oh so someone wants to know more about one of my otps? why just lemme whip something up..
for mary and editoress
“I don’t need to know how to swim,” Mirji crosses her arms over her chest and glares at the water as if though it has insulted her. When the argonian says nothing, doesn’t even turn to look at her, she resolutely stops and stomps her foot, “Don’t you dare ignore me!”
This time, Dree-gla actually stops, but when he turns he has this… amused glance in his eyes (the fact that she, by now, knows him enough to decipher the way he looks is something she completely misses), which makes Mirji huff and glare, this time at Dree.
“I’m don’t need to know how to swim, because I don’t go near water,” it’s mostly true, “And I live on a farm, where theres no water for miles.” Dree starts walking again, Mirji does a frustrated noise in the back of her throat and speeds up in order to match the long strides of the far taller argonian, “I’m Dunmer! We don’t swim!”
“You live on island,” Dree looks down at her and just shakes his head as Mirji narrows her eyes further in a glare, “Water everywhere,”
“Well, yes, if you venture somewhere,” Mirji kicks one of the pebbles littering the well travelled road, “Luckily, I’m just a farm girl, who never leaves her ashyams.” She doesn’t mean to sound bitter, but she probably does, “Dree, I really don’t need to learn how to swim, and I’m sure you don’t have the time to teach me,” she grins a bit, not completely genuine but mostly, “Isn’t there a damsel to save, or a noble to lecture?”
“No one more important than you,” if Dree-gla had looked at Mirji, he would have seen the way her skin flushes for just a second, instead all he feels is the quick slap to his bicep, “Ow!”
“I told you not to lie to me, stupid,“ she speeds so that she walks in front, doing a speed that is somewhere between walking and running, so Dree-gla slows down a bit so she doesn’t exert herself. Apparently she is having one of her dunmer moments.
It wasn’t a lie, there was a noble or two that could use his help (he wasn’t sure he was going to help them, but Teldryn had choked on his drink when learning how much they would be paid so perhaps Dree should at least think about it), but Mirji was far more important. The confusing fact that she matters quite a bit more than most things, not just nobles, is something he readily does not touch upon.
She is walking quite fast, probably getting tired, but she is stubbornly keeping herself a couple of steps in front of him, shoulders pulled high, arms still crossed over her chest.
“Mirrji,” he says, speeding up briefly to catch her arm. She stops and turns around, raising an an eyebrow. Dree feels very much as if though he is being scolded, so he shifts his weight slightly and clears his throat, “Swimming is -” he waves a hand in the air, searching for the word to use, blows some air out his nose when he can’t find one, “Good.” he grits his teeth, and thinks that he didn’t use to care about being able to speak properly to a Dunmer, but suddenly he wishes that he could. He ends up making a frustrated sound before explaining, a bit hackedly, “Swimming is good for soul,”
“My soul is fine, thank you very much,” Mirji says primly, sharp nose in the air and still just reaching up to his chest, but she starts walking slower again, and Dree paces his steps to match hers.
They end up at the water just a moment later, a lake mostly shielded by the scrawny things Solstheim has instead of trees, Dree flicks his tongue out at the sight of the still, dark and clear water. It is one of the few lakes that lie hidden enough for the ash to not have poisoned it.
Mirji, however, when she looks at the water, does not see the stillness and darkness as something good. The only thing she thinks about, are all the things that can lurk just underneath the surface.
And how far it is to the bottom. She starts twisting her hands in her skirts and biting her lip, her skin as pale as a dunmer can get. Dree looks at her out of the corner of his eye, his eyeridge lowers for just a second in confusion before it clears and understanding takes place in light eyes.
“I really don’t -” Mirji starts but then she does something like squeak and covers her eyes with her hands, “Put on a shirt!” she blushes fiercely, resolutely blocking out her sight, pressing her hands so hard over her eyes she sees a white, “You are no beast, you can’t just go ripping off your -” she peeks, just a little, but its only to look if the stupid argonian had put on his shirt again, honest.
He is pretty.
If Mirji is completely honest with herself, which she tries to be, she has thought of him briefly as handsome, because he is built like one of the statues of a God, and he has very nice eyes, but it never really went past that. He was, after all, a stubborn mule of a man, and far more enervating than he thought he was. Mirji wasn’t blind.
She certainly isn’t blind right now.
He is waist deep into the water, the sun that usually deems fit to hide behind clouds apparently shows up for a peek as well, and it gleams over golden scales, scales that shift into a myriad of muted colours along his sides, but always merges seamlessly with the yellow, the water ripples around him as he stretches, preparing for a dive, strong muscles moving underneath -
She isn’t peeking, she tells herself, and covers her eyes again.
A second later, she tries convincing herself that when her fingers part again, it is a slip, an accident. She isn’t really fooling herself, but at least she’s trying.
He gets up from underneath the water, and Mirji notices how fluidly he moves. He always does, but on land he is harder, rougher, moves with more weight. In the water, he is fluid, purposeful as always, but there is something graceful about the way he moves in water, how even when he is completely submerged the sun still shines of skin and he is like a sliver of gold, of light in the penetrating darkness that is the water.
She turns her back to the entire lake, face burning, hands still covering her eyes, this time a bit more properly.
“Mirrji,” and damn him, he sounds so happy, with his slightly burred tone very soft, “Mirrji, come swim,”
“No, absolutely not, and what is your deal, mister?” Mirji brushes of her skirts with both her hands, still not turning around, “You are in the company of a lady, I’ll have you know, and you can’t just strip willy-nilly because you feel like it,”
“Mirrji.” Is he amused? “Water not dangerous, nothing here,” there is a splashing sound, as if though he is making a movement in it to prove a point, “Just me.”
But he does a sound in the back off his throat that is something like laughter, and Mirji turns around in a split second to tell him exactly where he can stuff that laughter off his, but when she does, her words devolve into a wordless exhale of breath.
Droplets of water clinging to his lean muscular chest, his strong broad shoulders not quite slumped but also not as guarded as they usually are, the gleaming scales shift into colour over his chest as well, Mirji thinks a bit bewildered, and her gaze goes further down, where his hipbones are just above water.
She swallows a bit thickly, before snapping her gaze back to something she believes to be more safe, and finds herself looking into pale pink eyes, and he is… smiling.
It’s a nice smile, she thinks, and decides that looking down at her feet is far more interesting.
“Mirrji, no scared.” he says again, moving towards her, stretching out a hand, “Dip feet, no more.”
“I am not scared, I’m precocious,” she looks up at him through the thick of her eyelashes, “I don’t like the water, it’s not safe,” and she hates herself a bit for sounding so.. sincere. It’s not something she really tells anyone.
Not that anyone had ever asked, or cared.
“I’m safe,” is all the argonian answers, tilting his head.
She really shouldn’t. She had almost drowned once, when she was younger, her father had pulled her out at the last second, batting away the creature that had grabbed her from the shore. She hadn’t been scared of the water immediately after, only after he left and she realized that there would be no one else there to help if it ever happened again.
It wasn’t being scared, it was being appropriately concerned.
Everything else she could handle, reavers demanding money, taxmen doing the same, ravens and wolves and foxes going after her chicken. She could deal with that, all she needed was some potions to offer as payment to the two first, and a scarecrow and bow for the rest.
But the water, being so dark and lonely and unknown, she had not braved. Not being able to breathe had been terrifying.
She isn’t scared.
There had been a hand around her ankle, a laughter flittering from underneath the water to reach the pounding in her ears, there had been that last desperate struggle before she had known that this was it. Then there had been a hand, and her father, and her gasping crying breath against his shoulder. The thought that the hand wouldn’t be there next time had made her avoid the lakes and seas, had made her stand a good side away from the ocean when she was at Raven’s rock to pick up supplies.
She isn’t scared, she’s terrified.
She takes Dree’s hand.