Night falls over Whiterun and Erandur steps out into the cool air. There is nothing wrong with Lydia's company, or Lydia herself for that matter. But things had always been a little tense between them since their first meeting at Nightcaller Temple. Lydia had warned Deirdre not to trust him and he had eyed her suspiciously in return.

He hears the familiar sound of metal upon metal and smiles to himself. Deirdre is at Adrianne's forge again improving that mammoth claymore of hers. He sees Adrianne before he sees Deirdre. She's standing over the forge with her arms crossed and shaking her head. An indulgent smile plays across her face as she eyes the woman bent over the grindstone.

"I'm going to bed, dovahkiin," she says. "Try not to keep the entire city awake with your hammering." Deirdre nods absently, tilting her head to get a better look at the blade of her glass greatsword.

"Good night, Adrianne," she says, her voice unusually quiet for her. "Sleep well."

"You too, Deirdre. If you can manage to find sleep." Adrianne turns to see Erandur walking up. She gives him a brief nod before entering her home. Erandur stops beside the workbench a few feet away to watch Deirdre work. Her sleeves are rolled up almost to her shoulders and she only pauses to haphazardly wipe sweat from her brow. Her entire being is focused on the sword and Erandur has no problem sneaking up on her.

"Deirdre," he calls softly and she jumps, jerking the blade from the grindstone. She swears, checking to make sure that she hadn't ruined her handiwork, and looks at him.

"Yes, Erandur?"

"Night is falling," he says, gesturing to the stars that are starting to show themselves. "Perhaps you should come inside?"

"Soon," she says, turning her attention back to the blade. "I'm almost done."

"Deirdre, that sword won't fail you," he says, crossing his arms and leaning against the workbench. "Divines know you've worked on it enough times."

"This sword is special," she says, lifting it up to watch the moonlight reflect off of it. "You have to show glass weapons the same sort of care you would a lover. They're strong and deadly until they get their first cracks. If you're not careful, or don't notice, or are just too lazy to fix then, the sword will shatter and leave you defenseless."

"But the shards would embed themselves in you and your foes alike. Seems fitting," he says. "That you would carry such a weapon." She smiles unabashedly and runs the tip of her fingers across the top of the blade, taking care not to cut herself on the edges.

"My father carried this sword," she says. "He was a Nord, who loved this god-forsaken country. But he gave it up to be with my mother in Cyrodiil. He didn't have to work on this blade as often as I do. He had a knack for finding the cracks and filling them in. My mother was the same with people. Seemed to always know where they were broken and how to fix them." Erandur pushes himself from the workbench as Deirdre hisses and pulls her hand from the blade. A streak of red contrasts against the gleaming malachite green of the blade. She brings the finger to her mouth in an attempt to ease the wound. He walks over to her, kneeling down to be able to better reach her hand.

"Here," he says, gently pulling her hand from her mouth. He feels the warm feeling of a healing spell in his hand and slowly runs it over her finger. They watch the wound close and she shakes her head.

"You shouldn't waste your magic on such trivial things," she says. Her face cracks into a smile despite her words. "Thank you." His hand stays clasped on her wrist and her green eyes meet his red ones. Polar opposites, he thinks, swallowing past a dry throat. Contrasting colors. Crimson blood on a green blade. Her eyelids flutter half-way shut and she tilts her head contemplatively, her eyes searching his face for something that he doesn't want to name.

"Erandur," she murmurs. "You're a little pale. Are you feeling alright?"

"F-fine," he stumbles over his words, releasing her wrist. He stands, striding back from her. "Just tired. As I'm sure you are." She nods, eyes leaving his to look at her blade again.

"There are still cracks in it," she says.

Can't stop won't stop.

In all seriousness, I have a question. I'm new to Elder Scrolls fandom and I was wondering if it's acceptable to have a character whose parents are of different classes? I ask because Deirdre is my Dragonborn for my first playthrough and she's an Imperial who uses a greatsword as her primary weapon (because YOLO). I thought it'd be an interesting way to explain that facet of her personality.

As always, thank you for reading!