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A dull ache behind his eye woke Jarik up, tension headaches and severe eye strain from pouring over tomes all day and night no doubt. As he turned over to check the time, Ari was fast asleep, finally getting the rest she'd been needing. She was always so concerned with everyone else around her that she didn't take enough time for herself. It was 3am, as Jarik rose to find some aspirin, he overheard Torvan and Vael discussing their assignment from Minfilia.

"Guys in black robes, that doesn't narrow it down much, aside from who the hell is gonna wear that in the desert? I'm just saying, it'd be a little conspicuous, don't you think?"

"Of course, if I were out to start trouble like that, and rope the Beast tribes to summon Primals, I'd want to blend in, but maybe that's just the Mithra in me speaking. Y'know, don't let your mark know your goal until you've already completed the job, right?"

"S'pose yer right, but, wouldn't hurt to hit the books before the pavement, I'll ask around when I'm in Limsa tomorrow about anything they got on Ascians, try and get an idea of what we're dealing with."

"Aight, I'm going on to bed then, good night, get some sleep dude."

Jarik opens the mirror cabinet, reaches for the bottle, and takes a couple of the heavy-duty aspirin for his headache, as he closes the cabinet, in the half-asleep haze, he thinks he sees a figure in a black robe behind his reflection. His vision adjusts to the light again, nothing. Just a guy with short, brown hair and a short beard, he thought, in a rough looking UCLA t-shirt and basketball shorts, a far cry from the robe, slacks and boots he wore on the battlefield. He takes the medicine and washes it down, and returns to bed. As he starts to drift back off to sleep, he felt Ari's arm wrap around him. It was comforting, reminding him off those nights sneaking into Upper Jeuno's clock tower, and just watching the rain wash over the city on the ocean. He wrapped his arm around her and drifted off, his entire world beside him.

Elewyn waited outside of the Tenth Round's office in the Waking Sands, she had been picked up by the Scions as another body to put on the pile, someone that could be trained to help combat the threat of the Primals, a free agent, no longer taking orders from her former clients as a retainer. It was time to show the world what she was capable of. It was just a matter of seeing where she was, combat-wise. She was put up against Ari as a test, hand-to-hand against a well-trained combatant such as her would give a baseline of what to expect from the newest Scion recruit.

As she put her long blonde hair into a ponytail, Ari offered to touch gloves, and she obliged. The two women circled one another, Elewyn not knowing what to expect, but she knew how to fight, one doesn't grow up in Limsa Lominsa without knowing how to scrap it out. She expects Ari to strike from the right, before realizing a second late that Ari was left-handed, as she lands a left jab to Elewyn's stomach at the start. Suprised and gasping for air, she dives for a leg, catching Ari off her guard, she's unable to lock the takedown in, as both scramble to their feet. Elewyn throws a right cross that gets deflected into a palm strike to the chest.

"You got some skill kid! Come on!"

"Bet on it!" Elewyn throws a kick to take her out at a knee, striking her left leg, then her right. Using her height to keep Ari from going high on her, she opted to keep working her legs to tire Ari out. Sensing the plan, Ari rushes, throwing a knee, striking Elewyn in the chest. Regaining her senses, Elewyn gets back to work, throwing a series of kicks to each of Ari's legs, trying to make her falter, as she drops from the last kick to one knee, Ari throws an elbow that catches the kick Elewyn tried to throw to finish the fight.

"Ladies, that's enough! I don't want anyone getting hurt too badly today!"

Torvan knew it was time to stop the fight before it got out of hand. He knew that once Ari got going, there wouldn't be any stopping her, a trait that made her a good Dark Knight back home, but not something to do in a practice duel with a recruit. Elewyn wasn't hopeless in a fight, that he was glad for, she might be able to help get things done with the Scions, and run combat and protection work.

"You got some moves, where'd you learn 'em?"

"Streets of Limsa, gotta know how to fight to survive."

"Figured as much. You've got talent, just needs to be refined a bit. Welcome aboard."

Torvan hadn't been back at the Waking Sands long, he'd been working a lead in Limsa Lominsa regarding the Ascians, according to Thancred, he, along with Ifrelle and Malik had fought off an Ascian before the pair were recruited. That would have been good to know then, instead of now. As he returned to his desk, he went through the lack of information he had on the Dawn Warriors, and their Sylph assignment. He had worked his leads on the Ascians to nothing but dead ends, no one at the Aftcastle had useful information, just what they'd heard in ghost stories and rumors. He wasn't about to investigate, and try to stop a summoning in Little Ala Mhigo without having some form of information. He wouldn't even begin to know where, or who to start questioning, the tensions between the City States and the refugees were already high, him picking at the wrong thread might set off a new wave of problems. He sighed as he started to question himself.

"if I was going to push a summoning through, who'd I work on egging on? The old dudes might not be willing to go that far, not wanting to put the kids at risk. The kids don't have enough wherewithal just yet, they don't understand the hell Garlemald has put 'em through, then the Alliance's inaction. That'd just leave-"

"The barely-old-enough-to-be-considered-adult hot heads in the camp? The ones so hopped up on hormones and angst they'd be willing to summon their god to right an injustice?" Gwen walked into his office with a print out. "Took a look in some Ala Mhigan registers, and Ul'Dahn reports after the last time we talked about the settlement, and was able to dig some dirt on the camp's leader. Old Highlander named Gundobald, looks like he might've served before the occupation, but nothing concrete."

"Gwenny, you're a life saver. You know that?" This was the best information he'd gotten today, nothing on the long-term goal, but, he can enter the camp with a goal of who to talk to.

"You're welcome, how you doing? You look exhausted."

"Tired is all, was up late talking about this with Vael, this Ascian stuff I mean. I can't get anything solid on them, other than they 'sow chaos and discord', you know how vague that is?"

"Tell me about it, been trying to get Waters' attention on a Belahdian text I'm trying to translate today, and I think he's acting odd. No unwanted flirting, he's been kinda distant I mean. You noticed anything different about him?"

"Just that necklace he got recently. Thought it was a parting gift from one of his 'conquests'. But he is acting strange, at least for him. Kinda staring off into space a bit."

"Wouldn't surprise me, I'm gonna talk to Minfilia about it if I can catch her when she's not busy. Odd question but...you doing anything tonight?"

Torvan focused his attention to Gwen, "Goin' home, watching the game."

"Who's playin'? Obviously the Warriors, but-"

"Portland, playoffs. Curry's been hurt since the Houston series, 73-9 and gonna get knocked out on account of injuries."

"Hmm, you wanna come over and watch it with me? I ain't busy either, it'd be nice to have a little company Torv."

"Why not, yeah, I'll come over."

"Thompson, off the assist by Green, for three! Down the stretch, tied at 91, 6:44 remaining in regulation, Lillard, brings it up for Portland..." The television blared the noise from the crowd, while Torvan and Gwen were glued to the screen. She had gotten into this game more than she thought, she was just trying to flirt with him, but got more invested the more she watched, partially because of Torvan, partially because she wanted to see who won the game. Their friendship developing into a mutual crush, she knew he was still reeling from the past, so she didn't pursue him actively, merely continuing to flirt the more they spent time together. She worked up her courage to express her feelings, hoping he felt the same.

"An emphatic dunk by Green as Golden State goes up 110-97, and it's looking like they'll be going to Portland up two games to none, looking to close out the series as the series moves from Oakland to the Pacific Northwest, Coach."

"Mike, this Oakland crowd is losing its mind, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be shook coming in here to play this team, in this building! Between the homecoming for Lillard, and his Blazers battling Curry and these Warriors, they've put on a heck of a show!"

Gwen decided it was time, now or never, just tell him how you feel. "Torvan, I think I.." He looked to her, realizing what was happening, as she pulled his face down to her and kissed him.

"I think I'm in love with you."

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About the author

Blockade85

Bio: I’m a wannabe writer that wants to get some of the stories floating in his brain out before it gets too smooth in there. I blog some too, you should check that out. Might be interesting if you enjoy any of this.

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