Cicero, Crazy? That's… Madness!
A Skyrim One-Shot
By Hoenn Master
"Ho ho ho, and he he he… Break that lute across my knee~ And if the bard should choose to fight, why then I'll set his clothes alight!" –Cicero (Skyrim)
Skyrim: A beautiful land, teeming with creatures ranging from dragons, trolls, harpies- even demonic chickens! It is also torn asunder by war, greed, politics, and even religion, creating prime hunting grounds, not to mention good pay, for an assassin organization to take root and flourish. Most citizens live in fear that they will be devoured by a passing dragon, slain in the crossfire of a random battle, or even assassinated by a mysterious band of elite, self-righteous assassins called, "The Dark Brotherhood".
Interestingly, the Dark Brotherhood was, to the unassuming eye, more or less a group misfits and outcasts from across Skyrim, each having a long story behind their cowls, hoods, and other means of concealment.
It was no secret that one of the most important people in the Dark Brotherhood, Cicero the mad jester, was completely insane. Many, like Babette, the vampire healer, found Cicero's antics annoying, whereas others, like the wood-elf leader of the Dark Brotherhood himself, Cevenor, found the companionship of Cicero to be both a blessing and a curse: Entertaining one moment, and completely insufferable in the next.
It was on one of the good days that Cevenor decided to ask a question that had been burning to be asked for quite some time now.
"Cicero, why do use a more efficient method of assassination than a knife? I know that you can at least use a staff, so why do you use a simple knife?" Cevenor asked while resting on the body of a troll, tilting his head in the direction of his companion, indicating his interest.
Seeming startled by the question, Cicero fumbled for a few moments before answering very seriously, and without the typical jester's squeak, "Because, dear Listener, Cicero feels that the blade of a knife is much more reliable than magic; I may know how to use magic myself, and it is rather entertaining watching people burn, but I've had to kill too many mages to risk getting caught by those energy wielding fools and having them reflecting my attack back at me."
The Listener simply stared in shock, as he'd never heard Cicero talk 'normally' for so long before. "… I see, Cicero, but what about a bow? Surely you trust arrows to destroy your enemies; we hear the guards complain enough about their inordinate misfortune with them," Cevenor pressed, snickering at the guards' expense.
"Ah, that may be true Listener, but a bow is too precise and fragile to be much use in a brawl- hehehehe," Cicero countered, slipping back into his usual squeaky jester voice, and tossing his head back to laugh at Cevenor's joke.
Cevenor sat, stumped at what Cicero had said. While he valued other weapons, and used them regularly along with Cicero, the madman always seemed to prefer a knife over any other weapon in the Dark Bortherhood's arsenal, even though he had mastered every one: Now, he had the reason why. It was not because the knife was better, but rather, it was for both convenience, reliability, and a certain preference to be close to his enemies as they died; just so he could see the life leave their eyes.
Pushing himself off of the troll's body, Cevenor prepared the horses to ride onwards to Whiterun, commenting as he did so, "I guess I never thought about it much before now, Cicero; as long as you're careful, I want you to use whatever weapon you like most."
"Thank you listener!~ Oh, but Cicero asks one thing of the Listener; might I use the Wabajack to kill our next target? I would so love the opportunity to transform that traitorous inebriate into something a little more useful," Cicero pleaded, even going so far as to use his eyes in the cutest possible manner on the Listener to have his way.
"I… Very well, Cicero, you can use the Wabajack," Cevenor caved, hoping never to see Cicero transform his face into one of innocence again: Cicero and innocence were about as far apart from each other as possible, leaving Cevenor deeply disturbed at the sight.
"Whoopee! Thank you Listener!" Cicero cried out joyously, hopping up and down like an excited child.
Knowing he would regret this, Cevenor handed the wooden staff to his companion, hoping against hope that Cicero would contain himself until they found the target; he didn't want a repeat of the sweetroll incident*.
Sighing heavily, Cevenor mounted his steed, as did Cicero, and they continued their eventful trek toward Whiterun.