Disclaimer: I don't own Oblivion, Martin Septim, Baurus, Jauffre, Ocato, or... anything, really. Just the story itself.

For a while, I hated you for it. For not stopping to think. For being so bloody noble. For putting Cyrodiil before yourself, before me.

For not giving me the chance to tell you that I love you.

I think you knew. Why else would I have run all across Tamriel fighting hordes of Daedra without a complaint? I was nothing before I met you. No big aspirations, no desire for anything except a normal life. Then I met you, with those sad eyes of yours, so betrayed by the gods you'd served for so long... And all I wanted to do was make you smile again.

It wasn't love, not at first. This isn't a fairytale. Love at first sight doesn't exist. To be honest, my first impressions of you weren't the best. Angsty. Bitter. Defeated, like the life had been drained out of you. And sad, so sad.

I'd been planning to set off on my own when we got to Weynon Priory. I was going to settle down somewhere, Anvil maybe, and live quietly. Happily ever after. But as we traveled and I got to know you, you weren't bitter or weak or any of that... I was sickened by how wrong I'd been. When Jauffre asked me to come with you to Cloud Ruler Temple, I had to go - to say sorry, to apologise for not seeing you as you really were. For seeing the frog and not the prince, I suppose.

I think it began as the days passed, and you smiled more, and I learned more about you. I didn't leave your side except on your request. Can I fetch you the blood of a Daedra? Sure thing! Kill off swarms of undead? Sure! Enter Oblivion and return again, over and over and over until Dremora blood soaks through my boots? Of course. When can I start?

I did so much. Anything to make you happy. To hear you say "well done". I started to believe I could be a hero, a champion, as long as I was by your side. But I still lived for the times when I'd come home, back to Cloud Ruler, and settle down to talk with you. Do you know, I used to love watching you read? The little furrow of concentration on your brow was just so... you, I suppose. So Martin-esque. Like when I used to tease you, and you'd give me that little shy smile. What are you reading today? Fairytales?

It was all too good to be true, I suppose. Especially when we were preparing for the battle at Bruma. Do you remember that? When we were in the armory? I was scared, terrified that I wasn't going to make it through the battle. I couldn't bear the thought of dying, not when I still had so much to do, so much to say. Then I turned to you, and choked on my words with tears running down my face, and when you looked down at me... I kissed you. And you didn't pull away or react badly, you kissed me back and held me so tight and so close and...

Far too good to be true. This isn't a fairytale.

I wish I had listened to myself, the day we went to the Imperial City to see Ocato. I was going to tell you that morning. I was convinced I was going to lose you, I could feel it. I thought it would be too difficult to carry on after you became emperor, that we'd be distanced by class and duty. But then I convinced myself that you wouldn't let that happen! You were Martin Septim, and Talos save anyone who tried to stop you doing what you wanted. I didn't think I needed to tell you yet. There'd be plenty of time later, when you didn't have to think about lighting the Dragonfires or becoming emperor.

Ironic, I suppose. Maybe it was a fairytale. Just jumbled up, twisted, like Sheogorath himself rewrote the tale. No brave heroes rescuing princesses and killing dragons here, eh? I'll tell you the story. You always did like stories.

Once upon a time, a mighty warrior rescued a fair prince from the legions of evil. But the prince was not truly saved, for his heart was locked away, tight, where no light could reach it. The warrior traveled all over the world, questing to find something to release the prince's heart again. One day, when the warrior returned home at last, the prince smiled and his heart was free once more. The prince's heart was beautiful, and the warrior soon fell in love with it. But then the prince was caught by the evil Lord once more, and the warrior was not strong enough to protect him. A fearsome dragon saved the day and killed the evil Lord, but in doing so the Prince and his heart were lost. Nobody lived happily ever after. The end.

Skewed. All wrong. It wasn't supposed to be this way!

I spent days just sitting by the statue when you were gone. First screaming at it, demanding that the dragon should give you back, screeching blasphemy and curses at Akatosh until my throat bled. Then crying, and begging, and saturating the statue's clawed foot with my tears. Baurus had to practically drag me away in the end. I still visit you, though. How can I not? I must not lose hope. I have to see you again. Please...

Why won't it work? If this was a story, there'd be a way to get you back. You'd appear in the temple, smiling, telling me that everything was alright and we'd be together again and live happily ever after.

But this isn't a fairytale. No matter how much I want it to be.