Disclaimer: Skyrim and all its characters, places etc are the property of Bethesda.
He was late.
Lydia drummed her fingers against the wooden throne she was sitting on, pushing a long strand of hair out of her face with an irritated flick of the wrist. Oh, how she missed her braids. There was a loud crash followed by uproarious drunken laughter as one of the "guests" tripped over his own feet and sent an entire table tumbling to the ground with him. Lydia grimaced, glad that at least the table was inexpensive and that it had been placed closer to the back of the courtyard.
It had been hours since the celebration had started and though she was not the sort to do so, she had begun to worry. Maybe he had changed his mind?
Lydia shook her head sharply at the thought, sending her curling brown hair back into her face. She moved it away absently, placing her hands demurely into her lap and staring fixatedly at the contrast they made with the white cloth of her dress. It was made of fine silk, soft, and airy, like water flowing over her body.
He'd begged her to wear it, and because she would die to see him smile (she almost did once), she had put it on; though she grumbled about it, just to keep up appearances. She ran her scared hands over its smoothness, lips pursing thoughtfully when her calluses snagged on the fabric.
No, if he had changed his mind, he would have told it to her face, untactfully blurting it out while fidgeting with his ridiculously sharp sword, likely cutting his hands in the process. Then he would look up at her with those gorgeous blue eyes and sincerely beg for her forgiveness. He was like that.
Lydia sighed, then scowled fiercely.
When had she become like this? She'd faced down bandits and cave trolls without batting a lash. Talos, she'd even faced down dragons! So why was it that she melted like a lily-livered milk-drinker at the thought of him?
She looked up, features relaxing, and took in the sight that had long since become uninteresting. Long tables, their dark surfaces laden with all sorts of delicacies, including ale, lots of ale, lined the cobble stones. The arcing walls of Solitude loomed above them, creating the illusion of a private room placed under the open sky. It was a strange feeling.
The guests mingled, gentlefolk and commoners alike partaking in the offered bounty. She could see the Priest of Mara off to one side, looking on in disapproval as that Sam fellow wrangled yet another victim, grinning with all too-sharp teeth as the poor sod began drinking his spiked brew. A laugh rang out and she turned her head to see Brynjolf in the middle of regaling a group of nobles, all unaware that they were being robbed by the pretty white haired imperial flitting about their mist.
Lydia felt her lips twitching into a smile despite herself and thought that perhaps, just for this one night, she would let the thieves get away with their little games.
The Jarls of Whiterun and Markarth conversed in hushed tones at a table separate from the others, the place perfect for avoiding the drunken rabble.
She shifted, unease filling her.
She was so used to being able to move, to act, and sitting here like a trophy was grating on her nerves. And the endless compliments.
"Oh, we are s ohappy for you! The Dragonborn, huh? You lucky girl! Quite the catch, young lady!"
She had bitten her tongue at the last one, stopping herself from lashing out.
Most of the sentiments were sincere, but oh, there were a few that obviously weren't. Talos, she hated politics.
Lydia drew her gaze back to the courtyard opening, wishing for the umpteenth time that her savior would appear. At least then she could be done with the horrid affair. Thank the Gods she was gifted with patience. But still…he was late.
Four hours late.
She braced herself, readying to stand and call the whole thing off. Her knees wobbled from lack of circulation but she straightened anyway, her warriors pride making her tilt her chin up though her eyes stung with hurt.
Lydia opened her mouth, ready to apologize for her Thane's absence, when the sound of clattering hooves on the uneven ground stopped her voice in her throat. A man burst into the court yard, the coat of his great black horse glinting in the torchlight.
The constant hum of the crowd was silenced and for one still moment, it was just Them.
Their eyes met, the cocky smile on his face quirking as if to say that he knew what she was about to do and was just dying to spoil it for her.
Lydia felt warmth leak into her bones, the tension that had stiffened her form all night draining from her as she smiled brightly back.
Then the sound returned and nearly deafened her, the cheers and calls of "The Dragonborn! He's here! The Dragonborn is here!" bellowing up at her.
She sat, suddenly weary, but brimming with something she could only describe as joy. Lydia watched, impatient now that he was finally here, as he dismounted his horse, long black cape billowing around him when he turned and handed the reins to a servant boy.
His journey up the stairs to where she sat seemed endless, and when he winked at her, carefully taking her rough hand in his own and bringing it to his lips, she truly thought she might faint.
But she was a soldier and would have nothing to do with swooning, this night, or any night.
So she smiled wider at him as he sat down next to her, running her sweaty palms along the length of her gown. The Priest was making his way towards them and oh, sweet Talos! This was really happening! She was really going to get marr-
Then she heard a roar followed by another, and squinting up at the sky, felt all the warm the sight of her beloved had given her melt into snapping irritation.
Lydia glared at the man across from her and he had the gall to look innocent.
Because it would be just like him to invite not one, not two, but three dragons to their wedding.
AN: Something that has been on my mind for a bit. Oh, and the dragons were Paarthurnax, Odahviing, and Durnehviir, if you were wondering.