Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, I am borrowing them, and I'm not trying to make money, only amuse a few people. The second part of this disclaimer is that this is an experiment, and not to be taken seriously. I wrote this for entertainment's sake when I was thinking about all the weird fandom romances that are out there already, and what kind of weird partnership I could add to the mixing pot.

Author's Note: Happens before Wulfgar is captured by Errtu.

Misguided Affection

"Hello, Wulfgar," Drizzt said. He was waiting outside of the door to Wulfgar's bedroom, his hands clasped behind his back.

Wulfgar retreated a step, back into the doorway, and looked down at his friend. He was somewhat distracted with thoughts of the wedding, which he was about to participate in planning and had been helping plan every day this week. "Well met," he said. He blinked. "What's going on? You don't usually stop in front of my door to say hello." Wulfgar thought. "You…don't wait for me outside my bedroom door."

"I wish to speak to you alone," Drizzt said, taking Wulfgar's hand and leading him down a deserted passage of Mithril Hall, looking around with his mysterious lavender eyes. "It is important."

"But couldn't my room do?" Wulgar asked, looking back at it. He hadn't even had the opportunity to close the door.

Drizzt smiled at him. "That would be inappropriate."

Inappropriate? Wulfgar felt, not for the first time, and not for the last, confused. It tended to be a constant state of being for him. "Alright, if you say so."

Now they were alone, standing at a secluded corner where the drow ranger could keep track of foot traffic coming both ways, making sure they wouldn't be disturbed. The elf had a strange expression on his face. It was oddly intense, and thoughtful.

"What is it, Drizzt?" Wulfgar asked. The blonde barbarian shifted his weight from foot to foot uncertainly.

Drizzt smiled at him again. There seemed to be something meaningful about that smile. "I think it would be best for you to sort out the feelings in your heart before you rush headlong into a wedding," the drow said.

Wulfgar, startled, thought of his training with Drizzt, and the identical advice he'd been given about rushing headlong into battle. "But I have," the blonde barbarian stammered. He scratched his head, remembering only then that he hadn't worked out any of the tangles in his thick mane of hair. He was hardly vain, and didn't even think about his appearance most of the time. It drove Catti-brie somewhat crazy, actually. She kept shoving him in front of a mirror and trying to get him to see how disheveled he looked. I'm a barbarian, he thought piteously. What do you expect?

Drizzt shook his head, gently amused at the typical reply that Wulfgar always had when the ranger reminded him to think before he acted. "Wulfgar," he said, and in his voice was a reminder.

Wulfgar blushed.

The ranger looked up at him, his violet eyes shining. He moistened his bottom lip, and paused, as if he didn't know exactly what to say, or if he did, how Wulfgar was going to react. "You think you're in love with her, but you're really in love with me, aren't you?" he said.

The barbarian gaped at him, stammered inarticulately, and took a step back, his cheeks turning a ruddy shade of red. "No!" He took another step back, regarding Drizzt with alarm. "No! I don't!"

Drizzt took a step closer, smiling all the while. "He couldn't expect you to really be in love with his adopted daughter," the elf said. "He raised you as his son; it didn't matter that you were of two different families – he played father to you both. You grew up together; as siblings."

"Yes, of course," Wulfgar said, frowning and perplexed, because he surely couldn't dispute that. "Catti and I were always very good friends. That's why it seemed so perfect that we ought to…" He trailed off. At the same time, he realized that he'd said too much, and that Drizzt had a good point in that he couldn't think of Catti-brie as anything other than a good friend. His heart skipped a beat, and he panicked. "Not all marriages are built on love of the sexual nature," he said. "It's not important, anyway. She needs someone to protect her, and I've been doing a good job so far, so why isn't it a good thing that Bruenor trusts me to take care of her? We're both human, we both know each other, we like each other –"

"That must make it perfect in Bruenor's eyes," Drizzt said, and his expression was affectionately exasperated. "My people, though they are often ruthless and cruel, aren't so different than his people, or of your people, Wulfgar. No matter what decisions we make in life, we are still people. Segregation is for animals."

"No one cares about the color of your skin," Wulfgar stammered. "If you're saying that –"

"I know," Drizzt said, shaking his head, and holding up his hands reassuringly. "Don't say that, I know it already. However, the old ways are still prevalent in Bruenor's mind. A dwarf to a dwarf, a human to a human, an elf for an elf. He expects me never to get married simply because there is no one of my own race that I could safely be married off to."

The blonde barbarian's head was spinning. "Are you saying that I ought to marry you instead of her?" he asked. "Men don't even get married to each other. It doesn't work."

"Why not?" Drizzt asked.

That was unfair of him to say, because Wulfgar didn't know. He just had one of those feelings, and when he had a vague notion like that, he scowled, put his foot down, and never let anyone dissuade him. It was just the way it was, darnit. Wulfgar looked unhappy. "I don't know," he said. Then his trademark scowl appeared. He clenched his fists. "But that's the way it is."

The ranger patted Wulfgar on the arm. "I'm not suggesting that you run off and get married to me," Drizzt said. "All I ask is that you consider what I've said before you marry Catti-brie. You've already admitted to me that you can't love her the way a man loves a woman." His eyes were sincere. "Give her a chance, a chance to find someone else who can be there for her in an adult way. She shouldn't miss out on that."

The barbarian returned his look with a stubborn frown, but eventually he just looked at the floor and sighed. "Alright."