(( Alternatively titled: How to Lance the Moon With a Jaded Heart ))
(( Yall remember those two nelf NPCs in the Temple of the Moon? Well, I ship them. Here is the WIP fanfic. There will be sappy kisses soon. ))
Another dreary night alongside the dreadful council within the Council of Darnassus. Kaldorei left and right had been bickering nonsense in his ear for seemingly countless hours, nearly from dusk until dawn. Daros Moonlance eventually slumped into the padded chair of his quarters. The great city of trees was no Eldre’Thalas, nor was it even Dalaran; indeed, here he was more an outsider than those who joined our ranks all those years ago from the GIlnean exodus. Kaldorei had little trust in the magi. With good reason, of course, however it still hurt. After all he did, there was hardly any respect for his position. His own peers looked down upon him for the power he held. All save for one. Hammon the Jaded, for all of his short attention span, was the only one who ever outwardly and publicly showered any grain of warmth for the highborne. It was unusual, but not unwelcome. The passing smiles, taking his side on issues the archaeologist had little stock in; Daros noticed these things, but sadly never found the opportunity to repay them in turn. He was... nervous, to say the least, to speak with them about it. Many scorned the very air he breathed, and this pain left him hardened and cautious. The kaldorei slumped further into his chair, curling his lithe body so that he was draped rather uncomfortably over the armrests. Staring over towards the piles of unfinished research, he massaged at the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to rub the tension of a long day’s work out. Several long, arduous hours of intense work laid in store for him, but the siren’s call of sleep was far too much for the mage to handle. Soon, he fell into a deep, uncomfortable, and blood-flow-restricting sleep.
Dreams are little escape from the harsh realities of life, but they do help sometimes. As with all good things, however, it must come to an end. With a dull thump and a loud cry of both pain and astonishment, Daros met with the cold wooden floor of the arboreal apartment complex he called his abode. Groaning and shakily attempting to direct his nonresponsive legs up onto the bed proper, he collapsed upon the soft springs and down, allowing the agonizing sensation of pins and needles to pass from his extremities. The elf huffed indignantly; being yanked from his subconscious land of merriment and fine silks was not exactly high-up on his daily agenda. Suddenly, his mind snapped to that word: agenda. Slowly, as though anticipating a blow to his face, he craned his neck over to the gnomish-made clock situated on the wall. By the Grace of Elune, he was late already for further discussion on those tablets. Curses upon that hotheaded sentinel, he thought. Were it not for her rash decision to divert those shipments, I would not be the one spearheading communications with the University. As reluctant as he was to resume yesterday’s work today, he did serve as a crucial member of those inspecting the proceedings. Clamouring to his feet, the mage scrambled to make himself presentable. Hair, then robes--Wait, no, I wore those already. The blue ones are still clean.--followed by a quick spritz of his favourite cologne and a swish of something to freshen his breath. Breakfast would have to wait. Silently, Daros scolded himself for not mastering the art of conjuring food as he donned his crystal-tipped staff and headed hurriedly out the door.
Small miracles like to happen when one is least expecting them. Today, this phenomenon manifested itself in the form of a simple bowl of cold congee awaiting the rushing kaldorei on the desk of his office. Office, of course, being used loosely in this instance; a damp corner of a musty old stone tower on the outskirts of the Temple hardly qualifies as such. Daros tested it with the provided spoon, finding no hidden objects. Pressing a dollop past his lips, he found it to be rather plain, save for the addition of ground pine nuts. No odd tastes or hidden enchantments. To his surprise, the food before him was entirely ordinary. Lacking any reason not to suspicious anymore, the highborne slid into the hard oaken chair, absentmindedly spooning his meal into his mouth as he read over what all the day had in store for him. Two meetings with representatives from the University, an inquiry into the findings at Suramar, and... Daros paused. Silver eyes lingered upon a single name. Hammon. Of course, it was for just for a routine exchange of notes, however he could not help but feel as though things were related, somehow. Perhaps it was simply him looking too far into the matter, or perhaps he simply was hoping something he could never have. Pushing those thoughts from his mind, the highborne began working on the countless instances of paperwork he had to mull through as his position, however overlooked, demanded. Countless hours of the night rolled past him, only to be roused from his trance-like state by a drop of his deep-colored blood staining the parchment in front of him, trailing down like ink and pooling along the bottom edge.
Minutes went by as Daros stared unblinking at the deep cut in his skin. How ponderous it was for something so small to go unnoticed for so long, away from even the most careful of eyes. Granted, his were still a bit fuzzy with all things considered, but he still wondered exactly how long he had had the laceration. With the utmost swiftness, he rummaged around in a drawer for a scrap of cloth he knew he had. Jade green was stained dark as the fabric was made into a makeshift bandage. Daros massaged his temple with the unmarred hand, eliciting a frustrated sigh from the highborne. All of the papers that were nearly finished now had to be redone, all because of some glancing blow to a quill or corner. Swearing loudly, the desk was forcefully cleared with one sweep of his arm, causing inkpots and quills and stacks of papers alike to come crashing down to the floor with a raucous clatter. All of the care or concern Daros had vanished in an instant. All he could do was lay his head down in his own arms, letting out a long groan into the hems of his sleeves. What was he going to tell Sunblade? A rogue spell? No, that would only earn him their ire. Perhaps he could blame it on a tremor? Those ended some time ago after Deathwing’s defeat. Faulty craftsmanship on the work surface? Perhaps. There would be some excuse in store, as there oftentimes was. The highborne opened his eyes, looking upwards to the porcelain bowl which was still perched on the ledge above, free from his outburst. Daros resolved to at least return that today.
Passing glances can oft hurt more than words. At least when things are said to your face, your own tongue can lash back. However, eyes are like daggers in the back of the neck. Walking down the bridges of Darnassus carrying a bowl in a bandaged hand will earn you many looks. Of course, Hammon’s offices are all the way past the Trader’s Tier. Where else would it be, save for right through the heart of the city? It was just his luck, as it always was. His own gaze reposted each stare with an icy blast. With haste the Highborne did make his way through the twisting turns and billowing boughs of each towering tree until finally, thank Elune, did he find himself facing the front door of his colleague’s abode. Daros clutched his wildly beating heart in hopes of soothing the anxiety that permeated each and every fibre of his being as a result of his awkward trip here. However, he collected himself back into his usual exterior of cool and collecting that he worked so hard to maintain while in public. His private moment of weakness was over, and now was the time for business. Three times were his knuckles rapped against the sturdy wooden door. Daros paused, holding a stiff upper lip until he heard the slow, methodical shuffling of his fellow council member. With haste, Daros found himself adjusting a few stray hairs and even checking his breath. It was unusual for him to do such a thing, he thought. What made him think otherwise about this time? Creaking, the door opened up slowly to reveal the familiar tired-looking and aloof face of Hammon, aptly referred to as ‘the Jaded.’