Here's another random little piece I decided to do. I just get so inspired by the characters scattered around Skyrim.

Update: Thanks to a reviewer, my embarrassing spelling mistakes were fixed!

Gods, why did she ever think fighting in this war was a good idea? She had been assigned to a squad full of nothing but Nords. They were Nords and she was a Dunmer, a Dark Elf, a gray-skin. Any time something went wrong, she found herself dragged into it somehow. When there wasn't something to blame her on, she was still eyed suspiciously every time she moved.

She had thought she had proven herself after taking down more than half of a squad of Thalmor on her own. It's true that the Nords stopped blaming her for everything bad that happened, but they began making unfounded remarks against her and her race in general.

Through the countless taunts and jeers, she found that bringing her sword down upon some poor Thalmor was enough to alleviate the pent-up rage that she held against her "comrades." Soon, she developed a bloodthirsty appetite and found herself anticipating battles. The release of her fury through violence kept her sane enough not to snap on any of the Nords.

At some point, the sergeant of the squad realized something had changed in the Dunmer. She noticed that he watched her closer than he ever had before. While he remained silent despite the Nords' increasingly offensive jeers, she always felt his eyes watching her.

Upon receiving news of a probable Thalmor attack on the small fort the squad defended, the sergeant approached her and told her that she wouldn't be on the frontlines this time. Instead, she would stay back with a handful of others to guard the fort. The remaining Nords would be sent out to meet the approaching Thalmor force. She had kept a calm appearance, but felt a sinking sense of dread in her heart. The insults and taunts were only getting worse. She wouldn't have the chance to release her anger in battle unless the Thalmor made it past the frontline force.

The squad spent most of the next day readied for battle. Those on the offense patrolled a set perimeter around the fort. The defending soldiers were left to wait, straining to hear any warnings of an ensuing battle.

The Thalmor attacked the fort that day, but they used a method the sergeant never thought of. Defending soldiers dropped like flies, falling to assassins' blades and arrows. Most of the defending soldiers died in that battle, but she had been lucky, if that's what witnessing death could be called. A soldier had been close enough for her to notice him fall. She shouted out to warn the others, throwing off her would-be-killer. The shout threw off the aim of whoever was trying to kill her. The arrow did pierce her chest, but the archer was unlucky enough to miss the bull's-eye.

As soon as the arrow impaled her chest, her mind could only register the pain pulsing through her body. She staggered backwards and reached blindly at the wall behind her in an attempt to steady herself. Her effort proved to be in vain as she soon found the ground rushing up to meet her. She was engulfed in darkness.

Her eyes snapped open and closed immediately against the blinding light. Once they adjusted, she found the room was actually quite dim. She was lying on a bed with a thin blanket covering her body up to her shoulders. Two candles, one on each side of the bed, flickered and created long shadows on the stone walls of the room. She tried to sit up, but a searing pain shot from the arrow wound and she fell back onto the pillow.

"Oh, good, you're awake."

The voice startled her. A man sat in a wooden chair in the corner of the room. The candlelight gave his face an eerie glow, but he smiled at her.

She grimaced back. "Here to blame me for the attack on the fort?" she growled weakly.

The man tilted his head to the side and gave her a puzzled look. "Why would I do that?"

"Because I'm a gray-skin," she snarled. "It's always my fault." His smile didn't falter, but it almost seemed like he felt bad for her. She tried to clear her head of that nonsense thought.

"I was worried about you. Most of us thought you were dead. All of the others defending were killed," the man said somberly.

The news hit her hard. She stared at the man with wide eyes for a few moments before regaining composure. "That's very unfortunate," she said softly.

With a sigh, the man looked down at the ground. "I want to apologize."

The initial ferocity she felt upon discovering the man faded. She exhaled and managed to sit up, pain shooting throughout her body. The empty feeling the anger left behind quickly filled with exhaustion.

"I'm apologizing on behalf of all of us in the squad. They're too ashamed to do this themselves, so I hope that you will hear them out."

"They're apologizing to me?" she repeated, dumbfounded. "What for?"

The man chuckled. "That archer must have done a number on you. We're sorry for the way we've been treating you. There's no reason we acted the way we did."

To put it simply, she was shocked.

"We must've put you through hell," he continued. "I'm surprised you didn't desert us."

She soon recovered and brought her sharp bite back, "Well, it's about damn time." He looked at her with wide eyes, but she gave a small smile. "What in the world brought this about?"

"Death," the man said with a small shrug. "We lost a lot when the Thalmor attacked us. It's a shame it took something like this for us to wise up."

Her smile faded and the two slipped into silence. She watched the shadows dance on the walls and let this change assimilate into her mind. After a few minutes, she finally spoke. "Tell the others I said thanks. And thank you, as well. You didn't have to do this, especially since I don't remember you ever saying anything about me or my race."

He grinned at her and stood up from his chair. As he approached, he held out his hand to her. "I'm Balgruuf."

She clasped his hand in hers and shook it gently. "Irileth."

Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!