at the darkness, ears twitching. She didn't know many Khajiit, and even fewer knew her name. And...and she'd thought she recognized that voice, but that was impossible--

"Mrrsizha?!" Fadali was swinging her leg over the horse's back and slipping out of his saddle almost before she realized it. She ran to the Khajiit as she got to her feet, taking hold of her shoulders. She wore a hood--of course she did, it was raining--and it obscured her face too much, so Fadali brushed it off.

Her heart leapt up into her throat as the moonslight illuminated the Khajiit's face. It was Mrrsizha, unmistakably--she knew those markings, that face, like the back of her hand, and even if there was another Khajiit with her exact markings there couldn't possibly be one with her markings and her scars. Fadali just stared for a moment at the face of her best friend, waiting for the world to hand her an explanation; and then, an instant later, she pulled the other woman to her in a crushing hug.

Mrrsizha squeaked softly in protest but Fadali just gasped, "You're alive! I knew you were alive, I knew you couldn't just have died on me, I knew--"

"Fadali. Fadali!" Mrrsizha wriggled away, sighing softly. She smiled, sheepish and apologetic, and pulled her hood back up. "Calm down. Look, I'll explain, but I have to get to Riften. It's really important. So..."

Fadali stepped back, looking her over and only just now realizing how ragged she looked. Her leathers looked worn, like she'd been running all over Skyrim in them and hadn't bothered repairing them, and her stance wasn't right. She looked...tired. Very tired. How long had she been traveling?

Fadali nodded. "Okay. Get on the horse." Mrrsizha looked unhappily at her horse and Fadali added, "Look, Mrr, I know you don't like them, but you're exhausted."

Mrrsizha sighed, but nodded. She scrambled up in the horse's saddle clumsily, and when Fadali got on in front of her the Khajiit clung to her unhappily. The Dunmer was secretly glad for it, though; Mrrsizha clasping her tightly around the waist served as a reminder that she was alive. Alive!

Speaking of which... "What happened? Where have you been? I thought you were dead!"

Mrrsizha growled, her chest rumbling against Fadali's back, and rested her chin on the Elf's shoulder. "Is that what he told you?"

Fadali hesitated before answering, nudging the horse into a walk. He who? Brynjolf? Before she could come up with a reply, Mrrsizha continued.

"I told you Mercer wanted me to help him with something, right?"

"He needed your help hunting down some Guild criminal, or something. Right?"

Mrrsizha growled again, softer. "Yes. I didn't tell you everything then...I didn't think I was supposed to, or that it mattered. But damn that, now." She let out a breath. "Twenty-five years ago, the Guild's leader was someone else. Gallus. Karliah, his lover, killed him and ran off. We were going to track Karliah down before she could kill Mercer too, because that's what she was trying to do: take us all down so he would be weaker. That's what Mercer told me, anyway. I didn't ask why he wanted me to come along. Just as well, he probably wouldn't have told me anyway." She paused for a moment, sighing. "We found Karliah. She shot me with a paralyzing arrow and ran off before Mercer could stop her...but not before I heard everything."

She paused again, this time seemingly for dramatic effect. Fadali would have throttled the Khajiit, if she hadn't just got her back or been busy steering a horse.

"Karliah didn't kill Gallus. Mercer did."

Fadali made a quiet noise, but wasn't especially surprised to find her suspicions confirmed. Mrrsizha didn't seem to care, though, continuing, "And of course, now that I knew that, he had to eliminate me. That son of a bitch stabbed me and left me for dead. Luckily, Karliah saved me. I would have come back, but I couldn't--Mercer would just kill me off for good this time, or do something horrible to me to find out where Karliah was hiding. Karliah found Gallus' old journal, but it was written in Falmer, so we've been running all over Skyrim to get the damn thing translated. We finally did, and it has what we need to convince the Guild of Mercer's treachery." She paused. "I'm sorry, Fadali. I'm really sorry. I know I should have contacted you or something, but...we've been rushing all over the place, I just never seemed to have any time. And I just...I didn't know if it was safe." She paused again, and it felt like she was cringing. "Still, I know that's not an excuse, and I'm really sorry."

"You damn well better be!" Fadali looked back at her sharply and the Khajiit winced. "But I'll forgive you, just this once. Don't do it again." She looked ahead again with an aggravated breath, absorbing everything Mrrsizha had told her. "So you haven't been back to Riften at all?"

"No." Mrrsizha put her chin back on Fadali's shoulder. "I mean, maybe I could have snuck in, but it was too risky. Anyway, we've been in the wilderness mostly...Mercer is still looking for Karliah, and we don't know where his contacts are. The only cities I've been in for any amount of time are Markarth and Winterhold." She lifted her head suddenly. "What about you? I mean, how has it been?"

Fadali made a nervous sound, a not-quite-laugh. "Heh. See, funny story there. Uh, I actually may or may not have only just recently been allowed back in the Flagon..."

Mrrsizha groaned. "Fadali! What did you do?"

Fadali let out a breath. Mrrsizha wasn't going to like this. "I...may have made a brief but impassioned effort to kill Brynjolf..."

"What?!" Fadali winced, hissing as the Khajiit shouted in her ear. "You tried to kill Brynjolf? Merrunz's claws, Fadali, why?!"

Fadali growled, turning around to glare at the Khajiit. "Because he was supposed to protect you! He promised you would be safe with Mercer!"

Mrrsizha shut her mouth with a quiet snap, ears flicking back under her hood. Fadali turned back around, glaring into the night. A few awkward moments passed.

"Oh." Mrrsizha said finally, her voice soft. After a moment, she continued gently, "Fadali, it wasn't his fault. I was with the Guild Master. They couldn't have known he's a back-stabbing traitor."

Fadali didn't answer, glaring still, but for different reasons. Couldn't they? Brynjolf was Mercer's second-in-command...what if he'd known? What if it wasn't just Mercer? Mrrsizha was incredibly good at what she did, and who knew that better than Brynjolf, her mentor? Maybe that was why Mercer took her to the middle of nowhere to kill her, so the Guild wouldn't have anyone good enough to hunt him down.

"Fadali?"

Fadali let out a breath. Mrrsizha wouldn't like this either, but she couldn't just not say something. By Sithis, she didn't like it--didn't even like thinking it. She liked Brynjolf, he seemed like a good person, but he was still a criminal and Fadali of all people knew better than to trust criminals just because they seemed nice. Most of her Family could seem nice, but every single one of them wouldn't hesitate to put a dagger in your back if they had a big enough prize to gain for it. Even the spider.

"What if they did know?" Fadali looked back briefly and Mrrsizha narrowed her eyes in confusion. "What if Brynjolf knew?"

"What?" Mrrsizha shook her head. "Why would Brynjolf...he can't have known!" She was frowning though, worried.

"He is Mercer's second, Mrrsizha..."

"No. Brynjolf's not like that, Fadali." The Khajiit let out a breath. "Anyway, why bother recruiting me if he's just going to betray the Guild? He's always going on about how I'm going to turn our luck around--"

Fadali looked back again. "Cover-up so nobody suspects?"

Mrrsizha pursed her lips, going quiet. "...no," She said finally. "He could just recruit any beggar off the street, if that was it. It just...no."

Fadali sighed softly, but didn't argue further. Mrrsizha liked Brynjolf...a lot more than a Khajiit should have, probably. Fadali was certain of that, anyway; she'd seen how fond of him she was, how eager to please. There was no point in trying to convince her. "Look, I'm just saying be careful. Maybe it's not just Mercer."

Mrrsizha didn't answer. After a few moments, she put her chin back on Fadali's shoulder.

"Wake me up when we stop."

---

Well then. The final, exceptionally wordy part of Fadali Being Emo About Mrr.

...I've basically got nothing clever to say about it, sorry. >>
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~CountessofTheGhastly wanted me to draw Mrrsizha as a kitten. Somehow that evolved into this. :T

From left-to-right: Mrrsizha as a little kitten. She's far too bouncy and excitable to be a very good thief yet, but she is adorable enough to distract you while her parents clean your pockets out.

Teenaged Mrrsizha, probably about fourteen or so--she still lives with her caravan by this point, but for some reason she always seems to acquire a bunch of shiny, expensive things whenever they camp near cities...

Adult Mrrsizha, finally broken out of the merchant caravan life and a fully-fledged thief in her own right. Got out into the world, earned her scars in a bar-fight, joined and started leading the Thieves' Guild...all in all, life is good and all your shinies are belong to her.
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...you send one. It, ideally, works best if that one isn't in training, however.

Drew this for kicks, then decided to use it as an excuse to lazily fuck with textures in SAI. Maybe I'll finish it proper someday. Anyway, Mrrsizha and her adoptive sister/daughter/protégée/thing, Ma'isha. Ma'isha's not as good at this thieving thing as she thinks she is. But she's learning.
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Or something.

I got a comment mentioning Mrr should eventually learn to pickpocket so she can repay Brynjolf back for this. But she has to find someone to teach her first, right? And practice! Practice is very important when you plan to steal the undies off a master thief.

So that's what she's doing. Practicing.

And really, distasteful as it may be to say, sometimes racism (in Skyrim, at least) is actually right: some Nords ARE as stupid as a box of rocks. :T

---

Other adventures in Skyrim!
So this happened. -- [link]
Random Spawning -- [link]
If not for the gutter... -- [link]
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Part 1: You Are Here Part 2: [link] Part 3: [link] Part 4: [link]

---

Fadali raised her eyebrows in surprise as she entered the Ragged Flagon. Something felt...wrong. It seemed quieter...or maybe that was her imagination. Maybe Dirge looking at her oddly as she passed was her imagination too. She wondered what his expression had meant, nodding slightly in greeting to him.

The usual suspects were there: Vekel at the bar, cleaning the top disinterestedly, Tonilia and Vex sitting out on the deck, Delvin at his usual table in the back corner. Brynjolf was there too, at the table nearest to the entrance, and he looked troubled. Fadali cocked her head, ears twitching, and altered her course, sitting down across the table from him. He looked up.

She hadn't seen Brynjolf look so somber before; he was usually a cheerful man, even when he was serious. But now he was frowning softly, looking disturbed and a little bit lost.

"What's with you, Bryn?" Fadali laced her fingers together, resting her chin on them. "You look like someone killed your puppy."

She thought she saw him wince a little, and wondered if the joke had hit close to home. Oops. She didn't think he had a puppy, though...

"I was wondering when you'd be back here, Fadali." His voice was low and a far cry from its usual cheerful tone. She noticed he hadn't answered, but decided not to push it just yet; instead, she glanced surreptitiously around the room again. Delvin and Vekel were minding their own business, Vex and Tonilia talking quietly. Dirge was, as always, glaring at anything that moved. By all accounts, it should have been a perfectly normal day in the Flagon, but something still felt off to Fadali, like there was a layer of something coloring everything different. She wasn't certain what.

"Can't stay gone for too long," she said finally, "you'd miss me. I make it fun here. Speaking of which..." She cut her eyes back to Brynjolf. He wasn't looking at her anymore. "...what's wrong? Seriously. This is still a tavern, for the Divines' sakes. Why is everything so..." She gestured vaguely. "...so gloomy here?"

Nobody answered her immediately, and Fadali took the moment of silence to continue. "By Sithis, we need Mrr. She knows how to cheer you people up. Wasn't she supposed to be back soon?" She turned in her seat to glance back at the entrance, as if Mrrsizha was about to step through it any moment.

Brynjolf let out a breath. "About that, Fadali..."

Fadali's ears twitched and she looked at him sharply. Her voice was low, warning, when she next spoke.

"What about that, Brynjolf?"

"Mercer's back. He arrived today."

Mercer... Fadali thought that was the Thieves' Guild's leader. He had some name starting with an M, she seemed to recall. She'd only seen the man maybe once, though, and Mrrsizha didn't say much about him. She almost growled when she asked in response, "And Mrrsizha?"

Brynjolf let out a short, harsh breath. He reached out to place something on the table in front of her: it took Fadali a moment to recognize the gold-and-moonstone earrings she'd given Mrrsizha shortly after they'd become friends. Mrrsizha treasured them, and the Khajiit wore them everywhere.

Brynjolf shouldn't have had them.

"She's dead."

Fadali's breath caught. She forced herself to swallow around the lump in her throat, shakily picking up the earrings and waiting for Brynjolf to tell her he wasn't serious, or that he didn't mean dead dead, or that--

"What?!" The Dunmer didn't realize she'd stood until she was leaning over the table towards Brynjolf. "She can't be dead!" She was dimly aware that everyone in the Flagon had looked up at the outburst; Brynjolf stood as well, so she wasn't standing over him, but Fadali didn't care, reaching across the table to grab the front of his armor and yank him forward.

"You bastard! You said she would be safe!" She realized her vision had blurred, but she didn't care. She shoved Brynjolf back. "Where is that son of a bitch?!" She didn't let Brynjolf answer, pushing past him and starting for the door that led down to the inner sanctum of the Thieves' Guild.

He caught her arm before she could get far, though, beginning, "Fadali--" The assassin lashed out in response, and felt a twinge of satisfaction when she felt her fist connect with Brynjolf's jaw. That wrist was abruptly jerked back a moment after, though, because Dirge had intervened; it took both him and Brynjolf to subdue her, and the Dunmer only relented when both men had her pressed to the wall, her arms twisted painfully behind her back.

"You promised!" Fadali's voice was choked and gasping, and she realized she was crying. "You were supposed to take care of her!" She started to struggle again, but knew it wouldn't matter; she couldn't wrestle away from Brynjolf and Dirge. "He was supposed to take care of her! Let me go! I'll kill him!"

Brynjolf let out a harsh breath, helping Dirge haul her off the wall. He stepped away as Dirge took hold of her arms, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. "Get her out of here." His voice was quiet, flat, and Fadali could almost shriek at his indifference. Brynjolf had been Mrrsizha's mentor, her friend, the reason she was in this damned guild at all. How could he be so indifferent?!

Dirge almost had to pick her up and carry her to the door, but he finally got her there and shoved her out, none too gently. Fadali heard the door lock behind her, sealing her out of the Ragged Flagon. She sank to the floor and curled up against it, sobbing.

She should have never let Mrrsizha go alone. She should have been there, she should have made sure she was safe, she should have done anything. She couldn't have lost her just like that.

After a few minutes, her tears abated. She looked up, rubbing a hand over her face. Maybe she could get back into the Flagon, she thought, through the back way. Find Mercer, kill him for failing Mrrsizha. But they would be expecting that. She let out a harsh, hoarse breath. No. Mrrsizha couldn't be dead. She couldn't. That Khajiit was too smart, too stubborn to just be dead.

Fadali shoved herself to her feet, her hand clenching painfully around Mrrsizha's earrings. She swallowed, then started back towards the entrance of the Ratway, her stride quick and purposeful.

She was going to Snow Veil Sanctum herself, and she was going to find Mrrsizha.

Then she would kill Mercer.

---

Just a sketch of Fadali, ~CountessofTheGhastly's Dunmer assassin and my Mrrsizha's best friend. Due to not exactly being lawful herself and being Mrrsizha's friend, she spends an inordinate amount of time in the Ragged Flagon, and more-or-less befriended a good chunk of the Thieves' Guild. Brynjolf was the one who drew the short straw and had to tell her when Mrrsizha "died" at Snow Veil Sanctum during the Speaking With Silence quest.

It didn't go well.

Luckily, nobody got stabbed or set on fire. Which is a very real possibility, with Fadali.

I think Fadali has a braid or something IDK but I don't care nearly enough to fire up Skyrim and load her game just to stare at her creepily for a dumb sketch so deal with it
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Part 1: [link] Part 2: You Are Here Part 3: [link] Part 4: [link]

---

She had looked everywhere.

Fadali just stared into the sunken Nordic ruin, waiting for something to reveal itself to her. Her horse snorted softly where she'd made camp nearby.

She had looked everywhere.

The Dunmer assassin was certain she knew this burial ground better than its own designers had; she'd been here for a week now, feverishly searching the tomb and countryside for any sign of her best friend. The only thing she'd found out of place was a grave near the ruin...not incredibly fresh, but new enough to spark her suspicion. It had only contained a bare human skeleton, however, and Fadali had covered it back up and let the unknown person rest undisturbed.

This is impossible! Mrrsizha had been here--Fadali had made certain this was the right place, asking everyone who lived at all nearby to make sure this was Snow Veil Sanctum. It was, and Fadali knew she'd heard right when Mrrsizha told her where she was going; she was good at remembering things like that.

She'd been here. But she wasn't anymore, and there were no tracks or signs Fadali could follow. She was a hunter of men and mer in their cities, not in the wild, and they were vastly easier to track then...she didn't know anything about finding one Khajiit in Skyrim's wilderness.

But if Mrrsizha was alive, she would have found a way to contact her. Fadali was her best friend; if she would contact anyone, it would be Fadali, or her Guild. And Fadali had heard nothing from them, or from Mrrsizha.

It was like the Khajiit had vanished.

Fadali felt her knees give out and dropped to them before she could even decide to react. She only realized she was crying when the wind chilled her tears on her cheeks.

The Dunmer made an angry noise, swiping at her cheeks. "You can't do this to me, Mrrsizha!" She swallowed, looking up. It was evening, and the stars were just now coming out. "Y-you...c-can't...you're too s-smart to be dead, d-dammit!" And there was no body, no remains of one...that meant she had to be alive, right? Right?

Somewhere, wolves howled, and Fadali suddenly had a sick idea: of course there was no body. It had been out here, probably unburied, for weeks. Animals wouldn't pass up an easy meal.

Fadali felt ill the moment she even thought it, and, briefly, she hated that she had had the thought at all. It was just such a sick, callous thing to think about her best friend. But she couldn't help it; it made too much sense. Mrrsizha wasn't here, and she had no reason to be anywhere else without Fadali knowing. Something must have found her before Fadali did. An animal, or...

A necromancer?

The Dunmer almost physically recoiled at the thought of her best friend's body being desecrated, defiled like that, like she was just another chunk of bone and flesh. She shook her head, swallowing. No. Animals. It had to be animals. Sithis help her, if it was otherwise she would personally execute every necromancer that lived for the crime.

She just stare at the tomb for a few minutes, unable to talk herself into leaving. What if?

One more time. Maybe I overlooked something. The Dunmer woman got to her feet and walked over to the lip of the tomb, dropping down into the open entrance. She took a breath, popping her neck. It was a large tomb, and going through it again was going to take a bit.

Before she could start towards the door, though, something caught her eye, nestled among the burial urns: a small nightshade plant, just barely able to take root between the broken stones. She stared at it, feeling sick and unhappy.

Fadali didn't put much stock in omens and other silliness, but this seemed...too much, to be a coincidence. Nightshade was most well-known for being poisonous and growing near graveyards and other places of death; it was heavily associated with her own Brotherhood, serving as a calling card, poison, and necessary part of the Black Sacrament. Not a comforting bloom to find, but not really unusual here, except that the rest of the land here was wind-blown and snow-scoured.

It also had one meaning Fadali knew of: silence.

And it was Mrrsizha's favorite flower.

Fadali swallowed, walking over to it and kneeling, cupping her fingers around one of the small purple flowers. Despite being in such an unforgiving part of Skyrim, it seemed healthy and vibrant.

And even though Fadali didn't put much stock in omens, she couldn't help but wonder if finding the nightshade--a flower associated with death and silence and Mrrsizha--was some kind of sign.

She expected the thought to hurt, but she just felt numb. She stood, plucking the nightshade flower she'd been holding. She just looked at it for a moment, then reached up, tucking it behind her ear like she'd often seen Mrrsizha wear them.

She made her way back up the stairs that led to the rest of Skyrim and turned to her small camp. The Dunmer woman set her attention to packing her belongings back up, keeping her mind blank and empty of anything but the task before her even as she realized she'd come here for nothing.

Mrrsizha wasn't here. Not anymore.

Once she had loaded everything onto her horse, she hoisted herself up onto his back.

She didn't look back at the ruin as she turned to begin the long journey back to Falkreath.

---

Welp. Finally decided to do a follow-up of [link] since it's so very popular. o.o I actually wrote a handful of ficlets in this "mini-series" of Fadali Being Emo About Mrr. It gets happy 'ventually.

I feel so very clever about all my heavy-handed symbolism here, and those of you well-versed in flower meanings (IE: none of you*, probably! 8D) will know why. Entirely a coincidence, but it worked out nicely. I love it when a plan works out.

Dark Brotherhood armor confuses me. >> And, uh, Fadali I kind of forgot her war paint in the first picture. The title for this one comes from the quest that started all this emo BS: Speaking With Silence.



*Spoiler for people who don't wanna do some googling themselves (not that I blame you): Deadly nightshade, IRL, has several meanings that I found. Silence, death, and most commonly: lies.
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Part 1: [link] Part 2: [link] Part 3: You Are Here Part 4: [link]

---

Fadali glared at her tankard.

I don't like this tavern, she thought, very clearly.

And she didn't. But it was the only one she didn't have to travel for at least two days to get to. She sighed heavily. She missed the Ragged Flagon. It hadn't exactly been a top-of-the-line place, but she'd gotten used to it, and in any case you could easily get drunk enough to forget it was sub-par if you wanted. Of course, it wasn't really safe to get drunk in the Ragged Flagon, unless you were part of the Guild...and even then, she wasn't certain...

The Dunmer cursed softly under her breath, for no particular reason.

She hadn't been back to the Flagon--to Riften­--since she'd heard about...about Mrrsizha. It had been...forever, it felt like, but she was sure it wasn't really that long at all. But it had been long enough for her to accept what had happened.

Or maybe "accept" wasn't the right word. She still wondered, now and then, if she had been wrong, if she could have just looked a little harder and maybe found something, if Mrrsizha was still alive somehow...

No. Fadali sighed heavily. If Mrrsizha was alive, she would have come back. Or contacted her, at least. Or...or something. Right? She'd had enough time. More than enough time.

She glared at her tankard, and thought unhappily that she wasn't drunk enough to be thinking about Mrrsizha. She sighed again, hanging her head a little and closing her eyes. She felt very tired, and she wasn't really certain why.

"Fadali?"

She thought about ignoring her name, but raised her head after a moment, prepared to tell whoever it was to piss off. When she turned and saw who had spoken, though, she only blinked in surprise, uncertain what to say.

Brynjolf sat down next to her, quiet and frowning gently. He had a very pale yellow discoloration on his jaw, she noticed; the remains of the bruise she'd given him last they'd spoken, probably. For a moment, she was morbidly pleased with herself that it had lasted as long as it did.

"Brynjolf." Her voice was low and quiet and dull.

"You don't look so good."

"Neither do you."

Brynjolf raised a hand, his fingers brushing the bruise self-consciously, and he smiled a little for a moment. Just a moment. Then, he sighed.

"I'm sorry about Mrrsizha."

"Yeah." Fadali took a drink. "Me too."

They were silent for a moment. Fadali thought the silence should probably feel awkward, but she couldn't really bring herself to care about it. Finally, Brynjolf cleared his throat softly and said, "We just wanted you to know, if you ever want to come back...no hard feelings. Alright?"

Fadali considered snapping at him, but decided against it. She missed the Flagon, and she had precious few friends anyway. Fewer, now. She couldn't afford to alienate more of them, and it wasn't worth the small pleasure she'd get out of snapping at him.

"...thanks, Bryn." She sighed softly. "Maybe I will."

But in the back of her mind, she couldn't bear the thought of going back, no matter how much she missed it and the people there. It wouldn't be the same, without Mrrsizha.

He just nodded, then stood, his business here evidently concluded. He did pause to take hold of her shoulder, though, squeezing it gently.

"I am sorry." His voice was very quiet. "For what it's worth, you were right. I was supposed to keep her safe." He paused, as if he wasn't certain what else to say but wasn't sure he'd said everything he should. Finally, he just sighed heavily. "I don't think we even know what we lost."

Fadali didn't answer, and was trying to figure out what he meant by that and if she took offense to it on Mrrsizha's behalf; before she could decide, he let go of her shoulder and she heard him turn to leave.

"Bryn?" She didn't turn.

He stopped. "Aye?"

"Sorry about punching you."

He didn't answer immediately, but Fadali could imagine his soft, almost-humorless smile. "Don't worry about it, lass. I've survived worse."

This time when he left, Fadali didn't stop him.

---

More of Fadali Being Emo About Mrr. (I need a better title for this. Or a less wordy one, anyway.)

I actually wrote this one second in the series and filled in what is actually part two later, because I'm clever like that. Look, Fadali does wear things besides her Dark Brotherhood armor! Which is to say, I was tired of drawing it, and she DOES have other clothing. The perceptive amongst you may have noticed that she's also wearing earrings for the first time ever...partly because we just now decided she has her ears pierced, but she just doesn't wear earrings often. The ones in this picture, in fact, are the ones she gave Mrrsizha, and periodically I remember to draw them when I draw Mrr.
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So you know how you can scratch the base of a cat's tail and they always, without fail, stick their butts in the air?

Yeah. :T

I have termed this phenomena "elevator butt", and even Khajiit aren't immune to it.

You'd think Brynjolf would know better than to do anything to Mrrsizha that FADALI told him to do, but evidently curiosity killed the...Nord. At least this wasn't something embarrassing or potentially awkward.

Of course, how Fadali figured it out in the first place is a bit questionable. I'm just assuming it involved her petting a cat, getting curious, and invading Mrrsizha's personal space without warning. Because that's basically how Fadali rolls.

For those of you to whom it applies: you're welcome for the blatant Brynjolf fanservice. I mean sure, he COULD have been wearing a shirt...OR he could not, and we all know which one of those choices I would pick. :T

Go ahead and guess how much of the stuff in this picture Mrrsizha legitimately, legally owns. Answer: the house. And her earrings. That's pretty much it. :I
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...and then they bravely ran away, away. ♪

Mrrsizha is my Khajiit thief, and she doesn't like horses (except with a nice cream sauce), hence her lack of one even though she can probably straight up buy Skyrim by now. Fadali is her best friend and ~CountessofTheGhastly's Dunmer assassin and general menace. Neither one is particularly interested in fighting dragons, especially randomly-appearing ninja dragons. Luckily, Shadowmere is fast, and can run for about forever. Otherwise they'd probably have been eaten ages ago. :T

Between that and the whole criminal thing, they're basically the best role models ever.

it's supposed to be a joke on this: [link]
but I think it sort of got lost in translation. er.


---

Other adventures in Skyrim!
So this happened. -- [link]
If not for the gutter... -- [link]
You'd think he'd be cold. -- [link]
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