Chapter 1: Empty houses
Lily collapsed onto the fur bed with a bitter sigh, after everything she had gone through already. This was taking it out of her. She had defeated the world eater, Alduin, she had crossed the plains of the afterlife and slain the beast in his home. She had brought some civility back to Skyrim by ending the war. Skyrim was the Nord's again, for the time being, and now as she lay on the bed she realized how little she had really done. Dragon born was a word that meant one thing now to everyone out there. She solved mysteries and entered crypts without a second thought and even now she knew that by staying in her first home, what should have been her family home, she gave the people a sense of safety that night. But Lily also knew that she would be gone by morning. Off to Riften to check on the thieves guild and then explore for a few weeks if she was lucky enough to escape the people.
Was that her life now? Being painfully lonely whilst hating people? Lily rolled onto her back and glared at the ceiling, one friend. That would stick with her through whatever she dragged them into. But no, none would dare anymore unless they had to. She learnt that the hard way with Iona, who had refused to be her housecarl anymore because she was terrified of spiders. So now Iona stayed in Riften and all the others stayed at her many homes. Watchers over the vast amount of crap she had collected. How many gems did she store in Solitude? Dragon bones in White run? Weapons in Winterhold? As the days progressed Lily felt less nord and more dragon with the horde she now owned. Lily put her arm over her eyes as she thought about all the bad stuff she had done, the murder and deals with deadra. How little her morality was affected when she looked at one women and saw nothing but a problem or how badly her heart felt when she denied a boy his dream of being a warrior for his own safety. No one's life should be this hard...yet, there she was.
The morning came swiftly and quietly, it crept up on her and Lily awoke to the sound of birds and the bright light of sunshine. She felt so...sore, maybe this two or three week away from people might just be what she needed. Lily smiled sadly to herself as she packed her bag. Food, potions, some money and some gems to trade. She slipped her bow around her shoulder and sheathed her dearest sword, Dawnbreaker, and added a few extra arrows to her quiver before heading out. And almost immediately she frowned as two vampires attacked two people in the open. The guards quickly dispatched them however and Lily felt that cold creep up her back.
“Heard they are reforming the Dawn guard...might go join up myself.” one guard sighed to another and Lily felt that familiar rush of new adventure and she knew, somewhere in her gut, that this was going to be bad for her holiday.
Shaking off that feeling, Lily walked to the stables, ignoring the stares at her dark purple nightingale armor and her deadra bow. She pulled her hood up and focused on her black horse that whined at the sight of it's master. Shadowmere had become somewhat soft towards Lily and even shared her tent most nights. “Shhh, girl.” Lily smiled finally and stroked the black steed gently.
“So you do know how to be kind.” came a familiar voice from behind her.
“Not today Farkas.” Lily smiled back at the werewolf, her shield-brother.
“Touchy, where are you going? You just got back and I thought we could hear some stories.” HE leaned against the gate.
“Riften, and then to check this Dawn Guard out.” Lily rolled her eyes heavenward once more, “and you tell the stories fine for me, I do not need to be there to see all the whelps stare at me dewy eyed.” Lily muttered and attached her pack.
“Lily...” Farkas frowned and moved to comfort the dragon born. Shadowmere nudged it's master and kept its red eyes upon the beast before them.
“I am okay, Farkas, go, enjoy your brother's and sister's company. I shall return within a month hopefully.” Lily smiled at him, but it was strained and Farkas's worried glance did not move.
“As you wish, Harbringer.” He was teasing, good sign, and Lily laughed as she climbed upon Shadowmere. He only really called her that when she was being an ass, and well, she was. The nord smiled down at her shield-brother, a glance at something more and the Dovah steered her mare away. Was she running away from feelings? The women who had faced down demons and skeletons and even crazed hermits? She was more afraid at being hurt emotionally, then physically, and maybe that was her only weakness?
The road to Riften was going to be long, it was going to take two days at least to reach the city of thieves, and that was only if she stopped along the way too. Lily sighed as she glanced back towards the Companion. He was watching her with a longing she could not name. All she had to do was ask, and he would blindly follow her to the end. Maybe one day he would tell her how he felt, if he felt anything for her at all. Lily would then tell herself that she could work on how she felt, but the truth was that love, family and settling down wasn't something she had expected when she crossed the boarders of her homeland. A family? What did she need a family for? Lily closed her eyes tightly as she remembered how she felt that morning...so lonely.
Chapter 2: Heart of Gold
Meeting old friends in dark places...
The road to Riften was quiet and nice, the nature of everything was calming and the fact she hadn't been attacked in two days gave way to a happier mood. That was, until she reached Riften's gates and saw three vampires attack the front guards. The battle had been quick and the Dovah didn't even need to get involved.
Lily knelt by the bodies and felt worse as she realised that only one was an actual vampire and the other two were thralls. Two people who probably had lives before the creature captured them.
“Second time this week, where are they all coming from?” she heard the whispers and rumors as she walked through the gates. Great, this menace was already becoming a skyrim wide infestation. Which meant she would have to look into this more and probably involved life and death situations. Lily shook her hands off on her pants, glancing at the people around her and noticed that most didn't even look twice at her. They all knew that the nightingales were behind the return of the guild and well, she had it plastered in their faces, didn't she?
The dragonborn walked towards the cemetery and to the Guilds entrance. How long had it been since she was made Guildmaster and left? The night Byjnolf had told her that whatever attraction they had to each other was merely that. Simply attraction. Emotions and business did not mix well and she had been so...angry and hurt. She had not gone back the next day but, she had sent packages and money and plans. Everything Devlin would need to make sure that the guild ran smoothly and she knew what was happening and when. But as she slid down the ladder, that same feeling of home hit her; of acceptance and...love. Lily had wished it didn't wash over her as she opened the door, she wouldn't be back for another few weeks and the others enjoyed her company.
Rune was stood next to the door and paled when he saw her.
“Guild-master! Welcome back!” always excited, like a puppy she never had. Lily nodded her reply and carried around the cistern, she had not missed the smell in the slightest. Whoever picked the sewer needed throwing into the murky water. She saw the male nord, the man who had taught her to be a thief, showed her the ropes, talking to a new members. Probably giving them the same speech he gave her, the same one that made her giggle now.
“When will we meet the guild master?” the recruits asked, awe stricken at a story he must have been telling them. Probably when she, Byjnolf and Katrina became Nightingales.
Byjnolf, who seemed to always have the patience of a saint, offered them a smile that tugged at her broken pieces,
“Our leader has not been back in months, for fair reason.” he mused, “But I am sure one day she will walk in, and she will teach you all what it makes to be a proper thief.” He said proudly. Causing a smile on the female Nord's face.
“Oh, I don't know about proper.” Lily smiled as they all turned in shock, "But I can certainly try." Big round eyes and open mouths greeted her. Lily stifled a laugh before she looked back at the man who had broken her heart so beautifully,
“Byjnolf. May I talk to you? Without the audience.” Lily watched the shock register in his features, followed by the rightful anger and then what reminded her of a bitter-sweet happiness.
“Of course, Guild master.” he said simply and watched the three recruits scurry off. “If I had known you were coming I would have cleaned the cistern.” he added sheepishly as they walked to her desk. He was avoiding a subject for sure, but she tried not to think on it as she sorted through the pile on her desk. It was littered with trinkets and letters from everyone.
“Don't be silly, I wanted to talk to you...” Lily started and Byjnolf put his hand up. The Dovah looked up, surprised at this.
“Devlin has been keeping tabs on you and we are all okay. So this is a social call, not business?” he asked, hopeful for something she could not give anymore. Lily frowned slightly and looked back at the desk, her hand brushing against a beautiful amethyst necklace.
“I am supposed to be on holiday, the Greybeards seem to think I'm a bit too stressed.” Lily mused ironically, ignoring his hurt look, “I mean its not like the world rests on my shoulders or anything.” she laughed faintly, though he could probably hear the breaking of her heart. What did he expect from her?
Chapter 3: Goodbye, old friend
Lily's goodbye, a dragon's fury and feels, lots of feels...
They looked at each other for a moment, some unspoken message passed between them and Lily felt like maybe they were getting back to how they used to be.
“Supposed? So, you have other plans?” Byjnolf asked with mild amusement, like her taking a holiday was so surprising in the first place. Lily smiled so warmly at him, this is what she missed. Being so open with him that she didn't need to worry about what she said.
“Well, the Dawnguard seems promising.” Lily mused faintly and brushed her hair behind her ear, small movements like this still seemed to disarm him for a moment and even now, he seemed to just take her in. Worried she might not make it back next time.
“Vampires?” he added, a frown now marking his features, “...You really are remarkable.” he said slowly. Though Lily could almost hear the, 'what happens if you become one?' and she only smiled at him.
“Not really, just really lucky.” she replied and picked up a few of the letters. “At least, Nocturnal thinks so.” she teased faintly and looked at him. The smile that didn't quite reach his eyes was back. The cold shield blocked them from each other, she hated it and he needed it. Was this easier? She couldn't quite understand why he was so focused on NOT having a relationship with her. But then her birthright came back to her, she was the dragon born. She was thrown into danger day in and day out. Family life? She wasn't made for that anymore.
Lily read some of the letters as he watched her,
“Nothing has happened of importance, not since the eye. And well, any job we have done has been a success.” Byjnolf said simply, taking his role on too seriously. “Devlin will want to see you, and Vex too. It was...nice seeing you.” He had stopped, like he was going to say something else, but he had carried on anyway. She lifted her eyes up enough to watch him walk off. His shoulders held tightly up and his entire posture seemed to emanate tension. Did she do that to him? Her brush off might have. Lily frowned slightly and glanced at the pieces of useless paper again, before throwing it back onto the pile. Lily slunk into the bar area and smiled slightly as she watched the other two main members of the guild talk.
Whatever she was to either of them, didn't matter much now. Even as she walked to the table, she knew that they saw her first as a person, even Vex had treated her like all the others before she was guildmaster.
“At it again?” Lily asked and took Devlin's drink and took a sip. “You should have better taste by now.” Lily teased and put it back down. The two seemed surprised before they smiled at her.
“You should know by now, pet, that I won't change.” Devlin teased and looked at the two women before him. And they soon fell into the usual work talk and Lily sat down, finally having some company that didn't require anything from her.
It was another two days before Lily plucked up enough courage to leave. And it had not been easy, she had said her goodbyes to them all, of course they knew she was coming back. But as Lily had tried to find Byjnolf, but he seemed to disappear completely. Lily knew that was what he had picked as a talent and as she stood in his bunk room, she sighed and left the best of her horde on his bed, a perfect diamond that would sell for a fortune. Lily walked out of the graveyard with mixed feelings. It wasn't until she reached the main walkway that she was shaken out of her thoughts.
The people that stopped her didn't look like anything she had seen before. Tall, masked and wearing a red robe.
“Are you Lily?” the female voice asked, but Lily couldn't tell which one had spoken,
“Er....yes.” Lily replied and frowned slightly. What was their problem?
“You are the liar, who calls herself Dragon born?” the woman asked, her voice seemed to drip contempt.
“What?” Lily asked and blinked fast as the two others with her attacked. What was she supposed to do? Let them live? She had planned too, but the guards jumped to her defense. And Lily was soon stood with her arm bleeding and a slight bruise to her jaw. Some holiday this was turning out to be. Lily knelt and searched the pockets of the female attacker, a bunch of useless stuff and a letter. They wanted her dead. Lily crumpled the letter and stormed back into the thieves guild. The few that remained in the cistern turned and stopped at the sight of her. Lily threw her bow on her desk and unlocked the chest beneath it.
“Lily?” A male voice, full of worry and...fear? The female Nord looked up, the bruise was now in full colour. Her lip busted slightly, she could taste blood, but she was so angry. “What happened?” he asked, slowly. The way he was acting made her feel like an animal, a feral one that needed calming.
“Ambush. In town. Holiday is cancelled.” Lily snapped, she moved items around and pulled out a black and red sword It glowed slightly in the dim light. The power thrummed in her hand and she threw it on the desk too. She rummaged, knowing that she had gathered a crowd. It had been a while since she went hunting for something.
“Are you okay?” He asked, and she scoffed slightly, was it a serious question? Lily looked up at him, oh. It was. Lily rolled her eyes and closed the chest as she set a small brown bag down near the two weapons.
“Far from it. They were looking for me, what if they found you?” she snapped again, that seemed to hit closer to home than she would have liked. “It is one thing to send someone after me.” Lily said and stood, her eyes burning into his. “But another to not warn them first.” This was a side he had not seen before. The truth she hid from most, since beating Alduin she had been feeling more and more dragon like and now, now she was livid. How dare they only send three? Her eyes softened as she noticed the others. They all seemed ready to follow her into hell, even Rune, who would never hurt anyone.
“No.” Lily said simply and locked the chest again. “I am doing this on my own.” Lily said and pushed the papers to one side and looked at the map. “If you want to help...” the girl added slowly, “then keep things as close to normal as you can.” She said softly, watching as her deranged family step down. All except Byjnolf. Who remained staring at her, like he was seeing a part of her he didn't like.
“You can't go alone.” He said so sternly, like she was his student again, he had thrown her head first into betrayal and magics. She had sold her soul to a goddess and not even blinked when he asked anything of her. But now, that she was about to run off on some stupid crusade, he had finally grown a backbone.
“and why not?” Lily asked in return, “It won't be the first time, or the last time, I went somewhere on my own.” she said simply, glaring at the map. It was the maps fault she was stuck in this talk and the hurt from not saying goodbye only seemed to fuel her anger towards him.
“But you might not come back this time. At least let one of us...” He started that stupid argument and she clenched her hand.
“And watch one of you die?” Lilj asked him, hitting the table and looking at him. “I will not watch another. Especially not one I...” Lily shook her head and looked away. Everyone was still watching them and she could feel the broken shards of her heart cutting deeper.
“You what?” Byjnolf asked, closing the distance between them so easily. He was the only one who could and she still hated him for it. Lily had needed him, and he had just brushed her off each and every time.
“Don't do this now.” Lily said and put her arms around herself, “I can't.” Lily looked at him, the pain behind her eyes reflected so effortlessly in his. He had hurt her once, and she wasn't stupid enough to let it happen again. But it seemed when her heart was involved, things weren't as clear as usual. So it was simple really, all he had to do was reach out and touch her and she would succumb to him.
“You what, Lily?” he asked again, the way he made her name sound...she wished that was all he would call her. No more lass, or whatever else he came up with. Just to say her name, happily and breathless. But that was a dream that wasn't going to happen. He had already made sure of that.
“I won't let it happen again, not to anyone, especially one that I...I-I...I love.” Lily said and picked up her weapons, her hand clenched around her bow, she needed to kill something that wasn't him. What was she becoming? Lily looked up and frowned more, by the look of devastation on his features, she knew what he finally pieced together. it was him.
It had been before Sovenguard, before she watched Alduin terrorize the spirits of her friends. When she had gone to him. Soft and happy, a simpler time for sure, and he had turned her away. She thought nothing of it really, he often did when he had allot on his mind. But when she returned later that night, to talk about them, if they could ever be. She remembered his anger that she liked him like that, even after what happened to the last nightingales, and his complete disregard for her feelings. Lily recalled that it wasn't even the worst part, no....the worst part had been later on as she came to apologise. To let him know that they could still be friends and she had seen him with Katrina. They had been so at ease with each other, small touches and laughs, and she had been so...broken by it. By him.
After that, she had left without saying anything. She had written letters to let them know she was alive but she never got any replies. Byjonlf was so close she could smell him. The heady scent that made her want to cry.
"Lily...I..." he started, like he had wanted to say something but the words failed him. Didn't they always?
"It's okay, Byjnolf." Lily said, swallowing what was left of her beaten pride. "I understand." she added, defeated. He seemed to wince at her tone and shuffled his feet. What had started as a heated argument had dissolved into her feeling so tired and him...him being so confused.
“So, no, I won't take...take you or anyone. I will go alone, so I don't have to worry.” She said and looked back at him. He remained silent for some reason and she thanked him for it. She stopped before she left and turned to him. “I will make it back.” Lily said simply, “I always do.” She smiled softly, though it was obviously fake and left the safety of her family. Was it still her family?
It took allot to not turn around, but he had made sure they were nothing but apart. Lily closed her eyes tightly as she reached the ladder. Was he going to stop her? She shook her head, he wanted Katrina and she wasn't going to start trying to change it. So Lily tried her best not to think anymore on this whole love thing. Farkas, Byjnolf, and so many others. Her heart was no longer involved in her life. It made things....easier. So Lily focused on the cultists that attacked her in broad daylight. This new problem was personal now.
Chapter 4: Entwined Dragon Souls
First meetings, loss of hope and bad injuries
Lily didn't trust anything when she got to Windhelm. Sure, she was welcomed with open arms for being Lilith Stormblade but it didn't settle the eerie feeling she got as she walked to the docks. It was there she heard the talking of the sailors, one in particular was talking about not knowing how he got here after meeting some cultists. Lily walked over to him and frowned slightly,
"Where did you sail from?" Lily asked the man, who eyed her with suspicion.
"Solstheim." he said and looked her up and down, she knew that her armor made her look dangerous and a bit odd. "And I ain't going back!" He huffed and looked back at the other sailors who were frowning, they knew not to push her. Lily however, knew how worrying it must be to have gaps in their memories and decided not to be cruel or ruthless, although she really, really, really wanted too.
"I will pay double for the first time, as I doubt they did." Lily said and walked to him, "But you will take me as many times as I wish, because those cultists tried to kill me." Lily said and handed him the gold, the sailor blinked and saluted her lightly.
"Aye, ma'am. We be off then." he said with a mumble and grumble about Nords and pride. Lily looked at the ocean and held her bag tightly. Soon, she would find out who was trying to kill her this time.
The days went by slowly, and each mile closer she felt more and more on edge, it was like something was pulling her closer on purpose. She slipped on her priest mask, her favourite had to be Krosis, but that was because she was an archer and it felt right. She had two others on her, Volsung and Konharik, but they were more for certain battles then anything else. Lily saw the smokey mountain before she saw the island, and she was breathless at the disastrous beauty of it all. She climbed off the boat and came to a stop, a man was glaring at her. He was talking to her, Adril, and asking why she was here.
"Just passing through." Her usual lie, and he seemed to not believe her, but he allow her entry anyway.
Lily looked around the little town and felt bleak, they fought every day to live here, something dark had hold of them all. Lily walked towards what she could only guess was a tavern when a small mark caught her eye. She blinked in surprise, the thieves guild here? She watched what could only be a blacksmith work at the forge and she couldn't help the curiosity.
"Hello." She said with a smile. He looked so familiar and Lily then realized why,
"'Ello there..." he said and stopped banging on the hammer, Lily smiled more.
"Shadowmark?" she asked and stepped under the canopy and laughed at his surprise, he smiled lightly and nodded.
"Didn't think any of the guild would venture this far out." He said and brushed his hands off his apron, "Glover Mallory." he said and offered his hand to her. Lily smiled faintly and shook it. That was the start of the adventure and little did she know that she was no longer alone.
It was another few days before anything remotely interesting happened. A few quests here to keep her sane and distracted from feeling, and she had ended up here. Where ever here was. Lily groaned and rubbed her head, pushing herself up and looking up. Some kind of burrow.
"you alright down there?" came a familiar female voice, ah yes, the skald. Lily grumbled about trap floors and how she hated traps in general before motioning a yes. Some temple this was. Lily glanced around and focused on that pull again, it was small and barely there. But she could feel it. And that was something due to the fact she was suppressing all feeling.
"There's a book." Lily called up and stood, looking at the pedestal before her. "And a door, see if you can find your way here." she added and smiled faintly at the blond woman. It was not a hard temple, sure it was not the usual with it's designs. But the deathlords were a welcomed sight. Even the one that nearly beat them both.
Lily skimmed her hand over the front cover and felt the thrum of energy, she really should wait. But curiosity got the better of her as she picked it up and opened it. Black pages greeted her and Lily frowned slightly. It was in that moment the pull became a tug and the black tendrils appeared around her. A flash of green light and she woke in a different place.
"Ugh..." lily looked up and froze as a dragon laded before her. Her arms and legs going stone as something shouted at her. "Hey! Wha-" she stopped as she saw a figure climb off the dragon and walk towards her. A mask over their face and robes that looked too familiar.
"So you are the last dragonborn?" his voice made her feel dizzy and she tried not to focus on the fact she wanted to hear it again and again. "Pitiful." he sighed and folded her arms. What had she gotten herself into now?
Chapter 5: Changing the tables
Canon divergence ahead :)
Lily frowned slightly as the words woke her up instantly, pitiful? Anger and...what was that other feeling she felt as she pushed herself up, even with the beings pushing something onto her to keep her down. Whoever the male was seemed suddenly very interested in her. She flinched as she stayed on her knee, not able to push up without causing harm and he knew that. The dragon was beautiful though, it's scales seemed like liquid silver and it was nothing like the dragons she were used too. It seemed to bow to the male and she was angry that such a being seemed to harsh towards it. She was always odd when it came to dragons, she loved and hated them.
"I see that the stories hold some truth after all, though many in my time could kill Alduin, your victory against the wyrm was not so brave as you think." his voice was smooth and light, it brushed over her and made her believe him. But she glared at the mask, at the fact his nice voice was ruined by harsh and horrible words.
"Words mean little in a world of action." Lily spat back and he seemed almost taken back by her fierceness as she flinched again, knowing he could see it and not caring in the slightest. "Take your words and shove them up your a-" she gritted her teeth as the dragon roared at her, of course it didn't like her insulting it's master.
"Interesting. You shall prove useful yet." He came closer and the hairs all over her body stood on end, if that was good or bad she had no idea but as he made her look up...she felt a spark and a frisson of fear. "I shall see you again, pet, have fun in your world of action." he almost purred and when he was close enough Lily spat. Of course it wasn't the smartest or most stupidest thing she had ever done (Going against that damn camp of giants had to take that crown), but the resounding slap was painful enough to stop her doing it again.
Her head hit the ground with a sickening crack and for all she knew, she spent another hour or so in that world before waking up in the crypt again. The woman sitting beside the bedroll. Frea. That was her name, at least Lily hoped to the divines it was as she let the fog recede.
"ugh, what hit me?" Lily asked and sat up slowly, feeling her head and finding the lovely lump she got off her tumble. "Better yet, what the hell happened?" she asked and glanced up, the woman frowned and explained who she was and why she was there. And then the fact she became see through and collapsed as the book dropped. Miraak. An ancient horror of dragon priest and arrogance, power and intelligence. Dangerous and interested in Lily. She almost groaned out loud at that part, of course he only wanted her power right?
"I can take you to my village and you can speak with the shaman, he can tell you more, I believe it would be easier to escape now." the nord said with a smile, one meant to ease something, Lily really wanted a drink right about now.
The rest of her day didn't exactly go as well either, the splitting headache marred everything from the walk to the Skaals and the lengthy talk about who Miraak was and why he should be stopped. Then came the truth that didn't sit well with her, not only was her new adversary a undead dragon priest but the terror also had help.
"Mora? as in the daedra prince? as in Hermaeus mora?" Lily asked and fell back against the cushions, "can this day get worse?" she sighed and rubbed her forehead.
"I am afraid so, dragon born." Storn crag-strider said slowly and that made Lily cover her eyes and mutter something along the lines of 'of course it does' before looking back at the two. "this book is one of many across this land and I emplore you to find them." the older male said before giving the black book back. The cursed object was part of a collection that led to Apocrypha.
"Brilliant, I swore to myself no more daedra." Lily huffed and stood, wincing slightly, "and here I am, playing as a pawn...thank you, but I better head back to Raven Rock. Apparently I have a world to save..." she muttered faintly and went to head for the door.
"He is dragon born too." came a quick rush of words that stopped Lily cold, "According to legend, he is and always will be the First." Frea was speaking and Lily felt the cold sink in. The first and last, in battle for the world, and all she could recall was the way he had reacted when she refused to do as was told of her. Lily brushed her cheek and felt herself sigh, this wasn't at all what she expected to face.
"Makes it easier then." Lily attempted, "I know I can kill dragons." the warrior turned to Frea and gave her such a sad smile, was the dread from the fact she had to kill Miraak? Or from the fact she could and most possibly would fail? Lily walked the long way back towards Raven Rock. Trying to put as much distance between herself and the end goal as humanly possible in her situation. It wasn't until she was safely back in her new home, locked door and all, that she reopened the book and went back to that place.
What she was expecting was nothing, emptiness and maybe a clue as to the next one. What she got, was Miraak. He was stood, on his own, waiting for her it seemed. Lily was stood before him, in her nightingale armor and her hair down. He was still in that robe and mask.
"Waiting for me? You shouldn't have." Lily said sarcastically as she watched him put his hands neatly behind his back, he was watching her and gods above, was it unnerving.
"You wield your words like knives, an odd trait in a lady." His tone was condescending and she hated him for it, what did he expect? A warm reunion?
"Not really, you are probably just used to everyone being afraid of you." Lily said, defiant to the last, and she was sure he smirked under that mask.
"True, I am used to my followers showing me respect, your honesty however is...new." His voice tricked her once before, yet here now, unguarded...she could end it. But her drive failed her, some how she felt...safe.
"Followers? I thought you only employed slaves." Lily snapped and took a step back as he took one forward, "You demand respect, yet I see nothing you have done or said that deserves such a thing. Your a bully and a horrible ma-" she was cut off mid sentence, not by an attack or even by a dragon suddenly dropping in. No. What derailed her train of thought was him, he had easily moved within her personal space and removed his mask. Revealing a very handsome nord underneath, scarred with the brightest of blue eyes she had ever seen. And in that moment of stunned reflection he had acted.
Lily had only been kissed by two people in her life, her mother and Farkas back before she became Harbinger. And yet he kissed her, the dragon born who was surely going to kill her pulled her in, by the waist and kissed her hard. It took a moment before she clicked back onto what he was doing when she pulled away and slapped him. He had done the same and for all she knew he could kill her right now.
"Not what I expected either, Dragon born, I look forward to seeing if you can stop me." His voice and the way his lips moved made a thing deep inside her move, she had been becoming more and more dragon like as the days passed and yet here, now, she had never felt more...mortal.
"You ass." She breathed, flushed and shaken, "Lily." she added as she started to fade, enjoying the confusement pass his eyes. "My name." she said softly glaring as she woke back in the real world. This was going to be trickier then she first thought. But damn...
He was a good kisser.
Chapter 6: Battle for the Book
Lily cannot seem to focus...Neither can Mirrak.
SOOOO SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG. I have been avoiding writing for so long that I guess I just gave up any thought of returning to these stories. But I was hit by the writing fairy (Quite hard too...) and I have pushed myself to write this chapter. I can remember a few details about the DLC but I think to spare myself I will just let canon divergence be my thing aha. Thanks to everyone who waited, this is for you!
The more time Lily spent on this dreaded isle, the more frustrated she got. Every dragon she faced (and killed) had been snatched away from her by Mirrak. Each time he had taunted her and lured her back into doing his dirty work. The elves she had met didn't help much either. Especially that weird one from Tel Mithryn. Lily didn't mind experimenting with magic as it often led to surprise side effects. Yet his complete disregard for his stewards and her safety made Lily want t push him out one of the windows.
Lily refrained from doing so.
She had officially collected four black books, and each one brought her closer to the end result. She hadn't been face to face with him since he kissed her, but that didn't mean he hadn't been on her mind. If anything, Lily could think of little else. Each moment she spent with the books, the more she felt disconnected. Vulnerable. It was unnerving to admit to herself that maybe he knew her weakness, he seemed to enjoy knowing things. Lily groaned to herself and banged her forehead off the table in front of her, why can't she think about normal things? Like killing bandits or stealing from Lord stuck up or Lady sleeps allot? No. She couldn't even bring herself to write to people back home.
"Long day?" came a musical voice, it was too cheerful for someone who lived on an island full of ash. She didn't even need to look up to know who was now standing in her bubble.
"Long week, Geldis." Lily mumbled and lifted her head, he was stood in front of her with a bowl and mug in his hands. "That for me?" she added and pushed up finally. He gave her a bemused look, like she was the only interesting thing he could interact with, and placed the food down. Surprise soup. It was a disgusting brown colour and tasted differently each day. Yesterday Lily was sure that it tasted like chicken (it had been Ash Yam and some kind of meat). The day before, she couldn't stomach it at all.
"I put it on your tab, is there anything else I can do for you?" he asked, always eager to please. The first time they met he was a bit off, but spending more and more money here at the Wretching Netch seemed to lift his spirirts. If only she could be happy like that too.
"Not unless you know where I can find something to kill within the next few days." Lily huffed, anything to get her mind off those blue eyes. If she didn't find some semblance of balance or focus then Mirrak would wipe the floor of Apocrypha with her. Not like that didn't sound like a brilliant plan, but Lily wanted to be able to return home with some sort normality.
"Well, a guard was just in talking about some Burrow that had been unearthed. Maybe he can point you in the right way?" He asked, shrugging her off and returning to his counter. Lily was stuck for a moment (it was becoming more and more apparent that she was distracted) and thought on that. Another burrow might mean another dragon priest, another dragon priest meant another book. Another chance to see him. Lily played with the food as she realised where her thoughts were leading her. Was she slowly becoming attached? To a man who wanted her doom. It would be fitting to meet her downfall to someone like her.
Dragons were very lonely creatures, they rarely stayed in groups and often fought with others of their kind. They collected treasure and remained in places familiar to them. She had only really spoken to Parthunax and even he preferred living on a mountain top to being with others. Was Lily becoming more and more dragon like? Or was this feeling...no, obsession, with Mirrak her mind's way of telling her she was still very much a Nord. Still mortal. Mortal was an odd term, it meant normality to most and life. But to Lily, it was worse then a death sentence. It was her weakness, her flaw and she tried very hard to ignore it. Fighting, training, learning and experimenting. All these things distracted her from the very real fact that Lily was going to have to stop one day. Everything had it's end and Lily felt that Mirrak would be hers.
In the end, Lily didn't eat anything as she went to find some clue to what this burrow was. Was she expecting Ralis? Or the amount of gold he managed to get from her to finish unearthing the burrow? No. But when she finally saw the doorway that lead to some new dungeon, she felt that familiar and happy feeling of adventure. It didn't last long as she came face to face with the thing Ralis wanted to take from. Ahzidal.
The battle itself was brutal. She hadn't been expecting a hard fight, but this priest seemed to know where she was heading and what she was going to attack with before even she did. Of course, with possible broken bones and deep cuts, she found victory. She didn't want to crawl back to bed and sleep, she didn't want to sit down and rest. She had to keep going. It wasn't until she was in that hazy dream of Apocrypha that the wounds finally caught up with her. The last thing she saw before darkness overwhelmed her was melted silver scales and a low hum of a dragon.
-- Mirrak POV ---
His plan was to find a way out. To escape this prison of knowledge and live again. To rule the land like he had done. What he didn't expect was a strong willed, well built woman standing in his way. Mirrak watched her misadventures from one of the many windows out into the world. He watched her slip and tumble, watched her fight and defend others, and it still didn't make sense. Lily didn't make sense.
The world was sick, it was full of death and illness and chaos. It needed order. And yet, it had made her, in all her fire and beauty. She would have made a very dangerous friend back in his time, for now she made a worse enemy. What was the way to get her on his side? To get her to fight with him instead of against him? It was near impossible, he knew this. And yet, he tried to change his plans to fit her in. It always came down to Mora, and the price of his life. She was the only one who could even pay it and that was sad. Which was stronger? His need to breathe air again, or his desire to posses her.
Because Mirrak wanted her very badly, he wanted to own her and command her, for her to rely on him. Mirrak was used to wanting objects or knowledge, he was used to wanting power and order. Yet, each time he saw her. It made everything seem...little. Maybe, he could barter for her to be his slave? He would enjoy breaking that spirit of hers. His mind went back to the kiss he shared, the way she fought after and her name. The way she said it, the soft tone of a female, and the shock it had on him. He had viewed her only as dragon spirit and a problem, he had aimed to distract her and defeat her. Yet when she said Lily, he saw the woman in her, the curves and warmth she could offer and for the first time in forever. He felt...cold. His eyes lifted back up to the blurry image of the other dragonborn, talking to yet another dark elf. None of those mortals knew the luck they had, but they would pay. Each and every one.
Mirrak swore he would punish them all, and that meant Lily would have to pay too. No matter the cost, he needed to be free.