Disclaimer: The recognizable characters appearing in this story are © R.A. Salvatore and TSR: Forgotten Realms, all rights reserved. They are used without permission and for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being made by the author for writing this story. No infringement upon nor challenge to the rights of the copyright holders is intended; nor should any be inferred.
*This is the first fanfic I've actually written out. Be warned. Oh yeah, and I'm a GIRL.*
Drizzt stood atop Bruenor's Climb, the wind blowing his thick, white mane into his face.
"C'mon Guen," he said to his sleek black companion, "it's time to go."
Drizzt sighed. He did not really want to leave Icewind Dale, but he had to get away for a while. When depression stole over him, Drizzt did not like people to be able to see. He left, to sort out his feelings on his own, rather than burden his friends.
"An' just where do ye think ye're goin'?" Drizzt whirled around. Lost in his thoughts, he hadn't even heard Catti-brie come up behind him. He was glad it was Catti-brie - on the tundra, such carelessness could get him killed.
"Away for a while," Drizzt answered curtly. He wanted to leave, not have to talk to people, especially Catti-brie. The thought that she might find out where he was actually going horrified Drizzt. "I'll be back in a while."
"Without even sayin' goodbye? Ye're doin' this all too often, Drizzt. What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he said forcefully. "Really, I have to go."
"I know ye have no particular place in mind to be goin' to. An' I'm not lettin' ye leave 'till ye tell me what's eatin' ye. I know ye too well to believe ye're tellin' the truth."
"It's really nothing. Believe me. Just a bit of wanderlust."
"Ye're lying." He didn't know how she knew, but she always knew when he was lying.
"No, I'm not." Drizzt tried to maneuver past her, to no avail. "Can I please leave?"
"Well, if it really is 'just wanderlust', then ye won't mind me comin' with ye."
Drizzt was at a loss of what to do. He needed to be alone, and he knew Catti-brie wouldn't let up until she got answers. So, he whirled around and was going to make a run for it, but Guenhwyvar barred his way. He turned to face Catti-brie again, utterly defeated. Even Guen was against him, which made him feel even worse. Catti-brie took one look at his face, and knew that she had pushed him too far.
"If ye don't want to tell me, I can't help ye, whatever the problem. But, that's ye're choice." She stepped forward and wrapped Drizzt in a tight hug. "But come back soon. Everyone misses ye when ye leave." She stepped away and let him pass. Drizzt flew down Bruenor's climb, knowing Guen would follow, but not caring if she did. Catti-brie stayed atop Bruenor's Climb for a long time after Drizzt disappeared in the distance. How she loved that drow, and it hurt her that he wouldn't tell her what was wrong. She turned around and went back to the caves, for the long wait until he returned once again. Catti-brie worried immensely for Drizzt, every time he went off like that, but this time she was worrying more than ever before. Something seemed extremely wrong to her.
Drizzt ran along the road. He regretted leaving Catti-brie like that, but there was nothing he could do about it. He wouldn't risk doing anything to turn his friends away from him. Ironically, though he didn't realize this, by doing things like he had just done with Catti-brie, that was exactly what the drow was doing.
Once he was sure nobody was following, Drizzt turned off into the forest. He ran on through the night, seeking out his secret place.
Catti-brie had come to a decision. She would follow Drizzt, and see what he really did on these frequent sojourns away from his home. She grabbed some supplies and Taumaril, her bow, and left a note for Bruenor, telling her father where she had gone. She strapped Khazid'hea to her hip and quickly left the caves, avoiding anyone who would try to talk to her. Drizzt had a head start, and she wasn't sure if he would be covering his tracks or not. She needed to catch up to him in a hurry.
Catti-brie traveled like the wind, and sighted Drizzt just as he went off the road. When she reached the place, Catti-brie was dismayed. She had hoped that Drizzt would be so deep in thought that he would be careless and leave some sort of trail, but this was not so. There was only the faintest of trails, one she knew she could lose easily. But, Drizzt meant more to her than anyone else in the world, not that she had ever told him this, and she was so worried about him. She decided to risk getting lost. The price she might pay for not trying was too high.
Drizzt was too deep in thought, in self-pity, to take notice of his surroundings. He had sent Guenhwyvar back to the Astral Plane almost half a day before, and he was completely alone now. That was the way he liked it, when feeling like he did. He fell deeper and deeper into a depression. Deeper than ever before. Recognizing the danger, Drizzt called Guen back. In case he did anything foolish, she would at least be there to stop him. He placed her figurine on the ground.
"Come to me, my shadow." Guenhwyvar heard his call and immediately a gray mist swirled around the figurine, solidifying into the black panther faster than ever before. Guen was worried about Drizzt, too. But, she sensed an even greater need. She rubbed against Drizzt's legs and then shot off into the darkness.
Catti-brie was completely and utterly lost. She knew that it had been a foolish idea to try and follow Drizzt, but she was so sure that he needed her. Or, at least, needed somebody. But, now, she was no help to anyone. Her food would run out in a couple days. She hopped that Drizzt would pull himself together soon enough to get back to Icewind Dale, find out from Bruenor that she was missing, and come find her. An utterly humiliating thing, but much more preferable to starving to death.
A rustle came from the bushes, and Catti-brie whirled around with Taumaril up and ready. It was only Guenhwyvar, and never was Catti-brie more glad to see the great cat.
"Guen!" she cried. "Can ye lead me out o' this durned forest? Or to Drizzt?"
Guenhwyvar turned and started to move off, glancing behind now and then to be sure Catti-brie was following.
Drizzt felt entirely abandoned. First Guenhwyvar had turned on him when he tried to escape from Catti-brie, and then she disappeared the fist moment he brought her out. Guen appeared at his side, purring and rubbing against his legs.
"Where were you?" He asked her, not expecting an answer. He continued walking, not noticing that he was being followed. Guenhwyvar did, and knew that it was merely Catti-brie. The cat kept an eye on the girl, making sure she didn't get lost again.
Drizzt found himself in "his" secret grove. He had found it during one of his wandering journeys. There was a bubbling stream running through the center of it, and a mini waterfall cascaded onto smooth rocks. A bed of soft moss surrounded the stream. It was a beautiful, serene place, that lifted Drizzt's spirits considerably when he was feeling down. This was one of the few times that it wasn't enough. Drizzt sent Guenhwyvar back to the Astral Plane, and settled down to sleep. Catti-brie, hidden in the forest, did likewise.
The next morning, Drizzt did absolutely nothing. He went swimming once, but that was it. Catti-brie kept just enough of a watch on him to be sure he wasn't leaving. She knew that there was more to his trips than just playing around in a grove. She doubted that he would have so vehemently objected to her going with him, if this was all he was going to do.
At dusk, Drizzt called Guenhwyvar again. She was still tired, but sensed that her master needed her.
"I have to tell someone, Guen," Drizzt said. "I feel as though I'm going to burst."
Guenhwyvar curled up at his feet, content to listen. Catti-brie's ears perked up. This might lead to some answers.
"What am I doing here?" Drizzt started. "I'm a drow. I don't belong on the surface. Nobody will ever accept me. The first thing everyone does when they see me is attack." Catti-brie had to fight to remain where she was, to not go out and remind him of the friends he had. "And what of the friends I have? All will be gone long before me. Mooshie is already gone, as is Wulfgar. Where am I to find acceptance when they have all passed from this earth? What are the odds of me finding more friends like them? Bruenor has saved my life many times, as I have done for him. What am I to do when he is gone? Regis, who provides such entertainment, and an ear to listen to. Little Rumblebelly will soon be gone from my life. And Catti-brie. My darling Catti-brie. I will have to watch her grow old and die, as will both Regis and Bruenor. How will I be able to stand that, Guen? Watching my beloved Catti-brie pass from this earth? And what of love? Am I to live my life loving in vain? For Catti-brie shuns what I wish to offer her. And why, Guen, why? Because I am a drow? Because she can stand to be friends with me, but the thought of being my lover, my wife, repels her?" Drizzt poured his heart out to Guenhwyvar, revealing all his fears and doubts. Tears streamed from his lavender eyes, leaving glistening trails down his ebony skin. It took every ounce of Catti-brie's willpower not to go to him then, not to offer some solace. But she knew that he was not done, and needed to finish; that he wouldn't finish were she to appear. "Who would accept a drow, Guen? Who? I was better off in Menzoberranzan. Perhaps I should return there, or end it all right now." Drizzt started to draw one of his fine scimitars, and Catti-brie paled, thinking of what was to come. She started out from hiding, but Guenhwyvar was faster than her. The too smart panther batted the scimitar out of Drizzt's grip and out of the drow's reach. Drizzt enveloped the cat in a huge embrace, sobbing into her thick fur. He knew that after this he would feel much better, but at the moment, Drizzt merely wished the pain to go away.
Catti-brie softly went to the edge of the grove. Trying to decide whether or not to let Drizzt know how much she had heard. She made up her mind quickly, for it pained her more than anything to see her dear friend like this.
"Ye should do neither." Drizzt whirled around at her voice, swiping a hand quickly across his streaming eyes.
"How long have you been there?" He demanded, stepping backwards, thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated.
"Since yesterday." Drizzt blushed deeply. That meant she had heard everything. Catti-brie could see him blushing, and amazing feat considering his dark skin. He started to turn away, but Catti-brie darted forward, grabbing his shoulders to force him to at least face her. He kept his eyes on the ground, however. "Listen to me. Look at me." Catti-brie moved the drow's head until his lavender eyes flickered past hers, and she held them there. "Ye've got yer friends on the Dale, who love ye like family and each one of us would gladly lay down our lives fer yers." It was never more apparent to Drizzt than when Catti-brie was upset that dwarves raised the lovely human girl. "Ev'rybody dies, and ev'rybody has to watch th' people they love die. 'Tis a fact of life. And ye're not better of in that stinkin' Underdark, no matter what yer thinkin'. And as for meself, yer one hundred percent off th' mark. The reason why I turned ye away was not because yer a drow. Why should that matter to me? It's because I'm afraid. Look what happened to Wulfgar. I couldn't stand it if anythin', even remotely similar to that, happened to ye. I lost Wulfgar, and I'm not taking any chances of losing you too." They were both crying now. Tears silently streaming down both their faces. Drizzt was amazed. This was the most open Catti-brie had ever been. "But, talk to people. Tell yer friends yer problems. They'll listen. Don't keep them bottled up inside. Trust me, it does nothin' but hurt ye more. A man was walking down the road and fell into a hole. The walls were so high and steep he couldn't climb out. A cleric walked by, and the man yells 'I'm stuck in this hole. Can ye help me out?' The cleric writes a prayer down and throws it to the man. A healer walks by, and the man yells again 'I'm stuck in this hole. Can ye help me out?' The healer writes down a healing potion and throws it to the man. A friend walks by, and the man yells, 'It's me, Danilo; I'm stuck in this hole. Can ye help me out?' The friend jumps down with him. The man says 'Ye durned fool, now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Aye, but I've been down this hole before and I know the way out.' Ask for help, Drizzt. All you need to do is ask."
Catti-brie pulled Drizzt into a tight hug, which he needed more than anything right then. They stood holding each other for a long time. Drizzt felt the black cloud of depression leaving, once again. He knew it would be back, but didn't worry, for he knew Catti-brie would be beside him through it all.
"Aw, heck," Catti-brie said. "Let's give it a go, and see what happens." She pulled down his head and kissed him deeply. "And this time it's not the durned sword." They laughed over that and Drizzt kissed her, for a long time. Neither wanted it to end, but both were exhausted from the emotional outpouring they had experienced. Drizzt sent Guenhwyvar home, and in the morning, they started back for Icewind Dale. Together.
Tell me if this is any good? I've got millions of these in my head, plus things in the books switched around to how I would have liked.