Disclaimer: Don't own anything except for my OC; all else belongs to Bethesda. No profit made from this either.
Summary: A drunken Vex sends the Dragonborn on a rather special burglary assignment that involves a tall, dark and handsome Justiciar and a pair of smalls.
A/N: I don't know where this is coming from but I'll write anything if the Muse screams it must be so and she's not letting me do work either. Official warning: This is pure unadulterated fluff lime/lemon with a poor pretence at plot. Read at your own risk. Set in the same universe as 'Mirrormere'. The rating will rise, eventually.
The Burglary Job
She hated Markarth. Every time she had to set foot in the city she muttered the same sentence under her breath. "I hate this place," Aerindis, or Rinn to her thieving brethren, whispered as she climbed the seemingly endless staircases and navigated the twists and turns of the city of blood and silver. There were no trees, no greenery, simply waterfalls whose thunder invaded every corner and a sea of monotonous cold grey and dull bronze that met the eye everywhere one turned. Not to mention The Warrens, where the poor and sick were left to rot and to their own devices in the dark. 'Out of sight, out of mind.' That had to be Jarl Igmund's policy when it came to his people.
The guards did not bat an eyelid when she pushed open the doors to Understone Keep. After all, this wasn't the first time they had seen the distinct gleaming black armour that she wore. They would not know that she was one of Nocturnal's Nightingale's though. The hood obscured her entire face and turned her eyes into inscrutable, gleaming pinpoints that had the wonderful effect of unnerving most of the people she met.
It was going to get tricky from here. There never seemed to be a moment when he was not on patrol. 'Why oh why did you even agree to this?' Rinn wanted to kick herself. It was too late for such thoughts and at the same time, she hated the way her stomach clenched and the way her knees almost quivered at the thought of seeing him again. It had been two months since he had helped her kill the Dark Brotherhood assassin stalking her. He'd saved her life actually.
And then there was that almost kiss. The fact that ultimately, nothing had happened still rankled in a way that she would vehemently deny. Rinn blinked, shook her head slightly as she sidled along the wall, well out of sight of the guards she knew would be posted just beyond the Mournful Throne. Movement to the right at the top of the stairs drew her attention. 'Speaking of the Mer himself,' she thought. She could practically hear Ondolemar's cultured tones in her head, correcting her omission of 'superiorly bred'. And as always, at his heels trotted the female Thalmor guard. Rinn told herself she wasn't jealous, that her heart had not sped up a tiny notch in spite of her efforts at controlling her reaction.
'You have a job to do,' she reminded herself sternly, moving in the shadows, somehow always finding a space of darkness large enough to hide her. Above, the gleaming Dwarven Centurion seemed to glare down at her. If Igmund had ever faced one in battle, he would not be so eager to decorate his keep with them. Then again, he was too busy kissing Thalmor ass to do anything else.
'You'd like to do the same yourself,' a sly voice interrupted. Heat bloomed on Rinn's cheeks.
'Shut up,' she scolded. But her inner voice was on a roll.
'Well, tell me you haven't spent the last fortnight thinking about that almost kiss. I do believe that in your head, it became more than that. A lot more. And that mouth was not the only thing you were kissing.'
Her face became so hot that Rinn felt tempted to press her cold hands against them to cool her skin down. 'So I have an active imagination. Arrest me.'
'Ooooh, now that is an interesting scenario. Don't we know the perfect man, or rather Altmer, for the job?'
Rinn wanted to bang her head against the stonewall until her inner voice fell unconscious. Unfortunately, that would put her out of action too. So while her inner voice gleefully articulated an outrageous and potentially offensive fantasy which involved chains and leather strips, and explored the potential uses of ice and fire spells ('It won't hurt, much. Besides, didn't that special book you stole from the Temple of Dibella say that pain could be pleasure?'), Rinn focused on counting the seconds it took for Ondolemar and his pet guard to walk back and forth across that narrow stretch of floor.
When he turned on his heel and began trekking back in the direction of the Jarl's room, Rinn sprang into action. Crouching low to the ground, she sprinted, keeping her body close to the walls as she scurried up the steps, eyes darting back and forth to ensure the way was clear. Even her inner voice shut up long enough in the middle of extolling the virtues of a table over a stone-bed to give a triumphant crow as she slipped around the corner and up the stairs which led to the Justiciar's private quarters.
Her hands trembled slightly as she proceeded to pick the lock, carefully twisting the slender pick and special knife, feeling the tumblers shift and finally give as the bolt slid back. Slipping inside, she shut the door behind her. For a moment, her eyes took in everything; she had dreamt about the room a few times since their last encounter and everything seemed to be the same. There were a few sealed letters and scrolls on his table, a bottle of Colovian brandy and an Elven dagger. His room was shorn of decorations; everything was utilitarian save for the extensive bookshelf that dominated most of one wall. 'He does so love to read,' she thought wistfully as her eyes ran quickly over the titles. He had an unusual amount of books focusing on Talos worship and although he had passed it off as necessary research to understand the enemy, she knew him better. He had helped her in spite of the fact that Elenwen probably wanted her head displayed on a pike outside the Thalmor Embassy. And a Justiciar who would rather choose to personally warn off a stubborn old Nord bard rather than turn him over to Thalmor inquisitors was not the average Mer.
'Definitely nothing average about Ondolemar,' her inner voice leered. 'Now, what was it we were here for again?'
'We are here for one pair and one pair only. I am not taking five.'
'Aw, come on. If we give one to sexy Vexie—'
'You know, Vex would dig you out of my head and kill you herself if she ever heard you call her that.'
'She won't. She needs you. You're the Guild Master in training and you restored the Paragon to the Guild. Thanks to you every chest they unlock contains priceless gems. You could flip Vex the bird and bring Brynjolf, Rune, Cynric, Dirge and Delvin to watch her bathe and she still wouldn't kill you. She might hurt you though, badly.'
'That line is getting old. Okay, fine. Maybe not five. After all, a Justiciar needs his smalls after all. It must be uncomfortable underneath all that fine black leather. Or maybe not. I bet it's soft. Soft and buttery to the touch, and so utterly smooth. Don't you want to find out?'
'I'm officially ignoring you. If you want to feel up the leading Justiciar in Skyrim, you'll have to find a way to do it yourself.'
'Hey, I'm your better half. You should be listening to me, not swimming in denial. Now, back to how many we're going to filch. Just take two. One for Vex and one for you on those nights when you can't sleep and you need to—'
Rinn smacked herself hard on the side of the head, more to disrupt the disturbing image that was forming rather than to silence the perverted ranting of her inner voice. "I swear, this is all the fault of the dragon soul," she muttered grimly. Life had never been the same after the Greybeards had shook the whole of Skyrim by roaring out that she was the Dovahkiin, waking the sleeping dragon inside her, and her inner voice had gotten a lot louder and chirpier after she had devoured Mirmulnir's soul.
After several seconds, she heard nothing but glorious silence and heaved a sigh of relief. Her inner voice had been knocked unconscious; truth be told, she had hit herself so hard that her palm stung and her head ached slightly. "Now, where to start?" That wardrobe next to the bed look just about the right place to begin her search.
If she really stopped to think about what she was doing, she was sure she would feel foolish and ashamed. Foolish because this was the most trivial item she had ever had to steal but she had never been so nervous before on any job. Ashamed because between Ondolemar and her lay a strange understanding and lingering attraction that managed to transcend the boundaries of race and political allegiance and here she was, rifling through his personal belongings because a drunken Vex had dared her to steal his smalls.
"You know, you aren't fooling me," Vex slurred as she sipped the fiery brandy. "I know why you asked Vekel to bring in this stuff. You're sweet on that Justiciar and you miss him."
"I am not and I do not," Rinn denied a little too quickly and hotly. "Now give me my septims. I brought the jewelled goblet just like the client wanted. Do you have any other jobs?"
A sly, slow smile crept over Vex's face and Rinn had a sinking feeling. "Do this job and when you come back, I'll give you five lessons in lockpicking for free."
The Nord thief glared at the blond Imperial who continued to elegantly slurp her Colovian brandy. "And I'll put in a word with Bryn about that Guild Master title you want so badly."
If Vex was willing to do this much, there was obviously a huge catch somewhere. Rinn ground her teeth in silent frustration before making her choice. "I do this and you talk Delvin into persuading Brynjolf that I'm ready."
Vex hesitated at that.
"And I'll tell you where he stashed those naked portraits of you. You know, the ones he sketched when he saw you bathing."
"Done," the older woman snapped. "But if you don't succeed, this goes down as a failure in my books."
"I won't fail. I haven't botched a job so far, have I?"
"That remains to be seen. Now, about this job…."
Rinn listened to the details without twitching so much as a muscle. She was a picture of calm composure when she left the Flagon and went to her room. There, she stuffed the edge of her blanket into her mouth and let out a not so silenced scream of outrage. 'Damn Vex and her fetish! That does it, when I get back, I'm telling Brynjolf why his smalls keep disappearing.'
And speaking of disappearing smalls… Rinn felt her frustration mount as she searched through the wardrobe. The bottom level consisted of Thalmor boots, each pair polished and buffed to mirror perfect shine. They were all arranged neatly, the tips aligned so exactly that Rinn would have laughed if she had more time to spare. The top two levels had neatly folded stacks of Justiciar attire, one for robes and shirts, the other for pants. She could not find any underwear.
'Maybe he doesn't wear any smalls.' The thought made her mouth dry and she felt heat streak low in her belly. 'Oh gods, I am perverted after all.' There was no hope for her because that didn't even come from her inner voice. "Impossible, there have to be some lying around somewhere," she huffed. She would search every inch of the room if she had to. Wasn't there a chest next to his bed?
Hurrying over to it, she shook out a few picks and selecting the sturdiest, inserted it into the lock along with her knife. Hastily, she twisted and the thin metal snapped, nicking her on the cheek. If not for the hood's protective leather, her skin would be sporting a red welt by now. "By the Nine," she swore softly, trying again. This lock was a nasty piece of work; she could feel the slender pick in her hand trembling as she probed gently. 'Probably a Master lock,' she surmised. 'Every thief's bane.' She would have to be patient, not exactly her strongest trait. Rinn grimaced as the second pick broke as well.
She was busily cursing Vex and swearing by Talos, and so focused on unlocking the chest that she never heard the silent booted feet that padded into the room, never noticed deep green eyes going wide at the sight of her on her knees beside the chest, did not see the flash of warm desire that was quickly smothered when Ondolemar smoothed his face into a stern mask of reproof.
She did hear the very audible click of the bolt being slid firmly back into place.
'Oh shit.' And irony of ironies, the tumblers of the locked chest chose to give way at that moment. Rinn had no time to savour her victory as she slowly, very slowly turned to see the stuff that her dreams were made of leaning against the locked doors of his chamber, pinning her with that emerald green gaze that always threatened to unravel her.
'Isn't he dreamy?' her inner voice sighed. 'Even if he looks pissed as hell.'
'I think he's going to arrest me, you moron.'
'That doesn't detract from the fact that he looks so good he should be Divine.'
'I thought you told me that was being hypersexual. I'm telling you now, I save that only for Ondolemar so we aren't the loose strumpets that you think we are.'
'I didn't say I was the loose strumpet. I said you were!' Rinn gulped, aware that even as she argued with her inner voice, who would spring to life at the sight of the Justiciar, he was slowly stalking across the room towards her. For once, her inner voice was right. He did look pissed. After all, friends didn't rob from each other. Right? And what Vex did to Brynjolf was probably considered a special case.
"Aerindis," he said, the softness in his tone doing nothing to gentle the biting way he pronounced her name. "Why are you stealing from me and what have you taken?"
By the gods, she was not about to tell him that her potential promotion to Guild Master depended on whether she could get ahold of his smalls. That would be humiliating beyond measure.
"Umm… I'm sorry?" she said weakly, still on her knees.
"That is not what I asked for," he corrected sternly, coming to a stop next to her. She noticed the mace that he wore strapped to his side and it was with a pang that she realised he wasn't even going to draw it. She felt lower than a skeever.
"I know. I wasn't apologising for breaking in either." And with that, she sprang at him, tackling him hard at the knees and Ondolemar went down before he even realised what she was up to.
"Gua—" A leather clad palm slapped hard over his mouth, cutting off his cries. The other went over his nose, cutting off his air supply. Strong thighs wrapped themselves around his upper torso, pinning his arms tightly to his side and even though he thrashed and rolled, the black-haired thief clung to him like a barnacle to a rock. Up until this moment, Ondolemar had not believed himself to be in any danger.
"I was apologising for this," she whispered in his ear as black dots began eating away at his vision. Panicked, he struggled harder as fear kept him clinging to consciousness. "I won't hurt you. I just need you out of the way for the moment."
He was going to kill her. When he got his hands on her…if he lived through this…
After what seemed like an agonising eternity, his blond-tipped lashes finally fluttered shut and his body fell still. Rinn tried to slow her own harsh breathing and cautiously, unclamped her hands from around his face. When he did not struggle, she unlocked her legs, rolling him gently onto his side. Pushing off her hood, she lowered her ear to his nose and mouth and to her relief, realised that he was breathing again. "I'm so sorry," she murmured, brushing back his hair as she tucked and smoothed the blond strands back.
'Well, you can't possibly leave him there. When he wakes up he might be angry enough to give you to Elenwen in an ornate chest and wrapped with a big bow together with a note that says "Hurt her, please".'
'I'm sure you have a suggestion or two in mind,' Rinn thought wearily even as she slipped her arms beneath Ondolemar's and began dragging him towards the bed.
'Remember those leather strips I was telling you about?...'