Something To Fight For

What Happened In Cyrodiil Part Two

Arthius sighed as he rubbed his eyes, the early morning light barely breaking through the walls of the old house. He rolled his shoulders as he lied on the soft furs, his comfort begging him to stay. He looked down, knowing that his comfort wouldn't be alone in its attempts. He smiled down at Rena as she slept, arm around his waist as she rested her head on his chest. It had been about three years since he had met her, but it only took him a few weeks to fall in love with her, even though it took her months to return the feeling. He smirked as he carefully grabbed a large portion of her hair before quickly yanking her head up to him. She let out a yelp before her lips crashed into his. Arthius quickly placed his hands on her sides, slowly moving them down her waist. She smiled widely breaking the smile before roughly slapping Arthius across the face. Arthius smiled as he groaned, Rena quickly placing herself on top of him. Arthius just stared at the woman above him, eying every inch of her. Rena stared down at him with a small smile, chuckling slightly as she watched him admire her. She let her hair fall down to him, allowing him to quickly snatch it and nuzzle it as he always did. She smiled as she leaned down, closing her eyes as she kissed him slowly and passionately. After a few moments, she slowly broke the kiss and went back to lying beside him. She tightly wrapped her arm around him again as she nuzzled herself into him before looking up at him with a smile.

"Well good morning"

...

Arthius' voice paused as a small smile appeared on his face. Serana's mind immediately raced over to the memories of when they were passionate. What caught her mind more than anything else was the similarities between how he treated her and Rena. She simply disregarded it as just a habit. Arthius cleared his throat before continuing.

"As you can imagine, more kids came, a few left, and some of them…"

"STOP, THIEF!"

Arthius and Rena ran down the crowded alley as the guards screamed behind them, shoving anyone who got in their way. The evening sky was a reddish orange as they ran, using every shadow to their advantage.

"Why can't they ever say please?" Rena asked as they took a sharp turn. Arthius chuckled under his mask as he ducked under a sign.

"I suppose it's due to the fact that they aren't as sophisticated as we are, my dear" Arthius said. Rena smiled as she quickly shoved a kid aside who she couldn't avoid, almost laughing again. They quickly turned another corner into a dead end. Arthius and Rena paused as they looked around for a moment before hearing the guards appear behind them.

"Alright...hand over...the jewelry" the guard said. Arthius and Rena slowly turned, raising their hands, and revealing a pouch. Arthius sighed as he slowly took the pouch from his side and slowly handed it over to the guards. He then suddenly threw it high in the air, then leapt forward, planting each boot on a guard's chest. The third and last guard quickly unsheathed his sword and slashed down at Arthius on the ground, only to be parried by another blade. He looked up to see Rena wink behind her mask before quickly her boot and planting it in the guard's face. Afterwards, she helped Arthius up and they both quickly dashed off before the guards could collect themselves. The guards stumbled up to their feet before rushing after them. On the roof neighboring the alley, Roggar sat, looking at the reflection of each of the jewels as he pulled them out one by one.

...

"They became thieves?" Serana spoke, cutting off Arthius' thoughts. He looked at her a bit surprised by the outburst. He stared at her for a moment before sighing and sitting forward.

"No, I mean...not all of them. Rena and I did the heists but...some of them would find their own little tasks, pickpocketing and the like" Arthius said with a shrug. Arthius glanced over at Serana after a moment to see her staring at him.

"Look, this is the life we were given. Not all of us are born into royalty" Arthius said. Serana looked away from him, making Arthius sigh at what he had said.

"Serana-"Arthius began.

"No, I was wrong for judging. Please continue" Serana spoke. Arthius glanced at her for another moment before turning forward and continuing.

"Well, things were good. It was probably the first time I really felt I had a family…"

...

Arthius clashed his wooden sword against Roggar's in the alley. The walls were spread far enough for it to be a decent sized space for training. The sky was gray as rain clouds floated above. Roggar and Arthius circled each other, keeping eye contact the entire time. Roggar suddenly dashed forward, slashing down at Arthius. Arthius simply sidestepped before quickly spinning and backhanding Roggar across the face, sending him crashing to the stone floor. Arthius sighed as Roggar whimpered, holding his bleeding nose.

"I've told you before, do not make such an offensive attack if you don't have the means of landing the swing. If you do, you'll be wide open to anything the opponent wishes to throw at you" Arthius said as he crossed his arms. He heard a snicker and turned to see Rena smiling at him as she leaned against the wall.

"You're one to talk, don't you think?" she said with a smirk. Arthius thought back to their first encounter and how she had simply swept his feet out from under him after he had rushed her. Arthius simply shot her a ean look before turning back to Roggar in time to see him slashing across at his chest. Arthius quickly raised his sword and parried it to the side, taking a step back. Roggar continued forward, slashing with great force and making Arthius step further back with each attack. Arthius quickly glanced back to see how far they had gone, giving Roggar an opening. Roggar thrusted his sword forward at Arthius' chest with all his force, just as Arthius side stepped. Roggar fell forward, but came to a halt as Arthius sent his knee crashing into Roggar's exposed midsection. Roggar gagged as all the wind was knocked out of him, sending him limply falling to the ground. Arthius simply picked up Roggar's sword and began walking back down the alley. Rena eyed him as he walked towards her, keeping eye contact with him the entire time.

"Ready to go?" Arthius said as he held out his hand to her. Rena shot him a look before glancing back at Roggar as he fumbled while rolling to his back, gasping for air.

"What about him?" Rena asked.

"Well, I don't think he's in any shape to continue training so...drinks down at the inn?" Arthius said as he raised his brows. Rena shook her head as a smile appeared on her lips before pushing herself off the wall.

"Sounds good, I'm assuming you're paying?" she said with a smile as she placed her hand in his. Arthius raised her hand and kissed it as he stared into her eyes.

"Of course my love" Arthius whispered before wrapping his fingers around hers and began down the alley way.

...

"So, you're best example of the happy family was you beating a boy into submission and leaving him in an alleyway? Seems a bit twisted to me" Serana asked as she raised an eyebrow. Arthius chuckled loudly before looking over to her with a smile.

"Well, that was one of the best examples. That's how we did it, I would train him until he couldn't stand, and in return I'd teach him a bit more about thievery" Arthius said.

"I thought you said they didn't do jobs with you" Serana said. Arthius turned to her with a pursed lip.

"Well, I said not all of them. They're not really jobs just...tasks" Arthius said.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, remember that little girl that Rena pushed over while running through the crowd?" Arthius said with a small toothy grin. Serana's crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side as she stared at Arthius.

"So what, was she a distraction or…?" Serana asked.

"Well, we both had bags of jewelry, Rena and I, and I was the only one who threw a bag up to the roof" Arthius said. Serana sighed before nodding at Arthius, accepting what he said, and Arthius noticed this.

"Look...I wasn't how I am now, I'm different than-" Arthius began before Serana cut him off.

"It's your past Arthius, if it made you into who you are now then there's many people who would be grateful for it. Please, continue" Serana said as she looked at him. Arthius momentarily looked at her with a sort of sad glance before sighing and continuing.

"Anyways...after a big hull, I decided to do something...different…"

...

Rena grunted as her head slightly bounced, waking her from her sleep. She sighed as she rolled on to her back in the warm furs, reaching out for Arthius. She sighed as she remembered that he was driving the carriage. She slowly sat up in the back of the carriage which was covered up for sleeping quarters and put on her leather armor. She took a moment to get her balance before walking to the front and opening the curtains and wincing at the harsh sunlight. After her her eyes had adjusted she slowly smiled at the sight of Arthius in a simple blue tunic managing the reins as he glanced back at her before turning. She slowly went over the back of the seat and placed herself next to him, getting a smile from Arthius.

"Good to see you're awake, and that you seem ready to steal something so soon" Arthius said with a smile as he glanced down at her armor. Rena wrapped her arms around his head as she leaned in kissed him on the cheek before nuzzling into his shoulder.

"It's not like it's anything we almost there?" Rena asked. Arthius chuckled before placing a kiss on her forehead.

"Just about, my love, just about" Arthius said. After about another hour, they turned off the dirt path into a plot of land with a newly restored house in the middle. It was obviously an older house but now had fresh wood, it looked as good as new, if not better.

"Whose home is this?" Rena asked as she sat up.

"This, is the house I was raised in" Arthius signed with a small smile. Rena glanced at him for a moment before turning back to the house. She slowly got off the carriage and approached the building as Arthius smiled as he stared at the house. Rena slowly opened the door, revealing a large room. The entire house was refurbished, from the rugs to the chandelier. Rena glanced around the large room, noticing the large bed with a bundle of Nightshade spread through the velvet sheets. Rena paused as she stared at the bed, slowly sensing Arthius approach behind her. As she felt him stand behind her and begin to wrap his arms around her.

"So…" she began.

"This is our home, once we finish with whatever it is we're doing, this will be our home" Arthius said as he leaned into her neck. Rena stood, staring at the room in front of her, feeling the warmth of Arthius on her neck.

"Arthius" Rena spoke. Arthius sighed, swallowing a lump in his throat before raising his head.

"Yes?" He asked. Rena turned to him slowly, eying him carefully with sealed lips.

"Is this what you want? To settle down, to stop this adventurous life, to just be...normal?" Rena asked. Arthius glanced down, mulling over what she had said for a few moments. He glanced back up at her with a sigh, looking her over for a few moments before slowly parting his lips.

...

Serana sat patiently, waiting for Arthius to continue, though he was just staring off into space.

"Arthius" Serana spoke, making Arthius turn to her.

"Would you like to continue?" She asked with a caring glance. Arthius paused before he slowly nodded.

...

"Rena, I want this, and I want you, more than any treasure in the world" Arthius smiled. Rena shut her eyes, slowly shaking her head for a moment before opening her eyes and looking back at him.

"If you bring me down this path, just...don't stray from it, because I don't think I would be able to manage that" Rena said as she stared into his eyes. Arthius slowly put his hand up, placing his palm on her cheek.

"I promise" Arthius said, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips. Rena stared at him for a few more moments before slowly nodding. She slowly leant in, putting her lips to his. Arthius moved inside the house, slowly closing the door behind himself.

...

Serana watched carefully, noticing Arthius come to a complete hault. She watched as he froze in a way unlike any time before, almost shuddering to watch.

"Anyways...she was someone I cared about very much. And I know if something were to happen to her, then I would feel the same if I would allow anything to happen to ...please, I'll ask you once more to-"

"Finish it" Serana said coldly. Arthius glanced at her, seeing her expression was now serious.

"What?" He asked.

"I said, finish it. That's not the end and we both know it" Serana said. Arthius gave a small but forced chuckle as he stared at her. After a moment, Serana spoke up again as she stared fiercely into Arthius' eyes.

"Tell me about when she died, Arthius" Serana said with a slightly calmer voice. Arthius stared at her, not in the frozen state he was in before. After a moment, the corners of his lips slowly curved upwards into a toothy smile. Arthius snickered a moment before turning, after a moment he chuckled. A few seconds passed and Arthius began chuckling, slowly raising his voice until it was laughter. Arthius continued laughing, barely stopping to take in a breath. Serana watched, a bit disturbed by his reaction. Arthius began laughing hysterically, holding his sides as he doubled over in the spot he was sitting in. Serana hesitated before slowly raising her hand and moving to him, hoping to comfort him. His laughter stopped as he quickly pushed himself up and stormed out of the tent. Serana quickly got up and followed him out, pausing as she was met with many faces outside the tent. She cursed under her breath, unsure how much the group heard. She glanced around quickly before spotting Arthius going around the cliffside into a bend. Serana made her way past the crowd and followed him around the bend. Arthius had his forehead on the wall as he stared at the ground, his breath was now rapid, as though he was panicking. As Serana thought of what to say, Arthius spoke up in a cynical tone.

"Is this what you wanted, the reason you wanted to learn about my past was to get the details about what could have caused my rage? Don't misinterpret what I mean by those words, I understand. I myself would have snuck around, asked about, found out on my own of someone's past if it interested me so much" Arthius spoke before turning to face Serana. Serana froze as she saw his eyes. She knew she would hit a nerve, but this was something else. There were many different emotions going off in his mind at once, Serana had no idea to which one she should react to. It seemed as though he about to shatter at the same time he would slaughter her and the rest of the camp while still seeming as though he's mocking her. Serana simply looked back at him, being careful not to do anything that might set him off.

"But there's a difference between us. You see, when I notice that someone's past is dark, I'll just assume or look for other means of information, I did it with you and I'm content. What I don't do, IS TRY AND FORCE THEM TO TELL ME ABOUT IT" Arthius screamed as he moved towards her. Serana stood her ground as she stared Arthius down.

"I understand this isn't a topic you'd like to discuss, but there's a reason you began this story, and I doubt you were planning on ending it there" Serana said. Arthius clenched his fist as he tore his gaze away from her and back to the wall. He shook his head before sighing deeply, glaring at the wall as he did. He then spun back to Serana, with a much calmer expression.

"If you'd like to take some time before continuing I-" Serana began.

"We're killing your father, and stopping this prophecy. After that, we're done. Do not speak to me, and if I see you after today, you're just another vampire to slay" Arthius said before moving past her and around the bend to the camp.

Serana simply stared at the wall, thrown off at what Arthius had said as the cold wind blew. She was ready for Arthius to snap, but this was different. Serana wondered if he meant what he had said, though she couldn't believe it to be true. She glanced at the edge of the wall awkwardly, as if hoping to see Arthius come back around the bend. A gust of wind blew, bringing her out of her state as she finally turned and walked around the bend. She was immediately met with cold looks from a few of the Dawngaurd members and Vilkas, Farkas seemed to be making himself look busy with something else, and Aela simply looked away whenever she would meet her gaze. Serana simply sighed and walked towards the tent, not caring what the others had to think about her or the situation. She smirked as this thought went through her head.

"Now I'm thinking straight" she thought.

As she opened a flap, she glanced around, seeing Arthius looking across the water at it's edge as Agmaer was saying to him. Serana wondered if she might be able to listen in on them from this distance, but disregarded the idea as eavesdropping wasn't going to solve their problems. Serana entered the tent, closing the flaps behind herself. She rubbed her brow as she sat, knowing all too well that she would be left to nothing but her own thoughts. The first obviously being if she had been too upfront about Arthius' past.

"No, no it wasn't too upfront. He had a reason to his story, but he just can't reach it yet. But...that's because of the pain near the end" Serana laid her head in her palm as the thought of forcing Arthius to his darkest place for her own gain held itself in her mind.

"Damn, I was wrong, but...not in every way. Though it's true that it was his past and his story to tell, it was him who included me to his past. Yes, he chose to let me into his past, only for me to throw it in his face when it became difficult" Serana sighed heavily, placing her hood over her head before lying down on the roll, hoping that sleep would relieve her of her own thoughts.

The courtyard was filled, the crowd surrounding her as her father raised the blade to her throat. Serana cringed as she watched her other self before her allow him, almost eager for him to continue. As she watched, her father's head contorted as he leaned towards her, staring into her golden eyes with his own. His lips met hers as his head finished its morphing. Arthius closed his eyes as he pressed the blade against her throat, slowly bringing it across. The crimson liquid spilled from her, covering the blade and Arthius' hand.

Serana pushed herself from the roll, she almost sank in the snow as she pushed fiercely into the ground to get away from the bedroll. She stayed there, propped up on her elbows, staring at the bedroll as though it had just attempted to kill her. It wasn't for another few moments before she noticed Arthius looking down at her from the front of the tent with a concerned face.

"Bad dreams, I've my share" Arthius said calmly. Serana stared at him, thinking back to his night terrors he suffered after being cured. Serana slowly nodded at him, slowly readjusting into a more comfortable position. Arthius sighed before sitting next to her in the snow, the wind being the only sound. She sat staring ahead, choosing to avoid looking at him as she was still cautious about him.

"It was a captain, a new captain fresh out, wanting to do whatever it took to rise in the ranks. He had heard about us, the supposed thieve's guild of the capital. He threatened lives, lives that weren't his to use...she said it was something she had to do. I- it was as though I wanted him to kill them but- how could I just let her- SHE DIDN'T GIVE ME A CHOICE DAMN IT!" Arthius said frustrated before putting his head in his hands. Serana immediately reached over and took his hand in hers as she turned to him.

"You can stop, and I'm sorry" Serana said softly. Arthius squeezed her hand slightly before raising his head.

"I wasn't much not too long ago, nothing much to myself anyways. This journey has been, idiotic, hurtful, and possibly the largest test of my patience, but I don't regret it" Arthius said before turning to Serana with a serious expression.

"You've spoken of hardships, but from what I understand, regret is not one of them. Don't do anything that will cause it, because I live with it everyday and it's not simple to live with, this isn't something you have to do" Arthius spoke

"Arthius, it's not about it being something that has to be done, but it's something that I must do, because me not doing it is what will cause the most regret I can think of" Serana said in a strong tone. Arthius slightly smiled as he closed his eyes, almost chuckling at how easily she turned his own words against him. He slowly stood, opening his eyes and holding his hand out.

"Well then, the boats are waiting" Arthius said with a calm tone. Serana nodded before taking his hand and standing. They walked outside to see seven boats and a larger ship at the head. Arthius and Serana took a small paddle boat over to the ship and climbed the rope ladder that hung from the side of it just in time to hear Aela shouting something.

",,,noble companions have far more experience in battle then a whelp like yourself, let a warrior take command less you wish to die with your troops!" She yelled in Agmaer's face.

"Or, you can back down before I personally gag you and throw you over the side of the damn ship. Now I don't give a damn what you or your Nordic brothers and sisters of Skyrim have to say, I'm in command of these men and I'd sooner die than have a mutt like you bark orders at me, so sit down and shut your damn mouth!" Agmaer shouted with confidence. Aela kept her ground for a moment, a shudder escaping from her as she did, before slowly turning and sitting beside the railing. Arthius almost chuckled as he approached Agmaer. As he saw Arthius approach, his kind smile reappeared on his face.

"Ready to go?" Agmaer said as he glanced past Arthius at Serana and back to Arthius.

"As ready as we can be" Arthius said. Agmaer nodded to him before shouting back at the other boats. Arthius turned, looking at the men in the ship, noticing that the twins were aboard as well. Arthius glanced at them both as they looked back at him. Vilkas simply scowled at him before putting his head down. Farkas looked to his brother before looking back at Arthius and giving him a nod. Arthius returned it before turning back to the front of the ship. He stared across the water, the thick fog obscuring his vision. Through it, he could make out the castle, and the lights that were shining from it. He reached back and ran his hand across the bow that was now strapped to him along with his sword and shield. He turned to Serana beside him, seeing her stare with him at her old home. Arthius sighed as he closed his eyes, all noise blocking out as he readied himself. He then slowly opened his eyes as he felt the boat began to move beneath him.

Let it begin.



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