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Two Thieves and a Stolen Drink

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Niana had just climbed down the ladder into the Cistern after a very long run straight from Windhelm to Riften in an attempt to get away from a very angry Viola Giordano who had almost caught her trying to pick the lock to her home, not a good way to start an afternoon, and to beat it all she still hadn't had the chance to put the stolen ring back for Revyn Sadri.

On the bright side, Viola didn't get a good look at her face because of the dragon priest mask she had put on just for the occasion of breaking into the woman's house, it wasn't like she had the chance to wear them any other time, so why not take advantage of the anonymity they provided, at least while breaking and entering.

"You look exhausted, Lass," Brynjolf told her as she pulled her hood down, gaining the attention of some of her fellow thieves.

"Don't start with me, Bryn." She warned, "I just pulled a Vipir except I didn't have a horse in the first place." she chuckled.

Rune was the one to walk up to her and pat her on the back, "It happens to the best of us, but what did you get caught trying to steal?" he asked as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder playfully.

"Believe it or not, I actually got caught trying to put a stolen item back." she shrugged off Rune's arm and started to walk away, not caring to elaborate.

"You didn't take a shill job though," Brynjolf was the one who caught up to her, "Did you?" he asked as they walked across one of the bridges.

"Nope." was all she said before opening the chest to the side of her bed and tossing a few empty soul gems inside.

Finally, she made her way over towards the cooking spit, where Etienne was already pouring her a bowl of venison stew.

"You're such a doll, thank you," she told the man with a bright smile causing him to roll his eyes and shake his head at her.

As she approached the table with her food in hand, she heard Niruin complaining to Cynric about how awful the wine in Skyrim tastes compared to that of Valenwood yet again, "Niruin." she scoffed his name as she sat down, interrupting his complaining as she often did, but instead of ignoring her like he usually did, he smirked at her mischievously and chuckled.

"Of course you can buy me a drink," he started, she opened her mouth to shut him down, but before Niana had the chance to reply he started to speak again, "You didn't need to say a word but I heard you loud and clear." the smirk on his face told her that he thought he was going to have the last word.

His words made her want to laugh, but she kept a straight face as she leaned across the table, grabbed the collar of his guild armor to pull him halfway to her with one hand, and tilted his chin up with the other, "What if I steal you one instead?" her voice was lowered to a seductive level and his eyes grew wide when he heard the tone of her words.

When she realized she had just gotten the last word she released her hold on him and smiled before turning her attention back to the bowl of stew she had yet to dig into.

Niruin coughed, trying to clear his throat as his entire face turned a deep shade of red that would've looked more at home on a redguard than a bosmer, "I need to- I'm going to go steal something." he stumbled over his words and even over the bench as he attempted to stand up.

"It's still daylight, Niruin," Etienne told him as he walked away.

"Shut up!" his voice seemed strained when he yelled but it still had the same effect all around the room, as almost every thieve in the cistern had started smiling and attempting not to burst out laughing until they heard the secret entrance opening.

"I have to say that I've never seen him get that worked up just because of a woman," Cynric admitted before he got up and made his way to the training room with a smile still on his face.

***

Around an entire week later Niana stumbled through the hidden entrance, lugging an enchanted set of dwarven armor behind her with a bottle under her arm.

The first thing she did was fling the set of heavy armor onto her bed and toss her daggers down on the floor beside it.

The second thing she did was walk over to where Vipir was having a chat with Niruin, still holding the bottle of stolen brandy under her arm.

"Remember how I said I would steal you a drink, Niruin?" she asked the bosmer mischievously.

"You actually stole him a drink?" Cynric's surprised voice came from behind her just as she held up the bottle of stolen Cyrodilic Brandy.

Niruin's mouth hung open, "You did compare Skyrim's alcohol to urine recently, didn't you?" she asked playfully, "I thought maybe something from Cyrodiil might be a good substitute." her words came out smooth and easily.

Various replies came from their fellow thieves, varying from "Is that actually Cyrodilic Brandy?" to "How did you even manage to find that here in Skyrim?" and everywhere in between, while Niana just stared at Niruin's shocked expression.

"You stole me a bottle of brandy?"

"Damn right I did." her smirk turned into a full-blown smile when a grin took the place of shock on his features.

Niruin reached out to grab the outstretched bottle from her, but as soon as his hands got close enough to touch it she pulled it back to her chest, "You can have it on one condition." his eyes narrowed at her words suspiciously.

"You have to share it with me." He reluctantly agreed to her terms and the two of them ventured back to the hidden entrance while everyone else that was present just stared at the scene unfolding before them with wide eyes and open mouths.

A majority of Niruin and Niana's night was spent on the roof of the temple of Mara passing the bottle back and forth, whispering quietly to each other about many things, from Niana's first time meeting a dragon, to Niruin's past before becoming part of the guild.

Though Niruin wouldn't admit it, he enjoyed that night quite a bit, even the part where Maramel caught them on the temple's roof and called for the guards so the two of them had to run off to seek refuge in Honeyside, where they ended up spending the rest of their night.