“I don’t wanna,” Kamelia said, her voice a low whine. “C’mon Lav, ple-ease!?”
Laveria didn’t answer. She took a deep breath, grabbed her sister by the nape of the neck and then gently pushed her through the door to World’s End Tavern. They marched straight through the main hall. Even though Haris made an attempt at saying “hi!”, Laveria simply shook her head, quickly. It was clear by the grim look on her face that some serious business was about to go down.
Kamelia trundled along, every step heavy as with impending doom. Even though she was carrying both a sword and shield, and an old but still functional armor, she was no where near as experienced or strong as her older sister. Things like this had happened before. Usually followed by some disciplinary actions (and her sister was very skilled in that area). Kamelia was not looking forward to a day of not being able to sit down without wincing.
“Of all the stupid, stupid things you ever done, Kam,” Laveria muttered, “This is really the pinnacle of it all!”
“You shut that piehole now or I’ll shut it for you.” She grunted. “We will have justice!”
They pushed the door open to the inner room and stepped inside. Laveria closed the door with one hand, reaching out for the handle behind her, without letting go of her sister or losing sight of the people in the room. Two draenei, one dressed in Cindercloth, the other wearing a heavy crystalline armor. The cindercloth said, with a thick draenei accent but perfectly understandable:
“Well, well, well, look what the ferals dragged in.” Sashanna raised an eyebrow, peering over the rim of her pewter mug. She chuckled, took a deep swig of ale and then slammed the empty mug on the oak table. “The Silvermoon slut is here!”
“Whatch your tone!” Kamelia was about to pull her sword. Then her sister grabbed her one by the hair and, not very gently, pulled her back. “Ouwie! Lavv, stop!”
Likewise happened at the table of World’s End Tavern. It was a private room, the din from the main hall was barely noticeable through the closed door. The innkeeper had tried to brighten the room up with some paper flowers and colored curtains but it still looked run down and tacky. At least it was warm. The fireplace was filled with thermal crystals mined somewhere in Blade’s Edge. Chromie huddled close to them, warming her palms, seemingly oblivious of what was happening behind her back. Of course – never take a dragon for granted, even if she is a gnome …
By the table, Shuanna grabbed her sister Sashanna by her ponytail, not exactly yanking it but giving the tail a short pull as she muttered:
“Don’t be stupid, Sasha.”
“Let me go!”
“Will you behave?”
“Yeah fine, whatever … ”
“Good.” Shuanna let go of her hair. “We don’t want to make a scene now, do we?”
Sashanna slumped down a bit, then she perked up, filled with a sudden flash of anger: “That two-timing .. Ugh!” She stood up, exasperated, and took a few angry twitching steps towards the blood elves, stopping half an inch short of the blonde one, Kamelia. “Slut.”
“Whore.” The blood elf didn’t flinch. She pursed her lips in anger and leaned on one foot, hanging her head to the side. “Betcha can’t find a comeback to that. Girl!”
“Oh, good one. I got a better one. Skank!”
“No, you are!”
“Yeah you are! Fucking chav you are!”
“Nu-uuh!” Kamelias face twitched with anger. It felt like she was losing this ‘battle’. “You are!”
“Oh dear … ” Laveria sighed. “Kam, please. Stand down.” She tugged her sisters hair. “I’m not letting you go until you do.”
“Ain’t getting out of this blue hoes face I ain’t!”
“Phah!” Sashanna realised only a fraction of a second too late that pursing her lips made her look like an angry duck.
“You know, Laveria,” Shuanna chuckled as she made her way closer to the confrontation, lighting her pipe as she did. “Maybe we should let them fight. Blow off some steam, eh?”
“The only fighting this little spoiled brat will be doing is her ass against my belt if she don’t back off,” Laveria said, tugging at the hair and glaring at her sister. “Kamelia! Behave yourself!”
“But she called m–”
“Right! That does it! You’re going over my knees right now, missus!”
“But Lavva, she ca–”
Laveria let go of her sisters hair, grabbed her chin with one hand and then slapped her with the other. The slap took them all by suprise, most of all Kamelia. She blinked, raising a hand to her cheek.
“Told you,” Laveria said, letting her sister go and took a step back. “Quit sniveling. You’re supposed to be a damned warrior, Kam!”
The pain made Kamelias eyes well up. As she realised she was about to start crying, the sudden pang of shame made the tears flow, even if she didn’t want to cry. She backed away from her sister, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand.
“You want another one huh?” Laveria scoffed. “I got loads of ’em.”
“But that fu–”
The next slap was a quick backhand flip. It sent Kamelia tumbling halfway across a serving table. Pewter platters and a bowl of cherries bounced and jerked, almost falling to the floor. She stared wide-eyed and slightly bewildered at Laveria, who winced and blew her knuckles muttering a short “dammit that hurt!”.
“Ooh, good one!” Sashanna said, chuckling. “Should’a beat the living cra–”
The slap, this one from Shuanna, cut Sashannas words short. She stumbled backwards, straight into the arms of a slightly suprised Kamelia.
“E-nough!” Shuanna glared at both of them. Blood elf and draenei, separated by worlds and by ages – yet they couldn’t stand being far away from each other. Stranger things have happened in the world, of course it has, but the world of lovecraft is a world of two people.
“You two either need to sleep with each other or sort it out with wooden swords,” Shuanna said. “This lover’s quarrel ends, right here. Right. Now.”
“But she called me a –”
“Ah-ah!” Shuanna raised her hand. “There are plenty of these for the both of you, Kam!”
“You’re siding with … ” Sashanna realised she was still pushing against Kamelia, so she stepped away with an embarassed grimace. “Shu! Seriously!?”
Shuanna took two steps forward and then slapped Sashanna.
“This was something I should have done years ago,” Shuanna said. She blinked, hard, because the way she treated her younger sister cut deep into her soul. She wanted to say how sorry she was, but instead she said: “You had that one coming, Sash.”
It wasn’t that hard a slap but Sashanna started to cry anyway. It was just silent tears with a short hick-up and a half sob now and again. Then something unexpected happened: Kamelia sidled up close to her, putting a comforting arm around her shoulders, leaning her forehead against Sashannas neck.
“I’m sorry … ” Kamelia whispered. She sighed, straightened up and looked at Shuanna, who had stepped up side by side with Laveria. It was a very peculiar detente. “Can we work things out? I … ” She sighed, giving Sashanna a long look. “Never mind.” Then she stepped away, just a step, nothing more.
“Kam … ” Sashanna sighed. “Ok, fine then … ”
“Maybe when you kids are done bawling we could sit down, have some bread and cheese and port, and behave like adults?” Laveria looked at them all, raising her eyebrows as awaiting a confession or an answer. “Eh? It’s not like you haven’t been … adulting. Each other. You two nearly started another war! Goldshire – Kam, honestly! Of all the places and …” She sighed. “And fake Id’s? Illusions? Who sold you that illusion scroll!?”
“That … could have been me … ” Chromie said, without turning around. “Let’s talk about that later, or before. This is very confusing. Or will be. It might be that it never confused anyone until everyone was there, before, or here. Back then.”
“Yo–” Shuanna grunted, not sure if she should be angry or bewildered.
“Please don’t mind me,” Chromie said. “I’m not here.”
“I … ” Laveria shrugged. “Sashanna?”
“Can we talk like adults now, perhaps?”
“Fine,” Sashanna said. She made it a point to pass closely by Kamelia, brushing up against her and giving a quick, threatening twitch. Right as she did so, she winked at the blood elf, half smiling.
Kamelia made an angry face at her … but then she winked as well and shot a quick half-glance at Chromie, raising an eyebrow. Truth be told she looked a bit mad, as if stricken by an uncontrollable twitch.
“Forgive my sister,” Laveria said in a calm, slightly hushed voice as she sat down on the opposite side of the table from Shuanna. As the others took their places, Horde on one side, Alliance on the other, she added: “She’s young. I shouldn’t have brought her.”
“Oh yes you should … ” Chromie whispered without turning. Then she shrugged, as if reminding herself she was not supposed to be there. “Oh, sorry. Don’t mind me.”
“I,” Shuanna hesitated, shooting a quick glance at Chromie, brow furrowed. Shen she shrugged again, and said: “We can’t allow this, you two. Isn’t that so, Laveria?”
“We’re at a phony war, true enough,” Laveria said and nodded. “The only reasonable solution would be for the both of you to join the Scryers.”
“Or the Aldor,” Shuanna said.
“Preferably the Scryers,” Laveria said, pinning Shuanna with an angry look.
“The Aldor accepts anyone and everyone,” Shuanna said, tapping her index finger against the table for each word: “We. Do. Not. Discriminate. Based. On. Race!”
“Yes! We’re the Good Guys! A’dal always bless us first!”
“Go fuck yourself!”
“Aldor, phah! The Scryers have excellent career opportunities! Our library is well stocked with anything from tailoring techniques to blacksmithing manuals! What’ve you got!? A fucking priest, that’s what!”
“You don’t TALK ABOUT THE ALDOR THAT WAY!!!”
“Fuck you, draenei!”
“You BLOOD ELF SCUM!”
Sashanna and Kamelia watched the fight unfurl for several minutes. Eventually, as both Shuanna and Laveria was struggling in chokeholds on the floor, Sashanna leaned close to Kamelia and whispered:
“Maybe we should pull their hair?”
“Leave ’em to it,” she whispered, very gently kissing the earlobe of Sashanna. “I have enough silver for a room, Sash.”
“Well … “Kamelia giggled, grabbed one of the wine bottles from the table and hid it under her cape. “I do now!”
“Chromie?” Sashanna said, as Laveria managed to push Shuanna straight through the unlocked doors.From the screams and shouts it appeared that the fight pretty soon spread to the rest of the inn.
“Mmm?” Chromie looked up, ever so slightly, without turning her head. They didn’t see her smile.
“Is there any chance ..?” Kamelia said.
“Well,” Chromie stood up, without turning. Still warming her hands, she mumbled: “Times change …”