((Hello! Another Jarlemis! I don't own, yadda yadda! Strange that it isn't smut haha! Takes place some years after Sellswords))
Artemis and Jarlaxle had been on the road several weeks, and Artemis could swear Jarlaxle hadn't slept in that entire time. When confronted about it, Jarlaxle simply shrugged. "I have less need of sleep than you do, abbil." Artemis narrowed his eyes, lips thinning as he made his disbelief obvious. It was true Jarlaxle had slept less than Artemis on their earlier adventures, but this was just getting ridiculous "You told me once that I was no use to you if I could not sleep." Jarlaxle quirked one white eyebrow. Those had not been his exact words, but he did recall the conversation, long ago atop the Vassan wall. "You will be of no use to me if you do not get any sleep." Artemis persisted, arms crossed over his chest.
Jarlaxle sighed, how to admit to the human his Reveries had been plagued by bad memories and images? "Ah, abbil! I am caught!" he declared over dramatically "At the next in I will sleep. Is that a deal?" Artemis nodded.
So it was, a few nights later, that there was no sign of Jarlaxle at the inn's bar as darkness overcame the town. Artemis quietly made his way up to the drow's room, across the hall from his own. There was a small groan, not one of passion, but almost one of pain. Quickly, Artemis undid the locks and traps Jarlaxle had set and entered the dark room. Shutting the door behind him, he let his eyes adjust to the dim light of a few candles giving off a soothing smell, locating the drow stretched out on the bed.
Whenever Artemis had spotted the mercenary asleep before, Jarlaxle had been flat on his back, hands folder over his stomach and one ankle crossed neatly over the other. Now his body was sprawled, in a state of dishevelment that Artemis hadn't even thought Jarlaxle capable of. His expression, too, was as unfamiliar as the way his hand grasped at the sheets, it was one of pain.
The groan came again, and Artemis was shocked to realize it was jarlaxle making that distressed whine. He pulled the chair over from the desk and settled down by the bed, his elbows resting on his knees, poised forward and looking intently at the drow.
Softly, the drow spoke.
"Q-qualla xun naut sevir uns'aa..." (P-please. Don't leave me.)
A sigh, a plea in a language that Artemis only had a basic understanding of.
What on Earth could the drow be dreaming of?
He had seen this all before, this well cushioned room, the lounging drow with long white hair spilling over his shoulders, the glasses of potent alcohol in their hands as they drank, sitting close together. They grinned at each other, full of youthful mischief and a mutual hatred of their society. Jarlaxle looked at the father of Drizzt Do'Urden and felt the familiar swelling in his heart, a burning ache that he now knew was love.
Once he had tried to express those feelings, this very night, in fact, as he leaned forward he whispered Usstan ssinssrigg dos." (I love/Lust you) a smirk on his face to hide his unsurety, his panic and pounding heart.
Jarlaxle relived the heated passion of that night, each caress like a knife wound for he knew what happened then.
He had given Zak everything, and the next morning he simply got up to leave, muttering "Nindol zhahus natha duanda." (This was a mistake).
Jarlaxle, hurt and confused, helplessly watched Zak dress. "Q-qualla xun naut sevir uns'aa..."
"Ussta abbil, usstan ssrig'luin dos." (My friend, I need you)
Abbil! Artemis knew that word, at least. It was what Jarlaxle often called him. Was Jarlaxle dreaming of him? He had heard that an elf's Reverie was less of a state of dreaming an more of a state of remembrance and visions. Perhaps Jarlaxle was simply recalling their last parting...no, there was too much pain there. This was something much deeper, something Artemis had urged Jarlaxle to look upon.
"Jarlaxle?" Artemis asked tentatively, unsure if he should be intervening or not.
Zak and Jarlaxle started at a new voice, calling the latter's name quietly from afar.
"Usstan kyorl dos replaced uns'aa." (I see you replaced me) Zak sneered, his arms crossing as he looked down at Jarlaxle, still sitting among the soiled sheets. "NAU!" he cried emphatically. "Dos xun naut kampi'un! Usstan...Usstan!" (No! You don't understand! I...I!)
"Dos ssinssrig uns'aa?" Zak replied with equal venom as his first statement.
Jarlaxle stood, rage coursing through him. "DOS ZET UNS'AA!" (YOU LEFT ME!) He screamed, shoving the apparition in the chest, shaking from head to toe. "DOS INBAL NAU DITRONW! NAUST!" (YOU HAVE NO RIGHT! NONE!)
"Nau!" Jarlaxle's face contorted further, his hands clenching wildly on the sheets. He continued murmuring, quickly, too quickly for Artemis to translate. His voice rose, in a panic, in a rage as his throes became wilder, limbs tensing and flailing. Artemis stood, almost afraid, but the assassin was not ever truly afraid. He looked down on the handsome features of his friend, concerned as he bellowed in that musical language. Artemis placed his hands on the drow's shoulders, shaking him.
"JArlaxle! Wake up!" He growled, demanding. Suddenly a fist connected with his chin, blind siding him, knocking him back a pace. Jarlaxle bolted upright with a horse yell, his eyes opening, their crimson wild and tearing.
Artemis rocked back on his heels, stunned at the mercenary's lack of control. Jarlaxle, chest heaving, mind swirling with memories and visions and dreams spotted Artemis, and the words he did not wish to say to Artemis were said anyway-"Get out."
The assassin did not move, but Jarlaxle did, coming to his knees in the bed, the sheets making a soft hush with his movement. He looked as if he was about to come after Artemis, eyes so full of passionate emotions all tumbled together that Artemis could not rightly tell if he was in danger.
"GET OUT!" He roared, but the angry demand was lost in a choked sob as Jarlaxle dipped his head, shoulders hunching over as he tried to protect himself, shakin as he began to cry.
Artemis took a deep breath, mouth opening as if to speak, but what was there to say? He could not offer comfort, and Jarlaxle wanted his privacy. Softly he began to leave, but at the nearly silent footfalls Jarlaxle whispered again-"Qualla xun naut sevir uns'aa. Ussta abbil, usstan ssrig'luin dos."
This time the assassin could translate.
Please do not leave me.
My friend, I need you.
Swearing inwardly, Artemis lowered himself to sit on the drow's bed, and was stunned to feel the drow lean his body into him, head buried in his chest. The drow did not embrace him merely shook as sobs wracked his surprisingly small frame. Without the gaudy get up, Jarlaxle seemed much smaller, more delicate. Slowly, Artemis let his arms encircle Jarlaxle, his calloused hands sliding easily against the silken skin of the drow's bare back.
Soon the silent tears stopped, as did the shaking, yet Jarlaxle remained in his friend's embrace.
Artemis found he did not mind.
"Bel'la dos, Abbil." (Thank you, my friend.)