Author's Note: The idea is this: What would it take for Drizzt and Entreri to end up together?
A series of scenes set post Sellswords Trilogy for Artemis, but for Drizzt, his continuity is cut off after the last time he and Artemis met, The Silent Blade. Why? Because this is the next time Artemis sees him, so I use that as a basis for an alternate reality, since Artemis doesn't know what happened since their last meeting. I happen not to like the stories of Drizzt after The Silent Blade.
The cell was dirty, and filled with soiled straw. There were two chamber pots that smelled as if they'd never been cleaned in their inanimate life, and both tiny windows providing ventilation were barred. Spider webs were in every corner. It was a thoroughly depressing place.
Moreso because a haunted ex-assassin and a self-absorbed dark elven ranger had been thrown into the same cell, and now sat against opposite walls.
"What are you doing here? Shouldn't that partner of yours be here as well?" Drizzt pursed his lips.
Artemis stiffened. "Jarlaxle and I…parted ways."
Drizzt raised an eyebrow. "Parted ways? You make it sound like a mutual agreement. Somehow I doubt that either of you has the maturity or level-headedness for that."
Artemis' eyes burned with anger. "You always have to be right, don't you?" he snapped. "You can't leave me alone, even for a moment to have a civil conversation."
"I should have a civil conversation with you? Why?"
Artemis turned away, jaw clenched.
That's better, Drizzt thought, eyeing Entreri with distrust. What does he think he has to gain by conversing with me anyway? An escape attempt together?
"How," Artemis began, clearing his throat. "How is Catti-brie?"
"What?" Drizzt asked incredulously.
Artemis spoke slowly. "How is the girl?"
"She is no longer a girl, Entreri. She is a full grown woman." Drizzt narrowed his eyes at the man, irritated. "What is it to you?"
"In case one thing you haven't inherited from your people is an elven memory, Do'Urden, I recall plotting an escape attempt with her in order to save your life."
Drizzt snorted. "In order to help you escape the Underdark, you mean."
"In exchange for your life."
Artemis growled at him. "Is it so terrible that you allowed me to survive?"
"Yes." Drizzt stared at him. "Now that you mention it, yes. It is."
The ex-assassin looked away. "Fair enough."
That startled Do'Urden. He would have expected Artemis to make some kind of speech about how he was a man who did what he could to survive, and no one could judge him harshly for surviving successfully in spite of many attempts to get rid of him. Instead, here was this tired human man who didn't behave anything like Artemis Entreri.
It troubled him. He didn't like his foundations being shaken.
The Calishite actually winced. "Not that. Never that. Not now. D…Just call me Artemis. Please."
Please? Drizzt mouthed. He stared. Luckily for him, Artemis didn't notice his reaction. The ex-assassin was too busy looking at the cracks between the stones paving the floor.
"Then…am I to allow you in return to call me Drizzt?"
"If you care…to put it that way."
Drizzt shifted uncomfortably. "Then call me Drizzt."
Artemis nodded. He didn't look up. Finally, he muttered, "This is the end, isn't it."
Drizzt shifted again. "The end? What do you mean?"
Artemis favored him with a bleak smile. "I shall be tried and executed, Drizzt." He even winked, albeit it was a mirthless one. "Just like you've always wanted. Won't you be pleased?"
Drizzt summoned a rebellious scowl. "Even if you've changed, I don't see why you deserve to escape the consequences of your former self."
Artemis laughed, a colorless, bleak sound. "That's just it. I'm sure Jarlaxle would agree with you."
That made Drizzt immediately suspicious. "Why?"
The ex-assassin shuddered, an uncontrollable gut reaction. "That, you see, is why we parted ways, and if you decide to pry into my business, ranger, I may save our captors the task of killing you."
"Alright, then I won't ask," Drizzt retorted. "Now who's being uncivil?"
Artemis looked at him with a straight face. "I was being perfectly civil. Isn't it an act of civility to warn you about such things?"
"No, that's called a threat."
Artemis shrugged. "My mistake."
There was no food, and no water. Drizzt saw that as a desolate confirmation of what Artemis had speculated. They were going to die. He curled up and tried to find peace in reverie.