Author's note: Alright, this is a serious fic about the Dark Brotherhood, it's a oneshot based around the end of the Skyrim DB quest line, so spoilers ahead! You've BEEN warned.
The emperor sat behind his impressively handcrafted desk staring down at some documents as he waited for the meeting of destiny that he knew would take place. He could feel it on the hairs of his neck, a cold shadow approaching and he almost shivered. But no, he accepted his fate and knew it was for the better of Tamriel.
There was a knock at his door.
Titus looked up and answered, "Yes?"
"Sir, there isn't any disturbances, we'll be departing for cyrodil within the hour, sir!" Came the voice of one of his personal guards.
Emperor Titus sighed, the shadow grew colder and he almost felt as if there were a pair of cold arms wrapping around him in a morbid embrace. He closed his eyes and whispered, "To Sovrngarde."
There was a thud against the wall beside the door. Titus looked up to the door and waited for the battle that was surely to take place.
"Assassin!" Swords were drawn.
"Kill hi-Gah!" A thud sounded not a moment later. There was the thudding of boots running, metal met metal. Titus watched the door, his hands unconsciously gripping the armrests of his chair and he almost stood.
Metal clashed again and a scream muffled by the wall followed. Some more sounds of struggle, then the door burst open and in rushed a wounded guard, he slammed the door shut in front of one of his fellows who, from what Titus saw in the flash of motion, was falling to the floor with an arrow through his back.
"Emperor! Get behind your desk, sire!" The guard barked, turning to the door and failing to notice the Emperor was already behind his desk. Titus didn't speak, he knew that his guard and himself would not survive. Instead, he waited.
Silence reigned a moment.
The door flew open with an explosive force and flames washed into the room along with the singed door, a powerful fire spell. The guard reared back when the heat washed over him and he raised his sword to defend any sword attack that might come for him.
However, from the smoke of the flames came a blur of silver and the guard flew off his legs and onto his back on the floor. A steel arrow embedded right where his heart would be, deep enough that Titus knew the arrow point was likely broken beneath the man's back.
The guard struggled to rise, then fell back and the light faded from his eyes. Titus tore his gaze away to the door and from the smoke he saw a robed shadow, a vicious bow in one hand and an arrow in the other.
Titus took a breathe, then said, "I have again proved Maro the fool," he sighed softly and shook his head. "I told him you cannot stop the Dark Brotherhood, not ever." he gestured the figure into the room, "Please, come inside. You didn't come this far just to gawk, did you?" he offered a courteous smile.
The robed figure head tilted ever so slightly to the right and Titus almost didn't catch it. The Assassin was no doubt curious as to his behaviour, but he entered the chamber anyways. His head moved right and then to the right. Scanning for threats before looking back to the Emperor.
He could barely make out the face, even in the heavily lit room the hood of the assassin shadows most of his features. He could make out the lips, the sun kissed skin and barely visible dark locks of hair, everything else was shadowed.
Seeing he wasn't going to speak, Titus did so, "I am to die here, that is how it will be. But I have accepted this fate," he explained and gave another small smile. "But, such if the destiny of Assasins and Emperors, no?"
The robed man didn't move, but even when he couldn't see those eyes Titus knew the man was staring right at him since there was a weight to the man's gaze. "You… were expecting me?"
The man's voice was cool as a breeze, but there was an underlying tone of anger. A deep seeded anger that was urging to be released.
"Yes," Titus nodded, "I was, as I said. This is destiny our meeting," he gestured to himself then to assassin. "I do, however… have a few things to say before I die, if you would allow an old man his dying words?"
There was a pause, then the robed man nodded.
"Thank you for the courtesy," Titus nodded graciously and explained, "I will die here, yes. And you will lead your Brotherhood to glory, I sense the ambition within you," he appraised the assassin a moment before continuing. "I…want you to put an end to the one who transpired all of this. When you are rewarded, I want you to kill your employer."
The Assassin stared, his lips formed into a frown. But Titus could feel the swirling thoughts of the man before him so he pressed on. "Think of it as the dying wish of an old man at the end of his days," he smiled.
The Assassin didn't speak again for a few moments, then he nodded. "You are brave, Emperor Titus Mede the second," he praised lightly with a smirk, "I will consider your offer, but I will offer you this certainty."
Titus watched as the assassin raised the hand holding the arrow up to his hood, grip the hem and bring off his head. Revealing the short, messed dark hair and dark brown eyes. The man's features were that of any average Imperial, his face was still impassive sides the smirk.
The Listener spoke again, "You are one of the few who know my face and who I am." He raised his bow, nock the arrow and pulled it back as he aimed at the Emperor. "It will be quick," he added in just the barest hints of a tone that could considered comforting.
Titus nodded, "To business then," he took two steps back and spread his arms as if welcoming an old friend for an embrace. "I go to Sovrngarde," he finished.
The Listener released the arrow and the bowstring cut the air with a hiss.
The Emperor's head jerked back and his body crumbled to the floor unmoving.
The Listener watched the body fall and when it came to a rest on the wooden floor he moved over to it, steps silent even on the normally creaky floorboards. He kneeled by the Emperor's body and he removed the arrow and closed the mans eyes. "Hail Sithis," he whispered and patted the man's chest, "Find peace, Emperor." he took the key to the door, unlocked the door and escaped the ship in time to hear the yells of alarm from the deck as they discovered their dead.
Amaund Motierre walked into the backroom of the Bannered Mare, he was anxious and very rightly so! He had sent a lone Assassin to kill the Emperor. Even if this assassin had escaped Maro and his men, survived the burning of his Sanctuary and-
"Emperor Titus Mede the second now lives with Sithis in the void," A voice to the right of Amaund spoke menacingly.
Amaund almost jumped out of his skin right then and there when he stood up and turned to the shadowed corner and saw the robed Assassin from before walk from it, he had been perfectly blended in with the shadows Amaund hadn't seen it. A truly frightening man indeed…
"Wait…" Amaund said when the Assassin's words went through his head, "You… did it?" Excitement blossomed inside his chest and he felt his pulse rise with anticipation for the reply.
The Listener nodded subtly. "Yes," he raised a gloved hand and clenched his fist in front of himself, "The contract is complete, now… you owe us much, Motierre."
The ecstatic man nodded quickly and grinned like a wolf as he rubbed his hands together excitedly, "Yes, I do, you don't realise it yet, but you've helped the Empire in more ways then you realise," he bowed his head, "Thank you! Now, your payment is in a dead drop, an urn in the very same chamber where we first met!" he grinned.
"You find the payment is quite… substantial," Motierre finished more quietly.
The Listener nodded, "I am sure, now, there is one last detail to work out…" he trailed off lazily.
"Oh," Motierre blinked, "And that would be-"
The Assassin's arm blurred up and across he air in a wide arc and Motierre caught the flash of a blade before something slid through his throat, his eyes widened and all strength left his body.
"But… we had.. A deal…" he gasped out, then fell forward into the waiting arms of the Listener.
The Listener looked down at the body in his arm as he bled onto the black robes his chest. With a small grunt the man turned the body and placed it into the shadows, he pinned it to the wall with an iron dagger and then he placed his naked palm onto the blood on his chest then pressed it to the wall beside Motierre's head.
With that message sent. The man slid a ring onto his finger and he disappeared from all view, the doors opened, closed then nothing but silence ruled the room.
The Listener wasn't evil, no. He served a purpose and knew it, he wasn't just a murderer who killed for gold and fame, no. He killed to preserve an ancient balance of life and death as ancient as the Dread father Sithis and Akatosh themselves.
He was the instrument in which evil and good kept at odds with neither gaining hold entirely. He was the scale that kept them balanced, he was balance. He and his entire family, he closed his eyes as he made it out of Whiterun and to the stables where Shadowmere waited loyally for him.
"Shadowmere," he mumbled as he removed his ring and mounted the dark horse. "Let us return home, Nazir will be eager to hear this," he smiled slightly, ever so slightly no one but close observers would have seen the tilt of his lips at the corners.
With a snap of the reigns and a huff from Shadowmere they were off towards Dawnstar Sanctuary. The Listener had work to do.
The end of the Beginning.
So, can I get a Hail Sithis? Heheh, there it is, just my take on the Listener's POV, also, no, he isn't dragon born. Just… the Listener.