Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonlance or any of the characters etc.
Time for Chapter Two! Poor Bertrem how is he going to handle the drama? (And fights?) Enjoy!
Chapter Two: Relationship Troubles
Bertrem was growing increasingly nervous. Everyone had sat in silence for what seemed to Bertrem as ages. Every ones mood was hostile, the entire room was a fuse about to blow. Any second now, Bertrem thought, and the explosion will hit. So real did the chance of an actual explosion seem that Bertrem flinched as if preparing for the blow. He took a long deep breath and organized his thoughts.
"The-the first qu-question is..uh" Bertrem started to speak but, everyone turned and glared at him. If looks could kill he would have died. Bertrem's hands began to sweat and he wiped his hand across his balding head. Blessed Gilean, help me! He thought in desperation. Strengthening his resolve he took a deep breath and began to speak again.
"The first question is for Tanis Half-Elven." Bertrem said. There were several audible sighs of relief, particularly from Dalamar. Tanis's hands began to shake as Bertrem looked at him. Oh gods! Tanis thought. Why me?
"Tanis Half-Elven, How did your past relationship with Kitiara affect the decisions that you made during the War of the Lance?" Bertrem asked the thoroughly scared and stressed out Tanis.
Bertrem was holding a crisp piece of parchment eagerly awaiting Tanis's response.
"Well, uh..." Tanis gulped as he saw Larauna's earnest gaze. Tanis muttered a few incoherent sentences and looked down shamefacedly.
"I'm sorry but, I didn't catch what you said." Bertrem said completely oblivious to all the pressure upon Tanis.
"Yes Tanis dear, I didn't hear what you said!" Kitiara taunted the terrified Tanis. Seeing Tanis's expression Kitiara smirked.
"Well, it made things hard." Tanis said cautiously. He looked at his wife's expression and Kitiara's and saw that it was relatively safe to carry on. "It caused me lots of trouble with my decision making. But, in the end I realized that Kitiara wasn't important and that Larauna was." Tanis said, smiling at his beautiful wife. Larauna was happy with his response and smiled back at her half elf husband. Kitiara wasn't pleased.
"What was that half elf?" She asked with contempt. "I'm not important? I'm not important?" Her voice rose as she stood up from her chair. "I'll show you who's not important!" Kitiara yelled as she lunged across the table toward Larauna. She tackled her and they rolled onto the floor. They were locked in a vicious cat fight. Kitiara pulled on Larauna's long golden hair while Larauna scratched Kit's face.
It took the other people gathered a moment to realize that they should probably break up the fight. Tanis was the first one to jump into action and with Sturm's help they were able to pull Kitiara off of Larauna. Strum held the kicking, screaming, and swearing Kitiara while Tanis held his wife who was relatively calm. Tanis and Larauna returned to their seats while Sturm tried unsuccessfully to put Kitiara in hers.
"Let go of me you stupid knight!" She screamed. Sturm looked pleadingly at Tanis wondering what he should do. Tanis looked over at Bertrem who in turn looked at Dalamar who looked at Jenna.
"Oh alright!" Jenna said as she walked over to Kitiara. Jenna took some sand out of one of her pouches and threw it at Kitiara while she muttered the magical incantation. Drowshi! Once the sand touched Kitiara she fell into a magically induced sleep. The now slumbering Kitiara was dumped unceremoniously upon her chair.
Bertrem was rather bewildered. He hadn't even foreseen such a thing happening! The Aesthetic quickly tried to calm himself and regain control of the situation. He scribbled a few things onto his paper and then he focused once again upon the group. He saw Kitiara sleeping in her chair and Larauna looking disheveled. He saw Tanis looking very tired and confused. Finally his gaze settled upon the calm couple, Dalamar and Jenna. The two were quietly conversing with each other, seemingly unconcerned about the world around them.
"Okay everyone," Bertrem said to the companions. Once he had their attention he continued to speak. "Larauna, how did your past relationship with Tanis affect the decisions that you made during the War of the Lance?"
Larauna instantly blushed and looked down into her lap. She thought about how childish she had been following Tanis out of Qualinost. She then remembered falling for Kitiara's trap. She thought of all the stupid things that she had done because of him. Even though she looked down she was conscious of her husband's gaze upon her. He laid a reassuring hand upon his wife's shoulder.
"I was...childish..." Larauna said quietly. Bertrem was once again oblivious to the pressure that was being placed upon his interviewee.
"I didn't hear that." Bertrem said.
"I was childish and that-that clouded my thinking." Larauna said louder and stronger. Bertrem wrote down her response and looked up waiting for more.
"Due to my foolishness I fell for Kitiara's trick and I was captured by Lord Soth." Larauna said. Bertrem recorded that down as well. Larauna looked down at her lap once more, signalizing that the conversation was concluded.
"The next question involves Da-Dalamar and Kitiara." Bertrem said. He couldn't say the dark elf's name without trembling slightly. Dalamar looked up from his conversation with Jenna and paled once again. Jenna's hand was also once again squeezed almost to the point of being crushed. She whispered a few soothing words to her lover and he relaxed his grip, barely.
"Can someone wake up Kitiara?" Bertrem asked.
"I must advise against that course of action, Aesthetic." Jenna told Bertrem unemotionally. "She is unstable and may lash out again."
"Uh, Can someone perhaps tie her to the chair?" Bertrem asked hopefully. There was a moment of silence. No one wanted to volunteer.
"I will," Sturm said as he stood up and left the room. He returned with a length of rope. In grim silence he walked over to the snoozing Kitiara and tied her to her chair. This is not a good idea. Sturm thought anxiously. He took up his post behind her chair with a stoic military stance. Jenna stood up and walked over to Kitiara and released her from the enchantment.
Kitiara groggily looked around. Her expression resembled a mercenary who had had too many dwarf spirits. The momentary grogginess left and Kitiara glanced around angrily. Her stare fixed upon the smug looking Jenna.
"You," Kitiara growled. She tried to lunge at Jenna and was shocked to find that she had been tied to her chair! Who dared to tie me to a chair? Kit thought angrily. She looked around wildly, her malevolent stare landed upon Sturm. Kit tried to lunge again and instead the chair and her tumbled to the ground. Kitiara heard a sound much like many little chiming bells and she looked up to see Jenna laughing at her. If Kit didn't hate Jenna as much as she did she might have thought that she had a wonderful smile. Kitiara wiggled and vainly tried to release herself from her bindings. The still laughing Jenna left the pathetic sight of Kitiara on the ground and sat back down next to Dalamar who was also laughing at Kitiara's feeble attempts to free herself. How alike they are. Bertrem thought.
His attention was then back to Kitiara who was screaming horrible curses that would have made a hardened criminal blush. The greatly daring Sturm grabbed the back of the chair and yanked it back up to the proper position. Kit was breathing heavily, her screaming had momentarily taken her voice away. She fixed her hostile gaze upon the Aesthetic. Bertrem gulped and looked down at his parchment.
"Da-Dalamar, How did your relationship with Kitiara make it difficult to kill her?" Bertrem asked. The laughing Dalamar instantly hushed as did Jenna. Of course, Dalamar thought bitterly. That stupid Aesthetic had to ask about that.
"It made it difficult because I was susceptible to her charms. I wasn't able to understand that her intent was murderous until she stabbed me. In self-defense I killed her." Dalamar responded to the question. Jenna seemed pleased with the answer and kissed him on the cheek although once again Kitiara wasn't pleased.
"Excuse me, my dear," Kitiara said mockingly. "Did you just imply that it was easy for you to kill me? Because I remember you trying to persuade me that Lord Soth was behind it all and that you didn't want to kill me."
Jenna looked at Dalamar expectantly. This is just what I need. Dalamar thought caustically.
"I will admit Kitiara, that killing you wasn't the easiest thing that I have ever done." He said. "I-I really cared about you." Dalamar added quietly. So quietly in fact that only one person in the room was able to hear it and that was Jenna because she sat right next to him. Jenna squeezed his hand to offer reassurance. That was not the response that I was expecting! Dalamar thought. He was so sure that he was going to be in an argument with Jenna. Thank you Nuitari for saving me that inconvenience. He thought silently.
Bertrem wrote some more sentences on his paper. Only one more question he thought gratefully.
Kitiara was being uncharacteristically quiet. She was disappointed that she hadn't started a fight between Dalamar and Jenna. Oh well she thought. There is always tomorrow. Kit smiled a crafty smile and began to scheme. Jenna and Dalamar were once again talking to each other quietly as were Tanis and Larauna. Sturm was still standing behind Kit's chair.
"I only have one more question to ask." Bertrem said. Everyone looked at him momentarily startled. They had all forgotten the Aesthetic's presence.
"Sturm, how did your past relationship with Kitiara affect the decisions that you made during the War of the Lance?" He asked.
Sturm looked down. After a moment of silence he looked up and matched Bertrem's unwavering gaze.
"My past relationship with Kitiara caused me to want to have revenge against her." He said. He looked down again signaling the end of the conversation. Bertrem wrote down Sturm's response.
"Thank you all for talking with me." Bertrem told the group. "You all may retire to your rooms now." Tanis and Larauna both stood and hand in hand walked up the stairs leading to the Inn's rooms. Dalamar and Jenna also rose. Dalamar put his arm around her and together they also went to the staircase. Sturm looked down at Kitiara who was still struggling to free herself. He untied the ropes that bound her and then he quickly went up the staircase before she could strike him. Kit stood and still smiling her crafty smile she walked up the staircase lost in thought.
Bertrem gathered up his parchment and went to his room. He was shaken and frankly scared for tomorrow's interview between Tas, Flint, Raistlin, Dalamar, Tanis, and he shuddered, Kitiara. Bertrem got into his bed and fell into a restless sleep.
Sorry, another long one. Let me know what you thought about it. What should happen in the next chapter? Let me know what you think, thanks!