“If you kill me, I know it is random. Odd, but comfort is taken by that fact. Do not need to check my back or drink or make sure I trance instead of sleep. If you kill me, you will do it when I am aware and you will do it honestly and openly.” Zz’dtri looked down again, perhaps sensing the halfling’s unease with emotional closeness. “And you would accept it if I said ‘no’ to your advances. You are a murderer. Not a rapist.”
The drow tentatively touched Belkar’s cheek. “Go to comrades. They need you.”
Belkar paused, then slowly got out of the bed, pulling on his pants. Mr. Scruffy, finally aroused from his sleep in the corner of the room, stood up, stretching and giving a little yawn.
Zz’dtri watched the halfling passively, head propped up on hand, the vaguest regretful look deep in silver eyes. The blankets were loosely resting at chest level and the red band that the drow always wore was on the bedside table, winking dangerously in the scant light. Belkar didn’t like that thing. It looked like someone had gotten lots of blood, flash-froze it, and crafted it in the shape of a headband. Usually he’d like that, but it gave the uncomfortable impression that Zz’dtri was constantly dying, little by little.
Maybe he was. He did seem a little… faint, after all.
“Hey, what are you going to do? You don’t sound like you plan on going back to the… whatever they call the dark elf place.”
A very slight smile played across Zz’dtri’s face. “The Underdark.” The smile disappeared. “Unsure. Perhaps… find another group. Hopefully less deceptive and disloyal as Nale’s. Try to do something good.”
“Now you’re talking crazy.”
“Want to shed all drow culture.”
“Rebellion? Now you’re making sense again.” Belkar stretched and picked up his shirt. Mr. Scruffy jumped on the bed, purring softly and curling up against Zz’dtri. The dark elf slowly stroked the cat’s soft white head.
“Violence hurt me.” The drow looked down at the cat, lightly tickling his chin. “Many different dark elf cultures. Only dominant ones are so horrible. Many dark elves want to overthrow them. Perhaps surface elves will help.”
“You’d be hard-pressed to manage that. If the one I’m traveling with is any indication, all the surface elves are pricks.”
Zz’dtri’s hand went up, covering black lips, and a soft low laughing sound came from the dark elf’s thin chest. Belkar smirked, putting on his shirt. “I got you to laugh. That’s an accomplishment.”
“I like you.”
“That’s a first.”
Belkar picked up his cloak and put it on. “Usually, it’s the weird clingy chicks who I sleep with that think they like me.”
“Not arguing with that one.” Belkar looked down at his fully clothed self and glanced over to his naked partner. “So are you going to go to the elven homelands and try your luck with them?”
“Diplomacy not my strong suit. Can work on it for this. Worth trying, if only for future generations.” Zz’dtri’s eyes were fixed on Belkar.
Belkar was ready to shrug and leave as usual, likely to never see the drow again. He was ready to brush off the weird cross of one-night stand and Enemy Mine and forget Zz’dtri’s face, name, and existence. He was ready to do that.
“After this thing’s over, maybe I’ll drop by. A dark elf in the surface elves’ homeland won’t be hard to find.” But he didn’t.
The dark elf’s eyes flashed faintly, going white, and Zz’dtri stiffened slightly in surprise. “…I’d like that.”
“Alright, then. If the murder rate goes up in your area, you’ll know it’s me.” Belkar stole a quick kiss. “Count on it.”
Belkar’s lips twitched a little in a half-smile. “C’mon, Scruffster.”
The cat meowed, licked Zz’dtri’s cheek, and padded over to the halfling, leaving at the heels of his master.
Zz’dtri stared at the door for a while, a finger lightly touching the area that the cat had licked. Slowly, two black fingers went up and touched equally black lips, capturing the remaining feeling from the kiss. “I’ll wait.”