To inform

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Warnings/notes: Morrolan/Vlad, drabble-ish, ooc.

Disclaimer: The wondrous world of Dragaera was created by Steven Brust.

written at 4th august 2006, by Misura, for the livejournal-community 30kisses (theme: a letter)

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"Aliera, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but while you were gone, me and Morrolan - what?" I glowered at Kragar, who was shaking his head rather more emphatically than was good for my self-confidence, which wasn't all that great already.

"Too much beating around the bush," he said, not appearing to be the least bit offended by my less-than-friendly tone. "She's a Dragonlord, not an Issola. And you're a Jhereg."

"So what are you suggesting?" I asked. "That I just walk up to the big bad Dragonlord with the Great Weapon and say: 'Hey, Aliera, I'm the Easterner who's been sleeping with your cousin'?"

Kragar frowned. He probably didn't recognize the sort-of quote.

"Noish-pa wouldn't either, and he's the one who told you that story," Loiosh commented. He was in a good mood, apparently, since he didn't sound too smug about the fact that he did recognize the quote.

"You want to make this quick and painless, don't you?" Kragar inquired.

"If I can choose between slow and painless or quick and painful," I started, before I noticed the way both Kragar and Loiosh were looking at me. "Yes." I reminded myself that I had actually requested Kragar's help with this. He'd been a Dragon after all. He should know how I could tell Aliera about me and Morrolan without getting myself killed. I hoped.

Kragar nodded. "In that case, you want to be direct and to the point. Just spit it out."

"But what if she wants to kill me?" I complained. "If she's going to draw Pathfinder, I'd rather get a bit of a warning in advance. Doing it your way, I'm only going to get half a second, and that's when I'm lucky."

"If you're really lucky, she's not going to draw on you at all," Loiosh pointed out.

"Vlad, believe me. If Aliera decides she wants you dead, you're dead. Half a second isn't going to save you, and neither is half an hour." Kragar looked pensive for a few moments. "Although you might want to try and get her to take you out with a spell or an ordinary weapon, instead of Pathfinder."

"Any suggestions about how I'm going to accomplish that? Somehow, I don't think asking her nicely is going to work." I shook my head. "Never mind, let's tackle one problem at a time."

Kragar opened his mouth and closed it again. Loiosh was giving me one of those silences that speak volumes. I ignored him and stared expectantly at Kragar, my expert on the social niceties of Dragons.

"Your best bet seems to be to simply come clean and hope for the best," he said. "She probably won't kill you right away. It'd be rude."

I decided I didn't really like the way he was using words like 'bet', 'hope' and 'probably'. Nor, upon reflection, did I much care for the term 'not right away'. It implied some rather unpleasant things.

"What do you mean: it'd be rude?" Did Dragons frown upon people killing their lovers, regardless of whether or not said lover was 'worthy'? If so, it'd be the first piece of good news I'd heard all day.

Kragar shrugged. "You're going to tell her at Castle Black, right? As in: Morrolan's home? You're not exactly a guest there, so you don't have that kind of protection, but Morrolan's got enough spells on the place that he knows anything that's going on in there within half a minute, if not sooner."

Personally, I suspected it was more thanks to the servants than due to any spells that Morrolan appeared to know just about everything that was or had been going on around his home, but now didn't seem all that good a moment to inform Kragar of that. He probably knew, anyway. Maybe it was also 'rude' to refer to someone's servants as actually having a use, aside from the obvious.

"And that means it'd be rude for Aliera to off me, because?" I inquired.

"Well, in theory, and from her point of view, if anyone's honour has been offended, it'd be Morrolan's." Kragar shrugged. "It would be bad manners for her to simply assume he was besotted with you."

I blinked. "Would you mind running that last part by me again?"

Kragar sagged a little further in his chair. "Look, it's like this: the only person who can decide whether or not it's an offense to Morrolan's honour that he's slept with you, is Morrolan himself. Are you with me this far?"

I nodded, not bothering to correct Kragar about his putting the fact of my escapade with Morrolan in the past tense, rather than in the present. He'd been freaked out enough by the idea of me having spent the night in Morrolan's bedroom just once, and he'd only calmed down a bit when I'd assured him that both me and Morrolan had been very drunk at the time.

"Now, we all know Aliera likes to stick her nose in other people's business," Kragar continued. "If she decides you deserve to get your soul sucked out, she's going to assume that Morrolan feels the same way, what with his being a proper, honorable Dragonlord and all. Therefore, it'd be extremely impolite to kill you herself."

I was beginning to see, and I didn't like what I was seeing very much. "You're saying that she'll ask Morrolan's permission first, and if he refuses to give it to her, she'll go through with it anyway, because he'll have proven that he doesn't think clearly when it comes to me."

"Basically, yes." Kragar nodded.

"Morrolan's not going to let her kill me," I said.

"Then you're screwed." Kragar sat up a bit straighter. "Mind you, this is only if she takes offense. You can't be sure if she does. Talk fast, and get Morrolan to back you up without sounding mushy about it - no problems, there, I think."

"No, I don't think so either." Morrolan's idea of romance was to have dinner for two brought up in a tray to his bedroom. Practical, I had to admit, and it beat getting snubbed and sneered at by Morrolan's other guests any day.

"You're set then." Kragar sounded relieved. "Just remember: quick and painless does it."

"Aliera, I've been sleeping with your cousin." Well, when I was talking to Kragar, it was easy enough to get out of my mouth. "Please don't kill me."

"I'd suggest you leave off that last part." Kragar groaned.

"He's right, boss," Loiosh agreed. "When a teckla squeaks at me, I never listen either."

"Maybe I should simply write her a note," I mused.

Neither of them so much as cracked a smile.

I sighed, thanked Kragar for his valuable input with only a slight hint of sarcasm, and instructed Loiosh about what he should do in case Aliera lost her temper and didn't go to check on Morrolan's sanity first.

the end