A/N: The genre isn't quite right, since I couldn't put everything I wanted in. It's a bit more Adventure/Romance/Hurt/Comfort/Friendship/Humor/Drama

Disclaimer: If I owned Oblivion, I wouldn't be writing this.

Líadain wandered the sandy shores of Lake Rumare, admiring how the crystal waters sparkled like jewels as they reflected the sun's hot rays. As she bent down to inspect some driftwood, a warm summer breeze accompanied by the smell of some nearby lilacs, and a dead fish, unfortunately, wafted by and lightly blew her dirty blond hair into her dark brown eyes. With a hand pale from remaining inside almost all the time, she tucked the wavy strands back into the leather band that bound her hair in a loose ponytail.

She crouched down on the white sand, her rough linen robes folding stiffly beneath her. She grasped the driftwood and tugged it in an attempt to dislodge the log. With one final tug, it came free, and she fell backwards in surprise. Pulling herself up into a sitting position, the small Bosmer ran her hands curiously over the wood. It was mostly smooth on top, but as she turned it over, she saw that the once light tawny bottom was now dark and rotting from water.

Líadain sighed quietly at the lack of any sort of moss growing on it. She had spent three days looking for ingredients, but so far hadn't found anything worth keeping. She tossed the wood carelessly over her shoulder, and blinked as she heard an 'oomph' from behind her. Líadain turned quickly around, and stood up. A small Breton with frizzy red hair pulled up into a sloppy bun was on the ground, with the driftwood in her lap.

Líadain blushed a dark red that nearly put the Breton's hair to shame and stuttered, "I-I'm so sorry, I should have been paying more attention."

She hurried over and extended a hand. The Breton pushed the wood off of herself , grabbed Líadain's hand, and used her for leverage to lift herself up. With a quick grin, the Breton laughed and said, "Do you always chuck wood at people, or do you just not like me?"

Líadain gave an uncertain smile and replied, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit you. What were you doing behind me, anyway?"

The redhead ran a hand through her hair, and jerked her thumb at the nearby docks. "I was just coming down here to do some fishing, and I got curious about you. I'm Ginette, by the way."

She looked expectantly at Líadain as she extended her hand. Quickly shaking Ginette's hand, Líadain responded, "I'm Líadain, apprentice alchemist to Sinderion the Altmer." Ginette blinked at her slowly before smiling and saying, "You aren't from around these parts, are you?"

Líadain shook her head and replied, "I'm from Skingrad, I was just sent here to find some ingredients. No luck so far though." Ginette frowned and pointed behind her. "What about that? I'm no alchemist, but it looks kind of interesting."

Líadain turned around to look at what Ginette was pointing to, and nearly gasped as she saw the bright green plant that seemed to almost be glowing. She rushed over, and quickly drew out her wooden sample jar from her black pouch that she wore on her hip.

Carefully, Líadain removed the plant from the ground and placed it into her jar. Standing up, she nearly hit Ginette, who was leaning over her shoulder with an interested look. "I'm guessing that it's something you can use, then?" She said with a smile. Líadain nodded her head vigorously. It was all she could do not to squeal with joy. "Yes! It's a Nirnroot...Sinderion said that they're supposed to be incredibly rare, because they don't grow back like most plants. I can't believe it."

Ginette grinned and said, "I guess that's what you could call a stroke of luck, isn't it?" Without waiting for her to respond, she continued, "You said you aren't from around here. Where are you staying?" Líadain pointed at the Imperial City and replied, "Luther Broad's Boarding House. This is my last day here. I had planned to stay for longer, but Sinderion will almost certainly want this soon."

Ginette nodded. "Oh. Have you seen much of the city?" Líadain shook her regretfully. "I wanted to, but I've been so busy gathering ingredients. I just haven't had the time." Ginette let out a mock gasp. "Haven't seen the city!" She tutted, "That just won't work, Missy. You're coming with me right now, and you're going to see the sights." Before Líadain could say anything, Ginette had grabbed her wrist and was dragging her toward the majestic city.


"Now, that is White Gold Tower. I'm certain that you haven't seen that yet!" Ginette grinned and pointed at the gigantic tower. Líadain rolled her eyes at her new-found friend, and looked up at the tower. Her mouth dropped open as she gazed at it. She had seen it before, but always from a fair difference away. "Catching flies with that?" Ginette poked her in the ribs with a smile.

Líadain reddened and closed her mouth with a faint smile. Grasping her hand, Ginette pulled her along. "Come on. We still need you to see the Arena." Líadain followed her quietly. She wasn't entirely certain that she wanted to see the Arena. She had heard that it was a bit gruesome, and she didn't really like the thought of people killing each other for money.

Líadain chewed on her lip doubtfully. She had spent most of her life in the company of Sinderion, and was a bit socially awkward. Then again, Ginette didn't appear to be the type to get easily offended. Líadain opened her mouth to tell Ginette that she wasn't sure she wanted to see the Arena, when she realized that they were already almost there. She dragged her feet slightly, but Ginette continue to pull her along.

By the time that Ginette had placed a small bet on the blue team and they were nearing their seats, Líadain had slowed down considerably. As they sat down, the gates to the Arena rose, and the fighters rushed out. Ginette grinned and leaned over to whisper to Líadain, "I'm glad that I bet on the blue team."

Looking at the yellow fighter, Líadain could see why. The blue fighter had a gigantic war hammer, while the yellow fighter had a small dagger, and was a rather small Imperial. She clutched her seat so tightly that her knuckles went white, and leaned forward in suspense as the blue fighter, a huge Nord, took a swing at the yellow fighter. The Imperial just barely dodged, and attempted to get a blow in.

As the Imperial lunged at him, the Nord grabbed him by the neck and tossed him into a bloodstained pillar like a ragdoll. Líadain cried out and covered her eyes as the blue fighter advanced on the still stunned yellow fighter. She grimaced as she heard a crunch, and the crowd cheered. Her eyes still closed, she started as she felt Ginette squeeze her hand. "Are you alright?" Líadain nodded slightly and slowly opened her eyes. As soon as she saw the smashed head of the Imperial, Líadain took back her words and threw up.

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Ginette gently removed Líadain's ale from her hands. She had already had two drinks, and Ginette didn't know how well she could hold them. From the way she was slurring her words after so few drinks, probably not very well. The last thing Ginette wanted was for Líadain to throw up again, she felt bad enough for taking her to the Arena. She sighed. She really should have known that the tiny Bosmer was too sensitive for stuff like that. And she had to admit, the fight had been a bit...bloody.

Ginette called Luther, the proprietor, over. She had no place to stay tonight, and it didn't feel right to leave Líadain alone. Especially not when she was drunk. Ginette had to lean forward to be heard, since the inn was rather crowded tonight. "You'd like a room then?" He asked, only half-listening. She could tell that he was keeping an eye on the large blond Nord sitting by Líadain. "Yes, please. Ten gold, isn't it?" Luther nodded, and took the coins that she gave him.

She started to turn back to Líadain, when she heard a loud, shrill shout. "Get your hands off of me, you big, blond dummy!" Surprised, Ginette saw that the person who had yelled was a rather intoxicated Líadain. Ginette nearly snarled when she realized the reason for Líadain's shouting.

The Nord had apparently had one too many, and decided that the Bosmer was too pretty to keep his hands off of. Ginette hurled all of her slight weight onto the Nord's back, and began to pummel him with her fists. Taken by surprise, he began to topple forward, straight onto Líadain.

She tried to jump out of the way, but as she was rather inebriated, she ended up smacking her head on a table, and knocking a Dunmer to the floor. As they fell to the floor, the last thing Líadain remembered thinking was that she would probably regret everything in the morning.

Then again, maybe she wouldn't remember.

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It starts off kind of slow, I know. It'll pick up the pace soon though.

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