Zz'dtri raised his head at the sound of a key turning in the lock, drawn out of his light trance. Whatever he was expecting, it wasn’t to see a familiar elf being shoved forward into the cell, the door then slammed shut once more.
"This is the price you pay for copyright violation!" shouted a voice through the door. "Enjoy your time with a fellow plagiarist."
"With the spoooooky drow!"
Vaarsuvious brushed non-existent dust motes from red robes and turned to scowl unseen through the door at the two lawyers, before glancing towards the other elf.
Zz'dtri raised an enquiring eyebrow. "You too?"
Vaarsuvius scoffed. "They seized me and dragged me here, citing a certain 'Raistlin Majere'."
"Who?" The drow asked from his seat on the single narrow bench in the cell.
"I know of no such person anymore than you do." Vaarsuvius said dryly, turning away from the dark elf and walking over to the single barred window set in the stone. The elf gave the bars a tug, without much enthusiasm. They were completely solid.
"No way out. Already looked."
"I will make my own assessment of that, thank you" The red robed wizard replied sharply, going over to the door and peering through the small (also barred) hatch. "I take it this is an anti-magic cell…? Of course it is, since you would otherwise have wasted no time in enacting revenge for my previous victory over you."
"Not with Nale anymore."
"As if that makes any difference to one such as you; you went out of your way to be unfriendly even before you had revealed your true colours."
"Excuse me?" Vaarsuvius turned to face the dark elf, raising an eyebrow in an incredulous expression. Zz'dtri shuffled over to one end of the bench, indicating for the other elf to sit down. Vaarsuvius remained standing.
"I was mean. I'm sorry." Zz'dtri tried again, meeting untrusting eyes. Vaarsuvius paused for a moment then accepted the offered seat, leaning back against the wall and closing weary eyes.
"And what, may I ask, has caused you to review your past behavior towards me? Why act as you did at the time?"
"I was… nervous. You made me nervous."
Vaarsuvius's eyes opened again "What do mean by "made you ner-" and then the elf jumped, because Zz'dtri had moved and was now sitting much, much closer, their robes only just not touching. Vaarsuvius leant away from the dark face that was looking earnestly towards the elf's own.
"N- no! For one thing, I am already in a relationship - although it is uncertain as to whether it will… endure recent events - and for another I have no interest in pursuing romantic engagements at the current time!"
"Sorry." The dark elf lowered his gaze to the stone floor, shoulders slumped, and for a long time neither spoke.
Then "Just… been alone too long." he said, still not looking up. "Even before they brought me here."
A sigh. "I, too, must apologize then - maybe I was too harsh when first adressing you." Tentatively, Vaarsuvius placed an arm lightly around the other elf's shoulders, and didn't shy away when he leant into the embrace. "And.. maybe I partly understand how you feel; it's easy to be isolated, even when surrounded by others. Especially when surrounded be others."
“You have a family?”
Vaarsuvius sighed. “Yes… I had a loving mate and two children.”
Zz’dtri looked up, and was startled to see tears running silently down the elf’s face.
“T-they rejected me. I had to choose between them and what I knew I should do, and I made the right choice. But now they hate me for it.”
Zz’dtri looked helplessly at the other elf, then did the only thing he could think of. He raised his head, and kissed Vaarsuvius. It was light, but it was purposeful.
Vaarsuvius froze. Then slowly, unsurely, the wizard leant into the kiss, returned it.
It was a long time before either of them pulled away.
"I knew this would happen if we put them in the same cell." Mr. Jones muttered, staring through the hatch in the door.
"Why, what are they doing? Can I have a look?" The other lawyer asked enthusiastically, trying to see around Mr. Jones' head.
"They're kissing and… doing other things." He said, shutting the hatch, which resulted in a disappointed sigh from his associate.
"What other things?"
"I'll tell you when you're older, Phil."
A slight breeze drifted though the barred window, catching a few strands of white hair. The elf shivered slightly, snuggling further into the arms of the warm being who lay next to him; a slight smile crossed dark lips, their owner deep in pleasant memories. The other elf, however, was not so restful. Features twisted into a frown, unpleasant memories crossing unbidden behind closed eyes. Finally, these dark spectres of the past became to much and with a gasp Vaarsuvius jerked awake and sat up, breathing heavily.
Zz'dtri opened bleary eyes. "Again?"
Vaarsuvius nodded, then shivered and replaced the dislodged cloak around bare shoulders; under the makeshift blanket of cloaks and robes they were both naked. The dark elf sat up too, stifling a yawn, then wrapped his arms protectively around the other's shoulders.
"Too many things I can't forget." Vaarsuvius sighed, leaning back and closing tired eyes. "I though it was bad before, when all I could focus on was how my magic had failed… how I'd failed. But now -" The elf trailed off, holding back a sob. Zz'dtri raised a hand, and gently touched the other's face.
"Now all I can remember of is the fear in their eyes."
"They'd forgive you if they understood." He muttered, replacing the hand with lips.
"But I don't think they would." Vaarsuvius sighed again. "I made the decision to leave them long, long ago, even if I didn't realize at the time. I traded their love for my thirst for the arcane, then when I though I had finally proved my power, I expected it to be enough to replace actual devotion to my family." A slight, sad laugh "I abandon one thing for another all too readily, then expect forgiveness when it fails me. Look where I am now!"
Zz'dtri paused in the process of gently nibbling a pointed ear, then shrugged when Vaarsuvius made no indication to stop. Dark hands left their place around the other's shoulders to stroke down thin sides.
"I can't stay here, there's too many people who - who are depending on me, and not - ah!- not just my family." V turned a purple haired head towards Z'zdtri - tangled strands almost lilac in the low light - and buried a pained face in the side of his neck as his hands continued to move lower.
"Otherwise, I don't think the memories will ever go away." V murmured, twisting around to return the now fervent ministrations by locking lips.
"Don't have to trance." Zz'dtri said, pulling away momentarily "Just.. don't think."
For the rest of the night the only sounds in the dark were the soft rustle of cloth and, occasionally, a soft sigh.
"Hey elveses! Breakfast time!" Phil chirped, knocking on the door with his free hand. He paused, then frowned in confusion when there was silence from within the cell. "Elveses?" He queried again, looking worriedly through the door hatch at the apparently empty cell.
"Aww, please don't have escaped, Mr. Jones will be really angry at me!" He hurriedly put the tray down and unlocked the cell door, fumbling with the keys in his haste.
Panicking, he poked his head round the door "Hello? Are you in h- oof!" and was knocked onto the floor by Zz'dtri fist, both elves having been standing against the wall out of sight. Quickly, they dragged the unfortunate lawyer completely into the cell.
"Let me go!" Phil began struggling, prompting Varsuvius to sit on him while Zz'dtri tied his hands and feet tightly with strips of cloth torn from their cloaks. "I'm gonna tell!" The trussed up lawyer started whinging.
"Gag?" Zz'dtri queried, clamping a hand over his mouth to muffle the sound, but Vaarsuvius indicated for him to step away and knelt down in front of the lawyer.
"Where are our spell books?" The red robed Elf asked.
"Not telling! Mr. Jones would get really, really mad at me!"
"We won't inform him that you told us of their location. However if you don't, we will get mad at you." Phil glanced between the two of them. They met his gaze with cold eyes.
"They're in his the office on the next floor. But no-one else is allowed in there!"
"We'll take that chance." Vaarsuvius stood, picking up the dropped ring of keys. Both elves then walked out of the cell, shutting the door behind them. A key scraped in the lock.
"I recommend you remain quiet, otherwise your associate will discover our absence." Varsuvius shouted back as the two hurried away.
"Hey! Don't leave me alone in here! It's scary."
The rough stone corridor led them to a stairway, which led up to another corridor, but this one with a faded carpet covering the floor. Each elf went over to once side and began checking for one that looked like an office. The third one Vaarsuvius came across lacked a window hatch, so the elf cautiously opened the door a crack, peered in, then let out a sigh when it became apparent the room was empty and opened the door fully. Zz'dtri hurried over.
"Just cells on that side."
"This must be where he meant. We must depart here as soon as we are able, so begin searching the far side of the room while I look over here." With that, Vaarsuvius headed over to the large desk and, after a distasteful look at the anachronistic computer, began rummaging through the draws.
Zz'dtri started opening the metal cabinets along the opposite wall. The first few were full of files, but then he can across one which was locked.
"Keys! Any keys?"
Vaarsuvius looked around, then, spotting a small set of keys that had been dislodged in searching, tossed them over. Zz'dtri quickly ran through them until he found one that fit. He pulled it open to see a jumble of assorted items - and their spell books.
"Yes! Here!" He exclaimed grabbing the books as Vaarsuvius hurried over, then passing the other elf the unfamiliar one. He was gathering up the few scrolls that were also there, when suddenly an earsplitting siren started, startling both of them.
"Damnation! They must have discovered that idiot in the cell!" Vaarsuvius shouted over the noise, standing up and hurrying to the door. Zz'dtri scooped up the scrolls and quickly followed. Footfall could be heard in the distance, coming closer every second.
V grabbed a few of the scrolls and began flicking through them. "There has to be one here…"
Mr. Jones stood in the cell doorway and looked down disapprovingly at his associate "You had better hope we catch them, otherwise there'll be no TV time for a month."
"Aww, no fair!" The still tied up lawyer moaned.
Mr. Jones was about to reply when a guard jogged up to the cell. "Sir, I'm sorry to say we've searched the whole building. We're pretty confident they have left the site."
Mr. Jones scowled. "You had the mages use See Invisibility? They managed to access the scrolls before anyone sounded the alarm."
"Yes sir. They found nothing."
"Fine. Have the trackers search the surrounding area in case they left any tracks, but if nothing turns up by tomorrow we'll have to call it off since they'll have their spells back and they could be anywhere by then."
The guard saluted and left. Mr. Jones turned back towards the cell. "Your TV time is officially forfeit. And you can sleep in there tonight." With that, he turned sharply and exited the room, slamming the door behind him.
Some time later and several miles away - the invisibility spell having long worn off - the two wizards finally stopped in a small clearing. The jailhouse having disappeared over the horizon and the surrounding woods enclosing the small area, they finally felt that they could afford to rest. They lay back on the mossy ground, breathing in the quickly cooling air as the long shadows of evening deepened. Finally, it was Zz'dtri who broke the peaceful silence.
"And now you'll leave me."
Vaarsuvius look up and saw the dark elf sitting with his knees drawn up to his chin, face tilted upwards watching the first few stars begin to appear. The look on his face was that of heartbreak, and of long, endless loneliness.
"I wont leave you." Vaarsuvius replied, getting up and going over to sit beside the drow, not quite touching him.
"Will. Everyone does. Only bothered before because you couldn't leave."
"That’s not at all true. I do care about you, even if such feeling have only arisen in the past few days."
"But you will leave."
Vaarsuvius was about to protest this, but Zz'dtri pressed on, unusually vocal.
"You can't stay because there are people elsewhere who need you more than I do."
For once, Vaarsuvius was lost for words. After a few moments, the elf put a gentle hand under the drow's chin, causing him to turn to face the other elf, and said the only obvious thing to say.
"I love you."
Then to silence any further argument, Vaarsuvius kissed the surprised elf hard. After a moment's pause he returned the kiss, matching its initial intensity as their tongues met.
Slender hands pawed at robe ties, and Zz'dtri pulled Vaarsuvius towards him, arching and gasping as the kisses moved from his mouth along his jaw. Having finally managed to untie the fastenings, Vaarsuvius pulled the robes off of his thin shoulders, hands wandering fleetingly up and down his back, fingers flexing and grasping as red robes were discarded in a similar fashion.
Neither spoke, as nothing more that needed to be said could be done so with words.
Vaarsuvius closed the leather-bound book as the morning sun touched it's cover. Standing up, the elf checked that any spell components were within easy reach before going to stand next to Zz'dtri, who was doing the same.
"So, this is goodbye."
"Yes." the drow replied emotionlessly.
"For now." Vaarsuvius added with a smile, "And in future, who knows."
A rare smile touched Zz'dtri's lips. "I can wait." he said.
They kissed a final time, and then without another word, Vaarsuvius cast a Fly spell, rising effortlessly over the trees and up into the sky. Zz'dtri watched until the red speck was invisible even to his keen eyes.
He looked down, still smiling. "I can wait."
Without backwards glance he set off through the trees in the opposite direction. He had his own life to live.
And he could live it too, as long as he knew that somewhere, however distant, was someone who cared.