Disclaimer: I only own a copy of Skyrim.

Summary: The Dread Father would laugh and dance with him before loyal Cicero would let that sly, honey-worded thief take his Listener away from him.

Rating: T because it's Cicero

Inspiration: My best friend

Pairings: Mentions of ByrnjolfxListener, CiceroxListener

Warnings: Cicero being Cicero

Other Notes: Nope

The Dread Father would laugh and dance with him before loyal Cicero would let that sly, honey-worded thief take his Listener away from him.

He had honestly liked him at first meeting. Sweet Listener had taken him to Riften, the home of cutthroats and thieves. She had mentioned that the reason behind their visit was a mix of business in pleasure. Listener was the Guildmaster to the thieves, so Cicero understood that she had to talk to Byrnjolf. He ran things while she was gone. Humble, loyal Cicero knew that he was Dark Brotherhood, and not Thieves Guild, so he agreed to leave the two alone to talk Thieves Guild business. Cicero was even agreeable to the fact that Byrnjolf and Listener were friends and had to catch up when it came to their personal lives.

But they weren't lovers.

So Cicero didn't know why it was so necessary for Byrnjolf to silently demand that he be closer to her. At dinner, he sat next to her in Listener's little Honeyside home. Cicero sat across them from, giving silent scowls at the thief. Every movement he made was carefully observed. They didn't seem to notice poor Cicero, too focused on each other. For a moment, he considered doing something drastic to get Listener's attention. The idea quickly left upon realizing that all it would accomplish was a sad Cicero on the back porch and an unhappy Listener.

A subtle growl left his throat when he saw Byrnjolf put his hand on her thigh. She didn't seem to notice, laughing at his story. The thief wasn't hurting her, so Cicero wasn't exactly sure why he was so upset with Byrnjolf being so close. Listener obviously trusted the honey-words of the thief, so Cicero should too. Listener had great judgement. Byrnjolf did seem like a trusty character, even for a thief. He was loyal to his word when it came to deals with the Brotherhood.

So why was he so bothered about his actions towards the Listener?

If anything, he should be happy for Listener. Byrnjolf would take good care of her, and it was obvious to many that he seemed to harbor feelings for her. Listener seemed to care for him too. Her eyes had that sparkle when she talked of Byrnjolf.

But it didn't make him happy.

It made him miserable.

Listener didn't really need Byrnjolf, did she? No, no, no! Cicero could care for her! Cicero was much, much more loyal than the thief, or any thief for that matter, could ever be. He had already vowed to serve and care for Listener as obsessively as he did for Mother.

She didn't need that sly, honey-worded thief.

Byrnjolf had no time for her anyway. Listener said so herself that after she helped bring the guild back to it's former glory, Byrnjolf had constantly told her that he was busy. Had more important things to do.

What or who was more important than the Listener? Cicero wanted to scoff at Byrnjolf's foolishness.

The Listener was important.

Very, very, very important.

A laugh distracted him. Listener had her head on the table, shoulders shaking as she laughed. Byrnjolf was nearly crying from laughter. Cicero blinked in slight confusion as he glanced from the Listener to Byrnjolf. He missed the joke, which made him feel more upset. Cicero loved a good joke and a laugh.

When their laughter began to die down, Byrnjolf gave Listener a huge grin and kissed her forehead.

"Ah, Ansley," he chuckled. "You're too much of a delight."

Cicero felt rage burning. He wanted to stab Byrnjolf. Stab using The Butcher's knife work. Very interesting. Cicero had never tried it before, but Byrnjolf seemed like a good victim to try it out on. Maybe he could follow the thief when he left. If he ever left.

Cicero scowled mentally at himself. Listener wouldn't let Byrnjolf stay the night. Well she would as a friend. But as a lover?

He watched Listener smile back in a slightly flirty tone. As much as he loved it when her eyes sparkled from joy, he hated it now.

He hated that Byrnjolf was making her so happy.

He hated how she seemed to bask in his affection.

He hated the idea of the honey-worded thief taking HIS Listener.

Most of all, he hated that he wasn't the reason she was so happy right now.

He had always been the reason her eyes sparkled, the reason she laughed and often why she smiled. She often picked him as a traveling partner, claiming the roads were lonely. With a smile, she always added to him that things were always better when she brought her loyal jester. Yes, Cicero was very loyal to his sweet Listener. Aside from Mother, Cicero pledged his loyalty to no other! Sweet, kind Listener spared poor, humble Cicero's life, and he was forever thankful.

But the way she was giving all the attention, attention that was supposed to be directed towards him, to that thief made his blood boil. He was tempted to use the Butcher's technique on Byrnjolf right then and there. But Listener wouldn't be pleased. No, she would be furious with poor Cicero. She would send him to the basement, or worse, be sent home. He loved Mother, but he loved Listener too. Not in the same way, no, no, no! Mother was Mother, his unholy matron!

But Listener...

He loved in another way. Not like Mother and not as much as his dear Mother, but it was more...affectionate. In a way that made him desire to be around her all the time. The way that made him feel like constantly touching her, whether rubbing her sore shoulders or back, holding her hand or his back against hers at night when they were traveling. This affectionate love rose hopes of one day kissing her. Not in the innocent way that she would kiss the foreheads of the children or the cheeks of close friends. No, a more passionate kiss with his lips against hers.

Cicero shot Byrnjolf a cold glare when he saw him wrap an arm around his Listener and ask her if she had heard what became of one of their newer guild members. Upon her no, he told her how he had managed to get engaged to Maven Black-Briar. His Listener's eyes widened in surprise as Byrnjolf told her the ironic love story of the two. The jester hated how much closer the thief was getting. His hate for him grew dramatically when Byrnjolf stole a quick kiss from her lips. She just giggled.


Didn't push him away or slap him.


"Cicero is going to sleep," he announced, standing, his glare never leaving Byrnjolf. As if noticing his secret hate, Byrnjolf immediately took his arm away from around the waist of his Listener and nodded towards the jester.

"Night," he replied.

"I'll be coming to be myself within an hour or so," his Listener replied. Cicero nodded and went to the small bedroom basement, where his Listener's old thane would sleep. Said thane was killed trying to protect kind and brave Listener from a dragon. Not that she would have needed help defeating a dragon.

The room also drowned out the sounds of Listener and Byrnjolf. He couldn't stand another second there before he would have lost control and slit the throat of the honey-worded thief. Listener would have NOT been pleased if humble Cicero did that. She would be furious, and he would have never accompanied her on another trip to anywhere again. Cicero didn't want to risk loosing that precious alone time with his sweet Listener.

He drifted to sleep with thoughts concerning how his dear Mother was faring while he was away.


Cicero's eyes snapped opened to see Listener in the doorway, in her nightdress. How long had he been asleep?

"Do you need something, Listener?" he asked, sitting up. "Does it involve sneaking and stabbing?"

"Why are you down here?" she asked, ignoring his questions.

"Cicero is sleeping," he replied. An eyebrow rose at her. "What is Listener doing here?"

"Just that...," she began, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot. "You normally sleep with me in my bed or next to my bedroll."

"Cicero didn't want to disturb Listener and the thief," he replied honestly. She gave him a look of bewilderment.

"Byrnjolf? He left shortly after you went to bed. I've been cleaning up dishes and the house," she informed him. A small blush then came to her cheeks. "I couldn't sleep."

"Does Listener need Cicero to warm her some milk?" he offered. "Or sing her one of the songs she loves of Cicero's?" She shook her head no.

"No, just come to bed with me. I'm too used to you being there next to me when I sleep," she said quietly. Cicero nodded as he got out of the small bed he was in and followed her to the double bed upstairs.

She immediately crawled into it and Cicero followed her example. After a moment of them fidgeting, they settled into their normal sleeping positions with them back to back. Withing minutes, Cicero heard her shift her position followed by deep, even breathing. She was fast asleep.

But he wasn't asleep. He felt wide awake. Thoughts of the thief kept crossing his mind. He scowled softly, as to not wake his Listener. She was his Listener.

Sighing, Cicero turned to face her. She was now lying on her stomach, her face turned towards him. Gently putting an arm around her waist, similar to how the thief did it, he pulled her closer to him. Mumbling nonsense in her sleep, she shifted closer to him. Brushing some hair awake, he kissed her cheek. This caused her to snuggle into him, making him feel giddy.

Pulling her as close as he could, he felt his eyes droop. His hands ran through her hair as he drifted off to sleep with fantasies involving sending Byrnjolf to the Void with the Butcher's technique.

The Dread Father would laugh and dance with him before loyal Cicero would let that sly, honey-worded thief take his Listener away from him.