A/N:Yay, timeskip. To be perfectly honest I had no intention of finishing this until Fable 3 riled up everybody's search for Reaver-fiction and sparked my review engine back up. I'd forgotten it had existed for all intents and purposes, so... if things feel disconnected or unexplained that was the best way I could think of to restart it. I'll try to fill in the holes as I go.
The only sounds that can describe the frigid air of the Northern Lands are breathless. They are the last whisper of heat escaping frozen lips, the quick whistle of wind spasmed from lungs that cannot function. They cannot be written. However, they are accented solemnly in the heavy clunk of too expensive boots on frosted planks.
The ground crunched thickly under our feet as the ship shrunk behind us. Snow floated sideways, from the sky, from the trees, swirling from the ground. It came as an onslaught from all sides. I did not narrow my eyes at this fury because he did not.
It was silly of me to forsake fur for my crown, but the diplomatic importance seemed such an critical thing to convey. Now, it was only silly with just Reaver left to witness it.
He seemed impartial to the weather, which was simply another maddeningly aggravating trait, one of thousands I was slowly learning to choke back. Sadly, only another I was learning to mimic. I was becoming a student of stoicism, and Reaver had become and extraordinary teacher, regardless if he realized it.
A heavy sigh broke through the whipping of the wind, melted its way between flakes of snow to my ears. It was a well-practiced, queued signal that he was ready to speak and that I should be ready to listen. These were all small touches I had memorized carefully, diligently practiced human expressions to be learned through example, practiced by someone decidedly inhuman. A way to know him, but still only another layer of paint.
It was scary to think I had a fresh coat myself.
"And what precisely do you propose we... propose to the Great Monk?"
It took an immense effort to scrunch my face at the well-hidden jab at Hannah's size, finding most of my pores filled with ice by this point, but I still completed the gesture. Another small study in the roll of human expression. Another modeled habit.
"I'll think of something," I assured him, sidling my way over a downed tree trunk. "Something to do with duty and defense and light, and all of that nonsense."
"Nonsense," he snorted, extending a gloved hand.
I took it, but did not mind it. Instead my gaze swept from side to side, trying to locate the source of the echo, but perhaps he was only learning as well. Six weeks on a ship could do terrible things to people.
"You'll have to wait for me to finish with her," I explained plainly.
"And what makes you think I'll stand outside the gate and wait for you to beckon me like a good dog?" His face smashed together into a familiar expression. He seemed to be stuck only seconds behind me. "Not that I need a go at her."
The monastery was looming in the distance, as well as something so small could loom. It was demanding my attention and my time, and it needed dealing with immediately. "Because no Hero in her right mind would believe anything you'd told her."
There was a sinking sensation that rang higher than my feet slipping through the frost, a brief pang of guilt that I was the Hero so misguided.
His reply was snide, the tone finally chiming with a bit of realism, irritation, "Well, get on with it then. I haven't got all day."
The fury of the snow was obscuring him in white before I even turned away, hiding his face from my view, but I was disconcerned. Ever the thorn in my side, he would find his way back unscathed, never lost for too long.
His hand released and my finger slid through his, as implied as everything else.