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Shot Through The Heart [Complete]

Niamh

Active member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
37
#21
Niamh made no effort to hide her watching as Siali dressed, returning the favor she'd granted her lover with her own covering. If she'd learned one thing since leaving her clan—and she had learned far more than that—it was to indulge in a partner as much as possible. Life was less a straight path than she thought; it was more of a winding road. That meant losing people along the way. To distance. To tragedy. To duty. To difference. Which made it all the more important to enjoy people while you had them. And Niamh certainly was enjoying Siali.

They were about to leave, Pads at their side, when Siali suddenly pulled her in for a kiss. Niamh gave a yelp of surprise that gave way to a loud flutter of laughter once they pulled apart. She liked this side of Siali. A lot. It was astounding to see the taciturn woman grow affectionate. Pads, either eager for food or amused at the display, give a sort of snort-bark before spinning about in a circle.

“I’m going to have to go see Cauthrien after we’ve eaten, but I’ll be back when we’re done talking.” Niamh nodded. She knew that Siali would have business to attend to, given her new position within the Grey Wardens. But then Siali continued, with something of an intentional aloofness. “I’d probably be assigned my own room, but I’d prefer to come back to yours, if you’re okay with that.”

Niamh made a show of thinking the matter over, running a finger down her partner's figure. "I dunno," she said. "Might be that sometimes I should head sneaksome int' yer room some nights." She finished with a wink. "First, let's grub."

She took her partner by the hand, leading her and Pads down the hall to a few more curious eyes. The elf hoped she was not getting some kind of reputation but she was also caring less and less with each step. Let people whisper, if they even would. She was happy, and that was what matters. Happiness was a dear luxury to a Grey Warden; she did not care how she came about it.

It was a short stroll to the mess, where Niamh immediately hurried to gather food for herself and Pads. A small smattering of meat pies with a paradoxically large side of fruit, and bacon for Pads. She needed to learn more about a mabari's diet but the pup seemed to enjoy bacon so that's what she went for. Once gather, she started to search for a place to site before turning to look at Siali.

"Yer only here a short while, yeah?" She was starting to wonder if a transfer to Amaranthine was wise, but she doubted it would be allowed at the moment. Cauthrien needed wardens here. More importantly, Niamh couldn't travel until her father was back with their clan. "We best make use of the time then," she noted. "Dunno whut'cher wanna do, but name the thing 'an we'll do it. Maybe I could take ye on a hunt or such. "
 

Siali Arnith

Prominent member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
51
#22
Niamh made a startled, but not unhappy, sound as Siali mugged her for another kiss, and Pads seemed to approve. Siali was enjoying it as well. Normally she trod lightly around people she actually liked, so she didn’t scare them. Being able to surprise somebody in a manner that didn’t involve stabbing them immediately afterwards was nice.

Unfortunately, after food, nice would have to wait for a bit while Siali attended to some actual work. Her promotion didn’t give her leeway to just spend the whole day in bed with Niamh, sadly. That didn’t mean she intended to neglect her, though, and she passively offered the option of coming straight back as soon as all the necessaries had been done. Niamh trailed a finger down her stomach, leaving a fluttering trail in her wake.

“I dunno. Might be that sometimes I should head sneaksome int’ yer room some nights.” She winked. Siali grinned. For once she did not mind the idea of somebody creeping into her room while she was resting. “First, let’s grub.”

The hall was full of the usual bustle, and therefore plenty of eyes to follow them around. Siali ignored them all in favour of piling her plate high with every type of meat and some fruit to make sure her mouth didn’t start bleeding. They found a place to sit and Siali was just starting in on her very belated breakfast when Niamh spoke up.

“Yer only here a short while, yeah?”

“Yeah. Officially, just to inform Cauthrien of my position change and to pick up any correspondence that needs to go over, then back to Amaranthine. Need to start learning what I’m actually meant to do when Nathaniel’s not about.”

“We best make use of the time then. Dunno whut'cher wanna do, but name the thing 'an we'll do it. Maybe I could take ye on a hunt or such. "

“I’ve never done much hunting.” Not ones where the prey wasn’t human or darkspawn, anyway. She left that bit out and swallowed some bacon instead before smiling at Niamh. “I think I’d like that. Find somewhere nice outside the city walls, yeah?”

The only time she’d seen Niamh outside of the city before had been below it, fighting off darkspawn. It’d be good to watch her being in her element.
 

Niamh

Active member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
37
#23
Niamh was eager to eat, having expended a great deal of energy during her exertions with Siali. Not that she was complaining. Good company, good food, and a good pup went a long way to making whatever inherent discomfort there was to being a Grey Warden slip away. Responsibility and duty still lapped at her heels but she was able to sink into the moment and leave them as distant as ever. She began to eat bits of food, dropping what she could for Pads. The pup slathered them up with an abandon that would make even a Grey Warden blush.

But how long could this last. Siali was here on business after all. Would she need to leave? “Yeah," Siali said after Niam posed the question. "Officially, just to inform Cauthrien of my position change and to pick up any correspondence that needs to go over, then back to Amaranthine. Need to start learning what I’m actually meant to do when Nathaniel’s not about.”

The Dalish woman gulped down a piece of melon before following it up with a bite of pie for balance. "I'll hafta find out how often I ken ride yer way and stay a spell," she said carefully before speaking up. "I gotta be here such for a while. I dunno iff'n I told ye, as I dunno why I would... but I found me Da in the city. All gus'd up and worn. He ain't right fer travel none, so as I need t'get the clan here for 'im. But that takes time. I got folks what look after him fer now. Visit every day."

Still, they would have time for themselves away from their personal concerns and duties. Niamh suggested hunting, something that she was good at and eager to show off to her partner.

“I’ve never done much hunting.” That got Niamh's attention. No doubt that Siali would love it, and Pads needed to learn the ropes of the hunt as well if he was going to be a good companion. “I’ve never done much hunting.”

Niamh grinned. "It'll be right grand," she said although she wondered about something else. "Sneakin' ain't no problem 'an I ken show ye some such ways to track. Yer set with a bow, aye? Else, we ken turn back out to that there yard after eatin' 'an I ken help with that too."
 

Siali Arnith

Prominent member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
51
#24
Siali didn’t want to leave. Well, she did, because she was eager to get started as Warden-Lieutenant, and she wanted to be as prepared as possible for the first time Nathaniel went away and left her in charge. But she wished she could take Niamh with her. She knew that she couldn’t, though. Shuffling Wardens around based on personal feelings would set a poor example and make it easy for people to read motivations behind her actions which weren’t there. For a while, they’d have to be used to the idea of going long-distance.

“I’ll hafta find out how often I ken ride yer way and stay a spell. I gotta be here such for a while. I dunno iff'n I told ye, as I dunno why I would... but I found me Da in the city.” Siali’s eyebrows rose. She hadn’t figured much for the chances of Niamh’s dad being alive, but it was good to hear that he’d pulled through. Kind of. “All gus'd up and worn. He ain't right fer travel none, so as I need t'get the clan here for 'im. But that takes time. I got folks what look after him fer now. Visit every day."

“I’m glad you found him.”

She couldn’t say much else. She’d loved her own parents, but her relationship to them had always been one of obligation rather than anything else, and after their deaths she’d shut her feelings so far away that she was now a little hazy on how she felt about them at all. Connecting to other people’s relationships with their families was something she struggled with.

Fortunately, the conversation moved on. Niamh suggested a hunt, something Siali accepted. “It’ll be right grand. Sneakin' ain't no problem 'an I ken show ye some such ways to track. Yer set with a bow, aye? Else, we ken turn back out to that there yard after eatin' 'an I ken help with that too."

“I’m all right with a bow. Nothing to somebody who’s been at it their whole lives, though.” She squeezed Niamh’s hand. “I need to see Cauthrien first, but once that’s done – maybe a session in the yard, and then we go?”
 

Niamh

Active member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
37
#25
“I’m glad you found him.” Siali seemed unsure of what to say about Niamh's father. The elf sympathized, if only because she didn't know what to say either. For years now, she had assumed he died fighting the darkspawn but he'd instead been lost and left to beg his way through life. Scarred, addled, and fortunately tended to by the few in the alienage who could afford to look after their fellow elves.

Still, she nodded. It was painful in some ways but mostly good that she found him. "Gettin' him to our people s'gonna be a right tricksome time," she noted carefully. "Might be that me Mum comes. She's Keeper, y'know, 'an that would be no small thing. She 'an me dun seen straight eye to eye though. I scurried to Highever without her blessing or say so, and that leaves me worried-like. Iff'n she comes, it'll be... well, I'm scared a bit."

There was no point on dwelling on what would come, not now. Instead, Niamh did her best to focus on Siali, all while sneaking Pads little bits and scraps of food as she could. The small pup lay at her feet, slopping up crumbs and gifted bacon bits. Niamh looked at Siali and smiled; her new partner was lovely and far more beautiful than she realized. It was nice to sit and talk about happier plans. Like hunting, something Niamh had done less and less sine arriving the city.

“I’m all right with a bow. Nothing to somebody who’s been at it their whole lives, though.” Niamh demurred somewhat at the comment. Their upbringings were different, so she didn't see the need for Siali's self-deprecation. I need to see Cauthrien first, but once that’s done – maybe a session in the yard, and then we go?”

Niamh finished a bit of bread before nodding. "So's 'bout ye take care 'of that 'an I get Pads all settled in," she said. "He'll hafta learn huntin' soon but the little lad must be tired." Pads gave a whimpering in affirmation. "Ye handle watcha need, what'll think of what t'gather fer the hunt."

She grinned. "Dun worry 'bout it none neither," she said. "Few moments out there 'an you'll be right good at it. Promise."
 

Siali Arnith

Prominent member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
51
#26
Niamh was fretting a bit about her father. How she might get him back to the Dalish, and mentioning that her mother might help. “She’s Keeper, y’know, ‘an that would be no small thing. She ‘an me dun seen straight eye to eye though. I scurried to Highever without her blessing or say so, and that leaves me worried-like. Iff’n she comes, it’ll be…well, I’m scared a bit.”

“If I’m around, I’ll be with you.” The distance was a problem. Not an insurmountable one, but not a thing Siali liked. She would have to send Niamh written words of support if she couldn’t be there in purpose.

They focused on eating for a while, both of them occasionally dropping food on the ground for Pads. Siali didn’t consider herself an animal person generally – Max was the exception – but the waddling little mabari puppy was quite sweet. Eventually the idea of going hunting together was raised, although Siali admitted her ranged skills were not as good as her ability with blades. They also couldn’t indulge in it right away. She had to report in.

"So's 'bout ye take care 'of that 'an I get Pads all settled in," Niamh suggested, "He'll hafta learn huntin' soon but the little lad must be tired. Ye handle watcha need, what'll think of what t'gather fer the hunt." She grinned. “Dun worry ‘bout it none neither. Few moments out there ‘an you’ll be right good at it. Promise.”

“I’ll take your word on that.” Siali leaned forward to kiss Niamh, gently. Even after spending the better part of a day together she was still stealing touches, a little dazzled by the fact that she could. “And you can always show me just what to do.” She grinned back, a touch cheekily. “You’ve had a little practice at that, now.”

With that, she straightened up, and cleared away her plate before heading in the direction of Cauthrien’s office. She would keep their conversation reasonably succinct – if they had enough time left, she might even be able to go on that hunt today.
 
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