Finding Peace

Artemis Entreri watched the dark elf he was travelling with carefully.

Jarlaxle was spread out atop a bed in the inn they had managed to stay in for the night, his eyes closed to the world, his breathing deep and even.

It was the first time he had genuinely seen the drow sleep. He was beginning to think that Jarlaxle didn't need to. This made him feel slightly better, now knowing the drow needed sleep like everyone else.

It wasn't that fact that had him study Jarlaxle though, it was the look on his face. He peace. An emotion he didn't know and was sure that Jarlaxle didn't truly understand either, despite what he might say to prove otherwise.

It made him wonder if he had that look on his face when he slept. He couldn't understand that if it were true...he hadn't felt at peace since he had been but a small boy, before two people he thought he could trust above all others had done the unthinkable and ruined him.

All his life he had been running away. First from home, then from feelings and from friendship...from himself, it seemed.

Looking down upon the calm features of Jarlaxle, the tiny lines that were visible to someone who knew what to look for when the drow was awake were gone.

He remembered being told once that the drow didn't dream and a sudden anger filled his thoughts. No wonder Jarlaxle looked so peaceful like this...he didn't have to deal with his failures, his nightmares...his life. Just the black oblivion of rest.

He thought about harshly waking Jarlaxle up, but shook his head clear of the thought. The thought of taking this small measure of peace from someone made him feel sick.

Which brought him back to something he had been thinking on for a while. He was beginning to think of his companion as a friend, was beginning to let feelings back into his life. He didn't trust Jarlaxle, but he didn't not trust him either.

It was then that the realisation struck. He had watched Jarlaxle as he slept before and had never seen him like this. Every other time, he had been on watch and there was a guarded look still in that black face. When he had went to wake the drow up, either to change guard, or to move on in their travels, he had almost lost his life to one of those knives of his.

He had a feeling today would be different. He was suddenly burning to ask the drow a question, one question where if the answer was yes, he couldn't possibly understand why. Why him? Why now?

Shaking his head, he kept on staring at that face. The whole image was shattered though as a frown crept on Jarlaxle's mouth, his dark brow furrowing. A muttered sentence in drow that he couldn't catch followed, before he went still again.

Not being able to bear to see that frown again he gently reached out and shook one shoulder.

He almost laughed at the response he got. Jarlaxle burrowed his head under the pillow it was sitting on and muttered something else in his own tongue.

"Jarlaxle, get up. The sun is about to rise and it would be wise for us to leave before then." Entreri stated, grabbing the pillow and lifting it off of the drow's bald head.

A glare was his answer and this time he did laugh. It was a sound that was foreign to even his own ears.

"Glad you find this amusing Artemis..." Jarlaxle replied gruffly, though it was plain to see that the drow actually meant what he had said.

They then both busied themselves with packing their few belongings, leaving the large amount of coin they had promised for the night on one of the bedside tables.

They then left the inn and the small town they were in to continue on the open road, trying to find a job along the way to - or at - the next town. They had gotten lucky before...

The question Entreri wanted to ask was like acid on his tongue, until he was able to spit it out, it felt like it was burning him. For reasons unknown to him, he couldn't ask though. Couldn't bear the answer he might get.

For once they walked in silence, the constant stream of babble that Jarlaxle usually maddened him with was exchanged by a somewhat melancholy mood.

Without meaning to, he asked him something he would probably later regret. "Why so quiet?"

Jarlaxle shrugged, threw him a small grin and stopped his walking. "I dreamt last night. Rare enough in itself. But the dream was pleasant."

Entreri raised one eyebrow then. Even in dreams he had seemed peaceful...maybe he did look like that when asleep.

"I dreamt of Zaknafein. He always wanted this. To see the surface without there being a raid, to see the sky light up as the terrible dawn came upon the land. To be free of the Underdark."

Entreri didn't understand this fully, only knowing that every now and then, Jarlaxle would bring up mention of this Zaknafein in his talking. Even the fact that the drow had been Drizzt's father had popped up a few times.

Silence crept up on them then, before his drow companion continued.

"Zak he named himself, and I followed the example. We were friends in a world that frowns upon friendship, beyond that of an ally who would sooner stab you in the back than warn you of the incoming knife."

Jarlaxle was lost in thought for a few minutes, before continuing on. "I knew that one of us would slip one day. I don't know if you understand but the day I learnt that he had been sacrificed to was as if my whole world had collapsed on top of me. I couldn't breathe..."

Entreri had never been one to make friends to lose, so that feeling he didn't understand, but the feelings that Jarlaxle had felt afterwards did. "You felt you were betrayed by him." He stated.

A small chuckle that held no mirth in it was heard then from Jarlaxle. "He was the only one I trusted...and he left me, even if it was his own choice."

Entreri was confused by that..."He sacrificed himself?"

Jarlaxle scowled at him, which was answer enough. Shaking his head, Entreri began to walk along the road they were on, wishing that Jarlaxle would spend some of that endless gold of his on some horses.

He didn't hear Jarlaxle moving but the drow was soon at his side. He didn't know if that was some drow ability he had seen over again in his stay at Menzoberranzan or if it was because of those boots of his. Either way, he didn't like it.

The quiet stayed with them for the rest of the day, before they stopped to rest off the side of the road.

Jarlaxle was to be on watch the first half of the night, but Entreri found he couldn't sleep.

Realising he should just get this over with, he turned towards the ever- alert drow and asked his question.

"Without lying can you answer me something?" He asked, getting a nod for an answer. Taking a deep breath he asked, "Do you trust me?"

Silence fell over their small camp, nothing but the crackle of the fire, or the hum of the nighttime insects filling the night air was heard.

Jarlaxle looked lost in thought. After a while the drow shrugged, looked over at him and smiled.

"Truthfully, I don't know?" Was the answer he got and sudden relief washed through him. Jarlaxle was unsure.

A small smile crept up on Entreri's face then as he lay back down on his bedroll.

He fell asleep soon after and, for the first time in as long as he could remember, he slept well. He had found his own level of peace.

A/N – I have no idea where this idea came from, but it makes sense to me. If it doesn't to you, I would understand that as well, lol. Ah well, hope you all enjoy this latest bit of drabble from my mind.