1700 words, Thassarian and Leryssa (his sister). Set prior to Catacylsm, but post-Wrath. This was my first Warcraft fic- I actually wrote this in 2011 but never showed it to anyone.
I figured it was a good time to dust it off.
He was standing in the small home, shifting oddly from one foot to the other. He had faced the minions of the Lich King. But this was different. Fighting had always come naturally to him, and with the campaign in Northrend over, he had little to do.
So he found himself here.
Lurid was put away for the time being. He didn’t want to startle his sister with him, as charming a skeletal minion as he was. He looked to the side, rubbing his hands together softly but generating no heat. Leryssa’s home was modest, and reminded him keenly of their childhood home in Lordaeron.
He snapped to attention for a moment before he eased a bit. He didn’t need to drink it, but anything his sister would offer him seemed like a precious gift. “Ah, yes.” A pause. ”Please.” He looked back to the kitchen, where her voice had come from. ”…do you need any help?”
“No, just sit down!”
He pulled out one of the rough wooden chairs, cautiously sitting down and thinking, for a moment, that it might be right to take off some of his armor. He pulled off his plated gloves, resting them heavily on the table, and pursed his lips a bit. What was he doing here? It had been weeks since he had sent the letter that he was visiting, weeks since her reply, and now… He had been putting off visiting. There was a want there to be with his only living family…but what if she knew? What if she found out about their mother? He brought a hand to his face, rubbing his eyes with calloused fingers. It was almost impulse that lead him to fly here today, and he nearly wanted to turn around and leave. He didn’t belong in her life anymore. Her brother had died years ago. But whatever was still alive in him made him hope to be a part of her life as much as she would let him. Perhaps it was foolish, as hope ever was.
She was smiling when she brought the tea from the kitchen, the tray she carried it on simple and undoubtedly older than she had owned it. She smiled at him, setting a cup in front of him, and he looked down at it for a moment. He didn’t need to drink anymore, but he nodded softly at her and took the cup in his hands.
“Careful! It’s hot!” She reached out, urgently waving to him like she might to a child that would burn his fingers. To his credit, he looked down at the cup and set it down carefully on the table.
The heat had barely registered on his icy fingers.
She smiled, looking at the fire for a few seconds, and then back to him. ”So…I got your letter, Thass.”
“You replied.” And he looked down at the cup again, recognizing the halfway curt tone in his voice. Too many months of speaking with would-be heroes made him perhaps a bit more direct than he would have liked here. Perhaps a different approach would be best. ”I brought you a gift.”
“You didn’t have to do that!” And she laughed softly. ”But I know there’s no telling you otherwise. Come on, let’s see it, then.”
He found himself smiling in spite of himself, and stood, walking back to his pack by the door. ”I’ve sent more by delivery.” He stooped down, pulling out two wrapped packages and smiling. ”I’m not a pack mule.”
“Could have fooled me.” She said it almost in reflex, and paused for a second before he laughed. She almost winced at the strange way his voice reverberated, and smiled. Resting the gifts in front of her, he sat back in his chair and gestured to one. ”Shirts, from Dalaran. I don’t think you get much like them here in Stormwind.” And he paused for a moment. Was he being overly generous? He didn’t want her to think that he was trying to buy her over with gifts. And yet…
She was already ripping into the paper, and pulled out a bright gold shirt. ”It’s lovely! Thank you, Thass.” A chuckle. ”What’s in the other one?”
“Fur and leather.” He hesitated for a moment. ”I heard you were in the business of selling armor. I thought that…”
“A practical gift.” She smiled.
“Yes.” A nod.
“Thank you.” She stood from her chair, walking over and wrapping an arm around his neck in a half-hug, her other hand still holding the new shirt before she pulled back abruptly. ”Ah, Thass! Get closer to the fire. You’re cold as ice.”
He paused for a moment. ”I know.”
“Oh, so you mean…”
“…oh.” She looked back at the table. ”You’re not going to drink your tea, are you?”
“Most likely not.” He could, but it would only be for her benefit.
She pulled her arms close around herself, and he nodded softly. ”Leryssa, I told you I would come back.” He met her eyes, finally speaking the truth he couldn’t keep from even himself. ”But I cannot bring you back the brother you knew.”
“I know.” She smiled softly. ”But, it’s…it’s almost like…”
“…like I’m alive?” He nodded softly. ”Almost.”
There was a silence. He had no desire to speak, to break her hopes any more than he had. She turned back to him after a few seconds. ”So what will you do?”
“I will serve the Alliance.”
“You never change.” She stepped closer, resting a hand on his shoulder. ”You’re still a soldier, huh, Thass?”
“I suppose I cannot change that about myself.” He smiled half-heartedly.
“Are you going to be here a while? You could stay with me for a bit.”
He shook his head softly. ”I would not wish to impose.”
She laughed. ”I have a spare room. You remember when we were kids, and you used to tell me those stories when I couldn’t sleep?”
“They weren’t stories.” He countered quickly. ”Those battles actually happened.”
She chuckled. ”I know. You were always so determined to serve your kingdom.”
He shook his head softly. ”I could think of no greater purpose for myself.” He idly wrapped his fingers around the cup of tea.
“No, I think it’s good.” She smiled. ”I mean, look now.”
Look now. He knew how she had meant it, but he only found himself lacking. A soldier with no cause, no battle to fight. And what connections did he have? He could barely communicate with Koltira, now that they had returned to their respective cities. It was difficult to convince a courier to travel into Horde territory to deliver a letter, and he could think of better ways to spend his time than waiting around Acherus. The truth was that he was a little lost without a war. Even Lurid noticed it, and the skeleton minion tried to keep him occupied when he noticed Thassarian slipping into one of his black moods. The last time, Lurid had suggested he scout over supposedly neutral territory- territory he had flown over just hours before. They weren’t always good ideas, but anything that he could do to keep himself busy, anything he could observe and report back was one less minute that he wasn’t thinking about how little he actually had to do.
He nodded softly. ”I should be going. I don’t want to overstay my welcome…but thank you. It was nice to see you.” And he meant it, despite the keen feeling that he did not belong here.
“I know I can’t convince you. It was nice to see you, too.” She frowned a bit. ”Take care of yourself, Thass. I don’t want to hear that you died on me again. Once was enough.”
“I will try, sister.” And he bowed his head softly, taking his heavy gloves from the table. He paused by the door, halfway turning back to her as he picked up his pack. ”I will write.”
She nodded, and he shut the door behind him, sliding on his gloves.
He didn’t belong here. He didn’t belong in her life- it was possibly better for her that her brother be dead, not…something else. He shook his head softly, slipping into a back alley and pulling out an old bag of bones. He checked for any urchins wandering his way, and quickly emptied the bones onto the cobblestones, concentrating for a few seconds as he forced them into their places.
“Master? Helmet?” Lurid peered up at him as much as a skeleton could, and he nodded.
“I left it at our camp.”
Lurid drooped slightly.
“You don’t need it. We’re not fighting anyone right now.”
Lurid drooped just a bit more.
He shook his head, smiling in spite of himself. ”We’ll find something to do later.”
The skeleton perked up a bit. ”We find things?”
“Yes, perhaps we’ll encounter Scourge on the way back.”
Lurid turned for a moment, looking around. ”No Scourge…in Stormwind.”
“Let’s keep it that way.” This was better, more his element. He nodded. ”Come on, we have a mission.”
Lurid hopped closer. ”Mission? No sword. No helmet.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get them.” He nodded.
He knew his minion well enough by now to know that Lurid was doing the skeleton equivalent of grinning. ”Need sword. Need helmet. Then we fight.” He nodded. ”We go now and get things.” He began to walk down the alley, and Thassarian sound himself smiling at his minoion’s eagerness for battle, knowing that he shared the same bloodthirst.
He didn’t belong in the living world any longer- he knew that much. He had known that, and this evening had cemented that for him. He was something else now, and he belonged with his kind. He didn’t expect his sister to understand- perhaps she still wanted to be a family as much as he did. But it was for the best if he didn’t remind her of what she had lost.
He left Stormwind behind him. He would return, but, for now, he would have to find things to busy himself with. He had to doubt that war would come…and when it did, he would be ready.