Disclaimer : I don't own Skyrim.
The High Hrothgar monastery was a quiet place , a sanctuary of contemplation and meditation so silent you'd hear a fly buzzing around, that is if flies could live in an icy place with sub-zero temperatures like the top of a mountain.
Then again, the silence could also be attributed to the fact that each of its inhabitants could shake the very mountain upon merely greeting you.
Today however the monastery was anything but silent, as evidenced by the loud shouting and arguing coming from the common room.
'Why did I agree to this again?' the Dragonborn asked himself for the umpteenth time as yet another verbal assault was launched between Ulfric Stormcloak and General Tullius, much like they had for the past three hours. He groaned silently, glad that his heavy Daedric helmet hid his face.
Oh yeah, they were supposed to secure a truce between the opposite sides of the civil war so he could lure a dragon into Dragonsreach and obtain information on Alduin, the World Eater's whereabouts. Simple in theory, right?
Unfortunately it seems both sides misunderstood what a truce means, as the meeting immediately erupted into demands, each trying to consolidate their position by claiming Holds for their side, accusing the other of massacres, and consequent reparations.
A comment from Elenwen, the Thalmor representative, poured more oil on the fire, sending Galmar Stone-Fist into a frenzy and instinctively reaching for the weapon he had been asked to relinquish, like everyone, upon entering. The Altmer had claimed she was needed here to ensure the White Gold Concordant would be respected, and had made a good enough point that the Dragonborn allowed her to stay.
Breaching the treaty would simply give the Aldmeri Dominion an excuse to trigger a bloodbath.
Now he regretted this decision as Elenwen seemed determined to rile Ulfric's side up. The Jarl of Windhelm was thankfully refusing to be baited but his companion was far less calm.
"Maybe we could ask for the Dragonborn's opinion." Arngeir suggested, again, like he had every single time a decision needed to be made. Oh yes, the Greybeards were being a tremendous help.
'Excuse me, aren't you supposed to be the wise one here? Why are you asking me?'
Discreetly, the famed hero flipped a Septim under the table. After everything he had seen and heard, he simply couldn't care about who was right or wrong. The Nords had every right to worship Talos if so they decided, but having seen how the Dunmers and Argonians were treated in Windhelm, having Ulfric as High King wasn't a very pleasant idea. He had read the rebel leader's file in the Thalmor Embassy, and he was just another pawn for them.
Heads, the point went to the Stormcloaks. Then he returned to planning his cunning and devious scheme to get Aela, Mjoll and Serana into a foursome. Pleasant thoughts… Of course said plan was stuck on step one - literally, on paper, only the words 'step one' would be written - but at this rate, even with the interruptions, he'd be done before an agreement was reached.
An old voice was heard, Esbern was trying to make them understand how dire the situation was. The Blades had invited themselves, but at least they realized the threat. Maybe he'd be able to get things back onto the right path.
Nope, no such luck. Insults started to erupt again seconds later. Things would actually be easier if they were dragons : Thu'um would be exchanged in draconic language, one side would die and he'd only have to deal with the winner.
'Divines, however many you are, give me patience.'
"Now if this is all, let us recapitulate the agreed…" Arngeir began when it seemed an agreement have been reached.
'Finally!' the Dragonborn refrained from shouting.
"Wait!" Ulfric called, having found yet another point of disagreement.
'NNNOOOOOOO!' In his mind, the Divines' chosen's voice was as anguished as Mirmulnir's when it died. Ulfric wanted the Imperials to stop eating bear meat apparently, with the bear being the Stormcloaks' emblem and all…
From the corner of his eye, he saw Master Borri's head slump slightly. The old man was either meditating or he had fallen asleep.
'I swear, by the time this is over, I'll be more insane than Sheogorath! Maybe I should Wabbajack them all… Tullius would make a nice troll.'
A not so sane giggle almost made it through his helmet.
More demands. More shouting. More arguing.
"This is ridiculous! The true version of 'Age of Oppression' is the one that supports…"
A slightly disheveled Jarl Elisif quietly came back to the table, shortly followed by a mellow Jarl Balgruuf. The pair had been chatting rather amicably throughout the meeting since no one asked for their opinion and had had some point discreetly disappeared to improve the relationship between Whiterun and Solitude. In private.
"Listen to yourselves! As we speak Alduin is…"
"SHUT UP OLD MAN!" both leaders shouted at Esbern in a perfect duet. Wow, they actually agreed on something.
"We could ask for the Dragonborn's…"
Said hero resisted the urge to bash his head on the table, lamenting that everyone had made it to the High Hrothgar safely. Why, oh why hadn't either delegation run into a dragon on their way?
'I mean, come on! I can't spend a single day now without fighting a dragon of some kind. Plain, blood, ice, elder… Sometimes two or three at the same time! Heck I've managed to forge enough draconic armors and weapons for the Companions and all my friends, and I still have some left! Yet they got here without any trouble! Damn it, where is a dragon when you NEED one?'
The Dragonborn blinked behind his helmet.
"No, our toilet paper is not red as a slight against the Empire." Ulfric growled.
"You mean you savages actually use toilet paper?" Elenwen mocked back.
"Only when we run out of Altmer skin rolls and imperial edicts." Galmar snarled.
"SILENCE!" The voice, while not a Thu'um, brought everyone's yelling to a halt. The Dragonborn abruptly stood up, a towering figure in dark armor with eerie crimson highlights. "Jarl Ulfric, General Tullius, please come with me. Everyone else, stay here." he said, though it clearly was not a request. In fact the tone was such that both leaders didn't even argue.
"Dovahkiin, where are you going?" Arngeir asked.
"To the one person who can solve this once and for all."
"If you are coming to a decision, I need to be there to ensure the White Gold…" Elenwen started haughtily.
"White Gold Concordant, Altmer superiority, Thalmor's will, yadda, yadda… Fine, bring your bitchy ass along, I don't care."
The group departed, leaving the rest of the assembled people pondering what was going on.
"What did the Dragonborn mean by, 'the one person who can solve this once and for all'?" Elisif asked, glad that she could actually talk without Tullius' 'let me handle this Elisif.'.
"I have no idea." Legate Rikke admitted.
"Well, whoever this person is, they'll see the truth and recognize that Jarl Ulfric is the legitimate ruler of Skyrim." Galmar snorted as he crossed his massive arms over his chest.
"What did you say, barbarian?" Rikke hissed, ready to take over for Tullius. Meanwhile the Blades and the Greybeards looked worried. There was only one person above the old monks, but surely the Dragonborn wouldn't get him involved!
And as if to answer their concerns, the monastery briefly seemed to shake as a powerful Thu'um was heard from the courtyard.
Seconds later, the old sanctuary shook again, this time from something very heavy landing on the wide space behind the monastery. There was a moment of silence, then the unmistakable sound of a dragon's fire breath.
Six people thought the same thing at the exact same time. 'Oh shit!'
Despite their age, the Greybeards could run pretty damn fast when the wanted, even without using the Whirlwind Sprint shout. Esbern and Delphine were behind them, while the two Jarls has been instructed to remain inside.
When they exited the monastery however, it was already over. The Dragonborn was standing alone in front of a large white dragon. It looked old, with tattered wings, notched horns and spikes, and dull eyes that nonetheless gleamed in satisfaction as it rubbed it slightly distended belly contentedly.
There was no trace of the people who had come with the Dragonborn, except maybe a patch of melted snow, revealing scorched ground underneath.
"Dovahkiin," Arngeir's appalled voice said, "tell me you didn't..."
"Of course not, you see..."
The Dragonborn's explanation was interrupted as both Galmar and Rikke ran past him, having taken the time to recover their weapons and brandishing them, charging straight at Paarthurnax while shouting war cries. The sight of a Stormcloak and an Imperial officer siding together would have given him hope for peace if he still gave a damn.
Rikke was reduced to a piles of ashes and molten metal near instantly by the old dragon's Thu'um. Galmar on the other hand managed to dodge the fire breath, only to be caught by a swipe of Paarthurnax's tail and sent over the side of the mountain.
"Yes, this is roughly what happened." the Dragonborn deadpanned. Behind him, Paarthurnax picked Galmar's fallen battle-axe and used it as a toothpick. Scraps of cloth seemed to have gotten in his teeth. Then the dragon let out a thunderous belch.
"Krosis." he apologized.
"Oh yeah, he also ate Elenwen. Well, anyway, it was all an unfortunate and tragic misunderstanding." No one seemed to notice how he kept his hands behind his back as he spoke.
"Dragonborn…" Delphine started, glaring hatefully at Paarthurnax, only to be interrupted by their supposed weapon.
"I know what you're thinking. You're thinking 'It's a dragon, we must kill it.' Now, to tell you the truth, after today's bullshit, I just don't care about what you or anyone wants anymore. But seeing this is Paarthurnax, Alduin's former lieutenant, and the master of the four overprotective old men who can shake the entire country standing just behind you, you've gotta ask yourself a question : 'Do I feel lucky?'"
Paarthurnax let out a rumbling laugh. "Well, do you, Meyye?"
Then the unexpected happened as the two Blades stumbled forward, like someone had just pushed them, and the Dragonborn swore he saw some snow in the shape of a footprint on their butts. Paarthurnax obviously didn't care and took this as a 'yes'.
The order of the Blades was now truly extinct as Paarthurnax enjoyed another snack. Turning to the Greybeards, the Dragonborn was met with four calm faces of perfect innocence. After a moment, he simply shrugged. "Well, since this matter is now settled, let's tell Jarl Balgruuf he won't have to worry about the Empire or the Stormcloaks for a while. They'll all be way too busy choosing new leaders to bother him anytime soon, so it should give me the time to deal with Alduin."
Paarthurnax watched the slayer of his race and his students leave, chuckling to himself. After all, even a wise old Dovah is allowed to indulge himself sometimes. Meditation or not, releasing his true nature once in a while felt good, if only to remind himself of what he was trying to keep at bay. Though he wondered one thing.
How the hell had the Dovahkiin managed to cross his fingers behind his back while wearing heavy gauntlets?
Author note : I got the idea for this upon reviewing wickedmetalviking1990's fic and I just had to get it out. So here is my first non-Claymore fanfic. My apologies to my usual readers if you're disappointed, but I hope some of you will still enjoy this.
I know I blew things out of proportions. Everyone's bickering is so annoying during this moment, I couldn't help but exaggerate it to make the situation even more ridiculous – not to mention the games makes you choose a side, if only by siding you with whoever gets the invitation first. I really wish there was another option, and there you have it.
And because I just couldn't decide between the Dirty Harry monologue and this one, here's an extra. Honestly I wonder which one would be more satisfying.
"Now," the Dragonborn glared at the three people in front of him, "this is more important than your petty power struggle, so you will stop this bullshit and let me do my job, then you can all return to cheerfully slaughtering each other."
This caused another bout of yelling, but this time they were yelling at him. The angry trio was so outraged they failed to notice they had been maneuvered right to the edge of the mountain.
"This is heresy!" Elenwen screeched.
"This is blasphemy!" Ulfric added.
"This… This is madness!" Tullius finished.
"Madness?" the Dragonborn repeated calmly before roaring back, "THIS! IS! SKYRIM!"
He suddenly kicked Elenwen off the mountain, then he turned to the two leaders. Three more words came from his mouth.
Two more bodies were sent flying.
The negotiations were now over.