A/N This fic is set in-game and is remarkably spoiler free. It also has an actual structure, unlike the other fics I've written lately. Anyway, Syrenne and Lowell were great fun to write. I hope you enjoy the fic. There's another two chapters to come but you shouldn't have too long to wait.

Ariela's Tavern was one of the better taverns the mercenaries had stayed in. Ariela's family were warm and welcoming- the tavern wasn't quite family friendly but it was much better than some of the places Syrenne had stayed in before. Plus Dagran hadn't had to throw any punches yet. Although Syrenne could look after herself, Dagran was overprotective and not above throwing a punch for her when men got a bit leery. She appreciated it all the more because usually people had to pay for Dagran to hit people, but she got it free.

That evening, the tavern contained its usual assortment of harmless drunks, merchants and the man who stopped by every day looking for a 'master of archery'. Syrenne was pleasantly tipsy- Mirania was trying to tell her something but Syrenne had lost the thread of the conversation a while ago. Something about Reptids and Horace. Syrenne downed the rest of her glass, making sure to drain every last drop. She belatedly remembered that she'd spent all her cash.

"Buy us a drink, Mirania," wheedled Syrenne, even though she knew it'd be a fruitless effort.

"I'm sure that can't be good for your health Syrenne," Mirania said.

"Shurrup," said Syrenne. "I might die tomorrow."

It was what they always said to each other- it had almost become their own private joke.

She was about to argue further when the bell on the tavern door rang and Lowell swept in looking like the cat who'd got the cream, which, when she thought about it, was his standard expression. Syrenne devised ways to cave his skull in, as she often did when drunk. She wasn't sure why. There was a red handprint on one side of Lowell's face. This was a common occurrence for Lowell- so common that she and the other mercenaries had stopped asking about it when it happened.

"And how are my two favourite ladies?" he trilled.

"Oh no. Don't try that with me, matie," Syrenne warned.

"Am I not your favourite fella?" he asked, trying to look hurt.

"You've got to be joking!"

Syrenne launched into a list of why Lowell was her least favourite person ever. She had probably become incoherent because both Mirania and Lowell were looking at her blankly, but she couldn't seem to stop her mouth trying to say the things that were inside her brain.

"Perhaps I should check on Yurick," said Mirania, which Syrenne knew was code for 'I can't possibly sit here another second without losing my sanity'. Except Mirania would never say anything like that because there was not a mean bone in her body. She rose gracefully and then wandered off, leaving Syrenne alone with the Loathsome Lowell.

"Where's Zael?" asked Loathsome Lowell, which was actually a sensible question.

"Him and Dagran…poncing about at Lazulis Castle," said Syrenne. Or at least that's what she was aiming for.

"Oh," said Lowell nodding, which meant she'd said something that had made sense.

"Buy me a drink," ordered Syrenne, holding up her empty glass.

Lowell blinked at her. "Such charm. How could I possibly refuse?"

"Are you going to buy me a drink or not?"

"Do you ever think about anything except fighting and getting hammered?"

"Do you ever think about anything except fighting and getting laid?"

"I suppose not," Lowell shrugged. "OK, how about this? I'll buy you all the drink you want if you find me a date for tonight."

"You what?" Syrenne said flatly.

"Come on, it's a pretty good deal…"

"What, now you're too good to find your own dates?"

"I'm having rotten luck today. Hence this." Lowell pointed to the handprint. "There's all these horrible rumours about me just because I slept with that one girl's sister and-"

"STOP. I don't want to know. You're disgusting!"

"All the booze you can buy with my share of today's loot." Lowell said temptingly, waggling his eyebrows

Syrenne looked at her empty glass. It was sight that utterly saddened her. She'd feel much better after another drink- in her tipsy state she felt as though that one drink was all that stood between her and happiness.

"Deal," said Syrenne.

They shook on it.