Disclaimer: Don't own and never will.
AN: This was inspired by a conversation I heard between Talen-Jei and Heming Black-Briar.
"Why are you determined for Talen-Jei to be your valet?" Sibbi Black-Briar asked as he sat down beside his brother. "You seem obsessed with that lizard."
"What does it matter to you brother? We're the Black-Briar family. What we want, we get," Heming said and Sibbi shrugged. "Besides, it's not like you're not obsessing over that Svidi."
"Svidi was my lover. And she was the one who had me arrested," he leaned over to Heming. "Nobody does that to me, or our family. We're Black-Briars and we do not tolerate slights like that. She made me look a fool, abandoning me on our wedding day!."
"Then you understand," Heming said as their food began to arrive. Sibbi rolled his eyes.
"Is Talen-Jei your lover then? Your fiance?" he asked and Heming glared at him.
"Stop winding up your brother at the dining table," Maven said firmly. "But your brother is right. You're obsessed with that lizard. Surely there are others who would also fit that role."
"But mother...he's an Argonian. His kind are simply used to servitude. And someone of his status, of his species, should not be rejecting me. It's disrespectful!"
"Positively disgraceful," Ingun drawled sarcastically, but before Heming could reply, his mother cut in.
"Their gold is good. That's all that matters," she said with a growl before pointing her fork at Heming. "You've spent too long across the border in Morrowind. You're starting to pick up bad habits from the Dunmer."
Heming flushed and Sibbi laughed.
"Maybe he has a lizard lover over there. Some slave for him to romance no doubt," he teased and Heming growled.
"Brother or not, you say that again and we will have words with fists."
"Now, now big brother, you know that you can't get into any more trouble," Sibbi said, wagging his finger.
"Like you can talk," Ingun said almost nonchantly. "Didn't you get locked up in a cell because mother was happy to let you rot?"
"I think you've spent too much time with strange alchemical brews," he replied testily.
"He spent eight months in a cell because he was overreaching himself," Maven snapped coldly. "Kill people if necessary, but not more. You should never have killed Wulfur."
"Well he came at me with a knife-"
"No he didn't," Maven said, abruptly cutting him off. She looked at him with disapproval. "Lie all you like to the city guard and adventurers, but don't lie to me."
"Yes mother," he said, looking down.
"And you should never have been having an affair anyway," she continued. Sibbis shrugged.
"I like the ladies," he said and Maven scowled.
"Just like your father," she said, before continuing. "You were careless. You should NEVER have gotten caught. We are Black-Briars and always respectable business people. At least, on the outside. And the most important aspect is that we do not get caught red handed."
"There are no accidents!" she snapped. "You were careless. If you are this careless with your lovers, how can you be trusted to run the delicate matters of business?"
He was saved from answering by the arrival of their desserts.
"You overreached yourself and paid the price," she continued as they began to eat their desserts. "You would do well to learn from that Heming."
"No. Your obsession with that lizard is leading you down the same path to trouble as your brother and I will not have my sons become more trouble than they're worth."
Heming flushed with embarassment.
"Mother, I do not think-" He began, but she cut him off.
"But I do," she said in a tone that would brook no argument. "I very much do."
Heming sat and smouldered in quiet anger, his face burning. Ingun suddenly began coughing and Sibbi resisted the urge to smirk.
"It is of no matter," he said after a few moments of silence. He turned and faced Ingun. "So tell me dear sister, how goes your studies?"
As Ingun began animatedly talking about her alchemy studies and latest experiments, Sibbi looked sideways at his brother and smiled. That was a clever distraction indeed.